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Live, Laugh & Learn with Lillyan: Everything is Bigger in Texas

Tomato Basil Appetizers to Enjoy While Cooking

By Lillyan Baker

Down here in Texas we do things a little different than our fellow states throughout the country. It may be a choice to live here, but once you cross that state border, the Texan lifestyle is branded within you like our USDA livestock. Yes, we love our BBQ and Great State pride, but there are also some things Texas just gives back, whether you want them or not. Mosquitos, contracting the words “you” and “all” and that crazy Texas heat. When people say, “Everything is Bigger in Texas,” they are not just talking about Dallas hairstyles, but also the record heat that hits every summer.

We have two seasons in Texas. Winter, less hot. Summer, more hot. Even with the first of summer heat in May, I knew Trey and I would melt in the after 5 p.m. sunbath that hits my back porch every evening. With two beautiful steaks chilling in the fridge and the mercury rising on the outdoor thermometer, it was an easy choice to forgo the charcoal and grilling tongs in place of A/C and a large skillet. Tonight, we decided to grill indoors!

Save some money & highlight your green thumb by growing fresh herbs you use daily. No room? Do what I did & grow fresh basil in a tin planter.

For an appetizer that will hold you over until dinner, use store bought pastry crust, sliced tomatoes and onions, fresh basil, EVOO and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook for 12-15 mins at 375 degrees. Let cool and enjoy!

Substitute sour cream for 1/4 cup of milk when mashing up your potatoes. For a little Texas spice, add a tsp of cayenne pepper.

Sizzle those steaks without the scorching summer heat. To save time and plan for more than just a plate for one, fire up more than one skillet on the stovetop.

Secret of a steakmaster? Add a Tbsp of butter along with onions and garlic to really get a nice flavor within the pan-seared steak.

Pair with a wedge-salad or vegetable side for a complete outdoor summer meal, enjoyed indoors with friends!


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