I did not have a good day.
My initial reaction, however potentially psychiatrically unsound, is usually to hermit in my own emotional cave all night long, but I decided I could poke my head out for a minute to tell you about a few of my favorite things. Just for you. Feel special.
To stock up for my evening watching Netflix in bed, I stopped by two of my favorite Lower Greenville establishments: Sevan G&G Cafe and Company Cafe.
If you live in Dallas, you must go to Sevan. The most precious Armenian couple own it, and even though I’ve never gotten their names (and now we’re far past the socially acceptable number of encounters to ask due to my Mediterranean food addiction), we’ve reached the point where the quiet husband and wife will actually both come out front and chat whenever I pick up my to go order. The Kafta Kabobs are heavenly.
Of course, it’s not a pity party without dessert, so I had to stop by Company Cafe to buy whatever gluten free baked good they had available. I ended up going home with a chocolate chip cookie bigger than my hand, so I’d say the additional minutes in the post-icepocalypse Dallas temps were well worth it. …Is it strange that my phone autocorrected to accurately spell “icepocalypse”?
The down side of coming home so hungry (always) and eating so fast (standard) – I now feel like a balloon someone filled with cooked oatmeal.
But…I have Shiner Cheer, White Collar Season 4 on Netflix, a fiancé who listens sympathetically to my unintelligible, tearful call and a double date with my space heater and bed. So I’d say things are looking up.
Well friends, I made up for the prior weekend’s purposeful antisocial agenda by emerging from my cocoon as a full-fledged social butterfly this weekend. Celebrating a friend’s birthday at The Foundry, treating Lydia’s cousin to a one-night version of the Dallas Experience (drinks overlooking the skyline at NYLO followed by
late-night early morning Velvet Taco), hot dogs behind home plate at a Rangers game, North Park shopping and a Teavana splurge followed by Rusty Tacos with a visiting Fort Worth friend, Sunday brunch with Lydia and our loverly friends…whew.
I’ve also recently become a tad addicted to Instagram as of late so you can even see the discrepancy for yourselves.
Which leads me to the below recipe, found at Sarah Bakes Gluten Free Treats. It was pretty delicious while, like all things gluten-free/vegan baking, pretty trial and error. For example, I subbed Bob’s Red Mill baking flour for her flour blend in an effort to be financially and time efficient (read: cheap and lazy). This led to more of a cupcake-like batter consistency than cookie-like, resulting in a first round of very flat, wide wanna-be “scones.” Using only about 2/3’s of the called for coconut milk and adding in a little more flour definitely helped the next time around!
- 1 3/4 cups Sarah’s gluten free flour blend (Or in my case, Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose baking flour)
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter, chilled
- 1/2 cup So Delicious unsweetened vanilla coconut milk (For me: 1/3 cup)
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, diced (Even more is better!)
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons So Delicious barista style coconut milk french vanilla coffee creamer
They ended up being a pretty big brunch success, and testing two batches means I get to start my mornings all week long with baked sweetness I can actually eat. We also enjoyed White Peach Gin Fizz cocktails, which fit my gin phase and peach craving quite nicely. So nicely in fact, that I forgot to take a picture in all the excitement of actually drinking them so you’ll just have to take my word for it or try the recipe out for yourselves…
Like a crazy person, I insisted on cramming my move into a busy work week topped off with a “weekend jaunt,” as the boyfriend called it, to Austin. But even though I fell off the blogging map last week, my absence is responsible for plenty of upcoming posts as I settle into my new house and recharge from the weekend’s activities.
Only thanks to the fact that I have very nice friends, I am officially in my new M Streets home with boxes and furniture stacked throughout. After only 2 broken dishes and one bout of mild panic when I thought I lost half my closet in the move (now found, thank goodness), a new stage of life has begun – one that involves doors to close (revolutionary after loft-life, I tell you), waking up to sunshine and chirping birds in the backyard, running through the tree-lined neighborhood (it’s an option anyway) and most importantly, plenty of quality time with a girl who makes me think, hears me out, calls me out and dances without shame with me to High School Musical while deep cleaning every crack of said house.
We celebrated Day 1 at our favorite Rusty Taco. Between the shaded patio, $2 fresh tacos, clever t-shirts, frozen margaritas and swirls, which they call “splashes,” this is completely my go-to for a casual afternoon and solid yet cheap food. Are there better tacos out there? Some might say yes. But where else can you get an entire delicious meal and drink with absolutely zero pretentiousness for less than $10? And bonus, turns out my new place is just 5 minutes away from Rusty’s! You know where you can find me all summer…
This week my goals are to get back on track with my finances and fitness…purely coincidental these two fall at the same spot on the alphabet, too. Not only did I put myself on a strict budget (is it possible to have a social life on $30 of fun money a week?) and actually make it a couple flights up to my apartment’s gym (really, it’s so close, I have no excuse), but the universe also decided to send me a little note of encouragement the other day at work.
A co-worker turned around randomly and said, “I’m so excited about my free dinner tonight thanks to this Dallas women’s dinner club that’s also free to join.” Working in an all-female office, you’d swear heads have never looked up faster at the promise of free food. A free dinner club that gives women free dinner at participating Dallas restaurants three nights a week? Well, I checked out the Dame’s Dinner Club on Facebook and you could say it is fate that their cover photo is none other than our hero Audrey Hepburn. With a reservation, women eat free off a special menu at Sfuzzi’s Tuesday, The Standard Pour Wednesday and Villa-O Thursday. My only question is, who wants to go and how soon?
Completely unrelated but brightening my week more than it rationally should is some new nail polish and my growing obsession with lavender (like this lavender ice cream recipe from A Beautiful Mess!). Dallas has been bright and just the right amount of warm this week, and I’ve decided that the best way to celebrate spring is with all things light purple and lavender. A purchase of Sally Hansen’s Lacey Lilac nail polish and about an hour of nail-painting later (that right hand is just so hard…), my light but bright purple nails were ready to go. Am I the only one who feels like even the most mundane tasks are that much more fun when your nails look good doing them?
I’m not going to lie…today I was feeling less than inspired. After work, I found myself in that uncomfortable restlessness in between simultaneously feeling like taking a nap and working out (which meant I was probably leaning more towards taking a nap).
Despite myself, I found myself calling Lydia for a walk along along the Katy Trail, followed by guacamole and an early birthday margarita at Katy Trail Ice House. On beautiful 75 degree days like this and some endorphins later, I have to admit that I kinda see what all the fuss is about Dallas. Seeing my city from along the Katy Trail is a unique vantage point that really made me appreciate Dallas. I love that I can walk two miles on tree-lined paths over busy streets and highways, then sit under the stars and lights surrounded by other people and their pets, just having a great time with good friends, food and drinks.
The warmer weather is getting me excited to spend as much time outdoors as possible, so it’s extremely fortunate I happened across these spring-y playlists by Crate & Barrel today. So far, they’re just the right mix of new yet nostalgic, light and optimistic – and oh yeah, did I mention free?
Download the playlists…then tell me you’re not just a little more inspired, too.
Can we all just agree that today was the shortest Saturday ever? I can’t believe the day’s nearly over. It’s been grey and misty in Dallas today, the kind of day where you just have no choice but to pull up the covers and and sleep in. Of course, one of the side affects of turning into an adult is now “sleeping in” only gets to me to about 9:30 a.m. tops.
I fought off a near-debilitating combination of laziness and boredom to find some comfy clothes and brave the Texas ‘cold’ for a working brunch. Now cozied back up in my apartment, I may be making a trip downstairs soon for some prosecco to keep me company for a night in with Project Re:Brief, a documentary pictured above about how a couple advertising professionals revisited their most iconic ads from the sixties to create engaging digital campaigns for today’s world. I might even go really crazy and throw in some Netflix. Look out, Dallas…
Today also solidified my previous suspicions that Company Cafe is my favorite brunch restaurant in Dallas. At some point I’ll have to branch out and try out the rest of the menu, but so far their pancakes, brisket tacos, breakfast tacos, gravy and as of today, french toast sticks are all amazing. And it’s all natural and gluten-free! Not just gluten-free, but great tasting and gluten-free, which is easier said than done. My post allergy-diagnosed diet is having me live wheat-less for a little while, so this is particularly good news for my carb-starved soul. Don’t worry, I’m no food critic and I know it, so you don’t have to fear some elaborate, overly descriptive story a la Yelp-style is going to ensue. Just know it’s amazing, and you should go. Plus, you’re supporting local farms and food suppliers, many dedicated to great social causes like Impact Foods, a gluten-free granola company that donates food packs to children for every bad of granola sold. Food that tastes good, makes you feel good and does good…how can you say no to that? (Plus, all their servers at both locations have always been nice, helpful and down to earth. Okay, okay…I’ll try to stop raving now.)
P.S. Lucia was amazing. I’ve fully bought into the hard-to-grab reservation process and high price tag after last night’s meal. Go there, too.
I first heard the term “brunching” in New York City.
Lydia and I were ‘warned’ (as if late breakfast could ever be a bad thing) before a visit to New York last April that brunching was truly epic in the city. Something about turning the word into a verb (already a fond pastime of mine) made the idea of brunch extra charming, and I was definitely intrigued by what could make a meal so “epic.” Long story short, we discovered said epic-ness in our own way and have pretty much been hooked ever since. Our ongoing addiction to prosecco only predisposed us to this obsession.
So when it became clear that Dallas was going to be my city for awhile, I set out on a mission to become an avid bruncher…well, as avid as one can be on a tight (read: negative) budget.
I’m proud to say I have made this dream a pretty regular reality. It’s been like living in a whole new city as I get to know different parts of Dallas with each restaurant. I’m a sucker for sugar, carbs, a good soy latte and affordable mimosas, but my favorite part of brunching is the company. Let’s face it, brunching by yourself is really just eating and drinking breakfast a little later than usual. Getting to spend quality time with both my longtime and new favorite people has gone a long way in helping me find my Tiffany’s.
Here’s some of the Dallas brunch spots I’ve hit so far:
Bloody Mary’s and Mom on the Vickery Park patio (with apple and pear french toast)
Company Cafe at Katy Trail (The ultimate A+ menu for both my gluten-free friend and full-carb-eating self after morning yoga at Klyde Warren Park)
Oddfellows with an old friend – a beautiful 78-degree December day exploring Bishop Arts…Some pancakes, breakfast tacos, gouda grits, lattes and mimosas later.
Any recommendations for where I should brunch next?