Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pork Ragout-Rolf & Daughters


One of my favorite restaurants, Rolf & Daughters, is well known for their creative and perfectly simple food and drinks. To me, their pasta is the best in Nashville and I have been known to order two different kinds in one visit. The Pork Ragout is a staple as well as a favorite. I recently ran across the recipe online and couldn’t believe it was out there on the world wide web! Google machine wins again.

If you know their pasta dishes, you may be thinking, this girl is awesome! But hold your excitement. I am not going to flatter myself enough to say that it was just as good as the real deal, but it was pretty close! I used really high quality ingredients, picked up some fresh pasta from Nicoletto’s and used a good Parmesan block. 

It is a little time consuming, as are most ragouts, but the outcome is rich and worth the wait.

A perfect meal for a lazy weekend. The best kind of weekend really. 

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4 ounces pancetta, diced

½ cup diced onion

¼ cup diced carrot

¼ cup diced celery

1 pound ground pork shoulder

2 ounces tomato conserva or tomato paste

6 ounces dry white wine

12 ounces San Marzano tomatoes, strained and crushed

12 ounces tagliatelle pasta

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup grated SarVecchio cheese, divided

instructions and directions: 

Place the pancetta in a large sauce pan and set  over medium-high heat. Cook for 5−6 minutes, or  until lightly crispy and most of the fat has rendered.

Reduce heat to medium and add diced onion,  carrot, and celery to the pot. Cook until melted and  tender, approximately 20 minutes.

Add the ground pork and cook for 15 minutes.

Add tomato paste and cook for  15 minutes.

Add the white wine and reduce by 2/3  (approximately 15 minutes).

Add the crushed tomatoes and continue to cook  for 30 minutes. At this point you can cool and store  the sauce for future use if desired.

If serving immediately, cook pasta until slightly  under al dente.

Add pasta to the meat sauce and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper

Add the parsley, olive oil, butter, and half of  the cheese.

Divide among 4 plates and top with  remaining grated cheese.

recipe curtosey of the local palate 

Chicken and Rice Bake









This is a new (for me) spin,  on a back in the day chicken and rice casserole that I enjoyed as a kid. The Picnic lunch spot, in Nashville, puts a little curry in their broccoli soup and I thought this would translate well to a casserole. I searched the internet for a place to start and ended up basing it off  this local gal’s recipe with a few changes.  Then, I made it a little more organic, if you care about that type of thing. Everyone loved it.  I served it along side broccoli, but putting broccoli in it would be a good move next time.



1 organic rotisserie chicken, shredded (i only used the white meat, but you could use all of it)

1 12 ounce box of organic cream of chicken soup

8 ounces organic sour cream

1 box of lundberg’s wild rice (or brand of your choice)

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

8 ounces of organic sour cream

1 cup of organic panko breadcrumbs

4 tablespoons of organic butter, melted

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon of poppy seeds

cooking spray, your choice

instructions and directions: 

heat oven to 350 degrees.

cook rice according to package instructions.

combine cooked rice, soup, sour cream and curry powder in a medium sized bowl. season with salt and pepper. add chicken to the bowl and stir well to combine.

pour mixture into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with your choice of oil.

in a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and butter. top casserole with crumbs and sprinkle with poppy seeds.

bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. casserole will brown and will be bubbly.

Curried Chicken Salad

to begin, it should be noted that i do not like raisins. like-at all. grapes? love em.






there is so much texture and a real abundance of flavor going on in this recipe-and that includes those poor shriveled up grapes.  i am typically one of those people that prefers that you not mess with my chicken salad. i mean really, leave it be. but i am now changed forever. a whole foods market in boulder colorado sells this stuff and i fell in love with it a few years ago. my whole foods doesn’t make it, so i had to do it myself. take that large,  awesome grocery store chain.

raisins for president! but only in curry chicken salad.

Curried Chicken Salad


5 small chicken breasts, cooked and diced (about 3 cups-i roasted mine with olive oil, salt and pepper)

1/2 cup organic mayo (i have used olive oil mayo too)

1 cup diced celery

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 of a snack pack (1.5 ounces) of raisins or as many as you like

2 tablespoons curry powder

sea salt

splash of water or white wine

instructions and directions: 

in a large bowl, combine mayo, curry, a pinch salt and a splash of water or wine. combine well. add chicken and stir. add remaining ingredients and stir once more.  add another splash of water or wine if needed to thin. season to taste with salt.

i find that the longer this sits, the better it gets, so i make a day ahead. keeps for 5 days in the fridge.

Philly Stuffed Peppers


I love carbs and I’d spend 30 additional minutes at the gym, over giving them up.  I hear from a lot of my friends that they are always trying old favorite recipes with less carbs by way of low carb this or that. I recently overheard someone that I work with, talking about making stuffed peppers to try and curb her craving for a philly cheese steak sandwich. She didn’t have a recipe per se, but I got the idea. Lucky for all of us, I can make these things up. see also: this is why I don’t bake.

If I had gotten this recipe to you when originally intended, you could have had it around Christmas. It’s very festive with the green and red peppers. ho. ho. ho.








Philly Stuffed Peppers

recipe by: yours truly

Serves 2


2 large bell peppers, halved and seeded (i used one red and one green)

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium onions

3 slices white american

8 ounce package of fresh mushrooms

2/3 pound sirloin filet

1 cup beef stock (or broth)

salt and pepper

instructions and directions: 

Heat over to 400 degrees.

In a small sauce pan, heat butter over medium heat and saute onions slowly, until caramelized, about 30 minutes.

Line peppers cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for around 25 minutes, until peppers are softened but still retain their shape. Remove from oven and set aside.

After you’ve gotten your peppers and onions going, add olive oil to a large skillet, over medium heat and saute mushrooms for 5 minutes. Add sirloin filet and saute for 5 minutes more, or until the meat is no longer pink.  Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium high and add broth. Simmer until the broth is mostly evaporated. Add onions to the mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut one piece of cheese in 4 squares. Cut the other two pieces into strips (4 each) for 8 total. Am I losing you??

Turn peppers over and place one square of cheese in the bottom of each. Stuff each pepper with equal amounts of sirloin/mushroom/onion mixture and top each pepper with two cheese strips.

Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted!

Louisville in 36 Hours

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I recently took a fast trip for a weekend in Louisville, Kentucky. It was just a 3 hour drive from Nashville and was one of my favorite weekend destinations,  in recent memory. We had tickets to see the Avett Brothers and they didn’t disappoint. Since I had only ever seen them at Red Rocks in CO, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away, but the Louisville Palace was an awesome venue that I would love to go back to.

So many rad places to eat too!


art gallery;

music popup;

concert venue;

big 4 bridge;

meals and drinks:


hillbilly tea;

mayan cafe;

heine brothers coffee;

garage bar;

proof on main;


Thai Coconut Mussels

Mussels are one of my favorite foods. I order them off almost every menu I encounter.  I also have a never ending craving for Thai food, so joining those two forces,  seemed like an easy enough decision.

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It’s a short ingredient list and it packs a lot of flavor. Any excuse for Thai!

Thai Coconut Mussels

a hungry apple original


1 2lb bag of mussels

8 ounces of chicken broth

2 tablespoons red curry paste

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tsp sriracha, or to taste


cilantro, chopped

(crusty bread or grilled naan)

instructions and directions

in a large metal saucepan (preferably not teflon or nonstick) mix broth, curry paste, coconut milk, sriracha and a pinch of salt. Whisk together until simmering.

add mussels and cover. simmer with the top on, until the mussels have all opened. discard any mussels that did not open.

place mussels in a bowl and ladel the broth over the mussels. sprinkle with cilantro. serve with crusty bread or grilled naan.

Return To Arrington

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Made yet another return trip to Arrington Vineyard recently. It’s just  such a nice place to do nothing but drink wine, eat a picnic and lounge around all with the background noise of a jazz band.

 I had the idea to take glow sticks for after the sun went down. Turns out, that will attract lots of children and you’ll be forced to surrender all of  your neon lights to amazed five year olds who wondered why they parents didn’t bring glow sticks too.

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Zucchini Bread

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Franklin has a great farmer’s market and I might go a little bit over board when I visit them on Saturdays. Roasted and grilled zuchinni is so delicious, that it rarely makes it to my plate from the grill or stove top.
Recently, I was thinking of a different way I could use it. It occurred to me that I had never made zucchini bread and that all the times I had tried it, it was dry and tasteless. I wanted to like it though and so I set out on a quest to make it delicious.
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I love any green vegetables and now I have found a way to sneak them into a sweet snack! Now granted, this snack is also packed with oil, sugar and carbs, but there is zucchini tucked away in there.
I rest my case.
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I really don’t consider myself a baker, but this bread was not at all difficult and we ate every crumb!
Zucchini Bread 
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
instructions and directions: 
heat oven to 325 degrees
grease and flour a bundt pan or two 8 x 4 inch pan
sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl
beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. add sifted ingredients to the mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini until well combined. pour batter into prepared pan(s).
bake bundt pan for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. bake loaves for approximately 50 minutes. i like to peek at and knife test mine about 10 minutes before i think i may take them out. i would rather they be a little under done, than over done and dry.
adapted from an all recipes recipe

Welcome Back Tostada Suiza


I’ve been traveling the world and I just couldn’t find the time to write to you along the way. Or, I moved twice and my kitchen situation has been dicey, so I haven’t been sharing what I have been cooking between unpacking boxes and occasionally dining out 3 times a day. You take your pick.  And by you I mean all three of my readers.

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For my unofficial “welcome back to the blog world” party [really-you shouldn’t have], I decided to make something that was Mexican themed, naturally, and something really easy. It’s a take on one of my favorite dishes at our local Mexican haunt. It’s called Enchiladas Suiza. It was a week day though and I had already had too many Negra Modelos  couldn’t swing the enchilada part, so I give you: Tostada Suiza. You can thank me at my next surprise party.

De nada.

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gathering of just a few ingredients

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if you see this brand of tostadas, i would highly recommend them. not too salty and very crunchy.

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a hungry apple original 


1 pound chicken breast, raw

1 bell pepper, chopped (i used red)

1 can fire roasted tomatoes

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup of pickled jalapenos, more or less to taste

sea salt and pepper

pepper jack cheese, grated

pineapple tid-bits (or delicious pineapple salsa if you have a whole foods)

salsa verde

avocado, to garnish

cilantro, to garnish

instructions and directions:

heat oven to 350 degrees.

in a slow cooker, combine raw chicken breasts, tomatoes, pepper, jalapenos, chicken broth and the s&p.

cover and cook on low, for 6 hours. confirm that the chicken is done and shred.

lay out parchment paper on a cookie sheet and top tostada shells with: chicken and grated cheese.

bake for 5 minutes on 350 degrees.

top with salsa verde, pineapple and garnish with cilantro and avocado.

restaurant worthy asian seared tuna

photo 1At my house, the highest honor that my subjects can bestow on a meal, is the phrase “you could serve that at a restaurant”. I am not sure why that is, but if someone says that, it must be true!

And today i definitely agree.

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This fish has so many great flavors going on, that you pretty much look forward to every bite.


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I didn’t stray much from the recipe either, which is rare.

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Sushi grade tuna is key here.

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Fast hot cooking creates a delicious exterior. It serves one, so double, triple or quadruple, if needed.

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I might have cried a little when it was all gone.

 Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger, and Lime


1 big handfuls fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

1/2 jalapeno, sliced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 small garlic clove, minced

2 limes, juiced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Pinch sugar

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 (6-ounce) block sushi-quality tuna

1 ripe avocado, halved, peeled, pitted, and sliced

instructions and directions:

In a mixing bowl, combine the cilantro, jalapeno, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir the ingredients together until well incorporated.

Place a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the tuna generously with salt and pepper. Lay the tuna in the hot oil and sear for 1 minute on each side to form a slight crust. Pour 1/2 of the cilantro mixture into the pan to coat the fish. Serve the seared tuna with the sliced avocado and the remaining cilantro sauce drizzled over the whole plate.

recipe by tyler florence