Cutting back on entertainment expenses and dining seems like a smart way to save money, but it’s also something that someone like me does not want to give up without a fight. Eating out is a treasured pastime of mine, so luckily a few of my preferred dining destinations here in Nashville are helping out in these tough times by offering some awesome money-saving deals. Between just these few listed below, I could dine out and drink 7 days of the week and not break the bank (although I might gain a few lbs and rot my liver):
Sunday Brunch: complimentary glass of bubbly or your choice of dip (with purchase) and 1/2 off bottles of wine
Mondays: pinchos are 1/2 price
2317 12th Ave S
Every Day: 1/2 price bottles of wine the entire month of August
M-F happy hour includes: 2 for 1 draft beers & well drinks, $3.00 house wines by the glass, a different specialty cocktail every week for $5, and $5 bar bites!
DaVinci’s Pizza1812 Hayes Street
Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m. dinner bill is cut in half. That’s right-1/2! for instance, if you order a large pizza and a couple of cold beers for what would normally be $30- instead you’ll only pay $15!
1920 West End Avenue
1656 West Gate Circle (Brentwood)
18 bottles of wine for $18 in celebration of their 18th birthday. (promo will run at least thru Labor Day)
Gather up your friends and your loose change and take advantage of these special offers while they last!
Photo credit: $2.75 to be exact by on2wheelz
I’m very aware that money doesn’t grow on trees, and even if it did, my non-green thumb would probably kill it. That’s why I love a good deal and take advantage of them whenever I can.
A recent email from Williams-Sonoma describing the FREE technique classes they offer in their stores caught my eye, particularly “The Olive Oil Extra” class. You see, I’m a little intimidated by the overwhelming variety of olive oils when I go to the store. I find myself standing in front of them playing eenie, meenie, miny, moe, which ends in me choosing the prettiest bottle. Not exactly the best approach.
There was no way I was going to let this free learning opportunity pass me by. I forwarded the email to my partner in all things food-related, Melissa, to see if she was interested. Not only was she willing to go with me to that class, but she was excited by the entire August schedule!
So this past Sunday we attended our first class at the Green Hills store-”Balsamic and Beyond”- where we were able to taste a plethora of different vinegars, taking notes on each kind as we went. It was so interesting to see how very different each one could be. Besides just dipping crusty bread directly into the vinegars, we were also treated to a variety of dishes incorporating some of them: a couple of salads, some fresh tomatoes, marinated veggies, a roasted chicken, and macerated strawberries. Next week we’ll be going to the olive oil class and the week after that, one on Pizzas and Paninis!
If you are free on Sunday afternoons, I highly recommended these hour-long classes. I’m hooked! Seriously, how can you go wrong with free education and free food?
Space is limited, so call or visit your local Williams-Sonoma store to sign up in advance. Click here
to see the rest of the August calendar, and here
to find a store near you.
Last weekend I finally got caught up on a backlog of 3 months’ worth of Cooking Light magazines. As I flipped through the June issue I found myself turning down the corners on just about every other page. It was truly bursting with amazing recipes I couldn’t wait to try, many of them meatless. So for today’s installment of Meatless Monday, here’s a delicious sandwich that takes full advantage of my favorite summer crop: big, juicy tomatoes!
Grilled Tomato and Brie Sandwiches
Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich). Adapted from Cooking Light.
4 slices 100% whole-grain bread (about 1/2 inch thick)
1 tsp olive oil*
1 garlic clove, halved
2 tsp country-style Dijon mustard
2 oz Brie cheese, thinly sliced
2/3 cup baby arugula
4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices beefsteak tomato
Prepare grill to high heat. Brush one side of each bread slice with oil; rub cut sides of garlic over oil. Spread 1 tsp mustard on each of 2 bread slices, oil side down. Top each bread slice with 1 oz cheese, 1/3 cup arugula, and 2 tomato slices. Top each with remaining bread slices, oil side up.
Place sandwiches on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until lightly toasted and cheese melts.
*Instead of measuring and brushing on, I use an olive oil mister to spray the bread. A few squirts on each slice of bread does the trick.
This is the perfect time to mention the type of bread I use- one that has become a household staple in recent months:Milton’s Original Multi-Grain Bread. It’s important to note that before I discovered this particular brand at Trader Joe’s*, I rarely purchased loaves of bread–as in maybe once every couple of months. But this bread is so insanely good that I buy it just about every week! An afternoon snack of toasted Milton’s with a big smear of peanut butter keeps my hunger at bay until dinner and satisfies my vicious peanut butter cravings. Mmmm….
*I purchase it at Trader Joe’s, but I’m pretty sure both Sam’s Club and Costco carry it as well.
I am super, super stoked about the wine class some friends and I signed up for at Fido next week! Omni Beverage/Vinea and Fido are hosting this incredible 6 week wine series starting on Tuesday, August 11th, running through Tuesday, September 15th.
I was tipped off about the course by Jimmy Collins, the publisher/editor of Nashville Wine Press. He participated a couple of months ago and then detailed on his blog, saying it was one of the most informative and fun wine classes in Nashville he’d ever done. This is coming from a guy that drinks ALOT of wine!
As I mentioned, it’s a 6 weeks series, but that doesn’t mean you have to do all 6 weeks. You can pick and choose the classes that work for you- but just do it quick before it sells out!
Week 1- Evolution of Wine
Week 2- The Vineyard
Week 3- The Winery
Week 4- Fruit
Week 5- Structure
Week 6- Blending
Each class will include 6 wines and light food. I’m really just as excited about the food as I am the wine because Chef John Stephenson always whips out some amazing food- and uses local ingredients, my favorite. Every day I drool over the selection on their “daily specials” menu in my Google Reader. Too bad I work 20 minutes away or I would be there for lunch a few times a week.
Classes are $25 and you can register by sending an email to email@example.com. Class size is limited, so sign up before it’s full!
1812 21st Ave S
Nashville, TN 37212
Photo Credit: Floating wine glass by plump
This recipe has been one of my absolute favorites for several years. I never tire of it, and love to sometimes make the salsa on it’s own to use as a dip for tortilla chips.
Lime Chicken with Black Bean Corn Salsa
Makes 4 servings.
Freshly squeezed lime juice from 2 limes (about 4 Tbsp)
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (approx 6 oz each)
1 cup corn kernels
1 can (15 1/2 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup diced tomato
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together first 7 ingredients. Place chicken breasts in shallow dish and drizzle with lime marinade. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
In a medium bowl, combine all salsa ingredients; season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Heat grill to medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Grill 5 to 6 minutes per side, turning once, until cooked through. Remove from grill, allow to cool slightly, then top with salsa to serve.
I sometimes add more tomato, making it more salsa-like, and occasionally bump up the jalapeno content if those partaking can handle a little heat.
I would love to give credit where credit is due, but I honestly don’t know where this recipe originally came from. It’s one of the hundreds I’ve clipped from magazines over the years and compiled into my own personal binders. I’ve made so many modifications that whoever originally created it probably wouldn’t recognize it anyway!
Target carries single serving Kashi cereals for $1.
Target has a coupon generator website that currently offers a $1 off coupon for Kashi cereal.
$1 – $1 = $0.
Yep, FREE Kashi cereal.
Print* as many as you want, but take note that the coupon expires 8/8/09. Don’t delay, get your free cereal today!
*In order to print, you must register for the site, but I haven’t received any junk mail from them thus far and I’ve been signed up for a few weeks. Once signed up, the coupon you need is on Page 2- just scroll down the page until you see the “Kashi cereal $1″ and enter the # of coupons you want to print. Ta Da!
Happy Monday! Meatless Monday to be exact…..
Today’s recipe comes to you from my old college roomie and one of my best buds, Natalie. Let me start by saying that Natalie had quite a unique style of food preparation when we were in college. Our dorm room often looked like a lab test gone awry. Her propensity to use multiple condiments did not always make for the most appetizing of dishes, especially on mornings when I awoke with a raging hangover to the remnants of the previous night’s concoction just inches from my head.
But that was many years ago and we’re all grown up now. My friend is now married, with a baby and a cute house in Kentucky. Gone are the days of microwaved Casserole a’la Nat for dinner. (If I remember correctly that was something like equal parts Lipton rice, butter buds, ranch dressing and mustard topped with crushed up white cheddar rice cakes).
Yes, we’ve definitely changed, and that would be most apparent to anyone that heard our breakfast conversations in the 90′s vs today. Instead of detailing our most recent fraternity party escapades, we now talk mostly about babies, home design/decor and cooking. As we sipped coffee in Natalie’s kitchen a few weeks ago, I inquired as to what she’d been doing with the crop bursting from her little backyard veggie garden. Her eyes lit up and she excitedly began digging for a recipe to share with me.
Vegetable Pie? She assured me that although it didn’t sound terribly exciting, it would rock my world. Even her husband chimed in saying “it may be the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth”. This statement coming from a big, strong, meat-eatin’ man is pretty impressive.
8 oz of fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 zucchini or yellow squash, sliced
1/2 green pepper, diced
3 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Garlic salt to taste
1 10-inch pie shell, baked at 325 degrees for 20 minutes
1 tomato, sliced
1 cup mayo (see below for my substitution)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
I'm not a fan of mayo so I substituted Greek yogurt* with the juice of one lemon and a little bit of salt & pepper mixed in for flavor.
Saute vegetables (remember that tomato is NOT a vegetable!) in butter until crisp but not soft. Drain well and add seasonings. Place tomato slices in bottom of pie shell. Add vegetables. Mix together mayo and cheese in small bowl. Spread cheese mixture over vegetables. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
As usual, pardon my photography. I promise to invest in a better camera soon, as these little point and shoot digitals just aren’t good at creating true food porn.
One last thing I would like to point out- the vegetable measurements listed above are reduced from the original. This is because I’m pretty sure the Jolly Green Giant was the recipe writer. Seriously, they were double the amount and could only possibly be contained in a ginormous pie shell.
That said, even though I’m giving to you the minimized version, Nat and I both chose to go with the original and make the full amount of veggies. One of two things happen if you go this route- you have leftover sauteed veggies to use in something later in the week, or you create 2 pies. Pie crusts typically come packaged in 2′s anyway, so use them both, then share one with a friend or your co-workers! Just note that if you do this, you’ll need 2 tomatoes instead of 1, and you’ll need to double the mayo/cheese mixture.
I assure you my friend’s cooking style has seen a dramatic improvement from our college days, and this dish backs up that claim. My husband, like Natalie’s, seemed to really enjoy it- 3 pieces in one sitting is usually a good indication. So go ahead, celebrate the adundance of summer produce we’re all blessed with right now and bake one of these for dinner tonight!
*This dietitian’s review of Oikos Greek yogurt (the brand I used), does a great job outlining the health benefits and versatility of Greek yogurt.
Photo Credit: colorful vegetables by computix
Starting off my weekend at the farmers’ market makes me so happy!