Thanksgiving is almost here and I’ve already been brainstorming creative ways to use up the leftovers. And I’m not doing it for myself. Nope, as I mentioned earlier in the week, we’re heading to the beach for the long holiday weekend and I don’t plan to do any cooking while I’m there. It’s all about rest and relaxation, so we’ll be dining out. That means there will be no leftovers to dispose of in our house.
However, I have a feeling that several of you will have a big platter of turkey left when the day is done, so what to do with it? This recipe is a great way to use up quite a bit of it, and the interesting flavors you’ll encounter won’t likely remind you of anything you had on your Thanksgiving Day buffet.
The original recipe called for a shredded rotisserie chicken, and that works great, so if you aren’t ready to make this chili now, save it for another time. It’ll be a fairly quick and very satisfying dinner on a cold evening this winter.
Jerk Turkey Chili
Makes 8 servings. Adapted from Pam Anderson.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
6 cups cooked, shredded turkey meat*
1 quart chicken broth
2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed or diced tomatoes
1 (16-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (16-oz) can white beans, undrained
4 Tbsp chopped pickled jalapeños
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 oz dark chocolate
1 1/2 tsp flour
1 Tbsp water
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until softened, about five minutes. Add chili powder, chipotle chile powder, hyme, cinnamon and allspice. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about one minute. Add turkey and stir to coat with spices. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, and jalapeños, bring to a boil.
In a small bowl, mix flour and water to create a paste. Pour the paste into the chili, stirring for 5 minutes to thicken. Reduce heat to low, cover partially, and simmer to blend flavors, about 30 minutes. Stir in garlic, cilantro and chocolate. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand for five to 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend, then serve.
*1 whole, shredded rotisserie chicken can be substituted
For those of you just now joining the fun around here, you may have missed my big announcement a couple of months ago- I’m having a baby! My very 1st baby to be exact. Due date: February 20th.
Since this is a food blog, I decided early on that I wasn’t going to veer way off course and bore you with a daily bump watch. But as the weeks go by, I’ve found that several of you are curious about what is going on with me at the moment, so I thought I’d share a bit with you today. And for those of you that are only here for the food, don’t worry, there’s a bit of that tossed in too!
The answers to the questions that inquiring minds want to know:
1) Are you having a boy or a girl?
I have no idea! When I tell people this, I’ve gotten reactions from one extreme to the next- most people think I’m insane and say that there is no way that they could stand not knowing. Others absolutely love the fact that we’re keeping it a mystery. To many who know me well, this news came as a complete shock because I’m such a planner. But this is one thing in my life that I’ve always wanted to be a big surprise!
I can’t wait to hear the words “It’s a Boy!” or “It’s a Girl!” the moment the little bugger makes an appearance.
2) Have you had any weird pregnancy cravings?
Guacamole. It may not seem too weird, but for the first several weeks of pregnancy, I craved it a few times a week. This is a bit strange because I used to hate guac. It has only been in the past couple of years that I’ve found I like it sometimes- but it had to be really, really good. Since getting pregnant, I’m not choosy where it’s from or how good it is. I just want it.
Other things I crave: Pasta, Cheese, Burgers.
Pasta is a strange craving because it has not typically been a big part of my every day life. I probably only ate it once every few months before becoming pregnant but now I eat it about once a week.
As for cheese, I’ve always loved it, but perhaps not to the extent that I do right now. Not a day goes by that I don’t have some sort of cheese– and it can be any time of day –breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack. The stronger the better (bring on the blue cheese!)
I’ve eaten more burgers in the past 2 months than I’ve had in total over the last 2 years. Last weekend I had an incredibly delicious Bacon Blue Cheeseburger from Melrose Pub. Happiness.
3) Any aversions?
Broccoli. For a while I couldn’t eat it at all, but lately I’ve been forcing myself because I know it’s good for me. Of course, adding cheese helps. (see cravings)
Wine. It doesn’t bother me in the least that I can’t drink wine right now. It doesn’t appeal to me at all, and when I did take a little sip recently, it tasted bitter to me.
Tom Kha Gai. This is so sad because I typically LOVE this Thai coconut soup. I’ve tried to eat it twice now and it makes me gag. Perhaps it’s the fish sauce?
4) How are you feeling?
I’m not tired like I was early on, but I’m pretty much always uncomfortable. My hips, legs, and feet ache, and I feel like I’ve aged about 20 years in the past 6 months. I thought I would be a person that would keep on working out as intensely as possible until the last moment, but that has not been the case.
Because of some complications early on, I had to go on complete pelvic rest for several weeks, which meant absolutely no exercise. Once I was released from that, and able to start moving again, I had to take it easy. So now my workouts consist of going for walks and lifting hand weights a few times a week. Gone are the days of walking lunges and spin class. I get so out of breath just doing what I’m doing that I can’t even imagine doing those things right now anyway!
5) Have you decorated the nursery?
Um, no. We painted the room, so at least that’s progress. The color is Prescott Green by Benjamin Moore (inspired by this room). And though I haven’t actually purchased a single item yet, I have started a Pinterest board of ideas. My goal is to start the shopping/ordering this week!
And speaking of this week, as of yesterday, my whole plan for the upcoming holiday weekend changed. Instead of doing our typical drive to Kentucky for Thanksgiving with my family, we’ve decided to head to the beach for one last trip as a couple before the baby comes. I’m so excited, as I think we really need this time together to relax and rejuvenate before the craziness of Christmas begins and then the baby arrives to turn our world upside down!
Photo credits: Guacamole by dodoyf and Wine by dhammza
Fido’s Local Latte
Coffee shops are a much bigger part of my life lately than ever before, mainly because they’ve become a business meeting spot now that I’ve switched careers. This means that I’m drinking much, much better coffee these days than I did when I worked in an office in Cool Springs. (Cool Springs isn’t exactly a hot bed of unique coffee houses)
Here are a few of my favorites around Nashville:
3431 Murphy Road
Nashville, TN 37203
For any of you that follow me on Twitter, you already know that I’m obsessed with the ginger latte at Dose. If you like ginger, you must go try it. I pretty much can’t go a week without having one.
1812 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
I’ve blogged about Fido many times in the past, but mainly about the special dinners they have and how much I love the food. It’s still one of my favorite places in town to eat, but they have great coffee too. This summer I was addicted to the Indian latte, which – guess what? – had ginger in it. Ginger and cardamom to be exact. Yum.
15 Hermitage Avenue
Nashville, TN 37210
I wish this “coffee brewtique” wasn’t quite so far from my house, because if it were closer, I’d go there often. It doesn’t hurt that they serve baked goods from Sweet 16th Bakery and Grilled Cheeserie often sets up shop outside to serve brunch. Yes, it would definitely be my second home if I lived downtown.
2509 12th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37204
This is the spot I’ve been going to more often than any other lately mainly because it just seems to be a good meeting point. I love trying out their seasonal drinks- most recently the sweet potato latte. They currently have a pumpkin spice tea latte on their menu too, and even though I’m not a big fan of tea, the description sounds wonderful, so I might have to give it a go the next time I’m there.
Roast Inc. -update: closed temporarily, moving soon!
4825 Trousdale Dr #211
Nashville, TN 37220
In early November 2012, MOVING to:
2108-A 8th Ave So.
Nashville, TN 37204
Roast is a newish shop that I just recently discovered. I’ve only been there twice now, but I’m headed there again today and know that it’s going to be a place I frequent as often as possible in the future. The coffee is truly fantastic,
so even though it may be a little off my beaten path, it’s worth the extra drive. and now it’s re-opening close to my house!
Update 9/24/12: Added a new East Nashville spot to my list….Check it out here!
So how about you? What coffee shops do you enjoy most and what do you order there?
For home, my go-to is Drew’s Brews., a locally roasted coffee that can be purchased several places around town, including Whole Foods. I’m thinking I might grab something from Roast, Inc. when I’m there today though, and switch things up a little bit for a while. I’m pretty confident that either of them will make me very happy.
What coffee do you start your day off with? I’m always open to sampling new things, so I’d love to know if you have some gem I need to try!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’ve started thinking about what I might take to my family’s potluck. Last year I made the always popular corn pudding. The year before that, I tested out a reader recipe, walnut pumpkin pie with graham cracker crust, and it earned rave reviews.
This time I’ve got a couple of good ideas, one of which you’re seeing today. These Pumpkin Walnut Squares were was easy to whip up, which is important to me these days as I just don’t seem to have much energy to be on my feet in the kitchen as the baby bump grows.
A true testament to the deliciousness of these? My husband, who normally shuns anything pumpkin, really liked them! Definitely a contender for next week’s big meal…
Pumpkin Walnut Squares
Makes 12-15 squares. From Taste of Home.
1 package (18.25 oz) yellow cake mix, divided
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup chopped walnuts, divided
1 can (15 oz) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Set aside 1/2 cup cake mix for filling. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, 1 egg and remaining cake mix. Press into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup walnuts.
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, milk, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, reserved cake mix and remaining eggs. Pour over crust; sprinkle with remaining walnuts.Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
As November rolls forward, I hate to say it, but I’ve starting thinking about Christmas. I know, I know. Halloween just happened and Thanksgiving isn’t even here yet. Believe me, I cringe when I see the Christmas decorations already out in stores.
But reality is, Christmas shopping needs to begin, and this year I’m going to try to get it done sooner rather than later. That said, over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some holiday gift ideas with you. Today’s is a super simple gift, but one that I personally love to get- magazines!!
Back in the summer, Magazines.com asked me to tape some videos for them talking about my favorite food and/or cooking mags. While I subscribe to several, I chose three that have been in my life for many, many years. Check out my Cooking Light video below and click over to Magazines.com to see my other videos for Food & Wine and Southern Living.
Now, back to the whole gift thing….
Magazines are a great economical present, most providing reading pleasure and eye candy 12 months out of the year for less than $15. And since I like you all a lot, I’m kicking off the giving season with an opportunity to get a subscription for free!
The winners are:
#10 Megan S.
#18 Susan in the Boonies
I have two (2) $15 gift cards to Magazines.com to give away and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me which food magazines you subscribe to currently, what your favorites are, or which one you’d love to find under your tree this year. It’s that simple. If you’d like to increase your chances to win, do one or both of the following and leave a separate comment for each:
- On Twitter, follow me (@betheats) and tweet the following: Like magazines? Enter to win a free subscription from @betheats! http://bit.ly/uuelxy
- “Like” Eat. Drink. Smile on FB, then come back here and tell me. Or if you already do, just say so!
Contest ends on Friday, November 11th at Noon CST. Once the winners are chosen, I’ll contact them via email and will post their names here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll choose someone else to grab the prize!
November is here, and you know what that means? One of Nashville’s biggest and best food sampling events is just days away!
Taste of Nashville, hosted by the Phoenix Club, is Friday, November 18th at The Cannery Ballroom. Like to eat? You need to be there. Like to drink? You need to be there. Several of Nashville’s best restaurants and food vendors will be on hand serving up tasty dishes, and there’ll be an open bar where you can throw back a few (or several) libations.
In the 10 years this fabulous event has been held, I think I’ve only missed twice, and that was because I was out of town. It’s truly a great time, and this year I have no scheduling conflicts, so you better believe I’ll be there!
I’m looking forward to chowing down on some of my favorites that will be in attendance: Tavern, Virago, Merchants, Watermark, Melrose Pub, 1808 Grille, Whiskey Kitchen, Puckett’s Grocery, The Patterson House, Arnold’s Country Kitchen, The Grilled Cheeserie, and Riffs Fine Street Food. And to sample a few that I’ve never tried before: Pied Piper Eatery, Steve’s Restaurant, Hit and Miss Ice Cream, and many, many, more. For a complete list of all participating vendors, check out the Facebook event page.
Taste of Nashville
Friday, November 18th
7 pm – 1 am
1 Cannery Row
$50 in advance
$60 at the door
$75 VIP tickets
To purchase tickets, click here.
All tickets include all you can eat and drink!
A word of advice: buy your tickets in advance, and soon! The event is very likely to sell out, and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on all the fun just because you are a procrastinator. Now, that said, while I think you should get on the ball and purchase now, I also want to give you the opportunity to go for FREE!
Yes, the kind Phoenix Club folks have given me 2 tickets ($100 value) to give away to one of my readers! The only catch is that you must be 21+ to enter, and follow the mandatory entry instructions below. Best of luck and I hope to see you there!
~Contest is Closed~
The Winner is:
#37 Katie Cherry
Just leave a comment below telling me what food or drink vendor you’ll be most excited to see at the event. This is the only mandatory action for entry, but you can also increase your chances to win with bonus entries. Note- you must leave a separate comment for each:
- On Twitter, follow me (@betheats) and Taste of Nashville (@tasteofnash), tweet the following and come back here to tell me you did so: Enter to win 2 tickets to @TasteofNash from @betheats! http://bit.ly/tmliS6
- RSVP and leave a comment on the Taste of Nashville Facebook event page, then come back here and tell me you did so.
Contest ends on Sunday, November 6th at Noon CST. Once the winner is chosen, I’ll contact them via email and will post it here on the blog. If the winner doesn’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email!
Vito’s Scallops Florentine
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to check out a newish Italian joint on Hayes Street. I say “newish” because it’s not exactly brand spankin’ new. Vito’s has been on my radar for quite some time, ever since my friend Kelly tweeted about her fantastic lunch discovery a few months back.
Since seeing her tweet, I’ve heard several other people rave about the very economical $7 lunch buffet of pizzas, pasta, soup, and salad. Yet, despite that, I admit that I still have yet to try the buffet.
Instead, in my two visits there, my food has been made to order off the dinner menu.
And it was terrific.
Vito’s Caesar Salad
The Scallops Florentine appetizer is luscious. Creamy. Rich. The first time I had this dish, it was as the appetizer it is meant to be. I enjoyed it so much that on my next visit, I ordered it as my entree with a small Caesar salad.
And this is not a normal Caesar salad. Vito’s serves up one of the best Caesars I’ve ever had. With the addition of goat cheese and sundried tomatoes, it has flair. Delicious flair.
Vito’s Beef Tenderloin with Marsala Demi Glace
Now, there is something you should know. I’m not a pasta lover. Sure, I enjoy a little bit every now and then, but I’m much happier to have a big piece of meat and a pile of fresh vegetables. That’s why this next plate of food was perfect for me. A beautifully cooked mid-rare tenderloin filet with demi glace, asparagus, carrots, and small portion of gnocchi.
Oh, the gnocchi. You don’t have to be a pasta lover to appreciate this gnocchi.
Vito’s Kevorkian Cake and Tiramisu
Talk about a happy ending. A bowl of amazing tiramisu and Vito’s take on “Death by Chocolate”, the Kevorkian cake, was probably enough to feed 3 or 4 people, but I almost polished off both of them all by myself. Layered chocolate cake with chocolate mousse topped with crushed pistachios, rumor has it that each of these cakes contains 2-3 pounds of Belgian chocolate!
If that’s how I need to die, then at least I know I’d die happy.
1812 Hayes Street
Nashville, TN 37203
M-Th 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
(Lunch Buffet M – F 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
Fri 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sat 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Note: my friend (and dining partner) Chris has a great write up over on the Scene Bites Blog, where he offers up far more details on the names, faces, and background of the restaurant, so be sure to check it out!
You guys seemed to really enjoy the recipe wrap-up I did a few months ago, so I thought I’d close out October with the same sort of thing. There are couple of recipes that continue to stay at the top of the pile – the flourless chocolate peanut butter cake, the slower cooker thai pork, and the cauliflower crust pizza (#1 for months now, and recently got a huge boost when Lauren Conrad and Glamour.com both blogged about it).
Along with these favorites, we’ve got a few that have been pulled from the archives of the blog’s very first year in existence – pumpkin black bean soup, egg muffins, and almond crusted chicken. These are all dishes that I continue to make on a regular basis, so I’m glad others are discovering them as well.
And are some of you already starting to think about holiday sweets? Apparently so, because we’ve got salted caramel bars and cookie dough truffles near the top of the list!
October’s Top 10 Recipes:
- Cauliflower Crust Pizza
- Salted Caramel Pecan Bars
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
- Artichoke Spinach and Goat Cheese Strata
- Apple Hello Dolly Bars
- Egg Muffins
- Almond Crusted Chicken
- Slow Cooker Thai Style Peanut Pork
- Pumpkin Black Bean Soup
- Flourless Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cake with Warm Chocolate Glaze
The #1 Recipe on Eat. Drink. Smile. for 6 months running: Cauliflower Crust Pizza