Living a tasteful life

Monday, January 30, 2017

Super Bowl Snacks

We are just days away from the big game, and if you're like me, food is the priority. Calories don't count on Super Bowl Sunday, right? It's a good excuse to sample a lot of delicious appetizers that you might not normally make. I've rounded up a few that look amazing from some of my favorite food blogs. What are some of your favorite appetizers to make for Super Bowl Sunday? 

Baked Roast Beef and Brie Sliders with Caramelized Onions- I think I posted about these last year, so apparently they are still on my mind. I guess I need to make them soon!
Jalapeño Popper Football Cheese Ball- At least one appetizer in the shape of a football is a must.
Artichoke Dip Stuffed Bread- Artichoke dip is one of my favorites..serving it out of bread takes it to another level.
Skinny Cajun Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic Cheese Sauce- Garlic cheese sauce is always a good idea.

Spicy Bacon and Cheddar Wings- No super bowl party is complete without wings and I thought these sounded amazing.

Loaded Tater Tot Skewers- I love the idea of putting the tater tots on a skewer so your hands won't get as messy.
Sheet Pan Chicken and Black Bean Nachos- Nachos are always a crowd pleaser and these looks amazing.
Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Roll Ups-  I love this spin on the classic buffalo chicken dip.
Homemade Pepperoni Pizza Rolls- A fun way to enjoy a taste of pizza without ordering a pie!
Asparagus Rolls Ups- Because you have to squeeze some veggies in there somewhere.
Check out my Pinterest board for more Super Bowl Snack recipes! Oh and I thought this was a fun game to play. You know, something for those that are more interested in the food and commercials than the actual game. Download the the PDF here.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Weekend Browsing | Bedroom Inspiration

Project flip our bedroom is underway. Whit and I have been wanting to redo our master bedroom for quite some time now. It's one of the spaces in our house that we just haven't put much focus on, but now is the time. We moved into our home three years ago and have been slowly decorating each room. It feels like it's taking forever to get things just right. I don't know that we will ever not have a list of things we would like to do, but we are having fun in the meantime.

This past weekend we set out to find things for our bedroom. We were unsuccessful in that department, but we did find some pretty things for our coffee table. We also found some Euro pillows for our guest bedroom, so I considered it to be a successful trip. But getting back to the bedroom, we are on a mission to find a King size headboard, mattress, new furniture, lamps, rug and pictures for the wall. The only thing that we have checked off our list is curtains. We have quite the challenge ahead of us, but we are taking it slowly to ensure we get exactly what we are looking for. 

I'm looking forward to the day I will be able to post a before and after photo, but in the meantime I thought it would be fun to share my inspiration board. I love all the bright whites and neutrals.  If any of you have any good recommendations on where to find more pieces like the ones below, specifically headboards since that is number one on the list, please share!


Friday, January 20, 2017

Life Lately | December Holiday Parties

I realize that this post seems a tad bit delayed, but I couldn't not share a look back at the holidays. 

I started the month off by attending an awesome event featuring guest chef William Dissen of the Marketplace in Asheville, NC. You can read a full recap of the event here
The food was so amazing! Pictured above is an heirloom pumpkin soup and below is braised beef brisket on top of a carolina gold rice cake, topped with smoked chili crema, pickled ramps, and a radish & herb salad. 
Our sweet friends always invite Whit and I to go with them to the Christmas Candlelight service at the Citadel every year. It's always such a beautiful service and a good reason to get together with friends that we don't see as often as we like.
Dinner and drinks afterwards at Little Jack's Tavern...the baked eggs are a must!
Monster thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas tree being up. She only tried to take down a few ornaments. How can you ever be mad at that cute face?!
This photo may gross some of you out, but I think it's a beautiful thing. Our company Christmas party was at Leon's Oyster Shop and of course oysters were on the menu, among several other things.
We celebrated my friend Cayce's birthday with a delicious dinner at Fat Hen. I ate there a few months ago and had the best beef short ribs, so I couldn't resist ordering them again.
A few of us got together for a little Christmas party at my best friend Megan's house. Holiday parties are a great excuse for cheese plates like this one. Am I right? I could make a meal out of this.
My contribution was a batch of these super simple no bake oreo bars
We also did a white elephant gift exchange. I was the lucky recipient of a fancy track phone.
We celebrated Christmas a week early with Whit's side of the family since we typically spend the actual holiday with mine. Whit and I treated his mom to dinner at Xiao Bao Biscuit. No visit to this restaurant is complete without ordering the okonomiyaki!
A new brewery opened up in our area. It has a super chill laid back vibe. The perfect spot for a casual beer with friends.
Not too far down the street from the new brewery is a dessert bar and cafe called Gala Desserts. I've been wanting to check out for a while now and finally found the time to give it a try over the holidays. The vanilla cappuccino is amazing!
We celebrated my husband's 31st birthday with dinner at our local hibachi restaurant. This has become somewhat of a birthday tradition for him. It's the only place that can seat a group as large as we normally have. This is the best photo we could get..and still not everyone was in it.
I put together the mother of all cheese boards on Christmas Eve. I went a little crazy at Trader Joe's and bought all sorts of different cheese and crackers. It was well worth it!
We also did our annual holiday baking. It's safe to say that there was no shortage of cookies or cheese.
It was so nice to spend Christmas at home with my family.
We had lunch at Minero one afternoon and I decided to branch out and try something new by getting the Torta del Dia. Zero regrets! This sandwich was sooo good!
More December birthday celebrations...
We ended 2016 with a casual evening spent with great friends, pizza, champagne and Mariah Carey's interesting New Year's Eve performance. How cute are these Polaroid pics that we took?!


Monday, January 16, 2017

Best Mexican Restaurants in Charleston

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Mexican food. When I have no motivation to cook and I want something quick and inexpensive, Whit and I will find ourselves in a booth surrounded by bottomless chips and salsa, cervesas and our favorite Mexican dishes. There are also times when we want Mexican food with more of a dining experience, in which case we seek out places that are a little more high end. Luckily for us, Charleston has options. Here are some of my favorite Mexican spots in Charleston and the dishes I love to order.

First up, Minero! James Beard award-winning  chef, Sean Brock dishes out some delicious fare at this casual Mexican eatery. Three of my favorite things about this place: their chips and guacamole, their burritos and their sangria. 

The chips are dusted with some sort of awesome seasoning and have the most perfect crunch, pairing perfectly with their fresh guacamole. The burrito is massive and filled with queso de Oaxaca, crema, hoppin john, avocado and poblano and the following meats can be added: charcoaled chicken, achiote pork, or grilled steak. The Minero Sangria consists of rosé, citrus, and cava and isn't too sweet. The three of things paired together = heaven!

I love dining in at Minero, however they also offer Taco Kits to-go, which are perfect for events. We frequently order them for meetings at our office and they are quite the hit!
Mex 1 Coastal Cantina, named after the Mexican Federal Highway that runs the length of the Baja California Peninsula from Tijuana in the North to Cabo San Lucas at the Southern tip. This casual spot has a laid back, chill, surf bar vibe and offers live music throughout the week.

One of my favorite things on the menu are their baja bowls, specifically the Tijuana steak bowl, which consists of brown rice, seasoned black beans, jack cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, crunchy tortilla strips, queso fresco and topped with green onions, fresh lime and cilantro. Holy yum! 
The bangin' shrimp tacos with lightly fried shrimp, spicy Bangin’ Sauce, shredded cabbage and cilantro drizzled, with their Mex 1 “Sweet Heat” sauce are also a really good choice! 
In Charleston, restaurants that have a parking lot are a rare, but if you visit the Taco Boy location downtown, you will find just that. Let's be real though, parking is not the only reason I love to dine at this spot. I'll give you three other reasons: their appetizer trio (pictured below), the Taco Boy salad, and their nachos.
The nachos are piled high with cowboy beans, monterey jack cheese, chile con queso, salsa cruda, guacamole & crema and you can add chicken, steak, chorizo or carnitas. Trust me, you won't leave hungry. This photo doesn't even come close to doing this pile of goodness any justice.
Zia Taqueria- three words, CHILE CON QUESO! A blend of pepper jack cheese with red bell pepper, garlic, onion, and white wine. Key word here is white wine! You can actually taste it in the queso and it's pretty much amazing!
I can't say that I've sampled much off the menu, but after having the fish tacos at The Taco Spot, I didn't see a point. They might not be photogenic but the flavor is on point. My recommendation, the original fish taco - pan seared flaky white mild fish, cilantro soy aioli, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato pico on your choice of a choose soft white flour tortilla, soft yellow corn tortilla or house crunchy corn shell.
On those days that we want to quickly have dinner and head back home, we find ourselves at El Dorado. This place is by no means fancy, bu the service is great, the staff is friendly, and one of the best parts about it is that they offer a traditional Mexican lunch buffet, seven days a week.! You heard me...a buffet! Plan to have nothing to do the rest of the afternoon if you decide to indulge. Think endless queso and several things off the menu. The blob on my plate below is a little sampling. I highly recommend giving it a try.
Now if only someone could open a Rocco's Tacos and a Rosa Mexicana, we would be all set! What are some of your favorite Mexican spots in Charleston?


Monday, January 9, 2017

Popsugar Must Have Box Review | December

*POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have Box to try

December's Popsugar Must Have Box was full of fun little things. It was like opening an early Christmas gift. 

Odeme Catchall + Ring Dish- I love these two pretty little dishes. They are the perfect size to place on the bathroom counter to hold trinkets and perfume.

BaubleBar Snowfall Pendant - Honestly, the necklace isn't really my style, but I think it would make a great gift.

Winky Lux Lip Pill in Bunny- Obsessed with this lip stick!! The mini size is perfect to carry in a clutch and the color is a great classic pink/neutral matte color.

Sisters' Gourmet Baker’s Dozen Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix- These cookies were so delicious! Considering cookies aren't my weakness, I definitely went back for more than one of these. The packaging was super cute too. This would make a great gift.
Mane Message Date Night Bobby Pins- Well I don't know about a date night, but I would wear these little bobby pins to pull my hair back at the gym.

DESSANGE Professional Hair Luxury Color Restore Color Protecting Top Coat Serum- I haven't given this a try yet, but I'm all for anything that helps protect and add shine to my color treated hair.

I can't wait to see what's coming in January's box! If you're interested in signing up for these fun monthly boxes, use this special coupon code SHOP5 to receive $5 off your FIRST Must Have Box!

Preheat oven to 375°.
Soften 5 tablespoons of butter in a large mixing bowl.
Add one egg white and a half teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Add entire jar of Sisters' Gourmet Baker’s Dozen Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix and mix well.
Form 1 ½ inch balls and bake for 8 -10 minutes.

Makes 12- 13 cookies.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 Year End Review

2016 was a great year filled travel, fun with family and friends and so many memories. I traveled to Las Vegas, Destin, New Orleans, St. Thomas, the British Virgin Islands, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Islamorda. While most of the year was full of happy times, I sadly lost my sweet grandmother in March. I've had several great blogging opportunities and partnerships throughout the year. I met several amazing chefs from various parts of the country. I ate some amazing food, met knew people and did my best to embrace every exciting adventure. Today I wanted to share a few highlights from 2016 in the form of photos. I'm so thankful for all of the blessings in my life and am looking forward to a new year!










Cheers to 2017!

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