Thursday, April 28, 2011

DIY: How To Create A Gorgeous & Easy Piece of Art

When moving into my new apartment, I was at World Market and found this print that I absolutely LOVED.  
Jodi Fuchs "Collective" MSRP: $129

I loved the vibrant colors and geometric pattern.  But as I kept looking at it, I began to realize that I could definitely do this myself.  I do not consider myself an artist, but who can’t draw a straight lines and circles on a canvas and then paint in between?   This is so simple, and here’s how I did it.
What you need:
·      Canvas (the one I used was 2’x4’)
·      Nice quality acrylic paints and a brush
·      Compass
·      Painter’s Tape 

I started by painting the canvas a bone color, Liquitex’s Unbleached Titanium to be exact.  After the canvas was fully dried, I used painter’s tape to mark lines every two inches vertically and horizontally, forming a 2” by 2” grid.  Using my compass, I drew circles that were 4” in diameter all the way across the top then in each row below that. The pictures below will better explain.

  Then comes the fun part.  Just paint inside the elliptical shapes that were created by the interlocking circles.  I used gold, silver, coral, periwinkle, and a chocolate brown.  I think I'll eventually paint a second panel with different colors. Stay tuned for an update on that one.

 Total Cost: About $50

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

So, I have decided that I am going to start making my own vanilla extract.  I had no idea how simple it was until I started researching the subject.  There are two ingredients- vodka and vanilla beans.
Now that's my kind of recipe. 

Commercial vanilla extract usually has simple syrup (sugar water) added to the extract to give it a sweet aftertaste. You can do this if you want, but if you are using the vanilla for baking, there really is no need.


  • 3 vanilla beans
  • 1 cup vodka
  • glass jar with tight fitting lid


1 Use kitchen scissors or a sharp paring knife to cut lengthwise down each vanilla bean, splitting them in half, leaving an inch at the end connected.

2 Put vanilla beans in a glass jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid (mason jars work well). Cover completely with the vodka.

Yes, I am using Burnett's vodka.  This is a great way to get rid of that cheap vodka you've got lingering in your liquor cabinet. I had some left over cheap vodka from my college years and was happy to get rid of it.
The finished product on day one.  As the months go by, the color will get darker and darker.
3 Give the bottle a good shake every once in a while. Store in a dark, cool place for about a month.

This is said to last for years. You can keep topping it off with vodka once in a while as you use it, just remember to give it a good shake.
You can also make vanilla sugar by putting a split vanilla bean into a jar of white, granulated sugar. It can be used for baking, and I think it would be great for putting a sugared rim on cocktail glasses.  I'll be using that when I make sangria this summer.

Recipe Courtesy

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Handi Indian Cuisine's Lunch Buffet

Yesterday my mom and I tried the lunch buffet at Handi Indian Cuisine on Main Street.  I have been hearing that their lunch was delicious and cheap so I definitely wanted to try it. When we walked in, we were greeted by an Indian woman in a beautiful orange sari, and the inside of the restaurant was just as breathtaking as her dress. With its exposed brick, warm lighting, cherry wood, and white linens, this is the nicest looking all-you-can-eat buffet I've ever been to.  At $7.95 a plate, their food was absolutely exquisite.  I loaded my plate with chicken tikka masala, curry chicken, basmati rice, cabbage sabji, naan, and what they called "veg appetizer".

The "Veg Appetizer"

We also enjoyed two of their sauces raita (a yogurt and cucumber sauce) and their mint sauce (a chutney-like sauce made of mint, coriander, lemon juice, ginger, and some other spices)

You have to trust the chef.  There are several things that I had never heard of and others that were extremely vague in their descriptions i.e. "veg appetizer", but everything was amazing.  Handi's lunch buffet is open 11:30 AM-2:30 PM Monday-Friday and 12:00 PM-3:00 PM Saturday-Sunday. They are located at 18 N. Main St. Greenville, SC 29601. 
Handi Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nose Dive Gets Happy Hour Specials

Nose Dive, Greenville's first and only gastropub, has just started a happy hour! "What is a gastropub," you ask? A gastropub is a British term for  a public house (a.k.a. "pub") which specializes in high-quality food.  Their happy hour menu boasts $5 snacks, a dollar cheaper than their normal menu.  I'd highly recommend the Scotch egg and their Maryland crab pretzel.  Both are very tasty and go great with beer.  Here's their happy hour menu.

Nose Dive is located at 116 S. Main, right beside the Westin Poinsett Hotel.  You can park on the street, in the parking garage behind the Westin (they do not validate), or use the valet services of Soby's and Devereaux's.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Double Fisting at the Greenville Monster

Thursday was opening day of the Greenville Drive's 6th season, and even more importantly it was $1 Drink Night.  Fluor Field's dollar beer night features Natural Light and Pabst Blue Ribbon drafts for only a buck.  So naturally, to get the most bang for our buck and save time, Mr. T and I double fisted throughout the game along with everyone else.

Fluor Field is modeled after Boston's Fenway Park. The field has the same dimensions as Fenway, and even has their rendition of the famous "Green Monster" which I have appropriately renamed the "Greenville Monster".  The large manual scoreboard reaches 30 feet high in left field.


The Drive won that night, beating Augusta 12 to 6.  Mr. T and I had an absolute blast.  We ate dinner before we went, which I would recommend because all of the concession stand lines looked pretty busy.  Plus, with a beer in each hand there was no room to hold food.  It was a great way to start off the new baseball season and we cannot wait for the next Thursday night game!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Visit to "Greenville's Favorite Pizza and Beer Emporium"

Built in a 19th century hardware and feed store, Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria in Greenville is a beer lover's dream.  Adorned with 27 taps downstairs and an additional 31 in their upstairs billiard room and bar, they are sure to have the microbrew you're looking for.  Last night Mr. T and I (both self proclaimed beer snobs) decided to see if Barley's really was as great as they claimed to be.  We deemed it a perfect place for casual dinner and drinks.  Somewhere we can go in jeans and a t-shirt and still get a great meal. So here's the low down...

We started out with the black bean hummus.  This was the choice of Mr. T.  I was skeptical, but boy was I wrong.  The pita bread was fluffy and warm and the hummus was creamy and oh-so-good.  It was drizzled with olive oil and  topped with a generous amount of smoky paprika which gave it a great kick.

Due to the menu placement of this item (the very first item on the left side of the menu) its a popular item, and the restaurant gets a high profit from it as well.  Usually its a pretty safe bet to order the first or last item on the left side of a tri-fold menu, because they're some of the best sellers.

As for the beer, Mr. T had his all time fave, Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale, and I had the Westbrook IPA.  I'm a huge IPA fan and loved this beer.  I had never even heard of Westbrook Brewing Company and was shocked to learn that its located in Mount Pleasant.  I love supporting local microbreweries so I'll definitely be buying more of this.

The menu described it as a "well balanced seasonable American IPA with a massively complex layered citrusy-pine hop character".  I also thought it had some floral and berry notes to it, quite similar but a little bit sweeter than my other favorite, Bell's Two Hearted Ale.

For our dinner I ordered a calzone and Mr. T ordered 2 pieces of pizza.  He attempted to order 3, but after the look the waitress gave us he decided to get two.  You'll see why...

The pieces are huge!  It was great pizza though, not greasy, a nice thin crust, and very reasonably priced.  My calzone was enormous too.  It cost a little more than the pizza, but its definitely justifiable since half will be my lunch today.

All in all, the pizza and calzone were good, but I wish they were a little more adventurous in their topping selections.  I was hoping for prosciutto, peppadew peppers, goat cheese, or something just a little more outside the box than pepperoni and sausage.  As for the beer, the selection is fabulous and prices are very reasonable.  Appetizer was awesome, I'm even going to try to create my own rendition of the hummus- I'll let you know if I'm successful, and I'll share the recipe!

Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Greenville's Answer to Pinkberry: blueberryfrog

Check out today's Greenville Groupon!  Its $5 for $10 worth of frozen yogurt from bluberryfrog.  They offer organic yogurt, toppings like fresh fruit, nuts, candy, and my absolute favorite, mochi. (Pronounced Mo-Chee, mochi is a Japanese rice cake made from glutinous rice.  Its sweet with a gummy like consistency- different but SO good.)  They are located in the West End District of Greenville, at 624 S. Main,  I just bought the deal and Mr. T and I plan on going tonight to redeem it.  I'm already brainstorming about what yummy creation I'll have today.  You only have until midnight tonight to buy the deal so act fast!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...