Perfect Spring Brunch

This light, easy spring brunch was delicious, and was made possible by Aldi’s sale on hams (50% off).

The refrigerated ham came with glaze for baking. It was pretty quick to bake, then glaze during the last 15 minutes of baking. My trick is to wrap the dish or tray you use to bake your ham in aluminum foil until you glaze it. That will keep the ends of the ham from getting burnt.

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While the ham was baking, I made a quick pie dough, then I diced up a medium onion and layered onto the bottom of the pie crust. I thinly sliced two medium zucchinis and two medium squash, layered them in my pie pan over the crust, then added my quiche mixture:  6 eggs, 1 cup milk, dashes of salt, black and white pepper and 1 tsp. of ground mustard. I baked the quiche in a 350-degree oven for about 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle came out clean.

Once both were finished, it was the perfect light spring brunch.

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Whatchu Watching, Girl?

Yes, I’m shamelessly taking this tagline from my favorite little cup of espresso, Taylor Strecker! And while I don’t technically “watch” her show, I do listen every workday. I’ve been a ‘lil effer for almost ten years, since back when she was on Sirius/XM’s Cosmo Radio. She now has her very own morning radio show, The Taylor Strecker Show, with some of the most amazing co-hosts. You can check out her free podcast, Taste of Taylor, but the daily radio show is where it’s at. It’s only $6.95 a month, and it’s totally worth it, I promise.

Every week, Taylor and co-host Sean Kilby discuss the best shows in a segment called “Whatchu Watching, Girl?,” so here’s what I’m watching lately:

  • Game of Thrones – Obviously. No spoilers here, but episode 5 was CRAZY! There were anticipated deaths, redemptive deaths, revenge deaths and completely pointless deaths. I can’t wait for the big series finale this Sunday.
  • American Gods – Season 2 just wrapped up and all I can say is WOW! This series is one of the best book adaptations I’ve ever seen. It stays true to Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece book and showcases actors Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Orlando Jones, Ian McShane, Yetide Badaki, Pablo Shrieber and more.
  • Big Little Lies – I just finished bingeing the first season of this impeccable ensemble drama and now I understand the Oscar hype. The acting is amazing and I don’t know how they will top the first season. Season two starts with the aftermath of the major death that occurred at the end of season one (and was foreshadowed throughout the season). I’m caught up for the season two premiere on June 9.
  • Knock Down the House – This Netflix documentary shines a light on the 2018 congressional primary races, culminating with New York democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s historic primary win over a 19 year incumbent. It’s a great, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run a grassroots campaign.

So, whatchu watching, girl?

Knock Down the House

Exploring Nashville’s Abandoned Baseball Stadium

The Nashville Sounds, the triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, moved into Herschel Greer Stadium on the grounds of Nashville’s Fort Negley in 1978. Conway Twitty threw out the first pitch, and the hometown team beat the Savannah Braves 12-4. The stadium hosted the team through the 2014 season, when the team ended its run there and moved across town to the brand new First Tennessee Park.

Herschel Greer Stadium was closed while the city of Nashville decided what was to be done with it. Once the team’s administrative offices had moved, the site was left abandoned and nature and local graffiti artists took over. Many different plans were proposed, from a soccer stadium to a Kroger grocery store to rodeo grounds. In the end, the city decided to demolish the existing park to make way for ” mixed-use development with green space and affordable housing.” Demolition began on April 1, 2019, but my husband and I visited Nashville in late March and had the opportunity to explore the stadium and document what was left of this former baseball mecca.

 

Visiting the Jack Daniel’s Distillery

Lynchburg, Tennessee is an easy hour and a half drive from Nashville that makes for a fun day trip with plenty to see and do. The Jack Daniel’s Distillery offers a number of different tours, most concluding with a tasting. We took the “Flight of Jack” tour, which led us through the distilling, charcoal filtering, aging and bottling operations.

We were lucky enough to see Tennessee sugar maple being burned to make the charcoal that’s used to filter Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. This extra step is what makes Tennessee whiskey different from bourbon. We also saw the spring where Jack Daniel’s sources the water it uses to distill its whiskey.

At the end of the tour, we sampled several Jack Daniel’s products before heading to Miss Mary Bobo’s restaurant for lunch. This unique dining experience takes place in a former boarding house where food is served family style. Every item was delicious, from the fried okra, cornbread and meatloaf to the cheese grits casserole, fried chicken and Jack Daniel’s whiskey-soaked baked apples. A dessert of coffee and pecan pie topped with whiskey-infused whipped cream topped off one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten.

Both Miss Mary Bobo’s and Lynchburg’s town square filled with shops are within walking distance across a short foot-bridge from the distillery.

If you’ll be visiting, be sure to pre-book your distillery tour and lunch, as lunch and the more popular distillery tours routinely sell out.

Nashville’s Coolest Cocktail Bar

My husband and I were in Nashville last weekend and got the chance to do a lot of fun things. One of my favorite experiences was our visit to hip cocktail bar Old Glory, a woman-owned bar in what used to be the boiler room for White Way steam cleaners. Located on the edge of Music Row and Edgehill, this spot is tucked away in a complex that also houses upscale retail, a taco shop, wine bar and barbershop.

The interior is expansive, yet intimate, with multiple corners tucked away throughout the space to enjoy creative cocktails with friends while a dj plays hip-hop music.

We started with a classic Paper Plane – Four Roses Bourbon, Amaro Nonino, Aperol and lemon juice (for me, the bourbon drinker) and a Saturn – Ford’s Gin, passionfruit puree, falernum, orgeat and lemon juice (for my husband, the gin drinker). Both were top notch. The other two cocktails we tried were the Night Shift – Buffalo Trace bourbon, Don Q Anejo rum, ginger, passionfruit liqueur, citrus and Fernet Branca – and the Airmail – Don Q white rum, honey, lime juice and cava. The drinks were expertly mixed from a bar stocked with plenty of homemade infusions and tinctures.

Of all the bars we visited in Nashville, Old Glory was definitely our favorite. Broadway is fun if you like honky tonk’s and lots of people. Printer’s Alley had a cool vibe too. But this spot was the perfect combination of rustic, classic and modern. Next time you’re in Nashville, check it out!

Trying EveryPlate’s Dinner Kit Service

I’ve tried a few meal prep kit services, but have found them to be too expensive for the amount of food you receive. I wasn’t planning to subscribe to another one, but I came across a great deal for a dinner kit service called EveryPlate. This service has the lowest serving cost I’ve seen, so I wanted to try out the quality of the ingredients.

EveryPlate offers a two-person and four-person plan with three meals per week. Recipes are healthy and menus can be customized to minimize pasta and gluten. You can choose your three meals from a selection of five. Selections include old-fashioned favorites, like Steak Frites, Bistro Burgers and Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, as well as exotic flavors like Balsamic Steaks with Bruschetta Toasts and Roasted Zucchini and Beef Banh Mi Bowls.

The preparation for each meal was relatively quick and easy. All the vegetables, meats, sides and spices were included, as well as recipe cards with a few quick steps. The recipes from my first box were Garlic-Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Root Veggies, Skillet Apple Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes and Lemony Green Beans and Beef Banh Mi Bowls with Sriracha Mayo and Pickled Cucumber. Each recipe card walks you through all the steps of preparation, although in some cases I found that my own method of multitasking in the kitchen was more time-effective (i.e. chopping vegetables while meat or pasta is cooking).

The ingredients were very good quality and everything was packed with cold packs to keep the items fresh. The only things needed were occasionally some butter, oil, milk, etc.

Here’s a taste of my first EveryPlate box:

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Stay tuned for a cook-through and review of my next box!

 

The Chesapeake Goat Omelette

This delicious breakfast was created by my husband, who mixed one up for me this weekend 🙂

You can use egg whites (which is how my husband made ours) or whole eggs.

Ingredients:

5 eggs or equivalent amount of egg whites

8 oz. crab meat or imitation crab meat

4 oz. crumbled goat cheese

dash of salt

dash of pepper

1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

Preparation:

Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add eggs or egg whites and cook for 1-2 minutes until the egg just begins to set. Add the crab or imitation crab and goat cheese, spreading both evenly throughout the pan. Cook another 1-2 minutes until nearly set. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning, then fold one side of the omelette over the other and flip it gently to the other side to cook. Cook another minute or two until done, then slide it onto a plate. Cut in half and serve to your better half!

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