We took 14 people up to North Carolina with us this past weekend, so including us, there were 12 adults and 5 children (and 2 dogs). It was a packed house, but we all had so much fun!  Corby, Walker and I drove up on Thursday night which also happened to be Corby’s birthday- we stopped in Blowing Rock at Bistro Roca ( for dinner which was fabulous.  I had a pulled pork crepe that was out of this world.  Walker had mussels that he said were delicious, and Corby had meatloaf that was really good.  The only draw back was that we saved one slice of meatloaf to put in our eggs on Friday morning, and when we stopped to get gas after dinner, Nemo- my pesky 10 year old Springer Spaniel- ate the meatloaf- it was disappointing.  Oh well.  Friday, we skied all day at Sugar Mountain which was so much fun- bluebird day and 50 degrees- what more could you ask for! The rest of the gang arrived on Friday night.  Saturday, we woke up to another beautiful warm day and an amazing egg, cheese, and vegetable casserole made by Marguerite.  So, the way we set up the weekend was every family was in charge of one meal- we didn’t count lunch, and I was in charge of appetizers and desserts.  After our marvelous and healthy breakfast (the casserole consisted of the only vegetables we had all weekend) we set off on a hike to Lost Cove, while the kids went snow tubing.  It is a beautiful hike down to these amazing swimming holes generally used in the summer unless you are crazy like the men on our hike who decided to swim- in February- in 45 degree water- what?  Anyway, appetizers after we got home included “cheesy goodness” which is Edam cheese wrapped in Pillsbury Crescent Rolls baked at 350 for about 35-40 minutes, and a cheese plate- yay cheese.  Dinner was the Haynie’s famous hot dog bar- every topping you could ever want on a hot dog, and then for dessert, I made the Cheesecake Strawberries which were amazingly good and easy and Blondie Bars- also easy and delicious!  In one batch I cut up Twix Bars- that was something special.  Sunday morning was a breakfast for the history books.  Kendall and Robert made Bailey’s french toast with some sort of homemade heaven (aka syrup), venison sausage, and they added a bowl of fruit for good measure.  While we were eating, it started snowing which of course made the kids go crazy!  We ended up getting about 5 inches of snow throughout Sunday- the sledding, the games, the snowmen, and the snowball fights exhausted everyone!  To revive the group, I made Bacon appetizers which I found on the Pioneer Woman website (  It was the most simple and fantastic thing ever!  Take a package of bacon- cut it in half.  Lay out the half strips of bacon on a baking sheet.  Place a club cracker in the center of the strip of bacon, place a spoonful of Parmesan cheese on top to the club cracker and wrap the bacon snugly around the cracker and cheese.  Bake at 250 for 2 hours. Really really good, and they did not last long!  After another amazing dinner cooked by Robert and Olivia- beef stew with baked potatoes, we brought out the pinata for the kids which was so fun!  The whole weekend was amazing, and not surprisingly, Walker slept for 3 and a half hours on the car ride home!  Such good food and good friends- can’t wait to do it again!

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