CHICKEN LO MEIN (Simple Home Cooking)

Chicken Lo Mein With Chewy Chinese Egg Noodles, Bean Sprouts, Chicken, Bell Peppers And Carrots In Under 30 Minutes Like Your Favorite Chinese Takeout Restaurant.

Today’s feature comes from Sabrina at dinnerthendessert.com.

As a kid growing up my mom was not very well versed in making Chinese food (she once made chow mein with angel hair noodles). I wanted to know how to make lo mein like in Chinese restaurants but despite her best efforts we’d end up with were soy sauce flavored noodles with all the veggies she thought she could hide in the pot.

It was a valiant effort, but it never really tasted like Chinese food from a Chinese Restaurant.

Since watching my favorite Daytime talkshow make their version of The Chew chicken lo mein (I’m a huge Micheal Symon fan), I had a craving to make some lo mein.

What you’re looking at is my quickly thrown together lo mein with the ingredients I had on hand and it was as delicious as my favorite takeout spot. My husband was watching along with me but he didn’t understand the difference of lo mein vs chow mein until he saw the difference in these noodles!

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LO MEIN AND CHOW MEIN?

A traditional chow mein has noodles that are boiled, then stir fried until having a slightly crisped exterior while lo mein is boiled then tossed in a sauce without cooking the noodles an additional amount. The noodles are roughly the same, both egg noodles, but lo mein noodles are normally thicker and chewier.

WHAT KIND OF SAUCE IS IN LO MEIN?

Lo Mein sauce is made with a sesame oil base that the noodles are tossed in with garlic, ginger, oyster sauce and soy sauce to round out the slightly sweet and slightly spicy sacuce.

LO MEIN RECIPE VARIATIONS:
  • Shrimp Lo Mein: Cook the shrimp after the veggies instead of before and remove them reserving them to toss with the pasta at the end. Undercook the shrimp by about 15 seconds before cause they will keep cooking in with the pasta.
  • Beef Lo Mein: Flank steak is the best beef for lo mein. Slice the beef against the grain and cook in on a high heat for just 30 seconds on each side.
  • Vegetable Lo Mein: The easiest of all the varieties, add in your favorite vegetables cooked until just softened but still with a crisp bite.
BEST VEGETABLES FOR LO MEIN:
  • broccoli
  • red and green bell pepper
  • snow peas
  • green onions
  • sliced baby bok choy
  • sliced zucchini
  • julienned carrots
  • thinly sliced onions

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 ounces Chinese egg noodles
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 chicken breasts sliced thinly
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lite soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 carrot thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup onion slices
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • Cook the egg noodles one minute shy of the directions.

Drain and toss with sesame oil in a bowl to coat.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.

Cook the chicken 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Remove from the pan and add in the red bell peppers, ginger and garlic and cook them for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently until just softened.

Add in the water, soy sauce, cornstarch, vegetable oil and oyster sauce into the skillet.Add in the carrot, onion and cabbage and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding back in the chicken and egg noodles.

Add in the bean sprouts, toss all the ingredients together well and serve.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Yield: 4 Servings, Amount per serving: 281 calories, Serving Size: 1 , Calories: 281g, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 1080mg, Potassium: 599mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 70.3g, Vitamin C: 53.5g, Calcium: 2g, Iron: 6.5g

Source:  dinnerthendessert.com ; Enjoy more of Sabrina’s recipes HERE

2019 Ram Heavy Duty First Drive Review: Weightlifter In A Suit

The new Ram 2500 and 3500 raise the bar on both performance and luxury.

Following up on a successful launch of the 2019 Ram 1500, Ram Trucks has focused its engineering efforts on revamping its heavy-duty lineup of trucks. The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty lineup has some of the most advanced features found in any pickup truck, and the power and performance to back it all up.

We went to the remote desert areas outside of Las Vegas, near the Colorado River, to put these new rigs to the test. Throughout the day we spent time in the whole lineup, including a diesel-powered 2500 on the road, a Power Wagon off-road and a 3500 Cummins dually for max towing. Will the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty meet the ridiculously high bar set by the new half-tons?

Exterior Design

Unlike Chevrolet, who made a bold design choice with its new big trucks, Ram kept the looks similar to the half-ton. Gone is the crosshair grille, replaced with R-A-M lettering on all models. The new grille is wider, too. Partially to improve airflow but also to create a more imposing presence on the road.

All models get new headlights, with many models receiving upgraded LED units with accent lighting. On the Laramie Longhorn and Limited models, the LED lights are curve-adaptive, too. Most of the trucks also feature rear LED lighting.

The regular cab returns, along with a four-door extended cab and the absolutely massive Mega Cab. You could hide a Zeppelin in the back and not be able to find it. Different bed lengths are also available depending on what work you’re trying to get done. For those who need the maximum towing or payload,dual-rear-wheel trucks are optional. The backup sensors even protect the fenders on the dual-rear wheel models.

Engine, Performance and MPG

The standard engine in Ram Heavy Duty is a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 making 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. It’s also the only engine available on the off-road brute Power Wagon.

Buyers can opt for a Cummins turbodiesel I-6 that makes 370 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque. Though if you really need the grunt, there’s a high output Cummins available on the 3500 that boosts output to 400 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of torque. That’s a torque number that requires a comma and is a lot.

When equipped in a regular cab 3500 dually with the proper towing package, the Ram 3500 can tow 35,100 pounds or 7,680 pounds of payload when equipped properly. That towing number is currently best-in-class, at least until the Silverado HD goes on sale with its 35,500 pounds of towing.

Trucks with the gas engine get a new ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic transmission, while the diesel versions have a new version of the 6-speed AISIN automatic. The manual transmission offering that used to appear is officially dead for the 2019 models.

The EPA doesn’t require fuel economy testing on these types of trucks, but the new trucks should be a bit more efficient than the outgoing models, thanks to the new transmissions and lighter-weight materials.

Interior Design, Features and Dimensions

The interior of the Ram Heavy Duty is what makes it really stand out from the competition. Everything you see is real. If it looks like metal, it’s metal. If it looks like wood, it’s wood. Everything you touch is a soft material of some kind.

Standard is a 5-inch Uconnect system, but most models will have the 8.4-inch model or the new 12-inch touchscreen that debuted in the half-ton. For those who opt for the big screen, they get access to SiriusXM 360L, which includes on-demand content and a system that learns what you like and adapts to it. Both the 8.4-inch and 12-inch screens support Apple Car Play and Android Auto.

Gasoline models lose the column-mounted shifter and get a new rotary dial unit. The diesel models still have the column-mount. New safety features make its way to the Ram Heavy Duty, including blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control that works with a trailer attached. Autonomous emergency braking will also help you avoid a collision and is designed to take the trailer you’re towing into consideration when braking.

On the Mega Cab, the rear seats have available heating and they can recline. Wireless charging is available, and tons of USB-A and USB-C ports are littered throughout the cabin. Optional upgrades also include a 750-watt, 17-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system.

Trunk and Cargo Space

Silverado and Sierra HD have the title for most bed volume on a heavy-duty pickup, with their DuraBed increasing cargo box volume by 14% on the standard bed and 9.5% on the long bed. That is a total of 83.5 cubic feet on the Silverado HD long bed.

Ram’s long bed only has a total of 74.7 cubic feet of volume, but Ram does offer something that GM does not. That feature is called RamBox, and it’s a lockable, sealed and drainable storage that buyers can add to the truck.

RamBox is a $1,295 option on the current truck, and even though pricing hasn’t been announced for the option on the new truck, we don’t expect it to change much. It includes a 115-volt 3-prong outlet for powering tools and accessories and is locked by the key fob or pressing the remote access button on the RamBox door itself.

Interior volume of the RamBox is 8.6 cubic feet and is the equivalent of approximately 140 beverage cans. With ice, that number would be less.

Inside, the regular cab model has 62.5 cu-ft of overall space. The crew and Mega Cab models each get 63.9 cu-ft up front, but the crew cab also gains 60.7 cu-ft in the rear while the Mega Cab gets 66 cu-ft in the rear. Ram says total storage in the Mega Cab is an impressive 258 liters.

On the crew cab and Mega Cab models, there are under seat storage bins that are lockable. The center console is large enough to hold a laptop computer and is designed to support hanging file folders. The HD models also have two glove boxes. A button on the dash pops open the top one, and the bottom one opens like a traditional glove box.

Driving Impressions

Most people tow or haul with a heavy-duty truck, but that doesn’t mean that Ram hasn’t gone great lengths to improve the unloaded ride quality of the truck.

While it’s not as smooth as the 1500, living with a 2500 or 3500 day-to-day wouldn’t be an exercise in masochism. The opulent interior and driving aids also help improve the comfort of the long haul.

When attached to a 40-ft trailer weighing 22,000 pounds heading up a 5-percent grade, the Ram 3500 with the High Output Cummins takes everything in its stride. For towing beginners, it might seem frightening to have to keep your foot to the floor to maintain speed, but as hard as the truck is working it doesn’t feel like it is.

Even attached to the trailer, the AISIN’s shifts are smoother than ever. Shifts are nearly imperceptible, which is a huge improvement over the older trucks. Even though the competition is going to 10-speed transmissions on their big trucks, the 6-speed in the Ram seems to hold its own.

Hooking up a trailer is a piece of cake with all the available cameras on the Ram Heavy Duty. The tailgate camera has a zoom function. The Center High Mounted Stop Lamp (CHMSL) camera even has a line on it to show you where the 5th-wheel or gooseneck hitch is.

Side view cameras make it easy to see what’s both beside you and behind you. You’re still backing the trailer up yourself, but you have visibility at all angles that you never had before. The only thing that might make backing a trailer up easier would be something like Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which isn’t even on their Super Duty trucks until the refresh hits the market later this year.

The Power Wagon is still the most capable pickup truck you can buy. It retains the front and rear lockers, the electronically-disconnecting sway bar, the manual transfer case, and the winch. It does get a new version of that winch using a synthetic cable instead of steel. This means it won’t kink and it’s safer if it breaks. It still has the 12,000 pounds of capability, though.

Power Wagon also comes with many of the interior niceties as other models, including the 12-inch screen as an option. For those who want the Power Wagon but don’t want the flashy graphics, you can order it as a package on top of the Tradesman trim. You still get all the off-road technology, including the winch, but you’re flying a bit more under the radar.

The new Ram Heavy Duty is currently the best heavy-duty truck on sale. Competition this year will be fierce, with updates from Ford, Chevrolet and GMC. But for right now, the Ram is easily king of the hill.

Reliability and Problems

Being that the truck is new, it’s unlikely that there’ll be many problems. The 8-speed automatic in the gas versions has been used in other products, so there is no real worry there. The Cummins name also carries a lot of credibility in the truck world, and major issues would be unlikely.

Obviously, your mileage may vary.

Price and Trims

The Ram HD starts at $33,395 plus a $1,695 delivery fee. To add the regular output diesel, expect to pay an additional $9,100. For the High Output engine, the one with the 1,000 lb-ft of torque, expect to add $11,795 to the price of a Ram 3500.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Ram 3500 HD Limited with four-wheel drive, the Mega Cab, and the 12-inch Uconnect screen starts at $67,050 before destination. The Power Wagon starts at $52,900 before destination. All of the trucks will be on sale later this year.

Verdict

The new lineup of Ram HD pickups raises the standard for all heavy-duty trucks by offering impressive capability with refinement and comfort. Buyers no longer have to make sacrifices to creature comforts for increased towing and hauling. Like the Ram 1500, the 2500 and 3500 will be the standard that other truck makers will be trying to match over the coming year.

Source: carbuzz.com ; CHAD KIRCHNER

3 Days in Mexico City

You can’t tackle it all in 72 hours, but you won’t waste a minute with this itinerary.
Image Credit: Lonely Planet

Mexico City floods the senses the moment you hit the capital city’s streets. Competing salsa tracks spill out of shops and restaurants; car horns sound off in frustration in standstill traffic; and metal spatulas jangle on the grills of street-side taco stalls. Chilangos—as locals are known, all 8.8 million of them—move through the metropolis at a quicker tempo than their counterparts elsewhere in the country, and a quick weekend jaunt will see you keeping pace. You won’t even have time to call it Mexico City—just say DF, short for Distrito Federal.

Day 1: Zócalo, Fueled by Caffeine and Tacos

Have an Uber scoop you up at the airport—you’ll want to stick to verified car-hailing services like Uber or Cabify in the city, or beat the traffic on the Metro when you’re sans-luggage—and head straight for the leafy Roma neighborhood to drop your bags at La Valise Hotel. Within the shell of a classic colonial home, this boutique will be your much-needed refuge from the frenzy of the next few days, and its location in hip Roma Norte will set you up for easy access to the city’s best third-wave coffee shops, well-curated boutiques, and sartorially cool crowd. Resist the urge to linger though, and head south on Tonala. Just a few blocks away is Eduardo Garcia’s laid-back Lalo!—fuel up on a spicy plate of chilaquiles and a healthy dose of their strong coffee before ducking into the Insurgentes Metro stop and following the city’s lifeline to the beating heart of it all: Zócalo.

Image Credit: GetYourGuide

Formally called the Plaza de la Constitución, Mexico City’s massive main square is commonly referred to as Zócalo. Today, it’s the bustling center from which the rest of the city sprawls outward, but beneath the worn cobblestone mobbed with tourists and locals lies the remnants of its past life as the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán. Without leaving the square, you can experience remnants of each age of the Zócalo. To the right of the baroque Catedral Metropolitana are well-preserved ruins of the Aztec Templo Mayor. Walking among the open-air remains while hearing the sounds of car horns outside vividly unites past and present. History buffs should explore the museum and take advantage of a guide, though for many, just walking the ruins will be enlightening enough.

Travel forward in time, back onto the Zócalo to the ornate Palacio Nacional—home to enchanting courtyards, libraries, and, most notably, iconic Mexican painter Diego Rivera’s mural The History of Mexico (keep an eye out for Frida Kahlo and other icons hiding throughout). Sidestep the government officials milling about and climb the staircases on both sides of the mural to get a good look at the vivid details portraying Mexico’s journey from the Aztec era to present-day. Across the plaza, slip into the 19th-century Gran Hotel Ciudad de México. Don’t worry that you’re not a guest; you may see a few other in-the-know tourists gazing up at the Art Nouveau decor, notably the Tiffany stained-glass ceiling. For a bird’s-eye view of the Zócalo, make a pitstop at the rooftop bar (also worth returning to for a sunset drink if your timing lines up later).

Getting hungry? Take advantage of being downtown at lunchtime—the masses of office workers keep offerings competitive (just try to stagger your lunch hour to miss the crowds). Weave your way southwest of the Zócalo toward Taqueria Los Cocuyos, and ditch any preconceived notions about which parts of a cow are edible along the way. This no-frills taco stall throws down with fall-off-the-bone brisket, crispy must-order tripe, and local classic campechano (a mix of just about every meat they have). Stop by El Moro Churerría just a few doors down for fresh churros, followed by a caffeine hit at Triana Café Gourmet in Mercado de San Juan—the journey through the winding market is the real appeal, though its locally sourced cups of coffee aren’t bad either.

Once you’re done with lunch, walk north toward Alameda Central. Like the Zócalo, this central meeting point is flanked by iconic buildings and noteworthy museum, but the main attraction is the opulent Palacio de Bellas Artes. Popular and fine-art exhibits rotate inside, sharing gallery space with murals by Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco: Allow an hour to explore.

For dinner, head just a few doors down for a laid-back yet artful meal at Limosneros—it serves beautifully plated modern riffs on traditional Mexican dishes (go for the Wagyu taco)—or try another of Centro’s low-key mainstays, El K-Guamo, home to some of the best seafood tostadas in the city (especially the shrimp and the octopus). After dinner, swing by Pulqueria Duelistas to sample the ancient Aztec pulque, a drink made of fermented tree sap. The viscous, bitter brew is an acquired taste but worth the experience. At the very least, you’ll get a glimpse of pulque drinking culture, which is currently having a major resurgence throughout the city.

Turn your day of culture on its head with one of two kitschy, only-in-Mexico-City evenings: Walk just a couple blocks to Plaza Garibaldi, where dozens of mariachi bands descend once the sun sets, or grab a 20-minute Uber to Arena Mexico for a lucha libre show (Fridays only). At Plaza Garibaldi, revelers can grab chairs at any bar on the square and, for just a hundred pesos or so, be serenaded by one of the many mariachi bands—though it’s arguably just as fun getting to see mariachis off-duty, casually snacking on tacos between performances in their elaborate get-ups. At the lucha libre show, expect a boisterous crowd cheering on their favorite “wrestlers” in those shimmering spandex get-ups you’ve heard about. Either way, you can count on a lively setting to power you through the evening. Time it right and you can do both; catch the start of Plaza Garibaldi around 8 or 9 p.m., then hop over to the 10:30 p.m. La Lucha show (buy your tickets earlier in the day for better seats).

Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Frida Kahlo, facade with entrance to museum
The quiet neighborhood of Coyoacan has long been a hub for intellectuals and artists—including Frida Kahlo herself.
Getty

Day 2: Shopping, Artsy ‘Hoods, and Frida Kahlo

The historic center is a true dichotomy of big city grit and old-world elegance, but much of Mexico City’s beauty is subtler, within the nooks and crannies of its outlying neighborhoods. Now that you’ve done the Centro marathon, it’s time to settle in and explore the most beloved barrios.

Start your morning off with breakfast from Panadería Rosetta’s Roma Norte location, just down the street from La Valise. (You can’t go wrong with a breakfast sandwich, guava pastries, or the cardamom bun.) If last night saw a few too many cervezas, let La Valise bring it to you in bed—its version of room service. Then, set off to explore the boutique shopping that Roma is known for, starting on Calle Colima, where Panadería Rosetta is. Multi-level Roma Quince has everything from tasteful artisanal home goods to chic streetwear by new-to-you Mexican designers. Off Calle Colima, check out Casa Bosques (a bookstore known for its indie magazines and hard-to-find tomes on art and design), Utilitario Mexicano (minimalist, modern housewares), and 180° (any hipster’s one-stop shop for clothes and accessories). If you head west you’ll hit the neighborhood of La Condesa, the upscale, expat-laden border to Roma Norte whose major draw is a great selection of bars and restaurants—but don’t stray too far as you’ll have plenty of time to work your way through it a bit later. Finish your walk at the east end of Colima, away from La Condesa, then walk a couple blocks to the Niños Heroes stop where you’ll catch the Metro to Coyoacan.

Nearly an hour’s journey south, the neighborhood of Coyoacan is the raw counterpart to Roma Norte. While Roma Norte is the hip, artsy neighborhood of the moment, Coyoacan has been a quieter hub for artists, intellectuals, and deep-seated, wild-eyed counterculturists for decades—so it’s no wonder this is where you’ll find Frida Kahlo’s historic house (affectionately known as La Casa Azul). Spend the afternoon eyeing its cobalt-hued rooms, where her works and Rivera’s hang; experience a day in her life as you walk past her tailored corsets, or a mole recipe pasted on the kitchen wall. Book tickets online in advance though—like, before you arrive in the city— and if need be swap your morning and afternoon plans to be the first there.

For lunch, walk a couple blocks to Tostadas Coyoacan for quick ceviche or tostada and a coffee made with Mexican beans at Cafe Negro (get the Moka if you’re feeling indulgent). Depending on how long you spend at La Casa Azul, you may find yourself with some free time in Coyoacan afterward. Wander your way through the Bazar Artesanal (beneath the many Frida tees you can actually find some decent souvenirs), or grab a paleta (homemade popsicle) in Coyoacan Park and savor the quiet.

Catch the Metro (or call an Uber if it’s getting dark out—a good rule of thumb for getting around safely in the evenings), and make your way back to Roma Norte for a night of the neighborhood’s best food and drink. Start early at Contramar—perhaps the city’s most Instagrammed restaurant, full of scenesters—for some phenomenal seafood). If the wait is too long, check out La Docena, another seafood spot that feels slightly less polished (but wins with outdoor seating). Paramo in Roma Norte is also a great bet for dinner, drinks, or both—and the make-your-own tacos and Palomas are paired with live music you can enjoy from your table. Keep the night going at expert mezcalerias El Palenquito (Roma Norte) or La Clandestina (Condesa), or grab a car to speakeasy Hanky Panky in neighboring Colonia Juarez.

Pujol Restaurant Mexico City
The perfect way to cap off a weekend in Mexico City? A meal at Pujol.
Courtesy Pujol

Day 3: Ancient Ruins, and One Last Amazing Meal

Mexico City itself could keep you busy for a lifetime—but that isn’t to say you should restrict yourself to its borders. Just an hour outside the city center are the remarkable ruins of Teotihuacan, built sometime between the 1st and 7th centuries (!). The main structure, the Pyramid of the Sun, is also the third largest pyramid in the world, just after the Great Pyramid of Cholula and the Great Pyramid of Giza. Mexico City may be the destination of the moment, but Teotihuacan is a reminder that the marvels of the city have stood for far longer. If you’re willing to hustle your way out to the ruins for half a day, you’ll be glad you did. Plus, you can be back in time for a full afternoon in the city. (The floating gardens of Xochimilco are another great half-day trip, but save that for next time.)

Image Credit: www.britannica.com

Hire a driver or book a tour through your hotel, or hop on the Metro to Terminal Central del Norte to catch the bus (if you have more time and want to save a few pesos). If you’re going without a guide, use the ride to read up on the various structures at the site. Bring water, a hat, sunscreen, and snacks: There are a couple overpriced, touristy restaurants outside the ruins, so you’re better off waiting until you’re back in the city for lunch. Allow a couple hours to explore the ruins, and don’t miss summiting the Pyramid of the Moon, at the north end, and of course the towering Pyramid of the Sun. Since the Aztecs, pilgrims have journeyed here to soak up the mystical energies believed to converge at the site. Atop the Pyramid of the Sun, you’ll see travelers raising their hands toward the sky to try to capture the energy; don’t be afraid to join in.

Make your way back to the city in time for a late lunch, and head straight to Pasillo de Humo in La Condesa for sopa oaxaquena and a generous selection of moles. Just next to La Condesa is Parque Chapultepec, yet another superlative landmark: Stretching 1,600 acres, this city park is one of the largest in the Western Hemisphere (for scale, it’s about twice the size of Central Park), and is a destination unto itself. Take advantage of your final afternoon in Mexico City in classic chilangofashion by strolling around the park’s lake, visiting the zoo, or stretching out on the grass and people watching. For dinner, indulge in your second Enrique Olvera experience of the trip at world-renowned Pujol (where you’ll want to snag a rez as soon as you book your flights). The “taco omakase” is truly unique, and the tasting menu will linger as a highlight of the entire trip.

Source: cntraveler.com ;  MEGAN SPURRELL

2020 FORD F-SERIES SUPER DUTY FIRST LOOK: SUPER IS AS SUPER DOES

Preparing to do more with more

This fall the typical three-year transition to a completely new Ford Super Duty becomes complete. The transformation began with the epic swap from steel to aluminum for most of the bodywork back in the 2017 model year. That truck was actually the first completely new Super Duty since 1998, so we can forgive the company for developing and launching its new body and chassis with carryover powertrains. Ford has spent the last few years renewing most of what goes under the hood and (transmission hump).

With 60-70 percent of Super Duty buyers opting for diesel and with a lot of news being made recently by competitors in this space, it’s no surprise that the Power Stroke 6.7-liter turbodiesel V-8 has undergone a thorough freshening while retaining the essential architecture that first appeared for 2011. Ford will no doubt spend most of the months between now and the Super Duty’s fall 2019 on-sale date tweaking and tuning the engine (and truck) to ensure its power, torque, payload, and towing numbers trump those of all competitors. For now, all we can tell you is to expect the numbers to improve from today’s 450 hp, 935 lb-ft, 7,640 pounds, and 35,000 pounds. The current target is the Ram 3500, which launched in January and raised those bars to 1,000 lb-ft, 7,680 pounds of payload, and 35,100 pounds of towing. GM has yet to divulge the numbers for its newest HD, but expect Ford to try to top them all.

The more interesting news is on the gas-engine front, where Ford seems to have taken an “Even if you beat ’em, join ’em anyway” approach. The Blue Oval owns 44 percent of the commercial truck market, handily outselling its domestic rivals, and yet the company is putting its modular 90-degree Triton 6.8-liter SOHC V-10 engine out to pasture in favor of the competition’s preferred pushrod V-8 configuration. After 22 years, Ford’s Modular/Triton architecture is reaching the end of the road, and the Super Duty team acknowledged the power- and torque-density advantage held by the cam-in-block setup GM and FCA have used all along. Oh, and we confirmed the new V-8’s internal “Godzilla” code name when we found it printed on a valve-cover ID tag in a test vehicle. Here again, power, torque, payload, and towing stats have yet to be disclosed. A third engine offering, at least at the beginning on base models, will be the carryover 6.2-liter Boss SOHC 16-valve V-8, which will likely continue to produce 385 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque.

All three engines will be paired with a new 10-speed TorqShift transmission that is a heavy-duty incarnation of the new transmission architecture already available in the Mustang and F-150. It’ll be interesting to compare it with the Allison 10-speed GM is putting in its HD pickups, as that one is believed to also utilize the planetary gear and clutch design that was co-developed by GM and Ford. For a deeper dive into the engine and transmission tech—all of which Ford has subjected to 7 million miles of torture and durability testing—see our 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty Powertrain First Look.

Naturally Ford is taking this opportunity to update the Super Duty to the latest and greatest level of connectivity and advanced driver assistance technologies. Standard FordPass Connect technology with 4G LTE modem brings Wi-Fi connectivity for up to 10 devices to all models, and Ford offers fleet managers a suite of telematics and data services to help monitor driver behavior and optimize costs and fleet utilization. There’s available wireless charging plus USB type A and C jacks to keep everyone’s technology juiced while on the job.

To reduce downtime due to accidents, all trim grades from XLT on up get standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping alert, and blind-spot information with trailer coverage. These items are optional on the XL grade. Other useful driver-assistance options include adaptive cruise control and Pro Trailer Backup Assist. The latter allows the driver to steer a reversing trailer via a knob, and new for 2020—it works with gooseneck or fifth-wheel trailers.

Design-wise there are new grilles, with special enlarged openings on all dual-rear-wheel models to further improve cooling. LED headlights improve illumination and high-line models get new signature daytime running lamps. There are three new taillight designs and seven new wheel styles. Some interior trim parts and materials have been upgraded, with Limited models getting the biggest upgrade in order to close the gap opened by the new Ram interiors. That model’s navy and parchment combo could be mistaken for a Ram until you spot its diminutive 8.0-inch infotainment screen.

Keep it tuned right here come Truck of the Year time when we hope to subject all three domestic heavies to our own regimen of real-world and torture testing to reveal which truck truly is the king of the hill.

To program a fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailer to work with Pro Trailer Backup Assist, a yaw-rate sensor must be installed on a vertical surface of the trailer to measure the rate at which the trailer is pivoting. This connects to the truck (along with any trailer cameras) via a new 12-pin trailer wiring harness. Then the driver calibrates the system by executing a few simple maneuvers so the truck can learn the distance from the hitch to the trailer axle. Then you’re in business.

Source: motortrend.com ; Words: Frank Markus ; Photos: Manufacturer 

Visit your local Conroe Ford Dealer, Gullo Ford for more information and to spec your next Super Duty.

Thursday’s Local Eats

Traditional Korean cuisine made from scratch daily.

This delightful, family-owned Korean Cafe offers casual dining, excellent service, and fabulous food. Most of the recipes are old, traditional family dishes. One such dish is the cross-cut beef short ribs marinated using a recipe passed down from many generations in the owner’s family, served on a sizzling hot plate with rice and kimchi. The kimchi is made fresh every day. Another must-try is the Hotpot Bibimbap with beef, chicken, or spicy pork bulgogi served on top of rice and egg along with a variety of vegetables and sesame oil in a super HOT stone earth bowl served sizzling. *Warning* this is an extremely hot plate meal, please use caution when eating!

Korean Dumpling Soup

Dosirak persevered through initial tragedy. Owners Sung and Youn Kim were just months from opening what they considered their American Dream when a fire at their home caused devastation. In May 2016 Sung died in the fire that ravaged the couple’s Conroe home.

Youn considered selling the restaurant but ultimately decided to open Dosirak Korean Cafe in September 2016 as a tribute to her late husband. “We came here for [the]American dream; I got this [restaurant], so I got the American dream now,” Youn said. “This is Korean food, and that’s my way. I’m so happy, and I’m working hard.”

The restaurant includes a small market offering traditional Asian items, including ramen, seaweed chips, and sweets.

A Seiko Watch for HOW MUCH?

It was the determination to excel that brought about the birth of Grand Seiko in 1960.

Image Credit: : aBlogtoWatch

During its development and ever since, the idea that drove the designers and engineers was that Grand Seiko should be the ‘ideal’ watch with standards of precision, durability and beauty that would lead the world.

The release of the first Grand Seiko in 1960

From the start the idea was simple, but its realization was fraught with challenges. The idea was to build a watch that would be as precise, durable, easy to wear and beautiful as humanly possible. While Seiko’s Crown and other mechanical watches of the 1950’s were constantly improving and increasingly popular, the team assembled to create Grand Seiko knew that, given time and resource, they needed, and could, go further.

The first Grand Seiko was a major advance. The new caliber 3180 was accurate to within +12 to -3 seconds a day and offered a power reserve of 45 hours. It was the first watch in Japan to be compliant with the standard of excellence of the Bureaux Officiels de Contrôle de la Marche des Montres.

The Grand Seiko Self-dater, 1964

Image credit: grand-seiko.com

The 1960 Grand Seiko was a great success, but the design team was determined to scale new heights in pursuit of their goal of creating the ‘ideal’ watch. Just four years from the creation of the first Grand Seiko, the Grand Seiko Self-Dater was introduced. The emphasis was on practicality. It had a calendar function and improved water resistance up to 50 meters, and was designed to be as practical in the office as it was beautiful in the evening.

The 1960’s. A decade of change.

The establishment of the Grand Seiko design philosophy

Released in 1967, 44GS had the highest level of accuracy of any manually wound 5 beat watch in the world. In just a few short years, Grand Seiko had made extraordinary strides towards its goal. The design of 44GS included many aspects that have been passed on to today’s Grand Seiko watches.

44GS established the look that Grand Seiko has continued to this day. It was a complex design idea, with rules about proportion, finish, angles and every other design aspect. Indeed, there were three basic principles and no fewer than nine elements required to achieve them. No other watch has had such an influence on the character of Grand Seiko and all subsequent Grand Seiko models have share the same unique brilliance and charm as 44GS because they have all expressed the Grand Seiko Style.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE GRAND SEIKO DESIGN

The rapid development of Grand Seiko’s mechanical watches

Throughout the decade, the Grand Seiko collection grew and new calibers were continually introduced with a rapidity. In 1967, Grand Seiko unveiled the 62GS, the first automatic Grand Seiko, followed in 1968, by the automatic 10 beat 61GS and the manual 10 beat 45GS.

Driven by the demands of the age and the new possibilities that technology presented, watch accuracy became a global obsession and competition at chronometer trials intensified.

image credit: aBlogtoWatch

Having won every Chronometer competition in Japan, Grand Seiko’s team looked overseas for new challenges and the Swiss observatory chronometry trials graciously admitted our entries in 1964. In the years that followed, the rankings steadily improved, at both the Neuchâtel and Geneva ‘concours’. In 1968, our movement were awarded the overall prize as the best mechanical watches in the Geneva observatory competition and the world saw that the movements that would find their way into Grand Seiko were among the very best in the world.

These results were no accident. Thanks to ever improving watchmaking skills, the invention of new alloys and components and a passion to create the ‘ideal’ watch, Seiko and, more specifically, the Grand Seiko team made a definitive and lasting contribution to the raising of global standards of mechanical watchmaking. Thanks to its unique Spron alloys, the torque and durability of its mainsprings were enhanced and made possible the increase of the balance wheel oscillation rate to 10 beats per second to significantly increase the accuracy of its watches. The challenge of a viable hi-beat watch was met. A series of specially adjusted watches further raised the bar and set new standards of precision over time by being less susceptible to changes in position and other external influences.

The level of accuracy was astonishing, with a variation of less than ±2 seconds per day or ±1 minute per month. Having pursued the goal of accuracy to the very limit of what was possible at the time, the Grand Seiko team gave its ultra-high-precision models the “Grand Seiko Very Fine Adjusted” name. The 61GS V.F.A. and the 45GS V.F.A became legends.

The development of Grand Seiko quartz

Grand Seiko’s first quartz watch


Image credit : Grand Seiko

In 1988, the first Grand Seiko quartz watch, the 95GS was born. It far exceeded the performance of all regular quartz watches with its accuracy of ±10 seconds per year. The secret, as ever with Grand Seiko, was the ability to manufacture every component in-house. Using quartz crystals grown in its own facilities and in its own way, the Grand Seiko team was able to select only those oscillators that exhibited superior performance in temperature resistance, humidity resistance and shock resistance, to produce movements with the highest possible accuracy.

The pursuit of the ideal quartz watch.

Grand Seiko creates the ultimate quartz watch

While the first Grand Seiko quartz watch was exceptional, it did not quench the enthusiasm of the Grand Seiko team to go further and create the ‘ideal’ quartz watch. In 1993, Just five years after the arrival of the first Grand Seiko quartz watch, Caliber 9F83 was completed. This quartz watch incorporated four key innovations, the Backlash Auto-Adjust Mechanism, the Twin Pulse Control System, the Instant Date Change Mechanism, and the Super Sealed Cabin. It sought to embody what Grand Seiko considered to be the essential qualities of a wrist watch, namely: accuracy, beauty, legibility, durability and ease of use. Grand Seiko spared no efforts in the details, making this the pinnacle of quartz watchmaking.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 9F QUARTZ MOVEMENT

The development continued. In 1997 Seiko unveiled the 9F6 series, with a superior level of case design that made Grand Seiko quartz watches even more comfortable to wear.

2003 saw the creation of new quartz watch series whose resistance to magnetism was a remarkable 40,000 A/m. This series utilized an advanced exterior design and new casing techniques that allowed its ±10 seconds per year precision to be unaffected by proximity to computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices.

Source: grand-seiko.com

So how much will one set you back?

Prices range quite a bit for used, older, and new pieces. But the range is somewhere between $2000 and $47,000 at the time of this post.

Here’s Why The New UX Will Be A Game Changer For Lexus

The Japanese marque expects big things from its little crossover.

While Lexus is widely considered to be a world-class luxury brand, not everyone views the Japanese carmaker with the same level of prestige as European luxury brands. Lexus has suffered as a result, especially in Europe. Despite enjoying strong sales in the United States, a strong love of diesel in Europe has hindered the brand’s success there.

The current decline of diesel sales in Europe may finally offer an opportunity for Lexus to increase its market share using hybrid models as an alternative. According to Autocar, Lexus expects the introduction of its UX crossover to be a massive turning point for sales in the United Kingdom.

Lexus sold nearly 300,000 vehicles in the US in 2018 but only 12,405 units in the UK. This just goes to show how differently the Lexus brand is perceived in the US versus the UK. Even when looking at Europe as a whole, Lexus only sold just over 46,000 vehicles. Largely thanks to the new UX, Lexus expects its sales in the UK to rise by 20% to around 14,000 units. This UK sales increase will go along with the brand’s larger plans to sell 100,000 vehicles per year in Europe.

“Irrespective of the economy, people are walking towards hybrid and away from diesel. That lets us control our own destiny,” said Lexus UK boss Ewan Shepherd. The UX is sold as a 250h model, which pairs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a hybrid system to produce 176 horsepower.

Lexus believes the UX 250h will be an appealing alternative to diesel-powered cars. The brand expects to sell 4,000 units in the UK in 2019, and 6,000 units in 2020. Even with the sales increase, Lexus won’t come close to matching the sales volume of its German rivals, which may come now to brand awareness.

“The LC is the first big car we could tell the story behind but it’s in an inaccessible segment,” Shepherd said. “Now we have the UX, which is in a very accessible segment.” It may not help Lexus reach the same sales volume as the European brands but it will be a massive step up for brand awareness in Europe.

Source: carbuzz.com ; JARED ROSENHOLTZ

Dallas: Three Days, Three Ways

Southern Living asks, got a few days to play? Whatever your budget, here’s a weekend for you.

A sprawling, cosmopolitan wonder, Dallas is evolving minute to minute–often beyond recognition. So much so that even natives sometimes have to stop and ask directions on streets that they’ve been driving their entire lives.

As fresh as the city is to them, it is equally so to tourists. That’s what people love about visiting Dallas–it’s full of new life and always on the go. In a mere three days, you can jump in and get lost in the rush.

Whether your purse strings are threadbare or you’re using hundreds as hankies, you can truly enjoy Dallas. We have tracked fantastic dining, entertainment, and lodging at three price points.

image credit: Trip Adviser

WHERE TO EAT
$: Good grub can come cheap, so this may be the category where you want to pinch those pennies. Simply sinful is the best way to describe Bubba’s Fried Chicken (6617 Hillcrest). Bubba’s, across the street from Highland Park’s Southern Methodist University, is famous for its rolls and fried chicken tenders. With butter, the rolls are good enough for Thanksgiving. With honey, they’re dessert. Another hot spot around SMU’s stomping ground is Burger House (6913 Hillcrest). They have mouthwatering cheeseburgers, but it’s the seasoned French fries that make grown men dressed in business suits stand in long lines during their lunch breaks.

$$:To get double bang for your buck, dine at the young, trendy, and oh-so-yuppie Sipango (4513 Travis Street), where nightly live music and free salsa dance instruction on Wednesday nights make for especially colorful evenings. The Italian-influenced menu includes inventive pastas and wood-fired pizzas. Another see-and-be-seen spot is Primo’s Bar & Grill (3309 McKinney Avenue), a Tex-Mex joint where all the big-name Dallas chefs rally after closing their own kitchens. Although the outside of this hangout is unassuming, the chiles rellenos, flan, and queso are dazzling, not to mention the margaritas. For quieter dining, choose Celebration (4503 West Lovers Lane) where down-home cooking served family style is divine. In a converted old home, the chiming of “Please pass the potatoes” will remind diners of holidays at grandma’s.

$$$: It’s a fact that Dallas has four times more restaurants per person than New York City. With that said, at least one meal during your visit deserves a splurge.  Javier’s (4912 Cole), a longtime pillar in local dining. Let’s face it, Dallas is full of talk about Mexican food, but Tex-Mex is what they are clamoring on about, not real Mexican. Javier’s is the real deal. The snapper mojo de ajo and beef tenderloin tips are fabulous.

WHAT TO DO
$: Luckily, there’s tons to do in Big D that’s easy on the wallet. The first of these is to spend an afternoon enjoying art at the Dallas Museum of Art (1717 North Harwood). The monthly traveling exhibitions and literary series usually charge admission, but entrance to the DMA’s permanent collection is free. The Farmer’s Market (1010 South Pearl Expressway) is another fun freebie. Stroll through the sheds bulging with fresh fruits, vegetables, and plants. There’s even a portion of the market where Southwestern furniture vendors sell their wares. Just remember to bargain. While downtown, swing by Pioneer Plaza (at Young and Griffin streets outside the Convention Center). History books boast that it features the largest bronze monument in the world: three cowboys on horseback driving 40 longhorn steers.

$$: For a stroll back in time, visit Old City Park (1717 Gano), a history museum made up of 38 historic structures dating from 1840 to 1910. The docents here, donning period costumes, are often natives who can tell plenty of when-I-was-little tales about growing up in this chic city. For the thrill-seekers, The Dallas World Aquarium & Zoological Garden (1801 North Griffin Street) has crocodiles, jaguars, and a 16-foot anaconda.

$$$: If blowing some dough is the goal, you won’t have any problem in this city. Start at Neiman Marcus (1618 Main Street), the phenomenon that put expensive department stores on the map. Sure, you can simply stroll through the original department store for free, but that’s no fun. We’ve included it in the pricey section so you can save your milk money and buy a souvenir with true Texas style. By spending at the many boutiques in Snider Plaza, one of the oldest shopping centers in Dallas, you can rack up more frequent-flier miles on the credit card. If shopping’s not your bag, then there is no question where to indulge: a Dallas Cowboys football game. The local joke is that the reason there’s a hole in the stadium roof is so God could watch “da boys” play. Scoring tickets may take some smooth moves.

WHERE TO STAY
$: For lodging in Dallas, the budget category tends to be weak, while the pricey category leans toward healthy. An honest-to-goodness gem in the city is Terra Cotta Inn (6101 LBJ Freeway). This inn feels like a bed-and-breakfast that just happens to be on one of the busiest highways in the city. We love it because it’s charming and affordable. In the winter, double rooms rent for $63 and deluxes go for $83. Beat that!

$$: The Magnolia Hotel (1401 Commerce) is a new hotel in a historic building with rates that are hard to top for the convenience of downtown. Tip: Weekend rates are nearly half off weekday rates. They range from $129 to $169.

$$$: If you decide to stay at Hotel Crescent Court (400 Crescent Court; rates start at $235) or The Mansion on Turtle Creek (2821 Turtle Creek Blvd.; rates start at $440), you may have to opt for low-budget dining and entertainment for the rest of the trip. But you’ll never have more luxurious and stately accommodations, and, boy, will your friends back home be jealous. Zagat Survey recognizes The Mansion as the number one hotel in the South.

Dallas may tug a little on your pocketbook, but after 72 exhilarating hours, it’ll be worth the financial setback. Just think, when you’re ready for three more days, so much will have changed in Big D, it’ll be like visiting an entirely new city.

“Dallas: Three Days, Three Ways” is from the November 2001 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it’s still current before making your travel plans.

Source: southernliving.com ; Jennifer L. Mckenzie

Wildly popular brunch spot coming to The Woodlands in 2019

Pineapple upside down pancakes are coming to The Woodlands. Courtesy photo

There’s no stopping Snooze: An AM Eatery. Fresh off its announcement that the Denver-based restaurant will open near the Galleria comes word that the rapidly expanding brunch concept has also inked a deal on a location in The Woodlands.

Slated to open in the summer of 2019 at 2415 Research Forest Dr., the new outpost will be the Houston area’s seventh Snooze, joining the restaurant’s existing locations in Montrose, Katy, Town & Country, The Heights, as well as two under development in the Galleria and Webster. At 4,400 square feet, the location will be among the largest Snoozes, which hopefully will mean a slightly shorter version of the restaurant’s famous wait for a table. It will also feature a dog-friendly patio. 

“The Woodlands is an entire community built around the principle of being a good neighbor,” said Snooze CEO David Birzon in a statement. “That’s the same principle that guides us at Snooze, and we’re thrilled to be in a community where giving back is such an important part of the culture.”

Known for its creative interpretations of classic breakfast fare, Snooze also gives diners choices by offering pancake flights (diners choice of up to three different options) and Benedict duos. Dishes get faired with the usual juices or coffee, but a full menu of creative cocktails really sets Snooze apart from more traditional diners. Bright colors and a cheerful staff have also helped it win fans.

Snooze also does its part to be a good neighbor. Each restaurant donates 1 percent of sales to local charities (more than $600,000 in 2017), and it diverts 85 to 90 percent of its waste by composting and recycling where facilities exist.

Source: houston.culturemap.com ; Eric Sandler

The Value Proposition The Seiko SKX013 Dive Watch

A smaller take on one of the best budget watches of all time.

lmost three years ago to the day, Jack wrote a Value Proposition story about what might be the value watch to end all value watches: the Seiko SKX007 diver. For well under $200, you get a tough-as-nails dive watch with classic styling and some real history. There’s nothing to argue with, really. Unless you’re me, of course. 

I’ve always loved the SKX007, I really have. But, I’ve never been able to wear one. At 42mm across, it’s just too damn big for my Lilliputian wrist, both looking and feeling out of place. Until recently, I thought it was a lost cause, assuming that I would have to wander the Earth without a bang-for-your-buck Seiko diver at my side. Luckily, thanks to a tip from my colleague James Stacey, my prayers were answered and a solution was found: Meet the Seiko SKX013, the mini badass Seiko diver.

At first glance, without a wrist for scale, you might not even realize that you’re not looking at the SKX007. The SKX013 really is a dead-ringer for its big brother, in most respects. However, the watch has a smaller case that measures 37mm across and 13mm top to bottom. This makes it a full 5mm smaller in diameter (although thickness is the same). That’s a serious difference right there. 

As you look closer, you will notice a few difference between the watches. The proportions aren’t exactly the same, since the same movement is used in both (the automatic caliber 7S26). If I’m being honest with myself, the SKX007’s proportions are better than those of the SKX013. The smaller size means that it reads as thicker and you also lose some of the negative space on the dial. The day/date displays even cut into the rehaut a little – if this were a $5,000 watch that would drive me crazy, but here I’m willing to accept it as a compromise.

What is exactly the same between the two watches is the build quality. The SKX013 is water resistant to 200 meters, the screw-down crown at four o’clock has the hefty crown guards on either side, the crystal is Seiko’s proprietary Hardlex material, and the bezel has deep, even clicks. I threw this model on a NATO during the last weekends of summer and it held up without a single mark through trips to the beach and the park, exactly as you’d expect.

Now, the watch Jack showed you years ago was mounted on one of Seiko’s famous Jubilee-style bracelets. They’re a bit chintzy, but that’s actually why many people love them. I probably would have gotten my SKX013 on a similar bracelet, but, to be honest, the 013 is a little harder to find in stock in the U.S. than is the 007, so I had the choice of getting the watch without the bracelet or waiting a month. My impatience got the best of me and I purchased the watch on a rubber dive strap instead. I of course ordered it via Amazon, which is a veritable treasure trove of inexpensive Seiko watches that can be on your doorstep in under 48 hours. The SKX013 is also a tad more expensive than the SKX007, though that’s relative. I paid $256 for mine, and they seem to trade for anywhere between $225 and $275.

The dive strap was, shall we say, not for me. It was stiff, kind of bulky, and just didn’t feel great on the wrist. I’ve been alternating wearing the watch on a simple grey NATO, which is probably the way to go 99% of the time, and a black stitched calfskin strap from the HODINKEE Shop that cost more than the watch itself. It probably negates the value proposition here a bit, but it looks damn good. 

At 13mm, the SKX013 isn’t necessarily what I’d describe as a thick watch, but it’s not slim either. It sits nice and low to the wrist, and there are no comfort issues, but as the weather has started to cool off, I do find it snags on sweater and jacket sleeves a bit more than I wish it did. This isn’t a deal-breaker for me, but rather just something to be aware of if you’re going to make this a part of your collection.

I bought the SKX013 mostly as an experiment, to see if I would actually enjoy wearing one of those Seiko diver’s I’d so long admired from afar. I’m happy to report that I do, and I have been – this thing has gotten way more wrist time than expected and is now a regular part of my warm-weather watch rotation. As Jack originally remarked of this watch’s big brother, the SKX013 “ultimately manages to be so appealing on its own merits that the almost incredulity-inducing price is the least important aspect of the watch.” Well said, Jack. Well said.

Source: hodinkee.com ; STEPHEN PULVIRENT