Oh, Josephine!

A few weeks ago, BG and I travelled over to the 12th South neighborhood of Nashville to eat at Josephine. Our wonderful neighbor, Sam, gave us a gift certificate to Josephine for Christmas! Seriously, he is the best neighbor ever. If either one of us ever moves, I’m going to cry. But anyway. Back to the food.

According Nashville Lifestyles magazine, Josephine is Miranda Whitcomb Pontes’ latest project. She is also known for Burger Up and will be opening Prima later this year. The atmosphere at Josephine was really nice. The stainless steel bar greets you as you walk in, and I specifically noticed the bar stools, which looked like rustic old lab chairs.  The dining room is a decent size, with banquette seating around the perimeter, which is where we sat. Our table was also stainless steel, like the bar, and not full of “junk”, which I really appreciate. As I sat down, my eyes went right to the back of the room where there was a huge leather-upholstered, tufted booth. It was divine. Very nice vibe. Cozy and sophisticated without being stuffy or fussy.

The service was great. Our server, Richard, was delightfully attentive without being pushy, and he explained that the menu is laid out in four courses, with the first three courses being smaller plates, while the last course is entrée size.

Now, as a “foodie”, I should know more about the chefs in Nashville, but regretfully, I do not. The chef at Josephine is Andrew Little from Pennsylvania and is fairly new to Nashville. Let’s chat a bit about what he has goin’ on at Josephine, shall we? 
(The "him" notes below are Billy's words/thoughts.)

Cocktails: I don’t recall exactly what was in these as the cocktail menu is not online, but I’ll give you the gist!
Me: The Lea Louisiana – Tequila, St. Germain, grapefruit. Lime wedge and sprig of rosemary for a garnish. Very light and refreshing. Delicious.
Him: The Lee52 – Knob Creek Rye whiskey, orange. A nice play on the Old Fashioned. Citrus notes with a spice, most likely from the bitters.

Bites: Lobster toast, lobster salad, grilled pretzel, Meyer lemon vinaigrette
YUM. The toast was perfectly toasted, which I think can make or break your toast or crostini. I have a big problem with toasts that are so hard you can’t bite into them without the topping going all over the place. NOT the case here. The lobster salad had the perfect amount of citrus zing but you could still taste the freshness of the lobster.

Vegetable: Brussels sprouts, charred orange, dried cherry, peanut vinaigrette, rye onion rings.
Y’all. So I’ve only recently started eating and enjoying Brussels sprouts. Like, within the last couple of years. Billy loves them so we’ll make them during the holidays and I’ve grown to like them. But THESE sprouts I could easily eat every day. Perfectly roasted and the peanut sauce…ohhhhh the peanut sauce. It was ridiculous how delicious these were.

We did not get a noodle or dumpling dish. Might be something to try next time, though! Off hand, I’d probably go for the papperdelle.

Last course:
Me: Beef cheeks, horseradish risotto, rosemary crumble – I was seriously torn between this and the scallop dish but I’m so very glad I chose the beef cheeks. I have not tried that before, so I think it’s fun to try new things – especially if you’re paying with a gift card! Richard helped me to choose this dish and he did not steer me wrong. The cheeks were so tender they could be cut, or pulled apart really, with a fork. The risotto was creamy and had the perfect bite to it, with that extra little kick from the horseradish. Yum. Yum. Yum.
Him: Loch Duart salmon, celery root, cauliflower, kale, agrodolce –The Loch Duart – I had to do some research as I always have to with my first time visit so I can get to know the menu (act like I know what I am talking about/ordering). Loch Duart is a form of Scottish salmon farming that is more environmentally conscious, taking into context the over-fishing of many wild-caught fish that are demanded on a global level. Anyway, back to dish – an awesome filet of salmon that was cooked perfectly that was served on top of a celery root, cauliflower (nicely roasted), a nice portion of sautéed kale with enough acid to help balance the fish with the other veggies in a nice agrodolce sauce (Italian sweet/sour sauce – had to look that up).    

Me: Chocolate ganache tart, peanut mousse, sweet and salty peanuts – Rich, creamy, smooth, decadent. The peanut mousse was very subtle, and I thankfully I didn’t feel like I was eating a giant Reese’s peanut butter cup. Just peanutty enough and it blended well with the chocolate.
Him: Port wine – Port for me always rounds out the dining experience by supplementing the sweet cravings after a protein course.

Overall – I highly recommend Josephine. It was packed when we went on a Monday, so I definitely recommend making a reservation - we made ours through OpenTable. I was pleased with every aspect of our visit and meal, and it was one of the better meals I’ve had in quite a while. Bonus – I noticed they had some branded diner-style coffee mugs at the front and around the restaurant, so I asked our server if they sold them and how much they were and he just GAVE ME ONE!

2316 12th Ave South
Nashville, TN 37204

Side note: I hope to continue telling you about our dining adventures, whether they’re in Nashville or wherever we/I happen to be travelling. I’m not really one of those diners that takes pictures of each course, so you might not see that much here. It’s just a personal preference and I don’t want to hold up the meal by sticking my phone or camera in someone’s plate. I’ll do my best to link to the restaurant’s website, menu, and any pictures I happen to find online, with proper credit, of course!


Hello again!

Hi friends! It is hard to believe that we are already a week into March, and that 2014 is nearly 3 months old! For me, 2013 was a fantastic year. I started the year by leaving a not-so-great job, I turned 30 in March, and finished my MBA in November. Needless to say, the year FLEW by, but it was great.

Yesterday, I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my 21st birthday…or, I turned 31. I took the day off from work, slept in, and generally just enjoyed the day. It was a gorgeous day outside, as Mother Nature thankfully loosened her wintery vice grip on us. I tell you what, I am OVER winter and I’ll take 60-degree temps and sunny skies any day of the week! Since it was so nice out, Billy and I walked down to a local East Nashville bakery called YEAST Nashville to try out their kolaches.

Now, y’all know I’m a Texas girl, right? And kolaches are a Texas staple that I have sorely missed living in Tennessee. Kolaches are a breakfast item that are very popular in Texas, developed by Czechoslovakian folks (there’s a big Czech/German population in Texas), and usually consist of sausage and cheese, wrapped up in a fluffy pastry dough. The kolaches we got from YEAST did not disappoint! They get their sausage from Elgin, so you know it’s legit! I got to meet the owner, Bill, and talk to him for a few minutes. Turns out, we grew up about 10 minutes from each other in Spring, TX! Funny how small the world is. We both agreed that our lives would be complete if there were a Whataburger and Pappasitos here in TN.

Anyhoo, we really enjoyed our goodies and will certainly be back. It’s nice to have small piece of home in Nashville. Later in the evening we met up with some friends for dinner at Mafiaoza’s in the 12th South neighborhood for some delicious Italian food. Then we went back to our house to enjoy cake and ice cream that Billy made for me…from scratch! I don’t know too many ladies out there with husbands that make their birthday cakes and ice cream, so I’ll consider myself a lucky duck! He made Barefoot Contessa’s chocolate buttercream cake and Brown Butter Almond Brittle ice cream out of the Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams cookbook. The best thing about all that? I got to eat it again for breakfast! 

So, I think it’s safe to say I had a fab birthday. I have some truly amazing friends and I woke up this morning feeling incredibly blessed. Here’s what a 31-year-old looks like, in case you’re wondering...photobomb courtesy of my friend Niki.

I’m really glad to be back on the blog – several people have asked if I was going to start blogging again now that I’m done with school, and I am excited to get back into it. Stay tuned!



Back in March, I turned 30. Among some really cool gifts from some fantastic people, I also got a jury summons the week of my birthday. Gee, thanks, Davidson County. You shouldn't have...no, really!

My summons was for last Monday, April 29th, and for the last six days I've been hanging out at the Birch Building in downtown Nashville. Apparently last Monday was one of the busiest trial days the courts had seen in a while, so everyone who showed up that day had a good chance of serving on a jury. Wonderful. I landed myself on a case that was supposed to only be "2-3 days", and ended up lasting 6. 

Our case in particular was pretty tricky, and involved really sensitive subject matter as it was a rape and sexual battery case. Neither party spoke English, so we also had to deal with Spanish and Chinese interpreters, which made things go a lot slower than they should have. Long story short, a lady went to see an acupuncturist for pain relief for her back and sciatic nerve, and he took advantage of her. While her husband was in the waiting room.

I can't imagine what it must be like to go to the doctor and be sexually abused. I also can't imagine what it must be like to live in a country where you don't speak the language very well and can't defend yourself or tell your story, and be afraid that people won't believe you. We found the defendent guilty of two counts of sexual battery, one count of sexual battery without consent, and one count of sexual battery by fraud. It was a really long, hard week. Made my old job look like a cake walk. Sheesh!

Here are some other thoughts to summarize my week:

  • I met some really nice people on our jury. One girl even got engaged this weekend!
  • Our court officer (aka jury babysitter) was Stephanie, and she was a hoot. Never a dull moment!
  • If you have to show up for jury duty, don't try to be chatty. People around that place are generally not very pleasant.
  • Get there early! It takes some time to get parked, to the building, through security, and checked in.
  • One of the Assistant DA's on our case reminded us of a very famous country singer, so we affectionately referred to her as "Reba" all week. It would have been AMAZING if she had busted out with "Fancy" during her closing arguments.
  • I can officially rule out any future in law enforcement or the legal system. No thanks.
I don't really have much planned for the rest of the week, other than working on my resume and applying to a few job openings I've found. I have a break from class until May 23rd, so I won't have to worry about homework for another week or so. I have a few photography projects I want to tackle and I might set up a sewing/craft station, but nothing much other than that!

Have a great week!


When life hands you lemons...

Or in my case, grapefruit...what do you do? Well, I made grapefruit sorbet!

Did I ever tell you that my husband brews beer? Yep, he does! It's something he's tinkered with since we moved into our house, I'd say about 5 years now. What does this have to do with grapefruit, you ask? I'm getting to that! This week, he decided to branch out and experiment with his beer flavors. Normally, he sticks with the traditional pale ale, Hefeweizen, Belgian ale, things like that. He asked me what type of beer we should try and I immediately said something citrus. We did a little research and eventually came up with the idea of Grapefruit and Honey Ale. Does that sound delicious or what?!

So, he had to get 5 grapefruits and peel them all so he could steep the beer with the peels. That left us with 5 whole grapefruits with no peels. Of course, the normal thing to do would be to eat them. However, I was craving something cold and sweet, so I decided to make grapefruit sorbet! The recipe is really simple:

Grapefruit Sorbet
2 cups simple syrup
1 1/2 cups fresh grapefruit juice

For the simple syrup, add 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water to a saucepan and heat on medium-high heat until boiling. Lower heat until sugar is completely dissolved and let cool. 

For the grapefruit juice, I strained mine to make sure no pulp or little seeds got into my sorbet.

Then, you just mix your simple syrup and grapefruit juice together, pour into your ice cream maker, and let it do its thing!


If you're in the market for an ice cream maker, I have the Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker. I got mine at Costco a couple summers ago for about $35, and it has been really nice to make cold treats and know EXACTLY what goes into them. The machine also comes with a little recipe booklet to get you started. This particular recipe was a little on the sweet side for me, so next time I might not add the whole 2 cups of simple syrup and use more of a 1:1 syrup to juice ratio. I like my sorbet a little more tart!




Friends, I am such an awful blogger. I'm barely averaging once a month now. How pitiful. I've been a complete slug, otherwise, too. While I'm loving my new job, it's really kicking my butt. I work through lunch and stay late MOST days. And that is starting to take a toll on my fun time. I haven't baked anything. I haven't really taken any pictures. My book reading is suffering. Oh well, here is what has been going on lately...

1. I've lost 15 pounds! The Jillian Michaels program is definitely a winner for me. I love the recipes in her books, I love her workout DVDs. I love that I can work out and be done in 25 minutes. I also love that I can make dinner, and most of my meals for the next day, in about the same amount of time. We also got a spin bike and have been using that pretty frequently and I love it! That 15 pounds has me down a dress and pants size. Go me! Still have more to go, but at least I've made it this far.

2. I start grad school in about 3 weeks. I'm nervous but excited. And nervous. I hope I do well. Did I mention I'm nervous?

3. We're having a baby...doggy! Haha, almost got you! We recently started the process of adopting a puppy from the Middle Tennessee Golden Retriever Rescue organization. We've passed the application and home visit portions, now we just have to wait to see which pup we get! I've got my eye on a gorgeous little golden girl, but it depends on how many people are in line for a puppy. Hopefully good news on that soon!

4. We're going to paint the house. We noticed that the wood around our windows needs some TLC. Which then led to our porch, and the brick columns, and then the porch floor, and eventually the actual siding of the house. Now we just need some time and to actually do it. Big job.

........I thought I had more to update on than that. I guess not. You probably don't want to know that I have bronchitis and have been hacking up a lung for over 6 weeks (thanks, Bonnaroo) and annoying anyone within earshot of me--like my husband and work people (sorry!!).

Anyway, that's all for now. Until next month!


Out in the backyard

Hello strangers! Things have been busy around here lately. We've been tinkering around the house, working on little details and trying to get things cleaned up and decluttered. Part of this little operation included sprucing up the backyard a bit.

I knew I wanted more color out there and more lighting so I devised a little plan, and I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money.

Let me first say that I had THE best idea for a lighting solution in the history of the universe. I was so proud of what I had thought of, so we headed down to Home Depot to start picking up our supplies. We got some skinny wooden posts (2"x2", I think), some terra cotta pots, and those little bistro lights from Target.

My fabulous idea was to anchor the posts in the pots with pea gravel, then screw a small hook into the top of the post and hang my lights in perfect swoops across the patio...
This is where my idea went south. I had the posts in the pots and pots filled with the gravel. Everything seemed pretty secure. I placed my pots where I wanted them on the patio. We started to open the light packages and get ready to string the lights up. I get one in on one post and go to string the other end on the other post....and POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP!

...the weight of the strand of lights was too much for the top-heavy pots. The pots tipped over. My lights broke. Cue sad trumpet sound.

So then, my brilliant hubs, Mr. Goat, suggests that we string the lights in the trees! We get to work on this by drilling small holes into 2 trees and in the boards on the two corners of the house and screwing the little hooks into the trees and boards. We string the lights (carefully!!) and secure them with cable ties. A quick 2nd trip to Target and Home Depot and a few trips up and down the ladder later, the lights were hung!

All in all, my lighting solution (well, plan b) worked out really well. Since we no longer needed the pots for stringing the lights, we put tiki torches (that we already had!) in the pots. This means MORE light!

Now to infuse some more color back there. Green grass + green house = A LOT OF GREEN. I need some pink! Some red! Something! Other! Than! Green! So I found some pillows and some flowers...

Here is the lounge area on the right side of the patio with the new pillows...nice eh?

Care to lounge?

And of course, the hammock. This is actually a new hammock net because some hood-rat in our neighborhood decided to creep in our yard and steal our old one.
Oh well, this one is new and clean! And it needed a pillow, too...

To add more color, I decided to use every piece of real estate I could. I put some flowers and other plants in the top of my pots! These are Petunias, the tall grass is Mondo Grass, and the other plant is Sweet Potato Vine. I have no idea if it actually grows sweet potatoes. I think it turned out rather nice!

I love my lights!

I don't think the billy goat minds them one bit, either...

I think we created a really nice little outdoor space. We had our friends over for a Memorial Day cookout they all seemed to enjoy the fruits of our labor. It was really nice being able to SEE...the only light we used to have out there were 2 motion lights on our house and our neighbors house. Talk about being blinded by the light...and then 2 feet away you couldn't see your hand in front of your face! This was a definite upgrade. I would say the whole project cost us about $150--I'm not that great at keeping receipts and that was two weeks ago so I've totally forgotten everything other than the fact that we fixed up the patio.

Bye for now, and I hope to not have another whole month before my next post. Stay cool!


She Works Hard for the Money...

So hard for it, honey. She works hard for the money so you better treat her right!

And now that that's out of my system...

Wednesday marked the 1-month anniversary of being at my new job! I have to say, it is very challenging and very fulfilling. I definitely made the right choice in accepting that position. Everyone is great. Aside from all that and everything being great, we have been BUSY. So busy that I come home at least a few times a week and crawl straight into bed for a short nap. I's tired.

It's definitely been a transition, going from working at home to working in an office...8-5. It's a job in itself to get out the door and to work on time, but I'm making it work! I like being around people and it's nice to get out of the house.

HOWEVER...I must say that I can't help but feel behind in every other area of my life. I've been trying to do something to keep the house up at least every day, but like I said, I's tired. I'm so thankful to have a husband that keeps up with MORE than his share of the housework. I'm truly blessed, indeed. Also very behind in the blog world--reading and writing. But, as I check my Google Reader for what seems like the first time in weeks, I also notice that some of the blogs I subscribe to have only posted 1 or 2 times in my absence, so I try not to feel too bad. And then I decide I'll take a page out of my friend Jill's book and just subscribe to the belief that good enough is the new perfect. Fine with me!

One thing, however, that I'm happy to report that I'm NOT behind on is my health/fitness/weight-loss goal. I officially kicked Tony Horton out of my sandbox and invited Jillian Michaels over for a visit. And now we are BFF for real. I've been following the meal plan on her website and am on about a 1,250-calorie-a-day plan that was the result of a little quiz on the website. She breaks things down into different oxidizer groups (Slow, Fast, Balanced) and that determines what you eat and the breakdown of carbs, fats, and proteins of each meal. I was surprised to discover I was a Balanced Oxidizer and to find out what all that entailed since I was sure carbs would be banished from my life forever. I haven't really touched pasta or much bread since I started, but I eat a LOT of fruit. Fine with me, though. I'm always satisfied and the meals on this plan are GREAT! Most of them are 5-10 ingredients and take less than 30 minutes to make. We do our best to prepare at least breakfast, lunch, and our snack the night before so there is no guess-work the next day. I've discovered that, left to my own devices, I make horrible food choices. This plan has been great. I work out a couple times a week (JM 30-day Shred), follow this meal plan....and I've lost 8 pounds so far, and 2 inches off my hips! A steady 2-pound-per-week weight loss. Color me a happy camper. I have a ways to go, but I've finally found a program that I love and that works for me, so I'll be sticking with it.

BG is pretty much eating what I eat, not working out, and has lost about 15 pounds so far. What an a-hole.

The garden is going well--still waiting for some things to mature a little more since most everything is being raised from seed. Billy brought home some blackberry plants the other day, so I'm excited to see if those will work out. Blackberries are my faaaaaaaavorite. Some people I know are already harvesting squash and zucchini, but my zucchini plants are not quite there yet, so I'm just trying to be patient.

And finally, not sure if you've heard, but we are having an emergence of the 13-year cicada. A cicada is a gnarly-looking insect...kinda like a grasshopper that doesn't jump, with wings. They come out of the ground every 13 years, mate like crazy, lay eggs, and are LOUD. They are all over the place here and it is GROSS. There were two in our house tonight, which led to my drinking two extra glasses of wine just to calm my frazzled nerves. If they're not dead on our driveway, their shells have been shed and are everywhere, and they are all in the trees. I contemplated relocated myself temporarily for this 6-week period. Why Nashville, why must you do this to me??

Time for bed. I's tired.