Monday, February 26, 2024

Perfect for Lenten Friday Dinner: Smoky Grilled Lemon-Basil Salmon #lentenfridaymeals #grilledseafood #salmon #omega3

During the Lenten season, I'm always looking for healthy and delicious ideas for our Friday seafood dinner. If you love salmon, you'll go crazy for the Smoky Grilled Lemon-Basil Salmon I'm sharing today! It features bright lemon and garden-fresh basil in both the simple marinade and the flavor-packed spice rub. The end result is fish that's bursting with flavor...and a healthy dose of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Super Bowl Game Day Apps...Featuring Roasted Tomatillo Salsa #gamedayfood #superbowlfood #homemadesalsa #chipsandsalsa

The Super Bowl is coming up in a couple of weeks...and that means I'm serving up some yummy game day snacks! I always serve chips and salsa...salty, crunchy, and spicy in one delicious bite. However, I rarely make salsa from scratch for some reason. Luckily, the Roasted Tomatillo Salsa recipe I'm sharing today is incredibly easy to make at home. It features tangy tomatillos and is ready to serve in minutes. If you're like me and don't typically make your own salsa? I promise this one is super easy to make...and economical too. I paid about $3 for the four simple ingredients needed to make this spicy-tangy green salsa! Best of all? It can be made a couple of days ahead of the big game and stored in an airtight container in the fridge until you're ready to serve.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Easy Elegance for New Year's Eve...Featuring Lobster Salad in Puff Pastry Cups #newyearsevefood #puffpastry #easyappetizers #seafood #holidayfood

The 2023 holiday season is quickly coming to an end. If you're planning a low-key celebration at home this weekend to ring in 2024, I've got a perfect appetizer recipe for you. 
My Lobster Salad Puff Pastry Bites are the epitome of easy elegance! B
ite-sized frozen puff pastry cups are filled with a creamy, flavorful lobster salad. The ingredients are minimal, so the sweet chunks of lobster truly take center stage. Best of all? Your guests will never know you whipped them up in no time! Last year, I made the lobster salad a day ahead, then stored in the fridge. I also baked the puff pastry cups early in the day on New Year's Eve. I simply assembled the bites just before serving. Talk about stress-free entertaining!

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Healthy Holiday Sipping: Zero Sugar Peppermint Mocha Steamer...Featuring Peet's Coffee and Jordan's Skinny Syrups #zerosugarcoffee #athomebarista #lowcarbcoffee #skinnypeppermintmocha

For many of us, the holiday season isn't complete without sipping on warm beverages that feature festive flavors like peppermint! Unfortunately, most of the drinks from my favorite coffee shop have way too much sugar and carbs to fit into my current healthy eating...err sipping...plan. To enjoy the flavors of the season in a healthier way, I typically make my own coffee creations at home!

One of my favorites this holiday is my Zero Sugar Peppermint Mocha Steamer, so I'm sharing the recipe with y'all above. This warm mocha packs a perfect peppermint punch -- without being overwhelming -- thanks to using a Peet's Coffee Peppermint Mocha K-Cup®Pod and Jordan's Sugar Free Peppermint Bark Skinny Syrup. The end result reminds me of liquid chocolate peppermint bark. 
By keeping an assortment of flavored K-Cups® and a wide variety of sugar-free flavoring syrups on hand, I've created 100+ sugar-free/low-carb coffee, iced, and frozen blended! Peet's Coffee is a brand I often use when creating these lightened-up coffee drinks. Their flavored blends like Hazelnut Mocha and Caramel Brȗlée don't overwhelm the flavor of the coffee beans, and they always brew up smooth. I also have a collection of Jordan's Skinny Syrups on hand for adding sugar-free flavor...and my coffee creations. My favorite flavors include their White Chocolate Mocha, Cinnamon Dolce, and seasonal White Chocolate Peppermint.
Happy Holidays...from my house to yours! I'll be back next week to share a fun Italian Charcuterie Board that's perfect for at-home New Year's Eve celebrations. In the meantime, I hope you give my Zero Sugar Peppermint Mocha Steamer a try over the holiday weekend. It tastes just as decadent as the coffee shop version...but it's definitely easier on your waistline!

Disclosure: Peet's Coffee and Jordan's Skinny Syrups sent me sample products to facilitate recipe development for this post. As always, all opinions are solely my own.

Friday, December 15, 2023

A Festive Holiday Mocktail...Featuring First Watch's Citrus Hibiscus Punch #firstwatchrestaurant #holidaymocktail #citrus #hibiscus #holidaycheers

The holiday season is heading into the home stretch, which means the next two weeks will be Celebration Central! If you're looking for a festive alcohol-free mocktail to serve, I've got a perfect drink courtesy of my friends at First Watch restaurant. They're serving a fruit-forward Citrus Hibiscus Punch on their Season's Eatings menu. It's flavored with a cinnamon-infused Hibiscus tea, cranberry, orange, pineapple, lemon, and ginger...and it's garnished with a cinnamon sugar rim. First Watch was kind enough to provide the recipe for this sweetly tart punch with me to share here! 

First Watch Citrus Hibiscus Punch
Makes 4 Servings
  • 1 3/4 cup Cold-Brewed Cinnamon Hibiscus Tea
  • 3/4 cup Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup Cranberry Juice
  • 1 cup Orange Juice
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple Juice
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • 2 TBS ginger juice
For the cold-brewed Cinnamon Hibiscus Tea -- makes 2 quarts:
  • 2 quarts Cold Filtered Water
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 cup Dried Hibiscus Flowers
Step 1: Brew the tea the day before you plan to mix and serve the punch. Add all tea ingredients to a large pitcher, and mix with a large spoon. Cover pitcher and place in the fridge overnight...or up to 24 hours. Strain the finished tea into a container to remove the flowers and cinnamon sticks. 

NOTE: after making the punch, the remaining tea will last in the fridge for up to week if tightly sealed.

Step 2: Add the chilled tea, simple syrup, and juices to a large pitcher. Mix with a large spoon to completely incorporate the ingredients. Serve punch over ice with garnish of choice. First Watch serves this punch in a glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar, with a slice of orange for a garnish.
This versatile punch is a delicious holiday mocktail as is. But? First Watch Chef Shane Shaibly says individual servings can also be mixed with a shot of vodka or rum to transform it into a festive seasonal cocktail. 

In addition to their Citrus Hibiscus Punch, First Watch's Season's Eatings breakfast/brunch menu features Sunny Seoul Hash, a Steak and Bacon Breakfast Burrito, a Cinnamon Chip Pancake Breakfast, Gingerbread Spice Donut bites, and sweet-savory Million Dollar Bacon. These seasonal menu items are available at a First Watch location near you through January 7th. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

2023 Holiday Gift Guide for Food Lovers, Part 2 #holidaygiftguide2023 #giftsforfoodies #kitchenandfoodgifts #holidaygifts

It's time for Part 2 of my 2023 Holiday Gift Guide for Food Lovers. This installment includes a pair of gift suggestions for the entertainers and party hosts on your gift well as a fantastic family-friendly gift idea. This year, I'm also including a bonus holiday thank-you gift suggestion that's perfect for teachers, mail carriers...and other people who help make your life easier throughout the year. It's also a great stocking stuffer. Let's get started!

(1) For the Gourmet Entertainer: DeLallo Italian Entertaining Gift Collection. If your holiday shopping list includes people who are known for being excellent party hosts/entertainers, DeLallo's Italian Entertaining Gift Collection ($123.95) is an ideal gift to give them! 
This comprehensive gourmet Italian gift box includes:
  • DeLallo Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • DeLallo Sesame Breadsticks
  • Italian Pitted Olive Medley
  • DeLallo Roasted Red Pepper Strips
  • DeLallo Imported Italian Tomato Bruschetta
  • DeLallo Fig Spread
  • Sweet Casalingo Dry Cured Sausage
  • DeLallo Mini Genoa Salami
  • DeLallo Imported Italian Granino Cheese Wedge
  • Merlot VellaVitano Wedge
This deluxe gourmet gift set can be used to assemble an Italian charcuterie board for at-home celebrations ranging from New Year's Eve...Super Bowl Sunday...a romantic date night...or even a Girls Night In!
A charcuterie board curated from this gift set offers savory and sweet well as multiple textures. It can also be augmented with nuts, dried/fresh fruit, warm bread, or a few cruditè to accommodate larger get-togethers. 

DeLallo has been producing and distributing quality Italian foods for more than seven decades. I'm always impressed with the quality of their products! Their gift sets are carefully arranged inside a blue logo box...and can easily be shipped across the U.S. For local gifting, simply ship the present to yourself. Add a festive bow and gift tag...and it's ready to gift! Be sure to check out DeLallo's entire line of Italian gift sets. There's literally something for all tastes...and a wide range of budgets. 

(2) For the Stylish Party Host: Lynn & Liana Designs Cheese Boards and Accent Trays. If your holiday shopping list includes someone who's both stylish and likes to assemble beautiful food displays...Lynn & Liana's stunning serving pieces will knock their socks off! They offer custom boards and platters that also serve as art. Every piece comes in nine color options...and no two boards are exactly alike. That's because Lynn & Liana uses eco-friendly resin and a production process that creates gorgeous designs unique to each item.
Their Medium Acacia Cheese Board ($89.95) combines beautiful Acacia hardwood with their eco-friendly resin to create a board that's a uniquely beautiful centerpiece for any appetizer table. This board is 8" x 16" x 5/8" -- including the handle. That's the ideal size to serve 2-4 people...perfect for small dinner parties, date night, or a fun girls' night in.
I love my Lynn & Liana Small Ceramic Resin Tray ($39.95). They originally designed these trays as bathroom accent decor to display toiletries and jewelry. But? I use mine to organize and display condiments when entertaining! For example, I've placed small bowls of dipping sauces on it to pair with appetizers for game day. 

Lynn & Liana's line of serving pieces also includes ceramic resin coasters, baguette Acacia boards, and large acrylic serving trays. These items pair perfectly with both items featured here! To check out Lynn & Liana's entire line of gorgeous items, be sure to check out their online shop.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

2023 Holiday Gift Guide for Food Lovers Part 1 #holidaygiftguide2023 #foodlovergifts #holidayfoodgifts #giftsforfoodies

After another, l-o-n-g, hot Texas Summer, 
temps are finally falling...and the holiday season is once again upon us! That can only mean one thing around here: it's time for my annual Holiday Gift Guide for Food Lovers -- my handpicked ideas for gifts that your fellow food lovers will LOVE to receive! This year, I'm featuring curated gift sets that can be shipped nationwide OR come to you boxed and ready to give...ideas for custom gift sets you can tailor to your spending gift suggestions...and perfect gifts for the party hosts on your shopping list. So? Let's get started with Part 1! 

(1) For the Peppermint Lover: Stonewall Kitchen's Peppermint Collection. 
For many people, peppermint is the signature flavor of the holiday season! For the peppermint lovers on your holiday shopping list, Stonewall Kitchen offers a fantastic variety of peppermint-infused holiday well as festive peppermint print kitchen linens. 
Stonewall Kitchen's peppermint items include Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Chocolate Peppermint Brownie Mix, Chocolate Peppermint Sauce, and a coordinating peppermint fabric pot holder and dish towel. Items featured here range in price from $8.95 to $17.50. 

Because these items can be purchased individually, you can easily utilize them to create affordable personalized holiday gifts. For example, the Peppermint Hot Chocolate ($13.95) pairs great with a colorful mug and homemade holiday cookies. It's a thoughtful DIY gift that can be enjoyed during the holidays...and into the new year! You can also select several items from the collection, then arrange them in a basket lined with their festive Peppermint Kitchen Towel ($10.95). Be sure to visit Stonewall Kitchen's handy online store to check out these great peppermint items...and their entire holiday line!

(2) Perfect for Movie Night, Date Night, or Winter Binge Watching: Popzup Popcorn. The quintessential at-home Family Night...or Date Movie Night. That means one thing: popcorn! I was introduced to Popzup Popcorn this Fall, and now I'm hooked! This family-owned company is based in New Hampshire, where they make delicious popcorn by hand using pure, simple ingredients straight from the farm: popcorn kernels, butter, and cheese. I'm sharing two great Popzup options for the holiday season: bags of delicious ready-to-eat popcorn...and their fun Movie Time Popcorn Box Kit.
The Try Them All - Family Size set ($28) features four 5-oz bags of Popzup's signature ready-to-eat flavors: Butter Me Up, Cheddar Head, Maple Cinnamon Toast, and Cheesy Herbie. With both savory and sweet options, there's something to please everyone! I love all these flavors, but the classic Butter Me Up...flavored simply with sea salt and sweet cream my personal favorite. For maximum movie theater vibes, I warm my bowl in the microwave for 10-15 seconds!
For those who prefer to pop their own popcorn, Popzup offers a Movie Time Popcorn Kit that's available for microwave popping ($29) OR stovetop popping ($25). Both kits include a dozen individual packs of popcorn kernels and Popzup's signature Real Butter & Sea Salt Seasoning. 

The microwave Movie Night Kit also includes Popzup's innovative reusable microwave popcorn popper. This eco-friendly popper is 
made with virgin paperboard that's printed with vegetable-based ink. It can easily be recycled or composted when you're ready to discard it. What a perfect gift for those who prefer to use Earth-friendly products! You can find these two gift ideas...and visiting Popzup's online shop. For my Texas readers, I also have purchased bags of Popzup at my local Central Market.

(3) For the Coffee Lover: DIY Coffee Set With Peet's Coffee K-Cup® Pods, Skinny Mixes Holiday Sugar Free Syrups, and a Meaningful Mug. Coffee lovers on your holiday gift list will go nuts for a gift set featuring their favorite K-Cup® pods and yummy sugar-free flavoring syrups. Peet's Coffee has a line of K-Cup® pods  ($9.99 per 10-pod box) that includes their 2023 seasonal Holiday Blend and Peppermint well as year-round favorites Caramel Brûlee, and Hazelnut Mocha. 
Next, select a duo of delicious sugar-free Holiday Skinny Syrups ($7.99/bottle) that coordinate with your selected Peet's Coffee flavors. 
Flavors in Jordan's Skinny Mixes 2023 Holiday Collection include:
  • Sugar Cookie
  • Peppermint Bark
  • White Chocolate Peppermint
  • Eggnog
  • Chestnut Praline
  • Spiced Cranberry
  • Gingerbread Latte
  • Naturally Sweetened Peppermint Mocha -- sweetened with stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol
Once your coffee and syrups are selected, add a fun coffee mug that matches your recipient's personality or favorite hobby. Finally, add everything to a clear cellophane gift bag...and tie with a festive holiday ribbon. Boom! A DIY coffee gift that's customized to their personal favorite flavors.

Be sure to come back Monday for Part 2 of this year's Holiday Gift Guide for Food Lovers! I'll be sharing a trio of gifts that are family friendly...or perfect for the entertainers on your holiday shopping list.

Disclosure: These makers of these items provided me with sample items to try out before recommending to my readers. All opinions are solely my own.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Celebrating the Arrival of Soup Weather...with Yucatan Chicken-Lime Soup aka Sopa de Lima #chickensoup #soupweather #comfortfood

During a Cancun vacation several years ago, we took a day trip to Merida. While there, we had a flavorful chicken soup our entire group raved about. We loved it so much that I found a recipe for this soup online so I could make it when we returned home. Sopa de Lima aka Yucatan Chicken-Lime Soup is similar to chicken-tortilla soup...with a refreshing citrus flavor. I have a few tips I've discovered over the years to ensure the best flavor in the finished soup:

First, I use skinless bone-in chicken breasts to give my broth a deeper chicken flavor. Per a chef we met in Merida, I add lime juice AND simmer lime halves in the broth for 15 minutes before serving. This allows the lime's citrus oil to infuse a deeper lime flavor into the soup. Finally, I add a bit of grated Cotija cheese to the top of each bowl before serving -- because a little cheese is never a bad thing!

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Checking Out the Seasonal Fall Menu at First Watch #firstwatch #fallflavors #breakfastandbrunch

First Watch restaurant recently unveiled its seasonal Fall menu items. I recently had a chance to stop by my neighborhood First Watch location to try a few of these special, limited edition menu items. If you've never eaten at First Watch before, they feature a Daytime Dining concept that features a chef-driven menu of breakfast, brunch, and lunch items. I grabbed one of my team members for a relaxing weekday brunch. The Fall menu centers on warm and cozy Fall flavors like pumpkin, cinnamon, and flavorful hearty entrees. We started our meal with a duo of beverages -- a flavorful iced coffee and a fruit-forward cocktail. The Honey Caramel Crunch Iced Coffee was introduced this Summer...and was so popular that it's sticking around for Fall. It features a salted caramel drizzle and sweet honey-flavored coffee. It's topped with sweet cream cold foam and crunchy toffee crumbles. So good! 

We also tried a fruit-forward Pomegranate Sunrise -- which combined Camarena Tequila, tart pomegranate juice and fresh lime, and sweet agave nectar. The presentation of this cocktail was really fun too...cheers!

For our duo of entrees, we picked one savory...and one with a bit of sweetness. The Barbacoa Quesadilla Benedict was spicy goodness! It features two beef barbacoa quesadillas prepared quesa birria style. The cheesy quesadillas are topped with two cage-free eggs, Vera Cruz hollandaise sauce, spicy ranchero sauce, and sliced scallions. The dish is accompanied by seasoned black beans topped with house-made pico de gallo. This dish hearty and savory...perfect for sharing!

Our second entree was a Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast. The centerpiece of this plate was a large, fluffy spiced pumpkin pancake -- a quintessential taste of Fall. The spiced pumpkin pancake was paired with two sunny-side-up eggs and a savory Jones Dairy Farm chicken sausage patty.

This is a traditional breakfast combo that offers the perfect amount of seasonal Fall flavor. If you enjoy sweet and savory flavors together on one plate, this Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast is a perfect way to start your day! 

We ended our meal on a sweet note with First Watch's seasonal Cinnamon Spice Churros, which were served with a duo of dipping sauces on the side: Mexican Mocha and Salted Caramel. Crispy churros...flavored with warm cinnamon spice...and dipped into decadent sauces? What a fun final course!

If you want to try First Watch's seasonal Fall offerings, you need to act quickly -- because these are limited-time-only menu items. To find a First Watch location near you, check out their handy searchable online Location Finder.

Disclosure: First Watch hosted The Weekend Gourmet team for a complimentary tasting of their seasonal Fall menu. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

My Experience Trying the Sunbasket Meal Delivery Service #sunbasket #mealdelivery #healthyandeasy

I recently had the opportunity to try Sunbasket's meal delivery service, and I have to say I am very impressed! I especially loved that Sunbasket provides two different meal options available for ordering: (1) Meal Kit recipes AND (2) Fresh & Easy ready-to-eat meals. That flexibility allowed me cook when I had time to spend in the kitchen...and simply reheat a delicious meal in the oven or microwave on my most hectic days.

Sunbasket's tagline, "Your Kind of Healthy," immediately caught my eye. To that end, Sunbasket offers customers a customized meal selection process. Each week's menu selections can be filtered for eight popular nutrition plans -- including Diabetes-Friendly, Carb-Conscious, and Vegetarian. Menus can be further filtered to focus on...or avoid...specific kinds of foods. 

From there, Sunbasket filters each week's menu options to offer customers recipes that match their personal dietary needs. The last step is to select the number of menu items you want included in your box...between 2 and 5...and whether you want 2 or 4 servings for each selected meal. 

I loved seeing just the menu items that matched my personal eating habits...such a time saver! I follow a Carb-Conscious eating plan these days, so filtered for that. I also eat mostly chicken and seafood...and I've reduced my consumption of beef and other red meat. Based on this individualized input, Sunbasket recommended several delicious options for my four-meal (two servings each) box. I selected two easy, healthy recipes: 

  • Migas with Crisp Tortilla Strips, Chorizo, Eggs, and Salsa Verde
  • Mediterranean Honey-Harissa Salmon with Apple-Cabbage Slaw
My box arrived at my door on my selected delivery date. My two recipe meals were neatly organized with all ingredients needed to cook them packed inside of two labeled paper bags. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Fall Sipping with Pumpkin Pie Hot White Chocolate #pumpkinseason #hotwhitechocolate #fewercarbs #lesssugar #athomebarista


It's officially Fall, which means it's finally pumpkin spice latte season. But...what if you don't drink coffee? No problem...I've got you covered! Here's an easy recipe for a warm and creamy seasonal white chocolate cocoa. It's a perfect sip as the days turn cooler. My Pumpkin Pie Hot White Chocolate is like sipping a piece of pumpkin pie. It smells absolutely amazing as it simmers on the stove, and it's ready to enjoy in minutes! As an added bonus, I'm also providing easy ingredient substitutions to enjoy this decadent drink with less sugar and fewer carbs. These tweaks allow me to enjoy pumpkin spice a healthier way!

Saturday, September 30, 2023

MOD Pizza: Creating Delicious Custom Pizzas...and Salads!! #WeekendGourmetDinesOut #MODPizza #makeityourown #pizza #salad

The Weekend Gourmet team recently visited a MOD Pizza location here in San Antonio to create a signature individual artisan-style pizza...and a delicious entree salad. If you're not familiar with MOD Pizza, they offer more than 40 creative pizza and salad toppings. Even better? You pick as many toppings as you want for one set priceThat means there are endless options to create whatever flavor profile you're craving every time you visit! It's really fun to go through the line and assemble your individual pizza or salad. Whether you prefer traditional toppings...or you crave more over-the-top creative can assemble your personal masterpiece!
Your first step is to pick your crust -- including 6" mini, 11" thin or thick, gluten-friendly, and cauliflower. Then choose from seven different sauces to top your crust. The final step is to top your pizza with cheese(s) and other toppings. The friendly MOD Pizza staff will assemble your pizza in front of you as you make your way down the lineup. 

The Weekend Gourmet's custom pizza started with a thin 11" crust, creamy white sauce, mozzarella, salami, mild sausage, spicy chicken sausage, spinach, artichoke hearts, fresh garlic, and black olives (on half).

Once your pizza is topped, it heads to a screaming hot 800℉ stone pizza oven ... where it bakes to perfection in 3-4 minutes. Once your pizza creation come out of the oven, it can be drizzled with one of eight finishing sauces. We opted for pesto and spicy sri-rancha cups on the side for dipping instead. 

I personally love that MOD also offers a healthy create-your-own salad option! I eat a lot fewer carbs these days, so salads are a staple of my daily eating plan. I was able to craft a delicious healthy salad.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Healthy Recipe Revamp...Featuring Cajun Baked Shrimp and Corn Dip #gamedayfood #shrimprecipe #lowfatdip #lowercarb #healthyappetizer

After a long, hot Texas Summer? Football season is here! That means game day food! My lighter Cajun Baked Shrimp and Corn Dip is warm and cheesy...with less fat and calories. Nobody who tastes this dip will guess it's easier on the waistline! This big-flavor dip is assembled and baked in the same cast iron skillet -- which streamlines your prep, cooking, and cleanup. 

Monday, August 7, 2023

Perfect for the Back-to-School Rush: Fruit 'n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites #healthysnack #peanutbutter #nobaketreat


Where has the Sumer Break gone?!?!? It's back-to-school time here in Texas this month. That means parents and kids are busier adjusting to getting up earlier in the morning, taking part in after-school activities, then the with dinner and homework routine in the evenings. Recipes that are simple, quick, or can be made ahead are lifesavers. Today, I'm sharing a simple no-bake snack that kids of all ages love: Fruit 'n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites. These bite-size granola treats come together in less than 30 minutes. Simply whip up a batch on Sunday afternoon, and you're got a tasty lunchbox treat...or afternoon snack...for the coming week! I used dried cranberries here, but feel free to use whatever dried fruit you have on hand to customize them to your family's personal tastes.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out...Featuring Tributary at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter #WGDinesOut #SADining #TributarySA

The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out feature is back! We're reintroducing this popular series with Tributary, a farm-to-table restaurant located at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter. Chef Joseph Martinez focuses on produce and meats sourced from local farmers, keeping in mind Texas seasonality. The Weekend Gourmet team recently visited Tributary to sample items from the creative, wide-ranging menu. From appetizers to desserts, it was a delicious dining experience.
Tributary offers plenty of seating in its main dining room, as well as in the Marriott Rivercenter's expansive lobby. The lobby seating offers a ton of natural light...and great people watching! We were greeted and quickly seated in the expansive lobby dining area adjacent to the restaurant's well-stocked bar. We started our meal with a duo of craft cocktails and appetizers. The Tributary Tequila O.F. is an updated take on a classic Old Fashioned cocktail. It features Dobel Diamante Cristalino Barrel tequila that's hand-selected by the Tributary team. This tequila is exclusive to the restaurant, so this is definitely a one-of-a-kind cocktail you literally won't find it anywhere else! It's potent, but smooth...with a citrus back note from the twist of orange peel. We also tried the restaurant's signature Tributary Margarita...a beautiful fuchsia cocktail flavored with tangy prickly pear and lime juice. It's festive and delicious...cheers!
We paired our cocktails with a duo of appetizers. Up first was the Chips & Dips Trio...which included two housemade salsas and freshly made guacamole. Although not prepared tableside, we both agreed that the supremely fresh guacamole was some of the very best we'd ever eaten. Simple, creamy, and delicious!
Next from the kitchen was a warm flatbread appetizer with a distinctly Tex-Mex flavor. The Chicken Tinga Flatbread featured spicy Chipotle Braised Chicken, Oaxaca Cheese, Cotija, Pickled Red Onion, and Cilantro. The crust was thin, but not soggy. The toppings were mildly spicy and cheesy...the pickled onions brought a brightly tart flavor to every bite.

After enjoying our cocktails and appetizers, it was time for a shared salad course. Tributary's updated Iceberg Wedge features creative sweet tea-infused bacon, creamy mild Point Reyes Blue Cheese, heirloom tomatoes, and herb-infused Buttermilk Ranch. This salad was bursting with fresh flavors...a perfect Summer dish. I could literally eat this salad every day of the week!

From there, it was time for two comforting Gulf seafood entrees: Blackened Red Snapper and classic Southern-style Shrimp & Grits!