Friday, October 29, 2010

My Little Taco!

Strongbow has been so excited about finally revealing his costume to the cyberworld! He begged me to show you earlier but I told him he had to be patient. Thanks for all all the voting and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


What do you think about the round table between the chairs? Tyler brought it home last night along with some other stuff from his late grandmother's house and I'm at a loss as to what to do with it. Tyler's grandfather made it and we want to keep it in the house somewhere but it's too big for our small kitchen. Is it too big as a side table as well? Will the right accessories help?

All opinions are welcomed as long as they are not hateful!

Oh, and Strongbow says hi and that he can't wait to show you his costume.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A New York City Tour According to Us: Part 2

Alright, lets pick up where we left off. After 2 jam packed days we tried to take it a bit easier on day 3, or so we thought. We woke up and walked to the very southern edge of Central park just to say we did and then headed to the Emerald Green Apartments in West 38th Street. Random? Yes, but a friend of Tyler's who lives here in Montgomery did a beautiful mural in the lobby and the construction manager gave us a full tour of the apartment building. It was actually very interesting.

picture via
After our apartment tour we headed south to check out Chelsea Market. Big disappointment, not at all what we were expecting. It really reminded me of a upscale food court with overpriced food and fancier people. Not okay. So after refusing to eat anything there simply out of principal we walked back to a place we saw on the way there called the Grey Dog. It was a cute little cafe type place that sold unique sandwiches and was full of real New Yorkers so it fit the bill. After a long and leisurely lunch we headed back up to midtown and stopped by the Sullivan Street Bakery. We heard that this little hole in the wall bakery had the best bread in town; however, since we were stuffed from lunch we just picked up a huge cookie. It was worth the walk.

By this time were were exhausted from all the walking, yet again. So we headed back to the hotel for a quick 30 minute cat nap. Waking up refreshed, we headed to 5th Avenue, aka way to many people on way to narrow sidewalks, to do some shopping. We returned with NOTHING except a hungry bellies so I did a bit of research on New York Magazine's website to find a small local place for dinner. Here was my system: click on Restaurants at the top then on the left you can choose which cuisine you perfer, we wanted a gastropub. We checked out the websites for all that were chosen as critic's choice. After some debate, the winner was Jimmy's No. 43. It's a charming underground pub with dark walls and quirky decor. The beer selection was small but unique and the food was mostly farm to table. Just our style.

pictures via

 Because it was so good I stole the menu to show you. I circled everything that we tried.

I think the single best think we had was the corn gratin; however, the cheese plate was delish too. It included wonderful local cheese, bread, honey, almonds, and Concord grapes. PS it is absolutely amazing how much concord grapes actually taste like Welchs grape juice! And yes, according to this list we did drink 9 beers but 4 of which were on the sampler so don't freak out.

After Tyler ran to the ATM around the corner because, of course, we would pick somewhere that only accepts cash, we jumped back on the subway and headed back to the ole Crowne Plaza.

Tuesday morning we woke up to make our journey home. All in all it was a great trip, although I think we would both agree that 4 days is not nearly enough time to see everything that New York has to offer. I guess this means we better start planning our next trip!

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 22, 2010

A New York City Tour According to Us: Part 1

Well I guess it's about that time to fill you in on our little vacation to New York. Since some of you are requesting details, I'll be is boring and precise as I possibly can!

Let's start from the beginning.... Saturday morning Tyler and I drove to Atlanta and hopped on a short flight from Atlanta to Newark.

Why Newark you ask? The NJ Transit, that's why. We got off of our flight and got right on the train for a 30 minute ride to New York Penn Station for only $12.50 per person. Do the math that is faster and cheaper than a taxi. When we arrived at Penn Station we got in a taxi and went straight to our hotel in Times Square. Now the hotel was nice enough, a Crowne Plaza, but we will not be staying in Times Square again. We figured it would be right smack in the middle of uptown and downtown and therefore very convenient but since we spend most if not all of our time downtown it was a pain to have to take the subway back up to change clothes after walking FOREVER and back down for dinner.

Okay okay I'll get on with it. So we got to the hotel at about 2:00 and promptly headed to Bar 515 to watch the Auburn game. Apparently this is the "Auburn bar" so we walked in to find a sea of orange and blue and about 10 people we knew. Tyler ran into some friends from high school and I got to spend some time with some college friends.

So after about 4 hours of sitting in a bar, never a good idea I might add, we followed the AU crowd down the street to a crappy Mexican restaurant called the Caliente Cab Co. and since I was in the company of long lost friends and a cocktail or two in, I decided not to turn my foodie nose up and oblige.

After dinner we parted ways and Tyler dragged me to some tourist trap of a bar in Times Square where he used a fake ID for the first time. Great chaperoning job Montgomery Academy, really great!

Now on to day 2, after a slow morning we dragged ourselves onto the subway and headed south.

We started off at the New Amsterdam Market that they have every Sunday at the Fulton Fish Market. It's full of local vendors selling anything from fresh apple cider to gourmet ice creams and cheeses. 

On the way to back up we stopped at the Creperie in the lower east side and then made our way to Chinatown for the most amazing beef jerky of my young adult life. Other than beef jerky there is not much I like about Chinatown. I feel about the same about Little Italy but we were starving and needed a chair and a beer so we stopped for lunch.

After our Americanized Italian meal we began our journey to SOHO were, like an oasis in the desert, we stumbled upon a jackpot!! The 10th Annual NYC International Pickle Day Festival. Amazing, just amazing.

So after completely dehydrating ourselves with pickle juice we walked through SOHO, the West Village, Chelsea and all they way back to our hotel. WE.WERE.TIRED.

After a brief refresher we headed back down to the Lower East Side to have dinner at the most charming restaurant called Freemans. It was perfect. Tucked away in a back alley with a speak easy type feel and a superb menu.

After dinner all bets were off and we were done, back to the hotel we go. To be continued....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Back

Yes, you guessed it, Tyler and I took an extended weekend and went to New York, the city where people still use payphones and men dress like women!

The Today Show told me to never let the cyber world know when we go on vacation (as if any of my 5 readers would rob our place while we were gone) so I apologize for the unannounced hiatus. Anyway, T and I needed a little vacay so we dropped Strongbow off at "overnight camp"aka the V-E-T on Friday and headed out. Don't worry SB's cousins were also at camp this weekend so he got to bunk with some familiar faces.

Tyler is working on his pictures and I want to give you a total breakdown of what we did so you are going to have to be patient and give me a day or two to get my info together.

Stay Tuned....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

And the Winner is.....

Me!!! Well, okay 2nd place winner but close enough. And no, second place is not the first place loser so don't even try to bust my bubble!

So in case you missed it, Tyler and I both entered dishes in the Alabama National Fair's "Cooking with Pecans" competition on Sunday. Let me tell you, I was nervous. There were 35 total entrants; however, there were only about 15 in our main dish category. These people were serious and I'm not so sure how excited everyone was to have a first timer pick up the big red ribbon.  Unfortunately, Tyler's butternut and pecan stuffed ravioli didn't place but I really think it was better than mine by a long shot. I'm blaming it on the fact that the judges were all women and went for the lighter dishes. Get a man up there and he would have thought my dish was for sissies!

The winning dish, Isreali Couscous Salad with Pecans and Golden Raisins

Although I wish Tyler could have won instead of me, I was very proud. Don't worry, we will be back next year!

Israeli Couscous Salad with Pecans and Golden Raisins
2 c Israeli couscous, uncooked
4 c chicken broth or water
1 c golden raisins
1 c toasted pecans roughly chopped
2 scallions, chopped
2 c chopped rotisserie chicken

3 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Zest of an orange
Juice of 1⁄2 an orange
1⁄2 tsp turmeric
1⁄2 tsp dried thyme
1⁄2 tsp curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring chicken stock or water to a boil, and add the couscous. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered for 8-10 minutes or until slightly al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the canola oil, vinegar, orange zest and juice, spices and salt and pepper.

3. In a large bowl, combine the couscous, golden raisins, chicken, pecans and scallions. Pour dressing over and toss to combine.

4. Garnish with scallions and pecans and serve immediately or chill in fridge for a few hours (if chilling in fridge, mix in pecans and add garnish before serving).

*If you want a bit more flavor, double the dressing.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Brother's Big Day

It sure was an eventful weekend! Shockingly, I'll make it not about me today and update you on the cooking competition tomorrow since both topics deserve their own post.

On to the main event...My big brother finally got married on Saturday and it went off without a hitch. Everything was absolutely beautiful and it was so great to see all of our family and friends in town. We don't have any pictures from the wedding but here are a few from the rehearsal dinner. Please take note of the happy couple below.

Congratulations to Chris and Jessica!