Great Food, Texas Style: A Review of the Texas Judicial Cookbook

When you think of Texas cooking, what comes to mind? Barbecue? Thick, juicy steaks? Spicy Tex-Mex treats? Cowboy-style cookouts on the wide open range? I recently came across the Texas Judicial Cookbook, a great cookbook featuring recipes that can bring a little taste of Texas to everyone's kitchen. This book is a gorgeous collection of authentic Texas recipes and amazing photography of county courthouses located throughout the Lone Star State.

All of the recipes in the Texas Judicial Cookbook were contributed by judges and other legislative and political leaders who either are currently serving the state of Texas, or who have done so in the past. From Barbara Bush's All American Clam Chowder to Governor Rick Perry's Chuck Wagon Chili, this book is a cover-to-cover collection of delicious, easy to make, pure Texas recipes.

There are so many great recipes in this book that it's hard to narrow down to just a few favorites. The most pleasant surprise for me was finding Judge Wilburn E. Bednar's recipe for Apple Dumplings. I've never found a recipe for apple dumplings that I really love before this one. This one is super, thanks to a secret ingredient (Mountain Dew, believe it or not)!

The meat lovers in your family will be overjoyed to find recipes such as Judge Roy Mayo's Cowboy Chow, a delightful mixture of smoked sausage, different types of beans, salsa, barbecue sauce, and more; and Evans' Spicy Sausage submitted by Judge Richard Evans.

I haven't had a chance yet to make the Quick Italian Cream Cake recipe submitted by Harrison County Sheriff's Deputy Beverly Falcon, but I can't wait to give it a try. I love Italian Cream Cake, but most recipes require a little more effort than I'm usually willing to put forth. This recipe, though, really does look quick and simple, and I'm already planning to make it for my next family gathering.

I haven't had a chance to try all of the recipes yet, but I can truthfully say that I will probably make just about everything in the Texas Judicial Cookbook at least one time, probably more!

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