Saturday, June 29, 2013

Real Conversations // Ice Cream

I love ice cream. Understatement of the century. I have written an entire post on my love for ice cream before. And it's not just ice cream- I also love gelato/frozen yogurt/frozen custard/sherbet/etc...When my co-worker suggested having an afternoon ice cream party at work on Friday I didn't have to think twice before saying YES!

I also love real conversations. The people in my life say some pretty funny and ridiculous things. Who knew that planning for an ice cream party would be so difficult...

When I asked Melissa what her favorite flavor was, she responded with pistachio. Um, is that anyone's favorite flavor? Courtney and I were horrified:

C + H: "WHAT???!!!"
M: "Umm, it's good!"
C + H: "NO."
M: "Okay, well maybe cookie dough..."
M: "But I don't really like ice cream, I like frozen yogurt."

Okay, so cookie dough flavored froyo. One down.

H: "Courtney, what's your favorite flavor of ice cream?"
C: "Anything with a vanilla base."
H: "What?"
C: "Anything as long as it doesn't have a chocolate base."
C: "Like rocky road maybe."
H: "Um, okay."
C: "Or maybe something fruity because it will be in the afternoon."

Okay, so nothing with a "chocolate base" and it should probably be fruity.

H: "Andrew, what's your favorite flavor of ice cream?"
A: "The kind in my tummy."

Completely unhelpful. Followed by.....

A: "Actually, anything with chocolate."

Okay, so the direct opposite of what Courtney wants.

H: "Darrell, what kind of ice cream do you like?"
D: "I'll eat anything. Not choosey."
H: "You guys are the worst. Everyone gave me the worst answer ever. I feel like I should come back with black licorice flavor just to spite you all!"
D: "Ok, I don't do the black licorice."

In the end, I'm sorry to report that we DIDN'T EVEN END UP HAVING AN ICE CREAM PARTY. Day ruined. (Not really.)

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Time Has Come

The time has come, the walrus said... say adieu to Google Reader, which will be no more come Monday. The trend with my favorite bloggers has been an emphasis on Bloglovin', so I'll jump on the bandwagon.

I've already made the easy switch between Google Reader and Bloglovin' and hope that you'll join me there. If you're moving to Bloglovin' yourself, click HERE to follow me! If Bloglovin' isn't your cup of tea, I post everything new from this blog on Facebook and Twitter as well. If you're on Bloglovin', let me know so I can follow you if I'm not already!

That's it for today, folks. Brandon and I are heading up the mountain tonight to spend the weekend exploring my old stomping grounds (Boone, NC) and I couldn't be more excited! Send happy thoughts to the weather gods for us... looks like it's going to be a rainy few days.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Two Days in Charleston

Before setting sail on our one year anniversary cruise in May, Brandon and I spent two nights in Charleston, SC. I had visited the city on two previous occasions and knew we were in for a special time. Charleston, as always, did not disappoint.


We arrived in Charleston at lunchtime on a Saturday and went straight to Hyman's to eat lunch. Hyman's is my favorite restaurant in Charleston! I've been told by natives that it's a tourist trip and that it's ridiculous to eat there, but honestly I think they're crazy. Hyman's has great prices and delicious food. I quote my husband directly when I say "that was the best piece of fish I've eaten in my entire life." That's not a light statement to make! Anyway, if you're visiting Charleston, Hyman's is on my must-do list. We followed up lunch with a stroll through the market and along the waterfront before checking in to our hotel.

The Great Gatsby had been released in theaters on Friday and I was dead set on seeing it as soon as possible, so on our first evening we found a local theater playing it. Seeing the film at Cinebarre was a great experience. We were served dinner and drinks while we watched! After the movie we stopped by Kaminsky's to get some late night desserts. The place was packed, with a line out the door! We walked back to the hotel, exhausted (at least I was... Brandon, not so much) and ready to get some sleep before day #2.

Sunday morning was spent exploring. I woke up really early and set out alone before Brandon woke up and joined me. It was weird seeing Meeting Street and King Street completely empty with no cars and only a few pedestrians! I think if I lived in Charleston I'd start taking lots of early morning walks.

I don't actually have a photo of the aforementioned mojito, but I can tell you that it came from Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and is delicious. I am currently working on replicating it at home and will share the recipe here soon. On Sunday afternoon we took a carriage tour through the historic district (thanks, Groupon!) followed by an afternoon nap. We both felt guilty for napping when we could be out exploring, but ultimately came to the decision that it was vacation and we could do what we wanted. ;) Our Sunday ended by having a great dinner at Poogan's Porch before driving across the Ravenel bridge to walk on the beach.

If you've recently visited Charleston or live there, tell me what should go on my agenda for our next visit! I already want to go back! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

RECIPE: Caramelized Scallops

I love scallops, love them. For a long time I assumed they were squishy, weird and flavorless but all of that changed when I finally tried them three years ago. Now I'll order them pretty much anywhere I can. I'm usually hesitant to try scallop recipes at home because they're quite expensive and there's not much room for error. When I saw this recipe on Pinterest, though, I knew I had to take the chance and try it. I'm so glad I did! These have an amazing flavor and aren't too difficult to make.

12 large sea scallops
freshly ground salt + pepper
4 T clarified butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c dry white wine
1 lemon, freshly juiced
1 T chopped parsley
chives, thinly sliced

Rinse and dry the scallops well. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Spread sugar on a plate and set aside. Heat a skillet on medium-high for 2 minutes. Add butter. When the butter begins to foam, work to prepare the scallops quickly. Coat one side of each scallop in sugar, then place sugar side down in the middle of the skillet. Sauté for 2.5 minutes. If sugar begins to brown too quickly, lower the heat.

Flip the scallops over and cook for another minute. Add white wine and lemon juice to the pan and cook for another minute and a half until liquid has reduced by about half. Transfer scallops onto a plate or serving dish and pour the pan juices on top. Garnish with chopped parsley and sliced chives. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Great Love


I believe Mother Teresa said this, yes? Such a great reminder that we cannot do everything but that we should do what we can.

I've been missing from the blog world lately and I don't really have an excuse any more. I'm back from vacation and we finished moving to our new house weeks ago. Le sigh. I have so many ideas for this little space and I hope one day soon for them to see the light of day.

Monday, June 17, 2013

RECIPE: Hot Blue Cheese Dip

I've written before about my love of a local restaurant, Milner's. It was the site of our wedding reception and we recently dined there for our first anniversary. My favorite menu item is an appetizer: a trio of cheese dips served with lavash crackers. Ever since our first visit to Milner's nearly two years ago I've been attempting to re-create their blue cheese dip and yesterday I was successful!

This dip is great with crackers, but also with veggies or even with chicken wings. I saw many recipes online that included bacon, though mine does not.

12 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz crumbled blue cheese
1/3 c heavy cream
2 heaping t minced garlic
2 green onions, chopped
fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook garlic in a little bit of oil until brown. Be careful not to burn it! Beat cream cheese, garlic and blue cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add cream and continue to beat on low speed until incorporated. Sprinkle with pepper (to taste) and stir in green onions. With a spatula, move to a glass baking dish.

Cook for 25-30 minutes until cheese on top begins to brown. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Little Pup

In January, we welcomed Schmidt into our home. I haven't written about him much, but he's still around... requesting belly rubs, napping, licking our faces, and chewing up all of his favorite toys.

Today he turns 7 months old. He's still a little pup by most standards but he's grown so much since we brought him home! I snapped this photo of him hanging out in his bed while I did housework over the weekend. Happy birthday, little man! We will celebrate by cuddling on the couch until your dad gets home from work tonight.

If you want to see more adorable photos of Schmidt, be sure to follow me on Instagram. I post way too many pics of his cute face!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I'm Back / Anniversary Things

Let's talk about the fact that I've barely written anything on this blog in a month. On second though, let's not talk about it. Moving on...

The last thoughtful thing I really wrote was a letter to my husband on our anniversary and I'm here now to follow up with how we celebrated year one!

It. was. awful.

Ok, ok. It wasn't actually all that bad. But it didn't live up to my expectations! The day started by picking up the keys to our new home, which was very exciting. A great start! I had arranged an anniversary photo shoot with our wedding photographer for the afternoon. We planned to go back to Old Salem, where we were married, to get some photos made before dinner at Milner's, where we had our wedding reception.

Unfortunately, she canceled on us a few hours ahead of time. I wish that all of you were lucky enough to see my reaction in person. It wasn't pretty. With extra time to kill in the afternoon, Brandon decided to take my car to the shop. Things didn't go very well and he was there so long that we had to move our dinner reservation back. Dinner was delicious, as I knew it would be. After we ate we swung by Old Salem to take some photos on our own. We weren't able to get any together, which was the point, but it was still fun!

As we were on our way home, I answered a call from Milner's. Why would they be calling me? I hadn't left anything at the restaurant. As it turns out, someone had left a card for us and the hostess forgot to give it to us. Great. They said they'd mail it.

We continued on to Maxie B's to pick up a piece of the cake we ordered for our wedding. (Since the wedding was so small we didn't have an extra layer on our cake to freeze for our anniversary.) For some odd reason, the line was out the door onto the sidewalk on a Thursday night. I was already so irritated about the rest of the day that I didn't want to stand in line, so we went home and went to bed.

The next day, I learned that my parents had left the mystery card for us with enough cash to cover our dinner. Le sigh. It was so very thoughtful of them! I hated that we didn't get the card on our actual anniversary.

Even though I was bummed with how our day went, I'm still incredibly thankful to be celebrating one year of marriage. And the real celebrating really started two days later when we left for our vacation! More on that to come!