Bloggers & Bubbles: A Day of Pampering at L’Occitane + Brunch at South Main Kitchen 

Who doesn’t love a day of relaxation and good food? I’m definitely a fan! Slightly stressful for the last few weeks, I was in dire need of a little pampering. Well yesterday my day had came. Yes!! I was off to Alpharetta! Awesome Alpharetta! That’s what they say right? Well yesterday on my first time back to the Georgia city in several years, I could definitely see it’s transformation. Starting with one of it largest developments, Avalon. As I walked through the area on my way to my destination, I noticed all the great shopping and dining options. Pretty impressive! Pretty awesome you might even say.

Today’s trip to Alpharetta was to meet a few amazing women of the Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society for a day of pampering and fab eats. Our day started at L’Occitane for a morning filled with massages, facials, and mimosas! The soundtrack to set the mood was that of a woman playing a harp. Yes please! I. AM. HERE.FOR. IT.

I started my spa day with an amazing hand massage. After washing my hand with the Verbena Cleansing Hand Wash, I followed it with the Verbena Body Salt Scrub to get all that dead winter skin off. Bye-bye! It was then followed by the Almond Shower Oil. It smelled amazing!! At this point my hands was pretty on point! But then the L’Occitane hand massage specialist came in with her incredible hands and gave me a much needed massage. She used their Shea Butter Hand Cream to lock in all that moisture. Yasssss. So apparently this hand cream is the business. One is sold every three seconds. Which means by the time I’m finsh writing the rough draft of this post, they would have sold 1,200 tubes of the tube of this awesomeness. Wow!! If your curious that’s $33,600 in one hour!! Double WOW!!

Next station was to get a little facial rejuvenation from Kyle. I previously had met Kyle at the Buckhead location. He’s really great and very knowledgeable of all the prouducts. I knew I was in good hands. First he spritzed the air with the lovely scent of lavender. Mmmmmm. Then he proceeded to cleanse, tone, and moisturize my face, leaving nice and vibrant. Thank you Kyle!

Enjoying a morning of pampering with Melissa & Toby!

For over 40 years L’Occitane has been making skin products using the power of plants. Stop by and see what products would be best for your skin type.

I think Teresa is enjoying her back massage. Right Teresa?

Unfortunatly, I did not have time to get in on the back massage. I hear it was pretty amazing. Sad face. Still, I had a absolutely wonderful time! I will be back!! What an awesome team!! Thank you such a lovely morning!!

L’Occitane en Provence ~2800 Old Milton PKWY, Ste. 3040, Alpharetta, GA 30009

Now off to Brunch!!!

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South Main Kitchen ~ 9 South Main Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009

South Main Kitchen was our next stop on this oh so lovely day! Located in the heart of the Alpharetta historic district, South Main is serving up an ingredient driven menu, bringing a unique dining experience to the ever so growing community. The restaurant is beautiful! From its rustic interior to the open kitchen, you instantly feel welcomed as you walk through the door.

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South Main Kitchen

Our tasting yesterday was from their Sunday Brunch Menu. Check out what we ate!

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KALE & BRUSSEL SPROUT SALAD~almond, pecorino, dried cranberry, ginger + blood orange dressing

This salad was seriously good. It was one of my favorites of the brunch. Lot of flavor and crunch! I loved the bit of sweetness you get from the cranberries. Very nice.

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QUINOA SALAD~arugula, feta, carrot, pumpkin seed, red onion, red pepper, herbed vinaigrette

Another great salad. Beautifuly made with fresh ingredients. I loved the pumpkin seeds and feta in the salad.

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PARMESAN GNOCCHI~marinara sauce, sautéed wild mushrooms

I loved this dish as well. Gnocchi done right! Perfectly seasoned with a bit of crunch over some lovely wild mushrooms. Tasty!

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BRUSSEL SPROUTS~feta, bacon, ginger + blood orange vinaigrette

Delicious! I’ve recently become a major fan of brussel sprouts and have had some pretty amazing ones since my new found love of these edible buds. These brussel sprouts have been added to the list of the forth coming list of top 5 Brussel Sprout Dishes To Eat In Atlanta. (I just made that up.) Even so, It’s going on the list!!

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SHORT RIB CREPES~rosemary pan sauce, caramelized onion, bacon, spinach, red bell pepper, goat cheese, pickled jalapenos

 

I really appreciated the creativity that went into this dish. It was somewhat unexpected that these ingredients went so well together. If you’re looking for something different, this is your dish.

BISCUIT AND GRAVY~buttermilk buiscuit, sausage gravy

Who doesn’t love a biscuit??? I LOVE biscuits! My homemade biscuits are pretty amazing! I can be somewhat of snob when it comes to this delicious baked treat. This biscuit, I can honestly say, was a really good biscuit. Paired with the sausage gravy and you have a good ole southern experience!

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GARDEN OMELETTE~cauliflower, tomato, arugula, mushrooms, pecorino cheese, red pepper cream sauce

This omelette was very tasty! We even got a surprise appearance from a cauliflower. Cauliflower just might be my new favorite addition to an omelette!

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Beautiful smiles spotted through the open kitchen!

BEST DAY EVER!!! I really enjoyed my time in Alpharetta. The pampering at L’Occitane and delicious brunch at South Main Kitchen was exactly what I needed! I was so glad that I was able to share the day with my homies at the Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society. Good times!!

 

SHOUT OUTS!!!

Thank you to the entire L’Occitane team! You guys rock!

Thank you South Main Kitchen for hosting us for Sunday Brunch! The food was amazing! 

Thank you to our amazing sponsors Scout & Molly’s and Stirrings! Thanks for all the swag!

Thanks you to all of the Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society members that shared this fab day with me.  Demetra, Shannon, Nikka, Linda, Denise, Nadeen, Teresa, Jennifer, and Toby. 

Huge! Huge!  THANK YOU to Melissa for setting up this super awesome day!! You rock!! 

*I receive this incredible experience complimentary. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Brookhaven Brunch Festival 2016

Bottomless Bloody Mary

Back in March, Atlanta Beer Festivals launched their brunch festive series with the Atlanta Brunch Festival. Held at the Historic Old Fourth Ward Park brunch enthusiasts gathered to sample bites from popular restaurants all over Atlanta. Today, they are back with a second installment, Brookhaven Brunch Festival. It was held at Brookhaven Park, where foodies united to indulge in all things brunch. Check out some of my favorites.
DBA Barbecue ~ Chicken & Waffles, Grits, Eggs, and Spinach

Atlanta Breakfast Club ~ Fried Chicken Biscuit

Bon Glaze ~ Apple Cider Donut

Sunday Brunch 02.28.2016

  Today got to a pretty lazy start due to me having several events last night. Can you say exhausted! I was happy when my daughter said she was getting up to start brunch. Best Kid Ever!! She wanted to make waffles! So waffles it is! She pulled out the waffle maker and started making them. She also put on a pot of water for the yellow grits and crack some eggs for the Southwest scrambled eggs. By the time I dragged myself out of the bed all I had to do is cook the eggs and add the grits to the boiling water. Sweet!! I love that my daughter has such a love for food and cooking. She is definitely following in my footsteps. I loved to cook and be in the kitchen with my mother as a child and even now as an adult. It is one of the best bonding experiences you can share with your child.

Brunch Menu

Waffles

Southwestern Scrambled Eggs (tomatoes, basil, corn, sweet red pepper, smoked provolone)

Yellow Grits

Fresh Grapfruit

It’s National Blueberry Pancake Day! 

 It’s National Blueberry Pancake Day! Yay! I love pancakes and blueberries. Put them together and I’m one happy girl. Making a stack today was a must. Look how yummy they look! You want some don’t you? 

  

Blueberries are not only the second most popular berry in the US, but they have one of the highest capacities of antioxidants amongst all fruits, vegetables, and spices. Antioxidants help combat the free radicals that can damage cellular structures such as DNA. So grab a handful! Your body will thank you for it! 

I’ve added a few not so traditional ingredients to my pancakes today in an attempt to be fancy. Lol. Instead of sea salt I used lavender salt. It gave the pancakes a unique flavor. I’m a fan! I also used pumpkin spice rather than cinnamon. That gave it a little spice. Everything came together just wonderfully.   Brunch was a delicious success!

 
Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

Makes 12 pancakes

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp lavender salt (or sea salt, I was just being fancy )

2 tbsp sugar 

1/4 tsp pumpkin spice

1 cup fresh blueberries 

2 cups buttermilk 

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp coconut oil

Butter for skillet.

Directions

1.  Swift all dry ingredients together.

2. In another bowl mix buttermilk, eggs, and coconut oil.

3. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients. Mix until combined. Fold in blueberries. Let set for 7 minutes.

4. Heat skillet and grease with butter. When hot add pancake mix. I like to use a 1/4 cup as a measurement tool. Flip pancakes when bubbles form. Cook until golden.

5.  Serve with warm maple syrup and MORE BLUEBERRIES!

Tuesday Brunch Happiness { Dutch Oven Pancake w/ Cranberry Orange Compote}

Today, I had the day off and took full advantage of it. I didn’t even get out of bed till 10am!! Yikes! Oh so lazy! It is very rare I get to sleep in so I didn’t feel that bad. I was in the mood for something really good to eat that I could sit down and enjoy. A Dutch Oven Pancake popped into my head. They are so quick and easy to make. Plus they are so cool to see bake. I still had cranberrys left, so I decided to use them as my topping. Add a little orange to it and your brunch becomes a party! Today’s party consisted of my daughter and I. Even though the recipe says serves 4, it really depends on how greedy the guest are. We were greedy and ate the whole thing. Just the two of us. It was so good though. I would keep that in mind when preparing this bit of brunch happiness. 

      

Dutch Oven Pancake w/ Cranberry Orange Compote

Serves 4


Ingredients 

3 tbsp unsalted butter

4 eggs

1 cup flour

1 cup whole milk

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Dash of salt

Powdered sugar for dusting



Cranberry Orange Compote

1 bag of fresh cranberries

Juice of 1 orange

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp clove

1/4 tsp cinnamon 

1/8 tsp salt



Directions

Preheat 425

1.  Place butter in a cast iron skillet and put in oven until melted. 

2. Blend eggs in blender on high for 1 minute.

3. Add milk to eggs and blend for another 2 minutes.

4. Add sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt to blender and blend for a minute.

5. Remove skillet. Pour mixture into skillet over melted butter. Return skillet to oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

6.  For Cranbery Orange Compote, combine all ingredients in a medium pan and cook on medium until cranberrys start to pop. 

7. Remove pancake from oven. It will be beautiful and puffy. Put some of the cranberries in the middle and dust with powdered sugar.

8. Slice and dig in!!

  

PMA FRESH SUMMIT , Pure Flavor and a Spinach & Tomato Frittata!

A few weeks ago, I was invited to the PMA FRESH SUMMIT by Pure Flavor. Pure Flavor uses the method of hydroponics to grow their produce. This method uses mineral nutrient solutions in water, without soil. Allowing for a pollution and pest free growing environment.  Pure Flavor was debuting their new expo display. It was beautiful! Their expo space featured a large selection of their produce. There was heirloom tomatoes, mini eggplant, and lettuce just to name a few.

Seeing all that amazing produce made me  want to make a nice hearty salad. I was getting hungry. Pure Flavor had expo guess covered in that area as well. In their expo space was Chef Asha Gomez preparing some delicious bites to nibble on. Chef Asha Gomez’s Atlanta restaurant, Spice to Table, is a favorite amongst Atlanta foodies. When I arrived she was busy getting those tasty bites out. 

Pure Flavor was very generous in giving me a few of their products to take home and cook with. Yay!

In the bag:

Poco Bites, cocktail cucumbers. My daughter ate all of them!  She thought they were cute and delicious.  She put them in her lunch for school everyday till they were gone.

Mini  eggplant. I made a delicious Eggplant Lasagna with them.

Aurora Bites Mini Peppers.  Again my daughter loved these and so did I.  I put them in salads, omelets, or just ate them alone. Great taste. Sweet, crisp, and fresh.

Marzanito Mini Tomatos.  Also great in salads, omelets, or just by themselves.

Chocolate Tomatoes. Delicious! That is all you need to know! Put them on anything that you want to be awesome. The end.

One thing I did make a couple times ( ok it was 3 times) was a Spinach & Tomato Frittata.  Let me start by saying that I really can’t recall ever making a frittata ever. However I do know how to cook and I had these great veggies provided by Pure Flavor. Let make a frittata! Why not! I wanted to use the chocolate tomatoes, mini tomatoes, and the mini peppers. I thought it would make a great combination. I made the frittata in my mini 6.5 inch cast iron skillet.  A, not for sharing size if you will!  Feel free to make two so you won’t feel pressured into sharing.  No one likes that. lol.

Mini Spinach & Tomato Frittata

 

Servings 1

Ingredients

3 eggs beaten

1 chocolate tomato, sliced

2 large mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup onions

Handful of fresh spinach, roughly chopped

5 Marzanito Mini Tomatoes , cut in half

1 Aurora Bites Mini Pepper, sliced

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 Tbsp  heavy whipping cream

1/4 tsp rosemary salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Pat of butter

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine cheese, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Melt butter in skillet. Add onions and mushooms. Cook until slightly tender. About a minute.
  4. Layer sliced tomatoes on top followed by spinach, mini peppers, and mini tomatoes.
  5. Pour egg and cheese mixture on top.
  6. Put in the oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

 

So easy to make! And so good too! I made mines with coconut pancakes and a pumpkin spice latte!

Best.Brunch.Ever

  

{Foodie Event} Fall Beer Brunch with The Atlanta Beer Boutique


As an Ambassador for CulinaryLocal, I had the extreme pleasure of attending the Atlanta Beer Boutique’s Annual Fall Beer Brunch. It was held on a beautiful, brisk Sunday at just add honey tea company. Perfect weather for beer!  Atlanta Beer Boutique is the brainchild of owner, Jen Price.  Her mission, to educate men and women alike about craft beer. As a connoisseur of craft beer, I can certainly stand by this. At one time, I only drank one brand of beer. Then a friend, disappointed at a my beer selection, pointed out that the place we were at had over 200 beers available. I realized that I had been limiting myself and didn’t even know it. Even worse, I didn’t know much about craft beer. With an open mind and guidance from friends, I started my craft beer journey. Since then, I have been a fan.  So put that love (or budding love) of craft beer and pair it with a great brunch. You’ll have something just amazing. And that’s exactly was Atlanta Beer Boutique’s Fall Beer Brunch was. Amazing.

Upon arrival, I was warmly greeted by the host and her all-star team. Her mixologist whipped up a lovely crafted beer cocktail called the Pumpkin Patch. It was made with a seasonal beer, Imperial  Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher, just add honey’s Vanilla Chai Tea, and Bourbon. It was delicious! Imperial Pumpkin Ale, with its spicy, full bodied flavor, mixed very well with the tea and bourbon for a lovely fall inspired cocktail.

  

Appetizers included Beer Glazed Bacon and Bourbon Infused Fruit Kabobs. With all of the ohhhhs, mmmms, and closed eyes as they were eating, you knew everyone was  really enjoying the bacon. The bacon was from Kilted Butcher and was glazed with beer from a local brewery, Second Self Beer Company.



Brunch on this fine Sunday afternoon, was prepared by Chef Glen Lyles. He put together a lovely 3 course meal for us to enjoy.

1st Course

Pumpkin Hummus with Toasted Pita Points

Seasonal Vegetables 

Beer Pairing

 Imperial Pumpkin Ale {Southern Tier Pumking}

I really enjoyed the Pumpkin Hummus. The pumpkin was an unexpected twist of one of my favorite spreads. With the spicy notes of the Imperial Pumkin Ale, the hummus was taken to another level.



2nd Course

Vegetable Quiche 

Pear and Goat Cheese Salad Dressed with a Wheat Beer Vinaigrette 

Beer Pairing

Thai Wheat {Second Self Beer Company}

This was my favorite course. One the quiche was outstanding! It had the balance of vegetables and eggs. Great seasoning. Just plain delicious! I wanted more! The salad was fresh and crisp. Topped with the Wheat Beer Vinaigrette, made with this course’s beer pairing, it was even more amazing. The course was paired with one of my favorite local beers, Thai Wheat. This craft beer, from Second Self Beer Company, has two of my favorite flavor notes, ginger and lemongrass. It’s a fairly light beer, making it a great addition to this beautifully prepared course.

3rd Course

Berry Cobbler with Whipped Cream

Beer Pairing 

Belgian-Style Quadrupel Ale {Wild Heaven Craft Beers}

Yummy! Delicious! Scrumptious! Give me some more! You get what I’m trying to say. This was the grand finale to this amazing brunch. The cobbler was one point. The beer, with its spicy, full-bodied complexity was a genius pairing for it. Well done, Chef Lyles. Brunch was wonderful.

A multitude of high 5s to Jen Price for organizing an awesome brunch. The whole experience felt like I was sitting with friends and family. Great food and even better company. It was definitely good time. Thank you for sharing your love and expertise of craft beer. You rock!

Visit Atlanta Beer Boutique on the web at www.atlantabeerboutique.com

For more information on upcoming event visit the CulinaryLocal Marketplace.

Click HERE for more delicious photos!

*As an Ambassador for CulinaryLocal this event was complimentary. All thoughts and opinions are that of my own.