February 26, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
I am the worst tooter of my own horn. It would be more noble to say it’s because I am modest. Really, it’s because I’m forgetful. I get so caught up in living that I forget to share the love with friends and family. My bad, guys.
Anyhoozers, here is an attempt to remedy that.
I’m co-hosting The Moth GrandSlam at 7 p.m. this Friday at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. I’m usually at the merch table at the Moth StorySlams at Headliners Music Hall, which usually take place on the last Tuesday of every month. I hosted one show in December, and the crowd was great, so I’m thrilled to have a chance to emcee the big event.
February 18, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
I’ve crept out of the warmth of my apartment for two reasons this week: to walk Roscoe and make a run to Kroger for more groceries.
Winter has reared its DESPICABLE head in Louisville. It’s cold. It’s snowy. It’s about to get worse as temperatures drop to -5 degrees tonight. Reporter Jacob Ryan did a story for WFPL News about being homeless in Louisville during this bout of winter weather. With the temperature dropping below 35 degrees, Wednesday night will be a White Flag night during which homeless shelters take in everyone who needs shelter. The shelters get overcrowded, and the food can run low. Here’s a blurb from Jacob’s article:
White Flag nights bring nearly 300 more people into shelters than other nights, said Natalie Harris, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless. There are about 650 emergency shelter beds in the city… Local shelters have already used up all the funding provided by the city this year for White Flag nights, Harris said. Now, they are “operating solely on donations.”
It’s easy to complain about being cooped up in the house for a little too long, or having to dig yourself out to get to work. Yet a bunch of our neighbors are scrambling for the necessities in packed shelters. Between a third round of Scrabble and another Netflix marathon, why don’t we take a second to give a little back to our Louisville neighbors? You can donate to the Coalition for the Homeless here.
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February 16, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
This is going to sound like poppycock, but I don’t care. I might not ever leave the East End of Louisville. The grocery stores on this end of town keep me in their orbit, and now my favorite is setting up shop.
Aldi will open at Westport Road on March 5, according to Business First of Louisville. For those who haven’t been blessed with an Aldi in their vicinity, this European discount grocery store chain is Trader Joe’s brother in price, operations and origin. I’m a huge fan, as I’ve written about on the blog here, here and here.
My fellow East Enders need to check out my blog post about navigating Aldi for the first time. Your grocery budget will thank you for visiting a grocery store with inexpensive cooking staples and so much more.
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February 13, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
- 502 Restaurant Week begins Feb. 18 and runs through March 4. This is your chance to enjoy a three-course meal from some of the city’s best restaurants at a prix fixe menu ($50.20 per couple or per person depending on the restaurant). I believe that’s French for “special-occasion food.” Here’s a list of participating restaurants. (Insider Louisville)
- This week’s latest beef: Iggy Azalea v. Papa John’s. In short, a Papa John’s driver got a little too excited to deliver a pizza to Iggy and shared her number. Then Iggs took to social media to complain, and now the driver has been reprimanded. Don’t mess with Australia, John. (The Hollywood Reporter)
- There’s a new Mellow Mushroom in the Highlands (1023 Bardstown Road), and the pizza chain has really done a great job of incorporating their business into the community (just check out that Col. Sanders art piece in the slideshow). Hmmm, maybe Walmart could learn a thing or three. (Business First of Louisville)
- The folks who brought us Eggs Over Frankfort will open Eggs Over Baxter this spring at Baxter Centre, 962 Baxter Ave. I featured Eggs Over Frankfort in my upcoming book (PLUG!), so I’m pretty excited about this addition. (Insider Louisville)
February 13, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
Volunteering with the Girl Scouts for the past year and a half has given me the chance to help girls grow into independent thinkers and leaders. To help empower these young ladies, I’ve had to put on my big-girl pants and take chances.
I camped for the first time in my life last year (it was in a lodge, BUT STILL). I learned how to build a fire so I could teach second graders about fire safety. And I’ve learned how to lead and cooperate with the eight wonderful women who co-lead our colossal troop of 45 girls. At some point between mediating a cheating allegation during a tense game of Marco Polo and holding my breath as I showed a timid girl how to light a match, I became a stronger woman along with my girls. So when the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana asked me to be a guest judge at their annual foodie fundraiser, a resounding “YAAAAAS” was the only suitable response.
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February 4, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
Food trucks brighten up the dreariest days of cubicle life. These mobile eateries are pretty easy to find in downtown Louisville — just look for the huddled masses. The trucks are often parked along Main, Market and Fifth streets to attract the cubicle crowd from the surrounding offices. My brethren and I welcome the options with open wallets.
Recently, I came upon a food truck called Chick Cow on my way to grab some lunch. I had my sights set on taking a little drive to get an Ollie’s Trolley burger, but this new-ish food truck caught my eye and stomach.
Since I was meeting someone for lunch, I bought the Kentucky Klucker, aka a chicken wrap, and the Uncle Henry’s Heehaw Burger, aka a cheeseburger, so me and my lunch companion could get halfsies of each. It was a wise decision, if I do say so myself. The chicken was grilled, juicy and tender, so it kind of felt like I was eating a healthy meal. I can’t say that about the angus burger that comes on a buttered bun — it tasted too good to be good for me, too. The burger and the wrap were $7.53 apiece, and they each came with an order of steak-cut fries.
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January 30, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
- February marks the Comfy Cow’s Fifth Annual Chocopalooza to benefit local chapters of non-profit organizations. The ice cream shop has created a lineup of new chocolate flavors, and 10 percent of sales of the chocolate crop will go to Make-A-Wish, Gilda’s Club, Boys & Girls Haven and the Fund For The Arts. I have my eye on the Chocolate “Brownie Points” and the Chocolate “Chip Off the Old Block.” The Chocolate Lavender? Not so much. Check out all the flavor’s on Comfy Cow’s website. (The Comfy Cow website)
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January 24, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
I knew it was time to write about Manny & Merle’s when I panicked over what I thought was the restaurant’s closing. Rob and I happened to be downtown on a Monday evening and we decided to stop by this modern honky-tonk on Main Street. Instead of tacos and country music, we were greeted with a locked door. Dark had settled over the long, narrow restaurant. The tall seats I had climbed onto during some good happy hours were clipped upside down on the table. Was my favorite downtown spot was closed? I took to Twitter for answers to ease what I hoped was just an overreaction. Fortunately, the fine folks behind the Manny & Merle Twitter account let me know they’re closed on Sundays and Mondays, so I just needed to chill the eff out (my words, not theirs). But in that moment of panic, I realized that I had grown to love Manny & Merle.
January 20, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
A dish of sweet potatoes was special-occasion food in my family.
They made regular annual appearances at Thanksgiving. My mother was a working, single mom, so Thanksgiving was an endeavor best tackled in stages. Mommy would buy a big bag of sweet potatoes a week before the holiday to get ahead of the crowd. A few days later, she or my Uncle Bobby would scrub the spuds, pile them precariously into the biggest pot we had, covered them with water, and let them boil for hours on the electric stovetop. The pot of potatoes bubbled away beneath the TV and the phone ringing and my family’s normal volume that was always set to “Yell.” As the house settled into the evening, the phone calls more distant and the talk a little quieter, Mommy or Uncle Bobby drained the sweet potatoes, peeled off the skin with a butter knife, sliced them length wise, and arranged them like shingles in a baking dish. That night, or the next day depending on how her full schedule was looking in those scant days before Thanksgiving, Mommy would cloak the naked potato slices in a layer of brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg dotted with pats of butter. The dish baked until it bubbled and the brown sugar formed a crust on the once exposed sweet potato slices. The smell alone was justification for 365 days of waiting.
January 8, 2015 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
When I was a student at Western Kentucky University, my friend Beth and I dubbed ourselves Pasta Partners. The name came from our affinity for the pasta station in the dining hall in Garrett Conference Center. The student newspaper office was located in this building, which meant I spent more time here than any location during my undergraduate education.
The dining room was in the basement of Garrett. The pasta station was located right between the door and the cash register at the end of a half-circle of meal stations. The Pasta Ladies were suited up in stained white chef’s jackets and hats to match, but their demeanor was more lunchroom lady than Top Chef.
Beth and I loved the pasta ladies who made each dish to order. They squirted oil into a skillet and plopped in a small spoonful of garlic to begin each order. The scooped the meat and veggies we wanted for our pasta from black plastic containers nestled in ice. Penne noodles went in next, followed by a ladle of marinara or alfredo sauce or one of each for the adventurous among us. Once the Ladies tossed everything together over their individual burners, they slid the pasta onto black plastic plates and sprinkled a handful of cheese on top of it all. A hearty helping of carbs got Beth and I through many long afternoons and evenings in the newspaper office.