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Out and About: Eureka Springs

Out and About: Eureka Springs | www.lemon-sugar.com
Last weekend, my husband and I made the quick drive down to the Eureka Springs/Little Rock Arkansas area for a long weekend.  We originally had grandiose plans to recreate our honeymoon for our ten year wedding anniversary, but it didn’t work out with our kids’ schedules and childcare and all of those other grown-up responsibilities that we have these days.  So – Arkansas it was.

I’m actually kind of glad that things worked out the way they did.  A week on the beach in Mexico would have been FAB-ulous but our quick little getaway took us on a lovely little adventure and we both had a really unexpectedly great time.

So, no recipe today, but instead the first of a two-part look into our little road trip.

The drive from Kansas City to Eureka springs was just over four hours, but wow – four hours of peace and quiet in the car with no fighting, no oblivious headphone-singing, no kicking-the-seat and inevitably spilling anything and everything they touch KIDS in the back of the car – whole different ballgame.  We talked, sipped our Starbucks, sang along to bad songs on the radio and took in the gorgeous scenery of the Ozark mountains.  It’s the little things.

Neither of us had been to Eureka Springs since we were kids, so we weren’t really sure what to expect.  One minute we were driving through winding hills and the next minute, the town was before us.  And it’s an ADORABLE, quaint, lovely little town.

Out and About: Eureka Springs | www.lemon-sugar.com
Since we pulled into town right at lunchtime, our first stop was a little restaurant that got great reviews everywhere I looked, the Local Flavor Cafe.  We snagged a cute little table right by the window, so we enjoyed some people watching while we ate our lunch.  I had goat cheese salad and quiche and my husband had a tilapia sandwich.  Both were delish.

Out and About: Eureka Springs | www.lemon-sugar.com
After lunch we took to the streets and did some shopping and exploring.  There are SO MANY little shops that it was hard to focus, but we started at one end of the strip and worked our way down to the other – which really was no small feat, it took nearly three hours to see what we wanted to see.  The shops are about half touristy and half artsy with a few vintage and antique shops scattered in there as well.

Of course, my favorites were the candy shops – complete with huge candy cases and every flavor of fudge you could possibly imagine.  I think we came home with four varieties of fudge – from salted caramel to pumpkin spice – and they all made me very happy.

Out and About: Eureka Springs | www.lemon-sugar.com
We only had an afternoon to explore – but honestly that was enough for us.  After a while, the stores all started to look the same.  We were hoping there would be a few more vintage shops but overall it was a great afternoon of window shopping and exploring the town.

And PS – the people-watching is INSANE.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a melting-pot of people in such a small area.  From bikers to hippies to artists to extremely wealthy, to families, couples, older folks – seriously an odd combination of people.

Out and About: Eureka Springs | www.lemon-sugar.com
Since we were wiped out from shopping and wandering around all afternoon, we jumped back in the car and drove around for a while – we checked out all of the old hotels, the bed-and-breakfasts, and the newer part of town. We had to drive by the famous Crescent Hotel, which is apparently haunted (and precisely the reason I refused to stay there) and it’s gorgeously big and old.  Lovely.  But scary, so no.

I can’t talk about it, but if you want to read more about it, knock yourself out.  Scary.

Out and About: Eureka Springs | www.lemon-sugar.com
We actually stayed in a fabulous cabin off the beaten path a bit – and I can’t say enough great things about “The Barn” at Cinnamon Valley.  The location was perfect – quiet, peaceful and beautiful.  The cabin was immaculately clean, comfortable and such a relaxing retreat after a long day of shopping.  There are eight other cabins to choose from, so if you are ever in the area, I can’t recommend it highly enough.  Go there.  Stay there.  (Click on the link for pictures of the inside!)

Out and About: Eureka Springs | www.lemon-sugar.com
We weren’t starving at dinnertime so we agreed upon a wine and cheese bar for dinner.  Holy yum, that was a fabulous idea. There is a fabulously gorgeous little restaurant on the strip called The Stonehouse and I have a major crush on them now.  This little gem alone was worth the drive to Eureka Springs.  An amazing selection of wines and cheeses, knowledgeable sommelier, live music and outdoor patio makes this momma waaaay happy.

Out and About: Eureka Springs | www.lemon-sugar.com
You can choose from several different cheese platters complete with fresh bread, fresh fruits, veggies, dipping sauces – the works.  We couldn’t decide so we went big – we ordered the Cosmopolitan Tray and were perfectly satisfied, and very pleased with our wine pairings.

It’s yum, you guys.  I don’t even have words for it.  Just – yum.

Out and About: Eureka Springs | www.lemon-sugar.com
Out and About: Eureka Springs | www.lemon-sugar.com
We had to get up and moving really early the next morning, so it was an early night, but our 12 hours in Eureka Springs was lots of fun.  The drive was beautiful, the people were very friendly, and the foodies in us were totally happy!

Stay tuned for part two of our little vacation – with a fun giveaway included.  Thanks for taking the time to read about our adventures – until next time, Eureka Springs!

 

Maple Bacon Biscuits

Maple Bacon Biscuits | www.lemon-sugar.com
I like to tell people that I don’t really like bacon.

If we’re being honest thought, that’s really only half true.  I DO like bacon, but I do NOT like chewy, gummy bacon.  I like it verrrrrrry crispy.  Otherwise, forget it.

Know what else I like?  Biscuits.  So, you know -might was well combine them, right?  Because then, you can put a nice fried egg and some cheese in the middle of it, and you’ll die and go to crispy bacon heaven.

Maple Bacon Biscuits | www.lemon-sugar.com
Every Sunday, we make a big, family breakfast.  It usually involves waffles at the insistence of my family, but occasionally I put my foot down and make something else – usually before my family even knows what’s going on – otherwise it’s waffles, every. single. week.

They’re good waffles, though, you should try them.

I’m usually a savory-breakfast kind of girl, so when I found this recipe I had to try it right away.  It’s a peppery, light, homemade biscuit, and it’s infused with (crispy) bacon pieces.  Perfect for breakfast sandwiches, and totally delish on their own with just a drizzle of maple syrup.

Maple Bacon Biscuits | www.lemon-sugar.com
I always find it surprising  how simple homemade biscuits are to make – they take just a few minutes more than popping open a can, and the payoff is totally worth your effort. However, there are a couple of tips that will take your homemade biscuits from good to great though, so take note:

1) Make sure your baking powder is fresh.  I do a lot of baking, and I replace mine about once every six-eight weeks.  I know they say you can keep it for up to six months, but the older it gets, the less it works.  It’s an inexpensive ingredient, so replace it often.

2) Make sure your butter is very cold.  If your butter melts, the biscuits won’t be flaky, they’ll be flat and greasy.  Use a good pastry cutter and cold butter, and you’ll be fine.

3) Don’t over-handle your dough.  The less you touch it, the better your biscuits.  The heat of your hands will melt the butter – see #2.

Maple Bacon Biscuits | www.lemon-sugar.com
As far as the bacon goes, I always, always, always cook my bacon in the oven on a cookie sheet.  No mess, it cooks evenly and is always perfectly crispy.  Here’s a great guide if you’re interested. I love that there is no mess to clean up – just throw away the foil and you’re done.  LOVE.

Plus, crispy bacon.   Maple Bacon Biscuits | www.lemon-sugar.com
If you aren’t into peppery biscuits, just reduce the amount of pepper or eliminate it all together.  And if you’re into maple syrup?  Add more!  My favorite breakfast sandwich on this biscuit was a cheese and scallion scrambled egg topped with a bit of mayo and sliced avocado. So. Good.

Hope you love this simple recipe as much as we do.

Enjoy!

♥erin

Maple Bacon Biscuits

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 36 minutes

Yield: 10-12 biscuits

Savory bacon biscuits are drizzled with a touch of maple syrup for sweetness. Perfect for breakfast sandwiches or on their own, this biscuit is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Recipe source: Adapted from BH&G Breakfast & Brunch 2014

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (12 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 cubes at last minute

1 and 1/4 cup buttermilk

6 slices crumbled bacon, divided

1/4 cup maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Prepare bacon, and crumble it. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F).
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, pepper, cream of tartar and salt.
  4. Cube the butter, then add it to the flour mixture.
  5. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  6. Make a well in the center of the flour, and add buttermilk and crumbled bacon, reserving 2 slices of bacon for garnish.
  7. Use a fork to stir it until just moistened.
  8. Turn dough on to a lightly floured surface, and shape into a disc. Roll it with a rolling pin until it's 1 inch thick.
  9. Cut with a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, dipping cutter into flour as needed.
  10. Reshape, re-roll and re-cut as necessary until all of the dough has been used.
  11. Place biscuits 1-inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  12. Sprinkle tops of biscuits with remaining pieces of crumbled bacon.
  13. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
  14. Drizzle hot biscuits with maple syrup, and enjoy warm.
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