Confessions of a Cookbook Addict

I am a cookbook-a-holic.

There, I’ve said it out loud…well, sort of. I know many of us have lots of cookbooks and/or love to read them, but I’ve kind of taken it to the extreme. In fact, they are running me out of the house.

My unorganized reading table of cookbooks, food mags and Ree Drummond's new book.

Sure, I have my favorites, and they rotate sometimes. I have some very old ones, hand me down ones and some found at yard sales. I have some by famous chefs, some by famous cooks, some from other countries and some from little churches, schools and Junior Leagues. And In addition to the ones I own, I’ve read a bunch that I checked out from the library. It’s like some kind of a jones or something, every now and then…mostly now…I have cravings to read a new cookbook, essay or magazine about food like others have cravings to eat some chocolate. What can I say? I’m kinda weird that way. Continue reading

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words, no pictures

Yesterday was supposed to be a celebratory day. It was my friend’s birthday, and we had lunch together at a great new local restaurant. Later that evening, my husband and I had been invited to the home of more friends—some we don’t see often enough—for a dinner party, and I was making a peach crisp to take for dessert. Continue reading

BSP, What You Mean to Me

LOTS has been written about the Brick Store Pub here in Decatur, GA. The owners—Dave Blanchard, Mike Gallagher and Tom Moore—get much due praise and press for their accomplishments with “The Brick,” as it is fondly known, and for Leon’s Full Service. They certainly deserve credit for bringing Belgian beer and Belgian style beers and ales to the palettes of Decaturites—as well as bringing Atlanta to Decatur to drink them—and their selection and skill in pouring draft is, in my opinion, the best in town. They have some pretty darn good eats at the Brick, too, including a recently updated menu featuring some tasty new items along with some old favorites, and I’ll talk more about that in a minute. Continue reading

Local News Bit: Growlers at Sherlock’s

Our own Decatur Sherlock’s Wine Merchants is now pouring growlers!

I’m on their email list and they announced it a couple of days ago, but I was in there today and saw their set-up with my very own eyes. Right now they are pouring Allagash White, Bell’s Brewing Amber Ale, Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale and Port Brewing Wipeout IPA, and Warner says they’ll probably switch one out to a Creme Brulee Stout this weekend…hmmm, sounds delish!

Quick Sip: Ale Yeah!

Last Saturday we stopped by the relatively new local craft beer market, Ale Yeah!, which we are oh-so-lucky to have in our little hamlet of Decatur, GA. It’s a very pleasurable experience to step into this nice, cool, store, filled to the brim with American craft beers—beer from all over the world, actually—and with gracious owners and staff on hand to explain and inform. And not only do they have beer, but they also have other local and regional goodies to go with it including fine cheeses from farms like SweetGrass Dairy, local preserves and jams, sausages and cured meats, pretzels, coffees, chocolates, and more. Plus they have all the supplies you need to make your own brews at home. And perhaps best of all…they have Growlers. Continue reading

Partaking at The Porter

It’s a very warm Friday night and we’re meeting our friends Pam and Rick out for drinks and dinner, but where to go? We love the Brick Store Pub and it’s our home bar, if you will, though we were there just last weekend. And of course there’s the Brick’s sister restaurant (or brother) Leon’s Full Service, which is also a fave of ours for cocktails and such, but our friends have never been to The Porter Beer Bar and want to try it out, so off we go. Continue reading

Quick Bite: Oakhurst Market

The remaining half of my pimento cheese sandwich, moments before it disappeared.

Doing errands earlier today. Stopped by to glance around the newly opened Oakhurst Market in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur, GA. Very attractive place. Nice meats and produce, homemade bread, sweets, ice cream, wine, beer, flavored olive oils which are custom poured by the bottle, other useful pantry items, sandwiches and spreads. Snagged a pimento cheese sandwich out of the cold case on the fly. Homemade pimento cheese, served on homemade white bread, thin slices of cucumber in between the pimento cheese which has the tiniest bit of sherry wine vinegar in it. Inspired, and only $3.00! Sweet. Can’t wait to see how they progress. Will go back.

A Rosé By Any Other Name…

One beautiful sunny summer day 11 years ago, while sitting in a little bistro in a small village overlooking the Mediterranean in the south of France, I tasted my first glass of a Provençal rosé wine. The moment I breathed in the fragrance of it—the grass, the flowers, the fruit, the slight minerality—I started to understand and really appreciate the difference between red and white wines, and what can happen in between. At that moment, I became a devout fan, and rosé is now my favorite warm weather wine. Continue reading

Rain Delays and Raindogs

Friday night plan:
Stay home. Grill out turkey burgers. Make potato salad. Dinner on the deck. Check.
Prepping sun dried tomatoes, shallots and basil for the burgers, mix well with the meat.
Roasting potatoes in the oven. Make the vinaigrette. Toss with the warm potatoes. Check.
Enter sudden darkness and KABOOM! It’s pouring, down and horizontally, rain.

Plan B:
Create a cocktail with the spouse to pass the time until, or if, grilling is possible, since after all, necessity is the mother of invention. Continue reading

Summer in the South: A Few of My Favorite Things

Easy, refreshing and delicious Buttermilk-Basil Sorbet

Summer has not been my favorite of the seasons. Of course as a child, there were some things I really liked about it: no school, swimming and vacation were chief amongst them. But summer is always hot here in the South…really hot. And I like cooler weather better.

As time goes on, though, I’m coming back around to appreciating summer again­—it does have a lot going for it, after all. Longer and lazier days, cooking outdoors, taking a dip in cold bodies of water, and tons of fresh produce. Here’s my little laundry list of a few of my favorite things about summer, the things I look forward to—most of which are food and drink related, of course! What are yours? Continue reading