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Asheville Adventures

by Meghann on June 15, 2009

Guess who found their way to Asheville?

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The infamous Kath!

As soon as Kath saw the words ‘NC Vacation’ mentioned on my blog she commented right away that we must meet up. We had been planning this get together for weeks and I was so happy to finally have a chance to meet one of my favorite bloggers in person. ๐Ÿ™‚

Needless to say after all of the activities my family participated in yesterday we all woke up a little sore. My Sister was begging for some yoga so I used my nifty computer to download Sun Salutations Flow #1 fro Yogadownload.com. Gotta love the convience of technology.

The description called for Advanced Beginners so we got the impression that it would be an easy flow yoga class. I’m not sure if it was our sore, tired muscles or our poor yoga skills, but this class was very difficult and hard! We both had a good sweat going at the end and our arms were even more sore and tired then they were before. Next time well know better. ๐Ÿ˜‰

As soon as we finished the yoga session breakfast was ready. Good thing I was hungry!

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I had 2 scrambled eggs seasoned with Rosemary, S&P, a Peach, and a Biscuit with a taste of homemade Sausage Gravy.

After breakfast we set out for our Asheville adventure. Asheville is just under an hour away from our cabin and after so many recommendations from readers, I was excited to have the opportunity to explore it.

My Dad had a read about a week day Farmer’s Market online, so we made that our first stop.

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They had plenty of fun samples of spicy nuts, dried fruit and vegetables that I nibbled on.

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I bought some Rhubarb Jam and Honey to take home with me, while my Dad bought some fresh bacon for breakfast in the morning.

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I also managed to drag my family to my first Earthfare adventure.

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It really was a beautiful grocery store that reminded me exactly of a Whole Foods. ๐Ÿ™‚ I only wish it would have been lunch time so I could have enjoyed the beautiful fresh salad bar. I had fun patrolling the aisles and I’m glad my family let me enjoy this small adventure.

We finally headed to downtown Asheville around lunchtime. My Sister and I may or may not have stumbled into a chocolate shop where we may or may not have sampled a piece of Turtle Fudge. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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It was good too!

This is the part of the story where Kath and her husband, Matt, enter our Asheville adventures and met us for lunch at The Laughing Seed.

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I remember reading about Kath’s and Jenna’s adventure dining at The Laughing Seed last summer and after so many readers reccommending it I could not wait to try it.

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The menu was filled with so many wonderful options, I had a hard time deciding! I wanted to taste and try it all. After spending a good time debating I went with the Caribbean Empanada: An island inspired filling of curried butternut squash, fresh spinach and fire roasted tomato mojo, wrapped on a whole wheat flour tortilla and topped with slow cooked organic black beans and vegan cilantro sour cream. Served over a bed of mixed greens.

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The dish contained all of my favorites and it was just as delicious as I imagined it would be. I mean how can you go wrong with butternut squash and black beans? I ate 3/4 of the dish and could have easily finished the whole plate if it weren’t for the fact I wanted to try a bite of everyone else’s as well.

Kath ordered the Indian Pankoas of the day that were filled with Eggplant and Butternut Squash. She is a sharer, just like me, and let me sample a bite of each kind.

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I really enjoyed the cornmeal breading that surrounded the butternut and eggplant. The couple of bites I had were a great addition to my meal.

Food blogger in action.

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When my family found out we were going to be dining at a vegetarian restaurant they were VERY skeptical. It’s funny how as soon as you say the word vegetarian and people automatically get scared. My brother was the most skeptical of them all, but we talked him in to the Tempeh Ruben for lunch.

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He liked it! He did state something was ‘off’ about the dish, but the flavor was there and he enjoyed it. I had a bite of his as well and I did find it tasty.

I sipped on a Lemon Mint Iced Tea during lunch as well.

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As we were leaving I grabbed a small handful of what turned out to be Chocolate Covered Fennel Seeds.

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I was not a fan. They had a very licorice taste to them. I tried a few then tossed the rest of the handful.

In preparation of our meet up in Asheville, Matt had organized a brewery tour for us with the Highland Brewing Company.

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I had never heard of Highland Brewery before, but I was informed they just started distributing down in Florida. They are a fairly small operation that used to brew out of a basement under a bar in downtown Asheville. They have grown since their humble beginnings and now distribute to the majority of the southeast.

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Throughout the course of our tour we were given the opportunity to sample the 6 different kinds of beer Highland brews.

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#1 Cattail Peak Organic Wheat:

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This was of course my favorite. I’m a big wheat fan. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s the one Organic beer that Highland currently offers and is their summer seasonal beer. The wheat beer is not brewed in the traditional belgium style such as Blue Moon and therefore did not have as quite of defined of an orange taste.

#2 Gaelic Ale:

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This is one of Highland’s most popular brews and the one they distribute the most of. It was an amber beer that I really enjoyed. The flavor was rich and very smooth. Steve, our tour guide/ marketing director, said the closest he could compare this to would be Colorado’s Fat Tire only a much stronger, flavorful rendition.

#3 St. Terese’s Pale Ale:

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This was Steve’s favorite of all the flavors. I am not a particular pale ale fan in general, but I do admit this one was pretty good. I learned this is what you would consider a ‘hoppy’ beer. ๐Ÿ™‚

#4 Kashmir IPA:

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We tried the IPA right after the Pal Ale to do a side by side comparison of a hoppy beer-the pale ale-to a bitter beer- the IPA. My Sister and I both agreed we prefer a bitter beer to a hoppy beer. I liked the IPA.

#5 Oatmeal Porter:

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I am a fan of dark beers and I admit I was looking forward to the Oatmeal Porter. The flavor was strong and rich and the body went down smooth. Me like.

#6 Mocha Stout:

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I think my whole family was looking forward to the stout and this one did not disappoint. It has a little more bite then a Guiness has and was great to slowly sip on as my final sample. I think it would be great in a Black & Tan. Yum!

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I drank the full sample of the beers I enjoyed and only took a sip of the ones I didn’t care for and poured the rest of the sample into my brother’s glass. It was a good system that my brother did not mind.

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The tour was very intimate and we learned alot about the process of brewing, fermenting and bottling beers.

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The base of most beers consist of a roasted barley that is referred to as malt.

The lightly roasted barley has a nice grainy taste that resembles the texture and crunch of Grape Nuts.

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The heavily roasted barley has a bit darker taste and has an almost burnt taste that resembles coffee.

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Check out all the grains that go into producing beer. Any combination of these grains can produce which ever flavor of beer you are looking for.

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Highland Brewing Company does offer organic beer selections, mostly in their seasonal varieties, such as the Cattail Peak Organic Wheat we sampled. I found it interesting that the reason why all of their beers are unable to be considered organic is because of their inability to secure organic grains. It seems like the bigger brewing companies such as Budweiser and Miller House have a monopoly on the organic grains in the region. Apparently a lot of the beers those companies produce are in fact organic without us even knowing it.

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The brewery tour went on for a good 2 hours and about three quarters of the way through Kath and I were starting to get a little anxious. We let the boys continue the beer talk and chatted up on all things life. Kath is seriously just as sweet and down to earth in person as she seems on the blog and was very easy to get a long with. I am so happy I got the opportunity to meet her and Matt in real life and look forward to more chances in the near future.

As we said our good byes Kath and Matt presented us with some yummy baked goods.

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A loaf of experimental Sourdough Wheatberry Bread & two Carrot, Date, & Walnut Muffins.

My family and I immediately had to break into one of the muffins.

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I had a small sample.

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Holy yum! This muffin rocked!! Thanks Kath & Matt for the great treats!

When we finally made it back to the cabin the dogs were restless from being stuck home alone while we went off to play. Luckily in Asheville I had picked up a belated birthday pupcake for Abbie and Scooby to celebrate Abbie’s 2nd birthday.

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I think Abbie liked the mini celebration. We sang her Happy Birthday and everything.

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Chicken was on the menu tonight. My Dad had cut up a whole chicken as well as some thin sliced cutlets this morning and they had been marinating all day. When we returned home he fired up the grill and tossed on some summer squash as well.

On my plate I had a cutlet with some grilled summer squash, spinach & tomato with a slice of the Sourdough Wheatberry Bread.

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I topped the slice of bread with some Rhubarb Jam I had picked up this morning at the Farmer’s Market.

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The bread was very dense and chewy. I loved the addition of the wheat berries, it added a great overall texture to it. The rhubarb jam was very sweet, almost like honey and added a great southern touch to the bread.

I love how my family unwinds in the mountains.

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Addicted anyone? I know I am!

I just enjoyed a cup of hot tea and am more then ready for bed. These full days sure are fun, but totally exhausting.

Good night!

1 HelpMeghanRun June 15, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Yum yum yum! ๐Ÿ™‚ What an awesome day for your vacation! That lunch place looks amazing.

HelpMeghanRun.com

2 Marissa June 15, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Cute dress!

3 Ryane June 15, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Aww that’s so fun! I’m glad you and Kath had a nice time. And ohhh man, your lunch sounded deeeelish!

4 Bec June 15, 2009 at 10:43 pm

sounds like a great day and a good visit with Kath! I love how you and your sister have matching mac books!

5 strivingforbalance June 15, 2009 at 10:45 pm

love your dress! Where did you get it!

Glad you had a fun day! ๐Ÿ™‚ .. My friends and family just don’t understand why i get excited for grocery stores too lol
http://strivingforbalance.wordpress.com/

6 Meghann June 16, 2009 at 6:50 am

I got the dress at American Eagle. It was on sale and so comfy!

7 Lindsey (Mrs. LC) June 15, 2009 at 10:46 pm

How fun!!! I love blogger meet ups, so glad you and Kath had fun!

8 Jennifer @ His N' Her Health June 15, 2009 at 10:52 pm

What a fun day! Love the dress!

9 steph June 15, 2009 at 10:55 pm

meghann looks like a total babe!!! love the family portrait at the end

10 Niki June 15, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Fun day! So exciting that you got to meet up with Kath!!

11 Ashley June 15, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Mmmm, beer ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m so jealous of your vacation! I want to come along!

12 Run Sarah June 15, 2009 at 10:57 pm

What a great blogger meet up – that restaurant looks fantastic and the brewery tour looked like a lot of fun.

13 fitforfree June 15, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Wow, what a great post – so much awesome food & drink. Enjoy the mtns.!

14 caronae June 15, 2009 at 11:05 pm

That’s so cool that you got to have an adventure with Kath! Fudge is always tasty…

15 Emily (Healthy Fit Mama) June 15, 2009 at 11:08 pm

What a fun day! That’s so great that you and Kath got to meet up.

16 Christina June 15, 2009 at 11:24 pm

It looks like you had such a great day! I love exploring new food stores on vacation, that farmer’s market looks fab!

17 M June 15, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Ahh I love Highland’s Porter and Mocha Stout! When I lived in the South I would drink it all the time, unfortunately I am way far away now. Glad you had a great time on the tour!

18 Emily June 15, 2009 at 11:26 pm

gah, that looks like a fabulous day! I am so jealous whenever I see Earthfare.

Is that your brother in the UMiami t-shirt?

http://eatingchalk.wordpress.com

19 Meghann June 16, 2009 at 6:51 am

Yep that’s my twin bro! He attends the medical school at UM. He starts his third year next week!

20 Derek June 15, 2009 at 11:31 pm

good gosh you got some sun!

21 Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now June 15, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Wow, what a fun day! I’m glad you’re having a great vacation. Also, I love your sister’s dress.

22 Heather Eats Almond Butter June 16, 2009 at 12:30 am

Meghann,
Asheville is one of my most favorite cities in the whole world, and I love the Laughing Seed Cafe. How cool you got to meet up with Kath and Matt. Sounds like a wonderful trip thus far!

23 Hangry Pants June 16, 2009 at 12:32 am

Excellent day of vacation. I love all your detail. I feel like I am there too. ๐Ÿ˜€

24 aprillove1625 June 16, 2009 at 1:12 am

Looks like a fun vacation!

25 Rachel June 16, 2009 at 1:44 am

I loved reading both of your recaps! So neat to see how blogging connects people. And I get a huge kick out of the sibling laptop pic – I call that “playing laptops” ๐Ÿ™‚

26 mayapamela June 16, 2009 at 3:34 am

Squash and beans are a great combo! Both of your meals looks fantastic, and that sourdough wheatberry bread.

27 tami June 16, 2009 at 4:33 am

i’ll be in that area in two weeks! looks like great fun

28 smallchangesaddup June 16, 2009 at 5:32 am

That restaurant looks amazing – I wish there were more vegetarian restaurants in the UK. I love squash, too. I really need to start buying it, but whole squashes look really big and scary! Anyone got any tips on how to buy it and how to cook it?

http://www.smallchangesaddup.wordpress.com

29 Erica June 16, 2009 at 5:42 am

I’m with everyone else- I LOVE your dress- you look so adorable! Very fun that you got to meet up Kath. Great eats.

30 Nicole June 16, 2009 at 6:11 am

It looks like such a fun day! I’ve always wanted to visit Ashville, it seems like a really lovely town. I wish there were huge farmer’s markets like that around here!

My sister is typically afraid of vegetarian food, but she recently tried a tempeh burger and while she also said there was something off about the sandwich, she did like it! I tried it, and it was the best tempeh I’ve ever had. I love showing others that veg food is just as tasty!

31 caitlin June 16, 2009 at 6:22 am

you look stylish! love the dress. and i want to come with your family on vacations!

32 Victoria June 16, 2009 at 6:54 am

That looks like such a fun day and blogger meet up! Your dress is so cute!

33 Katrina (gluten free gidget) June 16, 2009 at 7:08 am

What a fun day!!!!! That Sun Salutations #1 download is one of my favs! Love your dress, too!
I have actually NEVER had beer. I know they make the GF kind, but I’ve just never like the smell of it so I never tried it. I’m a white wine kind of girl! Love the computer pic. Sometimes my hubby thinks my computer is attached to my fingers. It’s just such a nice way to unwind at night.

34 Susan June 16, 2009 at 7:10 am

Looks like you guys are having a great time!! Vegetarian food + beer sounds like a perfect day to me ๐Ÿ˜‰ My family unwinds the exact same way when we’re together…it gets pretty bad when we start msn-ing in different rooms! ๐Ÿ˜›

35 Lauren June 16, 2009 at 7:18 am

What a GREAT day you had! That’s so awesome that you and Kath spent the day in Ashville together. Sounds like a perfect time.

Girl you are so tan and the dress looks beautiful on you! Hope you are having a wonderful time on your family vacay.

Take care hun.

36 diana June 16, 2009 at 7:45 am

Glad you are enjoying NC! The fudge looks delicious.

37 ashley (sweet & natural) June 16, 2009 at 8:07 am

I’m glad you enjoyed The Laughing Seed! I loved it when I went. ๐Ÿ™‚

38 Meredith June 16, 2009 at 8:22 am

I am glad you were able to check out the Farmer’s Market and Earth Fare!

39 redheadyellowdog June 16, 2009 at 8:46 am

so glad you enjoyed asheville! highland gaelic is one of my fave beers!! Asheville has a ton of breweries..I think 9. I know a few more just opened. They have something called a “brews cruise” where you get to go to all the different breweries and tour them! Very fun. Ah I miss Asheville like crazy!! good thing I am going back for my bday in July! woohoo!

40 Melissa @ For the Love of Health June 16, 2009 at 9:19 am

Amazing photos! It must have been a blast to meet Kath! Everything looks so good: the cupcakes, the beer, the bread, everything ๐Ÿ™‚
Glad you are having such a great time!

41 Danielle June 16, 2009 at 9:32 am

What a super fun day!
That fudge looks great, as does your lunch!

42 Kelsey June 16, 2009 at 9:43 am

looks like a great day!!! i’m so jealous of all your vacations you’ve been going on lately :]

43 gina (fitnessista) June 16, 2009 at 10:33 am

your dress is so cute!!! so cool you got to meet kath- looks like so much fun!
let me know if you want to stop in v-town on your way back down 75 (exit 22) ๐Ÿ˜€
enjoy the rest of your trip!

44 Jess June 16, 2009 at 10:41 am

Great post! So jealous that you got to meet Kath and Matt….I love both their blogs!

I love brewery tours…great fun, that carmel did look great. I’ll have to check them out and see if they have made it to ABC yet, or somewhere!

PS. Love the dress…enjoy the rest of your vacay!

45 Grammar Police June 16, 2009 at 10:48 am

Hi Meghann! I love your blog but I have to play grammar police. I keep seeing you, Kath and Jenna use the word infamous. This is fine and dandy but you all keep using it in the wrong manner. Infamous means someone is famous for something bad or a bad reputation. Everytime I see this on your blogs I want to go crazy!! Okay, I’m a dork I know but I had to put it out there!!!

46 brandi June 16, 2009 at 10:53 am

what a fun day! Asheville looks like such a neat town, and that Laughing Seed sounds amazing!

I love that everyone is on their laptops ๐Ÿ™‚

47 Kaye June 16, 2009 at 10:56 am

Happy Birthday to Abbie! What a cutie ๐Ÿ™‚
And I love the way you unwinded…very cute…I would do the same! Enjoy the rest of your vacations…

48 Rose June 16, 2009 at 10:58 am

I can’t believe we were in Asheville around the same time! So weird. Were you there yesterday?

49 biz319 June 16, 2009 at 11:59 am

You look so cute, love the dress – great meet up with Kath and Matt too!

50 Melissa June 16, 2009 at 12:55 pm

wow so much fun! thanks for the awesome recap

51 Actors Diet June 16, 2009 at 1:45 pm

just read kath’s post of your trip (looks fun!) and was wondering how those sugared fennel seeds tasted….good to know! i’m not a huge fennel fan either, though i do drink it in tea form….

52 Anne P June 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm

love your dress! also have to say i am LOVING your new haircut. it looks great! ๐Ÿ™‚

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