Brunch OOTD

Green Jessica Simpson Dress- Dillard's Cork sling back Wedges- Goodee2shoes Earrings & Bracelets- Gems and Baubles

Green Jessica Simpson Dress- Dillard’s
Cork sling back Wedges- Goodee2shoes
Earrings & Bracelets- Gems and Baubles

 

 

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All That Glitters Ain’t Gold

So in appreciation of all the time energy and MONEY we spent on their marriage, my son and his wife invited us, the parents, to have brunch with them at the Georgian Terrace. I was overly excited,it has been somewhere I wanted to go since I moved to Georgia. The Georgian Terrace is on of Atlanta’s Historic sites first opening it’s doors in 1911. I knew we would be in for a treat…..but all that glitters ain’t gold.

The Up View of the lobby in the Georgian Terrace

The Up View of the lobby in the Georgian Terrace

We were to have lunch at their restaurant/bar …The Livingston. It was beautiful….historic with a modern flare

Table for Four with a view

Table for Four with a view

But that was where all the glitter started to lose it’s shine.  I still don’t know our waiters name but let’s just say he left a lot to be desired.  I was excited to see on the menu ( view Menu)Sweet Potato Donuts ( anyone that knows me knows that anything with sweet potato as an ingredient is going to be on my radar). We placed an order for the donuts to start with our teas and coffee and then ordered our brunch. There were 2 orders of the Livingston Omelet, 1 for the Black Truffle Omelet, 1 Double Cheeseburger, 1 Mini Quiche Lorraine and 1 Chicken Monte Crisco.

Menu

Menu

Sweet Potato Donut

Sweet Potato Donut

The Livingston Omelet with a side of  breakfast potatoes

The Livingston Omelet with a side of breakfast potatoes

Mini Quiche Lorraine with a shaved salad

Mini Quiche Lorraine with a shaved salad

Double Cheese Burger with house made potato chips

Double Cheese Burger with house made waffle potato chips

My meal for the afternoon.... Chicken Monte Cristo

My meal for the afternoon….
Chicken Monte Cristo

Now the presentations were nice but the tastes fell short.  The sweet potato donuts were okay as a yeast donut but wasn’t enough sweet potato for it to carry it as a main ingredient. The omelet that my husband and son had both tasted way too salty. My son’s father-in-law’s double cheeseburger was over cooked ( actually he said it was burned along the edges) and his mother-in-law felt her quiche was just “alright”.  As for me and my Chicken Monte Cristo, well, let’s just say the brioche bread was the best thing about the sandwich.  It came off pretty mediocre.  We all agreed that their potato products were really good.  The house made waffle chips, the breakfast potatoes and the french fries were well done and very enjoyable. I really had high hopes for the meal here but my feelings were dashed.  I hope it was that the chef was having a bad day but i will never know cause I’m not moved to visit them again.

 

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Mother of the Groom

motherofthegroom

Gown: Ralph Lauren Nordstrom’s Necklace, Earrings, Bracelet & Clutch: Gems and Baubles Hair: Chic Strands Make-Up: Shalawn Architect Beauty Wilis

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And so I’m back….

So I’ve been gone for a minute….more like an hour…okay, okay….It’s been a few months but no worries I’m back. I never stopped cooking or experimenting with new recipes or styling new clothes….I’ve just been living life and well…not really documenting it. Since last I’ve written I managed to quit my job, start planning for my son’s rehearsal Dinner and Wedding (which both of his siblings are in…$$), re-launched my business Gems and Baubles (check out the website www.GemsNBaubles.com)and celebrated yet another year on this earth. I turned 42 this month and I think I look damned good for it(just my opinion)

cass pool

Poolside at The W Hotel Midtown wearing Bathing Suit Lane Bryants Cover-up Gems and Baubles Straw Hat Gems and Baubles

I plan  to do a whole lot better with my postings but always gonna keep on living life to it’s fullest.

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A Quickie…..Crab Bisque

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The Crab Bisque at Nordstrom’s Bistro Cafe has me wanting more. It’s the kind of soup that leaves you scraping the bottom of the bowl. I had a cup with my lunch today. Can we say ”YUM”? It’s served with what they call a gazpacho and a parmesan crostini. The gazpacho was a brilliant addition to the soup. The acidity of the tomatoes helped to cut the richness of the soup making it the perfect blend. If you’re lucky enough to have a Nordstrom’s near I highly recommend stopping by the Bistro Cafe and ordering a bowl (not the cup) of Crab Bisque.

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Is the Doctor In???

So many people knock using jar sauce…well I use jar sauce.  I don’t have the time to make sauce from scratch, so I do the next best thing…. I doctor up a jar of sauce. Now you may be asking what do I mean by doctoring a jar of sauce?  Well we can compare it to surgery…we just aren’t cutting up any people.  First things first you’re gonna need a jar of sauce. I went with Ragu because it was on sale.

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Now here’s where the cutting begins.  I started by dicing onions, bell peppers and portabella mushrooms.

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I then took about a pound of ground beef and browned it off. Added some sausage and some diced bacon.

IMAG1044After I added the diced vegetables along with a can of diced tomatoes ( you see I like a chunky sauce).

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Now what most people don’t understand about cooking is that it is not a true science. It’s about what you like and how it makes you feel.  You have to find out what works for you and your palette and make it WORK.

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I love, love , love a lot of garlic ( especially in Italian food). Maybe that doesn’t work for you ( guess what don’t add it).  After that’s done I added the jar of sauce and began a prescription of seasonings. Thyme, crushed pepper flakes, kosher salt, black pepper, dried Italian herbs and some slow simmering……

Sauce fit for a king

Sauce fit for a king

Let your imagination and your taste buds run free when trying to doctor a jar of sauce.  maybe you want to add just vegetables,,,, diced or shredded zucchini, carrots, spinach, sweet peas or maybe you want to try adding seafood, or alternative to ground beef…It’s all up to you.

Now because I’m always taking it to the next level I decided I would doctor the pasta, too.   I used thin spaghetti cooked according to to package directions.  Then I sauteed garlic with red pepper flakes in olive oil, making sure not to burn the garlic ( nothing worst than the taste of burned garlic)

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Then I added the pasta with some of the cooking water and minced parsley. Time to serve it up

IMAG1053Go buy a jar of sauce and get to doctoring.

BCJ2U

 

 

 

 

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A Day Off??

So what does a retired chef, fashionista who has returned to the work force in retail do on her day off?  Well I know most would say sleep….Hell I planned for SLEEP but that was not in my future for my day off.  Apparently when it’s your day off you have to get everything you weren’t able to get done, done. ( had it really been that long since I’ve punched someone’s time clock?)  All the things you are too tired to do after work needs to be accomplished. Like laundry, unless you don’t mind wearing dirty clothes (please don’t stand beside me if you do). I did over 3 loads not including sheets and towels. All for the sake of looking, smelling and feeling good.

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At this point I am truly feeling sleepy but there was so much more for me to do. Time to prep dinner so that when I finally get that sleep in it’s one less thing I have to worry about. Steak & peppers it is or was .  Sliced bell peppers, onions and seasoned my beef and stored them in the fridge until later.

Not quite what i did but you get the picture

Not quite what i did but you get the picture

Well since my mind was on food I decided to research my next food attempts.  Do you know how easily you lose track of time while surfing the internet.  Only to have it interrupted  by the plea of a child that needs to be picked up from her La-cross game ( hey wasn’t Dad supposed to do that?) off I went to wait on her bus. Thank God the bus beat me there so it wasn’t a long wait.

Ok it's only one kid but that's how i was feeling at the time

Ok it’s only one kid but that’s how i was feeling at the time

On my way in I remembered that I was supposed to pick up something at he supermarket. Conveniently….I forgot the list.  So I had to go off memory (not a good thing for those that know me).  After getting everything I could remember I head to check out only to realize I didn’t have my wallet.  Did I just waste time on my precious day off? Thank God that not only was my wallet in the car but they hadn’t put my groceries back. Winning (it’s the little things).

how I must've looked to the cashier

how I must’ve looked to the cashier

After unloading and putting away groceries I realized that I hadn’t cooked dinner.  The whole getting some sleep was no where on the radar for me.  Good thing I had already prepped.  Whipped up some steamed rice with steak and peppers.  And no there are no pics of it either.  Have you not realized the trend in this post? None of the pictures are ones that I have taken.  It was supposed to be my day off.  Let’s just say I finally made it to bed that night after 12am.

Ahh Sleep

Ahh Sleep

Thank God I had another day off…. back to back…wait I forgot I booked a jewelry show.  There goes that day off…..too

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Fat Tuesday

Okay so this post is a tad bit late…like a week late but I have committed to writing it and so I shall.

This year National Pancake Day fell on Fat Tuesday…how cool was that. Every year I participate in IHOP’s fundraiser for The Children’s Miracle Network with my kids.  They give away a short stack while collecting donations for the group.  My date that morning was my oldest child, Akeem. Nothing like some Mother-Son time : )

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We enjoyed a lovely breakfast together and helped a good cause while we were at it.

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Now the start of my day was good…pancakes and family..I’d say that was an excellent start to Fat Tuesday but it got better as the day went on. You see I was to have lunch with one of my inner circle( what I call my handful of TRUE friends).  Now I know some of the most fun loving, life enjoying people and Nykki Burkes is one of them.  For our lunch together I made Panko-Parmesan Encrusted Cod with a Brown Rice Pilaf and Steamed Broccoli. Now I tried to share the ease of making this dish with her but she was more interested in eating it than actually learning how to make it…gotta love Nykki

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We chatted about new things, old things, lives she saved while flying and all the things that make being a flight attendant great and …..not so great. She had made some great plans for the rest of our day and I was looking forward to it. We decided to add one more to person to the mix (another inner circle member) my sister-in-law Sandy.  We were definitely going to have fun whether we wanted to or not. Our first stop on Nykki’s agenda was a restaurant in the Inman Park area of Atlanta named Parish. I loved it from the moment we pulled up to the building. It’s the only remaining building from a 1890’s pipe factory. It had been restored to show off the building’s  great structure and turned into a restaurant.

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We went to Parish to enjoy some wine and that we did….along with a tasting from their small plates.We sampled the Pan-Fried Pierogis, the Black Truffle Grilled Cheese and the Rosemary-Garlic Fries.  Let’s just say I’m definitely looking forward to a return visit. Learn more about the restaurant, their menu and extensive wine list at Parish

Sparkling Rose` Wine

Sparkling Rose` Wine

 

Pierogis

Pierogis

Black Truffle Grilled Cheese

Black Truffle Grilled Cheese

Rosemary Garlic Fries

Rosemary Garlic Fries

Our next stop on the Fat Tuesday train was Kat’s Cafe for Comedy Night.  We had a wonderful host who kept in real and had us laughing all night.  The drink special for the night was the Summertime Martini so we had a round or two…not bad for a special but Sandy ordered a Juke Joint and she said it had a nice kick to it. What we learned….drink special aren’t as strong as the other drinks they make( if you’re into strong drinks).  We, of course, ordered something to eat…..the Bayou Pizza.  It was soooo good. The toppings included tilapia, shrimp, onions & bell peppers with the right amount of spiciness…I would order that again.  Check out Kat’s Cafe they have something going on every night of the week.

Bayou Pizza $ Summertime Martini

Bayou Pizza $ Summertime Martini

Well my Fat Tuesday was a blast with great people.  Sandy & Nykki can’t wait until next time.

 

 

 

 

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The Chef In Pearls

Cassandra Mason is a Lifestyle Chef and Gourmet Cooking Instructor who enjoys demystifying the art of cooking for One. You can catch her live demonstrations across major social media as @TheChefInPearls.

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