Tag Archives: Julia Child

What to do with apples

25 Oct

We had a full bushel of apples when we came home from apple picking. Besides eating as many delicious apples as we could (plain and with peanut butter, which Walter declared was worth his taste buds), we scoured our canning books and the internet and came up with some good recipes.

Dave made apple jelly and “Mom’s Apple Pie in a Jar”, which is something you’re supposed to put on top of ice cream and other desserts. Some are going out for Christmas presents while others are waiting to be opened and consumed during the cold, hard months of winter. And we still have lots of apple cider leftover to use elsewhere.

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Walter and I made apple pie, apple muffins, and applesauce muffins.

img_20161018_171937The best of our three attempts at pie crust was Walter’s version. I had made some modifications of Julia Child’s recipe after one failed version and one medium success (we used less water and had to figure out the flour ratio since we had pastry flour instead of cake flour), but still. He worked that dough all by himself, and it was great.

img_20161019_163639769Only had to cut up 1 million golden delicious apples.

img_20161019_174019511We made these for an early family Thanksgiving lunch in a couple weeks, but we just had to try one slice before it went in the freezer. And it was délicieux.

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins by Smitten Kitchen

Because of this recipe I’ve started substituting whole wheat flour in other muffins and wow. My banana bread muffins have never tasted so good. Just replace 1 cup all-purpose with 3/4 cup whole wheat flour.

Apple Pie by Crafty Creative Gal

We used the pie crust recipe directly out of a Julia Child cookbook, but the filling and everything else from this recipe. And YUM.

Applesauce

For the applesauce muffins, I just did my banana bread recipe but replaced three bananas with homemade applesauce from three apples. Boy, a kitchen never smells as good as when apples have been simmering in cinnamon and sugar all day long. I did the slow cooker version, which turned the apples a lot darker than the picture, but as it was going in to muffins, I didn’t care.

Most of the muffins are sitting in our freezer waiting for midnight snacking sessions after nursing #2. I can’t wait for those all-night cuddle sessions. Just 2 1/2 more months to go!

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DIY Postcard Backsplash

6 Oct

Because my husband has the coolest family, I got the idea for our backsplash from his aunt. In her kitchen she has several photos in the same color scheme repeated like tiles, which I always thought was funky and cute. When Dave and I were trying to figure out what we wanted to do and our kitchen budget was running low (thank you awesome farmhouse sink… and all the other things we thought were must-buys before purchasing a backsplash), I thought, I could do like my aunt-in-law! When I asked her about it, she said she slapped them up on the walls with some Elmer’s glue 25 years ago as a temporary backsplash until she figured out what tile she wanted (ha!).

One of the biggest appeals for me (besides the cost being under $100 total for the project) was that if I ever changed my mind, tile could just be put up on top of the cards. No big deal.

I didn’t want to use personal photos, so I bought sets of Paris-themed photo postcards from a seller on Etsy. I used 8 blanc (white) sets, 3 gris (gray) sets, and 3 vert (teal, really) sets for some variety while trying to keep the photos as neutral and un-busy as possible. I unfortunately found out that the postcards were sold out and not going to be printed ever again (apparently) when I was running low and wanted to buy some more mid-project. I had to get creative to finish!

img_20160924_090847438I find it necessary to always have a supply of Mod Podge and foam brushes handy in case of any impromptu projects. I foolishly thought it would take a night to do all of this, but in reality it took three days. If you’re going to do something unique, you better be precise and make it look as good as possible. I glued them on and then after they dried I covered them in another layer of Mod Podge (matte finish). I plan on polying around the sink and coffee maker for extra protection once I’ve verified it won’t turn anything yellow.

dsc_0043I honestly wasn’t really sure how it would turn out, but I like it more than I thought I would. And the key was that my mom didn’t come into my kitchen and immediately notice that she didn’t like it — in fact she didn’t notice at first that I had done anything at all! When I had originally told her of my idea, she told me I shouldn’t do it, and she’s pretty good at design decisions, so I was happy she approved of the final product.

dsc_0044I wasn’t sure if Dave should caulk the bottom of the cards where they meet the granite with white or clear, so for now it’s bare. Gosh I love our kitchen sink.

dsc_0047It took me a while but I finally figured out how to use our new Nespresso machine. Délicieux.

dsc_0046No Parisian kitchen is complete without a little Julia Child sign-off decal! Bon Appétit!

dsc_0045To save on postcard usage, and because I had the idea mid-project and I’m totally in love with accenting our house with Deep Sea Dive, I had Dave help by painting the wall behind the vent hood. I love that we did that. It was the perfect final touch.

Ladies Book Club

8 Dec

It’s been fairly transformative to be a part of this neighborhood, women-only, book club since this summer.

The last book we read was My Life in France by Julia Child — though written by her great-grandnephew. Who is a fantastic writer. He made me fall in love with Julia. WWJD: my new motto.

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Julia married “late” in life, but to a fantastic man who whisked her off to Paris where she learned to love food and become an expert cook and then an international bestseller and beloved TV star.

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Paul Child: photographer, wine lover, graphic designer,  and lover of the world.

Julia and Paul Child

And a new dear friend Hannah, among others, brought her to us, and then threw us a dinner party with all Julia recipes — it was all Julia, all night! A beautiful night in a beautiful home with beautiful people.

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And our goody bag was a fondue package which I shared with Dave and friends at a game night later in the week.

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Sharing just makes everything better.

Thanksgiving in pictures

6 Dec

IMG_20151120_224915360My brother came into town from Brussels via a giant company party in Mexico. The Paris attacks occurred right before he left, and then Brussels was on lockdown most of the time he was in Atlanta and my sister-in-law and nephew were back at home.

IMG_20151120_234111619I’m glad this chick loves me.

IMG_20151204_212325Retiring Dikembe Mutombo’s number.

IMG_20151126_091819597_HDRMy happy little kitchen helpers to help me make the pumpkin pie.

IMG_20151126_114906And it turned out yummy — Julia Child’s recipe.

DSC_0246-2My family.

DSC_0261Walter and his cousins.

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My youngest cousin and his new GF.

IMG_20151126_153856561Of course there was croquet on the lawn before dessert.

IMG_20151126_153900853Rafa enjoying frustrating Walt.

IMG_20151127_095003024More Krispy Kreme. We live too close.

The Master of Weekends

5 Dec

I don’t usually post about how often I post, because I find that to be one of the most annoying clichés used in blogging, but it’s been so long that WordPress has changed in my absence. For anyone new reading my blog, there’s enough to slough through for days! I’ve been writing for over three years, and if you get through that – and you’re savvy enough – you can probably find some horrid livejournal account I wrote as a teen out there somewhere in internet land.

But for those of you who have been with me for a while, I just saw that I’ve only posted once in the last three months. This isn’t to say I haven’t been writing. I have 18 drafts waiting to be edited and put out there for the world to read, but a lot of them are of a somewhat political nature. And my personal posts usually involve photos, which has been hampered lately by my desktop crashing, along with my photos. I will post more, and soon, it just isn’t the right time yet. As Julia Child says, asked when her next book will be done: “When it is done.” She is my newest hero.

I recently had a perfect weekend. It was perfectly miserable outside every day (and was for at least a week straight), but I managed to find the only time it wasn’t raining on Saturday to photograph some very sweet girls I used to nanny. I really appreciate the chance to stay connected, to take these photos every year, and to see them grow up.

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The weekend really started on Thursday night, when I had a girls’ night out with Katye and Whitney at a Junior League event at the Williams-Sonoma in Ponce City Market. We had the babies with us, who were of course the talk of the party because they’re so stinking cute. I got to be Brady’s date — he fell asleep on me for 45 minutes! We also were given a coffee demonstration of a Nespresso machine, which I now want. The coffee was fantastic. Probably some of the best coffee I’ve ever had. And the tastings were delicious, but we still ordered from Panita Thai as soon as we got home. I feel confident saying that it claims the prize of most delicious Thai food in Atlanta right now.

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My mom dropped off Tashi, her adorable shih tzu, on Friday, which was great since it got very cold all weekend and we just cuddled in front of the fire all day reading, puzzling, watching movies, playing Legos, building with Magna-tiles… I love being stuck inside, because I love indoor activities. I could read books all day long every day. Saturday night we watched the movie Whiplash, which is a fantastic, well-done, very intense film about a budding jazz drummer. I loved it, and it also set the stage for our next and final evening of that fabulous weekend.

Sunday was the most interesting day. In the morning Dave and I made the most delicious breakfast burrito we’ve ever made before, which Walter of course refused to eat. Then we cleaned up a bit, puzzled some more, showered, etc. We again ordered Panita Thai for take out with my parents at my mom’s house. We needed to drop off the baby and my mom’s dog because we had a concert to go to!

The week before, I decided to check for Puscifer tickets on a lark, assuming there would be none as Tool shows usually sell out in a few minutes (or less) for much bigger venues. I had wanted to buy them a month earlier when they had gone on sale, but we didn’t have it in the budget at the time. Lo and behold, there were seats available for the cheapest price! And wouldn’t you know it, they turned out to be great seats! So of course I bought two as soon as I had cleared babysitting with Nini.

Maynard James Keenan likes to perform with Puscifer at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, which is wildly fantastic because the place was designed specifically for musical shows, and the seats and bathrooms are of high quality. So are the people working there, and the decor. It is where grown-ups go to listen to music. And, as it turns out, I am becoming one of those grown-ups who likes a decent place to see a show.

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Walt, on the night of the show, kept telling us that yes, he was 18, not three, and he should be allowed to go to the concert with mommy. Oh, children always want to grow up too fast!

It was dangerous driving around Sunday night, with the rain, temperatures, wind, and wet leaves everywhere on the road. We took back roads after making a pit stop at Lowe’s to buy a new doorbell and to use the restroom. I am nearly blind at night, but I had on my glasses and was trying to help. At one point we almost ran in to a deer. When we finally got to the theatre, I was frisked pretty good coming inside. It was 90% airport intensity.

Once inside we traveled up to the Grand Tier, stopping to grab a couple Monday Night Brews on the way. This very nice concession stand gentleman worker showed me a picture of “my baby,” by which I thought he meant grandbaby, since he looked pretty old. Whoops. There was a long moment of awkwardness as I congratulated him several times, and took off.

We got to our seats just as Maynard walked out and the show started. It then proceeded to be a perfect experience, except for the time a girl dropped her phone on Dave’s head, forgot to apologize, then interrupted us for several minutes shouting about getting her phone back as it had dropped down several rows. The man in front of us, who had been enthusiastically dancing to the songs in his seat (because in this place you sit when you listen to music), got yelled at by security for being on his phone, then he half stood up and shouted to his girlfriend about gosh-knows-what for half a song before leaving for a bathroom break. Sometimes people-watching is more interesting than the main act!

But what a show Maynard puts on!

To me, it is like church. The music he creates with others and the entire experience (when he cares, because I’ve seen how he acts when he’s just doing something to make money) is spiritual. It has always been this way when I see his shows — and really any other amazing live performance, especially music.

On the way home from yet another wonderful evening with Maynard & co., we stopped to get hot Krispy Kreme donuts and a decaf coffee. And one of their 2016 coupon calendars that features pictures of cute animals posed with donuts. Cause who doesn’t need one of those?