Love and Food in the Big D

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Menu "Preview" Party

So I have to be honest and say that I was a little more than peeved when Chad came home on Friday informing me that he had to work that next day.  Living on borrowed time, and limited weekends to enjoy together before the big day arrived (losing my husband to ridiculous restaurant hours), I was a bit annoyed that our Saturday would be taken away from us (even though there was a legitimate reason).  Jumping at the chance for real feedback on some of the menu items, Chad's boss Shannon asked Chad to prepare some of his goodies for a 50th birthday party he would be hosting at his house that next night. 

Because most of the product Chad had purchased earlier that week was set aside for the tastings, we headed out Saturday morning to make our rounds at Central Market once again to prep for the party.  After wandering the store, adjusting the menu for the days freshest grocery selections, Chad and I rushed home to begin the frantic task of prepping as much as we could before 4pm.  Wanting to be a supportive and understanding wife, I offered my sous chef-like services to Chad, chopping, dicing, prepping and flouring as requested.  :)

After all had been said and done in our kitchen, and getting every single dish we owned dirty, Chad and I loaded our car and headed to Shannon's Highland Park home to finish cooking and assembling his selections.  Arriving at five, two hours before the party was to start, Chad and I made ourselves comfortable in an unfamiliar kitchen and began to knock out the few remaining tasks.  As guests began to mingle about, asking Chad about the restaurant and food being presented, we set up our plated items around the dinner table and waited for the mass entrance of people hungry for great food.   

Like a champ, Chad won everyone over with mouth watering food and his star personality.  Everyone raved all night about how delicious everything had turned out and how much they couldn't wait for the restaurant to finally open.  I couldn't have been more proud of my husband...seeing him in his element, working the room, maning the kitchen and showing everyone how incredible a chef he really was. 

It truly was a great night.  I love my chef.  :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Best of the Best

As the opening of the restaurant looms in the distance, Chad prepped away one last time (hopefully) for a two day tasting that will highlight the best of the best...Items that have survived all the other tastings and made it onto the final menu.  Twenty three items to try on Friday, the rest on Monday.  I can't even imagine having the stomach capacity to handle all that food at once, let alone be able to give an honest critique of it.  Thank goodness it's not my job to do.  My job however is to keep my husband calm, and always ready with a clean pot at every turn as he works magic in our kitchen this Thursday night.  On little sleep and his nerves running rampant, I'm surprised that we finished early, organizing everything in individual containers, ready to be made into gourmet meals the next day. 

Our fridge at the closing bell.  I STILL have NO IDEA how we got it all to fit! 

Loving all those pretty colors!

Miss Macie, patiently waiting for something to fall on the floor.. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pickled Grapes & Bacon Jam

Sounding much like a science experiment... Chad came home this evening with a clear objective... Pickled grapes and bacon jam.  Seriously?  Who thinks of this stuff?  To my surprise, the grapes were tasty.  VERY tasty actually... and the jam was a bit sweet, a bit savory...with a touch of coffee goodness.  Yes, that's right, I said coffee.  Feeling that bacon jam wasn't interesting enough, Chad decided that his jam needed a bit of a coffee kick.  Lo and behold, it WORKED...who would've thunk it?  lol..

the grapes, pickling away...

The jam, in the works..

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A work in progress...

Wanting to take in the progress at the new restaurant, slated to open in less than FORTY days, Chad and I headed to the design district on a cold & wet Saturday afternoon to capture the construction to date. 

View from the front entry...

View to the bar and Chad's kitchen waaaayyyy in the back...

View into the "theater style" kitchen from the main dining room. 
The slanted things to the right of the picture are going to be stained glass back lit windows..

View to the entry (far left) and the bar...

View across what will be the bar...
Tap wall to the left, kitchen straight ahead, dining room to the right.

Bar sitting area...

View from the bar into the dining area...

Outside patio area.. at the corner of Hi Line and Oaklawn.  See you there!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patty's Day Luck @ Winstar Casino

I'm never really suprised when my parents decide to take off on a whim.  The majority of our childhood was spent like that.  No months of planning...or travel arrangements to make ahead of time.  If they felt like going somewhere today, they stopped shop, locked up and took off.  No real plans, no set agenda... they just went.  This time, they were making it out to our neck of the woods!  Deciding on Sunday to leave that next day with my Aunt Lydia and Uncle Adan, they quickly packed their bags and headed north... to gamble away our inheritance ;P at Oklahoma's own Winstar Casino. 

It was pretty much a no brainer for me to decide to meet them up there yesterday.  I had vacation days from last year that were set to expire at the end of March... why wouldn't I take a day off to spend with my family?... and after having spent so much time working on the design for the newly expanded casino, a part of me was really curious to see it fully finished.   

I'm actually kinda impressed at the quality of my little 'two for one' verizon phone special....
It took some pretty awesome shots of some of these fountains! 

Next trip to Winstar and I'll definitely take our "good" camera.

My Aunt Lydia and Uncle Adan

The happy Maldonado's
(at this point please excuse the dark and fuzzy camera phone pictures)

my mom... trying her hand at the penny slots.... :)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Savor Dallas @ The Dallas Sheraton

As soon as Chad mentioned Savor Dallas a few weeks ago, a part of me started to get excited. Savor Dallas was one of the best and BIGGEST food & wine events in Dallas and it hosted an insane amount of great restaurants and wine makers from here, there and everywhere around DFW.  This event was definitely unlike any other I had helped Chad with... and being that Chad’s restaurant has yet to open, we were able to attend this year as “guests” as opposed to working the room like we had done before. 

And what to our wandering eyes did appear...??  :)
This guy surely gets around! 

The crowd... just getting started...

My honey, making a pass at the poor little guy...