Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Adult Field Day

I spent this past Saturday at Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta orchestrating an Olympic field day for a group of young adults. These guys had a ball! This was such a fun event with a casual and high-energy twist - I am so often working on formal events...and this one was everything BUT formal. Almost 800 guests, divided into 27 teams, competed against each other for the gold medal. Lots and lots of beer-drinking, dancing to great music and loads of energetic fun.

Check it out!

A huge tent was set up in one of the quads for the buffets and some covered seating. We brought fans in to provide a little relief. Great view looking into Midtown!

Forgive my color in the next couple of pictures. My settings were off and I was madly snapping a few set up shots before I realized it. These inflatables were obstacle courses that each of the teams had to complete for the quickest time.

Opening ceremonies...love how these guys got into the outfits. Revenge of the Nerds was their inspiration.

Good ol' pie eating contest...

And giant trike races...

Not pictured were dunk tanks and dizzy bat relays, topped off by a great band that played into the night for a private outdoor concert!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Delicious Tomato Pie

This recipe for tomato pie will have you licking the pan. This is the perfect summer side - goes great with a steak or on its own. Even if tomatoes aren't your thing, try this and tell me if you haven't been convinced otherwise!

This is a recipe from my recipe guru!!!

You'll need:
  • 9" pie crust
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • several handfuls of cherry/grape tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay
First, you'll want to bake the pie crust - I bake for only about 8 minutes so it's not too brown. You'll be baking it again.

While the pie crust is baking, prep your tomatoes. These are from our sweet neighbor's garden! Aren't they gorgeous???

Slice those 'maters up.

This part is just a little time consuming, but do not skip it or you'll have a mushy tomato pie! Seed the tomatoes - I do this with my fingers, then place them on a paper towel to drain, like this:

Now, go out to your garden and see your pitiful basil. My basil is not doing very well, so I basically had to use the entire plant! Last year, my basil was in a pot and it was happy and healthy. I actually had so much that I had to pick it and freeze the leaves as the colder weather rolled in. This year, I put in an actual herb garden but I think my soil needs some help...

Rinse off your basil and run a knife through it. I added a little green onion for some extra flavor since I only got about 3/4 of a cup of basil. Toss the basil (and green onion, if you add this) with the garlic. Set aside.

Now that your pie crust is finished baking, pull it out of the oven. Sprinkle the crust with 1/2 a cup of mozzarella. Arrange your drained tomato slices on top of the cheese. Next, sprinkle your basil/green onion/garlic mixture on top of the tomatoes. Looking good already!

Mix the remaining mozzarella, mayonnaise, parmesan and Old Bay in a bowl. It will look like this:

Spread this mixture over the pie - try to seal the edges as much as you can.

Bake this deliciousness for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees. The top should be golden and bubbly.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July Issue of "Presenting Atlanta's Particulars"

Check out our monthly newsletter to see what we've been up to and what's ahead for Presenting Atlanta!

Hope everyone can read this! :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Backyard Blooms

Remember the post about my inspiration (below) for the potting table project?

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn
Well, it's complete. I would be lying if I said I loved it as much as Pottery Barn's, but let's be honest...this is a photo shoot and the above picture is not actually in someone's real, live yard. Here's what I was working with...are you wondering why I didn't leave it out for the garbage truck? Because I am...

Totally and completely heinous, right? I'm not sure that even describes it fully.

A close up of this beautiful and clean white/green tile combo

After removing the disintegrating drawers and tile tabletop (which literally fell off), it was already looking better!

Finished product
And, voila! Like I said, it is far from perfect but it sure beats what I started with. I really didn't do much else to it other than removing the drawers and taking off the tile. There is still grout on the surface from the tile and to be frank, I haven't had the time or elbow grease to scrub it all off. It looks best from afar, but I'm pleased with the improvement after just a smidgen of effort.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Easy lb Cake Recipe

Just a warning that this is not a low fat recipe...but it is worth every calorie! I hadn't made this in a while and now I'm afraid Josh and I are both addicted...which is not good for our waistlines. More cardio needed!

You'll need:

  • 3 sticks of butter (no, this is not a typo!)
  • 1-8oz package cream cheese
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (if you don't have this and don't want to buy it, it's not the end of the world....your pound cake will still be delicious)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Cream butter & cream cheese like so.

It should look about like this. Nice and thick and fattening!

Add in your sugar and eggs, beating well after each addition. I usually alternate sugar then one egg, mix, sugar then another egg, mix, etc. It's going to look like this...

I need a bigger mixer!

Next, add in your flavorings, flour and baking powder.

It's going to thicken back up and look like so...

Pour it into a 9 inch tube pan and bake at 325 degrees for 1.5 hours.

And ta-da! This is what you'll get. Josh may or may not have nibbled away some of the top layer...I may or may not have too.

I served the pound cake with delicious, juicy peaches from Peach County! Doesn't get any better than that.

Just a tip...peel your peaches and slice them up ahead of time. Add several tablespoons of sugar and let them get really juicy. This makes almost like a peach glaze and it is a perfect compliment to your cream cheese pound cake.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Moonflower

This season, the most fascinating plant to me is the moonflower vine. A dear friend gave me one this spring after we both fell in love with them last year. It had to be special ordered and of course, arrived in pretty poor condition after being sent through the mail. I bought an orb for it to climb and it quickly became healthy and took off.

This is a vine with big leaves and huge white flowers (about 6 inches in diameter) that bloom only at dusk. Each bud blooms once and literally, if you blink, you might miss it. Once the morning sun touches the flower, it closes, shrivels up and falls off. I have had bloom after bloom on my vine and it's fun to watch them open up. They are such interesting plants!

Look at this process...
This was yesterday....

This was this morning....

This is what it looked like when I got home this evening...

And this is the bloom in all its glory!
How interesting is this plant?!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Photography Workshop

After an awesome 6 hour photography workshop today at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, I am partially more confused with my newly acquired photography knowledge but also thrilled to know a little bit more about my camera. Now I know just enough about the nomenclature to be utterly flabbergasted, but I'm not giving up. The piece of advice that hit me the most today was to not worry about the specific settings and numbers immediately...just make adjustments until you are happy with the photograph. That's kind of what I did!

How cute is this little guy?!
His girlfriend coming up to meet him with the second course :)

 The next four pictures are basically the same...I just played with the white balance.

I think I like the warmth of this one the best...

I love this picture for some reason.