Alternate title for this post was: Texas Spice and Beer on ice, that’s what my weekend was made of…
When I went to the chiropractor on Thursday morning, my doctor asked if I had plans for the weekend.
“Nope,” I said, ‘”Just a low-key weekend at home with my family.”
I had general plans to go for a run and study for my PE Exam, but otherwise my social calendar was empty. Or so I thought. It ended up being a busy, FUN weekend! This is going to be long, so settle in.
Thursday night, I drove downtown after work for Sunset Yoga at the Omni Hotel with Dallas Fitness Ambassadors. After a full body adjustment at the chiropractor’s office that morning, a gentle yoga class was exactly what I needed. The class was held on the lawn in front of the hotel, overlooking downtown Dallas and the classic red, flying Pegasus. Yoga outside in August may not sound like a great idea, but it was overcast with a little breeze so it was comfortable. I even felt a few drops of rain right during the final savasana.
After yoga, we gathered on the patio at Texas Spice in the Omni. The hotel spa set up chairs for massages, Jade & Clover hosted a pop up shop, the restaurant passed complimentary hor d’ourvres and we had drinks from Sparkling Ice and I Am The Juice. As I was getting ready to head home, Ginger asked me if I wanted to attend the Community Beer Artisan Dinner with her the next night. I heard “beer + food” and immediately said yes.
Texas Spice hosts a monthly Artisan Dinner series, which includes a four-course meal and drink pairings. This month featured local brewery, Community Beer Company. Our evening started with a welcome reception in the bar area, with our first beer and light bites. Although I wanted to eat ALL the food, I knew that we had a big meal (and more beer) ahead of us.
After the welcome reception, we moved to the large, private dining area in the back of the restaurant. Megan, the general manager of Texas Spice, welcomed us to dinner and told us the chef(s) would be coming out to describe the dishes throughout the evening. Ashley from Community Beer told us about the beer as it was served with each course.
Heirloom Tomato Salad – Tomato Gelee, Fresh Mozzarella, & Basil Cloud
Paired with Oaked Mosiac IPA & Mosaic IPA
Confit Chicken Thigh – Sweet Onion, Turnip Greens, & Okra Tartlet
Paired with Passiflora – a White IPA with Passion Fruit
Speck Wrapped Local Pork Tenderloin – Garden Sage, Truffle Gold Gnocci, & Sauce Crecy
Paired with Wit N’ Wild – a Barrel Aged Witbier (NEW from Community, first time ever tapped)
Silly Gose Sabayon & Green Apple Mille-Feuille with Jalapeno Nappage
Paired with Silly Gose – a German Style Tart Wheat with Tangerine & Apricot
Two things that surprised me about the beer, 1) how pairing beer with food changed the taste of the drink and 2) at the end of the night I still could not pick a favorite beer. The Wit n’ Wild and the Mosaic IPA were my top picks out of the 6 beers I tasted.
Now for the food. I was also surprised with each dish that was served, mainly because the description on the menu could not capture all the flavors of the food. The Confit Chicken tartlet was a flaky pastry with rich, savory flavor. The Pork tenderloin was smoky and tender. I wanted to eat it all but the portion was generous and I needed to save room for dessert. I thought it was interesting when the chef explained that the sauce for the apple dessert was made with the silly gose beer. Dessert was not too sweet, it was the perfect end to a delicious meal. The only dish I did not care for was the tomato salad with the tomato gelee and basil cloud. The flavors were good, but I did not like the texture of the dish. Apparently, I prefer my basil in non-cloud form! But I was in the minority because I saw clean plates around the table.
Be sure to follow Texas Spice on Facebook to find out the dates and menus for upcoming dinners. The next Artisan Dinner will be held on September 8th and will feature Texas Whiskeys. Tickets are only $55 per person, which is an amazing deal for a four course meal with alcohol pairings! I will miss the September dinner due to work travel, but I can’t wait to take my husband back in October.
Saturday morning, my plan was to wake up around 7 AM to go for a 3 mile run. However I ended up sleeping in (blame the beer dinner) and did not lace up my shoes until about 9:30 to head out for a run. I really haven’t been running with the OC3 program, but I need to train for the Tour des Fleurs quarter marathon next month.
It was hot, humid and sunny during my run, but I managed to make it 3 miles. I did find a shady spot in my neighborhood, so I did a few laps up and down the sidewalk to try to stay cool. If you caught my IG Stories on Saturday, you saw how sweaty and red-faced I was when I finished. After my run, I showered and spent a few hours at the dining room table studying for my PE exam.
Saturday night ended up being a fun, last-minute date at Local Brews, Local Grooves (a craft beer & music festival) at the House of Blues. At the end of dinner the night before, we each received two complimentary tickets from Community Beer. Trey and I attended this festival two years ago, so I knew it would be a fun night.
We arrived at House of Blues around 4:30 and grabbed a few $15 wristbands. First we sampled some of our favorite brews, like Passaflora from Community and Mango Smash from 3 Nations. Then we tried a few new (to us) breweries, like Woodcreek, Shannon and Nine Band. There were so many bands and musicians playing in the Music Hall, the Cambridge room and the Foundation Room. My favorite part of the night was listening to Crystal Yates and meeting several of her friends/fans. She and her husband are a country/blues, songwriting duo from the Dallas area, so she had a big crowd.
Since Trey also had a late show that evening, we stopped at Torchy’s Tacos for a quick dinner then I went home to take care of the kids. I had promised Sophia we would bake cookies, then we watched a movie. At about 10 PM, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a friend’s post from the Highland Village Balloon Festival.
I had totally forgot that the festival was this weekend! Last year we had plans to go, but it rained and the festival was cancelled. Quickly, I found the webpage and looked up the schedule for Sunday morning. It listed the hot air balloon fly in/take off between 6-8 AM. Surprisingly, the kids agreed to get up early with me to go see the balloons. Since Trey was getting ready to go on stage at his gig, I texted him that I was going to take the kids to the festival early the next morning.What happened to Stephanie that was unexpected this weekend? It includes beer and balloons... Click To Tweet
At 6 AM the next morning, I woke up the kids and told them to brush their teeth and put on some shoes. I threw on some workout clothes, a hat, grabbed my purse and we were out the door. It didn’t hit me until we were almost at the festival that I only had a few dollars cash and my ID in my purse. That was all I had in my purse from the night before. Although the festival is free, I needed money to park! With only four dollars, we found a place to park and started walking towards the field where the balloons would fly in.
We stopped to see the ducks by the pond on the way to the field and I snapped a few pictures of the gorgeous sunrise. Then I realized we had left our blanket in the car, one of many mom fails that Sophia pointed out to me all morning. We ended up sitting in the grass with the other balloon spectators. After about 30 minutes, a garbled announcement was made that the balloons would not be flying in due to the winds. Although it was calm on the field, it was a windy a few hundred feet up. So it was a 50/50 chance that we would get to see the balloons.
At this point, I knew the kids would be upset if I got them out of bed for nothing. I was going to promise to pick up donuts, but remembered I had no cash left and no credit card in my purse. Then the trucks, vans and trailers started driving out onto the field. They unloaded baskets and pulled out the huge balloons in the grass. After another announcement that I could not decipher, people started walking out onto the field. We could stand next to the balloons as they were inflated!
I was in awe standing next to the balloons as they used fans to blow them up, then attached them to the baskets. Once the balloons were completely inflated and attached to the baskets, they turn on the propane burners. Everyone was chatting excitedly, taking pictures and watching in awe as some of the balloons took off. After about an hour, I was getting hungry and needed coffee so we walked back to the car to drive home. Instead of donuts, I made pancakes for the kids and woke up Trey.
Apparently he had NO IDEA we had gone to the festival. He never got my text the night before and was sleeping the entire time we were gone! The rest of the day was pretty relaxed. I blogged, studied, took a nap and cooked dinner. Only one week left of summer vacation, then the kids go back to school!
How was your weekend? Did you do anything unexpected? Have you ever been to a hot air balloon festival?