Be sure to set your DVR or tune in tomorrow night for the sneak preview of renowned chef Jamie Oliver‘s new show, Food Revolution on ABC.

Chef Oliver, who transformed the British school food program, has come to the U.S. to start a new initiative to improve our eating habits and he’s starting in Huntington, WV, recently named the Unhealthiest City in America.

Sneak Preview: Sunday March 21st at 9 p.m. Central
2-Hour Premiere: Friday, March 26th at 7 p.m. Central

So you didn’t heed my advice and rush to the theater to see the Food, Inc. movie when it came out last summer? Still haven’t bothered to rent it now that it’s on DVD? Well, it’s time. Oscar Nominated for Best Documentary Feature and endorsed by Oprah, this movie will open your eyes to our nation’s food industry, giving you lots of food for thought.

I don’t get on my soap box much, but this is something I feel very strongly about. I truly believe that every single one of you should see this film. For those of you living in Nashville and the surrounding areas, you can view it for FREE next weekend.

Re/Storing Nashville is partnering with Ingredients for Change to host a free Food, Inc. screening at Belmont United Methodist Church next Saturday, March 27th. Come see it with me!

Click here for more details

Don’t live in Nashville or can’t make it next Saturday? Well, that’s okay. You may not be able to see it on the big screen, but very soon it will be right on your TV screen in the comfort of your own home. That’s right- on April 21st, PBS will be airing Food, Inc. for all to see!

Click here for a video preview and more information on the PBS schedule.


You know, sometimes I don’t have a cool story that goes along with my recipes. Today’s dish is just one that I personally love and have prepared probably more times than any other chicken dish. I’ve been making it for several years, and it’s a relatively easy weeknight dish to prepare. Not only is it super delicious and simple to make, but the ingredients are staples in my cabinets, so when I don’t feel like putting much thought into dinner, I’ve got this! 

If you haven’t heard me mention before, I’m also a sucker for the combination of spicy and sweet flavors, and this is just that. Think bbq chicken with a twist…. 


Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Serves 3-4. Adapted from


3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes, with liquid
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce


In a shallow dish, combine flour, 1/2 tsp salt and ground black pepper. Coat chicken breasts with flour mixture. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and brown chicken on all sides. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.

In the same skillet, combine the tomatoes, water, brown sugar, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt, chili powder, mustard, garlic, red pepper flakes and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and return chicken to skillet. Cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink.

*I've found that many packs of chicken breasts come 3 to a pack with each breast weighing approximately 7-8 oz each. When using chicken breasts that are this size, I like to flatten them a bit with mallet and cut them into 2 pieces, making 6 pieces that are about 4 oz each. You certainly don't have to do this, I just prefer it.



If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that over the past few months I’ve participated in not one, but two series of wine classes that were offered at Fido. I even went as far as to name Wine 101 in my 2009 Best of Drink AND Food list.

Well today begins another series, and I feel like I would be doing you a great disservice by not mentioning it to you!

(click on the image to enlarge for more details)

This time the series lasts for 3 weeks and it’s all Italiano! As with the other classes, I am confident this will be an amazing value for only $20. Combine the knowledge you’ll acquire, the fantastic wines you’ll be drinking, and the delicious Italian dishes Chef John will be cooking up and it’s just too good to pass up. Salud!

1812 21st Ave S
Nashville, TN 37212
(615) 777-3436

A couple of weeks back it was brought to my attention that Pastry Chef Andy Manchester of Capitol Grille recently developed a new wine and dessert pairing menu at the Oak Bar. I’ve always liked the intimate feel of the Oak Bar, but haven’t been there in quite some time, so this was just the thing to get me in the door again.

My good friend Kandace was in visiting from D.C. last week, and naturally I wanted to show her a great time, so after some nibbles at Suzy Wong’s House of Yum, we headed over to the Hermitage Hotel. Like me, Kandace has a true appreciation for food and wine, so I knew she would be the perfect partner to share in this experience.

Upon arrival we settled into a comfortable spot and were greeted warmly by the staff. It’s moments like these that I’m reminded how lucky I am to live in a city like Nashville. The service was extraordinary, yet down-to-earth, not sterile like some upscale restaurants I’ve been to in my travels. True, genuine, southern hospitality with class.

Now let me point out that although I went on this excursion with a dear friend, this is definitely date-worthy material here. Guys (and girls!), if you’re looking to impress your special someone, whether it’s a first date or a 50th, THIS IS IT. Featuring tastings of three red wines paired with three incredible chocolates, your date will be swooning before the evening is done.

The price tag of $19.50 per person may seem steep to some of you for dessert, but this is a true experience to savor and worth every penny. Generous wine pours and high quality chocolates make this a Nashville “Must Do” as far as I’m concerned.

Here’s a look at what you get:

Blackberry Truffle
paired with
Shooting Star “Black Bubbles” Sparkling Syrah

Kandace and I both loved this truffle with notes of dried fruit and tobacco, and thought this particular pairing may have been the best of the bunch. The truffle was served on that gorgeous green (completely edible) leaf you see pictured at right. It was almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.

Neither of us had ever had a sparkling Syrah before, so we were captivated by the “Black Bubbles”. Refreshing and light, peculiar but delightful, this wine is a great party starter. Chilled notes of blackberry, cherry, and bittersweet chocolate prompted Kandace to go shopping for her own bottle the very next day!

Now don’t get me wrong, as much as we enjoyed the first pairing, we were just as enchanted with the other desserts as well.

Kandace fancied the

Star Anise Ganache Brownie
paired with
d’Arenburg Love Grass Shiraz

Strong, slightly bitter yet elegant flavors in the brownie were complemented by the jammy characteristics of bing cherries, dates and chocolates in the Shiraz.

And I was crazy about the last taste of the evening, the

Cacao Berry Espresso Caramel Tart
paired with
Kaiken Cabernet Sauvignon

The dark chocolate with a strong cocoa flavor and hint of saltiness paired well with the black cherry and chocolate notes from the Cab.

Quick recap:
3 fanastic wines + 3 amazing desserts = 1 delightful evening

Even though I can guarantee that this chocolate and wine pairing will be enough to put you in the good graces of your special someone for a very long time, I’ve got more scoop that could take the experience to a whole other level:

The folks over at Capitol Grille are starting a contest today giving you a chance to win a dinner for two! All you have to do is go to their Facebook discussion board* and tell them about your most interesting first date. A winner will be announced on Friday, April 2, so get over there soon and spill the beans!

Capitol Grille Oak Bar
The Hermitage Hotel
231 Sixth Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37219


*E-mail submissions will not be accepted. You must post your date story to the Capitol Grille Facebook discussion board.

Photos Courtesy of Green Olive Media

Last week I told you about the upcoming From Nashville with Love fundraiser, but what I didn’t tell you is that I’m volunteering at the event. Yes, that’s right, I can be found at the table of one of my VERY favorite Nashville restaurants, The Yellow Porch. Chef Guerry McComas and I will be dishing out food, chatting up the crowds and having some fun. To add to the party, my friend Kathleen will be at the next table over, helping out Chef Jeremy Barlow of Tayst. I can pretty much guarantee that our little crew will be the most entertaining of them all, so everyone please stop by, say hello and introduce yourself!

The list of participants for the tasting event has grown to now include: The Acorn, Caffe Nonna, Cabana, F. Scotts, Jackson’s, Midtown Cafe, Rumba, The Standard, Sunset Grill, Tayst, Yellow Porch, Park Cafe, Miro District, City House, Chappy’s on Church, Mackes, Fleur de Lis Flavors, Bongo Java, and Bravo Gelato.

It’s really a smashing deal for only $15 in advance at, or $20 at the door. (Children under 7 are free)

So don’t miss out- come eat, drink, and have an all around good time while supporting a great cause!

What: From Nashville With Love Fundraiser
When: Sunday, March 14th from 5-8pm
Where: The Nashville Farmers’ Market
900 Rosa Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37208

Photo Credit: Beecher’s by Brighter than Sunshine

“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it. Bubba Blue


Last week AMC had a Forrest Gump marathon, and I’ll admit, I got caught up in it more than once. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Bubba is explaining to Forrest all the ways you can prepare shrimp. It totally cracks me up no matter how many times I’ve seen it.

Naturally, Bubba’s talk left me hankering after the little crustaceans. I always keep some in the freezer, so that wasn’t a problem. Finding a recipe wasn’t difficult either, because there was a special one I’d been holding on to for a while now. Alana, one of my readers, shared this with me a few months ago, saying it was one of her favorites and she thought I might enjoy.

The original concept was a Cooking Light recipe, but another blogger had adapted it a bit and that’s the version Alana used with just a couple of small changes of her own. After reading over both versions, I took parts of each, including Alana’s idea to make extra sauce, and this new version was born. It’s a dish full of bright flavors- a perfect way to shed the winter and enter into spring!


Crispy Shrimp with Ginger-Orange Sauce on Toasted Israeli Couscous

Serves 4. Adapted from this Cooking Light recipe.


for the sauce:
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tbsp organic chicken stock
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
fresh squeezed juice from 1 lime
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

for the couscous:
1 cup uncooked large pearl Israeli couscous*
1 1/2 cups heated organic chicken broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 small shallots, halved and sliced thinly
pinch of sea salt

for the shrimp:
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil

2 handfuls baby spinach


To prepare sauce, bring orange juice to a boil in a small saucepan. Let it boil until reduced to 1/2 cup (approx 15-20 minutes), then remove from heat. Let cool (the juice should be thick), then whisk the rest of the sauce ingredients in. Cover and set aside.

Heat olive oil over med-high heat in a large pan with lid. Add shallots and stir to coat, then add couscous. Stir the couscous in the hot oil, toasting the pearls evenly. Once the couscous is golden brown, add all of the heated chicken stock. Stir once, cover with the lid, and simmer on low for 15-18 minutes.

Reheat the sauce over low heat. (Do not allow to boil, it just needs to be warm)

Combine shrimp and lightly beaten egg white in a bowl, tossing thoroughly to coat. Combine the breadcrumbs, remaining ginger, cilantro, and black pepper in a large bowl with lid. Shake to combine. Using a slotted spoon, add shrimp to bowl. Reseal the bowl and give a good shake to completely coat the shrimp.

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; arrange shrimp in a single layer in pan. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until done.

Place 3/4 cup couscous on each of 4 plates, then pile 1/4 of the raw baby spinach on top of the couscous. Using a flexible spatula (so you don't tear the crust), pile shrimp on top of the spinach. Drizzle sauce over the whole dish, adjusting amount to your taste.

*I use Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend, a blend of Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa

Shrimp on FoodistaShrimp

Photo Credit: The Unemployed Cook

On Thursday, March 25th, I’ll be taking an extra long lunch break. If you want to find me, come to Williams-Sonoma in Green Hills Mall where I’ll be waiting in line for THE Thomas Keller to sign my ad hoc at home cookbook!

What: Thomas Keller cookbook signing
When: Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 11:00 am
Where: Williams-Sonoma Green Hills Mall
2126 Abbott Martin Rd.
Nashville, TN 37215
(615) 292-5066

Please note that Chef Keller will only be signing copies of ad hoc at home purchased at Williams-Sonoma, and proof of purchase is required.

Don’t live in Nashville? He’ll be in a few other cities too: Pasadena, CA; Atlanta, GA; and Leawood, KS. Click here to view those dates, times and locations.