It’s Friday, gang, time to usher in another weekend. While Fridays are for Oscar, my favorite German Shepherd, it’s all about the Bulldogs this weekend. Georgia Bulldogs that is who won the National Football Championship last Monday night. Yep, Kirby and the gang finally beat their nemesis Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. GO DAWGS! It was an exciting game, to say the least, that didn’t end until midnight. Final score 33 – 18! The festivities began shortly after we clinched the win with the students filling the streets of downtown Athens. Yours truly was fast asleep by that time, but the celebrations continue this weekend with a parade scheduled at 12:30 pm, Dawg walk at 1:00 pm, and program at 2:00 pm. Tickets are sold out, but there will be a live stream on georgiadogs.com, Facebook, and SEC Network+.
What I love about living in a college town is the energy the students bring, the opportunity to cheer for the Georgia Bulldogs, no matter if it’s football, basketball, baseball, or the sport of your choosing. Plus, we have a vibrant arts program that hosts plays, ballets, string quartets, choirs the list goes on and on. It’s a vibrant town that’s just plain fun with more than one nationally recognized restaurant for all those foodies out there. Moving to Athens was the best decision Mr. Style and I made six years ago. I can’t even believe it’s been that long. Where does the time go?
Best sweater joggers
Since Fridays are always about casual ease, I slipped into my favorite sweater joggers (limited, similar here and here) on sale for $49 from Banana Republic, popped on a ribbed turtleneck (limited sizes, similar here and here), added a windbreaker (old, similar here), and polished off with white sneakers (similar here). It’s a monochromatic outfit that can be replicated in any color. All I know is that it’s cozy, cute, and comfy.
Muddle together the berries and 1 tablespoon of the pomegranate. Pour the orange juice over the top and let sit for 20 to 60 minutes to infuse. Pour into a glass, top with ice, and sparkling water. Mix well. Garnish with remaining pomegranate seeds and a lime wedge.
On the menu, today, we’ve got a healthy Taco Spaghetti Squash. Who doesn’t love tacos? This version is a Southwest blend of ground turkey, black beans, red pepper, and green onions. Tweak the veggies to suit your taste, but the filling is deliciously stuffed inside spaghetti squash instead of a taco shell.
1bunch scallionsabout 6, chopped, with white and green parts divided
1red bell peppercored and chopped
1 1/2tablespoonsground chili powder
1canblack beans(15 ounces), rinsed and drained
1candiced tomatoes in their juices(14 ounces)
3/4cupfreshly grated sharp cheddarMonterey jack, cheddar jack, or pepper jack cheese, divided
For serving: chopped fresh cilantrodiced avocado, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the end off the spaghetti squash and slice in half. Scoop seeds out from the center. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper over the top. Place face down on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, make the filling: Heat the two teaspoons of olive oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat. Add the ground turkey, all white parts, and half of the green pieces of the green onion, bell pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat until it is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender for about 5 minutes. Stir in the black beans and fire-roasted tomatoes. Increase the heat to high and cook until the mixture is thickened and most of the tomato juice has cooked off about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Stir in 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to shred and fluff the inside flesh, so it’s no longer attached to the walls and makes a “nest.” Divide the taco filling evenly among the boats, using a fork to mix it with the spaghetti squash lightly. Arrange the stuffed squash on baking sheets and sprinkle it with the remaining cheese.
Bake until the cheesy is bubbly, about 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve hot, sprinkled with any desired toppings.
Totally agree on the college town atmosphere. I grew up in Durham, UK – the University there is not much younger than Cambridge and Oxford. Unfortunately, town/gown relationships are not the greatest there (working class locals in a traditionally coal mining area see many of the students as ‘toffee nosed snobs’, and many of the students do look down on the locals, you’ll regularly hear them making comments when you’re out and about). But I always loved the aspirational air of having them around, it made me think I could go to University too (which I did, as a first gen student and then masters student too, that one here in the US), and the diversity they brought. Now I work at a major University, directly with some of the students. I’ve been here for 15+ years, and will retire from here too, though that is still another 20 years away probably, I’m only 43. The energy is fantastic, the culture varied and there is always something interesting going on. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.
I saw the news about the Bulldogs and thought of you right away. Enjoy the celebrations!
It totally sounds fun, but I’m wondering if – during a pandemic with huge breakout numbers and hospitals filling up – a post about crowding the streets for a parade is maybe not the best message. Everyone is feeling a bit of FOMO while trying to be careful and I would just encourage a bit of restraint as we are battling our way through crisis.
I, too, live in a college town and totally understand the vibe. It’s energizing and fun. Altho’, I do have to say, I really do enjoy the quiet that prevails when the students are on breaks and the whole merry go round slows down a bit!
My husband (of 50+ years,) and I moved, when we retired, back to the Illinois college town where we met. Our children also graduated from same college, and live in the area. Best of both worlds here…College events and Family involvement! The positive energy that is in the air only reinforces that this is the place to live!
I am going to try that recipe! Yum.
Today’s outfit is very cute. I tried my first sweater joggers and sure had to size way down. They are great for a cold weather day inside. Have a lovely weekend.
Hi Beth, just wondering about the weather in Athens, mild Winters and hot humid Summers. Also is there lots of insects and creepy critters to deal with. I’ve been to Savannah which was lovely.
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