Texas State Fair

Everyone has told us since moving to Texas that we have to go to the Texas State Fair and see “Big Tex!”  We visited and had a great time!  We are used to the OC Fair that happens in Orange County every summer, so this felt familiar and fun in comparison.  My favorite thing from the OC Fair is the bucket of hot, mini, cinnamon and sugar donuts …….they are HEAVEN!  But I could not find them here at the Texas state fair.  But where they were lacking in donuts, they made up for in cotton candy…they honestly had the best cotton candy I have ever tasted!  The kids loved the fair (I quietly mourned our Disneyland Days), and we made some great memories.  I am excited about this new fall tradition!

 

Tiki Tiki Tiki : {My New Fave}

I have become obsessed lately with Tiki Bars!  My friends Matt & Molly began taking me to some about a year and a half ago and I have been so into the vibe ever since.  Tiki bars are back people!

My two favorite Tiki Bars:

Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas, Nevada…it’s like walking into a Mad Men episode.

Don The Beachcombers in Sunset Beach, California….go to the bar area and they have great food!

As a going away/house warming gift, my friends bought us some Tiki drink glasses and they are adorable so i just wanted to pass them along.  You can get them here.

Every time I went to Frankie’s, I would take the green drink stirrers for my bar cart decor.  They are great and I reuse them all the time and then just throw them in the dishwasher.  

Afters Ice Cream : {The Milky Bun}

IMG_3191So there is this new type of dessert/dessert place that is all the rage around these parts (Fountain Valley/Huntington Beach).  Its called Afters Ice Cream.  I have a feeling this is the beginning of a new dessert trend.  Every evening this place has a HUGE line (like Diddy Riese in Westwood) …and one week night I decided to brave the long line and give it a try.

What they are known for is the “Milky Bun.”  In a nutshell it is ice cream, and a topping, sealed in a warm donut.  As you eat it the ice cream melts a little and causes the donut (or bun) to get “milky.”  What I love is that the ice cream flavors are very unique!  For example when I was there these were the flavors available:  cookie monster (full of Famous Amos cookies), salted caramel, churro, mint chocolate chip, jasmine milk tea, milk and cereal, almond cookie, and my favorite…Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter flavor.  The toppings are a variety of cereals, cookies, and candies.  The donut is a choice between plain or glazed.

Our Milky Bun Creations:
IMG_3180IMG_3189I opted for a glazed donut, with cookie butter ice cream, and captain crunch. Honestly this was not a winning combo.  It was way to sweet and I couldn’t get through half of it without feeling a little nauseous.  IMG_3190My husband chose a glazed donut, salted caramel ice cream, and cinnamon toast crunch for his topping.IMG_3187My husband loved his Milky Bun creation…..I tasted it and it was far superior to mine.  I think a lot has to do with the combo of ice cream/toppings you get.  But still I think it is something that is shareable since it is so sweet.  Next time I will just get the ice cream (no donut) because the flavors are great and no one else has them!

Best Meal EVER!!!!!

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Being the self-dubbed “Foodie” that I am, any celebration for me has to include good food….and more than that….good steak. For my 30th birthday my husband and I took a day trip in order for me to have dinner at my favorite steak restaurant, Carnevino. I had been there once, but the food was so incredible that I have been dreaming about going back for over a year.

What makes Carnevino so different is the length of time that they dry age their steaks. When a restaurant says they serve dry aged steaks they usually don’t specify for how long…and if they do, the average is a few weeks only. Carnevino on the other hand dry ages their steaks for about 3 months! Dry aging makes the beef more flavorful because it removes un-needed moisture and simultaneously makes the steak more tender. So this steak LITERALLY tastes like none you have ever had before. The longer it is dry aged the more the flavor changes…I would compare it to a wine or cheese in how the flavors can change so much. They even have a riserva steak that is dry aged 8 months and it has a blue-cheesy flavor. Their beef quality is also beyond compare. This is from their website:

“(Our Beef) is often beyond regular USDA prime standards for marbling and flavor and is hormone and antibiotic free. We rub all of our beef with sea salt, black pepper and fresh rosemary to get a delicious and slightly charred crust.”

Carnevino was ranked 4th in a list of best steak houses in the U.S. so of course it is a bit pricey, but is worth every penny! The service is remarkable and you def feel fancy eating there, haha. When we were waiting for our table they gave us a free glass of champagne at the bar and when we were being seated they wouldn’t even let me hold my glass…they carried it for me! Please enjoy the pictures below of our most recent meal there and put eating here on your bucket list!

photo 1 (1)Rosemary bread, in-house made unsalted butter and a butter made from pork back fat, thyme, rosemary, and garlic (SO GOOD)

photo 1 (2)

photo (2)Pasta with black truffles and butter sauce (Off menu item)…THIS ROCKED MY WORLD!

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A glass of Pinot Noir paired perfectly with the mealphoto (3)This is a seasonal cream corn dish that has no cream. They use the natural juices from the strained corn as a broth. It was so delicious with roasted corn and had a kick of peppers.

IMG_0687For dinner we had a dry aged bone in rib-eye for two. At Carnevino, they cook their steaks on the rare side so this is a medium-well. It is hand-carved table-side, sea salt is sprinkled over it, and then olive oil is drizzled on top.

IMG_0711The great thing about this steak is the variety of flavors depending on what part you are eating. For example, the bone has such a savory taste that is so different than the rest of the steak.

IMG_0714As a birthday surprise they served shortbread cookies with chocolate sauce that said “Happy Birthday”….at least it did before someone got too excited and dragged their finger across it and put that finger in their mouth…..it was me haha.

IMG_0679We had to grab a salted caramel chocolate at Godiva before leaving the hotel.

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I am always wanting to hear about places to have a great meal. Please feel free to share where places you have had a perfect meal.