Sunday, August 29, 2010

KaBOOM, houseguest, K+5, beer auction and more

So, it's been a busy week. I was at work Monday and Tuesday, and then had off the rest of the week. On Wednesday, I attended the KaBOOM Prep Day- I ended up drawing Build Captain signs, priming wood (which... now that I think about it, I have no idea where those pieces ended up) and organizing bolts, screws, and nuts. It was fun, and it was a beautiful day. There was a crazy neighbor lady that wanted us to stop what we were doing to "her" park, but other than that, things seemed to go quite smoothly.

Thursday, after a breakfast at Surrey's, I cleaned the house, did laundry, went to the store, and picked up the lovely Sarah for her week long visit in New Orleans. She's staying with us- our first houseguest here! She reports that the air mattress is actually quite comfortable, BTW. We met up with another friend and had dinner at Byblos and drinks at the Rendezvous and Parasol's. Then, early to bed, because the next day was an early wake-up call for BUILD DAY! Finally, the day that I'd been working towards for months. Got there early to set up, and discovered that the Marriott folks had taken care of that. So, I worked the registration table, and then once that was done, I kind of drifted around to see how things were going. Helped out as needed. A lot of volunteers came out so there wasn't much that needed doing!

Unfortunately, the weather turned ugly in the afternoon, after lunch- thunder and lightning. However, we'd been so well ahead of schedule in the morning that still, almost everything got completed! Pictures to follow soon...

Friday night we ended up going to dinner at Cafe Atchafalaya that's right in the neighborhood. Tom and I had gumbo, Sarah had the soup du jour, then I had the Pasta Atchafalaya, Sarah had the fried green tomatoes with crab and remoulade, and Tom had the Beet Carpaccio. We finished up with the cheese plate and a chocolate dessert that was kind of like a pot au creme, but different. It was nice! Also, several cocktails in the game there.

Saturday: Rain and beer!

I dropped Sarah off at Elizabeth's in the Bywater and went to the Saturday's farmers market for the first time in ages- it was inside because of the downpour, but still quite manageable. Apparently I missed out on ALL the eggs. But I got some shrimp and fish and muscatels and delicious bread and other stuff.

Then it was off to The Avenue Pub to partake in the Gulf Foundation fundraiser! It was a ticketed affair, which included several beers and the opportunity to bid on rare beers in a silent auction format. We drank a lot of beers, and bought a lot of beers. Ah well, it's for a good cause, right? We were there for like 8 hours, but had so much fun.

Sunday was pretty mellow, but we did go to Maya on Magazine for brunch. We had tostones, tamales, pork, and sangria. Very nice! Then, naps and I cooked dinner- shrimp and grits. Sarah headed out to a pub crawl out in the Marigny/Bywater, but all I wanted to do was nest and chill out before heading back to work after a 5 day weekend of craziness...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Weekend meat preparations

Hit Rare Cuts Meat, which just opened Uptown on Magazine and Nashville. They just opened last week, and they are still waiting on one of their refrigeration units to come on line, so it was a relatively limited selection of awesomeness.

Also, I was handed a bloody mary upon entering, so I was predisposed to like the place.

We bought a giant ribeye steak, which I pan fried up using this recipe. It was great, because it didn't smoke up the entire apartment. Opened a bottle of Breggo 2007 Syrah from our California trip, drank the bottle with Tom, using a little bit to make a pan sauce with mushrooms.

Also purchased: 2 thick cut pork chops, which I cooked up with white wine, chicken stock, and asian pears from the farmers market. Served it with a baby arugula and cherry tomato salad. We drank Full Sail LTD 3, a lager style beer which seemed appropriate for the meal.

We also got pepper crusted thick slab bacon, which was eaten for breakfast this morning, and a crafish-green onion smoked sausage, which Tom may fashion in a jambalaya-esque fashion.

Ooh, need to take my red beans and rice out of the freezer for tomorrow, I wore this shirt today to remind myself.

This week will be a busy one- I'll be working at NPN for 3 days and working on the KaBOOM build on Wednesday and Friday! You can read about KaBOOM here and a little bit about our specific project this week here.

And we'll have our first guest here at the end of the week! We spent a lot of time configuring the office today to get the air mattress in there comfortably. That was the big project of the day. Yesterday was cruising Magazine Street to go to various stores, including a barber for Tom and a gift card donation for Build Day for me. A quiet weekend, but a good one.

Oh! We used our Living Social coupon for Cafe Atchafalaya for breakfast/brunch on Saturday. I had the steak and eggs and Tom had the Bananas Foster french toast. The steak and eggs were good, and the home fries that came with them were *excellent*. Best I've had for a long, long time. Tom loved his french toast, it came with a boozy syrup/sauce and was made with french bread. They also had a make your own bloody mary bar (mmmm, pickled okra) and the coffee was very tasty. It was our one meal out all weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Farmers Market!

Since I'm a Mid-City working girl, I investigated the Thursday afternoon Mid-City Farmers Market. It's on the smaller side, but it had some vendors that I hadn't seen before. New to me: the brown Louisiana-grown rice; the British lady who sold scones, lemon curd, and soups; asian pear folks; guy with fresh cheeses and yogurt. That guy had a sign proclaiming that he had fresh mozzarella, but he did not, sadly. I bought some yogurt from him though. Also Asian pears, lemon curd, and the rice. I also bought some black drum fillets, goat milk, chocolate mousse, and pesto. Not too much by way of produce- I saw tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, peaches, pluots, and the aforementioned Asian pears.

The lemon curd was really delicious- totally fresh tasting.

Tom is pan-frying the drum with capers and white wine, and we'll have the rice on the side. Looking forward to it...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

musings on munchings

Man, I feel like this is gonna be a boring run of journal entries. Getting into the work frame of mind has pretty much fried my brain, but I figured I should at least keep plugging away at the blogging. Bloggination. I haz it!

So, on Sunday we had a nice day- we went to see To Catch A Thief at the Prytania, as part as their classics series. Ir was packed! I hadn't seen the movie before and it was awesome! I love the Prytania and the fact they do classic movie matinées makes them even cooler. Great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

We wandered Magazine Street afterward, shopping at Storyville for T-shirts for ourselves (Tom got this one and I got this one) and Fleurty Girl to buy some flirty girlie stuff for Tom's 14 year old niece.

For dinner we had Chinese takeout from Jung's Golden Dragon II on Magazine Street (seriously, I love living so close to the awesomeness of Magazine Street) I'm gonna have to give it another try sometime. We had an ordering snafu- I ordered beef and chicken Hunan style, I got some sort of chicken and shrimp dish. Tom's dish looked like General Tsao's chicken, but it didn't have any heat to it, and given the more obvious mixup in my food, we wondered if he got some other fried chicken dish. But I called, went back, got the right dish, and settled down and et it up. It was OK. I'll give it another chance to redeem itself. Maybe we might eat in next time.

OMG, we finally got it together to get Tom his Louisiana license at the OMV! We went to the OMV in Harvey, which is a different one that I went to months ago in Metarie. We got there right as it opened, and got out before 9. Load off the collective mind- that's a PITA errand.

Monday and Tuesday I had to use my lunch breaks to go to various post offices (Lafayette Square and Mid-City) so I had quick lunches near by. Monday, I had a hot pastrami sandwich, kettle chips, and fresh brewed unsweetened peach iced tea at Cafe On The Square on St. Charles. Tuesday, I grabbed a quesadilla (Bacon Azul) at the Mid City Juan's Flying Burrito. First time I've ever not had a burrito at Juan's!

Today I had nothing to do at lunch except eat lunch, so I cruised down South Carrolton to Five Happiness, a nice Chinese American place. Got a booth, enjoyed my lunch special with wonton soup and beef in garlic sauce, and eavesdropped on all the college kids there having lunch with their parents in town dropping them off. Aw, kids. Stay outta my way, 'kay?

After picking Tom up in the CBD, I turn on to Magazine and as we approach the WWII Museum, I realize I'm starving, require a stiff drink (or 2) and some comfort food. Aha, American Sector to the rescue! I had a mint julep and a "Big Mamou" (Mango puree, mint, Bacardi rum, Triple Sec, soda) served in a tiki cup, which pleased Tom to no end. Tom ordered the chicken friend steak and I had the chicken & dumplings. Also a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. Perfect. Cocktails were well made, comfort food was perfect. I think we'll hit American Sector frequently in the future, it's so easy to stop at after work on the way home and the food and drink are great.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekend, Parasol's, etc.

Had a very nice weekend after my exhausting 2 day work week. Wow, this week is gonna be long. Did some shopping, did some cleaning, did some organizing... and confirmed the rumor that OH YES, PARASOL'S IS BEING SOLD.

Now, I would never spread rumors, so as soon as I heard this one I scurried right over to the corner of Third and Constance to figure out what was going on. This was about maybe 5pm on a Saturday- after lunch but before serious drinking time. We sat at the bar, ordered beers, and I tried to figure out how to best bring up the subject. Then I noticed the bartender and several patrons carefully peeling off the stickers on the beer cooler and scrapbooking them. I figured something was up, and it wasn't a secret (I was just late to know.)

So I asked the bartender, and she confirmed: Yep, the owner of Parasol's sold the bar and the name to a buyer in Florida. The last day under the current management would be August 31. After that, it seems that the current Parasol's crew will be moving up a block to the building on Magazine and Third and reopening under a different name. (Right now it's called The Irish Garden and does not seem to be a very busy place.) The way the bartender was talking, it should be a pretty quick turnaround. I was unable to ascertain how rapid. Also, what the plans were for the Parasol's building/business/name/brand. Apparently the new owners have been coming in taking pictures of every square inch.

I'm sorry I didn't come by the bar more often when I could- I had no idea its time would be so short. I'm sad that I'll never experience the traditional St. Patrick's Day with Parasol's at its epicenter. I'm just hoping that this is a good move for the current owners and for the neighborhood. Sigh. Who knows.

I did enjoy my roast beef po'boy, and hope to get in there a couple more times before the end of the month.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lunch adventures

So I spent some time trying to work out what my lunch options were. I even made a map!

View Neigborhood Partnership Network in a larger map

I only had $6 in cash, so the place needed to take credit cards. That left out Mandina's, which is close by, and a traditional Creole-Italian place I've been wanting to try. We also have a Living Social coupon for Crescent City Pie and Sausage, which I didn't have on me. Also, I needed to wait on Tom for that. I had Juan's Flying Burrito (on Magazine) for lunch yesterday. Parkway seemed too far away, plus, we'd already been there before.

After all these caveats and restrictions, I settled on the one closest, Cafe Minh. Vietnamese Fusion noms!

I started with the spring roll with minced chicken:

Then I had the grilled charcoal pork noodle soup:

This was exactly what I needed. I was freezing in the restaurant (as well as in my office) due to over-air-conditioning. It was dark outside and pouring buckets of rain- in fact, water started streaming in through the ceiling in the back, to the point that ceiling tiles started dropping to the floor. A real stormy day that was much improved by the presence of this smoky, chargrilled, intensely flavored soup. The pork was tender, there were deep brown caramelized onions in the bowl along with cilantro, vermicelli noodles, and chinese cabbage braised lightly in the heat and steam of the broth. Man, that was good.

Also of note: their unsweetened iced tea is served with a lime as opposed to a lemon.

Quick drive back to the office, with a belly fully of comfort food.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Have Job, Will Celebrate

So... I went out and got me a job type thing! This will be cutting down on my Ladies Who Lunch lifestyle, but seriously, I was spending way too much time with my cats (stay tuned for a photographic collage of Taz nomming on a catnip toy on Flickr! For like... TWENTY PHOTOS!)

The job is very cool, it's running an office of a small nonprofit here that helps neighborhoods and communities in very concrete ways. Exactly the kind of work I was hoping to do when we moved here.

So, I wanted to CELEBRATE with my last lunch of FREEDOM, which I did yesterday with my husband. Did you all know that Restaurant August serves a three course lunch every week day for $20.10? And that it's awesome? No, REALLY REALLY AWESOME? August was the one place I really wanted Tom to join me for lunch, so I'd been looking forward to eating here since... we moved here I guess. Or even since Christmas, which is when we first dined at August.

Super duper delightful!

We get there, I order a glass of wine (some Chenin Blanc from Napa) and Tom orders a Heiner Brau Kolsch. We are soon presented by John Besh's signature amuse bouche, an egg shell with a fish custard and sabayone, with caviar on top and a little brioche "soldier."

For our three dishes, mostly all I have to share is the description from the menu and the pictures I took. I made a lot of Homer Simpson-esque drooling noises (quietly- it's a fancy place!) so I can assure you that everything was excellent.

First Course:

I had the "gulf shrimp potstickers and heirloom tomato consomme with young okra and pineapple." OK, I lied, here's an editorial comment: tomato and pineapple were quite interesting and a brand new flavor profile for me. I've been primed by eating several variations of late of practically ubiquitous tomato and watermelon combinations- salads, gazpacho, etc. So this was not nearly the shock to the system that I thought it would be. It was weird, but good. I love it when food surprises me like that.

Tom "I Less-Than-Three Figs" got "celeste figs with house made lamb Panchetta, local watercress, spiced pecans, and house made ricotta." Yum. Lamb Panchetta?!?!? YES PLEASE. WHERE TO FIND FOR MY OWN PERSONAL SNACKINGS???

Second Course:

I had the "slow cooked pork belly with McEwen's grits." Sounds straightforward and delightful, and it was. Though it also came with some tomato sauce which was sweet and light and fruity.

Tom had the "jumbo gulf shrimp and okra stew with heirloom tomatoes and spicy pork sausage." It also came with an excellent risotto that wasn't mentioned on the menu but was much appreciated!

Time for dessert!

I had the "milk chocolate pot de creme with cocoa nib cream, dark chocolate, and almonds." The dark chocolate and almonds were referred to by the server as an "almond salad" which was an interesting way of putting it. Tasted awesome though. Nice amount of saltiness in the "salad" as well as in the pudding part. Chocolate + salt is one of my favorite flavor combinations.

Also, because talking about chocolate + salt made me think of Chef's chocolate salty balls from South Park, here's a little of that salty chocolate action for ya.

Mr Fig ordered the "belle econce farm chevre with grilled celeste figs, toasted brioche, and alepo honey." It was like a little grilled cheese with figs in it, topped with honey. Nothing wrong with that!

We ordered some french press coffee to accompany our dessert, and I declined a second glass of wine before my main course in favor of a glass of iced tea- which, while delicious was notable mostly because they brought out a little pitcher of simple syrup with which to sweeten it! I mean, come ON, that's awesome!

They brought us homemade peanut brittle and chocolate truffles with the check. It was the kind of meal that you're glad you have a blog to babble about it on.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

so curious!

There's a giant smoker set up in the lot of an abandoned looking building on the corner of Tchoupotoulas and Third. WHAT COULD IT BE???

early bird...

The worm might well be literal in the big ole bunch of kale I picked up. Today's haul:

creole tomatoes
heirloom tomatoes
shiitake mushrooms
1 lb. jumbo shrimp
1 tiny (1.5 lb) chicken
zucchini and summer squash
green pepper
garlic chevre
spinach fettucini
vodka pasta sauce
german multigrain bread

Pesto dude, hippie dudes, pie lady and cheerful vegetable farmer dudes nowhere to be seen. Figs are gone. No catfish to be found! No fish at all, actually- just shrimp and crab.

Potential menus: shrimp and grits, zucchini and goat cheese pasta (man, should have gotten some basil), arugula pesto. Dunno what to do with a teeny tiny chicken though!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday, dark and stormy

I need to roast up a guinea hen today. I am also waiting on my new employer to call me about my training schedule and it's dark and thundery and my productivity on this Monday is a little lacking. I did get to Herbsaint for lunch, though. A nice light (well, for New Orleans) meal- ice tea, sausage/duck gumbo, local tomato and burrata salad, and housemade cafe au lait ice cream.

Man, it's dark out.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Second Line, second to none

Sadly, I was too excited to double check that I was in fact videotaping the parade with my camera- but I suspect that it wouldn't have really captured the unfettered joy and music and dancing and sweat (and sunshine, puppydogs, rainbows and unicorns) of the parade. I guess if you've seen Treme (I have not, BTW) you understand what the what is with the second line.

It's just awesome. People are dancing in the street, the bass bands are playing, various social clubs are dancing, it's loud and hot and everyone is smiling and happy as hell.

Tom dropped me off at the corner of North Rampart and Gov. Nicholls so I could walk a block up to St. Augustine on St. Claude Street.

There was a Jazz Mass going on at St. A's and the plan was that when Mass was over at 11:30am, then the second line would begin. I got there early, about 10:45am. Folks were gathering, chatting, waiting.

The crowd built up the closer we got to 11:30- of course, it being New Orleans, things didn't get a move on till almost noon.

There were three different sections, and we all danced down Gov. Nicholls, to North Rampart, and then down Esplanade:

On the way down Esplanade, I ducked into Port of Call and got myself a Red Turtle cocktail to go. Kept dancing down the street and Tom tapped me on the shoulder and we walked together down the rest of the way to the end of the second line.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Productive Socialization!

Sometimes the breadth and scope of Stuff To Do here can be overwhelming. Especially in summertime- it's hard to follow through with plans that are further afield than Pete's or The Avenue Pub or Parasol's. Hanging out there is generally always good times, but we end up letting go of other more complex plans because it's hard to motivate. Or, you know, find parking.

But this week we did pretty good! Tuesday night we helped out with the Neighborhood Night Out at Burke Park, Thursday we went to the Eatventful networking event at Capdeville, and last night, well, we went to The Avenue Pub. But it was a lot of fun- we're getting to be regulars there and we had some fun conversations over some very tasty beers.

Today I got up early and got donuts from Freret Street (plus an awesome apple fritter) and then we were able to motivate ourselves to the Prytania Theater's viewing of Casablanca. Man, not to state the complete obvious, but that is one great movie. Every time I watch it I just love it more and more. Especially this showing- the owner (who obviously loves this film and movies in general lots and lots) came out to introduce it and invited us to look at his original script and enjoy cake and coffee after the showing. He just had such joy about sharing the movie, I fell in love with him a little bit.

I was also proud of us for getting to a movie, as we are notorious for NEVER EVER going to the movies. I can't even say the last one we've been to, because it's laughable how long it's been.

So, awesome movie at a wonderful independent movie theater. Hooray! Maybe we will get to Inception while it's still playing there this week.

Afterward, we went to Nirvana on Magazine Street for Indian buffet, which I was craving. Saag, eggplant curry, chickpea curry, chicken curry, chicken tandoori, really good chutneys (the mint and mango were my favorites) with rice pudding and soft serve mango vanilla ice cream for dessert. Very basic- but just what I was looking for. My only wish is that they did the naan to order, as I've seen in other places- naan does not keep well. But the mango ice cream was a nice touch.

The best part is the table that sat down after we we were asking about hummus, and then leaving in a huff when told confusedly that... they don't do... that. OMG, I almost fell out of my chair laughing.

So, after eating a large amount of buffet food, we came back for siesta and I decided that I would check out the White Linen Night downtown- an annual August event in the Arts District. There's music, and wine/beer/Absolut cocktails for sale along with food from local restaurants. I had 2 ginger lemonade cocktails, a pork cheek and blackeye pea dish from American Sector, and a heirloom tomato and watermelon salad with crabmeat for less than $20. I wandered up Julia from South Peter Street to Camp Street and back down again.

Now, it may go without saying, but it was HOT. That's why they call it White Linen Night, folks are supposed to wear their best summer weight clothes to combat the heat. I wore a lightweight silk/cotton sleeveless white shirt from Lands End and my long white linen skirt. Was still hot as hell. But the galleries were a welcome respite from the heat and the humidity. I got into about 8 or 10 places- they were all pretty packed, but I saw some interesting pieces.

All in all, a good wander. I only made it about an hour- in that time it was cloudy, rainy, sunny, hot, and humid. Tom came to pick me up and I was happy to be home drinking iced water (edit: ice water)

I am hoping to be as accomplished in my ambitions tomorrow- the Satchmo festival is sponsoring a Second Line Parade in Treme to the Marigny. It'll be a 15 block walk in the blazing high noon heat- should be interesting!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Stardust and Little Vic's

A quick post to rave about Stardust Salon on Magazine in the Lower Garden District and also my lunch at Little Vic's Gelateria which is like three doors down.

Stardust: great space, great service, and Trent, my stylist was very entertaining and actually cut and styled my hair the way I would actually wear it on a daily basis. I really enjoyed talking to him, which is funny- I usually hate that forced hair styling killing time forced banter that goes on in the chair. He also recommended Little Vic's for panini and gelato, so I stopped there to pick up some lunch to go after my salon appointment.

I am very disappointed in myself that I did not get gelato, but I'll go back and rectify that soon enough. I did get the chicken salad panini, which was nice, which came with a side of the soup of the day- mushroom brie today. YUM. Is putting brie in soup a New Orleans thing? Because I don't think I'd ever had it or seen it except here. I had a great oyster and brie soup at Britgsen's back in March and then the mushroom brie today. I really enjoyed the sandwich too.

Just sad that I had no gelato! Happily, that can be remedied...

haunted by the Leidenheimer bread truck!

Today I first saw it when it was making a delivery at the Freret Street Po-Boy and Donut Shop. I myself was minding my own business and eating a delicious breakfast sandwich- scrambled eggs, cheese, and smoked sausage on a gorgeous buttery housemade biscuit. Probably the best breakfast sandwich I've had since I moved here! (I am not denigrating the quality of breakfast sandwiches here, I am holding this particular sandwich in high esteem!) I also bought a chocolate frosted donut, which is OMG STUPID DELICIOUS. I wisely (???) waited till I got home to eat it, otherwise I would have bought another 20 after having that first bite.

Then, after I continued down Freret all the way to South Carrolton, just for a wander, before heading back home via St. Charles and Prytania. As I crossed Magazine Street on First, I saw the same truck making a delivery to the Magazine Street Po'Boy Shop. At least I resisted the urge to yell out, "THANK YOU LEIDENHEIMER DELIVERY GUY!"

So, let's see. What has been happening in the non-condo, non-cat, non-television world over the last couple days? Well, last night, Tom and I went to Eatventful's inaugural networking event at Capdeville in the CBD. It was nice. The organizer was wonderful, and we met a few really cook people and had some great conversations. There was less eating at an event that bills itself as an "Eatvent" but it was a lovely time. We stayed afterward to have some of the food on the menu. We ordered a few things to share- the pulled pork sliders, the fried red beans and rice balls, and the chorizo and manchego french fries. I had several specialty cocktails there- the Lady in the Dark (Plymouth Gin, Canton Ginger Liqueur, Lemon Juice, Sugar), the Jacks' Black Lemonade (House Infused Blackberry Jack Daniels, Fresh Blackberries, Sugar, Lemonade), the Champagne Julep (Rebel Reserve, Mint, Sugar, Princess Sparkling) and a lovely French 75.

So I'm feeling pretty subdued today, though that breakfast sandwich and DONUT OF THE GODS has begun to set me straight.

Also, for those who know Tom: OMG TOM WENT TO A NETWORKING EVENT. He's so awesome.

On the agenda for the rest of the day: getting my haircut at StarDust on Magazine Street. Not only is this my first haircut at this place, it's my first haircut in New Orleans and also my first haircut since (seemingly) the dawn of time. I had a vague idea to let the hair grow out so that I could put it back in a ponytail or something, but that is a pretty low-glamour goal- for me, anyway. I don't look so great with long hair.

After that, lunch!

Re: this evening's plans- I think Tom used up all his socializing energy last night, because he's not interested in going to either nerdnight or the Satchmo Stomp. I am idly thinking about going to Frenchmen by myself, but now I wonder if I should just go to bed early so that I can get up early enough tomorrow morning to get a dozen donuts at the Freret Street Po'Boy and Donut Shop. Mmmmm...

Thursday, August 5, 2010


What should we do tomorrow night?

Option 1:
Satchmo Club Strut on Frenchmen Street.

Pros- music! Satchmo! Frenchmen Street!
Cons- Kinda pricy, probably hot and crowded, where to park?

Option 2:
nerdnight-NOLA at BSI Comics in Metarie

Pros- free beer! nerds! free! More opportunity to actually meet and talk to people!
Cons- that's a lot of presentations, and I don't like Abita Amber all that much.

Please leave a comment with your thoughts...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Townhouse condo for rent in Salem MA

Spacious 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom Tri-level Townhome offers many charming features including hardwood floors, exposed brick and beams, two gas fireplaces and off street parking for 2 cars. The private garden area fenced with a deck and yard is perfect for entertaining or just relaxing. Convenient location with the street being tucked into the Historic McIntire District close to commuter rail, library, Peabody Essex Museum and the restaurants and shops of thriving downtown Salem.

Other amenities: private basement storage, Jacuzzi tub, central A/C, programmable thermostat, in-unit washer and dryer, disposal, new dishwasher, abundant closet space, Weber gas grill on the back deck. A sofa, dining room set, and queen sized bed (in one of the third floor bedrooms) are already located in the apartment- would prefer to keep them there but that is negotiable per the renter’s request.

Officially available as of September 1; can move in at any point in August for prorated rent.

$2000 a month.

Let me know if you want to schedule a visit and see what a great deal this is! First and last month (in addition to potential prorated August rate) due at lease signing. 1 year lease.

Front of house:

First Floor:

Living room


Dining Room (Note: amazing bay window)

Second Floor (master bedroom and main/master bath):

Third Floor:

Bedroom #2

Bedroom #3/Office

Third floor bathroom (also has a shower)

Back of house:

Awesome yard

View of back of house from yard. Note: grill!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

what a day...

Took the kitties to the vet this morning, to start. Poor guys- such indignities! Indignities further compounded when the A/C repair person came in and invaded their space.

Post-vet, I checked out the farmers market, but late. By the time I got there a little after noon, all I could scrounge up were hot peppers, milk, cornish hens, guinea hen, 2 tarts, and juice. Was fine, though. Cruising all the way up Magazine Street at lunchtime is not the quickest way to get to you destination, but it's an interesting ride.

In the evening, we attended the neighborhood National Night Out Against Crime event. We were at Burke Park, the one that I'm working to get volunteers to build the KaBOOM! playground later this month. I manned a table with info to recruit volunteers. There were hotdogs, chips, oranges, apples, and gelato from our local awesome gelateria, La Divinia. It was hot and sticky and the cicidias were screaming. Neighbors and cops and kids and neighborhood soccer teams wandered around, chatting, shooting hoops, wiping the sticky ice cream dribbles off our faces and hands. It was summer in New Orleans.

Tom actually picked up the gelato and dropped off the leftovers and the cooler they came in. He also trucked back to the house twice to bring by ice cream serving spoons and trash bags. Thanks, sweetie! Good work.

I got a bunch of volunteers signed up, came home, watched White Collar, ate pie, and added the RSS signup widget for this blog- you can see it on the top of the left hand side of the page.

For anyone local (or folks who plan on visiting next week) who reads this blog- La Divinia on Magazine Street will be donating 20% of their proceeds for Wednesday, August 11 to the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association, so head up Magazine Street and have some amazing gelato!

In conclusion, pretty pictures from White Collar:

Plus a picture of the cats, for good measure (since they had a tough day today.)

Monday, August 2, 2010


I've been wanting to get on the red beans & rice Monday tradition for a few weeks now- problem is, I always forget about it till Monday afternoon, and it's too late to get the beans going by then. BUT, yesterday I remembered!

Since Link's book is lacking a red beans & rice recipe, I turned to the internet. I read up on various recipes and traditions, and settled on this recipe from Emeril Lagasse, with the following modifications:

I doubled the tasso at the start, used only one hock and added about a quarter pound of pickle pork. I also used slightly less andouille. It all worked out. I'd read that using a bone in the beans was key, because the marrow/gelatin imparts an excellent flavor and texture to the broth. I would agree with that.

Those were the best damn red beans I ever had. One issue though: since we moved here I have not been able to cook rice correctly. I don't know if it's the long grain "Louisiana style" rice or (more likely) using an electric range, or what, but it's annoying. I'm seriously thinking about getting a steamer.

Note the LA 31 beer accompanying- it's so good with Cajun/Creole flavors.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

poultry goings-on

We had a nice mellow weekend. We slept in both Saturday and Sunday, and on Saturday afternoon, we went uptown to use our Vom Fass Living Social coupon. Vom Fass is German for "of the cask" and their thing is that they have oils and vinegars in casks, which are dispensed into whatever bottle size you want- they price everything by 100ml, so you take it from there. We got 2 250ml bottles of different olive oils and 100ml of truffle oil and 100ml of ginger sesame oil. They had all sorts of different infused oils, nut oils, and seed oils in addition to about 8-10 different extra virgin olive oil varieties.

They had a wall of vinegars as well, but we are doing well vinegar-wise, as we still have like 3 bottles of nice stuff from our CA trip.

They also have booze and wine for sale! Those come pre-bottled though. But you can get the booze in different sized bottles, which is handy for the pricey stuff.

En route to Vom Fass, we stopped at Hansen's, where I got a satsuma/rasberry (NO condensed milk- was too hot for it somehow) and Tom got a strawberry/vanilla bean. We got the special Swampitoulas cups that support funding coast preservation. Oh, I also committed a real faux pas no-no; I absentmindedly touched a syrup bottle on the counter trying to read the name of the flavor. Ooh, I got in trouble! But was forgiven. Won't do that again EVER and I suggest to all my readers that you don't either.

After sitting and eating our sno-blizzes outside in the heat, we went to the bookstore across the way- McKeown's Books. I got the second book in the Poppy Z. Brite New Orleans restaurant series- autographed- as well as a Jasper Fforde book and an early paperback printing of a Robert B. Parker Spenser book.

In the bookstore mood, we went next to Octavia Books, which is uptown on the corner of Laurel and Octavia. In a funny coincidence, I knew exactly where it was, not having ever been there, because on my way up to Whole Foods this past Monday, I saw a line of Saints fans wrapped around the block (out to Jefferson, which was where I was driving) to get Drew Brees to sign his autobiography for them. I looked it up, and worked out where the store was. So when Tom asked if we could stop there, I was all, no problem! It's a really nice store- I think it will be our go-to local bookstore from now on.

OK, then we went to Vom Fass, and had a very enjoyable experience there... then went to Dixie Bee juice bar for some smoothie/slushee action. Tom had the Mango smoothie and I had the Watermelon Slushee, with watermelon, pear, and something else excellent. So refreshing!!

Came home with our haul of books and various oils, and I made this recipe for pasta with quail sauce. Was awesome! here are a couple pictures of the prep (note the very limited use of aromatics- just a couple teaspoons of each):

I sadly did not get a shot of the finished dish, but let me assure you, it was NOM. Poor cats were going crazy though with Tom picking the quail meat off the bones, though.

After that, we went to the Rusty Nail for a fundraiser/silent auction that the local adult kickball league was holding for the Roots of Music (Note: we do not belong to the league, but know people who do.) That was fun. Had a couple beers, I had a frozen saki lemonade, and we sat outside in the very warm night. We acquired a gift certificate for a local hair place and a hotel night at a place near the casino. Also acquired: a parking ticket! Which was, frankly, bull. So, boo.

Today: dawdled and missed breakfast time, so had lunch at the Marigny Brassierie. I had the grits & grillades, and Tom had the meatballs with red gravy and penne pasta. It was pretty good. I also had a French 75 while Tom enjoyed an Abita Restoration Pale Ale. We wandered down Frenchman Street, but in the light of day, it didn't look as fun as it is at night.

After coming home, I made a shopping list for Sunday Night Fried Chicken and Monday's Red Beans & Rice. I made fried chicken, smothered greens, and cheesy spoonbread, all out of Donald Link's book. Was yummy!

And, voila!

Now, time for bed.