Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mary Mac's Tea Room



Complimentary carbs - oh dear!

Clockwise: Mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, and squash souffle


Mac and cheese Southern-style - cooked with eggs!


NOM

My friend and I wanted to eat at TOP FLR but, alas, there was an hour wait. So we went across the street to Mary Mac's! The prices were pretty reasonable, and we both hadn't been there in a while.

I saw chicken pot pie on the menu and knew I had to get it. This is a childhood favorite of mine that I don't get to have much as an adult because I know how awful it is for you, haha. I've made a homemade version before, which turned out okay, but I wouldn't mind making another version! I really liked the way Mary Mac's topped it with gravy - that was a nice touch. :o) I was expecting regular mac and cheese though, so the egg part kind of disappointed me. It's not that I'm dissing mac and cheese and eggs, but I just wanted something different that night and my expectations were not met. I'm a huge squash souffle lover, so I already knew I was going to like what I ordered. I find it hard to go wrong when ordering Southern food, really. It's just a matter of moderation. :o)

Service was so-so but at least we got seated right away!

Vertical Horizon Concert





A few weeks ago (you can tell how often I've updated this month!), there was a free concert by the 90s band Vertical Horizon in Suwanee Town Center Park. Their most popular songs "back in the day" were: Everything You Want, Best I Ever Had, and You're a God. It was really nice to have this band play at such an intimate venue. The lead singer addressed the audience in between songs. I found out about this event through a couple of friends of mine who live in the area. People were pretty respectful about staying seated where we sat. There were a good number of folks on their feet at the stage level. Yeaaahh,... I'm not THAT big a fan. :oP Still, it was a really nice evening! 

Homemade Bread






Ingredients:
1/2 cup warm water
3 (0.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup bread flour
1 Tblspn white sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tblspn salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
10 cups bread flour

Directions:
1. In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, stir together 1/2 cup warm water, 1 Tblspn sugar, 1/4 cup bread flour, and yeast. Let grow for about 5 minutes. It will bubble almost immediately.



2. Measure oats, 4 1/2 cups warm water, whole wheat flour, salt, 2/3 cup sugar, and 2/3 cup oil into the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed with a dough hook for 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed slightly, and begin adding bread flour 1/2 to 1 cup at a time until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Humidity determines how much flour you need before the bread pulls away from the edge of the bowl. It is normal for the dough to be sticky.

3. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

4. Divide dough into 6 pieces. Shape loaves, and place in greased 8x4 inch pans. Let rise until dough is 1 inch above rim of pans, usually 1 hour.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until tops are browned. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

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For my first go at this recipe, I halved all of the ingredients. When you click on the link to the recipe, you can adjust the number of servings you want to make. That way, you don't have to do all those calculations yourself. :o) Why did I halve all of the ingredients? Well, if you have a regular kitchen stand mixer, then halving the ingredients makes this a manageable job for that mixer. A dough hook should come with the stand mixer. If not, then ... you have to buy one. ;oD

Anyway, once you get the hang of it, this recipe is super easy to follow. I didn't use 8x4 pans, I used whatever I had on hand, which made for three generous loaves. The smell of fresh bread was amazing! These turned out so well!

Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fabulous-homemade-bread/detail.aspx

Corner Bakery

Sandwich and Salad Combination

Chicken Pesto on Ciabatta Ficelle - All-natural roasted chicken, arugula, and tomatoes with our sweet and spicy house vinaigrette and pesto mayo


My dad had been curious about Corner Bakery ever since it opened. I had been to the Lenox Mall location some time ago, so I knew it was a Panera or Atlanta Bread Company-type restaurant. We went during a weekend lunch hour.

First off, when you enter the front doors, you're guided towards the registers by two walls. Weird! This can create an instant bottleneck. -____-"" The design layout maximizes the number of seats/booths but the seating itself is pretty small - petite people welcome!

I ordered a sandwich and salad combination and was immediately disappointed with the serving size. It's much too small for the price you pay! To add insult to injury, the food wasn't even all that great. It was just okay. Haha, my dad liked the coffee though. I guess that's something. O_o We're definitely not going to go back. These high-falutin' suburbanites can have this place. Pfft.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Boston - Day 3






The Pot Belly burger - Cheese, bacon, grilled mushrooms, and peppers 



Peters Hill 



St Agrippina's Feast in the North End 



Boston - Day 2


Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Melt Sandwich with sliced tomato, brie cheese, and pistachio basil pesto served with sweet potato fries



Kayaking on the Charles River 




Original Cheers in Beacon Hill 



Special of the day: Fried Po' Boy 

Coffee Oreo ice cream from
Christina's Homemade Ice Cream - next door to All Star Sandwich Bar

Boston - Day 1

I spent a long weekend in Boston to visit a few friends. I saw several sites and made some new friends in the process. :o) It was just as hot and humid there as it was/is in Atlanta. Oh man... that was rough! And public restrooms are a rarity there for some reason. Plus there were so many tourists! It was quite an experience. After South Korea though, I was glad to be able to walk around a city and NOT encounter a language barrier, haha.

Beginning of the Freedom Trail 


 Chicken parmesan pizza in the North End
 
They filmed "The Town" here. 


The Freedom Trail ends at Bunker Hill Monument.
 
294 steps to the top!