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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Food Trucks at Work! :)

This past Friday, some food trucks came to my office! How cool! Even though it was a pretty hot day, I went out and waited in the lines to get some lunch!

I've had some of the other trucks there that day so I wanted to try something new.

Potato Potahto

Baked Sweet Potato (topped with Pecan Smoked Brisket, pickled red onions; plus 2 additional toppings: jalapenos, tomatoes) $6.50~
 This thing was MASSIVE!!! I felt like I was holding a small baby or something. hahaha. Well...exaggerating. But it was pretty hefty. The potato was loaded and steaming. The sweet potato was baked perfectly. So soft... I don't know how they cooked it and at what temp but I'd really like to know! The brisket was cooked well. I wish it had a little more seasoning and sauce. Needed a bit more moisture. And they need to dice the onions more finely and have more pickled flavor. But overall it was a good loaded potato. I barely made a dent in it... only ate about a fourth of it. haha. Good bang for the buck!


Before I attempted to dig into my giant potato. I went to Trailercakes. I've actually been following them since before the business started but never came across them until now. I wanted to take something back to the office. I asked them if I could go ahead and order something and pick it up after I eat. They were super nice and said of course.


3 mini cupcakes for $5~
The mini cupcakes are so cute!!

RV (red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting). I loved the frosting on this. The heat outside kinda melted it a little. But it was rich and awesome. The cake was moist and not too sweet. So the sweetness from the frosting paired well.

Cookie Monster (oreo crust, white cake, marshmallow center, oreo buttercream). This was cool with the oreo crust on the bottom. I liked the oreo buttercream too. The marshmallow inside was nice but a little too sweet. I think this would be better as a regular sized cupcake. As a mini, the sweetness overpowered it all. Sure was cute though!

PB&J (white cake, grape jelly, peanut butter frosting). I love PB&J. I liked the layer of jelly under the frosting. The pb frosting was rich and creamy. The flavors were nice but I thought the frosting overpowered the cake.

Overall I thought it was pretty good. Cute and clean presentation. Pretty good flavors. I'd like to try their normal sized cupcakes.



Sissy's Southern Kitchen & Bar

Last Thursday, I went with some friends to Sissy's on Henderson & 75. I've been hearing great things about this place from friends, especially about their fried chicken. One of my friends knows the chef so she asked if we wanted to go. Heck yea! I'm totally in!

Sissy's Southern Kitchen & Bar
2929 North Henderson Avenue
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 827-9900
Price: $$-$$$

I found out that this was opened by Lisa Garza, who competed on The Next Food Network Star (I didn't watch that season though). But I saw her compete on an episode of Chopped. Pretty cool. Later I also found out she used to own Suze. I've been there once before.. years ago. The food was fantastic from what I remembered.

From the outside, it looks like a cute little cottage, sandwiched between Hibiscus and Victor Tangos. The inside is bigger than it looks from the outside. The decor is kind of cottage/farm/rustic yet still had modern elements to it. It's hard to describe but it's got some contrasting elements that makes it unique.

We were seated in the "patio" area. It was fully covered and climate controlled though. Kinda cool. hehe. The tables were pretty close together though, can feel cramped at times.

While waiting for our table, some of my friends got drinks from the bar.
Sencha Goji (pomegranate, blueberry, lemongrass, cornflower, Goji berry, Japan green) Glass $9.50~ Really pretty with the flower.

Porch Swing? (HH special)

Tea Thyme (HH Special). I tried a sip of this. Very delicious. So fragrant with the thyme.

We started off with the Squash Puppies (with whipped Texas Honey Guild butter & jalapeno jelly) $8~
These were delicious. The outside was super crispy and inside was soft and moist. I did feel like the inside could be seasoned a bit more. But the best part were the honey butter and jalapeno jam. Both paired extremely well with the hush puppies. The jalapeno jam was sweet and spicy. The honey butter was super smooth and nice hint of sweetness. Great start to the meal. We devoured it since we were so hungry!

Curry Deviled Eggs (with creme fraiche & tobiko caviar) 1/2 dozen $9~
I've heard great things about the deviled eggs. They were so cute! I've never seen deviled eggs presented width-wise instead of length-wise. I feel like this way you can fill more in it. The filling was smooth and creamy and you can really taste the curry.

Daily Special: Tomato Mozzarella Salad $? A friend of mine ordered this. It wasn't on the main menu. It had vibrant colors, was really fresh and I liked the basil and dressing on top.

Cream Biscuits (six to an order) $8~
This just sounded good. It was steaming hot when it came out. Presented in a cute little basket, very homey. The biscuits were hot and fluffy on the inside and had a nice crunch on the outside. The honey butter was fantastic again. And they also brought us homemade jam.
YUM!!! All the different condiments here were One of the best parts of the meal in my opinion. I mixed and matched all of them. Put some jalapeno jam on the biscuits too. Awesome! Definitely eat them while they are hot though. Once it cooled, it became a little harder.

Chili Fried Oysters (with cane vinegar green sauce & Sissy's spicy mayo) 1/2 dozen $14~
This came as a surprise to us since we didn't order it. But we dug in anyways. haha. The oysters were so big! Again, the outside was nice and crispy. The batter was really well done. I'm totally loving the condiments that come with every dish. The spicy mayo paired great with the fried oysters. And I LOVED the green sauce. The chef later explained to me that it's kind of a riff on a chimichurri.... sooo tasty! 

Sissy's Fried Chicken (10 pc Mix Bucket) $25~ (House spiced, buttermilk soaked, pressure fried) Choice of cole slaw or whipped potatoes & gravy.
The main event! The bucket looked sooo good. Very impressive as it took up most of the middle of our table. haha. We also went with BOTH sides instead of choosing one.
I had heard that the coleslaw was the better choice. But we'd like to disagree. The mashed potatoes were the clear winner. Creamy, tons of flavor. The coleslaw had an interesting tang to it but was pretty standard overall. Now to the chicken. We got the mixed bucket. I prefer dark meat (of course.. being Asian). Super moist. The batter was really crispy and not like typical batter like fast food fried chicken places. It was also served with their housemade sriracha sauce. I wouldn't call it a sriracha personally but it was good chili sauce. Not too spicy, slightly sweet, but has a very nice combination of flavors. Paired really well with the chicken.

Oh yea, We also got the Oven Roasted Collard Greens $8~
It was a pretty decent portion. Served in a cute ceramic container. The collard greens were roasted well but was still slightly bitter. It was a nice contrast to all the fried stuff we were eating though.

Now here's where the real show begins. I mentioned that one of the girls at dinner knows the chef here. He came out to greet us. Super cool and nice guy. Gave all of us hugs and everything. Chris, is the AWESOME Chef de Cuisine! hehe. He made sure we were being taken care of and also asked us if there were anything we really wanted to try. The only thing we mentioned was the short ribs since we had already ordered so much. But he says he'll give us a little sampling/tasting of several items. YAY! :)

Sissy's Mac & Cheese $9~
This came in a cute cast iron skillet. The elbow macaroni gave it a very traditional feel. It was great. Just enough cheese, pasta cooked al dente, just how I like it. And it had a great crust on top. The best part!

Gulf Shrimp & Grits (tomato, piquillo pepper, tasso ham & onion with organic stone ground cheddar grits).
We each got our own individual sampling plate of this. The shrimp was cooked well and tender and I really enjoyed the grits. The sauce on top was almost like a gumbo? The shrimp was a bit fishy tasting though... 

Fried Quail (juniper brined, Steen's syrup glazed with Kentucky Hoppin' John; on rice and beans).
So cute. Individual sample of fried quail over rice and black eyed peas... I think. This is NOT on the regular menu by the way. The regular quail dish is not fried. Delicious. One of the best cooked quail I've had. It was juicy, not tough or dry like most other quails. The batter on the quail was different than the squash puppies or the chicken or oyster. It was cool to see all different types of batters for frying! And the quail had a sweetness to it. Chris later explained that it's brined with juniper and has the Steen's syrup on it which give it the sweetness. Very good!! I wonder if you can request your quail to be fried since it's not on the menu. hehe.

We were all SUPER stuffed... and then they brought this out. Braised Beef Short Ribs (slow cooked & served with whipped potatoes & brown gravy) $17~
OMG! It looked amazing. The short rib was fork tender, slightly fatty..just how I like it. haha. And underneath wasn't mashed potatoes but a savory bread pudding. It was soooo good! The meat paired really well with the bread pudding and the crispy onions on top added that crunch. I'd totally recommend this! We were all so full! But somehow we still managed to eat the entire plate. haha. Keep in mind we had 5 girls and just 1 guy. Man we can eat! :P

As we all sat there having difficulty breathing... we were served the Jim Beam Bourbon Bread Pudding (with salted caramel & pecans) $9~
So full, but still have room for dessert of course... maybe? haha. The bread pudding was super good. So soft and moist. The top was nicely browned and added a nice crunch to the soft bread pudding. You can also taste the Bourbon which is baked into the bread pudding. The only thing I would say is it needed wayyy more sauce on top. Just ladle that sauce on!!!! haha.

So much amazing food. Such great hospitality from Chris and our waitress. And aside from the complimentary dishes from the chef, we were comped for most of our orders. Wow... It was so nice of them and definitely appreciated. We felt bad that our bill was so little and all said that we would've been happy to pay for everything since it was all fantastic.

Definitely an epic experience for my first time at Sissy's. I will be back, and I've already recommended it to many of my friends. Also... they need to bottle up some of those condiments (like the jam and butters) and sell them!!! :P

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Paula Deen & Metro Cooking Show

My friend and I went to the Metro Cooking Show this past Sunday at the Dallas Convention Center. We went because I found out Paula Deen is going to the be celebrity guest and will be doing a cooking demo. I LOVE HER!!!! And I can't believe she's going to be in Dallas! There was also a groupon deal out for discounted tickets. SCORE! This means I HAVE to go!!

The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show
September 22 - 23, 2012
Dallas Convention Center

These are some of the Marketplace Exhibitors:

Lemon Cake Cafe
Houston, TX 77055
(281) 841-3782
Their lemon cakes are made with freshly squeezed lemon juice and all natural ingredients: fresh eggs, butter, milk, vanilla, and sugar. They are super moist and stay fresh for weeks without refrigeration. I bought one home for my parents. :)

Enstrom Candies
Almond Toffee (Milk & Dark Chocolate) I bought a few small boxes of the Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee for my co-workers.

Custom Cafe Foods
They sell quick and easy dry mixes of gourmet soups, quick breads, savory dips, muffins and specialty drinks. We tried their pumpkin dip with ginger snaps. YUM!

Texas Toffee Queen
They had some interesting flavors such as White Chocolate Mango Chili, Dark Chocolate Salted Blood Orange, Dark Chocloate Salted Jalapeno. All pretty good!

Fat Sister Southern Foods
They had some various pancake samples. The texture seemed ok but was kind of salty?? Definitely needed maple syrup. I think I tried the pumpkin pancake.

Texas Best Fudge? Not sure if that's the actual name of the business. But the fudge was super rich!

Quintessential Chocolates
251 West Main Street
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
American-made Liqueure Praline (cast liquid center chocolates) These chocolates were pretty awesome. The outer shell is really thin and there's liquid on the inside. I tried the Southern Pecan Coffee. You let the chocolate melt in your mouth. Then suddenly it pops and you taste the liquid inside. They have coffee, chai, liqueurs, etc. A really neat experience. It was quite expensive though so I didn't buy any.

d'marie inc.
We tried the Frappe Vino. It's like a sweet wine slush. Soooo good. Neither my friend or I like wine, but we both loved it. I was very tempted to buy one. You buy the kit. And just combine wine, water, the mix and stick it in the freezer. Then a few hours later you have a frappe! Very cool party thing.

“Easy Chocolates for Home Entertaining” by Sue Williams
Dr. Sue’s Chocolates
I've had Dr. Sue's Chocolates before. They are awesome! She will be doing a workshop and have a booth at the Chocolate Conference in Addison this coming Saturday, 9/29. I'll be helping her out during the day. Come by and visit us!! :) 

Finally to the main attraction! Paula Deen!!!!! OMG. So star-struck. I watch Paula's show on Food Network daily. She's so much fun and of course her food is always so sinfully good! To see her in person was a bit surreal. She's so energetic and bubbly and extremely real. I found that really awesome. She didn't try to be scripted or proper, she was just herself and it was great. Her husband, Michael, and his brother came along too. They were all on stage helping with the cooking. They are just too cute together! And they brought their newest addition: Lulu! So cute!
I never knew she was THAT funny! The crowd laughed A LOT! I love her even more after seeing her in person. She's just a burst of sunshine and full of positivity and hope. She told us she hoped we would remember her not as the person that loved butter, but as someone that inspires hope. I could really tell that she cared about her fans and the people that can relate to her with the whole diabetes thing. It was a great presentation by Paula Deen.
The food became secondary. (She made Chicken & Dumplings and Apple Cobbler I think.. haha. General seating didn't get samples...) I was honored to see her. And she looks FABULOUS after her weight loss. Although I always thought she looked great before! That shiny silver hair and piercing blue eyes!! Love you Paula!!! :D And I definitely need to go visit her restaurant in Savannah!!

I thought it was a great event overall. We had so many samples and bought some goodies and cool stuff. I hope they do the Metro Cooking Show again next year and I look forward to attending it!!

Paula Deen:

Overall Event: