more weekends in Athens

Georgia has a weird and fairly annoying schedule where we are either home for all of September and then away for all of October (like this year) or the reverse.  After heading to Athens for Troy, we’ve been back the past two weekends as well.

The Tennessee game was a nail biter but we won 35-32.  As Jim says, they sure don’t make it easy.  It was frustrating, but I’ll take the win.
and Gurley jumped over another player!
gurley Jim and I managed to get a picture where we are both smiling and my eyes are even open.

Friends and friends of friends joined us for Vanderbilt.  It was homecoming in the Classic City.
It was so cold on Saturday, the wind was super strong.  Don’t let that guy wearing shorts make you think he wasn’t freezing.  It was nice fall football weather but really cold.

This game was a much easier win, 44-17 and it was great showing everyone the tailgate and Athens, the best college town that ever was.  We all had a great time!!  (y’all come back now!)

I stayed with Jason and Kacina Saturday night because on Sunday we celebrated Kac and the new baby on the way!  It was great to spend time with them before they are sleepless parents.  I treasure these girls.

Some of the few other blondes in a room full of Greek women who also wrote the sweetest post to the baby
We can’t wait to meet their sweet baby girl!

I wrote this earlier and just now when I’m about to post this, they announced that Gurley is suspended indefinitely.  They really don’t make it easy on us.

I will have to get my joy from football in watching SEC Wives (I’ve only seen 5 minutes and I love it!) if things keep getting worse.

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And the thunder rolls

Classes started back up again this week, and after a day of work and class, my candle is burning down now, but here goes a weekend update without any of the comedy of Tina Fey.

By the luck of the Ticketmaster draw, we had really good seats when Garth resurged his tour and came to Atlanta last Friday night!  I was pretty jealous when Sloan and Ryan went to Nashville to see him a few years ago (for their third or so date!), and I thought all hope of him in concert was lost, but that was not the case!

Austin & Julia and Tara & Sean went with us (this photo has no hope to fix the lighting) to the first concert of the Atlanta tour
Garth put on a show.  It was AMAZING and he is certainly a performer.  I don’t think I’ve seen anymore with more energy than him running around the entire stage.

My favorite was when he said that he, like us, pays to go to other artist’s concerts, and when the artist plays stuff from their new album, he wishes they would stick to their old stuff.  So the old stuff is what he played!  It’s what I grew up on.  We sang along to every song.

and then Trisha came out onto the stage and when she sang “American Girl,” I couldn’t stop smiling.  (and they showed clips from her cooking show, which I of course dvr)
Kelly Clarkson came out too because she had a new single out that day with Trisha.  Plus, it was Trisha’s 50th birthday so they had a cake in the shape of Georgia since she is after all from Monticello (pronounced not like Thomas Jefferson’s house but Mont-a-cell-o).

Seeing them together was perfect.  We had the best time!  All of their songs are classics, I was so happy!  People keep saying it’s the best concert they’ve been to, and I don’t know that that’s the case, but it is up there.

and then on Saturday we ventured to Athens for Georgia to play a really, really bad team as we beat them 66-0.
And came back to Atlanta to grab dinner and celebrate Austin’s birthday.  It was a great weekend and a nice start to fall!

 

The best time of the year

After last year, I was more than anxious about this Clemson game.  Sloan and I discussed our outfits (even though I don’t appreciate people telling me what color to wear (are you listening Coach Richt), don’t they know red is hard to find in stores and colors don’t make you win a game, I digress)

so Labor Day weekend we honored the red out
as well as Mario back there.

and usually wears white Jimbo
and Josh
and it must have worked because we won!

I’m guessing it probably really had to do with the fact that our running backs are the best in the land and our new DC Pruitt led our boys to only giving up one first down in the second half.

It was a HOT and HUMID day with some scattered showers and I don’t remember the last time I’ve wiped so much sweat off, but it was worth it to be back with my people
and sit with my girl
celebrating a win!
and it doesn’t hurt that I live with a Clemson grad.  Victory feels good!

I just really hope we can do it again this Saturday in Columbia…. Go Dawgs!

Georgia grown with love

After running the Peachtree for the sixth year in a row, I’ve decided on another July 4th tradition that I’m bringing back to the holiday.

For as long as I can remember, Mama made vanilla ice cream every 4th.  We had it in our small town in Texas where we had to watch fireworks from the mall parking lot.  We had it those few years in West Virginia, and we’ve had it in Georgia as well.  I remember it churning on the back deck and Daddy add more rock salt.

And y’all, if you haven’t made ice cream at home, you have not lived.  I don’t know if it’s the heavy cream (ok, it probably is) or what, but homemade ice cream is the best.  It even beats Blue Bell.

So this year, on the 5th (the 4th was busy, it was a holiday weekend), I made peach ice cream while Jim made a peach dump.  He picked peaches at the farm, and they were delicious.  Plus, Sloan and Ryan let me borrow their ice cream maker.

We used America’s Test Kitchen recipe for the ice cream, and I loved it.  Not too sweet, not too rich.  I think next time I’d puree the peaches more instead of just mashing them to avoid having a frozen chunk of peach.

Peach ice cream with peach dump… I’d say it’s summer in Georgia.
Which brings me back to my garden I’m growing… in Georgia.  Did that transition work at all?  No, ok, moving on.

I’ve always grown basil in the summer, and I’ll throw it in a dish here and there, but this year I wanted to get more use out of the plant, so I decided to make pesto.

My plant in all her glory pre-chopping.  This was enough for me to cut 2 cups and still have some left over.
I used this recipe from Food Network, which had great reviews.

I combined everything in the blender.  Time saving tip- Pine nuts are in the baking section, not in the nuts.
I blended while my pasta was cooking until it looked like so
And then I poured on top of pasta with the tomatoes from my garden for a lovely roommate dinner!
Super quick and easy meal that tasted so fresh!  Plus, it made enough pesto to use again.

Cooking from the Farm

Last weekend, Jim’s mom sent us back from the farm with a good amount of food!

I decided to use the corn and squash to try something new.  I made creamed corn and delicious squash pepper slices, let’s call them squash boats that she made us for supper as she came up with the recipe on her own!

For the creamed corn, I roughly used this recipe.  I’m a fan of creamed corn, but I usually buy the frozen McKenzie creamed corn because it’s ready in a few minutes and it really is amazing.

I fried up a couple pieces of bacon and left the grease from the bacon in the pan.  (and ate the bacon, of course) Then, I milked the corn.
I looked up some videos on YouTube on how to milk the corn.  I cut the corn about halfway then flipped the knife around and scraped the back.  Jim’s technique was  to slit the corn before cutting.  We each thought our way yielded more cream.
I added the corn with the other ingredients- salt, pepper (not much since you can add those later), flour, sugar, heavy cream, and water to the bacon grease.

It cooked down for a while and turned out like this.
Then, you add the butter.  The creamed corn was excellent.  A little bit of a hassle having to cream all the corn, but a nice treat, especially with fresh corn.  Something my Mimi probably made often.

For the squash, it’s best to use squash that is on the smaller side.  Cut off the ends, cut them in half, and scoop out the seed parts.
Slice up a red pepper and a sweet onion to put in the squash.  Add salt and pepper.
Top with a slice of raw bacon because of course.  Cook in the oven (I think I did 375 for 15 minutes at least and then broiled the bacon at the end).

Sprinkle cheese on top once squash/bacon is ready and take it out once melted.
Y’all these were so good.  They didn’t even taste like squash.  Thanks to Jim’s mom for letting me steal her recipe,  I’ll be making this again!

This is my kind of summer meal.  So tasty.  Paired with baked ranch chicken, I was one full and happy girl.
 Thank goodness for leftovers.

The rest of May + most of June 2014

I left off right before Memorial Day, so I’ll pick up there.

Jim and I headed down to Gulf Shores for the long weekend.  Neither of us had been, and we both loved it.  It’s a beach and boating community.  When you get tired of looking at this
there is this view of the bay
We had some great meals
an especially good one at Cobalt

We did a lot of reading (when I wasn’t eating) and catching up with some of his old friends

But the highlight for me was the fishing trip with his brother and sister-in-law.  We went through Zeke’s Landing and went out on a smaller center console boat.  I’ve done inshore fishing before, but this was actual cast your own line and wait.  We had to work for it, which I really enjoyed.  We went out into the Gulf and then around in the bay on a four hour tour.  It was so much fun!
David caught a flounder and Brady and Jim caught some stingrays and catfish and probably other stuff that I can’t remember.  I used all the muscles in my body to reel in this jack something fish, only to find out that we had to throw it back.

Somehow later I had the good fortune of catching this big boy under a dock in the bay.  I was informed it is a red fish.  (Lesson learned: it is ok to let the captain cast for you in the perfect spot)
We lucked out on beautiful weather all weekend, it was such a great time!  I’m ready to go back to Orange Beach or any beach for that matter!

The weekend after Memorial Day was an outing to Top Golf with my parents, which was a blast!  A little more of a clubbish feel than I would like, but it was a Friday night in suburbia and the party was hoppin.

On Saturday, Jamie, Kacina, and I (plus the little one in Kacina’s belly!!!!) headed to Callaway Gardens.  We talked, ate, hiked, talked, relaxed, talked, and just enjoyed each other’s company.

Callaway Gardens was so pretty and relaxing.  It was a treat to be with these two and we realized we have been friends for 9 years!

The weekend after that was a trip to Six Flags Saturday morning for my company summer picnic.  My friend Allison joined me, also known now as the daredevil.  It was HOT, but we got there early and made it to the front of almost every ride before the crowds go there.
It was a blast running around the park.  I only sat out one ride, but can you blame me?
I still love Superman, but Allison’s favorite is Goliath.  Her motto is “Arms up, eyes open!”

After an exhausting day, I headed to the Zac Brown Band concert that night.  I got tickets at the last minute, and other than having to be around high school kids who found a way to get alcohol, it was an excellent concert.  He played a lot of covers of some old country artists, which I loved, and his band is just full of great musicians.

Summer, I love you!

and the beat goes on

A few weeks ago, us Sigma Kappa girls (and Sloan!) headed to the Ted.  The rain stopped, and we had a ball catching up.  It’s not often we all get to be together, so we enjoyed spending quality time together.
Last week was Emily’s birthday, and we were out celebrating at a local watering hole and took this picture of the girls and Josh.  After it was posted on instagram that night, I felt so happy.  I really am incredibly blessed with fabulous friends whether friends from college or Atlanta friends or both, I am one lucky girl.  (except for the one girl in the picture I don’t know, but she’s a friend of Emily’s so now she is a friend of mine!)

Last Saturday morning, Jim and I ran a 5k.  Even though we “trained,” he nearly pulled me up the hill, as I was struggling.  He may have had a better race time running without me, but my money wouldn’t bet on it :)  It was a well attended race and only a mile from my house so we could walk to the start line.    I neglected to snap any pictures, but you can imagine that I was rivaling Mrs. Frizzle in the hair department afterwards.

Saturday night was dinner with some friends followed by a comedy show at Whole World Improv Theatre.

I had never been to a comedy show, so Josh and I rounded our friends up for a fun night.  When the show started, about 75% of the audience raised their hands that they had been to this place before and were back again.  It was like Whose Line is it Anyway, and the host even acted like Drew Carey.  The audience threw out suggestions, but there wasn’t a Ryan or Colin or Ryan’s shoes.  We all loved this place.  It was mostly family friendly, which crude humor is funny yes, but these guys had to be creative, and they did an excellent job.  Jeff may have cried he was laughing so hard.  I’d highly recommend this place in midtown.

Then, Sunday was the low country boil fundraiser with church.  We had a great turnout despite the rain, and moved the location from a park to our house, so it was as if Alison and I hosted a party with all of our friends that the church paid for.  All raising money for the Ronald McDonald house.  It was great!

Jim and Josh did an excellent job cooking
May Supper Club was my pick, so we headed to Taqueria del Sol and Jeni’s ice cream this week, which has only been in Atlanta for a few months.
The tacos never disappoint.  Plus, they have the best margaritas in town.

I was excited to try Jeni’s after Meghan nearly crying with excitement when it opened.  I ordered one scoop of the milkiest chocolate in the world and Roxbury Road.  Roxbury Road was amazing.
We were fortunate to go at a time when there wasn’t a long line.  They have lots of unique flavors like wildberry lavender and Bangkok peanut, so it’s definitely worth a try!  We girls had a great night.

That’s all for now.  Hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend!

 

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