Thursday, January 30, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday Rotel Dip

Super Bowl Sunday Rotel Dip with Ground Turkey

              Super Bowl Sunday is just a couple days away and if you are like me, you've been planning your game watching menu!! One of my go-to, always on the menu, Super Bowl Party foods is the all-American Rotel Dip!! Most people make theirs with ground beef, but I make mine with ground Turkey. I've convinced myself that it is healthier than the beef version........never mind all that Velveeta Cheese LOL!
             Speaking of Velveeta Cheese, did ya'll hear about the Velveeta Cheese shortage a couple of weeks ago?? It sent me into a tizzy and I drove straight to the store to scoop mine up before the masses descended upon the grocery stores. Thank goodness I got my hands on that Velveeta........Rotel Dip just ain't the same without it :-)




Time: 25 min
Yield: 5-6 servings

■ 1 can of Rotel Tomatoes
■ 1 package of Velveeta Cheese (16 oz)
■ 1 lb of ground beef or ground turkey
■ Tortilla Chips


■ Brown your ground beef or turkey and cook thoroughly in a skillet. If using ground beef, you must drain the meat once it's done. If using ground turkey, there is nothing really to drain!

■ In a separate skillet or pot, slowly melt the Velvetta Cheese

■ Add the entire can of Rotel to the Velvetta Cheese and stir

■ Add the ground beef/turkey to the Rotel-Velvetta Mix and stir

■ Pour Dip into festive Super Bowl Bowl along with a side of Tortilla Chips and Enjoy!

Rotel Dip

Rotel Dip

Rotel Dip

I hope you enjoy your Rotel Dip as much as I do! For more Superbowl Party Ideas, check out my Superbowl Party Idea Board on Pinterest!

--Dr. April

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Boca Loca Cantina & Taco Factory

Boca Loca Cantina and Taco Factory

                     Right before Christmas 2013, I enjoyed some tacos from one of the newest additions to the Hillsboro Village Restaurant Scene, Boca Loca Cantina and Taco Factory, when they catered a Holiday Party I attended. From the moment the tortilla hit my mouth, I was hooked!!! The flavors that burst through from their menu items are out of this world and I just had to head over to the restaurant for the full experience! On my first visit to the restaurant, I arrived on a Tuesday evening....just in time for Happy Hour. I was certainly excited when I found out that Happy Hour at Boca Loca means 2 for 1 Tacos.....Yippie!!! With that experience being even better than the first, I decided I had to come back (again) and interview the Chef/Owner, David Reyes.

                    David has a wealth of experience in the restaurant industry and is responsible for developing the concept for a plethora of restaurants around the country as a part of Chicago's famed National Restaurant Group. He brings an unique, but truly authentic, taste of Mexican fair into a space that was once a home and has been a number of restaurant concepts since then.

                      Reyes grew up in the restaurant business because his grandfather owned a number of restaruarants in Chicago. David remembers going to the market with him on Saturdays to buy produce and other items. After high school and a short stint in the Military, Reyes decided to enroll in Culinary School at Kendall College in Chicago. An internship during Culinary school led him to Mexico for a year, then on to France at a Top Rated Restaurant. In just 3 short months after arriving in France, he was fluent in French as it was a requirement to survive in that upscale dining establishement. After his time in France, he did a stent in New Orleans and loved it! He brings all these culinary experiences and his natural knack for balancing spices with flavors to Boca Loca.  The menu at Boca Loca only has about 20 menu items, but Reyes strives for the best at those 20-something items. The flavors are bold and distinct without the use of unnecessary fillers that simply take up room.

                       The day I came to interview Boca Loca, they had just rolled out a line of new tacos and once again, I was head over heels crazy about them! These tacos are globally inspired, my favorite being the Ahi Tuna Taco (all of the new tacos are pictured below)! I arrived during Brunch and was able to check out that creative Brunch menu. I don't normally associate Mexican cuisine with Brunch, but their menu allows an opportunity to think outside the box.

                     Reyes and the team at Boca Loca, translated "Crazy Mouth", are thrilled with their location in Hillsboro Village. They are getting to know the neighborrhood residents who are frequent visitors as well as students and families looking for an authentic Mexican restaurant experience. Boca Loca is now one of my go-to places for great Mexican food at an awesome price and great overall experience. In fact, just 3 days after this interview I was back for more!!!!

Take a look at what I enjoyed below:

Brunch Menu

Boca Loca

They have a Great Happy Hour Monday - Friday from 3-6:30 pm.
Boca Loca

Thirsty Thursdays!

Wednesdays - 5 tacos for just $10....WOW!
Boca Loca

The Al Pastor Taco is one of my favorites!
Boca Loca

The bottom four are the new tacos they rolled out recently
Boca Loca

Chilaquiles - Chips, salsa verde, queso fresco. Avocado, radish, 2 fried eggs. The first thing I noticed about this brunch dish is the amazing aroma! Check out the Fried Eggs on top!
Boca Loca

A nice Ginger Beer to wash it all down :-)
Ginger Beer

Ahi tuna Taco- guacamole, jalapeƱo jelly, pickled ginger. **This is my absolute Fave of the new tacos!
Boca Loca

Red snapper Taco- Pineapple tomatillo salsa, paprika aioli, cabbage
Boca Loca

I love Red snapper and it's great in this Taco!
Boca Loca

Spicy shrimp Taco- Arbol chile sauce, citrus slaw, spicy peanuts, Chipotle ranch
Boca Loca
**You have to be able to stand some heat if you order this Taco! Ya'll know I'm a wimp when it comes to spicy things so I really couldn't even finish this one. However, a friend of mine loved it and even asked for this seasoning to be added to another Taco lol!

Duck Carnitas Taco - mole, sesame seeds, pickled onion. This duck was so very succulent...I loved it!
Boca Loca

Boca Loca

You can find Boca Loca at 

2000 Belcourt Ave
Nashville, TN
Boca Loca

-- Dr. April

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Buttermilk & Honey Pie

Buttermilk & Honey Pie

A couple months ago I enjoyed a Peach Pie with a Buttermilk base at Husk here in Nashville and near 'bout lost my mind while I was eating it because it was so good! You can see that blog post about Husk HERE. Ever since that time, I've been on the hunt for a good Buttermilk Pie recipe. Well, I found one and made two Pies! I shared them with my friends and they were gone in no time at all :-). Buttermilk and Honey pie is a custard type pie that is creamy, smooth and downright delicious!

I found this recipe on the A Beautiful Mess Blog and absolutely love how it turned out!!

Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 1- 2 pies depending on how shallow your baking dish/pan is. My pans were shallow and yielded 2 pies


3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons flour
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


■ Whisk the eggs with the sugar and honey

■ Stir in the other ingredients

■ Pour mixture into a pre-made pie crust. If you are really fancy, you can make your own crust :-)

■ Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes until the sides are golden brown and the pie is set

■ Allow to cool at least 20 minutes before serving

--Dr. April

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cranberry Jello Shots

Cranberry Jell-o Shots

          Christmas Season in the April Household is a pretty big deal! As I'm sure I've mentioned here on the blog before, I came from a pretty big extended southern family who LOVES to get together and chow down on Holidays. Christmas is my absolute favorite Holiday of them all and I wanted to come up with something fun, pretty and different to share with my all my family. I decided to make a little something to get the party, I mean dinner, started! What better way to kick things off than with Holiday themed Jell-o shots! If you don't remember, here is the special libation I made for Thanksgiving.

          The only thing I wish I had done differently was to make about 3 times the number that I did because they went and they went FAST!!!!! I know better for next time :-)

* I derived this recipe from the A Beautiful Mess Blog
Time: 10-15 minutes to prepare, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours
Yield: 15-20 depending on the size of your cups

■ Cranberry Cocktail Juice
■ Cranberry Jell-o Mix ( 1-3 ounce package)
■ Orange Vodka
■ Fresh Cranberries and Rosemary Leaves for garnish

■ Heat 2 1/4 Cup Cranberry Juice until it boils and mix in Jello until dissolved.
■ Add 3/4 cup Vodka and pour into shot cups

■ Put into cups and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours)

■ When you are ready to serve the Jell-o Shots, you can garnish them with the fresh cranberries and Rosemary Leaves. There is really no reason for your guests to eat this garnish. It's there simply to make the Jell-O Shots pretty :-)

 My Christmas table Decoration for the head table. My mom loved it :-)

Jell-o Shot anyone??

Did you make anything special for Christmas Dinner this year??

--Dr. April