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Food Matters: Recipe could earn Cedar Park woman $1 million

Staff Writer
Austin 360

Cedar Park baker has eye on the prize

Erma Innis of Cedar Park is headed to Orlando, Fla., this weekend to compete in the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest.

Innis' recipe for bacon-egg breakfast bites is among the 100 dishes that judges will try at this biannual contest, and she's the only contestant from Central Texas.

The winner, who takes home a million-dollar prize, will be announced Tuesday on "The Martha Stewart Show" on the Hallmark Channel.

Bacon-egg Breakfast Bites

12 slices precooked bacon (from 2.1-oz. package)

1 can Pillsbury Place 'n Bake refrigerated crescent rounds

24 frozen potato nuggets (from 2-lb. bag)

5 eggs

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Chopped fresh parsley, if desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray 24 mini muffin cups with cooking spray. Cut each bacon slice in half crosswise. Unroll one crescent round; cut into thirds, forming strips of dough. Place half slice of bacon on one dough strip; top with potato nugget and roll up, stretching dough and pinching ends to seal. Place in mini muffin cup, spiral side up. Repeat with remaining crescent rounds, bacon and potato nuggets. In medium bowl, beat eggs, salt and pepper until well blended. Very carefully spoon scant tablespoon egg mixture around each dough-wrapped potato nugget. Bake 13 to 20 minutes or until light brown on top and egg mixture is set. Remove from muffin cups to serving platter. Garnish with parsley. Serve warm.

- Erma Innis

Farmers market moves, foodie events abound

* After several years as a Saturday morning market, Dripping Springs Farmers Market is moving to Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. in the same location, the Triangle, at the intersection of U.S. 290 and RM 12 in Dripping Springs. The market is open every Thursday, rain or shine, from this week through July 26 and Oct. 4 through Dec. 20. 858-4725, dsfarmersmarket.yolasite.com .

* Montesino Ranch and Organic Farm is hosting the first barn dance of the year at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the farm a few miles outside of Wimberley. Chris Jamison and the Austin band Sour Bridges will perform after a guided tour of the farm and its facilities, which include the farm studios, on-site rental properties that overlook the fields. St. Pitas, a food trailer usually parked in San Marcos, will be on site selling food, and guests are welcome to bring their own beverages. Tickets ($12 in advance, $15 at the door) are available at the Leaning Pear or the farmers market in Wimberley, St. Pita's in San Marcos or by calling (210) 325-6320. montesinoranch.com .

* After a turkey fryer fire at Sambets Cajun Deli and Firey Foods Store on Thanksgiving last year, the popular restaurant in Northwest Austin was forced to close. But co-owner Catherine Slocombe and her daughter, Brittany, hope to open a Cajun food trailer called Mama Nola's in the same area later this year. To help kick-start the project, they are hosting a fundraiser from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Gateway Church on McNeil Drive that will feature a silent auction and a number of bands, including Shake Russell and Off the Grid. The Slocombes will sell crawfish, two kinds of gumbo, crawfish etouffee, boudin, andouille wraps and hot dogs. It costs $10 to get in and kids younger than 12 are free.

* Foodways Texas has released the schedule for the nonprofit's second annual symposium, which will take place Friday through Sunday in Austin. The theme of the conference is "Texas Preserved," and a number of the panels deal with the preservation, both literally and figuratively, of Texas foods and food traditions. In addition to speakers during the day on Friday and Saturday at the Blanton Museum of Art, a number of the state's best chefs, including Tom Perini, Justin Yu and Sonya Cote, will serve sit-down meals at noted Austin locales such as Boggy Creek Farm. You can buy tickets for just the panels ($85) or the panels and meals ($225 for members, $250 for the public) at foodwaystexas.com , which is also where you'll find the detailed schedule and info about the panelists.

* Last October, the Samuel Adams brewery announced the winners of its annual LongShot American Homebrew Contest. Three homebrew recipes were selected out of thousands of entries to be featured in the nationally distributed LongShot six-pack. Round Rock electronics technician and 17-year homebrewer Corey Martin made the cut with his Munich Dunkel, A Dark Night in Munich.

Now you can taste Martin's winning beer, as the six-packs have hit shelves across Central Texas, including H-E-B, Central Market and Whole Foods Market on Lamar Boulevard.

Austin Eats Food Tours adds pair of bike treks

Andy and Lindsey Potter's food tour company is just more than a year old, but their Austin Eats Food Tours are expanding quickly and now include two bike tours, one on Fridays in East Austin and another on Sundays that includes downtown and South Congress Avenue. The price of the tour ($75 for downtown, $69 for East Austin) includes both food and the use of one of their bikes for the afternoon, and you can find details about all the tours they offer at austineatsfoodtours.com.

Statesman videographer Tina Phan recently caught up with one of the bike tours to see what all the buzz is about. See what she found at austin360.com/food.

Austin an 'obvious fit' for vegetarian festival

In a city as festival-laden as Austin, Angela Ramsammy couldn't believe there wasn't one celebrating plant-based diets like her own.

"I heard about this vegetarian festival in New Orleans, so we went to check it out," says Ramsammy, who has been a vegetarian since second grade. She then found out about similar events in Boston, Charlottesville, N.C., and Chicago. "I thought, if New Orleans can have a veg fest, why can't Austin? Austin is such a veg-friendly city, it seemed like an obvious fit."

She started putting together the first Texas VegFest, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 31, at Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.

In addition to a handful of bands and almost 100 food companies and vendors, a number of nationally known authors and speakers will give presentations and do cooking demonstrations . "We're not trying to make everyone vegan or vegetarian at the end of the day," Ramsammy says. "Our goal is to get people to eat more plant-based foods for whatever reason."

Instead of selling tickets, they are asking for a $5 donation at the door. For a full schedule of vendors, speakers and bands, go to TexasVegFest.com .