Hudson Valley

In Which I Discuss My Favorite Things

June 19, 2014
In Which I Discuss My Favorite Things - Sweet and Savoring
Happy Friday, friends. It may be terribly cliché of me to say, but I’m so ready for the weekend. Last weekend was busy, and then Andy and I were both busy working this week, and I feel like I haven’t been that great at stopping to catch my breath and just be lately.
But! A possible NYC trip is on the horizon, as well as time with friends. And I can’t believe this, but my nephew Joe had his last day of high school this week! I was thirteen when he was born and it’s been so crazy watching him mature into almost an adult. (And yes, I’m aware of what an old fuddy-duddy I sound like) I’m looking forward to his graduation ceremony and party next weekend!
Let’s get down to business. This weekend I went back to a normal swap for #AskAwayFriday, which is a wonderful networking and get-to-know-you series hosted by the five bloggers listed above. I like interviewing and being interviewed, and #AAF is a great way for readers to get to know a blogger better, as well as for bloggers to find each other!
My partner today is NJ from A Cookie Before Dinner, a fellow Northeast dweller and beach lover. NJ is married with two adorable kids who loves to write and share her stories. I love this excerpt from her About page: My goal as a mother is to raise empathetic, self-sufficient, open-minded tiny humans who love the world and their neighbors as themselves. I want my children to grow up with a wide lens of the world. We’ve celebrated solstice, Hanukkah, Passover, and marched in a gay pride parade with our friends. It’s refreshing to hear a mom say they want their kids to have an open-minded world view! (Besides the usual stuff like wanting them to be happy and feel loved, that is)

To see NJ’s answers to my questions, pop over to her blog, and explore her site a little. I’m sure you’ll find something that you will laugh at, relate to, or be inspired by.
In Which I Discuss My Favorite Things  -  Sweet and Savoring

My #AskAwayFriday partner, NJ of A Cookie Before Dinner

1. I see you recently took a bit of a road trip through VT and Maine. What was your favorite memory from that trip?

I can’t pick just one! I loved visiting my friends and seeing their new house and one-month-old baby. I loved our B&B in Camden, Maine (oh man, I’ve been teasing that post for awhile, haven’t I?), and how much of a special gift it was to stay there for my birthday. And I wouldn’t be Christy if I didn’t mention the fabulous food!
In Which I Discuss My Favorite Things  -  Sweet and Savoring
In Which I Discuss My Favorite Things  -  Sweet and Savoring

Andy snapped this of me on the morning of my birthday: in our B&B room, with the tulip our hosts picked from their garden for me!

2. We are often invited to potlucks where about half of the crowd is vegetarian and the other half isn’t. I’d love to bring something that would WOW both, what would you recommend?

Okay, so it’s certainly not easy to satisfy both carnivores and herbivores- at least in my experience. If it’s wintertime, go for a hearty, flavorful soup like potato rosemary soup (I might add in shredded carrot and greens for more nutrition). Spicy squash salad with lentils and goat cheese would also be fantastic, and can be adapted to include seasonal vegetables in the summer (like swapping in greens, tomatoes, etc for the squash).

3. Share a recent (but beloved) photograph you’ve taken and tell the story behind it.

This isn’t anything spectacular, but I like how the frog chose to stay where he was for a minute while I got juuuust close enough. I was baby-sitting and somehow the four-year-old was interested in this cutie! What I love is the color and texture I was able to capture:
In Which I Discuss My Favorite Things  -  Sweet and Savoring

Hello, Mr. Frog. What intriguing eyes you have!


4. Your very first post was about a cheesecake that didn’t set up the way you hoped. Have you improved your skill since then or abandoned the idea of homemade cheesecake?
Oh wow, you went all the way back to the beginning! I have not made another cheesecake since then– bars, cookies, and muffins are more my speed. Speaking of which, I’ve been meaning to make the Smitten Kitchen’s double coconut banana muffins again:
In Which I Discuss My Favorite Things  -  Sweet and Savoring

I like Deb’s idea of cutting up parchment paper when you’re out of muffin pan liners!


5. You’ve been blogging for just over two years, what advice would you give to a new blogger?

The best advice I can give (and I do not feel like I have all the answers!) is to be consistent in your posting, and read and comment on other blogs regularly. Like Tiffany said in her response about how she gets traffic to her blog, you have to treat other bloggers how you want to be treated! That means giving other bloggers views, comment, shares, and retweets (if you’re on Twitter).

6. What is your favorite social media platform and why?

I finally got an Instagram account (with my first smartphone!) and I’ve been into that lately. But as far as interaction and blog promotion, my favorite is probably Twitter.

7. If I came to the Hudson Valley on vacation, what are five things I absolutely couldn’t miss?

Okay let’s see- as for food, any of the farmer’s markets on Saturdays and Sundays are wonderful to visit for things like fresh produce, honey, jams, baked goods, and cheese. I’d highly recommend eating lunch or dinner at Terrapin in Rhinebeck– they have something for everyone: meat eaters, vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free eaters, and they have been a favorite of ours for years.
In Which I Discuss My Favorite Things  -  Sweet and Savoring

A bellini and a bowl of Terrapin’s amazing roasted garlic soup.

It's fun to order only from the tapas menu- I love the crispy artichokes and goat cheese wontons!

It’s fun to order only from the tapas menu- I love the crispy artichokes and goat cheese wontons!

Let’s see, that’s two things so far, right? Since we’re in the Rhinebeck area, it’s worth a visit to check out Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, a few miles south of the village. This retreat center is where I worked for six years, and where Andy and I met each other. People come from all over the world to take workshops here, but day visitors are welcome to stroll the wooded campus and visit the café, bookstore, and Wellness Center.

In Which I Discuss My Favorite Things  -  Sweet and Savoring

Long Pond Lake at the Omega Institute

If you’re up for a hike, Overlook Mountain in Woodstock offers fantastic views as a reward for a somewhat-steep upward climb. At the top of the summit’s fire tower, you can see the Hudson River, the rest of the Catskills, and the nearby Ashokan Reservoir.

You must spend some time by the Hudson River, of course, whether it’s the Kingston waterfront, at a lighthouse, or at a state park.  I love how much there is to do around here!

8. What is on your night stand? Bonus points for a picture!
I have a little shelf that Andy put in next to my side of the bed, since it’s against the wall. There is always some book on there, possibly two, my book lamp, my phone charger, a picture of Andy and I, and usually some hair ties. Oh, and the framed picture is some street art I found in Barcelona!
In Which I Discuss My Favorite Things  -  Sweet and Savoring

9. What is your oldest post currently in draft? Why haven’t you finished it?

This is a great question! I have a whopping 31 posts in my drafts folder, and only about four of those are scheduled. Ha! The oldest one is from September of last year, during my short-lived career as a nursing student: “Empathy: A Blessing and a Curse”. That idea came about from clinicals, when I spent 4-6 hours in a nursing home/assisted living facility, with sick elderly residents.

Why haven’t I finished it? I’m not sure- most of the time I’ll just be inspired to write something and I’ll get to it; if I don’t finish it right away, I know it’s not meant to be written yet. I can certainly finish it now; I know that at the time it was too sticky/anxious of a situation for me to write about yet.

10. If you could have 24 hours with a person living or dead, who would it be and why?

Here’s the thing: I get socially anxious, so if we are spending twenty-four hours together, I want this to be someone I’m comfortable with.  If we were talking dinner, then I could request any number of fascinating figures from the past. But since we’re talking about a whole day, I will say my Grandma. I wish that I could have known her longer.

Ask Away Friday: In Which I Discuss My Favorite Things - Sweet and Savoring

My grandpa, who I never met, and grandma with my oldest sister on her lap


Thanks for the awesome questions, NJ! If any of you would like to participate in #AskAwayFriday, you can let me know, or join our Facebook group to request a swap. I’ll see you guys back here on Sunday for a photo essay from Brooklyn!

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  • Deb Rothaug June 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Oh, my, this is another very special blog post for “Ask Away Friday!” As always, I love your pictures. The Spicy squash salad with lentils and goat cheese is now on my list of Christy’s recipes I want to try! And, any time you want to make a date to go to Terrapin, we are in!
    But the part that touched me most is your desire to spend more time with Grandma Rothaug, the picture and your grandparents’ faces brought a tear to my eyes. I have to share something privately with you, about your being in utero, waiting to be born, when your Grandfather passed on.
    You are a very special blessing, and I am so proud of you, especially for the heart-sharing you do through your writing!

    • Christy June 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      I made sure to give credit for those recipes since they’re not mine, but they are super good! 😉
      Yes, let’s go to Terrapin! Swing by on your way down from Boothbay or something!

  • Nancy June 20, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Overlook!!! I have been camping at the top a couple of times. Great spot and I plan to go back with my girlfriends soon for a girls-only camping trip, like old times. I would love to do an AAF with you!
    Nancy recently posted…Ask Away Friday with Tamara Like Camera!My Profile

    • Christy June 21, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      I’ll email you about scheduling a swap, Nancy, thanks! I haven’t camped at Overlook, but that’s an awesome idea!

      • Nancy June 21, 2014 at 11:49 pm

        I definitely recommend it. There is also a spur trail that goes down to a lake (I think…it’s been awhile, it might just be a pond?) and there are some lean-tos there, first come, first serve, if I recall correctly!
        Nancy recently posted…Ask Away Friday with Tamara Like Camera!My Profile

  • Tamara June 20, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    I want to go to the Omega Institute. How special.
    Well I really want to do it all. All of your area and Maine and New Hampshire.. and.. and.. I’m really remembering that ten years ago I met Cassidy and I want to go back.
    I think your blogger advice is spot on.

    • Christy June 22, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      New Hampshire! Except for passing through to get to Maine, I really haven’t spent time there at all. So weird.

  • Tiffany June 21, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Okay, I am officially hungry…those muffins look amazing!

    Thanks so much for the shout out: sharing and supporting other Bloggers and their content is definitely a major part of being successful and building a community.

    I LOVE Instagram! So glad to see you there now too 😀
    Tiffany recently posted…It’s NOT All In The Going… Finding My FreedomMy Profile

    • Christy June 22, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      Thanks Tiffany- they’re some of my favorite muffins 🙂
      And you’re so welcome, you said some good stuff and it’s completely worthwhile advice!

  • Shelly June 21, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Awe! I think it’s really sweet that you want to spend more time knowing your Grandma. Me too. 🙂 I’m jonesin’ for a Bellini now! I love that cute little frog! You did a great job getting that close and getting a ton of detail!! Hope you’re having a relaxing weekend to catch your breath and I’m excited for you to go to NYC!!
    Shelly recently posted…July 4th FindsMy Profile

    • Christy June 22, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      Thanks for such a sweet comment, Shelly! If ‘catching your breath’ you meant ‘getting sunburned and walking through Brooklyn for miles’, then I totally did it 😉 It was so much fun and I can’t wait to share!

  • Jana (AshesandLace) June 21, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    I’m a new blogger so I really appreciate the advice given! Beautiful post!

    • Christy June 23, 2014 at 10:14 am

      Thank you, Jana! I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of other bloggers.

  • Rea June 21, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Now following you on IG! I love it too. Your food photos make me just want to grab and eat the food from the screen! Hahaha, why oh why! I love that you have so much to do in your place, I think it’s gonna be a worthwhile experience to visit it. And I’m gonna be waiting for your post about Brooklyn! 🙂

    • Christy June 23, 2014 at 10:26 am

      I’ve always had a thing for food photos even though yes, they make me hungry, too! Thanks for following along on my adventures, Rea!

  • Amber l Bold Fit MOm June 22, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Potato Rosemary soup sounds super yummy! 🙂

    I absolutely love going to Farmers Markets! You can find lots of goodies there.

    • Christy June 23, 2014 at 10:27 am

      That soup is delicious, I promise. I served it to guests at a dinner party and it was a huge hit!

  • NJ @ A Cookie Before Dinner June 23, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I am SO SORRY it has taken me all weekend to get over here! Great answers, thanks for swapping with me!

    The photograph of you with your grandparents is so sweet! It is really easy to see how comfortable you both are with each other. I am sure you miss her a ton!

    • Christy June 24, 2014 at 9:22 am

      No worries, NJ- I know I’ve certainly had crazy busy weekends lately. Summer has kicked off with a bang! 🙂

  • Rabia @TheLiebers June 24, 2014 at 9:29 am

    That was certainly a very considerate frog to pose so nicely while you set up your shot!! My boys would love to have seen him. If you come across him again, send him my way! LOL!
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted…Hey 1994! Are you listening!?!! {#TuesdayTen Linkup}My Profile

    • Christy June 25, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      I don’t often come across such patient frogs! We found one in the garage this week that is extremely hoppy.

  • Stacey Gannett June 25, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Wonderful swap! What a great way to spend a birthday weekend! I really would love to travel more. Those muffins look really good, I love coconut! That little frog is just too cute! My lil miss found on, out on a nature walk, that was no bigger than a fingernail…my hubby caught it for her, so that she could get a better look, but then we let it go. Visiting with grandparents would be great…all but one of mine passed away before I even made it to kindergarten, so I would have so many questions for them. Hope you have a wonderful week, Christy!
    Stacey Gannett recently posted…#AskAwayFriday with Tia from Becomin Neurotic!My Profile

  • Uplifting Families June 26, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Wow, the photo of your frog is beautiful. They are strange creatures and have their purpose in the environment. My oldest has a facsination with them and it resulted in me having a Hoppy Birthday one year. Long story short, he had a frog farm in his room.

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