Wednesday, December 28, 2022

January Happenings


January is going to roll in with a bang this year, start the New Year off right with a little bit of adventure and fun. 

Thursday, January 5 Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce Law Enforcement banquet at the Hopkins County Civic Center.  The Chamber honors our local hero's every year with a banquet in their honor.

Friday January 6-8 - Region Four High School Rodeo at the Civic Center

Saturday, January 7-8 - Kirby Hill Roping contest at the Civic Center

Friday, January 13-15 - Martha Hayward Horse show at the Civic Center

Friday, January 27-29 - USCHA cutting show and Bowles Gun Show at the Civic Center

Cooper Lake State Park has events every weekend during the month of January for the whole family.  Be sure to check out their events page for more information.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Let's Eat ~ Foster's Place


    Foster's Place located at 15244 SH-11, Pickton, TX, is a long standing local restaurant that has seen it's fair share of regular customers and those that stop in for a pint and a burger.  Foster's currently has hours, Saturday 11 a. m. - 10 p. m., Sunday 11 a. m. - 9:30 p. m., and Monday 4 p. m. - 9 p. m.  Bring the whole family or just your friends to enjoy a meal or live music, most weekends on Saturday night.  The spring and summer are get times to visit as well, with their outdoor dining options, and a great stage to see those who come out to play some tunes.

    The core menu at Foster's is made up of pizza, wings and burgers.  You can select your pizza from an option they have put together or build your own.  Same with the burgers, they have three selected options or you can build your own.  All of their beef comes from local butcher, Rail 19 and much of their produce also comes from local growers.  Foster's strives to use, people in the community to provide the freshest ingredients for their customers. 

    Along with the core menu Art has created daily specials that will be a little more creative and fun for your dining experience.  These daily specials are always changing so it makes each visit worth the time.  We had a poblano chicken mac and cheese, which was from the specials menu and it was delicious. You could taste the peppers and the cream sauce on the mac and cheese was just perfect.  

    We also enjoyed Foster's Fries as our starter, that are made from a special cut potato so diners can experience the softness of the potato with a bit of crisp on the end.  Plus the homemade Foster's seasoning on the fries makes them just perfect.  The seasoning can be purchased at Foster's or at Lander's Creek in Sulphur Springs.  You might want to pick some up to place in some stockings for this holiday season. 

    That's not all you can get from Foster's.  If you enjoy craft beer, this is the stop for you.  They regularly do a nightly beer special and they feature a wide variety of choices from around the state.  The fun does not stop there, they can customize a pack to go home with you at the end of the night mix and match the beers you tried or bring  home something new.  Either way you will no be disappointed with your choices in restaurant or at home.  

  Foster's also happens to carry a large variety of whiskey for the whiskey lover in your house.  If you want something a little stronger for your visit and have a designated driver, be sure to try something new when you stop in.  We have sent guests down there for that reason alone, and they enjoyed their entire visit.  Art and his staff are attentive and ready to help answer any questions you might have.  Art loves to visit with his guests and will probably stop by your table when  you stop in for a bite to eat.  Be sure to check their Facebook page for Holiday hours, since the big days this year are on the weekends.  After the holiday's for sure plan your next night out for lunch or dinner to Foster's, or on your next stay while at The Oaks.  

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Travel East Texas ~ Pittsburg


    This month we stopped down in Pittsburg, Texas for a little visit and a robotics competition.  Pittsburg is best know for being the base of operations for Pilgrim's Pride chickens.  The adventure does not stop there, in September the downtown streets are taken over with the Pioneer Days event.  An open air market with food vendors and artisans from all over the state.  The City of Pittsburg, has many more exciting events scheduled throughout the year and can be found on the city website.

    For our visit I wanted to be able to find some good coffee to start our day and followed our Siri suggested stop and discovered that they might have coffee items but not really coffee to drink.  The shopkeeper at The Bleu Hen Country Market was still very helpful and friendly, and directed us to a new, open that very day, coffee stop.  So after picking up some cute Christmas ornaments we made our way to the coffee stop.


    Lala Pops, starts out as an ice cream shop that has just recently added coffee service.  They had a very small pastry container with a few offerings.  There was not any signage for the coffee shop portion, so I walked into the ice cream shop and was directed to the right spot.  Fortunately the buildings are connected and that makes it easier for patrons to swap between the two.  The coffee was tasty and the service was friendly, hopefully they will figure out their atmosphere and offerings quickly. To me it seemed a little scattered but that could have been first day jitters.

    For lunch it was suggested we try the Samoan based restaurant, but she could not remember the name so we just walked around downtown until we found a spot that looked good.  As luck would have it we managed to pick the recommend restaurant.  Madeline Cafe, was very delicious and reflected the Samoan tastes and feel within the restaurant as well as on the menu.  Now the menu is not dedicated to Samoan based foods, because as good business owners they realize that they are located in East Texas and need to offer food that the locals would eat who might not be adventurous.  

    I wish we had, had time to visit Los Pinos Ranch and do some wine tasting but this trip did not afford us that opportunity.  Since we have had their wine before we were sad to miss out but knew that we could come back at any point and take a visit.  Los Pinos is on the East Texas wine trail and by staying at The Oaks bed and breakfast you can easily visit the multiple wineries on the trail and use The Oaks as your home base.  Be sure to check winery websites for hours of operation so you don't arrive and not be able to do a tasting.

    We did enjoy our time in Pittsburg and we are sure to be back again soon.  Until then, we hope you can make the visit while you are in Sulphur Springs and staying at The Oaks.  Until next year, when we find new towns to visit and share our adventures with you.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Herb Infused Cocktail ~ Rosemary Cranberry Margarita


Tis’ the season to be merry and drink with friends. At least if that’s your style and you enjoy the occasional adult beverage while entertaining or having dinner. For our herb infused cocktail series this month we are bring you a little bit of holiday flavor from the cranberry.

 Cranberries are an amazing fruit that makes an appearance as whole fruit mostly in the month of December. They are related to blueberries and were eaten by sailors to help prevent scurvy. I’m not sure I would eat them raw outside of a baked good or dried but I guess in a pinch to prevent illness I could choke some down.

 At least in this recipe they are cooked down to add flavor to the simple syrup. Along with fresh ginger the simple syrup is what really adds a punch to this drink. The combination of the sour with the bite of the ginger gives the cocktail a tangy yet enjoyable finish.


Rosemary Cranberry Margarita

 1 oz simple syrup

3/4 oz grand Marnier

1 oz tequila

Juice of two limes


Add everything into a shaker cup filled with ice. Shake until the cup is cold. Pour into a salt or sugar rimmed glass. Garnish with a sprig or rosemary and some of the cranberries from your simple syrup.


Cranberry Ginger Simple Syrup

Equal parts water and sugar

Handful of cranberries

Couple slices of ginger


Cook over stove top until boiling. The amounts needed are based on how many drink you are planning to make.

You can watch me make this drink, and not remember all my words at our YouTube channel.  I tried hard but failed miserably this month; I promise I practiced.   

 The great part about this cocktail is that it can be made in a large batch and served when ready. While you are planning that holiday party be sure to use a designated driver and always drink responsibly.  Have a great Holiday Season from the Oaks bed and breakfast.