Nina Kupka by Frantisek Kupka, Czech 1871-1957
When the weather was quite cold I made a thick lentil soup with little French lentils, some lamb stew meat, kale, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes, and herbs - what I had on hand. It turned out nicely served with a small salad on the side.
When it turns cold we also like to go to the movies. We saw five films and part of a sixth one. We saw Philomena, marvelously played by Judy Dench. We also watched Inside Llewyn Davis, American Hustle, August: Osage County and Saving Mr. Banks - about Walt Disney and the author of the book Mary Poppins, P. L. Travers. We started to watch The Wolf of Wall Street but left after about 1/2 hour. It is a 3-hour long movie about a stockbroker's greed, drug use, trophy wives and too much obscene language for my comfort zone - it is a predictable story but a successful film though, but not for me - it did not inspire us. My favorite film was Philomena. I also enjoyed learning about the author of Mary Poppins, and did not know she was born in Australia. I did read that the film left out many facts about P. L. Travers, but it is a film after all ... Since I had never read the book or seen the Disney movie Mary Poppins I ordered the DVD and just received it.
We ate out several times during the month. A restaurant in Woodstock, GA, we visit often for breakfast, J. Christopher, had opened a branch in Kennesaw, near the mall where the movie theatre is located, so we had lunch there. There are interesting art works displayed on the walls.
My husband had the Patty Melt sandwich (grilled burger topped with melted Swiss, caramelized onions, 1000 Isle dressing on rye bread with sauteed potatoes) and I had the soup and salad combo (Bleu cheese, tomato, avocado, red onion and chopped bacon on top a mound of fresh field greens with a grilled pepper and tomato soup with smoked Gouda cheese.)
I was going to call this post "Food in January" since I had taken pictures of meals at restaurants and at home, but after Tuesday snow fall, I changed the title so I could include some snowy pictures taken from my windows. Today, Thursday, there is still snow on the ground but it will warm up to the 40s F (5 C) this afternoon and the 60s F (15 C) by Saturday. But getting back to food, we stopped by the French bakery and cafe "La Madeleine" on a cold afternoon for a cup of tea and an almond croissant. I enjoyed talking French with three African members of the staff, one from Senegal, one from Guinea Conakry and the other from Togo.
Back at home I made up another dish - chicken breast with an assortment of ingredients I had. I did write the recipe down and called it "Impromptu Chicken" - covered the pieces in flour mixed with herbs, browned them in butter and olive oil and removed them from pan. Fried green pepper, garlic and shallot on the side, then added some dried tomatoes, white wine, 1/2 and 1/2 cream, mushrooms and herbs. It was quite good.
On another very cold day we went to Roswell, GA, and had lunch at The Swallow at the Hollow, a BBQ place. At first we could not find it as it is a barn with a small sign. Once indoor it looked very rustic but I had heard good reviews about the food. My husband had a barbecue sandwich and baked beans and I had the Brunswick stew and fried green tomatoes (which were excellent.) I really enjoyed the meal. I did notice that most of the clientele was masculine and counted 22 men around us and one woman ... I think they have music at night (DJ and records maybe by the look at the 33 LP collections.) Their sister restaurant, Greenwood's on Green Street, provide them with their famous pies - we shared a large piece of apple pie.
Last Tuesday as it was so very cold again I thought using the oven would warm up the kitchen nicely. I decided to bake some brownies but again I had to use what was on hand since I could not drive to the grocery store on the icy roads. I used semi-sweet chocolate pieces and cocoa powder, butter, 3 eggs, pecans, flour, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon, with some cream cheese and Greek yogurt. I also added a good tablespoon of Orange Liqueur I bought in Martinique, but Grand Marnier would work just as well, or orange juice. I called that "Snow Day Brownies" and if anyone would like the recipe, just send me an email (as shown in my blog profile.)
We went to a couple more restaurants and I created some new dishes but by now I think everyone is stuffed and I'll get to my snowy pictures. These were taken from behind my windows that have screens attached outside. It was snowing as you can tell from the top picture. My cat Cody was watching a little yellow bird with interest.
A woodpecker often flies to the center bird feeder but another bird, brown and black, decided to take shelter under it. He stayed there, all puffed up, for quite a while. I am not sure what type of bird he is.
I do not recognize birds well but cardinals are easy to spot with their beautiful bright red color. I followed the cardinal below and his lady cardinal with my camera.
There were a multitude of sparrows on the ground (at one time I counted 56!) and at the six bird feeders. It even looked like they were fighting for the seeds, as you can see in the center picture below. My husband braved the snow and cold and refilled all the bird feeders and spread more seeds on the ground and on the window sill.
But this brought out a squirrel and he jumped on the roof of the bird feeder and helped himself.
Yesterday our road was covered with snow and ice - no salt truck comes so far out until all the main roads are clear. I just heard on the News that, as of today, Thursday afternoon January 30th, there are still over 2000 abandoned cars on the roads in our area. Today though the snow is lovely under the bright afternoon sun - I took this picture from my front porch.
Note: My next post will be about the snow storm in Metro Atlanta.