Party Mix

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Where Are My Sugar Rushers At?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 3:05 PM


I am super excited about an upcoming annual event that pretty much signals the beginning of the holiday eating season, and I'm not talking about Halloween (although I'm super excited about that, too — wait until you people see my costume). I'm talking about Sugar Rush, which happens tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 24, from 6-8 p.m. at The Mall at Green Hills.

I know, driving in Green Hills during rush hour is fork-in-the-eye-worthy, but once you get to the mall, you can stick that fork in a bunch of different cakes, cupcakes, donuts, candy and ice cream until you're done. This is dessert paradise. Last year I ate so much I almost threw up ... no, really, I went honky-tonk dancing immediately after Sugar Rush. Not recommended, but no regrets.

This year, I'm starving myself all day so I can make even more room for goodies from the likes of Godiva, Riffs Fine Street Foods, Diana's Sweet Shoppe, Monchita's Homemade Cobblers, Walker Creek Toffee, Bound'ry, Chef's Market, Faye's Cake Pops, Retro Sno, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Spin Wheels, Fox's Donut Den, The Loving Pie Company, Connie Cakes and Frosted Affair. And, of course, we'll hungrily welcome back our two-time champions, The Cupcake Collection.

The event is for ages 21-and-up, and tix are only $20 each, which includes two drinks and all-you-can-eat (don't disappoint me, sugar soldiers — no wimpy eaters here!) dessert samples. Get your tickets before they sell out right here.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Silotaku Pop-Up Coming Soon

Posted By on Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 10:26 AM

  • otaku south on facebook
For those of you wondering about all of these pop-up dinners and whether or not they are worth it, there's another new pop-up opportunity to explore over the next few weeks.

After a run at the Greenhouse in Green Hills, Sarah Gavigan is taking her Otaku South to Germantown for a residence Monday, Feb. 18, at Silo (1121 Fifth Ave. N.). To try to smooth out the service stream, this will be an advance-ticket event with two seatings at 5:45 and 7:30 p.m., with the late seating already sold out.

Gavigan will be serving a four-course ramen meal with two different main dish options available:

Pork broth topped with pork shoulder, woodear mushroom, egg, scallion and pickled ginger


Vegetable stock seasoned with miso, topped with sweet potato, nori and black garlic cake, bok choy, buttered garlic corn, egg and micro basil

There will also be a pickle plate featuring local seasonal vegetables pickled in the Japanese style, and a starter plate in the izakaya tradition. A sweet dessert will finish up the meal to send diners home sated.

Tickets are $40 per person; to hold your spot at a particular seating, buy your ticket here in advance.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Totally Fried But Not Really: The Recipe Recap [Cooking at Bonnaroo]

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 2:20 PM

This was the line for my tacos, I swear.
  • This was the line for my tacos, I swear.
Here's the thing about cooking at Bonnaroo: It's a total pain in the ass. Clean up is a hassle, refrigeration is a hassle, finding all the people you're supposed to feed when they're spread out over 700 acres and there's no cell phone service is an epic hassle. On the other hand, what's better than a cooler full of beer and a grill full of meat on a beautiful summer day? That's right, nothing. Also, it's a good reason to keep myself from getting too crazy — my paranoia over food/fire safety will always trump my desire for the boozes. Sure, I might miss a bunch of music while waiting on the grub to cook, but it's not like that's in short supply.

This year's big challenge was figuring out a workaround for our lack of grill on days one and two. Yeah, I forgot the grill — it was right next to the blanket, pillows and waterproof shoes that I also left at my house. The workaround eventually ended up being in Team Cream's RV — who knew those things had ovens? So I spent the better part of Friday broiling chicken in tiny pans in a tiny oven in an RV with no air conditioning. Clearly, not an optimal situation unless you're the kind of cook who enjoys flavoring their food with sweat and delirium. But the chicken was great! And I lost about 10 pounds while cooking it, so I suppose it was a double win.

Saturday was far less of a weight-losing venture, what with a borrowed grill and a nice open space. The only problem was cleaning up the mess from breakfast — Mercy Lounge's Matt Friction made breakfast on the generator-connected griddle, which involved my pouring an entire martini shaker full of pancake batter on myself and a game of "hot potato" with fresh eggs that went about as well as it can when a guy with no depth perception is allowed to throw eggs. (There's a reason I'm not an athlete, folks.) But after about a half-container of disinfectant wipes and a lot of elbow grease — egg dries so quickly in the sun! — we were ready for grilling some short ribs for Korean tacos. Short ribs, I should mention, that had been marinating for almost three days by the time they hit the grill – probably my favorite part of the festival that wasn't named D'Angelo or Lionel Richie.

After the jump is a rough approximation of the recipes for roughly everything we ate. I say roughly because, after four days at Bonnaroo, everything is pretty rough.

And just to warn you,my usual penchant for chaos and anarchy extends all the way to the kitchen, so use your better judgment when attempting these at home.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Accolades Keep Coming for Corsair

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 8:40 AM

We can say "we knew them when..." The brilliant mad scientists at Corsair Artisan Distillery continue to garner recognition and acclaim from the national spirits community. They were recently the subject of a "Whiskeys on the Wild Side" article in Wine Spectator magazine, which featured their Triple Smoke along with some other wacky experimental whiskeys.

But where they really shined was at the recent American Distilling Institute awards, where they took home the most awards of any producer — 16, if you count the "Best of Class" award for their Grainiac 9 Grain Bourbon. Most of the awards Corsair won are for products that aren't in general release, but many of the recipes are included in Darek Bell's book, "Alt Whiskeys."

Consider these esoteric whiskeys to be like a cross between a home brewer and a laboratory experiment. The ADI recognized that Corsair is taking some genuinely innovative approaches to the production of spirits, and we can expect to benefit from their ingenuity in the form of future commercial products from Corsair. I don't know about you, but I can't wait!

See the complete list of Corsair's ADI awards after the jump, and drop by to congratulate them.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Party Menu Ideas: O Come All Ye Platefuls

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2011 at 9:46 AM

My husband and I are throwing our (in)famous annual holiday party in a couple weeks and I am usually way more ahead in the planning process by this point. We typically do a couple boozy drinks and a big spread of appetizers, but I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by Tastespotting and Pinterest ideas for food this year. I have actually kind of realized that I don't really like any of my appetizer recipes, other than this amazing hot corn dip that my friend usually makes (hint hint, Kim!). Here are a few of my ideas:

These Fig Jam & Goat Cheese Crostini look quick and simple.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Party Dishes: There's Gotta Be More Than Kitty Litter Cake

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 3:14 PM

So is anyone cooking any thematic Halloween dishes this weekend? My friend is having her annual shindig and I think I have talked her into making chili dogs. I'm not sure why that came to mind, but she wanted something that wouldn't require utensils, bowls, or make lots of trash. I can't believe I actually heard myself say, "Just boil a big bag of hot dogs from Costco and put them on a plate!" It will at least be memorable, right?

She asked me to bring a dish, so I have been browsing a few sites looking for inspiration. I ran across this horrific recipe for kitty litter cake, complete with a pooper-scooper, and have been too repulsed to look much further.

Here are some round-ups with classier options. Those at The Kitchn appear to be aimed more at kids' parties (e.g., the Halloween milk shooters), but Serious Eats has some drink and pumpkin recipes (along with a monster candy bark that looks enticing).

We are also considering some sort of spooky cocktail (but will probably end up just making sangria). Any ideas for more mature, delicious Halloween party recipes? (Thanks, but we'll pass on the puff-pastry guts.)

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

All I Wanna Fondue: Food Nonsense from Around the Web

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Named for the reaction to the Canucks new fight song.
  • Yes, your food DOES look funny.

Need to waste some time with something other than cable news? Need to take a break from the beer-swilling, goat-humping nuttiness of the last couple of days? May I kindly suggest some detours:

*My Food Looks Funny. Nothing quite cuts through the clutter of the contemporary news cycle quite like pictures of Twinkie pizzas. Ya, you read that right — slices of Twinkie on top of a pizza. I'd say that the only proper response is a hardy chant of "USA! USA! USA!" Try it at home! It's fun for the whole family!

* I think it's safe to say that if somebody makes bland music there's a very, very good chance that they make very bland food. Hence you will not find a copy of Sheryl Crow's If It Makes you Healthy cookbook on the shelves at the Maloney compound. I wouldn't let Sandra Dee anywhere near my CD player, so why would I let Ms. Crow anywhere near my kitchen, amiright? Mosh Potatoes is more my thing, frankly. That said, Emily Weiss' "Alternate Titles for Sheryl Crow's New Cookbook" over on The Hairpin is a work of pun-tastic genius and totally worth your time. The same cannot be said, however, about the discography of Sheryl Crow.

* Oh look, they want to make a Top Chef musical! That's a terrible idea. Unless they give Arnold Myint a figure-skating solo, then I'm down.

*And picking up where we left off yesterday: bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon.

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday Morning Sizzle: The Best of Bacon Songs

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Dudes! How ya been?! I haven't seen you guys in a hot minute, what you been up to? How was your weekend? Mine was pretty chill — I ended up at a beautiful wedding out in Normandy before driving the back roads up to Center Hill Lake. I thought my adventures beyond the Davidson County line — who knew there was such a place? — were going to include a little more culinary excitement to relate back to you guys, but the only real food-thought I had this weekend was, "Do miniature Frenchmen make miniature quiches?" Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the grub, but it was the kind of fare that leaves you plenty of time to think of dumb questions. Then again, I do tend to be an endless font of dumb questions.

So anyway, I got home, saw this post and promptly fell into an Internet wormhole and have only now resurfaced from my quixotic quest to find the best damn bacon songs on the Internet. Ends up most songs about bacon on ye ol' tubes just plain suck. Seriously, while I get that the topic can be inspiring, the bacon-as-punchline school of songcraft is just plain bullshit. Show some respect people! Bacon is serious business.

So here's the baddest porkbelly beats on the whole wide web. Please note that the song "Bacon Fat" shows up a bunch of times — that's because it's one of the greatest songs ever written. Don't know what else to tell ya.

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Favorite Thanksgiving Tradition: I Hope You'll Be Entertained and a Little Moved

Posted By on Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 10:16 AM

While I haven't watched a new Adam Sandler movie since Punch-Drunk Love — mostly because, well, Punch-Drunk Love sucked so much — I will admit to undying love for the mans early work. Billy Madison? Brilliant. Happy Gilmore? Incredible. His run on SNL? Unrivaled. Sure, I've got the taste of a rather ribald 12-year-old, but I'm not ashamed to say that the man stopped being funny once he stopped lighting poo on fire.

Regardless of his many transgressions over the years, his classic SNL performance of the "Thanksgiving Song" will always be a favorite. Chock full of non-sequiturs and reverence for that most American of meals, "Thanksgiving Song" is the definitive holiday anthem. Well, at least for this holiday ... since it's really the only anthem for this holiday, unless you count "Over the River and Through the Woods" as an anthem and I don't. (Though if someone were to set Anton's Thanksgiving toast to music, that might be a close second.)

In other news that's only tangentially related to food, I think I've started a new tradition in my house: watching ThanksKilling while cranking things up in the kitchen. Again, this is one of our nation's oldest holidays, but it tends to be lacking in the themed-media department. Luckily somebody had the proverbial butterballs to make a film about a demonic gobbler hell bent on revenge. While it's no Black Christmas, My Bloody Valentine or even New Year's Evil, ThanksKilling does make the most of its low budget and shoddy script, and manages to be a pretty entertaining if not completely ridiculous 66 minutes of holiday viewing. And no matter how you feel about its bargain-basement gore, it's not nearly as stomach-turning as aspic. So, so gross.

Which brings me to my big question for the day. What's the grossest thing you've ever encountered at Thanksgiving? I once had a homemade faux-Tofurkey at a punk-rock pot luck, and that stands out as possibly the worst thing in the history of the world. Leave your grossest gag-worthy experiences in the comments — and make sure to drive safe this weekend.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Things That Exist: Heavy Metal Cupcakes, Lardcore, Pimento Cheese The Movie

Posted By on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 2:31 PM

• Do you guys have a soundtrack to your cooking, a genre or artist that helps you get into the zone while you crank out the grub? While I usually have a list of records that I have to listen to in any given week, when I get the option of "free-choice listening," I love me some heavy metal. I'm also a big fan of cupcakes, hence the explosion in my wig-dome when I stumbled across — or somebody sent me to, can't remember which — Metalcakes, the blog with "cupcake recipes inspired by all things brutal."

They update rather infrequently, but one has to assume that coming up with metal puns in cupcake form isn't something that can be forced, and probably hinges on momentary flashes of brilliance. Or large quantities of the ol' sweet leaf, if you know what I mean. I'm thinking that I might make the Pentagram cupcakes cuz they're one of my favorite bands of all time, but then again, the "Wee Cakes of the Snowgoat" look pretty tasty, too.

SEMI-APPROPRIATE BONUS VIDEO: Epic Christmas light display synched to Slayer's "Raining Blood".

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