Tag: Thanksgiving

Debbie Arnold: Thankful for Ms. Pauline’s Coconut Pie and More

It’s Thanksgiving and I have more to be thankful for than I can express. To our community – you are incredibly generous and faithful to one another. I love you all. To my family – I’m so blessed to have all of you in my life. To my friends – my Ladies Who Lunch and Pray group – you are my rock. 

It’s one of those lifelong friends I want to share with you today because I am so honored to know her and to be one of the recipients of her prayers.

Serving at The Bowery Mission NYC via diningwithdebbie.net
Pauline with my grands at The Bowery Mission

I met Pauline Bethel about 45 years ago and my family has been blessed in innumerable ways since. Following the death of her husband, she made the decision to move, more or less, to NYC where she volunteers daily at The Bowery Mission, because she feels this is God’s purpose for her. I’d love to share just a bit of why I am so thankful for her friendship, but before you READ MORE, let me share a message from her that I just received:

“After the parade we will go to Bowery Mission.  This week we have cooked 700 turkeys, 4 tons potatoes. White and sweet. Dressing from scratch. Gravy. Cranberry sauce.  Frozen veggies. Home made pies.  We will feed 2000 sit down meals at the mission today. Plus all the food we sent out to other locations!!”

I guarantee that her famous Coconut Pie will be on that menu! And aren’t we all thankful there are people in our world, our communities, that care so deeply for others?

Michelle Shellabarger: Scarborough Fair Dressing {Foodie Friday}








Sages via thepanamamama.com

Dressing is something that defines a family. A simple comfort food made from leftover bread to stretch an expensive meal (typically using what type of bread you had available so in the south- cornbread, in the north- wheat bread.) You can almost guess where someone’s grandma hails from by what type they serve you (dressing, stuffing, cornbread, white bread, fruits, nuts, oysters, chicken, chestnuts…)

YinYangBread via thepanamamama.com

When we started hosting our family holidays we had an unexpected conflict on what we would serve- an all white bread dressing with nuts like my Canadian grandma made or a total traditional cornbread dressing like my husband’s grandmother made? Everyone wanted their personal favorite and so compromise was needed. Thus, I came up with a yin-yang combination dressing that seems to please everyone! READ MORE


Cornbread Dressing/Scarborough Fair Dressing via thepanamamama.com



¡Hola!  I’m Michelle. I grew up mainly in the Republic of Panamá, and moved to Arkansas for love. I started blogging in 2007 and I’m still here blogging about trying to live the green life in the city with my four kids, a big dog, and some chickens and about our love of travel! Come visit me at Tales from a Panama-Mama, to see what craziness we’re up to!  Connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

It’s Tasty Tuesday! Thanksgiving Sides

It that time again. The time when our thoughts turn from Jack O’Lanterns, witches, bats and other scary things to the holiday many people consider to be their favorite. Thanksgiving.

What first comes to your mind when Thanksgiving is mentioned? Turkey?

For our family, it’s all about the sides! Do we stay with tradition, never changing Grandma’s cornbread dressing? Or Aunt Sue’s asparagus casserole? How about that Green Bean Casserole or Sweet Potato Casserole?

Does your family just resist changing the menu? 

At ARWB, we think our foodies have some delicious alternatives for you. Why not give one or two of these a try and let us know what you think.


Lacie Ring: Easy Peasy Pleasy’s Bacon Cauliflower Salad


Cauliflower is one of those versatile foods that can really take on the flavor of what it’s mixed with. This salad gets devoured anytime I serve up this dish and it will feed a crowd.

My Aunt Linda has been making this salad for as long as I can remember! You never have to wonder what she will bring to any of our family functions! She graciously gave me the recipes years ago and I’ve been making it ever since! READ MORE

Anita Stafford: Sugar Spice and Spilled Milk’s Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Suace vis Sugar Spice and Spilled Milk


Even with all the hurry, I always enjoy preparing a holiday meal. Putting the Thanksgiving meal together was more fun this year because my son Daniel was here to help me with the cooking. He helped out by making Spinach Maria and a Sweet Potato/Carrot slow cooker dish. He also convinced me that we should try making our own cranberry sauce this year. I usually make a blueberry salad the family likes in lieu of cranberry sauce, but I decided to give homemade cranberry sauce a whirl.

The recipe we used was super simple and quick to make, plus it was very tasty. We made it ahead to allow it time to refrigerate in the mold overnight. I love any dish that can be prepared ahead. The original recipe came from Alton Brown. READ MORE


Talya Boerner: The Best Mac and Cheese in the World


The Best Mac and Cheese via Grace Grits Gardening Talya Boerner


We had friends over to eat Tuesday night. John grilled burgers, and I baked the best Mac and Cheese in all the land which hopefully cancelled out the very average pot of beans I served with it. This is my go-to mac and cheese recipe. There’s no need to make any other. You could add lobster like the fancy restaurants do and have a dish people would pay $17 a serving for in Dallas (i.e. Capital Grille). I truly believe that.

There are five kinds of cheese in this dish.  READ MORE IF YOU DARE

Lyndi Fultz:Crunchy Rice Casserole (for Riceland Foods)


One of the best things about rice is that it is so versatile. That versatility kicks up a notch when you are able to meal prep by cooking extra rice and freezing for a rainy day.

Why wait until a rainy day to use that extra rice you have stored in the freezer? Make a crunchy rice casserole and invite someone over tonight. This casserole would go nicely with meat, poultry and fish. The crunch is an added touch that gives some depth to this casserole. Walnuts, sunflower seeds, and sliced almonds all have a unique texture that makes each bite interesting. The sweet onions and melted cheese takes it from a so-so side dish to a so-so-so-delicious side dish!

Who’s ready for dinner?



We’ll have more coming. Come back next week for another edition of Tasty Tuesday.









Debbie Arnold: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Salted Caramel and Praline Pecan Glaze

It’s got pumpkin. It’s got caramel—salted at that. And it’s got pecans. Y’all, there is one huge mouthful of fall in every bite of this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Salted Caramel and Praline Pecan Glaze!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with salted caramel pecan praline glaze horz

When I first began preparing desserts for the dessert auction at the CASA of Saline County Chili Beans and Blue Jeans fundraiser, I knew I wanted to create some that would be showstoppers. No doubt. This yummy mouthful of goodness wins the crown.

This is an easy dessert to make ahead and freeze if you so desire. Why not go ahead and get one made this weekend? You can put it in your freezer til Thanksgiving then whip it out, glaze it and have a stunning dessert on the table in no time. Find out HERE.

Lacie Ring: Thanksgiving Printables

It’s not too early to start planning for your Thanksgiving holiday. Lacie Ring has a free gift to get you started.


I made one Thanksgiving printable after the other weeks ago. They were a no brainer and the perfect addition to anyone’s Thanksgiving decor. Just print, cut, and frame. But still, I could not find any words of inspiration. Today these Free Thanksgiving printables bring a whole new meaning and reason for this post. READ MORE


Lyndi Fultz: Healthy Green Bean Casserole {Foodie Friday}

 Healthy green bean casserole - main


The leaves have almost pushed off all their leaves while a few tough ones are holding on tightly. These tough guys want to make sure that fall has its day in the * ahem * sun.

Thanksgiving is knocking on the door and I love to relish in it. This national day of giving thanks is my personal favorite holiday with its traditions, its lack of commercialism, and the massive focus on foods. Seriously, is it any wonder why Thanksgiving is so beloved? 

If green bean casserole using canned soup, canned mushrooms, and canned French-fried onions are on your tradition list, may I invite you to making it a bit healthier?

This version of green bean casserole starts off with no-sodium canned green beans. If you saved fresh beans from the garden, fantastic! For the rest of us, go with one of the many options now available to us with no-sodium. Also, there is no need for a cream of mushroom soup, with all of its additional sodium levels and added ingredients that are hard to pronounce. This version uses good old-fashioned fresh mushrooms, broth, and a bit of whipping cream.  

What more do you need?

You’ll need your appetite.

 Healthy green bean casserole - up close


Lyndi Fultz: Healthy Green Bean Casserole {Foodie Friday}


  • 8 ounces of baby portobella mushrooms
  • 1 large sweet Vidalia onion
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (I use no-sodium)
  • 4 cans of cut green beans, no salt added
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 shallots
  • 1 tablespoon flour


  1. Wash and thinly slice mushrooms by separating the cap from the stem. Throw the stems in your compost pile.
  2. Thinly slice onion and sauté with mushrooms on stovetop in a large skillet or saute pan with 1/3 cup olive oil and ¼ cup chicken broth on medium heat. Cover for 30 minutes and then remove lid and reduce heat to low.
  3. Preheat oven to bake 350 degrees.
  4. Drain cans of green beans and add to large mixing bowl.
  5. Add ¼ cup chicken broth to mushrooms and add whip cream. Stir.
  6. Add mushroom mixture to mixing bowl of green beans and lightly toss to incorporate. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add green bean mixture to large Pyrex baking pan and place in oven to bake for 20 minutes.
  8. As casserole is baking, thinly slice shallots and separate into individual slices. Add to mixing bowl with flour and ¼ teaspoon salt and toss.
  9. Reheat skillet on high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and add shallots. Toss until crispy and brown, approximately 5-10 minutes.
  10. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle sautéed shallots over entire surface and add back to the oven, baking for 5-10 minutes until perfectly done.

Enjoy and give thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll.


Lyndi Fultz Getting to Know Your ARWB Foodies

 What food reminds you of childhood? 
cheese omelets
When I was a kid, my mom made runny, undercooked, boring scrambled eggs. I decided to take matters in my own hands and learned how to 1) make dry scrambled eggs and 2) kicked it up a notch and learned how to make cheese omelets. Never again did I have runny, undercooked, boring scrambled eggs. Thanks mom!
 What is your favorite international cuisine?
slow food from France and Italy
I like the country rustic fare from just about anywhere: fresh fish plucked from the sea, lightly but perfectly seasoned, wine with brie and fruit and long conversations, and whole chicken simmered in broth with garlic. I can appreciate fancy food yet I fall in love with simplicity that is delicious. 
What is always in your refrigerator at home?
 good, grass-fed butter
whole whipping cream
parmesan cheese
farm eggs
large curd cottage cheese
whole milk plain yogurt
brussel sprouts
minced garlic in a jar (what, you didn’t think I always mince my own garlic, did you?)
What is your go-to ingredients that you use time and time again?
 fresh thyme
Do you have a favorite food indulgence?
 fried chicken, yes please

What is your most used cookbook?
What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
santoku knife
What is your favorite food meal to cook at home? 
 pan slow-cooked paillard chicken in broth with balsamic and dijon 
What is a cooking tip that you would like to share with beginning cooks?
 Sign up for Cook’s Illustrated because they will absolutely teach you how to cook
When you’re not cooking, what are your favorite pastimes?
 kayaking, fishing or just hanging out in the lake, remodeling, landscaping, going for drives with my husband and hanging out with family. 
What else would you like us to know about you?
I need a clutter-free zone to function properly.

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.

Connect with Lyndi:
twitter – @nwafoodie
fb – /nwafoodie
pinterest – nwafoodie


Mom’s Favorite Sides for Thanksgiving: Banana Pudding and Fruit Salad {Foodie Friday}

By Connie Kay Ash of Scrapbook Wife

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – it is a time to spend with family and friends.  Even as a child, growing up in Texas, I loved Thanksgiving. The holiday always consisted of family, friends, good food, the Thanksgiving Day Parade and football.

Moving to Arkansas 25 years ago was an adventure.  The adventure has not stopped. I met and married the love of my life, referred to as the Big Man.  Collectively the Big Man and I have six adult children.  Thanksgiving Day at our home means feeding a minimum of 15 people. The usual number of people at the table is 20 to 25.

Used for Thanksgivng Blog

This picture was taken 7 years ago – before we added dining room furniture and a couple of new family members.

Like most Arkansans our meal contains the usual meats – turkey and ham.  It is the side dishes that make the meal.  We have cranberry sauce, green beans, sweet potato casserole and potato salad. There are always chips, dips, veggies and cheeseballs to hold everyone till the meal.

Mom’s very special fruit salad and Mom’s Famous Banana Pudding are those dishes that everyone grabs first and wants to take home with them.  Both of Mom’s specialties come from an old cookbook – A Book of Favorite Recipes Complied by the United Methodist Women of The Jewett Texas published in 1988.


recipe cookbook

The Fruit Salad
Serves approximately 10
3 bananas, sliced
3 apples, chopped, unpeeled, seeds and stems removed
1 smajar maraschino cherrie, halved
2 small cans  mixed fruit cocktail, drained
1 cup small marshmallows
½ cup nuts (I like walnuts or pecans)
½ cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 Tabloespoons flour
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup sugar
Combine the fruit and the 2 teaspoons of lemon juice; set aside. Combine the flour and sugar in the top of a double boiler; stir in beaten egg. Add pineapple juice and stir until thickened. Chill (I put it in the freezer while I finish the recipe).  Whip cream; fold into cooled sauce. Fold this mixture into the fruit and add the nuts. The recipe says serve at once, but I usually make this early in the morning and keep it in the refrigerator till meal time.

collage connie ash


Mom’s Famous Banana Pudding

(The most sought after dish at our house.)
Warning – do not eat unless you have room to add to your belt.

2 packages large vanilla instant pudding (I use the FF.)
3 cups milk (I use skim.)
3 cups Pet Milk (I use FF.)
1 can Eagle Brand (I use the FF.)
1 large container of Cool Whip (I use low fat.)
3 ounces of Carnation Coffee Creamer (I use FF.)
8 bananas
1 large box of vanilla wafers

Mix Coffee Mate and Cool Whip and set aside.  Mix the instant pudding mix, milk, Pet Milk and Eagle Brand.  Fold in 1/3 of the Cool Whip mixture.  Layer pudding, vanilla wafers, and bananas. Put reserved Cool Whip mix on top.  Serves approximately 10 people.

This year we are unsure of our Thanksgiving plans.  But, the one thing I am sure of is, there will be Mom’s Famous Banana Pudding with the meal.

Happy Thanksgiving

Connie head shotI am 50-something wife, mother, Nana, vegetarian, nurse, teacher, volunteer clinic administrator and student (soon to be Advanced Practice Nurse), living in the small community of Blytheville, AR. located in the far northeast corner of the state. I share a home with my husband of 19 years and our 13 four-legged rescue children. Collectively we have six adult near-perfect children and five perfect grandboys and two awesome granddogs.

I love learning.  My goal is to learn something new every day.

I like to challenge myself physically by calling myself a runner.  I love to practice yoga, knit, and scrapbook. I am teaching myself to quilt.  On long weekends when time allows , we trout fish at Mammoth Springs, AR.

I can honestly say, I am living a blessed life in Northeast, Arkansas