Monday, March 21, 2011

the dish on some top food spots in atlanta

This year, St. Paddy's day was celebrated with green cupcakes (and Guinness cake, of course!)

Working a long day at the bakery wasn't so bad. Everyone was in great spirits and every time I answered the phone by giving my name, people responded with great exclamation:) By the end of the night, I was washing dishes with the back door open to the live music playing across the street.

When I came home twelve hours after I left, we didn't feel bad about not finding a pub or a plate of Irish fare for the night. In fact, we've probably made a bit of a decision not to go out on major holidays here. The city can become littered with poor decisions by people who only "go all out" a couple nights a year. We'll save our outings for when we'll really enjoy them most:)

This sounds like a good time to go ahead and include a little list of our new favorite eateries:


Ria's Bluebird. A living gem across from the historic Oakland Cemetery. Haven't had a poor dish there to date! On our last visit, I tried the Brisket Breakfast: slow-roasted Angus beef and poached eggs in a spicy tomato broth---now this is the way to start your day!

Sun in My Belly. A beautifully renovated hardware store in the Kirkwood District. I have the strong desire to try every item on the menu. Last time we lingered there, I could not pass up the omelette of the day--I believe goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes were at stake! 


Cafe di Sol. This place has the three things that will always get me to return to a restaurant: great location, atmosphere and food. Located in our own neighborhood, it's set up like a European cafe so almost every sidewalk diner has a great people-watching view. I don't know that I'll ever be able to try anything else on the menu because Andy's Burger is just that good--all my favorite flavors in each bite. Just to get your mouth watering, it has gruyere cheese, garlic herb-roasted shiitake mushrooms and garlic aioli.

Midtown Tavern. Ok, when you walk in, it looks like a dive you may not want to eat in. But that's why we're helping you out (because we had someone show us the way as well!). In the cold of winter, the havarti grilled cheese with thin slices of granny smith apple called to me. We recently sampled the Cerdo Asado sandwich and now we feel we can't be led astray. It is filled with slow-roasted Cuban-style pork, creamy slaw and house-made pickles. Flavor punch! Oh, and whatever you do, don't go without trying the gouda mac n' cheese. You'l thank us!

Although we'd love to try new restaurants every week, these are the four we've found and love on the first year of marriage budget. Let us know if you find yourself needing company at one of these wonderful places!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

caught red handed

It's no secret that red (or at least "pops" of red) is a favorite for me. 
Red things I've collected and love?
my purse, bathrobe, baker's twine, and mixing bowl to name a few. 

New red thing I no longer so much love and am frankly slightly concerned with?
jar of red cherries. 
We're not talking beautiful, ripe and delicious fresh cherries. We're speaking of what I used to think of as "real" fruit cherries--maraschino cherries.

After dipping my hand in the cherry jar to gain the correct amount of dessert toppings, a customer came inside the bakery. I washed my hands, but there was no getting around it...I was caught red-handed! Unable to really explain why my skin was such a bright red, I thought I'd dig a little deeper. (On this many times do we continue to eat or drink things "just because" without wondering why, per se, something I'm ingesting has semi-permanently stained my hand?)

Upon just a tiny bit of research (read as googling), I found the following:

From WikipediaThe cherries are first preserved in a brine solution usually containing sulfur dioxide and calcium chloride to bleach the fruit, then soaked in a suspension of food coloring (common red food dye, FD&C Red 40), sugar syrup, and other components.

The Food and Drug Administration has finally proposed that manufacturers must indicate the presence of the insect-derived colorings in their food products. 

Present labels may indicate "color added," E120, or "natural color" when cochineal or carmine is present in the product. According to the FDA, carmine is used in foods like ice cream, strawberry milk, fake crab and lobster, maraschino cherries, port wine cheese, lumpfish eggs, and liqueurs like Compari. 

(as a side note: it doesn't help matters to find out "cochineal is described in laymen's terms by the free dictionary as  "

a red dyestuff consisting of dried bodies of female cochineal insects." Yum!)

I don't really have a soapbox to stand on regarding these cherries. Just thought I'd share something I found interesting today. I've come to realize that since we live in an age of eating fast and in mass, as consumers, we really have to do our own investigating. (For instance, I found out in a NY Times article last week that McDonald's new "wholesome" oatmeal has the same calories as a Snickers bar...and contains more than 10 ingredients...only this company could ruin such a simple and wonderful food.)

Lesson learned: be inquisitive before ingesting. Food for thought.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

new lights. new trials.

Bryan and I recently picked up some new to us (but really 15 years old) lights so that we can begin moving into the world of off camera shooting (for events that require such). This is fun yet scary yet exhilarating all at the same time. It feels like we're relearning how to take pictures...and with these new tools, we are! 

These are basically our first two (awkward) pictures taken as trials to see just what we have to work with. First thing learned, we're not epileptic...but we are seeing spots.

After some self trials, our friend Ross dropped by that night and graciously volunteered to hang out while we fiddled with new settings and placements. We went outside our loft to the atrium in near darkness and fired off these next shots. Although they're not perfect by any means, they sure did provide great hope and excitement for future images.

So on this rainy Saturday, we're doing a little studying and researching. 

And as we set forth to discover new photography frontiers, we're lead by this verse in Psalms:
"Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell."