Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Co Op: Cousins Dine(r)

There are five of us. Cousins. We all grew up together, more like brothers and sisters, and all of us would agree that our fondest memories all revolve around our grandparents. We spent most afternoons in their yard together. We are now grownups, parents, husbands, wives, and spread out but we jump at any chance to be together. Today we got to have an impromptu lunch thanks to Grandpa. We met at Thumbs Up Diner in Roswell.

Of course, we were having so much fun that I forgot to take pictures of the food before it was all gone.

But I did get pictures of family. The cutest of all being twins James and David:

My grandfather paying the bill. We call him Santa Clause this time of year as his generosity bubbles over.

And my grandparents holding hands:

So pull up a stool and have a coke.
And don't forget to order the Chicken and Waffles! We give them two thumbs up!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Go Eat This: Artichoke Pakoras

Restaurant: Vermilion
City: Chicago
Chef: Maneet Chauhan

Artichoke Pakoras: Fried artichoke hearts with jalapenos and a curry dipping sauce laced with pomegranate reduction. So good we had to order another plate!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Imperial Fez

We don't have many options when it comes to Moroccan food in Atlanta. I have searched for it ever since I spent time abroad in France and loved tender lamb served with couscous and garbonzo beans found in many restaurants. The major place to find such a dish in the city is Imperial Fez. This is not just a restaurant but a total dining experience.
I first went to Imperial Fez for my 16th birthday and years later ventured back for my first and very favorite New Years Eve with my husband. It has been 10 years since then and we went back this weekend to see if much had changed. The place was packed. Not an empty seat, or in this case pillow on the floor, could be found.

After taking off our shoes and tucking them away on shelves inside the front door, we were led to our place on the floor where we lounged against giant pillows. After washing our hands over a beautiful sterling bowl with hot poured lemon water, we embarked on our tour of Morocco through our five course meal. We started with Harrira Moroccan Lentil soup served with honey toasted bread. We moved on to Moroccan Salads that contained roasted eggplant, spiced carrots and raisins, cucumber, beans, and much more. Then came my favorite part and the dish I still remember from being 16. It is a pastry wrapped around ground beef, raisins,nuts, and spices and finely dusted with powdered sugar. Delicious and perfectly savory and sweet. Around this time the lights dimmed and we watched as belly dancers filled the room, spinning and dancing. Finally we chose our entrees of Cornish Hen Tangine served with apricots, ginger, saffron, honey and almonds for my husband. I enjoyed the Lamb Tangine with 32 aromatic spices, onions, raisins, and almonds.

We had eaten way too much to partake of the final dessert course of Mint Tea and Fruit Pastries but our waitress gladly wrapped them up in a to go box for us to enjoy later.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Co Op: Imitating Proenza Schouler

I opened my email this week to find a message from Jacqueline entitled "Can we please have a craft day and make these". She directed me to the blog
She referred to their November 16th entry about the amazing Proenza Schouler necklaces from their Resort 2011 collection. Here is the inspiration:

These inventive girls gave step by step instructions on how to make our own versions of these colorful necklaces. So we set a date, shopped at Walmart, Lowes, and Hobby Lobby for our supplies and got to work.

Here are several photos of my necklace in various stages. All in all I was pretty happy with the outcome. It did take quite a bit longer than I anticipated. I am not a patient girl and tying friendship knots for a couple of hours was tough to take. But all in the name of fashion, right??

If you want to tackle these necklaces yourself, we did discover a couple of helpful tips. Do not buy thin thread for knotting. Get the mason line that the girls at suggest. We found thread we thought was pretty with gold flecks, and it did look great, but it added hours to our production time! Also, we most definitely think you need 2 yards of the thick twisted cord!

Here is Jacqueline working on her necklace. I especially like how she tried to summon Proenza Schouler awesomeness by covering her wrists in bracelets similar to the ones in their ad.

Her sister and my cousin, Jenny, joined us for the fun and three plus hours of crafting and here is her creation in the making.

Co Op: Loving Lanvin

We had been scanning the pages of magazines for hints, clues, details, and designs to give us any glimpses we could find of the new Lanvin collection for H&M making its debut in November. Lanvin's designs are usually way out of our price range but so from afar we have admired his liquid lines and feminine asthetic. When we heard of this remarkable partnership, we could not believe that Lanvin would go to such lengths as to suspend major collections to be shown at NY Fashion Week in order to design a line available to the masses at H&M stores nationwide.

The date was November 20 and marked in red bold letters on our calendar. Jacqueline traveled from Birmingham to meet me at the Atlantic Station store. The doors opened at 8am. I arrived at 7 thinking an hour in line would surely score me coveted merchandise. Little did I know, there would already be a line around the block and many die hards who slept there the night before. Luckily I received a wrist band and the third shopping time slot and most importantly, a free gift of a Lanvin navy scarf tucked into this adorable bag!

When the doors opened the first time slotted group ravaged the racks, grabbing their limit of two pieces of everything per customer. Those of us watching from the roped off sidelines, waiting for our time to shop, soon turned from excitement and awe to sadness and defeat. The racks were bare in seconds! An H&M employee assured us there would be restocking after each group and we took a deep breathe.

By the time my time slot arrived and I was granted my ten minutes of shopping time, I ran like a mad person and grabbed as many accessories as I could carry. Jacqueline, who had a later time slot, cheered from the sidelines "Be aggressive, Be aggressive." I was able to get the exact clutch that I'd been dreaming of since seeing it in the glossy pages of InStyle a month ago.

Unfortunately, the shoes were the first to go and never restocked after the first group, so Jacqueline was not able to walk away with the leopard print heels she was drooling over. But we did find several other things that made out hearts go pitter patter.

After an hour of madness, the racks were completely empty. The signs were gone. The windows were stripped. The mannequins in disarray. If you arrived at H&M past 9:15 am you would never have known the joys and sorrows, the purchases and losses, that Lanvin lovers had experienced just minutes before.