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Cucumber Salad with Buttermilk Dressing and Pickled Onion


Earlier this summer we joined Comeback Creek Farms Summer CSA Program. For eight weeks, I drove to Local Restaurant in Deep Ellum and picked up my assorted produce box. June, July, and August were known as the months of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and zucchini. Lots and lots and lots of zucchini.

One dish I made that I just loved was this Cucumber Salad from Food and Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs of 2015 issue. The minds behind this simple yet delicious dish are chefs Michael Fojtasek and Grae Nonas of Olamaie in Austin. Like all great working relationships, the chefs met while cooking together at L.A.’s Son of a Gun where they shared their passion for classic Southern cooking.

Texas is meat country, so eating composed vegetable dishes like this is a real treat for me. I loved everything about it: cool refreshing cucumbers, buttermilk dressing, pickled onions, and sunflower seeds. It’s crunchy, creamy, and the perfect dish to make when it’s 100+ degrees outside and you don’t want to turn on your oven.

Cucumber Salad with Buttermilk Dressing and Pickled Onion:


Pickled Onion:

  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

Buttermilk Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper


  • 3 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 3 Kirby cucumbers, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Sunflower sprouts, roasted sunflower seeds, and tarragon leaves, for garnish.


For the pickled onion: In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, water, and salt and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat; add the onion. Allow to cool in the warm liquid, then refrigerate until chilled.

For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the salad: In a medium bowl, toss all of the cucumbers with the vinegar and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the cucumbers with salt and pepper and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

Spoon the dressing into the bottom of a shallow serving bowl, and top with the dressed cucumber salad. Drain the onions from the pickling liquid and scatter over the cucumbers. Garnish with sunflower sprouts (if you’re using them, I found them hard to find at the grocery store), sunflower seeds, and tarragon leaves. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and top with finishing salt. Serve immediately.

Breakfast & Brunch

Cornflake Crusted French Toast


While having brunch a couple of weeks ago with some friends, I found myself struggling to choose between two delicious yet different dishes: the Duck Egg Shakshuka, and the Cornflake Crusted French Toast.

Did I want savory or sweet? I ultimately went toward savory, and it was delicious. The Shakshuka was unlike mine, the tomatoes were really fresh and light. I enjoyed it immensely.

Flash forward a couple of weeks later and I still hadn’t shaken the idea of cornflake crusted french toast. It stayed with me, so this weekend when I opened the pantry and spotted my lonely box of cornflakes, I decided to acquire all of the ingredients so I could make a version of it at home.

I used Ina Garten’s French Toast recipe as the base, because it’s one of the best renditions of French Toast I’ve eaten. Her custard is eggy and not sweet, and the orange zest and vanilla really perfume the Challah bread beautifully.

Once the bread has soaked in the egg mixture, I breaded each piece in a mixture of crushed cornflakes and sliced almonds. It added a really great crunch to the finished toast. Two pieces, along with some coffee, was enough for the two of us to share.


Cornflake Crusted French Toast


  • 1 loaf day old Challah bread, sliced into 3/4″ to 1″ thick pieces
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups partially crushed cornflakes
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • unsalted butter
  • canola oil

To serve:

  • grade B maple syrup
  • raspberry preserves or apple butter (optional)
  • fresh berries, to garnish (optional)
  • sifted powdered sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

I find this recipe works best when the Challah is a day old and pre-sliced the night before. You wan the pieces to be a little on the thick side, so anywhere between 3/4″ to 1″ is the ideal width.

In a large shallow bowl (I used a pyrex baking dish) whisk together the eggs, milk, orange zest, vanilla, salt, and honey. In another large bowl combine the cornflakes and almonds and partially crush them with your hands. Soak all of the bread pieces in the egg mixture, turning once until the custard is absorbed, about 3-4 minutes. Place the bread in the cornflake mixture, and bread each piece, making sure to press the cornflake and almonds into the bread.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter, and 1 tablespoon of canola oil into a large skillet (I used nonstick) over medium heat.  Add the bread to the skillet and cook for 2 – 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. I like to drain my pieces on paper towels before popping them into the oven to keep warm while I finish making the rest of the french toast pieces. Continue adding butter and oil to the pan as needed to cook the remaining slices of bread.

Serve hot with maple syrup, preserves or apple butter, and powdered sugar, if using.


Danielle Oakey Shop

My name is Stacy and I have this thing with textiles from far away places.

I posted a photo of our current living room design last week on Instagram, and the space is starting to come together, for the most part. The room is far from finished. My first task is finally ordering new pillows for our sofas, so when I stumbled across Danielle Oakey’s Shop last week while searching for mudprints on Etsy, I immediately fell in love with the designs.

Here are some of my favorite pillows from her shop. Pillow inserts are sold separately, but Restoration Hardware sells really full and fluffy pillow inserts that are reasonably priced (for Restoration Hardware, that is).


20×20 Black African Mudcloth Pillow Case – $69


20″ x 20″ White & Black African Mudcloth Pillow Case – $69


20×20 Indigo African Pillow Cover – $79


14×20 Indigo African Pillow Cover – $65


18×18 Vintage Hmong Pillow Case – $79


18×18 Black African Mudcloth Pillow Case – $65


 22×22 Indigo African Mudcloth Pillow Cover – $89


Favorite Tacos in Dallas

I love tacos in just about any form. I can eat them everyday and never, ever tire of them. Now that I’ve been in Dallas for a couple of years, I finally feel like I’m starting to find my regular places, the ones that always deliver something delicious and keep me coming back for more.

The styles vary greatly between the establishments: two are classic Mexico City taco spots, two are modern interpretations of Mexican and global cuisines, and one is old-school, iconic Tex Mex, a place that helped me to see why this regional cuisine is something to write home about.

In no particular order, here are five of my favorite taco places in the city:


A few months after moving to Dallas, we asked our server while dining out one night what are must try Dallas dishes. The Brisket Tacos at Mia’s Tex Mex were the first thing he recommended. He said they were slap your momma good. And he was right. This dish is iconic Dallas. Tender roasted brisket topped with melted cheese, sautéed onions and poblanos, and a delicious brisket pan gravy just seals the deal. I’ve tried other brisket tacos around town and I haven’t had one that compares to Mia’s. No place has come close.



Here you get no frills, deliciously simple tacos topped with onions and cilantro. One of my favorite spots for breakfast tacos. The salsas are really spicy. With locations peppered across the metro area, it’s easy to get your fix wherever you are.



When we first moved to Dallas we ate here all the time. Now that we reside on the other side of town our trips are less frequent, but it’s one of the most consistently delicious places we dine at. Whether you’re having tacos (get the al pastor a la tuma), the baja caesar salad, grilled cebollitas, or mango jicama slaw, it’s always fresh, well seasoned, and delicious. Half price tamarind and passion fruit margaritas on Thursdays sweeten the deal.



By far the most creative tacos around. The combinations span the globe: chicken tikka tacos, British fish and chips taco, rotisserie chicken and potato salad tacos, they have it all. It’s also open late into the night on weekends, making it popular with the drunken bar hopping crowd.


img_6906Trompo’s tacos are some of my very favorite in the city, and I think it’s because they remind me of the tacos I had while I was in Mexico earlier this year. They’re simple, yet flavorful fillings of pork, steak, or poblano and paneer topped with cilantro and onion. What really stole the show for me here are the quesadillas. A griddled flour tortilla with crispy melted cheese topped with your choice of meat, onion, and cilantro. Unbelievably delicious.

If you have a favorite Dallas taco spot by all means please let me know. I’m always looking for new places to check out.

Image 1/2/3/4/5-taken by yours truly.

Mixology Monday

Clover Collins


This month’s Mixology Monday theme, hosted by none other than Frederic of Cocktail Virgin Slut, is about exploring the possibilities and the art of Mashups. Not just for radio stations these days, bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts everywhere are discovering the infinite possibilities when two drinks come together to form one magical beverage.

While visiting New Orleans last year, I had a mashup cocktail at The Sazerac Bar that I’ve been thinking about to this day. Most tourists eschew the New Classics for Sazeracs, but I took a chance on an unknown cocktail. Their A Good Rusty Rhubarb features Sazerac rye whiskey, Drambuie, fresh citrus juice, and rhubarb bitters. A mashup of a Rusty Nail and a whiskey sour, the results were outstanding. I only wish I had the recipe.

Since it’s been unseasonably warm in Texas this year, I ultimately decided to combine the classic Clover Club cocktail with the fizzy refreshing build of a Tom Collins. I omitted the egg white (I wasn’t too keen on the idea of taking this into Gin Fizz territory), and topped it with some club soda and raspberries.

Fizzy, fruity, and refreshing.


Clover Collins Cocktail

Cocktail Ingredients:

2 ounces Gin
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
3/4 ounce raspberry simple syrup (recipe below)
2 – 3 ounces club soda
raspberries, for garnish.

Raspberry Syrup:

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup water

Cocktail Instructions:

Combine gin, lemon juice, and raspberry syrup with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake ingredients vigorously until everything is cold, about 20-30 seconds. Remove lid, add the club soda, and strain ingredients over fresh ice into a collins glass. Garnish with raspberries and a straw. Enjoy immediately.

Raspberry Syrup Instructions:

Combine granulated sugar and water in a 2 quart saucepan, and heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Once the sugar has melted, add the fresh raspberries and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally for about five minutes. Allow to cool slightly before straining. Store in fridge until chilled.



C’Bus 75

When life provides you with pears, make this Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet with them. When you have a less than amazing day, grab a coupe and add some Cognac and Champagne to it. Et Voila, the C’Bus 75. I found this recipe in Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream At Home book and had to share. Who knew sorbet could be so good.


C’Bus 75 Cocktail


  • 1 lemon
  • 1 scoop Riesling-Poached Pear Sorbet
  • 1 1/2 ounces Cognac
  • Champagne


Cut the lemon into wedges and reserve some of the peel as a garnish. Scoop some of the sorbet into a coupe or a double old-fashioned glass. Pour Cognac over the sorbet, followed by a squeeze of one wedge of lemon. Top off with Champagne and add the lemon peel.


Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet


Nobody makes ice cream quite like Jeni Britton-Bauer.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home is a beautiful resource book I’ve used to make ice cream both at work and at home, always with amazing results. My favorite flavor isn’t an ice cream at all, but a sorbet. And I don’t even really like sorbet.


Riesling is my favorite wine, and pears are my favorite fruit. I was destined to love this.

So when I found myself with a leftover sample bottle of Riesling in my wine bag last week, along with some underripe pears from the grocery store, I used both to make this sorbet. In all honesty, this tastes like taking a bite out of the most ripe, sweet pear you can possibly imagine. The velvety texture just melts in your mouth. If you like pears you will love this sorbet.


Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet


  • 6 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Riesling
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup


Combine the peeled and chopped pears, sugar, corn syrup, water, and riesling in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. Heat on medium until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Simmer until the pears are very soft and tender. The original recipe says this should take about 5-8 minutes, but my pears were underripe so mine took about 15-20.

Remove the pear mixture from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Transfer the entire mixture to a food processor and puree until the pears are completely smooth. About 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Press the solids though the mesh into the bowl.

To chill the mixture quickly, pour the puree into a large Ziplock bag and seal. Place the sealed bag into a large mixing bowl filled with ice and  water. Allow the pear puree to chill for 30 minutes. I placed the puree in a plastic quart container to chill it down and allowed it to spend the night in the fridge. Once the mixture is thoroughly cold, process in your ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions.

Store in a sealed, freezer safe container for at least 4 hours before serving.


Flea Market Regrets

I’m not the kind of person who dwells on regrets. I believe life is a lesson, and it’s only a mistake if you don’t learn from it.

So the Flea Market Regret of 2016 is this:

If something catches your eye from across the lot and you feel a gravitational pull to walk over to it, BUY IT!


I think what originally attracted me to this piece were the square brass handles. I had no idea what this was until I opened the drawers. The left drawer was a pull out busted record player. The right side was a tuner. The bottom of the piece had slats to hold records, and a speaker that needed repairing. This was a Flea Market Flip if there ever was one. At $40, it was a steal. But I made a grave mistake. My husband accompanied me to the flea market. He was the first to tell me “you’re crazy, this will sit in our garage and collect dust because we have no clue how to restore this to its former glory.”

I’m still thinking about this piece to this day. How beautiful it would be if it were restored, and how the top of it would look oh so cute holding a table lamp and a tray full of whiskeys and old fashioned glasses.

You win some, you lose some. Passing on this piece up was definitely a lose some moment. I hope it found a lovely home, full of people who can turn this little number back into what it has the potential to be.