fiddlehead definition

fid·dle·head [ fídd'l hèd ] (plural fid·dle·heads) noun
Definition: edible fern shoot: the coiled frond of a young fern, often cooked and eaten as a delicacy

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Field of Greens 2011

Field of Greens is one of my favorite festivals of the year in Georgia and it is this Sunday, October 2nd. Celebrating the farmer and the chef, it always has a stellar lineup.  Look at this year's participating restaurants:

Ron Eyester - Rosebud, The Family Dog
Robert Phalen - One Eared Stag, Holy Taco
Jay Swift - 4th & Swift
Stephen Herman - Haven
Matt Swickerath - Valenza
Dave Larkworthy - 5 Seasons Brewing Company
Eddie Hernandez - Taqueria del Sol
Justin Burdett - Miller Union
Matt Palmerlee - Farm 255
Terry Koval - Farm Burger
Linton Hopkins - Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House
Dave Roberts - Community Q BBQ
Eric Ottensmeyer - Leon's Full Service
Cathy Conway - Avalon Catering
EJ Hodgkinson - Woodfire Grill
Linda Harrell - Cibo E Beve
Justin Keith - Food 101
Ford Fry - JCT Kitchen
Drew Belline - No. 246
Lance Gummere - The Shed at Glenwood
Ryan Smith - Empire State South
Chris Hall - Local Three
Todd Mussman - Muss & Turner's
Duane Nutter - One Flew South
Marc Taft - Chicken and the Egg
Drew Van Leuvan - One Midtown Kitchen
Joe Schafer - Parish
Janine Falvo - Briza
Lisa Slater - Dal Cuore Market & Restaurant
Ryan Tittle - Brick Store Pub
Megan McCarthy - Healthy Eating 101

The weather looks to be incredible (just like last year) for a day at  Whippoorwill Hollow Farm, a 74-acre working organic farm located in Walnut Grove, just north of Covington and an easy 45 minute drive east of Atlanta. 

from etsy

Check out the Farmers Market area:

Little Tart Bakeshop (baked goods)
Antico Mercante (cheeses)
Pine Street Market (artisan meats)
Cafe Campesino (coffee)
Phickles Pickles (pickles)--save me some wedgies.
King of Pops (popsicles)
Nature's Garden Delivered (vegetable home delivery service)
High Road Craft Ice Cream (ice cream)---word on the street isthat they are bringing this:  Tastes like Bourbon with Dark Chocolate Chunks and a touch of sweet handmade Praline. oh. my.
Goodness Gracious Granola (granola)
Indigo Bath & Body (soaps)
Little Red Hen Bakeshop (baked goods)
Fairywood Thicket (jams)
Kriya Kitchen (cookies)
Jittery Joe's Coffee (coffee)
Decimal Place Farm (goat cheese)
David Jeffries Kitchen (biscotti)
Madeline Burdine Jewelry (jewelry)
Cirkelfish Studio (clay)
Back to the Roots (mushroom growing kits)
Songbird Soaps (soaps)
Garlic Clove Foods (quinoa dishes)
sugar-coated radical (chocolates)
Farmer D Organics (gardening supplies)
Great Cupcake Company (cupcakes)
Emily G's (jams)
Sustenance Design (sustainable & edible landscape design)
Beautiful Briny Sea (organic herb salts)
Dal Cuore Market (local food marketplace)
OmniGreen Life/Gia Film Productions ("Frequency of Genius" movie)


Whipporwill Hollow Organic Farm
Moore Farms & Friends
Morningside Farmers Market
Double B Farm
Darby Farms
Mills Farm's Red Mule Grits
McMullan Family Farm


Besmaid Garden Essentials, Decatur
Third Angel Farm, Stone Mountain
Burge Organic Farm, Mansfield
Heirloom Gardens, Cumming
Love is Love Farm, Decatur
Crack in the Sidewalk Farmlet, Atlanta
Native Sun Farm, Bogart
Front Field Farm, Covington
Truly Living Well, Atlanta
Riverview Farms, Ranger
Whippoorwill Hollow Farm, Walnut Grove
Dillwood Farms, Loganville
Umurima (Burundi Women's Farm), Decatur

Get tickets now. Here

This year they have added The F' n' Chef Competition -- an Iron Chef-like competition that will take place in the middle of the day next to the Chef Tent. Three chefs will be selected for the competition. The chefs will be given a secret ingredient and then they will need to prepare a dish using that ingredient and those items from the small food pantry to be stocked by Whole Foods. The dish will be scored by five judges and the F' n' Chef 2011 winner declared.
Competing Chefs: Terry Koval (Farm Burger), Nick Melvin (Rosebud) and Eric Ottensmeyer (Leon's Full Service).

Judges: Will Harris (White Oak Pastures Owner/Rancher), Tom Maicon (Food & Beer Atlanta Publisher) Andrew Sasser (Whole Foods Regional Prepared Foods Coordinator), Julie Shaffer (Slow Food USA Southern Regional Governor) and a judge to be identified soon.

Emcee: Mara Davis of Dave-FM. (how cool is that?)

See you Sunday!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A night of cocktails with Our Libatious Nature

On a hot summers night I met up with friends, including Nicky & Katruska of Our Libatious Nature to celebrate a friend with hand crafted cocktails from some of Atlanta's finest spots. First stop, The Iberian Pig
The Iberian Old-Fashioned
Bacon-infused rye whiskey,brown sugar, molasses, Angostura bitters, Peychaud's bitters, orange and lemon twists
I loved the big hunk of ice and the smokiness of the rye. We ordered a plate of Pinchos de Cerdo - Slow roasted pork tenderloin pate, pistachio, golden raisins, goat cheese, roasted tomato, lavender honey, served on toasted bread to nibble on.

The New York Robusto Manhattan
This is way beyond your average Manhattan. This off menu cocktail is perhaps my second favorite cocktail I have ever had. Their secret is a combination of two house made bourbons: a Robusto cigar infused bourbon and a smoke shop bourbon with citrus and spices. The bourbons are mixed with vermouth, Angustura bitters and lavender honey on the rim of the glass. Them stem of my glass was wrapped with strips of cigar leaf, a simple addition that added so much to the experience, as you could smell the aroma with each sip. With this we enjoyed bacon wrapped dates stuffed with Manchego cheese and walnuts...and then we ordered another plate of them.

Seelbach and Ramos gin fizz
A night at Leon's Full Service with Miles Macquarrie crafting behind the bar can be magical. It is fun (when it is not busy) to ask him to create something for you off the menu. On this evening the place was packed so I ordered the special on the board, The Seelbach. It was a wise choice. The bourbon, contreau, bitters and champagne topper was a mixture my palate had never tasted. This is the best part of cocktails, the unexpected delight of flavors bouncing off one another. We ordered (of course) bacon in a glass and a bucket of fries with curry dipping sauce. These are musts in my mind when visiting Leon's. In front of my drink is a friend's Ramos gin fizz. If you ever want to hear the history of this drink visit Tom at Prohibition. He makes a great one and as he does you will get a lively told history lesson.

The Pineapple Express
Last stop, Top Flr. We had a cozy booth across from the bar so we could watch Brian Stanger in action. I would love to have organized recall of what we ordered but this was our last stop of many. I remember someone had a Strange Horse (ahem @MrAtlanta) and someone had a Half Shell that was similar to a Pimm's cup. I ordered jokingly the cocktail Brian made for Attack of the Killer Tomato fest. Ask and you shall receive because there it is in all its loveliness, The Pineapple Express. It was gone very quickly as was the Tuna Tartar on Sardinian Flat Bread with Thai Miso Pesto, Avocado, and Lime Aioli. I wish Top Flr was open for lunch because I crave this on a daily basis now.

Visit the blog Our Libations Nature if you enjoy a good cocktail or the history behind their creation. It's a heck of a blog. I am hoping to bring Nicky and Katruska to the Boom Boom Shaboom Glitter Room Speakeasy someday to show off their mixology skills.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Don't tell me coffee is bad for me

Photo taken an Empire State South
Foam artisans, huh?

Last month I tweeted that I was out of coffee and it was an emergency. Three days later a package arrived in the mail from Dean's Beans Organic and Fair Trade Coffee Company. I don't know who sent this to me but I am grateful and am now a huge fan Of Dean's Beans. Go to their page and read about the company-- Organic, shade grown, Kosher, fair-trade AND tastes great. I love that my beans were roasted and shipped on the same day. The superiority of these beans to the familiar coffe shop bag I had on hand was huge.  The Sumatran French roast was deep, dark, very earthy and a bit spicy.  Thank you anonymous friend who sent me the gift of Dean's Beans.

Next I want to try the Marrakesh Express which is described here:
"The fruity taste of wild-harvested Ethiopian Sidamo blended with the passionate bite of Timor make for a strong and mysterious brew. Feel the rhythms in the corners of your mouth ."

I googled and found that I can pick up Dean's Beans right here in Atlanta at Grant Park Coffeehouse
It feels great to purchase coffee and support a company that does so much good. After a bit a research on coffee consumption it also feels great for my health.  Here are the bullet points of the benefits of drinking coffee:
  • lowers the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease (Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (Volume 16:1).
  • lowers the risk of liver cancer and protects one from Cirrhosis (Archives of Internal Medicine)
  • diverts Type 2 Diabetes (Archives of Internal Medicine)
  • protects your heart by lowering the risk of strokes
  • lowers the rate of age related cognitive decline (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition)
  • helps with digestion
  • reduces gallstones
  • increases fiber intake( about 1.8 grams of fiber per cup)
  • gives load of antioxidants (more per serving than blueberries), including flavonoids that protect against cardiovascular disease by reducing oxidation of LDL cholesterol
  • cuts post workout muscle pain by 48% (Journal of Pain 2007)
  • boosts brain power by boosting the activity of brain cells
  • it's delicious (I added this one. My own scientific theory)

franks and beans

(image from

“Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table.”Charles Pierre Monselet (1825-1888)
Whenever I am feeling nostalgic and missing my dad, I feel like making pork and beans. This simple dish is pure magic for me. We had these rituals, he and I. Together on weekend afternoons we sometimes made pork and beans. No, we didn't soak beans and render pork. We opened cans and used condiments. He especially liked to use Heinz baked beans "because they are English." So, we would open a couple of cans and he would talk about the army. Each time we cooked I heard a new story but he always talked about eating canned beans and how he had perfected seasoning them. He would ask me to hand him the ketchup, the mustard (plain yellow, not the fancy stuff), pepper, brown sugar and sometimes even vinegar. We would pour, shake, taste and adjust until it was just right. Then he would cut hot dogs using surgical scissors and toss them in the pot which would simmer until lunch. We would sit together, talk and laugh. When I try to think about all the important moments of my life, my wedding, the births of my children, etc. I feel this ranks right there and I didn't even know it at the time. I hope that my children and I are creating these food memories as well. They seem to stick, much like pork and beans sticks to the ribs.

This is the power of food. The best meals don't always come from Michelin stars but are remembered so deliciously because of the moment in time and the company.  When I need to journey back in time I just need a couple of cans and some condiments.