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Restaurant Review: Plonk – restaurant name sounds like my dashing hopes

After reading Alison Cook’s review of Garden Oak’s wine bar and bistro Plonk, I was excited to meet friends for dinner last night.  Too bad I didn’t better heed Cook’s warnings about the little wine-bar-that-could’s service style.  You can read the details on my opinion of why Plonk needs to either change their service model or their menu over at Yelp.  However, for the vegetarians and those wanting a little less meat in their diet, I will advise that Plonk is thinking of you.  Choose a cheese plate, grilled cheese with tomato soup, one of a handful of yummy pizzas (I recommend the ELF) or a salad or fish dish from the bistro’s contemporary American menu.

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Upgrade your pasta and tomato sauce

Tomato sauce

Image by Aelle via Flickr

I’ll admit it.  I’ve never been a big fan of tomato sauce.  I think it’s, well, boring.

Yet, sometimes, it definitely has a place in the kitchen.  In a lasagna for example.  Or, most recently, on pizzas cooked on the grill.  But, generally, I end up in the same situation I’m in now: with a jar of tomato sauce in the fridge and no inspiring plans on how to finish it.

This is where just a tiny bit of vision can elevate a blah dinner into something noteworthy.   (more…)

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Spring Menu: Fresh Food for Dining Outdoors

This tasty muffin-sized tart is one in a great collection of Healthy Vegetarian Recipes from Women

It’s patio season in Houston.  Well, actually, with the muggy weather that has returned to the city this week, it feels a little like patio season may soon be coming to a close.  But, for me, that’s inspiration to serve at least one more beautiful dinner on the deck.

I love setting a beautiful outdoor table, gathering my loved ones, and soaking in the sound of birds chirping away in the live oak canopy shading the yard.  Pablo and Diego (my silly team of canines) will run wild in the yard, greeting anyone who happens by the fence, while K and I enjoy a seasonal, brightly flavored meal. (more…)

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Cook the Sale: Hawaiian Albacore Tuna Tacos

Spicy Shrimp Tacos. Image via Wikipedia

The hubbie and I have had a couple of wonderful, lavish weekends lately and now it’s time to tighten our belts to stay in budget for the month.  No biggie, but it does inspire me to cook the sale.  That is, plan my meals around the grocery store specials.  I was reviewing the Central Market flyer and realized that they have all the makings for excellent fish tacos on sales this week.  To snatch fresh tortillas from the bakery (2 for $3) or Hawaiian Albacore Tuna for $11 per pound, get their before the sale ends today.  (I know.  Short notice, but at least I’m writing.) (more…)

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