Wednesday, September 19, 2012

twenty four

Well gang, I’m 24!

The end of summer means marks the end of an age for me, and this year I rang in 24 for an entire 72-hour weekend. I’ve said it the past few years, so I’ll say it again: It was the best birthday yet. Thanks so much, my dear Chris, birthday buddy Thomson, and all of our amazing friends, for planning, plotting, and partying every step of the way.

Friday (Thomson’s birthday) night, we had a fun little sushi dinner at Genki in Virginia-Highland, then partied like we were Thomson all night long.

Birthday Buddies
Da gurrrls
Saturday, we woke up bright and early and headed to the Chattahoochee River to “Shoot the Hooch”. We each got our own tube (even the cooler had its own), and tied them all together in a circle, with the cooler in the middle, of course, and set sail. It was a beautiful day, and despite a few minor wrecks and flips, everything went pretty smoothly.

That night, we headed to the Fox to catch Old Crow Medicine Show and The Lumineers. I’ve been a huge fan of Old Crow for a long time, and recently got in to the Lumineers. Both bands put on an amazing folk-tatsic show. Man they’re talented! Here are a couple of my favorites.

Sunday (my birthday day) couldn’t have been better. Chris and I had Cameli’s pizza and Zesto’s milkshakes, watched Gossip Girl on Netflix, then went shopping for a little bit. That evening, we went up to Thomson’s sweet Mom’s house for dinner. She had an awesome spread for us, complete with sushi and edamame apps, and grilled farmer’s market goodness for dinner. I especially loved her veggies. My favorites were the grilled eggplant with feta on top, and the grilled okra. I probably shouldn’t, because it will never be as good, but I definitely want to them at home.

After a long, awesome weekend...

So I have another grilling recipe to share, but I have to admit that we’ve been using the grill so much for two main reasons. First, it keeps the heat of cooking and the mess outside. Second, I thought I broke our oven for a while.  Hehe. Turns out it’s fine, but anyway, we’re back with another edition of Katy & Chris grill stuff!

This time, we tried Pork Tenderloin on the grill because, you guessed it, it was on sale. Worked out beautifully, besides the whole getting the grill-started part. Instead of our usual Teaspoon Tenderloin recipe, we decided to switch things up! Here’s the recipe we started with.

 Grilled Brown sugar + Balsamic Pork

1.5ish lb. pork tenderloin
1/2 cup GF Soy sauce
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 cup brown sugar

1. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.

2. Add the pork and cover. Refrigerate. Let it marinade for at least an hour, and up to 24 hours.

3. Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
4. Once the grill is heated, place the tenderloin on the grill and grill the first side for around 5 minutes.

5. After 5 minutes, roll the tenderloin onto the next side and grill for another 5 minutes. You know the drill now, 5 minutes per side.

7. Allow the tenderloin to rest on a platter for about 10 minutes before you slice into it.

We had it with some green peas and our favorite Butternut Squash Risotto. Chris and I really like the charred flavor you get from grilling, so there’s more where this came from while the weather is still nice.

We ate off of the china, ate at our little table, and it was a great night. And great leftovers the next day.

See ya, 23.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Foil & Favorites

I feel like I say this every month, but August really was one long jam-packed party. Before we get to the next few, we had a little break in festivities and actually got back to real life for a minute.

As crazy as things have been, we’ve probably eaten out more than we like should, and eaten stupid meals like pasta with red sauce dumped on top wayyy more than we’d like. With that being said, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite Atlanta Gluten-free friendly quick-bite restaurants. Most of these we found on accident, so get ready for some of the best kept GF secrets ever.

Cameli’s Pizza: I don’t remember exactly how we discovered this little gem. I think I was googling gluten-free pizza places in Atlanta or something. They have the most delicious gluten-free crust ever, and their “specialty” pies are loaded with all of my favorite foods/toppings like artichoke hearts, spinach, tomatoes, feta cheese, etc. It’s hard for me to pick just one. It’s also great because non-gluten free folks (Chris) like it too! A location just opened right around the corner from our house in Little 5 Points…we’re excited.

What I get: My favorite right now is the Smart Pie, which has sun-dried tomato sauce, spinach, roasted potatoes (weird, I know!), roasted red peppers, and gorgonzola cheese. I’m not a huge red pepper fan, so I replace those with artichoke hearts. A 10” is $8.50 + 2 bucks for the gluten-free crust. I can eat it for lunch and dinner, so $10.50 for two meals ain’t half bad.

Victory Sandwich Bar: This little Inman Park spot is super fun, and we initially came for the drinks. They have some awesome cocktails and a great front porch, so we love walking up there and meeting friends. I’d heard that they had great food, but since it’s a sandwich place, I assumed it was a no-go for me. I was looking on the Pure Knead website, which is a gluten-free bakery in Atlanta, and noticed that their products were featured at Victory! Chris had tried it before and loved it, so we finally went together, and I’m so glad we did.  The sandwiches are just your run of the mill Turkey clubs. The ingredients are fresh and delicious, and they all sound amazing and right up my alley. Their sandwiches are little, so you can get two different ones…how perfect. OH, and we saw Owen Wilson there. Yep, we’re famous.

What I get: I’ve gotten something different every time, but my favorites so far are The Hambo and The Mile High Club. The Hambo is prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula, apple, and reduced balsamic. The Mile High is smoked turkey, bacon, ham (which I go without), avocado, fontina cheese, and Dijon mustard (which I also do away with).

Yeah! Burger: I think we’ve mentioned this place before, but it’s totally worth mentioning again. We love everything about it from the grass-fed beef to the organic toppings options to the sweet potato fries. And not to mention everything has a GF option. Another side-note…they have an awesome frequent eater rewards program thing. Members get a $10 credit for their birthday, and points that turn into free side items and stuff. Awesome.

What I get: Again, I change it up here a lot. I haven’t had anything I didn’t like. If I had to pick a favorite, I guess I’d have to say the grass-fed beef burger with Swiss cheese, grilled onions, tomatoes, and sliced avocado on a GF bun. Then we like to split a side of sweet potato fries. YUM.

As much as we like eating out, I don’t need to explain how expensive it can get, and how eating at home is way healthier. Have no fear; we’ve cooked some too.

I’ve been really into grilling out, and I’m getting more comfortable with it each time we do it.  Our grill is a little janky, and let's just say we struggled the first few times we grilled on our own. A while back, we tried foil-packet cooking with pork chops. The whole process fascinates me. The meat and veggies turned out equally delicious and tender, and the clean up was too simple for words. So we decided to try grilling foil packets. We based it off of the first foil packet recipe we used, but pretty much made it up as we went.

Foil packet Grilled Chicken, Broccoli, & Corn


3 Boneless-skinless chicken breasts (ours were pre-seasoned & on SALE!)
1-2 heads of broccoli
3 ears of corn in husks.
BBQ sauce (we love Sweet Baby Ray’s)

Preheat the grill to about 500° or 600°.

Place the corn directly on the grill. They’ll take the longest to cook.

Cut 3 sheets of foil about 18 inches long, and then fold them in half. Or you can use one layer of heavy-duty foil if you have it.

Place one chicken breast in the center of each piece of foil.

Wash and cut the broccoli, then place a medium sized chuck next to each piece of chicken.

Squirt the desired amount of BBQ sauce on each piece of chicken and even the broccoli if you’d like.

Fold and seal the packets, leaving room inside of the packet for steaming.

Once the grill is ready, place the packets on the grill for 20 -25 minutes. The corn should be good to go by this time as well.

Cut the chicken breasts in half to be sure they’re no longer pink in the middle.

The chicken and veggies were super moist and tender and had great grill flavor. We didn’t put anything on our corn, but adding a little butter and salt would probably be tasty too. We added a little extra BBQ sauce to our plates for dipping purposes as well.

We ate off of the china, and our plates of food were beautiful inside and out. The meal was fantastic! And clean up was a breeze. We’re excited to grill out more this fall, especially veggies. Cooking in foil has endless possibilities; so stay tuned for change-ups in the future.