Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekend Recap

This weekend my mom's side of the family all got together at our lake house for a weekend in the sun. I was able to take off work on Friday, and having a long weekend to spend with family was glorious. All of the women in my family are great cooks, so when we get together the eating is goooood.  Thursday night a Low Country Boil was on the menu.  It is such a perfect summertime meal, especially when it's served with a side of juicy watermelon.

Friday night my contribution was Tomato Pie. I submitted this recipe to Fête Greenville, an online publication about Greenville, SC, and it made it into their July issue. See the recipe here and here (p. 41).  Everyone in my family loved it. 

We've had so much rainy weather this summer, and its really taken a toll on my tan for the season.  I tried to spend as much time as I possibly could laying around in the water soaking up the sun.  My parent's Jack Russell terrier Tipsy loved it, too.

After bobbing around in the lake for a few hours, we decided to take a pontoon cruise for a change of scenery.  Here T and I are with my sister April and her husband Ian. 

We had such a great time with family this weekend.  I love that we are all able to get together for a weekend in the summer. 

T and I got back to Greenville late afternoon yesterday, and went to a birthday party for our friend Nick.  We grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and washed them down with some ice cold Coronas.  What a perfect way to end the weekend.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Monograms and Margaritas

Last weekend I was in Columbia for my sister-in-law Angela's wedding shower. The theme of the shower was Monograms and Margaritas.  I love a monogram shower, and when you throw some tequila in, I'm one happy girl.  I always love seeing what all a Southern gal can put a monogram on.  It never ceases to amaze me.  Angela got so many beautiful gifts that she'll be able to use for years to come.

My mom and I got Angela this Lilly Pulitzer cooler bag as well as two insulated wine glasses with straws.  Perfect for her bachelorette weekend coming up in Savannah!

One of the hosts of the shower, Beth, made these cute monogrammed cookies with the couple's new monogram on them. Aren't they great? 

After the shower mom and I went out to dinner with my dad. No matter how old I get, I will always love being treated to dinner by M and D.

I'm spending this weekend at my parent's lake house with my mom's side of the family. Can't wait for pontoon rides and sunshine with all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Have a great weekend everyone! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rare Steakhouse

T and I recently went to a new steakhouse in Greenville called Rare.  They came up on Living Social a few months ago and we jumped on the deal.   I was a little dubious going into it because I've heard mixed reviews on Rare, but our meal was phenomenal.

We started with the Sesame Seed Crusted Ahi Tuna.

Then shared a wedge salad.  

 Next was a dozen oysters on the halfshell, half of them with sake and wasabi caviar.

And then finally we finished it all off with the Petite Filet and  Duck Fat French Fries.  T and I can cook a mean steak at home, and I always feel like we could cook a better steak for the fraction of the restaurant's price, so we never go to steakhouses.  This filet was far better than anything we could have created.  It was crispy and a little crunchy on the outside, but still perfectly medium-rare on the inside and not a bit chewy.

We ended up having entirely too much food, but every bit of it was good.  I just wished I had saved more room for those duck fat french fries.  After 3 or 4 fries I reached my limit and finally had to stop myself.  We'll be back for sure, but next time we will forgo the appetizer and 1/2 dozen of the oysters.

Rare Steakhouse on the Piazza on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Holy Peaches

Earlier this week T brought home a basket of peaches from work.  Immediately my mind started going crazy thinking of the different ways we could use them.  I absolutely love peaches in the summer time.  I started looking around in our pantry to see what other ingredients we had on hand, and what we could come up with.  We settled on this simple peach cobbler, and it turned out so well!

3 to 4 cups fresh peaches, sliced
1 cup plus one Tbsp sugar  
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 egg, slightly beaten


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place peaches in the bottom of a greased 8x8 baking dish and sprinkle 1 Tbsp of sugar over them. In medium mixing bowl, sift all dry ingredients. Cut in butter and add beaten egg. (If you don't know how to cut in butter check out a video tutorial here.) Mix until crumbly and sprinkle over fruit, covering all exposed fruit. Bake for 35 minutes until golden.

I must admit, I completely forgot to add the baking powder, and it turned out just fine.  Baking powder should make the cobbler rise, making it lighter in texture.  I'll be interested to use the baking powder next time to see what difference it makes!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

Happy Tuesday everyone!  T and I had such a great weekend in Greenville.  This was our last weekend with no plans until mid October, so we savored every minute. Friday night was low key with a frozen pizza and a movie at home.  We ventured out after dinner for a McDonald's ice cream cone.   I've recently become addicted to these things.  They are surprisingly low in calories, 170 to be exact, and only $.75 each. 

Saturday morning T played golf with a work buddy while I relaxed at home.  He brought back lunch from my favorite Vietnamese place, Mekong.  We shared Pork and Shrimp Spring Rolls, Braised Pork Bahn Mi, a Duck Bun, and Crispy Chicken Wings. I love all of the fresh ingredients that Mekong uses.  They grow their herbs out back in the parking lot.  How cool is that?  Not to mention this place is cheap.  All of this was around $15.00. 

Saturday early evening we headed to Quest Brewing's grand opening celebration.  T and I tried out Quest's beers earlier that week at the Community Tap, and loved them. 

I had no clue that there were going to be so many people there, and honestly I don't know if Quest had anticipated this kind of turnout either.  THIS is what one of two lines looked like to get a beer.

But waiting in that line was well worth it.  We were super impressed with their beer selections.  I loved the Belgian Pale Ale and T loved the India Pale Ale. Quest is definitely not shy of hops, and neither are we.   They also had a Smoked Porter and a Coffee Stout for the dark beer lovers.    

Two of Greenville's food trucks, Asada and Neue Southern were both out serving food in the parking lot which was a great accompaniment to our brews.  The weather was a little iffy, so they moved the band into the brewery warehouse area where the large vats of beer are.  On sunnier days they've got a great stage for outdoor music.  We had a great time touring the brewery and listening to music.  I can't wait to go back later on this summer! 

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Five On Friday

We're just a couple of hours away from the weekend, and I truly cannot wait.  The week after holiday weeks are always such a tough realization.  Why can't we work three day weeks every week?  I'm joining up again with some of my favorite bloggers for the Five on Friday Linkup, so here goes!

{one} Green Smoothies- I've really been getting into green smoothies for breakfast.  I typically have a traditional smoothie with fruit, soy milk, and Greek yogurt, but this week I've had a really fun time playing around with other not-so-typical ingredients.  Next week I'll be trying this recipe from Real Simple's website.

{two} J. Crew popover- Are you thinking that I posted about this last week?  Well I kind of did, but this is a different cream popover from J. Crew Factory.  I bought two different styles with plans on only keeping one, but they both fit so well and are so versatile (and machine washable) that I decided to keep both.

{three} Pool Time- T and  had big plans to go to the lake for the weekend with friends, but we decided to cancel because the weather is looking iffy. I do however plan on spending lots of time at our pool.  One of the few perks of apartment life is the outdoor amenities, so I try to take advantage of our great pool as much as a can. 

{four} La Croix- I've recently been trying to drop a few el-bee's, so I've been making some modifications to my diet.  I'm trying really hard to cut out diet soft drinks, but I just can't get jazzed about water.  Last weekend I bought a pack of La Croix, and I've been loving it.  I love drinking out of a can, and I love the hint of flavor that it has mixed with some bubbles.  It's still calorie free, artificial sweetener free, and sodium free so I don't have to feel any guilt when throwing one down at my lunch hour.

{five} Tomato Pie- One of my family's recipes, Tomato Pie, was featured in a local publication!   Fête Greenville is an online publication that highlights places to go, people to see, and other great things about Greenville, SC.  Their July issue features a recipe made from local tomatoes, and they picked mine!  Check out  Fête's July issue here.  The recipe is on page 41.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Snacking

This 4th of July T and I went to our friend's pool to celebrate.  I wanted to bring something for us to snack on and T suggested bringing boiled peanuts.  

T and I love boiled peanuts in the summertime, but they are not cheap.  I was convinced that we could make our own for much cheaper.  So a few weeks ago on our way back to Greenville from Charlotte, we stopped at a roadside produce market and picked up a 3 lb bag of raw peanuts. 

T has turned into quite the cook.  He made these all on his own and they turned out great.  We found this recipe online that we liked, and made a few tweaks.  We brought them out after a few hours in the pool {hence T's raisin fingers in the picture above} and the pound of peanuts was gone in 15 minutes. 

Boiled Peanuts

1 lb large green peanuts
1/4 cup Kosher salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning

Fill a large stock pot with water and add the peanuts.  Bring to a boil and add seasonings.  Bring pot back to a slow boil and cook for 6 or 7 hours {or less time if you like your peanuts more al dente}.  As the water evaporates, add more to the pot.  Cool and serve at room temperature.

I love the addition of Old Bay in these.  It adds a little extra kick that makes them even more addicting.  We're headed to the lake with friends this coming weekend and we're planning on making them again.  We may need to double the recipe!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tupelo Honey Cafe

This weekend T and I met our friends Greg, Tripp, and Maggie out for brunch at Tupelo Honey Cafe.  T and I went to their Asheville location years ago, and were anxiously awaiting the arrival of their Greenville restaurant.  They have been open for a few weeks now, but we decided to let the crowds die down before we gave it a shot.  Saturday morning we put our names on the list at about 10:30 and had a 30 minute wait.  They've got a bar at the back of the restaurant, called The Pickled Okra, where we waited and sipped on mimosas until our table was ready. 

Their mimosas {a.k.a. Mega-Mosas} are huge.   Served in a pint glass and filled more than 3/4 of the way with champagne and then topped off with OJ, and only $7.00 a pop. Each meal is served with their complementary biscuits, blueberry preserves, and of course honey.  The biscuits may have been the best part of the meal.  Perfect sweet to salty ratio and soft and flaky on the inside.

For my meal I chose their vegetarian breakfast pie {quiche} and goat cheese grits.  I'm not a snob about much, but I will admit that I am a grits snob.  Until now, Soby's has always had the best grits in Greenville, but they may need to watch their backs!  The goat cheese flavor in these was amazing.  Just enough to know that it was there but definitely not overpowering.   And they were cooked long enough and with enough liquid, so there was nothing gritty about them. 

Overall we were very pleased with everything.  Some of the liquor drinks, like the bloody mary, may have been a bit overpriced at $9.00, so stick to mimosas and beer.  And save your calories for the biscuits, you won't be sorry.

Tupelo Honey Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Happy Monday To You

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and has had a great start to their week.  Mine started several hours earlier than expected when I was suddenly awoken by the bloodcurdling fire alarm in our apartment building at 5:00 am.  After evacuating and standing around for an hour and a half while the fireman were extinguishing a fire in one of the apartments, T and I decided to treat ourselves to Starbucks.

What a crappy way to start the week.  But I must admit, sipping on a Skinny Cafe Mocha and watching the sunrise made it just a leetle bit more enjoyable.  And to the smoker on the 4th floor that was responsible for this mess, you owe me $3.50.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday Five...Hey, Hey, Hey

Happy Friday everyone.  To those poor souls at work, I feel your pain.  To those who have the day off, I'm super jelly.  Once again I'm taking part in the Five On Friday Link Up from A. Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, Hello! Happiness, and The Good Life Blog.  Here are my five favorites for this week:

{one} Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke.  This song makes me want to get up and dance like no other. It came on the radio this morning and got me in a great mood before work.  It takes a lot for this girl to dance at 8:30, but Robin Thicke and Pharrell do it to me every time.

{two} Pool Weather- Even though there was an 80% chance of rain yesterday, we still managed to get quite a bit of pool time in.  One of my best friends Maggie has a pool at her parents' house that we've hit up quite a few times this summer.  What's better than a relaxing day off of work spent by the pool?

{three} Short Short Jorts- Nothing screams America like a good 'ole pair of cutoff jorts.  I scored these Paige jean shorts years ago for a killer deal and they are still some of my summertime favorites.  

{four} I've been on the hunt for the perfect cream shell and I think I may have just found it.  I love the color and fit of this J. Crew Factory Sleeveless Popover.  And to make the deal even sweeter its machine washable and dryable and on sale for $29.50 right now.  I just received mine in the mail this afternoon and can't wait to try it on when I get home.

{five} Okay I know I'm super late to get on the New Girl train, but I'm finally on it.  New Girl was just released to Netflix Streaming last week, and T and I are already way too many episodes in.  T was dubious at first, mainly judging the show by its name, and thinking it was going to be a "girly" show.  But after the pilot episode we were both hooked.  

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Happy Fourth of July everyone! While I envisioned myself celebrating the holiday in a bikini and jorts, it looks like I'll be covering my bathing suit up with a maxi, waterproof shoes and an umbrella. This rainy weather has got to go away! But I'm not going to let it get in the way of my celebrations.  Here's what I'd like to be wearing this Independence Day, with an American beer in my hand, of course.


'Merica by lslappe featuring bow flats

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Five Down, Four To Go

After attending 18 weddings {19 including our own} in the past two years, T and I are now wedding pros.  The majority of our weekends are spent with friends at engagement parties, wedding showers, bachelor/bachelorette weekends, and weddings. Sometimes it seems exhausting, but we get to see some of our best friends and closest family members on the reg, so I cannot complain.

After much trial and error, I think I've finally got this down to a science. Buy basics that you can mix and match accessories with, that way you can re-wear several pieces to each wedding. And comfortable shoes are a must.

Here's an example.  I bought this black cut-out dress for a whopping $16.99 at the Maxx.  I paired it a mink stole that was passed down to me from T's grandmother, back opaque tights, and green velour statement shoes from Tory Burch for a Christmastime wedding last year.

December 2012

Tory Burch Velvet Heel Circa 2009

Fast forward to this past weekend.  I needed a fun summertime dress to wear to my cousin Drew's wedding in Raleigh.  This time I kept it more simple with gold earrings and a stack of gold bracelets and metallic platforms.  These platforms have become my summer wedding staple.  

June 2013

Nine West HeavyMetal Sandal

The ankle strap platform make them so comfortable and stable for tipsy wedding this.

For 2013 we are now five weddings down and still have four to go. Let the countdown begin! What are your favorite wedding staples?  I'd love to hear your ideas!
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