Thursday, April 10, 2014

Savannah in the Spring

We were all happy to load up and drive to Savannah for a short stay during Spring Break.  We enjoyed much better weather than our last trip there. (Winter 2010 when it actually snowed in Savannah!)

We returned to some favorites:
Dinner with Paula et al at Lady and Sons

B.T. Byrd's Cookies at City Market

Shopping at The Paris Market, Savannah Bee Company, (Goodwill, of course), Joseph's Men's Shop,
Nourish, Half Moon Outfitters on Broughton Street...
 ...One Fish Two Fish on Whitaker and

 Savannah Candy Kitchen on River Street...

 ...where they have candy you never even dreamed of.

The River Walk and the historic district are so beautiful this time of year.

I hated to leave,

but like every great trip I have ever taken,

I drive away planning my return...

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Spring is (finally) here!

The first week in April brought with it sunshine, warm temperatures and lots of fun - except for Mama who fell and broke her wrist.  No fun there. The rest of us have enjoyed April Fools Day:

April Fools Joke:
Q: What's worse than school cafeteria food?
A: Nothin'!

the end of soccer season...

... and an undefeated one at that.

I was so so proud that Julia was chosen to join the Special Olympics Team from her school as a helper.
She attended the event held at Clarke Central High School on Wednesday, April 2.  She watched and cheered for several of her friends as they competed in different events.  Through school, she spends a few hours a week as an Adaptive P.E. helper.  Through this program, she regularly assists children with physical and mental challenges as they play games and exercise in their P.E. class.

The first weekend in April also brought the Chic Fil A Half Marathon to Athens. While I have run several half marathons, it has been a while. Also, during those days, I had a lot more time to train. (Read: was not working 30 or 40 hours a week!)

I don't usually blog about jogging. (I really do love to run.) Probably because my jogging is walking with a bounce.  I have recently shaved some time off my mile. When I told John my new personal best, he grimaced and groaned, "Oh, Mom...."
 I know I have expressed my love of Chic Fil A many times and if you read my "About Me" profile, you know how very much I love Athens, Georgia.  This race combined the best of the best for me: running through Athens, Ga for several miles - okay - 13 - and finishing with a big ole chicken biscuit. What's better than that?
This half marathon did remind me how beautiful our town is during Spring.  On a running tour, you see so much more than when riding or driving.

None of the pictures I took were decent - probably because I was just moving soooo fast ;-)..... but 
the race was fun, the weather was beautiful.... and I finished! My time is nothing to brag about, but that chicken biscuit sure was!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Will Spring Please Come?

Mother Nature has seemingly forgotten that this is the south.  We don't do coats after - say - March 15. 
Oh, but we are "doing" them today! We're all ready to pull out shorts and T shirts, but the Weather Channel says, "not so fast".  After a particularly winter like week, I set the table to invite Spring. 

Those Bailey "Yum" cups are some of my favorites and I couldn't wait to use them with turquoise plates and my new Hen House  linens. (Runner and napkin rings are from Hen House.)

Spring will bring a few of my favorite things: Palm Sunday and Easter, Spring Break with a great surprise, a beach trip and some rather big birthdays :-]  We have races to run (Chic Fil A Half Marathon), parties to plan, (our Daddy will be 50 - well - another year older) trips to take, spring football, soccer, piano recitals and just fitting dinner in with all that.  I can't wait.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Saint Patrick's Day Tablescape

As a kid, I felt like Saint Patrick's Day was a day you just had to live through in order to get to Easter
 and Spring Break.
After visiting Ireland, I became a little more interested in Saint Patrick's story...and after getting a little older, I decided there were no "throw away holidays". We need to celebrate all of them!

So... I'll bake some Irish Soda Bread, Corned Beef and Cabbage...
(or at least eat dinner at church when my friend Lew makes his famous St. Patrick's day dinner there.)

... drink some hot tea... with cream... lots of cream...

wear green and thank God  for ALL I have to celebrate!
Aaaaaand surely to goodness spring will be just around the corner. 

Tablescape Elements:
Runner and Chargers are from Hobby Lobby
Placemats from Big Lots many years ago
Plates are Italian Countryside by Mikasa
Footed tumblers are from Belk
Block Optic Depression Glass mostly from Ebay
Golden Rabbit Flatware
For the centerpiece - I used some of my favorite candy.  I would feel very lucky to sit down to a table with that in front of me! (Oh btw.... those are "Gold Coins" - not gold Easter Eggs, okay?)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mardi Gras Tablescape

By now, y'all realize that I am wearing my New Orleans theme slap out.  It's just that we had so much fun shopping, sight seeing, eating and eating and eating!  
Celebrate Magazine has had some absolutely wonderful Mardi Gras recipes over the years.  To kick off our New Orleans trip, I enjoyed making several of these recipes. We've sampled Jambalaya with Cheesy Olive Bread and a particularly good and easy Crawfish Etoufee from past issues.

We had the Crawfish Etoufee this weekend and while De did admit that The Acme Oyster House's was a little better, (ha!) he said this was still good.  

I gussied up the dining room table with some mardi gras colors... and then we ate from plastic bowls in the kitchen!

Tablescape elements:
Runner: Thrifted
Green napkins: Sur La Table
Purple and Gold napkins and Placemats: Pier 1
Flatware: Gorham, Golden Ribbon Edge
Stemware: Fostoria Moonstone
Napkin rings: made from mardi gras beads and Christmas ornaments
Dinner plate, salad plate and soup bowl: KMart

Celebrate Magazine's Crawfish Etouffee
Winter 2012
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup seeded and chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups seafood stock
1&1/2 Tablespoons Creole seasoning
2 pounds frozen, crawfish tail meat, thawed
1&1/4 cups water 
12 cups cooked white rice
In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.  Add celery, bell pepper, onion and garlic to melted butter. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until onion is translucent, but not browned, stirring frequently.  Add flour to celery mixture, stirring to combine.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until mixture begins to thicken.  Add seafood stock and Creole seasoning to flour mixture, stirring to remove any lumps.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add crawfish to celery mixture, stirring well.  Cook for 5 to 6 minutes stirring frequently.  Add water to pan, stirring well and cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes or until heated through.  Serve over rice.

And one more thing... I live in the Crawfish part of the world.  We say Crawfish.  I realize that others say Crayfish and still others say Crawdads.  I'm guessing those are the poor souls who also say, "yous guys".  No matter how you say it, this stuff is pretty good!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Orleans (Part II)

New Orleans proved to be a great place for teenagers.  I can't say I wasn't worried about a lot of Bourbon Street exposure - especially given the fact that the NBA All star game was the weekend we were there. Things were a little crazy in the French Quarter on Sunday. I will say that like most cities, you can find what you're looking for.  I wanted John and Julia to experience the culture that New Orleans offers - and some of it is, to quote Julia, "cray-cray". They also got a peak into the Garden District and the gorgeous homes and architecture there.  Now that college is looming ever closer, I thought it was a bonus that they got to see Tulane and Loyola.
A beautiful home on Charles Street decked out for Mardi Gras

Mom and Jules on the St. Charles Trolly

The city itself is steeped in history, but we loved the museum that showcases American involvement in
World War II.  De could have spent two days there, but the rest of us cried, "Uncle".

John and Julia at the World War II Museum

If De's thing is history, John's is definitely movies. John spied "Zoltar" from the movie,
BIG, in the French Quarter.

During a ride on a carriage that was pulled by Jenny....

... we were serenaded by Grandpa Elliott - a street musician who was featured in the documentary,
Playing for Change. He sang "What a Wonderful World" and "The Girl from Impanema".
We celebrated our ride and mini concert with - what else -
 another round of Beignets from Cafe Du Monde!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Orleans 2014!

After a week of having the flu, getting together a trip and a treasure hunt  for Valentine's Day was just. too. much.  So, I got together the trip...and what a fantastic destination it was. While I was sad that this was the first year ever we didn't have a Valentine's Treasure Hunt, no one else complained.  At all.

St Lois Cathedral is right across the street from the Cafe - a beautiful view for the gluttonous :-)

Cafe Du Monde was quite a highlight of our trip. We all devoured an order of beignets and cups of cafe au lait or hot chocolate.  We liked it so much, we went there three times!  While traveling, I was reading Dan Brown's book, Inferno.  It occurred to me that Dante himself would have added an sub layer of hell reserved just for this kind of Cafe Du Monde gluttony.  Don't worry, we didn't reserve this behavior for the Cafe only. We pretty much ate New Orleans.