One of the great things about living in Atlanta is that you can take short road trips in any direction and get to amazing places. Last fall we spent a long weekend in Charleston, South Carolina. It truly is the best of both worlds. Charleston feels European with it’s cobblestone streets and historic architecture, but has tropical beaches and amazing low country cuisine (think shrimp & grits and she-crab soup, yum!). If you are a history buff, Charleston doesn’t disappoint. One of the highlights is a horse and carriage tour, where the dramatic history of Charleston is laid out before you by the knowledgable driver. If it’s more your speed, you can just shop, dine and relax on a beach to your heart’s content. Luckily the weekend we visited saw record breaking temps of 80 degrees in November, so we were able to do just that!
The Atlanta History Center is one of our favorite places in town. Located in ritzy Buckhead, it is also in the midst of amazing estates, which makes it a very eye popping drive around if you have the time. The museum has exhibits about the development of Atlanta, the Civil War, the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, among others. There is also a farm house and out buildings you can tour, as well as a raised bridge that meanders through beautiful woods. But the highlight for me every time is the Swan House.
Built in 1928 for the Edward H. Inman family, the architect was Phillip Trammell Shutze. He was known during his career as America’s greatest “classical” architect. The interior is beautiful and they offer tours. Unfortunately to see it you will have to go in person because they do not allow photography. The Swan House gets its name from the motif that Mrs. Inman chose, and there are swans featured throughout. These photos are from several trips during different seasons.
I will admit, I am a weather dork. I love when summer storms pop up. My heart skips a beat when big puffy clouds build high in the sky. I remember sitting on the screened porch in the summers as a child, coloring as the thunder rumbled and the rain poured down. My favorite is to watch storm clouds roll in over the Gulf of Mexico when we are on a beach vacation.
In Chicago, storms primarily come from the west. Nice and predictable for the most part. Of course things like tornadoes are not my cup of tea. We dealt with a few warnings complete with sirens in Chicago and here in Atlanta. My poor children had to crawl under their school desks a couple of times last fall. That was a new experience they will never forget! Yes, the photo below was the actual color of the sky. I took it after a tornado warning as the sun was setting on Chicago. It looked like Mars! Or at least what I imagine Mars to look like.
In Atlanta storms seem to pop up out of nowhere. Very confusing for a Midwestern girl like me. You would think that since the Weather Channel is located right here, our weather forecast would be air tight. NOT! So many times there is no chance of rain, and a freak storm pops up. Maybe it’s just the way it is down here in this humid subtropical climate. We are within a 3-5 hour drive of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, which I assume plays a role in our weather.
I am secretly hoping for a storm this afternoon! Shhh, don’t tell anybody. Like I said, I am a weather dork.
There really isn’t anything accidental about this cobbler, but I can’t resist working my blog name into any peach recipe. I suppose it was accidental in that I wasn’t expecting to have a million peaches land on my kitchen counter.
My mother-in-law recently visited us, and on her drive up from southern Georgia, she stopped at a farm stand on the side of the road. She arrived at our house generously bearing a nuclear sized watermelon, and enough peaches and tomatoes to feed the town of Marietta. Naturally, peach cobbler popped into my head.
After looking at several cookbook recipes, I came up with a morphed version of my own. The dough texture reminds me of a clafouti. It would be delicious with vanilla ice cream, but I had whipped cream on hand.
Accidental Peach Cobbler
Peel and slice 5 million peaches. On second thought, maybe it was more like 12-14. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter into tablespoons. Place the butter pieces in a 9 x 13 baking dish. I used two 8 inch square dishes because I was giving one to a neighbor. Place the dish in the heated oven to melt the butter. Keep an eye on it so the butter doesn’t start browning. Take it out of the oven as soon as the butter is melted.
While the butter is melting, whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups room temperature milk and 1 tsp vanilla until combined. I microwaved the milk for 30 seconds because I didn’t have time to let it get to room temp.
After you remove the dish from the oven, pour the batter into it. The batter is supposed to be very soupy, so do not have a panic attack like I did. Spoon the peaches evenly over the batter. Place the dish back in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!
My husband and I wanted a night out to celebrate our recent wedding anniversary. Even if it was a record breaking 106 in Hotlanta! We also needed some time away from the kids so we could actually finish a conversation, love them though we do. A good friend recommended Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails in Milton, Georgia. It was fantastic!!!
As our handsome waiter explained (not as handsome as my hubby of course, cough cough), Milton’s is located in a 150 year old farmhouse. What is so special about the place is the one acre garden out back appropriately named “Milton’s Acre.” Most of the produce served in the restaurant comes from this garden, within 2 days of being picked. I am all about organic and locally grown, so this was right up my alley.
The manager went above and beyond, and we were treated like celebrities. I did note it was our anniversary and that it was our first visit, so I’m sure that had something to do with it. I honestly have never felt so special while dining out before. Complimentary champagne, a delicious appetizer on the house, and free tomatoes from Milton’s Acre on the way out!
This place doesn’t need to try so hard either, they were packed and have great accolades. It was the most wonderful evening we have had out in a long time, and I can’t wait to go back with out of town guests.