Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Black Tie Optional Weekend

This past weekend was jammed packed with black tie (optional) events.  On Friday night, my law school was hosting our annual barristers ball.  Barristers ball is basically like high school prom (yes, we had a king and queen) and college sorority formals.  It was at the William Aiken House off King Street, which is a gorgeous venue, and was really an amazing time.  It is fun to cut loose with people that I am in class and working with everyday!

Saturday, needless to say, was pretty rough and unproductive.  I was really surprised how much my body now feels after an evening of a few drinks.  I was not looking so hot and was feeling even worse (if that was possible).  It is truly amazing how some people can feel refreshed after a night out, I'm thinking that my 24th year is coming too quickly with an aging body :(. I definitely learned my lesson (which I will probably learn again) that I have repercussions the next day, that I never had when I was just a tad younger!

I knew I had to do something productive---so I headed to the kitchen and whipped up a soup that I saw on howsweeteats.com.  I was craving some comfort food and absolutely love soup and meat so chicken meatball soup was the perfect combo--along with a grilled chocolate cheddar cheese sandwich (sounds weird but ridiculously good)! The soup came out great--next time I will use stock instead of broth and maybe add some canned italian tomatoes and beans to it! But overall, it will be added to my go to comfort soup recipe group (after I create that)!

Chocolate and cheese and bread= total winner!
Chicken meatball soup :)

Sunday, I was finally feeling a little better :)  After a early morning run, church and doing a little school work--it was off to Chefs' Fest at the Embassy Suites in North Charleston.  Drew's company sponsored a table, which meant that I got to accompany him to the best night of eating in Charleston! Chefs' Fest supports the lowcountry food bank and provides food for children (through backpacks and afterschool programs
Ice Sculpture 
Awesome band that played all night
More Ice, Ice Baby :)

At the event, there were over 20 of the best restaurants in Charleston that came out to donate their time and amazing food!  Drew and I were determined to try every station, and I mean every station, which I am happy to report we achieved our goal!! We had everything from duck to scallops to liver to pate to quail to salmon and brisket...seriously the list goes on and on with deliciousness.  Not to mention an endless selection of dessert--coconut cake, pineapple upside down cake, banana fudge and truffles--all there! We were absolutely stuffed, which if possible is an under statement: I literally had problems sleeping because I had eaten so much rich food---but if I could do it over I would do it the same :)

Smoked Salmon and Potatoes
Drew with plates--double fisting :)
Yes, that says dessert cafe!

Drew and I were having a case of the Mondays- probably because we had such an amazing weekend, so we decided to make a delicious and simple dinner (not going to be close to the dinner on Sunday).  Harris Teeter has been having amazing deals on shrimp the past few weeks and we have been taking full advantage of the cheaper prices :).  We made shrimp and sausage (I was craving something greasier) tacos.  We threw in a hot red pepper with the pepper and onion saute, which added the perfect amount of heat to the dish!  It was the perfect end of a less than perfect day :)

Taco Salad--and
Shrimp/Sausage Taco Tacos :)

Hope everyone has a great Tuesday--it is a gorgeous day here in Charleston, think I may go for a nice run outside :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Apple Butter...yum!

So I know that I'm a little behind the curve on this: but despite the 75 degree weather today, I was craving some winter-weather apple butter.  I have never made apple butter, or for that matter any kind of canning or jarring anything! So as a newbie, I was quite surprised at how simple it is (though very time consuming) and how wonderful the outcome was :)

Peeled, cored gala apples
In the food processor to be finely diced
Into the Crockpot
Mixed with 2 cups sugar (splenda), cinnamon, salt, spices

The recipe called to cook the apples all day--and I started wayy too late in the day to make the recipe actually be convenient and make sense so they became overnight-all day apples!  I put all the apples in around 2 pm on high for an hour, then the recipe called for stirring it over the next 9 hours on low and then take the lid off and let it go for another hour on low...but the thing is that I go to bed around 10 so I had to cheat a little--I turned it on warm when I went to bed and by 6 this morning--presto, apple butter :)

There is absolutely nothing better than waking up to a slow-cooked meal--or anything that is already made and warm (even if it is 75 degrees out).  I had to rush out of the house, but had time to put some of the delicious warm apple butter on a bagel topped with two eggs--talk about an amazing start to my day!!

Sammy to Go

To add another extra treat to my day: my morning class ended 20 minutes early--so I had time to attend body attack aka my new obsession :)! I can't say enough about this class it is very intense cardio, but really fun so you don't even realize you are working out and boom the time is over :) If you haven't tried it--you really should! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Back to The Grind

Wow how the weekend flies by!!! I can't believe it is already Monday and the end of February! We had awesome weather this weekend and even the rainy Sunday afternoon was welcome.  I love weekends that are packed with events...but also time to relax.

On Friday night, I went out to dinner with Drew's family.  Drew's dad and fiance came into town for SEWE, South Eastern Wildlife Expo, and took us out to dinner on Friday night.  We went to Amen Street, I have been there before with Ali, but never had a real meal there (we opted for apps the first time I was there)--and the entrees were quite delicious.  I would probably just get a bunch of apps if I went again, but the meal all and all was very good.  It was really nice to catch up with everyone and chat about SEWE.
Amen Street

We ended up going out on Friday night--which ended up with Drew and me on a park bench drinking hot coco and eating teddygrams around 12:30 waiting for our ride to leave the bar.  I have been struggling with wanting to go out or stay in on the weekends.  Sometimes I honestly would rather just stay in on weekend nights, but feel the pressure that the majority of my friends are out--so I should go out too.  I don't know if it is a part of growing up or if I am just not feeling going out all that much--but after this weekend I realized that I need to listen to myself and not feel pressure to go out when I don't want to.  Staying in on Friday nights is alright and it doesn't matter if other people are out--I need to do what's best for me (right?!?!)! Sorry for my vent session!

My Saturday was packed with some amazing SEWE events.  I have never been to SEWE, but I have heard about it since I was in college and was really excited to see what all the hype was about!  It was a gorgeous day and really neat to see all the exhibits.  I love that I date such an 'outdoorsy-southern' boy, who knows all about hunting, fishing and boating.  Before I dated Drew, I had no clue what bow hunting was or fly fishing or anything about types of boats...who knew they had different uses other than to float?!  It is quite a learning experience for a girl that grew up in the 'burbs!

Very talented pup!

We met up with Christina, Annie and Daniel and watched some dockdogs--dogs that jump off a platform into a pool--and got to play with little puppies.  There was all different types of food and a lot of different hunting things (guess I still don't have the lingo) that we could see, and a ton of dogs and puppies.  Of course, Drew and I spent a good amount of time by the boats and then I got to play with the puppies again--ha!  Drew's dad came and we watched a fly fishing demo; which was a lot cooler than it originally sounds like.  It was quite a packed day of wildlife things and made me want a dog more than ever...oops!

Dock Dogs--kinda redneck ha!
Annie with my future dog :)

On Saturday night, we played a few drinking games with friends and took it a little more easy (exactly what the doctor ordered)!  I got to catch up with my old roomie from this summer, Amy, which was a lot of fun.  Amy and I planned to go to church on Sunday morning.  I have been wanting to try out a church on Folly Road--and when Amy said that she had been going there I knew that I had to join her!  It was a really pretty church--but I will admit I'm a bigger fan of the church that Drew and I have been going to--which surprised me!

On Sunday afternoon, it was raining really hard, so Drew and I decided to go see a movie (at a movie theater!)!  We are big fans of redbox--but the switch up was nice and I really do enjoy watching movies at the theater.  Plus, I think that Drew may like it better because then I am not talking the entire time--whoospies!  We saw This Means War with Reese Witherspoon and Chelsea Handler! I was really surprised by how good it was.  I thought that it would be a sub-par movie, since the basis of the movie seemed a little strange, but it was really, really good.  I would totally recommend it--and even go see it again!

After our wonderful day date, we got back and decided to whip up a super supper!  We had been talking about making calamari, since we had it on Tuesday and Friday at restaurants, and thought that it would be cool to try and make it at home.  We cut up a calamari steak (who knew they sold that at the grocery?) and cleaned some shrimp--battered them up in House Autry and dropped them into the deep fryer! BAM-awesomeness!  Drew grilled some chicken and shrimp shish kabobs while I made some rice-a-roni with extra broccoli (I know I had such a challenging job)! Our meal was a perfect end to the weekend and great fuel for the start of the busy week ahead :)

Drew with our awesome meal--
why is my plate always bigger?!
Calamari Homemade..sorry a little blurry!

This morning, I was supposed to start my internship at the hospital, but the lady emailed me and said that we had to reschedule :(.  Which means that I had time to do some school work and whip up an awesome omelet--I think I'm obsessed!  

Pure Delicious! 

Off to body attack before class this afternoon! Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and start of the week :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Friday (almost weekend)!

This week has flown by...and next week looks even more crazy busy!! BUT no need to worry about that now--because it's the weekend :)

As for this morning, I decided to do the unthinkable: I took bodyattack and bodypump with the hardest instructor at my gym back to back early this morning!! It was a great idea last night when I was relaxed and apparently motivated after eating an entire bowl of homemade kettle corn (homemade popcorn maker is about the most incredible invention ever...seriously.)! But that motivation totally wore off halfway through bodypump when my arms were shaking and body was completely rejecting me to lift any more (yes I ended with 1 pound weights--don't hate it was hard, promise)! As much as I complain---it did feel good to end my work out by 10:30 this morning and have the rest of the day ahead of me.

After my killer workout, I treated myself to a trader joe's trip (much earned, plus I love some banana chips)! Trader Joe's is simply put amazing--such good food, for cheaper prices what more can you ask for?!  I was craving a cheesy omelet and knew that trader joe's has some awesome herb goat cheese that melts amazingly with eggs along with ham and mushrooms :).  It was totally worth the trip and a wonderful breakfast for lunch!

Breakfast for lunch?
Don't mind if I do--love some gooey cheese!

I did school work from home today--which is more like my construction site home.  I finally got to move back into my apartment and thought that everything would be finished (or so they said) but nope, not the case :(.  It is definitely weird living in a construction zone with wet paint everywhere and no access to my porch...but on the brightside it will make me appreciate it more when they are finally finished (hopefully in the next year-ha)! Just a hint of how living looks....

Ohh so pretty--
We even have a red carpet to our door ha!

Off to enjoying the start of the weekend---with a side of The Hunger Games (so good I can't put it down)!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentines Day :)

I absolutely love Valentines Day, it is a fun day regardless of if you are in a relationship or not, it's just a fun day to tell people you care! It always takes me back to the days in elementary school with our box filled of valentines and candy, or middle school with candy grams and high school with carnations---it's just an excuse to spread a little more joy...and who can not like that a little?!

My Valentines Day started off with a cup of Theraflu and couple tablespoons of cough syrup :/ but also included a wonderful Valentines breakfast sandwich filled with thick cut bacon,  fried egg, goat cheese for me (gouda for Drew) served over a toasted french baguette.  When I was younger, I always woke up on Valentines Day with a big breakfast made by my mom and had a valentine from my dad (usually a stuffed animal for me-not a big candy/chocolate fan when I was young; and chocolate for my sister-she is still a huge chocolate fan).  I decided to keep the tradition going with Drew...I think he liked it :)

Breakfast of love? haha idk but it sure tastes good!

As for my day, I decided to treat myself...and got my hair done :)! I get tired of my hair very quickly and love changing it up---which is wonderful for the pocket book that I found a teaching hair salon that has crazy awesome prices and they do a fantastic job!  I got introduced to the Paul Mitchell Hair Salon by a couple girls in my class and have been going to Leslie for the past few months--unfortunately for me, she is graduating from the the school in the next couple weeks so I'm going to have to figure something out :/ (but I did schedule an appointment next week to get a haircut--if I get enough courage to chop it all off I have my appointment...we will see!)!!!

Welcome back Blonde hair...and cross eyes apparently!

Last night was even more wonderful than my day!  Drew brought me gorgeous flowers (to go with my welcome flowers last week---oh how I love some fresh flowers) and a sweet card and then it was off to Carolina's for dinner.  Carolina's is on Exchange Street downtown, next to the Beer Exchange (which we are frequents to), and I have been so intrigued by it and wanted to try it for months--and the months of build up was totally worth it---it was such a surprise and really delicious!  I give it a A- for sure!

Beautiful Flowers--and they smell soo nice :)

After we chowed down on some delicious seafood (I got the tile fish, Drew got the flounder and we split calamari) it was off to the Mishka concert with a group of friends.  Mishka is a guy (or dude) that plays/sings reggae music (obviously I'm totally down with the lingo) and let me tell you he is absolutely amazing.  He was raised in the Caribbean (so cool) and grew up sailing around the Atlantic.  His music is mellow but uplifting and hey he is even signed to Matthew McConaughey's label (pretty stinking cool)! He is a totally one to look up--and perfect summer/spring time music!

Pour House--love the radio rooster ha!
Mishka (kinda cute right?!)
The Gents (or boys or bros or dudes...)
Up Close and Personal...told you he is cute in that rasta way!
Happy Valentines Day :)! 

I hope everyone had a spectacular Valentines day...and if Valentines day isn't for you--on the brightside it won't happen again for another year! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm Back!

Hi Friends!

I have been MIA for quite a few months--but I'm BACK! I was having a blog-block and decided to take a hiatus from blogging.  But to be honest, I have really missed it and regardless of some people's (hater's) thoughts on blogging---I personally enjoy it and want to continue blogging again :)

The past few months have been quite busy and fun!! I PRed the Savannah Music Marathon with a time of 4:17 (I think), enjoyed the holidays in Maryland with my family, New Years at Edisto Beach with college friends, survived my exams and started my last year of law school! All along the way there has been lots of baking, cooking and starting a new workout regime!

The past week, I have been living at Drew, Grant and Brandon's house.  The boys have been so welcoming and gracious to let me board up at their place while my apartment building is under renovation (been on going headache for the past 2 months and finally it will be complete woop woop)!

Drew got me "welcome" flowers :)

It is definitely different living with boys from girls--my new "roomies" have beers after work, drink protein shakes multiple times a day, watch hunting, fishing, survival shows, play video games and darts, have fast food as a staple in their diet, make bodily noises openly and have discussions that go completely over my head.  All and all it has been a fun week and I honestly will miss all the guy time I have been experiencing!! One thing that I have learned--boys can be much cleaner than girls (despite what people may think)!

As for my week at the boys I have been taking advantage of their big, beautiful kitchen and been quite the cooking lady :)
Cheese Plate: goat herb cheese, smoked gouda, and 
amazing chocolate cheddar cheese from Trader Joe's (their cheese 
of the month--seriously go out and try it you won't regret it!)
Spicy Fish Tacos
with homemade Guacamole (can eat it with a spoon)!
Shrimp burgers with baked sweet potato and butternut squash chips 
(Strange but delicious and healthy-ish)
Close-up: hunks of shrimp yumm!

As you can see I have been in a random seafood mood--I don't know what it is but I have been craving it (usually something you crave in the summer, not the middle of winter--but hey lets be honest you can never have too much seafood)! These recipes have come from a new cookbook that Drew's mom sent him from the Lee Brothers.  The Lee Brothers are from Charleston (or uprooted from the North down to the South) and make some killer southern food!  Some of the recipes seem tough, but the time and work totally pay off--resulting in some of the best seafood dishes I have had (can't wait to try out another one)!

As for this weekend, I have been feeling under the weather...think the changes of outside temperatures have finally caught up to me (80 degrees last sunday, 40 degrees this sunday=crazy)--resulting in a nice little cold for me :(!  I'm not a fan of being sick (like everyone else) but didn't let it hold me back from enjoying the kitchen one more time.  Drew and I made a Sunday Shrimp Chowder, recipe came from Lee Bros, which was a huge hit!  It was the first time I used an emersion blender (thanks to Meredith for letting us borrow it) in a recipe--and it totally makes me want to go out and buy one and make lots o soup :) 

Shrimp Chowder with bacon and chives on top :)

I hope everyone has a marvelous Monday and welcome back to my blog after quite a long hiatus :)