All posts filed under: Food & Drink

Around Town: Etoile Cuisine et Bar

Originally posted on the ANGELA edit:
Did that gorgeous bowl of mussels (moules) stop you in your tracks? You can enjoy this delectable dish and more at Etoile Cuisine et Bar! Tucked in a corner of bustling Uptown Park, Etoile is not a new restaurant in Houston, but it has held it’s own and continues to please after 5 years! It’s a sophisticated French eatery with a modern farmhouse interior boasting chandeliers, gorgeous wood accents, and a muted color palatte, and serving traditional & seasonal French fare. There is also a nice patio area to dine on when the weather permits, like the day we were there. While all the new restaurants in town are getting mentioned on blogs and websites I thought that Etoile Cuisine et Bar deserved a little “re-recognition” too 🙂 The Story… “The owners of Etoile, Chef Philippe Verpiand and Monica Bui, have created an inviting, warm European environment where fine French food is front and center. “We want to dispel the notion that French food is heavy and pretentious,” says the team, recently transplanted to…

Around Town: Macaron by Patisse and Bite Macarons

Originally posted on the ANGELA edit:
Attention macaron lovers: It’s National Macaron Day! Pierre Hermé declared the first “Jour du Macaron” in 2005, to bring the French delicacy into the international spotlight and raise money for his charity. It has since become an international phenomenon. If you are a macaron aficionado feel free to skip this part 😊 If you are not a macaron aficionado then read this: A macaron is a sweet meringue-based confection made with egg white, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food colouring. The macaron commonly consists of a ganache, buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies. The name is derived from the Italian word macarone, maccarone or maccherone, the meringue. The related macaroon is often confused with the macaron. In English, most bakers have adopted the French spelling of macaron for the meringue-based item, to distinguish the two. This has caused confusion over the correct spelling. Some recipes exclude the use of macaroon to refer to this French confection while others treat the two as synonymous.…

Around Town: Houston Mac and Cheese Festival!

Do some extra workouts, put your stretchy pants on, and get your tickets now for the Houston Mac and Cheese Festival taking place Saturday, April 15th at Silver Street Studios in the Sawyer Heights District! So, you may or may not know that I am gluten sensitive and doing my best to live a gluten free life. But, man do I miss mac and cheese! And mac and cheese is one of those things you just can’t get away from when you have kids at home! They probably want mac and cheese twice and week (Annie’s Organic of course) and it takes every bit of my strength to not take just one bite of that gooey goodness when I prepare it for them. All of that aside, Houston is about to host it’s first ever Mac and Cheese festival at Silver Street Studios on April 15th and I am hoping that they will have some gluten free offerings. Nonetheless, I wanted to let you, our readers, know about it. There will be over two dozen …

Are You Ready for Some Football… Party Foods!

The big game Super Bowl LI is almost here and the excitement is building every day! Whether you are here in Houston or not, you are probably hosting or going to a Super Bowl party. Either way, you may need to make food for your guests, or bring a dish to share at a party. *At the end of this post please share your party favorites in the comments. I’m always looking for new ideas! Possibly something to share here at To Be Simply Happy…. 😊 Here are a few of my favorites from around the web to get you thinking: Maple Bacon Popcorn from Grandbaby Cakes – Oh so decadent and AMAZING! Thank you Jocelyn for creating this tantalizing treat for the tastebuds 😘 Fresh Crostini with Sweet Pea Purée and Pancetta from Sur La Table – A favorite as seen on the To Be Simply Happy blog! Ham and Cheese Sliders with Honey Mustard by Maggie Shi Saucy Asian Meatballs for Gimme Some Oven Garlic Cheese Breadsticks from Grandbaby Cakes Taco Chili from …

Around Town: The New Grotto Ristorante in Downtown Houston is A Must!

If you’ve lived in Houston for any length of time you’ve probably dined at the Grotto’s located at Loop 610 and Westheimer. It’s kind of a Houston landmark! Well now there is a new Grotto in town located downtown on Avenida Las Americas and she’s a beauty! This past Friday my friend Holly and I decided to go take in some of the sights downtown as our great city is in preparations for hosting Super Bowl LI this coming weekend. Hungry, as usual, and so many great times with friends are spent over food and a great glass of wine, we decided to pop into the new Grotto. I was impressed from the minute we walked in. It is a gorgeous, industrial, but warm atmosphere. Taupe-y grey stone floors mingling with graphic black and white tiles. Light woods. Dark woods. White subway tile. Taupe-y grey brick. Steel grey metals. Stainless steel. Exposed pipes. Edison light bulbs. Large black framed picture windows and pops of green from succulents. There is also an expansive outdoor patio, which features …

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Beef Tips and Rice

Love a good comfort food on a cold day? Or in our case here in Houston, at least a cool day 😉This beef tips and rice is a great comfort food that’s gluten free and so easy to prepare! You can literally get this going in about 10 minutes or less! Dinner will then be on the table in 7 to 8 hours! Serves 4 with leftovers. Ingredients: 2lbs beef stew meat 1 small white onion 1 (12oz) carton of Pacific Cream of Mushroom Soup (gluten free) 1 (16oz) packet of Brown Gravy Mix (Pioneer Brand gluten free) 1 beef bouillon cube 1 cup of water 1/2 a carton of sliced fresh mushrooms (optional) Preparation: Add cream of mushroom soup and gravy mix to slow cooker and stir to mix them together. Add water, diced onion, beef bouillon cube, and stew meat. Stir. Cover and cook on low heat for 7 to 8 hours, stirring once about half way through cooking. Serve over cooked white or brown rice. Enjoy! *If you and your family like …

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes: A Guilt-Free Gluten-Free Recipe

Originally posted on A Color Pop Life:
Oh, chocolate … a girl’s best friend 🙂 ?I lost count years ago to the amount of chocolate candy … cakes … cupcakes … chocolate covered fruits … anything chocolate that I have devoured. ?And, is if I had it already naturally bad for the chocolate bug when pregnant with my daughter it was doubly worse! ?I literally had dark chocolate bars residing on the bedside table. ?Wouldn’t you know it, though – Amelie has the chocolate bug worse than I do! ?In fact, that is one of her favorite stories about how even in the womb she took over my taste buds and demanded chocolate 🙂 So, how do we get this chocolate pleasure with as less guilt as possible is my quest. ?I think I found it! ?This gluten-free chocolate cupcake recipe is the sweetest devotion to just the right amount of chocolate fix I need … AND I can still go for a run afterward because I am not left feeling heavy – No heaviness,…

Delicioso: A Simple Cinnamon Chips Recipe Perfect For the Afternoon Snack Appetite

Originally posted on A Color Pop Life:
Today was a good day – the kids went back to school for the winter holiday break, and there was something back in my air of calmness and control.  I think by lunchtime I was feeling a bit of guilt in my inner happiness for having the day just to myself … I wondered how their first day back was, and if they were spending the majority of their day happy, too. I had an idea – I’ll make them something sweet, but unique, for an afternoon school snack!  These cinnamon chips instantly came to mind because cinnamon is the aroma that tends to find itself in many things over the winter period … and us Texans love our chips!  And, voila … it didn’t take much to decide this was THE snack 🙂 With ingredients you probably have already in the refrigerator, this 15-minute recipe is delicioso … in fact, I had to make 3 batches because I had to eat the entire first batch myself … making sure…