Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blueberry Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream

I recently made a blueberry cobbler that was so tasty, and incredibly simple.  Blueberry cobbler always reminds me of my childhood.  As a family, we would go to a local blueberry farm every summer and pick tons of blueberries.  Mom would always make a blueberry cobbler and serve it with vanilla ice cream.   She'd freeze the leftover berries so that we could make cobblers throughout the fall, too.

When searching for a recipe, I wanted to find something that  called for ingredients that I already had on hand. I can't stand buying an ingredient for a recipe that I will only use once.   The recipe I found only calls for six ingredients in addition to the fruit, and all of them are things you probably already have in your pantry or refrigerator.
 

Ingredients: 

3 to 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup plus one Tbsp sugar  
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 egg, slightly beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place berries in the bottom of a greased 8x8 baking dish and sprinkle 1 Tbsp of sugar over them. In medium mixing bowl, sift all dry ingredients. Cut in butter and add beaten egg. (If you don't know how to cut in butter check out a video tutorial here.) Mix until crumbly and sprinkle over the berries, covering all exposed fruit. Bake for 35 minutes until golden.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Weekend Recap

This weekend I was on my own.  T went to the NASCAR race in Darlington with a friend, and I stayed in Greenville with George.  On Saturday afternoon I headed to Clemson with some friends to tailgate for the spring game. Although I only live 40 minutes away from my college town, I rarely go there.  If you're not there to see the college, there's really nothing else to do. It was so much fun going back to our old stomping grounds, and eating and drinking in the college bars that we loved.


The tailgating scene is quite different for the spring game.  If you've ever been to Clemson for a football game during its regular season, you know just how crazy it can be.  After all, we were voted The South's Best Tailgate by Southern Living Magazine two years in a row.   But the spring game is much more relaxed and less crowded, which I love.




Sunday was spent doing lots of home improvement projects around the house.  I now know how to re-caulk a bathtub, surprisingly it wasn't that difficult and the bathroom looks so much better.  I also started the process of staining our dining room table.  Stay tuned for an update later on this week with pictures of the finished product.  Hope everyone is having a great week!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five on Friday

It's seems like its been forever since I've participated in a Five on Friday link up.  There's been a lot going on recently, so I've got some exciting things to share.

1. George is getting so big!  He has officially doubled in size since the day that we picked him up.  We've struggled with him biting, chewing, and jumping up, but I think we finally have turned a corner.  {hope I'm not jinxing this}  T and I have put a lot of work into disciplining him when he's doing bad things and making sure to praise him when he's doing good things.  I think that he just might be getting it, fingers crossed!



2. Our dining room table is finally finished.   I've been nagging asking T to finish this thing for about 4 months now.   It just needs a few coats of  stain and polyurethane now, and that's my project.  I'm hoping to get a good head start on that this weekend.




3. This weekend I'm headed to Clemson's Spring Game.  The weather is going to be perfect, and I'll be back in my college town for the first time since this fall.  I can. not. wait.  I'm looking forward to pulling out my orange clothes to cheer on our tigers.  Luckily, we'll definitely pull out a W at this game.


4. I recently bought my first pair of gladiator sandals, and I love them.  I didn't want to go  Kourtney Kardashian bold with them, but I think I can pull off the calf height ones.  I've worn them a few times around town, and I get compliments on them all the time.  I think these just may be my new favorite summer sandals.




5. Have y'all caught any episodes of Chrisley Knows Best?  If you've read April's Five on Friday today, you probably noticed that she wrote about this very same show!  Its so obvious that we're sisters.  I've had this post written for a few days, and we have never talked about the show together.  We must share the gene for a love of semi-trashy reality TV.

I have loved this show so far.  It follows Todd Chrisley and his family, who live in a suburb of Atlanta.  {They've even ventured into upstate SC a few times to their lake house, which I presume is at Hartwell.}   Todd is an eccentric self-made millionaire in Atlanta, and the patriarch of his oh-so-entertaining family.  The show follows Todd as he tries to keep his teenage children in line, and uses some nontraditional ways to do so. I  love that the show is only 30 minutes.  Its much easier for me to watch a quick 30 minute episode rather than committing to a full hour show.  The show comes on USA on Tuesday nights, and they feature reruns on BRAVO, too.  You must watch this.


Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Black Pepper Cheese Ball

While I was menu planning for the Carolina Cup, T suggested that I make a Black Ball.  He's been asking me to make one of these for years, and I've just never gotten around to doing it.  T's mom used to always make these and it was one of his favorites.  I never actually knew what it was, "Black Ball" isn't the most appealing recipe name. 

I finally decided to make one, and reached out to his mom to get the recipe.  Had I known the recipe was so simple, I would have made this thing a long time ago.  Three ingredients- that's it.  And it was so yummy!


 

Black Pepper Cheese Ball

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 package dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
Course ground black pepper

Mix cream cheese and ranch dressing mix together and form into a ball.  Roll in black pepper until completely coated. Seal in an airtight container until ready to serve.  Serve with raw veggies or crackers.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Suppa Club Y'all

T and I are part of a supper club with all of our friends, quite possibly the biggest supper club this side of the Mississippi.  We have over 30 people that are involved, and it's still growing.  Since there are so many of us, each month we divide into three groups of ten.  This month was our turn to host, so on Sunday night we had everyone over and I made a southern themed meal.

We started off our meal with deviled eggs, I topped some of them with pickled jalapenos for those that like it a little spicy.


 And we sipped on sweet tea vodka with lemonade, and just plain lemonade for the non-drinkers.


For our side dishes I made this rice dish {not pictured} and cucumber salad, one of my summertime favorites.


I also made my mom's recipe for green beans, cooked with a ham hock, of course. 


T manned the frying station and prepared the fried chicken for everyone.  We made one of our favorite fried chicken recipes, Nashville-Style Hot Fried Chicken.




I loved getting to cook for a group.  Usually I just cook for the two of us, and cooking for two isn't as much fun.  We finally got our table finished {stay tuned for an update on that}, so we were able to all sit in our dining room and enjoy the food and conversations together.  What a great way to end our weekend!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Roost: Giving It A Second Shot

This weekend my parents came into town to stay with us. On Friday night we wanted to take them somewhere that they had never been before, and somewhere that T and I hadn't been in a while either. After throwing a couple of ideas around, we decided that we'd give Roost a second shot. The last time the two of us were there, it was nothing short of a disaster. We went on opening night which was probably our first mistake, and I ordered a dish that I typically don't order; mistake #2.  I wound up sending my entree back twice, something I NEVER do, and T wasn't fond of his entree either. It's been so long that I can't even recall what we ordered- I just remember that it didn't taste good.

Luckily the menu has changed significantly since then, and we had lots of choices to choose from on Friday night. We started with an order of the Parmesan Truffle Fries, because who can resist those when they're on the menu? For our entrees, we ordered the Pad Thai, the Twice Fried Korean Wings, the Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf, and the Pot Roasted Mussels & Clams Cioppino.
 
Parmesan Truffle Fries

Pot Roasted Mussels & Clams Cioppino

Pad Thai

Meat Loaf, Korean Wings, and Mountain High Cake

Everything was packed full of flavor, a great contrast to the bland meal that we had there before.  Although it took us over a year to return, I'm glad we decided to give it a second chance.  The stars of the meal were the Meatloaf and Pad Thai.  I only got one measly bite of the meatloaf that T ordered, he liked it so much he hogged the rest, but that one bite was wonderful.  The Pad Thai was vegetarian, only $14.00, and it was enough for three meals.  It had so much flavor and was so filling that you didn't even miss the meat. Next time T and I return, we plan to get an appetizer and split the Pad Thai. 

 
We let our waiter know that we had a bad experience the first time and that we were returning to give the restaurant a second chance.  Shortly after that he brought a piece of cake to the table thanking us for trying the restaurant again.  How's that for service?  I'm so happy to report that the meal at Roost was a success.  I don't know what it is that they're doing differently now, but I hope they'll keep it up.  We'll be back for sure, and it definitely won't take us a year this time.

Roost on Urbanspoon


Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Trip to Bacon Bros.

T and I recently tried out Bacon Brothers for the first time.  I know I was a little late to jump on the Bacon Bros band wagon, but its hard for me to justify driving 30 minutes to a restaurant when I live so close to downtown and I'm minutes away from so many great places.   It was worth the drive though, the food and atmosphere were that darn good.

I was a little dubious at first when we pulled up, the restaurant is located in an unassuming strip mall, nestled between a Mexican restaurant and a Babies Furniture Plus.  Nothing about that oozes trendy, sexy, food.  But as soon as we walked in, we felt a sudden shift in the atmosphere.   Good lighting, rustic decor, and a fantastic smell coming from the kitchen.  We were also greeted by Ryan, a member of the waitstaff that we knew from his previous restaurant experience.

Sidenote: If you do go to Bacon Brothers, you must ask for Ryan to be your waiter.  I've never met a guy that was more passionate and more knowledgeable about a menu than him.   He made our experience just that much better.

The restaurant specializes in prohibition-style cocktails.  Very similar to the drinks that they serve at Husk if you've ever been there. T loves them because he describes them as "manly cocktails", the kind of drink he's not embarrassed to have sitting in front of him.  He opted for the Sazerac (rye whiskey, absinthe, bitters, and sage) and I ordered the Pomegranate Negroni (Aperol, Plymouth Gin, Sweet Vermouth, house made pomegranate grenadine syrup topped with dried rose petals).  There was nothing manly about my drink, and boy was it good.


For our appetizer, by recommendation of Ryan, we started with the Pimento Cheese Jar and two Deviled Dust Eggs.  The Pimento Cheese was very tasty.  It was topped with a bacon jam, which gave it a great smoky flavor that paired so well with the cheese.  And at $.75 a pop, it was hard not to order a few of the deviled eggs. They're topped with coppa ham and the house made "devil dust" which gave them just the right amount of heat.


As for our entrees, T ordered a pork chop special and I had the B.E.T. (pork belly pastrami, Swiss cheese, fried duck egg, green peppercorn mayo, arugula, yellow tomato)  I'm not a huge pork chop fan, so the T's entree wasn't necessarily my jam, but the B.E.T. was out of this world.   Definitely not the thing you want to order on a first date, because it was super messy, but the flavors went together beautifully.  Let's be honest, I love anything with cured meat and a fried duck egg. Throw in cheese and a special mayo?  Sold.


One thing that Ryan told us when talking about the restaurant is that they don't even own a freezer. Everything is just that fresh.  We loved seeing all of the meat hanging in the restaurant, too.  It made me wish that I had ordered the charcuterie plate.  I'll have to save that for next time though.


So all in all we were very impressed with Bacon Brothers.  In my opinion, the one thing that they don't have going for them is the location.  I think if they opened a location closer to downtown, they would be an even bigger hit.  Maybe even in the Pendleton Street Arts District,  or what T and I have deemed "the Brooklyn of Greenville".  I think the hipster vibe of the restaurant would be so successful there.  One of these days, maybe, just maybe...

Bacon Bros Public House on Urbanspoon

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