Disclosure: This post contains information resulting from paid partnerships or complimentary products and events, but all opinions are my own. See full disclosure below.
Welcome to another installment of Dishin’ It Up – May 2017 Edition – where I share my favorite food and fun from the past month!
Happy June! I am so happy summer is here and yet can’t believe 2017 is half way over! You best believe I’m going to do whatever it takes to embrace all that summer has to offer. This means as many pool days as possible, summer beach reads, movies in the park and spending the next two months planning a mega end of summer road trip.
May had a lot of fun highlights so check out what I’ve been up to below.
What I’ve been up to:
Last month I mentioned I was gearing up for the Fit Foodie Race as a Fit Foodie Ambassador. My friend and I, along with hundreds of other fit foodies, ran the 5k back in May on the beautiful trails at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.
It was cloudy and rainy that weekend and it ended up raining at the end of the race, so I didn’t get very many pics; but it was still fun and I am happy I managed to get 10,000+ steps before 10am!
What I like about the Fit Foodie Race (click here to see if they have a race in your neck of the woods) is that it is geared towards athletes of all abilities (my friend and I actually fast walked most of the race), and at the end of the race is tasty and healthy bites from local restaurants and health food companies.
Can’t wait to try remaking this spicy cantaloupe gazpacho with crispy prosciutto from Night Cap Austin that was served after the race.
With the weather heating up, I hope that I can keep up with my exercise routine and keep reaching my fitness goals.
A few weeks ago, I partnered with TownePlace Suites and Weber Grills and attended a special event to launch the newest TownePlace Suites here in Austin and their newest feature of providing guests with poolside Weber Grills.
You can read my full recap of the event here (plus check out my recipe for Steak Fajita Kabobs); but one of the highlights of the event was an entire menu of grilled food, from margaritas with charcoal sea salt rims (pictured at the top of this post) and plates of bbq from the new local bbq food truck, LeRory and Lewis. The actual LeRory and Lewis food truck is getting a lot of attention and rave reviews and I can’t wait to go check them out again because those smoked chicken wings (with a bit of heat) were finger lickin’ good!
Not only was this a fun event, it left me excited about travel season, especially since we are planning a road trip to Colorado later this summer.
Kitchen Concoctions around the web:
In addition to dishing up lots of recipes here on Kitchen Concoctions last month, I also guest blogged again on the SoFab Food blog. The recipe I shared with the SoFab readers back in May was this Vegan Chilled Avocado Soup recipe. During the warm summer months, I love serving chilled soups as the first course for dinner parties, and this Chilled Avocado Soup is cool, creamy and delicious with a hint of heat. Check out the recipe here, and you can see all the recipes I’ve shared over on the SoFab blog by checking out my profile.
What I’ve been eating:
We were invited to the soft opening of the newest Pluckers Wing Bar location, located in The Linc, here in Austin. Pluckers got its start here in Austin way back in the 90’s and now has locations all over Texas and Louisiana. Pluckers is our go to place to get hot wings, because they have a TON of sauces and dry rubs to toss their wings in, and they are always consistent with their products.
I usually always get my order of wings half garlic Parmesan (dry rub) and classic buffalo wings (either mild or medium heat level, their hot is too hot for me). They also have great salads, sandwiches and burgers and have an array of house made lemonade and cocktails.
Oh, and if you join their Pluckers Club, you get special offers, free food and invites to soft openings of their new locations, so you can check out the new locations too.
Later in the month, my friend Linda helped organize a cupcake tasting at Polkadots Cupcake Factory. Linda has raved about these cupcakes for a while, and even though Polkadots just celebrated their 9-year anniversary, this was my first chance to try their cupcakes.
Their tiny cupcake shop is located near west campus (near the University of Texas) and not only do they offer a rotating menu of cupcakes, including fresh seasonal flavors, they have airy French macarons (pictured Green Tea Pistachio and Strawberry) every Thursday and do custom cakes and cookies (seriously check out this Star Wars cake!).
Their cupcakes are soft and light and the frosting is fluffy and creamy, and not overly sweet, which I love. I highly recommend the black bottom cupcake and mixed berry chardonnay cupcake with white chocolate buttercream. Also pictured is their fresh and delicious strawberries and cream cupcake.
While catching up over cupcakes, Linda was encouraging me to not hide behind the camera and to be in more pictures I share. I am totally comfortable behind the camera and always feel awkward posing for pics, but, I know Linda is right; I need to share more pics of myself to show that there is actually a person behind the ramblings of this blog.
Above photo courtesy of Curious Notions Photography.
Not only am I pushing myself to be more in front of the camera for my blog, but personally, I want to document my life more and preserve those day to day moments. I not only want to take more life pictures, but I’m trying to get a system in place to organize and preserve these photos (aka actually print them). So, I’m grateful for Linda, not only actually capturing these candid shots, but her encouraging me to get more in front of the camera. (P.S. Linda is a professional photographer, so if you are in Austin and need family, engagement or new baby pics, check out her site, Curious Notions Photography and consider hiring her!)
What I’ve been reading:
With summer here it’s officially pool/beach reading season. Reading pool side or at the beach with my toes in the sand is my favorite way to relax during the summer! Because I’m in chill mode, most of my reading selection for summer are “chick lit” books because they are usually light and easy reads, perfect for maintaining those summer chill vibes.
My book choice for last month was Here’s To Us, by Elin Hilderbrand. I’ve been dying to read this book since it came out last summer, because like I said, I love good beach reads and this book is set on the beaches of Nantucket. But I also was interested in reading this book because it is about a famous TV/restaurant chef who passes away unexpectedly and leaves his current wife, ex-wives and adult children to clean up his poor business choices. Of course, being a chef and knowing the costs running a restaurant involves, I was drawn to this story line. It not only follows the wives as they come together to sort through Decan’s (the chef) finical records, it flashes back to each wife’s relationship and good and bad times with him.
I was also interested in this book because Jessica, from How Sweet Eats (one of my favorite blogs) developed recipes that were incorporated into the story line of this book. Over the years, I’ve shared my own recipes inspired by books or movies (like for a foodie book club), so I think it’s so cool that Jessica was actually paid to do this and that the recipes are already included in the book. Even though I finished the book, I want to go back and make one or two of the recipes, there’s a Champagne Cake with Champagne Candied Strawberries and Clams Casinos Dip, that both sound amazing.
Right now, I’m currently finishing Ready Player One, by Austin author Ernest Cline. This book is totally NOT a chick lit or a summery beach read, but so far I’m loving it and can’t wait to share more about it next month.
And I’ve picked up Big Stone Gap, which looks like a good poolside read, but I’m also open to recommendations. I’ve read through this summer reading list, as well as this one, but I’m open to YOUR suggestions too! Please share your favorite beach reads in the comments below!
What I’ve been watching:
After many recommendations, I recently started watching Bloodline on Nextflix and immediately got hooked. This dramatic thriller has some great actors (Kyle Chandler, Sissy Spacek, and Enrique Murciano) and is set in the Florida Keys, which makes it a great summer TV series. I can’t really go into what it’s about, without giving away too much, but let’s just say it’s a very addicting show, that I may or may not have stayed up until 2am watching back to back episodes. I only have a few episodes left and I’m sad because it’s not being renewed for another season.
Well that’s it for now! What have you been up to lately? Share in the comments below!
For more up to the minute peeks into my favorite eats and fun, follow Kitchen Concoctions on Instagram!
Disclosure: I am a Fit Foodie Ambassador, SoFab Food contributor, TownePlace Suites partner and was invited to media events for Pluckers and Polkadots Cupcakes. No other products and places mentioned in this post are sponsors or part of any partnerships, I just love sharing what I’ve been up to and some of my favorite things as part of my Dishin’ It Up series! All thoughts and opinions are my own. To read more about my disclosure polices, click here.