When I first found out about Cannon Chinese Kitchen, the sister restaurant of Shinjuku Station and Tokyo Cafe, I was pretty excited. Tokyo Cafe brings back great memories as that’s where Scott and I had our first date, and Shinjuku Station is one of our favorites for celebrations, good sushi, and the freshest ingredients. Oh, and the Tok […]
They say August is like the Sunday of summer, and so it is appropriately fitting that I am diving back into my Off Magnolia blog on an August Sunday afternoon, in the heat of Texas summer. Maybe it’s the weather that keeps me indoors and thinking on my blog or perhaps the huge surge of restaurant and all kinds of openings on Magnolia, but I’m happy to be back writing again.
This particular Sunday, I’ve been reminded how truly wonderful this neighborhood is. I led the third class of my Popup Yoga: Sunday Service series in Fairmount Park, brunched at one of the new hot spots on Magnolia, and just minutes away taught paddle board yoga on Lake Worth. And, nothing celebrates Sunday better than a good brunch.
There are so many delicious brunch places on Magnolia sometimes it can seem overwhelming, so I usually end up directly across the street at Spiral where I know I can count on their pancakes, tofu scramble and smoothies for a delicious meal, but I decided to head to Cane Rosso and try their brunch offerings.
It’s a perfect place to meet some friends where you can cheers with dollar mimosas. Since I first tried their delicious pizza, I’ve always been a huge fan of this place, and gotta say, am even more so after I tried their breakfast pizza. Anytime you put an egg on anything, it’s immediately elevated, so needless to say this pizza was blow-your-mind delicious. What makes it so tasty? The Italian imported ovens certainly do the trick as the pizzas are in their for a short amount of time, but come out yummy, gooey and filled with flavor. Other brunch items included fried doughnuts and an egg panini, which I will no doubt be back for. First, I need to finish off the leftovers from today, but that shouldn’t take long.
This weekend, I was finally able to check out ArtsGoggle, the highly anticipated bi-annual arts & entertainment festival happening all over Fort Worth’s Near Southside, and it was even more amazing to be right smack in the middle of all the fun. Fall ArtsGoggle presented 200 artists, 50 bands and 60 venues throughout three urban villages along Magnolia Avenue, South Main and 8th Avenue; the only complaint I have was that 4-10pm just wasn’t enough time for me to capture all the happenings.
The Near Southside is famous for its eclectic renaissance of culinary and visual arts, and ArtsGoggle is no exception. Everywhere you go, you’ll meet brilliant people and encounter so many different kinds of art: live music, jewelry, paintings, glass blowing to name a few. One of the best parts? Foodie heaven. I simply recommend eating and drinking your way through each village as you stumble upon one great setup to the next. We nibbled on gourmet corn dogs at Bearded Lady, cheese plates at Magnolia Cheese Company and Mexican goodies from the Holy Frijoles food truck.
One of my favorite parts of ArtsGoggle was discovering all the little nooks and crannies that make up this area around Magnolia Ave. Local businesses opened their doors, providing a chance for the public to see what’s really behind the photography studio, hair salon, boutique, and so on – and to meet the incredibly talented people behind them. The Words on Wheels bus, aka the WOW bus was one of my favorites. A relaxed and chic mobile library that will be posted up in and around Magnolia for you to pick up a book, sit down and read a book, or share your own books. So cool.
The festival is completely free, and I loved seeing all the sweet families and lively pups taking advantage of the beautiful fall day. It rained a little bit, but I didn’t mind it. In fact, it was almost on cue as we were watching a live opera performance of Opera Shots on the Live Oak patio. [Opera shots is a free 4x a year event the Fort Worth Opera puts on at local pubs and wine bars to make opera more accessible to everyone.] Although free, I recommend bringing some dough (most vendors take credit cards) because so much of the art is too beautiful to pass up. I took advantage of the funky jewelry finds along Magnolia including the glam jewelry vendor, Chicks and Stones, offering up some incredible precious stones; naturally, I chose a purple stone necklace.
Last night, was the highly anticipated (in my mind) housewarming and joint birthday party for Scott (25) & Ollie (1), the two most important men in my life. It was a great turnout and the Stock the Bar theme certainly lived up to it’s expectations. It was such a sweet evening with some of my favorite people in the world: from long-time friends, new friends, people from work life and from yoga – all under one roof. For my first time hosting a party, I tried to make things as easy and fun as possible. Here are some tips for first-time party throwers like myself. For a guest list of 20-30 people, follow these, and you’re party is sure to be a hit.
Cocktail Weiners – Throw 3-4 bags little smokies in a crockpot (or large pot). Add 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Worchister sauce, 1.5 bottles of sweet honey bbq sauce and tabasco to taste. Heat on medium to high until cooked and warm throughout. Serve with toothpicks.
Fruit & Veggies – A few of my friends are on Paleo, vegetarian and/or just really healthy, so I cut up a half watermelon, 2 peppers (yellow & orange for color), celery and carrots. Serve with ranch or your favorite dipping sauce.
Pimiento Cheese Dip (recipe coming soon from Scott’s mom and thank goodness, because it is AMAZE)
Sandwiches – Easy peasy to prepare in advance: turkey or ham, grey poupon, your favorite cheese (swiss and cheddar are both great) on dinner rolls.
Tortellini Skewers – Another super easy app that you can prepare in advance. Boil two bags of tortellini. Drain, and serve with pesto and toothpicks for quick bites.
Mac & Cheese Bites + Stuffed Mushrooms – These snacks are so tasty and easy to eat, your guests won’t care that they’re from the frozen aisle at Trader Joe’s. Pop both in the oven (I made a dozen of each) for 20-30 minutes before guest arrive at 425 degrees.
Sweets – Everybody loves a funfetti cupcake, so go ahead and make a batch of 24 (cheap and easy to do in advance). Cookie cakes are great, too for cutting into pieces so everyone can enjoy a bite.
It’s easy to go overboard with decorations, but I think it’s all about keeping it simple. These ideas prove you don’t need to spend a ton of money to create a festive space. I recommend picking 2-3 colors to stick with throughout and tying in a theme when you can. I was inspired by the colors and patterns from The Wizard of Oz, and so, incorporated an Oz theme, There’s no place like Home.
Flag Banner – Fold some colored paper (diamond shape) horizontally over string. Glue or staple on the fold and include the string. Write a message on the triangles or use letter stickers from the Scrapbook section. Use the scraps to make matching “streamers” like the photo above.
Poms – You can follow these directions here. Or by the time, you buy the tissue paper, wire, etc. you might as well just buy the pre-made poms at Hobby Lobby (Set of three for $3.99)
Fresh flowers – easy/pretty way to bring in color
Cupcake or dessert flags – So, I failed in making these adorable etsy cupcake flags, but I think it’s a cute idea to incorporate the theme into your desserts.
My grandpa, George Dewey was born in 1923. Fast forward 90 years later, and the Zieser/Dewey clan (from Texas, Arizona and D.C.) came together to celebrate his milestone birthday. As a family, we visit Oregon every summer – usually a trip to Portland, Cannon Beach, Wilsonville and Salem, to name a few, but this trip was different – mostly because we all know that our time with Georgie is limited, and this trip would be for him.
After a family photo sesh in a local park, we gathered around a table in my aunt and uncle’s colorful backyard in Salem for a celebratory feast. We laughed, shared memories and moments that hopefully Georgie will remember and be proud of for the rest of his years. There was so much love all around, and it was very surreal to sit around a table and know that not one of us would be there if it weren’t for him and Nana. The two have been married for 64 years, and last night, we relived the memory of how they met, their engagement and so many sweet stories in between. Sure, I’ve seen them bicker and argue like any other couple, but the love, compassion and gratitude they share for each other is extremely hard to put into words. It’s a rarity these days to see a couple share a lifelong bond like they do and all I can do is learn and be grateful to be a part of it.
Not many have the chance to meet their grandparents, let alone share a full bank of lasting memories with them, but if you’re grandparents are around, give them a call, write them a letter, make their day, tell them you love them and cherish them for everything they have done for you. After all, if it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t be here.