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MasterChef Season 3 Winner Christine Ha

Wows crowd at Brazos Bookstore.

For every $20 lunch, $3 will be donated to the Houston Food Bank by the restaurants participating this year. For every $35 dinner, $5 will be donated, and for every $45 dinner, $7 will be contributed.

In 2012, Houston Restaurant Weeks collected more than $1.22 million to give completely to the Houston Food Bank. Out of funds from more than 253,000 meals served at all restaurants involved in the monthlong event, 3.66 million meals were provided to those suffering from food insecurity. In fact, Houston Restaurant Weeks 2012 became the largest single fundraising event for the Houston Food Bank, thanks to impressive participation by the Houston community.

"Last year we had 169 [restaurants]," Stone says. "The event is not about the quantity; it is about the quality. The prime objective is to invite restaurants who want to be in the event and restaurants who are involved.

Cut a one-inch hole out of each donut with a melon baller.
Molly Dunn
Cut a one-inch hole out of each donut with a melon baller.

"The Houston Food Bank now depends on the money that Houston Restaurant Weeks raises as far as their budget," Stone says. "I need a month to raise that kind of money."

Check back with us for more information about participating restaurants and menus during this year's Houston Restaurant Weeks.
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Grocery Guide

SUNBEAM WHOLESALE STORE
Highlight of the Heights.

Joanna O'Leary

When I first spotted the Sunbeam Wholesale Store (also known as Schott's Bakery) en route to Beaver's, I nearly drove into oncoming traffic. It's not just the idea of cheap carbohydrates that sent me reeling, but specifically Sunbeam white sliced bread, the forbidden fruit of my childhood. (The irony of my love for "white bread" does not escape me.)

Because my mom gave a rat's ass about our health, she didn't buy Sunbeam and insisted we eat whole wheat and/or less processed varieties. Sunbeam was the bread I ate in secret at the houses of friends whose parents were less concerned about Type II diabetes. To this day, I find its aroma intoxicating, and every single time I see the logo with that blond lass digging into a slice, I really want to drop everything and go make toast.

Well, alas, that particular night I had to settle for the buttery roll of my shrimp po-boy, but I vowed I would return to this magical bakery that I was sure would fulfill all my hopes and dreams of white bread.

And I was right. The unassuming storefront of the Sunbeam bakery belies the terribly exciting bargains inside: loaves, rolls, English muffins, Tastykakes, donuts and buns all heavily discounted due to imminent expiration dates. But who takes more than three days to start and finish a loaf of bread? Not this girl.

Not all the products are explicitly Sunbeam, so I had to spend a few minutes scanning to find my beloved white bread, which was located, appropriately, under a large sign labeled "WHITE BREAD." Then, for the first and only time in my life, I walked past a display of snack cakes, without stopping, in favor of heading first for plain bread.

A "Texas Giant" loaf (approximately 30 slices) was $1.29. Um, can I take ten?

I was able to show a modicum of restraint and buy just three loaves, vowing to put one in the freezer to consume at a later date. Which would most likely be the day I ran out of loaves No. 1 and No. 2.
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How To

COPYCAT CRONUTS
Make the croissant-donut hybrid at home.

Molly Dunn

For those of you who do not know what a cronut is, it's a hybrid of a croissant and a donut. Rather than frying the ordinary batter to make a donut, croissant pastry dough is fried instead. This creates thin, crispy and buttery layers instead of a fluffy donut. To make things even better, the cronut has a light vanilla cream filling.

Chef Dominique Ansel is the mastermind behind this culinary creation and has made everyone go crazy for his tedious-to-make but delicious breakfast treat.

These hybrid pastries are found only in New York City; in fact, Ansel makes only 200-250 of them each day. But because the world is going crazy over these things, a multitude of cronut copycats, like the "doissant," have emerged.

Hopefully this pastry will make its way down to Houston, but until then, here's a recipe using Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls.

While this doesn't come anywhere close to requiring the tedious and time-consuming skills it takes to make the cronut, the result is pretty tasty.

First, unroll the dinner rolls from the package and create four rectangles. You will basically seal two triangles together and press the inside edges together to create a cohesive rectangle.

Next, stack one rectangle on top of the other so you have two stacks. Fold the rectangles in half to create a square. Now you have "layers" as with a croissant.

Use a three-inch biscuit cutter to cut circles out of the squares, then cut a one-inch circle out of each donut. I used a melon baller and scooped out the hole in each donut. Roll the leftover dough together and make a third donut.

Once you have your donuts ready to go, heat two cups of vegetable oil to 350 degrees in a deep pot or deep-fryer. As soon as the oil is hot enough, place them into the oil and fry until golden. The recipe calls for frying each side for a minute and a half; however, at 350 degrees, the donuts will turn very brown very fast, so I recommend frying at a slightly lower temperature to ensure that they're cooked through completely but are not too brown.

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