Tuesday, April 30, 2013

oh, delicious philly food.

you didn't think i'd go to philly without eating some amazing food &/or not tell you all about it, did you??  of course not.  you know me too well.

after our morning at the zoo, we ate some fabulous food truck turned brick-&-mortar breakfast tacos!  always love some food truck tacos.

for our afternoon treat, julie & I stopped at her favorite little wine bar called tria.  we enjoyed a delicious beverage on the patio in center city while little man was home with his dad.  it was so nice to spend some time with my sister.

that evening, we went to a fantastic prohibition bar, the franklin mortgage & investment company.  it's below street level with a door guy standing between you & getting into the secretive bar.  the cocktail menu is so unique with each drink made of interesting ingredients, a few of which you have never heard of before.  they were crafty & delicious.

for dinner that evening, we went to an absolutely amazing dinner at talula's garden in washington square.  talula's is a farm to table restaurant set in a garden between two tall city buildings.  the outdoor cocktail bar is full of restored wood & lights & a lovely breeze.

& the food was ridiculous.  we started out with a cheese plate with six different delicious cheeses from a vermont goat cheese to a dutch vintage gouda.  for my main course, i had some absolutely incredible roasted scallops with a celery root chowder, house cured bacon, & meyer lemon clam broth.  it was truly beautiful.

after dinner, we stopped by rim cafe for the most gourmet hot chocolate i have ever seen.  rene, the master hot chocolate crafter, put on a great show, shaving multiple kinds of chocolate into your drink with many fancy sauces & toppings.  it was so entertaining & quite tasty too.

oh, & little malcolm enjoyed a tasty meal of pureed apricots & rice.  yummm...

it certainly always is wonderful in philadelphia.

love love,

Monday, April 29, 2013

our housewarming meal!

this weekend, blakey & i hosted a housewarming brunch for our lovely new home!  only 10 months after moving in.  always a reason to celebrate.

eight of our dearest friends joined us for the food & fun.  {two were out of town.  i am determined to get the ten of us together in the next year.  & to take a picture together.  it's totally happening.}

our celebration began with orange & grapefruit water, mimosas, and grapefruit juice & sparkling wine {what is this drink called?  certainly it has a name!  none of us could think of it, nor was a quick google search any help.}

the star beverage of the brunch was amy & ogden's oyster shooters!  fresh oysters from the fish market,  the zing zang bloody mary mix, a little red wine vinegar, vodka, & a little worchestershire.  it was delicious!!  & quite fun to drink oysters out of shot glasses.

next up is our delicious brunch feast!  {click on the links for recipes}

homemade biscuits served with blake's carolina pulled pork, homemade apple butter that cooked in my slow cooker all night long, & a delicious chevre goat cheese spread with arugula & chives, & homegrown lemon thyme.  

{recipe for blake's carolina pulled pork}

{chevre goat cheese mixed with 
chopped arugula, chopped chives,
lemon zest, homegrown lemon thyme,
salt & pepper}

{homemade slow cooker apple butter}

an egg casserole inspired by the norman assistance league's may fair casserole: ground sausage, croutons, eggs, cheddar cheese, pepperjack cheese, almond milk, cream of mushroom soup, diced chiles, & green onions.

 {the norman assistance league's may fair casserole}

& for dessert, my maple bacon donuts!

a happy home with a wonderful housewarming.

love love,

Friday, April 26, 2013

spring custard bars.

the other morning before our supply truck arrived, we were out of ingredients for every dish i wanted to make.  so i searched my pinterest boards for something i had been wanting to make with the ingredients we had on hand.  i stumbled across an idea from one of my absolute favorite baking blogs, bakers royale, that was adaptable enough for the ingredients we actually did have.

summery berry custard bars!  i realize it's not summer.  nor did we have raspberries or blackberries or any other fresh berries.  nor lemons.  however, we did have some frozen strawberries & oranges.  strawberry orange custard bars it was!

did i mention i dislike all things custard-like?  that texture... oh my gosh... i can.not.stand.it.  custard, yogurt, pudding, creme brûlée... not my thing.  but i needed to make something, so this was it.

everyone loved it.  customers apparently bought one, ate it, then went back up & bought more to take home or to work.  goes to show just how subjective taste really is.  i'm flattered.  & not all that shocked because bakers royale is pretty darn impressive.

{& this made me smile too}

happy friday, friends!

love love,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

thankful thursday: sunrise sunrise.

the sun wakes up so early in alabama.  just this week, the sun has begun rising with me on my way to work in the 5 o'clock hour.  & that makes me incredibly thankful.

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

love love,

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

mexican corn salad.

this salad is pretty fantastic.  i love corn.  i love feta.  &, as it turns out, i love them together.  so give this a try for a delicious, warm, spring salad.

mexican corn salad
found on: pinterest
original recipe: closet cooking

2 T evoo
2 cloves minced garlic
3 ears of corn, freshly cut from the cob
1 jalapeño, seeded & finely diced
4 stems green onions, sliced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 oz feta, crumbled
2 T unsweetened almond milk
1 lime, juice
1 tsp chili powder
optional: serve over a bed of arugula

1.  to cut corn from the cob, put a small bowl upside down inside of a big bowl.  place one ear of corn on end on top of the small bowl & slice the kernels off of the cob.  this is the best way i've heard to make as small of mess as possible.  my mess is still huge.  but better than it could have been.  once you've gotten all of the kernels off of the cob, use the back of the knife to scrape down the cob.  this will get out all of those delicious sweet corn sugars too.

2.  in a skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.  add garlic & lightly toast, a minute or two until everything sizzles.

3.  add the corn & stir around.  add jalapeño.  continue cooking on medium high until heated through, 10ish minutes.

4.  turn heat to low.  add green onions, cilantro, feta, almond milk, lime juice, chili powder, & salt.  stir stir stir.  taste!  pretty darn delicious, right?

5.  we served our warm mexican corn salad on top of fresh arugula.  it was quite a tasty choice, adding some pepperiness & freshness & crunch.  this will certainly be enjoyed again soon!

love love,

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

fun at the philly zoo!

we went to the zoo!  & little man loved it.  he might have liked the other little kids more than the animals themselves, but that totally counts.  we big kids loved it too.

julie & ben love the giraffes.  there was a baby giraffe born since they've been in philly, so it's been fun for them to see her grow big & tall.

my favorite, the rhino, didn't want to come out to play on this day.  but that's ok because we got to see so many monkeys!  the zoo just built these awesome sky tubes for the monkeys to crawl around in above the park.  it was so neat!  they would play & run & sit & watch you.  awesome monkey toys.

{mr turtle was super tired,
so he took a nap on his little turtle arm.}

{birds ARE amazing!}

happy day at the zoo with a happy little man!

love love,

Monday, April 22, 2013

tickled pink for baby hannah!

baby hannah's due arrival is only 5 weeks away, so our wonderful friends got together this weekend to celebrate marybeth & weston with a baby shower.

chalkboard invitations, purple poofs, candy bracelets, & strawberry cupcakes adorned the room for the party.

we played a fun little shower game called baby sweets, in which we had to guess a popular candy described by a word or phrase.  for example: choosing baby's name - whatchamacallit!  epidurals - lifesavers!  triplets - 3 musketeers!

it was so fun to shower the soon-to-be parents with love & gifts.  congratulations, marybeth & weston!  we are so excited to meet baby hannah very soon!

love love,

Friday, April 19, 2013

donuts donuts everywhere!

while i was in philly, julie & ben took me to their favorite little donut shop in center city, federal donuts!  it is a quaint little shop that serves delicious donuts & coffee & some great looking fried chicken.

the donuts come in the hot & fresh variety as well as the fancy.  & the flavors change seasonally.  on this day, the fancy were blueberry muffin, chocolate peanut butter, turkish coffee, cookies & cream, french toast, & pink lemonade.  the hot & fresh were indian cinnamon, julie & ben's favorite appolonia spice, & vanilla lavender.  we went ahead & got one of each fancy & two of each hot & fresh.  a great choice.

they were all incredibly delicious!  the hot & fresh were definitely the best.  so sweet & buttery & amazing.  the vanilla lavender certainly inspired me... so much so that i made my own baked version this week at urban!  thank you for the delicious treats & inspiration, federal donuts!!

love love,