About Amber

Why Bluebonnets & Brownies,
you ask?

Bluebonnets are the Texas state flower. I grew up in San Antonio, where Bluebonnet season is my favorite time of year. It happens in Spring, which is also when all of the festivals like Night in Old San Antonio, Fiesta, and Oysterbake happen too. Everywhere – highways, fields, front yards, fill with the sweet blue flower. You don’t plant them, they just grow.

It’s just a fantastic time of year to be in San Antonio. Especially if you like food.

In 2004, I left San Antonio for England. The reasons are pretty standard: boy, work, BOY. James and I are married now, and you’ll often hear him referred to as The Brit in my writing. Having a Texan and a Brit in a marriage certainly can get interesting. I just thank the sweet Lord that he loves breakfast tacos as much as I do!


I started Bluebonnets & Brownies as a way to reconnect to the food I grew up with: Tex-Mex, Southern, and Midwestern cuisine that might not always be good for you, but makes you feel loved from the inside out. I learned to cook from my mother and grandmother, Nanny.

Nanny spent many summers with my sister and me, teaching us to bake cookies, cakes, and Depression-era favorites like SOS. You’ll find a lot of her recipes on this site. She’s the single most influential person on my cooking style, and making them for the blog and for you is my way of keeping her close. Plus, it’s really difficult to find a chicken fried steak in New Jersey.. just sayin’.

Nanny gave me my first cookbook when I was 17, and it’s turned into a full on obsession. Maybe I’ll write one one day, maybe I won’t – but I will never stop loving what happens when love and food come together to make dinner (or dessert).

When I’m not whipping up Migas or Mexican Wedding Cookies in the kitchen, I work full time as the managing editor of Food Fanatic, after more than a decade as a fraud analyst. I’m desperately in love with my husband. In late 2013, after a harrowing labor, we welcomed our miracle baby, Evan James. And I’m aunt to the two most brilliant children in the entire universe, David and Ava.

An exhausted and happy me with my boy.

Chellee, Davey, & Ava

My sister and her babies.

What do I hope for Bluebonnets & Brownies? That I can teach someone to cook something they love. Or that I can teach someone about Hispanic and Texan culture. I am not Hispanic, but grew up immersed in the culture, and love it as if I were born to it.

Texas is a country unto itself: in fact, did you know it was not a state, but an independent republic, from 1836 to 1845? The cultures found there are as unique as its residents. I grew up immersed in that, and I will be forever be thankful.

I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at amber @ bluebonnetsandbrownies.com.

I love to work with other bloggers. I consider product reviews and sponsored posts on a case by case basis, so please email me! A media kit is available upon request.

Any time I offer an opinion on a product, whether accompanying a giveaway or not, it is MY opinion. I will never compromise my integrity by offering my voice for a price (and also because I’d like to remain in complete compliance with the FTC). The products I feature on this site are products that I have actually used, and actually love. Or don’t love. And I’ll tell you so. (See my review of the Dunkin’ Donuts Breakfast Wrap if you don’t believe me!)

You can take the girl out of Texas, but you’ll never take Texas outta the girl!

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Lark June 13, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Hi Amber, You know me as Lark from: Lark’s Country Heart & the Country Cooks Across America. I am in dire need of some volunteer “bakers” for a Fund raising project I am doing to help raise $ for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. So I am doing a Bake Sale! :)
I thought I would just see if any of my FB “fans” would like to help out.

You can visit the BAKING UP A CURE! Site and read ALL the info. of how it works.


Thanks for taking the time to read this.


Shannon June 28, 2011 at 12:43 AM

Hi Amber!
I was so excited when I clicked on the “about Amber” section and read you are from San Antonio! Me too, basically lived there all my life and moved to Des Moines, IA a year ago with my husband! I can totally relate to what you said about Fiesta, etc. And the TX/Hispanic culture! My hubby is Hispanic. We really like IA but do miss Texas, especially the food….ya, not many breakfast tacos around here!! I have started a cupcake business here and can’t wait to read more of your recipes! People who aren’t from TX just don’t understand do they!! Nice to find you!!


Amber June 28, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Shannon, what a lovely comment. I need to make more cupcakes. And you’re absolutely right, people who aren’t from Texas just don’t understand.


christa September 1, 2011 at 5:37 PM

i agree 100% only texans understand! i married a 100% alabamian he would never of survived the traffic in dallas.. when you mention texas my kids reply “we now momma everything is bigger and better in texas” amen and don’t ever forget it


Nicole Hutchison July 3, 2011 at 12:03 AM

Hi Amber – I just found your blog via Foodgawker as I was looking for a fajita marinade. You definitely delivered and I’m excited to follow your blog. Please visit mine sometime (http://mrshutchison.wordpress.com/), have a wonderful weekend!



Karen August 7, 2011 at 7:36 AM

Hi Amber, stumbled upon your blog through Tasty Kitchen. I am also from Texas but transplanted to Maine. Bluebonnets are sorely missed even with all the lovely things which bloom in New England. Tex Mex is sorely missed as well. I will have a tour around your blog and get homesick I am sure. Keep blogging!


Ashley August 16, 2011 at 10:29 AM

So happy to find another Texan who adores Tex-Mex food and culture as much as I do! I found you through a comment regarding aioli on Three Many Cooks’ blog. I’m in Cleveland, OH now and have, in vain, for the last three years attempted to grow blue bonnets…I haven’t given up…yet. I did get a few in a small urn on the front porch last year. Everyone was completely fascinated by them!! I can’t wait to read more of your posts and recipes.


Saundi August 17, 2011 at 12:10 AM

Hi Amber!
Nice to meet you at Costco today. Your blog looks awesome and look forward to reading it more! ;)


Eric Stanton September 26, 2011 at 1:19 AM

Hi there,
Hi Amber,

We love your site and would love to work with you on a review and giveaway of one of our products. By chance, would you be interested in partnering with us??




Karen Fraley October 9, 2011 at 7:01 PM

I’m always amazed at what a small world it is. I was looking for a recipe for Rudy’s creamed corn & yours was the first listed. It sounds wonderful so I printed it out. (I’ll be making it soon I hope!) Then, I thought I’d look into the Bluebonnets & Brownies site further and saw your profile. I see the picture of your sister, David & Ava and think, hum…, they look familiar. After seeing that they are sitting in front of a fire truck I realize I DO know them! The company I work for poured their house foundation. Jeremy & I are facebook friends. They are such a beautiful family. Salt of the earth. Thank you for sharing your recipes. I look forward to trying many…. Blessings – Karen Fraley


Christina October 13, 2011 at 7:52 AM

I am SO excited I found you! I am a Houstonian, born and raised. I am also married to a Brit! How funny! Anyway, I was looking for a recipe for borracho beans and I found your site…really excited to look through the recipes as I am just learning this whole “cooking” thing. Thank you for your time and effort put into this for all of us who need a little help in the kitchen :)


Melanie October 29, 2011 at 8:49 PM

Hi Amber,

I too am a homesick San Antone Texan living near Washington D.C. ——for the last 30 years. My honeymoon was the trip from SA to DC with a UHaul and I haven’t lived in SA since! Except in my heart that just can’t get over the Teka Molino guacamole cup! I wrote about it in my blog above and am chasing THAT rabbit all over the place. Let me know if you have eaten one……they dwell on San Pedro. Mostly, let me know if you have conquered it.

I’ll be back for many a visit. I understand the need for pure and lovely shortbread.

Oh for a little Night in Old SA,


Lana January 25, 2012 at 8:33 PM

Hi Amber,

Well you found another homesick Texan! I live in South Florida now but have traveled all over the country for work for the last 3 years. Everywhere we go people say that their state has the best food! Well I didn’t want to start a fight but unless they have spent some time around Austin and San Antonio they just wouldn’t understand what good food is! I miss my breakfast tacos and migas! Whoever decided a bagel and lox was a good breakfast food is insane! Anyway…keep up the good work! I’ll be sneaking around the pages of your blog for a while….


Mary Ann January 27, 2012 at 11:19 PM

Hi Amber! I just found your website while pinning things on Pinterest. I am also from San Antonio, and still live nearby in Boerne. My daughters and I also learned to love cooking from my own mother who they also called Nanny. I look forward to browsing through your recipes. We are supposed to have a really good bluebonnet season this year!


Wendy March 25, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Hi Amber,
I just found your website looking for a recipe for Rudy’s Creamed Corn. I want to make some pulled pork and thought it would be a nice side.
I’m also looking for a recipe similar to Rudy’s Coleslaw – have you ever come across one?
I currently live in Austin (we just ate Rudy’s today :) but am originally from the Midwest so I enjoyed reading ‘about Amber’ and can totally relate to comfort food that makes you feel loved!
Thank you!


Amber March 26, 2012 at 7:24 AM

Wendy, I’m not a huge coleslaw fan, so I never really get it at Rudy’s. I couldn’t even remotely tell you what’s in it. I’m sorry! Thanks so much for your lovely comments. I hope you’ll keep reading!


Renee Adams March 28, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Hi Amber,

Can you please, please tell me where I can find the beautiful serving bowls you displayed the Easter Bunny Bait in?? Thank you, Renee’


Angela April 7, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Today is my first day on a voyage to begin my own blog about baking. Dedicated completely to baking and the way I’ll be using it as therapy for my soul. Like others, your blog resonates with me because I’m from San Antonio…my first love is writing and my second is baking.

I have no idea where to start and it looks like a daunting task to begin, but I’m determined to figure it out! Keep up your great work and maybe once I start my blog you can start ‘following’ me to. :-)



Amber April 7, 2012 at 10:19 AM

You can do it, Angela! Fellow San Antonians unite! Let me know when you get the site up and running, I’d love to read it.


CJ at Food Stories May 7, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Just found your site on FoodBlogs.com and thought I’d stop by and check out your site. Looks great so I subscribed to your feed. Can’t wait to see what the next post will be!


Eat Good 4 Life August 2, 2012 at 7:35 PM

OMG, I just found out that you live in NJ from my baking addiction. I wish I could have met with you guys, as there are no food bloggers around where I am in Westfield, and it would have been great to met some with similar interests :-)

Anyhow, just giving you a shout out and that I have been following for a while now!!



Melanie October 7, 2012 at 10:07 PM

xoxoxo Love you forever! Keep up your great work Amberini
<3 Melliebean


Six Sisters October 22, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Hi Amber,

We are the Six Sisters and we would love to have you link up anytime to our Strut Your Stuff Saturday link party. We are also hosting a Build Your Blog Conference in Salt Lake City on Feb. 16, 2013. You can find a link on our blog sixsistersstuff.com with more info or go to buildyourblogconference.com. We would love to hear from you! -The Six Sisters


Abby November 2, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Thank you so much for your blog! I love seeing the delicious looking recipes and can’t wait to try them. I love that you are involved with a local CSA and do a lot of your baking with local seasonal ingredients! I had to choose a food blog to follow for one of my college classes this semester and was so excited when I found one that does Southern/Tex Mex food because I grew up in Arlington, TX! I look forward to your posts and check every day to see if there is a new recipe for me to try! Thanks again!
Abby from Troy, AL


brenda January 26, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Thank you for your tortilla soup recipe. I am a born and raised San Antonian that still lives here. I was looking for the recipe for Jim’s tortilla soup. I came accross yours. Last week me and my two preschoolers went to have the half a sandwich and tortilla soup. I had been wanting it ifor a while. The entire time I sat at the bar I was trying to analyse the ingredients. lol. I am going to try your recipe.


Amber January 26, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Brenda, I don’t know if that soup will match up to Jim’s.. but it’s definitely good. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment.


a June 24, 2014 at 1:03 AM

I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a
very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to
come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a
developer to create your theme? Excellent work!


Paula Lopez December 15, 2014 at 11:00 PM

Hi Amber,
My husband and I and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law just returned from a cruise where we got to meet your sweet and extremely proud mom and dad. Such interesting, sweet folks. Your mom just beamed when I told her I followed your recipes online. She is so happy to have her new grandson too. Thanks for the excellent recipes. Keep ‘em coming! Sincerely, Paula Lopez


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