Author Archives: Penny Hawkins

Texas Wine Region Declared “Hidden Gem”

Texas is home to approximately 200 wineries. According to industry tracking, their numbers increased by over 62% in the past five year. It should not be surprising, therefore, that it is receiving positive press from wine drinkers and those who keep them informed.

Texas Hill Country, which was ranked the #1 “hidden gem” US wine area , is also a designated grape growing area (or AVA). Texas currently has 8 American Viticultural Areas. Texas Hill Country, which is appropriately named for Texas standards, covers 9.6 million acres. It could be home to almost 43 AVAs of Napa Valley size.

There are nearly 30 wineries within the AVA, and tourism has been steadily rising in recent years in order to match this growth. Texas wineries make many of the same varietals that wine lovers have grown to love, such as cabernet Sauvignon, chardonnay sauvignon blanc, sauvignon blanche, and merlot. Many labels simply say “red wine” (or “white wine”), which is becoming a very common occurrence. This is because the winery has made a blend of multiple varietals. When it comes to creating a label, federal labeling standards do not allow for the use any one of these names. This also shows the creative flair Texas winemakers bring to their final product. They blend a greater variety of wines to create something new for customers to enjoy.

Texas wine labels offer a unique twist on the California wine market flood.

Don’t Mess With Texas

Why would you ever want to? When we think back to our Texas trip, it brings back images of finger-lickin’ good barbecues and fascinating historical sites. It also reminds us of the cowboy boots of Texas, where we learned how to say “Y’all.” Texas is not just about old western movies or rolling tumbleweeds. While there are still cacti and rolling tumbleweeds in Texas, the diversity of its landscape is impressive with its rugged desert, wide open spaces, and picturesque coastline stretching over 600 kilometres along the Gulf of Mexico.

The Indian word Tejas means “friend”, and the name Texas comes from the Indian word “Tejas” . It certainly describes our encounters with friendly people while traveling through Texas’ Lone Star State. The fascinating mix of English & Spanish is fascinating. No matter where you travel, everyone is friendly and helpful.

Texas, Mexico was part and parcel of the Spanish empire for over 100 year. This is why Texas has Spanish architecture, Mexican food and special fiestas. It was admitted to the United States in 1845. But it faced many challenges, such as the defeat by the Alamo Mission. The state remained independent for nearly 10 years before becoming a part of the United States. It is America’s 2nd-largest state. It spans over 1,240 km in the east and 1,290 km in the south.

Every major city has something for visitors, be it San Antonio’s Riverwalk and Alamo Mission, Austin’s State Capital Building and Lyndon Baines Johnson Library or Museum. The public is welcome to take photos at all these locations. There are many photo opportunities. You can also leave a donation for those who ask. It’s worthwhile.

Houston, Texas has the most populous city with over 2 million inhabitants. Although Houston is a large city, it is very accessible. There are many places to visit in Texas. Dallas boasts that it is a shopping destination and Highland Park Village, America’s oldest shopping center, is a major draw. Dallas’ light rail system, DART (the light rail), makes it very easy to move around and explore all that Dallas has to provide. Galveston Island’s deep-sea fishing is very popular. Galveston also has the Lone Star Flight Museum (and Texas Hall of Fame) which are both extremely interesting.

Texas has a variety of special events each month. These include livestock shows as well as Land of Leather Days (Mardi Gras), Land of Leather Days (Barbecue Festivals), Polka Festivals and an old-fashioned Shivaree. It doesn’t matter what month it is, there are always amazing things to see and do.

It’s all a matter of the food. Texas barbecue is the perfect example of true barbecue. It brought back the memories of the sweet, hickory-smoked smells that wafted through our air as they enticed us to stop at any number barbecue restaurants. My palate still remembers the rich sauce that lavishly covered the feast of ribs. It’s impossible not to leave the restaurant full because there’s so much food.

We waited in the Home Depot garden center in Humble Texas, trying to avoid a torrential storm. After we told her that we were from Canada, the young clerk smiled and tried to teach our pronunciation of “Y’all”. She told us, “You can’t leave Texas until it is easy to say it.” It was something she loved and practiced to her satisfaction. She was proud of it when it stopped raining. While it’s obvious that they are welcoming and friendly, it is a skill that takes practice.

Central Texas Barbecue

Barbecue, one of Texas’ most loved foods, is the best. Texas barbecue is available in many different variations, which can vary between regions. Texas barbecue can generally be divided into four regions: South Texas, East Texas West Texas, West Texas and West Texas. Barbecue is a popular choice in central Texas due to its high quality meat. It is also known as the best barbecue state-wide.

Central Texasans have a special fondness for barbecue. Lockhart, Taylor, Luling and Luling are home to some of the most renowned barbecue restaurants. Central Texas barbecue was first served in 1921. Central Texas barbecue originated in Germany, where it was first introduced to the region by settlers from Europe. During that time, meat markets offered cooked meat on butcherpapers.

These settlers set up meat markets. They used leftover meat to preserve it for future consumption. These leftover cuts of meat were usually pork and beef and were smoked over wood, mostly oak and pecan. The Anglo farmers who lived in the area adopted the name barbecue for the leftover cuts of meat.

Texas restaurants offer a unique experience for barbecue dinners. One way to order your Texas barbecue dinner is by getting a tray at the counter. Then, you load up the tray with the barbecue sauce and other side dishes. The meat is then served with slices of bread and, in most cases, chopped onions. The meat is usually cut right there, so you don’t have to wait. You can choose from brisket or sausage, pork ribs, beef and beef ribs as the most popular meats for a barbecue.

Central Texas has a tradition of valuing the quality of barbecue and the cuts it comes with. The sauces are viewed as side dishes while the focus is on what is being served. The meat is considered the ‘hero of the dish. All the other’sidekicks’ are not important. Central Texas barbecue is judged on three things: meat, flavor and tenderness.

Texas food

What is the secret to Texas’s singularity? Texas has it all. And we do things right. Let’s not forget about Texas food. What Texas foods will you find at a local barbecue, family dining, or social gathering? These six types of Texas food will likely be on your plate!

Brisket

The south is a favorite of connoisseurs. Some cooks use several spice rubs to flavor their brisket. These Texas recipes produce a delicious barbecue taste thanks to slow-smoked meats. Some cooks will smoke brisket for as long as 12-24 hours. Cooks add Texas flavor to their Texas recipes by smoking their brisket using mesquite chips made from Jack Daniels whiskey barrels.

Shiner Bock

Shiner Bock is very popular in the south, especially the lone-star State. Some even go so far as to make Texas recipes with this amazing beer. This dark beer boasts low hops and a rich yet smooth flavor that is unmatched. I might be biased as a Texan but I believe the south is better at beer than the Yankees.

Brisket Tacos

Most people like brisket. But I would be willing to wager that you would enjoy a Fuzzy’s brisket sandwich. Fuzzy’s Texas restaurant and many others offer great Texas food with just the right kick and spice to enhance the flavor of brisket. The Texas cuisine has Mexican influences and can provide a satisfying kick.

Other Barbecue

Barbecue is a popular method of cooking slow-cooked beef brisket. Grill masters can make deer sausages, turkey, pork and chicken. Depending on the Texas recipe these meats could be served with a sweet marinade or a Cajun, Mexican, or spicy flavor.

Chicken Fried Steak

This dish represents southern cooking at its best. The meat is covered in flour, beer batter or other mix that gives it a crispy and deliciously fried texture. This pan-fried dish works well with gravy and waffles. You can find great Texas food at restaurants like “Bacon” in Austin.

Pecan pie

Pecan pie is a Texas favorite and is the official “state-pie”. This dessert will bring together your picnic, cook-out, social event, or other gatherings. Blue Bell icecream with caramel syrup can be used to enhance the flavor. Yum!

Honorable Mentions

These dishes are wonderful Texan dishes. However, I want to include a few that are not Texan. These are Tex-Mex dishes or Mexican food that are just amazing. Texans love Mexican food. Mexican food is very popular in Texas.

Chinese Food In Texas May Taste Good – But Is It Good For You?

Many people think of fine dining restaurants as fancy restaurants. This type of restaurant is common in many urban areas. It is worth looking into fine dining before you head out on an excursion to fine dining.

A story in the AP newswire reported that a Chinese consumer group, Center for Science in the Public Interest(CSPI), found that the Chinese restaurant menu has poor nutritional properties.

For example, a General Tsao’s chicken plate is packed with 40 percent more sodium and more calories than an average adult’s daily intake. The battered, fried chicken dish contains 1,300 calories, 3,200 mgs sodium and 11g of saturated fat. That’s not including the rice which has 200 calories per cup. The egg rolls add an additional 200 calories to your order and 400 mg of sodium.

Bonnie Liebman (Center for Science in the Public Interest) stated that American restaurants should reduce their salt and calories. People should also consider each meal as two and take home half for tomorrow.

According to government guidelines the average adult requires approximately 2,000 calories daily and just 2,300 mgs sodium. That is equal to one teaspoon.

The National Restaurant Association reported on the fact that many restaurants across the nation are trying to offer healthier choices. Chinese restaurants are known for offering many healthy options, especially to those who don’t want to eat fried food or excessive sauces.

However, the CSPI’s study shows that Mexican or Italian restaurants may be more harmful to your health than you might think. Their food contains higher amounts of saturated fats which can increase your risk for heart disease.

Chinese restaurant food is not good for your heart, waistline or blood pressure. Chinese-cooked veggies aren’t exempt. A plate of stir fried greens contains 900 calories as well as 2,200 mgs. sodium. Also, eggplant in garlic sauce is 1,000 calories.

If you think you are eating appetizers and saving calories, you might be wrong. A 6-piece meal of steamed pork dumplings is 500 calories. Pan-fried dumplings are only 10 calories more.

The CSPI claims there is no safe harbour from sodium on Chinese restaurant menus. But, it provides several tips to make a meal healthier.

  • Choose vegetables over meats and noodles. Ask for extra snow peas and broccoli.
  • Stay away from deep-fried seafood, tofu, and meat. Make it stir-fried and/or braised.

Hold the sauce and eat it with a fork.

  • Keep away from salt, especially in hot mustards, hoisin and duck sauces.
  • Request a bag for your dog or share your meal.
  • You should choose brown rice over white rice

Almost everyone likes Chinese food. As with everything in life moderation is essential. Even though it may not seem to have an immediate impact on your health, consuming a lot of Chinese food is a good idea for young adults living in Texas. What affects your body’s health can have a negative impact on your bank balance, as you will soon see.

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A restaurant like this will often serve meals that have predetermined courses. A typical meal would consist of three to four courses. They can include an appetizer or small entree, such as soup or salad or a main dish like beef or lamb, followed by a dessert. The food is very formal and well prepared.

These places offer small portions for each entree. They will still have portions that are well-arranged. This is because portions will be proportionate and keep in line with the formality expected of restaurants.

Fine-dining also includes foods and ingredients with higher standards. A small business owner can set high standards by how they run a fine-dining restaurant. A typical fine dining restaurant might only have one location. It may have three or four, depending on what the food is. It’s not a chain restaurant that has a deal with any company to offer food for preparation.

A key element of fine dining is the formality. Fine dining requires that you eat in a highly luxurious area. You may be able to enjoy live music by a piano or string player. It may also offer formal attire for waiters or others.

It will be strongly encouraged that people wear formal clothes. For fine dining establishments, formal wear is expected. You will need to dress appropriately for a fine restaurant.

Reservations are necessary. This place is often small due to the detailed preparation required for meals. If you are planning to go to a fine dining restaurant, it is important that you make reservations in advance. While most restaurants will require reservations at least a day in advance, it may take several weeks to secure a table at some of the finest fine dining establishments in town.