Friday, July 29, 2011

Johnson's Backyard Garden

I have wanted to get involved with the food community in Austin for a while.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that Johnson's Backyard Garden had a few positions open for the Farmer's Market that coming Saturday. Not only was it paid, it fit my schedule, AND I would get to walk away with locally grown organic vegetables... and even get to know the farmers! This opportunity sounded ideal so Chris and I applied. Chris was offered a spot almost immediately. And the next week, they gave me a shot.

There we were, working side by side, lifting crate after crate of fresh produce. I was shocked Austin could produce such an array of food. There were vegetables I had never seen before. For instance, I learned about the Ringo Pepper, which is a long yellow pepper that has the same sweetness as a Bell Pepper.

It was a long morning of heavy lifting and quick math. We ate figs, and traded with the other vendors to develop a lovely assortment of treasures that we could share with the neighbors.

We walked away with more vegetables than you can imagine, Grandma’s hummus, locally made pickles, a whole chicken, and a potential hula hoop instructor. Ross and Sarah came over to help us chop, can, and pickle everything in sight. We finished the day sitting around the dining room table, relaxed from our hard day’s work, and enjoyed great conversation.

And being the design nut that I am, I couldn’t help but notice their lovely branding; it's simple, clean, and wonderfully unique. Ryan Rhodes is the brain behind their designs and all the photos below are courtesy of the Johnson's Backyard Garden website.

Email us with your Farmer's Market stories!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tomato Sandies

We have mentioned tomato sandwiches a lot since we started this blog, and that's probably because we are obsessed with them. Not only because they are delicious, but because they are so simple!

The best tomato sandwich we've ever tasted was made with Fresh rosemary ciabatta and heirloom tomatoes from the Farmer's Market, sweet basil from the garden, a little balsamic vinegar, and black pepper mayo. Viola! We could seriously eat a thousand of these.

Farmer's Market purchases:

Marinate the tomatoes in balsamic vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper.

Toast the bread, spread the mayo, and stack those tomatoes.

Plan for making extras, these will disappear very quickly!

Katie & Sarah

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Food for Thought

Our mantra...

Considering that many of our favorite foods include a nice, thick steak or a pound of buttery pasta, these food rules don't quite control every decision we make. However, if this simple, World War I poster can in any way influence the way we purchase our produce and starches today, I think the U.S. Food Administration did their part.

God Bless America

Katie & Sarah

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ah, the smell of fresh baked bread.

Baking is a hobby I've taken on in just the past few months.
It was brought on by boredom and a package of yeast found in my pantry.

In all my years of cooking (I suppose not very many since I'm only twenty-two), I stayed away from baking because I can’t follow recipes and I loathe measuring.

Allow me to clarify.

I like to read recipes, look at the beautifully staged pictures, and dream of the day when I could afford each of the listed ingredients. After finding a recipe where I have most ingredients on hand, I tend to substitute the rest. This practice typically turns into an entirely new, unique product—far from the original. (There's about a 50/50 return rate on the dish actually tasting good.)  I stayed away from baking because I knew I would not be able to substitute ingredients or stray from the recipe.

Those inhibitions went out the window.

Imagine having your home smell like freshly baked bread as guests walk in for a dinner party, or spending a rainy Saturday watching movies whilst your yeast, flour, and water turn into a fabulously flakey and perfectly imperfect pizza. That day has come.

If you are anything like me, yeast has always been a daunting ingredient. The yeast is ACTIVE?! It has to be proofed? (Whatever that means.) It makes the dough “rise”, only to smoosh it back down? What if it doesn’t rise?
I’m here to tell you that it’s time to incorporate some yeast into your life.
The following is adapted (only slightly!) from a Rosemary Focaccia recipe listed on

You will need:

1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (this is a standard package)
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
2 cups whole-wheat flour
¼ cup plus a few tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon (a few shakes) coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon table salt

What to do:

Mix together 1 2/3 cups hot (as hot as your faucet goes) water and yeast in bottom of a large bowl. Let “proof” (sit until it turns milky in appearance) about 5 minutes. Add both flours, ¼ cup olive oil, and 1 tsp table salt. Mix in stand mixer or with electric mixer until dough starts to form. With your hands, combine the dough into a ball shape.
Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead dough for a few minutes until smooth and slightly sticky.

Reform into a ball. Lightly oil a large bowl (I usually rinse out the one I used initially) with a couple tbsp of olive oil, and roll ball in oiled bowl until coated. Place plastic wrap (or a clean towel) over bowl and let sit in a warm area of your kitchen for at least an hour. An hour or so later your dough should have nearly doubled in bulk. Press dough into a large cookie sheet. To spread evenly, a rolling pin works best. Cover pan with a clean towel and let dough rise for another hour. While dough is rising, mix together chopped rosemary and a few tbsp of olive oil. The rosemary will infuse the olive oil (this oil is great for dipping, in the future).

Preheat oven to 425 °F.

Press indentions into the dough with your finger in rows from one end to the other. Brush with the rosemary oil (all of it!) and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove immediately from pan by inverting onto kitchen towel and placing right side up on a large wooden cutting board or serving platter.

Serve with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and freshly ground black pepper. Or, make quick tomato sandwiches with fresh tomatoes, basil, mayo, and black pepper. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did with our community-style Sunday feast.

Bon Appétit!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Meet the family


Full name: Dexter McCluster.
Named after former Ole Miss wide receiver/running back because you just can't catch her.
She has a bad attitude and chooses friends carefully, so don't expect to win her over very quickly. Dexter enjoys barking at passer-bys, chasing her tail, and playing fetch. Her favorite food is uncooked pasta.


Nickname: Carol the Queen, the royal fluff
Named after her old stomping grounds in South Carolina. She has a deeeep southern drawl and she loves to hold hands. Her favorite food is chicken and whatever else she can find in the trash whenever her parents are at work. To see what she's been up to, follow her on twitter @Carol_the_Queen.


Full name: Judge Judy
Ruler of all. Protector and servant. The whole world is her kingdom. To an outsider, she is notorious for her false judgments. But to those who know her well, she has the heart of a mother. She'd do anything to protect her family.

Stop in any time, they'd love to meet you!

Sarah & Katie

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sunset Valley Farmer's Market

Last Saturday afternoon was like Christmas morning... but better.

Chris volunteered at Sunset Valley Farmer's Market in the morning and brought home his compensation: the most beautiful locally grown vegetables. And not just a couple, he brought home the whole farm!

Katie: I was rocking in my chair on the patio when he got home. He was filthy with dirt and sweat, but he had the biggest smile on his face when he said, “I may need some help with the groceries”. I knew I was in for a treat. They covered our entire counter! Fresh basil and mint, heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, all kinds of peppers, bags of carrots, and the best rosemary bread I’ve ever tasted… it was sensory overload (in a good way).

Sarah: The news spread like wildfire. Naturally, Ross and I popped over within minutes... Virginia and Mark were not far behind. And as you can imagine, the rest of the weekend was spent cooking, pickling, and grilling. The way hot summer days should be spent.

Here is a glimpse of our Farmer's Market medley:

The produce started out dirty and in need of some loving...

But we had a few ideas. Cucumbers, banana peppers,..

jalapeños, pepperoncinis, and red chili peppers... what could we possibly make from this motley crew?

This brightly colored assortment of fresh produce quickly turned into jar after jar of home-made pickled items.

We didn't stop there: squash casserole, eggplant pizza, stuffed poblano peppers...

...fried okra, quinoa and veggie salad,...

and many, many tomato sandies.

Enjoy what's in season now. It's cheaper and not to mention it was probably grown on a farm not far from your house rather than a farm halfway around the world. Many farmer's markets are on Saturday mornings, ending around lunch time. Although we were fortunate enough to receive these items free of charge, pricing on locally grown produce is very reasonable.

Eating locally and organic benefits you and your neighborhood.
Food for thought.

Sarah & Katie

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tequila Mockingbird

We make these all the time so I just had to let y'all in on this recipe. These margaritas are delicious, healthier than your many of your pre-mixed options, and most importantly... easy.

What you’ll need:
  • Clear Tequila
  • Limeade (I like Simply Limeade or Santa Cruz Organic Limeade)
  • Limes (if desired)

You can probably figure out what to do next... pour the tequila over a glass of ice and the limeade to taste. Cut up the limes and squeeze, or use as a garnish. You can also add salt, if desired.

It’s that easy. Try it and you’ll never go back to the pre-made mixer!

The benefit to using a limeade is less cost, less artificial flavoring, and less sugar. If you want to get really fancy, make your own limeade. My dad uses soda water with tons of fresh squeezed lime. You get your margarita for less calories, less sugar and zero gluten!



Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Let me count the ways...

On a boat, watching the sun go down.

At dusk, when the bats fly.

On a bridge, with your favorite pianist in town.

At Blues on the Green, with fifteen of your closest friends (and a few homeless people).

With love,

Sarah & Katie

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Constant Gardeners

Neighborly love.

Together we, along with our respective roommate-boyfriend extraordinaire's (Ross and Chris), built a garden.

Lit-er-al-ly purchased wood, built the frame, bought 58 cubic feet of soil and compost, and planted seeds. Then we watered. A lot.

This project started in March 2011. We have watched half of the plants shrivel from the heat or become uprooted from after dark visitors (an armadillo). But, a handful of plants continue to grow... despite the 103° heat and 10 drops of rain we get each month.

Watch our garden grow:

Slightly sad looking. March 2011.

Finally showing some growth. July 2011.

Banana Peppers.

The constant gardeners. Chris, Katie, Sarah, and Ross.

If you want more details on how to construct a garden, let us know. We'd love to share!

Happy Gardening,

Sarah & Katie

Monday, July 18, 2011

Please Take Me Back Home... Mississippi.

Welcome to One Green Table, an effort to loosely document what we've been up to since moving to the charming town of Austin, Texas.

Here we will attempt to update daily (fingers crossed) with tidbits of our lives, through the eyes of food.

We are the type of people whose days revolve around food. We think about lunch while we're eating breakfast, and happy hour while we're eating lunch. This is not to say that we are in any way qualified to give advice on cooking, gardening, or otherwise. But, we like to cook, garden, sip on wine (sometimes whiskey), and come up with ideas of new things to do each weekend, so why not?

We've lived on the dark side: eating french fries twice a day, popping miniature snickers bars like they're going out of style, and munching on cold pizza for breakfast. But we've moved on. We've educated ourselves and we've crossed over. We believe in simple, local ingredients and slowing down to prepare our food. Our recipes are incredibly easy and versatile, and tend to feed us + the neighborhood.

In the past year, cooking at home has become less of a hobby and more of a lifestyle. We are not nutritionists or health nuts.... and we still have cravings for those addictive foods from our pasts. But, we are trying and we are dying to tell you about it.

We hope you join us!

Sarah & Katie
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