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Books That Cook

By November 2004Comments

From the Panhandle Plains to the Gulf Coast, Recipes From Historic Texas, by Linda and Steve Bauer, provides culinary insights from the many diverse geographic regions in Texas. The authors offer a glimpse into the past lives of 66 historic restaurants and hotels across the state, including evolving cultural landmarks as Houston’s Mark’s American Cuisine, a former church; Waco’s Northwood Inn, a former carriage house; and Kaufman’s tea room Especially For You, tucked away in the back of the former First National Bank Building. In addition to recipes from each of the 66 restaurants and hotels, biographies of hotel owners, timelines of the evolution of buildings, and family lineages are speckled throughout the book, which focuses on small towns and big cities alike.

From a visual standpoint, Recipes From Historic Texas is lacking, but the recipes, with clear and concise directions, more than make up. The ingredients for the Shrimp and Crawfish Bisque from the Huisache Grill, in New Braunfels, for example, are listed vertically in a gray column on the left-hand side of the page, with the easy-to-follow directions written in paragraph form on the right-hand side. The yield is given under every recipe.

Like the array of regions and time periods covered, the recipes are varied and include entrées, salads, desserts, sides, drinks, and sauces. Try some of the following enjoyable dishes from these restaurants to bring some history into your own home:

Spicy Oriental Dumpling Soup
Spinach and Artichoke Hearts
Warm Lobster Taco With Yellow Tomato Salsa
Texas Caviar
Beef Tenderloin Salad
Red Poppy Raspberry Frozen Margarita
Cheddar and Jalapeño Grits

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