As soon as we got back to the hotel, we changed into workout clothes before the doughnut coma could set in. We were off to Rock City! If you’ve ever driven from Atlanta to Chattanooga, surely you’ve been bombarded with the billboards for Rock City and Ruby Falls.
I’m not sure how to explain exactly what Rock City is. A rock garden? A natural attraction enhanced by carved gnomes and terrifying suspended bridges? Either way, it was a fabulously fun tourist trap with beautiful views.
You know what’s a great cure for a flat tire? Brownies. Specifically, rich, moist dark chocolate brownies. They’ll cure anything, really.
Yesterday, in an effort to eat my sadness, I sauntered to the pantry only to discover that I was out of my faithful Ghirardelli boxed brownie mix. CUE THE MELTDOWN. Brownies were delayed until I could make it to the grocery store, but instead of picking up a box of brownie mix when I was there, a box of Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa caught my eye. A note to marketers out there: if you want me to buy your product, put “Dark Chocolate” on the packaging and I’m sold.
A few weeks ago, Lou and I hit the road and made the relatively short but very scenic drive to Chattanooga. We fielded recommendations for activities and restaurants from some friends, but weren’t quite sure what to expect during our long weekend. I’m pleased to report that we had a fabulous time and will most definitely be returning!
We arrived on a Friday afternoon and quickly checked into our hotel room at The Chattanoogan. After dropping our bags, we ventured out with rumbling tummies but without a game plan (the classic recipe for a cranky Jean). Ultimately, we made the mile-long trek to the riverfront for a light lunch (and beers for Lou). At The Blue Plate, we found a little porch overlooking the water and mountains to catch our breath and rest our feet. The food, however, wasn’t memorable.
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the city by bicycle. Bike Chattanooga is a bike share that has stations set up throughout downtown and the waterfront – you pay to rent a bike and can return it to any of the stations across the city! I’d highly recommend getting a 3-day pass if you’re staying for a long weekend, as Chattanooga is best experienced in the fresh air.
On Friday evening, we had dinner at Public House, which came highly recommended from a number of friends. We dined on the open-air patio and basked in the absolutely gorgeous twilight weather. Public House’s atmosphere is casual and welcoming and the menu’s focus is clear: recognizable comfort food with gourmet flourishes (the hallmark of new and good “farm to table” restaurants). Disclaimer: the portion sizes are huge (as they frequently are down South!). To start, we (re: I) ordered the beef carpaccio, fried chicken livers, deviled eggs, and lobster bisque. Lou always jokes that I over-order appetizers and sides at restaurants (guilty as charged), but I like trying a variety of small plates! In this case, two appetizers would have been plenty – I really wasn’t expecting the portions to be so generous!
Beautiful weekend weather has finally returned to Atlanta! We celebrated by spending the morning at one of my favorite places, the Peachtree Road Farmers Market.
If you live in Atlanta and have never been, I highly recommend checking it out. It’s the largest producer-only farmers market in the state and they host demos with some of the best chefs in Atlanta every weekend.
The vendors offer everything from farm fresh eggs and local honey to heirloom vegetables and pasture-raised meat. We typically swing by for staples (aka bacon and bread) from Pine Street Market and H&F Bread Co. While I’m there, I’ll also peruse the produce to see if anything grabs me.
This morning I picked up a beautiful, big zuchinni, a yellow onion, and the prettiest little baby yellow German potatoes. We rushed home with our haul, which also included Applewood smoked bacon and a loaf of sourdough, and I went to work whipping up one of my favorite weekend breakfasts inspired by my farmers market finds: a skillet omelet!
Y’all. These scones might be one of the best things I’ve ever made.
Admittedly, I’m not a great baker. Don’t get me wrong – I love to bake, but baking and I aren’t always on good terms. The scientific nature of baking is something I find troublesome, not to mention the copious amount of leftover goodies hanging around.
Despite my love-hate relationship with baking, I frequently make scones. Scones are a perfect foray into the world of pastries. They’re fairly forgiving, as far as baked goods go, and the flavor possibilities are endless. A traditional cream scone, which is the foundation for this recipe, is light and crumbly without being too cake-y.
I’m so delinquent! Apologies for the absence, friends. Things happened. Like Flora-Bama happened. You understand.
If this blog has done anything, it’s rekindle my obsession with my family’s recipes. In particular, my grandmother’s recipes. She made the most amazing Polish and Lithuanian food, and I wish I had taken more of an interest in cooking when she was still around to learn her secrets! One of my personal favorites was her Lithuanian borscht – cold beet soup.
I recreate my grandmother’s borscht often, especially in the summer. It’s a beautiful, cold soup that’s refreshing and light during the warmer months. Though it requires very few ingredients, the sweet and crunchy result is oh-so-satisfying and extremely addicting. You can serve it as an appetizer (everyone will ooh and aah at the pretty pink color!) or as a filling main course alongside boiled potatoes.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Cowboy stew? That doesn’t sound fancy and Jean is clearly a really fancy person.” You’d be correct in your second assumption, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to indulge in comfort food every now and then!
Fact: I like my dog more than I like most people. I like her so much that sometimes I bake treats for her. Actually, I bake treats for her because she’s a picky wiener and she either spits out store bought biscuits or hides them all over the house. I created this recipe using a few of her favorite things: blueberries, cheese, and BACON.
Welcome to Peaches and Syrup! Yay! I thought it would be appropriate for my first recipe/post to feature the title ingredients of my blog. Peaches and syrup not only sound pretty together, but they’re symbolic of my new home in the south and my northern roots. Georgia peaches are in peak season right now, so this simple dessert is the perfect way to showcase them!