Monthly Archives: January 2017

Katie Duncan


PYSK-Katie-DuncanFamily YMCA of Greater Augusta Marketing Vice President 

Number of years in position: 2 years

Family: Mother and stepfather, Dianna and Walt James; stepmother and late father, Janice and Frank Simmons; two cats, Jackson and Stella. 

Why I’m Passionate About What I Do: I am passionate about people, my community, marketing and fitness. The Y is a dream job for me as I can combine many of my passions, interests and hobbies into my career and day-to-day life. I love that the Y is a place that warms your heart from the inside out, and I love getting to creatively share that message with our community.

Community Groups and Charities I Love to Support: We have so many nonprofits with great causes in the area, and I love any initiative that involves several groups working together for a common good. The Family YMCA of Greater Augusta is especially important to me. It is a wonderful organization where we help kids learn to swim or help a teenage mom find childcare to stay in school. We provide a safe afterschool location, a place for kids that may not have other options to eat during the summer, a gathering space for teenagers and young adults, adaptive programs and opportunities for all abilities, a place to get healthy and a gathering place for seniors.

Biggest Career or Life Obstacle I’ve Overcome and How: The biggest obstacle I have overcome is taking a step back and realizing I was not happy or fulfilled in the job I had at the time in the for-profit world and needed to make a move back to nonprofit. I was not on the path I wanted to be on and did not align with where I saw my future going. It is hard to take a step back and admit to yourself you are not headed in the direction you want to be and work on realigning your life in the right direction. 

Accomplishment I’m Most Proud Of: Graduating with my M.B.A. from Augusta State University

Favorite Way to Spend Saturday Afternoon: I am usually marathon training Saturdays, so most of my afternoons are spent in run recovery with a good book. And when I am not doing that, I’m kayaking, exploring Augusta and the rest of the world.

Favorite TV Show: “This is Us”

Favorite Movie: Love Actually 

Favorite Sports Team: Mercer Bears

Favorite Comfort Food: Lemon French Macarons and McDonald’s French Fries

Favorite App: Well most used, Amazon Music

Last Book Read: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Dream Vacation: I want to go everywhere and anywhere, but right now Italy. My dad passed away last May and told me to take a trip in his memory. Italy was the first place that came to mind and has stuck ever since. I hope to make it a reality in the next year or two.

Something That Has Changed My Life: I unexpectedly lost my father last year, and that has changed my every day and my normal life. It has made me appreciate life and the people in it on a deeper level.

Best Thing I Ever Learned: There is a work-life balance. For everyone’s sanity, make sure you make time for yourself and your family. 

Favorite Hobbies: Running, traveling, reading

Secret Aspiration: Become a college professor and complete a Half Ironman competition.

Reality Show I Would Totally Win: “The Amazing Race” 

Something People Would Be Surprised to Know About Me: While I love fitness, I also love a rare filet.

Special Delivery


Auggie-Valentine-1Hopeless romantics who like to think outside the “batter’s” box can surprise their significant others with a visit from Auggie, the GreenJackets mascot, for Valentine’s Day.

Diamonds might be a girl’s best friend, but creative people can shower their significant others with affection in alternative ways. Anyone who wants to hit a homerun with his special someone can order an Auggie Gram for Valentine’s Day.

Auggie is the mascot for the Augusta GreenJackets baseball team, and he personally will deliver gift packages to people at their homes or businesses on February 10, 13 or 14.

The package, which costs $60, covers all the bases. It includes a flex pack of six undated vouchers for GreenJackets tickets; two tickets to Opening Night on Thursday, April 13; two cupcakes from A Piece of Cake; a Chublet, aka a small stuffed animal; and a red rose from Garden Cottage Florist. 

“When people see Auggie, they get a big smile on their face,” says Tom Denlinger, the GreenJackets general manager. “It’s the fun element of surprise that I think fans throughout the CSRA love with this package.”

Auggie delivers within 20 miles of Lake Olmstead Stadium, and packages must be ordered by Wednesday, February 8. To reserve an Auggie Gram, contact the GreenJackets front office at (706) 922-WINS (9467) or email

Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Tart

  • Dark-Chocolate-&-Hazelnut-Tart6 ounces dark chocolate (60-70% cacao), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • One 9 or 10-inch prebaked tart shell
  • Hazelnuts for garnish

In a medium bowl, combine dark chocolate and honey. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour over chocolate and stir with a spatula until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add butter and vanilla extract and stir until butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour almost all into prepared tart shell. Top with hazelnuts and drizzle with remaining chocolate. Chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours to allow filling to set. Serve at room temperature.

Fettuccini with Clams, Mussels & Shrimp

  • Clam-recipe1 (13.75-ounce) box fettuccine
  • Dash of olive oil
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 pound clams, scrubbed
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup cream or half and half


Cook fettuccine according to package directions; drain and lightly toss with a dash of olive oil to prevent noodles from sticking together; set aside. Dissolve bouillon cubes in chicken broth and set aside. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add garlic and most of the green onion (save a little for garnish) and cook 3-5 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add clams and mussels; cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Add white wine and bouillon cubes with chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a rolling simmer. Add shrimp, cover and cook 3-5 more minutes or until the clams have opened and shrimp is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Stir in remaining tablespoon of butter and the cream. Add cooked fettuccine and toss to combine. Remove to plates and garnish with remaining green onion.

Souper Bowls


????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Score points with these soup, stew and chowder recipes that aren’t too tough to tackle.

Sirloin Steak Soup

  • 2 pounds boneless beef sirloin steak
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 3 cups carrots, diced
  • 1 (1-pound) bag frozen peas or cut green beans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons steak sauce 

Cut beef into 1/4-inch strips; cut strips into 1-inch pieces. Heat oil in stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook beef in oil 4-5 minutes or until brown. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until meat and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Serves 6.