Travel Love

Friday Food Find: Stock Rotation — Beach Style

“It’s stock rotation night!” exclaimes Tim O. 

It’s morning time here at beach. We’re not too spread out reading the paper, drinking coffee, catching up on work  and listening to great music.  Inevitably over a bowl of Special K or granola someone asks, “What are we having for dinner?”  While many of our friends are coming off a long work week and looking forward to a weekend of cooking non-harried and thoughtfully cooked meals, we’ve been doing that every night this week.  Let’s see, we’ve had pasta with fresh basil pesto, salads, smoked chicken, fresh-caught sweet shrimp, fresh toasted breads slathered with cheeses and the last of the garden vegetables.  And there are left-overs! 

Left-overs here at the beach are fodder for tonight’s dinner.  Tim’s process is to take stock of these left-overs and put them into rotation; thus, stock-rotation.  He defines stock-rotation as  “using the most perishable foods in your refrigerator first”.   And for this Friday Food Find we’re going to do just that! 

Bet you never thought a left-overs night could be so fab - did ya? Now it’s our turn to exclaim to the world that, “stock-rotation rocks!”

p.s. stock-rotation picture to come later…in the meantime here’s what we’ve been doing when not eating!

Tuesday Tip: Make Some Beach Waffles — With Your Shirt Off

Wow…we’re finally here. The beach with our good friends the Ozor’s. It’s our first morning and there’s been quite a bit of conversation about this week’s Tuesday Tip.

There’s a new gadget in the kitchen this summer. It’s a waffle maker. So, it was decided by Gracie (who loves to cook and is my #1 blog fan) we should have some sort of Tuesday Tip around yummy waffles.  Dad, Tim, is the official waffle maker of the family.  After a long island run with my hubby, Mike, he was in the kitchen gathering waffle making ingredients for our first beach morning breakfast. 

Since this isn’t a recipe blog post (that’s for Friday’s Food Find)  I’m going to just say find your favorite base recipe to make a waffle batter.  Here’s one from King Arthur Flour for a whole wheat waffle batter. 

Tim likes to use a combination of whole wheat and white flour in his own waffle recipe.  Here are several tips that Tim works by when making batter and cooking cooking his waffles.

  1. Mix waffle batter thoroughly.  

1. Mix waffle batter thoroughly.  

  2. Use a 1/4C measure for pouring batter into waffle iron.

2. Use a 1/4C measure for pouring batter into waffle iron.

  3. Cook until golden.  

3. Cook until golden.  

  4.  And always cook with your shirt off.

4.  And always cook with your shirt off.


For a Tuesday on our summer beach vacay with favorite friends and my #1 blog fan, I think 4 tips for making some fab breakfast waffles can’t be beat!  Now it’s time to go to the beach.  See you on Friday.

Champagne at Harrods in London

There’s nothing quite like experiencing Harrods in London with a bubbling pink glass of champagne.

And I only just found out about it this visit.  

Today was all about going to some of my favorite shopping spots in London.  Luckily my husband, Mike, was game. We first meandered off toward Portabella Road for a quick look at Books for Cooks and a big round of walking and negotiating our way our the tube (London’s metro sytem).  With a great morning under our belt we made our way to the famous Harrods.  

Harrods takes up one full block of London real estate and has seven floors of pure shopping bliss.While some of my more fashion forward friends might make a day (or even a week) out of exploring, we had only a few hours. So, we hit the floors that offered what we wanted; shoes, men/ladies fashion and food.  

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This is my third visit to Harrods and my first to taste champagne. While you can enjoy a respite in the food courts (and I suggest you do) for a bit of quite and calm make your way to the third floor.

Nestled between Lingerie and Designer Classics sits The Champgane Bar and Restaurant. And believe me, it IS the perfect sit-down break for weary world travelers.  

We had a glass of the Harrods Own Label pink champagne.  It was fabulous and just the right amount of bubbles to make a girl happy!  

Cheers from Harrods.

Texas State Parks: Springtime Picnic

Put yourself behind the wheel and slowly drive down a slightly hidden road.  All along the way bursts of red, orange, purple, blue, white and every shade of green almost blinds you angling your head side to side not wanting to miss one bit.  These are the colors of petals, leaves, grass, butterflies and much more. What we natives call a Texas springtime.  And there’s no other place you can see and experience it so prolifically other than a Texas State Park.

And today, I did just that! You see, Texas State Parks and Wildlife is looking to the month of May as their premier “Picnicking in the Park” month.  To kick it off they hosted a wonderful luncheon at McKinney Falls State Park in Austin, TX. While I’ve been to several state parks over the years this one was new to me.  It was the perfect setting for our civilized indoor/outdoor picnic.  

Cecilia Nasti, Producer & Host of Passport to Texas radio series (and KUT’s Field & Feast) asked several food bloggers from the Austin Food Blogger Alliance and others to provide recipes and or food for the event. Each recipe is one that is simple and can be made specifically for a picnic.    

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As you can see we had a veritable feast!  Check out the recipe I made Sugar Snap Peas w/ Basil; an especially great side dish for grilled meats.

To my suprise, after lunch and a meandering walk through the color-raging wildflowers, I was met in the parking lot by new friends. They wanted me to have a left-over,  just harvested watermelon from the Texas valley.  How could I refuse? I didn’t. Thank you to the folks at GO TEXAN!

So, now it’s your turn.  Pull the the family together, make a simple picnic,  put yourself behind that wheel, drive to the nearest Texas State Park and enjoy your day. Texas State Parks rock! 

Summer in Austin, TX — Beat the Heat, Baby!

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I have visions of traveling food friends snug and bundled in warm scarves, coats, turtlenecks and wool pants. It snowed in Montreal, remember? This blog entry is dedicated to all my friends and colleagues coming to Austin, TX for the annual conference of the International Association of Culinary Professionals…in June.

You’re coming to Texas! And when I heard we were having our annual IACP conference here in Austin, I gave a little whoop and holler. Then I saw the June date and said aloud, “Wowza! It’s a bonus!”. Not only are we hosting you in our dear city, we’re treating you to the beginning of a grand old Texas summer.

You lucky devils you! Yesterday, May 23, 2011, I got into my car at 6:45pm. It was 104°.

So, from me to you here are 5 things to keep you comfortable, content and full of vigor. All the while, keeping you alert in your seminars and in the mood to celebrate our fabulous city.

Stay hydrated.
Keep the water flowing. Have a bottle with you as you walk about, take a tour and in your seminars. I would highly recommend keeping a few water bottles in your hotel room. Our tap water is just fine but it’s always great to have a cool bottle of water waiting for you. 
Few ideas:

* Fill you ice bucket with ice in the morning while getting ready. Push your water bottle into the ice and leave for the morning or day. It will be wet and the label will surely come off. However, it will be well worth having that cool, crisp and refreshing liquid flowing down your throat.
* Another is to take a wash cloth, roll it up and stick it in the ice along with the water bottle. When you return to your room, gently pull it out of the “ice-water”, wring out, wipe your face and wrap around your neck. It’s going to feel so good!

Dress comfortably with staying cool in mind.
Think fabrics & footwear that breathe like cotton, linen and open toe shoes. Certainly you want to bring a light jacket and/or sweater to have for your seminars (it might just be cool at the convention center). However, if you are touring or walking about town you definitely want to consider lightweight & light colored clothing. I know black is a favored color for travel (it’s mine for sure) , however, with that sweet Texas sun shining down plus added moisture it makes us hotter and sweat more! Who am I kidding; I’ll definitely being wearing something black-sleeveless and swirly preferably.

Eat & drink moderately and with passion.
How dare I presume to tell a food friend how to eat and drink? I know. But I’m going to do it anyway. 
I recommend you eat and drink what you want but do it in moderation. Austin’s heat and humidity creeps up on you. And there is nothing more miserable than eating too much then getting heat punched in the stomach once you step outside or into a vehicle. And let’s not forget waking up in a hot sweat. :->

Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and umbrellas.
Sunscreen-Super important no matter if you are in a car, bus or walking about town. Wear it to protect your skin. The humidity of course will be your friend helping keep your face dewy! That’s exciting, right?
Sunglasses – glare, wrinkles, hangovers (need I say more and did I just say hangover?!?!)
Hats & Umbrellas – I wanted to include this especially for those of you going to the Capitol and are touring. If it’s your first exposure to the sun this season a good wide brim hat or baseball cap will definitely protect top of the head and face. An umbrella will give you greater protection.

Bring a bathing suit.
The Hilton pool is going to start looking pretty good after a day or two. Or any hotel pool where you might be staying. You might even have an Austin food friend with a pool. Don’t be shy. Hitting that cool water (even though it might be kinda warmish now) after a long day of travel, walking, tours, eating, drinking, and talking is going feel really great-no matter the water temperature.

With all this said, we may have rain or it could be overcast. We might still have a Spring-like “cold” front come through which will lower the temperature to the 80’s. Yes, that’s cool in Austin.

So, with cool visions and a few ideas to implement in reality, I personally welcome you with open sunscreen drenched arms, a healthy dewy face and all the warm wishes a native Texan and Austinite can give. Keep cool, learn lots and enjoy yourself!