Monthly Archives: October 2011

CLF and Seattle

Thursday BFF, darling daughters, and I headed down to Atlanta to join my Mom and her BFF for a Country Living Fair at Stone Mountain Park. We stayed in a suite hotel nearby and were met by my Dad for dinner on Thursday evening.

It is always a little bit nerve wracking to go to a fine dining establishment with kiddos >1 and 1+. You never know when the meltdown from the long day of travel or having dangling feet (from highchairs that don’t have foot support) is going to rear its head. Fortunately for us and our fellow Feast (in Decatur) patrons we avoided drama among our small set. We did not avoid delicious food and slow service however. ūüôā

The fried mushrooms and crab dip were table favorite appetizers. We also got fried chicken livers with cooked pears which I cannot comment on because I tried neither but I can say my little girl tore up the pears she was given. BFF and I shared a sausage and pepper pizza and a thick bone-in porkchop with green apple relish and chili potato mash. Both were good. For dessert? A sampler of coconut cake, blueberry cobbler, key lime pound cake, and a creme brulee. All were fantastic.

Friday morning we got up before “really early” and went over to Stone Mountain Park to enjoy our early bird entry tickets. Oh, and we did! At 10:30am when the masses were admitted it was very, very crowded for shopping booths with a stroller so we really appreciated the smaller crowd from being early. On both days we saw lots of pretty, pretty, pretties and bought things like sweater wreaths, new fabric and oil cloth, vintage linens, and got good ideas (like picture and Christmas ornament displaying). We also saw the “Fabulous Beekman Boys” and several craft book authors. It was a great time!

I will say, “For shame, for shame Country Living! The food at your cafe was AWFUL.” In fact, BFF who may not have the regular readership of CLM that I have commented that if this was how Country Living recipes tasted she wouldn’t be making any. Since I know for a fact she makes recipes from cookbooks that don’t have pictures that is a pretty harsh criticism.

On Sunday morning Mom, Au, and I got up early and went to the airport so that Au and I could fly to Seattle to meet my brother for a few days of fun. The flight was fairly uneventful. I was able to upgrade to business class which was awesome and significantly improved our experience. Coach was full, business class was full so the extra 6 inches of room might as well have been heaven. Plus the extra water was fantastic not only for hydration but because the only thing a baby like more than 1 half empty water bottle is 2. She did cry for the last 5 minutes of the flight but I couldn’t hold that against her. My brother was there to meet us, we got our rental car, installed the car seat and took off. We spent the afternoon walk down by the sound and through Pike Place market. We drove around and found the town of Madison down by Lake Washington. I knew if we headed back to the room dinner would not be an option…very tired…so we decided to eat at one of the more seemingly family friendly options in Madison rather than in our trendier (more bars) hotel neighborhood.

We settled on a pizza place called “The Independent Pizzeria” and it was one of the best meals I have had in memory. Seriously. I know, I know, pizza? Best meal? I would not have put those words in the same sentence lightly. Oh, there was the spider incident (Brother felt something on his face, wiped his mouth, and dropped a black (with design on its back!) spider onto his plate. Yikes!!!) but even that didn’t dull the luster of the experience. It is a tiny place- 1 community table that seats 8, 3 tables for 2, 1 table for 4, and a couch with a coffee table. We had a delicious salad, a spiderific antipasto, and 2 of the best pizzas in the world. The crust was thin but chewy, had lovely dark brown bubbles, and just the right amount of delicious toppings. Bro got the “State Fair” with tomato sauce, mozzerella, shaved green peppers, and shaved sausage. I got the Florentine with tomato sauce, mozzarella, grana (don’t know what that is), spinach, garlic, and a soft egg on top. OH.MY.GOODNESS. Is was SO good. You know how yummy it is to sop the thickened yolk with toast–buttery, creamy–well it is even better on pizza. No joke. (And I’m proud of myself for being adventurous enough to try it!) For dessert we had chocolate pudding ice cream and salty carmel ice cream. Both of which were fantastic. Jeni’s Splendid’s dark chocolate is better but this did have the distinct chocolate pudding taste. But the salty carmel? I have not had better. As a clarification I feel I need to say that I’m not a big salty carmel fan. I just have had some that didn’t taste good to me. I don’t like Jeni’s. Too dark and too salty. But this? It was sublime. Just the right amount of burn on the sugar (it was surprisingly light) and a light hand on the salt. I’m going to try it at home with Jeni’s recipe and see how I like that.

Overall it has been a fantastic past few days…we are off to Top Pot Doughnut for a breakfast treat…


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Not Brunch People?

I have always wanted to be a “brunch person”. ¬†I’m not really sure what that phrase means precisely but I always pictured a “brunch person” to be someone who on Sunday morning after church goes to their local fabulous restaurant and drinks coffee (hot chocolate?), reads the paper, eats delicious food, does the crossword with their friend/spouse, has sparkling *and* important conversations with friend/spouse, and the weather is a perfect 40 degrees (if it is an indoor brunch) or 70 if is is outdoors. ¬†All without hurry or worry.

Evidently though I am not this kind of person. ¬†Sad but true. ¬†Instead, I’m someone who goes to brunch on Sunday morning after church to what I hope is a local fabulous restuarant only to have to leave aforementioned restaurant after an hour and twenty minutes because Mr. T has to go to work. ¬†Oh, did I mention the food we ordered never came? ¬†Yeah. ¬†That was bad. ¬†So the dilema is do we ever go back there again?

Charleston was fabulous! ¬†We went to the beach, the tea plantation, took a carriage ride (with two giggly hysterically at one another littles girls!!!), explored the city, shopped. ¬†The only thing on the agenda which we didn’t really get to was “eating good food”. ¬†Oh, well. ¬†Au made out like a bandit between the outlet mall shopping and the fancy fall dress buying. ¬†Mr. T got some souvenir tea from the tea plantation. ¬†I got to have a great time!

Au and I went up to Indiana to visit my Grandparents and my Mom (who arrived to visit them a day after we did) and had such a good time we didn’t want to leave. ¬†My cousin and her son, my other cousin, and my aunt came over to visit on Friday morning. ¬†It was fun to see the kiddos play together.

I am really wanting to bake and cook right now but Au is sleeping next to me and I’m afraid if I move she’ll wake up. ¬†She has discovered a new trick: screaming shrilly. ¬†It is awful and goes all over me. ¬†I’m pretty sure she scream if she wakes up so I’m going to resist the call of fresh baked bread and chocolate ooey gooey bars– for now. ¬†I made pumpkin ooey gooey bars last week and over the weekend made scratch caramel apples. ¬†I ‚̧ fall!

I drove by one of the “occupy” protest on Saturday evening. ¬†I wanted to show my displeasure at their inane protest and so I rolled my window down and gave them a thumbs down as I passed. ¬†Harsh, I know but someone has to be truthful. ¬†I adamantly support their freedom of speech and protest but why not occupy Hollywood? ¬†Or, even better, stop putting words in my mouth. ¬†Ninety-nine percent? ¬†I don’t think so. ¬†You don’t speak for me. ¬†Anyone with a 401K, 403B, mutual fund, or who appreciates innovation and invention would be wise to not demand the collapse of wall street. ¬†Do I agree that money is the problem? ¬†Sure! ¬†The government shouldn’t be taking so much of our money and redistributing it. ¬†Gonna stop not before I start soapboxing…

Tomorrow Au turns 8 months old. ¬†I can hardly believe it. ¬†My how fast, how fast the time does fly!!! ¬†Next week she and I will head down to Atlanta for the Country Living Fair. ¬†I’m so excited!!!

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