Last night Dave and I had the privilege to attend the Knoxville March of Dimes Signature Chef's Auction along with a few of our co-workers from Tennessee National. We had a wonderful time looking at all the silent auction items and enjoying cocktails before being let into the main part of the convention center where the food was located.
There were 20 different food stations at this event! It was rather difficult to figure out where to start, luckily the program listed what each restaurant/chef's signature dish was so that helped us narrow down the options. We started at Carrabbas and while the book said they would have lobster ravioli, chicken Marsala and penne pomodoro I can't say we had any of that. We had
what I think was beef marsla (very good) and something fried and as I am sure you know, fried food is usually good and this was no exception. Our next stop was at The Orangery and it was by far our favorite of the night, their menu was also a little different from the book, but the roasted pork, sweet corn johnny cake, & roasted apples were a wonderful combination. The Partridge & Pear Restaurant was a spot I was looking forward toas well and they did not disappoint with their Beef Short Rib Ravioli, this was our #2 favorite.
We also stopped by Latitude 35 for the southern style shrimp and grits (ok); Chandler's Deli for mac & cheese, green beans and pulled pork (huge portions, but we still like M&M's better); Marble Slab Creamery had ice cream martinis, pumpkin ginger and chocolate amaretto, the pumpkin was the best in our book and excellent; Pelanchos for avocado stuffed with grilled steak wrapped in Monterrey Jack Cheese, lightly breaded and fried, also excellent; Regas Restaurant had braised Niman Ranch Pork Cheek marbella over morel mushroom mashed potatoes with a port wine, balsamic fig and olive reduction (this was good, but they only gave us one plate, so we were not very happy about that!); The Crown & Goose featured porcini dusted pork tenderloin on top of a pumpkin and butternut squash puree with pecan and walnut brittle, really good.
It was fun to walk around the convention center and check out the different restaurant booths and see what everyone had to offer. This event was a lot of fun, it's nice to go to an event and not just be served the same old food. I am glad we had the opportunity to go and support the March of Dimes as well!
Dave and I had a hard time deciding what to get Bob & Melea for a wedding present. We didn't want to get them something off their registry, we wanted something more original. Dave's initial thought was artwork, but that is difficult for us to buy, I can't imagine buying it for Bob & Melea, they certainly have their own style and have just moved, so who knows how they will be decorating their new place.
A few of the blogs I read (www.thepioneerwoman.com & www.dooce.com) have featured custom pet portraits by a few different artists and I really liked what I saw. This was also while I was looking for a present for Bob and Melea. The portrait style I thought would fit them and their style best was from www.doghousepetportraits.com. Kristin was awesome to work with and did such a great job capturing Mr. Fender from the photo I sent her. Bob & Melea loved the portrait almost as much as they love Mr. Fender!
So, we searched around on the internet for a while comparing cameras before we actually purchased the camera. One thing we were looking for in our new camera was one that had a very fast shutter lag time. This is apparently different than shutter speed and also rather difficult to find in the camera specs since it can be measured differently. Our main issue with our old camera was that it took forever to take a photo. And when you have a two year old that moves rather quickly a camera that takes quick photos. What I really wanted was a DSLR camera, but right not that's just not realistic for us . Also knowing people that have them who don't use them because they are big and bulky to carry around is another factor. I certainly don't want an expensive camera that I don't use.
We ended up buying a Cannon PowerShot 1300IS. I haven't had a chance to play with any of the settings on the camera or go through the DVD that shows me how to do all that yet. But overall it seems to be a pretty good little camera. The shutter lag time is much better than our old camera and the photos are also much better. Our old camera photos were pretty washed out. Here are a few photos from the new camera. What do you think?
*Dave thought we needed a new point and shoot camera and since I told him that I didn't want anything for my birthday (just a cookie cake, which I did not get...) he decided that would be a good excuse to get a camera.