Living a tasteful life

Monday, July 31, 2017

Life Lately June | Charleston

Is it just me or does summer seem to be flying by? Maybe it's because Halloween decorations are out on display everywhere or maybe it's because of the holiday emails that I'm already receiving. Whatever it may be, I fully intend to enjoy the remainder of summer. Here's an iphone lens look into what we've been up to lately.

The Charleston Blog Society partnered with Barre Evolution and Verde for a fun outdoor event. You can't beat taking a barre class outdoors with a view like this. And if you haven't had a salad from Verde before, you're missing out. Their cold pressed juices are also amazing!
We had a work team building event at Callie's Biscuit House. I was in total biscuit heaven! Read the full recap here
I finally got the chance to eat at Básico. All the photos I've ever seen from there look so delicious. I see more taco Tuesdays in my future!
I'm loving the new neighborhood brewery, Frothy Beard. And the fact that they serve slices of pizza bigger than your face is just an added bonus. 
One of my favorite things to do during the summer is to take a late afternoon boat cruise. These lowcountry views will never get old. And in other news, I've discovered I'm a fan of the White Claw lime flavored hard seltzer. It's light and refreshing and perfect for the boat. 
An oldie but a goodie — Sesame Burgers and Beer. Whit and I find ourselves at this little burger joint every now and then when we are looking for a good, quick bite to eat. I normally get a burger in a bowl but I decided to try something different. I highly recommend the Gourmet and Napa Valley sliders. 
We had our good friends Megan and Brandon over for dinner one night. I wanted to make something light and refreshing for both dinner and dessert. I ended up making a delicious orzo salad with shrimp, feta and basil and for dessert — strawberry shortcake! Recipes coming soon!
The best way to beat the heat in Charleston is to spend the day on the water!
I joined a few hundred other women from all across the U.S. for a two-day educational and inspirational course for women in the hospitality industry called FAB. Although I'm not technically in hospitality, the retail cookware industry is very similar. My company was also a sponsor, so I jumped at the opportunity to attend. 
There were so many inspiring speakers including Dana Cowin - former Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine, Amanda Kludt - Editor in Chief of Eater, Maneet Chauhan- chef and judge on Food Network’s “Chopped" among many others. Thanks to all of the wonderful women we heard from, I left feeling inspired and motivated to set goals and not be afraid to do what I have to do to achieve them.
When your friend has a June birthday, you spend it on the water, with shark floats...
and all the rosé!
I took a tour of one of the suites at the Planter's Inn and immediately wanted to plan a stay-cation. How charming is this?
A few of my co-workers and I popped in the cutest little wine bar called Wine & Company for a glass of one of my favorite rosés, Wölffer Estate Summer in a Bottle.
Our annual company conference was held in downtown Charleston this year. We were one of the first groups to check out Charleston's newest Taproom. Located on the 9th floor of Historic District Hyatt, it is the tallest rooftop bar in Charleston, and has a selection of 70 craft beers, wines and cocktails. I can't wait to go back!
During our conference, I also had the pleasure of spending some time with chef, author, and PBS personality from Deep Run, NC  — Vivian Howard.
We ended the conference with a beautiful dinner at Cannon Green. This place is absolutely stunning inside and the food is great too!
Cheers to summer!


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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Favorites

I'm pretty sure most of you are aware of Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale by now, unless you've been living under a rock. And I'm sure your inboxes and news feeds have been flooded with new outfit posts and giveaways, so I apologize in advance. I won't blow up your social feeds, but I did want to share a few things that I'm loving from the sale. I've included some of my favorite clothes and shoes as well as things for the home. The sale is currently running now through August 6th and you can beat their free shipping and returns policy! Stock up before these deals are gone!

I realized after the fact that most everything I saved in my favorites is black. Many of the items posted come in a variety of colors. I guess I've just got winter on the brain.


For the Home



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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trip Planning| And Our Next Stop Is.....


ITALY!!! It still hasn't really sunk in yet, but we are planning a trip along the Amalfi Coast and I couldn't be more excited! 

Every year my husband and I plan a getaway in celebration of our wedding anniversary in October. The travel bug started when we made the trip to St. Lucia for our honeymoon. We had such an amazing time that it only seemed fitting to continue celebrating our anniversaries in places that have been on our bucket list. You can read more about our first, second and third anniversary trips by following the links. Our two year anniversary trip was a big one so we decided to not go so far last year. This year we decided it was time for another big one and we won't be taking the trip alone.  We are so excited to be traveling with some of our best friends, Melissa and Jay! We recently traveled with them to New Orleans and can't wait for our next adventure. 

Right now our rough agenda includes stops in Positano, Ravello, Capri and Tuscany. So, please send all the travel tips, advice, places to eat, tour, visit, do, see, you name it! I love hearing firsthand from others who have visited! I'm welcoming any and all information I can get. Grazie!!

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

VIIcode: Skincare for Your Eyes | A Review

I'm always on the search for new skin care products that are safe and effective. There's no time like the present to preserve and protect your youth, right? For a while I was on a mission to find the perfect night time facial treatment to awaken and moisturize leaving my skin, leaving my face with a glow. My struggle is with dark circles under my eyes, which is why I was excited to give the VIIcode eye oxygen masks a try. Of course, getting extra sleep and drinking more water both assist with dark under eyes, but let's be honest, extra sleep and more water don't always do the trick. 
I tried out the VIIcode oxygen eye masks a try and was pleasantly surprised with the results. To be honest, I'm sometimes a skeptic of these things but I really loved this product. The oxygen eye masks come individually wrapped in a box of six. Unlike some other masks, this non-irritating formula is designed for an eight-hour wear overnight. Something that works while I'm sleeping - sign me up! With key ingredients, grape seed oil, seaweed, and white tea, the masks have a gel-like coating that feels cool and refreshing when applied under the eyes. Apply them to a clean face before bed and let them do their magic! 
When I woke up the next morning and pulled them off I could see a slight difference in the reduction of puffiness and dark color, but the most prominent result for me was the way my under eyes felt. I felt like my skin was refreshed and my eyes were brighter. It honestly made me want to wear them every night just to achieve the refreshed- "I just left the spa" like feeling.

I have a special discount code if any of you are interested in giving them a try. Use code DCHRGDFH at checkout to receive $5 off your purchase. Offer ends 7/31/2017. Click here to purchase. 
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tomato Pie Recipe

The best part about tomato season — tomato pies! They are one of my all time favorite things to make in the summertime. I've always had a love for those juicy, ripe, red vegetables (or fruits), however you see it. I think my love for them has a sentimental aspect. I vividly remember the earthy fresh smell coming out of my grandmother's hot and humid kitchen as she would stew pounds and pounds of tomatoes for canning. She would stay in the kitchen all day for days at a time, peeling, stewing, seasoning and canning these juicy tomatoes, that we would later incorporate into a meal.
Canning isn't a skill that I inherited, but then again I haven't really given it much of a chance. Maybe one day I will get into it, but in the meantime I'll stick to the pies. This recipe is a labor of love and worth every minute spent in the kitchen! I'll admit, this isn't the first time I've shared this recipe on the blog. It's just so good, I thought it needed to be brought back out of the archives. There may be one million and one recipes out there, but here's a look at my take on this classic southern pie!
Two things to note: I think a deep dish crust would work well with this recipe if you want to incorporate more tomatoes. I would also recommend doubling this recipe. One for you and one to share! 

Tomato Pie
INGREDIENTS
 2 large tomatoes
1 large onion
3 green onions
 4 strips of bacon
 1 teaspoon garlic
 ½ cup of mayo
 ½ cup of ricotta
 ½ cup extra sharp cheddar cheese
 ½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
 1 handful of fresh chopped basil (the more, the better)
1 frozen pie shell (they come in pack of two)
1 packet of parma rosa dry sauce mix
 Pepper
 Sea Salt
INSTRUCTIONS
1.      Preheat oven to 350°F and bake the pie shell according to package directions. (about 15 minutes)
2.      While the pie shell is cooking, slice the tomatoes 1/2 inch think and discard of seeds. Place the                 tomatoes on a paper towel, sprinkle with sea salt and let them dry for 15 to 20 minutes.
3.      Meanwhile, warm a large skillet and fry 4 slices of bacon until nice and crispy.
4.      Remove the bacon from the pan once cooked through and place on a paper towel to drain excess               grease.
5.      Dice an onion and sauté with minced garlic until translucent, cooking in the same pan the bacon               was fried in. I poured out most of the bacon drippings, leaving a little to sauté the onion in.
6.      Remove the garlic and onions from the pan and put to the side.
7.      Take the pie shell out of the oven when finished baking.
8.      Spread the garlic and onion mixture on the bottom of the pie shell.
9.      Pat the tomatoes dry once more with a paper towel and layer on top of the onions, covering the                 entire surface area.
10.  Top the tomatoes with chopped green onions, chopped basil, and sprinkle with pepper.
11.  In a medium size bowl, add the ricotta, mayo, grated cheddar cheese, bacon, half of the parma       rosa packet and mix well.
12.  Spread the mixture over the tomatoes, coating completely covering the top. Top with mozzarella.
13.  Bake the pie on 350°F for approximately 25 minutes or until golden around the edges.
14.  Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes before slicing.
15.  Top with fresh basil and/or bacon.
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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Biscuit Making | Behind the Scenes at Callie's Charleston Biscuit House

Nothing says team building like making a batch of warm, fluffy biscuits! A few weeks ago, we took a field trip out of the office and headed over to Callie's Charleston Biscuit House to get our hands dirty in celebration of the launch of our new craft series spatula line. It was really intriguing to go behind the scenes of the making of Callie's Charleston biscuits
For those of you who aren't familiar, founder Carrie Morey keeps the lost art of biscuit making alive by hand making biscuits which are packaged and frozen, available for purchase in grocery stores across the U.S. Fortunately for us Charleston residents, we have the option to stop in Callie's Hot Little Biscuit, her retail shop on King Street serving a variety of piping hot award-wining biscuits.
On this particular day, we spent time in the Biscuit House, a historical and charming location that was previously a Navy medial building in North Charleston, SC. It's so impressive to think that this old house now serves as the bakery headquarters, responsible for shipping out biscuits all-day-long.
On display were a variety of packaged products, including pimento cheese, syrups and jams that she also sells.
We spent the morning in the kitchen with Carrie and her team, learning the proper techniques for preparing the perfect biscuit. I was so impressed that everything is done by hand. There was not a piece of machinery used once, other than the oven of course. Talk about an arm workout. Those ladies in kitchen mean business.

You might be wondering who Callie is and why it's not called Carrie's biscuits. The coveted recipe comes from Callie, Carrie's mother. We have Carrie and her team of bakers to thank for bringing the biscuits to life every day.
We divided up into groups and each prepared our own batch finishing them off with toppings of our choice. Think cinnamon sugar, pimento cheese, bacon, black pepper, chives and warm butter. The best part was trying everyone's creations at the end. 
It was such a pleasure to go behind the scenes of the biscuit house and see first-hand all of the hard work that goes into producing these warm little treats. Seeing the love that goes into the process, makes them taste even better. If you're ever visiting the Charleston area, I highly recommend stopping in the Hot Little Biscuit Shop. You won't regret it! But if you can't make it to the shop, pick up a frozen batch from your local grocery store to enjoy. They are a nice treat to keep on hand when you want a quick snack or have guests over. 
Now excuse me while I go pre-heat my oven!
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