Archive for August, 2008

I’ve got nuttin

Except it’s a three day weekend and there is tons o’ fun going on all over the place.  And while I’m totally showing my true geek colors, don’t forget the Decatur Book Festival this weekend (whether your plan or attending or not – if not, I suggest you avoid the area).

But really, the BEST thing about this weekend?  That’s right, COLLEGE FOOTBALL!  You are know I am a very vocal Dawgs fan.  Unfortunately, I will not be at the game this weekend and given where I will be on Saturday I most likely will not be able to watch the game either (only a few cable carriers are offering it on Pay Per View).  I will be listening on the radio, however, (which is nice b/c I much prefer the radio announcers to the douchebag network commentators), beer in hand, on the dock with some of my favoritest men folk.  Also, Uga VII will be revealed and I heard rumors he’s five month old puppy.   How freaking cute is that!

Georgia is playing a I-AA team tomorrow, so I expect us to kick ass but it might not be the most interesting game.  (Sorry, Chef, but you know GA Southern is simply not up to the challenge).  Regardless, I’m so excited to be back into football season; J has been talking about it for a month.  Regardless of which team you root for (or even if you don’t care about football at all, which is baffling to me, but whatever), I hope you enjoy your Labor Day weekend.  If you know of something particular fun to do, leave it in the comments.

GO DAWGS!

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Gloomy Monday

And it’s not even the weather.  Sorry to do this, but I feel compelled to give an update on the abandoned baby humpback whale, Collette. She was put to death.  Apparently, things did not go smoothlyAn adult whale body has been found; it may be Collete’s mother.  It appeared the adult whale died due to injuries from a shark attack; DNA testing is being performed to confirm whether it was the mother of the supposedly abandoned baby whale.  I find this news very very depressing.

But it’s not October. And we’re not in Germany.

But get your lederhosen out anyway for the German Bierfest tomorrow (Saturday, August 23) at Woodruff Park.  Lots o’ German beers (35, for those counting).  Free admission for DDs and the underaged.  “Free” glass with admission ($30 in advance, $35 at the gate).  No word yet on the weinersnichtzel front  but there is the promise of brats and other german  “delights.”  No idea what those might include.  Perhaps tall blond men?

In other multicultural festival news, the Festival Peachtree Latino is on Sunday, so you can easily get your weekend dose of cultural experience (provided you’re not hurting too much from the bierfest).  Only problem is it’s at Underground Atlanta – yuck.  But still promises all the spicy comida, musica y Latinas you can handle.  (Yes, we latinas are indeed a spicy bunch, ask my husband).  Ay yi yi!

Need a good cry today?

Abandoned baby humpback whale may be put to death.  The poor thing was abandoned and has been trying to suckle from yachts.  It’s only two weeks old; since it’s still in the breast feeding stages apparently they can’t figure out a way to feed it.  I really hope they figure out something soon; this story just about breaks my heart. (Yes, I do have one).

Last dining themed post, I promise

For today, at least.  Next week, August 23-30, is Midtown Atlanta Restaurant Week.  A whole host of midtown Atlanta restaurants are offering three course prix-fixe dinners for $25.  I think it’s a great opportunity to try some new places.  Reservations and a list of participating restaurants available on OpenTable.

In other dining news…

Ruth’s Chris has extended their summer celebration deal.  I don’t know when it expires so you may want to contact the restaurant beforehand to make sure it’s still going on.  J and I took advantage of this back in June, I believe (I treated him as a thank you for the awesome honeymoon/vacation).  I didn’t have very high expectations but was pleasantly surprised over how good it was (I’m normally suspicious of high end chains).  The deal is dinner for two for $89 (plus tax and tip, of course).  It’s a limited menu; each person gets a first course (three options), an entree (five options; the petite fillet was more than enough food for me), choice of two sides to share (they are big sides) and a dessert to share (the berries with cream was decadently delicious).  I ended up bringing home the rest of my steak and mashed potatoes which made an excellent breakfast the next morning.

All in all, not bad for $89.  Of course a bottle of wine will set you back a bit more (they also offer half bottles) but I ended up being pretty pleased with our dining experience.  (We dined at the Buckhead location).  Service was top notch as well.  This is a pretty ideal date night dinner.  If you’ve been looking for an excuse to try Ruth’s Chris here it is.

Insert lame pun about “Home” here ->

Ok, so remember Home?  (Ok, I admit, it totally drives me bonkers when embedded blog links are self referential.  How arrogant can you get?  Here’s the Home homepage.  Be forewarned, the Here to Serve intro is mucho annoying).  I finally got to check it out last night.  Love the space.  I wish my dining room could look like Home’s.  Also, service was pretty good.  I tend to get annoyed when waiters go into long spiels trying to educate me about stuff I already know (if I’m eating at Richard Blais’s restaurant and I’m from Atlanta, you can assume I know a. who Richard Blais is and that he was on top chef (hey, I remember him from the foi gras milkshake Blais days, tyvm), b. I know what foie gras and sous vide, etc.  mean and c. I am pretty familiar with Blais’s penchant for making odd things with liquid nitrogen), but he was trying so I guess I can give him some credit.  I really hate having people explain stuff to me I already know, but that’s a personal issue so I won’t take it out on the waiter.  (I did sit there patiently and politely during the non-info session, just so you know).

Anyway, I think J nailed it when he described the food in baseball terms – a solid double.  (No, not a “Home – hehehe” run).   The deviled duck eggs with duck confit was either a. the stringiest duck known to man or b. not duck at all.  It didn’t have much duck gamey flavor and the confit preparation usually makes for succulent meat – given the very stringy meat on top of the otherwise good deviled eggs I am suspicious.  My crab cake appetizer was good, not excellent, but definitely good.  J did enjoy his foie gras and buttermilk pancakes.  I had a bite, it indeed was a highlight.  Our entrees (salmon for me, fried chicken with cauliflower mac and cheese for him) were good, not outstanding.  Home serves spur of the moment family style sides.  The cauliflower puree was too salty.  The braised carrots were a little bland.  I did enjoy the picked salad, it was a surprise hit.  The green beans had a hint of spiciness I enjoyed.  Oh, and the biscuits and five pepper jelly were very good.

One other note – I uncharacteristically ordered a fruit cocktail from their cocktail menu – some sort of blackberry lemonade concoction.   It tasted like soapy Pinesol.  If anyone knows anything about me, it’s that I don’t waste alcohol.  But I actually had to send this back and go with a safe Grey Goose and tonic (with an olive).  Let me repeat, lest the impact not sink in – I sent back an alcoholic drink.  Unheard of.

J and I enjoyed ourselves.  I’m glad I finally got to try this place.  I encourage others to try it as well and come to their own conclusions.  I don’t think it will make our regular rotation, but I certainly wouldn’t turn down a dinner here.  I’m also not going to judge Blais based on this menu and I’m still eager to see what becomes of Flip.  So yeah, as J said, Home hit a solid double.  Agree, disagree?  Leave it in the comments.

Politicizement

Sorry to do this so close to the weekend, but it’s an important issue to me.  Below I copied and pasted a sample e-mail from moveon.org regarding proposed changes to the administrations definition of “abortion” to include birth control.  I didn’t write this but I did sign the petition.  If you feel similarly, I strongly urge you to sign as well.  Thanks, sorry for the PSA. aag

I had to share something with you. Can you imagine living in a place where birth control is considered an “abortion” and health insurers won’t cover it? Where even rape victims are denied emergency contraception?

It seems unbelievable, but the Bush Administration is quietly trying to redefine “abortion” to include birth control. The Houston Chronicle says this could wipe out dozens of state laws that protect women’s reproductive freedom and protect rape victims. And this proposed “rule change” doesn’t need congressional approval.

I just signed a message to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, whose department is considering this rule change, telling him: “Contraception is NOT abortion.” Can you add your voice to this cause? Click here to sign the message: http://pol.moveon.org/contraception/?r_by=-9978218-A_V2l2x&rc=paste

Thanks!

A little part of my childhood just died

Out in the California desert, near Palm Springs, there are these giant dinosaurs by the side of the freeway.  I’m not making this up.  When we would travel to see my grandparents, passing the dinosaurs was a big trip highlight.  It also served as a landmark since my tiny childhood brain couldn’t really compute mileage and whatnot.  Also, anyone who has seen The Wizard will recognize these (remember when Super Mario Bros. 3 was like, THE ULTIMATE in gaming awesomeness?  It still is in my book). 

I’m not sure what prompted this, but I started thinking about the dinosaurs today.  I did some internetting to find the backstory because I never knew who was behind them or why they were there.  Well, I should have let well enough alone.  According to this website, the dinosaurs at Cabazon are supposed to be  part of some sort of propaganda scheme against evolution.  It links to all these “scientific articles” about why the theory of evolution is false.  They’re Christain dinosaurs!  Who knew?  I mean, I always thought the dinosaurs were Zoroastorian myself.  But what do I know, I’m a lawyer, not a scientist.

Dinosaurs deep in prayer, asking God why he didn't put them on the ark

Dinosaurs deep in prayer, asking God why he didn't put them on the ark

DIY (sort of) Cookbook

This is the second post on this topic, the first was inadvertently lost forever.  Let’s just assume it was very brilliant and witty.

ANYWAY, I learned about this service quite awhile ago but now I will certainly get around to utilizing it.  Tastebook is a service where you can upload your own personal recipes or collect recipes from a huge database ( I believe they’re linked to Epicurious, a site so addicting I had to block it from my work computer so consider yourself warned).  Your recipes are then bound and you receive a pretty shiny cookbook made by you.

Then reason I need to finally get off my butt and order is because they have a summer sale – 20% off any order over $34.95 (the price for a 100-recipe book).  Once I manage to whittle my various recipes collections down to a manageable number I’ll be ordering a few books.  These would also make a great personalized gift for someone who loves to cook.  The code is “summer” and the offer ends September 9.

My personal recipes are all over the place.  I keep a separate Gmail account dedicated to recipes and food topics (the label function is so excellent for this purpose), a huge list of food blog bookmarks, and two three-ring binders with all my printed recipes.  I use plastic sleeve covers, which is great because any splatters and spills clean right off.  It would be great to consolidate into something a little more organized and neat looking.  Plus, you can add your own photos.  I’m not a great photographer but I think including random photos that have nothing to do with the recipe would be funny.  In any event, if you’re in my boat with tons of scattered recipes, no reason why now isn’t the perfect time to organize your system.

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