After gorging on delicious eats this past weekend when G and I went to Savannah for our anniversary, I made a run to the grocery to prepare for a week of healthy eating. En route, I decided that I wanted to make a soup. So, in my head I hodgepodged together a recipe from several different soups and thought myself a genius. The following is what happens when a genius f’s up.

I get home, chop up some onion and garlic and get it sweating in my soup pot with some sea salt, cracked pepper, cumin and smoked paprika. So far, so good. I slice up some turkey kielbasa and some baby bellas and add them to the pot. Yum. In go two Ugly Heirloom tomatoes roughly chopped, one can of black beans (strained and rinsed) and one can of cannellini beans (strained and rinsed). You’re with me so far, right? Everything looks good. And then….I add WAY TOO MUCH BROTH. Only I don’t know it yet.

I let the soup cook and I think, hey, that looks a little thin. So, I take my stick blender to it and blend it halfway. Still looks thin, but now it has odd lumps. Then I blend it all the way. Now it’s thin and grainy. Hrm…OH, I know. I’ll add broken up whole wheat angel hair. Done. Cooked. Yeah…maybe I should have broken it to pieces that fit on a spoon since this is soup and all. Too late.

So, I ended up with a soup that tastes good, but has a strange texture and is awkward to eat. Win? Lose? Dunno. But at least I wasn’t hungry after I ate it.

{April 21, 2011}   All Domestic n’ Shit

I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I don’t like to get dirty. I also don’t like to sweat. It’s gross.

So, what did I do last night when I got home from work? I gardened. Now, by “gardened” I meant that I planted some herbs (basil, dill, oregano, thyme) in a rectangular pot for G as an anniversary present, but it still involved dirt so it counts. I even bought gloves for the occasion. I forgot to wear them, but I bought them. Maybe I need a gardening apron…

Anywho, back to the subject at hand. I gardened. I got dirty. I even planted myself a pot full of one of my favorite flowering plants: Lantana.

Are you proud of me? I was. And, given the muggy weather, after hauling around a big bag of dirt and dirt-filled pots I was sweaty. Dirty and sweaty. It wasn’t so bad. Mom’s even bringing me another pot full of flowers (she had leftovers) next week. Now, if only plants were like cats and would alert you when they needed something…

p.s. I also like the movie Lantana. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out.

{April 18, 2011}   Home Sweet Home

Same old place/Same old city/What can I do?/I’m falling in love

I love Atlanta.

I love Atlanta not just because it is home, but because it is a city with a rich history (some good, some bad), with a revitalizing present, and with a bright future.

I grew up about fifty miles east of the city in the (then) rural town of Loganville. There wasn’t much to do in my home town, unless you enjoyed “cow tipping” or drinking Golden Grain in the Ingles’ parking lot. For those of us who wanted more out of life, Atlanta sparkled in the distance – The Forbidden City. None of our parents thought we’d be safe visiting Atlanta, so that is exactly what we did as soon as the first of us procured a set of keys and a driver’s license. We got lost, we had adventures, we blared the radio and we felt very grown up. We were in the CITY. It was proof positive that there was life beyond the cow pastures and dip swilling locals that we saw every day.

After college I left Georgia behind on a series of adventures (England, Virginia, Germany), but Atlanta never lost it’s pull. I always thought of it as home, even though I’d never technically lived there. Each time I made the trek back to see family and friends this song was my go to as the journey neared it’s end:

I landed back in Atlanta about five years ago to lick my wounds after life threw me a curve ball and assumed it was a temporary landing place. As it turns out, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. As an adult I see Atlanta not just as a symbol of the “more” that is out there, but as the living, breathing, beautiful, flawed, vibrant city that she is. I enjoy the diversity of the people, the endless options for food, entertainment, culture and relaxation that Atlanta affords me. I’m slowly learning to navigate the convoluted spider’s web that are the Atlanta streets. I’m watching the city get more beautiful as neighborhoods transition and become safer, more prosperous. I’m putting down roots.

Atlanta – She’s not perfect, but she’s home.

You know what? No more excuses. I know I missed a week. It was a hell of a week. That’s just going to happen now and then with the new overwhelming amount of work in my life.

That being said, this week I was mightily inspired by good friend (and margarita drinking cohort) RouxBarb. Back in March she posted a blog entry (you do read her blog, right? it’s hilarious!!) about spaghetti squash. I’ve never tried spaghetti squash before, but it sure looked good and in general I am a lover of all things in the squash family (yellow, acorn, butternut, zucchini, you name it), so I decided to give it a try.

G and I were both home last night for the first time in about a week, so while I was at the grocery preparing for the nephews’ visit this weekend, he got some pork going in the oven and threw the spaghetti squash in the microwave for me. I finished the squash up when I got home (recipe here) and voila:

It was awesome. So good, in fact, that G ate all of his before he even started on the meat. A boy eating all his veggie before his meat? Now that is a major compliment. Thanks, RouxBarb for lending me this tasty, healthy recipe and opening my world up to spaghetti squash. I see a lot of it in my future.

p.s. Go Braves!
p.p.s. I put on old jeans this week ~ 20 lbs down, 20 or so more to go!

Today is my favorite day of the year. It marks the beginning of all things wonderful in the city of Atlanta. Today is the Braves‘ home opener. That’s right. Baseball season is officially upon us. It’s time for sunshine, baseball mitts, warm beer, peanuts, rally caps and the sound of a cracking bat. Tens of thousands of fans will descend on Turner Field tonight. Enthusiasm will be high. The air will be crackling with Braves’ pride and team spirit. The tomahawk chop will blare.

This will be the first season in my personal fandom without Bobby Cox at the helm. I already miss seeing him in the dugout, bolstering spirits, arguing with umpires and occasionally getting ejected from the game. At the same time, I am excited to see what Fredi Gonzalez will bring to the table. I know our boys will strive to make them both proud.

Take me out to the ballgame – win or lose, rain or shine – and I’m a happy girl. See you at Turner Field!

et cetera