Best Eats!

This week, we’re featuring 1 or 2 great places to eat near each of our awesome communities!

  1. Fannin FarmsIstanbul Grill

If you’re ever in the neighborhood, Istanbul Grill is THE place for Mediterranean Cuisine!  This family-run diamond in the rough offers Mediterranean favorites like kebobs and gyros.  With a BYOB option, this is a great spot to sit and relax with friends when they have the space! Find them here.

  1. Selection StudioSavor Coffee Bar and Eatery

If you are visiting our design studio, there is no better place around to gather your thoughts.  Their specialty drinks and delicious food will replenish your spirit while the beautiful atmosphere inspires your mind.  Find them here.

  1. Meadow Creek EstatesMoni’s Pasta & Pizza

Moni learned his trade working at a restaurant in Italia as a younger man.  He has passed on everything he knows to his son, who has owned and operated this particular location for the last 9 years.  Everything about this BYOB Italian restaurant is authentic from the pasta to the delivery!  Find them here.

  1. Settler’s GlenCatfish Plantation

Don’t let the ghost stories keep you away!  All of the spirits there are friendly, and the delicious catfish is more than worth it!  Located near historic downtown Waxahachie, the Catfish Plantation is the very definition of good food, great service, and a beautiful location.  Find them here.

  1. Settler’s GlenLonestar Burger Bar

Texans love our burgers, and Lonestar Burger Bar is the best place to grab one near Settler’s Glen!  Their Black Angus burgers are dressed up with everything from bacon and BBQ sauce to peanut butter.  If it’s too early for a burger, they have great breakfast options!  Find them here.

  1. The Cove at North GroveThe Dove’s Nest

‘It’s Worth Flying South’ according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, and certainly worth the short drive from The Cove at North Grove.  This charming eatery serves New Southern Cuisine and delicious desserts! Nestled in historic downtown Waxahachie, eating at this acclaimed restaurant is both relaxing and invigorating.  Find them here.

  1. Matador RanchAntonio’s Homestyle Cooking

This family-owned Mexican food restaurant works hard to make every customer feel at home.  From made-at-your-table guacamole to fresh flan, it’s hard to find a more authentic Mexican eating experience.   Find them here.

  1. Summer Creek SouthBonnell’s

Dedicated to working with local farmers and right off the Chisholm Trail Toll Road, Bonnell’s is both convenient and delicious.  Opened in 2001 by Chef Bonnell, this restaurant combines Southwestern, Creole and Mexican flavors to create a taste that is authentically Texan.  Find them here.

  1. Summer Creek SouthThe Woodshed

This delicious smoke house is conveniently located just off of the Trinity Trails and the Chisholm Trail Toll Road.  The ever-changing menu is a thing that must be experienced to believe.  Chef Tim Love loves to bring in creative meats that can be enjoyed indoors or on the patio overlooking the river.  Find them here.

  1. Ashford ParkBella Vita II Italian Restaurant

The second location for this family-owned Italian restaurant, this is a great option for dinner in the Burleson area.  The service is excellent, and the fresh food is constantly being updated by their innovative chefs.  When you walk through that door, they’ll make you feel like family.  Find them here.

  1. Chisholm Trail RanchPress Café

Located at the new trail head, Press Café is easily accessed from the Trinity Trails, and from Chisholm Trail Toll Road.  Whether you bike, run or drive to this fantastic location, you will be treated to some of the best healthy food in the area.  Their modern bar serves alcohol and coffee.  You can’t go wrong relaxing and enjoying the view.  Find them here.

  1. Saginaw SpringsBoo-Ray’s

Cajun food is widely loved, and not always done well.  With Boo-Ray’s zesty recipes and daily fresh fish, they do right by the owner’s Cajun heritage.  Along with authentic flavor, Scott Marks brings the New Orleans atmosphere to Eagle Mountain Lake.  Find them here.

  1. Saginaw SpringsGinger Brown’s

If you’re looking for something in Saginaw that’s a bit less spicy, Ginger Brown’s is the place for you.  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, Ginger brings delicious, home-style cookin’ to your table.  This laid-back bakery and diner keeps its cinnamon rolls and customers at its center.  Find them here.


Until Next Time,


I Made Soup Y’all!

Have you noticed that although the weather in North Texas has been very Bipolar of late, we only get the cold and dreary stuff on the weekends?  I’m all stuck inside working while it’s bright and sunny and warm and then the weekend comes and I can’t bring myself to get out of bed because the weather is so disappointing.  So to cheer myself up, I decided to make Caldo de Pollo.  That’s chicken soup, Mexican Style.


My first order of business was to call all my relatives to find out how they make Mexican Rice, since I’d never made it before (or even Chicken Soup for that matter).  My cousin Feliz had a completely different way of making it than my sister.  My cousin Yvette didn’t call me back (she hates sharing her recipes because they are the best) but I have eaten her rice and watched her make it in the rice cooker once before.  After heavy consultation, I did what I always do and take the best ideas from every one else and make it my own way.


I decided to make the rice and the chicken soup separately and then add them together when I served it up.  I used boneless skinless chicken tenderloins instead of a whole chicken since I don’t like bones or skin or dark meat.  I put quite a bit of low sodium, fat free chicken broth in my crock pot, added the chicken tenderloins and cranked that baby up.  Now it’s time for the rice.


I used brown rice, which was the first departure from tradition.  I browned it with some onions and garlic in a skillet.  Then I dumped it unceremoniously in the rice cooker and added a can of Rotel with cilantro.  That was the second departure from tradition.  Most people I know use tomato paste or tomato sauce.  I also know a lot of people who add peas and carrots to their rice, but I’ve never like it that way.  Instead of water I cooked the rice with more chicken broth.


I did chop up carrots and celery and add that to the chicken and broth fiesta in the crock pot.  After a while there was a chicken-y scum floating on the top, but I was too lazy to skim it or strain it.  Hey, I’m an amateur!

No, I didn’t forget to list the spices.  I didn’t add any.  I left that up to the can of Rotel and the natural yumminess of the ingredients I was using.

After everything cooked up to perfection (I mean I went to the gym, had a shower and was now ready for my lunch which was bubbling up nicely in the crock pot all morning) I served myself a half a cup of rice and a cup of chicken soup on top.  YUM!

Fall Cooking: Spaghetti Squash

Want to learn to cook a Spaghetti Squash? It’s pretty easy.

Scooping out pulp from an uncooked Spaghetti Squash

If you have ever watched The Biggest Loser or any other weight loss shows, I am sure you have heard of Spaghetti Squash as a great alternative to pasta.  I have been on a big health kick since February of this year and I think I have eaten pasta only twice in that time span.  I can’t handle the carbs and calories in my diet.  But recently I have been craving pasta.  So, on a whim at the grocery store this past weekend I thought I’d buy a Spaghetti Squash.

I got really excited thinking about all the ways I used to eat pasta and what I could cook to go with the spaghetti squash.  I was really squealing with joy.  So after a quick Google query on how to cook the thing, I was off!  I set the oven to 375° and got the Big Knife from the set I received as a wedding gift.  I have only used that knife like, three times and only on a watermelon, so I was unprepared for how tough a Spaghetti Squash is!  I was fighting that thing and praying the knife didn’t fly out of my hands and hit my dogs (who always hang out in the kitchen when I get the cutting board out).  Finally after wrestling with it and not cutting myself or my furry friends (whew!) I began the drudgery of scooping out the pulp.  Hated it.

Next I placed it rind up on a baking sheet and set the timer for 35 minutes.  After it cooked, I let it cool for a while until it was only slightly warm to the touch.  The website I visited on how to cook it warned of burns if you scraped it too soon.  It was so easy!  I just took the fork and scraped it from one end to the other and it fell right into the plastic container.  Since I am the only one in my house who will even look at a vegetable I was worried that I would have too much.  But since I ate half a container of it at my first sitting, I think I’m safe!

On my first taste it was a little sweet.  I thought that was OK since I usually add a little sweetener to my homemade pasta sauce, I’d just plan to leave it out.  My favorite way to eat pasta is as a side dish with a little butter and cheese and seasonings.  So I paired it with my steak and sprinkled a little garlic salt and some Italian seasoning on it.  No butter or cheese, but I’m used to that now.   I. Was.In. Heaven.  It had a slight crunch that I adored.  So the conclusion: Spaghetti Squash-Good and Easy to make!  Four Stars on this veggie!




Scraping the Spaghetti out
Scraping the Spaghetti out


Almost finished scooping
Empty Rinds


Can I have some Mom?

Pumpkin Pie Bake-Off

My not-so-secret ingredients!

I made my very first ever Pumpkin Pie last week.  I was very surprised at how simple it was.  I had a can of pumpkin puree from Aldi and there was a recipe on the can and I thought, well, I’ll try it.  So I did and it was pretty easy!  I had no idea that Pumpkin Pie has ground ginger in it!  Once I made the filling I thought that it didn’t smell like Pumpkin Pies I’d eaten before so I threw in a little allspice at the end.  After the first bite, I did regret the addition of the allspice, but I was inspired to see if I can improve on my next try.

Antares Homes is hosting a Pumpkin Pie Bake-Off at our Crescent Springs Ranch Model Home at 701 Jetton Court in Crowley, TX from 1-3pm on Saturday, November 20th, 2010.  Join us!  Our prize for First Place will be a Thanksgiving themed gift basket!  Don’t like Pumpkin Pie?  Our Judges have agreed to taste pies in a separate category called “Other Pies”  There will be a prize awarded in the “Other” category as well.

Here are a few recipes I found in my research for the perfect Pumpkin Pie!

Pumpkin Pie from scratch-Including crust!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie from scratch

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream????

Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie

Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Pie

Just for fun, The Pumpkin Pie Throwdown!

Rachael Ray’s Pumpkin Pie with Almond Spiced Whipped Cream-Yum-O!

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

Autumn Pumpkin Pie

Weight Watcher’s Pumpkin Pie

I’ve died and gone to Heaven- Martha Stewart’s Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie!

I’m bringing Libby’s to the Bake-Off, how about you?  Which one will you bring?

Green Cleaning


Green Cleaning Kit

As a company we have many conversations about Green Building.  We are very concerned with being Green and have made many choices about the construction of our homes based on a Green focus.  As the Green Marketplace is evolving there are lots of opinions about what makes something Green.  For us, as a builder of new homes, it means reducing the amount of energy used to operate a home

Another way that people want to be Green is to reduce the amount of harsh chemicals used in every day life.  Often these chemicals end up in our rivers and lakes as well as in our groundwater.  Rust cleaners and oven cleaners are particularly toxic.  Some folks even argue that bleach is too toxic to use on a daily basis.  I have been surfing the web trying to discover what folks are doing about this.  What I’ve noticed is a big trend towards DIY household cleaners.  I have uncovered a few Blogs and websites that I think you might like if you are also thinking of reducing the toxicity of your home!

Paige found some recipes on making household cleaners and tried some out.  Here’s what she found that works and in some cases doesn’t work!

Sometimes you can use simple solutions of one or two commonly used products such as Baking Soda or Vinegar.

1001 Uses For Vinegar

The Vinegar Institute!!!!  Wow!

The New Home Maker loves Baking Soda for cleaning.

Arm and Hammer also has a pretty exhaustive list of uses for Baking Soda.

Here are some recipes for non-toxic cleaners.

How to make a non-toxic cleaning kit.

Non-toxic Rust remover?  Really!

If you try any of these Green alternatives, let me know how they worked for you.  I am going to polish my silver jewelry with Baking Soda tonight!

Recipes for Bryan and Nikole

Bandit wants to know why he didn't get any leftovers.


French bread, pre-sliced




Non-stick cooking spray

Coat a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and place French bread slices on the cookie sheet.  Lightly coat bread slices with non-stick spray and put into an oven pre-heated to 350.  At the same time place Brie in a shallow baking dish and put into the oven at the same time as the bread.  Remove bread when it starts to brown.  Remove Brie as it gets melty and starts to pour out of the rind.  Scoop some Brie onto the toasted bread, top with a few walnuts and drizzle honey over the top and eat.  MMMMmmmmmm.


Hearts of Romaine

Matchstick Carrots

Roma Tomatoes


White Onion


Crumbled Goat Cheese


Chop, slice and dice into a pleasing arrangement and serve with your favorite dressing.

Pasta Sauce:

3 Italian Sausages

1 Can tomato paste

1 *oz can garlic tomato sauce

1 *oz can Roasted Tomato and Garlic tomato sauce

1/2 tablespoon sucralose

Italian Seasoning to taste

Onion powder to taste

Couple of tablespoons of white wine

A little water or chicken broth to adjust thickness to taste

Brown sausages and then slice.  Add sausages to the remaining ingredients and let bubble for an hour or so.  Serve over pasta.  We had whole wheat Rotini.

Dessert:  Thaw and Eat Key Lime Pie.  Bryan says he will eat a whole one while he participates in an online gaming binge on his X-Box.  I would love to be able to stomach a whole Key Lime Pie, but I just can’t.  I had trouble serving myself in the first place and dropped it on the table both times.  Yes, I ate two slices.  Can you blame me?  It was Marie Callender’s.