Three days in Nashville

Last month, my husband and I along with our closest friends, had to opportunity to visit Nashville for the weekend.  My husband had planned the trip in December and our friends decided to join last minute.  It made the trip even better!  We landed in Nashville early afternoon on a Friday and headed home early afternoon on a Monday.  We all decided three days was plenty of time to discover what Nashville had to offer.

Where we ate:
Rolf and Daughters, I thought that this was the best meal we had in Nashville.  It has great atmosphere and prices were very reasonable.
The Southern Steak and Oyster, we had breakfast here one morning and we were all very satisfied with our meals
404 Kitchen, we ate at the downstairs bar as we didn’t have reservations and the restaurant was full.  I ate a salad because my body was in need of some greens!  The rest of our group shared steak with beets and butter beans on the side.
Milk & Honey, we had breakfast here and the food was great.  I would strongly encourage you to make reservations as the wait can be really long.
City House, this restaurant was recommended to me.  We ended up sharing some appetizers and two pizzas.  We went on a Sunday, that’s when they have a Sunday supper menu that is different from their weekly menu.
Cafe Roze, we ate our last breakfast here before heading to the airport.  This place was on my must-go list.  It is a little ways out from downtown Nashville but well worth the drive.  They served great coffee and I had the country ham toast, which was delicious and topped with a massive mound of parm!

Where we drank and listened to music:
The L.A. Jackson in The Thompson Hotel, we went here in the late afternoon for drinks and appies.  The bar is at the very top of the hotel and the views are amazing!
Omni pool, our friends stayed at the Omni Hotel and one afternoon we sat and had a few munchies and enjoyed some drinks.  The area to sit is small but still very nice.
Oak Bar, my husband and I stayed at the Hermitage, which is one of the oldest hotels in Nashville.  Before heading out for the night we enjoyed at drink at their bar.  It is a very classic bar, but served home-made bar snacks: pickles and potato chips!

We hit up many different bars on Broadway: Tootsies (you have to go there just to say you’ve been, and the rooftop bar has a great view of the strip), Nudies, Acme, Dierks Bently Whisky Row (each level played a different genre of music), Robert’s and the Station Inn (we listened to the best Bluegrass here!  It is a hole in the wall but worth checking out.  It is not on Broadway but in The Gulch).

Areas of the city we enjoyed:
12 South: great little boutique shops, restaurants and coffee shops.  We really loved the coffee at The Frothy Monkey, and they have other locations throughout Nashville.
The Gulch:  We ate breakfast in this area twice as well as some shopping.  This is where you will find The Thompson Hotel.

They will have to wait till next time:
We just ran out of time!  There were many other places to eat on my list that we didn’t get to, but that just means that we will have to go back soon!  Pinewood Social Club, Biscuit Love, Hattie B’s and Henrietta Red will be waiting for us the next time we go to Nashville.

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Weekly meals Oct. 23 – Oct. 27

Meal updates from last week:
There are no meal updates from last week as we were and still are on vacation!  I hope that you enjoyed cooking from my favourite soups and stews.

We arrive home on Wednesday after a red-eye flight, we will see how that all goes for the children?!  I will be cooking Wednesday to Sunday as we have been doing some eating out this vacation.  It will be difficult to get back into the swing of things, but we have enjoyed every minute of being away.

I have my eye on a few other recipes this week: granola bark and pumpkin muffins.  After some jet-lag we will see how much cooking I get done!  Grocery lists will start again next week.

Happy cooking,
Sara

Weekly meals August 21-25

Meal updates from last week:
The best meal from last week was the meatball sandwiches, they were full of flavour and easy to make.  I am going to make these meatballs again and serve them over pasta.  I really enjoyed the power salad.  I didn’t end up having everything for the recipe, but I improvised a fews things instead (see my Instagram post).  What really made the salad was the herb chicken, I will keep this in mind for other salads that I make.  All muffins from last week were delicious, my son especially loved the blueberry ricotta ones!  I have added all muffin recipes to last week’s meal plan.

This week is a slightly different week as my husband and I will be away on holiday.  Our kids will be home with family.  As I won’t be cooking this week I have decided to share with you some of our family favourites.  Some recipes will be repeats from before, but I have added a few new ones that I have never shared.

Happy cooking,
Sara

Ole!

Cinco de Mayo is this Friday, and really who doesn’t love a little Mexican fiesta to start their weekend?!  Some of my oldest and most favourite recipes are Mexican inspired.  From starters to salads, here are some recipes to please every palate.

Layered taco dip: I know that everyone has been to a party and had this dip.  I make this dip to feed a crowd and it never disappoints.  Start by spreading a layer of refried beans as the base for the dip.  I use a large round platter, so that there is room to add chips along the side.  Next, cover the beans with guacamole, this can be bought or home-made. The third layer is a mixture of sour cream and taco seasoning.  I buy the seasoning from Trader Joe’s in the U.S.A. and bring it home with me.  If not buy one that is MSG-free and low sodium.  The final layer is cheese.  You can buy a Mexican blend or shred cheddar and jack cheese.  I like to top the dip with sliced tomatoes, jalapeños and cilantro.
Guacamole:  Making guacamole is very simple, and requires basic ingredients.  I make it the same every time, but it always tastes a little different.  Mash three avocados, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Squeeze the juice from one lime over top and add a large heaping spoonful of sour cream.  To give it a little zip I use Frank’s RedHot sauce (10 dashes) and then a spoonful of salsa.  Serve as an accompaniment to nachos or as a starter with taco chips.

Burritos from the Best of Bridge, this may be one of my most favourite recipes of all time!  Serve with a green salad.
Enchiladas also from the Best of Bridge Ladies, I serve this with a salad on the side.
Chicken fajitas from @marthastewart I make this recipe all of the time.  Instead of broiling the veggies and chicken on two separate pans, put all of it on one pan it works just as well.
Sloppy Joe tacos from @gimmesomeoven I have shared this recipe before, but it is a kid favourite.
Baked tacos with hard shells from @byjillee my mom swears by this recipe.  The beef filling for these tacos is delicious.
Fish tacos and the best sauce from simply-gourmet.com I have made these with fresh halibut and they were outstanding.
Black-bean tostadas with corn relish from @marthastewart this is another recipe that I have shared before.  It is a great vegetarian option, especially when corn is in season.
Chopped chicken taco salad from @howsweeteats I really enjoy a chopped salad, especially if someone else makes it for me!
Cilantro lime chicken salad with mango avocado salsa from @cafedelites this is a recipe that I have never made but looks great.
Churros with chocolate sauce from @justataste
Lime margarita from @epicurious

Cocina feliz,
Sara

Meal delivery

How many times in a week do you ask yourself, what am I making for dinner?  Do I have all of the ingredients?  Do I really feel like making it?  I believe that I am not alone in these thoughts, and now there are many companies who are catering to these needs.  The idea of meal delivery is taking off in the Untied States, and it is slowly coming into Canada.  Most of these companies deliver packaged food, cut and ready for you to cook with an accompanying recipe.  From Martha Stewart to Tyler Florence many celebrity chefs are jumping on this meal wagon.  Living in Calgary there are many different places to go for pre prepared food, to take home, heat and eat.  Here are some places that we have tried: Sunterra, Forage, Meez, Fresh Kitchen, Made and Our Daily Brett.

As I am holidaying in California, I could not wait to try one of these delivery services.  I have had my eye on @onepotatobox for a very long time.  We ordered three dinners to serve two people, they arrived in a box packaged with ice packs to keep perishables cold.  Each meal is bagged with all of the ingredients, and recipe cards are inclosed in the box.  They also send you a little treat in each box, ours contained a roll of chocolate chip cookie dough.  I tried one of the recipes tonight and it was delicious!  We made arepas with slow-cooked pulled chicken and sweet corn avocado cups.  This recipe took less than 30 minutes to prepare and was full of flavour.  There was more than enough food for two adults and one child.  My son was not interested in the corn salad, but ate and enjoyed everything else.  I will be making another recipe tomorrow.  If you are looking for a similar service in Calgary I have found two that look very promising: Chefs Plate and Paper Bag Princess.  If you do a google search for both it will take you to their sites.

If you have tried any meal delivery services that you have been happy with, please post a comment on the blog.

Happy ordering,
Sara

Snacks on the plane

With many families leaving for warmer destinations in the next three weeks I decided to tackle the plane snack dilemma.  I am not sure if it is just my son, but when we travel his stomach is a never-ending empty pit!  It does not matter if we are on a plane or road tripping he is continuously hungry when we travel.  We all know the key to a successful trip is to keep children occupied and happy, and this can be accomplished with some good snacks, new colouring book and a movie.  Here are some easy and portable ideas for travel with kids.

  • Granola bars, we especially like Lara bars or you could make your own.
  • Granola bites, these small one bite balls are great for kids.  I buy Made Good as they are lunchbox friendly.
  • Snack or trail mix, purchased or homemade both work very well.  For an easy homemade mix add: Cheerios, Chex, cheddar fish or bunnies, raisins or dried cranberries, pretzels and chocolate chips or m&m’s.
  • Applesauce, the easiest travel kinds are the ones in the squeeze pouch.
  • Mini muffins, if you have a stash in your freezer these are great for taking on trips.
  • Sliced apples or other sliced fruit.
  • Cheese string or Babybel cheese.
  • Wraps, I usually pack a peanut butter and jam wrap for my son, it keeps well and easy to eat on the-go.
  • Gum and a small bag of gummy candies.  This always makes their eyes light up when they get the have two treats during travel, and may have the ability to calm an upset child!

Happy travel,
Sara