Let me start by a FTC disclosure related remark: I was not paid to write this review, I did not even receive the book to review it. I simply picked it up in a library and loved it so much that I wanted to talk about it here.
Now that we are done with the digital red tape, let’s talk more interesting subjects: like books and Texan cuisine.
When we took the decision to move to Texas, I picked up some books at the local library to learn more about the State of Texas: tourist guides, history books and cookbooks (of course!). We knew a little about Texas already and had already been to Dallas, plus we have friends here, but there is always more to learn and every opportunity to learn through books is an opportunity not to be missed, as far as I’m concerned :-)
Among the books I picked up at my local library was Cowgirl Cuisine – Rustic Recipes and Cowgirl Adventures from a Texas Ranch.
The book is not a newly published one. It was published in 2007.
This cookbook is not just a collection of recipes. The author, Paula Disbrowe, chef, food and travel writer, moved from New York to Texas, to live in a ranch.
Besides the fact that Disbrowe was originally from New York (which I did not know when I borrowed the book, I was just looking for local cuisine recipes) and that she had spent some time in Europe, I loved how she told her story going from high heels to cowboy hats and boots. She shares her discoveries, her encounters with scorpions (I particularly liked this part!), her fun, and her passion for good food.
Here’s a excerpt from the publisher’s description:
Who hasn’t fantasized about leaving behind the chaos of everyday life and moving someplace where life is simpler? Well, that’s just what chef and food writer Paula Disbrowe did when she left New York City and moved to Texas. She traded her subway MetroCard for a pickup truck and her stiletto heels for a pair of down-home cowboy boots.
In Cowgirl Cuisine, Paula tells her story through food. She weaves together romance, adventure, and more than a few laughs as she celebrates the beauty of flavorful food, fresh air, and her own wholesome recipes, all while taking home cooks on a journey well off the beaten path.
Although I did not move to a ranch, nor am I a chef, I identified with the parts about moving from New York to Texas, and the love of good food immediately.
Nevertheless, this book was a cookbook, so I had to try the recipes. Well, it certainly didn’t disappoint. Here’s more from the publisher:
Like Texas itself, the recipes in Cowgirl Cuisine are big-hearted and bold — whole-grain muffins bursting with berries, salads loaded with leafy herbs and avocado, and fiery bowls of chili. Paula’s food is healthful and full of nutrients, but this is not a diet cookbook — cowgirls don’t have time to count calories (besides, they burn it all off hoisting newborn calves, hiking the hills, and galloping off on long trail rides). Instead, this is food that is satisfying and easy to prepare, which leaves plenty of time for living life to the fullest.
I first chose three recipes to try. Then four, five, six… They were all easy to make, even those which required some more time to realize (like the dulce de leche flan). There is never a hint of arrogance in her recipes (like there can be in other books – yes, I do have one or two in mind) but they end up simply delicious.
I can’t buy all cooking books I want (obviously), so sometimes I just borrow the ones I’m interesting in at the library. This one I liked so much that I plan to buy it. I have to try each recipe!
Here are pictures of the recipes I have tried. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of the Milk Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies and that was a mistake because they were mighty good!