I have a weird obsession with analog notebooks.
I describe my love for notebooks as weird, because few people understand this adoration in a digital age. They probably shun the notebook because papers attract clutter
(A few of ) The funniest women in media
Kelis and her new album titled Food , set to drop in 2014 #kelis #food #art #musicnews
I am a fan of the dessert known as "pie." I grew up in a family where baking is not only an enjoyable pastime, but an essential part of life. We bake to entertain, celebrate and comfort. Whatever the occasion, pie is usually found present at the dining room table.
Thursday is National Pie Day, but I chose to celebrate National Pie Week this year. I started yesterday with traditional, "American" apple pie. I love the creative possibilities of pastry dough.
Today I will be making mini blueberry pies, I'm thinking raspberry pie for tomorrow; I've begun looking for new pie variations to fill the rest of the week. What are some of your favorite pie variations and why are pies important (or just an enjoyable presence) for you and your celebrations?
I found a few euros today while cleaning my room, and I found myself missing Paris. Every country has their own rhythm, and every city keeps time. If France perpetuates the idea that life can be controlled and created with beautiful precision, Paris proves that living perfection exists. I visited Paris with a school group when I was 16, and again at age 22, with my family. I am saving money to travel through Paris again in May, and I always hope that I will learn the same calm, beautiful approach to life that every Parisian seems to naturally possess.
During my second trip to Paris, I was determined to act the chic 22-year-old woman I was convinced I was. This meant wearing ballet flats at all times, drinking wine at any time of day, and not embarrassing myself.
Two out of three isn't bad. I ate dinner at La Alsace with my family, where an incredibly handsome waiter served us escargot. The waiter joked with us about John Wayne, and asked if we rode horses everywhere in Texas. I informed him we only rode horses on special "fancy" occasions, usually when while attending the weekly John Wayne movie festivals.
The first round was perfect. I had tried escargot before in Texas, so clearly I felt fearless and unstoppable.
The Burgandy snails rest in fat, shiny shells filled with hot butter, garlic and herbs. They didn't look like garden snails, but more like lovely, perfectly formed mushrooms served on a silver platter; the tiny escargot forks gleamed. I picked up the small fork and found the snail eating process both delicious and intuitive. We enjoyed the first order so much, we ordered another.
Halfway through the second plate, I found a stubborn snail, refusing to leave its shell. I forced it out, just a little too hard.The shell flew into the air and landed behind me, coating the booth window and seat with hot butter, garlic and herbs. The slug catapulted across the room, narrowly missing a small Asian tourist who ducked at the right moment. As he hid under the table, the snail whizzed past his head, where finally it finally landed in the middle of the restaurant floor.
I look up and saw handsome waiter shake his head at me, looking bewildered before rolling his eyes and walking away. I began to apologize profusely to the tourist and his wife, who had been enjoying a romantic dinner, but they didn't speak much English. Once they saw the shame on my face and my hand gestures, they burst into laughter for a good ten minutes. They smiled and said "It's O-kay! Thank you!" Embarrassment, I discovered, was a globally recognized language.
My family sat, staring at me in amazement, "And you were worried we would embarrass you," my mom chided me.
I've begun planning my next trip through Paris, and I've set more realistic goals which include: eating as many macarons from different patisseries as I possibly can in a twenty-four hour time frame, to finally view the stained glass windows at the Saint Chapelle (it has always closed for renovation during my visits), and to visit the Musee d'Orsay again. I can only hope the secret to Paris' precise beauty will be revealed to me someday, but I am grateful for the people who recognize the movable, embarrassing, but sincere feast that is my love for this city.
I've celebrated three times today, including a stop at the new Local Coffee @PearlBrewery location. Going back soon for another cup with macarons #coffeetalk #gourmet #coffee
I will continue updating my blog Culture Spoon, but in the meantime, check out a new blog I've begun called I Fall Walking Upstairs. I am determined to write in one way or another, even if that is not food writing; this blog will focus on different types of writing I find interesting, particularly comedy. I'm not sure if it will lead to anything, but I'm determined to see it through. Thanks for all your support, readers!
Hilarious survey on what fifty random straight men find attractive in women
Love this positivity! #women #empowered
It's 10 pm on a Saturday night. In San Antonio, this usually means closing time for restaurants, a couple of movie showings before closing, or you can embark on a frustrating search for parking downtown. Restaurants like NAO offering late night menus bring hope of a world that exists outside of downtown after 10. NAO recently launched a holiday menu with Chef Jeff Wiley, who brings his signature style and flavors to the new Late Night Wiley Experience. Chef Wiley is part of the growing talented culinary community in San Antonio, and he has found great success in recent restaurant stints, including FEAST and Beat St. Coffee.
'Late Night' is traditionally made for the chefs and restaurant workers who are getting out of work late, but it's inevitable that other people in San Antonio will be hungry.
"In cities like Chicago and New York, eating well and eating late is easy, everything is open," Chef Wiley said. " The Late Night menu offers something for everyone; it's a happy medium between nice, playful and upscale bar food."
'Late Night' is traditionally made for the chefs and restaurant workers who are getting out of work late, but it's inevitable that dishes like Wiley's chile guero with pork belly will attract the rest of the city too.
Late Night at NAO Hours: 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturdays.
I fight the urge to roll my eyes whenever a person tells me they have "Wanderlust." Anyone who has read travel and culture magazines in the last five years knows the word belongs on a list of words and phrases to retire- it's up there with "nestled" and "rolling hills" and "picturesque." The only thing that annoys me more than "wanderlust," is the fact that I haven't found a word that better describes my own compulsion to wander, travel and move constantly. I have kept busy with work in San Antonio since August, and I admit I have scattered my professional energies since October trying to incorporate travel in my work in 2014. I am excited to be traveling throughout Belgium, France, Spain, and possibly Asia in the coming months, and I hope travel is something I can incorporate in my career and assignments more in the future.
I am trying to stay mindful of which people and things are around me at this moment in my life; I have grown so much in my professional and personal life because of them, and I know this moment in my life will pass. I am proud to be working in San Antonio in a time where the city's creative communities are beginning to come into their own, particularly in the food community. Recent writing and photo assignments have reminded me that travel will always be part of my life, even if I can't find a better word than "wanderlust" to describe it. We are always moving even when we are standing still, and I am traveling even when I simply bake souffles in the family kitchen.
SAN ANTONIO- Israel Sanchez is a film producer, an actor, and a man who always roots for the underdog. Sanchez was recently named one of Texas Monthly's Modern Hispanic Gentlemen for his career achievements and his positive work in the San Antonio community. The award, sponsored by Ketel One recognized his dedication to individuals and local organizations like Gridiron Heroes, that might not usually find success without community awareness. "San Antonio is the biggest small town I know of," Sanchez said. "I love that people are so friendly here, our food is amazing, and that so many different cultures can come together."
Born in Seguin and raised in Uvalde, Sanchez moved to San Antonio shortly before leaving for LA to pursue his love for film in 1997. "After college I caught the acting bug and I moved to LA," Sanchez said. " That's where I realized that producing is a lot more fun and exciting for me."
He returned to San Antonio to work on national commercials in 1999, and stayed on as a producer for film and TV, although he still travels to LA for business each year. He began working with the non-profit Gridiron Heroes in 2008, after meeting son and father Chris and Eddie Canales at the Dallas Cowboys training camp. Eddie Canales founded Gridiron Heroes in 2003 to assist individuals like his son Chris, who sustained spinal cord injuries related to high school football. Chris, who became a paraplegic during his senior year of high school football has since traveled across the country with his father to advocate for positive change in the football community and safety awareness.
"I began hitting the road with Gridiron to help the Texas and football communities," Sanchez said. " Somewhere along the way, it changed from walking with strangers to helping family."
In 2011, his passions for film and community involvement met up when he produced a documentary on Gridiron Heroes, narrated by actor Taylor Kitsch, who formerly starred on Friday Night Lights, a TV series based on high school football in Texas. The documentary chronicles Chris Canales' strength and love for the game, despite his life-changing injury. The film also features football greats like Mike Ditka and Jerry Jones. The film has already won several documentary awards, and has helped football community efforts to address safety issues and provide resources to those who have experienced high school football related injuries.
Always the gentleman, Sanchez insisted the award was a validation for the organizations he helps. "I'm not in the spotlight," Sanchez said. " But I'm thankful and grateful that the non-profits are getting recognized."
Sanchez's reception for Texas Monthly's Modern Hispanic Gentlemen was held Tuesday, Nov. 19 at the Coco Chocolate Lounge and Bistro. Benefits from the Ketel One sponsored reception were donated to the Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Foundation.
Click here to view the trailer for the Gridiron Heroes documentary.
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People often tell me I was born in the wrong decade. If I had graduated 30 years ago, I would have easily found my place as a successful news writer and photographer. I try not to think about these comments too often, mostly because I wasn't born earlier so the comments don't mean much. I prefer face-to-face interviews, I still write all my notes by hand (though I'm beginning to digitize them), and my favorite work still involves walking, listening, and exploring streets with my old 35 mm. I have a journalism/photojournalism background that stretches back to my high school newspaper days, and I use that specialized training and resentment to this day.
I always ask established photographers and writers, "If you were a new writer or photographer, in today's market, what would you do?" Many of them tell me they simply wouldn't be a writer or photographer- they wouldn't make it today. I'm sure this would apply to a few individuals, but I think true writers and photographers always find a way. I would define "true" photographers and writers as the people who work in the industry not just because they love it, or because they're particularly good at it, but because they have to do this. I've tried to envision what some of my photo and writing heroes would do if they were entering the market today, and I think many of them would still find a way to create meaningful work.
I can see Margaret Bourke-White tweeting updates from her travel assignments, but she would put the phone away to make beautiful and intelligent photographs. If Joan Didion did create a Tumblr, I would actually spend time on Tumblr, but I don't think it would detract from her writing for Vogue or The New Yorker. M.F.K. Fisher would Instagram all her food adventures, but I would still read and respect anything she published or blogged. If individuals like Nora Ephron and Elisabeth Eaves and can do it, why can't I?
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Do all writers and photographers find their niche path by working? Social media certainly confuses the path today. I increasingly find that just because I can do something well, doesn't mean I should do it. This is why I will never be a social media associate or a traditional metro news reporter, and I've learned to be okay with that.
Finding my niche has been a difficult process, but it's beginning to make more sense. My current job title: Freelance food news writer and photographer/ commercial food photographer. I used to worry that news and commercial were incompatible, but I find that multimedia skills are necessary for a new generation of writers and photographers to remain relevant and credible (and well fed). I hope to add other credentials to this title within the year, and for the first time, I'm not worried about compromising my ethics or work quality.
What would Margaret Bourke-White say to that? I think she'd agree I was on my way, and remind me to keep backing up my work in multiple locations.
Sorry for the hiatus readers! I spent most of October moving into a new house and prepping for upcoming commercial photo shoots. I may have missed out on Halloween festivities, but I plan on celebrating Dia de los Muertos right. Tonight you can catch Grupo Fantasma and DJ Steven Lee Moya playing at Sam's Burger Joint. Bonus points if you can dance while eating a burger. Be sure to buy tickets here.
The Meatopia Festival also kicks off this weekend at the Pearl Brewery! You can still purchase Sunday tickets here. The festival, headed by food writer Josh Ozersky, will feature 32 of the best chefs in the country, and celebrate meat the way it is meant to be enjoyed- in large amounts, cooked over wood fires. I'm dreaming of BBQ already.
Keep the weekend classy with NAO at the Pearl Brewery, and make sure to try their delicious Dia de los Muertos cocktail. I've included the recipe below!
Hope to see you at the Pearl this weekend. Happy Dia de los Muertos, and Happy Eating!
Meatopia is almost here San Antonio! The two-day festival, running from November 2-3, will celebrate great Texas meats Pearl Brewery. Although it was originally founded by food writer Josh Ozersky as a New York City food event, Meatopia will celebrate its tenth year in the Lonestar state. Carnivorous attendees can expect great beef, as well as “pork, veal, chicken, duck, quail, bison, and many other animals,from snout to tail.”
Meatopia Day 1 passes have sold out, but Day 2 passes are still up for grabs! On Sunday, Nov 3, Meatopia will feature 33 of the best chefs in the country and their culinary creations, including San Antonio’s Jesse Perez of Arcade, Andrew Weissman of Il Sogno, Tim Rattray of The Granary, Geronimo Lopez of NAO, Johnny Hernandez of La Gloria, and Jason Dady of Two Bros BBQ.
Meatopia Tickets are usually $75 each, but stop by the Meatopia stand at the Pearl Brewery Farmer's Market on Saturday, October 19 for tickets at $50 per person! I'm looking forward to meeting the chefs, and even more enthused for a day dedicated to some of the best BBQ in the country. Hope to see you there, Happy Eating!
The film 'Prisoners" focuses on several well-known cinematic themes, including tests of faith, fear, and values. In this film, Hugh Jackman portrays Keller Dover, the small-town everyman who finds his family, faith and values questioned when his daughter and the daughter of the Birch family, (Birch patriarch portrayed by Terrence Howard) are kidnapped while left unattended for a few moments. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the part of Detective David Wayne Loki, who works with and sometimes against Jackman to find the missing girls.
Much like"The Vanishing" (1988, Franco-Dutch version , and the 1993 American version with Jeff Bridges) "Prisoners" shares the intense psychological stress of the characters with the audience. Viewers slowly feel themselves take on the stress, and the unnerving sense of dread that permeates the film. [gallery columns="2" type="rectangular" ids="1094,1093"] While Jackman and Gyllenhaal give impressive, increasingly intense performances throughout the film, the storyline fails to develop with them. The film attempts to withhold information and pieces of the story to keep the audience guessing, but the film's greatest accomplishment is that we know what will happen but still feel frightened. Paul Dano's performance as a damaged, disturbed individual is haunting. There are several memorable visual scenes, but the plot never meets up with the rest of the film.
The story of parents losing their children to predators is not new; the biggest fear lies somewhere between never knowing and learning the truth.
Overall, the film left me feeling manipulated and emotionally traumatized, as though I had just watched three hours of the Houston nightly news and then re-watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
I'm curious to see how the film will be received during Oscars season, but I'm even more curious as to how this will affect the ongoing "nerd trends" and sales of oversize glasses.
Despite the weak storyline, once the credits appeared, I quickly exited the theater to meet up with a friend for coffee. Even after ending, the film "Prisoners" leaves you with a chill you just can't seem to shake.
Advice from a Photo Agent to photographers (and most other creatives) trying to succeed in the current workplace and a tough market.
October in Texas! The weather is, uh, still erratic but we can look forward to wearing boots more often, and more food festivals! Here's Culture Spoon Weekend Picks for October 11-13. Happy Eating! OCTOBER 11- FRIDAY
NAO is serving up New World flavors with "Icons of the Andes"
Join South American and Spanish wine-makers for a welcoming reception at NAO, Friday at 6 pm; At 7 pm, join Executive Chef Geronimo Lopez for a delicious four-course dinner, each accompanied with two specially selected wines. Check out the Icon of the Andes menu here.
Dinner costs $100 per person (plus tax and 17% gratuity) Call 210-554-6484 for reservations.
OCT 12- SATURDAY
Chalk it Up! at Artpace Break out the neon colors and your inner artist on Saturday, October 12 for the 10th Annual Chalk it Up Festival. Head to Houston Street from 10am to 4pm,as Artpace features some of SA's most talented contemporary artists and their sidewalk masterpieces. For more information, check out Artpace.
The Gruene Music and Wine Festival is a four-day celebration of the best food, wine and music in Texas. This Saturday's "Tasting and Tunes" will showcase the growing food truck culture in Texas, as well as a great selection of wines from over 30 Texas wineries.
Saturday, October 12, Noon- 6 pm. Get tickets here for $20 ($30 at the entrance.)
Slow Food Dinner
Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard (25195 Mathis Road, Elemendorf) hosts the newest Slow Food Farm Dinner on Saturday, October 12 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Chef Alfred Sanchez brings the Texas fall season to this slow food dinner menu with dishes like local, grass-fed steak salad with bacon vinaigrette and crispy coffee-battered onion rings, and an olive oil brownie with blueberry balsamic ice cream. Farm Dinner Tickets ($85) found here: Slow Food South Texas
OCT 13- There are many events happening on Sunday, but I will be heading out for Brunch!
I recently wrote a story on One Lucky Duck, a new juice bar and raw food establishment located in the Historical Pearl Brewery in San Antonio, Texas. Here are few more photographs from my time spent at One Lucky Duck. You can read the story as printed here in the SA Current: One Lucky Duck , or check out One Lucky Duck Texas menu. Happy Eating!