Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ode to Mr. Rogers

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, 
A beautiful day in the neighborhood, 
Won't you be mine?
Won't you be mine?

Admit it, you're singing along...who wouldn't? A childhood classic burned in our minds. 

I feel this way about my endearing little neighborhood. We have a charming town square and are affectionately referred to as the "Jonquil City of the South." Needless to say, spring is breathtaking. There are cute little pubs and nail salons and green spaces and farmer's markets and plenty of houses of worship to go around (we are in the South, after all). 

But, my favorite place is a precious little bakery that has been calling my neighborhood home since the 1940s: McEntyre's Bakery

Now, I've lived in Smyrna for 6 years, and have driven by McEntyre's countless times wondering to myself, "I wonder if that place is any good?" The bakery is nearly across the street from my favorite boutique gift shop, Heart & Soul, where I just can't seem to stay out of trouble. (Good thing there isn't a hubby checking up on me!)

Finally, one day about a year ago, I had heard from a neighbor that she gets all her baked goods there, so I stopped in to see what it was all about. 

So. Adorable. And. Yummy. 

It has become a regular weekend stop for me (thankfully for my hips, it's not on my route to work). Not only do they have amazing cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pies, you name it...but they have a lunch special with homemade everything, a side and a drink for el cheapo. 

My selection du jour: chicken salad on a butter croissant with rockin' potato salad on the side. 

And the most mind-blowing strawberry chocolate cake truffle you've ever tasted. Ever. 


I love this place. (Coincidentally, they also made the most adorable cake for me with a picture of Noah's Ark on it for my Flood Party, celebrating the survival of my aqua disaster last year.)

If you're ever in the area, this is the place to be on Saturday afternoon. Fair warning: watch out for soccer moms and dads with their teams grabbing a bite after the big game. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Last Resort

Have you ever come home from a long day at work to see this waiting for you? (Go ahead, don't be ashamed, nod your head.)

Or this...

This was my reality tonight. Inspiring, isn't it? I know.

Actually, it forced me to get in touch with my inner creative genius (insert laughter here) and whip up something worthy of a James Beard award. Well, ok, that's a little ridiculous, but here's what I managed:

The egg. It it perhaps the most under-rated food ever. I mean, they are like the perfect pair of can dress them up or you can dress them down.

I dressed them...

with cheese. And let's face it. Who couldn't use a little more protein?

Ina (I speak of her like she's my next door neighbor) taught me how to make the perfect scrambled eggs. I mean perfect - not too wet and not too dry.

You start with a little pat of butter and let it melt nicely in a nonstick pan. Add your eggs that have been whisked up with a little milk or cream and salt and pepper. Then, with a rubber spatula, just keep it moving slowly and constantly, while occasionally scraping the sides until the eggs are not runny anymore.

It will change your life. I mean it.

To top off my scrambled egg delight, I added a little whole wheat toast and sweet fruit.

Yes, that is a hamburger bun. Don't judge. (It was in the pantry and needed to be used...and the bread had green stuff on it.)

Mighty satisfying if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Do you ever go through periods where you just don't really want to cook anything? I'm there.


For dinner tonight, I heated up leftover rigatoni with meat sauce that has been in my freezer since last month. Frozen leftovers - a welcome convenience, don't get me wrong. After all, it enabled me to do what I really wanted to do. Sit on the couch and watch my DVR episodes of "Bethenny Ever After" and "Hart of Dixie."

Don't judge.

There is part of me that really longs to have that desire to cook right now. There is such good spring produce and delectable items that I could whip up. A Saturday morning trip to the farmer's market with these goodies in my bag:

There are tons of recipes I want to try. No shortage of those, no sir-ee. I keep telling myself I'm going to find an amazing quinoa recipe...and I pin bajillions of them on Pinterest. I do, really.

And, I'm trying desperately to renew my couponing passion.(If saving money can't motivate a girl, we have some serious concerns here.) So far, that just results in piles of paper sitting on my kitchen table for weeks until they expire and I finally give them a proper burial in the recycling bin.

I've even purchased new cookbooks to inspire myself...

But, I'm stuck.

Here's to getting unstuck...cheers.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Delights

Preamble:  Hello my friends. I have missed you. The truth is, that there have been some things brewing these past few months that kept me from relishing in my foodie obsession, much to my dismay and displeasure. I will spare you all the details, but the past months have kind of thrown me for a loop. I'm working on getting back in the mood for food and hope to post lots more very soon!

This Easter was an especially delightful holiday for me. I don't know that there is one specific reason, but I was much more sentimental and spiritual than usual. Maybe it's because here in the South, we've been overwhelmed by beautiful azaleas, flowers popping up in all the colors of a rainbow and yes, covered in pollen, for the past month now.

Or, perhaps it was the sight of the amazing cross covered in flowers on the lawn of my church on Easter Sunday.

Or the Easter cupcakes.

Or, maybe it's my new car! (Well, it's technically used, but it still has that "new car" smell.)

These past weeks, I have just really been enjoying the little things. I've had some really good glasses of wine (and a few glasses of bubbly sprinkled in for good measure). I've eaten the fruits of spring...asparagus, strawberries, jelly beans (well, these are the fruit of Brach's, but hey). My sunroof has been down at every possible moment. I've taken the scenic route anywhere possible. I've turned the music up a little louder and sang my heart out. I've walked Max outside instead of walking myself on the treadmill. I've read books for pure pleasure, and I've sat on the porch admiring my mini garden of hostas and caladiums and ferns.

It has truly been delightful! And this season particularly, I am grateful because I know that I am so blessed. With family, friends, provision, dreams, hopes, desires, passions. That makes every moment delightful.