Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cupcake Collection Fights Childhood Cancer in June

The Cupcake Collection fights Childhood Cancer in June


The Cupcake Collection


               When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade… cupcakes that is. From June 9-30th The Cupcake Collection, will host Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a national foundation that raises money and awareness for childhood cancer.

             “As we continue to celebrate five years in business I recall some of my initial inspiration for getting started.  I recounted the story of Alex Scott, the four-year-old powerhouse who, as a cancer patient herself, set up a lemonade stand to raise funds that would help others as she had been so generously helped. Her vision and commitment inspired me to adopt a ‘we will serve others’ mentality as a part of our business culture,” shares entrepreneur and baker Mignon Francois.

               Celebrating 10 years, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer, has raised more than $80 million and funded more than 450 research projects. Across the country during the month of June, young people, businesses, nonprofits, and the general community will come together in support of the effort to cure cancer one cup—or cupcake—at a time.

             Throughout the month, The Cupcake Collection will create lemon themed cupcakes with a portion of the proceeds from sales going to the cause. Daily, the bakery will host a virtual ‘stand’ where cupcake aficionados can call in to make virtual donations, order lemon flavored cupcakes to be shipped anywhere in the US, make a purchase at the Germantown location, or have cupcakes delivered locally to their home or business. Additionally, on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays bakery visitors can make their donations at the physical stand on the front porch.

        Francois boasts with enthusiasm, “Our goal is to raise $500 to contribute to the organization but as we have experienced before Nashville is sure to help us exceed that number.”

         Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. For more information: www.AlexsLemonade.org

            Support Alex’s Lemonade Stand by calling in a donation, order cupcakes to be delivered, shipped, purchased in person, or donate online at http://bit.ly/1mTHt1Y.

For the past five years, The Cupcake Collection has been nestled in the heart of historic Germantown, where the thriving storefront is housed in a cozy renovated cottage that originally served as home for the eight member Francois Family. Each batch is made fresh each day with such decadent ingredients as butter, sugar, and cream, with no artificiality. The daily selection includes the Classic 7 as well as a variety of Premium and Specialty cupcakes. There is also a mobile cupcake bus, a wedding and special event cake studio, and a new location currently under construction in Donelson. For more information visit www.TheCupcakeCollection.com 


The Cupcake Collection
1213 6th Ave N
Nashville, TN
-- 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

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Saint Anejo

Celebrating Cinco De Mayo a Couple Days late at St Anejo!



          This year for Cinco De Mayo, I actually joined some other Nashville Food Bloggers and did it up Cajun style at another restaurant in the city! Later on that week, I had a craving for Mexican food and took a trip over to Saint Anejo Cantina in The Gulch! It was an absolutely beautiful day to sit out on their patio taking in the breeze and enjoying a great dinner!

Check out what I enjoyed below:



Chimichanga - This Chimichanga with chicken and cheese was delicious for dinner.........and the next day for lunch!
Saint Anejo



This Mexican street corn was amazing! I really love the savory flavor from the feta cheese!
Saint Anejo


Add Saint Anejo to your list of great Mexican restaurants and great patios in Nashville!

Saint Anejo
1120 McGavock St
Nashville, TN 37203 (The Gulch)
615-736-5301



-- Dr. April

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dishcrawl Nashville is Back and headed to the SoBro Neighborhood!

Dishcrawl Nashville is Back!

 

Taste of Nash: Explore SoBro

A delicious dining adventure through three culinary hotspots 


             Fox News says Dishcrawl is “the best way to explore food in your city.”  With accolades from thousands of food critics, bloggers, and food lovers, Dishcrawl has won the hearts of 250+ cities across the US & Canada, the UK!  Dishcrawl is once again gearing up for great food adventures here in Nashville!

I've participated in several Dishcrawls here in the city and have loved each one because it allows you to dine at multiple locations in one night! I encourage you to participate in this adventure as well -it's tons of fun!

             On Wednesday, June 18th, at 7pm, come eat with neighbors and friends in one of Nashville's hippest neighborhoods - SoBro!  With the diverse and hip food scene in the SoBro neighborhood, gastropubs and local creameries are ready to show us some culinary bravado. Chefs of three restaurants invite you to explore their culinary delights just 'South of Broadway' aka, SoBro.  Reservations are limited, but still being accepted here.



Dishcrawl Founder, Tracy Lee: “Dishcrawling is a fantastic way to bring the community together with local chefs who are bringing exciting new things to our culinary scene.”  

This adventurous dinner is only $45 including gratuity!

Foodies have the chance to win free tickets online by telling us which Nashville restaurant you love on Facebook. Must hashtag #dishcrawl to be entered.

About Dishcrawl
Dishcrawl creates dining experiences and events to satisfy anyone’s craving. You can find your local Dishcrawl Ambassador leading you through progressive dinners, prix fixe dinners, and other fun food events! From culinary experiences in real life to great stories about local culture online, Dishcrawl spans 250 cities across the US, Canada, and soon the UK. To begin your food adventure, visit Dishcrawl.com.  
Contact Information: Emily Lomax
Nashville Dishcrawl Ambassador
815- 878- 7811 direct

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lockeland Table Features Winning Iron Fork Dish

Lockeland Table Features Winning Iron Fork Dish


               This year (2014) marked the 7th anniversary of the ultra competitive Iron Fork Chef Competition. The event, held at Vanderbilt University, features local Chef's who prepare a dish in a make-shift kitchen in just a short amount of time. Here's how it works: The Chef and their Sous-Chefs have just 15 minutes to select their ingredients from what's available on site. They are then given a secret ingredients that must be incorporated into the dish. This year's secret ingredient was Kale. They then have just 1-hour to create their culinary masterpiece and plate it 5 times - A plate for each of the 4 judges and 1 plate that is auctioned off with the proceeds going to charity!

               Lockeland Table's Executive Chef Hal Holden-Bache and his Sous Chef Danny Boston Bua, won the title with their dish, New Zealand Rack of Lamb with fingerling potato, bacon, kale hash, kale and herb puree, raw kale, pickled grape and feta salad. As you scroll down, you will see just why this dish impressed the judges!

             With this win, Chef Hal and sous-chef Danny, will compete in a national competition in Las Vegas this coming November! Lockeland Table will be holding an event during the end of June to serve as a fundraiser to help the pair on their trip to Vegas and will also be the last time this Award Winning Dish will be featured on the menu. So, that means you need to hurry over to try it before it's gone forever!


Lockeland Table
Executive Chef Hal Holden-Bache (left) and Sous-Chef Danny Boston Bua (right)


I stopped by Lockeland Table last week to check out this award winning dish.......and some others as you will see :-)
Lockeland Table




I started off with the Southern Girl Cocktail - Delicious! This particular Southern Girl is made with smoked Strawberry Shrub. The drink is always on the menu, but varies slightly depending upon the availability of fresh fruit of the season. It's so refreshing a fruity and is one of the most popular cocktails in the restaurant. Chef Hal smoked the Strawberries himself earlier in the week!
Lockeland Table






Lockeland Table



Lockeland Table



The Wood Fired Gulf Shrimp with asparagus, red onion, radish salad and cornbread crumbs 
Lockeland Table



This was almost too beautiful to eat! The Gulf shrimp taste like they were just plucked from the ocean that very morning and combined very nicely with the crunchiness of the asparagus and cornbread crumbs.
Lockeland Table



Smoked Cox Farms Bone Marrow with grilled Tuscan bread, Italian parsley and pickled red onion salad. 
Lockeland Table



If you've never had bone marrow, you must try it! I could not get enough of how smoky and smooth this dish was. Chef Hal says it will probably always stay on the menu because of its popularity! The red onion salad has to be the best red onion salad I've ever had and is so refreshing! The Tuscan Bread - I could eat it as a snack all by itself (it's really that good)!
Lockeland Table



Drum Roll Please -The 2014 Winner of the Iron Fork Competition is: Rack of lamb with fingerling Potato, bacon, kale hash, kale and herb puree, raw kale, pickled grape and feta salad!
Lockeland Table




Chef Hal says he thinks one of the keys to his win at Iron Fork was the fact that he and Danny incorporated the secret ingredient, Kale, into the dish 3 ways instead of just 1. I think it's an amazing dish full of varying textures and flavors that compliments the lamb perfectly.
Lockeland Table


Simply Beautiful!
Lockeland Table



Hold that 2014 Iron Fork Winning statue proudly gentleman, you deserve it!
Lockeland Table

Visit Lockeland Table online at: www.lockelandtable.com

and in person at:

1520 Woodland Street
(East Nashville)
Nashville, TN

-- Dr. April

Monday, June 2, 2014

Pollo Tropical

Pollo Tropical: A Tasty and Healthy Dining Option for Your Entire Family

Pollo Tropical



               After a recent shopping excursion, I found myself suddenly in the mood for something both delicious and healthy for dinner. With summer quickly approaching, I silently wished I was on a beach in Miami, digging my toes in the sand. Since Nashville is quite a ways away from Miami, I decided I could at least get a taste of Miami and the Caribbean by visiting Pollo Tropical! Pollo Tropical's headquarters is in Miami, but has locations outside of that area, including a restaurant in Cool Springs/Franklin, TN (suburb of Nashville) and one in Smyrna, TN.

By choosing one of their delicious family meals I had plenty to share with my family and friends! Check out what I enjoyed:



Signature Bone-In Chicken - The family meal comes complete with a whole chicken! Yes, you read that right! You don't have to decide on just white meat or just dark meat - you get the entire chicken to enjoy with large family sized sides!
Pollo Tropical


Pollo Tropical



Rice and Black Beans - This dish is traditional and healthy and is made from scratch at the restaurant.
Pollo Tropical



Sweet Plantains - I Loooove Sweet Plantains and these certainly did not disappoint! The sugar in the plantain caramelizes as it cooks and turns golden brown. I could eat them all day
Pollo Tropical



Pollo Tropical


Yuca Sticks - Yuca is a root vegetable also known as cassava. Yuca (different from the yucca - an ornamental garden plant), is a Caribbean staple high in fiber that is served boiled or fried. I had mine boiled and with the Cilantro Garlic dipping sauce
Pollo Tropical


Pollo Tropical




Caribbean Corn Souffle - Sweet Corn Casserole Baked to Golden Perfection. This was so delicious, I could eat it as a mid-day snack all by itself!
Pollo Tropical



Balsamic Tomatoes - Vine ripened tomatoes and red onions in a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. This is another one of the sides I am obsessed with! It's so delicious and refreshing :-)
Pollo Tropical



Life is Better Under The Palm! 

Pollo Tropical


You can find Pollo Tropical online at PolloTropical.com 

If you are in the Middle Tennessee area, check out one of these locations near you!

Cool Springs Location
2017 Mallory Lane
Franklin, TN

Smyrna Location
715 Team Blvd
Smyrna, TN 37167

-- Dr. April