Tag Archives: Crunch Dynasty

Breakfast: Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix & Whole Grain Soda Bread

Longest title ever, right?

I’ll spare you the details, but I was rull sick last week. Any trip to the ER that includes the phrase “inflamed intestine” should be avoided. Just some advice from me to you.

I was on a clear liquid diet for a few days and I was fantasizing about when I could add in real food. And then my doctor told me I could have lean fish and baked potatoes. After “eating” chicken broth, sugar-free Jell-o and sugar-free Powerade, this baked potato was literally the best thing I’d ever eaten.

Baked Potato

I’ve been dreaming about what my first meal “off the leash” is going to be. In my wildest fantasies, it would be peanut butter swirl brownies and tacos. And guac. And salsa. But probably a bit too aggressive.

I think it’s going to be eggs. Simple scrambled eggs and dry toast.

I love breakfast. That was not always the case. As a kid, I used to loathe egg yolk and I still don’t care much for cereal, oatmeal and breakfast fruits. Bananas = disgusting. My breakfasts growing up were often cubes of cheese or microwave popcorn. Hey, you’ve got to eat something, right?

But now, I love breakfast. In addition to daydreaming about my future meals, I’ve been fantasizing about breakfasts and brinners of yore. Particularly memorable is a brinner I made with a Bloody Mary mix local to Richmond and a Bon Appetit breadcipe.

Yeah, I know, I’m combining a lot of words. Deal with it.

I met the Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix guys at a Fire, Flour, Fork event I may or may not have snuck into. We started talking and Austin and Rob are the real deal–nice and funny, and of course super passionate about Bloody Marys. (Speaking of funny, check out their Legend of Bloody Mary film). They were sampling a Kimchee Bloody Mary Mix, which they’re still tinkering. But I’m not kidding you, I’m still thinking about those flavors. It is funky in all the right ways. I can’t wait for that to come to shelves.

Their traditional Bloody Mary Mix should be in your refrigerator, served at your next brunch or curing your next hangover. And since it’s the holidays, it would make a great gift. The gift that gives and cures hangovers. I think that’s what myrrh does…

From a flavor perspective, it’s really well balanced. Incredibly savory, with a salty-brininess that comes from pickle brine and olive juice. It’s spicy thanks to sriracha, but not undrinkably so. This might sound strange, but it’s my blog, so I’m going to say it. It’s thicker than any Bloody Mary mix I’ve ever bought before. You know how grocery store Bloody mary mix looks like red tap water? This ain’t it. This ish is hand-crafted.

I rimmed mine with Old Bay, which was a fortuitous choice since it is also included in the mix. (Another wonderful choice would be Crunch Dynasty, but sadly, I was out. Must restock!)

Bloody Set Up

Celeryfie

Mind the celery.

I also made this Whole Grain Soda Bread from Bon Appetit.

Bread

It was a bit of a chore to find all the ingredients and I never could find the amaranth. But this bread is really delicious. Hearty and filling, and actually healthful because of all the difficult-to-find grains. It doesn’t keep for too long, though, so plan ahead. My recommendation is to whip up a batch of Bloodies, make this bread, fry up some bacon and eggs and throw a lovely brunch for some pals.

Breakfast, you beautiful bastard. I just can’t quit you.

But I can’t eat you.

Yet.

Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix is available for purchase online. You can find it at these Richmond restaurants and shops.

 

 

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Paloma My God: Steak Tacos, Palomas & Crunch Dynasty

A good weekend requires a nap to recover.

A great weekend requires two naps.

Either I had the best weekend ever or I’m 80, because I took two naps Sunday afternoon and then fell asleep again at 7 pm. As you do.

I did have a pretty terrific weekend. My friends Lindsay, Sarah, and Anna came up to visit from North Carolina and it was just all kinds of fun. Great friends, all the food, and all the tequila. Seems like a recipe for success.

On Friday, they got in 40 minutes early than expected and banged on my back door like cops coming to do a drug bust. I jumped and shrieked a bit, because as I said earlier, I’m 80. Also, I keep a lot of illegal drugs in my house. We made beer-marinated skirt steak tacos on the grill and ate dinner on the porch. Fan living, y’all. The charred tomato salsa is oh-so-good. It’s got that slow burn from the ancho chile, but the sweetness of the charred tomato. I might have eaten the leftovers for breakfast Monday morning.

Taco bar is the best bar after alcohol bar.

Taco bar is the best bar after alcohol bar.

On Saturday, we went to a yoga class. It  was a hilariously hippy-dippy class. “Put your hand down on the ground like an angel is kissing the earth.” I don’t know what it says about me, but I really want to go back.

That afternoon, I hosted a happy hour at mine to introduce some of my North Carolina friends to some of my Richmond friends. And when I say I hosted this party, I mean I drank all the drinks while Lindsay, Sarah and Anna did a lot of the work. I mean, I prepped a lot ahead of time. But they helped so much to cook, clean, buy ice, refill water, pass out mini-Atlantic beach pies, make all the Palomas, drink all the Palomas, etc. I’m pretty sure they hosted the party more than I did. What was I doing? Holding witty, engaging sober conversation. Well, I held conversation. The Palomas were flowing, y’all.

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Double fisting like a champ.

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Another in a series of photos of me taking photos of Anna taking photos of me. I plan to do this for the rest of our lives.

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Seriously, Lindsay and Sarah did all the work. I just pointed at the ice. Photo by Becca! 

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Not pictured: tiny pies. And allllll the palomas. 

Our weekend ended with brunch at Stella’s and a trip to the Stella’s Grocery. Stella’s is no joke in the brunch department. You like sweet brunch? GREAT. Greek Easter bread done French-toast style topped with whipped Greek yogurt, sour cherries and pistachios. You like savory brunch? GREATER. The Loukaniko sausage skillet and the black kale skillet are both excellent. Start your meal with an order or hummus and Bloody Mary or a mimosa. (Virginia lacks the alcohol-limiting blue laws that North Carolina holds onto so dearly, making it so much easier to drink on Sunday. Hallelujah and pass the bottle.)

We stopped by the Stella’s Grocery after brunch.  It’s been open for about a month and sells specialty food items, like boozes, meats, prepared foods, such as smoothies, Greek Salads, and desserts (baklava!). Also, condiments. Why do condiments get their own section? Because I found a condiment, Crunch Dynasty, that is made right here in Richmond and it is made right here by my very own friends, John and Anya. I met Anya through work and John through Anya. They are a hilarious, kind, and cool couple with some kids who are the same. One of their kids knows all the knock-knock jokes ever and the other one told me my hair was like mermaid hair. I’m a big fan of all of them.

But I digress. Condiments.

If Chris Pratt were a condiment, he would be Crunch Dynasty.

Delicious, delicious dynasty. 

Crunch Dynasty is this amazing, mysterious condiment that somehow works on everything. Honestly. It’s as good on vegetables as it is on rice as it is on salmon. It genuinely tastes good on everything. Nay, it makes everything taste better. It makes you happy. And it is spicy. Crunch Dynasty keeps you on your toes. It’s like the Chris Pratt of condiments. If Chris Pratt was from Richmond, was Chinese, and tasted of garlic. To be fair, I haven’t tasted him. He might taste of garlic.

Then as quickly as they came, my friends left. And I took all the naps. And then I wrote this post.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to take a nap.

Tecate Skirt-Steak Tacos from Bon Appetit

  • 1 pound skirt steak, silver skin removed, cut into 6-inch pieces | I doubled the amount of steak b/c it looked wimpy.
  • 1 12-ounce can pale lager (such as Tecate)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more
  • ¼ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, cored
  • ½ canned chipotle chile in adobo, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for serving
  • 8 fresh corn tortillas
  • Avocado slices, crumbled Cotija cheese, and lime wedges (for serving)

Combine steak, beer, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, 1 tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper in a resealable plastic bag. Seal; chill 3 hours.

Cook onion, garlic, and oil in a small skillet over medium heat until soft and translucent, 5 minutes. Let cool.

Prepare a grill for high heat (if using charcoal, prepare two zones of heat, high and medium-high). Grill tomatoes over high heat, turning occasionally, until well charred but still holding their shape, 6–8 minutes.

Reduce grill to medium-high heat (or use medium-high zone if using a charcoal grill). Remove steak from marinade and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper and grill until charred, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let steak rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend onion and garlic, tomatoes, chipotle, and remaining 3 Tbsp. lime juice in a blender until smooth. Add chopped cilantro, season with salt, and pulse until just combined. Transfer salsa to a small bowl.

Grill tortillas until soft and beginning to char, about 30 seconds per side. Slice steak against the grain into ½” strips. Top each tortilla with a few pieces of steak, then some salsa, cilantro leaves, avocado, and Cotija cheese. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

The Paloma from StyleMePretty

  • 2 oz. Reposado Tequilla
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
  • a pinch of salt (or a salted glass rim)
  • agave syrup to taste (optional)
  • Ice
  • Garnish with lime, mint leaves, thyme, or jalapenos if you like some heat

In a shaker filled with ice mix tequila, grapefruit juice, and lime. Shake, shake, shake. Pour over ice, add a pinch of salt, and garnish. Add agave if you feel it’s not sweet enough.

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