Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pimento Cheese & Beer Cheese Soup

I love cheese. I love beer. They pair great together! A couple of weeks ago I was craving the pimento cheese recipe that used to be served at O'Henry's Coffees in Homewood, AL. It is super simple, but super yummy. So, I decided to make it and take a stab at making my first Beer Cheese Soup; a favorite from childhood. I remember going to Bennigan's back in the day and always insisting on having the Beer Cheese Soup with a Monte Cristo sandwich.
Ok, so this pimento cheese is great on sandwiches, with crackers, or just on a spoon!

Pimento Cheese
-2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
-1 cup mayo
-1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimentos
-garlic powder to taste
1. Mix everything together.
2. Taste, add more garlic powder if needed.
3. Spread onto bread.
4. Grill it
5. Eat it!

Beer Cheese Soup
-1 Tablespoon butter
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 onion, finely chopped
-1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
-1 can light beer (I used PBR)
-1 can chicken stock
-3 tablespoons cornstarch
-2 cups fat free half & half
-2-3 cups shredded cheeses
1. Melt butter in dutch oven, add onion, garlic, and worcesteshire. Saute.
2. Add beer, boil 3 minutes.
3. Add chicken stock, bring back to boil. Lower to simmer.
4. Mix cornstarch with 3 Tablespoons water and set aside.
5. Add half & half and cheese. Stir constantly until cheese melts.
6. Stir in cornstarch mixture. Stir constantly until soup thickens.
7. Eat!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kentuck Art Fair!

I set up this past weekend at the monthly Kentuck Art Fair in Northport, AL. It is located in the beautiful and inspiring outdoor courtyard of the Kentuck museum and gallery. Bad news, it was the driest 100 degree day I have felt in a while. Good news, I got to hang out with my friends Patricia and Lindsey and of course John. Also, Luna weathered the heat with us for the first 3 1/2 hours. I was so proud of her!

It was so much fun to see all of my new crafty items on display. I also sold a few things (a ring, a couple of stuffed monsters, monster bookmarks, and a couple of earrings). YAY!

There is a beautiful mosaic mural of the Kentuck tree logo in the courtyard too. When I commented on it, Patricia told me that our friend Liz helped create it...even cooler!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Alabama Crafts

Here are some new Alabama crafts I have been working on. Loving them!

1) AL Plush, 2) AL duct tape wallet, 3) AL rings, 4) AL watercolor

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When You Wish Upon A Star...

I just got my etsy shop up and running last week and somebody included my owl watercolor with moon and stars in their etsy treasury. An etsy treasury is a list of favorite items that is curated by another etsy member. Sometimes it has a theme. This treasury was titled "When you wish upon a star." How sweet! My little owl buddy is on the bottom left. Isn't he bright and pretty?

You can check out the entire treasury by going to Christy's link here. Christy is the curator and has her own etsy shop of all kinds of lovely items. I particularly like her air plants!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Etsy shop

So, I unveiled my new etsy shop last night. You can visit it at Currently I have jewelry, "Day of the Dead" stuff, plush monsters and Alabamas, monster bookmarks, record bowls, hair clips, duct tape wallets and more on it.

The coolest part is the new name of my shop and accompanying logo. The new shop name is "Luna & Twig" named after my dog Luna and her best dog friend Twig. Luna is on the left, Twig on the right.

I will post some images of my new crafty items soon!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Garden Colors

I picked some ripening tomatoes and bell peppers from my garden this week and I was in awe at the varying colors! I chopped them all up and made some lovely to come.

So beautiful!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vik Muniz

I am enamored with artist Vik Muniz as of late. So ingenious! He was born in Brazil and 1961 and now lives in New York. He first became well known in the late 1990's for his chocolate pieces. He has worked with many different materials though, including: dust, caviar, diamonds, paper, earthworks, trash, food products, and more. His process often involves creating large scale images from odd materials and then taking photos of the finished images. There are so many that are amazing, but I included some of my favorites (the Double Mona Lisa is done in peanut butter and jelly and the following images of the Venus remake and the two lovers kissing are both made from trash).

Friday, August 12, 2011


About two years ago, my boyfriend took me to Taco Gean in Tuscaloosa, AL. It was an authentic Mexican restaurant serving everything from Barbacoa and Mole'. I had never had either, so I tried both. Delicious! I had actually never even heard of Barbacoa, but wow this newcomer blew me good! Beef! Yummy!

Little did I know that my trip to Taco Gean would be so timely. A couple of weeks later, when we returned to Tuscaloosa to celebrate Alabama football once again and to visit friends, I suggested going to Taco Gean again (yes, it really was that good). Our friends soon told us that they had closed and a hot dog joint was now in its place. Many months later, I got reports from friends that had visited that hot dog joint that it was mediocre at best. The fact that this glorious authentic Mexican restaurant that served divine treats on the cheap couldn't survive while this hot dog shop still runs is proof to me...proof that my theory is true. My theory is that the majority of people have poor taste. It is sad fact, but it is true! That is why I am pushing on by providing this great service of sharing "real" and "good" food with you guys here. Enjoy!

This barbacoa recipe by the way is so simple. All you do it marinate your meat overnight, sear both sides in a skillet, cook in crock-pot, shred meat, slap on a tortilla, and eat! You will be begging for more. Trust me!

  • 2 pounds beef brisket
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 sliced jalapenos (seeds and ribs removed)
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons oil (for searing meat)
  • fresh limes (to squirt on your taco)
  1. Place all but the last (oil) ingredients into a large zip lock bag. Place in fridge and marinate overnight. I always put my bag into a big bowl, so if anything drips out, it doesn't mess up my fridge.
  2. Next morning, sear both sides of the meat in an oiled skillet on high heat. Sear fatty side first.
  3. After searing, place meat and all juices from marinating bag into crock-pot and cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. After 6 hours of cooking, take meat out of crock-pot and place in large bowl. Use large forks to "pull" meat apart. Then, place it all back in the crock-pot.
  5. After it cooks for the remaining 2 hours, serve meat on a tortilla
  6. Serving suggestions: fresh lime juice (this is key, totally makes the dish), chopped tomatoes, sour cream perhaps, cheese. Lime juice is the only real necessity here. For a side dish, make another taco...or if you are being health conscious, black beans would be perfect!
**Note: Meat will be very juicy. It would be good to squeeze out some of the juice in a colander before serving in your tortilla to avoid "soggy taco syndrome."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My First Pet Portrait

My good friend Kim has a portrait that she made for each of her pets (and she has many). They all hang together in her kitchen above the dining table. For years, I have gazed up at them and admired them; not just for their craftsmanship and variety of technique, but also because I love the idea of honoring your pets in that way. They are family after all, right? I only have one pet: my part french bulldog, part boston terrier, part pig, part bat, part alien (named Luna). She is so close and dear to my heart that I decided to do a portrait of her, and I love the way it came out!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jalapeno Poppers

I picked up three jalapeno plants at the beginning of the summer because they were only $1.50 for all three plants. They have been growing and growing and recently I had a lot of jalapenos that had ripened and were ready to pick!

I sliced, pickled, and canned some of them to top of dishes throughout the year, but I still had tons left! So, I decided to make some homemade jalapeno peppers. These are baked too, so you don't have to feel as guilty as if you had fried them. So yummy!

  • 10 jalapenos (cut in half, making 20 poppers)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a mix of cheddar and jack)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  1. Slice the jalapenos in half, lengthwise. Make sure to remove all of the seeds and ribs. Be careful, don't touch your face (or any other parts) before washing the spicy pepper juice off of your hands.
  2. Mix the sour cream, shredded cheese, and cumin.
  3. Spoon the cheese mixture into the hollow jalapeno halves.
  4. Roll them in the flour, then the beaten eggs, then the bread crumbs.
  5. Place on baking sheet, and back for 20-30 minutes (or until golden brown and they are oozing gobbly goop of yumminess!) :)
  6. Devour!
*Have a glass of milk on hand.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Art Opening...

Here are a couple of pictures of two of my newer paintings from the "Aquatic Dreams" opening at Daniel Day Gallery/Dream Mecca Studio this past Friday. We had a blast! I enjoyed spending time with my dad and old friends as well as meeting new ones!