HOOK ‘EM!!

A friend had asked me for this TWO YEARS ago, and I never got around to it until now. I’m a terrible friend. Either way, after a two-year delay, here he is:

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It’s Bevo! Our beloved longhorn, mascot of the great University of Texas.

It’s not the first time that I’ve made a college mascot. Last year I made a little cougar for Bare Bowls food truck while they served the hungry masses at the University of Houston campus. I earned my professional degree at UH, but UT is where I spent my undergrad years, and even though I never graduated from there (I jokingly tell people I’m a biochem dropout), my years at UT carry so much more meaning to me. It’s where I learned to be comfortable in my own skin, it’s where I learned that I REALLY suck at Counterstrike, it’s where I learned some great life lessons from some of the best professors I’ve ever had, and it’s where I solidified a friendship from high school and met two more people who would become my closest friends in life. UH built my career, but UT built my character.

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So with that, Bevo holds a special place in my heart. It’s been a long two years, but he’s finally come to life! Apparently our football season is off to a rocky start, but maybe this lil’ dude can bring some good luck, starting tomorrow against Ole Miss. HOOK ‘EM!

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Go Coogs!

A few months back I was approached by the folks at the Bare Bowls Kitchen food truck to make a little mascot for them, particularly one related to the University of Houston since they started serving their bowls of deliciousness to the starving masses of students there. I still don’t really take orders or commissions, but 1) I’ve had their food before and really enjoyed it (it’s tasty! it’s locally sourced! it’s 12,876,234 times healthier than the crap in the cafeteria!), and 2) I earned my professional degree at UH and had some good times there, so I couldn’t turn this down. 🙂 And seriously, where were all these awesome food trucks on campus back when I was in school?? I was one of the unfortunate souls that had to resort to the fast food joints in the campus cafeteria. I feel like I missed out. 😛

At any rate, they asked for a lil’ cougar (UH’s mascot) holding one of their signature bowls, so I got crackin’. The toughest part about making the little cougar was…well, making it look like a freaking cougar. I’ve made lions before, so I thought I could make a lion and take away the mane. Turns out taking away the mane left me with a yellow teddy bear. Then I pointed the ears and I ended up with a yellow kitty cat. STUPID COUGAR, WHY WON’T YOU SHOW YOURSELF?? After lots of fiddling (you’d be surprised at what kind of subtle alterations completely changed how the lil’ dude looked), I think I finally managed to get a serviceable lil’ coog. 🙂

Go Coogs!

And this lil’ coog is feasting on a bowl of his own. 🙂

I dropped by campus to deliver the lil’ guy and to grab a bite. I ordered a Western Indian bowl (marinated chicken, spinach, corn, all over a lovely bed of seasoned rice), topped with a poached duck egg. Let me repeat that. POACHED. DUCK. EGG.

Ohhhh mama.

The pieces of chicken were tender, the spinach was silky and took on the flavors and spices used in the chicken, and don’t even get me started on the duck egg…

GET IN MAH BELLY.

With the rice soaking up all that eggy goodness (I’ve got an unhealthy obsession with poached eggs), this was a bowl full of win. If any of you are fortunate enough to be on UH campus, these guys serve up some serious goodness. They’re super affordable, and they dole out hefty portions to boot. You eat well, spend less, and you get to support local farmers and growers in the process. TRIPLE WIN. Next time you drop by, say hi to the friendly staff, and say hello to their new pet!

Lil’ coog, happily perched in his new home.

You can keep up with Bare Bowls Kitchen on twitter or facebook. They’re honestly doing (and cooking) great things, and for all you UH students out there, seriously, ditch the Taco Bell and go straight for the trucks. I WILL LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH ALL OF YOU, since I never had the chance back when I had my days at UH. Go forth my dear coogs, and EAT WELL. 🙂

Twitter: www.twitter.com/BareBowls
Facebook: www.facebook.com/barebowlskitchen

Info about UH’s food truck food court can be found here. Goodness knows I would’ve eaten through ALL of those trucks if they were around when I was in school. 🙂