Tuesday, July 24, 2012

100 Mile Dinner

Follow up to the chef's table at Local Three. Pine Street Market has started a supper club for the folks in Avondale Estates, 100 mile dinner. After eating our way through Atlanta the past two days another five course meal sounded like a great way to finish off the weekend. Not to mention the 1.5 hour drive back to the lake!
My beautiful date for the evening!

I ate these by the pound! Chicken oysters are soooo freaking good.

Grilled Baby Eggplant, Roasted Red Onions, Watermelon Radish, Preserved Padron Peppers, Buttermilk Cheese, Grapefruit, Salsa Verde & Chichuron

Wild Boar Tamale, Charred Tomato Chutney, Pickled Finger Chile's, Local Radishes, Thomasville Tomme

Smoked Trout, Beet Pickled Farm Egg, Salted Cucumbers, Tiny Tomatoes,
Heirloom Grits, and Wild Boar Brodo
The brodo was served in a separate mason jar so you could add as much or as little as you like. Great concept.

Roasted Wild Boar from Gum Creek Farms, Smoked Succotash

This was served as a platter for four. The succotash was so fresh and crisp. The boar was made in a sausage, braised and cured ham. Every bite was another flavor and texture compliment to the next. By the time I finished my first plate I was stuffed. Every bite after that was like the egg eating contest from Cool Hand Luke.

Bittersweet Cacao Chocolate Tartlet with North GA Huckleberries & Blackberries,
Chilies and GA Moonshine

Next dinner is set for Sunday September 30, see you there.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fulk Fest 2012

   Friday July 13th was my 40th birthday. In celebration Kerrie planned a weekend in Atlanta for us and our very best friends Norm & Fern. I did not know what she had planned except for a dinner on Sunday night. I do need to state that this was not designed to be a Paleo weekend. My Whole30 begins this morning along with my 90-day Primal Blueprint Journal. You will be able to follow that on our facebook page, Primal on the lake.
    Fulk Fest started Friday night with friends from work at Who Cares, local bar. That went into the wee hours of the morning and was a great time.

Young Goat Taco, Braised Pork Shoulder Taco & Beef Belly Tortas
    Our first stop on Saturday was lunch at Holy Taco. This by far one of our favorite restaurants in Atlanta. if you EVER get the chance to go, you will not be disappointed.
    Second stop of the day was Red Brick Brewing. This was a lot of fun, and totally unexpected.

     Our next jaunt was to the hotel to get ready for dinner, which was a still a surprise to me. Got to the hotel took a little swim, then a nap and ready for dinner. We loaded up in the taxi and it wasn't until we were a couple of miles away that I realized where we were going..........Local Three!!!!! We had met Ryan Turner and Chris Hall several months earlier at a friends party. Chris had just started Paleo and was doing Crossfit and we both love Makers and Gingerale so we hit it off pretty good. Richard and Beverly Sparkmon had taken us to Local Three for a Bergstrum Wine dinner for our wedding present. A month or so ago I took some of our cooks to Local Three for lunch. I later found out that Kerrie had booked the chef's table the day after the Bergstrum dinner, that's over three months................damn she's good! i got some good foodie pictures, hopefully I can remember them all. Here we go!

Aged Cheddar, Bacon & Thyme Popcorn

Heirloom Tomatoes, Arugula, Avocado & Blue Crab

Marinated Figs, Gorgonzola Cheese, Prosciutto & Polenta

Roasted Monkfish, Creamed Corn & Bacon Jam (I think)

Duck Breast, Mango Apple Relish & Yellow Squash Puree
Braised Pork Shoulder, House Made Kimchi, Snow Peas, Shiitakes & Coconut Rice

Ribeye, Cilantro Pesto & Loaded Mash Puree
Cantaloupe Sorbet

Local Honey & Black Berries, Gorgonzola, Cocoa Cardona, Big Ed's Gouda & Lamb Chopper
Ricotta Cheesecake & House Made Twix Bar

Great Selection......Too lazy to list them. Zoom in real close;)

Local Three was a fantastic night I will always remeber! Thank you love for a birthday that I will never forget..........no matter how old I get. (Fern that was for you!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring Eats

Good Eats tonight! I finally had a lazy day off,and by lazy I mean watching a couple hours about alien astronaut theories, I love Discovery channel. Didn't work out this morning or do anything beside wash my bike. I was very happy when Kerrie called and said that Victoria wanted to go for a trail run. Quick drive over to Rock Hawk and a 2.9 mile run. I get REALLY bored on a treadmill and it's better on the track but I LOVE trail running. The ironic part of this is that tomorrows WOD from crossfit.com is
3 rounds
run 800 meters rest two minutes.......uuuuggghhh!

Any who.... Dinner was Trader Joe's Ahi Tuna steaks with sauteed kale, avocado and red onion and bacon relish.

Red Onion Bacon Relish

2 tsp duck fat
1/4 Cup diced red onion
1/4 Cup Trader Joe's nitrate free bacon, large dice
1 T minced fresh garlic
2 T EJ's Honey Lime Ginger Pepper Mash
1 T fresh cilantro
1 T fresh basil
2 T rice vinegar
1 T Rocky Hill honey
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Start a small saute pan on medium high heat.
Add the fat and allow to melt
Add the bacon and cook for about five minutes, then add the onions
Cook until the bacon is almost rendered and the onions are caramelized
Add the garlic, Pepper Mash, vinegar and honey, reduce heat to medium
Cook until the relish begins to get thick.
Remove from heat and add the cilantro and basil.
Season to taste and serve immediately

I seasoned the tuna steaks with Jerk seasoning and sauteed the kale in duck fat with garlic and S&P.

Very quick meal and didn't last long at all. This is definitely on our favorites list.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend with Mom

My Mom came to the lake this past weekend for a little bit of girl time. What that means to us is a weekend of eating drinking and shopping. Our weekend started out with our favorite past time.......eating! We headed to a local favorite where the food is good, and the wait is long. Normally we would take this with a grain of salt and head to the bar for a cocktail while we wait. Since I'm on The Whole 30 bellying up to the bar doesn't fit for me this weekend. Instead, Mom grabbed a drink and we stood in the corner until our table was ready. That was the first time I'd gone out to eat this month, but I was prepared and confident about what I would order. We started off with oysters on the half shell and peel-n-eat shrimp. For dinner I had a steak and spinach. I did forget that they serve their steak loaded with blue cheese and yummy tomato aioli. But I resisted the urge to indulge in that stinky goodness.

Saturday morning, Eric scrambled eggs with our leftover steak and veg. Perfect fuel for a big day of shopping! Mid afternoon rolled around and Mom and I started to get hungry. She bought a bag of strawberry licorice to munch on while we decided what/where to eat. She opened the bag took a bite and offered me some with the question of the weekend "can you have these?" I didn't respond with what I really wanted to say like, "do you know how much sugar is in there", or "can you even pronounce those ingredients?" By the end of the weekend I had heard this question about 1000 times. I finally told her, "Yes, I am allowed to eat anything I want. I CHOOSE not to so I feel better. So, if God made it, I'll eat it, if man made it, you can keep it."

We decided to go to a chain restaurant for lunch. It was not a great decision. We ended up splitting a burger with snow peas and roasted spaghetti squash. She had a mojito, I had water. She had a bun, I had none. It's funny how, when you eat really good you can taste the difference in a product with poor quality. None of that chain food tasted very good to me.

Dinnertime rolled around and we had to decide where we wanted to eat. There aren't many options in this town, so we went to the other restaurant. Mom ordered a glass of wine, I had water. The bread came to the table, I declined. For dinner we each ordered the seafood platter. I got mine grilled with a baked sweet potato, she got hers fried with a loaded baked potato. Mine was much better!

Eric and I had been waiting for Sunday all week. Norm and Fern were coming to town! Eric had to work in the afternoon, so we decided to all have breakfast together. Eric made some green eggs (scrambled eggs with his amazing chimichurri sauce) and Applegate Nitrate Free Sunday Bacon. Norm and Fern brought strawberries and bananas for fruit salad. The food was great, the company - even better!

Everybody slowly left, leaving me with my four legged babies, a dirty kitchen and all my weekend chores. Before I knew it, the laundry was done, the kitchen was cleaned and I was hungry! I knew I would have to spend some time in the kitchen since we have anything prepared. I steamed broccoli for my veg, then sauteed mushrooms and roasted chicken and tossed with Walnut Pesto (Eric makes this for me without cheese).
It wasn't pretty, but it was damn good!

For dinner I made Tex-Mex Beef Wraps.

Tomato, red onion, chimichurri, tomatillo sauce and beef all wrapped up in savoy cabbage.

At the end of the day I think it's safe to say, I prefer to eat at home or at Eric's restaurant. I still had a great weekend. I was able to spend time with my Mom and my friends, I had great food (and some not so great food), and I scored some shoes!  I'd love to do it all again next weekend, but maybe with a glass of wine!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What a day!

I am so glad today is almost over. Although it wasn’t a horrible day, it sure as hell wasn’t a good day either. If this day had happened a month ago or six months ago, I would have come home and opened a bottle of wine to drown my sorrows in. Thanks to The Whole 30 / Whole 9 things were different today. Eric and I are on day 24 of our 30 day challenge, and we are doing great! So, instead of a glass of wine, I decided to come home and change the way the rest of my night went. I changed out of my work clothes and went for a quick jog. I’m not much of a runner, so I was impressed that my adrenaline kept me going at a steady pace all the way to my goal and back. I’m not sure how far I went or how long it took me, but when I got home, I felt so much better. Before heading to the kitchen to start dinner, I sat down at the computer to catch up on some of my favorite blogs, Nom Nom Paleo, The Food Lovers' Primal Palate, and a new favorite PaleOMG (can't wait to try her brownies!). Sometimes living this lifestyle makes me feel alienated from my friends and family. I just think people don't understand why we're doing this and how passionate we are about it. Reading how other people get through their day makes it a little easier for me. So after looking at some recipes on Chowstalker, I was craving roasted root veggies. I went to the kitchen to see what I could wrangle up for dinner. I diced ¼ of a butternut squash and some carrots then tossed them in duck fat and salt and pepper before roasting them.

I was in such a roasting mood, I decided to do the same thing with some broccoli.
I had pulled pork chops from the freezer so, I cooked them up quickly in a little bit of coconut oil.

This is what a quick dinner looks like.
And this is what it looks like after I've had my way with it!

This is the kind of meal where I don't feel guilty about going back for seconds. I made enough for lunch tomorrow too. Now my belly is full, my mind is clear and my Love is on his way home from work and I got a feelin', that tonight's gonna be a good night!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quick Meals


It's the middle of the week and I am fending for myself for dinner. Wednesday after work I went for a jog with a neighbor, so I really wasn't in the mood to put on a big production for dinner. A quick look around the kitchen and I knew exactly what I wanted.

I diced some onion and tomato and an avocado and tossed with salt and pepper and a little lime juice. I seasoned a few more slices of tomato and topped with Eric's Amazing Chimichurri Sauce. Last but not least, I pan seared a tuna steak. I like mine rare to medium rare so that makes this a really quick and easy meal for me.

Just a quick note about the chimichurri - I had it for the first time on Sunday and absolutely fell in love with it. Eric has had to make two batches since then. This means I can take the most boring meal and make it amazing. It's the little things that make me so happy!


Tonight I had a little more time in the kitchen, so I took the opportunity to make a batch of turkey burgers. Left overs are key for me, so I stay on track at lunch during the week and for busy weekends.

We generally buy large portions of protein and vacuum seal it. I defrosted a package of turkey and added diced onion, salt and pepper, and a little bit of coconut aminos.

Once I thought I had added enough flavor to the meat, I pan seared the patties and finished them in the oven until their internal temp was 165 degrees. I can't touch food and know if it's done or not so I always keep a meat thermometer handy. While the burgers were in the oven I steamed a head of brocolli. I love brocolli! I always make enough so I have it for lunch the next day or so Eric can add it to our fritattas in the morning.

I used left over avocado from last nights dinner to top the burger, sliced some fresh tomato and dinner was served. Thats my kind of 30 minute meal! Plus I have at least two more meals prepared for the weekend.

**One thing you will notice that's missing from each finished plate is my evening glass of red wine. There in no consupmtion of alcohol allowed in TheWhole30. I am on day 11 and find I'm not really missing much at all!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Follow up to thelakecrew.com

Eric had the chance to cook with some great friends of ours from The Lake Crew. This is how our night played out.

The Menu

Pork Tenderloin

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Wilted Swiss Chard

Also served but consumed before the final cut, Roasted Butternut Squash “Fries”

The first thing we did was to roast the garlic. We like to buy Elephant Garlic for this. Simply cut the tips off, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, wrap in foil and put in a 350 degree oven for about an hour, or until it is soft (“like butter”). We use it a few different dishes so we normally do this available in advance.

We have brought our pork tenderloin to room temperature and seasoned with salt and pepper. This is your chance to get creative. We stock our pantry with as many spices as possible. Quite frankly it’s too easy to get stuck in the “Paul Prudhommes Pork and Veal Magic” rut. We shop for our spices at Your Dekalb Market. They are insanely cheap there so you don’t feel guilty if you experiment with a spice you don’t necessarily care for. Eric then sears the pork on each side and finishes in a 350 oven for about 10-15 minutes. Make sure not to over cook the meat, you want it at about 145ยบ. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before carving it.

Time for the veggies. We peeled and cut the butternut squash. You want to cut them to look like French fries. You have a couple different options from here. Sometimes we will toss them in duck fat before roasting them and sometimes we just spray them with coconut oil spray then season with salt and pepper. It all depends on our mood (and who is doing the cooking)! We generally roast them in a 350 oven for about 25-30 minute and finish them under the broiler. This may be one of our new favorite veggies. Think sweet potato fries, but better. 

Then we cleaned the head of cauliflower. We use our steamer pot and fill the bottom with stock (chicken or vegetable will work fine) or water. Once that is rolling, toss in the cauliflower until it is fork tender. DO NOT THROW YOUR LIQUID AWAY. In the food processor, combine the cauliflower, a clove of the roasted garlic and some of the cooking liquid. Puree to the consistency of your choice, adding stock as needed, and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Be careful with the garlic, it adds great flavor, but it isn’t hard to overpower the dish.

Finally we get to work on the swiss chard. We buy whole stalks at the market and clean it ourselves, but you can buy the pre-bagged chard at your favorite grocery store. Once our pan is hot, we add some coconut oil and roasted garlic cloves. You want to add in the chard a handful at a time to allow it to cook down. Make sure to watch it, it cooks quickly. Be brave with greens. They grow great in this area and most of the time you can buy them locally/organically. Always check your local farmers for what is in season.

Make sure you check the video out on http://www.thelakecrew.com/