It might only be the middle of the month, but there are so many fun Halloween DIY drinks and treats, we had to share.
Here are four spooky cocktails to get you into the ghoulish spirit, pulled from the thekitchn.com:
Vampire Kiss Martini, courtesy of Cooking with Sugar
Rim a martini glass with the strawberry syrup. Drizzle some on the inside of the glass so it drips. Pour vodka into a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into prepared martini glass. Add teeth on the side of the glass as a garnish.
*For best results, prepare your glasses ahead of time and freeze them with the sugar and syrup on them. Remove from freezer just before serving.
The Weeping Woman, courtesy of Muy Beuno Cookbook
In a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice, combine brandy, juices, and sugar. Cover, shake vigorously for 15 seconds, and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with a few drops of bitters. Add some dry ice for a spooky effect.
*Dry ice is quite safe to use in drinks, but you should not touch it. Wait for the ice to melt before actually drinking it as it can burn your skin.
Black + Orange Rum Punch, courtesy of BRIT + CO.
Mix together orange juice through rum in a large cocktail shaker or liquid measuring cup; shake with ice or refrigerate until chilled.
Place sugar in a small bowl and add food coloring. Mix until uniform in color, adding additional food coloring until desired color is reached. Run an orange or lime slice around the rim of the glass. Alternatively, dip rims onto a plate filled with water. Coat rims with sugar by dipping in the black sugar mixture.
Place three to four blackberries in the bottom of each glass and crush. Slowly pour cocktail over blackberries. Garnish with a toothpick topped with a blackberry.
Candy Corn Martini with Pop Rocks, courtesy of Boulder Locavore
For more cocktail ideas, click here.
InArkansas.com is in the thirteenth week of its fun weekly series -- Instagram Wednesday -- where we highlight our favorite Instagram photo from this week, featured on right here on @inarkansasblog. Be sure to follow us for food photos, cool stuff from our favorite retailers and sneak peeks at the newest exhibits and activities from around the state!
This week, we decided to do a throwback from Aug. 2: the best lunch around at Charlotte's Eats and Sweets in Keo.
On the way back from judging the yummy rice competition at the Arkansas Rice Expo in Stuttgart (remember the delicious rice recipe?), I decided to take a little detour to one of my favorite lunch-and-dessert places, Charlotte's Eats and Sweets in Keo.
I have to thank my coworker, Bethany, and her husband David for introducing me to this place!
This time on my way back, I had to get takeout because I needed to get back the capital city pronto to finish out my day at work.
I'm a turkey sandwich-kind-of-girl, so I decided to go with that and crinkle-cut potato chips. The famous pie shop has a few more sandwiches on its menu, including the famous "Keo Classic," along with salads, burgers, and plenty of sweet treats to go around, including shakes, sundaes, malts, amazing cakes (like the Italian Creme I got for lunch that day), and the most extraordinary of them all, homemade pies.
Oh, the pies.
On the chalkboard in the front and back-end of the house, you'll see all of the desserts and pies available that day and believe me, they go fast. And once they're gone, they're erased from the board.
Homemade pies range from chocolate, cherry and apple (my favorite!) to caramel and the most famous, the coconut meringue, named Southern Living magazine's best pie of the South!
The little eatery, located at 290 Main Street, U.S. 165, Keo, in a small shopping center right off of Hwy. 165, is just open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and you better believe, that place is packed!
Be sure to bring your cash or checkbook-- they don't accept debit or credit cards.
For more information about this little treasure, call (501) 842-2123.
JavaPrimo’s newest location has recently opened at 614 Main St., Arkadelphia, featuring the same friendly service and delicious food and drinks as the Hot Springs location, 4429 Central Ave., Suite A.
The Arkadelphia store shares the charm and warm inviting environment that has been the signature of the Hot Springs store for almost five years now. Arkadelphia has the added charm and elegance of antique metal ceiling tiles, original bricks and other little pieces of the historic building that were saved and uncovered during the renovation process. The building is believed to be the oldest commercial building in Clark County.
The official ribbon cutting and open house for JavaPrimo – Arkadelphia is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7.
For breakfast JavaPrimo features everything from the popular Eggs Benedict, to quiche, breakfast sandwiches, wraps or bagels, freshly baked pastries and even biscuits and gravy. The fresh fruit is the most popular side to pair with this delicious breakfast experience.
Lunch at JavaPrimo features freshly made soups, paninis, salads, wraps and much more. Dinner (after 4 p.m. daily) features a feta and mushroom sirloin, seared ahi tuna, honey glazed salmon, chipotle shrimp, smothered chicken and much more. Friday and Saturday nights feature a 16-18 oz bone-in ribeye. And top off the meal with one of the made-from-scratch desserts, such as carrot cake, Italian cream cake, mocha cake, chocolate cream pie, coconut cream pie, molasses pecan pie and sweet potato pie.
View the full menu and get more information here.
Cache, which will be a new fine dining restaurant in a casual setting located in the new Arcade Building in Little Rock’s River Market District, is accepting bookings for corporate and private holiday luncheons, dinners, receptions and parties for the month of December.
The restaurant plans its public opening New Year’s Eve.
The Johnson Studio of Atlanta created the restaurant’s chic, but urban interior. Their recent projects include design for Roof in Chicago, Eiffel Tower II in Las Vegas, Red in Miami Beach, and Vivace in Charlotte, N.C.
The two-story restaurant includes approximately 10,000 square-feet of space with seating for 200 with a first-floor bar and bar lounge, fine dining, fireplace and water features. The second floor offers a smaller bar and both open and private executive dining.
Cache will offer a full range of dining styles from cool after-work casual to The Chef’s Table. The culinary staff is managed by Payne Harding with executive chef Matthew Cooper and sommelier Jeff Yant.
For additional information or to book an event, call executive chef Matthew Cooper at (501) 626-4414.
This is the sixth installment in our series "In Season at the Farmers Market" where we do just that -- explore what is in season at the moment.
This month, sweet potatoes are in their peak season.
The domestication of the sweet potato goes way back -- some 5,000 years. In the U.S., this relative of the morning glory has been grown since the 16th century. In the U.S., the terms “sweet potato,” and “yam,” are used interchangeably, but true yams are in a different family. However, the U.S. Agriculture Department requires that vegetables labeled as “yams,” also be identified as sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are low in fat and high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of heart disease. They’re also high in vitamin B-6, vitamin C and potassium and a good source of dietary fiber. A baked-in-the-skin sweet potato has only 103 calories and just four grams of fat.
“One of the best qualities about sweet potatoes is their ability to fit into both sweet and savory dishes,” said Dr. Rosemary Rodibaugh, extension nutrition specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “It’s easy on the chef, too – it can be baked, boiled, steamed, roasted or even microwaved. However, don’t freeze sweet potatoes because that will ruin the firm texture and render them mushy.”
Buying and storage tips:
For more information and recipes for preparing sweet potatoes, ask for FCS727 from your county extension office or visit www.uaex.edu.
Farmers markets open to get your sweet potatoes:
Farmers Market West, Promenade at Chenal, 17711 Chenal Pkwy., Little Rock-- The new farmers market takes over the west Little Rock shopping center from 1-5 p.m. every Saturday until Oct. 26. Support local Arkansas farmers, try food samplings, enjoy local artist music and more. Vendors include: North Pulaski Farms, Laughing Stock Farm, Little Rock Urban Farming and Barnhill Orchards. New!
Little Rock Farmers Market, River Market Pavilions, 400 President Clinton Ave.: Filled with farmers selling farm-fresh produce straight to consumers from the backs of their trucks from early morning until mid-afternoon every April through October, patrons can find bargains on Arkansas crops as well as a bountiful array of handmade arts and crafts at the farmers market. There will be a variety of fresh produce, including sweet potatoes! The market now offers a special "Veggie Valet" service, where you can leave your purchases with the valet and receive a claim ticket. Enjoy the River Market at your leisure and when you are ready, drive to the pig fountain on the north side of the pavilions and the valet will load your items for you. Talk about easy!
Bernice Garden Farmers Market, 1401 South Main St., Little Rock: The SoMa farmers market sells sustainable fruits, veggies, nuts, berries, flowers, herbs, cheeses and tons of cool artisan goods. The market is open every Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until the fall.
Argenta Farmers Market, 6th and Main Streets, North Little Rock: From 7 a.m. - noon every Saturday, the public can peruse the various vendors selling tons of artisan goods and fresh produce, including sweet potatoes. It's on the River Rail Trolley route with an abundance of free parking, making it easy to get in and out! Call (501) 993-1234 for more information.
Hillcrest Farmers Market, in front of Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd, Little Rock: The year-round farmers market, which is open 7 a.m. - noon Saturdays, will have a large variety of goods and produce. Carolyn Staley, the associate pastor of the Pulaski Heights Baptist Church (the farmers market is located in front of it) and the market liaison, said at least two farmers are bringing sweet potatoes to sell, including Barnhill Orchards and Felder Farms.
What's the difference between any old tamale and an Arkansas Delta Tamale? Beef!
Learn how a man from Sicily came to Helena, started a family and reinterpreted a Mexican classic -- and how through family ties and a soul food restaurant, a tamale was created so tasty you'll, pardon the borrowed phrase, "suck the shuck." Get the scoop about Pasquale's Tamales over at Tie Dye Travels here.
This is the latest in a series on historical restaurants in the state of Arkansas from Kat Robinson, a food and travel writer based in Little Rock who details her many adventures on the Tie Dye Travels With Kat Robinson blog. Check out Kat's upcoming book, Classic Eateries of the Ozarks and Arkansas River Valley, at ClassicEateries.com.
Looking for a way to really customize your next extravaganza or even small get-together?
We've stumbled upon Sweet Creations by DJ, 115 Wallace Bridge Road, Perryville, Ark., and we have to say, this is a must-try if you're looking for yummy chocolate treats with a little personalization.
The unique business specializes in chocolate engraving with Jeannie Baldridge as the creative force. Just about any picture, name or saying can be engraved in one of her delicious treats.
What's really cool is that she actually makes the chocolate herself and takes the healthy route-- it's tree nut-free, peanut-free, egg-free and celiac safe. It contains no wax or fillers (as do many commercial chocolates). Did I mention it's delicious?
Plenty of customers have gotten on board with Sweet Creations, ordering in bulk, including The Peabody in Memphis, J. Oliver's and Ausum Realty.
She doesn't only do bulk orders for business, though. Baldridge can create business cards (cool, huh?), greeting cards, gift packs for guests at your event and for those with weddings coming up, Sweet Creations can create name place cards at your reception tables, as well as party favors and beautiful edible decorations!
Sweet Creations can ship chocolate anywhere in the U.S. and they already have several orders from out of state.
Check out some of her beautiful work here and call (501) 432-1912 for more information and to place an order.