August 30, 2012 § 2 Comments
This has to be the first Labor Day weekend since birth that I have not spent at the Jersey shore–and I could not be more excited. As you could probably tell this Yankee hasn’t been in Nashville all that much this month and I am so excited to catch up on all the happenings here. Here is a look at some funtastic to-do’s this holiday weekend.
The Nashville Food Truck Association will hold the city’s first “Nashville Street Food Awards” on Sept. 1 at Centennial Park in conjunction with the fall season kick-off of Musician’s Corner. Beginning at 11:00 AM, over 20 of Nashville’s food trucks will compete in several categories and will offer regular menu items along with “tastes”. The free live music kicks off at 3:00 with the food truck winners announced at 6:00 PM. A portion of proceeds benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.
So to recap: Trying as many food trucks as possible in one day? Check. Free live music? Check. Booze (probably/why not?) Check. Good cuase? Check. Sounds like a must.
This weekend is the last chance to visit Cheekwood Garden’s Treehouse exhibit! The treehouses based on great works of literature will close for good Sept. 3.
Try a new spot. August saw of slew of new restaurant openings in Nashville–and not without a lot of hype. Make a resi and go check them out for yourself! Etch, Silo, Lockeland Table and Cafe Fundamental.
See some theater. The Nashville Shakespeare Festival is putting on a post-WWII adaption of the classic Much Ado About Nothing in Centennial Park. Showtimes are Thurs-Sun evenings Aug 23-Sept 16 with a special Monday Performance on Labor Day, Sep 3. Dedicated to US service men and women.
Get your art on at the First Saturday Art Crawl. Every month from 6-9, art galleries downtown host receptions (often with wine :)) presenting local and world-renowned artwork of all genres. Admission is free and the Nashville Downtown Partnership provides two free shuttles among the galleries.
Also on my list:
Game Night with lots o’ Catch Phrase
Boating on Percy Priest–because who knew there was a beach-esque place 15 minutes from downtown!
3 days doesn’t seem quite so long now…
August 29, 2012 § Leave a comment
Leftover arugala from your Arugala, Diced Dates and Blue Cheese salad? Lightbulb moment: I wish I thought of eating my salad in pizza form before. Recipe adapted from Gourmet Made Simple (Don’t you love when you rediscover an old cookbook fave?)
I do envision myself baking my own dough one day but I had just returned from Barry’s Boot Camp so today was not that day. I used Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat.
While the crust is going (10-12 minutes), you can whip up the hummus.Blend the following: 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 2 tbsp chicken stock 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tsp lemon zest 1 tsp ground cumin 1 clove garlic cayenne pepper to taste
In a large bowl, toss 4 c. arugala with the following:2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp dijon mustard
For whatever reason, I always think of meals in terms of entertaining. To make this less messy to eat as a party app, I would pre-cut in two-bite pieces.
August 28, 2012 § 3 Comments
Even though I no longer live in NYC, I continue to stalk NY Mag’s food blog Grub Street since there are always interesting tidbits about the food world, celebrity chefs, etc. Today I saw this gem and wanted to share.
After 25 years of service, legendary Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago will close its doors. After setting the bar for excellence and breaking modernist culinary ground, the self-taught chef is closing out with bang–a $2,500-per-plate 25th Anniversary Gala. The event was hosted on August 19th for 60 guests. Guest chefs included Nathan Myhrvold (Modernist Cuisine, remember that episode of Top Chef?) and Charleston’s farm-to-table and Southern cuisine champion Sean Brock of Husk and McCrady’s.
The video is a just a quick peak behind-the-scenes of the service that night. It shows the whole team reflecting on the restaurant and Charlie Trotter as a chef, working together, giving inspirational speeches… Seems like they had a great run and looking forward to their new pursuits!
August 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
File it under “easy, healthy, weeknight dinners”. These are so tasty and so quick to prepare and clean up that you can make them no matter what you have on schedule that evening.
I have found that oven baking bacon is easiest for control. 10-15 minutes at 375° (depending on how crispy you like prefer bacon).
While the bacon is going, you can get started on the other ingredients. I used Trader Joe’s frozen shrimp which are pre-cooked, peeled and deveined. I heated them up in a skillet with some salt and pepper so they would be warm with the tacos.
Now for the avocado crème from Gourmet Made Simple.1 avocado, diced 2 tbsp fresh lime juice 1/4 sour cream 1/4 tsp ground cumin The ingredients call for 1-3 tbsp water depending on desired consistency which I did not include since I preferred the chunky texture. I did add 1 small clove garlic which I definitely recommend.
Serve with diced tomatoes and top with fresh chopped cilantro.
August 23, 2012 § 3 Comments
This week I inadvertently made a transitional salad. I didn’t realize the combination would have subtle hints of fall to come while still being sweet and peppery enough for August. I used store-bought diced dates so the process was a cinch, just a matter of whipping up the dressing.
Dressing from Gourmet Made Simple:1 shallot minced (unless you are a huge fan of shallots, I would maybe use 1/2) 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp vegetable stock 1 tsp honey
The sweetness of the dates and creaminess of the blue cheese balances the peppery arugala and bite from the shallots for a perfect warm-weather-turning effect.
Something about this combo is just SCREAMING for a flatbread variation…
August 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
The reason we were in Vegas was for the Garth Brooks show–which absolutely knocked my socks off. You laugh, you cry, you sing and sway as he puts on a one-man wonder show. It’s amazing and I can’t recommend it enough. I was just as excited for the food as the show though since the city is known for its amazing food. Every celebrity chef has an outpost there and each is more extravagant than the next. With so many great choices, we didn’t even need to leave the hotel.
First up was La Cave, perfect for cheese boards and small plates sitting outside overlooking the pool. They have different themed wine flights like “Adventurous Whites” or “Sommelier’s Selection” which adds a really fun element to dinner.
The Big Guy was our dinner at Bartolotta. The focus is Italian Mediterranean and all of the pasta is handmade and 42 different kinds of fish are flown in from the Mediterranean daily. We obviously had to try the Lasagnette Con Ragu Di Crostacei, which was Bobby Flay’s pick for Italian Seafood in The Best Thing I Ever Ate. The dish was so soft and buttery, it melted. The meal was so enjoyable, I couldn’t interrupt for pictures, except for the branzino fish, served tableside. It was silky whitefish topped with a wonderful light tomato sauce.
We finished off our trip with a Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Country Club which overlooks the golf course. The appetizer buffet was amazing–greeted with enormous king crab legs, shrimp cocktail, prime rib… and that’s before you even choose how many entrees you want from the menu! Come with a very large appetite.
So bummed we didn’t bump into Prince Harry on the trip…
August 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
Sometimes I judge my hotel room by the bathroom. That’s where I spend most of my time in the room anyway besides sleeping! If I’m not getting ready to head out on the town, hopefully I’m already out there. In the case of the Wynn, Las Vegas, if all other signs didn’t point to over-the-top luxury (which they did), the bathroom sealed the deal.
Staying at the Wynn is a two-for-one deal since its sister hotel, The Encore, is right next door and the restaurants and pools are all accessible to both guests.
I am a novice gambler so even more than playing the tables, I just enjoyed people watching. Visitors run the gamut- families, old, young, foreign, american, bathing suits, cocktail dresses. Anything goes.
If gambling ain’t your thang, there are plenty of other ways to lose your money. Six pools in total (some even with swim-up casinos, if you want the best of both worlds), spas and high end shopping to rival Rodeo Drive. The spa at the Wynn was under construction so we headed over to the Encore which was voted one of the most beautiful by Forbes Magazine.
A gal could get used to this place!