Three Ingredient Margarita

3 May

By Joy Hirdes
What a great way to wind down on a Sunday evening after a very busy weekend in Lakeway, Texas!

Our 3 ingredient margarita consists of ingredients you probably have on hand.

2 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
2 ounces tequila, we used El Jimador

2 heaping teaspoons local honey, we used Round Rock Honey.

Place ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add plenty ice, and vigorously shake.

Immediately pour into Margarita style glass. Enjoy!
Stavo was inspired to create this cocktail after sampling something like it on the terrace of the Sonesta in Austin Satyrday night. He couldn’t wait to get the chance to create his own.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! We also have a wonderful guacamole recipe at foodieforone!

Mint Julep

23 Apr

by Joy Hirdes

Contributing writer

Oh, you just knew foodieforone would have a Mint Julep post for the upcoming Kentucky Derby, now, didn’t you?
It’s a hallowed tradition around here!
And yes, I’m well aware the Mint Julep is loathed by many.
Just the other day, Hoda Kotb admitted on national television that she doesn’t care for the sugary cocktail, and personally, I agree.
But on Kentucky Derby Day and Oaks Day, well, I have to have a Mint Julep or two!
Over 150,000 Mint Juleps are sold over the two day span at Churchill Downs in Louisville. It’s been the official beverage of the Derby for over a century. That has to stand for something!
So let’s go!
This will make four beautiful Mint Juleps –

You’ll need Fresh Spearmint (I have it growing wildly if you need some)

My Simple Syrup

Your Favorite Kentucky Bourbon

Crushed Ice
Here is my simple syrup recipe — boil two cups water and two cups sugar for five minutes.
Allow to cool then add to a pitcher with six to eight freshly cut stalks of spearmint, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Make one Julep at a time by filling a Julep Cup with crushed ice, adding two ounces of your favorite Kentucky Bourbon and topping off the cocktail with simple syrup, which will be about a tablespoon or more or less.
My bourbon preference is Woodford Reserve, for sentimental reasons.
Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of your Julep Cup.
Garnish with a sprig of fresh spearmint and Enjoy! And may you pick the winning horse!
Hey, if you enjoy horse racing, be sure to visit my blog posts titled, Triple Crown Jewel and Kentucky Derby Pie – I think you’ll enjoy!

Chocolate Avalanche

17 Apr

By Joy Hirdes

This is my rendition of the famous Chocolate Globs from Soho Charcuterie and Ina Garten.

It seems everyone has favorites, when it comes to add-ins for cookies, and this cookie is filled with my, and Stavo’s, favorites.

And apparently, a few others’ favorites, as well!


I sent a dozen of these treats to Stavo’s office for a taste testing and naming contest. The results were off the charts! In a positive way.

So we will call this treat Chocolate Avalanche, because, after all, that is what it is!

A cascading of chunks of nuts and raisins and toffee into creamy chocolate.

My gratitude to Tracy Ball for the awesome, spot-on name! And much thanks to all of Stavo’s colleagues for being a part and submitting awesome monikers, as well.

The edible consolation prize will be well worth your time, I promise!

Let Williams-Sonoma be your go-to for fine, gourmet Espresso Powder. It adds wonders to this chocolate cookie. And be sure to rub your steaks with this Espresso Powder the next time you head for the grill!

Now, back to the chunks of nuts and chocolate!

Ingredients you will need –

6 tablespoons of butter
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 extra large or large eggs
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup salted mixed nuts
1 cup macadamia nuts
2/3 cup of raisins and toffee bits

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small pan set over a small pot of simmering water, melt butter and 8 ounces of the semi sweet chocolate chips. Stir and remove from heat once melted. Allow to cool.

In another bowl, beat eggs, espresso powder and vanilla just until blended.

Add sugar and beat on very high for 2 minutes. Mixture will thicken. Set aside.

In another bowl place flour, baking soda and salt.

Back to mixer … Slowly add the chocolate and butter blend to the sugar and egg mixture just until combined.

Fold the flour mix into the chocolate mix with a rubber spatula.

In another bowl, combine your yummy add ins with the addition of the remaining semi sweet chocolate chips.

Add a tablespoon of flour to this and toss about with your fingers. This prevents the goodies from sinking in the batter.

Fold this, with the spatula, well, into the chocolate mix.

Drop by heaping tablespoons full onto the parchment paper, 6 to a sheet pan.

Bake for 15 minutes flat!

Removed from oven and allow to cool on pan before transferring to a cake stand or serving platter.

* Be sure to watch the kiddies with this cookie as it contains large pieces of nuts that require chewing!Coco

Mayonnaise Cake

16 Apr

By Joy Hirdes

So I bought this cute little squeeze pouch of Duke’s Mayonnaise. Yeah, it was cute, and Stavo said I’m such a sucker for these things.

It contained 1 cup of mayo and it was Duke’s, and I’ve been wanting to try Duke’s. I like cute things .. That’s why I love you, Stavo!


Being from New Orleans, I grew up on Blue Plate Mayonnaise, and from time to time, mom would purchase Helmann’s at Dorignac’s on a Thursday, and we never, ever, refrigerated our mayo.

So late Friday afternoon, after a long walk in the Kingwood Forest with Romeo, I decided to bake a mayo cake with my Duke’s and we’d be set with a dessert for the weekend.

This is Helmann’s Recipe, in no time the cake was in the oven, and, ya’ll, it’s fantastic!
We drizzled our favorite chocolate ganache over the top and, yum, it’s just perfect the perfect cake.

Here we go –

2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, I used half regular and have dark cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mayo
1 1/3 cups water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

In my stand mixer bowl I added the eggs, the sugar and the vanilla and mixed at high speed for about 3 minutes till very creamy and fluffy.

Add in the mayo and mix just till blended.

Now, with mixer on low, add the dry mix, alternating with the water. The batter will be very liquid.

Prepare your pans well, either rounds, oblong or, as I did, a bundt. My bundt baked for 35 minutes flat. Or use the toothpick method.

Allow to cool before glazing. This cake is awesome along or minimally adorned with a showering of powder sugar.

I also scooped out a few tablespoons of batter, just enough to bake three donuts in my donut pan, just for fun.

The donuts baked up super fast and we enjoyed them for breakfast this morning!

Hope you bake up a mayo cake and enjoy as much as we did!


Texas Beef Brisket

15 Apr

By Joy Hirdes

The annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a bug deal!

Twenty consecutive days and nights of learning everything there is to know about the cowboy, rodeo and ranch life.

Witness the birthing of animals to mutton bustin’ events. Cowboy fashions. And the food!

A culinary event in itself you have to experience, so come stay with us and let’s rodeo.

Each night ends with a concert at NRG Stadium featuring first class music acts. We’ve seen Jason Aldean, Bruno Mars, Fall Out Boy, to name a few.

To kick off the fantastic event I prepared my first ever beef brisket.


It’s the National Dish of the Republic of Texas, you know. And Brisket tops any Texas poll as the favorite barbecue item to consume in the Lone Star State, ever.

Stavo chose a huge 10 pound brisket at HEB and cut the slab into three smaller portions, about three pounds each.

We placed two in the freezer for later use.

Stavo will say he seasoned and rubbed the brisket with Love! It’s so true, but he also generously added his Cajun seasoning, kosher salt and cracked pepper.

He trimmed a good bit of fat off the top and scored the top of the brisket with a knife in a kris cross pattern.

Use 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper

Add a teaspoon or so of olive oil to help spread the seasoning around and into all the cuts.

I placed our cast iron pan, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, into a 450 degree preheated oven to get nice and hot.

I then added the brisket and enjoyed the sound of the sizzle. I allowed it to seer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes I reduced oven temperature to 275, sliced a large yellow onion and added that to the pan along with a cup of water, lightly covered the brisket and forgot about it for over four hours.

After four hours I turned off the oven and let the brisket stay there for another hour or so till dinner.

The brisket was placed on a wooden cutting board and sliced beautifully.

We prepared Venezuelan Arepas (see our blog post for how to) and stuffed brisket slices inside and spread the cooked onion and pan juices inside the arepas, too.

Our dinner was fantastic! Happy Rodeo Ya’ll! Yee-Haw!

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Liege Waffles

15 Apr

By Joy Hirdes

After going out early for Lattes and Frappes at our favorite Lola Savannah Coffee Lounge in Lakeway, Texas, Stavo and I took over his brother’s kitchen to prepare Liege Waffles with a variety of toppings!

We were assisted by our niece and nephew, Emilie and Jose, who were excellent at measuring and cracking eggs and whisking everything together. Here they are with Romey and me, at a fun outing at the Ski Shore Cafe!

Liege Waffles are Belgium’s finest waffle, found on the streets of Brussels and beyond!

The batter is different, the preparation is different and so is the cooking method.

You won’t believe this waffle! Or the taste!

It’s extra thick and hearty, and so full of flavor, nothing like a basic waffle. It’s so much more!

The big secret, we believe, is Pearl Sugar, or decorative, course sugar, which doesn’t melt when heated and adds so much to baked goods. We love what it does for Liege Waffles.


Here we go ..

1 envelope dry yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
3 eggs
1 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups Pearl Sugar

Our Liege Waffles are excellent on their own, however, we did offer the following toppings,

Maple or Cane Syrup
Fresh Blueberries
Stavo’s Homemade Whipped Cream
Mini Marshmallows

Stir together the yeast and the granulated sugar over the warmed milk and allow to sit for 10 to 12 minutes till foamy.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs together, then add the cooled, melted butter and the vanilla.

Now add the yeast mixture to the egg mixture.

Now add the flour and the salt to the wet mix and stir until a soft dough forms.

Cover with a cloth and allow to set in a warm spot for 30 minutes and it will double in size.

Heat the waffle iron, as usual, at this point.

Uncover the waffle dough and sprinkle in the Pearl Sugar and stir gently. You don’t want to deflate all of the beautiful air that has been achieved.

We used a baking butter spray on the iron before baking each waffle.

Now drop a baseball size portion of dough onto the center of the very hot waffle iron. Close and cook until waffles are golden, about 90 seconds to 2 minutes, or when steam stops emitting from the waffle iron.

This recipe makes 8 delicious, very filling Liege Waffles. It’s really hard to eat an entire waffle alone.

Island Bread Pudding

13 Apr

By Joy Hirdes We spent a long weekend at the coastal beach town of South Padre Island. The tiny island sits barely 20 miles from the Mexico – Texas border. We were with two other couples R…

Source: Island Bread Pudding

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