Event Alert: Vinyl Brunch at the Tim Faulkner Gallery, 4.19.15

The stage at the Tim Faulkner Gallery in Portland.
The stage at the Tim Faulkner Gallery in Portland.

I’ve been spending a lot of time at the Tim Faulkner Gallery, a cool art gallery and event space in Portland.

The lovely folks at the McQuixote Books & Coffee inside the gallery hosted my first Louisville Diners book signing. Then I was back this week for PechaKucha Night. And it looks like I need to make it back to the gallery for their monthly Vinyl Brunch series.

The concept is borderline genius. For just $5, you get to eat breakfast and lunch items that Trevor of McQuixote Books & Coffee cooks. Plus, the gallery will play the vinyl records that brunch attendees bring. Bacon, eggs and a little Carpenters on deck? Yes, please.


Vinyl Brunch

When: Sunday, April 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: Tim Faulkner Gallery, 1512 Portland Ave., Louisville

Cost: $5

Event Alert: Today’s PechaKucha Night presentations focus on food

pechakucha

I get to participate in a great event tonight, and I’m still struggling with the proper pronunciation. 

PechaKucha Night will take place from 8-10 p.m. today, April 14, at the Tim Faulkner Gallery in Portland. PechaKucha Nights, which take place in more than 700 cities in the world, are “informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts, holiday snaps — just about anything, really — in the PechaKucha 20×20 format,” according to the PechaKucha website. That format is a presentation of 20 images for 20 seconds each.

Tonight’s theme is “Food for Thought.” The line up is impressive, and I’m not just saying that because I’m one of the presenters. Scheduled speakers include Karter Louis of Hillbilly Tea, Edgardo Mansilla of the Americana Community Center, and Erika Chavez-Graziano of Cellar Door Chocolates.

I’m excited to participate in this event. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll be talking about one of the reasons while diners are important to the Louisville community (hint: there are sporks involved). I expect a lot of thought-provoking discussion about food this evening, which is right up my alley. Now, excuse me while I practice my pronunciation.


PechaKucha Night

When: TONIGHT, April 14, 8 p.m. (doors open at 7)

Where: Tim Faulkner Gallery, 1512 Portland Ave., Louisville

Cost: $5 suggested donation

For more information: PechaKucha Louisville’s website

Celebrate Clifton’s Pizza’s 25th birthday with discounts on pies

Pizza is the perfect food. Think about it. You have some carbs, a tomato sauce, dairy and a medley of meat and vegetables to top it all off. The food pyramid should have been a pizza, I tell ya.

A sample of Clifton's Pizza's product.
A sample of Clifton’s Pizza’s product.

If you appreciate pizza as much as I do, make a stop at Clifton’s Pizza this weekend. The restaurant, which is located at 2230 Frankfort Avenue, is celebrating 25 years in business from March 20-22. Owner Mark Langley tells me that festivities will include giveaways and discounts, like 25 percent off large pizzas. That means you could get a large, one-topping pizza for $13.31, which is $3.33/person for a party of four. Pretty good deal, if you ask me. Very $10 Challenge friendly.


Clifton’s Pizza’s 25th Anniversary Weekend

When: March 20-22, 2015

Where: 2230 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville

For more information: Clifton’s Pizza’s menu

Desserts First event belongs in my life’s highlight reel

Delicious treats from Bluegrass Brewing Company at Desserts First, a fundraiser for Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana.
Delicious triple cookie peanut butter square from Bluegrass Brewing Company at Desserts First, a fundraiser for Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana.

Last week was a whirlwind of wonderful. Between hosting two events (the University of Louisville’s Fryberger Greek Sing and The Moth StorySLAM), I was a judge at Desserts First, a fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana that took place at the Mellwood Arts Center last week. I’m pretty sure my participation as a judge ranks in the top five best experiences of my life.

A view of the judges' table. I was super official with a score sheet and everything.
A view of the judges’ table. I was super official with a score sheet and everything.

More than 20 restaurants, caterers, bakeries and coffee shops made appetizers, desserts and drinks with at least one type of Girl Scout cookie as the main ingredient. The creativity levels were up to 11 when it came to incorporating Girl Scout cookies. There was a Trefoil-crusted lamb shank, Samoa cookie butter ice cream and a Savannah Smile poundcake, just to name a few that I still dream about. I was super impressed with Bristol Bar & Grille’s Tagalong chicken mole on top of a Trefoil-cornbread waffle. *insert wide-eyed emoji*

Chicken and waffles with two types of Girl Scout cookies from Bristol. Crazy idea, fantastic execution.
Chicken and waffles with two types of Girl Scout cookies from Bristol. Crazy idea, fantastic execution.

Flour de Lis Bakery took home the big prize for best dessert. The bakery killed it with a peanut butter chocolate stout pie. I did not get a picture because I ate my sample super fast. It was that tasty.

My buddy/fellow Girl Scout troop leader/fellow judge Christine and I had a great time judging. I hit my sugar high about an hour after this picture.
My buddy/fellow Girl Scout troop leader/fellow judge Christine and I had a great time judging. I hit my sugar high about an hour after this picture.

Being a judge was an honor, not just because I’m a Girl Scout volunteer, but because there are very few opportunities in life in which an organization sanctions you to judge others. It was like Cupcake Wars, except I didn’t have to endure catastrophes like the grits cupcake with a collard green filling (don’t even get me started on that episode). So thank you, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, for a valid reason to eat too many sweets and be judgmental.

Event Alert: Moth GrandSLAM, Friday, Feb. 27 (PS, I’m co-hosting)

That one time I hosted The Moth StorySlam at Headliners.
That one time I hosted The Moth StorySlam at Headliners.

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.

Where you can usually find me during a StorySlam.
Where you can usually find me during a StorySlam.

 

For those new to The Moth, a StorySlam is a show in which regular folks from the audience are picked at random (they volunteer to have their name in the bag, so you can exhale) to tell a five-minute story based on a theme in front of an audience. The stories can be funny, scary, weird, heartbreaking or all of the above. More than anything, however, is that the night’s stories are always unpredictable.

This week’s GrandSlam gathers up the winners of the past year’s monthly StorySlams for a battle royale. And by battle royale, I mean they tell new stories about a new theme, which is “Once in a Blue Moon.” But still, INTENSE.

If I’m not enough to bring you out to the Kentucky Center, the delightful Erin Keane (formerly the arts and culture reporter with WFPL, currently a writer for Salon.com) will co-host with me. I predict good times with a healthy dose of feminist humor.

Tickets are on sale now, and you better hurry – the past two GrandSlams have sold out.

Is that enough horn tooting?


The Moth GrandSLAM

  • 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27 (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
  • Kentucky Center for the Arts, 501 W. Main St., Louisville
  • Tickets: $23; click here to buy tickets
  • For more information on The Moth and StorySlams: themoth.org or Headliners Music Hall

Join me at the Girl Scouts fundraiser Desserts First, Feb. 25

Brownies from Girl Scout troop 628 work on their painting badge. Their self-portrait game is on point.
Brownies from Girl Scout Troop 628 work on their painting badge. Their self-portrait game is on point.

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.

An entry in last year's Desserts First competition.
An entry in last year’s Desserts First competition.

Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana’s ninth-annual Desserts First event is a culinary competition to raise money for the non-profit organization. The event will feature local chefs, bakers and bartenders slinging out dishes that include Girl Scout cookies as a key ingredient. Think the TV show Chopped, but with a Girl Scouts theme. Desserts First takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center. This year’s theme is “The Technology of Cooking,” so I’m expecting to see (and taste) some neat uses of tech in the kitchen.

Tickets for the event are $55 apiece. HOWEVA, there’s currently a special going on now through Feb. 24 where you can buy two tickets for the price of one. That’s BOGO, people. A small price to pay for the empowerment of young girls.

Samoas have never looked so good.
Samoas have never looked so good.

Still not convinced? Check out the lineup of this year’s Desserts First restaurant competitors:

Adrienne & Co., Bake My Day, Bill’s Famous Spreads, Bluegrass Brewing Company, Bristol Bar & Grille, Cake Flour, Cellar Door Chocolates, Comfy Cow, Crescent Hill Craft House, Desserts by Debbie, Feast BBQ, Flour de Lis Bakery, Galt House Hotel, Gary’s on Spring, Highlands Tap Room, Hillbilly Tea, John Conti Coffee, Lady Fingers, Mango’s Mexican Grill, Melting Pot, Q&A Sweet Treats, Red Hot Roasters, Roux, Varanese, Vincenzo’s

And did I mention that there’s a killer group of judges that you might know from their blogs, Twitter and the rest of the interwebs? Me (yep, I’m calling myself killer because I’m leaning in), @CHRISTINEinLOU (a fellow Troop 628 co-leader), @BellaPortaro, @AllisonRMyers and @louisvillenoms are going to have a great time judging. Meet us there, won’t you?


Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana’s Desserts First fundraiser

  • 6-8 p.m., Feb. 25
  • Mellwood Arts Center, 1860 Mellwood Avenue, Louisville
  • Tickets: $55 (or BOGO if you buy now!); click here to buy tickets
  • For more information: Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana website or event page

Event: Dare to Care’s Bobby Ellis Thanksgiving Eve Vigil, Nov. 26

Take a moment tonight to think about the folks who do without on Thanksgiving and every other day of the year. (Courtesy Satya Murthy, Flickr Creative Commons)
Take a moment tonight to think about the folks who do without on Thanksgiving and every other day of the year. (Courtesy Satya Murthy, Flickr Creative Commons)

I’m thankful that I’ve never gone hungry.

Sure, I’ve chomped at the bit waiting for my next meal. I’ve even been hangry a time or three. Fortunately, there has always been food in my fridge and cabinets.

That’s not the case for many families in our community. In Jefferson County, 17.2% of people are food insecure, according to the non-profit Feeding America. That means that 127,320 people have at some point had inadequate or uncertain access to nutritious food.

Dare to Care, a food bank that serves the Kentuckiana region, has done a lot to address hunger in our community. Tonight, the organization will host a candlelight vigil to honor Bobby Ellis, the nine-year-old boy whose death from malnutrition on Thanksgiving Eve 1969 sparked the Dare to Care movement.

Before you dive headfirst into the Thanksgiving spread tomorrow, take some time to remember a little boy who went hungry in our own city and consider what you can do to stop hunger.


Bobby Ellis Thanksgiving Eve Vigil sponsored by Dare to Care Food Bank

Books, brews, barbecue and ham: a rundown of upcoming foodie events

This ham will be served up tonight at Corbett's. What Roscoe would give for a hunk of that. (via Facebook)
This ham will be served up tonight at Corbett’s. What Roscoe would give for a hunk of that. (via Facebook)

There’s a dog at my heels convinced that he needs a potty break, an empty suitcase that I need to fill in the next 24 hours and a boatload of news and information that I want to share.

You could say I’m in a bit of a tizzy.

This is going to be a down-and-dirty post. There’s so much happening in Louisville and in my own life that I have to do some USA Today-style bullets to give you a rundown of all the fabulous food events happening in town and a couple of updates from Ashlee Eats HQ.

So take a deep breath, and pray that my dog, Roscoe, can hold his composure until I finish this post.

  • I submitted the first chunk of my manuscript to my publisher, History Press, at the end of last week. Granted, it’s still pretty scrappy, and I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I was super excited to hit my first book milestone. I’l celebrate with a trip to Baltimore this Labor Day weekend with the Mister during which I will gorge myself on crab and Italian food.

 

  • OK, strike the gorge part of that last bullet. After getting some not-so-great results on a health screening, I’ve been cutting back on the cheeses and red meats, aka, everything that makes life worth living. Maybe it was diner research for the book that knocked my numbers a bit out of whack, but I’ve decided to eat healthier at home and (when possible) out and about. Check out my Pinterest board, Healthier Choices, to see what I’ve been cooking. I highly recommend the red curry lentils.

 

An un-glamorous shot of the curry lentils I whipped up.
An un-glamorous shot of the curry lentils I whipped up. They tasted better than they look.

 

Roscoe has fretted himself into a state of severe disappointment, so I’ll keep writing. Open up your calendar in a new tab, because I’m moving on to the food events.

  • Fellow Louisville food writer Steve Coomes has a book out with the same publisher with which I’m signed. To commemorate the release of Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke, six high-profile Kentucky chefs are gathering tonight, Aug. 28, at Corbett’s: An American Place for a dinner inspired by country ham. Cost of the dinner is $95 per person and it includes wine and cocktail pairings with each course and a signed copy of the book (call Corbett’s at 502.327.5058 for reservations and hurry, because space is limited). Can’t swing the price tag? Buy the book and get inspired in your own kitchen.

 

 

Yes, this is a little bit of publishing nepotism, but I gotta support my fellow writers in the struggle to sell and hustle. And, they’re good guys and writers.

OK, Roscoe is officially dejected. He’s looking out of the window and contemplating my downfall. I have time for one more event listing:

 

  • The Home of the Innocents will host their annual Big Ol’ Backyard BBQ next Saturday, Sept. 6. This year’s theme is Luau Style, so I can only imagine the amount of savory, delicious pork that will be served up for a good cause. Chefs who will cook at the fundraising event include Fernando Martinez of Mussel and Burger Bar and Dean Corbett of aforementioned Corbett’s and Equus and Jack’s Lounge. Tickets are $50 (adults), $30 (seniors) and $20 (students 11-18). You can buy tickets by at www.homeoftheinnocents.org/bbq or by calling 502.596.1025.

 

bbq-event-info

 

The dog has officially started yelping, so it’s time to take him out. And pack. And finish this book. But one thing at a time.

Get your stomachs ready for the Kentucky State Fair, Aug. 14-24, 2014

A corn dog from the 2013 state fair. I'm coming for you.
A corn dog from the 2013 state fair. I’m coming for you.

My love for the Kentucky State Fair is deep, and it is real. It is so real that my friends Samantha, Beth and I started planning our trip to the fairgrounds last month.

There is so much to see, do, and eat. The dogs herding ducks. Goats, pigs and cows giving mean side eye. A deep-fried Hot Brown? Why, I don’t mind if I do. All this activity requires proper planning.

The duck-herding dogs always steal the show.
The duck-herding dogs always steal the show.

The gates opened today, Aug. 14 at the Kentucky Exposition Center. The fair runs through Aug. 24. Visit the fair’s website for information on parking, admission and everything you need to know about making your fair visit fun.

I’m not going for another week. In the meantime, I will start hoarding Mylanta for all the deep-fried deliciousness.


The Kentucky State Fair

Aug. 14-24, 2014

Kentucky Exposition Center

937 Phillips Lane, Louisville, Kentucky

More info: kystatefair.org

Event Alert: Take your pup to Bark Brunch at The Cafe tomorrow, 8.2.14

This is a face that deserves brunch.
This is a face that deserves brunch.

Brunch is wonderful on its own. Add pets, and we’ve achieved next-level glee.

The Café, a restaurant at 712 Brent Street in Louisville, will team up with 102.3 The Max and The Flea Off Market for a Bark Brunch this Saturday, Aug. 2. It’s your chance to bring your dog to the lovely patio of The Café for a meal.

From the folks at The Café:

Bark Brunch is for people and dogs alike. Enjoy a delicious brunch before heading to The Flea Off Market with your pooch! There is no cost to attend, but reservations are encouraged. To make a reservation at The Café, call 502.589.9191.

The event, which is sponsored by Southern Indiana Animal Rescue, Duffy’s Dog Training Center and Bluegrass Kennels, sounds like a lot of fun. Even if you and your pooch can’t get in (sorry for the short notice, y’all), I recommend checking out The Café with a two-legged friend. Have you heard about their chicken salad?

Chicken salad sandwich at The Cafe.
Chicken salad sandwich at The Cafe.

Delicious.

Bark Brunch

The Café, 712 Brent Street, Louisville, Ky.

Saturday, Aug. 2 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Reservations: 502.589.9191