ow's the time to get an up close look at a landscape gone wonderfully wild, and there’s no place like Texas when it comes to wildflowers. Yes, the state’s legendary bluebonnets start peaking toward the end of this month, perfuming the air with their sweetness, but there are plenty more flowers to please the eye. Along the ribboned two-lanes that crisscross the Hill Country and beyond, you’ll find orange-tipped Indian paintbrushes growing in tandem with the bluebonnets, staging an unforgettable show well into April. To plan your route, visit www.tex-fest.com/wildflower.
Elevate a bowl of ramen noodles to uptown Southern fare. This recipe, featuring shrimp from the Gulf, couldn’t be quicker, easier, or more delicious.
Noodle Bowl Stir together flavor packet from 1 (3-oz.) package Oriental-flavored ramen noodle soup mix, 2 cups water, 1 chopped green onion, and 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; add noodles and 1⁄2 cup fresh trimmed snow peas. Cook 1 minute, and stir in 6 peeled and deveined, medium-size raw shrimp (26/30 count). Cook 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and top with 1⁄4 cup shredded napa cabbage and 1 to 2 Tbsp. chopped peanuts. Makes 1 serving. Prep: 10 min. Cook: 5 min. Note: You can substitute 1⁄2 cup chopped cooked chicken for the shrimp.
Get ready for the return of warm weather and backyard gatherings. Pick up an old cabinet or hutch at a secondhand furniture store or flea market. Give it the right amount of paint and polish to achieve a decidedly unique look. Put it out on the porch, and stock it with brightly colored glasses, place mats, dinnerware, and napkins. That way you’ll have everything on hand to pull together a party at a moment’s notice.