Thursday, May 21, 2015

Recipe: The World's Easiest Marinade

Last weekend, one of my good friends and his friend from out of town sent me this text:

"Wanna grill out?"

Obviously the answer was yes, because I love to grill. 

And because "Wanna grill out" was followed by "I'll get some beer."

I love grilling. Add beer and it's a party!

I rooted through the fridge and found some chicken breasts (they were bringing lamb and steak), some asparagus, and some zucchini. I have a couple of tricks for the vegetables (like bringing them to room temperature before grilling, and my number one grilling tip below), but what to do with that chicken?

I needed a marinade.

A marinade that would only take as long as it took the grill to heat up and the veggies to get started.

I need The World's Easiest Marinade.

This marinade is so easy I didn't even take any pictures of myself making it.'s a picture of a beer, the main ingredient!

(Yes, you can even use the worst of beers, Bud Light!)

Ingredients for 4 chicken breasts worth of marinade:

1 12oz can of beer (or a tall can - do you!)
1/2 cup olive oil
A few shakes each of black pepper, garlic powder, Cavender's, and cajun seasoning.
2 pinches of kosher salt

Then mix it together and plop your chicken breasts in.

Basically you can adjust these measurements for however many chicken breasts you have - you just want the marinade to almost cover whatever you put in the bowl.

I probably let this marinate for about an hour, and then just put the chicken on the grill. It turned out super tender and with a great flavor, and no one could believe it was such a simple marinade!

On the grill:

On my plate:

(Lamb, steak, chicken, asparagus, zucchini, and brussels sprouts. Oh yes.)

My one big tip for grilling anything that you're putting directly on a grill is kind of a pre-grilling step. Rather than washing the grill grate, or just oiling it with a brush, dip half an onion in olive oil, or in some reserved portions of this marinade, and run the grate down with the onion. Then throw it on the grill with your food - you'll get some great flavor!

Anyone else have quick and easy grilling tips? It's still so nice out in Memphis I'm using the grill a lot!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Memphis Nosh: Belly Acres

I've lived in Overton Square since I moved to Memphis in 2009. It was honestly in kind of a sad shape at that point, but watching it evolve and grow over the last 6 years has been amazing.

One of the best new additions to Overton Square has to be the amazing decor, food, and people at Belly Acres.

It's a cute place to get great food, which is exactly the kind of place OS needs!

The menu is huge, so I definitely haven't tried everything, but my friend Kyra and I went one day and I had to share the AMAZING food we got.

All of the options look good, but I think the "Build Your Own" option is the way to go - I mean, look at all the ways you can customize your burger!

I went with the grass-fed beef patty, sourdough bun, white cheddar cheese, tomato, red onion, pickles, and the "acre sauce" - sort of a spicy barbecue meets mustard meets heaven.

Belly Acres is an order at the counter place - there were quite a few people in front of my friend and I, so I took a couple of minutes to take some pics of the gorgeous and fun interior.

I mean...they have have a room that has a giant moon in it. 

I'm in.

The interior reminds me of one of my favorite TV shows of all time, Green Acres.

Except in super technicolor.

Eva Gabor = my BFF.

The inside is like a barn meets a farm meets Overton Square.

I especially love the huge panel that looks like a farm!

They even have a tractor!

Lots of cool exposed pipes, along with a great local social media presence!

Even the booths and seating area are bringing this idea of farm fresh food in the city - "Citified Farm Fresh" - in!

And I love the Memphis flair - when you order, you get a street name for your table.


Now it's time to talk about the food. 

The glorious, delicious, amazing food.

I actually have a little confession to make.

I'm in love.

With the milkshakes at Belly Acres.

They're amazing. 

And huge.

And so obviously handmade from quality ice cream and ingredients, and so delicious, and just...go get one. 

Go now.

So while I was slurping my shake, my burger showed up.

I didn't think I could love this much.

Kyra and I got a basket of fries to share. The fries are amazing, and there are a TON of them in the basket. We definitely didn't finish them!

My burger was perfectly cooked, and huge, and so good!

Basically, what I'm saying here is you need to go eat at Belly Acres.

And you need to take me with you.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Memphis Style: The Paisley Rooster

Y'all know I love shopping locally, and that I love color, especially in the summer.

I've found the perfect place for both.

The Paisley Rooster has locations in Collierville and Arlington, plus you can shop online, so there's really no reason not to check it out!

And it's

Everything is super colorful, and the prices are great.

Plus, they do custom monogramming, on their own products and on things you bring in!

They have a huge selection - tops, bottoms, skirts, dresses - in a great variety of colors, and the Flying Tomato skirt on the left side of this picture? I paid WAY too much for that a few months ago from Piperlime. It was $42 at The Paisley Rooster!

Plus, I'm a sucker for a cool space.

They have Piko tops, which my young and stylish friends tell me are a thing.

They also have candles, bath bombs, and a ton of jewelry at The Paisley Rooster.

And all the jewelry is REALLY reasonably priced. I got this necklace for $8!

They have everything from leggings...

 To formal dresses!

And if you REALLY love monograms, they arrange all their monogram jewelry by letter. Which is GENIUS.

I'm gonna need this "All I need is coffee and mascara" tank.

 Even the less fun part - they paying! - is colorful!

And, for the old-school Ole Miss fan? You're covered too! 

(I personally disagree with that mascot, but if that's your thing, that's for you and your conscience to deal with at this point, since it's officially the Black Bear. And, well, go Hogs.)

They also have gift cards, and a pretty reasonable return policy.

 And, maybe best of all for you non-Memphis folks, you can order online! 

I love small boutiques like this - enough variety that there's a ton to look at, but not so much of each thing that everyone else is going to be wearing the same thing. Plus I love supporting local businesses!

They've been in Memphis about a year, so check them out on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, then get down to their stores and enjoy!