A Twist of Kate
  • November16th

    The Arboretum here is absolutely fabulous! The grounds are vast and extensive. Although I’ve already been twice, I’ve barely scratched the surface in visiting all the grounds.

    The first time I went, I was feeling adventurous. I made it out of the house with both kids relatively early. We parked easily and didn’t have to wait in line. We went straight for the Pecan Grove in which was set up like a village made of pumpkins, gourds, hay, etc. It was magical!

    The kids were so cute and I snapped a ton of great pics in which they were both looking at the camera – AWESOME! Mission accomplished! So, when we got home and I discovered every single one of my pictures was white and NOTHING turned out, I had to say, “are you kidding me?”

    Yep, I had the camera on the wrong setting so nothing (I mean NOTHING) turned out.

    A couple weeks later I got over my complete flub and we headed out again. This time I made sure the camera was charged, setting was set and that the picture actually came out after a test shot. Ready. It was crazy crowded but we persevered and came out with some really cute pictures!






    We were also able to trick or treat in our new hood.  When people told us to expect 2,000 kids, they weren’t lying.  I’ve never seen a whole neighborhood rally around Halloween like East Kessler.  Each house out-did the other.  There were tons of kids and it was a perfect night for trick or treating.

    Also, what I’m learning is that it’s next to impossible to get a 10 month old and a 3 year old to look at the camera at the same time.



    Happy Halloween from our parrot and pirate.  Arrrghh!

  • October14th

    It’s been so long since I’ve written a blog post, it’s embarrassing!

    When I first started blogging, I really wanted to write about my food-life experience.  I was fresh out of culinary school and trying to figure out where I wanted to apply my new culinary skillzzz.  So, I just started…blogging, kater-ing, working at farmer’s markets, creating at home, and just putting myself out there.  Then our son came a long and my life turned upside down.

    All the things that I could do freely before were no longer so easy to do.  Meals couldn’t be made on a whim but planned a week in advance so to be able to limit my grocery store runs.  Drinking a cup of coffee while warm in the morning changed to a dance of re-heating the same cup of coffee multiple times a day only to eventually pour it out.

    So, long story short, my priorities changed.  Or had to change, rather.

    We bought a house, re-did the kitchen, bathrooms and endless DIY projects.  Then, we welcomed little Clementine Glory.  So, now we are four and the food-focused life is oh-so far behind me.  I still enjoy eating (who doesn’t) and when I can create dinner effortlessly, it’s a dream.

    A few months ago my husband accepted a new job in Dallas, Tx. So we said good bye to our beloved home that we built together in Atlanta to begin a new adventure!

    We did so much work on our previous home and I regretfully never blogged about it.  So, this time around, I will.

    I also want to talk about Dallas, my family and keep you all up to date on what I’m doing.   This means being vulnerable again and sticking myself out there which I do have anxiety about.  Will you like it? (Hope so!) Will I make mistakes (Yes!)  Please bear with me as I begin again.


  • November3rd

    It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged but it’s for a good reason!  We finally met our new addition to the family on August 16th.  He’s kept us awake into the wee hours, challenged us and brought us more joy than we could have imagined. 

    Meet our little Everett Charley…

    He’s much bigger these days and full of laughter…

    Slowly, my new life is falling into place.  I don’t have hours to myself like I used to so, getting back into blogging will take some time.  I can’t wait to write about my dairy-free days or my now vegan diet (yes, vegan!).  So, much to catch up on but all in good time!

    Happy Eating!

  • August11th

    A few weeks back the hubs and I got back from church only to be famished!  I knew I had plenty of fresh veggies and eggs in the fridge from our CSA so, I decided to make a quick strata.  It was in fact quick as it only took 20 minutes to bake and to top it all off – delicious!









    Farm Fresh Breakfast Strata

    4 farm fresh eggs
    1 bag of fresh spinach
    1 summer squash, diced
    1/2 onion, diced
    1 tomato, diced
    3 slices of bread
    1/4 cup milk
    s&p to taste

    1. Preheat oven to 375.
    2. Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom of a saute pan and turn the heat on to med-high.  Once the pan has reached it’s desired temp, add the diced onion and saute until it starts to turn translucent.
    3. Add tomato and squash and saute to just until softened.
    4. In the meantime, butter, oil or spray the bottom of the baking pan you plan on using.  Take your bread and arrange it on the bottom of the pan so that the bottom is covered.  Note: If you need to break or cut up the bread to ensure the bottom is covered, do so!  The bread will so be covered by eggs and veggies so looks aren’t key at this point.

    5. Add a bag of fresh spinach to onion mixture and stir until it starts to wilt.  Once the spinach has wilted to your desire, turn off the heat.

    6. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, and s&p.  Whisk until small bubbles form at the top. 

    7. Slowly add the veggie mixture to the egg and combine. 

    8. Now, pour the veggie/egg mixture on top of the bread evenly.

    9. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes and serve!  Sadly, I don’t have a picture of the final product; however, I do have a sweet picture of my sous chefs…they are hard at work!  Illy is our hound dog and Clyde is our terrier mix.

    Happy Eating!

  • July30th

    This summer we joined a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) of Ivabell Acres.  We heard about them through the Decatur farmer’s market and were smitten from our first batch of goodies.   We joined with the 1/2 share so, we get a bag of fresh, local veggies for a mere $15/week.

    We really enjoy participating in a CSA 1: it supports our loconomy and 2: we get veggies that we wouldn’t normally buy at the grocery.  So, we make fresh things at home that we wouldn’t have made otherwise.

    So far this season we’ve gotten tomatoes, eggs, cucumbers, carrots, onions, garlic, green tomatoes, ghost peppers, rat terd (yep) peppers, squash, zucchini, a few varieties of basil, grits, and melon – to name a few.

    Here’s a pic of what we got last week:

    So, I decided to make some fresh veggies to go over some of the grits that we got.  Very southern of me, I think:-).

    Fresh Stewed Veggies over Creamy Grits

    1 cup stone ground grits
    1 cup of milk ( I used 2%)
    3 cups water
    1 tblspn butter
    s/p to taste

    Stewed Veggies:
    1 clove of garlic, diced
    1/2 lb fresh garden tomatoes, sliced and diced to desired size
    1 med to large squash
    7 or 8 okra
    1/4 cup fresh basil loosely packed and then sliced
    olive oil
    s/p to taste

    The grits take at least 30 minutes so, be sure to start them well ahead of time.
    1. Combine all ingredients for grits and bring to a boil in a sauce pot.  Once boiling turn heat down to a simmer and cover.  Stir on occasion to keep grits from sticking to the bottom and sides of your pot.  Cook for at least 30 minutes or until grits are done.
    2. Once you’ve gotten the grits going, prep all your veggies and preheat oven to 350.
    3. We wanted to avoid the slimey-ness that comes out with stewed okra so, I decided to roast them in the oven separately and then toss in with the stewed veggies just before serving.
    4. Toss okra with a little olive oil and s/p.  Place in a roasting pan and let roast for at least 20 minutes.
    5. Heat about 1 tblspn of olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add garlic and tomato once the pan is hot. 
    6.  Add squash and basil about 5 minutes before veggies are to be done.  (I typically like my squash underdone rather than over.  If you like your squash a little more done, add it in with your tomatoes).
    7. Toss in okra with stewed veggies.
    8. Plate and serve!

  • July20th

    We’ve been overloaded with vegetables and fresh eggs lately between the awesome CSA we joined and what we’ve been getting from our little doorside garden.  So, I’ve been trying to think of ways to eat all these veggies quickly but inventive ways so we don’t get burned out.

    This is a very simple recipe I threw together one night for the hubs.  He loves crab and I love veggies and eggs so, it’s perfect for both of us!

    Summer Squash and Crab Quiche
    6 farm fresh eggs
    12 oz jumbo lump crab, fresh
    1/4 cup 1/2 & 1/2
    1 tblspn sour cream
    a couple of shakes of lawry’s seasoned salt
    1 summer squash, sliced
    1 frozen whole wheat pie crust
    s&p to taste

    1. Preheat oven to 400.  Take pie crust out of freezer and let sit on the counter for 10 min.  Once  pie crust has defrosted a bit, use a fork to pierce holes on the bottom to let steam escape during par-baking process.
    2. Place crust in oven for 10-15 min to parbake.  Remove once crust is slightly browned.  Leave oven on.
    3. While crust is parbaking, break eggs and whisk to combine with 1/2 & 1/2 and sour cream in a medium-sized bowl.  Once small bubbles have formed at the surface, you’ve whisked enough.
    4. Add crab and squash to whisked eggs and stir to combine.  Shake in desired amount of Lawry’s.
    5. Place pie crust in the center of a cookie sheet and pour egg mixture into pie crust.  Be sure to spread the mixture evenly within the crust.

    6. Place in oven in bake approximately 40 minutes.
    7.  Remove and let cool for about 10-15 min and serve!

    Happy Eating!

  • June25th

     We’ve really have been feeling the love lately and have been showered in it!  We are getting ready for the arrival of our first little one have been blessed by family and friends who have shown their support. 

    I wanted to share some of the picks of some of the yummy foods that have been served at our showers.  All have been scrumptious and devoured by us and the guests!

    Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches

    Deviled Eggs with a Mushroom Tapenade

    Fresh Fruit Salad with Mint

    Fresh Fruit in a Watermelon Carriage

    Yummy Veggie Tray

     More Delish Chicken Salad!

    Petit Fours

     They were the best I’ve ever had!  Super moist cake on the inside and sweet, creamy frosting on the inside!

     Sublime Doughnuts?

    OMG!  Everyone went nuts!  I was lucky to get the Reese’s peanut butter cup (top center) – un.be.lieve.able.

    Sweet Peter Rabbit Cookies as a thank you. 

    My sister and I helped our good friend Diane decorate them.  The best part about these cookies?  They taste so good!

    We’ve had a great time celebrating and getting ready for the arrival of our little one.  We can’t thank our friends and family enough for the support they have shown.  And, for us it was a perfect way to celebrate – with good food and good friends!

    Happy Eating!

  • June23rd

    I met a couple of ladies last week for a delicious mid-day meal at One Eared Stag.  Located in Inman Park, OES took the old Shaun’s space over.  I had never been to Shaun’s but from what I can gather, the interior did not change much, if at all.

    Surprisingly we were the only people in the restaurant, at least for the beginning.  I can honestly say that everything on the menu looked fabulous.  It was hard just choosing something… but we managed!

    We started out with the creamy gazpacho topped with blue crab, asparagus salad with breadcrumbs, mint and a bantam egg and 1/2 dozen blue point oysters.  I’m not typically a gazpacho fan but this was great.  It was creamy without any cream and it wasn’t too cold.  The topping of the blue crab was a perfect feature.  I didn’t get to try the oysters but I knew they were good because they were gobbled up quite quickly.  However the asparagus salad was prepared just perfectly for a summer salad.

    I guess I was in a crabby mood because I ordered a crab roll for my next course as well.  The bread was fabulous! It was a thick piece of brioche lightly slathered in butter.  The crab on the inside was perfect – light, not too much where it was falling out of the bread and perfectly seasoned.  I managed to engulf the whole thing just leaving crumbs on my plate.

    The other main entrees ordered were the BLT served with chick pea fries (creamy and perfect on the inside and crispy on the outside) and little neck clams served in a bacon cream broth (completely decadent).  Both were delicious and little (if anything) was left over.  Everything was just so good we couldn’t leave anything behind!

    Finally, we had to order dessert when we heard the waiter speak of this: fresh toasted country bread, lathered in nutella and topped with roasted strawberries.  Are you kidding?  Roasted strawberries and nutella?  Yes, please!  It was how it sounded – an absolutely perfect dessert for a summer lunch. 

    (Note to self: I must try roasting strawberries at home ASAP!)

    I really can’t wait to go back and check out the dinner menu at One Eared Stag and hope that you give it a try too.  I promise, you will enjoy every minute of it!

    On another note: Due some camera issues all pictures of this wonderful meal were lost!  Please take my word for as to how wonderful OES is!

    Happy Eating!

  • June4th

    I love cooking with colorful vegetables.  Not only for the color on the plate but because the more color, the more vitamins and nutrients involved. 

    I recently picked up an issue of Fine Cooking magazine and found this great recipe for Rainbow Chard.  I always find great recipes in this magazine and this issue was no exception.  Sometimes I’m a little hestitant on how exactly to cook greens well so, finding this recipe was helpful.

    Rainbow Chard with Pinenuts and Parm
    Serves 3 to 4

    1 bunch of rainbow chard
    1 tblspn olive oil
    3 tblspn pinenuts
    1 tblspn garlic, minced
    1 tblspn cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
    1/4 cup grated parm

    1. Prep the chard: Tear leaves off the chard stem in 2-3″ pieces.  Wash and dry the torn leaves well.  Cut the chard stems in 1/4″ slices.

    2. Toast the pinenuts and olive oil in skillet over medium heat.  Toast to just until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
    3. Using the same skillet on medium-high heat, add chard stems and a pinch of salt.  Cook until slightly shrunk and browned (6-7 minutes).
    4. Add garlic and cook to just until fragrant.  Add the chard leaves and a bit a salt to the skillet.  Cook to just until wilted. 
    5.  Remove pan from heat and add cold butter pieces, toss to coat.
    6.  Toss in parm and pinenuts.  Plate and serve!

    Note: The original recipe also calls for basil which I ommitted.  Feel free to toss in a few leaves of chiffonade of basil along with the pinenuts.

    Happy Eating!

  • May25th

    Whenever someone suggests Vietnamese for dinner, I’m in.  We found a great local place here in Atlanta to get both Banh Mi and Pho. 

    Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich served on a fresh baguette with butter, meat of your choice, fresh cilantro, fresh cucumber, pickled carrots and fresh sliced jalapenos.  When made well, it’s crunchy and full of lots of flavor.  And, it’s cheap – typically $3 or less!

    When we went to Quoc Huong on a Sunday for lunch, the place was bustling.  We typically go during the week where it is quiet and a little slower.  On Sundays, however, it’s another story.  I estimate that they made and sold approximately 50 sandwiches while we were there alone!

    We sat ourselves and I quickly knew what I wanted – Pork BBQ Banh Mi and Pho Tai (thinly sliced beef that actually cooks in the soup).

    First things first, we recieved our garnishment plate for our Pho.  It was full of bean sprouts, lime wedges and Thai Basil – yum!

    Next, came my Pork BBQ Banh Mi – delicious!

    Finally, the Pho Tai.  I like to add about a tblpsn or so of sriracha and a little bit of hoisin sauce.  I also flavor it with fresh lime, jalapenos and basil.

    What a great meal!  We were quite full until much later in the day.

    Other scrumptious things that are on the menu at Quoc Huong that we’ve tried include the vermicelli bowls, spring rolls, hot tea and bubble tea.

    We have come in before where the sandwiches had run out for the day so if you’re determined to have Banh Mi, you may want to call ahead!

    Quoc Huong
    M-W: 9-8
    Thurs: Closed
    F, Sat, Sun: 9-9

    5150 Buford Hwy NE
    Atlanta, GA 30340

    Happy Eating!