Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Holiday Festive

Holiday Festive!

            Because I’m still in the holiday spirit I’ve decided to share two very cute and easy recipes from a Thanksgiving Brunch I put together for my family. My family often hosts Thanksgiving Dinner at my parents home, but when our cousins offered to host it this year, I decided to put together a Thanksgiving Brunch for my immediate family and it was a hit! The two items they loved the most were my Chicken and Waffle Sliders and the Thanksgiving Brunch “Mocktails”. 

               P.S. - It may not be a bad idea to keep these items on hand in your kitchen - you never know when a family member, friend or neighbor may stop by for an impromptu Brunch one day!

Chicken & Waffle Sliders

Chicken and Waffle Sliders

❐ Prep Time: 5 Minutes
❐ Cook Time: 20 Minutes

❐ Frozen Mini Waffles (Eggo is my favorite Brand!)
❐ Breaded Chicken Tenders
❐ Maple Syrup
❐ Toothpicks

❐ Toast your Waffles
❐ Bake your Chicken Tenders in the oven per package instructions (**Note: 1 Chicken Tender cut into pieces will give you about 3-4 servings)
❐ Place the chicken pieces in between two miniature waffles and secure with a toothpick
❐ Place on a platter and drizzle with delicious Maple Syrup

Holiday Brunch Mocktail (non-alcoholic)

Holiday Mocktails

❐ Sparkling Juice such as Sparkling Grape Juice or Sparkling Peach Juice
❐ Ginger Ale

❐ Chill both the Sparkling juice and the Ginger Ale prior to serving

❐ Mix 1/2 Sparkling Juice and 1/2 Ginger Ale into each glass
❐ You may add garnish such as Cranberries {OR} that of the alcoholic variety if you like :-)

Here are a couple of other things I served up to make the Brunch Complete: 

Spinach & Mushroom Quiche

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

 Roasted Potatoes with Peppers

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

I hope your 2015 has started off Blessed and Prosperous!

--Dr. April

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

There is nothing better than to enjoy food, drink and find satisfaction in work

"So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God."

- Ecclesiastes 2:24

Dr. Carmen April Blogger

          Greetings to all of you, my Dinner With Nerds friends!!! I know it's been a while since I've posted regularly here on my blog, but I've had so many wonderfully exciting things going on in my life that I frankly haven't made the time to sit down and add to this blog as much as I used to.

          For a while, I felt guilty about not adding to the blog and pushing out a blog post weekly (For quite a while I published a post every Tuesday). However, I soon got over the guilt when I remembered that there are 24 hours in any given day - and no more than that. The reason I've always been pretty good at juggling a lot of activities on my plate is that I identify my priorities and, as of late, being more intentional about "following my HAPPY!"

          Food still makes me HAPPY! Food Photography still makes me HAPPY! Dining out with my family and friends still makes me HAPPY! Blogging about food still makes me HAPPY! Giving Recommendations on great local restaurants STILL makes me HAPPY! The awesome thing is that some other great opportunities have come my way this year that make me really, really happy too and I've been spending time cultivating those opportunities and relationships :-)

          Along with God my Father, I am the Co-creator of of my medical practice and that requires a lot of work. As my practice has grown, I've increased my time investment in it.....and I find satisfaction and reward it that.

At the very beginning of 2014, I made a declaration that my phrase for the year was:


          God placed this phrase on my heart and promised me that if I was bold enough to have AUDACIOUS FAITH in Him, I could count on the blessings I had been requesting of HIM! Well, we are not quite to the end of 2014, and I have already been blown away by the way God has blessed my life this year :-)

          I've learned how to relax a lot more and have even done a couple of lectures at conferences about using the Power of your Subconscious Mind to De-Stress. Here's a photo below from one of those recent conference:

Dr. Carmen April Leadership Speaker

          I've enjoyed some great food at great restaurants and while I still sneak in my food shots while I'm out eating and post to INSTGRAM, I've tried to be more present with the friends and family members that I'm dining with.

          Have you been out with a group of friends and every single person at the table is scrolling their thumb along the face of their smartphone checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, etc? I'm convinced that we are somehow missing out on great moments of interaction, laughter and connection when we are paying more attention to what's going on in our phones than on the people who are right in front of us. (I am sooooo guilty of this a time or two myself lol). Can I get a WITNESS?!?!?!

          I've had a couple of folks tell me that they don't see my posts on the Dinner With Nerds Facebook Page much anymore and that is a combination of me not posting as frequently and because Facebook has developed this funky algorithm that only allows the posts to go out to and be seen by about 10% of the following....bummer :-(. Then, they try to get me, as the page administrator, to pay money to "boost my post" so that more people who follow my page can see it - not happening lol!

          So, I invite you all to follow me on Instagram (@DinnerWithNerds) and Twitter (@DinnerWithNerds), if you don't already, because that's where I've been spending more of my "micro-blogging" time lately.

During this Holiday season (my FAVE time of the year, BTW), I encourage you to:

❐ Be more present with the people around you and those you love

❐ Work hard AND Play hard 

❐ Remember Ecclesiastes 2:24 that says "So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God."

I'll see you in the New Year with New Restaurant Spotlights and Recipes!

--Dr. April

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Local Fest at Riverwood Mansion

Local Fest @ The Mansion

Riverwood Mansion
 Riverwood Mansion


  Local Fest @ The Mansion is a community event celebrating the farmers, artisans and purveyors that are driving the creative uniqueness of Nashville. The event occurs  November 15, 2014 at Riverwood Mansion.

          The event is two tiered, starting with a free festival from 10am-4pm and ending with a ticketed "Pop Up" Dinner from 5-9pm

10am - 4pm
Free Entrance/ FREE Parking
          Attendees will enjoy live music, food, local craft brews, lawn games, artisan vendor tents and locally produced spirits upon the sprawling 8 acre gardens of Historic Riverwood Mansion. The event will be tented for rain or shine.

POP Up Dinner Details
Tickets sold at www.LocalFestNashville.com stating Oct 6th
4pm - cocktail hour inside the Mansion
5pm Dinner Seating Begins

          The pop up dinner is a ticketed event. Chef Trey Cioccia of The Farm House, Chef Edgar Pendley of Urban Grub, Chef Carey Bringle of Peg Leg Porker, and Debbie Sutton of 8 Lavendaer Lane will provide a collaborative menu that celebrates the local farmers, vendors and artisans that are driving Nashville's National Recognition as a foodie town. The Pop Up dinner will begin with a VIP Happy Hour with creative cocktails served inside the mansion. A Portion of proceeds will go to benefit On Target 4 Vets 501c3. Tickets will go on sale for the Pop up dinner on Oct 6th and can be purchased by visiting www.LocalFestNashville.com

-- Dr April

Friday, October 31, 2014

Brunch Bash: A Unique American Cancer Society Event

Brunch Bash: A Unique American Cancer Society Event


Who doesn’t love Sunday brunch? Come out to the Musicians Hall of Fame on 
Sunday, November 16, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., and enjoy a sampling of your favorite brunch 
dishes and drinks - courtesy of many local restaurants and breweries – live country 
music, a viewing area for live NFL games, and much more. 

Nashville’s growing food scene has garnered recognition nationwide. This unique 
event will bring even more attention to our best restaurants, and will raise funds 
to help the American Cancer Society save lives and create a world with less cancer 
and more birthdays by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures, and by 
fighting back. 

The American Cancer Society hopes you will join them for this new, exciting, Sunday fun-day event! Together, we can finish the fight against cancer.

Visit GALA.ASCEVENTS.ORG for more info and to buy your advance tickets today!

-- Dr. April

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nothing Bundt Cakes Celebrates Anniversaries

Nothing Bundt Cakes Celebrates Anniversaries

Nothing Bundt Cakes is celebrating the anniversary of two of its local bakeries!

           "They say, While some people already know about our premium-quality cakes, we hear from guests each day about the moist, rich flavors of our cakes. Once people try them, they're hooked!"

          Lynne and Jeff Warne opened their first Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery on Sept. 23, 2011 in the Greenway at Belle Meade at 21 White Bridge Road, Nashville. They opened their second bakery on Oct. 26, 2012 in Thoroughbred Village at 535 Cool Springs Blvd., Franklin.

          Nothing Bundt Cakes offers 10 flavors of cake in four sizes, from bite-sized Bundtinis (sold by the dozen) to Bundtlets (single-serving cakes) to the larger 8-in. and 10-in. bundt cakes that serve up to 18 people. All cakes feature a signature frosting made of cream cheese, real butter and a proprietary vanilla. Perfect for every occasion, Nothing Bundt Cakes make great gifts or treats for the holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, baby showers and more. Customized corporate orders can be fulfilled by request.

         Nothing Bundt Cakes flavors include: chocolate chocolate chip, red velvet, lemon, white chocolate raspberry, carrot, marble, white white chocolate, cinnamon swirl and pecan praline. A rotating featured flavor 'rounds-out' the choices. In October and November, the feature flavor is pumpkin spice.

         Nothing Bundt Cakes is one of the nation's few bakeries committed to the baking of bundt cakes. Each cake features hand crafted cake decorations that are smart, contemporary and fun, customized to enhance any occasion. For more information or to order online, visit www.nothingbundtcakes.com

I love these little bundt cakes! They are super moist and simply delectable!

PS - Red Velvet is my favorite flavor!!! What is yours?

Dr. April

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower Pizza

Roasted Cauliflower Pizza

           Pizza is one of my comfort foods because of the fabulous combination of dough, cheese and the freedom to top it with whatever you please! I found a great looking Vegetarian Pizza Recipe in an old December 2013 issue of Woman's Day Magazine and decided to try it out for you and for me :-).

           My version did not look like what was shown in the beautiful picture in Woman's Day Magazine and that go under my skin a bit. Hey.... I'm being honest LOL! I realized that the amount of parsley flakes I added caused my version to be darker than the perfectly styled picture in the magazine. When I couldn't find any fresh parsley in the grocery store, I settled for the dried parsley flakes. 1/2 cup of fresh parsley leaves DOES NOT equal 1/2 cup of dried parsley flakes. With that substitution, I should have only used a sprinkle of parsley flakes (OR) I could have just gone to another grocery store to look for the fresh parsley. So now that you have been informed on that little fact (that I learned the hard way) here it is!

Time: 40 minutes total
Yield: serves 4


Cornmeal for the baking sheet
1 lb Pizza Doughm thawed if frozen
1/2 medium head (about 1 lb) cauliflower, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (I actually cheated and bought them already sliced & diced)
1/2 Cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
6 oz Shredded Cheese - Italian Pizza Blend


■ Heat oven to 425 Degrees F. Dust a baking sheet with cornmeal. 

■ Shape the dough into a 16 inch oval and place on the prepared baking sheet.

■ In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower, onion and parsley with the oil, red pepper and 1/2 tsp salt

■ Fold in the cheese to the mixture above

■ Scatter the vegetable mixture over the dough. Bake until the cauliflower is tender and the crust is golden brown and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes

--Dr. April

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Manship Restaurant

The Manship Restaurant in Jackson, MS

            I was recently back in my home state of Mississippi visiting my family during a much needed summer break (I when I say a "much needed break" you have no clue just how serious I am about that!!). The Jackson, MS metro area has some pretty cool restaurants popping up that I had to check out. One of them is The Manship!

        According to their website: "The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen is located in the historic Belhaven neighborhood of Jackson. The Manship, the brain child of Chef Alex Eaton and entrepreneur/sommelier Steven O’Neill , transforms the essence of Mediterranean food and southern classics. Eaton and O’Neill strive to capture the wonderful cuisine of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean, while maintaining a southern flair. The restaurant is as chic as it is rustic and will make you feel as though you have been transported out of Jackson. Eaton’s seasonal cooking style will make certain you are eating the freshest seasonal ingredients, sourced from local purveyors throughout the south. Eaton utilizes local European import companies to source authentic ingredients produced all over the Mediterranean. The menu designs are based off the relationship between the chef and the farmers and what foods are available at the moment. The craft cocktail program headed up by Steven O’Neill, follows suite with the kitchen philosophy. Hand crafted drinks show respect to the prohibition cocktail era and are made unique with The Manship’s twist. The top shelf at the bar is worth writing home about and promises to deliver the finest spirits in the state. There is also a notable wine and craft beer list for those less inclined to cocktails. The Manship is a neighborhood spot, with a big city feel and packed full of interesting and unique flavors fit for everyone’s palates."

            I knew I was in the place to be that day when I first walked through the door and caught a whiff of the cuisine cooking in the wood-fire kitchen! The experience was wonderful and will definitely be on list of restaurant to visit the next time I'm in the area! Check out my dining experience below:

The Manship Restaurant

List of local Farms and Vendors used in The Manship's Dishes
The Manship

Parmesan Reggiano Fries - Awesome!!
The Manship Restaurant

Smoked BB Wings with White BBQ Sauce
The Manship

Corn Maque Choux - This was so awesome that I could go back and have it all by itself. It's pretty filling
The Manship

Spit Fire Greek Chicken
The Manship

Fire Roasted Cauliflower
The Manship

Scallops & Grits
The Manship Restaurant

Peach Cobbler made with fresh local peaches - Fabulous!!!
The Manship

You can find The Manship at www.TheManshipJackson.com

1200 North State St.
Jackson, MS

- Dr. April