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Monday, September 27, 2010

Red Apple Inn's Famous Breast of Chicken

Party Potpourri, is a wonderful Southern cookbook for anyone who loves to entertain!  It's a delightful guide with over 500 recipes and one that I refer to most frequently.  I bought it a while back when  #3 and me were visiting The Peabody Hotel in Memphis.  These scrumptious recipes have been compiled by The Junior League of Memphis, Inc. which "is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable."

I was never a Jr Leaguer, but I do respect the integrity and accomplishments these ladies contribute to their communities. And, I especially love the Breast of Chicken, Eden Isle recipe I found in it the other day from Arkansas' own fine restaurant and lodge, The Red Apple Inn in Heber Springs. You must visit this quaint little town nestled in the beautiful Greers Ferry Lake area of Arkansas. Stay at the Inn and enjoy the golf, shopping, or lake amenities this exclusive resort has to offer. There is a dress code for the restaurant, so check first and if you don't get in the door...you can always make your own Breast of Chicken, Eden Isle style!

Breast of Chicken, Eden Isle
6 chicken breasts, boned
6 slices bacon
1 small jar of dried beef
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups of sour cream
1 8ounce package of cream cheese

Pepper, but do not salt the chicken breasts. Wrap a slice of bacon around each breast. Place layer of dried beef in bottom of baking dish.  Place the bacon wrapped breasts in the dish.  Cover with mixture of chicken soup, sour cream, and cream cheese.  Cover lightly with foil. Place in 325 degree oven for 2 hours.  When tender, remove foil and let brown slightly.  Serve on a bed of rice. Serves 6.

And by the way, you don't have to go all the way to Memphis these days to visit the Peabody and their twice-daily march of  famous ducks... the ducks are also at the Little Rock Peabody Hotel which is now in downtown Little Rock! We love to go for exotic fruity drinks at the cool bar and always to watch the ducks...you will too! And, hey little guy...don't get your feathers in an uproar...it's a chicken recipe!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ketch Up Cake

Was reading an article by Jennifer Hansen  Heart & Soul, Arkansas Democrat /Gazette the other day and she said something that really hit close to home...seems Hansen had been retreating and rebuilding her life the last few years following a painful divorce. However, these days she has slowly and tentatively reached back out to her friends and states she cannot believe their willingness to pick right up where they left off. Hummmm...wonder where she got her friends. Sounds like the perfect little world I often dream of. You know, the world where family, as well as friends, allow you necessary alone space for sorting out life's gory little mishmash we are all handed from time to time.  Oh well, cynical me...but I do think I will send a couple of emails and attempt to pick up where I left off with a couple of friendships that I have neglected over the last few years while rebuilding my own life...will let you know if I get any positive responses. And if any of these relationships kick back on...how about a Heinz Ketch Up Cake to catch up with old friends/family and new beginnings! Sounds like a perfect little world...
2 cups (500 mL)all-purpose flour
2 tsp (10 mL)baking powder
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL)cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL)baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 mL)ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp (2 mL)ground ginger
1/2 cup (125 mL)Heinz Tomato Ketchup
1/2 cup (125 mL)water
2 tbsp (30 mL)red food colouring
3/4 cup (175 mL)butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (375 mL)packed dark brown sugar
6 oz (175 g)brick-style cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (175 mL)butter, softened
1 tsp (5 mL)vanilla extract
4 cups (1 L)icing sugar (about 1 lb/500g bag)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease two 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Stir the flour with the baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and ginger into a bowl. Stir the ketchup, water and colouring in a separate bowl. Set aside.
Beat the butter and blend in the sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the eggs. Add the flour mixture and ketchup mixture. Beat on low, scraping down the bowl as needed, until combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until the centre springs back when touched lightly. Cool the cakes for 15 minutes before turning onto a rack to cool completely.
Frosting: Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla on medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth. Gradually beat in the sugar on low, scraping the bowl as needed. Beat on high until fluffy. Frost between the cake layers and over the sides and top of the cake. Makes 12 servings.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Did I Just See Martha Stewart Tipsy on the Hallmark Channel?

How could this be...my hero (heroine) Martha and two young guys hit the NYC scene and Martha gets loaded...all caught on camera! Well OK, maybe not loaded in the usual manner, but filled to the brim (as we say in the South) with some sinfully scrumptious Southern fried mania at a trendy NYC, soon to be very famous hot spot, Pies n Thighs.

The story goes...as I was watching the Hallmark Channel today, Martha was getting awfully tipsy on martinis at the Dram Bar and suggested to her young suitors they might go have a bite to eat...at a restaurant of their choice. These two clever fellows took Martha to eat at this cool, hippy joint called Pies n Thighs. Watching those three eat that saucy looking Chicken Biscuit made me run to the computer to check it all out! Drats...no recipes...I must have the secret sauce that was saturated all over that scrumptious looking biscuit. Anyone gotta clue??

Martha has long been my hero(ine), but now I have three more...Sarah Buck, Carolyn Bane, and Erika Geldzahler who opened this sinfully delicious looking joint...Pies n Thighs! Can't wait to go there. Oh, and the Dram Bar looked good, too...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oh Henry...You're One Year Old Today!

Today is the big 01 for Henry! What a great age to be...about the only thing you have to worry about is your TECKNO KRAZEE Nana sharing your Bad Hair Day picture all over the Internet! This mug shot has future  Facebook Profile picture written all over it.
And because Henry is such a big boy...all 30 lbs of him...I'm sure this potential little Razorback will love a Razorback Cake from the coolest bakery in Arkansas...Rick's Bakery in Fayetteville.
We love you Henry! And have a wonderful 1st Birthday Bash!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I Brake For Butterflies and God Messages

Life has been really hectic these days with my family going through some pretty hard times. You know the usual family stuff like screaming at each other in hospital rooms, listening to martyr like people claiming to do so much more than the other, and dramatic "What the heck are we gonna do's?" flying all over the place...so I did what any normal, abused, bothered and bewildered person would do...I took a Ferris Bueller day off and headed straight to the beautiful hills of the Ozarks...my second home and home of my cherished Alma Mater...the World Famous Arkansas Razorbacks!

Yes, it's all about one woman's struggle to take it easy...at least for one day! Check out the cool pics and life lesson I learned along the way...
My day trip through the Ozark Mountains was the perfect opportunity for unwinding as I maneuvered the winding roads of this famous hill country. I braked to save the myriad of butterflies that fluttered all around my vehicle and I stopped to smell the traditions of the Ozarks at some of my favorite local hangouts on the road to Arkansas Hog Country that wonderful day. If you are ever in these parts, check out the Hwy 23 Pig Trail where you will find the Turner Bend Store and some mighty fine Dagwood style sandwiches as well as cool biker and river gear. Head on toward Hwy 16 East, past Elkins and check out the world class subs and freshly made potato chips with fabulous homemade ranch dressing at Loafin' Joes in the cool small college town of Fayetteville.

And thanks to a small community church sign I happened to notice as I was NOT SPEEDING through the teeny tiny town of Elkins, I did ponder a thing or two that enlightening fall day...
In fact, opportunity appears to be knocking right now. I just hope I have the grit to open the door and let all the twittering butterflies come rushing in. Don't you just love God messages?