Sunday, February 28, 2010

Haven’t been to the Tea Room in downtown Rogers lately? It’s time.


Posted by Lyndi

When I first moved to Northwest Arkansas back in 1996, my office was located in historic downtown Rogers.
It was a magical work location for someone transplanted from California. Imagine my surprise and constant delight to be surrounded by the local farmers market, numerous hometown parades, a coffee shop around the corner, and dedicated shop owners who were more than out to get your money, they wanted to share their heart and soul.

One of the downtown draws was the Crumpet Tea Room, located on the corner of 1st and Elm in a unique building, circa 1876. When they moved out several years ago to their new location (Interiors Galleria and north Bentonville), a new restaurant took their place: The Tea Room at Vinson Square.

The Tea Room at Vinson Square at first glance seems quite similar to the old Crumpet Tea Room: offering home made quiche, stuffed potatoes, fruit salad with poppy seed dressing, and the oh-so-wonderful orange rolls.
The new Tea Room is different. How?

Pro: Service is fast. Yes, fast. (Don’t worry, you can still linger over tea if you want to).
Pro: There are more options on the menu: soups, bread (not just croissants) and even grilled chicken strips.
Pro: There are dessert options beyond the orange roll: French silk pie, cheesecake, coconut cream pie, and scones.
Pro: Daily specials. Imagine that. Good for you, Tea Room at Vinson Square. Check out their site for daily special.
Pro: Open Tuesdays-Saturday from 11am-2pm; closed Sunday-Monday.

How does it taste? Clean and fresh. Worth a try.

I hope you put this on your next downtown Rogers visit! You day may go like this: morning coffee at Ironhorse, shop at New2You Consignment shop (high quality only ladies clothing store), stroll all the shops, and finish with lunch at Tea Room.

Sigh. Did I mention that I miss having our office in downtown Rogers?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hurry! Fayetteville’s Restaurant Week ends this Sunday!

Posted by Lyndi

There’s still plenty of time to check out the great deals in Fayetteville this weekend because Fayetteville’s Restaurant Week ends this Sunday. Now is the perfect time to try that restaurant you’ve been wanting to try.

What is Fayetteville Restaurant Week? It’s a celebration of the local flavor of participating Fayetteville restaurant.
Here’s a sampler to taunt your appetite:

Common Grounds: A free cup of soup with any entrée
Greenhouse Grille: Organic Shiitake Fries served with Tarragon Ranchero and Magic Catsup for $8; Free Range chicken and Apricot Marsala with Leeks and Organic Shiitake Mushrooms served over Ozark Vegetable Hash for $18; All Natural Grass Fed Beef Meatloaf, Lemon Infused with Carrots, Peppers and Onions with Garlic Smashed Potatoes and Sautéed Onions for $12
Jose’s: Kids eat free all week and free cheese dip with dinner

Check out their website for more details. Enjoy!

Special buy at Allen’s: Organic frozen veggies, just $1.19 a package!

Posted by Lyndi

Oh yeah, and they taste super fresh, too! And can you believe that price? Too good to pass up!

We stocked up our freezer with the organic green beans (the long, skinny type of green beans), the organic peas, and the organic tri-color bell pepper strips. Other organic vegetables available are corn, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach leaves, and multi-vegetable blend.

This is what I love about Allen’s Market in Bella Vista (located on 71B, next to the Sugar Creek movie theater). They stock a wide variety of options in every category and they always have special buys of unique items throughout the store. It makes shopping more of a experience rather than a chore.

So hurry up and stock up on this great find! When it’s gone, it’s gone.

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quick tip: Releasing the full flavor of basil.


Posted by Lyndi

So you are making pesto and are just about ready to drop in a handful of basil leaves into the pesto.

Wait! Stop! There is one more step you must do!

Slip the basil in a Ziploc bag, and pound gently to bruise the leaves, ever so slightly.

This releases the full flavor of basil.

Now, continue on with what you were doing.

You’re welcome.

Think buying basil is too expensive? Think again.

Posted by Lyndi

Want to make your own pesto but just can’t make yourself purchase the plastic clamshell package with six sprigs for $2.97 at the grocery store. Then knowing that you will need to purchase five or six of these containers? I don’t blame you!

What if I told you there was a place here in Northwest Arkansas where you can purchase a healthy handful of basil… for only $0.69 a bunch?

I tell you the truth.

All you have to do is to head on over to Hong Son Oriental Food Market. Located in historic downtown Rogers on the corner of W Cypress and 7th Street (next to the Boys & Girls Club). Closed on Mondays. Fresh produce delivered on Thursday afternoon.

For those of you not living in Northwest Arkansas (seriously, why not? It’s a beautiful area!), have you checked out your local oriental market?

Happy shopping!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Have you had a Tim-Tam-Slam?


How to do the Tim Tam Slam (c)nwafoodie


We did something really fun as a team last week. We had a potluck for lunch.

Not just any old potluck… this one had a theme.

Where is your favorite vacation spot and bring a dish that represents your favorite vacation spot.”

What a blast! As expected in the middle of the coolest winter that Northwest Arkansas has had in years, there were a plethora of tropical themes, photos, and dishes. It was a thrill to get to know my work-friends in a new way and their favorite vacation spots spanned the globe.

And then… we all learned how to do the… Tim-Tam-Slam!

Ever heard of it? Neither had we.

Here’s the story:

Angela Pruitt (super-cool gal, only DON’T call her Angie) spent six months in New Zealand on a work visa right after college. She shared photos, stories, and… to our suprise we were all ordered to get a cup of coffee so we could experience her dish that represented New Zealand.

So, we were all given a Tim-Tam cookie and then given the step-by-step Tim-Tam-Slam instructions.

Ready?

1. 
Bite off one corner of the Tim-Tam cookie.

2. 
Bite off the opposite corner of the Tim-Tam cookie.

3. 
Your Tim-Tam cookie is now a straw. Use the bitten off ends to “suck” in the coffee. I know, it sounded strange to us. Try it. Again, think of your cookie as a straw.

4. 
As soon as your Tim-Tam cookie fills up with the coffee, pull it out of the cup and “slam” it into your mouth by flipping it. Do it quickly!

5. 
Ahhhh…. It should melt in your mouth like a little piece of cloud-heaven. You know you did it right if you moan, according to Angela. If it doesn’t work the first time, try and try again until you succeed!

Thanks Angela for sharing the Tim-Tam-Slam with all of us! She ended up ordering a case on Amazon so that made it extra nice.

… but wait… good news Northwest Arkansas!

Tim-Tams are available at Allen’s Market in Bella Vista (on 71B, next to the movie theater) and are just $1.99 a package! Hurry, because this was a special buy and the manager says he hopes to make it a permanent side counter item!  It is also an everyday side counter item at Target in Rogers.

P.S. Sorry my gluten-free friends. Tim-Tams are not GF. I had to “fake” the photo above. See, I’m not really eating it!

Zinfandel Wine Dinner at Soul Restaurant is next Tuesday!


Posted by Lyndi
For all of you Soul-lovers (like me) and for all of you who have yet to try them out (what? why not?)… are you looking for something really special to do this coming Tuesday night?
This is a one-night only special treat!
Soul Restaurant & Lounge in Fayetteville is hosting a Zinfandel Wine Dinner at 7pm on Tuesday, February 23rd at 7pm. So it is the best of both worlds: you will be guaranteed a mouth-watering array of food from the Soul Boys (and who wouldn’t want that?) and Zinfandel to please the taste buds (my happy place, thank you). Oh, and let’s not forget the cherry on top: you will get the pleasure of Chef Brooks and Case, the Soul Boys who make the magic happen!
Times up… you’re in, right? Make the call today to reserve your spot at 479-442-0800. $55 per person.
Soul Restaurant & Lounge is located at 3878 N. Crossover Road in Fayetteville (in the old Chloe restaurant building). They are open for Lunch, Tuesday-Friday from 11am to 2pm; Dinner, Tuesday-Friday from 5pm-10pm (lounge open until 11pm) and Friday-Saturday from 5pm-11pm. Don’t forget Sunday, too! Brunch 10am-2pm.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Make your own GF pancakes (it’s a piece of cake!).


Posted by Lyndi

Yes, my friends, I am so bad at baking that I even mess us pre-made pancake mixes.
BUT NOT ANY MORE!

I can confidently confide in you that I. MAKE. MY. OWN. PANCAKES. FROM. SCRATCH. Yes, it’s true! And you can, too… it’s so easy it’s a piece of cake (sorry, bad pun).

Here’s the best part… my husband says it’s the best pancakes he has ever had… and they are gluten-free! So there is ZERO compromise on taste! How about that?!!

Try it out… see for yourself!

Yogurt-Rice Flour Pancakes
Makes 16 three inch pancakes (so says the book, but mine yields less)

Ingredients
½ cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 larger egg
1 tablespoon canola oil
½ cup plain whole milk yogurt

Instructions
Combine the rice flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, canola oil, and yogurt. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. The batter will look thick and puffy. Heat a heavy nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat, but do not grease it.* Add the batter by the heaped tablespoons, spacing the pancakes 1 inch apart and flattening the batter a little with the back of the spoon. Cook until golden on both sides, 2 minutes or less. Stack on heated plates or keep warm in a low oven.
· *A gluten-free batter makes exceptionally tender pancakes, and cooking them on an ungreased nonstick griddle ensures a fine surface texture. It also prevents the aroma of burned b utter from permeating your kitchen. The recipe can be doubled easily.

The Wheat-Free Cook, by Jacqueline Mallorca © 2007
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