three cheers for fall break

Gosh I have almost published this post like 100 times and now it is quite late. Anyway. You know what was great? Fall break.

My classmate is SO INTIMIDATINGLY PERFECT. She’s a gorgeous, snazzily dressed, businesswoman turned culinary school grad turned nutrition and public health student. She loves the microbiome, made everyone sing me happy birthday, and just in case she wasn’t perfect enough she commiserated with me about our mutual fear that we didn’t deserve to be in the UNC School of Public Health.

Oh, THEN she made everyone homemade caramel apples to celebrate fall break. She’s the best!

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Big fresh juicy apples, white chocolate, caramel, and peanuts… and a cute dark chocolate spider at the bottom! For 25 people! Can’t even imagine how long it took her.

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Fall break was suuuuuch a welcome respite. Steve and I were both having killer weeks- he was on a deadline at work (as he seemingly always is these days, such a trooper) and I had a food and culture case study paper that was stressin’ me out. We had a lot of dinners like this:

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(frozen pizzas, token vegetable on the side).

Blessedly, fall break finally arrived and I had my classmates over for a poker night (thanks to Sam’s instagram for this pic!). Lacking proper poker chips, I got dollar store fake money, fake bling, and very real and delicious gold wrapped candy. For snacks, just had carrots and dip and fancy cheese, and some sweet potato fries I baked later. Plus wine and cider, of course (people brought beer too).

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Very fun, relaxing night (once we were done with Texas Hold ‘Em we switched to Cards Against Humanity, yeahhhhh!)

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I turned some of the leftovers into a very “me” dish: tomato basil soup (that’d been too bland on its own), leftover sweet potato fries, leftover black bean salsa some friends had brought to poker night, and a fried egg on top.

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On the next day of fall break I went to Diva Night at Fleet Feet Sports! My classmate works there and told us all about it. Great event:

– Proceeds of the evening’s sales went to the UNC Cancer Center

– There was a chocolate fountain

– There was a raffle every ten minutes

And I WON! These are the greatest socks I have ever owned. I actually generally love getting nice socks, since foot comfort is very important to me. These are exceptional- padded heels mean I can bounce around to my heart’s content at the gym.

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I also got a fun new workout top. I’ve been trying to be legit about regularly going to yoga and (very un-yogi-ly) feel kind of like a slob when I arrive in the old tshirts I’ve been working out in since I was 18. As you can see, I am basically a model. And my room is REALLY clean.

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Since to me there is nothing more vacation-y than brunch, and because Steve loves Saxapahaw (a cute little town a little ways out from Chapel Hill) we headed there to dine al fresco at The Eddy.

I thought they had a super interesting brunch menu.

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And I love when restaurants don’t just give lip service to buying from local producers but actually cite specific farms that produced specific items.

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So the view was gorgey…

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But then an INSANE BEE came along! After furiously buzzing around my face it landed my arm and WOULD NOT GET OFF. It stuck just the tip of its stinger in my arm- TWICE- and then the second time wouldn’t release no matter how hard I shook my arm, flung it around, blew on it, etc. Finally Steve had to scrape it off my arm with a butter knife. Then it flew around drunkenly and rolled around on the ground and it was weird and creepy. Like Hitchcock’s The Birds, except The Bees. Especially since then MORE bees kept buzzing around my face. I’ll add that they showed no interest in Steve.

So ultimately we abandoned the pretty view in favor of arm safety (sheesh) and got our entree inside.

And by entrees, I mean three of them. Because when Steve goes out to brunch, he goes big.

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Can you believe I’d lived in North Carolina for more than a year and hadn’t yet had chicken and waffles? It is a POPULAR dish. Steve remedied this, and WOW this was undoubtedly the highlight of the meal. The coating was SUPER thick and crunchy and flavorful. And the meat underneath was savory and juicy. And the maple butter on the side was BOSSY.

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These eggs were a little intense. Even Steve said they were too rich. It was just a lotta cream cheese.

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The salad was good. They didn’t stint on the pecans. We focused so much on the other items that I ended up taking much of this home, which was great. I reheated it in the oven so the pecans and brussels would get all toasty and that was pretty great.

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And then, gluttons that we were, we didn’t want to waste any of that maple butter so we got an extra biscuit on the slide, SLATHERED it, and took it home, too.

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