Quesadillas are for WINNERS

Because if I look very, very hard in the mirror and speak truth…quesadillas are grilled cheese sandwiches. And serving grilled cheese for dinner at least 5 times a month is sort of sad, with one major exception.

But! If you call it a quesadilla…that’s something. It’s ethnic food. It is food that borders on fancy. It must be cut into wedges and served with dipping sauces. Did I say dipping sauces? How uncouth of me. I meant accoutrements

How do you feel about a visual recipe? Here’s a very fancy dinner I made a little while back that I found in the recesses of my iPhone library. Apple/bacon/onion/kale quesadillas, which even my 8-year-old ate. 








Other things one can put in quesadillas: 

  • hummus instead of cheese (Mind BLOWN, right?)
  • olives
  • peppers
  • broccoli
  • chopped chicken
  • quinoa
  • leftover taco filling
  • leftover anything
  • your mom


A month, huh?

It’s been a whole month since I didn’t just totally phone in a blog post? Eh…it happens. Life happens. Life has happened. I’ve had a fun month, though. 

1. I took the kids to Dallas for part of a weekend. The whole reason we really went was to see Seryn. You remember them, right? Several months ago they played a show in OKC and we took the whole band home afterwards. Those guys (and girl). They played at a charming venue called The Kessler that is situated near the Bishop Arts District, where we had spent that afternoon dining and shopping.

Enjoying @serynsounds

My daughter captured a lot of video in which she moved her phone a lot, flipped back and forth from portrait to landscape and stopped and started filming several times during a song. It’s cute. This was the most continuous one. 

My son slept through almost their entire set and only awoke when Trent and Nathan came up to where we were sitting to say hi. Yeah, the rock show didn’t wake him but the two people in the empty room did. Third graders. Sigh. I found a nice quiet place for him to chill out while his sister and I hung out with all the friends and family after the show. This is Seryn’s hometown venue in a way, so lots of people mingled after for hugs and stories into the wee morning hours. I think we finally gave up and left the party at 1am. 

The next day we slept in and I took the kids to breakfast at Spiral Diner, a restaurant where everything is vegan (except us) and most of it is house-made. 

The Lumberjack

Then we had an afternoon at Klyde Warren Park. What a cool public space.

Dogs. Fountains. Yoga.


2. I started running. I don’t know exactly why I want to run so bad, but I do. And I am terrible at it. But I keep trying because I feel like there is an athlete in me that I have buried under toffee and self-doubt. The reason I feel this is because during times of stress I want to run or kickbox or swim or do hot yoga. My body doesn’t know how to do any of those things but I get serious cravings for them and those cravings go unrequited. No, I don’t replace them all with food but I do replace a lot of them with regret that I’ve not treated myself better. How healthy is that? Feel stress, then feel bad because you aren’t some kind of magician. Instead, I’ve opted to teach myself to run (with the aid of a couch to 5k app). The good news is that I can run for 10 minute stretches. The bad news is that I strained my left calf because I don’t do enough 10 minute stretches after I run. Super frustrating, but now I am doing a little bit of yoga while I wait for the calf to heal. Attempting to listen to my body all the time, is what this seems to be. If I need running, give myself running. If I need resting, give myself resting. 


3. I almost lost my MacBook Pro. One day I turned on my laptop and it was whirring hard. And the battery indicator had a weird little ‘X’ on it. I couldn’t leave it untethered to a power supply and the fan only stopped running when I powered the computer all the way down. After running disk ulility I had an “Oh shit.” moment. It said my hard drive was corrupt. ::fuck:: I sent some panic texts to my nerd fleet. I used to be a bit of a nerd but let all that knowledge crumble with time. And I hadn’t backed up my computer in three years. Yes, you read that correctly. After buying a new external drive and clinching all of my body for a weekend, I fixed my own computer. LIKE A BOSS. It really wasn’t fixing as much as it was doing a ton of grossly overdue maintenance. At the end of it all, I even downloaded the lastest operating system like a victory lap. 

4. I bought a car. The Accord needed to be replaced last summer. The transmission went belly up after some grossly overdue maintenance never happened (do we see a pattern yet?). At the time I was fuh-freaked out about 10,000 other things and rather than calmly assess the situation, I just panicked and threw THOUSANDS of dollars at the problem. Like a moron. Flash forward to this spring… The transmission wasn’t out yet, but I could tell that it was only a matter of time. Too much shit was hitting the fan this spring for me to do much about the car, I just crossed all my fingers and toes that it would live a litte longer. Liiiiiive, dammit!! And it did. In the last month or so I took two road trips and rather than be risky, I rented cars. I have another road trip planned for Saturday and last week I thought, “Oh, I guess I’ll rent a car again.” Then I died a little on the inside. Then I thought, “I’m just gonna call my bank and get a loan.” So, while waiting for a table at lunch a week ago today, that’s what I did. Two days ago, after much online searching and Twitter whining, I found the one I wanted from the dealership I wanted to support. 



5. I let Rick Bayless make me dinner. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend you letting Rick Bayless make you dinner, too. Sure, there were 100 other people there and his hands didn’t likely touch every single plate…but damn was that a great meal. I’ve had a lot of great meals, his was definitely in the top 5 “event” meals I’ve had. Specific dishes were so good I don’t want to eat them again if he isn’t making it. Ceviche, I’m looking at you. This was part of a series of tornado relief events in Oklahoma City called OK Chefs’ Relief.

Insane ceviche & plantain chips. #latergram #okchefsrelief

Glory be! #okchefsrelief

Oh, just hanging out with Rick Bayless. Like I do.


6. The fourth of July happened. I found ways to occupy myself as I was alone. For the first time in what feels like forever I had no boyfriend (long or short term), no husband, no kids and no family to work into my holiday weekend. I could just go and do and be. It was glorious. I did spend a fair amount of time with friends, but only made my plans last minute. And when I finally said, “Yes, I will come to your cookout,” I first laid down and took a two-hour nap first. Just because I could. In the latter part of the weekend I spent a holy shit ton of time alone, mostly at home. Again, glorious. My honey-do list shrank, my sleep deficit decreased and I got quiet. I wish I could say that I had some sort of epiphany, but really I just piddled around. I never do that. It taught me that I need to do that at least one day a month. Piddle with no real intentions other than baths, books and staring at the ceiling.Somewhere in there I bought a case of peaches and went to Food Swap OKC with mason jars of cobbler.

7. My kids are growing up. Before they left for summer vacation, they put in two weeks at a theater camp. It hurt my heart to see them so very on their acting game. I mostly added this in so I could share the pics. 

Show time!

Now we’re all caught up. Wasn’t that fun? ๐Ÿ™‚

I attended BlogHer Food in Austin

I did. And imma gonna tell you about it.

It was kind of was what I expected it to be in most ways. I’m glad it wasn’t a huge, sprawling conference and glad there was ample, ample time for networking with newbies, friends, brands, big-time food bloggers and others. Maybe it was my inexperience navigating the conference, but I felt it was a little light on the learning opportunities. I wanted more sessions!

I got to Austin the day before the conference and after settling into The Bubble, I headed over to the Tasty Kitchen party. It was a relaxing room full of awesome women who noshed on delicious food and sipped from an open bar. In fact, the hostess fetched me a drink just as soon as I walked in the door. 


 There was a catch. Ahem.

I talked to Rebecca from Foodie with Family for a good long while (a blessed, recurring theme throughout the weekend) and after a couple of delicious and not-too-sweet margaritas, I sauntered over to the buffet for a snack. Looking around the room of confident women bloggers is a special kind of hell for me. See…they all seem to know each other well. Like old friends. They are old friends. I’m still a pretty new kid on this go round of writing on the Internet. There were no natural empty seats with people and I wanted to meet these ladies. I also wanted to eat. I inhaled the delicious scent of sauteed spinach and simmered black beans and reminded myself, “Comparison is the thief of joy. Just go eat alone. One thing at a time.” 

I found a corner with two large, empty sofas and sat down. As I tucked into my deliciousness, a nice lady walked up and asked if I minded if she sat. Perfect! We chatted one on one for 20 minutes or so and remembering that I was supposed to be networking, I fished a business card from my purse. She looked at it strangely, paused, and said, “I think I followed you on Twitter today.”


Yep, Merry from The Merry Gourmet  and I had chatted each other up for a good, long while before discovering we’d already met briefly on The Twitters, thanks to Vivian. And, eventually, once my blood sugar raised and my inhibitions lowered, I chatted with lots more people. Elise Bauer from Simply Recipes and her beau, Diane from Momo Fali, Meseidy from The Noshery, and a bunch of other women whose names I almost immediately forgot because…open bar.



After several more appetizers, a few hours and a bunch of water, I snuck out of the party and raced across town to catch the last 1/3 of Matt the Electrician at Strange Brew. I almost blew it off, but so glad I didn’t.


The next morning I headed to breakfast and then my first session, Principals of Storytelling. Almost immediately my table began exchanging business cards and I panicked. I wasn’t going to have enough to last through Day 1, much less Day 2.

::Activate MacGyver Mode::


I searched for “business cards in downtown Austin” and came up with Paper Source. Perfect! A cab ride later I bought blanks and a nice felt-tipped pen, tweeted a pic of my cashier to The Pioneer Woman (I overheard her being a superfan) and strolled over to 24 Diner for workspace and glass of cava. Then I walked back a mile to the convention center. It was then I decided that Day 2 would not include my camera equipment and laptop. (ouch) To answer your question, I really don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe I thought I’d be able to hail a cab on the way? Stop. I can hear you laughing.

The rest of the day was a bust, content-wise, but the evening brought foodie excursions out in Austin. 

Maria’s Taco Xpress. Whip In. Gourdoughs.

First stop! #AusProgEats

#ausprogeats #blogherfood2013

Fat Elvis, lit by the glow of a Moontower. #ausprogeats #blogherfood2013 #peanutbutter #banana #bacon

If you want more detail, feel free to meander over to Twitter or Instagram and search the hashtag #austinprogeats. I won’t spoil the whole story but I will tell you that Whip In is a Indian-fusion Gastropub and Gourdoughs sold me a donut topped with peanut butter icing, grilled bananas and bacon. It’s amazing I even came home.

Saturday was more conferencing, though this day’s sessions spoke to me far more than Friday’s did. My favorite session was called Blog on the Run and taught by Mallory Dash. Later in the evening I made my first pilgramage to Stubb’s BBQ for BBQ (duh) and a party hosted by Ree, Jaden and Elise. Ree told bad jokes. There was much merriment. I line danced and wore a pretty dress. Most of the bloggers from my last trip to The Ranch were in attendance and it was nice to catch up with them. So, I guess I maybe DID know some folks after all.

The day still wasn’t over! While at the party I got a call from my cutie neighbor with the invite to come see the new restaurant he was helping to open. So glad I did. 

Turns out it is called Eden East. It is on a farm. In Austin. Hyperlocal dining at its best. 



I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t even eat and I didn’t want to leave. Then I woke up the next morning, didn’t want to leave, went to 24 Diner to eat a waffle, didn’t want to leave… then drove home.

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