๐Ÿช Two Cookie Thursday ๐Ÿช

So to honor my love of everything cookie related, I’ve decided to touch on an old classic recipe in my family and a new favorite – Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and Hamantaschen, a jam-filled Jewish cookie that is made during Purim celebrations.

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Weekend Foodie Warriors- Take 3!

Hello, hello, foodie friends ๐Ÿ˜ Hope you had an amazing weekend! This weekend in adventures – Birthday Dinners, Adam’s Bistro, and Bagels Galore!

Birthday Dinner at Restaurant 17

Traveler’s Rest, SC

http://restaurant17.com/

Pictures above from the view around the hotel attached, patio, and vineyard adjacent. Someone could get used to waking up to a view like this โค

The hotel and restaurant are nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, surrounded by gorgeous views and a small vineyard across the road. Hotel Domestique, a quaint, Old World Style building next door, lends a great backdrop and atmosphere as you look out from the bar of Restaurant 17.

The three menus above change seasonally and also by the variety of amazing local ingredients contributed by the farmers and suppliers listed. Check marks on the menus (added post-dinner, of course) detail what we ordered for my friends birthday celebration!

Click on each picture for a description of the items!


Adam’s Bistro

Greenville, SC

https://adams-bistro.com/

This is one of our local favorites! Great homemade dishes, good atmosphere, and awesome service.

Going clockwise, starting at 12, we had…

  • Chicken Sonoma- grilled chicken, topped w/sautรฉed asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes & a white wine cream sauce
  • Pasta Mykaela- sautรฉed Portobello mushrooms w/ spinach, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, angel hair, lemon butter & Parmesan
  • Chicken Cordon Blue- chicken breast stuffed w/ ham & swiss, crumbed & fried, topped w/ white cheese sauce

Greenfield’s Bagel Bakery

Greenville, SC

http://greenfieldsbagelsanddeli.com/

In business for 18 years, this little Jewish bakery is a gem and the best place around to get bagels, sandwiches, homemade cookies and baked goods, and some great lox too!

We got a black and white cookie, baked fresh on Sunday (which got inhaled so quickly I couldn’t even take a picture ๐Ÿ˜‚), a Brown Sugar Blueberry bagel (pictured right with cream cheese), a cinnamon raisin, and honey wheat bagel, only three of their 20+ flavors on the menu. A must try for breakfast, lunch, and a Sunday morning with family!

How was your weekend? I’d love to hear your foodie adventures from this weekend too! As always, feel free to like, comment, and share, and look out for another post coming up later on this week ๐Ÿค—

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St. Patty's Day – Corned Beef & Cabbage

Happy (belated) St. Patrick’s day to all my foodie friends! ๐Ÿ€

What better way to celebrate the day than drinking some green beer (if you’re over 21 ๐Ÿ˜‹) and finishing it off with homemade corn beef and cabbage? ๐Ÿป

One of the easiest holiday recipes to make, it’s super simple, and all you really need is time to finish this recipe. I’ll post the recipe and pictures on their respective tabs, so let’s talk about how to make it!

Corned Beef & Cabbage


All you really need is three main ingredients — 2-3 lbs. Corned beef (which usually comes with its own spice mix or packet in the store), One head of cabbage, and 6-8 potatoes. I always add carrots for extra veggies (6-8 as well), however, those first three ingredients are the Holy Trinity of Saint Patrick’s Day recipes!

To start, take your corned beef out of the package and place in a big pot with the spice mix (I used a pot I usually make big soups or lobster in), filling the pot with water until about 2 inches of water covers the top of the meat. If your corned beef doesn’t come with a seasoning packet, all you need to add is a clove of garlic, a bay leaf, 1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. of pepper (to taste).

Wash your potatoes, carrots, and cabbage well. Chop the stump off the bottom of the cabbage and remove the outer 3-4 leaves before cutting.
Chop the cabbage into small wedges, leaving the center intact to keep the cabbage in its shape.

Chop up about 6 to 8 small red potatoes and carrots into small chunks, increasing the amount of potatoes and carrots by how many pounds of meat you’re cooking. For reference, I cooked 2 to 3 pounds of meat, so increase your potatoes and carrots accordingly if cooking more meat (ex: the original recipe calls for 4-5 lbs. of beef = 16-18 carrots & potatoes, and a larger head of cabbage).

Bring the meat to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 3 – 3.5 hours. This would be a great time to go out and drink beer with buddies and have some fun before finishing up the recipe!

Once the 3 hours is up, or your meat is fork tender and can pull apart really easily, put the wedged cabbage, potatoes, and carrots into the pot and bring the heat up to medium high. Once at a low, rolling boil, set the timer for another 30 minutes – 1 hour, whichever you need to cook the vegetables until fork tender. It may need more or less time depending on how small you cut your vegetables, and how much water is left after 3 hours. You may need to cook the vegetables on the longer end of time depending on how full the pan is.

After your veggies are cooked, pull or shred apart the beef, and put together Tupperware containers with a little bit of everything if doing meal prep, or just enjoy straight out of the pot!

What was your favorite part about St. Patrick’s Day Weekend? Shout out in the comments below! ๐Ÿค—

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Meal Prep Tuesday!

In the next few weeks, I’ll be updating my blog with meal prep ideas from HelloFresh, as my friend gifted us a discount and I’m taking you on my meal kit journey with me (#notsponsored #notanad)! I won’t be posting the recipes from these as they’re already written for us, so check out the pictures tab for the full recipe and more in-depth cooking shots.

Mediterranean Salmon

As (I think) I’ve mentioned before, I’m originally from New England, and I absolutely love seafood, so this salmon dish really caught my eye in the weekly meal lineup.

A long time ago, my parents introduced me to Middle Eastern food, and this Mediterranean salmon reminded me of the times we would go visit this little Lebanese restaurant in Pennsylvania on the way to see family. HelloFresh made it easier to recreate the flavors of some of my favorite food with this recipe!

With every HelloFresh meal kit, it gives you all the ingredients – Minus salt, pepper, and usually some sort of oil or butter. It also wants you to go fetch a few different pans or utensils that you may or may not have to complete the recipe.

For the first part of the recipe, it called for zesting and cutting a lemon into wedges, and taking the dill fronds off of the stems and finally chopping. In the meantime, I boiled about 1/2 cup of water and 1 tbls. of butter in a pan before I threw in the couscous and quickly took it off the stove. It absorbed the water in the next 10 minutes as it rested.

Next was getting that crispy salmon skin!

I salt and peppered the salmon on both sides and put it skin side down in a pan with vegetable oil. It took about 5 minutes on the skin side* and another 2 to 4 minutes to cook the salmon all the way through on the back.

While the salmon cooked, I made the creamy dill sauce, with a combination of the two sour cream packets, half the lemon zest, the juice of two lemon wedges, and a tablespoon of our chopped dill. I salt and peppered that to taste as well!

I also fluffed the couscous with a fork and added the remaining lemon zest, some salt, pepper, and half of the zaatar spice, and stirred until fully combined.

Next was cooking the green beans, which took about three minutes in a steaming bag in the microwave.

Once those came out of the microwave, they went in a bowl tossed with butter, salt, and pepper, to taste.

The only thing left was to Plate it Up! ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿฝ

I was having lunch catered in the office yesterday, so luckily I only needed four lunches for this week, or else I would have needed to include more vegetables, couscous, and salmon to extend the recipe.** The directions suggested the couscous go down first, followed by the green beans, salmon, and top it with the creamy dill sauce, the remaining dill, and the rest of the zaatar spices.

  • Notes:
    • *One of the tips it suggested for getting really crispy skin was to press down with a spatula while it was skin side down to get the best surface contact while it was touching the pan.
    • **The recipe only says it contains two servings, however, if you have a bigger appetite than I do at lunch or weren’t trying to meal prep, this definitely wouldn’t last you as long as it will for me.
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HelloFresh Un-boxing! #notsponsored

Our first box!

I must admit, on this rainy day, getting this box made me feel like a little kid on Christmas morning. My friends and I got a gift card for a discount on boxes in the mail (#notsponsored #notanad) and decided to try it for a few weeks and make meals together!

The foil and bubble-wrapped liners contained all the meals we ordered in individually wrapped bags with everything but the proteins in the bundles.

Everything else was hiding under the gigantic ice bag, which was as long as my forearm – no joke!

All three of our meals with their proteins laid out, with recipe cards below!

I’m so excited to share these with you in the next couple weeks. I’ll be using this as meal prep and comparing how easy or hard the recipes are, based on what’s listed on the cards. If I add anything while cooking, I’ll note it here too!

Have you ever tried out HelloFresh or any other meal kit service? What did you think? Shout out in the comments down below, and stay tuned for more ๐Ÿ™‚

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Taco Thursday- with a Twist!

One of the best things my roommate and I like to do is discover new little hole-in-the-wall places we’ve never been to before, and we sure did find a gem this time!

Tacos & Bla Bla Bla

Simpsonville, SC

https://www.tacos-blablabla.com/

*Food Truck they use for catering pictured left!


This spot opened up right next to a Food Lion near us about a year ago and it’s still going strong. It’s a really cute place, with metal and wooden seating and murals along the wall, depicting the hustle and bustle of a Mexican town. If you look closely, you can see familiar faces & names of the family members that own the restaurant sprinkled in with the rest of the colorful scene.


Their food is just as amazing as their dรฉcor. The menu is simple, but jam packed with goodies like tortas, gorditas (my absolute favorite), and mulitas. If we want really good authentic Mexican food, this is where we go!

After ordering, you make your way to their homemade salsa bar, which always changes with seasonality, but has some classics on hand, like chipotle sauce, salsa verde, etc.

We ended up choosing the Green Sauce w/ avocado; Chile Arbol (wicked spicy); Habanero salsa (my favorite); and Bla Bla Verde Sauce (their take on a salsa verde).

Every order comes with homemade chips and refried beans, which worked well to balance out the spice levels on some of the salsas!


Like I said, their gorditas are to DIE FOR! Created with a “handmade thick corn tortilla* that is grilled, fried, cut open like a ‘pita bread’, and then filled with your choice of meat or vegetables” (from their website). From top left down and then top right, the fillings we chose were:

  • Al Pastor (marinated shredded pork grilled with pineapples) (my favorite, hands down!)
  • Chipotle Chicken
  • Carne Asada (Steak)
  • & Barbacoa (Shredded Beef Brisket)

There are so many more fillings we could’ve spent breakfast and dinner there too trying to taste them all! Everything is super fresh and made to order, so even if we have to wait, the food is so worth it.

If you’re in town, absolutely check them out! They’re on 1004 W. Georgia Rd. Ste. B, in Simpsonville, SC.

*Side Story — When I was younger, we used to have Peruvian friends who had invited us to their house to have supper, and they made us arepas, which is the Peruvian version of the thicker corn tortilla picutred above. They added little bits of queso fresco to theirs before cooking, and I have made them that way ever since. One of these days I’ll recreate that recipe here too!

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Meal Prep Monday!

This week, I made a recipe inspired by Pinterest, one posted by a blogger in 2015 named Vodka and Biscuits I have on my “Fantastically Foodie” board (Shameless plug, I know, here’s the link: https://www.pinterest.com/mas7472/fantastically-foodie/).

I was in the mood to use my cast iron skillet, and I like to try and use what’s already in my pantry when I can — this week, that item happened to be canned pumpkin! It’s been so dull and dreay outside I wanted a warm, feel good dish for meal prep this week.

Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Sage Sausage

Inspired by a recipe from: http://www.vodkaandbiscuits.com/2015/10/05/pumpkin-baked-ziti-with-sage-sausage/

Key takeaways from this meal prep recipe:

  • You can absolutely make pumpkin into a savory sauce- adding in more fall spices mixed with a little heat from the red pepper flakes or chili powder helps to balance the natural sweetness of the pumpkin
  • You can sub out multiple things in this recipe to better suit what you have on hand:
    • Vegetable broth for Chicken Broth
    • Sage sausage for Italian sausage
    • Olive oil for Canola oil
    • Red pepper flakes for Paprika or Chili powder
    • Cast iron skillet for Saute pan & Oven safe baking dish
  • Depending on the size of the container you use, I got about 7-8 single serve tupperware containers out of this for meal prep.

See the recipe for this here and let me know what you think! Have you ever cooked with a cast iron skillet before? Do you like using one over a saute pan or vice versa? Shout out in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚

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Weekend Foodie Warriors – Take 2!

This week in foodie adventures: Lobster Food Truck, Brunch & Polish Food!


Wow, what a week! We tried to make the best of the rain here with the few days of sunshine we got and take advantage of them!

Cousins Maine Lobster Food Truck

Simpsonville, SC

https://www.cousinsmainelobster.com/truck/charlotte-nc/

First stop for this week was the Cousins Maine Lobster Truck, which won Shark Tank a couple years ago and has been bringing great New England Lobster to the people of America ever since! As a native New Englander myself, this was a can’t miss stop. I grabbed two of my besties, Jonothan and Julissa…

โ€ฆ..and we proceeded to stand in line for FOUR HOURS waiting for food.

Now I know, you must be saying, “You must be crazy to stand in line that long!”. Yes, looking back on it, I’d have to agree with you to a point. Hey, at least they parked in front of a brewery!


We made a lot of great friends in line, and that sweet, sweet lobster was so worth it <3 See pictures below for more fun from Food Truck Tuesday!


Brunch Time!

Brunch with the boys at Another Broken Egg Cafรฉ

Greenville, SC

https://anotherbrokenegg.com/location/greenville-sc

Brunch is one of my favorite things in the world, besides cooking of course ๐Ÿ™‚ Jonathan and my boyfriend & I ended up going to Another Broken Egg after this new biscuit place we were going to check out was closed.

I had an early Saint Patrick’s Day Open-Faced Ruben with a poached egg; my boyfriend had an eggs benedict burger; and Jonathan had a supreme omelet and chocolate chip pancakes!*

*Not pictured here are the biscuit beignets with powdered sugar and orange marmalade dipping sauce we had as an appetizer; brought me back to New Orleans and Cafรฉ Du Monde!


Dinner with the Fam!

Polish Pierogis and
Goล‚ฤ…bki

Pronounced *Peer-oh-geez* and *gol-ump-keys*

When my family gets together, we love making dishes that remind us of our family that are far away or can’t be with us anymore. Last night’s dinner reminded me of when I was younger, and my grandpa would make pierogis and golumpkis (spelling it this way for ease of reading), or take us to a little family restaurant called Patty’s in Rhode Island for some.

The pierogis were always served with sour cream and grilled onions on the side, and the golumpkis were piping hot out of the oven next to them. The pierogis we ate last night were traditional style (potato and onion filled), and a little more modern style (bacon, cheddar, and potato filled). Imagine if they put mashed potatoes into a ravioli wrapper, and voila! Pierogis!

As a kid, I wasn’t a big fan of cabbage, but having it served this way was delish! The golumpkis are cabbages stuffed with rice and beef, and baked in a sweet, stewed tomato sauce.

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Weekend Foodie Warriors!

There’s nothing that I love more than sharing food with the people I love. ๐Ÿ’œ Whether it’s cooking for them, experimenting with new recipes, or taking them out to a new restaurant, I love making memories over a great bite – which is exactly what we did this weekend!


Tonkotsu Ramen and Spicy Soba noodles from Menkoi, Downtown Greenville, SC

The first stop on our foodie tour was to Menkoi, one of the two really great ramen places in the Greenville, SC area. There’s a great place in nearby Spartanburg, SC too called Monsoon, which makes a great Pho, but that’s a picture and story for another day. I got the Tonkotsu Ramen, a pork based broth ramen, and my friend got the Spicy Soba noodles bowl, with a yummy seafood broth.


Ropa Vieja with yuca and yellow rice at Havana Kitchen, Greenville, SC

Our next stop was a new restaurant in Greenville called Havana Kitchen.

I had never had Cuban food before so I was excited to try this one! Upon the recommendation of two of my Cuban buddies, I got the Ropa Vieja, a marinated beef dish. It surprisingly tasted a lot like a Portuguese meal that I grew up with called Cacolia (pronounced like ka-sir-la), which is a stewed beef dish with a tomato-based spicy sauce.

The Ropa Vieja here was paired with a Spanish yellow rice and garlic drizzled yucca, which was absolutely delicious. They even have salsa dancing on the weekends, will definitely have to come back for that one! ๐Ÿ’ƒ


Last but not least on our trip was a Greenville hot spot, Mello Mushroom, in honor of National Pizza Day (Feb. 9th)!

Their pizzas are a feast for not only the mouth but the eyes, and their presentation was great!

The “Kosmic Karma” pizza included feta cheese, sun-dried and Roma tomatoes, spinach, and was drizzled with a pesto swirl. The pesto was probably my favorite part, that sauce is one of my go-to’s!

The Pacific Rim was a play on the controversial (to some) ham and pineapple pizza – but with a kick – adding bacon, caramelized onions, and jalapenos to the pie most of us know and love.

So there you have it, another foodie weekend in the books. Tune in next weekend for a food truck pile up I’ve been waiting for for two weeks! ๐Ÿ™‚

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