By: Courtney Dabney
Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent
By Ellise Pierce
Just what the French desperately want: more American influence in their beloved homeland. Nothing quite like sprinkling in spurred cowboy boots and Southern bandanas to dilute the significance of the pristine south coast or the iconic Eiffel Tower.
Ellise Pierce, however, doesn’t seem to be too concerned with the French opinion of her. She’s out to help others like herself: American transplants in a foreign culture yearning for a small taste of home. After Pierce moved from Texas to Paris and found herself nearly bankrupt and homesick, she followed her gut (literally) to a new career path.
With a pinch of business sense and a few cups of creativity, Pierce developed Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent, a delightful cookbook with personal tidbits woven in. In her first cookbook, the Texas-bred chef teaches Americans abroad (and at home, too) how to combine French and Tex-Mex styles, mix ingredients you never would have expected, and construct the most delicious fusion food.
Example: Cornbread Madeleines. Mix staples of Texas and France together. It sounds so simple, but undoubtedly Pierce had many trial and error efforts to deliver the right mix of the right foods. Try Jalapeño Pimento Cheese Tartines for spicy twist on French cuisine. Pierce notes that in jalapeño-less Paris, she resorted to finding similar substitutes in ethnic markets. It’s all about mixing and matching.
Bon appétit, y’all.
By Jennifer Gaines Drez and Robin Beal Bumsted
Illustrated by Lisa Carrington Voight
In a city as rich in culture as Fort Worth, it came as a shock to Jennifer Gaines Drez and Robin Beal Bumsted that there was no book celebrating Fort Worth. Drez, who grew up attending Fort Worth Country Day, and Bumsted, who moved to Fort Worth in 2006, teamed up to tackle the problem together. The local mothers researched Fort Worth history and unique facts to put together the 40-page book highlighting the best of Fort Worth.
From the Stockyards to the museums to Texas Christian University, the authors hit everything essential to life in Cowtown. Learn about the history of our great city in a fun book you can keep on your tabletop for visitors to search through, too.
The 40-page book contains detailed illustrations by talented Fort Worth native Lisa Carrington Voight. Pictures look familiar? Voight’s canvas paintings and murals reside in Fort Worth businesses and homes, too. You can find her charming work in comforting places for children, like All Smiles dental offices and Tanglewood Elementary. Voight paints beautiful children’s rooms, so check out kids-walls.com if you’re in the market for a room makeover.
The insider look at Fort Worth serves as a simple education tool for young children. Teach children to read using pictures and words they can go see in person (for example, “Stockyards”). By practicing reading, children will simultaneously learn about their home. It’s not just a storybook; it’s real life.
Little Texas Sweetheart
By Julia Chadwell
It began when she was just 10 years old. The sexual abuse would continue for two years, but when it finally ended, she wasn’t free just yet.
As she grew older and had her own children, abuse crept back. Her children faced homelessness and hunger alongside her, suffering silently and hoping for a way out.
Julia Chadwell lived a difficult life, but that hasn’t stopped her from sharing her story. Now a mother of eight and grandmother of 15, Chadwell shares with women what she wished someone would have told her.
The alarming statistics on domestic violence (Chadwell notes that one in four women will be abused at some point in their lives) pushed Chadwell forward. She wants women to know enough to protect themselves, from traits that identify abusers to ways out.
Receiving countless rejection letters from publishers didn’t slow Chadwell down. She self-published her first book and plans to release another. Encouragement and advice from her children helped Chadwell put her story to paper.
Reading a tragic story first-hand brings women and men alike closer to the issue. On her Web site, littletexassweetheart.com, Chadwell encourages women to reach out to support groups and contact shelters for battered women if they feel threatened.
The perfect choice for a book club, Little Texas Sweetheart connects women to one common ideal: no one should suffer from abuse.
By: Courtney Dabney