The Southern Expat Communique: New York observations of a displaced belle

Red letter days lead to exploration of word clouds

After a beautiful day in Little Rock, filled with friends, a milestone, puppy kisses, some amazing food, and remarkable conversation, I was too amped up to take a nap with my husband. As I sat down with Ken Burns’ account of Baseball, I set out to discover how to conjure a word cloud.

As luck would have it, Tagxedo (a very easy and fun to use website) populated the top of my search. I plugged in the ole Southern Expat website to populate the cloud with personalized phrases and words, and out popped the graphic below. How cool is that?! I’m simply charmed!

Tagxedo lets you opt out of using particular words, change the colours, pick your shape, and much more. I know this is going to be at least a minor obsession of mine. Speaking of, have y’all watched Legal Eagles in your adult life? Put that on your list too, friends.

To craft your own, go to!



tacos, potatoes, shortcakes, and more!

Well, this combo turned out nicely this week: homemade shrimp tacos, mashed Yukon gold potatoes, strawberry shortcake. Yummmm! Paired with a couple of Modelos, we were one happy couple! 

In case these dishes pique your interest, here are two recipes to get you started! 

Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing 

1 packet dry ranch dressing mix (I prefer Hidden Valley)

1 c. mayonnaise 

2 Tbs. whole milk 

juice of 1/2 of 1 lime

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 c. chopped cilantro

1/4 c. salsa verde or tomatillo salsa

2-4 Tbs. Crystal hot sauce (or to taste)

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Refrigerate for an hour or more.

Terrific with salad, crudités, or as a dressing on spicy shrimp! 


Homemade Shortcakes*

*my favorite nickname

1/4 c. sugar

2 & 1/2 c. Bisquick® mix

1/2 c. milk

3 Tbs. butter or margarine, melted

In medium bowl, blend Bisquick, milk, 3 tablespoons sugar and the butter until soft dough forms. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. 

Top with fresh strawberries, whipped cream, butter, or warm honey…anything you care to pair with a delicious biscuity treat! 



Big Gay Ice Cream

Who can hate creative toppings on his soft serve?  Someone who hates life…that’s who.  NYC’s Big Gay Ice Cream Truck is a an amazing addition to the City’s standby, but hum drum, Mr. Softee trucks with the same broke down music we experience in Arkansas.  Leslie, I really hate it that Do Your Ears Hang Low? continues to plague us while we are 1400 miles apart.

I can’t vouch for the BGICT’s music one way or another, but it certainly gets points for originality.  Nutella, wasabi dust, and a treat called the Bea Arthur are just a few reasons to check out this very festive, very mobile, happy-maker.  Time Out New York agrees:

Here is the link: where you can find the daily location, get news, and sign up for Big Gay Tweets.

Bon Appetit!