A Polished Palate

Living a tasteful life

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Life Lately July | Coastal Living

Summer may be over, but it sure doesn't feel like it here in Charleston. We are fortunate that our warm weather usually lingers until around mid October.  We had a blast this summer, enjoying much of our time on the water and I'm hopeful that we will be able to take advantage of a few more boat days like this before the cool weather creeps in. 

Whit and I spent Fourth of July weekend here in Charleston and enjoyed some time out on the water.
Several of us got together to celebrate my friend Lauren's 29th Birthday with a festive backyard BBQ.
I brought these yummy strawberry cheesecake bars for dessert. 
We attended a beautiful wedding for one of our family members at Magnolia Plantation. Most of Whit's family was there which was really nice. The last time we were all together at a formal event was our wedding day. 
I loved the vintage photo booth bus that was there. I've seen a lot of booths, but never a bus. It was so adorable. 
We often find ourselves at Angel Oak Restaurant for brunch when Whit's parents come in town. If you haven't been there before, run! Everything is so delicious, especially these house-made beignets. 
I'm obsessed with these oxygen eye masks. I was given them to try and now I'm hooked. I really felt like they reduced the puffiness under my eyes and left me looking and feeling refreshed, which is a win in my book. 
A delicious poke bowl from Beech Test Kitchen that was located at Workshop. I say was because something new has since replaced it. Workshop is a trendy food court with a rotating selection of food options from emerging and renowned chefs. The best part about it, there's always something new to try. Don't worry though, if you didn't make it there in time to try one of these fresh and flavorful bowls, Beech has a permanent location downtown.
July was also the month that we said farewell to one of my favorite items on the menu at Edmund's Oast...
The infamous pickled shrimp toast made it's last few runs and I nearly wanted to cry. This was one of the best things on the menu and I'm so sad that they took it away. On the bright side, the recipe was posted publicly. I'll let you know when I attempt it on my own...but I just don't think I'm ready yet. 
We may have ordered quite a few.
Tracey Lawrence made a stop in Charleston on his tour, so naturally Whit and I had to go. We love a good country concert, especially the good old stuff.
One of my favorite events of the summer- the Beaufort Water Festival! It's a two week long celebration that takes place in Beaufort, SC. The sandbar is where we spend most of the weekend, us and 100's of other people. It's basically like a high school/family reunion for many of us.
Our good friends welcomed a sweet little baby boy into the world. Emmett James, five days old and just as cute as can be. I was so excited to meet him.
Round two of the Beaufort Water Festival did not disappoint.
I took a quick 24 hour trip to Nashville for work but managed to squeeze in some good food while I was there. We had an amazing dinner at a new spot called Henley. I loved everything about this place, from the food to the decor. I'm hoping to find time to check out a few other places when I go back next week.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Shrimp and Orzo Salad

We had friends over for dinner a while ago and I was in the mood for a light and simple meal. Whit had been bugging me to make this shrimp recipe he found online so this seemed like the perfect time to do it. There were a few things I would do differently the next time around, so I decided to put those modifications in this recipe post! This salad is very light and fresh and can be served as the main dish or a side. It would be perfect to take to a dinner party or the last of the outdoor BBQ's before winter creeps in.
Did I mention I love orzo? It's good served alone, added to soups, salads, casseroles, you name it. The versatility is great!  What are some of your favorite orzo recipes?

Shrimp and Orzo Salad
2 lbs. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
3 cups orzo (cooked)
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped plus 4 to 6 whole leaves for garnish
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1.     Peel and devein and rinse shrimp
2.     In a bowl, stir together the shrimp, 1/4 cup olive oil, paprika, red pepper flakes and the 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
3.     Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo, stir well and cook according to package instructions, until al dente.
4.     Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. olive oil. Drain the shrimp, discarding of the marinade and add them to the skillet. Cook about 1 to 2 minutes until the shrimp are opaque throughout.
5.     Transfer the shrimp and any juices to a bowl, cover and keep warm.
6.     Drain the orzo and transfer to a warm serving bowl. Add the cooked shrimp and their juices and mix together well.
7.     Top with chopped basil and feta cheese and gently stir. Garnish with the whole basil leaves and serve immediately. 
Serves 6 to 8.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Recent Purchases

Happy Sunday! It's a gloomy day here in Charleston due to the effects of hurricane Irma that are headed our way. We are so fortunate that the path changed slightly but we are not completely in the clear. The lowcountry is still preparing for flooding and strong winds. Prayers go out to all of those that have been in the path of this awful storm. 

There has been so much going on lately that I haven't been able to give much time to the blog. This afternoon consisted of sitting inside with my favorite candle burning with the windows open, enjoying this fall like weather — which may be the only bright side to this hurricane. It seemed like a good time to work on a post.

I've been on a mission lately to find a few new outfits to take with me on my upcoming trip to Italy. Sadly I haven't had a whole lot of luck. I love everything I've ordered, but some things were the wrong size and others just didn't fit my petite frame, so there will be some returns. My bank account is happy about that — me, not so much. Here are some of my recent  purchases, plus a few other things I've got my eyes on.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Reflecting + A Giveaway with Jord Watches

Do certain times of the year ever remind you of specific memories and big milestones in your life? It happens to me all the time. That and well my Timehop app quickly reminds me daily of what was going on in my life in previous years. This time four years ago, I was attending the last of my bridal showers, finishing up my wedding plans, and my husband Whit and I were moving into our very first home together. 

It's hard to believe we bought our house four years ago. I thought Whit was crazy the day that he told me he wanted to put an offer in, as I quickly realized that would mean we would be moving in just two months before we said "I do." It was a bit chaotic at the time, but I'm so thankful we did it. It was so nice to come home after our wedding and honeymoon to a home that was ours. 

We've done little projects here and there and still don't have everything exactly how we want it, but rumor has it we never will. Who knew owning a home would be so much work? But on that same note, who knew that turning a house into a home would be so rewarding. They say time flys when you're having fun. And on that note.....
I have an awesome giveaway for you. Today it's one for the the guys! I was so excited for the opportunity to partner with Jord watches. Whit loves a good watch and I couldn't wait for him to get one of these versatile beauties to add to his collection. 
These are very unique men's watches because the band is made out of wood. This particular watch is made out of dark sandlewood and looks so sleek with the emerald green face. Don't worry, if you aren't into the emerald green, there are other color options to choose from. 

I also love that Jord offers engraving. An engraved wooden watch makes for the perfect gift! They have so many beautiful options to choose from. The full selection can be seen here. The watch itself also comes beautifully packed in a nice wooden box. I'm a sucker for good packaging. One thing to note if ordering one of these, specific measurements of the wrist are necessary in ensuring they send the right size for a proper fit.

In case your wondering, Jord also offers a unique selection of women's watches as well. I'll be adding one of these to my wishlist! 

I'm excited to share a giveaway with you for one a $100 E Gift code to use on of these dapper men's watches! Click here to enter!

The giveaway will close September 10th at 11:59pm. As a reminder, winner receives $100 E Gift Code. All other entrants receive a $25 E Gift Code. The $100 and $25 Gift Codes will expire October 31st, 2017.

Watch Gift Ideas

Monday, August 28, 2017

Simple Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberries — the one fruit that I just can't get enough of. When I was a kid my mom would cut them up into little chunks, cover them in sugar and let them marinate in the fridge. A few hours later, I would have a bowl full of bright red syrupy berries to snack on. These days I enjoy them in my cereal from time to time, occasionally on a salad and in various desserts. 
Whit and I had friends over for a dinner party a few months ago and I wanted to add a little something sweet to the menu. I was going for a light summary meal and strawberries immediately came to mind. Strawberry shortcake seemed like the perfect dessert to add to the meal. I was (and still am) a big fan of strawberry shortcake but I've honestly never made it.
I wanted to prepare this classic dessert but with a homemade touch. I decided to forego the dessert shells and use biscuits instead.  I cheated a little and used biscuits from a can but I would have totally made them from scratch if I had more time. But as for the whip cream topping, it was not out of a can. I was so surprised at how easy this was to make. No more can whipped cream toppings for this girl. It took no time to make and was so good!
What are some of your favorite strawberry dishes?

Simple Strawberry Shortcake
1 can Grands! ™ Southern Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuits
1 container fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar

For the Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.     Cook the biscuits according to directions on the can.
3.     While the biscuits are cooking, cut the strawberries into quarter size pieces.
4.     Add the strawberries to a bowl and mix with 2 teaspoons of sugar. Let sit in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
5.     In a mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, sugar and vanilla. Mix on low speed for 1-2 minutes.
6.     Gradually increase the speed and whip until soft peaks form. *Note, careful not to over mix or it will begin to form butter.
7.     Remove the biscuits from the oven, slice in half and plate.
8.     Add the strawberry mixture on one side of the biscuit and a few dollops of whipped cream.
9.     Put the other half of the biscuit on top and serve!


Friday, August 18, 2017

Currently Loving | Beverage Edition

It's been far too long since I've sharing a round up of things that I'm currently loving. This time I decided to keep within a specific category. Beverages seemed like a good ideas since the weekend is near! I love reading these types of posts from other bloggers.  It's a fun way to discover new things. So here's my list...

White Claw Spiked Sparkling Water

These are the perfect refreshing beverages to sip on during the summer. The hint of lime adds just the right amount of flavor. They also make ruby grapefruit and black cherry flavors but the lime is my favorite.

Big Easy Bucha

I'll be honest, I tried kombucha once and thought it tasted awful. A friend of mind recently told me about this particular kombucha and knowing all of the health benefits it has, I thought I would give it another go. I tried the strawberry + honeysuckle flavor and had a completely different opinion. There is still a bit of a vinegar flavor which I don't mind, but the strawberry and honeysuckle give it a nice taste. I'm looking forward to trying out some of their other flavors.

Summer in a Bottle Rosé

Yes way rosé! I am a fan of the wine in general, but this particular one happens to be a favorite. It also doesn't hurt that the bottle is pretty either. And just like the name says, it tastes like summer in a bottle.

DASANI® SPARKLING Strawberry Guava

I'm usually not a fan of sparkling water, but this one is actually pretty good. I wouldn't reach for it to quench my thirst but it's nice to sip on when I want a little something different. It also works well as a cocktail mixer, adding a little splash of flavor and a little bubble.

Abita Strawberry Harvest

Another New Orleans originator, I tried this beer a few years ago and loved it! It's the first seasonal beer that I've ever become attached too. Needless to say, when it hits the shelves, Whit and I make sure to stock up for the season.

Blender Bombs

Last but not least, if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my story about these yummy little things called blender bombs. Add them to your smoothies for a delightful treat. The ingredients consist organic dates, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, local honey, bee pollen, pecans, and walnuts. Together these ingredients have every essential amino acid and every essential fatty acid. And they make one tasty smoothie!

What are some of your favorite beverages?

Cheers to the weekend!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Raspberry Muffins with Lemon Cream Cheese Streusel

I was so excited when a little package from Blackberry Patch showed up at my doorstep. Handcrafted in the small town of Thomasville, Georgia, Blackberry Patch produces a variety of small batch fruit syrups, toppings, preserves and salsas made with all-natural flavors and ingredients. I received a bottle of their raspberry ice cream topping and was immediately inspired to create something with it other than what it was intended for. My first thought — muffins!
Muffins are a great quick snack option, and are even better enjoyed with a cup of coffee in the morning. I knew I wanted to find a way to incorporate the ice cream topping without making them too sweet. Adding just a small amount to the batter and then a little more to the drizzle on the top was the perfect combination. And this streusel topping is the key to crumbly goodness!
Did I mention that this raspberry topping only has three ingredients?!
The lemon cream cheese drizzle on top really balances it all out. These are the perfect treat without being too sweet!

What are some creative ways you would incorporate this topping other than on ice cream?

Raspberry Muffins with Lemon Cream Cheese Streusel
1¾ cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
3 teaspoons of Blackberry Patch Raspberry ice cream topping

Crumb Topping:
1 cup flour
⅔ sugar
zest of 1 lemon
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Glaze Topping:
½ cup of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of Blackberry Patch raspberry ice cream topping
Juice from half of a lemon
2 ounces of softened cream cheese

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
2.     For the crumb topping: stir together flour, sugar, and lemon zest. Add melted butter and stir to combine.
3.     For the glaze: soften the cream cheese and then add in the powdered sugar, ice cream topping, lemon juice and mix.
4.     For the batter: whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a larger bowl mix eggs, Greek yogurt, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until incorporated (avoid over mixing).
5.     Fill muffin liners ¾ full with batter. Top with raspberries, (covering the batter) and then sprinkle the crumble topping over the raspberries.
6.     Bake for 20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Immediately transfer the muffins to a cooling rack so they do not continue to cook in the tin.
7.     Drizzle the glaze over the top of the warm muffins.
8.     Serve warm, at room temperature, or store in airtight container. 
Recipe adapted from Creme de la Crumb
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