Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Time with Family

Earlier this month, my brother and his wife came to visit us in Nashville. (Remember the photos I posted of their Oregon Cost wedding last fall?)

Neither of them had ever been here, so we had fun showing them the area. On the first night, we walked around downtown and treated ourselves to malts at Mike's Ice Cream. My brother-in-law was able to get us access to one of the skyscrapers, so we gave them a birds-eye view of the city from a balcony.

My brother and his wife are more outdoorsy folks, as are we, so the rest of the weekend was spent hiking and exploring various state parks. Our first stop was Burgess Falls State Park in Sparta, Tennessee, which we visited a couple years ago. We hiked about half a mile and then came to this lookout point.


A short while later, we found the main waterfall. If you look closely, you'll see a few people standing on the rocks at the base. It's a long way down!


We were able to hike down a short trail to the top of the falls. (I almost passed out when Mr. Handsome approached the edge and got down on his belly to look over, but it made for a good photo-op.)

There were a number of other people there, all trying to figure out how the few individuals had made it down to the base. There are stairs, but they have been closed since the last time we were here, due to damage by extreme flooding. We never did figure it out...


Our last stop was Cummins Falls State Park in Cookeville, one of my favorite places in Middle Tennessee. We have visited several times since we moved to the area. (Remember my Waterfalls and Exterminators post from last summer?)

The first time we came, there were very few people at the falls, but word has gotten out, and now it's always crowded. (It's a very unique attraction, so I'm not surprised why it has become so popular.) The best way to describe it is a free, natural water park, and although the hike down to the falls is steep, folks of all ages make the trek because it's such a neat place. Someday soon, I would love for Mr. Handsome to make a painting of the falls!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Nashville Wife's Stuffed Peppers

Have you ever tried stuffed peppers? I hadn't until I made them for the first time a couple years ago, and now they are one of my favorite meals. They're decently healthy and easy to make, and the ingredients are fairly cheap. Here's my recipe:

Nashville Wife's Stuffed Peppers
Ingredients:
1/2 lb ground turkey
Seasoned salt
3 green bell peppers
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1-1/4 cups cooked whole grain rice
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup shredded

Directions:
Brown ground turkey, adding as much seasoned salt as desired. (I use 1/2 teaspoon.)


Wash and clean out peppers, and place on a baking sheet.


Combine ground turkey, 1/2 of tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and cooked rice in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add cottage cheese and shredded cheese.


Spoon rice mixture into peppers. (Average-sized peppers should have room for about 1 cup each.)


Spoon some of remaining tomato sauce over tops of peppers. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes, or until tender, basting with remaining sauce every 15 minutes. Sprinkle with additional shredded cheese, if desired.



Nashville Wife's Stuffed Peppers
Ingredients:
1/2 lb ground turkey
Seasoned salt
3 green bell peppers
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1-1/4 cups cooked wholewheat rice
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup shredded

Directions:
  • Brown ground turkey, adding as much seasoned salt as desired. (I use 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Wash and clean out peppers, and place on a baking sheet.
  • Combine ground turkey, 1/2 of tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and cooked rice in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add cottage cheese and shredded cheese.
  • Spoon rice mixture into peppers. (Average-sized peppers should have room for about 1 cup each.)
  • Spoon some of remaining tomato sauce over tops of peppers.
  • Bake at 375F for 45 minutes, or until tender, basting with remaining sauce every 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with additional shredded cheese, if desired.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Our Trip to Story, Indiana

Gotta love a good road trip! We recently spent a short weekend in Brown County, Indiana, with Mr. Handsome's extended family, in celebration of his grandfather's 80th birthday. Apparently, some of Mr. Handsome's ancestors, including his great-great-great grandfather, lived there once upon a time. Several elderly family members who remember visiting grandparents and great-grandparents in Brown County as kids came along and gave us an unofficial tour.

Our first stop was the quaint town of Story, Indiana, founded in 1851. Story was hit hard by the Great Depression, and in 1960, the United State Army Corps of Engineers constructed lake Monroe by flooding the nearby area, blocking the direct route to Bloomington and negatively impacting Story's economy. As a result, Story became a town frozen in history and still has a number of buildings from the mid-1800s. We ate lunch at the Story Inn.



Isn't it just adorable? Entering the town felt like we were stepping into a fairy tale storybook. (I initially guessed that's how the town came to be called Story, but it turns out it was named after a medical doctor who practiced there.) The inside of the Story Inn is decorated with historical artifacts, giving it a homey, rustic feel.



After lunch at the inn, we took a walk down the beautiful country road, passing fields, old barns, and cute homes and business that date back to the early days of the town.






Mr. Handsome's grandmother had been put in contact with a couple that lives in a nearby house that was built in 1850 and believed to be part of the underground railroad. They were nice enough to give us a tour. There were original cherry wood cabinets throughout the house. In a small hideout behind this cabinet, contractors found artifacts that led them to believe that that was where the original owners allowed men, women, and children who were escaping slavery to hide safely.

The town where I grew up had a house that was part of the Underground Railroad, and I always wanted to tour it but never had the chance, so I really enjoyed this experience. How wonderful that there were folks in our nation who were willing to risk their lives to help people escape the horrors of slavery!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

'Priceless' Giveaway


Earlier this year, I reviewed the movie Priceless, and now I'm raffling off two copies! Follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Poster is property of Roadside Attractions

Monday, June 12, 2017

Santa Rosa Beach, Part 2

A couple weeks ago, I shared pictures from our trip to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Although we only stayed for three days, it was a wonderful chance to relax and reconnect as a couple (plus soak up the Florida sunshine, which, as you may recall from my previous post, Mr. Handsome enjoyed a little too much). I have just a few more photos to show you all.

During the day, the weather was lovely (85F and sunny), but at night, we needed sweatshirts to be comfortable. Even when it's a little chilly, there's just something about being on the beach that makes a person smile. Do any of you live near the shore? Are you just always in a good mood, or does the beauty of the beach get old after a while?


On one of the days, we explored the little town of Seaside and ate from the food trucks permanently parked along the main sidewalk. Mr. Handsome ordered from the BBQ truck, while I went to the sandwich truck next door.


My meal was a delicious tomato-mozzarella-basil panini (one of my weaknesses). There's just something about those three flavors that makes my taste buds sing. Can anyone else relate?


As per usual, Mr. Handsome ordered BBQ ribs. I really wonder how many times that guy would have to eat ribs before growing tired of them. He's an adventurous eater and enjoys fruit and veggies, but when ribs are an option, it's as if they're the only thing on the menu. I sampled his meal, and it was very tasty, but I'm still glad I went with the panini.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Our Visit to Belle Meade


Just came across some photos from earlier this spring that I never shared. In April, one of Mr. Handsome's closest friends came to Nashville for a visit, and he requested a trip to the famous Belle Meade farm, established in 1807. I absolutely love visiting historical sites and had wanted to tour Belle Meade since before we moved to Nashville.


We walked through the main house and then stopped by all the outbuildings, including a circa 1870 dollhouse, where several generations of Harding-Jackson children played. How I would have loved a life-sized dollhouse as a child!



The folks who build Belle Meade did so through thoroughbred horse breeding. In fact, most of the winners of the Kentucky Derby can trace their lineage back to Belle Meade.



As part of the tour, we saw more than a dozen old carriages used by the folks who lived in the mansion.



Walking through the stables where the horses once lived was very neat. There were even some old-fashioned feeding troughs.



On our way home, we made a quick trip to Greece to view the Parthenon...


...Or maybe it was just the full-scale replica at Centennial Park.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Frosted Orange Smoothie Recipe


Have you ever been to the cafe Orange Julius? I went once as a child and ordered a signature orange Julius drink, and it was wonderful. For some reason, that memory came to mind a few weeks ago, so I decided to make a similar drink at home.

Here's the recipe I came up with. It's the perfect cold beverage for a hot day--refreshing, low in sugar, fat-free, and extremely easy to make.

Frosted Orange Smoothie
Ingredients:
6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate
3/4 cup fat-free milk
3/4 cup water
3 Tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
10 ice cubes

Directions:
Blend in a blender, and enjoy.

Makes 4 servings