Sunday, April 2, 2017

02 April 2017

It has been an absolutely beautiful Spring weekend. We put the great weather to good use by spending some quality time outside. On Saturday, we ventured up to Buford Dam to hike the Laurel Ridge Trail. It is a beautiful, four mile trail that winds around the top of Lake Sidney Lanier and through the woods and streams along the way. Other than the high pollen count, the climate was perfect. After the hike, my Apple Watch informed me I had set a new personal record for calories burned an outdoor walk, and it even gave me a Gold Star. Feeling accomplished, I decided we had earned a reward, so we proceeded to downtown Buford to have a late lunch at Rico's World Kitchen. I really love this restaurant, and I have attempted to convince Rico he needs to open a location in downtown Canton. Everything is very fresh, and the ingredients are globally inspired. Jeff and I both had the Chicken Cuban sandwich, and I washed it down with some refreshing Strawberry Sangria. We were too stuffed to enjoy one of their homemade desserts, so didn't totally cancel out the exercise.

After lunch, we drove a block up the street to visit the Tannery Row Artist Colony. Housed in a historic shoe tannery that produced shoes in the early 1900's, the center is home to more than 20 full-time working painters, sculptors, glass-blowers, photographers, jewelers, woodcarvers and other artists. It is really worth the drive to Buford
just to visit this artist colony and shop for some amazing pieces. Of
course, you should time your trip around lunch so you can eat at
Rico's, and tell them Bill Grant sent you to convince them to open a location in Canton!

Sunday was equally gorgeous, so we spent the day gardening. We freshened the beds with new mulch, added river rock to the path around back, pruned the hydrangeas and treated the Zoysia grass around the pool. For the most part, it was a very productive day, and it was nice to put a small dent in the lawn chores. There's more to do, so we're hoping for more wonderful weather for upcoming weekends.

I finished up my garden chores late afternoon and decided to cook a relatively simple, yet hearty, Sunday Supper. My gardening worked up an appetite, and being outside made me crave a fresh, Spring salad. I decided on a simple salad with tender lettuces and organic cucumbers, and I made a tangy buttermilk dressing topped with chopped smoked almonds. It was the perfect salad for this time of year, and the homemade dressing is so much better than bottled Ranch. Last Sunday, we splurged on Culver's butter burgers and custard shakes at the restaurant's new location in Hickory Flat. This Wisconsin-based chain is really, really good – and very fattening. I decided to be a little healthier this week by making my own grass fed butter burgers, and I baked some low fat, organic crinkle fries to serve on the side. For dessert, I made caramel milkshakes from organic ice cream and grass fed milk. They were indulgent and delicious. After our long day of working in the yard, I decided we had earned a treat.

So, here's hoping you enjoyed the weekend as well, and let's hope the predicted severe weather spares all of us tomorrow and later this week. Stay safe, and enjoy the ideal weather while it lasts.

The Menu:

- Young Spring Lettuces with Buttermilk Dressing

- Grass Fed Butter Burgers with Dry Aged Bacon

- Baked Organic Crinkle Fries

- Caramel Milkshakes

The Recipe – Homemade Buttermilk Dressing


1 cup good quality buttermilk

1/2 cup cottage cheese

1/4 sour cream

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider or red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon minced shallot

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbs chopped herbs, such as chives or tarragon

Salt and pepper to taste


Add buttermilk, cottage cheese, sour cream, mustard, vinegar, shallot and garlic to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour the dressing into a small mason jar, then add the chopped herbs, salt and pepper. Screw the top on the mason jar, and shake well until blended. Dressing may be refrigerated over night or served immediately on your salad of choice.

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