Deep Fried Chicken Bombs & Petit Jean Bacon Bowl Giveaway

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One thing you have probably noticed about me by now is that I love to cook for family and friends.

When I start to cook my southern roots shine thru and thru.  I sometimes get envious of bloggers who cook Amazing French Dishes and Pastries or Delish Vegan Recipes (since I am crunchy), but then I have to remind myself that my readers and friends, come back for my Southern Comfort Food.

I have a group of friends, we call ourselves “The Three Musketeers”, who I say in a jokingly (is that even a word lol) manner that they use me only for my food.  Just kidding!  No actually I’m not haha!  I will casually mention a dish I am cooking or new recipe that I am testing for my blog, and they automatically ask what time dinner is.  I’m actually really okay with it.  See I am an introvert and I love being at home, alone, a lot. Problem is, the more time I am at home, the more I withdraw from the outside world.

This group of friends, “The Three Musketeers”, think they are being sneaky by coming to eat, all while intending to pull me back into the real world, but I have them all figured out. (:  But in all reality, I think they are pretty amazing for wanting to check on me without making it seem too obvious.

Back to my cooking.  I  mentioned a couple weeks ago to one of “The Three Musketeers”,  that I was trying a new fried recipe which included Petit Jean Bacon.  Well, it just so happens that “Fried” and “Bacon” are her two most favorite words ever so she was automatically on that like “Flies on a Sticky Trap”!  I’m not even for sure if she heard the rest of the ingredients or not.  Of course, that meant the third musketeer must be included as well so it turned out to be a full blown dinner party.

I call my recipe “Deep Fried Chicken Bombs”, cause, oh baby they are the BOMB!

Here is what you need to serve 4:

4 large chicken breasts

4 jalapeno’s

4 slices of bacon (I use Petit Jean, I’m from Arkansas, what can I say)

1 mozzarella string cheese

Sounding good so far?

My batter consists of:

2 cups of flour

2 tsp black pepper

2 tsp salt (I use kosher)

1 tsp of cayenne pepper (optional)

2 cups of milk or buttermilk

2 eggs

Here is what you do:

1)  I slit my chicken breasts down the sides, leaving them uncut at each end.

2)  I cut the ends off of Jalapeno’s and clean out he insides.

3)  Cut your string cheese into 4 pieces

4) Stuff your cheese into the jalapeno

5) Wrap a slice of bacon around your jalapeno

(if you like your bacon a little more cooked, I recommend frying slighty before wrapping)

6) Stuff your bacon wrapped jalapeno into the slit of your chicken breast.

7) Secure with toothpick to hold shut

8) Set aside

9) Whisk your eggs and milk together in one bowl and your dry ingredients together in another bowl

10) Dip your chicken in egg mixture, then roll in flour mixture and dip back into egg mixture.

11) Drop your chicken into a fryer or skillet of oil (Trick here is to heat your oil very hot and turn half way down before frying  the chicken to ensure it cooks on the inside as well as the outside.

*I use a cast iron dutch oven skillet.  Its deep enough to completely cover chicken

*You can also use a fry daddy

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You seriously cannot go wrong with these bad boys!

And speaking of Petit Jean Bacon, September 13th is the 2014 BACON BOWL!


The  Bacon Bowl is the ultimate bacon cooking competition! They had an amazing inaugural event in 2013, and this one promises to be even better! This year’s competition will be in Bentonville, Arkansas on Saturday September 13. Among the special events this year is the Pig Out Bacon Eating Competition!  

Can you think of a better way to spend your Saturday?  I think not!

So in honor of everyone who loves BACON, one lucky reader, chosen at random thru , will win two tickets to The 2014 Bacon Bowl!

*Contest will run September 2, 2014 through September 9th 2014.

*Winner will be notified by email.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fresh, Fried Okra & Fresh, Fun Photos



You might remember a TBT I posted a while back titled “Children of the Okra”.  It was an old post that I re-shared about an awful experience in the Okra Jungle, helping my dad.  I get chills just thinking about that day.  I swore, Yes I swore, I would never eat okra again, but somewhere between then and now the thoughts from that day became less frightening and Fried Okra starting sounding appealing again!

A few weeks ago my dad brought over a few bags of okra that had finally decided to produce.  Well, I certainly couldn’t pass it up so I decided to conquer my fear of okra and fry up some for dinner.  My family was extremely pleased that my fear of okra was gone, because they had been missing my Southern Fried Okra for sometime now!

I got to work right away cutting it up, bagging most for the freezer and saving a bowl for dinner.



My okra batter is pretty basic.  But it sure is good ole southern amazing!

What you need:

1 cup corn meal

1/2 flour

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1 cup buttermilk

(0r 1 cup milk and 1 tbsp on vinegar, let set for appx 3 mins)

2 eggs

2 cups of cut okra


What you do:

Get your pan of oil hot and ready.  (I use a cast iron Dutch Oven Skillet)

Slightly whisk your cornmeal, flour, salt, and peppers together in bowl.

In a separate bowl mix your milk and eggs together.

Add appx 10 pieces of okra into egg/milk.

Using a metal spoon with holes, scoop up okra and let mixture drain for a second before adding to the dry mixture.

Completely cover in the dry mixture and add to hot oil.

Fry until golden brown and crispy!

Continue until all okra is fried.

You will LOVE this okra!  And to make it extra amazing, dip it in some good ole ranch!  Yummo!

Don’t get much better than this here is the South!





This week it’s all been about Freshness, including Fresh Photos!

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My daughter Lindy Photo taken by Carosello Fete Photography


So to go along with my Fresh, Fried Okra, I wanted to share with you some Fresh, Fun Photos taken by my friend and amazing photographer Erin Wilson.

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Erin, from Carosello Blog is a handmade business owner, wife, mom and word mispronouncer.  She  blogs about her favorite things, cooking, business life, decor, DIY and personal style. She just moved from Oklahoma to Boston-ish and then back down to Arkansas. She has been a big city gal most of her life and now living in a quaint little small town. She just bought a new house and are deep into renovating madness. Erin always love a good cardigan, pink pedicures, liquid eyeliner, hot tea and exploring all things local.

This past week, Erin captured some amazing shoots of my daughter Lindy.

I think I will cry now.

She looks way to grown up in this pictures!


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I can’t believe this shots!

My baby isn’t a baby anymore ):

You can also find Erin on Facebook.  Head over and show her some Bloggy Love!

Hope everyone enjoys the Freshness this week!

Whats Cookin with GraceandGravy: Meal Planning Week #3

What's Cookin
It’s a Tuesday afternoon, I’ve been running errands most of day and trying to catch up on laundry for the few moments I have been home.  Then I look at the clock and a uggggg sound comes out of my mouth.  It’s already time for the husby to get home for work and I haven’t even thought about dinner.  I run to the pantry to skim the contents, then head to the fridge only to remember I don’t have any meat thawing.  Now what am I going to do?  Supper is going to be late, and I can’t think of anything to throw together.
Does this sound like you?  Do you ever have those days when you cannot think of another single meal to cook?
Well, your not alone, I think as wives and mothers we all have those days more often than we would like to admit.  That is when I started Meal Planning.  I used to just write a menu and tape it to the fridge, but then I decided why not share it with you guys.
So WELCOME to “What’s Cookin with GraceandGravy: Meal Plans Week #3
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Each Sunday I will share with you what my meals for the week will be.
Maybe we can help to spark creativity in each other for our nightly dinners.
I had Cheesy Potato Soup on the menu last week, but both my kiddos ended up going to my dads to spend some time with him.  Husby and I decided there was no need and cooking a pot of soup just for us, so we grabbed a sandwich and saved the soup for a later day (:  Perfect for a crock pot, after church lunch meal.
I love making Shredded Chicken BBQ Sandwiches.  It’s one meal my whole family agrees on.  Of course, like I said before,

sometimes your choice of bread will make all the difference so for our Shredded Chicken BBQ Sandwiches, I like to use Deli Style Hamburger Buns.  Serve with a side of  Homemade Potato Chips and Enjoy!

Tuesday my Church Connect Group, is having a Family Pool Party.  We are all bringing finger foods to eat.  I decided to make a Variety Pinwheel Platter to take.  I will add  the basic pinwheel, Bacon Ranch Pinwheel, Southwest Pinwheel and a Basil, Pesto Pinwheel.  Be checking back for those great recipes!

I also decided to make Kid-Friendly Sushi, which is just Turkey and Cheese Roll Ups that I cut like Sushi.  So much fun!  And I think I will also make Mini Apple Pies for a quick bite size dessert.  Can’t wait for a fun-filled night with friends!

Wednesday’s are also so rushed before I have to have the kiddos at Youth Group, so this week its Fast and Friendly Tacos.  No frills, just plain ole beef tacos with a side of rice and beans.  Can’t get with easier than that.

For Thursday I decided to cook a larger meal with the past couple nights before that wasn’t “big dinners”.  I chose Roasted Lemon Pepper Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes, Mac-n-Cheese and maybe a loaf of homemade bread!

Friday is Take Out Night!  This Momma needs a break (:

Saturday is quick and easy around here, so its Subs and Pasta Salad!

Meal Plan Week 3

Chalkboard Image courtesy of Google Images

Would love to hear your meal plans for the week.   And I hope you enjoy a few of my meals!

Arkansas Po-Boy Dog



Here in the South, summertime is in full-swing.  Hot humid days, cool and relaxing evenings.  I so love sitting on the front porch swing sippin Lemonade, or my all-time favorite, Sweet Tea.  There are some things I just wouldn’t trade for the world, and one of those is fireflies for city lights, old farmhouses for condos and country barns for skyscrapers.

Of course, I completely understand if you were raised in the city how this would be reversed.  And believe me I love to visit cities with bright lights, fancy stores and amazing restaurants, but after a visit I’m ready to come back home to the dirt roads, hay fields and stars in the sky.  And it wouldn’t be the South in Arkansas that I love so deeply without good southern comfort food.

Here is Rural Arkansas we have a few staple foods.  There isn’t any summertime meal complete with a side of coleslaw or baked beans.  Whether its a weekend BBQ friends, a church potluck on Sunday afternoon or supper during the week, these two sides are always among the favorites.

I guess you can say along with our slower pace and a more laid back simple style of  life, we still enjoy a little gourmet now and then.  A couple weeks ago I was trying to think of an easy and fast mid-week meal but also something filling for my family.  I had buns and hot dogs, and well really you can’t get any easier than that.  Not only are hot dogs super fast but they are also super cheap.  But in order to make it a complete meal I needed sides.  Well of course I came back to cole slaw and baked beans.

As I was preparing the sides, I started thinking, why can’t I make a more elaborate meal out of what I have.  If Chicago can have their own Chicago-Style Dog  and San Francisco can have their own BLT Dog then shouldn’t Arkansas have their own dog?  So I got to work.




First I made my cole slaw.


Grace and Gravy’s Southern Slaw



1 Package of Pre-Shredded Cabbage Mix or a Head of Cabbage (to save time)

3/4 cup of Mayo

1/4  cup of Sugar

2 tsp of Lemon Juice

2 tbsp of Vinegar

1 tsp of Salt

1 tsp of Black Pepper

1 tsp of Paprika


How to Make:

1) Rinse your cabbage mix (remember this was supposed to be a fast and easy meal) and place in large serving bowl

2) In a separate bowl add your mayo, sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix well

3) Add your wet ingredients to your cabbage mix

4) Mix together well

5) sprinkle your paprika on top of slaw

6) Serve right away or place in fridge til serving time


Just enough sweetness and just enough tart!


Now it was time for my Baked Beans.


Grace and Gravy’s Southern Baked Beans



6 Slices of Bacon

2 cans of Pinto Beans or 1/2 pd of dried Pinto Beans  (Remember this was a fast, easy meal so I used cans)

1 can tomato paste

2 Tbsp Honey

1/4 cup of Brown Sugar

1/2 Diced Onion (I prefer white)

1/2 Bell Pepper Diced

3 Medium sized fresh Jalapeno Peppers

1/2 tsp Paprika

1/2 Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Ground Mustard

1/2 tsp Cummin (optional)


What to Do:

1)  Fry your bacon in a skillet (I prefer to use cast iron for this recipe)

2)  Remove bacon but leave the bacon grease

3)  Add your onion, jalapeno and bell pepper to grease and cook til soft

4)  Dice your bacon up and add to pan

5)  Drain your beans and add

6)  Now add your brown sugar and honey and mix well

7)  In a small bowl add your dry seasonings and mix lightly

8)  Add your seasonings to pan and stir

9) Simmer on low to medium heat for appx 15 minutes

10) Enjoy

I really love the sweetness of the brown sugar and honey with the spicy of the peppers!


Okay!  Now that I had my sides done, I was ready for my dogs.

How I make my Dogs:

I really like to have deli style hot dog buns.  I really like the flavor to them better than the packaged kind.  Sometimes your choice of bread will make all the difference to your dog, hamburger or sub.

Here is the thing about being Southern, we think everything should be fried! Oh yes!  The greasier the better.  So fry up your dogs on a griddle or a skillet.

Oh Boy, its gettin good now!

When grilled you now have two choices!  I suggest trying them both to see which is your style.

You can leave your dog whole and place in bun, or you can spilt in half so that your toppings fit better!  Thats my choice!

Now your ready for toppings!  My husby enjoys mustard, so its whatever you enjoy,  then I add a big ole scoop full of baked beans, and a big ole scoop full of slaw!  What could be better than this for a Good Ole Southern Meal!


So Easy, So fillings and will serve eight! Or four if you have big ole boys!

I really hope you enjoy my Arkansas Po-Boy Dog!  Would love to hear your thoughts!







Baked Granola & Peaches


Do you have local festivals?

Our county (which consists of 5 small, mainly rural, towns) hosts The Peach Festival, every July, that has been ongoing 1938! Wow! It’s actually the oldest festival in the state of Arkansas. I feel honored to be a part of such amazing history every year.

And did I mention food?

Just like county fairs, our festivals have some of the best food around!  Funnel Cakes, Fried Pies, Foot Long Corn Dogs, and Snow Cones, you can pretty much find it all here.


Photo Courtesy of The Peach Festival Board

The Peach Festival will start next week, so to get in the “Peachy” spirit I decided to start experimenting with peach recipes.

I love peaches! I love the sweet, juicy taste that runs down your chin as you take a big bite (: In fact I don’t think I have came across a single peach dish that I haven’t loved!

If you have read my bio, then you know I’m a crunchy girl. Technically I love the Earth, try to eat organic as much as possible and I make a lot of our soaps and cleaners. I’m also a vegetarian so I eat a lot of granola.

I really like making my own so I can determine exactly what I am adding to it.  So I wanted to share this super easy Baked Granola and Peaches recipe with you today.



Baked Granola & Peaches

What you need:

4 fresh peaches

For Granola:

1  cups oats

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 brown sugar

1/8 cup oil

1/2 cup homemade or organic maple syrup

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What you do:

1) Cut your peaches in half and remove pit.

2) Spoon a small amount of peach out to make room for granola.

3) Mix the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and oil together and then add in maple syrup.

4) Spoon granola onto each peach half.

5) Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lay peaches on.

6) Bake peaches at 350 for appx 15-20 mins or until peaches are soft.

Another option for Granola:

If you want granola for later, spread evenly on lined cookie sheet and bake.  Store in a dry container.

Super easy and super delish!  Great for breakfast, brunch or a mid-afternoon snack.

You can top with cream (pictured) if you desire.  This cream consists of heavy whipping cream which I mixed until it become creamed.  I’m not a cream snob (:  I enjoy my Ready Whip and Cool Whip just like anybody else!  Ice Cream is also very good on top of the warm peaches!

Pick your Pleasure and Enjoy!

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And don’t miss The Peach Festival Blog Post coming soon!

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