Do you like to go to estate or garage sales? I have a problem with either, much the same as I do with bakeries. I have great willpower as long as I stay in the car, but otherwise, it’s hopeless!

However, my new good friend from afar, Debbie Denson in Baytown has given me a great idea about these resale venues. No, she did not tell me how to restrain my buying. She just shared an idea about something she does from which I have benefitted.

She loves cookbooks — just as many of us do. She visits sales looking for books that she already has but wants to share with cookbook-loving friends who might not be able to get the out-of-print books. The first book Debbie gave me is from the Texas Gulf Coast area. It is “Settings on the Dock of the Bay.”

Debbie told me about a second book published by the Assistance League of the Bay Area. She had not been able to find a copy of it until recently. It arrived last week and what a joy to peruse. They are both delightful books. This book is called “Settings Sunrise to Sunset.” I am not sure if either is still in print, but you can call (877) 277-3452 to ask.

The first recipe I tried is great for these hot summer nights. I think it would be good with shrimp, but we also liked it just as it is.

Spinach Fusilli Salad12 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1 pound spinach fusilli (a spiral pasta which means “little springs”) cooked al dente and drained

1/4 cup chopped red onion

3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

1 cup pitted Kalamata olives

3 cups thinly sliced spinach

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

Crumble the cheese over the cooked pasta in a large bowl. Add onions and sun-dried tomatoes, olives and spinach and toss to mix. Combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and blend well. Pour over pasta to coat well. I served it at room temperature, but I think it would be good chilled. Makes 8-10 servings.

I have tried to mature enough not to go immediately to the dessert section of any cookbook; my spirit is willing but my sweets craving is weak. This is one of the most delicate cookies I have ever eaten, and the fact that it is lemon makes it irresistible to me.

Lemon Melting Moments2/3 cup cornstarch

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon lemon extract

Sift cornstarch and flour together. Cream the butter, powdered sugar and lemon extract with mixer until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and mix well. Drop by small teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Do not brown. Carefully lift onto wire racks to cool.


1/3 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups (or more) powdered sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest (the yellow part of the outer rind, grated)

Combine butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and mix well. Add additional powdered sugar to reach desired spreading consistency. Drizzle over cooled cookies. (This makes enough frosting for two batches. Just freeze and use the remainder another time. This makes 4 dozen cookies.

This beautiful book is subtitled “A Medley of Flavors, Tastes, and Styles from the Texas Gulf Coast.”

— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist and has written three self-published cookbooks. Her column appears in the News-Journal’s Taste section each Wednesday. Write her at or in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.