#43 and #63

February 20, 2010


Turns out that 23 of the items listed in Atlanta Magazine’s 67 Things Every Atlantan Must Do! are restaurants, and even more than that have to do with food.   

 #43 on the list is “Belly up the The Brick Store Pub’s Bar.”

On Mardi Gras, Anna, Kimberly (and TJ) and I bellyed up.  And, it was worth every minute bite of it!  The Brick is located in the very adorable downtown Decatur.  The styling has the feel of an authentic old English Pub.  Mind you, I have never been to an authentic old English Pub, but I am certain that when I do, it will be exactly like The Brick.

Just reading the beer descriptions and the dinner menu will bring a tear to your eye, and everything that we tried definitely lived up to the description.


 Fresh Creamy Pasta


Curry Rice


And, handmade pretzels.


We also completed #63 on the list, which happens to be a regular stop for me…

“Eat Global at Your Dekalb Farmers Market.”  The Dekalb Farmers Market is not your traditional local farmers’ market.  It is a ginormous indoor international grocery store.  In fact, it is more like the largest produce stand you have ever experienced attached to the largest butcher shop you have ever seen, attached to a fantabulous seafood market, attached to a gourmet cheese shop, attached to a fresh bakery.  Oh, and don’t forget about the florist, gourmet coffee shop, deli, and pastry bar!!!!!

#43 Belly Up To The Brick Store Pub’s Belgian Bar 

#63 Eat Global at Your Dekalb Farmers Market

In joy, troye



A couple of weeks ago, a friend mentioned a restaurant/ pub located in downtown Decatur.  When she described it to me, she told me that it was one of the 67 things to do in Atlanta according to Atlanta Magazine. I was intrigued.  Hmmmmm…67 things to do in the city that I only grew up a little more than an hour from.  What have I been missing out on here?????? 

So, I grabbed a copy of The Atlanta Magazine and decided I want to try to do the things on “the list.”  I don’t want to go all “Julie & Julia” here, but I do think that it would be fun to complete the list and write about it.  There are things on the list that I’ve done many times before like #34, “On July 4, run the Peachtree Road Race…” or #63 “Eat global at Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market.”  There are other activities that I have done, but without the twist that the magazine added, such as #1″Climb Stone Mountain in the dark.”  I have trekked to the top of Stone Mountain but never in the dark.  Or, take #57, “Taste the Beverly- and other exotic drinks at the World of Coca-Cola.”  I toured the Coke Museum located in Atlanta many times as a teenager, but they have since built a new facility, so I’ve never actually been to this particular World of Coke. 

There are plenty of things on the list that have been on my wishlist of things to do for a long time like #58, “Get your pour on at SweetWater,” a local brewery.  And, there are other things on the list that probably won’t happen for me, like #5 “Drink a PBR at the Clermont Lounge” or #40 “Dress Yourself (like a gentleman).”

As much as possible we will do these things as a family or at least The Man and I will try them out.  Again, in an effort not to get all Julie & Julia, I am not putting any time limit here either.  I thought we would shoot for the next year, but there are events listed in the article that have already occurred this calendar year.  So, stay tuned as I journey through this list.  It should be fun (for me at least), and I’ll try to keep you posted as to the things you should definitely try for yourself or the things that you should mark off of your list of things to do in Atlanta.

In joy, Troye

Homemade Cream Cheese

February 13, 2010

Making your own cream cheese is so easy, super scrumptious, and inexpensive. This is the softest creamiest cream cheese evah!!!
All you have to do is get a quart (or two- because believe me, you are going to love this stuff) of full fat plain yogart. Do not skimp and go for the low fat- and don’t even get me started on the low fat craze. In fact, The Man just told me that he needed to go back on a low fat diet so that he would gain some weight. Ha!!!! This time I am using greek yogart, but regular yogart makes creamy deliciousness as well.
Spread cheese cloth over a bowl, and dump the yogart on top. Allow the liquid to drain out, and voila… what you have left is cream cheese. For certain varieties of yogart, you may need to tie the cheese cloth to a wooden spoon and place it across the top of a deeper bowl to allow more liquid to drain. I have not had to do that yet, but may need to with the greek yogart.
The liquid that is left is whey. It will last in your fridge for 6 months and is perfect for soaking grains with excellent health benefits. Your cream cheese will last in the fridge for 2 months (if you don’t eat it in a week).
After you make your cream cheese, I highly recommend making some caramel popcorn and dipping it into the cheese. I think I’ll go have some now.
In joy, troye


February 2, 2010

D: Mommy, I’m connecked.

Me: You’re connected?

D: No, Mommy, look, I’m connecked. I don’t have any clothes on.

At lunch with my dad for his birthday…

D: Mommy, why do you keep calling Papa Daddy?

And, then later…

D: Mommy, how old is Papa?

Me: I think he’s 39. Why don’t you ask him?

My Dad: I’m 67.

D: Wow, that’s a lot of money!!!

Mindful Menu Monday

February 1, 2010

Here is our menu plan for the week:

Sunday- chili with bread

Monday- Girl’s Night, and I still have no idea (I am typing this at 10am on Monday morning). Great plan, huh?

Tuesday- Sweet Potato Quesadillas, recipe from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingslover

Wednesday- Ezekiel Stew- stew recipe using whole grains traditionally used to make EZ bread, with cornbread and salad

Thursday- Baked Chicken, Millet Casserole, and salad

Friday- Pizza and family movie night (sundried tomato, feta, spinach, mushroom pizza)

Saturday- open

Here is my chili recipe- with plenty of liberties. It is different every time I make it:

Brown 2 lbs ground beef with 3-5 cloves minced garlic in large stockpot. Sometimes I grate raw carrots and add at this point to pump up the nutrition. In small bowl, stir together 1 can tomato paste with 1 cup water. Once combined add to meat mixture along with 2 tbsp chili powder, 1-2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp oregano. Stir together. Roast a jalapeno pepper on your stove (if you have gas stove top) until black, then dice and add to meat mixture. Add 1 can diced tomatoes (I prefer Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes). Reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour or more. Add 1 diced onion about 45 min into this hour.
Add 1/4 cup masa corn flour to 1/2 cup water in bowl, and combine thoroughly. Then stir into meat. Add beans to your liking (I’ve used kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, or a combo of the three).
Heat an additional 15 minutes.
This is a very hearty chuncky chili. I also like a bite to my chili, so you can adjust the spices to your liking.

In joy, troye

As seen in a used bookstore in Blue Ridge:
Read Carefully:

Steaks and Friends

December 28, 2009

Our friends Gary and Susannah are in town for the holidays from California. Last night we got together for dinner. The last time Gary was in town, I went on and on about the cow in our freezer, and then I made him eggs. Since Susannah doesn’t really eat beef, Gary doesn’t get to have steak very often, so this time around, I made steak… pioneer woman style.
I think it helps to make a mean face when you cook steak in cast iron, right?
Susannah put the salad together, and you can see a bandit in the background stealing a cookie from the cookie jar. BUSTED!
Baby Ju Ju was ticked that her mom wouldn’t let her eat steak!

Ribeyes over sauteed spinach with Blue Cheese Cream Sauce. Shut your mouth!!!!!!!

Susannah enjoyed the “amythecook sandwich.” Pesto and mozzarella grilled cheese on fresh deli style bread. Have I mentioned that I want to eat this sandwich every day? Except when steak is on the menu, of course.

We love you Gary, Susannah, and Flora!!!!!!!!!
In joy, troye

December 26, 2009

I’ve been making bread at home for well over a year now. I have used one recipe for all of my bread needs- loaf bread, cinnamon rolls, french loaves, hot dog buns, etc. It is good bread, but it is very dense, and not a great sandwich loaf. This week, thanks to Susannah, I found a new recipe, and I’ll never look back. This recipe is pretty heavily adapted from this post over at Passionate Homemaking. It makes four loaves (you can freeze them so that you don’t have to make bread as often), and it is soft and delicious. It really tastes like deli style bread.
Yumm-oh! Here is the recipe:

Troye’s Bread (adapted from Homemade Bread- Lindsay’s Way)

4 1/2 cups water, HOT from the tap
1 1/2 tbsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup honey, raw
1/3 cup flax seed, ground
2 1/2 cups rolled oats, optional (if you don’t use this, you will definitely need more flour)
1 tsp rice lecithin (if you have access to dough enhancer, you can add 2-4 tbsp instead of the lecithin), optional
11-12 cups flour (I use a combination of fresh ground flour here- hard red wheat, hard white, wheat, kamut, spelt)
2 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
Combine water, salt, egg, oil, honey, and half of flour (about 6 cups) in mixer. Place lecithin, flax seed, and oats on top of flour and knead on low speed until combined. Turn mixer off, and add other half of flour. Place yeast on top of flour. Knead on low speed. Once the flour is incorporated, begin to add flour one tbsp at a time until dough pulls away from side of bowl. *the goal is to use the least amount of flour possible for the softest loaf, so add slowly here* Knead for a total of approximately 10 min.
Remove to a LARGE greased bowl, and cover with a towel. Let sit until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. *I let mine sit in the oven with a roasting pan of hot water underneath, and the light on*
Punch down and divide into 4 loaves. You can roll each loaf out with a rolling pin and roll up into a loaf for perfectly shaped loaves.
Place in greased loaf pans and let rise again until doubled (about 30 min). *For this, I turn the oven on the lowest setting while I shape the loaves, and then turn it off prior to putting the loaves in. And, remember to remove before preheating oven.*
Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 3o minutes. Remove from oven, and let rest in pan for 10 min before removing from pans.

The dough makes fantastic cinnamon rolls…
Also, a DELICIOUS sandwich thanks to the amazing mind of amythecook is to spread pesto on the slices, and melt a thick slice of whole milk mozzarella- grilled cheese style. Shut Your Mouth!!!!!!!!!!! I want to eat this sandwich everyday. And, as you can tell, there is no photo of it because I could not stop eating it long enough to take a pic. 🙂 Sorry! Just make the sandwich, and then you will be able to see its beauty.

In joy, Troye!

You Gotta Make Dis!

December 14, 2009

Guinness Beef Stew

3 lbs Boneless Beef Chuck
2 tbsp butter
2 onions
4 cups chicken broth
1 3/4 cups Guinness Draught, Divided
1 tbsp lt brown sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
1 oz, weight bittersweet chocolate, chopped (take my word for it- sounds, weird, but so worth it!)
5 whole carrots, peeled and cut
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut
1/4 cup flour
Cut beef into cubes, and season with salt and pepper. Melt butter in cast iron dutch oven. Brown beef over medium-high heat. Add broth, 1 1/2 cups Guinness (reserve remainder- refrain from drinking- especially if, like me, you are preparing this before you leave for church Sunday morning), brown sugar, thyme, and chocolate. Bring to boil. Add carrots, onions, and potatoes. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook for at least two hours. In a small bowl, whisk flour and remaining 1/4 cup Guinness until smooth. Stir mixture into stew. Cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes on medium heat or until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper (lots and lots and lots of fresh ground pepper!!!).
And, try not to slap yo momma!!!!!
In joy, troye

Night on the Town

December 13, 2009

“Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry with your girlfriends.”
All girls need at least one fantastic girlfriend to combat the craziness of life. I am blessed BEYOND MEASURE to have many friends that I would put in this category. Some of them I am not able to see on a regular basis (Nikki). Some live right down the street, and I am lucky to only see once in a while (Andrea). And, some are crazy enough to get together with me on a weekly basis and act stupid, and eat way too much food, and drink way too much drink, and watch way too much trash television. It is my medication.
This group of girls decided to make a trip to the city (Atlanta) to meet Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, our new BFF. Some of us have followed Ree for a long time. Others are new fans, and others are mad that they were not told about how fabulous Ree is sooner (sorry Cheri).
Ree was signing copies of her new fantastic cookbook in Buckhead, and we had two December birthdays to celebrate, so we dicided to make a trip out of it.
Doesn’t Ree look adorable signing Kimberly‘s book?
We didn’t have to wait in line too long thanks to Cheri and Kimberly who drove to Buckhead Monday morning to pick up wristbands to reserve our place in line.
Here is one of the birthday girls waiting with our trump card, Baby JuJu (who is a little slice of heaven- seriously, could she be a better baby?).
This is how excited we were to meet Ree.

And, of course, we had some very important business to conduct in line, so we had to have our iphones armed and ready!
My nose is ginormous in this picture!!!!!!

We had a blast waiting in line, and people around us all backed away. We have that effect on people. Sorry to anyone who encounters us when we go out into public together.

And, here we all are with Ree. If you didn’t know which one Ree was, you would just think she was part of our group. She fits right in. And, if you didn’t know Susannah, you would wonder why she decided to sit on Ree’s lap for this photo. Silly girl!!!!!

After the signing, we went out for dinner, and then we went back to a hotel suite sponsored by Kristina’s boss, Connie. Connie we lit candles and paid homage to you while we were there. The suite was amazing, and we had a blast.
Birthday gifts were opened- and tried on. Adorable!!!!!

We laughed hysterically over youtube videos.

We modeled footed Santa pjs!

And, we ate cupcakes and drank champagne. We also played an exciting game of “propel yourself across the room in the rolling conference chairs.” Good Times!!!!!

The next morning, we went shopping. Nordtrom Mall of Georgia gave us all free makeovers, and a private party catered just for our birthday girls complete with a fashion show and intimate apparel fittings.

This is the only photo I have from the shopping day. We had to take a photo of the killer boots Kimberly found!!!!!!!!!! Shazam!

We had a fantastic time, and I think the birthday girls had a much deserved happy day!

Thank you, ladies for being my dose of good medicine.