A Good Ol’ Southern Weekend!


I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Beware: Extreme Southern gluttony and overindulgence ahead. Read ahead at your own risk!

Hiya guys! Did ya miss me?! I missed yall!!! Seriously! I was in blog withdrawal….it was the longest time I have ever been without blogging but thanks to my handy-dandy-super-cute-hot pink blackberry, I did manage to read all of your comments (thank you!) and keep up with my emails! Like I thought there was ZERO internet service so I’m glad I didn’t lug my laptop up. Basically, it was a long weekend of family, food and plenty (and I mean PLENTY of drink). Basically, I need to detox. Asap.

Here is a huuuuge photo recap. I actually took 78 photos! I am going to limit the commentary and just give you the good stuff. I also recorded a movie and will be working on that tomorrow to show at some point!

Before I left on Christmas, my mommy made a delicious big brunch—-scrambled egg whites with two different cheeses, homemade hash browns made with leftover christmas eve potatoes, clementine + my freshly baked cranberry walnut orange bread


After my flight (+ an unpictured honey crisp apple on the plane)—


Dinner on Christmas was blue cheese salad with grilled lobster tails (Ryan grilled them and they were FANTASTIC! Such a treat!) with spicy honey mustard dipping sauce, dirty rice and a roll. I ate everything but only half the roll. Add on about 2 glasses of wine?



A few pieces of peanut brittle—


We stayed up til’ 2:30 opening presents and catching up. I got some really nice things from Ryan’s family including (sorry no pictures!) a new watch from Brighton, a Vera Bradley purse, a new cookbook, an ll bean fleece, a soft nightie and fuzzy christmas socks 🙂

The next morning I had a HUGE bowl of Special K with Protein with silk and blueberries. I had never had the Special K before but when I got up there I realized I forgot my oatmeal so this was the next best thing. It tasted okay but I was hungry about 20 minutes later…..I am an endless pit when it comes to cold cereal. I also had a half of a slice of toast with jam.



That day all 13 of us ventured into Asheville and had lunch at the Moose Cafe. It was actually featured in Southern Living as one of the best Southern restaurants! Man oh man… brought me back to my good ol’ days in Tuscaloosa. I NEVER eat this way except ’bout once every year or so and at the beginning of the weekend I decided just to take a total holiday and eat whatever I wanted. I indulged in all my favorites and it was aaaaaaaaaamazing!!!!


Sweet Southern tea in a mason jar—my fave!!! I used to drink it daily at my sorority house and then gave it up for the most part because it really is just straight sugar. But oh baby, it sure is good!


Chicken & dumplins’ with spiced apples, glazed carrots and cornbread—-


I ate about all the chicken and dumplings (my favorite southern splurge food EVER) and half the apples. The carrots weren’t my cup of tea and the cornbread was just okay.

Erin and I love the Moose! 🙂


While in Asheville we visited the farmers market! Check out all the local honey and molasses!! Unfortunately they just took cash and all I had was my credit card so I didn’t buy anything…



They even made homemade bread! I was impressed! Ryan’s aunt bought some still warm cinnamon raisin 🙂


I was full from lunch for about 7 hours. Dangggggggg!!!!!! Good thing that afternoon all of us “kids” went on a 45 minute hike up to the top of “Big Bald”, the biggest mountain around Grandma Dot’s cabin. Don’t worry. I got the whole thing on camera because it was hysterical—we were all huffing and puffing and dying because it was straight uphill and COLD. Us girls made hot toddies with some locally made apple cider Erin bought at the market—


+ a ton of rum. Tehehehehe


The painful hike was worth it though because we got some amazing photos and the view was breathtaking. And, going down was much easier!


I love this one:


We got back to the cabin just in time for cocktail hour and dinner. Ryan’s uncle had been smoking a big butt of pork (kinda gross to write but true!) in the smoker outside for the past 8 hours and it was prime for the choppin—


We smothered it in bbq sauce and had mac & cheese and homemade baked beans. I also tried my first bit of deer meat! Ryan’s cousin shot this deer himself in north florida around Thanksgiving time and it had been frozen so we could have it on the trip. I’m not sure what I thought. It was “different”. Definitely had a game-y taste but the flavor was pretty good.—


Plus a few tater tots 🙂


A tiny slice of Grandma Dot’s homemade rum cake for dessert. Plus about 3 glasses of vin0—(don’t judge, it was a holiday!)


The wine was actually local…..a guy from Ryan’s family’s church makes it here in Tampa! I thought it would be horrible (florida wines usually aren’t so hot) but it was actually AMAZING! Or so I thought after a few glasses….haha.



Again, didn’t get to bed until 1:30 after many glasses of wine, laughs and a guitar jam + singalong session. I woke up the next morning at 9:45 (!!) and had another bowl of special K with silk along with a slice of that farmer’s market homemade cinnamon raisin bread with peanut butter. The peanut butter was skippy and I was so not used to the taste after eating all natural for so many years. I found it WAY too sugary!!! I guess I just like healthy things…



A late lunch of leftover bbq with a wheat hot dog bun and a side of baked beanies—



That afternoon Ryan and I went on a 1 hr and 15 minute walk/hike outside! We took the dog with us and only planned on staying out for about 30 minutes but just started walking and walking and it felt so good to be outside and exercise a bit that we just kept at it. There was no snow over the weekend (temp was in the 40s and 50s and sunny) but we hiked up to the ski lifts where they had the snow blowing machines set up and we made snowballs there!





We got home just before dark and enjoyed an orange, a “yummy” (bourbon, water, cherry juice and bitters) and a beautiful mountain sunset….






Dinner was homemade fried chicken (yes, I know. Jenna did eat fried chicken!). The guys fried the chicken out back in the deep fryer and the girls slaved away in the kitchen and made gravy. Wine and spoons in hand, obvi—


My plate of white meat friend chicken, Grandma Dot’s famous okra with tomatoes and bacon and a buttermilk biscuit with honey (my southern girlness comes out again!). Plus another 2 or 3 glasses of wine…..:


Aunt Kay’s homemade apple pie—


This morning (phew we made it!!!!!) I had ANOTHER bowl of special K and a toasted english muffin with peanut butter and homemade jam:


We were busy saying goodbye to people and cleaning the cabin that we didn’t get to eat lunch til’ 2:45!!!! I snacked on some candied nuts (I know, I know….) that Tricia, Ryan’s cousin’s wife made—


And we finally made it to Applebees on the way to the airport. By this time I was totally feeling the effects of the weekend and wanted just a simple piece of lettuce to suck on. My IBS was really flairing up after eating/drinking everything this weekend and I knew I needed veggies! I ordered a chicken salad off the weight watchers menu along with a cup of tomato soup.



Later, on the plane, I got my knight in shining armor to buy me a “primo snack pack” for 5 bucks. Look at all you get!!!!!!! It was amazing!



How cute, right??!!! I ate the tiny larabar, the biscotti cookie (my favorite!) and the dried apricots. Dinner was late when we got home, around 9:00, and was just pita pit. I ordered my usual—-hummus and all veggies on whole wheat—-


I have now been writing this for about an hour and 15 minutes!!! dang! I should win the prize for the longest blog post ever. Hopefully I haven’t lost yall at the beginning. I don’t blame you though, I’m falling asleep myself! Tomorrow my plan is to get my booty in recovery mode and that means going to Bikram and sweating all that southern goodness out.

I hope everyone had a FANTASTIC holiday weekend. Only a couple days left in 2008! What are you goals for the new year???!

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  • Rika
    December 28, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Welcome back jenna! I’m so envious of how you have such a wonderful relationship with food 😀

    My goal this year is to be like you and indulge at times when its okay!!

  • Anna
    December 28, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Wow! What a holiday. Welcome back!

  • Amandamoo
    December 28, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Sounds like your holiday was fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing everything with us! Can’t wait for the video!

    I have just picked out my first half marathon to do in April of 2009, that’s the only goal I’ve set for the new year so far!

  • BethT
    December 28, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    If you’re gonna splurge, southern food (esp fried chicken) is THE way to go!!!

    My goal this year is to enjoy all things in moderation.

  • caitlin
    December 28, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    whoa holy recap!!

    looks like you had a really nice vacation – i am so glad! that photo of you and ryan is seriously ADORABLE – like a professional photographer took it!

    and i am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited to see you for the wedding!! you are at a table with meghann and a few of my really funny friends from pittsburgh. and you are right near the sweetheart table 🙂 yayyyy

    talk to you soon!

  • cassidy
    December 28, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Gksd you had a great v
    acation! I I tottally do the same thing around southern comfort food. I am on vaca and can’t wait to get back on track!

  • girlatastartup
    December 28, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    That fried chicken looks amazing! Don’t worry, it’s the holidays so you basically have a free pass to splurge. I’m a huge yoga buff and all those chatarungas and downward dogs always help get me back on track. Love all the pics of you and Ryan!

  • cassidy
    December 28, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Glad you had a great v
    acation! I I tottally do the same thing around southern comfort food. I am on vaca and can’t wait to get back on track!

  • Mel
    December 28, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    What a wonderful trip, the pictures you took of the area are beautiful!

    And the food just looks amazing! It makes me miss true Southern food even more!

  • carolinebee
    December 28, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    OMG looove it, that sounds so fun!…we are such kindred spirits i totally have IBS too I’m so glad you threw it out there 😀

  • Bridget
    December 28, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Your splurges look totally ‘worth it’! Glad you had a fun vacation 🙂

  • Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food)
    December 28, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    Glad you had such a fun weekend! The food looks great!

  • ashley (sweet & natural)
    December 28, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Your weekend looks like it was amazing!! Southern food galore! I’m glad you had a great trip. The pictures are beautiful!

  • melissa
    December 28, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Wonderful photos. You girls are gorgeous! Enjoy bikram. I think we all need a little detox these days 🙂

  • HangryPants
    December 28, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    You rock on with your fried chicken! The picture of you and Ryan with the light is gorgeous! Have fun at yoga in the morning.

  • Sharon
    December 28, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Wow, looks like such an awesome time!
    And that Go Picnic package is great!!

  • Andrea
    December 28, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    glad you’re back. you were definitely missed 😉 looks like you had a fabulous time – great food, friends and family… and gifts hehe. my new years goals are to: stop biting my nails, beat my 10k time in the Tuft’s 10k, and try harder to meet with my teachers throuoghout the semester

  • Amanda
    December 29, 2008 at 1:30 am

    GAH. The kiss-pic is SO CUTE.

    And so manymany pictures!

    P.S.: Jealous of the hike! NC is just…so awesome.

  • Josie
    December 29, 2008 at 4:14 am

    Oh my goodness! That’s quite the snack pack! All the world’s most amazing foods (forgetting, of course, peanut butter 😉 )

  • polly
    December 29, 2008 at 5:39 am

    Jenna, CUTE pic of smooching and beautiful pics all around! Welcome home, so happy you had fun, and have fun at yoga today! Massive hugs!

    Not sure of 2009 goals yet… 😉

  • Melanie
    December 29, 2008 at 6:40 am

    Wow what an amazing trip! So beautiful! I definitely want to visit Asheville someday! Glad you had fun 🙂

  • hk
    December 29, 2008 at 6:52 am

    sounds like a fantastically fun weekend!!! welcome back 🙂

  • VeggieGirl
    December 29, 2008 at 7:00 am

    Jenna, Jenna, Jenna, – WHAT A SPECTACULAR WEEKEND!!!!! Gorgeous views/atmosphere, comforting food (looove the dirty rice, haha), wonderful company… just fabulous!!

  • Shelby
    December 29, 2008 at 7:26 am

    It looks like you had such a spectacular time!!! The views are amazing and all the food is so tasty looking!

  • Meghann
    December 29, 2008 at 7:40 am

    Wow! What a trip! I love all of the southern goodies, I get the same way on vacation, its ok to splurge every once in a while. Can’t wait to see you on Saturday! Caitlin has us sitting at the same table. 🙂

  • Joane
    December 29, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Your vacation looked great. Lots of beautiful pictures to remember it by! You make me want a Blackberry now!!

  • Matt
    December 29, 2008 at 8:24 am

    i bet you felt like you were back at bama after that southern weekend!

  • Maureen
    December 29, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Welcome back! Great pics, looks like you had amazing weather!

  • healthy ashley
    December 29, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Wow, Jenna! What a trip! I can’t get over all the great food. Even fried chicken! I’m glad you enjoyed yourself. And I’m glad you’re back!

  • LisaR
    December 29, 2008 at 8:56 am

    aww your pics were so cute! I am now in recovery mode also after a WEEK of indulging in holiday food. I’m off to the gym too! hhaha

  • Erin
    December 29, 2008 at 8:57 am

    WOW–What great pictures! I’m glad you had an awesome time!!
    I used to get chicken n’ dumplings everytime we stopped at a Cracker Barrel during long road trips! Ah, nostalgia! 🙂

    In Florida foodie news….CHECK THIS OUT:

    SO EXCITED!!! 😀

  • Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter)
    December 29, 2008 at 9:23 am

    What a fun weekend of beautiful scenery and fantastic southern eats! Asheville, NC is one of my most favorite cities – the surrounding moutains and hiking are amazing! Glad you had a good time.

  • K
    December 29, 2008 at 9:39 am

    OH MY GOSH – so many great things!! Love how they served the tea in the jar and that snack pack is probably the best thing they serve!

    Cute picture of you and Ryan!! That’s one for the memory books 😉

  • Erica
    December 29, 2008 at 11:13 am

    OMG! Everything looks so delicious! Seriously, that’s our kind of food! But I know what you’re saying about craving something fresh and healthy…after a few days of this fantastic food, your body is begging for it!
    But I’m glad you’re back…missed you!

  • Hilary
    December 30, 2008 at 7:24 am

    Ah! I love moose cafe! I know for breakfast they put out biscuits + apple butter. What could be better? and the Asheville farmers market is so fun to wander through! Glad you had a good time in the mountains 🙂

  • Kate Mc
    December 30, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    I’m so glad you had a great holiday, the scenery and food especially the mac and cheese and chicken and dumplings look AMAZING!

  • Nathan
    October 7, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Nice –
    I am from Kinston NC –
    I haven’t been back in many years.
    Really enjoyed this one.