Botolino Gelato

Last Sunday I was invited to Botolino which specializes in authentic gelato made from scratch.

I met with Carlo “Botolo” Gattini who is a third generation gelato maker with deep roots from Italy. He was trained by gelato masters in Italy and is very passionate about the gelato he produces.
Unlike many places that offer gelato, Botolino uses quality ingredients and does not cut any corners by using powder mixtures or artificial flavors.
Carlo says, “If it’s not quality, I won’t serve it.”

Botolino takes pride in displaying artisan methods such as using organic milk and cream bases that age for 12 hours to obtain maximum creaminess.

With quality gelato comes quality ingredients and Carlo desires to have the best of the best for his clientele.
He uses local coffee and honey, imports special nuts and spices, and fruits from other countries that are in season.

If you are in the Dallas area, Botolino is a must!
Botolino takes advantage of all the influences and culture of the clientele and community that it is located in.
Carlo has spent 30 years in Dallas and is a traditionalist at heart who compares Dallas life to Italy in the sense that in most neighborhoods, all the shops, restaurants, and everything one could desire is within walking distance.
Carlo takes pride in opening this one and only location here in Dallas and expressed that he never wants to leave.
He is very content that in the two short months of opening, there are locals who visit regularly and how embraced Botolino is in the community.
In due time, Carlo wishes to establish relationships with local farmers and communities and while he agrees that there is room for growth and always room for improvement, he never wants to take away from the traditional and authentic gelato that Botolino has to offer.
When asked what has been the most rewarding from Botolino’s opening, Carlo smiled and stated how he loved that gelato is not just a kids treat, it appeals to all ages, races, ethnicity’s and genders.

The staff was wonderful and extremely polite, the location was spotless, and above all, the gelato was delicious!

Carlo and Botolino are two of Dallas’ gems and I can’t wait for my next visit!

 

Xoxo,

–  R. Vargas

| Botolino provided me with this product. The opinions I have shared about the products are solely my own. | All photography credit is due to the services of Javier Garcia.

Malu’s Mexican Embroidery Clothes & More

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A few months ago I came across Malu and her family who were selling these traditional beautiful Mexican embroidery shirts and I fell in love.

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All of the items are from Mexico and are embroidered by the local artisans there.
She carries clothing in all sizes and even has shirts for men and children.
I normally see these shirts run anywhere from $45 to $100 but Malu’s items start off at $10 and the most expensive item I have come across so far is $25.
She ships as well and once again, shipping is so reasonable.

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Typically I get my shirts straight from the Motherland but I am not able to visit Mexico as much as I would like so I am so thankful I found Malu’s Mexican Embroidery Clothes & More!
Not only are the shirts beautiful and come from quality material but the profits from her small business go towards her daughters whom she is putting through college.

Take a look at her site or Facebook to order and help support this small business!

Xoxo,

– R. Vargas

Apple Pie

This was my first attempt at making an apple pie from scratch. I am very pleased with how it turned out.
You can always buy a pre-made pie shell but I made mine from scratch.

I used a simple recipe from the Food Network Website:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/apple-pie-recipe.html

Ingredients:

Dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
14 tablespoons cold butter, diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons cold water
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Filling:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 pounds baking apples like Golden Delicious, Cortland, or Mutsu
2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

You can either make the dough by hand or in a mixer like I did.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.

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Work the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like yellow corn meal mixed with bean sized bits of butter. (If the flour/butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before moving on.)

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Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon more of cold water over the mixture.

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Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

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Make the filling:

Peel, halve, and core the apples.

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Cut each half into 4 wedges. Toss the apple with the lemon juice. Add the sugar and toss to combine evenly.

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In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.

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Add the apples, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, about 2 minutes.

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Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the apples soften and release most of their juices, about 7 minutes.

Strain the apples in a colander over a medium bowl to catch all the juice. Shake the colander to get as much liquid as possible.

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Return the juices to the skillet, and simmer over medium heat until thickened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.

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In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the reduced juice and spices. Set aside to cool completely.

Cut the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough into a disc about 11 to 12 inches wide.

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Layer the dough between pieces of parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the discs of dough, and trim it so it lays about 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pan.

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Put the apple filling in the pan and mound it slightly in the center.

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Brush the top edges of the dough with the whisked egg.

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Place the second disc of dough over the top. Fold the top layer of dough under the edge of the bottom layer and press the edges together to form a seal. Flute the edge as desired.

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Brush the surface of the dough with egg and then sprinkle with sugar. Pierce the top of the dough in several places to allow steam to escape while baking. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

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Bake the pie on a baking sheet until the crust is golden, about 50 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving. The pie keeps well at room temperature (covered) for 24 hours, or refrigerated for up to 4 days.

March-April 217Let me know how your pie came out!

Xoxo,

-R. Vargas