Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas in Dallas

Dallas is buzzing with Holiday cheer and my family and I decided to take full advantage. While my uncle was at the ranch hunting with some friends my aunt, little Birdie and I made plans. My mom, sister Sallie Jane and my sisters childhood nanny Juany all came up for a Christmas weekend.

First we started with a delicious Italian dinner at Patricios in Highland Park Village. It was busy busy but the food and Christmas lights made it so worth it!

deep dish pizza

ck cataloni with bell pepper sauce

The next day, the real fun began. Breakfast with Santa! Though it is being offered at afferent locations around town I feel the Rosewood was very special. Just check out the sculpture in the entry way. Completely eatable.

The pastry chef of the hotel designed and organized the team who made it! The pictures really do not do it justice because it was incredible!

Not to mention the breakfast spread...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I am so sorry to have neglected my blog! It has been since before Thanksgiving and I am going to do my best to sum the important food things up.

Turkey Talk
Well since I was not at home to fight for Turkey rights for me and my dad my Grandmother did the Turkey this year. I about had a heart attack when I realized all my ranting and raving about brining was for nothing and my grandmother simply resorted the the paper bag method. YIKES!!! haha no the Turkey was fine because despite her putting it in the oven half an hour early (this happens yearly) we took it out in time. I admit, it was not dry and it tasted fine.

 HOWEVER! BRINE PEOPLE BRINE! It is CRUCIAL! It moistens the bird while changing the molecular components making your bird moist, juicy, and more flavorful. Basically full proof. The basic components of a brine is salt and water however people also add sugar and spices. I like to use things like juniper berries, garlic (whole head cut in half), onions, oranges, orange juice, lemons, lemon juice, bay leaves ect... Here are the links I sent my dad of the brines and Turkey recipes we were going to choose from in case yall are considering a Christmas Turkey:

Fix'ens and Other Stuff

I did end up making breakfast roll-ups, two pies and a Frosted Green Bean Salad (Houston Junior League Cook Book). The "roll-ups" are just what I am calling them I think I got the recipe from an Ina Garten show and I don't remember what she called them. They're basically phyllo dough sprinkled with brown sugar and pecans, rolled up, cut and baked. This was a perfect in-the-kitchen activity for me to do with my 2 yr old cousin. First I toasted the pecans, chopped them, rolled out and separated the phyllo sheets, brushed them with butter, and separated the pecans and brown sugar into bowls for her to sprinkle.

The two pies I made were a caramel banana pie that is my aunts mothers or aunts recipe and it is really good and really easy! All you do is make caramel or cajeta out of sweetened condensed milk (I tell you how on the first or second entry about Mexico), make- or buy- a pie crust, line the crust with sliced bananas (another great activity for kids) and fill in with caramel. Top with whipped cream and toasted pecans. It is DELISH! I also made a pumpkin pie with another can of caramel I made. It was a winner too.
Gearing Up For Christmas 
So far Birdie and I have made ornaments for her Christmas tree, watched a lot of kids Christmas movies (thank you ABC Family! You really pull it out for the Holidays) and made a ginger bread house. I call it our Gingerbread catastrophe. It was fun once it was assembled but the assembly was not easy at all! Anywho here is our end result:
Christmas is around the corner and this weekend my mom and little sister are coming to Dallas to have breakfast with Santa so I will be blogging about that! I wont leave yall hanging like that again!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cosmic Cafe- Dallas

The best way I can think to describe Cosmic Cafe is India meets Pink Floyd. Everywhere you step, sit and look from the second you hit the lawn there is something wild. Colorful Brahma statues and an Elephant water fountain in the front yard, a porch with benches and more colors than a cosmic rainbow, wacky doors, fixtures and posters. This is just the outside.

Once inside the wackiness goes into supernova! Paintings of monkeys, flowers and places adorn every wall. Ceiling fans in shapes of lotus flowers, statues, colorful tables, fish tank, it goes on and on. Lets just say this is a very entertaining place to take my 2 year old cousin for lunch. There are stairs on your way to the bathroom that lead to a meditation room where you can slip off your shoes and escape the busy Dallas world outside. In the evenings the room becomes a yoga studio and one night a week a meditation class. Only $5 a class!

The food is just as wacky and delicious! The restaurant is vegetarian but there are also vegan options. Hummus, Samosas, Dahl, Soups of the "Here and Now" and that is just the starters.

Tacos, Enchiladas, Burgers, and Pizzas (there way), Comsmic Stir Fry, Curried Veggies, Nan. One of my aunts favorite dishes is a wrap they call the "Herban Renweal" which is avocado, cream cheese, spinach, mushrooms, mozzarella, and herbs on nan. This time however she had their Spinach Enchiladas which is three enchiladas topped with their special white cream sauce and served with rice and beans:

I had their Pizza Mystica which has sauteed black bean patties, sun dried tomatos, onions, mushrooms, mozzarella, and fresh basil on nan. What really blew my mind were the black bean patties because they were dense and cubed very small just like sausage. I had to really investigate to figure out it was beans and not sausage because to me it really seemed like meat. And for me being such a meat eater I was blown away and the pizza did not miss a beat.

investigating with my taste buds

        And of course, Birdie had her usual rice and beans and nan and she gobbled it up! What she got in her mouth and not all over the table and floor that is.

Cosmic Cafe was ranked Dallas' Best Vegetarian Restaurant for the last 9 years by the Dallas Observer.

“Cosmic Cafe is a haven for the city’s vegetarians.”

Southwest Airlines Spirit
In-flight magazine

So go check it out!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Me, My Family and Favorite Food Quotes

"Sure I have a favorite meal of the day; at breakfast it's breakfast, at lunch it's lunch and at dinner it's dinner." -My dad

Dad grillin on the patio in San Antonio
Dad: Hey Catherine is that an Orange Soda?
Me: Ya!
Dad: When I was little in Mexico we use to drink something just like that but we drank it...
Me: Out of a bag with a straw? AHAHAHA

Dad, Me and Mom at my Grandparents house in Calvert
"Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!" -Tommy Smothers

"I want my meat Moo'in!" - Tito

My brother Tito at Christmas
"Catherine trust me, all you have to do is marinate it in Beer and Tabasco." - Tito

Tito crusin down the Brazos
Me: Eat it Sallie Jane it's pork loin with bacon!
Sallie Jane: I don't like pork...
Me: What family do you come from?!?!?

My sister Sallie Jane

Sallie Jane, Me, Tito

4th of July Cake

Family Party at Jakes in Calvert, Tx
 "I would be so happy if my house always smelled like there were onions and garlic cooking and I always smelled like vanilla." - Me
Me: Mom, you can't eat pasta and bread in the same meal, that's what makes you fat..."
Mom: Ok, we'll have a salad and skip dessert
Me: What? Are you crazy! We have to have dessert
Mom: We'll there's nothing sweet
Me: What do you mean we don't have ice cream?!?!

Mom and Petra
"There are many foods out there that are worth being fat for. Plus, if your food tastes good and keeps bringing people back, who cares if you're fat?" - Me 
Tito and Me eating ice cream in Oregon

"I'm kind of a picky eater... Catherine, this is delicious!" -Cindy Barerro

Me and Cindy TX A&M ring dunk 2010
"Catherine, can I be your brownie tester?" - Mallory Sampson 
My cousin Mallory and Margarita at the Ranch in Calvert
"Catherine, thank you so much for the cookies and homemade salsa, the cookies crumbled and the green salsa exploded but it was all delicious!" - Mallory Sampson 

Mallory and Caitlin
 "Sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn."

-Garrison Keillor

"It's sad when you plan your vacation around where you want to eat." - Ashely Rasner

My best friend Ashley
"I'd like to find the guy that invented cheese and buy that dude some cheese." - Ashely Rasner
Ashey and her BF Van
Ashley: Khaki (me) what is in menudo?
Me: Basically all the intestines and other gross stuff
Ashley: Ok, I'll have that...

Me and Ashley out on the town
And in ending I will leave with pictures of the other things we eat down here in Texas...
 (We practice legal and fair hunting in our family. That means none of the game animals were shot out of season, we work hard to preserve the species and all the meat was used and eaten.)

What a minute! That's my cat Willie Nelson in a spurs jersey!
Here we go...

What? No thats our dog Biscuit

Uncle Tucker and his Buck

Tito and Me catfishin
 "I love animals, they're delicious!" - bumper sticker
Tito and a wild boar (DELISH!)

Mom and Dad and a Bass (too small to eat but tastey)

Dad, Clay and Wild Geese

Catfishin at the Lake

Tito, Mallory and Armour after a duck hunt (my second fav to eat next to dove)
 I hope that if ya'll are not familiar with Texas ya'll come soon!

Tito's pet Turtle (the flag was for Texas pride and so we could find him in the yard)