Heading To The Cabin

I haven’t heard from the second winner of the Appetite For Reduction giveaway, so I’m hoping the third time’s a charm!

The new winner is number eight, Autumn Tao.  I’ve e-mailed you!

The day after Christmas, I flew to the east coast to spend time with my family at “the cabin”.  A few years back, my parents bought a cute little cabin in Clayton, Georgia, so now they head up whenever they can, and I was happy to be able to join them as well as my brother and sister-in-law.  I didn’t anticipate when planning my trip that Atlanta and northern Georgia would experience a big snow storm beginning on Christmas day!  I’ve got lots of pictures, so I’ll try to keep the text short.

For comparison, the same tree in October.

We didnt spend much time out here on this trip!

death icicles

I was a little concerned about finding vegan food in small-town back-country northern Georgia, but my mom assured me that I would find enough to eat.  The Ingles grocery store there was pretty well stocked, and downright pleasant!  Between what my parents brought, stuff we bought and local restaurants, I was plenty well fed.

Oatmeal with bananas, Back To Nature Harvest Blend trail mix (good stuff!) and agave nectar.

cute little kitchen set up

Possibly my favorite sandwich:  hickory smoked tofurkey, hummus, mustard, pickles and mixed greens, with baked chips and my mom’s veganized ginger cookie.

We found this really delicious, locally made bread at Ingles.  It even said “vegan” on the label!

My sis-in-law had never seen snow (I know!), so upon arrival she immediately jumped out of the car and made a snow angel.

bustling downtown Clayton

bookstore kitty!

For dinner, we went to Mama G’s.  The pizza crust was confirmed as vegan, so I ordered this delicious personal pizza with broccoli, garlic, artichokes and sundried tomatoes.  It was really tasty!

my family at Mama Gs

Yay for beer that I can’t get at home!  Ingles lets you build a six pack from single bottles, so I got to try a variety.

Tofu scramble breakfast made with onion, mushrooms and what I could find at the cabin – salsa, garlic salt, mustard and dried cilantro if I remember correctly.  My parents had some for breakfast too, although my dad wanted a swipe of Miracle Whip on his 🙂

Brother and SIL in Franklin, NC

On the way back to town, we stopped at Fatz Cafe, a local chain, for lunch.  I knew there wouldn’t be much for me on the menu, but what I did end up ordering was pretty tasty.

house salad (minus cheese, bacon and croutons) with raspberry walnut vinaigrette

baked sweet potato, loaded up with salt and black pepper

We stayed in for dinner that night – spaghetti, focaccia and roasted veggies.  I started to feel under the weather this night, but I wasn’t going to miss…

Our day trip to Asheville, NC, and lunch at Laughing Seed Cafe!

Before we left, I fueled up with peanut butter and banana on cinnamon raisin toast.

While we waited for our table at Laughing Seed, we walked around and checked out some shops, my favorite of which was The Spice & Tea Exchange.

I bought little packets of ras el hanout, zahtar and spicy cocoa mix, but I wish I could have bought a lot more!

When we finally sat down at Laughing Seed, we shared two appetizers.

pakoras - tri-pepper and squash-onion

crispy wontons with delicious sesame-ginger dressing

Moms plate - roasted veggies and sauce over toast, and a salad (their menu changes seasonally and this meal isnt listed any more...)

Dads "Lumberjack" - seitan with spinach and gravy over toast, and mashed potatoes

My Havana Cuban, with vegan cheese spread instead of swiss, and carrot soup. Didnt really taste like a Cuban, but it was good!

coconut cream pie; I dont love coconut usually, but this was nice!

Vegetarian food isn’t always my family’s favorite (I’m looking at you, brother!), but everyone found something on the menu that they liked well enough.  I thought the Laughing Seed Cafe’s food was really nice, and I’d love to go back sometime.

We passed by a gingerbread house contest - Dr. Suess house!

This house had its own garden, adorable!

last breakfast at the cabin - pita with peanut butter, soy yogurt with trail mix, and coffee

We said goodbye to the cabin (and the snow) and drove down to Florida, where my parents dropped me off in Gainesville, where my friends were getting married on New Year’s Eve.  I was pretty sick with a head cold by this time, but I only had two nights in Gainesville so I tried to make the best of it!

I met my friend Jackie for lunch at Boca Fiesta, which opened up soon after I moved away and now seems to be all the rage.

herbivore menu section!

Vegan queso! You could tell that it had been thickened with flour, but the flavor was good. I dont complain about vegan queso, ever.

I got a giant burrito, salad and collards. This was so much food, but I managed somehow.

That night, my wonderful friends Janeen and Mark got married!  I won’t post many pictures for privacy’s sake, but here’s one – look how pretty!

A few of the other guests were vegan, so there was a vegan-only food table.  Sadly, not everyone got the memo, and there wasn’t much left by the time I got there!

I had some vegan drumsticks, pakoras, mac n cheese, and vegan cheese and crackers, which was plenty enough for my sick head and tummy.

The cupcakes on the table were vegan!

We held sparklers instead of throwing rice, which was only slightly terrifying.

Despite catching a death-cold that ended up lasting three weeks, and having the worst flight home ever (my ear didn’t pop on the way down from my first flight, and I had to walk around the airport basically deaf and miserable), my trip was so fantastic!  I only wish that I could have spent more time with my friends and family.

On a side note, check out xgfx.org, a new vegan and gluten free website run by three lovely ladies – Allyson of Manifest Vegan, Kittee of Cake Maker to the Stars, and Jessy, my favorite happy-faced vegan!


  1. Aw man, three winners and still none are me. 😉

    Anyway, I can’t even believe all of that vegan food! Makes me want to explore more place that I previously thought wouldn’t have vegan options, since I seem to be proven wrong ever time I hear tales of travel.

  2. thanks for mentioning Ingles…Clayton is a beautiful area!

  3. jessy said

    hiya, Erin! wowzers….i felt like i was along for the adventure with you. wheeeeee! so awesome your family has a cabin you all can visit. it looks soooo cozy and lovely in every way – and i bet that porch is amazing in the spring and summertime. ooooh, yay! i can’t believe your sister-in-law had never seen snow -i love that she made a snow angel. looks like there was lots of snow and lots of fun to be had – and you ate pretty darn well on your visit, too. nice! i love your breakfasts the mostest and that’s really cool you all got to visit Laughing Seed Cafe. i’m all jealousfaced now. ahahahhahaaa! sadface on the wedding guests not understanding there was food reserved for those who are vegan, but i’m glad you got a few things to load onto your plate. so awesome on the cuppins cakes! superyum! i feel a craving for vegan queso coming on….the one you ordered looked oh-so delicious…

    thanks so super much for the kind words about xgfx and for spreading the word! you are too awesome, my friend and i cannot thank you enough! you can bet your boots i’m looking forward to you submitting lots of xgfx recipes for the world to try – ’cause your recipes always rock the most socks!

  4. amey said

    what an epic post!!! oh my gosh. sorry you got so sick, but other than that it looks rad. The snow! yummy oatmeals! weddings! asheville! Laughing Seed! Cupcakes! It’s all blowing my mind!!

    I’ve been to Fatz before, on our trips to NC… a couple days a week their soups are vegan, but never on a day when I’ve had to eat there. ha! And I love Asheville, such a cute little spot, huh?

    Hope you’re doing well – you are awesome!

  5. Mom said

    So much fun to relive this trip from your perspective and with your photos (mostly). Hope we can do it again some day when you’re not catching cold and everything’s not covered in ice and snow. You covered a lot of territory in less than a week, but you still managed to eat well.

    Wow, that really IS the same tree. Good eye!

    • Should I add photo credit to the ones that you took? 🙂

      • Ma said

        Naw…we’re good. 🙂 You did all the work with this great post. I could take just a tiny bit of credit for that photo of you at Laughing Seed. I think it’s a really nice picture of you.

  6. Autumn Tao said

    Hi there– I emailed you about the cookbook. Thanks so much!! And how excited do we, vegans, get when an everyday food is labeled “vegan.” I react the same way.


  7. chow vegan said

    Looks like super fun trip and what a cool cabin! I have noticed more available vegan food when traveling, always a good thing. 🙂

  8. […] going to keep working on it. 24.  Visit a city I’ve never been to.  Done twice – Clayton GA and Mendocino CA. 27.  Go to SFMOMA or the de Young.  Went to SFMOMA in December.  Favorite […]

  9. […] wedding was great.  It was actually at the same venue Janeen’s wedding was at last year, and it was really interesting to see what two different couples did with the same […]

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