Friday, June 29, 2012

A New Favorite in my Kitchen

Pampered Chef's Easy Accent Decorator

It is the perfect tool to make ordinary cupcakes look like they may have come from "Cupcake". It can be stored in the refrigerator, no messy hands, and it goes straight into the dishwasher. I used it this week to make festive "Celebration Cupcakes".

The cupcakes were supposed to be layered blue, red, and white...but some of them turned out to look like fireworks instead (see the ones on the right). I guess that is keeping in the Fourth of July spirit!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Taste of Summer

We have been on the road the past few weeks with no free time to venture out to the Farmer's MarketI have been craving my mom's summer vegetable meals, so a trip to the Vegetable Bin was in order this week. We left with locally grown butter beans, corn, tomatoes, kale, sweet potatoes, and cucumbers. These summer meals are usually meatless (sorry Cole) and full of fresh grown veggies. No spices, flavorings, or anything added...just the pure fresh flavor. My family recipe for broccoli cornbread is usually included, but I chose to use N.C. sweet potatoes instead. 

These are my version of Mary Loyal's kale chips with smoked paprika instead of sriracha (I can't quite do the heat!) Smoked paprika smells and tastes so different than regular paprika, and I must give Cole the credit...this was his idea! Leftover fresh butter beans, and Molly's mom's bottom of the bag chicken recipe. I used regular ole greasy potato chips (but she says you can use the crumbs of anything- cornflakes, pretzels, etc.) with a little bit of flour, season-all, and garlic salt. First dip the chicken in a mix of egg whites and milk to let the potato chip mix stick. Top each chicken breast with a little butter and pop in the oven until done throughout. Yum! Thanks Molly for the creative idea!
Notice all the greens on Cole's plate :) 
Turkey, Tomato, Mozzarella, and fresh Basil Pesto Paninis
Fresh Peach Slushies (half gone!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rotation # 2

It is hard to believe that my second rotation is coming to a close this week. This month I am working with a family doctor in an ambulatory care setting. I have learned so much! My days consist of spending a ton of time in the room with patients, helping with treatment decisions, medication counseling, answering drug information questions for the staff (and researching them when I don't know the answers), returning voicemail questions, free lunch, and a few less glamorous duties like cleaning out the sample closet.

After this week, I am on my summer vacay for the month of July. Cole is "off" of rotation duties as well, but he will be vigorously studying for step 2 of his medical boards. He takes them at the end of this month. The first step of boards was definitely a low point in our schooling, and we are committed to making this experience a little more positive. Don't get me wrong, Cole did amazing on his test, but the every day grueling experience can get the best of anybody...

After putting in some hours at work this weekend, we are headed to Sullivan's for the week with my family. I cannot wait! In between Cole's studying, we also have plans to see "The Lion King" with Cole's parents in Greenville, bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail, and celebrate our third wedding anniversary.

While he is hitting the books, I have a few lingering projects that I am ready to bring to a close and a few new ones to begin...
1. Finish my Interprofessional Fellowship paperwork
2. Sell alpaca yarn on Etsy
3. Paint bud vases
4. Plan more of our trip out west
5. Knock out most of my final Grand Rounds presentation that is due in September
6. Finish my Bible
7. Have my sister teach me how to make homemade laundry detergent

Monday, June 18, 2012

To Cole's friends who tell me they secretly read my blog...

As Cole's third year of medical school closes and his fourth begins, we have lots to be thankful for. One of the things I am thankful for the most is you. Yes, YOU, Cole's friends who tell me that you secretly read my blog...I am thankful for you! Your relationship with my husband is a vital part of his spiritual growth and success as a man of God, husband, and student. You med school buddies are there to understand and cope with the hardships of school and your profession that I can neither understand nor fathom. You challenge, encourage, and love him. Greer and Clemson provide Cole with much needed breaks from his studies, times to get his mind off of serious things and just have a good time! As his wife I pray earnestly for his relationships with you all. Through encouraging and praying for him, you bless us both! He trusts you for accountability, and I value the "prayer covering" you give him. We are truly blessed by your presence in his life. 

Proverbs 27:17 
"As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another."
Boone Hall Mud Run
Folly Beach
Thomas' Wedding

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A "Small Dose" of Irony

I normally wouldn't consider my family pet-lovers. We didn't have many pets growing up and having 3 young kids running around was probably enough for my parents to think they lived at a zoo anyway! Those of you who know me well, know that I am too selfish to even own a dog right now.

....but my mom is threatening to open a petting zoo after this week...
Our MaltiPoo, Belle
Our Country Club ducks, as Mom likes to call them. They like to sunbathe, groom, and take  dips in the pool.

The other ducks live appropriately on the lakes..

As if ducks weren't enough to roam around the yards and lakes, this year William decided to raise some turkeys. They are currently caged in the backyard. We also have a yellow lab, Scout...but I can't find a photo of him to share.

Not to mention the alpacas at the farm...
Blue Blood Alpacas
 And the latest addition, this stranded fawn my brother found. I guess someone has to take care of him!

Welcome to the zoo I call home!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Cole and I just returned from a weekend of R&R at the beach. His parents joined us, and it was fun showing them the beach I grew up visiting. I was especially excited that Cole got 2 good nights of sleep. He deserved them! These EARLY mornings are EARLY, and sometimes I wonder if he will ever be able to make up the sleep deficit he has already accrued. We were thankful he had the weekend off, and I look forward to many more these next year! 

..The views of the sunset driving in were incredible! 

Psalm 19:1 
"The heavens declare the glory of God; 
the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

Our meals were yummy and fun to make, but none topped our dinner at the Beach Club. What a treat! Here are some pictures with the recipes attached. 

These blueberry muffins  (double the blueberries, of course)

This  Fresh Strawberry Pie

These Shrimp Cobb Salads

Photo from Southern Living

Manuel's Bread Cafe

I didn't want to leave Augusta without trying Manuel's Bread Cafe. I had heard great things, and I knew I would love any place that has a menu that changes daily based on the their garden that you pass on the way in. I did love the food, but that was no surprise. The surprise came when an iPad with a personal sommelier was brought to our table in lieu of a wine list. It was so fun! Each item on the menu was paired with wine. You could also do "searches" for taste, region, occasion, etc. 

Supposedly, you can even download a Personal Sommelier App here. Welcome to the future...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What I'm Loving Now

Trina Turk and Banana Republic launched their duet debut today in a Limited Edition Summer 2012 Collection. I have long been a fan of Trina Turk, and I was so excited to hear about this! The collection is super fun and affordable ($30-$150). Take a peek below, and if you find a piece to fit your summer repertoire, hurry up because some pieces are already sold out!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I'm Home!!

Our house was a joyous place this weekend! I am HOME and finally back in the swing of things...unpacked with no mail, clean laundry and a clean house. 

In many ways, my time in Augusta felt like a mini vacation.  Among other things, Lisa and Allen spoiled me with home-cooked dinner every night. I thoroughly enjoyed this time getting to know them! We shared our love for cooking, and before I left they gifted me with this cookbook to remember my time in Augusta. Not only did Mrs. Lisa cook many recipes from the book that I now have to keep, but most of the illustrations were photographed at their house. It is a treasure I will keep forever to remember them, their hospitality, and my time in Augusta. 
Junior League's Tea-Time at the Master's Cookbook 
Despite my excitement of getting back in the kitchen, especially with a new cookbook, our weekend turned into a spontaneous culinary tour of Charleston...I am not complaining though! Friday night Cole treated me to a welcome home dinner at 17North. We have been wanting to try it, but hadn't made the trek to Awendaw yet. We had a great time together and the food was very good! On Saturday, after both pulling in some early hours at work and a few Spoleto shows downtown with Mom and JoJo (my favorite being the Charleston Symphony Ensemble production of African American spirituals), Cole and I headed to the bar at Husk for a cocktail tête-à-tête and hors d'oeuvres, courtesy of Mom. Cole quickly chose the cheeseburger and I the fruit and cheese plate. Cole ended up ordering a second cheeseburger...does that surprise any of you?!?
Husk Bar
If that wasn't enough indulging for one weekend, we all headed to the Sunday Gospel Brunch at Hall's Chophouse after church. Absolutely incredible. I recommend it to anyone. Seriously, make reservations and go!
Hall's Chophouse
Back to reality, a diet, and cooking...first off, basil pesto from the herbs outside before they take over the place!

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