Home » Archives for January 2023

Month: January 2023

For the Love of Cheese

My niece, Emily Williams, and I started Texicureans because of our mutual love of the foods and cultures that make Texas like no other. During the last three years we have joined friends in many Texas home kitchens and ventured to their culinary cultural destination counter parts. We learned how to make Spanish Soup and biked the Missions. We enjoyed French Soup and visited the French Legation. You see, adventure isn’t just checking off a box. Adventure is also learning something new, tasting family ingredients, and sharing the hugs. That’s what being a Texicurean really is all about.

In English we only have one word to express affection for each other – Love.  Our mother language, Latin, is broader in nature with several terms – Amor:  affection, fondness, adoration attachment.  Caritas:  charity, high price, expensiveness, and scarcity.  Dilectio:  delight, pleasure, goodwill.

Valentines has always been a favorite of mine – from creating shoebox containers for classroom valentine greetings in elementary school to celebrating with family and a few friends.  For many years because we had sons at home and my sister was single with a daughter (Emily), we chose to celebrate with a family dinner.  One of our favorite activities was to go around the table and tell what we loved about each other.  Of course, it was edifying, but sometimes also surprising to find what we all found to be important about each other. When it comes to love, there is truly no place like home.

Valentine’s Charcuterie Tutorial

In that spirit of family love, Emily and I gathered in the kitchen for a tutorial on her making a beautiful charcuterie board. Aside from her corporate role in Austin, Emily owns a charcuterie business @emideecharcuterie. She creates beautiful trays, boards, and tables for all levels of clients. You can find her partnering with influencers or leading in-home and virtual workshops for all things cheese and accoutrements.

This month, Emily is going to demystify the process for anyone wanting to give charcuterie a try. Charcuterie boards and grazing tables have become a beautiful way to entertain a large group. Here’s an example of a board that serves 4-6.  You can gather these items at HEB or your favorite cheese shop.

Charcuterie Board A la Emideecharcuterie

Sharing Love
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 4 -6 people


  • 13"-15" tray



    • Brie
    • Manchego
    • Mozzarella Balls
    • Honey Goat Cheese
    • Garlic and herb Boursin
    • Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella
    • Aged white cheddar for crumbling


    • Prosciutto
    • Calabrese Salami
    • Italian Dried Salami
    • Sopprasata

    Other Components

    • Cornichons
    • Strawberries
    • Grapes
    • Raspberries
    • Honey
    • Strawberry Jam
    • Fruit and Nut Crisps
    • Watercrackers
    • Marcona Almonds
    • Fresh Thyme
    • Fresh Rosemary


    •  Place bowls/ramekins on the board, careful not to clump together. Four corners and one in the center is a good rule.
    • Place cheeses throughout the board, remembering to incorporate texture and to create balance of shapes and colors throughout – again, avoiding clumps of color/shapes in one area
    •  Create salami rose by layering 15-18 slices in a straight line, one on top of the other but about half an inch. Roll it up from the first one you placed down to the last. Place inside a ramekin and use your fingers to pull the petals outward (not upward) to make the rose “bloom.” If there is a gaping hole in the middle, roll up about 3 more slices and stick in the middle, and repeat with 1-3 slices if a hole remains until there is a “bud” at the center of the rose.
    • Place the prosciutto in ripples on the board and the calabrese salami in folds
    • The dry “log” salami such as Soppressata can be sliced in medallions and either layered in a line, or stacked a few on top of each other on one side of your board
    • Place the fruit – halved strawberries in groups of 3 throughout the board, four corners is a good model here too. Raspberries in two clumps on opposite sides of the board from each other for color balance. Grapes stay on the stem in a cluster and one small cluster on one side and another small cluster on the other side of the board. Wherever there is space!
    • Crackers can be conspicuously placed on the board, under things or stacked upright between two items. Or they can be served on the side
    • Honey, cornichons, jam, mozzarella balls with oil, and any other liquid-y item can go into the bowls/ramekins that were first added to the board. If you use the cookie-cutter trick in your Brie as a centerpiece (reference video,) add jam or pomegranate seeds to the cut out in the Brie
    • Add garnish to the top especially where there is a lot of white from the cheese to add some color/greenery and WA-LA a gorgeous board ready for you and your guests to gather around and enjoy!


    Keyword charcuterie, charcuterie board, cheese, cheese board, meat board, valentines board

    Chipotle Lamb Chops

    Lady Bird Johnson’s Lemon Pound Cake

    This month we are celebrating Texans who made it to the White House.  Lady Bird Johnson, Texan, and wife of the 36th President of the United States served this yummy lemon pound cake at her daughter Luci’s wedding in 1966.  She probably baked it in a bundt pan, but we took artistic liberty since it serves 16 to divide it equally into two loaf pans.

    This allows you to freeze one for later (always handy) and also to diversify your icings.  Of course we had to use her lemon glaze on one of cakes.  The other, I elected to use a ganache.  Lemon and chocolate are a natural together.

    I always thought Lady Bird was a class act – I think you’ll find this desert to fall into that category as well.  AND if you make it in the Spring, you could top it with an edible flower in her honor! A visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in the Spring is a delight.



    Lady Bird Johnson's Lemon Cake

    A lemon cake with a history and versatility
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 1 hour
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Servings 16


    • ¾ cup Butter (salted)
    • 1 ¼ cup sugar
    • 8 large egg yolks
    • 2 ½ cups cake flour
    • 3 tsp baking powder
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • ¾ cup milk
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 tsp lemon zest

    Lemon Glaze

    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • ¼ cup butter (salted)
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • juice of 1 lemon


    • 8 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • tsp coarse salt


    • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
      Grease either a 10” bundt pan or 2 loaf pans, then dust with flour.
    • Cream butter and sugar with a stand mixer
    • In a separate bowl, whisk the 8 egg yolks together to break up the yolks.  Mix into butter/sugar mixture.
    • Whisk together cake flour, baking powder and salt.
    • Alternately add milk and flour mixture to batter, beating after each addition, scraping the sides as needed.
    • Add vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Beat for 2 minutes.
    • our the batter into the prepared bundt pan or 2 loaf pans and bake for 1 hour.  (Loaf pans need 35 - 40 minutes).  Insert a toothpick to test- must come out clean.
    • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    Lemon Glaze

    • Combine the powdered sugar, butter, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Use a hand mixer to mix until well combined.
    • Once the cake is cooled, drizzle the glaze over the cake.
    • Garnish the cake with more lemon zest if desired.


    • Coarsely chop chocolate. With a serrated knife.
    • Bring cream to a boil over medium-high heat.
    • Pour over chocolate, and add salt.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  
    • Stir with a whisk until smooth.  



    This cake is best stored at room temperature. Keep it in an airtight container for 2-3 days. If you want to keep it longer you can refrigerate the cake after 3 days or freeze it.
    This cake freezes really well.  Wrap well, using freezer baggies.  Allow the cake to come to room temperature before opening the package.
    Keyword Lemon cake, bundt cake, lemon loaf, ganache, lemon icing