Monthly Archives: October 2014

Maiden Voyage in the RV

Canyon of the EaglesHere are a few fun facts: Up until this month, only five hurricanes have struck Hawaii since 1950. As luck would have it, the sixth one decided to aim itself at the islands on precisely the weekend when my husband and I had planned a much-needed trip to Kauai.

I need to preface this story by admitting that it’s going to sound a bit “poor little rich girl.” I am completely aware that the sentence “we had to cancel our trip to Hawaii because of a hurricane” is perhaps the most epic first world problem of all time. That said, when I got online to check in for our flight last Wednesday night, my heart sank when I saw the travel advisory pop up. It was a really tough call to make, because tropical storms/hurricanes are notoriously unpredictable. It was a toss of the dice. There was a chance that Hawaii could get a direct hit, but there was also a chance that the storm would lose steam and/or drift off to the west and sidestep the islands entirely. We didn’t want to miss out on our vacation, but we also didn’t want to risk being stuck indoors for the better part of it, possibly without alcohol power. More

Yet Another Austin Weekend

Josephine House

As I mentioned in a previous post, I love any excuse to dip down to Austin for a night or two. This past weekend I decided to visit a friend who lives there, and luckily, I was able to spend the night at her place because Austin City Limits had the town and its hotels bursting at the seams. Somehow in all my years as a Texan, I’ve never made it to SXSW or ACL, probably for that very reason—the already crowded city becomes difficult to navigate and a little less enjoyable.

But, despite ACL, I still managed to have a lovely overnight trip and, as is always the case when I visit Austin, I ate and sipped to my heart’s content. More

Pumpkin Spice Banana Pancakes

Pumpkin Spice Banana Pancakes

Okay, let me start off by saying that I think “paleo” is one of the most obnoxious diets du jour. No cheese? No beer? No bread? That bleep is for masochists. And the gluten-free craze falls into the same category (unless you legitimately have celiac disease, in which, case, I’m really sorry and also, can I have that bread if you’re not going to eat it?).

Since I’m much more of an epicurean than a masochist, I generally bristle at the sight of gluten-free and paleo-friendly recipes. But I keep coming across a recipe for pancakes that has caught my attention, something involving two simple ingredients: a banana and two eggs. I may not be into fad diets, but I’m totally into healthier versions of not-terribly-healthy dishes, and I was also curious about how a banana and eggs could magically morph into pancakes, so I decided to give it a shot. More

Kahlúa Macarons

Kahlua Macarons

I threw my husband’s cousin an ostensibly Big Lebowski-themed 40th birthday party last night, and since I’m always looking for an excuse to try my hand at a new batch of macarons, and since White Russians are The Dude’s cocktail of choice, I decided to see if I could come up with a Kahlúa-flavored concoction.

Although it’s October, summer is still lingering here in Texas, and most days have been in the upper 80s/lower 90s lately. It’s also been very dry. But on Thursday evening, a quick but rather violent storm rolled through, snapping trees in half and lowering the temperature a few degrees. I was grateful for the relief from the never-ending heat wave, but macarons are notoriously finicky and I was worried that the humidity might ruin them. Fortunately they came out just fine, but I did learn a few new lessons about macaronage (technically that’s the French term for folding the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients for the macaron shells, but in reality it refers to an exercise in magic and finger-crossing). More