Thursday, July 31, 2008

blog on hiatus..

Our house was broken into again, this time they took our camera. Blog is on hiatus until we get another camera.

Economy is just bad, huh? Breaking through a fence to break into a house to take a camera. Luckily, the alarm went off and they left without taking anything else.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Vegetable Gumbo with Field Peas

I have tried, unsuccessfully, to have a garden at least every other summer for the last 8 years. Finally this year, I threw in the towel and didn’t even bother planting one tomato plant.

I found a good local CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) and signed up for a share. Every Saturday, we pick up our share of organic vegetables, fruit and herbs. Here’s the bounty for this week:

I love the CSA—we get ours from Huckleberry Hill farm in Alabama. It's best (for me) to cook up something right away on Saturday, so that we have leftovers to eat all week. With the okra and the field peas, a gumbo with a tomato base sounded good.

*best to simmer the field peas on their own for a good 20 minutes

In true gumbo tradition, I added file' powder after it was cooked, right before serving. File' powder is made from Sassafras and is used as a thickening agent. According to Joy of Cooking (1975 Version) File' powder is a carcinogen. Does anyone know if this is true?

In other exciting news—guess who got his motorcycle learner’s permit?

Friday, July 25, 2008


Our roommate, Jeremy, is a master griller. He decided to go all out and make his signature pork hamburgers and he even grilled up a veggie burger for me.

Cloudy days do not deter hard core pool people. Not even when it started pouring about 10 minutes later. We stuck it out!

Jeremy's favorite Barbecue Sauce:

Lini's favorite barbecue sauce

An almost scary spicy sauce that is decadent...

..on fried tofu...

...with coleslaw.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

small pleasures and grainy photos

Everyday at lunch, I like to take a walk. I have always done this. Some places I work at have nice walking areas--I loved walking around midtown Atlanta and I liked going by the horse fields near the public library. One job I had nowhere to walk, and consequentially circled endlessly around the parking lot.

I grabbed a slurpy at the local QT and headed out for my daily walk.

My current job is surrounded by large, busy 6-8 lane roads, so I tend to cross one of these and escape to the cemetery. Its huge, and although I prefer gravestones to plastic flowers, they're growing on me as well. And this particular cemetery backs up to the air force base--which means some quite incredible planes are generally flying very, very low overhead.

(you liked the arrow, didn't you?)

There's also a row of very suburban houses that back up to the cemetery as well. I always think this is odd.

I'll bring my camera instead of just the phone next time.

Meanwhile, a much more productive Tavo is creating THIS:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Double Coronary Bypass Burger..

On a quick aside from our Brazil pics, Tavo and I visited the Vortex in Little Five Points yesterday, and Tavo ordered the Double Coronary Bypass Burger. He has wanted to do this for a while, but needed to prepare. We swam, jumped in and out of the pool all day, and didn't eat anything except some toast for breakfast. By 6:30 pm, Tavo was ready.

Here it is:

Taken from the menu (which is quite humorous--worth a read!)
Our big sirloin patty topped with a fried egg, three
slices of American cheese, four slices of bacon, and
a big fat side of mayo.

The ingredients listed above, but with two grilled
cheese sandwiches replacing the buns.

Amazing! Next challenge: The Luther Vandross Burger in Decatur, Georgia.

Ilha Bela

On the plane from New York to Brazil, we sat next to a super cool guy from Sao Paulo who told us all sorts of places that we should visit, and helped us with our pronunciation of Portuguese. One of the places he mentioned was Ilha Bela--he said it was one of the most beautiful places in Sao Paulo state. So, although we'd purchased bus tickets to a different town, when the driver hollered, "Ferry to Ilha Bela" we decided to grab our bags and hope it was in our budget!

On the ferry--a yucky, cloudy day.

This place was beautiful, despite the weather.

Off season rates and visiting during the week lowered the cost by two thirds--it was an amazing deal. We decided to stay all week, and finally unpack!

View from our room

We stayed at Pousada Manga Rosa It was beautiful, looked like a crazy tree house. Ilha Bela is full of Pousadas, which are nice little bed and breakfasts, generally without very many rooms. If you decide to visit, we highly recommend it!

Very good breakfast!

Tavo is a fan of the ham and cheese wheels

He loves to be photographed while eating

They put out papaya for the birds

And there were books upstairs--we found books in 6 different languages there!

Sitting in the "tree house" with cafezinho and a book

View from the upstairs of the Pousada

Lets walk around the island

I want to live here.

Neat architecture and accents


There is supposedly a waterfall up this path, but due to the stench of doo doo, the sign that says no trespassing, and the GIGANTIC OX! Lini was too nervous to venture up the mountain.

Dune buggies everywhere

mmm, beer time


and we're off to our next destination