Monthly Archives: March 2015

Calendar of wine events

At Sugar Land Town Square, 15958 City Walk, Sugar Land; April 8-12; $50-$225; for schedule; 832-831-3167

At Brenner’s on the Bayou, 1 Birdsall; 3-6 p.m. April 11; $65 presale, $75 at the door, $125 VIP; or 713-868-4444.

Benefiting Communities In Schools/Bay Area at Bay Oaks Country Club, 14545 Bay Oaks Blvd.; April 13, following the Keep Kids in School Golf Tournament (2:30 p.m. start); $75; 281-486-6698 or

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Student chefs cook up new school lunches

A little fruit juice makes food sweeter.

The event was sponsored nationally and locally by Aramark, the company that contracts with the Houston Independent School District to provide 280,000 meals daily.

The students, dressed in classic double-breasted jackets, toques and checkered pants, had two hours to prepare their food in kitchens at the Art Institute of Houston.

With the help of a battalion of blue-shirted volunteers from HISD nutrition services, the students created and cooked, then marched their meals to be judged.

[…] it was time for the awards.

Davis High team No. 1 took runner-up for its meal of barbecue chicken baked potato with Texas toast, Creole coleslaw and tortilla manzana.

[…] the winners were Westside’s Jose Acosta, Jalien Noel and Briseida Salas for their cowboy Cajun chicken lollipop atop black bean hoppin’ John, twisted Texas cabbage and collard greens, and pineapple tart.

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Turnips are turning up all over

My favorite way to eat them still leans toward the French classic of spring lamb stew with les primeurs – early spring turnips, carrots, peas and potatoes.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat.

Per serving: 83 calories, 1 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 16 mg cholesterol, 463 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.

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Calendar of events

With Nice Winery winemakers Ryan Levy and Ian Eastveld, at Tango & Malbec; 6:30 p.m. Thursday; $89; 713-629-8646.

At Rolls Royce/Bentley Houston, 1530 West Loop South, benefiting Boys & Girls Harbor; 7-10 p.m. Thursday; $75 in advance, $100 at the door; 713-521-0105.

Benefiting Communities In Schools/Bay Area and held at the Bay Oaks Country Club, 14545 Bay Oaks; April 13, following the Keep Kids in School Golf Tournament (2:30 p.m. start); $75; 281-486-6698 or

Cheryl and Griffith Day, founders of the Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, Ga., will be demonstrate recipes from their new cookbook, Back in the Day Bakery:

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Taco Bell’s waffle taco is dead; biscuit taco to replace

Taco Bell is launching a “biscuit taco” this week and ditching its “waffle taco,” which got widespread attention last year when it was included in the rollout of the chain’s breakfast menu. The swap comes as the chain tries to build on its year-old breakfast business by once again going after the dominant player in the mornings: The chain has also repeatedly said the star of its breakfast menu is the A.M. Crunchwrap, which is a grilled tortilla stuffed with eggs and a hash brown along with sausage, bacon or steak. In the latest quarter, the chain’s sales rose 7 percent at established locations, driven by breakfast, according to parent company Yum Brands Inc.

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Calendar of events

An Evening of Indulgence dessert and wine pairing:

Featuring a book signing with Marie LeNôtre at Culinary Institute LeNôtre, 7070 Allensby. 6:30 p.m. Thursday (meet and greet with LeNôtre at 5:30 p.m.). $140.

Benefiting the Partners Fine Arts Scholarship Fund on the stage at the Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins, The Woodlands. 5-10 p.m. Sunday. $225.

Benefiting Boys & Girls Harbor at Rolls Royce/Bentley Houston, 1530 West Loop S. 7-10 p.m. March 26. $75 in advance, $100 at the door. 713-521-0105.

With 33 California winemakers at the Parador, 2021 Binz.

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Homemade pizza makes for family fun time

[…] one night when I realized we had enough sauce and other toppings to use on all the dough, I assembled two extra pizzas, placed them on individual pans to freeze until firm and then wrapped them up tightly to store in the freezer.

A friend I mentioned this to pointed out, “You know you can buy frozen pizza at the store?” But having your own slightly misshapen pie, with personally chosen ingredients that definitely are free of preservatives, additives and weird cheeselike crumbles, is another thing entirely.

[…] if making entirely homemade pizza just to freeze for later sounds like too much work, you can always get fresh store-bought dough to bridge the gap between craftsmanship and DiGiorno.

Though my kids prefer a Margherita, with just sauce, mozzarella and basil, I love combining bitter greens such as blanched broccoli rabe or torn radicchio with some slivered onions, a mix of cheeses and spicy sausage.

12 ounces cheese (thinly sliced fresh mozzarella; shredded whole-milk mozzarella; pecorino romano, Parmesan; spoonfuls fresh ricotta)

3 to 6 ounces thinly sliced salty pork (Italian sausages, pancetta, prosciutto, pepperoni)

To use a stand mixer, combine the remaining 3½ cups flour and the salt in the bowl and fit the mixer with a dough hook.

Let the dough rest, covered with a clean dish towel, for 5 minutes, then mix again for 10 minutes at medium-low until the dough is smooth, elastic, warm and slightly damp.

Coat the dough lightly with oil and place in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap in a warm spot.

Continue this motion until you get a flat disk with a slightly raised edge, or use a rolling pin to create a rounder shape until you master forming the dough.

Working quickly (so the dough doesn’t stick to the peel) ladle 1 to 2 spoonfuls of sauce onto the center of the dough and use a circular motion to spread it around, leaving a border around the edges.

Roll each into a ball and place on a floured work surface, then cover with a damp towel and leave at room temperature.

Arrange the racks toward the bottom of the oven and place a pizza stone on the top rack, if using, and preheat the oven to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes.

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