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Archive for July, 2007

Congratulations

Yesterday Ed turned in his dissertation to his committee for review before his defense. His Phd. is in neurobiology and behavior at the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at Georgia State University. He starts his post-doc in September at University of Maryland, College Park in evolution and development.

I am very proud of him. He has worked very hard and overcome alot of adversity and lab strife to get where he is at.

And if “She who must not come near me for fear of being beaten with my handbag” comes near me at the lab party, or tries to undermine Ed or the lab anymore before he leaves, I think I will just scream. Not that I condone violence of any kind. Thankfully, Ed can deal with her.

Anyway, I digress. Ed’s defense is August 17. We are going to Rathbun’s Steak the next day to celebrate. Good times.

Tagged – 8 more random facts

I was tagged by one of my favorite ladies Tres Poshe Preppy. Here are 8 more random facts about me.

1. I am LOVING Bravo reality TV. Flipping Out, Welcome to the Parker, Top Chef. All TiVo’d. All Fab.

2. We want to have a baby. We can’t right now. Whenever that happens it will be named Edmund William Rodgers IV or Charlotte/Carolina Freeman Rodgers. (If you personally know us, please don’t steal our girls names.)

3. My favorite book is Atlas Shrugged.

4. The name Galt is in our company name. My Dad also liked the above book. All that capitalism and such.

5. Seriously, don’t get me talking on the subject of customer service and/or retail. It is my own personal soapbox.

6. It is really hard, but I do try to not be judgemental.

7. I am on the phone alot at work and have a huge bookmark list of blogs bookmarked that I check while on the phone. (I just sit there clicking thru them.) But am just getting them bloglined so that I don’t look like an obsessive stalker when people check their stats. Sorry, about that.

8. And my husband says I take care of people and always try to help those in need.

Recipes to Love – Basil Chicken Hash

The following recipe is one of my husband’s favorites. This is from Barefoot Contessa, but not available in the cookbooks. Ina made it on her Black and White show in tribute to Truman Capote’s Party of the Century.

2 whole (4 split) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
16 basil leaves
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 red onions, chopped
2 red bell peppers, sliced in 1/2 lengthways, and cut in strips
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Sour cream, Cheddar and sliced lemons, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers, leaving 1 side attached. Place 4 basil leaves under the skin of each chicken breast. Pull the skin over as much of the meat as possible so the chicken won’t dry out. With your hands, rub each piece with olive oil and sprinkle very generously with salt and pepper. Bake the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until the skin is lightly browned and the chicken is just cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin and bones. Cut the chicken into large dice and set aside. Lower the oven temperature to 200 degrees F.

Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, and drain. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, dice them into 1/4-inch cubes.

Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan, over medium-low heat. Working in batches, add the potatoes in a single layer and fry them for 5 to 7 minutes, until evenly browned and cooked through. Place the cooked potatoes on a baking sheet, and keep them warm in the oven while you fry the next batch.

In a separate saute pan, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until caramelized. Add the red peppers and saute on high heat for 2 minutes, until the edges of the peppers are seared.

Lower the heat, add the garlic, thyme, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and the tomato paste. Add the chicken cubes to the onion/pepper mixture, and heat through. Add the potatoes, and place on a serving platter. Drizzle some sour cream over the hash, and serve with grated Cheddar and lemon wedges.

Restaurant Tidbits

Midcity Cafe - totally laid back, love the music, overpriced drinks. I regressed abit and ordered Red Bull and Vodka, but they have suger-free which made me very happy.

Oceanaire – it’s a chain and has monster portions. For a chain it is quite good and waitress we had was knowledgeable and personable. I have said before that we don’t eat many desserts. But it was a special occasion and dessert was ordered for the table. One was this HUGE brownie sundae with hot chocolate and caramel sauce. Those extra calories were worth it.

Taco Mac waitress conversation I heard.

Waitress 1: I hate it when a customer tells me I should smile more.

Waitress 2: Did you tell him he should suck c**k more?

Not that they should have had that conversation where I could overhear them, but I hate it when people think it is their right to go there.

Connie tells me that the website for Nuevo Laredo has the hours wrong. They actually close at 10 instead of 11 pm.

F.R.O.G.S Cantina – not good, there is obviously a reason I have never gone until recently. Should have listened to intuition. (They don’t have a website.)

We went to Utopia awhile back with Connie and Brad. I liked the martini list and the environment. The location is hard to get to, but I guess it is an up and coming location. But still, I worry. Menu was a mix of sushi and tapas. Typical Atlanta, trying to include all the trends. Not completely over-priced though.

Also, had not been to JR Crickets in forever. Years at this point. We went after a night out. Ed got the chicken sandwich, I got the Philly Cheese. So good.

Going out in the ATL – Fashion Cares Patrons Party and other things

Last night I went to the Fashion Cares Patrons party with my mom. Party was here. It sucked. Usually I know someone. This time, not so much. Ugghh.

Plus, the bar offerings were not very interesting. Marilyn (mom) liked a couple of the appetizers. Anyway, here are pictures.

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The bar and attendees.

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Mom (sorry about the overpowering light)

So we left and I went out with Ed. We went to Top Flr. It recently opened on Myrtle in the old DaVinci’s location. The new owners have completely redone the space. I love it. Besides the fact that I can walk, they have good food and a great bar. Adam, the bartender, is very knowledgeable about liquor and the other guys really put forth the effort. Adam served Ed a G&T with cilantro infused gin with cucumbers. Odd, but oh so good.

The food is quite tasty. Just a small menu, but the place doesn’t need anything more. I usually hate other people’s mac n’ cheese , but theirs is very good. So are the lamb skewers and the hummus. Susan had the margherita pizza the first time we went and said she would order it again.

Here is another not very good picture I took. Could have been the G&T’s?

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Bar and Adam.

Honestly, I had a hard time getting up this morning. Who cares, I got all my work done and had a good time.

Don’t fight the Preppy!

I am a busy girl, but plenty of time was made to look at the new items on J.Crew. Currently, I am planning for Christmas due to Ed’s impending departure to U of MD for the post-doc. One of my projects is Christmas card pictures. I REALLY want to do the whole, picture card thing this year. So outfits are needed. I have been thinking about a navy/green color scheme will an outdoor picture. Cute right? And I have picked out my cards from Crane.

Here is the sweater I wanted him to wear.

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The next IM correspondence regarding said sweater was “That’s not me”, “Hell, no” and lots of sarcasm.

Not to be deterred I sent a link to this tie on Vineyard Vines.

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Super cute for a card, right? Especially since he loves boats and the sea.

I have been asked to come up with other options.

Boo-hoo.

What do you wear on a construction site?

The above question is something I ask myself regularly. I am not actually working the site. I have a meeting or walk the site and take notes or talk about what the next delivery is. Honestly, I love the smell of sawdust in the morning. But what is appropriate, yet still hold up with steel toe boats and a hard hat. (Bet you didn’t know that there are PINK hardhats for sale.)

Usually, I just wear a polo or an untucked-oxford. Always jeans.

Here are two of my latest purchases. These were used this week during my trip to Nashville.

Another polo. But it is my new favorite. Lacoste has re-done the fit again.
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New for fall. I really love it. Mom and Carrie both wanted it. It looks alot better in real life.

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The quandry continues.

Anyway, I am behind on all my restaurant posts and have a couple of fun things coming up. Later.

How do I love J.Crew? – let me count the ways

I ordered the Jillian espadrilles from J.Crew and was one of the unfortunate people to get the back-order wait. When they came in the shoes did not fit. Sucks, right? But the people who work at J.Crew are the best.

Here is what they sent me.

Dear Leslie Rodgers:

Thank you for your feedback!

We always appreciate hearing from our customers about ways in which we
might improve our product. We will forward your comments to our
merchandising team for their review. They are always looking for new
ways to create a richer and more exciting line.

We apologize for the fit of the Jillian espadrilles. Please return them
for a full credit to your Visa account. Your order will be noted to
accept the return and to not charge you for the return postage.

If we can help you with anything else, please feel free to respond to
this email at contactus@jcrew.com, or if you’d prefer to speak with one
of our Customer Service associates, call us toll free 1.800.562.0258.

Sincerely,

Laura

A bit “stock” but I don’t care. Most retailers suck anymore and J.Crew doesn’t. I worked retail for many years and was obsessed with making the stores I worked in a good customer experience.

Also, when I was in the store yesterday, due to wanting to look rather than mailing the shoes back, I forgot the receipt. I did have the UPS return sticker. The sales associate called catalog and looked up the order for me. He also chose to show me the new lookbook for rollout at the beginning of the month. I have to say that there are quite a few items that I am going to have to add to my closet.

Travel Deals – City Pass

Look at this. City Pass is offered for quite a few major cities besides Atlanta. Seems to be a good way to knock out a few tourist destinations at one time without a lot of hassle.

Could be the idea? Just guessing.

Recipes – Susan’s Easy, Cheesy Cheese Biscuits

Here is Susan’s cheese biscuit recipe that we had last week with the lobsters.

Buy a cheese and garlic dry biscuit mix. Follow directions on package, but use milk instead of water.

Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake at 450 for 9-10 minutes.

While baking, melt butter and mix with 1 tablespoon of garlic powder (not garlic salt).

Brush on top of hot biscuits right when they come out of the over.

Enjoy!

Great with lobster (and lots of white wine)!