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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Welcome to North Carolina—the home of Krispy Kreme.

KrispyKremeWhat is Krispy Kreme, you ask?

Please, let me enlighten you.

Only the best doughnut, I’m talking the original glazed, yeast-raised, in the world.

Vernon Rudolph opened the first Krispy Kreme in 1937 in what’s known as historic Old Salem in Winston-Salem, NC. Today, Krispy Kreme is sold internationally in supermarkets, retail shops and convenience stores.

The Original Glazed is their best-selling product. But Krispy Kreme has a variety of yeast-raised and cake doughnuts for every palate and sweet tooth.

Linden brings a box of doughnuts for Walker and the guys working on the quilt barn trail. She probably bought the doughnuts at the flagship store in Raleigh on Person Street.

Every Raleigh resident, whether seven or seventy, knows the best Krispy Kreme doughnuts are to be had when the Hot Sign is On. And at the Raleigh store, you can watch through the glass-fronted window as they roll off the conveyor belt into a box just for you.

Get ‘em while they’re Hot Hoursdonuts
• 6-11 AM and 6-11 PM (or closing)
549 N. Person Street
Raleigh, NC
And what do Raleigh citizens do for fun in February?
Raleigh residents take it a step further with the annual Krispy Kreme Challenge. Although not affiliated with the Krispy Kreme company, the charity race event raises money for the NC Children’s Hospital. Begun in 2004, runners eat one dozen doughnuts (let me break it down for you—that’s 2400 calories and 144 grams of fat). The one hour race originates at the North Carolina State University Belltower and concludes through scenic downtown Raleigh at the Person Street Krispy Kreme store.
Yeah, and you can imagine the results. Only the die-hard enroll. The rest of us just enjoy watching our fellow citizens puke during the five mile course. Eight thousand participated in 2013. Almost $200,000 was raised.race



What’s your favorite kind of donut?

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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Christmas on the Navajo Rez

My favorite ornaments and nativity sets from the Navajo Reservation


images4Storyteller Dolls


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You may think this could never happen to your child, but . . .

indexWarning Signs for Gang Involvement—3 Minute Must-Watch #Video


imagesimages2This could save your child or grandchild’s life. Gang recruitment and victimization doesn’t just happen in the ‘hood.



What parents can do to prevent gang involvement:



Sights and Sounds of New Mexico from Under a Turquoise Sky

index28Golden cottonwoods


images26Canyon arroyo

images24A bosque—a ribbon of water through a forest

images23A mushroom-shaped hoo doo


images21A fight to the finish

For more behind-the-scene photos from Under a Turquoise Sky, visit

#Recipe—Green Chile Stew—Under a Turquoise Sky

Green chile stew is a New Mexico classic.images2

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 8


2 pounds of cubed pork

1 pint canned tomatoes

2 cups cubed potatoes

1 1/2 cups diced onion

1 TBSP minced garlic

2 cups roasted, peeled, chopped green chile


1. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, boil 6 cups of water and meat until done.
2. Add the cubed potatoes and simmer about 30 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add salt to taste.
3. Warm some tortillas to use as a “sop” bread while you eat your stew.images1
New Mexicans are particular about their chiles and will only buy fresh roasted chiles from the markets. If you must buy canned chile, try to procure Hatch’s Whole Green Chiles, available at Walmart and grocery stores especially in the Southwest. Enjoy.
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SPAM Sandwich #recipe with a Southwestern Kick—from Under a Turquoise Sky

And not the stuff that clutters the Internet—

Makes 4 sandwichesindex3

1 (12 ounce) container fully cooked luncheon meat (Spam)

1 1/2 cups salsa

Diced green chiles (Hatch’s)

Favorite loaf bread or tortillas, toasted


  1. Slice the lunch meat into thin slices.
  2. Sandwich SPAM, chiles, and salsa in bread.
  3. If using tortilla, wrap and secure with a toothpick.

Easy—but make sure your spicy, Southwestern style SPAM sandwich comes with plenty of sweet tea.

How adventurous are you? Or, like Aaron, would you prefer something safe like peanut butter and jelly?

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Native Plants from Under a Turquoise Sky

5Saguaro century plant



4Indian rice grass

3Desert sagebrush

More behind-the-scene photos from Under a Turquoise Sky, at