Monthly Archives: August 2015

Fresh fruit, green tea combine for frozen treat

Fresh fruit and green tea combine for a cool frozen summer treat

Freezer pops are so simple to make – and require so few ingredients – it seems odd that cases at the supermarket are chock-full of icy flavor pops on a stick.

Store-bought frozen treats are mostly made of water with sugar, corn syrup, gum and stabilizers, plus artificial colors thrown in.

For more texture, add coarsely chopped strawberries to liquid mixture but note that it will make an additional freezer pop.

Per pop: 27 calories, trace total fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 6 g carbohydrates, trace protein, 1 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber.

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Calendar of events

Calendar of events

Donkey & Goat Winery wine dinner with Jared and Tracey Brandt:

At Bistro Provence, 13616 Memorial; 7 p.m. Sept. 22; $65 plus tax and gratuity; $65 plus tax and gratuity; 713-827-8008 or

Learn to brew your own beer in this five-week course at DeFalco’s, 9223 Stella Link; 7-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Oct. 6; $79 per person, includes tastings and a visit to a local brewery; 713-668-9440 or to register.

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Eggplant, a purple haze of peak-season taste

Asian eggplants have fewer seeds and thinner skins than the European types and are predominantly long and thin, up to 1½ feet long, but as little as 1 inch or so in diameter.

Eggplants readily absorb other flavors but have their own distinctive, slightly earthy, smoky taste and a soft, creamy texture.

Salting the sliced or cubed eggplant will draw out some of the moisture, and after drying them the eggplant browns a little more quickly and will absorb less oil when fried.

¹⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup mixed fresh herb leaves such as thyme, rosemary and oregano

Combine the olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper in a shallow dish.

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill.

When the fire is hot, arrange the eggplant slices and grill until a golden, nearly charred crust forms on the first side, about 4 minutes.

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Panna cotta fancy yet easy

At a recent meal, my companion made an excited comment about panna cotta being an option when the dessert menus arrived.

[…] after seeing it on a few other menus, I realized that though panna cotta itself isn’t new, the ingredients have changed, thanks to the popularity of alternate milk options and broader experimentation with flavors.

3 cups unsweetened almond milk, hazelnut milk or equal parts whole milk and buttermilk

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 cups of the milk, cream and sugar until it simmers, stirring often.

Sprinkle gelatin over milk and let sit at least 5 minutes to bloom and absorb the liquid, stirring if any dry spots remain.

Per serving: 201 calories, 4 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 13 g fat (8 g saturated), 49 mg cholesterol, 84 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.

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Calendar of events

TEXSOM Takeaways: At Camerata at Paulie’s, 1834 Westheimer; 2-3:45 p.m. Saturday; $60; 713-522-8466.
Burgundy wine dinner: At the Tasting Room CityCentre, 818 Town and Country Blvd., No. 100; 6:30 p.m. Saturday; $91; 281-822-1500.
Classes, tastings and certifications: Ongoing at The Texas Wine School, 2437 Bartlett; or 713-882-8773.

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The most disproportionately popular vice in every U.S. state

Texans love their Shiner Bock beer. Californians crave animal-style burgers at In-N-Out Burger, and Washington residents can’t get enough drip coffee in the birthplace of drip coffee.

Some of the most popular (legal) vices in the United States make perfect sense. Social app Foursquare released an interactive map through the site Mapbox to show the most distinct vice in every state.

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