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Odd Duck Trailer: Simple Sophistication

Odd Duck Trailer: Simple Sophistication

John and I had dinner the other night at The Odd Duck Trailer.  Among other things, we had venison sausage on baguette with sauerkraut and aioli; pork belly sliders with peppers, red onion, and arugula; whole quail with Texas caviar; and tomato salad with melon, feta, and Texas olive oil. Everything was superb.  Maybe surprisingly, […]

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My Mom's Luscious Key Lime Pie

My Mom’s Luscious Key Lime Pie

Yesterday was so much fun!  I taught a cooking class at Lake Austin Spa, which is one of my absolute favorite places to teach.  The kitchen is huge and gorgeous, and there is an entire wall of windows that looks out over the water.  It’s cathartic just to be there. Plus, they have some pretty […]

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Roasted Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghanouj)

Roasted Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghanouj)

I love to talk food. Especially with my good friend Tamara. She’s always up-to-speed on who’s serving what and where to go for the best this or that. Just recently we were talking (well, complaining) about all the high-priced offal that seems to show up on every new menu. While we’re okay with the trend, […]

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Food for the Fourth

Food for the Fourth

Hope y’all had a happy Fourth of July!  We sure did!  Between the three of us, I think we ate a total of five hamburgers, participated in one parade, purchased two t-shirts, sang one national anthem, and swam in four pools … which is about as patriotic as we could get, in light of the […]

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Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos

Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos

Korie and I have been friends since grade school. That’s her to my left in the picture below. Beth, also a long-time friend, is to my right.  I’m the one with the scraggly hair, wearing my favorite red sweatshirt. Korie is probably the most fun person you will ever meet. She’s also smart, athletic, and […]

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Mushrooms: Make Mom Happy

Mushrooms: Make Mom Happy

As I was walking through the grocery store with Jack the other day, thinking about what to make for dinner, I got this unbelievable craving for sauteed mushrooms. Not just the little white button mushrooms.  I wanted the rich, earthy, meaty, buttery baby portobellos. So I picked up a pound from the bulk section, which […]

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Secret Green Salsa

Secret Green Salsa

I like it when one of my recipe experiments goes well.  When one doesn’t, it can — shall we say — bring out a difference of opinion between John and me.  You see, John refuses to waste any food. (It is truly a great quality and I do love him for his inner compost pile.) […]

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Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip

Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip

My youngest brother, Matt, is a cook at Fino.  He started as a busboy and has moved up to the daytime grill position.  (Go Matt!) John and I like to go to Fino on date nights.  On a recent trip, our waiter suggested that we try the roasted red pepper, walnut, and pomegranate dip.  I […]

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Lebanese Rolled Grape Leaves (Dolmas)

Lebanese Rolled Grape Leaves (Dolmas)

Do you remember the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Toula tells her Aunt that her new man doesn’t eat meat?   The Aunt replies: “What do you mean he don’t eat no meat?”  [The whole room becomes silent.] Then the Aunt says: “Oh, that’s okay.  I make lamb.” That scene reminds me so much […]

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Easy Gazpacho Recipe

Easy Gazpacho Recipe

If there is anything I love more than cooking, it’s not cooking.  During the summer at least.  It is just too hot. When we were kids, the heat never seemed as bad.  We loved the summers, and especially the beach.  In June or July or sometimes both, our family would pack up the station wagon and […]

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Go-To Chocolate Tart

Go-To Chocolate Tart

I’m raising a toddler.  Everyday—indeed, every moment—is an opportunity to teach him something new about the world.  Although I’m still quite new at this, I think my goal as his mom is for him to be prepared for whatever he encounters in life. When he makes the team or doesn’t.  When he falls in love.  […]

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He Cooked Me Dinner

He Cooked Me Dinner

When I first met John, he lived in an old house at 3005 University Street, just north of the University of Texas main campus.  He lived with his good friend, Cam. “Three-thousand five” (as everyone called it) was your typical post-college-frat-guy house. Overgrown lawn?  Check.  Dank couch on the back porch?  Check.  Lingering stench of […]

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Rustic Fruit Tart Made with Texas Peaches

Rustic Fruit Tart Made with Texas Peaches

If there’s one thing I love about summer in Texas, it’s peaches.  Although my mom and I used to make a trip to Frederiksburg to enjoy the first crop, the best I can do these days is stop by one of the little road-side stands a few minutes from my house.  Even at the stands, […]

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Authentic Recipe for Hummus

Authentic Recipe for Hummus

My mother-in-law doesn’t cook.  (Like my mom, she happily handed over the keys to the kitchen to her husband several years ago.)  But, Let. Me. Tell. You.  My mother-in-law makes the best hummus I’ve ever had.  Her parents were from Lebanon, so this stuff is the real deal. As I have learned, the key to […]

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Parsley Potato Salad

Parsley Potato Salad

John was sincerely shocked when he learned the news.  “You like mayonnaise on your burger?!” Of course I do.  I love when grease from warm chuck melds with a little puddle of Hellmann’s, along with a slice of juicy tomato, crisp iceberg lettuce, and a lightly-buttered bun.  Apparently, not everyone agrees. As I learned at […]

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When Canned Won't Cut It

When Canned Won’t Cut It

People sometimes ask how I got “so into cooking.”  It was probably because, growing up, we made everything from scratch.  I mean everything.  Say we wanted to make jell-o.  Most people would pick up a box of Strawberry Jell-O®, add the hot water, stir, refrigerate, and be done with it, right?  Not at our house, […]

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Texas Chimichurri Recipe

Texas Chimichurri Recipe

Steaks are good. Steaks grilled outside on a hot charcoal fire are better. But why stop there?  Add some serious character to your carne this summer by whipping up a bowl of my Texas-style Don’t-Worry-If-You’re-In-A-Hurry Chimichurri. Chimichurri is a popular Argentinean condiment, typically made with fresh parsley, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar.  I give the recipe […]

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Green Bean Salad

Green Bean Salad

Memorial Day weekend is just a few weeks away!  John and I recently received a couple of invitations for Memorial Day “covered dish” picnics, which got me thinking about what to bring.  What makes a good potluck dish?  A few things.  It must be easy to transport and fairly easy to serve.  And it should […]

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How to Make Perfect White Rice

How to Make Perfect White Rice

White rice. When a side dish is this simple, I tend to either (1) avoid serving it entirely, (2) try to enhance it with creative ingredients (example: Ginger Pineapple Fried Rice), or (3) opt for a short cut (read: a box of Uncle Ben’s) because “oh, no one will really know the difference.” Thanks to my […]

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