Despite the fact that this recipe contains mayo, avocado, and sour cream, all items that I’m not particularly fond of, it is hands-down one of my very favorite fish recipes. So if you, like me, think you have an aversion to any of these ingredients, set that notion aside. Make it and you’ll thank me, just like I thank my friend Kandace for bringing it into my life.

I trust Kandace. You see, she’s the one that came into my dorm room the first week of freshman year and addressed my hair. My big, huge, mall bangs hair. (If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, well, it looked something like this.)

Yes, Kandace changed my life. With one swoop of her hand and a pop of a barrette, I was transformed. Since that day, I’ve known I can trust her. So when I showed up to her house and her plan was to feed me a dish that contained avocado, mayo, and sour cream, I didn’t think twice. I ate it. And I was thankful.

Now practically every time I see that tuna has gone on sale, I head to the store, snatch it up and make this dish. And my husband is thankful.

As you can see, there’s a lot of thankfulness going on, and it doesn’t end there. Two of my husband’s friends came over for dinner a couple of weeks ago. These are guys whose favorite meals usually involve red meat, so I could have easily thrown a couple of steaks on the grill and they would have been happy. But instead, I ventured away from the norm and served the tuna, and guess what? They were thankful! Not just thankful, but so completely complimentary in their praises, that I had to clue them in that it was much more simple than it tastes. Simple, impressive, and most importantly- it’s healthy!


Tuna with Green Goddess Aioli

adapted from Cooking Light


1/4 cup fat-free or light sour cream
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp fat-free or light mayonnaise
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 garlic clove, chopped

1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 (6 oz) tuna steaks (about 1 inch thick)
Cooking spray


To prepare aioli, combine first 9 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth.

To prepare tuna, combine coriander and next 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over tuna.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add tuna; cook 2 minutes on each side or until medium-rare or desired degree of doneness. Serve with aioli.


Tuna on FoodistaTuna

Photo Credit: Cooking Light image by Lee Harrelson

Atlanta Bound

You ever have one of those weeks when you just feel “off“? Well, that’s how this week has been for me. I’ve got a million things on my mind and having a lot of trouble focusing. It’s time for a mental break to reenergize.

Thankfully I have something to look forward to today! My sister is on her way to Nashville right now, and then the two of us are off to Atlanta for a weekend of shopping, eating, and relaxing at the pool. Oh, I so need this right now!

Since she lives in Indiana, we only get to see each other a few times a year, and it’s very rare that just the two of us ever travel together. Actually, now that I think about it, our 2005 trip to NYC may have been the last time that happened….wow, how time flies.

When we came up with this Atlanta weekend plan a couple of months ago, I immediately made a reservation for Woodfire Grill, Chef Kevin Gillespie‘s hot spot. The “Fan Favorite” of Top Chef Season 6, Kevin had me salivating every week with his scrumptious looking dishes, so there was no way I would go to his city and NOT eat his food!

In addition to Woodfire, also on the itinerary are: Flip Burger Boutique, Canoe, and Taqueria del Sol. Stay tuned next week for a recap of our ATL adventure!

P.S. Just so there is no confusion, that is definitely NOT my sister pictured above…that’s Kevin.

Photo Credit: Bravo

Yesterday one of my Twitter foodie friends alerted me to a fundraiser dinner taking place at The Hutton Hotel tomorrow night, June 16th. Once I saw the menu, the price, and the cause, I knew I needed to tell as many people as possible. This is just too good to pass up.

It just so happens that some friends and I had the pleasure of dining at 1808 Grille in the Hutton Hotel less than a week ago, and we ate several things that are included on this very special dinner menu.

Golden Beet & Pink Grapefruit
grilled radicchio, scallion, citrus vinaigrette

The bright flavors mirrored the vibrant colors in this cool, refreshing salad

Bronzed Quail Breast*
kohlrabi nest, fried quail egg

This dish was not something I would typically have ordered, but I’m so glad I got the opportunity to try it. I didn’t leave a morsel behind on the plate!

And then there was the star of the show, the one item I unfortunately didn’t take a photo of:

Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb T-bone
orange harissa glaze, english cucumber and pea tendril salad
I want to kick myself for forgetting to get out my camera for this one. To be completely honest, at this point of the meal I was on my 2nd martini, was enthralled with the conversation around me, and distracted by celebrities I could see out of the corner of my eye. So forgive me and believe me when I say it was truly incredible. My friend Charmaine and I agreed, it might have been the best lamb either of us had ever eaten!

So there’s a brief look at some of the dishes I enjoyed at 1808 last week. All of these and many more are available at tomorrow night’s fundraiser dinner. Click here to see the complete menu. After you take a moment to look it over, if that doesn’t immediately have you calling for reservations, then perhaps the reason behind the dinner will.

Several employees of the Hutton were directly affected by the recent flood, so their co-workers decided to host this fundraiser to give them a hand in rebuilding their homes. All of the proceeds of the dinner go directly to these victims of the flood. That’s right– 100% of the proceeds!

Seriously, if there is any way possible you can make it tomorrow night, I highly, highly encourage it. At the incredible price of $50 for 4 courses it is a screaming deal, and more importantly, all going for a good cause.

1808 Grille at The Hutton Hotel
1808 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203
Reservations recommended
For more information on the dinner, click here.

*Note that the photo of the quail dish is a slightly different serving style and smaller portion than what is offered on the dinner menu

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know how I feel about eating locally. Not only do I support local restaurants as much as possible, but I also go to the farmers’ market a few times a month to stock up on local produce, meats and cheeses. I feel strongly that we should all be doing our part to decrease our carbon footprint and bring money to our local economies. That said, I try to stay up-to-date on the subject, so when an opportunity arises to add to my knowledge, I jump at it. This includes reading articles and books and watching documentaries or television shows, which is what today’s post is about.
There’s a show on PBS called Live Green Tennessee that shares with its viewers how to live greener, more healthy lives by interviewing local farmers, gardeners, and neighbors. On tonight’s episode, Franklin’s own Chef Jason McConnell, the owner of Red Pony, SOL, and 55 South, will be the guest host! He’ll be discussing the use of local products and their benefits as well as demonstrating how to make cornmeal catfish, local goat cheese grits, and green tomato chow chow. Tune in tonight or set your DVR so you don’t miss it!

Who: Jason McConnell, chef/owner of Red Pony, Sol, 55 South
What: Live Green Tennessee TV show
When: Monday, June 14th at 7 pm
(encore presentation Friday, June 18th at 8 pm)
Where: PBS
Photo Credit: Green Olive Media

A couple of weeks ago, tayst Restaurant and Wine Bar closed for some top secret renovations/remodeling. Chef owner Jeremy Barlow wouldn’t spill the beans to anyone (not even his staff!) on what his plans were, so naturally I was super curious to see the new space the minute it opened. On Tuesday, I did just that when I attended an “extreme makeover”-themed dinner unveiling the new look and feel of the space. The changes are awesome, especially all the new windows that really brighten and open up the dining room. I’m not giving away any other details though because I think you need to go check it out for yourself!

What I will share with you is what was on the menu for our dinner that night. As always, it was a delight…playful and inventive, and of course, delicious!

“Extreme Makeover: tayst edition”

Cheek Augmentation
braised veal cheeks, basil, tomatoes, lemon

Tummy Tuck
roasted pork belly, summer squash, sorghum

Breast Augmentation
duck breast, orange cream tapioca, crispy beets

Rib Removal
beef short ribs, potato two ways, reduction

Nose Job
berries, rose, hibiscus tea, custard, phyllo

And now something else I’m really, really excited about: the new menu that’s available only at the bar! There are plenty of nights when I don’t really want a full meal, instead choosing just to have a few nibbles with my cocktails. Now I (we) can do just that at the tayst bar. All the selections look really tempting and super affordable. I can personally vouch for the Nachos, as they are the same ones we served at Generous Helpings when I volunteered to help the chef with the tayst table.

tayst BAR MENU

Grit Fries

Sloppy Joes
bread pudding, duck confit chili, tater tots…4 / 2 for 7

Tomato Salad
basil, balsamic, olive oil….3

lamb, dumpling crackers, white fire sauce….5

The Nachos we served at Generous Helpings.
Everyone loved them, especially the white fire sauce!

Caramelized Cheese…2

Ice Cream Sandwich
chocolate doughnuts, bacon ice cream….4

In addition to the new bar menu, the new summer menu has been launched as well, and it looks fantastic, so take my advice and go check out the “tayst-lift” very soon!

tayst Restaurant
2100 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212

Tues-Thurs: 5-10 pm
Fri-Sat: 5-11 pm
Bar Opens at 4 pm Tues-Sat

If you’re looking for a way to beat the heat this weekend, then head down Franklin Road to Miss Martha’s Ice Cream Crankin’! Fun for the whole family, you’ll find more than 500 gallons of homemade ice cream to sample. Ranging from the most basic vanilla and chocolate to the bizarre (I won’t name any names, but believe me, there were some strange ones last year!), there is something for everyone.

Speaking of last year, my friends Amanda, Charmaine and I had an absolute blast tasting dozens and dozens of flavors! A few of the flavors that especially excited us were:

Cina Snapmade with ginger snaps…and you know how I love ginger!

Pecan Piereally did taste just like pecan pie

Sweet HeatI’m sure you remember me mentioning before how much I like a little sweet & heat

T Cake Brittlemade by the Tennessee TCake lady

Coconut Almond I’m almost always a sucker for anything coconut

The event, a fundraiser for the Martha O’Bryan Center, is hosted by Purity Dairies, and is not all just fun and games. There’s a serious competition going on too, you see. A panel of judges chooses one flavor from all of these creative concoctions that Purity will actually mass produce for one year. Pretty cool, huh?

The 2009 winner was Raspberry Chocolate Truffle, which unfortunately I skipped over thinking it sounded too ordinary. My bad. That won’t happen this year. No, this time my goal is to taste every flavor. I think I can do it. Although I may need some Tums afterward.

My happy friend Amanda at last year’s event

What: Miss Martha’s Ice Cream Crankin’
When: Sunday, June 13th
4-6 p.m.
Where: The lawn* at First Presbyterian Church
4815 Franklin Pike

The cost for tasting dozens of flavors is $10 in advance ($13 at the gate) for adults, $8 in advance ($10 at the gate) for children and free for children under 2. For more information on the event, parking, and how to buy tickets in advance, click here.

Grab your family, a couple of friends, or your honey and come out to enjoy all the cool, creamy creations on Sunday! Hope to see you there~

*One helpful hint for you girls–you’ll be doing quite a bit of walking around in the grass and like any lawn, there are some bumps and lumps, so wear flat-soled shoes. This is not the place for heels or wedges!

As much as I enjoy going out to dinner with my girlfriends, I actually think I prefer our leisurely Sunday brunches more. Usually no one is in a big hurry to get anywhere else, so we’re able to linger for hours over coffee and mimosas as we not only catch up, but really dig deep into conversations.

Just recently I had one of those very brunches at a friend’s house. This tomato tart was my contribution, and it was a big hit with everyone in attendance. Served with some muffins and fresh fruit, it’s a simple, yet flavorful summer breakfast dish. An added plus? The rice crust makes it gluten-free!

Tomato Tart

Serves 4-6. Adapted from Cooking Light.


1 (10 oz) package frozen long grain brown rice (like Steamfresh)
2 Tbsp of pesto
1 Tbsp grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
cooking spray

1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 large egg
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 small plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare crust, cook the brown rice according to package directions. Combine cooked rice, pesto, Parmesan cheese, and 1 egg; firmly press mixture into the bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove dish from oven.

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. To prepare filling, combine milk and next 5 ingredients (through 1 egg) in a bowl; stir with a whisk.

Sprinkle half of the mozzarella into the bottom of prepared crust. Top with half of tomato slices. Repeat procedure with remaining mozzarella and tomatoes. Pour milk mixture over tomatoes. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Reduc oven temperature to 325 degrees (do not remove tart from oven); bake an additional 35 minutes or until set. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with basil. Cut into wedges.


Leah’s entry comment: “Wow, I had never heard of this place, but the pictures on their website look so delicious. It’s a toss up between taking a fellow foodie friend for a new experience and gabbing over every detail of every morsel because we love food, or taking my mom. I like to introduce her to new restaurants so this would be perfect! Thanks for the giveaway!”

Miel Restaurant

Congrats Leah!! I just sent you an email with the Miel Groupon attached. Enjoy~