Tuesday, January 27, 2015

First Plated Meal.

Hate meal planning and/or grocery shopping? Want to try new recipes, but don't know where to start? The new wave of meal kit home deliveries may be perfect for you! 

After seeing a few other bloggers try out Plated, I did a little research and decided to give it a try. I always thought these services would be too expensive to try, but when compared to what I normally spend a week on groceries, it actually evens out, if not cheaper! 

I chose to receive my box of 3 meals delivered on Saturday, that way I had everything ready to go for Monday-Wednesday's dinners. The insulated box was full of fresh ingredients, everything chilled with two (still mostly frozen) ice packs. 

The first recipe I tried was the Braised Chicken with Potatoes and Massaman Curry. This was the first time I cooked with curry and coconut milk, and possibly the first time I've tasted either, as well. I loved this recipe, although it was rather spicy! 


All of the ingredients come labeled and proportioned out

The finished product!


I have an order from Blue Apron arriving on Saturday and I plan on comparing the two services, in more detail, in a post! Was also just told about Hello Fresh so I may try that one out also to compare.


If you'd like to receive two free meals from Plated, click this link here to sign up!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Making Me Happy!

Just a few things that are making me happy lately....

A sweet, simple necklace that I received for Christmas

Two week old niece snuggles

FINALLY finding (making) a paint color I like for our living room

Filling up my gas tank for $26

Warm sunny days in Charleston


Holy City Pluff Mud Porter

My hardworking husband



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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Charleston Culinary Tour - Upper King Street.

It's no secret that I love food. And with a new restaurant popping up in Charleston what seems like every week, it's hard to keep up with all of them! So when I was asked if I wanted to participate in a Charleston Culinary Tour in exchange for a review on my blog, I jumped at the opportunity. 

There are 5 different possible tours one can take - Upper King Street (which is the one I chose), Downtown, Chefs' Kitchen, Mixology, and Chef's Showcase at the Farmer's Market. They also offer combination packages where you can add on a walking tour of Charleston or a carriage ride. 

I took Cameron as my plus one (because he likes to eat, too) and we were joined on our two by two couples, a family of 3, and a group of girls who played volleyball together in college. Our tour guide, Charlie, was very personable and knowledgeable, and I liked the fact that she had everyone go around and say where they were from at the beginning of the tour. 

Our first stop on the tour was HoM, which was also the meeting place for everyone. We were served a turkey burger, which had spinach and leeks, as well as brie, green goddess dressing, and green apples. It didn't really do it for me, but Cameron liked it. We also had calimari, but it was not your standard calimari with the marinara sauce. This version came with a sundried tomato and goat cheese sauce. They were pretty good. The winner of this stop was the Dixie Flatbread, which had pimento cheese, pork confit, carmelized onions, and bacon maple arugula. YUM. 



Second stop was a few doors down at Prohibition. Not only was the food amazing, but the atmosphere was definitely my favorite. I've only been to Prohibition once before at night for drinks. We were served shrimp & grits and the duck quesadilla. We also ordered two of their cocktails, but those are not included in the tour. Seen in the picture is the "Itty Bitty," which according to our tour guide, is voted on the of top drinks in Charleston. The duck quesadilla was easily one of my favorites on the tour. This is definitely a restaurant I want to go back to to try more of their food. 

Next we made our way to Rue de Jean, which we have been to a handful of times before. It's a tried and true place and if nothing else, they win the award for best smelling restaurant. We were served mussels, ratatouille, french fries, and warm crusty bread to dip in the leftover broth of the mussels (obviously the best part).  Looking at the menu just reminded me that I need to make truffled potato soup ASAP. 

We ended the tour with gelato at Paolo's. I chose the chocolate flavor, but wish I had chosen Nutella because it was much creamier. I never realized until we were in Paolo's that gelato has 1/3 of the fat that regular ice cream does. Good excuse to eat more gelato, right?


All in all we really enjoyed the tour and I am very interested in trying some of the other ones. If I could offer any constructive criticism it would be to change their menu offerings up a little bit. We were served pretty much the exact same things that Shelby was served on her tour the weekend before and same goes for Amy on her tour a few weeks ago. Looking at their posts, Prohibition seems to be the only placed that changed up their offerings. Even a girl on the tour with us who had participated in the same tour a year ago said she was served the same thing on her previous tour. That would be my only minor complaint!

Thanks again to Charleston Culinary Tours for providing us this opportunity! Can't wait to try another one!
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Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Five!

Good morning and TGIF! 
Linking up today, as always on Fridays, with April, Christina, Darci, and Natasha.

Here's a little peak of what I've been up to lately.

{one}
Got done with my property walks a little early yesterday so I popped into a few stores on my way home. First stop was a place called Nearly New Furniture on Johns Island. I've driven past this place on my way to and from work for 5 years, but never gone in. I was pleasantly surprised with their selection and quality of furniture! Saw this alphabet dresser and thought it would be so adorable in a baby nursery! Hopefully by time we need it it will #1 still be there and #2 be heavily discounted because it was rather expensive.


{two}
Next stop was to Marshall's to look for lamps. No luck with that, but I did stumble across these adorable lucite letter bookends. They're pretty hard to take a picture of in the store, so my apologies in advance.


{three}
Also found in Marshall's were these crispy chickpeas. I'm always looking for new, healthy toppings to put on my salad and these are so tasty! Also good as a snack if you are craving something crunchy. They also come in cracked pepper, smoky chili & lime, sweet cinnamon, mesquite bbq, thai cocounut lemongrass, and chocolate flavors. 

{four}
Exciting news! Last week, we welcomed our third niece into the world! Her name is Arden and she is perfection. We were actually not told her name until she was born, which had all of us racking our brains as to what it was going to be, but was a fun surprise in the end. Can't wait to snuggle her again soon!



{five}
Have an exciting weekend planned. Tonight we're going to dinner at Bonefish (already know what I'm going to order and yes, it includes tuna) then going to a Stingray's hockey game. Random? Yes. Fun? Always! Tomorrow we're doing the Upper King Street Culinary tour and I will be instagramming along the way. Don't browse on an empty stomach. Sunday my parents are having us over for a steak dinner, thanks to Cameron winning a bet with my dad (but really no thanks since the bet was on the Clemson / Carolina game). Oh, and painting our living room somewhere in between all of that.




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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Four Things Survey.

Borrowing this fun survey from my friend, Christina, today! 
It's a little random, but I haven't done one in quite a while and I thought my new-ish readers would like it! Feel free to leave a comment on four things we might not know about you!

Four names that people call me other than my real name:
  1. Schmeg (college friends)
  2. Megalita (shortened from Megalita Conchita Marita So Sweeta...my parents are corny, but I love it)
  3. Meggy (Lane "calls" me this)
  4. Meg (anyone that wants to shorten my name)
Four jobs I’ve had:
  1. Association & Regime Manager (current)
  2. Event Facility Coordinator
  3. Booking agent for wedding/private event bands & DJs
  4. Sales Coordinator
Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
  1. Major Payne
  2. Love Actually
  3. The Lion King
  4. Remember the Titans
Four books I’d recommend:
  1. Crap, I don't really read books
  2. Anything by James Patterson?
  3. I loved Black Beauty when I was younger?
  4. Did I mention I don't really read books? 
Four places I’ve lived
  1. Summerville, SC
  2. Columbia, SC
  3. West Ashley, SC
  4. Mt. Pleasant, SC
Four places I’ve visited:
  1. Riviera Maya, Mexico
  2. Las Vegas
  3. Washington DC / Alexandria, VA
  4. Grand Cayman 
Four places I’d rather be right now:
  1. Greece
  2. Paraiso de la Bonita (honeymoon spot)
  3. Italy
  4. Anywhere warm and sunny
Four things I prefer not to eat:
  1. raw onions
  2. anchovies
  3. grapefruit
  4. peas
Four of my favorite foods:
  1. pickles
  2. medium rare steak
  3. tuna
  4. anything with blue cheese
Four TV shows I watch:
  1. The Taste
  2. Master Chef
  3. Nashville
  4. Real Housewives
Four things I’m looking forward to this year:
  1. celebrating 2 years of marriage
  2. learning more about my new job
  3. new (friends') babies to play with!
  4. summer!
Four things I’m always saying:
  1. omg
  2. seriously?
  3. ok sounds good
  4. i love you
Four people I tag to answer these questions:

  1. whoever wants to!




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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Asian Salmon Bowl {I'm Back!}

Hi guys! I'm back with a recipe that may just be the thing to bring me out of my blogging funk. 

I picked up a fresh piece of salmon for this recipe at Publix last night and ohmygoodness why did I ever buy frozen?? I bought a fresh piece, slightly under a pound, for $8.99/lb, which was the perfect amount for the two of us. In the freezer case, Publix sold a bag of individually packed (usually either 2 or 3 pieces) for around $12. For some reason I always thought that buying frozen was less expensive than buying fresh, but I was wrong! 

I've never been a huge salmon lover and I've only ever baked it before. Searing it definitely gave it a different taste and I loved the crispiness of it! 

I did omit and edit a few of the ingredients in this recipe, some on purpose, some mistakenly, which I will point out below. 

Photo was pre-sauce pour. :)

Asian Salmon Bowls
Recipe from skinnytaste

For The Salmon Bowl:
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, sliced
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 4-ounce avocado, diced
2 cups cooked brown rice
3/4 cup sprouts such as daikon radish
1 strip nori, shredded
16 ounces wild salmon, cut in 4 pieces
olive oil spray 
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


For the Soy-Wasabi Vinaigrette:
2 tbsp less sodium soy sauce (or GF Tamari)
2 tsp wasabi in tube
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil


Directions:
Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Heat rice and keep warm.

Season salmon with a pinch of salt and fresh pepper. Heat a frying pan or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Spray the pan lightly with oil spray. When hot, sear salmon, around 2 - 4 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of the fish).

Split rice into four bowls equally, 1/2 cup each. Top each bowl with 1 oz avocado, green onions, cucumbers, sesame seeds, and sprouts. Place salmon on top of each bowl, drizzle with the vinaigrette, and sprinkle with shredded nori.

After I took the photo I realized that I forgot to add the toasted sesame seeds. Not a game changer, but I definitely want to add them next time!

I also omitted the radish and nori, simply because I just didn't feel like trying to find them at the store to be honest. Instead, I added a little bit of mixed greens to the bottom of the bowl to give it some crunch. 

For the vinaigrette I substituted the mirin for 2 tablespoons of sherry and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. There are also other substitutions for mirin you can find by doing a quick Google search!

Also, for those that want to cut down on your cooking time, I highly suggest Uncle Ben's boil in a bag brown rice! 
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