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Keisha Pittman McKinney: Mama Sue’s Kitchen Cabinet Gumbo

Whether you are the Pioneer Woman, a contestant on the Worst Cooks in America, or just trying to get culinary in a small south Arkansas town, nothing makes dinner easier than a “cabinet creation.” Growing up, I always dreaded “clean out the fridge” buffet night. I would offer to help my mom get the meal ready because that left me first in line to pick out the remains of my favorite meal of the week. Thus leaving the mushy stuff that I didn’t like for the slow pokes who weren’t listening when the dinner bell rang!

On the contrary, I LOVED nights when my mom just winged it. She was (and still is) the queen of creativity in the kitchen. She taught me how to make incredible meals on a tight budget. She can always remake leftovers in to a new creation.She can take parts of two different meals and if you don’t pay attention, you think she has cooked a fresh dish 3 nights in the same week! It’s a not-so- secret talent and it’s been fun as we have added son-in- laws to the mix at our holiday table to watch their amazement at her dinner creations.

What she does best is always seek to be present with her people. Doing this takes lots of preparation. Mama will cook the week or weekend before we come and have meals ready in the fridge or freezer that we just have to bake and eat. (That leaves us more time for shopping, craft projects, window shopping, bargain hunting, cashing in coupons, and more shopping – all the essential things for time with your mama!)

She is also really great at her own “semi-homemade” treats. She will have the meat or cooked parts ready and just stir it all together at meal time. That’s exactly what happened with today’s dish. On their own, any of these ingredients are just fine. But, together, they are magic! And if a Cajun likes anything, it’s the magic that happens in a slow, stewed gumbo.

KEISHA MCKINNEY: Mama Sue's Kitchen Cabinet Gumbo

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken breasts (fresh or thawed)
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 14.5-ounce Margaret Holmes Okra, Tomatoes, and Corn
  • 1 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 27-ounce cans Margaret Holmes Red Beans and Rice
  • “soppin” bread – frozen garlic bread recommended

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken breasts in crockpot with 1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning and 1/2 cup water.
  2. Cook on low for 4 hours. Remove chicken to cutting board and dice in to cubes. Return chicken to crockpot and add canned veggies, tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning.
  3. Cook for 2 more hours on LOW. A few minutes before serving, add shrimp (chopped to desired size or left whole) and canned red beans and rice.
  4. Stir together and serve hot with any sort of bread to sop up that goodness!

Notes

In case you are wondering, we are Texans, not Cajuns…therefore we let the people who know what to do, do it and we take full advantage of what comes our way!

http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/keisha-mckinney/

Keisha Pittman McKinney Big Pitt Stop #ARWB Keisha (Pittman) McKinney is settling in to her new married life in South AR after she #becamemrsmckinney.  A Digital Media Director by day for a church in Northwest Arkansas, Keisha is remembering what its like to plan ahead for shopping trips to “the city,” getting resourceful at her small town Walmart and creating online shopping personas everywhere.  She blogs @bigpittstop about daily adventures, cooking escapades, #bigsisterchats and the social justice cases on her heart.

Follow Keisha:
Blog –bigpittstop: new journey, new normal, new you –  http://www.bigpittstop.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bigpittstop
Twitter – https://twitter.com/bigpittstop
Instagram – http://instagram.com/bigpittstop#
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/bigpittstop/
Periscope – @bigpittstop

 

Debbie Arnold: At Home With the Arnolds

 

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I have dual citizenship.

And I love them both and cherish the time I spend in each. 

Central Arkansas has it’s convenience and history and steadfastness.

Northwest Arkansas has it’s vibrancy and youthfulness and expectancy. And my grandchildren.

I am thankful I can call them both “home.”

The doors are always open and you’re welcome to drop by anytime.

 

 

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Thanks for stopping by:)

 

Blogger Home Tour – Lyndi Fultz

by Lyndi Fultz, nwafoodie

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Happy Ours Cottage.

Not exactly a cottage.

But it’s ours.

And… it makes us happy.

The best part? Remodeling it from an eighties-something blank slate into a space where we walk through the door and melt into comfortableness.

The other best part? The front, back, and side yards are still a blank slate. We’ve got many years of fun projects ahead of us.

I tried to capture that feeling of comfortableness via this tour.

Please excuse the over-indulgence and plethora of photos. If I could push appetizers through this web screen as well as offer you a steaming mug of rich coffee, I would.

Have a happy day, my lovely community of friends.

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Arkansas Women Blogger member Lyndi Fultz writes about living and eating well inspired by life in beautiful Northwest Arkansas at nwafoodie. Much of her blogging inspiration comes from this gem of a place, which she refers to as the proverbial land of milk-and-honey. She doesn’t think you have to live in the big city to be a foodie. All you have to do is explore your own backyard. Light-hearted and approachable, nwafoodie is conversational with a healthy and simplistic approach to eating well.  

 

 

Blogger Home Tour – Jenny Marrs

by Jenny Marrs

Our farmhouse.
A few years ago, one of my favorite homes in our town’s downtown district was set to be demolished in order to make way for a new parking lot. The home was built in 1901 and had been neglected over the years, yet my husband and I had an affinity for the quirky old house and could not bear to see it knocked to the ground. My husband, Dave, started researching and eventually convinced me that it was possible to move the house. {I thought he was off-his-rocker-crazy but agreed to his plan}.
City restrictions prohibited moving a house from one spot in the city limits to another. The obvious question here is, “how did they ever come up with such a law? Was there a surplus of families moving houses all around at some point in our town’s history?” I have no idea. But, lucky for us, the restriction forced us to move the house out to the land Dave had purchased years before. He originally bought this land not knowing what we would ever do with it. Now, we had a vision – this is where we would raise our babies.
In December of 2012, we moved the house.
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Prepping the house for the move took a little over a month. The actual moving day lasted for hours… starting very early in the morning.
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After the initial move, the house had to be placed on an already prepped foundation and then pieced back together. Next up, the entire inside needed to be gutted and the real work was ready to begin.
The restoration took a little over a year.
THEN:
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NOW:
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Old homes have so much character and our goal was to maintain the integrity of the home by bringing it back to life. I adore all of the unique angles and hidden nooks in this house.
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I love that these walls have held a hundred years worth of memories. Families have lived and loved here, babies have been born here, tears have been shed here, and laughter has bounced off these walls over the years. What an honor it is to be able to contribute to the legacy of this place with our little clan.

Blogger Home Tour – Dorothy

I’m happy to be part of the ARWB Home Tour feature today. After I show you around, I think you’ll understand why I named my blog Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge. Although I love my house, it’s the setting that inspires my writing. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

DREAMING

Early in our marriage, Terry and I we used to drive along a ridge in the Walton Heights neighborhood of Little Rock and dream of living there. When the opportunity opened up, we didn’t hesitate to make an offer on a house even though it needed lots of work. Thanks to my husband’s handiness and lots of sweat equity, we’ve made it our own.

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The style of the house didn’t wow me, but I would have moved into a box to get up on the ridge.

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It was this view of the Arkansas River Valley from the master bedroom that sealed the deal for us.

LOTS OF HARD WORK

Living & Dining Collage

11260 Rivercrest is laid out like many houses built in the 1960s: an entry hall between a living room and dining room. Originally, the living room was twice this size and would have been wasted space. Terry and my dad added a wall to create an office that opens up to the back hall.

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The den is where we spend most of our time. Terry built the fireplace, cabinet and bookcases. (Yes, I do know how fortunate I am. He’s one in a million.)

Remodal Collage

Originally, a huge red brick fireplace flanked by two ordinary windows took up most of the den wall facing the river. As soon as we were able, we extended the room outward, moved the fireplace and added lots to windows to embrace the view.

Kit to Den Collage

Terry took down a row of cabinets to open up the space between the den and kitchen. He built new ones on two walls of the breakfast room that provide plenty of storage. Last fall, we gave up more cabinet space on each side of the sink to accommodate the large window. I’m happy to say it was worth it. I don’t even mind doing dishes, and I sit at the island opposite that window, drink coffee and write nearly every morning.

Master Bed Collage

The people we bought the house from had already extended the master bedroom and added these large windows—the major selling point. When we expanded the den, we also doubled the size of the master bath.

Bedroom Collage

Terry’s grandmother’s oak furniture grace the front bedroom while my Aunt Mary’s suite lends a girly touch to the middle one. When you come to visit, you can have your choice. This will be your bathroom.

Even after 28 years, the view never gets old. I thank God every day for the privilege of waking up to his glorious handiwork. Just call me grateful.

What that other Dorothy said is really true. There is no place like home.

Blogger Home Tour – Vickie Henderson

by Vickie Henderson

Home Sweet Home

My home is quiet. Wait, I take that back. There is a lot of noise here; the ice-maker makes a hissing sound, the furnace blows when it kicks on and the dog is pretty obnoxious lapping water out of the toilet bowl. I probably should put a stop to that.

Usually it’s just us, but that’s okay, I’m content here. Home Sweet Home (1)

It wasn’t very long ago I didn’t spend much time at home. For crying out loud, I didn’t even sleep all night in bed because I was called out at all hours to deliver babies.

Sweet dreams

Before the nest was empty, we tried to maintain traditional mealtimes both at home and eating out together. But sometimes the gymnast or the pole-vaulter had to heat their dinners in the microwave long after the dishes were done.

Gather around

Since I retired due to medical disability, I have discovered many gifts through my illness. One treasure is particularly important to me; my porch. It became my sanctuary.

Sanctuary

The view is spectacular and deer walk right up in my yard. I especially enjoy seeing their silhouettes in the water when they stand near the pond.

Silohouttes

When medication side effects urged me out of bed hours before dawn, I spent hours reading in my living room. I had never spent much time there before, but now it’s my space to write and read.

My Space

My health is much improved, so this summer I am looking forward to this oasis.

Oasis

But it won’t be quiet there, I plan to be rocking some tunes through the speakers.

You are welcome to come anytime.

Welcome to the porch

As always join me on the porch, seriously.

Vickie Petz Henderson, M.D. practiced obstetrics and gynecology for twenty years until her active life was derailed by a rare neuromuscular disease. With a unique perspective as a physician, patient and lover of God and His word, she offers encouragement for those whose lives have been turned upside down.  You can learn more about her journey here.

Blog: My Right Side Up Life

Facebook: Vickie Petz Henderson

Twitter: @rightsideuplife

From Where I Sit – Blogger Home Tour – Whitney Sutherland

by Whitney Sutherland

Welcome to my home in Northwest Arkansas.  I’ve been in my house for a year and a half and have loved every minute of making this house my home. 

Welcome Home

I like to update the wreath on my door depending on the season.  I have a portion of one of my guest room closets dedicated to seasonal wreaths.  Right away I give you a sneak peek into my favorite color within my decorating with my teal Welcome mat. 

For this house tour I want to share with you some of the places where you may find me sitting in my home.  We’ll begin in my living room.  I have a sectional couch that is my dog’s favorite piece of furniture.  She loves that one side of the sectional ends with a chaise side leaving her room to look out the window and bark at all my neighbors and their dogs. If she is not on chaise side of the couch, she is curled up next to me watching television with me.  Next to the built-ins for the television, I have a mini-collage wall with my quirky find of deer head silhouettes. 

Sidney Guards the House

I also spend a lot of time at my dining table whether it is working on my computer or hosting my family and friends for a meal.  I found this table set through an online sales site and recovered the chairs with a floral print fabric in a golden color.  Bess Eatin (my friendly cow artwork) keeps me company and keeps the atmosphere light and cheery. 

Bess Eatin in the Dining Room

My office nook

Tucked in behind my dining room is my office nook.  It is one of two rooms in my house painted in teal and it brings me joy.  I love having this pop of color which shares a glimpse of my personality to those that come into my house.  My office nook is where I keep my personal computer and where I’ll sit down to play on Facebook or do some online shopping.  The French Doors allow me to close off the office nook and it really changes the look of the house to alternate between leaving the doors open versus closed. 

Office work space

My second teal room in the house is my downstairs guest room.  I keep my dog’s crate in this room and also use the walk in closet in this room to hang dry my laundry.  The bed in this room is super comfy so I often take a few minutes to sit or lay down on the bed for quiet time.  This room is at the back of my house and it is super quiet and peaceful.  I have decorated this room with my geographical history.  Each picture framed on the wall is a map of somewhere that I have lived – displayed in order.  I found the maps at a local junk store and combined a mixture of various frames to create the display.

Life should be lived

Close up of map wall

The last place you’ll find me sitting in my house is in my exercise room.  I always end a workout with stretching time where I’ll sit on the floor.  With all my race photos and motivational sayings the workout room is one of my favorite places in the house.   

Exercise room and motivation

My house is still a work in progress but it is definitely home and reflects who I am.  I have added pieces and décor items that reflect me and my interests.  My style is fairly traditional with a little dash of quirky and fun.  Some decorating decisions have taken longer to make and others have come easily to me.  I love having such different looks within the places where I sit inside my house!  They all serve a different purpose for me and I enjoy the time that I spend in each space.   Thanks for taking a minute to visit me and where I sit.

WhitneyWhitney Sutherland blogs at Running with Whit about the fun and adventure of an everyday athlete.  Whitney works full time playing with numbers and products and unwinds by training for races.  She loves triathlons and has completed three half ironman distance races.  She completes many races each year and initially discovered blogs while researching different races.  Whitney spends her free time with Sidney her runner dog and her family where she gets to be the cool aunt to three awesome kiddos. 

You can follow Whitney on Facebook , Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

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