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)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween "Pupcakes"

Halloween is my second favorite Holiday, next to Christmas, and one of the things I look forward to the most is making goolish treats. This year I was fortunate to have started my employment in Dallas where I watch my 2 year old cousin Birdie. She will be the cute little blonde who will be in most of my entries through Christmas. This year me, Birdie and my aunt Stacy decided to make Halloween Cupcakes, or "pupcakes" as Birdie calls them. To make things easier we decided to go with a box cake mix, I like Pillsbury Yellow Cake Mix, but it is really up to you on the brand. The reason I go for yellow cake mix is you can easily dye it with food coloring, add a few extra flavors such as Vanilla, Nutmeg and  Cinnamon for the Holidays (remember a little bit of nutmeg goes a long way).
I am NOT a fan of store bought icing, I think it tastes like paste mixed with way too much sugar, so I always make my own and it is really simple! If you buy a package of powdered sugar there is usually a recipe on the back, that is what we used. It is basically just Powdered Sugar, Butter, Vanilla, and maybe Milk or Water. I wanted chocolate icing so I just melted some chocolate chips in the microwave (a little bit at a time stirring a lot so they melt nicely) and added them to the mixture. 
Once they bake the fun part begins, decorating! I got sprinkles, marsh mellows, candy, and pretzel sticks and here are the results...

This is a great way to get into the Holidays! Carve pumpkins, make sweets! So if you missed Halloween it's ok because you have both Thanksgiving and Christmas to make up for it.Help brine the Turkey, make rolls and bread, pumpkin flavored things such as ravioli, tarts, and of course pies. And with the endless selection of cookie cutters these days you can make Thanksgiving and Christmas cookies! Just make sugar cookies, cut out shapes (not too thin), make icing and dye it, then decorate to your hearts content! Good colors for fall and Thanksgiving are brown, yellow, orange and black. Good Christmas colors are green, red and white. The Holidays really aren't the same with out family and food and when you can combine the two and make things everyone will enjoy it makes it that much more special! Happy Holiday Decorating!