Monday, August 24, 2009

Good food in Arkansas

This weekend I explored north-west Arkansas with my friend Jessa, and discovered a surprising amount of good food. First up was a trip to War Eagle Mill, a water-powered grist mill that grinds and sells organic grains. We got to see the mill in action:

Of course, I couldn't resist making a few purchases. I picked up some whole wheat flour, some spelt flour, some cornbread mix, some apple butter and apricot butter, and a copy of the Mill's cookbook. Okay, okay, but I'm helpless when surrounded by grain, especially grain packaged in vintage-y looking cloth bags! It made me feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder!

We ate lunch at the perplexingly named Bean Palace Restaurant, where I had a just-okay taco salad and some pretty darn good blackberry cobbler.

On our way back to Oklahoma we stopped in Fayetteville and had lunch at the Greenhouse Grill. Or, more accurately, we had brunch. Who knew Arkansas would have organic blue-corn pancakes with raspberries and walnuts in the batter, topped with a yogurt-honey swirl and fruit chutney? Arkansas, you are too good to me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

If you give a mouse a cookie...

I'm not sure who the mouse is in this scenario--probably me. I don't usually bake that much because I know if I have cookies, or cake, or pie at my disposal, I'm more likely to eat it all at once than savor it slowly like a logical person.

But anyway, I made some ginger cookies anyway! They came from the Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook, and the recipe is available online here.

The "secret ingredient" was chopped crystallized ginger. If you like ginger (a lot) like I do, you will love these cookies. If you don't, well, they might be a little overwhelming. Also, they're kind of tricky (Beat ingredients for exactly five minutes! Bake for exactly thirteen minutes!), but if you have faith and follow the recipe, they will come out all right in the end, I promise!

They're crisp on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside! Much bigger and more luscious than the lowly ginger snap.

Is it gross to take close-up photos of food you've just bitten out of? Oh well! Anyway, these cookies were awesome and I suggest you make some forthwith.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Hey, I ate some cupcakes! With my friend Ruth! They came from Kupcakz which, wacky spelling aside, really does make insanely good cupcakes. Ruth hand a mint-chocolate one which, as you can see, she was pretty excited about. I had a dark chocolate with peanut butter buttercream and man oh man it was good. They kind of hollow out the cupcakes so extra frosting goes down into the middle. Mmmmmmm. I wish I had more cupcakes RIGHT NOW.