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Let's talk about Penzey's:

Another highly thought of purveyor of spices and such is Pendery's in Ft. Worth, TX. In the late 1800's DeWitt Clinton Pendery was the creator of Chiltomaline - the predecessor of our current chili powder blends.

Apr 25, 2013
Purrkins in Chains

How do you eat your avocados?

Halved, pit removed, fill hole w/balsamic or Italian dressing and eat with spoon.

Halved, pit removed, scored crosshatched, both halves scooped into a bowl, topped with lump crab meat and dressing of your choice. (if there's two of you, add a third avocado. Why be stingy.)

Apr 04, 2013
Purrkins in Home Cooking

Search within a thread and a lost all-milk potato gratin recipe - help!

I remember that Jacques Pepin mentioned that his mother would make an all-milk gratin. Here's a link to his slightly modified recipe (mostly milk with addition of cream) that I'm sure you can play with.

Mar 27, 2013
Purrkins in Home Cooking

Chicken-Fried Steak with Country Gravy

Ran across a recipe somewhere that suggested using the edge of a saucer (not a wimpy plastic kind) to tenderize the round steak. Tried it, and it worked a treat! You don't end up with steak juice splashing around, and it tends to create short, tasty little shreds of beef when you cut into it. Takes a bit longer than the ubiquitous pointed pounder, but worth a try.

Feb 21, 2013
Purrkins in Recipes


They're absolutely refillable! Just adjust the grind to maximum coarse until you unscrew the thumbscrew, remove the grinder, and fill it up. You can buy the same peppercorns that it's filled with right next to it at Costco.

Nov 09, 2012
Purrkins in Cookware

I love/hate grits. How do you feel about them?

Lordy, Lordy!. I'm a Texas boy, and was raised on grits - buttered, baconed, egged. Granddad liked it sweet occasionally. Grits am good! Now, that being said, there are some grits that just aren't worth eating - the runny, undersalted, tasteless ones, and the instant. And those in a whole lotta places that should have never allowed grits to darken their kitchen. I'm trying to be polite here, so I will just say, 'BLEEAAAHHH!!" and let it go.

Now, I make a jalapeno, garlic, pimiento, cheese grits casserole that always comes back empty. Do like me some grits.

Jul 02, 2012
Purrkins in General Topics

Storing onions and garlic

I remember long ago in my grandmother's house, that the kitchen had big tilt-out bins under the counter for potatoes and onions. There wasn't enough cooking going on by that time that required that much storage, so they were used for paper bags, etc.

Anyway...potatoes and onions like it dark, and after a lot of searching, I found not only potato storage bags, but onion bags as well on Amazon. They are heavy fabric, black-lined, with a drawstring opening at one end, and a zip opening at the other. They keep both very well, and you can hang them from a hook, fill them from the top and take what you need from the bottom. Rotate your stock, dontcha know.

May 18, 2012
Purrkins in General Topics

Food Words We Love to Hate!

Jeez! Would you believe "Sidle" up to the bar? Saddle...y'all ain't from 'round here, are ya?

Mar 28, 2012
Purrkins in Features

The nectar of the Gods, tuna noodle casserole....

Ever since I found the original recipe on the side of a bag of dry curd cottage cheese at Safeway many long time ago, this has been my favorite recipe for TNC. Of course, like any recipe, it has been subject to modification over the years.

Gourmet Tuna Casserole - makes about 8 generous servings

12 Oz Pasta (fettuccini or small shells work well)
1 Lb. Dry curd cottage cheese *see note
2 6 ½ Oz Cans Tuna, drained (or if oil packed, not)
1 cup Sour Cream
2 Cans Mushroom soup
1 Med Onion – minced
1 cup Celery – diced
2 Cloves Garlic - minced
1 Tsp Salt
Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce – or more
4 Oz Parmesan cheese – shredded

Cook pasta al dente and drain. Combine all ingredients except Parmesan and mix well.
Pour into large casserole and sprinkle generously with Parmesan.
Bake about 1 ¼ hours, or until bubbly and cheese starts to brown.

Note* If dry curd cottage cheese is not available, you may rinse regular creamed cottage cheese in a strainer under running water and let it drain. One large container ( 1 ½ #) works out about right.

This recipe is easily halved.

Quantities are flexible. I usually use more onion, celery and garlic.

Mar 09, 2012
Purrkins in Home Cooking

cowering in fear

My mom first made Ro-Tel dip ages ago with Kraft Old English Cheddar - used to come in a (smaller) brick like current Kraft American does, but not with Velveeta, because she didn't like the stuff - still doesn't. Kraft stopped making the brick form, but it still comes in a jar. Try a couple of those, and 1/2 a brick of Kraft American. Has a LOT more personality.

Jul 11, 2011
Purrkins in General Topics

Family foods I thought was normal

I have a recipe for tuna casserole (and it's REALLY good!) that I got from the dry curd cottage cheese I used to get from Safeway when they were still in the area. I can't find it any longer, so I just get a large container of regular, and rinse it in a sieve under running water and let it drain. Works great.

Aug 06, 2010
Purrkins in General Topics

Family foods I thought was normal

Kidney stew. My grandmother would make it for me, well-cleaned young beef kidney, floured, pan-fried, with cut-up potato and a few other spices (I'll have to look at my recipes when I get home), started on top of the stove, and finished with lemon slices on top in the oven in a cast-iron skillet.

Yeah, I know, it's KIDNEY! Ewwww. There are some things that I've read on this topic that make me ewww. Each to his own.

Aug 06, 2010
Purrkins in General Topics

Family foods I thought was normal

I have a brother-in-law who eats sugar on tomatoes - lots of sugar. I tried it out of curiosity...NASTY! Must be a taste acquired early in life. <Shudder>

Aug 06, 2010
Purrkins in General Topics

Cornbread on the Stovetop?

Yummm..I use the stovetop skillet recipe that my great-grandmother passed down through the family to my mom and on to me. Simple, easy and good!

Aug 06, 2010
Purrkins in General Topics

Mama Allen's Skillet Cornbread

Aug 06, 2010
Purrkins in Recipes

Mama Allen's Skillet Cornbread

Aug 06, 2010
Purrkins in Recipes

Beef Liver - Do you choose to eat it?

The absolute best liver and onions that I've ever had was at the Union House restaurant in Framingham, MA. some years ago when I was up there for a training class at Honeywell. It was cut thick, about 1/2 - 3/8 inch, sauteed in butter with a splash of white wine, and the onions were also cut thick and lightly cooked in the same sauce. It was simple and absolutely wonderful! I shoulda had seconds.

Sep 07, 2009
Purrkins in Home Cooking

Where can I find good pizza in Dallas?

If you don't mind firing up a pizza in your oven at home, I can highly recommend Papa Murphy's. I've been very impressed with the quality and quantity of their ingredients and toppings. Much, much better than any other chain-pie out there, as far as I'm concerned. BTW, you don't NEED a pizza peel, but it makes the cooking a lot easier, and it's handy to have around. Follow their directions for cooking, they've got it right. Great concept - wish I'd thought of it...

May 02, 2009
Purrkins in Dallas - Fort Worth

How to Make the Best Flank Steak

Been pan frying flank steak for YEARS! Score a cross hatch on both sides about 45 degrees to the grain - lightly, lightly. I like to season with some Colgin's liquid smoke (hickory) and a good sprinkling of something like Cavender's. Let sit for a bit, and then in a hot skillet with a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of oil, brown on both sides so that it's still pretty rare in the middle. Slice thinly across the grain and turn your knife about 45 degrees so you're slicing at a slant across the grain. Reheat the skillet with all that good fond, throw in another tablespoon of butter (or so), splash in some nice sherry, return the sliced steak to the pan to loosen up all those good bits in the bottom and make a pan sauce. Serve with pan fried rosemary potatoes. Pretty yummy!

Jan 21, 2009
Purrkins in Features

DFW- Best scone request!

I've been really pleased with the Sticky Fingers scone mix that's available at World Market, AND at $3.99 their price is much more reasonable than at other places that I've seen them. The package says make 12, but I usually do 8 or 9; or you can just flatten the dough and cut them instead. Lots of good flavors, too. Apricot, blueberry, currant, tart cherry, cranberry, etc. Oh, also plain.


Jun 01, 2008
Purrkins in Dallas - Fort Worth

[DFW] San Franciscan turned Texite in Need of EXTREME help

Re: Bin 555 - tried it after it first opened, and it was WONDERFUL!! Sort of like a tapas bar, in which the extensive list of "appetizer" dishes was prepared in two or three person portions. Order a number of them and share around the table and make a meal of it. Really good food! Also a good wine selection, and just a lot of fun. Some of the desserts were just sinful. Introduced a number of friends to it and we all really enjoyed it.

The menu also included a selection of dinner entrees if you were in the mood for such a thing.

Unfortunately, this particular style of restaurant just didn't fly in Coppell, to our dismay. "We don't know what to order...what's a main dish??" The last time we went back (before it closed permanently,) the menu had been gutted, the wonderful dishes had been severely cut back, and there was now a children's menu, and a game room with computer games for the little dears where once had been a small dining room. The food was still very good, but the atmosphere was gone.

Ah, well.

Jun 01, 2008
Purrkins in Dallas - Fort Worth

Love Babe's Chicken Dinner House

but has anyone been to SweetiePie's Ribeyes in Decatur? Same folks, different menu, and sounds just wonderful.

Jul 28, 2007
Purrkins in Texas