2. Listening: Get excited, it’s something different than EDM. I’m sure you’ve all heard Of Monsters and Men before, but I really like this song called “Love love love.”
3. Eating: As soon as I got back to Boston, my first meal out was at b.good. Shocking, I know. For the first time in a while, I had the Curry & Grilled Avocado Quinoa Bowl. It’s got organic quinoa, kale, sautéed veggies, cauliflower, roasted red pepper, peas, almonds, spicy curry, mint-yogurt sauce. I nixed the the yogurt sauce though.
I have returned from the South! I barely saw the sun and experienced mostly gray, rainy days but the weather was in the 50s-60s and I was so happy about it. Friday was in the upper 60s andI kept saying “Whew! I’m hot!” After months of snow, it was actually great.
It was a whirlwind of a trip trying to squeeze in as much family & friend time as I could, but I’m so glad I got to visit. My friend Amanda’s wedding was the happiest one I’ve ever been to and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. What a beautiful bride she made!
Of course I took my best friend/old roomie Boding along and we had a great time. Especially in the photo booth.
Instead of doing a full recap, how about I share some of my favorite meals from the trip. I didn’t eat out as much as I anticipated. Instead I had lots of delicious meals prepared by my aunt & uncle and my best friend Nancy’s parents. I enjoyed the quality time with them more than anything.
First up, Graze in Summerville. I had been to the Mt. Pleasant location several times and am friends with their head chef Jonathan. We both went to SHS and I was really excited to hear that he was opening a second location on our old stomping grounds. Just like the original spot, it does not disappoint. I requested a simple salmon dish, so J whipped me up a grilled salmon with beets and brussels. Perfect.
My next meal out was at The Americano in Mt. Pleasant with my friend Becky. I loved the vibe of this place!
We kicked off the weekend with some “I missed you so much” drinks. A Mexican Mule for her and bubbles for me. I tried her mule and it was really, really good! Dare I say…better than the Moscow Mule at Rarebit? Yep.
We also had tacos. Lotsa tacos. Becky had the steak and chicken tacos and I had the baja fish and crispy oysters. So so good. The fried oysters were my favorite. And I gotta add that their chips & salsa were excellent.
The third spot I went to was The Park Cafe downtown. I can’t tell you how many people told me “Oh you would have loved this place!” and “It’s right up your alley!” right after I moved. I was pretty eager to go meet the lovely Amy for brunch.
I was so excited to try their Avocado Toast, as so many of my friends had been raving about how simple, yet delicious, it is. It was the perfect size for Amy and I to share, though both of us would agree that we could easily down the whole thing separately.
For my meal, I had the veggie plate. I’m not sure what’s regularly on it, but because I asked for no dairy, the chef just prepared a bunch of veggies for me. I got a mix of beets, broccolini, potatoes, onions, and sunchokes. Again, simple but delicious. I have to agree with my friends; if I still lived in Charleston, I’d eat here pretty often.
There were so many places I would’ve liked to try, but friends, family, and the wedding were my priorities. I really enjoyed the nights in with my aunt and best friends, gabbing over wine and chocolate bars. Sometimes it’s just what ya need!!
1. Have you guys heard of Accessory Jane? They’ve got the prettiest jewelry and it’s all super affordable! I just got this necklace and am in love with it. Unfortunately it’s now sold out but there are tons of other options. More tassel options here and here.
2. Athleta is having their Friends & Family sale and I snagged the Verbier Jacket in Admiral Blue. It is such a pretty color on. Don’t let the shiny stripes on the site throw you off — they’re not like that in real life. For size reference, I have an XXS.
3. Ladies who have naturally wavy or curly hair you NEED this John Frieda Sea Waves Salt Spray. My hair is pretty wavy on its own, but this makes it beach wave perfection. Unlike a gel-based product, the spray leaves you with softer, tangle free ringles. None of those wet crunchy curls. Just spray, scrunch, and let it dry naturally.
4. I realize my obsession with b.good is at an all-time high, but I’m okay with a good chunk of my budget going to their real, local, delicious food. It’s so worth it. On St. Patrick’s Day I celebrated with a Three Greens Smoothie: kale, lime, mint, pineapple, almond milk and hemp seed. It usually comes with honey but I nix that bc it’s too sweet otherwise.
Side of pickles for bonus green points…and bc they’re homemade and delicious.
5. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to be getting my hair cut tomorrow. Why? Because I’m seeing my old stylist in Charleston. She is amazing and even if she gave me the same darn cut I’ve had, I’d be happier because she’s just so good at what she does, both cuts and color. I”m debating adding some more gold back into my hair, like this:
Any ideas for how I can style my hair for the wedding? It’s a little above my shoulders, like in the picture above where I have on the blue jacket.
Anytime someone asks me if there’s anything I collect, I immediately respond with “cookbooks!” I can’t get enough.
But I must admit, I’m a bit picky about my cookbooks. They need to have easy-to-follow-recipes and gorgeous food photography. No photos? No thanks. I really like to visualize what I’m about to make so I know what I’ll be forking into. Not only that, but I think it’s fun to see how similar I can get my creations to turn out. It always makes me want to take a food styling class!
Benbella Books sent over a copy of Christina Ross’s cookbook, Love Fed, at the perfect time. Having just finished Whole30, I wanted to continue with my clean eats, but let myself indulge a little. Christina’s cookbook is perfect for those who want to indulge, but prefer treats that simple and nutritious.
Love Fed is full of raw desserts that are not only decadent, but nutritious! They’re all gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free vegan treats. And there are plenty of options:
Cakes, Pies, Cobblers, and Tarts
Minis and More — includes smaller, bite-sized treats like cinnamon rolls and doughnuts
Puddings and Parfaits
Ice Cream, Yogurt, and Frozen Treats
Candy and Other Sweet Bites
Shakes and Sips
Fruit: Beyond Basics
Last week I made her Strawberry Babycakes. They’re one of the cutest desserts in the book so I couldn’t resist. They were super easy to make and so so good. Like too good. I ate 3 in a day and may or may not have eaten one for breakfast one day. But who cares? They’re healthy! Here’s my instagram:
And Christina’s prettier picture
Yield: 9 babycakes |Prep time: 25 minutes, plus 20 minutes for cake to set
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tsp. honey
8 large strawberries, hulled
1½ tsp. chia seeds
1 c. cashews
¼ c. almonds
½ tsp. vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract
2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. almond extract
Mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
To make the berry topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and honey. Add the strawberries and allow to soak for 10 minutes. Mash the strawberries with the back of a fork, then stir in the chia seeds. Allow to sit for 10 minutes to thicken. Strain the berry mixture to separate the fruit from the juice. Discard the juice and set the fruit aside. Make the babycakes.
To make the babycakes: Place the cashews and almonds in a food processor and process into a fine flour. Add the vanilla bean powder, honey, and almond extract. Process until the mixture sticks together when pressed between your fingers.
To assemble: Using an ice-cream scoop, form the dough into 9 balls and make a depression in the center with your thumb or the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm. Fill with the strawberry topping. Garnish with mint leaves, if desired, and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Benbella Books has offered to give away a copy of Love Fedto one of you! All you have to do is comment below telling me why you’d like to win this book. For a bonus entry, tell me your favorite dessert. Giveaway ends next Tuesday, March 24th. Good luck!