Parisian Breakfast: Orange Crepe Suzette? Oui!

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So I got this super cool crepe maker as a wedding shower gift the other week, and have been dying to bust it out. The “crepe maker” actually consists of a wide, flat pan and a long wooden spatula, so don’t feel like you need a “crepe maker” to make a crepe, a shallow frying pan and a spatula will do just fine. I finally decided to break it in the other day, but we soon realized we didn’t have any fruit or anything that would really work to fill the crepes. And then I remembered my favorite dessert ever of all time at Pastis in NYC, the Crepe Suzette! *As a side note, if you are ever in New York, go to Pastis and order the crepe suzette there immediately. It is out of control.* Anyways, we then realized we didn’t have lemons, but we did have oranges, so I thought, why not try an orange crepe suzette? Ummm… yeah. It came out amazing. The orange is perfect with the crepe batter. It’s still citrus-y and bright, but just a bit sweeter than the traditional lemon one. I balanced out the sweetness with a little sea salt. Soooo yummy! I am so happy with this recipe, I can’t wait to make it again THIS weekend for breakfast!

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Happy Hump Day Review of the Week: Spider House Coffee in Austin, TX

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A hop, skip, and a jump away from the UT Austin campus, overlooking Hemphill Park, there sits a pretty little coffee shop on Fruth Street named Spider House. I used to go to Spider House all the time back in the day when I lived in Austin 10 years ago, and, after a more recent visit, I can safely say it is the same Austin-y, quirky little neighborhood coffee shop-meets outdoor beer and wine garden I once loved. Inside, there are well-worn board games and books for entertainment, as well as random religious icons and candles, and funky 70’s chandeliers and string lights everywhere. At night, the Christmas lights cast off a warm glow that beckons you from streets away to come in. In the daytime, the outdoor garden is blooming with the kind of antique, rusted patio furniture that you would find in a really hip grandma’s backyard.

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Speaking of grandma chic, the Spider House itself is close to 100 years old, built in the 1920’s and only cooler with age. Perched in the antique patio furniture garden you will find hipsters, students, hippies, and everyone in between enjoying the live music while sipping their drip coffee, which is actually really good…The kind of drip coffee that sends mini shockwaves of vigor (or caffeine) straight to your brain. The food, as I recall, is pretty good too. There was a sandwich I got last time with peanut butter and honey that I highly recommend with an espresso. My personal favorite thing to do at Spider House was to order a jug of icy sangria, which was complete with a bountiful smorgasbord of ripe fruits, and lounge in the afternoon sun listening to surprisingly pleasant live music. They also do fun, artsy, and FREE film screenings some nights, and for those of you who have an inner poet, they do Slam poetry nights too. All very Austin, which, if you are looking for the perfect place to experience that Austin vibe one night, Spider House is a must. It’s offbeat and beautiful, and will always hold some of my fondest Austin memories in its walls.

*photos courtesy of yelpers Spartacus S. and Conrad B. 

Korean Barbeque? Or Tacos? Why not both?!

Beef Bulgogi French Fry Tacos

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Greetings fellow Blog-lings! Today I am posting one of my absolute favorite recipes I have ever made. I was inspired to share after watching that Food Network show, Best thing I Ever Made last night. I actually came up with this recipe one day when I was simultaneously craving Korean barbecue and tacos. I was going back and forth on what to make, and then I thought (lightbulb!)… Why not try semelding (is that a word?) both together into an insane Korean/Latin taco of glory?? … Latin meets Korean meets Greek. I actually got the idea of the French fries from how they serve street gyros on the Greek islands… piles of succulent lamb meat, tzatziki sauce and veggies, and as if that wasn’t ridiculously delish enough, they top them with these crispy french-fries…A-mazing!! So anyways, that’s the Greek influence…That, and the oregano 🙂 . The end result of all this fusion-ing? Absolute deliciousness. I try to make these on special occasions, and they have always blown people away. So, I am passing on the recipe to you guys. There are a few steps, including a 4-hour marinating time, so make sure you allot time before dinner to make these. I hope you enjoy, and have fun eating with your friends and family. They are always conversation starters…In Korean, Greek, and Spanish, of course. Ok, that was a little cheesy. Couldn’t resist.

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Despi’s Open-faced Egg Sammie

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Good morning everybody! It’s lazy Sunday and I just made one of my favorite quickie breakfast recipes for Andy and I, as we didn’t really feel like venturing out of  the house on yet another quest for breakfast tacos.  I have been making these little egg sandwiches for years now, and they always seem to hit the spot. I, as well as many a friend and family member can attest, they are the perfect breakfast or snack for when you are in a time crunch, or starving and too lazy to go out and buy food. Oh, and they are also one of my favorite late night snacks to make after a night out when you’re craving something cheesy, eggy, and meaty. They are simple, and I’m sure they’ve been created many a time before, but today I am paying homage to it’s life-saving abilities and overall deliciousness. It’s just a great recipe to have in the back of your mind for those food-mergency situations. If you haven’t made this before, it’s not too late for some brunch time action in the kitchen…go try it out!

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Better-than-a-Campfire S’mores Brownies

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It’s TGIF everyone! Woo-hoo!! Today I’m posting a recipe I found on one of my favorite blogs, www.Bakerella.com. If you are on any kind of diet, (which, of course, I am on since our wedding is in two months), do NOT visit this website! After practically drooling all over my key board over page after page of sugary, chocolatey, decadent-looking concoctions, I found one that I was like “Alright, I’m heading over to the grocery store right NOW so I can make these ridiculously delicious-looking brownies!!” Then I realized it was 11 pm and I had been on her blog for well over an hour and a half, and the store was probably closed. SO I sadly went to bed with thoughts of marshmallows and graham crackers dancing in my head. But the next morning, I awoke with a purpose. I went to the store, sped home, and started baking!! Yay! What, might you ask, caused such a munchies attack? Well, actually, for those who know me, this isn’t quite as rare an occurrence as I’m making it out to be… But, anyways, THIS is what stopped me dead in my tracks:

 

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Humpday HappyHour Review: Bacchanal Wine Bar in NOLA

ImageSo in spirit of my idea on having special “theme” days each week, I thought it might be neat to do a Happy Humpday Hour on Wednesdays, in which I review all the snazzy bars, restaurants, and café’s I can manage, preferably minus the beer belly/ food baby side effects. I’ll try my best to find all the hip places with some great happy hour specials, but happy hour specials or not, I’ll definitely find great spots to chill out at when you’re trying to get through the work week hump. I’m thinking I’ll post sometime before you would go out after work, like around 4 or 4:30 (CST). Oh, and I will try my best not to stick to one specific city, but since I DO live in Dallas, be prepared for more Dallas reviews than anything else (yay for my Dallas fans!). That being said, I DID just return from a hazy, fun-filled, foodie-gasmic adventure in NOLA so I’m going to kick off my first review with a bar we went to that really impressed me for it’s very jazzy, hip ambience, and of course, food. Continue reading

Lamb and Mint Ragout Pasta

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This pasta recipe is one of my faves that I have made in recent memory. The beauty of this dish is using small, diced pieces of lamb sirloin, and cooking the sauce as if you would a stew. Cooking it slowly will really bring out the flavors of the sauce, which is sooo delicious. The pancetta adds a smoky flavor that really enhances the lamb flavor as well. For this pasta, I was actually inspired by a recipe I read in the most recent issue of Food and Wine, by Marcella Hazan. She is my home chef idol, who is completely self-taught, reproducing classic Italian family recipes for her husband and loved ones after moving to New York back in the 60’s. Today, she actually owns a cooking school teaching the art of Italian cooking. Her flavors are fresh and delicious, and embody what I believe cooking is all about: love, and cooking for loved ones. My version has mint and red bell pepper, which adds some more flavor layers and sweetness.

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Greek-Style Lentil Stew

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Hi all! I took this week to do a little plotting on how to better organize my blog so that my readers could enjoy every post that much more…After some consideration, I’ve decided to do a few “theme” days throughout the week, to give you guys something to look forward to. I’m going to kick off the week with One-Pot Mondays. After going out all weekend, the last thing any of us want to do is spend even MORE money come Monday, but we also may not necessarily want to put too much effort into cooking.  I figure Mondays are a good day for one-pot or very simple meals that don’t require a lot of planning ahead or thinking too much, but will still save us the guilt of eating out again after playing all weekend.

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Ridiculously Easy Grilled Salmon

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This is another recipe courtesy of Mama D. It’s super simple, and super delicious. There are only 6 ingredients, which really allow the salmon to shine, and you can appreciate those natural flavors in the salmon meat. The key to the recipe is the salmon. Make sure it’s wild caught, not previously frozen, and as fresh as you can find.  My motto for this recipe? The fresher the fish, the better the dish. The grill will also create that extra crispy salmon skin that everyone loves. Make sure to serve with something flavorful and complex, like my mom’s delicious mushroom risotto, recipe to follow soon!

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Southwestern Purple Potato Frittata

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This frittata is not only perfect for breakfast, but makes for a pretty mean southwest- inspired dinner. I always love how hearty and filling a flavorful egg dish can be for dinner.  There’s something very comforting about being able to cook everything in one skillet, and end up with a yummy, delicious meal that’s not something you would normally think of to cook come dinnertime. The purple potatoes add a nice contrasting color with the tomato, egg, and cilantro, but you can always use a nice red potato if you’re scared of eating purple things. I, personally, am a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple potato eater… Aside from the awesomeness of the purple potatoes, this one also has a great amount of cheese, which is essential for the perfect frittata bite. Throw some bread on the grill to serve it with, and you’re in business. 

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