Mac Off and Menchie’s

On Saturday afternoon, we got together with a group of friends for a good cause. A cause near and dear to my heart. 
This is very serious.
But not really.
The annual Charleston Mac Off! Mac and cheese, that is. 

photo 1

Did you catch that? There, on that sign…White chocolate s’mores mac and cheese?! You know my eyes went big and my sweet tooth went crazy when I read that. It sure sounded strange, but I HAD to try it. Well, turns out it was just as weird as you would think. I love Graze and give them all the credit for taking a chance with that one, but it simply was not good. Sorry, Graze 😦
Once I got that out of my system, I tried all kinds of more traditional mac and cheese. You may have also noticed Crave listed on that chalkboard sign. And yes, they had won the competition for three consecutive years prior to this year. Wouldn’t you know it, but Crave won again! 
photo 2

Here I am with a sample of the mac from Poogan’s Porch, complete with scallions, country ham and smoked gouda. This was one of my faves. 
photo 3

Of all of the delicious mac and cheese I ate (way too much, but that was to be expected I suppose), this butternut squash ravioli in a brown butter sauce was the best part of my day. Rio Bertolini’s makes fresh pasta, which I’ve bought from local farmer’s markets before. They know how it’s done. I bought some lobster ravioli, butternut squash ravioli and whole wheat pizza dough to bring home for dinners this week. 
photo 4
I needed something cool and refreshing as the heavy cheesy pastas quickly got the best of me. I’m not much of a beer drinker, or a day drinker for that matter, so this sparkling lemonade was perfect. 
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We spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch watching football with friends, taking a nap and recovering from the mac overload. Somehow I managed to be hungry by dinnertime. I ate a salad at Moe’s then loaded up on a heavenly bowl of Menchie’s – Pure Chocolate, Cake Batter, Praline Pecan, and Peanut Butter yogurt topped with peanut butter cups, whipped cream and caramel sauce. 
What a day!

July Blog-A-Day #29: Single Girl Brunch at Puree

Okay, this isn’t news. I’ve blogged about Puree before and it’s now been about 2 1/2 weeks since I was actually there and ate the meal pictured here.
But…
It was absolutely, positively, perfect banana bread heaven. And I just had to share. 
They take two thick slices of banana bread and prepare them just like you would for French toast. Genius. The toast is dusted with powdered sugar and topped with more banana slices. It was so moist and flavorful; I didn’t want it to end! I ate as slowly as I could, which was just fine because I was a single girl that morning. Greg was out of town for a bachelor party so I took advantage of my alone time. I cherished every bite of the French toast along side my hot coffee poured directly from the French press. 
The bright, yet cozy, feel of Puree makes me feel like I’m at home. 
Iloveitsomuch.

July Blog-A-Day #21: DI Yogurt and Blueberry Cheesecake

Oh no! I’ve gotten behind on this blog-a-day thing. Whoops! It’s only one day though, so hopefully I can make up for it before this month is said and done. 
I’m just popping in tonight to highlight two delicious parts of my weekend.
1. DI Yogurt.
FINALLY! A frozen yogurt place opened on Daniel Island last week and I could hardly wait to get there. It did not disappoint. Better than Menchie’s?? Better than Di’lishi?? 
…You didn’t hear it from me.
I first went on Saturday night and filled my cup with some cake batter, dark chocolate and plain old vanilla. Then topped it with walnuts, peanut butter cups, whipped cream and sprinkles. While out for a bike ride on Sunday evening, I talked Greg into stopping for a cold treat. I am thrilled to have the fro yo right next to home, but I can see it becoming dangerous as well.
The yogurt was soooooooo creamy. Many of the toppings were comparable to the other fro yo joints around, but I noticed some of the fruit may have been sitting out a bit too long and they didn’t have chunky Oreo pieces that I usually like. Instead, the cookies were finely ground. The yogurt itself made up for it though. I will definitely be a regular.
2. Blueberry Cheesecake Pie
Since the fro yo stop on our bike ride was technically only a “snack,” I needed something for dessert later that night after dinner. I baked Bridget’s Blueberry Cheesecake Pie, which became the perfect ending to my weekend. 
It was my co-worker’s birthday today so I knew I wanted to bring the cheesecake into the office to share with her. It was a good thing I had that excuse, otherwise Greg and I easily would have eaten the entire thing this week. 
What was the tastiest thing you ate this weekend?

Weekend Eats 3-18-13

First things first – Wedding Day is two. months. away. Ah!!!!!! alkfjsdlfjsldfjsdlfjsd!!!!!

Okay, now that I got some excitement out of my system, here’s the tasty food I ate all weekend.

Saturday:

Greg and I met some friends on Sullivan’s Island for (pre) St. Patrick’s Day festivities. After standing around outside in the gorgeous weather for most of the afternoon, our appetites were raging…even more so than I realized. We grabbed dinner from Taco Mamacita, yet another new-to-me restaurant (third one in a week!).

taco mamacita
I had one black bean taco and one blackened mahi taco with Mexican Street Corn on the side. Ummmm….yeah. It was ah-maze-ing. I practically inhaled the tacos. 
Greg had sweet potato fries as his side dish. We ended up splitting our sides, because the fries were sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and I simply could not resist. 

Sunday:
pancakes
Brunch at Triangle. Duh. Blueberry pancakes for me!
Anndddd some coffee.
coffee
I made sure to fit my veggies into the day with a big bowl of shredded brussel sprouts, onion, bell pepper, zucchini and broccoli sauteed in chicken broth for din din. I topped it all off with a little crumbed goat cheese. 
photo 2
What was the tastiest thing you ate this weekend?

Restaurant Review(s) – SNOB & Mi Xao

This has been a very eventful week when it comes to – my favorite thing – FOOD! Therefore, you can say it’s been a great week. To make things even better, work has continued to be busy making the days fly by. And not the “oh my gosh I’m so stressed I can’t even breath” kind of busy, but the good kind of busy. A couple Sugar Free Red Bulls may have helped too.

Let’s get back to my first thought though – the food!

Greg’s aunt was in town and invited us to dinner at S.N.O.B. (Slightly North of Broad), which is a very well-known restaurant in Charleston. I had somehow never been there before and was so excited to finally check it off my Charleston restaurant bucket list.

We started with some appetizers to share – a delicious fruit and cheese plate and chilled shrimp. We were also given a bread basket for the table with both cornbread and a traditional white baguette.

When it came to my entree, I kept things simple with the Vegetable Plate.

snob veggies1
While this can seem like a boring choice, it was not boring in variety or flavor. My plate was filled with steamed spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, lima beans, green beans, mushrooms, broccoli, a few cuts of cheese, and a small scoop of grits. It could not have been more perfect. 
I had asked the waitress how the dish was prepared, because I wanted to avoid having a plate of super oily veggies. She told me some were steamed and others were sauteed in chicken broth. I loved that idea! I can’t be the only one that has never thought of that, right?? I’m so excited to implement that new-to-me cooking method. 
Slightly North of Broad on Urbanspoon
I finally made it to Mi Xao this week as well, thanks to Christina’s recommendations. It is a relatively new Vietnamese restaurant in Mount Pleasant with the cutest little dining area. 
Greg and I split an order of the spring rolls, which was a great decision. They were awesome on their own, but also came with the best little citrusy dipping sauce ever. Greg had a traditional chicken stir fry with brown rice as his main dish. I had the Tom Yum Kung Pho. Christina has raved about this pho and I knew I had to have it too.
photo 4
The menu describes this bowl of noodle soup as having: Shrimp, rice vermicelli, lime, chicken broth, cilantro and green onion. Oh my goodness, it was just as good as Christina made it out to be! It was one GIANT bowl, that’s pho-sho 😉 I probably didn’t even finish a third of it. The menu says it’s spicy and they’re not kidding. But as long as you like spicy, you will be happy. I can’t wait to finish it off for lunch tomorrow! 
Mi Xao on Urbanspoon

Weekend Eats 3-11-13

margarita

I kicked off the weekend with Mexican food and a margarita, on the rocks, with salt. The best way to do it.
breakfast

I ate a half bagel with jelly, apple slices and hot tea for breakfast one day.
nuts

I snacked on mixed nuts during the day while working at my company’s conference (I mostly picked around the peanuts and went straight for the almonds and cashews, mmm). 
bagel

On Sunday I ate the other half of the bagel, this time with avocado and sliced banana. You may think it’s weird, but I promise it’s delicious. (Hint: this may be foreshadowing a recipe coming your way later this week…)
wrap
After church, I stopped at Whole Foods for a simple veggie and hummus wrap from the deli counter to fuel my grocery shopping.
praline 

I also ate pralines. Sugary, melt-in-your-mouth pralines. If you aren’t familiar with these, they are a true Charleston/Southern staple and I highly recommend you get yourself some if you ever have the chance. We hand them out to guests at our conference and any leftovers? Yeah, they come home with me 🙂 Nice perk if you ask me. The combination of pecans, brown sugar and butter is a wonderful thing. 
What was the tastiest thing you ate this weekend?

Weekend Eats 12-3-12

This was quite a productive weekend between holiday festivities on Daniel Island, shopping, decorating and eating good food.
Friday night, Greg, Zoey and I went to the Christmas tree lighting on DI, followed by dinner at Orlando’s Pizza.

We shared this large Hawaiian pizza with ham and pineapple ($17.75). It was huge. Not surprisingly, we managed to have almost half left over that we ended up eating for lunch on Saturday. Overall the pizza was great, but I tend to like thicker crust more than thin crust like Orlando’s. Still, the flavor was there and I couldn’t complain. 
Orlando's Pizza on Urbanspoon
Saturday morning started by supporting another Daniel Island spot, Fired Urth. Greg and I sat outside with Zoey as we sipped our lattes and ate our pastries. I had the Cinnabee latte (cinnamon and honey) and Greg had a caramel latte. To eat, I had a pecan scone and Greg had a cinnamon sugar donut. Everything was amazing. 

When we told them we wanted the order “for here,” I was still expecting to-go paper cups for the lattes. So I was pleasantly surprised when the drinks were served in mugs. I was so intrigued by the foam art on top and how it managed to hold its shape as I drank my way to the bottom. 
Fired Urth on Urbanspoon
Sunday morning I made biscuits and gravy for Greg, while I wanted something a little healthier. I topped one of the Trader Joe’s buttermilk biscuits with one cooked egg and some shredded cheddar cheese. 

Perfection.
My weekend wrapped up with warm, gooey brownies, also courtesy of Trader Joe’s. I used their Guilt Free Brownie Mix which calls for fat free yogurt to be combined with the powder mix. I added powdered sugar on top and ate my serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Ok, now THAT is perfection. 
What was the tastiest part of your weekend?