Tag Archive | "Frances Strange"

Frances Strange Takes the Stage at 18th Annual Holiday Olé Market

Don Strangeof Texas: His Experiences as a Texas Caterer

The 18th Annual Holiday Olé Market, presented by the Junior League of San Antonio, Oct. 19-22, offers shopping and other entertainment. Also, on Oct. 20, it will present a brunch with  Frances Strange of Don Strange of Texas, Inc.

The Holiday Olé Market will be at the San Antonio Shrine Auditorium, Loop 1604 and Blanco Road.

Don Strange's Brioche French Toast and Bananas Foster will be served at brunch.

At the “Ready, Set, Shop” event, the brunch will feature Don Strange’s Brioche French Toast with Bananas Foster. Frances Strange will take the stage to talk about behind the scenes stories from one of the best-loved catering companies in Texas. She will be signing copies of her cookbook, featuring her late husband’s and other family recipes, and visiting with fans after the brunch.

If you like to shop, during the market days you’ll find unique, boutique-like shopping with nearly 90 top merchants offering apparel, jewelry, children’s items, home goods and original holiday items. Experience a wide array of entertainment options including great food, music, auctions, and much more. Net proceeds from the Holiday Olé Market benefit the community programs and projects of the Junior League of San Antonio, Inc.

The Holiday Olé Market begins with a Preview Party on Oct. 19, then continue with a Girl’s Night Out on Oct. 21 and Family Day Oct. 22.

To read more about the events during the four-day Holiday Olé Market, or to purchase tickets, click here,  or call 210-225-1861 for more information.

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Restaurant Notes & Quotes: Fig Tree Tasting Menu, Barriba Cantina to Open

Chef John Besh, right, of Lüke New Orleans and Lüke San Antonio.

Notable Quote
“When I speak of one of our chefs doing good acts through food it’s not about Besh, but it’s about what we can all do each day.”

— Chef John Besh,on Twitter, talking about Lüke San Antonio chef Steven McHugh cooking jambalaya for those involved in the Bastrop area fire.

 Z’Tejas Chile Fest to benefit San Antonio youths

Between  now and Sept 25,  Z’Tejas offers dishes featuring the popular Hatch green chiles. One dollar of every entrée sold from the Chile Fest menu will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio. This is the first year for Z’Tejas’ new location at The Shops of La Cantera to participate in the annual event.

Barriba Cantina coming soon on the River Walk

Serving Mexican street food and offering catering and live music, Barriba Cantina, from The County Line Bar-B-Q restaurant, will open Sept. 12 on the River Walk, 111 Crockett St.

Barriba Cantina will be on the second and third floors of the same building that houses The County Line. It will have balconies and patios overlooking the river, while the second floor will offer large meeting spaces, also with river and San Antonio skyline views.

Open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday – Saturday, Barriba will serve food such as Mango Pork Carnitas (slow-cooked lean pork with a blend of traditional Mexican seasonings, garnished and served on corn tortillas; Baja Pescado (tilapia seasoned with a mild ancho chile rub, served on corn tortillas); and Tacos Del Rey (beef marinated with mild chipotle chiles and a blend of Mexican spices).  The Tacos del Rey were created in honor of Randy Goss, the late owner of The County Line.

On the drinks menu: Bango Mango Martini (pineapple infused Sauza Tequila, mango, lime juice and Dulce Vida Organic Agave Nectar) and Berriba (Bacardi, Triple Sec, pineapple juice, blueberries and raspberries).  A to-go menu will eventually be added.

Barriba will also offer live acoustical music everyday from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m., with a cover charge after 10 p.m. (cover charge will vary based on musicians).  Music schedules will be updated regularly on Barriba Cantina’s Facebook page.

Fig Tree tasting menus through September

The Fig Tree Restaurant is offering its popular tasting menu through September. The prix fixe price is $39, and there is complimentary parking at the restaurant, in La Villita. The menus will change weekly. To see what is being served, check this website. To make reservations, call 210-224-1976.

Fishland Fish Market to move next door

Fried fish at Fishland.

Fried fish at Fishland Fish Market, 4941 Walzem Road, is closing for a few days while the owners pack up and move to a larger space next door. The move will give them more room for customers to dine in and enjoy the fried fish, shrimp and oysters on the menu.

The new place will open Thursday (Sept. 15), so be patient while waiting for some of that drum, tilapia or sole.

The phone will still be 210-655-3232.

SavorSA reviewed this gem close to two years ago, on Sept. 10, 2009, and the praise still holds true.)

Take tour of Northern Italy at Tre Trattoria downtown

Italian red wine on the pairing menu

Chef Jason Dady takes you on a tour of the flavors of Northern Italy paired with wines from that region, on Sept. 16. Priced at $40 per person, this four-course wine pairing dinner begins with a cocktail reception and seasonal hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 p.m. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. at 401 S. Alamo St., at The Fairmount Hotel. For reservations: 210- 223-0401 or email

On the menu: first Course, Baby Arugula, toasted walnuts, gorgonzola, roasted grapes with NV Tervisol Prosecco; second course, Risotto Milanese with ‘08 Pieropan Soave Classico; third course,  Bistecca alla Fiorentina, sweet corn crema, roasted mushrooms, goat cheese polenta and radicchio marmelatta with ’06 Sanguineti Nessum Dorma. For dessert,  Lemon Panna Cotta, blueberry and thyme shortbread with  ’06 Ceretto Moscato D’Asti

Country French Wine Dinner at Crumpets Restaurant & Bakery

Crumpets, at 3920 Harry Wurzbach, offers this wine dinner featuring premier French vineyards matched with French fare. 7 p.m. Sept. 16, $70 per person. Make reservations at 210-821-5600. Or send email to Seating is limited, so make reservations soon.

Wine and food pairing: Macon Lugny “Les Charmes” with Vol au Vent St. Jacques; Ragotiere Muscadet with Paté Mousseline aux Truffles; Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages with Escalope de Veau aux Cognac; Chateau Larose Trintaudon Bordeaux with Filet de Bœuf aux Poivres; Les Clos de Paulilles Banyuls with Mille Feuille de Deux Crèmes for dessert.

Frances Strange to be guest on KCWX cable channel 4

Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes

What do Paula Abdul, Kim Kardashian, Ivanka Trump and Frances Strange have in common? They all have the distinction of being celebrity guests on the national syndicated lifestyle show from “Better Homes and Gardens Magazine,” titled simply, “Better.”

Now, San Antonio author Frances Strange will head to New York City to tape her “Better” segment, which is scheduled to air in San Antonio Sept. 23 at 7 a.m. on KCWX, local cable channel 4.

Tune in to catch Strange dishing about her famous cookbook “Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes,” sharing her secrets for entertaining and preparing her best Texas-style recipes including Shrimp and Crab Corn Cakes, Pan de Campo, and the cool Café Mystique iced beverage.










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‘Don Strange of Texas’ Cookbook Wins Bronze Award

Published less than one year ago, “Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes,” has been selected as the 2011 bronze medal winner of the Independent Publisher Book Award in the South- Best Regional Non-Fiction Category. The book was written by Strange’s wife, Frances Strange and co-written by Terry Thompson-Anderson. Photographs are by San Antonio food photographer Tracey Maurer.

Strange, who died in November of 2009, built his catering business around the wealth of foods available in Texas and served his fare in a down-home style that was well-received at both black-tie events and cookouts held anywhere from the White House lawn to his Hill Country ranch.

"Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes" wins bronze award from The Independent Publisher Book Awards.

“Words cannot properly express how thrilled I am that our book is being recognized by this distinguished  group of professionals in the industry” says author Frances Strange.  “Just being considered for this award is such an achievement.”

Published by Shearer Publishing, the book is filled with the rich history of this high-profile Texas catering company. Anecdotes, more than 100 recipes and dozens of full color food and family photographs bring the story to life.

The Independent Publisher Book Awards, which was first launched in 1996, is intended to recognize excellence among books published by independent authors and publishers. The awards are open to all members of the independent publishing industry. It contains 69 national categories, followed by regional categories, such as the South, and the Best Regional Non-Fiction Award. Judging is based on design, production quality , content, and innovation.

The cookbook is part of the Don Strange of Texas brand which includes the Don Strange Marketplace e-commerce site, the Don Strange Ranch in Welfare, The Waring General Store, The Ropes Course, The Zip Line at Zinc Hill, The Buckhorn Saloon, Catering and Private Dining. The cookbooks are available at booksellers and online at

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Chefs’ Corner: Don Strange’s Brioche French Toast and Bananas Foster

Brioche French Toast and Bananas Foster

Looking for a brunch dish that goes way over the top? Try this recipe from Don Strange of Texas.

“The very thought of this dish is enough to make you hungry,” says Frances Strange in “Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes” (Shearer Publishing, ) written with Terry Thompson-Anderson. “Don had a flair for creating elaborate, extravagant brunch dishes. This is one he served at a lovely wedding brunch outside of Fredericksburg.”

It’s perfect for Mother’s Day or anytime you want to start the day off with something special.

Brioche French Toast with Bananas Foster

1 cup whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
4 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
8 (5/8-inch-thick) slices day-old brioche
Bananas Foster (see below)
Sweetened whipped cream
Cinnamon or nutmeg for garnish
Mint springs to garnish

Bananas Foster

1/3 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup banana flavored liqueur
1/2 cup dark rum, divided use
4 bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices

For the French toast, combine the milk, cream, eggs, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; whisk until eggs are well beaten and the batter is smooth. Melt some butter on a flat griddle over medium heat. Dip the brioche slices in the egg batter, coating both sides. Allow excess batter to drip off. Place the battered bread on the hot griddle without touching. (Cook in batches in necessary to avoid crowding.) Cook until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. Keep hot in a warm oven while cooking the remaining slices.

For the Bananas Foster: In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon with fork and set aside. Melt butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add cinnamon sugar mixture and stir until sugar dissolves. Add banana liqueur and 1/4 cup of the rum. Cook, stirring, until syrupy and thickened (about 5 minutes). Add banana slices and lightly coat with the syrup. Add the remaining rum. Quickly swirl the pan, tilting it toward the flame, to ignite the rum. (If you are using an electric stove, light the rum with a long match.) Swirl the pan, basting bananas with the sauce, until flame subsides. Remove pan from heat, set aside and keep warm.

To serve, stack slices of the French toast on each serving plate. Place banana slices on each serving and drizzle some of the pan sauce over the top. Top with a generous dollop of the whipped cream. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, then add a mint sprig. Serve at once.

Makes 4 servings.

From “Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes” by Frances Strange with Terry Thompson-Anderson

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Frances Strange to Autograph Cookbook

Frances Strange

Looking for a Christmas gift that has the flavor of Texas in it? Consider “Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes” (Shearer Publishing, $34.95), the new cookbook by Frances Strange and Terry Thompson-Anderson.

Strange will be autographing her work at a series of signings, starting this afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. at the St. Anthony Hotel, 300 Travis St. Call 210-227-4392.

Other signings include:

  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, You’ve Got Gifts, 8055 West Ave., Suite 106.  Call 210-479-4100.
  • 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Barnes & Noble, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, Building 27. Call 210-558-2078.
  • 1-3 p.m. Dec. 18, Sunset Ridge Home & Hardware, 6438 N. New Braunfels Ave. Call 210-930-1717.

Though the book has been on the market only for a couple of weeks, there is talk of a second edition.

To sample a couple of the recipes from the book, click on any of the following:

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Two Ways to Give Your Brie a Boost

Frances Strange addresses a sold-out cooking class at Central Market.

Brie is a favorite appetizer for many because it’s easy to work with. Just wrap the cheese in puff pastry and bake until ready.

But that’s not the only way to serve this creamy favorite.

During a recent Central Market cooking class, Frances Strange of Don Strange of Texas offered two different yet tasty brie recipes that go together quickly and can be done in advance. That will leave you with plenty of time to  spend with your guests.

That’s the point of entertaining at the holidays or any time of year: “Don’t let the little things stop you from being with the people who mean something to you,” she said.

So, make some Mango and Brie Quesadillas, in which the cheese melts into avocado slices as well as the juicy fruit. Or try a Baked Brie without the pastry but with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil.

When making the quesadillas, it’s easier to work with the cheese after  it’s been in the freezer for a short while, cooking school instructor Emily Carlos said. The cheese is harder, so it can been peeled and sliced quickly. That approach would also work for the Baked Brie, as well.

Mango and Brie Quesadillas (right) with Baked Brie.

Giving you the confidence to entertain in style is what Frances Strange hopes to offer in her new book, “Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes” (Shearer Publishing, $34.95), written with Terry Thompson-Anderson.

“There’s talk of a second edition and it’s only been out a week,” she said, slightly awed at the response it has received.

Good food is always welcome, but that’s not the secret to a memorable party, said Strange, whose family has been in the catering business for decades. It’s something she learned from her husband, Don, who built the nationally recognized business without “one minute of food training.”

“It’s not about the food, it’s about the people you’re with,” she said.

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Don Strange’s Corn Pudding

“When Don (Strange) and his parents began to cater large parties serving their popular barbecue, Don wanted to serve side dishes that were also noteworthy, rather the same old menu of coleslaw, potato salad, and pinto beans,” writes Frances Strange in “Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes” (Shearer Publishing, $34.95). “He settled on Corn Pudding, which no one else served with barbecue, and it became one of the company’s signature barbecue side dishes in the 1980s. … Hard to beat a good side dish!”

This easy-to-assemble dish will also go great with Thanksgiving turkey, grilled steaks or whatever you’re serving.

Corn Pudding

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cream-style corn
3 eggs, beaten
1 (6-ounce) package Pioneer Brand corn muffin mix
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; set aside. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until it is wilted and transparent, about 5 minutes. Do not allow it to brown. Remove from heat and blend the onions and sour cream in a bowl. Mix well; set aside.

In a separate large bowl, combine the creamed corn, eggs and muffin mix. Turn out into the prepared baking dish. Spoon the onion mixture evenly around the baking dish in dollops. Scatter the shredded cheese over the top and bake in preheated oven until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cut into squares and serve hot.

Makes 8 servings.

Variation: Cornshuck Pudding

For a striking presentation at a formal seated dinner, serve Corn Pudding in corn shuck “bowls,” which are made by lining a large muffin tin or popover tin with corn shucks.

Soak 12 corn shucks in a large bowl of lukewarm water for about 45 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Instead of a baking dish, use a muffin tin with 12 large (2 1/2-inch-diameter) cups; spray each cup with nonstick vegetable spray. Push a softened corn shuck down into each up, letting the ends extend upward. Set aside and make the Corn Pudding as directed in the rcipe.

To bake the individual puddings, spoon equal portions of the corn batter into the muffin cups. Spoon equal portions of the sour cream mixture into the center of each cup. Scatter the shredded cheese on top of each serving and place the tin on a large baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden toothpick inserted in the enter of the cups comes out clean, for about 30 minutes.

To serve, grasp each end of the corn shucks and gently lift the puddings out. Place on individual serving plates and serve hot.

Makes 12 servings.

From “Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes” by Frances Strange with Terry Thompson-Anderson

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Mary Singleton, Baker and Don Strange Family Member, Dies

Mary Singleton died Wednesday night at home, according to a Don Strange of Texas, Inc. spokeswoman. She was 93.

Singleton was the mother of Frances Strange, wife of caterer Don Strange. Don Strange died last year on Nov. 11.

Singleton’s breads and pies and were just a small part of her legacy with the famous caterer. She contributed recipes,  such as Mother’s Brownies, which became the caterer’s signature treat. She also made desserts for the Steak Nite event each Wednesday in Waring.

Some of her recipes appear in the new “Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes” cookbook released this month by Shearer Publishing.  The book was compiled and written by Frances Strange and Terry Thompson-Anderson.

Services will be announced.

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Mother’s Brownies

Mother's Brownies

These brownies were created by Mary Singleton, Frances Strange’s mother, an excellent baker who worked with Don Strange of Texas in part by recipes and making the desserts for the Steak Nite each Wednesday in Waring.

“If you like your brownies soft and cakelike, but ultimately chocolate-y, then you’ll love this recipe, which Mother developed in the commissary kitchen years ago,” Frances Strange writes in “Don Strange of Texas” (Shearer Publishing, $34.95). “It’s become the ‘official’ Don Strange of Texas brownie. They’re served at party-planning conferences and other meetings, at parties, and often at Steak Nite, when guests have one or two before their steaks, heeding the advice ‘Life is short — eat dessert first!'”

Mother’s Brownies

1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup boiling water
2 1/2 cup ssugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, tapping out all excess flour; set aside. Toss together the cocoa and baking soda in a large bowl, blending well. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the canola oil. Add the boiling water and whisk until well blended and thik. Stir in the sugar, eggs and remaining canola oil. Stir until smooth. Add the flour, vanilla and salt, stirring to mix well.

Turn the batter out into prepared baking pan and bake until a wooden toothpick insert into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack before slicing into 2-inch squares.

Makes 24 brownies.

From “Don Strange of Texas” by Frances Strange with Terry Thompson-Anderson

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