I have been to so many grocery stores. It seems that I keep buying massive amounts of the same things: chicken broth, butter (salted, unsalted), and herbs.
Anyway, Thanksgiving prep started last night.
Fitz made Neiman Marcus cookies (yes, I know it’s an urban legend but I also know that the cookies are DELICIOUS). Those are going to be parting gifts to our guests.
Yesterday I chopped up all the crusty bread for my two varietals of stuffing. Today I need to wash and pre-chop as much as possible (Hello, Type A). I will be making lobster bisque that will go into the slow cooker to simmer. And at some point, I hope to outline a simple schedule for what time food should go in, come out, and stay warm.
Two new table cloths are being washed and pressed, and napkins are being counted and set aside. HomeGoods literally brought the goods in the form of Tommy Bahama candles (a favorite of mine), so the house will smell like festive cheer.
I will rearrange furniture and attempt to toddler-proof (there will be three almost-2-year-olds running game). I will pre-set two dining tables that seat 13. Fitz is selecting the wine and picking up that specific beer for my dad.
My fridge is overflowing.
My counters are cluttered.
Crumbs are everywhere.
And I’ve decided to let go of the stress and just be excited.
Dose Market: Festive!
This was my first time dosing…but I hope it won’t be my last. I sipped salted-caramel drinking chocolate with homemade marshmallows and toffee bits. Wells nibbled pretzels with stone-ground mustard and zesty salsa. Beer cheese spread was purchased, as was cocoa chili heirloom salami and Stu’s Kitchen Bloody Mary Mix. I was delighted to find that the cold fried chicken with pickled slaw was actually really tasty, and at one point I announced that I wanted to “Nosh the entire market.”
Out of pure coincidence, our pals, Todd and Nicole, were exhibiting their health-focused and business-snacks-gone-cool concept: Snack It To Me! (How great is that name?!)Todd is a certified personal trainer and after reviewing clients’ food journals and hearing complaints of “I don’t know what to eat,” or “nothing healthy is convenient,” he created a healthy, weekly snack service, delivered straight to one’s office. They are city-based right now, so we grabbed a few boxes of snacks for Fitz to keep on hand out here in suburbia. Please check them out if you are so inclined…they are tremendously kind, cool people with a nifty + healthy vision.
Now that our heat is ON (this has been running through my head all day), we are chowing down on Chop Shop sandwiches and cheering on the Bears. I threw off all my fancy clothes in favor of a shearling-lined sweatshirt and Uggs. Couch + comfort = SUNDAY
Small world, cool world
I used to work with this dude back in my corporate real estate days. Whenever a holiday, special occasion, or random Tuesday arose, this dude would walk into the office toting a messenger bag on one arm while balancing trays of treats and snacks with the other.
"It’s from my girlfriend," he would explain, setting out the trays for co-workers to indulge. "She loves cooking, baking, and making all of this stuff."
Girlfriend had a flair with food + presentation. I’m talking homemade cinnamon chips paired with an assortment of sweet and savory salsas, chocolate dipped biscotti and caramel coated pretzels, towers of whoopie pies with buttercream fillings, Christmas cookies that were painstakingly decorated with silver sprinkles and gold-dust icing.
It was cool to see something so simple (snacks!) prepared with such love. Funny how when the passion is right there, you can literally see the difference in effort and execution. Plus who doesn’t love free delicious food in the middle of the day?!
I should mention that I eventually met Girlfriend when she came into our office one day to show off her very cute and very new puppy. She was pleasant and sweet and our exchange was simple as that.
Time has passed.
I had a baby, moved, and peaced-out on that job.
Life has moved on.
Around the blogosphere (through reblogging, blog-hopping, blog name-dropping, blog hyperlinking, etc) I’ve heard rumblings of this cool (online) shop called Waiting on Martha.
Hmmm…I thought, Cute name. I should check that out.
And when I finally clicked on a link and pulled up the website, there she was…Girlfriend! She opened her own business and runs an online shop with corresponding lifestyle blog. Oh, and obviously her name is not Girlfriend- it’s Mandy Kellogg Rye. She married that dude I worked with, moved to Atlanta, and when I finally put all of this together…
I was just so freaking happy for her. We’re not friends, nor even acquaintances, but there is just something really lovely about seeing someone chase a dream into reality.
Nice work, Martha.
EL Ideas *
The Lobby *
Longman & Eagle
North Pond *
* New to 2014 Michelin guide
** Elevated from last year’s one-star rating
Time to make some reservations…
After the greeting, the raffle-ticket purchasing, the schmoozing, and a glass or two of Chenin Blanc, we were HONGRAY.
Post-benefit tacos to the rescue (leaves us just enough time to get home for Fitz’s study group conference call).
Doughnuts (fancy ones)
Some Thoughts on Fried Chicken
I joke that if you rank the things that Fitz loves most in this world, the list will look something like this:
1. Fried Chicken
2. Kelly + Wells +Theo
Here is the fun part- I’m not a fan of fried chicken. If I never ate it again, I would probably put my hands in my pockets, look around, shrug my shoulders, and say, "Eh…fine by me."
BUT…when we learned that our pals Josh and Christine were opening a restaurant that specifically made fried chicken, I knew I had to try it (some back story: after attending some Sunday Dinner Club meals, I had sampled enough of their goods to know that sometimes buying seasonal, straight-from-the-farm products can change a dish entirely; also sometimes just trying new things is good and fun for my palette, which seems to have changed quite a bit, especially post-pregnancy).
Enjoy my rambling there? Great. Anyway, during our meal last Wednesday I ate half of a chicken sandwich, a bite of cornbread with honey butter, and a few bites of fried chicken with honey butter. It was outrageously tasty, just off the charts.
But when comparing to other fried chicken spots in the city? I’m the furthest from an expert. Totally clueless. Fitz has had his eye on Parson’s, but has not yet been. He says that Harold’s Chicken Shack is ‘dirty good’ (whatever that means), Table 52 is proper good, and Honey Butter is by far his favorite. So take with that what you will, fried chicken aficionados.
P.S. Scintillating post for Saturday night, right?!
A perfect party featuring the aforementioned Caesar, homemade pasta, roasted pork tenderloin with pears + shallots + thyme, a surprise second round of guests, and a buttercream birthday cake.
(with food, yes, but love as well)