Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic dining covers the world

Music and fanfare, hopes and dreams. The Olympics opening ceremonies make me cry every time. I love the pageantry and what it all stands for. My family planned ahead to tune in Sunday, but what to eat? My mom suggested fish and chips, what with London hosting. When we asked my daughter later, she suggested fish and chips. We had catfish and French fries, not a bad substitute. My sister picked up some samosas for an international flair. It wouldn’t have been hard to make me go Chinese. It’s never hard.

People know I’m not a sports expert, but what’s not to love about a whole country bonding over some hard work and dreams? My friend and I were discussing Nadia Comaneci’s 1976 gymnastic glory. I remember using the back of my grandma’s couch as a balance beam after that.

Go see Abbie

My mom’s new d├ęcor is Mediterranean, with gold, blue and paprika walls. We threw her a birthday party with a theme and most of the food came from Abbie’s Finest Mediterranean Food, Fannett Road in Beaumont. We loaded up on olives, flatbread, stuffed grape leaves, cous cous and tabouli. Shopping for the food is as much fun as eating it later. You can sample, and there’s a diner, so I had eggplant for lunch. It’s like a mini trip around the globe, which is all the better in Olympic season.

Beau meal

Beau Reve has done it again and impressed another family member with the entire experience, from atmosphere to dining to service. First timers love it and old timers love going back. I was treated there twice in one month and enjoyed a seafood salad and a shrimp dish. The tiny, rich dessert included with most luncheon items is like the icing on the cake, as they say. It’s great to have such a quality establishment in the Groves-Port Arthur area.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Take Doc Praeger for an “eco” lunch adventlure

I just saw an ‘80s movie and the kid had a Pac-Main lunch box. I loved the whole back-to-school lunch thing, even though I won’t forget with a third grader accused me of breaking her H.R. Pufnstuf Thermos. I don’t think it was me at all. Anyway, I still love packing lunch and I’ve got a new ECOlunchbox in use now. It’s Euro-cool in my eyes reminding me of stylish, efficient Japanese meal boxes, while the BPA-free, food-grade stainless steel makes me think of dinner ware of India, based on movies I’ve seen. Little hinges snap the lid shut, and there’s a small bowl with a plastic lid for more liquid things. This was an on-line find, so take a look at the many styles of containers, bags and other colorful things to reduce daily waste. I’m sure that you’ll eat more healthy foods in these adorable containers because they’re so inspiring. Sure you can send them to school with your kids, but parents will want them, too.

Dr. Praeger’s vegetarian adventure.

I’m fascinated with and satisfied with Dr. Praeger’s Bombay Curry Veggie Burgers, and the rest of his tasty line.

In the early ‘90s, New Jersey cardiac surgeon Peter Praeger and his medical partner, Dr. Eric Somberg, bought Ungar’s Gefelte Fish company to keep a family business alive and expanded with natural, kosher foods. You can grill the Meatless All American Burger, but I’ve been happy with oven and stove top results for these easy-to-use patties. I love the curry flavor and Tex-Mex has good seasonings, coming all the way from New Jersey. I’m enjoying a quick-skillet toasting of the Chickenless Patties, which go very well with a breakfast egg. Also look for mushroom, onion and cheddar and Indian-spiced cauliflower. I think you’ll like what the doctor ordered

Sweet Deed Society

What the folks at Santa Cruz Organic Lemonade Beverages are doing is kind of like an altruistic lemonade stand run by a corporation. Their delicious drinks benefit the Sweet Deed Society to help feed Americans. First, about the drink: The jars are easily toted to picnics and pool parties to flavor festivities with 100 percent fruit juice. While my mom favors Peach Lemonade, I experimented with Raspberry Lemonade and straight-up Lemonade to make one of those “beer-ritas” I’m seeing in restaurants. That got an A-plus. There’s also variations with strawberry, mango, cherry and lime. All are not too sweet, not too tart.

Visit to learn more about the Sweet Deed Society lalunch. Participants can recognize friends and family for sweet deeds by submitting a sweet deed nomination. For each daily sweet deed nomination submitted, Santa Cruz Organic will donate five dollars to Feeding America®, up to $20,000—that will help provide 160,000* meals for families struggling with hunger across the country.

In addition, for every daily nomination, participants will be entered into the Sweet Deed Society for a chance to win weekly prizes and one of two beach vacations, awarded as a $3,500 check. To help acknowledge their good deed, the nominee can also accept their nomination, join the Sweet Deed Society, and be entered for their own chance to win. I know there are lots of Senior on the Go types around Port Arthur who are full of deeds.