In our October issue, we shared the Cheesy Rice Waffle recipe from Riceland’s Mobile Cafe. Pair a stack of those waffles with this belly-warming chili for a perfect fall feast.
We headed to the Spa City to talk with Diana Bratton, owner of Taco Mama, about her favorite dishes and what she loves about the Arkansas food scene.
At Home in Arkansas: Tell us about your earliest memory of cooking. Chef Diana Bratton: My earliest memory of cooking would be making salsas with my dad’s special mortar when I was about four. The mortar has a bull’s head and I still have it. I’ve never seen another one like it.
AHIA: Where did you receive your training? DB: I graduated culinary school from El Centro College in Dallas, Texas, but I really received my training at City Café where I worked with a wonderful chef & owners who were very talented.
AHIA: What is your favorite dish at your restaurant? DB: It’s a toss-up between the pork and veggie sopes and the shrimp diabla quesadilla. On the pork sopes, I love the texture of the sope itself. It has a crunchy outer crust with tenderness on the inside. I think in general our carnitas are some of the best I’ve ever had. For the diabla quesadilla, I love shellfish and our diabla sauce has a smoky heat, which pairs nicely with the shrimp….
Table and pillows | HOWSE, Bentonville and Little Rock
Scarf | Jimmy Was tasseled scarf available at Haus Werk, Little Rock
Book | The New Bohemians by Justina Blakely available at Anthropologie, Little Rock
Designer Jill Lawrence, whose home is featured in our December issue, shares one of her family’s beloved holiday cookie recipes with us—along with a few fond memories of the treat’s namesake.
Like many Southern ladies, my grandmother was a HUGE influence on my life. I learned to read, bake, swim, over-dress for every occasion (she would often pick up my mother and, later on, me from school in her fur coat and heels), manners, the proper use of every kind of obscure silver flatware (grapefruit spoon, anyone?), and to live life to the absolute fullest. She was my everything, and catching the scent of these cookies around the holidays brings me right back to her. My entire family will tell you that there are two scents associated with our beloved Mimi: Chanel and Molasses Sugar Cookies. It describes her perfectly. Here’s the recipe for her famous sugar cookies.
Thanksgiving is almost here, and it’s time to wrap up your holiday menu. We’ve gathered a few of our favorite dishes we think you and yours will enjoy!
Our August Family Homes issue is out! Hope you’ve gotten your copy in the mail or picked one up as it’s packed with entertaining ideas and beautiful family homes (and much more!). This month, our entertaining story features Shindig Paperie owner Trisha Logan and a crafty back-to-school bash, which includes the popular Fayetteville’s Greenhouse Grille, to make for a casual, al fresco dinner. The Greenhouse Grille was so kind to share their tasty summer cole slaw recipe and as promised, we’re sharing it right here on the blog for you. We’re sure this will become a staple as you entertain family and friends. Scroll down for the recipe and enjoy!
Greenhouse Grille’s Summer Cole Slaw with Buttermilk Vinaigrette Dressing
Serves: 8-10 as side
For the slaw:
4 cups white or red cabbage, shredded or thinly sliced
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup red and/or green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
For the buttermilk vinaigrette:
8 ounces buttermilk
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 shallot, diced
1 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup canola oil
1 TBSP salt
1 TBSP course black pepper
In a blender, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients except for the oil. Slowly add the oil in and emulsify. Toss the vinaigrette over the sliced vegetables and chill for two hours before serving.
‘Tis the season! Spring brunches, graduation parties, or wedding and baby showers are likely to be on your agenda this month, and let’s not forget about hosting family and friends on Memorial Day weekend. If you’re hosting, try this simple—and delish—recipe from entertaining maven JoBeth McElhanon.
Honey Lavender Fruit Salad
Yield: Approximately 6 servings
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon dried lavender (culinary grade, available at specialty markets)
- About 6 cups fresh fruit (JoBeth used a precut fruit bowl of honeydew melon, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries, and grapes; available in your grocer’s refrigerated produce section)
- juice of 1 lemon
- mint leaves
Combine honey and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Add lavender and simmer until reduced and thick, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool and steep for approximately 30 minutes. Strain the lavender from the honey mixture.
Wash and cut fruit, if not using a precut selection. Combine with lemon juice. Drizzle with lavender syrup to taste. Garnish with fresh mint to serve.
*JoBeth notes that any of your favorite fruits will work in this salad. She suggests a combination of nectarines, peaches, and blueberries to make a pretty mid-summer fruit salad.
In our September issue, we are honored to have Euna Mae’s Amy Nelson Hannon to offer her insights on hospitality and tips for creating a perfect fall brunch. For recipes from the menu featured in the magazine, visit the Euna Mae’s blog. Here’s her recipe for a perfect autumn sweet treat:
APPLE BROWN BETTY
6 cups (about one loaf) finely cubed brioche or challah
7 apples, thinly sliced *I prefer 4 Honeycrisps and 3 Granny Smiths
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
zest of one lemon
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. apple cider
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
juice of one lemon
3-4 Tbsp. unsalted butter plus
more for buttering dish
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a small mixing bowl, combine sugars, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest.
In a one-cup measuring cup with a pour spout, combine the apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and lemon zest.
Generously butter a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish. Spread 1/3 of the finely cubed brioche in the bottom of the pan. Bread should be cubed as finely as possible!
Lay half of the sliced apples over the bread cubes and cover with 1/2 of the sugar mixture.
Carefully drizzle the juice mixture all over the apples. Then follow with another third of the bread, then the remaining apples, and the rest of the sugar mixture. Top with the remaining bread cubes.
Cover the top with very thin, thin, thin slices of cold butter which will brown the top layer of bread and melt down into the apples. Mmmm!
Cover and bake 40 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 minutes more.
Serve with ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
As promised, today we are giving you every recipe you need to recreate the fresh and fun holiday meal from our November entertaining story. The party was hosted by Daniel Keeley, and chef Jen Lewis created the menu. Follow this link to read the article and see images from the party. Enjoy!
Vanilla Old Fashioned
1 one-inch piece of vanilla bean, split
1 one-inch piece of orange zest
1/4 ounce simple syrup
¼ ounce of Tuaca liqueur
2 dashes orange bitters
2 ounces bourbon
1 orange wheel
In a rocks glass, muddle the vanilla bean and orange zest with the Simple Syrup and bitters. Add the bourbon and ice, stir and garnish with the orange wheel.
Blue Cheese, Fig, & Walnut Tartlets
3 ounces blue cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fig jam
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 orange, for zesting
fresh thyme leaves (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the cups of the mini muffin pans, unless you’re using non-stick pans. In a medium bowl, cream together the blue cheese and butter. Add the flour and use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl. Divide the dough into 30 pieces and roll into balls. (If you prefer a more delicate shell, divide the dough into 36 pieces.) Using lightly floured fingers evenly press the dough against the sides of the mini tart pan until the dough rises slightly above the rim of the muffin cup. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove shells to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store cooled shells in an airtight container until ready to use. (They freeze well, too. Bake frozen shells for 8 minutes at 325°F before filling.) Spoon jam into cooled tartlet shells. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts, orange zest, and thyme leaves if using. Makes 2 1/2 – 3 dozen.
Pumpkin & Sage Soup
2 whole pie pumpkins
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream (plus extra for serving)
1/3 cup maple syrup
dash of nutmeg
salt to taste
1 Tablespoon of chopped sage
pumpkins seeds, toasted
fried sage leaves, for serving
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pumpkins on a cookie sheet and roast them until slightly shriveled and soft. Allow to cool slightly, then slice in half and carefully scoop out seeds and pulp. Scoop flesh into a bowl. Set aside.
In a pot, heat up the pumpkin flesh with the stock, chopped sage and maple syrup until simmering. Mash out the big chunks, then transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) and puree until velvety smooth. Add cream and nutmeg, then blend again.
Reheat if you need to, or just go ahead and serve in a hollowed-out pumpkin of whatever size you’d like.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
2 oz. pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
1 to 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
10 oz. Brussels sprouts (about 18 medium sprouts), trimmed and halved through the core
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic minced
½ tsp of herbs de provence
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
In a heavy, 10-inch, straight-sided sauté pan set over medium-low heat, slowly cook the pancetta in 1 Tbs. of the oil until golden and crisp all over, 10 to 15 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the fat behind. You should have about 2 Tbs. of fat in the pan; if not, add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Have ready 1/2 cup water. Put the pan over medium-high heat and arrange the sprouts cut side down in a single layer. Add garlic. Cook, undisturbed, until nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes. When the sprouts are browned, add the water to the pan, cover immediately, and simmer until the sprouts are tender when poked with a fork or skewer, about 3 minutes. (If the water evaporates before the sprouts get tender, add more water, 1/4 cup at a time.) With a slotted spoon, transfer the sprouts to a plate. Return the pan to medium-high heat, and if any water remains let it boil off. Add the balsamic vinegar and a few grinds of pepper. Boil the vinegar until it’s reduced to about 2 Tbs. and looks lightly syrupy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the butter, and stir until melted. Add herb de provence. Return the sprouts and pancetta to the pan and swirl and shake the pan to evenly coat the sprouts with the sauce. Season to taste with salt and more pepper and serve. Serves 4.
Grilled Berkshire Pork Chops with Orange Cranberry & Rosemary Reduction Sauce
4 (4-ounce) pork chops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons of chopped rosemary
2 cloves of garlic minced
To cook the pork: Heat a cast iron skillet or grill over high heat. Season the pork with chopped rosemary, garlic salt and pepper. Brush the chops with oil then cook until barely pink at the center, about 4 minutes per side. Allow the pork to rest for 5 minutes. Serves 4.
12 oz. fresh cranberries, picked through and rinsed
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
Bring the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and rosemary to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 min. (Some berries will have popped and some will be whole.) Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the zest. Cover and let stand for 10 min. Let the sauce cool to room temperature and then cover and refrigerate. Return to room temperature before serving. This sauce can be made up to a week ahead and refrigerated in a covered container.