Lizzy's Tasties

A blog about food, life and all shades between

Im Back!!!

Wow guys I have been on a writing hiatus. I have missed you guys but I have had so many food experiences that I hope to share with you. If you have been keeping up with Instagram I have had my hands ties with potty training my rambunctious toddler and man has it been an adventure.
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I went to Atlanta with my friend and had some amazing food from Le Petit Marche which was amazing and I wish I would have taken pictures but I will be making a visit there soon in the next year and I will definitely take pictures then. 3
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One of my dear friends that is in culinary school moved to Atlanta but before he left he took me to Brunch at a pretty nice place in Austin and man was it amazing. 1
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All and all been pretty busy year so far and I cannot wait to share all these experiences with you guys sorry for the long wait but I am back now.
SAY CHEESE!!!!
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Hondeaux Southern Kitchen-Restaurant Review!

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So I have lived in this moderately small town on and off for ten years now. I have seen companies’ restaurants and bakeries come and go. I am a food buff; I love good food and I will go the extra mile to find it.  Temple has always been small town you go to the local places where they know you by name and know exactly what you’ll order and have it ready in 15 minutes or less.

My colleagues/lunch buddy always look to me to find something different to eat in Temple. I normally search through Google, and yelp to find out what’s around here. I have to admit we have been to some whole in the wall places. We have had our up and our downs and even worse stomachaches.

A week ago I had a young professionals happy hour get together at local bar The Green Door and one of my colleagues had mention they had lunch at Hondeaux. He said it was a great place and we should have lunch or a few drinks there soon. Well I couldn’t wait for the next soirée to find out when we were all going to have lunch I wanted to try this place as soon as possible.  

I told my lunch buddy that we had to check Hondeaux I even sent her the link http://hondeauxtemple.com/ so she could check out the menu. At 12 we hopped in the car and drove to downtown Temple. The site mentions that they pride themselves on 15 minute lunch ticket times, which are great because we only have an hour for lunch. We got there and they told us to have a seat wherever we liked. The place had a nice ambiance upscale but relaxed. It looked as if I had just walked into country bar with finesse. We chit chatted but we waited 5-10 minutes and no one waited on us. I finally waived a waitress down because we were seeing other people that were there after us being waited on. The waitress apologized and took our order.  I order their Tacos de Pescado and sweet tea my lunch buddy orders the same. A few minutes later the General Manager came up to us and apologized for the late service and advised us they would expedite our order and free dessert on him. I was very impressed and honestly did not expect that.

 Our food came out minutes later. My tacos had blackened tilapia with a green chile salsa. I could taste sweetness of the salsa and the spice from tilapia. None of the flavors over powered the other which is a plus. I order a side of fries. I am a northern girl by heart so these fries brought back memories of home. The fries had a hint of vinegar; which down here is unheard of but me and my family love malt vinegar and ketchup on our fries. We had the choice of pecan pie or cheesecake; I am allergic to pecan pie so I decided on the cheesecake. My co-worker stated that the pecan pie was delicious and will finish it when she gets home. The cheesecake was ok it lacked the flavor and presentation. Not to mention when I took my first bite there was a piece of wax paper still on the cheesecake. I had to remove it. This is a no no and indicated that they rushed this on a plate and also tasted store bought. Overall the main dish was good and the General Manager did take a stand to the service that we received initially and the server who was originally supposed to serve us also apologized. I may come back after work hours to see if I have a better experience.

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Hen Party

Anyone that knows my family knows that we love to cook and we love to entertain. My step –mom is always throwing get together with her girlfriends that she calls “Hen Parties”. Which consist of all her girlfriends and mine get together at our house and bring over different wines and hors d’oeuvres for us to try. We play games, gossip, dance, we just like to have a good old time. My dad was feeling left out especially with his recent retirement, so the women started to bring their husbands and the “men folk” would have their beer watch ESPN and do manly things.

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This past weekend we had a Gumbo party. My dad made his famous gumbo which was the bomb. My mom made crab cake bites and well I made Chocolate and Peanut butter chip pretzel or walnut cookies. I made these cookies before with pretzels but my mom was not impressed so I made a batch with walnuts just for her. As people started to show up she was finishing up the final touches for the food. She fried some fish with homemade coleslaw and cut slices of store bought 7 up cake. I love 7 up cake it the top 3 cakes that stay on the top of my list. (Linda’s Fudge cake, Grandmother Apricot Brandy Pound Cake, and 7 up cake) I seriously would be the fattest person in the world if these cakes were in my house on a consistent basis.

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As the night unfolded jokes were told and compliments to the chefs were made. They thought that we just sit around and cook all day. I have to say my weekends consist of baking and coming up with inspiration for some new baking ideas. Baking is my stress reliever and being praised on good food is always a plus. Here are some pictures of the awesome food!

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Labor Day Weekend (late)

 Few weekends late but Labor day was filled with good eating, family and friends. I was on a creative streak and decided to try some blog recipes that turned out to be epic fails until I tweaked it to my likings. I made a white Cheese macaroni and cheese, Caramel Apple Pie, and Brownies. My step-mom made homemade cornbread (cast iron skillet) Greens, homemade potato salad and Cole slaw. My dad did all the grilling brisket, brats, and hamburgers. Let just say at my house we like to eat. I was so busy cooking that I didn’t really take any pictures except for my son and my gorgeous apple pie. (Sorry guys I will do better.) Here is the rundown of what I made. Now traditionally I make my grandmother mac and cheese which consist of Sharp cheddar and regular cheddar; I have noticed that when I blend these cheeses that my mac and cheese doesn’t seem to be as creamy as I like. I have also learned that yellow cheese is not as healthy as white cheese. So I switched it up, I had white cheddar, Fontana, and smoked Gouda. The flavors were undeniable stronger and creamier. I put the regular seasonings salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne. The only extra seasoning I added was basil, which made the dish burst to awesomeness. I had a mixture of half and half (which I should have used carnation milk, or heavy cream) and whole milk. I baked in the oven with bread crumbs on top. There was barely any leftover and whatever was left over me and my little munchkin devoured it. I love mac and cheese it has been my favorite dish since I was little and my son well he is like his momma loves it just as much as me.

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I also tried to follow recipe for salted caramel Apple pie but that turned out to be a bust because the first try I was trying to make the caramel and I turned my head for a second and burned it . The second try I was so nervous that I would burn it that I pulled off the heat to early. So I decided to grab the caramel sauce out the fridge heat it up pour over my apples. I am still determined to figure out this caramel sauce if it’s the last thing I do! My step-mom was complaining that it needed more this and that but she kept eating it because it was still delicious and of course my crust was on point.

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I had made brownies earlier this week because who doesn’t love brownies. I followed a recipe but it turned out to be horrible so I added chocolate chips and a little extra sugar and flour. I like my brownies dense but these were a little too dense I had to fluff them up. Overall I am so sorry not many pictures or recipes I will have those to you very soon. I hope everyone had a great Labor Day

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Sweet Cherry Pie

  

whole pie

This past weekend I wanted to bake something sweet. I had originally planned on baking some fudge-y brownies but I guess God had other plans for me this weekend. My mother sent me on some errands (a nice bit of “me” time while she watched my little guy), and one of the stops was Sam’s Club. I love going to Sam’s club, because they give away free samples. When I was a kid my parents would go on Saturday morning to stock up on groceries and odds and ends and I would wander around the store collecting the free samples, a scavenger hunt for tasty morsels. Then I’d run and tell mom or dad get this or that. Even as an adult I still love samples, especially fruit, meat, and veggies.

Fast forward to this weekend, running my errands, I was getting some unsalted butter for some upcoming baking projects and I saw sweet cherries on sale. With trepidation, I snagged one of the cherries for a taste test. I hate it when so-called sweet fruits end up being anything but. To my surprise, they were sweet and the first thing that springs into mind is that song “Sweet Cherry Pie” by Warrant. I grabbed a box of cherries and was singing that tune, earbug that it is, all the way home.

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Once back at my parent’s place, I realize that I’ve never baked a pie from-scratch with homemade crust. Busting out the Google, I researched flaky pie crust. Some recipes called for lard or vodka and I didn’t want to add any of that so I just created my own dough with some simple ingredients: ice, water, flour, butter, and sugar, all pulsed in the food processor. I separated the dough into halves and placed in the fridge for 45 minutes. The recipe calls for pitted cherries. Let me tell you: this pie was a labor of love. I pitted every cherry by hand and tried my best to keep them pretty (I don’t have a fancy-schmancy cherry pitter). By the time this little labor of love of mine finished baking and cooling, I had successfully made a beautiful cherry pie! My dad came into the kitchen and grabbed a huge slice with ice cream, and my step-mom, who doesn’t even like cherry pie, proclaimed her love for the filling I’d whipped up.

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe!!!

Ingredients

4 Cups of pitted cherries

2 Tablespoon of corn starch

2 Teaspoon of tapioca

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

¼ Teaspoon almond extract

¼ Teaspoon lemon extract

½ Teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (cut them in to little squares)

1 of your favorite buttery flaky crust recipes

1. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Start pitting your cherries. As I said earlier this is a labor of love. Once all the cherries are pitted, combine them in a large bowl with the sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn starch, tapioca, vanilla, almond, and lemon extracts.

2. Next roll out your dough and place in pie pan and pour your cherry mixture in. Take the cut slices of butter and spread across the top. Roll out the second piece of dough and layer it on the top of the cherry mixture. Take egg wash dab it across the top and sprinkle sugar on top. Cut a slit in the middle of pie.

3. Place pie in the oven bake for 25 minutes. Then turn heat down to 350F and bake for another 25-30 minutes. Take pie out and let it cool. Enjoy.

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Cilantro Lime Teriyaki Chicken

 

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Today was just another manic Monday, and after coming home from a long day of work I just wanted to relax. My son was happy as a clam, just watching mommy in the kitchen while he played with his food . Being on the downhill slope of a hectic Monday evening, I prepped out some chicken, but I had no plan of how to finish it . Then I thought what would my dad do? I looked around the kitchen for some inspiration. I turned the broiler on and decided to pound out the chicken breast. That was actually so much fun for me to let out the frustration from work by pounding out the chicken. I lined the baking pan with foil and started tossing thing into the bottom of the pan. I figured that the flavors I was combining should be interesting. I served this with mixed vegetables and day-old rice, mixed in a mixture of cilantro lime teriyaki chicken. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as my son and I did.

Ingredients:

3 Chicken Breast (pounded)

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Lime Juice Concentrate

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 Teaspoon of Pepper

½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

3 sprigs of Cilantro chopped

1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar (and a little for sprinkling over the top)

Instructions:

1. Preheat your broiler to high. Take a shallow bowl and mix together the soy sauce, lime juice concentrate, Worcestershire, pepper, Cayenne pepper, and Cilantro and brown sugar. Taste to make sure the you’re getting the flavor you’re after and adjust to taste.

2. Pour the mixture over the chicken, then flip the chicken to make sure that it’s is completely covered with the mixture. ( You can also marinate the chicken for an hour)

3. Put the chicken in the oven for about 30 minutes or until down. I poured the mixture over day-old rice and served the chicken and rice with mixed vegetables. Enjoy!

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Disappearing Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies

My boyfriend’s birthday was this past weekend, and when I asked him what he wanted he said “I don’t know, be creative”. I had no clue what to do. I asked my friends what do you get an awesome Luthier, painter, writer, and all-around amazing man for his birthday. I searched high and low for something vintage. Maybe something from his favorite band or author. Nothing. I couldn’t find one thing that fit the bill. I even thought a custom guitar pick with something silly engraved would be silly but cool. That was a bust as I was put on a waiting list, a list I’m still waiting on. I finally figured the only creative thing I like to do is to make food, and what better way to wish him a happy birthday and show that I love him than to bake him some yummy cookies. As I sat at work browsing the internet for a cool recipe I stumbled upon a Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies Recipe from Taste and Tell blog. I emailed the recipe to myself and went home to raid the pantry. I had everything except for the fresh strawberries and the cheesecake pudding mix and graham crackers.

I grabbed my son, two bottles of water for the road and headed to HEB (local Texas grocery store chain). Scanning through the baking aisle for cheesecake pudding mix, I was surprised to find that there wasn’t any. I asked the attendant if they sell cheesecake pudding mix and he assured me they do. Now the two of us were in the baking aisle, hunting for the cheesecake mix, I’m thinking in my head, “Is this really a product? It has to be. She wouldn’t put this in the recipe if it didn’t exist…” I was just about to say forget it, I’ll improvise when the attendant comes back with a box of Jello no-bake cheesecake mix. I looked at it thought, “Hey this could probably work,” and killed two birds with one stone. The box also included graham cracker crust. Score!

I get home and pull out my tablet and started following the recipe. Until I got to the instant cheesecake pudding part. It said one packet of pudding mix which was 3.4 oz the packet that I had was 11.2 oz. I am by far the worst person when it comes to math, so I call up my dad to help me figure out this practical word problem. I figure if you’re not math savvy (like me) I’ll just give you the answer: It’s about a half a cup, or just a hair under (to be more specific). The recipe said to bake the cookies for 12 minutes, but they weren’t done so I left them in the oven for 18-20 minutes. After they cooled off I shared a cookie with my step-mom who thought they were pretty tasty.

I grabbed the birthday cards from me and my son, boxed up the delicious cookies and headed to the even smaller town of Marble Falls.

We had a great time out for his birthday. Italian food and followed by wine back at his place. The next morning, I woke up and thought I’d grab one of the delicious cookies I baked, maybe even take a picture for my blog, but it turns out my boyfriend ate the dozen cookies while I was sleeping and didn’t even save me one. Just crumbs. So I made another batch this afternoon to perfect my version of the recipe and snap some pictures.

strawberry Cheesecake cookie

Visit Taste and Tell blog (www.tasteandtellblog.com). They have some really cool recipes.

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Whatever Chicken Soup

Whatever Chicken Soup

whatever chicken soupThis past week has been a very sickly one. My son recently turned one, and at his yearly checkup we found out that he had the start of an ear infection. This is his first ear infection, and I am hoping the last one, though it likely won’t be. Since I’m a first time mommy and never experienced an ear infection before, I did some research and found out that not only would my little man have a sore ear but symptoms of a cold to boot. As the week went on my son was complacent staying with his grandparents instead of going to daycare (read: spoiled), and even starts to feel a bit better just as we all start to come down with the common cold. Everyone knows the tell-tale signs: achy body, cough, sore throat, and sinuses all congested. Returning to work after the weekend I almost regretted all the love and hugs and kisses I gave to my little boy. Almost… He is my world, after all!

Sitting at my desk thinking of ways to feel better and buck this awful summertime cold, childhood memories of my dad begin to well up. When I was little—actually, even as an adult–my dad would make his homemade chicken noodle soup to help me feel better. I called this soup “Whatever soup”. My dad is an extremely resourceful cook, and he would find odds and ends in the pantry, leftovers in the refrigerator, and whatever else he could scrounge up and he was able to whip up a tasty soup. Sometimes he would add barley to give a little the concoction a little extra rib-sticking consistency. You can also substitute the red pepper flakes with cayenne. The recipe calls for canned chicken in water, but you can use boiled chicken breast if preferred. Like I said before, my dad would grab whatever is in the pantry to make this soup.

Well I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do. It does always seems to make me feel a million times better!

Whatever Soup Recipe

1 Yellow Onion chopped 3 Stalks of Celery chopped 4 Cloves of Garlic thinly chopped 8 Chicken Bouillon cubes crumbled 1 Bay Leaf 1 Tablespoon of Basil 1 Tablespoon of Thyme 1 Teaspoon of Red Pepper flakes 2 Cups of Frozen Vegetables 2 Large Chicken Breast / 1-2 Can of Chicken in Water 1 Tablespoon of Butter

Pasta (spaghetti, fettuccine, egg noodles) 10 Cups of Water Olive Oil

Instructions:

1. Grab a medium size pot, cover the bottom of the pot with olive oil, and add the onion, celery garlic, chicken bouillon cubes crushed, bay leaf, basil, thyme, red pepper flakes, and mix all together.

2. Add the frozen vegetables, chicken breast/canned chicken. Turn the pot on high heat and cook until the chicken is almost done and the onions are translucent.  Add water and butter (the butter binds everything together) let it cook for about 45 minutes or until vegetables are almost cooked. Taste the broth to make sure it’s seasoned to taste. If not add another bouillon cube or a dash of whatever it takes to get it there for you.

3. Add pasta and cook until it’s tender. Serve with crackers or toast. Enjoy!

 
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Thai Spice and Sushi Restaurant – The Forum

A few Saturdays ago, my boyfriend, son, and I decided to grab something to eat after a nice afternoon of shopping at the Forum Plaza. My boyfriend was excited to see the sign for sushi, so we had to stop. The restaurant was clean and we were seated promptly. So far, so good.

Our waitress asked us what we would like to drink and brought the drinks back to the table lickety-split. The waitress did not give us a chance to adequately peruse the menu, as she was constantly–within 1-3 minutes between stops–asking if we were ready to order. I completely understand the attentiveness, but we had never been there before and it was a fairly large menu to look through.

We ordered spring rolls and they were quite good. The best I have had in some time, and the peanut dipping sauce that came with them was fantastic. Most places it just tastes as if they’d mixed some peanut butter in water. This sauce had great seasoning and flavor and my boyfriend dipped everything in it, even my sons chicken nuggets.

My boyfriend ordered a Philadelphia Roll (he’s the sushi fan, and the reason we stopped here for lunch. A moth and light with this fella and sushi signs) and I ordered a Japanese curry and chicken nuggets and french fries for my one-year=old son. As a side-note to anyone with younger kids, the chicken nuggets and fries are the only Americanized, kid-friendly dish they have. My boyfriend really enjoyed his Philadelphia Roll and my Japanese curry was quite nice. The Japanese curry was a huge serving, so I had to share it with my boyfriend. It was very flavorful, I wouldn’t say it was the best I ever had but it was quite decent.

Now for the bad. The reason I am giving them three stars is because of the service. After the waitress checked on us after delivering our meal she never checked on us again. My boyfriend had to flag her down to get refill on his drink. After eating and being essentially ignored, we requested a box and the check. We waited 10 minutes and my boyfriend left to go to the bathroom (5 minutes) and I had to have another waitress bring us a box and ask if she’d please tell our waitress that we were still waiting for our check. The waitress then greeted three more tables before finally printing our check and dropping it off. My boyfriend handed his credit card to her and we waited to get the receipt and that card back. She went to the table next to us and they had requested there check and she handed them our credit card and bill. She then asked us if we would like our bill. I was so confused so we both said yes we would like our bill, thinking she had meant card/receipt/end of transaction/etc.. She walked off to the counter as if she was getting our bill situated. I turned around to look at the table behind us and realized she did the unthinkable she handed my boyfriends card to the table behind us. I walked over to the table advised the couple the waitress made a mistake and gave them our credit card instead of their bill. Then as my boyfriend was signing the bill, I overheard the waitress saying that we should have said something about wanting his card and receipt rather than our bill. No one came to apologize for the misunderstanding. It was just horrible service and totally careless. The table next to us apologized and wanted to get there bill but she didn’t end up checking back with them until after we were walking out the door.

I will not be coming to this place again, regardless of the decent dining areas and tasty food, but because of the careless waitstaff who could not remember to hand the right credit card to right table.

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