Home » Texicureans Trails

Category: Texicureans Trails

200 Years of Texas Rangers

In preparation for cooking chili with retired Texas Ranger Frank Malinak, I went on the trail to learn more about the history of the Texas Rangers. Turns out, the YO Ranch, founded by Captain Charles Schreiner has a history of hosting retired Rangers. The photo album above is courtesy of Darren Casey and YO Ranch. Thank you for giving Texicureans a glimpse of our Texas heroes.

Assembled in 1823 to protect the early settlers of Texas, Stephen F Austin was given command of this legendary law enforcement agency.  Drawing on their collective skills, Native Americans, Tejanos, Anglo-Europeans, and African Americans signed up to “range” and protect the colonies.  Hence it was said that a Texas Ranger could “ride like a Mexican, trail like an Indian, shoot like a Tennessean, and fight like the devil.”

Legendary Texas Rangers John Coffey Hays, “Bigfoot Wallace” and William McDonald helped form the enigma of the Texas spirit.  The Institute of Texas Cultures states that “Next to the Alamo, the Texas Ranger is the best-known part of the Texas Legend…”

This legacy continues with training that is considered second to none, for the 172 highly selected men and women who proudly wear the boots, white hats and pistol belts of their predecessors.  And of course, there is that iconic Cinco Peso badge.

“The Texas Rangers are among the most revered law enforcement divisions in the country for a reason.  The elite and storied Rangers are men and women of integrity and moral fortitude, willing to risk their lives in selfless service to the state of Texas”.  Steve C McGraw, Director, Texas Department of Public Safety

Organized into 6 companies: Company “A” Houston, Company “B” Dallas, Company “C” Lubbock, Company “D” McAllen, Company “E” El Paso, Company “F” Waco, and Headquarters in Austin.  The Rangers continue the traditional jobs conducting criminal and special investigations, apprehending wanted felons, suppressing major disturbances, protecting life and liberty, and rendering assistance to local law enforcement officials.

A Special Operations Group has been formed in recent years to counter terrorist activity, criminal threats, and drug trafficking organizations.

Explains Lacy Finley, executive director of the Texas Ranger Association Foundation, “We know these things about their service:  There is no time off, one Late-night call easily becomes many more, Rangers find themselves in difficult situations, they have a servant’s heart, and could easily have followed careers in the private sector.”

The enigma of the Texas Ranger has inspired novelists, actors, and film-makers.  The Lone Ranger, Walker, Texas Ranger, and Lonesome Dove have all dramatized the heroic mystic of the Texas Ranger.  In the 1936 movie The Texas Rangers, Fred Mac Murray who portrays a Texas Ranger is met by leading citizens who are alarmed that there is only one Ranger to clean up their town.  “Only one fight, ain’t there?” replies McMurtry in a paraphrase of the famous “One riot, one Ranger” line.

Texas Rangers are a seamless, selfless, ambassador for our way of life back to the earliest days. Can of beans and all. Thank you for your service, Frank, and reminding us what Texas cooking is really all about — the people you’re feeding.

For more Texas recipes, tips, and stories, sign up for our recipe club emails and follow Texicureans on all social platforms.

Texas Rose Festival

Everything’s Coming up Roses in Texas!

Born and raised or brand new, you know Texans love our festivals. Celebrating your home town is the only sentiment that even dares to gain on the general pride of being a Texan. At Texicureans, we love visiting local celebrations and finding the recipes that share their community roots. This month, we are introducing you to Anna Katheryn Schultz and the Texas Rose Festival.

You see, Anna’s great-grandfather helped found the Rose industry in Tyler, Texas and Anna’s mother planted the seeds of southern cooking in her heart. So let’s go to the “Rose Capital of America” and get you a homemade recipe from Anna’s Tuesday Takeout. You’ll be astounded by both.

Texas Rose Festival

Everything is bigger in Texas!  When it comes to the Texas Rose Festival – brilliant, awing, and just plain “over the top” are adjectives that dominate.

October 19th – 22nd.  celebrates the 90th Annual Texas Rose Festival with the theme – “The Story of Film”.  For more information on event dates and times, and to purchase Tickets, go to  www.texasrosefestival.com or call 903.566.7424

Tyler Texas, population approximately 100,000, is epicenter of East Texas medical, economic, educational, and justice systems.  But during the month of October, its title of “Rose Capital of America “prevails.  Home to the largest rose garden in the US, Tyler at one time raised 50% of the domestic roses.

So, of course a festival celebrating this beloved flower would ensue!  Begun in 1933, the festival has grown to a lively, well-orchestrated affair with many events.

I caught up with  Tom Brown, 2022 President of the TRF (Texas Rose Festival) for his unique perspective:  “The TRF began as a way of celebrating the “rose”, which is now the National flower – recognized under the Reagan Administration.  Events include the Coronation – a showcase of jaw-dropping costumes, a Queen’s Tea in the Tyler Rose Garden(the largest municipal rose garden in the US), Men’s luncheon, and a full throttle Rose parade.  Participants in the festival are primarily from Texas, but safe to say probably 20 or more states are represented each year.”

Tom adds, “The Texas Rose Festival gives back to the community in several ways, including providing several full year scholarships to deserving students at both Tyler Junior College, and the University of Texas at Tyler.  Also, the college participants serve all year in various capacities at area nonprofits, including The Food Bank.”

Most importantly,  “The TRF is about community and there is something for everyone,” emphasizes Tom. From my experience attending last year, I can safely say you will be flabbergasted at the pageantry!

Recipe – Roasted Poblano Corn Pudding

For our recipe this month, I spent a lovely afternoon with Tyler native daughter, Anna Katheryn Schultz.  A 5th generation Texan, her great-grandfather in the 1920’s was one of the founding members of the Rose industry in Tyler.  The sandy, acidic soil on their land was perfect for roses and he began shipping roses world-wide in the 1930’s.

Inspired by both her parents and particularly her grandmother who was a quintessential southern cook, Anna Katheryn founded Tuesday Takeout. Cars line up for her delectable dishes designed to be a taste of home, without the work.  She conceived the idea that enjoying a quality meal at home should be open to the busiest of folks.

Anna says, “Everything I do is from scratch and it’s something I would serve at home if you were my guest.”

We prepared Roasted Poblano Corn Pudding – a staple on her Fall menu.  Perfect as a side dish anytime, and particularly enjoyable for Texas holiday, it is a comforting conglomeration of flavors.  And did I mention your kitchen will smell wonderful?

Get the recipe here!

Watch the video here!

Tootsie Tomanetz – Texas Pitmaster Legend

Women Pitmasters

Texans know BBQ. Every home town has at least one go-to. It’s distinctive from town to town and smoker to smoker. It could be a brick and mortar restaurant, Sunday church chicken, or George’s smoker out back. BBQ as a genre itself has factions and layers. You think you’ve found the fiercest pit boss with the best method? Look, we could talk about smoke rings and dry rubs all day. I’m here to tell you there are Texas women mastering the craft.

In Texas, everyone thinks their daddy makes the best ribs. Well, let’s flip the switch on that this month. We talked to award winning and legacy carrying women pitmasters. They took the bull by the horns and so should you. Don’t leave the BBQ up to the men this year, I’m giving you a recipe for Father’s Day. And if the home pit is not for you, don’t worry. These pitbosses and their grit might inspire you in another way. They are Texas women after all.

Tootsie Tomanetz

Snow’s BBQ, Lexington

516 Main St, Lexington, TX 78947


“Go big or go home!”  To borrow the adage from my sis-in-law, Pam, this was my inspiration action plan to create the best Father’s day BBQ for the Dad’s in my family.

My journey began with a trip to Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, Texas and a personal visit with Pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz.  A two-times nominated James Beard Award Semi-finalist, Tootsie has become renowned as the strong octogenarian in charge of turning out notable brisket, sausage, chicken, and pork at Snow’s.  If you are a Chef’s Table follower, you may have caught her featured in the first episode of 2020.

I am honored to say I know Tootsie personally as she and I attend the Hannes Family Reunion every year in Giddings, Texas where she resides.  Her late husband is one of my Hannes cousins. Always humble, claiming to “just be from the country”, she never hesitates to give credit to God for her path in life and many accolades.

Tootsie began her BBQ career accidentally when she was called in to help a short handed issue by Giddings, Texas City Meat Market owner and close friend Hershel Doyle.  So, she joined her husband “White” Tomanetz who also worked there and ten years later she was still there, helping at the pit, in the slaughter room, and the fresh meat store.

Expanding to the meat market in Lexington, Texas, Tootsie and her husband White, ran that location for several years.  One day, Kerry Bexley came into the store and asked if Tootsie would join him at a new BBQ restaurant slated to open March 1st 2003. Open only on Saturdays from 8 AM until they run out of meat, the hours were originally to coincide with a weekly Saturday livestock auction down the street.

A two-times nominated James Beard Award Semi-finalist, Tootsie has become renowned as the strong octogenarian in charge of turning out notable brisket, sausage, chicken, and pork at Snow’s.  If you are a Chef’s Table follower, you may have caught her featured in the first episode of 2020.

Tootsie specifically hit top billing by being inducted into the 2018 Barbecue Hall of Fame.  When referring to this award and being a James Beard Semi-finalist, she says, “I didn’t even know what those awards were until I received them”.  She maintains that the best part of her profession is “the feeling I get when I see people sit down to eat our BBQ and take that first bite and its just a glow that comes out on their face and expression of how wonderful it tastes and how good it is,”

So you ask, what’s the secret to her BBQ?  Tootsie shares, “We treat ours with TLC.” “That is just something that we have been careful to maintain with all the growth that has come with recognition.”

“I only use salt and pepper”.  On chicken, spare ribs, and pork I use a mop which consists of water, onions, butter, mustard, worcestershire sauce, and vinegar”  She is quick to add that at the old church picnics they use lemons instead of vinegar.  “I love that, but I just stick to using vinegar.”

So, now you know.

Feel free to take these “mop” ingredients and create your own special sauce.  The sky’s the limit, and who knows – you may invent your own named sauce!

Happy Birthday Texas

Our annual celebration of Texas Independence Day features Texas food and wine, Texas products, and stories of Texas history. At the 2023 party, we asked a few guests to share stories of strong Texas women in their history. Watch the video below for a glimpse of inspiration. We featured wonderful Texas businesses and had some local sponsors to boost the culinary experience. Happy Birthday Texas…Sip, Shop, Munch!

We really celebrate all year at Texicureans. Subscribe to our youtube channel here.


Thank you to our sponsors:




Germans in Texas; Texans in Germany

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

Chiles en Nogada


Chiles en Nogada

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6


Base Ingredients

  • 8 medium poblano peppers
  • 1 pomegranate fruit
  • 1 small bunch of finely chopped parsley

Picadillo Ingredients (meat filling)

  • 2 lbs extra lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 red or white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 roma rip tomatoes, blended into a smooth puree
  • 1 clove garlic to blend with tomatoes
  • cups water to blend with tomatoes
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup cranberry raisins
  • ½ cup dry candied pineapple
  • ¼ cup fresh, finely chopped apple
  • ¼ cup chopped bleach almonds
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp know chicken bouillon seasoning
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Nogada Ingredients (Pecan cream sause)

  • cup pecans
  • cup water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream, creme fraiche, or sour cream



  • In a large deep skillet, at medium heat, add oil and quickly sauté onion and garlic. Then add ground beef. Cook until done. Drain excess water after done.
  • Blend to puree ripe tomatoes with water end garlic clove until smooth, using a strainer when adding puree to meat.
  • When the meat and sauce start changing color to orange, add 1 cinnamon stick.
  • Continue adding the rest of ingredients, stirring slowly on low heat, letting picadillo cook until all juices are completely absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Let picadillo rest completely and cool before stuffing the chiles

Roasted Poblano Peppers:

  • If you have a gas stove, use tongs to roast the peppers directly over the fire while turning them around the flames. Once the skin starts blistering all around and still hot, wrap the chiles with paper towels and set them inside a large zip lock bag and seal. Let the chiles rest for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully peel charred skin of chiles in slow running water in your sink.
  • Make a small incision on the side of each Chile to take out the seeds and veins. Pat and dry chiles.
  • Stuff chiles carefully with the prepared picadillo and set on a platter.(Note: you may also roast chiles in a 425 F oventurning them over until the skin blisters)


  • Puree all pecans in a blender with 1 cup of water. Add water little b y little until very smooth. Add sugar and salt.
  • Add cream with a spoon until well mixed. Refrigerate.

Pomegranate (Seeds)

  • Carefully cut the top of the fruit, then slice the sides to take the thick skin off. An easy way to collect pomegranate seeds, is to submerge the fruit in cool water. The seeds will float and you can collect and drain.

Preparing to serve:

  • For an individual serving, set one stuffed poblano pepper in a dinner plate and generously pour creamy nut sauce over all. Add abundant pomegranate seeds and banish with parsley.
  • To make a casserole style you may arrange all the stuffed chiles in a deep platter, cover totally with creamy nut sauce and pomegranate seeds. Garnish with parsley.



Chiles en Nogada are generally served at room temperature, but some people like to eat them warm. So, before you serve them, you may only warm the stuffed chiles, but NOT the Nogada cream sauce. Add sauce after warming.

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.



RV Cookin’