Christmas Part Deux 2013

I hope you all had wonderful holidays this year!

We spent the first half of our Christmas celebrations with hubby’s family in Durham, NC, where we helped Santa bring the tree for the kiddos on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, I caught a 24 hour bug of some sorts and ended up sick on Christmas, so I didn’t take any photos from the day. I slept through a lot of the day, but I did get to partake in two of the key family events – Christmas morning and Christmas dinner. I definitely didn’t want to miss hubby’s family (especially the kids!) opening their presents or catching up with his extended family.

Christmas2013-0769.jpg

We headed to Greenville the day after Christmas for part deux of our celebrations.

Christmas2013-0779.jpg

By this point, I was not feeling 100%, but I definitely felt a lot better!

Christmas2013-0799.jpg

Bailey, on the other hand, had an absolute blast.

Christmas2013-0801.jpg

He got to open a ton of presents…

Christmas2013-0805.jpg

Christmas2013-0837.jpg

…and this year my family even got him his own stocking with a “B” on it. So cute!

Christmas2013-0843.jpg

Christmas2013-0864.jpg

I think he was feeling a bit like the Happy Bunny – “It’s all about me. Deal with it.”

Christmas2013-0871.jpg

Mom made me some of her famous Get Well Soup (which I’ve blogged about before – click here for the recipe).

Christmas2013-0872.jpg

We ended up having to push our Christmas dinner back a couple days (since I’m easing my way back to food), which I feel bad about, but better late than never, right? I’m just so thankful we’ve been able to spend so many days with each of our families. It’s so nice to have some good down time with the people we love to end the year.

Insta-Chic {11/9/2013} – Bailey, Vegetables, and Nan and Byron’s

Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far! Just wanted to pop in with some recent Instagram photos and updates from me…

TCLBailey.jpg

Bailey’s been a little sick, but he’s on new medicine and feeling much better. Woohoo!

TCLGreenMonster.jpg

I made a new Green Monster flavor the other day – a fall-themed flavor! Hope to share it soon!

Sorry for the delay in posting my last recipe for the cinnamon spelt doughnuts. I had it drafted up and ready to publish early last week, and then we lost our internet connection for two days. Bah! Not that anyone is waiting with bated breath for my next post, but I’ve been hoping to post more frequently, and my schedule has working against me on this, much to my frustration. But, hey, a girl’s gotta pay the bills, right?

TCLMarket.jpg

I’ve been working on my vegetable consumption, and I’ve also tried to do better about supporting my local farmer’s market. Is it just me or does life seem to get in the way allowing convenience to take precedent? I’ve been doing pretty good about visiting the market at least once a week recently. I have a new vegetable addiction (if such a thing is even possible): vitamin greens! Have you heard of them? They are greens that are high in many vitamins and have a similar texture to bok choy. For my vegetable consumption, I’ve been focusing on eating more leafy greens, and these have been wonderful.

TCLMarketVeg.jpg

I’ve been getting one bunch per week from a local vendor at Atherton Mills Market in Southend, and I even brought home the last beautiful bunch they had today. I’m thinking they’ll make a pretty fantastic side with dinner tonight.

TCLNotJustCoffee.jpg

While I was at the market, I swung by Not Just Coffee. Their coffees are so delicious. I’ve really been enjoying their mocha. Yum!

TCLSavorySpices.jpg

Also near Atherton Mills Market is the Savory Spice Shop. I swung by there the other day to stock up on baking ingredients. I’m so ready for some holiday baking – cookies, cakes, pies. Yesss!

TCLBrusselsSprouts.jpg

Anyone looking for a good way to re-heat roasted brussels sprouts? Put them in a sauté pan with a little oil. The taste and texture is so much better than what you’d get if you used a microwave.

TCLRootsLunch.jpg

For eats lately, here’s a lovely lunch from this past week by Roots Farm Food. I had a pulled pork sandwich with kale apple slaw on a warmed pita with a side of ginger carrot salad. It was delicious, locally-sourced, and so enjoyable to eat.

TCLMahi.jpg

And I finally escaped my usual lunch-at-my-work-desk to have lunch with co-workers at Bentley’s. It was my first time eating there, and the view is so nice from that high. It was great getting away from the office, and the food did not disappoint. I had the grilled mahi mahi and nearly licked my plate clean I liked it so much.

TCLNanAndByrons.jpg

And I rounded out my week of fantastic eats with a trip to Nan and Byron’s on their grand opening night with my Epic Eater friends. As a fan of 5 Church and chef Jamie, I had no doubt the meal would be spectacular. We started with the Train Wreck fries and Peppedew Poppers. I’m not normally a fan of pepper poppers, but I would absolutely order those again here. The fries were rich and perfect for the cold day. For my entree, I had the beet slider with mojito fries. The combination of ingredients on the burger was unique and a great mix of flavors and textures. The fries were just-right crispy and seasoned perfectly. I’m not sure if I’d order this again next time only because I had my eye on several other things on the menu that I can’t wait to try! But, it was really good, so I guess I’ll just have to see what mood I’m in when I’m back.

Thanks for stopping by!

Birthday Lunch at Jasmine Porch

After our beautiful morning on the beach at Kiawah Island, we decided to enjoy a birthday celebration lunch. We opted for a lunch instead of dinner, which worked out well since many of the restaurants on the island were shut down due to weddings and private parties.

JasminePorchLunch-8443.jpg

We decided to visit the restaurant that most caught my eye – Jasmine Porch. I loved how the restaurant is big into supporting local farmers, so they had my vote.

JasminePorchLunch-8397.jpg

JasminePorchLunch-8399.jpg

Lunch started off great with a basket of breads and two kinds of toppings…pimento cheese…

JasminePorchLunch-8402.jpg

…and (I believe) honey thyme butter.

JasminePorchLunch-8394.jpg

We decided to share an appetizer and entrée for extra variety.

JasminePorchLunch-8408.jpg

We started with the Summer Tomato Tasting – “Heirloom Tomatoes, Sol Haven Arugula, Garlic”. This is half! They went ahead and made things easier for us by splitting our dishes in half.

JasminePorchLunch-8392.jpg

For the main event, we shared Lunch on the Porch – “Crab Cake Slider, Roasted Beet Salad, She-Crab Soup.”

JasminePorchLunch-8411.jpg

Can you believe this is half?! Everything on the plate was so delicious and handmade save the ketchup. Hubby thought the crab cake slider was the best crab cake he’d ever had. I had to agree. We also enjoyed all the other components of the lunch as very happy eaters. I was impressed to learn the even the french fries are made from scratch at Jasmine Porch – sliced on site, breaded, frozen, and fried. They were also seasoned perfectly, as was everything else on the plate.

JasminePorchLunch-8414.jpg

Dad got vegan pasta that was made with cornmeal and flavored with lavender. He also got a side of watermelon jalapeño gazpacho.

JasminePorchLunch-8416.jpg

Sis got the burger with a side of fresh fruit. The burger was gigantic!

The table was pretty quiet when the food arrived – a sure sign of everyone enjoying their delicious lunch.

JasminePorchLunch-8423.jpg

Near the end of the meal, we were happily surprised with complimentary champagne…

JasminePorchLunch-8440.jpg

…and crème brûlée. Not only was the plate beautifully decorated, the dessert was delicious – creamy and speckled with vanilla bean.

The lunch couldn’t’ have been more perfect. From the wonderfully prepared food to the exceptional service (ask for OT!), I was one happy birthday girl.

JasminePorchLunch-8487.jpg

From inside, we could see butterflies floating all around. They’re all over Kiawah Island, but there were extra behind the restaurant where they have a butterfly garden.

JasminePorchLunch-8473.jpg

We walked around the grounds of The Sanctuary hotel to see more of the butterflies.

JasminePorchLunch-8483.jpg

JasminePorchLunch-8491.jpg

Just behind the restaurant is a sign with distances to the farms used in the restaurant.

JasminePorchLunch-8503.jpg

It was beautiful there! We’d love to stay here sometime. Maybe one day?

JasminePorchLunch-8531.jpg

After dinner, we definitely had birthday cake! All in all, it was a great way to spend my birthday! I was very appreciate of the experience and the quality time with my family.

Eggscellent B&B Breakfast and Amelia River Cruise {Amelia Island, FL}

Welcome to our new blog friends from Vitamix! I’m currently blogging about my recent vacation to Florida, but I have some new recipes coming soon! In the meantime, here we go…just a couple posts left!

If you came here for more smoothie or Green Monster recipes, check out these:

***

Though we wanted to spend the majority of our time relaxing, we wanted to do a couple touristy things while we were in Amelia Island. The boar tour was high on our list (in addition to the bus tour and carriage ride).

AmeliaIsland24-6080.jpg

{This is one of my favorite photos from the trip, and I snapped it on our boat tour. I love the way the old buildings contrast with the new boats and how with the masts reach into the bright blue sky}

AmeliaIsland24-6018.jpg

But first, we started the day with another delicious and filling breakfast at our B&B, Hoyt House. Hellooooo, sticky bun!

AmeliaIsland24-6022.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6028.jpg

I ordered what became my usual – the fried eggs with potatoes (this time with shredded potatoes and Canadian bacon).

AmeliaIsland24-6030.jpg

Hubby opted for the breakfast sandwich.

AmeliaIsland24-6031.jpg

We headed through downtown to the pier where the boat tours depart. We thought we were running late, but we just made it on time. We took the 10:30am Cumberland Island tour with Amelia River Cruises.

AmeliaIsland24-6032.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6042.jpg

See the pink birds? They’re not flamingos. They’re Roseate spoonbills, and apparently they aren’t often here on the island, so it was cool we got to see them.

AmeliaIsland24-6047.jpg

Dolphin sighting! We saw a few on our trip.

AmeliaIsland24-6053.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6061.jpg

{Our historian and presenter – she shared lots of interesting facts and stories on our trip}

AmeliaIsland24-6062.jpg

{Our captain – had a lot of info to share, too!}

AmeliaIsland24-6068.jpg

90′s kids, do you recognize this house? It’s Pippi Longstocking’s house! I was a big fan of her as a kid. I even dressed up as Pippi for Halloween one year!

AmeliaIsland24-6072.jpg

The white line in the water is where different bodies of water meet.

AmeliaIsland24-6100.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6109.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6113.jpg

One of the best parts of the boat tour – pets are allowed!

AmeliaIsland24-6136.jpg

{The famous wild horses}

AmeliaIsland24-6118.jpg

Bailey loved the boat tour.

AmeliaIsland24-6154.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6173.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6190.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6196.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6209.jpg

Do you see what I see on this boat? It’s a mini garden. Very smart!

AmeliaIsland24-6199.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6215.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6220.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6221.jpg

Bailey made friends with a little girl on the boat and showed off some tricks. What a ham!

I took a lot more photos, but there are only so many that fit well in a blog post. I tried to share the best ones! We had a great time on the boat tour and definitely recommend it if you’re ever visiting in Amelia Island. You’ll learn a lot, see some great scenery, and enjoy the fresh air as you cruise down the water.

AmeliaIsland24-6252.jpg

There was a restaurant right where our boat returned, so we went ahead and ate there – Brett’s Waterway Café.

AmeliaIsland24-6229.jpg

We wanted to enjoy some views of the water a bit longer.

AmeliaIsland24-6234.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6236.jpg

Hubby got the soup and salad.

AmeliaIsland24-6238.jpg

I ordered the grilled salmon, which came with green beans and a rice pilaf. I wanted something light (but not a salad), and this hit the spot. I ordered the sauce on the side and ended up not really needing it. The fish was flavorful enough on its own.

AmeliaIsland24-6246.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6253.jpg

AmeliaIsland24-6254.jpg

And with lunch done, we headed back through downtown on the way to the B&B.

***

You can check out some of my other Florida road trip posts here:

***

Thanks for stopping by! Two posts left, and then we get to some new summer-themed recipes! Stay tuned!

Breakfast at Hoyt House, Lunch at Kelly’s Courtyard Café, & Dinner at David’s {Amelia Island, FL}

We were really starting to settle into the laid-back atmosphere of Amelia Island by mid-trip. It was a welcome change from the fast-paced world we normally live in. We didn’t have to worry about traffic, or work…no phone conferences or Outlook meeting planners…just what shall we eat next? Want to go to the pool? How about the beach? Oh yeaaa…

AmeliaIsland-5922.jpg

{fresh fruit cup}

We were really enjoying our breakfasts at the Hoyt House.

AmeliaIsland-5927.jpg

Hubby tried the frittata of the day – a play on the classic caprese flavors.

AmeliaIsland-5930.jpg

I went with the fried egg with potatoes and an English muffin. Simple but exactly what I wanted. They have a special machine/tool at the B&B to cook the eggs, and I really like the way they use it to cook fried eggs.

AmeliaIsland-5946.jpg

After breakfast, we headed out to the front porch to relax. I worked on a blog posts while hubby did some reading.

AmeliaIsland-5947.jpg

AmeliaIsland-5948.jpg

AmeliaIsland-5938.jpg

See the lizard?

AmeliaIsland-5954.jpg

For lunch, we visited Kelly’s Courtyard Café.

AmeliaIsland-5966.jpg

We took a seat near the fountain.

AmeliaIsland-5958.jpg

We shared a couple things – the soup of the day…

AmeliaIsland-5961.jpg

…hummus…

AmeliaIsland-5960.jpg

…and the mahi mahi sandwich. Everything was tasty, but that fish sandwich was especially good. I loved the seasoning they put on the fish and the way they grilled it.

AmeliaIsland-5963.jpg

After seeing most of the tables order it around us, we couldn’t resist trying a dessert that caught our eye – Granny Mutt’s blueberry squares – vanilla ice cream & warm blueberry compote. This dessert was sort of like a blueberry blondie, and it was wonderful. I’d love to try to re-create something like this at home since I can’t easily go out and order it.

AmeliaIsland-5973.jpg

And let’s just jump straight to dinner, shall we? We decided to visit David’s Restaurant & Lounge for a special dinner. I guess we had a couple anniversary dinner celebrations on our trip.

AmeliaIsland-5976.jpg

AmeliaIsland-5978.jpg

They had a modern menu for their wine list, all on an iPad.

AmeliaIsland-5980.jpg

A small bite from the chef to start.

AmeliaIsland-5986.jpg

The bread and dipping sauces were really good. We especially liked the green one, which appeared to be a mix of fresh herbs and olive oil.

AmeliaIsland-6001.jpg

AmeliaIsland-5981.jpg

I’d heard the Stuffed Heirloom Tomato was great, so we decided to start with that.

AmeliaIsland-5990.jpg

“Fresh Tomato stuffed with Marinated Fresh Mozzarella & Basil served with a Balsamic Drizzle”. It was served cold, making it a great summer appetizer. The outside tomato had a great, firm texture, and the mix of cheese and tomato in the center was very good.

AmeliaIsland-5993.jpg

Crab Bisque – “Classic Creamy Bisque with Crab & Herb Oil.” This was mainly hubby’s, but I had a bite, and it was creamy and delicious.

AmeliaIsland-5995.jpg

{Palate-cleansing sorbet}

The menu is creatively broken up by the four senses – Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water with a special fifth sense of some add-ons (scallops, lobster tails, etc.).

AmeliaIsland-5996.jpg

We ordered the Petite Filet – “3oz Twin Medallions of Filet Mignon with a Red Wine Demi Glaze, Wild Mushroom Risotto and Seasonal Vegetables” and added a fifth sense option of scallops. I loved everything on the plate, from the crisp-tender vegetables to the creamy risotto to the tender filet and sweet scallop.

AmeliaIsland-6002.jpg

AmeliaIsland-6004.jpg

We tried the Warm Apple and Cranberry Strudel with Vanilla Gelato for dessert, and it was a great decision. The flaky pastry was a nice wrapping for the thinly sliced apples and chewy bites of cranberries.

AmeliaIsland-6011.jpg

And we got complimentary chocolate-covered strawberries for a second dessert, too!

We had a great and romantic dinner at David’s. The service was exceptional, and the food was fabulous. I’d definitely recommend you checking out this restaurant for a wonderful dinner experience.

***

More post fun from our Florida trip here:

***

Thanks for reading!

Pirate Museum and La Herencia Café {St. Augustine, FL}

We really could spend a week or more exploring St. Augustine, but we probably should have stayed more than one night on this trip. Since we were only there one night, we decided to maximize our time by making a couple stops on our way out of town.

StAugustine2-5757.jpg

We set out on foot through St. Augustine to visit a museum.

StAugustine2-5758.jpg

A pirate museum!

StAugustine2-5760.jpg

Our B&B had some coupons for admission.

201306081012.jpg

The museum was really cool. It was self-guided, so you could go at your own pace, and I liked all the interactive features they had. They also have an authentic pirate flag (above) – one of (I believe) three remaining. I think this would be a fun visit for anyone, but I bet kids would really go gaga in here.

StAugustine2-5761.jpg

The museum was a recommendation from our innkeeper, Tim, and another benefit of staying at a B&B. They give you great tips to make the most of your visit!

StAugustine2-5762.jpg

StAugustine2-5767.jpg

There were lizards and chameleons everywhere. Randomly enough, I used to catch these when I was a kid. I know, I’m weird.

StAugustine2-5768.jpg

StAugustine2-5771.jpg

StAugustine2-5780.jpg

After checking out of the B&B, we had one more stop – lunch on America’s oldest street, Aviles Street.

StAugustine2-5782.jpg

We decided to bring Bailey since there are four cafes there that have outdoor seating where pets are allowed.

StAugustine2-5788.jpg

One of the restaurants wasn’t open for lunch, but La Herencia Café was our stop of choice.

StAugustine2-5786.jpg

StAugustine2-5787.jpg

StAugustine2-5800.jpg

Unfortunately, it started raining on us while we were eating outside and the umbrella over the table wasn’t 100% waterproof. I opened my umbrella under the table top one as a workaround.

StAugustine2-5794.jpg

Hubby got the La Herencia Cheese Steak, which he really enjoyed. The sandwich was hot and made with Cuban bread. Look at that melty cheese!

StAugustine2-5797.jpg

I got the Ropa Vieja plate (it’s also available as a sandwich). This is a classic Cuban dish that sort of reminds me of Southern BBQ. Ropa Vieja is a bit like Southern pulled pork but it’s actually made with beef and instead of a tangy vinegar sauce or sweet tomato based sauce, it has a savory, tomato and vegetable-based sauce. My plate was served with white rice and beans and sweet plantains. Yum!

StAugustine2-5804.jpg

And for my last photo from St. Augustine, one of my favorites. I snapped this photo as we were heading out of town. I found this shot on one of the tiny side streets leading away from Aviles Street. The turquoise on the weathered door caught my eye, and I knew I needed a photo to remember it.

***

More posts from our Florida trip are a click away:

***

Next time on the blog – Amelia Island, FL!

Related Posts with Thumbnails