Spread it on!

Tex-Mex Pimento Cheese

Serve this spread with the usual crackers, spread on a sandwich in place of a slice of regular cheddar. I promise it will not disappoint.

Makes 4 Cups (recipe easily halved)

2 cups jalapeño jack, shredded
2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
1/3 cup chopped pimentos
1/8 cup chopped pickled jalapeños
1/2 cup mayonnaise (Duke’s is my favorite)
1/4 sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
1/2  teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2  teaspoon granulated onion
1/4  teaspoon cumin
1/2  teaspoon chili powder
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of sugar

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a standing mixer bowl. Mix thoroughly with the paddle attachment until creamy and the pimentos are well distributed. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.

Pimento cheese will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week.

Pro Tip: While you can certainly use pre-shredded cheese (and I have in a pinch) your spread will be creamier and the shreds less separated if you grate your cheese with a box grater.

Homegrown Tomatoes, How do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

Caprese Salad with homegrown heirloom tomatoes and Fredericksburg peaches.

1 In a Caprese Salad. This is my favorite lunch (and dinner) all Summer, every Summer. What tastes like Summer more than sun-warmed homegrown tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil drizzled with sweet balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil? Nothing. IMHO. Summer in every bite.

Pro tip: Peaches, or any stone fruit, are the perfect addition to this salad. I’ve tried peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots. A – m – a – z – i – n – g.

Hogeye Festival Update. Why? Because Olive U

Game of Scones_ spreader Potluck Tableware Bean and Noodle photo by Stacey Van Landingham

“GAME OF SCONES” Cheese/Butter Spreader. Photo by Stacey Van Landingham

Also, because I cannot wait for GOT Season 8. C’mon already. Cue the opening credits, jam, and clotted cream.

Olive U_pickle fork Potluck Tableware Bean and Noodle photo by Stacey Van Landingham

“OLIVE U” Olive/Pickle Fork. Photo by Stacey Van Landingham

Because OLIVE U… and picking up pickles and olives with your fingers or toothpick is barbaric.

Pile of freshly tagged Potluck Tableware

Ready for Hogeye. photo by Stacey Van Landingham

Please come visit our booth at the Hogeye Festival tomorrow, Saturday, October 27th. My crew She Creates Union will be selling original designs and hand made items. Be sure to check out our new website Emma created SheCreatesUnion.org.

Festival attendees who sign up for my email list will be entered into a drawing for a “Mind Your Own Biscuits” Spreader. You don’t have to be present to win, but you do need to to sign up in person. I’ll be drawing for the winner Saturday night at 11pm.

See you there!

 

Friday Favorites: Breakfast With a View & Dolly Parton with a Mohawk

Snowcapped Mt. Hood from panoramic viewpoint in Hood River, Oregon. Photo by Stacey Van Landingham.

View of snowcapped Mt. Hood from Hood River, Oregon.

It’s Fall Y’all

While our anniversary trip to Oregon was unseasonably bright and sunshiny, we returned home to a cold and wet central Texas. Go figure.

Once again, I teared up and felt a tug at my heart when leaving the Pacific Northwest… I guess your heart can have more than one home. And perhaps it’s because during this trip I couldn’t help but think about my father and how he drew his final breaths near the Gorge, mostly alone. While in Portland I was able to visit with an old family friend who was always a friend to our father, even when it was difficult for others to do so. So grateful for Ron being in our lives, and being there for our father near the end. Sadly, Ron was in the hospital when we were there so we didn’t have the time to explore the coast and visit as I’d hoped. I had a lot I wanted to hear about, and to thank him.

It seems appropriate that I put pen to paper and write him a letter.

Chicken vegetable soup with cilantro jalapeño pesto. Photo by Stacey Van Landingham.

Chicken vegetable soup with cilantro jalapeño pesto.

Soup’s On!

One of the best things about coming home to soup weather is, you guessed it, soup. I wasted no time making my favorite blustery day chicken vegetable soup. Recipe coming soon. .. don’t miss it! Sign up below to receive this recipe, shop updates, and more.

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Vacation Knitting

I’m getting close to finishing my Find Your Fade Shawl… home stretch! I really love the color blends and am really digging the WS (that’s the wrong side for non-knitters) of this knit better than the right side WS (that’s the right side for the same folks I mentioned earlier in this sentence). The blend appears softer on this side.

Any knitter can tell you, half the fun of going on vacation is planning the projects for the trip and hunting for local yarn stores and yarns. I picked up some locally dyed yarns in Hood River and Portland by Knitted Wit and LavenderSheep in colorways that resemble the gray rocks, bright lichen, and the pumpkin warm glow of fall foliage of the Columbia River Gorge in October. This domestic targhee in Moss by LavenderSheep will be a pair of Appleseed Mitts found in this MDK Field Guide.

View form behind of the Timberline Lodge on a drizzly afternoon. Photo by Stacey Van Landingham

Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge

I have wanted to stay at this lodge F O R E V E R. It lived up to my expectations andante more. You may not know this about me, but I am madly in love with the design of WPA and CCC parks projects. The grounds and interior everything was made by artists and artisans.  Being the homebody that I am, reading and knitting by the huge fireplace in the main lobby was pure bliss, but it the breakfast with a view the following morning was what I was most excited about.

Could not have asked for a more perfect way to spend our anniversary.

Lost River Sessions

His rainy week has me thinking of previous press trips to Kentucky, it always seemed to rain in those foggy hills near Bowling Green. One of the best things about western Kentucky, aside from Mammoth Cave National Park, barn quilts, and a Cracker Barrel every exit, was tuning in to WKU radio, the local public radio station from Western Kentucky University, and discovering Lost River Sessions. This series on WKU PBS features mostly local Americana and Bluegrass artists. If you’re a fan of this music as I am, treat yourself and check it out. Here’s one of my favorites with Lilly Mae, who is  like Dolly Parton with a mohawk. Enjoy! I just recently started streaming WKU at home. You should too.

Dreaming of Cracker Barrel’s hash brown casserole now!

Friday Favorites: Pie, Pie & More Pie

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This year our Pi(e) Day Social was a great success. Lovely pies and reasonably good people. Image courtesy of @dchav_

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And speaking of pie…I found myself needing a super quick piecrust because my frozen pie disk had taken a bad turn during a power outage. Though conventional wisdom tells me it’s unwise to try something new when entertaining, I decided to give this quick pie crust a try. I scoffed at the claim that this piecrust is revolutionary… but am now a convert. The crust is kind of shortbready, buttery, flaky, and so easy. Perfect for single crust pies. You can buy The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook here.

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I find it hard to find sprouts in the small amount I need, so felt it economical to try sprouting my own. I found these on Amazon. I believe these are radish, lentil and some other guys.

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I am just about to bind off this lovely poncho in Rowan Felted Tweed and am itching to start something with Euroflax Linen, maybe this tunic or another wrap.

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Sharing your bounty. While planning your spring garden, plan to plant just a little bit more to share with your local community food bank. Contact them first, but many of your local organizations will gladly accept washed, home grown produce to offer their clients. Ample Harvest has a Find a Pantry button on the top of their site to help you find a local food bank or soup kitchen that would love to accept your produce and eggs. If you live in Elgin you can donate food here.

Fab Five for Friday

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1. Fall. My other favorite four-letter word. I can’t help it, but as someone who grew up in cooler climes than my new found home in central Texas… once the calendar ticks autumnal equinox, I’m ready to whip up large bowls of oatmeal and wooly ponchos.

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2. Fleabag.  So smart. So funny. So sad. So good. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is brilliant.

3. Magazines. Not just because I work at one either. Whether I subscribe or pick up at the newsstand, I rarely crack them open immediately, but tend to stack them up on a side table until I have a quiet hour or two to savor the glossy pages with a cup of coffee.

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4. This Podcast… Becoming a Badger. Firstly, I love anything about badgers. Frances the Badger is my spirit animal. Secondly, the story of the french comedian and his struggle with his humor not translating is very funny. Perhaps funnier than him. Someone should pitch this to Netflix for a series… full of obvious gaffs, awkward moments, and witness shame. Then finally the rat hunting terriers in NYC. My favorite part is when the interviewer asks Paco’s owner, “What’s his way in?”, and he answers, “He weighs in at 32 pounds.” Thinking she wants his fighting weight. Priceless.

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5. These cookies

Five Fab for Friday: Arturo the Aqua Boy & Pick Your Own Damn Bluberries

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1. Geek Love. The author Katherine Dunn passed away this week. I cannot tell you how this novel ruined everything I tried to read afterward for quite some time. It was as if I’d tasted the most perfectly tart rhubarb pie and everything after was Pop Tarts. Warning, the wild tail (pun intended, spoiler alert) in this book is not for the faint of heart. It appears nothing she did ever was. She was one of my heroes. I love this story in the Willamette Week.

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2. Pick Your Own Damn Blueberries. It just wouldn’t be time for Memorial Day Weekend without me mentioning these bad boys. I do believe I may have just found the perfect name for any pick your own farm. Each year I reach out to Bill at Chickamaw Farm and Ranch in nearby McDade to see how close they are to picking. As of this morning, these are still a couple weeks form being ready to pick. Bill says, “Berries are out there just waiting for the rain to quit and the sun to shine hot and long.  I figure in a couple o’ weeks at the most but stay tuned.” Cannot wait. Call before you head out 512-567-3456.

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3. An actual finished knitting project. I have not been my usual knitty self these past months, so it feels so good to finally complete this incredibly basic garter stitch shawl.  The yarn is Mountain Colors, 4/8’s Wool in Harmony Rose.

4. I recently found these incredibly helpful cheat sheets for knitting shawls without any real pattern in mind…hence the above finished shawl. She also has some lovely patterns. You will want to download these PDFs. 5 Basic Shawl Shapes and 5 Basic Shawl Shapes in the Round. Find many more helpful tips and lovely patterns at Laylock.org

5. This recipe on Pinterest. I am craving a fried chicken sandwich and this. Seriously.

 

Five Fab for Friday: Berries & Blooms

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1. It may early to be dreaming of tomato pie, but strawberries are making their way to your local farmers’ markets. These are from Skinny Lane Farm. Sorry to say, but these were the last pint available at Elgin Local Goods today…but I bet Mike and Bekki bring some more by for the weekend.

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2. Also available at Elgin Local Goods is this amazing pâté de Campagne from Belle Vie Farm & Kitchen. You can read about this Elgin farm in the current ssue of Edible Austin.

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3. The return of Happy Valley. Season 2 is now available on Netflix. The other night at Stitch & Hoot we were talking about being distracted while watching movies by the furniture, knitwear and decor. I love this show, but would you look at this kitchen?! I’m sure to most this looks a fright, but I love it… the bold colors, the (in progress) hand painted cabinets, the yellow glass knobs, and the mismatched coffee cups.

=][[[[[[[[[kj (this was typed by Olive)

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4. I know…more granny squares. But bunting!

5. This photo essay of spring blooms in Big Bend in the March Issue of Texas Monthly.

 

 

Happy Pi(e) Day Everyone

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I hopped on the elevator this morning carefully juggling a pie with my usual Monday haul… a way too big tote, laptop, and a gym bag that will never see the locker room. A fellow staffer and I were chatting  bragging about all the pies people were bringing today. As we hopped off on our floor I looked back at the man still on the elevator and said, “Have a nice day, sorry there’s no pie where you’re going.”

I’ve hung the crochet bunting and smoothed the vintage tablecloths over the production work table, and the pies are being left with care until the magic hour.

Dork that I am, I created a Pi(e) playlist of mostly sixties & seventies country… the best country IMHO. Not that you asked, but here’s the playlist.

Fist City, Loretta Lynn
Hello Darlin’, Conway Twitty
Delta Dawn, Tanya Tucker
Wichita Lineman, Glen Campbell
Kiss an Angel Good Morning, Charley Pride
Six days on the Road, Dave Dudley
Wine Me Up, Faron Young
Jolene, Dolly Parton
Behind Closed Doors, Charlie Rich
Workin’ Man Blues, Merle Haggard & The Strangers
Stand By Your Man, Tammy Wynette
Green, Green Grass of Home, Porter Wagner
Rose Garden, Lynn Anderson

Happy Pi(e) Day Y’all!