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Think Beyond the Bouquet With These Lavender-Centric Recipes

September 24, 2014 4:02 pm

Though lavender is a flower, it’s also a deliciously fragrant herb that can be used to add flavor to many sweet and savory dishes. By simply cooking or garnishing with this beautiful flower, you can transform the taste of an entire dish. If you haven’t yet explored the culinary wonders of lavender, these two simple recipes will give you a bit of inspiration.

Lavender Shortbread [Food Network]
Shortbread is known for its rich, crumbly texture and buttery flavor, which makes it a perfect companion for the floral notes of lavender. This recipe uses only six simple ingredients and takes just 50 minutes to make, but after it’s complete your whole home will be filled with the sweet, delicious scent. Simply knead the ingredients together, adding dried or fresh lavender flowers, and bake in the oven until each bar reaches the perfect golden brown.

Pepita and Lavender Brittle [Martha Stewart]
Most brittle candies have a rich, caramel texture, but this particular brittle is uniquely earthy and fragrant. The recipe uses Martha Stewart’s basic brittle recipe to create a crunchy base, while the pepitas, or green hulled pumpkin seeds, offer even more texture. To top it off, dried lavender cooked throughout adds a floral flavor that only the small purple flower can provide.

Category: Miscellaneous Tags: , , ,

Culinary Terms for Gourmet Recipes

September 18, 2014 5:01 pm

It’s fun to try new recipes in the kitchen, but that fancy new dish may involve a few cooking techniques that make you scratch your head. Here are a few helpful definitions of some kitchen terms that you might encounter in a gourmet-style recipe.

  1. Crème Fraiche. Crème fraiche is a creamy sauce with a tangy, sharp flavor. You can purchase it in most high end grocery stores, or you can make your own using 1/2 cup of whipping cream and 1/2 cup of sour cream. Cover the mixture and let it sit for at least two hours to thicken.
  2. Filet. If the word is used as a verb, filet means to remove the bones from meats like steak or fish. As a noun, this is the piece of meat after the bones have already been removed.
  3. Glaze. A glaze is a thin coat of sugar syrup that’s applied before cooking. After cooking, the glaze turns to a hard finish that’s almost to the point of cracking.
  4. Gratin. Gratin is literally the French word for “crust.” This is usually used for oven-baked savory dishes, which are prepared in a shallow, oval-shaped gratin dish and covered with a browned crust of breadcrumbs or cheese.

Glossary of Basic Cooking Terms [Les Petites Gourmettes]
Cooking Terms [Recipe Goldmine]
Glossary of Cooking Terms [UMN]
Glossary of Cooking Terms [Better Homes & Gardens]
Culinary Terms [About.com]

Category: Miscellaneous Tags: , , ,

Perbacco: Authentic Italian Fare in the Heart of Downtown Houston

September 17, 2014 4:07 pm

Located across the street from Jones Hall, Perbacco serves authentic Italian food in a delightful, upscale ambiance. White linens drape over every table, while the walls are painted in a calming shade of pale blue. Large, undressed picture windows allow natural light to flood inside.

The laid-back atmosphere complements the plates of pasta and casseroles that Perbacco has to offer. The familiar menu allows patrons to experience traditional dishes in a pleasant ambiance. Lasagna and eggplant parmigiana are popular among regular diners, as are the tortellini alla panna and the spaghetti marinara. Fresh seafood and chicken selections are another pleasant option at Perbacco, grilled and served with salad or over pasta.

Visit Perbacco's website to find out more about this Houston restaurant near Memorial by Windsor Apartments.

700 Milam Street
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 224-2422

Category: Dining Tags: , ,