Food Snob Chronicles — Shrimp & Pasta w/ Fresh Tomato Basil Cream

Aside from citrus, tomatoes are my favorite fruit to grow. And, despite that I’ve propagated dozens of varieties over the years, I’ve neither popped a cherry tomato into my mouth, nor have I indulged with a fresh slice of this nightshade family member. Strange, I know. (Hey, I warned you about people like me!) Because […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Orzo w/ Manchego and Peas

I don’t typically care for rules. But the long-established rules for Manchego Cheese are different. First, to be called Manchego, this wheel of wonderfulness must have been made in the La Mancha region of Spain with milk from the Manchega breed of sheep. Manchego must be cave-aged for a minimum of three months, and the […]

The Unorthodox Epicure: Chicken Jerusalem (Italian Artichoke Chicken)

Marshall (Texas), for such a small town, is known for quite a few notable sons and daughters — Lady Bird Johnson, Y.A. Tittle, George Foreman and Bill Moyers, to name a few.  History buffs know this city of about 25,000 as the temporary capital of Missouri during the Civil War and home of Texas’ very […]

Confession No. 134 — My kid said what? (Recipe: Creamy Meyer Lemon Shrimp Scampi w/ Artichokes)

He’s our fourth child and without a doubt, the most forthcoming with his words. Following are a few conversations that happened in the past year — before he turned seven on December 19. Keeping me honest At a drive-thru convenience store, I was behind a carload of boisterous young men. The clerk handed them a case […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — (Recipe): Sopa de Fideos (Vermicelli Soup)

Fideo is the Sam Spade of Mexican and Tex-Mex food — its background is a cloudy mystery. We know fideo as the pasta used in sopa de fideos, or vermicelli soup. But where did it come from? And how did it end up here, as a popular soup served first course at Mexican-themed restaurants? One […]

Confession No. 103 — Who are we? Really? (Recipe: Shrimp Pad Thai)

I‘ve donned horns. Had jowls that drooped almost to my shoulders. Even represented myself as a single item of red-colored clothing. But that’s not who I am. Really. Neither did my son ever brandish an onyx-hued eye patch and sword. Nor did we ever feed our daughter by way of photosynthesis or pinch off her […]

Confession No. 98 — Want drama? Go to your nearest middle school.

Kitchen Nightmares. The Bachelor. Jerseylicious. Desperate Housewives … They’ve got nothing on any group of 20 middle school girls. Throw in a few episodes of Dallas, General Hospital and Chopped … and you’re still not even close. In fact, there’s more drama in my home alone than in every soap opera, fake reality show and […]

Confession No. 82 — Rudeness is unbecoming. More so for some.

‘I hate rude behavior in a man. I won’t tolerate it.’ — Capt. Woodrow Call (Tommy Lee Jones) in Lonesome Dove, after beating a man nearly to death. Out of certain people I expect certain things. But, like one of my favorite movie characters ever, I’ve yet to find a good reason for rudeness. No […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Meyer Lemons 101

Google ‘Meyer Lemon’ and you’ll get more than 2.95 million returns. That’s a far cry from the 300-500 returns of just 10 years ago. What makes the increase especially interesting is that Meyer Lemons are just barely more commercially available now than they were then — which is not much. Why the increase in popularity? […]

Confession No. 74 — You want New Year’s resolutions? Fine. I’ll give you New Year’s resolutions! (Recipe: Shrimp Fra Diavolo)

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. It’s not that I am without resolve. Or without hope for a better next year. I just see New Year’s resolutions as … trite. But this time around, I’m taking a bite of hokey pie and laying it all out there. On my health A little more than a […]