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.
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.
From hearty ranch breakfasts to fresh salads, spicy nibbles, seductive desserts, and killer watermelon margaritas, Paula's recipes are full of her signature zest, spunk, and spice. Start your day off right with Canyon Granola or Cowgirl Migas. For lunch, have a nourishing bowl of silky Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Red Chile Cream or Chicken and Citrus Slaw Tostadas. For dinner, try Gazpacho Risotto with Garlic Shrimp or Cowboy Pot Roast with Coffee and Whiskey. And be sure to save room for one of Paula's decadent desserts, such as Chocolate Pecan Squares or Dulce de Leche Flan with Pepita Brittle.
In addition to her recipes, Paula includes humorous and heartfelt vignettes about wild animals on the loose, scorpions in the sheets, and Casanova cowboys. And the pages are filled with lush photographs of food and life on the range. Cowgirl Cuisine isn't just spurs and salsa--it's about following your dream. So saddle up and follow yours.
Disenchanted by her hectic New York City lifestyle, Disbrowe, a former travel writer, packed her bags and moved to Texas Hill Country to become the chef at Hart & Hind Ranch. The dishes she created there combine her love for Mediterranean food with fresh local ingredients and cooking traditions from south-central Texas, with recipes such as Texas Tofu Scramble, and Eggs over Polenta with Serrano-Spiked Tomato Sauce. Also included in the Ranch Breakfast section are more traditional recipes like Blackberry Blue Corn Muffins and Banana Bread. Other sections included are "Charming Sandwiches and a Belt-Busting Burger," which feature Smoked Turkey Wraps with Chipotle Cream, and a Venison Burger. In the chapter "Ring the Dinner Bell" are fun, and simple dishes like Halibut with Salsa Verde and Cowgirl Steaks with Pink Peppercorns and Red Onion Marmalade. Throughout, Disbrowe shares various tales from life on the ranch (from raising baby chicks to living with a pet goat). Disbrowe's goal, she explains in her intro, was to write a cookbook "about fresh, satisfying food that is easy enough to prepare while living life to the fullest." In this she has succeeded. (Mar.)
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March 12, 2007
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