Back Porch Table

Rodeo-inspired eats

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Over-the-Top Fudgy Brownies

Add popsicle sticks as handles to transform your Over-the-Top Fudgy Brownies from Peace Meals into true food-on-a-stick rodeo fare. (Photo: The Junior League of Houston)

Cooking Buzz is produced in partnership with the Junior League of Houston, a women’s charitable and education organization founded in 1925.

The month of March is exciting: Spring, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, the end of daylight savings time. But the reason Houstonians love March so much is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

The best part about rodeo season may be the food, starting with barbecue, tamales and funnel cakes. As a five-year HLSR committee member, currently on the Parade Committee, I’ve eaten my fair share of rodeo foods. And each year, I invite committee friends to my annual “Sparkles, Spurs and Sangria” rodeo kickoff party.

My mom always said, “Go big or go home,” so my party is big. As soon as my guests arrive, they are greeted with a silver tray of delicious Sangria from The Houston Junior League Cookbook. To add a festive look to the pitcher of sangria, I add two oranges and two Meyer lemons sliced into thin rounds. I serve each cocktail in silver mint julep cups with colorfully striped straws and hand each guest a white-linen, monogrammed, cocktail napkin. It’s the perfect way to make a statement that gets your party started.

No cowboy or cowgirl wants to sip sangria without something to snack on, so I whip up the Green Chile Dip, also from The Houston Junior League Cookbook, and encourage my guests to belly up to taste it with either corn chips or crudité. This dip has the perfect amount of kick.

After a long day of boot scootin’, my friends are ready to dig into the star of the show: Lone Star Brisket in Chili Sauce and Beer from Stop and Smell the Rosemary. Even the littlest cowboy loves this cut-it-with-a-fork dish. It freezes well, so I prefer to make it the week before my party, so I’m not running around like a kid in the Calf Scramble. I serve the brisket with Peace Meals’ Texas Corn Pudding.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is known for foods on a stick. From corn dogs, sausages and roasted corn to deep-fried cookie dough, you can find almost any kind of food on a stick. In keeping with that spirit, I make the Over-the-Top Fudgy Brownies from Peace Meals to serve for a little something sweet.

While the brownies are still warm, but cool enough to be cut, I poke a popsicle stick into each brownie square and serve them on a tiered dessert tray lined with little white doilies. Because this brownie recipe is so fudgy, my guests can grab a square and eat it on the stick just like they do at the rodeo.

Cheers to a great 2016 rodeo. Get to cookin’, y’all.

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