Sunday, May 26, 2013

{Go there}: Hog and Hominy.

I'm going to be honest. I delayed trying out Hog and Hominy (the new-er restaurant from the owners of Andrew Michael Kitchen) because I'm not really a foodie. I'm a pretty picky eater and in reading their menu, I didn't think there was much there I could eat.

And yet everyone who went there clamored about it, down even to my students who couldn't get over the peanut butter pie (more on that later...). I had to figure out what I was missing and be in this "in", "hip" crowd going to H&H.

The opportunity presented itself in the form of a goodbye dinner. One of my friends got a fab job and is moving to Nashville (and she requested it be called a "see you later" dinner). We asked her what was still on her list of places to try and she mentioned H&H. So off we went!

H&H is on Brookhaven Circle - a booming little area of good restaurants tucked off Poplar near Mendenhall. The exterior is like a little home (like most of the restaurants in this area, they are situated in homes changed into restaurants) but the inside is very open and urban industrial chic, which is a huge contrast to Andrew Michael Kitchen, which is like eating at your fancy grandmother's house.

The menu is broken into small plates, pizzas, and farmers. The small plates could be little meals or appetizers, or you could have that and share a pizza. The farmers are sides.

Our table was right by the kitchen, which is open to the restaurant:

I liked their choice of tile/grout (same as our kitchen).

They have a fancy drink menu - here's what the future Nashvillian (Nashville-ite?) got:

There were lots of people engaging in post-work bar action. Seemed like a very happening scene.

We ordered three different pizzas and promised to share slices. Anjelica got the Red Eye, which has come highly recommended by several people. It has a fried egg in the center, which you are to smear over the pizza before eating.

I got the Quattro Formaggio, which has four cheeses (obviously), roasted garlic, and a cream sauce. It was for real the best pizza I've ever eaten in my life (OK maybe a tie with the vodka pie at Aldo's).

Sarah got the Sunshine State, which has arugula pesto and bacon.

All three were ridiculously delicious but if I went back (and I will), I'd get the quattro formaggio again.

Now back to that peanut butter pie. Since we were in celebration mode, we went for dessert. I got the peanut butter pie, as did Anjelica, and Sarah got the "Carol's Delightful Smile," which was a chocolate pie. Now it isn't that the delightful smile wasn't good (it was) but the peanut butter pie was just that much better. Like.. favorite dessert status. It has fresh banana as a layer on the bottom (I don't even like bananas and I liked it) and the peanut butter filling is light and fluffy. There are crushed butterfingers on the top.

Another note - the service was first class. Our waiter knew the menu, had great timing, was very polite and funny without being overbearing, and just was generally pleasant. After going to some restaurants lately that lacked in the service area, this was refreshing and a reminder of how a waiter should be. Way to go!

I will definitely return to Hog and Hominy and you should too - they have a great patio and even bocce courts (see, so hip). Parking is a little of an issue (we parked in a salon's parking lot since they were closed for the night) and I hear it can get crowded but I promise it's worth it - even GQ thinks so. They named H&H one of the 12 best restaurants of 2013.

In pizza and peanut butter pie,

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

{Eat this}: #Pound Cake for Mother's Day.

Mother's Day was a few weekends ago and we had ourselves a big time. Though my own mother chose her sons over me for the day, traveling to Knoxville (there may have been a real reason - moving apartments and all), luckily I've got a spare mother in my mother in law so we celebrated in style.

Jake's sister hosted a brunch on the roof of her boyfriend's condo building downtown. She made the lunch, which was shrimp omelets, salmon potato hash, and mimosas. We provided dessert. The original plan was to bake something but we couldn't figure out how to get that done while going to church. So luckily for us, we decided to stop at Miss Cordelia's grocery store in Harbor Town and see what they had in the way of dessert...

We stumbled upon this precious display of pound cakes and I realized what it was - our friend's mom's business! We were excited to try one out so we picked up the raspberry almond one and some ice cream and headed over to the brunch.

It was a gorgeous day to have brunch on the roof and it was a great view of Downtown Memphis:

After some delicious food we went in for some dessert prep - here's our pound cake, raspberries, ice cream, and fudge sauce:

And the next picture is super washed out because it was so bright on the roof but you can see what the cake looks like in whole - it is so pretty and would present well at a party:

And here's my plate with our concoction:

We got about six slices out of it and it was delicious. Judy's #Pound Cakes have been written up in the Memphis Flyer: and you can visit her facebook site:

She currently sells them at Miss Cordelia's, High Point Grocery, and Republic Coffee or you can special order from her through email.

In anything with ice cream and fresh raspberries,
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

{Make This}: Buffalo Chicken Pizza.

It all started when I texted Jake about missing Harley's birthday...

Jake suggested buffalo chicken pizza and so like that, plans were made. I stopped by Fresh Market and got our favorite frozen pizza dough (it comes in a ball, not the canned stuff).

We enjoy making our own pizza and the buffalo chicken was particularly delicious. To make this,

You'll need...
- pizza dough (we used wheat frozen dough from Fresh Market)
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, boiled and shredded
- buffalo sauce (we used Target Brand "buffalo pizza sauce", which was basically plain buffalo sauce)
- mozzarella cheese
- blue cheese crumbles
- ranch dressing
*you could add celery pieces

You'll do...

1) Preheat the oven according to your pizza dough directions. Make your pizza dough.

2) Chop your shredded chicken to small bits

3) Spread your buffalo sauce on your pizza crust, then top with chicken, your cheeses, and thinly drizzle the ranch dressing

4) Cook your pizza according to directions and serve.


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Saturday, May 11, 2013

{House}: Living Room, Rearranged.

This weekend I got a little wild and decided to change up our living room layout. Our living room has seen lots of configurations...

Here's right when we moved in:

We very quickly ripped out the carpet to expose the hardwood floors beneath:

In our kitchen renovation change-up, we sold the chairs and moved the couch that matched the loveseat into the living room.

Here's another view of that layout, which is how it existed for some time:

But like I said, I got the itch. I didn't love that the couch blocked the window and the whole room felt very corner heavy. So just for kicks, I changed things up. Don't know that it will stay but that's the beauty of furniture - you can always move it back.

The thing I'm not sure of is the back of the couch showing when you walk in the door...

With the couch backed to the entry way, does it block off the room too much? I like how it opens up the window and also extends the living room area out a little bit.

 So there you have it - what do you think?

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

{Make this}: Fake Out Low Key Stir Fry.

If you're anything like me, the idea of stir-fry immediately brings thoughts of chopping. and chopping. and chopping. But this stir-fry we've mastered making over the past year is easy and low key. It seriously doesn't take much time, ingredients, or effort. And the result is delicious.

You'll need:

1 cup uncooked white rice
boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
broccoli florets
fresh jalapeno
fresh cilantro
szechwan spice
olive oil

After much searching, this is the szechwan spice we use. It is from Kroger:

You'll do:

1) cook your rice according to preferred method
2) chop cilantro, carrots, jalapenos, and broccoli
3) combine vegetables, cubed chicken, olive oil, and spice in a bowl to coat
4) cook chicken and vegetables in a wok (or similar pot)
5) serve over rice

Easy, delicious, and mostly healthy!

In broccoli and rice,

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

{Exterior}: Azaleas in the Backyard.

I by no means have a green thumb. Our backyard is a great size but the soil is compacted from the dogs so grass isn't growing (we're on that... appointment with lawn service made) and we had this pesky bed by the garage that turned into a weed garden. One day after it rained quite a bit we took shovel to the bed and ripped out all of the weeds (some of which were small trees). We were left with this...

Then we headed out to Dabney Nursery to get some azaleas to fill in the bed. We got our last azaleas there and they have done well so we wanted to get them there again. Plus they have a huge selection at great prices and are very helpful! {not a commercial, just satisfied!}

After exploring their stock we chose the Conversation Piece azalea because of its height, bloom color, and the leaf pattern.

We loaded four into our cart and headed for the register.

Then my sweet guy used some of his free time to plant them in the ground - we ended up having to wait about a week because right after we bought these we had a cold snap with temps below freezing so our azaleas lived inside for a little bit.

We finally got them mulched this weekend. In the meantime they have bloomed somewhat. Unfortunately Harley thinks she is supposed to eat the blooms so we've been dealing with trying to keep her from killing them.

Now the side of the garage looks a bit better. If only we could get some grass...

In gardens and blooms,

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