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I’m not sure how it’s already October, but that’s what my calendar says, so I guess I have to believe it.

According to that same calendar, it has been 2.5 weeks since the big Music City Eats Festival hit Nashville. Seriously? I feel like it was just a few days ago. My intention was to recap my experience a couple of days after the event…but if I’m being honest, nothing in my life seems to go as planned these days, so I might as well just quit planning!

 

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As I mentioned before, I was a “local ambassador” of sorts for MCE, which basically meant that I helped them spread the word about the festival and provided them with some content about the Nashville food scene for their blog. What I haven’t mentioned previously is that in my other life (you know, my real job), I was also connected to the event.

Goo Goo Cluster was one of the major sponsors, providing totes and Goo Goo Clusters for every attendee. An epic Nashville food event like this simply had to have Nashville’s very own candy, right?? And we made that decision long before we saw this interview with Chef Jonathon Waxman, one of the founders of Music City Eats. He loves Goo Goos! (I swear we did not bribe him or pay him for that endorsement!)

 

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I tell you all of that in the interest of full disclosure. Yes, I did get a free ticket, but, as is always the case, I wouldn’t bother writing about this if I didn’t think it was worth writing about. Do I think the $275 price tag for a paying person was worth it? Yes. But there are some ifs:

If you are a drinker. The amount of booze flowing at MCE was pretty astounding. And that is not a complaint, quite the opposite.

MCE food drink collage

If you aren’t a vegetarian. There weren’t a lot of vegetarian options, so if I wasn’t a meat eater, I would’ve been pretty disappointed in the food selection.

MCE panels

If you are interested in meeting and listening to chefs talk about food. The panels were fantastic and I loved how accessible and friendly all the chefs were. Yes, Giada is just as stunning and sweet as she seems on tv. Michael Symon is funny as all get out and I now have an even bigger crush on him.

 

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For a first time event, I was impressed with how well everything seemed to run and with the way everything looked.

All in all, I had an absolute blast. I got to spend a lot of time hanging out with my buddy Erin and many of my other food blogger/writer/just all around cool friends. Um, and I ate. And drank. A lot. These pictures are not even 5% of what was consumed.

My fingers are crossed that Music City Eats returns next year, and the year after that, and the year after that and so on! I can only believe it will get better and better.

So what about those of you reading this that also attended…Any highlights or thoughts on the way things were run? I’ve actually got a meeting tomorrow to give feedback so would love your input!

 

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Until I had a kiddo, milk isn’t something I thought too much about. I drank very little of it; in fact, I mainly purchased it to cook/bake with.

However, now that there’s a toddler in the house, we go through A LOT of milk! So when Promised Land Dairy reached out to me and offered to send samples, I was definitely more motivated than normal to accept.

Now available here in Nashville at our local Publix stores in addition to Kroger and Harris Teeter, they offer not just traditional white milk, but some unique (and delicious) flavors. Our shipment contained the Midnight Chocolate (reduced fat), traditional white, Cookies ‘n Cream, and Peaches ‘n Cream (reduced fat).

 Archer drinking milk

I have to say, even though I’m not a big milk drinker, just one taste of the Cookies n Cream and I was smitten. In fact, that’s the one flavor that I haven’t shared with anyone else, even my little guy! Just a sip or two is perfectly satisfying when I’m craving something sweet after dinner.

Please don’t go thinking that I’m a greedy mommy, as my little guy finished off the chocolate milk and the peaches n cream within days of opening and he was one happy camper. The sugar content is slightly high, so instead of giving it to him straight, I mixed a little in with his regular milk and it still tasted great.

This is a product that we’ll definitely continue buying as Archer has asked for “peach milk” or “choc milk” several times this week already!

For information on where to buy near you, visit the Promised Land website.

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Amazing Goo Goo creations by Epting Events in Athens, GA

For any of you that follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you might have seen me posting pics and talking about the Southern C Summit I attended in Jekyll Island in May or Athens in August. Organized by the founders of The Southern Coterie, the event is a forum filled with Southern bloggers, businesses, and brand representatives.

Each of the events have been incredibly informative and, most importantly, fun! For me, working full time for a brand (Goo Goo Cluster) but also writing a blog where I work with brands, I’m getting a double dose of learning at each summit. Networking, making new friends and of course my favorite – eating – are all added perks!

 

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If heaven had a signature dessert, this would be it: Goo Goo Cluster Empanadas!

Speaking of eating, that’s a big part of how Goo Goo Cluster has participated at past events. We were the sponsor of the afternoon “Goo Goo Break”. In Jekyll Island, we worked with their convention center to create mini Goo Goo pies. In Athens, it was a local catering company, Epting Events, that made some really special creations for the attendees. Instead of only one treat like we did in Jekyll Island, Epting made 9 Goo Goo creations! They truly outdid themselves and the break was the hit of the entire conference!

  • Savory bites: Pork Slider with Goo Goo Mole Sauce, Country Ham Biscuit with Goo Goo Cluster Crumble and Chocolate-Dipped Bacon with a Crunchy Goo Goo Cluster Coating
  • Sweets: Empanadas with a Goo Goo Cluster Filling, a Goo Goo Cluster Cannoli, Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries with a Crunchy Goo Goo Cluster Coating, Goo Goo Cluster Shortbread, Goo Goo Cluster Caramel Popcorn, and even a Bourbon Goo Goo Cluster Milkshake

I still can’t get those empanadas out of my head. Don’t get me wrong. Absolutely everything was wonderful, but those? Those I dream about. Apparently they aren’t too difficult to make either! Just pie dough with half a Goo Goo Cluster used as the filling. After it is fried, you quickly dust the empanada with sugar. DANGEROUS.

 

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And the cocktail they give you at heaven’s bar? This. The Bourbon Goo Goo Milkshake

 

The Bourbon Goo Goo Milkshake was also a favorite. I’m fairly certain that a pretty high number of attendees would’ve liked a big cup of that to take with them back into the theater that day! I tell you this because it inspired me.

What I haven’t mentioned yet is that the Summit Series continues here in Nashville on October 17th and we are participating once again. This time we’re mixing things up a bit and teaming up with Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream to sponsor the bus that will transport everyone from Loews Vanderbilt Hotel out to the Southern Living Idea House on Thursday afternoon.

Want to take a guess as to what everyone will be sipping as we take that ride? Yep! Crazy good Goo Goo Whisper Creek shakes! Chef Brandon Froehne of Mason’s at Loews will also be creating a special treat to serve alongside the boozy shakes. A good time will be had by all!

Something else you should know is that earlier in the day, some of the best Nashville restaurants will also be serving up some good food. Check out this list:

Lunch with Chef’s Market
Bar-B-Que Sliders from Edley’s Bar-b-que
Shrimp & Grits from The Southern
Sweet Treats from Husk Restaurant

Southern C Nashville

 

Southern C Summit – Nashville

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $175/person

For more information and/or to register, click here.

Guess what? There are some ticket giveaways currently underway on a couple of other blogs right now. I’m sharing links with you to those sites so you can try your luck at winning! Hurry, there are only a few days left to enter both:

Em’s On the Road – must enter by September 27th

Nashville Guru – must enter by September 30th

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Champagne and Chardonnay

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
6 – 8:30 pm

Home of Kelly Pappas Crockett
6145 Hillsboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37215

Cost: $100/person

For tickets, call the Nashville Wine Auction office at 615.329.1760 or visit the website.

 

A few years ago I was introduced to the Nashville Wine Auction through their $29 and Under event, which I really enjoyed. In the years since, they’ve held other parties that I wanted to attend, but there always seemed to be some conflict with my schedule. But when my friend Vivek (who is now the marketing specialist for NWA) told me about Champagne and Chardonnay, I was pretty excited to see that my calendar was clear on October 3rd and I would actually be able to attend!

This ladies-only event will be held at the beautiful home of Kelly Pappas Crockett and will include - you guessed it-  drinking champagne and chardonnay, noshing on hors d’oeuvres, and even some shopping, all to help fund the fight against cancer.

 

 

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Another reason that I am particularly interested in this event is that it’s specifically featuring champagne and chardonnay – two things that I can drink these days. What do I mean by that? Well, some pretty big news that I haven’t yet had a chance to share with you guys is that I’ve discovered I’m allergic to red wine.

I know. Tragic. For those that know me well, you know that I love a good red wine. But, alas, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to taste one again! The pain and suffering I’ve endured after even just a little bit is completely not worth any fleeting pleasure I get from the experience.

Soooo- it’s now white wine and champagne for me from here on out. Since I haven’t spent nearly as much time drinking either of these as I have red wines, I don’t have a favorite or “go to”, but I’m hoping this party will change that. I’m looking forward to sipping, sampling and discovering!

 

 

 

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Full disclosure: Recently I was contacted by Harvest Snap‘s agency asking if I’d like a sample kit for review. While I turn down about 95% of the sample products normally offered to me, this one looked interesting. Since it seemed to be an item I might actually purchase to eat in our home in the future, I gladly accepted.

Here’s the background scoop on these: Formerly known as Snapea Crisps, Harvest Snaps just launched new flavors under the Snapea and Lentil varieties. Snapea Crisps are available in four different flavors: Lightly Salted, Caesar, Black Pepper and Wasabi Ranch. Lentil Snaps come in Tomato Basil and Onion Thyme. And yes, I got to sample all 6 of them!

 

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My favorites were the Black Pepper and Caesar Snapea, and the Onion Thyme Lentil. That said, I really liked them all, and while they won’t be replacing real peas and real lentils in our house, I feel better about snacking on these than I do regular chips. Why? Well, the Snapea Crisps are from naturally dried peas, which make up 70% of the product, and the Lentil Snaps are made from 65% Lentils and contain 5g of protein and 13% of your daily fiber. Plus, they’re baked, not fried, and are lower in fat and sodium than most packaged snacks.

Oh, and they passed the toddler test. So on those days when I can’t seem to get Archer to eat any vegetables….I give him these. And he gobbles them up!

What about you? Have you tried any of the Harvest Snaps products before? What’s your favorite?

If you haven’t yet, but want to, use the Find ‘Em tool on their website to find stores near you. They’ve got a sweet deal going on right now too. If you like their Facebook page you can download a coupon for a Buy One Get One Free bag!

Nashville Lifestyles Table Talk

 

Nashville Lifetyles Table Talk

Sunday, September 22, 2013
6 pm

Update:

EVENT POSTPONED

will update with new date/time when available

F Scott’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar
2210 Crestmoor Rd
Nashville, TN 37215

Cost: $95/person (All Inclusive)

Nashville Lifestyles magazine is introducing a cool new series called Table Talk, where each month they’ll team up with a different restaurant here in town to feature one of a kind menus for a chef-interactive dinner.

The first dinner is coming up next weekend and just so happens to be with one of my favorite Nashville chefs, Kevin Ramquist at F. Scott’s. In case you’ve missed some of my posts on him and his food before, be sure to read this post and this post. I think those will get your mouth watering!

For Table Talk, Kevin will be creating a Head-to-Tail menu and there will be beer and wine pairings to go along with his delicious food. If you’ve never been to F Scott’s before, or haven’t yet experienced Kevin’s food or had the pleasure of meeting him, this is a great opportunity to do so.

Tickets are $95 and include a three-course dinner, hors d’oeuvres, drink pairings, tax and gratuity – the whole shebang! Space is limited, so click here to get your tickets now!

 F Scotts logo

 

OR….. you can enter my giveaway for TWO FREE TICKETS! And then, if you aren’t the lucky winner of those tickets, you should buy a ticket and go. Don’t even worry if you’re dateless – I’ll be there solo so I’m happy to be your BFF.

~Contest Closed~

Congratulations to the winner!

#37 Katy M

 

To enter, all you have to do is this:

Mandatory

1. Leave a comment telling me about a dining experience you’ve had at F Scott’s or eating Kevin’s food at one of the various events and competitions around town. If you haven’t had either, then just tell me how much you want to do so!

For up to 2 additional entries, you can do either or both of the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for each optional entry.

2.  Follow me on Twitter (@betheats) and tweet “Introducing @NashLifestyles Table Talk at F Scott’s. Win 2 tix ($190 value!) from @betheats! http://bit.ly/14IDe5h”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.

3.  Like F Scott’s on Facebook and come back and tell me you did so (or just tell me you already do if that’s the case!)

 

Contest ends on Sunday, September 15th at NOON CST. Once the winner is chosen via Random.org, I’ll make contact via email and post the name here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email!

 

Music City Tippler Mule Variation Instagram

Mule Variation at Music City Tippler

There’s a new kid on the bar scene and this girl is pretty happy about it. The Music City Tippler opened for business a month ago, and while it took me a couple of weeks to make it there for my first visit, I’ve made up for lost time by visiting multiple times each week since!

My first experience with their cocktails was actually while judging the Nashville Lifestyles Bartender Bash. Their bartender, Matt Mindich, wowed us with two of the best drinks of the night. In fact, we awarded him Most Creative Cocktail, and he came very close to getting Best Martini too.

I was so impressed that even though I’d already had 26 cocktails (okay, really just samplings of 26 cocktails!), after the competition was over that night, I insisted we go to the Tippler for a nightcap.

 

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Cracktastic House Made Potato Chips at Music City Tippler

Located in the ground floor of the Adelicia in Midtown, our Tippler is a second location to the original Tippler in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood. The layout of the building is well thought out, with different nooks fitting for various occasions – a loft with tabletop shuffleboard and comfy couches, a beautiful main bar and dining room, outdoor patio space, and an intimate downstairs bar that I am already envisioning using for a fun private party. I won’t go into too many details on the decor, as other people have already thoroughly covered that.

 

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Mushroom Pot Pie at Music City Tippler
Oyster, Crimini and White Mushroom Duxelle, Phyllo, Parmesan Cheese

While the cocktails and the bar scene are the main draw for me, the food shouldn’t be dismissed. Although the menu is fairly small, there are a few dishes that I’ve found are really well done and will give me reason to dine here often.

First, the house made potato chips. I’m addicted. This is a bit unusual for me, as I don’t really like potato chips all that much, and most house made chips I’ve eaten are downright bad. Not these. They are like crack. I cannot stop dipping my hand back into that basket!!

Next, the earthy, rich and delicious mushroom pot pie. If you like mushrooms, I think you’ll love this appetizer. While it can be shared, I’d suggest only splitting between two people. If there are more of you than that, you may want to order a couple of them.

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Scallops with local Fava Puree, Candied Fennel, and Sage Brown Butter at Music City Tippler

As for the entrees, I’ve personally ordered the salmon with “broccoflower rice”, baby squash, and citrus oregano vinaigrette both times I’ve eaten dinner at the Tippler. I know, I know. Way to be adventurous, Beth! I couldn’t help myself though. It’s really good. The first time I wasn’t sure what to expect of the “rice”, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was thinly shaven broccoflower (somewhat of a cross between broccoli and cauliflower) – absolutely love the texture of it!

I’ve also tried the scallops (pictured above), which have been ordered by my husband and a couple of my friends. Also delicious.

 

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The Tippler’s White and Green Asparagus with Marcona Almonds and Chardonnay Butter

Asparagus and fingerling potatoes have been standout side dishes, and I’ve noticed truffle fries with duck fat on the menu, so gotta get those soon. Peach cobbler and banana cake were favorite desserts. Particularly if you pair them with an after dinner drink….

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The Tippler’s Banana Cake with Banana Caramel Sauce, Vanilla Gelato, Cocoa Nib Tuile, Candied Pecans 

On my most recent visit, I asked Bartender Matt to create some sort of coffee concoction to finish off our meal, and as expected, he did not disappoint. He mentioned that this drink, (or at least something similar) may be added to the cocktail menu soon, so be on the lookout!

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Coffee Cocktail created by bartender Matt at the Music City Tippler

 

 

Music City Tippler

1922 Adelicia St
Nashville, TN 37212

Bar Open
Mon -Sat 5-Close

Full Dining
Mon -Thurs 5-10pm
Fri – Sat 5-11pm

Closed on Sundays

 

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Roasted Cauliflower at Etch with truffled pea pesto, salted almonds and feta crema

 

Over the past year I haven’t been shy about my love of Etch. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve recommended it to friends, acquaintances and strangers. I’ve written about it here on the blog a couple of times. In fact, I ranked it #1 on my “Top 12 of 2012″ list. Heck, I even wrote about it for a publication in another country- The Guardian in the UK!

So it is only appropriate that I take a moment and wish them a Happy 1 Year Anniversary! And a successful year it has been. So successful that they’ve already seen a need to add more space; an additional 1200 square feet will accommodate more private dining, growing bakery operations, and additional storage.

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Etch’s Shortrib Quesadilla with parmesan onion cream, broccoli & poblano on flour tortilla and Yellow Beet, Tomato & Pepper Bisque with tempura shallots & celery essence

 

This interview with Chef Deb Paquette for Food Arts magazine touches on pretty much all of the reasons I’m completely enamored with this restaurant, so if you have 4 minutes to spare, be sure to take a moment to watch and listen.  In her words, “Eating out is like going on a journey for the day, going on a mini vacation. Give them that piece of somewhere else they’re not going to get somewhere else.” EXACTLY.

In honor of their anniversary, and because I want you to experience that journey that Deb speaks of, I’ve got a little something to share today– a gift certificate for Lunch for Two (2) at Etch!

 

~Contest Closed~

Congratulations to the winner!

#41 abbyleigh

To enter, all you have to do is this:

Mandatory

1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about Etch (the butter tasting? the open kitchen? the free valet?)  -OR- if you still haven’t been there yet, check out the menus and tell me what you’d like to order once you do go.

For up to 2 additional entries, you can do either or both of the following. Note: You must leave a separate comment for each optional entry.

2.  Follow me on Twitter (@betheats) and tweet “Win a free lunch for two at @etchrestaurant from @betheats! http://bit.ly/1e7gqA1”, then leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.

3.  Like Etch on Facebook and come back and tell me you did so (or just tell me you already do if that’s the case!)

 

Contest ends on Wednesday, September 11th at 9 pm CST. Once the winner is chosen, I’ll make contact via email and post the name here on the blog. If they don’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll be forced to choose another, so be sure to check your email!

 

Etch

303 Demonbreun St
Nashville, TN 37201
(in the Encore)
615-522-0685