Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Puerto Rico pictures...just took me a few months

Hey guys! Remember that we went to Puerto Rico in June? For my....thirtysomething birthday? Here are some photos--fun and food.

Silvia and Richie hosted us in San Juan. Richie used to live in our neighborhood in Atlanta, and had moved to San Juan last fall. It was so great to see him again and to meet his super cool girlfriend, Silvia!

El Cerro de Nandy. We went to this restaurant / bar that was up on top of a mountain, in San Lorenzo. You park your car at the base and ride up with someone in a jeep or a 4x4 truck. It's a bit of a bumpy ride! Here's Seb, Richie and Silvia.

Notice we all have full cans of Medalla...now that requires talent!

At the top, we feasted on a little bit of everything. We have two types of rice, 3-4 different kinds of meat, and 3 different types of roots and fruit. I don't remember everything--but I know there was rabbit, chicken, also taro and yucca and green bananas (not plantains, I am told) All in all, it was delicious and much more than the five of us could eat!

The view...and the romance of Tavolini.

We also went to the beach and toured the older part of San Juan. Here's Silvia's picture of starfish at the beach.

We went out for birthday dinner--langosta and sangria! So delicious :)

Thank you Richie and Silvia for the good times and the photos! We shall definitely return to Puerto Rico.

Pepper Jack Cheese Grits with Old Bay Tilapia--and some horrid photos of it

This was such a good meal! Its too bad these photos won't do it justice. We went to a party over the weekend, and I proceeded to leave our camera there. We're going to get it back, don't worry! As of yet, I don't have it. So, here are blurry pictures from my camera phone.

This is such an easy meal, I don't know why I don't make it more often. Cook grits according to instructions (add some extra butter and cream to make them more delicious!) and add cheese at the end. For the fish, I just washed the fillets, coated them in Old Bay, and threw them in a hot skillet. One thing to keep in mind--Old Bay is salty, so omit or greatly reduce the amount of salt you use while cooking the grits. I would not use instant grits--they aren't healthy and they just don't taste as good.

Friday, August 21, 2009

a pretty song and a tomato pie (pizza pie, of course)

It's raining down hard, here, and this is one of my favorite types of evening. I don't have to work tomorrow. It's warm enough to have every window open, yet cool enough you don't need a fan. The smell of rain, plants, and life seems to harmonize with the faint sounds of a passing train and the nearby interstate.

Here's a song I just listened to--I loved it on its own, but I also enjoy seeing the "pop up video" facts. I'm a big fan of James Taylor, but I really love it when he sings with Carly Simon.

And with our garden tomatoes, we made some pizza. Ridiculously tomato pizza! It was sweet, literally. There is very little I like more than wheat dough with fresh, roasted tomatoes.


Oh kids, I've been looking back over my blog, and I don't think I've cooked anything of note in almost a month. Here are some fajitas for you. Just vegetable fajitas, but they're one of my favorite summertime dishes.

Tavo has also been doing some final touches on the little orange house, to make sure it is in good shape. We've lined up a local grad student to rent it starting in September. Here's a door to cover the hot water heater. (previously, it was a jagged drywall hole)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Etsy Shop is up and running!

If you are in the market for vintage hats, please stop by and check it out. It's still very new and I haven't finished putting things up yet.


Hmm....somebody has been having a bit of Hue Saturated fun with the old GIMP.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Like the new header?

Header is planned for the ETSY page, I'm just trying it out on you guys :) It was a decently busy day at work, but I will doodle as long as I have a few seconds and a piece of paper.

It is past bedtime, but I'm excited so I have to just tell you a little something. We are going to Colombia for Tavo's birthday (in a couple weeks!!) Ever heard of Jet Blue? They are insanely cheap. No hub in Atlanta, but we found some tickets from Florida to Colombia for $89 each way!! To South America!! Yeah, we got them.

This is where Tavo's parents are from, so we will visit lots of family. We're very excited and I need to brush up on my Spanish--okay, I need to learn basic Spanish in about 3 weeks. Any recommendations? Here are some random pictures of Bogota, just to get everyone in the spirit!

Thank you to the photographers who provided these photos.

(bluelephant on flickr)



We've been discussing visiting Colombia for a minute. I think it will be an excellent vacation.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Camping, potatoes and tomatoes

In a relationship, compromise is what makes most things work, right? Nobody, ever, goes through life without a few strong opinions of their own. Siblings and parents will help you form those--just do whatever they don't want you to do ;) That's how it should be--give a little, take a little, and play the game with a bit of respect. I admit, I'm the type who hates to lose! So, somehow, I talked Tavo into camping in North Georgia with me over the weekend.
Tavo does NOT like to camp. A few years of active duty for our country seems to have that effect on most everyone. I am very appreciative of his willingness to brave the wilderness (state park, 45 minutes from Atlanta--hot showers and flushing toilets) with me. You know what? I honestly think, after the first initial shock, that he had an okay time...

Our abode--sight distance from said toilets and showers...
Foil wrapped goodie on the fire--irregardless of camping, Tavo can build a fire from anything within about 5 minutes. We let it get down to coals for cooking.
Sweet potatoes, onions, potatoes, butter and salt. So simple, yet when you cook it right, you don't need much more.
Unless, of course, you feel like some delicious ramen soup and a beer ;)
We came home to find two ripe tomatoes ready for the picking! Yum.

ETSY shop is coming soon....

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Look at Tavo's fence :) I am so happy!! Great job, babe! I can't believe you did this all by yourself!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My favorite Toots and some tapes..

Tavo's brother-in-law gave us some SUPER EXCELLENT tapes. We invited our friends over for a sorting and listening session. Tuesday nights are a good night for this.

Luckily, we are the only people in Atlanta who have a working tape player. (as it is "borrowed" from a very good public school, I assume it will work indefinitely)

By the way (please, not pertaining to implied thievery of excellent tape players)--I'm starting an ETSY shop next week, focusing mostly on vintage hats and clothing. And tapes. We will give a free tape with every purchase. Come on--your cousins and children own or will be buying cars that only have tape decks. It's fun! Will post link next week. Here are some tapes.

Okay, so I'm a big fan of Toots and the Maytals. I attribute this partially to my father, partially to my age, and mostly because they are quite an excellent band. My dad got into reggae in the early 90's, and it has been a major influence in our very beach oriented, summer oriented, having fun oriented life. Below is one of my favorite songs, and it was just so honest. I love this kind of youtube.

We also ate some cauliflower coconut curry--probably more vegetables than these kids have had in weeks. So, we're keeping healthy. In case you are wondering, my recipe was mostly this sans potatoes. Plus I added 1/4 cup tomato paste. Basically, it was pretty delicious and quite nondenominational.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Weekend of Favorite Foods--sandwiches!

What are your favorite foods? Seriously--when all is said and done, what will you make for yourself and know that NO RESTAURANT will ever make this dish as well as you? We were on a sandwich kick this weekend--here are our favorites.

BBQ Tempeh and Slaw sandwich

Not that I've actually seen this advertised at restaurants, but this is one of my favorite go-to sandwiches. I don't remember what book I scrawled the tempeh recipe out of--so I don't think I should post the exact recipe. Basically, it's a mix of oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, cumin, and garlic. Marinate for a few hours to overnight, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. I bake it right in the marinade. These little tempeh nuggets are great on salad or in sandwiches.

I make somewhat of an Asian coleslaw mix--still your basic mayo, honey and vinegar (I use rice vinegar) but add some ginger, sesame oil and sesame seeds to the mix. Yum!

Tavo also leaned towards cabbage this weekend, but he chose the fermented type. A Reuben, with so many substitutions that I'm not sure if it can even be called a reuben anymore.

Ham Reuben with Havarti on Wheat -- blasphemy or delicious?

Tavo declared it delicious.

Pizza is another one that I make very well--but I love it so much I will try it from pretty much any reputable pizza spot. This pic is obviously homemade, though ;)

So--what dish do you make better than the restaurant?