Saturday, December 8, 2012

I'm out of space...

Hi readers,
Just a quick note to say we're still here! We've burned through all of our free space on Blogger and I can't upload new photos unless I purchase more gigs. Before doing that I'm looking into other options and thinking about the possibilities for the future of And Topher Too.
Please check back in soon.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Traditional German foods with our CouchSurfing host

Dinners with our CouchSurfing host, Michael, in the Rhineland region of Germany were some of the most memorable meals of our entire European Adventure. He prepared for our visit by picking up a wide variety of traditional German sausages and cured meats, European cheeses, crusty breads, pickled herring salads and pickles. There was even German beer on tap in his kitchen. I can honestly say I liked EVERYTHING - even the pickled fish. But my favorite was the liverwurst! Nothing says yum like spreadable pig liver. MMmmm...

For breakfast there was a giant leek quiche. Perfectly cooked. Delicious. 

Certainly not the most heart healthy meals but absolutely worth it. When it Rome, right? 


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Healthy dinner at a Slovenian hostel

By the time Sabrina, Oliver and I had reached Slovenia we were desperate for vegetables. The week before had been spent traveling through Germany - a country teeming with sausages and sauerkrauts. Knowing that our hostel in the  Alps was equipped with a kitchen we made plans to cook ourselves a healthy dinner. The result was a delicious salad topped with toasted chick peas, apple slices and cucumber. A side of roasted fennel and red peppers rounded out the meal's savory side. I don't think any of us could remember a time when we'd been SO HAPPY to have a salad.

Read more about the Slovenian hostel in the Alps on our other blog, Boudreauxs Big Adventure

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Octopus Giardiniera in Naples

In Naples, on our last day in Italy, we stumbled into an unexpectedly gourmet restaurant. The entire menu was hand written in Italian and we didn't understand most of it. Starving, I pointed to something affordable with an ingredient I recognized (giardiniera) and ordered it. Turns out the word on the menu BEFORE giardiniera is Italian for octopus! I'd unknowingly ordered fresh octopus on a bed of pickled cauliflower, carrots and broccoli! Fortunately I love sushi. But I still can't believe I'd blanked on what to expect for giardiniera: it's a standard component for all my Bloody Marys!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

We're back!

It's been over a month since our last post. In that time my younger brother has gotten married and Oliver and I have backpacked across Europe. If you didn't follow along with our other blog while we were traveling you can still check it out at Our travels took us from Belgium to Luxembourg through Germany and Slovenia down the Italian boot and finally to London. We were trekking on a tight budget which dictated a lot of what we could afford to eat and where we could afford to stay. Now that we're home I'll be going back and covering those specific experiences in a bit more detail. Food posts will remain on this blog; lodging posts will be on the new blog. 

For today I want to share a few photos from my brother's adorable wedding! His wife (my new sister-in-law!!) did an incredible job styling the entire thing. Kudos to the newest member of our family! The wedding was perfect and we're all excited that you and Emory have tied the knot!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Same bridge, same commute, different weather

Recognize this landscape? I took the same shot 6 weeks ago during an intense summer shower. It's true that only two more days of summer remain but one of the joys of living in Atlanta is an extended growing season. My peppers and tomatoes are fooled into believing it's late July!

Wishing you all the merriest of season changes. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

True Love Enchiladas

It's been a rough two weeks for me at work. Roles are changing and being redefined. I find myself silently repeating "the only constant in life is change", "you either bend or you break" and "life's lessons make me stronger". Those are (of course) interspursed with internal reprimations of "relax before you stress everyone else out" and "loosing your cool won't get this project done". The best I can offer now: I'm trying. I'm really really making an effort to go with flow and wait and see how things play out. I'm not the quitter I was ten years ago.  Even so, I had tears of frustration and fury streaming down my face before lunch. After a 12 hour work day I was so thankful to come home to one of my favorite Chez OB meals: enchiladas! These were made with chorizo and ground beef. The red sauce was homemade from dried chilis (YDFM). The gaucamole and salsa were homemade too (heavy on cumin and citrus, just the way I like it). He even picked up one of my favorite beers (Coca Mole). A needed reminder that there is more to life then work and career. Thanks Bou.

*Keep an eye out for our new (and completely unrelated) blog: It should be up and running in the next 10 days. (No, we're not pregnant. That's not the adventure.)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

End of summer garden update

Three of the four tomato plants have made a surprising recovery. In the next two weeks we'll have at least another dozen new tomatoes ready to pick. But as the weather grows cooler my enthusiasm for tomato sandwiches wanes while my ardor for the rose-like beauty of a mature cabbage grows. The seasonal changes in my garden never cease to amaze me.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Healthy, real food, we've been eating

Labor Day: Mini sausages on ciabatta rolls with a fun assortment of toppings (pickled cauliflower, homemade kimchi, carmelized leeks, avocado, etc).
Tuesday: Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, okra and tomato salad (it was a rough day for me so Oliver cooked up some comfort food - super thoughtful of him, thanks Bou).
Wednesday: Chicken salad (and some experimentation with filters on my camera).

Monday, September 3, 2012

Garden Update

To make room for the cabbage and lettuce I had to pull out three leeks. Aren't they pretty? With their ombre' coloration they're quite trendy too! Hopefully we'll be able to use them with dinner tonight. Oliver suggested caramelizing them to use as toppings for Labor Day hot dogs!

The following photos show everything in our front yard garden as of Labor Day 2012. There are still tomato plants and pumpkin vines in the "side yard". I'm looking forward to adding arugula as soon as I find more space.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Watermelon and Pumpkin

Since April our watermelon and pumpkin vines have gone from this:

to this:

All that time and not one single little fruit. Boo.  Lots of blooms. Never a little melon or gourd. So those guys are outta there! Today I plan to replace them with the cabbage and lettuce. Hello cool weather vegetable garden! I'm ready for some salad and slaw!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Labor Day Weekend in Atlanta

Labor Day weekend in Atlanta is crazy. Currently going on in downtown (where we live) and Midtown (3 miles north): Dragon*Con, SEC football kick off games, black gay pride, a free concert in Grant Park and a Braves games. A few miles east there is Drive-In Invasion and the Decatur Book Festival. This year was the fifth** consecutive year that I've attended the Dragon*Con parade. And while it was not the BEST it's ever been it was certainly the most crowded. Word is out - this parade is a must see. Many of the costumes were ones I remembered from past years. My favorite new trend is combo costumes. For example: Ghostbusting Blues Brothers, steampunk Disney princesses, kilt  wearing Stormtroopers and zombiefighting Muppets. I wish I had better photos to share; if you want to see more try doing a flickr image search for DragonCon 2012. 

**Click here to see my photos from 2011

Monday, August 27, 2012

Late Summer Garden: Week Fourteen

It is the last week of August and our garden is looking a little rough. A few very dry weeks did a bit of damage to our tomatoes. Three out of the four plants are almost dead. But the fourth, an heirloom, is doing great. Over a dozen plump tomatoes are slowly ripening. The pumpkin vine has performed exactly like it's watermelon buddy. Which is to say: it's a giant healthy looking vine with plenty of flowers and no sign of fruit. Boo! The eggplants, peppers and leeks are great; they're definitely our garden stars. 

I think I'll spend next weekend ripping out the pumpkin and watermelon and filling the spaces with winter vegetables. Is it cabbage-time again already!? Yay!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Brunch, babies and a party in the park

This morning we invited a dozen friends over for brunch before our annual neighborhood summer festival. Oliver made biscuits and gravy as well as a big pot of grits. Friends brought quiches, frittatas, cinnamon bread, fruit salads - all kinds of delicious breakfast foods! We were also happy to have a handful of new friends at the party - babies! This summer was "that" summer for us: many of our local friends had kids. It's sort of nonstop... In a photo below you'll see a two month old, a three week old and friend pregnant with twins (and they're really just the tip of the ice burg). After breakfast everyone walked to Grant Park and spent several hours in the grass enjoying the festival. Our thanks to everyone for a super great day. XO - Cullen

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

CouchSurfing and more Thai food

My apologies for the lack of posts recently. In addition to winding down our daily blogging we've also been distracted by fun, summertime guests (but I'll get to that in a minute). Last weeks' meals were marked by the DELICIOUS Thai Chicken Satay and the TERRIBLY VERY BAD beans. I mention the beans so our readers know that when made incorrectly, our beloved and reliable beans can be downright GROSS. In this instance we were out of chicken stock and Oliver substituted water. The beans were also strangely gritty for some unknown reason. Ok, but how bad can these beans have been? Let me tell you:

1. Monday, lunch at work, eating at my desk and fairly hungry. I had three bites before deciding I would rather stay hungry then eat more.
2. Tuesday, lunch at work, I've come prepared to dress up the beans with sour cream (the real stuff, not Greek yogurt) and an entire bottle of hot sauce. I was able to mask the bland flavor but not the odd texture. I ate almost all of it but vowed to throw away the rest of the pot as soon as I got home.
3. On Wednesday I ate something else.

For your recipe reference - DO NOT SKIP THE CHICKEN STOCK!!! This is a photo of the box we usually buy (it's one of the few items we always buy at Kroger):

On the brightside, dinner tonight was PERFECTION! Green curry with: homegrown eggplants, peppers and basil; shrimp and bok choy from YDFM. This will also be lunch tomorrow (I've already packed it). We ate on the front porch where we also enjoyed the beautiful sunset and unusually mild summer weather.

The title of this post may have given away the nature of our fun, summertime guests: CouchSurfers! CouchSurfing is online network of international travelers in which you can register to be a host, traveler, local guide or all of the above. Oliver and I are currently listed as hosts. Over the weekend we had our first guests: two 24 year old architecture students from Paris. They were wonderful! Full of friendly and intellectual conversation, laid-back and go-with-flow, even helpful around the house. 

Weekend Highlights:
• Visiting Atlanta's most noteworthy, modern architectural buildings: Portman's Marriot Marquis, Meier's High Museum and Piano's addition to the Woodruff Arts Center.
• A trip to Decatur square with drinks and dinner at Leon's
• A visit to the Grant Park Farmer's market where we picked up a variety of tarts from the Little Tart Bake Shop and fresh bread from H&F.
• Oliver's southern meals: Breakfast - biscuits and sausage gravy, scrambled eggs with goat cheese and herbs. Lunch - BLT's. 

Celine and Sam - our thanks to you! We hope you enjoyed the weekend as much as we did. Good luck on the rest of your journey!