A heck of a cookbook | Eat Arkansas

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A heck of a cookbook

Posted By on Sun, Apr 3, 2011 at 11:09 PM

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS:  Mary Jordans Brownie Cheesecakes
  • Kat Robinson
  • BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: Mary Jordan's Brownie Cheesecakes
Went to the big to-do over at CARTI today, celebrating the network's 35th birthday and its new cookbook, Festivities, Too. Amazing the folks that came to hob-nob — former and current CARTI administrators, employees and volunteers; former and current patients and some of the biggest names in Arkansas life. Lots of amazing folks there sharing stories that were truly enlightening. Former Arkansas first lady Janet Huckabee told the crowd about her treatment the year CARTI opened, back in 1976. Senator Mark Pryor shared his story of treatment. And First Lady Ginger Beebe talked about how she became involved with CARTI, starting with her aunt's treatment and her continued involvement with the organization.

POTENT:  Coconut orange balls
CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT:  Easy Peach Punch, Toasted Pecans, Banana Cookies, Spinach Tortilla Wraps, Toffee Crunch Cookies, Pimento Cheese Sandwiches
  • Kat Robinson
  • CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT: Easy Peach Punch, Toasted Pecans, Banana Cookies, Spinach Tortilla Wraps, Toffee Crunch Cookies, Pimento Cheese Sandwiches
Of course, what was I there for? To sample some of the dishes offered in the new cookbook. I preview a lot of cookbooks. I usually end up taking a recipe at random and checking it out at home before I go about sharing that information — and I still plan to do some of that. It's not like I will be remiss on that — there are nearly 1200 recipes in the book, including some from dozens of Arkan-Stars, famous folks in Hollywood, politics, pageants and the like that have donated recipes for inclusion. Don't worry — though it's a substantial book it's easy to handle with its ringed-binder sort of set-up.

What did I like the best from what was sampled? Wow, there were quite a few things. The First Lady's Banana Cookies were very unusual and tasty. I doted on the Coconut Orange Balls from Elizabeth Heard, the president of the Searcy unit's auxillary. Kelly Richard's Spinach Tortilla Wraps had a nice kick to them.

PHENOMENAL:  Smoked salmon quiche in wonton crusts
  • Kat Robinson
  • PHENOMENAL: Smoked salmon quiche in wonton crusts
I was glad to get a taste of Linda Varner Palmer's Easy Peach Punch, and relished Ann Freely's beautiful and delicious Smoked Salmon Quiche in Wonton Crusts. Awesome.

You can see more of my favorites over in the photo section of our Eat Arkansas Facebook page. And if you'd like your very own copy of Festivities, Too, you can pick up a copy at any CARTI location, at Summit Bank or by ordering online via PayPal (scroll to the bottom of the page). The big book is $25, which comes out to just over two cents a recipe. Can't beat that with a stick.

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