Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Fall 2014 Wish List

Who is getting excited for cooler weather, football and most importantly- Fall Fashions?!? I know I am!  School is starting and I am ready to start adding to my closet.  Here are a few things on my wish list for Fall 2014.

This one by Haute Hippie available at Piperlime is TO DIE FOR!  A girl can dream can't she?

3 options depending on what you want to spend.  These work for business, church and parties of all kinds.  Every woman needs a pair of these in her closet!
Christian Louboutin: Neiman Marcus
Sam Edelman: Piperlime

DV by Dolce Vita: Piperlime

It doesn't have to be long-sleeved but should pair well with a leather jacket for cooler months.
Rachel Pally: Revolve Clothing

This would look cute with any jeans or even army green track pants.
Velvet by Graham & Spencer: Piperlime 

Plaid is everywhere! If you already a simple plaid button-down check out some of these different options.
Press Ruffle Blouse: Nordstrom
Sanctuary Baseball Tee: Nordstrom

The color of these is so rich and gorgeous.  These would pair well with a simple white or black blouse or even a nice floral print top. And you can't go wrong with the perfect black pump on your feet.
AG: Piperlime

Frye Boots are my personal favorite.  These Melissa boots will go with everything- Black, brown, dresses, jeans etc...

Frye: Piperlime

I wanted these for Spring but never found any that I loved.
Splendid: Piperlime

One that can work with sandals while the weather is warm but transitions perfectly into Fall with boots! Perfect for Back to School Night or Open House!

Piperlime Collection: Piperlime

Statement jewelry is always a good idea!  These necklaces will work perfectly to complete your fall looks.
Poppy Style
Poppy Style
belle & whitaker necklace: Coral

Of course this is not everything that I would like to add to my closet for the Fall, but merely a sampling.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Chopped Salad

This is a basic Chopped Salad.  I make this and then add different cheeses, meats or other toppings depending on what each person wants.

1/2 Head Iceberg Lettuce, chopped
2 Hearts of Romaine Lettuce, chopped
1/4 Purple Onion, thinly sliced
1 pint Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
6-8 slices of thick cut Bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
1 Avocado, diced
3 ears of corn, removed from the cob and grilled or pan-fried

To make a Southwestern Chicken Salad, add-
Grilled Chicken
Shredded Pepperjack Cheese
Black Beans

To make a traditional Cobb Salad, add-
Grilled Chicken
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Hard-Boiled Eggs, chopped
A Simple Homemade Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing 

To make a Steak Salad, add-
Grilled Steak, sliced on the diagonal into strips
Crumbled Gorgonzola or Feta
Toasted Pecans, chopped
Balsamic Vinaigrette

What is your favorite salad?


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WIW & Restaurant Rec: Bistro 217 Dinner

While we were at Pawley's I didn't cook every night.  We also got to go to an incredible restaurant, Bistro 217.  It is delicious- amazing cocktails and even more amazing seafood. They are also kid-friendly! It is great to find a place you can feel comfortable taking your children that's not a fast food restaurant! My cousin, Susannah, works there and per her recommendation, I had the wahoo special.  We all enjoyed tuna, grouper cheeks (yes, cheeks!) and a whole fish for our appetizers.  Dessert is usually my fav part of any meal.  The Cayenne Chocolate Ice Cream did not disappoint!

On me-
Necklace: Poppy Style
Sunglasses: Tory Burch

On Hollins-
Dress & Bow: Janie & Jack


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Delicious Beach Drinks

This recipe is from my cousin Susannah. She whipped these up for us last year at the beach and now she makes them every time we are together.  So delicious! 

2 oz. Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka
juice from a large lemon
large splash of Simple Syrup
Put all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously.  Serve in a martini glass with a lightly sugared rim.
This makes one cocktail.

I am always trying out new kinds of Mojitos.  They are so tasty and refreshing but I don't usually like them in restaurants because they tend to be overly sweet and artificial tasting.  This one ends up being the most beautiful shade of pink also!


a few cubes of fresh watermelon
1/4 cup watermelon juice (pureed watermelon strained through mesh strainer)
4-6 mint leaves, torn in half
juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp of cream of coconut
splash of simple syrup, optional
1/4 cup Malibu Coconut Rum
1/8 cup Light Rum
Club soda
Balls of watermelon, for garnish (optional)
Muddle watermelon, mint, lime juice and cream of coconut in glass.  Add watermelon juice, both rums and simple syrup. Stir well.  Add crushed ice. Top with club soda and stir once again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Beach-Perfect Desserts

Fruit cobbler is a must at the beach!  We serve it hot with vanilla ice cream.  Sometimes, I use a combination of blackberries and peaches. It would still be 2 cups of fruit.

Peach Cobbler
1 stick of butter
2 cups of peaches, sliced
3/4 cup milk 
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
11/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 325.  Place stick of butter in a shallow baking dish. Put in the oven.  When butter has melted, pour batter in the dish- DO NOT STIR.  Add fruit. DO NOT STIR.  Put dish back in oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until lightly brown on top.

Dirt Cake is a family favorite.  While it might sound like a kids dessert,  all ages love this sweet treat. My boys love it so much that they woke up early one morning and I caught them eating it right out of the bowl!! You can put it in a pretty glass bowl to see the layers or be more creative.  My mom used to put it in a sand bucket or flower pot! 

Dirt Cake
Large, Family size package of Oreo cookies, crushed
1/2 stick of butter, softened
8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
2-3oz packages instant vanilla pudding
3 1/2 cups milk
1- 12 oz container of Cool Whip

Cream butter and cream cheese with electric mixer.  In a separate bowl whip together the milk and the pudding.  Add the Cool Whip to the pudding and stir. Then combine that with the butter and cream cheese mixture.  Layer the Oreos and pudding mixture ending with Oreos.  I usually end up with 3 layers of each.

I made it at Halloween last year and used the orange and brown Oreos and added orange food coloring to the pudding mixture.  I also added gummy spiders and worms to make it extra spooky!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pawley's Trip 2014

Kiddos chowing down on some watermelon

Every summer my family and I go to Pawley's Island for vacation…. well it used to be called vacation but now that I have 3 munchkins it is called a trip!  I love that it is such a quiet, peaceful place. It has not been overrun with commercialized chain stores and restaurants.  Yes, if you need McDonald's there is one on the mainland, but on the island there is nothing.  While we are there we really don't do much besides eat, play on the beach, eat, do puzzles, eat, play games…. did I say eat?!?!  Most of the family enjoys cooking, especially at the beach where there is a larger crowd to feed- the more the merrier! And by the way, I don't skimp on the fat or calories while I am at the beach!

On my night to cook I made Shrimp 'N Grits// Corn Avocado & Tomato Salad// Roasted Asparagus

I like my grits creamy and usually with some sort of cheese.

Creamy Grits
2 cups Stone Ground Grits (not quick-cooking)
4  cups Chicken Stock/ Broth
1 stick of butter 
3 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup of fresh grated parmesan
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a nonstick pot, combine chicken broth and grits. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Turn to medium-low heat, stir in butter and reduce liquid by half.  As liquid reduces, add heavy cream in 4 additions, stirring occasionally.  Process should take about an hour.  When liquid has been absorbed, remove from heat and add parmesan, salt and pepper. 


5 pounds of fresh-caught medium-sized shrimp, peeled
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 pounds of thick- cut bacon
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
6 cups of chicken broth
2 tbsp of Worcestershire
juice of 3 lemons
3 tbsp Italian Parsley, chopped
Hot sauce
Salt & Pepper
Place shrimp and flour in very large ziploc bag.  Shake it until all of the shrimp in completely coated.  Set aside. In a large heavy bottomed pot, cook the chopped bacon until crispy,  Remove bacon with a large slotted spoon and place on paper towel-lined plate.  Add onion, pepper and garlic to bacon drippings. Cook for about 5 minutes- until onion is translucent.  Remove with slotted spoon to another paper towel-lined plate.  Remove shrimp from ziploc shaking of excess flour from each shrimp and place in bacon drippings in pot. Cook for 7-8 minutes, until shrimp is pink on the outside but not cooked through.  Remove shrimp and place on another plate and set aside.  Add onion mixture, chicken broth, Worcestershire and lemon juice to the pot.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the reserved shrimp to the pot.  Simmer about 20 more minutes until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.  Add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.  Stir well. Remove from heat and add parley and reserved bacon.  Serve over Creamy Grits.

Roasted Asparagus

2 bunches of asparagus, washed and ends removed
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Kosher Salt
Fresh Rosemary
Lemon Juice
Preheat oven to 375.  Cover large baking sheet with foil.  Toss asparagus and 2-3 tbsp of olive oil in pan.  Sprinkle with minced garlic and kosher salt.  Add fresh rosemary sprigs and roast for 15-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the asparagus before serving.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Greek Salad

2 pints of grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 purple onion, thinly sliced
3 kirby cucumbers, diced
4 ozs. of crumbled feta
1 cup kalamata olives, cut in half 
1can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed in cold water
1 can of artichoke hearts, chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano

Dress with Red Wine Vinaigrette & serve with warm pita bread.

Allen likes lettuce with his, I prefer none.  You can eat this salad just like this or add it to cooked orzo or Israeli Couscous.  It is delicious both ways!