Archives for posts with tag: sweet

“Real Food Done Real Good”.  Elizabeth’s first owner Heidi Trull was REAL right when she said this.  Ever since the first time I visited Elizabeth’s for Sunday breakfast, with a group of my closest friends, I make it a point to go on every visit now.  Brunch or breakfast.  Doesn’t matter, cause I know I’m going to eat REAL GOOD!

I don’t know how my friends found Elizabeth’s, but then again I DO, because word travels fast when it comes to delicious food.  Tucked away in the Upper Ninth Ward at the corner of Gallier St. and Chartres St., you’ll see a two story, older house, decorated with artwork and bright colors, looks very “lived in” and old school.  Like somebody’s grandmother is in the kitchen doing major damage.  You really can’t miss it.

Before we were even seated at our table, I knew exactly what I wanted to treat the table to.  It’s something you can’t resist, one of their menu items that is just too good to miss out on.  They found a way to make bacon, better.  Who knew?!  Praline Bacon.  That’s all you need to hear.  A pretty white plate with four candied pieces of pork.  One of the best teaser appetizers I’ve ever had.  Bacon Candy.  Two words that go so well together.

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Do you SEE this?! *sigh*

Now let me take you back for a second.  On one of my visits to New Orleans, for the Dallas Cowboys vs. Saints game, we visited this little bar, next to a restaurant called Stanley, AMAZING brunch might I add.  Not sure what the bar was called, but it’s right next door.  We waited here while our table was prepared.  It’s located in the heart of the French Quarter, right by Jackson Square.  There was a drink they served called Brandy Milk Punch.  Simple concoction of Brandy, whole milk, powdered sugar and nutmeg to garnish the drink with.  I liked it so much there, that I saw fit to go ahead and order one at Elizabeth’s.  Just as good as I remember from the first time.  Reminds me of the holidays.

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***Just a disclaimer, when I’m on vacation, I EAT! I tend to go all the way in, I mean I liked to taste the local flavors of the city.  I like to share food, I will order A LOT, so y’all don’t judge me and my greedy a** LOL***

Along with the pig candy, I ordered the Fried Boudin Balls in Creole Mustard Sauce.  These balls, oh I just wish they gave us six instead of three.  The worst is when you take that last bite, because it’s gone, there’s no more.  So, savor every bite.  What really hits it off is the mustard sauce that they sit so pretty in.  It’s the perfect addition to really make the flavors in the boudin balls shine.  It’s smoky, it’s thick, it’s got a sweet hint to it and y’all know sweet and savory is my thing!

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Sadly, but not surprisingly, I was on the full side after indulging in these delicious delicacies, but what do they say? The show must go on!  An entrée was ordered, the French Toast Burrito.  So big, I couldn’t even finish it.  STUFFED with bacon, egg AND crumbled sausage.  Drizzled with maple syrup, sprinkled with powdered sugar.

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I definitely over did it, BUT I had no complaints.  How could I complain when all that goodness cooked with love was in my belly?! The service was great, everything I ate, with no surprise, was delightful!  Don’t forget, when you go, start off with that Praline Bacon and your day will definitely be A-OK.

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This review, this acknowledgement, this recognition of culinary goodness is well overdue.  It brings me joy to write this, really.  I’ve been putting it off only because I want it to be nothing less than fantastic.  Let me say, I absolutely loved everything about Pink Magnolia.  My expectations were more than met.  Let me keep it really real though – they exceeded my expectations, above and far beyond, even with our rather sarcastic, somewhat slick-talking waiter Mr. Chip.  I’ll leave that subject sitting right here though.  It’s all about the part that y’all wanna hear about: the FOOD.

From the moment my reservation was made for Sunday Funday brunch, I could not stop looking at the pictures and suggestions on Yelp (of course), couldn’t stop perusing the restaurant website, looking at what I might possibly order and I was most excited about meeting the amazingly fun, Chef Blythe Beck.

If you don’t know about Chef Blythe, get into her.  Quickly. I fell in love with her brash, blunt, colorful, saucy attitude back in 2009 on her reality show The Naughty Kitchen, especially when she hosted former Dallas Cowboy Bradie James’ engagement dinner.  It screamed classy, elegant, yet casual and entertaining.  So well put together and I remember one thing specifically – the Mini Chili Dogs.  The fact that she could prepare such a nostalgic item, with her flare to it, I knew for sure when I saw it served, along with every other mouth-watering meal, I was sold on Chef Blythe Beck.

Walking up to Pink Magnolia, well just looking at the building, located on Davis St. in the heart of Bishop Arts District in Dallas, TX, it’s so home-like, comfy and cozy.  Walking inside, everything is literally right in front of you.  The bar, the kitchen, an open kitchen, which is love, it’s so personal and intimate and an outside, covered patio area for more seating.  The place gets pretty packed, from what I could tell on this beautiful Sunday.  As soon as we sat down, I saw her.  Chef Blythe and her bright red hair, going to work over the fire-blazing stove, flicking her wrist, pots and pans everywhere.  I was so star struck, but I had to focus and figure out what I was about to devour.

What’s crazy is, the weekend I chose to to visit Pink Magnolia, it was within the 21 days that I chose to give up any form of bread *blank stare*.  So, unfortunately I wasn’t able to indulge in the Garlic Biscuits & Cinnamon Brown Sugar Butter.  I must say, they looked so flippin’ good and smelled even better.  So flaky, hot and fresh.  Because I didn’t get my bread fix, I was ready to eat.  Fast.

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I decided on the Corned Beef Hash.  I see it on pretty much every brunch menu I’ve ever looked at, but I’ve never had it, so what’s what I got.  It was very good, a filling portion, lots of thick, flavorful, savory corned beef, not thin and shredded like I’ve had before.  Chunky potatoes, seasoned perfectly, a little too much grease at the bottom of the bowl, but I saw it as flavor.  The egg on top, was supposed to be sunny-side up, but it wasn’t runny at all.  Cooked hard, kinda rubbery, but I just moved it to the side, didn’t let it ruin my moment.  Along with my main entree, I couldn’t resist ordering sides, a side of grits, buttery cheese grits and Kentucky Bourbon sausage links.  So much food, but who was not complaining?! Is this girl right here.  I didn’t get to taste the other dishes at my table: Steak & Egg Tacos and the Fried Chicken and Mini Waffles, but judging from the clean plates spread about the table, I’d say everything was pretty dang tasty.

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One really neat aspect of this restaurant, the restrooms.  Weird huh?!  Sure you weren’t expecting me to say that.  You walk in, and plastered ever so neatly on the walls are Chef Blythe’s family recipes.  To share such personal keepsakes with complete strangers, strangers that have fallen in love with her food within an hour or two, is just so cool, such a loving touch.  It really shows where her passion for food comes from.

The hospitality from Chef Blythe and her staff, was awesome, so energetic.  We paid our bill and ended up talking more, an hour or so more, and ended up ordering dessert and coffee.  It was only right!  If you have the pleasure of visiting Pink Magnolia, which it should already be on your “To Visit” List, get the Butter Cake or the Gingerbread Cheesecake.  Trust me.  I would not steer you wrong.  You all should know that by now.  The ending to a great Sunday, happened when Chef Blythe Beck, took the time out, even while running a hectic kitchen, to take a picture with little ol’ me.  Smelling like “bacon and shame” as she said, with a huge smile on her face, we were both ready for the camera.  It truly made my day.

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The magnolia flower is a symbol of sweet, southern strength.  Chef Blythe Beck spreads positivity in everything that she does, from every picture that she takes, to every customer she greets in her restaurant.  Not just any kind of positivity, PINK positivity.  Pink Magnolia exemplifies this all.

 

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No surprise here. ANOTHER BuzzFeed Tasty treat.  They’re just SO GOOD! I can’t help it, and y’all KNOW you like when I make ’em, so shut it LOL!  This crazy sweet treat , Cinnamon Roll French Toast Bake, was just as easy, if not easier, than the dish in my previous post, the Blueberry Croissant Breakfast Bake.  The day I made all this stuff, I must’ve been in a G-REAT mood, because I usually make one pan of something hot and call it a day.  But, I was feeling like Betty Crocker & Patti Labelle all in one that day, so it just flowed.  My community residents appreciated every bite though, cleaned the pan, DRY.

So, to save time, I did my whole meal prep thing the night before.  I took two cans of cinnamon rolls and  cut them up into little squares.  I believe there were eight cinnamon rolls in each can.  Once they were cut up, I placed them in a 9×13 glass pan, with four tablespoons of melted butter coating the pan, all over.  I left that in the refrigerator, covered with foil, to sit overnight.

The next morning, I pulled the cinnamon rolls from the fridge, let them soften to room temperature.  The overnight step doesn’t change the recipe at all.  That was all my doing.  I took a glass bowl and mixed together six eggs, half a cup of milk, I used 2%, two teaspoons vanilla extract and two teaspoons of cinnamon.  Whisk that up really, really well.  Whisk it.  Whisk it GOOOOOD.

Once that’s done, pour it all over the cinnamon rolls, every last drop.  Then, take a cup of maple syrup and drizzle that on top.  Place that pretty little thang in the oven for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.  When you pull it out of the oven, it’s crispy on top, but the inside is moist, cinnamon roll, hot, soft, sweetness.

Oh, but we’re not done yet.  So, you know the icing that comes in each can of cinnamon rolls?  If they’re not soft enough to drizzle, place them in the microwave for about 15 seconds, not long at all.  Be careful taking them out.  Last, but not least, gracefully, and ever so slowly, pour it all over the cinnamon rolls.  The more the better.  And I do mean that in the fattest way possible.

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Every forkful, when it touches your tongue, your eyes will close and you will be thankful for those little things called…Cinnamon Rolls.

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Welp! I’m back at it, no surprise at all.  Another BuzzFeed Tasty creation…it NEVER lets me down!  AND, my community residents that I cook Saturday morning breakfast for, YES I have to cook them breakfast every Saturday, they can’t get enough of my cooking. Like EVER.  Spoiled rotten.  So, what you see above is the Blueberry Croissant Breakfast Bake.  Super simple to make, no sweat at all, beyond tasty, a real “Good Morning” treat!

You’ll started with an 8oz. package of cream cheese.  Now, I didn’t have an electric mixer, so to make things easier for me, I placed the cream cheese in a glass bowl, nuked it for about 25-30 seconds, softened it right on up for me.  To the cream cheese, add 2/3 cups sugar and one teaspoon vanilla.  Mush it all together with a spatula, cream it real good, until it’s as smooth as you can get it.  Make sure to get all the cream cheese lumps.

Next, go ahead and add two eggs and a 1/4 cup milk.  With those two wet ingredients added to the equation, I had to bring in a whisk and I went to work.  Oh, I put in all my elbow grease, plus some.  I wanted to make sure that the mixture was smooth and creamy.

Now, open up a package of croissants, I had eight total.  Roll up each one and place them in a non-stick pan.  Not a huge pan, I think my pan measured 11×7, it definitely wasn’t 9×13.  Then, take 3/4 cup of fresh blueberries and sprinkle them all over the pan.  I used way more than that.  I think it was a good cup and a half.

***Side Note:  In my opinion, I think a lot of other fruits could be used with this dish.  I’m thinking peaches, blackberries, raspberries and oooooh, strawberries!  Whatever your tastebuds desire.

Once your pan is covered with the blueberries, take your cream cheese mixture and pour it all over the croissants and fruit.  Make sure it’s evenly spread and place it in the oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.  As it bakes, you’ll see it all rise slowly, the blueberries explode throughout the dish, the color of the blueberries are gorgeous, and the croissant tops will turn this golden brown color.  Really, the dish is just pretty. It’s perfect to look at.

Everyone’s favorite part…digging in.  The best way to explain the taste is licking the back of the spoon after mixing up blueberry muffin batter.  It was delicious.  The taste of the fresh, hot blueberries, really shone through.  I took a bite with a piece of the croissant and I got the nostalgic taste of a hot blueberry pancake. Sugary sweet, luscious batter, fresh blueberries and buttery croissants, all hot and fresh.  Not a bad combination AT ALL.  As it cooled off, it thickened up a bit and tasted just as good.  Let’s just say, I didn’t have much, if any, to rinse out of the pan.

Now, do you see why my residents love the Saturday morning breakfasts?!

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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