Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Park's Edge: Restaurant Review

It's been called one of Inman Park's best kept secrets, and I have to agree with that.  And it's a secret because unless you knew where you were going, there is no way you'd find Park's Edge.  The restaurant is tucked back off the main road, down a one-way street that seems to dead end more than once on your way to the parking lot.

I expected to be able to see more of a park from the patio, but I saw some cars and an old train track.  There wasn't much a view.  Was I missing something?  I went to Park's Edge for Sunday brunch with one of my friends for her birthday.  We met at 12:15 so we could take advantage of the bottomless mimosas or bellinis that started at 12:30 (silly GA law).  Our server was great and had the orders for the drinks in before 12:30 so right on the dot we had drinks at the table.

The menu has a wide variety of items that cover the range from sweet to savory.  I started my meal with the soup of the day, a corn chowder.  It was fantastic.  Down to the very last drop.  Instead of slices of bread to the table before our entrees came out, warm biscuits were delivered to the table.  If you're keeping track, before my meal actually came out I'd already had a biscuit and a hearty bowl of soup.

For my meal I ordered the Breakfast Croissant ($10).  It seems a little pricy but you've never seen a breakfast sandwich this large.  After all of my appetizers I was only able to finish half of the croissant.  My friend ordered the Demi's Chocolate Chip Seasonal Berry Pancakes ($11) with bacon.  The berries were blueberries on our morning.  I had a little bit of order envy when I saw her serving platter size pancakes come out of the kitchen.  She wasn't able to finish those either.

The atmosphere was nice, very calming colors and music and the wait staff was always around when needed but never too overbearing.  Our drink glasses were never less than half full before a second glass was placed on the table for us.  We had to tell her to cut us off.  The dining room was packed for a Sunday brunch, but with a ScoutMob deal, it's what I expected and we knew to make reservations.

As I've mentioned in another post, Sunday brunches are my favorite meal of the week, especially when they're with people I love.  Park's Edge is definitely a great place to bring a friend, date or visiting family. I can't wait to go back for dinner.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween: a little teaser

Stephen and I are hosting a pretty big Halloween party at the house this Saturday night.  The past week has been getting ready for that party.  Every evening after work we've been decorating, crafting and carving to get ready for the big event.  I don't want to post pictures of our progress or costumes just yet, but believe me, they are going to be worth the wait.

I didn't want readers to think I'm not sticking to my New Thing Everyday theme, so here is a sneak peak of what we've been working on.  Check back next week to get the full update with pictures of all of our decorations, how to details and party pictures.

You'll have to wait and see what my mason jars will be.  I got the idea from a friend who is very crafty.  I'm testing my abilities, but not disappointed so far!

We carved 4 pumpkins last night, here is my first one.  Pictures of the other 3 to follow.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Farm Burger: Restaurant Review

Most weekends the best part of Sunday morning is waking up past 10:00, staying in bed a little bit longer then heading to brunch with friends.  

This past Sunday a big group of us headed to Farm Burger in Decatur.  Atlanta seems to be the home to Frozen Yogurt shops and Burger restaurants.  I'm not complaining at all - I love them both.  

Besides being plentiful, the burger places that are opening are organic and the meat comes from grass fed cows.  Here is the official statement from Farm Burger on their website:  

Farm Burger wants you to think about your burger - what it is and where it's from. Our burgers are made from 100% grassfed beef that is dry-aged and ground fresh. Our cows are raised on the sweet grasses of the southeast, and never fed antibiotics, hormones, or grain. Our menu is seasonal and sourced from local farms. Our space is convivial and comfortable - because eating is a celebration to be shared. Our food makes ethical eating easy.

The menu definitely stays true to that statement.  As you build your burger, or chose from the few set burgers on the menu, you can add items such as oxtail marmalade, roasted bone marrow or pork belly.  Not items you'll find on the menu at Burger King.  The roasted bone marrow actually comes out in the bone.  Mabel spend the evening with the bone that night.  She's never been happier. 

I had a burger with gruyere cheese, local bacon and a side of french fries.  I should have upgraded to the sweet potato fries, but the regular ones are what fries should be - fresh cut and salty.  The burger was fantastic.  You have two choices when ordering, medium or well done.  Mine came out close to medium well and Stephen's was well done even though he'd ordered medium.  That's really the only complaint that anyone at our table had on the food.  Our meat temperature wasn't always consistent with how we ordered it.  The best part about the burgers being so fresh was that you're not super sleepy after you finish your meal.  

One note - get there early or plan to wait in line.  Some of our group tried to go on Saturday and the line wrapped around the building.  We were there at opening (11:30 on Sunday) and there was a line right away and seats were scarce once people started moving through the line.  

Farm Burger is a fantastic place for a burger, especially one a little outside the box.  There were tons of families on Sunday morning and the atmosphere is very welcoming to everyone.  The patio at the Decatur location was fabulous.  We'll be going back again.  Our burgers cost $12 each, so it's not an every weekend trip, but definitely a great option for a lazy Sunday morning with friends.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

French Onion Soup: New Recipe

I'm on a roll.  I made my second soup in the past month last night - French Onion Soup.  It's weird that I chose some FOS to make because I think I've only ordered it in a restaurant one or two times in my life, but just the thought of it warms my belly.  I should order it more.  And after my experience cooking it last night, I'll be making it a lot more too.

I originally found a recipe on one of my favorite blogs, How Sweet It Is.  The recipe cooked the soup in the crock pot and if you know me you know that I'm dying to find more great crock pot recipes.  Silly me, I didn't read all the way to the bottom of the recipe to see that after one hour of cooking it still needs 6-8 hours to cook on it's own.  So I'd gone to the store, purchased all of the ingredients I needed and told Stephen and Richard that I'd have dinner ready at 8:00pm.  If I stuck to the recipe, we would have been eating at 1:00am.  God Bless the Internet and iPhones.  How Sweet It Is - I'll be back to ya later.

Where did I find my night saving recipe - The Food Network.  It's like it was meant to be.  I bet if I had not freaked out and calmly gone into the office I would have found the recipe in one of the 20 Food Network Magazines I have on the bookshelf, but I didn't.  I used modern technology.  

Here is the actual recipe that I followed.  I made some minor tweaks (since I wasn't shopping off of this recipe to begin with) but it turned out fantastic.  French Onion Soup brought to you by Tyler Florence of Tyler's Ultimate tv show.  Please go to the actual recipe page for the step by step directions, but I'll include the ingredients here and let you know where I made some slight changes:


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 onions, sliced (I got nervous with the size of the onion pile I had once I sliced all 4 onions - I used 3.5.  Don't be afraid - use 4 full onions)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves (No bay leaves used... I never remember Bay Leaves)
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle (I only had half a cup, so I used a half a cup of water with the half cup of wine)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts beef broth (get low sodium so you can control how salty you want the soup to be)
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1/2 pound grated Gruyere (I got slices of Gruyere from the deli counter at the grocery store.  Much easier than grating it and cheaper)
Basic directions:
Slice onions and cook in the butter until soft, about 25 min.  Add wine and cook until evaporated (I had to drain the wine/water after 10 min).  Add flour and cook for 10 min.  Add beef broth and cook 10 min.  When ready to eat, place in bowls, top with bread and top bread with slice of cheese.  Broil until melted.

It was very easy and having done it once it will be easier for me the next time around.  It's almost Fall - start making some soup!

Zoo Atlanta through the Eyes of a 1-year-old

Saturday was a perfect weather day.  As our NBC Affiliate station in the market says, it was an 11-Alive day because it was an 11 out of 10.  I knew it was supposed to be a good weekend and I wanted to be outside as much as possible.  Living in a house without a pool makes it hard to hang out at the house outside.  Zoo Atlanta isn't too far away, only a mile, and I've wanted to take my little friend, Peyton, to the zoo for a long time.  She's 15 months now and I thought it was the perfect time.

Off we went!  It was such a great trip.  Peyton's friend, Grayson, and her mom, Courtney, joined us for the trip.  Five ladies spending the day at the zoo.

We were pretty unsure how the girls would react to the animals and being in a stroller for a few hours.  We were ready for them to be over it in one or two hours and we were okay with that.  It was also time for us adults to have some friend time.

The girls did WONDERFUL!  They waved at all the animals, they loved looking at all of the people walking by and being outside all day was great for them.  Some of the animals were scary for Peyton and she'd quickly wrap her arms and legs around me so I wouldn't feed her to the big, hairy animals.  I thought she'd love the gorillas but they were frightening for her.  Maybe in a few months we'll go back and she'll be ready for them.

The bird exhibits that we could walk through were the biggest hits, besides the playground.  In the first bird house you can buy a stick with bird food on it and they birds will come right up to you!  I wasn't sure how the girls would like it but they were very interested in the birds coming that close.  I'm pretty sure Peyton knew I wasn't going to feed her to the birds.

The petting zoo was great for Grayson but Peyton wouldn't get close to the goats or sheep without running back to me or her mom.  The other benefit of the petting zoo was that the girls could run around and no be in a stroller which was necessary for them to do after so long all locked up.  The girls just want to run!  After the petting zoo we headed to the playground.

Playgrounds with two 15 month old girls have to be one of my new favorite places.  The girls had such a great time running around the fort, sliding down the slide, driving the school bus and exploring.  We'd been at the zoo for close to 4 hours when we got to the playground so we let them run a bit then we headed home before anyone got sleepy.

That's right ladies and gentlemen.  Two toddlers made it 4 hours at Zoo Atlanta.  There were no tears.  No naps.  All smiles.

I highly recommend taking your kids to Zoo Atlanta.  We thought the girls might be a little bit too young, but they are just at the right age to start them out.  They have so many years of zoo visits ahead of them, I hope each one gets more and more exciting for them.

Friday, October 14, 2011

JCT Kitchen: Restaurant Review

source: JCT Kitchen website

I've only heard good things about JCT Kitchen.  Not just from one person, but every person I've ever asked.  That can only mean good things, right?  I'm not quite sure why I've never been.  It's definitely top of mind when I try to think of a good place to eat.  Shame on me.

Yesterday we had a rep lunch at work and she took us to JCT.  It's such a cute place.  The dining room is one big room, sectioned off with floor to ceiling curtains creating smaller spaces for tables.  The windows are also floor to ceiling, filling the room with natural light.  There is a bar right inside the front door and also a bar upstairs (we didn't go upstairs, so I can't comment on that bar).  Similar to Parish and Rosebud, JCT has a modern, southern atmosphere (exposed brick walls, large black and white pictures, white trim) and the food is similar as well.  I'm so glad we have really nice southern restaurants to bring guests when they come to town.  And who am I kidding, for me to indulge my shrimp & grits or fried chicken cravings.

There are two things you must get at JCT, the Truffle-Parmesan Fries and the Sweet Corn & Vidalia Onion Chowder.  We ordered the Fries for an appetizer for the table and each of us had a bowl of the soup to start.  OMG.  The fries are delicious.  I think anything with Truffle oil is delicious - come on, you know I'm right.  The appetizer serving of the fries is HUGE, plenty to share among 5 people.  The Soup was also delicious and quite rich.  Corn chowder has to be one of my favorite soups if it's done right and JCT Kitchen does it right.  It was just enough to hold us over until our food came.  All 5 bowls were empty by the time the server came to clear the table for the entrees.

The most popular dish at JCT Kitchen is the Springer Mountain Fried Chicken.  How do I know that?  It was sold out by the time we ordered.  It wasn't even 1:00 yet.  The chicken comes with mac & cheese and some green beans making it the perfect southern meal.  I wish I had been able to try it.  Next time, maybe.  Some of the table ordered the dish but substituted the entree chicken with the chicken used on the Fried Chicken Salad.  They said it was still delicious.  It's the breading that really makes the dish anyway.  Their servings were huge and they were forced to take boxes home.  Forced... like they were forced.  They got to eat it again for dinner.  That's fantastic.

I ordered the Shrimp & Grits that was topped with crisp bacon (heck yes!), a fried, poached egg and butter.  There was lots and lots of butter in the dish.  It was pooling up on the grits.  It doesn't get better than that, if it's what you're wanting, and I was.  I couldn't finish the full meal, I think I was full from the soup and fries by that point, but I did my best.  I left only 2 shrimp and only a little bit of the egg.  I've mentioned before that Shrimp & Grits is how Stephen and I determine the quality of a restaurant which is why I ordered the meal.  It was fantastic.  The grits were a little bit more runny (because of the butter) that I would prefer, so my favorite grits still rest with Parish, but I'd have no problem recommending this meal to anyone dining at JCT Kitchen.

We were too full for desert, but I'll make sure to try some next time.

My dad and my step-mom are coming to Atlanta for Thanksgiving and I'm trying to figure out where to take them for the other meals before the big turkey dinner.  Now there is a race between Rosebud, Parish and JCT.  Not sure who is going to win just yet.... all three get 5 stars from me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Covergirl LashBlast Fusion: Product Review

I've used the same mascara for a long time - it works, why switch it up, right?  Well, I wanted to see if in the past 5 years all of the new "technology" I keep seeing on all of the cosmetic commercials is true.  Have the makeup companies really found a way to make my lashes longer and more full?

I picked up Covergirl's Lash Blast Fusion, the waterproof version, while at Target the other night.  I've been wearing it for two days and I'm not seeing any difference from what my lashes normally look like.  As a matter of fact, my lashes feel LESS thick than they normally do with my Maybelline Full n' Soft mascara.

The application brush's bristles are pretty short, so i'm not sure how they make anything longer.

I spend $7+ on this new mascara, I'll be using it until it's empty, but quickly switching back to Maybelline - my trusted choice.  Who am I kidding, I'll probably buy Maybelline the next time I'm at the store and I think about it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Crest 3D White Whitestrips: Product Review

Our toothpaste came with a 3D White Crest Whitestrip trial packet.  I've never tried Whitestrips and I've always wanted to.  My teeth are SUPER sensitive so I've always avoided them.  It was 10:00 last night I had hadn't done anything new for the day, so on went the strips.

A strip for your top teeth and one for your bottom teeth are included in each package.  Gel side goes onto your teeth.  They went farther back in my mouth than I expected them too - good I guess.  The package recommends wearing for 30 min for best results.  I made it 18 minutes.  It might just be me, but the taste that was in my mouth from the strips was about to make me gag.  I was probably just being a baby, but I wanted them off.

Did I notice any results?  Not so much.  However, I didn't wear the full time, I only had one (you should wear every day for best results) and I'm pretty skeptical of stuff like that.

Anyone else with good results?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blackjack Obsessed

I mentioned that over the weekend my friends taught me how to play Blackjack so that I can participate in the gambling when we go to Vegas.  It was very important to me that I get to gamble with the guys while I'm there.  Stephen isn't going to want to go to shows or fancy dinners while we're there but I did that a few months ago when I went with my friends.  The purpose of this trip is to really experience the gambling in Sin City, hopefully win some money, and take a fun trip with My Love.  :)

Last night I was still thinking about Blackjack when I got home from work so I downloaded an App on my phone so I could continue to play so I'm comfortable with certain situations and with "money".  I now understand how easily it is for people to sit at a Blackjack table for hours at a time.

The app is pretty neat.  You automatically start with $1000 and you control the amount of your bet.  You can double down and split and Blackjack pays 3 to 2.  It's been a good learning experience to watch the money go up and down so I get comfortable with streaks.

I plan on "practicing" until it's trip time - in December.  I totally understand that a lot, well most, of the game is total chance and that some hands I'll never have a chance to win.  But if I'm prepared for the situations when I should double or spit, I'll do better with my money.

It's very exciting.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cabin Vacation

The weather is beginning to cool down and the leaves are starting to change up in the mountains.  It's one of my favorite times of the year.  It's not too hot, it's not too cold.  You can leave a window open at night and sleep with fresh air.  I just love it.  The cold weather isn't too far away so I'll enjoy as much of this cool weather as I can.  

This past weekend we headed to a cabin just outside of Helen, GA for a few days with friends.  The cabin was a 3-story house that sleeps 12.  It had a pretty big game room downstairs and a hot tub.  Stephen and I didn't have to pay for our room Saturday night (we were only there one of the 3 nights) as long as we brought food for dinner.  Done!  We made some pretty awesome pork-chop sandwiches with grilled veggies.  

The big thing that night was learning how to play Black Jack.  A few of us are heading out to Vegas in December and we'll be doing a lot of gambling, mostly Black Jack, and I want to be able to participate.  Richard is a fantastic teacher and he walked through the strategy and thinking behind the game with me and then we played a bunch of rounds where we walked through scenarios.  I'm pretty comfortable that I understand what to do so now I want to practice, just so I'm comfortable.  Bring it Vegas!  

Friday, October 7, 2011

Shakespeare Tavern: Macbeth

Last night was definitely something new for me, we attended a play at Shakespeare Tavern with Stephen's mom and grandma.  I've actually driven past the playhouse countless times but never really noticed it and definitely never went inside.

The website says that "The New American Shakespeare Tavern is unlike other theaters."  Indeed it is.  you walk in the doors and immediately head downstairs to the ticket office and the theater.  The theater isn't set up like a regular theater but instead with tables so audience members can eat and drink during the show.  Eating and drinking while watching Shakespeare, I'm sold.  Only the food was terrible.  Please, if you're going to head to the Tavern for a show, please eat before you get there.  I had the Cheese Ravioli with Yellow Squash - it was luke warm and the squash was almost unidentifiable.  And from what I hear, you need to get there an hour before show time to get a good seat.  The beers, however, were delicious.  They have a wide variety of premium brews to try, like a Tavern should.

Growing up I never had to read Macbeth, but I knew the basics of the story.  There was going to be sword fighting, a little bit of love, lots of murder and ghosts.  Yep, that's what we got.  Sitting through the play I was glad I never had to read it in high school.  There were a lot of slow moments with very long monologues.  Macbeth did not become one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.

Another neat thing about the theater is all of the costumes are handmade.  They looked great.  During some of the very slow parts I actually focused more on the costumes than what was being said.  (Kind of like when I was a kid and I'd go to SeaWorld with my parents.  They'd take me to the Shamu show and only watch the birds.  It's a killer whale in front of me and I want to look at birds.)

Onto the acting: some of the performers were better than the others.  There was a definite difference between the people who were just remembering their lines vs. those who really understood the material.  If the actor really knew the work it was easy to follow their lines.  There were also a few actors who made it very difficult to understand their lines.  Shakespeare is hard enough to understand when you're reading it, if you have an actor who talks too fast or not clear enough it just ruins it.

I'm sure we'll head back to see another play, but maybe one of the funnier plays.  I also realized while I was there that I really haven't read much Shakespeare at all.  Let's just add that to my reading list.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

3:10 to Yuma: Movie Review

My dad likes Westerns.  A lot of guys like Westerns.  Some of them are pretty good, I'm sure of it, I've been told they are.  The genre wouldn't have lasted this long if people didn't like them.  I've learned I'm not one of those people.  They are too slow for me.  I keep imagining how smelly and dirty people must have been back then.  I don't like when the horses fall down or get hurt, even worse killed.  I much prefer a nice RomCom or Drama.  But I wanted to give 3:10 to Yuma (released in 2007) a chance, a new thing everyday - right?

The movie follows outlaw, Ben Wade, played by Russell Crowe, and rancher Dan Evans, played by Christian Bale.  Ben has finally be captured after committing over 20 robberies of caravans carrying the railroads paycheck money.  Dan Evans helps in his capture and for money to pay off some debts he agrees to help take Ben to the 3:10 to Yuma train to take him to go to trial and to hang.  While in custody, Ben's outlaw gang is following the team as they transport Ben trying to free him before they reach the train.  Of course nothing goes smoothly for the good guys.

The movie moved very slowly, especially in the beginning.  It was also hard for me to watch Christian Bale in such a down-and-out role.  I wanted him to be strong and confident like his other movies that I like.  He was not Batman... And if you've seen the movie - what did you think about Luke Wilson??!!  I cracked up when he came on screen.  Not who I expected to see there.

I give the movie 2 out of 5 stars.  The acting was great, the locations were beautiful and the story one that probably took place many, many times as the railroad extended West which is interesting.  However, no more Westerns for me.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

Was it just my family, or do people from Florida not eat a lot of soup?  We rarely had soup growing up.  I'm having a hard time trying to remember a time when my mom made soup.  It was either out of a can, the tomato variety, to go with our grilled cheese sandwiches or it was at Olive Garden with salad and breadsticks.

Looks pretty good!  If you click on the link and see their picture, it's pretty close!

I attempted, and succeeded, to make soup!  I've made an easy soup before - beans, noodles, canned stuff - but nothing as complicated as this soup.

Again, I found it in my favorite Food Network Magazine, the cover recipe.  There are several things I'd like to contest in the description of this recipe:

  • easy - not so much
  • total time 35 min - more like 90 min
  • Yields 4 servings - close to 6
But I digress, let's start from the beginning.  I'll start by saying it turned out to be delicious and I even had leftovers for lunch today.  It was just a lot more work than I thought.  Maybe it's because I've never made soup before, I blame you, Mom.  

I love cheese so I couldn't help but be attracted to the soup just by the picture.  And with the description above, I was sold.  It would be easy and take less than an hour!

The first step is to peel and chop some potatoes to cook in the chicken stock, water and milk.  That alone took me 10 minutes.  Already I knew I was in for a long time in the kitchen.  While those are cooking until softened, I steamed the broccoli in the microwave.  

Here is where it gets tricky, and what I didn't read when I first read through the recipe.  Once the potatoes are softened, you have to PUREE the soup.  I've never pureed a thing in my life.  Thank goodness I now have access to Stephen's cooking equipment or I would have been in big doo doo.  Here is a note for all of you who are new to soup cooking and pureeing.  READ THE LABELS ON THE FOOD PROCESSOR.  I didn't.  I missed the "no liquid past this line" label.  Off I go, pouring 6 cups of liquid and 2 lbs of potatoes into the processor.  Then there was soup everywhere.  Yeah, it was a mess.  Would have made for good television.  

No worries though, I got it worked out.  After trying to figure out how I was going to puree the soup that didn't fit into the container (if you have this problem - puree the potatoes with as much liquid as possible then put back in large pot and simmer to combine) I worked it all out and was on to the next step.  

The rest went pretty smoothly.  Our friends at the Food Network called for only 1 1/3 cups of cheese.  That's not nearly enough, at least for our household.  I added 2 1/3 cups to the soup (which is probably why I had 6 servings).  

Please take note of the croutons - homemade croutons!  We had a pretty large loaf of french bread that I never served with our chili that was pretty stale.  Croutons are toasted, stale bread.  I cut up some of the loaf, threw it in the oven for 10 min on a baking sheet.  Boom!  Croutons. 

I highly recommend making the soup. Maybe half the recipe?  It was perfect for a chilly night.  (If you read the reviews on the website they aren't too positive.  They all say the soup is bland and not very cheesy.  I guess they stuck too closely to the recipe and didn't add an extra cup+ of cheese!  I will add more broccoli next time, but it was delicious.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

I thought my Peach Cobbler recipe was pretty easy.  Then my fellow blogger and close friend posted a recipe for Pumpkin Muffins.  EVEN EASIER!  (Kristin also gave me the Peach Cobbler recipe - why didn't we cook this much when we lived together??)

Dear Santa, I need a new camera.

Steps to deliciousness:

  1. Combine a box of Yellow Cake and a can of Pumpkin Puree
  2. Mix with a mixer until smooth, it will be think
  3. Place in muffin tins
  4. Bake for 20-25 min at 350 degrees
That's it!

I wanted to try a homemade cream cheese frosting on the muffins, but cream cheese was left of the grocery list.  Stephen placed a pecan half on each muffin before cooking - yum.  We want to try chocolate cake mix next.  

They are the perfect addition to a fall breakfast table (or lunch table, dinner table, or snack table... I'm not picky).  The hardest part of this recipe is actually finding the can of pumpkin.  It's October, Publix, get it together!!

New Zip Code

It's 100% official - I'm a Fulton County resident again.  My move into Stephen's house was on Saturday and it went better than I ever could have expected

Over the past 2 weeks, with Stephen's help, I've been packing and moving boxes from my apartment to Stephen's house.  We wanted to get all of the stuff we could move in our cars to the house before we got the U-haul truck.  I argued this a little bit every now and then, but Stephen is smart, and it was the better plan.  Moving day we only had the large furniture we couldn't fit in a car and very few boxes.

I went with the 17' truck instead of the 14' truck... good call, Deegan. 
The U-haul pick up was at 9:00.  We were at the apartment by 9:15 and started loading.  Luckily, four friends really stepped up and helped me move.  BIG thanks to Richard, Ryan, Ehron and Cameron for coming out.  We had the truck packed, down to the house and unpacked by noon.  We were back at the rental place by 12:15.  The total for the rental was $63!!!  So much better than hiring movers for at least $350.  Now when we move out of the house one day - I'm going to require movers.  We can't move a 3 bedroom house on our own, I like our friends too much.

The moving team.  No, I don't know why Stephen is wearing a blanket.

The day was perfect.  There was no fighting between us, nothing broke, it went faster than I thought it would and I'm finally living in ONE place.  (The weather was also perfect - it was in the 60s and not a cloud in the sky.)  It was noted that I didn't stress out during the move, very true.  I noticed that too.  I think I wasn't stressed out because I knew how perfect this move is.  It's the perfect move for us.  If things aren't unpacked already, it's okay.  I have forever to get the house the way we want it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Homemade Hot Pockets

I'll say it again - The Food Network Magazine is my very favorite.  I get excited every month when it pops up in my mailbox.  I always sit down with the magazine and read through from front to back, reading every article and all the recipes.  From that I make a list of what I want to attempt to cook.

Another new recipe for this week was one of their French Bread Roll-up recipes. (I'd already made one of their 50 Stuffed Potatoes - the pizza Potato earlier in the week.)  Basically, the roll-ups are homemade Hot Pockets.  The website doesn't have the recipe online or I'd link to it, but it goes like this:

  • Mix in a medium bowl all of the ingredients you want inside you're pastry.  We had gorgonzola cheese with some chopped deli ham with dijon mustard - a fancy Grilled Cheese sandwich.  
  • Take a can of refrigerated french bread dough, cut the dough into 4 equal parts and roll out each part on a floured surface until it's 8"x6".  Place a quarter of your stuffing mix inside each of the dough rectangles and fold them up.  
  • Lay the assembled pockets on a baking sheet, opening side down.  Brush the tops of the pockets with an egg wash (one egg beaten with a tablespoon of water).  I only did the top, but I'd recommend the entire pocket.  We also sprinkled with salt & pepper
  • Bake in a 425 degree oven for 18 min, until the tops of the pockets are golden brown.  

It's soo good!  These will definitely become part of our menu rotation - there are so many things you can do with them!  We had some left over filling so Stephen added them to my omelet Sunday morning.  Yes, he made me an omelet.