This Week in Houston Food Blogs: DIY Fancy Pimento Cheese

This week, we have a recipe for your vacation (or staycation) brunch, reviews of a few food bloggers' go-to eateries and a dessert idea that's much easier than pie.

During Erika Kwee's recent visit to Costa Rica, she had her eye out for banana pancakes that one of her friends had positively raved about after her own trip there. Unfortunately, Erika didn't find them, so she did the next best thing – she decided to make them herself. Her latest addition to her blog, The Pancake Princess, is a recipe for Carribbean-style pancakes with gently crushed banana and shredded coconut. While it may not be a true Costa Rican recipe, the tropical flavors are certainly reminiscent of a beach-y brunch.

Jack Tyler reviewed True Food Kitchen, 1700 Post Oak Boulevard, on his Culinary Houston blog, and he's really head-over-heels for the healthy eating establishment. He enjoyed the popular edamame dumplings in truffle oil, as well as the spiced apple and goji berry crisp for dessert, but the real stand-out dish was the caramelized onion tart with garlic, figs and gorgonzola; the only complaint he had is that he wanted more. He recommends avoiding the restaurant during peak lunch hours because of parking concerns, but the mid-afternoon is a perfect time to visit.

Upgrade your understanding of pimento cheese with this highbrow recipe for spicy pimento goat cheese from chef Jason Alley, by way of Jed Portman from Garden & Gun's Daily Shot blog. The recipe calls for sambal oelek chile paste, which you can omit if you're feeling less adventurous, as well as tarragon and green onion tops. Alley suggests serving it with spiced honey, so Portman included that recipe in the post as well.

Last week, we included a few booze-infused desserts in the blog round-up, so we wish that Kim had posted this review of The Tipsy Dessert Bar, 5555 Morningside, on Adventures in a New(ish) City sooner. Still, we know you're all curious about this brand-new dessert eatery that combines non-dairy ice creams and frozen treats with alcohol. For example, one of Kim's favorites was the red velvet ice cream infused with cake-flavored vodka and topped with chocolate syrup. Other offerings include the blueberry muffin-tini and the sangria, and they're all served in adorable miniature drink glasses. She recommends booking a tasting for yourself and some friends, which is $15 per person and lets you sample four of the tasty treats.

Gristle & Gossip reviewed Jax Grill at 1613 Shepherd in The Heights this week; she's right at home with the comfort food and casual counter service at this much-admired Cajun- and Southern-style restaurant. Her favorites included the blackened skewered shrimp and the jalapeño poppers, and she says the asparagus and crab meat bisque is a perfect go-to dish. Of course, Jax Grill is known for top-notch burgers, too.

Finally, Lindsay shared a recipe for an adorable, kid-friendly (and adult-friendly), super-simple dessert recipe on Sugar & Cloth that might become a go-to for last-minute playdates. It's frosted circus animal bark, a pink dessert with nonpareils sprinkles and frosted animal cookies that looks like a party all by itself. The instructions couldn't be easier: buy white chocolate, melt it, color it pink, then put the cookies and sprinkles on top and let it cool. Make it to remind your kids that you're not a regular parent; you're a cool parent.

That's it for this week's crème de la crème of Houston's food blog updates! Did we miss a great blog? Leave us a comment or send us an email to tell us all about it.
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Alexandra Doyle