So I have some pretty exciting news. On Tuesday I will be participating in an online MasterChef cook-along, led by one of the show's finalists, Jessie Lysiak. It's kind of hilarious since I don't have a television, but I do love a good cook-along. My friends and family are all a-twitter, being big fans of the show. If you'd like to watch, tune into the MasterChef Google+ Page on Tuesday, September 03 at 7pm ET / 6pm CT / 4pm PT. Wondering what on Earth a cook-along is? Visit the MasterChef site to check out past videos from the series.
I have some real-life events coming up soon too. On September 28 I will be teaching a Photo Editing Workshop at the AFBA Food Photography Camp at AOMA. Photo Camp is going to be amazing. If you have an interest in food photography, be sure to snag a ticket once they go on sale.
The next day, September 29, I'll be in Fredericksburg, Texas teaching a Vegan Sushi Demo at the Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Enery Fair. Learn how to make easy peasy sushi from healthy ingredients. The demo is free with admission to the fair.
I'll be back at Faraday's Kitchen Store on October 09 to teach a class on Vegan/Vegetarian Japanese Restaurant Favorites. We'll be making miso soup, ginger dressing, and veggie tempura. Tickets are $45 each, and sell fast.
I've been eating at a lot of new places around Austin lately. I was invited to a media tasting at HEB's new Mueller Cafe, where I enjoyed their selection of tasty beers, and tasted a few of their vegetarian-friendly menu options. The veggie rice bowl was promising, filled with beautiful fresh vegetables and grilled tofu, but the sauce was a little heavy-handed. Next time I order this I might ask them to go light on the sauce. My sister had a really yummy pesto and cheese panini, which was our favorite dish of the night. I also tried their pizza, but it wasn't my cup of tea. Still, the menu and food was pretty impressive for a grocery store cafe. I would definitely go back for a quick lunch or a casual dinner.
The Russian House held a media tasting this month too, and I was thrilled to be invited. I had been there for drinks once before, and spent a good long while pouring over the menu with intense curiosity. The media tasting featured a lovely buffet filled with wild looking dishes, a surprising number of which were vegetarian-friendly. The place is a pescetarian's dream though, especially if you enjoy your fishes pickled or creamed. I've heard great things about brunch at The Russian House, so I'm looking forward to checking that out too.
The big focus at the Russian House is their collection of house-infused vodkas. The walls are lined with mysterious jars. You can order from a list of flavored vodkas, all of which are intended for straight sipping. Every flavor you can imagine, from pine needles to sour cherries are available by the shot. The bar also offers a vodka cocktail menu. Most of the drinks are a little on the sweet side, but I loved the gooseberry vodka cocktail I ordered, named "The Choking Goose". I know this is not the most sophisticated comparison, but to me it tasted like Purplesaurus Rex, my white elephant of childhood Kool-Aid flavors.
I've been cooking a lot at home recently too, though the slow haze of August has made me a bit lazy. Meals at home lately have been simple and small. I also started a new job this Summer, which has played a part in my increasing quiet. My brain has been busy amassing information on things like Domain Mapping, Custom CSS, and Web Development. Typepad hired me on as a part-time tech support agent in June.
It was a perfect fit, seeing that I am kind of a Typepad zealout anyway. Not to gush, but I've blogged on a lot of different platforms over the years, and I've never felt at home anywhere but on Typepad. It's just special. It's been fun learning more about what makes the platform tick. Fun, but also extra-crunchy challenging. Now that the initial OMG period has passed I look forward to enjoying it more. I get to answer questions for fellow bloggers, help them achieve their goals, and work to make a platform I love even better. Pretty sweet, right?
I even get to blog! Keep an eye out on the Everything Typepad Blog for a post from Yours Truly, coming out next month.
I'll still be working for The Natural Beauty Workshop, of course, but I'm happy to report that I'll be going to part-time from now on. One full time job, plus a part-time job, plus cooking classes, blogging, and TTC drama was a bit much. I'm looking forward to the break, and to the extra time that I'll be able to dedicate to Mary Makes Dinner, Mary Makes Pretty, local cooking classes, and some super-special future projects.
Life is good, y'all.