Tag: salad

Debbie Arnold: Fresh Raspberry Sorbet {Foodie Friday}

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.

raspberry sorbet dining with debbie

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.

Remember Jeanetta’s Choco-Raspberry Micro Cake? Bet that’s making your mouth water about now! Go ahead. You can make this in no time.

jeanetta darley choco raspberry micro cake

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,

raspberry quick muffins

and Lyndi’s Raspberry-Spinach Salad would start off any Independence Day dinner with tons of flavor and goodness.

raspberry spinach salad nwafodie

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday. Thanks.ya’ll.



You just knew I would.

James Moore: Choose Your Garnish Ramen Salad

Our Foodie Friday post this week is brought to you by none other than Busvlogger (aka James Moore).

I developed this simple version of Ramen Salad for busy families with picky kids. If someone you’re serving can’t even, with the green onions, leave them out and reserve them as a garnish. I also give you a few pointers for add-ins that make this salad a lot of fun.


James Moore: Choose Your Garnish Ramen Salad


  • 2 packages Ramen noodles
  • 1 14- ounce package coleslaw
  • 1 bunch green onions (greens chopped)
  • 1 6-ounce can black olives
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 packages chicken seasoning from Ramen package
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 1 15-ounce can Mandarin orange segments, halved
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • ed pepper flakes


  1. Cook noodles as directed on package (or leave crunchy). Drain; let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all dressing ingredients until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Combine all ingredients except garnishes and crunchy noodles. Chill.
  4. If you chose to keep noodles crunchy, incorporate just before serving. Present garnishes alongside your salad.
  5. You can really get creative with your garnishes.
  6. Try panko or, heck, crunch up your favorite chips; wouldn't crushed Takis be interesting?

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Lyndi Fultz: Hearty Black Bean Salad


I’ve been dreaming about this salad for weeks. Seriously. As I filled out my content calendar for the January, I typed in this post title. You see, several months ago I came up with the title and giggled at writing the word “hearty.” It was going to be January and super frigid and figured we would all want something hearty right about now.

The winter descriptive meant that I had to come up with something wintery. Which means one thing to me when it comes to salads… root vegetables. These are the things I dream about. How about you?

The intention was to add a can of black beans to this salad to add a pop of interest. But them I happened upon our very own community member’s salsa with black beans and corn… well, let’s just say that mixing that delicious salsa with ranch dressing takes this salad to the next level. The next atmosphere. The next galaxy.

Thanks for the idea, Helen.

May you all have a big bowl of hearty winter black bean salad and be filled with joy.

Lyndi Fultz: Hearty Winter Salad

Lyndi Fultz: Hearty Winter Salad


  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 7 radishes, sliced into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8th teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup My Brothers Salsa™ black bean and corn salsa
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta
  • 4 tablespoons ranch dressing
  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce


  1. Preheat oven to bake 375 degrees.
  2. Place sweet potatoes and radishes on sheet plan and drizzle olive oil and salt and mix. Bake for 30 minutes.
  3. While root vegetables are baking, combine the following ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and toss: salsa, cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta, and ranch dressing.
  4. Shred romaine and place in large bowl.
  5. Add roasted sweet potatoes and radishes to mixing bowl and toss. Pour over romaine lettuce.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Happy salading.

Lyndi Fultz, nwafoodie

Lyndi FultzArkansas 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.


Capi Peck’s Summer Panzanella Salad {Foodie Friday}

Featuring Chef Capi Peck, sharing the bounty of Arkansas with #ArkansasGrown produce.

Capi Picture 1

This is one of my favorite things to make and eat in the heat of the summer when our Arkansas tomatoes are coming on strong.


Capi Peck's Summer Panzanella Salad
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For the bread
  1. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  2. 6 cups 1-inch bread cubes, cut from French baguettes
  3. 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
For the vinaigrette
  1. 1 teaspoon minced garlic cloves
  2. 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  3. 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  4. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  5. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Remaining ingredients for the salad
  1. 2 large Arkansas heirloom tomatoes, cut 1-inch cubes
  2. 1 large cucumber, seeded, large dice
  3. 1 each red and yellow bell pepper, cut 1-inch pieces
  4. 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, thinly sliced
  5. 25 large fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped or torn
  6. 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large pan or stockpot over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and salt. Stir well to coat the bread. Cook, stirring often, until slightly browned, adding a little more oil if necessary. Set aside.
  2. For the vinaigrette, whisk garlic cloves, mustard, vinegar and olive oil together. Taste and add salt as needed. Set aside.
  3. Prep the remaining ingredients and place in a large mixing bowl. Add toasted bread cubes and vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes so that the flavors can marry.
  4. Optional ingredients: crumbled feta or blue cheese, Kalamata olives, diced avocado
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/



About Capi

Capi Peck is a Little Rock native who calls herself a “self-taught good cook”.  Her love of great food and cooking grew from her childhood experiences at her family’s establishment, the Sam Peck Hotel.  Capi’s grandparents ran the well-known downtown spot that brought a cosmopolitan flair and grand cuisine to Little Rock in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  As a tribute to her culinary roots, Capi serves a few of Sam Peck’s creations at Trio’s, the restaurant she has co-owned with her partner, Brent Peterson for nearly 30 years.

Capi is committed to featuring locally grown produce whenever possible. She supports more than eight Arkansas farming families by offering their produce on her ever-changing menu.


Strawberries from Caddo Crest Orchard in Guy

Strawberries from Caddo Crest Orchard in Guy

Capi serves as Chair of Little Rock’s Advertising and Promotion Commission and is immediate past president of the Arkansas Restaurant Association.

She is very committed to the No Kid Hungry Program, part of Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, where she serves as a volunteer chef in the Cooking Matters classes.

Capi is proudest of her extended family at both Trio’s.  More than 10 of her staff have worked with her for over 18 years and 4 have been part of the Trio’s family for 23 or more years.

About Trio’s (Courtesy of Trio’s Restaurant)

“Trio’s Restaurant, which began in 1986 as a gourmet shop with “good food to go” along with cookbooks, coffee, gadgets, and a well-stocked deli, has evolved into one of the finest dining and catering establishments in the state. Capi Peck and Brent Peterson have nurtured Trio’s from its inception. It is their “baby,” and it has grown into an award-winning restaurant known for innovation and consistency.

Trio’s patio


So many of Trio’s loyal customers began their culinary adventures more than 20 years ago as toddlers at the Trio’s table. And, for many displaced Arkansans, a visit home wouldn’t be complete without a meal at Trio’s with family and friends. Most important are the employees who were here almost from the beginning including Partner Stephanie Caruthers, who started at Trio’s as a baker in 1987, and directs the Catering Department. Apollos Merriweather, who many of you know from his catering work for Trio’s, has been part of the Trio’s team since 1988. Our catering would not be what it is today without Apollos! Eric Wilson began as a dishwasher in 1986! He runs the day kitchen line and is famous for his grilled chicken enchiladas. And, a few of the familiar faces of our floor staff have been with Trio’s for 10+ years: Richard LeSourd, Michelle Lee, and Wayne Pyland. Chef Shanna Merriweather, our Executive Chef, began as an apprentice while in culinary school. She’s a calm leader in the kitchen, and her culinary creativity shines throughout our menu.

The “Trio’s Family” extends far and wide, and Capi and Brent have successfully fostered the fundamental ideal of “hearth and home” in the staff at Trio’s. We all believe that ideal is the key to our success. And, of course, there’s the food!”

Note: Tri0’s was recently named the best Farm-to-Table Restaurant in Arkansas by Travel and Leisure Magazine.


Capi Peck Twitter

Trio’s Twitter








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.


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Twitter: https://twitter.com/rhondafranz

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Amy Bradley-Hole: Sensation Salad {Foodie Friday}

I love recipes with a history. One of my favorite salads, sensation salad, is just such a dish. 

I first became addicted to sensation salads as a young girl in Louisiana. They were commonly found on the menus at most seafood restaurants and steakhouses. When I grew up and moved out-of-state, I was saddened to find that this tangy, garlicky salad was not served in any restaurants! I had to have the recipe, so I started doing a little research on the sensation salad’s origin. 


It turns out this famous starter salad was first created at a restaurant called Bob & Jake’s in Baton Rouge. For a long time, it was only available there, and at a few other restaurants in Baton Rouge, but as with all great dishes, it slowly migrated across the state. 

We mostly think of salads as being a summertime food, but sensation salad is really a perfect accompaniment for fall’s heartier dishes. Its cool crispness pairs well with soups, chilis, and of course spicier fare like etouffees. 


The crisp and cold quality is the secret to a great sensation salad. For that reason, the recipe only calls for iceberg lettuce. No, this is not about healthy greens and vegetables — leave those salads for the summer, when fresh produce is more abundant. For this salad, you want a nice head of iceberg that has been in the fridge for a while.



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  1. 4 cups chopped cold iceberg lettuce
  2. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  3. 1/2 cup olive oil
  4. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  5. 3 cloves garlic, minced and mashed
  6. 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  7. 1/2 tablespoon salt
  8. 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  9. 1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic
  10. 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  11. 1 cup grated Romano cheese
  1. Combine the oils, lemon juice, mashed garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic in a jar or cruet with a lid. Shake VERY well to combine all the ingredients.
  2. It's best to place this in the refrigerator to let the flavors incorporate for about 24 hours, but you can use immediately if necessary. Just before serving, shake the dressing again.
  3. Mix the chopped lettuce and parsley. Top with the dressing, and toss to coat.
  4. This is a type of "soaked" salad, so don't be afraid to use plenty of dressing. Once you've done this, add the Romano cheese, and toss again.
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/
As you can see, this is a very quick and easy recipe. Feel free to adapt it to your tastes. You may want to add black olives, croutons, or maybe even anchovies. 

As mentioned, this salad goes well with spicy, warm dishes. Duck season is coming up here in Arkansas, so consider trying it with a hearty duck gumbo. If you’re like me, though, you’ll find yourself craving sensation salad all year long, with all kinds of meals!


Getting to Know amy bradley-holeYour ARWB Foodies
What food reminds you of childhood? 
Marinated crab claws, trout almondine, and escargot. These were dishes we ate for “special occasions.” They were served at my favorite restaurants growing up, so they remind me of special family dinners.
What is your favorite international cuisine?
British food is the most comforting to me. It’s easy-to-make comfort food that has a lot of appeal for everyone in the family.Asian food has the flavors I most enjoy. Lemongrass, cilantro, chili, soy — these are the ingredients I crave on a regular basis, and Asian dishes are the only ones to satisfy my cravings.I owe a debt to Italian food, though, as it has helped me create a business. I have spent much time in Italian kitchens, and I’ve learned from some wonderful Italian home cooks and chefs. Italian food is simple but perfect.
What is always in your refrigerator at home?
 Milk. Sauvignon blanc. Bacon. String cheese. Ketchup.
What is your go-to ingredient hat you use time and time again?
Garlic. I use it in almost everything. And I typically use twice what the recipe calls for.
Do you have a favorite food indulgence?
 I love gas station food.

What is your most used cookbook?
 The Illustrated Kitchen Bible by Victoria Blashford-Snell.

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
A mezzaluna. I cook a lot with herbs, and it’s such a quick and easy way to mince them. If appliances count as gadgets, though, I love my Ninja. There’s no way I’m going to chop, stir, or blend by hand, when that amazing machine will do it for me.
What is your favorite food meal to cook at home? 
 Either boeuf bourguignon or pasta all’Amatriciana
What is a cooking tip that you would like to share with beginning cooks?
Practice practice practice. Cooking is not an easy skill, and it takes lots of time and practice to master. Don’t be afraid to mess up. Resign yourself to wasting money on recipes and eating some gross meals. And don’t beat yourself up when you do screw up. Just throw it in the trash or feed it to your dog, then order a pizza, and try again the next day. It gets easier the more you do it. 
When you’re not cooking, what are your favorite pastimes?
 Reading, hiking, and shopping.

What else would you like us to know about you?
 I grew up in Louisiana, which means my palate demands strong flavors. I absolutely loathe bland food. I think it’s a crime against humanity.I have two kids who pretty much can’t stand anything I cook for them.My mother-in-law is the best cook I know. When she comes to visit us, I want to chain her in the kitchen and make her cook for me. Thankfully, she doesn’t mind obliging. She worships at the shrine of Delia Smith. I think everyone should own a Delia cookbook.

Amy Bradley-Hole is a freelance writer and speaker who covers tech, travel, business and parenting.  She’s a true Southern girl, but she’s lived and traveled all over the world.  She blogs at Freaky Perfect about the freakiness of her not-so-perfect life.  When she’s not goofing around on the internet, she dreams up new ways to drive her husband and two young boys crazy.  Follow her on Twitter at @amybhole.



Amanda Fiveash: Mason Jar Salad {Foodie Friday}

Layered Salad in a mason jar
Salads are so much fun to eat!  Options are endless and combinations open to your imagination.  Living in Arkansas, we have such a hearty variety of healthy choices that can be grown right in our own backyard, literally.  As the days of summer start to become a little shorter, I have to admit I am ready for the slightly cooler weather, but in total denial that the goodness of <strong>LOCAL</strong> fresh summer produce will be disappearing soon. 
That just means we need to be gettin’ while the gettin’ is good! 
With back-to-school starting this last week, I look for make ahead options we can break away from school quickly and all enjoy.  Layered salads are perfect for grab and go lunches because you can make multiple days worth at a time, even varying what each contains.  If you are eating them with a wrap or sandwich, consider making them in jelly jars, otherwise I use a pint jar for my salads. 
Layered Salad Ingredients
The cool thing is that you really can customize to your taste buds and what you have on hand.  The more colorful the better, because you are packing in a variety of nutrients, but they can also be very simple, such as a caesar salad with added protein (chicken, shrimp or bacon). 
The key to a great layered mason jar salad is how you pack it all in!  If you layer your ingredients properly, they will store in the refrigerator for about 5 days without becoming a soggy mess.  Since I really like crispy lettuce, this is important. 
Layered Mason Jar Salad
Layers of a Mason Jar SaladStarting with the bottom first…
1. Dressing
2. Non-Absorbent Veggies
3. Soft Veggies
4. Carbs / Proteins
5. Lettuce / Grains / Pasta
6. Cheeses
For my salad I choose the following ingredients:
1. Dressing – Olive Oil & Vinegar
2. Non-Absorbent Veggies – Broccoli, Cucumbers, Carrots
3. Soft Veggies – Tomatoes
4. Carbs / Proteins – Eggs, Bacon
5. Lettuce / Grains / Pasta – Chopped Romaine
6. Cheeses – Parmesan Reggiano
When you are ready to eat, simply turn the jar upside down, give it a few shakes to mix all the yummy ingredients and dressing together and dive in.  Although you may be tempted to pack that mason jar to the brim, I suggest leaving about 1/2″ – 1″ at the top to have room to mix the salad.  
What ingredients would you use to customize your Mason Jar Layered Salad?
Amanda was born in Arkansas and although she lived in several other states, returned home to put down roots before starting her own family in northern Arkansas.  Her blog, Our Homemade Life is a creative outlet to share her adventures in motherhood from making messes with crafts and in the kitchen to homeschooling and their love of family travel.  You can connect with Amanda on Google+TwitterInstagramPinterest & Facebook.

Laurie Marshall: Yum Salad {Foodie Friday}

I was twelve years old the first time I ever ate a salad. In fact, before that year, I am not sure I really knew what a salad was. My mom was a pretty no-nonsense kind of cook, and we ate a lot of easy meals that mom could make in her sleep. But when I was twelve, she was dating a man who had fancier food tastes than we had typically been able to support on a single-parent budget, and we started eating salad. 

Fast-forward a lot of years that I won’t tally up for you, and I am now a fan of salads. Thank goodness for that fancy-food man, who eventually became my step-dad. The biggest turning point came when I discovered that salads can be made with greens other than iceberg lettuce. It was an evolutionary step on my culinary timeline to learn that some lettuce actually has flavor and texture and doesn’t require half a cup of salad dressing to make it palatable.

Yum Salad fresh ingredients laurie marshall 1

This recipe for Yum Salad is a variation on a dish I get at my local Thai restaurant. I love the flavor of the dressing – a complex mingling of sweet, savory, tangy and spicy. It is a great base for any protein you want to add, but I chose some boneless pork chops when I made it this week. 

Yum Salad dressing

/Most restaurants will serve this salad over iceberg lettuce, which immediately starts to get floppy once the dressing is applied. I use fresh spinach and arugula to add body to the greens. The peppery flavor of the arugula also comes through to up the flavor quotient. I add tomatoes to mine, and if you don’t have chiles available, you can substitute a squirt of sriracha. 

Yum Salad garlic and chiles


Yum Salad on arugula and spinach

Yum Salad
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  1. 1.5 pounds boneless pork chops
  2. ½ Tablespoon vegetable oil
  3. ¼ cup shallot or sweet onion, sliced thin
  4. 3 Tablespoon chopped cilantro (leaves and stems)
  5. 1 medium cucumber, seeded and sliced
  6. 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  7. 3-4 cups arugula and spinach greens
  8. 1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
  9. 2 Thai chiles, minced (or 1 Tablespoon sriracha)
  10. 2 Tablespoons very thinly sliced lemongrass
  11. 1.5 teaspoons light brown sugar
  12. 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  13. 2.5 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  1. Start by crushing the garlic (this is why the press is helpful), and smashing it together with the chile peppers on your cutting board. You can use a knife to do this or a small spoon.
  2. After you slice the lemongrass, bruise it a bit with the dull side of your knife to help draw out the oils that are full of flavor. Put the garlic paste in a small bowl and add lemongrass, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar. Whisk together and set aside as you work on the rest of the dish. All those flavors will start to come together and your kitchen will smell amazing.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a pan and add protein of your choice – in this case, pork. If you’re using pork or chicken, cook the meat thoroughly on both sides. For beef, it’s okay to leave it a little pink in the middle. Remove from pan and let the meat rest for a few minutes while you spread your greens over your platter.
  4. Once your meat has rested, slice it into thin strips, place in a large bowl, and add the shallots, cilantro, tomatoes and cucumber. Pour dressing over the meat and veggies and toss until everything is covered.
  5. Spoon meat and veggie mix over the greens on your platter, pour any dressing in the bowl over the top, and serve alone, or with rice on the side.
  1. This dish keeps well in the fridge, and would make a great wrap for lunch the next day!
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/



Getting to Know Your ARWB Foodies

Laurie Marshall
Junque Rethunque
See Laurie Write

What food reminds you of childhood?
Tuna fish patties and Kraft mac and cheese. We were on a budget, and my mother made tuna patties (croquets to the fancy people) often. They had crushed saltines in them and were crispy golden brown on the outside. Mom had certain combinations of foods that were always served together, and Kraft mac and cheese was always a side dish for the tuna patties. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get my family to appreciate the perfection of this dish.

What is your favorite international cuisine?
Indian, Thai and Mexican – I love the meaty-ness of the dishes, contrasted with complex spice and herbs. I could eat these every day for every meal and be perfectly content.

What is always in your refrigerator at home?
Eggs, half-n-half, and 384 jars of pickles and mustards. I’m not sure what’s up with that last one…

What is your most used cookbook?
Epicurious.com, to be honest… although most of my cooking is done by the seat of my pants. I do have a cookbook from the 20s that has my grandmother’s name embossed on it. The name was put on when it was rebound at some point. There are not a ton of recipesin it that I want to try, but I love love love having it. 🙂

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
Hmmm… I am pretty low-tech, really. I use my vegetable peeler a lot, but my blender and food processor get dusty. If a crock pot is a gadget, that’s probably my favoritebecause of how it saves my butt when I am too busy to spend time preparing a meal.

Do you have a favorite food indulgence?  
Locally roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. My husband has a sweet tooth but doesn’t like dark chocolate, so those two things are about the only things I can keep around that I know he won’t steal.

What is your go-to ingredient that you use time and time again?
I have been putting curry powder in everything lately, and enjoying the sweetness it adds to spicy dishes. But my home-canned tomatoes are always easy to grab as an ingredient for something awesome.

What is your favorite food meal to cook at home?
This changes all the time (remember, I said I fly by the seat of my pants). But a couple of favorites are homemade chicken pot pie and crock pot pork roast with rotel and potatoes.

What is a cooking tip that you would like to share with beginning cooks?
Watch Food Network. Seriously – I have become so much more experimental (successfully, too!) since I have become of fan of shows like Top Chef and Chopped. I discover new ingredients, which I will probably never use, but they talk about combining flavors and ingredients and that has helped me learn what to play with in my own kitchen. Also, the measurements listed in the recipe are important. That’s all I will say about that.

When you’re not cooking, what are your favorite pastimes?
I am a writer and artist, and love to be making and creating something. My family and I enjoy getting out and hiking on local trails, and I am a big movie buff – love to binge watch movies, but I hardly ever have time.

What else would you like us to know about you?
My mantra, which may be a good reminder to others – “It’s never to late to be what you might have been.” It’s a quote by the writer George Elliot, and it rings true with me every single day. There are things we put off as moms and we need to remember that no matter what you are focused on today – kids, family, work, parents who need you… you can continue to make tiny steps forward and one day those steps will add up and you will be on top of a hill you thought you would never be able to climb. Keep moving. 🙂

Connect with Laurie:
Twitter JunqueRethunque
Twitter LaurieMMarshall
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Pinterest Laurie Marshall


In addition to her love for a perfectly turned phrase, Laurie Marshall has a passion for reusing and repurposing, and may get a little too excited about power tools and the wall of paint chips at her local h

Laurie lives in Northwest Arkansas where her mother was a majorette in the high school band and her grandmother inspired her love for homemade and handmade. She is spoiled by the availability of locally-grown foods in her community. Being the decision-maker for dinner every night wears her out, but, thanks to Food Network, she still enjoys experimenting with new flavors and concoctions. She prides herself on the fact that no one has gotten ill after eating her food.ome improvement store. She graduated from the BA program in Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas in 2007 at the ripe old age of 39, and after spending six years working at a desk job (that she loved!), she took the leap and began her freelancing career. Her work has been published on VisitRogersArkansas.comTasteArkansas.comNWAMedia.com, and in AY Magazine and Do South, among others. @LaurieMMarshall 

Amanda Farris: Toasted Walnut and Red Pear Salad {Foodie Friday}


Its Sweet Summer Time!

We have already been enjoying lots of summer food, my favorite being grilled corn on the cob and homemade ice cream. But in the summer, we also enjoy lots of fresh salads especially this favorite, Toasted Walnut and Red Pear salad.  When I say favorite, I mean you will catch me in the kitchen with a fork and the big salad bowl cleaning up any last bit of it I can before I wash the bowl.


 My mother in law first shared this recipe with me a couple of summers, and continues to tease me about how much I like it. I think I ate three helpings the first time she served it to me. And now, I’ve adopted it as a staple recipe of my own to share with friends and family.

 It’s simple and you will love it!


Homemade Ranch Dressing:

  • Hidden Valley Ranch Mix™ (Do like I do and get  it in a bulk size from Sam’s Club; it’s well worth it.
  • Mayonnaise (The real stuff.)
  • Milk

Just follow the directions on the back of the package. I know, you thought it was going to be an intense homemade secret recipe. Nope. But, I do promise, it tastes so different and so much better than the stuff that comes out of the bottle. 

Toasted Walnut and Red Pear Salad
Serves 4
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  1. ½ cup- 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts (I lean on the 1 cup side, because I love the flavor.)
  2. 1head red leaf lettuce
  3. 2 red pears, sliced into wedges
  4. sharp Cheddar, grated
  5. homemade ranch dressing (I say homemade, because it’s all I like. But if you like the store bought, go for it. No harm done.)
  1. Chop lettuce
  2. Top with red pears and walnuts.
  3. Sprinkle some sharp Cheddar cheese on top.
  4. Garnish with homemade ranch dressing.
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/
I know it sounds so simple and it is. But we love simple right? It makes life better.

But the flavor of the sharp cheese, toasted walnuts, and pears mixed together will have you running into the kitchen to whip up another batch of this salad to share with your family.


Amanda Farris Embracing Grace

 Getting to KnoARWB Foodies
Follow the link to see what Amanda had to say.

Connect with Amanda:

 Amazing Grace and Living the Adventure



Shannon Magsam: Family Favorite Fruit Salad {Foodie Friday}

Fruit salad, nwaMotherlode

Just after Christmas last year, my parents sold their big, sprawling farmhouse and moved into a smaller place.

When I say their house, I really mean their home. It was a place my siblings and I — and our kids — all loved dearly. We might still be a little in shock that we don’t gather there for just-because weekends and holidays anymore.

We miss the pond for fishing and shooting fireworks over, the little dollhouse-like cabin where the grandkids played, the acres and acres for driving the Ranger.

I know my parents don’t miss the weed-eating, the mowing, the house upkeep, the pool upkeep, the upstairs/downstairs cleaning, et cetera. We know why it was necessary for our parents to sell the big house – and all the acreage — but I know I’m still in the mourning stage.

Since I live about three hours away, I haven’t had as much time to get used to the idea. I still picture my parents there at that house and it’s a little jarring every time I head to central Arkansas and we drive past the normal exit to go “home”.

But there is something that’s helping with the transition: family recipes.

Even though my parents aren’t at that particular place anymore, we can still go “home” when we’re all together, gathered around a dinner table that’s laden with certain foods like my mother’s turkey and dressing (she makes it year-round) or steak with lemon pepper or fried chicken (like only my mama can make).

And for dessert, maybe it will be just-out-of-the-oven oatmeal cookies, just-out-of-the-fridge cherry cheesecake, or tart lemon pie (my daddy’s favorite). Another crowd-pleaser dessert is my family’s fruit salad recipe. My mom, sister and sisters-in-law all love this one. It has lots of ingredients, but it’s easy to make. As always, just leave out anything you don’t like – and add more of what you do! {My husband doesn’t like coconut or pecans, so I left those items out of my latest batch.}

fruit salad shannon m foodie friday

Family Favorite Fruit Salad
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  1. 1 cup coconut flakes
  2. 1 cup chopped pecans (or your favorite nut)
  3. 1 cup mini marshmallows
  4. 1 cup red grapes, halved
  5. 1 - 1 1/2 cups bananas, sliced
  6. 2 cups maraschino cherries
  7. 1 large apple, peeled/diced
  8. 2 small cans mandarin oranges
  9. 1 container Cool Whip
  10. 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  11. 8 ounces sour cream
  12. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  13. 1/4 cup white sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, sour cream, cream cheese and sugar. Mix {very} well. In a separate, larger bowl, gently combine coconut, pecans, apples, mandarin oranges, mini marshmallows, red grapes, bananas and cherries together.
  2. Add the fruit mixture to the lemon juice mixture and gently combine all ingredients. Lastly, fold in the whipped cream.
  3. Chill for at least one hour before serving.
  4. Serve garnished with extra cherries and chopped pecans on top.
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/

Shannon in peach


 Getting to Know Your ARWB Foodies

Shannon Magsam

What food reminds you of childhood?
Probably my mother’s homemade oatmeal cookies. She always seemed to have those ingredients on hand when we were all craving something sweet after dinner.

What is your favorite international cuisine?
I’m in love with pizza of all shapes, sizes and flavors. I’m always in the mood for pizza 🙂

What is always in your refrigerator at home?
Sharp cheddar cheese, 1% milk for my morning hot tea, grapes, leafy greens for a salad, fresh eggs from my backyard chickens, and bacon.

What is your most used cookbook?
“We Gather Together” from the First United Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville. I used to write a feature for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette called “Classy Cook” and one of my classy cooks, Elizabeth Lear, gave it to me.

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
Probably my garlic press. It gives me great satisfaction to use.

Do you have a favorite food indulgence?  
My guilty pleasure is a sugarcookie and chocolate milk while leafing through books at the Barnes & Noble cafe.

What is your go-to ingredient that you use time and time again?
Cheese. Cheddar, cream, mozzarella, parmesan, bleu.

What is your favorite food meal to cook at home?
My favorite is Creamy Tomato Fettuccine (except I use bowtie pasta) and a stacked salad.

What is a cooking tip that you would like to share with beginning cooks?
Even peoplewhocook a lot sometimes make huge mistakes in the kitchen (they burn something, they accidentally leave out ingredients, the meal tastes just meh). In fact, the more you cook, the more mistakes you’ll make. But the more you cook, the more you’ll improve, too!

When you’re not cooking, what are your favorite pastimes?
Writing, reading, eating out, walking my poodle, hanging out with my husband and daughter.

What else would you like us to know about you?
That I love the Arkansas Women Bloggers community! Each blogger represents a special ingredient that makes the whole recipe even more delicious! (OK, that’s cheesy, but you know how much I like cheese.)

Connect with Shannon:

Shannon Magsam is co-founder of nwaMotherlode.com, a website for mamas in Northwest Arkansas, and NWA Mom Prom, the ultimate girls’ night out. Shannon also moonlights as a freelance writer and PR specialist for a Fayetteville-based global firm. She was previously a newspaper reporter covering a broad range of topics, including crime, courts, business, education and food. Shannon and her husband, John, are lovin’ life with their 12-year-old daughter, three chickens, two cats, and 1 standard poodle.