Thursday, March 13, 2014

Travel: Weekend in Atlanta

This past weekend myself and a few friends decided to pack our bags and drive to Atlanta. I had always wanted to visit the Aquarium and since we couldn't think of a could reason not to go, we all decided to just do it.

It was a weekend packed with food, sight-seeing, and hiking. While in a way I am glad to be back home, I also miss the excitement of travel.

My favorite part to the trip had to be the Georgia Aquarium. Recently bumped down to the 2nd largest aquarium  in the world, the Georgia Aquarium does not disappoint. I could sit for hours watching the whale sharks swim. The price is relatively affordable for all you get to see, and if you are in town for more than a few days, I recommend the city pass. Go early if you can because the lines get long and if you can avoid it, don't go on a weekend.

Next on our list was The World of Coca-Cola. To be honest I am not a huge coke drinker, so going here was more for the novelty of saying I had been. Would I go back? No, probably not. But, if you have never been I would recommend going only because the price is cheap and you do learn a lot about the history of Coke as well as all the ways they trail-blazed advertising. Also, you get to sample all the coke products you want from around the world. This one was my favorite.

Since we only had a few days we were limited in what we could do. We did visit the infamous Vortex Burger (and we waited over an hour for a table.) I went in to pastry heaven, attempting to sample every bakery I could get my hands on. Octane Coffee had my favorite pastries, if only because of how cheap and cute they were. If I lived in Atlanta, I would probably find myself going there regularly. I also went to my first ever improv show. We decided on Dad's Garage. The atmosphere was intimate, the location convenient, and I would recommend going to anyone looking to have an inexpensive good time.

All in all, I really enjoyed Atlanta. There is so much to see and do. If you are close (or even if you aren't close) do try and go. You won't be disappointed.


Stone Mountain. Don't be like me and think it is just some rinky-dink rock that you can get away with
wearing riding boots to climb. Big mistake. Wear comfy shoes and enjoy the gorgeous views.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Let's Talk Bread: Chocolate Sourdough

Sometimes life gets you down. You begin your day just fine, going about your usual activities, anticipating the moment when you get to release from the stress of the day and enjoy yourself, until suddenly--no--there is no release, everything has changed, and the moments before are now so long ago, and so strange.
This week has been a whammy of emotions. I made this sourdough last week before I got caught up in the panic of time. I had wanted to make this bread on Valentine's Day but it never worked out. I've been having an issue recently with all of my sourdough breads coming out too dense. You can see in the pictures that the dough is what I call "tight": little to no airbubbles, with the insides compressing together. Although the particulars of the bread are not perfect, the flavor is spot on.

I love a chocolate, crusty bread. It's like two worlds melting into one, where you want to say that it shouldn't work but somehow it does, and it tastes so good.

The dough is not sweet. There is no sugar in this recipe. The slight sweetness comes from the occasional chocolate chunk or cranberry, but other than that, it is just dark, rich chocolate with a tang of sour.

Because I used cocoa powder, I added instant yeast. Cocoa powder can inhibit the natural yeasts in your starter, so the instant yeast helps it along. Fold in the chocolate chunks and cranberries at the end, do not do so during kneading or you will tear your gluten.

Bake this and be prepared for your house to fill up with the aroma of warm, melting chocolate and dark crusty bread.

Chocolate Cranberry Sourdough

1250g Bread Flour
.75L Starter
112g Cocoa Powder
36g Salt
11g Instant yeast
65g Coffee, cool
500g Old Dough
500g Chocolate Chunks
500g Cranberries
add water to right consistency (window-pane).

Mix and knead all of your ingredients together. I chill this overnight and then let it rest the next day before baking. Bake at 450 with steam until dark.
site design by designer blogs