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Sometimes I’m a lazy cook.

Don’t bother me with a recipe and don’t make me pull out a cookbook. Just give me some sparkle dust (seasoning mix) to transform my plain meat or veggies into something wonderful and marvelous.

My favorite homemade seasoning mix is slightly adapted from A Cowboy in the Kitchen by Grady Spears of Reata Restaurant fame. I know there are a bazillion rubs and seasoning mixes on the market (see my cabinet for a few half-empty jars of mystery spices), but I prefer to make it myself so the ingredients will be fresh, and then I’ll know exactly what’s in there.

Don’t think this mix is just for the grill and/or steaks. We love it on chicken, ribs, pork roast, fresh corn, squash, and almost any Mexican recipe that calls for chili powder-type flavors. Click here for more.

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake-23.jpg

Susan’s name is scribbled at the top of this family legend. She is married to my older brother, and they live on the same farm in Indiana where I grew up.

Susan is a skilled cook, gardener, and farmer’s wife, but the cooking part hasn’t always been so. Back in the sixties, she married my brother a week before he was shipped off to Vietnam. She found a job teaching music at my little country school (only a couple steps up from a one-room schoolhouse), so my parents invited her to live with us for a year until my brother returned home. Can you imagine living with your in-law’s and their pre-teen daughters, in your first year of marriage, without your husband? Click here for the rest of the story and recipe…

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Rhodes House 2014 after-32.jpg

Our kitchen as it looks after our recent redecorating frenzy– July 2014

While I wait for inspiration to cook and take pictures of food again, I thought it would be fun to chronicle the changes we’ve made to our kitchen since 1991 when we bought this house, built in 1979. I love to redecorate almost as much as I like to cook.

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Circa 1997  –  Best picture I could find

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Blackberry Scones-17.jpg

It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy, they say. Well, livin’ may be easy, but hanging out in the kitchen on a hot Texas day is not so much. If I’m going to turn the oven on, it has to be before 9 o’clock in the morning. That means these scones are good for breakfast–even in the summer, especially when you’ve made them ahead of time and can pull them out of the freezer. Recipe and more after the jump

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Cornmeal Dinner Rolls (1 of 1)

The shape of these rolls takes me back to the brown-and-serve rolls my mother-in-law used to serve on holidays. She liked to split them straight out of the oven, just enough to cradle a big hunk of butter (probably margarine now that I think about it).  The melty and messy butter made those cheap grocery store rolls memorable…and sinful beyond redemption.  Click here for more.

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