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, 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.
Throughout June we’ve been celebrating tart, red-ripened, delicious raspberries, and I’ve been humming “Raspberry Beret” the entire month. Can’t help it, y’all.
Now you’re humming along as well, I bet. Or singing. I admire you if you are.
One of our favorites for the short summer season of fresh raspberries is a Fresh Raspberry Sorbet. Less caloric than an ice cream, sorbet tempts you into thinking you can eat it with abandon. Well, maybe not. But it is light and refreshing on the palate.
And it’s summer. And the raspberries are in season. To find out how I make my Fresh Raspberry Sorbet, read more.
There have been so many delicious raspberry recipes this month. I hope you’ve taken the time to give them a try and to thank our Foodie Friday participants for going the extra mile to share those with you.
Renee and I pretty much had the same idea of bringing that raspberry goodness to a sorbet. I’m thinking you should try both — twice the love, ya’ know.
After eating our fill of cake and sorbet, Connie and Lyndi helped us out by bringing something healthy to the table. I’m thinking Connie’s Quick Raspberry Muffins would make a nice addition to a Fourth of July breakfast or brunch,
When I saw that this month’s theme song was Raspberry Beret ,I knew I had to make something. I had never heard of the song until around Christmas 2016 while we were at my in-laws for the holidays. It came on the radio and my father-in-law was singing along— except he would say sorbet instead of beret. It took me a few times to figure out that the song wasn’t about dessert and that it was supposed to be beret. I have not forgotten about it and it still makes me smile.
This sorbet recipe is adapted from the one that my in-laws made while we were home forFourth of July a few years ago. I must say it is delicious but the best part is that it is very easy to make. Read More
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 smiling husband shakes his head and waits to eat because, of course, she has to take a picture of his as well. Her time is spent cooking in the kitchen, researching recipes on the computer, or eating what she’s been researching and cooking! 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 so she can be a full-time teacher. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest as If Spoons Could Talk and on Twitter as Spoons Could Talk And of course over at If Spoons Could Talk
While I like to experiment in the kitchen, sometimes it’s just nice to go with the familiar. And easy. That’s exactly what this Poppy Seed Chicken is for me. Familiar and easy. Honestly, I mostly make this from memory.
Do you have those dishes you make so frequently that you have to stop and think when someone asks you for the recipe? There’s a bit of comfort in that, I think.
This Poppy Seed Chicken screams comfort. I usually divide the casserole in half and freeze part for later use or share it with someone. It sure is nice to have a ready meal available in the freezer for those busy, busy days. It’s also nice to be able to share as well.
Serve this with a simple salad and vegetable side and your meal is made.
I am a southern girl, through and through I tell ya, born and raised here in Arkansas. But one thing I don’t always find joy in here in the south is the summer heat. Well, more specifically the humidity and sticky feeling that comes with it. Yuck, I mean can’t a girl get a couple months of nice dry heat without all the sweating? It’s not like I can live in the pool all summer, although that does sound amazing!
Here I am confessing that I am not a fan of the sweltering heat, but there are a many things that I do love about spring and summer time. One of those things being all the local berries I have access to. I am super lucky when it comes to living just over a mile from a local blueberry farmer. How awesome is that?
Renee’s Berry Farm has the most amazing blueberries and each year I find myself anticipating their opening. They are a small and charming farm and everyone around here loves to go reap the benefits of the owner’s hard work. So the short window of their blueberry season is usually a very busy one. If you drive by on those mornings, the popularity of their farm can be measured by all the cars parked in their lot. If you don’t keep an eye on the opening dates and get there early each morning, you may sadly miss out. Oh, what a sad day that would be!
My family loves berries and we use them in many ways throughout the year so it is important to me that I always stock up on these wonderful blueberries and freeze some for the colder months. There are so many ways to enjoy them like smoothies, cobblers or crumbles, muffins, and of course coffee cake.
Ah, coffee cake, such a wonderful invention in my opinion. Considering I live off coffee most days it is only natural that I would love a cake that pairs so well with my steamy cup of “liquid mom power”. This Blueberry Coffee Cake is such a treat, and it is always good with my dear coffee! It is moist with a buttery crumble on top, bursting with that blueberry flavor! Along with the amazing flavor, it is also easy to make. The recipe comes together pretty quickly, making it a great weekend breakfast, a nice surprise for your company after dinner, or any spacial occasion when you want a tasty snack.
Oh, who am I kidding, who needs a special occasion for cake? Not me, that’s for sure. After all, it is sugar and gluten free so no worries about guilt when you have a slice, or two! I hope you enjoy this coffee cake around your table as much I do around mine. It really is part of the magic that gets this girl through hot southern days! Okay, okay, I might be complaining a little about hot sweaty summer temps or all the trips to the storm shelter during spring, but I wouldn’t change one thing about living in Arkansas. Well, maybe the tornado thing, but even still, I love my hot mess of a life here! But, the blueberries, this coffee cake, and my air conditioning sure make it a lot more enjoyable, just saying!
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. Keri loves to share and interact on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
For fifteen years I lived a dairy-free life and a gluten-free life for five of those years. Those were challenging years, to say the least. Those were the days where you had to travel to large cities and specialty shops to find pre-packaged goodies and staples. Oftentimes it was a crapshoot on whether that $6.00 teeny tiny bag of pasta was actually going to taste anything like pasta… or disintegrate in the boiling water.
While I am no longer gluten-free or dairy free (read the story on nwafoodie) , ninety percent of the time I still gravitate towards gluten-free dishes. All those years proved to me that eating with limitations has merit. You learn to cook, for instance, because no longer can you mindlessly dial the pizza delivery guy or make something quick, easy, and simple as sandwiches or reach for the pint of ice cream if you had a sweet craving.
For those of you who are still living a gluten-free or dairy-free lifestyle or have a loved one who is, this recipe is for you. Actually, scratch that. This recipe is for all of us, including myself. It’s delicious and deliciousness knows no boundaries.
Arkansas Women Blogger member Lyndi Fultz writes about living and eating well from her life in beautiful Northwest Arkansas at nwafoodie. Much of her blogging inspiration comes from this gem of a place, which she refers to as the proverbial land of milk-and-honey. Read more related to cooking, entertaining, gadget suggestions, ingredient explorations, local finds, local restaurant treasures, kitchen tour spotlights, and always with a healthy and simplistic approach.
What causes that beckoning aroma after a rain? What causes the alluring fragrance of fresh-plowed soil? What causes the enticing earthy spice in beets?
Geosmin! (Say: GEE oze min.)
Geosmin is a bicyclic alcohol, responsible for transforming common things such as rain, into perfume.
You wouldn’t think it would also create the muddy taste that sometimes occurs in catfish, but it does.
Don’t worry! It won’t harm you any more than tipping up your face and catching Spring raindrops on your tongue.
But mostly, we don’t exactly prefer it in our catfish, do we?
They say to avoid it in fish we should hook them during cool weather, remove any dark-colored flesh, soak the rest in milk or vinegar, and several other tactics.
Scientists predict the vinegar actually could work, because geosmin breaks down when exposed to acid. But wouldn’t the fish taste pickled? And doesn’t milk include acid? I vote for milk!
However, once that part is over you know you must dredge catfish in cornmeal or coat it in a heavy batter; deep fry it in peanut oil; also fry breaded onion rings, French fries, and hush puppies (which are blobs of cornmeal mush stuff left over from breading or battering things). Then you can sit down and eat all that greasy food, most of which is heavily loaded with carbohydrates, a bad mix for many diets, these days.
I wanted something different. (I’m from the north, y’all!)
Since in our family, we all like to eat fish and don’t even mind enjoying a bit of catfish on occasion, I decided to invent a recipe for frying catfish that would be more health-giving for us. I love inventing recipes! I decided to pan fry on a lower heat and to use a health-friendlier oil, plus a breading that is low in carbohydrates.
The first task was to pick the breading ingredients. After considering coconut flour, almond flour, soy flour, flax meal, and whole wheat, I decided to go with whole almond flour. I reasoned that if we did not like something that mild, we certainly would not appreciate all the rest, and definitely not a mixture.
After that, I had to decide upon an oil. The first time I made this dish, I used olive; the second time I tried coconut oil. I suppose I’ll make this many times, to decide finally, but right now I’m leaning toward olive oil.
Then, to replace the carb-high potatoes and corn, I wanted to try marrow squash, also known as “spaghetti squash”. We’d enjoyed it merely buttered, and a few times supporting various Italian sauces. This would be an enormous departure from the traditional Southern experience, but a food adventure I was ready to try.
Finally, to round it off, I chose good ol’ low-glycemic, vitamin-loaded sweet potatoes. Boiled and buttered, they are one of our favorite go-to sides.
I had to buy the squash. Although it is easy enough to grow in Arkansas, and keeps quite well in a cool dark place, the deer have attacked our gardens with great gusto the last couple of years. I’m happy for their dietary enrichment, but I’m about to join our neighbor down the highway, who has fenced his garden with ten-foot chain link topped with razor wire.
I kid you not. The critters are thick around here.
But back to the kitchen!
Steaming a marrow squash is easy enough to do if you own a steamer. Just quarter, remove the seeds and excess membrane, and place it in the steamer over boiling water to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until fork-tender.
The difficult part is opening it before cooking, and that can be a mildly dangerous task if you don’t know how. I use a large knife that is recently sharpened, and watching out for my fingers, I aim for the center, chopping the squash once with the sharp edge of the knife. It usually cuts about ½” deep into the fruit. At that point, I can lift the knife, which is jammed hard into the squash, and the squash lifts with it. Taking care to keep fingers in safe places, I raise the knife, heavy with the squash, about four inches and then bang the squash, with the knife in it, down hard on the cutting board. I may have to repeat, but this works well. Once you have it in halves, clean out the seeds and loose fibers. Then quartering it is surprisingly easy.
I like to multi-task when I’m cooking, so I usually start the squash steaming before I work on the other parts of the recipe. That way the squash can have time to cool for handling, and then be warmed again before serving.
Another word of caution, this time about releasing the “spaghetti” from the cooked squash shell: It must be cooled, first. There are very few ways to handle a piece of food that is boiling hot. Potholders, I found, will soak through and can scald you. I’ve used tongs before, but that’s awkward. It really is best to let the squash cool on a plate, flesh-side up, about ten minutes, shred it out of the shell, and then reheat the “spaghetti”.
If you have more of the squash than you need, for this meal, it is delicious when reheated, with or without a chopped green onion and some pepper, in a buttered pan with a lid. Add a bit of cream and shredded cheddar cheese at the last minute, and it makes another lovely, and very quick, side for low-carb enjoyment.
The recipe shown here includes four catfish filets. It was a lot for two people to eat, really, but I was hoping for left-overs.
Katharine Trauger: Low-carb Pan-fried Catfish Over Marrow Squash
"4 large (aproximately 4 ounce) catfish filets
2 cups milk
1 marrow squash (spaghetti squash)
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup olive oil or cooking oil of choice
1 egg, beaten
4, ¼” slices of onion
Salt to taste
1/2 cup additional almond flour, if needed
½ cup Chardonnay, Chablis, or white Zinfandel "
Thaw (or soak) filets in milk for 4 hours in refrigerator.
Wash squash. Cut in half. Scoop out seeds and loose membrane. Cut into quarters or eighths. Steam 20 minutes or until flesh separates easily. Allow to cool ten minutes or to handling temperature. Remove flesh and arrange on ovenproof platter and keep in 150 degree oven.
Remove fish from milk. Rinse and drain.
Mix almond flour and pepper in shallow dish such as a pie plate.
Heat oil in non-stick skillet to “splatter” temperature.
Coat one filet in egg, then in almond flour/pepper mix.
Place one onion slice in oil in pan and top with one coated filet.
Repeat for each filet/onion slice.
Fry filets on onion slices, uncovered, for about 7 minutes. Turn filets with onion slices, allowing onion to rest on filet. Salt lightly
Fry until filet separates easily.
Remove filets to top the squash on platter. Return platter to warm oven.
Pour most of hot oil into heat-proof container to cool, being careful to keep as much pan residue in pan as possible. Try to retain only about two tablespoons of oil in pan.
Return pan to heat, bringing to medium-high temperature. Stir in remaining almond flour left from breading filets, and stir constantly to brown slightly. If no flour is remaining, stir in 1/2 cup additional almond flour and brown. Immediately de-glaze pan with wine, continuing stirring until slightly thickened.
Pour sauce over filets and squash. Serve immediately.
Multitasking Note: If you desire to serve the sweet potato as a side with this dish, peel, slice, and boil 1/2 potato for each serving, while steaming squash, then keep warm in ovenproof dish with lid, in warm oven with squash.
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 . . .
Biscuit’s what we’ve been talking about all month.Grands has perfected them and we can get them in a can or frozen by the bag.Our Sister, has yet to let us in on her secret, but who cares when you can eat them by the panful (or as a cinnamon roll or wrapped around a sausage link)!Homemade are soft and fluffy with that perfect golden edge. And, I’ve already told you guys that I’m the luckiest gal because Mr. McKinney < http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/keisha-mckinney-mr-mckinneys-biscuits/> has them down pat, or at least by the recipe he keeps on the notepad in his phone!
The 5th of this month was our first Anniv and we celebrated by a quick weekend away in Natchez, MS.One of the perks of being in South AR is that it was only a 5 hour drive.We felt like we got away without having to go to far…and you know we made it in to an adventure!
When I was doing my excursion research, I found that they had a biscuit tour.Yep, you read that right.My husband was taking me away for a weekend straight off the set of Steel Magnolias with southern homes, southern cooking, coffee shops, flower gardens, and potentially a trip to the casino.I had to find something to get him through the weekend.We bought our tickets at the visitor center and with our biscuit passport in hand we were off.Except, no one in town on the biscuit tour stop knew they were a biscuit tour stop so showing our card and asking for biscuits really became the best excitement of the trip.If you think ladies in AR get in a tizz when they don’t know what’s going on…you should see a Mississippi 60 yr. old Southern Belle try to figure out what to do with your card so she “still gets paid.”
None the less, biscuits are heaven.We had them traditional with homemade jam.Plain with butter melted on top.Cut like silver dollars (my new personal favorite).But, the best were the savory ones with bits of bacon and herbs spread throughout.They were so magical that one particular restaurant used this biscuit dough as a topper to their brisket pot pie and I could not stay out of it.
Growing up, my mama always kept “cheap” biscuits on hand and I find myself doing the same thing.Whether its to put in the bottom of a cupcake tin as the base of an appetizer, when I forget to get something for Sunday breakfast, or to make the amazingness we really came here to talk about today…Easy Monkey Bread. This is one of those recipes for me I just always remember my mama making.And one of the earliest she let me help her with.
Its easy to make, it only takes a few ingredients.And, you can put it in the oven and still have time to take a shower and fix your hair and serve it piping hot at home or even take it on the road and impress your coworkers.
Now that I’m the grown up, I do sometimes switch out butterscotch pudding mix for the cinnamon and with the melted butter, it makes a super caramel sauce on top.
[stextbox id=”custom” direction=”ltr” shadow=”false” bwidth=”3″ color=”030303″ ccolor=”030303″ bcolor=”030303″ bgcolor=”FAFAFA” cbgcolor=”FAFAFA” bgcolorto=”FAFAFA” cbgcolorto=”FAFAFA” image=”null”]All I can say is hot or cold, it’s biscuits, covered in cinnamon, sugar and butter.Enjoy![/stextbox]
Keisha (Pittman) McKinney is settling in to her new married life in South AR after she #becamemrsmckinney. A Digital Media Director by day for a church in Northwest Arkansas, Keisha is remembering what its like to plan ahead for shopping trips to “the city,” getting resourceful at her small town Walmart and creating online shopping personas everywhere. She blogs @bigpittstop about daily adventures, cooking escapades, #bigsisterchats and the social justice cases on her heart.
I have always enjoyed a good morning Monkey Bread. Soon after getting married, a friend of mine was over helping me get ready for a Christmas party. She asked why you couldn’t make a Monkey Bread with savory ingredients. We laughed it off at first, but then as we grew tired of baking and cooking, we decided we had nothing to lose by creating a recipe and giving it a try. I don’t really recommend trying new recipes or experimenting before a party, but I have to say, I have had some pretty good luck with doing just that. This recipe is a perfect example! I have even been known to throw in a little browned Italian sausage for a heartier version. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as my friend and I have.
Growing up my Momma was the main cook in our house. She was a great cook however, as us kids got older the cooking duties shifted to us. The best times were when my Daddy took the cooking duties for the night. Those times quickly became my favorite (sorry Momma!) because it meant I could spend a little extra time with my Daddy without my sisters.
My Daddy seem to pull things out of thin air and make a meal. My Momma was also very good at this but Daddy was a master at it. I remember one time, he took rice (Riceland was also used in my parent’s house), cream of mushroom soup, and ground hamburger. He called it S.O.S. I am sure most of y’all know exactly what that means. There are many times I have pulled this one out and used to Glitter’s delight.
I would say the best one of his recipes was for his ugly biscuits.My sisters and I called them this because these biscuits weren’t going win any beauty contests. It follows the saying it may not look pretty, but it sure tastes delicious. Daddy was not much of a baker, but these turned out so good. There was kind of a standing order for the biscuits every month.
Now imagine my shock when my shock when my Daddy told me they were Bisquick biscuits. Y’all trust me they are easy to make and so very yummy!
Alicia Dowell lives in a little city called Hope with her college sweetheart and their daughter. She is a lover of gardening, their back-yard chickens, yarn, blogging, Disney music and photography. By day you can find her working at a state park and by night (or the light of her computer screen) she can be found blogging at Simple Words by A or on Instagram which is her favorite social media hangout.