With summer barbecue season bearing down like an angry bull, this meatberg ensures July evenings scented with charcoal and satisfaction, no matter the size of your crowd. The imminent meat-ark of USDA-graded steaks includes four bacon-wrapped 7-ounce filets, four 7-ounce filet strips, four 8-ounce Black Angus New York strips, four 7-ounce flat-iron tenders, six half-pound pure chopped-beef steaks (81/19 lean), and two 17-ounce porterhouse T-bones. Kick back with a bottle of hickory barbecue sauce and brush up on steak facts while you wait for the two-week processing and delivery.
When photographer Cory Jackson takes photos, he aims his lens to capture the essence and personality of his subjects. That’s why you won’t see him working in an artificial studio setting or forcing awkward props into clients’ hands. Instead, he works with his subjects to find a location that they’ll feel comfortable in and coaxes out natural poses and facial expressions. If you don’t have a spot in mind, he’ll help you find a good fit; with three years of on-location photography, he’s built quite a library of mood-suiting background locations, such as flower-covered meadows or train tracks. Whether it’s snapping senior photos, a new baby’s grin, or engagement photos, Cory’s done it all, as seen on his blog.
3 Wide Racing Entertainment brings miniaturized race-day rowdiness to parties and events, sending radio-controlled stock cars zooming around a portable 9'x18' racetrack, complete with drivers' stations and a professionally dressed pit crew. During each two-hour sprint, four hot rods at a time vie for blacktop supremacy on the XP18 racetrack, which boasts a digital lap counter, computerized in-race announcing, and a cybernetic agent to manage the racers' sponsorship opportunities. Races are standardized at about 2–3 minutes per go-around, leaving plenty of time for rematches. Whether wannabe drivers are children, adults, or two children in a trench coat and false mustache, easy-to-operate controls put revelers of all ages in the driver’s seat.
The zookeepers and storytellers at Tiny Tails to You! travel from town to town to organize pop-up petting zoos four days a week, and lease out hands-on learning experiences for festivals, summer camps, and private parties. What beasts turn up at these parties is up to the customer, who might arrange for anything from an avalanche of fluffy bunnies and baby birds to an encampment of chinchillas, hedgehogs, leopard geckos, and tortoises. The staff's love for animals extends beyond informative show-and-tells—head zookeeper Ed Bradfield offers pet-sitting services for dogs, cats, exotic pets, and house-trained rocks, and the zookeepers are nearly always offering baby bunnies for adoption.
Named Best Honey in 2008 by the Dallas Observer, Round Rock Honey's 100% natural local wildflower honey is harvested from more than 90 sites by owners Konrad and Elizabeth Bouffard and their crews of trained beekeepers. With precision, they remove the liquid gold from hives by centrifuge, ensuring that pollen, trace minerals, and complex sugars are never compromised during the honey harvest. They then pour the honey through a stainless-steel sieve to remove potential bee legs and wings, wax caps, and miniature tiaras before bottling it and selling it to specialty stores, farmer's market visitors, and online customers.
A similar procedure happens in other parts of the country at Round Rock's beekeeping schools. During classes, Konrad Bouffard and Beekeeping Academy teachers impart their beekeeping knowledge upon suited-up students while they extract honey from a live beehive. Along the way, novices learn about the finer points of raising bees and keeping them healthy, as well as bee handling and lullaby-buzzing.