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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Music City Tippler

Music City Tippler

            I recently visited The Music City Tippler with some of my fellow Nashville Food Blogger and enjoyed great appetizers and cocktails! The Tippler is tucked away in the Midtown area of Nashville and is a perfect place to grab drinks after work with co-workers, with friends, or if you get down like I do sometimes - by yourself! (I love eating out alone quite often....I get to enjoy my food uninterrupted and people-watch at the same time!)

Music City Tippler

The Tippler has small bites and appetizers that are the perfect accompaniment to any number of their great drinks and cocktails!
Music City Tippler

Music City Tippler

I had work to do once I got home so I sipped on this "Mocktail" which was fruity and refreshing......just how I like it!
Music City Tippler

There are books strategically placed for decoration inside The Tippler - love it! They even bring your check out to you in a book!
Music City Tippler

So the next time you are looking for a place to have an after-work Happy Hour or after-dinner drinks, think of the Music City Tippler! I'm sure you will love it!

Visit The Music City Tippler at www.MusicCityTippler.com

1922 Adelicia St.
Nashville, TN 37212

- Dr. April

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sinema Nashville

Sinema Restaurant Nashville

Sinema is one of the newest restaurants to hit the Nashville Food scene and it is both unique and exciting for diners to enjoy! They only been open about a month, but they already operate as though they've been open for years!

          From their website: "Sinema is an 8,000 square foot restaurant housed in the historic Melrose theater, with dining room seating for up to 120, and upstairs bar with lounge seating, and a private dining room for up to 20 people."

         The service was great, the food was superb and the experience with my friends was amazing! Take a look at my culinary adventure below:

Sinema Restaurant

Sinema Restaurant

Cocktail: "The One With Johnny Depp in It"
Sinema Restaurant

Bread N Butter - Sweet Corn Bacon Butter, Wonka Butter (This butter tastes like Candy!!!), Caviar Butter, Bella Bakery Bread
Sinema Restaurant

Octopus -Picholine Olive and Fingerling Picnic Salad, Smoked Paprika
Sinema Restaurant

House Ricotta - Broccoli, Bacon, Baguette
Sinema Restaurant

The Pig And The Peach - Bacon and Ham Perogi, Mushrooms, Stone fruit, Porcini Sauce Supreme
Sinema Restaurant

Surf -N- Turf - 12 oz New York Strip, Gulf Shrimp Scampi, Parmesan Creamed Sweet Corn Hash
Sinema Restaurant
I loved this!!! It's so filling that I took half of it home to eat the following day for dinner :-)


Caramel Corn - Popcorn Creme Profiteroles, Caramel Anglaise, Corn 4 Ways, peanuts
Sinema Restaurant

Stones - Millet Financier, Mixed Stone Fruits, Chamomile Whip
Sinema Restaurant

Chocolate - Triple Chocolate Bouchon, Violet Elderflower Milk, Chocolate Mouse, Malt Anglaise
Sinema Restaurant

Visit Sinema Nashville at www.SinemaNashville.com

2600 Franklin Pike
Nashville, TN 37204

- Dr. April

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bridge Bar at Renaissance Hotel Nashville

Bridge Bar at the Renaissance Hotel Nashville

           The Bridge Bar at the Renaissance Hotel downtown Nashville was recently celebrating the Global Day of Discovery which is part of a national celebration amongst all Renaissance hotels. Of course, since we are talking about Nashville here, there was awesome live music for us to enjoy as well as some items off of the Bridge Bar's fabulous new menu! You may not expect that a hotel bar would have such a great cuisine, but the Renaissance hotel in downtown Nashville is not your ordinary hotel. One step into the Bridge Bar, with large windows in every direction, offers visitors a wonderful view of downtown Nashville! It's a great space, great location and has awesome food! Check it out below:

Smoked Deviled Eggs with Applewood smoked eggs, TN Comeback Sauce, Benton's Farmhouse Bacon Crisp
Bridge Bar at Renaissance Hotel Nashville

Global Day of Discovery
Bridge Bar at Renaissance Hotel Nashville

Hot Chicken "Our Way" - Sweet Potato Pancake, Further's Farm honey, house-made pickle
Bridge Bar at Renaissance Hotel Nashville

Seared Scallop - Sweet Corn Cake, Lynchburg Pepper Jelly
Bridge Bar at Renaissance Hotel Nashville

Fried Chicken Livers- TN Old Mill Asiago Grits, pickled peach puree
Bridge Bar at Renaissance Hotel Nashville

Kale Salad - Parmesan dressing, Citrus Grilled Shrimp, toasted Quinoa
Bridge Bar at Renaissance Hotel Nashville

Short Rib Sliders - Braised Short rib, jalapeno slaw, Jacks BBQ Glaze
Bridge Bar at Renaissance Hotel Nashville

Visit the Bridge Bar restaurant online by clicking HERE

611 Commerce Street
Nashville, TN 37203

- Dr. April

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

404 Kitchen

Sweetness at the 404 Kitchen

                 I will start off by admitting that I have a SERIOUS sweet tooth and often times will visit a restaurant just to enjoy dessert! I did that recently at 404 Kitchen where Chef Matt Bolus dishes up great cuisine in the Gulch Neighborhood of Nashville. As I skimmed the menu for the perfect dessert to satisfy my sweet tooth I also came across some delicious potatoes (they turned out to be super savory and fabulous!) and decided to take a shot at them as well. So this may seem like a random dinner to some, but it satisfied my sweet tooth and filled me up at the same time! Now that I've had a great preview of how they get down at the 404 Kitchen, I'll be back soon for the full dining experience!

Farmer Dave's New Potatoes with Beurremont, parsley & Black pepper
404 Kitchen

Banana Semifreddo with a crispy rice base, peanut butter and marshmallow - Superb!
404 Kitchen
So, this is what I came in for and it turned all to be all kinds of fabulous! There are a number of different textures in this dessert from the crunch of the crispy rice to the fluffiness of the marshmallow and the smoothness of the Semifreddo! I can't forget about the caramelized banana that tops it.......superb as well!

The 404 Kitchen and Hotel
404 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37203

-- Dr. April

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Roasted Chicken, Potatoes and Peppers

Roasted Chicken, Potatoes and Peppers

               You can never go wrong with Chicken and Veggies for dinner! Here's a simple, yet delicious roasted chicken recipe that is cooked with the sides of potatoes and peppers. I love when the whole meal can be cooked in one dish!!! I adapted this recipe from the December 2013 edition of Woman's Day Magazine.

Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


2 Medium Sweet Potatoes (about 1 lb), peeled and cut into 2-in pieces
3 small Red Skin potatoes cut into 1 inch tick wedges
1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
4 small Chicken legs - split into 4 thighs and 4 drumsticks
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


■ Heat oven to 425 Degrees F

■ On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes, red skin potatoes and peppers with 2 tbsp oil and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper

■ In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the lime juice and remaining Tbsp oil, then the paprika and cinnamon

■ Nestle the Chicken pieces among the vegetables and roast until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are golden brown and tender, 25 to 30 minutes

** I cooked this in a baking dish instead of on a baking sheet which resulted in a longer cook time - 55-60 minutes.

I forgot the lemon juice in the previous pic!!!

                        I always use foil when baking in casserole dishes. The clean up is so much easier!!!

--Dr. April