the hottest day of the year

sunday was austin's annual hot sauce fest. the entire day is devoted to the love of hotness and tomatoes (among other ingredients). andrew could not be happier on this day. basically people submit sauces and salsas that they have crafted. they are categorized and tasted by all. after a vote, the hot sauce champion is crowned. restaurants, commercial bottlers, and individual geniuses are all allowed to submit sauce. beyond this, there are tents from restaurants and hot sauce people all over the place. its is also at the end of august every year (and that day is always hot). all in all- there was hotness.

dillon met us at the house that morning, and then the three of us set off for the festival.
right away we went to our favorite line. thanks to us getting there so early, they weren't that bad. red hot sauce is always better than green, and the individual ones are always more adventurous. sure enough, this was a great line of competition.
we waited, and sweated, and waited and sweated. then we ate hot sauce and sweated some more. i am more of a wuss than the boys, so i didn't eat quite as much sauce as they.
they even tried some ghost pepper salsa (hottest pepper on earth). andrew scooped a huge bit on a chip and said "ehh, its not that bad." i was wise and didn't trust him. (andrew's "not that bad" could still put an untrained spice eater in the grave)
he finished off his samples like a true american- with a budweiser. one of the tents had spicy chicken salad (logans) and that is why he is pictured here holding a cracker rather than a tortilla chip.
as the day progressed it heated up even more (you should have seen me after the uphill bike ride home- woof). so we took the party to a location with air conditioning.
toby was glad to see us. he really had wanted to come to the festival.
dillon's bike.
the next, most obvious decision, was to make our own salsas. we central marketed it and then took all the ingredients to dillon and johnny's house.
dillon decided to use eggplant and mushrooms for a bit of an italian salsa. he is a fantastic chef and everything he cooks turns out delish- this was no exception. oh and k2 joined (thats him on the right).
obviously you have to have tomatoes.
here the chefs are discussing their work.
andrew made a large blend of a bunch of different peppers. it was spicy for sure, but good as usual.
maybe next year we can submit.
i shall now take this opportunity to introduce to my blog reading friends.............

the newest addition to our ever expanding dog family...........

this is dillon's little girl munkee. she is sweet and pretty and still trying to remember the difference between toilet paper and food. despite her puppy phase, she very loved. she was adopted from the town lake animal shelter and is almost a year old. she lives with her best friend leila and loves to play chase around the yard.
the good thing about cooking with dogs in the house, is the floor stays super clean.
thanks for the lovely sunday guys!
yall's salsas will always be number one in my book.


dogsitting and toby's yertle complex

so jon and haley's house has had a little trouble with the air conditioner. the last straw finally fell on the hottest day austin has seen this summer. since jon has been out of town, haley and the dogs crashed with us for a couple days. and today i got to hang out with all the pups!
toby was excited about having his friends over at his house! he shared his water bowl with gus, showed ozzy a really great sniff spot in the backyard, and even let scrappy play with his teddy.

there was a heart to heart under the ottoman.
but toby didn't appreciate being small. he took advantage of being at home by jumping on his purple chair and making gus feel small.
gus was bummed that he couldn't fit on the purple chair.
so instead, he guarded the door and kept away the mailman.
ozzy was a little homesick, so he took a nap.
actually, everyone napped.
but toby refused to leave the purple chair.
dear haley + dogs, i love you guys and i'm glad we got to have a little slumber party while your house got fixed! come back soon!


h. h. hippo strikes again

this weekend i had the joy of my very long time friend, zach, coming down to austin to see me before he has to go back to abilene (yuck) and finish school. we didn't have an incredibly eventful weekend due to an extreme heat wave, but what we did do was great. most of it involved food, but this is appropriate. zach is a food lover.
so while he was here, we had a few beverages, got really into a new iphone game, and hung out with friends. i cooked dinner one night, but for the most part i tried to give zach a good sampling of austin's largest portioned and most austin-y restaurants.

this night we went to trudy's because i thought zach would enjoy the mexican martinis, which they are famous for. as i suspected, he did. he also found a dish that was right up his alley.
these dishes once contained a lot of food- including a chicken fried steak. note that they are now blank.
andrew had to work really late friday night and for a large chunk of saturday. i was bummed because i like andrew, but once we got him back on saturday, the party started. and by party, i mean eating.

zach saw a bit on the travel channel or something about the salt lick. the salt lick is a famous bbq place outside of austin- in driftwood. they have a really serious method of meat cooking and they don't mess around with the size of the plates. once again, this is right up zach's alley. it also happenes to be one of those austin touristy things that i have yet to experience! so we picked up andrew at work and drove the 45 minutes to driftwood. the parking lot at this place is comparable to that at six flags. the waiting area is a gigantic outdoor place full of tables. there is a permanent sign that says "30 minute wait." there is a literal snack and drink stand for people that can't make it that long without food (a common sight out there).
we got lemonade (which is fresh squeezed on the spot) and it was heavenly. embarrassingly enough, i had two cups of it. sugaaaaaaaa
oh and its byob, so andrew brought beer. lone star of course.
waiting our 30 minutes.
finally we sat down! they brought us a bucket of ice for our beers.
zach still had his lemonade from the wait.
he also got a tea, to satisfy his hourly craving.
and of course, a beer was necessary.
so many beverages.
and then he received his food!!
its all in the eyes.
andrew and i both have a fairly strict policy concerning meat consumption.
however, we took the liberty of throwing the policy out the window and caution to the wind- all in the name of a real salt lick experience. in classic andrew style, he ate his food with a huge helping of their "extra spicy habenero sauce," the "salt lick original hot sauce," and 4 fat pickled jalapenos. he was a spicy mess. my food was less spicy and delish. probably won't be back, but really glad i got that in before i die.
zach also couldn't help himself when it came to the cobbler. they had peach and blackberry and when he asked our darling waitress which was better, she offered half and half. zach said at that moment he was contemplating a proposal. it turned out to be more like cake than cobbler. zach called it the "greatest cobbler of all time."
the boys were almost too full to move by the end of lunch. i drove them home, due to a long food coma.
it was a lovely long weekend with my bud. i hope he enjoyed his time in austin!! i did!


farmin' it

as many of you may know, my dear sweet virtual sister (and andrew's actual sister) sarah, is moving to new haven, ct so she can continue studying architecture at yale. she is brilliant and talented and we are so proud of her. last weekend, she and andrew drove all the way to new haven from dallas! it was a long drive and they did it in record time- no tickets and no wrecks!! sarah, it is sad to see you go again, but we are so excited to see your brilliance at work. best of luck and all our love from texas!

while they were off on this cross country adventure, i got to spend the weekend with some of my favorite folks at haley's family farm. it is out in crockett tx, about a three hour drive from austin. we took off thursday night at about 11-ish pm. this made for a late arrival at el farmo. haley and i drove together with toby as our passenger while jon took the lead in his fancy new truck with the three large doggies. upon arrival, we had a few drinks and sat on the porch. this little spider welcomed us happily.
this is gus. he is large. he loves this chair.
toby also loves the chair. there was a little bit of competition over it.
the dogs loved playing out in the fields. unfortunately, the cows that are normally out there are temporarily absent. no one was more upset about this than scrappy.
the house is really cute and makes you feel like you are in a cute little texas farm house (which you are).
toby rocked his texas flag tee.
great porch swing
lots of these things were consumed all weekend.
once again, the house is cute.
toby seemed to think jon kept treats in his backpack.
on our first day at the farm, we decided to go for a walk through the pasture. it was crazy hot, but we survived. all the dogs tagged along.
toby legitimately believes he is as big as the other dogs. he tried so hard to keep up through the super tall grass.
it is so open and beautiful!
toby says, "wait for me!!"
suddenly, the exhaustion became too much. he flopped down under a tree and told us to leave him behind. luckily he is small and easily carried. i walked him the rest of the way to the pond.
this, my friends, is a very rare sight. toby was so hot and so tired, he ran right into the pond and muddied himself up.
gus and ozzy were distracted by a fantastic sniff. here you can see them both trying to sniff the same spot.
then they all went swimming! ozzy went all the way in.
gus was concerned for toby.
jon got a lot of abuse for the number of photos in which he is on the phone.
toby's legs were muddy little sticks by the time he finished drinking seven gallons of water.
gus is huge
i carried toby a bit more and he proved to be a bit heavier than he looks.
then i let him walk some more. of course he instantly started running again and re-tired himself out.
pretty trees
jon and haley walking
once back at the house, we had to wash the dogs off because they smelled like pond. gus tried really hard to eat some of the hose water.
toby did this for a long time
then we played some jenga!!
very serious
leaning jenga tower!
and that evening an amazing storm blew in. you could see it off in the distance!
scrappy was not afraid and kept watch by the fence.
it got darker...
and we kept watching.
then the thunder started and the dogs got more nervous!
toby and scrappy took shelter under the table.
and it just kept getting darker and the clouds kept getting prettier.
we watched the lightning and waited for the rain.
and suddenly it came!
it was so pretty, and we stayed outside as long as we could.
shortly after returning inside, the power went off. the solution was to play candlelight monopoly.
sometime in the night the power came back on and our sweat eventually dried. jon and haley are excellent breakfast cooker by the way. we crafted a happy face with our fried eggs and bacon.
then johnny came!!! and gus and jon were so happy!!
right away we caught him up on the sexy men of 2007 (old magazines).
then we had some mimosas on the porch.
oops. haley spilled.
johnny gave jon a bit of a golf lesson.
ozzie chilled with the ladies in the shade.
leila was a little outnumbered- only girl dog.
then the boys did a little mowing.
but jon didn't let it slow down his beer consumption.
johnny did some golf tricks for us.
gus wants desperately to be a lap dog. he tried it out here on johnny.
leila is a bit closer than gus.
jon and gus cuddled a bit.
haley joined in too.
johnny posed with a dead animal on the wall.
tha ladies
jon's old friend matt came out for the night too. he brought his lovely girlfriend along too.
and her is our group point photo.
a little beer shotgun.
and a lot of catchphrase!
then we suddenly discovered that jon's shirt glows in the dark!!
johnny night golfed into the pond.
matt has guns. he brought one for shooting.
everyone took turns.
they shot at a target across the pond.
jon wanted this photo of him and his car. step one towards red neckdom.
haley was really good. here you can see the shell flying behind her. sweet.
i hope we come back soon!
i posed toby in front of the sunset. right after i snapped this, he fell off the railing. (oops. sorry tobe)
the next morning i got to watch the sunrise. after a bit of a clean, we headed back to austin.
it was an amazing weekend!! thanks jon and haley for letting me join you guys- i had so much fun!!