Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Second Sunday Brunch Bunch: Hattie's

After a slight hiatus during a busy summer, the Second Sunday Brunch Bunch crew met up this month at Hattie's, an "American bistro with a southern low-country influence" located in the heart of the Bishop Arts District.  I have been to Hattie's before for lunch and dinner, but this was my first visit for brunch. 

We started off with an array of colorful cocktails. From left to right: the Mimosa, the Pom Pom (prosecco and pomegranate juice with a sugared rim), and the Salty Dog (vodka and grapefruit juice)...

The Pom Pom was my favorite, and the sugared rim was what really made it special. 

Even more special was the fact that Laura got to enjoy her first post-baby cocktail. Can you tell how happy she was?!

Sarah ordered the Tomato Bisque to start. It comes with a cute little grilled cheese perched on the bowl.

Mmmmmmm, soup. 

She and Jill split "The Biggie," which was a jalepeno-cheese biscuit topped with fried chicken, bacon, cheese, and gravy. Yep...you read that right. They both agreed on the deliciousness as well as the fact that it was a good idea to split it.  

Laura ordered the Sourdough French Toast with Bananas Foster Sauce (and a side of bacon). She loved it, which is saying a lot for someone who doesn't normally like bananas. Maybe it was the first post-baby cocktail talking :). 

And I clearly had to order the famous, off-menu Chicken and Waffles. Not pictured is the gravy I ordered on the side...I'm a fan of both syrup and gravy on my chicken and waffles. 

I ate every bite. Literally. And it was way bigger than this picture leads you to believe. I had to inhale some Tums when I got home, but it was definitely worth it. 

Overall, I highly recommend Hattie's for brunch (and for lunch and for dinner). 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Favorite Things: Grandma's Humus

Earlier this year, my Mom introduced me to Grandma's Humus, and there was no going back. The hummus is made by The Mediterranean Chef, an Austin-based company, and it is so unbelievably good.

I have found it both at Central Market and Whole Foods. It has now become a staple in our house, and a tub can pretty much always be found in the fridge.  

In addition to the overall garlickyness, one of the best parts about the hummus is the spicy olive oil topping. 

The hummus is also suuuper creamy.

I seriously love this stuff. And I'm not the only one. Josh told me that it is the best hummus he's ever had, and often refers to it as "hummus crack." 

Ava is also a huge fan, spiciness and all...

Do yourself a favor and go pick up a tub of this wonderful stuff today. Or pick some up for your next party and pass it off as your own. I won't tell anyone. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Restaurant Week 2013

I am a total Restaurant Week junkie. Seriously...it's a problem. The $35 price tag for three (or four) courses at some of the nicest restaurants in Dallas is just too hard to pass up (note that some bumped the price to $45 this year...not okay). But the fact that a portion of the proceeds goes to charity makes me feel a little better about my Restaurant Week addiction. 

Just like last year, we enjoyed three different Restaurant Week meals. Josh and I started it all off with a dinner for just the two of us at St. Martin's in early August (they did Restaurant Week all last month!). 

I didn't take any pictures during dinner, but it was all delicious. And the best part of the meal was clearly the Champagne Brie Soup. I mean...it's champagne...and brie...in soup form. I could have licked the bowl. 

I loved the the ambiance of the restaurant as well. From the friendly old bartender to the Little Richard look-a-like jamming out on the piano, it had such a cool, old school vibe. I highly recommend it for a romantic date night. 

Josh and I got to enjoy two more date nights when we joined friends for Restaurant Week dinners a couple weeks later. The first night, we dined with Jill, Steven, and the Adolphs at Stampede 66

My Mom snapped a rare picture of us as we were heading to dinner. 

Stampede 66 is a Stephen Pyles restaurant that focuses on "modern Texas cuisine." The decor of the restaurant screams Texas, and I especially loved the horned frog lights :). 

P.S. I am going to apologize in advance, because all of these photos were taken in very dark restaurants on my iPhone. But I wanted to document our fun nonetheless. 

We had some cocktails at the bar while waiting for our table. I went with "The Cowgirl," which was a whiskey drink made muddled fruit. Very good...and very strong. 

My girls. 

Jill and Steven. 

John and Erin. 

Ha! A picture truly does say a thousand words. 

After settling in at our table, Josh ordered the Modern Star Canyon margarita, which is made tableside with dry ice. It was quite the show. 
My man and his (pink) margarita. He wasn't embarrassed by my photo-taking at all. 

So pretty and so delicious! I think Josh's favorite part was the candied jalapeno on top. 

I started off with the wedge salad. It was good, but nothing to write home about. 

Josh started with the Pork Pot Roast Tacos. He was a fan.

 I love how the tacos came on this fun, and practical, little taco stand.

He also ordered the optional fourth course (with our Central Market coupon): "Faux" Gras Mousse. It is "faux" because it's made with chicken liver instead of goose liver. 

Since I am not a fan of liver in any form, I opted to go off-menu and order the deviled eggs. 

I had read an online review that knocked the restaurant's deviled eggs as being too run-of-the-mill, but I was still willing to give them a shot. And I'm so glad I did, because they were outstanding. Not only are they pickled before they are deviled, they also have a little kick...and are topped with bacon!

Josh ordered the fish special, which he said was good but not great. Luckily, the entree I chose was more than great. I went with the Chicken Fried Chicken with Chorizo Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, and Braised Green Beans. 

Holy deliciousness, Batman. I ate every single bite. That gravy was particularly ridiculous...and I don't even like chorizo. 

You know what else was ridiculous? The Green Chile Mac N' Cheese that we split...

One would think that we couldn't possibly eat another bite by this point, but it was time for dessert. 

Josh and I both went with the Dr. Pepper Float, which was made with Snickers ice cream and came with a brownie-cake-type-thing on the side. So good.

After hearing mixed reviews on Stampede 66, I was really curious to try it out. And I definitely agree with the positive reviews. Everything was really, really good. I will be back!

And speaking of going back, we loved Restaurant Week at The Capital Grille so much last year that we decided to make it a tradition. 

I didn't take any photos of the amazing food, since it was all basically the same as what we ordered last time, but I did capture a few of our fabulous company (sorry, Tessa...I somehow managed to miss you in the pics!). Note that they put us in the private room. Score!

Diana, Truc, and Vyna...

Jesse, Russ, and Lewis (discussing something ridiculous)...

And Josh, myself, and Steve...

And the cherry on top of the fabulous dinner...the Generous Pour event. All you can drink (good) wine for $25. Yes, please. 

Until next year, Restaurant Week. Oh, how I love thee. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Welcome Home, Ollie!

A few weeks ago, some of our close friends brought home their son from Uganda after a more than two-year adoption journey.  

Our group of friends decided to celebrate the happy event by putting together a fun gift basket for Ollie (and his parents...we included one of their favorite bottles of wine) as well as by welcoming the new family at the airport.

After Jill dropped off the gift basket at their house, we headed to the Hicks' house to make signs for the airport. 

Since Lolly couldn't be there, we made a "Lolly on a stick" sign. It was by far my favorite. 

Then the crew, including me, Ava, Jill, Steven, Erin, John, and the Hicks (Josh was a little under the weather, i.e. extremely hungover), headed to the airport to greet the new family.

And we weren't the only ones. There were approximately 40 friends and family members waiting in the International Arrivals area of the airport in anticipation. The love in the room was palpable.

After countless hours of travel (not to mention the prior two years of waiting), Rachel, Jesse, and Ollie were held up in the customs and visa lines forever

During the more than three-hour wait, we kept the kids entertained with lots of toys, snacks, and games. 

But one of them may or may not have licked the airport floor at one point. [DFW Airport would make a killing if they sold beer and wine in the International Arrivals section. Just sayin.]

When we got word that they would soon be headed through the sliding doors, we hoisted up our signs and couldn't contain our excitement. 

The wait was well worth it. Seeing the sweet little family walk through that door was such a wonderful sight. The tears were definitely flowing. Happy, happy tears. 

And Ollie is so ridiculously cute. I had to steal this pic from Jesse and Rachel's Facebook announcement, because it is just too much...

I am beyond thrilled for Rach and Jesse. They have been praying and waiting for this moment for so long, and the joy that Ollie has brought to their lives is immediately apparent to all who see them together. I have a feeling they are even smiling in their sleep. 

Ava is pretty excited to have a new little playmate as well. 

Welcome home, Ollie. We love you so much!

Monday, September 2, 2013

"Oh, the Places You'll Go!" | 2012-2013

I recently bought a copy of "Oh, the Places You'll Go," which we will have all of Ava's teachers/coaches/mentors sign over the years, before giving it to her as a high school graduation present. I can't claim this idea as my own (thank you, Pinterest), but I absolutely love it. 

Just in case anything happens to the book along the way, I thought it would be a good idea to document the notes on the blog. 

Since Ava is moving to a new school tomorrow (more on that to come), I had all her teachers from Kid Kountry write notes in the book. I can't get over how sweet they are. 

 Kid Kountry 
Infant II (11-15 months)
Ms. Maria

Kid Kountry
Toddler I (15-19 months)
Ms. Maricela

About Me

My name is Catherine, but most of my friends call me Cat. I was born and raised in Austin, went to TCU, and ended up in Dallas for law school (where Josh and I met). I decided that being an attorney was not my cup of tea and pursued a career in legal marketing. I am now a mother of two attempting to balance family with a full-time job, which is always an adventure. I love: my sweet babies, handsome husband, very large family, and fabulous friends; trying new restaurants; wine; TCU football; holidays; cooking; The Bar Method; pajamas; Topo Chico; reading; coffee; Central Market; carbs; the beach; mani/pedis; Anthropologie; binge-worthy TV shows and podcasts; trivia; French 75s; Pinterest; cheese boards; The Ticket; dancing; Sprinkles cupcakes; The Texas Rangers; fresh flowers; thunderstorms; naps; Tex-Mex; the Texas Hill Country; porch-sitting; ranch dressing; throwing parties; and my job. I hate: working-mom guilt; snakes; heights; waking up early; ignorant people; stomach bugs; paper cuts; green fruit; snoring; bad hair days; the sound of people eating (Misophonia); scary movies; bad drivers; pulpy OJ; trimming baby fingernails; and Miracle Whip. That pretty much sums it up.


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