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July 26, 2014 / sweetsavant

How I spent my Summer Vacation: Our Visit to Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston City Market

Charleston City Market meets all of your souvenir needs .  Located on Meeting Street its over 1200 feet long.

Here’s a brief recap of our trip to S.C. this Summer.

Sweet Grass baskets

Sweet Grass baskets sold at the market and all over the city. Handmade in Charleston

gelato at Charleston Candy Kitchen

Then cross the street to Charleston Candy Kitchen. Always fresh pralines and they always have a sample for you. 32 N.Market St

Carriage tours in Charleston

Carriage tours in Charleston. I’ve never taken one of these tours…but I’ve been behind one

Then onto dinner at Craftsman Kitchen and Tap House-12 Cumberland St.  This was our first visit, we’ll definitely be beck.  Their squid fries are “to DIE!”

The bar at Craftsman Kitchen and Tap, Charleston SC

The bar at Craftsman Kitchen and Tap House-They have a TON of locally brewed beer to try

After a bit of a break we went for dessert at Ye Ole Fashioned

ice cream menu at Ye Ole Fashioned, Savannah Hwy-West Ashley-Charleston, SC

Ice cream menu at Ye Ole Fashioned, Savannah Hwy-West Ashley-Charleston, SC.  Their Sundaes are HUGE!  I think everything they sell is huge.

menu at YE Ole Fashioned, Charleston SC

Check out the BLT at Ye ole Fashioned

Unique Holiday Inn

Unique Holiday Inn. We didn’t stay there, I just thought it was a cool building

Bon Bahn Mi 162 Spring St Charleston, SC

Bon Bahn Mi 162 Spring St Charleston, SC. Some cute shops popping up all over the city.

 

 

July 23, 2014 / sweetsavant

Recalled fruit+Fruit Wash #Recipe

Always wash your fruits and vegetables before eating. DIY fruit and vegetable wash recipe below

Always wash your fruits and vegetables before eating. DIY fruit and vegetable wash recipe below

Check your fruit bowl, folks-there has been a HUGE RECALL of fruits  including peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots — apricot-plum hybrids — packaged between June 1 through July 12 by Wawona Packing Co. due to potential contamination with LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES (view the actual recall notice here).  This is a voluntary recall, so far there have been no reported illnesses.  Some of the stores that received recalled fruit were Costco, BJ’s, Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Walmart and possibly others.  If you have any of the recalled fruit throw it out or contact the store of purchase, you may be entitled to a refund.

I heard about the recall on the news and was also alerted to the recall on my receipt from my last trip to Kroger (a very useful by-product of having the Kroger Plus Card tracking program)

Warning on my receipt about recalled fruit

Warning on my receipt about recalled fruit, notice that even ORGANIC fruit is included in this recall .  I had ALL of these in the fruit bowl on my counter.

Even if there is no recall its always a good idea to wash your fruit.

Simple fruit and vegetable wash recipe;

3 parts water to 1 part distilled vinegar

So 3 cups of water to 1 cup of vinegar or 6 cups of water to 2 cups of vinegar.  I suggest using a large bowl to wash your fruit instead of your sink so you can use the proper measurement of water to vinegar.  A sink is so large that you may not get the proper water to vinegar ratio to be effective.

Agitate the fruit  in the vinegar and water solution (a little friction helps get the fruit clean) rinse and dry the fruit.  Even fruit that gets peeled or cut should be washed before eating.  If you cut an unwashed cantaloupe, for example, your knife can drag bacteria from the skin to the interior of the fruit.  For large fruit you may want to put the vegetable wash in a spray bottle.

 

 

July 21, 2014 / sweetsavant

Parmesan Crisps Recipe-What I’m Snacking On

The finished Parmesan cheese crisps with salami and olives, a perfect low carb snack

The finished Parmesan cheese crisps with salami and olives, a perfect low carb snack

These Parmesan crisps are so easy to make but they are DELICIOUS!!  I had some at a wine tasting party a few weeks ago and thought they were the perfect replacement for crackers

Delicious Parmesan Crisps

Delicious Parmesan Crisps with Garlic, Rosemary and Black Pepper

Parmesan crisps, before baking, sprinkled with rosemary, black pepper and garlic powder

Parmesan crisps, before baking, sprinkled with rosemary, black pepper and garlic powder

PARMESAN CRISPS makes 8 crisps

1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the Parmesan cheese in 8 mounds on the parchment paper, about 2 tablespoons each.  Pat down lightly.

Sprinkle each mound of Parmesan with rosemary, pepper and garlic powder.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely and gently remove to a paper towel to absorb excess oil.  Serve at room temperature or store in an airtight container for a week.

 

July 16, 2014 / sweetsavant

Soy Cucumbers-Healthy Snack or Side

Soy Marinated Cucumbers

Soy Marinated Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a low carb  (sliced cucumbers have about 4 grams of carbs per cup) low calorie (about 16 calories per cup) vegetable that makes it the perfect filling snack or side dish.

Yes folks, I’m at it again. Cutting carbs that is.  I started off strong last year but fell off the wagon after a few months (a story that’s familiar to many of you, I”m sure).  Weight loss has been an ongoing struggle of mine but I’m not giving up.   I tend to like a low carb diet because, for me, it’s the least painful way to drop pounds.  A low fat diet makes me cranky….you wouldn’t like me when I’m cranky.

This is all you need for the soy marinated cucumber recipe.  Simple and delicious.

This is all you need for the soy marinated cucumber recipe. Simple and delicious.

This is an easy recipe that I like to have as an afternoon snack or a side dish with fish in a lettuce wrap (the rest of the family gets steamed rice with this)

Pour the simple dressing over the cucumbers

Pour the simple dressing over the cucumbers

 

SOY CUCUMBERS

2 Cucumbers, sliced

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup red wine vinegar

Red pepper flakes (to taste)

Put cucumber slices in a bowl. Mix soy sauce and red wine vinegar, pour over cucumbers.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

 

July 7, 2014 / sweetsavant

Apple Pie- Whole Wheat Pie Crust and Oat Crunch Topping

A slice of homemade apple pie with whole wheat pastry crust and oatmeal crunch topping

A slice of homemade apple pie with whole wheat pastry crust and oatmeal crunch topping.

A slice of homemade apple pie is a delicious treat that I like to make for my family once in a while.  After receiving some Whole Wheat Pastry flour  from Hodgson Mill  I decided to make this delicious treat into a not too guilty pleasure.  My husband loves all apple desserts so I made this with him in mind.  Oatmeal and whole wheat flour combine to make a tasty, crunchy crumb topping.

The whole wheat pastry flour doesn’t behave the same way that white flour does, it crumbled apart when I tried to roll it.  I added an egg to the pie dough and that seemed to give the dough a smooth and cohesive the texture.  I LOVE the way this pie crust tastes.  The rich, nutty-ness of the whole wheat pastry flour is delicious with the apple pie but I think it would be fantastic with a peach or plum filling.

A food processor takes most of the hard work out of a homemade pie crust.  Pulse some salt, butter and shortening with the whole wheat pastry flour. Add and egg and water and you're done

A food processor takes most of the hard work out of a homemade pie crust. Pulse some salt, butter and shortening with the whole wheat pastry flour. Add and egg and water and you’re done. It’s just that easy.

The finished whole wheat pie dough

The finished whole wheat pie dough was a bit hard to roll (no matter how I tweaked the recipe it crumbled) Rolling between two sheets of plastic wrap or pressing the dough into the pie plate makes things easier.

The finished apple pie, whole wheat crust and oatmeal crunch topping.

The finished apple pie, whole wheat crust and oatmeal crunch topping.

apple pie

More apple pie porn. You’re welcome.

Whole Wheat Pie dough makes 2 deep dish pie crusts (freeze one if you’re only making 1 pie)

7 tablespoons vegetable shortening

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 ½ Whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for rolling

3 tablespoons white granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

5-7 tablespoons iced water

1 egg

Measure out the butter and shortening and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

In a food processor add pastry flour, sugar and salt and process for 10 seconds to mix.

Add butter and shortening to the pastry flour and pulse for 15 one second intervals. There should be pieces of butter and shortening about ¼ in size visible in the flour. Add the egg and pulse 10 more times

Add water 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse the food processor until the mixture sticks together.

Divide the dough into two equal parts, pat each into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for half an hour until ready to use or freeze for 2 months.

Press one disk into pie plate or roll between two sheets of plastic wrap, then transfer to a pie plate.  Refrigerate again for another half an hour then, for extra flaky texture freeze the dough for an hour before filling.

Apple Pie with Oatmeal Crunch Topping

1 whole wheat pie crust

5 apples  (I like Fuji for crispness or golden delicious for creamy texture)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Oatmeal Crunch Topping

½ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

¾ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup old fashioned oatmeal

Deep dish pie pan

Press the pie dough into the pie pan or roll the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap and transfer to the pie pan.  Refrigerate for half an hour (for extra flaky texture freeze the dough for an additional hour before filling.)

Peel and slice the apples ¼ inch thick and toss with lemon juice.  Add brown sugar, corn starch and cinnamon to the apples and toss to combine.  Put the apple mixture into the pie crust.

Make the oatmeal crunch topping:

Melt the butter

Combine whole wheat pastry flour, brown sugar and salt in a bowl and stir in melted butter.  Add the old fashioned oatmeal.  Squeeze the topping together to form clumps of the mixture about 1/4-1/2 inch in size.

Sprinkle the oatmeal crunch topping over the pie and bake at 400° for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

 

June 15, 2014 / sweetsavant

Black Eyed Peas Sweet Potato Salad

Black eyed peas and sweet potato salad

Black eyed peas and sweet potato salad

You need this black eyed peas and sweet potato salad recipe in your life. It’s Southern inspired, mildly sweet and loaded with fiber, this delicious dish is perfect to make for your next barbecue.

black eyed peas salad

black eyed peas salad

BLACK EYED PEAS/SWEET POTATO SALAD

Serves 10

1 pound of black eyed peas

1/2 an onion (not chopped)

1 tablespoon of salt

1 1/2  pounds of sweet potato

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

3 Scallions, chopped

1/4 cup fresh chopped chives and parsley

Dressing

1/2 teaspoon of salt (adjust the salt to your taste)

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

 

To cook the black eyed peas~ Use a deep pot and make sure the Black Eyed peas are covered with about 4 inches of water. Add half an onion and salt.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a low simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes until the peas are tender. Drain the beans, discard the onion and let cool.

Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch dice. Toss with vegetable oil and bake at 350 Degrees for about 15 minutes until they are tender. Set aside to cool

Toss the sweet potatoes, black eyed peas, scallions and herbs together

For the dressing put salt, honey and rice vinegar in a bowl and whisk to combine. drizzle in canola oil wile beating with a whisk.  You can also shake it all up in a jar to blend the dressing.

Pour the Dressing over the salad and stir gently. Refrigerate overnight.  Stir gently again before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.

 

 

June 11, 2014 / sweetsavant

Sugar Shack in the Back-Roswell, GA

Tender and delicious cinnamon buns at Sugar Shack in the Back

Tender and delicious cinnamon buns at Sugar Shack in the Back.

Roswell restaurant The Fickle Pickle has a new baby sister and she’s so sweet.  Sugar Shack in the Back opens on Wednesday June 11th at 1085 Canton Street.

Sugar Shack in the Back Roswell GA

Sugar Shack in the Back is literally in the back of The Fickle Pickle restaurant. It’s the former special event space for the Pickle. Lots of outdoor seating. 

Sugar Shack in the Back will open early  (check their Facebook page for hours) for breakfast and will be serving Counter Culture Coffee.

you can have lunch under this gorgeous tree

Outdoor seating under this big, beautiful tree

Sugar Shack in the Back

The happy owner of Sugar Shack in the Back, Andy Badgett, in the bright open kitchen.  Carmen Brady, baker for Sugar Shack in the Back and The Fickle Pickle, is on the left, she’s going to be REALLY busy.

ice cream case Sugar Shack in the Back

The ice cream case is loaded with flavors like brown butter praline, red velvet cake, coconut almond joy and salted caramel as well as familiar favorites like cookies and cream, vanilla bean and lots more

cookie case

And then there are the cookies. They’ll make a custom ice cream sandwich for you if you want, even a cupcake or brownie sundae.

quiche and cream pie

Savory baked goods like this cheesy quiche will be available as well as sweets like this cream pie

bagel bombs and beignets

Freshly baked round bagel bombs (bagel dough stuffed with all kinds of goodness) on the left, glazed Beignets on the left and muffins in the middle

 

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