NASHVILLE

OVER THE WEEKEND

07/06/2015

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Hope you all enjoyed your long weekend celebrating the 4th of July—I know we did! We spent all day Saturday and Sunday at the river with some friends. There are a crazy amount of beautiful outdoor spots to hang, in and surrounding Nashville, and we couldn’t be more lucky to live a mere three minutes from one of our favorite spots. The first day we grilled burgers, hot dogs, sausages, and hobo pies. For those who aren’t familiar with hobo pie, it’s a simple meal of cooking various vegetables in a foil packet over the fire. We used golden and purple potatoes, sliced onion, fresh garlic, and carrots in ours, along with plenty of butter, salt and pepper. I also made two giant salads—one filled with fresh veggies and a good coat of goddess dressing and the Citrus Lentil Salad from The Kinfolk Table cookbook—so good! On day two, we made grilled sourdough and cheese sandwiches with salami, bread and butter pickles, and a creamy tomato basil bisque for dipping. We ate like kings down by the river!

It rained on and off during the 4th, but we braved the downpour and stayed put. We spent both days sitting in the river, playing in the mud, blowing bubbles, eating good food, laughing, crying, splashing, chasing dogs and deer (yes! you’ll see below), and just having the most laid-back, care-free weekend. It was a dream.

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I have a feeling we’ll be living at the river all summer long. xx

LEIPER’S FORK

04/16/2015

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A couple of weekends ago, we loaded up two cars and drove 45 minutes outside of Nashville to a little town called Leiper’s Fork with some friends of ours that just moved to the area from California. Aubrey goes to Leiper’s often with “the boys” on his motorcycle because it is a truly breathtaking drive and they always stop for burgers and listen to local artists play at this cool spot called Puckett’s. On the way, we stopped at a giant bridge to look at the view and take some fun photos. Afterwards, we ate lunch at a little farm-run cafe called Joe Naturals. It was some of the best food I have ever had—so fresh and delicious. I should have taken a photo of the spread because it was beautiful, but apparently we were too hungry to think about the camera. If you are ever in the area, go there! Joe Naturals is only open 12 hours a week, so check their hours before going—you don’t want to miss out! Their menu changes daily, but if you see the burger on it, order one! I highly recommend it. It’s only of the best and most unique burgers I’ve had in a long time.

After lunch we played outside, met some nice horses, climbed trees, rolled down hills, and soaked up the sun before heading back home. A nice and peaceful Saturday, right there.

DAMN GOOD, CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

02/08/2015

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There is an amazing restaurant on the East side of Nashville called Mas Tacos Por Favor. They have the most incredible tortilla soup and everyone in town (and visitors from out-of-town) rave about it—seriously, it’s one of the best soups I have ever tasted. We live on the opposite side of town and the restaurant has interesting hours, so I rarely catch them with their doors open. I decided to take a stab at making a similar recipe at home for the days when the craving kicks in and getting myself out to enjoy a bowl just isn’t in the cards. Now, I am not claiming that my soup is just like theirs—I don’t think anyone can top that bowl of magic, but I did make a damn fine rendition. I’ve made it several times since and wanted to share it with you because it’s easy, healthy, and freakin’ delicious!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

3-4 chicken breasts
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped green onions (greens and whites)
1 small onion (chopped)
2-3 jalapeños (chopped, I remove the seeds so it’s not too spicy)
2 Roma tomatoes (seeded and diced)
3 cloves of garlic (smashed)
2 cobs of corn (or 1 cup frozen)
3 Tbps olive oil
1 tsp cumin
3 Tbsp (or more) fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro (roughly chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 ripe avocados (diced)
Queso Fresco, tortilla strips or chips, halved cherry tomatoes for garnish

In a large soup pot, heat 1.5 tablespoons olive oil over medium. Once hot, add green onions, chopped onion, and jalapeños. Cook until tender, approx. 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute for an additional 30 seconds or so, without burning. Next, add chicken broth, chicken breasts, tomatoes, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cover for 15 minutes. Remove chicken breasts from pot and set aside for a few minutes. Add cilantro and lime juice to the broth mixture. In a cast iron skillet, heat the other 1.5 tablespoons olive oil. Roast freshly cut corn kernels or frozen corn, stirring often until heavily browned. Meanwhile, shred chicken breasts with two forks and transfer chicken back into the pot. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top with a hefty serving of roasted corn, diced avocado (1/2 avocado per bowl), queso fresco crumbles, and a few halved cherry tomatoes. Garnish with lime wedges and tortilla strips or serve with chips, if desired.

I have no doubt that you will love this soup. And if you are ever stopping through Nashville, make sure you stop at Mas Tacos and have their famous Chicken Torilla Soup! You won’t regret it. Order a fried avocado taco, a side of sweet plantains, and elote (grilled corn with cheese and spices) while you’re at it!

TENNESSEE VACATION GUIDE

01/30/2015

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Last year our family took a trip to down to East Tennessee and filmed a commercial with a cameo from the one and only Miss Dolly Parton. Remember that? The experience was really special for all of us and something that we will never forget. Well, the state of Tennessee just released their 2015 Vacation Guide and it includes our story and some photos from our trip within it’s pages. It also has a plethora of information about the state, including things to do and places to see, along with some pretty cool historic information and the great musicians and music influence taking place here. You can download a free copy of the guide right here. And for those who missed our Tennessee Vacation commercial, I posted it again below incase you want to take a peek.

SNOW DAY

01/27/2015

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It’s always exciting to wake up to a fresh dusting of snow. It happens only a few times each winter where we live, which we are very grateful for. Every time we wake up to the yell of “SNOOOOW!” from one of the kids, we all pop out of bed, throw on our warmest clothes and boots and run outside to enjoy the blanket of white that covers the yard and forest behind our house, before it melts away. I’m sure this sounds silly for those of you who get several inches (or several feet), but our little inch creates some pretty big smiles around here. By the time we come inside and start to warm up, the snow is already beginning to fade and by noon it’s usually gone completely. Snow mornings are the best mornings!

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