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We're baaaaccccckkkk!

Our food blog, Smorgasbord, took a bit of a hiatus long about November while reporters and editors got used to a new computer system, got through the holidays and got used to (at least in my case) new duties.

But here we are, ready to post again, offering a little but of everything in the way of food.

We'll start today with a recipe from fellow newsroomer Anita Lee, who conjured up her own twist on a Southern staple -- cheese straws.

Anita futzed with a recipe to get the consistency she was looking for and the spice is just right!

For those of you who want to give it a try, you'll need some sort of pastry bag or cookie press for the dough. Otherwise, enjoy!

blog post photo

Anita's Cheese Straws

1 1/2 sticks butter

1 level tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

8 ounces extra sharp Cracker Barrel cheese, grated (fine is best but not mandatory)

1 1/2 cups flour (not self-rising)

Set out butter until it reaches room temperature. Cream with blender. Add spices. Add cheese and flour gradually, blending. Using a cookie press or pastry bag, press dough onto cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven. Makes about 2 dozen, 4-inch straws.

(One more note: Because Anita added extra butter, which makes the straws very crispy, they tend to flatten out. I suggest chilling the dough before pressing to prevent the flattening. Or you can use a flat tip on the cookie press and not worry about it!)