Pumpkin Spice. . . E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E

I L.O.V.E. fall. I don’t know if it’s the sweater weather, the boots, the changing of the leaves, the crisp chill in the air, or . . . the pumpkin spice, but I just love it. Fall will be here in less than two days and I’ve already consumed four pumpkin spice lattes, bought a pumpkin spice candle and a pumpkin spice sugar scrub. I seriously considered buying ready to bake Pumpkin Spice cookie dough and even pumpkin spice Terra chips, but thought better of it.

Pumpkin Spice Everywhere http://blog.foodfacts.com/2015/09/18/kelloggs-pumpkin-spice-mini-wheats-welcome-to-pumpkin-season/

 

Some pumpkin spice ‘hard no’s’ went to: pumpkin spice Candy Corn, Hershey Kisses, Milano Cookies, Shredded Wheat Cereal (yes, cereal, Seriously! ), M&M’s (why mess with perfection there) and lastly pumpkin spice cream cheese. . . . which got me thinking. . .   What the what?

 

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What else can they possibly put pumpkin spice on / in? And is pumpkin spice really as good for you as it is good to your taste buds?

 

Well, turns out pumpkin spice is not so nice. In my research I  found out some not so great facts about this popular ingredient. The first fact is that there really isn’t real pumpkin in most pumpkin spice products – ! Crazy, huh? Not so much. Anyway, that really made me question any and all ‘pumpkin spice’ products. In just one example I found here are the “pumpkin spice” ingredients in Pumpkin Spice Shredded Wheat.

Whole grain wheat, sugar, contains 2% or less of brown rice syrup, cinnamon, ginger, gelatin, nutmeg, allspice, annatto extract color, natural flavor, BHT for freshness.Vitamins and Minerals: Reduced iron, niacinamide, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), folic acid, vitamin B1 (thiamin hydrochloride), zinc oxide, vitamin B12.

Seriously, “natural flavor” means what? And BHT – well you can just read what that is here: BHT is nasty. I almost cut ties with my favorite latte  too . . . until . .. 

Much to my delight, Starbucks has stepped up! After 12 years of their famously non pumpkin, pumpkin spice lattes, they are actually changing the recipe, adding actual pumpkin into their oh so famous (and delicious) PSL’s. See more here: PSL FoodFacts

However, I had no such luck in finding real pumpkin in any other fall treats:

Chiobani

Oreos

Dunkin Donuts

Baskin Robbins Ice Cream

I could go on.  . . but I won’t. 

So, here’s to breaking the “pumpkin” spice craze . . . well for all things except my PSL’s 🙂

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Yeast Nashville

YeastNashville.com

YeastNashville.com

 

So. There are a ton of coffee shops in Nashville, but I have to start posting about my favorites. I’m not even sure weather to call this a coffee shop or a bakery, but we’ll settle on coffee shop for now, since I visited in the AM.

Yeast Nashville offers gourmet coffees, espressos and lattes as well as baked goods including the Kolache! What is a Kolache, you ask? They are large handmade rolls (of Czech origin) filled with anything savory from sausage to cherries. Even though I didn’t have a kolache –  I was not that hungry, I did order coffee and breakfast.

I had a vanilla latte (very good), and the sausage and bacon breakfast burrito. I mean, you can’t go wrong with pork and eggs – but the sausage was some of the best I’ve had. They also make their own salsa. . . SCORE!
Staff is fabulous and courteous!  The eclectic vibe inside is awesome, however we sat outside on the patio. Patio is very small (just because of their location) and warm on a summer morning – but I will definitely be back.

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Mafiaoza’s, because it’s NOT Monday

Mafiaoza's Wood Fired Oven

Mafiaoza’s Wood Fired Oven

Just like Chick- fil- A, when I crave it, they aren’t open. . . . Monday’s are just bad all around! They get it though. . . that’s why for one day a week, MONDAY, they shut their doors and stay under the comfy covers. . . haters gonna hate.

BUT TODAY IS TUESDAY!!!!!

So, Mafiaoza’s in the 12 South Area  has been my ‘go to’ for pizza since 2006. There are so many options for Nashville dining. . . and we will get to those, but I have to go back to the start.

Nine years later,  12th looks like a completely different place, but Mafiaoza’s is like a warm cozy kitchen I am drawn to like my Nana’s peach ice cream. Not only do they have 2 for 1 slices and beer on Tuesdays (because it’s Tuesday!) they also have free double pours of liquor. . . can’t beat that college kids (Belmont, Vandy).

And for the parents, fresh “play” dough for every child while they sit with you or watch each pizza being created from the oven bar!

My favorite options are the fried mozzarella or mac ‘n cheese for apps, but the best pizza (in my humble opinion) is the Last Request, without Jalapeños 🙂

I love them for:

Visit all the new places, but please, don’t forget about this little gem 🙂

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Weekly Food Encounter 6/1/15

The Tavern Nashville

Tavern Interior

 

So, you think Nashville is all about Country Music, eh? Not so much. Along with an eclectic music scene encompassing anything from hip-hop to punk, Nashville is growing not only it’s music scene, but it’s culinary scene as well. Any night of the week you can slide up to a different bar or take a seat at a new, exciting restaurant. Nashville’s creative spirit has definitely infiltrated kitchens, and I would like to share my experiences with you.

Most recent stop? The Tavern Midtown in Nashville. Known for their all-American burgers, this eclectic spot offers a variety of handmade, original cocktails, craft beers and wine. The food menu is all over the place. Brining a friend to town and not sure what they will like? Come here! You can order from a wide array of entrees including fish, beef, veggies, chicken, lamb, mussels, etc.  My favorite is the sweet potato chips with blue cheese fondue, the grilled fish tacos all washed down with a seasonal beer or the gin drink of choice, the ‘1920’.

 

Interested in more?

Tavern Midtown Menu

 

 

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