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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My Favorite Cookie #Recipe—Hershey’s Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Sweet mercy . . . cinnchipcookie1


  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY’S Cinnamon Chips, divided (I order these online)
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely ground pecans or walnuts


1. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Add corn syrup and egg; mix well.

2. Place 1 cup cinnamon chips in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until chips are melted when stirred. Stir melted chips into butter mixture.

3. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add to cinnamon chips mixture, beating just until blended. Cover; refrigerate dough about 1 hour or until firm enough to handle.

4. Heat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in nuts, lightly pressing nuts into dough. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden around edges. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.


Goodreads Giveaway Ends Wednesday

Beneath a Navajo Moon

Beneath a Navajo Moon

I love this cover and I’m giving away an autographed ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of Beneath a Navajo Moon. This Goodreads giveaway ends Wednesday. Tell your friends. Enter for a chance to win.

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?

For behind the scene photos of Beneath a Navajo Moon, visit

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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Wilbur’s—Goldsboro, NC—Erin’s favorite Down Home BBQ

In the South—barbecue is always a noun, never a verb.

Open 7 days a week—Are you hungry yet?

Don’t forget to check out Wilbur’s Hog Blog—

What’s your favorite BBQ joint?

For behind-the-scene photos from Beneath a Navajo Moon, visit

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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