Saturday, July 30, 2016

Odds and Ends

Here are a collection of moments highlighting family, food, and fun that captured a place on my camera over the past three months.  

Family dinner night was a combined effort that yielded delicious results.  I opted for the "make something out of nothing" strategy and prepared a potato and asparagus Caesar salad.

Gathering a few other ingredients from the refrigerator, this honey ginger sesame roasted carrots and brussels sprouts came to fruition.

Lastly, the main feature was a beautiful presentation of grilled whole red fish stuffed with herbs and roasted on a cedar plank that was provided by Mom and Dad.  The entire meal left our stomachs very happy.

Time flies when you are watching a baby grow up!  In a blink of an eye Eli was a month old, discovered his hands, spent more time awake and alert, and started smiling at 6 weeks.  He's so much fun to watch.

Between Eli's birth, a week of vacation, Grandpa's passing, and Mother's Day weekend, I spent most weekends in Atlanta in late April and May.  Mother's Day weekend I hosted a brunch to celebrate Grandma, Mom, and Erin (her 1st Mother's day!).  4 generations and nearly 8 decades are captured in this picture.

Our Mother's Day brunch included strawberry whole wheat scones, salmon-avocado-sprout roll-ups, and a goat cheese-asparagus-dill crustless quiche.

Mom spent most of the afternoon with Eli in her lap and a big smile on her face, evidence that she is loving her new role as "Grandma".  Royce and I are so lucky to have her as our Mom!

While Dad and Mom took an extended vacation in Italy, Bailey came to Charlotte for a couple weeks of summer camp.  Her weekends were filled with trips to the farmers market, long walks and runs through Myers Park and the greenway, and soaking up the sun on the deck.

She did her best to ensure that my attempts at productivity were short-lived.  The dog has absolutely no understanding of the importance of studying for my orthopaedic board exam or preparing for surgical cases.

I spent a few days in Atlanta en route to Denver for a board review course.  Bailey was returned to her rightful owners and Eli and I spent some quality nephew-aunt time together.

Flash-forward a few weeks and I made the move to Atlanta.  My townhouse is in an ideal location that is just a few miles to work, close to running trails, and just down the road from a farmer's market.  I hosted Erin, Royce, Mom, Dad, and Eli for a housewarming dinner one evening.  It's so wonderful to be living back in Atlanta and in such close proximity to family.

Our meal included quinoa fritters with a dill creme, roasted honey mustard potato salad, and a corn-tomato-avocado-bell pepper vegetable salad.  Summer on a plate!

Our Perkins Family 4th of July tradition is the running Atlanta's Peachtree Road Race, and 2016 was no exception.  Very warm temperatures, high humidity, and blue skies greater us at the start of the 6.2 mile street parade.

It was the warmest temperatures we had seen in several years, making for tough conditions for all of us.  We were spread out in different starting corrals, ranging from A to S, but managed to find each other amongst 55,000 of our closest friends at the finish line.  

One of these years I'm going to conquer the Atlanta heat, hills, and humidity and have a strong enough race to finish in the top 1000.  

On July 7th, I took part one of the orthopaedic board exam.  This was the capstone on five years of residency, annual in-training exams, and weeks of intensive studying.  Passing the eight-hour multiple choice test is required for board certification, so needless to say, I'm anxiously awaiting the release of results in September.

To celebrate, Dad and Mom made the short drive into town to join me for wine and appetizers at home, followed by an excellent dinner at Rumi's Kitchen.  Rumi's comes highly recommended for their authentic Persian cuisine.  We were first brought complimentary pita with a plate of feta cheese, herbs, olives, and radishes.  Next we selected a duo of spreads (butternut squash tahini and beet hummus) and a spinach and date salad.

Our entrees selections were Persian vegetable stew, lamb kabob with lentil and raisin basmati rice, and roasted salmon with dill and fava bean rice.  The lamb and salmon were both perfectly cooked, and the rices were unique and flavorful.  The portions of meat and rice were huge and we could have seriously shared just one entree between the three of us.  We all left with boxes of food that provided multiple meals.

With boards behind me, I enjoyed a few weeks of rest, relaxation, and fun with family and friends.  I've been telling Eli all about swimming, biking, and running, so he was very excited to join me for his first run.  Now that he's a little older we were able to strap him in to the Bob sans car seat and he and I enjoyed a short run through the neighborhood.

One morning I met Erin, Eli, and Mom for a girls' (+ baby) day out.  Lattes at Mugs on Milton provided the energy for our shopping excursion at Avalon.  Eli had little interest in shopping, but us girls had no trouble being drawn to all of the adorable baby boy outfits and hats.

Eli is more impressed with his race car than he was any of the hats and onesies we picked out for him.

Chattahoochee Coffee Company is a hidden gem inside the perimeter that I can't believe I had never visited.  Located in the back of a gated apartment complex, this coffee shop sits along the banks of the Chattahoochee River and has the best views.  Lattes are made with Counter Culture espresso, local organic mils, and house lavender syrup.  And in case you need a bite to eat, their lemon blueberry scones are perfection.

In the course of a week, I made two separate visits and have spent ours sipping coffee, working on a research project, and admiring the river.  I foresee many more trips to the river's edge to sip lattes in my future.

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