Sunday, January 17, 2016

What's Shakin' in Katy - Slim Chickens

If you've been out to Cinemark recently, you may have noticed a new eatery between Red Robin and La Madeliene.  Slim Chickens is a fast food style chicken place that opened in December. It's a chain that started in Arkansas and plans to open several new locations in Houston, Austin and San Antonio.

Tenders, fries and Texas toast at Slim Chickens

I thought, "Slim Chickens? What an odd name." It brought to mind the late TV and movie actor, Slim Pickens.  He rode a nuclear bomb in Dr. Strangelove and acted in various westerns, including Blazing Saddles. Anyway, I was still puzzled about the name Slim Chickens.  Their website says:  Who is Slim?  Slim is our nod to the life-changing legends of the south - the musicians, the storytellers, the food and the soul ...the eternally cool.  So, that clears that up.

The phrase "slim pickings" means not much to choose from, another concept that doesn't quite jibe with the restaurant in question.  There are actually plenty of choices.

Another misconception I had was that it might be a diet chicken restaurant.  Nope!  You could hardly call fried chicken "slimming."

Anyway, they serve southern fried chicken (or grilled if you're health conscious) and fries and Texas toast and salads that are surprisingly fresh and not just an after thought. They have handmade dipping sauces which my Honey Bunch did enjoy. We had a party of four and got tenders and a salad.  It was good and fast so we made it to the movie on time, which is important.

Slims Salad ~ sans the onion straws

We did not try the wings, or the wraps (maybe next time) or the fried pies or any of their desserts in Mason jars.  There are also other sides like potato salad, mac and cheese, fried okra and coleslaw etc.

Oh, and they have chicken and waffles.  I have never understood why people eat this.  Chicken with syrup on it does not sound good to me at all.

Give it a try.  We liked it.  It was not "life-changing" as their website did claim but I never expected chicken to change my life anyway.

Friday, January 15, 2016

What's Shakin' in Katy - Rodeo, Home and Garden Show and Movies at the park

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is coming to town!

Tickets will go on sale Saturday, Jan. 16 at 10 a.m. through AXS Ticketing via RodeoHouston    
My favorite event at the rodeo was always the calf scramble.  I was rooting for those kids. 

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo runs Tuesday, March 1, through Sunday, March 20.
It's a fun outing for the whole family and yet another opportunity to eat fried anything on a stick. Where else can you combine shopping with bull riding?

Katy Home and Garden Show

January 30-31 at the Merrell Center and Robinson Pavillion in Katy. This is the 10th Anniversary Show.  Features include Food Trucks, a gift market, a kids zone, and celebrity guest Matt Muenster from DIY's Bath Crashers. There will also be seminars on gardening and over 300 exhibits! For tickets and info visit KatyHome&GardenShow

Movie Night at Central Green

For a fun, inexpensive evening out with the kids enjoy a movie on the green space at Central Green in La Centerra, right in front of D'Amico's Italian Restaurant. You can see all kinds of events here from Tai Chi to live music. Check out their events calendar here CentralGreen 

This month they will be showing the following family-friendly movies starting at dusk.  Bring a blanket or some lawn chairs and some snacks.

Saturday, January 16 ~ Frozen (yeah you have the DVD and you've seen it a million times but here's a chance to see it on a big screen OUTSIDE)  Just imagine - Do you want to build a snowman...  (now I've put that song in your head, you're welcome)

Friday, January 29 ~ Despicable Me - minions, orphans, evil schemes... love it!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Bad at Crafts: Fire Starters

I think a good craft project meets these 2 criteria:
  1. It does not have to look pretty
  2. It gets used up so you don't have to keep it forever
When my Mom told me about the fire starter project I thought, "finally, here's a way to use up all that excess candle wax and dryer lint I've been hoarding."

Pouring hot wax over dryer lint in an old egg carton -
Yep, we were that bored

To be honest (yeah, I spelled it out, so what?) I was not hoarding dryer lint....   yet.  But I did have 3 VERY good smelling candles that I had burned until the wicks were gone and the wax still smelled amazing so I was reluctant to get rid of it.  I thought maybe I would break down and get one of those Walmart brand wax burners (I'm way too cheap to get Scentsy).  But, then Mom told me about this easy and fun way to use up the wax.  

You will need to find the following objects:
  1. Some old candle wax - the more the better
  2. One or more cardboard egg cartons - not the Styrofoam kind
  3. A whole bunch of dryer lint
  4. An old coffee can or soup can - coffee now comes in plastic or cardboard canisters and those will not work
When my daughter Cissy came home from college she asked me, "Why are we saving the purple dryer lint?"  

I said, "We're saving all of the dryer lint, not just the purple lint."  I can't help it if all of our sheets, towels, and clothing just happen to be purple.  

Anyway, I hadn't realized I'd left a box of dryer lint on top of the china cabinet so I threw it away because Buffy (the younger daughter) and I had already done the craft project and we don't have that many cold days in Houston so we don't really need more than 12 fire starters.

Here's what you do.
  • Break up the wax into small pieces about the size of cherry tomatoes 
  • Toss them into the can and set it into a saucepan with about 2 inches of water in the pan, not in the can with the wax
  • Heat that on medium until all the wax is melted
  • While it's melting (or maybe even before) stuff the egg carton with clumps of dryer lint
  • When all the wax is liquefied, pour it over the dryer lint, filling each compartment of the egg carton
  • I forgot to mention, you should tear the top part of the egg carton off because you won't need it
  • Let it harden, then cut the compartments apart 
That's it!  Easy as pie.  Easier really.

The finished product - almost, the wax has to finish hardening.
I told you it wasn't pretty.

Then, wait for a cold night to light a fire.  Set one or two of the fire starters under your logs and light them.  You will be pleasantly surprised that it really, really works.  The fire starters burn for more than 20 minutes, more than enough time to get your logs going.  And, there's the added benefit of the lovely candle scent.  

This is a fun activity you can do with children of all ages - okay not the really young ones because they might burn themselves.  But probably ages 9 and up.  Boys will like it because you get to set them on fire!  Girls will like it because...  you get to set them on fire!  

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

What's Shakin' in Katy - Bernie's Burger Bus

There's a new sheriff in Burger Town and it's Bernie's Burger Bus. If you live in or around Katy, take a break from your diet and get over to La Centerra for the best hamburger you will ever eat.  Seriously.

The Substitute Burger with bleu cheese, bacon, burgundy mushrooms and tipsy onions

I am not kidding, Bernie's burgers will ruin you for all other hamburgers. They are that good.  I had the privilege of trying a Bernie's burger from the actual food truck a few years back. It made an impression on me. When I heard that Bernie's was coming to Katy, I knew we were in for a treat.

Bernie's Burger Bus began in 2010 in an old school bus converted into a food truck.  It was voted the best burger in Houston and made the list of top food trucks in the USA. Now there are two locations:
  • 5407 Bellaire Blvd in Bellaire, TX
  • 2643 Commercial Center Blvd in Katy, TX

The Homeroom cheddar cheeseburger with bacon and a fried egg

When the food arrives you and your friends will munch away happily for 5 or 10 minutes until somebody realizes that no one at the table is talking anymore. They will remark about it and everyone will admit that they were in full-on chow-down mode. You will then realize that you had better slow down and savor every bite. When the last bite of burger is gone, you will be a little bit sad.  Then you will devour the rest of the fries.

Bernie's Burger Bus makes everything from scratch, including their own ketchup and mustard.  You have never tasted ketchup this fresh. It's cool, sweet tomato flavor is a culinary delight and a perfect compliment to their hand-cut fries.  Choose from truffle fries, bleu cheese fries, sweet potato fries and so much more. You just won't believe all the different varieties. 

We did not try the Detention Burger but I actually saw one at the table next to us.  The burger has two grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon USED AS THE BUNS!  I kid you not.  Between the grilled cheeses are a burger patty, cheese (more cheese?), tipsy onions, pickles, lettuce and roasted garlic tomatoes.  It is a sight to behold.  I wanted to ask the lady who ordered it if I could take a photo but I was too shy.  She cut the burger into 4 pieces because it was too big to hold in her hands.  I'm not even sure how she got it into her mouth.  This thing must be 2000 calories all by itself.

So, get on over and try it out for yourself.  Two warnings - it is pricey and it is addictive.  That's how they get you.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Year's Resolution Starter Kit

Now that the New Year celebrations are over and done, it's time to get serious about those resolutions. Maybe you've been thinking, "I'm not going to make any resolutions this year, nobody ever keeps them anyway!" But, that's just negative thinking. There's always room for improvement.

In case you need a little help figuring out just what to change about the way you live your life, here are a few suggestions for resolutions you might want to consider.  I've heard that if you make your resolutions very specific, you will be more likely to keep them.  Also, you need to set realistic goals. So I'm helping you out here by being as realistic and specific as possible.

New Year's Resolutions

1.  In the new year I will lose weight and eat healthy by doing the following: (check all that apply)
  • Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day ~ a banana at breakfast, an apple mid-day, carrot sticks at lunch and half a pack of starburst in the afternoon.  (starburst = 2 servings)
  • Cut out all bad carbs and sugar from my diet ~ except for bread, potatoes, pasta and left-over Christmas cookies
  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day ~ coffee and diet coke count as water don't they?
  • Have half a grapefruit for breakfast and a salad for lunch ~ and a family size bag of Doritos at 4:00pm.
  • Cut out all "white" foods ~ Stop being so racist against "white" foods
2.  In the new year I will get regular exercise by doing the following: (check all that apply)
  • Hit the gym before work ~ only on the mornings when the hot trainer is working
  • Buy all new gym clothes ~ wear them for 2 weeks, then give up on going to the gym
  • Go to water aerobics ~ realize I'm the youngest person there, quit going to water aerobics
  • Shop around for the best fitness package ~ that includes a hot tub, sauna and heated towels
  • Buy top-of-the-line exercise equipment ~ hang my gym clothes on it
3.  In the new year I will manage my finances by doing all of the following: (check all that apply)
  • Creating a budget and sticking to it ~ until I blow the entire eating out budget on trips to Starbucks
  • Balance my checkbook monthly ~ until I realize nobody writes checks anymore.
  • Put 10% of every paycheck into a savings account ~ until my car breaks down and needs expensive repairs
  • Cut up all my credit cards ~ I have the account numbers memorized anyway
  • Pay bills on time ~ if there's any money left after my many trips to Starbucks, my expensive car repair and that deluxe mani/pedi package I had to get (hey, I was stressed)
4.  In the new year I will get organized by doing the following:  (check all that apply)
  • Clean my house room by room ~ by carrying all the clutter into the next room
  • Clean out the garage ~ pull everything out into the driveway, realize it's almost dark, put everything back into the garage
  • Purge all the clothes that no longer fit me ~ get sentimental about jackets with shoulder pads and decide to keep them in case I lose weight and they come back in style
  • File all documents alphabetically ~ Put everything in the Miscellaneous file 
  • Keep a calendar on the pantry door with a different color ink for each family member ~ until I lose the colored pens and my kids never tell me until the last minute that they need to bring 6 dozen home baked cookies to the school the next morning, oh, and they have to build the Alamo out of popsicle sticks 
Okay - so now you've got some ideas for the new year.  Lots to think about.  
Happy New Year!