Thursday, May 31, 2012

Long weekend in the low country

The last romantic getaway Oliver and I took was to NYC in April 2010 (when he surprised me with a proposal in the sculpture garden at MOMA). Since then we've been hard at work on, well, on everything... We didn't even take a honeymoon. Earlier this spring I couldn't take it any longer - WE HAD EARNED  A BREAK DAMNIT! In a moment of haste I booked us at an inn (that we probably couldn't afford) on the island I'd grown up visiting with my family. 
Pawley's Island is located midway along the coast of South Carolina. We decided to make a road trip of it, starting in Savannah (3.5 hours from Atlanta) and working our way north along the coast through Hilton Head Island and Charleston. Our ultimate destination was the Sea View Inn, a classic beachy bed and breakfast currently celebrating their 75th year. No TV, no air conditioning, no computers allowed in the common areas. In their place we found saloon style doors on every bedroom (to allow for a better breeze coming off the beach),  a common shower down the hall and a bottle opener mounted to the wall by our sink. The beach was never crowded and thanks to the impending Tropical Storm Beryl the ocean waves were large and fun. 

This trip was my definition of total relaxation. I returned to work today refreshed; I didn't know I could return to my high-stress environment with such a feeling of renewed perspective and enthusiasm. Then I remembered that this feeling is also an important part of heart health. We all need a break from the stress of everyday life. I may have gone a little over budget on this get-a-way but I have no doubt my heart is thanking me for it. 

Hoping everyone has a chance to get-a-way this summer. You've earned it. 
XO - Cullen

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Homemade Kimchi


I've made an attempt to turn my largest* homegrown cabbage into kimchi. Until I know my attempt has worked I am going to refrain from sharing the specifics; for now just photos. Fingers crossed! 

*Over six pounds!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jambalaya Benefit for Baby Zoe

Zoe is the 12 week old baby of our very best friends in Baton Rouge (her awesome big brothers were both in our wedding). Shortly after Easter weekend she began suffering from constant seizures. Zoe was hospitalized, first in Baton Rouge then in New Orleans, while the doctors ran multitudes of tests in an effort to find the source of the seizures. Some possible causes have been ruled out but they're still waiting on test results from the metabolic geneticist. While they wait for answers the medical bills are starting to filter in. 

Friends and family have organized a lunchtime Jambalaya Benefit in Baton Rouge this Friday to help the bills. A $7 plate includes: jambalaya, side salad and a roll. If you don't live near Baton Rouge but still want to donate please contact us; we're contemplating setting up online donation system.

Jambalaya Benefit For Baby Zoe
Friday June 1st 10am to 3pm
French Quarter Daiquiris
3625 Essen Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
$7 cash or credit

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Garden 2012: Week one

Happy Memorial Day! It's the unofficial start of summer and our summertime vegetable garden is moving full steam ahead. Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and watermelon are growing fast and looking good. We're gradually filling the holes left by harvested cabbage with replanted leeks. They've suddenly taken off too.

Hoping everyone has a wonderful holiday full of grilling and chilin'!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Eva's Baby Shower

Eva's baby shower was a success! Oliver's food was incredible, the guests were fun and the decorations/favors were pretty (but more importantly - easy). I'm excited to share details but I'm waiting for photos from a friend/guest as I believe her photos are much better then mine. Until then, a sneak peek at the decorations and invitations. The invite is one that I designed at my day job (something I rarely mention on the blog). The shower had a storybook theme - stolen from the couple's last name, Story! 

Hey diddle, diddle, have seen Eva's middle? Her sweet baby will be here soon!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Vacation breakfast at home

First day of a long weekend! I'm feeling more relaxed already. Breakfast: two eggs with fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and grape tomatoes. Sausage links from YDFM. Bread from Alon's. Next up: the gym (it's bathing suit season)!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Caveman dinner (and baby shower prep)

Dinner: jerk chicken legs and a broccoli stalk grilled to perfection over charcoal. Quick and easy because we're both in "powermode" preparing for a baby shower we're hosting later this week. Can't wait to share photos from the actual party! Check back soon. And in case we miss you - make the most of your three day weekend. HELLO SUMMER!!!!
(Prep work for the baby shower!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dinner from the crockpot

Dinner from the crock pot: beef roast, new potatoes, carrots and mushrooms. The asparagus was pan seared separately. Made enough for two nights of this meal with enough beef left overs for something else later in the week. Everything came from Your DeKalb  Farmers Market.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Spring Garden 2012: Week Thirteen

In the garden now: cabbage, leeks, strawberries, kale (out of season and flowering), one more lettuce, spinach, carrots, peppers (three kinds), eggplant (two types), watermelon, tomatoes (four varieties) and herbs.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday night's healthy snack

Thinly sliced radishes are my favorite chip alternative. Great for everything from hummus to baba ghanoush to seven layer dip. Tonight we're enjoying them with homemade hummus and red wine. Oh, look at the time! Turn on the MAD MEN!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Brick Store's Yard Sale Breakfast

*This post is only moderately heart healthy! Everything in moderation, including moderation!

This morning Brick Store hosted their second Yard Sale Breakfast. What is a yard sale breakfast? Well, for this internationally recognized beer bar it is a chance to sell off their extra glassware while also serving an exceptional selection of breakfast-centric beers. (Think: beers made with coffee or maple). Oh, there are also pancakes.

Oliver and I set our alarm for 6:30am and by 7:00 we were on our bikes with a thermos of coffee in the pannier. Knowing a late arrival would jeopardize our place in line we took the seven mile ride at a fast pace. Even so, when we arrived there was already a queue around the block and our Twitter beer friends were on their second tastes of shared bottles. When the doors opened at 8:00 we high tailed it to the Belgian bar upstairs. Breakfast was the typical American fare (pancakes, sausage or bacon, grits or fruit) but the beer and comardiere were fantastic. I started with a Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout then moved to the Terrapin Wake n Bake and finished up with a Great Divide Espresso Yeti. In addition to seeing some (but not all) of our favorite Twitter beer geek friends we also met some awesome, like-minded new friends. By 11:30 most of the beer list had been 86ed and we knew it was time to head home. Thanks to the Brickstore for providing an awesome alternative/pregame for the East Atlanta Beer Fest!

Next up: finding something green and fiber-rich to eat...

Happy Saturday everyone!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What's for dinner? Chicken mole tacos

I was impressed that we were able to squeeze in a homemade dinner tonight. Between work and the Braves game there wasn't much time to cook - yet Oliver still managed to throw together chicken mole tacos. The chicken came from our trip to YDFM on Sunday night. The tortillas were left over from Tuesday and Wednesday's fish tacos. The Braves tickets were a last minute surprise from my brother and his fiance'! It was a beautiful night to sit in the cheap seats and watch the Braves score run after run; thank you Emory and Theresa!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dinner from the garden: first cabbage!

Hooray! Three months of dedication have led to my first harvested cabbage! A 5 pounder at that. It was chopped into jalapeno coleslaw and used to top Oliver's grilled Amberjack tacos. Since we had company over for dinner Oliver broke out fancy beer for dessert too (Founders CBS is divine).

Today is a very good day. Hoping you all can say the same. XO - Cullen