Back from the Ash…

Made it back from Asheville today after a fun and relaxing weekend with my friends. It was just what we needed :)

Our own cottage:

My VRBO.com experience proved wise – giving us an adorable little 2 bedroom cottage that was dog friendly. With a wraparound porch complete with table, chairs, and a grill, it was perfect for catching up on a sunny Friday afternoon. And the dogs enjoyed being able to run around and play with their toys. I didn’t take any photos of the place (camera battery died shortly after arrival.. grr), but we’ll likely stay again if we return to Asheville for a weekend.

Enjoying local food:

We so appreciated Asheville’s passion for supporting local farms/businesses, and the plethora of organic, local and seasonal food. We spent our food dollars at local establishments like:

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** Yes, we realized that Three Dog Bakery is a nation-wide chain, but we wanted to bring back some treats for our canines :)

Burning off those biscuit calories..

Regardless of our education/training/profession, we love to eat when we get together (the main reason behind my weight gain during my internship at Vanderbilt last year!). And we eat more than the reasonable portions of which the little RD voice in the back of our head reminds us.

But, as our motto reminds us (and the title of this blog) – Everything in Moderation. So what if you ate a huge cathead-sized biscuit, speckled with yellow butter and coated in homemade blueberry jam with your already large dinner? All you have to do is walk 6 miles the next day and it’s all good :)

Which brings us to the huge chunk of land in Western Carolina we like to call Biltmore. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the house, and the many mile stroll we took through the gardens. Due to time constraints, we were unable to visit the winery and/or farm, but it looked like a great place to return to some day for biking/picnicking or horse riding. The annual pass for only another $25 sure was tempting, but I withheld. Because knowing me, I’d never return and then feel guilty for handing over the extra dough.

Dough = delicious easy dinner

Nice transition, right? After our 13,000 step day, we decided on the perfect evening formula:

take-out pizza + redbox movie + SNL with Betty White

  • Pizza = large cheese pizza from Marco’s. Salty crust, but otherwise good.
  • Movie = The Lovely Bones, which we realized may not have been a brilliant choice for three girls in a cottage out in the mountains on their own. Luckily, any fear/freaking that the movie imposed was soon forgotten thanks to…
  • SNL with Betty White :)
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Happy Birthday To Me!

7pm, I am back safe and sound at the farm. Picked up the dogs, who smell freshly perfumed, from the boarding kennel. They were very happy to be back home!

The drive this time around was a full hour shorter, thanks to light Sunday traffic through Atlanta. Of course the weather continued to be beautiful – blue skies and 60s all day!

So Many Birthday Gifts!

I am so lucky to have such great friends and family! I brought all my packages to Georgia to open there, which seemed more celebratory and fun than opening gifts by myself on my bday.

I now have a full assortment of goodies on the kitchen table: a book, pizza peel, cell-phone case, candle, scarf, cupcake apron, flavored coffee, coffee mug, sudoku book, gift card for a local restaurant and some movie tickets. All my favorite things, pretty much!

Fun in Athens

I really enjoyed my weekend back in Athens. Of course there was lots of Good Eats:

  • Friday dinner at Five Star Day
  • Saturday breakfast at the Mayflower (Guy Fieri needs to stop by here, seriously!). It’s been right across the UGA campus for decades, serving up huge, fast, cheap southern meals. I was intrigued by the “Safari French Toast” and ordered the“Safari Hotcakes”. Check them out!

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The waitress explained that the “safari” element is the combination of strawberries, bananas, pecans, and powdered sugar on top. So good! And the fruit balances all the southern grease that accompanied everything else :)

  • Saturday lunch was a picnic (sandwiches picked up at Five Points Deli.. where we spotted Matthew Stafford, who apparently is now a celebrity since being a first draft pick for the NFL) taken to the Georgia Botanical Gardens – one of my favorite places from my college days!!

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  • Saturday dinner was at Mellow Mushroom with the old college roommates. I introduced them to the pizza crust pretzels as an appetizer, and we enjoyed our pizza while cheering on the Vanderbilt Commodores (who unfortunately couldn’t pull through and beat Kentucky like we had hoped).
  • Sunday breakfast at The Grit – my all-time favorite vegetarian restaurant. We stood outside with the very left-wing crowd of fans awaiting the restaurant’s 10am opening. I ordered a massive but nutritionally complete platter of sauteed tofu, vegetables and nutritional yeast, accompanied by roasted potatoes and whole-wheat biscuits. Awesome! We also started with huge mugs of hot chocolate which were a great choice :)

Other than all the yummy food that I ingested, I had a wonderful time with old friends, seeing the changes around campus (new student center!) and of course people watching.. always so fun!

Now it’s back to business here. I have a Sunday paper waiting to be ripped apart and clipped by myself, and a busy week to plan. I head back out of town on Thursday for an Eating Disorders workshop on Friday.

4.5 more hours of Happy Birthday to Me!

Tubing fun

Kathy and I had a blast at Ober Gatlinburg yesterday at their new Snow Tubing. Well worth the $25! I was even brave enough to go down the slopes backwards – surprisingly it was much more fun that way!

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The weather was gorgeous, it got up to mid-50s with sun and felt great! After our 2 hour tubing time, we headed out to a lookout for our packed lunch – PB and banana sandwiches, clementines and some Gatlinburg fudge (Mississippi Mud, chosen in honor of our Mississippi friend who missed out on the tubing adventures with us).

We relaxed a little back at the farm in the afternoon – Miss Kathy had several loads of laundry to catch up on – before heading out to Knoxville for an early dinner (tubing works up an appetite!).

Dinner was at our beloved Mellow Mushroom… starting out with the pizza pretzels and then splitting a small pizza with pesto, mushrooms, spinach, feta, and tomatoes. Delicious! After snarfing the pretzels, we only ate a slice of pizza each… leaving me some wonderful leftovers for later on today!

Dessert was my first Knoxville Cupcake adventure. Kathy and I always delight in seeking out new bakeries in any city we visit… and so I looked up what Knoxville had to offer. According to my local “Knoxville Eats” guide, Magpies Bakery is the best bakery in town, but they weren’t open late on Saturday, so we visited The Cupcakery.

image I chose the red velvet cupcake, while Kathy went with the Peanut Butter Cup variety (chocolate cupcake with PB frosting!).

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After dinner, we came back and enjoyed our dessert (I chose to accompany my cupcake with a glass of cold milk, Kathy went with vanilla ice cream. Both excellent choices)

An early bedtime called us, although I was awakened by a wicked and windy storm at 4am, and Sheff climbing into a box of my t-shirts in the closet, trying to hide. Poor dear. Luckily, I’ve been through his neurotic phases enough now that I can give him his sedative, buried in peanut butter, and coax him into his pop-up crate, while still half-asleep. He’s still a little nervy now, but better.

Kathy and I enjoyed a lazy morning catching up over some coffee and cinnamon raisin toast, before she headed back on the road for Charlotte, doing her best to beat the storm front that’s moving through.

It’s always so nice to catch up with friends! Now I have a Sunday afternoon to look forward to, getting some housework done, and a new workout to try (2nd Netflix choice – Self’s Best Butt Fast! hahaha )

Happy Weekend!

Yay for the weekend being here!

And we have a visitor coming to the farm for a brief visit, which is always enjoyable. Yes, that would be The Boy. I hope he’s able to find us without too much trouble in the dark!

My mother is taking the opportunity to bake another of her lemon chess pies, so he’ll be in for a treat. Then, tomorrow we have tickets to hit up the Knoxville Food Show (yay for free food products and samples of new items!) and he wants to go Zorbing in Pigeon Forge (can I just be the photographer? haha).

Not sure what else will be going on this weekend. My Dad is flying in tomorrow, so it’ll be a full house again. The dogs will be excited to have some men in the house!

Last night’s dinner was a delicious leek, mushroom and spinach quiche. We had the brilliant idea to use evaporated milk in place of cream (or the skim milk I usually use) and fell in love with the end product – great texture! Quiche for dinner, quiche for breakfast…. yum yum.

I’m sure there will be pictures from this weekend, so stay tuned!

Also want to say congratulations to Elena who passed the RD yesterday, to my old roommate Kristen who’s moving into her new townhome this weekend with her husband and getting ready to start a job, and to my sister who just finished her first week of class at UT and is considering going vegetarian!! So much exciting news going on everyone – keep it up!! :)

From the social chair

I successfully hosted an Easter Brunch at my place today after church for the interns. I was so proud – got my place all cleaned up, food prepped the night before, easter decorations in place, and ready for fun! We had a great turn out, I think 12 of the 16 interns showed up, which is a rare treat. 

Foodwise, anytime you have a bunch of nutrition people in the room, you know there’s a lot of good food. Let’s see…. banana bread, quiche, fruit salad, potato casserole, chicken salad, ham, french toast with homemade syrup, and Easter Candy (dove’s dark chocolate eggs… and peanut butter M&Ms). 

I hard boiled a lot of eggs for us to decorate, after failing at all attempts to “blow” eggs. Yeah, not happening. But it’s just as well, I think if we’d only had shelled eggs to work it, there would have been a lot of breakage. 

My quiches turned out well. I used the leek and mushroom quiche recipe from Smitten Kitchen, as well as making a batch of spinach mini quiches that my sister is famous for (although she uses bacon instead of spinach… can you tell who the dietitian is?!).  The mini quiches went fast … I prob should’ve made a double batch instead of making the big quiche… the individual ones just work better as party food. But nonetheless, I have leftovers now for me!

After all the guests left, a few of us went to our first Nashville open house for an adorable house around the corner from me. Not that we are really in a position to buy a house… but we love it, and are trying to find a place we can all live together in after the internship. I wonder what the realtor thought of us. It was such a great house, probably bigger than we need (and obviously way too much money than we’ll ever have) but it was fun dreaming. 

Now… time to rest and recuperate. I hear the storms coming outside, the wind is really picking up. And my foot is killing me (12 miles yesterday!) so perhaps this afternoon is best spent on the couch with my copy of Chocolat. I went to the park yesterday, late afternoon, and had a great time reading and people watching. Lying on my blanket, here was my view:

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