Archive | December, 2014

Naughty In Charleston

27 Dec

Sneaking off to Charleston, South Carolina is one of my favorite things to do when I get the chance.  Everybody has places that cleanse our mind and free our spirit.  In addition to my house of worship, Charleston does that for me.  My breath slows, my mind calms, and my priorities shift. I love it there.

The history of the city is fantastic.  It is an old port city and definitely, like all old cities,  has a naughty side.   But the history, showcased in but not limited to the architecture, is beautiful.  Walking around the city taking in the historical churches, centuries old residential homes, and cemeteries of yesteryear take you back in time.  An appreciation for the present can be felt by stepping into the past.

That is an amazing part of Charleston, but I digress.  Being a foodie is reason number one to love Charleston.  It is a wonderful culinary destination.  You can go the budget route and find great food at reasonable prices.  After a long morning of walking around Charleston, grabbing an inexpensive lunch somewhere is easy to do.  If you are lucky, squeezing in an afternoon nap is a decadent treat too.

Refreshed from a little power snooze, there are a number of places to enjoy roof top cocktails, some tapas, and a blazing sunset that produces every color in the rainbow.  After the sunset, wander down just about any street.  Stop in one of the many fine restaurants for a dinner that will knock your socks off.  It is a great way to end a day in Charleston.  But how should the day begin?

Starting the day with naughty is a delightful beginning to any day in Charleston.  Take a walk down King Street, and you will enjoy world class shopping.  But do not be distracted for long before breakfast or you will walk right by the most naughty place in all of Charleston. Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts. This place is a show stopper.   Oh yeah.  Slow down, take a big whiff, and your nose will guide you.

This is a place to relish the delightful gourmet doughnuts, the friendly service, and the oh so yummy  treats.  And yes…go all the way and get a glass of whole milk to wash down that doughnut.  Go all out naughty.   As I said, Charleston feeds my soul. In many ways. Sometimes being naughty can be so good.

A bacon maple donut...this is pretty naughty-and happily so!

A bacon maple donut…this is pretty naughty-and happily so!

Roasted Veggies-3 ways

7 Dec

The other day I had two things:  a lot of good fresh fall vegetables and a little extra time.  So I went to my happy place…the kitchen.  I decided to roast the vegetables.  I started peeling, chopping and layering.  This was going to be a big honking batch of veggies!  Mushrooms, bell peppers, butternut squash, onions, celery…Yum!

A big batch it was.  After they were chopped, I dusted the vegetables with salt, pepper, basil, and parsley then sprinkled olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar on them as well.  After a good healthy stir, I poured them onto a lined baking dish and placed them in a preheated 400 degree oven.  Almost immediately, warm succulent aromas began to fill the house.  My mouth began to water with those decadent scents wafting though the air.

I checked the vegetables after 15 minutes in the oven and couldn’t resist sneaking a taste. Ooh!  What a delicious bite!  Back into the oven for a few minutes, and then they were ready.  We enjoyed the roasted  veggies with lovely grilled salmon.

Did I mention that it was a big ol’ batch of fall veggies?  And that I love leftovers?  Did we ever have leftovers!  But that’s okay.  They were fantastic to have around.  And like spaghetti, the vegetables were more flavorful as leftovers.

Leftovers day one: Roasted veggies made an amazing addition to an omelet the next morning.

Leftovers day two:  I cooked quinoa to mix into the vegetables.  That created  a powerhouse side dish of veggies and quinoa.

Leftovers day three: Roasted veggies piled on a turkey sandwich.  Who needs mayo??

And that is what you do with leftovers my friends.  I used a little extra time to cook big, and had nutritious  leftovers to launch other dishes.

True Story…

5 Dec

It is turning REALLY chilly.  I have soup on the brain…again!  But I also have yummy fresh fall produce on the brain too.  Gosh…can those two be related?  Oh yeah!

So true story.  This morning leaving for work I catch a glimpse of a big butternut squash sitting on the kitchen table (I always have a platter of fresh fruits and veggies on the kitchen table ready to go).  I hung on to that thought.  Once I got to work the thought of that big flavorful squash was pushed from the front to the back of my mind while I concentrated on work, but it was still there.

I really had food on the brain, and that was going to make its way out to a yummy dinner for my family.  I kept thinking…what could I do with that squash?  Then it struck me.  I had some beautiful lump crabmeat in the fridge to use up too, and I was determined to get those two things together.

Denis has been talking about making soup lately, and any soup he ever makes is fabulous.  Hey, how about soup with butternut squash and crab? Yes!  that was it.  I thought my head would explode because it sounded so good (plus I’d had a tiny breakfast and was hungry!!).  I texted Denis.  I knew one text would hook him on the idea too.  And it did.

I walked into the house after work.  Even thought my dog was happy to see me and jumping around my ankles in joy at my return, I stopped dead in my tracks.  I did not bend down and talk to her as I usually do.  My head went back.  My eyes closed.  I breathed in deep.  I knew instantly that Denis was there and cooking.  It smelled amazing.  I had to take it all in.  The house smelled incredible.

After a minute of taking the scents and aromas in, I gave my sweet dog some attention.  Then off I went in the direction of the kitchen.  Dinner was fantastic.  Soup was perfect for that chilly night!  What do you have on hand to  make soup with tonight?

 

The butternut squash crab soup and a glass of wine made the perfect cold night dinner!  See the beautiful plate of veggies on the table?  It is great to be veg ready!

The butternut squash crab soup and a glass of wine made the perfect cold night dinner! See the beautiful plate of veggies on the table? It is great to be veg ready!