Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top 5 posts of 2015

2015 has been a year full of fun...with lots of good food!  Here's a look back at Home Made Austin's 5 most popular posts for the year.  I can't wait to see what 2016 will bring.  I'm guessing more delicious eats!

                                 Chicken Salad Wonton Cups with Sesame King Tahini Dressing

Monday, December 28, 2015

Brunch at Vox Table

Though Austin is known for amazing brunches, we rarely try them.  Most Sundays, I am too lazy to get dressed; hanging out in pjs, sipping on coffee & nibbling on chocolate or leftover bites until well after lunchtime.  

It's a nice way to spend the day, but it's fun to try something new once in a while too!  A couple of weeks ago, Andrew & I met his sister Katie on South Lamar for a little brunch at Vox Table.  None of us had been before, but I think we will all be back.

We sat down right at 11am and were quickly greeted by an incredibly friendly & knowledgeable server.  He gave us a quick run-down of drinks & offered up a few tips; including the very helpful suggestion to order several dishes & share them.

We took him up on the advice & I'm so glad I got to try bites of everything.  All of our small plates were amazing & came out in the server recommended order, which flowed perfectly.  Definitely let your server take the reigns in this area!  

Crab Benedict with prosciutto chip and yorkshire pudding bread
We started out with the Crab Benedict.  If I were to order a dish all to myself, this one might have been it.  The soft, flaky bites of yorkshire pudding bread went so well with the butter poached crab, egg & creamy hollandaise sauce.  And the super crisp proscuitto chip was a wonderful addition of crunch & pork goodness.  

Salsa Verde Pork Hash

The Salsa Verde Pork Hash was up next.  The rich egg paired nicely with the spicy pork & vegetables.  The combo of corn, zucchini & sweet potato was original & tasty.  And I appreciated that the dish was not overwhelmingly spicy.  I've been known to be a wimp when it comes to heat & there was just enough to keep the dish interesting without turning my taste buds off.  

Stuffed toast with ricotta, roasted strawberries & aged balsamic

Rich, fruit & cheese filled stuffed brioche was the finishing jewel of our brunch.  This dish was decadent, but so, so good.  Roasting the strawberries & adding aged balsamic brought out so many flavor notes & really made the dessert unique.  The stuffed toast might have tied the Crab Benedict for my favorite dish.

'Choose Your Own Spice' Bloody Mary with a LoneStar chaser
I chose one of the Mimosas (tasty & quite strong!), but Katie & Andrew both tried out the Blood Mary pictured here & liked them alot.  They came with a dropper of hot sauce, so that you could control the level of spice (genius!) & were accompanied by a beer chaser.  How fun?!?

Vox Table

1100 S. Lamar Blvd.
Ste. 2140
Austin, TX 78704

Sunday - Wednesday, 5-10pm
Thursday - Saturday, 5 - 11pm

Saturday - Sunday, 11am - 2pm 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Crispy Crust at Burn Pizza

You can tell from my blog & by taking a gander at my social media profiles, that I love pizza.  All kinds.  Thick crust, thin crust, homemade, delivery, fancy, name it.  With the exception of maybe those 99 cent frozen concoctions, I've very rarely met a pizza I wouldn't eat at least a slice or two of.  Burn's pizza is so good, I would eat my weight in it.  And I tried to do just that when we visited.

Nestled in East Austin, down the quieter side of 6th street (with a parking lot!), Burn is a comfortable little spot, specializing in roman-style pizza.  What's roman style pizza you might ask?  Super thin, crispy cracker-like crust with blistered edges.  It's awesome & you should go get yourself some right now.

We started off by ordering a little wine & beer.  And fried artichokes.  Let's look at those guys up close....

These little bites of artichoke heart are so delicious.  Crispy, rich & creamy, & they come in this fun cone/wooden holder combo.  That's just cool.  The crunch from the fried parsley & the cool lemon aioli add to the overall tastiness.  There are plenty of fried artichokes in this cone, but I could've easily eaten the entire thing by myself, they're that yummy.

The pies were up next & did not disappoint.  I wasn't sure what to expect from a roman-style pizza, but I was more than happy with what we were served.  The crunch from the dough is really nice & refreshing & it allows the simple toppings to really shine.  A word to the wise, the pizzas are large, but because they're so thin, you'll likely eat more than your usual number of slices.  Order accordingly.

My choice was the Margherita.  Topped with tomato, mozzarella & basil.  Classic, fresh, delightful.  A must-order in my opinion.

Andrew ordered The Devil.  This pie is topped with spicy salami, tomato & mozzarella.  Equally enjoyable & a good choice for the carnivores. The salami has a good amount of spice, but it's not overwhelmingly hot.  

We were really pleased with our experience at Burn & I know we'll be back for lazy Saturdays & after-work eats soon.  The restaurant has a fun neighborhood vibe to it & the pizza is so scrumptious, it's easily worth driving to downtown on the weekend.  

Burn Restaurant

1802 East 6th Street,
Austin, TX 78702

Sunday - Wednesday, 4 - 11pm
Thursday - Saturday, 4pm - 12am

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Buttered Coffee and a new Stinson's Location

When a restaurant's decor is as delicious as the menu, I do a little happy dance.  Food and pretty rooms, two things I absolutely love.  Stinson's newest location, housed in University Park just off of I-35 and 32nd, does not disappoint in either area.  The beautiful black, navy and white design and rich, reclaimed wood serves as the backdrop for craft cocktails, bistro-style bites and an extensive coffee bar, including butter coffee.

Buttered coffee(!)  I have heard the buzz around this eccentric beverage, but never tried it for myself until I visited the new Stinson's location this week.  You guys, it is worth trying.  Cream has always been a must-have in my morning cup, but buttered coffee provides all of the richness without any need for half and half.  And it's really fun.  My cup was decadent and delicious and definitely got me moving.

While we were at Stinson's new digs, we tried their signature appetizer, Tortilla Espanola.  Full of rich layers or luxurious potatoes, it was a true winner and would be a perfect happy hour treat.  The flatbread pizza was also noteworthy.  Crispy crust, topped with a bevy of fresh Mediterranean toppings.  Two for two!  And I loved all the capers!

Everything was so tasty and I loved the fun, bold decor.  I can't wait to check out their breakfast selection, which includes morning paninis, Nitro Iced Coffee, and Liege Waffles.  Yum.


3300 N. IH 35
University Park


'Bonjour' Breakfast served from 6:30 - 11am, Monday - Friday and 7:30am - 12pm Saturday and Sunday

All-Day Bistro Menu available until 10pm Sunday - Thursday, 12am Friday and 1am Saturday

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Homemade Pizza! 4 New Combos to Try

Pizza is probably my all-time favorite food.  My grandad will tell you that as a child, I often ate my weight in slices.  I wasn't a big eater, but if pizza was on the table, I wasn't stopping until someone made me.

Even now, pizza is one of our go-tos.  We sometimes order delivery, or head to our favorite shops, but we really love making our own.  Many weeknights, Andrew will put the pizza stone in the oven to warm & make up a quick batch of dough (we use a recipe in the Joy of Cooking book, or this Bobby Flay recipe) while I'm commuting.  When I hit the front door, the dough & oven are ready to go & we're 15 minutes from dinner.  Easy & so much tastier than anything you can microwave or grab from the freezer.

Andrew's pizzas are full of 'regular' toppings like pepperoni, peppers & tons of onion.  I however, have been experimenting with my pies.  I love a good traditional slice as much as the next guy, but I've realized that the crazier the toppings, the greater the cheese-covered reward.  Leftover squash? Delicious.  Asparagus? Not too shabby.  Strawberries? To die for!

Some of my new favorite topping combos below.  Be sure to check out the Pizza Tips we came up with last year; they'll have you making professional-style pies in no time.  And if you have any crazy ideas, let me know...I'm always looking for new choices!

ALL the produce

Yellow Squash
Bell Peppers & Red Onion
Fresh Tomatoes
Aged Balsamic Vinegar (Post Bake)
Fresh Basil (Post Bake)

Touch of Fall

Carmelized Onions
Sauteed Butternut Squash
Fresh Tomatoes

Bringing the Brightness

Zucchini & Yellow Squash
Red Onion
Fresh Tomatoes
Aged Balsamic Vinegar (Post Bake)
Fresh Basil (Post Bake)

A little bit of everything

Sauteed Bell Peppers & Onions
Fresh Tomatoes
Fresh Basil (Post Bake)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

$10 Burger Night at Henri's

Early in the week date nights are kind of becoming our thing.  It's a nice break from having to get dinner on the table after a long workday & it's a great way to try out restaurants that have been on our wishlist without having to wait forever for a table.

A few Mondays ago, we headed over to Henri's Cheese & Wine for $10 burger night.  I've been wanting to try it out for a while & just hadn't made it over when I saw on instagram that every Monday they have $10 burgers with your choice of cheese, I was sold.

Henri's is an intimate shop/restaurant with a trendy, but mellow vibe.  When you walk in you're greeted by a cheese case & wine shelves, filled with lots of delicious options to bring home.  We found an open table along the window & were quickly approached by our friendly, attentive waiter.

We started off with a custom cheese plate.  The waiter explained that you answer a couple of questions & the cheese monger creates a special plate just for you.  Our waiter asked what types of cheeses we liked/didn't care for, how many cheeses we wanted to try, etc. & a few minutes came back with this tray of awesomeness.   

A hard cheese, a creamy decandent soft cheese, housemade jam, fresh fruit. candied nuts (also made at Henri's) & baguette slices from Easy Tiger.  Heaven.  To say that this was one of the best cheese platters I've ever tasted is probably an understatement.  We ate every morsel.  And got a few extra bread slices to pile the crumbs on top of.  Can you send a thank you card to a cheese monger?  

Next up was the main event.  A $10 burger topped with one of my go-tos, gruyere.  The burger was meaty, juicy & had the perfect amount of homemade pickles.  Butter lettuce, along with a thick slice of fresh summer tomato helped brighten the meal & an Easy Tiger homemade bun, buttery & toasted, topped off this tasty sandwich.            

It was really good, y'all.  And I love that the burger was filled with plenty of beef, but not so much that it's oozing out of the bun.  I hate to come to the end of my sandwich & run out of bread & toppings.  I'm a beef-craving, native Texan, but I love my carbs & condiments too!  Henri's meat to bread to garnish ratio is on point. 

We had such a pleasant, enjoyable evening at Henri's & were impressed by the quality of everything we sampled  & the attention to detail (& taste!) that everything was given.  I really appreciate that Herni's makes so many of it's items, from candied nuts to pickles to jams & sauces in-house & they are all incredibly delicious.  

Henri's Wine & Cheese

2026 South Lamar
Austin, TX 78704

for Lunch
Monday - Friday, 11am - 2pm

for Dinner
Monday - Saturday, 11am - close

for Brunch
Saturday - Sunday, 11am - 3pm

for Afternoon Snacks

Monday - Friday, 2pm - 5pm
Saturday, 3pm - 5pm

for Happy Hour
Monday - Friday, 2pm - 5pm

Friday, July 31, 2015

A Sampler's Delight at Roaring Fork - Stonelake

Please note that I was given complimentary samples of each of the dishes featured in this post.  As always, all thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Roaring Fork has been on my list of restaurants to try for quite some time, so when I got word that our monthly Austin Food Blogger Alliance happy hour would be at their Stonelake location, I was beyond excited.  I knew that this would be a can't-miss event.  From start to finish, we were treated so well; informed, friendly staff, pretty patio views & a variety of amazing dishes.  I left full, happy & ready to plan a date night at Roaring Fork soon.

We were seated on the spacious patio overlooking the lake, where we feasted on a spread of Roaring Fork's finest.  The evening started with a kettle of creamy green chili pork, served with warmed flour tortillas, crispy flat bread topped with pesto, spicy roasted chilis, pepper jack & tomatoes & the fresh guacamole pictured above.  This guac had a bright flavor, smooth texture & the slightest hint of spice, just the way I like my avocados.  The freshly fried, crispy corn tortilla chips served as perfect dip vessels.  

Next up, were my favorites of the evening: the entrees.  Each impressive & delicious in their own right.  The cedar-planed salmon was incredibly fresh & the sweet teriyaki BBQ sauce complimented the fish, without overpowering it.  The chilled green bean salad was a crisp, refreshing side.

Bacon-wrapped tenderloin was cooked so well, & I loved the accompaniments of this dish the most.  A velvety bed of cheese grits & a corn medley over the top with a rich glaze made the pork really shine.  I would visit Roaring Fork again, just for a plate of this goodness.

Wood fired steak with a kettle of Roaring Fork's famous Green Chili Mac & Cheese was our last entree of the evening & an excellent way to finish our entree course.  It was a decadent, tender steak that melted in your mouth.  Mac & Cheese served as a lush, cheesy side.

Desserts!  Roaring Fork knows the way to my heart & these desserts were a lovely farewell to our happy hour.  Mexican Vanilla Creme Brulee, Pecan Pie, Flourless Chocolate Torte & Huckleberry Cheesecake.  Each had a unique, delicate, richness that wasn't overly sweet & each was delicious enough that I would seriously think twice about letting my husband sneak bites.  I would probably make him order his own. :)  I am a dessert-lover & always appreciate an end of meal treat that plays with different flavors, rather than just relying on a big punch of sugar.

Roaring Fork

10850 Stonelake Blvd.


Sunday - Thursday: 11am - 10pm
Friday - Saturday: 11am - 11pm

Roaring Fork Stonelake offers a large patio with beautiful views of Quarry Lake, a Sunday brunch from 11am - 4pm and a happy hour, featuring specials on margaritas, signature drinks, house wine & beer, offered from 4 - 7pm daily.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Chicken Salad Wonton Cups with Sesame King Tahini Dressing

Please note that I was given samples of Sesame King Tahini to taste.  All thoughts & opinions, as always, are honest & my own.  

Lunchtime is a constant struggle.  Sandwiches can get very boring, very quickly, but it can also takes alot of effort to make workday meals (of any kind, but especially lunch) delicious.  I've been known to grab a handful of snacks in my 'gotta-get-out-the-door-NOW!' scramble & call it lunch.  Won't tell you how many times I did that last month...

I'm getting better though.  Orzo, bread or quinoa salads with whatever protein, cheese & veggies are hanging out in the fridge are becoming staples in our house.  These dishes make for good dinners & even better lunches the next day.  But, I don't want something so carb-heavy everyday.  Well, that's a lie.  I want all the bread, all the time, but my ass doesn't.

Chicken Salad Wonton Cups are a nice change from normal, have a little crunch, loads of produce & can still be made in a few minutes.  With ingredients that you just might have in the fridge, or can easily pick up, these bites are winners.  You can even buy the produce pre-cut & chicken cooked, which only adds to the lunchtime appeal of these guys.  They would even make for a fun, quick & hearty appetizer.  And if you're not wanting the chicken, but still need a shot of protein, swap it out for edamame.

 While I love the mix of veggies, sweetness from the pineapple & crispy crunch of the wonton cups, the tahini dressing really puts the taste over the top.  The nuttiness of the Sesame King Tahini is rich & the hint of garlic is just enough to be delicious, but not overwhelming.  And their products are made with 100% sesame seeds & with no preservatives, fillers or GMOs.  (yeah!)  Sesame King was so easy to work with that I've been thinking of all kinds of uses since I cracked the jar open.  Marinades, dipping sauces & of course hummus would all be extra-delectable with a dose of garlic tahini.

You can order Sesame King Tahini, get recipes, read up on their products & more on their website here.  Some Whole Foods Markets, & Amazon also carry Sesame King.          

Chicken Salad Wonton Cups with Sesame King Tahini Dressing

Inspired by the recipe, Vietnamese Chicken Wonton Cups from "Pocket Pies: Mini Empanadas, Pastries, Turnovers and More" by Pamela Clark (Sterling, $16.95).  You can find Pamela Clark's recipe, on's food blog (Relish Austin, written by Addie Broyles), here.


1/4 cup Sesame King Garlic Tahini
1 tablespoon Honey
3 tablespoons Soy Sauce
4 tablespoons Lime Juice
2 tablespoons Sesame Oil
Pepper, to taste

Chicken Salad

2 cups Rotisserie or grilled Chicken, shredded
2 - 3 Carrots, shredded (about 2 cups)
1/3 head Cabbage, shredded thinly
1 red Bell Pepper, sliced
4 Scallions, sliced thin
1/2 cup fresh Pineapple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 large handful Cilantro leaves (Parsley if you prefer)
Sesame Seeds, toasted, or Almonds, chopped for Garnish

Wonton Cups

48 Wonton Wrappers
Spray Olive, Coconut or Canola Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine all dressing ingredients in a mason jar, with the lid tightly secured, & shake to combine.  Set aside.

Shred chicken, chop all vegetables & the pineapple if needed.  Combine chicken, vegetables, pineapple & cilantro leaves in a large mixing bowl.  Dress the mixture with half to two-thirds of the dressing & taste.  If it seems dry, add additional dressing until desired taste is achieved.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

Spray muffin tin with a little spray olive or canola oil (nonstick spray if preferred).  Spray 2 wonton wrappers with oil & arrange, overlap & fold to create a single cup, using the muffin tin as a mold/container for your finished wonton cup.  Bake 6 -8 minutes until cups are browned.

Fill wonton cups with chicken mixture & garnish with sesame seeds or almonds.  (Or both!)

Makes 24 cups


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

ShakeShack & a walk down Fairy Alley

You can never have too many go-to burger places.  Mighty Fine, P. Terry's, Contigo, we have lots of favorites.  Beef isn't one our staples at home, but we do get burger cravings.  Often.  And when that happens, we usually go out.  It's a nice break from cooking & a great excuse to try out new places.

Last week, we tried out Shake Shack, which opened up on South Lamar a few months ago.  I had heard from foodie friends that it was great, so we were eager to see for ourselves.  We were impressed!

First off, the staff was incredibly friendly.  Everyone we interacted was so nice, helpful & kind.  I love that & it goes a very long way in my book towards bumping a restaurant up on my go-to list. 

We picked out a couple of burgers, regular AND cheese fries, & a few drinks (I did not take the sweet cashier's suggestion that I get the Abita Root Beer & I very much regret it.  I ordered the boring 'ol coke, like a chump.  I haven't had a root beer float in years & now it's all I can think about.)

As we were waiting for our food, we looked around, noticing all of the fun decor.  Ledge of amazing succulents that I totally wish was in my house? Check.  Real (real!) moss wall hangings? Check.  Succulents hanging from the ceiling in mod retro globes?  Check, check.  I also love that the tables have a burger design burnt in & that they were once bowling lanes.  It's a seriously cool place y'all.   

We got our food quickly & dug right in.  The regular fries were tasty, perfectly seasoned & crispy.  Andrew didn't care for the cheese fries, but I thought they were delicious.  I'm a big fan of American cheese with burgers & the sauce's blend of American & Cheddar cheeses hit the spot.  

The ShackBurger had a hearty, meaty bite, super-fresh, flavorful veggies & a taste that brought me back to childhood.  I really liked that all of their burgers are made with thinner patties.  I am Texan & I love beef, but try hard to just eat it in small amounts & these guys were just enough to satisfy my craving.  My favorite was the SmokeShack burger.  The combo of sweet, mildly spicy cherry peppers & the ShackSauce was heavenly.

SmokeShack burger (left) with bacon, cherry peppers & ShackSauce, ShackBurger (right), a cheeseburger with all the veggies & ShackSauce, plain fries & cheese fries.


A cute wooden fork for shoveling in cheese fries & leaving fingers mess-free?  Genius!

I really enjoyed my experience at the 'famed' Shake Shack & we will be coming back.  Andrew's down to try some of the all-natural hot dog creations & I want the root beer float with a whole SmokeShack burger to myself. :)  And, a quick tip:  I had heard the lines can be long, but we went around 6pm on a Tuesday & were able to walk right in, order & find a table without any trouble.

And if you need to walk it off after chowing down at the Shack, be sure to venture over to Fairy Alley, which is just behind the complex (behind Alamo & the parking garage).  It's a little gem we found after eating, just by strolling around the neighborhood.

Roaming around South Austin (especially the 78704 area) is always great because of the hidden treasures you can find.  There are so many unique homes, displays & fun spots.  Fairy Alley is packed with colorful lanterns hanging from the trees, beautiful street/fence art & tiny fairy homesteads.

Shake Shack 

1100 South Lamar Blvd., Ste. 2100
(Corner of South Lamar & Treadwell)
Free parking in garage behind the restaurant


Sunday - Thursday, 11am - 10pm
Friday - Saturday, 11am - 11pm