People and Pans

Meet Callie: A dear friend of mine who has taught me immeasurably about food and cooking.
Personal Chef

and blogger at:

1.What’s your go to meal to eat/make at home?

Surf and turf! I’m a red meat gal and grew up going to our beach house in Galveston so surf and turf is a match made in heaven for me. My last surf and turf meal at home was roasted filets of beef finished with a pat of butter served with fresh tarragon lump crab cakes. Heaven.

2. How did you get involved with the food/beverage industry?

It was pretty simple. My days revolve around food. What I’m cooking, what I’m eating, what my next meal is…even what you are eating. So, the food industry made complete sense.

3. Who would you want to make your last meal on Earth?

My grandmother. I grew up with her making chicken spaghetti during the week and huge pots of chili on the weekends. She’s also famous for her chicken salad and Thanksgiving cornbread dressing.

4. Best hole in the wall?

Salsa Fuego. I’m addicted to their grilled stuffed avocados with chicken, feta and cilantro oil and they have a killer green chile mac and cheese with traditional béchamel. They make delicious scratch-made margaritas too.

5. Do you have a drink of choice?

Easy. Old Fashioned. The Usual, Shunjuku Station and Fireside Pies make my favorites.

6. Favorite charity and why?

Susan G. Komen—It hits close to home because of my three brave aunts who battled breast cancer.

7. If you could pick one super power what would it be?

Eating eggs benedict, fried okra and breakfast tacos without gaining an ounce :)

8. Do you have a preferred cookbook?
Visually, I love Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller. Old school Martha Stewart Entertaining is definitely a favorite too.

9. What’s your favorite city to eat in (besides ft worth of course)?

Austin (my hometown) and Chicago.

10. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Banana Cream Pie

Rodeo Goat

There’s a new burger in town and it has stolen my heart and my stomach.  If you have not ventured over to Rodeo Goat then your missing out on what might be the finest, tastiest, most unique burger I have ever had in Ft Worth.  Fred’s has been my loyal go to burger spot for some time but now they have a little competition with the new burger in town.  I have been a few times including the day they opened.  Rodeo Goat does Ft Worth casual the right way.  I love the quality they provide, the friendly faces, and the patio.  They can accommodate large groups inside or out but the patio boosts long wooden tables and benches.  It also is the home of several wood burning chimineas to keep your tootsies warm in the winter months.  They have a great beer list and burgers that you shouldn’t alter from their menu like the Sugar.  On the Sugar you will get a salty sweet combination of sweet bacon, grilled peaches, arugula, caramelized onions and jalapeno jam that will make you return on a weekly basis to order another.  I plan to try all their burgers.  I would also recommend the beer battered onion rings, these things were never frozen folks, they are homemade!   You should give it a try and let me know what you think!

Pictured above is the Nanny Goat
Happy Eating!


Lately on my iphone:So, we moved out of our old home in search of a permanent place to call our own.  I loved our quirky old place, my neighbors and all the memories there.  But it was definitely time to tell it good bye and seek out the next adventure.  In the process of the packing and moving I was busy shooting the Fall issue of Fort Worth Foodie.

I attended another underground chefs event (duck dish below by Kevin Martinez) where I devoured duck, ginger cocktails, caramelized onion dips, gorgonzola quiches and met some incredibly interesting people.  I also discovered that Firestone and Robertson had framed the story I created for the summer issue of Foodie, I was so excited (below left)!  My friend and fellow wedding photographer Amanda featured me on her blog: husband and I found a new house to buy and we celebrated with my favorite classic cocktail, a French 75!We were able to slip away before the moving and painting began to celebrate our anniversary!  We hopped down to the hill country and sipped our way through a few wineries including  Becker, Singing Water and Pedernales.  I loved them all but I would definitely return to Becker, as the lavender fields make it enchanting! Just imagine being whisked away by the smells of lavender and sipping a dry chardonnay.

I have enjoyed several new places lately.  Tasted a variety at Little Lily Sushi and savored it all (pictured far left below)!  Definitely think that Rodeo Goat will be a staple for all future burger outings (not pictured).  Brewed is winning me over with their mocha’s, kombucha, great beer list and I’m a sucker for their donuts (pictured far right).  Not to mention I never get bored of their atmosphere! I’ve also been busy unpacking and getting cozy in my new place and of course the kitchen was the first room unpacked.  It has been nice to get back to the grind in my own kitchen!  I have been making lots of soup even with the fickle weather.  Love this Real Simple recipe for sweet potato soup with tart apples, I add pepita seeds and gorgonzola (pictured above center)!

The week before Thanksgiving I wrapped up all my shooting deadlines for Ft Worth Foodie, keep your eyes peeled in the next two weeks for our fabulous Winter issue!  I ran another half marathon, The Ft Worth Marathon, my third this year (center picture: Trinity River at dawn)!  Thanksgiving morning I ran downtown with running partners and saw the gorgeous decorations for Christmas in the square (pictured far right).  We came back the next day for the Parade, the tree lighting and an outdoor showing of Prancer!!!  Happy Eating and Merry Christmas!  What and where have you been eating lately?!

A bird to share

Happy Thanksgiving

I’ve been busy shooting for Fort Worth Foodie, finishing client orders for the holidays and moving into a new home but I wanted to share a yummy turkey with you!  In case you are still searching for the perfect bird recipe, my girl Callie never disappoints.  Tomorrow, I will wake up and run around ten miles with friends, cuddle up with my pup and my boy and watch the Macy’s parade with coffee in hand and then bake and cook to share a feast with beloved friends.  I can not wait!  I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Callie Salls Lemon Rosemary-Roasted Turkey

1 stick unsalted butter
juice and zest of 1 large lemon
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 turkey (10-12 pounds, giblets removed, washed and thoroughly dried)
1 bunch fresh rosemary sprigs
1 whole lemon, halved
1 onion, halved
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
Liberal kosher salt and fresh-cracked black pepper, to season turkey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan then stir in lemon zest and minced rosemary.

Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally season the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of rosemary, halved lemon, onion, and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Truss the legs together with kitchen twine and gently tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.

Roast the turkey about 2 hours, or until the juices run clear and temperature registers 145-150 degrees (turkey will continue to cook out of the oven). Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest. Slice and serve. Happy Eating and Happy Thanksgiving!

People and Pans

Meet Kevin:

The Chef de Cuisine
Toykyo Cafe

1. What’s your go to meal to eat/make at home?
At work it’s dark meat: chicken, miso, scallions, rice, cilantro.  Also named the CURE
by all the guys at work.  At home, Poor Boy Tacos: cooked hamburger meat, lettuce, cheese, ranch style
beans,and fritos, it’s fast, fun and my boys love it!

2. How did you get involved with the food/beverage industry?
I was working in a meat department and I was offered a position by the Chef and
owner of the restaurant.  It was go from there!

3. Who would you want to make your last meal on Earth?
My wife and my mom together because anything made with that much love has got
to be good! Unless they can not agree and then I’m screwed!!!

4. Best hole in the wall?
Hmmm…..Rio Concho Café in hicks airstrip in Saginaw. You would never
know it is there but they have a simple and tasty Reuben. The boys can
watch the airplanes land and come up and refuel.

5. Do you have a drink of choice?
Kool-aid. Purple. Because Kool-aid comes in colors not flavors.

6. Favorite charity and why?
Alliance for Children. It is just a child advocacy group that I support and will dive
further into as time goes on.

7. If you could pick one super power what would it be?
The ability to Cure: ANYTHING. With so much pain everywhere someone needs to be
able to do it.

8. Do you have a preferred cookbook?
Honestly there is just so many. But, Grand Livre de Cuisine by Alain Ducasse’s and Momofuku by Davis Chang are
never too far away.

9. What’s your favorite city to eat in (besides ft worth of course)?
Chicago was amazing. When I was about 19, I was on the training staff and
opened a prime steakhouse there. However some of the best food I have ever had was in
Wisconsin at this little hole in the wall Italian place. Everything was family
style and this little flour covered Italian Grandma came out to make sure we
enjoyed the meal she prepared. Amazing. That was the first time I had eaten
anything made with that much love and passion.

10. Who’s your hero?
I don’t really have a hero due to the fact that I believe that you have to be able
to stand your ground and work through your own situations. But if it wasn’t for the
strength of my wife and the love of my kids my world would collapse.

Callie’s Fall Favorites

It’s always a pleasure to photograph Chef Callie Salls work and these dishes are no different. They are simply the taste of fall and perfect to wow your dinner guests!!!

Bourbon Molasses-Toasted Pecans

2  cups pecans, salted
3  tablespoons bourbon
3 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss all ingredients together on a parchment- lined sheet pan. Bake approximately 8-10 minutes until toasted and bubbling.
Let cool. Serve at room temperature.

Pecan pesto:

1⁄2 cup pecans, toasted
1⁄2 cup fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup spinach
1 teaspoon honey
Juice and zest of 1 large lemon 2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a food processor, pulse together all ingredients except olive oil until ground. With the machine on, slowly stream in olive oil to form pesto. Set aside.


1⁄2 pound whole wheat linguine 2 cups sweet potatoes, diced in 1⁄2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch red kale, julienned
4 links organic chicken apple
sausage, sliced (we used Applegate Farms brand)
Bring a large stockpot of salted water to boil for linguine. Add a splash of olive oil then boil pasta to al dente. Drain but do not rinse.
Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add olive oil and butter. Let butter melt then add sweet potatoes. Sauté until almost tender, approximately 6-8 minutes, then add sliced sausage to brown (add more olive oil, if needed). Finally, add kale and let wilt, approximately 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat.
In a large bowl, toss linguine with pecan pesto then stir in sautéed sausage and vegetables. Readjust seasonings, if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Fresh Fig Crumbles with Brown Sugar Pecan Topping
Yields 4 servings

Equipment: 4 buttered 8-ounce ramekins
1 1⁄2 pounds fresh black mission figs, stems trimmed and quartered
1⁄4 cup AP flour
Juice and zest of 1 large lemon 1⁄2 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine filling ingredients. Let sit while making crumble.
1⁄2 cup AP flour
1⁄2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick) cold and diced in small cubes
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, pecans, salt,
cinnamon and brown sugar. With hands, add cold butter cubes and crumble into pea-sized clumps.
Spoon fig filling equally into 4 buttered ramekins placed on a sheet pan to catch spillover. Top evenly with crumble, packing high because it will cook down. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, approximately 30 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
Happy Eating!


A day with Taco Heads

Taco Heads

I’m not sure if I have stressed how much I love this city or the people in it for that matter.  I seriously love the people in this city.  Being a part of Fort Worth Foodie has given me the opportunity to learn more about the wonderful people that make this city so great.  And hopefully this little blog will give you a connection to those people.  So when you see them, give them a high five.  Tell them you love that they are chasing their dreams and then buy their food daily.   When Fort Worth Foodie threw out the idea of me shooting a story of, ” a day in the life of a taco truck,” I chose one of my favorites, Taco Heads.  I arrived around 6:00 a.m. one morning to meet Sarah, the owner, chef, truck driver, manager, and avocado chopper at her food trailer.  When I pulled up, I found her with a smile on her face trying to get her truck unstuck.  Maneuvering a truck and a trailer is no easy task when squeezing between bars and allies and tiny parking lots.  She laughed and said, “this is the real life of a food truck.”  I put down my camera and mustered up my inner he-man strength and helped push her trailer.   This took some time and meticulous driving on Sarah’s part, yet we came up unharmed with an unstuck truck.  Sarah had slept a measly two hours after working the late shift with her trailer but I would have never known.  She has a smile glued to her face.  Her chef is running a little late so she jumps in whisking up eggs, grating cheese, and heating up the bacon while answering all of my questions.  The day begins.  Loyal customers start filing in.  The smell of bacon has pulled them from their beds.  Here is a peek of what a day is like with Sarah Castillo, the owner of Taco Heads.

Taco Heads
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner
7 am-1:30 pm
7 pm-2 am
For the most up to date information follow their facebook page:

Food Truck: Phatso’s Cheesesteak

Phatso’s Cheesesteak

Phatso’s Cheesesteak
1100 N. Main Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76164

Have you tried the new cheese-steak truck?  They have things figured out in Austin, Texas and their newest partner just opened up a truck in  Cow Town Chow Down, the park off main street.  It is melt in your mouth delicious.  It is also the perfect food to fill your belly after a long night of dancing.  They have a build-your-own menu so you can create something to your liking.   We tried the beef with onions and provolone.  I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!  Be sure and check the calender here to see what time they are open.  Happy Eating!

People and Pans

Meet Cynthia:

1.What’s your go to meal to eat/make at home?
Like Napoleon Dynamite, I make a gol-durn kay-sa-dil-luh (quesadilla). Seriously, flour tortilla, a little cheese, maybe some black beans, some salsa – easy!

 2. How did you get involved with the food/beverage industry?
For years, I went with June Naylor to restaurant reviews and we just loved meeting the chefs, the restaurant owners, the sommeliers – all the people behind the meal. So we started Texas Toast Culinary Tours in 2009 to give people an inside scoop on food and wine!

 3. Who would you want to make your last meal on Earth?
Lou Lambert. The meal would have to include some kind of grilled meat, his fabulous green chile cheese grits, and coconut crème pie. I would die and go to heaven.

 4. Best hole in the wall?
It’s not such a hole-in-the-wall anymore – I love Fred’s Texas Cafe.

5. Do you have a drink of choice?
Why I think a gin and tonic on a hot summer day is ever so civilized. But sipping a Maker’s Mark neat on a rainy afternoon makes me happy. And a really good red (Silver Oak, Alexander Valley – anyone?) with a grilled steak is the epitome of what life should be.

 6. Favorite charity and why?
Meals on Wheels. It’s the most immediate, hands-on help for people who really need it.

7. If you could pick one super power what would it be?
I think I’d like to fly, like Superman. I like getting places fast!

8. Do you have a preferred cookbook?
When I need to know how to cook something, I’ll look at Joy of Cooking. But feeding teenage boys for the past 7 years has given me an appreciation for two cookbooks: John Besh’s My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking and Mad Hungry, Feeding Men & Boys: Recipes, Strategies & Survival Techniques by Lucinda Scala Quinn.

9. What’s your favorite city to eat in (besides ft worth of course)?
New Orleans

10.  Who’s your hero?
As far as food goes, I would have to say my dad. He would plan these great dinners: Roast beef cooked on the rotisserie of his grill, fresh green beans from his garden in milk and butter, sliced tomatoes with a little salt and pepper – fresh off the vine, homemade caramel ice cream. He gardened and composted before it was cool. He baked at Christmastime. He introduced me to fondue: meat in oil, bread in cheese, fruit in chocolate. Christmas Eve meant Oyster Stew. And when we would go to the river swimming all day, he would let us eat Cheetos puffs and Squirt! My hero!