Austin Top 10

When I had the chance to go to Austin for work, I scooped it up immediately. I had been wanting to go to Texas (and Austin particularly) for quite some time, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Taylor Kitsch stills lives there after shooting my favourite show in the entire world, Friday Night Lights. Impossible celebrity sightings aside, this trip was one for the books. I absolutely LOVED Austin and am finding any excuse to go back. I did a ton of research before I went (Camille Styles’ restaurant guide was a lifesaver) and I think I did a great job of packing everything into the four days I was there.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Every morning, I would walk down from the JW Marriott (great location, pretty corporate but still lots of fun people there) and head to Jo’s Coffee for one of the best lattes I’ve ever had. I paired it with their yogurt and fruit because I try to keep it light when I’m travelling and know I’ll be indulging for dinner.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Another amazing spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner is Elizabeth St. Café. They have incredible croissants (some of the best I’ve ever had) and apparently amazing Vietnamese food. I was just on my way to dinner so I ONLY (note the sarcasm) had a chocolate croissant. I sat on the patio and people watched and had so much fun. Such a cute spot.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

One of the coolest parts of Austin is that they repurpose old buildings and make them fresh and new again. Launderette used to be an old Laundromat and is now an incredible restaurant with tons of veggie dishes and one of the best desserts I’ve ever had, the birthday cake ice cream sandwich (local Austinites: run, don’t walk). My other favourite dish was the Burrata. I drank a nice Côtes du Rhône to go with my meal (mainly veggies).

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

The star of the trip (if I can only pick one) had to be Uchi. If you told me I was going to go to Texas and eat mostly seafood, I would tell you to give your head a shake. What about tex mex? Steak? Not in this restaurant. Uchi was by far the best Japanese food I’ve ever had. What was even more fun was sitting at the bar alone, watching the sushi chefs make my food, and talking to them about all of the exotic ingredients. It’s amazing what can happen if you go out of your comfort zone and sit alone at a busy bar in a restaurant. To my right was a Vietnam war vet who then went on to a career in banking and is now retired. I never would have found that out if I was on a date at a table.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

As much as I loved Uchi, nothing was quite as amazing as Josephine House. Perched on a little corner in the middle of a gorgeous residential neighbourhood, this spot oozed charm and elegance. I mean, just look at the interior decor! It’s a farmhouse lovers’ dream!! I was so happy when I found one of my favourite Oregonian wineries, Soter, had their rosé on the menu. If it wasn’t a match made in heaven, I don’t know what is! Put this at the top of your list.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

If you are obsessed with food and want to spend a morning among the highest quality, most delicious and well-merchandised food, go to Whole Foods Austin. As I mentioned on my Snapchat (sophiecaldwellc), this is the mecca of Whole Foods. The office is upstairs, it takes up a whole city block, and is absolutely stunning. I bought tons of snacks for the way home and only wished I could take home some of these beautiful roses (these were only a portion of what greeted you upon entering).

IMG_6089

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love to try new workouts (especially spin). Luckily for me, my cousin’s step sister Carly is an amazing spin instructor at RIDE. It was harder than Soul Cycle, but equally as fun. I got an incredible workout and I wish I could take her class everyday!! She even played Justin Bieber for me. Again, reasons I need to go back to Austin.

IMG_5824

I may have been the only person that didn’t know this, but Austin is the capital of Texas. I was only 15 minutes walking distance from the State Capitol, so the first thing I did when I landed was put on my running shoes and go outside to go for a quick run and see it as dusk. I couldn’t have run inside faster (it was 0 degrees) to get my coat and actually walk. It was absolutely freezing but so worth it. Such a beautiful building with so much history.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

You didn’t think I would write a whole blog post about Austin without talking about some Mexican food did you? I was so lucky that La Condesa was just down the street from my hotel. I had the most delicious, tropical inspired margarita filled with fresh pineapple juice in addition to lime juice, and rimmed with cactus-lemongrass salt. I need to recreate it! For dinner I had hamachi ceviche with habanero truffle oil (whattttt). Such a unique combination of flavours that I never could have imagined. Then I had the cochinitas tacos and Mexican street corn (my first time!) I rolled myself back to the hotel and went to bed.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I can’t talk about Austin without mentioning my new found love for Outdoor Voices. Guys, this workout stuff is amazing. The founder, Ty Haney, started the line a couple of years ago with the intent that “Doing Things” just becomes a part of your day to day life. It’s for active people that aren’t defined by being active (kind of refreshing, isn’t it?) I bought these leggings and this crop top and have since worn both a total of about 20 times since. If you’re there, make sure to check out the store, because in true Austin style, it’s set up in a cute little house surrounded by fun shops and amazing restaurants.

#TexasForever

My Favourite Food Trucks: Vancouver

A few weekends ago, my family and I checked out the Vancouver Food Cart Festival. I was shocked with the amount of people that came out to try the food trucks! Almost every food truck in Vancouver was there, and we tested out a couple new ones that I’ve been wanting to try for a while. The information is below, and I suggest you check it out this Sunday! Read below for my favourite food carts in Vancouver!

Food-Cart-Fest-2013-640x370IMG_2231

This food cart, PazzaRella Pizza was a gamble as I hadn’t heard of it, but I absolutely loved it! The pizzas were $9, they were made on the truck in less than 5 minutes, and made right in front of your eyes. It was some of the best napoletana pizza I’ve had in Vancouver. IMG_2234 IMG_2236 IMG_2238

The Soho Road truck was on my list for quite a while. While the portions were small, the wrap’s flavour easily made up for it. Above is the butter chicken wrap. We also tried the chicken and lamb, and the lamb was the clear winner. IMG_2239 IMG_2240While I loved checking out the fest, in the future I’ll probably just stick to going to the carts during the week. The lines were crazy long, and we didn’t get to check out our favourite truck, Tacofino. Either way, read below for my favourite food trucks in Vancouver.

Sip Savour Share’s Favourite Vancouver Food Trucks

1. Vij’s Railway Express. I have nothing but good things to say about this food truck. I’m a huge fan of Vikram, and frequent Vij’s and Rangoli quite often. My favourites at this food truck include the cassava fries, the lamb kebab and the butter chicken schnitzel.
2. Tacofino. I just recently tried this truck out, and I’m so mad that it took me this long! You really can’t go wrong, but you must try the Tuna Ta-Taco and the Fish Tacos. Both are clear winners. I was told the Diablo cookie was amazing, but it was way too spicy for a baked good in my mind (could have been an off day!)
3. Pazzarella. Can’t wait to try more types of their delicious pizza. The spicy salami was the one we tried, and I loved it.
4. Arturo’s Mexico To Go. This is a great place for Mexican on the go. Think delicious burritos served with Mexican soda. Yum!
5. Japadog. The hot dog stand – an original food cart! What’s better than a hot dog grilled on the sidewalk?? Japadog has been around for the longest, and they are still open and thriving after all of this competition. It’s a Vancouver classic.

Here are some trucks I want to try that I’ve heard great things about:
The Juice Truck (how have I not been here?)
Kaboom Box
Mom’s Grilled Cheese
Aussie Pie Guy
Fresh Local Wild

Tell me – what is your favourite food truck?

keep scrolling below to enter two giveaways this week!

 

Garlic Shrimp with White Beans

I’ve been trying to get creative in the kitchen over the last few nights. I always feel better when I eat healthy food with quality ingredients, which is why I wanted to try something light for dinner. I’ve had my eye on this recipe since October 2012’s Bon Appetit. While it took me 4 months to finally cook it, I have to say that I loved the end result! Here are some pictures, and a link to the recipe again at the bottom!

Garlic Shrimp Ingredients

Garlic Shrimp Ingredients

Tomatoes and Beans

Tomatoes and Beans

Garlic Shrimp

Garlic Shrimp

I used celery because I didn't have parsley on hand

I used celery because I didn’t have parsley on hand

Garlic Shrimp with Beans

Garlic Shrimp with Beans

Here is the recipe again:

Garlic Shrimp and White Beans (Bon Appetit)

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 2 dried chiles de árbol
  • 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped tomato (about 8 ounces)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 15-ounce cans white beans (such as cannellini), rinsed, drained
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Grilled bread (optional)

Preparation

  • Preheat broiler. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large, heavy, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add 1 garlic clove, chiles, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, just until fragrant, 1–2 minutes (do not allow garlic to burn). Add tomato; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and smashing tomato with the back of a wooden spoon, until tomato is completely broken down, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until paste is deep red and caramelized, 3–4 minutes. Stir in beans and broth. Bring to a brisk simmer and cook until juices are slightly reduced and thickened, 3–4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Combine remaining 2 garlic cloves, 2 Tbsp. oil, shrimp, and paprika in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat shrimp. Scatter shrimp over beans in an even layer.
  • Broil until shrimp are golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Drizzle remaining 2 Tbsp. oil over shrimp and beans; garnish with parsley. Serve with bread, if desired
  • Ingredient Info

    Dried chiles de árbol are available at Latin markets, specialty foods stores, and some supermarkets.
PS – don’t forget to vote on the side –>
PPS – follow me on the new video app Vine where I demonstrate the first few steps of this dish!

Taco Tuesday!

Ever since I lived in California for my senior year of high school, I became obsessed with Mexican food. Most people who have lived in California (or Mexico, for that matter) can attest to the fact that there is a serious lack of amazing mexican food in Vancouver. However, there are a few places I frequent that really hit the spot (Salsa and Agave, and La Taqueria). I was craving a new taco recipe because I’ve been making this one for almost a year now. Heading over to one of my favourite cooking websites, I found a great taco recipe, which I altered slightly.



sauteeing the chicken, jalapeno and taco seasoning

adding peppers
frying shells
shaking out excess oil
enjoy!

Chicken Tacos (loosely based on the Pioneer Woman recipe)
serves 2 as main, 4 as appy

4 small flour or corn tortillas (I used flour)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces
2 tbsp taco seasoning (I am not ashamed to admit I do not make my own, Old El Paso’s is great!)
1 tbsp frying oil (I use coconut oil for medium-high heat, olive oil for low) 
1 jalapeno (de-seeded and de-veined) diced
1 red pepper, chopped
shredded cheddar
sour cream
Frank’s hot sauce
1 cup shredded lettuce
2 tomatoes, diced

Season chicken with taco seasoning. Heat frying oil over medium high heat and add the chicken and jalapeno for a few minutes. Once fully cooked, add the red pepper and sautee a minute or so more. Remove from heat.

Prepare all other ingredients (I like to let people add them themselves, so set them on the table)

Add some coconut oil to another pan (about 2 inches and heat over medium-high heat)

To get the nice brown on the outside of the shells, place a tortilla in your left hand and with your right hand, add as much or little chicken as you desire, and fold shut. Fry on each side for about 30 seconds, or until it is the desired colour.

Place on pre-set towels and wrap the tortilla and shake out the excess oil.

Serve with all over toppings!

Enjoy with a Corona, a glass of rose, or a glass of non-dry white.

Go To Guacamole

While you all know my love for Italian food, it seems that I make Mexican food at least once every two weeks. This guacamole recipe, given to me by my best friend, and incredible cook Devon, is my go-to: it’s creamy, fresh, and has the perfect proportion of everything I love.
mashing avocados

delicious addition of roma tomatoes

ready to eat!

Guacamole

Mash with fork in bowl:
1 T finely chopped white onion
1 firmly packed T chopped cilantro
2 t finely chopped jalapeno
1 t salt
Lime juice from half of a lime

Add chunks of 3 medium-ripe avocados.

Add:

3 T diced tomatoes
2 firmly packed T chopped cilanto
1 T finely chopped white onion

Serve with your favourite type of chip and Mexican food (new recipe coming soon)

Superbowl Eats

This weekend marks a big weekend for sports fans all over America. Surprinsingly, it’s actually a huge weekend for foodies too! Yes, I’m talking about the Superbowl! Below are some amazing recipes that I think you should try out for your or your friend’s Superbowl Party this weekend! Beware: there are vegetables on this list. Always include veggies!!

classic superbowl fare
if only I had a deep fryer…
to cut back on the grease, add cream!
pop a bit of mozzarella and a small cherry tomato on a skewer and make caprese pops!

I want this…right…now
always an easy solution

 Now for dessert!

adds a girly dimension to a manly day
anything with fresh lemon is fine by me!
at under 100 cals/serving, how can you go wrong?

Have a fantastic time planning your Superbowl Soiree!