In the Texas Monthly Recommends series, Texas Monthly writers, editors, photographers, and producers offer up their favorite recent culture discoveries from the great state of Texas.

“There’s something special about clay people,” says Billy Ray Mangham, 76, one of the eight cofounders of the Texas Clay Festival. “We’re dealing with earth, air, fire, and water. We control the elements. We can turn mud into stone.” He’s one of more than eighty talented Texas ceramic artists who’ll be selling their wares this Saturday and Sunday at the twenty-ninth annual festival. Vendors will set up shop in the Gruene Historic District of New Braunfels, where you’ll be able to browse dinnerware, folk art, and fine art while chatting with the artists. And if you’re feeling ambitious, why not knock out some holiday shopping with plenty of time to spare? Mangham’s festival booth will be easy to find: from inside a giant bamboo birdhouse, he’ll be selling nothing but his clay bird heads.

This year’s lineup also includes Vorakit Chinookoswong of Seabrook, who studied ceramics in Japan and makes elegant cups and bowls marked with his signature tiny frog; Shikha Joshi of Round Rock, who draws on the Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi (finding beauty in transience and imperfection); and Madeline DeStefano of San Marcos, who will display her whimsical “wall heads” and “face planters.”

After the festival, consider making a day of it by checking out the nearby Guadalupe River; having dinner at the Gristmill, a nearby restaurant in a renovated cotton gin; and then grabbing a beer at Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas.

Diana Spechler, contributing writer

Try Recipes From Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix Kitchen Cookbook

What’s better than easy, delicious recipes? Quick, easy, delicious recipes. Actress Tia Mowry, who lived with her family in Killeen before moving with her sister, Tamera, to Hollywood to launch the twins’ careers in Sister, Sister, has joined the growing ranks of celebrities (hi, Selena Gomez!) who are adding cooking to their résumés. Building off her popular YouTube channel of the same name, Mowry’s new cookbook The Quick Fix Kitchen features recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as healthy snacks. The book also offers approachable tips on meal prepping and kitchen organization. (Example: to check if dried spices are still fresh, rub a pinch with your fingers and sniff. A dull aroma means it’s time to toss them.)

I decided to try my hand at Mowry’s banana bread. I wouldn’t call myself a pro in the kitchen, but this recipe lived up to its claims: it was quick, easy, and delicious. It’s also a flexible template that you can use to make your own variations. Mowry lists other ingredient substitutions to make with the same batter, resulting in treats such as pumpkin-chocolate bread and zucchini bread. And if you don’t have every ingredient on hand, no worries—the recipe offers suggestions for simple swaps.

This bake was simple and straightforward, and my banana bread turned out great. It tasted even better with a smear of cream cheese and a dollop of jam.

Jillian Price, editorial intern

Watch a Horror Flick With Just The Right Amount of Teenage Angst

Looking for something creepy to watch this Halloween? The new Netflix horror film There’s Someone Inside Your House, based on the novel by Stephanie Perkins, should be in your queue. The film puts a new twist on the serial-killer trope: our murderer wears masks that mimic the faces of their next victims. As the slasher torments small-town high school students, we slowly realize that each victim has a dark secret.

The screenplay is written by University of Texas graduate Henry Gayden, and Denton-born Asjha Cooper stars as Alex, the firecracker of a friend group targeted by the killer. The satire interlaced into the film provides plenty of comic relief in between very gory, very bloody slayings. One pivotal scene takes place at a so-called secret party at which a slew of personal revelations are shared among artillery-shaped bongs. The characters live up to their typical high school–student archetypes and party the stress away, until the night turns into the perfect hunting ground for the killer on the loose. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Netflix original without a complicated romance in the mix. The movie is camp in the very best way. 

—Lauren Castro, editorial intern