How To Get Juicy Breasts

ha!

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Now let’s Learn how to make delicious baked chicken breasts in 5 easy steps!

This week I have been looking for easy recipes that I can’t mess up, make for my family quickly, and share with you. I discovered a GREAT blog with such a clever name Gimme Some Oven 🙂 see, what’d I tell ya?! clever! After you’re done with me go check her out and giver her a follow.

This recipe is extremely easy, requires minimal prep, and is absolutely foolproof (even I can’t mess this up) for making juicy chicken breasts that you can either serve by itself, cut up into strips for a salad or burrito, or even shred for your favorite meal. If you’re into meal prepping you can also bake up an extra-large batch to prep for the week and/or freeze the leftovers to use later.

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They’re 5 important steps for making a perfect baked chicken breast:

  1. Brine
  2. Brush
  3. Rub
  4. Roast
  5. Rest

 Step 1: Brining the chicken breasts.

Many people are in the habit of brining a turkey for Thanksgiving, and until this recipe I have never considered brining chicken breasts. It’s super easy, makes your chicken extra juicy and moist (yes, I used the “m” word), what’s super awesome is that brining can be effectively done in just 15 minutes!  Brining the chicken in warm water also helps bring the chicken to room temperature, which makes for more even cooking.

To brine the chicken, simply fill a big bowl with warm (not hot, it’s not time to cook it yet) water.  Stir in a handful of salt until it mostly dissolves.  Then add your chicken breasts and let them sit in the saltwater to brine for at least 15 minutes. Please note; If you are doing this in advance, you can cover and refrigerate the bowl of chicken and saltwater for up to 6 hours. Then when you’re ready to go, remove the chicken from the brine, rinse it with cold water, then pat it dry with some paper towels.  Again, don’t skip this step!!!

Step2: Brush the chicken breasts…

…with melted butter.  Or at least, I highly recommend using butter.  It adds great flavor and helps give a nice golden crust on the outside.  But if you’d rather use olive oil (or another favorite cooking oil), feel free.  Brush the breasts liberally on both sides, partly so that the chicken does not stick to the pan on the bottom, and also to help the seasonings stick.  Then place them in a large baking dish.

Step 3: Rub the chicken breasts with your desired seasoning.

If you’re really wanting to keep things simple, you can simply rub on some salt and pepper.  But again, chicken will pick up the flavor of whatever seasonings you add.  So YOU DO YOU BOO! 🙂

Step 4: Roast that chicken!

 

Depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts (and note — be sure to pound them beforehand if needed with a meat mallet so that they are uniformly thick for even cooking), roasting them at 450 should require a cooking time between 15-18 minutes. It’s speedy and it’s easy. But I love it most because cooking at high heat quickly develops a nice crispier “crust” on the outside of the breasts, which also locks in those juices and keeps the chicken perfectly tender on the inside.

I highly recommend investing in a small cooking thermometer to measure the temp of the chicken in order to tell if it has fully cooked (160-170 degrees F)

5. Rest your chicken.

This is where that “patience is a virtue” stuff comes in. You must, must, must let your beautifully baked chicken breast rest before cutting into it. This goes for any meat, really. If you cut in right away, you lose all of the amazing juices and some of the tenderness that we’re going for!

“Gimme Some Oven” recommends loosely tenting a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan to keep the heat in while the chicken rests, so I did what she recommends. Then after 5-10 minutes….

…you can finally serve and enjoy your perfectly-cooked chicken breasts.   And enjoy every last bite.

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Feel free to slice (like mine above), shred, dice, or serve them whole.  Whatever sounds good to you.  Or if you’d like to save them for later, these chicken breasts can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Along with the broken down recipe below I have included “Gimme Some Oven’s” Youtube video if you’re a visual person 🙂

PREP: 15 MIN.      TOTAL TIME: 20 MINS      YIELD: 4 SERVINGS 

INGREDIENTS

BAKED CHICKEN BREAST INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, that have been pounded to even thickness and brined in saltwater (*see easy instructions below)
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (I prefer smoked paprika)

DIRECTIONS

*To brine your chicken breasts, simply fill a large bowl with 1 quart of warm water and 1/4 cup kosher salt.  Stir to combine until most of the salt is absorbed.  Add the chicken breasts and let them sit in the mixture to brine for 15 minutes.  Or you can also cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.  Remove the chicken breasts from the brine, rinse them with cold water, then pat them dry with some paper towels.

Heat oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in a large baking dish.  Brush on both sides (turning once) evenly with the melted butter or olive oil.

In a separate small bowl, whisk the salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika until combined.  Then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the chicken on both sides.

Bake for 15-18* minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.  If you use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature thickest part of the breast, it should be between 160-170 degrees F.

*Or, if you’re like me and want the chicken to be a little bit browned and crispier on top, you can turn the broiler on high for the final 3-5 minutes and broil the chicken until it is cooked through and extra browned on top.  Keep a close eye on the chicken so that it does not overcook and/or burn.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the oven and loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes.  Then serve immediately. Or, refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

I really hope you have enjoyed this EASY recipe as much as me! I’ll be posting a new recipe for you to enjoy every Friday. Feel free to share and let me know how yours goes for you, I’d love to hear all about it! and hashtag #loveofallofthethings

If you have enjoyed this post please give me a follow and check me out in the other social media areas linked all over my page 🙂

In order to be successful at this (As I have fingers crossed to be) I need those “Follows”, “Shares” and “Likes” so help a sista out!

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CHEERS TO THE FREAKIN WEEKEND! I’ll see you next week!

XOXOXO

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The Donut Life

Based on my title I’m sure you’ve figured out this wednesday’s review may have a little to do with donuts. In my Instagram life I follow A LOT of other bloggers and foodies which put Bougies Donuts on my radar. I love me some donuts!

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I’ve even had a friend make me a donut birthday cake one year because I love them so ding dang much.

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Hopefully now you can at least appreciate my love of a good donut, so let’s talk Bougie’s Donuts Austin. Bougie’s Donuts is a unique, gourmet donut shop and full service coffee/espresso bar located in South Austin (Sunset Valley) off Brodie. Since this is our hood, and that i felt like I was being taunted by all the yummy Instagram shots, have you ever been stalked by a donut??!! Needless to say I was chomping at the bit to partake. I’m pretty sure that Jeff was totally over hearing me talk about it.

A few days ago after picking up our little from school, Jeff surprised us with a trip to Bougie’s, YAAAAASSSS! ❤ (I love this man). A plus was that we went around 2pm (they close at 3pm) which meant we got our doughnuts 1/2 off! Donut happy hour y’all! It was like Christmas for this girl.

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Downside to the time we went, was there wasn’t a whole lot left to choose from but I was able to quickly push that aside when I saw the bacon sitting comfortably a top of a circle of happiness also known as the Maple Bacon Donut. I had been coveting this donut from pictures for 2 weeks at this point, it felt like my donut dreams were about to come true.

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While we were at it, at 1/2 off why not go for a whole dozen?! I mean, we’re no rookies at this game. Enter in another version of the Maple Bacon Donuts with the difference being a great cinnamon sugar sprinkle, the French Toast with Bacon (also available without bacon, but WHY would you do that??!) a few Cake Donuts, the Classic Cake and the Blueberry Cake, a couple chocolate covered sprinkle donuts for our little called The Homer ( BEST name ever!), and my unexpected favorite of the bunch was the Double Berry Donut in all it’s pink glory.

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I walked into Bougie’s thinking the maple bacon donut would rock my world (which it’s pretty great don’t get me wrong) but the Double Berry was LEGIT, a mouth-gasm if you will. I mean I spoke to one of my BFF’s on the phone about it for a good solid 10min the day after i had eaten it. Now THAT’S a good donut. I’m pretty positive our little was pretty happy with The Homer as well.

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Do you have a hankerin for somethin sweet now??! Head over to Bougie’s and tell ’em I sent ya!

Address: 5400 Brodie Ln, Sunset Valley, TX 78745

Phone: (512) 382-1617

Hours:

 

Tuesday 6:30AM–3PM
Wednesday 6:30AM–3PM
Thursday 6:30AM–3PM
Friday

(Cesar Chavez Day)

6:30AM–3PM

Hours might differ

Saturday 6:30AM–3PM
Sunday Closed
Monday 6:30AM–3PM

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XOXOXO

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P.S.

Sorry I’m NOT sorry for all the exclamation points 🙂 I get really excited about awesomeness!!!!!!!!

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I Will Celebrate You

Good Monday to you friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend I know that I sure did and it was needed….

This past Sunday (yesterday) it’s been 12 years since my grandmothers passing and every March especially March 26th, the day I lost her, can be a bit of a melancholy day for me. The more time passes I’m still so thrown on how much i’m impacted by this loss. Being born to a teenage mother a lot of my raising was by Margarita Ruiz (aka, La Negra) my Abuelita/ Grandma. She helped to raise me to be proud of the color of my skin even when sometimes it was hard, proud and unafraid of hard work, and that food has the power to bring ALL things together.

Being a Mexicana in Ballet in the 80’s and on,was not the easiest thing. Seeing a little brown girl in pink tights and a leotard wasn’t exactly something people were used to seeing everyday. It would be hard as a child trying to understand why I was looked at differently, whispers (not so whispery) happening behind my back in class, getting puzzled looks by parents when they dropped their pretty blond daughters off, but worst of all it was the comments made when I would audition for ballet companies and get accepted, “they” would say; “she made it because they are trying to be diverse” or “They must be integrating”. My acceptance into any ballet company couldn’t possibly be based on my talent, my audition, or my years and years of dedicated hard work to them.

I would go home never feeling good enough, never feeling like I was enough, I would cry and blame it on my skin, my brown eyes, my family. My grandma would hold me and tell me “Don’t let them make you feel like you’re not enough, you have control and power of how you feel so don’t give that power away mejita. Don’t let them tell you, you won’t. You WILL. Don’t let them tell you what you’re not. You ARE. You know what’s real and what you can do, and there’s nothing you can’t do. You have a choice. Choose”

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Even as I type this I am fighting tears, okay, maybe not fighting them at all, it’s the ugly cry. Don’t act like you don’t know what kind of cry that is 🙂 I can hear her in my soul with these words of strength and wish she were with me holding me right now. I was in her arms as she took her last breath in her own bed just as she had asked. I’m so very grateful that I had that moment but selfishly long for so much more. She optimized a heart of love and hospitality I have never seen in another human. Sadly below is the only picture I could get my hands on that would download. Please forgive the tiny poor quality.

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From her “famous”tamales (at least famous in our small town) homemade tortillas, carnitas, menudo, pozole, to arroz con leche, my grandma could cook up a storm! Everyone in our neighborhood would come over to enjoy her wise words over her home cooked meals or her cinnamon/ nutmeg coffee (which I still only drink my coffee this way) and postre. Gang bangers and drug attics alike were even welcome at my grandmas table, barred they left the drama at the end of the driveway, “Deja tu mierda en la entrada” her words.

Thankfully my life is currently filled with genuinely beautiful, loving, and supportive people and it feels like it took fooorever to get to this point in my life but I’m so grateful for what I’ve learned through the struggles to get here. My weekend was filled with my tribe (sans 1 who is travelling, Boo Tess 😉 ) We backyard BBQ’d while listening to 80’s “Smash” hits, and drank homemade margaritas while catching up with each other and it was just what I needed!

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In addition Sunday was a beautiful day so we took advantage, Jeff and I had our very own little version of “Sunday Funday” which is not the norm for us “Older” folks. One of my tribe Justin was performing at “Bangers Austin” on Rainey street. Jeff ordered the “Man-mosa” named for the 1 liter of champagne and splash of orange juice it holds while I went for the much much smaller version along with some munchies, avocado toast (Simple and delish) and biscuits and gravy, made with their housemade sausage. We then made our way to ABGB for some more live music, beers, and (you guessed it) more munchies.

ALL of that to say my frown was turned upside down! I know if my grandma were here now she would want me to celebrate her, she would hand me some tequila and say “Si se puede amor! Si se puede!” In my sadness I need to remember that she is always with me. She is with me in each of these amazing people I have in my life. She is with me.

If you have suffered a loss and are struggling with coping, I am here for you. Please remember that God is the Maker of our story, He loves us in all our ugly, all our sin, He loves us every time we doubt and turn away from him. Trust that God’s plan is better than anything our humaness can imagine. Rest in knowing and feeling his unwaivering love for us his children. “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…” 2 Timothy 4:17

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On this and EVERYDAY, make it great for it is a gift!! Love each other! You never know the silent struggle someone is facing.

XOXOXO

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Easy Pan Seared Salmon

After spending last week in the awesome town of Port Mansfield I have had a craving for more fish in my life. Our cousin Karri may have also taught me the major difference in the fresh fish we get to eat out there versus here and sent us home with a ton of fresh caught fish. Inspired by the more simple cooking aspects of fish I’ve decided to share a very easy pan seared salmon recipe that I have used for years.

Before we get started I must admit to you something….. as I’m typing to you I’m listening to the “Little Mermaid” soundtrack (My favorite Disney movie btw) yes, I’m a dork. Deal with it 🙂 or feel free to blame my “broads” as I endearingly call my beautiful tribe of lady friends who were just texting me “Little Mermaid” quotes, which is NOT abnormal behavior for us.

Now that we’ve cleared the air, put some music on and let’s get cookin, good lookin’s!

PREP:5 MINS.    TOTAL TIME: 10-12 MINS.   YIELDS: 3 FILETS

Ingredients

  • 3 fillets of salmon
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil (I prefer coconut oil for this recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper (substitute fresh cracked peppercorn if you have it.)

Optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 lemon squeeze

Equipment

  • 1 nonstick searing pan

Directions

  • Heat oil in a frying pan on medium high heat.
  • Some people like to cut and remove skin from fillets (if any) but I happen to love the skin ON. I feel it gives more flavor and texture, your choice.
  • Sprinkle the fillets of salmon evenly with your dry spices on both sides
  • Place fillets into preheated pan and cook on the first side until it is cooked about half way through about 4-5 minutes
  • Then turn and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

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Bon Appétit! Happy Friday! See y’all Monday!

XOXOXO

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Current Mood: Robyn

I’m the type of girl that can get lost in music. I’m not sure if it’s the dancer in me or just that music speaks to my soul. Happy, sad, mad, confused…whatever it is, music is life! or at least a HUGE part of mine. On that note I will be sharing tons of things on this blog and music is a part of that.

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This morning has been a bit frustrating for me since I haven’t been able to get my Instagram to work properly 😦 I know I know, first world problems. As a new blogger posting is pretty important and the last time Instagram did this to me it lasted for 6 months! ugh! Last time i emailed them over and over again, stalker like, and never got a response. I uninstalled/re-installed the whole ding dang sha-bang and nothin.

I’ve been so frustrated that i even picked up a tortilla to blow my nose! Maybe i should put this into context….I was working on my website as i often do while eating. This morning it was a pretty usual thing, eggs, 2 fried eggs and 3 tortillas to be exact. My allergies are a horrible pain in the arse at the moment and I’m blowing through Kleenex right now like it’s water. My daily has been a chapped Rudolph nose and used Kleenex is strewn about in all the places and I’m positive my lovely man Jeff thinks of me as some sort of a Leper. Anyway while typing i went to grab a Kleenex since i felt yet another sneeze on it’s way and tada! Tortilla> Sneeze= Yuck!

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Really long t.m.i story short…. Music helps through these things. You’ll soon see that my taste in music has some serious A.D.D because I am ALL over the map.

On Hello Giggles i discovered that Robyn is working on a new album and secretly dropped “Honey” (see Soundcloud below) a work in progress single featured on the t.v show Girls. Heads up if you watch Girls there are some spoilers in the recording so make sure you’re caught up.

I love me some dance parties to Robyn! In my frustrations I need some happy tunes and I’m now currently jamming to her and i can feel my mood sloooooowly on the up and up. I’ve also added the Robyn Spotify playlist for your dance party enjoyment 🙂 

ENJOY!

XOXOXO

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Dai Due

Dai Due, pronounced “Die Due-wee” so I’ve been told, is one of my most favorite places to eat here in Austin, Texas. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen at least one of the several posts of me eating there. My love affair with this Austin local restaurant began somewhere around 2007 (if my memory serves me correctly) when they were a booth at the Republic park farmers market in downtown Austin. I had one of the BEST pork belly breakfast tacos I had ever had. I mean… it was the thing of my sweet savory dreams! along with the Tallow Coffee which is so smooth, rich, and tasty. Before Dai Due I hadn’t heard of Tallow and hadn’t a clue of what is was. Thanks to the people working the booth I now know. Tallow is a rendered form of beef or mutton fat, processed from suet. It is solid at room temperature but melts beautifully into your coffee. People use Tallow as a cream or milk substitute in their coffee, it’s what people call “healthy fat” and I find it to make coffee delish! Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

Speaking of the people at Dai Due, they are so very passionate and amazing at what they do. They are a “Farm to Table” restaurant and support farmers and produce that comes right out of Texas in a way that can make you proud of what you’re eating. The servers are extremely knowledgeable about everything they serve and if they don’t have the answer they go find out for you ,which is my favorite characteristic from a server. Dai Due doesn’t just stop at the food they serve, they even offer classes straight out of their butcher shop, along with hunting trips where they not only teach you how to butcher on your own but even different ways to cook it. I’m also a HUGE fan (total fan girl status!) of Abby Love, one of Dai Due’s resident bakers/ Pastry Chef. Though I have never met her personally I have enjoyed many of her breads and pastries from the “Bake Sales”, to the fresh bread placed before my meals, to dessert. Culture Map Austin has even nominated Abby for the 2017 “Tastemaker” award. Go Abby!

Now let’s get into the food, shall we? Tuesday through Thursday Dai Due offers the “Supper Club” which features the “wild card”, limited availability or esoteric items like wild game, foraged items and interesting cuts. In addition, on Tuesday nights only, they also serve Dry-Aged Wagyu Cheeseburgers and let me tell you, this burger is LEGIT.

On Fridays, they feature a seafood dinner for two from the Gulf, like pompano, shrimp, flounder, black drum, blue crab and mackerel.

The Saturday “Supper Club” is an impressive mixed grill for two featuring a rotating selection of sausages, ribs, chops, skewers and vegetables.

Sunday is tallow-fried chicken night (also my favorite offering besides the brunch, pictured below), with all the fixings.

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The brunch/lunch Dai Due offers is the REAL DEAL and changes daily, though if you can’t tell, I honestly don’t think they do anything wrong 🙂

Since the items do change fairly often there’s always something new to try but a few things I want to suggest if available are the Biscuits and Gravy with Venison Breakfast Sausage ($13) and you can “put an egg on it” for an additional $2 (DO IT!!), the Wild Boar Chorizo and Asadero Cheese Quesadilla on Handmade Corn Tortillas with Ranchero Sauce, 2 Eggs, Roasted Poblano Crema and Cotija ($15), Sourdough Pancake with Macerated Peach, Mexican Cinnamon Bacon Butter and Grilled Bacon ($15), the amazing Woodrow’s Deli Hash, Cured and Smoked Meats, Home Fries, Onion, Two Eggs and Beet Ketchup ($14) and if it’s available the Pastrami Sandwich with Stryk Cheddar Cheese, Sauerkraut and Beet 1000 Island on Sprouted Rye ($13) who doesn’t love a great pastrami sammy??!!

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Dai Due

 

I hope after reading you’re hungry and are on your way to visit this amazing restaurant.

Dai Due 

Address: 2406 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722

Hours:

 
Tuesday 10AM–3PM, 5–10PM
Wednesday 10AM–3PM, 5–10PM
Thursday 10AM–3PM, 5–10PM
Friday 10AM–3PM, 5–10PM
Saturday 10AM–3PM, 5–10PM
Sunday 10AM–3PM, 5–10PM
Monday Closed
Reservations: opentable.com

ENJOY and tell ’em I sent you!

XOXOXO

 

 

 


Spring Break Adventures

Ladies and Gentlemen now we begin to get back to our regularly scheduled program. After taking a week off and away from the Austin SXSW craziness, blogging, and life stresses I have a lot to share with you all.

When we last left off my family and I were off to Port Mansfield, population 226 according to the last 2010 census on Wikipedia, though I’m told by our resident family that that is a far stretch, it may actually be around only 75 permanent residences.

Port Mansfield is what you would call a SMALL town and I think it’s an understatement to say it has fast become one of my favorite places here in Texas. From the small town feel, to the people we are blessed to call family, I’m already looking forward to our next family trip back.

Let’s start with our first stop on entering into Port Mansfield, Harbor Bait & Tackle pictured below. It’s a one stop shop for whatever you could need while you stay in this lovely beach town. From groceries, beer,wine, to you guessed it, the obvious bait & tackle. The staff is not only family but they’re ALL awesome in their own right and filled with helpful info to help your stay to be everything you’d like it to be and so much more.

We ended up at the familys  Y Knot Rentals , based out of Harbor Bait & Tackle. Not only were we treated like the family we are (as they treat all visitors) but we were set up for an amazingly awesome fishing experience. From boarding to guided fishing tours and anything in between you’re sure to find it at Y Knot Rentals. Jeremy and Karri Porter, our family cousins and our very own personal fishing guides, had everything set up for us to not only be comfortable on the boat but to teach us all about our surroundings including all the different fish and wild life, we even went on the family shrimp boat. This isn’t something I believe everyone is able to partake in so needless to say we felt pretty special. We were able to act as “Deck hands” and help with the actual shrimping process. Shrimping is a LOT of work! and it’s not a job for the weak or weak minded and this family knows what they’re doing.

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When we weren’t fishing, shrimping, or eating some amazing seafood, we were on our very own piece of paradise by way of a semi-private beach. Unfortunately if I tell you how to find this beach; that you can only reach by boat, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, I just may have to “kill” you 🙂 Okay, I’m just kidding  (Kinda) but I’m not ready to reveal this secret right now or maybe even ever. There were more seashells in one place than I have ever seen and as a family we collected hundreds and didn’t make a dent.

I hope you’re already planning your trip out to Port Mansfield (contact info will be down below for you) and if you’re lucky maybe a local will tell you how to make your way out to this “secret” beach. We had so much fun with our family in Port Mansfield that we ended up staying 2 extra days and I STILL didn’t want to leave.

 

With this extra time we decided to take a visit to Brownsville, Texas to check out the Gladys Porter Zoo. I haven’t been out to a zoo since I myself was a “little” and I have got to say it was pretty awesome though I really struggled with my heart wanting to release all of these trapped animals into the wild, after all that’s where they belong. There was “Lions, Tigers, and bears oh my!” and so much more.

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By this time we were exhausted and on our return to Austin we needed a vacation from our vacation, hahahaha, you know the saying…

We had some family friends stay with us for the weekend and that means no time for rest only time for smiles, laughs, food, and cocktails and we wouldn’t have it any other way….

We were off! armed with our very own spray paint and a willingness to be “artsy” we headed to Austin’s Hope Outdoor Gallery. Our little Flower had so much fun painting away as you can see captured in the pictures below. If you’re in Austin you should definitely head out there. The street art is pretty rad to say the least and don’t forget your spray paint if you feel like adding to the walls like we did.

The night before the street art fun, we were able to enjoy dinner at one of my favorite spots,  Azul Tequila (see previous blog) I ordered my usual Blue MargaritaSopes, two thick corn tortillas, topped with beans and chicken, tinga or chorizo, garnished with lettuce, radish, avocado sauce and cream and the Ceviche , precooked fish and shrimp marinated with lime juice, mixed with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeños, avocado and spices. (which are both listed as appetizers) and was not disappointed.

 

 

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Now I’m POSITIVE I’m missing some laughs and smiles along this past week but that doesn’t make them less so 🙂 

Anyway, if you love the beach, fishing, and having a chill no pressure getaway (5ish hours from Austin, Texas) start planning your trip out to Port Mansfield now!

Y Knot Rentals, Owned and operated by Gary and Sybil Simmons, who pretty much have the “keys” to this whole town and are “Salt of the earth” people bring you, your one stop shop for a place to lay your head AND book your fishing tours. You’re welcome.

Address: 123 W Hbr, Port Mansfield, TX 78598

Guys to ask for:
*Jeremy Porter, a USCG Licensed Captain. For hire, fishing the lower Laguna Madre Bay Charters for speckled trout, redfish, and flounder.
Phone: (956)642-6102
*Jeff Neu, of Neu Outfitters, a USCG Licensed Captain. For hire, fishing the lower Laguna Madre Bay Charters for speckled trout, redfish, and flounder as well as duck and goose charters (I’m told he’s booked through 2017 and currently booking 2018)
Phone: (979)942-0164

I hope you’ve enjoyed the read and from my family to yours, I wish you a blessed week!

XOXOXO

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Bacon Egg Toast Baskets Recipe

Happy Fri-Yay y’all! I hope you’ve had a great week and are heading into a great weekend.

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To get away from the SXSW craziness my family and I are heading out to the beach! Port Mansfield to be exact. Jeff has been stressed from work and looking forward to a breather and our June is itching to go fishin. I’ll be filling you all in on our adventures next week.

This Friday’s recipe is “easy peasy” as June would say and has many different variations. I make these for an easy brunch item if you’re having guests over this weekend or even as meal prepping breakfast for the busy week ahead. Either way this recipe has been a hit for me and a definite crowd pleaser.

Let’s get started!

PREP: 15 MINS    TOTAL TIME: 35 MINS    YIELD: Makes 6

Ingredients

  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 3-4 slices white or whole-wheat sandwich bread, dependent on size of muffin pan
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Shredded cheese of your choice (I prefer the “Mexican” mixture shredded cheese)

 

Equipment

  • Muffin pan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Grease 4 wells of a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a frying pan, cook bacon about 3-5 minutes, until partially cooked but not completely crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Cut out rounds of bread with a round cookie cutter or drinking glass, I can usually get 2 rounds per slice of bread. Press the bread rounds into the greased muffin wells. Curl a piece of bacon around each piece of bread, positioning it between the bread and the muffin tin to help keep it in position. Sprinkle a small amount of shredded cheese on top of each piece of bread. One at a time, crack an egg, removing about half of the white, and dropping the remaining white and yolk over each piece of bread, being careful not to break the yolks.

Bake until eggs are cooked through to your liking (about 10-12 minutes) and bacon is crispy. Run a knife around the edge of each muffin well and pop the egg cups out. Season with salt and pepper to taste, I also top Jeff’s with red pepper flakes since he likes his food with a kick, you may want to try that as well. Serve immediately.

Variations
Try cooked, crumbled sausage in place of bacon, or make a vegetarian version with sauteed spinach, sauteed mushrooms or bell peppers.

 

In the famous words of the adorable quirky Nick Miller…

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Have a great weekend and enjoy!

 


Weekday Breakfast Spots

There are very few things better to me than breakfast. Not only is it THE most important meal of the day but it’s my absolute favorite meal! Breakfast foods can speak to me for ANY meal of the day, plus I may have a mild obsession with eggs. Think of me like the character “Bubba” from Forrest Gump but with eggs instead of shrimp 🙂 “fried eggs, poached eggs, sunny side up eggs, boiled eggs….” that’s me!

Heading into SXSW here in Austin, Texas, which means thousands and thousands of people coming into our fair city to take on this music, film, and gaming festival had me thinking of breakfast spots during the week, not just weekends. One of my absolute favorite breakfast spots here in Austin is Hillside Farmacy. Pretty positive I may have had everything on the breakfast menu and it makes me so very happy that they don’t save breakfast just for the brunch weekend crowds, it’s served all week!

One of my standard favorite things to order is the “Big Brekkie” which comes with, 2 eggs, bacon, homefries, arugula, and toast for $10. If you’re planning to share this with a friend you can make it a “Parker” which basically doubles the portions to 4 pieces bacon, toast & 3 sunny eggs for an additional $5 and don’t forget to add avocado! I usually choose the Jasmine green tea with my “Big Brekkie” but there are so many awesome beverage choices here. How often do you go to a restaurant that has local organic Kombucha on tap?! ($7) the orange juice, is fresh squeezed and tastes like something from the heavens ($4) and don’t even get me started on the wasabi bloody mary ($8) and grapefruit jalapeño margarita ($8) or if you’re looking for caffeine they have a fantastic local iced cold brew ($3) and various other coffee drinks to choose from.

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Big Brekkie: 2 eggs , bacon, homefries, toast

Hillside Farmacy

Address: 1209 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702

Hours: 

Tuesday 9AM–10PM
Wednesday 9AM–10PM
Thursday 9AM–11PM
Friday 9AM–11PM
Saturday 9AM–11PM
Sunday 9AM–10PM
Monday 9AM–10PM

Phone: (512) 628-0168

Menu: hillsidefarmacy.com

Reservations: opentable.com

 

I also have a couple of other “Gems” that I frequent and love for a breakfast during the week. Before you ask. I’m NOT getting paid for any of these recommendations 🙂 though I wish I were!

Cafe No Se is not only aesthetically beautiful but the staff and food is awesome as well. Cafe No Se is a part of the South Congress Hotel here in Austin (someday maybe I’ll get to stay here for a lil’ staycation action) and being a hotel they offer breakfast all week 7am-11am, and brunch Saturday’s and Sunday’s 10am-3pm. Below you will see pictured some of my favorite things to order. To be honest I wish I would have taken more pictures of the burger because that thing is legit!

Cafe No Se

Address: 1603 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Hours:

 

Tuesday 7AM–10PM
Wednesday 7AM–10PM
Thursday 7AM–10PM
Friday 7AM–10PM
Saturday 7AM–10PM
Sunday 7AM–10PM
Monday 7AM–10PM

Phone: (512) 942-2061

Menu: places.singleplatform.com

Reservations:opentable.com

Now to Paperboy Austin, a food truck trailer that has won my heart. If you’re heading down 11th street before you get to the aforementioned Hillside Farmacy, on the right side you will see this awesome location for Paperboy Austin’s food truck. The guys that tend the trailer are so kind, chuck-a-buck full of information, and offer up a seasonal local menu. It should most definitely make your list of food truck trailers to visit here in Austin.

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B.E.C. Sandwich Bacon, Pimento Cheese, Sunny Up Egg, Brioche Bun ($8)

Paperboy Austin

Address: 1203 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702

Hours:

 

Tuesday 7AM–2PM
Wednesday 7AM–2PM
Thursday 7AM–2PM
Friday 7AM–2PM
Saturday 8AM–2PM
Sunday 8AM–2PM
Monday Closed

Order: doordash.com

Lastly, if you just need a quick breakfast sugar rush by way of the Historic Sixth Street District, checkout VooDoo Doughnuts Austin, I think my picture below says enough about what they have to offer 🙂 Be warned; They ONLY accept cash! There is an ATM inside but if you don’t like those surcharges come prepared.

 

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VooDoo Doughnuts

VooDoo Doughnuts

Address: 212 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

HoursOpen today · Open 24 hours

Phone: (512) 215-8586

 

For now that’s all I have to say about that! but believe you in me, I have many more breakfast and brunch options for you fine folks comin at ya. In the meantime, for you locals “bare the hatches” the SXSW craziness is here! for you visiting, “Welcome! please DON’T move here!” and Happy Hump day to you ALL!

XOXOXO

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 Weekends In The Country

Happy Monday Friends! I hope this finds you either well rested, well fed, or happy from a great weekend, preferably all three.

I feel it such an incredible blessing to live in the great state of Texas and it’s such a joy to have so much beauty and opportunity for fun adventures. My “other half” Jeff’s parents live on their property in Center Point, Texas or what I would call “The middle of nowhere” population 4,260. They’re in the process of building their retirement dream home here.

Our little blended family of 5 includes our lovely June, who is 4 yrs old, Endo, our Blue Lacey, Ava, our German Shepard/ Kelpie (pictured above) , and  lastly Jeff and I. We love coming out here as a get away, a quick family re-connect, and endless adventure. Not only is this family awesome but the property is incredible. The sunsets and rises make me feel like God himself is smiling at me 🙂 Texas is “God’s Country” after all. Jeff (when he’s able) and his Dad have put in so much work into prepping the land for building, from clearing the trees to putting running water in.

In the meantime, Jeff’s parents (Carla and Pat) are living in an R.V. and when we visit we stay in a smaller camper trailer on the property. We fondly refer to this as “Camping”.

This past weekend happened to be ladybug migration and I tell you what, those ladybugs were everywhere! They pretty much took over our lil’ camper and provided hours of fun for our June as she attempted to collect every last one out of the camper 🙂

 

Even our “Dog daughters” love it out here because they have the acres to run free and be dogs, so all and all, It’s a great time for all. We were also celebrating Carla’s birthday and this means great times with friends and family. For the occasion Jeff made a beautiful 12 hr. smoked brisket, there were tons of sides (including homemade kolaches), birthday cake, a bonfire and let’s not forget the margaritas!

I look forward to many more fun times and making memories out here in the “country” and sharing it all with y’all.

I’d love to hear your stories as well. How do you spend your weekends? Let me know!

I know it’s Monday and all but, don’t forget to breathe it all in, God has blessed us with another day. 

XOXOXO