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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 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 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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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
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!
My dad calls me last week and lets me know the blackberries are ready to be picked. Here’s the thing with blackerries with my family, it’s whoever can get to my dad’s the fastest! Well, it didn’t take me long to high-tail it to the garden (:
It just so happened to be Father’s Day and I had intentionally intended to bake a blueberries and lemon cake for my sweet husby.
After we picked all the blackberries, I thought well why not blackberries instead of blueberries.
It has just enough lemon flavor, but the blackberries help cut out the too-sweet taste. I topped it with a lemon buttercream frosting that came out perfecto!
This would make an amazing cake for your next potluck or bbq. Or how about for the upcoming 4Th Celebration?
But seriously, this cake is to die for. It’s a mix between a pound cake and a cobbler, yumm-o! It didn’t stay long around these parts. I had a lot of grabby hands reaching for it.
But I would love for you to try this cake for yourself and tell me your thought!
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil or butter
2 cups blackberries
1/4 lemon juice
1 cup of milk
4 sticks of butter
1 bag of powered sugar
3 tbs of milk or heavy cream (just to help mix the powered sugar with butter)
3 tbs lemon juice
1) Mix your eggs together with your sugar until completely mixed
2) Add in your oil and lemon juice
3) In a seperate bowl, wisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt
4) Add in 1/2 flour mixture and 1/2 milk and mix together
5) Add in remainder of flour and milk and continue mixing until combined
6) Pour your mixture into 3-8 inch round cake pans (grease well)
7) Add 1/3 of blackberries to each pan
8) Bake at 325 degrees on middle rack for appx 35 minutes
9) Remove cake from pan and let cool before frosting
*If you have any loose crumbs on cake, refrigerate for 30 minutes before frosting
1) Whip butter with the mixer until completely smooth (make sure butter is soft before mixing)
2) Add in 1 cup of powered sugar and 1 tbsp of milk or heavy cream, at a time to butter and whip together.
3) Continue adding the sugar and cream and whipping until all powered sugar has been added to butter.
4)Now add in your lemon juice for flavor.
5)If your frosting is to dry add another tbsp of cream. If frosting is too thin add another 1/2 cup of powered sugar until you get the consistency you desire.
1)Spread frosting between layers and stack, evening up as much as possible
2)Now you are ready to frost your cake, add a few blackberries on top for decor and enjoy
You will not regret your choice for this cake!
And if you missed the DIY Tutorial for the Cute and Easy CakeStand, you can find it here: https://graceandgravy.com/2014/06/12/thursdays-diy-tutorialcakeplate/
Also today is June 24th! That means that Wild Iris Ridge is released today! If you haven’t read the reviews for this new book, please do! This is such a great summer read, that I am giving everyone permission to grab a cup of coffee, cuddle up in a comfy chair and spend the afternoon reading.
It is available for purchase online from Amazon @
or B&N @ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wild-iris-ridge-raeanne-thayne/1117254482?ean=9780373778591
Make sure to check it out!
After a very long search, my husby and I found a house and property in the country about 6 months ago. I was beginning to give up hope on finding anything, but I kept my faith and let God lead our family.
We were so excited but there was one stipulation………We had to sell our house first. So we contacted our realtor and she listed our house right away. We had really hoped for a quick sale, but apparently God had other plans.
One thing is in our favor. The house we are buying is actually owned by a friend of my husby. She has been so gracious and waiting on us, but I’m not sure she anticipated the wait to be this long. She has let a renter come in til we sell our house, which makes me feel better about keeping her waiting.
Yesterday marked the 6 months that our house has been on the market. Of course in our defense we listed our house appx 5 weeks before Thanksgiving. In all reality if a house don’t sell 2 weeks prior to the holiday, it normally will not sell til Spring. Now that Spring has Sprung, the grass is green, the leaves are on the trees and the flowers are blooming, we are praying that God will allow this season to be the one to end this chapter of our lives and begin the next one.
I am trying really hard not to give up hope, and to keep my faith and know that there is a reason that God to delaying this to happen. But when I look at the pictures I just think, “How could I not be in a hurry for this.”
I am so ready to start my Homesteading Life and get my 2 gardens planted. Yes, I said 2! this property has 2 huge gardens ready to till. We are also ready to build our chicken coop and start having fresh eggs.
I even found the style of coop we are wanting to build and now comes the hard part of picking the chickens.
But the part I am waiting on the most is getting to sit on my front porch and watch the sunrise and the sunset!
How could you not want to hurry up for this!
Blessings from soon to be our Green Acres!