Last night it was brought to my attention that I have a very short amount of time left before my $50 Groupon for Miel* expires. Unfortunately, my calendar is jam-packed with activities between now and the expiry date of June 14th. So guess what? Since I don’t think there is any way possible that I’ll be able to make use of it, my loss is your gain! I’m giving it away to one lucky reader!!

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what you’ll do with it. Will you go to dinner with your best friend? Take your honey out for your anniversary? Give it to your starving-artist-musician neighbor? The only thing I ask it that you put it to good use since I’m not able. It’s too good to waste!
Since there isn’t much time left on the calendar, the contest entry window will be short. I’ll use random number generator to choose the winner at noon tomorrow (June 5th), so don’t delay, enter now!
*For more details on the specifics of the Groupon, click here.
Miel
343 53rd Ave N

Nashville, TN 37209
(615) 298-3663

Tue-Thu 5:30pm-10pm

Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm


Remember my friend Kathleen who was selling her cheeses last summer at the farmers’ market? Well, she’s back and better than ever! Kathleen has launched “The Bloomy Rind”, a cheese stand with a selection of hand-crafted artisan cheeses that can be found at the Nashville Farmers’ Market every Saturday. Over the past few months I’ve been fortunate enough to be a taste-tester on occasion as she sampled incredible cheeses from around the country. Now I’m a faithful customer, not because she’s my friend, but because she has the best stuff around! Honestly.

This past Saturday I couldn’t make it over to the farmers’ market, so about midway through the Sweet Relief bake sale, I sent Kathleen a text asking if she could drop by The Green Wagon with her wares. I couldn’t go a whole week without my fix! She happily obliged, and now these chunks of goodness are all mine:
Dunbarton Blue (shown above)
Mmm, buttery, cheddary/blue combo

Barely Buzzed
my most beloved of the bunch, it’s rubbed with coffee and lavender, creating a totally unique flavor
Seahive
the rind is rubbed with sea salt and honey– oh wow.

Yep, I am totally cheesin’ out over all of her selections, and I’m not the only one. The Bloomy Rind recently got some love from local food writers and Generous Helpings attendees on the Nashville Scene Bites blog. Click here to see what they were saying.

Basically what I’m telling you is this- if you like cheese, then you simply MUST go visit Kathleen at the Nashville Farmers’ Market. She has the best, most interesting selection in town. Hands down. And if you follow her on Twitter @TheBloomyRind, or on Facebook, it’s quite likely you’ll be the first to know what new things she’s discovered. Or you can check out her blog for a list of each weeks’ offerings. Just do it. You won’t be sorry!

The Bloomy Rind
Saturdays 10 am – 2 pm
Nashville Farmers’ Market
900 Rosa L Parks Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37208

Last summer when I judged the Nashville Lifestyles’ Bartender Bash, I was introduced to Domaine de Canton, a French ginger liqueur comprised of baby ginger, cognac, Provençal honey, vanilla, and ginseng. With a subtle sweetness and spicy kick, I was instantly smitten.
It is now a staple in our home bar and I’ve enjoyed using it to create new cocktails. Actually, the liqueur is smooth enough to enjoy on its own or on the rocks, but recently I discovered this refreshing drink using just a few simple ingredients I just happened to have on hand:

The Ginger Sparkler
2 parts natural Sparkling Lemon Soda
1 part Domaine de Canton*
Squeeze of 1 fresh lemon wedge
Serve on the rocks
Garnish with candied ginger
It’s Memorial Day, so why not try something new? Head to the liquor store now and buy a bottle. You can thank me later.
*If you want the drink to be a bit stronger and more gingery, you can do equal parts liquer and soda. FYI- I purchase my Domaine de Canton at The Wine Chap
Sometimes I go a little nuts at the farmers’ market, buying so much that I can barely walk back to my car without nearly breaking my arm. Well, the trip that resulted in this dish was one of those days. The ingredients used were just a tiny portion of the things I picked up that morning.

Once home, I immediately started brainstorming the next few days’ meals, trying to figure out how to best use all of my newly acquired fresh produce before it started to spoil. Somewhere from the far recesses of my mind came a vision of me jotting down a radish salsa recipe on a tiny piece of paper. Yes, I was certain of it. I remembered flipping through a Southern Living magazine in my friend’s kitchen in Kentucky last summer and reaching into my purse to pull out a piece of scratch paper. How do I remember this stuff?? I have no idea. What I couldn’t remember is what I did with that piece of paper.

Hmmm. After about 30 minutes of searching through this…..

 I found it!

Print

Steak with Radish Salsa

Serves 4-6. Adapted from Southern Living.

Ingredients:

1- 2 lb flank steak (I used a thin cut of sirloin from Walnut Hills Farm)
1 Tbsp McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning*

Radish Salsa
6 large radishes
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp salt

Grilled Bread
4-6 Slices of crusty bread cut 1" thick (I used a whole grain from Provence)
olive oil
garlic salt
pepper
oregano

Directions:

Sprinkle steak with seasoning*. Grill steak to desired doneness. Remove and cover with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.

Toss together all salsa ingredients. Cover and chill up to 2 hours. Season with salt to taste.

Brush or spray top side of bread with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper, and oregano to taste. After the steak is removed from grill, place the bread slices seasoned side down on grill. Close lid for 2-3 minutes. Remove and place one bread slice on each of 4-6 plates (depending on how many you are serving). Slice steak and arrange on bread slices then top with radish salsa. So fresh and flavorful, this might be our favorite new way to eat steak in the summer!

*If you don't have the Montreal Seasoning, you can use a mixture of coarse ground sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and a bit of paprika for similar results.


Photo credit: Radish 002a by Andy2Boyz

So you did see my previous post about Nashville’s own Arnold Myint making his television debut on Top Chef very soon, right? As prep for the season premiere, I think you all need to acquaint yourself with his cuisine– or reacquaint yourself if you’re already familiar.

You have your choice of three restaurants- PM, Cha Chah, and Suzy Wong’s, all of which I can wholeheartedly recommend. But with some exciting new things happening, I think now would be the perfect time to Cha Chah!

Last night a friend and I took advantage of their awesome happy hour deal:

$5.00 Well Drinks
$10.00 Pitchers of Sangria (normally $18!)
3 Tapas for the price of 2
Daily from 5-7 pm

Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Vinegar and Almonds

In addition to cocktails and sangria, we also ordered tapas: the brussels sprouts shown above, the chickpea cakes shown below, and calamari. Let me just say that these brussels sprouts are INCREDIBLE. I eat them every time I go to Cha Chah. So if you go, you really must get them. The chickpea cakes were also very tasty and I would totally order them again. Oh, and I almost forgot! We ended the night with some Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates for dessert. Mmmm. It was not my first time to have them and they never cease to make my taste buds smile.

 

Chickpea Bacalao Cakes with Preserved Lemon Crema
They also have something called a Sunset Special that we didn’t try, but looks very promising:
2 Glasses of wine
and
unlimited passed Chef choice tapas for
$20.00 per guest!

If you aren’t busy this Thursday night, May 27th, then I’ve got just the thing for you. Arnold will be in the kitchen cooking up this very special tasting menu for only $40! Do you see this amazing spread? Grab some friends and GO!

May 27th Tasting Menu
Earl Gray Cured Salmon with Roasted Favas
Red Pepper Gazpacho with Fried Capers & Cucumber
Coriander Dusted Scallop with Barley Oat Tabouli & Papas Bravas
S & P Stripe Bass with Lemon Truffled Peas & Mushroom Flan
Fennel Braised Bison with Cornbread, Marrow BBQ Emulsion & Pickled Okra Tempura
Hibiscus-Guava Sorbet with Rosemary Syrup
Tres Leches with Goat’s Milk Ice Cream & Local Honey Caramel
Another exciting introduction to the restaurant is “Cha Chah’s Tasting Room”: a seasonal, creative, inspired, personal, and most of all, tasty expression of food and spirits.
Can Accommodate 2-18 people
Five Course Tasting $35.00
Seven Course Tasting $55.00
Nine Course Tasting $75.00
Wine Parings Available
24 hour notice appreciated

Sounds interesting and I can’t wait to try it myself!

Cha Chah
2013 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37212-4405
(615) 298-1430

 


This Saturday some Nashville food bloggers (including yours truly) and fellow foodies will be whipping up some yummy treats to raise money for flood relief. Drop by The Green Wagon in East Nashville on Saturday afternoon and grab some sweet confections knowing those calories are going for a good cause!

If you’re a baker yourself and would like to contribute to the sale, jump over to Love and Olive Oil and let Lindsay know. Also, visit the Facebook page for more info or to let us know you’re coming!

Hope to see you Saturday!

You might remember me talking about Martin’s Bar-B-Que a few months back. Hopefully you heeded my advice and have eaten there by now. If not, go today. Go tomorrow. Heck, I don’t care what day you go, JUST GO.

And if I haven’t done enough to convince you, then let me suggest that you tune in to “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” this Monday night, May 24th at 9 pm Central. That’s right, Guy Fieri came to Nashville a few weeks back searching for our hole-in-the-wall hidden gems, and he discovered Martin’s. If you watch this show and don’t immediately make a trip out to the joint in Nolensville, then there is something wrong with you. Seriously.

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint
7238 Nolensville Rd
Nolensville, TN 37135

Open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
615.776.1856

It’s strawberry season, and time to celebrate their sweet juiciness!
As luck would have it, you have not only one, but two upcoming opportunities to celebrate. First up this weekend:

1st Annual Produce Place
Strawberry Festival
When: Saturday, May 22nd
9 am – 2 pm
Where: 4000 Murphy Road
Nashville, TN
In addition to local strawberries, you can sample food from Cafe Rakka, Olive and Sinclair Chocolate, Fat Jack’s bread, Chilly Pops Paletas, and Primm Springs Lemonade.
And then next weekend you can make your way over to the:
Strawberry Jubilee
When: Saturday, May 29th
10 am – ?
Where: 900 Rosa Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37208
There will be strawberry specials, music, and The Green Bag Lady will even be on hand to help kick off the festivities! Haven’t heard of the Green Bag Lady? Well, she’s awesome. It’s as simple as that. She makes handmade fabric shopping bags that she gives away for FREE (worldwide!) if you promise to use it instead of paper or plastic. She records your name, city, country and bag number and displays all of these on her site. So far she’s given away over 10,000 bags. Pretty amazing.
I picked up my cute bag last fall at the farmers’ market, but in all of the chaos, I didn’t actually get to meet her that day. Instead, it was a couple of months later when SHE approached ME at Davis Kidd while I was waiting in line for the Pioneer Woman cookbook signing. She spotted my bag from across the room and wanted to take a picture of me! Click here for that story and photo.
Mark your calendar now so you remember to get out of the house the next two Saturdays and enjoy these strawberry celebrations, full of free goodies!
Photo Credit: Strawberries by clairity