Can’t wait to go home next week & celebrate ‘National Chicken Month’ with some of mom’s fried chicken!!

•2012/09/07 • Leave a Comment

September is National Chicken Month and I’m looking forward to celebrating in the next week or so when I get to go home to my parents’ for a few days and feast on some of my mom’s fried chicken!

OK, really I’m looking to several days of my mom’s food (even wrote up menus of meals I wanted while home :)!) I’ve really been craving some comfort food  from home as I’ve spent the last 3 months either ill or making one of the five trips I made to the ER before the doctors finally decided it was my gallbladder and removed it! Even that was not as simple as usual as they ended up having to remove it the old way with a large incision!

So mom I’m ready for you to fatten me back up!!

Flavors of Nashville 2012!! City Club Wins 2 of 3!!

•2012/05/13 • Leave a Comment

Chef Group Pic

 

On April 29th, 2012, Flavors of Nashville was hosted by the Nashville City Club. I look so forward to this event each year and this year marked my 4th to participate. This also marked my 3rd year as Chair Chef for the annual benefit for the American Liver Foundation! Other participants included chefs from Flyte, Saffire, Hillwood Country Club, Gaylord Opryland, Mad Platter, & Loews Vanderbilt. Each chef presents a 5-course dinner and tablescape reflective of the restaurant they’re representing. The catch is the guests do not know with which chef they will be dining until a drawing at the start of the event.

Following dinner and an auction and presentation, 3 awards are presented to the chefs: Best of Show, Best Table, & Best Menu. We won both “Best of Show” and “Best Menu” and Saffire took home “Best Table”. This was my 2nd year in a row to win “Best Menu” and I also have won “Best Table” in 2009. Here is the menu and some pics from the night:

Flavors of Nashville 2012

Reception

Cruze Farm Buttermilk-Poached Oyster, Sweet Potato Cake; Smoked Tomato Marmalade

Rye Profiteroles; Pastrami-Spiced Pork Butt; Swiss, House-Made Sauerkraut, & Dijon

Dinner

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. ~Nadine Stair

 

Amuse-Bouche

Morel Panna Cotta; Morel & Fava Bean Ragout, Crispy Chicken Skin Chip

Soup

Raw Vegetable Minestrone, Fresh Daikon Radish, Zucchini, Black Radish, Celery Root, Carrot, Pickled Yellow, Red and Candy Striped Beets, and Cucumber, Verjus

Fish

Seared Hamachi, Bruleed Watermelon, Jicama, Radish; Yuzu Vinaigrette, Micro Cilantro

Entrée

Braised Pork Osso Bucco, Smoked Tomato Olive Oil Powder; Truffled Navy Bean Puree, Kale

Dessert

Charred Strawberries, Chevre Cheesecake, Raspberry Saffron Sauce,  Chocolate Cookie Crumble

Loews Vanderbilt

Saffire

Hillwood Country Club

Thinking ’bout mom’s meatloaf sandwiches after reading this story!

•2012/04/17 • Leave a Comment

 

Sitting here on the morning of day off after 7 doubles, having coffee, catching up on emails, etc. when I came across this story on Food Republic, “Six Steps to the perfect meatloaf sandwich” (http://www.foodrepublic.com/2012/04/17/six-steps-best-meatloaf-sandwich) so now all I can think about is one of my mom’s sandwiches (which btw it’s good to know that she practiced all of the steps plus one…the addition of a small dollop of Duke’s mayo on one side!

When I was younger, I never understood when she made a meatloaf we couldn’t have sandwiches that night but had to wait sort of like the confusion of why we couldn’t have potato cakes immediately after making mashed potatoes lol! Well I think I shall make one tonight so that I can have sandwiches the rest of the week to satisfy this craving!!

Guy Laramee…and my love of the CBS Sunday Morning Show!

•2012/03/12 • Leave a Comment

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I can pretty much guarantee that my Sunday morning each weekend begins with a pot of coffee and the CBS Sunday Morning show with Charles Osgood, much like many covet the NY Times!! It gives an overview of what’s going on in the world but is filled with segments that you are sure to not find on other news shows plus the moment of nature is another favorite!

I began regularly watching …again… a few years after one morning I was making coffee and the tv was on and suddenly the trumpet fanfare which each Sunday announces the start of the show took me back to my childhood having breakfast watching with my parents before we went to church…a nice familiar feeling which I have continued since then!

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Anyways, enough about the show, a couple of Sundays ago there was a segment on the artist Guy Laramee who takes old books and carves detailed landscapes out of them…they are amazing!!

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Check out http://guylaramee.com/ to learn more!

Billy Reid having a Shindig this week in Austin!

•2012/03/12 • Leave a Comment

Wish I could make it…Punch Bros. gonna be there! Went to one b4 in Florence but bet this one will really be great!!

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March Date Night menu & pics

•2012/03/04 • Leave a Comment

Date Night March

Amuse-Bouche

Smoked lamb loin, spicy tomato marmalade; sweet potato cake

First Courses

Chili-marinated red beet carpaccio, blue crab, pickled onion, horseradish, beet reduction

Baby lettuces, radishes, feta; dill pickle vinaigrette

Lobster cakes; baby arugula, charred tomato-tarragon vinaigrette, crispy parsnips

Black-eyed pea, smoked ham hock, & mustard green soup; cornbread croutons

Intermezzo

Entrées

Grilled swordfish, green olive vinaigrette; white bean puree, celery-fennel salad

Braised short rib, rosemary-balsamic syrup; hominy stew, Point Reyes blue cheese-bacon fritter

Cast iron skillet-seared scallops, maple aioli, Benton’s bacon; Nutella powder, Swiss chard, Tabasco-soaked cherries

Pan-roasted quail, chorizo oil; celery root, red cabbage puree

Desserts

Coconut panna cotta; spiced pineapple, lime syrup, macadamia nuts

Milk chocolate pate; honey whipped cream, lavender strawberries

Five (Delicious) Reasons Being a Southerner is a Frame of Mind: Virginia Willis

•2012/02/20 • Leave a Comment

1. Southern Hospitality
“I am a firm believer that what folks call Southern hospitality is just as simple as making someone feel welcomed and comfortable. The minute someone walks in my door I ask him or her if they would like a glass of tea or water. Or bourbon. Or a bite to eat. Hospitality and good manners are the social lubrication the world needs to run more smoothly. It’s just a matter of being polite.”

2. Importance of Family
“A sense of history, respect for the past, and an intense feeling of belonging to family are legendary in the South. Cultural examples of this include family reunions with long buffet tables of ham, potato salad, slaw and cornbread that draw offspring from all over the U.S.

Yes, Southerners have a proud food tradition in relation to family, but so does the lady I met New Mexico, who after hearing me tell of making biscuits with my grandmother excitedly told me about growing up helping her grandmother make tortilla soup, or the Polish man in Connecticut whose eyes glistened while telling me about his mama’s pierogi. The relationship between food and family roots people in their culture and gives them their place in the world, it doesn’t matter where you were born.”

3. Appreciation for Blessings
“Southerners have always been resourceful. The South has forever been an agricultural based region, and therefore, poor. People have traditionally grown their own food, foraged in the woods and harvested fish and shellfish from the lakes, rivers and ponds. Using up every bit of the pig but the squeal was born from frugality. Corn was eaten fresh in the summer and dried for the fall and winter. An appreciation of blessings is a frame of mind that comes from going without. More people could work a little harder at being a little more Southern on this one, in my opinion.”

4. Emphasis on Local
“With its fertile soils and hot climate, the South is a nearly year-round cornucopia of gorgeous produce – this has always been a land people could live off of. All across the region from spring to late fall, produce stands pop up in the corners of shopping center parking lots, at intersections of various main roads and at the roadside in the country. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in fresh and locally grown produce. We are going back to the foods of our ancestors. Farmers markets are now appearing all over the U.S., and stores are listening to customers’ requests to eat seasonally and buy locally. The food of the South is no longer just about fried chicken and overcooked greens. Or doesn’t have to be. Don’t get me wrong – I love fried chicken – but we are more than that. We were country when country wasn’t cool.”

5. Familiar Foodways
“For the past several years a majority of the nominees for ‘Best American’ cookbook by both the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals were Southern. People like the familiarity of Southern food. Simple country cooking is simple cooking all over the world, at least in the Western hemisphere. Stewed chicken is coq au vin, grits are polenta, and primal foods like BBQ exist without borders. Every nation under the sun throws meat on fire, I just think we might do it a little better down here.”

   
 
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