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With the arrival of springtime means it time to whip up fresh seasonal dishes. Think vegetables, color and freshness this month as sunny weather will be here to stay soon, and you need the perfect flavors to compliment the weather.
Here are nine recipes worth making during springtime in Austin.
Grilled shrimp tacos with mango salsa
Although the beloved Austin dish is enjoyed year round, modifying your toppings as the seasons change is the best way to eat tacos this springtime. These grilled shrimp tacos with mango salsa are super easy to make and have a wonderfully bright tropical taste that will leave you wanting more. This recipe is simple enough for any cooking level and will only take up 20 minutes of your time, leaving everyone in your house with a meal for any time of day.
You can find the recipe for grilled shrimp tacos with mango salsa here.
Brown butter gnocchi with asparagus and peas
Craving a meal with more of a warm substance? Brown butter gnocchi with asparagus and peas is a comforting and flavorful dish to enjoy for dinner, yet refreshing enough to enjoy during a warm day out. Pop out your cast iron skillet on any weeknight to make this fun and easy-to-make weeknight recipe. Pair this dish with white wine to enjoy the full spring effect.
You can find the recipe for brown butter gnocchi with asparagus and peas here.
Vietnamese spring rolls
Springtime in Austin calls for refreshing appetizers, such as Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, to help pass the warm days. This recipe is simple enough for anyone to make and will only take up 30 minutes of your time. With shrimp, pork, lettuce and herbs, this small dish is perfect for anyone looking to impress their guests with a refreshing springtime bite. Serve your spring rolls with peanut sauce or a traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce called nuoc cham which contains fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.
You can find the recipe for Vietnamese spring rolls here.
Spring vegetable quiche
Looking to host some friends and enjoy a springtime brunch? This spring vegetable quiche has everything you need to impress your guests. An easy and fast recipe to make, you can prep your ingredients and bake the quiche in under an hour. Not sold yet? This recipe is versatile where can add your favorite seasonal vegetables for a filling and delicious brunch option.
You can find the recipe for spring vegetable quiche here.
Lemony spring pasta salad
Something about springtime makes lemons and salads more appealing. Maybe it's the preparation for the hot summer days Texas will endure, but this lemony spring pasta salad, filled with feta cheese, arugula, pine nuts, fresh basil, rotini pasta and lemon vinaigrette is the perfect mixture of filling and vibrantly refreshing. You can make this pasta salad in under 30 minutes and it is a guarantee that it will be loved and eaten up on a springtime afternoon.
You can find the recipe for lemony spring pasta salad here.
Pan-fried cod with orange and swish chard
Adding some seafood to your springtime diet is the best way to avoid all responsibilities and pretend you are on a nice beach enjoying the warm weather. This pan-fried cod with orange and swish chard recipe has all the ingredients for spring: a source of protein, sweet vegetables and acidic fruits. You can make this recipe in 30 minutes to be enjoyed as a late afternoon weeknight dinner or a weekend lunch dish.
You can find the recipe for pan-fried cod with orange and swish chard here.
Taco stuffed peppers
Looking for a healthy colorful meal to feed your household? These taco stuffed peppers are the real deal. With vibrant colors, a delightfully familiar taste and healthy ingredients, this is your next meal to try. Filled with ground beef, tomatoes, onion, black beans, corn, brown rice and cheese, you'll opt out of ordering Chipotle for a long time. This recipe will take up an hour of your time and will improve your night no matter the day.
You can find the recipe for taco stuffed peppers here.
Vibrant spring broccoli Buddha bowl
This is the recipe to try if you're looking for a healthy springtime dish that will give you the energy you need while enjoying the warm weather. This vibrant bowl is filled with hearty ingredients such as sweet potatoes, broccoli, purple cabbage, lemons, avocado and lentils. With 50 minutes to spare, you can enjoy this healthy bowl jammed with proteins, healthy fats and delicious flavors.
You can find the recipe for vibrant spring broccoli Buddha bowls here.
Although you might be hesitant to make a cold soup, this cucumber gazpacho is so creamy, vibrantly refreshing and hydrating you will keep refilling your bowl as warmer days hit Austin. In 20 minutes, you can have yourself this flavorful dish to serve as an appetizer, or a whole dish by adding your favorite protein such as shrimp. This simple and almost ordinary dish is inviting with its vibrant color and will impress all your guests with its flavor.
You can find the recipe for cucumber gazpacho here.
After Austin voters passed Proposition B, reinstating a ban on public camping, City Council directed staff to look into possible sanctioned campsites where homeless residents could live legally. Now two members are asking to shelve discussion on the controversial topic.
Staff presented dozens of possible sanctioned campsites across each fo the 10 council districts in late May, following the election. But members mostly pushed back on the proposed locations, citing cost, wildfire risk and lack of transparency as concerns.
With updated criteria, staff recommended two sites—one in District 1 and the other in District 8—for further review last week. After being briefed on the options during Tuesday's work session, Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison, who represents District 1, and Council Member Paige Ellis, who represents District 8, issued a joint statement proposing "a pause" on further discussion of temporary sanctioned encampments.
"We are not convinced that these sites would be a cost-effective solution, but rather a band-aid tactic when we need to be supporting the long-term strategy to get folks off the street permanent," they said. "It is our responsibility to look at the situation holistically and objectively, and to spend out city's limited resources on solutions we know can work."
Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey noted that the two locations were imperfect and would require a lot of time and money to outfit as sanctioned campsites during the briefing.
City staff and homeless experts have previously raised concerns about sanctioned encampments, saying they are expensive to maintain, challenging to manage and hard to close, even when intended to to be temporary.
In 2019, staff declined to make recommendations for such sites despite being directed by council to do so, citing 2018 guidance from the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. "Neither authorized encampments nor parking areas provide housing for people experiencing homelessness," staff wrote in a memo. "Rather, each option detracts from the staff resources assigned to addressing this moral imperative."
But with Prop B being enforced and too few shelter beds and affordable units for the estimate unsheltered homeless population in Austin, the city is facing the same predicament that prompted District 9 Council Member Kathie Tovo to pursue possible sanctioned campsites in the first place: "When individuals in encampments ask where they should go, we need to have places to suggest," she said at a May 6 council meeting.
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Don't lose your mask just yet—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it is now recommending masks in areas that are surging as cases rise nationwide and the Delta variant looms.
The CDC announced Tuesday that even fully vaccinated individuals should mask up indoors if their community is experiencing substantial transmission—defined as areas with more than 50 cases per 100,000 people. Travis County is sitting at an average of 94.59 cases per 100,000 over the past seven days, falling into the highest risk category, according to the CDC.
#DeltaVariant surging in U.S. New data show Delta much more contagious than previous versions of #COVID19. Unvaccinated people: get vaccinated & mask until you do. Everyone in areas of substantial/high transmission should wear a mask, even if vaccinated. https://t.co/tt49zOEC8N
— CDC (@CDCgov) July 27, 2021
After two COVID-19 recommendation stage jumps in the last two weeks, from Stage 2 to Stage 4, Austin-area cases are the highest they have been since February. The seven-day average for cases is on an upward trend, reaching 226 on Tuesday.
The CDC is also recommending that all students K-12 wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. A May executive order by Gov. Greg Abbott prohibits schools from requiring masks, regardless of vaccination status. Austin ISD is "strongly" encouraging students to wear masks.
Although vaccinated individuals are still protected against the most severe symptoms of the variant, infections are spreading rapidly and now make up 83% of confirmed cases in the U.S. At least a dozen cases of the delta variant have been confirmed in the Austin area, though there are likely more since testing for it is limited.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that hospital admissions are "almost exclusively" coming from people who are unvaccinated but those who are vaccinated can still catch and spread the virus.
"Unlike the alpha variant that we had back in May, where we didn't believe that if you were vaccinated you could transmit further, this is different now with the Delta variant," Walensky said. "That leads us to believe that the breakthrough infections, rare that they are, have the potential to pool and transmit at the same with the same capacity as an unvaccinated person."
Research suggests those who become infected carry 1,000 times more of the virus than other variants and could stay contagious for longer.The announcement comes on the heels of the Biden administration ramping up cautionary measures in the face of the Delta variant. Just last week, the CDC said it had no plans to change its May guidance of vaccinated not having to wear masks unless there was a significant change in the data. Officials met on Sunday night to review new evidence, according to reports.
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The Moody Center, a $338 million, 530,000-square-foot multipurpose arena at the University of Texas at Austin, celebrated its topping out on Tuesday.
With the final beam placed, the arena's steel-frame structural phase—which involved more than 5.3 million pounds of steel—is complete.
"This past year has been full of unprecedented events, not to mention weather challenges, and yet the women and men working on this project continue to deliver," Moody Center General Manager and Senior Vice President Jeff Nickler said in a press release.
To celebrate the topping out Oak View Group, the development and investment firm behind the Moody Center will affix a tree to the final beam in keeping with the time-honored tradition.
The practice dates back to ancient Scandinavian religious rites, which involved placing a tree atop new buildings to appease tree-dwelling spirits displaced during the construction process, according to the International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Ironworkers in Washington D.C.
After the steel-frame structure phase, the development will move on to enclosing and finishing the interior of the Moody Center.
The arena is set to open next April and already has some major acts scheduled for its inaugural year, including The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, John Mayer and The Killers. It will replace the 43-year-old Frank C. Erwin Jr. Center and serve as the home of UT's men's and women's basketball games, among other sports and community events.
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