Those cravings hit every. dang. afternoon. Temps hit the triple digits around 3 pm in Austin at this time of the year, and I get the urge for something cold and sweet. Southern Bunny Shaved Ice is that cute, pink food truck in south Austin. They’re parked next to the popular El Primo taco truck at the corner of S. 1st and Live Oak; maybe you’ve noticed their take on the “I Love You So Much” sign?
I’ve been to plenty of good shaved ice trucks in Austin, but I’ve never been to one that offers “mangonadas.” I was intrigued by them and kept seeing these pretty snacks on their instagram account, so I stopped by to try one for myself.
If you’re in the dark about mangonadas (I was…), here’s what they are:fresh mango sorbet (housemate by the owners), savory chammoy, lime, tajin, and tamarindo.I got mine with more mango/less chammoy, but you can mix it up to get the perfect balance of sweet/savory for you.
I also snagged one of those pretty popsicle that they make. Anyone else feel about 4-years-old when you eat a popsicle? It takes me back to growing up in Texas, hot summers spent by the pool; the only good reason to get out was eat a cold snack, and then jump back in. Oh, bliss.
I can’t recommend this place enough for a unique treat on a hot summer day! I love the creativity behind their menu selections. The shaved ice is tasty (come on…what’s not to love about shaved ice?), but for something different, try one of those mangonadas!
The Southern Bunny Shaved Ice truck is located at the corner of S. 1st and Live Oak in Austin, TX. They’re open every night until 8:30, except Mondays (closed).
She’s just too cute not to dedicate an entire blog post to her. 😉 Meet Storm! (But mostly called “Stormy-Cat.”)
We adopted her over the weekend, but we’ve been planning on this for a couple months.
Back in April, I took Nate out to Fixe for his birthday dinner where I told him I was getting him a KITTEN for his birthday! Nate talks about getting a cat every. single. day, so I figured a significant milestone birthday is a good excuse for us to go ahead and get one. (His birthday dinner was also when we found out that our offer to our new house was accepted; there was no shortage of stuff to talk about that night.)
Initially, we were thinking of going to Austin Pets Alive, the amazing pet adoption agency here in Austin. But around the same time, my sister took on a new batch of kittens. She (not so subtly….) started fostering right when I told her we were going to adopt….hmm, coincidence? I think not.
We got to meet all three of them when they were two weeks old, and we both fell in love with the same one: baby Storm. She was the cutest little snuggle bug out of the bunch! My sister sent us text updates for the first 10 weeks until Storm hit 32 oz and we could adopt her.
We drove up to the Dallas area where my sister lives to pick up our sweet little baby, then drove the 3.5 hours back to Austin the same day. Poor Storm was a little out of sorts for the first 12 hours or so. She was scared of coming close to us, but she was also scared of being alone. She spent her first 10 weeks of life with 3 other cats and a dog; our house must seem so quiet after that.
She’s settling in nicely now, though. She and Nate are soccer buddies and watch soccer together in the afternoon. Oh, and Nate has already bought SO MANY TOYS for her.. haha! Our living room is littered with cat toys everywhere. She likes to snuggle with us, play constantly, and she sleeps throuh the night with minimal yelping (I’m calling it that because her meow is more that a chicken screech than anything else) before she falls asleep.
She’s super cuddly, which made for the most distracting violin practice session of my life! She has also claimed one of our only two chairs in the living room (still waiting on our new couch to arrive) as “hers,” which we give to her gladly. #spoiled.
She’s our little love!
PS: I had a couple people ask, so here’s how she got her name: my sister always names her batches of foster kittens with themes. The last batch was cheeses: Brie, Cheddar, Gorgonzola, and Monterey Jack. This time she named them after weather: Storm, Gale, and Cyclone.
How’s your summer reading going? Next to Christmas reading (because let’s be real: what’s better than curling up next to the Christmas tree with a great book?), summer is my favorite time to read books! I loaded up my kindle at the beginning of the summer so I would have lots of good stuff to read.
I love reading books about food. “Food writing” is a vague genre with lots of different options: memoirs, cookbooks, instructional writing, essays, and some fiction. I’ve been mixing it up and reading a little of this and a little of that, and today I have 8 fun foodie books to add to your summer reading list!
1. Will Write For Food by Dianne Jacob
This is the holy grail of advice about food writing. Diane Jacob uses her years of experience in writing, editing, blogging, and teaching to provide loads of information to anyone who loves writing about food. New to blogging? You should read this book! There’s an entire chapter devoted to food blogging. There’s also a chapter about reviewing restaurants, either professionally or for fun, that I found helpful. And if you’re serious about food writing and want to make it a career, she talks about landing a cookbook contract, making an income from writing, learning to freelance, and plenty of other stuff. Note that this book is more like a textbook than a “fun” book…but sometimes #learningisfun too. 😉
2. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert
Every summer reading list should include at least one good rom-com, right? This one is sweet, charming, and, uh…you’ll definitely get hungry while reading! I recommend having a snack nearby before opening the book, because you’ll get the munchies. I love these light-hearted “fluff” books for the summer!
3. Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
I raved about this book in my book review last month (you can read my June Reads here). Gabrielle Hamilton is the chef and owner of the 30-seater restaurant “Prune” in NYC, and this books is her story. She doesn’t leave anything out – expect shocking honesty on every page. But I think that’s why I loved it so much. She doesn’t glamorize her restaurant career….she just puts her head down, works hard, follows her feelings, and lives her life with exuberance.
4. The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten
I “lol’d” a few times while reading this! Jeffrey Steingarten is the food critic at Vogue magazine, and his unique writing voice made me sit up in my chair (figuratively, of course; in reality I was lounging in bed while I read this..) and pay attention to what he had to say.
5. Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
This was my first Ruth Reichl book to read, and since then I’ve read four more…I love her writing! In Garlic and Sapphires, she writes about the beginning stages of her new job as the food critic for the New York Times. Part of the challenge, for her, was not being recognized. She didn’t want to receive “star treatment” when review a restaurant, because she needed to be served in the same way her readers would be when they ate there. So she goes through all sorts of ridiculous hoops to put on various disguises before dining. I listened to this as an audiobook, and it was one of those books where I’d get home and sit in my car in the driveway for an extra 10 minutes just to finish the chapter.
6. Seven Spoons by Tara O’Brady
My friend Grace gave my this cookbook last year. At the time, I didn’t know about the popular blog by the same name, Seven Spoons, but since then I’ve been a regular reader. Tara’s cookbook is written like her blog: each recipe has an accompanying story. I’ve read through multiple recipes without any intention of making them….just reading them! I have made a few recipes from this book, though, and all have been lovely. Her chocolate chip cookie recipe is the best I’ve ever tried, and all of my sisters have (at some point) asked me to text it to them! It’s a winner, and so is this book.
7. My Father’s Daughter by Gwenyth Paltrow
Full disclosure: I haven’t made any recipes from this book. But the writing and photography are GORGEOUS (hello, perfect coffee table book!) and can we all just say that we’d love to have her kitchen? If you’ve made any recipes from this book, let me know your thoughts.
8. Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
Here’s some classic chick lit for your beach bag! This novel takes place on a fictional island, so it’s perfect for summer reading. The food description are oh-so-tasty, and although it was my first Jenny Colgan novel to read, I’ve added a few more to my kindle queue. I have a feeling most of her books will be similar to this – perfect to read when you don’t want to think too hard!
That’s it for me. What have you been reading this summer? Have you read any of the books I mentioned?
Here’s the thing: when Austinites want one of their favorite restaurants to make a comeback, they’ll make their voices heard.
Veggie Heaven closed in 2014 after a (nearly) 20 year run of serving vegan and vegetarian food on Guadalupe, right by UT campus. When I asked owner Stacy Chen why she decided to reopen, she shrugged her shoulders, “we kept hearing from customers telling us to come back.” Chen decided to re-open it this year (in a new location on W. 5th Street) with a slightly different concept: forget the vegetarian thing….we’re going VEGAN! Read More
I’ve been blabbing on and on about our our recent move from south Austin to….south Austin. Old news. It’s been an all-consuming part of my life for the past 2 months or so, but especially the past 2 weeks as we’ve been packing/moving/unpacking. It’s a whole thing! Read More