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Cowgirl Cuisine: Rustic Recipes and Cowgirl Adventures from a Texas Ranch    by Paula Disbrowe Amazon.com order for
Cowgirl Cuisine
by Paula Disbrowe
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

When chef and food writer Paula Disbrowe decided she needed a change, she brushed the dust of New York City off her shoes and headed for Texas Hill Country. Not only was it a change of locale, it was a change of lifestyle. And cuisine.

Paula Disbrowe is no stranger to the food world. She spent ten years in Manhattan working as a food and travel writer. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and she served as food editor of Restaurant Business. So she brings a great deal of experience in the world of food to her first cookbook.

She didn't take long to convert from stiletto heels and cocktail dresses to cowboy hat and boots, to raising animals and finding new ways to cook beans. As she says, 'There was a lot I didn't know about Hill Country the brisket and breakfast tacos, the fire ants and scorpions, the cactus blossoms and oak trees. And I certainly had no idea what it was like to live on a ranch.' Don't skip this Introduction, which gives an insight into the woman she was and the woman she became (and with whom she was comfortable).

Disbrowe's cooking style changed dramatically and she presents a cookbook with mouth-watering recipes, blending her know-how with new and exciting ingredients. Take the Quinoa Salad with Tomatillo Vinaigrette, or try Carrot Habanero Soup. Giving tips along the way for preparation of ingredients, she has also inserted essays on her new surroundings that sound as though she is getting her share of life and enjoying it. More power to her.

A simple recipe for Spicey Mixed Nuts accompanies a vignette on the Best Texas Music. I must try Devilish Eggs with Texas Tampanade. The Smoked Chicken Salad with Green Chilies and Tarragon recipe precedes a tip on Smoking/Slow Grilling Chicken. Grilled Chicken Thighs with David's Mop Sauce and Blistered Cherry Tomatoes is a must-try. David is Paula's partner in the ranch and in life, and you'll have to obtain a copy of Cowgirl Cuisine to find out what Mop Sauce is.

There are too many must try recipes to list. This must have cookbook comes just in time for summer entertaining. Cowgirl Cuisine abounds with photos of Disbrowe's new life - and she appears to be a contented woman.

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