What better way to celebrate National Burger Month than by creating your dream burger? Now through May 31, you can "design the next Huey's burger" for a chance to have your burger featured on the Huey's menu and a $50 Huey's gift card.
Just a couple of rules:
All burgers must use the Huey's 5 1/3 ounce patty, seasoned with Huey's seasoning blend.
Burgers must use one of Huey's current bread selections - sesame seed bun, wheat bun, sourdough bun, Kaiser roll, wheat berry bread, wheat toast, Texas toast, hoagie roll, marble ry or croissant
Entries must include French's mustard or Cattleman's BBQ sauce
Make sure to include specific measurements, cooking instructions and layering techniques.
So what are you waiting for? Get your burger on, and be creative. Send you entry to Shannon Little at slittle(at)hueys(dot)cc by May 31.
Just in case you haven't heard (Although, if you're friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, I'm sure you've heard) Memphis has been nominated for Southern Living's Tastiest Town. Now, I'll be the first to say that I believe that I'd put the cuisine in Memphis up against that of any other "foodie" city, including New Orleans or Charleston (both of which are nominated this year.)
So, if you love me, or if you've ever loved me, then please vote for Memphis. You can vote once a day per email address.
Also, the MCVB will be hosting a voting party on February 6 at Sweet Grass Next Door from 5-7 p.m. Join us for drink specials, door prizes and complimentary snacks.
I was asked to participate in something really cool, my very first podcast! Seth of Mystery Meet contacted me to be a part of the Find Dining Podcast, a show where foodbloggers in different cities talk about their favorite restaurants and events in their town. I was so happy to spotlight Memphis, and one of the most delicious restaurants in town, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen.
So a couple of nights ago, the famous (or infamous) author and chef, Anthony Bourdain, brought his Guts and Glorytour to the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee. I sprung for a couple of tickets, and Tom and I spent a couple of hours being entertained by Mr. Bourdain on a lovely Friday evening.
(As you can tell by the distance from our seats to the stage, I didn't didn't pop for very good seats. Actually, I used a Groupon, so it's about as close to "nosebleed" as you can get in a venue the size of The Orpheum. That being said, the most important thing was to be able to hear, and we could just fine.)
As someone who has read two of Bourdain's books (The infinitely popular Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw, which is the better of the two by a country mile.) as well as listened to two podcasts that featured him as a guest, I was really interested to see how much new material he brought to the stage.
Of course there was the predictable snipes at specific Food Network hosts, as well as some props to those he actually likes. I found the most entertaining part of his act to be the stories from the set of his award-winning travel show, No Reservations.
I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet, but I would like to leave you with two of my favorite quotes from the evening.
"Do olives even grow in a freakin' garden?" *
"We're not alcoholics, we're mother freakin' professionals." *
* denotes expletives have been removed
One surprising fact: He's never eaten Memphis BBQ before (but promised to do so for his upcoming show on CNN)
All in all, it was more than worth the $30/ticket that I paid through Groupon (standard prices were $45-$55/ticket with a limited number of $150 VIP tickets, which included a pre-show reception with Anthony Bourdain).
So I know you were probably looking for my final post about my culinary adventures in New Orleans, but I wanted to take a minute to let you know about some upcoming culinary events that you should definitely put on your calendar.
Every year the Ronald McDonald House hosts the annual Big Scoop Ice Cream Festival, but this year, they're doing things a little differently. 2012 marks the first ever Homemade Ice Cream Contest. So if you've got a special family recipe, or you know the secret to amazing ice cream, then grab a team, pony up the $75.00 entry fee and bring your best stuff. Or, just attend the event and support a great cause.
The Ronald McDonald House provides temporary housing for the families of children undergoing cancer treatment at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Best Memphis Burger Fest supporting Mid-South Spay and Neuter Minglewood Hall (1555 Madision Avenue, Memphis) Sunday, September 30, 2012 - 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free General Admission (Donations to Mid-South Spay and Neuter are highly encouraged)
The brainchild of Best Memphis Burger blogger, Seth Agranov, this celebration of burgers and beer will finally crown a Memphis burger champion. Teams can compete in one or more of the following categories: Best Memphis Burger, Best Veggie Burger, Best "Anything But" Burger and Best Extreme Burger. Teams will be giving out samples of their burgers, and there will be additional food and beverages for sale. There will also be live music and plenty of pets available for adoption.
Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services is a non-profit clinic that offers affordable spay and neuter surgeries to pet owners of Memphis as well as to those in the tri-state area.
Are you ready for a one-of-a-kind taste extravaganza? At the Memphis Signature Chefs Auction, 20 of the Mid-South's finest chefs will offer tasting portions of some of their signature dishes as well as exciting culinary packages for the live and silent auctions. There will also be spa packages, getaways, hotel stays and many other exiting items up for bid.
The March of Dimes help moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies.
Wow, it's been a while, but I'm finally catching up, and I've got some great stuff to share with you. My husband, Tom, and I decided to go to New Orleans for our vacation this year. As you may know, New Orleans is a great town for eating! I'm going to break our trip up into a few multi-part posts (If I did a full post on every place we went, I'd be writing about our trip to New Orleans until this time next year.) I'll probably do the same for my recent work trip to Dallas as well. Let me know if you like the format.
Where to Stay - Maison Perrier
For our excursion to the Big Easy, we stayed at the Maison Perrier. If you're looking for a bed and breakfast that's not in the French Quarter (but only 5-6 minute drive or short street car ride), I'd highly recommend this one. Maison Perrier is a lovely, two-building facility in the heart of the Garden District. It was quiet and plenty of street parking (and one of the few hotels in New Orleans that doesn't charge for parking).
They take good care of you here. Homemade breakfasts every morning. There are platters of cake and brownies set out in the evening. There is a wine and cheese mixer on Friday and Saturday evenings, but the coolest thing was the honor bar.
(Look! Abita on tap!)
This was a series of refrigerators filled with soft drinks, wine and beer. Soft drinks were $1, beer $2, and wine $3. Whatever patrons take from the refrigerators, they just sign off on a pre-printed list and settle up upon their departure.
One quick caveat, I would avoid the Desiree room. It is right off the kitchen and can get a little noisy quite early as the chef begins preparations for the day and travelers start coming down for breakfast.
What to Do - New Orleans Tours
When looking for entertainment, I booked through Viator. It really was a one-stop shopping as far as fun tours and things to do. We chose 3 of the options, and I don't think any of them disappointed.
(Mansion in the Garden District)
We started off with a tour of the Garden District. I really enjoyed this one because we got to walk around and really absorb the feel of this expansive neighborhood. We saw plenty of beautiful mansions, the Lafayette Cemetary and we even learned a few things (Do you know where the phrase "dead ringer" originated?)
(Cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking)
We also really enjoyed a great cooking class/demonstration at the New Orleans School of Cooking. This was a really fun, high energy cooking class where we learned a great deal about the history of New Orleans and its food. (Do you know the difference between Cajun and Creole?) Our class was early afternoon, so they started us off with coffee and biscuits and molasses (Ya'll know the way to my heart is with a soft, fluffy, biscuit) Then we watched as our teacher prepared authentic jambalaya, gumbo, bread pudding and prailines. When all the hard work was done, we got to sample hearty portions of all of the dishes (and some ice cold Abita). We also received a recipe book with all of the days recipes and a discount to the gift shop.
(Absinthe at a pirate bar)
The tour that I would most recommend would be the French Quarter cocktail walking tour. I really enjoyed this one because we got to go to four different bars and have four signature cocktails (Note: They do give you one drink at the start of the tour, but you have to pay for any additional drinks after that). We got to try absinthe, a sazerac, a bayou bash and a garden district. Each was interesting in not only the taste but also the history behind it. I have to admit that my favorite was the bayou bash from the Court of Two Sisters. It was really refreshing on such a hot day.
Wow, it's been over a month since my last post. I've got to do a little better. I've got some great stuff that I'm working on, including highlights from my recent trips to Dallas and New Orleans. But until I can get those hammered out, I wanted to take a minute to talk about some recent closings in Memphis.
Within the last month both Valenza Pasta and Jimmy's Hot Dogs have closed for business. I'm not certain why Valenza closed, the website is still live, though the Facebook link is dead. Jimmy's closed to the decline in health of the propieter and the fledgling economy.
It's so important to support local businesses. It's vital to our local economy as well as the economic health of the people in our community. It makes me sad to read about all of these businesses closing.
I'm often inspired by recipes that I read on food blogs, in cookbooks or through sites like Pinterest. I get really excited to find new recipes, search through the comment section (to make sure the recipe is accurate) and put them on my to-do list.
Over the past couple of weeks I've tried two random recipes that absolutely failed on all accounts. The combination of flavors wasn't well-balanced, cooking time/temp was off and they were just plain untasty. Last night, I drowned my sorrows in a bunch of pretzel rods and a pile of Nutella.
These weren't complicated recipes, and I'm really good at following directions. It's not that I'm doubting myself or my abilities as a cook. Maybe I need a new oven :)
What do you do when a recipe doesn't work out? Do you make adjustments and try again? Or just toss that one out and start anew?
Now that all of the cookies have been baked, delivered and received, it's time to
A) Post the recipe of the cookies I sent out
B) Show you all of the delicious goodies I received.
My husband told me to make snickerdoodles for the cookie swap, because they're his favorite and he wanted to eat the extras. And, as I thought about it, it made perfect sense. What cookie exemplefies the holidays? All of those warm spices make snickerdoodles the perfect choice.
- 1 cup butter - 1 3/4 cup sugar, divided - 2 teaspoons Mixed Essence - 2 large eggs - 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour - 2 teaspoons cream of tartar - 1 teaspoon baking soda - 1/4 teaspoon salt - 4 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees - Combine butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar with an electric mixer until well-combined. - Add eggs (one at a time) and essence and whip until thoroughly mixed. - Combine flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, salt and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a separate bowl. - Add dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix until just combined. - Refrigerate dough and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for 30 minutes - Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with remaining 3 teaspoons of cinnamon in a small bowl - Scoop 1 inch balls of dough (I use this scoop in "mini" for uniformity) and roll balls in cinnamon/sugar mixture - Place balls 1 inch apart on chilled ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten each ball slightly with the back of a fork. - Bake for 10 minutes, rotating once halfway through baking. - Remove from pan immediately and place on racks to cool completely
I know for certain that all 3 recipients received a dozen of these cookies, and I hope they enjoyed them.
During this year's swap, I got all kinds of delicious and awesome things.
Just a brief break from my Chicago adventures to let you all know that this year, I will be participating in the 1st Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap through Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. (Thanks for the heads up, Princess Aioli). Apparently, some time in the near future, 3 fabulous food bloggers are going to send me cookies! (And I, in turn, will send out cookies to 3 fabulous food bloggers.)
If you are interested in participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, registration is open through Tuesday, November 15.
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