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matt mcclure

At the Hive, I often preach about celebrating the season. Here, we write ingredient-driven menus. This means that what is ripe and coming out of the ground is what we will be working with for tonight’s dinner. During the summer months, this philosophy is easy to manage with a great variety of produce coming in the door from our local farmers. The Arkansas climate gives us a long growing season and produces some of the most delicious fruits and vegetables I have ever tasted.  Going to the farmer’s market and seeing these foods inspire me. It’s a great season, with lots of opportunity to play with new ingredients and create fun, new dishes. We are also busy preserving the season by making peach butter, ground cherry jam, blueberry jam, pickled cucumbers, green tomatoes and green beans. I refer to it as building our pantry. Having these house made items on hand to pull from later in the season keeps our menu fresh during the winter months when there is not much growing. This kind of cooking gives us the opportunity to offer our guests a unique Arkansas culinary experience. 

I feel that the history of food and cooking in Arkansas is humble and honest. My grandmother had a garden, fruit trees and some livestock in her backyard. She would pick blackberries from wild bushes nearby. Eating local and preserving the harvest weren’t tag lines then. It was just life in rural Arkansas.  That sense of time and place has motivated me to cook the way I cook.

In developing the recipe for this Watermelon Gazpacho, we wanted to utilize several ingredients that can be found at the market at the same time. This recipe is completely dependent on the quality and freshness of the produce used. It is fairly easy to prepare, but does require a little planning ahead. Watermelons have a unique flavor– they are sweet with a crunchy texture. We balance this sweetness with a little red wine vinegar. The vegetables are all rough cut in similar sizes and seasoned with a little salt and vinegar. This is allowed to steep overnight to develop all of the flavors and “cook” the vegetables. Gazpacho isn’t supposed to be fancy salsa. Once the vegetables have marinated overnight, the sachet of aromatics is removed and the vegetables are pureed. This is seasoned with salt, olive oil and red wine vinegar. This is a soup that is great for summer’s hot weather. It’s served chilled and is very refreshing.   

matt mcclure

 

Watermelon Gazpacho
Serves 10
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 watermelons, peeled and fleshed
  2. 2 cucumbers, peeled
  3. 8-10 tomatillos, paper removed, rinsed and quartered
  4. 3 Fresno chilies
  5. 3 pounds red bell peppers
  6. 1 red onion
  7. ¼ cup red wine vinegar (adjust to taste)
  8. 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil (adjust to taste)
  9. Kosher salt to taste
Sachet
  1. 5 sprigs basil
  2. 2 cloves garlic
  3. ½ Jalapeno, split
Instructions
  1. Cut and marinate all vegetables in salt and vinegar for at least 1 hour.
  2. Puree vegetables with stick blender.
  3. Add sachet and leave in soup for 8-12 hours while in refrigerator.
  4. After 12 hours, remove sachet and run through a food mill to remove seeds and large chunks.
  5. Blend in extra-virgin olive oil and adjust seasoning to taste.
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/
Getting to Know Your ARWB Foodies

Matthew McClure
The Hive

What food reminds you of childhood?

My grandmother’s scrambled eggs. They had so much flavor and were so creamy. Finally, I learned her secret, which was Philadelphia cream cheese. Delicious!

What is your favorite international cuisine?
Mexican, Indian, Korean…I could never choose which one I like more. They all cook with inexpensive cuts of meat and spice them aggressively with their own cultural blends.

What is always in your refrigerator at home?
I always have some sort of pickled vegetable.

What is your most used cookbook?
The Flavor Bible, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Our menu at The Hive is very ingredient driven. I go to the farmers market, find the foods that I feel look and taste best, and then we change the menu. This book gives great suggestions of different flavors that pair well with each other.

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
My Pacojet. It makes the smoothest ice creams and sorbets.

Do you have a favorite food indulgence?  
Many…fried chicken, an Indian dish called Bhindi Masala, which is an amazing okra dish. Last meal material.

What is your go-to ingredient that you use time and time again?
I love to use a variety of dried chilis. Guajillo, marash and Calabrian my go-tos.

What is your favorite food meal to cook at home?
For comfort food, chicken and rice is a house speciality. I also love making fresh masa tortillas and homemade Mexican food.

What is a cooking tip that you would like to share with beginning cooks?
Always taste your food throughout the cooking process. Also, make sure you have a sharp knife, brand doesn’t matter.

When you’re not cooking, what are your favorite pastimes?
Fishing, canoeing, hiking and cycling. I really enjoy being outside.

What else would you like us to know about you?
I’m on a mission to prove that Arkansas food has a place at the national leConnect with Matt and The Hive:

Twitter: @MatthewrMcClure
@21CBentonville
FB: The Hive
FB: Matt
Instagram: Matt
21C Museum Hotels

Matthew McClure, featured chef at #AWBU #Foodie Friday 14,  was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, where hunting, fishing and his grandmother’s cooking ignited his passion for food. After studying at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, he settled in Boston working at a number of restaurants including Troquet, Harvest and No.9 Park under the direction of Barbara Lynch.

After years in Boston, Matt was eager to get back to his home state to reconnect with the ingredients and foodways of his childhood. He returned to Little Rock where he worked under Lee Richardson at Ashley’s at the CapitalHotel, developing strong relationships with local farmers and producers and rediscovering the agricultural resources of his home state.

In 2012, he was selected to open The Hive located at 21c Museum Hotel. His cooking is reflective of both the history and geography of Arkansas as well as new immigrant communities and their influence on the culinary landscape. His longstanding and outspoken commitment to support local farmers and purveyors has cemented his position as a notable champion for Arkansas’s burgeoning culinary renaissance. Matt was a Semifinalist for the 2015 James Beard Foundation Best Chef: South award and named FOOD & WINE The People’s Best New Chef in the Midwest region. He is also an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance. 

 

About The Hive

The Hive featuresexecutive chef and Arkansasnative Matthew McClure’s take on refined country cooking, and seeks to articulate the unique culinary identity of Arkansas. McClure has developed a program that is true to the High South and showcases the region’s farmers and culinary landscape, highlighting local ingredients such as black walnuts, sweet onions, freshly milled corn meal, hickory smoked hams, peaches and melons. McClure’s menu is a contemporary take on the foods and ways of cooking that are familiar to the region such as pickling and preserving, making jam, and sourcing whole animals whenever possible.

The restaurant is located in the 21c Museum Hotel, at 200 NE A Street in Bentonville, Arkansas. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 479.286.6575. 

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Sizzling Work Attire

August 27, 2015

 

Red Old Navy Dress Front View
Red Old Navy Dress Close Up
Red Old Navy Dress Side View
 Dress Old Navy (old, similar, similar, similar, similar), Pumps Steve Madden, Clutch Old Navy, Sunnies Target

It has been a HOT summer (and for some of us, myself included, that’s a good thing. Bring on the heat! Yes, I know I’m crazy.) Anyway, we all know that especially if you live in Arkansas, it is easy to have to traverse multiple climates in one day. When you leave the house, for example, or go outside at any point, it‘s usually blazing, and you’re bound to start perspiring in seconds. Once you reach the office, it’s like walking into an arctic blast. Some days it feels like the best thing to do is wear your bathing suit for your commute and pack your parka for sitting at your desk. 

Well, that’s not really practical, so I generally have two rules of thumb when I’m dressing for work in the middle of the summer. First, it’s all about what material you’re wearing. Ideally you want something that looks professional, but won’t cause you to suffer a heat stroke. Searsucker and eyelet are good light-weight choices, and I also like things that are silky and sheer or crepe-y, like this red dress.  Depending on what it looks like, you might also be able to get away with something mesh-like, the ultimate breathable material. Secondly, wear something you can layer. I love wearing something sleeveless and then packing a blazer, a sweater, or my denim jacket to throw on where the AC is cranked up.

Hope you are having a great work week! 
Cheers, 
Sarah 

Sarah Giammo Head ShotSarah lives with her husband in Benton. She is a full-time student at the William H. Bowen School of Law, where she is working towards an MPA/JD, and she enjoys blogging about business casual style. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

 

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By Brenda McClain of Art on the Green and brendamcclain.com

8 Piece Special

Extra Crispy

Honey Mustard

Ranch

Brenda Headshot Art on the Green’s Director, Brenda McClain blogs for ArtontheGreen.net and about her work in entertainment at brendamcclain.com.  

Find more about Artist Nina Ruth Baker’s work by visiting ArtontheGreen.net. Or, stop by Art on the Green, have a Starbucks (c) and peruse Nina’s sizzling chickens in person — “Eight Piece Special”; “Honey Mustard”; “Extra Crispy” and “Ranch” are only a portion of The Gallery’s fine art available for purchase.

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What My Daughter Has Taught Me About Love

August 24, 2015

by Jenny Marrs, Miss August 2015 I’m frequently asked about the transition our family underwent when our daughter joined our family through adoption. Friends and family are naturally curious about our family dynamic. They wonder how Sylvie has adjusted to her new world. They ask about her siblings and the impact her adoption has had [...]

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Sunday Link-Up {Aug. 23, 2015}

August 23, 2015

Excited! Yes, we are. It’s #Sunday #Link-Up on #ARWB. U in? Click To Tweet

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Don’t Sizzle in the Sun

August 22, 2015

by Stacey Valley Even though the dog days of summer are almost over, it’s never too late for a reminder of how to safely enjoy your time in the sun. Here are a few tips so you and your loved ones don’t sizzle in the sun and pay the consequences later:   Wear clothes. Reduce [...]

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Amanda Fiveash: Mason Jar Salad {Foodie Friday}

August 21, 2015

Salads are so much fun to eat!  Options are endless and combinations open to your imagination.  Living in Arkansas, we have such a hearty variety of healthy choices that can be grown right in our own backyard, literally.  As the days of summer start to become a little shorter, I have to admit I am [...]

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5 Sizzling Summer Essentials

August 20, 2015

by Ami Lee When I think about Sizzle, I can’t help but think of the typical Arkansas summer. Heat is nearing the triple digits can be unbearable at times. Let’s look on the bright side. Here are my 5 Sizzling Summer Essentials from my Common Sense Kitchen to help you chill out, even if only [...]

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#AWBU 2015 Schedule

August 20, 2015

Some of you are planners. You want to know exactly which sessions to attend at the upcoming #AWBU conference. So, here’s a sneak peek into what is happening next weekend. It’s going to be a wonderful time full of learning, community building, and fun.    Arkansas Women Bloggers University 2015 #AWBU   #FoodieFriday, August 28, [...]

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Hear Dinner Sizzle {Wordless Wednesday}

August 19, 2015

By Renee Birchfield of Married and Hungry Renee discusses her favorite parts of life over at Married and Hungry. Upon getting married and finding very few tips online on being a new wife she decided that she would share her journey. Being a self-proclaimed food nerd she shares her favorite recipes as well. Also trying to [...]

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