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by on February 25th, 2015

Loveless Cafe Style Biscuits


Voted one of the best biscuits in the U.S.

How many times while we are traveling do we eat at a great restaurant and then soon forget about it? Well, I never do. I have talked about Loveless Cafe several times here and this is one restaurant that we actually made it back to again and for the second time enjoyed their wonderful biscuits for breakfast. I always knew if we got back to Nashville we would eat at Loveless again, and we did on our way back from Asheville last summer. Loveless Cafe’s Biscuits have been voted one of the best restaurant biscuits in the U.S. and of course they aren’t going to share their recipe.

For over 60 years guests have been sharing meals with family and friends at Loveless Cafe. LC is located in southwest Nashville at 8400 Highway 100 and has been serving meals since 1951. It use to be a 50’s style Motel and still has that sign by the roadside. You can’t miss it and if you pass it by, you will be sorry.

To me, there’s nothing better than a hot biscuit out of the oven with room temperature softened butter. Now, my husband would disagree because he loves to put either honey or molasses on his biscuits.

I changed a few ingredients in Mother’s Kitchen copycat recipe. For one, why use buttermilk powder when I can use 2 cups of buttermilk; and since I had some Lard in my pantry I used that in place of the vegetable shortening. Also, I decreased the sugar to 1/8 cup because I don’t think any biscuits needs to be sweet. This recipe sounds similar to the Angel Biscuits we use to make back in the 70’s.  Whether it is or not, I think it measures up to Loveless Cafe’s biscuits.

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by on February 20th, 2015

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce



And you thought you knew everything about cocktail Sauce!

I had been planning foot surgery for a few months. No big deal, just a bone spur taken off. So, I decided for dinner the night of my surgery I wanted a big bowl of shrimp with cocktail sauce of course. (Update: boot finally off after 4 weeks and my left shoe welcomes back its mate.)

Six shrimp teetering on the edge of a glass filled with cocktail sauce is not my idea of shrimp cocktail. I want a lot of shrimp because that is probably all I’m going to be eating other than something to dip them in.

This recipe is from Rick Souders and I happened upon his site looking for food photography. If you have a minute, look around his website and he also has two blogs which have some beautiful recipes.

Normally when I make a cocktail sauce, nothing gets measured; goes something like this — bowl of ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and a little hot sauce, stir it up and serve. I though Rick’s recipe sounded interesting because of the sweet chili sauce (which I use all the time in other things) and also the balsamic ketchup which I just happened to find at the grocery. The ketchup was about $5 a bottle and if I had not found that I was going to add a tablespoon of balsamic to regular ketchup. So, you know what you can do now if you don’t want to spend the money or cannot find the balsamic ketchup.

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by on February 15th, 2015

Chinese Orange Chicken


AND THE WINNER IS…. (see below for “giveaway” winner.

I made cauliflower rice with this dish but any kind of rice would be wonderful.

Chungah at blog uses simple fresh ingredients to make elegant easy meals. She had two chicken recipes I found interesting so I merged them into one. I love eating Chinese food and I use to make it more often. I have been wanting to use some of the beautiful chop sticks (washable ones, of course) that I ordered for a friend’s ‘China Going Away Party’ a year ago  and I thought this recipe with its larger cuts of chicken would work great with my little sticks of art.

One of Chungah’s recipe is fried and the other is baked. I made the chicken nuggets as suggested in Baked Honey Garlic Chicken but liked the ingredients in the Chinese Orange Chicken.  So, I took pieces of each recipes and changed the technique to suit what I wanted the outcome to be — a non-fried Chinese Orange Chicken.

Dam Delicious has some beautiful recipe and you should spend a little time over at her site looking at some of her things. She definitely inspired me to cook up some Asian flavors.

Update: So, I’m hoping this new recipe card format is working out. Looks like you can leave a comment for the blog (which is at the bottom of the post) or if you try the recipe you can leave a comment or review about the recipe. Hope you will try both.

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by on February 10th, 2015

Pork Tenderloin with Shiitake Mushroom Sauce



My Open Table Experience at Kona Grill

I received an invitation from Open Table to do a post for their blog. I have been using Open Table for years to make restaurant reservations both locally and while traveling. I love it.

Many restaurants use Open Table. Go to their website or put their app on your phone then you simply put in the date you want to eat at the restaurant (or it will give you a list of restaurants that have open tables) and the approximate time and you will get a choice of 3-4 different times. Pick the one you want and reserve. You will be sent an email and if you have the app you can go to it and check any upcoming reservations. If you need to cancel for any reason, do it on the app.  Looking back at my account, it looks like I used Open Table when we were at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville last summer and also at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC (for tea), and again while in Vancouver last summer. 

So, we had planned to go to Kona Grill on a Saturday night. I went to Open Table’s site, put in the date and 3 or 4 times came up; I chose the 6:45 slot and that was it! No getting to the restaurant and wondering if we would get a table. 

We started with drinks and potstickers. My husband ordered the sea bass with pan-asian ratatouille, which he said was delicious. I’m glad we didn’t order a salad because the entrees were so large that I could not finish what was on my plate. I chose the almond crusted pork tenderloin with shiitake mushroom sauce. That, I knew I could recreate in my own kitchen.

Pork tenderloin is one of my favorite cuts of pork to cook; it is tender and cooks very fast. I cut my tenderloin into three pieces to cook and then sliced after removing from the oven.

I’ve included a picture of my dish from that night so you can see how they compare. I made my mashed potatoes much thinner than they did and I plated the bok choy a little different. The restaurant mounded the mashed potatoes on the plate (the thickest potatoes I have ever been served) and laid the steamed (or sautéed) bok choy over the potatoes to cover them; it kind of looked like a green igloo. I decided to use a ring mold to mold my potatoes and set them on top of the baby bok choy, which I think giving the dish a much prettier presentation.

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by on February 5th, 2015

Hushpuppies My Dad’s Way


My Dad — The Renaissance Man.

Maybe I should have saved this story for Father’s Day but after doing my Savory Pecan post, I started thinking about all the things I remember about my dad and his life. Growing up, my mother did most of the cooking unless it was bbq, fish or game and then that was my dad’s department. But, as they got older and retired, and my mother’s health declined, our dad started sharing the kitchen with our mother. He would experiment with all sorts of cooking and gardening techniques. At one point he came up with this hushpuppy recipe on his own and that’s the recipe I have decided to share.

Long before my parents got into cooking up their own recipes, they would buy frozen hushpuppies; the ones that looked like hard little football shaped things that seemed even harder once they were fried. Then my mother started making homemade hushpuppies which I always thought were the most delicious ones ever, especially with a little butter smeared on them. Then in my dad’s later years, he added some yeast to the recipe and the rest is history. Sometimes I might add a little corn or even jalapeño to the puppy mix but they stand alone without any of the extras as the best hushpuppies I’ve eaten.

I don’t know about you but I can shut my eyes (I really don’t have to do that) and hear my dad laugh, picture my mother’s smile which she had for everyone, hear my grandfather clearing his throat when he came in the door for lunch (they lived next door to us) and hear my grandmother saying “you need to put t-shirts on those babies”; we never forget those who meant so much to us do we.

Hope you will enjoy reading some of my memories about my dad, The Renaissance Man. And, if you are not tired of reading, there are a few pictures of him at the bottom of this post.



Gardening and Cooking: He would try to grow just about anything; one year he grew Jerusalem artichokes just to see how he could use them. They pickled everything, made his own dry rub for years, grew, dried and ground his own peppers and he loved to talk about his garden. He dehydrated all kinds of fruits, veggies and made his own jerky.  When it came to canning he even canned some fish once and used to make fish cakes (I never tried those).

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