Homesick Texan

Celebrating Texas home cooking through stories, recipes, photographs, and community. 

Texas potato salad with nasturtiums

There was once a town in North Texas known as Cathron’s Store. In the late 1800s, a grocery, a grist mill, and a post office could be found in this small Lamar County community, though by 1905 the name had changed to Tigertown and Cathron’s Store was no more. Most people, I reckon, have never heard of this place; it is forgotten ....more

Ancho chile and cocoa-rubbed flank steak tacos

The path to Houston from DFW is direct once you make your way to I-45 from the airport. But in search of Truth Barbecue in Brenham, after landing in Dallas I consulted my map and took I-35 instead. My phone had me exit the freeway a few miles south of West and while I wasn’t quite sure where I was, it was still early enough in the day I figured I could arrive at the restaurant before they were sold out of meat ....more

Bacon pecan cinnamon roll biscuits

Around midnight, I heard a knock at my bedroom door. “Are the biscuits done?” asked my grandma. I told her the batch I had made after she went to bed were indeed ready to be reheated in the morning ....more

Green chile scalloped onions

Spring is always a late arrival in New York. While I’ve been hearing about people in Texas enjoying the bounty of bluebonnets over the past few weeks, it’s remained cold and lifeless up here in the North. This week, however, the temperature rose and as I walked down the street I saw that the trees were finally in bloom ....more

Tortilla-crusted shrimp

“Did you know that if you dip a Frito into ketchup it tastes like fried shrimp?” asked my aunt. I told her I did not. She explained that she’d been at a party where everyone brought strange concoctions and this was one of the dishes on offer ....more

Red chile cheese enchiladas

In the spring of 2009, I visited El Paso. While I’d been there before, for this trip my plan was to fly into the city, rent a car, and then continue to Marfa like I’d done in the past. But when I told a friend that I would be in her hometown, she insisted I spend a few meals in the city before hitting the road ....more

Oatmeal Dutch baby pancake with chocolate chips and pecans

The other day I pulled out my copy of “Talk About Good,” the Junior League of Lafayette’s cookbook. Because of Mardi Gras, this time of year I often feel an urge to eat Cajun cuisine and this collection has a host of excellent recipes from local home cooks. Though as I was flipping through the book, instead of a gumbo or an étouffée catching my eye, it was an entry for oatmeal pancakes that made me want to cook ....more

Jalapeño cheese dog mac & cheese

When I was in California last month for the photo shoot for Queso!, there was a copy of The Mac & Cheese Cookbook on hand at the studio. It was also published by Ten Speed and is the same size as mine, so looking through it gave me a good idea of what to expect with my book.As I was flipping through the pages, oohing and ahhing at all the tempting recipes, my editor mentioned how much she had enjoyed cooking from it. “My favorite is the one with hot dogs and potato chips,” she said ....more

Introducing my new cookbook: Queso! Regional Recipes for the World’s Favorite Chile-Cheese Dip

Two-and-a-half ago after an appearance at the Texas Book Festival, I was visiting with some dear friends in an Austin backyard. We’d been drinking Lone Star and eating queso, and when they asked me what my next book was going to be about, inspired by that good feeling you get in the presence of good friends, cold beverages, and liquid gold, I decided then and there it should be about chile con queso. They all agreed that it was a fine idea.It took me a few more months to convince my publisher there was enough content to fill an entire book on the subject, but after spending time exploring the history, culture, regional variations, and quirky interpretations of chile con queso, I soon had more than enough material ....more

Coca-Cola braised carnitas

A few years ago, a Texas reader asked me for a carnitas recipe. I shared mine and she said that while they looked good, she was looking for one that used Coca-Cola and milk instead. She explained that she’d had them that way at a local restaurant and they were outstanding ....more