Pizza and wine is becoming a Friday favorite! We opened a local bottle that we received from a friend. It was light and spicy.
I threw together a pizza with leftovers from our pineapple crockpot chicken along with sheep’s manchego, spicy bbq sauce, and cilantro. Pizza is always good. And we watched Rent because I had never seen it! I was impressed Matt knew many of the songs:)
Saturday we hit up bootcamp and made a hearty lunch in preparation for some beer drinkin. We were supposed to attend a crawfish boil, but because of the weather, the gathering turned into a visit to Community Brewing. We had been once before, and this time they had a new bar area and many more choices. I accidentally drank all three pints, and after hours of conversation, we decided to go in search of dinner. It was a lovely afternoon and I made new friends in addition to catching up with newish old ones.
We wanted something low-key, so we walked to the Rustic for Texas homestyle cookin.
They had a great beer list, but I decided on a pricky pear margarita in honor of our trip to AZ (but really because I was tired of beer!).
We shared two apps and a burger. Above, the cactus fritters (soo good), and below, the smoked catfish and crackers.
The burger was a bit dry, but I loved the bun and the green chilies that were served with it. The mashed sweet potatoes were amazing!
We rarely get dessert in restaurants, and were def. not planning to order one on Saturday, but then I saw this go by….
A giant peanut butter pie – who can resist?
I usually get to the grocery store on Friday or Saturday, but didn’t make it this week, so we decided brunch was in order on Sunday. We went to Sundown on Granada, which is officially my new favorite brunch spot! It’s on the hippy side and has incredible vegetarian and vegan options. We had been once before, but only sat at the bar for apps. I started with the vegan green drink made with kale, bananas, berries, cucumbers, mint, agave, and it really hit the spot.
We definitely only needed one brunch entree, but I had no idea they were gonna be so big! I had their version of a vegan benedict, which was swiss chard, sweet potato hash, chipotle-avocado sauce, and fire roasted salsa, over a housemade quinoa burger. I’ve been a bit disappointed in quinoa burgers lately, but this one was full of flavor (and giant).
Matt’s benedict was ridiculously good too, and consisted of Shiner brisket and bbq hollandaise over whole wheat molasses toast. I was in a definite food coma after this brunch, but it was good for grocery shopping afterwards because I stuck to my list exactly. And good fuel for the week! I’m working three days and have yet another interview. Hope yall had a good Monday! Adios.Read More
The weekend was lovely. I hadn’t really seen Matt in a while because of Key West and his weekend soccer tournament plus weekday travel for work. It was wonderful to go on a date! HG Supply has been on our list for quite some time, so we were both really excited to have dinner there. HG stands for hunter gatherer and the menu is Paleo-inspired; the food is simple and clean, and so was the space! I had a fabulous vanilla cinnamon Manhattan in the lively bar while we waited for our table.
We started with the bacon wrapped pork shanks with chipotle-cider glaze. These were giant and delicious.
HG Supply is famous for their bowls of flavorful combinations of meat and vegetables. Matt wanted to try ‘The Hunted’ bowl consisting of duck confit, sweet potato hash, spicy broccoli & bacon. We both loved it.
We also shared the quinoa burger with olive tapenade and hummus. We will definitely be back to HG supply, not just because we liked the food and atmosphere, but because of the chocolate kettlebell that arrived at the table beside us. It was the size of an actual kettlebell and the server poured hot caramel over it to melt the chocolate and reveal a piece of cheesecake inside. It was insane.
After dinner we watched Blackfish, a documentary about killer whales in captivity. I really enjoyed watching it, but also felt really sad about the poor whales and trainers. I dreamed of being one of those trainers after my first visit to SeaWorld when I was little and had no idea that so much information had been kept from the public:(
Saturday, I baked up a storm! A friend was celebrating her 30th birthday, and I volunteered to make the desserts for the party. I attempted a new recipe for brownie surprise cupcakes, and made an old faithful mint whoopie pie recipe.
I wouldn’t recommend the brownie surprise – freezing the brownie batter was supposed to keep it from cooking all the way through so that it would remain gooey, but it didn’t work at all. The brownies still cooked until they were dry and cakey. They weren’t bad at all, but I’m just not a chocolate cake person and that’s basically what they tasted like on the inside. The peanut butter icing on top, however, was incredible!!!
And the whoopies were good!
The party was awesome – they had one of my favorite wines and a wonderful spread of Mexican food from a local restaurant. I could not stop eating the sweet potato chips with salsa verde!!
Sunday was nice and relaxing. Matt and I took a long walk to the tennis courts, but were sad to find them packed because of the nice weather. We eventually gave up.
I picked up some cajun turkey burgers for dinner and we sipped on rose to end the weekend.
And another week begins.Read More
I had two more parties this weekend, so I baked on Saturday! Confession: I used Trader Joe’s gingerbread cookie dough because it’s awesome and easy. I cut each round of dough in two and pressed the balls into mini cupcake holders to make gingerbread cups.
And because I love Icing, I whipped up some ‘buttercream’ and put dollops in the middle. Mmmmm.
I loved these and think I’ll make them again for Christmas. I just ordered new icing tips too, so I can make better dollops!
After filling the apartment with wonderful smells of gingerbread, I finally finished decorating our tree! How funny is that one tall branch at the top? I can’t decide if I should trim it or leave it.
We ventured out to our first party of the night – a going away gathering for our friends who are moving to Paris!
I brought the gingerbread cups, but there were all kinds of goodies!
After 2 rounds of drinks and conversation, we headed to our second stop – a Christmas party hosted by my college roomie. Here’s Matt with his bff Chris!
There was lots more good food, this time with a Mexican twist – pork tamales and the best guacamole ever from Mi Cocina (as in a restaurant here in Dallas, not my actual kitchen:))
I met so many new people and chatted for hours!
Matt and I finally walked home at 1:30 after helping clean up millions of beer bottles. Miraculously, I was able to sleep until TEN this morning, so I didn’t feel that tired today. It was a lazy Sunday, but Matt and I took a long afternoon stroll because the weather was gorgeous.
I’m ready for a productive week and then it’s time for two weeks of family, holiday food, and pure relaxation. Night!Read More
The weeks are just flying by! I can’t believe next weekend is Labor Day and then summer is over:( Although, I must admit, I’m looking forward to cooler temps in Dallas, so we can actually sit on all the awesome outdoor patios. I took it easy this weekend because I planned a little trip to the Texas hill country tomorrow. I know as soon as Matt starts work, days off will be a rarity, so I figured we should check out another area of Texas while we have the time off.
Anyway, we stayed in on Friday night and had pasta with friends, and then planned a pizza date night for Saturday in a different neighborhood. I was super excited to check out the Bishop Arts District outside of downtown because I’ve heard it’s charming and has great good. The rumors are correct!
We arrived early and attempted to walk around, but it was too hot and we didn’t make it far. We gave up and grabbed a beer in the cute Whitehall Exchange to kill some time before dinner. I was a tad disappointed that they didn’t have beer on tap, but found one of my favorite bottles.
For dinner, we walked over to Eno’s Pizza Tavern. The space was adorable and much nicer than your typical pizza place. They had tons of great local beer on tap, although it was pricey at $6 for just a 10oz pour. I understand the high prices when the beer is high ABV, but I didn’t get why a small pour of a 5% wheat beer would be so expensive. I loved my saison though!
There were a lot of good salads on the menu and the large was enough for two big plates. We ordered one with fresh jalapeno, roasted pork belly, and a local tarragon honey vinaigrette. I think I was imagining chunks of crispy pork belly (aka bacon), so I was a bit disappointed when it was more like cubed white pork chop. Everything else about the salad was lovely.
There were lots of fun seasonal ingredients available on the pizzas and it was nice that they allow half-n-half on the specialty pizzas. We ordered half with spicy sausage, American calabrese, and Benton’s ham with a honey drizzle, and half with basil, garlic, mushroom, charred tomato, and ricotta.
Both kinds were great, especially the honey and with the spicy sausage meat! The crust was super thin and almost like a cracker. While I liked the crunchy crust, I think the lack of doughy edges on a 14 inch pie and the $16 price tag make the pizza seem like kind of a rip off. I loved every bite though.
The highlight of the entire weekend was this cookie tower. I saw it on the Tillman’s Roadhouse menu and pretty much knew I had to have it. And then it exceeded expectations! There were four cookies that were gooey inside with peanut butter icing in between each. The stack was served with banana ice cream and a warm ganache that Matt kindly drizzled over everything.
Since Matt and I can be competitive when eating dessert, we cut the stack in half to define the portions:) This smushed everything a bit, but I think you can imagine how delicious this was even from the messy picture.
I WILL be back for the stack again. I’m officially obsessed.
My dad had his heart set on seeing the sunset over the ocean, so even though it was in the 40′s outside we had a picnic style cocktail hour.
We didn’t think we would be able to see much with the cloudy skies…
but we still enjoyed some wine and then the sun emerged from under a cloud!
It descended from the cloud and we instantly felt warm…
and then it quickly disappeared again. What a neat sunset!
I think the highlight of the weekend was the wine tasting we did on Saturday night. We’re having the rehearsal dinner at the golf club and the bartender was nice enough to give us very generous pours of all the house wines. We were impressed!
Mazen showed his ID but it wasn’t accepted.
After lots of wine and a Duke win (!), we were so ready to eat!
My sister and I split the fresh catch with bourbon glaze over a grit cake as well as the fish tacos.
And we shared the most divine cobbler for dessert! Mixed berry with a scone crumble on top. I swear I blinked and it was gone:)
Sunday was the reception tasting! I never get tired of the view from our venue. Palm trees + ocean = wedding paradise.
We tasted a ton of different stuff. The good news is that we liked almost everything. The bad news is that we can’t make up our minds on anything!
I know I want these crab cakes for sure.
We want the menu to be balanced and well-rounded, so we’re going to see if the chef can do variations on some of the dishes. I’m pumped for the food!
After the tasting, we went into Wilmington to meet with our wedding coordinator and florist at Kickstand Events. She is awesome and we had so much to talk about that 2.5 hours flew by. I’m so glad we decided to use Kickstand and I’m thrilled with how things are coming along.
By the time we finally got home, it was nearing 9 and we went straight to Whole Foods to satisfy a pizza craving. I think I went to bed within 30 seconds of finishing my last slice. It was a wonderful whirlwind of a weekend and I’m smiling from ear to ear. With less than 3 months to go, I’m getting nervous and excited at the same time.Read More