Archive for January, 2011

January 23, 2011

Braggin’ Rights

by Crystal Cook

The Queens have a little secret. We are slightly addicted to the thrill of competing in cook-offs. (Well at least Sandy is, Crystal just likes to dress up in costumes, decorate the camp and mingle amongst the crowd all day!) It’s that combination of competitive spirit and social activity that makes the cook-off so unique and fun. In fact, there’s nothing like a small-town cook-off. From chilies to peaches, communities all across the country are coming together to celebrate the food and people of their hometown. Our particular favorite –  is Sandy’s hometown pride – the Hargill Pan de Campo Cook-off! In the past years we have taken home several trophies, second place in the Chili Category, 3rd place in Beans, and second place Carne Guisda! But unfortunately we still haven’t captured that top top prize (insert Throwdown! with Bobby Flay flashbacks here) and gosh darn it –  we want those braggin’ rights!

Crystal and Sandy doin’ a little victory dance at the Hargill cook-off!

With the New Year in place, it is time to start messing with our chili recipe! Chili may be as common as any food in America, but it invariably reflects the personality of the cook. Always familiar, always different. That’s why we want to hear from you! Maybe you have a tip or “secret” ingredient that could help send our Chili straight to number one! Do you prefer chili with beans, or without? Or maybe you have a cook-off in your hometown that you want to promote? Let’s talk!!

January 15, 2011

Inside the Queens Studio: Meet Mama Pollock

by Sandy Pollock

Sandy’s biggest influence in her life is her mother Margie aka Marge. She is the strong and smart and funny and supportive and awesome! So it only made sense to make her part of our interview group. Here’s what she had to say…

  • Name, short bio, where they work, how they got into cooking, etc.

My name is Margie Pollock. I recently retired from being the Post Master in Hargill Texas for 44 years. I am super happy to be retired and I use my time gardening and cooking for my family. I have 4 daughters: Yvonne and Yvette (twins), Kellye, and Sandy. I have 7 great grandchildren and 1 great husband of 52 years. I got into cooking because I had a family and they had to eat.

  • What is your “recipe” for success?

Well you’ll need a dash of love and a sprinkle of…oh who am I kidding. It’s very simple. Don’t bother the hubby when it’s hunting season. Success.

  • If you weren’t a ___ you would be…

If I weren’t a retired postmaster of 44 years then I would be a retired something else, because I am NOT going back! I am RETIRED!

  • Your spouse called and his Aunt Edna is in town and coming over for dinner. Quick – what is your go to meal?

Sloppy Tacos is a go to for me when I need food on the table quickly. Seasoned ground beef piles on a bed tortilla chips. The thing that sells this meal is the toppings. You want tons of fresh delicious toppings like: Diced tomatoes, sliced pickled jalapeños, shredded cheese, avocado slices, diced onion, shredded lettuce… Put each topping in a fun bowl and set the table. It’s an almost instant fiesta!

  • Name one kitchen disaster you’ve had.

I have been a member of a Bunco club forever and it was my turn to host at my house. I made spaghetti and meat sauce for my guests. Everything was going so smoothly until I went to drain my pasta. I had my strainer posed and ready to go and just and I started to pour out my perfectly al dente pasta into the strainer the steam fogged up my glasses and I miss the strainer and it fell into a semi sudsy sink! Luckily for me my daughters were standing there ready to…LAUGH! I was so frustrated! I had a gaggle of laughing daughters and a houseful of hungry Bunco players and no extra pasta!! SO I did what any good hostess would do. I rinsed that sudsy pasta off and served it with a smile. I would have gotten away with it if it were for those meddling kids (Scooby doo reference)! Just kidding I totally got away with it! Score one for Marge!

  • What dish from your childhood brings you the most comfort and why?

My mother’s cinnamon rolls. It was one of those pinch of this handful of that and we have yet to be able to replicate it. They were delicious and comforting beyond words.

  • If someone wrote a book about you, what would the title be?

Sunday Lunch with Marge. My family (husband, kids, grandkids, son-in-laws) have a standing invitation to lunch, at my house, after church every Sunday. We’ve been doing this for many years and it is truly the thing I look forward to the most during my week. We all sit around the table and catch up. With technology and busy lives we lead I feel so fortunate that my daughters and their kids come and spend that time with us.

I try out all kinds of stuff on my Sunday lunch guests. Some stuff was good and some stuff was not so great, but I keep trying new stuff and really enjoy myself in the process. Plus a little secret just between us, if you make lots of extra food you won’t need to cook during the week! Hammock here I come!

January 8, 2011

And the winners are….

by Crystal Cook

Wow, what an extremely tight race. With 41.05% of the votes, Ben and his lady sweater just barely took the top prize from the  Napolillo’s at 38.42%! We sure are glad that we have not just one copy of the Throwdown book, but two! Congrats to you both – and thanks to everyone who sent submissions and/or voted  for our first-ever Tacky Sweater Contest. Contests are fun!

Until next time,

Crystal and Sandy

January 3, 2011

Vote for the Best of the Worst! Tacky Sweater Finalist!

by Crystal Cook

We have narrowed it down to our top 5 entries, but we need your help picking the winners! We will be taking your votes all this week, and will announce the two winners on Saturday 1/8/2011.

Pick your favorite and vote at the bottom of the post!

Happy voting!


#1 – It takes a real man to wear a ladies sweater vest in public! Go Ben Go!


#2 – Meghan and her friends make tacky look good!


#3 – Watch out Cristina – those lights may catch your hair on fire!


#4 – The Napolillo family goes on an X-mas tree hunt! (Yes, that is a saw in his hand!)


#5 – Amy and Scott take the contest to another level by adding hats! Where does one even find a Frosty the Snowman Hat?


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