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Don’t Mess With Texas

 Texans are proud people. If you want proof, pass over the border in to Texas, stop at the nearest visitors center and you will be greeted with friendly folks eager to pass out their giant "Don't Mess With Texas" bumper stickers. You will see big Chevy trucks with the "Lone Star State" emblem on their back windshields. You will find little old ladies, proud of their Texas history, handing out brochures about all of the great things to do in Texas. You will pass by football stadiums, from pee wee to college, packed to the gills with faithful Texas football fans week after week (OK...well this part is solely based off of one of my favorite TV Shows, Friday Night Lights, but I'm sure it is true!). Texans are proud and they like to do things in a big way. A couple of weeks ago, the newest issue of Taste of Home magazine arrived in my mailbox.  The cover title of this months issue is Crazy for Cupcakes. Well...I'm crazy for cupcakes and the photos on the front had me intrigued. I stopped what I was doing, sat down and opened the issue to browse through it right away. One of the things I like about the magazines put out be Reiman Publications (Taste of Home, Simple and Delicious, Light and Tasty) is that the recipes all seem doable. You don't have to be a gourmet chef to be able to put something tasty on your table every night. Their recipes are for people like you and me... busy and tired yet we enjoy cooking and want to be able to make a home cooked … [Continue reading]

Eating Chocolate Cake for Research

I usually save this type of posting for my family blog, Dishing it up Family Style, but there is a tiny bit of food related stuff at the end and I am hoping that my fellow recipe hounds might be able to help me out.To start off with, Monday evening was a fantastic night. Three of my girlfriends and I all went down to the Plaza to a forum and book signing by my favorite fiction author, Jodi Picoult. If you like to read, you must pick up some of Jodi's books. She is a phenomenal author. My favorite book of hers is My Sister's Keeper but I truly love all of her books. I really enjoyed hearing her read from her newest novel, Nineteen Minutes. After the chilling reading, she opened up the forum to questions from the audience. She spoke a lot about the research that goes into each of her books, which I found to be fascinating. I also enjoyed listening to her talk about her writing schedule (one book a year) and her theory on writer's block (which is for people who have the luxury of time on their sides). We waited in line to get our picture taken with her and to get our books signed. After getting our books signed and photos taken with Jodi, we headed over to McCormick & Schmick's across the street for dessert. We sat outside overlooking the plaza and enjoyed some wine and some very entertaining guests at another table serenading each other. It was a lovely evening...right down to the dessert.Now, you all know I have a fondness for the Chocolate Bags at McCormick & … [Continue reading]

Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’

Written for Just Baking on the Well Fed NetworkOne of my favorite amateur food photographers and Recipezaar Chefs, Marg, turned me on to the most wonderful little "gadget" the other day. Marg is always posting photos on Recipezaar of gorgeous pies that she has made. The crusts always look flaky, delicious and professional. I finally sent her an e-mail to see if she would share her secret. Much to my thankfulness, she did. So...what was Marg's secret to making delicious looking pie crusts? She always uses a product called a Pie Crust Bag to roll out her pie crust dough in. I had never heard of a pie crust bag, so Google came to the rescue. Come to find out, there is a wonderful tool out there that pie crust makers around the world should be rejoicing about. This is a simple round plastic bag with a zipper. To use it, you very lightly flour the interior of the bag, place your pie crust dough into the bag, zip it up and begin rolling. The bags come in several different sizes. If you are rolling a 9" pie, use the 9" bag and roll your dough out to the edges. Need a larger pie crust? There is a bag a size larger just for you! After you are done with the rolling process, you unzip the bag, lift the dough off the bag and place it into the pie pan. No messy flour board to clean up. No sticky dough to contend with. No guessing on if your circle is big enough. This wonderful tool has redeemed the pie crust making process for me. Just when I was getting tired of … [Continue reading]

Ella Meets Oreo

 We spent the entire afternoon outside yesterday enjoying the gorgeous warm weather. All of our neighbors came over to play, including my friend Kathy with her dog Oreo. Ella was so fascinated with Oreo. Every time they would get close to each other she would just squeal and giggle. It was really precious! … [Continue reading]

The Sacrifice of Seafood

 I just thought I would post here some proof that we do eat things other than cakes, cookies and baked goods. Seafood is one of my favorite things to eat. I love Fridays during Lent because we are obligated to not eat meat, which means that seafood is the food of choice.One of my favorite recipes so far this Lenten season has been this delicious Shrimp Scampi recipe. It is so easy to put together and if you love garlic and butter, you'll love eating this. My 5 year old, who said he did not like shrimp, ended up eating 3 big portions after he tasted it.  From Recipezaar:Shrimp Scampi  1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined 3/4 cup white wine 1/4 cup light olive oil 1/2 cup unsalted butter 2 tablespoons blue bonnet margarine 3 tablespoons minced garlic … [Continue reading]