Monday, May 30, 2011

Back to Birmingham

Last weekend I visited a group of friends remaining in Birmingham after our fellowship with Time Inc. ended. I hadn't returned since moving out in December and it was a wonderful feeling to return to my 2010 home.

The first place I stopped was at Olexa's to have lunch with two of my friends. Diane Olexa, the owner, started her business as a wedding cake caterer. Olexa's is still famous for its buttercreme cake but their cafe offers really great lunch food.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

FR: Panko-Crusted Tilapia with Dill Sauce

This week is I wanted to share a fish recipe that's great for any time of the year but especially now during these hot summer days. Paired with fresh veggies and fruit, this makes a satisfying and light meal.

I like mixing Cajun seasoning with the panko to give the fish a kick and the dill sauce cools it all down. If you don't like Cajun seasoning, I would recommend adding some pepper and salt to add flavor to the panko. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday Treat: Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp from Delicious sweet-tart flavor, cinnamon-y granola topping paired with vanilla ice cream. Oh, and it's super easy to make. 

Fresh rhubarb starts showing up in grocery stores in late April/early May and having some in the house is the perfect excuse to make a crisp or pie. Some chains will even carry frozen rhubarb. Just make sure to trim away any green parts and leaves because they are poisonous. We used a vanilla granola from Whole Foods to add extra flavor and it definitely made a difference!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

FR: Brownies Made Better

I'm heading back to Birmingham this weekend to visit my Southern Progress friends, one of which is letting me crash on her couch. She's a food stylist and recipe developer (among other things) so I was a little worried about what to get her as a thank you.

Then I calmed down and realized I could bake her a treat. I chose Bea's Brownies, which are named after my great-great aunt. These brownies include two delicious layers; Hershey's syrup and lots of eggs make the brownie layer cake-moist and the frosting is basically an old-fashioned fudge (butter, sugar, milk and chocolate chips) that sets quickly and melts in your mouth.

Oh, man, just writing about them makes me want to run downstairs and cut a huge piece for myself! Must resist...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Swanky Gardens & Atlanta Braves

This weekend was very busy for me. On Saturday I went on the self-guided Artful Garden Tour with a family friend and had the chance to peek in the private gardens of some very nice homes in the West Wesley Road, Ansley Park, and North Druid Hills areas. I also attended my first Braves game of the season. The weather wasn't great but it's always an adventure at Turner Field!

Car, really, somebody glued this stuff to their car.
My favorite garden, off Habersham Road.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

W is for...

Wascally wabbits -- we used to have a neighborhood coyote to take care of the rabbits, but he or she is clearly gone.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Evoking the Sea with Jewelry

I finished working on two pairs of earrings this week that remind me of the ocean because of their blue colors. 

I first turned my attention to these sad hoop earrings. I probably bought them at Claire's in high school and used to wear these ad nauseam. I eventually tired of them, especially after the silver pieces became so dirty.

I wanted the convenience of pre-made hoops so I went to my local bead store to purchase them. This is a good video to watch if you want to simply buy wire and make your own hoops.

I followed the same pattern on the original earrings and reused the original turquoise beads. I'm really pleased with how they turned out, especially since my wrapping skills aren't perfect.

I made this second pair of earrings to match a necklace that I bought at Forever 21. I purchased the necklace for less that $10, which is great because the handwork involved in making something like this would take hours to finish.

I used faceted chalcedony teardrops, glass beads, and crystals to complete the look. I bought a small amount of chain to create a nice dangled effect; this also gives enough space to let the various beads hang down and look extra pretty.