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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Have You Dropped By The Oak Street Bistro In Conway? If Not, You're Missing Something Super Special!

Oak Street Bistro on Urbanspoon

The Oak Street Bistro in Conway is a wonderful place to eat, drink, and enjoy all the green and artistic surroundings. Me and #3 stopped by the other day since Conway is just a hop and skip down Interstate 40 from Sherwood. This cool and trendy place is snuggly located off the highway and adjacent to the Tipton Hurst Florist which provides lots of lush green ambience as you relax and enjoy a really good family or date night meal inside or out.

The house soup, White Cheddar and Dill was absolutely scrumptious as the Bourbon Shrimp with Crostini! The Mushroom Chicken Breast drenched in Cream Sauce was to Di for as well. Will return soon to try the Wine Tasting $15 for 5 Samplings on the last Thursday of each month with 15% off  dinner that night. Ask for Matthew who is a really great server!!

Exciting food, great service, and beautiful surroundings...try it for sure.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

All About Fast, Easy, and Delicious

I really enjoy an exciting but basic white sauce slathered all over something every now and then. Like chicken fried steak, pasta or noodles, or any veggie.  A made to order, delicious white sauce is all I need to doctor up my recipes...here's a super fast, easy, and delicious way to add a little Béchamel to your life...

Béchamel Butter & Cream Cheese Balls:
35 balls
2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white or black ground pepper
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened

1. Mix flour, salt, and pepper into a mixer bowl.

2. Add softened butter and cream cheese; mix until well blended.

3. Drop by rounded tablespoons (I use a small ice cream scoop) onto a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the freezer.

 *After frozen, transfer balls to a zip lock bag, store in freezer for up to 6 months, use whenever...

4. Thin white sauce: 1 ball to one cup of milk, whisked over med heat until melted & thick.
    Medium white sauce: 2 balls to one cup of milk, whisked over med heat until melted & thick.
    Thick white sauce: 3 balls to one cup of milk, whisked over med heat until melted & thick.
5. Be creative...add some cheddar cheese or anything you please!!!


Monday, May 23, 2011

The Most Delicious Chicken Salad In The South

My BFF, Becky had me over for the most delicious chicken salad dish I've ever tasted! Bec has been making this recipe for many years thanks to an old cookbook she purchased from one of Little Rock's most cherished restaurants of long ago...The Vineyard.

As a matter of fact, I was a volunteer server at The Vineyard with a few close friends, and when the doors would close at 2pm we would sit down together with a glass of wine and share some delightful chicken salad as a reward for our service. The friends are still around as well as this wonderful recipe, however I do miss The Vineyard! Do you remember where in Little Rock The Vineyard was located? Leave your answer in the comment section below. You could be a winner!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gravlax From Home

You will need the following to make sugar and salt cured salmon or gravlax:
2 center cuts of fresh salmon, about 3 lbs
1 large bunch of dill
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 T crushed peppercorns
1 T whole fennel seeds

Step by Step Directions:
Place the two cuts of salmon in a baking dish. Combine the salt, sugar, peppercorns, and fennel seeds in a small bowl and pour evenly over the salmon.

Wash and shake dry the dill and place it on top of one cut of salmon.

Put one cut of salmon on top of the other skin side up.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Place some cans of food on top to weigh the salmon down. Refrigerate for a least 2 days, turning it every 12 hours and basting with the liquid that collects in dish.

On the third day lay each piece flat on a cutting board, remove the dill, and slice in long thin slices. Serve with crusty bread and Philadelphia Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cooking For Our House

Today we are doing community service at Our House . The lunch menu for thirty includes a lot of my favorite recipes:

 Spaghetti and Meat Balls
 Fresh Salad Greens with Vinegar & Oil
 Green Beans w/ Bacon
Cheese Drop Biscuits
Strawberry Cupcakes
Iced Tea/Sprite

I especially love the Cheese Drop Biscuits, aka Red Lobster's famous cheese biscuits. They are so easy, tasty, and inexpensive...why not knock them off at your house today!

How to knock off Red Lobster's Famous Cheese Biscuits:
2 1/2 c Bisquick
1/4 t garlic powder
4 T cold margarine
1 c grated Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine Bisquick and garlic powder.
3. Cut in the cold margarine.
4. Add grated cheese and milk stirring very briefly to combine.
5. Drop by ice cream scoopfuls onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 14-17 minutes.

Prepare the topping for baked biscuits:
2 T margarine, melted
1/4 t dried parsley flakes
1/2 t garlic powder
Pinch of salt

1. Mix all ingredients together and brush over tops of hot biscuits.
2. Makes one dozen yummy cheesy, garlicky, biscuits.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Restaurant Not Taken

For many years I have passed by this cozy little corner tucked Chinese restaurant in Western Little Rock only to head down the street for the ever so popular, P.F. Chang's. However the other night feeling slightly adventurous (and not wanting to hassle with the crowd at Chang's), #3 and me decided to take the restaurant we have often not taken...Chi's DimSum & Bistro. Holy cow...have we ever been choosing the wrong way to go! Atmosphere, service, food, and camaraderie all assembled together for the perfect dining experience!!! Must haves at Chi's include the Crispy Fried Shrimp, Twice Cooked Pork, and the Crispy Salty Calamari. I would have taken more pics but the food disappeared too fast. Go ahead, step out of your fuddy duddy zone and take that restaurant less traveled...you never know what's around the corner until you go there.

Chi's Bistro on Urbanspoon