Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ode to Sweet Tea...

Hi. My name is Nichole. And I am addicted to Sweet Tea...

All: Hi Nichole!

Ok, as I have mentioned before, I was raised in Ohio. Mom did not really give us lots of sugary beverages, and if we had soda, she kept it clear or fruity...like Sprite or Hawaiian Punch (unless we were with Dad and we got a "suicide" where you mix every flavor from the fountain and kill yourself drinking 12 flavors all at once!) Well, my point is, growing up, tea was hot, in a cup and served with a little bit of sugar, honey and maybe lemon. Now, when I came to Alabama for college almost 19 years ago...

I. Was. Not. Ready.

Well, in every sense of the word...the adjustment was not easy, but as for my beverage selection, I was introduced to such flavors as: Grapico, Sun Drop, Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale and alas....Sweet Tea. Be still my aching heart...

*cue whimsical romantical music*

It was love at first sip AND served with every meal in the Cafeteria. I've heard it called "The Table Wine of the South" and God bless whomever decided to lose half their sugar supply in a gallon of iced tea! AND there are many places that dare you to try their version of it...ranging from Mint Julep, Green Tea, White Tea and even Half-Lemonade/Half-Sweet Tea, better known as an Arnold Palmer or an Uptown. There is even a Sweet Tea Vodka!!! It's not half bad, actually...I have a friend who loved it and drank it up pretty swiftly! (I had to remind him that it was still Vodka! LOL! There were no incidents or injuries! HA!) As a precaution...yes, it's bad for you if you have any care for your sugar intake, no, you should not partake in such a sugary treat daily, however, having your daily dose of sweet tea is a haaaard habit to break! I cannot even go into details about the evils that McDonalds has bestowed upon us...LARGE SWEET TEA for a DOLLAR?

*moment of silence*

Well, I am trying to recover from being a Sweet Tea addict and it will be increasingly difficult as the summer heat and temperatures here in Alabama are barreling towards us. As a rule, I try not to keep excess sugar around as it always seems to mate with a pitcher of water and tea bags. I try my hardest to drive as fast as I can past McDonalds...and I hold my breath between 2-4pm when Sonic has half price drinks on sale. Yes, I have it pretty bad *sigh*

Pray for me...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Madison's newest gem!!!

It's interesting how you journey here and there
and the one thing you are looking for is right
under your nose!

The Budding Chef Bistro (click here for map)
4155 Sullivan Street
Madison, AL 35758
256 - 325 - 2766

After a nice afternoon walk, a friend and I were ready to grab lunch. We both live in the Madison, Alabama area and we thought of a couple of places close to our respective homes. I remember seeing that the cooking school in Madison now served lunch during the week and that was all she wrote! New adventure! YAY!

I knew that the Budding Chef was in fact a cooking school that hosted classes for people of all ages, even for parties and team building...but what I didn't know is that this would be one of THE BEST culinary experiences I have ever had! As Chef Merle and Chef Diane said...it IS all about your dining experience as a whole! Well, they truly delivered! I only ask that you save me a seat once the word gets out...luckily for me, I literally live around the corner, so I can walk to the restaurant! :)

On this exciting adventure to The Budding Chef Bistro, we ordered The Herb Crusted Salmon Salad (which is definitely a meal in itself...it comes in a huge colander *gasp*)with a delicious Balsamic Vinaigrette and bread de jour, The Southwest Chicken Panini with tuscan chips and dip. The chipotle mayo on the panini was to die for! Strawberry lemonade and a shared slice of homemade Strawberry Cake! (Pictures Below!)

The food was delicious, the service was top notch and the atmosphere was relaxing and warm! I would highly suggest this wonderful place to everyone who will listen! I cannot wait to head back...the soup list is incredible and I hear the Cream Cheese Pound Cake is good enough to fight over...we'll just have to see about that! :)