The New Normal

Well, The Hubster is safe and sound back from his trip. More about that in another post. And just in time.

Life will be getting back to The New Normal around here, whatever that may be.

In the meantime, here are the things that made me think today. Hopefully they will do the same for you.

The People’s Cube has a handy graphic for something we’ve all noticed, but have just been reluctant to point out, lest we get beat up by a crowd of friendly neighbors.

Time arithmetic is not a strong suit of liberals, especially those looking for a reason to blame past presidents for anything/everything.

More folks are spitting out the Kool-Aid. Here’s one that is most definitely, emphatically NSFW. In the meantime, the MSM continues to spread the unicorn butt sparkles.

I guess all that lukewarm press for Atlanta during the Eat Street Food Network challenge was good for something. Atlanta’s first permanent Food Truck Park opens tomorrow night.

Erick nails it. Obama is Woodrow Wilson reincarnated, but more socialist, if that is even possible.

This is just a given.

In the Atlantic archives, we hear a voice from 1932, warning about Hitler. Maybe this time people will listen.

Obama’s spending and the resulting new taxes proposed
will increase your tax burden by 11% if you make less than $200,000. NoHopeNoChange for you!

They grow up so fast. Why didn’t we do this?

I can see November from my house. Can you?

An Apology, Fish or Cut Bait, Smoke and Mirrors, and Hands Off My Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger!

First off, if you received a spam email from me, mucho apologios. My account was hacked, and the entire planet was notified in the wee hours of Saturday. Again, my humblest apologies for my inability to keep the weaseally trolls at bay.

Secondly, this post was saved as draft last night, when I left for Thai Food Tuesday with Princess Hornist. When I returned home, the power was out on the entire street. An obvious conspiracy by SkyNet to keep you from all my bloggy goodness!

Now, to the dilemma before me. Next Tuesday is the Georgia Presidential Primary. I have narrowed my choices to two candidates: stinky Gingrich and equally stinky Santorum. While Buzz Brockway (a fellow contributor at Peach Pundit) supports Rick Santorum and Buzz’s opinion is greatly respected here at the praxuem, I still get a queasy feeling in my gut about the guy. Of course, any consideration of Newt requires an extra-large clothespin and a healthy dose of Lysol spray. I could yammer on about issue-this and issue-that all day long, but the matter festers to a point past who is electable – to who can beat the Romney machine and ultimately the Obama Death Star. (Or is it whom? I’m sure Divine Empress Editor Joy will get me on this one.) Politics certainly make for strange bedfellows. Getting past the Romney machine may be the kicker, but once accomplished – of the two (and PAY ATTENTION HERE) which candidate would cave and hand over their delegates to Romney in the face of defeat? Santorum would definitely wither away under the gaze of The Victor, obediently transferring his delegates all the while groveling for a Cabinet post. Newt, I’m not so sure. At least he would make it all the way to Mount Doom, if only to have Gollum bite his finger off. Decisions. Decisions.

(And yes, I know I mixed my fantasy metaphors there. Longtime readers know I do that all the time. Put your light saber away or I will win this argument handily with a Vulcan nerve pinch.)

Obama’s smoke and mirrors on energy policy. It is all in the pretty picture.

And That Albany Woman, Paula Deen, appears to be caving to MO’s food police. Darlin’ say it ain’t so!

Paula Deen says she’s going to start making lighter versions of her dishes. That’s a little like Ron Paul saying he’s going to start putting tax increases in his bills. It’s a little suspect.

Paula Deen has made a fortune off her rich recipes, as has the Food Network. So, what’s really at play here?

Deen, of course, has been under fire ever since revealing last month she has Type 2 diabetes.

Food activists decried the revelation. After all, how dare she keep mum about it for three years and continue making fattening foods!

What she cooks, eats, and what medical problems she has are no one else’s business. But, try telling that to the food police who think others’ food choices are their business.

Neither Deen nor the Food Network should bow to outside pressure for healthier fare. It’s a slippery slope toward food tyranny. What’s next, government regulation of the Food Network? Big Brother is already trying to tell us what we can and can’t eat, why not tell the Food Network what to do?

Now pass me that Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger, or I’ll Vulcan nerve pinch you again.

Athens Food Adventure, Part the Third and the End of Our Day

So where were we? Friday morning after breakfast, I believe.

Lunch was at Marti’s at Midday. We shared Martha’s Salad Plate which is a huge basket of salad with pimento cheese, chicken salad, fruit and the most marvelous toasted pita wedges. After we were sufficiently stuffed, there was enough left over for another meal!

Afterwards, we waddled over to Chick Music and caught up with some old friends.

Luckily, our dinner reservation at 5 & 10 was later in the evening. This time we ordered different dishes (except the Hubster liked the little lyonnaise salad so much on the last trip he just had to have it again). For appetizers, I had clam and chorizo soup and he had his repeat salad. Then my entree was grilled redfish with quinoa and green beans. He ordered the pork tenderloin with ribs over a grit cake with collards. Out of the two nights and four entrees, this was the most exquisite. Only a true Southerner can wax poetic over ribs. And wax he did. Galactic perfection.

For dessert, we shared a wonderful ginger creme brulee.

On the way back to the hotel, we swung by The Melting Point, to see if we could roust out our friend Tim P. before his band played. We caught him and his wife just as they were walking in the door. While we stayed through their first set, Hubster ran into even more old friends. I mean, really, is there anybody he doesn’t know?

Finally, we turned in. For breakfast this morning, we tried the Big City Bread Cafe. Now I want to move to Athens and eat breakfast there everyday.

This was one of those trips where you never want to go home. Leaving this magical weekend means going back to the grind which, to be honest, been taking a toll on both of us.

On our way home, I kept thinking of Brigadoon. Fiona frantically tells Tommy, “It’s the end of our day!” Tommy doesn’t understand until Fiona, and all of Brigadoon, fade into the evening mist.

I may have been born in Atlanta, but Athens will always be my heart and soul.

Athens Food Parade, Part Two

Update on our Dawgylicious trip in Athens continues…

After a mecca to Georgia’s best yarn shop ever, Main Street Yarns and Fibers, we met our friend John Berry and his sweet wife Robin for a leisurely lunch at Mirko in Watkinsville. Mirko reminded us of one of our favorite places in the ATL, Figo. Hubster and John have been friends since 8th grade.

Last night we had supper at Farm255 on West Washington. Their menu is more on the side of organic, sustainable farm style. For our appetizer, we had a (local) cheese and fruit plate with candied pecans. We both had shrimp and grits for our entree. The shrimp were from Savannah, the grits did NOT need seasoning (which was just amazing to us), the tomatoes were so fresh and the poached egg on top added the perfect taste. For dessert, Hubs had the creme brulee and I had the chocolate mousse cake with orange marmalade. Definitely a place we’ll be going back to!

For breakfast this morning, we went to Mama’s Boy, a diner over the Oconee river on Oak Street. They served a wonderful breakfast. I especially liked the cranberry and fennel sausage.

However, I did have one little, tiny beef. On their menu, they listed a breakfast item called “Chocolate Cake for Breakfast.” Now, all my son’s life I told him he couldn’t ever have chocolate cake for breakfast. Now these people have blown my mommy cover. Thanks a load there, sport.

In My Next Life/Job, I Want to be a Restaurant Critic

We’re off for a little R&R, celebrating our 25th anniversary. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to change our destination almost at the last minute, so we settled on that Holiest of Holy Spots, Athens, GA.

Why Athens, you ask? You go there a lot. You went to college there. You’ve been to dozens of concerts, games, weddings, funerals, whatnot there. You worked there for a year. It’s close, it’s funky (but not as weird as Austin), and we don’t need a map.

Really, that’s the point. This time we came to do what WE wanted to do, when WE wanted to do it, without chaperoning other students, sitting in game-day traffic, standing in lines for mediocre mass-produced food with 92000 of our best friends, or running to class/band rehearsal/meetings/whatever. Athens on our terms. Plus it’s UGA Spring Break, so the town is very UNcrowded. We have the run of the place.

This afternoon, we checked into the Hotel Indigo, which is Game Day Central for home games. The place is usually so over-run those days I’m surprised the fire marshal doesn’t have a seizure on the spot.

Tonight we dined at 5 & 10, a restaurant I’ve wanted to visit ever since it was recognized by the AJC as the 2007 Restaurant of the Year. Plus those four James Beard nominations for chef/owner Hugh Acheson kept it high on our radar, being the self-anointed foodies we think we are.

For starters we had the crostinis with pimento cheese. Yeah, I admit it, we fought over the last little crust.

Then the lil Lyonnaise salad. I’ve never been a fan poached eggs, but I quickly got over it. Delicious.

Hubster had the special, a flatiron steak with black truffle butter and spinanch/mushroom gratin. I had the crispy flounder with creamy grits, an olive tapenade (I don’t like olives either, but loved this – it tasted almost like guacamole) and grilled chard. Both the steak and fish were cooked perfectly. Absolutely divine.

For dessert, Hubby had cayenne banana ice cream and I had the special, a pineapple tarte with ice cream.

It was a fantastic meal. In fact, it was so good that we decided we’re going back on Friday night to order completely different dishes.

I may have to buy bigger pants on this trip.

Ahhhh, Athens. I am to Athens as Indiana Jones is to Venice.

(Well drat, the clock just rolled over midnight. This post was actually written on 3/16.)

Oh My

Ree Drummond is at it again. Making me gain weight by just looking at pictures on her blog.

She is an evil, evil woman.

The Most Beautiful Picture Evah

If you’re not reading Pioneer Woman every day, you should.

This picture made my day when I saw it and stuck with me. The subject made an appearance in my dream last night, so I’m posting it for your enjoyment.

I was raised around horses. My family tends to forget that, when they only see me as aging and meddlesome. Hrmph…horses don’t argue.

That pound cake looks like a good project for a gray, dizzly day like today.

See, you’ll never leave!

My New Favorite Song

If you don’t live in Atlanta, or the South in general, you wouldn’t understand.

Now That’s Funny

So sad that I couldn’t play along tonight – I’m up in Nashville again. We had dinner with an old friend at Bar-B-Cutie (major yum yum). But you can be sure I’ll save this for the next 2 Minute Hate (h/t Amused Cynic, who h/t’d it from Ace).


Cupcakes for Thursday

And no, I’m not inviting POTUS over for dinner. I’m not in the mood to count the silverware.


Don’t these lovely morsels conjure the happiest of thoughts? The colors, the sprinkles; you just feel like a little kid again. Cupcakes are all the rage these days. Beside being adorably cute, they satisfy your sweet tooth without risking the bloat endangerment of eating a giant piece of cake. Or half the cake. Oh blazes, the whole cake. I’ve never done it (ahem), but I’ve watched my boy do it. Growing boys, they say. And having the metabolism of a cheetah helps. But back to the cupcakes.


Even brides are using them in inventive ways as a stylish replacement for wedding and groom’s cakes. Here’s a website with tons of cupcake recipes. Yum Yum.

Enter MeMe Roth (I’ll let you make the ironic observation of her name, I mean really, I try to rise above that sort of stuff), self-appointed culinary police at Public School 9 in NYC (h/t Free-Range Kids). Ms. Roth has gone ballistic on her kids school, yet again, for serving cupcakes, etc. for special events. Her kids even have a special Tupperware container in which they are instructed to place all junk-foods from their school (for further inspection? Midnight consumption? Oops, sorry). School administrators have suggested she request a transfer for her kids since she believed they were “threatened” by the exposure to junk food. Described as “hostile” and “abrasive” by school personnel and PTA members…

Her extreme methods have earned her attention before: The police were called to a Y.M.C.A. in 2007 when she absconded with the sprinkles and syrups on a table where members were being served ice cream. That was Ms. Roth who called Santa Claus fat on television that Christmas, and she has a continuing campaign against the humble Girl Scout cookies, on the premise that no community activity should promote unhealthy eating.

After the constant barrage of complaints to staff, teachers and other parents, you’d get tired of seeing them walk through the door, too. Elementary school is quickly losing it’s reputation as the last refuge of any semblance of childhood.


Both parents left feeling they were being pushed out of P.S. 9, which they perceive as exhausted by Ms. Roth’s intense lobbying for, among other things, permission slips for any food not on the official lunch menu. It would not be the first time: The Roths previously lived in Millburn, N.J., where, after Ms. Roth waged war on the bagels and Pringles meal served to kids at lunch, received e-mail from one member of the P.T.A. that said, “Please, consider moving.” That was in 2006, and P.S. 9 has been hearing about its transgressions against healthy eating pretty much ever since.

This reminds me of a little story when my kids were very young. I was firm in my commitment that my younglings would not be exposed to weapons of any kind. Then my darling baby boy, chewed off his toast in such a way that it was shaped like a gun. He’d point all around and say “Bang Bang Bang” while giggling his little baby head off. So much for that.


Every parent is entitled to raise their children as they wish; I understand that and rejoice in the fact there are parents out there willing to raise their own children instead of turning them over to the state for mindless indoctrinaiton. So I have a suggestion, Ms. Roth. If you REALLY want to control every bite that goes into your children’s mouths and save them from death by dreaded cupcakes, quit your job and home school. That is the only way you can ensure absolute iron-clad control of their diet. Besides, they would end up better educated. Then you can take your own arugula to the neighborhood birthday parties – you’re on your own there, honey.

UPDATE: Donald Douglas of AmericanPower has more on ME!ME!.

Summer Is Here – Fry a Chicken

Nothing says summer down south than the aroma of frying chicken wafting from down the street. This is a sweet story and a great recipe.

fried chicken

Save a leg for me! That one…right there.

Spring Means Fruit and Fruit Means PIE

Well, really spring rarely happens anymore in Atlanta. It’s that 48 hours between the morning you finally feel it’s safe to turn the furnace off before that afternoon you need to turn the A/C on. 55 degrees on Monday, 85 by Wednesday. No inbetweenies. North Carolina still has a spring. Atlanta usually doesn’t.

But spring/early summer means FRUIT and fruit means PIE. Forget those fancy nouveau cakes of many layers and fancy do-daddies you see on the cake shows (unless they are chocolate, of course!). I like pie. I LOVE pie. I even started this blog on Pi Day – how’s that for likin’ pie?

Smitten Kitchen has put me into a raspberry swoon. I looooooovve rassssssberries. A container seldom makes it home from the store before being raided. Yum.

Go there for the recipe, funny commentary and pictures to die for. Rasssssssberrrrrrries. Gimme gimme gimme.


Update: Yeah, yeah, so what that I posted the Thursday Food Fun on Wednesday. Who cares? It’s all about the raaaahhhhhhhhsssssssbeeerrrrrries! That reminds of a post long, long ago at The Anchoress about “Stru-auorwwwberries.”

Best Home-Grilled Wings Evah

This is not one of those recipes with precise measurements. But you will slap yer mama over these wings. From our JAX pal, Eric.

Best Home-grilled Wings Evah

Lots of chicken wings & drums
Olive Oil
White Wine Vinegar
Montreal Chicken Seasoning

Mix the oil & vinegar to taste. Liberally coat the wings/drums with the oil and then liberally coat with the Montreal seasoning. Allow to marinate about 30 minutes. Grill until done.

When cool enough to touch, eat in the carport and throw the bones in the shrubs. Who needs a plate? Just pass the paper towels.

And you don’t even need any mustard or a replicator.

A Dip That Doesn’t Drip

On Thursday, we turn our thoughts to food. Glorious food. Those who have met me in person (CPAC! Yeah!) know I’m not some twig-like wraith. In fact, I entered the Mrs. Chins Beauty Pageant and Chili Cookoff just a few weeks ago. With a giant storm just over the Alabama line and barreling our way, we turn our thoughts to warm, comfort food. Stuff that will sustain us when the roof blows off.

Some years ago, Obi’s dear wife and my dear sister-in-law had a short-lived but enlightening entry-level job with Natalie Dupree. Those who have lived in Atlanta for a long, long time, will remember Ms. Dupree from the Rich’s School of Cooking and her own ill-fated cooking show on GPB. I say ill-fated, because every week’s episode produced some type of epicurean disaster and a big mess in the studio kitchen. Her tag line was always, “Well, yours will look better than this…”

The one good thing to come from her stint in that wreckage was a recipe that SIL refined and made her own. So much so, it is a stable of family gatherings.

Hot Crab Dip

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 Tablespoon milk
6 1/2 oz. crab meat, drained
2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon horseradish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup sliced almonds

Mix all ingredients except almonds and turn into a lovely ovenproof crock. Top with almonds. Bake at 375 F. for 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Enjoy with crackers, toast or just a big spoon because it doesn’t drip.

Oh, about that drip… Stacy will tell you all about it him.

First Thursday Food Fantasy

Paul Deen, you’ve been dethroned.

Monday evening we had the occasion to be in lovely downtown Newnan, Georgia. Newnan, for those not acquainted with our fine state, is the location of many beautiful stately homes, many of which are ante-belleum.

We ate dinner at the Redneck Gourmet, situated on the square. I had fish and chips; the Hub had a burger. For an appetizer, we ordered fried green tomatoes. Fried green tomatoes are one of those things that can make or break a menu down there. You can tell the chef is an import from northern shores if he cuts them too thick, cuts them too thin, overbreads, or overfries, or heaven forbid, serves them with goat cheese (you know who you are!)

The Hub nearly had to fight me to get his fair share. Now Paula Deen does many things well, and the fried green tomatoes at her restaurants The Lady & Sons and Uncle Bubba’s are definitely divine, but sweetie, you got beat Monday night. Beat like a drum.

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