The Texas Legislature is in session and the House has formally named the pecan pie as Texas’ official pie. During the ceremonial resolution last week, some of the members asked for amendments that only Texas pecans be used in pecan pies statewide, and that it officially be declared illegal to include chocolate when baking one. I certainly understand the importance of using Texas pecans, but I have to question their logic on the chocolate ban.Tony's Chocolate Pecan Pie – compliments of the Neelys3 tablespoons butter, melted3 eggs, beaten3/4 cup brown sugar2 tablespoons flour1 teaspoon vanilla extract3/4 cup dark corn syrup3 tablespoons bourbon liquor1 1/2 cups pecan halves1/2 cup mini milk chocolate morsels9-inch unbaked pie shellHomemade whipped cream, recipe followsDirections:Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Melt butter in a small saucepan. While butter is melting, add beaten eggs to a medium-sized bowl. Stir in brown sugar, flour, vanilla extract, corn syrup and bourbon until combined. Add butter when just melted.Mix in the pecans and chocolate morsels. Mix all together. Pour mixture into pie shell. Place on a sheet tray and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. When ready to serve, top with a dollop of whipped cream.Homemade Whipped Cream1 cup heavy cream4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extractPour heavy cream into a bowl and whip with an electric mixer for a few minutes until it becomes thick. Add confectioners sugar and beat until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Fold in vanilla extract.Carrot Cake WafflesYields about seven waffles (using 1/2 cup batter for each)2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon salt2 tablespoons sugar1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda1 teaspoon cinnamon1 teaspoon nutmeg1 teaspoon allspice1 3/4 cup buttermilk2 eggs, separated4 tablespoons butter1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract1 cup raisins1 cup walnuts, chopped1 1/2 cup finely grated carrotsCooking spray for waffle ironMaple Nut Cream Cheese Spread8 ounces cream cheese, softened3-4 tablespoons maple syrup1/8 cup chopped walnutsMelt and cool butter. Combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Mix the buttermilk and egg yolks. Stir in melted butter and vanilla. Spray the waffle iron well and preheat it. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with a whisk or electric mixer (make sure the bowl and mixer are spotlessly clean) until they hold soft peaks. Stir them gently into the batter. Add carrots, walnuts and raisins. Stir gently to combine.Spread a ladle full or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually three to five minutes, depending on your iron. Spray iron with cooking spray between waffles as needed.To make Maple Cream Cheese Spread, combine nuts, syrup and cream cheese and mix well. Serve waffles immediately with a Maple Cream Cheese Spread or keep them warm for a few minutes in a low oven. (Note: Waffles also freeze well. Make a big batch, allow them to cool and freeze them for a homemade alternative to commercial frozen waffles.)Grilled Salt and Vinegar Potato Wedges4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil2 tablespoons kosher salt1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepperVegetable or canola oil, for brushing grill gratesMalt vinegar, for servingTo prepare potatoes, place in a large pot and cover with cold water, then bring just to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender, but still firm, about eight to 10 minutes. Drain well in a colander and let cook to the touch. Slice potatoes lengthwise into eight wedges and place on a large plate. Brush potato wedges on all sides with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.Prepare a moderate charcoal fire, preheat a gas grill to medium or heat a large grill pan over medium heat. (Note: Although I love to grill outside, I prefer to grill these indoors on a grill pan with small grates to achieve nice, distinct grill marks on the small wedges. Just don’t forget to turn on the vent over your cook-top.) Brush grill grates or grill pan with a thin coating of oil using a silicone pastry brush. Place potatoes on grill, turn over once when grill marks appear and the potatoes will likely be done when grill marks appear on the second side.To serve, arrange potato wedges on a serving platter and sprinkle with salt and drops of malt vinegar to taste. Serve warm. (Note: I haven’t seen malt vinegar at Tom Thumb or Kroger but I found some at Walmart and Brookshires.)Applewood Smoked Bacon and Bourbon Apple Crostada4 slices applewood smoked bacon, cut into strips2 Fuji apples, peeled cored, and sliced in 1/4-inch slices1 tablespoon lemon juice2 teaspoons bourbon1/4 cup light brown sugar1 teaspoon corn starch1/4 teaspoon cinnamon1 prepared pie crust doughFlour, for dusting1 egg, slightly beatenPreheat oven to 425 degrees and place oven rack in the middle of the oven.Place a large skillet on the stove over a medium heat and when hot, add bacon. Sauté the bacon until the fat has rendered and bacon is crispy, about seven minutes. Pour off the bacon fat and reserve for another use.In a large bowl, add sliced apples and lemon juice and toss well until combined. Sprinkle apple mixture with sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon, combine well.Return the skillet with bacon back to the stove over a high heat and when the skillet is hot, add the apple mixture. Gently toss the pan until all the ingredients are well combined. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the bourbon to deglaze the pan. Return skillet to the heat and allow the bourbon to reduce to almost dry, about 30 seconds, and remove the pan from the heat.On a floured surface, roll out the pie crust dough in to a circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Evenly distribute apple filling in the middle of the dough. Fold over edges to create a “free form pie.” Brush the edges with egg wash and sprinkle granulated sugar over top of pie. Bake until filling is bubbly and edges of pie are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.(Note: I cook the entire package of bacon, snipping it all in equal strips with kitchen shears before cooking, and freeze it in a Ziploc bag. When I need bacon for this recipe or another, I just shake out the amount needed. I also prepare the pie dough in advance, so that I can make the crostada fairly quickly, with little time and effort. Lastly, honey flavored bourbon is especially nice in this recipe but plain bourbon works great, too.)Feel free to send recipes/recipe requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. - Suzi Hogan and her husband, Tim, live in Mansfield.