Monday, December 31, 2012

P.F. Chang's

It's no news that we go to P.F. Chang's pretty frequently.  We go, mainly for their gluten free menu.
One of my favorite is their crab fried rice... you see chunks of crabs all over.
Chang's spicy chicken... it's lightly battered and yes, spicy.  I just like the sauce that comes with...
And of course, side of spinach for good measure.  No one would ever accuse us of not eating our veggies!

They have a decent selection on their gluten free menu.  They used to have a mini chocolate dessert, but since they did away from that size, you only get the dome and a torte.  We were just talking about we miss dumplings, but no one in town has gf dough for it.  :(  On the upside, they now have gluten free fortune cookies, it's a coconut cookie, but you get a pretty fortune just the same.

One thing we kept hearing people talking about how this is not authentic Chinese food.  Urm... news flash, this is not!  This is American-Chinese food, which is taste adopted for the States.  I would dare say in the entire city only a hand full of places does authentic Chinese, and non of which are inside the loop, little to say in a prominent space like Highland Village.  So don't fool yourself, or let it fool you; if you want the real thing, go to Chinatown, but then it may not be something your taste buds be used to.

P F Chang's
Highland Village
4094 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 7027

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pumpkin Macaron

Since I didn't do too well last time on the Italian method, I thought I'd give it a try... just needed to conquer it... rawr!
You put 1-to-1 almond flour & powdered sugar, sifted and mix together.  Then add 2 egg whites into the mix.
Mix everything together so it becomes a paste... mostly just make sure no dry ingredient is not incorporated.
Then you whip the 2 egg whites on low, at the same time boil white sugar with 37g of water (which is a few drops) and boil to 112 degrees.  

When you sugar reached the temperature, you pour into your whipping egg whites, and turn it on high.
Of course, you add the egg whites to the paste and it'll become running batter, and slowly become macaronnage.  Then you're ready to pipe.
Kinda mixed results here... tons of little points (nipples) but a few turned out flat, so that's good.  
But look at the feet, it looked good based on the feet.  For sure the Italian method consistently gives a good pied.  French method is a tad touch and go, but then since I'm comfortable with that method, I'm pretty certain I can get there.

Now, what makes it a pumpkin is that I added 2tsp of pumpkin spice into the dry ingredient.  The filling, we did a pumpkin buttercream.  Just butter (room temp), powdered sugar, and slowly add in the pumpkin pie filling until fully incorporated.  And it will look wet, just have to keep going until it's incorporate into the paste.

Good luck!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Recently, a bunch of friends and I went to Triniti for a dinner party.  The best part of it is that we get to order everything on the menu and share the dishes... 
Amuse Bouche
Cranberry vinegar with sliced crouton
Risotto with crab meat and pork belly
Beef tartare - has radish, edamame, with raw egg on top
Deviled Lobster - just like what you think it is, lobster with a style of deviled eggs, except no eggs are involved, there's potato that goes well.
Cheese and Meat plate with slices of cranberry bread, apples, nuts, honey, pickles, mustard, and jam.

Filet Mignon 
NY Strip with cauliflower, the little blobs are bone marrow mousse, didn't try it...
Duck with wild rice
Grilled Salmon with light cream and wild mushroom 
Quail - it's kinda neat to have a mini sweet potato brulee (on the left circle), it has some cranberry sauce
Pork Collar
Chocolate Lintzer with homemade dulce de leche ice cream
Cinnamon Pear cake with poached fig and homemade butter pecan ice cream
Chestnut Souffle with coffee sauce and mascarpone ice cream
These nipples looking thing is a after dessert - which is praline chocolate mousse
As you're going home, they sent you off with apple cinnamon muffin, which was a bit dry.

The decor for the restaurant is hip and sharp and clean.  As you can see the portion is petite, and alot of them are medium well, almost nothing cooked to well.  There's plenty of parking at the back or front of the restaurant, although, I can imagine on a busy night they have valet blocking most of the spots.

Triniti Restaurant and Bar
2815 Shepherd by Westheimer
Houston, TX 77098

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ruggle's Green

Whenever I have a hinkering for pasta and have to go gluten free, I'd go to Ruggles Green to get my fix.
Of course, what's more classic than a big giant bowl of meatball and pasta.  The pasta is quinoa linguini, each of the turkey meatball is huge and filling.  The sauce, I wish it's thicker, but it'll do.  Douse my pasta with tons of cheese will do it for me too!
One thing I like about Ruggles Green is that to ensure you are getting a truly Gluten Free dish, they make sure you get one of these cards, so you can rest assured that there's no mixing with the 'bad stuff' in your food.

You can call in and order to go, they are pretty quick about turning it around, and special parking for to go too.

Ruggles Green
2311 W. Alabama St.
Houston, TX 77098

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays

Whatever you celebrate, happy holidays to you!  And may more good food and good company for the up coming year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sale - Sucre

For some crepe craving in the Heights, we decided to try Sale' - Sucre' on White Oak.
The place is tiny and quaint, but if you want to make a reservation, they will accommodate.  To the best seats in the house no less, so for special occasion, it's worth it.
I ordered the Beef Bourguignon Crepe.  That's not something you see everyday and oh so French!
See, tons of meat and sauce to go with the crepe.  It was filling for sure!
For dessert, I had to split banana, strawberry, chocolate sauce crepe.  Tons of whip cream.  I just wanted the chocolate sauce.

We also ordered a side of frites, and it was shoe string style.  They also have a full bar and a big wine list, and if you buy a bottle of wine, you can take it with you if you don't finish.  Of course, you have to answer to the open container law.  They call themselves a pastry shop but didn't see anything in display.  I do know that they do have a nice list of dessert that's not necessary crepes.  I may go back for non-crepe food, the crepes aren't bad but let's say I've had better.  

I will say that pick a time to go where there's not a game or people out partying because parking is limited at their lot and street parking you can forget about since the other party-ers already beat you to it.

Sale' - Sucre'
2916 White Oak
Houston, TX 77007

Friday, December 21, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Macaron

These shells were done with the Italian method, totally annoyed with the 'nipples' on the shells... they should behave better than that!  Rawr!
For the shells, I put 3 tsp of cinnamon in the dry ingredient and then weigh out the rest of the dry ingredients.
For the filling, I used this filling,  but modified.

So, it asked for 1/4 cup of butter (room temp)
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
2 tsp of cinnamon
3 tbsp of apple juice
Whip all ingredients until smooth

Instead of all the powdered sugar, I substituted 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of honey.  Some people use agave nectar, but honey is just as good.  As above, whip everything together until smooth.  The flavor is still there, but no corn starch in case anybody is sensitive or allergic to it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Simone on Sunset

Whenever we try to find a place to meet up it's always a fun trip to try out a new bar.  While this is not new, exactly; it's new to me, so I'm always gamed to try some place new.
The trick about going to Simone is parking... you can park on the street and after certain hours you can park at the neighbors.
Truffle Parmesan Popcorn, the cheese and the truffle oil are amazing.  Actually, the cheese is really what made the popcorn.
The Spinach and Artichoke dip was nice... but the pizza (not pictured) was better.  Definitely go for the pizza, great drinking companion.

They have specials on Monday, Thursday, and Sunday.  You should give them a try, they do have a full bar and a wide selection of wine on their wine list.

Simone on Sunset
2418 Sunset # A
Houston, TX 77005

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Croissant Broiche

My friend and I were hoping for afternoon tea and we struck out... that seems to be a pattern for me.  Wanting special meals of some sort and it's not offered... :(
Instead we ended up at Croissant Broiche in the Village.   They are more of a sandwich and tea type place, but they also have a very good opera cake.
Instead of cake, I got half a sandwich.  Cooked ham and cheese, I guess normally it isn't.  It tasted much better with the bread toasted and melted cheese than cold ones for sure.

Croissant Broiche
2435 Rice Blvd.
Houston, TX 77005

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Friend of mine wanted to catch up for lunch, our first choice was closed so we ended up at Dacapo's.  
I got the Apricot Peach tea, and Berry Blast Pie.  The pie crust is nice and buttery, the filling is definitely sweet and tart.  They have really good cookies too, definitely recommend it next round.

Dacapo's Pastry Cafe
1141 E. 11th Street
at Studewood
Houston, TX 

Monday, December 17, 2012


We drove by 59 & Weslayan and saw this new place in the strip center by Lakewood church.  At first it was Toyku, which the next time I paid attention it was something else.
Turns out they already have a location in Webster.  I actually heard alot of good things about that place.  So good that we don't have to drive all the way to Webster for good sushi.
The space is very nice and hip, it's a perfect place if you want to have a happy hour there.
I decided to try rolls that I don't get anywhere else.  This is the New York roll, which has salmon, apple and mayo.  The apple is crunchy which reminds me more of the cucumber.  The mayo is not so overbearing, kinda reminds me of avocado.
This is the Amazing Tuna roll, which has 2 kinds of tuna, tobiko, caviar on top.  It's a tad spicy, and it has fried leeks on top for the crunch.

The menu has tons of variety, service is attentive, tons of good deals and special every day for lunch and on Sunday.  Does this area need another sushi place?  No, does it offer anything different? Some, they do have a full liquor license and they have a decent happy hour price, which none of the places around offers that.  Give them a shot.

Michiru Sushi
3800 SW Fwy #104
Houston, TX 77027
832 203-7082

Friday, December 14, 2012

Asian Macaron

Haha, David calls this my Asian Macaron because this has green tea in the shell.  I basically put in 3 tsp and weigh out the rest of the dry ingredient to measure.
After the last Italian Meringue attempt, I needed a quick success.  So I went back to the French way.  
See, they piped ok, and it looks good... they don't hold hands.
Look at those beautiful shells!

The other thing that made this 'Asian' was that I used the sweetened red bean paste as the filling.  I remember seeing it on someone's blog before and that sounded good.  Tasted good too!