Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace lunch break

>Three years ago I went to Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace with a friend before a concert at the Barrymore Theater and was so excited about the concert that I don’t even remember what I had. Then, last year I went with my mom and grandma and got a capitol combo that came with a chicken enchilada, small chicken burrito, rice and beans. The entire dish was also covered in a tangy green sauce with just the right amount of spiciness.

Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace

So, when a friend and I decided to take a study break during finals week we headed out the Tex Tubb’s on Atwood Avenue. While we were studying earlier in the week I perused the menu and discovered that they had taken my beloved capitol combo off the menu. So I proceeded to read the entire menu to decide what to get. We chose a single “fancy taco” for an appetizer and then both got an entree (there’s a beauty in leftovers!). I got the Backyard BBQ taco with smoked pork in Jack Daniels BBQ sauce, coleslaw, fried avacado and sour cream. The pork was mega tender and the smokiness combined really well with the coolness of the coleslaw and the warm crunchiness of the friend avocado. My friend got the Butter Mountain Potato Hash taco with potatoes, red peppers, sour cream and red onions. She said the red peppers balanced well with the potatoes and queso fresco to taste something like a breakfast burrito.

Tex Tubb’s on Atwood Ave.

For our entrees I chose the Smoked Chicken Taco Salad which comes with shredded chicken, salsa, free greens, cheese and chipotle ranch sauce. The taco shell was an amazingly thing and crispy  house for a great combination of taco salad ingredients. The chicken was smokey and had a great heat to it, which was complimented by the black bean and corn salsa. The fresh greens kept the dish feeling more like a fresh salad then a heavy plate of meat and beans, and the chipotle ranch sauce added a hint of traditional salad dressing with a slight kick. Because the fancy taco I got was almost a meal in itself I ended up taking two-thirds of my already large taco salad home for later!

Smoked Chicken Taco Salad

My friend go the Red Lentil Enchiladas. The dish came with 2 corn tortillas filled with red lentils, cheese and cilantro covered in traditional white sauce and cheese. She said the refried beans needed more seasoning and the enchiladas were a little bland (but she’s not the biggest fan of white sauce).

Red Lentil Enchiladas

I also got a raspberry limeade and it was the perfect balance of tang, sweetness and bitter lime. I thought the $3 price tag was a little high but I was very satisfied with the drink anyways.

Bottom Line: I keep going back to Tex Tubb’s for the interesting menu options and the cool tex-mex and entertaining decorations.

Ahead of the DIY curve with garlic, parmesean croutons

>A couple weeks ago I was reading the newest All You magazine (if you’ve never heard of it give it a look see, it is amazing! coupons, recipes, DIY advice!) and one of the featured DIY articles was about making your own croutons. And after reading the article I am now going to claim that they stole all my ideas. A week before the magazine came out I was trying to figure out what to do with a week old loaf of sourdough bread I had forgotten I had in my cupboard. After realizing the bread would probably mold before I could eat it as just bread, I decided I either needed to make bread pudding or croutons. And since I’m not the biggest sweets fan I opted for the crouton idea.

Garlic, chili powder, parmesan croutons

I wanted to make something based on my flavor preferences so I didn’t look up any recipes online. I jumped right in, preheated the over to 400 degrees (my philosophy is the hotter the oven, the faster the food cooks!), and cubed the bread into bite sized pieces. Then I doused the bread in olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and Parmesan cheese. I baked them for 10 minutes, tried to flip over each crouton (which definitely didn’t happen because I’m not that patient) and baked for another 10ish minutes. And that, ladies and gentleman, is exactly what the All You article said. I’m pretty sure they know they copied me because now I can’t find the article on their website ;).

Salad with the croutons!

Something I also did, and the article agreed with, is that I put the croutons in an air tight container and ate them within a week.

Bottom line: Buy a type of bread you like, eat half of the loaf and make the rest into croutons. Also, use ingredients you prefer instead of a recipe (you’ll enjoy them more!) and never tell anyone your brilliant ideas because they will end up in a magazine a month later!

Pumpkin Pie in Spring

>I had an extra pie crust in my freezer and decided to make a pumpkin pie last night. However, because I can’t seem to perfectly follow a recipe I altered it. Instead of using cinnamon, ginger and cloves I only used cinnamon (partly because I don’t really like ginger and cloves, and partly because I didn’t want to buy the two spices I didn’t already have). Also the recipe called for a deep dish pie plate but I had a regular one so only half of the filling fit into the pie crust. So instead of throwing away the extra I poured it into my ramekins and baked it next to the pie on a cookie sheet.

Making Pumpkin Pie!

The pie and the ramekins turned out really well and were a great addition to a productive Saturday night (I also did a load of laundry and vacuumed my apartment!). 

Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Ramekins before baking.
Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Ramekins after baking!

The pumpkin desserts smelled great, were really easy to make and cost less than $5 to make! Such a great deal and great dessert option for the week!

Pumpkin Ramekin with whipped cream!