Archives for the month of: December, 2015

I’mma talk to y’all like I’m talking’ to one of my girls…”BITCH! Those grits were A-MA-ZING!” I’m not lying to y’all.  I’ve had grits from A LOT of restaurants, Max’s Wine Dive, Anvil Pub in Deep Ellum, they were good, tasty, nothing bad AT ALL, but DISH?! Yeah.  They made my soul smile.

Over this past year, brunch has seriously become one of my favorite meals, favorite times to get together with friends to eat, drink and be very merry.  I mean, you got sweet, salty and savory dishes, mimosas galore, the portions are oh-so-generous.  What more could you ask for?!

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Bucket of Bubbles … mini caraffes of cranberry and orange juice.  Own bottle of sparkling champagne

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Mac & Cheese

I’ve been wanting to go to DISH for a minute now, it’s been bookmarked as one of my GoTo’s on Yelp for a while now, just like a lot of other tasty options.  Luckily on the day I went, it wasn’t packed, which was surprising, because it was a Sunday.  Sunday brunch usually means crowded anywhere you go in the DFW Metroplex.  We got seated right away and our waitress was a real sweetheart.  She just moved to Texas, from the east coast, I believe Jersey, not even a year ago.

I was in the mood for a comforting dish, something warm and sweet…FIRST.  Just to start me off.  The Steel Cut Oatmeal looked really good. I went with my gut, so I ordered it.  It was perfect.  I added a little bit more milk, but the sweetness of the brûlée sugar on top, the crispy crunch of it, with the bitter, chilled raspberries and blackberries.  I emptied the bowl with the quickness. LoL.

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That was good, great, wonderful, but let me tell YOU *in my Kevin Hart voice* about these grits.  I was greedy that day.  Really greedy.  I just couldn’t make up my mind.  The presentation, the taste, the portion, just every single thing about these grits was on point!

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First impression, I loved the mini, cast iron, deep dish, that the grits came in.  Kept them piping hot.  It added to the character and the personality of the grits as well.  The menu was very limited when it came to an ingredient list under each item, but I really didn’t care, because they were G-OO-D!  They had this smoky flavor to them,  seasoned perfectly, there was a cheesy flavor all in and throughout the grits.  I ate spoonful after spoonful, back to back to back.  The melted cheese on top, browned and bubbly, was just the best.  I honestly could’ve had this with some eggs, bacon AND sausage and my Sunday would’ve been MADE.

If brunch was this good, I could only imagine lunch or dinner.  My girlfriend that I went with, she said the pork chop was to die for, I’m sure she’s telling the truth.  Looks like I know what to get on my next, visit. SOON.

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Have a holly, jolly…Thanksgiving!  Yes, I changed it up there, I sure did.  Who gon’ stop me huh?!  This Thanksgiving, I had my family feeling good, cup after cup.  Of what you ask? Fall Sangria!  This stuff got better as the hours went by, as it sat and sat and the flavors meshed and mixed.

Once again, another ridiculously simple recipe.  From, once again, one of my favorites, BuzzFeed!  And this cocktail gives you quite the buzz.  You’ll love it.  Feel all warm inside, feel it all in your blood. *smiles*

All you’ll need is any kind of apple, about four to six.  I used Gala apples of course.  You’ll need pears, about four to six, I used Bartlett, one bottle (25 mL) of cinnamon whisky, I used my favorite, FIREBALL! ( I screamed FIREBALL when I typed it lol), one bottle of cheap Pinot Grigio, 64 oz. of apple cider and finally a one liter bottle of club soda. That. is. It.

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I rough chopped all of my apples and pears and placed them in this pretty glass beverage dispenser, that I found at Walmart, for like $20.  I was so excited to use it!  I took the whole bottle of Fireball, emptied it all over the apples and pears.  Cover it and let that sit, let the fruit soak in the whisky, for two good hours.  Make sure they get nice and boozy.

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Soak my babies…

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SOAK!

Now, after they’ve bathed and gotten all alchy-like, pour ALL the Pinot Grigio…

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ALL the apple cider…

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and ALL the club soda into the apple, pear and whisky mixture.  Stir it all up, let it marinate really well, pour over a tall, or short glass of ice, scoop some of those apples and pears into your glass and VOILÀ…you’ve got Fall Sangria.  Let me tell you now, your family AND your friends, will want not ONE, not TWO, but at LEAST three glasses of this cocktail all throughout the night.  It’ll be the star of the party!

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CHEERS!

This past Thanksgiving, I was a woman of my word.  Everything, well a lot of things, that I always said that I was going to make from Pinterest, I made.  This one edible goodie in particular, was so creative, so different, so fun, I couldn’t resist adding it to my menu of treats. The actual recipe, or should I say idea, came from BuzzFeed, but I saw the drool-worthy video on Pinterest.

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Now, my family is pretty big, so I definitely needed more of the ingredients than what the recipe called for.  When I tell you they’re so easy to make, I am not kidding you.  It took no time, and I think I made a total of like 30.  Just wait until you see the pan of my finished result. Enough of the small talk though, I know you don’t want to hear all of this anyways.  Follow along, it’s not hard, and try not to mess up.  I’m being so sarcastic by the way lol

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So, here’s what you’ll need: cinnamon rolls, I used Pillsbury, because they’re my favorite, but I mean, you can use whatever brand your heart desires.  That goes for all of the ingredients above.  As far as the apples, I used Gala apples.  I’m not a huge fan of red delicious, I don’t like the texture of the skin, but I would’ve used Braeburn if I wasn’t able to find Gala.  For the inside, to “season” the apple, you’ll need melted butter and brown sugar, dark or light would work.  Now, for the drizzle at the end, you’re going to use the icing that comes in each can of cinnamon rolls, but if you wanna go balls out and do it big, you can buy vanilla frosting for more sweetness.

Before you do anything, preheat that good ol’ oven to 350 degrees.  After washing and drying off your apples, cut off just the tops, just enough to get to the inside.  As far as the bottle of the apple, you know the part that no one eats, I didn’t do this my first time trying the recipe, but next time, I’m going to cut off a little bit of the bottom, so that when people do cut into the apple to eat it, they don’t have to worry about that piece or part that sprouts out at the bottom.  Just something I observed.  Once that’s done, core out all of the apple, all of the inside.  Try not to core a hole in the sides or the bottom, or any part of the apple.  You want to make sure that it stays in one piece.  Once you’ve done the number of apples you need,  head on over to the microwave.

Take a stick of butter, or two, or three, however much you think you’ll need and melt it.  You can never have too much butter. It, and bacon, make EVERYTHING better.  Oooooooh, I just thought of an idea to vamp this recipe up, Oh em gee!…Let me focus. So, place that melted butter to the side and have your brown sugar on hand.  In each apple, please a tablespoon or so of butter, enough to cover the bottom, as well as a pinch or two of brown sugar.  Take a basting or pastry brush, or in my case, the back of a spoon and rub that butter/sugar mixture all around the inside of the apple.  I even swirled the apple itself around to make sure every inch was covered.  You could even add some cinnamon, but that would’ve been an overload for me.  Too much cinnamon makes the roof of my mouth feel weird, like rough.  Does that happen to anyone else?  I know I’m not the only one!

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Once you “sweet season” that apple really well, take one cinnamon roll and press it into the apple.  They’ll fit snug and that’s exactly how you want it.

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Place these babies in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.  After 15 minutes of baking, cover them with foil and continue to bake for the remaining 30 minutes.  Once they come out, piping hot, fresh, smelling just LIKE a hot apple pie, let them cool for a minute or two.  While they’re doing that, the icing that comes with each can of cinnamon rolls, pop the tops off those, take a heaping spoonful of the icing and let it fall from the spoon onto the apples.  Drizzle all the sweetness your greedy little self wants, on those beauties.  That’s not the end though, I’ve got more…take a heaping scoop of ice cream and place it ever so neatly next to your apple.  My family, we used Blue Bell.  We’re pretty much over the health scare and maaaaan was it good.  I mean, REALLY good.  The apples weren’t too soft or mushy after baking, just the right texture, and the cinnamon rolls were standing high, in each apple, it was just a perfect pair.  A true, holiday, match made in Heaven.

 

Not sure if I’ve mentioned it lately, but I recently started back on Weight Watchers.  I kid you not, it is hands down, one of the best programs I’ve ever done to lose weight.  About a year ago, when I first started, and I was serious about it, I lost about 20lbs. in a month, and I felt good doing it!  You literally can eat whatever you want, but it’s how much you eat that matters.  Make sure your eyes don’t get bigger than your stomach basically.  I don’t call it a “diet”, it’s more like a lifestyle change, as they teach us in the meetings.

Being such a social network junkie, I usually go to Instagram to find pretty much anything.  I ended up finding a lot of WW-friendly sites full of recipes, where I can pretty much treat myself to damn near any dish, but they’re made over to be a little bit more healthy, WW points friendly.  Some of my favorites, like true go-to’s, they never let me down are Emily Bites, Drizzle Me Skinny! and the star of this blog Skinnytaste.

I was craving veggies one day, but I didn’t want any boring steamed veggies, or just seasoned with salt, pepper and other spices.  I remembered seeing this cheesy spinach recipe on Skinnytaste, Makeover Spinach Gratin.  VERY similar to Spinach Artichoke Dip…just without the artichoke.

Very easy to make, you’ll probably hear me say that a lot, because I like quick, easy, simple, delicious recipes.  The faster I make my food, the faster it cooks so that I can devour it.

In my favorite saucepan, I melted the butter and added the chopped onions.  The recipe called for a cup, finely chopped, but I used a whole onion, which equaled roughly two cups.  The smell, delicious of course, that’s why I just went ahead and used a whole onion.  Anything sautéed in butter is the best.  Lots of onion in butter, is the best.  Let those cook until translucent.

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added flour…

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then nutmeg

Now, when you add those two dry ingredients to your butter onion mixture, it’s gonna dry up right away…that is O-K, it’s normal.  This will thicken up the sauce; a roux basically.  Once your flour and your nutmeg are incorporated evenly, add your milk, slowly, whisking while pouring.

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You’ll whisk, whisk and whisk some more, making sure the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, and your sauce will thicken.  Next, I moved the saucepan from the fire.  I quickly took my thawed out frozen spinach, I only used one 16oz. bag and placed it in cheesecloth.  The recipe called for three bags, which is three pounds, but my gratin turned out just fine and it was still thick.  Once all the water was squeezed out of the spinach, I added it to the sauce and placed the saucepan back over the fire.

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continue whisking, making sure that the spinach is mixed in well with the onion, butter, milk sauce

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add a portion of the parmesan cheese, mix in well…I used Kraft, nothing fancy

Once that’s done, you can start personalizing your spinach gratin, seasoning to your taste, to your liking.  I love spices and seasonings, but I didn’t go too overboard with it.

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Once you like the taste, once you’re satisfied, dump the spinach in a casserole dish, sprinkle the rest of the parmesan cheese on top along with the Swiss cheese (I used Sargento slices), it’s gonna look so pretty, and place in the oven for 20 quick minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

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I was extremely happy eating it with a spoon, tasted great right out of the dish, my brother paired it with tortilla chips, he killed it, either way you wanna dig in…it’s G-OO-D, GOOD!

 

 

 

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