While Dallas get its share of love as a place of top notch dining establishments, both of quality and quantity, people tend to forget that there are foodie havens in the area that aren’t guarded by stuffy maitre-d’s, or regularly hosting adventurous, chef’s table experiences.

One of those havens is easily Scardello Artisan Cheese. The Oak Lawn shop has garnered a reputation not only for fine cheeses, but for teaching its patrons about them and the many ways in which cheese can liven up any meal or party.

Here are some of the classes that are offered soon:

Beer vs. Wine Smackdown! 

Thursday, May 5, 7:00pm 

Which is truly the better pair with cheese? Will wine lovers shake their stems in the agony of defeat? Will beer lovers mourn by crying into their…well…beer? Even if you know the answers to these vexing questions, who wouldn’t love the experience of putting these two elixirs to the test? Each of the five rounds consists of one cheese, one wine and one beer. You will talk about pairing in general and specific impressions of each pair. There will be a vote and a winner. What truly is cheese’s best partner? You will decide!


Thursday, May 19, 7:00pm 

Join them as they nibble their way through the different cheese types. Experience comparative tastings of cheese and out-of-the-ordinary items that will help you focus on the distinct flavors of each cheese type. They will cover the basics on how cheese is made and answer questions about cheese pairing fundamentals. Of course, there will be soothing libations provided to be enjoyed in the relaxing atmosphere of the shop! 

The Blues

Thursday, May 26, 7:00pm

Blue, green and in-between! Those lovely veins running through blue cheese make the mouth tingle in anticipation. Learn about these wonders of the cheese world. Taste examples from mild to strong, creamy to crumbly and one or two that feel like a good old fashioned kick in the teeth! Of course, they’ll pair these delights with near-perfect libations.

So, not in the mood to take a class? How about a lazy, cheese-filled Sunday? To help you on your quest they will have a Sunday Only Menu. In addition to their cheese plates and regular sandwiches, start with Coffee brewed fresh from Cafe Ibis in Utah. They will offer $6 Mimosas and a new Sunday-exclusive sandwich. The Opened-Faced for Suggestionsis served sans salad on two open faces of Farmhouse bread with Wisconsin cured Pancetta and brûléed Gruyere. The name of the sandwich is up in the air. You have a chance to name it. Stop by Sunday, give it a try and give them your suggested name. They’ll award the winner with a delicious surprise!

Contact Information:

Phone: 214.219.1300

Hours: Monday -Thursday 11am-7pm

Friday -Saturday 11am-8pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm

The Plaza at Preston Center has long been a bastion of Dallas’ best shopping – and cupcakes (Hello, Sprinkles!). Soon, a new name will add to the prestigious center’s already illustrious list of tenants.

Calypso St. Barth Home will be opening its doors on April 29th, just around the corner from its apparel store. President Stefanie DiRienzo Smith said recently, “We have enjoyed such a strong following from the Dallas community. The small amount of Home items we could carry in our apparel store always sold out, so when our manager Amy, made us aware of a store vacancy, we jumped at it.”

Calypso Home will carry their exclusive line of Maison de Vacances bedding, Heidi Merrick textiles, custom upholstered furniture and signature poufs and rugs.

Anne Haagenson, a buyer for Calypso Home added, “Our design philosophy is composed of five simple elements: colors, texture, layers, print and shape, seen in the artisan objects and textiles that we are passionate about. This Calypso Home will also have one of a kind chairs and handmade custom dining tables, perfect for Dallas’s legendary dinner parties.”
The store will be located at 8413 Preston Center Plaza, Dallas, Texas  75225. Hours will be Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For you northern, D/FW Metroplex dwellers that may have been wondering when we would get around to bringing an Appy Hour to your neck of the woods, wonder no more!

This Thursday, April 28, from 5:00pm – 9:00pm, we’ll be smoking some fine cigars with the even finer folks at McKinney’s the Cigar Lounge (6840 West Virginia Pkwy, McKinney TX, 75071).

Buzz-in to enter a chance to win a trip to The Cayman Islands and other fun prizes!

All Perdomo cigars will be Buy 3, Get 1 Free including the Habano, Reserve 10th Anniversary Champagne, Lot 23, Cuban Bullet and Fresco lines.

In addition, we will be one of the first shops to preview some of Perdomo’s new cigars including the Champagne Noir.The Perdomo Reserve Champagne Noiris blended with dark, oily triple-fermented Cuban-seed Maduro wrappers meticulously aged in bourbon barrels. Filled with hints of chocolate and dark roasted coffee, this medium to full-bodied blend offers a sweet aroma with a smooth satisfying finish. Supplies on these cigars will be limited so get here early!

To RSVP- download the free BestBuzz app, login with Facebook, and scan the code below with your smartphone! See you there!

For us in the Dallas area, this past Saturday presented a few options for National Record Store Day festivities, but for anyone really looking to make a party of it, or to make a neighborhood event out of their day, Good Records on  lower Greenville Ave was the only real option. With an in-store performance line-up including Denton buzz-queen Sarah Jaffe and also her buds from the north, Midlake (who would be backing up Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle), it was little wonder that the aisles were so packed. Below is a few pics from the event that I enjoyed with my son, this past Saturday…

We showed up with a list of special releases we couldnt wait to get our hands on, but by 11am, pretty much all of our top choices were gone, except for this limited edition Foo Fighters LP, which my son wanted, you know, "cuz it's got a steak on it."

Denton's darling, Sarah Jaffe sounded great. By this point in time, however, it was hard to tell which group was larger inside of the store: the people specifically watching Jaffe or the people in-line to purchase albums. I suppose many were doing both, too. It was nice to see the early sets of the day be as attractive as this day's were.

See what I mean? PACKED! It's of little wonder that the special 7-inch singles from Husker Du, Built To Spill, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, or the others that were on my list were no longer available. This pic was taken around noon. Word has it that eager vinyl-lovers started lining up at the store's doors around 5:30am! Note to self for next year: Man up and get there early next year. Record Store Day is the new Black Friday.

For some of us, Hillsboro was the first town with a large outlet mall anywhere near us. For others, Lake Whitney, just a few minutes away from Hillsboro, has been a watery get-away for years. And even for others, Hillsboro is just that spot where I-35 splits and, if you’re heading north to D/FW, it means you’re almost home, or if you’re heading down south to San Antonio, it means you’ve still got a ways to go, yet.

Well, for this upcoming Mother’s Day Weekend, Hillsboro stands for action. Activities of all sorts are planned during the weekend of May 7th and 8th. From triathlons for in-shape humans to races for spunky little chihuahuas, there seems to be a good bit going on ’round town that weekend.

Triathletes can help make history by participating the first-ever Tri-Hillsboro Triathlon on May 7. The race event begins Friday evening with a spaghetti dinner, and will take place Saturday morning along the glistening waters of Lake Aquilla and the rolling hills of Highways 1534, 933, 310 and 1947. Registration for the race is a reasonable $55 up to April 18 and $65 for late registration up to May 2. Event proceeds will go to Hill County’s Volunteer Fire Department and Boys & Girls Club. Sponsorships for the triathlon of various sizes are welcomed and appreciated. For registration and additional sponsorship information, visit www.HillsboroTriathlon.com or contact Bhavini Ankuda at 254-266-4355.

If you want some exercise but swimming and running are not your forte, jump on your bike and head out to the Waggin’ Trail Bike Ride on May 7. The fourth annual race will benefit Hill County’s Paw Pals and Boys & Girls Club. Early registration is $25 by May 3, $30 up to race date and $15 for children under 12 years old. Contact Mike Hendricks at 254-580-0679 or HCPawPals@Yahoo.com for additional information.

Think you have the fastest pint-sized canine? Well, bring them out to go-for-the-gold at the Fourth Annual Chihuahua Racesat Outlets at Hillsboro. Non-Chihuahua pedigrees will have their chance to strut their stuff as well at the Pet Fashion Show. Visit www.OutletsAtHillsboro.com to pre-register and receive a free Gold Goody Bag with hundreds of dollars in coupons and savings. The $10 entry fee will help support Hill County Paw Pals.

If you prefer Captain Jack Sparrow over racing or tails and tu-tus, the Texas Pirate Festival at Middlefaire is the place for you. Over 100 vendors, belly dancing, singing and re-enactments will take you back in time to an otherworldly mid-seventeenth century English village of tri-corne hats, gypsies, and skulls and crossbones. Vendor forms are available at www.Middlefaire.net. Make sure you bring your eye-patches and booty to 8581 State Hwy 171 on May 7-8.

So, when your mother hints at hitting the nearest, elegant brunch for her special day, remember, brunches don’t have racing chihuahuas!

It’s no secret that from time to time we dip our toes into all things comics ’round these parts. Funny thing is, I never thought I’d find myself sucked into the world of all things drawn, but when you marry someone who damn near has an addiction, you wake one day to discover that you, too, have been sucked in.

My husband knew I’d never be compelled enough to read anything less than a half inch thick – smart man – so my gateway drugs were all graphic novels: David Boring, by Daniel Clowes, Alan Moore’s Watchmen, and Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth, by Chris Ware. Now, thanks to Richard at Zeus Comics in Dallas, I’ve become consumed with a variety of authors and illustrators. And I have to take a moment to shout out to my pal and local David Hopkins –( WE LOVE YOU DAVID) – creator and mastermind behind We’ve Never Met, Astronaut Dad, Antigone, Emily Edison and Karma Incorporated.

As for webcomics, I have two that I visit daily: Scott Kurtzwho I interviewed last year – and his Player vs. Player webcomic and Jeph JacquesQuestionable Content.

Now word comes this morning, thanks to Jeph Jacques, that both he  will be in Austin this weekend for Webcomics Rampage at the Dragon’s Lair. The two meet and greets start at noon Dec 11-12th and will also feature webcomic author Danielle Corsetto of Girls With Slingshots – a favorite of Kurtz’s – and others.

Deets below:

Hylton Lea,  Global  Skincare Expert and Vice-President of the groundbreaking  RéVive skincare line, will be hosting a cocktail party at Neiman Marcus at North Park Center in Dallas on Thursday, December 9th at 4pm.

During this event, Hylton will be educating consumers about the importance of an evening skincare regime while highlighting key overnight products from the remarkable RéVive skincare line. RéVive is the ONLY skincare brand  containing  three Nobel Prize winning molecules. Along with a celebrity users list that reads like a who’s who of Hollywood elite, RéVive is truly the only skincare collection of  its kind.

And if you’re lucky enough to attend, would you mind picking me up one of these amazing limited edition art bags, pretty please?

In my quest to give the gift of Texas this holiday season, I also stumbled across Cordova Studios and their hand spun, hand dyed yarns, shawls and dog sweaters this morning.

Whether you’ve got a posh pet or knitting fan on your list, Cordova’s yarn and creations are simply beautiful. And while I’m eyeballing this gorgeous, colorful shawl for my 94-year-old granny and this snazzy, Wine and Swiss Cheese scarf for a certain hairdresser in my life, you might be interested in Cordova’s bags, felted from hand-dyed churro yarn totes, which make either an adorable tote or even a green, grocery store bag.

Back to the dog sweaters for a moment. Not only are these sweet little sweaters perfect for the petite, pampered pooch in your life, Trinket the King Charles Cavalier and Cordova’s founder donate 20% of  profits from their line of Trinket dog sweaters to Cavalier Rescue, USA.

Chocolate, parade floats and lights galore are what guests will catch sight of upon arriving at this jolly spectacular. Hillsboro, the close-knit and lively Texas town, invites those near and far to come enjoy its annual Holiday on the Square celebration in downtown Hillsboro on Saturday, December 11th, with proceeds benefiting Christmas for Kids and Food for Families.

This year, Holiday on the Square has acquired a ‘Victorian Chocolate’ theme with each participating store opening its doors at 10 a.m. to offer a different type of chocolate treat to customers as they shop. In addition to these sweet giveaways, patrons are invited to vote for their favorite chocolaty delight in a competition among Hillsboro’s vendors.

Those in the competitive spirit themselves can enter this year’s parade float competition by donating $10, toys or canned goods. Interested contestants must submit their float by Thursday, December 9, and can contact Chelsea Davis of the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce at 254-582-2481 for additional information. The parade will begin at Hillsboro Junior High at 10 a.m. and end in a celebration on Hillsboro’s town square. Money and toys will be donated to underprivileged children at Christmas for Kids sponsored by Hillsboro Optimist Club and 1560 KHBR-AM, a local classic country radio station. Canned goods are to benefit Food for Families, which provides meals to families in need during the holiday season.

If free chocolate, a parade and a way to help those who need it most are not enough reasons to come down to Hillsboro, the entire town will be dressed in lights and decorations to fit the holiday theme for guests to enjoy. This includes Hillsboro’s famous landmark, The Hill County Courthouse.

With so much contributing to the Holiday on the Square jubilee, it would be a shame not to venture out to Hillsboro’s enchanting winter atmosphere December 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Best of Texas’ favorite gluten-free goddess, Lauren Hubele, and her company Bona Dea Baking Company, shared some great news with us yesterday! Just in time to send out the gift of baking mixes for the holidays, Bona Dea has launched their online store.

Now available for shipping throughout the U.S., their products will be packed and shipped using Flat Rate Priority Mail each Tuesday and Friday. They welcome your orders and look forward to sending their baking mixes across the state and from Maine to Alaska!

Never tried the awesomeness that is Bona Dea? Well, mark your calendars for December 8th.

Better Bites of Austin’s Annual Holiday Fair will be Wednesday December 8th, 4-8 PM at City Hall. Along with other Better Bites members, Bona Dea will have a selection of tasty products for holiday gift giving. The Holiday Fair is in conjunction with Austin’s Eat Local Week.

And there’s even more, Lauren explains:

Now at Wheatsville!

We were warmly welcomed this week into Wheatsville and now proudly display our mixes on the baking isle. Stop by Saturday the 20th between 1-3 PM when we will be providing samples to all Wheatsville customers…and Waffles

Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

1 package Bona Dea Gluten Free Positively Pancakes
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each of cloves and ginger
1 cup greek style plain yogurt
1 cup organic canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
6 large organic pastured eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat and prepare your waffle iron as needed for your model. Combine yogurt, eggs and butter thoroughly with a whisk or mixer. Pour in Positively Pancake mix and spices, combine by hand only until dry ingredients are incorporated-do not over mix. Batter should be quite thick. As egg size varies you may find the batter too thick and can thin with a tablespoon of milk or two as needed. I use an ice cream scoop to portion mine into the waffle iron. Bake in waffle iron. Makes 6-8 large waffles which are gone in minutes.