The Food Section

One of the only "Old Time Country Stores" left in the area that is totally worth the time it takes to get to Burwood, TN (just South of Nashville). Take a video tour and see the interview with the spry 82 year old proprietor Mr. Ken Huff.
From One of the Oldest to One of the Hottest - What A Contrast!

One of the Hottest Spots around Town!  The Tin Roof 2 in Cool Springs.
Find Out Why: Check out this entertaining Interview!

How I Became a Vegan
By Paula Leach

If you're like me, you might have in your mind a picture of a person who wears Birkenstocks and won't even kill a fly, when you think of someone who eats Vegan. "Fanatic" might even come to mind. It did for me, I'm not going to lie. Give up steak ... cheese?! I don't think so! So what the heck happened to me?

I have to say, even though I made the change almost overnight, the mindset was years in the making. Pieces of information have accumulated; add to that years of my body loosing its vitality and fighting my weight for the past 20 years. Then in July 2009, being diagnosed with the health condition IC (http://www.ic-network.com/whatisinterstitialcystitis/), that doctors are realizing they know little about other than it's finally a real situation and not something all in patient's heads. I had reached that point where something had to change, when the catalyst came in the form of a book, The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone. The information clicked with all those bits and pieces to motivate a drastic overhaul in record time.

"Fried Udon Noodles" page 229 in the Kind Diet (Above)

Clean Mean Burrito (Above)

Quinoa with Basil and Pine Nuts p. 224, Hijiki-Tofu Croquettes p. 244, Scarlet Roasted Vegetables p. 267, Steamed greens. (Above)

So here I am. I do on occasion wear Birkenstocks, I'll kill a fly, and I'm probably the most overweight Vegan anyone has ever meet. I'm a mom of three, all of whom I teach at home, married 19 1/2 years, and I'm a wedding/portrait photographer. All of my jobs end up being full-time, and now being a Vegan is another seemly full-time job to cram into each crazy week. I've been a Vegan since March 15th, 2010, and I blog about my experience of going from pizza and burgers to total Vegan several times a week at http://superheronewbies.blogspot.com/

This journey is about me taking my power back and saving my own life. I've already learned things about myself that surprise me every day. I've found that when I'm making new foods, I know how to pronounce the ingredients, and each item is an actual food I've bought, washed, prepared. Having control over what I'm actually putting into my body is amazing, empowering, freeing, loving. I think maybe I thought I loved food, but maybe it's the opposite: I've hated it, resented it, stuffed it. It never made me feel better, it only got me through. Now it actually does make me feel better! For me, I'm not trying to save the planet, and I do not consider myself any type of fanatic. I'm just reconnecting with what food is and learning as I go.

Hence, keeping a blog helps me with staying accountable and motivated when I get overwhelmed with the hugeness of this change. I invite you to follow my journey via my blog. It's honest, it's real, it's full of beautiful photographs of meals we've made, and the more of you that tag along for whatever reason, the more reasons I'll have to keep going when I feel like giving up.

Restaurant Review: McNamara's Pub and Restaurant.

Nashville Newzine sent out its most Irish commentator Kevin O’Connell (who knew?) to do a restaurant review at McNamara’s Pub. (Photo left to right: Kirk Orndorff, Sean McNamara, Kevin O'Connell) Did Kevin have a good time? Are leprechauns short? Do Irishmen like to recite limerick poetry, sing drinking songs, dance all night and make Guinness disappear?

By Kevin (Top O' the Mornin' To Ya) O'Connell

Let’s be honest. If you’re not already Irish, at some point in time you’ve wished you were or pretended to be. Being Irish is like being rich. Not all of us will get to be, but we don’t mind trying to live like they do from time to time. Being blessed with some Irish blood, Kevin Patrick O’Connell, I have trained for many years in the selectivity of Irish pubs. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!

Thanks to the hard work and commitment of Sean “Turk” Patrick McNamara and his lovely wife Paula, who comes to us directly from Newry Co Down in Ireland, you don’t have to go to Ireland for the real thing. Along with co-owner and GM Kirk Orndorff, they’ve created McNamara’s Irish Pub located at 2740 Old Lebanon Road in Nashville. The pub’s a blend of Sean’s musical expertise and Paula’s talent to create an authentic decor and style that you’ll enjoy as soon as you walk in. And of course you can’t miss the Irish flag out front! Visit the website www.mcnamarasirishpub.com and you’ll find how an Irishman ends up with the nickname “Turk”.

You really have to experience McNamara’s first hand to fully absorb the atmosphere, customer friendly – family friendly surroundings, great food and equally outstanding service. From appetizers to desserts there’s a bounty of options to choose from. There’s also a Leprechaun Corner on the menu for the kids so they don’t have to miss a fun night out with mom and dad. Space is no issue. McNamara’s has plenty of it. They can accommodate large parties, birthday, retirement, anniversary, or maybe just a TGIF party.

Most of all, you’ll be even happier you’re at McNamara’s when the music starts. Sean McNamara is truly a gifted performer. Check out his resume on the website. As good as he is, it gets even better when joined on stage by David Coe on the fiddle and mandolin, and Josh Culley who seems to play a little of everything.
Photo from left to right: David , Sean & Josh. The group Nosey Flynn.

From Danny Boy to the Unicorn Song (be sure you know the motions!) be ready to clap your hands, tip your glass, sing along, and smile. The highlight of the evening for me was the audience interaction. They never lose sight of their audience and audience participation is required. Believe me, it will come naturally. The grownups love it, the kids love it, and you can tell the staff loves it. It’s more than just going out to eat.

McNamara’s Irish Pub is conveniently located, offers good food, fun for the entire family, and a musical experience you won’t find anywhere else, From the time you enter to the time you leave they really go out of their way to make you feel welcome. I’ll definitely be going back soon.

McNamara's Pub & Resaurant
2740 Old Lebanon Rd.
Nashville, TN 37214
(615) 885-7262

Paula's Toll House Cookies - By Paula Leach

[Photo by Paula Leach]

3 Separate Bowls

Dry bowl:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Mix and set aside

Sugar bowl:
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract (the real kind)
2 sticks softened (but not melty) unsalted butter
blend well

Egg bowl:
2 large eggs room temperature
setting your eggs out ahead of time
along with the butter makes all the difference
if you add in cold eggs the cookies aren't as fluffy

Add eggs to Sugar bowl and mix well. Then slowly add flour bowl to sugar bowl (sugar bowl should be the largest bowl, flour mid size and eggs small bowl). Mix and mix until all the flour is worked into the dough. (do not use a hand mixer, this is the hand work).

After all flour is mixed into the sugar bowl, then you can add your chips of choice, as well as nuts if you like.

Heat oven to 360. Use a spoon to scoop out about 3-3 1/2 tablespoons of dough, leave enough space for the cookie to spread out. Cook for 8-15 minutes depending on your oven. Do not over cook. Take them out before they brown, edges may have a crispness, but the middle of the cookie should be soft still and lighter in color. Allow to cool for 7-10 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet to a cooling rack.

Keep bowl of cookie dough cool in between batches. In the summer I will put my bowl of dough in the refrigerator in between batches. This may seem counterintuitive, since I just told you room temp eggs are very important. They are! While making the dough it should all be warmed to room temp while mixing.

After the dough is ready and chips have been added, you need it slightly cooler so that the cookie does not melt out to a flat too thin cookie since you're using such a large amount of dough for each, and you need them to cook more slowly for the same reason. So slightly chilled dough is better.

6211 Patton Rd | Arrington, Tennessee 37014
(615) 395-0102 | info@arringtonvineyards.com

Arrington Vineyards
By Brian Estes

Are you a wine lover? Do you love a secluded country atmosphere? Maybe you’re looking for a fun place to take your kids on a Sunday afternoon to just relax and have a good time If so, you might want to do a “Boot-Scootin’ Boogie” over to Arrington Vineyards, a winery co-owned by Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn. You can sample free wine tastings, listen to the band play, or just chill out and enjoy the atmosphere.

Picture this: it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon. There’s a giant green field speckled with shade trees and families bouncing rubber balls around. Small children are frolicking, rolling a small toy truck over a large rock. Laughter fills the air. As you walk up the grassy rolling hills, you can see the rows of grapes all around you. It’s quite a sight.

The main attraction can be found in the wood cabin at the top of the hill. You guessed it – the wine tastings. There’s plenty of variety – white wines, red wines, and dessert wines – and you can choose any four you’d like to sample. One of my favorites was the Riesling, a white wine made with grapes from the banks of the Rhine River in Germany. It has a very tangy taste, somewhat bitter, but very sweet as well.

But the highlight of the day was the Raspberry desert wine. Imagine taking a sniff of the splendid aroma of sweet raspberries, taking a small nibble of warm, melty chocolate, then washing it down with a delectable sip of the sweet Raspberry wine. It will dazzle your senses.

Once you’re done with your wine tasting, maybe you’d like to relax and listen to a little music? Come under the big tent, have yourself a seat, and unpack your picnic lunch while the soothing sounds of the piano wash over you.

And if you’d like to reflect on a little country music history, you can head inside to the gift shop to find a display containing Kix Brooks’ CMT awards. While there, you wouldn’t do bad to grab a tangy slab of cool cheddar cheese. Not bad to have something to nibble on while you swig your wine.

So if you make the visit to Arrington Vineyards, enjoy yourself. Before you know it it’ll be time to go and you’ll be traveling back home by the light of a neon moon.


Yes You Can... Grow An Herb Garden!
Refreshing Blueberry Fruit Salad.
My Mother's Chicken Soup (see Article).
Japanese Cucumber Salad.
Orange-Glazed Baked Chicken.
Squash - Green Bean Casserole.
Pork Roast with Crushed Pineapple Sauce.

My Mother's Chicken Soup

Over time people have asked me to make my Mother's Chicken Soup. They would say to me, "You should bottle it. This is the best chicken soup I ever had, it's so fresh tasting! It makes me feel better! What's in it? Teach me how to make it!"

So what makes it so different? The ingredients are pretty much the same as many other soup recipes, probably less ingredients than some. But I am convinced the two most important ingredients that emerge in this recipe are the most important. They are, time spent, and most of all, the love she put into it. There were no shortcuts. No canned broth or pre-cooked chicken. No hastily chopped vegetables.

It didn't matter how tired she was, overworked or just not feeling well. If the need called - if someone was sick, depressed, lonely, or just neede a little extra attention, there was my mother in the kitchen. Never complaining and sometimes late at night making us, her family and friends, her very special gift to us - her chicken soup. I love my Mom and miss her too, but I try to share that same gift she gave me, with my friends and family, My Mother's Chicken Soup.

In Loving Memory of Edith Frankfurt, her daughter Alisa. (Managing Editor)


Italian Tomato Garden:

An old Italian lived alone in New Jersey . He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison.. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent,
I am feeling pretty sad, because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over.. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days.
Love, Papa

A few days later he received a letter from his son..

Dear Pop,
Don't dig up that garden. That's where the bodies are buried.
Love, Vinnie

At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Pop,
Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.
Love you, Vinnie