3 Things    

 1) Epic pajama party birthday brunch hosted by the insanely talented  Maple and Love.

 

 Look at that tablescape, pure holiday heaven! We feasted on quiche, crepe cake, homemade cheese/herb breakfast rolls, pumpkin bread, nespresso flat whites, and an apple tart. Everyone had such cute PJ’s and we also played a holiday themed game of scatergories. Goal for 2017 is to have more pajama parties. Nothing like grocery shopping at HEB in a onesie to pick up berries for this celebration. Definitely worth it. For cute holiday PJ’s check out Target’s huge collection.

2)  Banana Drop Cookies

 
Anyone else crave homemade fresh out of the oven cookies at 11 p.m? Tis the season for late night holiday baking. These are pretty guilt-free and filled with bananas and oats. I blended 2 bananas, 1 cup of oats, 1/4 cup of oil, and 1 tsp of vanilla in my Vitamix. Could use any blender for this. Then stir in 1 more cup of oats and 2/3 of a cup of chocolate chips. Bake for 20 min at 350•. Makes a great  breakfast cookie too. 

3) Orange and Avocado Salad 

 
This recipe was inspired from The Forest Feast cookbook. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks ever and her dishes are all beautiful, fresh, healthy, and make  vegetarian food look dreamy. We had extra pomegranates which added a nice colorful addition. This was a salad for a Shabbat meal while I was home in LA and granted the CA avocados really are the best! This is a great starter to a holiday meal to add some balance before the indulgences. 

Hope your holiday season is off to a great start! I’ll be posting more holiday recipes and a round-up of some of my favorite foodie gifts and cookbooks. Stay tuned! 

Advertisements

3 Things- Highlights from the week

Happy Thanksgiving! I am loving this short two day work week! Here are a few highlights from this past week. 

1) S’mores Pie! Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking found here   

I’m obsessed with S’mores and when I saw this posted on Gaby’s website I knew this would make a perfect Friendsgiving dessert. Not going to lie, this was an ambitious undertaking but so delicious and all worth it! The first two steps are relatively easy as the base is a simple graham cracker crust and the middle layer is a rich homemade chocolate pudding.

  
I knew the real challenge would be the meringue marshmallow topping and it was indeed a struggle! I was lucky to have a crew of friends to help with what seemed like a never ending whipping process. When we weren’t seeing the sugary egg whites thicken and had no electric mixer in sight, we got creative. Evan got an electric screwdriver and a handheld whisk and miraculously made a powerful though sketchy mixer. It was a life saver and finally the meringue thickened enough to create the marshmallow layer! Warning: You probably shouldn’t try this at home!   

 The final step includes a blow torch to make a nice brule’ topping. It was a Friendsgiving to remember filled with lots of yummy foods and new friends!  

  
   

 2) OrangeTheory Workout Class  

To compensate for eating pie for breakfast I figured I should probably  up my workout game in preparation for Thanksgiving eats. Last week I made it to two OrangeTheory classes and LOVED this intense fun workout! The first studio I checked out was their new spacious Sawyer location for a blogger workout class sponsored by The Tiny Two Talk. We worked up quite a sweat and I was glad to have a fun crew of girls to suffer through the workout with but it really was the best accomplished feeling once we were done. The workouts consist of 30 minutes on the treadmill doing interval training with a combo of sprints, base running pace, power walking, or brief all out sprints. It pushed me way harder than I normally would push myself on a treadmill. I enjoy running so I liked this part a lot. The next 30 minutes were focused on strength training floor exercises, weights, rowing, and some resistance training. It was challenging but the loud music and rotating stations made it go by fast. I enjoyed tracking my heart rate throughout the workout and the whole workout is centered around finding your target heart rate zone for maximum energy and calories burned. I burned around 650 calories per workout which seems way higher than even an intense spin class. I also liked the West U location  and the staff was very helpful and welcoming. I’m thinking about possibly joining after the holidays. 

3) Seeing Amy Schumer live at the Toyota Center!

 I know it’s hard to tell from this picture, but Amy came to Houston and she made me laugh so hard my cheeks hurt! We got lucky and were upgraded to a lower level which was awesome to have such good seats that came at a fraction of the price. If you ever have the chance to see her live, do it! Just don’t bring your parents because her jokes are NC-17 plus some. It was a great Sunday night activity and fun way to end the week!

Happy thanksgiving to all of you! Hope it’s delicious, relaxing, and meaningful. I’m heading out to LA so stay tuned for some of my favorite Cali eats/spots! 

3 Things- Highlights from the Week

What a crazy whirlwind of a week. Very much looking forward to some R&R and family time over Thanksgiving break. What are you all most excited to make/eat? I always make pumpkin bread, a fall themed crostini, and spiked apple cider. I’ll post those recipes soon! In the meantime, here were some highlights from the past week. 

1) Yoga Sculpt Class at Yogaleena with some of my favorite gal pals.
 I’ve blogged about my love for this chic boutique yoga studio before and it is still my favorite, especially the yoga-sculpt classes. My friend Cali teaches sculpt classes here on Tues/Sat and she’s a total rockstar yogi who will kick your butt while you’re distracted by her killer playlist. Last week I went to 3 of her sculpt classes in a row, a new record of mine for a week. The only issue is I’ve now used up my classpass classes here for the cycle now 😦 It was all worth it though and I had so much fun going with Erika and Christine too. Definitely makes for a fun healthy girls night!

2) Houston Food Blogger Collective potluck at Axelrad

 If you haven’t yet checked out Axelrad, now is the perfect time of year to enjoy their spacious outdoor beer garden/ hammock heaven. I hadn’t been during the day before and it was way more laid back than the night time scene. Plus I loved getting to clearly see these gorgeous views of the Houston skyline. They have a variety of beer on tap and their famous frose’ (frozen rose’) is definitely worth trying. People were playing games, enjoying the fall weather, and our food bloggers had quite the spread of pies and Friendsgiving essentials. I made a persimmon and pomegranates salad to balance out all the dessert offerings. I’m loving all these fall fruits lately.  

  
3) Tiny’s Milk and Cookies officially opened yesterday in West University!

I work dangerously close to Tiny’s No 5 and love waking over for their almond milk lattes, salads, and of course the famous chocolate chip cookie for special occasions or let’s be real…for rough days. Nothing compares and their cookie really was rated #1 best cookie in Houston.  It is soft, gooey, chewy, chocolatey, and tastes even better than the freshly baked cookies of your childhood. I was excited to learn that they were opening up a walk-up bakery, cafe, and ice cream shop next to Tiny’s No 5. When you walk up to the window you feel transported to a summer time New England style cottage. Behind the window is an assortment of freshly baked breads, muffins, croissants, seasonal ice creams, chia seed puddings, a variety of caffeine offerings, and the true star…the cookie. If you haven’t been here yet, run here and share the cookie love with someone who needs one. It’s better than a hug. Also apparently they will be offering breakfast tacos on Friday mornings…could this place be more perfect?

 

 Have a great pre-Thanksgiving week! 

Viva Las Vegas- Part 1

 I never expected to end up in Vegas twice in one month but because of two special birthdays I was lured back to sin city twice this past October. Who knew Vegas could be just as fun for a 27 year old birthday celebration or for an 80 year old!? Both weekends were incredibly special and fun ways to celebrate two of my favorite people. 

The first Vegas trip was for Evan’s birthday since he had never been before! While he knew we were going, he didn’t know any of the itinerary details and I had so much fun planning our surprise activities and meals. We stayed at The Mirage which was centrally located on the strip in a great location. They have two beautiful resort style pools, tons of great restaurants, the casino, day and night clubs, and it’s home to the Beatles Cirque de Soliel show which I had seen years ago and loved. For this trip we opted to see Absynthe  a new entertaining smaller show at Caesar’s Palace which was hilarious, totally inappropriate, and incredible acrobatics and variety acts. Don’t see this one with your parents! Lots of crass humor but hilarious. I also would recommend sitting in the back if you don’t want to get called on! 

 For brunch we made it to eggslut which I’ve been dying to try and still haven’t had it in LA. It’s located in the gorgeous Cosmo hotel and it’s an absolute must visit. It’s a pretty casual grab and go type place, limited seating. I felt pretty ridiculous ordering a dish called the slut but had heard this was a must order. This cute mason jar is filled with puréed potatoes and a perfectly coddled egg with baguettes for dipping. SO good!

For our othe brunch we went to the buffet at the Wynn. Evan wanted to check out a classic Vegas buffet and this is often rated the best. We had to wait around 30 minutes to get in but that helped build up an appetite for the endless options. Buffets usually gross me out but this one is so beatiful and elegant ,plus they have something for everyone. We sampled the blitzes, smoked salmon, yogurt, and some mini desserts. I wouldn’t rush back because I don’t ever want to eat that much food to make it worth the wait/ cost ($45 I believe), but it’s a fun experience. I also LOVED the ambiance, look at those flowers!

  

  

 For dinner we checked out Giada’s restaurant at the Cromwell hotel. I have been a huge Giada fan for over 10 years. In high school I would religiously watch her Food Network show everyday after school. I have been waiting for the day to finally try her food! Her restaurant is gorgeous and her pastas and appetizers are tasty. I wish I could say I was 1000% blown away but I liked the atmosphere better than the food. The lamb chops below were flavorful and and so were the desserts. This place gets pricey real fast though! I hear brunch is great and cheaper so I’ll try that next time. If you’re a Giada fan, you must check this out while in Vegas! 


Birthday dessert plate. Loved the cookies!

  

Make sure you stop by the photo booth on your way out! 

 For our other special dinner we dined at Lago which is a restaurant with a gorgeous patio right next to the Bellagio fountains! Even though we had reservations we had to wait an extra 45 minutes for a patio table! Luckily there’s casinos right nearby for distractions. I have to say it was worth the wait though to be right next to the amazing fountain show that goes off every 15 minutes. We had some refreshing citrus cocktails, an amazing caprese dish, a meat board, and risotto. 

View on the patio. #notinParis  

  

It was a great trip overall! Not pictured was our pool time/ day club at the Mirage which doesn’t allow pics, night club 10 Oak which we weren’t all that into because $20 drinks and crowded, and our winnings at the Sex and the City Slot machine! 

Get ready for Vegas part 2 recap from my family trip next. Spoiler alert: it includes Britney Spears, Elton John, and how to live it up when you are 80!   

3 things- Highlights from the week 

I’m excited to introduce a new series, 3 things which will be a brief highlight of some of my favorite activities, moments, or let’s be real (eats) from the past week. After a crazy busy fall with traveling, literally gone 7 out of 8 weekends in a row, I can’t tell you how happy I am to finally be home in Houston for the next few weeks! Nothing makes me happier than Saturday morning walks to my local farmers market, weekend brunch/breakfast taco dates, lazy Sunday’s in sweats, enjoying this finally fall weather, and exploring a new restaurant or neighborhood. Here’s my top 3 from this week:

1) Local Share box from the Rawfully Organic Co-Op  

I’ve been following Fully Raw Kristina on Instagram for a while and had been dying to check out her organic co-op. I was amazed at the volume and quality of organic local produce in this box for only $25! Totally a steal and a great way to add variety to my weekly veggies. I’ve already made delicious butternut squash soup, sautéed garlic bok choy, egg scrambles with the  peppers and corn, hash browns, and sweet potato fries. I can’t wait to go back and try more in season beautiful produce. You can pick up these boxes on Tuesdays and Saturdays at Memorial Park.

2) Bingo in the Heights!   

Bingo is not just for granny’s! Did you know that every Thursday night at SPJST Lodge 88 hundreds of people of all ages come out for a BYOB bingo extravaganza! The grand prizes are over $500. You can  order in pizza or bring your own picnic. FYI- Beer is not allowed in but they sell plenty there.   Bingo starts at 7 pm but people get there starting around 5:30 because it fills up fast! We went to celebrate Lauren’s birthday for her second annual birthday bingo bash. Also how beautiful is this cake?! It was perfection, thanks to the talented Erika for fulfilling all of our dessert dreams. For more drool worthy cake, you should check out that time we tasted 14 chocolate cakes for the Best Chocolate Cake in Houston article Erika wrote. Research guys and major sugar comas. The perks of having awesome foodie friends.
3)   PAC(K) Training Class at the League

  I’m always looking for new classes to check out on classpass to mix-up my workout routine. I’ve mostly been going to yoga and spinning classes and have been missing boot-camp/ cross-fit style classes but a bit intimidated to dive back in! Terry the co-founder and coach for my class at The League couldn’t have been more welcoming. I loved the high intensity and variety in the class. It was a great combo of cardio, strength training, and mobility work. We did everything from burpees, plated lunges, kettle bell swings, and ab routines. The music playlist was awesome and motivating. Everyone was very friendly and you can scale the workout based on your fitness level. Everyone seems to be freaking out that classpass got rid of the unlimited option. I’m still planning on sticking with it, 10 classes a month is still the best deal out there with so many studio options in my opinion. If you have a favorite classpass class or gym in Houston, let me know! 

I hope everyone has a great week ahead and makes it through what will be a very interesting Election Day! 

Harold’s in the Heights

How is it already September? I’m still dreaming about long summer days and the delicious dinner I had a few weeks back at Harold’s in The Heights. They recently transformed the former general store downstairs space into a Tap Room with indoor/outdoor seating, a lounge space, hand crafted creative cocktails, and tasty bar apps. We loved the Southern charm, farm-to-table vibe, and Creole inspired cuisine. 
We started off with some cocktails, they have a great bar menu and I’m already eyeing their fall cocktail list with drinks called “Uggs and Tights, Flannel, and Becky with the Good hair” , to name a few. So ready for cooler weather and their tap room patio will be the perfect place for some pumpkin spiced infused bourbon 

   

These crispy Cajun etouffe balls were amazing! They were filled with seafood and rice and dipped in a tangy tomato sauce. You must order these!
  
My favorite appetizer was the caramelized onion tart filled with goat cheese and summer tomatoes. So creamy and perfectly balanced between sweet and savory. 

  
Who knew crispy duck parts could be so much better than chicken wings? I loved the gingery garlic tangy sauce. Is it bad to admit that they were equally delicious the next day cold out of the fridge? We went a little overboard with ordering since everything looked so good. Would gladly have leftovers from here any day!  

With so many amazing appetizers we decided we only needed one entree. Loved this pan seared gulf fish. It was served with corn and Lima beans, so fresh and flavorful.

  Had to try another round of their cocktails infused with local berries and hand crafted sodas.  
Love their colorful wall art and tables in the upstairs dining room.      

It was great meeting Chef Antoine Ware  and Owner Alli Jarrett. They were so friendly, passionate about using local food sources, and couldn’t have been more welcoming.  Their NOLA/ South Carolina-bred brand of hospitality is a unique dining experience that we are lucky to have here in Houston. 

 

 I can’t wait to return soon!

Fajitas A Go-Go

As a loyal Tacos a Go-Go fan I’ve been anxiously awaiting the newest addition to the a go go family, Fajitas a Go-Go!  I was excited to get invited to a special tasting lunch to sample their menu and learn about their concept. My friend Rachel and I had a blast spending the afternoon on their patio sampling their menu highlights and left full and happy.  It’s safe to say it’s my new favorite spot in town when I’m craving Mexican food…I’ve been back 3 times and have been telling everyone I know to check them out.
Their central location in West U has a spacious parking lot and outdoor patio with picnic style tables, twinkle lights, and they are dog friendly. You order at the counter and if you are dining in, they will bring your food out to you. If you place an order to go, they will offer you free beer while you wait! I highly recommend grabbing your besties and a bottle of tequila and pairing it with their homemade agave lime margarita mixture on their patio. Don’t forget the chips with addicting green crack tomatillo salsa.

My Australian baking rockstar friend Lisa loved the rotisserie chicken quesadillas, these were no ordinary quesadillas. The quality of the cage free antibiotic free chicken and rotisserie flavor really made this an exceptional quesadilla. Their home-made tortillas also make a world of difference. Share this as an appetizer with friends, or it is satisfying as a meal when you are craving some comfort food/cheesy goodness.

My favorite fajita combo is the beef and veggies. Their vegetables are far from the ordinary peppers and onion fajita classic. Theirs include spaghetti squash, zucchini, oyster mushrooms, green onions, and asparagus. A great option for vegetarians or anyone looking to round out their meal. The top quality certified Angus Beef sirloin is minimally seasoned to bring out the natural flavors. They serve fajitas on cafeteria style plates instead of a sizzling traditional platter because their meat is already perfectly grilled over mesquite. I also loved their guacamole, charro beans, homemade flour and con tortillas, and varied salsa options.

So many tasty options!  Lauren , my nutritionist friend/ inspirational runner, loved their grilled shrimp taco salad, it was a great healthy yet hearty option served with guac, pico de gallo, black beans, and corn tortilla strips. We also tried the house made wild boar sausage which was a hit.

I can’t wait to cater from here and come back for more fajita and margarita nights on their patio. Definitely check them out if you are looking to mix up your Tex-Mex options in town, this is the real deal! Friendly service, authentic food, incredible quality, and BYOB tequila…I mean c’mon.

The Union Kitchen- Restaurant Review                   

It’s been a few weeks since I visited The Union Kitchen for an epic tasting experience and I can’t stop dreaming about their food! Life has been crazy with recent travels, but I’ve been dying to return to my new favorite restaurant in town for all occasions. The Union Kitchen offers a relaxing and delicious dining experience from start to finish. Their patio is a nice oasis from the city and it is temperature controlled during both the winter and summer, a Houston necessity. They have great wine deals throughout the week, nearly bottomless boozy brunches, and ridiculously sinful chocolate martinis… Need I say more?

Whether you are looking for a date night spot, have friends in town who want to enjoy some of the best Houston food beyond Tex-Mex, or want a place that can cater to a wide range of palettes, this should be your new go-to restaurant. We dined at their Bellaire location, but they have additional locations in Memorial and Kingwood. The staff couldn’t have been friendlier and we felt truly pampered.
I invited Zoe, my famous empanada making friend, to sample their menu. It was a special night for us as it was our last girls night in Houston, for now at least 😦 So proud of her as she’s off to an exciting new adventure in Florida, but going to miss my partner in crime. We decided we needed to go big and The Union Kitchen staff was so sweet and generous throughout our meal. It was the perfect farewell dinner and we were too full and distracted by the deliciousness to be tearful…phew!


Zoe and I enjoyed the beautiful outdoor patio and fountain. We felt like we were on vacation!

We started with a bottle of Ano Verde Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara. It had a medium body and fruity finish, perfect pairing for our diverse tasting. The Union Kitchen offers half off wine bottles on Monday nights…score!

First up in our food marathon were these glorious brussel sprouts.  We LOVE brussel sprouts and are always looking for the best ones in town and these are currently our #1 favorite. They are crispy, tangy, and perfectly charred. They are dressed with a homemade balsamic dijon sauce and sprinkled with parmesan cheese. You MUST order them!

Next up were sriracha Asian chicken lettuce wraps. They packed a punch but were not too spicy. The marinated chicken was especially flavorful, and I liked that it was served with crunchy cashews, water chestnuts, and fresh sprouts as toppings. Definitely a nice lighter appetizer option and it was a great portion too.

The appetizers kept coming out!

Pepper calamari with feta, green onions, and pepperoncini peppers were a delightful combination of unique flavors. I normally don’t eat calamari but these were quite addicting.

We had to take a pause to enjoy our wine and the weather before gearing up for our entrees…

First up was this melt in your mouth braised beef short rib. It was so tender you could eat it with chop sticks! It is braised slowly for 6-8 hours and served with a natural reduction over a creamy butternut squash puree. The flavors were well balanced and we both loved this dish. All of their sauces and marinades are made in house which makes a HUGE difference.

Our favorite entree was the Gulf Red Snapper served with a zesty lemon risotto, grilled asparagus, and a lemon butter sauce. It was incredibly fresh and flavorful and a very high quality fish. The lemon risotto was equally delicious and would even be tasty on its own. We had to box up some of the food to save room for dessert which we couldn’t miss out on!

Hello Beautiful

I can’t stop thinking about this chocolate dessert martini (yikes). Their in house mixologist surprised us with this concoction and it was my favorite part of the meal! It was made with Baileys Chocolate liquor and marshmallow fluff.  It was served with a decadent yet light chocolate mouse which we were convinced to eat because it was National Chocolate Mouse day and it would be rude not to celebrate…

While we were stuffed and already had our to-go boxes packed, their friendly manager told us we couldn’t leave without trying their banana bread pudding. It is made with their in house sourdough bread which is made fresh daily. It is then topped with boozy banana deliciousness.  Zoe who normally doesn’t even like bananas said “There are literally no words to describe how good this is.”

Special shout out to their incredible manager Rob. He was so personable and fun to chat with, his passion for their food and restaurant was contagious. Our waiter Marshall was also great and attentive. Zoe and I were both were blown away by the entire experience.

We decided our next girls date needed to be a workout, but we couldn’t have asked for a better celebratory dinner. I can’t wait to return!

How to throw a Passover Party for foodie friends who’ve never been to a Seder 

After attending two awesome Easter feasts with some of my friends from the Houston Food Blogger Collective (shout out to Lisa and Lauren), I felt inspired to host a small Passover celebration.  I wanted to expose them and some of our other foodie friends (Renee and Erika) to traditional Jewish foods for my favorite holiday.  While Gefilta fish and bitter herbs can sound far from appetizing, I was excited to focus on some of the best parts of a Seder (the required 4 cups of wine, matzo balls the size of your fist, and addicting chocolate matzo crack to name a few).

To get started I looked at Smitten Kitchen and The Forest Feast, two of my favorite blogs for innovative modern twists on classic Jewish dishes. Deb from Smitten Kitchen cooks up some of the best recipes I’ve ever tried from her tiny NYC kitchen. I’m obsessed with my new Forest Feast cookbook and Erin’s story is fascinating. She left the big city to move into literally a cabin in the Northern California woods! I would die to go to one of her dinner parties surrounded by redwood trees, drool worthy vegetarian eats, and fresh craft cocktails. I’m also a big fan of Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat whose a fellow Texan, hysterical writer, and has creative fun recipes on  Jewish classics like rainbow challah! Anyways, back to the holiday where no challah or carbs are allowed…

Passover foods primarily include meats, vegetables, and unleavened products. The Passover story is centered around the Jews escaping from 40 years of slavery in Egypt. When they left in the middle of the night, their bread didn’t have time to rise. This is why we eat flat matzo which is similar to a large cracker. We eat bitter herbs to symbolize the hard times in Egypt, and we drink four cups of wine to celebrate the freedom from slavery. My friends enjoyed learning about the story and customs of a Seder and we added some modern twists. Here are some highlights:

Instead of name cards, everyone had a plague mask at their seat! It’s easy to turn your Seder into a masquerade with these fun masks from Party City. It really helped everyone get into the Passover Story.

No Seder is complete without brisket. We all have high standards being in Texas- land of BBQ brisket heaven. Shout out to Evan for trimming a 17 lb Prime 1 brisket into this beauty. It  was quite the production but so flavorful. I would normally recommend to buy it trimmed to save time, but this was a better quality of meat and it only came untrimmed. After he removed literally 9 pounds of fat (😱) I seasoned it with the following:

1 tsp paprika, 1.5 tsp each of onion powder & garlic powder , 1/4 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano & thyme, 1 cup beef stock & 1 cup red wine, 1 cup ketchup, 1 cup chili sauce, and 1 cup of brown sugar.

I added 3 caramelized onions to the top before covering it all very tightly in tin foil. It baked at 350• for around 4 hours. After letting it cool and putting it in the fridge over night, you skin off the fat the next day. The full recipe can be found here:  .

Matzo Balls were made from the Manischewitz box, they come out so fluffy! They were added to homemade chicken soup which Evan made in a pressure cooker.  If you’ve never tried matzo ball soup, you’re in for a treat. It’s perfect for sick days, snow days, or any time you need a warm cup of of something soothing and nourishing. In Houston, you can try a cup at Kenny and Ziggy’s . My favorite matzo ball soup ever is right by my old apartment in NYC at the 2nd Avenue Deli. I still have dreams about ordering this off Seamless more often than I should admit…

Here’s the first course of  our Seder: Matzo ball soup and the Charoset matzo “Hillel” sandwich. Charoset is a traditional Passover dish and it’s a lovely combo of apples, cinnamon, walnuts, and red wine. Here’s an easy recipe I used from What Jew Wanna Eat. Pro tip: Charoset leftovers are so delicious the next morning on plain yogurt or oatmeal!

I’ve been on a hearts of palm kick lately and this salad was a mix of arugula, hearts of palm, yellow and red cherry tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, and pine nuts. Simple and delicious.

Oven roasted potatoes and asparagus helped round out the feast.

The #1 hit of the Seder that my friends keep talking about is this chocolate matzo crack! It’s seriously addicting and a perfect combo of chocolate caramel crunchy goodness. I highly recommend gifting it to your friends for all sorts of occasions. It can me made with saltines, but the consistency and crunch is better with matzo in my opinion. Here is the recipe, another Passover Hit from Smitten Kitchen.



  

Hope you all had a wonderful Passover this year, and feel free to share your favorite recipes below!

Menu of Menus- Houston 2016

  
I had the chance to attend the Menu of Menus events hosted by Houston Press the other week! I have always wanted to go and was excited to score press tickets. Menu of Menus is such a great way to sample bites from some of the best food destinations in Houston. The event took place at Silver Street Studios in the Heights. It was packed, but we still managed to try food from the majority of the vendors and enjoyed the beverage offerings too. 

Let the games begin…  

First up was State of Grace, one of the most talked about new restaurants in town. It’s been on my list for a while and now I definitely understand the hype. This mini flavorful taco packed a punch. It was amazing and I wanted more but knew I had to save room!

Their ginger snap cookie sandwiches were equally delightful and had just the right amount of a ginger kick.

 

I loved the cabbage slaw in this taco from Cyclone Anaya, which I had tried for the first time at Tacolandia.

  

How cute are these mini bagels?! I can’t wait to check out a cooking class at White Plate Art in the near future.

 

Revelry on Richmond served up  ahi tuna tacos which were crisp and flavorful. They have an awesome happy hour menu and large patio for those in the area. 
  

I ran into one of my favorite foodie friends and fellow HFBC blogger, Kim!

    

In between all the food samples, we paused for some wine and craft cocktails. This was a great Old Fashioned from Old Forrester.

Next up were Brick House Tavern duck wings! I had never had a duck wing before, they were delicious and totally worth the mess.

We were obviously pretty full by this point but this booth smelled so good, I had to try a bite of pasta from Italiano’s. The cream sauce was delicious, perfect for when you want some comfort food carbs…not so perfect when you’re in the middle of a food marathon.

  

Thank god for cold brew from Black Hole coffee to help us power through to the finish line! I love camping out at their coffee house in West U. They have great coffee, chai, oatmeal, and wifi. 

Drumroll… My token for who served the best dish went to…  

  

Pico’s! I’m embarrassed to say I had never been to their restaurants and can’t wait to go in person soon. I ate a lot of tacos that night, and you all know my obsession for tacos is at the next level. These really blew me away and I can’t believe I’ve been missing out this whole time. Both tacos were the perfect ratio of meat to salsa to garnish. Their tacos were tender, juicy, and well seasoned. Overall they stole the show!

 
 

All in all it was a fun and decadent evening and great way to sample such a wide variety of food and drinks. We are lucky to live in such a diverse and welcoming  foodie city. I’m already looking forward to next years Menu of Menus and I’m excited to become a regular at more of the restaurants on this list!