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I live in Memphis, home of the blues and the birthplace of rock-n-roll. Because of my involvement in music (see further below), I love cooking as a means of relaxing and my boyfriend loves to eat so it works out well!
I like to cook middle-eastern (Persian/Iranian) food as well as Mediterranean but living in the mid-south (and having lived in Texas for over a decade), I do like to occasionally try updated twists on old southern (comfort) favorites. I'm always looking for ways to cut down on the fat/calories and to speed up the process when cooking.
I'm extremely busy and involved in a myriad of activities outside of home/work. By day, I'm a Medicaid account rep at a regional hospital and I'm on the board of directors for Girls Incorporated Memphis. By night (hee hee), I'm involved in the music business in Memphis: I'm on the executive board of several music organizations: the Mid-South Band Association; the James Austin Musicians Assistance Program; the Memphis & Shelby County Music Commissions Musicians Advisory Council; and a member of the Memphis Blues Society; the Memphis Acoustic Music Association; and a venue coordinator and volunteer for the Blues Foundation. I'm also involved in a readers discussion group, TCASK organization and have a regular email newsletter with over 1700 subscribers. I started out in the blues but spend most of my time involved with original rock bands (yes, I like hard rock, too!). I am also a fan of classical, jazz and acoustic music, be it americana, celtic, folk or bluegrass. I just love it all! And oddly, my hearing is intact!
When I'm not involved in any of those activities, I love to cook, read, needlepoint, make greeting cards (rubber stamping/paper arts), hike and just hang out with my wonderful boyfriend. Did I mention that he loves to eat?
To cook: Chicken Ratatouille; Persian stews served over basmati rice (i.e. Celery-Lime stew); Tuscan Grilled Chicken; Greek pasta and meat with tzatziki sauce; Pork Chops Dijon; Dolmahs (stuffed peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, grape leaves); Simmered steak and peppers; Ropa Viejo; Spaghetti with meat sauce; Lasagna (both traditional and vegetarian); Chicken and Dumplings; smoothies; fun deserts.
Restaurants in Memphis and Dallas:
Dish, a Mediterranean tapas bar; the Silver Samovar (Russian); Sawaadii (Thai); Paulette's (French); Yia Yia's (Greek); Dino's (homestyle Italian; a neighborhood place); Any of Karen Blockman Carrier's restaurants: Automatic Slims Tonga Club, The Beauty Shop, Do.
Dallas: I loved the Dream Cafe, the Cosmic Cup, Star Canyon, Sfuzzi's, Sipango, Zuma's and Mama's Daughters' Diner.
Bar-b-que: Can't live in Memphis without liking the dish! Gridley's, Leonard's or the Bar-b-Que Shop. Corky's is also good and it's rapidly becoming a chain restaurant. Blues City Cafe for ribs or the legendary Rendezvous.
Dallas Bar-b-que: Sonny Bryan's. Hands down.
Steak: Nashville's Stock-Yard is the ultimate! In Memphis, I like Buckley's for the price and the atmosphere or The Pier. In
Dallas: Chamberlain's; The Palm Restaurant; Del Frisco.
Dallas: Keller's. They also have the coldest beer in the DFW area. And they still have car hop service at one location.
Chain Restaurants: Olive Garden; Bahama Breeze; Macaroni Grill; Swanky's Taco Lounge; P. F. Chang's
That should just about cover it!