Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Grilling Primer in Honor of National BBQ Month


Choosing a Grill or Smoker
There are a variety of grilling options available, and each has its pros and cons.
  • Charcoal grills take longer to heat up, but they also achieve hotter temperatures, making them perfect for searing meat. And purists love charcoal for the flavor it produces.
  • Gas grills are a favorite among recreational grillers, largely because they're easy to use and heat up quickly. They do cost more than charcoal grills up front, but they're less expensive to operate over the long term.
  • Electric grills are portable and compact, providing a practical, affordable alternative for people living in apartments that restrict outdoor grilling. But critics of electric grills argue that they won't give you that smoky barbecue flavor.
  • Smokers slow cook meat to achieve the distinct flavor connoisseurs love, but the process does take more time.
Gathering Gadgets for Grilling
Before you start cooking, make sure you have these grilling essentials:
  • Tongs
  • Skewers
  • Basting brush
  • Rubs and marinades
  • Heat-resistant grilling gloves
  • Wire basket for vegetables and seafood
  • Grill brush for cleaning
Finding the Best Recipes  
Not sure what to cook? Check out The New York Times' Summer Barbecue Essentials for an ample list of grilling recipes organized by category, including sauces, marinades and rubs. 
Or leave it to the BBQ pros of Houston and sample the city's best barbecue without the work!  
Houston is a BBQ mecca with the famous worth-the-wait brisket at Killen's in Pearland, the pork and ribs at Gatln's BBQ in Garden Oaks, and newcomer Drew's in Montrose. 
Kathlyn's Rec:  Make your way to Kirby Drive and have a bowl of the to-die-for venison chili at the Armadillo Palace  and then head next door to Goode Company BBQ, a local institution for smoked meats and homemade jalapeno cheese bread. 
Happy feasting!
Kathlyn 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Why I Love Houston: The Great Outdoors!

Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.

Why I Love Houston...The Great Outdoors! 


Scenes from Buffalo Bayou Park 

Houston might seem like the concrete jungle but there's plenty of wildlife inside and outside the city to explore when you need a nature break. For inner-loopers, the stretch of Buffalo Bayou running along Allen Parkway is a scenic delight for jogging, biking, and admiring the art installations and wildflowers adorning the trails. Enjoy lunch or brunch in The Kitchen at the Dunlavy housed in a treehouse-like space shimmering with chandeliers overlooking Lost Lake. You can also rent kayaks and canoes at Buffalo Bayou Park if you want to get on the water. Or go for an underground adventure at the just-opened Cistern where you can go on a guided tour of one of the city's first drinking water reservoirs that's been transformed into a modern-day relic.

Bird watching in the Heights - Flamingo by Coolidge 
Galveston is one of my favorite getaways from the big city. Birders are big fans of the island as well with more than 200 species making their annual migration every spring. Galveston Island State Park is a great destination for bird watching all year round whether you are on foot or go by kayak with the Artist Boat organization that provides interpretive tours of Galveston Bay where you'll view plenty of shorebirds so pack the binoculars along with plenty of sunscreen!

For a scenic drive, I love to take the country roads to Matagorda Bay where you can fish for speckled trout and redfish in the bay and catch some rays on the beach.

For camping, Brazos Bend State Park is just an hour's drive from downtown Houston. With six lakes for fishing, plenty of hike and bike trails, and the George Observatory for stargazing on Saturdays, a visit to this state park is an easy escape from city life. Be sure to check their calendar for special events that include guided nature walks. Kathlyn's Tip: With our frequent summer showers, don't leave home without making sure the park is open because flooding can cause closures.

Enjoy!

Kathlyn



Thursday, May 12, 2016

New Listing: French Country Chateau in Montrose


NEW LISTING: 1645 KIPLING  

''Chateau Kipper'' is truly a one-of-a-kind gem in the heart of coveted Mandell Place. Rebuilt to the studs with uncompromising detail in authentic French Country style, Kipper offers a graceful, functional layout (floor plan contains each room from Clue!). The highest level of luxury finishes include dual chef kitchen, La Cornue range, two apron front sinks, and hand-picked hardwoods throughout. The park-like grounds echo a true French chateau, all within the most walkable neighborhood of Houston. 

Stop by the Open House this Sunday, May 15th, 2-5 pm! 

OPEN HOUSE WEEKEND SCHEDULE 
Why I Love Houston Properties is hosting the following Open Houses this coming weekend, May 14-15th  

Saturday, May 14, 2-5 pm
211 E 22nd St., Heights: Beautifully renovated large home in this desirable location.  

Sunday, May 15, 2-5 pm
1645 Kipling St., Montrose: French Country Chateau in the heart of coveted Mandell Place

211 E 22nd St., Heights: Beautifully renovated large home in this desirable location. 

635 W 21st St., Heights: Welcoming bungalow on a huge landscaped lot. 

CURRENT LISTINGS

1645 Kipling St., Montrose: French Country Chateau in the heart of coveted Mandell Place 

315 W. 13th St., Heights: Quintessential Bungalow in the Heights.

635 W 21st St., Heights: Welcoming bungalow on a huge landscaped lot. 

211 E 22nd St., Heights: Beautifully renovated large home in this desirable location. 

2124 White Oak Dr., Heights: New construction to be built. Great lot location with scenic view. 

814 E 28th St., Sunset Heights: Well maintained beauty in Sunset Heights. 

1922 Ebony Ln., Oak Forest: Priced at lot value, this property offers a huge corner lot in the booming Oak Forest neighborhood. 

5422 Chartres St., Museum District: A must see 2 bedroom 2 bathroom Townhome. 

8719 Rippling Water Dr., Sugar Land: Fabulous 1-story home with breathtaking water views and inviting outdoor spaces.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Why I Love Houston: Airline Drive

Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.

Why I Love Houston...Feasting on Airline Drive


Airline Drive, on the edge of the Heights, is one of my favorite food destinations in the city. From the food market scene to homemade pasta dishes, it's a regular stop for our family.

For fixing a fiesta at home, we love to stroll the stalls at Canino's Produce Market to pick up all the essentials. Open 7 days a week, from 6 am - 8 pm, the market's generous hours makes it easy to plan a trip here. The covered area of the market features fresh fruit and vegetables with a mixture of local and global origins. As you move into the open stall area of the market, rows of of cactus paddles (nopales), tamale husks, and spices, especially the famous Mexican mole seasonings provide colorful eye candy. Many vendors offer samples, as well as having ready-made items for sale, like spicy fruit cocktails in a cup seasoned with chile powder for a refreshing shopping snack. If you are craving something savory, stop by Taqueria Tacambaro, located outside the open market area, for crunchy, cheesy gorditas. 

My husband, Nick, likes to stop across the street at Flores' Spice and Trading Co. to shop their thorough selection of spices and herbs to make his signature spice rubs. Jean-Luc loves the cheerful pinatas that greet you at the front door. Next door is El Bolillo Bakery, where we like to select a variety of sweets for dessert. Bags of wedding cookies dusted in powdered sugar, trays upon trays stacked high with pan dulce (sweet bread), fruit-filled empanadas, freshly made Ding Dongs, and churros await the aluminum trays and tongs, which you use to make your haul.

Another frequent stop is family-friendly Bellissimo. This casual Italian eatery serves up everything from homemade pastas to pizzas to traditional entrees, like Ossobuco. We love to share an order of the eggplant parmesan and the red snapper. Both are to die for!

Nothing beats a classic diner breakfast or lunch and Triple A Restaurant is just that! This family owned and operated joint has been serving Southern style home-cooking to generations of Houstonians. Stepping inside is like a time-warp as little has changed since my first visit years ago. The service is always friendly and the food is fresh and made with love.

Bon Appetit!

Kathlyn