Tag: bacon

Jamie Smith: Arkansas Granola

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!

Arkansas Granola Jamie Smith

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.

Arkansas Granola vis Sunshine & Thorns Jamie Smith

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 SmithJamie 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.


Renee Birchfield: Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

When I heard this month’s song was Cheeseburger in Paradise I knew I had to do a good burger recipe. My dad is a Jimmy Buffett fan. All through my childhood on any road trip, including all the trips to Tulsa from Springdale and Florida,  Jimmy Buffett CDs were what we would listen to. Cheeseburger in Paradise was always a favorite as a sing along. I’m sure I knew all the words by the time I was eight.  The songs hold a special place in my heart and make me smile every time I hear them.

So today I am going to share with you a favorite charcoal grilled burger complete with bacon and cheddar cheese. Oh, and let’s not forget the homemade fries. Hubby and I couldn’t agree on which fries we wanted so I made both sweet potato fries and regular fries.  Homemade fries seem daunting but they really are quite simple and healthier since they are baked.  READ MORE


Renee Birchfield arwomenbloggers.com


Renee, the voice behind If Spoons Could Talk, loves everything food related. You will often see her taking pictures of her food before eating, while her husband shakes his head, smiles and waits to eat, because of course she has to take a picture of his too. Her time is spent in the kitchen cooking, on the computer researching recipes, the rest of her time is spent with her husband and two fur babies watching TV. Now she is making time to get a masters and just got a full time teaching job.  You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest as If Spoons Could Talk and on Twitter as Spoons Could Talk.

Keri Bucci: Cheeseburger in a Bowl

Cheeseburgers are a staple in our house. We are a low carb and gluten free family so we love lettuce wrapped burgers. My favorite way to cook them in the summertime is on the grill, but on those nights when I work late or we have had one of those long days when we were gone all day, I am just too lazy to pull out that grill and make burgers.

When we have those hectic nights, which seems to be more often than I care to admit, we still have burgers but a simple preparation is a must.  By changing those burgers into a fresh salad my family still gets a great dinner without me hovering over the grill all evening. 

These Bacon Cheeseburger Bowls are a great way to have those delicious cheeseburgers in under thirty minutes. I don’t know about you, but any time I can feed my hungry family a home cooked dinner with only a half hour of cooking I am one happy girl! READ MORE 

Keri is a sassy southern girl who loves cooking, reading and spending time with her family. She is a former corporate minded gal turned homeschool mom and baker. When she’s not covered in some flour you can find her blogging about recipes and getting healthy over at My Table for Three.



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Rhonda Franz: Celebrating the Flavors of Arkansas with Petit Jean Meats

Celebrating the Flavors of Arkansas: Variations on BLT

Oh, the beloved BLT: a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich is so good you can almost get by without one of the three core ingredients. Except the Petit Jean Meats bacon. Or the tomato.

I haven’t much need to mess with the original, except that variations are fun and in some cases and for some food preferences, add pizzazz to the standard sandwich. Following are a few BLT variations I’ve played around with in my kitchen.

rhonda frznz blt open face

The Breakfast BLT

Of course you can have a BLT for breakfast (BACON, people), and with tomato to boot. I am leaving out the lettuce on this one, because I’m not sure about lettuce for breakfast. So, it’s more like a breakfast BLT minus the L . No worries, though: I’ve added some vowels.

Rhonda Franz: Open Face BLT
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  1. thick white or whole-grain bread, toasted
  2. 1 to 2 strips Petit Jean bacon
  3. 1 to 2 slices tomato
  4. 2 to 3 slices avocado
  5. 1 egg
  6. salt to taste
  7. cooking oil
  1. Lay toasted bread on plate.
  2. Cook bacon, pat with paper towel, and set on toast.
  3. Pat tomato slices with a paper towel to soak juices and sauté in a skillet on medium heat for about a minute. Add to bacon.
  4. Cook egg over easy, runny yolk or solid yolk. Add to bacon.
  5. Lay avocado slices on top. Eat the open-faced toast while ingredients are nice and warm.
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/

The BLT Salad

I like whole cherry tomatoes for this one. The egg provides perfect companionship to other ingredients, and crispy bacon adds the crunch.

Rhonda Franz: The BLT Salad
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  1. a mixture of dark greens and crispy lettuce
  2. 2 to 3 strips Petit Jean bacon, cooked slightly overdone (to crispy), cooled and chopped or torn into small pieces
  3. a few cherry tomatoes
  4. 1 hard-boiled egg, cut into wedges or crumbled
  5. other good toppings for this salad: croutons, shredded cheddar cheese, avocado, grated carrots
  6. dressings to make this salad delightful: ranch, blue cheese or balsamic vinaigrette.
  1. Toss lettuce with chopped bacon
  2. Top with cherry tomatoes, egg and other ingredients you’re using.
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/


BLT salad


BLT Kabobs

This one’s just for fun. Iceberg lettuce works the best for sticking on skewers, but it works with any kind of lettuce folded over a time or two. The best part of these kabobs  is that they can be eaten cold.

Rhonda Franz: BLT Kabobs
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  1. several pieces of toast
  2. iceberg lettuce cut into small wedges or leaf lettuce torn into big pieces
  3. cherry tomatoes, whole or halved
  4. cooked potatoes, sliced or diced
  5. several strips of Petit Jean bacon, cooked and cooled (for this recipe, it’s best to have the bacon not overdone)
  1. In any order, slide the ingredients onto a skewer.
  2. In any order, eat the ingredients.
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/


BLT kabobs



 Rhonda Franz is an educator, freelance writer, and mom. She is a born city girl who is raising three boys in the woods of northwest Arkansas with her husband, a corporate pilot. She works as the Girl Friday for the Women Bloggers, and writes for websites, parenting magazines, and on her blog, Captain Mom.


Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rhonda.b.franz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rhondafranz

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Sarabeth Jones: Brown Sugar Petit Jean Meats Bacon Pork Tenderloin

During the month of April, ARWB is highlighting one of our long-term supporters, Petit Jean Meats.  Thanks PJM for all you do for us. Follow them on Twitter, InstagramFacebook. 

I don’t know about you, but it is very easy for me to get in a rut with cooking dinners. Actually, if I’m going to be truly accurate, I would say it’s easy for me to get in a rut when I am actually cooking dinner. With 3 teenagers and my husband and I both working full-time, it is a small miracle just to be home to make dinner. So when I do, familiar, easy dishes are usually my first choice.

However, I do like trying new things, so when my turn for Foodie Friday came around, I went looking for something I hadn’t made before. This recipe fits perfectly – not only had I not made it before, I hadn’t even ever cooked a pork tenderloin. Plus, it’s delicious: one of those dishes that covers all different kinds of flavors – it’s a little spicy, salty, savory, crunchy, and even sweet.  

Petit Jean Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin-1

This is an easy recipe. The hardest part to learn was, frankly, how to handle all that meat (I know, I know, that’s what she said). You rub the pork tenderloin in a sugar and spice mixture, then wrap it in bacon and sear it in a pan. I’ve figured out a couple of techniques to make that easier, which I’ll share below. Once you’ve done that, you’re pretty much just waiting on it to cook, first on the stove, then in the oven. That step is only difficult because of how good this thing smells while it’s searing. I wish these pictures were scratch and sniff.

Petit Jean Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin-2


Petit Jean Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin-3

I’ve already made it a couple of times. It’s definitely been added to my dinner menus but it also is nice for a special occasion. I mean really, you can’t get much better than wrapping something in Petit Jean Bacon. Okay maybe if you added some brown sugar. And a luscious baked on topping. Mmmmmmm….

Ready for that recipe yet?

Petit Jean Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin-4

Brown Sugar Bacon Pork Tenderloin
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  1. 1 package Petit Jean hickory smoked bacon
  2. Package of 2 pork tenderloins – approx. 3 lbs.
  3. 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  4. 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  5. 1 teaspoon paprika
  6. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  7. 2 tablespoons canola oil (or other neutral high-heat oil)
  8. 1/2 cup mango ginger or Major Grey's chutney
  9. 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, salt, paprika and cayenne. Set aside.
  3. On a large sheet of wax paper, lay out half of the slices of bacon, so that the long edges are touching each other.
  4. Repeat with the rest of bacon in a 2nd grouping. Laying out the bacon first is so much easier than trying to wrestle it around a slippery tenderloin!
  5. Remove the tenderloins from the package and pat dry with paper towels. Place each tenderloin on a set of bacon strips, closer to one set of ends than the other. What I mean is, don’t lay the tenderloin exactly in the middle of the bacon, because when you wrap it and stick a toothpick in, you want the toothpick to end up on the side of the tenderloin, not the top or bottom.
  6. Rub half the brown sugar mixture onto each tenderloin. Don’t worry if it makes a bit of a mess, the extra will get wrapped up with the bacon.
  7. Begin heating your cast iron skillets over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil in each one. Start at one end of the tenderloin and wrap the bacon, securing the ends with a toothpick. By the time you’re done, your skillets should be hot. Place a tenderloin in each one (I had to curl mine to make them fit).
  8. Let the tenderloin sear until it is dark brown, and don’t disturb it while it does. It should take 6-8 minutes. Then, flip it and do the same to the other side.
  9. Once seared, place the cast iron skillets into your oven and let the pork cook to 140° when a meat thermometer is inserted, about 10-14 minutes.
  10. Remove the skillets from the oven and tent them with foil loosely for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Slice and eat.
  12. Try not to pass flat out from the delicious
  1. The original recipe only used one pork tenderloin, but I doubled it as I was making it for a bigger group. I ended up liking that really well, because my grocery store packages them in pairs, plus the package of bacon was used up exactly. However, doing it this way means you need 2 cast iron skillets or that you transfer the meat from the skillet to a larger baking dish when you put it in the oven.
Adapted from The Kitchn
Adapted from The Kitchn
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/


Sarabeth JonesGetting to Know our ARWB Foodies

Sarabeth Jones
The Dramatic

What food reminds you of childhood?

Kraft boxed macaroni and cheese – I loved it and it’s the first dish I remember being able to fix on my own.

What is your favorite international cuisine?
Does sushicount? I can eat that by the truckload…

What is always in your refrigerator at home?
Greek yogurt. MMMMMM.

 What is your most used cookbook?
 My Pioneer Woman cookbook falls open to the cinnamon roll recipe, it’s a regular at our house. Also, I use our beautiful church cookbook regularly; it has a ton of my favorites made by dear friends.

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
My food processor. My immersion blender. My KitchenAid stand mixer. I have to pick just one???

Do you have a favorite food indulgence?  
Real butter, cream, good cheese.

What is your go-to ingredient that you use time and time again?
I’m not sure I have one.

What is your favorite food meal to cook at home?
It changes with the weather, but I think spaghetti – simple tomato sauce – will always be one of my favorite things to cook and eat. Oh, and eggs in almost any fashion. I love eggs!

What is a cooking tip that you would like to share with beginning cooks?
Don’t be afraid to try new things; find someone whose cooking you love and insinuate yourself into their kitchen and learn from them. I never thought of myself as a good cook – and still wouldn’t say I’ve mastered it – but I have good friends who are and who let me ask them questions and use their recipes. 🙂

When you’re not cooking, what are your favorite pastimes?
Traveling. Preferably to a beach where they have umbrella drinks.

What else would you like us to know about you?
I love being a part of ARWB!

Connect with  Sarabeth:
instagram: @sarabethjones
twitter: @sarabethjones
FB: sarabeth.jones (personal) and SarabethJonesTheDramatic (page)

Caty Mills: Petit Jean Meats Bacon Tart {Foodie Friday}

During the month of April, ARWB is highlighting one of our long-term supporters, Petit Jean Meats.  Thanks PJM for all you do for us. Follow them on Twitter, InstagramFacebook.

Bacon makes everything better, right?  Add it to a burger, pasta carbonara, wrap dates with it, or even throw it into a maple flavored cookie recipe. The possibilities and combinations are endless.

 When I heard that ARWB was partnering up with Petit Jean Meats I knew that I had to do a bacon recipe.  At first I thought about doing something wild and crazy but, after some thought I decided that I wanted to come up with a recipe that really showcased that truly meaty, bacon flavor. I wanted to use other ingredients to enhance the flavor of the bacon, not the other way around. Why hide high quality bacon behind other ingredients?

 A bacon tart made with Petit Jean bacon, leeks, and mascarpone cheese seemed to fit the bill perfectly.  Some tarts are made in a tart shell with a crust but I like to use puff pastry because it’s easier to use and I’m a sucker for anything buttery and flakey. This recipe is easy to make and really packs a punch with strong flavors and textures.  You get crispy, salty bacon, mild and creamy cheese, buttery, flakey crust, and a little kick from the leeks.  Plus, it looks like something that took hours to make so you can impress your friends and family.  This tart would be great for brunch or cut up into smaller pieces for an appetizer. I know I would eat it any time of day.

caty mills bacon tart 2 foodie friday


Bacon Tart
Serves 4
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
25 min
  1. 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  2. 5 pieces Petit Jean hickory smoked bacon
  3. 1 leek, sliced thin
  4. 2 cups fresh spinach
  5. 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  6. 1/4 cup cream cheese
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Set the puff pastry out to thaw about an hour before you begin cooking.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes a side. You don’t want it to be too crispy because it will finish cooking in the oven.
  4. Remove the bacon from the pan and add the sliced leeks. Cook for two minutes or until they are just starting to soften.
  5. Add the spinach and cook for another two minutes, or until wilted completely.
  6. In a mixing bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, salt, and pepper and mix it all together.
  7. Roll the sheet of puff pastry flat and place it on a greased baking sheet. Spread the cheese mixture over it, leaving about a half inch border of puff pastry.
  8. Place the leeks and spinach over the top in an even layer.
  9. Chop up the bacon and sprinkle it over the top of the whole thing.
  10. Place the tart in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/

caty mills bacon tart f


Caty millsGetting to Know our ARWB Foodies

Caty Mills
Caty’s Corner

What food reminds you of childhood?

Pinto beans, greens and cornbread. My dad used to make it all the time from scratch. It was both of our favorite meals.

What is your favorite international cuisine?
.Ramen. It’s so fun to make at home and actual healthy!

What is always in your refrigerator at home?
Tons of fruit and lots of different kinds of cheese.

What is your most used cookbook?
.The Pioneer Woman’s first cookbook

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
My spiralizer. Awesome for curly fries!

Do you have a favorite food indulgence?  
Homemade biscuits with cream gravy

What is your go-to ingredient that you use time and time again?
Chicken broth. You need it for almost any casserole or soup..

What is your favorite food meal to cook at home?
Homemade mac and cheese

What is a cooking tip that you would like to share with beginning cooks?
Don’t stress about followingrecipes to a tee (except if baking). It’s fine to add your own flair and try new things!

When you’re not cooking, what are your favorite pastimes?
Playing volleyball

What else would you like us to know about you?
I am writing an e-book right now.

Connect with  Caty:

Twitter: @CatysCorner
FB: https://www.facebook.com/catyscornerblog
Instagram: https://instagram.com/catyscorner/ 

Petit Jean Meats Bacon-Wrapped Dates & Giveaway


PJMlogo 300

One of our long-standing friends and supporters of #AWBU is Petit Jean Meats, an Arkansas-based company.  Today’s Foodie Friday post is a quick and tasty appetizer that will be served by K-Mac Catering of Rogers during our Friday evening event and features delicious hickory-smoked bacon from Petit Jean Meats. Feast your eyes on these delicious Petit Jean Meats Bacon-Wrapped Dates.

dates prep



Petit Jean Meats Bacon Wrapped Dates
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  1. 12 dates, pitted
  2. 6 slices of Petit Jean Hickory Smoked Bacon
  3. 3 ounces cream cheese
  4. 1/8 cup crushed almonds
  5. 12 skewers or toothpicks
  1. Set cream cheese aside to soften.
  2. Place almonds in a plastic bag; crush almonds with a rolling pin.
  3. Mix almonds and soften cream cheese.'
  4. Fill a pastry bag with the cream cheese mixture. Cut an opening in the tip of the bag. Squeeze mixture into each date with approximately ¼ ounce of cream cheese or whatever the date will accommodate.
  5. Cut each piece of bacon into 2 pieces.
  6. Wrap a ½ slice of bacon around the date and pierce with a skewer or toothpick. When piercing the bacon through the seam to ensure it stays wrapped during the cooking process.
  7. The dates can then be cooked on the grill until bacon is lightly charred and cream cheese is softened and warm.
  8. Or warm them in the oven at 400 degrees until bacon is crisp, approximately 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from grill or oven when ready; serve and enjoy!
  1. Bacon Wrapped Dates (or “Cheap Dates” as we call them) are a favorite of our clients. They can’t get enough of K-Mac Catering’s delectable dates, wrapped in smoked bacon, stuffed with almonds and cream cheese – perfection!
  2. K-Mac Catering shares the secret to getting this popular appetizer just right so you can be the hit of your own party. But, if you’d rather leave it to K-Mac Catering, our team is also available to come to you!
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/


Winner of 2 ticket from our Wordless Wednesday Giveaway that are provided by Petit Jean Meats to 2nd Annual Bacon Bowl:  Sarah S. You will be contacted by Petit Jean Meats.

Here’s another opportunity! Petit Jean Meats is giving away another  2 tickets to the 2nd Annual Bacon Bowl to one of our lucky readers.  To enter, in the comments tell us your favorite Petit Jean Meats product.  Each non-repeat entry earns you an additional opportunity.  Previous winner are not eligible.  The winner will be announced on August 29.

#AWBU 2014 Petit Jean Meats Giveaway

Petit Jean Meats is a proud sponsor of #AWBU in Rogers, AR on Sept. 5 – 7.  

PJMlogo 500

We love our Petit Jean Meats Products!


petit jean meats500Collage

 Photos contributed by Petit Jean Meats Brand Ambassadors:  Sarabeth Jones, Alison Chino and Rhonda Bramell  and Misty Wilbanks of Petit Jean Meats in Morrilton, all Arkansas Women Bloggers.


Giveaway by Petit Jean Meats

The 2nd annual Bacon Bowl presented by Petit Jean Meats will take place in downtown Bentonville on Saturday, September 13, from 9:00am until 12:00pm.

 Teams consisting of chefs and amateur cooks will compete in Entrée and Dessert Divisions and test their culinary skills by creating innovative bacon creations featuring Arkansas’ own Petit Jean Meats bacon. Teams can choose to enter Entrée or Dessert divisions, or both, with Petit Jean Meats generously donating their mouth-watering bacon to all who compete.

Bacon Bowl attendees of all ages will vote for their favorite dishes in both divisions as well as the overall People’s Champion.  Local and nationally-known bacon enthusiasts, food writers and bloggers will determine who will represent the Bacon Bowl in the Bacon Division at the 2014 World Food Championships in Las Vegas where they’ll have the opportunity to win up to $60,000.

Teams are traveling from throughout Arkansas and the region to compete in the Bacon Bowl with the goal of winning the grand prize trip to compete in the 2014 World Food Championships in Las Vegas.  “We couldn’t be more excited to be part of the thriving culinary scene in Bentonville,” said event coordinator John McClure. “In addition to the Bacon Bowl, the nationally recognized Bentonville Farmers Market and world famous World Championship Squirrel Cook-off will be going on in downtown Bentonville that same day. We’re all working together to create a Saturday morning that people won’t soon forget.”

There will be live music, Petit Jean Meats sampling, other foods and beverages and much more.  Tickets are $10 at the gate; advance tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the Bentonville Convention & Visitors Bureau.  Please visit BaconBowl.net and the Bacon Bowl Facebook page for more details.  Teams or individuals interested in competing should visit BaconBowl.net. Team registration is open until Friday, September 5. Space is limited.

For a chance to win 2 tickets to the Bacon Bowl, tell us your favorite way to use Petit Jean Meats Bacon.  Each different comment (no repeats) earns one opportunity to win.  The winner will be announced on the Foodie Friday Aug. 5 post.  Tickets supplied by Petit Jean Meats.