August 18, 2017

How to Have the Perfect Vacation in Clayton, Georgia

A TRAVEL GUIDE FOR PLANNING A VACATION IN THE NORTHEAST GEORGIA MOUNTAINS


So… I’m a food blogger. And this post has nothing to do with food (well, very little to do with it anyway). But I’m using my blog as a place to document how to have a fantastic, affordable family vacation in Clayton, Georgia, what I would consider the seat of the Northeast Georgia Mountains.

Because so many of my friends have asked for this information and because I will need to refer to it in the future, I’m going to detail the highlights of our family vacations to this beautiful part of the world.

Please feel free to comment with your ideas and input! My notes below are based only on what I’ve personally experienced and how I like to enjoy my time in Clayton.

I hope you find this helpful and hope you find your way to this hidden gem someday!

NOTE: I have to say this because I’m a blogger and a blogger is often judged on her photographs. The photos I’ve included below were just random shots I took with my phone way before I ever thought up the idea of sharing this information with you. Some of them are crappy photos but you’ll get the gist! NEXT TIME I head that way I’ll take better pictures and replace these!


UPDATE!! Click to get your free Printable Clayton Vacation Field Guide!


ACCOMMODATIONS

I have always used VRBO (‘Vacation Rentals By Owner’ which is part of the HomeAway family and app) to find cozy cabins full of personality and comfort. The site will automatically expand your search to include outlying areas in the Northeast Georgia Mountains. The rental rates are crazy affordable in this neck of the woods which is a huge plus for me! The cabin we just stayed in slept 6-8, had a hot tub, absolute privacy and seclusion, faced a mountain stream and only cost us $800 for a seven-night stay. And it was totally beautiful and charming!

THINGS TO DO

I like to make a list of possible activities and destinations then choose from it whenever we’re ready for our next adventure. Rigid itineraries tend to stress me out which is the last thing anyone should ever feel on a mountain vacation! Plus, I like to make time for random naps.

Here is the list I’ve kept up with for years of things to do in or around Clayton, GA (say within a 30-mile radius).


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July 5, 2017

12 Summertime Strawberry Recipes

I’ve got strawberries coming out of my ears! This is that time of year folks are buying strawberries by the bucket or bringing them in by the bushel from their gardens and when that happens, it seems like everybody that comes by to visit comes with an armful of strawberries for me. And I LOVE it!

I spent some time looking for recipes to make with all these strawberries and thought I’d share my Top 12 favorites with you.

PS…. If anyone has a recipe for a strawberry layer cake with pecan in the frosting, I’m looking for it! I remember eating it growing up but can’t find the recipe!

THAT Strawberry Cake by Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate








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May 17, 2017

Red, White & Blue Cheesecake Salad

Living where we do in central South Carolina we can get to many great mountain destinations within a few hours but I always love to go the northeast Georgia mountains because one of my very best friends and favorite people on the planet lives there. My college roomy was from the Clayton, Georgia area so I spent a ton of time with her there over the years when we were in school. I fell in love with the area 20+ years ago so it’s my go-to spot for a mountain getaway.

The last time we were up for a trip, I got to spend time with Shelly (my old roomy) and her family. Amid all the reminiscing, visiting, site-seeing and long talks, one little pearl stayed with me. Somebody said something about a “cheesecake salad” which was, evidently, a favorite among the family. I learned this was some sort of dessert with a cheesecake filling, strawberries and mini marshmallows. I tucked that away in my gourd for the future because it sounded gooooooood ta meh!

With Memorial Day right around the corner (and 4th of July not too far off) I’ve been thinking of patriotic desserts and decided it was time to figure this whole “cheesecake salad” thing out. Add some blueberries and boom, you’ve got the perfect red, white and blue dessert!

I found a couple recipes for “cheesecake salad” out there but didn’t really love some of the ingredients so I just made it the way that sounded good to me. I whipped up a no-bake cheesecake base then added the berries and marshmallows. I can’t say that I would have thought to use the marshmallows (and was a little on the fence about them) but I knew the recipe my mountain buddies loved so much had them so I used them too. I’m so glad I did because those fluffy little nuggets were the perfect contrast to the rich cheesecake filling and the twang from the berries.

When I’m preparing food for cookouts and picnics, I always always ALWAYS reach for my GladWare®. I don’t have to worry about it getting broken or losing a lid and I know everything will stay fresh because they seal up nice and tight! I kind of think of these containers as disposable in that, if I leave it somewhere, I haven’t lost a huge investment but the truth is, I wash and reuse these things over and over and over again. My glass dishes just don’t keep things fresh like the GladWare® does.

Red, White & Blue Cheesecake Salad! This berry cheesecake dessert is perfect for Memorial Day and 4th of July with strawberries, blueberries and cream cheese filling.


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