Monday, May 31, 2010

In Memory of...

Gary Wayne Coleman
February 8, 1968 – May 28, 2010

Dennis Lee Hopper
May 17, 1936 – May 29, 2010

Ali Ollie Woodsen
September 12, 1951 – May 30, 2010

Sheila Denise

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Champagne (Ataulfo) Mango

I was strolling through the market and was pleasantly surprised to see a HUGE Champagne Mango display. I was even more excited to see that they were fifty cents each!! Boy oh boy, was I thrown into a tizzy thinking of the many ways I planned to enjoy these delicious little golden babies. I knew that as soon as I arrived home, I'd eat one standing over the kitchen sink, allowing the juices to run down my chin and wrists, while thinking about other ways to indulge myself with my mango harvest. I've been a lover of the mango for as long as I can remember and always manage to overdo it to the point of swearing them off--yeah right!!

While cleaning my face and arms, I decided to make my old standard for dinner, Mango and Black Bean Salsa. It's probably one of the simplest, tastiest, quickest recipes in my arsenal.
Mango and Black Bean Salsa

2 Champagne Mangoes, diced
1/3 Red Pepper, diced
1/3 Small Red Onion, diced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, diced
1 can Black Beans, rinsed
Handful of Cilantro
Juice of 1 Lime
Splash of Grapeseed Oil, or oil of your choice (optional)

Combine all ingredients. Allow to flavors to blend. Serve at room temp or chilled. This is an extremely versatile recipe, you can tweak it to your liking. I've added cucumber, tomatoes, whole kernel get the drift. This would be a perfect side for your Memorial Day gathering. Go ahead--give it a shot.
I didn't really feel like cooking anything elaborate, so I sauteed some chicken breasts, jerk style and enjoyed a fantastically light meal balanced with a glass of St. Urbans-Hof Riesling (okay two glasses). The Riesling was a gift from my dear BBFF (boy best friend forever), who I'm paying quiet tribute to this CHEERS to you Chuck!!!

Sheila Denise

Monday, May 10, 2010

Death of an Icon

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne
June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010

Sheila Denise

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kirkwood Public House - Lamb Burger

Today, I had lunch with nephew #2 (birth order). Over the years, somehow I've managed to convince myself that he's actually my son, because we have so much in common. Our joint love of lamb is what brought us together for our lunch date. A few weeks ago, I read about a restaurant that offered a slider trio, consisting of a veal, a beef and a lamb burger. Now, as a southern who is absolutely obsessed with meat, I quickly added it to my "restaurants list" in my Blackberry, with the sole intent of taste testing these sliders, that is until I viewed the menu in it's entirety and saw a full-sized lamb burger!!! Right away, I sent #2 a text that we needed to eat there and he was more than happy to oblige. That's another thing I love about him, he's so wide open to being dragged about with his favorite auntie-mommy.

Okay, I guess I should get to the point here, huh?? We agreed to meet at Kirkwood Public House at 11:30 and he arrived early (as usual)--the detour sidetracked me for a few minutes, but he took a seat near the reception area as the employees were setting things in motion (they open at 11:30). While waiting he saw a car screech into a spot near the restaurant entrance. The driver rushed in, saw #2 waiting and promptly asked if he could take his drink order. #2 advised him that he was waiting for someone, but the screech demon urged him to place a drink order. Oh how I wish I had been a few minutes early. This would have been great to witness, but hearing the story was enough to make me laugh hysterically, because I'm a simpleton and I can manage to find humor in almost everything. By the time I arrived, Screech was a cool as a cucumber.

Y'all need to know that #2 is truly a bottomless pit. He had eaten THREE real meals this morning before we met for lunch and swore that he was starving!!! He has youth and metabolism (and exercise) on his side. He ordered chicken tenders & fries as our appy and we both ordered the lamb burger (mine with fries and his with the orzo salad). We snacked on the quite tasty tenders and hand-cut fries while we anxiously awaited our burgers.

Boy oh boy, we were not prepared for the most magnificent lamb burger dining experience. These hand-patted babies were so moist, flavorful and delicious that the only word we could muster out of our full mouths, was DAMN!!!! Now y'all know if you hafta cuss, the food is off-the-charts-some-kinda-good--my official description of KWPH's lamb burger. The caramelized shallots and the mint aioli were the perfect condiments to bring this fantastical piece of heaven to number one status for both of us.

If you're a burger lover, a lamb lover, or have a heck-I'll-try-anything-once streak, then take yourself to the House...right now!!!

Sheila Denise

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hobo Wine Dinner at DBA Barbecue

Okay, y'all need to bear with me. I'm blogging after a flight of six wines, so I may make a couple of oopsies along the way. I promise to make corrections (if needed), when I'm sober--if that ever happens.

Tonight, my bestie, Carol and I, participated Hobo Wine Dinner, a five course wine pairing barbecue extravaganza at DBA Barbecue in conjunction with B & L Brands (Bobby & Lisa) and Herb at Decatur Package Store. I must admit, I haven't had barbecue this tasty in a very long time, actually EVER. OMG, I don't know if I'm drunk from the wine or from the sweet aroma and succulence of the barbecue and grilled creamed corn. The event began at 6:30 and we left at 10:30. Does that tell you what a great time we had?? If bestie didn't have to go to work, we would probably still be there on the patio having a fantastic time with our wonderful tablemates. Oh yeah, I didn't mention that the shindig was family style AND that we had the bestest table of the entire lot!!

Okay, now back to the task as hand. We arrived shortly before 6:30 and indulged in appetizers of boiled peanuts and fried jalapenos paired with Banyan Gewurztraminer Monterey County and chatted with Patrick of Atlantic Wine, Inc. , who by the end of the night became my new best friend. The apps and wine were a fantastic starter for dinner. We had time to mix and mingle with the brave souls who decided to be hobos for the evening. After about 30-45 minutes, we sat down for dinner on the patio and the weather (and music) couldn't have been more perfect for the evening. Luckily for Carol and me, we chose to sit at the middle table and we couldn't have made a better choice. To my left was Mr. Upstate New York, who's mother lives on Daufuskie Island. If you know anything about Daufuski Island, you'll understand why I immediately fell in love with him--it also didn't hurt that he was kinda hot too. But he wasn't the only hottie in the group, to my right at the next table (but within reach) was the equally hot, Herb. So pair two hotties with six wines on a nice balmy evening and you get a tipsy girl surrounded by two dead ends--they're married men...but hey, a girl can have delusions of grandeur, can't she? They were both perfect gentlemen and great dinner buds and they each had a great sense of humor.

Now on to course two, Bacon Wrapped BBQ Shrimp and Red Onion Coleslaw paired with Bunyan Riesling Santa Lucia Highlands. Let me stop now and SCREAM...the shrimpies were OUTSTANDING. I could have eaten three DOZEN of those suckers, but I quietly settled for the three that were served.

Course three paired Smoked Wings with Folk Machine Pinot Noir Central Coast (my favorite of the evening and I'm NOT a red wine lover). The wings had just the right amount of smokiness and were cooked to perfection. Sauce was absolutely unnecessary, as I think it would have interfered with the wonderful taste of the wings. If you're still counting, I've completed three glasses of wine and we're only halfway through the meal. Carol has been loopy since before we sat down for the shrimp, so you can imagine how loopy she is after two more wine flights.

None of this stopped us from engaging in course number four, which turned out to be the beginning of a meat lovers extravaganza. Pulled Pork & Baby Back Ribs were brought out TWO wines...OMG can you say wine whore??? We indulged in Hobo Alexander Valley Cabernet & Hobo Dry Creek Zinfandel ((I'm running out of link-searching patience, so go to their Facebook page) and this is the moment where it tends to get a little fuzzy. I faintly remember the sides of Baked Beans, Potato Salad & Mac and Cheese, but in my fuzzy haze, I CLEARLY remember the oh so delicious Grilled Texas Creamed Corn. Let me tell y'all--this is the best cream corn I've eaten in my country bumpkin life. I decided on the spot, that when I return to DBA, the only side I'm ordering is the corn. Yes ma'am (and sir) it's THAT good.

Now as if we hadn't eaten enough for a small army, out comes course number five, which consisted of Brisket and Spare Ribs paired with YET ANOTHER WINE--Hobo Rockpile Zinfandel. It was at this moment that many of us simply gave up. We couldn't eat another bite, but not greedy ole me, I had to taste it all. The brisket had to be the most tender brisket is the whole entire world and the ribs scrumptious. We all kinda sorta kicked back because we knew dessert was coming. Thankfully, we had a little lull to compose ourselves in preparation for our sweet treat.

Our sixth and final course was S'mores and not just any ole S'mores, the warmest, gooey-est, let- it-drip-down-your-chinny-est S'mores of all time. We all agreed that these were the best Smores known to mankind.

Tonight was an experience for my little history book...a great night of turning strangers into friends and simply enjoying the company of others.

If you're in the metro Atlanta area or happen to drop in for a visit, please, please, please pay Matt at visit at DBA Barbecue. If you're interested in purchasing fantastic wines, stop in and see Herb at Decatur Package Store. Also, if you're interesting is hosting a wine tasting event, please contact Bobby or Lisa at B & L Brands. I must mention my new best friend Patrick--it is my understanding that we would have been drinking out of the bottles were it not for his generous donation of wine glasses for the event.

It's Wednesday morning (12:40AM) and I'm exhausted (and a little drunkish)--I started this blog around 11:30, but got a little sidetracked along the way.

I hope you enjoyed this extremely candid review and that you'll join me in supporting these fantastic hometown businesses.

Sheila Denise