Eating Our Way Through Texas

We had our very first guests in the new house just a few weeks ago. I’ll refrain from showing pictures of the guest room because let’s just say it’s lacking in the decor department. I will however share our weekend of eating because in my opinion that is one of the most important duties of a good hostess; making sure your guests are well fed.

Stop #1: B&B Butchers

When you have out-of-towners coming to Texas, a steakhouse is a must. I decided to take them to B&B Butchers.

The menu has a mouthwatering combination of steaks, sides, and things like oysters, crabcakes and even some bacon dishes. In the end we all ordered 8oz filets with all different sauces. Mine was topped with a red wine reduction and foie gras, one of my guests had truffle butter, the other au poivre, and my husband had it plain. Honestly, it didn’t matter how it was prepared, it was all delicious and cooked perfectly (a rare warm for me).

The crabcakes were divine, the onion rings delightful, and my warm carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, delicious.

Stop #2: Lee’s Chicken and Donuts

Next up was a rather spontaneous visit to Lee’s chicken and donuts. I had heard about this opening awhile back and was instantly intrigued, so imagine my excitement when we drove past it while antiquing in the heights! The breading on this chicken is just so flavorful. And the sides really shined for me. The potato salad was the sweet creamy sort and the creamed corn was amazing. And yes of course we should top it off with a praline bacon donut. Of course.

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Stop #3: The Salt Lick

Next, we travel to Austin for an unbelievably filling day. First, the legendary Salt Lick. We waited a healthy one hour to be sat, quickly ordered and scarfed down our bbq and left happy and ready for a nap. The brisket melted in your mouth. The sauce is one of my favorites because I feel like it is more vinegary than molassesy like many are. And their potato salad is unique. it’s almost closer to room temperature mashed potatoes. I know this makes it sound bad, but it is really, really good.

Stop #4: Ramen Tatsu-Ya

And finally, we ended up at Ramen Tatsu-Ya. I have to admit that when we pulled up to the Research Blvd location, I questioned whether I was in the right place. But as a drove through the rundown parking lot, and rounded the corner, I saw the line starting to form and knew. They way they run things is quite odd as pretty much everyone waits outside and they never seem to really fill the restaurant. It’s kind of just a revolving door of people coming in, ordering at the desk, sitting down and stuffing their face, and then right back out again. By the end of my food adventure I was pretty much full up to my ears. No more food could fit. So though the broth was the richest I have ever tasted and the agitama was the most delicious and flavorful I have ever had, I had to throw in the towel.

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I Love Texas Food!


Magic Matcha Cake

I recently discovered what is called “Magic Cake”. From what I’ve gathered, it is called this because one batter goes into a pan, and three completely different layers come out. I can confirm that this occurred. The bottom layer was almost like a gelatin, the middle a custard, and the top something similar to a sponge cake.

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My magic cake recipe happened to call for matcha. Ever since my husband and I went to Morimoto’s restaurant in Maui, we have been obsessed with matcha desserts. Theirs is called ‘Road to Matcha’. And it is with that dish in mind that I created my first restaurant style dessert.
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Easy Night In

Sometimes I get tired. Ok, so I work from home and I have nothing to complain about. But sometimes I get tired of the constant grind of working, cooking, cleaning, repeat. So when my husband, yes my husband, taught me this easy dish, it became a key tool in the tool kit.

So tonight we are using some amazing ingredients from Trader Joe’s to make an exceptional 20 minute puff pastry pizza.

Thanks to their monthly Fearless Flyer issue, I found this AMAZING fresh Burrata at Trader Joe’s. It’s a type of fresh mozzarella that has a surprise! creamy filling. It’s delicious. If only I had some fresh truffle to shave on top of it with a bit of olive oil and I would eat it by itself.

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Afternoon Tea

After living in London for six months, I finally appreciate scones. Not the dry crumbly triangles that americans pass for scones. But real scones. Which are actually more like biscuits. Not the english kind. The american kind. Let me start over.

The staple of a proper afternoon tea is a good scone with fresh clotted cream and jam. It’s always the simple things that get overlooked and underrated. But when I stumbled upon this recipe for homemade clotted cream, the craving came to me. And when I gave my Irish husband the pick of my next culinary experiment, he was instantly drawn to the scones. A match made in heaven.

All credit goes to the view from the great island and fifteen spatulas for the recipes but here are anecdotes from my experience.


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Lakes Bakes: Thousand Layer Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who doesn’t love a good chocolate chip cookie? The problem is there’s not just one kind of chocolate chip cookies. There aren’t even three kinds of chocolate chip cookies. There are probably thousands of different kinds that can range of chewy to crispy to salty to sweet. Some are nutty, some gooey, some cakey, some doughy, and the list goes on. The trouble is finding the right one.

I have tried several chocolate chip cookie recipes. One of the favorites I constantly go back to is David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Another one that I have had some success with is this Smitten Kitchen recipe. The point is that there are many and today I chose to attempt an extremely involved recipe. This particular recipe was from Butter and Brioche, a blog that I admire greatly both for the recipes and the beautiful styling of the photos.

The result was a crispy, thin, chocolately, and salty cookie. This cookie was on the rich side due to the heavy serving of both bittersweet and milk chocolate chunks. But as long as you have a big, cold, glass of milk, it hits the spot. I can also say that I have never before put an egg wash on a chocolate chip cookie, but it totally works in creating a crispy glaze over the top of the cookie. You can find this recipe here, but see below for my results.

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