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After a wonderful dinner and sublime service at Liberty Bar, the pretty, pink ex-convent in San Antonio, we couldn’t wait to return. Unfortunately our much-anticipated follow-up meal was a disaster. Continue Reading

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TARA SHAW AND BROTHER LUCCA AT HER NEW ORLEANS WAREHOUSE. PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRENDA COFFEE ©1010PARKPLACE, 2018
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For the last 25 years antique importer and designer, Tara Shaw, has walked through one open door after another. She calls it her spiritual journey. When a book agent told Tara, ‘I know you have a book in you,’ Tara said, “I sure do. I’ve been working on it since 2004.” Instead of sending the agent a book about design, Tara sent the memoir she’d been working on, The Coat Your Father Gave You. “I feel each person has a coat from God,” Tara said. “It’s very unique. Authentic. We listen to our heart, and it’s our calling. We go through the doors. That book was my spiritual stories from 20-something years of traveling in Europe and working in China and India.”

When her agent told Tara she didn’t want an Eat, Pray, Love book, Tara wrote the design book. It will be finished in 2019 and published by Abrams in 2020. 

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IMAGE BY DANIEL ZEMANS, FLICKER
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If only Deviled Eggs came from the Easter Bunny… Since they don’t, and the crucial ingredient is a Perfect Egg,* I’m sharing the recipe for an egg that peels easily, and has a tender, delicate white with a moist golden yolk.

NOTE: *Perfect as compared to one where the yolk is greenish and as resilient as a Superball.

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Today is National Margarita Day. Considering my hometown—San Antonio, Texas—is renown for Margaritas and the best Tex-Mex food in the state, what kind of Texas girl would I be if I didn’t share my favorite Margarita recipes?

A couple of local Mexican food restaurants will tell you I like less Marg and more Rita!

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Hi diddly dee, an actors life for me. A high silk hat and a silver cane. A watch of gold with a diamond chain.” – Pinocchio

As much as I strive to maintain a sense of style, a high silk hat would be a bit much here, where baseball caps and floppy hiking hats are de rigueur. Continue Reading

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I may be many things, but one thing I know for certain… I am not wasteful. We’ve loved our Keurig machine for years now. We love the ease and convenience it provides to make exactly the coffee of your choice, in the size you want, exactly when you want it. I especially love the way it stays-put as we travel, its little rubber feet, clinging to it’s pride-of-place on the RV counter as we jaunt around the country. But trouble’s been brewing for a while now. Since we’ve been on the road, managing our coffee pod subscription delivery has become a challenge.

We’ve missed carefully planned deliveries, leaving us rationing pods like a couple of addicts. And then there’s the greater issue of the pods themselves. Wasteful, not recyclable.

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BRENDA COFFEE REFLECTED IN HER POWDER ROOM MIRROR. PHOTOGRAPHS © JENNIFER DENTON, 2017.
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This time last year I took you on a video tour of the house I bought. That was the “Before.” Now I’m going to show you some of the “After.” Even though the house had been “flipped” before I bought it, the bathrooms were a disaster. On my first walk thru, the instant I saw the master bath and the powder room, I visualized what I wanted to change, and that’s never wavered.

Except for things like flooring, most of the pieces in my new bathrooms, I already owned, and each piece has a special story.

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The season for fresh peaches is almost over, but if you can’t find any at your grocery or farm stand, this recipe is worth saving! Cinnamon and cardamon are perfect partners for the juicy peaches, and this amazing streusel takes it over the top! Who doesn’t like the smell of coffee cake baking in the oven? Grab yourself a slice and a cup of coffee and enjoy! Continue Reading

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This recipe works great as a main meal, plus it uses one of my favorite fruits: mango! You have the sweetness from the mango, a bit of spicy from both the red and black pepper and the creaminess from the avocado. If you decide to serve this as a first course, try it in a martini glass for a touch of elegance!

I think shrimp is more flavorful if roasted in the oven rather than boiled in water. Just toss the shrimp with a few tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for 8-10 minutes at 400° or until they’re just pink, firm and cooked through. Set aside to cool, then add to your salad. I found the original recipe in Cooking Light Magazine. Enjoy!

Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Shrimp & Avocado Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

• Mango Vinaigrette

• 6 cups shredded romaine lettuce

• 1 cup chopped red bell pepper

• 6 Tbls thinly sliced green onions

• 1 pound peeled, cooked shrimp

• 1 avocado, peeled and diced

Place Mango Vinaigrette in a large bowl. Add lettuce, bell pepper and green onions. Toss well. Add shrimp and avocado. Toss gently.

Mango Vinaigrette

• 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

• 2 Tbls chopped, fresh cilantro

• 1 Tbls olive oil

• 1/2 to 2 tsp crushed red pepper or to taste

• 1/2 tsp sugar

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

• 1 garlic clove minced

• 3/4 cup diced, peeled mango (about 1 medium)

Combine first 8 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Stir in mango.