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Husband and wife team, Wendell and Suzie Patterson, own the Whimsey Shoppe located at 2923 North Henderson Avenue.

 

Today Henderson Avenue is home to some of the finest boutiques and restaurants in Dallas.  The Whimsey Shoppe holds distinction as a pioneer along the sophisticated strip, having been at the location for nearly a quarter of a century.  During that time, it has grown to be one of the most respected country French stores in the United States.

 

Before opening the store, Suzie was an interior designer by profession.  Having shopped the antique market both domestically and in Europe for her clients, becoming the owner and buyer of a shop seemed a natural evolution for Suzie.  Although Wendell’s profession was commercial real estate, he shared Suzie’s appreciation for good design.

 

“I have always been interested in collecting antiques and interesting things, even as a kid.  When Suzie first started the shop I always helped out on Saturday, the largest day for retail sales at that time,” Wendell said.

 

Because they live in Dallas, I questioned what made the Pattersons choose a French country style for their store. Susie’s grandparents are from France. After Susie and Wendell married, they extensively travelled the country, studied its culture and fell in love with everything French. So France-inspired style was a natural choice for design.

 

They are confident that they made a great choice.  They both pointed out that French interior fashions and furniture have lead and strongly influenced most European furniture styles in significant ways.

 

They believe that antiques have always been popular, and people who had parents or grandparents who appreciated antiques often have a preference for them. Also, antiques complement historic and pre -World War II homes like thosefound throughout East Dallas, Lakewood and the ParkCities.

 

“I think you have ‘old house people’ and ‘new house people.’ Our market offers opportunities for both to exist happily,” Wendell said.

 

It was Suzie who came up with the store’s name, The Whimsey Shoppe. And what could be more appropriate for a shop that, in addition to fine antique furnishings, is filled with whimsical items that carry tales and traditions from the French countryside?

 

The antique Santons, or little saints, were first created in the south of France during the French Revolution, when churches were forcibly closed and their nativity scenes prohibited. The clay figurines replaced those in the nativity and represent various characters from village life such as the scissors grinder, the fishwife, the blind man and the garlic seller. 

 

Another charming Christmas tradition found in the south of France is “les treize desserts.” Thirteen different desserts representing the 12 disciples and Jesus are served following Midnight Mass.  The Whimsey Shoppe’s antique dessert buffet displays and serves 13 desserts. 

 

A panetiere resembling an ornate bird cage is actually an open air bread box for storing bread.  At the time the panetiere was made bread was shaped into a round loaf,  "boule" and was very hard-crusted, yet soft inside.  The bread was baked once or twice a year in communal outdoor bread ovens in the small villages and towns. The hard-crusted boules would last for up to a year, but they had to be kept in a place that allowed them fresh air.

 

The confiturier is from Normandy and Brittany (the west side of France) and was originally a jam cabinet. They are still popular in that region of France today.

 

The tall, ornately carved piece of furniture known as an armoire is actually very similar to  America’s hope-chest. Filled with linens monogrammed by the bride-to-be with her future in-laws’ initials, the armoire was given to her by her father on her wedding day to take to her new home.

 

A new area to the shop is the gallery, Le Granier.  A short walk across a foot bridge takes you to this exciting new area where you can explore “quirky France.”

 

Through the years, The Whimsey Shoppe owners have given back to the country they love by sharing their knowledge with the French interior design culture. 

   “We worked with the largest furniture wax manufacturer in France to develop a color for America which had less ‘red’ tint and more ‘yellow brown,’ a personal preference of Americans,” Wendell said.

 

“The shade is now the favorite of Americans using French colored furniture. Suzie taught color at Dallas’ El Centro Community College for over 20 years.  She is an expert in color,” Wendell added.

 

The Pattersons love sharing their knowledge of French antiques.  Stop by the Whimsey Shoppe and see the beautiful furniture, hear the stories and meet Suzie and Wendell.  You will also get to meet Benny, the Patterson’s Havanese who is a regular at the store.The Whimsey Shoppe is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5.p.m.

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Fresh Apple Pie

There is always something cooking at Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and on October 21— it was fresh apple pie.

 

The oldest church in Dallas, (Central celebrated its 150 anniversary last October) you might know it would lay claim to more than its share of good cooks.

 

During the fall and winter months, the holiday season, members often bake pies in the church kitchen to take to Dallas shelters for the homeless.

 

At the helm Tuesday morning was Lisa Huisenga.  She has been baking pies since she was a young girl.

 

“I learned from my mother.  She was a wonderful pie maker, often winning blue ribbons,” Huisenga said.

 

A good pie starts with a tasty crust.  You’ve heard it—the crust can make or break your pie.  Not only did Huisenga’s crust pass the taste test on the finished product, it was nearly “fool-proof” to handle. 

 

What were some of her secrets?   Chilled water, unsalted butter at room temperature and not over working the dough were some of her tips for a good crust.

 

Butter produces a rich crust.  “For a lighter, flakier crust, I use shortening, preferably Crisco, instead of butter,” she said.

 

My favorite trick that I learned from her was rolling the crust between two pieces of waxed paper.  It worked like a charm— I will never dust the kitchen counter, cabinets and floor with flour, again.

 

Apple of choice was Granny Smith.  “Use a tart, firm apple like Granny Smith or Jonathon, never an apple with a soft flesh.” Huisenga advised. 

 

Another trick was to soak the unpeeled apples in vinegar water to remove any chemicals and the peeled apples in lemon water to keep the white flesh from turning brown.

 

Other church members helping out with the baking of the pies were Margaret Wilson, Paquita Mueller, Rosemary Davenport and Jim Clark.

 

Mothers, grandmothers and mothers-in-law got credit for the most part when the group was asked how they developed their talent for cooking. 

 

Mueller was an exception.  “My German husband had a very sophisticated palate and I learned to cook for him,” she said.  She loves to cook pot roast, and says her specialties include plum and apple tarts.

 

Wilson was only 21 years old when she married and her mother-in-law who prepared meals for a large family taught Wilson to cook.  Coconut cream pie with meringue is one her favorite pies to make.  However, Wilson family tradition allows each child or grandchild to choose their favorite pie on their birthday.

 

Clark said as a boy he helped his mother who worked outside the home get dinner ready for the family.  “By the age of ten or eleven, I could get a meal on the table,” he said... One of his favorites to cook—chicken fried steak.

 

“We always had a family garden when I growing up,” Davenport said.  Her mother taught her to cook basic, home-grown foods.  “But it was my mother- in-law who exposed me to setting a beautiful table and the art of entertaining,” she said.  However, Davenport still enjoys cooking old-timey, down home meals.

 

Even Central’s senior co-pastor, Dr. Debbie Chisolm, shares her flock’s flair for culinary arts.  In fact, repeated wins of the church’s chili cook-offs and ice cream churn- offs resulted in the minister’s ban from future competitions. 

 

She enjoys baking and has on occasion baked the bread for communion during Sunday’s worship service.

 

“I learned to cook from my grandmother, Margarita Fuentes,” Chisolm said.  “I lived with her until I was seven years old and she taught me to cook tortillas, pancakes, enchiladas, soups and other foods of our heritage. She even taught me to flip an egg without breaking the yolk.  I love to cook Mexican food,” Chisolm said.

 

The church smelled heavenly throughout the afternoon while the pies were baking.  When out of the oven they were cooled and boxed for Central deacon, Buzz Dicken, to deliver to Union Gospel Mission.

 

Central Christian church is located at 4711 Westside Dr. just off Mockingbird Lane.  Sunday worship is at 11 a.m. Sermons are broadcast at 9 a.m. on WRR (101.1 F.M.)

The church is home to ConnectingPointParkCities, a habilitation center for adults with disabilities; AcersCommunityGarden named in honor of members Ebby Halliday Acers and her late husband, Maurice, and CentralDogPark, a community dog park. 

 

It is a church that reaches out to the community and it offers its members many volunteer opportunities.  Visit Central Sunday morning.  The fairly small congregation is diverse and friendly and very welcoming.

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Suzy Moritz

Local artist, Suzy Moritz-Rawdin, has had a passion for bringing the canvas to life ever since she was a young child.

 

“I began painting right out of the womb,” Moritz said.  “My mother was an artist and I recall hanging onto her hem as a small child while she painted murals in homes in the upscale neighborhood of River Oaks in Houston, where I was born."

 

Artistic talent did not stop with that mother-daughter team. Moritz’s daughter, J.T., and son in law, Richard Hayler, are color artists and co-owners of The Songbird Society, an artistically appointed hair salon just off Knox Street where Moritz has an on-going exhibit of her paintings.

 

I caught up with Moritz at The Songbird Society, where we, pardon the pun, killed two birds with one stone: my interview with Moritz and her color touch-up.   Moritz’s busy schedule had her just returning to Dallas from a trip to Angel Fire, New Mexico late the night before.

 

Known for her “big sky” scapes and landscapes, New Mexico is an ideal inspiration for Moritz.  She makes several trips a year to the land of enchantment, where she visits and photographs scenery in Taos and other picturesque towns.

 

But her heart and home are in Dallas.  She lives in Lakewood and has a studio in The Cedars. She is married to Scott Rawdin and along with their daughter, J. T., they have two granddaughters, Georgie and Parker.  Parker is a student at Lakewood Elementary and Georgie a student at Woodrow Wilson High School where she is following grandma’s foot steps in Woodrow’s Art Department.

 

With many ties to East Dallas, Moritz has been the art director for the Junius Heights Historic District Home Tour for the past six years.

 

Last April she had over 500 pen and ink drawings on display in the new Omni Dallas hotel.

 

Much of her work is commissioned by people in the community who have seen her art and want their own personal painting or drawing.

 

Moritz paints in oil, acrylic, pen and ink and watercolor with sizes ranging from small canvas to murals.  Besides houses, sky and landscapes, animals are one of her favored subjects.  Many Dallas families proudly display a Suzy Moritz painting of their pet in their home or office.

 

“Pets bring a lot of repeat business” Moritz said. “To capture their personality, I start with their eyes,” she said.  “The eyes are the soul and as I continue painting the animals, I can talk to them through their eyes.”

 

The annual Cedars Open Studios Tour on November 22 is a great time to meet Moritz in person and view her artwork.

 

Moritz’s studio, Cedars Art and Soul, is located at 1505 Beaumont in The Cedars in Dallas.

 

 

 

 

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Pastor Debbie Chisolm Blesses Wheels the BubbleLif Wheels, the BubbleLife Boston Terrier Special Contributor receives Blessing

All Sundays are special at Central Christian Church, but October 12 was especially so for the animal enthusiasts of the congregation. It was bring your pet to church Sunday for a special service and the “Blessing of the Animals.”

 

Dog fanciers from all around Dallas showed up with big dogs, little dogs, pure-breeds and mutts; in costume, au-natural, on lead and in strollers—to enjoy the beautiful cool October weather and the special worship service.    

 

Central Associate minister Heather Santi-Brown welcomed everyone including “Crabby” the crab who made his way among the dog population for a blessing.  She also remembered St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals who was believed to “talk to the animals.”

 

Following the sermon by Senior Co-Pastor, Dr. Debbie Chisolm, in which we were reminded of the joy and enrichment that all of God’s creatures bring to our lives and of the responsibility that we have toward them, each animal was brought forth for a blessing.   

 

After the service, yoga mats were placed on the lawn in front of the huge, sprawling Bois d’ Arc tree and Terry Gwynne, with the assistance of her Border Collie, Teddy, and her Yorkie, Nick, led a class in “Doga.

 

“Practicing yoga together is just another step in the special bond that you and your dog share,” said Gwynne, a licensed yoga instructor and dog obedience trainer.

 

It didn’t take a dog’s nose to smell burgers cooking from the Easy Slider Food Truck or dog treats from the Homegrown Hound “Snackin’ Waggin.”  As with any Dallas event, the food trucks, (both people and dog), were on hand to provide snacks before folks settled in to visit with each other, listen to music and enjoy home baked sweets prepared by the Fellowship Sunday School class.

 

Rosie and Friends, organic canine grooming products for dogs, provided a goody bag for each dog to take home.  Oak Lawn’s new, upscale pet boutique, Jack and Jill, and Park Cities Pet Sitters provided prizes for the lucky winners of the drawings. 

 

The Blessing of the Animals is just one more way Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) reaches out to the community.

 

Located at 4711 Westside Dr. in Dallas, the church is home to Connecting Point of Park Cities (CPPC), an adult habilitation center for people with disabilities; a community garden that supplies fresh produce to some of Dallas’ poorest residents  through North Dallas Shared Ministries and a dog park that is open to the community.

 

The smells of the holidays will soon fill Central’s kitchen as pies are baked for the Austin Street Shelter and cookies baked and delivered for those hospitalized or home-bound.

 

Sermons can be heard on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. on WRR (101.1 FM).  Visit their website at www.cccdt.org.  Or, best of all, visit the church.  All are welcome!

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GWTW Museum.jpg Gone With The Wind Celebrates 75th Anniversary

A group of senior members from Central Christian Church of Dallas set out for Cleburne Friday morning to tour the Gone with the WindRememberedMuseum.

 

Having celebrated its 150th anniversary last year, the church has many historical ties with the Civil War era.  Abe Lincoln was president and the war was still being fought when Central Christian Church was founded in a log cabin in downtown Dallas in 1863. 

 

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the epic film, “Gone with the Wind.” It premiered in Atlanta on December 3, 1939.

 

Like many of us, Gone with the Wind Remembered Museum Owner and Curator Vicki Rogers fell in love with the unforgettable characters and storyline when she first read the book as a young high school girl.

 

I can relate to that.  I remember being in Mrs. Galvin’s accelerated English class my junior year of high school and writing my term paper on “Gone with the Wind.”

Rogers spent three decades collecting original books, costumes, props and other memorabilia from the movie set.  After 30 years of amassing a 6,000-piece collection including a rare signed first printing of the novel, she went public with her treasures.

Converting the former Givens Grocery Store on East Second Street in Cleburne into a climate-controlled building, this past July, Rogers and her husband, Mike, opened the doors for visitors.

The journey back in time begins outside the museum, with three large murals painted by Stylle Read showing the burning of Atlanta, Tara (Scarlett O’Hara’s beloved plantation), and various characters from the movie. Read has also painted murals in the Fort Worth Stockyards.

The entrance to the museum is a replica of Tara’s front door. Inside, visitors are surrounded by floor-to-ceiling exhibits of costumes from the movie, programs from the film’s 1939 premiere in Atlanta and products that were licensed for sale after the film was released.

Remember the green and white dress Scarlett wore to the picnic at Twelve Oaks?  You can see it.  And the pantaloons she wore while Mammy cinched her waist to the desired 16-inches in a new corset?  They are on display.

Among the highlights are 600 dolls and the riding outfit worn by Rhett and Scarlet’s daughter, Bonnie Blue Butler, during the tragic pony accident scene in the movie.

Take time to relax in the media room to watch memorable scenes from the movie on wide screen T.V. while hearing a documentary of the history of the film in the making.

When the movie premiered at Lowe’s Grand Theater in Atlanta in 1939, the city was bursting with movie stars, politicians and socialites for the three-day affair that included a traditional ball.

Governor Eurith Dickinson (E. D.) Rivers declared a three-day holiday in Atlanta and politicians were asking that Georgians dress in period clothing.

A motorcade down Peachtree Street allowed thousands of fans to see Clark Gable and his wife, Carol Lombard, the most awaited of the Hollywood stars. Unfortunately, Hattie McDaniel (Mammy) and Butterfly McQueen (Prissy), black actresses with major roles were not welcome in the white side of the segregated Atlanta society during that time in American history and did not attend the premier. .

After the initial release, MGM first re-released the film in 1947 and again in 1954. Pepper Strain saw the movie in 1954. She loved both Rhett and Scarlett and still recalls Scarlett’s frequent use of the colloquialism “fiddle de dee” to dismiss whatever annoyed her.

The novel “Gone With The Wind” was published in 1936.  Billie Marie Lindsey was about 15 years old in 1937 when she first read Margaret Mitchell’s classic.   She still remembers the famous line spoken by Rhett Butler, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

“People didn’t use those kinds of words back then,” Lindsey said.

“She’s right! People didn’t. And that use of profanity resulted in the legendary rumor that producer, David O. Selznick was fined $5000 for using it in the film,” Rogers said.

Use of the word "damn" had been prohibited by the 1930 Motion Picture Association's (MPA) Production Code, beginning in July 1934. However, some references state that  the MPA board passed an amendment to the Production Code on November 1, 1939, a month before “Gone With The Wind’s” release, that allowed use of the words "hell" or "damn" when their use "shall be essential and required for portrayal, in proper historical context, of any scene or dialogue based upon historical fact or folklore...or a quotation from a literary work, provided that no such use shall be permitted which is intrinsically objectionable or offends good taste."

The passing of that amendment resulted in the theory that the Production Code Administration had no further objection to Rhett's closing line and did not impose a fine upon Selznick.   

Fine or no fine, the famous line was voted the number one movie line of all times by the American Film Institute in 2006.

The book was a Pulitzer Prize winning novel and the film won ten academy awards, including Best Picture and Best Adaptive Screen-play.  Vivian Leigh won Best Actress portraying Scarlett O’Hara and Hattie McDaniel won Best Supporting Actress becoming the first African American to win an academy award. “Gone with the Wind” remains one of the most successful movies of all times. 

After a morning of reliving the southern classic touring the museum and before heading back to Dallas, the group gathered at R & K’s café in Cleburne for some down-home southern cooking.  All agreed that they ate way too much and would have to make up for it the following day.  But “after all, tomorrow is another day.”

Central Christian Church is located at 4711 Westside Drive, just off Mockingbird Lane. It is home to Acer’s Community Garden named in honor of members Ebby Halliday Acers and the late Maurice Acers; Connecting Point of Park Cities, a day center for habilitating  adults with disabilities and Central Dog Park, a community dog park.  Worship service is 11 a.m. on Sundays.  All are welcome.  

 

 

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Book Trotters Discussing October Book

 

”We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler was the October selection of the Lakewood book club, The Book Trotters. 

Set in 1970s Indiana, 5-year-old Rose Mary was suddenly sent to visit her paternal grandparents.  With a child’s apprehension, not only did she fear that she would never return to her hone and family, ("I knew the winds of doom when they blew," she recalled), but she was separated from her beloved “twin” sister, Fern. 

It was later in the book when we learned that Fern was actually a chimpanzee and the imposed “sisterhood” was an experiment — to determine the outcome of the ape when raised as a human in a family environment. 

Book club members were “beside themselves” with enthusiasm for the read and the story evoked a lively discussion with varying opinions. 

The group met at their usual meeting place, Times Ten Cellar, but broke with tradition in food selection.  Hostess Lynda Collier chose to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month rather than foods of the region where the story took place.  The result was delicious tamales and other Latin influenced foods.

The group will gather at the table at Times Ten in Lakewood again next month to discuss the November read.

 

 

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Members Discuss October Book

 

.”We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler was the October selection of the Book Trotters.

 

Set in 1970’s Indiana, five year old Rose Mary was suddenly sent to visit her paternal grandparents.  With a child’s apprehension, not only did Rose Mary imagine that she would never return to her hone and family, ("I knew the winds of doom when they blew," she recalled), but she had been separated from her beloved “twin” sister, Fern. 

 

It was later in the book when we learned that Fern was actually a chimpanzee and the imposed “sisterhood” was an experiment—to determine the outcome of the ape when raised as a human in a family environment. 

 

Book club members were “beside themselves” with enthusiasm for the read and the story evoked a lively discussion with varying opinions. 

 

The group met at their usual meeting place, Times Ten Cellar, but broke with tradition in food selection.  Hostess Lynda Collier chose to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month rather than foods of the region where the story took place.  The result was delicious tamales and other Latin influenced foods.

 

The group will gather at the table at Times Ten in Lakewood again next month to discuss the November read.

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Children' Chat

October 5 was World Communion Sunday.  Adopted in 1940 by the Federal Council of Churches (now the National Council of Churches), it promotes Christian unity and ecumenical cooperation worldwide.

 

At Central Christian Church, (Disciples of Christ) flags from around the world were displayed during “Children’s Chat” led by Rev. Heather Santi-Brown.

 

“World Communion is one of my favorite celebrations,” Santi-Brown said as she led the children in the Christian pledge. 

 

She had another reason for celebration; she was being ordained at First Christian Church in Rowlett that afternoon.

 

After Sunday worship at Central, the congregation gathered in fellowship hall where young and old alike enjoyed  a lunch of corny dogs, apple slices with caramel dip and cotton candy cake in honor of the State Fair of Texas.

 

Everyone is welcome at Central Christian Church located at 4711 Westside Dr. in Dallas.  Sunday worship is at 11 a.m. Next Sunday is Blessing of the Animals. Bring your pet (on lead or crated) and join Central for a beautiful service on the lawn followed by a “pet fest” complete with food trucks, music, goody bags and prizes.   You and your dog can relax in Central’s dog park or practice “Doga” with Yogi and dog obedience instructor, Terry Gwynne.

 

For more information visit www.cccdt.org or view the event on BubbleLife’s event calendar.

 

 

 

 

 

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Chef Steven Pilat

By now many of you have seen Stephen Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey’s foodie masterpiece, “The One Hundred Foot Journey” staring Helen Mirren and Om Puri.

 

In the movie, the Kadam family leaves their home in India and relocates in the south of France where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory's Michelin-starred eatery.

 

However one might rate the movie, most would agree that the food styling and photography were superb.

 

I thought one scene was especially evocative: when Hassan Kadam prepares an omelet for Madame.  Why an omelet?  The three-folded egg dish was Madame’s “épreuve” for determining culinary talent.  By tasting an omelet "Madame Mallory knows in just one mouthful if a chef has the potential to be great."

 

That is a pretty high ranking on the grading scale. 

 

I began to wonder what culinary technique, ingredients, etc. make a great omelet.

 

I contacted Steven Pilat, CEC, ACE, Chef Instructor of Dallas’ culinary institute, a division of the Art Institute of Dallas (AI).   Pilat is a graduate of the world famous Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.   Chef Pilat invited me to the AI campus kitchens for a private lesson in omelet-making.

 

When I arrived at the culinary institute, Chef Pilat was at work in the kitchen.  Assisting him was culinary student Ashley Holubar.  They had all of the ingredients prepared and set out.

 

“You can fill or top an omelet however you like, but the key in cooking is to be prepared, so have all of the ingredients chopped and ready before you begin cooking the eggs,” he said.  

 

Starting with the eggs since they are the main ingredient  — they need to be fresh and they need to be room temperature.  Allowing them sit on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes does the trick.

 

Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk them until well-blended.  “I did not over-beat them because I want a little texture,” he said. 

 

He also cracked the eggs using one hand, but I think I will continue to use both of mine for this purpose.

 

If you are making a French omelet, you may add a teaspoon of finely chopped herbs like tarragon, chives, chervil or parsley to the egg mixture at this point.

 

For cooking an omelet, Chef Pilat prefers to use a small, non-stick, teflon coated skillet with rounded edges.   Often referred to as an omelet skillet, it gives you more control of the egg when folding the omelet.  However, many restaurants use a flat surfaced griddle and he prepared an omelet on that utensil, too.

 

Heat the skillet on medium-high heat and season the skillet by rubbing it with a paper towel soaked in unsalted, clarified butter or oil.  Heat control is very important because unlike grilling and some other cooking methods, you don’t want “color” or browning on the cooked egg.

 

Pour in about 1/3 to ½ cup of egg mixture (about two to three eggs) and season with salt and pepper.  If you are making a French omelet, you may want to sprinkle the mixture with some freshly grated parmesan cheese at this point.

 

Let the mixture bubble for a couple of seconds, then, with a wooden fork or spatula, gently draw the mixture from the sides of the pan to the center.  Stir again to lightly combine the uncooked egg with the cooked egg.  When partly cooked, stir again stopping while there is still some uncooked egg.

With the pan flat on the stove, shake back and forth a few times to settle the mixture.   It should slide easily and look moist.

 

Tilt the pan toward a plate and let the omelet fall toward the edge of the skillet.  Fold the side nearest to you over with a fork and then keep it rolling over.  A French omelet is a three-fold omelet.  Serve immediately or top with desired toppings and serve.

 

The difference in the American omelet and the French omelet is that the American is filled and the French topped.  

 

The American omelet is what we see on menus most often. Before folding the omelet, the set egg mixture is filled with a variety of ingredients.  Traditionally a filling of ham, cheese, onions and peppers is a “Denver” omelet seen frequently on breakfast menus.  But you can fill an omelet with your choice of fillings. “It is a great way to use up those leftovers,” Chef Pilat said.  

 

Another omelet Chef Pilat demonstrated was the “Tamagoyaki,” a rolled Japanese omelet.  When finished and sliced, it resembled a sushi platter. The trick was using a bamboo sushi mat covered in plastic wrap to form the omelet.

 

As you can see, the omelet is a versatile dish that will please most palates and can be served from early morning breakfast to late night supper.   For restricted diets, the omelet can be made with only the egg whites.  Chef Pilat cautioned that because there is no fat in the egg white, it will stick to the pan, but just scrape and continue to cook as with any other omelet.

 

As far as the eggs, it’s your choice.  There are many different eggs and price points available today.  Chef Pilat believes other than the freshness of the egg, they taste the same.  He does prefer pasteurized eggs in dishes that use undercooked eggs.

 

Eggs are all-natural and packed with a number of nutrients. One egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals in varying amounts, high-quality protein and antioxidants, all for 70 calories. Eggs' nutrients can help you with weight management, muscle strength, brain function and having a healthy pregnancy. Add a fruit garnish and you have a delicious meal that even the kids will eat. 

 

For a leisurely weekend brunch or dinner on a hurried school night, an omelet is the perfect answer.

 

The Dallas Culinary institute is located at 7080 Park Lane, between Greenville Ave. and Central Expressway. For a great dining experience at a bargain price have lunch or dinner prepared by the students at The Chef’s Gallery. (Reservations required)   Visit them at www.chefs-galleryonline.com.

 

 

Rolled Omelet (Tamagoyaki)

Adapted from “Japanese Cooking: The Traditions, Techniques, Ingredients and Recipes”

 

Ingredients:

 

3 tablespoon dashi stock or water with a pinch of dashi-no-moto

2 tablespoons mirin

1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon salt

6 large or extra large eggs, beaten

Vegetable oil

 

Garnish

Daikon

Shiso leaves (optional)

 

Method:

 

Mix the dashi stock or infused water with mirin, soy sauce, sugar and salt. Add to the beaten eggs and stir well. Heat the omelet pan over medium heat.  Soak a paper towel in oil and grease the pan.

 

Pour in some egg mixture and tilt the pan to coat evenly.  When the egg starts to set, roll it up toward you using a spatula.  Keep the rolled omelet in the pan but push it to the farthest side of the pan from you. Oil the empty part of the pan again with the paper towel.  Again pour in some egg mixture into the empty side of the pan.  Lift the rolled egg to allow some of the mixture to run under it.  When it looks half set, roll the second omelet around the first.  Repeat the process until all of the mixture is used.

 

Move the roll gently onto a sushi rolling mat covered with plastic wrap.  Leave the omelet to stand for a couple of minutes.  Carefully unroll and cut into slices crosswise.

Serve with some grated daikon on the side.

 

 

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celebration.jpg Celebrating Grand Opening

Connecting Point of Park Cities (CPPC) celebrated its grand opening Sunday afternoon and invited the community to tour the facility, meet the staff and see firsthand the results of the program.

 

CPPC is a nonprofit day habilitation program for adults with disabilities.  It opened its door on June 24 in Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), located at 4711 Westside Dr. at the edge of Highland Park. 

 

For the grand opening, CPPC staff and board turned Central’s fellowship hall into a bright and cheerful setting of yellow, blue and green— the program’s colors.  Beautiful flower arrangements and gourmet food trays topped the tables. Guests had the opportunity to visit with staff and learn more about the project, view artwork and support the program through raffle and t-shirt sales. 

 

A typical day at CPPC begins with reviewing the latest current events, discussing the day’s agenda and the weather.  The participants, known as “teammates,” arrive and sign in, followed by a review of the current date, time and a recap of what was learned the day before.  Then it’s “news 2 you”—a discussion of a news story or current event.

 

Next is 45 minutes of exercise designed to meet the individual needs of each teammate.

 

Following exercise is a “learning life skills” class.  Tasks will include lessons in telling time, hanging or folding clothes, making snacks and other household skills needed to live an independent life.

 

After lunch, classroom sessions emphasize social skills and safety. 

 

“We have even turned our parking lot into a fake intersection practicing our pedestrian safety skills,” Program Executive Jamie Reynolds said.

 

The afternoon arts and crafts class has produced some beautiful projects by this talented group of teammates as displayed at the open house.

 

Before heading home in the afternoon, the teammates complete a chore such as vacuuming, taking out the trash, erasing the chalkboard, etc.

 

“We are beyond thankful for Central Christian Church and our partnership with them to provide this service in the community,” Reynolds said.

 

Central Christian Church is in turn thankful for PCCP. For Central members, it is a blessing to run in to one of the teammates during the day and share a conversation.

 

Central’s mission is to be the loving hands of Christ to neighbors near and far, striving to live that mission by having community space on its property for Acers Community Garden, Central Dog Park, a soccer field used by the YMCA for children and youth and now its newest family member, Park Cities Connecting Point.