Crowley Park, Richardson

On a post-dawn walk through Crowley Park, I noticed it has something for everyone.

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Whether you picnic with friends in the pavilion,

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flop down for some “me” time,

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or hit the trail that circles the park

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for a flower-flecked walk or run,

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you’ll find views that thrill

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and views that soothe.

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Have tots with energy to burn? The park has two play areas, this one ringed with trees.

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Takin’ a breather without robin the bank

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means you sit on a deck

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watching ducks and turtles gather.

At ~58 acres, Crowley Park is the second largest of Richardson’s neighborhood parks. What strikes me is the city’s meticulous care in keeping the place pristine. Add me to Yelpers who love Crowley Park.

***
Correction: In the original post, I stated that Crowley Park is Richardson’s largest. But it isn’t. Breckinridge Park (~417 acres) is. I love Breck, too!
– Gita, 13 May 2017

Daiso detour

Ever been to Daiso? The Japanese chain has four stores in DFW. I popped by their Plano location for rainy day inspiration. Here’s a tiny sampling of the cute stuff on offer.

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thumb-sized toothpick holders

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purrse-friendly prices

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mug shot

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pot shot

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i oink, therefore i ham

Daiso also has stationery, bento boxes, itty bitty dressing bottles, pretty Japanese paper fans, and loads more. Oh, and snacks! And Marukawa fruit-flavored bubble gum 🙂

Lunch for lexophiles

Downtown Dallas offers quite the array of dining options. Three restaurants stand out for their very creative names.

Tortaco, on Ross, melds torta (sandwich, in Mexican cuisine) and taco (a folded, filled tortilla) for a playful portmanteau.
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Living up to its name, the restaurant serves tortas, tacos, and more.
wp-1488242032506.jpgThe Relleno and the Cali Breakfast sans bacon make for a tasty two-taco lunch.

Which Wich uses alliteration to delicious effect.
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Which wich would you like? Step in, grab a brown bag and use the red Sharpies provided to customize your order. Give the cashier your bag, pay, and wait for your just-the-way-you-like-it wich.

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While you can’t go wrong with any of the veggie wiches, the menu includes other types — Turkey, Chicken, Italian, and more — if you’re so inclined.

Finally, the punny gem that inspired this post.

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The Hospitality Sweet, on Ervay
Their tagline: Sweet cakes. Good food.
Based on their chow-worthy Chipotle Black Bean Quinoa Wrap, I’m willing to bet their desserts are equally delish.

Sweetness permeates every aspect of this lovely place.

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Crazy for curry puffs

Here’s a hack of an Indian snack, the curry puff.  I learned it during my grad student days in Austin from another grad student whose aunt knew the shortcuts that kept our tummies happy even if our hearts longed for home.

curry puff ingredients

Before

Curry puffs

After

When I was growing up in Secunderabad, we got curry puffs from city bakeries. Blatantly buttery layers of pastry held assertively seasoned dry vegetable curries made of potatoes, green beans, peas and carrots.

My attempt at a potato version:

Ingredients
Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets (pkg contains 2 sheets)
Russet potatoes, 3 medium to large
Olive oil, 3 tablespoons
Medium onion, chopped
Grated ginger, 2 tablespoons
3 green chillies, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 key lime
Chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons

Turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon, heaped
Sea salt, 1.5 teaspoons or to taste
Black (rock) salt, 1/2 teaspoon (ask for kala namak at the Indian store)
Garam masala, 1 teaspoon

Filling
Can make ahead

  1. Boil potatoes until tender, but not to mash state. Cool, peel, coarse-dice.
  2. Heat oil in pan. When nice and hot, add green chillies, chopped onion, grated ginger, minced garlic, and turmeric. Saute till onions are translucent and raw garlic smell goes away.
  3. Add potatoes and sea salt. Mix it all together and cook until heated through. You’re aiming for a mass that holds together but isn’t wet.
  4. Add garam masala and cook on low to medium heat for a couple minutes.
  5. Remove from heat. Add rock salt, lime juice and cilantro. Stir to combine.
  6. Allow filling to cool to at least room temperature before assembling curry puffs.

Depending on the size of the potatoes, you might end up with more filling than you’ll need for two pastry sheets’ worth of puffs, but the leftovers are good with rotis, in sandwiches, or even as dosa stuffing!

Wrapping

  1. Follow package directions to thaw pastry.
  2. Each sheet has three panels. Make cuts to separate the panels and divide each panel into thirds. You’ll have 9 squares per sheet. So the 2 sheets make 18 puffs.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Gently roll out a single pastry square on a floured surface so it becomes more of a rectangle.
  5. Place a heaped tablespoon of filling on the rectangle. Fold over and press edges together to seal. Optional: press down sealed edges with fork tines.
  6. Repeat for the remaining 17 squares. Place puffs on lightly greased baking trays.
    Currry puffs, ready for the oven
  7. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until puffs are golden-brown. I had to go longer than the 15 minutes suggested on the package, more like 20 min.
  8. Remove trays from oven and allow puffs to cool slightly.
    Curry puffs, baked

Serve with Maggi Hot and Sweet Tomato Chilli Sauce and steaming mugs of ginger chai!

PS>
If you don’t have black (rock) salt, sub with sea salt or table salt.
For the filling, use any dry curry or one of the samosa fillings found here.
Brush puffs with an egg wash before  baking for a beautiful golden sheen.

Lettuce rejoice

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I turnip at a signature Kroger and faint at the fantasticality of the produce wall. Herringboned carrots and parsnips. Carefully curated collard greens. Rowdy radishes wrangled. Bunches of spinach, white-belted soldiers in rows.

The stocking crew didn’t miss a beet. Their painterly care leaves me artichoked with emotion. Way to embrace their work endive into it with devotion.

***

Thanks for being here, dear reader. Here’s to a fresh start in 2017!

Bob Woodruff Park, Plano – South Pavilion

No sun, but still a Sunday!

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Parking lot panorama

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Peaceful pavilion

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Feeling grove-y

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How old is the tree at left? Hint: At least as old as the U.S. constitution

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225+ years. Wow!

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Bob Woodruff Park, Plano – North Pavilion