A meal is much more than a time to fuel up. Food creates a series of memories; it forges a own bond between the people who dine and the people who prepare meals. In A Perfect Setting, the women of the Junior League of Lubbock not only present a comprehensive collection of recipes ranging from traditional and simple to innovative and elaborate, but they also offer a hearty taste of West Texas hospitality.

Along with easy-to-follow (and diverse) recipes, the Lubbock ladies serve up frequent tidbits on the city’s culture and history, and its impact on the food West Texans love. For instance, when it comes to outdoor cooking, a veritable competitive sport in Lubbock, there are two opposing theories—fast grilling and slow smoking. Which is best? You decide. This book also features plenty of local ingredient trivia, translated Tex-Mex terms, and handy shortcuts.

Regional favorites such as Raider Barbecue Brisket, Beer Chicken, and Texas Pralines make up the “Taste of Lubbock” section. An inventive drinks and appetizer section features Prickly Pear Sangria and Avocado Cream Potato Skins. In addition to the sizable soup and salad selection and entrée possibilities ranging from classics with local flair (Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas) to the more adventurous (Shrimp-stuffed Eggplant), the Junior League has also compiled for busy Texans (and even those who aren’t) quick and easy recipes called “One-Dish Wonders” (think Spinach and Artichoke Casserole or Spaghetti Supreme). A slew of tempting side dishes, breakfast items, and desserts rounds out the collection. A Perfect Setting not only lets you know how to cook for special occasions such as barbecues, holiday buffets, tailgate parties, and themed feasts but also provides the reader with tips on setting the stage for a delicious celebration, complete with costume, decor, dishware, and attitude. Here is a sampling of what to expect.

Butter Lettuce Salad With Avocado, Pine Nuts, and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Jalapeño Jelly Cheese Spread
Portobello Mushroom Fajitas
Butternut Squash Bisque
Carne Guisada (Stewed Meat)
Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Sticks
Corn Bread Dressing
Jamaican Jungle Bread
Pumpkin Soufflé
Chocolate Canela Fondue
Southern Peanut Brittle