Brendyn Todd of Nacogdoches is relishing the sweet aroma of success as his growing business continues to flourish.

East Texas is home to many hidden gems. One of these unique treasures resides in an old white chapel, complete with stained glass and a steeple. While it still has walls lined with worn wooden pews, what sets this former church apart is its phenomenal craft brews you can find in its sanctuary. Back Pew Brewery has found its place turning water into beer.

If you are a fan of barbecue in any way, you probably have eaten, heard of or cooked a pork butt. Originally known as the Boston butt, this cut of meat is above the front shoulders. It has been a staple of the Texas barbecue scene for many years.

I had not realized how far removed from my childhood I was until I took my two boys, who were then around 11 and 12, to my mom’s house for a Sunday dinner. When my oldest son Tyler sank his teeth into the fried chicken, his eyes lit up. He savored the drumstick for a moment before asking, “Maw Maw, where did you get this chicken?” He was floored when she replied, “I made it.”


Barbecue is a well-known staple in East Texas. In the past few months, a new barbecue star has made a quick rise to the top. Be Blessed BBQ is a local business operated by Lufkin country singer Flint Thompson and Nacogdoches pastor Jeremiah Moss. The duo opened their first brick-and-mortar restaurant in Lufkin last December.

These two items pair perfectly together and take a fairly easy-to-make meal at home to a restaurant-worthy fare. The recipes are listed separately, but I recommend making in tandem. Both take approximately 45 minutes to prepare.

An easy and quick recipe to make for Valentine’s Day or any other time where time with loved ones takes priority over time in the kitchen.

Leona is a short hour-and-a-half drive from our neck of the woods. The small town has a population of 182, with a post office, a cafe, a few churches and a general store.

An active mom of two toddlers, Andreza Owens describes her strictly vegan lifestyle as having far more benefits than drawbacks.