this week, i got a special little assignment from a private client to prepare meals that did not contain items that i cook with on the daily; no gluten, no dairy, no white potatoes, etc etc. i love gluten. i love dairy, and i LOVE white potatoes especially scalloped and smothered in cheese and cream. another client decided to spend the week experimenting with a raw diet and requested that i follow suit with their meals. at first i was bored and thinking “ugh, come on,” but as i dived into my research, i found a whole world of awesome delicious meals that are either gluten free, dairy free, raw, or a combination of the three. although i’m a pretty healthy lady, it was interesting to eat 5 days of different salads and grains and see how i felt at the end of it. i’m looking forward to incorporating more of these types of dishes in my day and day and possibly putting myself on a 2 week gluten free/dairy free binge. if you’re looking for more options if you have a limited diet, check out some of the ideas below.
^wheat berry salad sliced raw radish, parsley,capers, olive oil, lemon, and goat cheese (optional)- props to Little Tart Bakeshop for inspiring this salad…
^taco salad with grape tomatoes, avocado, arugula +spinach, cilantro, grilled chicken, lime vinaigrette, sour cream dollop (optional)^massaged cabbage salad with apples, pomegranate, granola, + a meyer lemon vinaigrette^citrus + strawberry salad with cinnamon + nutmeg. SOOOO yummy.
have a great weekend!
after a recent trip to georgia’s Anna Ruby Falls near Helen, i’m hankering for the arrival of spring and all the new adventures and travels that i’m forcing to come with it. the snow is melting, the ice thawing, the tulips spouting, and my wish list for places to visit growing by the second!
so here’s what i’m thinking: lots of hiking, lots of waterfalls, lots of good coffee, lots of roadside barbeque, lots of small cabins with weird quirks, lots of mountain views, lots of sand + ocean, lots of roadside stops + photo-ops, lots of friend visits, LOTS of weddings, and a truck load of fun. who’s in?
bring it spring, i’m damn ready.
^ anna ruby falls is a treat for those looking for something close to Atlanta… there is a super easy trail to the actual falls that extends beyond into a more difficult trail. sadly the extension has not been well looked after through the winter months and was a not the most forgiving of terrains, but might be worth it in the spring months.
i hope you all had a lovely 7th week of 2014 and enjoyed the slightly warmer weather here in Atlanta. with the warmer turn, i took the opportunity to get my camera out and see the sights hitting up the beltline and inman park.
there’s been lots of successful baking in the kitchen this week for octopus bar as well as my private cooking clients including strawberry pocket pies (spring produce!!! ), ice cream sandwiches, and my most successful seared sirloin to date.
i finally attempted my first batch of homemade yogurt and honestly, i don’t know what i’ve been thinking. it’s the gift that keeps on giving and it is certainly cheaper than buying it at the store. i’m looking forward to sharing the details this week on the blog, so stay tuned!
happy weekend y’all!
boy oh boy, do i love ice cream sandwiches. a creamy scoop of ice cream sandwiched between 2 soft layers of buttery cookie and then frozen and ready to enjoy whenever the warm weather strikes. yes please! thankfully, i was ready with a few ice cream sammie minis as georgia temperatures just barely touched 70 yesterday. lucky me.
although i do love a good funky pairing every now and again, i went a classic this time: good ole salted chocolate ice cream and chocolate chip cookies. i tested out Standard Baking Co’s chocolate chip cookie recipe and it is by far one of my favorites. the cookies come out soft and perfectly moist every time. after a visit to their portland, maine shop, their book has became one of my go-to’s, and i recommend any baker to check it out. i made the salted chocolate ice cream a little while ago and needed a reason to use of the last of it. you don’t need an ice cream maker though, buy a pint from an awesome local purveyor and assemble. now that Jeni’s is in my hood, i know i’ll be giving some of her flavors a try!
driving into the outskirts of milledgeville, ga by way of highway 441 from atlanta, you get the sinking feeling that the historic town might not have been preserved in the ways you were hoping. passing a jumbo walmart, liquor stores, a radio shack, and our personal favorite, the ole tangle and tan, it’s a little disconcerting to find andalusia, the home that flannery o’connor spent her golden writing years, only a stones throw from said tangle and tan. we passed by the entrance to the home and decided to see what milledgeville had to offer first… meaning, we needed to check and see what the barbeque situation was.
milledgeville, home to georgia college and state university, maintains an eclectic mix of citizens; the small town students, the country folk, and a few remaining upper crest who occupy the several dozen antebellum homes in town’s center. lucky for us, milledgeville is also home to some pretty fantastic thrift stores and a lovely barbecue joint named Georgia Bob’s. after lunch, a dreamy coffee spot called Blackbird Coffee totally hit the spot.
on the history side of things, milledgeville houses the first governor’s mansion, which has recently undergone a little upkeep. we didn’t do the tour, but it looked like it might be worth it for those georgia history buffs out there. milledgeville also plays home to the very mysterious Central State Hospital. with a very convoluted past, the CSH is an intriguing place to visit and an even more interesting place to photograph. it’s the type of place that ghost hunters should live in and those who are easily spooked should avoid. we walked the grounds and drove the grounds till my fear of having a vehicle breakdown overtook me and i forced an early exit. it is not the place you want to get stuck especially as nightfall is coming.
we ended the trip on the highest note, visiting andalusia and walking the grounds that flannery once helped take care of. learning about miss o’connor from my grandmother who graduated the english program with her in 1945, i’ve always been intrigued by this woman’s history and her stories. despite publishing only a small amount, flannery is easily one of my favorite writers of the 20th century. i only hope that her legacy at andalusia remains stronger than that of the local tangle and tan.
on a sad note, flannery was known for her bird keeping, particularly peacocks. the house provides a brochure of popular birds to look out for complete with a checklist. unfortunately, upon exiting the house to look for such birds we came across 2 beautiful dead birds. not quite sure what was up with that? we did not check them off.
we rounded out the day trip with a little trespassing in georgia’s dairy land: putnam county. there’s nothing like a field of cow’s at sunset.
i’m definitely looking forward to spring and lots of road trips… stay tuned!
i recently had the pure pleasure of joining East West Manufacturing for a day of employee pampering and fun. being the awesome company that they are, East West treats their employees to a field day of sorts every quarter. the day was full of intense paintball, delicious Gu’s Chinese (which i will be going back to PRONTO), and an attempt at a mass chinese lantern release that didn’t go so well.
none of this would have been possible without the always awesome work of Sean O’Keefe Events which tied the whole day together. i’m so glad i got to take part!
week 6 of 52:
[ 1. GPB for behind the scenes photographs of "On the Story" w/ bobbi battista + bill nigut. can’t wait to see the images in print! ]
valentine’s day is a strange strange holiday… one that normally puts me in a zombie like funk due to overwork and exhaustion. the restaurant industry is crazy on valentines day, which on the one hand, is awesome as i am someone who is paid to provide the pivotal end of valentine’s meal dessert, but on the other hand, it makes me so so happy to stay home, cook something wonderful, and not set foot inside a restaurant.
this valentine’s, i’ll be enjoying a wonderful home-cooked meal by my sweetheart and hopefully parking my ass on the sofa to watch hours and hours of this!
there is nothing quite like a warm powdered sugared beignet heap to keep you warm and happy during atlanta’s “icepocalypse” ….
also counting down the days till i see my recipe in Atlanta’s Flavors Magazine !
as we atlantans prepare for another winter weather nightmare, i thought why not look forward by looking back. that crazy situation that was “snow jam 2014” seems like it was yesterday… oh wait, it practically was. although that day marked a sad state of affairs for atlanta as a whole, it provided a rather dreamy back drop for photographs. now, here’s hoping we get some white stuff instead of some ice stuff!