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Our Day on Nolensville Road

Posted by on Jun 1, 2014 in Come Together | 2 comments

bounty

My bounty from Our Day on Nolensville Road

I’ve been wanting to check out the food culture on Nolensville Road in Nashville for a while. Last weekend, I finally got the chance along with my friend Marie and our sons, and it was a lot of fun…and very tasty, too. We went to four markets and enjoyed a delicious lunch.

Azadi International Food

azadi

I learned about Azadi on a recent Bizarre Foods America episode featuring Nashville spots. The primary culture in this store is Kurdish, as we learned from speaking to the woman in the bakery. I called them because I couldn’t find their hours anywhere, and they’re open 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturdays.

Video tour of Azadi (it repeats toward the end)

The highlight of this market was the bakery. It was a very up-close-and-personal space. It felt like we were “in the back” with the ladies (and one guy) as they kneaded and baked the bread. There was literally flour stacked to the ceiling, and a cool oven with fire up both sides. We purchased a half dozen football-shaped loaves, and they were still warm. They were incredibly delish! The woman who packaged them for us suggested toppings peanut butter and jelly, but we ate the majority of them straight up or as cinnamon toast (with coconut oil, cinnamon, and sugar).

After the bakery, we walked each aisle taking in the freezer section, the meat department, the produce section, and the interior aisles with lots of spices and interesting canned goods. I bought some tahini (sesame seed butter) to try…you can use it almost like peanut butter, and it’s a staple ingredient of hummus. This recipe caught my eye this week, too.

 

K & S World Market

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Top: We took turns taking pics with the boys and our carts.

Bottom (L to R): Marie poses with food she’s most familiar with (Lays chips). Marie displays something we’ve never seen before: a chocolate mixer. Stacks of rice in large bags – many types to choose from.

There is no primary culture in this store. It is truly an international market…every aisle features an new type of cuisine. It was a great experience overall, however, my only negative about this store (that I hope was a fluke on the day we visited) was an unpleasant odor in the produce section, which was in the front door. My eyes wanted to look at the expanse of fresh veggies, but my nose said “get the heck out of here.” Interestingly, the bustling fish market located inside smelled better. There were huge creatures in tanks, crabs and crawfish inside boxes moving around, and several aisles of refrigerated cases full of sea life. There were some unique and beautiful fish for sale there. I got some noodles, fresh corn tortillas, a sushi mat and rice paddle, hot sauces (including sriracha), and sesame oil. There were many kinds of rice and soda to peruse. The customers were as varied as the food inside.

 

International Farmers Market

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This was probably my favorite store. It is an international market so a lot of cultures are represented, but I observed a strong presence of Mexican and Korean influence. Not surprisingly, there was a great fresh produce selection. I got dark red beets, a package of white and purple “beets” that I believe were actually turnips, and Japanese sweet potatoes with purple skin and white flesh. E liked them! The store was clean and organized, and the cashier was nice and chatty.

 

Patel Brothers

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Patel Brothers didn’t open until 10:30 a.m. so it was our last shopping stop. It’s hard to miss the big green signage out front. There was a nice produce section in this store. I especially enjoyed looking through the spices, dried beans/legumes, and various flours here. It was a very neat and orderly, and the white shelving reminded me of being in Ikea. I purchased some cumin, and I look forward to using is as it’s one of my favorite flavors to cook with. It was probably the smallest store, and it was easy to get in and out quickly as we were ready for lunch.

 

Shish Kabob

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While we had the restaurant to ourselves, it was delicious lunch with good service. We were served soft pita wedges with a cilantro and feta salad. Marie and the boys had chicken kabobs with rice and cucumber and tomato salad. I found their kid’s menu items refreshing. There were a few healthy options as well as some more “American” choices for the less-adventurous eater. I had a falafel plate that was very tasty. My son really liked it as well. We ended up sharing each other’s plates. The boys played (the rules state that a friend’s toy is much better than your own), and we took selfies. It was a fun time.

cowhat

 

Photo credit: Nana

After lunch, we capped off the day with lap around the flea market (this is where the cow balloon hat comes in). It was a great way to spend a beautiful day in Nashville.

If you would like to plan a day like ours, here are few of the resources we used. There were many other places to explore, and I’d welcome the opportunity to spend another day on “The Road.” Let me know if you go!

The Road: A User’s Guide [Eating Our Way Down Nolensville Pike]

Best of Nashville’s Ethnic Eats

Alimentum Eat and Greet Tours (scroll down to Nolensville Rd. Tour with video)

A Handy Guide to Bizarre Foods’ Nashville Stops

Thanks to our friends for sharing this adventure and their photos with us!

Marriage is a Piece of Cake?

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in BettyBecca Bakes | 2 comments

Marriage is totally NOT a piece of cake, but today I’m arguing that every marriage needs more cake. The top tier of a wedding cake is consumed on a couple’s first anniversary, and a cake is baked every year to celebrate a birthday. Therefore, annual anniversary cakes make total sense as a next step, right? Sound logic.

The cake we saved for our first anniversary was stored in a freezer that was affected by an electricity outage over an extended period due to an ice storm. I didn’t feel like it was safe to eat by the time our anniversary rolled around, so I asked a local baker to recreate one for us…6” round with buttercream with dot details. Every year since then (save our 5th anniversary last year as we were traveling and enjoying an incredible meal on the beach to celebrate), I have baked our anniversary cake.

I recently saw where a local bakery is offering a fresh cake to celebrate the first anniversary, and as much as I love the tradition, I can’t help but love this idea, too. Our 6th anniversary is in a couple of weeks, and I’m already plotting what our cake will be. Sometimes I find a good recipe to try, and sometimes I want something classic like white cake and buttercream. As you can see on year three’s cake, I decided to do a little ruffle practice (which I definitely need more of!).

Mmmm…cake. Is there anything better? Do we really need an excuse to eat cake? Every year of wedded bliss is worth celebrating, don’t you think?

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Time to Get your #EasyAioli On!

Posted by on May 21, 2014 in Try Something New | 0 comments

One of my favorite flavor combinations is creamy tomato, and mayonnaise is my favorite condiment. So when a representative of Red Gold Tomatoes reached out to me to talk about their How Do You Aioli? campaign (with a give away for my readers!), I was all in.

Today, I received some delicious looking recipes from them, and I have to say that it’s really hard to pick a favorite. They all look really delicious, and most are very simple to make with ingredients you already have on hand. The one that sticks out the most is Garlic Aioli. This two ingredient recipe is a great way to elevate any sandwich from blah to gourmet. It’s also an easy way for a busy mom to impress her friends (if you know what I’m sayin’)!

 

 

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Garlic Aioli

14.5 oz. can Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes, Garlic & Olive Oil

1/2 cup light mayo

Directions: Combine ingredients. Mix well, and refrigerate to marry flavors.

The fish tacos with lime and cilantro aioli also caught my eye. Get the recipe here.

 

If you want to get in on this action, Red Gold is hosting a Facebook promotion through May 27th, where you can win an apron or potentially a $250 prize pack that includes a Cuisinart Panini Grill and other great prizes. All you have to do is head to the Red Gold Facebook page, Like it, and choose the aioli recipe you like the most. 

 

Disclosure: I was provided with a sample pack from Red Gold. All opinions are my own.

eat/make/do [2]

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in eat/make/do | 1 comment

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I love this beautiful photo of blood orange peels from Teresa at http://foodonfifth.com/.

Check out the rest of the post. 

Much like winter won’t let go of spring, the past few weeks have been full of bad news and sickness …and very much lacking in bright spots. Today, I’m focusing on happy things, movement, sunshine, and simple reminders that we’re all human and need a little grace every now and then.

During this time, I’ve been doing a study on Asian cuisine …I’ve been making veggie rolls at home and tried lumpia (what’s that?) and bibimbap (what’s that?) for the first time. So of course, I’m obsessed with this Quinoa Avocado, Cucumer, and Spinach Sushi from thesmartcookieblog.com. I’ll have to try that recipe soon.

Sun Salutation for Kids (So catchy…and even adults can get in a good stretch once in a while)

I admire Dooce’s advocacy for mental illness, and I’m always thankful for this annual reminder from her that asks for a little extra leeway for yourself and/or friends, family, coworkers, etc. that might be having a harder time at this point in the year.  

I’ve been working out using Keaira’s channel (cookin’ in the kitchen is one of my favorite moves). I’m really enjoying it, and it’s giving me lots of energy. I was pumped to find the 30 Day Challenge to follow. Go #TeamLashae!

If you’re a Pandora user, do yourself a favor and type in Happy by Pharrell. Such a great station to brighten your day.

Have a great week!