Weekend Eats 7-21-14

Today is double the fun with Weekend Eats from the past two weekends. Hey, it was too good not to share. First we’ll back up to two weeks ago.  
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, based out of Columbus, Ohio (my hometown if you didn’t already know), recently opened up shop in downtown Charleston. Yippee! With so many unique flavors, they not only will let you have as many samples as you want, they highly encourage it. 
I had to go with the taste of my hometown with The Buckeye State – peanut butter ice cream with an abundance of dark chocolate pieces throughout. I paired it with Salted Caramel. For a size small, you actually get to pick two flavors. How awesome is that? The ice cream isn’t cheap, but if you’re ever going to spend $5 for two small scoops of ice cream (sugar cone included), Jeni’s is the place to do it. 
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams on Urbanspoon
Also last weekend, Greg and I rekindled our love with grilled pizza. It had been a month or so since we took the dough to the grill, which was far too long. Greg wants nothing to do with goat cheese on a pizza, or anywhere for that matter, whereas I think goat cheese has never tasted better than on pizza. The pizza ended up being half pepperoni and half thinly sliced tomatoes (from our garden!), onion, goat cheese and a blend of seasonings including sage, thyme and crushed red pepper flakes. 
If you’ve never grilled a pizza, get on it! 
Side tracking from food for a second, Zoey Girl went on her first college campus tour. We have high hopes for her scholastic future and wanted to show her around our alma mater, the beautiful College of Charleston. 
Now onto this past weekend. I convinced Greg to try Collective Coffee Co. for lunch on Saturday, a place I have been several times but he had never been.
I sipped on a cappuccino, my new thing. Although, this one was very strong and I quickly realized I’m only used to the American-ized cappuccino, not the authentic, fancy Italian style cappuccino. I had to add a couple packets of stevia before I could sip it down without scrunching my face. I’m sure true espresso connoisseurs would have appreciated it much more though. It’s going to take me some time.
The food on the other hand, was fan. tas. tic. I ate the veggie wrap with bagel chips. This is seriously the best veggie wrap ever and it’s one you can feel good about too – romaine, tomato, corn, black beans, TONS of avocado and a brown butter sauce (okay, so you can feel pretty good about it), all rolled up in a soft and chewy spinach wrap. I have always known how much I love this wrap, but I swear it’s gotten even better. Greg had the pimento cheese biscuit sandwich – brown sugar & pepper bacon, eggs, and cheddar cheese. Also quite delicious and something I would for sure get again. 
Collective Coffee Co. on Urbanspoon
What was the tastiest thing you ate this weekend?

{Weekend Eats} Pancakes, Ice Cream and Margaritas

The best weekends involve:
Blueberry pancakes. Blueberry cornmeal pancakes, that is (recipe at end of post).
Pancakes are my thang if you didn’t know. We go way back. With a sweet tooth like mine, it’s no wonder my favorite breakfast food has the word “cake” in it. But I will only indulge if I know they’ll really be worth it. I anticipated these cornmeal pancakes would be more savory than your typical everyday pancakes and I was right. While these were good, I will stick with the more traditional, sweeter variety next time. 

Ice cream. Preferably Publix ice cream, of the cinnamon cookie variety. If you know how much I love pancakes, than you probably also know my obsession with Publix frozen yogurt. I talk about it all the time. They could pay me for all of the advertising I do for them, but I don’t mind doing it for free when it’s this good. For the first time this weekend I stepped outside of the Publix froyo bubble and ventured to the real deal – ice cream. This cinnamon flavored ice cream has cinnamon and molasses cookie pieces mixed it, and finished with a cinnamon swirl. Delicious by itself? Yes. Even better with a slice of warm apple pie? You can be sure that’s coming next.

Strawberry margaritas. One from a restaurant, one homemade using Jessica’s recipe. Thanks to her, my first homemade margarita was an extreme success and I may start raving about it more than I do Publix froyo (insert clenched teeth emoji here). Plus, when your country’s soccer team lost the lead in the most disappointing and annoying way possible, it doesn’t hurt to be sippin’ a strong margarita. And I’ve never even liked soccer!

What are your favorite weekend eats and treats? 

Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes
(Adapted from A Thought for Food)

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup finely ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 eggs
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 pints fresh blueberries
Syrup for serving

Directions:
1. Add dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
2. Add wet ingredients to a separate bowl and whisk to combine. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until just combined (don’t over mix, you want it to be somewhat crumbly). Fold in the blueberries.
3. Lightly butter a large griddle or skillet over medium-low heat. Once pan is hot, add pancake batter by the 1/3 cup full and cook until batter just begins to bubble on top. Flip with a spatula and cook other side until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.

A Honeymoon in Maui

You may have thought I was gone for good. Nope! I just had my wedding and honeymoon to attend to, but now I’m back and ready to catch you up on the most amazing past week and a half of my lifeeeee!

I have some pictures from the wedding day that friends and family put on my Facebook and our personalized Wedding Party page (it’s an app where people can join your “party” using a certain code and add pictures from the event – highly recommended for future brides!). But I’m going to wait until I have pictures from our photographer to put any on here. If you follow me on Instagram, you can get a sneak peak, if you haven’t already.

For now we’ll just recap the honeymoon in Maui. We ate a lot of food…a lot of delicious food.

papaya bowl
Papaya Delight from Kihei Caffe.
fruit
So much fresh fruit at all times!

mac nut pancakes
Pancakes with local banana and macadamia nuts (“mac nuts”) from Moana.

taco mountain
Best fish tacos ever. Greg had the tacos while I had the Taco Mountain, which includes all of the same ingredients served over rice instead of tortillas. From Coconuts Fish Cafe.

photo 2 (7)
We attended the Old Lahaina Luau one night and had the best time. It was all you can eat and drink, with a hula show for entertainment. My plate consisted of grilled veggies, sweet potatoes (purple sweet potatoes!), fish, more fruit and banana bread. Side note – I want to be a hula dancer.

Half Kalua Pork (BBQ pork, onion, pineapple, and a variety of cheeses) and half of the veggie special (asparagus, tomatoes, goat cheese, and a balsamic reduction sauce)…AAAAmazing. From Flatbread Co.

photo 5 (1)
Shave Ice – a traditional Hawaiian dessert. I got a scoop of macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom of bowl, topped with coconut shave ice and sweetened condensed cream. From Ululani’s Shave Ice.

gelato
“Sandy Beach” gelato (a mix of salted caramel, peanut butter and coconut) from Ono Gelato.

mac nut ice cream
Like I needed more ice cream…Mac Nut Ice Cream from the Halfway to Hana stand. 
Other places I highly recommend if you ever go to Maui: 

As you can tell, we fed ourselves very well on our trip. We didn’t spend a lot of money on anything else besides the basic travel accommodations (flight, hotel/cottage, rental car) so we wanted to eat up (literally and figuratively) as much of the culture as we could. Maybe this was just us trying to make ourselves feel better for all of the eating out, but Greg and I both noticed an overall healthy trend when it came to food. Hawaiians seem to really focus on local, organic, all-natural, vegetarian/vegan options. While we didn’t eat many salads, our meals centered around lots of fresh fruits, veggies and fish…oh yeah, and then there was the shave ice, gelato and ice cream 😉 Have any of you ever been to Hawaii? Tell me about your trip! I’m so in love with Hawaii now, I could talk about it all the time.

What I’m Loving Wednesday (8-29-12)

It’s about that time for another WILW post, dontcha think?

1. Two nights in a row of cooking some of my favorite tried and true recipes.

Sloppy Joes, that I’m renaming Super Spicy Sloppy Joes. I used less spice and hot sauce than my recipe called for and my mouth was still on fire two bites into the sandwich.

Morning Star Copycat Black Bean Burgers with homemade guacamole and corn on the cob? Ohmuhgosh. I could eat this every single night.
2. This. This is what I call Heaven in a Cardboard Container. Have you tried any of Duff’s (aka the Cake Boss’s) Blue Bunny ice cream flavors yet? This Red Carpet Red Velvet Cake ice cream is to die for. I bought this on my dinner break while working a late shift last week and it’s safe to say this is only thing that kept me going at my desk until 10pm.

3. A coffee mug filled with hot oatmeal. Don’t forget the sliced bananas and chai seeds! This is how I’ve been starting my workday for the past two weeks. I’ve gotten in a poor habit of sleeping until the last minute and not having quite enough time to eat my breakfast at home. Solution? Bring my oatmeal to work in a mug! 
4. Oh look, it’s my Lost Dog Cafe mug again! I sure do put that thing to use. After cleaning the oatmeal out of it, I fill it with what it’s actually meant for- Coffee! These rainy days call for a warm and comforting afternoon snack like a hot cup of coffee and a chocolatey Good Greens bar (Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor). 

5. Out of all of this foodie goodness, the thing I am loving most about this Wednesday is that it’s my last full day here in Charleston before my trip HOME!! Tomorrow evening, Greg and I will be hopping on a plane to Columbus for a full weekend of cake tastings, meetings with the caterer, engagement pictures and some much needed family time. I. Can’t. Wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aren’t we precious? 😉

Instant Banana Ice Cream

Slice it.
(Twist it.)
Freeze it.
(Turn it.)
Blend it.
(Pull it.)
EAT IT!
(BOP IT!)

You all remember Bop It!, right? Gosh, my siblings and I loved that game. They came out with a second version at one point in my youth, and I am sure there are even more than that now. This banana “ice cream” just takes a few simple steps like that to make. It could be its own version of Bop It! Might get a little messy though.
I had been seeing this recipe for some time now. Here, here, andddd here just to name a few. I am probably the last person food blogger to make this incredibly easy ice cream. 
I recently bought a crock pot! WoOhOo! So exciting. But I am still missing a few very essential appliances for a food-obsessed individual like myself. 1. Food processor. 2. Ice cream maker! 
…Not that I would make ice cream all the time, because from the recipes I have seen, homemade ice cream appears to take some patience. Mayfield’s Birthday Cake Ice Cream is in the freezer at the grocery store instantly, whenever I want it. When I want ice cream, I don’t have time to mess around and wait overnight for the stuff to freeze. 
This banana “ice cream” recipe (I don’t know if I need to keep putting it in quotes, but technically it’s not ice cream, so I feel like I should) is about a good as compromise as you can get. 
Banana Ice Cream
Makes 1 serving
Ingredients:
1-2 frozen bananas, sliced
Choice of toppings (I used ginger wafers, chocolate chips and marshmallows)
Directions:
1. Place sliced bananas in blender and pulse for 2-3 minutes until banana reaches the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Pause to scrap down sides of blender as needed.
2. Pour in bowl and top as desired. 

Sunday Blessings – On the Seventh Day

“On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work.”
-Genesis
...And ate ice cream.
Or maybe I made that part up. But that’s how I like to spend my days of rest…eating ice cream, that is.
This past week I had to work everyday from Sunday through Friday. Six long days of work. Not that you needed me to count for you. On that seventh day of the week (yesterday), I finally got a day of much needed rest. 
I can’t think of a much better way I would have liked to spend that time off than with some family, exploring a new city. In a big city like D.C., there are so many places to go and sights to see that it’s not exactly the most physically relaxing vacation. But it is very mentally relaxing.
Anytime I’m with that beauty up there on the left, I know I will have fun. The most difficult decision I have had to make is what flavor ice cream and cupcakes to get! That can be a little stressful, but I’m not complaining about eating ice cream and cupcakes. 
So it’s a good thing I’m not being completely lazy and just sitting around all weekend. We are getting plenty of walking into our days, to help balance the excessive sugar intake. Not to mention overstuffed sandwiches and deep-dish pizza. Don’t worry, I won’t leave you out of this heavenly food forever. I know the anticipation is killing you, but try to hang on a little longer. 
Today, I get another day of rest! And tomorrow too. 
I wonder if God’s “seventh day” was extra long…like three-day weekend long. I hope it was. And I hope He ate a ginormous waffle cone filled with the creamiest ice cream ever–one scoop of blueberry cheesecake and one scoop of cinnamon.