Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful for an Easy Thanksgiving!

I learned early on that my favorite Thanksgiving dinners were prepared by someone else, cleaned up by someone else, and hosted somewhere other than my house. I remember watching my mom spend days preparing food, ironing tablecloths and polishing silver, and then hours after dinner washing dishes and putting things away, all for 30 minutes of delicious turkey and dressing eating with friends and family. Even as a little kid I thought to myself that this was not a good investment of time and energy!

When I worked for Hyatt Hotels everyone had to work the day after Thanksgiving so we had “orphan Thanksgiving” at someone’s house every year. Those are some of my favorite holiday memories, with pot luck and a wonderful assortment of personalities, drinking and smoking and celebrating well into the night. Since then, I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving in a number of non-traditional ways. I’ve enjoyed the southern offerings at the Colonnade, the carving stations and ice sculptures at the Waverly, and an all-souffle dinner at a restaurant in Paris. One year I ate a Hungry Man TV dinner (turkey and dressing, of course) because I was arriving late from a trip that Thursday. The closest I ever came to hosting Thanksgiving was when I ordered everything from Eatzi’s (may they rest in peace) and invited some fellow orphans and my parents over.

So, it will come as no surprise that I will be dining out tomorrow. I was delighted to see that Toulouse was offering Thanksgiving dinner. Not just because they are a client of ours but because I truly love that restaurant and it’s in my neighborhood. Their menu includes the traditional offerings plus more – like lamb shank, wild mushroom ravioli and grilled salmon. And of course, because it’s Toulouse, there are wine pairing suggestions for each item.

I still don’t know if I’m going to go the traditional route and get butternut squash soup, turkey and dressing, and pumpkin pie or if I’ll branch out. All I know for sure is that all that is required of me is to show up on time and enjoy myself. That is something to be thankful for!

From everyone at MLA, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holiday Gift Guide

Believe it or not, its that time of year again folks- Christmas season is just a few short days away. After we celebrate Thanksgiving, everything is fair game in shopping. This year consider ordering something offline instead of braving the mall on Black Friday! This week the ladies at MLA, including myself, put together a holiday gift guide to help you select the perfect gift for those important, but hard-to-shop for people in your life. The gift guide features a variety of items such as Jersey Naps, TSP Spices, and some other great choices such as Via Elisa Pasta, all of which can be purchased online. In this mish-mosh of items you will see some of our personal favorites and some presents the people in our family will be recieving for the holidays. If you didn’t receive The Dish this week with all of our ideas, click here and you can read it online! Happy shopping!

Monday, November 24, 2008

2008 Riding Dirty Atlanta Wine Pairing Challenge

I have a love for wine and I have a love for blogs so it comes as no surprise that I read Dirty South Wine religiously. I'm really excited about the “Riding Dirty” Atlanta Wine Pairing Challenge he is putting on. Hardy has asked fifteen of Atlanta’s top restaurants to prepare a wine and food pairing to be served at their bar for under $25.

Wines are from the participating restaurants' current list of by-the-glass wines, and the food may be either a small plate or appetizer from their standard menu. The judges (Hardy, Matt Richardson and Broderick Smylie) have been evaluating each restaurants based on taste, creativity and value.

Hardy is chronicling each tasting at Dirty South Wine where you can read about the tastings and watch videos of their experiences at each restaurant. Updates can be followed on twitter under the #dty tag. Winners will be announced December 3, so stay tuned.

Participating restaurants include: Holeman & Finch, Joël, ARIA, ENO, Woodfire Grill, Toulouse,
VITA, Repast, La Tavola Trattoria, Top FLR, VINE, Canoe, Dogwood, ONE. Midtown kitchen and the ISAW charity (International Society of Africans in Wine).