THE ESSENTIALS: What to eat when you can't decide and you have zero energy

THE ESSENTIALS: What to eat when you can't decide and you have zero energy

Don't even act like you've never been here. Maybe you had too much fun last night, maybe you're addicted to something on Netflix and you don't wanna take off your comfy clothes, or maybe you just don't feel too good and you don't really feel like moving. Either way, when hunger strikes and you find yourself in this quandary; TheSizzle wants to ease your sorrows and hunger. 

I'd like to divulge that as I write this, I'm currently in this sitch. I don't feel good, I'm not sick but I just plain 'ole don't feel good and I for once don't feel like cooking. 

Here are my go to places: 

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Updates, happenings, the dirt.

Aloha Amigos!

I've been gone gone gone for a while and now I'm back with a vengeance! I don't really have a good excuse, other than a couple things have happened around these here waters...

* MainSqueeze was in Hawaii, so the only real reason I ever turned my computer on at home was to Skype. Sad but true. Ok I guess there was some Netflix in there too. The winter cold and holidays had me all upside down! 

*MainSqueeze came back to the Mainland and made me the happiest girl in the world.  We're going to be Mr. & Mrs. Sizzle as of June 2015!

So life has been a bit crazy with wedding plans, jobs, moves and excitement. TheSizzle is on the upswing folks!

Just because I've been blog silent doesn't mean we haven't been doing fun stuff! I'll upload some photos here soon and take you on my culinary delight tour! Hawaii, Houston, Austin, Hill Country and my very own kitchen in our very own adorable Montrose home. 

For now, keep following me on instagram and stay tuned for new resto recs and recipes!

A #Nomcity for the books.

Greetings amigos! I'm in foodie rehab right now. I honestly don't even know how I ate so much this weekend, but it was like a delicious blackout that I never want to forget. However I spent my entire Sunday groaning and sipping Peppermint tea. I felt so gluttonous that I couldn't even crack open my new issue of Bon Apetit. The mere sight of food made me die a little. 

For some reason, the vast majority of my friends have fall birthdays, so a lot of my weekend was spent celebrating. 

It all started Friday. I had a very skinny soup for lunch, and then met a friend at Uchi for Happy Hour. I know Uchi does a lot of things right, but their Happy Hour just knocks it out of the park. So that happened. I went home totally content and very stuffed. 

Saturday morning I woke up to go on a nice run, but of course it started to monsoon. I really did have the best of intentions! I had a Birthday lunch at Caracol. I LOVE Caracol. I love the space, I love the staff, I love the menu and I can't even start on the food. Eight ladies who lunch gathered around a table and we ordered the hell out of that menu. 

Tuna tacos and raw tuna with ginger/coconut magic. 

Tuna tacos and raw tuna with ginger/coconut magic. 

Ceviche caracol. Conch ceviche. 

Ceviche caracol. Conch ceviche. 

Blue crab miracle soup. 

Blue crab miracle soup. 

All the girls pretty much ordered 2 dishes a person, and house "Caracol Ritas" abounded. It was one of the best lunch outings I've had in a WHILE. And it only got better when we gathered afterwards to drink some ice cold bevs and watch college football. 

Later that evening, for Birthday celebration Numero Dos, Foodie Photo Blog and I headed to Tony's for a MEAL. We had originally planned on practicing restraint and splitting several things, but yeah right. Of course my phone died, so all I have are the photos she texted me later that night as I was lying in bed hoping the button on my jeans wouldn't pop off and shatter a window. 

Tony's is truly a wonderful dining experience. I picked out a delightful Italian Dolcetto D'Alba to sip, and we split the Burrata Pugliese; fresh Oregon figs, Balsamic and some 'beer nuts.'  Our pasta entree were breathtaking; Capelletti al Midolo (Bone Marrow, House Made Ricotta, Cognac) and Pansoti (Squash Filled Pasta, Parmesan Puff, Sage Essence.) 

We also had the ribbons & squares ( ribbons and Squares of Ahi Tuna, Avocado, Soy Lime Vinaigrette) and then the grand finale was Birthday Souffle. Chocolate souffle with a fresh raspberry sauce and very fresh whipped cream. Un.REAL. If you've never been to Tony's, make it a priority. Another fun fact is that they can pretty much make ANY souffle you want. Our server informed us that "the sky's the limit" when it came to flavoring. Both of us stared at each other and after a couple minutes of feeling overwhelmed, we decided chocolate/raspberry couldn't be a bad call. 

Brovia Wine
Tony's souffle
Tony's cotton candy

So now you can see why my Sunday was spent in a food hangover. But guess what? WORTH IT. 

I know I still haven't finished telling y'all about Hawaii, and I promise I will! I also have some fun recipes coming up and lots of Holiday cheer! Stay dry, eat well and see you soon!

Scallops and Lobsters and Oysters, oh my!

Cheerio Sizzlers! I hope this finds you well, I'm chugging along these days, counting down the minutes for my trip! We're currently at the 6.5 day countdown. 

So I need to let you in on a new place in Houston that you should hopskipjump on over to. 

If you like delightful cocktails, particularly of the Julep persuasion, and if you're a lover of all that comes from the sea, or a bay, or a gulf, river, stream etc, then you must try Julep. Don't mind the fact that I'm a bit biased since one of my close galpals is dating the Chef. Bias or not, this place is great. Adam and Lauren handpicked the cutlery, plates, stemware and helped customize each tiny detail.

I'm not typically a fan of anything on Washington Ave. Like...anything. But alas, Julep was a refreshing break from the hair gel, Ed Hardy and untz untz untz clubs that have taken over that stretch of Houston. 

So let us begin. Girl's night at Julep started with a cocktail and ended in a gluttonous seafood festival. (Not pictured were the amazing hand cut fries, fresh hush puppies and East coast oysters). 

I arrived parched and ready for a bev, so I opted for the "Sparkling Julep" which is garnished with mint and a lovely sprig of berries. This one is all the umph of a mint julep with some prosecco added for some fizz. 

My personal favorite from the night: Creme fraiche topped with smoked bluefish, farro, butter braised radishes, a lovely arugula salad with vinaigrette and ever so thinly sliced beets. This picture doesn't even come close to doing it justice. 

Another highlight were the bay scallops served atop a mint/pea puree, and topped with speck and microbasil. The scallops were juicy, sweet and ever so tender. Chart topper. 

Because what's a meal without the mandatory artsy intagram shot? We were anxiously awaiting our seafood tower and all we knew is that if clarified butter was an option, this would be gooood. 

Le seafood tower. Holy mackerel. Littleneck clams in white wine parsley, gigantic prawns, another serving of the scallops, but this time they were raw and perfectly seasoned. Dipping sauces included a house made mignonette, and two others that I was too excited to write down. 

seafood tower 2

The crowning jewel. Lobstaaaaaah. I can eat lobster 

Not pictured was the top tier which had fresh East coast oysters. Delightful

All in all, Julep is destined for greatness, and with Chef Adam Garcia in the kitchen, you know it's going to be an experience. 

So, mosey on over to Julep, have yourself a cocktail and slurp down some oysters. You can thank me later. Happy Friday dears, hope it's a great weekend!

Huffing & Puffing & Hobbling. The Half Marathon.

Well, here we are again and it's been a while...again. I've been neglecting TheSizzle in favor of Body Pump class, sunbathing, work and Skype. I'm also leaving in 16 days (not that I'm counting or anything). 

I digress. I promised y'all San Diego, and here she is. 


MainSqueeze and I hopped on a red-eye flight from Honolulu to LAX, then squeezed into what I was certain was Amelia Earnhardt's first prop plane for the short ride to San Diego. I hadn't slept, and we were supposed to run 13.1 miles the next morning. Riiiiiiight. 

In true Sizzle form, I pinched myself and went on a hunt for some caffeine and got the spring back in my step. We had a great brunch at Café Chloe. Mimosas happened, and all was right in the world. Except I still needed to sleep. 

That night I whipped up a pasta primavera of sorts with linguine, fresh basil, blistered cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lemon, prosciutto and blanched asparagus; topped with some reggiano cheese. It was a great "carb load" meal. 

After MainSqueeze forced me to drink 13123423 bottles of water, it was bedtime (he worries about my hydration. But he'll be very proud to know I currently have a 1.5 litre Nalgene of water on my desk that I have dutifully been chugging as the day wears on).

We were up at 3:45 am for the race. As we shuffled around that morning looking for shoes, shorts, lucky rabbit feet (just kidding) and bibs, we made it to the start line. Before the race, I spotted "Teddy" the mayor from the TV show "Nashville" and made a fool of myself. He got a laugh and I walked away feeling awkward. 

ANYWHO. The race was great, I finished with an OK time considering I hadn't trained like I planned on. I'd like to run another and really push myself. Remind me to tell you the story about our friend #guau accidentally putting a popsicle stick with a glob of vaseline in his mouth during the race. I still laugh. every. time. 

Post race, we rehydrated by way of margaritas on the rocks and fish tacos at a local spot Downtown in the Gaslamp that I do not recall the name of. Probably because the food was unremarkable and I was covered in a thin layer of salt and grime and my joints were about as stiff as a poker. #runningproblems

HOWEVER. That night we had reservations at Cowboy Star, a well reviewed steak house in town. Now, you put 9 red blooded Texans in a California steak house and...well. It was surprisingly decent. 

Amouse Bouche.

Amouse Bouche.

We obviously wore our race medals to dinner, and so this deserved a complimentary amouse bouche to start the night off. MainSqueeze and I ordered a nice red (it's good for post-race muscle soreness...or something) and others around the table ordered more wine and various cocktails as we perused the menu. 

pardon the funky photo.

pardon the funky photo.

I was immediately drawn to their asparagus salad. I have to say it's one of the most interesting salads I've had to date, and the asparagus were cooked perfectly. 

Grilled asparagus, pro blanco, grapefruit, cardamom-lemon ice cream and Thai Basil. 

Grilled asparagus, pro blanco, grapefruit, cardamom-lemon ice cream and Thai Basil. 

The salad was the highlight of my dinner. Being the carnivore that I am, I ordered a  NY Strip steak medium rare and it was a tad overcooked. Honestly, I was so tired that I didn't even care. I usually have a minor conniption if a steak house can't get a steak right, but I figured I'd give these Cali folk a break and suck it up. I didn't have the energy to throw a hissy fit, and hissy fits aren't really my style anyhow.

cowboy star steak

After steak and sampling the variety of sides we ordered (sweetbreads, mushrooms and some sort of mac and cheese concoction) I obviously had to satiate my hankering for dessert. 

deconstructed cherry pie

deconstructed cherry pie

I love cherries. I currently have 2 bags of fresh cherries in my kitchen and have made several delightful treats (recipes coming soon). My Dad and I used to hole up in the kitchen on Thanksgiving and make about 10 pies. One of his specialties was a cherry pie that would have you licking the pie pan. Literally. So MainSqueeze and I opted to share their "deconstructed cherry pie" and it was eh. Good but not something to lick the plate over. 

Our good amigo who we will call #guau ordered some bread pudding of sorts as well. Please note that we really did wear our medals our in public. The more laughable thing is that we were all gussied up for dinner, and I was literally HOBBLING everywhere. I don't know why I thought wearing wedges was a good idea, but other diners sure got a kick out of watching me hitch and totter in and out of the restaurant. 

bread pudding something or other and a MEDAL.

bread pudding something or other and a MEDAL.

After dinner, we all struggled to keep our eyes open and I dragged myself up the stairs to bed. We were truly a sight to be seen. 

Next on TheSizzle, I'll tell you about one of my favorite days ever, spent in the sun with MainSqueeze, rented bicycles, a near death experience, impromptu poker games in the sunshine, cliffs and coves, choreographed dance moves and a coconut margarita that changed my life. 

Until then my friends!

My Current Favorite #VietNOMese place...

Aloha Sizzlers! I hope you brought your appetites today, it's a big'un! 

So one of my darling coworkers is pregnant. And when you have a pregnant friend, that means that EVERY time she craves something, you HAVE to have it too.  It's a rule. And since you're doing it as a friendly "supportive" gesture, the calories don't even count. Did you know that? You're welcome. 

Last week, little miss pregnant decided she wanted a Banh Mi. Well excuse mi....but that means we HAD to find the best one downtown. Oh, and we did. 

Me, baby mama and Foodie Photo Blog headed down to the newly remodeled Thien An, and it was delightful. Foodie and I ordered Thai Teas, and I must say it was the best Thai Tea I've tasted in my 20something years on earth. No jokes. Then we attacked the menu. The expansive and delicious menu...Feast your eyeballs. 

Thien An's menu. So many options, so little time. 

Thien An's menu. So many options, so little time. 

We sprung for some Vietnamese eggrolls and were delighted. Not too greasy, no scary meat and dipping sauce that was perfectly done. 

cripsy, tangy, delicious. #NOMCITY

cripsy, tangy, delicious. #NOMCITY

I refrained from my typical order of Pho and decided to try the grilled lemongrass chicken. It was good, but not my favorite dish on the table. 

Grilled lemongrass chicken

Grilled lemongrass chicken

Lil' Mama was after her banh mi fix, and boy did she get it. Fresh bread, crispy veggies and a good cut of meat. 

Banh Mi

Banh Mi

Foodie chose a pork vermicelli bowl and not only was it HUGE, but it was scrumptious. She was very impressed. 

pork vermicelli bowl

So, if you're hankering for VietnNOMese, head on Downtown to Thien An. It's fast, cheap and delicious. It gets TheSizzle stamp of approval for sure. 

Next on TheSizzle you'll see how we wound up in front of TV cameras, why we put dogs in our purses and I'll reveal more clues as to where I'm headed this Friday!