Athens, Georgia
Welcome to my little world- I am thrilled that you are here. My most sincere hope is that this little blog is a source of laughter, inspiration and some seriously fabulous food (even if it is vegan!). Is it possible to maintain a vegetarian lifestyle below the Mason Dixon line? Come along with me and find out as I pound the pavement, travel and eat my way through life. Cheers!
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The Consummate Hostess

A collection of recipes, traveling and entertaining tips.

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Salty, Cripsy, Fabulous

Unless you have been living under a large rock for the past few years, you are likely familiar with the health food turned hipster snack craze of kale chips. And, let me just go ahead and tell you- they are worth the hype. I, for one, am borderline obsessed with the crunchy green delights despite the fact that my kitchen stinks for days after a batch.

The greatest things about kale chips- they are both healthy and delicious! My recipe is easy to follow and sure to please any crowd.

Kale Chips

1 head of kale-washed and dryed completely
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Garlic Gold
1 tablespoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Line cooking sheets with tin foil (less mess= easier clean-up for you!). 

Tear kale leaves from ribs and into bite sized pieces. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on cooking sheets and make sure that the pieces don't overlap. 

Cook for 40 minutes, turning once at 20 minutes. Sprinkle with Garlic Gold and dip in ketchup for a yummy treat!

Words for Wednesday

Wishing you an adventure filled day!

Scrumptious Vegetable Soup

Armed with a boatload of fresh vegetables from my trip to the farmer's market and a serious need for more greens in my life, I decided to make a vegetable soup. Not just any vegetable soup though, one that is vegan, hearty and mouth watering good. The final result? A soup that even my meat loving husband enjoyed (major accomplishment in my book as his version of veggie soup has big hunks of beef floating in it).

Vegetable Soup

1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed (this gets rid of excess sodium)
1 can green lentils
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 bell pepper (whichever color you like)
1 jalapeno, chopped
1/2 cup okra
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 lg. garlic cloves, minced
2 tomatoes
1 bunch of Asian greens (though any greens will do-kale, collards, etc.)
1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
1/2 tablespoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
Frank Red Hot Sauce

** secret ingredient** shhhh....don't tell- truffle oil

Over medium-high heat, sweat out the onions and pepper. Add the okra, garlic and tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes. Add canned ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and add bouillon, bay leaves, greens, and pasta.

Resist the temptation to raise the smoking hot spoon full of soup to your mouth and allow the flavors to dance in the pot. Allow soup to simmer for 7-10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce.

Garnish with a drizzle of truffle oil ( I used white). The oil is sure to add richness and depth to the soup.

Serve with pan con tomate and enjoy! I will post my recipe (super simple) for pan con tomate soon, it's a beloved Spanish dish that I always serve with soup. I hope that you enjoy this soup as much as I do, it's a vegetarian soup that is sure to even please the meat eaters in your life. Cheers!

Three Cheers For Monday

Wishing you the happiest of Monday's, friends. Fall is finally in the air here in Georgia and I couldn't be more thrilled. Can you see the first hints of color on the trees?

Have I mentioned that I am currently training for my first marathon? Yes, all of that time that I should have spent working on this blog I have been hitting the pavement. It's tough to believe that I am actually winding down my training, with only one long run left! If somebody had told me 6 months ago that I would be easily (well sort of easily) running 18 miles alone, I would have laughed out loud. It is amazing what you can accomplish with a little training.

{That's me all decked out in black like Johnny Cash after completing the Publix Half-Marathon in March}

I am running to raise money for a cause that is very dear to my heart- the ASPCA (The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). As a lifelong vegetarian and animal lover, I think it is important to help those without a voice. If you feel so inspired, please hop on over to my fundraising site and check it out. I certainly don't expect you to donate, but I would be so appreciative if you did.

I'll be back soon with some fabulous new recipes, thanks for hanging on with me guys!

A Tailgating Treat

Happy Saturday, friends! Fall weekends in the south mean only one thing-football. Gameday in Athens, GA is unlike anything I have ever experienced. The truth is that I don't even care who wins as I am more of a tailgate with delicious food and hang out with friends than a screamin' fan type of girl. That said, the energy in Athens is truly contagious. Go Dawgs!

Oh to be Uga, rough life friends.

There are some things that without fail, make for a fabulous tailgate party. Food is obviously the most important thing (along with beverages) and you can read more about my favorite tailgating at home tips here. Lately, and by lately I mean the last five years, I have been on a huge hummus kick. Give me some chunky chickpea deliciousness, some salty pita chips and I am one happy hostess! As a vegetarian, I have to rely on beans to get my protein and hummus is one way that I do so.

Hummus, served with pretzels, pita chips and/or vegetables, makes a wonderful addition to any tailgate spread. I make my own hummus (very simple to do and much less expensive than the store bought variety) and truthfully, the recipe varies every single time. Below you will find my recipe for my latest delicious batch. Happy gameday friends!



2 cans of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup tahini
2 lemons (for juice and zest)
1 seeded spicy pepper of your favorite variety
2 tablespoons water
A few dashes of hot sauce (I like Frank's)

Place all ingredients together in a food processor and give it a whirl until well blended. The consistency of this hummus is chunky and if you prefer a smoother spread, feel free to add more water and blend until smooth.

Now, where can a gal find a good and spicy Bloody Mary at 9 am?? I have a feeling that I won't have to look too far!

On A High Note

It's no small secret that I have a stationary habit, or perhaps I should say that I have a little stationary addiction. In fact, my husband issued a moratorium about a year ago on the purchase of new cards and I have yet to run out. Sad! While email is a wonderful means of communication, nothing replaces an actual note via snail mail.

I am always on the hunt (shhh...) for new stationary and these latest finds on Etsy are absolutely fabulous!

Herringbone Personalized Stationery - Personalized Stationary Set of 12

Image via the charming Oh Louise Designs. I  love how the cards can be personalized with various patterns and cheerful colors. Check out her site for a treasure trove of delightful items.

Stationary with Bunting Flag

Who doesn't love some good bunting? I love the green and white floral pattern pictured above. I think that these cards would be perfect for a thinking of you note, a way to celebrate the ordinary. Check out these gems and more at Rainy Day Colors Etsy shop.

destination travel greeting card - FREE SHIPPING handmade stationary

I don't know about you, but I have the travel bug big time! There is nothing that I enjoy more than visiting a new place, exploring the food, art and culture. If I can't hop a plane and Bourdain is not on TV, these cards might just be the next best thing. Why not fly on over and buy a bunch at LSquared Design?  Your friends will thank you!

Where do you buy your stationary? Do you shop local, online or pull a Martha and make your own?

A Belated Fourth & A Seriously Festive Cake

Hello! I hope that all of you ( cannot believe that I actually still have readers after being such a rotten blogger here lately---->you are so appreciated!!) had a fabulous Fourth of July! I had a really wonderful day that started at the crack of dawn with a 10K race in Lexington, KY.  It was a great race and lots of fun to see all of the families, dogs and cheering people along the route.

I have to admit that I have always been a little leery of overly thematic foods but yesterday, I decided to toss that old fear out of the window and make a cake bursting with Americana :). I give you, the Barefoot Contessa's Flag Cake. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly and it can be found here. Gotta love Ina!

The final result? A pretty little thing (in my humble opinion) but the cake itself failed totally in the taste factor. This was totally my fault and should in no way be reflection of IG's skills, obviously. I blame the epic failure on using my mom's oven and not my own :). Seriously though, I let the white cake cook too long and this resulted in a dry and overall pretty gross cake. That said, it sure was patriotic and after a few beers who really noticed anyway!

Hope that you have a fabulous day!

Cherished Friends

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