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October 30, 2014 / sweetsavant

Taste of Atlanta 2014-recap in pictures

Taste of Atlanta 2014

Welcome Y’all! It was a BEAUTIFULL hot and sunny Fall day, perfect for walking and eating eveything you can get your hands on

Cannoli from Cibo E Beve. Crunchy, lightly sweet and tasty

Cannoli from Cibo E Beve. Crunchy, lightly sweet and tasty. This was the first thing I tried and it was a great way to start the day

BOO sweetie! Sprinkles cupcakes dressed up for Halloween.

BOO sweetie! Sprinkles cupcakes dressed up for Halloween.

My kids and I enjoying tacos at the throwdown tent

My kids and I enjoying tacos at the throwdown tent

Angry wings and Pineapple BBQ buck fried rice from Aja. I LOVE these little Chinese food take out containers, makes me miss NYC.

Angry wings (how can they be so angry and so delicious at the same time?) and Pineapple BBQ buck fried rice from Aja. I LOVE these little Chinese food take out containers, makes me miss NYC.

Lovely ladies from Cirque Du Soleil Amaluna handed out peacock feathers

Lovely ladies from Cirque Du Soleil Amaluna handed out peacock feathers

The winner of best in taste for Taste of Atlanta 2014-Article 14 for their delicious roasted scallops with spiced pumpkin puree

The winner of best in taste for Taste of Atlanta 2014-Article 14 for their delicious roasted scallops with spiced pumpkin puree

Class is in session

Class is in session at Taste of Atlanta. There were quite a few sessions to choose from

Who brings a chandelier to Taste of Atlanta...Cafe Intermezzo does and it was beautiful.

Who brings a chandelier to Taste of Atlanta…Cafe Intermezzo does and it was beautiful.

Cafe Intermezzo had a table FULL of beautiful cakes, crepes and cheesecake

Cafe Intermezzo had a table FULL of beautiful cakes, crepes and cheesecake

Cooks and Soldiers made my favorite dish of the event. This chargrilled Spanish Octopus with potatoes dressed in Cuttlefish ink. The octopus was SO tender...it was just fantastic

Cooks and Soldiers made my favorite dish of the event. This chargrilled Spanish Octopus with potatoes dressed in Cuttlefish ink. The octopus was SO tender…it was just fantastic

The lovely ladies from M Chocolat and their DELICIOUS sweets. I can not WAIT to visit their shop in Alpharetta for more.

The lovely ladies from M Chocolat and their DELICIOUS sweets. I can not WAIT to visit their shop in Alpharetta for more.

but wait….there’s MORE!

Ink and Elm served some Pickled shrimp with deviled egg sauce and crispy chicken skin

Ink and Elm served some Pickled shrimp with deviled egg sauce and crispy chicken skin

Jim'n Nicks had a TON of BBQ going on

Jim’n Nicks had a TON of BBQ going on

Sugar Shack had a lot to offer at Taste of Atlanta. I had one of those cream filled chocolate cupcakes and it was delicious.

Sugar Shack had a lot to offer at Taste of Atlanta. I had one of those cream filled chocolate cupcakes and it was delicious.

Nahim Thongyoung- Just BEAUTIFUL!

Nahm Thongyoung- Just BEAUTIFUL! Their business card says “chef&entrepreneur” I’ll have to look into them to see what their deal is. The display of food was fantastic

and finally

Makan was our final stop, we acutally ran out of tickets and had to purchace more (we didn't need a whole sheet of 10 tickets so I went half with a stranger who also needed a few more tickets THANKS STRANGER). I was most excited about sampling their food

Makan was our final stop, we acutally ran out of tickets and had to purchace more (we didn’t need a whole sheet of 10 tickets so I went half with a stranger who also needed a few more tickets THANKS STRANGER). I was most excited about sampling their food and they did not disappoint

October 24, 2014 / sweetsavant

Pepper Jelly Glazed Turkey Tenderloin #Recipe

Turkey tenderloin gets smokey with paprika and sweet with pepper jelly.

Turkey tenderloin gets smokey with paprika and sweet with pepper jelly.

Turkey tenderloin is the most tender part of the turkey breast (but I guess you figured that out already). Massaged with a smokey spice rub and glazed with flavorful sweet pepper jelly, it’s good stuff, you should try it.

Pepper Jelly Glazed Turkey Tenderloin

Pepper Jelly Glazed Turkey Tenderloin…wouldn’t that be good on a bun??

I cooked the tenderloin in a cast iron pan but a non stick skillet or enamel coated cast iron would work well.  As the pepper jelly cooks down the sugars caramelize which is great on the turkey but not so good for the pan. The flour in the recipe helps the pepper jelly adhere to the turkey tenderloin, if you’re gluten free you can leave it out.

PEPPER JELLY GLAZED TURKEY TENDERLOIN Serves 4

2 turkey tenderloins (there are usually 2 in each package)

Canola or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon smoked paprika (you can substitute chili powder or regular paprika)

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending how spicy you like it)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ cup pepper jelly

Preheat oven to 375°Coat each turkey tenderloin with about 1 teaspoon of oil.

Combine salt, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder and flour and rub onto turkey tenderloins. (you can do this earlier in the day to let the flavors seep in or cook it right away of you want)

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in an oven proof skillet. Brown the turkey for about 3-4 minutes per side.

Coat each turkey tenderloin with pepper jelly and cook in the oven for about 18-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165°

October 22, 2014 / sweetsavant

Spaghetti with Tuna and Caper Sauce, quick and easy #recipe

Tuna, spaghetti, spinach

Tuna, spaghetti, spinach and a few other ingredients make a quick and delicious meal

Because sometimes you just gotta keep simple. If you love tuna like I love tuna then you’re gonna love this.

SPAGHETTI WITH TUNA AND CAPER SAUCE serves 4

One 16 ounce package spaghetti

salt

Two-4.5 ounce cans of tuna in oil

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons capers

2 cups spinach

 

Boil salted water and cook the spaghetti.

 

In a large bowl mix tuna, mayonnaise, lemon juice and capers in a bowl.

 

Add the spinach and cooked hot spaghetti to the tuna and stir to combine. The hot spaghetti will wilt the spinach a bit.

October 21, 2014 / sweetsavant

Broccoli and Chicken with Cheese Tortellini #Recipe

Broccoli, chicken and cheese tortelli

Broccoli, chicken and cheese tortellini in a creamy sauce make a quick, delicious dinner

This broccoli, chicken and cheese tortellini recipe is delicious and pretty quick to get on the dinner table, even on a weeknight.

A little cream and Parmesan cheese make a thick, savory sauce that clings to the pasta, chicken and vegetables. This dish is a family favorite that gets ‘em to the table in a hurry. This is NOT a sponsored post, I use Barilla Tortellini because its tasty and shelf stable.

Broccoli,  chicken breast and cheese tortellini

Just a few easy steps to make this delicious dinner. Broccoli, chicken breast and cheese tortellini

Broccoli and Chicken with Cheese Tortellini Recipe

Serves 4-6 people

1 package  of Cheese tortellini (dried. Refrigerated  or frozen) I used a 12 ounce bag of Barilla dried 3 cheese tortellini found in the pasta aisle12 ounces of fresh or frozen broccoli florets1 pound of chicken breast

½ cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt

 

Bring a large stock pot of water to boil. Add 1 tablespoon  of salt to the water and boil the tortellini for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli florets to the pasta water and continue to boil for 5 additional minutes.  Drain and set aside. (You may have to adjust cooking time according to the type of tortellini used.)While waiting for the pasta water to boil start working on the chicken. Slice chicken breasts into strips about 2 inches long by ½ inch wide.

 

Put flour and 1 teaspoon of salt into a plastic bag, add the chicken strips and toss to coat.

Shake off excess flour and sauté  the chicken in oil over medium heat.

 

Lightly brown the chicken on each side, cooking for 5 minutes. If the chicken isn’t completely done it will finish cooking in the sauce. You may have to cook the chicken in batches.

 

Remove the chicken from the pan and sauté the garlic over low heat for about 30 seconds.  Add the chicken broth and cream into the pan and boil to reduce until thick, about 7 minutes.

 

Stir in the chicken, tortellini broccoli and Parmesan cheese, simmer for 2-3 minutes. (The flour we tossed the chicken in earlier will help to thicken the sauce). Add salt to taste.

 

 

 

October 18, 2014 / sweetsavant

In New York EVERYTHING is gourmet

There is so much gourmet in N.Y. Gourmet delis in Queens

There is so much gourmet in N.Y. This gourmet deli in Queens is apparently also a casino…maybe

My family and I took a quick trip to New York over the long weekend. We were only there for two and a half days and yet we saw so many gourmet markets. How gourmet are they? I really can’t say, I didn’t sample the food in any of them. I just rest better at night knowing they’re there.

More gourmet in Queens

More gourmet in Queens and its even open every day!

Gourmet delis in Manhattan

Gourmet delis in Manhattan

I bet you'll get a nice smile at SMILER Gourmet Deli (yeah that was corny)

I bet you’ll get a nice smile at SMILER Gourmet Deli (yeah that was corny)

More gourmet delis in Manhattan

More gourmet delis in Manhattan

Gourmet gets erotic

Gourmet gets erotic

Gourmet is international

Gourmet goes international

Ray's got his own gourmet

Ray’s got his own gourmet deli

and so does Moe

and so does Moe

? Gourmet

? Gourmet

Gourmet on Coney Island in Brooklyn

Gourmet on Coney Island in Brooklyn…well, not today

Even gourmet in LaGuardia Airport

Even gourmet in LaGuardia Airport

so much gourmet I could capture it all

October 16, 2014 / sweetsavant

Dinner at The Atlanta Improv is no laughing matter

cocktails at Improv

The Headliner for the night was Comedian Ron Funches but the sushi stole the show. Now, you might think twice about ordering sushi from a a comedy club (I certainly did) but the sushi at The Atlanta Improv is provided by Master Sushi chef Saito Saito of Czar Ice Bar a restaurant just next door to the comedy club. The Atlanta Improv calls on several of its neighboring restaurant to provide meals for it’s hungry patrons. The Improv Atlanta is part of the East Andrews Entertainment District that boasts 9 different venues and is host to loads of special events.  I just bought my tickets to the Andrews Moonshine Festival-10/18/14 and on Halloween they are hosting Fright Night, a costume party for Adults (I’m sure that’s gonna be scandalous).

The Atlanta Improv is located on the second level at the East Andrews entertainment district. There is an open courtyard with a fountain in the center.

The Atlanta Improv is located on the second level at the East Andrews entertainment district. There is an open courtyard with a fountain in the center.

 Lobster Roll and Mango Roll at the Atlanta Improv

The Lobster Roll (lobster, avocado,cream cheese, rice paper, mango, sweet chili sauce) and Mango Roll (shrimp tempura, crab stick, mango, sweet and sour sauce) at the Atlanta Improv were fresh and delicious. Prepared by Master Sushi Chef Saito Saito from Czar Ice Bar the sushi is quickly delivered to the Atlanta Improv next door. I highly recommend the sushi.

Our show started at 8pm but the doors open at 7 and the line starts forming early. If you want a seat in the area in front of the stage, get there closer to 7pm. As the room starts to fill a few walls to the left and right of the stage are moved (banquet hall style) to accommodate more guests. My husband and I got there early so I could order a few menu items and get some good pictures of them, the lights go down at 8 when the show begins and flash photography is not allowed.

I jumped the gun a bit (great sushi gets me excited) we actually started with an order of Improv Nachos which were quite tasty. The chips were still crunchy when the mountain of nachos arrived at the table and that’s a very good sign. The chicken in these nachos was well seasoned and the veggies were fresh and crisp. Another win for the Improv.

Improv nachos

Improv Nachos (Tortilla Chips topped with Ancho-Chicken, Roasted Peppers, Garlic Lime Grilled Sweet Corn, Cheese Sauce, Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream, Pico de Gallo, Jalapenos, and Scallions). I recommend these as well.

The lights went down and the show began just as our appetizer combo, called The Headliner, arrived along with an entree of short ribs and risotto. My husband stepped out into the lit hallway with the plates to take a few quick pics for the blog (we were seated in the back of the room near the exit so we wouldn’t be disruptive).

This combination of appetizers was fun to share (we were on a double date). The fried green tomatoes (topped with a Cilantro Pesto and Goat Cheese Crumbles) for me were the most successful part of the combo. Crispy on the outside and tangy /tender on the inside. The calamari  were not quite as tender as I like calamari to be, but still they were crunchy and tasty. The BBQ Egg rolls, filled with zesty shredded pork in a tangy/sweet sauce,  were good as well.

Fried green tomatoes, calamari and BBQ egg rolls

The Headliner combo platter of appetizers- Fried green tomatoes, calamari and BBQ egg rolls

The biggest miss of the evening was the Guinness braised short rib dish with  (not pictured) . Braised Short Ribs, Wild Mushroom Risotto served with Haricot Vert. The dish was not bad but the short ribs were a bit stringy, not meltingly tender like a short rib should be. The haricot vert were crisp and fresh and the Parmesan risotto was good and satisfying.

From left to right Rick Glassman, me, Ron Funches, and my husband. Catch Ron Funches and Rick Glassman on Undateable-NBC.

From left to right Rick Glassman, me, Ron Funches, and my husband. Catch Ron Funches and Rick Glassman on Undateable-NBC.

The true star of the night was comedian Ron Funches. He puts on a great show and had us in tears most of the evening. He has a unique style of delivery and the sweetest giggle from a grown man I’ve ever heard. He comes across as a gentle, nice guy stoner, sharing some odd thoughts about Muppet Babies among other things (yes, Muppet Babies,  you  read that right) and a bit of off color language. He puts on a great show and I’d love to see him again.

The Atlanta Improv has quite a few heavy hitters coming up in the next few weeks like Brian Callen (from Sex and the City as well as The Hangover 1&2 and a LOT of other stuff) on October 16th, 17th and 18th.  Paul Reiser (who I LOVED in Mad About You) will perform on December 5th and 6th.

Our meal, compliments of the Atlanta Improv, was provided to share my honest opinions. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

October 8, 2014 / sweetsavant

Browned Butter, Bourbon and Banana sauce with Raw Sugar

Browned Butter, Bourbon and banana sauce

Pour this Browned Butter, Bourbon and banana sauce over ice cream and you will be very, VERY happy

You’re gonna want to pour this Browned Butter, Bourbon, Banana sauce on EVERYTHING…Ice cream, pancakes, FRENCH TOAST WAFFLES (here’s the recipe for that).  I use raw, unrefined sugar in this recipe for it’s deep, rich flavor. You will get some crunchy bits from using raw sugar but I think this just adds to the deliciousness. If you can’t find raw sugar you can use light brown sugar.

French Toast Waffles

French Toast Waffles with Browned Butter, Bourbon and Banana Sauce over French Toast Waffles

I use slightly under-ripe bananas (not green, but not a lot of brown spots wither) in this recipe. These are firmer than very ripe bananas and won’t turn to mush during cooking.

Browned Butter, Bourbon and Banana sauce over ice cream.

Browned Butter, Bourbon and Banana sauce over ice cream.

BROWNED BUTTER, BOURBON AND BANANA SAUCE with Raw Sugar

Makes 1 ½ cups

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

½ cup raw sugar (brown sugar is a good substitute)

2 slightly under-ripe bananas

1 cinnamon stick or ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons bourbon or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a 2 quart saucepan melt the butter and let it begin to brown a bit. Add corn syrup, raw sugar bananas, cinnamon and salt. Let this simmer until the sugar has mostly dissolved, about 2 minutes. The raw sugar won’t dissolve completely, leaving crunchy toffee bits (YUM!)

Turn off the heat and add the cream and bourbon (or vanilla)

The mixture will bubble up vigorously so use caution.  Stir the mixture to blend and serve over waffles or ice cream or French Toast, or bread pudding…

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