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It’s All About Love

ben wheeler

By Gini Raineycookbook_junkie[1]

I’m coming off a great weekend, full of reunion parties and being blessed with catching up with friends from high school.  As a result of all the good times and late hours, I did something this afternoon that I normally don’t do – I laid down for a little nap – a friggin’ 4 hour nap!  I guess my body was trying to tell me something, but don’t let that perky little singer in the band from last night know about it!  In between the songs they were singing/playing, in the middle of her perky little chatter as they segued into the next song, she indicated she found it difficult to believe we were all so young-acting! You know, up and dancing! She said she was expecting a bunch of old people in wheel chairs, dragging around oxygen tanks.  I do believe that if one more “old people” reference had been made, the Robert E. Lee High School Class of ’66 would have stormed the stage!  But, must add, the band rocked the house!

That being said, I’d like to turn your attention to the holiday that everyone seems to be recognizing today on Facebook.  In recent years, National Sibling Day has become more and more popular, with people posting some terrific pictures of their sibs and declaring their love for those who probably know us better than most anyone else – our brothers and our sisters.  While we should let our sibs know more often than once a year how much they mean to us, it’s kind of great that we now take a moment out of our busy schedules to share with the world some of those great photos from our pasts that either create feelings of love or embarrassment for the subjects of those photos.

While I don’t have a cookbook that shouts out “sister” to me,  I do have one that holds a piegreat deal of sentimental value.  It’s “ The Secret to Tender Pie: America’s Grandmothers Share Their Favorite Recipes,”a sweet, little 158 page cookbook written by Mindy Marin and was published in 1997 by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House.   Edited by Amy Scheibe, who just happens to be my very talented niece, it’s filled with some lovely vintage photos, wonderful stories, and great family recipes.   Not so coincidentally, one of the submissions was from my sister Cathy, who shared a lovely story about our Aunt Evie who was like a grandmother to her “little relatives,” which included me, my sister, and our 12 cousins.

The recipe was Aunt Evie’s for “Jingle Bell Cookies,” and while the name would indicate this should be a seasonal recipe, if you like them, why not enjoy them all year long!  To make them, sift together 2 ½ cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.  In a separate bowl, cream together 1 pound of butter and 1 ½ cups of sugar and add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. In half-cup increments, incorporate the flour mixture. Toss ½ pounds of diced dates in ½ cup of flour (this keeps the dates from sticking together), then add them, along with 1 cup of chopped walnuts, 1 cup of filberts, and 1 cup of broken pecans, to the dough.  Drop by about 1-inch diameter balls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 325° oven.  Yes, I know they sound a great deal like fruit cake, but believe me, they are infinitely better.  Enjoy and hey, if you’ve got a sibling out there, give them a call and share a good memory with them.

Blogs

May 17-24th Foodie Events: Boards & Bites Coming Soon!

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May 17th (7-9pm) – Kiepersol Pairing Event – Held at Strada Caffe, 302 E. Front St., Tyler, this wine pairing is a one-of-a-kind experience pairing a special, one-night only small plate menu with some of your favorite Kiepersol wines. Tickets include four courses of small plate and wine pairings, including discussion and education of flavor profiles, tasting notes and the winemaking process with the winemakers themselves. Learn why each wine has been specifically paired with each course. Pre-sale tickets are only available at eventbrite.com. No purchase at the door available.


Boards & Bites: Board Games and Yummy Food For All Ages

A New Concept is Coming to Tyler

Boards & Bites is soon to open in Green Acres Shopping Center in Tyler and is a new concept for Tyler, geared towards all ages and focusing on family fun. You will be able to find a classic game from decades ago, the hottest games from today, and a bunch of really weird things in between!

From their Facebook page, “We will be a board game café and we will serve food like an array ofsandwiches, appetizers, shakes, and desserts – all perfect to pair with your gaming experience. For those unfamiliar with the concept, at Boards & Bites, you can stop by and pick out some of your favorite games to enjoy along with a nice drink or meal. You can hang out and enjoy the fun or you can just stop by just for lunch or grab a coffee to go.”

They promise a catalog of over 550 different board games. This spans the classic games you grew up with like Clue, Monopoly, and Life; contemporary favorites like Ticket to Ride,Carcassonne, and Catan; along with successful new award-winning titles like Scythe, Terraforming Mars, and Great Western Trail.

“There is something for everyone – all ages, skill levels and more. A fee of $5 gets you access to the library, which means you can stay all day and play anything you want to try out. Whether you are a novice or seasoned veteran, we will do everything to assure your experience is an enjoyable one. We will even offer lessons and instructions in case you either want to learn a new game or just improve your skill level.”

Game types to be offered are:

  • Breadstick Games (quick and fast games)
  • Cooperative Games (games where you and your friends can work against the game to achieve victory)
  • Family Classics (games like Rack-O, Life, Clue, Risk, Monopoly, Apples to Apples, Wits and Wagers, etc)
  • Getaway Games (modern classics like Catan and Ticket to Ride)
  • Heavyweights (games with a steep learning curve and often a complex rule set like Twilight Struggle and Through the Ages for those who put in the time to learn)
  • Kids Games (3 years and above)
  • Party Games (this game category is for you to win at trivia without ever knowing the answers, build ridiculous monuments, and insist that the person across the table is REALLY the spy)
  • Two Player Games (games exclusively designed to play with two people)
  • Plus a full catalog of others games (the ones that don’t fit in of these areas)

“The thing we are most excited about is building a community. We think people have become disconnected from each other for innumerable reasons. We want to bring them back together by and through games. We’ll do this in a lot of different ways, but this stands as our unifying vision. As a teaser, we’ll be exploring the prospect of kid’s strategy summer camps, game tournaments, singles’ nights, design workshops, private event hosting, and plenty more. Stay tuned to both our Facebook page and our website for more details.”

 

 

An up-to-date copy of their library is available at boardsandbitestyler.com. Check often, it will change.

Boards & Bites is expecting to open in late May or June 2018. They are located at 1851 Troup Hwy. in the Green Acres Shopping Center in Tyler. They will be open Tuesday-Thursday 10am-10pm, Friday and Saturday 10am-11pm, Sunday 11am-10pm, and closed on Monday. For more info go to boardsandbitestyler.com or find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Every Saturday (8am-12 noon) – The Rose City Farmers Market is open at its new location at 236 S. Broadway Ave., just a half block north of Front St. in the parking lot of Bill’s Unclaimed Furniture. The market is open from April to November. This is across from “Moss, Where Flowers are Fair” and ETX Brewing Co. There is free parking in the Fair Plaza Parking Garage across the street. The Rose City Farmers Market is a family- and dog-friendly community gathering place, providing locally-grown produce, herbs, wood oven breads, pastries and granola, jams, pickles, locally roasted coffee, cheese, artists and artisans, live music, and sometimes even yoga. They are open every Saturday, April through November, 8am-12 noon. For more info on the market or to apply to be a vendor, contact (903)539-2875, info@foodcoalition.org, or foodcoalition.org.

June 20th (7-10pm) – Vintner’s Dinner: Mediterranean – This Mediterranean inspired meal will be sure to transport you to another world. Come join in for this wonderful Summer night of food and wine. July 25th (7-10pm), the Vintner’s Dinner: A Taste of Alaska will be held. This dinner is full of classic Alaska flavors and paired with our exclusive and adventurous wines. These will be held at Kiepersol, 21508 Merlot Ln., Bullard. RSVP by calling (903)894-3300 or go to kiepersol.com, Other Vintner’s Dinners will be September 26th, South of the Border; and November 28th, Fall Harvest.

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Blogs

Foodie Events: Farmers Market Open Across East Texas

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Lunch is served! Cork Food & Drink, located at 109 E. Grande Blvd., is now offering lunch. Cork offers delicious and unique wines, hand crafted cocktails which pair well with small plates and tapas. Their menu features farm fresh vegetables, free range poultry, wild isle organic salmon and grass-fed beef. Every Wednesday there is half price bottles of wine. Go to CorkTyler.com for more info.

The Catch on Old Jacksonville is open for lunch and dinner now. On the lunch and dinner menu is PoBoys, Jalapeño Crab Chowder, fried baskets, salads, Dungeness crab, crawfish,shrimp, whitefish, oysters and tons more. This new location of The Catch is located at 7428 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler. Their Facebook page is teasing a Sunday Cajun Brunch feast coming soon.

NOW OPEN! Flavors Cajun Cuisine & Daiquiris Bar is now open! Located in the Old English Shopping Center at 3502 S. Broadway, Ste. 204 in Tyler, Flavors has a nice courtyard and a bar inside with beer and daiquiris, muffulettas and poboys made with authentic with New Orleans french bread.

Events

Opens Saturday! East Texas State Fair Farmers Market, located at the Fairgrounds, 2112 W. Front St., Tyler, is located under the large pavilion. They are open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 7am-1pm starting May 5th. The East Texas State Fair Farmers Market is sourced from 100% local farmers who grow all of the food they sell on their own land. This is a covered/open air market, with local grown, fresh fruits, veggies, and flowers. There are also crafters, homemade baked goods, preserves, and fresh eggs. This farmer’s market is located right behind the Rose Garden.

Every Saturday (8am-12 noon) – The Rose City Farmers Market is open at its new location at 236 S. Broadway Ave., just a half block north of Front St. in the parking lot of Bill’s Unclaimed Furniture. The market is open from April to November. This is across from “Moss, Where Flowers are Fair” and ETX Brewing Co. There is free parking in the Fair Plaza Parking Garage across the street. The Rose City Farmers Market is a family- and dog-friendly community gathering place, providing locally-grown produce, herbs, wood oven breads, pastries and granola, jams, pickles, locally roasted coffee, cheese, artists and artisans, live music, and sometimes even yoga. They are open every Saturday, April through November, 8am-12 noon. For more info on the market or to apply to be a vendor, contact (903)539-2875, info@foodcoalition.org, or foodcoalition.org.

ben wheeler

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May 1st: The Grove Two Year Anniversary Shrimp Boil

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Events

May 1st (5-8pm) – The Grove Two Year Anniversary Shrimp Boil – Come celebrate the two year anniversary at The Grove Kitchen & Gardens with a Shrimp Boil. Music, drinks, great food, and friendly people will make your otherwise ho-hum Tuesday one for the books! Tickets range from$20-25 and can be purchased on eventbrite.com. The Grove Kitchen & Gardens is located at 3500 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler.

May 1st (6:30-9:30pm) – Prisoner Wine Company Dinner – The Prisoner Wine Company is coming to Dakotas Chophouse to pair their beautiful wines for a fabulous wine dinner. The wine dinner will be five courses and the price is $100 per person which includes wine, food, tax, and gratuity. To RSVP call (903)581-6700 to reserve your spot. Dakota’s Chophouse is located at 4803 Old Bullard Rd., Tyler.

May 2nd-3rd (11:45am-1pm) – Now Open for Lunch at the Tyler ISD Culinary Café – This is a student-run restaurant inside the Career & Technology Center. Students in the Culinary Arts program get practical experience in preparation for working in the industry or attending post secondary school. By eating lunch at the café you are directly supporting this program. The Career & Technology Center is located at 3013 Earl Campbell Pkwy., Tyler. For more info find the event on Facebook.

May 4th (5pm) – 1st Annual Tyler Rock Gym Mudbug Boil – Bring your family and come join the 1st Annual Crawfish Boil plus climb the rock walls. Advance ticket purchase are required, purchase at bit.ly/crawdadtrg. Crawfish provided by The Catch. Tickets are $25 for 5 pounds of crawfish with corn and potatoes; with every 3 pounds purchased you can get a $12 climbing pass. Café 1948 will be out with coffee and shaved ice. More information can be found at tylerrockgym.com/trg-1st-annual-crawfish-boil.

May 5th (2-7pm) – Derby Day at The Grove – Join the fun to watch “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” with drink specials – Mint Juleps, of course -and contests for best dressed (individual, hats, outfits, and couples). There will be kid-friendly activities including stick horse races while the adults enjoy the watch party for the Kentucky Derby race. The Grove is located at 3500 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler. This is free to attend. Drinks and food are extra.

Every Saturday (8am-12 noon) – Rose City Farmers Market, Downtown Tyler is a neat, unique experience for the whole family. Located just a block from the Square, in the Unclaimed Furniture parking lot in Tyler (236 S. Broadway), the market brings all that’s fresh straight to you: fruits, vegetables, and herbs all grown within 75 miles of Tyler. That includes pasture-raised beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and turkey, free-range/non GMO eggs, and goat cheeses. Treasures from East Texas fields like arugula, carrots, kohlrabi, radishes, beets, turnips, strawberries, new potatoes, mustard greens, kale, lettuce, cilantro, onions, swiss chard and parsley will be on hand as the crops come in.  Also, everything from fresh bread to flowers, coffee, jams and jellies, baked goods, Texas olive oil, handcrafted art, and Texas fruit wines are on hand. Local musicians will be showcased every Saturday. Bring the family and spend Saturday mornings at the Rose City Farmers Market, located at 302 S. Broadway in Downtown Tyler. Visit them on Facebook, and at rosecityfamersmarket.com and foodcoalition.org.

Tyler Farmers Market is located in the parking lot of the Broadway Square Mall located at 4601 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler. The Tyler Farmers Market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays 7am-2pm. They feature seasonal items under a big white tent.

News

Recently opened is The Original Pancake House, located at 7278 Old Jacksonville Hwy., Tyler, (903)630-9332. Try the potato pancakes or the strawberry crepes – they are excellent!

Kublai Khan has opened at 3709 Troup Hwy., Tyler, (903)630-6102, kublaikhanstirfry.com. They feature bowls, classic hibachi entrees, sushi and tempura rolls, and more. A specialty of the house is the unique Thai ice cream rolls – the Girl’s Best Friend has strawberries, banana, strawberry syrup all topped with whipped cream (think banana split), then rolled up and served sushi style!

Cantina Laredo is opening this month at 7428 Old Jacksonville Rd. in Tyler. From their website, Cantina Laredo features the taste of modern side of Mexican food. This chain restaurant features all your Tex-Mex favorites like tapas, tamales, fajitas, and more. New creations like Ensalada De Mango y Pollo: chicken breast on field greens with mango, mint, jicama, red grapes, spicy pepitas, queso fresco and honey vinaigrette; and Ahi Tuna Tacos and Camaron Poblano Asada will be featured.

 

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