Sunday, July 20, 2014

Unique Nashville Biscuits

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Friends, I think I have found my new life-mantra “Life is better with biscuits.” My second guest post for the Music City Food + Wine Festival features some of my favorite unique biscuit offerings in town. I chose to highlight some of the dishes around town that are beyond your basic biscuit sandwich. Nashville has tons of places that serve biscuits in traditional ways, but there are also quite a few places where you can get something truly unique. With toppings likes caramelized banana jam, spicy remoulade, smoked Duke’s mayonnaise, or shredded smoked chicken, surely your taste buds are curious. Check out my post to learn more about these amazing biscuit specialties!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Buttermilk Biscuits

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I’ve had biscuits on my mind a lot these days. You see, I was asked again this year to be a Blog Ambassador for the Music City Food + Wine Festival (formerly the Music City Eats Festival), and they wanted me to contribute a post to their blog. The topic was of my choosing. Last year I wrote about my favorite coffee shops, and it stretched into two posts. Somehow I got it in my head to write about biscuits. While I have a plentiful breakfast tag here on the blog, with a handful of scone recipes, I’ve never posted a biscuit recipe. That’s because I have been searching, baking, testing biscuits recipes for a couple years now. I wanted to be sure when I posted a biscuit recipe, it was THE biscuit recipe. Well, I’m not sure this is the FINAL biscuit recipe, but it’s the final-for-now biscuit recipe, as it’s the one I’ve been making for over a year now.

If you already have your favorite biscuit recipe, please share with me! And be sure to head over to the Music City Food + Wine Festival blog to see my discussion about what to put on your biscuit. Perhaps I have suggestions you’ve never heard of! (Like maybe sorghum!)

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This biscuit recipe I came across via Smitten Kitchen. I find it funny that she scaled back a recipe 3/4, and I have taken to doubling it. I do a couple things different than her. First, I combine the dry ingredients and cut in the butter in the food processor (partly because I’m lazy, and because I am doubling it). Second, I never ever ever make these biscuits in the morning before eating them. NOPE. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Now that Elliott actually sleeps in until 7am or sometimes even 8am in the morning, I choose to sleep as well. What I do is make these biscuits when I have a free afternoon, or while he is napping. I often make 2 double batches back to back. I roll out the dough, and cut out all the biscuits. *I DO NOT BAKE THEM!*  Then I put them on cookie sheets and pop them into the freezer. Once they are frozen I put them in an airtight container. This way, we can have biscuits on demand whenever we want. Weekend mornings we roll out of bed, turn on the oven, walk the dog, make our coffee, and put the biscuits in. Because the biscuits are being cooked from a frozen state, I add an extra 3 minutes or so to the baking time. This gives us just enough time to fry up some country ham, or of my dad’s homemade sausage or bacon, and fry a few eggs as well.

I’m telling you, once you start making biscuits in advance & freezing them you’ll never ever go back, and you’ll always have fresh, hot, homemade biscuits ready in under 30 minutes, depending on how long it takes your oven to preheat. ;)

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Peach Caprese Salad

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We are officially in Peach Truck season ’round here. If you’re not from the Nashville area, or are unfamiliar with the Peach Truck, it’s a company that brings up freestone Georgia peaches and sells them in brown paper bags. They have an adorable story on the about page of their website. I fell in love with them last year, buying a bag a week. Elliott loved them last year, and again this year, just gobbling them up! I’ve bought other peaches from the Farmer’s Market, but they just aren’t quite as juicy and delicious as the Peach Truck. (Lemme go ahead and stop right here and say this is NOT a sponsored post! The Peach Truck doesn’t know I’m writing this post, nor have they given me free peaches. I just love the peaches, and from what I know, think it’s a great little company.) As soon as I heard they were back for the season, I’ve bought 4 bags in the past 3 weeks.

I decided to find a non-dessert recipe to use some peaches for a summer grill out get-together and settled upon this Peach, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad via Real Simple. Real Simple is a source I turn to often because their recipes really do tend to be simple. Sometimes they are simple, and amazingly delicious. Sometimes though they can be simple and kind of bland, or lacking oomph. Luckily this was a simple, delicious recipe. The flavors combined nicely, and it was a wonderful take on the simple caprese salad I often enjoy throughout the summer. I love a dish that is pretty & colorful too! So if you’re a Peach Truck addict like me this is a great recipe to add to your repertoire, and a great way to use up basil if you’ve got a plentiful plant.

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Click more for the recipe…

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2014 Ice Cream Crankin’

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SUNDAY, JUNE 8th 3-5pm
First Presbyterian Church, Franklin Rd, Nashville

Recently I was asked if I would like to be a judge for the 2014 Purity Miss Martha’s Ice Cream Crankin’ and Summer Social. To judge an ice cream contest is basically a DREAM COME TRUE. As I just mentioned in my last post, I eat ice cream year round. And I have a full category of ice cream recipes here on my blog, with both traditional flavors & crazy flavors. Some of my absolute favorite &/or most notable include:

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Honey & Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Fig Swirl

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Mocha Ice Cream

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Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream

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Cinnamon Ice Cream

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Maple Ice Cream with Pumpkin Pie Fudge Swirl

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Corn Ice Cream

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Butterscotch Ice Cream

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Bourbon Ice Cream

I can’t wait to see what flavors everyone comes up with at this year’s Ice Cream Crankin’ Contest! Elliott & I went last year with our buddies and we had SO MUCH FUN! There was live music, & fun activities for kids. I definitely wasn’t able to sample all of the ice cream that day, in part because I had to keep up with Elliott & keep him happy, as well as I just didn’t have the stomach space! As a judge I’ll get there early this year, so I’ll be sure and come hungry.

A little background info on the Martha O’Bryan Center, it is a non-profit founded in 1894 and has been operating at it’s current site in East Nashville since 1948. They help with everything from child & youth development and activities to college and career counseling. They serve over 6,000 individuals a year, specifically helping people at the low income poverty level. So come on out and support a great cause, and most importantly eat LOTS of ice cream!

This event always has a great crown, but I’d love to see lots of friends there, so spread the word & please come! The event is Sunday, June 8th, 3-5pm, rain or shine. Tickets are on sale now, and they’re $10 for adults, $8 for children in advance. Friday at midnight the price goes up to $13 for adults, $10 for children. Children under age 2 attend for free. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit their website.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Potato Sausage Corn Chowder

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I’m one of those people that eats ice cream & soup year round. I don’t care if it’s 14 degrees outside, it doesn’t stop me from enjoying a bowl of ice cream. Nor does it matter if it’s 80 degrees out, I’ll still enjoy a bowl of soup.

When I made this soup (on an 80 degree day) I thought of my mother. My parents have a pretty nice garden in the summer with lots of vegetables like tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, and corn. She tends to have more corn and potatoes than they know what to do with, so this recipe would be perfect for her. Also, I can remember as a kid she’d cook us meals with smoked polish sausage, so this would be right up her alley. Best of all, it was delicious! Also, it has bacon in it. So really, do you need to know more?

For this recipe, you sauté the onions together with the bacon, and I think that gives it a lot of flavor. I thought this was a great combo, and I definitely think you should use fresh corn off the cob, but if you don’t have it available, you can sub canned. We ate this as our main course, along with fresh buttered bread.

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One more random thought before sharing the recipe… I have to admit, I have a lot of kitchen utensils. I have two utensil holders on the counter, as well as a full drawer. But I don’t feel I own a lot of “unitaskers”. I don’t own a cherry pitter, strawberry stem remover, avocado slicer, egg separator, etc. I own a few single use tools, like a garlic press, which I use multiple times a week. When making this recipe I was bemoaning the fact I didn’t own a gadget to get corn off the cob. I always saw them as silly, as I love corn on the cob, so if I ever got it in my CSA, we just ate corn on the cob! If I was like my grandmother and “put up” large amounts of corn every year (that was her term for removing it from the cob & preparing it to freeze for later enjoyment at Thanksgiving & Christmas dinners), I might need one, but other than that I thought I could do without. I might look into picking one up, as I would love to make this recipe many more times this summer! Oxo makes one so maybe I’ll get one soon. Their products tend to be simple and genius (like my pineapple slicer corer). You know, the more I think about it, maybe I have more unitaskers than I thought! ;) (Oxo did NOT sponsor this post. I wish they did, so they would have sent me the corn stripper, ha! However as full disclosure, those are Amazon Affiliate referral links, which means I get a small kick back if you purchase using my link.)

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