Sunday, December 18, 2016

How do you Pop? Pop Pop Shoppe

Popcorn. 

One of life's best and most tasty treats.  What is it that's so tantalizing, so addicting, so amazing about that simple snack.  Little kernels of fluffy, light and crunchy corn puffed up and doused with butter and sprinkled with salt is absolute perfection!  Is there anything better?

Well, until last night I would have said no.  But, I had the opportunity to go to a fun little shop that  that specializes in that popular little treat and they are doing all sorts of crazy, tasty. amazing things with that simple little kernel.  My friends, my world is forever changed with the plethora of flavors the Pop Pop Shoppe has to offer.
The Pop Pop Shoppe is the cutest little shop that has recently opened here in Little Rock.  They are based out of Texarkana, Tx with one shop there as well as their production facility.  So to say that I'm excited that they chose Little Rock to open their second store front is an understatement!  Finally a store that shares my excitement for this classic movie treat!

Monday, November 21, 2016

SRC: Savory Granola


One of my favorite breakfasts and snacks is granola.  Over the years I've become quite fond of making my own granola and experimenting with various recipes.  But, in all the granola recipes I've made, I can't recall a time I made a savory granola. 

So, when I came across this recipe from Simple and Savory for this month's Secret Recipe Club I knew exactly what I was going to make!  That' didn't, however, keep me from browsing through Anne's delicious recipes and reading a few stories here and there.  Oh, my goodness, does she have a blog full of mouthwatering recipes: baked pasta with kale and sausage, slow cooker southwestern chicken soup, banana chocolate and walnut overnight oats, DIY sauerkraut, kale salad, and healthy almond joy bites just to name a few. 


Monday, October 17, 2016

SRC: Banana Blueberry Muffins

I can't remember the last time I made muffins.  And you know what, that is just a shame!

Muffins are one of my favorite breakfast treats and afternoon snacks.  During the fall I adore pouring a hot cup of coffee, grabbing a muffin and sitting on the back porch listening to the birds chirp and feeling the crisp fall air.  It's my own little quiet retreat before I face the chaos the day has to throw at me.

Now that the weather will finally be cooling off this week here in Arkansas, I couldn't think of a better item to choose for my secret recipe club assignment. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Southern Style Chicken and Rice

Oh my gosh y'all, I am sooooo excited to share this recipe today! 

I think it's safe to say that chicken and rice is a staple  in everyone's recipe stash.  But, this particular recipe is like no other that you've experienced before.  This is even true for me, before I came across this recipe I had never tasted, let alone made a chicken and rice dish like this.  And after the first bite I wondered where the heck it had been my whole life!

This ain't your typical chicken and rice.  It's not loaded with cream of _______ and cream of _______.  I'm not downing the "cream of" soups because I use them in my fare share of recipes, but this recipe doesn't call for them, and they truly are not missed.  It's not topped with gobs of bubbly, gooey cheese.  Again, nothing wrong with that, but this isn't that type of recipe.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Roasted Marshmallow Coffee

Happy, official, first day of fall!

Even though it doesn't quite feel like fall outside, I couldn't keep myself  from whipping up a fun, fall-inspired coffee to sip on this morning.  While pumpkins definitely SCREAM fall, I didn't go there...yet.  (Trust me, there is plenty of time for some yummy pumpkin recipes, and I promise I have some to share!)

Instead I went for roasted marshmallows.  Channeling the goodness of cool air, bonfires and holding marshmallows over an open fire allowing them to get all brown, slightly charred and crispy on the outside while being melty and creamy on the inside!  Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about all that goodness!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Taco Ranch Pasta Salad

Y'all, it is officially the last day of summer!  Can you believe it?  Tomorrow, at 9:21 a.m. to be exact, we can start wooing that crisp, fall air to come our way.  Break out the boots, sweaters and indulge in as many pumpkin spice lattes as possible!

But, it's not officially fall.  Yet. 

So today, let's focus on the season at hand.  Summer.  Steamy, hot, toasty summer.  And yes, here in The Natural State it still feels like 100% summer.  And I've got the perfect recipe to enjoy on this warm day.

Pasta salad is one of my favorites.  It's easy, quick and so very versatile.  It's can be customized to suite your tastes and you can use whatever you have on hand to create a delicious side or meal in a matter of minutes. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

SRC: Basundi (Thickened Milk Dessert)

Some of my favorite things about The Secret Recipe Club is getting to discover new food blogs, getting to know new people who share some of the same interests as myself, and perhaps my most favorite is being introduced to new foods from other cultures. 

This month I was assigned to The Big Sweet Tooth blog.  The brainchild behind the food, recipes and writing is Rafeeda.  Rafeeda is a wife, a mother of 2 sweet and feisty girls, who pours her heart and soul into the food she prepares for her family.  She features a plethora of recipes on her blog from some desserts featuring the all-time favorite Nutella, to recipes that pull from her cultural background.  I perused several interesting and delicious recipes before I finally settled on what I wanted to make this month.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

SRC: Bacon Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Monday y'all!

I have 5 words for you.  Bacon. Fat. Chocolate. Chip. Cookies.

Yes, you read right; bacon fat chocolate chip cookies.  Just when you thought that chocolate chip cookies couldn't get any better, Chelsy over at Mangia added a little bit of bacon drippings to to the batter of these beloved cookies.  And you know what?  It's absolutely ingenious!

Friday, June 24, 2016

No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake in a Jar

It's hard to beat a good cheesecake.  My most favorite cheesecake ever is one that I had when Spencer took me to Las Vegas.  It was a cheesecake from Wolf Gang Puck's restaurant; a cheesecake with crème brule topping and two types of fruit compote.  Oh my gosh, it was perfection on a plate.  Smooth, silky, creamy cheese cake with a light, crispy, sugar topping.  And the fruit compote was absolutely amazing.  I promise I still have dreams about the stuff.

I know I couldn't even come close to replicating the recipe from the infamous Wolf Gang Puck, so I don't even try.  Instead, I come up with different variations, some utilizing the oven and some that are simple no-bake recipes.  I remain successful doing this!

While a classic cheesecake is truly hard to beat, trying to execute them during the summer months isn't something I do unless it's a special request.  You're talking about at least an hour or more of baking time, water baths and such.  Among other things, heating up your house in the dead of summer.  Ummm...no thank you!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Blackberry Basil Lemonade

I love lemonade year around, but when summer rolls around I get an intense urge to whip up a big batch of the tart, cold drink.  Whether it be classic yellow or some version with various other fruits, it's pretty much a given that once those temps start spiking I will be in the kitchen squeezing some lemons. 

This year isn't any different.  At the first sign of the heat I was in the kitchen whipping up a batch of ice cold lemonade and we've been sucking it down as quickly as I make it. 

One of the batches I've whipped up so far included some basil from my garden and some big, juicy blackberries.  And I must admit, it's incredibly delicious.  Tart lemons, sweet blackberries and fresh basil make a tasty combination.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Orange Cheesecake Fruit Dip

I keep our fruit bowl stocked year around, but especially during the summer months.  We eat fruit by the truckloads during the summer months.  It's healthy, refreshing and can be grabbed quickly.

We love our fruit by itself, but from time to time I like to change things up and add a little something to serve with the fruit.  This fruit dip is one of our favorites.  It's so good, flavorful and can be made in no time.  I love making a big batch of this and spooning up a bowl whenever I cut up fruit to snack on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Black Eyed Pea Salad

Y'all, summer is here and my garden is bursting with fresh veggies!  Eeek!  I'm obsessed with fresh vegetables from the garden and I get giddy at the fact I'm able to walk out my back door and pluck a variety of vegetables from the garden.

The first time I made this salad was the end of last summer and I think it's safe to say I was instantly obsessed!  I was only able to make it a few times before summer finally came to an end and I've been waiting on summer to roll around again just so I could make it again.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Frosted Pink Lemonade

Happy (official) first day of summer!

Not that it hasn't felt like summer for, oh, the past three or four weeks.  I'm not sure about where you are, but here in good ol' Arkansas we went from pleasant spring days to deep summer heat over night.  For those of you that love a nice steam in the sauna just zip over to Arkansas real quick and stand outside and you'll be set!

Our temps are in the 90's but the heat index is registering about 105 so I'm loving recipes that are easy, low or no heat needed and ones that help us cool off.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Avocado Jalapeno Chicken Toastadas

This post is sponsored by The Women Bloggers, LLC and #SoapBoxInfluence.  A huge thanks to Kendal King Group and Bush's #HummusMadeEasy Campaign.  All opinions expressed are my own.

So how many of you grilled out over the weekend?  And, how many of you have leftovers sitting in your refrigerator right now?

If you could see through the computer, you would see that I'm over here frantically waiving my hands in the air.  This past weekend we broke out the smoker for the first time this year and loaded it up with ribs, wings and tons of chicken thighs.  When we smoke meat I make sure we have enough to eat immediately and to last us a few days and this time was no exception.

I love when we can get 2 to 3 different meals utilizing one key ingredient and that's exactly what I've done here.  Over the weekend I whipped up another batch of my avocado jalapeno hummus (which took no time thanks to Bush's #HummusMadeEasy packets) for us to snack on while we were playing in the pool and enjoying some of the nice weather and I ended up having a little bit left.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Lemon Icebox Pie in a Jar

When I think of lemon icebox pie I instantly think of my dad.  He LOVES a good lemon icebox pie.  But it has to meet all of his requirements.  Sweet, but not too sweet.  Thick, tart, without being too tart.  A great crust, but it has to be a good balance of salty and sweet and it definitely has to be crispy.  And if you want big bonus points...a meringue topping with lightly browned peaks will put it over the top.

So, when I was chatting with him about what foods he thought of when summer and Memorial day rolled around it's was no surprise that lemon icebox pie was one of the first things out of his mouth.  Among some of the other top contenders were key lime pie, banana pudding and brownies and ice cream.  But, he kept going back to the lemon icebox during the conversation.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hard Cherry Lemonade

I've had 3 bottles of cherry ginger beer sitting on my shelf for several months.  Every time I walk past them I hear them screaming at me, "uuuuuse meeee".  And for the past few months I've ignored their plea. 

.....Until now.

I finally had enough time to devote a little thought to write a recipe that utilized the amazingness that is this ginger beer.  And just in time for the warmer weather and Memorial Day. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dill Pickle Dip

Pickles. 

Oh goodness, how I love them.  And the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, my little man is pickle obsessed too.  Salty, sweet, sour; it doesn't matter we're a fan of them all. 

Fried dill pickles are on of my all time favorite foods.  I mean, seriously, what's not to love about them?  Tart, tangy, crunchy pickles coated in a salty, crispy batter and dipped in cool ranch.  I love those things.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sweet Peach Tea

Y'all, this is the first time in I don't know how long that Arkansas has actually had a spring "season".  Usually we have one or two days of pleasant weather before it turns scorching hot and it feels like the temps are in the 1000's.  So, I have been enjoying every single second of these amazingly cool, spring days. 

These temps also motivated me to get out on my back patio and give it a long over-due makeover.  I mean, I haven't done anything with it since I moved in the house (almost 13 years ago...eek).  The previous owners had definitely DIY-ed some stuff; there was some not so smooth concrete poured at some point, the patio was extended by burying some cinder blocks and the covered area was extended at some point too.  So it's safe to say that there have been a lot of add-ons over the years.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Copycat Maggianos Chopped Salad

Y'all, I am beyond excited about this recipe.  It crossed my path last week and I've been dreaming of it and drooling over it ever since I saw the picture.  It was literally only a day before I made it and I started asking myself why I didn't make it before then.

Yes, it's that good!

Now I know some of you are probably thinking a salad, really?  How in the world is that drool-worthy?  Well, my friends, it is.  Even if you aren't a salad person, this is definitely one that will have you thinking twice about refusing to eat a salad as a main course.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Jalapeno Avocado Hummus

This post is sponsored by The Women Bloggers, LLC and #SoapBoxInfluence.  A huge thanks to Kendal King Group and Bush's #HummusMadeEasy Campaign.  All opinions expressed are my own.

How do you get your daily veggie intake?

Salad?  Juice?  Roasted?

Well, while I'm a fan of all of those and then some, I love to get my vegetables via an amazing, flavorful, delicious dip!  It gives me that sense of indulging without totally tossing good eating habits out the window.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Guaca-Mmus

This post is sponsored by The Women Bloggers, LLC and #SoapBoxInfluence.  A huge thanks to Kendal King Group and Bush's #HummusMadeEasy Campaign.  All opinions expressed are my own.

It's no news to any of you who have been reading my blog for any length of time that I'm obsessed with Mexican food.  Give me a big basket of chips, a bowl of cold salsa, some guacamole and cheese dip and I'll be perfectly content.  I am one of those people that could eat Mexican every. single. day. and never get tired of it.

Lately, my like for hummus has quickly grown into an obsession.  I don't know how many batches of hummus I've bade over the past few weeks.  But I can tell you it's been A LOT.  And my love for the stuff is just continuing to grow.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Cool Ranch Hummus

This post is sponsored by The Women Bloggers, LLC and #SoapBoxInfluence.  A huge thanks to Kendal King Group and Bush's #HummusMadeEasy Campaign.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Cool Ranch Doritos are one of my weaknesses.  It's one of those things that takes complete and utter will power to not finish off the entire bag in one sitting.  This isn't a shocking revelation considering I'm a huge lover of any and all things ranch.  And well, sprinkling it on a chip is just ingenious. 

It truly is hard to beat a handful of crispy, salty, ranch loaded Doritos.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Hummus {Made Easy}

This post is sponsored by The Women Bloggers, LLC and #SoapBoxInfluence.  A huge thanks to Kendal King Group and Bush's #HummusMadeEasy Campaign.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Hummus is one of my favorite go-to's.  It's perfect for a snack, side, and as a spread just to name a few.  I always have the makings for hummus on hand and it comes together fairly quickly, making it great to whip up when last minute guests pop in.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any easier, Bush's (yes, the makers of those infamous baked beans) introduced #HummusMadeEasy.  These are flavor packets filled with seasonings needed to make hummus. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Lemon Creme Brulee

What's your favorite dessert EVER?

You know, there are a lot of people that could answer that question without hesitation.  They have that one dessert that is their go to dessert and they eat it whenever possible.  Whether the restaurant has it on the menu, they request it for a birthday or any other occasion.

I, on the other hand, have never been able to answer that question.  If asked, I typically always say "It depends on what mood I'm in".  Which really is true.  I have several "favorites", but whether or not I want them depends on my mood.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lime Strawberry Shortcake

Y'all, the weather is getting warmer and I'm so excited.  You know why?  Because that means it's garden weather and that means lots of fresh fruits and veggies right at my fingertips!!!  

I'm a sucker for strawberries.  Those sweet, juicy berries call my name whenever I peruse the produce section.  And you know you've picked a winner when you get home, rinse one off and taste it and it's tastes like it's been sprinkled in sugar.  

I think I could eat my weight (and then some) in strawberries.  Which is a dangerous thing since ours are thriving right now and just a few steps away in our garden.  But they haven't always been so hearty.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pineapple Cheesecake Lush

Everyone needs a few desserts in their repertoire that can be thrown together in an instant yet taste amazing and are pretty enough to impress those guests that walked through the door unexpectedly.  I've got a handful, but am always on the lookout for more.  And this dessert, yeah, it's one of those that I will definitely keep in my back pocket.

Have you ever had a pineapple lush cake?  It's simply a cake that is layered with the most amazing, light and airy pineapple filling.  It's one of those desserts that's impressive but doesn't keep you in the kitchen for hours.

Let's focus on the filling for a second.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Peach Bread Pudding

This probably isn't the best way to start, but I must confess something to y'all.  I've truly never been a fan of bread pudding.  I've always heard there is a drastic difference between bread puddings.  There are puddings that are just ho-hum and then there are puddings that are downright, smack you in the face, life-changingly good.

Well, until this past week I guess I had tasted recipes that fell into the ho-hum category.

Some of you maybe asking yourself why in the world I decided to make a dessert that I've never been crazy about.  Well, you know the old saying "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade"?  Well, life gave me tons and tons and tons of bread, so I made bread pudding.


Since I've never been a fan, I knew I needed to make this bread pudding worth while.  I'm a huge fan of peaches, so I decided those should fit perfectly in this pudding and really amp it up.

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