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October Favorites

October 08, 2013

October Favorites

la dolce vita, austin, la dolce vita festival Anne of Green Gables, quote

Proper Breakfast, Austin, trailer, breakfast trailer

I love everything about fall. Pumpkin anything, scarves, boots, sweaters, fires in the fireplaces, cuddling under a blanket, chilly weather, drinking coffee and reading a good book.

+ Glam up your candles with this elephant candle holder.

+ Hendrick’s Gin launches Quintum, a new quinne cordial with orange and subtle lavender notes. I had the pleasure of meeting Lesley Gracie and tasting the coveted bottle. Only 4,000 limited edition bottles will be released across the world and is not available for retail. I have a small vial of it sitting in my bar!

Pumpkin Cider with a fresh pumpkin palate and lingers with a justt a touch of smoke. Pairs well with end-of-summer grilling and perfect for late-summer meals transitioning to fall comfort foods. Recipe suggestion below.

+ I like to finish my day with a steaming cup of Zhi Tea white blueberry tea with a touch of milk.

+ Two new additions to my coffee bar: old fashioned espresso maker and this fancy one. Can you tell I’m a little obsessed?

+ Enjoy the flavors of the world in the comfort of your home with this quarterly food box delivery service, I’m loving the World Dinner Club!

+ The 24th La Dolce Vita Food and Wine Festival, presented by Merrill Lynch, returns this fall with a dynamic lineup of award-winning chefs to raise vital funds for The Contemporary Austin’s education programs. Held along the shores of Laguna Gloria, La Dolce Vita provides guests with an opportunity to sip and savor special presentations from top restaurants and Texas wineries from across Central Texas on Thursday, October 24 from 6:00 to 9:00pm.

+ I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers – Anne of Green Gables

+ Current obsessing over this new breakfast place in Austin, Proper Breakfast. Organic eggs, scrapple and gluten-free pancakes with iced Flat Track Coffee


Apple Cider Cuisine From Scratch

Apple cider is, in my opinion, an underused ingredient. It is made from natural ingredients, tastes delicious, and you can drink any leftovers! It can be used in many different recipes, most of which are centuries old. Apple homebrew, also known as ‘scrumpy’ is a key ingredient of ‘Wassail’ a Saxon celebratory drink, which is still prepared today in some remote areas of Dorset and Somerset. Scrumpy is highly effective when used instead of water or stock as in the following recipe:

Somerset Pork Casserole


One large onion
Two or three cooking apples, such as Bramleys, peeled, cored and diced
600g of diced pork
One litre of cider
Veal stock cubes if desired
Double Cream (200 ml)


Simply fry the onion in some butter until softened. Roll the pork in one tablespoon of seasoned flour until coated, and fry in the same pan as onions until browned. Combine all the ingredients in a lidded casserole. Cook for approximately two hours on a low temperature, such as 150 degrees, until the pork is meltingly tender. When cooked, pour away any excess liquid and stir in the cream. Serve with rice or potatoes and some green vegetables.

This recipe is popular with all my family. It would work really well in a slow cooker. It also works well with odd vegetables; there is no reason why you couldn’t add a few diced carrots or mushrooms to the recipe.

Mulled Scrumpy

There is nothing cosier that a warm tankard of this drink on a cold November day, and it couldn’t be simpler to prepare. Simply simmer some scrumpy in a saucepan with a sachet of mulling spices, which you can buy from a supermarket of deli. You could make your own using cinnamon sticks, all-spice and nutmeg. This mulled drink is lovely and warming, and will also make your house smell divine. This hot apple scrumpy recipe is another temptingly easy variation.

Any scrumpy will work with these recipes; even perry. I prefer the dry variation, however, as it is much lower in sugar than the sweet, and has a more intense flavour. A good rule of thumb is not to use any more scrumpy than you wouldn’t drink!


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.


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