Saturday, August 27, 2016

Review: 'Sicilian Pizza and Pasta' in Nashville

While we were driving (and driving and driving) around looking for parking for the Compassion Event, we kept seeing this little restaurant.  We've had great luck with 'hole-in-the-wall' ethnic restaurants so we decided to it a try after our commitment was over.

We hit a home run!

Himself ordered the large veggie calzone and I got the Sicilian calzone.  Both were larger than the size advertised.  Both were HOT and delicious.

Here's a few other things off their menu.

The male servers and cooks were great.  Friendly, helpful...really good.


There was one chippie (the only female that day) who just needed to leave the building.  She was rude to us and the other customers and when she wasn't inflicting herself on people in the front, she was bullying the guys in the back.  I've never seen anyone pick so many loud fights!  Seriously woman...go home.

If the calzones weren't so fantastic we wouldn't go back.

But they ARE that fantastic.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Compassion Event

We've been working about one Compassion event a month.  Our latest was for a "Beth Moore" event.  Apparently she was in Nashville at the auditorium where there were 9000 women...but we were at the "overflow" location where 600 woman watched the program on a theater screen.  Weird.  I wonder if they had to pay the same $70 a person?

But anyway, our shift was the last shift of the day and a half event and was only half of the 3 hours we were scheduled to work.  Two people stopped at the table to turn in sponsorship info they had already filled out and the Compassion rep handled them.

So it was two sign-ups during the time we were there.


173 new children sponsored over the course of the entire event!!

And that is what it's all about.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Black Sheep Bistro...The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly [Now closed]

On one of our 'out and about' times we went past lunch and the hungries were hitting hard.  A friend had eaten at The Black Sheep Bistro and said it was good.  So we decided to try it.

Neat idea for a bar.  That is a truck ramp.

We were seated and given a bowl of pickles (??) and tall jars of ice water.

The menu was interesting and there was a board with additional specials.

Himself had the "Smokin' Cuban", Bro 1 had the "Smokin' Big Burger" and I made up a plate from the sides: garlic Parmesan red potatoes, jalapeno corn, lemon asparagus couscous, and smoked mac & cheese.

The Good

The food was excellent.  Portions were large (we took a lot home).  The smoked mac & cheese and the jalapeno corn...fantastic.  I could make a meal on the mac & cheese.

The Bad.

The service.  It was hard to get either server's attention in the small open room.  They sat and yakked with their backs to us (we were the only customers).  And once she got to the table she only paid attention to the person who flagged her down.  Water refills..not unless you asked.

The Ugly.

No air conditioning (or it was set at 85*!).  It was HOT in there on an upper 90s day.  No fans either.

And the one bathroom was foul smelling and the heat didn't help at all.

Would I go back?

Yes.  During very cool temperatures and I'll ask for TWO jars of water.

[Edit: As of 28 Jan 2017 the Black Sheep Bistro closed permanently.  Not surprised.]

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Chocolate Bliss - Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Factory Tour

Who knew that Nashville is the home of an artisan chocolate factory?

And they offer factory tours too!  With tastings.

Count me in!

Bro 1 loves good dark chocolate as much as I do (and you already know that Himself is a choco-holic).

The tour started in the back of the shop where the cocoa is processed.  Our guide passed around a cocoa pod so we could see how it all begins.

O&S starts with fair trade cocoa beans that they slow roast right there.

The beans are aged in old bourbon barrels for smoky deliciousness.

They are then ground on granite crushers for several days.

There's white chocolate going too.

Say you don't like white chocolate?  Theirs is truly different.  They use buttermilk which gives it a distinct flavor, to me it has a yogurt like tang.  It's ruined me for white chocolate.

Here's some of the products they offer...and we sampled:

Large chocolate bars in both regular & white chocolate...with different flavors too.

Bourbon Truffles

Bourbon nib and smoked nib brittle.

Some very unusual and delicious caramels.

And unique cordials like their 'cherry bombs'.

It is a fun and inexpensive tour that I highly recommend.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Turning Seven...

Happy birthday Little Bird.

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Black Smith Lesson

I'm trying out a new hobby.  I decided that the guys didn't need to have all the fun, so I'm taking a few black smith lessons to see if I enjoy it.

However...I picked the wrong month to start up.  The heat and humidity of July just is not compatible with the heat from a forge.

What was I thinking?

The iron wasn't the only thing getting red hot.

My lesson was to make a tapered point.

Not so easy as it sounds.

OK...I'm done!  Next lesson will be in October!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016


On one of our country drives as we sat at a stop sign to get back on the highway, I saw a bit of red in the ditch.  So of course I got out to investigate.

It was a mechanic's creeper!

I grabbed it up and into the trunk it went.

It rolls and turns like a dream.  It rolls across the garage with one light push and will spin for many revolutions.

Whoever made it did a great job.

I can think of a dozen things I can do with it.  I wonder which one will win out?  Even Himself likes this flotsam find!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Salud! at Whole Foods: Pesto Lasagna

Back from another fantastic class with Chef Dan at Whole Foods.  I have a winner to share with you (not that all of Dan's recipes are really good...but this one - oh my...).

He did this pesto lasagna.  I think the only thing I will do differently is to lightly brown off the top under the broiler.


Note:  Do whatever you normally do with your lasagna noodles.  I rarely use fresh, even if it is better.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tzatziki Potato Chips

Lay's has come out with a new collection of potato chip flavors that they are calling their "Passport to Flavor" set.  They have Indian Tikka Masala, Chinese Szechuan Chicken, Brazilian Picanha and ...

...Greek Tzatziki!!

Oh my goodness!  Sis... hold the kids back, they're going to love this one.

Funny thing tho.  I can't find them on the Lay's web site but you can order them off of Amazon.  Or buy them at Walgreens like I did.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Music Of Strangers

I love to be able to go to foreign and independent movies.  Unfortunately you can only (usually) find an independent theater in a fairly large city.  Nashville has the wonderful - and newly renovated - Belcourt Theater in the Hillsboro Village area.

As I was perusing its line-up I saw this poster...

Yo-Yo Ma was enough to make me stop and take another look.  He's incredible!

In 2000 he brought together musicians from around the world to form an ensemble that blended the cultural music of all into a new form of music that celebrates all but is totally unique.

It is diversity at it's best.

It is one of the best documentaries I've seen.  Thought provoking... so many of the musicians have come from tragic situations in their countries.  Yet their music is filled with hope.

Watch this short trailer and you'll see what I mean.

I HIGHLY recommend this movie.  If it comes out in's MINE!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A Small City In The Civil War - Ft. Defiance, Clarksville, TN

Another one of our Civil War stops during Bro 1's visit was at Ft. Defiance.  Himself and I had not visited since it was fixed up and an interpretive center was built.  " The four-acre Fort Defiance park features earthen fort and walking trails. The city of Clarksville dedicated a new $2 million Fort Defiance Interpretive Center in 2011 in time for the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War in 2011. The Fort has been owned by the City of Clarksville since the mid-1980s, when it was donated to the city by retired Judge Sam Boaz who had owned and preserved the site for some time."  

"In November 1861, Confederate troops began to build a defensive fort that would control the river approach to Clarksville, Tennessee. They mounted three guns in the fort. On February 19, 1862, Federal gunboats came up the river from Fort Donelson and reported the fort displayed a white flag and was deserted. The Federals took over the fort and enlarged it so that it would control traffic on the Hopkinsville (Kentucky) Pike. Clarksville was left with a small garrison of Union troops. In April 1862, this small garrison was made up of the 71st Ohio Volunteers commanded by Col. Rodney Mason.

During July and August 1862, there was an increase in guerrilla activity around Clarksville. On August 18, 1862, Clarksville was recaptured by Confederate Cavalry. Col. Mason was cashiered for surrendering Clarksville so easily. Union soldiers were sent from Fort Donelson to retake Clarksville in September 1862. Skirmishes were fought at New Providence on September 6, 1862 and at Riggins Hill on September 7, 1862. The town and fort were reoccupied by Federal troops who remained for the rest of the war. Col. Bruce was placed in command at Clarksville."   (Wiki)

Here's an interesting bit of information in the museum.

It was SO hot that day that we didn't walk on the trails.  

But our visit to the center was nice.

There was information on how the fort was made...

...and a diorama of how it looked.

The museum is nicely laid out.  Each of the figures along the wall tells a bit when you push a button.

This one has about four different speakers who read from diaries and letters.

The park is quite active with lecture series, special events, and reenactments.  We will definitely be back in cooler weather.