Sunday, December 30, 2012

Top 5 of 2012

Happy almost New Year!

2012 has been a fantastic year for me and for the Fruitful blog.

This year, Fruitful turned one and I feel like it's come such a long way since the beginning. This year, I had one of my recipes featured on foodgawker. And this year, I came up with my own digital recipe cards to make cooking my recipes even easier for you (click here to see all of the recipe cards).

I am so thankful for all of you readers out there and I hope I can continue to provide you with more fun food stuff in 2013.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Simple Saturday: Popovers

It's good to be back.

Back to my little apartment after 3 weeks away. Back to my kitchen where I love to be. Back to my husband who I was away from for 2 weeks.

The past three weeks have been chock full of new adventures, sights, foods and celebrations.

In that time I've been to Burma and back (and on 9 planes, a few motorbikes and dozens of taxis) and celebrated Christmas with two families.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Craving Cookies?

A few weeks ago when we were decorating our little apartment with lights and garlands and getting in the Christmas spirit, I got a craving for a delicious cookie.

And I didn't turn to the usual chocolate chip or rich, fudgy brownie that I usual depend on.

I was specifically craving an oatey, coconuty, crispy cookie.

And this recipe for Coconut Oatmeal Chewies from Mel's Kitchen Cafe absolutely hit the spot.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Soup with a Spice

It's hard to believe that today I'm putting up a curry recipe and tomorrow I'll be on a plane headed to Thailand. (More on the trip when I get back...I can't wait to show you all of the fun things I'll be eating.)

My husband and I love curry.

My husband is more of a curry lover than maybe even I am.

So, we really enjoyed this fun twist on butternut squash soup with the addition of curry powder and coconut milk.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Simple Saturday: Spaghetti Squash

Happy Simple Saturday!

Sorry that it's been awhile since I've been able to do one of these.

I've been a busy little lady, and I'm getting ready to go on a two-week trip to Burma next week!

Today, I am featuring a vegetable that I hadn't tried until this year.

The lovely spaghetti squash.

And it's all thanks to my good friend Annie, who brought me one of these squashes from her garden.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Life after Pie

Thanksgiving is over.

You just spent 5 days eating pie (pumpkin, chocolate pecan, apple maybe) and you're getting a little tired of it.

Yeah, crusts are great but can get soggy after awhile. Pumpkin pie spices are tasty, but all good things have to come to an end, right?

It's time for a little break from pie.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Isn't it nice to have a day to spend with family and to be reminded of all our blessings.

I'm overwhelmed with my blessings this year: a wonderful husband, a great God, a fabulous family, a great job and a trip to Burma in less than two weeks!

This year, we spent our Thanksgiving with my husband's family in Siloam Springs, Ark.

It was a fun day of cooking, eating, napping and playing games.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Eating Up OKC

This past weekend Jason and I got the wonderful opportunity to visit my sister and brother-in-law in Oklahoma City.

I just love my family and can't get enough time around them, so I was so excited about the trip.

The weekend was full of amazing food, good laughs and fun adventures in OKC.

Here are the highlights and best tid bits from our weekend.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Risotto for Everyone

When I married my husband, I knew that I was gaining a friend for life, someone who would always make me laugh and someone who would always take care of me.

But I didn't realize that I was also marrying an amazing chef...and a fantastic risotto maker.

I love to order risotto at restaurants.

Who can resist that creamy, cheesy, decadent rice?

But I thought it would be rather hard to make at home. Then, Jason jumped right in and decided to try it out and it has been fantastic every time he's made it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

One Vote for Breakfast

Today is Election Day...bum, bum buuuum (cue scary sound effects).

I voted early a few weeks ago but really enjoyed following election tweets and such today at work.

Also, I'm very thankful that I no longer work at a newspaper because election night was crazy and super late there.

I'm excited to see what happens, but in the mean time I would like to share a fantastic and healthy banana bread.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Just Simple: Tomato Soup

Well, now that it's Sunday...I guess I can't call this recipe a Simple Saturday one.

But it's still very simple and delicious!

It's tomato soup and it can be ready in like 5 minutes.

I adapted this recipe from the Girl Makes Food blog.

To make it you just saute onions and garlic in oil, add in the canned tomatoes, herbs and milk and blend until creamy. And if you want to add a few splashes of heavy cream, go for it!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Caramel Apples All Grown Up

After I hit the teenage years and Halloween rolled around, I was always sad that I had never eaten a caramel apple as a child.

I felt like I had missed something, like I had been left out of the cool club.

I'm not sure why I was never around caramel apples...perhaps my parents wanted me to keep all of my teeth intact. And maybe they didn't want me jumping off the ceilings from the sugar rush.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Simple Saturday: White Bean Salad

This week, I threw this dish together because I was in need of a salad that didn't contain lettuce (because we were out).

It was quite a conundrum.

Then, I remembered that I had a can of white beans in the pantry and since the salad was accompanying pasta, the Italian vibe would totally work.

I made this super simple salad by combining washed, drained white beans with carrots, freshly chopped basil, oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and a bit of garlic salt.

I mixed it all together and threw it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

It was a delicious and fresh side to our Italian meal.

P.S. White beans are also great on lettuce salads with tuna and in this amazing app. If you have any other great uses for these dandy beans, give me a shout out.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Simple Saturday: Hot Cocoa

It's our third Simple Saturday on the Fruitful blog! Woohoo!

(If you'd like to check out the other two Simple Saturday posts click here: Avocado Toast and Popcorn in a Bag.)

I hope these non-recipes have been inspiring you to make some simple snacks and meals.

Today, I've got a treat for you.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thankful for Fall

This fall, I'm thankful for many things.

I'm thankful to have a great job.

I'm thankful to get to see the sun come up (most) mornings.

I'm extra thankful for the amazing yellows, oranges, reds and greens that the trees around my apartment are showing off lately.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Simple Saturday: Popcorn in a Bag

I've been spending a glorious weekend in my hometown, hanging out with my family and wonderful husband.

It's been so fun just being here and not having an agenda, not having anywhere certain to be and just enjoying life together.

And this Simple Saturday recipe is absolutely perfect for relaxing weekends in front of a big game or your favorite flick with friends or family.

Chill out and make some popcorn in a bag!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Fruitful!

Happy 1st Birthday Fruitful!

I can't hardly believe that it's been a year since I started this wonderful journey of food blogging.

In the past year, I've cooked more than I probably ever have in my life.

I've made some really tasty treats and I've had some recipe failures as well.

What I've enjoyed most is when you, my wonderful fans, give me a shout out that you loved a recipe or share your own recipes. You are awesome!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Life is Like Peeling Potatoes

Life is like peeling potatoes.

Sometimes it's not fun. Sometimes it's stressful. Sometimes you nick yourself in the midst of it.

But you know that what those potatoes hold is worth every bit of peeling.

What the potatoes will become, or transform into, is the worth the pain of peeling.

Peeling potatoes is probably the hardest part of making potato soup, so yeah, it's really not that hard to make.

If you can make it through step 1, in a short amount of time you'll have a comfortingly transformed vegetable that warms your stomach and makes you taste buds feel like they're home.

*Click on recipe card to enlarge and save

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Simple Saturday: Avocado Toast

Life is about to get a lot busier for me.

I'll be a regular old 9-5 employee starting next week, which I'm thrilled about.

When you spend most of your time in a one bedroom apartment every day, you get a little stir crazy and in need of social interactions.

I'm so excited about this new chapter of life.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bread Making Take 2

It's finally fall.

Well, technically.

But I get the feeling that, along with everyone else around me (at least judging from Pinterest), I am ready to celebrate the harvest of fall.

I'm totally there with you, pinning recipes for pumpkin donuts and planning to make 50 different soup recipes.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Party with this Pita

I'm totally a chips and dip kind of girl.

I bet you love chips and dip, too.

The mix of textures and burst of flavors are exhilarating.

And chips and dip kind of bring people together. What would a Super Bowl party be without cheese dip and tortilla chips? (Confession: I have a special weakness for that unnaturally yellow cheese dip in the jar.)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Making a Plan

I always thought making a meal plan would be a drag.

Because I'm a spontaneous cook and I figure if I have a great meal idea that I should make it no matter what I have in my pantry.

But, this is not the best way to live, especially on a budget.

I've been learning that organizing the week's meals and grocery needs is a great way to get excited about dinner each night and not have to go back to the grocery store four times in a week to get random ingredients.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Let's Do Brunch: Puffy Apple Pancake

So, I know that it's only Tuesday, but let's talk brunch.

Just think of this post as your encouragement to get through the week and on to the weekend.

I love brunch and well, who doesn't. I'm convinced that even those guys who say they don't really do. It's salty, it's sweet and it's like a combo-meal with loads of choices.

Whenever I eat brunch out, I'm always tempted by the salty options: biscuits in sausage gravy, omelettes, etc., but I almost always end up getting something sweet.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dinner Out: 28 Springs

I think I mentioned before that I am a fan of eating out and trying new restaurants.

Experiencing a new atmosphere and a different chef's take on foods is thrilling. Not to mention the excitement I get from looking at the menu days (or weeks) before dining to check out all of the options.

There is a restaurant that recently opened in Siloam Springs, our small-town neighbor, the hometown of my alma mater and the hometown of my in-laws.

I was so excited when I learned that the chef/owner of James at the Mill here in Fayetteville was opening a more accessible, casual restaurant called 28 Springs in Siloam. (Find out more about my dining experience at James at the Mill in my Valentine's post.)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Weekend Treat: Brownie Scotchies

It's the weekend!

To celebrate, why not make you and your loved one(s) a pan of brownie scotchies!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fancy Apps and Zerts

I am a big fan of the show Parks and Recreation.

It's funny, it's smart and I can see a little bit of myself in Amy Poehler's character.

One of my favorite phrases that Tom (Aziz Ansari) comes up with on the show is "apps and zerts" as in appetizers and desserts. Watch his explanation of the phrase here.

I was asked to prepare some snazzy apps and zerts for a friend's lingerie shower recently.

After getting some advice from my mom and hitting up the new Fresh Market store in Rogers, I was set to bring on the girly party with 2 apps and 2 forms of a zert, if you will.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer's Swan Song

It's a rainy weekend, which is making me think that summer is coming to an end.

And I guess since everyone's back to a normal schedule and school is back in session, that the sweet freedom of days lounging by the pool are gone.

But, I'm kind of getting in a scarf and leggings mood, so I say bring it on fall! Oh, and soup! I'm pumped to make some delicious soups this fall.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No Take-Out Needed

Raise your hand if you like Thai food.

Did I just make you raise your hand infront of the computer screen? I hope so.

Because I am a fellow lover of curry.

The intense complexities, dozens of spices and hot yet cooling flavors are tantalizing. And who doesn't like their meal served on a steaming clump of fragrant rice? Yum!

Although I am a lover of eating at Thai restaurants, I don't get to as much I would like.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Popcorn Party

I'm not a very crafty person.

Although I've probably pinned as many craft projects and home decor ideas as you have on Pinterest, I haven't done even one of them.

I like the idea of crafting but usually wait until a friend shows me the ropes before I try anything. I'm also not the straightest scissor cutter, which kind of kicks me out of the craft club.

I got to be a part of some amazingly crafty food with my friend, Julie, the other day.

We were making cake and cupcakes for her daughter Berkeley's fourth birthday party!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Poppy Seed Chicken for the Soul

Here's a picture of a usual day in the life of my kitchen counter.

There are loads of fruit and veg just sitting out waiting to be eaten, along with the granola I made last week, some defrosting bread, a few bills and lots of random papers.

I'm always in awe when I go to someone's house and their counter is completely clutter free.

How do they do it?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's Graaaaanola!

There are a lot of people in the world who don't eat breakfast.

And I have never been able to relate to those people.

I have always been a healthy breakfast eater, whether it's a hearty bowl of cereal, yogurt or biscuits and eggs. It's gives me energy and is another meal that I really enjoy.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Slice of Home

There are some foods that you cook or eat to take you somewhere or remind you of a certain time in your life.

Some days I want to drink a cup of Earl Grey tea with sugar and milk and reminisce over my four months living in England.

Some days the spices and simplicity of a Mexican street taco whisk me back to many youth group mission trips and a family Thanksgiving spent in Manzanillo, Mexico.

And some days I want a slice of sweet and tart key lime pie with a big dollop of whipped cream to take me back to the summer evenings of my childhood growing up in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

My family's key lime pie recipe is definitely a dish that takes me right back to the perfect end to summer dinners at our family table.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Creamy and Dreamy

It's pretty exciting doing something that you've never done before.

The thrill of figuring out how to do it.

The anxiety in wondering if everything will work out right.

The pressure to succeed.

And, yes, I'm talking about cooking here.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Cup of Kindness

There's been a lot of hate swirling around our world this week.

I can usually avoid a lot of this but this week it has been taking over our speech, actions and a lot of what we are saying on the Internet.

This week made me appreciate this food blog as a place where I can write and share things that enrich my life and, I hope, the lives of people around me. I love that food blogs don't cover current events and don't have to be based on a political stance.

Overall, food blog writing is a very neutral, peaceful thing for me.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pulled Pork for the Win

It's one of my favorite seasons of every two years: The Olympics!

For the last five days, I have been glued to the TV soaking up every swimming, diving, gymnastics, kayaking, soccer and other competitions.

The only sad thing is that I'm kind of a couch potato while doing it, but I figure as long as I have my morning walks, I'm good for a little couching.

For the opening ceremonies, I knew that we had to have a great meal to celebrate the occasion.

It would have made more sense to go with British fare, but I decided to do Mexican.

And it was slow-cooker pulled pork tacos for the win! It took the gold! It soared with flying colors!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

So Fresh and So Clean

I don't know about you guys, but I have been lovin' my farmers market lately.

I mean, what's better than fresh veg and fruits to sink your teeth into in the midst of summer. Yum!

Because of the heat and the great produce, I really haven't been cooking as much lately.

I'm just learning to enjoy fresh foods at their best.

Just like us, sometime fruits and veggies don't want to be all dressed up but would rather just be wonderful by themselves. (I think I'm getting deep here.)