Making your own tea from dried herbs is so easy it is a wonder that we aren’t doing it more often. Not only is it simple to prepare, it is often quite cheaper than pre-made tea and there is the satisfaction of making up your own concoctions. Who knows? You might come upon a winning combination that you package and start selling on etsy. (I can always say I knew you before you were famous.)
There are really only three elements to making your own tea. You’ll need access to dried herbs, hot water, and a loose-leaf strainer. READ MORE
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.
Dressing is something that defines a family. A simple comfort food made from leftover bread to stretch an expensive meal (typically using what type of bread you had available so in the south- cornbread, in the north- wheat bread.) You can almost guess where someone’s grandma hails from by what type they serve you (dressing, stuffing, cornbread, white bread, fruits, nuts, oysters, chicken, chestnuts…)
When we started hosting our family holidays we had an unexpected conflict on what we would serve- an all white bread dressing with nuts like my Canadian grandma made or a total traditional cornbread dressing like my husband’s grandmother made? Everyone wanted their personal favorite and so compromise was needed. Thus, I came up with a yin-yang combination dressing that seems to please everyone! READ MORE
¡Hola! I’m Michelle. I grew up mainly in the Republic of Panamá, and moved to Arkansas for love. I started blogging in 2007 and I’m still here blogging about trying to live the green life in the city with my four kids, a big dog, and some chickens and about our love of travel! Come visit me at Tales from a Panama-Mama, to see what craziness we’re up to! Connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
It that time again. The time when our thoughts turn from Jack O’Lanterns, witches, bats and other scary things to the holiday many people consider to be their favorite. Thanksgiving.
What first comes to your mind when Thanksgiving is mentioned? Turkey?
For our family, it’s all about the sides! Do we stay with tradition, never changing Grandma’s cornbread dressing? Or Aunt Sue’s asparagus casserole? How about that Green Bean Casserole or Sweet Potato Casserole?
Does your family just resist changing the menu?
At ARWB, we think our foodies have some delicious alternatives for you. Why not give one or two of these a try and let us know what you think.
Cauliflower is one of those versatile foods that can really take on the flavor of what it’s mixed with. This salad gets devoured anytime I serve up this dish and it will feed a crowd.
My Aunt Linda has been making this salad for as long as I can remember! You never have to wonder what she will bring to any of our family functions! She graciously gave me the recipes years ago and I’ve been making it ever since! READ MORE
Anita Stafford: Sugar Spice and Spilled Milk’s Cranberry Sauce
Even with all the hurry, I always enjoy preparing a holiday meal. Putting the Thanksgiving meal together was more fun this year because my son Daniel was here to help me with the cooking. He helped out by making Spinach Maria and a Sweet Potato/Carrot slow cooker dish. He also convinced me that we should try making our own cranberry sauce this year. I usually make a blueberry salad the family likes in lieu of cranberry sauce, but I decided to give homemade cranberry sauce a whirl.
The recipe we used was super simple and quick to make, plus it was very tasty. We made it ahead to allow it time to refrigerate in the mold overnight. I love any dish that can be prepared ahead. The original recipe came from Alton Brown. READ MORE
Talya Boerner: The Best Mac and Cheese in the World
We had friends over to eat Tuesday night. John grilled burgers, and I baked the best Mac and Cheese in all the land which hopefully cancelled out the very average pot of beans I served with it. This is my go-to mac and cheese recipe. There’s no need to make any other. You could add lobster like the fancy restaurants do and have a dish people would pay $17 a serving for in Dallas (i.e. Capital Grille). I truly believe that.
One of the best things about rice is that it is so versatile. That versatility kicks up a notch when you are able to meal prep by cooking extra rice and freezing for a rainy day.
Why wait until a rainy day to use that extra rice you have stored in the freezer? Make a crunchy rice casserole and invite someone over tonight. This casserole would go nicely with meat, poultry and fish. The crunch is an added touch that gives some depth to this casserole. Walnuts, sunflower seeds, and sliced almonds all have a unique texture that makes each bite interesting. The sweet onions and melted cheese takes it from a so-so side dish to a so-so-so-delicious side dish!
Turtle candy yes or no? If you answered yes then you are going to love this Chocolate Turtle Slab Pie! If I could only use 3 words to describe this recipe, decadent is the first word that comes to mind, followed by easy and huge. I’m talking one ginormous, scrumptious, crowd pleasing and feeding kind of pie that couldn’t be simpler.
This pie uses an 18x13x1 sheet pan. Even if you don’t have a crowd to please, you can easily cut the recipe in half and use a quarter sheet pan that’s only 13x9x1.
Go on and get in that kitchen. This recipe will make you be glad that you did. READ MORE
Lacie is a busy mom who blogs about making everyday life easier. When she isn’t blogging, you will usually find her volunteering at her kiddo’s school. Lacie wants to share her easy recipes, DIY projects, and school related ideas with other busy moms everywhere.
It’s got pumpkin. It’s got caramel—salted at that. And it’s got pecans. Y’all, there is one huge mouthful of fall in every bite of this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Salted Caramel and Praline Pecan Glaze!
When I first began preparing desserts for the dessert auction at the CASA of Saline County Chili Beans and Blue Jeans fundraiser, I knew I wanted to create some that would be showstoppers. No doubt. This yummy mouthful of goodness wins the crown.
This is an easy dessert to make ahead and freeze if you so desire. Why not go ahead and get one made this weekend? You can put it in your freezer til Thanksgiving then whip it out, glaze it and have a stunning dessert on the table in no time. Find out HERE.
Note: We love having our sweet friend Alison Chino write this week’s Foodie Friday post for us. We’ve missed her while she’s been exploring faraway places, but we’ve loved reading all about them on her blog and in her newsletters. XOXO
Our family has recently returned to Arkansas after living a year in Germany. One of the fun things we have done as we have lived in and traveled to different places is to try all the local foods. And it’s always interesting to me how what I think of as German food or French food or Chinese food has been influenced by how we prepare those different kinds of foods in America.
Eating German food over the last year, and not just any German food, but specifically Swabian food, has made me recognize the recipes we already make that came from Germany. Like this long time favorite at my house, the German Apple Pancake.
I actually got this recipe from the junior league cookbook in my hometown and have used it for over twenty years, baking it in cast iron skillets on cold mornings for my family. But it wasn’t until I lived in Germany that I noticed that in the cookbook, the author wrote: “My German grandmother used to make these for us!”
I met several German grandmothers during my time in Swabia this year and even was gifted a cookbook with recipes for some of the treasures we tasted this year. Most of these sweet ladies have apple trees growing in their front yards. Right now the grandmothers and grandfathers, mamas and papas will all be gathering apples in wooden crates to keep for the winter. This time, last year, the whole town smelled like apple cider.
It makes me smile to think we spent a season walking through German apple orchards and eating apples straight from the trees.
These are the sweet gifts I remember as we slice apples for our version of this German recipe. READ MORE
Alison Chino has spent the last four years living and traveling with her family in Europe, but she will always call North Little Rock, Arkansas home. She loves it when there are faces from all different cultures gathered around her table.
Keisha Pittman McKinney shares her chocolate pie and the sweet story behind how it came to be such a family favorite.
So, I figured out pretty quickly that pie was the quickest way to Mr. McKinney’s heart. And more specifically his mama/Grandma’s chocolate pie.Its makes an appearance at every holiday, birthday, or when he is home and just says, “mom, I think pie would be really good.”My grandmother made pies and frankly pies are my favorite dessert too, so I was so ok with that.
Heck, we love pies so much, we threw cake out the window in our wedding planning and had a pie bar instead! I found out who made the best homemade chocolate pies in the town where we got married and I hired a “grandma” to make about 30 chocolate pies that she delivered the morning of our wedding. It was perfection!
Year 2 of marriage found me brave enough to ask for Grandma’s recipe and try to attempt it on my own.I just opted for my grandmother’s or Ree’s recipe in year 1…or when my mother-in-law asked what she could bring to our house, I would keep it simple and ask for her to bring the chocolate pie and save me messing it up. READ MORE
Keisha (Pittman) McKinney is settling in to married life in South AR after she #becamemrsmckinney.A Digital Media Director by day for a church in Northwest Arkansas, Keisha is remembering what it’s 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, the social justice cases on her heart, and all the activities tied to becoming a new mama in Jan 2018!
When I first decided to make granola to feature this month’s honey theme, I knew I wanted to do something unique but not so weird that no one would possibly want to make this recipe!
I realized that the perfect recipe would be something that honors my adopted home state, Arkansas. After all, this is being featured on Arkansas Women Bloggers! I started to research what flavors are known for being from Arkansas and had to discard quite a few ideas at first. After all, who wants queso granola? Not me!
I knew I wanted to celebrate the state’s history of being a major producer of various apples, especially the Arkansas Black. Those apples aren’t available right now, so I chose Red Delicious.
I also think of chocolate gravy when I think of Arkansas food so I initially tried to incorporate chocolate from Kyya, the state’s first bean-to-bar chocolate makers (full disclosure: friends of mine!). I decided that apple and chocolate would be delicious, but more of a dessert granola.
So, I called on my ARWB sisters for help. They gave lots of great ideas for incorporating Arkansas into my granola including one idea I took as a joke at first: bacon. Yes, bacon granola! I researched it out of curiosity and discovered that bacon granola is actually pretty popular, especially for the paleo crowd.
Another suggestion was pecans, which I would have incorporated anyways because I love pecans and I know it’s the state nut.
So, Arkansas Granola was born. It is quite simple and uses entirely natural ingredients with no added sugars or sodium. It uses fresh apples, Petit Jean Bacon, pecans, oats, cinnamon and nutmeg. The binding agent is good old-fashioned honey, which gives just a hint of natural sweetness that doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the flavors.
Ready to try this recipe? You can check it out on my blog Sunflowers & Thorns. Let me know what you think!
Jamie Smith tells people she grew up in Kansas and became a grownup in Northwest Arkansas. A writer by profession, Jamie also loves to write as a hobby over at her personal blog, Sunflowers & Thorns. One of her most popular types of blogs are her recipes. Jamie and her husband, John, enjoy working on recipes together to make their own unique twist on familiar recipes.
Jamie and John live in Elkins with their two dogs and two cats.
There are certain dishes every southerner should have in her cooking toolbox. Fried chicken is one of them. Right? A few days ago, I fried a batch of buttermilk honey chicken tenders, a slight twist on everyone’s favorite comfort food. I’ll confess I’m not the neatest cook, nor the most accomplished. Far from it! But I’ve learned a few tips over the years that I’m happy to share with you.
Growing up, I was surrounded by a host of fabulous family cooks—my Momma, both grandmothers, and too many aunts to mention here. Yes, the men in our family grilled a juicy steak and deep fried a mess of catfish pulled straight from the Mississippi River. But the women? They were the ones who masterfully wielded the cast iron skillet. At least once a week, our menu included buttermilk fried chicken.
Back then, I never paid much attention to the details of all that chicken being fried. It seemed to happen rather naturally while my sister and I played outside. When Momma stuck her head outside and called us in to eat, we raced to the back porch, breathing in warm, salty smells before we laid eyes on the platter of fried chicken. Momma untied her apron and casually draped it over her chair the same way she slipped her shoes off after church.
Later, when I tried to make my own fried chicken, I learned there are a few essential tricks of the trade. Today, I’m sharing my buttermilk honey chicken tenders recipe along with tips and common pitfalls of frying chicken. Read more HERE.
Talya is a Delta girl who grew up making mudpies on her family’s cotton farm in Northeast Arkansas. She blogs at Grace, Grits and Gardening and has been published in Arkansas Review, Front Porch Magazine, and Delta Crossroads Magazine. Her debut novel, The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee, recently placed as a National Indie Book Award Finalist for regional southeast fiction. She loves to cook and believes most any dish can be improved with a side of collard greens.
l loved cooking with my grandmother. Being in the kitchen with her made me feel safe, loved, and valued. As she aged and had to be moved into subsidized housing for seniors, we began a new tradition. Each holiday she would come to my home 2-3 days in advance. We would plan out the menu, talking about each family member’s favorite dish, and in the midst she would share stories of days gone by. One of my favorite dishes each holiday was candied carrots.
The aroma of melting butter and brown sugar is always quick to remind me of the holidays. Always one to want to experiment a little, add a new twist, which grandma welcomed and encouraged, I began adding a few new ingredients. I love a little salt with a little sweet. Add some “heat” and it is all the better! Thus was born the Honey Glazed Hot Pepper Jelly Carrot recipe.
And I am proud to say, it was grandma approved. Not only approved, but she agreed it was our new go to recipe. I still think of her each holiday as I begin to prepare for my family. And not a holiday goes by without a batch of these carrots. Love is shared around the family table. Memories come alive with the scents and tastes of family recipes. I hope you enjoy this recipe and consider adding it to your family favorites this next holiday season. READ MORE
I am a wife, mother to twin daughters, sister, daughter and aunt to nine. I love faith, home and family. I grew up missionary kid living in Japan and Morocco. I now live in the South. My home is my haven and I seek for it to be the same for all who enter. I have returned to full time work after 17 years as a stay at home mom. I now serve as the Deputy Chief of Community Engagement & Faith-based Partnerships. As I wait for God to unfold His plans in His time I seek to be faithful and to live life fully, keeping home my priority and sharing it with those I hold near and dear.