Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chattanooga - Day 2

My friend and I rounded out the two-day trip by hiking! Fortunately, we hiked at Point Park, a national park (minimal parking fee = free admission) and went on a 3-mile trail that was covered with shade. Yay! It was nice... except for the couple of times where we didn't know exactly which path to take when the trail split. O_o After Point Park, we went to Signal Point to get another view. By that time, we were hungry so we found a nearby restaurant: Sluggo's. It had received a lot of positive reviews on Yelp, so we gave it a go. It took a while for the food to get to us but it was pretty good overall. We left for Atlanta from the restaurant and beat the afternoon rush hour. Yaaaay! I'm glad we had such nice weather while we were in Chattanooga. I'm also glad I went because I really wanted to get out of town for a bit! ^_^ The travel itch will strike again soon, I'm sure.

Breakfast at The Crash Pad

Point Park - Alternative to more touristy attractions such as Ruby Falls







Basically, one of the few legitimate signs we saw on the trail.



Signal Point - Not so much a hike as a leisurely walk to a viewing area.

 
Sluggo's - Vegetarian restaurant! It was close to Signal Point and on our way back to Atlanta.


So... I definitely ordered a wrap, but I don't remember what was in it. Hmm...The mashed potato side was pretty good though!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Chattanooga - Day 1

Since my holiday weekend was partly dedicated to attending a friend's baby shower, I took a day off from work to make a 2-day trip to Chattanooga with a friend of mine. The weather was gorgeous, so we took advantage of it by doing outdoor activities for most of the trip. We left on Monday morning and arrived in Chattanooga sometime before noon. We biked around for about an hour, stopped by to get some ice cream, and walked in the middle of a bicycling competition on our way to lunch at Champy's (mm!). Afterwards, we went to the Raccoon Mountain Caverns to cool off and then searched for our hostel. We "crashed" there for a bit and decided on a dinner restaurant. It turns out dinner was pretty much in the same area where we had biked earlier in the day. -____-"" Small world. It was a pretty full day considering!

Rent a bike? Sure!


I could've sworn this glass bridge had a name... but I can't find it! O_o Curious.




Ice Cream Show - What's the point of all of that biking if you can't indulge?

Champy's - Cheap, good food. Recommended by a friend who's from Chattanooga.


Raccoon Mountain - You can purchase slightly discounted tickets online. It was nice and cool inside.




The Crash Pad! Excellent service, clean hostel.




Waaay too much cheese but still awesome


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Friend's Baby Shower





Craft table


Parting gift





One of my friends had a baby shower over Memorial Day weekend. I seem to be getting invites to these more and more lately. ;oP It's that time of life, I suppose.

Anyway, there was a craft table available with supplies for stenciling onesies. Best.idea.ever. As anyone who will become a parent or who IS a parent knows, baby stuff is not cheap! I thought this was a fantastic way to use the available labor of loved ones to create one-of-a-kind onesies for the new addition. Also, the onesies varied in size from newborn to at least 18 months. There were at least a dozen people in attendance and some people opted to craft more than one design, so that takes care of at least one year's worth of clothes. Practical and stylish, hells yes. We had a lot of fun with the stencils! 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins





There were ripe bananas in the house, and I wanted to make something other than banana nut bread (because I tend to lean on that recipe a lot). I decided to mix it up just a little bit and throw in chocolate chips. I found a recipe online with the requisite ingredients, but clearly the muffins didn't turn out well. This is in part because I used a small convection oven that doesn't disperse heat evenly. Then why did I use that oven? Because I've been getting complaints about using the regular oven for just one pan of a baked good. Yeah... I'm going to use the regular oven from now on. I don't care how much energy it uses or how much hassle it takes to clear out the oven before using it. I really don't like wasting time and effort on something that ultimately doesn't get eaten. Triple boo. Ultimately, the tops were burnt and the insides weren't cooked enough. :o(

Ingredients:

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 medium)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tblspn granulated sugar

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease bottoms of 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray, or place paper baking cup in each muffin cup. (I tend to spray paper baking cups.)

2. In large bowl, beat bananas, brown sugar, milk, oil, and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt just until flour is moistened. Fold miniature chocolate chips into the batter.

3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups; sprinkle each with 1/2 tsp sugar. (I neglected to read this part!) Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan.

Makes 12 servings.