July 29, 2011

Friday's Foodie Find

I always love finding new gadgets that make life easier in the kitchen. My current obsession is my Juiceman citrus juicer. It only juices citrus fruits but it's cheap and awesome. What makes this thing amazing is that it's electric. All you do is plug it in, cut your fruit in half, and push the citrus down on the juicer. I buy tons of lemons and limes and juice about 10 at the beginning of every week. I keep the juice in mason jars in my fridge so when I need lemon or lime juice (for cooking but mostly for my cocktails on the weekends) I just pour it in. Simple, convenient, and only about $25 at Target!

July 28, 2011

Tin Angel

One of my favorite restaurants in Nashville is Tin Angel. It's a cool, casual, neighborhood bistro with amazing food and a great vibe. Lucky for me, my house is a five minute walk to the restaurant. It's amazing to be able to walk down for a casual dinner at the bar any night of the week. My boyfriend and I definitely eat here once a week if we can.

I love the atmosphere of Tin Angel almost as much as the food. The exposed brick, fireplace, copper bar, tin ceiling, and local art remind me of a neighborhood joint you'd find in Greenwich Village. In fact, Tin Angel is named after a now closed restaurant in New York.

This past Tuesday we decided to sit at our usual spot at the bar and have dinner with a friend. If you don't like sitting at the bar, request to sit at one of the tables in the window. It's nice to watch the hustle and bustle of West End while enjoying a relaxing dinner.

When you go to Tin Angel, always start with the fried green tomatoes. They are the best fried green tomatoes I have ever had, seriously! They are extra crispy and served with a perfect horseradish sauce (I always order extra sauce with my tomatoes). For my entree, I ordered the Med Salad; an entree sized salad with fresh greens, orzo pasta, roasted red peppers, red onion, chickpeas, tomatoes, artichokes, toasted pumpkin seeds, feta, and grilled shrimp. A big salad! I'm not a huge shrimp fan so I usually get the salad without it, but this time I ordered the salad as is, and it was really good. 
I always get the Lemon-Herb dressing with this salad. Yum!
My boyfriend ordered his usual and one of the most popular dishes at Tin Angel, the Lobster and Shrimp Risotto. Let me tell you, this stuff is good! Risotto is one of my favorite foods if done right and they do it right. It is garlicky, buttery, cheesy, and comes with tons of warm red and yellow tomatoes that are to perfectly in season right now and are to die for. 
An amazing dish!
Our friend ordered another one of my favorite dishes, the Pasta Med. It is the only thing I ordered at Tin Angel for the first two years I started going there regularly. I couldn't not order it! It's a delicious pasta full of all my favorite things: tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, capers, spinach, artichokes, and feta cheese. Delicious!
My friend ordered his Pasta Med with meatballs.
As usual, we were too full for dessert but I was forced to order their Dark Chocolate Whiskey Indulgence which is an individually baked chocolate gooey brownie of sorts served with vanilla bean ice cream. It's pretty amazing. My boyfriend knows I'm happier when I have chocolate around so he got one to take home. 

When we move, which probably won't be long, I'm going to be sad that Tin Angel isn't right down the street. However, it's totally worth a drive. I definitely can't live without Pasta Med or their Fried Green Tomatoes in my life. And you shouldn't either! Go check them out.

P.S. - They have a killer brunch as well!

Happy Eating,

July 14, 2011

Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Co.

Chocolate might be my favorite thing in the world. Cheese and wine are at the top of my list of course, but chocolate definitely makes me the happiest. In the past, I've always been a milk chocolate only kind of girl. I never really understood how chocolate was chocolate without all the butter and sugar. Well, let me rephrase. I did understand, I just didn't think it tasted as good. As I've gotten older, I've grown to love dark chocolate. Not only is it delicious, but it's healthy too! Bonus!

Recently, an amazing local chocolate maker, Olive and Sinclair, opened in Nashville. They create small batch, hand crafted chocolate that founder, owner, and maker, Scott Witherow has labeled as "Southern Artisan Chocolate."
Their darkest chocolate made with organic cacao beans from the Dominican Republic
Olive and Sinclair offers a variety of creative and interesting flavors like Sea Salt, Salt and Pepper, Cacao Nibs, and Mexican Style Cinn-Chili. They are all amazing. And let's not forget the wrappers which are just as beautiful as the chocolate. Since I'm such a fan of all things spicy, I think I like the Mexican Style chocolate bar the best. The mix of the salty, dark chocolate and the smoky cinnamon blended to create a delicious granular textured bar is to die for. 
Check out their website for more information on the chocolate, the chocolate maker Scott, and some great photos and video on how it's all done.

Olive and Sinclair
1404 McGavock Pike, Suite C
Nashville, Tennessee
P: 615.262.3007


July 7, 2011

Pasta Night

On the nights that I am not eating out, I am usually making something simple, easy, and a breeze to clean up. That means we have pasta at least one night a week. I always use fresh veggies and sometimes throw some kind of protein in a separate pan for my meat-eating boyfriend. I hate to admit it, but yes, I almost always use store bought sauce. In the late summer when my parents' tomatoes are plentiful and ripe, I make a raw tomato basil sauce that is to die for. Until then, I settle for the jar. Luckily, I have found the best pasta sauce you can buy, Brignola! It is locally made in Old Hickory, TN. They have two varieties that are available at my local Whole Foods; Marinara and Arrabbiata. I always opt for the Arrabbiata since it is spicy and I'm obsessed with all things spicy!
As you've probably seen in my other posts, I'm always using veggies from my parent's garden. They have a small garden on their 7 acres in Franklin, TN and I'm always driving to their house to steal whatever summer veggies are ripe! Every week I throw in different veggies, whatever I have on hand that is fresh, local and in season. On this particular pasta night I had some summer squash from my parent's garden so I sautéed the squash along with some asparagus, onion, garlic, and kalamata olives.
All you need to do to make this simple dish is chop up all the veggies, throw them in a pan with some oil (lately I've been using coconut oil), and sauté them until they are slightly browned. Next, just pour the sauce over the veggies, let it all simmer for 5-7 minutes, and pour it on your pasta. That's it! A no fail, quick and easy dinner!
The final product topped with fresh parsley and crushed red pepper.  And of course, wine!
Don't forget to check out Brignola sauces. They really are amazing!

Happy Eating,