Sunday, April 28, 2013

Austin Food & Wine Festival

I spent my Sunday volunteering at the Austin Food & Wine Festival.  Since it was a weekend-long event, and I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the entire span of it if I'd bought tickets due to work, I decided to volunteer on my day off.  It was a really enjoyable experience.  I got to watch a few cooking demos and eat great food/sample yummy wines.  Here are a few pics I took while there.
Roasting Pigs

Cooking demo by Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson Up Close
I don't know why this photo keeps uploading sideways ;P

Tidbits I learned:
  1. The reason unsalted butter>salted butter is because salt acts as a preservative so usually unsalted butter is fresher than salted.  (I had always used unsalted because it was easier to control salt levels myself, plus, I like having one butter in the fridge for both cooking and baking) 
  2. Save shrimp shells for making a really flavorful, layered ramen broth
  3. Gewurztraminer wines pair really well with spicy foods. 

Baked Egg in Bread

Sunday mornings deserve a great brunch.  I'd done some damage at Central Market last week.  Who can resist fresh baked rosemary bread or maple smoked bacon?  I can't.  Decided to whip this together in order to salvage the last of the rosemary bread.

Baked Egg in Bread
  • Rosemary bread, cut in 1" thick slices
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbs grated hard cheese (IE parmasan, fontina, etc)
  • 1 tbs chopped italian parsley
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 lb. maple smoked bacon (optional)
  1. Using a spoon or your fingers, create a crater in the center of each slice of bread to fit an egg.  Try to leave a thin layer of bread at the bottom. Note: this would've worked better with individual small rolls, but I had a delish loaf of bread on hand
  2. Brush with melted butter
  3. Crack one egg into the crater.  Top with cheese
  4. Bake at 350* 15-20 minutes or until eggs are set.  Fry up the bacon during this time
  5. Sprinkle each egg with parsley and S&P
Carbs, Protein, Fruit!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

I found this recipe through Pinterest and found Sally's Baking Addiction website.  Sally's Baking Addiction  It looked so mouth-wateringly delicious I had to try it.  Plus, I'm a sucker for salted caramel.  That combo between sweet and savory is so amazing, my mouth is actually watering as I'm typing this!  I have made 2 batches now, and although they were a little work the first time around, the second time went much smoother/easier and they're so worth it.  Brought them to work to keep myself and Reid from eating alllll of them and my boss asked what the special occasion was.  They were gone in a hot minute.

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 and 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or morsels, ~60% bittersweet
  • 18 chocolate coated caramel candies (IE Rolos)
  • course sea salt

  • Directions
    1. Cream together butter and sugars with a handheld mixer on medium.  Slowly add in vanilla and egg.
    2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a separate large bowl.  Add the wet ingredients slowly, mixing between additions.  Stir in milk and fold in dark chocolate chips.  This makes a very thick and sticky dough.
    3. Chill in refrigerator for 1-2 hours. 
    4. Scoop out 2 one tbs sized balls of dough.  Sandwhich a caramel candy between these balls to form one ball.  Make sure the edges of the caramel candies are completely sealed.
    5. Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp sea salt on each cookie
    6. Bake in preheated oven at 350* degrees for 10-13 minutes.  Cookies will be soft, allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before transfering to wire rack.
    7. Pour a glass of milk and enjoy! These guys are rich!
    Recipe adapted from
    Ooey gooey caramel centers

    Really good with a glass of milk