Food Matters: Recipes in short form; bring on Wurstfest
Twitter's short recipes long on flavor
Some authors struggle with mastering the art of brevity and simplicity in a novel, but one particular author can get her point across in as little as a 140-character tweet.
Maureen Evans, author of "Eat Tweet" ($14.95, Artisan) first got wind of an up-and-coming social network named Twitter in 2006. Since then her account @cookbook has rounded up thousands of followers. Her little recipes have readers eagerly waiting to behold the roar of her tweets.
Yet Evans doesn't see her writing as constrained or beating around the bush. Relying on her followers' basic understanding of cooking, she tailors her tweets to be as simple and to the point as possible.
"Recipe-writing is an art. Long recipe descriptions are nice, but most of the time cooking is more dynamic and intuitive," Evans said. "I want my recipes to read as naturally as possible."
She believes the Internet and social media have transformed the dialogue between cooks and the pupils who admire them. People are now engaging in social media sites and blogs to open up an arena of various tips and recipes, she said.
"I love the idea of community authorship and interaction with recipes," she said. "All of the photos and ratings (of the recipes) reflect the work of countless people."
Her own favorite recipe from the book is her Fettuccine Alfredo, which she called "a miracle of alchemy," uniquely excluding cream.
Boil12oz(pref fresh) fettucine to aldente.
Boil3/4c pasta h20/1/2c buttr;
toss well+pasta/3c parm until creamy.
In other words: Boil 12 ounces fettucine, preferably fresh, until al dente. Drain, saving the water. Boil 3/4 cup pasta water with 1/2 cup of butter. Next, combine pasta, water mixture and 3 cups of Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss well until creamy.
- Layne Lynch
Candy is still dandy for younger Lauren
Her father, Ralph Lauren, has affirmed his status as an icon in the world of fiercely fashionable fabrics and designs, but daughter Dylan Lauren has her own candy land full of colorful gum balls, chewy gumdrops and creamy chocolate.
As the owner of the world's largest candy store, Dylan's Candy Bar in New York City, Lauren is always looking for innovative tastes and flavors to incorporate into her candy mecca.
Now, Dylan Lauren is releasing a book, "Dylan's Candy Bar: Unwrap Your Sweet Life" ($35, Clarkson Potter) that touches on how to use candy in designing, cooking and entertaining. "I just love the colors and the array of tastes you get when you bite into candy," Lauren said. "I consider what I do an art form. I love what I do."
Lauren said her passion for the sweet treats came from a childhood filled with worldly travel and exposure to the arts.
"My whole family is full of artists," she said. "When I traveled, I always loved to see the different colors, packaging and collections of candy. I wanted this book to be an artistic book for lifestyle, entertaining and cooking. (The book is) for the hip woman in her 20s or 30s."
So of the 5,000 different candies and chocolates she carries in her store, what is the one that Lauren can't resist?
"I love Marshmallow Fluffs and Swedish Fish," she said. "Candy Corn is my favorite Halloween candy."
Food and wine briefs
• For Beer, brats and all the oompah music you can handle, come to New Braunfels for Wurstfest Friday through Nov. 7. Hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays, 5 to 10 p.m. Monday-Nov. 3, 5 p.m. to midnight Nov 4-5. Landa Park, 120 Landa St., New Braunfels. $8 admission, kids younger than 12 are free. Free admission for all after 3 p.m. on Nov. 7. www.wurstfest.com , 800-221-4369.
• The East Austin Zombie Pub Crawl is set to begin at 7 p.m. Friday at the Liberty (16181/2 E. Sixth St.). The free event will ramble to bars and food trailers including Italo's, the Brixton, Rio Rita and Cheer Up Charlie's, stopping at midnight at Iron Gate Lounge (1111 E. Sixth St.). Details at www.eastaustinzombies.tumblr.com .
• The Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival's Chefs Council will host a five-course wine dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday with chef Tyson Cole at Uchiko (4200 N. Lamar #140). $125. 249-6300, www.texaswineandfood.org .
• The Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q chain has begun shipping its brisket, turkey breast and St. Louis ribs nationwide from www.rudys.com . A full, untrimmed brisket weighing 5 to 7 pounds will run $65 plus shipping. Orders include a bottle of Rudy's barbecue sauce.
• The Austin chapter of Les Dames d' Escoffier, an organization of women leaders in the food industry, is staging an online fundraising auction Monday through Nov. 12 at www.ldeiaustin.org . Up for bid are more than 30 food-and-wine packages, including an evening with food writer Michael Pollan, a weekend centered around the Carillon restaurant and an artisan cheese trip to Oregon.
• The Renaissance Austin Hotel (9721 Arboretum Blvd., 343-2626) has added a line of dishes from the Bromberg Bros. Blue Ribbon restaurants in New York. Alongside its regular menu, the hotel's Banderas: A Texas Bistrot will offer Northern-fried chicken wings, spicy egg shooters and five more dishes from the restaurant chain.
• A `Dinner by the Bite' benefiting PAWS Shelter and Humane Society will be held at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 4 at Wilson Appliance (4205 U.S. 290 E., Dripping Springs). Participating restaurants include Kerbey Lane Cafe, Hill Country Kitchen and Verde's Mexican Parrilla, plus wine from Bell Springs and beer from Thirsty Planet. $50 advance, $60 at the door. Tickets at www.pawsshelter.org or 512-894-0219.
• 24 Diner (600 N. Lamar Blvd.) will host a five-course dinner with beers from Brooklyn Brewery on Nov. 3. $55. Reservations at 472-5400.
• The Ballet Austin Guild will host a benefit for Ballet Austin called Vive de Vin at 7 p.m. Nov. 3. The event will feature food from Big Night Catering and wines from Fall Creek Vineyards, Spicewood Vineyards, Flat Creek Estate and Becker Vineyards. $75. Mercury Hall, 615 Cardinal Lane. Tickets at 476-9151, ext. 200, and www.balletaustinguild.org .
- Mike Sutter
Openings, closings and coming soon
• Open: A second location of Promise Pizza at 10225 Research Blvd., No. 110. 345-7492, www.promisepizza.com .
• Open: Cafe Express, the first Austin location of the Houston fast-casual chain, at 3418 N. Lamar Blvd. 452-9888, www.cafe-express.com .
• Open: Full English Cafe, serving all-day breakfast and tea. 2000 Southern Oaks Drive. 769-4786, www.fullenglishfood.com .
• Open: Pig Vicious, a trailer serving sandwiches, quesadillas, mac and cheese, and other dishes spiked with pork. At the East Side Drive In. 1001 E. Sixth St.
Update: An earlier version of this story had the incorrect location for the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival's Chefs Council. The event will take place at Uchiko (4200 N. Lamar #140).