Friday, July 29, 2011

my father-in-law was on tv!

{update: the video works when i look at my post in the edit view, but clearly isn't working now.  so follow THIS LINK}

& he was quite intelligent & well-spoken.  proud of you, dave!

hope you have a fantastic weekend.  i plan to work work work - a big 150 cupcake order in the morning.  & we are rolling out a new breakfast goodie.  you'll have to check in next week to see what it is :)

love love,

Thursday, July 28, 2011

thankful thursday # 27.

today i am thankful.

i am thankful for my tanky who will take a 2 hour nap with me when i need it & will make me take him for a run when we both need it.

i am thankful for a wonderful place to work at which i choose to hang out on my afternoon off, so i can drink some great coffee, read a good book, & hang out with awesome people.

i am thankful for a rotation that my husband can get out of work early every once in awhile, so we can spend time together on my afternoon off.

i am thankful for the fellas in blake's program {& their lovely significant others} that will join us for an awesome dinner.

i am thankful for moe's wings.  still.

i am thankful for a beautiful summer evening with a cool breeze & comfortable evening temperatures to enjoy on a patio.

i hope you can think of many things...big & small...for which you are thankful today.

love love,

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

a better bowl?

i want your suggestions...

williams-sonoma melamine mixing bowls are fantastic.  they are pretty & stackable & pourable & nonslip when mixing.

HOWEVER, these little suckers are slippery when you are washing/drying them & are really really breakable.

i've broken two bowls, thus losing two full sets in my life.  & my wonderful & amazing husband dropped & shattered one last night while being awesome & doing our dinner dishes.

certainly there is something better out there.  what mixing bowls do you love?

love love,

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

my grandma would be proud.

this has to be how my grandma made corn.

it has to be.

first bite & i thought i was back at her & my grandpa's house with a kitchen full of wonderful aromas that were about to drift into my belly through some delicious food.

it has to be.  & it is now going to be the only way i make corn.

i found the recipe in the latest food network magazine {the same one with the heirloom tomato recipe [here].}  there was a little corn cook-off between one of the fellas & one of the ladies.  the lady's looked better & easier, so i went with it.

did you know you make creamed corn by cooking corn for a {long} while in liquid?  i had no clue.  so i bought 4 fresh corn cobs in husks & went to town.

by the way, this is super easy, as most great cooking is.  so try it.  you'll never go back.

it has to be my grandma's corn

 ears of fresh corn
some oil or butter or bacon grease 
{i bet grandma went with bacon grease.
i chose canola oil.
still delicious.}
salt & pepper

yep, that's it.

1.  chop the tip & bottom.  remove husks & silks.  
{my dad will be super proud.  every 4th of july we pick & shuck his corn.  i really expected a worm to come crawling out of one of these corns.  apparently you only get that joy when it's home grown.}

2. with the stalk standing tall, shave the corn from the cob.  important: only cut about half way down the kernels.  you wont waste - wait until the next step.

3. over a bowl, scrape the cobs with the back of a knife to get the remaining kernel portions & all of the liquid you can.  miss food network chick says you should have equal amounts of corn & liquid here.  unless you have ridiculously moist corn, just add water.

4. heat your fat of choice in a skillet over medium heat.  add the corn + liquid.  season liberally with s&p.   cook until creamy-ish, stirring a lot.  {stirring: my favorite!} about 40 - 45 minutes.  add a little more water if it gets dry.  

{miss food network's recipe called for bacon cooked in the skillet first & then cook the corn in the bacon grease.  i hate frying bacon.  gross!  & messy.  so i microwaved it & used oil.  it really doesn't need the bacon at all, in my opinion.  but bacon does make everything better :)}

so dad, is this how grandma made corn?!  it has to be.

love love,

Monday, July 25, 2011

the birthday weekend!

we had a fabulous blakey birthday weekend!

friday night, we all headed to art on the rocks - a summer event at the birmy museum of art with live music, food, drinks, & art!  the weather was actually beautiful on this summer evening, so we enjoyed the celebration with our friends outside on the patio.  loved it.

{happy birthday, byrds!}

{alpha & omega}

{the newly engaged elyse & matt.
congratulations to you!}

afterwards, we had to take our friends to our favorite rooftop patio, above, to see downtown lit up.  they loved it too!

{well, hello, wind-blown hair}

on saturday night, amy & ogden joined us for an amazing dinner at satterfield's restaurant in cahaba.  this modern american + seafood restaurant is one of birmy's best restaurants.  

i had the awesome opportunity of working with satterfield's executive chef, haller magee, at one of the guest chef dinner's at the tutwiler hotel through school.  {apparently, i never told you about it, except for a quick mention at the bottom of [this] post.}  this guy is great - young & creative & full of energy.  

at the restaurant, the kitchen is open for all to see the chefs working their magic.  chef haller saw me in the dining room & actually remembered me!  i must say it was one of the more rewarding parts of my short pastry chef career thus far.  he asked how our dishes were from across the dining room, came over to our table later in our {2.5 hour long...yes!} meal to see how everything was & introduce himself to everyone, & sent us a dessert for blakey's birthday.  awesome guy.  awesome experience.

we will absolutely be back.  i am still thinking about my delicious wahoo fish & blakey's super interesting & delicious pork & amy's oh so tender duck. 

so happy 4 fun-filled day birthday to my wonderful & amazing husband!!  

i hope your weekend was excellent too.

love love,

Friday, July 22, 2011

pirate cupcakes!

blakey's birthday cupcakes were our wonderful red velevet with red sprinkles & a yo ho ho pirate theme!!

blakey loves pirates.  have i ever told you this?  i should post about his surprise 25th birthday pirate party.  it was amazing.  one of the most fun days of my life.  "if ye aren't dressed as a pirate, ye will be the only one."

but back to this birthday.  pirate cupcakes for the birthday boy!

 {pirate cupcake liners & flags from williams-sonoma.
i explained to the lady checking out these were not for my child's pirates of the carribean party,
but for my husband's birthday.

 {& i FINALLY got to use my beautiful new hot pink kitchen aid mixer!!!}

 {aren't they adorable?!}

 {we, of course, loved the pirate byrd.}

there were a few cupcakes leftover that wouldn't fit in my carrier, so i left them on the kitchen counter during the game.  as it turns out, tanky loves my baking.  he helped himself to the icing on 3. 

glad you got to celebrate blakey's birthday too, tanky.

happy friday, friends!!  we have two more nights of birthday celebrations ahead of us.  i hope you do something fun with someone you love too.

love love,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

thankful thursday # 26.

you know i love birthdays & blakey's is no different.

we celebrated my style - as much as possible - tuesday, wednesday, friday, & saturday.  {we would've added more but there was test taking & being on call.  lame doctor stuff.}

blakey's actual birth day celebrations included a softball game with our fellow obgyn friends!

{go merkins!}

{get in done, blakey}

{go blake go!}

how awesome are our jerseys??  merkins - google it.  blakey's nickname: porterhouse.  mine: poundcake.  love it.

{that is the massive rainstorm that ended our game.
so we lost.  but we were up to bat & totally coming back.}

then we headed home for birthday dinner & presents!!

i saw the most beautiful tomato pie on the cover of the food network magazine & had to make it.  locally grown heriloom tomatoes = yum!  you can find the recipe {here}.  i followed it pretty darn closely - apparently i do not have a "deep dish pie plate" so i made one 9" with crust & one 9" crustless.  tons of food.  i also didn't want to spend a gajillion dollars on manchego cheese, so i opted for gouda.  great choice.

it was quite delicious!  nothing like i've made before.  although it tasted quite similar to pizza.  but different in a very good way.
oh, & we ate it right out of the pie plate.  no need to let it cool long enough to solidify.  we wanted it right then.

& then it was FINALLY present time!

 {i cannot wait for his children to laugh at him 
for being shirtless while opening gifts}

i had been dying for blakey to open his birthday present.  he has been talking & talking & talking & talking about wanting an ipad for awhile now.  & i just kept saying no.  no no no.  but lisa, dave,  & i got him one :)  yay!!

happy birthday, byrds!  hope it was the best day of the year.

love love,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

happy birthday, byrds!!!

happy birthday to my wonderful & amazing husband!!!

i hope your day makes you feel loved & your year is filled with many happy things. 

 {we will be celebrating tonight at our softball game!
go merkins!}

{our celebration last night at moe's!}

love love,

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

blakey cooks!

to continue on with my ode to blakey birthday week...

a couple of weeks ago, blakey cooked dinner for us!  & it was really good.

we got a mini deep fryer for our wedding.  i did register for it, although i wasn't really sure if we'd ever use it.  but it was cute.  & cuisinart.  so i added it to the list.

well, blakey wanted to use the deep fryer.  so he picked up a bag of louisiana seasoned shrimp fry, breaded some shrimp, & fried away.  they were quite tasty!

{what fried isn't tasty, right?  but i was really proud of him.}

add a little cajun roasted red potatoes & homemade coleslaw, & you have yourself a good southern meal.

you're the best, byrds.

2 more days until your BIRTHDAY!!

love love,

Monday, July 18, 2011

study study study.

blakey takes step 3 {the third set of tests to become a board certified doctor} today & tomorrow.  so we spent all weekend studying.

sounds lame, right. 

not for us!  friday night, we hung out at barnes - one of my favorite past times.  when i was in college, you could find me more often than not studying at barnes.  i always looked forward to the day i would be there reading a book for fun.  the time has come!

saturday was a gorgeous day!  the high was in the low 80s with some big clouds & a little breeze.  so we headed to moe's patio!  {although we do LOVE moe's, it was also one of the only places we could find with a patio & wi-fi.  now we love it more.}  i got to sit on a patio with my husband, drink a beer, & wear jeans & a long-sleeved shirt on a july afternoon!  i love alabama.

we hope you had a wonderful weekend too!

by the way, it's blakey's birthday week!  the big 2-8.  he's so old :)

love love,

Friday, July 15, 2011

happy coffee cake!

a happy friday to you! 

if you're in the area, stop by urban & have a piece of the blueberry coffee cake i made!  it is pretty fabulous. 

& you can enjoy these beautiful flowers from jones valley farms.

hope you have a most wonderful weekend!

love love,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

thankful thursday # 25.

if i had to name one meal as my favorite meal in the whole world, it would be my grandmother's biscuits & gravy.

{from my recent trip to oklahoma}

probably like you, i am positive my grandma is the best cook in the world.  i remember going to grandma & grandpa's house and eating a huge spread of food each time she cooked.  from fabulous biscuits & gravy and breakfast sausage to fried catfish & chow chow to green beans from her garden with little pieces of bacon to her pecan pie {THE best pecan pie in the world} to a beautiful barbie birthday cake with homemade ice cream & probably a cookie or two because the cake & ice cream just weren't enough.

she is the best.  & my grandpa is amazing too... especially because he believes she is the best as well.

today, i am thankful for them.

& i'm thankful for our chef at work making his rendition of biscuits & gravy yesterday morning, reminding me of my grandma & grandpa.  his, of course, was not my grandma's, but it was really good.

{i had to take a bite before i could take a picture.}

today, i hope you can think of something for which you are thankful.

love love,

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

a little bit of rain.

a couple weeks ago, blakey & i went to our favorite rooftop bar in birmy, above, & watched a thunderstorm roll in. 

it was perfect.

we watched the lightning all around the city.  & felt the cold front breeze through the skies.

{my awful attempt at taking a picture of lightning.
not successful.
but fun.}

it rains a lot here in the summer.  it would be fair to call it a "rainy season".  chance of rain every day.  one of my friends learned that apparently most people in birmy don't have a built in sprinkler system, they don't even normally have to water the grass.  it rains that much.  

how foreign does that sound to anyone from oklahoma or texas?!

it hasn't rained quite that much this year.  but it is supposed to this weekend.  {meaning a chance above 50% & a cold front!}  i am super excited.

oklahomans, i hope you enjoyed your rain yesterday!  & that the 100+ temps {for days & days & days} are survivable.

love love,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

street art, as they call it.

the loft building blakey & i live in is extremely artsy.  we must be the least hip people who live here.  {especially since i just used the word "hip".} 

in fact, our artist neighbors taught us about "street art".  what is street art, you ask?  well, one might call it graffiti.  but tags {ie cleverly written names} are not included in the definition.  so graffiti pictures.  

our stairway is filled with street art.  it is quite impressive, actually.  kind of obnoxious, but impressive. 

welcome to our artful world of downtown birmingham!

love love,

Monday, July 11, 2011

july 4th meal, only a week late!

we finally celebrate the 4th of july with our annual huge american meal!  amy & ogden & lola joined us, of course.  have to have our foodie friends & tank's girlfriend.

blakey was post-call, so i got to cook all day long.  one of my favorite post-call activities.  i roasted pork shoulder, which cooked for 6 hours.  my kitchen smelled divine all day long!

for the appetizer, we had my favorite summer fruit: watermelon!

i found a recipe with an interesting twist on your classic potato salad: bleu cheese potato salad.  it was quite good!  the good new red potatoes instead of your boring idaho.  a little tangy from the bleu cheese, pretty creamy with no mayo, & a crunch with green onions & a little bacon.  you can find the recipe {here}.  i actually followed it pretty closely with only a few exceptions: more salt, more bleu cheese, a little shredded cheddar, & DEFINITELY let the flavors marry in the fridge for an hour or two.

 now this was the star of the meal: the pioneer woman's spicy dr pepper shredded pork.  so moist, so much flavor, a little spice.  perfect.  & incredibly easy.  you are going to go look at the recipe & laugh at how easy it is.  {the recipe is right here}.  do it.  go make this tonight. 

a couple of things:  my 3.5 quart le creuset dutch oven was not big enough for my 5 pounds.  guess i'll have to get a new & bigger one :)  i pretty much followed the recipe to a t other than that.  we did only have ddp & it worked just great.  diet pork.  right.

oh, we served it on wheat buns with sliced creamy havarti cheese.  i would definitely recommend it.  although pulled pork is good every way.  go nuts.  & tell me what your favorite was.

i don't think i know how to cook without sauteing some onions in olive oil.  i threw in a couple julienne jalapenos to kick it up.

& the most important part of the meal: dessert!  i followed my theme for the summer & made a blueberry cobbler.  still delicious my third time!  & insanely easy.  my base recipe is {here}.   i use less sugar, more lemon.  & i bake it in whatever baking dish i haven't already used.  if you are going to use blueberries instead of blackberries, up the cornstarch.  {hint for life: blueberries have a ton of water in them.  they need extra care when baking.}  & try your hardest to let it sit for 15 - 20 minutes after baking to thicken up.  we absolutely could not wait.  it was still delicious.

& homemade strawberry ice cream!  our cuisinart ice cream maker wedding gift is fantastic!  & it makes plenty.  we'll be eating the ice cream all summer.  & i'm ok with that.  the recipe-ish is {here}.  i used frozen strawberries that were thawed & food processed a bit, so it actually turned pink.  no food coloring here.

the two desserts were a little match made in heaven.  thanks, heaven.  we appreciated it!

hope your weekend was fabulous!!

love love,

Friday, July 8, 2011

my cupcakes!

my cupcakes are the picture for urban standard on urbanspoon!  that is awesome.

i'm pretty sure that just means it was the last photo uploaded.  but it makes me smile, nonetheless.

it was a lovely short week at urban this week: took some day-old pastries to a women's & children's home on the holiday, had a break through on blueberry scones, & had a bit of success with french macarons.  {oh, those french macarons. if you've ever made them, you know.}

{raspberry macaroons with white frosting!}

i do hope you have a wonderful weekend!  sleep catching up is on my agenda.  & making the 4th of july meal i didn't feel like making during the huge rainstorm on the holiday.  hopefully it is delicious!

love love,