The State Fair of Texas’ Food: ‘Batter’ Than Ever


funnel cake strawberry sauce dessert
 
Chances are, if you have heard of the State Fair of Texas, you have heard about the — always outrageous, always delicious — food. Each year, State Fair concessionaires debut their latest edible innovations to the public in hopes of winning the Big Tex Choice Awards.
 
The judges have spoken. Here are your 2017 Big Tex Choice Award Winners.
 
Best Taste-Savory/Most Creative
 
Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger
 
Best Taste-Sweet
 
Gulf Coast Fish Bowl
 
Here are your 2017 Big Tex Choice Award finalists competing for the titles of “Best Taste – Sweet,” “Best Taste – Savory,” and “Most Creative.”
 
Savory Finalists
 
Deep Fried Chicken Noodle Soup on a Stick
 
Texas Fajita Fries
 
The Tamale Donut
 
Surfin’ Turfin’ Tator Boat
 
Sweet Finalists
 
Deep Fried Froot Loops
 
Pinot Noir Popcorn
 
Fried Texas Sheet Cake
 
Fat Smooth
 
Tickets to the 2017 Big Tex Choice Awards Judging/Tasting are now on sale. It’s never too early to make a list of your must-try unique foods!

DSO on the GO Visits Southlake


DSO on the GO Visits Southlake

 

For the third year in a row, Ebby Halliday Realtors is sponsoring the full season of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s DSO on the GO performance series, which brings the world-renowned orchestra to concert halls and churches across North Texas.

 

On Sunday, October 15, at 6 p.m., the DSO will bring the music of Dvořák, Copland and Edgar Meyer to Southlake. The performance takes place at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church, 185 S. White Chapel Blvd., in Southlake.

 

Tickets are $19 at mydso.com, APEX Arts League seniors are $15 when you use promo code APEX at checkout, and student tickets are $9 when you use promo code STUTIX513 at checkout.

 

For more information, visit mydso.com or call 214-TIX-4DSO.

 

 

State Fair Headliners You Don’t Want to Miss


Dallas, TX USA - October 17, 2015: The iconic and massive Texas Star, at Fair Park in Dallas, TX
 
It’s time to get excited about the State Fair of Texas – our state’s most beloved event of the year. While there is notable debate over what the best part of the fair is, there’s no doubt the free concert series draws a large crowd every time. Below is a list of who you can (and should) see live on the Chevrolet Main Stage this year:
 
Thursday, October 5

Israel Houghton & New Breed – 8:45 p.m.

 

Friday, October 6

The Peterson Brothers – 5:30 & 8:30 p.m.

 

Saturday, October 7

Ro James – 2 p.m.

 

Sunday, October 8

The Spazmatics– 2 & 4 p.m.

Wilson Phillips – 5:30 p.m.

 

Monday, October 9

Temecula Road – 4 p.m.

Daya – 5:30 p.m.

 

Tuesday, October 10

Tristan McIntosh – 11:30 a.m., 5:45 & 8:30 p.m.

 

Friday, October 13

Prophets & Outlaws – 5:30 & 8:30 p.m.

 

Saturday, October 14

Pat Green – 8:30 p.m.

 

Sunday, October 15

Charlie Daniels Band – 5:30 p.m.

 

Friday, October 20

Waterloo Revival – 8:30 p.m.

 

Saturday, October 21

For King & Country – 8:30 p.m.

 

Sunday, October 22

Los Traileros Del Norte – 3 p.m.

 

In addition to the headlining acts who will perform each weekend over the course of the Fair, another set of regional bands and musicians will play this year during weekdays on the Chevrolet Main Stage. To see their schedule, click here.

North Texas Pumpkin Patches


Overflow of pumpkins for Halloween
 
Searching for the perfect pumpkin? A trip to one of these North Texas pumpkin patches won’t disappoint.
 

 
Country Critters Farm Pumpkin Patch

South of Mansfield, the Country Critters Farm features bounce houses, pony and hay rides, and duck races. Children can also enjoy cookies and apple juice during storytime. Then, choose a pie-size pumpkin from the pumpkin patch and decorate it to your liking.
 
Dallas Arboretum

The arboretum’s 11th annual fall festival features the 1-acre, nationally acclaimed Pumpkin Village in the Pecan Grove, which features more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. Take a stroll through the Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch to purchase and take home a pumpkin of your choice now through Nov. 22.
 
Dallas Farmers Market

Visit the Dallas Famers Market now through Oct. 31 and do double duty with shopping and pumpkin picking. Pumpkins and gourds of all shapes, sizes and colors will be available for purchase.
 
Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch

Travel to the Double Oak Ranch in Flower Mound and find hundreds of pumpkins to choose from, cornstalks, hay bales, baked goods, and refreshments. Click here for more information.
 
Halls Pumpkin Farm & Corn Maze

Take a trip to Grapevine and experience a 2-acre corn maze, hayrides, farm animals and, of course, pumpkins – fresh off the vine. Daily through Oct. 31. For more information, visit hallspumpkinfarm.net.
 
Preston Trail Farms

Formerly known as the Big Orange Pumpkin Farm, the family owned Preston Trail Farms offers feed, hardware, food, and gifts at its new location in Gunter. Pick pumpkins off the vine or peruse the pumpkin patch as much as you like. Don’t forget to visit the farm animals!
 
Storybook’s Pumpkin Patch

Owned and operated by the nonprofit River Ranch Educational Charities, Storybook’s Pumpkin Patch features a historic western town, made up of authentic late-19th-century buildings. Children can also enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo and hay maze. Don’t forget to collect your mini pumpkin on your way out! And, for those who get a late start on the pumpkin search, this one is open until Nov. 1.

 

Explore North Texas Winemaking


North Texas Wineries
 
North Texas is home to an extraordinarily vibrant culinary scene, so it comes as no surprise that it’s home to established winemaking as well.
 
Texas has over 4,000 acres of producing vineyard farmland, according to Texas Wines & Grape Growers Association, and the wines have a lot to offer. Explore the rich winemaking culture in North Texas by visiting these local wineries, and discover what makes Texas wines unique.
 
4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery

Situated in the Red River Valley, this stunning location is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Taste estate wines produced from the Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards on the ranch, as well as other varietals crafted from carefully sourced grapes.
 
Checkered Past Winery

Located in Dallas’ South Side neighborhood, Checkered Past Winery is an urban wine pub that offers quality wines from Texas and beyond. One of the standouts under their own label? The Red Red, a tantalizing blend of Carignane, Mourvedre, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, and Cinsault.
 
Cross Timbers Winery

Get a glimpse into the history of Grapevine by visiting this true Texas winery. Located in the historic Brock Family farmhouse, the winery features a tasting room with indoor and outdoor seating for guests to enjoy wine tastings and education. The winery offers a widespread portfolio of red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines. Rosé fans can rejoice after tasting the Texas Blush, a vivid nonvintage rosé with tropical fruit and citrus spice flavors.
 
Eden Hill Winery

Situated 40 minutes north of Dallas by Celina, this family owned winery produces wines made from grapes grown on the estate vineyards as well as other vineyards around Texas. Visit the tasting room and wine store to taste wine, walk around the vineyard, and spend time with the chickens. If you’re a fan of Italian wines, this winery makes some stellar Italian varietals — Marsanne, Aglianico and Montepulciano — in addition to their other offerings.
 
North Texas Wineries
 
Fortunata Winery

At this family owned winery in Aubrey, you’ll find everything from sweet whites to sparkling wines. Visit the tasting room and pair the selections with brick oven pizza or a cheese board. One selection you won’t want to miss is the Fortunata Symphony, a hybrid varietal created with Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache Gris. If you like tropical, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc, you should check that out here, too.
 
Inwood Estates Vineyards Inc.

While truly based in Fredericksburg, Texas, this winery offers a Dallas location for those desiring the taste of Texas wines in an “urban winery” setting. Visit the tasting room for happy hours, “wine down” events and more. Started in 1981, Inwood Estates offers high-quality wines made from Texas grapes, especially Tempranillo.
 
Landon Winery

With locations in Greenville, McKinney, and Wylie, this winery is home to award-winning wines made from both Texas and California grapes. Enjoy a bite at the bistro, or join the wine club and get the chance to taste these wines every other month. If you enjoy full-bodied Tempranillo, a trip to this winery should be on your bucket list.
 
Lonestar Wine Cellars
Enjoy wine tasting Texas-style at Lone Star Wine Cellars. This family operated winery is situated inside McKinney’s historic Old Ritz Theater Building and offers award-winning wines under The Ranch Wines and Lone Star Wines labels. Enjoy a glass while listening to live music Wednesday through Sunday.


Messina Hof
Started in 1977, Messina Hof was one of the pioneers of the Texas wine industry and has now grown into a winery producing 130,000 gallons each year. With locations in Bryan, Fredericksburg and Grapevine, the winery is highly awarded and offers a mouth-watering GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) blend and some complex Rieslings.

North Texas Wineries

 
San Martino Winery and Vineyards
This small, family owned winery just outside Rockwall specializes in handcrafting wines using modern techniques while maintaining the traditional winemaking of northern Spain. Be sure to taste the Mataro, a medium-bodied red with firm, smooth tannins and long, spicy finish.
 
Sloan & Williams Winery

This Grapevine winery specializes in mouthwatering wines made from California and Texas-grown grapes — areas hand-picked by Sloan & Williams due to their unique soils, climates, topography and geographic locations. Stop by the tasting room in Grapevine to enjoy a glass and even a scoop of wine-infused ice cream.
 
Times Ten Cellars

With locations in Dallas and Fort Worth, this winery sources grapes from its vineyard in Alpine, Texas. The mineral-rich, rocky, volcanic soil creates the perfect growing conditions for rich, Spanish and Rhone-inspired wines (i.e. Tempranillo, Syrah, Grenache). You can also find wines made with fan-favorite grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux’s ideal blending grape — Cabernet Franc.

Savvy Savings for the State Fair of Texas


eBlast_CM_State-Fair-1024x580

The countdown to the State Fair of Texas has begun! For those planning to go, below are great money-saving opportunities you can take advantage of from Sept. 29 – Oct. 22. Just think of all the extra mouth-watering treats you can indulge in after your savings!

 

Advance Tickets

Buying in advance (and printing yourself) will save you a couple of bucks on general admission. You can also purchase tickets through the DART GoPass app, which will save you $2 on every ticket, any day and allows you to access them right from your phone. Lastly, add tickets to your Kroger shopping list: $16.50 for general admission.

 

Big Tex Insider

Sign up to become a Big Tex Insider and get the latest ticket discounts delivered right to your inbox as they’re announced. Insiders also receive first access to pre-sales, information on every show and attraction at the 2017 State Fair of Texas, discounted merchandise from the Big Tex store, and a happy birthday message from Big Tex on your birthday!

 

Coca-Cola $7 Thursdays

Bring an empty 20 oz. bottle of any Coca-Cola product on any Thursday during the Fair (Oct. 5, 12 and 19) and enter the Fair for only $7.

 

Dr Pepper $6 Tuesdays

Don’t throw away those empty Dr Pepper cans! Bring one in on any Tuesday during the Fair (Oct. 3, 10 and 17) and pay only $6 for general admission.

 

Dr Pepper Half Price After 5 p.m.

Bring an empty Dr Pepper can after 5 p.m. each day and admission is half price!

 

Free Attractions

Listen to the various free concerts scattered throughout the grounds, catch one (or more) of the daily shows, visit the auto show, and always stay for the Starlight Parade. Sticking to these attractions will keep a few extra bucks in your pocket. For a complete schedule of events, click here.

 

First Responders Day

All active and retired public law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency services agencies will receive free admission to the fair when they present a valid badge or ID card, plus up to three admission tickets for their family, on October 13.

 

Group Tickets

For groups of 20 or more, the Fair has a deal for you. The Fair can get your group through the gates for as low as $12/person, saving you 33 percent overall.

 

106.1 KISS-FM Fridays

Visit the radio station’s website on Fridays to download a coupon for $5 off general admission.  You can’t get this deal at the gate, so remember to download and print before you go.

 

Military Appreciation Day

On opening day, all active military, retired military, and veterans receive free admission when they present valid documentation of military service at the gate. For information on how to obtain your Military ID Card before you visit the fair, click here.

 

McDonald’s

When you’re done eating those tasty nuggets, be sure to grab the coupons from your tray liner or to-go bag. They’ll save you $5 on general admission or half the price of a kid’s admission on any day.

 

North Texas Food Bank Wednesdays

Bring in four cans of food for donation on any Wednesday during the Fair (Oct. 4, 11 and 18) and enter the Fair for only $4.

 

Opening Day

Bring a sealed 20 oz. bottle of Dasani water or any other Coca-Cola product to the gate on opening day (Sept. 29) and snag half-price tickets. Donated products benefit the North Texas Food Bank.

 

School Tickets

Chances are your kid(s) will be given a free Fair ticket from whichever North Texas school they attend. Take the opportunity to treat them. Or, save them for another day.

 

Season Passes

Who doesn’t go to the Fair multiple times? For around $40, the season pass will grant you access every single day and includes 100 food/ride tickets. Also, all season passes come with a free bag of Fair goodies. Season passes can also be purchased at Kroger for $34.95.

 

Senior Thursdays

Senior citizens (60 years and better) receive free admission every Thursday during the Fair (Oct. 5, 12 and 19).

 

Thrifty Thursdays

Thrifty Thursdays are back! Special food pricing is available every Thursday during the Fair. Featured items include corny dogs, cotton candy, funnel cakes and more. Download the Thrifty Thursday map here.

 

For more information on this year’s State Fair of Texas, visit BigTex.com.

 

190 – Richardson Office Sponsors Color Fun Run


Istanbul, Turkey - May 17, 2015: People gather and have fun in Kurucesme Arena after Color Up Run, Istanbul

Ebby Halliday’s 190 – Richardson Office is proud to be a sponsor of the Second-Annual Habitat for Humanity Color Fun Run/Walk, taking place on Saturday, September 30, at Firewheel Golf Park in Garland.

 

The event will raise funds for new-construction projects in Garland, Rowlett and Sachse and promises fun for the whole family.

 

Catch the fever and come out for a short 1.5-mile fun run (walk, skip, jog, or stroll) as colored powder thrown into the air covers you from head to toe. Don’t worry — the bright, eco-friendly colors are made from food-grade cornstarch with FDA approved colors and wash off skin.

 

Post-race, join the after-party celebration and enjoy food trucks, raffles, and other fun activities, as well as a performance by Ken Savage and the Best Kept Secret.

 

Families and children are encouraged to sign up, and strollers are welcome. Children 5 and under are free with an accompanying paid adult.

 

All proceeds benefit Garland Area Habitat for Humanity. For more information and to register, click here.

 

North Texas Giving Day is Today


Today is North Texas Giving Day

 

Today, September 14, is North Texas Giving Day, a day when we can all come together and rally behind the nonprofits that make our community a better place to live, work and play. Until midnight tonight, you’re encouraged to donate to one or more of the 2,500-plus certified nonprofits showcased at NorthTexasGivingDay.org.

 

In just eight years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $156 million into the North Texas community – over $37 million in 2016 alone. Donations up to $10,000 made today to the nonprofits listed on the site will be amplified by the general bonus funds and prizes.

 

At Ebby Halliday Realtors, service to the community is one of our founding principles. Three charities particularly close to our heart are WiNGS (Women in Need of Generous Support), home of Ebby’s Place, which serves as a place for poor working women to change their lives; Juliette Fowler Communities, site of The Ebby House, a community for young women who have experienced foster care or have been abandoned, displaced or abused; and Happy Hill Farm, a 500-acre farm near Granbury that is home to North Central Texas Academy. The Ebby Halliday Acers Library is located at Happy Hill Farm.

 

Whichever North Texas charity you choose to support, please visit NorthTexasGivingDay.org today to make a difference in our community.

DSO on the GO Visits Denton


DSO on the GO Visits Denton

 

For the third year in a row, Ebby Halliday Realtors is sponsoring the full season of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s DSO on the GO performance series, which brings the world-renowned orchestra to concert halls and churches across North Texas.

 

On Thursday, September 7, at 7:30 p.m., the Dallas Symphony Orchestra visits the Murchison Performing Arts Center at the University of North Texas in Denton, where they will perform Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D Minor with violinist Eunice Keem, and Dvorak’s Carnival Overture.

 

General admission tickets are $19, APEX Seniors are $15 when you use code APEX at checkout, and students are $9 when you use code STUDUNT at checkout. For tickets and information, visit mydso.com or call 214-TIX-4DSO.

 

Enjoy the show!

Celebrate Hatch Chile Season


Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 12.28.34 PM

‘Tis the season for one of the Southwest’s most-anticipated flavors to return to the forefront of kitchens and restaurants alike, and we have to say … we’re pretty excited.
 
That’s right, it’s Hatch chile season.
 
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Hatch chile, they are directly related to Anaheim peppers, but instead are grown in New Mexico’s Hatch Valley. Some are mild, with heat levels similar to Anaheim or poblano peppers, but others can be as hot as their smaller serrano counterparts.
 
"Once a year, the supermarkets are flooded with Hatch Chile Peppers. Once roasted this spicy vegetable makes beautiful soups and stews."
Hatch aficionados believe the New Mexico soil and climate cause these peppers to be more flavorful and spicier than the widely distributed Anaheim peppers. Unlike Anaheim peppers, Hatch chile have one growing season per year and are harvested each August and September.
 
Rows of Chile in a field near Hatch, NM.
These spicy, versatile peppers are essentially treated like their own food group in Texas, and what better way to celebrate their existence than an entire festival?
 
From August 9 to 22,  Central Market’s 22nd-Annual Hatch Chile Festival will transform each location into a “Land of EnHATCHment,” where you can find an extensive roundup of pre-packaged Hatch products and fresh Hatch fare. This year, the lineup includes Hatch dark chocolate, Hatch popcorn, Hatch beer, and Absinthe & Hatch salami.

Central Market Hatch Chile Dark Chocolate Bar 3 OZ
Photo courtesy of Central Market

 
 

Take a trip to the bakery for items such as cheddar Hatch pepper bread or Hatch sourdough, or visit the deli counter to snag some Hatch tamales, Hatch crab cakes, and Hatch-stuffed chicken breasts.

 
In celebration of the return of the Hatch chile, below are some tips from our friends at Central Market on how to pick, roast and store your chiles.
 
CM_Hatch_festivals_how-to_1
Photo courtesy of Central Market
 
How to Roast & Store Hatch Chiles
By: Central Market

*We recommend that you wear gloves while working with Hatch Chiles.
 
You can roast chiles either over a grill or in your broiler oven. Be sure to puncture the skin with a fork or knife before roasting to a golden brown on both sides.
 
Oven-roasted chile is as close to flame-roasted as you can get. Preheat your oven to 425°. Place chiles in oven for 15-20 minutes until soft. When roasted, the chile skins will begin to blister. Allow peppers to “sweat” a while before you peel them to use in a recipe.
 
Then peel the skin and serve, or add to your favorite recipe.
 
If you are going to freeze your roasted Hatch peppers, allow to cool completely. We recommend leaving skins on and seeds and veins intact. So much of the pepper flavor is in the skins and seeds, so leaving this on should give you a more flavorful pepper after thawing. Simply slip 4 to 5 whole peppers into a freezer ziplock baggie, squeezing the excess air out as you zip the bag shut. These can be stored in your freezer to use all year long, until the next Hatch season rolls around.
 
It’s easy to peel your roasted Hatch peppers by laying the whole pepper flat on a cutting board. Holding the stem with one hand and running the sharp edge of a knife across the skin will scrape the charred skin right off.
 
Note: Some folks like to skin (and even chop) their peppers prior to freezing. They say that it makes it easier and quicker to add to recipes.
 
—-
 
This year, we had the pleasure of visiting Central Market to taste some recipes in which you can utilize these potent peppers.
 
Homemade Iced Tea with Lemons and Mint
 
Hatch Pepper Simple Syrup

Ingredients:
*8 Hatch peppers, chopped with seeds removed
*1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
*1 cup water
 
Directions: In a large saucepan, dissolve 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water over medium heat. When sugar is dissolved, bring to medium-high heat and add Hatch peppers. After 3 to 5 minutes (peppers should be flexible but not soft), remove from heat and steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain peppers, reserving liquid as the syrup.
 
Hatch Pepper Sweet Tea
 
Ingredients:
*1/2 liter strong black tea
*1/4 to 1/2 cup Hatch pepper simple syrup
*Juice of two lemons
*1 bunch mint, lightly crushed
*Sugar, to taste
*Iced water
 

Directions: 
In a large pitcher, combine 1/4 cup Hatch simple syrup with tea — stir to mix thoroughly. Add lemon juice and mint, then add iced water to desired strength. Use additional Hatch syrup and sugar to reach desired heat and sweetness. Serve with a garnish of mint and lemon.