Tag Archives: Texas

The Famous (not Amos) Cookie

I often believe that people are born with a eccentricity or as Nana would say, “flair” and when this “flair” is recognized and cultivated in a loving way it leads to great things. Growing up, one of my best friends had a younger brother, during sleepovers he would appear on the rooftop, outside her window waving his tiger tail…the tiger tail pinned to his clothes…that he wore all over town. Today, he is well known for his fabulous personality and a go to source for style.

My “flair” begin to show when I was five. This was when HBO first started as a brown box on top of the TV. It played only two movies which you changed with the switch on top of the box and there the whole thing began, Urban Cowboy. Day in and day out, I sat on the arm of sofa pretending to ride that mechanical bull. As the year went on so did my “flair”, I would only wear jeans, a plaid, ruffle shirt and cowboy boots…everyday, all day. My dad told me he was going on a business trip to Houston and I begged him to bring me a Gilley’s tank top. That year, my photo with Santa featured yours truly dressed like Sissy (Debra Winger). 

On Friday nights, my parents would settle in to watch Dallas and I would sit on the stairs, peering through the railing and watch Pam go to work at ‘The Store’ in that little red Mercedes. One Christmas, when I was in college, I asked for Sue Ellen glasses. She drank her cocktails out of tall skinny glasses, it was fabulous. Some would say this was a fascination more than “flair” but it grew. I loved all things Texas, Dallas, Southfork, Neiman Marcus, Gilley’s and Urban Cowboy, which to this day I can recite line by line.

So I followed my flair and after college, moved to Texas. It was like seeing the ocean for the first time, magic! I soaked it up and cultivated my “flair”. I made friends that I still consider family, learned about true Texas food and made my trips to ‘The Store’, of course only in Texas could Neiman Marcus be referred to as ‘The Store’. Texans take pride in being bigger and better in everything they do. So, in the biggest, best store why would you not find the most perfect cookie? 

Here’s my version of the Neiman Marcus cookie:

The Famous (not Amos) Cookie
My version of the Neiman Marcus cookie. Oatmeal, pecans, dark and semi-sweet chocolate.
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  1. 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup oatmeal, coarsely ground
  3. 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  6. 3/4 cup sugar
  7. 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 tsp vanilla
  10. 1 tsp espresso powder
  11. 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  12. 1 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chips
  13. 1 cup pecan pieces
  1. In a small bowl combine flour, coarsely ground oatmeal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, use a mixer, to cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in two eggs, vanilla and espresso powder.
  3. Pour the dry ingredient mixture into the wet ingredients and gently mix until ingredients are combined.
  4. Stir in pecan pieces and chocolate chips.
  5. Place dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up the dough.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Form about a one inch ball for each cookies and place on cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 12-14 minutes. I like a softer cookie so I take them out around 12 minutes. If you like a crunchier cookie just bake a bit longer.
  9. Transfer baked cookies onto a wire rack to cool.
  1. Chilling the dough makes a bit thicker cookie and they seem to hold their shape better. I always use parchment paper for cookie baking. It helps the bottom of the cookie from getting too brown and clean-up is way easier!

butter and sugars


Espresso Powder

Ghirardelli Chocolate

Chocolate chips and pecans

cookie dough

baking sheet with parchment paper

Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

 And one last thing…

It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? I’ve been working on updating lolleighcooks! It seems when you go through major life changes, you want everything to look different…brighter and better. There’s still some work to be done here, well really everywhere, but I just couldn’t wait to get back to cooking, writing and reconnecting with my roots. Take a look around, read about me, the hilariously true stories and really good food (that is most of the time on the healthy side).

Take a gander, if you missed the latest…The Pie To End All Pies



Texas taught me…

Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak

I have had a love affair with Texas my whole life. It started early on with Bud and Sissy in Urban Cowboy. This was way back when HBO only played two movies all day and I would sit in my jeans tucked into my boots on the arm of the sofa enamored by Gilley’s.
I remember my dad took a business trip to Houston around this same time and all I asked for was a Gilley’s t-shirt. Sure enough he delivered and that shirt hardly ever left my body!
So I eventually got the chance to move to Texas. Here are some lessons I learned:

Girls drive trucks – real big ones and they look cool driving them!

Designer jeans aren’t just for clubbing – showing cattle is a very dressy affair. On my first trip to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, I stopped in the restroom and saw dozens of teenage girls decked out in designer jeans, shiny belts,  flat-ironing their hair and primping for their turn to show.

Goats aren’t just for petting zoos – I worked at the Brazos County Expo Complex where we hosted many livestock shows. During one of my first shows I became taken with the goats. They were so cute and I had a few favorites until I looked up at the sign where it advertised ‘meat goats’. It was then I learned all about livestock shows.

You never meet a stranger, Texans are super friendly. You can make a lifelong friend standing in line at the grocery store.

Get to know your beef. My boss was a wonderful man and he taught me a lot but the lesson above all others was to choose good beef. He was a cattle rancher in his spare time and when I sat down to enjoy a burger at lunch he would begin his cattle stories and why he only ate his beef –


1 1/2 lb flank steak

1/8 c olive oil

1/3 c balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp Dijon or stone ground mustard

2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp lemon juice

salt and pepper

Place meat in a large Ziploc bag. Combine remaining ingredients, whisking together well. Pour over the meat and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours.

Before cooking meat, set out the Ziploc bag and let it come to room temperature. Heat a grill pan, grill or heavy skillet to high heat. Place the steak on the heat and do not move for 4 minutes. Once 4 minutes has passed, flip the meat and cook for another 4 minutes not disturbing the meat.

Once cooked, remove from pan or grill and place on a cutting board letting the meat rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting. Cut across the grain into thin slices for best result.


 Flank steak is a lean cut of  beef and requires a little more attention. Cooking at a high temperature seals in the flavor and allowing the meat to rest will hold in the juices.

If you have leftovers, you can make a great steak taco !

I used my Cuisinart indoor grill for this recipe.