Category Archives: Eats

Texas State Fair

And on this, my 301′st post, I will celebrate the TX State Fair – and my 2 blue ribbons I won this year.  Yippee.

And here I am with my Strawberry-Mint preserves on my right, and the Tomato Preserves to my left.

Could I be anymore of a dork?  Probably not.

I headed to the fair this past weekend with Ben & David, which happened to be the first Sat. of the fair, only day two its been open.  And I gotta’ say, this might be our fave new time to go to the fair, the crowds were very doable, and we hardly had to wait in line for anything – except the fried butter.  Still a fair favorite after 2 years, we finally tried it.  And yes, it truly is good, even if you are eating a big ball of gooey, melted butter!

Also on our menu of culinary partaking: Fletchers corny dog (of course), $1 hot dog – a new place we found tucked away by the Old Mill Inn, roasted corn – from the ONLY place to get it from, the green/yellow apron folks on the Midway, by the merry-go-round, homemade root beer, homemade lemonade, caramel apples with nuts, fried loaded mashed potatoes – a favorite, and alas, the 1st place winner this year, fried bubble gum.

The Fried Bubble Gum got mixed reviews from us. It's really just a marshmallow that is bubble gum flavored that's been fried. Meh.

And the surprise of the evening, all-you-can-drink Ocean Spray juice samples and free Sensodyne toothpaste!  (Hey, that stuff is expensive, and I happen to be an avid user)!  If you’re over by the Food & Fiber and Creative Arts pavilions, keep walking past those areas, and just before the road curves to go back towards the Midway, you’ll find the vendor sampling areas.  OMG, the new Ocean Spray Cranberry Lime juice is SO GOOD!  All you need is a little vodka and maybe a splash of soda, and you’re good to go!  It’s definitely on my grocery list.

And we also checked out the car show, sat in some nice rides and kicked some tires.  Something I never thought I’d consider as my next vehicle purchase: a Ford.  But hey, that Ford Edge is sexy!  And Ford has really stepped it up with technology integration…USB ports and audio jacks everywhere, fantastic!  They’ve also got a new C-MAX hybrid crossover coming out next summer that will get 47 miles to the gallon in the city, and 97 if you go for the Energi version that plugs in!  Annual fuel costs of around $1,000 – uh, yes please!  :)

Greens!

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With lettuce & veggies fresh from my CSA this morning, & a bag of Tom Spicers (F.M. 1410 next to Jimmy’s)  micro arugula, this salad is ON tonight!  Bought an Italian loaf at Jimmy’s, & I’m whipping up a red wine/ garlic vinaigrette to go with – yum!

Santa Cruz organic lemonade

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OMG, Whole Foods have these on sale this week, 5/$5!  Cherry, peach, & regular. My guess is that cherry number is gonna’ taste so good w/ some vodka stirred into it while grillin’ by the pool tomorrow!  They also had whole, sweet corn, 8/$2!  Grill it, add a lil’ butter, mayo, parm, chipotle, & lime zest, & we’re in business!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Chefs for Farmers

I’m a bit late on this post, as I tweeted the heck out of it while there and uploaded to Facebook in real time, but here are even more in-depth pics of the glorious event.

I attended Chefs for Farmers last month, thanks to a thoughtful invite by Randy Potts, and man did we have a good time!  This was the 3rd annual, but my first time at the event.  It was held at Highland Park Cafeteria – and we literally took our tray thru the line and had 17 chefs load it up with some of the best food I’ve ever seen and eaten!  Everyone was given a ballot to vote on the best dish, and Diane and Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge won for their “burnt ends” – bits of smoky, crunchy, charred brisket, so amazing!

I can’t wait for the next one!

Some new vinegars.

I’ve got me some new vinegars to play with from A l’Olivier!

The cassis (black currant) vinegar I’ve already tried, and it’s excellent blended with some olive oil and pepper, makes a perfect salad dressing.  The pepper variety I got because it reminded me of the style of BBQ sauce used in the northeast.  In the Carolina’s and Virginia’s, their BBQ sauce is more vinegar based, very thin and peppery, not gooey, thick, and sugary like our sauces here in the south.  Brisket acts like a sponge to soak it up, and it is amazing!  The only restaurant I’ve found in the Dallas area that offers something close is Smoke.  It’s pretty darn good!

Dreamsicle Whoopie Pies

Check out these awesomely tasty whoopie pies I was gifted by my friend Bethany for my bday!  She makes them by hand, all different flavors.  These are orange cake with a cream cheese filling.  They’re actually a cross between a cake/cookie consistency, and she hand cuts them to fit inside Ball canning jars.  She tops them with a swatch of cute fabric, some raffia string, and a cute note.  Such a sweet, cute gift – and tasty!

Dallas – Nosh Euro Bistro

On my b-day I had lunch at Nosh Euro Bistro with my good friend Ann.  Chef Avner Samuel has some nice things on his menu, we chose:

Foie Gras & Chicken Liver Paté with black currant conserve
Slice of Baby Ice salad with creamy blue, apple wood bacon, tomatoes, and candied pecans
Roasted Red & Yellow Beets salad with baby arugula, goat cheese, and pecans, and raspberry vinaigrette
Tagliatelle and Italian Sausage with roasted tomatoes and hand made pasta
Espresso Braised Beef Short Rib with cheddar stone grits and blistered tomatoes
Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding with espresso ice cream

I’m not even a dessert person, let alone chocolate, but that croissant bread pudding is exactly what you think it is, chewy, chocolatey, creamy goodness.  I’d go back just for that.  Everything we had was great, the vinaigrette and infused olive oils used in the salads were bold, but very accommodating to the other flavors in the salad.

Ann’s short rib was extremely tender, while the exterior remained perfectly seared and crusty.  The pasta was good, I ordered it because it was the special, and I always try to order any pasta dishes where the pasta is made in-house.  Although next time I visit, I want to certainly try the flat iron steak.

Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff – Oddfellows

Located in the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff, Oddfellows occupies the space where Vitto’s used to be, adjacent to the Oak Cliff Mercantile.  They have free wi-fi, and Tuesday is “free taco with a cup of coffee” day!

The developers did a nice, albeit quick, re-do of the space…simple, concrete floors, and 2×2 cladding applied to “quick-walls” to define spaces.  Funky, quirky wall decor adorns the walls, old refurbed picture frames and funky prints.  There are some nice refurbed metal/wood accessory furniture items that dub as coffee stations and waiter stations.

Industrial and quaint at the same time...love that cake pedestal with the sugar cubes, nice touch.

I love that they use old Pyrex dishes and 70s style coffee mugs at these stations to hold their packets of sweetener/sugar, etc.  The white milk-glass cake pedestal to showcase the sugar cubes was a nice touch.  They also leave water service at each table in 1 liter, old-style, clear glass apothecary bottles.  Funky, I like it.

My friend had the Korean street style tacos, and I the chicken club sandwich with boiled egg and frisee salad.  We had the smoked salmon and avocado appetizer to start.  All was good, the tacos have a bit of a kick, so beware.  For the chicken to be sliced so thinly on the sandwich, I thought it was perfectly moist and flavorful.  The smoked salmon on the app was especially nice.

Boiled egg and bacon on a chicken club? Sign me up!

Their smoked salmon in this dish was really good, would be a great one-person snack/small plate lunch as well.

I did not partake in the coffee as my friend did.  But after hearing the rumors of the $100,000 Italian La Marzocco espresso machine, I helped myself to a sip – it was indeed delicious, and I’m not even a coffee person!

Apparently the Bentley of espresso and coffee!

I would return, the atmosphere was nice, even if the waitstaff still seems a bit green.  But they’ll come around.  I want to return at night, when I hear they open up the 4 roll-up windows around the bar and serve drinks to passersby.  God love that Oak Cliff is now “wet” – woohoo!

Some great variety.

Dinner at Beth’s

This past weekend I enjoyed a wonderful meal, and copious amounts of good Texas wine (seen here), at our friend Beth’s.  Each year Ben and I do the Susan G. Komen race for Beth, who is a survivor twice over, and this year she auctioned off dinner at her house as part of her fundraising.  Well, of course we had to have that, so we bid high and fast.  :)

What a treat we were in for, as Beth is a fabulous cook!  As soon as we hit the door, wine was pouring and we were scarfing up wild mushroom crostini with goat cheese.  And not just any mushrooms, but local ones from Tom Spicer’s FM 1410 store connected to Jimmy’s Food Store at Fitzhugh/Bryan.

An absolutely beautiful assortment!

Wild mushroom crostini.

(PS – I hear he’s related to Susan Spicer of New Orleans Bayona fame…love her…have her signed cookbook!)  Beth tells me you can get a “dime bag” of mixed wild locals…which I’m assuming is $10.  lol  She also posted on my Facebook to not tell too many people…whoops.  We love our local farmers, we just don’t love it when everyone else finds them too and there’s not enough left for us – so, shhh!  ha

We started with a warm spinach salad of melted butter, bleu cheese, and some of the mushrooms.  Then Beth came in with the 1-2 punch when she served up both roasted brussel sprouts with pancetta, and a potato/leek au gratin – decadence!

Brussies and pig fat? Yes please!

She used Gruyere cheese...my fave for melty/crispy dishes!

The main course was a bone in pork chop that was encrusted with a spice/bread crumb mixture that I know included some chipotle and I think I saw dried cranberries in there too!  We capped off the dinner with a homemade chocolate mousse and whipped cream…and more wine!  It was truly a wonderful meal with the best of company, and we were so honored to be guests in her home.

Yes, you wish you had this meal!

Stay tuned, we’re all planning a “best burger” excursion soon!

Beekman Blaak goat cheese

I’m missing some of this right now.

Mark and David brought me some all the way from Sharon Springs, NY, when they came to visit me this past November.  I think I may have to order some online, I’ve been having withdrawals!  And I need to commit to making some of the winter soups they’ve got on the site, like:

Got a sick friend?  The Get Well Soon Soup looks super hearty and tasty.  Or if you’re hankerin’ for some protein, the Dried Bean and Rosemary Soup.  I have yet to make a hearty soup this season, time for some tinkering in the kitchen this weekend!