Weekly-ish Recap: Trying Real Hard Not To Talk About Some Things

Hoo-boy. It was not supposed to take me this long to update my blog. It's been a busy month - I kept saying, "Oh, I'll update when THAT article goes up" and then get 17 more assignments to do. Then last week some things happened (an election, you may have heard) and I had some feelings. While this is in no way the time or place for me to be discussing those feelings (plus, I am not the best at political debates), it also seems wrong to just gloss over it and dive right into all the articles I've published. So, I just want to acknowledge, yes, that happened.

A couple months ago, while discussing The Oatmeal's comic about being perfectly unhappy, I said that I considered myself a fairly happy person. My friend asked me what my secret was, and you know, I honestly think part of it is that I love eating so much. Meals are an opportunity to get something I want three times a day (maybe two, given how I've been eating lately). It's a simple pleasure, but it's meaningful, for me - the very act of giving yourself sustenance to keep going. Anyway, I hope you make time for something that makes you meaningfully happy. We all need that now. 

THINGS I PUBLISHED RECENTLY:

Strap in, I've been busy doing things with words.

IHTM: I Served on a Jury for a Domestic Violence Case (xoJane)

Spoiler alert: People are awful!

21 Must-Try Cookies in Austin (Eater Austin)

You may remember I have a thing about cookies. This list was updated to include places outside of lunch range. Important update on that front: Walton's Fancy & Staple is one of my new favorites!

Keep It Special With These 33 Private Dining Rooms (Eater Austin) 

Info for Christmas party season, or for those of you who (like me) can't possibly be bothered to dine with ~regular people.~

5 Luxe Cocktail Rings for Every Holiday Occasion (Austin Way) 

Oooo sparkles!

Where to Eat Delicious Handmade Pasta in Austin (Austin Way) 

My backup true love (second only to chocolate chip cookies...but a close second).

6 Day Trips to Take from Austin This Fall (Austin Way) 

If I hear you say that you can't find fall foliage in Austin, I will assume you haven't read this article and therefore we are not really friends. (Because friends read all of my articles. ALL OF THEM.)

18 Most Comfortable Travel Shoes (Andrew Harper)

Nothing ruins a vacation like blisters. Plan in advance! 

INTERESTING THINGS FROM OTHER PEOPLE:

Ummm a lot of the stuff I have been reading is about the election and I really, really don't want to talk about that here. But, in a similar vein, go ahead and read the greatest thing ever written by Dave Barry

My friend Melissa has been posting about her battle with Lyme disease - if you think it's something three weeks of antibiotics will cure, check out her story.

Also (and I won't do this every time):

AMAZING FOOD I'VE EATEN LATELY:

I get to go to a lot of food events, and have been to some particularly awesome ones lately. If you follow along on my Instagram, you already know about these, but just in case:

Red Ash

The aroma that wafts from this place indicates you're in for something special before you even walk in. Specializing in grilling (they have an array of wood-burning toys), the stars at our table was the wood-grilled octopus and the thick-cut osso buco. 

Flower Child

A photo posted by Erin Russell (@theduckiest) on

Hello, World!

I was not expecting to love this healthy salad place as much as I did (please see above post about osso buco) but everything we had was DELICIOUS. I loved my Thanksgiving-in-a-salad "Winter Sunshine" with butternut squash, arugula, goat cheese, cranberries, oranges, and almonds, and the avocado toast was perfection. (Plus, the decor is ADORABLE - Flowers everywhere!) If I lived in the Domain I would go here every day. 

Salty Sow

A photo posted by Erin Russell (@theduckiest) on

I have two favorite restaurants in Austin. One is Cafe Josie, the other is Salty Sow. Given how amazing their food is ("Holy Trinity" of appetizers = Brussels sprouts, duck fat fries +egg, and fried chicken + biscuit), I don't usually make it to dessert, even though I know how good their bananas foster beignets are (especially when served with nutmeg ice cream). This time, after restraining myself on the apps (though I dove into our pork tenderloin entree so tender we didn't need a knife), I was able to power through. Oh my god. So worth it. 

Brewer's Table

Technically not open yet, Brewer's Table will be offering chef-prepared cuisine paired with excellent beers. If their inaugural event and all-star team are any indication, this place is going to be awesome.

Mac n Cheese Festival

 A+ presentation on this one.

A+ presentation on this one.

Source of my random selfie of the week! My three favorites were District's version with duck confit (of course), Forthright's version with rosemary and pork belly, and No Va's just-enough-kick green chili version. Was really surprised at Schlotzsky's finish as the judge's second favorite - just proves sometimes simple done right will win!

Actually...one more picture. 

 Don't blame me...that's all I'm gonna say.

Don't blame me...that's all I'm gonna say.