Sunday, March 2, 2014

02 March 2014 – Oscar Night

It has been another busy weekend for me. I spent Thursday through Saturday afternoon in Athens for Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) training for newly elected officials. I was joined by my friends and fellow Council members Sandy McGrew and John Rust. Mayor Gene Hobgood also attended the sessions, and we learned a lot of useful information. There is so much more to learn, and the GMA is a great resource. It was an honor and privilege to be in a room with 250 other public servants, including one of my fellow Berry graduates, Wendy Davis, who is a new Commissioner in Rome. Wendy and I will be sharing ideas along the way!

We got home on Saturday afternoon and enjoyed an impromptu dinner gathering with our friends Rob and Kandace Walker-Bunda. I enjoyed hanging with their son, Atlas, and we watched a few episodes of Curious George. Kandace made some delicious guacamole and turkey burgers, and Jeff and I contributed some amazing Mexican pastries from Ramirez Grocery. Their baked goods are made by La Luna Bakery, and everyone should check them out.

Today, we enjoyed our typical lunch at the Scott Boys BBQ truck and shopped for fresh produce at Cherokee Market. Even though Lisa has bought a great new space in Lathemtown, I am still holding out hope the historic Bell's Store can be saved. Time will tell. We spent the afternoon at a wonderful baby shower for Dyanna and Ethan Diggs. The shower was held at Grant Design Collaborative, and even though Dyanna is on strict bed rest in the hospital, we enjoyed spending some time with Ethan and their friends. Dyanna attended via Skype, so her presence contributed to a nice event. After the shower, I came home to prepare an Oscar worthy menu for tonight's Sunday Supper. In the past, I've prepared Steak Oscar and other typical recipes, so I wanted to cook a few different dishes for tonight's Academy Awards. I decided to make Stuffed Pork Chops with Spinach and Sun Dried Tomatoes. For the sides, I shaved some of Cherokee Market's farm fresh Brussels sprouts and added pecorino romano cheese and toasted walnuts for a healthy salad. In addition, I used a recipe that my friend, Dianne Rugg, posted on her Facebook cooking page, First Pour the Wine: roasted cauliflower with onions and parmesan. It was incredible, so thanks Dianne! For dessert, I used some seasonal Florida strawberries to make a shortcake with fresh baked cornmeal biscuits. Yes, my life is blessed!

Now, we are watching the red carpet and awaiting the Academy Awards. There were some great performances this year, and may the best actors and actresses win the golden statue.

The Menu:

- Heritage Pork Chops Stuffed with Spinach, Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomatoes

- Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pecorino Romano and Lightly Toasted Walnuts

- Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic, Onions and Parmesan

- Cornmeal Biscuit Strawberry Shortcakes

The Recipe – Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad


1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts (preferably on the stalk), any discolored leaves discarded and stems left intact
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano, or to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Holding each Brussels sprout by stem end, cut into very thin slices using a mandoline or very sharp knife. Toss in a bowl to separate layers.
Lightly crush walnuts with your hands, and add to Brussels sprouts along with cheese, oil, and lemon juice, then toss to combine. Season with pepper.

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