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Relish Austin

Start the new year fresh by cleaning out pantry, cookbook collection

Start the new year fresh by cleaning out pantry, cookbook collection

It’s the new year. Time for a fresh start. You’ve cleaned out your car, your closet and your garage over the holidays, but when was the last time you purged your fridge, freezer, pantry, spice cabinet or cookbook shelf? Sometimes, this isn’t an easy task. A visiting friend last year took one look at the 20 glasses filling the lower half of one of my cabinet shelves and said, &ldquo...
The powerful thing that happens when you turn a rut into a ritual

The powerful thing that happens when you turn a rut into a ritual

How many rituals do you have in a year? Maybe you eat fish stew on Christmas Eve and black-eyed peas on New Year’s, and make sure your holiday thank you cards are written by the Super Bowl and that your sister gets a card in the mail for her birthday. What about how you make your coffee or put your kids to bed? What about where you get breakfast tacos on Friday mornings or the special bakery...
When artificial intelligence fails in the kitchen

When artificial intelligence fails in the kitchen

If you need an extra hand in this kitchen this week, don’t turn to that fancy new voice-controlled speaker you got. At least, not yet. Last week, my colleague Omar Gallaga and I tried to use a new feature on his Amazon Echo, aka Alexa, from Allrecipes.com, one of the largest online food hubs anywhere on the internet. Allrecipes also now prints a food magazine that I quite like and think would...
Through ups and downs of the year, keep an eye on your favorite things

Through ups and downs of the year, keep an eye on your favorite things

Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas album, “Wrapped in Red,” is one of my favorite things this time of year. In particular, her jazzy rendition of “My Favorite Things” is now something that my oldest son and I belt out as we wrap Christmas presents (or fold laundry and pretend we’re wrapping presents). He’s old enough to know the tingling joy of snowflakes on eyelashes...
Don’t let one holiday party spoil your healthy eating, exercise habits

Don’t let one holiday party spoil your healthy eating, exercise habits

Cheryl Forberg’s best piece of healthy eating advice for a holiday party might seem weird: Eat before you go. Not a huge meal, of course, but eating half a sandwich or yogurt with berries and nuts means that you’ll make better decisions when you get there because you won’t be so hungry. “When you wait too long to eat or skip meals — Americans are notorious for that &mdash...
Announcing the winners of our Austin360 Holiday Cookie Contest

Announcing the winners of our Austin360 Holiday Cookie Contest

When we asked for your best holiday cookie recipes back in October, we knew we’d get recipes from every corner of Central Texas and from every decade in the past 100 years. Between attending cookie swaps, baking cookies for Santa and eating holiday treats at the office, I’ve seen enough cookies to start to categorize them in my head: the thumbprint and rolled cookies that visually delight...
‘American Cake’ gives us a taste of U.S. history through sugar, flour

‘American Cake’ gives us a taste of U.S. history through sugar, flour

Anne Byrn was always a cake person, long before she made a career out of it. The Nashville-based author of the “Cake Mix Doctor” books grew up eating scratch-baked cakes, and she went to culinary school in Paris to further hone her pastry skills. But when she moved back to the U.S. and became the food editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and, later, the Tennessean, she started using...
This Thanksgiving, lessons in grief, love and stuffing

This Thanksgiving, lessons in grief, love and stuffing

This year’s Thanksgiving won’t feel complete. My aunt, Leesa, will host all of us in her North Austin home. Her husband, Carlos, will carve the turkey that his brother-in-law, Tom, will fry; my cousin Carlee will prep the pies; and my cousin Christopher will be waiting with plate in hand to be the first through the line. But at the head of the table, the seat occupied for nearly every...
Cookbook author’s history inspires thoughts on food and Thanksgiving

Cookbook author’s history inspires thoughts on food and Thanksgiving

Immigration has been on everyone’s minds lately. It’s been on my mind, personally, in the months after an ancestry trip to Sweden, where my own family lived before moving to the U.S. almost 125 years ago. Immigration, of course, was a major part of the presidential election, and as we prepare for Donald Trump’s inauguration in January, many are talking about the idea of a wall and...
Everything to know about the Texas Book Festival, in three recipes

Everything to know about the Texas Book Festival, in three recipes

Whether you love chili and tacos, streusel and schnitzel, or turmeric and kichiri, food authors at the Texas Book Festival have something you’ll like. The annual literary affair kicks off this weekend with more than 100 authors from all over the world. The Central Market Cooking Tent will house many of the cookbook authors, but some of the biggest names, including Marcus Samuelsson, Padma Lakshmi...
Broyles: Why we all win when all students eat breakfast in class

Broyles: Why we all win when all students eat breakfast in class

If you think school lunch has a stigma, consider school breakfast Unlike lunch, when all students are eating at the same time no matter if they buy food from the cafeteria or bring from home, breakfast at school is optional, especially for students whose parents can afford to make or buy breakfast before the bell rings. But for many of the students who are on the free/reduced-price lunch program,...
How far is too far to drive for apples and a little peace of mind?

How far is too far to drive for apples and a little peace of mind?

How many apples are too many apples? I ask myself that question every fall when I find myself at Murphy Orchard in Marionville, Mo., surrounded by bushels and pecks and baskets of glistening Galas, Empires, Fujis and Braeburns. After sampling almost all the varieties with the sweet lady cutting slices near the open garage door, I decided that this year a half bushel of Jonagolds — about 20 pounds...
How food has helped strengthen Austin’s Caribbean community

How food has helped strengthen Austin’s Caribbean community

Even though Elisse Jean-Pierre grew up in Florida in the early 1990s, she was surrounded by Haitian culture. Her dad, who was born in Haiti, made sure to bring as many cultural elements of his home country as he could to her childhood in the U.S. A big part of that was joining and then leading a group of Caribbean expats in their city. About that same time, Austin’s Caribbean community was growing...
Year of Baking: For flaky cinnamon rolls, try using puff pastry

Year of Baking: For flaky cinnamon rolls, try using puff pastry

If the most intimidating part of making cinnamon rolls is making the dough, don’t make the dough. The very best cinnamon rolls are ooey gooey and soft, and that requires some kind of yeasted dough. Yeast is enough to scare off plenty of would-be bakers. If you’ve never worked with it, those tiny, smelly pellets might seem like dynamite, ready to over-ferment at a moment’s notice...
Ancestry trip to Sweden leads to new flavors, culinary discoveries

Ancestry trip to Sweden leads to new flavors, culinary discoveries

When my great-great-grandmother left Sweden for the United States in 1892, she packed up her two kids, her most beloved possessions, including a coffee grinder and copper kettle, and a whole lotta courage. Her husband had forged the way 10 years earlier and landed in Springfield, Mo. Karolina stayed behind, raising those children as a single mother, dreaming of a day when she and Gustav might reunite...
Waking up to homemade granola, muesli will cure back-to-school blues

Waking up to homemade granola, muesli will cure back-to-school blues

Granola doesn’t mean anything in Danish. The Danes — like just about anyone who lives in a place where yogurt is also consumed — often eat a breakfast of toasted oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. But they call it muesli, even when served in a cafe called Granola in Frederiksberg, a city within Copenhagen. The terms muesli and granola are often used interchangeably in the U.S. and...
Frozen or on the rocks? Let’s ask a margarita-loving scientist

Frozen or on the rocks? Let’s ask a margarita-loving scientist

Kate Biberdorf might be from Michigan, but she loves margaritas as much as any Austin native. The chemistry lecturer at the University of Texas spends the majority of her time teaching, but even when she’s not working, friends like to pepper her with questions about science in everyday life. Nuclear power is a subject she frequently is asked about, but a few weeks ago I reached out to her on...

Skip the pineapples to make this upside-down peach cake

When pressed to proclaim my favorite dessert, I always say peach pie. Peaches are a beloved fruit, but let’s be honest — any fruit in its peak stage of ripeness could be a contender for my very favorite thing in the whole world, after my kids and my grandma. My grandmother, who turned 86 this year, almost always surprises me with a peach pie when the boys and I return to the Ozarks for...
Hate mayonnaise? Six mayo-free side dishes for your 4th of July party

Hate mayonnaise? Six mayo-free side dishes for your 4th of July party

It’s hardly a picnic without potato or pasta salad, but even if they are made to perfection, not everyone is into mayo-based salads. Of course, you can make these quintessential Fourth of July salads with olive oil instead of mayonnaise, but maybe your guests aren’t eating gluten or carbs. Perhaps your family is the kind that spats over whether boiled eggs, pickles or onions belong in...
How to get started making your own fizzy, fantastic kombucha

How to get started making your own fizzy, fantastic kombucha

The last time I flew back from visiting my sister in Boise, Idaho, I had the building block for kombucha in my carry-on bag. The half-inch-thick slimy disk was wrapped in a plastic bag that was wrapped in a paper towel and stuffed in a paper bag. No liquid — just the symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or SCOBY, needed to make the fermented tea. I didn’t have to fly with a SCOBY. Thanks...
How one Austin company revolutionized how we get food delivered

How one Austin company revolutionized how we get food delivered

When Jackie Davies started Eat Out In, the country’s first multi-restaurant delivery company, in Austin in 1986, she kept track of customers with a three-wheel Rolodex and stayed in contact with drivers via two-way radio. Thirty years ago, the idea that you could get Mexican or Italian food delivered was a novel one. Chinese restaurants and pizzerias hired their own drivers to save customers...
Readers share stories of their grocery shopping travels

Readers share stories of their grocery shopping travels

Like cooking, grocery shopping is a fairly personal act. The food in our carts isn’t just what we are going to eat this week; it reflects where we live, who we are and who we want to be. Seem like a stretch? Not to the dozens of readers who reached out after my column about grocery shopping in Boise, Idaho, a few weeks ago. I went to four stores in four days and wrote about how much I enjoy...

Year of Baking: Fruit crisps, the easiest dessert you’ll bake this year

It’s hard to mess up a fruit crisp. Crisps and crumbles are — by most definitions — the same dish and are the most forgiving baking project: A layer of fruit baked with a topping of flour, butter and sugar. Many bakers draw a thin line of old-fashioned oats when defining their dessert: crisps get the oats, crumbles don’t. But no matter if you put oats or nuts or spices in the...

Broyles: Finding supermarket bliss in Boise

Four days. Four grocery stores. I sure know how to have fun on vacation. Last week, I was visiting my sister, Chelsea, and her kids in Boise, Idaho. We ate out twice — Chick-fil-A and a local Mediterranean spot called Mazzah — and cooked the rest of our meals in her tiny kitchen that is only slightly larger than my cubicle at work. Instead of the cookbooks and calendars that have swallowed...