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Archive for November, 2007

Cocktails and other crap – Tennessee Julep

This has been an interesting week. I was supposed to fly to Richmond for the day on Friday, but as of 5 pm today, I am driving to Nashville for several days. Don’t get me started.

In honor of my trip to Nashville, have one of these for me.

Tennessee Julep

1 jigger Gentleman Jack Tennessee whiskey
1 jigger apricot schnapps
1 tsp powdered sugar
10-12 fresh mint leaves
crushed ice
water

In a bowl cover mint with sugar. Add a few drops of water and muddle. Remove half of muddled mint and place in a silver julep glass. Top with crushed ice to half full. Add whiskey and schnapps, remaining muddle and top with crushed ice. Stir with a long spoon until frost appears on the outside of the glass. Rub lip of glass with lime and dress with fruit and mint.

Courtesy of Cocktail

Cheers, be back later with restaurant reviews and all the resort stuff I bought.

Out at Beleza over Thanksgiving Holiday

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Restaurants- 20 Worst Foods in America

I was feeling sorry for myself last night and wrote a not very nice post about how I feel about the Holidays this year. I don’t think I am going to publish it though. Me, Scrooge and the Grinch will keep it to ourselves.

Anyhoo, I eat out alot and I definitely love my cocktails. Cocktails are what keeps the extra weight on me. Below is a list from Men’s Health with the 20 Worst Foods in America. I thought this would be appropriate considering all the eating that is going on. Every little bit adds to the grilled chicken and lettuce diet come January. Thankfully, I don’t eat at chain restaurants, unless you count Chick-fil-A. Which I AM NEVER GIVING UP.

A turkey burger sounds healthy. Most Americans think it is. But take a look at the Bella at Ruby Tuesday’s — 1,145 calories. And believe it or not, that’s before fries.

Men’s Health Magazine has come up with a list of the 20 worst foods on American menus. In no specific order:

Worst fast food chicken: Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips from McDonald’s (5 pieces) with creamy ranch sauce — 830 calories, 55 grams (g) fat (4.5 g trans fat). Tack on an order of fries and a coke and you’re in the area of 1,710 calories. If McDonald’s chicken is on the menu, stick with the six piece McNuggets with barbeque sauce and save around 500 calories.

Worst drink: Jamba Juice Chocolate Moo’d Power Smoothie (30 fl oz) — 900 calories 10 g fat, 183 g carbs (166 g sugar). Jamba Juice doesn’t have any locations in Georgia, but if you get by a location on your travels, stay well away from this one. Jamba Juice calls it a smoothie, but it’s got more sugar than two pints of Ben ‘N Jerry’s butter pecan.

Worst supermarket meal: Pepperidge Farm Roasted Chicken Pot Pie (whole pie) — 1,020 calories 64 g fat, 86 g carbs. The label says the pot pie serves two, but when was the last time you split a pot pie in half?

Worst “healthy” burger: Ruby Tuesday Bella Turkey Burger — 1,145 calories 71 g fat, 56 g carbs. I mentioned this one at the top of this story. How many folks have ordered this one thinking they were doing a good thing?

Worst Mexican entrée: Chipotle Mexican Grill Chicken Burrito — 1,179 calories 47 g fat, 125 g carbs. Lots of healthy ingredients (which Chipotle touts in their ads and in-store signs) added together equal major calories. Bonus points for the 2,656 milligrams (mg) sodium.

Worst kids meal: Macaroni Grill Double Macaroni ‘n’ Cheese — 1,210 calories 62 g fat, 3,450 mg sodium. Is there any wonder why kids in elementary schools are so fat? This is the same as giving your kid a box and a half of Kraft Mac ‘N Cheese.
Worst sandwich: Quiznos Classic Italian (large) — 1,528 calories 92 g fat, 4,604 mg sodium. Get the lunch meat and make a goodly sized sandwich yourself at home, and cut the calories and the sodium dramatically.

Worst salad: On the Border Grande Taco Salad with Taco Beef — 1,450 calories 102 g fat. Most taco salads are guilty. Lose as much of the extra meat as you can from the salad to cut the calorie count.

Worst burger: Carl’s Jr. Double Six Dollar Burger — 1,520 calories 111 g fat. Carl’s Jr. (Hardee’s in this part of the country) is unapologetically guilty of creating some of the worst offenders when it comes to burgers. Hardee’s Monster Thickburger (same sandwich) is two 1/3 lb. beef patties, bacon, cheese and mayo on a huge bun. ‘Nuff said.

Worst steak: Lonestar 20 oz T-bone — 1,540 calories 124 g fat. Add a baked potato and Lonestar’s lettuce wedge, you’re up to 2,700 calories and rolling back to your car.

Worst breakfast: Bob Evans Caramel Banana Pecan Cream Stacked and Stuffed Hotcakes — 1,540 calories 77 g fat (9 g trans fat). That’s the same as (count ‘em) five Egg McMuffins stacked and stuffed.

Worst dessert: Chili’s Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream — 1,600 calories 78 g fat. Have a Big Mac for dessert, why don’t you? That’s what you’re eating at that calorie count.

Worst Chinese entrée: P.F. Chang’s Pork Lo Mein — 1,820 calories 127 g fat. Lo Mein is among the more fatty Chinese entrées to begin with. Going with this version bulks on the calories. Stick with something lighter like Moo Goo Gai Pan or the ginger chicken and broccoli, both in the 660 calorie range.

Worst chicken entrée: Chili’s Honey Chipotle Crispers with Chipotle Sauce — 2,040 calories 99 g fat. Extra crispy skin is tasty, but laden with fat. Stick with the chicken fajita pita – lower calorie count, lower fat content and no fat-laden crispy skin to contend with.

Worst fish entrée: On the Border Dos XX Fish Tacos with Rice and Beans — 2,100 calories 130 g fat, 169 g carbs 4,750 mg sodium. Imagine a dozen Taco Bell hard shell tacos at one sitting, and you’re close to this.

Worst pizza: Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza — 2,310 calories 162 g fat, 123 g carbs 4,470 mg sodium. That’s supposed to be a personal pizza. Better alternative: buy the medium or large, eat a single slice and share it with friends. Great flavor, and better on the waistline.

Worst pasta: Macaroni Grill Spaghetti and Meatballs with Meat Sauce — 2,430 calories 128 g fat, 207 g carbs 5,290 mg sodium. Most people down less calories in an entire day. Skip the full portion, and ask for the kids size. Otherwise, get the doggie bag and you’re got lunch for the next two days.

Worst nachos: On the Border Stacked Border Nachos — 2,740 calories 166 g fat, 191 g carbs 5,280 mg sodium. Your arteries begin to harden as you look at the plate. Better bet: wait until you get home, and make your own nachos to go with a six-pack of cerveza from the local bodega.

Worst starter: Chili’s Awesome Blossom — 2,710 calories 203 g fat, 194 g carbs 6,360 mg sodium. Four words: Battered deep fried onion. Even sharing, it’s not good for you.

Worst food in America: Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing — 2,900 calories 182 g fat, 240 g carbs. For those who love totally unhealthy food, it’s a feast: French fries, cheese, ranch dressing — all together, all at once. Lace up your running shoes and run — the other way.

Intervention – Chasing the J.Crew dragon

Awhile back I was sitting there at work and my mom called me in because she wanted to talk to me.

Me: What’s up?

Mom: Myself and your sister are worried about you.

Me: Why? (College is a long gone, so there should be no problems. Theoretically.)

Mom: We are worried about you and think you need some help.

Me: Why?

Mom: We know how much you love clothes and fashion and are just wondering what is going on.

Me: What do you mean?

Mom: Well, you always look the same any more. (This coming from a woman with shelves of Manolos and racks of Oscar and Tuleh.)

Me: I don’t know, lazy? UPS is easy.

Mom: Whatever. We and your husband don’t want to see any more of IT. You need to find something different. It is weird to walk in to Whole Foods and see Leslie replicas.

Me: I can change, I swear.

Mom: Are you sure? Because we know how you like delivery and new stuff. It doesn’t seem easy.

Me: I really can. (Shaking uncontrollably.) It is easy to give it up. I know I am better and more creative than one catalog and UPS. It has never been this way before. I can quit. The stress of this past year and the lot? You know?

Mom: Ok, we will try it out. But seriously, we know the difference of IT and other brands. Cold turkey, right?

Me: I am all about it. But I just really need those orange suede heels for my UF wardrobe.

It Figures


You Are a Losing Lottery Ticket!


Full of hope and promise.
But in the end, a cheap letdown.

And the glass is half empty too. :) Thanks, A.

Cocktail Culture – The Basics

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Besides going out, there is nothing more I love than appetizers and cocktails. I am going to try this new segment of recipes and ideas and if you don’t think it is worthwhile let me know. And seriously, every once in a while I check the stats and there are a lot more of you out there than are actually commenting.

Here are some basics that have always been a hit for me at cocktails or dinner parties.

Raspberry Royale

6 teaspoons raspberry liqueur – I used Chambord
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
1 bottle of good champagne – chilled

Pour 1 teaspoon of raspberry liqueur into each champagne glass and add 2 or 3 raspberries. When guests arrive, pop the cork and fill each glass with Champagne. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Barefoot in Paris

Salmon Dip

1 package, full fat Philadelphia cream cheese
4 oz smoked salmon – good quality
1 tbsp dill
1 tbsp finely chopped scallions
1 tbsp lemon juice
kosher salt and pepper to taste

I double all ingredients except the cream cheese. I make the dip about 1-2 hours before it will actually be served to let the flavors meld.

For crackers, I recommend using the classic Carr’s crackers or Water Wheel Original Mini’s, which can be found at Whole Foods.

In past experience, people prefer the doubled ingredients in the dip. The flavor is better and more satisfying.

The drink is something that most people will enjoy at a festive event if there is not an open bar. If a low-end champagne has to be used the Chambord definitely covers it up.

Finally, for classic cocktails you will need a classic dress. Something black.

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You can buy it here.

Weddings – Don’t Be Greedy

Disclaimer: this post might make me sound like a total bitch, but I am sticking by it.

Disclaimer 2: I have nothing against Morristown, NJ.

I was out last night again and got into a discussion about the rude shit that people do in regards to their weddings and baby showers. One of the girls I was out with was telling horrendous stories of 150 invite lists to baby showers and espadrilles at hunting lodge weddings in South Georgia. Totally freaked me out.

My big story of late is the Jewish Morrocan wedding we have to attend on NEW YEAR’S F*****G EVE in Morristown, NJ. Ed is a groomsman. Anyway, I am totally pissed about it. It seems as though there are week long events for this wedding as well. (We won’t be attending those because we will be on vacation in Naples, FL.) The couple was given X amount for all of this and the guest list was made. Also, seems as though they invited a shit load of people from Israel that they thought would only send money. As is tradition. Not so much. All these people have their plane tickets to come over the pond. So now any envelopes the couple gets has to be opened at the wedding to pay for it. How tacky. How greedy. Totally passing judgement here.

When myself and many friends got married, we had our budget/style and that is how the guest list was made. Second cousins did not make the list. Weddings are to expensive any more to think there is a never ending supply of invites. All it causes is debt. Never think people are not going to come because they will. And if they have to travel, in all likelihood, they will not bring a gift. So for this couples sake I hope they get enough to cover it. Unfortunately, they won’t get to start of their new lives together with a ton of cash. Possibly not even a honeymoon.

If you know of a hair salon in Morristown, NJ near the Westin that I can get my hair done on New Year’s Eve, let me know.

Converstions – I should be on Cribs

Ed: Why is there no food in the house?

Me: I am gone all the time and generally don’t get home till late. You know I eat at the Whole Foods salad bar alot.

Ed: All you have is Vitamin Water, 2 bottles of Champagne and more bottles of water.

Me: Well, you know it just like Cribs up in here. They should call me.

Ed: So that is the way you roll?

Me: Yep. That’s the way I roll.

Baby Shower – Baby Alexandre

Here are pictures from the baby shower on Saturday. As I look at the pictures, it looks so simple and easy to put together. But as usual loads of time was used and emails sent deciding on recipes and decorations. Then the shopping, cooking, cleaning and decorating.

Remember how all those people were coming. Well 15 of them decided to not come the day of. HOW F*****G RUDE!!! Thankfully, I don’t know most of them because if I did, we would no longer be friends. But the friends of the couple who did show were nice enough and put a big dent in all the food we made. Plus, the bellini and bloody mary bar. The bar was definitely the best part. Ed drove in for Thanksgiving holiday and played bartender which is his usual spot. He makes the best bloody mary you will ever have.

Thanksgiving Dinner – Menu Planning

We are doing things a bit different this year. None of my family really care all the much for turkey so we choose some other options.

We are having a cheese platter and olive selection to start. Various cheeses and condiments that we switch up every year from Whole Foods. Also our smoked salmon dip.

Vegetables include: roasted asparagus, spinach gratin from Barefoot Contessa and a mashed potato with mushroom gravy.

Entree will be prime rib. Going to use Tyler Florence’s from last year’s Christmas episode. I used this prime rib for Christmas with my in-laws last year and it was a huge hit. You can get the recipe here.

I am going to attempt the White Chocolate, Spiced Pear Trifle on the cover of Bon Appetite for dessert. I think I can do it. Very spectacular if it works.

Should be interesting. Of course, there will be pictures.

What’s Going On?

Here’s some updates.

Travelled all over Virginia.
Fired that guy.
Got crabs (Ed did, see the pictures).
Received the chinese lanterns. So cute.
Finalized baby shower menu.
Addressed Cocktail invites.
Went somewhere scary – Hancock Fabrics.
Drove to the scary side of town to pick up my FedEx package containing LV clutch. Seriously, Magic City is still open. VERY SCARY.

Here’s the thing. Usually people RSVP “NO”. No one did. We are having a 40 person, 4 kid, couples shower on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. That means I am not going to the big, multi-league Junior League party at Belk (used to be Parisian). There are a ton of other retail parties on Thursday night, such as Frontgate and, I think, Ralph Lauren? Have to ask Mom. She is the one with the invites. I love retail parties. I think stores shut down for private shopping and cocktails are the best. NEVER GET TIRED OF THEM. But who would?

Anyway, canceling my RSVP on Thursday. I can’t have my party looking like crap.

This past weekend, Ed and I ate our way thru Maryland.

First, there was El Golfo in the Tacoma Park area. A mix of Mexican/South American. I have waxed poetic on my love of Nuevo Laredo here in Atlanta, but this place actually had better carne asada.

Then Saturday night we went to Ri Ra. They had Anchor Steam on tap and chips with curry. So good while eating, but not later on.

On Sunday we took Fairfax’s recommendation and drove out to Annapolis for crabs. Went Jimmy Cantler’s and I have not been that full in years. It was freakin’ amazing and I only had to stop for directions once. So see the pictures below. I highly recommend it and want to go as quickly as possible. As you can see, I don’t work for my food like Ed does. And seriously, he is like a surgeon with the crabs. Everyone else is banging away, but just one crack for Ed. (Could be because he does surgery on 2-3 inch fish in the lab.)

View from the Deck

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I have events you might want to know about, but lately I have just been behind with that stuff. Pick up a Season’s Magazine for the events of the season if you don’t have your tickets already. And I will be back with the one’s that interest me or that I actually can go too. Toys for Tots and all that.