Sunday, December 19, 2010

Exploring Blowing Rock

Hello!  Christmas is in full swing at my house!  My parents and brother got into town Thursday night and we've been cramming in as much as possible (as per usual) ever since they arrived.  A couple years ago we realized it was much easier for my brother and sister-in-law to just pick a weekend before Christmas and fly down to celebrate early, so we've been doing this ever since.  Click here for some of last year's recap.

To back up a little, thanks to those of you that reassured me I am doing well with my marathon training.  I actually went out and pounded out 6 miles Wednesday night just so I wouldn't feel like I wasn't doing enough and to satisfy my claim that I would try to ramp it up.  I felt accomplished after getting in 6 miles and hope that the next month goes well and that January 15th is a success!

Now back to the fun.  I got home Thursday and started a batch of chili for myself and my parents to eat when they got in.  I actually bought and used ground beef in it for the first time in a looooooooooooooong time.  I usually make my chili vegetarian now, but this was actually a nice change to have some with meat in there.  I didn't really do anything else differently except that I added more of the pureed white beans from the veggie soup I made earlier in the week to add some thick/creaminess to it.

Chili With Meat

1 onion chopped
2 carrots finely chopped
1 orange pepper chopped
2 T chopped jalapenos
1 lb ground beef (I used 97% lean)
1 T cumin
1/2 T chili pepper
2-3 T chipotle salsa
2 cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup stock
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can red beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can pureed white beans
salt and pepper

My parents really liked it :)

Around 10:30pm, Clyde, my mom, and I went to the airport to get Mark and Ashley.  I haven't seen them since our visit in Hilton Head in July so I was pretty excited!  We headed home and pretty much crashed as by that them it was almost midnight.

Friday we got up and I actually decided to make Mama Pea's awesome Egg Nog Scone recipe!  I pretty much followed the directions as written, except I used regular (non-vegan) egg nog, regular butter, and ground nutmeg.  They were a hit!

I'm pretty sure my brother was making fun of me and saying, "work it, work it" as I snapped pictures at this point.  He's not used to the blogger thing ;)

We each had a scone, a bunch of fresh fruit, and some coffee to round out the meal.  MMMMMM!

After breakfast we opted to take a little day trip.  My family has been to Charlotte a bunch of times now and while they like it, there is not a ton of new things to show them.  We heard Blowing Rock, NC was a neat area to check out, so we decided to head up there for the day.

On the way up my brother pulled up restaurants on his phone and we decided that The Story Street Grille looked good so we headed there first, as it was nearly 1pm by the time we got in. 

My mom and brother's wife.

My brother and dad.

The menu looked great and I had a hard time deciding what to order.  I went with a spinach salad with pecan encrusted goat cheese and blackened chicken and we all split a big order of sweet potato fries (with blue cheese melted on!).

My dad had a pretty looking burger with horseradish sauce on it :)

After lunch, we headed down the street to check out the shops.

Did I mention there was a bunch of snow on the ground??

We found a few great shops and picked up some cute things.  I actually ended up with a couple Christmas ornaments and some candle votive holders.

My dad's nickname is Frog, so we had to get a picture of him posing like this frog!

Blowing Rock was definitely decked out for Christmas.

We went to lots and lots of shops, before deciding we'd had our fill and heading out.

On the way out of town, we tried to see "The Blowing Rock", but it's closed for the winter.  We still took a few pictures in the parking lot.

Blowing Rock was really cute.  I will have to take Greg to see it sometime, since he missed this part of the trip.


Pure2raw twins said...

That grille looks great! I have never been to Blowing Rock, looks like a fun place, especially this time of year!

YUMMama said...

I will be trying the chili recipe because I love chili and the fruit salad looks so delicious. How far is Blowing Rock from Charlotte? I'd love to go just to play in the snow because I am oh so crazy about snow being a winter baby. Glad you all had fun and are enjoying the holiday season.

Tanya Kummerow said...

I love Blowing Rock! We go up to that area every year for our anniversary. Teri and I were just talking about heading up there together as well! I'd love to get together sometime before the marathons for a little blogger-motivation! Maybe we can meet 1/2 way for a cup of coffee and share training horror stories!

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