Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I tried the gnocchi recipe last week and was very pleased with how they came out.  The Cook's directions were spot on and I had no trouble working with the dough.  It is not a quick thing to make, but I'm glad I gave it a try.  They came out quite tender and have a sweet flavor that the store-bought ones do not have.  Having said that, I probably won't make again!  Michael liked them, but according to him, gnocchi are like pasta, but not quite as good!  So comparing boiling some pasta vs. making and shaping gnocchi, I'll probably just boil pasta.  Although, maybe this means my next project will be making home-made pasta....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Summer lasts a long time in Atlanta and living on the 3rd and 4th floors of a building seems to extend it even further.  It is November 6th and we  have yet to turn on the heat.  In fact, it's only been about a week since we last turned on the air conditioning!  The combination of a south-facing windows and being on a higher floor equals a very toasty apartment!

But even though it is so warm inside here, the views of the outside are changing.

                                                      and we are getting some rain, too

This kind of weather made me think about baking a new bread so I tried the Beth Hensberger Sweet Pumkin bread with dried cranberries and spices.  It is delicious both plain untoasted and also toasted with butter.  I put chicken salad on it today for lunch.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ok, so I've not been so good at keeping up with this!  Life is busy and it can be very time consuming documenting it.

Here are a few more pictures from a recent visit.



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tampa Trip

I had a very good time visiting Grandpa John this past week.  Here he is at a fish restaurant we went to after his doctor appointment.

He has packed up a lot of his things already - all the photos are off his walls and it looks very bare in his townhome.  He will be in Florida for about a month and will head up north on the auto train around the end of October.  Movers will take his furniture and other packed things, but he will load all the photos into the back of his SUV and take them himself.  He's not trusting the movers with those!  He is definitely moving around  more slowly these days due to pain in his hips and knees, but otherwise he seems the same!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Some Befores and Afters

Things are starting to look pretty good around here.  By no means is the place "done", but it is getting better and better looking so I thought this was a good time to  highlight some of the improvements.

This picture was taken the end of August.  Like any good stager, I made no effort to make this look any better.  Note the yoga mat on the floor, the extra pillows, the stacked pictures, the extra boxes sticking out from the buffet cabinet.

Here it is now, with pictures up, extra pillows stored, although now we have Smokey's seat in the foreground.  The area around that has to be vacuumed about every-other day because it gets coated with hair almost immediately after it is cleaned.

Here is the dining area in August with stacks of books, pictures on the floor.

I realize now that I didn't take an "after" picture from the same angle, but I assure you that the books are gone (most have been moved upstairs and are now stacked in our bedroom), and pictures are hung.  How do you like my picture/plate combo?  I'm not sure if it shows in this picture, but their colors go really well together. 

Here is a really nice picture of my view of the dining area from the kitchen.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekends in Atlanta

       It's different living here in this small, urban apartment by ourselves.  There are many good things about it, but it is also an adjustment.  Like, how do I provide us with something for tea, but not overfill this place with too many desserts? Then I remembered that I did have some interesting pans that make small things - so I can make a recipe and put  things away for another time.  No more layer cakes for a while; now is the time for mini bundt cakes.   

On Saturday we picked up our bikes from the repair shop and biked in Piedmont Park and then again  this morning.  We went around 8 AM today, but it was already getting crowded due to a 5K race that was about to start.  It's still a tranquil and beautiful setting.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Oh boy, what a day!

This morning I set out heading north out of Atlanta, planning on visiting Karen's Fabrics in Roswell, and then heading out to see Harry's for the first time in almost 20 years. 

Karen's is still a great fabric shop, but didn't have anything that went with my bedroom fabrics.  I'm looking for drapery material to make some drapes because we need more light control at night.  I only spent about 15 minutes there and planned on a stop at Harry's and home for lunch.  That was the plan anyway, but when I pulled into the parking spot at Harry's the car did something very weird.  The key stuck in the ignition, I couldn't pull it out, it made a weird noise, I couldn't move the gear shift out of park, couldn't turn the car back on.  So, I figured it was a tow truck for me, but called M first mostly just to tell someone of my predicament.  Shortly afterwards he joined me and then we spent the next 5 + hours waiting for the tow truck.  There was one mishap after another but finally we got towed to the local Jaguar dealership, got a loaner car and got home by 7.

And after all that, Harry's was a huge disappointment.  It's not Harry's anymore - it's a large, not especially nice Whole Foods.  There is nothing unique  about it anymore and it's not even a particularly good Whole Foods.  I bought a salad there for lunch and had to search for a fork and napkin.  Turns out, these are kept at the check-out and I was handed a single crumpled napkin and fork when I paid.   I won't bother making that trip again.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


We have certainly mentioned Bakeshop enough times; it is one of our favorite places here in Atlanta.

As Alton Brown would say, unfortunately you can't experience the wonderful fresh bread smell from this picture.

Besides the wonderful smell, there's lots of casual seating and they make a decent cup of tea.

Last Friday I met M here in the later afternoon.  We had tea and shared a really good piece of yellow cake with a mousse-like chocolate icing.  It was outstanding and their croissants are quite good too.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The arrival of Cindy and Smokey

John took the two cats to the airport for their flight yesterday and we went to pick them up in the evening.  They arrived just before 7:30 and due to an incorrect address given on the Delta Dash website, we initially went to the wrong place to pick them up, but that was soon rectified.

 They were a forlorn couple when they were brought out to us from a holding area and Cindy cried a bit. 

We brought them straight into the laundry room where their food and litter box are located and Cindy immediately went behind the dryer.

But, this morning, they seemed much better, curious, looking into all the rooms, all the nooks and cranies.  And of course, Smokey wanted to be brushed.

Although I doubt they recognize that there are familiar furniture pieces here, they probably do notice familier smells.  We think they are glad to be home (or at least glad to no longer be in the cargo hold of a jet). 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Your Dekalb City Market

It's about twenty minutes from my apartment, but it was worth the trip!  Here is what you see when you first walk in:

And the first thing I thought was, "it's freezing in here and I forgot to bring a sweater!"  But then I entered the rest of the way and this was my next view:

And that's the last picture I took because then a man came up to me and very nicely told me that taking pictures was not allowed.  So I will have to depend (mostly) on my words to describe this place.

It is a huge wearhouse, filled with food - grocery items off all kinds and from all cuisines.  I bought, among other things, quince jam, some fish sauce, some capers, sliced almonds, anchovy stuffed olives, lentils and chick peas.  I took this picture at home.

There is a large wine section, and of course, lots of great produce.  That is a Jersey Mac apple.  I never heard of that type and so wanted to try.

The fish section is huge with so many kinds of fish from the standard salmon to octopus.  The only disappointment in the meat section was that the lamb, although american was very expensive and not that great looking.  The ground meat looked too fatty to me.  I did buy two lamb chops for dinner and they were delicous.

I didn't even look at the bread section and only glanced at the huge cheese section. Finally no longer able to handle how cold it was I had to get out into the nice hot and humid Atlanta air. 

The prices were great and the quality was outstanding.  I will be back to this place.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I keep trying to cement my default font and ink color, but it keeps reverting back to blogspot default!  There are so many things I need to learn which is one of the reasons, beside wanting to have a way of communicating what is going on here in Atlanta, that I am doing this blog.  I want to learn more so I will keep at it!

Yesterday I went to Whole Foods.  I remember so well how I loved the little Wellspring Grocery store that opened in Durham around 1982.  It had delicious cheeses, bins of whole grains of all kinds and great produce.  Then it grew and a new, fancy store was opened in Durham and then one in Raleigh and, I believe, Chapel Hill as well.  I loved shopping there.  Then we moved  to other places and Wellspring was bought by Whole Foods.  I'm not sure who copied who, but the current Whole Foods stores look just like the big Wellsprings that were built in the Triangle area. But now I just can't get so excited about these stores anymore.  I'm just too old.  All the earnest people shopping in that store, trying to eat their way to a better, more special life.  I just don't think food can do that (although I do believe in eating good and tasty food!) by being specially  labled and packaged.  I had to stifle my snort when I saw the bar with it's claim of cleansing the body - and this was an energy bar, not a bar of soap!  And this "whole foods" store had a terrible stock of whole wheat flour - Lunardi's has a bigger selection.  On the plus side, I did find the good apple cidar and sherry vinegars I couldn't find at Publix.

Outside in the Whole Foods parking lot I took this picture.

And this one.

This is the building that was recently bought by a developer who plans to make a market like in the Ferry Building.  It is a huge building and looks especially big when on the street in front of it.  The building sits right on the road and when you drive past it it looms over your head. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday, August 30

Here is my laundry room now - much better!  I did this yesterday, but didn't have the energy to post this last night.  The shelf went together so easily and it's sturdy enough for my requirements.  

Today I found the Good Will drop off place which is very useful and I got a couple of boxes out of the apartment.  Then went to Target - needed a new iron and another drawer unit.  Then went to the Container Store.  I had seen the above book shelf the last time I was there and I liked it.  It was the right size for the space I wanted and a pretty good price - $89.  And today, it was on sale!  Over $20 dollars off!  I have most of my cook books on it and now have to decide if I should get a few more for the rest of the piles of books scattered around the place. I know the lighting in that picture is not good.  Took that one this evening and not light enough outside and inside lighting not sufficient either.  I don't like how it looks when I use the flash.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

I haven't done much today besides pick a name.  This is a first practice post and hopefully tomorrow I will have some pictures (if I can figure out how to attach them).