Make Your (H)oliday (E)ven (Brighter) with Five Edible Holiday Gift Ideas | H-E-B Partnership

Make Your (H)oliday (E)ven (Brighter) with Five Edible Holiday Gift Ideas | H-E-B Partnership

Although 2020 has been quite an interesting year, I am so happy and grateful for the opportunities that I have been presented with. Most recently I had the opportunity to partner with H-E-B. The main goal of this partnership was to help everyone (H)oliday (E)ven (B)righter this year. I created five unique edible holiday gift ideas using products that can be found at your local H-E-B! I’ve highlighted those five edible holiday gift ideas below. Make sure to visit H-E-B ‘s Youtube Page to see me create these delicious recipes. 

 

 

This has been a very different year. Making it a great time to give a different type of gift! These past months I’ve spent so much time at home cooking and experimenting with new flavors and foods. So, in addition to bringing all this newly acquired knowledge to the table,  it was important that I create edible holiday gift ideas that were fun, relevant, and doable.

 

H-E-B Holiday Smoosh

My Holiday Smoosh is a delicious deconstructed s’more in a jar! These tasty jarred treats are layered with fresh strawberries, semi-sweet chocolate baking chips, marshmallow fluff, and my favorite part H-E-B’s Candy Candy Twister Chocolate Sandwich Cookies. These cookies are made with real candy canes and remind me of the candy cane cookies I would eat as a kid!  H-E-B definitely showed out with these scrumptious and creative cookies! The strawberry pieces add a fresh and bright note when paired alongside the marshmallow whip and cookies. A s’more wouldn’t be a s’more without a toasted, torched top. This is a great recipe to create with your loved ones and it’s super kid-friendly.

 

 

Texas Two-Step Popcorn

As a Texan, this Texas two-step popcorn is near and dear to my heart because Texans love to do some country & western two-stepping on Friday nights. How fun would it be to combine a little bit of Texas with a whole lotta popcorn?!  Nothing beats the sweet and salty combo of popcorn and chocolate. Adding H-E-B’s crunchy Texas corn chips to the mix is just begging for a good ol’ Texas time. Now, I know what you’re thinking, how is this going to taste with the incorporation of these corn chips?! I have never steered you wrong and I am not about to start now! trust me. As an added hint of sweetness, drop a handful of H-E-B’s dried cranberries in the bowl. This Texas two-step popcorn is unbelievably delicious. As families gather a bit differently by keeping things small having a movie night is a great way to spend the holidays, and I wanted to give families the perfect reason to #Holidayevenbrighter !!

 

 

Winter White Hot Chocolate Sinkers

Everywhere I look, people are doing hot chocolate bombs, and of course, as a chef, I couldn’t let this trend go by without putting my own signature stamp on it. We rarely have white winters in Texas. Maybe every 10 years or so, if we are lucky. I wanted to bring a little white winter cheer home by creating a winter white hot chocolate sinker made with H-E-B organic white chocolate morsels and Mootopia Milk. After researching the process of hot chocolate making, I wanted to find a way to make it easy and delicious for people to try it home! While sourcing the perfect products to use I stumbled across the Kitchen and Table H-E-B Texas molds. I knew I had to use them! They are the perfect size to be able to fit all the delicious stuffer ingredients and they represent me and HEB perfectly! The hot chocolate sinkers came out so chocolaty and delicious. Sink some in your hot chocolate this holiday season.

 

 

Santa Cider Sangria

This one here is for the adults in the room! Let’s start off by talking about our Santa Cider Sangria I know the kids leave Santa cookies every year but I had to dip into Santa’s stash to make sure this year’s festivities will be as jolly as possible! I absolutely loved making this cocktail because I got to use the H-E-B spiced orange apple cider, one of my favorite notes for the holiday season. The spiced cider makes you feel like Christmas. You can’t have a sangria without red wine. The Spanish red wine that we used in this recipe was amazing. Now, what made it extra special was the incorporation of fresh red and green apples, oranges with the rinds, cranberries, and pomegranate pearls. When I say this cocktail was beautiful I mean it. It was very stunning!! Building it was half the fun, but drinking it was the true treat.

 

 

Mistletoe Margarita

There’s no reason to wait for anyone under the mistletoe this year. This mistletoe margarita will make you want to kiss yourself !! I love a good margarita.  So I took a classic version and spiced it up with Christmas cheer by adding the central market black currant & ginger Italian soda and rosemary simple syrup! I’m not gonna lie I did not know how the syrup would pair with the margarita. Being the chef that I am, I tested this recipe until I got it right. Boy oh, boy did I get it right! I was so pleased that I couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you all. It’s not only delicious but visually impressive. Your friends and family will be wowed when you present them with their glass beautifully rimmed with fresh sugared cranberries and a sprig of rosemary. I can guarantee that you will be serving this mistletoe margarita for Christmas Shindigs to come.

Dunking Cabbage Soup

Dunking Cabbage Soup

In today’s current state, it’s essential that I use my platform to support brands that are actively supporting my community. Now that we are all working to stand in solidarity and unite as a country, I expect nothing less than that from larger brands like Aldi, H-E-B, and Kroger. The outpouring of support from the latter two has been cool, but Aldi has some work to do. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Aldi and support them anyway. I just think it would be refreshing to see a bit more diversity on their platform. I know my people love “ALDIS” (that’s how Black folks say it, lol) just as much as do (mini-rant).

Ok, now let’s get back to the situation at hand – my Dunking Cabbage Soup Recipe. It’s delicious Asian Inspired, low carb, and full of veggies. It’s the perfect soup to overindulge on. What makes this soup super irresistible is that I chose to use the super thin cabbage in place of your typical noodles. BE SMART GIRL!!!! Continue reading for the recipe!

INGREDIENTS

Meat

  • 1 lb Chicken Thighs

Other protein options:

  • Shrimp
  • Ground pork
  • Ground turkey
  • Chicken breast
  • Tofu

Vegetables

*Select four of five of your favorite options or unload your entire veggie bin on them boys as I did.  

Add these veggies first:

  • 1 White Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Green Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Poblano Pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • 1/4 cup white mushrooms (chopped)

Add the following veggies towards the end:

  • 1 Zucchini (chopped)
  • 1 Yellow Squash (chopped)
  • 1 Radish (chopped)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 arm of ginger  (finely chopped)
  • 6 cups of Cold Water (enough to cover ingredients)
  • 1 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of oil to sauté your veggies
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste)

Dipping cabbage

  • 1 head of cold cabbage (thinly sliced lengthwise)

DIRECTIONS

In a large pot, sauté your vegetables in order, as indicated above. I started with my mushrooms, white onions, and a few green onions. Add water and season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic. let simmer for about ten minutes. (*note: you want your broth to be well seasoned. I use water so that I can control the level of sodium. If you opt for a veggie or chicken broth, just be careful of over-salting.)

Add your protein and cook until tender

Add your finishing veggies

Serve with green onion garnish

Keep cold until ready to DUNK !!

Spicy Mango Fried Rice

Spicy Mango Fried Rice

What’s your favorite thing about Sunday? For me, it’s meal prepping for the work-week. Although most of us are working from home, it’s still nice to not have to cook each night. I find that large pasta dishes and rice dishes come in handy on those lazy weekday nights. That’s why my Spicy Mango Rice is so popular. It’s quick, simple, and delicious. The addition of spicy mango pico de gallo takes this recipe to a whole nother level!

As a Houston blogger, I am uber fortunate to have an HEB in my neighborhood. For those of you not in Texas, HEB is literally the most amazing grocery store on the planet. What makes this grocery store unique is their house brand spices, beverages, and fresh-made guacamole and pico de Gallo. They rival any big name brands and are must-have staples in my pantry.

For this recipe, I’ve included a smash-up of thinly sliced serrano peppers and spicy mango pico de gallo. These two ingredients add a little spice and flair to any standard fried rice dish. Feel free to add your favorite protein, like chicken or shrimp to this dish!

– Read on for the full recipe and drop me a comment below. 

Pico Fried Rice Ingredients

  • ¼ cup  oil (grapeseed)
  • 1/2 cup of Mango Pico (Spicy preferably)
  • ½ cup chopped green onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 cups COLD  cooked white rice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 thinly sliced Serrano pepper

Directions

  1. Heat a wok or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat; add oil. Cook and stir pico and garlic in the hot oil until soft.
  2. Add cold rice, green onion and sliced Serrano
  3. Sautée for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add soy sauce and stir through the dish.
Serve immediately

 

Red Beans RoadShow | Houston

Red Beans RoadShow | Houston

The Red Beans Roadshow is a pop-up restaurant series that takes a New Orleans’ trademark Monday-night tradition on the road. The roadshow pairs writer/photographer/ne’er do well Pableaux Johnson with a local host chef for a night of good, simple food, camaraderie, and appropriate misbehavior. Modeled on Pableaux’s New Orleans home-based tradition, each event features a hearty Louisiana supper (red beans and rice, skillet cornbread) combined with the whims of our host chef (starter and dessert courses). Less a dinner party than an informal family supper, diners are encouraged to belly up to the table and break cornbread with friends and strangers alike.

Based on Pableaux’s 2009 travel/writing project, the Red Beans Roadshow now regularly holds events in Washington DC, Atlanta, and Nashville. During the summer of 2015, he’ll take to the road once again, teaming up with a fantastic roster of fantastic chefs in cities across the US. It all adds up to a great, informal night of Louisiana culture, with a beautiful slab of crunchy cornbread on the side.

 

#Tha Know
The Red Beans Roadshow started as a simple dinner with friends at the home of creator Pableaux Johnson. Guests would spend the evening enjoying endless bowls of red beans while chatting about life. This dinner quickly became a Monday night tradition at Pableaux’s New Orleans home.  Pableaux has committed to having as many friends around his table as life will give him.

 

#Tha Place
The Red Beans Roadshow, hosted by Brennan’s of Houston, one of my favorites Houston hot spots. They are best known for their classic elegance, elevated New Orleans cuisine, and timeless style. Brennan’s of Houston Hosted Pableaux on his roadshow tour Houston stop. What better environment to house such an event?
“Since our 1967 opening as a sister restaurant to the world-famous Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, Brennan’s of Houston has evolved into the city’s premier destination for memorable dining served with true Southern hospitality.” – Brennan’s
#Tha Feels
It felt like southern comfort and good times! You could feel the love in every bean, slice of cornbread, and rice morsel.

 

#ThaTaste
Cameilla’s red beans are packed with intense flavors of heavy black pepper and compliments of smoked sausage. The meat rounded out the full flavors of the dish. The cornbread was perfectly cooked, moist, and golden. It was baked in cast iron pans and buttered to perfection. You know it’s good when you can taste the buttermilk in the batter!

 

#Tha Nightcap
The tour is still making its way around the country. Check out the website and find out the upcoming tour stops.
More Details About Red Beans Roadshow

The Home Table hits the road
It’s pretty simple. Over the years, we’ve adapted Pableaux’s Monday-night red beans and rice tradition to the rigors of the road. It’s a chance to take Louisiana hospitality to far-flung cities, to commune with like-minded chefs, and see (and make) friends along the way.

 

  • In its current incarnation, the Red Beans Roadshow is an ongoing series of medium-format pop-up suppers held in restaurants around the US.
    Pableaux teams up with a local partner chef for an informal family-style feast.
  • He cooks red beans and skillet cornbread. The host chef serves up a simple starter (deviled eggs, hand pies, etc.) and a dessert (bread puddin’, pies pies pies).
  • The Roadshow is informal, affordable, and as unfussy as we can make it. We gravitate toward 8-person tables (to encourage crosstalk) and a “put your phone away” policy (to encourage conversational mystery and creative storytelling).
  • As ringleader and organizer, Pableaux does short explanatory dog-and-pony shows on Louisiana foodways.
  • Roadshows are ticketed events (beer/wine inclusive) and seat between 50-80 folks a show. Tickets can be purchased below.
Lost & Found Eatery and Bar | Houston

Lost & Found Eatery and Bar | Houston

I was so happy to be walking up to a place in Midtown that I could truly call my own. Houston’s newest build-out was not only dope, but delicious! Lost & Found is the perfect place to take your next Instagram photo. Its dark purple accents and pops of color are quite inviting. Making you wish you could lounge there all day!

Side rant: I was invited to attend this soft opening of Lost & Found as media. One thing I will tell about media tasting’s is that you leave feeling spoiled. I often find I have a false sense of inflated ego when it comes to food quality. Believing that I know the ‘best of the best’ when it comes to Houston’s bar food. I thought I knew elevated bar food until I tried every items on her soft opening menu. Lost & Found’s Executive Chef T, forced me to eat a huge piece of humble pie, and sit my ass right on down!!  Baby! Let me tell you, I was lost but now I’m found!

Lost & Found Houston is brought to you by the same owners of Prospect Park. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect, but as a fan of Prospect Park, I knew I was in for a treat.  Prospect Park is Houston’s go-to sports bar and they have one of the best lunch menus in town. Lost & Found Houston is the perfect fusion of sports bar meets lounge.

We started our tasting on the outdoor patio. It’s Possibly one of the best patios in Midtown. The natural wooden booths and TVs are the perfect place to watch game and grab a drink. Speaking of drinks they are DIVINE!! We tried all of their signature cocktails and not a single was anything less than amazing. I highly recommend you start with their Champagne Showers or The “Zebra”. Fun, beautiful and delicious cocktails.

Here are some of my favorites from Lost & Found’s menu:
The Lost & Found Wings (my favorite) come in two flavors – Their LOST (sweet Hennessy) based sauce and their FOUND (spicy Piri piri) sauce are both stellar.
Fried Cauliflower
Crawfish bread
Shrimp & Crawfish Dip

Recent Update to Post:
There was a recent situation that occurred at Lost & Found that I spoke about on my Instagram. I was disappointed and hurt by what transpired, (no need to harp go read up on it if you feel so led) especially because it happened to friends of mine. So how will I proceed you ask? I will proceeded with a spirit of forgiveness. Everyone needs to be given a second chance. Myself included. We have all done things in bad taste that we needed to learn and grow from. I’ve personally been extended grace when I didn’t deserve it. I have been to MANY black owned places and extended grace to them so why wouldn’t I allow that same space for my own?

Have you visited Lost & Found? I would love to hear your feedback below in the comments. 

“Life is short; Eat well.” | Brennan’s of Houston

“Life is short; Eat well.” | Brennan’s of Houston

Brennan’s of Houston has always been so special to me. Long before I was a blogger I was a cute overactive little girl, and for my 5th birthday birthday my grandfather hosted my fifth birthday party at Brennan’s of Houston. Back in the day my grandfather was hired by Brennan’s to lay carpet. He must have built up quite the rapport with the owner because he offered to lend my grandfather the entire restaurant to host a private gathering, with as many people as he wanted. My loving grandfather said he thought of nothing more special than hosting my birthday party there.

Fast forward to now and I’m being invited to attend Brennan’s Fall brunch tasting hosted by EaterPass. It was extraordinary to say the least!

 

 

Believe it or not, I haven’t been back to Brennan’s since my fifth birthday. And boy has a lot changed, lol. Not only was the food outstanding but I also got the chance to learn more about EaterPass! Eater Pass is like Class Pass (subscription service that allows you discounted access to all of Houston’s fitness gyms) but for restaurants. It’s an app developed by Courtney Steinfield. A self-proclaimed foodie and lady boss. Eater Pass connects young, fun-loving folks with insider pricing at the hippest spots in town. All while helping more people create fulfilling local experiences. Whether you prefer testing out the newest spots that crop up on your local food scene, brunching with your gal-pals or relaxing with a cocktail in hand on a patio with twinkle lights above; she’s got you covered! That’s what it’s all about – the experience!

 

 

I love learning about and experiencing the new things and watching Houston’s Culinary scene thrive.in Houston’s culinary. Especially when I get to pair those experiences with creamy, deconstructed Non Parfaits, crispy quail beignets, and savory eggs hussarde. Let’s not forget about Brennan’s dessert trio stacked with mini bread pudding souffles, pumpkin tres leche and bananas foster! On second thought, who could forget about that? LOL.

 

In addition to Brennan’s beautiful fall brunch menu here are a few other ways to get in on the fun:

  • Daily 7-7-7 Happy Hour at our Courtyard Bar from 2-7 PM, featuring especially selected wines, cocktails, and dishes for $7.
  • Sunday Jazz Brunch featuring live Jazz band & Second Line with the option of a la carte or a mix and match, three course brunch.

Shout out to our friends at EaterPass! We’re so excited to be working with them, and hope to see your food-loving followers in soon. Remember, VIP20 gets your followers a free month membership, which means a free Trouble Tree (Specialty Fall milk punch) for the table and 20% off their meal. 

Special thank you to Natalie (IG: natalie.j.photography) for the amazing photos.

PHOTO GALLERY