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Showing posts from May, 2008

Happy Happy Joy Joy

My mom is just the best! We had a great time this weekend, catching up, planning our next trip together - England and Scotland, in Sept.! - and just being silly together, which is what we really do best.
Foodwise, I managed to kick off the rut I spoke of last, and enjoyed many things - Friday, we grilled eggplant, zucchini and asparagus, and put those over romaine lettuce and wheat tabbouleh, with some cucumber-mint sauce and YUM YUM. Saturday, we did yoga and walked, then hit the Green Hills Mall (yeah, a little Memorial Day Commerce, how vulgar) for lunch at Bronte (Erin: Crab cakes, Mother Dear: Black Bean Burger), and then after browsing way too many baby doll shirts and stuff I would just never wear, we headed home to pack a picnic. Some of the dinner leftovers stuffed into pitas, some excellent cheeses, white bean dip with rosemary, and crudites filled the cooler. Off we went to Franklin's Arrington Vineyards for "Music In the Vines." We set up on their front lawn w…

Food Ruts

Suffice it to say I'm in a food rut now. In the past week, I've eaten pizza twice, BBQ, salmon club, scraps of salad thrown together by whatever abandoned veggies remain in the crisper drawer, and let's see...an over-onioned felafel wrap that just wasn't even good.
I spent $145 last weekend at Publix and about $5 on strawberries at the Nashville Farmer's Market, but somehow that $150 didn't take us very far.
When I'm industrious and uber-planning ahead, I make menus on the back of my grocery list. I did that this week, but then I went and lost the damn list. Somehow my entire nutritional worth hinges on that one scrap of paper!
My lovely mother Margaret is in town this weekend and I plan to eat well with her. Hopefully no felafel or pizza will mar our Memorial Day plans. I am envisioning yoga, a walk at Centennial, maybe a visit to Arrington Winery, and a day trip to Chattanooga...and some top secret birthday celebrations. In between, some great food to fuel o…

Berry Good Times

Calling all fruit fanatics...Where are all the great places to find farm-fresh strawberries?
I missed the good ones at the Nashville Farmers Market yesterday. I did buy a quart of them from one of the few vendors still out at 5:30 in the afternoon, but they looked a little on the waxy/sprayed side.
I plan to track down a "U-Pick" farm nearby and get some soon. In the meantime, Scott and I may head out to the Portland (Tenn.) Strawberry Festival this weekend if our early morning Tour de Nash volunteer shift doesn't wear us out. I really would love to check out the "World's Largest Strawberry Shortcake" they're trying to build. I could be the Cool Whip spreader!
Does anyone have a favorite place for fresh strawberries? Let me know, please!

Shrimp & Grits and more

Our extended weekend at Sullivan's Island, SC was great, with plenty of food and drink to be had. If you're in the Charleston area, check out The Mustard Seed, a great local restaurant serving vegetarian, Tex-Mex, Thai, Lowcountry and just about every other kind of food. Prices are reasonable ($10-15 for well-portioned entrees).

Of course, going to the beach is also about cooking and eating lots of homemade food, at least in my family tradition. This includes Shrimp & Grits. My dad's taught me a pretty simple, yet tasty roux one can make sauteeing onions and celery (finely minced) in a mixture of butter (for flavor) and oil (so that butter doesn't burn). Once the veggies are getting good and cooked down, water, flour, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic power and salt and pepper finish things off. The main tricker with a good roux is to not add too much flour at a time, as it will turn into a clumpy mess in a hurry if you're not constantly stirring and a…

Quickies for Nashville Dining

Gotta go soon, but I thought I'd give some shout-outs to a couple places for Nashville foodies.

1) Mama Mia's on Trousdale. Forget that it's a cinder block building or that it's directly next to a convenience store. Instead, enjoy the B.Y.O.B. factor and order up their bread, salad and delicious pastas. We've visited three times in about two months and love it. It's devoid of the usual Nashville scenester pretentiousness of most restaurants. I mean, c'mon -it's cinder block. But, it's amazing pasta.

2) Kebab Gyros on Rosa Parks Blvd. in MetroCenter, next to Watkins College. My new work lunch spot. Go for the Greek Chicken Salad with tabbouleh and their hummus is fantastic. Their white dressing is nothing like tzaziki, the usual cucumber/yogurt dressing you see in middle eastern spots, but it's the freshness of the ingredients that make you overlook the minor dressing detail.

A minor "What Gives?" to Mitchell's Deli, a new spot on the …

Elbows Up on the Local Table

Kudos to the publishers of a relatively new Foodie 'zine in town, Local Table. The free publication aims to promote the Slow Food movement and picking up on the momentum that the "locavore" trend (Google Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal Vegetable Miracle" and the Splendid Table's Locavore Nation for info on locavore-ing) that is well, so trendy now. It's THE thing now to do what's pretty much the traditional way of living and eating - locally and seasonally.

Several people at my office are part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group, and Scott and I are bouncing the idea back and forth. Basically, with a CSA, you get a weekly allotment of fresh produce from whatever the farm is presently harvesting, and you pick it up and enjoy! Your membership is a "share" of the farm, so you're helping a local business stay in business.

Until we buy our little place to root and Scott can go crazy on some organic farming in the backyard, we…