Tag: food

Peachtree Food Tours

P1070018Today I had a lot of fun on my first day of traveling here in Atlanta.  I went on a food tour called Peachtree Food Tours.  It was something new and different and a very pleasant way to get to see Atlanta and eat some very yummy food!

The tour is led by John Hannula and he lives on Peachstreet in Midtown and is very well versed in the neighborhood, history, architecture and everything else.  We ended up going to 6 different spots and one bonus and while it was a little more walking than I had at first thought I had a very good time.

It started at the Varsity Diner a massive local hot spot where we tried some orange shake and peach pies.

P1050994 P1050992Then we walked about 4 blocks to a beautiful old building that houses the Georgian Terrace Hotel and a restaurant called Livingston.  We got to enjoy the southern classic shrimp and grits.

P1070004 P1070003I was with 2 other patrons and the tour guide Daschelle and Doug and our tour guide.  They were all very friendly and I enjoyed spending the afternoon with them.  There were some beautiful buildings on our way to the various stops including a couple lovely churches and the Margaret Mitchell house.

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Fox theater is an Atlanta landmark
margaret mitchell
Margaret Mitchell house
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This was a very pretty church
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Fed reserve

Then we went to Cyprus Street Pint and Pub for a wild hamburger tasting with a burger with a donut for a roll.   That was pretty nuts to have a donut on a burger but it did add a layer of flavor that was pretty delicious.

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P1070009Next up was a little bit healthy at a place called the Hi-Five we had a kale salad.  This wasn’t my favorite item or stop. It didn’t feel Atlanta enough and since I am so in love with the kale and quinoa salad in Utah I didn’t think this was as good. They had alcohol at most of the stops but I of course did not partake of that portion of the tour.

P1070017 P1070013We learned that Georgians like to have peanuts in their cokes.

P1070016Next stop was Max’s Wine Bar where we had the best bite of the meal this amazing fried chicken.  It was so crispy and there was a chipotle honey that was delicious. Mashed potatoes were creamy and the greens weren’t too bitter.  Very good and the kind of place I would never have gone on my own being it is called Max’s Wine Bar

P1070026 P1070025Final stop was Cafe Intermezzo which was an Italian coffee and dessert type restaurant with a dramatic pastry case and like 82 different types of coffee/tea.  I had a drink called Island punch that was a mixture of different juices with club soda and a red velvet cake with whipped cream which is perfect for a Southern day.

P1070044 P1070043Like I said it was a little bit more walking than I thought it would be but that was good to work off some of that food! Overall it was a great way to spend an afternoon in Atlanta.  I got yummy food, visited with some nice people and learned a little bit about a new city.  It makes me want to look up food tours at other cities I go to and have a similar experience.

To learn more about the food tour go to http://peachtreefoodtours.com/

rwagner

 

My Favorite Cereal

I thought it would be fun to do something different.  I love cereal.  It wasn’t something we got often growing up, especially sugar cereal.  So I guess like any denied food group I grew a taste for it and I still just love a bowl of cereal.  I don’t think there is a kind of cereal I don’t like.  There’s just something about that combination of cold milk and cereal that always hits the spot for me.  In a spirit of fun I thought I would share with you my favorite cereals.

10.Capn Crunch Crunchberries- If you are going to go off the deep end and pretend you are 5 again this is the cereal to go with. The combination of flavors is delish. Definitely a treat but yummy.

crunch berries

9. Frosted Flakes- deliciousness of corn flakes with a little sweetness.

frosted flakes8. Cocoa/ Fruity Pebbles- the best of the sugar cereals.

cocoa and fruity7. Cracklin Oat Bran- delicious on yogurt and just with milk. Love the coconut.

cracklin oat bran

6.  Grape Nuts- Especially great with chopped up apples. Will make you feel healthy but still tasty.

grape nuts

5. Quaker Oak Squares- a brown sugar taste and it doesn’t get soggy very fast

oat squares4. Frosted Mini Wheats- kind of similar to frosted flakes.  You’ve got your healthy wheat square with a little bit of frosting.

frosted mini wheats3. Honey Nut Cheerios- Got to go with name brand on this one.  The generic isn’t nearly as good.  A little bit of sweetness with the oats of cheerioshoney nut cheerios2.  Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds- this would be the perfect cereal if it didn’t get soggy so fast. Got to have the almonds.  The others are no good.  But the combination of the flakes and oat clusters delish!

honey bunches1. Crispix- Perfect combination of corn and rice. Like 2 kinds of Chex in one.

crispix

Fancy Food

Last Friday I had a neat experience.  I have been fighting the most ruthless virus and feeling like a hermit. Aside from seeing Cinderella last week I’ve hardly left my house except for getting the mail every day for work.

Anyway, I had previously paid for a special meal they were doing at my favorite bakery Bake 360. They have recently started a cafe in addition to the bakery that is delicious. The bakery is owned by Roy and Jennifer Olsen and they are such warm inviting people. It’s the first time in my life that I feel a sense of friendship with the owners and employees of a restaurant.  People always talk about that but this is a first for me.

The bakery usually closes at 5 but recently they announced a special pop up restaurant they would be doing with Chef Roy and Chef Jeffrey Sanich.  This promised to be a culinary experience and wanting to support my favorite restaurant and have a great experience I signed up! And it was an amazing meal! Certainly one of the fanciest and yummiest I’ve ever had.

Here’s what I was served:

epic meal8First course- Butter Poached Red Crab with Citrus Braised Fennel and Caviar. One of my favorites of the night.  Only problem was I could have eaten bowls of it!

epic meal6Homemade Ricotta with Speck, Watercress and Chervil Oil.  This was yummy but not especially memorableepic meal5

Seared Divers Scallop with Microgreens, Celeriac Puree, Kumquats- I’m not a big scallop fan but these were delishepic meal3

Heirloom Carrot Risotto- this was so creamy and flavorful. Yum!epic meal2

 

Teres Major Beef with Potato Confit, Broccolini and Red Wine Demi.  This was the highlight of the night.  The beef was so tender.  The only thing I didn’t care for was the broccolini.

epic meal1

 

And finally dessert was a Flourless Chocolate Cake with Shortbread, Raspberry Sauce and Clotted Cream.  So great!

 

 

epic meal4It ended up being a really fun night and a way to support some very talented people and have delicious food you don’t get every day.  They said they already had 2 other chefs who want to do it so I’m really excited for it to be a part of my life in the future.

epic meal7And like I said it was nice to have a break from sick Rachel for a few hours and eat some great food.

What’s the fanciest meal you’ve ever had?

Rachel’s BBQ Rub

Hey guys!  It might surprise you that one of my most popular blog posts over the years was a recipe for BBQ sauce I did when I was hard core on the low sugar thing.  It is a fun recipe and lots of people have tried it and liked it.

Rachel’s Homemade BBQ Sauce

My friend invited me to a handmade item co-op tomorrow where we swap items that we have made by hand.  Can be anything from soap to jam to cheese.  I love making jam but didn’t feel up to it this week and they didn’t want sweets (was going to do chocolate covered strawberries!).

I just couldn’t take on a bit project like making jam this week so I thought long and hard about what I could make because I don’t sew or knit or do a handicraft I could swap.  The best thing I could come up with is to make a spice rub.  I looked at some recipes and came up with something I liked. It’s a little sweet and spicy and would be great on pork, poultry and fish.

I also found these jars on amazon with blackboard stickers and I just think they are darn cute.

rachel's rubHere’s the recipe

Rachel’s BBQ Rub

1/2 c paprika

1/2 c brown sugar

2 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp parsley flakes

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp black pepper

Pretty simple just mix everything together and put in jar.  The paprika and brown sugar will clump up.  If you don’t like spice than omit or only 1 tsp of cayenne pepper. If you want it sweeter add more brown sugar. It seemed like every batch I made I added a little more of one thing, a little less of another so it just depends.

It was so fun hearing people’s changes and success with the BBQ sauce recipe so I’d love to hear it on this as well.  Please share!

2014 Cookie Swap

Last year was my first time doing a cookie swap put on by Veronica’s Cornucopia and I had such a good time I decided to do it again this year.  I focused on 3 variations on a shortbread because I thought they would ship well and then threw in some chocolate covered marshmallows for some fun and color.

cookies2Here are the recipes- all of them came from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays

Book by Ree Drummond
cookies3Christmas Cherry Cookies-
  • 2 sticks Butter, Softened
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 whole Egg Yolks, Stirred
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Zest Of 1 Lemon
  • Zest Of 1 Orange
  • Juice Of 1 Lemon
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour, Sifted Twice
  • Candied Green And Red Cherries (sold Around The Holidays)

Preparation Instructions

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add egg yolks, vanilla, orange peel, lemon peel, and lemon juice, and mix until combined. Use rubber spatula to scrape bowl, then mix again.

Add sifted flour and mix until combined. Place dough in a ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least one hour, or until firm.

When ready to make the cookies, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cut candied cherries in half.

Roll dough into small balls and set on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Gently press the cherry halves, cut side down, into each ball.

Bake for 20 minutes, removing from oven before they start to brown. Cool on a wire rack.

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peppermint cookiesChocolate Candy Cane Cookies-

  • 2 sticks Salted Butter, Slightly Softened
  • 1 cup Powdered (Confectioners) Sugar
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 2-1/2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 ounces, weight (4 Squares) Almond Bark Or White Baking Chocolate (almond Bark Works Best And Is Cheaper)
  • Large Handful Of Red Or Green Peppermints

Preparation Instructions

Cream softened butter with powdered sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix to combine. Add dry ingredients and mix together until dough comes together. Place plastic wrap on surface of dough and refrigerate for 2 hours.

In the meantime, unwrap candies and place them in a plastic bag. Beat with a mallet until finely crushed, leaving larger chunks if desired.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll cookie dough in walnut-sized pieces and place on a cookie sheet. Gently press balls flat with a plain, smooth surface. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, being careful not to burn. Cookies will remain the same general size and shape after they bake. Remove from oven and place cookies on a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely.

Place crushed candies in bowl. Melt almond bark in the microwave. Dip cooled cookies into almond bark, coating half the cookie. Immediately sprinkle crushed peppermints over both sides of the almond bark. Gently set on parchment paper or other nonstick surface and allow to cool before serving.

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marshmellows2 marshmellowsChocolate Covered Marshmallows-

  • Regular Marshmallows
  • 1 package Almond Bark (white Or Chocolate) Or Meltable Candy Wafers
  • Sprinkles, Chopped Nuts, Chopped Pretzels, Chopped Candy, Etc.
  • Equipment: Lolipop Sticks (sold In Craft Stores)

Preparation Instructions

Melt the chocolate or white (or both) almond bark in a double boiler.

One by one, dip the very tip of the lollipop stick into the melted chocolate, then stick that end of the stick into the marshmallow until it’s not quite all the way through. Repeat with the rest of the marshmallows, standing them up as you go.

Next, roll the marshmallow in the chocolate to coat it, then tap the stick gently on the side of the double boiler to get rid of the excess. Using your fingers, sprinkle the topping of your choice all over the chocolate. Set them stick side up on a piece of waxed paper OR stick them into that crazy florist stuff that makes flowers stand up.

Have fun with the toppings and make no two marshmallow pops the same!

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spreads

  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Margarine
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 6 ounces, weight ( To 8 Ounces) Chocolate Chips

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together brown sugar and margarine. Add egg and mix together. Add flour, salt, and vanilla, and mix together well.
Spread dough onto cookie sheet to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/2-inch.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly brown. At this point, pull out of the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top. Return to oven for 1 minute. Remove and spread melted chips over the top. Cut into squares.

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So I hope you all have fun making some of these cookies!  They are very yummy! Merry Christmas!

Blue Lemon

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to my favorite Utah restaurant which just opened a new location in Sandy about 10 minutes from my house, Blue Lemon!

blue lemon3Blue Lemon serves American cuisine, both entrees and desserts. It is fine dining level quality without the high price tag.  Honestly cooking is more for personal enjoyment when you’ve got something this good for this reasonable a price.

blue lemon 6For $12 including a drink I got chicken curry meal with rice pilaf, veggies and a pear blue cheese salad.  I couldn’t make all that for $12 for just me.  No way.  It was delicious! I’ve rarely had a miss at Blue Lemon’s other locations.

In fact, last year I went to the Black Sheep Cafe in Provo and spent double what Blue Lemon cost me and I prefer the Blue Lemon meal.  Black Sheep wasn’t bad but i definitely wasn’t worth double.

It is served cafeteria style so you also save in waiter fees and tips.  The assembly line is out front so you can see your food being made.  They also have a large booth of delicious desserts.  Last time I went I got a flour-less chocolate cake and it was so rich I could only eat half of it. Delish!

blue lemon8Not only is the food great at a great price but the ambiance is special too.  I love the design of the table sections with the wood, sofas and chandeliers

blue lemon4And the rest of the design is modern without feeling cold.

blue lemon 5It’s got it all!

So if you haven’t been go check out Blue Lemon.  You won’t be disappointed.

Blue Lemon

11372 S State St
Sandy, UT

Oh and they also have a full breakfast menu that is delicious.

Now I’ve made myself hungry.  May just have to go there for lunch!

 

Injured Routine and Microwaves

This was just too perfect!
This was just too perfect!

So I injured my knee on the 18th and came home from California on the 23rd. So that means we are going into 13 days injured, 9 days at my house.

In that time I have basically adjusted to living upstairs like some kind of hermit, trying to move my leg just enough.  I’m admittedly sick of microwave food but it is better than nothing.

I have gotten to the point where I go downstairs once a day and then work there for a while and then come upstairs.  It is tough going though and very painful .

The doctor said it looks like it is a torn or strained MCL and we will know more next week after an MRI.  It’s still very painful but improving each day too so I’m optimistic.

Sadly though I will not be able to do the Deer Creek swim.  😦 .  I’ve done it every year since 2011 and am very heart broken to miss it, both for the athletics and the social atmosphere. Will have to wait for GSL in 2015 for next race…

What is interesting to me is with this strange life I’ve already developed a kind of routine. Wake up, nuke some breakfast, work, nuke some lunch (or a lunchable), and then head downstairs slowly, work down there, get a ride to the mail and bank and then eat dinner downstairs and slowly head upstairs.  It actually has begun to feel kind of normal which is strange.

It’s just amazing how the human body and brain can adapt to new situations so easily.

But I need ideas friends of meals that require little to know cutting, chopping, dishes or anything else with standing.  Preferably pre-made meals.

What are the best in your opinion?  What would you do if you were stuck with only a microwave and fridge for half the day? I know some of you don’t comment much but I could really use feedback in this case, so thanks.

I did get back to doing my videos today which I’m proud of.  Take a look.

I am getting kind of stir crazy because I feel fine, just in pain.  If anyone wants to come over to visit or watch a movie with me that would be amazing.

It’s interesting because I felt like my winning streak was going to die out.  I had such a great June.  On the other hand, it could have been much worse.  Unless the MRI shows a complete tear I won’t have to get surgery which is a blessing.

Plus I am so grateful to my work for being so flexible.

Anyway, please send me your microwave/fridge ideas.  Thanks!

microwave