Foodie life!

My husband suggested I start a blog because of all the food pictures I take when we go to restaurants and photos I take of food I prepare at home. It is mostly meals I prepare from other food bloggers so I will have to figure out how to link to their blog. I am a local guide on Google and constantly review and photograph restaurants and meals and places I’ve visited. So, I guess this is a place where all that can come together. I also decorate cakes, so I’ll throw some of those in here from time to time! Here we go!

The Tennessee Truffle

Thursday 2/1, we were looking for somewhere to get a good late breakfast. My husband did a Sanford search on Google maps for breakfast. It came up with multiple restaurants, The Tennessee Truffle being first. I looked at pictures of food and the inside of the restaurant for various locations, looking at The Tennessee Truffle last, and remembering that was the first one my husband mentioned. All I knew about truffles was that you could make them out of chocolate, and I like chocolate!

The restaurant looked cute on the inside, so I decided we should go!

So, we went to 1st street in Sanford to The Tennessee Truffle.

Not sure what a Tennessee Truffle was, we walked in. We were greeted by a sweet southern lady and told to sit anywhere. We ended up at a table next to the wall. The menu was brought to us on a clipboard as well as the wine and beer list on a small clipboard. We looked at the menu and everything sounded good. I told my husband we should order 1 of each and share!

Turns out, that was a WONDERFUL plan!

We got a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit.

Have you ever seen a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit like this? Homemade, flakey melt in your mouth biscuit, fried egg, homemade smoked 12 day cured Duroc bacon lardons, and cheese. This was the most outstanding bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit ever!!

And biscuit and gravy!

Golden flakey melt in your mouth biscuit with spicey sausage gravy and green onions. Chef Nat really knows how to make sausage gravy! Most places, it’s gravy with a little sausages, but here as you can see, there is an abundance of sausage in this gravy, just like it should be!

Next was the smokey maple french toast. (And the cute bowl of grits in the background!)

I’m not sure if that was the name of it, but I like it! It was homemade potato chive bread from Old Hearth Bread Co. , with pumpkin compound butter, and chopped scallions. On top was poured smokey maple syrup. My favorite part was the smokey maple syrup, which I am definitely going to try to make! The whole dish was amazing!

On to the grits! And the french toast again in the background!

Can you believe those are grits? They had pecans, radishes, and green onions, and were served in a delightful little metal serving bowl. They were delightfully sweetened with sorghum.

And then, guess what? We had dessert! Yes, with breakfast!

A chocolate biscuit! As if we had not had enough biscuits already!

Sorry, it’s not the best picture. We started eating it before I remembered to take a picture! Oops! It is a bisuit with grandma’s chocolate gravy on top, served with brown butter ice-cream with smoked salt and a drizzle of olive oil. You can’t get any better than that! My husband said he could drink that chocolate gravy!! Yes, it’s THAT good!

Chef Nat came out and gave us our dessert and described it to us and said, “Enjoy!” I felt like I was a judge on Iron Chef, one of my favorite shows, about to taste this outstanding dish!

After breakfast, I asked Chef Nat where the name of the restaurant came from. Ramps is a plant which is only out for a short time in the spring of the year in the Appalachian Mountains, because of this, it is called the Tennessee truffle.There is a drawing of the ramps behind the name Tennessee Truffle on the front window of the rastaurant.

AND I finally put 2 and 2 together, and since ramps have an oniony garlicky flavor and look similar to a scallion except the beautiful leafy top, all the scallions on each dish would really be ramps if it were spring time! We’ve got to go back in the spring! And definitely before that!

Happy and full, we left the restaurant, but not without looking at the dinner menu! We decided this might become out new favorite place to eat!

Later on that day, we decided to return with my sister-in-law and her husband. We had a family emergency the day before and needed to get everyone out of the house for awhile.

Dinner! Oh, how yummy! It was a joy to be back!

My husband got Hot Quail with Scallion Waffles as an appetizer! Please forgive me, I know I don’t have the right name of these dishes!

It is similar to Tennessee Hot Chicken, spicey!

This appetizer also had the smoked maple syrup poured over it! Heavenly! We all tasted some and it was amazing!

This appetizer was pork belly with fresh greens, special sauce and pickled onions.

Pickled onions, oh how I love thee! Those pink half moon veggies on top are pickled onions and WOW are they good! The pork was like juicy delicious pulled pork slowly roasted to perfection, surrounded by a wonderful sauce and delicate greens!

My husband got airline chicken as an entree.

The chicken was tender and moist and the flavors were perfectly balanced. Needless to say, there wasn’t any left!

I had the fish of the day! It was walnut crusted catfish with sweet potato and greens.

There was an aioli on top and some micro greens. The catfish was tender and perfectly cooked, with a crunchy nutty crust. I thoroughly enjoyed it! It brought back memories of fishing for catfish in my mom’s pond when I was little.

Oh yes! and now dessert!

I got light fluffy pound cake and strawberries with a buttermilk cream sauce, smoked salt, and lemon verbina.

The waitress foraged for the lemon verbina in the herb garden near the front window and dropped it with tweezers on top of my strawberry short cake! It was a delightful dessert and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My only objection is that I wish I had more lemon verbina! I forgot that it was a buttermilk sauce, so when I first tasted it, it suprised me! It was a great dessert!

But my husband got……..A Chocolate Biscuit! It’s just like the picture before, only this time, he didn’t share with me. He did share with his sister though and she seemed to totally enjoy the rich chocolate gravy flavor!

Thank you to The Tennessee Truffle for a faublous brunch and dinner! We’ll be back!!!

A day off together! Finally!!

So yesterday, December 16th, my hubby and I finally got to enjoy a day off together! He’s been on call for several weeks. We finally got a no stress fun day!

So we visited the Epic theater and saw Star Wars, the Last Jedi. 2 1/2 hours long! It sure didn’t seem like it, well except that my rear was going numb from sitting so long! Oh, maybe I shouldn’t divulge that! Because we went so early, 10:15am I actually stayed awake!

After the movie, we took off to historical St. Augustine! It’s only an hour and a half away but it feels like we’re getting away for a little while. Besides, we can’t leave the chihuahuas alone for too long or they’ll get rambunctious thinking we’re never coming home!

We wanted to go to the Gourmet Hut, so we walked over that way and the lady there said dinner didn’t start till 6pm. It was only 2:15!

We wound up at the french fry place for a snack.

The fries were great! The toppings, not exactly what we expected. They tasted good though.

I couldn’t pass up the opportunuty to go to the spice and tea exchange!

I LOVE tea! And spices too!

We walked around a little more. My hubby let me go to The Ancient Olive. I LOVE this store. They have olive oil and balsamic vinegar, all different flavors! I tasted several and ended up with Tuscan herb olive oil and Cranberry Pear balsamic vinegar. The cranberry pear is wonderful on sweet potatoes!

We finally decided not to wait until 6pm to get dinner at the Gourmet Hut. We were just too hungry!

Instead we headed to Barley Republic, the small Irish pub with outstanding cuisine! Been there probably 4 times.

Appetizer was fried pickle spears! And my hubby got leek soup. It was amazing!

I chose the shepherd’s pie for my entree. I usually don’t get shepherd’s pie when we go out because I make it at home, but this was made with lamb, so I had to try it! Sorry people, lamb is yummy!

My husband got ribeye and succotash. He wouldn’t even give me give me a taste! Must’ve been good!

After we finished, we walked by the Gourmet Hut and they still weren’t serving dinner. We would’ve starved before we got to eat there! Not to speak bad of them. It is an awesome place! We’ve driven up to St. Augustine just to have breakfast there and then gone back home. The chef in the evening makes AMAZING food on 2 hot plates. He really does cook in a hut! All the seating is outside. It’s such a neat, unusual place!

We strolled around afterwards and gazed at the Christmas lights.


Merry Christmas everyone!!

Orange Dreamsicle!

So, i finally decided to make my Orange Dreamsicle cheesecake! I used Alton Brown’s Sour Cream Cheesecake and added Guittard Vanilla A’Peels and Orange A’Peels and mixed it all together, and Voila! A little time in oven and it was done! Then it had do sit in the refrigerator for hours on end!

But, oh my goodness, was it worth it! I came back from work the next day and cut the scrumptious thing and delighted in an orange dreamsicle flavor explosion. I had lined the crust with the orange and vanilla A’Peels and then swirled the orange and vanilla into the cheesecake as much as I could. It was smooth and creamy and every bite was orangey!

I took a piece to a friend at work and she said it was the best cheesecake she had ever eaten!

Gourmet Lunch

So, we decided to go grab a bite in Sanford earlier this month. It was around 3pm, so it was a late lunch. We decided on the quaint Corner Cafe. Elegant gourmet food at a reasonable price and excellent service!

I had a 1/2 Cuban sandwich and loaded potato soup. No chunks of potato in this smooth creamy soup! The Cuban sandwich was perfectly pressed, though I’m not sure how a Cuban is really supposed to taste! It was a great sandwich!

My husband got Tomato Florentine soup with a corned beef sandwich. He said he enjoyed it too! After lunch, they give you a dessert shot. It was carrot cake this time! Unfortunately, I ate it before I remembered to snap a photo, but it was delightful!

After lunch, we went looking for cupcakes! We had been to a cupcake shop in downtown Sanford a while ago, but couldn’t quite remember where it was. Turns out, it was right behind The Corner Cafe! Maggie’s Delectable Desserts. They have a large selection of scrumptious homemade cupcakes and often have a gluten free option as well!

Obviously, the Orange one is Florida Sunshine Orange flavored and the green one is key lime. The cupcakes were both super yummy, but we both agreed that they could’ve used a little more flavoring. We’ll be going back though! It’s such a delightful place and the cupcake selection is outstanding!

My Favorite Place!

On Tuesday, 9/5 (can you believe it’s already September? Where has the year gone?) I visited my second home the Sweet Chalet! They are the SWEETEST people!

In May, one of my decorator friends at work said her boyfriend had been there and bought her a bunch of cake decorating supplies as a surprise, so I Googled “cake decorating supplies Sanford” and there was The Sweet Chalet Shoppe! Elated, I drove right there and proceeded to spend 2 hours there looking at absolutely EVERYTHING! They kept asking me if I was ready to check out and I said, “No. I’m still looking!” I had died and gone to decorator heaven!

By my second visit, the next week, they invited me to an event and said, “Well, you’re practically family!” I love to go almost weekly and visit and say hi and see the new fun decorating items!

This week when I dropped by, they showed me this and let me try a little on a cracker.

It is an absolutely delightful sweet creamy caramel sauce! Perfect for drizzling on cheesecake, ice cream, cake, fondue, or whatever else you can come up with! It comes straight from Brazil along with it’s sister, below.

Yes, an entire bucketfull! This is the same thing but thicker! Perfect for filling cakes, sandwich cookies, eclairs, and whatever else you can dream up! Who doesn’t like dulce de leche?

Anyone locally can just drive by and pick some up for your next decorating project, or go online or call and have some shipped to you! It is a delightfully decadent sweet!

Sorry, it’s taken me awhile to publish this. We’ve been preparing for hurricane Irma here in Central Florida. So far it’s not bad, but we sure are praying for those on the West side of Florida in her direct path!

Bake Chop

So, 2 weeks ago, Saturday 8/19, my husband and I decided to take my mother in law to Bakechop in DeLand, FL.

It is an exquisite locally sourced farm to table restaurant which will show up frequently on my blog. We love to go there for fabulous food!

This was one of the specials. The Sweet and Spicy burger. I got it without the bun. It had caramelized onions, smoked cheddar, hot cherry peppers, which I got on the side, and bacon! It was very yummy!! Sweet potato fries as my side. I’m sorry, I ate half before I remembered to take a picture! Oops!

My mother in law had the Nude Beach (love the creative names)! Beef meatballs, marinara, pecorino, over sauteed greens with 2 onion rings. She ate it all, remarking at how good it was and that she’d like to have it again!

And the sides! I can’t say enough about how yummy the sides are! Bottom left-watermelon salad, top-beets and goat cheese, bottom right-mushrooms and garlic. We love going to bake chop to see what seasonal sides they have next! Everything is so creative!

We never pass up the homemade desserts! This one was cheesecake with blueberries on top! Their cheesecake is awesome! Last time we went, it was lemon blueberry. It is so rich and creamy I wish I could lick the plate! ☺

Oh yes! Sweet potato ice cream!

So, I got this inspiration from Rumbles Paleo Sweet Potato Ice Cream

It is a GREAT recipe! Believe it or not, it’s for breakfast! It is so yummy! The first time I made it, I followed her recipe except that I added balsamic vinegar when I roasted the potatoes. This time I steamed the sweet potatoes via the Alton Brown method. Though, I think the flavor is more intense roasting the sweet potatoes in the oven first.

I made a maple pecan crumble to go on top!

Here’s the photo. It kinda looks like a pile of mashed potatoes, but it’s not! It’s soft frozen with some cara-cara Orange vanilla balsamic vinegar and maple syrup drizzled on top. And yes, the pecans are that shiny!