Category Archives: Houston Food

Fall – in Love with Food

This Word by: Emily Holden

Whenever the seasons change, I get the urge to do something different. Sometimes a change of wardrobe or scenery is enough to fill the void left by the seasonal transition. But this fall, I’m looking for a meaningful and sustainable change that will keep that warm feeling in my tummy year round by rethinking the basics of my day-to-day life, starting with, yes you guessed it…food.

If you are looking for ways to incorporate the new season into your daily activities, why not start with the basics? A change in food may be just what you need. And we at Oh My Pocket Pies are right there with you, searching for happiness from the inside out. George Eliot summed up this craving for seasonal change when she wrote “Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” Except, these birds know that you don’t need to travel the globe to find love. Step out into your own city to find a new, healthier bond with your food.

Farmer’s markets across Houston offer everything you need to rekindle your passion for food and life. From local produce and fresh cheese to locally roasted coffee and grass-fed beef, these markets have what you need for fresh, flavorful fare. Visit us every other week when we join the friendly folks at the Highland Village Farmer’s Market, selling local foods every Saturday from 9:00 to 1:00 PM . Another great new Houston market on the scene is City Hall Farmer’s Market, open every Wednesday from 10:00 to 2:00 PM. Buying food locally ensures not only that your food will be fresh and flavorful, but also that the money you spend will go directly to local farmers.

Another important part of buying locally is knowing what kinds of fruits and vegetables are in season in your area. Winter squash, beets, broccoli, spinach, blackberries, and pumpkins for example, are in season right now in Texas, which means they will be extra tasty, and you can be sure they are locally grown. Check out this chart to get a better idea of which fruits and veggies to purchase at market. Once you learn what produce is in season, you can incorporate these fruits and veggies into daily meals and family feasts. Savor the flavor of this delicious beet and goat cheese salad, made from locally produced beets, cheese, spinach and nuts.  Make room for winter squash at the Thanksgiving table before serving a delicious pumpkin or blackberry pie.

Why not fall in love with food this season by rethinking your relationship with your groceries? Say goodbye to a tired affair with food and hello to local, seasonal produce. Connect with your environment and find the authentic flavors that your community has to offer – like here at OMPP! This fall we’re cookin’ up Thanksgiving inspired pies for a limited time only. Check out the menu (www.ohmypocketpies.com), and come by before you miss out on your taste of fall, y’all!

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Gulf Seafood – A Questionable Future

As the oil-affected Gulf waters became reopened for fishing and shrimping just recently, questions over the safety of the seafood caught in the Gulf are still ringing in American’s minds. Is the Gulf seafood really safe to eat?

Here’s the rather complex, multi-faceted answer: Yes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proclaimed the shrimp and seafood safe – but, perhaps not, according to Gina Solomon, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. She is calling on federal officials to conduct a better test consisting of a larger sample, holding that the NOAA only recently tested 12 samples consisting of 73 individual shrimp.

While the NOAA insists that testing will be done on an on-going basis to ensure the safety of consumers, research gathered in July by the University of Southern Mississippi found droplets of oil in blue crabs that feed much larger sea life in the Gulf.  Now, the blue crabs do not pass inspection for human consumption, but the concern is, is our food supply of fish being contaminated by consuming them? Researchers at the NOAA Fisheries Mississippi labs show that the only contaminated fish samples have been found in water that is still closed for fishing. Serious questions also remain about seafood affected by the dispersant used by BP to break up the oil.

A study by the University of Minnesota found that 44% of people don’t trust seafood from the Gulf to be safe for consumption.  However, President Obama, trying hard to restore Americans’ faith in Gulf seafood, served barbequed Gulf shrimp at his birthday party in early August.

All this worry of contaminated seafood poses a strong possibility of changing the economy of many Gulf coast cities, including Houston, where fishing and shrimping are main industries. Though the prices of seafood may rise in the fishable waters, are Americans willing to pay the price for food that many are afraid to consume?

Steven Curtis, president of Austin Seafood Products, a wholesale supplier, saw a boom in shrimp sales just before oil reached the waters along the Texas coast. He actually had people calling to buy the entire inventory to stock up for desperate shrimp times. But Curtis says shrimp will be fine this year – “What people need to worry about is shrimp two years from now, three years from now,” as the spill affects plankton and larvae that the shrimp feed upon.

Many restaurant owners have braced for the worst outcome: a shortage of seafood, price hikes and a public image that Gulf seafood is dangerous. We at OMPP are still going strong with the sale of our shrimp burgers, made from all local Gulf shrimp.

How would you like to hear from a vendor right in the heart of the issue? Stay tuned for an interesting take on how the spill has affected our local shrimp vendor.

Sources from this article:

Statesman.com

Nola.com

Los Angeles Times

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Send us YOUR OMPP pics!

We are working on getting some pictures up of our loyal customers and their pie adventures! We want to see you eating, holding, posing, dancing, etc. with our pies (and burgers), around town and/or at our events!

Have you taken any pictures at an OMPP outing? We want to see them! We just might feature them in one of our blog slide shows; Yes, YOUR shining face will be seen on our blog! This is just one of the fun projects we’re working on, so come be a part of it! Tweet us your Twitpics to @ohmypocketpies, or send your photos to info@ohmypocketpies.com

Hope to see your face soon!

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Sustaina-Bowl

With the super bowl right around the corner, we’re all going crazy about who the better team will be – saints or colts?! Or we’re just excited for commercials and high calorie snack food. Staying green around this time of the year may be the last thing you want to worry about while planning your party, but its easier than you may think!

First, we have put together a collaboration of some of the best sustainable and local recipes we could find. A great way to be sustainable for your super bowl party is to “think veggies”. Of course we don’t mean you can only eat veggie trays and crackers. The super bowl deserves some heavy, cheesy snacks – Hey it only comes around once a year! Planet Green has some yummy, filling, veggie recipes for this super bowl like, Baked Potato Skins, Mini Calzones, and Upscale Nachos (these are not your average every day nachos!) Check out those recipes here: http://tinyurl.com/yc5z69u Mother Nature Network also has some delicious sustainable recipes including hearty Vegetarian Chili and flavorful Hummus: http://tinyurl.com/ykshg9m If you just can’t have your super bowl party with out the meat, check out this delicious sounding recipe for Chicken Kebabs with a Yogurt Cilantro Sauce: http://tinyurl.com/ybby86b Use all organic chicken for a perfect party meal. Hungry yet?

Also, keep in mind, “local, local, local”! Make sure you know what veggies are in season in your area and try to use those as main ingredients. Some good veggies this season in Texas include, broccoli, greens, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes! Mmm sweet potato fries with ranch dressing dip – perfect for your party! Use our favorite site for finding your state’s in-season vegetables: http://tinyurl.com/ylkagau If you live in Houston, shop for your fresh vegetables at the Highland Village Farmers Market http:/hvfm.com/

Now, what kind of serving dishes are you using? If you answered styrofoam or plastic, get off our page! – Just kidding, but really…don’t use those! Opt for something more sustainable, like biodegradable or paper plates. These can be torn up and thrown right into your compost, if you have one. If you don’t have a compost, paper plates are still better than styrofoam for numerous reasons such as, styrofoam’s hazardous effects on our health and its inability to biodegrade quickly (see our previous post all about this dangerous plastic). At OMPP we use all biodegradable materials – even down to our cups. Check out http://www.greenhome.com/ where you can order large numbers of sustainable party plates and drink ware for some pretty good prices.

Lastly, anytime you’re throwing a party, consider local and/or organic beer and liquor. One of our favorite local Texas beers is Saint Arnold: Learn more about them and their brewery http://www.saintarnold.com/ We found this blog: http://tinyurl.com/8grvj3 with a great guide of a few organic liquors.

As planning any party can be stressful, we hope our tips can help you to plan the perfect super bowl party this year. Your friends will be GREEN with envy (…sorry, had to)! Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, safe, sustaina-bowl 2010!


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Filed under biodegradable, Fresh, Fresh food, Go Green, Go Local, Green, Healthy food, houston, Houston Food, Local, local houston, oh my pocket pies, organic, sustainable

OMPP Hosts National Pie Day!

WHO BETTER TO HOST PIE DAY?: This public celebration of pie will be hosted by Oh My! Pocket Pies in coalition with House of Pies, Katz Coffee, Dacapo’s Pastry Café, Gallery M Squared, Little Miss Cupcake, and more.

WHAT IN TARNATION IS IT?: This family-friendly celebration serves to honor the great American pie, and has scheduled entertainment for all ages! A pie and coffee pairing will showcase samples of Katz various coffees and Oh my! Pocket Pies dessert pies; three hungry contestants will compete for prizes in the House of Pies pie eating contest beginning at 1 pm; local vibraphonist, Harry Sheppard, will perform classic pieces on his magical xylophone; kids can compete for prizes in a pie drawing contest (parents, pick up an entry sheet at Gallery M Squared prior to the event or on event day!); Little Miss Cupcake will be on-site offering special pie-flavored cupcakes made just for National Pie Day!

WHEN IT’S GOING DOWN: Saturday, January 23, 2010
12 to 2 p.m.

WHERE’S THE PIE?: 335 West 19th Street, in the Historic Houston Heights shopping district

CONTACT US: For more information, or to get involved in Pie Day, please contact Joanna at info@ohmypocketpies.com or (281) 902-9820.

ALL FOR PIE AND PIE FOR ALL!: Admission for National Pie Day is free and open to all ages. OMPP will be open, serving a full lunch menu during the event. Little Miss Cupcake will also be selling traditional flavored cupcakes to all!

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Filed under biodegradable, Fresh, Fresh food, Go Green, Go Local, Green, Healthy food, houston, Houston Food, Independent, Local, local houston, Mobile Food Truck, oh my pocket pies, sustainable

GO LOCAL! Wait, what does that mean?

These days, we are hearing more and more talk about “going local” – But what does it really mean? One of the most understandable ways to explain going, or buying, local is to take a look at our produce. According to localharvest.org , “most produce in the US is picked 4 to 7 days before being placed on supermarket shelves, and is shipped for an average of 1500 miles before being sold.” That means, those big ripe, red, ripened-on-the-vine tomatoes you just bought, were cut off the plant far before they were ready!

Not only is taste affected by the distances fruits and veggies travel, but trucking and shipping to bring us our produce takes a toll on the environment. The shipping burns huge amounts of gas, and releases global warming pollution that also affects our health. We buy hybrid cars and cut down on our own driving, but when it comes to food, it is easy to forget that it has traveled farther than us to get to the grocery store!  

So you want to go local? Where to begin: Produce is the easiest place to start. Growing your own fruits and veggies can be fun, delicious, and not to mention beneficial to the environment! Sustainable Table offers tips and links to starting your own at home garden http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/growyourown/

But, if you don’t have much faith in your wilted green thumb for your only produce source, local farmers markets are a great place to go for tasty veggies, and to support local farms. The Local Harvest website provides an easy search for finding farmers markets near you http://www.localharvest.org/  With a search made that easy, now what’s your excuse?

Lastly, another resource that makes buying locally grown produce easy as Pocket-Pie is the Natural Resources Defense Council website http://www.nrdc.org/health/foodmiles/?gclid=CISLo7uPxZQCFQQrFQodpkZgFw  Here you can enter your location and time of year, and they will tell you what produce can be grown in your area. This way, you can shop at your local grocery store with a mindful of local produce knowledge. You know those strawberries in December aren’t from Texas – and you don’t want ’em!

Now, with all this help…how could you not go local?? And remember, the easiest way for all you Houstonians to go local – Stop by Oh My Pocket Pies where we serve only the freshest food made from all local ingredients!
See our Webpage to learn more: http://www.ohmypocketpies.com
Follow us on Twitter for specials, updates, and interesting information: http://twitter.com/OhMyPocketPies

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Filed under Fresh, Fresh food, Go Green, Go Local, Green, Healthy food, houston, Houston Food, Independent, Local, Mobile Food Truck, sustainable