Saturday, March 31, 2012

Atlanta's Color Run

This morning we biked up to Piedmont Park to check out today's color run (a fun 5K to benefit Childrens' Healthcare of Atlanta). We ended up biking alongside the entire race. I think the photos speak for themselves...FUN!

More info about the run here. More of my photo here

Friday, March 30, 2012

Crock pot pork dinner

It's been a crock pot pork week at our house. On my birthday we splurged and ate it as nachos (paired with Coca Mole beer by Lips of Faith). The night before it was paired with homegrown kale and homegrown arugula (and Oliver's really impressive IPA homebrew). Tonight it goes into enchiladas with Oliver's delicious tomatillo sauce (and perhaps a margarita!). 

Enjoy your weekend! Be happy and healthy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

134 by 34

Tomorrow is my 34th birthday. That means it's the last day of my personal ten week challenge to lose 11 pounds. (For heart healthy reasons - I needed to lower my blood pressure. You can read more about that here.)

Cue Tim Gunn "Designers, its time..." 
Cue Regis Philbin "Is that your final answer?"
Cue high school teachers "pencils down, heads up..."

FINAL WEIGH IN SAYS...136.2 lbs! That's good enough for me! Of course tonight is also the night my phone doesn't seem to be sending data. So this is a photo of my phone. (My rule has been that weigh ins do not count if they are not photographed).

I feel really good about this. I feel even better about entering my mid-30's. This is going to be a great year.

Thanks for reading our blog. And if you haven't done so yet, please "like" our Facebook page. It'd make my birthday! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Good things are good


1. Avocado on whole wheat sour dough toast with a drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of fresh lemon and sprinkle of red pepper flakes; it's one of our favs. We first had it at The Jane Hotel in NYC while staying there two Aprils ago. (It was breakfast the day he surprised me with a ring at MOMA). 
2. Our beautiful homegrown Bibb lettuce. Picked just before dinner and made into a salad. I'm so proud!
3. Toasted chick peas with cinnamon and chili pepper.
4.  My new favorite Chocolove bar: dark chocolate with almond and sea salt. Bite size squares that you can make last all week. Perfect alone or with a glass of red wine! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New bike and chicken salad on a biscuit

I bought a new bike! After test riding both a Trek and a Specialized I went with the Trek because it's what Oliver already rides and I hoped having the same brand would make tunes up easier on him. To break it in we took the same ride to Piedmont Park on which my last bike blew it's tire. Back home I checked our ride into the website to see how far we rode (about 9 miles round trip). It's cool website that I recommend for anyone interested in knowing the elevation, hill grade and distance of their bike trips. 

Lunch was chicken salad on a homemade biscuit (from yesterday's breakfast). After lunch we added a few more plants to the garden: two types of peppers, three types of tomatoes, eggplant and parsley. Now we're resting up before the much anticipated Mad Men premiere! Since we don't have cable we're heading up to the neighborhood pub to watch it on their big screen. Can't wait!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Homemade biscuits on a Saturday morning & other random things

While Oliver made biscuits this morning I went straight from bed to the garden. The early bird gets the worm and I had some worm getting to do. By the time he called me in to eat (bacon, eggs and biscuits) I'd squished another dozen cabbage worms of varying sizes. 

Also, this morning, the Beekman Boys responded to my plea for cabbage worm help with two ideas: "make a spray using real soap (must have lye) or use row covers". The soap spray idea led my Google searches in a new direction and I found several sites that suggest masking the cabbage scent in an effort to hide them from the white cabbage moths (who lay the eggs on the leaves that then hatch into the worms that are eating the plants).  My new plan is to make a lye soap spray as suggested by the Beekmans AND refertilize with a second round of fish emulsion. The fish emulsion is so pungent that it will hopefully overwhelm whatever natural scent is attracting the moths. 

The photo on the left is the view from my garden into my neighbor's front yard. Like I've said before, this is the most beautiful springtime I have ever seen in Atlanta. EVERYTHING is blooming at once! And there haven't been a string of violent storms to knock down the fragile blooms. Azalea, hydrangea, dogwood, cherry blossoms, jasmine, Bradford pears, daffodils, irises - all blooming together and they're everywhere! I'm loving it (it helps that over 29 years I've developed a total tolerance to Atlanta's pollen).

The photo on the right is Topher getting ready for his shower. "Get out MOM!" Ok not really. I'd just finished cleaning the bathtub and he jumped in to lick the faucet. The light was so pretty that I grabbed the camera. He's a little cat version of a Vermeer painting!

And last for today: when life gives you lemons you make lemonade. When life makes your eggplant explode on the grill... make baba ganoush! Earlier this week Oliver grilled dinner in the backyard. Whenever he does this he throws an eggplant on the grate afterwards and lets it bake while we eat. Well during that night's dinner an unmistakable burp erupted from the grill! Oh no! Eggplant explosion! No matter though, it still makes a delicious snack. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Chicken Salad

Chicken salad, on the front porch, at sunset, during the prettiest spring I have ever seen in Atlanta.

(With a side of homemade baba ganoush - but that's another story for another day...) 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

NO! You worms leave my cabbage alone!

Anyone who successfully grows anything organically has my full respect. If my organic goods were to appear at market they'd be chockful of pest holes. My five seasonal attempts at vegetable gardening have made me appreciate that every extra  dollar paid for an organic fruit or vegetable was well deserved. BRAVO to those who can do it and do it well!

As you might be able to tell - I'm having some pest issues; specifically with my cabbage.

We first spotted holes in the cabbage on Monday. Oliver Googled them and thinks they're most likely Cabbage Worms. The underside of our biggest leaves are pocked with the craters of opened eggs.  The organic solution is to (and I quote) "hand-pick and destroy any worms you find". Hi, for my more girly friends and readers, as well as those who consider them self squeamish, the organic solution to save my beautiful and cherished cabbages is to pick off increasingly large worms with my hands and squish them between my fingers. Oh great.

Monday, Oliver and I both took a turn thoroughly looking over every single cabbage leaf and smooshing every worm we found. Tuesday and Wednesday it was looking like our work had paid off. But today there was sudden resurgence in worm destruction. As soon as I got home from the office I threw on long pants and a long sleeve t-shirt (over my work clothes) and planted myself on all fours in front of our garden. The next six weeks it may be me versus the worms; welcome to battle at the GARDENDOME! It's worm smooshing season.
*Note: the three worms shown in my photos are not the smallest ones I squished.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday leftovers

The left overs from last night's dinner were reassembled for tonight's stir-fry dinner. This time the green's came from the last the bok choy growing in our backyard (it was flowering - hence the pretty garnish).  Dessert was Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, honey and berries. Lunch was a salad of bibb lettuce (picked this morning from our garden) with a delicious homemade sesame ginger dressing. For breakfast we enjoyed steel cut oatmeal with yellow raisins and walnuts. On my way from work to kickboxing I ate a banana. And in the spirit of truthfulness: I ate about 20 Jolly Rancher flavor jelly beans at work... I'm only human! - Cullen

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What's for dinner? Meat and four

Dinner for two, grilled over charcoal in the backyard. Hanger steak, sweet potato and leeks from YDFM. Kale and arugula from our garden. Red wine from Trader Joes. 

Why this red meat and booze meal still counts as heart healthy:
1. Hanger steak is a comparatively leaner cut of beef. 
2. Sweet potatoes are a super food! They're high in: dietary fiber, vitamins, protein, iron and calcium. Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables around. And arugula is pretty good for you too.
3. And enjoyed in moderation, Red wine is still considered beneficial for hearth health (I say "still" because the reasons are debated).

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Perfect sunny Sunday

For breakfast Oliver made three flavors of crepes: blueberry, blackberry and banana. Each one perfectly light and naturally sweet. After breakfast we walked up to historic Oakland Cemetery. Founded in the decade before the Civil War, the cemetery has picturesque rural garden design and is a lovely place to wander around for a few hours. Notable residents include Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind author), Bobby Jones (golf legend) and the "Lion of Atlanta" - resting place for 3,000 unknown Confederate dead.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Springtime in historic Grant Park

We just returned home from a walking tour of our historic neighborhood park, Grant Park, lead by the Grant Park Conservancy. It was a beautiful day to be outside. Thanks to our tour guide Alisa!

"The Phoenix Flies" is currently celebrating Atlanta's many living landmarks with eight more days of free events and tours at more then 60 sites around town. Tomorrow's tour of Inman Park and next Sunday's Unseen Underground tour have piqued my curiosity. If the weather stay this beautiful I think I might check out both tours!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Garden 2012: Week Four




Currently growing in our yard (not all of it shown here):
cabbage, bibb lettuce, arugula, leeks, strawberries, spinach, onions and kale. Today's temperatures were in the mid-80s. At this pace we're going to be starting tomatoes, peppers and eggplant very soon!