Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, North Carolina

 Bob and I have been trying to take full advantage of all the different restaurants Asheville has to offer. For the last few weekends we have been heading into downtown Asheville and today we went to Tupelo Honey Cafe. My first thought of Tupelo before I had even seen the restaurant was that it was a local chain. That it was going to be “corporate” and decorated like your local fern bar.  Not my favorite type of restaurant by a long shot.  It was cold and gray outside, looking like snow and I wanted a restaurant with some atmosphere.
Tupelo Honey is small, very comfortable, cozy.
A great place to hang out. Have a late breakfast/early lunch with a few Bloody Mary’s and the newspaper. 
We were there for an early dinner and had the boys with us so there wouldn’t be much alcohol consumption going on. Although I did have a pretty damn good Bloody with a Pickled Okra and kickin horseradish! Good stuff.
They started us off with fresh biscuits…..

 This is what I had and it was amazing. So good. My salad had pickled beets and onions, bacon, carrots, spiced pecans, tomatoes, goat cheese, with pecan vinaigrette. I LOVE goats cheese.  This with the tomato soup was perfect.

 Bob had the Appalachian Egg Rolls (yes I spelled it wrong on the photo, too late to correct it). Pulled pork with jalapeno BBQ sauce with braised greens, pickled onions & shredded Carrots.

 Sam and Carter joined us today and they seemed to enjoy it. Sam had the Cheeseburger…cannot remember if it was organic or grass fed. Carter chose the full starch fest…Mac and Cheese, Grilled corn on the cob and home fries.

 They really focus on buying local and being organic without being in your face about it. They also offer Vegan, Gluten Free and Soy Free.

 Don’t know if you can read the card on the table but it says:

Asheville is the epicenter of the Foodtoplan Society, a community of folks who believe fantastic, authentic, fresh, local food equals more than simple nourishment. It’s our way of life.
We are proud to work with 14 different farms and purveyors in Western North Carolina to bring goodness to your table.

This is not a paid review, just us going out for dinner.  We really enjoyed everything about it.
Check out their menu at:

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will come back again!

Banana Bread

 I love banana bread, and it is just so darn easy to make. Plus I do not like ripe to over ripe bananas but that makes them perfect for banana bread.
Good stuff, give it a try.
 Banana Bread

1 cup   softened butter
2 cups  sugar
4 eggs

4 medium size brown/ripe bananas
6 TBSP milk
2 tsp salt
4 cups flour
1/2 cup HOT water with 2 tsp baking soda added to it. stir to dissolve 
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg

Mash bananas and set aside.
Mix butter, sugar, and eggs in a mixer.
Add flour, salt, milk and water with soda and mix well.
Add bananas, Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Fold mixture until well incorporated.
Add to 2 well greased bread pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
It sometimes takes longer. Bake until firm on top of loaf.

Remove from bread pans to cool.

I am glad that you have visited and would love for you to become a follower, come back again soon. Hugs!

Braces and Wrestling, What else.

 That’s a big ‘ol mouth isn’t it? I asked Sam to give me a smile big enough to see his teeth and this is what I got.  He is just like his dad as far as not seeing their teeth when they smile. I wanted a few pictures of him before his braces.

 He is eating his “last meal” of a Sonic chocolate shake and tater tots. He is all smiles right now.

 Still pretty calm, watching a movie on the ceiling. Kung Fu Panda.

 Now I am getting the look of “MOM, your embarrassing me.” You would think that they would have figured it out by now that that is my job.

 He cannot talk….might need one of those for Sophia…hmmmm.

 Tada! Just the top ones today. The bottoms go on in a few months.

 Then we had to haul butt to get to his wrestling match. Unfortunately this guy was a buzz saw and pinned him.    

His mouth felt pretty good and was not bothering him yet. But the next day he was hurting a lot and had another match that night. 
The team they went up against does not wrestle with much integrity and it was the first match in three years where I had to stop myself from going on the mat. They do a lot of uncontrolled picking their opponent up and slamming them on the mat and I had visions of him breaking my son’s arm. His opponent also hit him across the face in the mouth, hurt him a lot. So needless to say I was rather ticked off. I dislike poor sportsmanship and it usually comes down from the coaching.

Wild Rice Cheese Soup

This picture has absolutely nothing to  do with this post. I just wanted a really cute kid to look at while I was typing! Just sweet isn’t he? Could eat him up.

My girlfriend in Minni-sooo-tah  wanted a cheese soup recipe and this one is so good. There is nothing low cal about it and that is what makes it sooo good.

Wild Rice Cheese Soup

6 cans of potato soup (you can use generic)
6 pints half &half…(yes 6 pints, you can use half milk, half cream)
21 slices of American Cheese
6 slices of bacon
4 cups COOKED wild rice
1 medium onion

Cut bacon and onion into small pieces and brown until bacon  is crisp, drain grease. 
Add all ingredients into a large kettle.
Simmer slowly until cheese melts.
Add wild rice, low heat. 
Will burn easily if not watched

Oooey Gooey Coffee Cookie

 These are probably the best ooey, gooey, rich cookies you will ever eat. 

My daughter started making these about a year ago and we have been enjoying them ever since.

The original recipe is from Southern Living but we have made some changes to it. One of the changes is removing the nuts so that Sam can eat them. 

I hope you enjoy them!

Ooey Gooey Coffee Cookie

3/4    cup butter or margarine
2       tablespoons instant coffee granules
2       cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2    teaspoon baking soda
1/2    teaspoon salt
1/2    cup sugar
1        large egg
1        egg yolk
3/4     cup butterscotch chips
3/4     cup chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine butter and coffee granules in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until butter melts and coffee dissolves. Let cool but don’t let butter resolidify.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Combine butter mixture, sugars, egg, and yolk in a large bowl. Beat with mixer until well blended.

Gradually add flour mixture, mixing at low speed.

Add chocolate and butterscotch chips.

Bake at 325 degrees for 12-14 minutes. Let cookies cool slightly on a baking sheet before removing…they are kinda gooey.

Rustic Coat Rack

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This is the latest project to be completed, not necessarily the only project that is going on, but a completed one.
Our new home does not really have a mud room by the back door. It does have a closet that is completely consumed by my husbands motorcycle paraphernalia and not really convenient or easy  for the kids to use.
This project is really easy and pretty inexpensive.
I purchased a precut board from Lowe’s. Four feet of clear pine wood.  I don’t like trying to cover up knots in wood so it is worth it to pay a little extra for clear wood.  Cost of board $7.49
 I did not need to sand or prime the board because the paint that I am using has primer in it. I did not use the chalkboard paint that you see above. It is just used for propping the board up to paint it.
I only needed one coat of paint.

I purchased these hooks on Ebay. The price of 5 hooks and shipping came to around $15.00, much cheaper than buying them at a local hardware store. I think they were about $1.75 each.

 This is the paint that I used. I already had it left over from the potato bin re purposing project.

 After the board dried I used pretty coarse sand paper to rough it up a little to expose the raw wood underneath.
I then used min wax cherry stain and a rag and rubbed the entire board with it.
Let it dry for a day. The stain tends to take longer than the paint. The stain really makes it look richer and older.
 Then because I rarely measure anything I laid the hooks out and “eye balled” it.
There is one thing I am smart about is to know when to call in the professionals.
 I knew it would be in my best interest to involve Left Brain Bob and the Mini Bob (Sam).
They measured. Marked. measured. Marked.
 And I am sure these hooks are not off by a millimeter.
 See what I mean. TWO measuring devices.
I would have used my thumb and one eye squinted to get the right spot.

This is the spot without the coat rack.
 Not much room

 I would have put it right….there.
But I have once again got it figured out that my LeftBrainEngineeringHusband  would have it in the studs and level.
 This baby ain’t going no where.
And NO Carter that does not mean you can hang on it. Yes, he asked if he could. Boys.
 So glad that my big strong husband was able to take care of this for me.
 (spoken with a strong southern accent)

Looks pretty good if I do say so myself!
Thanks for stopping by…hope to see you again soon.

Far and Away Table

This table was kind of an experiment.
An experiment of which I am not sure I like the results or not.
The table is from my grandparents home. It was a light colored stain that was pealing up and was heavily scratched…unfortunately the scratches were rather deep and I think the table had been sanded once already. The top was also a wood veneer and was not able to handle much sanding without the glue showing through. 
The end result of the stripping, sanding and staining was that the center of the table would not take the stain evenly and it looked pretty bad.
Since this table was going in the den if figured why not paint a checker/chess board on it. I had taped off the edge at 18 inches square. The black border is 1 inch thick. The squares are 2 inches.  I used a ruler and a pencil to mark of the squares but I free handed painting the squares instead of taping it off. This was a mistake in my opinion. I think it deserved sharper edges. 
Anyway I used acrylic craft paint for the checker board, it worked well.
Sanded it lightly to distress it a little.
Added 2 coats of polyacrylic. 

I like to refer to it as the “Far and Away” table.
It is by far the best table around, the further away the better it looks.
Just sayin.

Refinished table from the Goodwill

Follow Me on Pinterest Another Goodwill find and this one was kind of nasty. 
Actually most everything I have come across at the Goodwill is on the sketchy side but it is wood that can be cleaned and sanded and sealed.
I spotted this thing and scooped it up quickly.
You think I am kidding when I say that this place is cut throat, the customers here take no prisoners. If you hesitate it is gone.
I have come to the realization that I am coming here too often when the workers ask me “How is that teenager of yours doing?’
I feel like responding “HOW do you THINK it is going? I am hanging out at the GOODWILL!”
But I don’t.
I smile and give him a gentle pat on the shoulder.
He is a nice guy. He is my connection to the back room.  Psst, any wood furniture in the back room?
This keeps me from hanging out by the back door waiting for a furniture fix. I tell you I am hooked.
The windows to the back are mirrored so it is very difficult to look casual without looking like your stalking.
The people that work here bring the items out in shopping carts to stock the shelves. Do  not look in the carts and may the good Lord help you if you touch anything. It is very embarrassing to get scolded my a GW worker.
So here is my lates find for $7.50.
It two pieces  with the tray that comes off the stand. 

I threw this baby in the shower to hose it off. It had to of been sitting in some shed for a long time.
Let it dry and took out the sander. The wood is pine and it really did not look like it was worth the effort to strip it and I wanted the black to show through the stain. I sanded it smooth while knocking off some the dark stain already on teh table.

The magazine rack is for another post, it just happened to be in the garage and it reminded me that I had not taken photos of it yet.

After it was sanded I took a rag and dipped it in the stain and rubbed it on the table. I don’t use a brush because it is just too messy.  I put on about 3 coats of stain focusing on the bare wood of the table. I then left it out in the garage for about a week. I wanted to make sure the  stain was very try and no longer tacky.
The sanded portions of the table looked more matte where as the portion with the original finish was a little shinier, not really the look that I wanted.

After the stain dried I applied Polyacrylic over the entire surface of the table. The evened out the sheen of the table. These picutres make it look a lot redder that it really is.

The picture below shows a little more accurate color.

My orignal plans for this was to put it in the boys room for thier Wii. I purchased castors for the bottom so that it could easily be moved but realized that it was going to be too low to the ground for the tv to sit on.

It was only an hour of labor. Not too bad.

So for now it is in the front room.

Looks pretty good don’t cha think?