Friday, March 29, 2013

It's ok to be Picky

Some would say that I'm picky about where I eat or don't eat.

I don't like restaurants that have bad service. I don't like when I ask a question about the menu and the waiter/waitress doesn't offer to find an answer for my question. And I don't like rowdy atmospheres.

But I do love friendly waiters/waitresses, locally-sourced, creative food and a nice cloth napkin and real silverware (these aren't required, but they're a nice touch).

Some would say that I'm snooty.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Brunch Ideas

It's Easter week, ya'll.

And it's such an exciting time to celebrate new life, hope and blessing. We are so blessed!

It's also a great time to plan what the heck you're going to cook for whoever will be joining you at your Easter table.

Here are some more non-conventional Easter brunch ideas.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Simple Saturday: French Toast

It's the weekend!

And I know you're craving a sweet, decadent treat for breakfast, brunch or any meal.

I've got a really basic but fantastic French toast recipe for your weekend sweet-eating needs.

The one thing that's really important in French toast is the bread.

The bread is the foundation that needs to be perfect or else your French toast will crumble.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Breakfast of Real Champions

If you've been keeping up with the Fruitful blog for awhile, you know that this is a place where breakfast is treated with creativity and respect.

I love breakfast...and if I ever deny myself breakfast then I will pay with a crazy loud grumbling stomach and less-than-kind attitude.

You feel me?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Shrimp Season

I'm not really sure if seafood has a season.

But I do know that I am a fan of it...and it reminds me of a handful of beloved family summer trips spent in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

I actually don't know a ton about cooking seafood, so I'm hoping to get some good experience in the coming summer months.

Recently, Fresh Market had a sale on shrimp, so I planned a day of breakfasting and hiking with my husband in Bentonville so we would have an excuse to grab some shrimp.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patty's Day Greens

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I hope you can take today to relax, wear some green and cook some Irish-inspired, green things!

Crisp up some kale.

Whip up some colcannon. ('s just mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale.)

Enjoy a piece of super sharp Irish cheddar.

Or try my new favorite veg: sauteed cabbage with onions. Just soften some onions in olive oil over medium heat, add some chopped cabbage and let it caramelize and brown for about 10 minutes. It will be soft, sweet and delicious.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Simple Saturday: Flour Tortillas

Guess what, next time it's taco night, you can totally make your own tortillas!

It's the truth!

I did it and you can definitely do it.

All you have to do is combine flour with some olive oil, salt and water then cook them on the stove for a few minutes. And you've got your own healthy, non-sketchy muchaco/chalupa shell.

These tortillas have that great crunch and texture that you can tell is homemade. You can even add your own spices and flavors (cumin, cilantro, garlic salt) to the dough to make your tortillas unique.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Best Pasta Sauce Ever

Have you ever had a dish that tasted incredibly delicious but was so simple?

This pasta sauce falls into this category.

I stopped using pasta sauce from the jar about a year ago because it always seemed to just sit in the fridge and eventually go bad. And most jarred sauces have a lot of sugar and just don't taste as good as homemade.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Simple Saturday: How to Cook Kale

The other day someone asked me how to cook kale.

And my face lit up and I got extremely enthusiastic about explaining the delicious merits of this green veg.

Because kale deserves excitement!

Kale is the perfect side dish, pasta mix-in, pizza topping, salad green and even chip.

I call it nature's popcorn, because when you cook it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, it turns into a crunchy, earthy, savory treat that is quite addictive.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Going Seasonal

A few days ago I wrote about Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a fabulous book that has changed the way I think about food in many ways.

It focused a lot on the positive, lasting impact of seasonal eating and buying locally.

It's amazing, when you think of it, how greatly the quality and taste of our food is increased when we eat things in season that are grown near us.

Lately, we have been putting these ideas into practice by getting local produce delivered to us through Farmbox Delivers.

This just happens to be one of our local CSA-like programs where you sign up (for several weeks or on a week-to-week basis, depending on the program) and they deliver fresh, local, organic fruits, veggies and herbs to your doorstep!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

There's this book that I've had on my "need to read" list for the past like 6 months.

And I finally decided to give up my years-long mystery book streak to read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver.

I read one of Kingsolver's novels (The Poisonwood Bible) in high school and then recently I found out that she had a book about food. So, I was in!

Her book is a wonderful compilation of personal stories and facts about our food system weaved into her family's story of moving to a farm and living on only the food they could produce or locally source for a year.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Hive Bar Review

There's a new bar and restaurant in town that I have been anticipating for months!

Ever since I heard that the snazzy and few-of-a-kind 21c Museum Hotel was coming to Bentonville, I was hoping that it would bring with it a great restaurant and bar...and it did!

And I got even more excited when I learned that the executive chef at The Hive previously worked at Ashley's, the fabulous restaurant at the Capitol Hotel in Little Rock. The bar at The Capitol happens to be one of my family's favorite places for a great lunch or snack of pimento cheese and homemade crackers.

Jason and I tried the bar at The Hive out recently and loved it! The Hive does a great job of mixing class with southern comfort, leaving you feeling like you're in a bigger city than you really are all the while leaving your palette delighted with warm tastes of home.