What Type of Grill Is Right for You?

There’s a good chance you fall into one of these five categories.

It’s not quite a summer party without the smell of a grill out back. But which is best for you? That depends on what kind of backyard boss you want to be. One of these five should fit the bill.

For the Technophile

Your grilling style: Constantly monitoring

relates to What Type of Grill Is Right for You?
Traeger Timberline 1300.Source: Vendor

If you want the ease of gas but the flavor of wood, a pellet grill is still an underappreciated option. The Traeger Timberline 1300 will automatically feed fuel to maintain your desired temperature, so you don’t have to do it yourself. You can even monitor the action on your phone over a WiFire app. (Downside: Now the Russians can get you through your grill, too.) $2,000

For the Social Butterfly

Your grilling style: More style than grill

relates to What Type of Grill Is Right for You?
Everdure Cube, by Heston Blumenthal.Source: Vendor

Good looks and great-tasting food shouldn’t be an either-or proposition. The Everdure Cube, released under the aegis of British chef Heston Blumenthal, comes in fun colorways that are enhanced with practical touches, such as bottom venting to keep it from overheating whatever it’s standing on. $200

For the Classicist

Your grilling style: Easy, low, and slow

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Weber Summit Charcoal LP Black.Source: Vendor

The latest 24-inch Weber Summit updates the famed kettle design with a black porcelain-enameled finish and air-insulated, double-walled construction, so it can hold its temperature for as long as 10 hours. A liquid propane self-ignition system upgrades it further, but people will still think you’re chill. $1,700

For the Showoff

Your grilling style: Fickle

relates to What Type of Grill Is Right for You?
Kalamazoo K1000HT Hybrid Fire grill.Source: Vendor

The Kalamazoo K1000HT Hybrid Fire can burn charcoal and wood, or you can leave the drawer empty to turn it into a turbocharged gas grill. Customize one of the four laser-cut surfaces with your initials, so every steak and burger comes off the fire monogrammed. It’s sure to impress your son’s friends from boarding school. $28,880

For the Cultist

Your grilling style: Patient

relates to What Type of Grill Is Right for You?
Big Green EggSource: Vendor

We all know at least one insufferable Big Green Egg evangelist. The heavyweight, thick-walled grills have incredible heat retention with relatively little fuel, which means your food can grill deeply over a long period. This MiniMax is nominally portable, at just 19.5 inches tall. Still, it weighs a stout 76 pounds and can roast a 12-pound turkey (or cook four burgers at a time) on its 13-inch grill. $598

Source: bloomberg.com | Matthew Kronsberg

Good News for Torchy’s Lovers (Local Eats)

Image Credit: Eater Denver

Austin-based Torchy’s Tacos is opening a Conroe location very soon at 351 S. Loop 336 W., Ste. 100, in Grand Central Market. The fast-food restaurant plans to open in the 336 Marketplace development before in the coming weeks and staffing has already begun.

The location will be managed by Monika Lupkovics and the bar will be tended by Mellisa Melendez among others. Torchy’s Tacos will feature their signature tacos, chips and dips, and signature sauces as well as a full-service bar. For more info visit their site, www.torchystacos.com

Google Maps

11 Ways to Prepare for Mosquito Season

Image Credit:City of Philadelphia

I am one of those lucky people mosquitoes love. According to Web MD, your genetics account for 85 percent of why some people get bit more than others (thanks great-grandma!).

Studies have shown that mosquitoes are attracted to about 400 different things, but are more likely to attack individuals with a high concentration of cholesterol on the skin, a high concentration of uric or lactic acid, and people who produce a lot of carbon dioxide and heat. That is why you are more likely to get bitten if you are exercising than if you are sitting still (unless you are me).

Conditions that Make Mosquitoes Outbreaks Worse

Mosquitoes are more likely to be present in warmer climates. Mosquitoes can survive in temperatures over 50 degrees. If a region never falls below 50 degrees, mosquitoes can be a year-round problem.

Stagnant water is the ultimate breeding ground for mosquitoes. Keep all stagnant water covered, if you must have it near your house for any reason. Even small puddles can produce thousands of mosquitoes.

Rains that occur after a long drought can often produce the worst mosquito swarms, simply because predators that normally eat the mosquitoes are no longer in the area.

A Word on West Nile Virus

Texas has faced several outbreaks of West Nile Virus over the past few years. West Nile Virus can be deadly, but is usually harmless. In fact, 80 percent of people who get the virus show no symptoms at all, according to the CDC.

If you are in the 20 percent that shows symptoms, they will look like this:

  • Unexplained body aches or headaches
  • Unexplained joint pain
  • Rash
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

If you have any of these symptoms in combination with mosquito bites, consult with a health professional right away. According to the CDC, about 1 percent of infected people could have a serious reaction to the virus, resulting in encephalitis or meningitis. Individuals with existing health issues are more likely to develop serious complications.

Following the tips outlined below will reduce your risk of getting the virus.

How to Prepare for Mosquitoes

Preparing to fight mosquitoes is a continual process. The biggest preventative measure you can take is to eliminate breeding places. It takes 7 to 10 days for mosquito eggs to hatch. Standing water should not be allowed to remain uncovered for more than 7 days. Pay special attention to areas like empty buckets, uncovered boats, low areas in the yard, rain gutters, and pet food bowls.

Keeping ducks or chickens may also help control your mosquito population because birds eat mosquitoes and other insects. Keeping fish and frogs in ponds and small bodies of water will also help prevent mosquitoes from breeding and keep live mosquitoes under control.

Certain plants also have mosquito-fighting properties. Rose scented geraniums contain citronellal oil, and can help ward off mosquito attacks. The lemon balm plant also offers mosquito-repelling properties. Catnip is also an effective plant remedy against mosquitoes. A study from Iowa State University found that the oil in catnip is 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET. The basil plant also has some mosquito-repelling properties. Other plants that can provide benefit include marigold, ageratum, and horse mint.

Natural Prevention Methods for Mosquito Bites

While using the above methods can help reduce mosquito infestations at home, what about when you are out and about? Do you have to resort to chemical sprays? Of course not!

  • Light up a few citronella candles and place them around the perimeter of where you will be.
  • Try rubbing lemon balm, catnip, or basil on the skin to ward off aerial attackers. Re-apply every 30 minutes.
  • Use a hand-held fan to blow the insects elsewhere.
  • Don’t use perfumed shampoo and soap. Perfumes tend to attract mosquitoes.
  • Use a natural bug repellent spray. You can either purchase one at a store, or make your own. You can use essential oils as a natural repellent.
  • Wear loose clothing that covers up as much of your body as possible.
  • Avoid going out at dawn and dusk, when possible.
  • Smoke will also repel mosquito attacks.

How do you prepare for mosquito season?  Comment below!

Source: momprepares.com

Avenida Brazil Churrascaria Steakhouse (Local Eats)

When it comes to celebratory eating, nothing beats a Brazilian Steakhouse.

The highest quality buffet of endless meats that come to you? Count us in. Start the meal with an all you can eat, gourmet salad bar stocked with fresh, delicious meats, vegetables, and soups. Oh, about the soups, the lobster bisque rivals the best we have ever had in the area. You are going to want to keep going back for more and we don’t blame you. But keep in mind that you have an endless stream of beef, lamb, chicken, and shrimp coming your way. So, maybe limit yourself to five two cups.

Now that drinks have arrived, you’ve restricted your bisque intake, and everyone has settled in, it’s time to flip that magical card to green. If you’ve not dined Churrascaria style, they will explain the simplicity of it all to you. The card next to your plate has a red and a green side. Green indicates to the attentive staff to keep bringing on the delicious meats. While red means that you’ve given up or that it’s time for a break.

Image Source: Yelp

The protein options come in waves to allow your party to sample any or all of Avenida’s amazing options. They are carved tableside from a skewer and delivered to your plate. As with any dining experience you should let the staff know of any allergies in the party. The shrimp is absolutely delicious but would require one of our friends to use a pricey EpiPen if they came in contact with the crustaceans. The server made sure this would not be an issue.

Speaking of crustaceans, our shrimp allergic friend can have lobster and he HAD lobster. The special that was available on our last visit and will be available through March 20th is $3 lobster tail weekends. You read that correctly, $3! If seafood isn’t your thing and there are a few types of meat that you fell in love with all you have to do is request them. They will arrive as promptly as the kitchen can ensure their perfection. Meats can be ordered to temperature. If you’re a caveperson and like your meat well-done, it’s done. They will readily offer up medium rare cuts to those who appreciate a perfectly cooked cut too.

It can be difficult to find the perfect dining spot for a group with varying tastes, allergies, and dietary requirements. Avenida seems to be ideal in all regards. As mentioned above we have a friend with a severe shrimp (iodine) allergy. We also have a couple that joins us frequently who strictly adhere to a diet requiring Halal fresh meat. This is available at Avenida with 24 hours advanced notice. Seriously, this is one of the only restaurants at which we can all meet and eat meat (or salad bar for the meat-averse).

The cost should not be surprising. You have just had the endless filet, lamb chops, shrimp, chicken, gourmet salad bar, lobster bisque, and a finely crafted cocktail or ideal bottle of wine. This is one of a handful of places that we visit and don’t feel awkward asking for separate checks. It deservingly receives the $$$ or $$$$ from the review sites. But it also deservingly receives glowing reviews all the same. There seems to have been a staffing issue on Valentines Day that has resulted in some poor reviews. I suspect the lesson has been learned and that likely won’t be an issue going forward. We dined at Schilleci’s for V-day like we always do. So, we can’t comment to those reviews on that day. Trust us when we say that we have NEVER had bad service or slow wait times for requests when we have visited.

So, somehow you have made it this far and are still reading rather than booking a table. I suppose now would be a good time to remind you about the $3 lobster tails going on for just one more weekend! See you there and Bon Appétit!

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

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.

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

Joe’s Italian Restaurant (Local Eats)

Joe’s Pizza was voted BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT in Montgomery County, as well as ‘Number One‘ for Italian food in the greater Houston area, by KHOU-TV viewers. Eat at Joe’s Italian Restaurant in Conroe, Texas today, and discover for yourself why so many folks like eating at Joe’s Pizza.

Yelp

Who better to ask about the local, family owned restaurant than the guests?

“Joe’s is Our ‘Go-To’ Lunch Place” — Whenever we are stuck for a place for lunch, Joe’s Pizza and Pasta always fits the bill. But, that doesn’t mean it’s the last choice, rather always at the top of our list. Their lunch specials are awesome and the fresh rolls are tremendously delicious. The service is always good and the owners/managers are always on site. The atmosphere could use a little sprucing, but you won’t be disappointed in the food.

“The Best Italian food- our favorite restaurant” — My husband and I went to school at Sam Houston State University, and Joe’s became our favorite place! Every entree we’ve had has been excellent, but my absolute favorite is the spinach tortellini. When joking about if we had to eat one thing for the rest of our lives, it would definitely be a dish from Joe’s! We now live out of state, but any chance we get to come back to the Houston area, Joe’s is always on our list.

Here is a link to the Menu.

Tony’s Italian Delicatessen (Local Eats)

Rated the Number 1 Restaurant in America 2017 on Yelp and Still One of the Very Best

Photo: Tony’s Italian Delicatessen

So, what’s all the hype about? A counter service, self service beverage, sandwich shop, in an obscure strip center beats out Michelin Star restaurants and world class establishments? Well, in a word, YES. While we are happy to share our experiences (all wonderful), why not see what a few reviewers had to say:

If you have not made a visit to Tony’s yet, you are missing out. These are some of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had and their deli is a must visit for any Houston area foodie. Calling Tony’s a sandwich shop is an understatement as from the moment you walk in, you’re welcomed by the smell of an authentic New York Italian Deli,” wrote a reviewer from Spring. “Everything was, on a scale of one to ten, off the scale. The owners, Mary and Hootie are the nicest of people, they greet their regulars by name and make even the non-regulars like me feel welcome and appreciated.

Best sandwich I have ever had. The people there are great. The food is outstanding. Some days you can wait 30 minutes for a sandwich but it is worth every second of waiting. Get the Lucky Luciano. Also get the peppers on it and have them hollow out the bread. You will thank me,” wrote a Google Local Guide.

Seeing is believing, here are just a few sandwiches offered.

Lucky Luciano with Crusty Italian Bread
Genoa Salami, Sweet Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Marinara, Roasted Red Peppers, Provolone – Traditionally Served Hot
Muffaletta with Crusty Italian Bread
Mortadella, Genoa Salami, Maple Ham, Provolone Cheese, Olive Smear & Sub Oil – Served Hot or Cold
Ham Melt with Crusty Italian Bread
Maple Ham, Apple Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Roma Tomatoes

Tony’s now has well over 400 five-star reviews. With mainstream sandwich shops on every corner, this little spot has more to offer than any other. We have mixed feelings about Yelp and tend to let hype settle before giving a place our dollar vote. The hype was more of an accurate assessment and if you haven’t been we think you’ve been missing out.