A Taste of Texas: Guest Chick Rebecca Adler

Please join the Chicks in welcoming fab author Rebecca Adler, who pens the delightful Taste of Texas mystery series! (One lucky commenter will win a paperback copy of Rebecca’s latest release!)

In Cinco de Murder, the third book in the Taste of Texas mystery series, reporter-turned-Tex-Mex-waitress Josie Callahan, her feisty abuela, and even her spunky Chihuahua Lenny, are polishing their traditional folklórico dances for Saturday’s big Cinco de Mayo parade. Not to be outdone, Uncle Eddie is adding his own spicy event to the fiesta menu: Broken Boot’s First Annual Charity Chili Cook-off. But Uncle Eddie’s hopes of impressing the town council go up in smoke when a cantankerous chili cook is found dead in his tent. And when Josie’s beloved uncle is accused of fatal negligence, she, Lenny, and the steadfast Detective Lightfoot must uncover who ended the ambitious chilihead’s life—before another cook kicks the bucket.

Since moving to Texas many years ago, I’ve added another scrumptious holiday to my calendar of celebrations—Cinco de Mayo, arguably an even more scrumptious Spring feast than Easter. Tex-Mex favorites like tacos, tostadas, and margaritas can be found at block parties, local bars, and annual fiestas on May fifth. If you look closely in places like San Antonio, El Paso, and local neighborhood casitas, you may find authentic Mexican fare like watermelon guacamole, black bean tostados, tortilla soup, and tres leche cake.

We’re all familiar with the term Tex-Mex; but did you know the word entered our American lingo in 1875 as a term that referred to the Texas Mexican Railway, which was abbreviated as TexMex? In the 1920s, a hyphen was added to describe not only the railroad but the people of Mexican descent that were born in Texas. Gradually, the term became synonymous with the Mexican food of the area. Back in the 1870s wonderful cooks known as chili queens started becoming famous throughout the U.S. and internationally. That’s when Americans first became aware of the delicious, fun-filled eating experience we know as Tex-Mex.

I’ve included delicious Tex-Mex recipes in the back of Cinco de Murder.  Some recipes may be a bit more Mex, like Senora Mari’s chicken quesadillas, and some a bit more Tex, like Uncle Eddie’s secret nontraditional chili recipe; but they’re all simple and delicious. Here, I share one of my favorites with you.

Senora Mari’s Chicken Quesadillas

(serves 8-10)

2 chicken breasts

½ tsp oregano

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp cumin

salt and pepper to taste

vegetable or favorite cooking oil

½ cup onion, chopped

butter for sautéing

1 cup shredded Manchego or asadero cheese

1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese

1 dozen flour tortillas

Season chicken breasts with oregano, garlic, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Fry in small amount of oil over medium heat. Cook until browned and cooked throughout. Shred the chicken using 2 forks. Brown and caramelize onions in butter. Spoon 2 Tblsp of each cheese on one side of tortilla. Add some chicken and caramelized onions. Fold tortilla in half. Fry in butter over medium-low heat until cheese is melted and tortilla is golden brown.

About the author: Rebecca Adler grew up on the sugar beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast. Drawn to the Big Apple by the sweet smell of wishful thinking, she studied acting on Broadway until a dark-eyed cowboy flung her over his saddle and hightailed it to the Southwest. She’s currently content to pour her melodramatic tendencies into writing the Taste of Texas culinary mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime: HERE TODAY, GONE TAMALE; THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE GUACAMOLE; and CINCO DE MURDER. Set in far West Texas, her humorous stories are filled with delicious suspense and scrumptious Tex-Mex recipes. Her alter ego, Gina Lee Nelson, writes contemporary romance with a sweet, Southern-fried flavor.  A former president of North Texas Romance Writers, Rebecca is currently a member of Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she spends a great deal of time on her other favorite pastime, directing high school theatre. Connect with Rebecca at her website.

Readers: Is there a dish or type of food your state is known for, or do you have a favorite family dish that reflects your family’s ethnic heritage? Share in the comments. (A lucky commenter will win a copy of Cinco de Murder from the author!)

42 thoughts on “A Taste of Texas: Guest Chick Rebecca Adler

    1. Rebecca, thank YOU for the fun visit! Loved learning more about you and your new book. (Adorable titles, by the way.) And gracias also for the recipe, because I promised I’d cook dinner tonight. We have 2 Mexican restaurants in our tiny NH town, side by side. One is more traditional-Mexican and the other is Tex-Mex–and both are always packed. (The $1 Margarita Mondays are a particularly big draw.)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear Guest Chick Rebecca. From Honorary Chick ML

    We lived in Irving, TX for 15 years and loved to eat TexMex. Thanks for the recipe, I’ll make it soon. Loved the titles of your series. I plan to dip into your books.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This sounds like a lot of fun. I like to learn new things, and learning more about life in Texas and the world of the restaurant business intrigues me.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. In NH we are always fighting VT for maple syrup dominance (basically, anything maple). I’m a huge fan of maple bacon to go with my cider donuts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am originally from El Paso, so I grew up with Mexican food as a staple. Now that I live in Indiana, it is sometimes easier to prepare it myself, as it is hard to find authentic Mexican food here!
    I still make tacos, burritos,etc. but I do miss the holiday foods, especially at Christmas.
    I really enjoy this series and hope you carry on with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Debbie, you must have loved the wonderful, holiday tamalada–family tamale-making party–in my first book in this series, Here Today, Gone Tamale. So pleased you enjoy the series!


  5. Here in the Philly area we love our Cheesesteak sandwiches – nothing like a good steak sandwich. Soft pretzels are another Philly fave and make great breakfast food. Yummmy! Gotta go I’m hungry.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I do love Tex-Mex. I’m just wondering if California has Tex-Mex or our own unique take on Mexican food? Either way, I love it.

    (And I’ve already enjoyed this book, so don’t enter me in the drawing.)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rebecca, your bio is a total delight! I’m sure your book are, too. Here in central New York, anything made with apples is special! My mother tried apple pie with every apple available to us (and we had at least a dozen experimental varieties in our orchard, in addition to local favorites. Bottom line: good old Cortlands made the best apple pie. All the best with your series!! –Kate, writing as C.T. Collier

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kate! Good to know that Corland’s are the best for pie. 🙂 (I trust you and your mom’s judgement on this!)


  8. As a former (and possibly future) Texan, I love knowing the origin of “Tex-Mex.” But more importantly: where do you get watermelon guacamole? I am officially obsessed with the idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This sounds great. I really enjoy the series and cannot wait to read this one. My sisnlaw and brother make the best chili rellinos. They are so good

    Liked by 1 person

  10. New England is known for fresh seafood and lobster. I think it’s what people think of when they think of New England. It’s my favorite summer food.
    I really like Mexican food but it’s hard to find authentic in my area.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Having gotten my high school diploma in Arlington and undergrad in San Antonio, I am well aqua tee with Tex-Mex food. And my waistline regrets my love of it. I am still looking for a really good enchilada sauce recipe that does not use Old El Paso out of a can!

    My heritage recipes? OMG! Shoo Fly Pie. Scrapple. Chicken Pot Pie (made in a pot, not in a pie pan). Weiner Schnitzel. Baked Cabbage. But my all time favorite is Chicken and Waffles. Not this fried junk. Stewed chicken in gravy over sour cream waffles. Have you guessed where I’m from? Pennsylvania Dutch through and through. Back over 300 years in the same 25 square mile radius. My dad’s generation was the first to leave the area. And only 3 of the 8 did.


  12. I enjoy many types of mexican food. I love TexMex, NM Mex and Az mex, and south mexican food which is nothing like the heavily sauced stuff we get in our southwest.- they are all so different.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m from Ohio. We have buckeyes – peanut butter covered with chocolate. I love Mexican food. I always have burritos and chimichangas in my freezer. I live in what used to be a Hungarian neighborhood. I love chicken paprikas, which I get at Tony Packo’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I live in Chicago and we are known for Chicago Dogs, Deep Dish Pizza, Maxwell Street Polish Dogs and Garrett’s Popcorn. Lots of good food in Chicago and beautiful Lake Michigan.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I grew up in (and still live in) Arlington, Texas where it seems there is a Tex-Mex restaurant on every corner. Icouldn’t Live without Tex-Mex.

    Liked by 1 person

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