This week, we're carb-loading with cheesy goodness and checking out a few brand-new Houston restaurants that might soon become go-to's for a casual but delicious meal.
If you need more pumpkin spice flavor in your mornings, check out these easy-as-pie pumpkin pastries, brought to you by Alyssa at Sugar & Cloth. They use puff pastry, so you don't have to deal with creating a flaky crust yourself, and there's also a recipe for a maple-cinnamon glaze to top them off. Bonus points if you're brave enough to make your own pumpkin puree.
Maybe breakfast sounds good but you're totally over the PSL insanity. Bev at Bev Cooks has an alternative morning recipe for you – simple banana ricotta pancakes. We're always excited by recipes that start with the word "simple," and this one really means it. If you're feeling really brave, Bev has a recipe for homemade ricotta cheese that you can use to make these entirely from scratch.
Urban Swank's Shanna Jones scored a sneak peek of Piada Italian Street Food at 1930 Highway 6 in Sugar Land, and the fast casual restaurant stood out with filling, cost-efficient and yummy meals. The create-your-own piadas (like Italian burritos) are the main attraction, but the pasta looks pretty awesome, too. Both Piada locations are BYOB with no corking fee, so try them out next time you've got a new bottle on your hands.
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Both Saint Arnold and Spoetzl Brewery (a.k.a. Shiner) have come out with brand spankin' new India pale ales in the past few months, and Hank of Hank on Food has created a side-by-side comparison so that you know exactly which one to bring to the next tailgate. Here's some IPA trivia for you beer newbies: The IPA is brewed with more hops (that bitter, twangy taste in beer) than other beer styles because the increased hops helped the brews survive shipment from Britain to India in the 1800s.
'Tis the season – ricotta season, that is! Imagine a ricotta chile con queso, and that's basically what Nishta of Blue Jean Gourmet has created; it's ricotta with milk, parmesan and various seasonings, all baked together and served with whatever you like to put cheese on. She suggests toasted homemade bread, but we never judge when it comes to melted cheese.
Finally, the Houston Food Blogger Collective had a sweet get-together at The Del, 6565 Del Monte, and Kim at Adventures in a New(ish) City has the scoop, plus plenty of food photos to go with it. She liked the open ambience of the new eatery and the laid-back demeanor of chef Albert Vasquez, not to mention the gnocchi tots loaded with cheese fondue and fried onions. Kim says that the mac 'n' cheese appetizer is a worthy addition to Houston's strong mac game, and we can't wait to find out for ourselves.
That's all for this week's food blog round-up! If you know of a blog that you'd love to see on this list, leave us a comment or send us an email to tell us about it.