Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Charlotte: Legion Brewing

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

I truly can't believe that Christmas is in a few short days, but my advent calendar doesn't lie. 23 chocolates down, 1 to go!

I'm sorry it's been so quiet on the ole blog lately. Between exams, lots of extra shifts at the olive oil shop (Christmas shoppers out in full force, I tell ya) and holiday happenings it has been a jam-packed December. But I imagine you all feel exactly the same way, so I shan't drone on anymore.

Instead, let me tell you about a brand spankin' new brewery in Charlotte! Legion Brewing opened just last week in Plaza Midwood and I wasted no time dashing and prancing over to check it out.

Fast "facts" --> Legion is open late (until 11pm!) on Sundays which is very rare in Charlotte. This automatically places it in my good graces. The brewery is located in the old Brodt Music Company and the old signs and some instruments were left behind = charming and cozy vibes.

 We ventured to Legion right after a *very close* Panthers game on Sunday (Keep Pounding, yadda yadda) and the brewery was hopping (hops pun intended).

There is a ton of seating and space inside, some carefully placed TVs for sports watching and board games to play, should you get bored of your beers.

As is tradition upon first visits to breweries, flights were in order!

We slurped down each and every beer with verve. Hoplights include both of the IPAs, the brown ales and the Cranberry Saison. But I'd drink every beer in that flight, easy peasy. Insider information: if you ask for pretzels at the bar, you shall receive! Free!

Now I probably should apologize for taking a photo in the bathroom at Legion, but it was too cool not to share (and a huge upgrade from most brewery/bar bathrooms). And since ~50% of Charlotte/the world will never get to see the inside of the Women's restroom, here you go...

That art deco looking art installation on the wall? Look again - it's the tops of toilet bowls! Cool, huh? 

So there you have it! I'm obviously a big fan of Legion Brewery, the beer and the atmosphere. I can't wait to go back!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year friends! I'm off on a tremendously exciting family vacation on the 26th - I'll be sure to give you a full report in the New Year (hint: it will involve palm trees, macadamia nuts, papayas, and hopefully not contracting Dengue fever).



Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Recipe: Pantry Pasta Primavera

I should begin this recipe with a few caveats. 

1.) All of the ingredients for this recipe do not, in fact, originate in the pantry. You will have to open your refrigerator and freezer, as well. [If you're keeping your frozen broccoli in your pantry though, you probably have bigger problems than the title of this recipe.]

2.) This is by no means a fancy, blow your mind recipe. This is a recipe for those nights when you're not inspired in the kitchen, did a bad job grocery shopping and meal planning, and want something healthy and pretty tasty.

Now that we've cleared the air, how about that recipe?!

This recipe is inspired by a dinner that Torsten made last week -- Giada's Pasta Primavera. If you have all of the ingredients for her recipe, *by all means* make that instead. It is wonderful and gets 5 stars on, which is unheard of. Giada is a goddess and I will not pretend that this recipe is half of hers. BUT! I can almost guarantee you have the ingredients necessary to make this recipe lying around.

I got home from campus last night around 8pm. I had attended a Campus Dining Forum with Aramark last night (repping the Nutrition department!) and an hour of talking about what kind of food I would like to see on campus left me Hungry with a capital H. This recipe was ready in 20 minutes and hit the spot!

Pantry Pasta Primavera
Serves: 1


1 large carrot, peeled
Handful of grape tomatoes
2/3 cup broccoli (I used frozen broccoli that I defrosted in the microwave - desperate times)
Fresh thyme
1 clove of garlic
2 glugs of basil olive oil
2/3 cup whole wheat rotini
Salt & Pepper


1.) Preheat the over to 400 degrees

2.) Cut the carrots into long chunks, halve the tomatoes, and mince the garlic.

3.) Put the carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, fresh thyme, a glug of olive oil and salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Toss. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the minced garlic with 3 minutes left.

4.) Cook the pasta according to package directions. 

5.) Toss the pasta, vegetables an additional glug of olive oil and a dash of S&P.

6.) Serve! (bonus points for topping with freshly grated parmesan)

Note: the best part about this recipe is its flexibility. Any roasted vegetables would be great here. Butternut squash, onion, asparagus, squash, mushrooms, eggplant, etc. Additionally, any fresh or dried herbs can be substituted for the thyme (basil would be great!) and a plain olive oil would work just fine. Of course, I won't be offended if you happen to use penne or rigatoni instead of rotini. 

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Dinner at Revival in Decatur

I was going to share a lil Thanksgiving week recap with you all, but seeing as it's already Wednesday (and December 2nd), it seems a little "SO last holiday." Cliff's Notes version: we went very traditional with our feast, had oodles of leftovers (making a breakfast casserole out of stuffing was a revelation), walked our tails off and watched lots of football. It was perfect! Now it's time for final exams, group projects (groan) and papers for the next two weeks.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. While it might be too late to share Thanksgiving happenings, it's *never* too late to tell you about an awesome new restaurant in my home town! Come Friday evening, we were all a little kitchen-ed and turkey-ed out, so a night out on the town was in order. Take the term 'night' lightly, as the only reservation we could get was at 5pm! I know, I know... we're a wild and crazy bunch.

The early bird dinner time was more than worth it, though, as I'm sure you'll see! Revival opened in downtown Decatur a few months ago. Chef Kevin Gillespie is a notorious B.I.G. deal in Atlanta and this is his newest venture.

The restaurant is in the most charming house. I probably said 100 times over the course of the meal "this is my dream house" or "I could really get used to living in here" followed by "especially if they would bring me this food every evening."

The restaurant is based on the notion that they want you to feel like you're at Grandma's house. They even have a faux old-timey kitchen that you can dine in with a big group!

Everything we ate was delicious and a nice respite from leftovers. Let me show you!

We started with Toasted Deviled Ham Tea Sandwiches.

Next up was the complimentary Skillet Fried Corn Bread. OH BOY was this ever good.

For our entrees --> my dad got the Spiced Carolina Catfish, my mom ordered the Coca-Cola Braised Beef Shortrib, and I had the Anson Mills Farro with butternut squash, apples, and pumpkin. We also shared sides (or as they call them, trimmings (!)) of Stone Ground Grits with Caramelized Onions and Hickory Smoked Local Greens. [Full disclosure: we licked our plates clean except for approximately 4 bites of collard greens which I shamelessly requested a to-go cup for.]

For dessert we shared the Pineapple Upside-down Cake with Dr Pepper ice cream. It was phenomenal (something I never thought I'd say about pineapple upside-down cake) but truly un-photogenic, so I'll spare you.

At the end of the dinner, our delightful server left us with this little card. How charming! How Southern!

No, I'M much obliged, Kevin!

I'll leave you with some seasonal tidbits. I'm going whole-hog with Christmas this year. It helps counteract the Finals doldrums....

It wouldn't be Christmas without middling milk chocolate advent calendars! Trader Joe's was SOLD OUT already, but World Market came to the rescue...

And a tiny little (real!) tree for my tiny little apartment. Decorated with ornaments from when I was a kiddo! 

Seasonal PSA: The lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is on NBC tonight! My sole goal for the today is to finish studying in time to watch. Priorities.

Have you tried any new restaurants lately? Do you have an advent calendar? Real tree/fake tree?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner For a Tiny Crowd

Happy Thanksgiving Eve my friends!

I'm spending the week at home in Atlanta and it's much easier to do school work when I have a dog cuddled at my feet, a pantry full of snacks and a fireplace around the corner. Am I the only person who gets so excited about access to a new pantry? Probably...

While we're gearing up for the "true" Thanksgiving feast tomorrow, I thought I'd share a mini Thanksgiving feast that Torsten and I concocted last weekend. It's become a bit of a tradition to make a Thanksgiving meal for the two of us before we head home to our respective families, and this year's dinner was particularly yummy (though, I have to warn you, not so photogenic).

If you happen to be cooking for a smaller crowd this Thanksgiving, I highly recommend this menu! Full disclosure, we didn't begin cooking until 6:15pm and we had licked our plates clean by 9pm! That's my kind of feast.

Let me give you the play by play!

6:15pm: Oh geez, it's already so late! We better get started on dinner. But first, wine. This Pinot Noir is a new wine at Trader Joe's (for the low price of $6.99).

6:30pm: No more dilly-dallying! I start chopping the veggies and Torsten takes on the valiant task of cleaning-out the chicken (blech) for Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken (all hail the queen!).

6:45pm: I prep the easiest appetizer in the world: Baked Brie with Honey and Almonds. I toasted some thin baguette slices in the oven for a few minutes to go alongside the brie. I omitted the almonds because I was too hungry to slice them.

7-8pm: The Roast Chicken smell is filling my tiny apartment with Thanksgiving vibes. Brie + wine + old Thanksgiving episodes of Friends and New Girl (of note: A Marathoner's Guide to the Friend's Thanksgiving Episodes).

8pm: "Salad" time! We made Cooking Light's Roasted Balsamic Radicchio with Pancetta and Walnuts. It looks awful, tasted delicious. 

8:30pm: Do the mashed potato! I made the simplest mashed potatoes (I even left the skins on and used a whisk to mash!) with skim milk and a little bit of butter, salt and pepper.

8:45pm: Dinnertime! The best part about Ina's chicken is that you roast the vegetables alongside it. Easy peasy (though, there are no peas in this dish - thank goodness).

9:30pm: Dessert! The cutest sugar cookies from Suarez Bakery in Charlotte. I must say, these tasted like cardboard and I only ate a nibble. Isn't that always the case with pretty sugar cookies??

 So there you have it! Low maintenance Thanksgiving-ish feast for two. With leftovers galore!

I will leave you with this awesome inflatable currently blowing away in my neighborhood. 

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving filled with good food, family, fresh air and football (alliteration!).

What's your favorite part of Thanksgiving?? (I won't judge if you say pie and not family).

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Recipe: Baked Honey & Banana Oatmeal

The mornings in these parts are getting chillier and I'm still stubbornly refusing to turn on the heat in my apartment yet [student budget cheapskate]. I'm also procrastinating studying for my Anatomy & Physiology test tomorrow morning.

So, naturally, I decided to try my hand at my first batch of baked oatmeal! Full disclosure: I also baked cookies last night and will be making pumpkin chocolate chip bars this afternoon for Torsten's office bake-off (don't tell! If anyone asks, *he* made them).

I loosely adapted this recipe from Kath Eats, my go-to lady when it comes to all things oatmeal.

I was highly skeptical of baked oatmeal for many years. I was worried it would be dry or flavorless or blah. But those fears were all for naught - this stuff is delicious! I promise I wouldn't share something with you that was dry, flavorless and blah. That would be mean!

I highly recommend this recipe for chilly mornings and busy weeks. I'm planning to reheat the leftovers for breakfast this week. I've heard that baked oatmeal is great brain fuel for memorizing muscles and nerves.

Recipe: Baked Honey & Banana Oatmeal
Serves: 4
Adapted from Kath Eats Real Food


2 cups rolled oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1 egg, beat
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar


1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray 8x8 pan with cooking spray.

2.) Mix oatmeal, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cranberries  in a large bowl.

3.) Whisk together banana, egg, vanilla, milk and honey.

4.) Stir the ingredients from #3 into those from #2. Mix well!

5.) Pour into the greased pan.

6.) Bake for 25 minutes.

7.) Sprinkle brown sugar on top and broil for 3 minutes until bubbly and delicious smelling.

8.) Eat! I topped mine with Trader Joe's salted almond butter and more cranberries and it Hit. The. Spot.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Race Recap: Thunder Road Half-Marathon!

What. A. Weekend.

It's one of those Mondays where I could really go for another weekend (but really, that's every Monday). My parents were in town for the weekend and we had a great time exploring Charlotte, eating lots of yummy food and walking up a storm.

But, I digress. I also ran the Thunder Road half-marathon this weekend! After 12 weeks of following Hal Higdon's Intermediate training plan (with speed work galore) the moment had arrived!

As you can see, I take Hal very seriously (neurotically?). It's as if he watches over my running shoes and tisks-tisks if I miss a speed workout or tempo run. Although I certainly didn't do every run Hal asked for, I did do most! I think I've decided that 4 runs a week is more than enough for me, so Hal's suggestion for a 5th run went down the drain towards the end of training. Sorry Hal! I did keep up with strength training and foam rolling *much* more this time around, which I think helped immensely in preventing injuries and making me speedier-ish.

Friday night involved Pure Pizza and a Birdsong beer, as promised. The temperatures Saturday morning were a tad chilly (around 37 degrees at start time) so I bundled up. After my trusty pre-race breakfast of toast, Justin's almond butter, a banana and coffee, it was time to get the show on the road.

After getting dropped off at the start, I somehow, totally unintentionally (I promise!) walked straight into the VIP runner section in BB&T ballpark. I was all "wow how awesome is it that all runners get to use ACTUAL toilets before the race!" and "geez how neat is it that we get to hangout inside the ballpark before the start!" I strolled around all pleased as punch until I left the ballpark and saw large signs for "VIP ENTRANCE ONLY" at the ballpark entrance. Whoops! But also - HA! Great success.

The race started promptly at 7:30am which my chilly and anxious self appreciated. I must say at the get-go, that this is a *hilly* course. I had heard rumors to this effect, but I'm not quite sure I was aware that it is really and truly ALL hills. So yes, this means that you go up and you get to go down the hills. But there was very little by way of "flat" on the course. Let's just say that it kept things varied and interesting, shall we?

See what I mean?!

It was a beautiful morning for a race, and the crowd support for most of the course was awesome. I saw a ton of signs that said "Keep Pounding" --> the Panthers rally cry. My slightly tired and running delirious self was highly irritated that no one thought to make a sign that said "Keep Pounding... the pavement!" 

In an effort to keep this from being a novella, I'll sum-up the miles as follows:

Mile 1: Feeling great! Patting myself on the back for making a stellar playlist. Forgot to start my GPS, grrr! Start my GPS.

Mile 2: I keep a look-out for my parents and Torsten. There they are! They have cowbells!

Mile 3: Oh, this is uphill. Still feeling strong!

Mile 4: Oh, another uphill. Billy Joel's "My Life" comes on and I'm groovin.

Mile 5: Oooo a pretty neighborhood! Which house should I live in...


Mile 7: YES it's time for my Honey Stinger gummies! Man, it's hard to eat while running. How am I still maintaining this 8:36 pace?

Mile 8: Hey! This is my running route! Home turf now!

Mile 9: The most brutal hill up E. Morehead St. Unfortunately, we drove this road on the way to the start and I knew it was coming. Much heavy breathing ensues.

Mile 10: HOW am I still running at an 8:36 pace?? I'm tired! [Between you and me, I may have said "ohh I'm tired" aloud at this point.]

Mile 11: Ok, almost there! I can do this!

Mile 12: STILL almost there. I would have killed for more crowds at this point.

Mile 13: Time to sprint! Immediately followed by the realization that I'd started sprinting too early. BUT THEN, two young whippersnappers (they were probably actually just my age) decided to sneak up on me and my *competitive drive engaged*.  I left them in the dust! Read: I beat them by about 2 inches.

FINISH!! Official time --> 1:52:37. 

Time for:

All in all, I loved running this half-marathon in my new city. It's a beautiful course and the crowd support and bands along the route are great. I'm really happy with my time (though I missed a PR by 3 seconds -- I blame the selfie I took at Mile 6). I'm also excited to not be training for a half-marathon anymore! I see some delightful 5Ks and relaxation in my future.

What did you do this weekend?! What's your favorite race course of all time?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Charlotte: Foxcroft Wine Co. Dilworth

I, myself, am tremendously excited about this weekend. My parents are driving up from Atlanta today and I'll be toeing the line for the Thunder Road Half-Marathon bright and early tomorrow morning! To top it all off, we have reservations at Kindred on Saturday for some much needed post-13.1 and spectating refueling.

Like the good RD-to-be that I am (read: I just really love food), I've been fueling all week for race day. The highlight of all of this fueling came last night when Torsten and I tried the brand spankin new Foxcroft Wine Co. in Dilworth!

While Foxcroft has another location in the South part of Charlotte that I've wanted to try for ages, this location is much more convenient. And good thing, because it's AWESOME.

Spotted: a charming patio with twinkly lights! Will be stellar in the warmer seasons. Not a great photo (hey, I was hungry and thirsty and in a rush to get inside!) but you get the idea.

This window is like the adult version of the windows at FAO Schwartz or a candy store. All the wine!

Foxcroft was lively on a Thursday but we arrived at 6:30 pm (the early setting sun has my whole "wait until a trendy time to eat" thing go down the gutter) and had no wait. There were, however, many people waiting from about 7-8.

You can either order wine off the menu OR you can browse the walls and walls of bottles for a wine to uncork. It's a $10 corking fee *unless* you spend over $30 so naturally we found a Pinot Noir (from my beloved Willamette Valley in Oregon!) for $31.99. 

We honestly could have ordered everything on the menu, but after much deliberation decided on the Ricotta with olive oil and olives and toast (they have a more eloquent name for it that has slipped my mind), the truffle fries (because obviously), an amazing Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, soy sauce and chili dish, and the lamb sliders. All were delicious.

I'm so excited to have a place like this nearby! 

So that was my Thursday evening! Tonight will include some pizza and my traditional pre-half marathon beer (carbs and hydration). Send some speedy vibes my way in the morning! Looks like it's going to be a chilly one...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Charlotte: Your Mom's Donuts

A very dreary Sunday morning called for a foodie adventure. [Side note: Do I sound like a broken record with the dreary thing?]

Your Mom's Donuts has been on my radar for a few months now, but the 20 minute drive had dissuaded me from making the trek. I want to go back in time and give my former, oh so naive, self a big shake. What was I waiting for?! I missed valuable donut eating months of my life!!!

If you haven't already figured it out (catch up!), Your Mom's Donuts is absolutely delectable. This is why the phrase "everything in moderation" was invented - so future RDs like yours truly can indulge in mouth-watering- dense-but-also-light-and-airy donuts without any regrets.

The donut shop is buried in a strip mall and very unassuming - be careful not to miss it!

They use all locally-sourced and organic   ingredients. They also serve local Pure Intentions coffee. Swoon.

We ordered a half-dozen of these bad boys but (oh so unfortunately) could only manage 3.75 donuts between the two of us. 

The line-up: Cinnamon Sugar (my #1), Vanilla glazed (TBD), Blackberry with Lemon (So sweet! So tart!), Honey Glaze with Orange, Sugar and graham (TBD), Salted Caramel (literally hot out of the fryer and with flecks of sea salt on top - I MEAN!), and Apple Pie with Apple Cider Glaze (runner-up donut. Caused many groans and exclamations).

We will definitely be back to Your Mom's Donuts. Flavors change every week!

After our donut fest we checked out McAlpine Creek Greenway Park for a nice long walk. Super cool park with tons of trails and lakes. Pairs nicely with the post-donut sugar coma.

What's the best donut you've ever had?!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Recipe: Sunday Crock Pot Roast

It has been a rainy and dreary Sunday here in Charlotte. What better way to pass the afternoon than with some crock pot/pot roast action? 

This was my first attempt at a pot roast and I deem it a great success. My apartment smelled like a cozy bistro all day, it was relatively inexpensive to whip up, I have leftovers for days AND it was delicious. 

It's just not very photogenic. Don't let that sway you! 

Crock Pot Roast (see what I did there??)


2 lb chuck roast
1 cup sliced mushrooms
5 large carrots - roughly chopped
2 yellow onions - quartered
2 cups beef stock
1 cup red wine (cheap!)
Salt & Pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil


Heat olive oil on medium high in a large skillet. Salt and pepper up the roast and then sear both sides in the pan for 3 minutes on each side.

Transfer the roast to the crock pot. Dump in the chopped onions, carrots, shrooms, herbs, stock and wine. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours.

I served the roast-magic with smashed potatoes and red wine. There is a lot of liquid with this roast and I'm hoping to have it as a stew like thing for dinner tomorrow. Bring on the rain!

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Annual Pumpkin Beer Tasting

Happy Halloween my ghoul and goblin friends!

I'm posted up at the olive oil shop for the day (shhh don't tell my boss that I'm blogging on the job) and am hoping to see some folks in costume at the shop to make things festive. I'm also listening to Monster Mash on repeat. Why aren't there more Halloween songs? I need more.

In the spirit of Halloween, I wanted to share last night's festivities with you! This was my 3rd Annual Pumpkin Beer Tasting! It's one of my favorite traditions and I started acquiring this year's crop of pumpkin beers during the unseasonably early month of August. Insider tip: pumpkin beer selection seems to peak in mid-September. Early bird gets the seasonal booze!

To give you an idea, this was last year's pumpkin beer lineup...

My personal favorite last year was the Schlafly Pumpkin Ale. The clunker of the group was definitely the Anderson Valley Pinchy Jeek Barl (also, *what* is with that name??). I don't want to say I poured it down the sink but.... well I 100% poured it down the sink.
This year's collection had a number of local brews, which I was excited about. Dare I say it -- I think this was the strongest showing yet! 

My (biased but ultimately correct) ranking of the Pumpkin brews:
  1. Cawtawba Brewing King Don's Pumpkin Ale (the crowd favorite!)
  2. Cottonwood Pumpkin Ale
  3. Shipyard Pumpkinhead (the only beer of the group that actually tasted of *pumpkin* and not pumpkin pie spices - very vegetal - in a good way!)
  4. Williamsburg Alewerks Pumpkin Ale (Alma Mater Hail! Rhymes!)
  5. Flying Dog The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale (at 9.0% ABV there should be Fear indeed)
  6. Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale
  7. Deep River Pumpkin Pie Porter (not initially very seasoned or pumpkinny but it grew on me)
  8. NoDa Brewing Gordgeous
  9. Flying Dog The Gourd Standard IPA (a fine beer, but not very *seasonal*)
  10. Troeg's Master of Pumpkin (wanted to love it because it had a cork (!!!) but sadly, that just wasn't enough)
  11. Harpoon Pumpkin UFO (my scientific and thorough notes for this beer read simply "NO")
And there you have it! I do want to give a special shout-out to the elusive Elysian Brewing Night Owl Pumpkin Ale which I tried several years ago and have very fond memories of.
FYI, pumpkin beer tastings go very well with a side of Crispy M&Ms (long live crispy M&Ms!), Sour Patch Kids and popcorn.
Any fun Halloween plans? Favorite pumpkin beer? What's your costume this year?!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Strikes My Fancy Friday #3

Hello there!

It's Friday! Unfortunately, I'm working at the olive oil shop all weekend, so I am trying to make this Friday an extra perky one to compensate for the lack of an "actual weekend." On the bright side (?) I will get a lot of school work done! Once I stop blogging and catching up on the interwebs, that is.

I hear Anatomy & Physiology calling my name so without further ado... Some of my favorite things from this week!

I should apologize in advance for the large number of vaguely blurry photos in this week's round-up. I have no good explanation, especially since I found out yesterday at my annual physical (and flu shot! GET ONE!) that I have 20/13 vision! That's outstanding, stupendous, and extraordinary vision, in case you didn't know. Please excuse me while I brush my shoulders off and continue to pound carrots (chock full of beta-Carotene for my top-notch eyes).

I will start with perhaps my favorite thing of all time --> this video (When you can't stay awake in class) sent to me by my father last week. I declare this the funniest video on the internet and guarantee it will cheer you up.

Wool socks from Mast General Store in Asheville! My feet (and just myself in general) are always cold so wool socks are my savior in the Winter. It doesn't hurt that they are such festive Christmas colors, either. Too soon?! 

This gigantic salad from Luna's Living Kitchen was much needed after my low-on-veggies/high-on-chocolate weekend. This was their Arugula Harvest salad with red cabbage, spiralized root vegetables, pear, avocado, candied pecans, pumpkin seeds, raisins, maple-mustard vinaigrette and a homemade cashew-basil cheese. I mean, how can you go wrong with that?

Ended my Fall break with beers on the patio at the new NoDa Brewing location. The weather in Charlotte has been lovely for patio-sitting and sipping lately. The Par Four Session IPA and Gordgeous beers are also lovely, in case you were wondering.

I put together this lunch on Wednesday and was way too pleased that everything was green. Avocado toast still remains my favorite weekday lunch item. PS - The Eureka Seeds the Day Organic Bread is delicious. Bonus points for the pun.
How are things in your neck of the woods? Any fun plans this weekend?


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Weekend Wanderings: Asheville, NC

Hey there friends!

I'm all sorts of confused about what day of the week it is thanks to Fall break. Isn't that the best feeling?

I was lucky enough to have my mom, aunt and cousin in town last weekend for a ladies getaway to Asheville, NC! It was a speedy 2 hour drive and we spent most of the weekend walking (being around other people as obsessed with getting their steps in as yours truly is tremendous - fitbits unite!), eating and talking. Lots of talking. No, we didn't visit the Biltmore, tour any breweries, or see any museums. Whoops! 

Here are some snapshots of our anti-tourist/pro-relaxation weekend!

The Fantastic Four.

I would like four of these for my apartment. Cocoon me!

We felt the trendiest at this bar - Top of the Monk. Highly recommend! I sipped on a Brandied Pumpkin Sour. Seasonal!

With each cocktail you were given a key that gave you access to a ... wait for it... SNACK CABINET!

Each mail slot has a different snickety snack inside. Pure genius. If only this was my pantry...

After a white-knuckled drive (literally) up to the trailhead, we hiked around Craggy Gardens Bald. Amazing views but oh so chilly! 

Leaf peeping on the Blue Ridge Parkway!

It was a great (but far too quick) weekend getaway. Thanks, weather gods, for coming through with such festive fall weather! Time to whip out my wool socks.