Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia's Pork Belly Heaven Package

Spaghetti Carbonara!

Ever Tried Peanuts in Coke?

All soft drinks were Co'Cola and my daddy had a big metal box of them at his business (ok there were also Nehi Grape and Orange drinks and Big Red) with a peanut machine next to it. Heaven in hot North Texas in the summer was an icy cold Coke with a handful of salted peanuts.

Cook the Book: 'My Pizza'

My husband needs this book please!

Chain Reaction: Pizza at The Cheesecake Factory

I am a old one, and I have to say that Cheesecake Factory does several things really well. I crave the Chinese Chicken Salad, which is difficult to find anywhere else. Some of the really spicy pasta dishes are just what my husband needs some times. We never get dessert there, but we have a son who adores the brunch menu. No, it is not fine dining, but they present your orders really well and there is more than enough food at a fair price. Service is always top notch at our Southlake, TX location.

Cleaning out the Kitchen

We do not use the breakfast room as a room to eat in but I use the table there as a staging area for major meals/canning/etc. So, we decided to line the entire room with those nifty wooden shelving units from Williams Sonoma and get all the serving pieces, trays, appliances, extra dishes...things I did not use because I forgot I had it...out in the open. I love it and I actually think to use all this bounty of technology! I only deep fry once a year but I have this amazing deep fryer so I will now keep it!

Super Bowl Help - need some creative suggestions....

Tortilla soup with a chicken stock base: i use squash, kidney beans, corn and tomatoes in the soup and put out fried tortilla chips, avocado, salsa, cheese and jalapenos for guests to add.

Making pizza at home: what do you like on them?

I have been wandering around the Slice page...but thank you to all of you who responded...I now have a great list to take shopping!

New Emile Henry rectangular Pizza Stone feedback.

I am about to make a peach gallette on mine. First time use...we will see.

Where are you posting from in 2012?

North Richland Hills, Texas which is 10 miles NE of downtown Fort Worth and about 30 miles NW of Dallas...we have lots of wonderful food here!

Super Bowl Giveaway: California Avocado Gift Box for Guacamole-Making

Chopped with tomato, onion, cilantro, salt and pepper as a salad or a main lunch for me!

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Sriracha Lover's Ultimate Gift Pack

We use it on all soups, stews, stir fries, eggs, pastas and fried foods. There is nothing that cannot be improved by a little Rooster.

What's on your kitchen swag gift list?

I am getting the Cuisinart Multicooker and a trifle dish and the Le Creuset butter keeper. He already gifted me the 16 cup Cuisinart Processor when I was canning up the garden into relishes. What a wonderful tool that is!

Perfect Thanksgiving Meal

Two fried turkeys (we alternate smoked with fried), Grandmother's Favorite Dressing (cornbread...we are Southern), gravy using Williams Sonoma base, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, Watergate salad, deviled eggs, relish tray with my pickled okra and jalapenos and bread and butter pickles, rolls, pecan pie, whatever wonderful sinful dessert my DIL makes, some kind of nice wine. We do not mess with the Thanksgiving menu EVER. Christmas is a little more flexible.

What's cooking this Halloween evening?

Tortilla soup for the grown-ups and hot dogs for the kids.

Home Town Favorites

If you come to Fort Worth you really must eat at Reata or Lonesome Dove for the cultural heritage and the truly incredible food. That is the high end...then go to Railhead for barbeque.

What do you get at Subway?

Well, now that I have basically been called pretty stupid for liking Subway and enjoying the smell of fresh bread and fresh vegetables and being able to control my calories I keep wondering why I even come to this site. Subway fills a need. I eat a 6" turkey/ham every day to control my weight. I think they are delicious. I am delighted that they exist. I agree that there are tastier options but for the calories, I love me some Subway. Some of you are just mean!

The Food Lab, Drinks Edition: Is Mexican Coke Better?

I grew up on the 8 oz coke in a bottle. I still buy them because I prefer the size and the flavor, although Mexican Coke tastes more like I remember from childhood.

What are your food supplies for the Hurricane?

Plan ahead for if the power goes out for a long time. We lost it for 9 days after Charley in Florida. If you are evacuating, before you go, put all your frozen food in garbage bags and put it back in the freezer. If you lose the food at least you wont lose the freezer; just throw the bag away. We had huge parties every night after Charley where we grilled everything that was going to go bad if we didn't eat it. We fired up the smoker and smoked for days. Coffee was the toughest. No fresh ground. I started stocking a jar of (horrors) instant. Caffeine is caffeine after a couple of days.

Canning Pickles

Download a copy of the Ball Blue Book of Canning or pick one up at Walmart. All canning is done basically the same way. You will not use the brine you used for pickling in the jars. There will be fresh brine that you will make at the time you process. You must be very careful about sterilizing everything and processing correctly.

What is the most thoughtful food gift you've received?

While this isn't up there with the high end items above, we had a baby far from our families years ago in South Carolina. My Daddy was recovering from a stroke and my Mama could not come and help us. I was feeling overwhelmed when a neighbor knocked and handed me this huge plate of the best oatmeal raisin cookies I have ever eaten.

In Salads Named After Political Scandals: Watergate Salad

It is the "must have" salad at Thanksgiving in our family.

Tues., 6-7-11, What's For Dinner?

I was really proud of dinner last night because everything except the salmon and mozzarella came from the garden: grilled salmon, homegrown tomatoes, basil, red onion and mozzarella ; grilled yellow squash, steamed baby new potatoes and dill.

Avocados at Subway

This week's special in Texas: Turkey, bacon and avocado. They also have it on a special breakfast sandwich.

Overrated, Overpriced, Overhyped !!! Rant If You Like

Seriously, many of you are just ripe for a stroke here. Take a breath and settle down. Such anger over food isn't healthy and we are all about healthy, beautiful food.

Served: The Restaurant Coupon Invasion

We use Groupon and LivingSocial all the time. Here in Texas all servers are cheerful and just glad you came! We always overtip, especially when we use these coupons. I do not feel a need to apologize as these restaurants signed up for this. With so many restaurants vying for smaller numbers of customers, they are using this advertising method to get people in the door.

Making pizza at home: what do you like on them?

Husband got all excited about making pizzas when we got the glorious new 16 C Cuisinart which showed how to make pizza in it on the video. He ordered two different oven pizza stones, one grill stone and a pizza peel. I can make wonderful pepperoni pizzas for the grandkids and the adults have been trying all kinds of things. What do you especially like on your homemade pizzas?

What about one restaurant week every month?

I love Restaurant Week in Dallas and Fort Worth. It gives us a chance to dine in the really fine and really pricey places without breaking the bank. The problem with having all the restaurants do this the same week means you are limited in the number of places you can physically and financially go in seven days. With the terrible economy and people cutting back on fine dining, wouldn't it make sense for them to split up and have some restaurants do August and others do the other months that are "Slow"? When things were booming it was different and restaurants didn't have to compete that hard for us. We have cut our fine dining (check of more than $150 for two) down to once a month.

Do you have a recipe you won't share?

My grandmother would not share her recipes. Once the aunts decided to try to trick her and over a period of months each one would ask about one ingredient. Aunt Ebbie would say " Mama, how much baking powder do you put in your biscuits?" No one ever was able to reproduce her biscuits. Do you have a recipe that you absolutely will not share?

What have you done with your garden bounty so far?

Today I put up my first batch of bread and butter pickles from the cukes and onions from my garden! I am so proud of these as they only cost about $25 a jar so far given the raised beds with stone walls, and load after load of topsoil, compost and mulch, fertilizer and organic bug killers. I realize the cost will go down as we harvest and it is good exercise and tastes soooo much better than store bought. What have the rest of you started doing with your produce?

Cooking with Kindle

I now have my new Kindle 2 and the free Cooks Illustrated Kindle Cookbook. I have been cooking from it and have to say the Blackberry Cobbler is wonderful. I am a little frustrated by the lack of ease of navigation and am wondering if anyone has any tricks. I do want to thank Cooks Illustrated for the lovely cookbook!

Birthday Dinner for Hubby

Today is my husband's birthday and since it is icy out, I decided to make him a special dinner instead of reservations. I have coq au vin simmering, a pie crust in the fridge for making apple crumb pie, green beans ready to steam and then be tossed into some bacon grease to finish, and potatoes to mash. I am combining comfort food with comfort food for his special day. What is your birthday special food?

Wild Duck

My men are going on their annual family duck hunt. In the unlikely event they actually bag any ducks, does anyone have an edible foolproof way to cook them? Our rule is that we eat what they shoot so I have tried a lot of ways to make duck palatable but have yet to find anything anyone wants to have seconds of.

Restaurant Week in Fort Worth-Dallas

KRLD Restaurant Week in our area started last weekend. We have visited Lonesome Dove which was wonderful and tonight is Chamberlain's Steak and Saturday is Mercury Grill. Next week is Chamberlain's Fish Market and Bistro Louise. If I can still fit into anything I own, does anyone have other surefire pleasers for the rest of "Restaurant Week"?

Chili Cheese Burgers anyone?

My biggest splurge is the chili cheeseburger. When I was pregnant with my last child, I had a condition which required me to eat NO SALT for 8 weeks, leaving me with shredded wheat and grape juice as a diet. When the baby was born I sent my husband to Ruby Red's ( sadly no more) in Houston to get me a chili cheeseburger and it was the most heavenly thing I have ever eaten still to this day. Chili's had a pretty good version but to my dismay, yesterday the server said they are taking it off the menu because they are trying not to be so regional!!! Who else makes a good one?

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