Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Paddle Faster, I Hear Banjo Music!*

MrWurdi and I spent Memorial Day weekend in the mountains of northern Georgia with some friends. We stayed at a fantastic cabin named Wild Blue Yonder and I want to go back and live there. Despite a forest fire that made the view a little hazy, the scenery was gorgeous! A bike ride to Helen, GA provided some wonderful opportunities for oohing and ahhing at the sites as well as a bit of photography. I'll be updating this post later with some photos from the trip and a few more details about them.

At I Paid For That, I'll be posting about our service experiences on our mini-vacation. Who would have thought you'd find gourmet foods and nice wines in the heart of redneck country? Not me. I was pleasantly surprised.

More later!

*The title of this post comes from a t-shirt I saw that made me laugh so hard I nearly wet myself.

The Meals
As I mentioned in I Paid For That, I did all the cooking for our weekend in the mountains. For the folks who'd be arriving after 5 hours on their bikes, I put out a variety of store bought snacks from the amazingly well-stocked local grocery store and gourmet meat shop but did make one snack myself. It was a complete experiment but it ended up being pretty damned tasty. I took mini pitas, split them in half and put a mixture of blue cheese, chopped dates, and prosciutto on them, then tossed them in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. The Windmill Old Vine Zinfandelwas great with this. Just to recognize the wine, here's a picture of a windmill we saw on our bike ride to Helen, GA.

It turned out that one of the folks didn't care for blue cheese so I ended up doing a quick revision to the dinner plan. Since I had two pork loins, I stuffed one with blue cheese and chopped dates; the other, I seasoned with rosemary and garlic. I also made garlic and rosemary red potatoes, broccoli, asparagus and baked artichoke hearts with parmesan cheese. Crusty bread with herbed olive oil and a baby greens salad with blue cheese (for those who wanted it), toasted pine nuts, and a red wine viniagrette were served with the meal. The wine was Yalumba Shiraz Viognier. Nice. For dessert, I'd made two cobblers: blackberry and cherry/apple. These cobblers are remarkably easy to make and not high in points for those doing Weight Watchers. I'll post the recipes later.

I wanted breakfast to be easy so I decided to do two "make the night before" kinds of breakfast bakes. The savory one was a combination of turkey sausage, egg, and cheese. The sweet one was a baked french toast. The fruit had already been cut up so it was super easy to just get up the next morning, turn on the oven, make coffee and chill on the deck and enjoy the view.

Lunch was in Helen, GA at the Old Bavaria and I blogged about that at I Paid For That.

We went back to the gourmet meat shop for steaks to grill for dinner. I seasoned them and the guys did the grilling. Everyone loved the salad and potatoes from the night before so we had more of those and more crusty bread to finish out the meal. Dessert was this absolutely drool-worthy cheesy-pastry kind of dealio that one of the other gals made. It was my one request for someone else cooking something that weekend.

The Views
I'm a huge fan of the beach. I love the sand and the water and the carefree beach spirit. I've discovered that the mountains have a different spirit and it's one that encourages me to explore my own. I'm sure there'll be more on that later. One thing I noticed is that I wanted to capture the beauty of everything around me. I took a few pictures and want to share them.

The mountains were so flippin' beautiful. Unfortunately, there was a forest fire that afternoon and by afternoon, the view was kind of hazy.

Here's a little pond we saw as we blazed down the rural highway.

These flowers were blooming on the side of the mountain. I have no idea what they are. If you know, leave me a comment and tell me. Please?

At the base of the mountain where our cabin was, there was this lovely little pond with a mini waterfall and some gorgeous flowers.


I have hostas in my front yard. Until this trip, I never realized how pretty the flowers were.


Jane said...

Great photo!

I think we definitely need to get to work on that plan to meet halfway on the bikes.

Ima Wurdibitsch said...

MrWurdi thinks that sounds like a grand idea. Me, too.

Anonymous said...

Hey there Cinndy! It's the worm eater here!

That flower/tree that you have a picture of is a Mountain Laurel. Aren't they pretty? They're one of the prettiest blooming shrub/tree things that I've ever seen.

Lydia said...

I love Mountain Laurels. There's a Mountain Laurel Festival somewhere in my state.

Excellent photos.