Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Local Inspiration

Denton, in Spring, is a visual blessing. I kow we have a Redbud festival, but personally I think we should have an Iris festival. A walk around town to visit the most beautiful specimens. A slow drive up and down Elm and Locusts streets would do it, although every once in a while, out of the corner of my eye, I will see the most beautiful stand of Iris' in the middle of the woods. A fleating bright reminder of a forgotten home foundation that has long since expired. I think about the Iris' in Denton and the folks who 30, 40 and 50 years ago must have shared their abundance in bulbs, creating the patchwork of color we see here today.

The abundance and sharing of North Texas has a two-fold blessing for us at Hannahs. Our loyal customers bring their over wintered collard greens in for us to use on our local menu. Thank you Barry! They bring in hard to find seeds for our own urban garden. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Norgaard, (I will make that poke weed for you!) They provide us with baby Lolla Rossa lettuces and fresh herbs for weeks... arugula, lemongrass you name it. Thank you Rodney!

Times are tough and it means everything when our locally raised chicken and egg supplier, Taylor from Dominion Farms, tells us that each time we recycle his egg cartons he will give us a free carton of eggs in return! Oh, and thanks for those free pork leg osso buccos...YUM!

These are just a few of the wonderful blessings that we receive at Hannahs every day. I doubt these kinds of things happens at corporate restaurants. In the months ahead the economy will struggle to find its bearings, and we realize that you may be eating out less, so I only ask that when you do go out, please think about where your money is going.

Consider eating at an independant restaurant that sources local ingredients, invests in its community and truly cares about its employees and customers.

Chef Sheena

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mulberry Street

As you may or may not know, Hannah's off the Square is located at 111 W. Mulberry Street, just a stones throw from the Downtown borders of Elm, Oak, Hickory and Locust streets. I have to guess that there are obvious reasons why the city's founders named these streets after certain trees, even if those reasons sadly no longer exist.
However I am happy to say that there are three Mulberry trees on the grounds of Hannah's off the Square, one of them being very old with gnarled twisted branches, defying new developement
and currently host to thousands of mulberries.

Over the years, I have made jam, tarts, ice cream and muffins for Sunday brunch from these mulberries, and they never dissapoint. I am looking forward to some rustic mulberry galettes this year, with good weather and a bit of generousity from the birds, we should be eating mulberries after a long day at the Jazz Festival.

Chef Sheena

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What to do with Peeps?

Of course we were extremely busy this last Sunday. Easter Brunch of course, and sometimes on special days such as this, people don't have time for dessert. What I mean to say is that with all of the sweets that usually accompany Holidays, another dessert just cannot be had. But with every Holiday menu, I try make a few special items that reflect the season, and this year I made a Mile High Pineapple Coconut Hummingbird Cake, a Lemon Bar Raspberry Fool Parfait, and for the kids a Homemade Graham Cracker Burnt Peep S'more.

I know, I know. Peeps! Those gooey sugar coated marshmallow things in colors that should never be served as food, probably still tons left on supermarket shelves, waiting for the reduced section of your supermarket!
But let me tell you something, even though you may have thought about it but never done it...taking a blowtorch to a Peep transcends those little creatures into pure s'more heaven! Instead of burning like a regular campfire marshmallow, the sugar coating on the outside gets really crispy, like a marshmallow creme brulee. Add your favorite chocolate and graham crackers and i promise you wont be dissapointed!

To my surprise, the Peep s'mores were by far the best seller. Turns out, everyone is a kid on Easter. If you hurry, you might still find some leftover Peeps at you local grocer or you might have to wait until next Easter. The Peep Company only makes the chicks and bunnies once a year, but this dessert will be on my Easter menu for years to come!

Chef Sheena

Friday, April 10, 2009


I wanted to introduce Hannah's to all of you who aren't familiar with the restaurant. Some of you may follow this Blog from afar or just haven't had time to stop by. There are so many stories to tell from the almost 8 years of business, and you will find some of those stories here from time to time, but the quickest way to see what we are about is though photos. Insert cliche here. So Hello, we are Hannah's. It is great to meet you! If you are in the DFW area, stop by, we would love to meet you in person.

Don't forget to click on our logo above for more information.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A beginning

"In the Spring, at the end of the day,
you should smell like dirt"
Margaret Atwood

What better time to begin something new and exciting, than Spring? Join me Chef Sheena Croft and the Staff at Hannah's Off the Square at a behind the scenes look, in our kitchen, in our garden, in our cookbook and in our hearts. We will follow through the Seasons and introduce you to some of our local gardeners and purveyors. We will tour farms and markets and maybe bring you along on a tasty vacation to some far away place or maybe to someone who lives just down the street, and of course we will be posting some of our favorite recipes and cooking tips. What a pleasure it has been serving our community for the last 8 years, and we are so eternally grateful for your support.

April is a promise that May is bound to keep~ Hal Borland

Happy Easter everyone!