Monday, August 29, 2016

Summer Entertaining with Edmund's Oast

Summer and entertaining go hand in hand, offering the perfect excuse to get together with friends and family over delicious food and beverages. And since the end of summer is approaching and Labor Day festivities are coming up,I thought what better time to share some entertaining inspiration.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend a summer entertaining demo with Chef Reid Henninger of Edmund’s Oast back in May. Not only did the event fill our bellies with delicious food, but it also inspired me with some creative ideas that I could take back to my kitchen.

The evening began on the back deck of the event space, where we were welcomed with a glass of olde thyme punch. This refreshing cocktail consisted of bourbon, madeira, lemon thyme shrub and nutmeg. To be completely honest, I am not one to drink brown liquor but I always like to try things at least once. So, I decided to give it shot and it was actually really good. One was definitely my limit, but I’m happy I gave it a chance.

One of my favorite dishes of the evening was the crab bruschetta. Not only was it pretty, it had amazing flavor and made the perfect passed hors d'oeuvres.
After we got our fill of appetizers and socializing, we moved the party inside for a more formal cooking demonstration. First up was scallops with marinated fennel.
This dish was paired with a fabulous Jolie Laide rose, best described as bone dry, with strawberry, blood orange and dried herb aromatics. I’ve mentioned before that I shamelessly shop for my beverages based on the looks of the bottle, and this is one that I would definitely reach for. The label design is fascinating original watercolor artwork from an artist out of Italy. I actually visited Edmund’s Oast a few weeks after the event was able to order a bottle based on simply describing what it looked like since I couldn’t remember the name. Our waitress new exactly what I was talking about. 
Our third course was paired with another bourbon cocktail. This one was a bit stronger than my palate could handle, but I loved the concept of it. The drink was called The Red Wedding and consisted of bourbon, averna, and a hibiscus sweet tea ice cube. All of you bourbon drinkers out there would love this. I actually was able to snag a few leftover ice cubes that I later found paired well with vodka – my cocktail of choice.
Our last dish of the evening was shrimp with root vegetable ravioli and leeks. There’s no twisting my arm when it comes to eating pasta. All I can say is wow!  This perfect pasta, cooked al dente, was floating in a buttery sauce that left me craving more. 
We learned how to make the pasta ourselves, which surprisingly didn’t seem too challenging I’m hoping to get my hands on the recipe very soon because I would definitely give this a try at home. 
I couldn't have asked for a better evening. It was a pretty special experience to have the chef of one of my favorite restaurants prepare a delicious meal for our small group. If you've been following me for a while, you know that this isn't the first time I've mentioned Edmund's Oast. Their pickled shrimp toast won be over from the start and I've been a fan ever since. If you live in the area and haven't stopped by, you're missing out!

What are some of your favorite dishes to make when you're entertaining guests at home?





Thursday, August 25, 2016

Summer Sips with Bonefish Grill + A Giveaway!

I can’t recall the last time I had dinner at a Bonefish Grill Restaurant. My in-laws love it, so we often dine there when visiting them, but it’s been a while since we've been.  However, a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a private event at Bonefish and was quickly reminded of how good it is. I mean, who doesn’t love their signature bang bang shrimp? Today I’m excited to be able to offer you a $50 Bonefish Grill gift card! Keep reading to find out how you can win. 
Photos by: Justin Falk Photography
The bartenders were mixing up fresh watermelon martinis and strawberry rose martinis, which were my favorite.
In addition to the ever so popular bang bang shrimp, there was also ceviche and Ahi tuna sashimi, all of which was delicious. 
Not only were we treated to seafood bites and refreshing cocktails, but also a few of my favorite retailers were there selling some amazing things. 

Bourbon and Boweties had a beautiful table full of arm candy calling my name. 
One of my favorite candle companies – Rewined Candles was there with their new Blanc collection. There isn’t a single candle that doesn’t smell good. But I have to admit, my all-time favorite is Rose!
Aviate was also there with a few fun things, including hard to keep stocked CHS hat!
I had such a great time! It was the perfect excuse to eat, shop and socialize. Thanks to all the vendors and especially to Bonefish Grill hosting such a fun event. 

And now for the good stuff. Head over to my Instagram feed where you can enter to win a $50 gift card to Bonefish Grill! That's plenty enough to get you a few strawberry rose martinis and the bang bang shrimp, of course!



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Resort Wear | What to Pack for a Tropical Vacation

As I opened up my computer to put in my vacation request the other day, I took a look at my history for the year and realized I've only taken three days off! This may explain the burnout I'm feeling. Fortunately, I've had a few work trips in various fun places that have helped break up time in the office. But I'm looking forward to some time off this Fall. My husband are planning a trip to the BVI's in October and I can't wait! With that being said, I decided I better get a head start on outfit planning. This sounds silly, but traveling in the fall makes shopping a little more difficult. The transition to fall wardrobes happens and then I'm out of luck when it comes to finding resort attire. Not that I'm looking to purchase a whole new wardrobe, but it's nice to have a few new things to take with me. Here a few pretty things I've rounded up (other than bikinis) that would be perfect for a tropical vacation. 

Shop these and more of my favorites below:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Life Lately | July

Is it just me or did the month of July fly by?! I literally feel like the month ended with the blink of an eye. We spent most of our time outside, soaking up the beautiful (and warm) summer weather we’ve had.

Fourth of July weekend was spent in town celebrating with my husband’s side of the family. About fifty of us gathered together for a long weekend of family time, boat rides, lounging by the pool and a whole lot of eating. We had everything from homemade pizzas to a low country boil as well as an entire pig that was slow roasted throughout the evening, complete with all the southern sides you can imagine. 
I was really excited that my family was able to join us one evening as well.
Enjoyed delicious bloody mary’s made by Whit’s grandfather. 
Soon after the fourth, I was off to New Orleans for both work and pleasure. You can read the full recap, part one and part two. It was such an amazing trip! 
As soon as I stepped foot off of the plane from NOLA, I immediately hit the road to head back home for a surprise birthday party for my brother. We ended the evening in the place my brother loves best — the river. To say I was exhausted would be an understatement, but it was worth the trip to see my family.
We also celebrated one of my favorite times of the year – the Beaufort Water Festival! The festival is 10 days long, with the weekend sandbar being the highlight. We typically only attend the last weekend, but this year we decided to go all in and be there for both weekends.

The weekend typically consists of an entire day on the water, followed by an evening downtown. Hundreds of people make their way to the sandbar by boat and find a spot on the sandbar to anchor for the afternoon. 
This year we were excited to welcome country musician, Pat Cooper who performed on a floating barge. 
Meanwhile, back in Charleston, I finally gave Little Jack’s Tavern a try. 
It's a cute little spot filled with a mixture of vintage decor.
Garlic and herb fries for the table, yes please. How cute are these salt and pepper shakers?
I went with the chopped salad with shrimp, kale, mixed lettuces, cucumber, peas, radish and an avocado ranch, which I later tried to recreate at home. This was my attempt at making healthy choices, but next time I would like to give the burger a try. 
In other restaurant news, an amazing Italian spot called Le Farfalle opened and I was thrilled to be invited to their opening party. I love what they have done with the space. Stay tuned for a more detailed recap. 
I took a yoga class for the first time in about a year. It was so refreshing to change up my regular workout routine with a class like this, not to mention it took place on the rooftop of The Restoration Hotel in downtown Charleston.
With all of the traveling and craziness we’ve had going on, Whit and I decided to spend the last weekend of July together and just enjoy Charleston. We spent an afternoon by the pool, followed by a dinner date at The Darling Oyster Bar.
Oysters were a must.  
I also had the tuna poke bowl, which was delicious, but I had serious dinner envy when Whit's plate came out. I highly recommend the fries smothered in clam chowder. 
 I was excited to finally try this place out; however, I still would like to go back for brunch.
Nothing like a good photo bomb!
You can’t beat a relaxing Sunday afternoon boat cruise with friends...the perfect way to end the month.