Thanksgiving is almost here, and it’s time to wrap up your holiday menu. We’ve gathered a few of our favorite dishes we think you and yours will enjoy!
Thanksgiving is almost here, and it’s time to wrap up your holiday menu. We’ve gathered a few of our favorite dishes we think you and yours will enjoy!
Cooler temperatures often send us into the kitchen for warm, hearty meals—and, of course, holiday treats. Thanks in part to its key ingredient, pumpkin bread reigns as one of winter’s most scrumptious delights.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350F. Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Mix baking soda, flour, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. Slowly mix dry ingredients with butter and sugar. Fold in pumpkin puree until mixed thoroughly. Grease a 9×5 pan and pour batter into pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 T milk
Combine milk and sugar, then drizzle over slightly cooled pumpkin bread.
Our August Family Homes issue is out! Hope you’ve gotten your copy in the mail or picked one up as it’s packed with entertaining ideas and beautiful family homes (and much more!). This month, our entertaining story features Shindig Paperie owner Trisha Logan and a crafty back-to-school bash, which includes the popular Fayetteville’s Greenhouse Grille, to make for a casual, al fresco dinner. The Greenhouse Grille was so kind to share their tasty summer cole slaw recipe and as promised, we’re sharing it right here on the blog for you. We’re sure this will become a staple as you entertain family and friends. Scroll down for the recipe and enjoy!
Greenhouse Grille’s Summer Cole Slaw with Buttermilk Vinaigrette Dressing
Serves: 8-10 as side
For the slaw:
4 cups white or red cabbage, shredded or thinly sliced
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup red and/or green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
For the buttermilk vinaigrette:
8 ounces buttermilk
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 shallot, diced
1 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup canola oil
1 TBSP salt
1 TBSP course black pepper
In a blender, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients except for the oil. Slowly add the oil in and emulsify. Toss the vinaigrette over the sliced vegetables and chill for two hours before serving.
‘Tis the season! Spring brunches, graduation parties, or wedding and baby showers are likely to be on your agenda this month, and let’s not forget about hosting family and friends on Memorial Day weekend. If you’re hosting, try this simple—and delish—recipe from entertaining maven JoBeth McElhanon.
Honey Lavender Fruit Salad
Yield: Approximately 6 servings
Combine honey and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Add lavender and simmer until reduced and thick, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool and steep for approximately 30 minutes. Strain the lavender from the honey mixture.
Wash and cut fruit, if not using a precut selection. Combine with lemon juice. Drizzle with lavender syrup to taste. Garnish with fresh mint to serve.
*JoBeth notes that any of your favorite fruits will work in this salad. She suggests a combination of nectarines, peaches, and blueberries to make a pretty mid-summer fruit salad.
In our September issue, we are honored to have Euna Mae’s Amy Nelson Hannon to offer her insights on hospitality and tips for creating a perfect fall brunch. For recipes from the menu featured in the magazine, visit the Euna Mae’s blog. Here’s her recipe for a perfect autumn sweet treat:
APPLE BROWN BETTY
6 cups (about one loaf) finely cubed brioche or challah
7 apples, thinly sliced *I prefer 4 Honeycrisps and 3 Granny Smiths
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
zest of one lemon
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. apple cider
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
juice of one lemon
3-4 Tbsp. unsalted butter plus
more for buttering dish
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a small mixing bowl, combine sugars, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest.
In a one-cup measuring cup with a pour spout, combine the apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and lemon zest.
Generously butter a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish. Spread 1/3 of the finely cubed brioche in the bottom of the pan. Bread should be cubed as finely as possible!
Lay half of the sliced apples over the bread cubes and cover with 1/2 of the sugar mixture.
Carefully drizzle the juice mixture all over the apples. Then follow with another third of the bread, then the remaining apples, and the rest of the sugar mixture. Top with the remaining bread cubes.
Cover the top with very thin, thin, thin slices of cold butter which will brown the top layer of bread and melt down into the apples. Mmmm!
Cover and bake 40 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 minutes more.
Serve with ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
As promised, today we are giving you every recipe you need to recreate the fresh and fun holiday meal from our November entertaining story. The party was hosted by Daniel Keeley, and chef Jen Lewis created the menu. Follow this link to read the article and see images from the party. Enjoy!
Vanilla Old Fashioned
1 one-inch piece of vanilla bean, split
1 one-inch piece of orange zest
1/4 ounce simple syrup
¼ ounce of Tuaca liqueur
2 dashes orange bitters
2 ounces bourbon
1 orange wheel
In a rocks glass, muddle the vanilla bean and orange zest with the Simple Syrup and bitters. Add the bourbon and ice, stir and garnish with the orange wheel.
Blue Cheese, Fig, & Walnut Tartlets
3 ounces blue cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fig jam
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 orange, for zesting
fresh thyme leaves (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the cups of the mini muffin pans, unless you’re using non-stick pans. In a medium bowl, cream together the blue cheese and butter. Add the flour and use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl. Divide the dough into 30 pieces and roll into balls. (If you prefer a more delicate shell, divide the dough into 36 pieces.) Using lightly floured fingers evenly press the dough against the sides of the mini tart pan until the dough rises slightly above the rim of the muffin cup. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove shells to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store cooled shells in an airtight container until ready to use. (They freeze well, too. Bake frozen shells for 8 minutes at 325°F before filling.) Spoon jam into cooled tartlet shells. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts, orange zest, and thyme leaves if using. Makes 2 1/2 – 3 dozen.
Pumpkin & Sage Soup
2 whole pie pumpkins
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream (plus extra for serving)
1/3 cup maple syrup
dash of nutmeg
salt to taste
1 Tablespoon of chopped sage
pumpkins seeds, toasted
fried sage leaves, for serving
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pumpkins on a cookie sheet and roast them until slightly shriveled and soft. Allow to cool slightly, then slice in half and carefully scoop out seeds and pulp. Scoop flesh into a bowl. Set aside.
In a pot, heat up the pumpkin flesh with the stock, chopped sage and maple syrup until simmering. Mash out the big chunks, then transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) and puree until velvety smooth. Add cream and nutmeg, then blend again.
Reheat if you need to, or just go ahead and serve in a hollowed-out pumpkin of whatever size you’d like.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
2 oz. pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
1 to 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
10 oz. Brussels sprouts (about 18 medium sprouts), trimmed and halved through the core
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic minced
½ tsp of herbs de provence
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
In a heavy, 10-inch, straight-sided sauté pan set over medium-low heat, slowly cook the pancetta in 1 Tbs. of the oil until golden and crisp all over, 10 to 15 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the fat behind. You should have about 2 Tbs. of fat in the pan; if not, add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Have ready 1/2 cup water. Put the pan over medium-high heat and arrange the sprouts cut side down in a single layer. Add garlic. Cook, undisturbed, until nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes. When the sprouts are browned, add the water to the pan, cover immediately, and simmer until the sprouts are tender when poked with a fork or skewer, about 3 minutes. (If the water evaporates before the sprouts get tender, add more water, 1/4 cup at a time.) With a slotted spoon, transfer the sprouts to a plate. Return the pan to medium-high heat, and if any water remains let it boil off. Add the balsamic vinegar and a few grinds of pepper. Boil the vinegar until it’s reduced to about 2 Tbs. and looks lightly syrupy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the butter, and stir until melted. Add herb de provence. Return the sprouts and pancetta to the pan and swirl and shake the pan to evenly coat the sprouts with the sauce. Season to taste with salt and more pepper and serve. Serves 4.
Grilled Berkshire Pork Chops with Orange Cranberry & Rosemary Reduction Sauce
4 (4-ounce) pork chops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons of chopped rosemary
2 cloves of garlic minced
To cook the pork: Heat a cast iron skillet or grill over high heat. Season the pork with chopped rosemary, garlic salt and pepper. Brush the chops with oil then cook until barely pink at the center, about 4 minutes per side. Allow the pork to rest for 5 minutes. Serves 4.
12 oz. fresh cranberries, picked through and rinsed
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
Bring the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and rosemary to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 min. (Some berries will have popped and some will be whole.) Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the zest. Cover and let stand for 10 min. Let the sauce cool to room temperature and then cover and refrigerate. Return to room temperature before serving. This sauce can be made up to a week ahead and refrigerated in a covered container.
We are thrilled to introduce Tracy Porter, an exciting addition to the At Home in Arkansas blog team! Tracy is a lifestyle, home and fashion designer, author and photographer. Her publication appearances include O, Better Homes & Gardens and InStyle, she’s appeared on Oprah, E! and HGTV, and her eclectic designs in home and fashion are sold in thousands of retail stores and boutiques around the world, including Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s.
We had the pleasure of meeting Tracy at the recent Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles, and she charmed us with her warmth and kindness. Her monthly column, about all things entertaining, will showcase her unique style, inspiring At Home’s readers to live life to the fullest.
Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post for her $250 giveaway!
With summer nearly here, entertaining becomes more top of brain than ever! But…I get it entirelyâ¦having people over can overwhelm even the most seasoned entertainer! All of our days are terribly busy, we seem to easily fill them with activities, events and running about…throw in a wagon full of kids + pets and the idea of friends for dinner can seem utterly daunting!
However, it CAN be easy (sigh of relief). It takes a bit of planning, and some winging it…and in my book thatâs how you get to easy. I have a handful of tipsâ¦that I hope inspire your next gathering to feel fabulous in mind and spirit
I keep a basket full of folded cloth napkins in a range of colors and prints… Ok, I keep several of them, truth be told! It is just so easy to have them handy, right in your kitchen or pantry all the time, and one less thing to be running around after when company comes!
Have a few âgo-toâ cocktails… and a range of pretty glassware sitting out. Everyone loves the idea of âbeing entertainedâ so when your company shows upâ¦be ready! A choice or two is niceâ¦.we make a great Meyer lemon cosmo in our house (Iâll share that recipe down the road!) thatâs always a crowd pleaser. Add to that a gorgeous martini glass…ahhhh, irresistible!
Always add flowers. It is one of my favorite things to do once most everything else is covered! (Sort of like playing!) It makes any eating and gathering experience just that much more enchanting. A little charm goes a long way. Donât spend a fortune…if you must buy flowers, go simpleâ¦all one kind. Plunk them into little vessels or teacupsâ¦and scatter them about the table. No fuss…! If your yard is abundant, then get out your nippers and have at it! Clip bits of this and that and again plunk them into lower simple vessels that you gather from around your house. I often times will just set flowers on the table in my gathering basket…never mind that they slowly wilt a bit here and there…still so lovely…nature adds beautifully to any meal!
Dim the lightsâ¦ALWAYS! I have walked into more fully lit kitchens in the evening (wanting to put on my shades) than I care to admit to. No one wants to be blasted with light…low light is calming and sensual…and it hides everything! Next, keep a stash of âready to goâ candles. Mine change often (I cannot help myself) but I keep a basket in my pantry full of candles. Right now, I am onto jam jars (with 4 little boys, we go through lots of jamâ¦too bad peanut butter jars are not cuter!). I keep a little votive in each. Sometimes I will spritz some rosemary with water and drop a small bit of it in the jarâ¦youâll catch an occasional whiff of goodness that is over the topâ¦try it!
I adore large trays, and I truly use them! I have them out on my countertops ready for action! I cannot tell you how well this works! If you like your plates, then keep them out in a nice stack on a tray. Then dig up a great vessel, fill it with useful utensils and…viola! Sounds simpleâ¦but when you see it you use it!
Zero in on your âgo-to recipes.” I love knowing that everything will (for the most part) work out when company comes. There are always surprises, but a good recipe is worth its weight in gold! My best example is chocolate sheet cake! No brainer…everyone loves it…no one ever tires of itâ¦and you can make it in a snap! I even let my kids doll up the top with little cookies and candies. No matter the occasion, this sort of thing adds magic to any gathering! So, find a way toÂ round up your top recipe picks and go to them for fearless entertaining. Even little sticky notes popping from the tops of your cookbooks (as I do) will do the trick. Just mark the ones you can count on anytime!
I keep the appetizers really simple. I just find this approach easier for all! Keep several cutting boards in various sizes on hand. Add to that a few odiferous cheeses, some pretty little knives, a mix of nosh-able crackersâ¦almonds, salami, salt and vinegar chipsâ¦use small pretty bowlsâ¦and youâll have something to set on your counter or nearby coffee table, or wherever you and your company are hanging out!
A few more thoughts…Itâs sometimes the little things that throw us off last minute, so the âdo ahead and plan listâ can also include:
~ Finding a no commercials music station (try www.pandora.com) that sets the mood with one tap of your finger!
~ Decide if you will be setting the table or going more casual family style buffet (so easy and fun for all!)
~ Choose recipes that are make ahead if at all possible…even a few hours really can help!
Most importantly, I share these ideas with you to lessen the overwhelm. I have been there, running around swabbing my forehead, shoving toys into random drawers, scoopingÂ dog hair tumble weeds off the floor. I NOW choose the EASY route. I plan a bit more, dim the lights, have a sip of my drink beforehandâ¦..and calmly, happilyâ¦await my friends and family to show up!
Cheers to you!
I am so excited about my first of many columns with At Home in Arkansas that I want to celebrate it with a wonderful giveaway for a $250 gift certificate! Besides my love of writing, and sharing inspiration for all lovely things in life, I am also a designer of delicious home and fashion goods!
Surely youâd love a shopping spree?! Well alright then! In order to enter this gem of a giveaway, all you need to do is post a comment here (by clicking on responses at the top of the post next to the date, or scrolling down underneath the current responses below) about my first columnâ¦let us know what you think! How simple is that! The giveaway will run today through May 23. The winner will be picked randomly. Please check back on May 24th to see if it is you!!
I am there to chatter every day, would love to meet you! Â Good luck & happiness to you!
columnist Tracy Porter is back! (Thank goodness, because we missed her!) Today, Tracy shares the many ways she and her family savor the summertime. But be warned: after reading her post, you’ll have the itch to get outside and run through water sprinklers.
Don’t mind if we do…
I am officially saving summer in this monthâs column (so bold of meâ¦donât mind if I do! Ha!), because it slips away so fast and all the âlovelyâ that you want, and look forward to, is far too important to miss. Soâ¦Iâll share a few ways that my family saves summer every yearâ¦and how we will again this year. Hope to inspire you and yours!
Eat together & make food togetherâ¦with friends, with family! Lots of hands in the kitchenâ¦lets you get outside to eat & play sooner. Helping hands in a kitchen can be chaoticâ¦but then thatâs a home filled with joy, and lifeâ¦things are not perfect, how lovely is that!
Make s âmoresâ¦easy dessertâ¦every kid and adult will join in…get some of those wonderful long marshmallow âskewersâ and keep them handy…simple old fashioned fun for all! (and yes, my boys like them burned.)
Homemade strawberry lemonadeâ¦any day, anyway, or try a new summer cocktail my husband John is always whipping up. (Remember I promised you he makes the BEST Meyer lemon cosmo! Read on!)
John Porterâs Enchanting Lemon Meyer Cosmo
2 Oz. Vodka (or 3 oz., depending on the dayâ¦)
Â½ Oz. Triple Sec
1 Oz. Cranberry
Â½ Meyer Lemon freshly squeezed
Shake with ice. Strain and pour into pretty glass.
(this makes one, but thatâs usually enough…good night, Alice!)
P.S. no Meyer lemons? Use Â½ freshly squeezed lemon and add a bit of grand Marnier…pucker up!! mmmm.
Keep tiny white lights out all year longâ¦like fireflies, they add a layer of light. And get yourself a fanciful umbrella for outsideâ¦charm city!
Go out flower cutting, as often as you can while everything is blooming! Itâs the perfect dose of summer bounty for your soul!
Make your own homemade summertime coleslawâ¦or try my delightfully easy recipe below!
After dinner, play summer games. Scavenger hunts, bocce ball, lawn croquet, or our favoriteâ¦water balloons! WA-HOOOO! DUCK!
More endless summer, because you never can have enoughâ¦
~Picnicsâ¦anywhere…in your own yardâ¦or pack up a big wicker basket and you are off to the beach or the countryside!
~Grill it…it just adds summer to the air…no matter what night of the week!
~Grow some of your ownâ¦herbs, veggies, fruit, anything you can walk outside and pluck or pick and use when you cook!
~ Go berry pickingâ¦bring back the goods and add them to smoothies, cobblers or ice cream!
Please Tell meâ¦how will you save summer this year? How did your family save summer when you were a kid…inspire us all…!
Cheers to you!
Looking for a sweet way to warm up on a chilly February day? You’re in luck. Don Dugan, owner of Dugan’s Pub in downtown Little Rock, shares his secret for a toast-worthy coffee concoction. Try the tasty sipper and let us know what you think. Dugan’s Irish Coffee Recipe yields 1 drink. INGREDIENTS: 1 1/4 ounces Irish whiskey 1 teaspoon brown sugar Hot black coffee Fresh whipped cream Green or dark creme de menthe DIRECTIONS: Place brown sugar in the bottom of a mug. Add Irish whiskey. Fill mug to the top with coffee. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with creme de menthe. Enjoy!
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