Mellow Mushroom, Nashville

Monday, October 31, 2011

That's Chloe in her Vandy Jersey from Kindergarten, it wasn't
too small!  She's with the Trocchi's, Gabe Light
 and 2 Atlanta Razorback neighbors

Zoe Light and Chloe, these two have been buds since pre-
kindergarten.  Zoe spent the night with us Friday, they
were so cute, they picked up where they left off....

During the break before the 4th quarter, the Vandy cheerleaders,
dancers and some of the band, all dressed up in costumes
and danced to Micheal Jackson's Thriller...notice the
mascot Mister Commodore is in the!

I grabbed a shot of Chloe on the beautiful Vanderbilt campus after the game...she loved the dozens of squirrels and wanted to feed them sweethearts....and yes, that's Cutler's number...:)

The kids table at Mellow Mushroom,
they all had a great time...three 5th graders: 
Chloe, Zoe and Katie really hit it off...

Mellow Mushroom in Nashville, delicious!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Chloe and I decided last minute to make the 4 hour trip over to Nashville for the Vanderbilt/Arkansas game.  For the first time in 21 years, I hadn't been to a college football game this year...that's amazing!  We gave up our season tickets to the Razorback games in Fayetteville 3 years ago and have seriously not missed it at all.  But I will say when Jackie mentioned going to the Vandy/Hog game, I was kinda interested in making it.

We met Jackie's roommates at this local pizza place on the edge of Vanderbilt's beautiful campus.  We had a party of 14 with 7 kids, 10 and under, who had a fabulous time seeing each other again.  We'd met the majority of the bunch at previous Vanderbilt games and some of them at the summer trip in Florida.

The three of us got to the Mellow Mushroom a little early because Chloe was hungry.  We had a wonderful kid's menu that features French Bread Pizza, Grilled Cheese, Meatballs and Fried Cheese and many other items.  Chloe just got a plan cheese and we all loved it.

When our crew arrived we luckily got a table in the back with a booth, which was smart since our volume kept rising as the kids were cutting up.  For dinner I had the "lil" Greek Salad that featured feta, banana peppers, cucumbers, kalamata olives, red onions and a spicy, creamy esparanza dressing.  The dressing had a good kick and was served on the side, thankfully.  For it's $4.99 price tag, it was not really "lil" at all, I couldn't finish it!  I had my eye on the Gourmet White 12 inch pizza $12.99 that boasted an olive oil and garlic base with feta, roasted red peppers, onions, roma tomatoes and provolone.  The crust was really something.  We enjoyed watched the chefs toss it in the kitchen.  It was thin and had a good 2 inch rolled crust.  I shared mine with the girls and they all loved it as well.  One of Jackie's roommates Mitch, has celiac disease, and Mellow Mushroom features a gluten-free pizza dough.  When Mitch, Heather, Zoe and Gage came through Birdeye a few years ago, I stressed the whole time about feeding Mitch, but with Amy's meals in the freezer section and gluten free pancake mix at our fabulous local grocery store, Hay's, you can make it!  I didn't try Mitch's pizza but it looked delicious just like everyone else's.

Mellow Mushroom also prides itself in a huge beer list.  Jackie and I laughed because there really are 600+ beer flavors across the country and everyone of the 110 Melow Mushrooms carry different varieties.  What a great thing!  The Nashville location has a great set up for large parties and we had a great waiter.  I loved being able to catch up with all of Jackie's roommates and their families!  Oh, and the ladies room was in great shape!

Mellow Mushroom, 212 21st Street, Nashville, TN, 615-342-0044.  Check out their neat website, I loved it!

Slow roasted tomatoes, Birdeye

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just before gettin them in the oven...makes the house smell
fresh and wonderful!

These are the beauties from the Walker's...I don't roast those
green ones, they will ripen on my counter top in a few days
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We've been blessed with tomatoes here in Cross County from the Walker's, who live right down the road from me.  I buy tomatoes for $5, look at all of them!  When I have too many at one time, I'll slow roast them in the oven.  I use them for breakfast with egg whites and tobasco.  It's delish, quick and super low-fat.  I also use them on sandwiches (after you get the water out) and it adds a fresh component to any sandwich.  Here's how I roast them:

8 tomatoes, cut in half and seeded
Equal amounts of sugar, salt and fresh ground pepper
Dash of Olive Oil

Get tomatoes on a jelly roll pan.  Add seasonings then the olive oil.  Roast for 2 hours on 200 degrees.  Let cool and store.  There will be a ton of water in the pan even though you've seeded them.  Tomatoes are 93% water, isn't nature amazing?!  These tomatoes will keep refrigerated for a week.  Enjoy!  :)

Beauty Shop, Cooper Young, Memphis

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It was so wonderful to see one of my good friends
Joy with her newborn John B, who was born last
week and spent a week in the NICU...he's out and
both are doing just fabulous, look at her smile! :) 

Kara made a prediction that Beth would have her dress on...
they didn't avoid each other, like I did a few weeks ago at
Picnic'n on Front street when my dress was on another lady..
they look like they enjoyed it!  

Guests at the party we helped throw for Jimmy and Beth, Kelly
Vaught, Ashley King, Beth, the soon-to-be bride, and Lindsey Midkiff

Jimmy and Beth, that was an awesome dress...what a GREAT couple!

Oh..the bloody mary..delish!

Beignets...just big enough for a little sweetness
with my black coffee...delicious and makes me ready
for the authentic ones at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans

What a beautiful morning in Cooper Young,
sitting outside was wonderful for brunch!

Ahh the Beauty Shop, it can deliver some Brunch!
Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

(just so ya'll know that I've been working on this layout and I can't get my words to be in front of the pictures dang it...I know Google is working on this but it's not on my side :))

Whew....Jackie entered us in a 8 am 10K over in Memphis this morning and lemme tell you how I was unsure of gettin up at the crack of dawn to run but it turned out to be a fun morning.  We helped host a party for Jimmy Huff and his fabulous fiance Beth Malone last night over at our cycle repair guru Kyle Killough's house.  I'm putting some pics on here from the great party.  It was a ton of fun, great people and lots of awesome food!  A shout out to Cecilia and Kyle, their house was beautiful!

Jackie found this 10K over in Overton Park in Memphis off of  It was only $25 and included a great shirt from Bluff City Sports.  I love racesonline and Bluff City and Start 2 Finish event management.  They put on some great races and is a great place to find events around Memphis and East Arkansas.  We use them for our Kids Marathon and Kids Triathlon.  Today's event was a fundraiser for Overton Park and was a trail race, it was so fun being on the trails single file.  The race got a little mixed up at mile 3 and 4, they said they thought a Memphian running in the park may have been followed by some participants.  Everyone handled it well and we enjoyed a Miller High Life afterward.  I don't think I've ever had a High Life but it was good nonetheless.

Jackie was starving when we were heading out, we had a good hour to kill before getting Chloe, so we moseyed around the Cooper Young area looking for any restaurants that were open at 10 am on a

Sunday.  We checked Celtic Crossing first because of a potential soccer game that might be on at the hour, no luck there and we saw the door open at the Beauty Shop with tables set outside so we took a seat and ended up having one of the best brunches EVER!  I rarely say that on this blog.  I don't know if it was a successful 6 miles for me, the beautiful Sunday morning or that hot coffee and perfect Bloody Mary, but it was a darn good brunch.  Jackie checked scores on my phone while I continued to tally our local school safety and walking school bus surveys until our dishes arrived.  We had a great waiter named Clay that took great care of us.

It's not a breakfast item, but I love a fish taco with slaw and this was one of my favorite ones yet.  It had a flaming hot remoulade sauce, fresh jalapenos, cilantro, tomatoes and guacamole on a what looked like fresh made corn tortilla.  I had fresh fruit as a side and the watermelon, cantaloupe and blueberries were perfect.  Oh, and that Bloody Mary was one of my favorites.  I haven't had one like that in a long time, and that's a long, long time since I don't think I've had a Bloody Mary this year.  This one was complemented by two celery talks, fresh dill, queen green olives and good amount of pepper and Worcestershire sauce.   Jackie had the Fried Oyster Po-boy, and even though he was starving, he said and I quote, "mmm....this is the best sandwich I think I have ever had."  I mean he said, "mmm....this is the best sandwich EVER after a 10K!"  I'm laughing because he loved the spicy remoulade sauce as I did and offered me a bite more than once, which is a rarity.

No dessert, duh!  This diabetic was heading home to finish those surveys and enjoy the Sunday afternoon with my Chloe.  It was a perfect meal on a Sunday morning at 10 am in Memphis.  I highly recommend the Beauty Shop, we've had dinner there before with Kara and Martin and it was great, but rocked!

Our brunch with a Bloody Mary and coffee was $37.59, btw!  My tacos and his po-boy were $9 each, beignets $6 and Bloody Mary $7.  Divine!

Beauty Shop Restaurant, 966 S. Cooper, Memphis, TN 38204, 901-272-7111

Chicken Chorizo and Potato Quesadillas, Birdeye

Saturday, October 8, 2011

If only all photos had a scratch and sniff...this was so
divine in my kitchen with all the chile powder and onion...we loved it!

These are my condiments for most Mexican cooking, chopped
fresh tomatoes, a little red onion, fresh japs from the garden and
Terry's lime guacamole...delish I'll say....

You must, must try this fresh, low fat quesadilla, it is divine!
The leftover chicken/potato mixture was great this week in a
whole wheat wrap, yummy!

Chloe invited a good friend/church buddy Margaret
Woodruff over after church last Sunday.
They wanted a project so I gave them
canvases I had ready to be painted for the guest room.
I LOVE these flowers they's so fun to show
talent of our local kids and of course, Coco!
Most importantly, they had a blast doing it and
Margaret only ruined one pair of jeans,
thank goodness!!
Saturday, October 1, 2011

Terry Conlan is a genius!  What a great dinner we had last Saturday...I was trying to decide what to prepare and this one caught my eye because I had all the ingredients. And it was ready in record time.  I love the easy, low fat recipes that Terry's blessed us with!  You've gotta get his cookbook!  So here goes:

Quesadilla translates as "little cheese thing", and although there is a bit of cheese in this recipe, it's the substitution of lean chicken for the pork in this warm, pungently spiced Mexican sausage filing that provides the missing link.  Try one, accompanied by our bright avocado salsa and a dab of fat free sour cream, if desired for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

1/2 ground all natural chicken breast (I used 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless and it worked fine)
2 T. Chili powder
1 small bay leaf, ground in a spice grinder (I used my mortar and pestle)
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. each oregano, thyme and marjoram (I didn't have the marjoram)
1/8 t. each of ground cloves and salt
1 T. cider vinegar
1 C. diced and peeled cooked potato (I microwaved it)
2 t. Canola oil
1/2 C each diced onion and reduced fat cheddar cheese (I had regular cheddar cheese)
8 corn tortillas (I needed only 6 and used the rest of the filling later in the week on a whole wheat tortilla)

The Salsa
1/2 ripe Avocado (I used the whole darn thing)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 serrano chile, minced (I used 4 fresh jalopenos)
2 t. fresh lime juice (I used the whole lime)
1/8 t. salt
1/4 C. water (you need this to smooth it out)

Combine the chicken and ingredients through the vinegar in a bowl and mix well, set aside.  Boil potato in lightly salted water in a saucepan and drain (I microwaved my potato).  Saute chicken mixture until almost cooked through and add the potato, onion and remaining oil and cook until it browns.  Remove from heat and mash the mixture.  Top each of 4 tortillas with chicken mixture and top with cheese and add another tortilla.  Spray a non stick skillet with non stick cooking spray and cook the quesadillas over medium heat until both sides are crisp, turning once (I recommend medium high heat to get it browned, and it's not that fun trying to turn them, I used a small skillet which wasn't great ) Combine the salsa ingredients and puree in a blender.  Cut the quesadillas in wedges and serve with avocado salsa.  Serves 4.

Nutrients per serving: Cal 338; Prot 21 gr; Carb 38 gr; Fat 13 gr (more if you use the whole avocado like me :)

Let me say what an easy, low fat meal this is!  It was a great, light dinner that works around here with all the baseball games and college football too.  It's divine!

Gearhead Cycle House, Jonesboro

Friday, October 7, 2011

oh....can I just say that them are some bikes...:)

Ok Jackie...this is THE Specialized I NEED for Christmas...
(ya'll just tell him on our next bike ride dang it...)

Chloe loved this Specialized Pink Bike she said would be a
great bike for Stella, but she already has one....

Chloe after buying dad's goods for his birthday...

My favorite bicycle shop in all the land....
Saturday, October 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Jackie!  Chloe and I shopped in Gearhead last week to get Jackie some new gloves, socks and some shot blocks and we took some photos of the place.  Jason, my bike man, was there and we got to talking about how Arkansas was "getting there" on infrastructure to bring cyclists to the state.  He said how Colorado, New Mexico, California and even Missouri have trails where people travel to to ride bikes.  How great it would be to have a bike lane down Crowley's Ridge Parkway! 

I asked Jason to tell me about the new cycle house across the street from Gearhead in downtown Jonesboro and here's what he said (and this also talks about this fancy, new Specialized bike I want for Christmas, it is so sssswwweeeeeeeeettttt...:)):

As for the bike, it's a 2012 Specialized Venge. It was just released this year, and so far it has been used to win Milan-San Remo, 5 stages of the Tour de Frace, and the top two podium spots at the World Championship Road Race. Specialized makes three different bikes for professional road racing use - The Tarmac (ultra light weight, ideal for mountain stages), the Roubaix (lightweight, but a smoother ride than the Tarmac & Venge, ideal for long single day races with cobblestone sections), and the Venge (Lightweight, aerodynamic shaped frame tubing, ideal for sprinters and long flat races).

As for the new shop, we've increased our square footage to about 6000 feet, including the upstairs. The old bike shop was about 2200 square feet, so we have a lot more room. We've increased the number of bikes we keep in stock and we now have a larger clothing & accessory selection than ever before. Our state of the art Bike Fit Studio was brought over form the old shop, but it is now slightly larger and on the ground floor next to the expanded Service Area. In the old location, we could only service two bikes at a time, and the new Service Area can accommodate six bikes.

The building was constructed in 1897, and was called the Eagle Clothing House - we decided to call the new shop Gearhead Cycle House as a nod to the original store. We had to do an extensive remodel to the building, including adding the second floor, restoring the facade, and replacing the original wood floor with a concrete slab. We were able to salvage the original floor joists, and we've used them for our counter tops in the bike shop and for fixtures in our Little Rock store (opening this month!). We were also able to retain the original tin ceiling, and we used wood from the attic for all of the baseboards, counter trim, and paneling in the dressing room. The tile entry to the building is original, including the hand-laid eagle mosaic.

Fire up for rides this fall!  I'm thinking next Saturday, October 15.  I'll send an email about it.  Fire up for Gearhead, it's always great to support your local bike shop!

And for those in the know:  Ted Herget finished the insane 100 MILE mountain RUN in 17:38...that's 17 HOURS and 38 MINUTES last fabulous is this?  AND he was 2nd...YOU ROCK TED and fabulous support WIFE AMANDA!  Yay for Ted and Amanda! :)

Gearhead Outfitters and Cycle House, 231 S. Main Street, Jonesboro, AR  72401

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, Birdeye

Saturday, October 1, 2011

This is the ingredient list for the Homemade Bleu Cheese Dressing
It's delicious and easy and will keep in your refrig for a week at least!

I accidentally left the cast iron skillet unattended and it burned...
my kitchen smelled like burning cayenne...we were all choking!
Friday, September 30, 2011

This is an SUPER easy Friday night sandwich that you can have ready in about 30 minutes.  The recipe calls for it to be marinaded for 4-6 hours but I don't always do that.  I think it's just as good right in the pan.  This is from Fresh, Lake Austin Spa, Terry Conlan's amazing cookbook:

Buffalo Hot Wings Sandwich

The city of Buffalo, N.Y.,  may be known to some for its football team and to others as the gateway to Niagra Falls.  But, for most people, Buffalo will always be famous as the "city of hot wings".  Some long-forgotten tavern owner slashed hot sauce all over a part of the chicken that nobody ate, cooked it up, dipped it into blue cheese dressing and created a national phenomenon.  Today, hot wings are a multi-million dollar business.  Here's our version, with the flavor but without the fat.

3 T hot pepper sauce, like Tobasco
3 T. light butter melted, I used regular butter
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried basil
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 T paprika
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
4-4oz boneless chicken breasts
2 t. canola oil, I used olive oil which is probably why it burned my skillet
4 whole wheat buns
Lettuce and tomato, I also added red onion
1/2 c. reduced fat Blue Cheese Salad Dressing, see photo of ingredients that go in a blender and voila!
Combine all ingredients for marinade and add the chicken, turning to coat each piece and marinate in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.  (I used marinaded while skillet was warming up and making the blue cheese dressing) Drain and reserve 1 tablespoon of the marinade.  Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel (I left the coating on).  Heat the canola oil in a covered cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the chicken and saute covered removing the lid only to turn the chicken.  Drizzle the reserved marinade over the chicken for the final 2 minutes of cooking.  Serve hot on buns with lettuce, tomato and blue cheese dressing.  Yield 4 servings.

It's amazing that in 5th grade, Chloe still loves
to play with her animals and build things.

Looks like this may be a barn in the works...:)