everyday inspiration

Latest

life lately

{enjoying this || time at HOME after a lot of traveling}

{loving this || Husband’s first pedicure!}

{eating this || delicious Italian night at a friend’s house – complete with lots of wine + lots of laughs}

{celebrating this || girl’s birthday at bentonville’s very own speakeasy}

{traveling to this || an AMAZING radiohead concert in Kansas City – with a side of BBQ}

and not pictured: a wonderful few days with my aunt + friend catching up on life, eating great food, drinking cheap wine and seeing a thought-provoking play

xo xo

Gravy-Stuffed Biscuits {recipe}

I can’t say I’ve ever made biscuits and gravy. I love them and they make me think of my Dad and my Husband, but I’ve never made them.

A few weeks ago, Husband tagged me in a Tasty video on Facebook – Gravy-Stuffed Biscuits. They looked DIVINE and we vowed to make them together one weekend.

Well, we stuck to our vow and we are very impressed with ourselves because they were absolutely amazing. They’re so easy, and put a unique twist on the classic breakfast recipe. Next time we have to take a dish to a brunch or have people stay the night with us, these will be first on our list to make.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

G R A V Y  –  S T U F F E D   B I S C U I T S 

Ingredients:

  • 14 oz. ground italian sausage
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 8 biscuits – we used fluffy, buttery biscuits!
  • S+P and other seasoning options: italian seasoning, basil, thyme, sage

Directions:

1. Cook the sausage over medium-high heat.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Sprinkle the flour over the sausage and stir until the flour has absorbed all of the sausage fat and is lightly coating the sausage pieces.

3. Add the milk in several increments while whisking.

4. Season with S+P and anything else you may have – we used some italian seasoning.

5. Cook the gravy for 5-10 minutes, frequently stirring until the gravy thickens. Let cool.

6. Fill a well-greased ice-cube tray with the gravy OR if you’re like us and don’t have an ice-cube tray, you can use liners in a cupcake pan.

7. Freeze for 30-40 minutes.

8. Pre-heat the oven to 350.

9. Flatten out the biscuits, and place a cube of gravy into each of the biscuits.

10. Fold the sides of the biscuit dough around the gravy cube pinching the dough together at the top. Roll the biscuit balls to smooth them out.

11. Place the biscuits on a parchment lined ½ cookie sheet making sure the dough seams are on the bottom.

12. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

If you have leftover gravy, re-heat it and add on top! It would also be good to make gravy without sausage just for dipping.

xo xo

You might also enjoy: Slow Cooker Cuban SandwichesTwo New Easy Weeknight Meals: Butter Chicken + Sloppy Joe Stuffed Peppers

Book Reviews: California, Cults + Catastrophe

What She Knew – Gilly Macmillan: This falls in to the typical genre of books I lean towards – thriller with a lead female character who’s a little shady (a la Gone Girl, Girl on the Train). That being said, I enjoyed it enough, but it didn’t hold up against the others on the list which kept me turning the pages all night. The ending didn’t close all the holes and left you with an uneasy feeling.
Grade: B

Present Over Perfect – Shauna Niequiest: Let me start by saying, I love Shauna Niequiest. She gets me, I get her and she is just wonderful. I love love loved her book Bread and Wine, which I’ve reviewed previously, so I was highly anticipating this book. However, it kind of let me down. There were great points that I totally related to, especially the main point of the book being present over perfect, but it seemed to kind of ramble/drag on. This would have been better in a series of blog posts or a chapter or two of another book.
Grade: B+

The Girls – Emma Cline: This book has been on my list for forever, finally became available at the library, and oh my gosh I devoured it! Set in 1960s California, the book follows a teenage girl who gets caught up in a cult that ends very very badly. I was fascinated not only with the cult, but also the transformation of the main character. If you’re interested in cults at all or just want a unique read that will pull you in, this is for you.
Grade: A+

The River at Night – Erica Ferencik: What I learned from this book: I will never ever ever go white water rafting in a remote location, especially on an annual girls trip – which is exactly the basis of this book. The book started out a little slow and I almost put it down, but then it started getting intense and I just couldn’t turn my eyes away from the horror. And it was literally that, horror. I couldn’t put the book down the last 100 pages, though I’m not sure it’s because I was enjoying it. It still freaks me out to think about it now.
Grade: B+

You can read all my book reviews here.

xo xo

life lately

[Other than my recent trips to Chicago + Austin]

[being fashionistas at this || nwa fashion week]

[cheers-ing this || a new opportunity + great evening with friends]

[waking up to this || minneapolis x2]

[celebrating this || st. patrick’s day in downtown rogers]

[eating this || the best filet and sautéed mushrooms ever at mister b’s for a special date night with husband]

[loving this || sunday morning porch time]

xo xo

Food Picturebook: Austin

Introducing a new blog series – Food Picturebook. Because I love traveling, I love food, and I love taking pictures of food.

You can see the first food picturebook here when I went to LA a few months ago and ate amaaazing food, and I knew Austin would be just as amazing, if not better. And it was. And I may have a few extra pounds to show for it.

Enjoy the photos, try not to drool and add these restaurants to your must-eat list!

P E R L A ‘ S 

To be honest, at first I was a little disappointed that my first meal in Austin was not BBQ or Tacos, but the second I tasted this Shrimp & Grits it was all over. It was some of the best I’ve ever had – and that’s saying something because I’ve had a lot of amazing Shrimp & Grits! It had a cajun kick to it that made it just a little more special than usual and absolutely amazing. Isn’t it also pretty??

T O R C H Y ‘ S   T A C O S 

This place was exactly like the picture says – DAMN GOOD. This was a quick-serve restaurant, but still had way better tacos than any restaurant we have in NWA. I got The Democrat and The Trailer Park “trashy” – the latter was my favorite of the two. That’s a fried chicken strip in there! Also a must-get is the queso and quac. I can’t wait to go back and try more of the taco’s. And get more queso.

A B O   Y O U S S E F 

We know Austin is known for their food trucks, but this one seemed a little too authentic at first and was in a random part of town. But, I had heard great reviews from a friend and everyone on Yelp so I decided to try something different. The grilled chicken, rice, tabbouleh and hummus was incredible – perfectly authentic. Definitely not what I expected from Austin, but I’m glad I tried it!

B U R R O 

Food truck #2 was a huge success. How can you go wrong with a grilled cheese truck? Specifically when you order the mac and cheese grilled cheese?? This picture does not do it justice at all, but it was so freaking delicious I can even still taste it …

C O O P E R ‘ S   B B Q 

So this BBQ joint was actually not on the original list of recommendations we received, but, as we checked several of them out (Franklin’s has an 8+ hour wait, Salt Like was a bit of a drive out of town) we needed something different. Luckily, our “Uber” driver gave us this recommendation, and after validating it with a local friend, it was decided. The patio was amazing and the food was just as incredible as I anticipated. Pictured: Brisket, Beef Rib and Jalapeño Mac and Cheese. I may or may not have eaten my cold leftovers before boarding the plane the next morning ….

What’s your favorite restaurant in Austin? I’m already planning my next trip – all about the food!

xo xo

Slow-Cooker Cuban Sandwiches {recipe}

I thought I didn’t like Cuban sandwiches. I had no reason not to, and had never tried them, but I just didn’t like them.

Then we watched the movie Chef. If you like food trucks and indie movies, add this to your list immediately because the movie was incredible, and guess what – it made me really want to eat a Cuban sandwich.

We’ve found a place locally that serves amazing Cubans – Pinnacle Bar and Grill in Rogers. But then I saw this recipe for Slow-Cooker Cuban Sandwiches in a magazine and had to try it.

It wasn’t quite the same, but it was so easy and made a ton of food. This would be great to make for a football watch party or a family gathering. You make the pork in the crockpot (which is so tender and delicious!!) then anyone can add whatever toppings they want. Of course I would recommend you stick with the traditional Cuban of ham, swiss, pickles and dijon mustard.

Weekend plans complete: Make slow-cooker cuban sandwiches and watch Chef. 

Enjoy!

S L O W – C O O K E R   C U B A N   S A N D W I C H E S 

Ingredients

  • 2lb boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 6-in. sub rolls (we used King’s Hawaiian subs, but would also be great on a real sub)
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 oz. thinly sliced deli ham
  • 3 oz. thinly sliced Swiss cheese
  • Dill pickle chips

Directions

  1. Rub the pork with the garlic and salt and place in slow-cooker. Add the chicken stock. Cover and cook on low until the pork is very tender, 7 to 8 hours.
  2. Pull pork into 1- to 2-inch pieces; toss with the lime juice. Return to slow cooker to keep warm.
  3. Preheat broiler with the oven rack 6 inches from heat. Split the rolls. Spread the mustard on the bottom halves and top evenly with the pork, ham, and swiss cheese.
  4. Broil until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Top with the pickles and sandwich with the tops of the rolls.

See more of my favorite recipes here.

xo xo

Weekend Picturebook: Chicago

S A T U R D A Y 

img_2644

img_2652[lunch at portillo’s + catching up with my favorite walmartian-arkansan-chicagoans!]

img_2649[contemporary art museum]

img_2659[pre-dinner drinks at Pop’s Champagne (not pictured) then pizza at the famous Lou Malnati’s! it was amaaaazing]

img_2675[post-dinner walk along the beach with beautiful views of the skyline]

img_2679[the drake! my beautiful, old hotel in a perfect location]

S U N D A Y 

img_2686

img_2758[early morning walk on the beach – it was cold, but totally worth it]

img_2776[after the cold, long walk, I deserved this, right?? vanilla bean + chocolate old fashioned from glazed and infused]

img_2780[art institute of chicago was incredible – saw some of my favorites from renoir + monet. I could have spent all day in here!]

img_2797[cliche bean picture + walk through millennium park – then more walking, eating, and shopping before …]

img_2819[the big event – oscars war room! we were certainly exhausted by the end of it, but very proud of a successful campaign]

If you didn’t see the Oscars and are interested in learning more about how we played a part in the night, check out these videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLs6zAwIMDe3MCfYpFAi2PYe9TtUJC3Ig9 

xo xo