Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Austin Vacation: Lake Austin Spa and MIGAS

I’m back blogging and have so much to share!  I’ve been out of town for the past week and am about to go on another vacation (tough life) so I have a lot of food events to share!  I’m going to break it up into a few different posts.  Here I go!
            First of all, I left my blogging responsibilities to take a mother/daughter trip down to Austin, Texas…quite possibly my favorite place on earth.  We decided to relax for a few days at Lake Austin Spa, just outside the city, situated on-you guessed it- Town Lake.  It is a wonderful place, not just because you are scheduling your day around spa treatments (!) but also because the atmosphere is so focused on healthy eating, exercise and total well-being.  The best part about the food there is that it is calorie-conscious, but it is SO GOOD (for you).  There are times when a big, hulking cheeseburger is the answer, but most of the time if you can make your belly and your mirror happy, the world is a great place.  And since it’s Texas, I got to have all the mexi-centric food I wanted. 
            I’ll start with breakfast.  Migas. Mmmmmmmmmm.  Migas is the best breakfast comfort food for anyone that likes crunchiness, spice and cheese with their eggs.  The simplest form of Migas and one that was a staple of my Saturday mornings growing up is scrambled eggs mixed with cheese and warm, broken-up tortilla chips or tostadas.  Topped with a little salsa, this dish has never failed to satisfy.  At Lake Austin Spa, they scrambled their eggs with diced tomatoes, onion, tortilla strips and a touch of queso fresco.  Yum!  Black beans optional (yes, please).  My Ultimate Migas recipe would probably go something like this:
            Get your eggs in a scramble (don’t pour in your skillet yet).  Dice up some white or yellow onion, a little bit of green onion, fresh or pickled jalapeno depending on how spicy you like things, have your shredded cheese on hand (pepper jack, cheddar, monterey jack, whatever you like) but don’t use too much or you’ll have funky eggs.  Right before you are ready to slap everything in the pan pop some tostada shells in a hot oven.  They brown, ahem, burn very quickly, so keep an eye on them and flip when they start releasing oils (look shiny and sizzle-y).  Take those bad boys out and crunch them up with your hands or get out your daily aggression with whatever does the trick.  Put aside.  Get ready for a whirlwind of breakfast action because this dish comes together fast!  Pour your frazzled eggs into a hot oiled/buttered skillet.  As the eggs start to get some body and shape as you scramble, start folding in your tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and cheese carefully.  The “carefully” bit is important for aesthetic value and you get to taste all the flavors separately.  What I mean by this is when you are pushing and scraping at a scramble, which I am guilty of doing, the flavors can get mashed up together and the whole thing can get soggy and look a little like a Waffle House creation.  If that’s what you’re going for, have at it, but if you are taking the time to make this yummy concoction, might as well appreciate its magnificence. Throw in your tostada bits at the last minute, give it one last fold and it’s eatin’ time.  Serve with some grated cheese or crumbled queso fresco, salsa or hot sauce.  If you’re going all the way with your Mexican Breakfast, serve with hot tortillas, beans and bacon or sausage.  There really is nothing better.
            Sorry I got sidetracked by Migas, but as you can see, it’s easy to get distracted by that tasty dish!  For lunch, Lake Austin Spa served up daily specials, one day a Bahn Mi Sandwich (a Vietnamese sandwich with pork, spicy sauce, carrots, radishes and other spicy, crunchy things), a cheese Pupusa, my FAVORITE little Salvadorian smackerel (consisting of a masa cake filled with cheese and spices, sometimes shredded pork) and every day a new frozen yogurt flavor (whoppers, blueberry, strawberry-kiwi and peach to name a few).  And for Dinner the kitchen presented a multi-course meal of your choosing, each course a small portion so you could try everything but not feel like a fatty-fatty-no-friends.  Some highlights from our dinner meals were the Chilled Avocado and Cilantro Soup, Chile Relleno stuffed with Bulgur, Squash, Black Beans and Walnuts, Lobster with Whole Wheat Cappellini and Asian Vegetables, and last but not least, Petite Filet of Beef with Gorgonzola Cream, Yum!
            I could go on forever and ever about the food there, but the most refreshing part about it was that everything made me feel GOOD from the inside out.  After leaving the Spa, (it still pains me to talk about leaving!) I am determined to cook food with the goal of feeling great afterward in mind.  Like I mentioned earlier, greasy and unhealthy food can sometimes hit the spot, but most days eating delicious, good-for-you foods makes life a whole lot sunnier.

1 comment:

  1. Katie! Just stumbled upon your blog, I love it!! Can't wait to read more about all of the wonderful food your making and eating, miss you mucho!!