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The Homesick Texan Cookbook

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When Lisa Fain, a seventh-generation Texan, moved to New York City, she missed the big sky, the bluebonnets in spring, Friday night football, and her family's farm. But most of all, she missed the foods she'd grown up with. After a fruitless search for tastes of Texas in New York City, Fain took matters into her own hands. She headed into the kitchen to cook for her friend When Lisa Fain, a seventh-generation Texan, moved to New York City, she missed the big sky, the bluebonnets in spring, Friday night football, and her family's farm. But most of all, she missed the foods she'd grown up with. After a fruitless search for tastes of Texas in New York City, Fain took matters into her own hands. She headed into the kitchen to cook for her friends the Tex-Mex, the chili, and the country comfort dishes that reminded her of home. From cheese enchiladas drowning in chili gravy to chicken-fried steak served with cream gravy on the side, from warm bowls of chile con queso to big pots of fiery chili made without beans, Fain re-created the wonderful tastes of Texas she'd always enjoyed at potlucks, church suppers, and backyard barbecues back home. In 2006, Fain started the blog Homesick Texan to share Texan food with fellow expatriates, and the site immediately connected with readers worldwide, Texan and non-Texan alike. Now, in her long-awaited first cookbook, Fain brings the comfort of Texan home cooking to you. Like Texas itself, the recipes in this book are varied and diverse, all filled with Fain's signature twists. There's Salpicón, a cool shredded beef salad found along the sunny border in El Paso; Soft Cheese Tacos, a creamy plate unique to Dallas; and Houston-Style Green Salsa, an avocado and tomatillo salsa that is smooth, refreshing, and bright. There are also nibbles, such as Chipotle Pimento Cheese and Tomatillo Jalapeno Jam; sweet endings, such as Coconut Tres Leches Cake and Mexican Chocolate Chewies; and fresh takes on Texan classics, such as Coffee-Chipotle Oven Brisket, Ancho Cream Corn, and Guajillo-Chile Fish Tacos. With more than 125 recipes, The Homesick Texan offers a true taste of the Lone Star State. So pull up a chair-everyone's welcome at the Texas table!


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When Lisa Fain, a seventh-generation Texan, moved to New York City, she missed the big sky, the bluebonnets in spring, Friday night football, and her family's farm. But most of all, she missed the foods she'd grown up with. After a fruitless search for tastes of Texas in New York City, Fain took matters into her own hands. She headed into the kitchen to cook for her friend When Lisa Fain, a seventh-generation Texan, moved to New York City, she missed the big sky, the bluebonnets in spring, Friday night football, and her family's farm. But most of all, she missed the foods she'd grown up with. After a fruitless search for tastes of Texas in New York City, Fain took matters into her own hands. She headed into the kitchen to cook for her friends the Tex-Mex, the chili, and the country comfort dishes that reminded her of home. From cheese enchiladas drowning in chili gravy to chicken-fried steak served with cream gravy on the side, from warm bowls of chile con queso to big pots of fiery chili made without beans, Fain re-created the wonderful tastes of Texas she'd always enjoyed at potlucks, church suppers, and backyard barbecues back home. In 2006, Fain started the blog Homesick Texan to share Texan food with fellow expatriates, and the site immediately connected with readers worldwide, Texan and non-Texan alike. Now, in her long-awaited first cookbook, Fain brings the comfort of Texan home cooking to you. Like Texas itself, the recipes in this book are varied and diverse, all filled with Fain's signature twists. There's Salpicón, a cool shredded beef salad found along the sunny border in El Paso; Soft Cheese Tacos, a creamy plate unique to Dallas; and Houston-Style Green Salsa, an avocado and tomatillo salsa that is smooth, refreshing, and bright. There are also nibbles, such as Chipotle Pimento Cheese and Tomatillo Jalapeno Jam; sweet endings, such as Coconut Tres Leches Cake and Mexican Chocolate Chewies; and fresh takes on Texan classics, such as Coffee-Chipotle Oven Brisket, Ancho Cream Corn, and Guajillo-Chile Fish Tacos. With more than 125 recipes, The Homesick Texan offers a true taste of the Lone Star State. So pull up a chair-everyone's welcome at the Texas table!

30 review for The Homesick Texan Cookbook

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie Davis

    Gorgeous photography, engaging writing ... but why Lisa Fain thought she needed to add chiles or heat to practically every single recipe (up to and including candy) is beyond me. I know her grandmother affectionately calls her "Chile Girl" but it looks like an obsession when you read recipe after recipe with chiles added. At least she is kind enough to mention, "I can't help adding some chile powder to this..." (etc.). It gives complete newbies a way to distinguish what is typical and what isn't Gorgeous photography, engaging writing ... but why Lisa Fain thought she needed to add chiles or heat to practically every single recipe (up to and including candy) is beyond me. I know her grandmother affectionately calls her "Chile Girl" but it looks like an obsession when you read recipe after recipe with chiles added. At least she is kind enough to mention, "I can't help adding some chile powder to this..." (etc.). It gives complete newbies a way to distinguish what is typical and what isn't. At the very least, the extra "heat" ingredient should've been listed under "optional" for the many who don't bother reading lengthy recipe intros. I'll be trying some of her recipes because they do look good but at first reading what this did was send me to my bookcase to pull out Bill and Cheryl Jamison's Texas Home Cooking which has never failed me yet and is a much more thorough representation of Texas cooking.

  2. 4 out of 5

    lauren

    i've been on a roll of checking out cookbooks from the library lately, but this is the first one that I felt really inspired by. I have a ton of different recipes bookmarked, and made a couple recipes the day after i brought it home. Possibly even more exciting than all the great tex mex recipes is the pie crust recipe- it's unconventional with vegetable oil and milk in it and no butter, lard, or shortening, but it's the easiest pie crust i've ever made, and damn good too. I'll probably end up b i've been on a roll of checking out cookbooks from the library lately, but this is the first one that I felt really inspired by. I have a ton of different recipes bookmarked, and made a couple recipes the day after i brought it home. Possibly even more exciting than all the great tex mex recipes is the pie crust recipe- it's unconventional with vegetable oil and milk in it and no butter, lard, or shortening, but it's the easiest pie crust i've ever made, and damn good too. I'll probably end up buying this cookbook.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    amazing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    This author seriously has some of the BEST recipes

  5. 4 out of 5

    Beth Bonini

    I've just thought to add "cookbooks" to my Goodreads categories, and frankly, I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. I've loved reading cookbooks since I was a kid, and this is a superb example of the kind of cookbook I like best: one that has stories and memories to accompany the recipes. I've been a fan of Lisa's blog for years, and I like to think that I can one-up her: she's only in New York City; she should try being a "homesick Texan" in the English countryside! There is definitely I've just thought to add "cookbooks" to my Goodreads categories, and frankly, I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. I've loved reading cookbooks since I was a kid, and this is a superb example of the kind of cookbook I like best: one that has stories and memories to accompany the recipes. I've been a fan of Lisa's blog for years, and I like to think that I can one-up her: she's only in New York City; she should try being a "homesick Texan" in the English countryside! There is definitely a scarcity of Texans around, not to mention a sad lack of the Tex-Mex that every expat craves. (Funnily enough, it's probably the food -- well, and the blue sky -- that I miss most about my ancestral home.) But enough about me . . . Although my mother quibbles that some of the recipes are not very Texan -- and it's true that Lisa has in inordinate fondness for peppers, and has done some quirky twists on the old favourites -- you WILL find all of the classics here. I've only had the book for a couple of weeks, (my mother gave it to me for my recent birthday), but so far I've made the sweet potato muffins and the Texas sheet cake. I've got all sorts of recipes earmarked, though. I'm really eager to try her flour tortillas. She includes two recipes -- one for a "Houston" style, and for a "San Antonio" style -- but neither of them is the recipe that I got off of her blog and having been using for years. I can only assume that she has discovered something even better. Fantastic photography, too -- and not just of the food, but of many sights/scenes which will be very familiar to any Texan and do really capture the "flavour" of the state.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    I put a pork roast into the slow-cooker for dinner (and there will be plenty of leftovers). So what , exactly, should go on tonight's menu? I reached for this cookbook and realize it needs to on my Goodreads shelf. Bought this book after one trip to visit friends in Texas convinced me that this food had to come to my South Carolina kitchen. It's become one of my most-reached-for cookbooks on the easy-grab shelf in my kitchen. So far, not a bad recipe yet! Every one I've tried goes straight into I put a pork roast into the slow-cooker for dinner (and there will be plenty of leftovers). So what , exactly, should go on tonight's menu? I reached for this cookbook and realize it needs to on my Goodreads shelf. Bought this book after one trip to visit friends in Texas convinced me that this food had to come to my South Carolina kitchen. It's become one of my most-reached-for cookbooks on the easy-grab shelf in my kitchen. So far, not a bad recipe yet! Every one I've tried goes straight into my regular rotation. Beautiful to look at, entertaining and informative to read, and the recipes are all keepers.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Munoz

    Gorgeous photos, easy-to-read-and-follow layout, and delicious recipes. My only gripe is that there aren't enough weeknight accessible recipes - many of them require off-the-grid mexican store ingredients and hours of time and dedication. If you're an expert cook, this might not bother you, but for someone who's not as experienced, it limits how much use I can get out of the book. Still one of my favorite cookbooks because of how yummy the food is.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kyrie

    I really enjoyed reading through this one, although the level of cooking is a bit above my usual fare, and I don't own many of the things needed to make these recipes. Still, it inspired me (and made me a little sad that I'm not a more enthusiastic food adventurer). I liked the back story of the recipes. I'll probably check it out again - when I'm feeling adventurous.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    The perfect combination of anecdotes and recipes. And lots of recipes reminiscent of my Oklahoma childhood as well. I, like the author, had my own chicken fried steak quest upon first moving here. If anything, my one quibble would be her assertion that certain dishes are only done well in Texas. Excuse me, this Okie begs to differ!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carissa

    This is, as you might correctly guess, the perfect book for any Homesick Texan. There are recipes new to me, different riffs on old favorites, and great tweaks to standard Texan dishes. It is, by far, my favorite cookbook, but that shouldn't be a surprise coming from a Homesick Texan.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennie

    I haven't actually cooked from this book yet, hence the four stars; that said, I've marked almost every recipe as something I want to try, and I know enough about cooking to see that they're going to work. Soft cheese tacos have skyrocketed to the top, I must say.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Pickens

    Some good homestyle recipes, but the Mexican food is not very authentic.

  13. 5 out of 5

    U (Rashida)

    I just had to buy the book. Now I can enjoy the recipes & the amazing writing on my own time - the writing captures my memories of Texas so well! I just had to buy the book. Now I can enjoy the recipes & the amazing writing on my own time - the writing captures my memories of Texas so well!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Finally finished reading this Christmas 2012 gift. The photographs of food and landscape are beautiful. The writing, not as much. She may have had a grandmother who lived on a farm, but the majority of today's Texans don't. My only other real beef is that a more accurate title would be, "The Homesick Texan's Tex-Mex Cookbook," because, as she admits, she adds a Tex-Mex flavor profile to all her dishes (save the chicken fried steak and 2 pies). I have no problem with THAT, however--this is probab Finally finished reading this Christmas 2012 gift. The photographs of food and landscape are beautiful. The writing, not as much. She may have had a grandmother who lived on a farm, but the majority of today's Texans don't. My only other real beef is that a more accurate title would be, "The Homesick Texan's Tex-Mex Cookbook," because, as she admits, she adds a Tex-Mex flavor profile to all her dishes (save the chicken fried steak and 2 pies). I have no problem with THAT, however--this is probably the only way I'll get a good cheese enchilada 'til I go home next. As for the recipes I tried while home this Christmas--the queso, made with real cheese (as opposed to a processed cheese which melts better) was good, but not any better than Matt Martinez's...and Matt's is way easier. The chocolate silk pie recipe is GREAT, though I could not, for the life of me, get her grandmother's pie dough to work. Supposed to make enough for two pies, but I barely made it work for one. I will also say--the idea that you can make your own breakfast sausage was a revelation. But of course! Ground pork + whatever seasonings you want. Can't wait to try it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dixie Diamond

    Beautiful book. I didn't care for the peach cobbler, which was very sweet, very heavy on the cinnamon, didn't have that much peach in it, and had a batter topping that remained sugar-sticky after it was baked. However, I think cobbler is one of the foods about which people have very specific and individualized tastes, and it was probably the recipe with which I was most likely to disagree. (My brother made it, too, and, while he and his wife liked it, he agreed that the topping was sticky, so it Beautiful book. I didn't care for the peach cobbler, which was very sweet, very heavy on the cinnamon, didn't have that much peach in it, and had a batter topping that remained sugar-sticky after it was baked. However, I think cobbler is one of the foods about which people have very specific and individualized tastes, and it was probably the recipe with which I was most likely to disagree. (My brother made it, too, and, while he and his wife liked it, he agreed that the topping was sticky, so it wasn't just that I did it wrong.) I can't wait to try the rest of the recipes, though. I especially want to try the tomato cobbler, which sounds like a terrific idea. Might as well give cobblers another shot, right?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Suz

    The Homesick Texan has been one of my favorite food blogs for years. I started using it when I was still in Texas, but now that I've left, it's an absolutely wonderful resource for cooking like I'm back in the Homeland. Fain is a native Texan, so she knows how the food is supposed to taste and doesn't shy from wonderful TexMex or Mexican food or cut corners to make it easier or more-appealing to those who aren't used to the food. Some of the recipes are from the blog, some are new, but so far I h The Homesick Texan has been one of my favorite food blogs for years. I started using it when I was still in Texas, but now that I've left, it's an absolutely wonderful resource for cooking like I'm back in the Homeland. Fain is a native Texan, so she knows how the food is supposed to taste and doesn't shy from wonderful TexMex or Mexican food or cut corners to make it easier or more-appealing to those who aren't used to the food. Some of the recipes are from the blog, some are new, but so far I haven't had a problem with any of them. They are easy to follow and there are pictures (an absolute must). If she writes anymore cookbooks, I will get them all.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eling

    I've left my rating at 4 stars because I haven't actually made any of the recipes yet, but I was practically drooling while reading, and was hard-pressed to find recipes that I _didn't_ want to try. Love the layout & organization of the book, and appreciated that the majority of the recipes were accompanied by big, full-color photos. My normal procedure on cookbooks is now to get them from the library, then buy the ones that I really think are worthwhile & will get lots of use. This one has jump I've left my rating at 4 stars because I haven't actually made any of the recipes yet, but I was practically drooling while reading, and was hard-pressed to find recipes that I _didn't_ want to try. Love the layout & organization of the book, and appreciated that the majority of the recipes were accompanied by big, full-color photos. My normal procedure on cookbooks is now to get them from the library, then buy the ones that I really think are worthwhile & will get lots of use. This one has jumped to the top of my to-buy list.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I would make so many of these recipes, there's no question I will eventually own this book. I read another review where a person remarked on wishing the book was organized differently "for those who don't read lengthy recipe introductions" that literally made me throw my hands up in disbelief! The "lengthy" few paragraphs of family or recipe history as well as the author's rationale for her personal changes are the most charming part of this book. What those people who skip straight to the lists I would make so many of these recipes, there's no question I will eventually own this book. I read another review where a person remarked on wishing the book was organized differently "for those who don't read lengthy recipe introductions" that literally made me throw my hands up in disbelief! The "lengthy" few paragraphs of family or recipe history as well as the author's rationale for her personal changes are the most charming part of this book. What those people who skip straight to the lists of ingredients and directions are missing!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Knowles

    This book I chose because it is a n easy book filled with easy recipes to cook for your friends and your family. This book is recommended to al, ages wanting an easy tasty cookbook filled with quick things for on the go. I found interesting was the recipes and how easy they were to make.i think I loved this book. From start to end. I learnt that I can cook really well with no fuss at all and without my parents help at all during this cooking and serving time I had. I rate this book 5stars. Book to re This book I chose because it is a n easy book filled with easy recipes to cook for your friends and your family. This book is recommended to al, ages wanting an easy tasty cookbook filled with quick things for on the go. I found interesting was the recipes and how easy they were to make.i think I loved this book. From start to end. I learnt that I can cook really well with no fuss at all and without my parents help at all during this cooking and serving time I had. I rate this book 5stars. Book to read for me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    Wonderful cookbook from blogger Lisa Fain of Homesick Texan. It a big, glossy, colorful book with some really delicious recipes. Probably rates a 4.5 for me overall (although the Poblano Mac & Cheese is 5 stars and worth the price of the book alone!). Here's a link to my complete review with pictures and links to the recipes I tried: http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/20... Wonderful cookbook from blogger Lisa Fain of Homesick Texan. It a big, glossy, colorful book with some really delicious recipes. Probably rates a 4.5 for me overall (although the Poblano Mac & Cheese is 5 stars and worth the price of the book alone!). Here's a link to my complete review with pictures and links to the recipes I tried: http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/20...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anna Malone

    I LOVE the recipes in this cookbook! The only thing I miss about living in Texas is the food. And I can never find good Tex-Mex outside of Texas. I've been following this blog for a while now and everything I've made from there is great, and dead-on Tex-Mex. My husband got me the cookbook for Christmas, and I've been working my way through the recipes. I still miss the food, but the stuff I am making now is just as good as any of the great restaurants I ate at in Texas.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This book is full of truly authentic Texan food (speaking as Texas born half-Mexican girl that grew up eating this stuff) with some twists on classic dishes. I'm not sure I'd ever buy this book, because I did grow up eating it and learning to cook it, but if you weren't so fortunate then it is worth checking out. The only glaring absences, in my opinion, were the lack of ranch style beans and pecan pie.

  23. 5 out of 5

    BJW

    Even though I'm originally from Texas I am not homesick for it; but I do miss the Tex Mex. I've tried 8 or 9 of the recipes so far and they are all fantastic. (Only one would I slightly tweak next time). She's a fantastic writer, has a great palette, and the book itself is beautiful. One word for the Poblano Mac and Cheese: WOW!

  24. 5 out of 5

    April

    As a Texan from Hill County this book has taken me right back to my Memo's kitchen. The peach cobbler and fried pies are very special! The crawfish rolls reminded me of fishing with my little brothers at the spillway and bringing home our buckets full of crawdad's for Memo to work her magic on. Thanks Lisa Fain for the great memories and the Great fixin's!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    If you are a Texan and have a soft spot in your heart for Texas and its food, you will like this book. She does a good job with the recipes - I make her biscuits all the time now - and she does an excellent job pin-pointing foods from the various areas. She talks about why those particular foods are special, and the photos in the book are absolutely Texas.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    This is a very approachable cookbook. The recipes are not complicated and well written. There's also a lot of color photos which are quite enticing. Keepers include: Carnitas, Houston-Style Green Salsa, Ancho Cream Corn and Corn Chowder with Roasted Jalapenos & Bacon. I'll be doing more cooking from this book for sure. This is a very approachable cookbook. The recipes are not complicated and well written. There's also a lot of color photos which are quite enticing. Keepers include: Carnitas, Houston-Style Green Salsa, Ancho Cream Corn and Corn Chowder with Roasted Jalapenos & Bacon. I'll be doing more cooking from this book for sure.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Al Dowling

    Great cookbook. Non apologetic Tex-Mex cookbook. Great if you're living away from Texas and want to create the food. I grew up visiting my grandparents in Texas, lived in Abilene when my dad was stationed at Dyes. Four of my own USAF tours in Texas & many work visits. This book helps me get my Tex-Mex fix. Great cookbook. Non apologetic Tex-Mex cookbook. Great if you're living away from Texas and want to create the food. I grew up visiting my grandparents in Texas, lived in Abilene when my dad was stationed at Dyes. Four of my own USAF tours in Texas & many work visits. This book helps me get my Tex-Mex fix.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kecia

    OMG! I didn't know how homesick I was for Texican food until I opened up this book. Funny thing is - the 3 dishes I prepared from it: nachos, guacamole, and pinto beans, are all dishes I don't need a recipe for! Love her blog too! I made me want to book a trip back to Houston just eat breakfast at Frank's.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    I got this book for my birthday yesterday and since then have loved poring over the recipes and pictures. The recipes are easy to follow, delicious (if the Carne Guisada I've just made is anything to go by) and I can't wait to try some more - particularly Lisa's version of Huevos Rancheros and Peach Cobbler. Looking forward to getting the next book now :)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I absolutely adore this book! See my full review here: http://www.girlichef.com/2011/09/cook... And check out my in-depth spotlight of the cookbook (along w/ 19 other bloggers) here: http://www.girlichef.com/2011/08/cook... I absolutely adore this book! See my full review here: http://www.girlichef.com/2011/09/cook... And check out my in-depth spotlight of the cookbook (along w/ 19 other bloggers) here: http://www.girlichef.com/2011/08/cook...

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