Category: Featured

Tasty Tuesday: Arkansas Food Hall of Fame 2018

be sure to vote for your choice for the people’s choice 2018 (see below)

Arkansas is filled with amazing food, great food traditions and talented people who lovingly prepare all that food for the rest of us. The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, created and managed by the Department of Arkansas Heritage, is the perfect place to honor the unique foods, legendary restaurants, remarkable cooks and influential food entrepreneurs and culturally significant food-focused festivals and events of Arkansas.


Rex Nelson and Paul Austin, discuss the 2017 inductees and the process of selecting those to be considered.

Tuesday, March 6 the 2nd class of distinguished winners will be inducted into the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame at Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock. A 5:30 business casual reception with hors d’oeuvres and librations will precede the induction ceremony at 6:15 p.m.

If you are a foodie, food writer or you just eat food, this is a not-to-be-missed celebration. Tickets are $20 with payment by check or cash at the door. However, you must RSVP by February 26 if you plan to attend. You may do that by calling or emailing Shelby Brewer at or 501-324-9349.

Will one or more of your favorites prevail in the voting this year? These are the categories being considered and the finalists for each:

Arkansas Food Hall of Fame

A nomination period was open to the public but is now closed.  Final selection was by a blue-ribbon panel of judges selected by the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Committee.

Admittance into the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame will be a true recognition of those long-standing restaurants that have also become legendary attractions in Authentic Arkansas. These are the places with the dishes we crave and return to time and again. Eligible restaurants must be owned and operated in Arkansas and have been in business for at least 25 years; national chain restaurants need not apply. Each year, three honorees will be inducted.

2017 winners


Rhoda’s Hot Tamales – Lake Village


Lassis Inn – Little Rock


Jones BBQ - Marianna

2018 Finalists: Tell us in the comments who you think should win this award.

Finalist: Franke’s Cafeteria, Little Rock
Finalist: Feltner’s Whatta-Burger, Russellville
Finalist: Doe’s Eat Place, Little Rock
Finalist: Dixie Pig, Blytheville
Finalist: McClard’s Bar-B-Q, Hot Springs
Finalist: Kream Kastle Drive-In, Blytheville
Finalist: Bruno’s Little Italy, Little Rock
Finalist: White House Cafe, Camden
Finalist: Ed Walker’s Drive-In, Fort Smith
Finalist: Neal’s Cafe, Springdale
Finalist: DeVito’s, Eureka Springs
Finalist: The Venesian Inn, Tonitown

Proprietor of the Year: Who will win?

Nominations from the public are welcome each year. Final selection will be by a panel of judges selected by the committee. This award is to be presented annually, and is designed to honor a chef, cook and/or restaurant owner in Arkansas who has made significant achievements in the food industry. To be eligible, the candidate’s restaurant must be owned in Arkansas and have been in operation in the state for at least one year. Again, national chains are not eligible.

2017 Winner
Continental Cuisine Partnership: Denis Seyer, Paul Bash, Louis Petit and Ed Moore – Little Rock
2018 Finalists

Finalist: Matthew McClure, Bentonville
Finalist: Mary Beth Ringgold, Little Rock
Finalist: Capi Peck, Little Rock
Finalist: Scott McGehee, Little Rock


Food-Themed Event

As with the other categories, public nominations are encouraged. Final selection of the honoree will be made by a jury chosen by the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame Committee. This annual award was developed to honor one of the many community food-themed events or festivals that make our state a great place to live. These events attract tourists and neighbors alike and serve up as much fun and hospitality as they do their signature foods. To be eligible, the event/festival must be held annually in Arkansas, and it must have been in existence for five years or more.

2017 Winner
Cave City Watermelon Festival
2018 Finalists: What’s your favorite food-themed event in arkansas? tell us in the comments.

Finalist: Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival, Warren
Finalist: Hope Watermelon Festival
Finalist: International Greek Food Festival, Little Rock
Finalist: Gillett Coon Supper
Finalist: World Championship Duck Gumbo Cookoff, Stuttgart


Gone But Not Forgotten

The Gone But Not Forgotten category honors the collective culinary legacy of a once-and-always influential Arkansas restaurant that has since ceased operations. The reason for the closure is not important. It is the influence that the food – and/or those who prepared it – still have on other restaurants that matters. Take a fond trip down memory lane to nominate an old favorite.

2018 Finalists


Finalist: Jacques and Suzanne, Little Rock
Finalist: Klappenbach Bakery, Fordyce
Finalist: Coy’s Steaks and Seafood, Hot Springs
Finalist: Cotham’s Mercantile, Scott

Do you have a favorite restaurant that no longer exists? Tell us in the comments.

People’s Choice

This tasty award is truly in the hands of Arkansans and lives up to our state motto: Regnat Populus (The People Rule). Individuals may submit their favorite Arkansas restaurant or food truck, and the people will determine the winner. To be eligible, nominees must be Arkansas-owned and operated and have been in business for at least one year. National chains, again, are not considered.


You many also tell us your choice in the comments if you prefer.

2017 Winner
Grotto Wood Fired Grill and Wine Cave – Eureka Springs
2018 Nominees

Photos courtesy Arkansas Heritage Commission and Arkansas Food Hall of Fame

Ami Lee: Champignon Bourguignon

I found my love of cooking many years ago. It started off with my original blog “The Common Sense Cook” where I shared all of my recipes that I often made up. This lead to researching, reading, and watching many different recipes from many cuisines. The one that caught the most of my attention was Julia Child. Her fun personality and warbly voice combined with easy instructions for any home cook became an obsession.My husband bought me both volumes of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” for Christmas and I knew exactly what to make. I instantly turned to bouef bourguignon (beef stew). It was the first video I had watched when I found “The French Chef” on YouTube. I followed her instructions intimately, as I rarely do, and I was rewarded with probably the most delicious French beef stew that could be put into existence by us mere mortals.

  But, nearly two years ago I contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and as a side effect became allergic to all mammal meats. So yes, you guessed it. No more Julia’s Bouef Bourguignon. It didn’t bother me at first and sparked my vegan journey so in a way I’m grateful for this experience. There’s been so many great lessons, however… Cravings do happen. READ MORE


Ami Lee, author of Work Hard Eat Kind, is a busy mom and wife who blogs about plant-based recipes, body positivity, and family. She was inspired to go vegan after she was diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and chronicles the failures and successes as she goes.

Tasty Tuesday: Celebrating Mardi Gras!

It’s Fat Tuesday, y’all and we’re prepping for the Lenten season by “fattening up” on these delicious Creole and Cajun recipes from our amazing #ARWB foodies.

How are you gettin’ fat for Mardi Gras?

Ricci Alexis: Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Now I know someone is probably wondering why in the world I am calling this a jambalaya and I have wondered before if I was calling it the correct name, and I always try and call my food by the correct name, so I looked up the definition for jambalaya and all the dictionary would tell me is that it is a cajun dish with rice, meat, and veggies. I would definitely say that this recipe qualifies so jambalaya it is!! READ MORE


Susanne Eagan: Shrimp Creole

This recipe Shrimp Creole is a great dinner idea  for any night of the week. This recipe can also be easily adapted for feeding  a crowd. My husband L-O-V-E-S Cajun food. So every once in a while I like to try to make one of his favorites at home. He gave this Shrimp Creole two thumbs up and that’s good enough for me.  READ MORE


Brittney Lee: Nolas

So when we were in New Orleans, we had a dessert at Johnny’s Po Boys.  I don’t remember what it was called, but it was something like “Sophia’s Special”  Very vague. But it looked good, so we got it.  And it tasted AMAZING.  But we couldn’t pinpoint the flavor.  So we asked on our way out “What was in that?”  READ MORE

Debbie Arnold: First You Make a Roux

For many years, making Seafood Gumbo was our New Year’s Day tradition. We would make up a HUGE pot of gumbo because we knew we’d have lots of visitors drop by for a bowl. We never really had to send out invitations. Friends and neighbors just knew to stop by and make themselves at home, including washing up their dishes when done. READ MORE

Keisha McKinney: Dragon Breath Fire Crackers

My dad and father-in-law love spicy snacks. And for 2 guys its sometimes hard to buy for, nothing seems better than showing up with a baggie or container full of a yummy little snack to say thank you for taking care of my dog or putting up with all of us over the weekend! Nothing goes better with gumbo! READ MORE

Lyndi Fultz: 5 Ingredient Quick Soup

Today I thought I would chat a moment about soup. If you are like me, I can spend hours (okay, minutes) scrolling through Pinterest and admiring all the beautiful photos of thick and abundantly overflowing soups. They’re gorgeous, aren’t they? And every once in a while, I will take the time to prep all the vegetables and cook all the meat and simmer a large pot of whatever tickles my fancy.

5 Ingredient Soup via nwafoodie Lyndi Fyltz

But every once in a while, I don’t feel like prepping all the vegetables and cooking all the meats and simmering it all together in a large pot. Every once in a while, I like to keep it simple.

This isn’t a recipe post. This is a how-to-always-have-a-quick-and-delicious-soup-at-your-fingertips post. Let’s talk through the ingredient process.

Read more…

Lyndi Fultz

nwafoodie is a hub for food happiness. Arkansas Women Blogger member Lyndi Fultz focuses on the simplicity of fresh ideas when it comes to the exploration of food, eating, and enjoying life. nwafoodie conveys a sense of joy, curiosity and wonder of all the touch points of eating coupled with a fun and upbeat tone, pulling readers into a welcoming foodie fold that has none of the usual snobbery. She blogs from the perspective of a small town foodie exploring her backyard, spreading the message that eating well is truly one of the most joyful pleasures of living.

Beating the Winter Blues: Creating Art with Your Child

by Elizabeth Harrell

The other morning I left our house wearing my biggest coat that zips up to my nose and drapes down below my knees. I was wearing a hat, sunglasses, and giant boots. I looked like a cross between Frosty the Snowman and the Michelin Man, all hint of womanhood completely hidden (unless you count the Kate Spade sunglasses, which when it’s the only scrap of femininity left in your ensemble, I do). But dang-it, I was prepared for those 15 degree temps.

Prepared, alas, does not mean happy. I’ve been doing everything under the sun to keep sane. I’ve been taking my daily three mile walks despite the weather. I’ve been lighting all the candles. I’ve watched a dozen movies about summertime or anything set by the ocean.

But the one thing that consistently makes me feel like spring is just around the corner is doing art projects with Jane.


Tasty Tuesday: Sharing Some Valentine Love

Peanut Butter Heart Cookies via Jennifer Maune

Jennifer Maune: Peanut Butter Heart Cookies

I had so much fun making these cookies with my five-year-old. She’s at such a fun age. We’re just getting to the point where we can have full conversations and she’s wanting to help with everything, and wanting to go with me everywhere. She’s my little bestie. She always likes to help in the kitchen but this was the first experience where I told her the order of ingredients and she wanted to put them all in herself. We had so much fun baking together. She kept stealing bites of brown sugar, and of course, couldn’t resist the cookie dough once it was all mixed. I love experiencing these moments with her…this is everything I imagined motherhood would be. She pretty much made this batch of cookies herself (with my assistance of course) and she even rolled them into little balls in preparation for baking. They turned out so yummy and I’m excited to share this recipe for our Peanut Butter Heart Cookies. READ MORE


Tunnel of Fudge Cake via Anita Stafford

Anita Stafford: Tunnel of Fudge Cake

According to recent statistics, the average person celebrating Valentine’s Day in 2016 will spend almost $150 to show their affection. Of course, some will spend considerably more if they opt for the whole sweetheart package. According to the New York Post, the five items most purchased for a significant other are: a box of chocolates, diamond earrings, a dozen roses, dinner for two, and a bottle of champagne. Those five items can add up to over $500, all in the name of love.

I’m sure your sweetheart is worth the cost, nevertheless, not everyone wants to spend such an exorbitant amount of money. Perhaps a home baked cake would be sufficient to communicate your fondness for that special someone. READ MORE



Lacie Ring: Cupid Munch

This recipe is so easy and quick to throw together. I promise you that it takes me longer to snap the pictures than it does to make up Cupid Munch. READ MORE

Cut Out Sugar Cookies via

Mel Lockcuff: Crisp Cut Out Sugar Cookies

What makes this recipe special is that my mom taught me how to make it, just like a lot of recipes I love to make. She is the best at making these yummy Christmas cookies, and she taught me everything I know about baking them.

To make these cookies special, all the Christmas cookie cutters come out, along with my old friend, the rolling pin. We roll and re-roll the dough, cutting out snowmen, Christmas trees, bells, and stars.

After the cookies have baked and cooled, it’s time to decorate, and the kids have so much fun with this. Jaden’s cookies are usually decorated to the hilt; they make my teeth hurt just looking at them. We keep the decorating simple, using butter knives to spread the icing on… Then sprinkle a few of our favorite sprinkles to add a little crunch.

These sugar cookies usually end up on a plate with a glass of milk come Christmas Eve. And they always disappear; so apparently, Santa likes them too. READ MORE


Red Velvet Cake Batter Cookies via Ricci Alexis


Ricci Alexis: Red Velvet Cake Batter Cookies

Well the other day I was at Target and they had all of their Valentine’s baking stuff on display and I decided to grab a red velvet cake mix fully intending on making some cupcakes to take to work for my birthday. I got home and realized I forgot the icing so I had to kill that idea, just my luck, but then I remembered all of those recipes I had seen for cake batter cookies and the idea was born! READ MORE


Valentine Trash via Amanda Farris


Amanda Farris: Valentine Trash

We’ve had a fun week of celebrating and gearing up for Valentine’s Day. As a homeschooling mom, planning crafts and activities around the holiday’s is part of the fun!

This past week we’ve had a tea party, math activity, made Valentine slime, fun snacks, and a craft.

We actually have tea parties often. The kids love it and it breaks up routine. Not to mention, I love watching their little personalities act so “proper” at our sophisticated backyard tea parties with animal crackers and sliced cheese.

For our Valentine’s tea party, part of the fun was making the snack for the party. We spend LOTS of time around our kitchen island making huge messes. It’s exactly what I had envisioned when we built our house. READ MORE



Cassie Celestain: Healthy Organic Granola Valentine’s Treat

BINGO! There it was! The kind of Valentine treat I was looking for for Ryan! An Apple Cinnamon Granola with Hazelnuts and Cranberries recipe. Ryan eats granola daily, yet he really does enjoy having variety, so why not try a new yummy granola recipe! READ MORE

Brittney Lee: Pizza Baked Spaghetti Squash {Foodie Friday}

Eating low carb doesn’t have to be boring! I’ve been eating a low carb/ketogenic diet for around 8 months, and I’ve discovered a love for recreating some of our favorite recipes without the heavy carbs. For this dinner, I recreated an old favorite we used to eat at Fazoli’s – Pizza Baked Spaghetti. Even if you’re not following a low carb diet, this dish is a great way to get your pickier eaters to eat vegetables. I mean, who doesn’t love pizza? Kids and veggie-hating husbands alike will love spaghetti squash when it tastes like their favorite pizza pie. You could top this with whatever pizza toppings are your favorite – we just went traditional with pepperoni. It would be great “supreme style” with olives, mushrooms, onions and sausage. Just be mindful that additional vegetables can add additional carbs.
Enjoy this delicious, healthy low carb pizza bake! READ MORE
 Brittney Lee is a native Arkansan with a love for bright lights and big city. She often escapes her 20-acre home south of Fort Smith to shop, eat, and catch a concert in the big city. She blogs about her life, her faith, her adventures, her family, and her country home.

Tasty Tuesday: It’s Been a Souper Month!


We’ve had a full month of some of the best soups, chilis, stews and gumbos shared by our #ARWB members. Have you tried some of them? Did you find a new family favorite? Let us know which ones.

JANUARY SOUP MONTH via nwafoodie Lyndi Fultz

Lyndi Fultz: January is a Soup-Prolific Month

In honor of National Soup Month (that would be now), I decided to browse the search bar on the ol’ blog and see how many soups we shared together over the years.

We had ten.


Ten steaming bowls lifted up to the virtual nostril with eyes closed and then we deeply inhaled their liquid lusciousness.



Gnocchi Soup via Anita Stafford

Anita Stafford: Gnocchi Soup

Cravings are strange creatures. They prowl around whispering about delicious food. They are persistent and determined. A craving caused me to make this creamy Gnocchi Soup, and it did not disappoint. Keep this recipe handy in case your cravings ask for Gnocchi Soup. I found it to be almost identical to the soup at one of my favorite restaurants. My cravings are now well-fed and happy. READ MORE


Lighter Lasagna Soup via Ricci Alexis


Ricci Alexis: Lighter Lasagna Soup

Before this recipe I and never used turkey sausage or whole wheat pasta and so I was pretty skeptical but I surprised at how much flavor it had! It also kept me full and has way less calories than regular lasagna or lasagna soup.

It’s a staple around my house during the cooler months! I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do!! READ MORE


Cabbage and Potato Soup via Talya Boerner


Talya Boerner: Cabbage and Potato Soup

Did you ever try to lose weight on the Cabbage Soup Diet? I did. In fact when I worked at State Bank, the entire staff from drive-through teller to bank president succumbed to the nastiness. By God(!) in only seven days we would be the skinniest bankers in Dallas!

Or comatose.

THIS is not that soup.  READ MORE

How to Organize a Room with Free Printable

By Lacie Ring

Do you ever store something and tell yourself, “I’ll remember that I put that specific thing in that specific drawer or container”? I tell myself that all of the time! Guess what…I never remember! Unless it’s say like the kitchen scissors (which I will use on you, if they don’t find their way back to the drawer…lol!), or sewing pins (which are always in my sewing drawer). But what about the rest of your things??? I’ve always had this idea of making an inventory sheet and I finally tested it out and it’s working like a charm! It’s one of those charts that I could look at and know exactly what contents are in what container and where the container is in the room…check out my method on how to organize a room using this free printable!


Connie Kay Ash: Sweet Potato Soup {Foodie Friday}

For several years I have been focusing on eating a healthy vegetarian diet.  Being a vegetarian when you live with a house full of men who are carnivores can be cause for some disagreement at meals. 

One vegetarian meal, that two out of three men in my house will eat, is Sweet Potato Soup.

I am not sure where I originally found the recipe for Sweet Potato Soup, but it has turned out to be a quick go-to-meal after a long day of work.

I meal plan on Friday for the next week and try meal prep on Sunday for the whole week. Baking the sweet potatoes early in the week and storing them in the refrigerator helps speed up the prep time on a weeknight. 

I serve this soup with grill cheese sandwiches or bagels and cream cheese.

Sweet Potato Soup via Connie Kay Ash

Connie Kay Ash: Sweet Potato Soup {Foodie Friday}


  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 (14 ounce) cans low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (you can add more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • Black pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp)
  • Cayenne pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/3 cup low-fat milk


  1. ns:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  3. Bake sweet potatoes in preheated oven until soft, about 1 1/2 hours (you can also use a microwave them). Remove and let cool slightly
  4. Peel the sweet potatoes, and puree with chicken broth in batches. (I used one can of chicken broth for every one sweet potato in the blender.)
  5. Bring puree to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low.
  6. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, and cayenne pepper; cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. You can add brown sugar (1/4 of a cup) if you prefer a sweeter soup.
  8. Remove from heat, and serve warm.

Sweet Potato Soup via Connie Kay Ash

I am a 50-something southern girl, living in a small community in Arkansas, located in the far Northeast corner of the State. I share my home with her husband aka The Big Man, 14 rescue dogs and 20 chickens. Collectively we have five adult near-perfect children, five perfect grandboys, and 4 awesome granddogs.  I am a family nurse practitioner who runs a small family practice. My family and I also own and operate Bed and Biscuit Boarding and Faultline Athletics.  You can keep up with my abundantly blessed life at (