Well, the Alton Brown's recipe of Shepherd's pie turned out great! It was really good. Here are pictures during the making.
I didn't blog yesterday morning as we slept late. I needed the rest so desperately. And it was nice. I had about an hour to goof off before shower time and sipping coffee and playing Tropical Farmville was just what I wanted to do for that hour.
We headed out about 10 to Katy's house and picked her and Cody up. Cody said he'd drive us around and take us to the pond. We went to what must be the tallest point in Franklin. We were waaaaaay up on top. I felt like we were in Gatlinburg. It was even a little scary at times being up there. I picture our little middle TN area as being mostly just a bit hilly here and there and flat in other areas - but this was like a mountain. And of course there were public roads but when we got to the private road it was gravel. You need a 4 wheel drive. Katy told me it was ok that it wasn't nearly as bad as the hill in Texas he took us on. I was glad the drop offs weren't as bad as some of the ones in Gatlinburg and North Carolina that we've been on.
So we went down some big hills and went to the pond.
We had to go back up the hill. I was a little nervous, and in this pic we were just topping it. But Cody's truck handled it with no issue at all. This was on the right hand side going back up.
I liked Cody's truck and he was nice to drive us around and he is really good at backing that thing up. If I had to do it I'd hit every car around three times. lol He did it quickly and with ease. He managed to find a really good parking spot for us every where we went.
George was thrilled that Cody would go to the guitar show with him. I was thrilled to have my girl go shopping and eat lunch with me at Sapphire. We were at The Factory, in Franklin where there are shops and restaurants.
I have been wanting to actually "eat" at sapphire - we've only had coffee at the bar once. And so we went in and I had not eaten anything all morning. I ordered a BLT sandwich b/c that really sounded like both breakfast and lunch (brunch) since that was truly what was happening. Katy got a "Saphhire salad" which was described as having mixed greens, seasonal vegetables and champagne dressing.
Our food came out probably after 35 or 40 minutes - maybe even longer - it's hard to say. But they did bring a lot of tea and water refills for us and some really good biscuits fritters. I was thankful as I usually don't go til 12:30 or 1:00 w/o eating. My blood sugar can be an issue. So I obliterated the biscuit. lol So much for trying not to eat enriched flour as much. That rule goes out the window when you are starving.
Finally they brought our meal. And my BLT was a little different than I expected. It was pretty good. Honestly mine are better at home. The bread was hard and made for a quite tall sandwich. I ended up eating it all separately as a platter instead. It was pretty good that way. I ate some of the bread, as it was quite good by itself, but not on both ends of a sandwich. It was still kinda hard though. But when you are hungry.....
So Katy's salad came out with iceberg lettuce, candied pecans, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing, and potato chips on top. (lol) A far cry from the "mixed greens, seasonal vegetables, and champagne dressing". Katy is pretty flexible and rarely sends anything back. But she detests blue cheese. We knew they had brought her someone elses salad.
I got our waitresses attention finally, and told her that she got the wrong salad. She looked confused a bit. Katy said "I ordered the saphhire salad" and she said "that is the Sapphire salad". And Katy said, "well it said on the menu it was supposed to be "mixed greens, seasonal veggies with champagne dressing..and this doesn't have veggies and it has blue cheese and I don't like blue cheese". The lady said "oh the salad changes daily". (??????, lol, what?????) But she was nice to bring her another salad - an iceberg lettuce salad with pecans, potato chips, and another dressing which might have been ranch.
Me thinks no one thought to go get any veggies for the salad that day - on a busy day. I mean come on, salads are NOT hard!
So the rest of the day we teased and talked about Katy's potato chip salad. lol
I was really disappointed in our food there. Would I go back? Yeah, I'd give them another chance. But it seems like there was "very little trying" going on there yesterday. Food not as presented in menu, timing was off, service was off, and I lost a little bit of trust, which is hard to do in a restaurant. Might be a place in which one must ask others that have been before - "what's good to get there?".
I loved the ambiance, which was my original appeal. And you know me, when I review a restaurant, I tell it like it is. I write about our experience at the table. And this was it.
Much to our surprise, the guys were through at the guitar show - that's how long the lunch was. So they said they'd tour through one more time before we left. But they went around shopping with us.
We went into a meat shop called The Carnivore Meat Company and the guys got some jerky.
The shops at The Factory in Franklin, have a lot to offer for those decorating. I love these shops and they get my creative juices flowing.
I can see coming home to this one night and my dogs would be chewing the head off. lol
George wanted a picture which he titles "Jammin' with Jesus".
And a Bob Cat jumped at us at the antique shop.
George strolled through the guitar show one more time and saw some Gibson buds and stopped to talk to them. I went and bought some barnwood for $20. (Then realized later on, I'd left it in Cody's truck. It's not every day you have to remember to bring your barnwood with you, and not every day you ride along in someone elses car, so I thought of it immediately upon arriving home and went to the back to get it - not there - ohhhhh yeaahhhh - we were in Cody's truck. Totally zonked on that one. I am going to use the barnwood for a decorating project. Katy and Cody are bringing it to me next weekend when they come to Dillon and Amber's wedding.
We were a bit early for our dinner reservation with friends so we went to Puckett's Boat House Wine Bar. The day was warm enough to sit outside on the patio.
We weren't the only ones, there were lots of folks behind us.
I had a glass of Washington and Washington Chardonnay. Nothing special as it did not have a lot of taste but I was grateful for it still.
George got a bloody Mary - as it had bacon in it. He said it was good but was really spicy. He likes spicy.
Then we headed over to Cool Springs Brewery to meet Don and Lisa and Juliana and Dillon and Amber. We had made reservations on the fly trying to find somewhere for 9 people in a heavy populated Williamson County at 5 p.m. on a Saturday! So they had the party room open. And before we left Katy's house to start our day we had found a solution. There were other options but they were expensive options - like $20 - $30 per person options. Everyone likes Cool Springs Brewery so that is what we did.
For me, they have a Kolsch, which is my selected beer style. The German type of brewing. And also their Spicy sauced wings are really good with their ranch dressing. I ordered that and a salad for dinner. The house salad was HUGE for just $4.95! Of course Katy had to have her fried pickles.
I don't care for pickles that much but even I liked those.
We had a great time visiting with our friends - who are really more like family to us.
We talked about the wedding plans and Dillon and Amber's honeymoon plans, and whether or not Lisa would cry on the big day, and we talked about Tybee Island trip coming up (Don and Lisa are going with us and we have a house rented on Tybee). We laughed about times past and funny things that have happened.
It was nice to have the party room all to ourselves.
It was London themed and had a pic of the Queen. lol
I figured Sybil would get a kick out of this!
The other end had a big screen TV with basketball playing and the guys loved that!
Our doggies were at Cody and Katy's house as was the car so we went back there. And then headed out to our house and I was in bed pretty quickly.
Sleep was good last night. And was nice to sleep til 7 - 3 hours longer than normal. I'm really struggling with the sleep thing - I think the time change might have hampered last week a bit as I probably was up til 10:30 most nights instead of 9:30. Hopefully will be better adjusted this week and won't be as tired. I will have only a 4 day work week this week as I'm off Friday to make the pasta salad for the rehearsal dinner, and to help Lisa where needed.
I'm truly excited to have off today (meaning no where to be). Have to listen to the forecast and know how to dress this upcoming week so I know what to iron. Will be doing the weekly blessing (clean up) of the house, do laundry, coffee grinding, and all those normal weekend things.
Alexa will read to me about boating in the Caribbean in my "Life at Sea Level" book as I dream of a life not yet lived (by me). And maybe will chisel out some reading time in Rod Stewart's very interesting autobiography. And perhaps a little time spent in Tropical Farmville. I have had a busy week and have not been able to to earn enough money to buy that avocado tree. It's only like $80,000 in the game. lol Need to do a little planning too for the upcoming weeks:
*Pasta Salad recipe (with no dairy or corn or fructose corn syrup) and what that looks like cooking for 38-40 folks :-)
*Trying to figure out when I can go to the doctor next week to get my blood pressure meds renewed. I'm out of prescription. I don't have time for this!!! But ultimately it's going to be when they can work me in at this point. Which means there will be no luxury of beginning of the day or end of day. And I'll not be making two trips to Nashville in one day so I'll just work the rest of the day at home getting done those things I can't get time to do while there, so maybe it'll work out for the best in the long run.
*Plan for the OK and Phoenix trip. Although it's probably a bit early - like what to pack and what the temps will be and what to read on the plane and so forth. Maybe I'll worry about that the next weekend. lol
*Plan on what to take for the Tybee trip and make a list. Like kitchen items and paper supplies and sun tan lotion and so forth to avoid extra cost on the island. What eletronic items to take. I'll take laptop b/c we used it a lot last year to check out things to do. It's easier at times to do the laptop. Rather than a cell phone. Plus I can sneak in a blog entry. I need to think if I'm going to blog daily or just let go and do it when I get back. The blog is better if I do it almost real time (with 24 hours of the day). There is more detail and more excitement in my words. After a week or so it loses details and charm. ;-) So I guess I will play it by ear. If no time to blog perhaps I can keep notes so that I'll be jogged of all the details.
Oh, I'm excited about my SIL and BIL being the owners of a cabin in Pigeon Forge, outside Gatlinburg. As long as they will let the doggies in, we hope to be able to rent from them. If no doggies, it'll probably be hard to do as we don't board our doggies. And don't really have a good place to keep them if we are gone. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed. We saw pics on FB and loved it. I'm not sure if it's one bedroom, or two or three. Don't know all the details yet but I promised her some free advertising on FB and I'll post info here too if anyone wants to rent and we'll get the word out. They have been working hard on it!
Well, Ya'll have a superb Sunday. Gonna make the most of mine.