Nov 30, 2010

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

The best frozen yogurt place has hit Mt. Pleasant and stolen Amanda's, Mary's and my heart. We had been anticipating the opening for a couple of months and were so excited to finally try it a couple weeks ago. We've all been back several times since, but I wanted to share our first visit with you all.
We were immediately greeted by the manager and staff who were very excited when I asked to take pictures. They offered to show us how the self-service ice cream pumps and gave us mini cups to sample as many flavors as we could. There were tons of flavors to choose from. Here's Mary serving herself the kiwi strawberry sorbet. 
Now that I mention sorbet, I must let you guys know that Menchie's has something for everyone: nonfat, dairy-free, low-carb, gluten-free, no sugar added, and kosher. Everybody wins! There are a ton of rotating flavors, including seasonal options like pumpkin and praline 'n cream. Mmmm.

At the snackage bar, there are candy pieces, granola, cookies, nuts and sprinkles.
At the chill bar, there are fresh fruit, cookie dough, brownies, and cheesecake bits.
The "hotties" toppings include hot fudge, caramel sauce,  non fat / no sugar-added fudge
Just imagine how long it took me to choose my creation! I decided to swirl two flavors: red velvet and cake batter. 
I topped the fro yo with frozen cookie dough balls, heath bar bits, and hot fudge. Menchie's doesn't have set prices either -- you pay by weight. Mine only cost $2.30. What a steal!
The employees encourage you to write your combination on the chalkboard to give other patrons inspiration. 
Menchie's is such a fun place and we can't get enough! The decor is very modern and brightly colored.The best part is that they have frequent buyer cards and Tuesdays are double punch days! If you haven't been to Menchie's, you need to go TODAY!

Menchies on Urbanspoon

Nov 28, 2010

Clemson Sucks But Our Cookies Don’t

Friday night Amanda and I did some baking for the Clemson v. Carolina game. Using a simple sugar cookie recipe and some adorable cutters, we made football-themed cookies. We made footballs, helmets, “cheer thingies” (loudspeakers) and SC state shapes.DSC_1310 (1280x853)I made a huge batch of frosting and then dyed them the appropriate team colors: garnet and black for USC and purple and orange for Clemson.DSC_1311 (1280x853)While the cookies baked and cooled, we drank some red wine and listened to Christmas music on Pandora. Have you started listening to Holiday music? I know we’re not the only ones out there. DSC_1313 (1280x853)Baking and decorating took 3 hours! Although some of the cookies look like they were made by drunk people, we had lots of fun getting cracked out on the sugary frosting and making a huge mess.DSC_1314 (1280x853)The next morning we decided that exercising was essential. We walked the entire bridge + some, totaling a little over 5 miles.
We were really proud of our cookies and they were a huge hit at the party. DSC_1326 (1280x917)DSC_1330 (1280x853)DSC_1331 (1280x853)
The Clemson cookies disappeared before the Carolina cookies. This either means they were delicious or people were trying to get rid of them.  DSC_1335 (1280x853)Clemson started playing like doo doo and my attention turned from the game to some decoys I found in Cord’s living room. Do you like how I’m not only making out with a duck but I have antlers in this picture? DSC_1366 (1280x914)Sunday morning was spent lazily watching tv until Tyler came back from Clemson demanding that we go for a run. He’s a feisty one! We ran up and down the Battery – the same route we’ll be running in our Reindeer Run 5k this Saturday.

After our run Tyler claimed that because his “life revolves around meal times” that we needed to discuss dinner options. Is he my twin or what? We settled on takeout from Tasty Thai. Unfortunately it was not so tasty. I was determined to try something other than my typical Pad Thai which was what Tyler ordered. My choice: imageBleh. Boring. No flavor. Thanks for the massive amount of noodles with 5 vegetables, Tasty Thai. You are so generous.IMG_4949
Tasty Thai & Sushi on Urbanspoon
Here’s to clean eating all week long with lots of exercise. Thanksgiving detox is a must!!

Nov 26, 2010

My Turkey Day Duties

For this year’s Thanksgiving, I was in charge of making an appetizer and a dessert. I love showing my family that healthy can equal delicious, so I chose two recipes that would do just that. On Thanksgiving Eve I made the dessert: Pumpkin Chiffon Cake by Rachael Ray. I’m not usually a fan of RR or her recipes, but this one caught my eye bc a)the name sounds fancy and b)it was lightened up.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, separated, plus 5 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, the pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt. DSC_1194 (1024x732)

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks and pumpkin puree. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture until smooth.DSC_1204 (1024x683)

  3. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the remaining 9 egg whites at medium speed until foamy, about 2 minutes. With the machine on, gradually whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar; increase the speed to high and beat until stiff but still moist, 1 to 2 minutes.DSC_1209 (1024x683)

  4. Add one-quarter of the egg white mixture to the pumpkin batter, folding with a rubber spatula just until no streaks remain. DSC_1210 (1024x683)Fold in the remaining egg white mixture in the same manner. DSC_1213 (1024x683)Pour the batter into a 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom and bake until springy to the touch and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 minutes.DSC_1214 (1024x731)DSC_1235 (1024x733)

  5. Let cool in the cake pan for 5 minutes, then invert the pan onto a narrow-necked bottle and let hang upside down until completely cool, about 1 1/2 hours.  (I REFUSED to put a hole in my cake, so I let it cool on top of cans.)DSC_1237 (1024x683)Place the cake right side up and remove the pan. To serve, dust the cake with the confectioners’ sugar.

For a beautiful cake, this was quite easy! While it baked, Lucy and I did some Christmas decorating and arts & crafts. I picked up these mugs for our nightly tea seshes. So adorbs!! I am the penguin and she is the snow(w0)man.DSC_1216 (1024x732)I also found place mats. Target has the best seasonal crap. Omggggg I’m obsessed.DSC_1222 (1024x683)DSC_1221 (1024x683)

And for $2, I found crafts! DSC_1225 (728x1024)This kept me busy and away from the oven window.DSC_1227 (1024x683)

Here’s the finished product hanging on our front door – inside and outside. I’m sure the neighbors think we’re 5-year-olds.DSC_1233 (731x1024)So back to the cake. The pumpkin cake made the twenty-six mile drive safely!DSC_1266 (1024x683)

This was one of the best desserts I have ever made. My family is full of chocolate fanatics, but every single one of us loved this. Even the baby ate two slices! At only 122 calories per slice, this is the perfect indulgence. We could not get over how light and moist it was. Move over pumpkin loaves and cookies, the pumpkin chiffon cake is the best yet!DSC_1290 (1024x683)DSC_1298 (1024x683)As if you could even focus on a vegetable right now, I do want to show the app too. I simply took a bunch of fresh asparagus, snapped off their tails, and parboiled them for a few minutes. DSC_1250 (1024x683)I wrapped them in prosciutto while drinking a mimosa…DSC_1252 (1024x683)and then roasted them in balsamic and honey with pistachios. Easy and delicious!DSC_1256 (1024x683)

Hope everyone had a fatttttttttttttttt Thanksgiving!

Nov 23, 2010

Send a Wish Upon a Star…Do the Work and You’ll Go Far (Giveaway!)

In case anyone recognizes it, the title is a quote from one of my favorite songs - “Lullaby” by Sia. Love her.
Monday’s boot camp was work work work. In multiples of fifty. Our night consisted of the following:workout
Do you believe it? It’s true. Ask Amanda, Mary, Margaret, or me how our butts felt and we will tell you “JELLO.”
It was all worth it when class was over and I received some prezzies for YOU, my blog readers. Remember when I picked up my 2011 Chick-fil-A coupon calendar? I now have some to give away!
Three of my readers will win a Chick-fil-A calendar, an adorable cow ornament, and a box to put presents in! It is the perfect size box for a bottle of wine…or sparkling grape juice. Whatevs. Calendar coupons (that do not expire) include:
  • January: Spicy Chicken Biscuit or Small Bowl of Chicken Soup
  • February: Yogurt Parfait and Dasani Bottled Water
  • March: Large Diet Coke
  • April: Chick-Fila Nuggets (8 ct)
  • May: Chargrilled Chicken Garden Salad (my fave!)
  • June: Small Hand-Spun Milkshake
  • July: Medium Freshly Squeezed Lemonade (my other fave!)
  • August: Large Sprite
  • September: Spicy Chicken Sandwich
  • October: Large Coca-Cola
  • November: Chick-n-Minis (3 ct) OR Large Waffle Fry
  • December: Large Coca-Cola Zero
For a chance to win, please tell me something you’ve worked really hard to achieve. It can be personal, physical, emotional, or educational – any area you feel you’ve succeeded in. The giveaway ends Sunday, November 28th at 12:00PM EST. LOCAL READERS/STALKERS ARE HIGHLY ENCOURAGED TO ENTER! GOOD LUCK! Open-mouthed smile
PS: I finally made a header!! It’s nothing fancy but I’m really proud of it!

Nov 22, 2010

Feeling Kind of (Chest) Nutty!

First things first, we need a laugh. Remember yesterday when I said that Amanda and I went downtown to take pictures for her friend? While I was snapping shots of Longitude Lane, Amanda took a picture of me. Not only does this picture make me chuckle because I look like a midget, but PLEASE focus your eyes on the lady on the street.  photog
#1 – What is her face?
#2 – Her breasts are touching her belly button. Not okay. If you know this woman, tell her to buy a bra. Moving along…
After dinner last night, my new roommate Lucy asked if I wanted to roast chestnuts. I immediately thought of the Christmas song that goes, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…” but giggled because we had to use the oven. I had seen chestnuts being roasted over an open fire (literally) in Rome, but never bought any so I was excited to try them. DSC_1161 Before roasting, Lucy told me that you have to cut an x into the shell.DSC_1163 She showed me how to do a few, then I gave it a go. DSC_1164We scored the whole bag of nuts and roasted them at 400*.. DSC_1175 Twenty minutes later, the shells had peeled open and the actual nut was revealed.DSC_1177 Aren’t they precious? They were ridiculously hot, but I couldn’t resist peeling one open right away.DSC_1185 The first thing I noticed was that they were very starchy! I did some research later and found some interesting facts on chestnuts:
  • Chestnuts can be eaten raw, but can also be roasted, boiled, candied, steamed, or grilled.
  • The texture is similar to that of a potato with a sweet and nutty flavor.
  • Chestnuts can be dried and milled into flour.
  • Chestnuts contain no cholesterol, and very little fat (mostly unsaturated) and no gluten.
  • They are the only “nuts” that contain Vitamin C; 100g contains about 65% of your daily requirement.
Roasting chestnuts was not only festive, but healthy! DSC_1180 My mind is already brewing with thoughts of grinding up some chestnut butter…Has anyone done this? What is your favorite nut to roast or make nut butter with?