Mamma’s Mantras

Hey friends! I was expecting a very different weekend update to have for you today, but life happens on life’s terms. We started off the weekend early at Kiawah Island, SC

kiawah 1

with a plan to run the Cooper River Bridge Run Saturday morning. However, early Friday morning we got a very sad phone call from John’s uncle Allen letting us know that Mamma, John’s grandmother, passed away. After we received the news, John and I took a walk along the beach to process everything.

beach

~

skate

~

conch

After our walk, we decided to head back home to spend the rest of the weekend with family. It felt so good to come home to a peaceful, brilliant sunset knowing that Mamma was where she’s always been destined to go.

sunset

If you’ve been following for a while, you’ve seen us visit her on her farm where we got engaged.

lindsay and mamma

 ~

engagement spot

She was the epitome of a kind, giving, Christian woman. If you are familiar with Proverbs 31, she was The Wife of Noble Character. John and I both went to visit when in need of a dose of simple truths, practical wisdom, and love.

john and mamma

For the funeral service, the minister asked the grandchildren {from left to right: John, Anne Brady, Rebecca, Amanda} to write down their favorite memories of Mamma.

Grandchildren

All of their stories were heartfelt and truly portrayed Mamma’s strong, solid character. The girls referenced helping her write birthday cards for her friends and family, passing down her traditional macaroni pie recipe, and her playful awareness of those ’silver bells’ they were really after in her fridge — despite what they told her. John gave me permission to share with y’all some of his words, and I think this sums up Mamma better than anything I could ever write:

“I cannot talk about my grandmother without first recognizing the dedication and love her son and my uncle, Allen, has shown to her for all these years.  There is no truer testimony to who my grandmother was, than who her son is.  Our entire family is grateful to Allen for all he has done and for who he is as a person.

Lindsey+John Wedding 0993

My grandmother’s life was wholly dedicated to the love and service of her family, faith, and community.

Newman family

Her character was unquestioned; her work ethic was unparalleled; and her value system was as solid as a rock.

mamma at work

Through the daily examples of her life, she taught me the true meaning of integrity.

I carry that knowledge with me everyday.  I strive to apply it to everything I do and I attempt to share it with everyone I interact with.  There is no other life lesson that has been more important or valuable to me.

I am very fortunate and thankful to have had the example of mamma’s life and the benefit of mamma’s love, always available to me.

Mamma 90

I will greatly miss being able to go visit the farm and draw from her practical wisdom whenever I feel the need.  I take comfort in knowing she is at peace and that her lessons were taught well.

Mamma will live on through the examples her life set for her family.  I know we will all proudly pass on that wisdom to the generations that follow.”

- John

John and annie mac

Followed by the grandchildren’s words were four very precious basic beliefs she lived by, practiced everyday, and passed down to her family and friends. She hand wrote them on a piece of notebook paper, and I feel blessed to be able to share them with you.

Mamma’s Mantras

1. Give Thanks to Good Friends and Family

Love your husband, family, and friends. Have a grateful heart and attitude toward them, and let them know you love them.

2. Share Things with Others

Be of service to others, your community, your church. Give what you can to others {material and/or spiritual}.

3. Tell the Truth

Be real, authentic, and honest. Live with integrity.

4. The Lord Will Bless You

If you are willing to do these things everyday, then the Lord will bless you. 

And I do believe she truly lived this way of life. She was always calling and checking in on good friends and family, sending birthday cards every year, giving away whatever she grew in her garden or baked in her oven {or had in her closet, in my case}, being herself, and believing she was blessed by the Lord. We know that Mamma lived a blessed life in the presence of God, on her farm, with her family.We will all miss her physical presence, but take comfort in knowing she is where she wants to be — with her family in heaven.

Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31:31

sharing

We love you, Mamma!

mamma john lindsay

Hub City Hog Fest

Hello friends! It’s been a minute since I’ve done a plain ole’ weekend update. I could tell you its because I haven’t had time, but that would be a lie. The truth is that I’m having a tough time finding the courage to put myself back out here after my year-long hiatus. It’s easy to talk about food, harder to talk about the real ‘extra-ordinary’ stuff. My intention is to start easing back in with weekend updates, then gradually adding more frequent ‘extra-ordinary’ topics over the spring/summer.

Onto the update…

Spartanburg was hoppin last weekend. There were all kinds of fun things going on — the first spring pop up Farmer’s Market of the season, the first ever Spartanburg Soaring! International Kite Festival, and the 2nd ever Hub City Hog Fest. Sadly, we didn’t get to make it to the Farmer’s Market or Spartanburg Soaring but we did get to check out the Hub City Hog Fest.

In its second year, Hub City Hog Fest knocked it out of the park. Benefitting Mobile Meals of Spartanburg, the 2-day event created a fantastic atmosphere downtown and brought out a great crowd of neighbors. In addition to the BBQ competition {wings, sauce, Boston butts, and ribs}, they had live music both nights and food and drink provided by local vendors.

Tickets were only $8 at the gate {$5 online} and included 5 samples tickets for the vendors’ BBQ. As soon as we walked in and got our tickets,

HCHF Entrance

we got to watching and tasting.

smiling server

taste testers

The BBQ looked good and all, but what I really wanted to sample was a big fat slice of the famous Caroline’s Cakes

Caroline's Cakes

Side Note: If you have yet to experience a taste of Caroline’s Cakes, you are seriously missing out. Even Oprah will vouch. It’s the most delicious, dense-but-moist cake I’ve ever had in my life. And its now made right here in Spartanburg! You can get it at Bellew’s Market if you’ve got a hankering. They are always great to give {and get} as gifts, too…

Back to the Que.

Before making my way through “eight-too-many” sample cups of BBQ, we went to get the inside scoop from our good buddies Sara and Harry, the Motley Que.

Harry and Sara

Sara is a great cook, so we knew everything would be awesome. We were lucky enough to sample some of their ribs,

ribs

wangs,

wangs

and butts.

butts 1

All were delicious. John thought so too…

John sampling

I could have stayed inside their tent all day, but I felt the butts calling.

sara and harry tent

Some of my favorites were Bucky’s BBQ,

Bucky's BBQ

a team name I can’t remember with the tastiest meat

top hat

and a sweet pirate piggy sauce dispenser,

piggy sauce

and the Boyz-Que-Men.

Boyz Que Men

I loved their matching t’s and their bbq. It was fun to see our friend, Blair, in action. Their team did an awesome job and looked like they were having a lot of fun, too.

Blair

I didn’t take too many photos of festival-goers because I still feel weird asking people to stop in mid-convo to pose for the blog {I’ll get over it one day}. However, I did’t feel bad when I ran into my pops {right} and our friend, Ricky {left}. I knew they wouldn’t mind. :)

Ricky and Dad

Cuties.

I should also mention how proud I am of our friends Cal and Grey Wicker for pulling this event together. Two of the nicest guys in the world, this event wouldn’t even exist without their leadership. A big THANK YOU to them for bringing an opportunity for fun and fellowship to downtown Spartanburg. We are already looking forward to next year.

Check out JALO’s Facebook page for all pictures from the event.

I hope you all have a great weekend ahead!

Healthy Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

I have a love/hate relationship with Nutella. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s the original delicious chocolate hazelnut spread found in every grocery store’s nut butter section. Despite being marketed as a healthy breakfast food, a healthy food it is NOT. In a 2-tablespoon serving there are 21g of sugar, 12g of fat {4 of which are saturated}, 200 calories, and hazelnuts only make up about 13% of the ingredients. Plus, who can eat just 2 tablespoons?! That’s like half a golf ball – not much.

I’m not trying to hate on Nutella. It’s probably fine in moderation, but the problem for me is that I can never have just one bite. As soon as I have a little, my brain tells me I want more, and then all the sudden I’m trapped in Nutella land. Damn brain.

To sum it up, I love the way Nutella tastes, I just hate how it makes me feel. In an effort to avoid the sugar crash and endless desire for it, I attempted to recreate a guilt-free, Paleo approved version. It turned out well, but there are many ways to make it even tastier if you don’t mind a little extra sugar and some dairy. Check out these recipes for ideas:

If you are feeling extra healthy today, read on.

Healthy Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Loaded with heart-healthy hazelnuts, this 6-ingredient chocolate hazelnut spread is rich, creamy, and almost guilt-free. I encourage you to start with raw hazelnuts and roast them yourself. Roasting intensifies their flavor, makes it possible to skin them, and results in an amazing nut-butter base for your chocolate addition.   Enjoy on top of yogurt, mix it in smoothies, spread it on toast, or grab a spoon and go straight for the jar.

final product

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups raw hazelnuts
  • 2 Tbsp organic raw cacao
  • 3 Tbsp organic coconut palm sugar
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350. Spread hazelnuts on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 10-15 minutes {or until skins crack and insides turn golden in color}. Keep an eye on them because they can burn quickly.

pre-roasted hazelnuts

 

roasted hazelnuts

While warm, wrap in dish towel and rub together. Put some elbow grease behind it, but don’t worry about a few pesky skins that refuse to come off – they add nutrients and a little color.

skinning hazelnuts

Transfer skinned nuts to food processor and processes until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. {You can give it a little stir mid-process if you see it getting stuck.}

mid process 1

 

mid process 2

If you stop here, you’ll have that delicious nut-butter…

hazelnut butter

Add cacao, sugar, agave nectar, vanilla, and salt and process for 30-45 seconds to fully incorporate ingredients.

ingredients

 

processing 3

 

processed

Transfer to glass jar with tight fitting lid {or put in a pretty bowl to take a picture} and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!

artsy shot

Confession – I stirred the agave in after I transferred to the jar because it just wasn’t sweet enough. Next time, I’ll add it with the rest of the ingredients. I’ve already got a plan for my next not as healthy chocolaty version, so I can’t wait for Amazon to deliver me some nuts!

glass jar

Healthy Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Loaded with heart-healthy hazelnuts, this 6-ingredient chocolate hazelnut spread is rich, creamy, and almost guilt-free. I encourage you to start with raw hazelnuts and roast them yourself. Roasting intensifies their flavor, makes it possible to skin them, and results in an amazing nut-butter base for your chocolate addition. Enjoy on top of yogurt, mix it in smoothies, spread it on toast, or grab a spoon and go straight for the jar.
Author:
Recipe type: Nut Butter
Ingredients
  • 3 cups raw hazelnuts
  • 2 Tbsp organic raw cacao
  • 3 Tbsp organic coconut palm sugar
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spread hazelnuts on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 10-15 minutes {or until skins crack and insides turn golden in color}. Keep an eye on them because they can burn quickly.
  2. While warm, wrap in dish towel and rub together. Put some elbow grease behind it, but don’t worry about a few pesky skins that refuse to come off – they add nutrients and a little color.
  3. Transfer skinned nuts to food processor and processes until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. {You can give it a little stir mid-process if you see it getting stuck.}
  4. If you stop here, you’ll have that delicious nut-butter…
  5. Add cacao, sugar, agave nectar, vanilla, and salt and process for 30-45 seconds to fully incorporate ingredients.
  6. Transfer to glass jar with tight fitting lid and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 cups