Page 1

Winner of




Complimentary   SPRING 2014    Volume 5, Issue 2

Inspiring, Informing, Enriching


Gorgeous Gibbs Gardens! The Best Local Joints: Part II Spring into a Great Book A Delightful Sunny Easter Brunch

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Gardening Trends for 2014




Editor’s Note


Calendar for Living

8 14


You Don’t Say


Dive In! — Part II


Heart & Sole


Gorgeous Gibbs Gardens


Roberts World


Sunny Easter Brunch


Ad Directory





Dog Eared

8 Messages for Young Women and Girls

Winner of


Complimentary SPRING 2014 Volume 5, Issue 2

Cover photography by Rick Cannon of Jasper, Georgia.

Inspiring, Informing, Enriching


Gorgeous Gibbs Gardens! The Best Local Joints: Part II Spring into Great Book A Delightful Sunny Easter Brunch

“For my hEart, I choosE rEdmond.” Barry

Heart Attack Survivor

“The paramedic ripped my shirt off to get those paddles on me and they said I was blue. And he said, ‘this is one we are not going to bring back’.” Barry had a major cardiac event while driving down the highway at 50 miles an hour. Due to the heroic efforts of others, his life was saved. The EMS used cardiac defibrillation to shock his heart several times before transferring him to nearby Redmond Regional. Redmond physicians lowered Barry’s body temperature using a procedure called hypothermia to stop damage to his body and then treated his heart. New life-saving procedures are giving patients like Barry a second chance.

Barry is just one of many stories at Redmond Regional Medical Center. Tell us your Redmond story at 501 Redmond Rd NW, Rome, GA 30165

(706) 291-0291

Letter From the Editor

It Takes Two to Tango


ave you ever loved an inanimate object? I really miss my old computer with several of the letters worn off the keys from many years of working on NW Georgia Living. It had what felt like real keys on the keyboard; it didn’t go bonkers when you touched the screen and it didn’t have Windows 8. My old computer lived a good life dying of virus overload, but not from neglect. Speaking of love, spring is the season when love is in the air. Until recently, it has been my least favorite season because of that very reason. On the first nice spring day, the weather beckons seemingly everyone out in what is known as Spring Fever. I always notice that there is renewed spirit and energy at finally being able to get out of the house and enjoy the weather. You see couples riding with the top down on their convertible, laughing and soaking in the sunshine. Venture to the park and there are couples walking, holding hands. It’s like Valentine’s Day all over again when you’re not a part of a couple and you keep seeing the Jared’s ad replay in your head! After the relentlessly cold and very unforgettable winter of ’14, I know we are all ready for spring. In this issue, called Bloom, we wanted to inspire you to bloom and grow from visiting gorgeous Gibbs Gardens with 20 million daffodils to learning about the growing trend in home gardening. I’ve written before that I kill any and all plants that are given to me or come in my path. Yet, I aspire to “grow” something and will try once again to plant an herb garden. I say a little prayer for my plants when I bring them home knowing the ending is probably near! Spring reminds me of flowers and dancing like Snoopy. Dancing with flowers reminds me of being a tango dancer with a rose in my mouth. I do love to dance! Every time “Dancing with the Stars” comes on I think, “I could do that!” In fact, I’m positive I could do that “practicing” forty hours a week with a hunky professional dancer! Alas, I have no dance partner because my boyfriend would rather be tortured than ever dance. He’s the strong, silent type and a man of few words. One day he announced, “I don’t dance.” That was it. No further discussion. Okay, I can’t throw a football worth a toot, but that doesn’t stop me. They say it takes two to tango but maybe not. Now go and do the “Happy Dance” into spring!

I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. — Wordsworth

Spring 2014   Volume 5   Issue 2 Publisher and Founder Editor-In-Chief Laura Wood Creative Director Andi Counts Designers Andi Counts Cameron Shiflett Photography Patricia Montgomery Senior Editor Gene Murphy Editor, Calendar for Living Gene Murphy Assistant Editor Kat Carter Junior Editor, Calendar for Living Anna Pierce Sales Staff Liz Masingill Laura Wood Distribution Winston Wood Contributing Writers Jennifer Bailey Baxter Kelly Charles Paula Davis-Laack Aletia Dupree Susan Hackney Elaine Landrum Ciara N. Mealer Robert Smyth Billing Laura Wood 706-346-9858 Contact us at: (706) 346-9858 NW Georgia Living P.O. Box 1065 Rome, Georgia 30l62 NW Georgia Living is published bi-monthly by L. Wood LLC © 2014. No portion of this issue may be copied, scanned, or reproduced in any manner without prior written consent from the publisher.



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Gardening Trends for 2014 By Virginia Brewer Promising New Ornamental Plants Every year we see more and more new plants being introduced. It can be difficult to determine which ones are truly improved varieties. Also, these new introductions may perform great farther north but have problems with our hot, humid summers and clay soils. My new plant picks for this spring are all drought tolerant, easy care, compact and colorful. What more could you ask for? > Southern Living® ‘Lemon Lime’ Nandina — compact with bright lime foliage > First Editions® ‘Crimson Fire’ Loropetalum with burgundy leaves, pink blooms and only three feet tall > First Editions® ‘Magic’ Series of Crape Myrtles — compact shapes, color-packed blooms and disease resistant foliage Not Your Grandmother’s Garden There was nothing wrong with your grandmother’s garden, but not everyone has a couple of acres or the time to tend that kind of garden. So, we are finding ways to grow our own food that matches our 22nd Century lifestyles. > Earthboxes provide a portable compact growing container developed for maximum production in a minimal space. These boxes have everything you need to produce a bumper crop of vegetables in a small space even if you don’t have a green thumb. > Small Plants for Small Spaces: Check out your local garden center’s seed rack and you’ll find an array of miniature vegetables plants. This allows you to grow more varieties in a small space. Mini Belle Pepper Mix, Lemon Cucumber, Yellow Pear Tomato, Micro Greens, Rainbow Blend Cherry Tomato, 6

and little Finger Carrot are just a few of the seeds available. >L  andscaping with Vegetables and Fruits: Combining vegetables and fruits in existing shrub and flower beds eliminates the need to create a new garden space. Plants are being developed that have multiple attributes; not only do they produce fruit, but look great in our landscape. Examples are blueberries with colorful foliage, using strawberries for a groundcover. Some of the new varieties have pink and red blooms instead of the normal white blooms. Incorporating herbs in your landscape provides herbs for cooking, fragrance in the garden and they are deer resistant. >C  ocktail Plants are not a frozen drink concoction, but multiple plant varieties grafted on to one root stock. Apple Cocktail is a Fuji, Gala and Yellow Delicious apple all in one plant. They pollinate each other and provide three apple varieties in a small space. You can also buy fruit cocktails and berry cocktails. What would your grandmother think? Organic and Heirloom Plants & Seeds Organic gardening has been a growing trend for the past few years with consumers taking more interest in their food source and the chemicals used to produce the food they consume. The general definition of an heirloom vegetable variety is one that was commonly grown by previous generations, but is not used today in modern large-scale agriculture. Additionally, the vegetables must all keep their traits uniformly through open pollination. So you can save the seeds and plant next spring and produce the exact same results.

The movement of home gardeners toward heirloom varieties is the backlash against the sameness of the grocery store vegetables. Most everyone has heard of the Heirloom Brandywine Tomato which is thought to be one of the most favorable tomatoes. In 2014, you will see racks full of heirloom seed varieties to choose from. Organic gardeners are concerned about where their food comes from and what chemicals have been used to produce the food. Organic plants and seeds have been produced without using any synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Organic gardeners will have more choices than ever this year when purchasing organic seeds and plants. What’s Hot This Year! >G  oji Berries — The Fountain of Youth? The Goji berry is also called the wolfberry. It is a bright orange-red berry that comes from a shrub native to China. In Asia, Goji berries have been eaten for generations in the hopes of living longer. Goji berries are a rich source of antioxidants and can be grown in a container or in the ground. >P  ink Lemonade Blueberry: The name says it all; the blueberries are bright pink. This rabbiteye variety offers four seasons of interest to your garden and landscape; from pinkish white flowers to pink berries and bright orange foliage in the fall. They are great for container gardening. Check with you local garden center early, these two plants will go fast. Now, there is no excuse not to garden, whether it’s a traditional garden or just an herb in your kitchen window. The benefits are many. Studies show gardening reduces stress and gives a feeling of well-being. We could all use that. Virginia Brewer is the owner/operator of Lavender Mountain Hardware and Garden where the staff offer seminars on miniature gardening and other topics. Visit them at or check them out on Facebook for a schedule of spring seminars.

Spring has Sprung Vegetables & Fruits Heirloom & Organic Seeds • Fruit Trees Blueberries • Grapes • Blackberries Raspberries • Figs

Exciting New Varieties Brazelberries • Pink Lemonade Blueberries Cocktail Apple, Fruit & Berries

Spring Bloomers Patio Peach Tree • Cherry Trees Ann & Jane Magnolias • Quince Redbud Trees • Daphane

Spring Seminars Fairy Gardens New trends in miniature gardening Saturday, March 8th – 10:00 AM

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How to be an Organic Gardener Saturday, March 22nd – 10:00 AM Keith Mickler

Healthy Plants & Container Gardening Saturday, April 12th – 10:00 AM Floyd County Fairgrounds

The Incredible Edible landscape Monday, May 5th – 6:00 PM Keith Mickler

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Arts & Events C A L E N D A R FO R

Valley and Ridge Mineral and Gem Show

March 14–16 Minerals, gems, fossils, jewelry, and crystals from all over the world on exhibit and for sale. Free mineral and fossil ID, door prizes, and exhibits. The Forum. Rome

Leprechaun-a-thon 5k and 2 Mile Health Walk

March Cartersville Dances with the Stars

March 1, 7:00 p.m. A benefit for the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter. Twelve local celebrity dancers paired with experienced dancers will vie for votes during this gala dance competition. Clarence Brown Conference Center. Cartersville

11th Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering

March 6–8 A three-day celebration of the West with children’s activities, live entertainment, the Southeastern Chuck Wagon Cookoff, and much more. Booth Western Art Museum. 770387-1300. Cartersville

Mardi Gras

March 7, 5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Come to downtown Cartersville for some Mardi Gras fun. There will be a Pub Crawl, as well as various retail and service providers offering additional discounts to shoppers. For more information: Downtown Cartersville

Sam Hunt

March 8, 9:00 p.m. Cedartown’s own Sam Hunt returns to the Brewhouse. Brewhouse Music and Grill. Rome

Atlanta Rhythm Section and Jerry on the Moon

March 8, 7:00 p.m. Rome band Jerry on the Moon will be opening for one of their great influences, Atlanta Rhythm Section! The Forum. Rome 8

March 15, 1:00 p.m. Race through historic downtown Rome and along Heritage Park Trail. Celebrate with St. Patrick’s Day festivities on Broad Street after the race. Historic Barron Stadium. Rome

2nd Annual Heritage Days — Welshfest

March 15, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Visit the only Welsh festival in Georgia, featuring lively Celtic music and Welsh food. Bring the family to play Welsh Cricket or run a 5K on the Silver Comet Trail. Downtown Rockmart

the sanity of a novice accused of murdering her newborn. A Pumphouse Players performance. Legion Theatre. Cartersville

2014 Northwest Georgia Women’s Expo

March 22, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Learn how to get healthy, stay fit, control your finances, examine career choices, and discover new ways to look and feel better. Clarence Brown Conference Center. Cartersville

2013–2014 Century Bank Entertainment Series Presents: DSB — JourneyTribute

March 22, 7:00 p.m. DSB has been highly revered by fans as the “next big thing” to Journey. Complete with a band of world-class Los Angeles musicians, DSB remains true to Journey’s musical legacy and delivers the nostalgic concert experience that will keep you “Believin.” The Grand Theater. Cartersville

Harlem Globetrotters

March 15, 7:00 p.m. Harlem Globetrotters make a stop in Rome on their 2014 world tour. The Forum. Rome

“Love, Loss, and What I Wore” March 21–23, Fri.–Sat. 7:30 p.m.; Sun. 2:00 p.m. Written by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron (“When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “You’ve Got Mail.”) This is a series of monologues and ensemble pieces about women, clothes and the intersection of the two. Krannert Underground, Berry College. Rome


March 21–23; 28-30, Fri.–Sat. 8:00 p.m., Sun. 2:30 p.m. Rome Little Theatre presents the well known production of “Grease.” Historic DeSoto Theatre, Rome

“Agnes of God”

March 21–23; 28-29, Fri.–Sat. 8:00 p.m., Sunday 3:00 p.m. Summoned to a convent, Dr. Martha Livingstone, a court-appointed psychiatrist, is charged with assessing

5k for Life and Healthy Relationships

March 29, 10:00 a.m. The 5k is a family friendly event for people of all ages and is a great way to get involved with supporting healthy relationships and protecting the sanctity of life. Contact Maryland Guthas, 770-881-6621. Etowah Riverwalk Park. Cartersville

3rd Annual Starving Artist Expo March 29, 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Sponsored by the Rome Area Council for the Arts. This event will showcase the work of local artists in various media. Seven Hills Building. Rome

Altanta Braves Exibition Game March 29, 7:00 p.m. The Atlanta Braves gear up to play against the Braves’ future starts. State Mutual Stadium. 706-368-9388. Rome

April The Big Fibbers’ Contest

April 1, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. A competition to find the town’s best Fibber! People from the community tell stories, fibs, lies, tall tales and whoppers to see who is crowned the greatest fibber in Rome, Georgia. Rome Civic Center. Rome


April 4, 5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. First Friday is the favorite time for many musicians to get together for informal jam sessions. Come downtown for great entertainment as well as shopping and dining. For more information: Downtown Cartersville

von Grey in Concert

April 5, 7:00 p.m. Paste magazine admired this group’s “charming harmonies and extensive instrumentation.” Atlanta Journal Constitution exclaimed, “they’re nothing short of stunning.” Desoto Theater. Rome

Spring Musical: “Brigadoon”

April 10–12; 13–14, 7:30 p.m. The story involves two American tourists who stumble upon Brigadoon, a mysterious Scottish village that appears for only one day every hundred years. Tommy, one of the tourists, falls in love with Fiona, a young woman from Brigadoon. Callaway Theatre, Shorter University. 706-233-7288. Rome

Spring Art Market

April 11–12, Fri. 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; Sat. 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Peruse the best in local jewelry artisans, photographers, woodworkers, potters, painters and much more. Enjoy a delicious lunch or early dinner while shopping locally as they officially kickoff the season with this indoor-outdoor event. Rome Civic Center. Rome

Across The Big Pond XIV: Roamin’ Britain

April 12, 7:30 p.m. Annual Celtic Gala with the Northwest Georgia Winds, bagpipes, dances, soloists, and much more. The Forum Civic Center. or 706-368-7639. Rome

49th Annual Atlanta Steeplechase

April 19, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. An incredible day of horse racing, tailgating, picnicking and family fun set in the Bartow County countryside. All day events include live music, air show, petting zoo, pony rides, shopping

and the thrill of racing. The Atlanta Steeplechase benefits the UGA Vet School and Camp Southern Ground. For tickets, call 404-237-7436. Kingston

Clocktower Classic Handcycling Race April 24–27

Four Days/Five Stages of racing in Rome and Floyd County featuring top handcyclists from across the USA. Hosted by RACE Rome/ Rome Sports Commission. Contact Rome/Floyd Visitor Center. Rome

Fire Fly Fling

April 25, 7:00 p.m. The spring evening under the stars on the Oostanaula River bank with supper, musical entertainment, silent auction, and cocktails in the meadow. Proceeds benefit the Rome Area Council for the Arts. North River Farms. Rome

Floyd Relay for Life

April 25, 6:00 p.m. Relay for Life is a celebration of survivorship — an occasion to express hope and our shared goal to finish the fight against cancer, a disease that threatens the lives of so many people we love. By supporting a Relay for Life event, you help us all move closer to our ultimate goal. Ridge Ferry Park. Rome

BBQ Boogie and Blues

April 25–26 Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal and the Kansas City BBQ Society have declared this event a nationally sanctioned BBQ competition! In addition to BBQ, festivities include live entertainment, a fashion runway show, food and arts & crafts vendors, kids’ zone, Amazing Race contest and much more. 706-625-3200. Calhoun

50th Annual Cedar Valley Arts Festival

April 26–27, Sat. 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; Sun. 1:00 p.m.–5:00p.m. The fine arts and crafts show will kick off with a 5k Road Race at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Additionally, there is a children’s art exhibit, great variety of food, and live entertainment all day throughout the park. This is a family friendly event and everyone is welcome to attend. Peeks Park. Cedartown 9



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and help them define success on their own terms.



for Young Women and Girls

2. Buy more experiences and less stuff. When I was a teenager, I wanted to have the same cool clothes as my friend’s sister — she had all of the name brand stuff and I thought she was so cool. Having things isn’t bad, but materialism is. Not only does materialism not bring happiness, it’s a strong predictor of unhappiness. One study examined the attitudes of 12,000 freshman when they were eighteen, then measured their life satisfaction at age thirty-seven. Those who had expressed materialistic aspirations as freshmen were less satisfied with their lives two decades later (Nickerson, Schwartz, Diener, & Kahneman, 2003). 3. Focus on self-efficacy rather than

self-esteem. Self-esteem is the evaluation of your own self worth, while self-efficacy is your ability to feel like you can produce results in your own life. When young women and girls get an “A” or a trophy for simply showing up, they are robbed of the ability to learn how to adjust and deal with failure, and failure is a resilience building block.

4. Take (good) risks.

by Paula Davis-Laack


omen’s happiness levels have been on the decline for the past few decades, so says a 2009 study entitled, The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness. If that is the case, what are young women and girls learning about what it means to be happy? Who are their happiness role models? It wasn’t until I burned out after seven years of practicing law that I gave much thought to my own happiness. If you could give some advice to young women and girls about how to build happiness, what


would you say? Here is my list, which is based on both my own personal experiences and the research.

1. Maxing out isn’t healthy.

Many young women want to go to a good college, get a good job, find a good relationship, and be good moms. When leaning in turns into burning out, though, women experience serious health, relationship, and emotional consequences that aren’t easily fixed. Rather than focusing on “having it all,” let’s ask young women what they want

When you are asked to give a presentation, try out for a team, or do something new, what do you do? Do you shy away or jump in? Think back to how your eight-year-old self was praised. Dr. Carol Dweck explains that young girls are often praised for being “smart” or “good,” while young boys are often praised for “trying hard.” As a result, many young girls develop a fixed mindset — the belief that ability is fixed or static. She avoids challenges, tries to look smart, gives up easily, and sees added effort as fruitless. Meanwhile, young boys tend to develop a growth mindset — the belief that ability can be developed. He embraces challenges, persists during setbacks, and believes that with more effort, he can master a task. Not all girls have fixed mindsets and not all boys have growth mindsets, but Dr. Dweck’s research certainly suggests that the way boys and girls are praised has consequences later in life (Dweck, 2008).

5. Don’t get stuck in your own faulty

thinking. When I speak to students and professionals about my own experiences with burnout, I describe myself as a “people pleasing, perfectionist, achieve-aholic.” It’s my way of illustrating how the faulty assumptions we make and our deep patterns of thinking undercut happiness and resilience and create a lot of stress in our lives. In addition to recognizing these patterns and assumptions, being an optimistic thinker (seeing setbacks as temporary and limited in scope) has been associated with better health (Cohen et al., 2003) and less depression (Abramson et al, 2000).

6. Perfection really does not exist.

It took me years to realize how destructive the pursuit of perfection really is. Thinking you have to do things perfectly and/or be perfect is like carrying around a heavy weight on your back, and it absolutely crushes happiness. According to research professor Dr. Brene Brown, “Perfection is correlated with depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis or missed opportunities. The fear of failing,

making mistakes, not meeting people’s expectations, and being criticized keeps us outside of the arena where healthy competition and striving unfolds” (Brown, 2012).

7. Vulnerability is good.

The less I focused on perfection and the more I focused on being vulnerable, the more opportunities unfolded for me. Vulnerability is what helped me stop my law practice, go back to school, and start a new business working with people and on projects I could never have imagined. Vulnerability still doesn’t come easy for me, but the alternative is a life where I’m not fully “all in,” and that’s just not acceptable to me anymore.

8. Avoid happiness traps.

Many women (myself included) have bought into one or more of these happiness myths at some point in their lives — I call them the “I’ll be happy when’s:” > I ’ll be happy when I get married or find that great relationship, > I ’ll be happy when I make more money,

> I’ll be happy when I have kids, > I’ll be happy when I lose weight, or > I’ll be happy when I change jobs/get a new job/get promoted. Society dictates a very specific path that women “should” take, and when they don’t, the perceived message is that happiness can’t happen unless these milestones are reached. My hope is that these messages will help young women and girls take control of their happiness, resilience, and health. References are listed on our website at Paula Davis-Laack, JD, MAPP, is an internationallypublished writer, and a stress and resilience expert who has taught stress management and resilience skills to thousands of professionals around the world. Her expertise has been featured in numerous media outlets, including “The Steve Harvey Show” and Dr. Oz’s health website, Sharecare. At the Y, we exist to strengthen

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Spring Into a Great Book


hat’s that? Is it spring in the air? How lovely! Finally, we can pack away our winter gear and venture outside once more. Of course you’ll need to take a great book with you on any great outdoor adventure, which is why I’m here to help. I’ve found some fantastic books that will be perfect to enhance your springtime adventures. Nothing makes a good book great like having amazing characters. The best books are those that make us feel as if we were living the lives described in the pages before us. “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” by Robin Sloan is one such book. It’s about a bookstore that never sells any books and the rather unusual customers that frequent this 24-hour oddity. You’ll fall in love with the quaint little world and unique characters. Another book with wonderful characters is “Fin & Lady” by Cathleen Schine. The title characters are a loveable brother and sister duo trying to make it on their own in Greenwich Village during the 60s. You’ll enjoy the familiar antics of two siblings coming of age in this timeless story. “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline is part mystery, part coming of age story, and wholly heartwarming. The story of two complete strangers, an elderly woman with a haunting past and a teen rebelling against her life in the system, converge into one powerful tale of love, friendship, and finding the power to overcome all odds.

By Ciara N. Mealer Isn’t there just something we all love about a book that’s a little quirky and odd? In “Belle Cora” by Phillip Margulies we meet an unlikely heroine in the character of Arabella Godwin, aka Belle Cora, the most notorious Madame San Francisco has ever seen. Set against the backdrop of a city in its infancy, Belle’s story is a rich one, filled with romance, drama, and suspense; it is the story of a woman trying to make her way in the world. Speaking of quirky and odd, Alice Hoffman’s latest novel, “The Museum of Extraordinary Things,” is about people that are just that, set in a place rife with the stuff. If the title itself isn’t enough to peak your interest, the story is set in early twentieth century New York and features star-crossed lovers, a freak show, and the disappearance of a young girl. “The Luminaries” by Eleanor Catton is a fascinating murder mystery set in nineteenth century New Zealand, filled with characters both charming and sinister, and evoking the nearly forgotten art of the Agatha mysteries. Catton’s voice is something fresh, elegant, and truly wonderful. We’ll certainly be seeing more from her in the future. Are you thinking of starting a garden this year? Backyard gardening as a hobby is growing, especially here in the South where our roots have always been in agriculture (pun intended). If you are thinking of taking up a shovel this year, as a first-timer or a seasoned veteran, there are a couple of books that will make everything much easier and more fun. “The All New Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew is a mustread for every gardener. Full of tips and tricks of the trade, Bartholomew’s book will teach you how to get more out of less, and it’s something any gardener worth her diatomaceous earth wouldn’t be without. Are you looking to go beyond the green this year? Check out Carleen Madigan’s “The Backyard Homestead” where you’ll learn more than the best way to grow tomatoes; you’ll also learn that, yes, you can keep chickens and, no, raising bees isn’t as hard as it looks. Do you want a garden that looks as good as it tastes? Then “The Edible Garden” by Alys Fowler is the book for you. Her secret is that you don’t have to sacrifice form for function, and that you can have your garden and eat it, too! There are some amazing recipes included as well. So what are you waiting for? Grab a great new book and get out into that spring sunshine! Ciara N. Mealer is a reading specialist, and freelance writer and editor. She lives in Rome, GA with her devoted sidekick. She is an avid naturalist, a voracious reader, and spends most of her free time exploring outdoors, adventuring, and creating. She can be contacted at


Being The Best Bank In Town Begins With Our Leadership.

Board Members above left to right: Andrew Heaner; Laura Mumber; Thad Watters; Dr. Stephen Klasson; Ryan Earnest, President; Greg Wilkes, CEO; Dr. Ken Davis, Chairman of the Board, Heritage First Bancshares, Inc.; Wade Hoyt, III; Randy Land; Helmut Cawthon, Chairman of the Board, Heritage First Bank; Clint Hubbard; Kim Mauer; David Parker; Wayne Vick.

Meet our Board of Directors.

Excellence is not a random occurrence. Excellence begins with expectations and guidance from the leadership of any organization, blended with a sense of common purpose and the willingness of each employee to exceed expectations. It doesn’t happen by accident. At Heritage First Bank, our Directors provide that leadership. Collectively, this Board drives the service, solutions and fiscal integrity that benefits our customers and our community as well. Every day, we are working to remain the bank of choice, right here at home.

It all begins at the top…and it flows through every action of all Heritage F irst Bankers.

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CIVIL WAR COMES ALIVE! • Chat with soldiers from the Union and Confederate armies • View Civil War art and artifacts • Watch cannon demonstrations • Listen to the 8th Regiment Band • Live re-enactments of the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln • And so much more!

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love winter more than spring, but I will say that I get excited over the first blooms in the garden every year. I love Lenten roses (Hellebores) when they flower — probably the first color in the garden. They are an expensive plant for purchase; however, they multiply in place and spread after you get some started. It’s good to find a friend who will share with you. The crocus and hyacinth come along with the forsythia, pansies, daffodils and Japanese magnolias (tulip trees) while the winter landscape is still bleak, just waiting to bloom. In our yard we have a late blooming tulip tree which adds beauty after leaves have come out in the woods. One of my goals is to explore how to become a Master Gardener like my friend and colleague Elaine Landrum who introduced me to Gibbs Gardens, which is a “must see” in this part of the state. As I have thought and written about the coming spring, I have reminded myself of the things to anticipate, and the things I can do now to enhance the beauty around me. I’m really better at delegating the things I want done, but when I try to give my husband a “to-do” list, he gives me one back. The nerve! As winter gives way to spring once again, the time of transition reminds me to consider all the things I will miss about winter as well as all the things I can anticipate. I will miss fires in the fireplaces, the possibility of a snowfall, and the beautiful winter landscape. Conversely, I anticipate, well, not knowing what to anticipate weather-wise. Around here, winter can hang on until it has worn out its welcome (even for those like me who savor the cold season — temperatures, not sniffles). You never know when to put your winter clothes away in favor of crop pants and sandals. Old Man Winter can return in spurts just when a frost could be damaging to emerging blooms and cold temperatures would interfere with getting the sports season underway. The latest big snowfall I can remember was on April 8 of some year. Our version of the “Blizzard of the Century” occurred in March, 1993. (I confess to leaving my family here in the snow with no electricity and going out west to ski — blizzard to blizzard, as it turned out.) The fact is that we never know for sure when spring will actually look and feel like spring. That being the case, the lesson is one of patience, tolerance and acceptance — living our lives and enjoying each day, one day at a time. A friend recently emailed me some day brighteners. The one I liked best featured Winnie the Pooh and Piglet making their way through sand dunes to the beach. “What day is it?” asked Pooh. “It’s today!” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day.” said Pooh. Makes my point much better than I did, doesn’t it? Every day should be our favorite day. (Did you know that the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Sterling Holloway,


By Susan Hackney was from Cedartown? There is a monument to him there — a good story for another page sometime). That “one day at a time” thing is easier said than done when your “inner Easter Bunny” is clamoring for cleaning porches and decks, putting out bright cushions and umbrellas, and buying seeds and blooming plants, even though you know yellow pine pollen hasn’t done its thing yet. Publication deadlines require writing for this Bloom issue of Northwest Georgia Living in January. In Latin mythology, Janus is the god of beginnings, endings, and transitions, with artistic renderings depicting him as having two faces, looking forward and backward simultaneously-a skill required of writers and editors as well. That same group of emailed day brighteners previously mentioned contained this quote from Lao Tzu: If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. Trying to keep that in mind, I still looked back to what I will miss about winter and then contemplated that March is named for Mars, the Roman god of war. I see this exciting transition from winter to spring as a weather war, full of opposing forces, rather tempestuous, creating unanswered questions and conflicts, and ultimately giving way to beauty and great joy. And, we get to spring forward to Daylight Savings Time. Inspirations from Tzu and A. A. Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh books, stand in rather stark contrast as they make the same point about living in the moment. It isn’t that using lessons from the past, looking ahead, and planning to make things happen aren’t good and necessary components of success. It’s just that sacrificing today to depression or to anxiety is a waste of a gift.

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Food • Arts & Crafts!"#$%&"'()*+",)-)./, Vendors 0%1&"'()./,)-)*+/, Payne Farm Strawberry Dessert Competition

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Building Better Communities 17



By Jennifer Bailey Baxter

Track Pants

& High Heels? Absolutely!


any may credit Beyonce, Rhianna, or Kanye for the trend of track pants as a dressy or semi-casual form of dressing for women, but Lanvin, a classical designer of finer women’s clothing, explores the greatest of styles for the comfy, casual track or jog pant style of dressing. Other famous design labels such as Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Kenneth Cole New York, Vince Comuto and Topshop have their own versions styled with stripes down the leg, drawstring, elastic, zip or button waist, and elastic or narrowed ankles. So, you take a typical pair of “warm-up” exercise pants, raise the inseam, and you’ve got the latest trend in fashionable pants. It’s a total throw back to your old athletic pants, only made of luxurious fabrics, like leather, silk, or linen, and worn with an awesome blouse, little leather jacket or blazer, and a great pair of pumps or wedges. Found in major department stores, fine designer stores, and even local boutiques throughout your city, the track pant is the go-to staple for work-to-evening dressing. It’s loose and comfortable, yet appropriate for any kind of office work, casual, semi-formal, or even formal event.


Track pant styles may be found in tuxedo looks with matching waistcoats. A wide belt (or cummerbund), bedazzled heel, and a glamorous silk top with appropriate accessories, like diamonds on the ears and a crystal-covered clutch, make one as formal as her girlfriend in the Herve Leger bandage dress sitting at the dinner table next to her. And while that girlfriend likely had to squeeze into some Spanx, perfectly place a set of silicone pasties, and use double-sided fabric tape to keep things in place, the one in the track pant attire sits and moves comfortably about the event with no worries of anything showing or popping out! It’s just that easy. The trouble with track pant dressing, however, is what to wear with them. For the work environment, one should never just throw on a t-shirt or sweatshirt with flats or Crocs. Instead choose a little wedge, a high heel pump, or an ankle bootie. Remember that tennis shoes are far too casual to wear with silk pants, especially out of the house. While some styles of flat shoes can be worn with fashionable track pants, it is best to stick with a heel unless you are nearly six feet tall. Flat shoes tend to make one’s body look “choppy” in these pants, so even the slightest of heel is the better shoe choice. My personal opinion, however, is go big — the higher the heel, the closer to heaven. Another appropriate item to wear with the new style in track pant dressing is a short fitted jacket in leather, vegan leather, suede, or a light polyester or silk. The key is to keep it simple and lite weight. These pants are not form fitting by any means, but their flow and ease lies nicely to the body, so keep the top easy, as well. A loose, flowing blouse can be tucked in or left out. If you have a small waist, no belting is necessary unless you just want that added accessory. If your waist is thicker and you want to make it appear smaller, belting can be a good option. But take care here; be sure the belt is actually at your waist and not around the hip area. Keep in mind that, even though these pants are the extreme in comfortable dressy attire, they are somewhat of a fashion statement. Keep your accessories and your look as streamlined as possible and you will be able to strut these britches proudly and comfortably with class and style.

Jennifer’s educational background is in psychology, nursing, math, and health and fitness. She is a graduate of Berry College and Emory University and completed graduate studies and research in Public Health and Public Health Nursing at Texas A&M and Emory University. Jennifer was an officer in the US Army Nurse Corps until the spring of 2010. She has worked in public health, designed fitness programs for pregnant female soldiers, trained private clients in weight lifting, cardiovascular fitness and fighting, and has always led a healthy, athletic lifestyle, which includes running, weight lifting, training with a trainer, martial arts, yoga, repelling, and a little dance now and then. Jennifer is the owner of Doll Boutique located at 315 Riverside Parkway, Suite 120 in Rome. 19

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Are life’s daily issues affecting your relationships, health, and work? Sign up for one or more workshop/s to learn techniques which can help you find tranquility, peace, creativity, enjoyment, hope, courage, self-confidence, clarity, or wholeness. Be inspired, be pampered, be uplifted, and bond with like-minded women! Join a private FaceBook Group. • Chakra Part 1 repeated on February 15, 2014 • Chakra Part 2 on March 1, 2014 • Stress Reduction on March 29, 2014 • Meditation on April 26, 2014 • Crystals on May 31, 2014 • Dream Work on June 28, 2014 • Essential Oils Introduction on July 26, 2014 • Essential Oils Part 1 on August 30, 2014 • Essential Oils Part 2 on September 27, 2014 • Essential Oils Part 3 on October 25, 2014 Where: 520 Broad Street, Rome, GA 30161 Time: Beginning 2:00p.m. | Ending 4:00p.m. or 5:00p.m.

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D I in V E Part II

By Kelly Charles


here is just too much fine food around these parts to cover it all in one article. Or even two, for that matter. In the recent Winter issue we told you about several locally owned “dives” that offer delicious food and excellent service. You asked for more, and we are happy to oblige! I didn’t get all my favorites in the first go around anyway, so I jumped at the chance to write more. A number of local joints consistently offer a superb dining experience. These go-to places don’t skimp on food quality, and their staff feels more like friends. Fortunately there are plenty of such establishments to choose from, and they are worthy of recognition. Here are a few more of our favorites: Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse This is my family’s absolute favorite restaurant. It’s no ordinary Japanese hibachi style place, although the menu itself is quite typical. What sets Tokyo apart is the owner’s commitment to quality, hand picking only the best fresh steak, seafood, and vegetables. If you’re a hibachi lover, you will immediately recognize the difference. His closely guarded secret recipe for white sauce is a local legend and a perfect match for the seafood and fried rice. And the


sushi — oh my, the sushi! I’ve had sushi all over the country and Tokyo ranks right up there with the best. Over the years we have eaten there dozens of times and every experience has been excellent. The one and only Tokyo location is on Church St. between Kroger and Target in Cartersville, open daily for dinner. Ballenger’s Talk about off the beaten path! This reservations-only restaurant is on Highway 27, technically with a Summerville address but certainly not in town. Several friends recommended that we try it, and after doing so I can’t believe we didn’t discover this gem sooner. The atmosphere alone is worth the trip; it’s an old country store and home place converted by the family into the restaurant of today with very little remodeling from its original form, and complete with a cozy fire pit in the back yard for cool evenings. The menu is not extensive, but every dish is perfectly prepared. The steaks are top-notch, as are the pizza, lasagna, and salad. No alcohol is served, but feel free to BYOB and the staff will gladly offer wine glasses with no pouring fee. Mrs. Ballenger will likely visit your table to chat, and won’t mind a bit if you ask for a tour. Ballenger’s is open Thursday through Saturday for dinner only, and don’t forget to call ahead.

in Rome, you simply have to add the ribs at Big Bear’s BBQ to the must-try list. I’m talking huge, juicy, perfectly-smoked ribs that literally fall right off the bone. Just a couple of these suckers are practically enough for a meal! The owners, David and Sue, left the corporate world to turn their hobby into a business. Their love of cooking is obvious, and they even make all their own sauces. My personal favorite is the rib sauce, but try them all for yourself. While you’re there, add a few smoked wings to your plate. With or without sauce, they won’t disappoint! And be sure to save room for homemade dessert. The banana pudding is almost as good as my mama’s. City Wings Restaurante Note the extra “e” at the end — this dive is really a Mexican restaurant, but wings are their specialty (hence the name?) and for good reason. Their nine different flavors of wings are perfectly crisp and meaty with plenty of flavor and handsdown the best wings in town. The rest of the menu doesn’t disappoint either, with tortas as a popular favorite. Don’t let the appearance of this hole in the wall fool you, they specialize in food and service and not much of an effort is made to

Big Bear’s BBQ I’m a sucker for good smoked meat, if you couldn’t tell by my reviews in the recent Winter issue of this magazine. If you’re Gourmet sandwiches like their Pimento Melt and Peanut Butter Melt with bacon makes curious foodies take notice. With an extensive vegetarian menu and wonderful soups as well, dining at Christian & Jakes Bistro in Calhoun is a must. This little barbeque restaurant in Rome is one to put on your list. Big Bear’s BBQ serves the best St. Louis style ribs with their home made barbeque sauces. Yummy!

The freshly baked goodies at Emi Lu’s Cakes & Treats in Historic downtown Adairsville will have you at “Hello”, when you walk in the door. The aroma is divine! Try their signature Key Lime cupcakes served year round.

Ballenger’s is worth the drive to Gore, Georgia. This funky, eclectically decorated restaurant, formerly an old country store, serves top-notch steaks. On cool evenings, warm up next to the rustic fire pit in the backyard. Reservations are required. Oh, and bring your camera for some interesting shots to share.


look pretty. But then, you didn’t come for the scenery, did you? City Wings is on Tennessee Street in Cartersville. They even deliver! Christian & Jake’s Bistro This little bistro on Highway 53 just about a mile west of I-75 in Calhoun does the soup and sandwich thing right. Every gourmet sandwich is carefully prepared with just the right combination of fresh ingredients, never center-loaded or sloppy. They are all excellent, and the hardest part of your visit will be deciding which to try — a Peanut Butter Melt with bacon, an Alpine with ham, cream cheese, and cucumber, my personal favorite the Pimento Melt, or any one of dozens of other combinations. While I’m not a vegetarian (could you tell?) I can’t help but admire the extensive veggie menu that would seriously make me consider converting, even if just for the visit. The soup choices change often, but every one is a winner. Do yourself a favor and pack the other half of that sandwich to take home . . . you will want to try dessert here. Christian & Jake’s is open Sunday through Friday for lunch, with

extended hours through dinner Monday through Thursday. They’re closed on Saturday. Emi Lu’s Cakes & Treats It seems there is no shortage of cake and cupcake businesses, and I’m a big fan of them all. However, Emi Lu’s is no ordinary cake shop. Owner Jean Couch has always had a passion for baking, and when the time was right for her and daughter Paula to go into business for themselves they did just that with Emi Lu’s, named after the kids. What sets Jean’s cakes apart? The taste! Whether you need an elaborate event cake or an afternoon snack, Jean’s recipes are out of this world and Paula’s decorating skills are superb. They even have their own brand of coffee and make their own creamer in-house. Need a light lunch? Stop in for their out-of-this-world chicken salad, served on a sandwich or as a plate complete with dessert of your choice. Emi Lu’s is open Tuesday through Saturday and is located on the town square in Adairsville. So many readers have expressed their desire to take a food tour of these

great North Georgia eateries, and we encourage you to do the same. Most have Facebook pages and your kind reviews and referrals are much appreciated. Speaking as a small business owner myself, large budget advertising is out of the question so the best compliment you can offer is to tell your friends about “this great new place to eat” that you’ve found. So dive on in . . . Again! Kelly is a wife and mother of two. She and her husband own The Big Mattress Outlet in Rome. Kelly worked as an Operations Manager for the Simmons Bedding Company for many years before opening her own business. She is also an avid couponer, having appeared on Extreme Couponing in seasons 1 and 2. She has published a book, "Keeping Couponing Real," and loves to play the piano and travel in the little spare time she can find. Contact her at 706-291-1220, on Facebook at Big Mattress Outlet, or visit

A Taste of NW Georgia

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Great sewing classes, quilting supplies and fabulous fabrics for quilting, baby, apparel, home décor, craft or anything else your sewing imagination wants to create! We also offer custom bedding from crib to college. Our fabrics are also sold on-line for your in-home fabric shopping convenience at…

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Day Trip

Gorgeous Gibbs Gardens By Elaine Landrum


hen you were young, very young, did you like to go on treasure hunts? I still like to go on treasure hunts, especially with my granddaughters. We hike through the woods to see what “treasure” we can find. Sometimes we find a bird egg or a beautiful flower. Yes, they are treasures, but the greatest treasure of all is to have that experience with my precious granddaughters. When I am with them, the grass seems a little greener and the flowers sparkle and dance in the breeze. Let me take you on a special treasure hunt to Gibbs Gardens in beautiful Northwest Georgia. If you have a long ride, you may want to bring friends, have dinner at the Woodbridge Inn in Jasper GA and spend the night to get an early start the next morning for the gardens. Hopefully, the date for your visit happens when the daffodils are at their peak as there are early bloomers, fragrant, and late varieties. The gardens open for the season on Tuesday, March 18. A recent article in Southern Living magazine said this is “the most stunning daffodil gardens ever.”


Visitors from all over the world come to visit these beautiful gardens with 60 varieties in over 50 million daffodils planted on 50 plus acres. Beautiful yellow, pink, white, gold, orange and saffron daffodils as well as other spring flowering plants can be seen from all directions. Let’s meet at the Welcome Center to begin our treasure hunt. Jim Gibbs, the creator of the gardens, is frequently in the Welcome Center or in the garden answering questions. He purchased the 300 acre family estate in 1980 and developed the gardens for 30 years before he opened it to the public. His vision was “to achieve a balance between nature and man-made elements to create the harmony of nature throughout Gibbs Gardens.” There are 16 unique gardens with 30 spring-fed ponds, bridge crossings, and waterfalls to delight you. As you leave the Welcome Center you will see the Arbor Cafe straight ahead. Artisan bread is baked daily for their sandwiches. My favorite is the gourmet chicken salad on walnut cranberry bread. By the way, eating at the Arbor Cafe is reason enough to visit the gardens. (We’ll return later for lunch.) A ticket to

Cherry blossoms bloom throughout Gibbs Gardens but no place are they more striking than in the Japanese Gardens flanking one of the pagodas overlooking a pond, creating reflections of the cherry blooms in the pond.

ride the tram is great if you do not want to walk up the hill to the Manor House, and it will save some time. The drivers will give you information about the area and can answer your questions. Follow me to the tram and on to the Manor House. As the tram climbs the hill, the expanse of beautiful daffodils that are everywhere is overwhelming. At the top of the hill is the beautiful Manor House, home to Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs, where you can sit in a rocking chair and enjoy the view of the terraces of flowers with the mountains in the background. Now, let’s follow the path to the pool and guest house. There are rock walls, beautiful flowers in all kinds of containers, statues and more rocking chairs. The statues and flower urns blend into the landscape. How did he make this so beautiful? It is hard to leave this place, but there is more to see. Look for treasures along the path on the terraces. There are statues of rabbits and birds, a rose arbor and an overlook of the hydrangea garden. After lunch at the Arbor Café, it’s time to visit the Waterlily Garden. Over 140 varieties of water lilies are found at the

Living & Giving introduces the


all new & inspired by nature. Lavender wisteria blooming on top of the Monet Bridge, a replica of the Japanese Bridge in Monet’s gardens at Giverny near Paris. More than 20 million daffodils — representing more than 60 varieties — will carpet the hillsides and valley at Gibbs Gardens from March 1 through April 15.

garden, making it one of the largest natural displays of water lilies in the nation. One of the Gibbs gardens employees told me a story about how some of the water lilies imported from Japan rode in a passenger seat for the plane ride to the US. A replica of the Japanese Bridge in Monet’s gardens at Giverny was created in the garden. Mr. Gibbs tells a story about measuring the bridge outside Paris to be sure his replica matched the original. Just ahead is the 40 acre Japanese Garden, making it the largest in the nation. Pagodas, 40 hand-crafted Japanese lanterns, seven spring-fed ponds, massive boulders, decades old bonsai create this beautiful sanctuary. Leaving the garden, we walk the Zigzag Bridge to chase away evil spirits because it is believed evil spirits travel only in a straight line. You never know what you will see in Gibbs Gardens. Every three weeks as the blooms die and new ones emerge, the gardens change. Other activities include classes, dances, musical performances, and book signings. Mr. Gibbs has planned many treasures for your visit. Go to to see the bloom schedule and event calendars. There is so much to do at Gibbs for just the price of admission. Bring your friends and family to the treasure hunt and share the experience, the greatest treasure of all. Elaine Landrum lives in Jasper, Georgia with Phil, her husband of 51 years, and her Springer spaniel, Ellie. Upon retiring as the Director of Adult Literacy from what is now called Chattahoochee Technical College, Elaine completed the training to become a Master Gardener. She graduated from Agnes Scott College with a B.A. and earned a MEd. from the University of Georgia.

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Get Cook’in


Sunny Easter Brunch By Aletia DuPree


nstead of the traditional Easter lunch menu, host an unforgettable brunch celebration filled with classic and seasonal dishes that will be loved by guest of all ages. The great thing about this menu is many of these dishes can be prepared the night before, leaving you more time on Sunday to enjoy the Easter church service and time with family and friends. Mile-high buttery, flaky Cream Cheese Biscuits stuffed with Pineapple Glazed Ham are the center stage to this glorious Easter brunch table. I should warn you that these mouth watering

biscuits will disappear fast. So, you might want to double the recipe. Vibrant and refreshing, Chilled Strawberry Soup ladled in crystal bowls adds just the perfect touch of elegance to your buffet. Southern Fresh Fruit tart drizzled with a creamy honey-citrus sauce is a cheerful addition. It’s almost too pretty to eat. Next on the menu are Peaches ’n Cream Stuffed Waffles. A delicious meal-in-one dish, Sunday Brunch Casserole, is paired with a delightful spring vegetable, Roasted Asparagus with Creamy Lemon Sauce. Enjoy and Happy Easter!

½ pound sliced bacon or sausage ½ cup chopped onion ½ cup chopped green bell pepper 12 eggs 1½ cups milk 1 (16-ounce) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed 1½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper ¼ teaspoon dill weed

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon; crumble and set aside. In the drippings, sauté onion and green pepper until tender; remove with a slotted spoon. Beat eggs and milk in a large bowl. Stir in hash browns, 1 cup of the cheese, salt, pepper, dill, onion, green pepper, and bacon. Transfer to a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Bake uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheese over the casserole.

ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH CREAMY LEMON SAUCE Serves 6 to 8 30 medium asparagus spears, trimmed ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon fresh dill weed, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss the asparagus in the olive oil and place in a rectangular casserole dish. Roast asparagus for about 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle fresh dill weed over the asparagus. Serve with Creamy Lemon Sauce. CREAMY LEMON SAUCE Yields about 2 cups 1 2 5 ⅛ 3 ¼

tablespoon cornstarch egg yolks tablespoons fresh lemon juice teaspoon salt teaspoons butter cup plain yogurt

Blend cornstarch with 1 cup of water in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks and fresh lemon juice. Over low heat, slowly pour egg yolks and lemon juice mixture in to cornstarch water while constantly whisking. Remove from heat and cool. When cooled, whisk in salt, butter and yogurt and whisk until smooth. Spoon over Roasted Asparagus. 30

Do-Ahead and Entertaining Tips 2 weeks before: Decide on Easter tablescape. A bouquet of fresh spring flowers would be perfect for this “Sunny Easter Brunch” along with small white baskets filled with pastel colored eggs. 1 week before: Make grocery list and do shopping. 2 days before: Make Southern Fruit Tart and refrigerate until serving time. Make Creamy Lemon Sauce. Refrigerate and heat just before serving.

1 day before: Make Strawberry Chilled Soup and refrigerate. Make Sunday Brunch Casserole, but do not cook until 45 minutes before serving time. Cover and keep in frig until ready to bake. Make waffles and place in a Ziploc bag and heat before serving with cream and peaches. Trim ends of asparagus and place in casserole dish and keep in frig until ready to roast. Day of Brunch: In the morning make Cream Cheese Biscuits and reheat in the microwave just before serving with ham. Roast asparagus 30 minutes before serving. Bake brunch casserole 45 minutes before serving. Check your do ahead list and place the food on the table. PEACHES ’N CREAM STUFFED WAFFLES Serves 4 to 6 3 cups all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar ¼ teaspoon baking soda 1½ teaspoons baking powder 4 tablespoons melted butter ½ teaspoon salt 2 cups buttermilk 4 eggs 2 teaspoons orange extract 2 teaspoons orange rind

MINI CREAM CHEESE BISCUITS WITH PINEAPPLE GLAZE HAM Makes 22 biscuits 3 cups self-rising flour (sifted) ¾ cup unsalted (1½ sticks butter, chilled and cut into cubes) 4 ounces cream cheese, chilled 1 cup heavy cream, plus 1 tablespoon

Preheat oven to 475°. In a medium size mixing bowl, place flour and cut in cube butter pieces. Add cream cheese and add the heavy cream mix until dough stays together. Do not over mix. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out to about ½ inch thickness. Using a small (1 ½ in) round biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits and place with sides touching on a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter. Serve with ham and pineapple preserves. PINEAPPLE GLAZED HAM 11 slices of cooked honey baked ham 2 cups pineapple preserves

Using a 2 inch biscuit cutter, cut two circles of ham from each slice. Slice Cream Cheese Biscuits and place the cut out ham on bottom of biscuit half. Top each ham slice with 1 tablespoon of pineapple preserves.

Combine all ingredients. Mix until smooth. Pre-heat waffle iron. Spray with cooking spray and make waffles. Filling 12 ounces cream cheese, softened ½ cup confectioners’ sugar 1 teaspoon orange extract 1 (8-ounce) container frozen non-dairy whipped topping (thawed), divided 4 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (Add 3 tablespoons sugar to peaches, reserve for assembling)

Combine cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, orange extract and ½ of the whipped topping. Beat until smooth. To Assemble: Spread about 3 to 4 tablespoons of filling over waffles. Spread a layer of peach slices over filling and fold waffle over. Top with warm maple syrup or Southern Praline Sauce. Garnish with a dollop of the remaining whipped topping, peach slices and a sprig of fresh mint. CHILLED STRAWBERRY SOUP Serves 8 to 12 2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled 2 cup sour cream 1 cup milk ½ cup sugar 2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoon lemon juice Garnish: Sour cream and fresh mint leaves

Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh mint leaves. Recipe can easily be doubled. 31

SOUTHERN FRESH FRUIT TART Serves 8 Crust ½ cup confectioners’ sugar 1½ cups all-purpose flour ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened and sliced

Filling 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened ½ cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping Fresh strawberries, kiwi slices, blueberries, raspberries

Glaze 1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 tablespoon orange juice 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice ¼ cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons honey Whipped cream, for garnish Preheat the oven to 350°.

For the filling and topping beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust. Cut the strawberries into ¼-inch slices and arrange around the edge of the crust. For the next circle, use kiwi slices. Add another circle of strawberries, filling any spaces with blueberries. Cluster the raspberries in the center. (Fresh peach slices may be substituted for strawberries). For the glaze, combine the limeade, cornstarch, orange juice, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Add honey. With a pastry brush, glaze the entire tart. You will not use all of the glaze. Refrigerate. Slice into 8 wedges and garnish with whipped cream.

To make the crust, combine confectioners’ sugar, flour, and softened butter; mix until smooth. Press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. (Be sure to press the dough into the fluted indentations on the sides). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

Aletia DuPree is a cooking instructor, speaker, author and former restaurateur. Born and raised in the South, her first book “Deliciously Southern: Southern Recipes and a Tour of the South” features over 370 mouthwatering recipes that capture the very heart of Southern cooking. Deliciously Southern is available wherever books are sold or at www. Aletia is the editor of the online food blog “Southern Life” where she writes about the art of Southern hospitality, culture and cuisine. Her enthusiasm and passion for Southern food, culture and hospitality are contagious in her cooking demonstrations that are full on fun, energy, insight and creative ideas to bring families back to the kitchen table for delicious home-cooked meals. For a night of fun, food and delicious inspiration book Aletia for a “Bacon & Chocolate” Girls Night Out. For more information about Aletia speaking topics, contact her at 770-773-5901 or email her at

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By Robert Smyth

Out of my wheelhouse…


n a Sunday not too long ago, I took it upon myself to help my 11 year old daughter go through her clothes and figure out what fit. I also pulled out the multiple tubs that we have saved over the years containing attire possibly from the Lincoln era. It took me about five minutes to realize I was out of my wheelhouse and call for back up. By “backup” I mean the wife who quickly informed me that this was not on her agenda for the day and it would cost me. I had never seen so many different types of clothing in an array of colors that would have made the biblical Joseph and his coat green with envy. I guess I should have expected it. The last time I walked into one of those “teen” shops in the mall it looked like a pastel clown had exploded and someone had thrown glitter on it to put out the fire. I had to stare at “Realtree” camo for an hour just to get the image out of my head. For the most part guys’ clothing is simple. The styles have not changed that much and we can get by with the same look for a long time. I have shirts that are older than all my children and I still wear them. The tie gets fatter or skinnier . . . you just keep an assortment. Same goes for guys’ shoes. We need a brown and black pair, some sneakers and some boots and we’re set. I made the mistake once of asking a woman why they needed more than one pair of black shoes. Forty-five minutes later I was educated and confused all at the same time. She offered to show me a flow chart but I declined. Back to my daughters’ clothing tsunami, my wife entered the room and without using the expletives I saw in her eyes she asked me, “What did you


do?” Should I not get some credit for trying? I should set up a support web site where guys can receive points for at least trying. Each month they could print out their points and show their wives. Not that it would mean much, but at least we would have some sort of documentation when they say we never help with anything. Maybe we could trade them in for one guilt free fishing trip or something. Even writing it, it sounds doomed. On with our adventure, I tried to explain to her that I got tired of my girls telling me that they had nothing to wear and that nothing fit when I knew they could not even close their drawers and closets for all the stuff. My wife told me to get out and find something useful to do. About two hours later she had done in a couple of hours what would have taken me a week. You see women have a super power that allows them to eye clothes and see if they are going to fit or not. Kind of the same way most men can eye a nut and know what wrench size we need. Now oddly this power only works when looking at clothes for other people. When it comes to clothes for themselves, they simply buy everything, bring it home with the notion that what doesn’t fit, they will return it. Yeah right! Then they proceed to make your life a living H. E. double hockey stick when they ask your opinion. This is the area that men would lose points on my shortlived website. Why in the world do women think that we would be able to have a productive opinion on their attire when we can barely dress ourselves? Ask our opinion on tools, the car, the mower or why the Falcons stink, not on heel

height and pattern blending. It’s just makes us want to hide in ESPN until you go away. Over time I have gotten better at being honest when my wife asks my opinion on her attire. Personally I think it’s become a survival instinct like when a cave man just knew the T-Rex was close. I know, it’s not scientific, but a great visual for any man that has ever faced a scorned woman whose friend told her that her posterior looked huge in that dress and you let her go out anyway. So needless to say after that Sunday, I have been banned from ever trying to assist my girls with clothing again. I am allowed to help the boy because he wears the same four items of clothing until they wear out. That’s about my mental capacity on this particular subject, and that’s fine by me.

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At DaVitaÂŽ, our approach is to treat people, not just their kidney disease. Our highly trained clinical and support teams, as well as a wide range of tools and services, help patients manage their health, their care and their life. :: Personalized care teams to address physical, emotional and financial needs. :: Clinical outcomes that are the best or among the best in virtually every category.

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NWGA Living Magazine Spring 2014  
NWGA Living Magazine Spring 2014  

Inspiring. Enriching. Informing.