This one goes out to the ones who didn't just consume this holiday season

Austinites really demonstrated the spirit of giving during the recent holiday season, based on what we've heard from local nonprofit organizations. Volunteers gave up time with their own families to deliver dinner to clients of Meals on Wheels and More on Christmas Day for the first time this year, and the city's annual Trail of Lights Food Drive, co-sponsored by HEB, garnered 1,500 pounds of nonperishable food donations for the Capital Area Food Bank on Dec. 11. The Waterloo Ice House 30th anniversary celebration, 30 Bands in 30 Days, netted a check for a cool $7,500 to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, and a big 30% increase in participation in the ThunderCloud Subs annual Turkey Trot run on Thanksgiving Day made it possible for them to deliver a whopping $100,000 to Caritas of Austin to support that organization's crucial local programs. What a way to give, Austin!... Just in time to fulfill one of my New Year's wishes, Saveur magazine has published their Top 100 food list for the past year, and products with Austin connections cracked it once again. Saveur product testers raved about Austin's Grand Prize Hot Sauce, which was originally created by former Austin chef John Randall based on the recipe he used to win the first Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival. Randall sold the company to Merland Albert of San Antonio a few years back, but the delicious salsas are still produced in Austin by Gourmet Resources, formerly known as Austin Kitchens. The magazine also featured Matt Martinez Jr.'s pralines from his newest book, Mextex: Traditional Tex-Mex Taste – described as the family recipe still used to make the pecan candies served at Austin's own legendary Matt's El Rancho (2613 S. Lamar, 462-9333)... Restaurant Jezebel (914-C Congress, 499-3999) chef/owner Parind Vora is pleased to announce that his establishment has finally received a beer-and-wine license. His preliminary list has just more than 100 selections of beers, wines, and ports, but Vora expects to build a bigger cellar over the next three years, according to his e-mail... Cafe Mundi (1704 E. Fifth, 236-8634) has recently expanded into the offices next door, enlarging their indoor seating for such popular events as their Sunday brunch, movie nights, and musical performances. Owner Jessica Nieri reports that increased residential development in the neighborhood is bringing very welcome new foot traffic into her business... Invitations to the ever-popular Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? fundraiser benefiting Project Transitions went out last week, and this year's dinner party lineup looks fabulous! If you didn't receive an invite and would like to attend one of the delightful dinners on Feb. 3, contact the PT office today at 454-8646.

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Capital Area Food Bank, Caritas, Austin's Grand Prize Hot Sauce, Jezebel, Matt's El Rancho, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

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