For those of you following the recipe portion of this blog I’ve moved them over to this site to make them more accessible and searchable. I will continue to review restaurants and share the events, culture and lifestyle posts about Texas here. I hope you’ll find something you enjoy in both sites. For those following this blog — stay tuned. I’ve been under the weather for a few days, but I’m back full strength and have a lot of things to share with you!

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RECIPE: Pecan Pie Bars

There’s no more southern of a dessert than Pecan Pie, but I wanted to make something I could pack easily in lunches. The solution? Pecan Pie Bars. They were quick and easy and almost as good as the real thing.

Pecan Pie Bars


Combine the following in a bowl until well mixed and then spread on the bottom of a 9/13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of icing sugar (powdered/confectioners sugar)
1 cup of butter


Cream together:

1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs


1 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 stick of butter (melted)
a pinch of salt
2 cups of pecans

When well mixed, pour over the baked crust and put back in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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RECIPE: Crock Pot Pinto Beans and Ham with Maple Cornbread

The best part of holiday feasts, can be the multitude of recipes you can make with the leftovers. We’d purchased a full sized spiral ham last week and since there are only two of us, we’re going to be eating  the leftovers for quite awhile. My goal is to find enough varied recipes that will make the process enjoyable, rather than boring. We’ve carved it up, and separated into freezer bags, but I wanted to use the hambone first. We’d been given a large bag of pinto beans from a friend, and we’ve been looking for recipes to help use them up — so it was a natural to pair those with two of them together. As an accompaniment I made a pan of maple cornbread that turned out perfect! Here are both of the recipes…. enjoy!

Crock Pot Pinto Beans and Ham

Soak 3 cups of pinto  beans overnight in enough water to cover them. Check to see if you need to add water, as the beans will absorb most of it.

In the morning rinse the beans and boil them in fresh water for 30 mins. Strain and add to the crock pot.

Add the hambone and 2 cups (give or take) of chopped ham.


1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of crushed garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Add enough water to cover. Cook for 9-11 hours on low, checking water levels occasionally and adding as needed.

Maple Cornbread 


1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 maple syrup
6 tbsp butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten

Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in 8×8 pan.
Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, and remaining wet ingredients in another. Mix each well. Combine into one bowl. Pour into 8×8 greased pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes of 425 degrees.

*can be served as is, or with butter and maple syrup on top.  This recipe is a winner. You’ll be making it over and over again.

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RECIPE: Griddlecakes Like Grandma Used to Make – almost…

This recipe, in its original form, came from my friend John Hancock’s grandmother. I made them this past Sunday, in order to test drive them, before I passed them on to you. They were a hit. Light, tasty and golden brown – -and best of all — easy! John has graciously given me permission to share his recipes here so you’ll be seeing more of them. Without further adieu, here are Grandma’s Griddlecakes…

Grandma’s Griddlecakes (original recipe)


1 and 1/4 flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp oil
2 eggs (beaten)


Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  In separate bowl mix the remaining ingredients, before adding to the dry ingredients. Add a little water if the batter is too thick.  Cook on an electric griddle set at 350 degrees. F. (I used a cast iron griddle and set my gas stove on medium heat). Flip once, when edges look dry and  bubbles have formed.

John says: If you would like to improve on Grandma’s recipe, substitute the flour for 3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour and 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour~ Substitute the sugar for Turbinado raw cane sugar. I’ve been cooking griddlecakes for many years, and I must say, the ones made with almond meal are the absolute very best.

I am certain my initial effort was as perfect as Grandma made them, but I was pleased with how easy they were and how great they tasted.

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RECIPE: Peach Cobbler

I mentioned making peach cobbler as a way of diverting my attention from the last severe storm warning we had here in the Metroplex and I’ve had a few requests for the recipe. Since there’s a small chance of stormy weather on  Friday, I figured now was the time to oblige. This can be made with any fruit. I love peaches, but the next time around I’ll be using fresh blackberries. In a pinch, canned fruit (drained) will do as well.

Here we go…

Stormy Weather Peach Cobbler


1/2 cup of butter
1 cup regular flour
2 cups of sugar, divided in half
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
2 cups of fresh peaches, sliced (or 2 cans, drained if out of season)


Melt butter in an 8×8 casserole dish.
In a bowl combine: flour, 1 cup of the sugar, baking powder and milk.
Mix and then pour batter on top of butter in the casserole dish.
*Do not stir!

In separate bowl mix the fruit with the remaining cup of sugar.
Pour the fruit mixture on top of batter.
*Do not stir!

Batter will seep up around the fruit while cooking.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes until the top is browned.

Ready for the oven...

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RECIPE: Jalapeno Cornbread

Served warm from the oven, this flavorful cornbread is the perfect sidekick for your favorite Tex-Mex chili recipe

I promised to include some great southern cooking recipes when I started this blog, so today I’m making good on my word and sharing this quick and easy cornbread. Great as a side for those Tex-Mex bowls of chili.

Jalapeño Cornbread 


1 and 1/2 c yellow cornmeal
1/2 c all-purpose flour
6 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 c olive oil
3 jalapeno peppers (seeded, finely chopped)


1) Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.

2) In a separate bowl mix eggs, buttermilk, olive oil and chopped jalapenos. Stir until blended and then add to the dry mixture. Beat until well blended.

3) Pour into 8X8 greased baking pan.

4) Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

5) Serve warm.

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