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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Spa in a Bottle

Spa in a Bottle

Speaking of the heat, if hot weather tends to wreak havoc on your skin, you’ll love Ann Webb’s new organic skin-care line, and specifically, the Tea Tree Breakout Blaster.  The label says it is “a serum that helps fight blemishes and breakouts,” but I like to call it “my spa in a bottle.”  (When you dab […]

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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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Less Is More

Less Is More

Starting a new hobby can be expensive.  Believe me, I should know. First, there was soccer … then the cake business … then skeet shooting … then Latin dancing … handmade aprons … and hand-painted sandals.  Plus cooking, of course.             With all of these hobbies, in exchange for some worthy experience, I always […]

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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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I Turned My Camera On

I Turned My Camera On

And that’s pretty much all I did on this phase of the project.  As you’ll see from the pictures, my dad, my husband, and our trusty contractors deserve all the credit for the next phase in our home remodeling process. When John and I bought the house, the living room had wood paneling on the […]

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Gotta Getcha Some

Gotta Getcha Some

When John and I got married, we registered for several boxes of fancy wine glasses. They are sleek and elegant.  And they look absolutely lovely sitting on the shelf. Unfortunately, at least for us, they are an entertaining nightmare.  They must be washed by hand and, even then, are easily broken.  (I would guess that […]

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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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Gimme Shelter

Gimme Shelter

John and I bought our first house!  Right now, we are in the process of remodeling the inside.  The house was built in the late-1970s, and very little was done since then, so as you can imagine, we are making big changes.  The living room is a good example. Here is what it looked like […]

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Summer Whites For Less Than $15

Summer Whites For Less Than $15

As I was flipping through an old Martha Stewart magazine last night, I came across her May calendar.  The entry for today says to “stock upon white and rosè wine for warm-weather entertaining.” Darn it … I knew I was forgetting something.  (Yeah right.)  As far as summer entertaining goes, I’m lucky to get to […]

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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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Crazy Little Thing Called Lebni

Crazy Little Thing Called Lebni

Greek yogurt is all the rage right now, and it’s no wonder why.  In addition to being higher in protein and lower in carbs than regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is also thicker and creamier than your basic Yoplait variety. I’m actually not a big fan of store-bought Greek yogurt (or any store-bought yogurt, for that […]

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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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