Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I Need Cookies Stat....

Do you ever get a craving that you just can’t let go of?  I had a craving for those mini gingerbread cookies that are served on airlines (i.e. Delta).  I’d had this craving for weeks. Since I wasn't going to be flying the friendly skies anytime soon, I turned on the computer and started the search.   

It turns out they are made in Belgium and distributed in the US by a company in San Francisco. There is even a retail store on Pier 39 that sells the little two packs of gingerbread goodness. Little did I know, Biscoff cookies come in all shapes and sizes and there is even a gingerbread spread that got rave reviews on their website.

I’m a long way away from San Francisco so this discovery was fabulous, but it didn’t help me with my craving.  Looking at pictures of the packaging actually made the situation worse.  My mouth started to water like pavlov’s dog.  I had to find a Biscoff cookie stat!

UPDATE: Well guess what my sweetie found; Biscoff cookies at the local Publix grocery store.  Hallelujah!  Life has returned to an even keel and I’m ready to face the trick-or-treaters!

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Pig Deal - Hogs, Bourboun and Music...

First Annual Roast a Fatty - Local Three Atlanta
Last Sunday we were invited to a good old fashioned pig roast at our favorite place ITP (inside the perimeter) - Local Three.  We spent the afternoon out on the patio at the first annual “Roast a Fatty” pig pickin’ party. Chefs Hall and Muss spent the morning slow roasting a home-grown hog from Gum Creek Farms south of Atlanta.  They used a roaster that I’ve never seen before, the La Caja China Roasting Box.  The aromas coming out of that box were delectable and the unveiling of the finished fatty was quite a spectacle.  Camera flashes, oohs and awes, and a crowd of hungry guests awaiting the first taste of the pork goodness.

First Annual Roast a Fatty - Local Three Atlanta

The Local Three staff whipped up some of the delicious sides they are known for and special guest Charles Nelson of Nelson's Greenbriar Distillery brought down a load of his smooth Bellemeade Bourbon; they use an old family recipe that was developed during prohibition in the '20s. It was so....good!  If you like Bourbon, you must try this one! Kevin (our favorite barkeep) kept the crowd happy with his crowd pleasing bourbon concoctions.

First Annual Roast a Fatty - Local Three Atlanta

We met some great folks, David and Claire who were seated at our table. David took the pictures in this post because I forgot my camera…again. Hope to see them again at another Local Three event.

And to top it all off, we got commemorative “Roast a Fatty” T-shirts ….love the back of the shirt…see the design below.  We’ll see y’all out on the patio again real soon…Cheers!

I Like Pig Butts

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

No Hot Dogs or Baked Beans!

Franks and Beans on the grill.
Franks and Beans over the fire...not!

It’s finally starting to feel like fall here in the south. Temperatures have dropped below 80 degrees and the leaves are starting to get some color. Fall weather means it’s time to plan our “Glamping” trip and suddenly all I can think about is dinner.  The highlight of any camping trip for me is the food.

Giant Family Tent? Check.  Lantern? Check.  Wool Socks? Check.  Air Mattress? Check.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil? Check.  Huh?

Yes, my husband and I are cheerfully called “foodie snobs” by our camping buddies because I refuse to eat hot dogs on a stick with a side of canned baked beans. There are always groans and protests when I ask for help carrying the heavy iron skillet and Dutch oven.  It’s not that our friends don’t love a good meal while enjoying the great outdoors; they just seem to lose all memory of how to cook when faced with a couple of iron pots, a campfire, and some aluminum foil.  I’ve never understood why cooking should be any different when you’re camping.

Live to Eat - Glamping Dinner
Example of Our Glamping Dinner

I’m a firm believer of the “Live to Eat” philosophy of life, and I don’t lose sight of it just because we’re camping.  There is something special about a meal prepared under the stars far away from the buzz of city life.  Everything seems to taste better outdoors and there is a natural ambiance; stars twinkle overhead, the flickering fire casts a romantic glow, and the cool fall breeze makes subtle background music as it passes through the trees. 

Glamping tablescape

Over the years we’ve learned that campfire cooking doesn’t need to be elaborate to achieve stunning results.  My favorite chef’s mantra applies to cooking over a campfire too:  good food, simply prepared, tastes good. So, while our camping buddies are debating where to go camping this fall, we’re already busy planning the menu.  And when dinner rolls around at our campsite, the groans about having to carry the ironware will be forgotten and they will no doubt appreciate having a “foodie snob” on the adventure.

Happy Glamping my Friends!

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Help pick the ornament design...

Sitting on the front porch with my Sweetie, enjoying a glass of wine after work, is one of my favorite ways to relax.  Looking at the large pile of wine corks that we’ve collected over the years, you would think we must be very relaxed by now…  Not with that pile of corks just begging to be turned into something cool!

Wine Bottle Corks

Inspiration for repurposing the corks came by looking at cork projects on pinterest and Etsy. There were many cute ideas, but I was most captivated by the Christmas ornaments. Donna Patton (not a relative for those who know my maiden name) has a great way to display the ornaments on her Etsy site: an ornament tree.  

Here is how I need your help: If you were picking out a tree decoration for yourself or for a gift, which design would you choose from the following designs…

Wine Bottle Corks
Garland - $25.00

Wine Bottle Corks
Simple Button Ornament - $8.00

Wine Bottle Corks
Holiday Ribbon Ornament - $10.00

Wine Bottle Corks
Fancy Ornament - $14.00

Thanks in advance for your help and input. Cheers!

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

1000 Gifts - Part Four

This is part four of my own journey to list my 1000 gifts; blessings to be thankful for every day.

It really does make a difference in my outlook when I realize how much splendor surrounds me on a daily basis.  There are so many things to be thankful for…all the little things that make me smile.

My mission is based on a book by Ann Voskamp titled One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. I plan to complete this journey by June 3o, 2013. Should you also feel inspired to remind yourself of all the things you have been blessed with (things that make you smile every day), please join me.

And so my 1000 Gifts journey continues...
One Thousand gifts I have been blessed with Part Four:
60.  Snuggling with my sweetie before the alarm clock sounds
61.  Biscoff cookies to take to work
62.  Finally a reduction in the swelling from my broken ankle
63.  A new keyboard that doesn't have the letters rubbed off
64.  Seeing the first Pumpkins at the grocery store
65.  Second in line upon arrival at the post office (very rare indeed)
66.  An email from a friend who moved to Mexico
67.  The mailbox full of Fall catalogs
68.  Seeing a little boys excitement when the volcano erupted at the Hibachi Grill
69.  Driving the scenic route home, not having to take the highway
70.  The smell of freshly baked bagels
71.  Being able to walk down the stairs normally; not step-hop, step-hop
72.  Knowing that it's date night, something to look forward to during my day
73.  Five o'clock on Friday...WooHoo!
74.  Zero aaggravation or stress at the dealership ( I love CarMax) 
75.  Knowing that my Husband will be safer on the highway in his new car
76.  Discovering a little independent BBQ restaurant with amazing pulled pork.
77.  Having Chef Hall (Local Three) make me a special short ribs plate "just because"
78.  The ease of finding the perfect outfit for work the day after laundry day
79.  Easing into Monday at the office before everyone else arrives
Too be continued….

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Friday, October 5, 2012

"Southerners" and "Floridians"...what's the Differnce?

I moved from Florida to Atlanta, Georgia in 1995.  Prior to the move I was not considered “southern” even though I lived in the southernmost state in the Continental United States. It has always puzzled me why Floridians are not considered “Southerners”.   For gosh sakes, the state was part of the Confederacy during the civil war, you can’t get much more southern than that.  And until recently (Jeb Bush reign), the Confederate flag flew right next to the American flag at the state capital building in Tallahassee. Florida seems to be thought of as “way down south of Dixie” instead of “way down south in Dixie”.

Thinking about what is different about living in central Georgia (Southerners) vs. central Florida (Floridians), I came up with a few differences but not enough difference to discount the whole state of Florida’s southern connection. Here are some of my observations….

Georgia Fall vs. Florida Fall

When I moved and became a Southerner I was amazed by the change of seasons.  Fall has become my favorite season! Florida just doesn’t have seasons, it’s hot and muggy, then rainy and muggy, and hot and muggy again. My friends in Florida don’t know what they’re missing.

Yes Ma'am, Yes Sir, No Ma'am, No Sir - and the use of them are not optional to Southerners. To Floridians it comes with respect for age.

Georgia Driver vs. Florida Driver

Southerners don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway; they just say, "Bless her heart" and go their own way. Floridians are not as forgiving and use the horn, screaming, and hand gestures more often. I’m not defending this approach, but there are a good deal more little old ladies on the road in Florida to contend with.

Southern "Dinner" vs. Floridia Cocktail Hour

Southerners understand “dinner" and "supper" are both meal times and know the appropriate time to use them. Floridians understand “early bird” and “cocktail hour” are also meal times and know the appropriate time to use them.

Georgia Front Porch vs. Florida Backyard

Southerners slow down and sit in rockers on the front porch, they wave as neighbors and strangers pass by. Floridians sit by the pool in the back yard away from all the traffic and gossiping neighbors.

Georgia Funeral Procession vs. Florida view of Funeral

Southerners will respectfully pull over for a funeral procession, but not discuss the death for fear of wandering souls. Floridians know that death is part of life and plan for it with very detailed directions. One of my friends in Florida makes a full-time living coordinating the funeral before it is needed.

Being Southern means many different things to many different folks. What does "Being Southern" mean to you?


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