our adventures in relocation continue. we spent the day wandering in colonial williamsburg and had dinner at the dog street pub, to read the whole post, click on this link
a snack to start with-fried crunchy snacks that were a bit spicy when dipped in the sauces
the main course. i loved the breads and the potatoes. the soup and the dal were tasty too, i ate a lot
the third course was beans and rice and sauce. i liked the beans, they were creamy like refried beans but they were probably mung beans and not pintos. our fourth and final course was a scoop of ice cream with saffron, pistachios and fruit-it was tasty. we finished up, paid the check ($37.08 for 2 with a $5 tip!) and we rolled (literally) to the car…had fun and i can’t wait to go back!
one of the cleanest produce sections i have ever seen and certainly one of the largest as well.
off to one side of the produce section is one of those little walk-in fridge sections that had an amazing selection of noodles, tofu and miso
just look at the different kinds of miso-have you ever seen so many to choose from?
the fresh seafood selection was impressive-so are the prices. amazing what being 8 hours from the gulf can do to prices.
i don’t care what you say, monkfish are ugly. so ugly that they are not at all cute…
i loved these packages-fish soup kit. all you do is put it in a pot with water and cook-instant fish soup!
providing you like fish soup.
for those of you not likely to purchase a whole fish, no problem. they had the largest selection of cut/cleaned fish i have ever seen in a grocery store.
the rest of the store looked like this aisle. wide, neat and clean. can’t wait to go back. i will share more of my trip to atlanta-i did plenty of eating there too!
in my previous post, i baked a tart with my daughter alix; a sort of all growed up/movin out on my own party for the two of us. this week, i was given the opportunity to do the same with my daughter devon. you see, she too has moved out and is now in california where she will be attending school. it was important to me to take the time to teach each of them a little about baking with the hope that they will take this new skill and use it to make their lives a little sweeter. and in devon’s case, it was a chance to pass a baton; apple pie is my father in laws favorite pie and since she is now living with my in laws, it is something that she can make for him.
no matter what, i enjoyed every minute of baking with my daughters and cannot wait for the next chance to do so. for now, i am adjusting to an empty nest and a husband who works all different shifts; in other words, i am spending a lot of time by myself. it may be a little quiet here but it gives me a chance to do all the things that a book release requires. my book was released the first week of september and it has been a little hectic. since the book is out there, i decided to use my recipe for apple pie as this weeks challenge.
lately, my posts have been a bit sporadic and i apologize to all of you who follow this blog. you may recall me mentioning my book-the actual purpose for starting this blog (once it was finished, i moved on to pies) and the publication of that book. well, it’s out there and doing well. it is fun to look it up on amazon and see the ranking-i frequently find it in the top 3 for pies along with martha stewart’s pie book. curious? look here and scroll down to see the ranking. some of the media events for the book have made my schedule a little tight and that is only part of the reason for my late posts.
the real reason i have not been keeping up is that suddenly, my nest is empty. we have two wonderful daughters and this past summer, both of them graduated; one from college and one from high school. it has been a summer full of family and parties and i have enjoyed every minute and every opportunity to see extended family from out of state. there was tons of food and lots of baking and plenty of good wine to wash it down. but now that our first has moved and settled in atlanta, our second is preparing to fly west; she leaves today. and as every parent will tell you, you work so hard to get them ready for all that life will throw at them but when the time comes, letting them field the balls is the hardest thing you will ever do. so with a little motherly worry, i will let her go. the good thing is that she won’t be totally on her own, she will be with her grandparents.
on our last day together (until she comes home again in about 8 weeks), we did things that she likes to do. her favorite thing-eat cupcakes! we went to the cupcake collection and had our fill.
|the cupcake collection|
the cupcake collection is located in the germantown neighborhood of north nashville in an old victorian house that has been renovated to accommodate a busy bakery. the staff is friendly and will answer your questions cheerfully. best part-the cupcakes are only $1.50 each. let that sink in a minute. i fully expected to pay about $3 each and was a bit surprised. then i realized that is why we waited in line-people come from all around the area to buy them at this price. but the best part is that they are actually baked from scratch-music to a pastry chefs ears!!! i’ve been to several cupcake shops and one used mixes-they were awful, one used tall towers of frosting to make the cupcakes seem gigantic and they were nothing special. so when i tasted these-i was totally impressed and completely sold. from now on, when it’s cupcakes, it’s the cupcake collection or make them myself!
and i hadn’t even gotten the car out of park before she dove in and ate her cookies and cream cupcake. at one point, she let out the familiar “no way!” when i inquired, she told me the middle was filled with frosting too-what more does a teenage girl need?
so having fed her dessert first, i then took her to lunch and then home to bake a pie. yes a pie. last week, our older daughter was home and i baked a pie with her as well. so my next two posts will be about baking pies with my daughters. for now, here’s more about the fabulous cupcakes.
so, i know what i like-carrot cake. i very rarely get a piece of it so when i saw the cupcakes, i had to have one. we also came home with a wedding cake, chocolate, red velvet and strawberry.
as you can see, they use real ingredients-those are carrots and raisins. and what looked like not enough frosting was actually more than i needed-but don’t think for a minute that i didn’t enjoy the freshly mixed cream cheese frosting…so if you’re in the neighborhood, check them out and if not, make some and share them with your kids(if you have them). trust me time flies and before you know it, you will be watching them fly away…
last monday, i grabbed my overstuffed carry-on bag and headed to the airport with jesse for a few days of media training in new york city and philadelphia. first on the agenda was to check in to the flatotel for our stay in manhattan. with that out of the way, we quickly headed out in search of lunch-trickier than it sounds but only because there were simply too many choices!
|bricklane curry house|
we chose the brick lane curry house and were quickly seated. as we perused the menu, i took a few photos.
the place isn’t much bigger than the photo suggests-maybe 8-10 tables and at the time, we were the only two people in the place.
we ordered prawns tikka masala for me and prawns goan for jesse. it was all accompanied by curried vegetables, dal, rice and naan. all of it was incredibly tasty.
|the first thing you encounter upon entering eataly is a beautiful display of fresh produce|
jesse and his $17 glass of red wine-the moral of the photo, never ask the person selling the wine to pour you a glass of their favorite wine…
after departing eataly, we headed uptown where we made stops in magnolia bakery and hill country chicken. both stops were to feed our eyes! we watched the baker in the window of magnolia bakery assemble an icebox cake and we drooled over the pies at hill country chicken. we headed back to our hotel and got ready to head out for dinner.
|maison on broadway|
we sat outside and indulged ourselves in mussels and salads and then called it a night, at least i did. it was off to bed for me and i slept like a rock! but wait, there’s more to the story! look for it tomorrow-my adventures with undercover steve…
the more you listen, the more you hear in regards to knowing where your food comes from. hardly a day goes by that we are not reminded of how much harm we inflict on the ecosystem with our insatiable appetites. luckily, the movement towards growing your own is catching on. for the last 8 years, since we moved into our home, we have had a vegetable garden and growing our own produce has been a goal but not for ecological reasons; plainly put, it is a lot cheaper to grow your own vegetables and herbs. over the years, we have branched out and have added things like honey bees and fruit trees. we compost everything we can in an open pit composting system out back and we gather all of our leaves each fall too.
recently, a good friend convinced me to try my hand at a few new things that can be made at home: kombucha tea and kefir. the kombucha is fermenting on the counter and the grains for the kefir are ready to go as soon as i get myself some raw milk.
when i read the instructions that accompanied the kombucha, i was intimidated-they seemed so technical and unforgiving. then i found instructions online from the website smallnotebook.org. how simple!!! that is as long as you have a friend, like anne, who is willing to give up a scoby so that you can brew your own batch.
this is the scoby pancake anne was kind enough to share with me. she also gave me enough of the finished beverage to start/inoculate my first batch.
and here it is, the scoby in it’s new home. i plan to flavor mine with some fruit juice and most likely, i will not let it ferment as long as anne does. the longer it ferments, the stronger it gets and that means it gets more sour with each day. today is day 3 and i still have a few days to go.
another of my favorite things to grow at home, sourdough starter. i started my original batch 2 years ago using grapes from the demo garden where i volunteer each sunday morning. from that original starter, i have a plain starter and by feeding a small portion of it with rye flour and caraway seeds, i have a rye starter too. periodically, they get neglected and i recently had to resurrect them.
with a cup of plain starter, 2 cups bread flour and a cup of water, i had a bowl of sponge to make bread with.
there is something so satisfying in taking a bowl of goo and after a minimal amount of effort, receiving something as tasty as this loaf of bread!
the photo shoot officially begins on wednesday. between now and then, i must bake as much as possible so that i am ready. also on my to do list, any components that can be made in advance-things like cookies, biscuits and sauces. considering that these are my recipes, it shouldn’t be hard to make everything-i know how things should turn out. it is also a chance to double check recipes, something i am pretty sure is not necessary given the amount of testing i did in the first place. the only hitch, it’s 9am and about 90 degrees already and i have to turn on the oven in the house. such is the life of a baker; heat and lots of it-it’s what makes it all happen…
the last month has been a blur. so many recipes and so much tasting-i am over fruit desserts, honestly. give me something salty please. so much has gone on here; on 4/20, someone tried to break into the house-in broad daylight while we were at work/school. on 5/1 & 2, we had a little rain, about 16″ of it. surely you heard about the flooding? this morning, i was awakened at 5:30 to the sound of my hysterical husband screaming “i’ve been robbed, @#*%!!!!!” and so the day started. we weren’t the only ones who had overnight visitors. a neighbor who lives down the street and around the corner (about half a mile) was visited as well. as he was leaving for work, he discovered that someone had ransacked his car and taken his wallet too. then he found the contents of his wallet and darry’s out in the street. amazingly enough, i.d.’s and credit/debit cards were all intact. thankfully, he stopped by and returned darry’s i.d. and cards to me.