Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Baked French Toast Sticks

Homemade Baked French Toast Sticks

Most recipes for Homemade French Toast Sticks calls for them to be made in a pan on the stove. I came across a recipe on the A Beautiful Mess Blog that featured a baked version and started doing my Happy Food Dance right were I was! I bookmarked it and came back to it a couple of weekends ago when it was freezing cold outside and I wanted a warm and cozy breakfast to enjoy while I watched my Saturday morning shows! The recipe is super easy and here's how mine turned out:

Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 3-4 servings

4-5 Slices of Bread (I used French Bread)
4 Eggs
2 Tablespoons of cream or Half and Half (I used the Half and Half)
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
As much Cinnamon Sugar as you heart desires!


■ In a shallow mixing dish or bowl, mix eggs, half and half, vanilla extract and cinnamon sugar mixture.

■ Slice the Bead into sticks

■ Dip each bread slice into the egg mixture, making sure to coat each side

■ Place each coated stick on a baking sheet. I almost always use Aluminum Foil to line my baking sheets and did so this time as well. Do NOT use parchment paper as this is going in the oven under the BROIL setting and you don't want to start a fire!

■ Sprinkle a bit more Cinnamon Sugar over each stick

■ Place in the oven on the BROIL setting

■ Turn on the oven light and Don't go far! The BROIL setting works very quickly and if you walk away from it too far, you are liable to come out with burnt toast...YIKES!

■ Bake for 2-3 minutes.

■ Remove from the oven and turn each stick over, sprinkling a bit more Cinnamon Sugar to this side

■ Place in the oven and BROIL for another 2-3 minutes

■ Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes

■ Sprinkle one last little bit of Cinnamon Sugar and Voila!

■ Top with your favorite Syrup and ENJOY!

--Dr. April

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Biscuit Love Truck Filming for The Today Show

Biscuit Love Food Truck Filming for The Today Show

                 A little while back, I was on scene for the Today Show filming of the Biscuit Love Food Truck here in Nashville. They were filming for a small business segment about how to rehab small businesses that are facing financial trouble. As an entrepreneur who owns my medical practice, I TOTALLY understand the ebbs and flows of running a small business. As a food blogger, I love the Biscuit Love Truck and was there to support them! 

                 I wasn't sure when the episode would air or even if I would make the cut.....you never know how they will edit these episodes. However, I made the cut (about 1 second lol) in the segment and was, as usual, eating! A high school classmate of mine was the first person to alert me when she Facebook messaged me saying she saw me on the Today Show..... Thanks Kate!

Here are some pics from the night of the filming......

This is what I was chowing down on in the segment - a delicious biscuit and BBQ Short Rib over a bed of grits!

--Dr April

Monday, February 17, 2014

Upcoming Nashville Food Events

Upcoming Nashville Food Events

There are a couple of upcoming food events that I would like to share with you! They are all happening this week so be sure to check out the info included below if you are looking for some fun Music City events to enjoy!

Our Kids Soup Sunday

     Our Kids will host 50 of Nashville’s finest restaurants and more than 1,500 patrons at the
21st Annual Soup Sunday on Feb. 23, 2014, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at LP Field Club Level West. 

Come taste Nashville’s best soup and cast your vote for your favorite!

The Ford Our Kids Soup Sunday presented by US Foods benefits Our Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides medical evaluations and crisis counseling for children and families struggling with child sexual abuse.
Last year’s winners – Urban Grub, Fleet Street Pub and Vanderbilt University Dining – will be back to defend their titles, and we’ll also have longtime favorites like Sunset Gril, Antonios’, and Sperry’s. New hotspots like Lockeland Table, Porter Road Butcher and The Bridge Building catering wil also offer their best soups to hungry tasters.

Celebrity judges include two actors from ABC’s hit show Nashville – Eric Close (“Teddy Conrad”) and Charles Esten (“Deacon Claybourne”) – as well as Musician Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts, Vanderbilt Football Head Coach Derek Mason and Lightning 100 DJ Lt. Dan. Chef judges include Al Anderson of Big Al’s Deli, Ed Butler of US Foods, Nancy Vienneau of Good Food Matters and food writers Kay West, People Magazine, and Nikki Wood, Nashville Scene. George Plaster, Radio Host of 102.5 The Game, will emcee the event.

At $40 per family and $20 per adult when purchased in advance, this affordable event features plentiful entertainment for the kids, such as magicians, balloon artists, and face painters. There is also a silent auction where bidders can win vacation packages, event tickets, gift certificates and more. Discounted tickets may be purchased in advance at www.ourkidscenter.com until noon, Friday, Feb. 21.

“Soup Sunday is a wonderful event that raises money to help ensure that Our Kids’ clinical staff is on call 24/7 to respond to children and families struggling with child sexual abuse,” says Sue Fort White, Our Kids Executive Director. “This issue affects children all over Middle Tennessee. Being a part of Soup Sunday is a wonderful way to support the help, hope and healing for these children and families.”

Tickets may be purchased online or at the door the day of the event for: $45/family; $25/adult; $8/child or students.

For more information, call Our Kids at (615) 341-4917 or email info@ourkidscenter.com.

The first Soup Sunday was held in 1994 with 25 restaurants participating and 300 guests. Since that time, more than 200 restaurants have served approximately 7,700 gallons of soup to more than 13,000 attendees.

Our Kids mission is to provide expert medical evaluations and crisis counseling for children and families affected by child sexual abuse. Our Kids also conducts research and increases community awareness about child sexual abuse.


Bound’ry Hosts Women for Women Showcase Benefiting Thistle Farms

          On Wednesday, February 19, from 5 to 9 p.m., Bound’ry hosts the Women for Women Showcase. Servers from Bound’ry and South Street will gather for a concert, showcasing singer/songwriter talents. 
       This memorable performance will focus on raising money for one of Nashville's most worthy organizations, Thistle Farms, one of Nashville’s most loved and supported organizations, fostering women. Taking place in the Phoenix Room at Bound’ry, tickets will be $12 and include live performances, complimentary food and drink, and a silent auction.

Thistle Farms is a social enterprise of Nashville’s ever-growing, Magdalene House; a charity created to foster women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, addiction, and life on the streets. At Thistle Farms, the women create natural body care products, by hand. Magdalene House furnishes housing for 30 residents and graduates, and provides outreach services to women still living on the streets. New residents are given a key and are offered the necessary resources to maintain recovery, heal from childhood wounds, become physically healthy and find employment.

Aberdeen Green
Brittany Hadley Music
Courtney Drummey
Alexandera Saad
Becky Kinder

Additional Special Guests
Morgan Myles
Luisa Lopez 



                  After an overwhelming neighborhood response, Chef Bret Tuck and team at Edley’s Bar-B-Que East are happy to announce that everyone’s  local, monthly favorite – The East Nashville Catfish Fry – will continue as once-a-month tradition through June at Edley’s East. The East Nashville Catfish Fry will be held on the third Friday of the month from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Fans of this Southern staple meal are encouraged to mark their calendars as Chef Tuck prepares his signature hot and traditional catfish with all the fixins such as grits, greens, cornbread and banana pudding. Cost for unlimited catfish and traditional sides at the Edley’s East Catfish Fry is $12 per person (not including tax), for more information, visit www.edleysbbq.com or call (615) 873-4085.  Edley's Bar-B-Que East is located at 908 Main Street, Nashville, TN 37206. Connect with Edley’s on Twitter @Edleysbbq and at facebook.com/edleys

WHAT:                Edley’s Bar-B-Que Hosts The Monthly East Nashville Catfish Fry          
                              Enjoy Traditional Catfish Dinner with Southern Sides, Drink Specials and Live Music
WHEN:               Third Friday of every month through June from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., as follows:
Friday Feb. 21, Friday March 21, Friday April 18, Friday May 16, Friday June 20
WHERE:            Edley's Bar-B-Que East
908 Main Street
Nashville, TN 37206
(615) 873-4085   

COST:                  Unlimited fried catfish with Southern sides is $12 per person (not including tax), served family style

For more information, visit www.edleysbbq.com


--Dr. April 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Heart Shaped Peppermint Marshmallows

Heart Shaped Peppermint Marshmallows

             I've wanted to make homemade marshmallows for quite some time now. I've scoured the internet for an easy marshmallow recipe that doesn't involve double boilers, candy thermometers and all the hoopla.....if you know what I mean! I stumbled upon this recipe from the Katie Brown Home Workshop one day and thought, "How cute!! I'll makes these in February to post for Valentine's Day!" I felt like I was involved in a kindergarten arts & crafts project and it was truly Fun Fun Fun!

              ****I should note that these are not the true-to-form marshmallows that you are familiar with. They have to be consumed right out of the freezer and there is definitely no opportunity to roast them over an open fire lol!


Time:10 minutes prep time + 10 minutes cutting out heart shapes
Yield: 10-12 Heart shaped Marshmallows


■ 1 Container of store bought whipped topping (ie. Cool Whip)
■ Peppermint Extract
■ Pink or Red Food Coloring
■ Waxed Paper
■ Heart shaped Cookie Cutter

Peppermint Marshmallows

Peppermint Marshmallows


■ Mix 1 Container of store bought whipped topping with 1/2 Cup of water

■ Add 2 drops of peppermint extract

■ Place waxed paper over a casserole dish and spread whipped topping into the dish

■ Place drops of pink food coloring into the dish and carefully drag a knife through it to create a swirl pattern

■ Freeze for a least 4 hours

■ Cut out shapes with a small heart shaped cookie cutter

■ Place directly in hot chocolate

■ Place leftovers back in the freezer to enjoy another time!

Peppermint Marshmallows

Peppermint Marshmallows

Peppermint Marshmallows

Peppermint Marshmallows

--Dr. April

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies for Valentine's Day!

             While blog surfing one day last year, I came across this recipe from Sandra Mangas for the cutest little cookies and knew I had to try them for the blog :-) I clipped the recipe straight from the internet to my Evernote account (one of the greatest things since sliced bread) and figured I'd make it eventually. Well because the really cute chocolate designs on these cookies gave me the warm fuzzies, I decided to make them for Valentine's Day! Not only are they cute, they are also really fun to make. Of course, I've included the recipe for you to try too!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies


Time: 45 min
Yield: 16 cookies


Cookie Dough:
■ 1 stick of Butter
■ 1/2 Cup of Peanut Butter - room temp
■ 1/2 Cup Sugar
■ 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
■ 1 egg
■ 3 Cups flour
■ 1 pinch of salt

■4-5 Tablespoons of water      ** This was not in the original recipe, but I found that there was NO way the cookie dough was going to really amalgamate properly without a couple of tablespoon of water. Be careful not to add to much. Just enough for the dough to become "sticky"


■ 8oz of Dark Chocolate
■ 3/4 Cup of Chopped toasted peanuts or mixed nuts


■ Start preparing the cookies. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter and sugars until smooth. 

■ Add egg and mix until combined.

■ Add Flour and salt AND water, mix until combined then shape into a ball

■ Divide the dough in two or three portions and gather each one into a slightly flattened ball

■ Working with one ball of dough at a time, roll it out between two baking papers to a thickness of maximum 0.5cm

■ Freeze for 30 minutes or place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours

■ Take the dough out of the freezer (or fridge)

■ Use a round cookie cutter to cut out cookies

■ Transfer them on a prepared baking sheet

■ Freeze for another 15 minutes

■ Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F and slip cookies into the oven to bake for 10 minutes, until just slightly browned at the edges

■ Let the cookies rest on the baking tray for at least 10 minutes before transferring them on a rack to cool completely

■ When the cookies are completely cold, it is time to decorate. Melt the chocolate using the microwave or a saucepan. (I like to add a teaspoon of milk to chocolate pieces when I'm melting them on the stove to make the melting process smoother, literally and figuratively...)

■ Place cookie, down side up, on a working surface. Place you stencil over the cookie

■ Pour 1 tsp chocolate over the stencil and using a knife or the back of a spoon, distribute chocolate over the stencil. Scrape the excess off the stencil     *** I found that 1 teaspoon poured over each stencil was too much and caused the chocolate to smear. Start off with a tiny amount and add more as you go.

■ Lift the stencil away from the cookie

■ For best results, every 2-3 applications, clean the stencil with warm water and dry thoroughly

■ Dip the edge of the cookie into melted chocolate and then dip into the chopped nuts

■ Repeat with all the cookies and let them cool until set

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter and Chocoalte Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

--Dr. April

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Valentine's Day Specials at Cantina Loredo Nashville

Valentine's Day Specials at Cantina Loredo

          A couple of days ago, I had the pleasure of attending a special Valentine's Day menu tasting at Cantina Loredo! In the company of other Nashville Food Bloggers and food writers, we feasted on a delightful menu including cocktails, soup/salad, main course and dessert! The General Manager, Matt Langston and the Executive Chef Josh Santiago, shared insight about the experience they like for customers to have. Cantina Loredo is modern, sleek, and sophisticated. I was impressed with what I ate :-)

        For $35 per person you can enjoy this special menu for Valentine's Day! If you want to add cocktail parings with your meal, it's only $15 extra!

          Cantina Loredo Nashville serves modern Mexican food in a sophisticated, vibrant atmosphere. In addition to serving lunch and dinner, Sunday brunch and a full service bar, they offer full service catering and a private dining room perfect fro small gatherings, receptions or dinners .

Keep reading.....I have an extra nice surprise at the bottom of this post!! **Wink Wink**

The Special Valentine's Day menu
Cantina Loredo Nashville

Passion Fruit Margarita made with Herradura Silver Tequila, passion fruit syrup and fresh lime
Cantina Loredo Nashville

Peach Berry Flaca Flip - Hornitos Plata Tequila and fresh lime juice with peach syrup and triple sec topped with club soda and a strawberry flip of DeKuyper Strawberry Pucker
Cantina Loredo Nashville
I love anything with a great peach flavor and this was perfect for me!!! I could have gone for 2 of them :-)

Sopa De Pimiento - Creamy roasted red pepper soup topped with almonds and queso fresco. I'm usually not good with heat, but this was so creamy and flavorful that the heat was balanced out perfectly. The almonds were great and offered an added dimension to the texture. It is soooo good!
Cantina Loredo Nashville

Filet Negro Peppercorn - 7 oz. Certified Angus Beef filet mignon topped with black peppercorn dijon sauce
Cantina Loredo Nashville
Delicious! This entire dish was savory and the filet had just the right amount of "saltiness".

Churros - Drizzled with chocolate raspberry sauce, Grand Mariner cajeta to dip
Cantina Loredo Nashville
I love that you can taste the Grand Mariner in the dipping sauce :-)

Strawberry Bunuelos - Fresh Strawberries, whipped cream and vanilla ice cream on cinnamon chips
Cantina Loredo Nashville

Cantina Loredo
592 12th Ave S,
Nashville, TN 37203

It's Giveaway Time!!

The winner chosen at Random is 

Santayanna "Sauntei" H.

**************I have a $25 Gift Card to give away for dining at Cantina Loredo!!!*************

Here's how to enter!

1.) Follow me on Twitter (@DinnerWithNerds) and Facebook (Facebook.com/DinnerWithNerds). If you already follow me on both...Thanks!

2.) In honor of Valentine's Day, on either Facebook or Twitter, tell me the worst pick-up line you've ever heard lol!

3.) Mention on Twitter and/or Facebook "Enter to win a $25 Gift card to Cantina Loredo Nashville from @DinnerWithNerds!

4.) Come back here and tell me you have done all three of the above. ** If you have trouble leaving me a message here, email me at dr.carmenapril@DinnerWithNerds.com

**Make sure to leave your Twitter Handle and/or Facebook URL so that I can contact you if you are the winner!

■ The sweepstakes ends at 11:59 pm on Wednesday February 12th, 2014!

■ I will randomly draw a winner once the contest ends.

**The winner has 24 hours after I notify them to acknowledge my contact. If I get no response, I will randomly draw another name!


--Dr. April

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Red Velvet Puppy Chow

Red Velvet Puppy Chow

Back in October I made a Halloween Version of Puppy Chow - one of my all time favorite childhood snacks! Well, now that I'm an adult who still loves this treat as well as a food blogger who likes to come up with creative things, I decided to do a version a Puppy Chow in honor of Valentine's Day!! How does Red Velvet Puppy Chow sound to ya????  Awesomeness is the word that comes to my mind :-) The recipe, which I adapted from the Your cup of Cake Blog, is below:


Time: 30-45 minutes total
Yield: 5 Cups


■ 5 Cups Rice Chex Cereal
■ 3/4 Cups White Chocolate Chips
■ 1/4 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips
■ 2 oz. Cream Cheese - room temp
■ 1 1/2 Tbsp Milk (I used Almond Milk)
■ 1 Cup Red Velvet Cake Mix
■ 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
■ Valentine colored M&M's or other candies
■ Heart shaped sprinkles for extra decoration!


■ Measure your Rice Chex Cereal and place in a large bowl

■ Place Cake Mix and powdered sugar into a large plastic bag or Tupperware with a lid

■ Melt Chocolates together on the stove and stir until smooth

■ Stir in Cream Cheese and Milk

■ Pour Chocolate over Rice Chex Cereal and stir until coated

■ Dump Cereal coated in chocolate in the bag or tupperware with powdered sugar and cake mix. Shake, shake, shake until coated.

■ Dump onto a cookie sheet and let cool.

■ Mix with colorful candies and serve

** Because of the cream cheese, you will need to refrigerate these.....if, there are any leftover lol!

Red Velvet Puppy Chow

Red Velvet Puppy Chow

Valentine M&Ms

Red velvet Puppy Chow

Red Velvet Puppy Chow

-- Dr. April

Monday, February 3, 2014

Olive & Sinclair Opens New Factory

Olive & Sinclair opens New Factory in Nashville!

               In early January 2014, Olive & Sinclair founder Scott Witherow and team opened the doors to their brand new factory and retail store at 1628 Fatherland St., Nashville, Tennessee 37206. Olive & Sinclair products are currently available across the U.S. at select Whole Foods Markets, choice retailers and coffee shops and has recently gone international with shelf space at of Selfridges London and Japan’s FRESCA.  With increased production needs and a growing roster of O&S products, the team was outgrowing their original McGavock Pike space. Witherow began the search for a new location that would not only meet the necessary production criteria, but which would also offer an environment with history and character, fitting of the Olive & Sinclair brand. 

            The space at 1628 Fatherland St. was originally home to HG Hills Food Store in the early 1900s, followed by an Archway Cookies factory and a woodworking factory.

           One of the most important benefits of the relocation is the ability to officially open Olive & Sinclair’s doors to the public. Passersby will have full view of the O&S team at work and fans of Olive & Sinclair will now have the chance to experience the bittersweet smell of roasting cacao beans and watch the hands-on chocolate making process during factory tours.

          The Saturday tours will give guests the opportunity to see the O&S team at work operating antique melangers (Spanish stone mills from the early 1900’s), roasters and more, enjoying O&S samples along the way. It’s not uncommon the O&S crew to provide samples of new products that have not yet reached the market.  Beginning Feb. 1, factory tours will be hosted on Saturdays every hour from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Retail store hours are Thursday - Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

          Since its inception in 2009, Nashville, Tenn. based Olive & Sinclair has championed the Southern approach to bean to bar chocolate making. Founding owner Scott Witherow oversees every batch of Southern Artisan Chocolate™, which is slow roasted and stone ground in small batches with single origin beans. The current lineup includes nine bars such as Mexican Style Cinn-Chili, Buttermilk White and Coffee with ingredients such as pure brown sugar, brown butter and Southern-staple buttermilk.  Orders may be placed online or at select retailers across the country and abroad.

         For more information, visit www.oliveandsinclair.com or call (615) 262-3007. Olive & Sinclair’s factory and retail store is located at 1628 Fatherland St., Nashville, Tennessee 37206. Connect with Olive & Sinclair on Twitter @OliveSinclair and on Facebook.

This Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Bar was perfect as one of my recent mid-day snacks!
Olive and Sinclair

--Dr. April