Southern Pimento Cheese #Recipe

This is a quick, Southern go-to lunch item. A lot of Southern cooks keep a batch of pimento cheese ready in the refrigerator—just in case somebody drops by around lunchtime.


New York Sharp Cheddar blockpimcheese

4 oz jar of pimento



1. Finely shred half of cheddar block into a large bowl. Do not use pre-shredded cheese which contains too much moisture. I slice the block into sections and use a handheld rotary shredder. I got mine at Target. My aunt is still using the shredder she bought in France sixty years ago.

2. Dump the pimento with juice onto a plate and mash (don’t you love the fancy cooking terms?) the pimentos “to release the flavors.”

3. Combine shredded cheese, pimentos, and mayo (1/3 to 1/2 cup??? experiment till “looks right”)

4. Refrigerate. Spread onto bread for sandwiches (the traditional Southern way) or use crackers.

A flavorful Southwest version might include adding some cayenne and jalapenos.


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Southern Deviled Egg #Recipe—Just in Time for #Easter



6 eggs



Salt & Pepper


1. Boil eggs in with with a dash of salt 15-20 minutes.

2. Let eggs cool. Crack and peel eggs.

3. Slice eggs in half lengthwise.

4. Scoop out yolk onto plate and mash with a fork till lumps are out and yolks are blended.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add mayo (1/3 cup???) I add till it “looks right”.

6. Add mustard ( 1 Tbsp????) You know what I’m going to say here, right? This is how I was taught to cook by the best Southern cooks I know.

Until reaching desired color and texture.

7. Spoon into egg whites.

Yield: 12 eggs


Southerners eat this at all social gatherings year-round. It’s about as de rigueur as sweet tea.

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Southern Pecan Pie #Recipe

images23Foolproof Pie Crust—Ingredients:

•4 cups all-purpose flour

•1 3/4 cups vegetable shortening

•1 Tbsp sugar

•2 tsp salt

•1 Tbsp vinegar

•1 egg

•1/2 cup water


1. With a fork, mix first 4 ingredients. In a separate dish, beat remaining ingredients. Combine the 2 mixtures, stirring with a fork till all ingredients are moistened.

2. Mold dough into a ball. Chill at least 15 minutes before rolling into desired shape. Dough can be left in the refrigerator up to 3 days or frozen until ready to use. Divide into 4 dough balls.

3. Roll out one ball for crust of pecan pie.

Pecan Pie—Ingredients:

•1/2 cup melted butter

•1 cup sugar

•1 cup light corn syrup

•4 eggs, beaten

•1 tsp vanilla extract

•1/4 tsp salt

•9-inch unbaked pastry shell

•1 cup pecan halves


1. Spray medium-sized cooking pot with cooking spray. Combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup in pot.

2. Cook on low heat; be sure sugar dissolves. Stir constantly.

3. Cool mixture slightly. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt. Mix well.

4. Pour into pie shell and top with pecan halves. Bake 325 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

5. Serve warm or cold. Many Southerners top with whipped cream or ice cream.

Yield: 1 pie

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Southern Potato Salad #Recipe


6 potatoes

1.5 cups mayo/Duke’s

1 Tbsp mustard

1 Tbsp vinegar

2 celery stalks, minced (1 cup)

1 chopped onion

4 hard-boiled chopped eggs

Salt & Pepper to taste


1. Boil potatoes and cut into cubes after cooling.

2. Mix remaining ingredients. I may use more or less mayo. I eyeball it for the creamy consistency I prefer.

3. Add potatoes. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours.

4. Where I come from in NC, we prefer our potato salad to have a yellow color and so add mustard more or less to listed amount per personal preferences.


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Southern Pig-Pickin’ Cake #Recipe

Similar to Southern pineapple cake—as the name implies, a favorite dessert to serve at a barbecue (pig-pickin’ which is exactly what it sounds like). Barbeque in the Southern sense is always a noun, never a verb.pigpickincake2

Cake Ingredients

1 Duncan Hines yellow cake mix

4 eggs (add 1 at a time)

3/4 cup corn oil

1 11 oz can mandarin oranges (undrained)

Makes 3 layers. Mix cake according to box directions, adding mandarin oranges. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Icing Ingredients

1 large carton of Cool Whip

1 large can crushed pineapple, drained

1 box instant vanilla pudding

Sprinkle instant pudding over pineapple and mix. Sir in Cool Whip.

Pineapple juice may be reserved and spread over layers before icing if desired but this make it very wet with a tendency to fall apart, although this version is very good and moist.

After icing, refrigerate.pigpickincake1


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Childhood Favorites

Erin’s favorite book


Adam’s favorite childhood book


What was your favorite childhood book?

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My Grandmama’s Southern Pineapple Cake #Recipe

Cake Ingredientspineapplecake

1 Duncan Hines yellow cake mix

20 oz. can unsweetened crushed pineapple (do not drain)

1. Bake cake per box directions.

2. When layers are cool, make holes by piercing with a fork.

3. Put half of pineapple can with juice over one layer.

4. Spread icing over layer.

5. Put remaining half of pineapple with juice over 2nd layer.

6. Spread remaining icing over layer and sides of cake.

Cooked Pineapple Icing Ingredients (For 2-layer 9″ cake)

1 can crushed pineapple (do not drain)

1.5 cup granulated sugar

1 egg (beat slightly)

1/2 cup self-rising flour

1/2 stick margarine

1. Mix all of the above ingredients and cook on medium heat till it thickens.

2. Spread over layers.

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Navajo Country Landscapes from Beneath a Navajo Moon

Cottonwood—reminiscent of where Olivia’s life changed forever. BTW—cottonwoods make me sneeze. 🙂




Silver Aspen—Words cannot adequately describe the sound of aspen leaves fluttering in a canyon breeze. Sheer magic.


Pinon Pine




Blue Spruce


Ponderosa Pine


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Easy Southern Ham Biscuit #Recipe


2 cups self-rising flourhambiscuits

1 cup whipping cream


1. Combine ingredients with a fork till blended.

2. Dough will be stiff.

3. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead 10-12 times until a certain elasticity is achieved.

4. Roll dough to 1/2″ thickness and cut with 2″ biscuit cutter. (I have my grandmother’s.)

5. Place onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

6. While warm, slice biscuits and layer ham slices inside. Can use bits of previously baked ham or deli ham slices for convenience.


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Southern Pecan Coffee & Southern Rites of Passage

imagesSoutherners love and baby their pecan trees. And picking up the pecans every fall is a true Southern rite of passage. Some of my earliest memories involve helping my great-aunt Polly pick up pecans in her yard or at the family home-place.

My girls also started early at Aunt Grace’s, each of them with their pecan pickin’ buckets—kind of like a Southern fall version of an Easter egg hunt.

coffeeThese pecans will be cracked by hand or by a “professional” who lives down the road and has a machine. The hulls will be painstakingly picked clean from the meat. And these beauties will make their way into pies, casseroles, divinity candy, and entrees from church homecomings to Thanksgiving to Christmas celebrations.

coffee2What better way to cherish these fond family memories than by sipping Southern pecan coffee all year round?

(Which may be why Erin brings this gourmet coffee with her onto the Navajo Rez.)

What’s your favorite coffee flavor?

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