Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tasty Tuesday--Cold Marinated Shrimp & Avocados

So, I don't know if you've noticed, but I really like shrimp. And avocados. And this recipe has them both! It's such a refreshing, cold salad for summertime. It's healthy, too! I plan on making this for our family beach week! Perfect cold lunch after roasting in the hot sun.

Cold Marinated Shrimp & Avocados

1 pound large cooked, peeled shrimp
2 ripe avocados, chopped
1 cup fresh cooked corn *I used frozen*
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tablespoons chopped red onions
Lime Vinaigrette
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup honey
1 garlic clove, pressed
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

Combine the first 5 ingredients. Gently stir in the lime vinaigrette to coat. Cover and chill at least one hour.
Lime Vinaigrette
Whisk together first 5 ingredients. Gradually whisk in 1/3 cup olive oil until blended.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Weekend in Hotlanta.

This weekend Andy, Birdie, and I made a trip up to Atlanta to visit his parents. This trip was long overdue. We see them quite often, but they usually make the trip down to Charleston. It was definitely our turn!
Birdie made the most of the 5 hour drive, trying out lots of 
car-riding positions...

this position didn't last...
cuddled up with the clothes for a while...
this was her second favorite, always has to have human contact!
but, finally settled into her usual:
bottom on the back seat, front paws on the center console, right in between mom and dad.
and it's always better with a treat hanging out your mouth like a cigar.

Andy and his dad played in a golf tournament together, which gave Sally and I lots of time to do girly things. After taking Birdie on a nice long walk Friday morning, we headed to the salon for manicures.
I chose this color, "California Coral":
After that, we were off to visit my cousin, Blair, and her family. They just moved back to Georgia from Florida, which we are all happy about since they are much closer! It was such a nice visit. Their new house is beautiful and the kiddos are as adorable as ever.

Saturday morning, Birdie enjoyed exploring in the yard.

Then Sally and I headed off to, seriously, the most amazing place ever...

The Super-H Mart

An Asian supermarket. It was an adventure, here is the adventure in pictures.

Free taco in the parking lot. I already loved the place. 
The chicken was being grilled right on the spot, fresh corn tortilla, and spicy salsa with avocados. 

Ever been to a supermarket that lets you scoop goldfish out of a kiddie pool for free outside?

And now, the food. 
Prepare yourselves...

Hami Melon: tasted like cantaloupe, only crunchier and kind of salty tasting.

Korean Yams: an apparent super-food. We had several shoppers tell us they eat them every morning because they are said to be cancer-fighting with lots of antioxidants. 
I bought some, so I'll fill you in on the flavor.
Lotus Root
Cactus Leaf
Cannot remember what these were called.
Aloe Vera
Bamboo Shoots

Mmm...anyone want to guess what these are? 
And, no, they aren't mushrooms.
If you guessed Salted Sliced Jellyfish, then BINGO! You got it!

Cookin' up some pork belly. Always wanted to try this, and it was so good. Like bacon but better.

Now, on to some interesting frozen foods..

Frog legs and pork ears not your thing? 
How about some pork tail, pork skin, veal marrow gut, or pork feet?

Still not striking your fancy?
One of these maybe?
Pork Uterus...

or, my personal favorite...
Pork Bung.
Mmmmm, sounds good. I think I'll have that.

If you didn't find what you were looking for in the frozen foods section, never fear.
You just might get lucky in the seafood section.

Let's take a gander, shall we?

Bulk-size carton of dried anchovies?
Sea Quirts or Korean Sea Cucumbers?

Seafood Ham?
I don't even want to know.

Finally! Some seafood I recognized!

After perusing through all of the yummy food (okay, it wasn't all yummy looking), our stomachs were growling so we had lunch at the food court inside the store.
We both opted for soup, mine from the Thai place, Sally's from the Korean.

I don't remember all of it, but I do remember it had strips of beef, seaweed, rice noodles, and green onions.
She also ordered a side of worms.
I kid, I kid! They were spicy pickled radishes.

My soup.
Rice noodles, shrimp and pork wontons, green onions. 
It was yummy!

For dessert, we went next door to a Korean bakery where we ordered Bubble Teas...
Sally had grape, I had honeydew.
They were so fresh and light, with tapioca on the bottom. 

And also, this interesting little goody.
Green Tea Cream Cheese Cake.
It pretty much just tasted like a cheese danish, with nuts.

Other than food, we also picked up this pretty mirror from the Homegoods store.

I've been looking for a large mirror for the large, intimidating wall above our TV. I'm going to rearrange what's up there now and figure out a way it will all go together.
Any ideas?

And, last but not least, Sally sent me home with these cookbooks that I can't wait to use!

We had so much fun and are hoping to go back soon for a Braves game!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Charleston Cooks

 For my birthday, my beautiful momma got us a cooking lesson at Charleston Cooks.


It is a fabulous kitchen store located on Eastbay Street in downtown Charleston. The store has more kitchen gadgets than you could imagine. Attached to the store is a kitchen/classroom which is open for viewing from the street and the store windows.

Here is the part of the store. There is another part that has all local cookbooks and food items.
Where I got these.
They store flat, but pop open for measuring.

This is the kitchen where the classes take place.
Anyway, at Charleston Cooks, you can do a full-on cooking class, where you help to prepare a meal with a group, or you can watch a cooking demonstration, kind of like front row seats to the Foodnetwork. 
We did the full-on cooking class. You begin by watching the chef demonstrate each portion of the meal, and then you are on your own. Everyone splits up and takes on a part of the meal, then you enjoy the delicious meal and limitless wine as a group. It is so much fun! I had been one other time, for a wedding shower for my cousin, Michaele. This time, it was just mom and me and about 10 other "strangers". However, these other people soon become friends. It is so much fun to walk around and check out what everyone else is making. 

Our menu
"Lowcountry Back Porch Supper"

Balsamic Glazed Peach and Ricotta Salata Salad
Parmesan, Basil, and Summer Tomato Pie
Boursin and Bacon Smashed Potatoes
Lemon Pepper Encrusted Steak
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Hot Fudge Sundaes

Mom and I really wanted to make the peach salad...got to the station and it was taken, next choice was the smashed potatoes...taken. So, we got stuck with what no one else wanted. The dessert. I don't know why, but desserts kind of intimidate me. However, this dessert was so easy! And everything was made from scratch. I will definitely make it again.
EVERYTHING was sooo good. The instructor was friendly and helpful, and everyone got along great. I hope to go back and do another class! 
If you're from Charleston, or are coming to visit, I highly recommend trying this out!

Don't worry, these recipes will all be coming up soon!
I did attempt at the tomato pie, but I definitely need some practice with making my own pie crust! It was a doughy mess! The filling was delicious, though.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tasty Tuesday--Sunday's Best Roast Chicken

This was by far the best roast chicken I've ever had. The only tricky part was butterflying the chicken, especially since my kitchen sheers have disappeared. I might buy a chicken already cut into pieces next time. Sometimes roasted chicken can come out dry, but this was juicy and tender, with a crispy skin.

Sunday's Best Roast Chicken
Should have taken a picture before I started cutting it into pieces.
This picture does not do it justice.

1 (4-5 lb) roasting chicken, butterflied
olive oil for drizzling
Five Spice Blend (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the spices and set aside. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and lay it breast side up, in a roasting pan (line the pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up). *Drizzle the chicken on both sides with olive oil--I accidentally skipped this step and everything was still perfect. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with the spice blend, rubbing it all over. Use plenty!
Roast the chicken until it is golden and crispy, about 45-55 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. Loosely cover the chicken with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
Begin by slicing down the center to separate the two halves. The leg and thigh will easily separate from the breast when sliced at an angle. 

Five Spice Blend
Keep this in a container to use for seasoning chicken or steak
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup paprika
3 Tbsp black pepper

*This recipe came from a cookbook by Ginny McCormack, Sunday in the South.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Visited Louis's memorial with Megan. We gave him some "Greenwave" flowers.
Sure do miss him.
Here is a picture of the girls JV basketball team that I helped coach. We won the Mulkey Invitational, and watched the ESPN special right afterwards. We wanted the girls to realize just how special the tournament win was. There wasn't a dry eye.
Megan wrote a sweet post about Louis, and also has a link to the ESPN special to watch.

Farmer's Market with Megan to prepare for the Father's Day feast at our house tomorrow.
Corn for Creamed Corn
Peaches for Peach Cobbler (dad's favorite)
heirloom tomatoes for Tomato Pie
and, of course, peanuts to boil

Also picked up some flowers...

And, best of all, a surprise lunch visit with sweet Lucy.

My Saturday so far. And it's only 2:00. 
What are your big weekend plans?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Five Song Friday--Daddy's Girl

In honor of Father's Day, and my amazing Daddy, here are 5 songs that remind me of him.

1. It Won't Be Like This For Long--Darius Rucker
So, this was the song my dad and I danced to at my wedding. I had it narrowed down to two songs: this one and one by Paul Simon (down below), and I wanted my dad to choose. We loved the Paul Simon song, but every time dad heard this one, he broke down. And one day, through his tears, he said
"This is the one."
Bonus: Darius Rucker is from Charleston, went to USC, and is a HUUUUUGE GAMECOCK FAN!

2. Father and Daughter--Paul Simon
This was the other song that we were thinking about dancing to. This one is my favorite, but I'm glad my dad got to choose his favorite for our dance.

3. My Girl--The Temptations
Dad and I always would sing this song. 
I had to choose this video, because it's from the movie My Girl...a childhood favorite! My friend Kelly and I would actually "play" My Girl, and argue over who looked more like Veta Sultenfuss!

4. Sixty Minute Man--Billy Ward & The Dominoes
Our favorite song to shag (the dance) to.

5. Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)--Van Morrison
This song just makes me think of my dad because we used to always listen to Van Morrison, and this is one of his favorites. I can see him snapping his fingers and tapping the steering wheel!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Rum Punch Charleston Wedding

This post is long overdue.

Back in April, one of my best friends, Kelsey, had the wedding of her dreams, and I was so happy to be a part of it.

Kelsey and I have been friends since waaaay back when...
Yep, I'm the cool girl on the left with the glasses.

I am so happy for Kelsey and John.  They are absolutely perfect for each other. Kelsey, a very outdoorsy-type, surfer-girl, etc., finally found her match in John. They both have a strong love for anything beach/ocean related. 

Here is the happy couple after the proposal...

which happened HERE
Rum Punch Villa, Anguilla
I mean, really? So pretty!

Here are more pictures of where the big question was asked.

Kelsey sippin' a Rum Punch.

Is this real life?

Two things I want to say about the picture below:
1. It's a really cool picture of Kelsey watching John surf.
2. I want to have a butt like Kelsey's.
That's all.

So, seeing as Rum Punch Villa is a beautiful place, and it's part of John's family, naturally Kelsey incorporated it into her part of the family: Charleston.

The wedding was a perfect combination of Charleston charm and the tropicalness (yes I just made up a word) of Anguilla.
Charleston: the wedding favors were praline pecans
Anguilla: the specialty drink was Rum Punch (and it was amazingly good)
Charleston: shrimp and grits
Anguilla: wood-grilled fish tacos

The wedding was at the Historic Rice Mill, which is located right at the Charleston City Marina.

Here are some of the pictures taken by Kelsey's awesome photographer, Evan Laettner.
I loved the programs. She even had a little tissue taped to the inside.

first dance was to Bob Marley's "Is This Love"
Kelsey and her daddy. That's her beautiful momma in the long silver dress.
She was such a beautiful bride.

And I have to include this snapshot of the bride and groom in their shades.
"I wear my sunglasses at night"

And of course, the bachelorette a few nights before...

I couldn't be happier for Kelsey and John, and the wedding was a blast.