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It’s a Cooking Kind of Day

Even though its almost time for finals and I have way more on my plate than I can handle, I decided today was a great day to cook. It calms me down and overall just puts me in a great mood. The sun is shining through my windows and it’s finally getting cold in Austin… thank gosh. My birthday was this past weekend, on December 1st, and normally it always snows in Chicago. But I have to remind myself, of course, that I am 1,300 miles south of Chicago, where the weather is pretty much up in the air all the time.

Since it is slightly chilly outside, I thought I would embrace this fall/winter(ish)-like weather and make use of the butternut squash that has been in my fridge since right before Thanksgiving. I’ve always wanted to try to make ravioli from scratch and I love butternut squash… see where I’m going here?… so obviously put two and two together and decided to make butternut squash ravioli. Now considering the fact that I’ve never actually made pasta dough before I remember I had a recipe for it in my “recipe folder” on my desktop… which by the way has over 100 recipes in it that I’ve collected over the past few years and have recently came to the conclusion that I will not repeat a recipe on there until I have tried all of them.

Anyways, back to my point. I decided to make eggless pasta, since I figured that was the easiest choice, but am now feeling shameful because my Italian ancestors are probably rolling in their graves right about now.


So I mixed 2 1/2 cups of flour in a small mixing bowl and originally put in 1 cup of warm water. After mixing it with my hands, I decided that it needed a little more water, so ended up gradually putting about another cup into the mixture until it was fully absorbed and felt like a dough(ish) substance.

After that I wrapped it tightly in saran wrap and set it aside in the fridge for about an hour. While that was sitting aside, I cut my butternut squash in half, scraping out the inside and keeping the seeds for later on. I set the oven for 375, sprinkled some brown sugar, salt and pepper in and around the squash and put it in the oven for about an hour, or until soft… this is currently where I’m at right now, so I will keep updating my progress as the day goes on!


A Natural Ear-Written by: Kat DelGrande Issue: November 2012 | NSIDE Business

So, I’ve been working for NSIDE Austin Magazine for about five months now and my first real article was published in this month’s issue… YAY! I feel like a real grown up now… well kinda, so I will share it with you and then you should also check out the rest of this month’s issue!!

Natural Ear Music School was founded in Austin in 1991. It is owned and directed by Grammy nominated, locally based and internationally known musician John Moyer.

Natural Ear Music School teaches the “natural ear” concept to students, eliminating sheet music and allowing them to expand their skills and express themselves through rock ‘n’ roll.

Having a natural ear for music means that one’s brain has the ability to sense the structure, composition, rhythmic balance and harmonic scale of a piece of music. This enables a strong musical understanding and style of communication that is attainable by anyone.

Moyer is the bassist and backup vocalist for the alternative hard rock band, Disturbed. Disturbed has sold more than 10 million records worldwide, and the band was nominated for a Grammy. Moyer has played on eight major label releases, three of which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, and has toured the world many times.

Natural Ear Music School instills a passion for music in its students that goes far beyond the basic understanding of an instrument. Students learn to perform guitar-driven rock in a live music format with others, solely by ear.

Through its method of pairing students of similar age groups and experience levels, the school helps form bands in which the students can learn the dynamics of both melody and rhythm naturally.

As they progress, students eventually play at festivals, concerts, local venues and events. By participating in live performances, these students are able to generate powerful, emotional music, creating lasting impressions on not only themselves, but others, as well.

An active musician with a busy schedule, Moyer always makes time for his students and has made work at Natural Ear Music School a daily job. He lives in South Austin with his wife, Kristen, and their two children.

Natural Ear Music School is the first of its kind, teaching students to play music by ear while, of course, rocking out. “I have always loved teaching,” Moyer says, “and I am amazed by the talent of today’s youth, especially in Austin.”

Visitors never cease to be amazed by the powerful performances from the school’s students, who begin performing at ages as young as 7 and clearly know how to rock ‘n’ roll.

NSIDE Austin’s November Networking Event







As you walk past Copa Bar and Grill you are immediately drawn to music and a crowd of people up the stairs at Meduse Lounge.

Conveniently located in between 2nd and 3rd street on Congress is one of Austin’s newest upscale lounges, where NSIDE Magazine hosted their November Networking Event on Monday November 19. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and martinis galore were enjoyed by all while lounging on comfortable black couches, which were surrounded by large fish tanks that were lit up with blue florescent lights. Honoring Charles Maund Toyota and benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis of Austin Foundation there was no one in sight who wasn’t having a great time networking while supporting such a great cause.

It’s A Party!

With ‘ritual’ cocktails provided by Deep Eddy Vodka, bites from Apothecary Café + Wine Bar, Spirited Food Co, and Hill Country Bakery, how could I resist such a tempting invitation? Considering the fact that parking was a hassle, even though the lot was huge, it only meant one thing: Ritual Salon’s grand opening had a huge turnout Thursday, November 15.

Before walking into the spacious, modern and brightly lit salon you could see dozens of smiling faces and not an empty hand in sight. Even though both the food and goody bags were gone within the first hour, everyone sipped on cocktails the rest of the time while socializing within the aisles of black swivel chairs and mirrors. Turning each corner in their maze-like layout, I found myself excited to discover the rest of the salon as I made my way through the crowd of both men and women. Thoroughly enjoying the fact that there were mirrors everywhere, making it inevitable to not look at myself every 30 seconds, I knew coming back here would be in my best interest. If Ritual Salon’s hospitality at their grand opening is any indication of the experience you’ll receive from any number of their services they provide at 4800 Burnet Road, you’re sure to leave with, maybe not a drink in hand, but definitely a smile on your face and a new do!

Unique Finds Within The Streets Of Austin

I always seem to plan my life a certain way and then end up taking a wrong turn ending up in a completely different place than I originally thought I would be at. I’m not going to say it’s ‘destiny’ since that sounds cheesy to me, however, I always wonder if those wrong turns end up taking me somewhere that is far greater than where I was originally going.

This happens to me quite often, particularly occurring about two weeks ago. I was supposed to go to The Counter Café to write a review but was too hungry to wait in line for 40 minutes in order to finally get something in my stomach, especially after the long night I had.

My friends and I decided to walk north on Lamar in search of food and came across a quaint walk up called Fresa’s. Once we ordered our food we kept trekking until we came to the cross streets of Baylor and 12th only to come upon massive, abandon, broken down condos.

Officially known as the Local to Global Outdoor Gallery Project, Austin’s Castle Hill graffiti (named after the castle-looking building that used to be the Texas Military Institute) originally showcased 6 brown and beige square panels in the 1980’s representing the HOPE campaign’s mission to connect artists to global issues. With the support from the property’s owners, Dick Clark Architecture and Castle Hill Partners, Shephard Fairey’s professional and highly commercialized posters covered the center level of Castle Hill.

From Shephard Fairey to the anonymous street artists who have tagged these crumbling walls and pipes with their colorful hues, graphics and bold colors, Castle Hill is a haven for artists and dreamers, a place that is filled with inspiration, and a place where self-expression is painted within the weeds and concrete ruins of this abandon lot. Castle Hill never intended on being a habitat for graffiti artists to paint/tag highly complex pictures, which as of July 2012 had over 100 pieces and over 300 tags, but then again that is the nature of street art.

This Ketchup To Fry Ratio Is A Serious Problem

Fast food is like crack-once you put that first fry into your mouth all hell breaks loose. There is no stopping that food baby that is about to grow from one week to 9 months in, lets be honest here, a span of minutes. Whether you enjoy that creepy dude Jack in the Box’s curly fries or Mickey D’s hot and crunchy fries that are really only good for one second, there comes a moment in everyone’s life when they must try P. Terry’s.

If I could eat P. Terry’s everyday, I would; however, loading my body with several tons of shoe string fries is not in my best interest. Now, normally I speed through a fast food restaurant-if I can I even call it that-as fast as I can, while covering my surroundings with my peripherals, to make sure no one I possibly know sees me. However, when it comes to P. Terry’s I make sure to get the whole shabang for my buck.

We all know that one moment when we finish our sauce only to realize we still have ¾ of our fries left. I mean it almost ruins the whole point of consuming the 10:1 oil to actual food ratio. It worries me so much that I make sure to ask for EXTRA fist fulls of sauce just to be safe, because you never know how many times you will want to double dip. I have perfected this art, since P. Terry’s is always stingy with their sauce, to the point where my kitchen drawer is now a black hole for unopened ketchup packets because I can never actually offer them to the public. As for me, opening that drawer at 2 am after a long night is like waking up on Christmas morning… only to ketchup…


A Drive Thru You Won’t Regret Going To

Erase any previous ideas of greasy, cheap, quick fast food and take a drive down to Fresa’s, located at 915 North Lamar. Opening only a few months ago, Fresa’s has been capturing the hearts of Austinites by storm. Serving all-natural Mexican style chicken meals, organic breakfast tacos, fresh salads, tortas and much more, these family style meals give you the authentic taste you desire without the typical drive thru calories.

I tried it for the first time this weekend and was surprisingly pleased. As I walk up, I can see the chicken cooking on the grill right through the window. As I smell the charcoal from the chicken, I had a hard time deciding what fresh item to choose from as my mouth was salivating. I finally decide on the veggie torta. Not even knowing what a torta was, as I took my first bite I knew Fresa’s would become a regular spot for my friends and I to come to for either breakfast or lunch.

Attention All Fashionistas!

This Saturday, November 10, Zink is having their Grand Opening in the Jefferson Square. Zink is a luxury handbag company, creating timeless pieces that have been meticulously crafted. From classic everyday handbags to exotic snakeskin clutches, you can count on Zink to have a bag that will surely accompany you on any adventure. Grab a friend and journey over to enjoy bites from Olive & June and Orange + Basil Skinny Tea Cocktails.

The Blue Hawaiian

As my friends and I were having, what I thought was, a normal and relaxing lunch at the abandon and graffiti filled Castle Hill, a car that was bizarre on a level that cannot be explained in simple terms pulls up.

Have you ever woken up one morning and decided you would glue objects to your car in an effort to make it ‘fancy’? Holly and daughter Gena Klemm have done just this.

In 1997, Holly and Gena were instantly inspired with the idea of art cars after, “seeing the mayor decked in a red tux, with his red hair, in his red car,” at the Mayor’s Parade in Hampden.

They decorated their first car for Baltimore’s Art Scape Festival in 1997; however, Holly said, “they never qualified because they had to have it towed since it wouldn’t run.”

Although their neighbor had no interest in art cars, he gave them two cars, one of which is the exact car they pulled up in today, “The Blue Hawaiian”. For the past 11 years, Holly and Gena have turned heads as they stroll around in their 1988 Chevy. Originally created in Baltimore, it now permanently resides in Austin where it’s sand castles, murals of the sea and it’s interior filled with tropical colors, instantly make you feel as if you are at the beaches on the islands of Hawaii.

The Klemms exhibit their cars at classic shows annually; especially the Annual Art Car Parade in Houston, where around 300 cars are displayed and over 300,000 people show up.

Some might think gluing ‘junk’ on a car is just part of the whole ‘Keep Austin Weird’ vibe. This kind of stuff is all over the South, and although it may be weird in Baltimore, Holly thinks, “its something people enjoy because it is an old car. It’s touchable and sits right on the street. Even if the cars are weird, people still relate to them.”

Despite originally being baffled by this unusual car, talking to Holly gave me insight on something I really didn’t know much about; and, turns out, she was right. Sitting in an art car, regardless of how strange it may be, enabled me to gain an appreciation for it on a deeper level that I normally wouldn’t have had.

Hold The Phone, Austin. Get ready to change the way you dial your calls.

Move over 512, a new area code is coming to Central Texas. Due to the rising number of people, traffic and numbers, those three numbers that have represented Austin for over 60 years has new competition. Each area code handles roughly eight million numbers before it is time to issue an overlay; and, seeing that SXSW always manages to leave unwanted stragglers, our one of a kind city with its one of a kind area code is no more.  According to CNN, Austin’s population has increased 51.1% from 2000 to 2010.

Beginning June 1, 2013, those who currently have the, much loved, (512) area code will have to dial (512) or (737) before making a call. Simply dialing seven digits will result in having to kindly hang up and try again. Phone companies suggest Austinites begin this December 1, 2012, as a way to acquire a comfortableness in using the new dialing procedure, come Summer 2013.

The remaining numbers available in the (512) area code aren’t set to run out until late 2013; therefore, for those who wish to change their numbers, but want to keep the beloved (512), it is suggested to do it sooner rather than later. How much growth can Austin absorb before it becomes so congested it destroys the vibe, which draws residents in, in the first place? In other words, is Austin becoming, well, normal?

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