All posts by Valerie Citrano

Jesus, Family, Travel, Food. I am a professional photographer and baker who has been published in several magazines and even a cookbook published by Southern Living who featured my pies. I bake for our restaurant, The Coffee Shop Cafe in McGregor, Texas. If you like food and traveling, be sure to keep an eye on my blog and social media pages. I'll be sharing our adventures and recipes along the way! Be sure to comment or ask questions. Our guests mean a lot to us! Thanks for stopping by! For possible collaboration, please email me at ValerieDutyCitrano@gmail.com

I’ve lived in Waco, Texas since before it was cool … Visiting? Suggestions from a Local

I was born and raised in Waco, Texas, as my grandmother would say. I’d love to show you around and make a few suggestions on where you might take some time to visit my hometown on the banks of the Brazos River deep in the heart of Texas.

Waco sits right between Dallas and Austin along 1-35. It is a great place to stop for a visit or take more time and do some exploring and shopping.

Waco Landmarks:

The Suspension Bridge:

Waco Suspension Bridge
Waco Suspension Bridge
The Alico Building:

Towering above the downtown Waco skyline is the Alico Building with it’s iconic red sign perched on top. This building survived the blunt of the tornado that devastated our downtown in 1953. Every old Waco family has stories of the events of the day and mine is no different, My grandfather, along with his Texas National Guard comrades spent many days and nights protecting the shops and restaurants that were destroyed from looting. On a much happier note, several years later my mother and father met inside the Alico Building. My dad was an attorney in the building and my mother was one of the elevator operators. They said it was, ‘Love at first sight.’ As children, my sister and I would marvel at all of the pigeons that perched in the window sills high above the ground. We would love to hear your stories of the Alico! Comment below.

Alico building in Waco, Texas
Alico building in downtown Waco, Texas
The Hippodrome Theater: Historic theater in downtown Waco that has recently been beautifully renovated. Enjoy dinner at your seat as you watch a movie for a nice evening out.

Waco Hippodrome
Waco Hippodrome
Places to visit:

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame: Learn all about the most famed law men in Texas, the Texas Rangers. Don’t miss the exhibit featuring the notorious bank robbers, Bonnie & Clyde. Bonnie broke Clyde out of the Waco jail and some say that was the beginning of her life of crime.

Friends visiting from Singapore at the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco, Texas
Friends visiting from Singapore at the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco, Texas
Dr. Pepper Museum: The carbonated soda, Dr. Pepper was born right here in Waco, Texas at the old Corner Drug Store. The museum is located in the old bottling company building. Nice place to enjoy a Dr. Pepper ice cream float after learning all about our favorite fizzy beverage.

Dr Pepper Museum in Waco, Texas
Dr Pepper Museum
Cameron Park Zoo: Our zoo in Waco just may surprise you with the animals roaming in an amazing setting as Cameron Park. Your kids will enjoy it!

Cameron Park: Beautiful 416 acre park that runs along the Brazos River. It’s the place for disc golf, fishing, hiking and exploring.

Have you tried Chex Mix Baked the original way?

Thought I’d share an old recipe that you don’t see baked anymore. The cereal box has a microwave version that may be quicker but I don’t think is as good. My husband’s mom always served a close version of this every Christmas. Hers was always so good and she would send a bit of it home with everyone.

I made this for my snack loving granddaughter and happily, she approved! I’m going to keep this in my kid friendly arsenal for when they visit and maybe even continue my MIL’s tradition.

Baked Chex Mix is is kid approved by my snack lovin' granddaughter! www.Pie LadyLife.com
My snack lovin’ granddaughter approves! Thanks for the picture, mom!

Yep, I’ve made a few changes from the old recipe, adding more butter, spices and Texas pecans instead of mixed nuts. I like wheat and rice cereal but you can use 3 cups each of rice, corn and wheat. That’s the fun of recipes.. To change them up and make them your own!

Baked Chex Mix from PieLadyLife.com
Baked Chex Mix Recipe

Baked Chex Mix

2 1/2 sticks butter
4 1/2 cups rice Chex
4 1/2 cups wheat Chex
2 cups bite size pretzels or sticks
2 cups garlic bagel chips, broken into pieces
2 cups Texas pecans
4 tablespoons worsechishier sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons season salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or large, deep casserole dish in the oven. Remove from oven. Add spices and worsechishier sauce to melted butter and mix well. Add cereal and remaining items and toss well in butter mixture.

Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir well. Repeat 3 more times baking a total of one hour. Remove from oven and spread evenly on two paper towel lined cookie sheets to cool. Store in air tight containers. Makes about 12 cups.