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It’s been a tough year for the area’s vegetable gardeners. Last fall, Harvey pushed salty water over many gardens, and an unusually deep freeze threatened even more in Galveston County.

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Almost every child goes through a stage where he or she is picky about food. You can’t force a child to eat, but luckily picky eating usually improves as a child gets older. It can be frustrating when your child wants to eat the same thing every day or suddenly decides that he or she hates f…

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Even the most enthusiastic cooks can get a little discouraged when the temperature starts to soar. Standing over the stove for a quick sauté isn’t so bad, but the prospect of having the oven on for an hour or more makes some of us wilt like week-old lettuce. One of the best ways to prevent a…

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It’s hard to find a bigger Texas success story than Chip and Joanna Gaines. The married Baylor graduates turned their knack for rehabbing old houses in Waco into an empire that now includes a retail housewares and design market, a lifestyle magazine, a statewide realty company, two bed and b…

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Baseball has hot dogs. Tennis has strawberries and cream. Bridge has — well, bridge mix. When mahjong players get together to bring their skill and strategy to the table, however, the food can run the gamut from finger foods to luscious desserts. Some dedicated players even call food “the fi…

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There’s slow cooking, and then there’s really slow cooking. The Empty Bowl event benefiting The Jesse Tree is a dinner that was months in the making. “We start making bowls in the fall, right after Labor Day, and keep making them until it’s time for the dinner,” Empty Bowl pottery chair Made…

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For people who love crawfish, the wait is finally over. After an unusually cold winter in crawfish country that slowed down crawfish activity, spring weather has enticed the mudbugs to leave their burrows and become the honored guest at many a party.

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Remember the ad campaign that touted “Beef: It’s what’s for dinner?” Research by UTMB professor Doug Paddon-Jones is leading some nutritionists to suggest that perhaps beef is what’s for breakfast.

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Living on the Gulf Coast is full of unique experiences, including at the annual county fair. When the Galveston County Fair and Rodeo gets underway April 12, the typical county fair cook-off categories are augmented by contests using coastal favorites of shrimp, crab and fish.

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Millenials may not believe it, but there was a time, not so long ago, when eating from a food truck was a last resort, an option reserved for people who didn’t or couldn’t pack a lunch. Now, however, food trucks are so popular that their brick-and-mortar counterparts are trying to emulate th…

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With the Easter and Passover holidays coming up, cooks are looking for special desserts. While Passover has a fixed set of dietary restrictions, many other cooks are facing a shifting array of restrictions, as dinner guests inform them of their need for gluten-free, wheat-free, vegan or othe…

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Among the many reasons to celebrate the return of balmy spring days, including longer days, bluebonnets, rodeo and local strawberries, asparagus may not be at the top of many lists. It definitely has its fans, though, and perhaps none as passionate and eloquent as French writer Marcel Proust.

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Anyone can be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, the saying goes. Even without being Irish, though, anyone can enjoy eating Irish food. “Agriculturally, Ireland is very wealthy,” chef Cathal Armstrong writes in “My Irish Table,” his award-winning cookbook. “Grass-fed beef and lamb are superlative. …

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If the residents of Texas City look a little healthier than their neighbors, there’s actually a reason: Texas City once again was a winner in the It’s Time Texas Community Challenge, an annual statewide health promotion. Texas City placed third among mid-size cities in the eight-week competi…

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Not too many years ago, a strong winter wind from the north meant that eating seafood was about to get even better. North winds would expose the oyster reefs in the West Bay, making them accessible to anyone with a boat, a giant pair of tongs and a hardy tolerance for being cold.

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‘Tis the season for lemons. Late winter offers up bushels of citrus, which transform into light and lovely desserts like these lemon bars. Whether you are knee-deep in snow or lucky enough to live where lemons grow on trees, these lemon bars will bring a ray of sunshine to your plate.

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Fans of the popular TV show “This Is Us” all have their favorite heroes, and in recent episodes found a new villain: the slow cooker that caused a house fire responsible for the death of a beloved character on the show. The response was swift and severe. Fans posted on social media that they…

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It’s fair to say that the Friends of Moody Gardens are brewing up something special for their annual Gulf Coast Herb Fair. Every year, the group designates a signature herb as a culinary focus for the herb fair’s presentations and luncheon menu. For the 2018 fair, scheduled for March 7, the …

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January’s freezing weather caused all kinds of worries, from the potential for burst pipes to what to do with a house full of kids on an unexpected holiday from school. On a somewhat less catastrophic level, fruit lovers had their own worry: what would the icy blast do to the backyard citrus…

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Even though it’s midwinter, there are still plenty of fresh vegetables available for a healthy salad. That’s the message delivered by cooking instructor Alicia Cahill at a recent class entitled “Simple Tasty Lunches.”

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One of the best parts of every vacation is eating a few of the local specialties. On a recent trip to Aruba, it was like vacationing in two places, because in addition to all the fresh seafood and tropical fruits that tourists expect in the Caribbean, culinary reminders of Aruba’s long histo…

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Sweet divinity candy, cornmeal mush and a crisp bacon tart may not seem to have much in common, but they were all part of a young girl’s journey across Texas back in its Wild West days. As described in “News of the World,” the Galveston Reads communitywide book for 2018, food could be just a…

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Long, long ago, in an Austin that doesn’t really exist anymore, two hippies lived in a ramshackle house. Other than proximity to the University of Texas campus, the house didn’t have much to recommend it, but it did have a big kitchen where the couple could cook together.

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Now that all the Christmas and Hanukkah presents have been unwrapped (and maybe returned), Galveston’s leading restaurateurs have a gift for everyone: the seventh annual Galveston Restaurant Week gets underway Saturday, with more than 30 participating restaurants offering fixed-price breakfa…

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January invites slow-cooking and one-pot meals. After the fancy food and hoopla of the holidays, the first month of the new year welcomes comforting meals without any bling or pretension. This curry is a perfect example. Brimming with vegetables and infused with coconut, this rich and aromat…

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As much as we look forward to and enjoy holiday celebrations, there’s sometimes a price to pay after they’re over. Now that it’s time to assess the damage to waistlines and wallets, a few simple course corrections may be in order. One of the easiest is to brown bag homemade lunches, for bett…

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Holiday dinners call for something special, and for Christmas or New Year’s Eve dinner, there are few things as dramatic — and delicious — as a prime rib roast. Sometimes called a standing rib roast (to avoid confusion with USDA meat grades, which include a designation of “Prime”), a rib roa…

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There’s only one problem with fresh-baked, homemade cookies: just when you want to sit down and savor that warm, fragrant treat, there’s a kitchen full of doughy mixing bowls, flour trails and stray spatulas to clean up. That’s the beauty of old-fashioned icebox cookies: there’s a waiting pe…

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Although Thanksgiving marks the yearly high point of actual pumpkin eating, thanks largely to the near-ubiquitous appearance if pumpkin pies, in recent years that pie consumption has been dwarfed by a monthslong parade of pumpkin-spice products. Starbucks has sold more than 350 million pumpk…

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I discovered persimmons when I lived in Europe, where they are commonly known as Sharon fruit. They were a mystery to me at first, these orange, tomato-shaped creatures — how to eat them? Skin or no skin? I quickly learned to enjoy persimmons in their entirety, with their taught, crisp skin …

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A new restaurant usually means seeing familiar foods presented with a new spin, and the newly opened Pappas Delta Blues Smokehouse delivers on that concept. Billed as “A new BBQ experience,” the smokehouse aims to elevate barbecue by using prime meats and updated Southern side dishes.

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Everyone has a very individual idea of what constitutes the perfect bowl of chili. For some people, it’s got to have beans, while “bean” is a fighting word to other Texas cooks. Chili is so ingrained in Texas cuisine that even vegans find ways to make a satisfying bowl of chili.

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Most of us are content to scoop up a chipful of creamy, spicy chile con queso without giving much thought as to where it came from, but not Lisa Fain. The author of two popular “Homesick Texan” cookbooks and an award-winning food blog, Fain traced the origins of the Tex-Mex staple and docume…

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Oktoberfest at Galveston’s First Evangelical Lutheran Church features a wide array of sausages, strudel and other German favorites, but according to Pastor Richard Rhoades, that’s only the second-best thing about the annual celebration. “Last year was my first, and the food was great, but wh…

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It may be mid-October right now, but November and December, full of potlucks, special gatherings and nights when there’s no time to cook, are right around the corner. The best insurance against a last-minute scramble for those occasions is to start putting a few prepared items in the freezer…

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At this time of year, it’s easy to give a nod to the coming of fall by putting a pumpkin on the porch, and cooks can get the same boost of seasonal appeal by putting a pumpkin in the oven.

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Early fall yields a rainbow of pepper fruit at the farmers’ market — sweet bells, cherries, Hungarians, Fresnos, Jimmy Nardellos, poblanos. It’s impossible not to scoop up a bag’s worth of these beauties simply for their colors and shapes. The trick is to find all sorts of ways to put them t…

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When the doors open Thursday night for the members’ preview of the Friends of Rosenberg Library’s annual used book sale, it’s a safe bet that some of Galveston County’s most avid cooks will be heading straight for the cookbook section.

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When intrepid sailors take to the high seas Oct. 5 in Lakewood Yacht Club’s Harvest Moon Regatta, they’ll be charting a new course due to hurricane damage to their usual finish line in Port Aransas. The regatta, formerly a one-way race from the Galveston beach front to Port Aransas, has been…

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Galveston College will offer a very different kind of French lesson Oct. 14, presenting a menu with a French accent as part of its major fundraising event, “Cabaret Au Lapin Agile-Paris” on the college’s campus.

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Roasted strips of eggplant, zucchini and red peppers alternate with lasagna sheets in this veggie-enhanced family favorite. It’s just like lasagna, but lighter and fresher. No worries, though. There’s enough gooey melted cheese and tomato sauce rippling through this version that the most ard…

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There is something infinitely satisfying about presenting a complete dinner heaped on one platter. The arrangement suggests a family-style feast. It’s a fun method for casual dining, which allows everyone to dig into a balanced meal combining meat, greens and grains, or in this case, noodles.

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There are few pleasures in life that equal a leisurely breakfast. Fueled by coffee, energized by a good newspaper, the best days are planned, and sometimes spent, at the breakfast table.

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With school back in session, everyone should have a handy granola recipe up their sleeve. Homemade granola is a healthy pantry staple, ideal for quick breakfasts and wholesome snacks. It’s also simple to make, so why spend money on boxed granola when you can easily make your own in 30 minute…

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When the going gets tough, the tough ... eat a cookie and get going. There’s a reason why the cliché of a rom-com heroine finding solace in a pint of ice cream is so prevalent: comfort food can actually change brain chemistry and make stress go away for a short time. At times like these, whe…

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At times like these, living on the Gulf Coast can seem like a mixed blessing. After the umpteenth concerned friend or relative has asked why we continue to put ourselves in harm’s way, it might be time for a reminder of the best aspects of the coastal lifestyle.