Because there’s only so much virtuous eating we can tolerate, a splurge dessert needs to be at the ready for those cheat days — right? Writing a lot of Valentine’s stories makes me think of my favorite chocolate creations, and nothing is easier and more decadent than chocolate mousse. When I made this a couple of […]


Sunday wasn’t my favorite day for many years. The end of the weekend gave me the blues from childhood onward, in general — until brunch became the joy we know it as today. Brunch mitigates the difficulty of saying good-bye to a day or two of rest, if you’re doing it right. And once I […]


Sometimes a deeply soothing dish is one we deem perfect for a special occasion. There’s nothing fancy about chicken and dumplings or pot roast, but if it’s your favorite thing to eat, you want it for your birthday, right? That’s kind of how beef bourguignon came to be the go-to dish when my husband and […]

Mushroom Risotto

For a little pre-Christmas gift, Yeti (my nickname for my large, formidable husband) bought himself a mushroom kit. In 10 days, this science experiment went from a plain brown block to a forest of the most beautiful pioppino mushrooms I’ve ever seen. Taking over one corner of our dining room table, this mushroom grove producing […]

Graceanna’s Almond-Butter Cake

Like everyone else, I’ve lost count of how many ways this Christmas is different. My beloved sisters and their families, who usually visit here from out of state, are staying home. Six months ago, Mom moved away from her big, beautiful house where we celebrated 25 beautiful Christmases. Tonight, Christmas Eve, instead of our customarily […]


Researching a story on pumpkin everything, I was reminded about good, old-fashioned pumpkin butter. It’s delicious on hot biscuits and pecan waffles, and I realize I haven’t noticed it around much lately. I asked the Doves Nest in Waxahachie to share its recipe for the story, and for my own purposes here, I fiddled with […]

Stuffed Pumpkin

I fell in love with my husband a little bit at a time, starting with a kitchen interlude exactly 10 years ago this month. He’d just moved back to Texas, and we were having a drink. He asked if I’d heard an interview with cookbook author Dorie Greenspan that day on NPR — and I […]


Chatting with a chef friend yesterday, I nodded in complete agreement at his opinion on pumpkin everything: “I love a good pumpkin pie, but all the pumpkin spice latte and the rest — it’s just too much.” So many pumpkin-spice items are over the top, and a good many bear kind of a fake aftertaste. But […]

Kitchen Comfort: Italian Pot Roast

Granted, pot roast isn’t rocket science — recipes for this classic should be easy. And while you can’t go wrong with recipes like I’ve found in my grandmother’s well-worn cookbooks from the 1930s and 1940s, they’re rather plain. Tinkering around, I’ve landed on a revision that thrills the taste buds, and it’s still super-easy. I […]

Coca-Cola Cake

Arrive at Smoke-A-Holics BBQ in Fort Worth’s Morningside Heights neighborhood armed with patience. That line is only getting longer, the more everyone hears how good this place is. Garden & Gun recently discovered its joys, so you’re wise to be prepared to wait. You’ll be amply rewarded with the exquisite brisket and ribs, as well […]