Alon's Pesto is the Best-o

August 30, 2011

Last weekend I had the pleasure to spend quality time with some of our friends on Hilton Head Island. We went there to see one of our favorite couples from college, Jenn and Cameron, get married. Thanks to some strong winds we had beautiful weather on Saturday and Irene seemed to blow right past South Carolina. What exactly does this have to do with Alon's or pesto?

Well... Since we got in town late on Sunday we had no time to run to the store to buy groceries. I was able to scrounge up some food for breakfast and lunch on Monday but decided to get a treat for dinner. :)

We are very fortunate to live right down the street from Alon's, a great market and bakery, so I walked over there after I got home from work. I am usually a creature of habit when we go out to restaurants and so I ordered what I usually get, which is the chicken and pesto sandwich.

Last night I got a little crazy by adding onions, keeping the tomatoes on and asking for ciabatta bread. :)

Alon's Chicken and Pesto Sandwich 

In my opinion, Alon's is one of the best gourmet markets in Atlanta. Also, if you are looking for delicious desserts, which I always am, or already prepared foods Alon's is your place! I can't wait for the next time I can make up an excuse to go there. :)


Painting is easy when you don't know how - Dip'N'Dab Atlanta

August 24, 2011

One trend I have seen popping up a lot recently is DIY step-by-step art where you can BYOB. Examples include Sips n Strokes, Creatively Yours Cocktails & Canvas, Wired and Fired, and where I went with some friends last week - Dip n Dabs. The occasion for this girls weeknight out was a late birthday celebration for Carol. One of Carol's other friends planned this get-together and emailed a few girls in secret to setup this surprise.

After registering online, we showed up for our "Summer Abstract" class with a few bottles of wine and some snacks. When we arrived we were checked in and chose an area to sit in. Each station was already setup with a blank canvas and brushes. All you had to do was go over to the paint bar and create a palette with the colors needed.


I actually decided to be a little bit of a rebel and use the dark red color in the middle instead of the pink.... The red wasn't a suggested color, but I knew the pink wouldn't go in our apartment so I decided to go out on a limb. :) I also love this label on the random bottle of wine I picked up. Very Parisian and very artsy. 


Row of blank canvases before we started the class. 


Here is a picture of the birthday girl, Carol, the betty crocker of painting!


And Katie peeking over her painting. :)


My canvas after the first few steps...


Ariel and Allie were also at the painting night. (Thanks for organizing, Allie!) 


Every once in a while we took wine breaks... I mean, took a few minutes to dry our canvases with blow dryers so we could layer the paint.  :)


Homemade Baked Corn Tortilla Chips and Guacamole

August 23, 2011

As I have gotten older my tastes have definitely changed. Either that, or I am now more willing to try new things and am finding out that I like them. One example of this is my new found love of guacamole. I used to refuse to eat this green looking mush, but two years ago my roommate made some amazing homemade guacamole and I feel in love. :) Since then I order fresh guac whenever I can at restaurants.

This week I was craving some Mexican flavor, so I decided it was time for me to make some homemade guacamole. I also thought I might try my hand at handmade tortilla chips.

The first thing I did was get started on the tortilla chips. I preheated the oven to 350 and pulled out some corn tortillas and vegetable oil.



I brushed the vegetable oil on both sides of tortillas and stacked them one on top of another.



Next, I cut the tortillas into 6ths and placed them on a baking dish. I then added a little salt and popped them in the oven.




I cooked the chips for 7 minutes, rotated the pan, and cooked them for another 7 minutes until they were a golden brown.




While the chips were cooking I sliced the avocado, half a tomato and a chunk of red onion.




I added them all to a bowl along with the juice of half a lime and some salt. Then, I smashed everything together with the back of a spoon (no molcajete for me).




These baked tortilla chips and guacamole were so delicious. I love that I was able to make it all at home in less than 30 minutes!


Fall Friday Nights in Georgia

August 19, 2011

Tonight was the first Friday that felt like fall to me. Why, you might ask? Well, it wasn't because of the cool weather or changing leaves (neither of those really happened tonight)... It was actually due to the fact that tonight was the first night of high school football for the team Steven coaches.


Being a coaches wife is a very interesting thing and something that I don't think I fully understand yet. Right now, I know it consists of sharing Steven with a gaggle of high school boys and coaches every day after school, Thursday and Friday nights, and Saturdays for film. This is not something I mind, in fact in the short year and a half we have been married I have kind of grown used to it.  And, I am happy to share Steven because I know he is away doing something he loves.


So now that is is becoming fall, you can usually find us on Friday nights at high school football games (Steven way more than me, I do not go to every game) and on Saturdays cheering on UGA! (GO DAWGS!)


Spending tonight at the high school football game was a lot of fun and definitely has me looking forward to an amazing football season ahead!


Feast Noir

August 18, 2011

In my previous post I mentioned that Steven and I went to Feast Noir last Sunday with some friends, including Carol. This was such a cool experience and I am so glad that I can say we were a part of the United States first flashmob potluck/picnic!

What is Feast Noir? It is a pop-up group meal inspired by Diner en Blanc in Paris (video below).


For Feast Noir, Atlanta's own flashmob picnic, everyone was put into a group with other attendees in order to coordinate who would bring what to this seemingly impromptu picnic. Emails are exchanged back and forth to decide what group members would bring tables, chairs, or dinnerware and what homemade dish everyone would cook. Information was sent to all 1,000 of the participants, the day before, with a time and place to meet up away from the actual spot where the dinner would be eaten.  Once it was time, everyone followed their designated leader over to their spot to set up the picnic.

This time-lapse video shows an awesome perspective of just a section of the event (there was a whole second group of people to the right side of the cameras viewing area).



This was the meeting place for table D9. I got moved to this table at the last minute and I was very thankful for that because it just happened to be the same table Carol was at. Carol had been in contact with 2 other people from this table coordinating what everyone was bringing for a week before the event. Unfortunately, neither of them showed up on Sunday. Luckily, between Carol and I, we had a table, some stools, and enough food to feed the 4 of us there.



The view downstairs in the parking deck at Atlantic Station.




Carol and I passing the time with a little two buck chuck!



And a more parent appropriate picture. :)



Right at 7, we all headed to the escalators with 996 of our new best friends. Table D9 had a great spot on the lawn right outside Strip. Once we were there we set up our small card table, put down the black table cloth provided to us, and started pulling out food.



Carol brought this great peach cobbler...



... and this delicious pork roast! I hope she posts the recipe soon because it was seriously so good. The rub she put on it was sweet and bold, but not too much so.



Since I was at a bachelorette party on Saturday night, and hurting a little Sunday morning :), I decided to throw together this broccoli slaw in about 20 minutes. I made a little too much food, thinking this would be for 8 and not 4, so we ate left overs until Wednesday.



Broccoli Slaw Recipe

August 17, 2011

Last Sunday Steven and I, along with Carol and her boyfriend, went to this really cool food/picnic flashmob in Atlanta called Feast Noir (more on this soon). For the flashmob everyone was supposed to bring a dish and I made broccoli slaw, from Steven's moms recipe. She makes this dish occasionally when we are all together for lunch or dinner and I love it.

This broccoli slaw is super easy and quick to make. I probably threw it together in 15 minutes.

First, I threw a few bags of store bought broccoli slaw in a tupperware dish.




Second, I added some slivered almonds.




Next, I poured in a jar of sunflower seeds.



After the sunflower seeds, came 1/3 of a cup chopped onion.


PlasticLand

August 16, 2011

PlasticLand. No, this is not a nickname for Legoland... It is actually an online boutique that is a self-described "purveyors of kitsch curiosities & retro clothing." After looking through the online store I didn't find clothes I liked, but I did find a ton of unique things for our apartment! I love accessorizing our home with items that are unexpected and that you won't find 50 more of in a store around the corner.

Here are some of my favorite things from PlasticLand:


1.  Bedside Babushka Water Carafe - $22 - I love this Russian Doll water carafe and cup
2.  Blown Glass Octopus Napkin Ring - $22 - These napkin rings would add such a unique twist to a table. Not only is the octopus really cool, but they are made from blown glass which is awesome!



3. Wise Owl Ceramic Teapot - $25 - In addition to my love of neat prints I have a thing for white ceramic creatures (much like Sherry from younghouselove). This teapot is amazing because of it is white ceramic and an owl!... another one of my loves :) I know, I have many.
4. White Rhino Butter Dish - $16 - This butter dish is so great! It is so fun that this rhino looks like it is half swimming in the water and I know it would make meals more interesting.



5. Moby Dick Measuring Cups - $20 - These nesting whale measuring cups would be an awesome addition to our kitchen. However, I really don't know if they would be the best option for me since I am super messy and clumsy. Me + porcelain + cooking probably wouldn't be a great mix.



6. Black Paisley Placemats - $22 - This set of 4 placemats would be super fun on a dining room table or  tacked up on a wall, as the PlasticLand website suggests.
7. Honey String Theory Wrist Watch - $77 - This watch comes in at the most expensive thing on my list.  No, it is not for my kitchen or anywhere in the apartment, but it would look great on my wrist while I cook or hangout at home! :)



8. Thanks For Being Self Inking Stamp - $12 - This stamp is nothing I would ever buy but I thought it was funny and it gave me a chuckle. :)
9. Scary Shower Curtain - $20 - The "Scary Shower Curtain" is something I could never own. I know every time I walked in the bathroom I would have a minor heart attack and that would not be healthy.

So there you have it... some of my favorite things from PlasticLand. I definitely recommend you check out their website and see what you fall in love with.

Online Settee Window Shopping

August 10, 2011

I have previously shared with you my desire to one day have a love seat or settee in our dining room. This design idea would be great for our apartment. In an attempt to get Steven and I closer to owning a settee I started doing some online window shopping. My goal was to find an attractive and affordable settee/love seat that would fit in our apartment without breaking the bank.

This first settee I came across was this Paisley Settee by Horchow. Seriously, what is not to love about this? The shape is unique and color just screams fun and cheerful! ... Okay, maybe there is one thing to not love. The $1500 price tag. But hey, a girl can dream.

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When I realized this settee was a wallet-buster I keep looking and came across this love seat by Skyline Furniture. The print would definitely add some interest to a room and the $449 price isn't that bad. However, I am not crazy about the shape and so I don't think this is the right settee for us.

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I also like this West Elm settee. The higher arm rests would make sitting in it very comfortable and there are many fabric options, which is great.

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The settee that I think I love the most is this Teasdale Settee from JC Penny. At $699 this isn't the cheapest one I found, but our dining room table is from JC Penny and they have great quality furniture. Plus, JC Penny offers a great warranty, many fabric options and a classic shape.

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I am hoping one day Steven and I will pick up this settee for our apartment or I come home from work one day with it sitting in the dining room with a bow! :)


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