LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Dining with Debbie) - Featuring (adapted) recipes from Feasts of Eden by Ruby C. Thomas one of the original owners of The Red Apple Inn at Eden Isle in Arkansas.

It’s no secret that our family loves spending time at the Red Apple Inn. I have written several posts on my blog telling its story. My friend Rex Nelson in his Southern Fried blog has also written some very interesting pieces about Herbert and Ruby Thomas, original owners.

The Thomases set about to create a fine dining experience with the opening of the restaurant at the Red Apple Inn, and it has continually been rated as one of the most romantic atmospheres in the state. The views from the main dining room are breathtaking.


Paradise Pie (adapted)

Serves 6

I first had this simple but delicious dessert 30 years ago in Booneville, Arkansas. It is still a favorite at the Red Apple. It is quickly made and freezes well.” Ruby Thomas


• 3 egg whites, at room temperature

• 1 cup granulated sugar

• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided

• 1 teaspoon coconut extract

• 1 1/2 cups grated coconut, divided

• 20 saltine cracker squares, crumbled fine in a food processor

• 1 cup pecans, chopped and toasted

• 1/2 pint heavy cream, whipped


1. Butter a 9-inch pie plate; set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff

4. Gradually add in sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon coconut extract and 1 cup coconut continuing to beat during additions

5. Fold in crumbled crackers and pecans.

6. Pour batter into prepared pie plate and bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees.

7. Cool completely. Freeze until shortly before serving.

8. In a chilled mixing bowl with chilled beaters, beat whipped cream with 1 teaspoon vanilla until stiff.

9. Top cooled (or frozen) pie with whipped cream and sprinkle with 1/2 cup lightly toasted grated coconut.


Chicken Breasts Eden Isle

Serves 6


• freshly cracked black pepper

• 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts*

• 6 slices Petit Jean hickory smoked bacon

• 1 jar dried beef

• 2 cans low-sodium cream of chicken soup

• 1 1/2 cups sour cream (or nonfat, plain Greek yogurt)

• 1 8-ounce package cream cheese

Directions are available on Dining With Debbie.

*Boneless, skinless breasts may be used with cooking time adjusted


Angel Biscuits (Ruby’s and Sally’s)

Apparently, Herbert Thomas expected fresh bread on the table with every meal.

Here’s Ruby’s recipe:

Makes about 18 biscuits


• 1/8 teaspoon dry yeast

• 2 Tablespoons warm water

• 2 cups flour

• 1/8 teaspoon soda

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1 heaping tablespoon baking powder

• 3/4 cup Crisco

• 1 cup buttermilk


10. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

11. In a small bowl, mix yeast with warm water; let stand to proof.

12. Combine flour, soda, salt and baking powder.

13. With two forks or a pastry blender, work Crisco shortening into flour mixture until well mixed.

14. Knead with hands until ready to roll to a thin dough

15. Cut with a biscuit cutter. Do not twist the cutter or biscuits will not rise properly.

16. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes or until well browned.

I think my friend Sally Brown’s Angel Biscuits are just as delicious. Follow the link to get Sally’s version. LINK.

Try both recipes and let me know what you think.


Grits Cooked in Chicken Broth

These grits are always on the menu at the Red Apple.


• 1 cup quick cooking grits

• 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

• white pepper

• unsalted butter


1. Cook grits according to package directions, substituting chicken broth for water.

2. Season to taste with white pepper and butter.


English Toffee Cookies

You just won’t believe how addictive these cookies are! Mrs. Thomas’s daughter, Jean Gordon, is credited with making these for the afternoon tea time at The Red Apple. “Even when I freeze them for later, they disappear as soon as someone discovers them.”


• 1/2 cup unsalted butter

• 1 cup granulated sugar

• 1 room temperature egg yolk

• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• 1 cups all-purpose flour

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1 room temperature egg white, beaten

• 2 cups chopped toasted pecans

Find the directions on Dining With Debbie


Coming soon to Dining With Debbie:

Dutch Apple Bread
Chicken Salad Supreme

(Source: Dining with Debbie)