Sunday, August 25, 2013

Golden Graham S’mores

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I am beyond excited to know so many fabulous food bloggers who have written cookbooks.  The newest one to land my way is Cereal Sweets & Treats by my dear friend, The Novice Chef.  This is her second cookbook, as her first was Mini-Donuts, which you may remember from my Mexican Hot Chocolate Donut post.  In her newest book, she really takes breakfast out of the box, if you can excuse my pun!

Jessica is the genius behind Fruity Pebble Macarons, Lucky Charms Cupcakes, Corn Pops Ice Cream, Reese’s Puffs Peanut Butter Truffles, and more!  This girl loves cereal.  Know who else loves cereal?  Kids!  Every summer my nephew comes up from Florida to spend the summer with his Grandad.  We like for him to come stay the night with us a few times during the course of his visit.  He’s almost 11, and ever since he was 6 years old we have always baked something together.  The time came for him to fly home, and he spent the night with us before he left.  I showed him the cookbook and he was SUPER impressed that I knew the author of such a cool book.  I let him browse through and pick out a recipe.  He first wanted to make the Pumpkin Cheerios Bars, but those need to stay refrigerated until serving, therefore weren’t the best treats to take with him on the airplane!  The Golden Graham S’mores were his second choice, and a mighty-fine choice that was!  These were super simple to make, and tasted delicious!  I received word from my father in law that my nephew ate about 4 of them as he was waiting to get on the plane.  Oh the lucky traveler who was seated next to my sugar-high 10 year old nephew on that flight!

I love that these are sort of a reconstructed, less messy version of s’mores.  It has all the flavor without the hassle of a campfire!  I highly suggest you pick up a copy of this book if you have kids who enjoy time in the kitchen.  There are a lot of simple, fun recipes.  Every single recipe has a mouthwatering accompanying photo, so this is a visual feast as well!  I hope Elliott grows up enjoying spending time in the kitchen with me like my nephew does.  If so, I think I’ll have the best sous chefs around!

(recipe after the break)

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Nashville Coffee Shops

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When people come to visit or ask for Nashville recommendations for restaurants, I always include nearly as many recommendations for coffee shops as I do restaurants.  We’re blessed with a plethora of options, and I want everyone to experience how great they are too!  As part of my collaboration with the Music City Eats Festival I am sharing some of my favorites in a two part series with them.  I love to talk about all Nashville has to offer, but I tend to reserve this space for recipe posts.  Please pop over and see some of my picks!

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Snickerdoodle Scones

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The other day I was browsing recipes and landed on this Snickerdoodle Scone recipe.  I decided to make it because I had every ingredient on hand.  Don’t you love it when things come together like that?  I even decided to get a jumpstart on it by prepping the dry ingredients the night before.  Well… that started me on a 10 minute search for cream of tarter.  I just KNEW I had some on hand.  I had to.  It’s a STAPLE.  In the end I gave up and decided I would look again in the morning and surely find it.  Morning comes, and I begin to tear the cabinets apart looking for the cream of tarter.  Even with Elliott’s “help” I still couldn’t find it.  Luckily we live really close to the grocery, and Nathan kindly offered to make a trip to the store, and took this ample opportunity to pick up a few extra items, like bacon.  (Sadly we are out of my dad’s homemade bacon right now.)

Chances are, you might have all the ingredients on hand to make these scones, even if I didn’t.  These are a delicious twist to the fruit variety of scones I often gravitate towards.  I really like snickerdoodle cookies so I knew I would like these scones.  These scones are really light, and the inside is almost muffin or coffee cake like.  Often I will skip the icing/drizzle on scones, but I’m glad I didn’t on these.  They add a bit of moisture to balance the dryness of the cinnamon sugar topping.  Elliott really enjoyed his portion of a scone, so much that he even signed for more!  I have been working on baby sign language with him for months now, and within the past couple weeks it’s like he all the sudden started signing back!  I couldn’t be prouder.  :)

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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade

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Recently my family celebrated my grandmother’s 90th birthday!  We are very blessed to have such a wonderful lady in our lives.  When my family was planning the event, everyone offered different ways to help out.  I’m not gonna lie, part of the reason I offered to do the punch was because I wanted to be SURE there would be no sherbet in sight!  No offense to people who like punch made with sherbet, but I just wanted something different for my grandma’s big party.  I searched high & low for a recipe that would be delicious, easy to prepare, and easy to multiply.  It didn’t take long to land on a recipe from Martha Stewart.

Y’all, this recipe was so.freaking.good.  It was a definite hit!  I had a couple people ask for the recipe while at the party, and then later my mom called me because there were more inquiries!  Not only did it taste great, it truly was very simple and stress-free to make, using just 3 ingredients.  (4 if you count the ice.)   I’ve made this with frozen raspberries (that’s how I made it for the party), and with fresh raspberries as you can see in the photo below.  I have to admit, I prefer it with frozen.  The frozen raspberries have more juice that permeates into the punch, giving it more flavor as well as color.  Either way, this is a really refreshing & delightful drink option for a party.  I think it would be perfect for a baby shower, wedding shower, or any gathering.

IMG_2702-2Here’s an example of what it looks like with fresh raspberries.  As you can see it’s barely pink.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Music City Eats

If you follow very many food bloggers, especially on instagram & Twitter, you may have seen buzz from two recent food blog conventions.  I’ve been to two food blog conventions myself, BlogHerFood in Atlanta, and a Food Blog Forum here in Nashville.  And I must admit, what I took away the most isn’t what I learned in the seminars & learning sessions.  It was the food eaten and friendships made at social events.  One response I often hear from non-food bloggers is “Oh, I wish I could go to something like that, but I don’t have a food blog!”  Well friends, I’ve got the perfect event for you!  I’m so excited about a new festival coming up in September here in Nashville called Music City Eats.  From their website: “Music City Eats: Nashville Food, Wine & Spirits Festival is the brainchild of Grammy award winning artists (and Nashville residents) Caleb and Nathan Followill of Kings of Leon, world renowned chef Jonathan Waxman, Austin-based C3 Presents — producer of Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Lollapalooza — and Vector Management’s Ken Levitan and Andy Mendelsohn.

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This event is going to be a truly unique Nashville event.  Not only will there lots of glorious food to eat, there will be informative panel discussions, cooking demos, book signings, and musical entertainment.  Local & regional chefs & restaurants will be represented including the nationally acclaimed City House, Etch, Catbird Seat, Merchants, and more.  But this is more than just a celebration of Nashville, as famous chefs from across the country will be coming including John Besh, Tom Colicchio, Giada De Laurentiis, Tim Love, Aaron Sanchez, and more more more!  Seriously, there are too many *power* names to name!  (Go to the Talent page of Music City Eats for the full list.)

Oh, and I mentioned music right?  What else would you expect when the festival is being thrown in part by global rock stars?  Well, you can expect a rockin’ good time at Petty Fest!  From the website: “Petty Fest Nashville is an all-star review of the legendary music of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Celebrating all things Petty, the night will be hosted by the Kings of Leon and the Cabin Down Below Band, along with many other very special guests.

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I’m so excited an event of this stature is coming to Nashville.  If you love food, love to cook, love to eat, you truly MUST come!  Don’t think this is an event for Nashvillians only.  Nathan and I are already arranging a babysitter so we can enjoy ourselves all weekend.  (No one under the age of 21 is permitted, including infants & children in child carriers.)  The Nashville group of food bloggers & food enthusiasts is a great group and I look forward to seeing all my local friends attend.  But, I would LOVE to see & meet my out of town food friends, readers, & followers as well!

The full schedule of events & lineups have not been announced, but tickets are already on sale now.