September 29, 2010


Pepita Crusted Chicken Salad with Sweet Adobo Vinaigrette.

Maybe you've noticed a trend here on ASP...dessert, healthy dish, dessert, healthy dish, dessert, healthy dish.

Well, to offer full disclosure the REAL cycle is:  dessert, SCALE, workout, healthy low-carb meal, dessert, scale, *SIGH*, workout, low-carb meal! I know what you're thinking...silly girl, just stop eating dessert.

September 26, 2010

Roller Derby Pies

Blue Ridge Roller Girls, Oatmeal Cream Pies, and a GIVEAWAY Winner.

What was your favorite childhood treat? Swiss Cake Rolls, Twinkies, Ding Dongs? I was a Oatmeal Cream Pie kind of girl.

How long has it been since you had one??? Sadly, they may not be quite what you remembered. Maybe we've matured beyond heavily preserved, factory processed baked goods.

Nostalgia isn't quite what it used to be. ~Peter De Vries

September 22, 2010

Hold the Cream

Mulligatawny Soup.

Friends you can rely on are an essential part of having "the good life." If they happen to be able to cook...bonus!

Our friends that came to stay with us have gone home, but not without leaving their mark. During their visit I was introduced to Mulligatawny Soup. A south Indian dish literally meaning "Pepper Water" in Tamil. My friend, Bethany, made us a lovely rich creamy version, but after researching this soup a bit, I discovered there are MANY varieties. Some are brothy, and some thick. Colors also vary from recipe to recipe. But the key ingredients are veggies, rice, protein, and curry powder...or other Indian spice blends.

September 19, 2010

Addiction Cured

Apple Cider Cinna-Knots.

Confession~ After I tried the apple cider donuts at Sky Top Orchard, I haven't been able to stop thinking about them! You may remember, the ones I mentioned in my Curried Apple Turnover post?

I've been craving them for a couple weeks. To be a bit more accurate, I physically ache for them morning, noon and night. I lay in bed at night and see floating golden rings of heaven, covered in sugar crystals...and they're smiling at me. This has been going on for days. It's become a bit of an issue. I'm seeking therapy.

September 15, 2010

I'm a Saucy Mama! GIVEAWAY

Generally speaking, I'm not much for contests. I just don't have a strong competitive nature! But after I was contacted by Saucy Mama to participate in the "I'm a Saucy Mama" contest, offering bottles of all their wonderful products to work with, and the chance at a cash prize...I gave in. Always a sucker for cash!

The goal of this contest was to create crowd-pleasing party recipes. As someone who throws parties--and often on short notice--I know the importance of having easy recipes that look and taste great, but don't take a lot of time.

September 12, 2010

Apples for All!

Curried Apple Turnovers.

My family always looks forward to apple picking this time of year. The kids enjoy climbing up on daddy's broad shoulders to reach for juicy autumn orbs tucked beneath leafy branches. They get even more excited about all the other glorious things you find at an apple animals to feed, hay rides, play areas, and decedent apple treats!

September 08, 2010

Sukiyaki for the Soul

Pork Sukiyaki.

We've had friends staying with us for the last 2 1/2 weeks. With belly laughs over old stories, conversations to carry on, places to visit, and kids streaking around in circles...I haven't really felt like blogging much lately. Sorry about that! Thankfully I had a few extra posts stored up for just such an occasion, that have carried me through the last couple weeks.

Our friends Bethany and Jimmy, recently moved home from Japan. They have lived there the last two years with their little girl, teaching English in the small mountain town of Funehiki and immersing themselves in the culture. Japan offered gracious new friends, new experiences and foods, a bilingual 5  year-old, and at times...hard life lessons. They are truly thankful for their time overseas, and find themselves a little culture-shocked to be back in the states!

September 05, 2010

Too Late for Blueberry Pie?

Of course not! That's the beauty of living in the mountains--we still have wild blueberries growing all over the slopes!

A couple weeks ago, we took our kids up to a wonderful little spot along the Blue Ridge Parkway called Graveyard Fields. It's a popular stop for casual (kid friendly) hiking and berry picking. Acres of wild blueberry varieties grow in nearly every direction. So when one of my oldest, dearest friends came to visit last week with her family, we headed up the parkway again for more blueberries!

September 01, 2010

International Sign of Friendship

Village Chai and Yakhni Pulao. AND GIVEAWAY WINNERS!!!

Often when a friend wants to show you that you are important to them, they give you a signal. In the states that might include a card, a small personal gift, or helping you in some way. In different countries the signs of true friendship often take different forms. 

It's been 13 years since my last trip to India, but certain friends are still very close to my heart. Friends, that despite differences in culture, language, beliefs and age, were generous with their time and thoughts. I'm always amazed at how simple it is to find common connections when you are looking for them. These individuals extended a hand of friendship in many ways, but most effectively by offering sustenance.