November 5, 2012

Nashville 2012

Recently, my husband and I spent a weekend in Nashville, which was wonderful. He has wanted to see the Tennessee Titans play in LP Field for some time now, so we decided to make the trip. Our yearly tradition of going to see the Titan’s play when they came to town started 6 ½ years ago when I got him an early Christmas present of Tickets! I was WAY too anxious to wait and told him at Halloween.  

When I am planning a trip, I search for restaurants to try out, and not just chain restaurants, small business restaurants. On our trip, we went out to eat 4 times, and 3 out of the 4 times were at small businesses. I have a friend who lives in Nashville and she was able to give me a wonderful list of restaurants to try, and the 3 we went to were on her list. I also looked at for reviews of each restaurant to make sure we would enjoy them.

Right after we landed our first stop was The Pancake Pantry. It is no joke that you will be outside waiting for at least 30 minutes, which is worth the wait. It was a lovely fall day in Nashville, I loved being outside in the cooler weather with leaves falling all around us. My husband ordered the original pancakes and I tried the Sugar &  Spice with the Cinnamon cream syrup (it smells just like cinnamon rolls).


For dinner that evening we made a trip out to The Loveless Cafe. This is another Nashville favorite that can have waits up to 2+ hours. Luckily they have cute little shops all around the parking lot so you have something to do while waiting. In the gift shop, I learned about the history of an Apron, and I now have more respect for them (yes, respect for an inanimate object). My husband got Unsweet Tea and Fried Chicken. He said that is the best sweet tea he has ever had and same goes for the fried chicken. Although I do not like tea (I know, the horror!) I tried it, still didn’t like it (no offense to Loveless) but the fried chicken was divine. It has a thin crispy fried layer and it is not greasy at all. I had the Pit-Cooked Pork Barbeque, which had a lovely smoke flavor to it, just the perfect amount. I am saving the best thing for last, their biscuits, buttermilk biscuits. Loveless Café makes 7,000 buttermilk biscuits DAILY, which is about 2.5 MILLION biscuits a YEAR! They serve their biscuits with three of their homemade preserves, Peach, Strawberry and Blackberry. The blackberry was our favorite. 

The next day it was still chilly and overcast so it was soup at Panera bread for lunch, I know, but it is so good, and soup with a baguette, who can resist that??? For dinner we went just outside of Downtown Nashville to the lovely German Town Cafe. I absolutely LOVED the area that it is in. The street you walk down to get to the door feels like something you would see in a movie. The leaves were turning yellow and falling onto the street below. The best part about this restaurant is the view. You can see downtown Nashville from where you sit. The food was wonderful, and so were their rolls. My husband says that they remind him of donut holes, minus the sugar, they surely were wonderful.

Everyone singing together at the end of the show.

After dinner we went to The Grand Ole Opry for their concert. Headlining was Vince Gill, with Charlie Daniels Band, Matraca Berg, Canaan Smith, Jean Shepherd, Connie Smith, Alison Krauss, Lil Jimmy Dickens, Riders in the Sky, etc. Alison Krauss was wonderful, she sang 2 songs, one of which was "Down to the River" from 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?'. One of the guitar players with her was the vocals for George Clooney in the movie and then they sang "Man of Constant Sorrow". (I love that song!)

My favorite part of any trip is the great food you can find. Since we flew and did not check our bags, we could not purchase any of the Blackberry Preserves from Loveless while we were there. Luckily, they have a website where I was able to purchase not only the Blackberry Preserves, some of their Tea Mix (for my husband of course), Biscuit Mix AND their Desserts cookbook! While at Loveless, we overheard our waitress at the next table over asking if anyone wanted dessert and proceeded to list off their pies they had available. Needless to say, as stuffed as we were, took some of their Muddy Fudge Pie home. The recipe is available on their website and in their cookbook. While perusing their recipes I found a recipe for Coconut Chews, a wonderful coconut cookie that I made for my Granny. She LOVED THEM, and so did I! 
Christmas came early!

How do you plan where you are going to eat at when on vacation? 

As Always, Victoria

September 10, 2012

Welcome Fall!

Needless to say I am ecstatic about it actually feeling like fall, at least for the next few days. This morning, I drove to work with my windows down and a/c off! (A miracle in Houston). In honor of this Fabulous Fall weather, I am making Chicken and Dumplings tonight. I have attempted making the dish before, but have always had a problem with the dumplings. So here goes to trying another recipe. 

Tomorrow night my husband is going to make Fish Tacos like the ones at Berryhill Taco. We are making the tacos with fried catfish, sauteed green cabbage and a chili lime ranch sauce. I will definitely be posting this recipe on here because it tastes great and it is less expensive to make your own. 

Sauteed cabbage
And on Friday I am pulling out the big guns and making an entire French meal. I am making Coq Au Vin sans Vin, Pommes de terre de persil and haricots verts. (Who wants to do my dishes?) Also known as Chicken and onions and mushrooms braised in red wine and seasonings (without wine), Parsley potatoes and green beans. These are not just any green beans that you get out of the freezer section. I pick each individual green been from the green bean section in the produce department. You do not want the green bean too thick or too short. I also refrain from picking any that have flaws. It takes me about 5 minutes to pick 1 ½ to 2 lbs of green beans, but you will not be sorry by picking out each individual green bean. Also, some restaurants do not snip off the edges of the green beans, there is much debate about which way is the correct way to make the green beans, so I just snip them off. (Who knew there was so much to talk about with green beans, me that’s who.) 

Fresh green beans from the garden.

As Always, Victoria