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Germans in Texas; Texans in Germany

Texas Trails: Diez y Seis de Septiembre & Texas: Celebrating Independence

Adventure Ready

Texas is a plethora of adventures waiting to be explored. Rivers, lakes, hills, forests, and trails all await our discovery. Being physically ready to tackle a hike, navigate a river in a kayak or enjoy a day walking the beach, simply makes it more enjoyable.

Below  Jessi Oehler shares with you some key exercises that you can do in your own home for a few minutes a day thereby developing muscles ready to tackle a fun outing.

5 Rounds

10 – 15 squats to bench or chair

5 – 10 push ups to bench or chair

10 -20 Alternating Lunges

10 – 15 Knee Raises

View the video below for a demonstration

Meal Prepping

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • Chicken Breasts - Number dictated by # of Meals
  • Whole Pork Butt or Shoulder
  • Low Sodium Canned Black beans and corn
  • HEB prepared Pico
  • 2 - 3 Veggies of choice


  • Baked Chicken: Dice raw chicken breast, season with your favorite seasonings and place in oven on 375 for 20-25 minutes.
  • Crockpot Pulled Pork: Place pork butt or shoulder in crockpot with 1/2 bottle of BBQ sauce. Cook on high for about 4 hours
  • Pico: Combine low sodium canned black beans and corn with HEB prepared pico. Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • Roasted Veggies: Chop veggies of choice and place on a baking sheet. Season with your favorite herbs. Can toss with a little EVOO if desired. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for about 10 - 15 minutes.



RV Kitchen Essentials

Being prepared makes hitting the trail so much easier and faster.  Whether you are a tent camper or RV’er, having a list of basic items assures you’ll be ready to take off for adventure!

Megan Traeger shares her list of staples she keeps in her RV.  If you are a tent camper – you might keep a plastic box  stocked with essentials.

Happy Exploring!

Must pack in the kitchen of the airstream:

  • S’mores ingredients (if you want to skip out on extra packing, buy the Keebler’s fudge stripe cookies. Chocolate and graham crackers in one.)
  • Kreutz Pancake mix (with mixin’s like fruit or pecans or chocolate chips)
  • H‑E‑B trail Mix (everybody can grab their flavor of choice and they come in resealable bags!)
  • Pasta (probably the most versatile thing I carry. I can add red sauce or just olive oil, or I can add cheese and taco seasoning. I can cook a cup of it or cook the whole bag and save the rest for leftovers.)
  • Cereal (for those mornings that we need to quickly pack up. Our kids will typically pour cereal into a cup, and some milk and a spoon and take it to the truck for on the go breakfast.)
  • Hot sauce and Tortilla chips (no further explanation needed. We do love grabbing salsas or queso when we stop at different places to try their stuff.)
  • Tortillas (another versatile item. I can make breakfast tacos, or quesadillas with leftover chicken or beef from the night before. Or I can heat them up, add some butter and sugar and call it dessert.)
  • Bread (I don’t skimp on my bread so I always buy Dave’s Killer Bread. I have yet to NOT find it when traveling!)
  • Fritos and bean dip (this is a don’t ask don’t tell snack.)
  • PB/J (sometimes you make sandwiches for your kids. Sometimes you just make them for yourself. I’m also a huge fan of packing Justin’s peanut butter packets for hiking snacks. And jelly will be used at breakfast sometimes too)
  • Granola (we buy the Bear Naked cacao and Cashew butter bag. I can eat this for breakfast, snack, or dessert. I typically will toss it with some Greek yogurt.)
  • Dried fruits (hours in the car can lead to useless snacking. Might as well eat some dried mango or banana chips!)
  • Pita chips (clearly can be used with some hummus. But the other day I had tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar. I used the pita chips as my base for all of it and they were perfect bite sized bruschettas.)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper grinders
  • Coffee (we love that when we travel we can find some really great and unique roasters throughout the country.)
  • Milk (for cereal and kids)
  • Creamer (for coffee to deal with kids)
  • Eggs (I usually only pack half a dozen for space saving.)
  • Peppered Bacon from Granzins (sometimes I’ll make this to go with pancakes, or in breakfast tacos. One time I threw it in cabbages that we were taking to a potluck. Or I can smear some Nutella on it for dessert. Best bacon I’ve ever eaten!)
  • Butter
  • Sandwich condiments 
  • Lunch meat and cheeses
  • Fruits (we eat a ton of fruits so this is a revolving door. It’s especially fun to get local produce that is native to an area.)
  • Hummus
  • Bell peppers (slice them up to throw in a omelet. Slice them up to dip in hummus. Or slice them up to sauté for dinner.)
  • Sparkling waters
  • Pound of ground beef 
  • Shredded Cheese (another thing that can be added to a ton of things.)
  • Sausage (use it for breakfast, snacks, or dinner.)
  • Large Greek Yogurt (at home I hardly buy the big containers of yogurt but on the road we always have one in the fridge.

Quick and fun breakfast
Banana split breakfast
Cut banana in half, scoop in yogurt instead of ice cream
Top with fresh fruits and granola
Sometimes I’ll add some chocolate chips or sprinkles to the girls.

On the run lunch hack
I always buy paper food boats. That way if we are in a pinch, I can throw a sandwich and some goldfish and some fruit gummies in a tray and call it lunch for the kids. In the adults trays I may cut up some bell peppers and scoop in some hummus to take in the car. Easy clean up.

Dinner suggestion
When planning your dinners be mindful of how many dishes you are getting dirty. I like to simplify and try to stick to one pot meals if possible. I’ll load the ingredients into a paper bag to keep them all together in the fridge. This then becomes my trash bag as I cook.

After dinner space saver
If I know I’m making chicken or beef and may possibly have extras, I’ll cook all of it and then put the remainder of the cooked meat in single compartment meal prep containers (from H‑E‑B) to keep in the fridge. I can reheat the meat the next day and add it to lunch as a quesadilla or to top a salad.



Texas French Legation

Perched on a hill in east Austin, with a laser view of the State capitol, lies the adopted center of current French culture in Texas. The oldest documented home in the former “Waterloo” township, was built as the home and diplomatic outpost for the French charge d’affaires to the Republic of Texas – Alphonse Dubois. France was one of the first countries to recognize the Republic of Texas as a sovereign nation.

Open 11 am to 4:30 pm, Tuesday – Saturday, the museum grounds are an ethereal retreat from bustling downtown Austin. A fun Saturday outing would be to arrive after 11:00 AM, grab lunch at the newly opened café, and then enjoy a stroll around the grounds and home. Newly restored, the home’s interior offers significant historical context in the form of maps, written history, and pictures.

Texicureans caught up with Kyle Walker, Outreach Specialist for the Texas Historical Commission at the French Legation to get the skinny on colorful Dubois and his infamous “Pig War”. (read more at Texicureans.com) Ultimately he washed his hands of this frontier town and headed back home to France, never actually living in the home he designed.

A few Texans with a French heritage have a regular Wednesday afternoon Petanque play date on a gravel court in the Legation’s garden. Resembling Bocce, but played with steel balls, the goal is to throw them as close as possible to the target jack.

If you would like to create your own French lunch, Cindi Anthony of Dallas, shares recipes from the region of France where she spends a portion of each year.

Garlic Soup, inspired by the pink garlic of Lautrec, is yummy and has healing qualities as well. This is not a soup you would find in Paris or other large cities, but in the countryside where the famed pink garlic of Lautrec is raised.

The legend surrounding garlic soup is that it has the ability to cure hangovers and provide energy. Thus it is traditionally served the morning after banquets with heavy drinking, and to newlyweds the night of their wedding, as well as to grape pickers during the harvest season.

An ancient rural tradition in southwest France is to “faire chabrol” as you reach the bottom of a bowl of soup. The translation of “faire chabrol” is literally “drink like a goat.” This involves pouring a little red wine to the remains of your soup and drinking it straight from the bowl. Today it is performed mostly by older folks living in rural areas, but it is still sometimes done elsewhere in a spirit of conviviality and friendship.

This recipe is for 6 and uses ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Give the “fair chabrol” a try!

Salad of Endive and Roquefort perfectly compliments Garlic Soup and stars the “King of Cheese” – Roquefort.

Find both recipes at texicureans.com and scroll down to watch a short video of our tour!


Fredericksburg Day Date

Texicureans’ Trails: Date Night

It’s a great evening out to celebrate your relationship whether you are on a first date or have been married for 50+ years.  Here’s the Thursday night recommendation only a few minutes’ drive that gives the feel of a true get away.

The reason for Thursday is the iconic Cabernet Grill – so popular that reservations are harder to obtain on the weekends, but a tad easier on a Thursday evening. Toasting the tagline: “The largest selection of Texas wines makes for an unparalleled dining experience” has given it recognition as a top restaurant by Texas Monthly, Trip Advisor, Wine Enthusiast and USA Today.

The dishes are chef prepared from the freshest ingredients, and we were delightfully satisfied with our selections. The ambience with soft lights is a perfect place for an intimate rendezvous. I always love when the chef welcome to you with a surprise aperitif – ours was delightful with a melon theme and crumbles of Texas pecans.  Steaks, fowl, pork, and seafood populate the diverse menu, and, of course, your waiter can help pair the perfect wine.

We handily began our evening with a glass of wine at Augusta Vin which is across the highway.  Since the tasting room closes at six, we coordinated our dining time to follow conveniently close.  Whether you are seeking a quiet evening out with your significant other, or just would like a special evening out with friends, Augusta Vin and Cabernet grill make a great paring!

Austrian Apple Strudel

What began as a Rotary exchange student/host family relationship has turned into an “adopted” mother/daughter love.  Barbara and I have retained close contact, visiting each other for special occasions, and thus creating a close bond.  Recently accepted into the University of Frieburg’s Doctoral Program, she also has raised an outstanding son, and she loves to cook! 

Here’s Barbara on Austrians and their strudel:

“So there is not really a special occasion for Strudel. It’s something you will eat as a desert with your afternoon coffee (you know most Austrians have a coffee break in the afternoon and that’s the time they usually eat der Strudel) BUT you can also eat it as a dish for lunch (warm + often with vanilla sauce). They often serve it at coffee places and also at little snack places in skiing areas – so when people take a break from skiing they can eat a warm apple strudel inside (but also restaurants that serve traditional Austrian food will have it as a desert).”

Actual strudel dough is typically not available in Texas, but puff pastry makes a suitable substitute. 

Austrians in Texas:

According to Texas State Historical Association – In 1990 approximately 2,500 Austrians lived in Texas.  Currently the Dallas area boasts an Austrian Dallas – Ft Worth Club to retain traditional food, culture, and language.  Among notable Austrians who contributed to Texas are:

George Erath (1813-1891)– Fought in the Texas Revolution and became a Texas Legislator who played large role in the Annexation of Texas to the United States

George Dullnig (1846 – 1908)– helped establish the San Antonio and Gulf Railroad

Anthony Lucas (1855-1921) – mining engineer, educated in Graz Austria, discovered fabled Spindletop.

Austrian Apple Struedel with a Texas Twist

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine German


  • ¼ cup raisins or currants
  • 2 organic Granny Smith apples
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp additional sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • cup pecans
  • cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tsp rum (if desired)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2.5 tbsp butter
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 small lemon
  • 1 egg


  • Preheat the oven to 360F, with the baking sheet inside
  • Core apples, cut into quarters and loosely chop (1” -2” thin pieces)
  • Combine the apple pieces, 1/4 cup sugar, rum, lime juice, chopped pecans, vanilla extract, and raisins or currants in a small bowl
  • Melt the butter in a small pan over low heat. Add the graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon and 1 Tbsp sugar. Stir for 1 minute
  • Add half of the graham cracker crumbs, mixture to the apple slices
  • Sprinkle flour on your work surface (I use a silpat mat). Unfold the puff pastry sheet and roll the pastry sheet int a 16 x 12-inch rectangle. With the long side facing you, spread the rest of the graham cracker crumb mixture even onto the middle this of the puff pastry sheet, leaving 2 inches all around the edge.
  • Spoon the apple mixture in the middle 4 - 5 inches all down the length. Fold the lower half of pastry over the apple mixture picking up the silpat from the bottom. Repeat with the top 1/2 crossing over about 1 - 2 inches. Tuck the ends under to seal.
  • Pick up with silpat and transfer to hot pan, with the strudel seam on the bottom.
  • Make 5 -6 slits with a serrated knife across the top and brush with the egg. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes until the apple strudel is golden brown.


  • 1. Silpat makes this very easy, but a a towel can be used as well.
  • 2. Freezes well - I typically make at least 4 at a time. Then the kitchen is a “floury” mess with 4 times the apple joy. And speaking of joy - take 1/2 of one to a friend 🙂

A chance meeting that lead to love!

Slaton Vanilla Wafer Banana Pudding

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook time:15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Yield: 8 Servings


  • 1 1/2 Cup Imperial Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Texas Flour
  • 4 Large Eggs, lightly whisked
  • 4 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Falfurrias Butter
  • 1 TBSP Adams Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Bag Slaton Vanilla Wafers
  • 4 Bananas, sliced


  • In a large saucepan, mix sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk a small amount of hot mixture into eggs; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and butter Cool 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In an ungreased 9 x 13 baking dish, layer approximately 25 vanilla wafers, top with the banana slices. Pour pudding evenly over bananas and wafers. 4. Press plastic wrap onto surface of pudding. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.
  • If desired, serve with a dallop of whipped cream.

Grandma was a bootlegger in Wink

This slice of heaven recipe comes from a childhood neighbor in Austin. Diana and Doyle were high school sweethearts from Wink, Texas. I loved hearing about their life in this far west Texas oil boom town. What I loved even better was her walking over with this heavenly pie!  It’s true – you can be known and remembered for a certain recipe. 

I knew Diana was a spirited woman – and her grandmother’s survival profession just might have been where she inherited her spunk: 

Diana Pendleton on Wink, Texas:

Wink has had four booms that I know about. Oil was found in Winkler county, then WWII came along with a piloted training air base in Pyote about 14 miles from Wink, then another oil boom and recently the fracking of oil made Wink boom again.

My grandmother went to Wink in a covered wagon as a little girl. I remember she told us she walked behind the wagon when she got tired of riding. No date! Not sure! She
never told her age even later in life.  

When my grandparents were dating everyone wore a gun on their hip. My granddad went to church with my grandmother and he wanted to hold her hand. She would not hold his hand in church. So, he threatened to shoot out the one light bulb in the church during the service … she held his hand! Ha!

She was divorced from my granddad and became a bootlegger. Mother remembers sleeping on car seat as little girl when my grandmother made deliveries in the dark. When I was a little girl my grandmother ran a “beer joint” in Wink. I can remember two long bars across one side of building where they stood and drank beer, ate pickled eggs, and danced. She did have food and tables to one side. I loved going there and helping smash hamburger patties with a hamburger press.

My parents met in Wink. My dad went to school through 10th grade. His Jr year he was registered for three gym classes and 4 study halls. Lasted about 6 weeks and the school discovered he wasn’t taking anything but basketball. He quit school and went to work in the oil field. He met my mom before the war and they were married then he was gone for about three and half years all over Europe. After the war he went back to work in the oil field. I came along as first of baby boomers in 1946. I can remember he drove from Wink to Odessa to work. It was about 58 miles so I could go to school in Wink. Winkler county at one time was only county in Texas completely fenced in. That was because of fences and cattle guards over all roads.

I grew up in a “shotgun” house. Named because it is said you could stand on front porch and shoot a shotgun through front door and every bb would go out the back door. There was front door into living room. Then kitchen right behind living room……same width as front room, then bedroom, again same width and then bathroom and back door. Really “nice “ shotgun houses had another bedroom behind bathroom and then back door. We did not have a luxury model. I think there is a model of a shotgun house in a museum in Georgetown.There was no insulation in the roof – just sheetrock ceiling and tin over rafters. Great sleeping when it rained. Ha. Remember that storage shed we had on Cloverleaf? Well, it has tin roof and we would open bedroom window and listen to it rain.  When I was in elementary school we got plastic curtains for living room windows. Mom was very proud of them. We had gas heater stoves in every room. But turned them off when we went to bed. My parents were afraid the fire would go out and we would wake up dead from gas fumes. We did wake up frozen some mornings. Ha! I can say I never felt poor, needy, or wanting.  I lived less than half a block from school.

School in Wink was great. You walked to school. Everyone knew everyone else. You had to be good because with only two grocery stores your parents were bound to run into your teachers and find out all you were up to. Football was king. Every Friday everyone went to football games. There was a picture in Reader’s Digest that showed a sign they put up on Friday night “away” football games. “Will last person leaving please turn out the lights”! With all the oil money, we never wanted for football equipment. They had tennis shoes under the bleachers by sizes. When you needed new tennis shoes you just went in…..unsupervised …….and got you a new pair. If they wore out you just got another pair. In a small school you could take part in all activities. I marched in band at halftime from 7th grade until graduation. When I was cheerleading, I would leave field with 2 minutes until half and go to band bus and put on band uniform. Friend met me with horn and hat as band lined up. After marching, back to band bus to put on cheerleading outfit and back for second half. I played tennis and volleyball from 7th grade til graduation. Any away trip we all thought we should be fed.  We had chicken fried steak, French fries, salad and green beans every trip! When band went to marching contest we went to a cafeteria. The only “restriction” was be sure you can eat all you get. Tennis racquets, band horns, cheerleading uniforms, Pom poms, megaphones, etc.  were all paid for by school.

Now they have indoor Olympic pool, racquet courts, weight rooms for girls and boys, and all weather track (6 runners), the football field training facility is in indoors and air conditioned with artificial grass. The buses all have TVs screens at each seat for traveling. Now they have online college credits for students in evening and computers new every year for students and people in community to use.

Different time and different place. When they say good ole days in Wink, they are thinking of the 50s.  

Texas Millionaire Pie

Source: Diana Pendleton - Wink, TX
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes



  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup Imperial Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Adam's Extract Vanilla
  • 21 Ritz Crackers
  • cup Pecans


  • 8 oz HEB Cream Cheese
  • ¾ cup Imperial powdered sugar


  • ½ pint Whipping cream
  • cup Imperial sugar
  • ½ cup Pecans
  • 1 Small can Crushed Pineapples
  • 2 tsp Adam's Vanilla Extract



  • Beat egg whites until stiff. Add sugar, salt, and vanilla. Roll crackers to crumb texture of meal. Fold into egg whites. Add pecans. Press into a 9” pie pan. Bake 15 minutes at 350 Degrees in greased and floured 9" pie pan.


  • Blend together softened cream cheese and sugar and spread on crust.


  • Whip cream, add sugar and vanilla. Fold into pineapple and pecans.
  • Pile on filling and refrigerate until serving.