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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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

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Sometimes I feel somewhat torn when it comes to my blog. I know some bloggers only post original recipes, and I rarely do that. My blog has always been first and foremost, my own personal place to store and record favorite recipes I’ve made. I also just love to share a good recipe I find with other people. Some bloggers have witty intros, updating their readers on their personal life, and I kind of keep a lot of things like that somewhat private. Others add restaurant news & reviews, and I had originally thought I would do that, but kind of feel like other people do that so much better. Plus, while I do have local readers here in Nashville, I think the majority live elsewhere, and don’t care as much about Nashville restaurant news. So, I’ll just continue on the path I’ve been on, mainly sharing recipes here on a sporadic basis. I hope you continue to enjoy!

I’m always on the quest for a new slow cooker recipe to add to my repertoire. As I’ve said before, the less prep, the better. When skimming through the ingredients list here, I definitely like the list of real ingredients. And, with the fresh ginger, curry powder, and more, I expected a meal full of flavor. Luckily I read through the reviews and learned it actually needed more tweaks to pump up the flavor, and included those here. If I had green curry paste on hand I would have added that, but I sadly didn’t.

This certainly lived up to my “ease of preparation” expectations, and the flavor was good on it’s own, however it certainly needed some siracha to really make it pop. We had this two nights in a row, the first served over jasmine rice, the second night I served it with warm naan. Both were delicious!

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Chewy Brown Sugar & Brown Ale Cookies

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I know what you’re thinking… Cookies in beer!? It’s an insane idea, I know. Something I never would have thought up on my own. When asked if I would be interested in participating in a bake sale to benefit the Tiny But Mighty Fund, a local organization that helps animals in need, I immediately said yes. Our own dog is a mutt, and while we didn’t get him from a shelter, it’s always possible if we hadn’t adopted him, he might have ended up at one. Back to the cookies, I knew I wanted something super special that would stand out at a bake sale, so I browsed cookie links I had bookmarked in the past. Instantly I saw this recipe I had bookmarked from the Beeroness last year.

I had no idea how these would turn out; if they would be as soft & chewy as expected, or if they would end up hard. I worried they might taste weird and overpowering, as I’d never had beer in a cookie. Well friends, let me tell you, these exceeded expectations! They were chewy, buttery, and almost caramely (thanks to all the brown sugar), with just the hint of beer. In fact, there’s only 1/3 of a cup in the whole recipe, which yields 12 cookies. (Note: I doubled the recipe, because I wanted plenty for the bake sale, which is why there are more than 12 cookies in this photo.) The brown ale added a savory undertone to these, which really made them stand out in flavor from any other cookie I’ve ever had. I used a local beer from Blackstone Brewery, a brewpub here in town. I like to support local when I can. I have a feeling these cookies might be in regular rotation around here, seeing as my husband is a craft beer nerd!

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