Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Bloody Sunday for the Tennessee Theatre

Scarecrow Foundation's Downtown Derby Week starts this week. As a kick-off to the fun-filled schedule of events, guests gathered at Sapphire today for Sunday Bloody Sunday which featured waffles; biscuits; Americana music by three great acts, Scott McMahan, Josh Stack, and Jessica Watson; and, of course, bloody marys--with a portion of the proceeds going to the Tennessee Theatre.

Sapphire's brunch menu includes all kinds of clever waffles, biscuits, and bloody marys.

Some of the waffles include the Robusto with Spanish chorizo, parmesan cheese, and tomatoes; the Berry Patch with fresh berries and whipped cream; and the Campfire--a S'mores-inspired concoction of chocolate syrup, peanut butter, marshmallow, and graham cracker--which was Brooke Buckner's favorite Here's Brooke with her dad, Jimmy.

Here are a couple of other waffles I spotted:

The Tennessean, made with boursin mac & cheese, pulled pork BBQ, and red onion.

And the Presley, made with house-made peanut butter, bananas, and Benton's bacon.

The biscuits include a strawberry shortcake biscuit and a capicola ham and horseradish biscuit. Here are a couple of popular ones:

Here's Blake Valentine's pimento cheese and jalapeno biscuit.

And Amy Gibson's bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit.

And, of course, there were some creative Bloody Marys developed by Sapphire's mixologist, Amie Snyder.

I was intrigued by one called Spring Fever, which consists of vodka, muddled strawberry and orange, splash of simple syrup, Zing Zang mix, sugar & cayenne pepper rim, with a fresh strawberry, and another called Tree Hugger, which consists of Pinnacle Citrus vodka, muddled cucumber, splash of olive & fresh lime juice, Zing Zang mix, kosher salt rim, with pickled vegetables from Phickle Pickles. If spicy’s what you like, I recommend the Flamethrower, which is made with tequila, 3 different hot sauces, horseradish, muddled jalapenos, and Zing Zang mix, with a red onion garnish.

The Shark Bait (vodka, horseradish, ketchup, worcestershire, Zing Zang mix, Old Bay rim, with a jumbo shrimp garnish) was popular.

One guest swore by his own creation: Stevie G's Bloody Mary, which is Sapphire's classic Bloody Mary with black pepper, additional hot sauce, and bacon bits.

Kelly Absher posed with the Rock Star Guitar, which will be sold at the Party in the Park Thursday night.

However you stirred it, it was a fun way to start Scarecrow Foundation's Downtown Derby Week.

A bloody good time. That's what we're having.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A whole lot of my favorite things

After coming home from the Rossini Festival (which was fabulous by the way) and preparing tonight's dinner, I realized that every single ingredient is on my "favorites" list.

Spinach with pickled beets and fresh strawberries served with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Capellini pasta with pesto and fresh spring peas served with grilled shrimp.

The pasta is what I brought home after we had dinner with friends Cynthia Moxley and Alan Carmichael at the  Bistro at the Bijou last night. Deducting what I ate last night still left us with two generous servings for tonight--with the shrimp added because I noticed that the Market at Union and Gay now has Gulf shrimp for 10.99 a pound.

A perfect spring supper. That's what we're having.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I'd already decided on an appetizer to take to the Kendrick Place Reunion tonight--crostini made of grilled Harry's challah bread, peppered goat cheese, and Blackberry Farm's pickled beets & strawberries--but I noticed three potatoes that needed to be used and thought: What party isn't improved by a bowl of homemade potato chips?

Besides potatoes, the most essential thing is a mandoline for thinly slicing the unpeeled potatoes.

Preheat to 375. Spray baking sheets with olive oil and place potato slices on baking sheets. Don't crowd the slices; this is very important.

Bake 10-15 minutes. I usually bake multiple pans at once. You don't have to turn the slices, but you may want to rotate the pan about halfway through. And watch them--they cook quickly.

Put the slices on pages of newspaper and sprinkle with sea salt.

Store them in an air tight container and serve.

There were a few left, but, trust me, they're gone now.

Homemade baked potato chips. That's what we're having.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wine on the Roof

Spring and fall are the best times to sit on our roof decks.

We have a view of the Kendrick Place pear tree, which is not looking well.

I hope it survives, but I fear it will not. It bloomed so beautifully about a month ago.

We always look at the Hilton to see if anyone's looking at us.

When we see someone looking out, we wave at them. Tonight, we also had a view of the smoke from the mulch fire on Ailor Avenue.

A fine spring evening up on the roof. That's what we're having.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mimi's Chicken Pot Pie

I'm not a grandmother (yet), but I decided a while ago that my granny name--should I ever be so privileged to be one (not to put any pressure on any of our offspring)-- would be "Mimi."

My grandmothers were Nanny and Mammaw, and, while I loved them, I can't picture either of those names applying to moi (not a typo). I am more of a Mimi, I think. I'm pretty sure I would also be a good yia-yia.

But whether you're a grandmaw, a nanny, a mammaw, a mimi or a yia-yia, you're going to be feeding people. It's what we do. And what's more of a grandmaw dish than Chicken Pot Pie?

The thing I love about this "recipe" is that you can do it as mammaw did--or you can take some of the shortcuts mammaw probably wished she had available. Pick your shortcuts. I'm pretty sure both my grandmothers' recipes began with this step: Catch a chicken and wring its neck. I skipped that one.

Step 1: Pastry in a lightly oiled, well-seasoned iron skillet.

You can make the pastry or you can buy it. But place it in the bottom of an iron skillet.

Step 2: Chicken and vegetables in a cream sauce

You can cook the chicken or you can buy rotisserie chicken. Either way, you're going to be pulling or slicing chicken. You can saute fresh vegetables or you can heat frozen ones. You can make a bechamel sauce or you can use canned cream soups. You need to end up with a mix of chicken, vegetables, and sauce that is pleasing to you--and is the right, thickened, seasoned consistency to be poured into the bottom of the pie shell.

Step 3: Pastry on top

Regardless of whether you made the pastry or bought it, you need to place another piece on top and seal the edges. Then make a few slits in the top to let the steam escape while baking.

Step 4: Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes until the inside is heated and the pastry is browned. Monitor the pastry. The edges will brown more quickly than the center, so you may want to cover the edges in foil about halfway through.

Step 5: Serve Mimi's Chicken Pot Pie

Here's what was left in the pan. Leftovers. Yum.

Mimi's Chicken Pot Pie. That's what we're having.