Friday, May 26, 2017

Nutella Rice Krispy Treats - Recipe

Made these for a friend who is coming over tonight - it'll be the perfect dessert for her since we share a fondness for Nutella! You can find the original recipe here.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 9

  • 4 cups organic crispy rice cereal 
  • ½ to 1 cup Nutella (make it to your taste)
  • 3 T organic butter or coconut oil (again, use what tastes good to you) 
  • 4 c marshmallows (do not use natural or organic marshmallows - they don't have the right texture when melted)

  1. Grease a 9"x9" baking dish with a little bit of your butter or coconut oil and set aside. 
  2. Heat the rest of the butter or oil in a large saucepan on low heat. 
  3. Once melted, add the marshmallows and stir until melted. 
  4. Once the mixture is combined, lower the heat. 
  5. Add Nutella one spoonful at a time, stirring until each spoonful melts. Add ½ cup for lighter flavor or up to a full cup for richer flavor.
  6. Pour in the crispy rice cereal and stir until well coated with the mixture. 
  7. Immediately pour the entire mixture into the baking dish and press it down evenly into the pan. 
  8. Let cool, then cut into squares. 
  9. You can store these in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Disruption Red Wine 2014, Washington State - $15

Enjoying a lot more Washington wines since our recent visit to Seattle earlier this spring!


This Disruption Red Wine 2014 is dark and chocolaty with a little bit of acid and spice and moderate tannins. Nice! I've shared it with many friends who have really liked it!

I've found it here in Austin at Costco or Western Beverages for $15 a bottle.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Coast Bar + Kitchen - Reestaurant Review

We tried Coast's Happy Hour this evening. There are a handful of interesting items on their HH menu - $5 Green Ceviche (usually $10) and $10 Taco Plates (usually $14). I ordered two items - the Green Ceviche and the Shrimp Taco Plate. My friend ordered a Chicken-Fried Softshell Crab Taco Plate ($15 - special) and the Churros ($9) and we shared everything.

The Green Ceviche was great! It was made of fresh tuna with avocado and flour tortilla chips.

The Shrimp Tacos were just okay, nothing special. The shrimp was overcooked. The slaw (same on both dishes) was good without too much mayonnaise.

The Softshell Crab Tacos were fine until I bit into what felt like tiny rocks, and tasted something akin to guts rather than crab meat. I wouldn't order these again. I was actually worried about my new filling getting damaged!

The Churros were also fantastic - they were soft and warm and melted in my mouth!

I'm eager to return to Coast to try a few other items! Their lunch Poke Bowl sounds delish!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sway - Restaurant Review

Sway is such a nice restaurant!

We usually go as a couple and thus don't have to contend with the community dining tables, which aren't my favorite. However, I love sitting at the counter and watching the chefs do their thing in the kitchen. These were our seats at the counter the last time we dined there.

They look straight into the bustling kitchen.

To start I ordered a glass of the Louis de Grenelle Brut Rosé from the Loire Valley, France ($13 a glass, $52 a bottle). It was lovely, and I knew it would be great with anything from the menu.

We ordered all of our dishes at once. The first one to come out was the Salt and Pepper Softshell Crab ($17), which happens to be gluten-free. It was delicious but way too salty and I found myself wondering if I should wait for the rice that would come with the curry, or order an additional serving of rice. Hubby said I should have known it would be salty - "salt" is in its name. I've had plenty of salt and pepper dishes before (mostly lobster), but this is the first time the salt overwhelmed me. However, the crab was very fresh and cleaned well so that I didn't taste anything out of the ordinary (i.e. guts, etc.). Good overall despite the salt.

Next came our fried Brussels Sprouts with fermented black beans and garlic ($8), which also happens to be gluten-free. Again, so good but so salty! While I usually don't like fermented black beans these were not overly fermented. I did like it, but again wished the rice would arrive.

Next came the Pad Thai (rice noodle, blue prawn, tofu, egg, toasted cashew, bean sprout, Thai basil - $16), also gluten-free (perfect for my dear friends, the three JBs). I know what you're thinking - how boring and ordinary. But this was truly my favorite dish of the night. While it was quite a small serving, the prawns were huge and perfectly cooked, the dish was balanced and not overly seasoned, and I loved the mingling of all of the flavors. While Pad Thai might be ubiquitous, it's not that easy to master. I LOVE this one!

Last came the Jungle Curry (Texas wagyu beef, red chili, baby corn, eggplant, peppercorn, coconut cream - $19) and rice! It was salty and SPICY! The beef was extremely tender and the dish itself was okay, but this is the kind of spice and heat that prevents you from actually being able to taste the food itself rather than the sauce.

Overall, I like Sway and especially its atmosphere. However, the food was too salty! If I were to do it again I would order rice with all of the dishes as only the curry came with rice. Additionally, it came last and the rice included wasn't enough to cut the salt on all the dishes.

I will be back to try some other dishes - and order rice from the beginning!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Overnight Blueberry and Challah French Toast - Recipe

Mom was in town for the weekend but I had to work on Mother's Day, so we decided to do a brunch at home on Saturday instead. Because performance weeks are so busy for us at the ballet, I needed a dish that I could prepare ahead of time and then just cook on the morning of the brunch. This recipe was perfect for that purpose! You can find the original version here.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 to 12


  • 12 slices thick Challah bread cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup fresh organic blueberries (add more if you like!)
  • 12 large organic brown eggs
  • 2 cups organic milk (your choice - can be animal, almond, or soy)
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
  • organic maple syrup for serving
  • organic butter for serving (optional)

  1. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Place half the cubed bread into prepared baking dish. Top with the blueberries and then remaining bread cubes.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the milk, vanilla and syrup until well combined.
  4. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, making sure that the bread is absorbing the liquid.
  5. The next morning remove the pan from the fridge 1/2 hour before baking to let it come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Set the remaining maple syrup and butter for serving on the counter so that they can come to room temperature.
  7. Remove the plastic wrap and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 25 to 30 minutes or until the center is set and color is golden.
  8. Serve with maple syrup and butter, if desired.

  • Hubby liked this recipe, but it's just too eggy for me. I think it's the Challah bread. Next time I'll try it with some type of whole wheat bread.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Chateau Pibran Pauillac Bordeaux 2009, France - $34


This Chateau Pibran Pauillac Bordeaux 2009 is too acidic - not smooth and complex enough for the price, which was $34 a bottle at Costco. So disappointed. Not for me, but others might like it.