We were very fortunate to be able to get an artist guided tour of Renee’s  show Field Notes! Her brightly colored and energetic overlapping patterns are a feast for the eyes, food pun intended. Inspired by biological and marine organisms, the works in this show explore a fascination with both the familiar and unfamiliar. She says, “The abundance of sensory information in the work is like the external environment we often find ourselves in.” There is a beautiful stomatopod the likes of which we haven’t seen since The Oatmeal’s Mantis Shrimp comic.


Afterward, we travelled to Renee’s house about a block from Michael’s old apartment. He’s pretty sure they were neighbors for a little while. Most of Renee’s house is covered salon style with artwork, including the kitchen where she & her husband taught us how to make Pretzels and Beer Cheese. Beer Cheese! I can’t imagine making it this far never having consumed beer cheese. 

Art Fridge.
Art Fridge.

After making these pretzels for numerous parties they have become a staple in their repertoire. Pretzels do take quite a while, but Renee and her husband Jim like to make a double batch. The last time they made them for a party, the pretzels disappeared immediately. I think it might have been the beer cheese. 

Just in it for the cheese.
Did you say: “Cheese?”
How awesome is bread dough? Really awesome!


Pretzels w/Beer Cheese
Serves 12
Soft Buttered Pretzels
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Prep Time
1 hr 44 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
1 hr 44 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
2 hr
Pretzel Dough
  1. 3-31/2 C All Purpose Flour
  2. 1 TBSP Sugar
  3. 1 Tsp Salt
  4. 1 (1/4 oz) package active dry yeast
  5. 1C Water
  6. 1 TBSP Shortening or Butter
Pretzel Boiling
  1. 6C Water
  2. 1/4C Baking Soda
  3. Non-stick spray
  4. 2 TBSP Butter Melted
Beer Cheese Ingredients
  1. 2 Cloves Garlic
  2. 1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
  3. 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  4. 1 Tsp Celery Salt
  5. 1 Tsp Mustard
  6. 1 Bottle of lager, flat
  7. 1 lb Cheddar or other favorite cheese
  8. S/P to taste
  1. 1. Combine 3 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a bowl.
  2. 2. Heat 1 cup water and shortening or butter in a small saucepan.
  3. 3. Add liquid to flour mixture until combined either in a mixer or food processor.
  4. 4. Knead in up to an additional 1/3 cup of flour until mixture is combined and elastic.
  5. 5. Place dough in a greased bowl to rise until it has doubled in size, approx 45 min.
Make the Beer Cheese while the dough is rising
  1. 1. Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender to combine into a paste.
  2. 2. Place in fridge after combined.
Once dough has risen
  1. 1. Split dough into 12 even balls
  2. 2. Roll each ball out into long ropes, about 16 inches.
  3. 3. Shape into pretzels and place on a cookie sheet to rise and additional 20 minutes.
  4. 4. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Boil pretzels
  1. 1. Bring 6 Cups of water to a gentle boil and add baking soda.
  2. 2. Slowly drop pretzels into the water, one at a time, cooking for 15 seconds each side.
  3. 3. Remove from water with a slotted spoon, return to cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt.
  4. 4. Bake for about 8 minutes, pull from oven and brush melted with melted butter.
  5. 5. Bake an additional 2 minutes.
  1. Serve with Beer!
Adapted from from Pilsbury
Adapted from from Pilsbury
Inside the Artist's Kitchen http://insidetheartistskitchen.com/blog/


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Published by Kristina

Hey, I'm Kristina, I write most of the posts around here. I'm an artist, lighting designer, native Vermonter, pancake maker, bread baker, and now writer. I get far more excited about real maple syrup than anyone should.

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