Tuesday, February 11, 2014

the Texas food (& family) tour

 Our trip to Texas has come to an end-- a day earlier than planned, actually. We weren't supposed to travel back until today (Tuesday), but when reports of Snowpocalypse 2.0 started circulating...we all made some frantic phone calls to Delta and lickedy-split got our flights changed to yesterday. I have no interest in sitting around in airports, waiting for cancelled flights to get rebooked...or in arriving in Atlanta and then being stuck there for 3 days, unable to drive home because Georgia gets a little cuhraaaazy when it snows (since it's barely been 3 weeks since our last Snowpocalypse, the memories are still fresh). So it was sad to cut our trip short by a day, but I'm happy to be riding out the storm in the comfort of my own bed and not the C Terminal of Hartsfield-Jackson.

My sister and I awaiting our frantically-rescheduled flight yesterday afternoon in Houston.
At any rate, it's probably good that we're home now. I'm pretty sure I've already gained 30 pounds since we arrived in Texas on Thursday...another day would mean another day of Texas food and therefore another fat roll added to the new collection and like...dang. So sad. So worth it.

If you've never been to Texas before, I must forewarn you: the food is abnormally good. Especially if you happen to like Mexican food, seafood, and/or pastries. Sadly for us all, I am extremely passionate about all three...probably a genetic thing, since both of my parents are from Texas? That's what I'm blaming it on, anyway. It seems that all of my family members are equally passionate about the Texas food scene, so I was in good company all weekend.


This was Friday morning, our first stop for kolaches (and doughnuts....and coffee...). Clearly I was excited. Also, I took a picture of the inside of some of our kolaches so that those of you uneducated in the ways of kolaches can see what I'm talking about. In the picture above, the (whole) kolaches are in the white and red baskets. They usually come in two sizes-- a large one that's roughly Hot Pocket sized (how's that for a standardized measurement?), maybe 6 bites...and a small one that's about two bites.


The top one is a ham and cheese, the small one is a sausage (like a cocktail weenie).The pastry that robes the meat is something magical and ethereal. I can't really describe it any better than that, sorry.

You're probably thinking that the only reason we went to Texas was to visit blog friends and eat. You're almost right, but not quite. In fact, the TRUE reason we went out was because it was my Nana's 90th birthday. My dad and uncles organized a big surprise weekend where we all just kinda showed up on her doorstep from our various parts of the country. And then we partied and ate all weekend. It was awesome. It has been a few years since we've visited (and even longer for some other folks) AND they've never met my niece Carley, so it was a huge and wonderful surprise and we had a blast. It's really been years since I've spent so much uninterrupted time with my siblings and this was a super fun chance to make up for lost time. I am really thankful for the days we had together (and the food, obviously).

On Saturday morning we had to do some last-minute party preparations. Trust me, you've never partied until you've been to a 2:30 p.m. 90th birthday celebration.

Sarah knows what's up. We used that sign for a multitude of things over the weekend.


These masks were awesome. We ran around the store scaring people because we are mature adults like that. 

The party was great-- I don't have any pictures of my own because we had a photographer doing the legwork for us, and I don't have her pictures yet. So sorry, so sad-- just know that my parents forced everyone in the extended family to wear WHITE SHIRTS AND JEANS for the ENTIRE PARTY because...because I don't know why. It was as awkward as you are probably imagining. We looked like a cheesy family beach photo that wandered into real life. Luckily my siblings, husband, cousin, and I were all on the same page about how hilarious the whole thing was. Many good laughs were had.

Surprisingly, on Sunday morning we made another run for doughnuts and kolaches. Sarah and I bravely guarded them in the back seat.



As you can see, everyone in the family is on a very strict and disciplined diet. And also I hate everyone on earth that has ready access to a Shipley Do-nuts. HATE YOU.


On Sunday afternoon we had a humongous shrimp fry (and grill and boil). Basically the menfolk spent like 8 hours making shrimp, starting with the disgusting task of de-heading and all that, and finishing with the glorious deep frying (and covering with this yummy concoction and grilling...those were AWESOME). Gulf shrimp are no joke, people. You shoulda been there.


Matt and I as we patiently waited for the dinner bell to ring and Shrimp Fest to begin. I may or may not have passed the time by enjoying a glass of wine or seven.

Shockingly, our Last Meal in Texas was breakfast on Monday...kolache run #3. Delicious. Amazing. So not available in Georgia, which should be a crime. Ugh.



So now we're back-- I'd planned to head back to work today, but lucked out and got a Snow Day! So far I haven't made it out of bed, except to make coffee. I've got my husband and my Lola curled up beside me, I'm watching big fat snowflakes falling through the window, and I'm about to eat some really lame and healthy non-kolache breakfast while I watch about 27 episodes of Revenge...it's gonna be a good day here. Stay warm, friends!

31 comments:

  1. I had to stop reading half way through because I am SO JEALOUS of all the kolaches. Seriously, it's cruel, how you keep bragging and showing pictures and forcing it in our face that you got them THREE TIMES in one weekend. Unless you're about to email and say you've brought some back for me, then I'm done with this post. ;)

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  2. I gained 10 pounds viewing your first picture...thanks! Sorry you had to come home early to avoid Snowpocalypse 2.0, but happy you get a day of R&R. You and your sister are so funny...I can't wait to see your "beachy" pictures!!! My mom would torture us too...we wore matching sweaters one Christmas. It was sooooo special. ;)

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  3. Kolaches are my favorite. I grew up in Dallas and I miss them sooooo much!!!! Now I'm craving one!

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  4. Are kolaches only a Texas thing? I guess because I've only lived here my entire life I just thought everyone had them! My hubby picks up donuts from Shipleys when he has to work on a Saturday and the guy he brings them to requests that they pour extra warm glaze over the already glazed donut...talk about heart attack in a box haha!

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    1. Texans don't even know how blessed they are. As far as I know (other people, feel free to chime in), I've never heard of kolaches outside of TX. Well, since they're supposedly Czech in origin, perhaps they also have them in the Czech Republic or other places with large Czech populations. But as for the US, I've never seen them outside of TX...anyone else?

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  5. "We looked like a cheesy family beach photo that wandered into real life. " - My family so did this for like ALL of our Christmas cards growing up. GEEZ so awful!

    Brandon wants to know. . . of all the kolaches you had in Texas which were your fav and which were the worst? As if there could be a worst, but you know he is the kolache snob after all. . . Heaven forbid he eat at Shipleys!!!

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  6. So glad you made it back before the big storm! Enjoy your tv watching day! Revenge, bachelor and okympics is about as good as it get! Do they also have gig kolaches? Those are the only kind I have heard of...

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  7. My best friend lives in Birmingham and she introduced me to kolashes from Shipley's - AMAZING. But sadness...we have Shipleys 30 min east and about 45 min south of us (Nashville) and NEITHER one sells kolaches. Cue the tears.

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  8. 1. Kolaches. Why have I never been to Texas?
    2. WHERE is the picture of your haircut? I've been waiting anxiously!

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  9. So the real question is: did you eat any kolaches while you were in Texas?

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  10. Sounds like you had an amazing fun & food filled trip! Kolaches...this is new to me and I'm undecided on if I'd like to try them or not. While I decide, I think I'll stuff my face with poutine and ketchup chips! I'm ahppy to hear that you are home safe and sound. Stay warm!!

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  11. I feel YOU should bring those Kolaches to GA. A little side business. Spread the love.

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  12. I do not approve of your shrimp consumption, but everything else gets 2 thumbs up. I hope the next couple of bad weather days are enough time for you to recover from the Texas awesomeness!

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  13. HOLD UP! Jalapeno, sausage, and cheese kolaches??? Why did I not know that was a thing?!?! DO WANT.

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  14. Can I confess something without ridicule or judgment? Yeah, I didn't think so but I have to get this off my chest. ;) I am on my ninth year of living in Texas (transplanted from a non-kolache state) and I have consumed zero kolaches. Now, I can chow down on some Shipley's as fast as a native Texan -- but kolaches have yet to grace these lips. If you were attempting to convert folks, consider it done. Saturday's breakfast will consist of at least 4 of the sausage filled devils pictured above.

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    1. Hey- no judgment or ridicule from me...I just trust that now that you know better, you'll do better. ;) You can get half credit for 'discovering' Shipleys, though...we do NOT have doughnuts that good out here!!!! So sad (but also probably beneficial to my health)...

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  15. Those pictures were torture! I need visit Texas ASAP. I hope you had a great snow day and feel free to send it up north!! :)

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  16. I NEED to try a kolache. Or seven!

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  17. Very interesting. Kolaches in Nebraska as fruit pastries. I never knew there were meat filled kolaches. They look delicious though!

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  18. My grandma's 90th was also a huge fun party. And that food looks awesome! How much snow did y'all get this time? We ended up with over a foot, which is super crazy for us. We got 3 days off school, plus the weekend. Oh and those fancy hotpocket things sound awesome!

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  19. I have never heard of or had a kolache. Clearly my life is incomplete.

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  20. I instantly googled for recipes. I have never had one, but I think I'm going to try this recipe:
    http://www.jasonandshawnda.com/foodiebride/archives/11173/

    It sounds delicious!

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  21. I'm thinking this weekend I'm going to have to make my mom's recipes for kolaches, but I think they have some sort of sweet filling. Like a jam or jelly? Maybe it's a northern thing. In her home state of Iowa they feel if something is good it's better with a cup or so of sugar. Or it might be the German/Danish take on them. I'll have to call my great grandma and ask!

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  22. It's a good thing I came to Houston and got my Shipley's and kolache fix or I would be LOSING MY MIND right about now. I am truly sorry for all your not so lucky readers. I know how tough it is to want those delicious kolaches and not have access. I've come to realize through experience, and your pictures, that my local Shipley's kolaches look a little bit different. I also think they taste better (that's from experience, not pictures, just to clarify). Not sure why since they are technically a chain, but somehow my local store gets away with this change. I suppose I'll have to get some and send you a picture. Twist my arm.

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  23. I'm Asian and I think Texas food is the best. Austin has the best restaurants and people. Texas' diverse population means we get plenty of authentic Mexican, Chinese, and Vietnamese food along with Texas staples like BBQ, Tex-Mex, southern cuisine, etc.

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  24. Why have I never even heard of a kolache? I thought these were what we call kolacky (pronounced ko-la-ch-key): delicious buttery cookies wrapped around a fruity jam filling. Now, how do I find the Texas kolache in Chicago? I'm kinda guessing I can't...
    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cream-cheese-kolacky/

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  25. Ok, Nerdface googled and found that your kolache and my kolacky are the same thing. Czech pastries with different stuff inside. But mine are like cookies and yours are these wonderful savory pastries! Is variety not the spice of life? I shall eat them all.
    More in depth http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/dining/the-kolache-czech-texan-or-all-american-all-three.html

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  26. I love the TX recap!! The amount of kolaches is cracking me up!! You probably should have gone to West, since that is home of the Kolaches!!!! Glad you had a good time!

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  27. I am intrigued by this kolanche thing. It sort of looked like a hot dog in a pancake. I must try someday. Perhaps with my blogging soul sister? Also, white shirts with jeans...LOL forever. Texas is on my list of places to travel, and now I want to go more than ever. Why must you have such random and fantastic adventures. Today I had pizza with pineapple on it...waaahh wah.

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  28. And now I'm hungry! And re-living the memories from my grandma's 100th birthday celebration which was also a pretty awesome occasion. Although I am sad we missed out on further awesomeness by not having my entire family dress in white shirts and jeans! I really can't wait to see pictures.

    And where are the pictures showcasing your NEW HAIRCUT?!?!?!?!? Now I will just have to hit refresh on your blog every 13 seconds until you post them.

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I love comments almost as much as I love Mexican food. Seriously.