Tag: cake

KD Reep: Honeyscotch Cake with Sweet Whiskey Glaze

Are you as thrilled fall is in the air as much as K.D. Reep is? See how she was inspired to create this amazing autumnal deliciousness. Debbie

Ok, maybe not quite fall yet, but September is close enough for me, and this cake makes me think of all the good things i look forward to in Autumn.

I ran across the inspiration for this cake at the ultimate fall celebration: the Arkansas State Fair. Last year, one of the entrants made this piece of art that was a three-layer white cake with a cream cheese icing that was mixed with Arkansas-raised honey and smokey scotch whisky. On the top of this sculpture was a hunk of beeswax, and oozing from it was that golden, gorgeous honey spilling down the sides.

There is no way I could make that cake. If it’s not a sheet or bundt cake, I can’t ice it, and nothing about that cake said “easy”.

honeyscotch cake with sweet whiskey glaze via k.d. reep for ARWB Foodie Friday

So I took it upon myself to GTS (google that stuff) and I found this, which is as good, WAY easier and will remind you of fall as well.  The recipe I used is adapted from Life’s a Feast, and the only thing I amended is I dusted the bundt pan with sugar instead of flour. I like to do this to bundt cakes because it gives them a crunch, and for this cake, it adds a hint of caramel to the compliment the honey. Oh, and I used honey whiskey instead of scotch because, well, honey.



KD Reep is a KD Reep headshotwriter, public relations practitioner and aspiring author in Little Rock. She owns Flywrite Communications Inc., a marketing communications agency in Mabelvale. She is a six-time recipient of the Public Relations Society of America’s Prism award and has been published statewide as well as in the Arkansas Times, Inviting Arkansas, Savvy Magazine, Bourbon & Boots, Arkansas Money & Politics, Delta Farm Press and Rice Farmer magazine, among others. 

Jeanetta Darley’s Choco-Raspberry Micro Cake

Bowl of raspberries jeanetta darley

It’s June and while it may not officially be summer, school is out and the summer heat is just getting turned on.  My garden is finally getting the kick it needed.  One of the few fruits of my yard I have been enjoying is my raspberries.  They over spill in a flower bed near our back porch.  I have a table where I write and draw at that’s right next to the raspberry bed.  I can reach out and snatch a snack when needed.  As a teenager I developed a sever allergy to the “other red berry” so raspberries are my go to berries. 

raspberries in the wild jeanetta darley

While these late spring temps are still pleasant we know the heat is coming.  One thing I always look for as the temperatures rise outside is a way to cook that does not heat up my house.  Dessert, in my opinion, is often greatly overlooked.  Sometimes you just want a little dessert that doesn’t involve a major baking event.  A small one or two serving creation doesn’t sit around on your counter tempting you to indulge.  So in my desire to beat the heat and not eat a whole cake myself I created this microwave cup of cake recipe.

raspberries jeanetta darley

I can hear you now. “Microwave?!”  But trust me on this.  Think of it as a grown up much tastier version of our Easy Bake Oven adventures.  The recipe is easily adaptable to many flavors.  But since I have raspberries in abundance and there’s always an occasion for chocolate, I whipped up this version of a Choco-Raspberry Micro Cake.

jeanetta darley choco raspberry micro cake

This is also a quick and easy recipe for the kids to make.  Watch the video of my son and me whipping up a bowl.


Jeanetta Darley: Choco-Raspberry Micro Cakes


  • ¼ cup fresh raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoon milk, cream, or half & half
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla


  1. Combine all dry ingredients into a small mixing bowl with a fork.
  2. Whisk all remaining wet ingredients with the fork in a liquid measuring cup.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  4. Lightly grease 2-3 coffee cups, ramekins, or 1 cereal bowl. Toss in a few raspberries. Pour batter halfway up baking dish. Place the cup on a plate in case the cup overflows while cooking.
  5. Microwave on high in two 30-second intervals. Cook in 15-second intervals until you can smell the chocolate.
  6. Be careful because the cake and cup will be hot. Top with whipped cream, ice cream, or powdered sugar and enjoy!

KD Reep: Dancing to a Different Drummer with Pinto Bean Cake {Foodie Friday}

Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit 

I love weird stuff – to a degree. In particular, I love midcentury modern weirdness, and I found this cake on Mid Century Menu, a blog about recipes and cocktails from the 1930s-1970s (sometimes beyond, but who’s counting?).

As a kid, my mama would make chocolate cake with leftover mashed potatoes. Did I care? Not a whit. And, I would not have known if she hadn’t told me. When I ran across this recipe, I knew I had to make it for a number of reasons, including:

  • My love of cake, first and foremost;
  • My love of pinto beans;
  • My love of weird things, particularly cheap, fast and easy weird things; and
  • I needed a dish for a church potluck.

Something that spoke to me about this recipe, besides being unusual, is its use of cheap, readily-available items almost everyone has in their cabinets. Pinto beans (and mashed potatoes, for that matter) sustained by family for generations, and we ate what was prepared until they were gone – no tossing anything out because we were tired of eating it. Essentially, the pinto beans in this cake serve as a filler so you don’t have to use as much flour for volume, and they are tasteless after the cake has baked, the same way the mashed potatoes are in my mother’s chocolate cake.

I like to think this recipe was born by someone who made too many beans, wanted to create some way of feeding them to her family one last time but had too few ingredients (or money with which to buy them), and made something actually delicious with what she had on hand. You can find the original recipe at MidCenturyMenubut I simplified this even more to be as cheap, fast and easy as possible. My version is below, and the steps I took to make it are somewhat unorthodox, too.

The main thing to keep in mind with this cake is to use what you have on hand. Have some apples or pears about to go bad? Dice those up and toss 2 cups into the cake instead of the can of apple pie filling. Have leftover nuts from Christmas? Chop those and use in place of the walnuts. If you don’t have raisins, replace with canned pineapple or leave them out altogether.


If you use the cinnamon and sugar combination to prepare the bundt pan, you may notice your cake comes out dark. Rest assured, it’s not burned. You can use flour if you’d prefer, but I like to use the sugar and cinnamon to give the cake a little extra crunch and flavor.

And the original recipe called for cooked pinto beans that were fresh, dried or frozen. I used canned because it’s what I had available, they are already cooked, and I can’t taste any difference between canned and the other preparations.



As for how much time to bake the cake, I say start with 50 minutes and add or subtract time according to your oven. Everyone’s oven bakes differently so keep an eye on the cake after 50 minutes and check for doneness in 5-minute increments.

To ice or not to ice? I say a cake without icing is a great big muffin. You can make homemade frosting, dust the cooled cake with powdered sugar, ice with whipped cream or grab a cheap can of store-bought frosting, melt it to pourable consistency in the microwave and drizzle to your heart’s content. Whatever you do, this cake will stand up to it.

I hope you try this and are pleasantly surprised. If you’ll excuse me, I have cake to eat.

KD Reep: Dancing to a Different Drummer with Pinto Bean Cake {Foodie Friday}


  • 2 15.5-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup butter, margarine, shortening or oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup black walnuts
  • 1 21-ounce can of apple pie filling
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 12-ounce can of ready-to-spread frosting (cream cheese, vanilla or flavor of your choice)


  1. Prepare a 12-cup capacity bundt pan by spraying with vegetable cooking spray then dusting with cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Open the two cans of beans, dump into a colander or sieve, rinse them off and drain well.
  4. Fit the paddle attachment onto a stand mixer.
  5. Add beans to bowl and start mashing with the mixer on low speed. As the beans begin to soften, turn up the speed to mash them thoroughly.
  6. Toss in the ¼ cup of butter, margarine, shortening or oil. Mix well.
  7. Add in the one egg and mix well.
  8. Add in the flour, sugar, baking soda, spices, raisins and nuts. (I dumped all of this in at once.) Mix well.
  9. Add in the can of apple pie filling and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  10. Spoon evenly into the prepared 12-cup bundt pan. Smooth top to even.
  11. Place in the oven for 1 hour or until toothpick or knife inserted in cake comes out clean.
  12. Let cool completely then invert onto cake plate. Ice with canned frosting if desired.
  1. Take off the lid and inner foil liner of the frosting.
  2. Place in microwave and heat for 30 seconds.
  3. Stir then drizzle over cake. Use as much or as little as desired.


KD Reep headshot


KD Reep is a writer, public relations practitioner and aspiring romance author in Little Rock. She owns Flywrite Communications Inc., a marketing communications agency in Mabelvale. She is a six-time recipient of the Public Relations Society of America’s Prism award and has been published statewide as well as in the Arkansas Times, Savvy Magazine, Bourbon & Boots, Arkansas Money & Politics, Delta Farm Press and Rice Farmer magazine, among others.



Follow KD:


Twitter: @kdreep

Instagram: @kdreep



Katharine Trauger: How to Make a Scrumptious Fruitcake

Trust me. This is one fruitcake you and your Friends Will LIKE!



My introduction to the joys of the candied fruit found in fruitcake came early in my life. My mother made German cookies with chopped, candied citron every winter. Chewy-soft with mysteriously perfumed bits in them and the scant smear of glaze to make them shine, Lebkuchen were an adored part of our heritage from the Old Country.

But fruitcakes are not German.

My dad often received gifts of dried/candied fruits, displayed on decorative platters. These we found interesting and delicious when our dad allowed us samples.

But fruitcakes are not simply fruit.

Sometimes my dad received the gift of a fruitcake. 

Like shy maidens with an ugly suitor, we ran and hid when our parents opened fruitcake packages. Our dad, a gleam in his eyes, no doubt reminiscing about fruitcakes of yore, insisted on sharing these tough, repugnant slabs of spiced cardboard.

We whimpered.

Were we alone in not adoring fruitcake? No!

Many, like us, have suffered from gifting of a winter fruitcake! Why, I heard of one family, among which a gift fruitcake passed around from branch to branch, for decades, until it finally had traversed the entire family tree, unopened and unsampled! I get that.

Reality dawns.

I was in my mid-twenties when I encountered a really good fruitcake. I’m not sure what possessed me to try one—maybe memories of my dad? It had such a bizarre name: Rainbow Party Bar. It was small, the length of a loaf pan but half the width, like a squared sausage. When I saw the price, I was shocked, but for some crazy reason, I just wanted it.

I brought it home and unwrapped it.

It smelled good, so I sampled.

It was amazing. I could not stay out of it. I could not even believe it. My heart leapt with happiness every time I snuck yet another slice.

I was addicted.

Before long, I had analyzed the label, looking for some mysterious ingredient. (This thing was really, really good; did I mention that?)

Near the top of the ingredients list lay the secret:


Yes, this fruitcake had more butter than it had any one type of fruit, and I think it safe to say, more butter than any other fruitcake I’d ever eaten. As I kept sampling, I knew the butter was one major difference from all the fruitcakes that had gone before.

Nothing would do but to find a recipe for this delicacy.

I tried several (really bad ones) before I devised the perfect recipe. We have become so enamored with this cake that many of us, who did not like fruitcake, have learned to find cheer in the mere thought of it.



Our friends beg for it.

Now, I’m not promising that if you make this fruitcake, your whole family and all your friends will fall into proper love with the idea of eating it. I will say this: It is so good, you will not ever again be sad if some uninitiated child leaves “more for you”.

But it probably won’t happen often.

Have fun making this one! Have fun eating it!

And have fun gifting it.

Katharine Trauger: Our Fruitcake Everyone Loves

Katharine Trauger: Our Fruitcake Everyone Loves


    Soaked fruit
  • 1 ½ pounds mixed candied fruit
  • 1 pound raisins
  • ½ pint brandy (unflavored)
  • 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups pecans


  1. Place fruits and brandy in a large, non-reactive bowl that can be covered.
  2. Stir well and allow fruit to soak, covered, 24 hours, stirring 6 times.
  1. Prepare pans before mixing cake. Select pans in the shape you want for your cake. Either a ten-cup tube pan, an 8-cup tube and one 5 1/2-cup x 9 ½-cup loaf, or three loaf pans will do the job, to give you an idea. It rises, but not a lot. I have baked small amounts in mini soufflé pans before, too. Baking times for smaller pans will be shorter.
  2. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottoms and sides of your pans. For a loaf pan, you will need five pieces, for the four sides and the bottom. For a tube pan, you will need one circle with the center removed, for the bottom, and several small pieces, maybe 3”-4” square, to overlap on the sides. You may prefer plain brown paper, as I do. You do not need to place paper on the tube, itself. But do grease it.
  3. Grease the pans generously with butter or olive oil, insert the papers, which should stick pretty cooperatively, then grease the papers, too. A spray-type oil helps with the second greasing. This fat is necessary. You will be sorry if you do not use butter or oil, paper, and more butter or oil. It is a messy job, but important—so important, that if you buy fruitcake, you may notice paper still attached to it.
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Arrange one rack in the center.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Blend the eggs in well, one at a time.
  4. Sift together all dry ingredients, except nuts.
  5. Gradually add dry ingredients to egg mixture, beating well after each addition.
  6. With a spoon, stir in nuts, fruit, and all liquid remaining in the fruit. Mix well.
  7. Separate batter into prepared pans and bake at 275 degrees, for two to three hours. Yes. It takes a while. It’s worth it. Doneness will be hard to determine, but it will begin to brown around the edges before it is actually done. Brown all over is better. Gooey in the middle is not the goal for this cake. The toothpick test will not work, nor will the touch test with a finger; it should be a bit darker over the top than you thought.
  8. Once it is cool, but still in the pan, you may choose to sprinkle about 1/8 cup more brandy over it, to soak the cake. The traditional purpose was to sort of pickle it so it would keep well. I do not do this, because I often feed it to children.
  9. Remove from pans when cool enough to handle. Remove paper from sides, but not from bottom. Allow to cool completely. If you want party bars, with a long, sharp knife, carefully press to cut loaves in half, lengthwise, cutting through the bottom paper (the only exception about the paper.) Do not remove the bottom paper from these halves. Many people also cut a tube cake into halves. I do, because it is easier to wrap for the freezer that
  10. Wrap in waxed paper. Then tightly wrap in foil. In addition to that, add a zipper bag, to protect the foil from tearing. Freeze.


The best time to slice is after freezing. It slices more neatly when frozen or even when frozen and then thawed. Otherwise, expect wasteful crumbs and broken slices. For gifts, I pre-slice it (to the paper, not through the paper) since few people realize it should be frozen first. Traditionally, we do not remove or slice through the bottom paper until serving. Even when you buy it, you’ll often find it pre-sliced with the bottom paper remaining. This is because this cake is nearly equally batter and fruit, and will fall apart easily. The paper just holds the cake together so you can better manage it. This fruitcake is amazing with fresh, black coffee. For the sugar-immune, it is also amazing with eggnog. I’ve enjoyed it with a cranberry/cream cheese topping. The recommended wine pairing is a tawny port, but we like something drier, such as our own semi-sec apple wine.




 Katharine Trauger is a retired educator and a women’s counselor. She has spent 25 years managing a home and school for children who would otherwise have been homeless, and has worked 15 years as contributor and/or columnist for several small professional magazines, with over 60 published articles. She blogs about the rising popularity of “being at home” from a sun room on a wooded hilltop in the Deep South at: Home’s Cool! and The Conquering Mom and tweets at Katharine Trauger (@KathaTrau). She is currently working on a self-help book entitled: Yes, It Hurts, But . . .


Rhonda Bramell: Ding Dong Cake {Foodie Friday}

Celebrate Celebrations

happy-new-year-greeting-red art-paper-card-digital-42840702

The Foodie Friday 2016 theme is #Celebrate. Come join us as we focus on a different way to #Celebrate each month. In January we are all about “Celebrate Celebrations.” I can’t think of a better way to kick off a brand new year than with this Ding Dong Cake from Rhonda Bramell of Bramell: Party of Five.

Ding Dong Cake whole

Should you find yourself in need of an easy (yet impressive) dessert for a special occasion, check this one out. My friends, this is the dessert that will woo your enemies and win you admirers for life. This is my go-to recipe when I need a birthday cake, office potluck dessert or just for the “lots of people coming over” occasion.

ingredients 2
The beauty of the Ding Dong Cake is that it looks like it was completely labor intensive and difficult to make. Alas, it’s not! There are only a few ingredients and it doesn’t require a culinary degree to pull off. And, I might add, there’s nothing better than homemade whipped cream

The downside to making this cake is simply the temptation of having it in your house. As a result, I don’t make it as often as I’d like…because I would totally eat it myself. As my kindergartener demanded as I removed it from the fridge, “Give me the cake now!”

Ding Dong Cake from Rhonda Bramell
I definitely suggest making this your next celebration dessert, too. Or, at the very least, go grab a gallon of milk and a fork and celebrate your baking victory!

Rhonda Bramell: Ding Dong Cake {Foodie Friday}


  • 1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup sugar, divided
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Bake devil’s food cake according to directions on box, using a greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
  2. Let cake cool for 15 minutes then remove from pan.
  3. Let cake cool completely.
  4. Cut cake in half lengthwise then put the bottom half back into the pan.
  5. In a medium sized bowl, beat whipping cream with ¼ cup sugar until stiff.
  6. Spread whipped cream on bottom layer of cake.
  7. Stack the other layer on top.
  8. In a medium sized bowl, microwave ¼ cup sugar, butter, milk and chocolate chips for about 2 ½ minutes until melted, stirring frequently.
  9. Stir until smooth and pour over cake.
  10. Refrigerate cake until time to serve.

headshot new 1


Rhonda Bramell is a blogger in Northwest Arkansas.  She is the ringleader of a circus that includes her husband, three kids and a rambunctious Boston Terrier. Rhonda has been blogging at Bramell, Party of Five for eight years; her blog is a collection of stories about the real life joys and challenges of parenting.

Facebook: Bramell, Party of Five

Instagram: mamabramell

Twitter: @rhondabramell

Debbie Arnold: Gary’s Favorite Pumpkin Bread {Foodie Friday}

I spent most of October experimenting with and developing recipes with pumpkin, pumpkin seeds or pepitas as an ingredient in preparation for my “starring role’ on THV 11 This Morning.   Gary’s Favorite Pumpkin Bread was one of those dishes I took with me since it seems to be a real favorite of everyone with whom we have ever shared it.   Probably most of you either don’t get up early enough (really early) or you live outside the viewing range of that program, but I have enjoyed the opportunity tof appearing on three occasions so far and, hopefully, will be looking at more in the future.  I digress.

I’ve explored all the Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Pumpkin and then some.  When it comes to pumpkin, many people automatically think of pie.  In fact, in a survey conducting by Schwan’s Consumer Brands of North America, 37 % of Americans named the pumpkin pie as their favorite only being nudged out by apple at 47%.  While I do love a good piece of pumpkin pie, I seldom make one.  When I do, it is more likely to be something in the nature of a hand pie or a tart. When it comes to sweet pumpkin baking, I’m much more likely to serve up a pumpkin roll, pumpkin spice cake, pumpkin spice doughnuts (oh my goodness!) or pumpkin cinnamon rolls.  And I’m not above enjoying those while sipping on some pumpkin spice latte.

pumpkin spice latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte

I am just as likely to use pumpkin in a savory manner as I am one that is sweet.  Roasted Pumpkin and Brussels Sprouts is one of the side dishes that we really enjoy.  As they caramelize, both take on a delectable and rich sweetness. Throw on a little crumbled Petit Jean Bacon or some cubes of crispy pancetta and you have a mouth full of autumn!   Make this slow cooker Chicken with Pumpkin Seed Mole I shared over on Taste Arkansas a regular part of your menu plan.  Oh and pumpkin soup?  Yes, please.  I recently made a version that used navy beans, sage and hot Italian sausage that was hearty and delicious.  It was even better warmed up the next day for lunch.

chicken with pumpkin seed mole5

 Maple Glazed Pumpkin and Chicken with Pumpkin Seed Mole

Did you know that  a pumpkin is not a vegetable? In fact, it’s a berry. Within  family Cucurbitaceae, which includes cucumbers, melons, squash, and gourds is the genus Cuacurbita which includes gourds, winter and summer squash, and all varieties of pumpkin.  They are indigenous to North America which is  one of the reasons they probably appeared at the early Thanksgiving feasts. However, more than likely, pie would not have been one of those dishes on the harvest table since flour and sugar were not readily available or affordable during that time.

Do you get the idea that  we like and never seem to tire of pumpkin at our house?

The original idea for Gary’s Favorite Pumpkin Bread began with Mrs. Watson from my hometown.  She was always willing to bake up a batch and would often share a loaf or two with Hubby and me when we were first married.  Because we were either working or going to school or both, baking was not high on my cooking priority list even though it was and is one of my favorite things to do now.  Mrs. Watson, I’m sure, felt sorry for my skinny hubs and thought she might fatten him up a tad.  Eventually, she shared her recipe when she decided that I might just be able to keep up with the demands of filling his tummy.

Many years ago, I began making her bread as a way of sharing during the Christmas holidays.  At first, it was a couple of recipes and a few loaves.  Our friends. Our families.  No one turned it down.  Then it started going to work with us and then to our daughter’s school.  And the list grew.  And grew.  When people see Hubby around the holidays, they automatically assume he is making pumpkin bread deliveries.  I stopped counting at 93 loaves last year.

Some of you will remember the ONE year Arkansas participated in the Super Tuesday (1988) election process; some of you weren’t even born yet, I’m sure.  Hubby was a candidate for public office in a three-county race that pretty much required us to go door to door asking for votes.  There were many days and nights when it was so dang cold that my lips seemed to freeze together!  On one particularly cold and snowy day, Hubby took small loaves of bread around with him as he campaigned.  Some people credit his victory to that pumpkin bread!  I guess it makes for a good story, but I do know that some of his supporters are always asking when the next delivery of pumpkin bread will arrive.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. For more ways to use pumpkin, both sweet and savory, visit DiningWithDebbie.  I’d love to know some of your family favorites as well.

pumpkin bread

Gary's Favorite Pumpkin Bread
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  1. 3 cups sugar
  2. 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 1 (1 pound) can pumpkin puree (not pie mix)
  5. 3 1/2 cups good quality all-purpose flour
  6. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons soda
  8. 2 teaspoons salt
  9. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  10. 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  11. 1 teaspoon allspice
  12. 2/3 cup water
  13. 1 cup (or more) chopped pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray two large bread loaf pans with nonstick spray.
  3. Combine sugar, oil and eggs; beat well.
  4. Add pumpkin and mix well.
  5. Sift (I don't EVEN do this anymore.) together dry ingredients.
  6. Add water and beat well. Stir in nuts.
  7. Pour into large loaf pans.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. (If you use a convection oven, you may want to shorten this time.)
  9. Cool slightly on cake racks before removing from the pans.
  1. If you want to use other size pans, just adjust the time spent in the oven. This can be wrapped in heavy duty aluminum foil and frozen. It keeps well. My daughter replaces the nuts with chocolate chips due to our grandson's nut allergy. She bakes them as mini-muffins for their lunches (as I did for her).
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/
debbie headshot


Arkansas Women Blogger member and co-administrator Debbie Arnold pontificates and eats at Dining With Debbie.  She and her Hubby split their time between Central and Northwest Arkansas.  She loves to cook, develop recipes and have play dates with her two perfect grands.  Mostly, she has play dates with the Perfect Ones.  Twitter: @diningwithdeb  Intagrams : @diningwithdebbie

Karen Weido: Cooking With Kids {Foodie Friday}


Since the day my daughter was old enough to sit up, she has been in the kitchen with me. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I had her sitting up on the counter top while I measured the ingredients, analyzed recipes, and did my best to place something edible on the table for my family.

As soon as Ting got old enough to help, baking together became a tradition for us. Lately Bug has been in on the action as well, and cooking with my kids has become one of my favorite activities.

At our house Fall doesn’t really bring a longing for pumpkin flavored anything, but it does stir up a need for apple based desserts. I started searching for a new apple-something for us to bake, and I found this Apple Cake recipe on one of those recipe database sites.

The first step for me when cooking with my kids is always prep work. It is so much easier to get all the ingredients measured out before the kids hit the kitchen. I know the day is coming that Ting will be ready to practice measuring, but for now our cooking sessions always begin with pre-measured ingredients.

tingsmom-apple-cake-ingredients (1)

I love this recipe because it is so simple for both my kids to just pour and mix all the ingredients together. Everything just goes into the same bowl and then it pours over the apples. It makes it easy when both kids can participate at the same level and this cake was definitely on that scale.


 We also loved this cake because it smells delicious when it gets in the oven, and it tastes even better when it gets on the table!

 What are your favorite fall dessert recipes?

Easy Apple Cake
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  1. 3 pounds apples, peeled & sliced
  2. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1 ½ cup sugar
  4. 2 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1 cup vegetable oil
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease 9x13 baking dish.
  3. Place sliced apples into baking dish.
  4. In bowl, mix together all remaining ingredients.
  5. Spread mixture over apples and pack down.
  6. Lightly sprinkle cinnamon on top.
  7. Bake 45 minutes or until puffed and lightly brown
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/

tings mom


Karen lives in South Arkansas with her husband and two kids. When she’s not working or chasing kids, she blogs about her family’s life on Ting’s Mom Blog. She also reads books for all ages and reviews them on her book site, Ting’s Mom Books.

It’s a Great Day for Angel Food with Great Day Farms

By Great Day Farms Brand Ambassador Heather Disarro of Heather’s Dish 

Great-Day-Farms-Logo with frame

 Angel food cake is one of those things that’s rarely made but often enjoyed in our house. Fluffy and flavorful with basically zero calories (fine, the calorie part is false…) it’s a cake that is sure to please almost any palate. You can dress it up with whipped frosting and chocolate, dress it down with a scoop of ice cream, or meet it right in the middle, in my favorite way, with a simple creme anglaise and fresh berries. 


This summer has been, from my experience and the stories from friends, a very mild one. Just the other day my husband mentioned that we’ve been lucky the past two summers in Arkansas to have relatively mild weather; I told him he better find some wood to knock on because summer isn’t over. Truly though, this summer has been filled with days outside in the warm sunshine, long walks at dusk and sweet baby tan lines. There isn’t a more summer dessert, with the exception of ice cream, than an angel food cake with fresh seasonal berries. Light and sweet and completely satisfying, this is one dessert y’all won’t want to miss! 


Very Vanilla Angel Food Cake
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  1. 12 egg whites at room temperature
  2. 1-1/2 cups superfine sugar
  3. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  4. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  5. 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Very lightly grease ONLY the flat part of a 16-cup tube pan. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites until they start to become foamy.
  4. Add the salt and cream of tartar, then whip until the whites start to get very fluffy.
  5. Increase the speed and slowly stream in 1 cup of the sugar.
  6. Continue to beat until the egg whites form soft peaks.
  7. Add the vanilla and beat until just mixed.
  8. Working in batches, gently fold in the remaining sugar and the flour, alternating, until all of the ingredients have been used up.
  9. Gently work the batter evenly into the pan.
  10. Gently tap the pan on the counter several times to release air bubbles.
  11. Bake at 325 for 55 minutes or until the cake springs back from being touched.
  12. Allow to cool completely upside down; some cake pans have feet to rest on, but if your pan does not then be sure to prop it up slightly on a couple of plates to allow air to circulate.
  13. Gently work a sharp knife around the edge of the cake pan to release once completely cooled.
  14. Cut with a serrated knife.
  15. Serve with creme anglaise (recipe below) and fresh fruit.
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/




Basic Vanilla Creme Anglaise
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  1. 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  2. 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. 4 egg yolks
  5. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  6. pinch of salt
  1. Combine the heavy cream, milk and sugar in a large stockpot.
  2. Heat very gently over medium-low heat until small bubbles start to form around the edge of the milk.
  3. Remove from the heat and scoop about 1 cup of the mixture out of the stock pot.
  4. While whisking the egg yolks, very slowly drizzle the hot milk mixture into the yolks to temper.
  5. Once all of the hot milk has been whisked into the yolks, whisk the tempered yolks into the remaining hot liquid.
  6. Cook slowly over medium low heat until the mixture has thickened enough to thickly coat the back of a spoon.
  7. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
  8. Gently press plastic wrap onto the top of the creme to keep a skin from forming.
  9. Cool completely before serving with the cake.
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/
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Heather Disarro is a food-centric lifestyle blogger who is passionate about embracing the beauty that surrounds us with in our everyday lives. She is a Texan living the expat life in central Arkansas with her husband, son and two massive dogs. Heather writes her blog, Heather’s Dish, from an office filled with dust, dog fur, toys and plenty of love, grace and music.  She specializes in creating delicious and creatively nourishing recipes.  Cooking seasonally and with as many local ingredients as possible is an important component to Heather’s style of food, and she revels in the opportunity to bring the love of cooking to the world as a way to love others well! 

Glammed Up Texas Sheet Cake {Foodie Friday}

By Heidi Clark of The Busy Nothings

Before I had kids, I threw the best parties. Any occasion to celebrate, I would open my house and gleefully experiment in the kitchen. I would decorate my house for every holiday and had cute dishes to take to all the parties we went to. Ohhh… and I was a size 4.


There are two rotting pumpkins on my front porch which, although gross, shows signs of progress as per the fact that we actually decorated with something this year to celebrate fall. My husband Ben is already groaning that he will have to get the Christmas decorations out soon and last year- try not to judge- we didn’t even have a Christmas tree up. I can’t serve more than five people with matching plates at the moment and my “fancy Christmas dish” is a bent Christmas-colored tin that I  saved after someone gifted us with a plate of cookies. Moving, having two crazy boys and just good life living have broken a thing or two along the way. C’est le ve.  Ohhh and I’m not going to tell you what size jeans I’m wearing today…

Life has been very different- working full time obviously takes up  a lot of time and since I’m not home physically anymore, those little free pockets of unexpected time that I had to play with flour, water and sugar in the kitchen have evaporated.  These days, I need something quick, dependable yet delicious as chocolate chip cookies for pop-up dinners, community groups and parties.

I love gourmet, will forever search out the fancy and savor the special but for my plain, hectic and frugal phase of life that I am in right now, I have found my special, go-to dessert. Texas Sheet Cake.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Texas Sheet Cake before. It was my Minnesota mother-in-law who introduced me which I find a humorous irony as I’m the one FROM TEXAS but nonetheless I am thankful.  At first, I was embarrassed to bring “such a basic recipe”  but, event after event I watched people’s faces light up with recognition, watched their eyes close as they took a bite and carried home an empty cookie sheet. I changed my mind.

Really this is the best dessert. You can mix it in a few minutes, it only takes 15 minutes to bake and the homemade icing is a breeze. The incredibly moist, rich, and flavorful cake combined with the chocolaty, buttery icing is one of the best tastes around and because there is no way that I could just follow a recipe without changing it just a little, this cake recipe has been gourmet-ed up for you here today, but don’t worry, it also works when you just have the basic ingredients.

Oh and this is also for my Vlogging Bestie- Taylor over at Texas Women Bloggers! Hey girl! 😉

Glammed UpTexas Sheet Cake
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  1. 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  2. 2 sticks margarine (1 cup)
  3. 1/2 cup oil
  4. 1 cup water
  5. 2 cups flour (OR 1 1/2 cups white flour, 1/2 cup coconut flour)
  6. 2 cups sugar
  7. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  8. 2 Great Day Farms organic eggs
  9. 1 teaspoon soda
  10. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla (home-made is best! If you can't, just buy a high quality one.)
  11. 1 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon (I put 2 tsp in my cake!)
  12. 1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  1. 1 stick margarine (1/2 cup)
  2. 4 tablespoon cocoa powder
  3. 5 Tablespoon milk (or almond milk)
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  5. 1 pound powdered sugar
  6. optional: crushed walnuts
  1. In a saucepan, add margarine, cocoa, oil and water. Boil for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Add cocoa mixture, mix well.
  3. Bake in a 15 x 10-in.ch jelly roll pan coated with nonstick spray at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
  4. Cool and frost.
  1. Boil margarine, cocoa and milk for 3 min. Add remaining ingredients, mix well. While still warm, spread on cool cake.
  1. Bonus: (for the nights you have an extra 15 minutes)
  2. So much of a recipe is about presentation so on the nights you aren't running out with burning fingers and dripping icing, take a little time to make your cake look as good as it tastes!
  3. After the cake is cool and the icing hardens, carefully cut into large squares. Stack on a plate as neatly as possible in a pyramid shape or put 1 large slice on a desert plate.
  4. Get your sifter out and lightly sift powered sugar on top, then a bit of unsweetened cocoa. Top with a mint leaf and raspberry.
  5. If it's for a Christmas party, sprinkle on some crumbled peppermints.
  6. Enjoy having the best tasting thing at the party!
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/

Glammed UpTexas Sheet Cake


4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 sticks margarine (1 cup)
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
2 cups flour (OR 1 1/2 cups white flour, 1/2 cup coconut flour)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Great Day Farms organic eggs
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla (home-made is best! If you can’t, just buy a high quality one.)
1 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon (I put 2 tsp in my cake!)
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)

In a saucepan, add margarine, cocoa, oil and water. Boil for 2-3 minutes. Mix remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Add cocoa mixture, mix well. Bake in a 15 x 10-in.ch jelly roll pan coated with nonstick spray at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool and frost.


1 stick margarine (1/2 cup)
4 tablespoon cocoa powder
5 Tablespoon  milk (or almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
optional: crushed walnuts

Boil margarine, cocoa and milk for 3 min. Add remaining ingredients, mix well. While still warm, spread on cool cake.

Bonus: (for the nights you have an extra 15 minutes)

So much of a recipe is about presentation so on the nights you aren’t running out with burning fingers and dripping icing, take a little time to make your cake look as good as it tastes!

After the cake is cool and the  icing hardens, carefully cut into large squares. Stack on a plate as neatly as possible in a pyramid shape or put 1 large slice on a desert plate.

Get your sifter out and lightly sift powered sugar on top, then a bit of unsweetened cocoa. Top with a mint leaf and raspberry.

If it’s for a Christmas party, sprinkle on some crumbled peppermints.

Enjoy having the best tasting thing at the party!

Foodie Friday

Heidi is a wife, mom and lover of beauty. She has been blogging since 2007 and enjoys writing about a variety of topics on her lifestyle blog TheBusyNothings.com, which she now writes with a few friends as co-contributors. Heidi is the director of social media marketing for Great Day Farms and loves that her passion for social media and writing are now what she does full time.

In an effort to eat more veggies, today I shall have carrot cake {Foodie Friday}

 written by Shannon of Still Seeking Martha 

In an effort to eat more veggies, today I shall have carrot cake!

I love a good carrot cake. Honestly, I love cake PERIOD! There is just something about a carrot cake that makes me feel like a kid again.

In a single bite it takes me right back to the “pie” auctions the Cattlemens Association used to have.

I loved going to the auction with my Godfather. What little kid wouldn’t want to go bid on cakes and pies?!? Plus, everyone always said things like “Oh, I see you brought the boss with you.” Me? The boss? Alright I could handle that.

My Godmother, in what I chose to believe was an effort to make me smile throughout the year, but was more likely an effort to keep her husband’s wallet a little thicker, started making me carrot cake any time I asked.

Yes, I was that spoiled by them.

You’re going to need:

  •  A couple large mixing bowls
  • A mixer (unless you’re crazy and want to do this by hand)
  • A large spoon
  • An oven heated at 350 degrees
  • Either a 13X9  cake pan
  • OR two 8 or 9 inch round pans
  • A little bit of shortening
  • A tiny bit of flour

As well as:

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

and to frost it you’ll need

  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

 Now that you have everything needed, I’ll tell you just want to do with it.

If you read this from the start, your oven should already be preheating to 350 degrees. If not, do that now.

Grease the bottom and sides of the pan(s) with shortening and lightly flour them.

Get one of those large bowls and your mixer and beat the granulated sugar, oil and eggs on low for about 30 seconds or until its well blended.

To that, add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla and the salt; beat on low 1 minute.

Stir in the carrots and the nuts. STIR, with the large spoon I mentioned earlier.

Pour your batter into the pan(s).

If you used a 13×9-inch pan you’ll want to bake it 40 to 45 minutes.

If you used the round pans, bake them 30 to 35 minutes

Either way, you want to bake them till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Once baked, let them cool completely. You can cool the 13X9 in the pan or on a cooling rack. Cool the rounds about 10 minutes in the pan then remove them and let them finish cooling on a rack. It should take about an hour.

While that’s cooling you should probably make the icing so get the other mixing bowl and your mixer back out, or cleaned off.

You’ll want to beat the cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla on low until its smooth. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar. Gradually… like 1 cup at a time. Your mixer should still be on low so just keep it going till its smooth and spreadable.

Since that didn’t take an hour let your cake(s) finish cooling.

Now you can frost the 13X9 or fill and frost the rounds.

 If by chance you have leftovers, store them in your fridge or invite me over.

Shannon is a 30-something Mom to 5 beautiful children. Yes, 5! You could call it a modern day version of yours, mine, and ours. Her blended family of 7 keeps her on her toes and on the go. Add in working from home as a legal secretary and quickly you’ll see her life is crazy and often chaotic, but she wouldn’t trade one sarcastic moment of it. Her blog, Still Seeking Martha is just a place she goes to share the ups & downs of blended mommyhood, like mowing what feels like 127 acres with a push mower, favorite foods and recipes, mostly cake, and sometimes some DIY projects like great teaching tools. You can stalk Shannon at http://stillseekingmartha.blogspot.com, on Facebook, Twitter, or just email her at seekingmartha@gmail.com.