Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ray’s is scary good in Houston
Artistic cakes heavy with buttercream frosting and plump, spicy tamales are typical fare for my brother-in-law, Jose Sainz. We always hoped he’d open a restaurant and he has. With all his authentic Mexican recipes and flair for the exotic, we just never expected it to be called Ray’s Franks & More.
The “more” is this: The family has put their horror movie-lovin’ brains together to come up with a scary good menu. The Mummy is an all-beef weiner wrapped with bacon and the American Werewolf is a burger with American cheese. Visit yourself to try The Blob, Leatherface, The Birds, and the ChupaCabra.
The brick building, abundant with personality, is at 1302 Nance St. is in downtown Houston. Office workers have been giving the goods great reviews; there was a flash mob. It apparently was a Chinese restaurant and a bank at one time. Red accents the counter and the menu has old movie poster themes.
My family went over to help out one day and assembled terror-misu desserts after serving a lunch rush with The Blob, The Freddy Krueger and The Dracula. Regulars love a curry ketchup and guana-mole.
Ray is what Jose’s family calls him. His wife and children are often on site and cooking for the masses. I hear there’s a party going on for Halloween. For info, call (713) 224-6441 or go to

Go granola
Just a sprinkle of GrandyOats organic Goji Agave granola will crunch up your yogurt, banana, ice cream, etc. I tried it as it was probably intended, in dairy, but I’m loyal to the crunchy sprinkle. Now that the company uses non-BPA recyclable cups, you can keep it fresh in the pantry for a long time. I’m betting it won’t last through Thanksgiving, because I’m topping dessert dishes of canned pumpkin with it for a healthy evening bite. The Main company uses walnuts, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds, and other amazing healthy items in Cranberry Chew, Classic Granola and Mainely Maple. Seek it out and crunch.

What KIND do you want?
I liked the Almond & Cashew plus Omega-3, but the KIND PLUS Mango and Macadamia won the best new product award at the Natural Product Expo. What to pick? KIND Fruit + Nut bars were touted as a healthy treat for the kids, but I’m thinking grownups may have trouble sharing. They boast an ingredient list you can pronounce, with highlights such as premium almonds, Brazilian nuts, walnuts, peanuts, and chunks of all-natural dried fruits held together with honey. Made in Australia, it’s from PeaceWorks, and it’s the KIND of snack I’ve been craving.

Campbell’s adds Mediterranean-inspired soups
Just because my Aunt Anne went to Tuscany, my family clamors to try foods with that label. Chicken Tuscany, Chicken with Egg Noodles and Minestrone are three varieties of Campbell’s Select Harvest soups my family tried and loved on the same night. I served one bowl to each of us and we all tasted from the range and we all argued that the one in front of us was the best.
Campbell is introducing 12 new 100 percent natural varieties of Select Harvest soups. Five boast ingredients key to the Mediterranean diet with vegetables, whole grains and extra virgin olive oil. They include two additional Select Harvest Light soups, with 80 calories or less per serving: Light Minestrone with Whole grain Pasta and Light Roasted Chicken with Italian Herbs. The have sea salt. Others in the line include: Mexican-Style Chicken Tortilla, Italian-Style Wedding, Roasted Chicken with Rotini and Penne Pasta and Light Roasted Chicken with Italian Herbs.

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