Monday, April 27, 2009

Delicious Monday

Steak sandwich with melted mozzarella on a toasted kaiser roll. Couldn't sleep at about 5 am, so decided to make the Boy something special in his lunch. Because in about 2 months, this Mommy custom will be ending when his senior year comes to a close. And just as I was practicing my loudest "Pig Souiiiiie!" yell, he "signed on the dotted line" accepting Mizzou's kind offer to join their Honors College.

But this isn't a cooking blog, and that's not why today started out so tasty. In today's Dallas Morning News, a front page article about Sunset High School (DISD) and the wonderful staff under the leadership of Tony Tovar. I've met Mr. Tovar many times over the last several years when Hillcrest has played Sunset in baseball, and it's a very tough game. Not only because they're strong opponents, but because Tony Tovar's brother, Mike is the Boy's baseball coach at Hillcrest. They are an amazing family, their parents come to every home baseball game - even in the years when they didn't have grandchildren playing. Glad to see great news in their world.

And then, to make things even more delicious (can you have dessert for breakfast?) in the Metro Section an article about Skyline's Mock Trial team getting ready for National competition. These kids want it bad, they were just amazing to watch in action. I hope they can get a win. The only thing missing was how donations to help this team can be made. IJS, if you want to see success, $50 can go a long ways. I'm trying to track that info down now.

UPDATE: I really need to go on a diet. Just opened an email from last Friday, and saw another great recipe for success in the Advocate. Hillcrest Dad and Band Teacher extraordinaire, Mr. Brian Adam Smith makes me wish I'd gotten the Boy and Sister involved in music. Not only has our marching band grown in size, their performances Rock! And he manages to be a great dad to his three kids. Good stuff there.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dear Jim Schutze, Searching For Stroh's

My thirst was ignited for the flavors of the Detroit beer of my youth after this post (give me a break, this was Michigan in the 1970's). Since then I have been emailing contacts to find if my childhood beer can be found anywhere in the metroplex. So far, no word back, but I'm not worried. I have a secret source in the U.P. who I could convince to ship me someone in Dallas who doesn't have a liquor license a six-pack, or even two.

So Mr. Schutze, perhaps you could come up with a suggestion for a menu for such a brew, and we can invite Dave to join us, he can even write about it for "Pairing Off". I know a chef who can cook, IJS. And if you happen to play euchre, we can enjoy a foursome. Go Green, Go White.
UPDATE: No comment, except maybe, "Thanks Mom".

SB 2523 - "F" Me?

I remember distinctly the moment yesterday when I read the article in TDMN about a new wine bill in Austin that had passed the Senate committee and was on it's way to the legislature for debate. I remember it distinctly because the Diet Dr. Pepper shot right out of my nose and onto my laptop - for a moment I was worried I had shorted out the letter "F". Because really, how was I going to respond without an "F"?!? All was fine, but I decided I could probably do a better job of responding by leaving the "F" on the sideline and really examining the issues that scream for a debate about this bill.

It's impossible to even attempt to summarize the Texas Alcoholic Beverage code, originally written in the 1930's and amended enough times to no longer represent the cohesive intents of it's original writing. But here, and here, are a few previous posts I've written about the subject on this blog and SideDish that might help provide some background. Yesterday I shot Nancy Nichols at DMagazine a (semi) tongue-in-cheek email about the issue which she posted, and there is more information in the comments section over there.

But I don't want this to be a rant on the TABC code, because it's the law and like it or not those are the rules we agreed to open our business under. Dry vs. wet? Well that 's a local argument, the state plays no role in that a limited role in that. And this isn't a rant about "yes or no" on BYOB policies, though as a business owner I feel I should have the right to decide what is served (or isn't) in my establishment.

No "F" needed or used here.

Our profession revolves around always trying to make the guest happy, and we've all faced the person who has a very special occasion and wants to bring their (husband's, wife's, boss's) favorite wine to make it even better. And fine wine drinkers - well hey, they're like our best friends, which is why at our restaurant we stock many, many delicious varieties of upscale wines (with a wide range of prices) to serve our guests.

The bill, appearing very quickly and passing through less than normal channels in the Senate, and the "pet" name given to tie it to our Lieutenant Governor has added a comical twist to the issue. For all I know, Mr. Dewhurst believed that this would be good for business, and it was a way for him to enjoy his favorite wine while dining at an establishment. And the Fiscal Report of the impact of the bill indicated that the state could potentially reap even more tax revenue from this change, it certainly didn't appear to be a money loser for them.

But excuse me for feeling a little like having been kicked in the groin for the opening wording of the Author/Sponsor's Statement of Intent:

"A person may wish to eat at a restaurant or a private club and may not care for the wine selection, but desire to have wine with his or her dinner."
WT, um, H? I'd like to give Mr. Dewhurst the benefit of the doubt, after all these were not his words, but maybe I should suggest to him that his favorite restaurant probably wouldn't keep showing him the love if this had passed. If one is consuming a very nice vintage, one is (hopefully) consuming the appropriate cuisine to compliment such and I have to wonder if his "favorite" restaurant doesn't offer many excellent choices that are for sale on-premise. So to say "I don't care for your wine selection", is rather akin to shoving a wine opener up the rump of the owner.

See, another paragraph with no "F".

The really bad thing for the business owner is no matter what stance they take they are ultimately going to make a guest unhappy. Do you selectively allow? People don't like a "no". Do you have a standard corkage? People think $75 might be harsh, but you have to make up for the cost of labor, glassware and the cost of the liability of the service. Ironically, the higher you set your corkage, the higher the price of the "walk in" replacement might be, after all retail price + $75 might be a real discount for a $300 bottle the restaurant sells.

I'm still trying to work my mind around the mathlete wonks who said this would be a potential revenue increase for the state's coffers. My public school math tells me that when one multiplier is reduced - in this case the sales revenue (retail vs. restaurant prices) would be lower, as would the sales tax rate (8.25% vs. 14%) - then the total will be lower. Unless you increase the other multiplier, which would be the volume of sales. Of course there's the corkage fee which would be subject to a 14% tax, but it would probably still be lower than the gross margin a restaurant would make selling an on-premise bottle.

I sent an email out to restaurant owners here in Dallas, one who is involved with the TRA said he'd seen a previous copy of the bill, but "the great news is we now get to add on the 14% Gross Receipts Tax". I hated to burst his bubble, but the wording of the bill did not state this. The bill allows restaurants to now print out on a separate line how much of the alcohol sales would be going to the state of Texas. So if you offer a wine for sale for $50, you may now print on the check something like "includes $7 in Texas Gross Receipts tax", or "Wine $43, Texas tax $7, total $50", but you absolutely would not be allowed to add the tax to the published price of a drink. Which is a financial wash, because we pay the tax regardless if it is printed on a statement or not. And as I pointed out to my brother in food, our guests right now are looking for a better deal on nice wines, not getting stiffed with a new tax. Bad PR move from my view.

Another restaurateur, gobsmacked by this apparent "sell out" by the TRA notes the high number of chain restaurants that occupy board seats in the organization. He theorizes that for them it's a back door to "fooling" the public into believing that they've lowered their prices, i.e. the $6.50 margarita becomes now becomes $5.59 for the drink and .91 in Texas taxes on a guest's check. Given the wording of the bill, the Comptroller would probably accept this as long as the business doesn't advertise $5.59 Margaritas. I know, it's complicated. And it may result in a backlash, one restaurateur is considering openly calling for small restaurant owners to drop their membership in the TRA, after all is this what we get for our annual fees?

Close, very close to an "F" on that one.

So I have a different recommendation for our politicians in Austin, because I would love to be able to offer our guests a lower priced alternative to enjoy while they dine on hubby's delicious food. Help us in the industry find ways to lower the cost of what we offer, by changing other "protective" legislation that controls the complicated maze of producer to table. Let us be the ones to find ways to make people come through our doors, sans paper bag to enjoy the entire dining experience we are offering.

And to Mr. Dewhurst (or "Dewie" as I now think of him), honey, if you're going to a joint that doesn't serve a decent wine, for god's sake, have a beer.

UPDATE: Apparently we accountants "stick together", read the former Comptroller's letter to LGov.

Dallas Farmers' Market Cooking Class Tomorrow

Happens to be my better-half, Jim, doing the cooking down at the Resource Center tomorrow from 11:30 to 1:00. And I confess I always find him entertaining (thank you for my flowers honey!), he really enjoys teaching and it shows. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. And since I just typed the recipes that will be distributed tomorrow, here's what he'll be serving during the class (as well as demonstrating how to make):
Caramelized Spring Onion and Goat Cheese Crostini
Griddled Vegetable Cakes
Red Chile Gulf Shrimp with Papaya Lime Pico and Tomatillo Butter
Herbed Lamb Loin with Creamy Green Pea Orzo and Minted Red Wine Sauce

I may be doing some more typing, usually he includes a dessert. I'll let you know.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"D" Girl Ellise Pierce - A Cowgirl In Paris

A month or so ago, I came across the blog of former North Texas native, Ellise Pierce, formerly of Dallas now living a life (I sometimes wish were mine) très extraordinaire. She's written stories for many renown publications (Texas Monthly, DMN, D Magazine, Dallas Observer, Newsweek, Saveur, Cowboys and Indians) and she was featured in the January/February edition of Food Arts Magazine. She traded in the Reunion Tower ball for the Eiffel Tower several years ago to develop a Texas-themed catering-and-cooking-class business in Paris. Yes, France.

Now admittedly I know very little about journalism, and this being my first interview, I've decided that it would be unwise for me to try to edit a truly professional writer. So here we go:

Your blog says you're from Dallas, did you grow up here? I actually grew up in Denton, and went to Denton High School (go Broncos!), and after getting my journalism degree at University of Missouri (oh so long ago!), worked in radio (KDNT in Denton, and later, KRLD in Dallas) from the time that I was 16 until my late 20s, and dabbled in television for a short bit, too.

Did you ever work in a restaurant when you were growing up? I once worked in a little sandwich shop as a waitress, but after spilling an entire pitcher of beer on a customer’s lap — I was, and still am, a terrible klutz — I felt that perhaps this wasn’t my calling.

My interest in food and all things culinary comes from my mom, who was – and is today – an amazing cook. Every night, she’d create amazing dinners for our family, and always pushed herself to try new things — we’d have spaghetti and meatballs one night, complete with red and white checked tablecloth, napkins, and candlelight to Beef Stroganoff the next. I learned to cook from my mom, and quickly graduated from Easy Bake oven cakes to real cakes and dinners for my family.

What were your favorite restaurants when you lived here? That said, my favorite restaurant growing up in Dallas was the Greek restaurant, Vincent’s, where they served dolmas and big bowls of garlicky cole slaw as starters, and some of the freshest, crispiest fried shrimp. My mom, dad, brother and I would often pile into the blue Buick station wagon and make the then half-hour drive to Dallas, just to go out to eat.

Favorite restaurants in Dallas: Angry Dog, for great, greasy burgers and fantastic Bloody Marys. Javier’s, for fancy Mexican. I especially love the salsa verde, the margaritas and the red snapper. Mia’s, for the beef brisket tacos and big-as-your-head chimichangas. The Lucychanga is my fave. La Calle Doce for the great patio, warm salsa, and fantastic, spicy shrimp cocktail. Scallini’s in Lakewood. I’ve eaten their pizza for years and it’s always amazing. Primo’s for the jalapeno poppers, guac, and super-strong margaritas. Breadwinner’s. Their cakes and cookies are sublime. Ziziki’s for the lamb salad. Love it.

If someone could send you one thing to eat from Texas, anything, what would it be? If someone could send me one thing from Texas...a 100-pound sack of fresh jalapenos. While I’ve learned to substitute with what I can find in Paris (Moroccan peppers, Thai chiles), the flavor and the heat isn’t the same. Jalapenos are simply the best.

What was the best thing that happened from your move to France? Starting Cowgirl Tacos (, my own cooking class/catering business, and developing my blog ( There’s nothing I love more than having a room full of people who are drinking margaritas and learning how to make enchiladas...within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower. It’s such fun!

Did you already speak French? Yes, I spoke some French before I arrived, but not much. It so was intimidating just to go into the boulangerie and ask for a baguette that I’d opt to go without most days. Now I love making sure that I get the right baguette — one that’s well cooked (bien cuit) -- and if it’s not, I hand it back and ask for another one, just like everyone else does (there is an art to buying bread here).

What would you recommend to others who are thinking about making a life-change like you did? I never could have imagined that I would be making Tex-Mex in Paris, and it’s been the best and most natural career shift for me. I think that the lesson is to follow your heart — which in my case, led me to Paris — even when you don’t know what the outcome is going to be. It’s the unknowing that makes the journey worthwhile.

What's next with your adventure? I’m in the process of writing a cookbook based on my blog, and am producing video shorts to go alongside recipes, which will be posted on my blog and website. I also have a monthly Cowgirl Chef column in Cowboys & Indians magazine, with videos soon to appear on the website, too.

Si ce n'est pas à ma vie, ce sera peut-être le choix de ma fille. Adios, Amiga

April Food and Wine Dinner at Sevy's Grill

Enjoy a four course feast featuring a variety of cuisines as you
on Monday, April 27th, 6:30 p.m.
Reservations required, seating is limited. Four courses paired with specially selected wines plus a sparkling wine reception. Join us, $59.95 per person (plus tax and tip), enjoyment guaranteed. Contact Jimmy, Stefaan or Amy M. at 214-265-7389 or

Spinach and Goat Cheese Empanada (Spain)
Cristalino, Sparkling

Bouillabaisse (France)
Domaine Bertrand Graillot, Coteaux du Giennois, 100% Sauvignon Blanc, 2007

Falafel Salad with Pita and Tahini Sauce (North Africa)
Ellio Perrone, Barbara d'Asti "Tasmorcan", 2007

Honey Glazed Double Lamb Chops on Israeli Couscous with Roasted Butternut Squash, Preserved Lemon and Yogurt Sauce (Greece)
Palacios, Les Terrasses, 2005

Almond Ricotta Cake with Apricot Sauce (Italy)
Ellio Perrone, Moscato d'Asti "Sourgal", 2008

Come at see us at 8201 Preston Road, 3 blocks south of Northwest Highway at the corner of Preston and Sherry Lane. Or visit our website, here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Belton Texas, Circa 1908

Sometimes when I need a zen moment, I turn to one of the old books in my collection. The smell, the words, the information, it's a view of history and personal lives of the past. A pie crust recipe scribbled on paper that says "Take This Prescription To J. C. Rodgers' Drug Store, Nolanville, Texas", or this from a newspaper clipping that fell out of my 1908 "The Reliable Cook Book" (by the Woman's Home Mission Society of the First Methodist Church, Belton, Texas, 1908):

Directions for Preparing "Little Pigs In the Blankets" Drain a dozen large oysters. Take strips of very thin bacon, and wrap each oyster in a strip, fastening with a skewer. Grill before an open fire or on a skillet until bacon is done and oysters tender. Have rounds of bread ready and saute in skillet until brown on broth sides. Serve the "little pig" on a round of toast at once.
On the back of this newspaper clipping:
"Temple Tex. Oct 21 - A kindergarten school has been established at the Sunday school room of the First Baptist Church at Temple under the patronage of Belton-Baylor Baptist Female College. Miss Mattie Crumpton Hardy, a well-known kindergarten expert, has been placed in charge and is organizing classes. The school will be in session five days of each week."
Miss Mattie Hardy was an educational pioneer and authored (1917's) "The Derivation of the Montessori Didactic Apparatus", and "The Effect of Distribution of Practice on Learning a Stylus Maze". Baylor Female College then located in Belton and founded by the Republic of Texas in 1845 was the sister school to Baylor College in Waco, and is now known as the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Canned oysters were heavily in use at this place and in this time, I counted no less than 8 recipes that used them. In the Sandwich section, a recipe for "Pimento Sandwich", which today is commonly called Pimento Cheese. A collegiate theme among recipes too, with "Harvard Salad" and "Vassar Fudge". And ethnic food had infiltrated the culture, with "Eggs Foo Yung" and an antique recipe for Tamale Pie, submitted by Mrs. W. S. Hunter:
"Take 1 pint corn meal and make good stiff mush. Take out about 1 cup of the mush, then add to the rest 1 cup or more of ground meat (either fresh or cold roasted meat) flavor with plenty of chili powder and salt. Put in a baking dish with the white mush bread spread on top as meringue. Bake 1/2 hour."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Griddled Vegetable Cakes on Good Day Dallas Tomorrow

Chefs get spring fever too. That's when they like to play with food and create new dishes, tomorrow Sevy will be on KDFW Fox 4's Good Day Dallas show preparing his new Griddled Vegetable Cakes with Red Pepper Aioli. According to chef, his appearance should be somewhere around 8:30, 8:45ish. Very little chance that this will happen.

This is also one of the courses Sevy will be preparing at the Dallas Farmers' Market Chefs Cooking Series, his class is this Saturday (4/25) at the Resource Center and features Spring Vegetables. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, however seating is limited. Ticket information from the American Institute of Wine and Food is here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shameless Plug

Ahem, someone is following their mother's hobby of unpaid local journalism. Here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Just Why Is A Veggie Roll Not Sushi?

As a non-seafood eater I love sushi - well, I love vegetable rolls to be more specific. And I've been told that technically it's not sushi, although I've never read that anywhere in print. Hibashi, a newish restaurant across from the Galleria has one of my favorites, the Vege Tempura Roll ($6), still warm and crispy in the center. So one evening last week, with no kids (school stuff), no husband (working), I ran in for a quick bite.

It was early, and the place is huge, no, it's HUGE. I chose to sit at the bar proper, I hate telling sushi chefs I don't eat seafood (can't take that "picky eater" look). My bartendress was baby doll cute, with high little pigtails and electric pink eye shadow, she taught me a trick using water, matches and a glass on a plate, earning herself an extra $5 tip (obviously she excels in her career).

But I digress. I explained to the 2009 flower child my dilemma of non-seafood sushi passion, she slapped down a newly printed 1/3 page menu, a list of their new vegetarian roll choices. The Vege Delight Roll is the premium choice at $7, with cucumber, avocado, ground [kampyo?] shavings, bean curd, scallion with creamy sauce. There's also the Wakeme Roll which contains their marinated seaweed salad wrapped in rice ($4), the Kampyo Roll, the Dakkwon Roll (dikon radish), the Cucumber Roll, the Avocado Roll and the Asparagus Roll, all at $4.

For the meat eater, their Beef Tataki appetizer is pretty good (tho' I miss Chris Ward's at Citizen), and their Hibachi show is pretty affordable if you check out their website for coupons. Just thought I'd share.

TABC, I (Almost) Heart You

April, the month we annually renew our license with the TABC used to be very stressful (nightmares of missing the due date may have caused spikes in Tylenol PM usage). The two forms were legal sized, used carbon paper and were in triplicate, copies of your menu were required and it all had to be notarized. Last week I mailed ours in, the new forms are just a front-back piece of paper and much easier to decipher the amount owed. Well, except this year the amount was double previous years amounts due to state law changes, after three years of licensing your annual renewal changes to a two year renewal (note to self, see how this ties with lease expiration dates). Next April is going to be absolutely stress free!

And today, in my mailbox, some bang for my two years of bucks, the TABC is launching a new website sometime today. Maybe it too will be as user friendly as the other changes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All the Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)

Rarely will you find me at the restaurant, I used to go down in the mornings and open the place up, it was my favorite time of the day with the back-lit yellow glow of the bar and the darkened dining room. Let's face it, having the accountant hang around all day can put a damper on operations, plus the tiny, tiny office couldn't handle one-tenth of the paper I generate, so voila, home office.

But early last evening I was in the restaurant for my investment club meeting (Hey Syndicate girls!), and I just wanted to share with Dallas ladies that the boy-to-girl ratio in the bar was like 15:1 - and they didn't look like they'd just got off the golf course. As if you need one more reason to drop by, Mondays through Fridays (in the bar) ladies may enjoy 1/2 price wines by the glass, we offer over 30 delicious varieties.

Feeding A Need - Spring Fund Raising Events

The spring fund raising season is in full swing, with charity events small (Hey Bradfield Elementary!) and larger taking aim at donor's pocketbooks. But the great thing about auction items is you actually end up with something fun that you wanted to buy, and the charity gets the funds, and the donor receives the love and admiration of those at the event (right?).

The larger events have packages that include live auctions, Thursday night's "Stars of Texas... Racing Against the Odds" at Lone Star Park benefits the American Diabetes Association (an evil disease). Everyone enjoys Randy Galloway, who with wife Janeen are always Honorary Chairpersons, and the horses are almost as entertaining as the auction. Sevy put together a terrific live auction Dine Around Dallas package, featuring Sevy's Grill, Chamberlain's Prime Steak, Del Frisco's, Neiman Marcus, Suze and Rathbun's Blue Plate Diner (thank you boys!) and it includes a one-night stay at the new Joule Hotel downtown.

Busy Thursday? Then how about Friday the 17th? The American Heart Association hosts the annual black-tie Cotes du Coeur Wine Auction at the Hilton Anatole and featuring a dine-around format of Dallas' finest restaurants assembled by Richard Chamberlain. Sevy will be serving a Marinated Lamb Loin on Creamy Roasted Garlic Grits, Minted Red Wine Sauce and Tomato, Cucumber and Kalamata Relish at our station. Donations from vineyards all over the world are assembled for bidding by serious oenophiles, all which helps find cures to treat and prevent heart disease (an evil disease). Sevy's Grill is pleased to have teamed with Dale Hanson, Dallas National Golf Club. Stewart Cellars and Bella Vita Rejuvenation Center for a live auction his/hers golf/beauty package which concludes at Sevy's for a very special four-course wine dinner featuring Caroline Stewart, owner of Stewart Cellars.

Friday not good either? Well, all that's left on our April schedule is Sunday the 19th's Taste of the NFL with 1,000 other folks at the Glass Cactus at the Gaylord Texan Resort. Hosts of the events include Cowboys players DeMarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, former Cowboy Preston Pearson and (elk tackler) chef Kent Rathbun. This event too follows the dine-around format and dishes from 22 area restaurants will be served, including Sevy's Gulf Shrimp on Creamy Smoked Bacon Grits with Red Pepper Butter and Corn Relish. Tickets are $125 per person, or $225 for a pair and benefit the North Texas Food Bank (starvation=evil).

Hope to see you there, stop by and say "Hi"!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sevy's Grill Easter Brunch Menu

We only serve Sunday brunch twice a year, from 11 am to 2 pm, limited seating is still available. Three courses, $28.95 for adults, $14.95 for children 8 and under. Reservations taken for any size party at, or call Jimmy, Stefaan or Amy M. at (214)265-7389.
Have a wonderful holiday!
Choice of:
Goat Cheese Crostini
Marinated roma tomatoes with fresh basil and roasted garlic.
Grilled Portabella Mushrooms
Coated in a beer batter then crispy fried, served with spicy tartar sauce and tangy cocktail sauce.
Fresh Field Greens Salad
Mixed greens with roma tomatoes, crisp jicama, sliced cucumbers and a minted basil vinaigrette.
Maine Lobster Bisque
Flavorful rich bisque topped with fresh tarragon.
Caesar Salad
Crisp romaine lettuce, herbed croutons and parmesan reggiano.
Melon & Proscuitto Plate
Fresh cantaloupe and honeydew with shaved proscuitto, parmesan crackers and basil oil.

Choice of:
Texas French Toast
Two pieces of Texas toast griddled to a golden brown with warm maple syrup and powdered sugar.
Eggs scrambled with chorizo sausage, tomatoes, cilantro, crispy tortillas and green chile sauce.
Eggs Benedict
Traditional toasted English muffin topped with Canadian bacon, poached eggs and a delicate hollandaise sauce.
Hickory Grilled Chicken Salad
Warm chicken breast, mixed greens with apple, red onions, buttermilk bleu cheese crumbles, toasted pecans and cider honey vinaigrette.
The Sevy Burger
Grilled to your order and served with smoked bacon and sharp cheddar on a Kaiser roll.
Almond Crusted Trout
Pan seared and served with skillet potatoes, fresh asparagus and lemon chive butter.
Grilled Rosemary Chicken
Creamy polenta, fresh vegetable medley and wild mushroom au jus.
Smoked Beef Tenderloin
Grilled mushrooms, fresh vegetables and new potatoes with sauce béarnaise.
Grilled Atlantic Salmon Fillet
Corn-whipped potatoes, lemon chive butter sauce and crispy onions.
Shrimp Scampi Linguini
Plump gulf shrimp sautéed with white wine, fresh garlic, butter, asparagus tips and roma tomatoes.

A Platter of Desserts for the Table!
Mini Three Citrus Pie, Texas Pecan Tartlets, Dark Chocolate Mousse Cup, Fresh Berries and Mint.

Friday, April 3, 2009

2009 Neighbors Choice Awards - Dallas Morning News

I always like personal opinions of neighbors about services, shops, places to eat. The Dallas Morning News is counting the votes for your favorite "locally owned and operated establishments in the community in which you live." Deadline to vote is April 24th, results will be published on June 12th, with staff-written profiles of some of the winners. You can vote online, here, or call (214)977-8649 to have a ballot mailed to you.

They will also recognize the community that has the most voters across all 18 editions.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Extra Special Wine Dinner At Sevy's With Merryvale Wines

It's extra because we'll be doing our traditional (last Monday of the month) monthly wine dinner in addition to this one. It's special because Senior Winemaker Sean Foster of Merryvale Vineyards will be joining us. It's a great deal, too, with the price of $59.95 for four courses (plus reception) paired with the most delicious of Merryvale's wines. Reservations are required, seating is limited. Contact Jimmy, Stefaan or Amy M. at (214)265-7389 or

Goat Cheese Crostini with Tomato, Caper and Golden Raisin Relish
Cristalino, Sparkling

Roasted Sweet Corn Bisque with Blackened Shrimp

Merryvale Sauvignon Blanc, Napa, 2007

Seared Sea Scallop with Creamy Asparagus Orzo and Red Pepper Ginger Butter
Merryvale Chardonnay, Napa, 2006

Peppered Sirloin Strip with Sweet Potato Gratin, Wild Mushroom Sauce and Grilled Scallion
Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, 2005

Sevy's "New" Three Favorite Cheeses with Almond Pear Chutney and Exotic Crackers

Merryvale Merlot

Sevy's Grill is located at 8201 Preston Road, 3 blocks south of Northwest Highway at Sherry Lane. We can't wait to see you, your enjoyment is guaranteed.

Third Time Wins The Hog

And so the boys left Dallas (again) yesterday for Van, Texas, with jello, corn and guns. After an evening of rain and mud, an early morning walk found a group of pigs. Good thing, because I was starting to have my suspicions that it was more of a drink-beer-and-fish kind of time they've been having.

Came home with an 80 lb wild boar, shot by Richard "Hog Slayer" Chamberlain, who plans to age it and then have it butchered.

Spring Shopping In Canton This Weekend

It's First Monday Trade Days in Canton, beginning today through Sunday. I would go just for the food, the food, the food, and the beautiful drive. Driving home from spring break in Tampa two weeks ago, we followed the piney forests that stretch from Florida to East Texas. The dogwoods had begun to bloom, spring wild flowers carpeted the roadsides. Delicious.

Of course shopping is also a great reason to go.

If you happen to take exit #526, stop by the Dairy Palace on the way home. Get some Cotton Candy flavored Blue Bell ice cream.

FREE Cook Book Contest

Enter contest here. A San Antonio cook book by way of a Hudson Valley (NY) blogger. I'm assuming it's legit, because I just satisfied entry requirement #5. You can enter through midnight on April 7th.

Another way to enter is to submit your favorite Tex-Mex recipes for compilation into a new book by the same author.

Game on!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Holy Macaroni - Have Restaurant Food At Home

Picking up a few things at the corner Tom Thumb, and came across a display of the new line of mixes from Dallas' home grown Romano's Macaroni Grill. According to the box, the name has been licensed for use by General Mills by "Brinker International Payroll Company, LP.", which I think is the general partner of Brinker International.

$5.79 per box for 5 one-cup servings (you have to supply the 1 lb. of chicken it calls for), and the following flavors: Chicken Alfredo with Linguine, Chicken Marsala with Linguine, Garlic & Herb Chicken Penne, Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken & Pasta. I purchased the Alfredo (pictured), and it says you can substitute shrimp - and add broccoli for a twist.

On the side of the box is "Romano's Macaroni Grill is a casual Italian-style restaurant with locations throughout the United States. Each Macaroni Grill celebrates the rich tradition of Italian families, where the kitchen is the heart of the home and everyone shares good times and great tasting food." Great, after dinner do you think they'll send someone to clean the pans and plates?

And in my mail today, an invitation to a Homemade Gourmet party next week, which from the website is also a mix-master of dinner concoctions. I smell a cook-off in the Severson kitchen next week - I'll let you know who wins.

It Only Cost Me $258.52

Sevy had a cooking demonstration last Saturday way out at the Southlake Central Market, so I decided to drive out and give him a little spousal support (no that is not me in the picture with him). So while he served up his Sweet Ancho Chile Relish in wraps and with salmon, I spent a little time shopping for groceries, $258.52 worth of time. But I got some really neat treats, and a few bottles of nice wine.

Dallas area Central Markets are installing small demonstration areas where the kitchen tools and supplies are located (the sharp curve where the fruit section meets seafood and meats in most stores). Coming up soon for the change, the one in North Dallas at Lover's Lane and Greenville.

Beers To You

From bro-in-law Mark, one of those passed-along-make-you-smile messages. Today is a day to smile.

The Mayonnaise Jar & 2 Beers

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff. 'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.'

'Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'

The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers with a friend.'

Opening Soon, Maybe Monday?

On the southwest corner of Walnut Hill and Central (75) Expressway (down by SAS Shoes), no telling what Cappa stands for (maybe cappucino?), the manager had just stepped away when I dropped by. Can't find anything on the internet either, so maybe it's a new concept. Anyhow, the sign says coffee & panini's, it must be on disposable plateware, because they didn't have a kitchen or dishwasher.

Workmen were busy getting something fixed in the ceiling, but they said the target opening date is Monday. Ummm, well I'm certain that is contingent on getting the permits, which I'm fairly sure they don't have yet given the work being done. Then they have to train the staff, and get in a lot of supplies, and basically set up the restaurant.

The interior, well very similar to a Starbucks with less seating area, a counter with an open fridge unit for self-selection of bottled drinks, in the back was counter space for I assume panini presses. Also set into the back wall, glass containers for different types of coffee beans.

They did not have menu copies so I could share their selections with you, so sorry.

This Is No Joke

Some serious deals for those dining at chains, including the following:

Denny's - April 8: Bring in a friend for breakfast, your friend gets a free Slamwich (bacon, ham and cheese on potato bread).

Wendy's/Arby's - Online through April 3rd: An on-line reverse auction lets bidders attempt to "win" an array of prizes, from flat-screen televisions and Xbox game consoles. The winner gets to purchase the item for 99 cents.

And to battle Subway's $5 foot-long sub deal, Quizno's is countering with it's Tasty Torpedo at $4. A comparison of subs is here.