Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Zagun Latin Cafe & Bakery

Yesterday we celebrated our friend Eric's birthday :) We ate at Zagun Latin Cafe & Bakery on Oak Lawn.
We ate so much great food! This is the Cachapas (Venezulan/Columbian sweet corn turnover) filled with beef & cheese with plaintain chips. It was very very yummy! We also had beef, chicken, & cheese empanadas. My favorite was the Tequenos (Venezuelan cheese sticks) instead of being breaded the cheese was wrapped in dough & fried - Amazing!
We ended the meal with Dulce De Leche, see that bite of caramel on top? I saved that bite for last ;)

Happy birthday Eric!! Thanks for inviting us to your celebration! Make this an amazing year!!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

My Truck

This is my very first vehicle :) 1997 Ford Ranger, I love this truck, I drove it for 12 years! But it was stolen from our driveway almost 3 weeks ago :( I did not handle the situation well at first, I discovered I was to emotionally attached to an object. I asked for a lot of prayer & prayer works!
Today Hubby & his Dad went truck shopping based on a list we compiled from online ads. This 2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac was #1 on my list, and they decided it was in great shape & bought it for me! :)
It is beautiful & I am very thankful!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Welcome Back Blue Bell

Blue Bell was welcomed back to Dallas with open arms (& open wallets) this morning! By the time we made it to the store, the shelves were bare (they did have some Dutch Chocolate in the front, but we were looking for Homemade Vanilla)! I called 3 other stores, also with bare shelves!
Then we found it!
They already have a Blue Bell factory up & running in Heaven ;)
Hubby's Mom's pup got in on the action as well :)
She licked the bowl clean!
So have you had Blue Bell today yet? Is it back where you live? If not, don't lose hope, it's worth the wait! :) Welcome back Blue Bell! As the store shelves prove, you were missed!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

State Fair Fudge

Saturday I entered the Party Foods Competition Bite Sized Desserts category. My plan was to bring my Amaretto Fudge with Fresh Cherries which has already won a blue ribbon. However, cherries are no longer in season :(
 So I went with raspberries!
 This recipe calls for 2 cups fresh raspberries. One cup will be muddled, as shown. If you do not have a mortar & pestle, use the back of a spoon or a potato masher.
 The other cup should be cut in half, these will be topping the fudge once its in the pan.
 These are all of our ingredients :) 
 Ready to go in the fridge
Amaretto Fudge with Fresh Raspberries

3 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 14oz Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Tbsp Amaretto Liqueur
1 tsp Almond Extract
2 Cups Fresh Raspberries
Parchment Paper

Place a piece of parchment paper into an 8x8 square pan (don't worry, the parchment won't lay in the pan until the fudge is weighing it down). Put pan to the side until fudge is ready. 
Put one cup raspberries into mortar & muddle with pestle. Cut the remaining raspberries in half. 
Pour chocolate chips & condensed milk into double broiler over medium heat & stir until smooth. You can also use a bowl over a medium sized pot of water, just make sure the water is low enough that it is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Once the chocolate is melted & smooth turn off the heat & add in the Amaretto & almond extract. Stir again until completely combined & smooth. Now stir in the muddled raspberries until thoroughly incorporated & pour the mixture into parchment lined pan. Top with raspberry halves. Refrigerate fudge for 4 hours (it is best to get out of the house to avoid temptation!). Finally, enjoy!
Waiting for the judging! 
They are eating my fudge!! I already knew when I turned the fudge in, that I was not happy with the consistency because the raspberries made pockets of softness that does not belong in fudge. So I was not surprised that I did not win. However, the taste was spot on!
 Time for our other State Fair Traditions! We started in the Arts building because we were already there for my competition. These butter sculptures are always pretty cool, literally ;)
 Mom & I bought new shirts in the craft selling tent. Mine says "Beware of Pit Bulls they will steal your Heart", I have seen this print before and loved it. This is my new favorite shirt :)
Mom's says, "Nanny" :)
 2015 Dodge Ram 3500 Longhorn Edition, beautiful truck!
 We tried the Fried Bacon Cheeseburger, bacon cheeseburger and fries wrapped up and fried chimichanga style.
 We had it with an order of queso fries. they came from Scrumptious Pieshakes, a booth in the food court. We will be returning to this booth next year!
 It was really good!
 Then we visited Canstruction, all this canned food will be donated to foodbanks once the exhibit is over.
 A Dallas Icon
 My favorite Dallas Icon :)
 This even had sound effects & lights!
 Big Tex!
 Whoa, he talks!!
 Love :)
 Giant Pumpkin Carving

 Nephew loves trains
 This was extra special!

 Thank you Nanny for sharing :)
 Then to top it off, the guy in charge of the trains in the greenhouse came out to talk to us!
 He was so good with Nephew!
 His heart is in his work!
Thank you!!
Our last food to try was a fried mac & cheese slider and fried tamale balls. The mac & cheese slider was bland & dry :( But the tamale balls were super flavorful and a little spicy :)
We also of course had our annual Jalapeno Cheese Fletcher's Corney Dog :)
We had a great day!! Loved sharing our Fair experience for the first time with Niece & Nephew!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Book 15 - My Name Is Memory

The 15th book on my Empty Shelf is "My Name Is Memory" by Ann Brashares. This is another audiobook which I am beginning to really learn to enjoy! It's a great way to pass the time while cleaning house & cooking :) This one imparticular was very interesting, it's a love story about a guy who continues to keep looking for the love of his life through many lives. Believe me, that sounded corny to me too, but it turned out to be very well written.
We only have a little over 2 months left! How many books have you read so far for 2015?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Sausage Dressing

Thanksgiving is going to be here before we know it! I put together this recipe last year for Thanksgiving, & loved it so much I've been saving it to share with you! It makes a roasting pan full of dressing, if that is to much for you then you aren't eating enough dressing ;) but you can half the recipe.
You will need to start the day before with prep. The cornbread & pretzel rolls (or french bread if you prefer) will need to be broken into small pieces & laid out overnight to dry.
The poblanos need to be roasted, 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Yum! Then the stem needs to be removed & the pepper chopped.
The leeks need to be thinly sliced & swished in a bowl of water because all those many layers collect a lot of dirt! Then they can be laid out on a paper towel to dry until you are ready for them.

Sausage Dressing
2 9x13 pans cornbread, I used Paula Deen's recipe, but I quadrupled it.
19.2oz Pkg Pretzel Bread (or you can use a loaf of french bread if you prefer)
2 Med Onions, diced
2 C Celery, diced
8 Cloves Garlic, Minced
3 Poblano Peppers, roasted & chopped
6 C Frozen Corn
3 leeks, thinly sliced & swished in water to get all dirt off
1 Roll Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage, browned & crumbled
1/2 C Fresh Parsley, Chopped
4 tsp Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
1 Stick Butter
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp dried Thyme
8 C Chicken Broth
Chop the cornbread into 1" cubes & tear the pretzel bread into small pieces. Spread them out on several baking sheets & let them dry overnight.
Warm up a large skillet over medium heat & add the stick of butter. Once the butter is melted, add the onions, garlic, leeks, & celery & saute for a few minutes until onions are almost translucent. Add 8 cups chicken broth to veggies & bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, add poblano peppers, corn, sausage, basil, thyme, rosemary, & parsley. Stir until combined. Place all dried bread into a large bowl & stir to combine. Gradually ladle the broth mixture into the bread, tossing lightly as you go. Keep adding the broth mixture, tasting as you go & adding more seasonings & herbs if needed. If the mixture is not quite moist enough, add a bit more chicken broth. Spoon into a roasting pan & bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top.
I truly hope you have a wonderful time planning this years Thanksgiving menu! I know we still have over a month, but have you ever seen my cookbook collection?! I have a lot of choices to make! ;)