Category Archives: Photos

Atlanta

The day had to come when I got back on the plane to go home. Atlanta was an amazing, but way too short, of a trip. It was great to see my best friend, talk and laugh about almost nothing all the time, eat good food, be around good people, nap during the day, hang in the park with Sid, and just getting out and having a great time. Writing about my trip is seeming to be a bit difficult because it was such a lovely 5 days that I can’t even put them in to words. I will go day by day because that is the easiest way for me to separate the days and the food and the adventures.

Wednesday
Wednesday I got to Atlanta around 2pm and tracked down Angel at the baggage claim. It was SO good to see her. I haven’t seen her since last December, and going that long without seeing you best friend can do crazy things to a girl, I’ll tell ya. Angel drove me around a lot of Atlanta to get a good feel of it, she showed me where she worked, and then we went back to her place to get ready for our luxurious adult meal.

We arrived at the Woodfire Grill at 8pm and as we were being seated I instantly spotted Kevin Gillespie behind the grill. I am such a fan girl! When Angel made the reservation she had mentioned both of our dietary restrictions. I am gluten free and she, after being a vegetarian for almost 6 years now, has started to eat poultry. So no gluten for me and no red meat for her. They were so accommodative, it was such a pleasurable experience. We went forth with the 5 course meal, and I could not have made a better decision. The lighting in the the Woodfire Grill was quite dark, and I got way ahead of myself and my stomach and didn’t manage to take all of the pictures I wanted to, but this is as good as it is going to get.

Amuse.
(No picture because it was way too blurry)
Compressed celery root. Lemon marinated raisins. Pecan aioli. Micro celery.

First course.
(No picture because it was way too blurry)
Olive oil poached Florida Rock Shrimp. First of the season snap beans. Roasted golden beets. Lemon emulsion. Spring onions. Sweet pea tendrils.

Second course.

Pan roasted diver Scallop. Crispy red potatoes. Local arugula. Spicy tomate frito.

Taste.
(No picture because it was way too blurry)
Chilled potato soup. Crispy country ham. Chives.

Third course.

First of the season English pea and carnaroli risotto.

Fourth course.

Wood grilled grass-fed Colorado bison. Roasted red potatoes. Turnips. Sunchokes. Maple sweet potato puree. Smoky greens. Sage butter.

Dessert.
(No picture because I got too excited and ate it before I could take a picture)
Vanilla bavarian. Strawberry water. Strawberry rose sorbet. Pistachio brittle.

I can not tell you how good this meal was. I’ve been dreaming of it since the night we had it. My favorite part of the meal was the Main course, the Bison. I have never had Bison before and it was just so soft and the sweet potato puree accompanied it so well. After our meal, I had to ask to get a picture with Kevin. He was such a sweet heart about taking a picture with us and even chatted with us a bit before finishing up his night.

Thursday
Thursday was gorgeous outside. It was sunny and around the high 70’s. We decided to go eat at The Flying Biscuit before heading to the park with Sid, Angels dog. I got the Eggstra-Ordinary Breakfast which was two eggs my way (scrambled, please!), with creamy grits, “moon-dusted” potatoes, and a biscuit. This was my very first biscuit and I was not that satisfied with it. It was just too dry for my likings. Angel got the Turkey Hash that came with potatoes and two eggs topped with cheddar cheese. Sadly, this did not sit well with my luv and she got some mild food poisoning from it. Dang you Flying Biscuit!

Despite her tummy we headed over to Piedmont Park with Sid. We took some cards, some hard cider, and a bag of candy with us. The park was gorgeous and it was nice to be able to enjoy the sun since there hasn’t been any of it in Connecticut yet!

After a quick nap to rest up our stomaches, we headed to 97 Astoria for Fried Pickles and couple of Yuenglings. After that we headed out to a bar to meet up with some of her friends, which I forget the name of, but the night life there was great! It was super young and the bars all stayed open until 3am which is a huge change from them closing at 1am here.

Friday
Friday morning neither of us were too hungry considering the day and night that we had. We decided to head to The Dekalb Farmers Market to grab some Gin-Gins to soothe the stomach, Almonds, Bananas, and Apples for our hike up Stone Mountain. Stone Mountain was a nice 30 minute hike up to the top up, literally, stone! It was gorgeous at the peak of the mountain where you could see all of Atlanta.


After our hike we headed to Alon’s Bakery to grab some food, and desserts, to go. I got the Tuna Nicoise Salad and Angel got a Chicken Ceasar Salad.

My Tuna Nicoise Salad was a bed of mixed field greens with haricots verts, poached farmhouse eggs, house-made saffron poached potatoes, caperberries, tuna and nicoise olives dressed in an aged Sherry vinaigrette. I have not had such an amazing salad in a long time. I’m used to plain salads with no substance and this filled me right up after our hike. We also got some sweet treats, of course! Angel got a fruit tart and a key lime pie, and I got pistachio macaroons and a raspberry chocolate mousse cake.

After our lunch we relaxed a bit before heading to Yeah! Burger to pick up some take out. Not only do I love their identity design but all of the people who were working there were great and the food was amazing. The had gluten free buns and fries too! Two burgers and two shakes to go and we were on our way to the Starlight Six Drive-In. We saw Rango, and I was actually really surprised at how good the movie was! I love animation for it’s art, and Rango delivered on that plus the wit, the charm, and the humor. It was also nice to be able to sit in a car, eat food, laugh, and just enjoy some relaxing with your best friend with the windows down in some good weather.

Saturday
Saturday morning we headed to brunch for some mimosas, grits, biscuits, and a cute atmosphere. We found that at Treehouse . Half of the building, if the weather had been good, was outside. Since it was sprinkling that day it was covered, but the restaurant was built around trees which was awesome for the decor. I got Salmon Benedict, which is one of my favorite brunch orders. Angel got a plethora of different small bites including the best biscuits I had while I was in Atlanta. They were soft and warm and with some honey on top they were exactly what I wanted, and everything that I knew a biscuit could be.

After brunch we headed to the Georgia Aquarium. I love aquariums no matter how big or small, but the Georgia Aquarium was something else. What I was most amazed by was their 6.3 million gallon tank! I could have sat there and watched that tank for days.

Other exhibits that I always enjoy at aquariums are the seahorses, and the jelly fish. Their colors are both gorgeous.

When we were leaving the aquarium it started to downpour. Apparently the storms in Atlanta have been at their worst in a long time lately. We decided to head out to a vegetarian restaurant called Green Sprout for my first taste of bubble tea! While we were there we realized we were pretty hungry and also grabbed an order of the Fish Fillets.

I got a mango bubble tea and Angel got the coconut. While I was so turned off by the texture of the tapioca balls at first, I have to say that I really enjoyed the bubble tea! Now I get what this craze is all about. Hopefully, I can find a great place in Connecticut that serves it as well. Since it was started pouring even more when we left Green Sprout, and I had stepped in a puddle so big at Publix with my flats that they were completely soaked, we decided to stay in for the night. We grabbed some drinks, some treats, and worked on a puzzle and watched Fantastic Mr.Fox for the rest of the night.

Sunday
My last day in Atlanta was a sad, sad day. We started out by heading to West Egg. West Egg was another restaurant with an amazing identity. The way they stored their coffee and tea supplies in a library book case, the greys and burnt orange painted walls, the glass jugs of water on the tables, the menu design, it all just fit and worked so well together. West Egg was by far my favorite restaurant to be in because it just felt comfortable and homey. I got the Peachtree Plate. This had two poached eggs, pimento cheese grits, brown sugar bacon, fried green tomatoes, and a biscuit. The fried green tomatoes were coated in corn meal and were perfection. I only got two slices but I could have eaten a full plate. Angel got the Ham and Brie sandwich that had a tomato jam and was served on a french bread.

After brunch we headed to Liberty Tattoo to get our matching tattoos that we had been planning on getting for a while now. Angel and I have been friends since high school and meeting her has sincerely changed my life. She is my rock, she is always there for me, and I am always here for her. We decided, after a few different ideas, to get a little bow knot on each our wrists.

I could not be any happier with the way these turned out! They’re so simple yet signify so much to both of us and I am so glad that we decided to get them done while I was visiting. After getting our tattoos, we decided that we needed to look at some vintage shops. The one that I really loved was Kudzu. It was set up so nicely, divided by sellers, and each little set was designed by them. It was mostly housewares and little trinkets. I wish I could have bought some things! The big yellow lamps, which I have been looking for the perfect one for my new place, were taunting me! There were so many, and yet I could not have them.

After Kudzu, both Angel and I had a kick for something sweet. We tried to go to Chic-Fil-A to get a Banana Pudding milkshake but quickly realized that they were closed on Sundays! BOO! Next time I will have my shake. Instead of shakes, we headed to Yofuria, which is a self serve frozen yogurt bar. My favorite!

I like a lot of fresh fruit, shredded coconut, and gummy bears on my frozen yogurt. Yoforia definitely hit the spot for my sweet tooth! After Yoforia we relaxed a bit and decided that our last dinner had to be spent at The Vortex in Little 5 points.

Yet another restuarant that I fully enjoyed the feel of. From the witty menu write ups to the decor, The Vortex was the perfect last meal for Angel and I. I finally got to try Atlanta’s brew, Sweetwater, and stuff my face with more burgers and fries. I got the Black and Spicy burger with sweet potato fries and Angel got a classic Cheeseburger. After a long day of eating and tattoos and vintage shopping, we turned in early so that we could wake up early so that I could catch my flight in the morning.

 

All in all my trip was amazing and I am so glad that I finally took the chance and traveled alone. I had such a great time with Angel, and such a fun time enjoying a city that I have never been to. Not only was the weather great, and the people great, but the food was great as well. We all know that the food is a huge part to me. While most of the food that I ate was not gluten free, it was well worth it. I can not wait to go back and visit Atlanta again and be able to see my best friend more often.

What is the best city that you have been to? And what was their “famous dish” that you just had to have?

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Lola Thomasina

 

There’s only one word to explain Lola Thomaina’s photography. Whimsical.

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Burns and Birthdays

This Friday a group of friends and I got together to celebrate Robert Burns, the Scottish poet. My good friend, Lauren, first celebrated the poet while she was visiting Scotland and this celebration was all her creation. When celebrating Burns, you eat haggis. Haggis is traditionally sheeps heart, liver, and lungs minced and cooked with onions, oatmeal, and spices and then cooked in the sheeps stomach.


(Haggis in the making! Photo courtesy: Lauren)

The haggis was complete with mashed potatoes and mashed turnips. The haggis was, interesting. I will say that every person in the room gave it a chance . Mixed with the potatoes, it wasn’t too shabby! I was pretty nervous at first but next time a Burns celebration rolls around I will gladly accept! We sat around and ate haggis, listened to Scottish Folk records, and drank whiskey (another Scottish tradition, and a very good one at that).


(The uncooked haggis. Photo courtesy: Lauren)

Today was my dad’s 53rd birthday today (Happy Birthday Dad!) so it was a full house, just the way I like it.


(Rachel, my sister, made this amazing GLUTEN FREE peanut butter and chocolate cake. It was amazing! Everyone enjoyed it so much that we started picking at the frosting before we served the cake. Go check out her Flickr to see what other delicious sweets she bakes!)

Having a full house means having a full kitchen. Everyone in my family is very very particular about what they do in the kitchen. My mom and sister are more on the baking side, and my dad and I are more the cooks. So while my sister and my mom are baking, my dad and I are more or less just staring and trying to figure out what is going on, and why there are so many dishes in the sink. The baking in attempt today, macaroon round number 2!

We were very nervous about the macaroons, but this time we followed Martha’s recipe to a T. We popped them in the oven for 5 minutes, rotated them, put them in for another 5 minutes and…

SUCCESS! These little babies were so perfect,airy, and delicious. This time around they were gluten free as well which made me the happiest camper in the room. All these tasty treats surrounding me and I could devour them all! Whoopie!

Weekends like this really make me appreciate the friends and family that I have. I love them all so much and I love that they all love food and celebrating as much as I do.

To leave off on a readers note, have you ever celebrated Robert Burns? And if not, would you consider celebrating and making haggis?

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FFFFOUND FRIDAY 1.28.11

Can you tell what I’m really digging this week? (Yes, I said digging) Neutrals, food, menswear, cooking tools, and bikes.

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Thank you, Tumblr.

It’s back to Tumblr I go! I’ve had a Tumblr for about a year now. I started it to save all the images on line that I couldn’t save on my computer. Since starting my new job eight months ago, I just stopped using it. Why?! Tumblr is one of the best things out there to save all of those lovely photos and share them with others. Why would I give up such a lovely gift from the internet? Thank you for tumblr, sweet sweet Internet. I will slowly be moving all of my saved filed in my “Inspiration” folder over to my new tumblr. Prepared to be bombed with photos of pugs, sweet treats, color palattes, interior design, and pretty girls.

Follow my Tumblr here!

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Thanksgiving and all of it’s glory

Not only do I want to show off my Thanksgiving stuffing recipe but some pictures that were taking during the Thanksgiving festivities.


First let’s capture the audience with a shot of a baby. My cousins Jami gave birth to Eliana Rose just three weeks ago! Her party dress won everyone over.


My adorable puppy (dog, really) Cosmo. He ate whatever ingredients I dropped, gluten free and all.


Most people that I know, know me as a crazy cat lady. And this is the reason why. Hi Murphy, thanks for helping me make the macaroons.


Can’t forget the cutest parents ever. This is where I came from and this explains why I am the way I am. Hahaa love them.


Every year we have to take our Holiday photo that my mom attaches to the cards to show how much everyone has grown up and all that jazz. A few pictures, just a few, end up looking nice and like we are all normal and whatnot.


But most of them end up like this.


Or this.


And who can leave out a group shot. A group shot where EVERYONE looks good! It’s very rare. And it only took 3 shots. Cosmo even got in on the party.

Now, to the food!


My plate was piled high with turkey, my gluten free stuffing, roasted brussels sprouts, roasted yams and carrots, sweet potato mash, and cranberries.

Gluten free Stuffing

1 loaf of gluten free bread, cut in to cubes (I used Udis)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of thyme
1 tablespoon of rosemary
1 large onion
4-5 stalks of celery, chopped
4 apples, cut in to cubes
1 cup of dried cranberries
Chicken stock

First you want to make the bread cubes for the stuffing. Cut the loaf of bread in to cubed and place on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and covered with EVOO. Throw the salt, pepper, garlic, and your spices on the top of the bread cubes.  Place them in a 400°F oven. Every 5-10 minutes take out and mix up the batch. When the bread cubes start looking toasted and taste crunchy, pull the mixture out of the oven. Put aside until it is time to make your stuffing.

Chop up your onion, celery, apple, and cranberries. Saute the onion and celery with more EVOO and salt and pepper until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Then throw in the apples and cranberries for another 5 minutes.

Mix your bread cubes in a large bowl with the onion, celery, apple, and cranberries. Slowly add in chicken stock until it is moist enough. I used about 1 1/2 cups. But it depends on your liking. Place the mixture in a 13″x9″ baking dish. You can refrigerator the stuffing until 30 minutes before dinner is served. Place in the oven with turkey, or what ever else is in the oven at the time, at whatever temperature. The nice thing about this is you don’t have to fuss with the temperature or timing of the stuffing, it just needs to be hot!

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