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:

COUNT ON IT


          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


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 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 :-)



~  DESERTS  ~

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 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


Ingredients:

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



Instructions:

■ 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

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Josephine on 12th

A Taste of the South at Josephine Restaurant in Nashville!


            Just hearing the name makes you think of all things southern.....Josephine! I picked the perfect evening to dine on Josephine's gorgeous patio, take in the sights and sounds of Nashville's 12 South neighborhood and enjoy the fabulous cuisine this restaurant has to offer!


Check out photos from my visit below:


Josephine Restaurant


This is a gorgeous patio :-)
Josephine Restaurant



Josephine Restaurant


Skillet of Pretzel Rolls with Mustard Butter - Absolutely delicious!
Josephine Restaurant


Salad with Bibb Lettuce, bacon, croutons, radishes and herb buttermilk dressing
Josephine Restaurant


Josephine Chicken - Yes, this is a whole chicken that was brought to the table!
Josephine Restaurant


After the presentation of that beautifully flash fried whole chicken, the chefs cut it up into more manageable pieces for us!
Josephine Restaurant


Homemade Potato Salad that tasted delicious along with that chicken!
Josephine Restaurant


House Made Fettuccine with morel mushrooms, parsley and thyme - Delicious!
Josephine Restaurant




Peach Shortcake made with a Sweet Biscuit, Peaches, Blackberry sauce and Cream......Yummy!
Josephine Restaurant


German Chocolate Cake Doughnuts with Salty Coconut and Pecans......This is gooooooood!
Josephine Restaurant

You can find Josephine online and in person at:

www.josephineon12th.com
2316 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37204


- Dr. April

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Louisville KY Dining Experience

My Louisville, KY Dining Experience




            I was recently in Louisville, KY serving as the Opening Keynote Speaker at the Kentucky College Women's Leadership Conference! I had a great time teaching women about Blogging and it's role in Leadership Development. Of course, before and after my presentation, I ventured out in downtown Louisville to try out some of the great restaurants there! I feel like I need to take a trip back soon because there were so many restaurants on my list to try and I didn't make it to even a fraction of them. Since Louisville is only 2.5 hours from Nashville, I think there will be another road trip in the works for me soon!


My first stop was Proof on Main Street
Proof on Main



I had the most amazing Lavender Lemonade to start this experience off right! It combined house made Lavender Syrup, lemon and lime!
Proof on Main



And THIS my friends is a Grilled Cheese Sandwich!!! It is made with a Parmesan Crust, crisp apple, arugula, cheddar and Bourbon-Bacon Marmalade. These fries are drizzled with Truffle oil and shredded Parmesan...OMG!
Proof on Main



The interior of Proof is so cool!
Proof on Main




           I ventured into the 21C Museum Hotel which is connected to Proof Restaurant. As I was walking down the hall I glanced to my right and saw my image portrayed on the wall beside me. Of course, this stopped me dead in my tracks as I tried to figure out how this was happening lol! What you see floating around me are letters of the alphabet which people can "push" up, down and side to side with my hand. I was literally pushing the letter "i" around with my hand for almost a minute because it was so much fun! All of this is done virtually and I still don't understand it, but I thought it was really cool!





Later that evening, I met up with a friend of mine who was also in Louisville that week on a business trip. She and I ventured in to Sway Restaurant located in the Hyatt Regency Hotel for a late evening snack.
Sway Restaurant



I didn't have my DSLR camera with me that day so just bear with me through the cell phone pics........
Sway Restaurant
Love these Deviled Eggs!



You can never go wrong with Shrimp & Grits and this version was delicious!
Sway Restaurant


I noticed a lot of Salted Caramel items on the menu's in Louisville including this Salted Caramel Cake at Sway.....delicious!
Sway Restaurant



I stayed at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel and it was such a treat! I always enjoy historic hotels because they have so much character. I highly recommend it when staying in this city!
Seelbach Hilton Hotel


            As I was walking around downtown, I came across the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience. I thought it was simply a storefront as I walked past, but later learned from someone that this is an actual distillery with a tasting room! I was running short on time, but still should have actually gone in...bummer :-(. BTW, Evan Williams is the "secret" ingredient in my Holiday Cider Punch with Whiskey!

Evan Williams Experience



I could not have left Louisville without having a Hot Brown from the Brown Hotel! There are, of course, many restaurants in Louisville that feature Hot Brown's on the menu, but The Brown Hotel is where it all started and is why I had to have an authentic one there :-)
The Brown Hotel



Ta-da........The world famous HOT BROWN!

A Louisville tradition since 1926! Roasted Turkey Breast and Toast Points covered with sauce Mornay, Pecorino Morono Cheese baked golden brown and finished with bacon and tomatoes!
The Brown Hotel


This was my first time ever having a Hot Brown and let me tell you that it will not be my last! It is sooooooo savory and delicious! I had the waitress bring me a recipe card for it and you better believe I will eventually try my hand a making one myself very soon :-)
The Brown Hotel


 
 The Chocolate Striptease - Milk Chocolate Mouse, Espresso Steam Cake, Salted Caramel
The Brown Hotel


The reason it is called a Striptease is because once it's brought to the table, the waitress lights it on fire and the chocolate petals melt down along the sides! Very cool!
The Brown Hotel



The Brown Hotel
 

 This Raspberry Sorbet was super refreshing and delicious too. Check out that glass bowl!
The Brown Hotel



Before I got on the road headed back to Nashville, I decided to stop for breakfast. I came across this cute little cafe downtown called Mrs Potter's Coffee Lounge and Cafe.
Mrs Potter's Coffee Lounge and Cafe



I enjoyed a Pomesto Panini with Pesto, Cream Cheese, Roma Tomatoes on a grilled everything Bagel
Mrs Potter's Coffee Lounge and Cafe

 If you have any favorite Louisville restaurants you suggest I try on a future visit, leave them for me in the comments below!

-- Dr. April