Happy Holidays

Hope everyone had a Happy Chris-ma-hanu-kwanza-kah and has a safe and happy new year!

Tasty Lentil Recipe

I made this recipe last night complements of Whole Foods:

Red Lentils with Garlic and Onion

Serves 6
Make sure to add the salt to these lentils only after they're cooked. If added before, it will take longer for them to get tender.
2 cups uncooked red lentils, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
6 cups cooked brown Basmati rice

Put lentils, turmeric and 4 cups water into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are very soft and pulpy, about 25 minutes. Add salt to lentils after cooking, then purée in blender and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until golden brown, taking care not to burn them. Add onion mixture to lentils and stir well. Serve hot, with basmati rice on the side.

My notes. I had lentils that were already halved so there was no need for me to puree them. Sweet! Also, I served the dish with pita bread, rather than rise.

Lastly, this recipe would have been tough had I not used my handy, new device from Crate and Barrel.


I was at Rockefeller Center last night to watch NBC's coverage. It was unreal!

Here are a few more pictures from last night.

Video below is of when Virginia was called and Obama won the presidency. Sorry if this gives you vertigo.

Vote Obama-Biden.

Anyone else feel like their life is standing still until Wednesday?

I used Alton Brown's sugar cookie recipe. They are not too crisp nor too sweet. The sweetness is clutch considering there are three layers of icing on these babies.

Rainbow over Atlanta

I walked out of Marta on Friday and saw a huge rainbow. It was a complete arch that went across the entire sky!

October 5, 2006

For our second year, John and I went to Sunday in the Park at Oakland Cemetary. It's a nice little event and was even more interesting this year because we got to see residual tornado damage.

You'll find Margaret Mitchell at Oakland:

Lastly on our walk back towards Grant Park you can find Mona Lisa:


I got out the vote early today. In an out in 15 minutes. Pretty good experience overall. Vote Obama-Biden!

Etsy Rave!

The minute I saw the drum diagram t-shirt at Slowshirt's, I knew I had to get one for John. The fit is great and it came very quickly. Huge rave!

September 20, 2008

View from my hotel room this week:

Times Square (Vote!):

September 19, 2008

After a bizarre dinner at Cafe 6 Sixty, John and I got ice cream at Jake's in Irwin Street Market. I, your standard Chocolate Slap Yo Mama while John tried a new Unfor'goat'able. Goat cheese and blackberry ice cream. Pricey, but worth it.

September 18, 2008

John and Townhouse spending some quality time together, apparently bathing, last night.

a.k.a Biscotti dello Canella-Zenzero
(adapted from Cooking Light Septemer 2008)

1.5 cups of flour
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
dash of salt
6 tbs butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbs fat-free milk
3 tbs molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
cooking spray

1. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients, through salt. Stir with whisk.
2. Combine butter and sugar in a medium bowl and beat witha mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Beat in milk, molasses and vanilla extract.
3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat on low speed until blended. Shape dough into a 6-inch disk.
4. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
6. Shape dough into about 30 balls (about 2 teaspoons each).
7. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Flatten balls lightly with a spoon.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans for 4 minutes. Remove and cool completely on racks.

I made these last night. They were mild. Not soo sweet and very tasty.

Pottery Barn finds

A post from Design*Sponge recently made me flip through the Pottery Barn catalog I got in the mail yesterday.

I love this chandelier (also featured by Design*Sponge). I think it would be too much for our little place but it is definitely unique:

John and I have also been looking for a great wall piece for our dining room. I think we've finally found a winner but wonder if we can recreate this ourselves with smaller mirrors:

Homemade Granola

6 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup coconut
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
Cooking spray
1/4 cup dried fruit of your choice

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Add syrup, honey, juice and extract. Toss well.
4. Spread mixture evenly onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
5. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
6. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container

Yield: 10 servings (serving size = 1/2 cup)

Etsy Rave

I recently bought this stationery from Simplesong. They really are gorgeous and the quality is excellent. Huge rave!

September 13, 2008

Saturday. Yay! Today after dropping off some old clothes to the Salvation Army, John and I went to my very favorite place in Atlanta, Star Provisions!

With Day of the Dead approaching, Star Provisions had cute merchandise and treats for the holiday.

The cafe has the most amazing treats. We've had the cupcakes before (obviously tasty) and (whether or not John knows it) I've had the caramel marshmallows (amazing, sickeningly sweet).

Today we tried a concha and a palmier. Delish. The concha could have been used as bread for a fancy sandwich. Perhaps gouda with carmelized onions? Or butter. While it was good plain, it would have been amazing with real butter. The palmier (a.k.a. elephant ear) was crisp and yummy.

Local farmstand outside of Star Provisions. Gorgeous!:

September 12, 2008

I coordinated a happy hour event for the women's group in the office this afternoon at Table 1280. FYI, this place is ideal for lunch interviews. Best crabcakes ever.

The drinks were strong, the food was pretty good. For $100 for each platter below, I felt the cheese was a good value but not the "tapas". Really, gherkins, hot peppers, etc.? When I heard tapas, I assumed warm food or tuna tartar. Oh well.

Today's J.Crew post is inspired by today's events. First, I went to yoga today and it made me want fun new yoga clothes. While I'm all about going to Target for workout gear, I just wanted to give a shout out to J.Crew attempting to have a yoga-wear product category. I think they have a limited offering of these items in stores. Wonder how it's doing. . .

The skirt below comes in several colors. They are so cute and colorful. However, I don't get how J.Crew can pull off keeping bare legged girls in peep toe heels as long as they do into Fall. Every year I think to myself, aren't these people cold? Do they walk to work in New York?

Lastly, I'm keeping my eye out for a peacoat for my husband. He'd look so European in it.

September 9, 2008

My company had a happy hour on the Rooftop Garden on Fifth Avenue and 27th Street with our parent company and sister companies.

The mini pizzas were delish. The crabcakes were fishy. The view was great!

I do not need or want sleeveless shirts. When do people wear them? At work, my arms would freeze and I'd have to throw on a cardigan or something which would completely miss the point. But I do love this with dark, cropped jeans:

Although I have officially abandoned strapless dresses (feel too bare with pixie short hair), I love this print and are those pockets??? Love pockets:

J.Crew had silk or satin polka dot dresses last year in a silver and green I adored them but the colors held me back. I should also note I hardly even wear the dresses/skirts I already have. Bad Erica bad. I need to go through my closet. Anyways, this red I love and the neckline is even more interesting than last season's base style:

At $378 this is well outside my price range but I am in search of a new bag for fall. I bet I can get something similar to this at a Fort Lauderdale flea market for like $20:

Lastly, J.Crew has a great section on their webpage now for a black and grey palette. I love it particularly since I started transitioning a lot of my fall buying to be black, grey and white. This seems counter to what's shown in my J.Crew posts. I love color but I was in a meeting recently where I realized everyone was wearing black. I'm in retail so these were with the chief marketing/visual officers and chief merchants. It was so chic and I felt so out wearing whatever color I was wearing that day.

September 6, 2008

Red Cruiser blogged this site for lavender recipes recently. I bookmarked it instantly since I had bought dried lavender from the Farmer's Market some time ago and still hadn't used it.
At Whole Foods today I bought butter and a new bag of whole wheat flour. All set!
John and I don't need 3 dozen cookies so I decided to half the recipe. Brown sugar, oatmeal, egg, flour, baking powder. All halved. On accident, milk, vanilla not halved but fine b/c the batter was dry anyway. No worries until I was plopping teaspoons onto the baking sheet and decided to try the batter. Whoa. Strong. That's when I realized I didn't halve the lavender- and that was a problem. Crap.
I probably should have cut my losses at this point but I decided to go ahead and add additional flour, sugar, etc. to make the original batch to match the amount of lavender. After all of that, I was still wary but went ahead and put the first pan in the oven.
As I feared, even with the yummy dark chocolate and extra vanilla, they were way to strong. John said it was "like eating potpourri." So they survived the picture but not much else. I can't eat them. What a waste of sugar, fat and chocolate.
Anyways, happy Saturday!

September 4, 2008

Left work after dusk tonight. The building below isn't my building but the reflection is.


One example of the difference between New York and Atlanta.

September 3, 2008

The new W in midtown Atlanta taken from my company's office. We have prime real estate on this balcony and don't use it enough.

Also, hideous picture of where I've been spending all of my time lately. Typical, masculine corporate conference. Good times.

August 30, 2008

Getting psyched for fall.

Definitely taking a day trip with John for apple-picking in North Georgia this year.

I prefer red apples. No clue on what type. I do know, through extensive sampling in multiple states, that apples with hard angles, are the best and sweetest. Never mealy. Seriously, look for apples that are literally almost rectangular and they'll be the best for snacking.

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