Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nutella Crescent Rolls

1 (8 count) package crescent rolls, such as Pillsbury
approx 4 tablespoons nutella
powdered sugar
sliced strawberries

  • Preheat oven to 375' or according to package directions.
  • Unroll crescent rolls into triangles, and spread with approximately 1/2 tablespoon of nutella each or more according to your preference. 
  • Roll up, beginning with the widest end first, and place on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake according to package directions, about 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with fresh strawberries.  Serve warm.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Good Sunday evening to you!  Hope you had a great weekend!  Ours was a great mix of activity and relaxing- which is perfect in my book!

Friday night, Lash spent the night in the books and I happily curled up with HGTV.  I cannot get enough of Property Brothers, Kitchen Cousins, and House Hunters.  Since we weren't going out and drinking our calories, I whipped up these delish nutella treats!  I'll post the recipe this week, because they were a big hit!

Saturday, we went shopping for Collins' debut!  I am picking her up this Thursday.  Look at the sweet pictures the breeder sent me today.

Saturday afternoon my mom and dad came up to Charleston, and the four of us watched my alma mater, Wofford, beat the College of Charleston (my mom's alma mater) in basketball.  I love basketball, and it was such a fun game!

My parents had dinner plans with friends so we split ways and Lash and I went to Tasty Thai on King.  You obviously know they are catering to the college crowd when their signature cocktail is a tequila shot and a beer for $5!

I can't recommend the restaurant for the atmosphere, but I've always had a really good meal here... and they are on Restaurant.com so its never super expensive and very tasty.  I didn't take pictures of our meal but we started with spring rolls, I had pad thai, and Lash cashew chicken.

We did an early dinner, and by the time we finished, all of our friends were just sitting down at other restaurants on the peninsula... so what we were going to do to kill an hour or two before they finished?  Go sit at a bar just the two of us?  Nope, go to Hom and play ping pong!!  This was so, so random but we had a blast... and a couple marathon matches! 

We ended the night at Midtown, and have a really crappy picture to prove it!

Today, we slept in and I lounged and exercised while Lash went back to the books.  We went to St Michael's for 6pm contemporary service and I snapped this gorgeous pic of the steeple on the way.  Everyday I am reminded how thankful I am to live here...  Charleston is so gorgeous!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Weekly Menu

Black Bean Burgers with Avocado Cream Sauce and Corn Salsa

This was excellent!! So much flavor and yet so light and healthy, this was my favorite recipe of the week.  I halved the recipe, (though it did take the full amount of panko to get to the right consistency) and wound up with four patties.  The avocado cream sauce was phenomenal.  Even my meat-and-boat-lovin' husband, approved with two thumbs up.

Fish Tacos with Slaw

I have yet to blog about our trip, but we went to the Bahamas over Christmas and brought some mahi-mahi back to prove it!  For these fish tacos, we flash- fried the fish with a Zatarian and topped with the avocado cream sauce from the black bean burgers, bang bang sauce, and slaw.  The bang bang sacue is a very loose interpretation from Bonefish grill and is:

2 T. mayo
1 T. sweet chili sauce
1 t. sriacha or other garlic chili sauce

Though a little out of season, it was a fun meal and made me longer for summer even more.

Cajun Chicken Pasta and Roasted Brussel Sprouts

It had been a long day and I was so lost with what to make for dinner.  This was mainly inspired by Plain Chicken though I adapted it to my own taste. I don't really have a recipe because it was literally just thrown together but the pasta had some porportion of sun dried tomatoes, left over rotisserie chicken, parmesan cheese, Tony's cajun seasoning, dried basil, chicken stock, and a splash of half and half.  It was an easy meal when I really didn't feel like cooking and wanted to veg out in front of HGTV.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday

One week from today until we get our precious pup!!!  I am dying.  These last two weeks have crept by alarming slowness.  I can only imagine how l.o.n.g. the last seven days are going to be. Look at this thing, I cannot wait to play with her all day and spoil her!

These flowers from my mother in law have brighten up my desk (and week) exponentially!  Tulips are one of my favorite flowers.

I've got a mad craving for take out Chinese food.  During the week, we never eat out but I might have to make an exception this week.  Hopsing in West Ashley is my favorite delivery place (so fresh!), though I love Red Orchid for more of a bistro, upscale dining.  I seriously hope some chicken and broccolli is in my near future.
and by the way, this is possibly a good recipe to try
 though I never have much success cooking Chinese food at home...

Despite my unhealthy, sodium induced craving, I have been on an impressive (for me) work out kick this week... 5 work outs in 7 days!  So far in 2012, I've really made a conscious effort to cut back and ramp up the physical activitiy.  If only that stupid number on the scale would decrease!
I wish!!!
via pinterest

As of right now, we have 12 weddings on the calendar for 2012, and I am so excited about each one. It will certainly be a fun time seeing a lot of friends and family but we are starting to save now for all the travel and wedding gifts, haha!

What's going on in your world?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tasty Tuesday:

Have you ever had a black bean burger from Sesame?  If not, go try one!! They are amazing, and totally opened my world to black bean burgers.  I've never attempted to make them at home, but this Pinterest find has me drooling at the keyboard.  I've broached the vegetarian meal idea quite delicately with my husband, and I think he is on board to try it one night this week.  I'll let you know how it turns out!

Pinned Image

Black Bean Patties with Corn Relish and Avocado Cream Sauce

Black Bean Patties

•2 (14.5 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed, divided
•2 roasted red bell peppers from a jar, divided
•2 eggs
•1 teaspoon oregano
•1 teaspoon cumin
•2 cloves garlic
•1/2 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
•1 red onion, finely diced
•1/2 to 2/3 cup cornmeal, breadcrumbs, or Panko (I use Panko)
•Salt and pepper, to taste
•Canola oil

Avocado Cream Sauce
•1 avocado, pitted and cut into a few pieces
•1/2 cup sour cream (you can use light)
•Juice of 1 lime
•Salt and pepper, to taste

Corn Relish
•2 teaspoons canola oil
•2 cups corn
•1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
•1 jalapeno, minced
•1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
•Juice of 1 lime
•2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
•Salt and pepper, to taste

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade, process 1 can of black beans, 1 roasted red pepper, eggs, oregano, cumin, garlic, and the chipotle pepper until smooth. Add the onion and pulse to combine. Add the additional can of beans and the other roasted red pepper, then pulse a few more times until combined, but not completely smooth.

Pour the black bean mixture into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup cornmeal or bread crumbs. Stir until combined, then mix in more as needed to form a firm mixture that is the consistency of ground meat and can be rolled into a ball between your hands. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, clean out the food processor in order to prepare the avocado cream sauce.

To make the avocado cream sauce, puree all of the ingredients until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Set aside until ready to use.

Remove the black bean mixture from the fridge and shape into 3-inch patties, about 3 1/2 ounces each. Heat canola oil in a large non-stick skillet. Cook the patties, in batches, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, flipping once. (I used my 12-inch cast iron skillet and cooked five at a time.) Transfer to a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm; set aside.

To make the corn-relish, heat the canola oil in the same skillet. Add the corn and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for another minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients.

To serve, top the cooked patties with the corn-relish and avocado cream sauce. Serve immediately.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dinner Party

Saturday night, Lash and I hosted two couples over for dinner, and we had the best time.  It was so relaxed, low key, and a night of great fellowship with friends.

I set the table with our everyday china and accented with Lowcountry inspired oyster candleholders and votives.  {By the way, you can kind of see our West Elm curtains I blogged about here, but never posted a picture of.  I am obsessed!  They completely make the room.}

The below piece is off of our kitchen in a little nook where I set up a little bar area.  I picked up that gorgeous orchid from Lowe's earlier this week.  I do not have the slightest green thumb, but it is so beautiful, I really don't want to kill it!!

As I was thinking over menu ideas, I knew I wanted to make sure that the food would be delicious but also could be made beforehand.  I think the best part of dinner parties is visiting and spending time with guests ... not slaving away all evening in the kitchen trying to impress with your culinary repertoire.

This meal was perfect for entertaining.  Everything was made earlier afternoon and the last minute details could be assembled quickly.  The gumbo was warm, hearty, and flavorful.  Some cornbread can be dry and tasteless, but this one from At Blanchard's Table stays moist and deliciously rich from the Monterrey Jack cheese and creamed corn, and has a touch of sweetness from the crushed pineapple.  The slaw was added a nice light textural contrast and crunch.  It all went together beautifully and tasted great.

As Ina Garten says, "At the end of the day, everyone just wants a simple, delicious meal and a good conversation with friends."  We had so much fun!

Seafood Gumbo

1/3 cup cooking oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose floor
4 cups chicken broth
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 pound cooked lump crabmeat (optional)
1/2 pound fresh or frozen okra
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cups steamed long grain white rice

  • Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat and saute onions and red bell pepper until tender.  Add garlic and reduce heat to low. Stir in flour and cook 5 minutes or until flour turns slightly brown.
  • Stir in chicken broth slowly.  Add tomatoes and next nine ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, coverage, and simmer one hour.
  • Boil sausage in second pan and then drain. Add warm sauce to gumbo.
  • Stir in shrimp and simmer five minutes or until shrimp are pink and cooked through. (Or you can saute the shrimp in another pan and pour them in)
  • Mound rice in soup bowls.  Ladle gumbo over rice and serve.
Yields: 8 servings.

Caribbean Corn Bread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup corn meal
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup canned cream style corn
1/2 c crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup of shredded monterrey jack cheese
  • Preheat over to 325' and prepare a 9" pan with pam.
  • Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
  • In a mixer, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after eat addition.  
  • Add creamed corn, pineapple and monterrey jack cheese, then add dry ingredients on a low speed, and pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake approximately one hour (check with a toothpick at about 45 mins).  Let cool before slicing.
Yields: 12 servings.

Asian Slaw

1/2 cup cooking oil
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 chicken seasoning from ramen noodles
1 bag coleslaw
1/2 bunch green onions, sliced
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 package ramen noodles, chicken flavored, crushed and toasted
  • Combine first four ingredients for dressing, mixing well.
  • Assemble slaw, toss with dressing- best if lets sits for a few minutes before serving.
Yields: approx 6 servings.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy 26th!

To my sweet husband!

In honor of the big 2-6, I did bake that chocolate and peanut butter cake from Smitten Kitchen last night.  Let me tell you, that thing is deadly delicious but it is intense! 

Three disasters in the kitchen and two hours later, it has never become more evident that I much, much, much more prefer cooking for baking.

I was in there until almost 11pm cleaning up this mess!

I had plans this evening and Lash needed to study so we celebrated his birthday this morning over breakfast.

For a birthday treat, I surprised Lash with tickets to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Columbia!  RHCP are one of his favorite artists and it took all of my might not to spoil the surprise I've been hiding since December.  Finally, I got to do the big reveal this morning:

He was so surprised and so excited!!  I'm thrilled it was such a hit!  Unfortunately the lead singer had to go and injure his foot so the concert, which was supposed to be Jan 28th, has been postponed to April 7th, but nevertheless, it should be a great show!

We are celebrating tomorrow night with a steak (thank you Earthfare for the perfectly time save $3/ lb on ribeye coupon) and nice bottle of red and just enjoying a low key weekend again. 

Wishing you the happiest of birthdays Lash!  I am so honored to be your wife!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Rambles

- Have you read the Hunger Games?

via amazon
I was a little apprehensive of all of the hype, but let me tell you, I was hooked from page 1 until the end of book 3.  Albeit, it is a crazy, disturbing concept, but an easy, and very suspenseful read.  The English major in me ooh'ed and ahh'ed over the endless discussion topics and themes from the book.  If you've read it, I'm curious to know what you thought!  I loved it!

- Though I have not been running much, I am hoping to knock this out tonight.  I love doing intervals on the treadmill to mix up the motony and 20 minutes? Music to my ears! 

- I especially need to tackle that before I make this chocolate peanut butter cake for Lash's birthday.  I made it last year {with terrible decorating skills and no patience-- remember, in my house baking leads to bad words and drinking, haha!} . . . it is a labor of love but an incredible cake.
via smitten kitchen

- TGIW because I am ready for the weekend.  I have some fun stuff coming up!  Dinner with my aunt, two birthday celebrations for Lash, and hosting a few couples at our house for dinner.  It's going to be busy but fun!! 

- What's going on with you?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Puppy Love

Let me introduce you to the newest member of our fam-

Lash and I have been talking about getting a dog for a few weeks, and sweet Collins fell into our lap with God's perfect timing.  We were just beginning to actively look for a pup when a family member had her on reserve but decided they were not quite ready for another dog.  We drove to Columbia last Saturday to meet her and immediately knew it was meant to be.

She's only five and a half weeks old now, so we left her to grow and hang with her mom and siblings until the first of February, but you better believe we are counting down the minutes until we bring her home!

I cannot wait!  I just melt looking at that precious face!

Monday, January 16, 2012


 I had to take a break.

Towards the end of 2011, I found myself posting because I felt like I needed to post, not because I had something on my heart I wanted to share.  I started studying the Google Analytics, more than my actual content.   The holidays were crazy busy, and when I finally crashed at home at night, it was a struggle to stare at the blank screens.  I had nothing to share.  A blogger burnout.

In the past month, I've thought long and hard about this site and how to proceed- whether  to lower my expectations, schedule posts in advance, or even shut down entirely.

After a lot of waffling, I've decided I'm just going to take a deep breath.  I'm going to blog when I feel like blogging.  It may be four days a week, it may only be one.  But as I look ahead to 2012, I want to simplify...  Savour time with my sweet husband when he's home and not studying, visit with family and friends in town, take a moment to call those out of town, tackle projects around the house, and just be.

I have no idea what 2012 is going to bring, but I'm excited to get back on track.  Thanks for sticking around!