Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday

Who all has been holding out on telling me about Trader Joe's cookie butter?  It is so addicting! My nightly routine has lately included a big spoonful as I peruse blogs or the Food Network.

Doesn't this look like I was involved in some crime scene?  Nope, I've just got the beet!  I seem to be on a big roasted beet salad kick lately.  

When I was in DC, my wonderful mother bought me some Rag and Bone jeans.  I am obsessed.  I opted for the fun bluebird color, but will definitely be adding their regular jeans to my collection this fall.  They have the right amount of stretch and are so comfortable.  Plus they offered complimentary in house alterations so the jeans literally showed up at my doorstep a few days later ready for wear.  

After much debate, I took the plunge and chopped three inches off of my hair.  I love having a short 'do for the summer, it feels so light!  This is an awkward photo, but whatever.

On a weekend trip to Lowes, I bought a pink geranium for our doorstep.  Its not looking 100%, but I like at least having an inviting doorway.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Celebrating the first trip around the sun

We were married last Memorial day weekend, and I have to say I think I am going to like having an anniversary around a holiday weekend. We were out of town this weekend for another wedding, and it was so nice to have Sunday to catch up around the house, and then Monday just to enjoy each other.  We tried to go to the beach, but the spotty weather courtesy of Beryl had us just sticking around our house and enjoying the afternoon in the backyard.

We made a special point to arrive to the restaurant early to sip and savor a delicious Prosecco for a celebratory cocktail.

Unfortunately, this is the only photo from the night- a blurry mess from the bartender. 

We dined at Fulton Five, which I am willing to say is one of my top restaurants in Charleston (in the company of Cypress and FIG).  It is consistently voted the most romantic restaurant in town, and you know why as soon as you walk down the charming alley.  

But atmosphere aside, the food is phenomenal.  I've dined here four or five times and every time I have been blown away. 

Last night, I had pan seared grouper over sauted jumbo lump crab meat over fingerling potatoes, braised tomatoes, local snap peas and finished with a tomato shrimp butter.

Lash had lamb chops with herb roasted potatoes, sauteed swiss chard, caramelized onions, and a balsamic jus.  

Are you drooling yet?  I wanted to lick my plate clean.  Every bite was divine.

After dinner, we tasted the top layer of our wedding cake from the freezer.  I was expecting to take one bite and throw it out from freezer burn, but it was actually still delicious!  Some of the lace detail did not survive the trip around the sun so well, but this was a cool tradition to take a part in.

While, of course, I would have loved to have been back in Mexico on our honeymoon with this view,  it's amazing to think how far we have come in 365 days.  I would not trade being married for the world.

Monday, May 28, 2012

One Year

Happy first anniversary, sweet Lash! 
I love you more than words can say.

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith, "A whole I planned
Youth shows but half, trust God: see all,
nor be afraid!
-Robert Browning

Friday, May 11, 2012

DC bound!

I had every intention of blogging a little bit more this week, but the week got away from me.

I'm off to DC today with my mom to go visit my sister, and I am so excited!

The last time I was in DC, we had the absolute best time, and I have no doubt this weekend will live up to its hype.

Enjoy your weekend!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

CSA Week 4

Mondays are supposed to be the days you get in a good sweat, lay off the booze, and get healthy, right?  

Well yesterday, I did none of the above.  
{I am paying for it today, but that is neither here nor there}.  

On the menu was more strawberry mojitos, homemade fried conch fritters, and fish tacos with mango salsa.  After our trip to the Bahamas in December, the Springs fam has nearly perfected their conch fritter recipe, and it was so fun to make them at home!  The entire meal tasted so good, but I literally felt like I was waddling around last night and even today.  

After all that gluttony, I could not wait to load up my fridge today with fresh fruits and veggies with our CSA box from Gruber Farms.

This week's haul included:

sweet onions
new potatoes
cabbage (huge!)

Tonight, we used the kale for chips.
This is a honestly a bi-weekly staple in our house.
We are always fighting over the last one and/or scraping the pan.

My "secret" trick to these guilt-free chips is sriracha!  
Toss the greens with EVOO, salt, and a drizzle of sriracha and roast until crispy.
They have just the right amount of heat to keep you going back for more.

Tomorrow, I hope to share a great cabbage recipe.  
Does anyone have any recommendations for zucchini or squash?
I need to switch it up from shredded and sauteed or squash casserole.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Stock from a Rotisserie Chicken

While I love the convenience and versatility of rotisserie chickens, I often times find myself not willing to pay upwards of $7.99 for the whole thing.  I feel wasteful if I don't use the whole bird and it's just as easy to cook chicken breasts on my own.  However, while shopping at Costco last week, I noticed that they sell rotisserie chickens for $4.99.  Did you know that?!  That's a deal!  While I was more comfortable with that price tag, I still had to deal with the problem of what to do with all that chicken- especially the dark meat which I am not fond it.

Enter chicken stock!  Every Ina Garten cookbook I own has a recipe for homemade chicken stock.  I filed them under the "to make someday" category, but never really paid them much attention despite how much Ina raves about it.

Well, I can't believe I waited so long to do it.  It was so easy and the broth has so. much. flavor.  It makes the carton stuff look like water.  I foresee many more Costco trips in my future, and lots of homemade stock in the freezer.

Homemade Chicken Stock

1 rotisserie chicken carcass (with whatever remaining skin and meat you do not use)
1 onions, unpeeled and quartered
2 celery stalks, halved
2 carrots, cut in half
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic
10 whole black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt
optional: parsley, thyme, dill, or rosemary

Toss bird, vegetables, and spices in large dutch oven and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Let it cool, discard everything in the pot except for the stock.  Pour through a fine mesh strainer.   Refrigerate or freeze.

Note:  you can really add or subtract the quantity of veggies and I don't believe it will make a difference.  When the stock has cooled, you may have to scrape the surface fat.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Happy Sunday, folks!  I hope the Derby and Cinco de Drinko hasn't set you back too far today.  I'm currently in our backyard, enjoying this beautiful day and continuing the festivities with some homemade guac and a strawberry mojito.

This weekend was everything I needed and more.  After a week of half-laziness and the other half-craziness, Friday night I played single lady and knocked out a righteous to do list... including all of that timing consuming stuff I've been pushing off for weeks- like switching my closet from winter to summer, sweeping, filing, and so on.

As nice as it was to be productive, I'm still such a baby when it comes to play single lady.  Unfortunately, I recognize that this is something I'm going to have to get over with my husband being a med student and one day a resident and even further one day a MD.  Friday night after I had tripled checked that all the doors were locked, left a light on downstairs, and drugged myself with Tylonel PM, I was just falling asleep as an intermittent beeping sound startled me.

Yes, the smoke detector battery conveniently died when I was home alone and my 6'5" husband was out of town.  A chair topped with two pillows later, this 5'3" shorty finally got the thing to shut up.

I joined Lash in Garden City for some beach and family time Saturday.  I think Collie girl knew we were off for a fun adventure with this mile wide smile.

I spent the rest of the day on the beach with my first boiled peanuts of the season,

and taking Collins on her first fishing adventure.  Despite her sad, puppy dog expression in this photo, she had a great time and was such a trooper!

It feels so nice on Sunday afternoon, to have an almost empty to-do list, and feel rested.. all at the same time.  Things have been so busy around our neck of the woods (as I'm sure they have been with you also), that I sometimes have felt like I'm just spinning my wheels and trying to keep my head above water.

Bring on the week, Monday... I'm ready.

Collie Girl

Collins is getting so big!

Lash and I are just smitten :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

CSA Week 3

I'm a little late posting this, but this week's CSA box from Gruber Farms has been my favorite to date.  Look how beautiful and vibrant it is!

Included was:
  • swiss chard
  • collards
  • zucchini
  • squash
  • spring onions
  • strawberries
  • new potatoes

I'm a big believer that being in a relationship does wonders on your culinary palate.  Before me, Lash would hardly touch brussel sprouts or sushi with a ten foot pole, and I wouldn't dare dream of collards and peppers.  My, how things have changed!

With our first allotment of collards from week one, Lash called his grandmother and got her oldy-but-goody collard recipes.  We devoured them, but this time I had another variation on my mind.  On the Thursday night before her wedding, Anna's parents had a "welcome to Charleston" party and catered the meal by Slightly North of Broad.  Their braised collards with caramelized onions were literally the best collards I had ever tasted.  I even asked Anna's mom for a to- go bag so I could take some home to Lash to try.

So, this week, I recreated them the best I could... and let me tell you, they did not disappoint!  If you like collards, or are wondering what in the world to do with them from your box, try these!

Braised Collards with Caramelized Onions

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon EVOO
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 piece bacon, chopped (optional)
2-3 lbs collards greens, washed, stems removed, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken stock (I made my own! Post coming soon)

1/2 teaspoon roasted red pepper flats
1/2 tablespoon salt  (Approximate, they take more than you would think)

  • In a large dutch oven or pot, melt butter and evoo over medium heat.  Saute onions for 15 minutes until begin to caramelize and brown.  
  • Add the bacon (if using), and cook for 2 minutes until browned slightly.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the greens, stock, salt, red pepper flakes and cover.  Let cook for about 30-40 minutes over medium- low heat until greens reach desired tenderness, stirring occasionally. 
Notes:  It seems like 2-3 lbs of collards is a lot, but the greens really shrink down while cooking.  You may have to adjust the salt content depending on how many greens you prepare.  I threw the bacon in there on a whim in an attempt to clean out the fridge... if it isn't your thing, I think you would be totally fine to leave it out.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Woah, we're halfway there!

It seems like just yesterday I wrote this post after Lash's White Coat Ceremony at MUSC and we were so excited that his dreams of going to medical school were coming true.

August 2010

And here we are yesterday, celebrating the halfway point in his medical school career!! This is a huge accomplishment, and I am so proud of his hard work, dedication, and perseverance. 

May 2012

I unfortunately left my real camera at home, so a blurry Driod photo with shady lighting at Salty Mike's is all I've got.

Next up,
boards, rotations, and finally residency....

Bring it on!!