Love and Food in the Big D

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Garrett Oliver Beer Dinner @ The Moth - SideDish Review

As the great pictures of the yummy food start to make their way into my inbox, I'm actually kinda disappointed that I missed this particular event and it's yummy treats.  Since the Moth's opening at the beginning of the summer, they've only had a few beer dinners to worry about, but if the opportunity ever comes up to attend, I'm usually there.  This time, with the seats filling up like hot cakes and very welcome out of town girlfriends coming to visit on this Sunday, I thought the Moth could do without me this time.  ;)  BUT ONLY THIS ONCE!  The food looked incredible (once again) and Chad came home that night in a great mood after all was said and done.  THAT alone said alot about how the evening played out.  Stressed out Chad wouldn't have been so welcomed back home after missing our usual Sunday together.  I'm glad to hear it went smoothly and that it received rave reviews.  Check out the review below and/or click on the link to take you the D magazine website. 

Garrett Oliver Drops Some Hops on the Meddlesome Moth SideDish Supper Club - Posted on September 27th, 2010 11:29am by Tim Rogers

Moth staffers load the artillery.

Nancy asked me to recap last night’s most excellent Supper Club dinner at Meddlesome Moth, as far as I can tell, for two reasons: 1) She has the mistaken impression that I know something about beer because I like really hoppy IPAs and because I belong to a beer club, which means that once a month I get 12 exotic beers delivered to the office, giving me an opportunity to bloviate to my co-workers about how much I like hoppy IPAs. And 2) because she is afraid that her longtime friendship with Moth co-owner Shannon Wynne, made all the more problematic by what I assume is a red-hot jealousy harbored by Wynne’s new bride, Kimm (avec the double “m”), would make an unbiased recounting of the evening impossible. Me, I’ve got no such qualms. Wynne hates me. I’m unconflicted.

The big draw last night, over and above the beer paired with six courses of executive chef Chad Kelley’s vittles, was a gentleman by name of Garrett Oliver, whom the program called “the foremost authority in the United States on the subject of traditional beer.” He is also the brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery and was clearly separated at birth from Herschel Walker (in person, he looks related to Neil deGrasse Tyson, too). Oliver told us last night that he has emceed 700 beer dinners in 10 countries. I was unimpressed. Only 10 countries? Meh.

Before we get to the grub and suds, a word about the scene last night: with the temperature in the mid-70s, the patio doors at the Moth were swung wide, making the 130 or so diners forget the horrible summer they’d just survived. The crowd was delightfully eclectic. I saw one guy with a fearsome goatee o’er topped by a ball cap (beer nerd). He was seated cheek by jowl with some folks from the Mansion, a table of Ben E. Keith big wheels, and those unmistakable hipsters (of all ages) from Oak Cliff. Then, of course, there was our own adorable Nancy Nichols, dressed in a beer wench costume so as to preserve, as much as possible, her anonymity on future dining missions. Totally hot.

Round one was an amuse bouche, chicken liver pate with a white port gelee, paired with Sorachi Ace, a saison farmhouse ale. Oliver called the Sorachi “sunshine in a bottle,” and it danced well with the rich pate.

The second course was cauliflower soup (brown butter, sage, hazelnuts) paired with a very special version of Brooklyn’s Local One. It was an unreleased 2006 original test bottling of the beer. “Cauliflower,” Oliver noted, “is one of those things that they say ruins wine.” Not beer, he noted. It was a privilege to hear him talk about some of the more nuanced attributes of what we were drinking. I did my level best to pay attention, but at this point, I was greatly distracted by the interaction between my wife and our own Sarah Reiss, who was way more sympathetic than I thought was good for her career to my missus’s complaints about the lack of a dog in the Rogers house. Murmur.

Third course was root vegetable “angel hair” (pancetta, rosemary, quail egg) paired with Local Two, a dark Belgian-style ale. I put everything set in front of me into my mouth because it seemed the polite thing to do. Also, because I’d never had root veggies made to look like angle hair pasta, which confused me a bit, and my strategy with unfamiliar foodstuffs is to devour them, own them, not back down.

Fourth course was boudin blanc stuffed quail (with collard greens prepared with a toasted garlic Tabasco emulsion) paired with Wild One 2008, a barrel-aged Belgian ale. There are only about 50 remaining cases of this Wild One, which uses wild yeast and is another unreleased brew. In other words: are you jealous yet? Oliver told us about how, when they ordered the yeast, it accidentally sat for three days in less than ideal conditions, so the brewers at Brooklyn weren’t quite sure what they were working with when they made the beer — which is what led them to age it in old bourbon barrels. I happen to be fond of bourbon. Not surprisingly, I liked this beer. The quail? I could have eaten two more of the birds. And the spicy greens are something I want to try in my own kitchen. The only thing left on my plate when the server removed it was a pile of tiny bones.

At this point in the evening, I was eating only because it was my duty to do so. Before coming to the dinner, which started at 4, I’d gone to a Cowboys watching party, where I’d eaten a bowl of chili and about a quart of French onion dip, so I wasn’t exactly famished back when the chicken liver pate was set before me. Lesson for all you kids thinking about a career in journalism: it’s hard work.

The fifth course brought us pork jowl schnitzel (with Brussels sprouts leaves and spicy mustard) paired with Blast, an imperial IPA. If you’ve been paying attention to this recap, you know how I feel about IPAs. Blast is made with eight varieties of hops, and this was the first time the beer had been served in the great state of Texas. It’s now on tap at Meddlesome Moth. I will be back to help float this keg. Blast is my new favorite beer. If I had to choose between a growler of Blast and a wicker basket full of the cutest golden retriever puppies on the planet, I would go for the growler. And that’s even without the pork jowl schnitzel, which was moist and tender and would make a decent name for a band. Chef Kelley ought to consider putting the schnitzel on the regular Moth menu. If he considers it and then decides not to, he’s made the wrong decision.

The evening wrapped up with dessert, a tres leches cake (with a horchata shooter and Brunello “cracklins”) paired with a 2007 Black Chocolate Stout. The stout, Oliver told us, was essentially his job application to work at Brooklyn. That’s all well and fine. I suppose if you like stouts, this one was good. Sarah, who knows more about beer than I do, proclaimed that its sourness was true to the style. I’m really not the right person to judge. I hate all porters and stouts. This one tasted to me like it had been strained through a Converse Chuck Taylor sneaker worn on a hike through a tropical jungle by someone with gout. I took a sip because I’m a journalist, and, again, it was my duty to put all this stuff in my mouth so I could tell you about it, but I did not finish the beer. I ordered another Blast to rinse out my mouth. And the cake? It was fine, as far as cake goes. You know: moist, sweet, cakey. But I would have traded it for more jowl schnitzel. That’s probably just me.

All in all, the evening was an unqualified success. I know I speak for my fellow diners when I say that the $75 price of admission (which included gratuity) was money well spent. We all had a Blast. (See what I did there? Beer pun!)

Garrett Oliver, beer wench Nancy Nichols, and Moth co-owner Keith Schlabs

The chicken liver pate did, indeed, amuse my bouche.

Oliver proclaimed his love for the humble cauliflower, a vegetable he was forced to eat as a child.

That's a quail egg atop root veggies prepared to behave like pasta.

The tasty quail was almost upstaged by the spicy collard greens.

Chef Kelley ought to put his pork jowl schnitzel on the regular Moth menu.

Tres leches cake brought a sweet ending to the evening.

–all photos by Matthew Shelley

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Volunteer Days @ Children's Medical

I don't know if I've mentioned before, but for the last few months I've devoted three hours a week to the kids at Children's Medical Center.  I didn't quite expect to be affected the way I've been affected lately... but I really couldn't be more thankful for having the chance to make a difference in a little one's life.  Three hours may not seem like much to some but to those kids who are lonely, scared, who miss their parents out working to pay their hospital stay and even those babies that just want to be rocked to sleep each night.... I'm glad I could be there for them. 

Each week the scene changes and the kids come and go...but each week I go back looking forward to spending my time just being their friend.  From the play room setting..where you get to lose track of your own personal day...(and for them, being free of nurses, needles, yucky medicine and poking fingers)... to being able to sit with them in their room providing comforting arms after the nurses have left them with racing hearts and shivering bodies.. I leave the hospital each Monday feeling fullfilled and hopeful that whatever illness plagues the kids I've come across that cured and never returns. 

Nothing can compare to seeing kids that have been cooped up in their hospital rooms all day light up at the sight of a wooden block dinosaur in the playroom...or the excitement in their eyes as they watch other kids play Cars on the Wii.  It seems silly and trival to let the negative happenings of your day affect you when little innocent children are affected daily by terrible, heartbreaking illnesses.  It seems unfair to most, but as you watch's shockingly evident that not one of these kids lets their misfortune bring them down.  I know the day will come when I'll be saddened hearing of the loss of one of these sweet children...but I vow to never let that stop me from being there for them now...when I can...for as long as I can... to help them cope with whatever life throws their way.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Before & After Photos - Glenwood Court

After more than a few requests to see recent pictures of the house as it stands today...and after months and months and months of painting and sorting and doing and RE-doing things over the course of the last two years... I took a few minutes last night to take a few snaps of our digs.  Don't mind the random things lying about.... and note that things are STILL changing and moving and such.  (Oh and I realize I still haven't shown ya'll the master bedroom or master bath & den area...but yesterday we bought an inversion table which we reluctantly had to set up in our bedroom (having the most space)...and the den is a major stay tuned for those pictures in a few weeks) 

Living Area BEFORE:

Living Area AFTER:

Living/Stair Area BEFORE:

Living/Stair Area AFTER:

Bar/Kitchen BEFORE:

Bar/Kitchen AFTER:

Dining Area BEFORE:

Dining Area Wall AFTER:

Dining Area AFTER: (Different Angle)

Office/ Den Restroom BEFORE:

Office/Den Restroom AFTER:

Stairwell BEFORE:

Stairwell AFTER:

Guest Bathroom Upstairs BEFORE:

Guest Bathroom Upstairs AFTER:
(Notice the "before" picture framed on the counter :)
I did that everywhere to appreciate all the work we've done on the

Guest Bedroom Upstairs BEFORE:

Guest Bedroom Upstairs AFTER:  (Different Angle)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Engagement Day Photo Video

Seeing how easy the first video was to create, I got a little nostalgic by going back to our engagement day and creating a special video to show how the day evolved...leading me to my ENGAGEMENT and the most beautiful ring a girl could ever want! :)  Take a look at how great it turned out! 

Thursday, September 09, 2010

I have to thank our awesome wedding photographers Jimmages for introducing me to this pretty awesome website....Thanks to them we have an amazing "music video" like montage of our wedding day (which I'll share later)....BUT seeing how cool and seemingly user friendly the "video" process was... I followed the link to the original site and was surprised to find out that I could make my OWN unlimited, short 30 second clips for FREE!  Even the paid portion seems like a steal.  On my first run at a trial "movie", I used my first skydiving adventure to create this photo reel of my awesome day!  Check it out...then go create your own @ Animoto :)

Create your own video slideshow at

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Blog Crazy Days

I can’t believe how BLOG crazy I’ve gotten lately. I like to blame it on Chad for being me ample time to peruse the internet while he’s at work. I don’t know. But for whatever reason, I’m starting to really enjoy blog reading! Due to my addiction…and all the insanely AWESOME DIY decorating blogs I’ve come across lately, I’ve caught the renovating bug AGAIN. I was always a lover of DIY projects and what not…but after about 8 months of constantly working on the house trying my best to NORMAL-ize the colors when I first bought it over two years ago, I suddenly had no desire to even THINK about doing anything else…let alone MORE Do It Yourself projects. All I cared about was saving enough money to HIRE someone to tackle the rest for me! Thankfully…albeit, two years later, I came to my senses and realized I could do a lot of the remaining things on my spare time and on a tight, masterful budget! Who knew?!

With that said, the last few weeks or so have been spent in an ever-evolving house…with ever-evolving house projects surrounding me. I start one task and realize how cool the next task would be. It started with FINALLY getting our perfectly HIDEOUS salmon pink, silver and black kitchen cabinets to a decent color… .  Those poor things have certainly been put through the ringer these last two years!  From testing out colors over the existing, to sanding the crap out of a portion of them to see how that would then just giving up and calling it a day when we couldn't come to a consensus.  What a mess!  Finally, I took charge and decided on a color that I think really looks great, while still keeping some of the house's character.  After the kitchen cabinets were pretty much settled on...(minus some final touch ups here and there)….I then painted the fire place mantle, the fireplace surround (which I haven't decided if I like), put up artwork, changed out light fixtures in our guest bathroom, repurposed bi-fold doors into a partition screen…and.....wheww…I’m exhausted just thinking of all the possibilities left in the house to conquer. I’m happy with the progress so far…. and it’s certainly has kept me busy while Chad’s cooking up a storm at work, I just hope I don’t burn out again. :)

And just in case you needed a little refresher on how the house came when purchased.... (feel free to make yourself gag now to get it over with)

The living room. 
Pink walls, dark blue curtains, white fireplace with shiny gold fireplace surround. 

Living looking into the kitchen. 
Notice the awesome black diamond wood blocks on the cabinets in the background. 

Oh yes's true.  Salmon Pink, Black and Silver. 
Makes you teary eyed I'm sure.  :)

But just when you thought you couldn't beat it.  BAM! 
BLUE damask wallpaper with BLUE cabinets AND a BLUE toilet seat cover...
topped with shiny gold cabinet pulls.  WTF?! 
Where the hell do you even FIND blue toilet seats?!

Oh yeah and faux suede wall paper as an accent.  LOL! 
It's a good thing I have a great imagination to see what this houses' potential was! 
Can't beat a great deal.  :)

Guest bathroom upstairs sportin' the BLACK flower wallpaper! 
Thankfully the toilet seat and faucet fixture was easy to replace and the black cabinets weren't so bad. 

The view from upstairs down to the living area. 
Here we are again with the blue and pink...this time, in a lovely magenta tone.  (bleh!)

The guest bedroom upstairs. 
These people must have been on crack, there really is no other way to explain it. 

And because I'm sure that's all you can bear...I'll leave you with those...not showing you (YET) the LIME green master bedroom/master bath & HUNTER GREEN office/den.  I do plan on taking some recent "After Photos" cause god knows it looks a BAZILLION times better than this...but it'll have to wait, and you'll have to suffer with only these pictures to scare away the critters at night.  ;)