Home shweet home

Hello fellow foodies, health nuts, and other various freaks of that nature 😉

I am finally HOME in Austin, Texas! At least, it truly feels like home. My mom doesn’t actually live here anymore, so whenever I come to Austin during the holidays, I stay at my friend’s apartments. Usually Courtney’s…. (I owe you my first born). Flying and living out of a suitcase is now second nature to me. Living out of a car – not yet, but probably in due time. When I got off the plane, a smile came across my face and hasn’t really left yet. Austin has a certain vibe, a certain smell, and a definitive style. I always forget the how vastly different Californians and Austinites dress. Austin is hip. And then hip is divided into about 18 different sub categories.

While I am here, I want to swim in Barton Springs, run my favorite trail around Town Lake, eat at all the new restaurants I have missed the openings of, eat at my old favorites, go shopping at the unique boutiques and vintage stores, see friends, have a few blogger meet ups, and re-explore 6th street as a legal drinker.

Courtney and I at B Springs!

Odd story: I was at the airport in Sacramento and made eye contact with a guy about my age. We both kind of cocked our heads to the side in recognition. He said ‘You went to UCSB, right?” and I said confirmed and we started talking about our experiences there. As it turns out, I am not the only one that did not jive with SB. He actually bailed two quarters before I did! We agreed that the only thing that really got us through our time there was Bean Night. Bean Night was an open mic night every Monday in a private home. But it was so much more than that. It was a black hole in the time-space continuum. Every Monday night, I was transported out of Santa Barbara and into a place of complete comfort and acceptance. The people who showed up to Bean Night (it kind of became an underground society) were thoroughly beautiful inside and out. Everyone was so open with their emotions and shared every last bit of themselves. People sang, played the guitar, performed spoken word, recited their poetry, danced, cried, and got naked (okay…that was only once). Anyway, back to the story. After our flight, we were at the Denver airport for our next layover and he wanted to get dinner. I was feeling a bit antisocial at that point and was reluctant to join him, but decided to not be a buzz kill. We sat down at a table next to another guy about our age and made some small talk. He was nice, and started talking about how he travels the world constantly and doesn’t really have a home. He said that his lifestyle was a bit lonely and was being very cryptic about his personal details. Henry (my friend) and I ordered dinner, and he ordered us all a round of shots. But before they arrived, he had to leave for his flight. As he stood to go, he said that we should order whatever we wanted because dinner and drinks were on him. He’d already paid. Stunned, we thanked him and he was gone. We just looked at each other dumbfouned and were like who was that guy? When the check came, Henry reached for the bill to see what name was on the credit card. I’d never heard of the name, so I started to type it into my iphone. Before I had gotten 4 letters out, my iphone finished the name for me. Uh ohhhhhh! Terdema Ussery, apparently, is the president and CEO of the Dallas Mavericks. I guess that was his son. Weird, eh?

The point of this post though was supposed to be to share with you a delicious recipe. So, I’ll just get on with it. I made another vegan dish, and then I threw beef on it. I was craving something that I never crave: spaghetti bolognese and with meatballs. However, I had essentially none of the necessary ingredients. But, I did have vegan cheeze sauce and that delicious cashew cream base.

Chard, sweet potato, and whole wheat pasta tossed in a spicy cheeze sauce and a creamy sun dried tomato herb sauce

the tomato sauce is the star of the show. it is creamy and tomato based and perfectly complimented by the herbs

Recipe: Serves 1

3 stalks rainbow chard

1 tsp olive oil

1/3 cup whole wheat pasta, cooked

a handful of diced sweet potato, cooked

3 tbsp sweet onion, chopped

4 oz lean ground beef, cooked

2-3 tbsp vegan cheeze sauce

3-4 tbsp creamy tomato sauce (recipe below)

Directions – Heat the olive oil on medium heat on the stove. Wash the chard and pull the leaves from the stems. Chop the stems. Saute the leaves and stems until wilted. Combine the chard, pasta, sweet potato, onion, and beef on a plate. Top with vegan cheeze sauce and creamy tomato sauce. Enjoy!




Creamy Herbed Tomato Sauce (vegan!)

Recipe: Makes 2-3 servings

3 tbsp cashew base (or 2 tbsp cashew butter)

1 tbsp red bell pepper, chopped

1 ripe tomato

2 tbsp sun dried tomatos

1 tbsp onion

a squeeze of lemon juice




garlic salt

a few drops of hot chili sauce (if you like)

Directions – Combine everything in a blender and blend until smooth.

my basil plant! and beloved vita.

18 thoughts on “Home shweet home

  1. ummmmmmmm please tell me you got homeboy’s number?!? If not.. look him up and stalk him until you do. He sounds like a total dime piece!

    I wish Austin wasn’t so far from CT. Is there any chance in life that you’ll make your way up to the east coast?! I need your face in my life

    p.s. love that bathing suit! I can’t rock strapless because my tatas are non existent. Woe is me.

    p.p.s. your email melted my soul. Responding today! <33333

  2. Thats is the weirdest story, but SO awesome. I feel like my life is full of moments like that. DId you get his number then? And do u still talk to Henry?

    And everytime without fail when I Land in AUS i am always so so happy. How long are you in TX for?

    1. I did not get his number, which is fineee with me.And I dont talk to Henry really, but perhaps we will run into each other in Davis sometime since I found out he is from there.I am in Texas until Saturday, we should do somethin’!

  3. Haha, your story reminds me of the strange essay question I got before: “Surprises make life interesting.” (or does it fit?)
    Anyways, the recipe looks really good; unfortunately though, I won’t be able to try it until I check off my list of bookmarked recipes – consisting of many from your blog!

  4. wow that is an amazing and touching story… sad too though, that someone with so much wealth is so lonely and so unrooted. but those encounters in life really make you think right???

    i really want to visit austin! ive heard great things about it! hope you enjoy being home!! see you soon???? (in california??)

  5. That’s such a crazy story! I love with crazy occurrences happen like that 😀

    hey I’m glad you’re in Austin! This is crazy but I actually haven’t gone to barton springs yet this summer… I KNOW! I should run on the trail w/ my dog and then hit barton springs (the dog friendly part). Its just always gets so hot that I don’t want to run outside haha

  6. So randomly awesome about the guy buying your dinner! I hope you’re having a blast in Austin. I wish I could come down there and hang out. 🙂

  7. WHOA! That’s so crazy you met someone who has an NBA championship ring now 😉 haha neat story though. And I once randomly connected with someone in an airport over UCSB (mine was in Orange County however). I don’t think I’d ever heard of Bean Night when I was at SB, but a lot has changed since I went to school there. We used to hang out at Java Jones’ open mic night and get bin candy and coffee drinks. I do miss that place.

  8. That is one heck of an adventure, Lauren! Was he cute, at least? 😉 Hehe, I kid. I wish my airport excursions were as exciting; the most I got was when someone told me I should have used a different pair of shoes ( I was wearing Sanuks)… What?

    I’m sure you’re glad to be home! God, I miss California/the Philippines. Are people in Austin generally more stylish than those in California? I feel like most LA natives are all about flip flops, torn up AE jeans and a Gap shirt.

    P.S. Can I substitute peanut butter for cashew butter? Will it have the same consistency?


  9. Dude, that is like THE MOST INSANE STORY EVER. How cool!

    And how random that you ran into an old classmate! It really is a small world.

    I am in LOVE with this pasta. LOVE.

  10. Lovely story! The weirdest stuff happens in airports. I hope you have a great time in Austin. It’s so nice — my second favorite city in Texas.

  11. I just happened to come across your blog… all the food pics looks sooo delicious! just wanted to say that Terdema is a good friend of mine- yes he does travel frequently and he does get lonely… but so caring and has a wonderful heart, you couldn’t meet a better person.

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