Weekend at Home

G’day eaters!

Leon and I got home yesterday from an amazing three-night trip to Georgia (A.K.A The Dirty Dirty).

For those of you who are new around here, I grew up in Macon, Georgia and my mom and a few of my friends still live there.

Leon and I drove down on Friday morning to spend the weekend. My Mom got back from a two-week business trip to China on Friday. My brother, Brady, had a triathlon on Saturday morning. And Brady and I talked Mom into having a graduation party for us on Saturday night. (And I needed to have my yearly mole check with my dermatologist on Monday, which I’ll talk about Thursday.)

Happy road trip puppy.

Happy road trip puppy.

Needless to say, I was pretty jazzed to take a trip home.

We had a low-key night on Friday. I made tacos and Charlie ran around like an idiot in the free air of Mom’s giant backyard.

On Saturday we got up supah early to watch Brady race.

Pre-race warm up.

Pre-race warm up.

Off and running.

Off and running.

Leaving it all on the course.

Leaving it all on the course.

He did great and finished 3rd overall.

Post-race.

Post-race.

Post-race.

Post-race.

And then Leon hopped behind the beer tent to pour Brady a beer.

'murica.

‘murica.

After the race we napped and then I went into party planning mode.

I got 5lbs of pulled pork barbecue, 2 qts of Brunswick stew, a keg of Bud Lite, and made a few simple cold salads.

A small bunch of people came over, including my friend from college, Liz, who works in Atlanta now, and my best friend from high school, Coco, who just moved back to Georgia on Saturday after spending a semester working at Disney World. Plus some people who have known me since I was probably about five.

Coco and Leon.

Coco and Leon.

It was a great time, I didn’t take a single picture, and we barely made a dent in the keg, despite our best attempts.

Sunday morning started slow and then Coco came over, we did a little shopping, and then Sunday Funday happened.

Leftovers are awesome!

Leftovers are the best-overs.

We had a ton of leftovers (and leftover beer) so we sat around, watched bad movies on TV, and ate and ate and ate and drank while it rained like crazy outside.

It was awesome. (And I think I ate a pound of pork by myself.)

Brady cracks himself up.

Brady cracks himself up.

Seriously.

Seriously.

And on Monday we drove home.

Now I’m gearing up for my work week, which started today and ends…eventually. Hopefully I’ll find some time in there to make it to the grocery store.

Your turn, eaters:

Does a weekend at home sound like a vacation to you?

What’s your idea of a good way to spend a rainy day?

Later eaters!

Valentine’s Treats! And Sprinkles!

Sup eaters?

I’m going to make this a quick one because it’s all about Valentine’s Day, which means you have roughly 48 hours to make these before they become unseasonable.

First, I f’ing love Valentine’s Day! Seriously, it’s great.

You give people candy/flowers/stuffed animals/cards. You get candy/flowers/stuffed animals/cards.

And I’m not just talking about trading gifts with your better half. Until this year I’ve only given treats to my friends and that hasn’t made it any less fun.

It’s a not-so-subtle reminder to tell people you appreciate them (and to feel appreciated!) because chances are you don’t tell them enough and who gives a crap if you’re telling them on the same day as everyone else in the world.

And seriously…did I mention the cutesy, girly treats? And the sprinkles?!

valentines candy5

Sorry for the poor photos. I was too impatient to eat them to wait until the morning.

Oh the sprinkles!

So if you’re not the V-Day equivalent of a Scrooge, I HIGHLY suggest you take the less than 2 hours it took me to whip up about 5 dozen peanut butter cups and about 3 dozen pretzel bites.

I used this awesome little tutorial to make the peanut butter cups.valentines candy1

A few little fyi-s about the recipe:

A whole bag of Wilton chocolate melts will yield roughly 5 dozen chocolates.

I only used ½ c powdered sugar and used coconut oil instead of butter, which worked great.

Also, I definitely suggest you buy two candy molds.

And beyond that, make sure you let the chocolate in the bottom of the mold harden a little before you put the peanut butter in or else it’ll show through the bottom.

Oh, and don’t forget to add sprinkles as soon as you put the top layer of chocolate on.

valentines candy3The white chocolate pretzel bites are even easier than that.

All I did was crush up some pretzels in my grubby little hands and put a few pieces in the bottom of the mold. Then I spooned a bag-worth of melted white chocolate over the pretzels and added sprinkles!valentines candy2

Have I mentioned that I love sprinkles?

Because I really do.

I made all of these little cuties on Saturday and then passed most of them out that night. And while it did take me about two hours from start to finish it certainly wasn’t a grueling two hours.

You could easily do this after a day at work when you brain is a little mushy. Which means…you have no excuse not to make something cute for Valentine’s Day.valentines candy4

But if for some crazy reason you actually have other things to do — like cleaning or having a social life — and you don’t make these little cuties by Thursday then just swap the sprinkles for something more all-occasion and you’re golden.

Like Willy Wonka’s chocolate.

(That worked in my head. Just go with it.)

Your turn, eaters:

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day?

Which chocolate will you keep for yourself — peanut butter cups or pretzel bites?

Later eaters!

Paleo Thanksgiving!

Hiya eaters!

By now Thanksgiving weekend is over and hopefully you’re not too worse for wear. AND hopefully you still have a fridge full of leftovers to eat.

Mmmmleftovers.

I have been eating Thanksgiving leftovers for a full week now and I’m almost sick of them. But not quite.

Anyway, I figure it’s high time that I finally tell you about what I did on actual Thanksgiving.

Leon was with his family at a borrowed house up in Boone, so I was on my own for Thanksgiving dinner (since I had to work at 6am on Black Friday and didn’t want to drive all the way back after dinner on Thursday). Luckily, three ladies from my Crossfit gym decided to host a huge paleo feast for everyone so I didn’t go hungry.

Oh boy, did I not go hungry.

For those who are new to the idea of paleo, it’s a diet/lifestyle where people strive to eat like cavemen because they believe that our bodies still haven’t adapted to our agrarian diets. The gist of it is:

Meats, vegetables, nuts & seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar.

That means no grains, no sugar, no dairy, no beans (which includes peanuts and green beans, fyi), and nothing fermented (so alcohol, kombucha, vinegar, etc).

This is a very popular way for Crossfitters to eat.

As you can tell, I’m in not way paleo. But I like to eat and so do the three ladies that hosted dinner, so it worked out.

(Oh, and not everything was strictly paleo, because what’s Thanksgiving without at least a little butter and cream, right?)

Appetizers:

My plate.

Plus close to a dozen sausage & cheese balls.

The 26 lbs turkey:

Dinner:

It almost looks like it's glowing, doesn't it?

Clockwise starting at the top: cauliflower mash, turkey, not in any way paleo green bean casserole, almond flour bread stuffing, walnut brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, almond flour and chia seed biscuit, collard greens.

Dessert, which may have been more exciting than dinner:

Those pecan bars in the front changed my life.

 

And a few of my friends:

Left: Blaine, my Crossfit coach. Right: Juan, a Crossfitter.

Nicole, the hostess with the mostest.

Left: Chris, a Crossfitter. Right: Marissa, another of the hostesses.

All together now:

Some of the Vigilante Crossfit crew.

It was a fantastic night and I couldn’t have been happier to finally hang out with all my Crossfit friends outside of the gym.

Oh, and I do believe the three ladies who hosted are starting a paleo blog! So I’ll be sure to let all of you know once that’s off the ground. (And hopefully they’ll post the recipe for those pecan bars because I’m still dreaming about them.)

Another person taking pictures of food was such a welcome sight!

Your turn, eaters:

Do you prefer to spend holidays with friends or family?

What was the best thing you ate all Thanksgiving?

G’night eaters!

Clemson Football

‘Ello eaters!

It’s still early in the evening, but I’ve already made tomorrow’s lunch. Yup, the weekend is definitely over.

BUT it’s been a pretty fantastic weekend, so I don’t mind all that much.

Ya see eaters, Papa managed to get a bunch of tickets to the Clemson vs Duke game this Saturday, so Papa and co, Brady and his girlfriend (who both go to Clemson), Leon, and I all drove to Durham early Saturday afternoon for the night game.

There was Whole Foods pre-game food — beef jerky, spicy sweet potatoes, ribs, bean dip, and lots of Halloween candy with nuts (because Maddie, my sister, is allergic).

There were beers in the parking lot because apparently they don’t sell beer at college sporting events.

A sea of orange.

There was a stadium at least a third full of orange and purple (Clemson’s colors), despite it being an away game.

There was our clan, decked out in orange and purple…except for Leon who wore a Duke shirt.

My purple knees, not my blanket.

They can’t all be winners, right?

I kid. Because he made up for the Duke shirt by intuiting that I wanted nachos in addition to my hot chocolate during the halftime food run.

Seriously, stadium nachos are so horribly good.

There was a score of 17-48 Clemson when we left after the 3rd quarter.

And there was brown rice spicy tuna and avocado sushi for post-game food.

So despite the fact that my back was hurting pretty bad (I have a chiropractor appointment tomorrow that I’ll tell you about) and that all in all we spent less than 24 hours together, it was a pretty awesome little weekend.

And now, m’dear dear eaters, I’m going to drink hot tea in an effort to not eat more candy.

Your turn:

Do you have a team, college or professional, which you root for?

How much Halloween candy do you still have left to eat?

G’night eaters!

Prepping for Pre-Thanksgiving

G’evening eaters!

It’s the day after Halloween, which means I’m a bit hungover and I’ve eaten way too much chocolate.

My friend Nelson, as a NFL ref, and me, as a gnome.

And, it also means that I was able to snag a very discounted Halloween costume for Charlie.

We have dubbed this the Shark Fin of Shame.

But more importantly, though, the day after Halloween means that it’s high time to start thinking about Thanksgiving.

This year Mother, Brady, and their significant others are coming up here — to The Danger Zone, as I call my house — for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. Pre-Thanksgiving because no one in my family is really doing anything for actual Thanksgiving and because I am hoping that by working during Thanksgiving my boss won’t mind when I take a good bit of time off for Christmas. (So, Boss Sarah, if you’re reading this…)

Anyway, that means that I have until November 17th to clean my house, buy wine glasses and more utensils and probably a few other things, plan and execute a vegan and omni feast, and decorate.

Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Actually, I’m pretty jazzed about it all. Partially because all of this gives me a brilliant excuse to surf Pinterest more.

So here are my pinned ideas thus far.

Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole.

Source.

This dessert looks pretty perfect because 1) most of it can be made ahead of time and 2) both Mother and Leon like bourbon.

Coconut Nutmeg Pudding.

Source.

And for a vegan dessert, I’m maybe thinking this coconut pudding. That might necessitate buying cute little pots, but that’s a cross I think I can bare.

 

Mini pumpkin place settings.

Source.

I don’t have a very big table so most center pieces and table designs are out, but I do really like the idea of doing something small in the way of place settings.

 

Butcher paper table cloth.

Source.

And then maybe, if I can find a way to make it work with my ovular table, putting down some butcher paper and crayons. (This would also take care of having to buy a tablecloth that I’ll use twice ever.)

 

Moss-covered wreath.

Source.

I need to make a new wreath, because my summer-early fall wreath is way past its season now. I snagged some sheet moss for only $3 at Walmart the other day, so I’m thinking of making something like this. Maybe we gold pine cones?

 

Dog collar bow tie.

Source.

And since I’m spending all this time gussying up the house, I have to spend at least a little bit of time gussying up Charlie, right?

I wonder if he would like this more than the Shark Fin of Shame.

What do you think, eaters:

How do you feel about clothes/accessories on animals?

Where are you celebrating Thanksgiving? Or where did you, if you’re Canadian?

G’night eaters!

Ten-Cent Tour: Weekend Edition

Sup eaters!

I got back from Georgia last night and was so dileriously tired that I immediately stuffed my face, said lots of nonsensical things to Leon, and then fell asleep.

It was kind of glorious. Well, except for the part on my drive back when I hit a bunch of traffic, ate possibly bad beef jerky, and almost fell asleep.

So now I’m here to dump the contents of my phone onto the screen and call it a post.

(Ya know, because now that I have an iPhone it’s pretty crazy easy to do that.)

Friday night I went with my mom and her boyfriend to do paddle board yoga. That’s yoga on a paddle board.

Of course, I thought I was going to spend the whole hour falling in the lake. But somehow, I didn’t fall in once and it was a lot of fun.

Hell, I even managed a three-legged dog.

Saturday morning Mother and I hit up my absolute favorite antique/thrift store — Payne City Antiques!

I have a laundry list of things I’d still like to get for the house — another accent chair, table lamps, another floor lamp, little dishes to hold our crap, etc, etc.

I, of course, just ended up taking a bunch of pictures of silly deer things and sending them to Leon.

I did almost get this chair, which would have matched the blue chair I got a few months ago, but it was pretty wobbly and not worth it for $45.

Saturday afternoon I went a few towns over to spend the night with m’bestie, Coco, and go to a festival-thing.

We both wore sequins. We ate lots of cheese dip. We drank lots of beer. I only saw a few people from high school that I don’t like.

Then we woke up on Sunday super hungover.

Don't you miss the days when I used to post ugly morning after photos?

So, of course, the only logical thing to do was to stuff our faces at Waffle House.

I drove home and then woke up this morning bound and determined to beat the junk out of my system at Crossfit.

A 10-minute AMRAP and series of heavy overhead squats later, I declared myself junk free.

And that’s the ten-cent tour of my last fall break weekend.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s your favorite hangover food?

What was the last kind of adventurous thing you did?

G’night eaters!

Excess

Hello eaters!

Another weekend is coming to a close. And I’m kinda more than okay with that.

Ya see, eaters, when I left you Thursday I told you all about my grand plans for the weekend.

Beer. Candy. Sleeping in. It was going to be great.

And it was great. But it was also excessive.

I ate an excessive amount of candy.

I drank not quite an excessive amount of beer, but certainly more beer than I normally do.

I baked an excessively large cake and then proceeded to eat an excessive amount with a spoon while standing at the kitchen counter.

A chocolate Guinness cake, which I'll share the recipe for tomorrow.

I sleep an almost excessive amount (but since I’ve never been known for marathon sleep sessions or even regularly getting enough sleep, in general, I have a hard time thinking any amount of sleep is excessive).

Leon and I ate an excessive amount of steak.

Ribeye steaks were on sale at Whole Foods.

I spent an excessive amount of time in bed, often eating.

And while it was absolutely great and necessary and rejuvenating, I am so ready to get back to my almost Spartan life with regards to sweets and sleep and laziness.

And right about now I’m kinda wishing that I’d drank just one fewer beers and gotten out of bed before noon and not put the spoon on the cake stand and actually done anything to prep for the week. But I didn’t.

Oh well, no one’s perfect, right?

Your turn, eaters:

What kind of excesses did you allow yourself this weekend?

What do you kinda wish you’d done/not done this weekend?

Later eaters!

Birthday Weekend

Hellooooo eaters!

I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve blogged even though it hasn’t. I guess that’s because so much has happened since we last spoke.

As I mentioned, it was my birthday on Thursday and believe me when I say that this year’s celebrations were beyond amazing.

Thursday started off with a 6am Crossfit class.

Yes eaters, I really chose to wake up at 5:15am on my birthday to go workout in an un-air conditioned cinder block box.

The workout was fun (I loveloveLOVE tabatas) and one of my fellow Crossfit ladies even busted out 21 squats during the last interval in honor of my birthday.

Later in the day Leon took me out to lunch at m’favorite barbecue restaurant.

This is right off of I-40, near Kernersville, for all you NC folks.

Words cannot describe how much I love BBQ. And Prissy Polly’s is some of the best I’ve ever had.

I mean, come on, when a BBQ restaurant has a stack of Bibles at the front door you know it’s going to be good.

Of course, I took my BBQ lunch very seriously.

His and hers.

I swapped a rub for a bit of Leon’s pulled pork sandwich. And I’m happy to say that everything except for a few bites of mac n’cheese, a hush puppy, and half a rib were eaten.

A 4-rib plate with fried okra, medicore mac n'cheese, and amazing hush puppies. With a bowl of BBQ sauce in the background.

Later in the day Leon surprised me with a couple of presents — a Wusthof pairing knife to match my Wusthof chef’s knife, and a bottle of Hendrick’s gin (the best gin ever, especially with cucumber).

That night a few friends came over to bake some cupcakes before going out to a few bars in my neighborhood.

Stripes.

And while all of that was fun, the real party was Friday night.

Did you know I’ve never really had a birthday party? Sure, I had a few when I was a kid, but even those didn’t last long since most of my friends were away for the summer during my birthday.

So this year I wanted to have an actual birthday party.

And by college standards, an “actual birthday party” means a keg; a keg of PBR, more specifically.

There aren’t many pictures because my camera battery died quickly, but there were multiple beer bongs.

My best friend, Peach, just back from Tibet.

And a 14-second keg stand.

And more than my share of embarrassing dancing.

Debauchery and raucous living.

And so many amazing friends.

I woke up the next morning more than a little hungover, but very very happy. I am so incredibly lucky to have the friends and the boyfriend and the life that I have.

So while the theme song of last year was “Beast Mode” by B.O.B., this year’s theme song is:

“Give up the money. Don’t chase the honeys. Flies will always circle the pot. Bloom where you’re planted. Don’t take for granted. And cherish the one you got.”

What do you think, eaters:

If you’ve ever done a keg stand, what’s your record?

And what’s something you need to remember not to take for granted?

Later eaters!

Locawhore

G’day eaters!

I’m wrapping up a wonderful, relaxing weekend and I hope you are, too. Or a not relaxing weekend, if that’s what you prefer. I don’t know your life so I can’t assume anything.

Anyway, let’s go ahead and talk about the title of this post before you go ahead and start thinking that I’m a whore. Or that you’re a whore (again, I don’t know your life).

No, Locawhore is my own little version of a Locavore.

Generally speaking, a “locavore” is someone who buys exclusively or mostly locally produced products, from food to furniture to clothes and everything in between. They support local, small businesses and usually wouldn’t be caught dead in a Walmart.

So what exactly is a locawhore, you ask?

It’s someone who buys locally when it’s fun or convenient, when it’s just as easy to buy locally as to buy conventionally.

Yup, that’s me through and through. And this weekend my locawhore side really came shining through.

Locawhore event #1:

On Saturday I went downtown with my friend Janet to check out the Mosaic Ethnic Festival.

Apparently this ethnic music and food festival has been happening every year for a while now. So apparently, I’ve been living under a rock since I got to Greensboro.

But now I know and am so glad that I went. Janet and I each bought 10 tickets (each ticket was a dollar) for food and then proceeded to stuff ourselves silly.

Some of the oh so delicious madness included:

A trip to Jamaica for a beef patty.

A trip to Vietnam for sweet rice and chicken.

Janet wants you to admire her nail polish and the bit of a tattoo noticable on her finger.

A trip to Burmah for donuts (which tasted like doughy versions of those cinnamon twists you get from Taco Bell).

A trip to Korea for some seriously ah-maze-ing dumplings and some (slightly too fatty) BBQ.

Please ignore the fact that this picture was taken on a recycling bin.

And then we finished up in the Congo for beignets and then a generic cart for some Italian ice.

Then we sat down and attempted to digest to the sound of African drumming.

Locawhore event #2:

I love vintage, but too much of it is either way over the top (sequins and shoulder pads the size of my head) or just bleh (homemade prairie dresses and calf-length skirts). But I was hopeful when I saw a new vintage store downtown — Wild and Crazy Vintage.

Believe me, eaters, it lived up to its name.

I walked away with two dresses, which I’ll show you once I alter them a wee bit. But for a sneak peak, follow me on instagram. I’m Kara_Hadley.

Locawhore event #3:

Since I’ve been back in the ‘Boro I’ve been hearing about this downtown market every Sunday. Always a sucker for oogling crafts and downtown things, I decided to grab my friend Maddie and check it out today.

It’s not a huge market, but it was lovely nonetheless.

And it had a pretty great variety.

I bought a basket of these peaches.

There was metal sculptures, meat, eggs, plants, vegetables, Thai food, and a booth selling dog treats made by this charitable organization, Arc, which helps people with intellectual and developmental disorders learn job skills.

Of course, being a sucker for anything to spoil CharlieBaby (and wanting to support charity, of course), I bought a bag of treats for $5 and fed Charlie three as soon as I got home.

Leon said he didn’t do anything to warrant a treat. I said being a cute puppy always warrants treats.

So in the end, I spent $55 for three chances to be a locawhore. But it was TOTALLY worth it knowing that that money will be felt a lot more in the hands of local businesses than it would at Target.

Ya dig?

What do you think, eaters:

Are you a locavore, locawhore, or neither?

What country’s cuisine do you really want to try?

Later eaters!

PS — The South Elm Urban Market is every Sunday from 12-5pm in the parking lot on S Elm St, right across from Natty Greene’s and the Green Bean coffee shop.

PPS — Arc Bark, the dog treat bakery, is on Spring Garden in the same shopping center as Recycles. They haven’t gotten a sign yet, but they’re in the store that was once a GF bakery.

Best Way’s Beer

Hi eaters.

Can you tell from my lack of exclamation point that I’m a little down in the dumps?

(Do you even notice that I usually greet you with an exclamation point?)

Yeah. This weekend was glorious in almost every way.

Leon grilled some amazing chicken on Friday night, then friends came over (and our neighbor!), which was lovely. Saturday we drank juice and cleaned before Mother came into town with a car-load of furniture.

Mother and our friend, Slater, were over for dinner. I made pizza dough and cooked it on my brand new pizza stone. We laughed. We drank.

It was wonderful.

This morning I took Mother out to a belated Mother’s Day brunch at Iron Hen. I had the blueberry pancakes, which were dang good.

All seems wonderful, right?

Well, after brunch Leon and I were supposed to go to the animal shelter to adopt the dog we’ve fallen in love with.

And we did go to the shelter. Unfortunately, because our landlord’s office was closed today they couldn’t verify when we had to pay our pet deposit (not IF we could have a pet), so we had to put him back in his cage.

Both of us got really really sad about that.

I mean, we were totally set for his arrival.

But after a little bit of time moping, we decided to get over. We’ll get the dog tomorrow (which is my way of saying to expect a dog-tastic post tomorrow) and it was a beautiful day.

Tree-lined streets are a beautiful thing.

So we decided to explore our neighborhood a bit (which we still haven’t done much).

The thing I love about our neighborhood is that it’s an actual neighborhood. There are lovely houses and trees and sidewalks and people out in their yards doing things.

Ya know, all the things that make a neighborhood perfect for dogs.

But I digress.

So we explored and admired the beautiful houses around us while we slowly made our way to the area known as Four Corners.

This is a random blip in our neighborhood, which is four or five bars/restaurants grouped around one intersection, hence the Four Corners name.

Of course, we want to frequent all of these places because they look good and because we’re fans of anywhere that doesn’t require one of us to be a DD (i.e. — anywhere we can walk).

But thanks to a recommendation from a friend, this exploration brought us to the BEST place in all of Greensboro (that I’ve seen, at least) to buy beer — Best Way.

It may just look like an overgrown convenience store from the outside, but inside there is a MASSIVE beer selection.

All the craft beer.

And not just 6-packs and bottles. No, they also have a case for growlers, too.

All the growlers.

Yeah, Leon and I were in heaven. And after much consideration we made our selections.

A growler of Nantahala IPA, because Leon has toured the brewery and loved it.

A bottle of Best Way brand IPA because one of the clerks was talking it up and it was cheap.

And a 6-pack of 21st Amendment’s American Bitter seasonal ale, because I think I heard good things about it on Aubrey’s blog a long while back.

All the beers where strong and wonderful, though the Best Way is something I’d probably only buy again if I was strapped for cash.

So these beers paired with grilling burgers with our friend really helped cheer Leon and I up about the dog situation.

BUT you better believe we’ll be waiting at the door for the shelter to open tomorrow.

Your turn, eaters:

Was there one thorn in your weekend? What was it?

What’s the one thing that always cheers you up?

Later eaters!