Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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Kennesaw Mountain

One hike down, 3 hikes to go (30 Before 30, #1)! Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is just north of Atlanta and my friend lives close to there. We have tried for a few months to hike the mountain, but finally fit it, along with my friend visiting from Nashville! It’s a beautiful park with lots of shady trails. It’s about a mile up, not too difficult, and the view from the top is awesome. It was also cool to be there on Memorial Day and read the Civil War historical markers and information (yes, I actually read them). Easy day trip (or part-day trip) from downtown!

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No. 246

Another new restaurant for the ole 30 list! No. 246 in Decatur (and you really can’t go wrong in Decatur). The restaurant is very trendy – open space, open kitchen, great patio (though it was rainy when we were there). The pasta is homemade and they were making it while we were there!

They have a great wine selection, including the most interesting descriptions of wines I have ever seen: approachable; saddle; seductive. I was told by numerous people that the cocktails are amazing – but it was a Monday night, so I opted for the wine.

The menu is small but diverse and delicious. You start with a crispy, warm bread with olive oil. Then I had the Agnolotti pasta – I’m still not sure what kind of pasta it was, but it was tossed with asparagus, ricotta, tomato filetto (sauce – I had to look it up), pine nuts, and lemon. It was delicious.

This would be a great date night, fun birthday or celebration dinner, girls night, anything! I also just read on the website that you can reserve a the chef’s counter: sitting right at the kitchen for a 5-course dinner by the head chef. How fun would that be?!

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Spinach Tortellini Soup

I’m closing in on my 10 new recipes (#28) – a lot quicker than I thought I would! Funny how a little motivation can get a list moving!

This one will be short – I didn’t take any pictures. We were visiting my brother and sister-in-law shortly after my new nephew was born (he is adorable. you’ll meet him soon). My mom and I (mostly my mom) were cooking every day and freezing leftovers to leave for them. We wanted a soup and had more spinach than we knew what to do with, so I went straight to my Pinterest board – I have one just for soups because they are that great. I found a perfect, easy one.

Spinach Tortellini Soup

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It uses the crockpot and pretty typical ingredients. The recipe is vague about the base – it calls for an envelope of ‘white sauce mix’ – we used Alfredo. I can’t always find the dry tortellini in the grocery store (though we did this time) – I assume you can use the refrigerated stuff, you just wouldn’t have to cook it as long!

Overall it was really good and filling with the pasta (I ended up putting even more than it called for). I’m not sure how it freezes, we didn’t have enough leftover to try. I would definitely recommend it. Enjoy!

 


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Barrelhouse

I’m not going to lie – I love food. So new restaurants is definitely one of my favorite things to check off my 30 before 30 list. But, as I believe I’ve said before, it’s sometimes difficult to make yourself go to new restaurants or take the time to research in order to find a new restaurant. Luckily all the local deals sites make it a little easier. A while ago I bought a deal to The Barrelhouse (and finally used just before expiration).

It’s on Tech Square (Georgia Tech, that is) so I expected it to be a typical college bar. That’s not a good or bad thing. But on a Monday night it was a very cozy and quiet. There are a lot of TVs and they have a diverse menu, with some good weekly specials (for example, Mondays are burger and a pint night for $6) and a large drink menu (beer, wine, and cocktails).

I had the fish n’ chips – great breading on the fish and very good tartar sauce. My friend had the fried chicken & grits – of course I had a bite and it was delicious. If you’re looking for a new laid-back, easy weekly dinner I definitely recommend it. I assume the weekends are more busy and attract more of the nearby college crowd, but I may be wrong on that!


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Sunday Dinner

Last weekend I needed to use up some stuff in my pantry, so I took a recipe my mom made and tweaked it a little bit. It was super easy and gave me lunch the next day.

“Cajun” Pasta

1. Cook pasta according to directions. I used about half a box of bow tie pasta, but you can really use any kind.

2. Heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil and 3 Tbsp. lemon juice on the stove. Chop 3 bunches of green onion and sauté for a couple minutes.

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3. Add chopped tomatoes (I had cherry tomatoes; any kind of tomato will work). Let the tomatoes heat and sprinkle with Tony’s cajun seasoning.

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4. Toss in a couple handfuls of spinach and cook until the spinach wilts. Add more seasoning if wanted (add as much or as little as you like)

5. Pour over the pasta, toss,

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6. and serve! Mine had a kick with the amount of Tonys I used and I loved it!

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I’d recommend adding a protein, but I didn’t have any. The original recipe used shrimp and Seafood Magic seasoning instead of Tonys. Also good to top with some feta. Super easy no matter what!

“Cajun” Pasta

1/2 box of pasta
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 bunches green onion, chopped
~1 cup chopped tomatoes
~1.5 cups raw spinach
Tonys Cajun seasoning (enough for flavor you want)
Feta cheese (optional)

Cook pasta according to pasta directions.
Heat olive oil and lemon juice in a skillet.
Add green onion and sauté for a couple minutes.
Add tomatoes and let heat. Add some seasoning.
Add spinach and let it cook down. Add some more seasoning if wanted.
Drain pasta and put in large bowl.
Pour sauce over the pasta and toss.


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Rosebud

And we’re off and running! First item off my 30 Before 30 list complete! I love food. And I love trying new restaurants. I get into habits, though, of going to the same places. So it is actually a challenge to make myself go to new restaurants. Luckily there are plenty of sites and lists to help me along.

I’ve heard so many good things about Rosebud pretty much since I moved back to Atlanta. And Scoutmob made it easy when they sold a great dinner-for-two deal to Rosebud. It included a carafe of wine, an appetizer, 2 entrees, and a dessert! And I decided to ask a very good friend to go with me (before it expired hehe)! We’ve been friends for 26 years – she had her first baby almost 2 months ago – and her birthday was a couple weeks ago. Lots to celebrate! The restaurant itself is very cute and cozy – with small tables for 2 as well as large comfy booths.

We enjoyed a delicious carafe of red wine. We ordered the appetizer special: sweet potato fritters. Yum. They were served on lamb jerky (sounds weird, but it was delicious even though while eating it we had not idea what it was ha) and some kind of cheese (like goat cheese but from a cow – I couldn’t catch the name of it when she said it).

sweet potato fritters

sweet potato fritters

For my entree, I ordered the grilled pork loin medallions – which were actually two hearty pieces of pork. It was served over pan-roasted greens and sweet pepper & hamhock jus with a side of jalapeño mac & cheese. The pork was juicy, had a great flavor, and had a kick with the sauce. The jalapeño mac & cheese was simply delicious. My friend ordered the trout, served over whipped potatoes and with brussel sprouts and she loved it.

grilled pork loin medallions

grilled pork loin medallions

And then dessert. We ordered the Mexican Coca-Cola Cake – chocolate cake made with Mexican Coke. I made a Coke cake on Sunday night and it did not hold a candle to this one. Must be the Mexican Coke 😉 Sadly, we started devouring it so quickly I didn’t get a picture – but trust me, it looked, and tasted, amazing.

So Rosebud gets two thumbs up and long live fun nights out with a life-long friend!

 


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My First Tri

My friend and I decided we wanted to do something awesome this year. So what crazy idea did we come up with?? A sprint triathlon. Yes, crazy. I have not ridden a bike since…hm….maybe middle school? I have not swam an actual swimming stroke since 5th grade.  So obviously this was a great idea.

I started training in March for an early June race.  Prior to that, of course, I had to stock up on a few small items to prepare – you know, a bike…a swim cap…goggles (and that was just the start).  The first day I jump into the swimming pool I almost quit right then and there, convinced that I would easily drown in seconds in a lake.  After a few swims, though, I actually began to enjoy it – it was a nice change from my normal monotonous running.

Riding a bike is not just like riding a bike. It was kind of scary at first, actually.  It was hard work to learn gears, balancing, taking a drink – and I didn’t have clip-in pedals! But I eventually got the hang out it and, again, enjoyed my rides.  I did discover that training rides are ten times more fun when you do them with someone.  And that training at Stone Mountain is always a good idea (so. many. hills).

Race day was exciting – not quite the hype of a half marathon due to the numbers but it was perfect weather. The water was a lovely 70 degrees (or so I heard). There was a slight cloud cover blocking the intense sun.  Overall, it was a fun event. I did not really enjoy the swimming – open water with 36 other people is kind of difficult. I enjoyed the bike and the run but was very happy to cross the finish line and be done.  I didn’t absolutely love doing all three events together – but I could totally see myself (and plan to) still swimming for exercise (in a pool. not a lake.) and doing some bike races. And of course keep running – my favorite.

Unfortunately my time chip didn’t work, so I don’t have official results, but thanks to our wonderful fans, they estimated my total time at about 1 hour 30 minutes, putting me in about 9th place out of 37! Not too shabby!

Next challenge?! Any suggestions?!