This week, we've got a few just(ified) desserts, Tex-Mex food for thought and a positively crabby review from a favorite Houston blogger.
Ring in the Chinese New Year with Chinese-style almond cookies, courtesy of this recipe from Nancy of Tag Sale Tastes. There's no need to monkey around with this recipe; an egg wash gives the cookies an enticing sheen, and the almond in the center of each one adds a nice flair. Celebrate a new year of good fortune with those you love — although we have no idea where you're going to get party decorations that say 4714, the year according to the Chinese calendar.
Albert Nurick is bringing new life to H Town Chow Down with a round-up of the best taco options in The Woodlands, supposedly so that Woodlands-ians won't feel obligated to eat at the new Torchy's once it opens, but let's be honest — people are really, really excited about this latest addition to the Torchy's empire. The top option on the list is the California-style tacos at Cabo Baja's, located at 544 Sawdust, and Nurick's preference goes to the shrimp and fish tacos. Other favorites are Chycho's, a food truck turned brick-and-mortar at 23206 Aldine Westfield, and Hello Taco, a Mexican-style taco shop at 25114 Grogans Mill.
If all this taco talk has you thinking Tex-Mex, check out Ali Miller, R.D.'s recipe for migas with spinach and peppers. There are a few different dishes that are called migas, and this American variety includes tortilla chips, sautéed onions, bell peppers and jalapeños. Add in a boatload of eggs, then top with plentiful cilantro, and you've got a breakfast meal that will get you all the way through to lunch. Ali suggests that you serve it on a bed of spinach with black beans on the side to add a bit of variety.
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Plan your next homemade dinner, too, with a recipe passed down from Bev's grandmother, which she shared on her Bev Cooks blog. It's chicken spaghetti casserole with mushrooms, onions, garlic, tomatoes and all the American cheese you can stand. Yes, Bev knows that you might be afraid of that much American, but she swears by it. Feel free to take the easy way out and make this with a store-bought rotisserie chicken to save yourself a bit of time on a busy evening.
Jack Tyler couldn't help but rave about his favorite pho place, Pho & Crab, 14741 Memorial, and, after looking at his photos of seafood-laden pho and succulent-looking crab legs, we can't help feeling a bit jealous. He swears not only by the fresh, quality seafood but also by the enthusiasm and passion that general manager Andrew Tran has for this eatery. A few surprising dishes that Tyler can't get enough of are the lemongrass limeade, made with homegrown lemongrass, and the chicken wings, which are marinated for hours in Asian-style sauces like tamarind.
Finally, here's a recipe for vegan, gluten-free, no-bake double chocolate cheesecake from Last Course Gourmet, which uses everyone's favorite vegan dessert ingredient: zucchini. Don't worry, you won't be able to taste it with all of the pecans, cashews, maple syrup, cocoa powder and lemon juice that make this dessert appealing to regular eaters and those with restricted diets alike. You'll need a food processor, but other than that requirement, this recipe is as easy as mixing everything together, putting it in a pan and putting that in the freezer. Four hours later, you'll have a perfect faux cheesecake.
That's it for this week's food blogger review! Come back next week for more restaurant reviews, recipes and more. Also, if you have a favorite blog that we've missed, leave us a comment or send us an email to let us know.