Lemonade with Pineapple Whipped Cream

Lemonade with Pineapple Whipped Cream

Author note: This recipe was featured in The Dallas Morning News along with two other state fair inspired recipes: mini dijon corndogs (click here for the recipe) and doughnut ice cream sandwiches (click here for the recipe).

5 ounces of fresh lemon juice (juice from about 4 ½ lemons)

1 1/2 cups simple syrup, cooled (recipe below)

4 cups water

pinch of salt

pineapple whipped cream (recipe below)

maraschino cherries, for topping

fresh pineapple slices, for topping

  1. Combine all ingredients into a large pitcher. Stir and place in the fridge to chill.
  2. Serve over ice and topped with pineapple whipped cream, maraschino cherry and pineapple slice.

Simple Syrup

  1. Combine 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Heat through and stir until sugar has dissolved.

Pineapple Whipped Cream

Author note: I prefer to use the juice from canned pineapple. To chill it, I place the can in the fridge about 3 hours before I need to use it.

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup crème fraiche

5 teaspoons sugar

3/4 cup chilled pineapple juice

  1. Place all ingredients into a large bowl. With an electric mixer, whisk at a rapid speed until the cream is airy and fluffy. Place in the fridge until ready to be used. This can be made up to a day in advance.

Smoked Brisket

Smoked Brisket

Author note: If you prefer more crust on brisket, use your favorite grill rub to coat the brisket before smoking. A meat thermometer will help guarantee the brisket does not get over cooked. Remember, quality meat makes a difference in the outcome of a smoked brisket. Once the brisket reaches 195 degrees, use a wooden skewer to check for doneness. The skewer should slide in and out of the meat with ease. I prefer to use oak as the smoking wood. It is good to periodically check the smoker to make sure it maintains heat properly. There are fancy gadgets that will allow you to monitor the meat temperature via smart phone. When you remove the brisket from the heat, you can wrap it in foil and store in a cooler for up to 3 hours before serving.

4 pounds trimmed brisket flat

7 teaspoons salt

4 teaspoons pepper

  1. Evenly coat the brisket with the salt and pepper combination.
  2. Prepare grill or smoker for 225 degrees. Once it reaches 225 degrees allow the grill to maintain this heat for at least 30 minutes before beginning. Adjust as necessary to keep the temperature between 225 and 250.
  3. Insert the meat thermometer into the brisket. Place brisket on the grill.
  4. Smoking time is about 10 1/2 hours, but once the internal temperature reaches 195 degree, probe for doneness. If the meat is still ‘tight’, wait another 15 minutes and probe again.

Asparagus Radish Salad

Asparagus Radish Salad

Author note: Extra-virgin olive oil or unsalted better can be used instead of the coconut oil. Remember, asparagus needs the bottom of the stalk removed prior to using.

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 cup shallots, diced

4 cups asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 bunches)

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

zest of 1 orange

juice of 1/2 orange

1 1/2 cups radishes, thinly sliced

  1. Place the coconut oil, ginger and shallots into a large flat bottomed skillet and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Add the asparagus, salt, orange zest and orange juice. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.
  3. Add the radishes, stir and cook for 1 to 2 additional minutes.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Asparagus Tarragon Soup

Asparagus Tarragon Soup

Author note: This soup is freezer friendly, however if planning to freeze, omit the cream until the soup is thawed and warming up.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 pounds of asparagus, ends trimmed and stalks cut into thirds

1 onion, rough chopped

5 garlic cloves, crushed

6 cups chicken stock

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/3 cup tarragon leaves

zest of 1 lemon

2/3 cups heavy cream

fresh mint leaves, torn, for topping

  1. In a large pot, add the butter and warm over medium heat until melted. Add onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  2. Add the asparagus and salt, stir well. Cook for an additional 5 minutes
  3. Pour the chicken stock into the pan and increase the heat. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add the tarragon and stir.
  5. In batches, add the soup into a food processor. Puree until the texture is smooth.
  6. Pour the soup back into the saucepan. Add the cream and lemon zest. Heat through, or if the soup appears too watery, continue to simmer until the soup has reduced and thickened. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
  7. Serve warm with torn mint leaves.

Deviled Egg Salad

Deviled Egg Salad

Author note: This is a basic deviled egg salad recipe. Add your preferred finishing touches. I enjoy ground curry and a touch of caviar. Fresh herbs like thyme or dill also work well. Salt at the end, because the amount of salt will vary depending on the brand of mustard and mayonnaise used. This recipe can be easily halved. Serve by itself or on white bread as a sandwich.

1 dozen hard boiled eggs

1/3 cup yellow onion, finely chopped

6 tablespoons sour cream

5 teaspoons dijon mustard

5 teaspoons mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Remove the yolks from the whites, saving 8 of the 12 egg whites. Place the 12 yolks into a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Chop the 8 egg whites.
  3. Add the sour cream, dijon and mayonnaise into the bowl with the yolks. Mash with a fork until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the chopped whites and shallots to the mixture. Salt to taste.

A Pleasant Little Menu | Easter Lunch

Spring is here and Easter is upon us. If an Easter ham is not in your rotation of holiday dining consider another route: roasted chicken.

The beauty of this protein as the main dish is that it’s easy to prepare (click here to read more about roasting a chicken) and if done properly can be a work of art.This menu is inspired by the Easters I grew up with: fried chicken, cucumbers in vinegar, a quick salad with homemade ranch, buttered rolls and time.

For our family, time was the most important element to our Easter celebration.

There was no set start time, family rolled in as church was let out. No one could change clothes until all pictures were taken in our Easter finest. The goal was to be together and celebrate love.The air was crisp and always a bit windy on those Sundays. There was nothing like an Easter afternoon spent at my grandparents house.  Looking back, I realize how magical it was.The boundaries of holiday tradition are less rigid in the spring than in the winter—embrace this. An Easter meal should be laid back, one that can be prepared easily and without fuss. This menu is exactly that.

Iced Tea with Lemons

Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar

Browned Butter Asparagus


Dinner Rolls

Garlic Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Fresh Berries and Chocolate

A Pleasant Little Announcement | Good Morning Texas and Three Easter Ham Recipes

A busy week is ahead of boiling and dying eggs, preparing a celebratory menu and making family plans. Easter is in seven days.Tomorrow on Good Morning Texas, I get to demonstrate how to make three sauces that are full of flavor, easy to prep and make-ahead friendly that can be used to dress-up the prized Easter ham (to watch the segment click here).

The beauty of centering the family meal around ham is that little cooking is involved. Pick up a pre-smoked spiral cut ham at your local grocer or butcher, then once home gently heat in the oven until the ham is warmed through. Remove the ham from the oven and then cover with your favorite sauce or serve on the side. If you plan to serve all three sauces cut the ham into three portions and place on different platters.

Be sure to tune in to WFAA’s Good Morning Texas at 9 am to see me whip up these delicious homemade sauces that will make this year’s Easter meal a little more pleasant.

Dijon Maple Herb Sauce

Author note: This recipe is easily doubled.

1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 cup maple syrup

  1. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Brush the sauce over the spiraled ham to coat.

Honey Brown Sugar Jalapeno Garlic

Author note: This recipe is easily doubled.

1 cup honey

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup jarred jalapenos (or more), chopped

4 garlic cloves,


1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon jarred jalapeno juice

  1. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Pour the sauce over the spiraled ham and brush to coat

Tamarind Orange Garlic

Author note: This recipe is easily doubled.

3 tablespoons tamarind paste

1 cup warm water

1 cup orange juice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

pinch of kosher salt

1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped

1/4 cup brown sugar

5 garlic cloves, chopped

juice of 1 lime

  1. Pour ingredients into a saucepan and boil for 15 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon. Stir frequently.
  2. Pour the glaze over a spiral ham, or serve on the side.

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