Feb 28, 2011

Sweet Vanilla Rice Pudding / Photo Day #8

I’m now up to Day #8 of the Photo Challenge - a picture that makes you laugh. This is a picture of Matt and me playing an Xbox skiing game. I was racing down a mountain while Matt was, err…I don’t know how to explain that pose. Awkward. And I’m wearing Matt’s shirt because this was also the day he hosed me down in the yard. Click to zoom – it’s so worth it.image

In the afternoon, Lucy and I went to the gym for two minutes. Two. About 1 minute and 32 seconds on the treadmill, I asked her “Why are we here? We should be walking the bridge.” We promptly left the gym and drove over to the Ravenel Bridge.  We spent a good hour walking the entire bridge in the glorious 80 degree weather. This picture is also awkward, so just focus on the pretty bridge.bridge

That evening we made the best rice pudding EVER. EVER EVER EVER. It was so good that I got a little emotional in the kitchen. The last time this happened was when I made blueberry ricotta pancakes.

Sweet Vanilla Rice Pudding


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup whole grain brown rice
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups light vanilla soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins


  1. Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add rice and salt and return to a boil. Turn heat to low, then simmer the rice, covered, until all of the water is absorbed, about 15-2o minutes.
  2. Remove rice from pan and set aside in a separate bowl. Add soy milk, vanilla extract, and sugar to the pan and bring to a low boil. Stir often so the milk doesn’t over boil. Add the rice back to the pain along with the raisins. Stir often until the milk reduces and becomes creamy, about 20 minutes. Remove from pan and place in a bowl to cool, or enjoy warm.

We enjoyed ours in the martini glasses that I have never used until today. Seriously. I don’t drink martinis – they make me gag or drunk in .5 seconds. DSC_2479-1DSC_2480

Throughout the day, Lucy spilled fish food all over her car seat, oats all over Whole Foods, and water on herself. I spilled broccoli and water all over the floor, spilled pink nail polish on the couch, and burned my hand on the stove. How are we alive? Maybe I do need a martini.

Feb 26, 2011

SEWE, Granville’s, and Photo Day #7

Photo Day #7: A picture of your most treasured item: When I was 6 years old, the day before we left for Disney World, Grammy surprised both my brother and me with stuffed animals. She gave me the Gund Muttsy dog, shown here. MUTTSY - BEIGE 24

Twenty years later, here is that same dog that I (so originally) named “Puppy.” This dog has been through it all: vacations, malls, suitcases, purses, you name it. It has lost its nose and the top of its head was badly burned on a lamp near my bed. Here is a pic of how I found him one day that my exbf made my bed. Hilarious.imageDid you guys have a stuffed animal that you clung to growing up? Do you still have it? Laura, I know you do!

Last Sunday, Matt took me to brunch at Granville’s, one of his favorite Charleston restaurants.

Located downtown at 730 Rutledge, this unassuming restaurant is gorgeous inside. Apparently it had been closed for a while for renovations and Matt was very happy they were back in business. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of the inside, but trust me when I say that the décor and ambience were just as awesome as the food.

We were pleasantly greeted by our server, Shea, who was very friendly and accommodating. The brunch menu is very reasonably priced, with dishes ranging from $8-$12. We started the morning off just how Matt and I like it, with alcohol. We got grapefruit mimosas which are so much better than orange juice because they aren’t as sweet. To eat, I ordered the omelet of the day with prosciutto, Fontina cheese, and grilled onions with a side of grits.DSC_2433Matt got a huge portion of the Shrimp & Grits which were delicious. I’m not even kidding when I say that these were best grits I have ever had – and I’m talking about my plain ones too. They were just the perfect thick and creamy texture. I probably told Matt three different times that I couldn't wait to come back to which he responded, “I told you.”DSC_2434

Granville's Cafe and Catering on Urbanspoon

A couple mimosas later, we were ready to frolic around SEWE, aka Redneck Paradise. For those of you not from Charleston, the Southeastern Wildlife Exhibition is the largest wildlife/nature exhibition in the nation. This just means there are a lot of random animals and guns.imageimageimageMatt likes to take my camera and embarrass me in public, acting like he is a paparazzo. imageI tell him to stop, he clicks more, and I almost pee my pants laughing. Every single time.imageTowards the end of the exhibit, we found a giant blow up slide. Matt says we need it for the backyard.imageAnd because he always gets to embarrass me, it’s my turn. Look at this face! Hahah I love him!image

What are you up to this weekend? I am hanging out with my brother all day, and tonight I am watching Rick’s children. THREE CHILDREN. Two little boys and a newborn baby girl. I’m actually really excited! See you tomorrow!

Feb 25, 2011

Basil and Babe-Hunting with Boding

Today I met my old roommate, Boding, for lunch at Basil downtown. I hadn’t been in so long and was seriously craving their Pad Thai. DSC_2485Neither of us even looked at the menu – we just automatically knew we both wanted their signature dish. Rice noodles stir-fried with chicken, shrimp, eggs, bean sprouts, scallions, peanuts and Pad Thai sauce. DSC_2479I also asked our server to bring out some of “whatever they use to make this dish spicy.” She knew what I meant.DSC_2483

Basil on Urbanspoon

After lunch we frolicked around King St. in the beautiful weather. Today was sunny and in the 70s – perfect for babe-hunting and shopping. I stopped into The Vault for the first time. They have a lot of pretty shirts and adorable Summer dresses. I tried on a few things while Boding played with my camera. What was behind this curtain?DSC_2487 ME! haha.curtainThe lady that worked there was ridiculously friendly but kept bringing me those most hideous things to try on. Like this shirt…It looks like Mother Nature threw up on me. image

Next, we went to Dumas for Boding. This store is really something. Really Southern. We found the most incredibly patterned bow ties. Among my favorites were shot guns, butterbeans, cotton, and okra. Who puts food on ties!? And can I get a man in a cookie tie?

Shotgun BeauCotton Pickin' BeauButterbean BeauOkra Beau

I do love the South, but if I stay here much longer, I could end up with THIS MAN.DSC_2495Hopefully mine would have a head though.

Our last stop was a sweet fix at Godiva. DSC_2498Did yall know that if you sign up for the Rewards Club, you get a free piece of chocolate each month? We can thank Lucy for this vital information. I left with a Carrot Cake truffle and a Honey Almond truffle for later. DSC_2501

On the way home, I stopped by Eco and did 35 minutes of HIIT plus 25 minutes of arm/chest exercises. The guy who gave me unsolicited advice last week said “Hi gym rat!” and then spoke to me in Spanish. He is a character.

After the gym, I attacked the Carrot Cake truffle, but it wasn’t at all what I expected. Instead of a cakey center, it had a cream cheese and cake batter-like filling. It was good, but I wanted cake!DSC_2503

I can almost guarantee that I will be eating the honey almond truffle with my breakfast tomorrow.

Any suggestions on what/where to eat while in NYC? One of my top reasons for going is for a Levain Bakery cookie. Priorities, priorities.

Feb 24, 2011

Photo Day #6: I Like My Life.

I thought long and hard about Photo Day #6: A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day.image Confused? Don’t be. I have absolutely no desire to trade places with anyone. I love my life too much and don’t want to miss a day of it.

Not a day goes by that I don’t experience something that just makes me smile.

Example 1: Tonight, while at a surprise going away party for Jenny, my good friend Rob and I were chatting.

Rob: “So, Christina, my parents are in town next week and they want to go to dinner Thursday night. They told me I had to bring a date and it couldn’t be a guy. I have to bring a girl…”

Christina: “I’ll go. I mean, are you asking me to go? Because I’ll go.”

Rob: “Yeah, I was. Plus, my mom likes to chat a lot and she’s seen your blog. I figured you’d be perfect for this kind of thing.”

Christina: “Done. So where are we going?”

We’re going to Lana Restaurant & Bar on Rutledge downtown. Has anyone been there?

Example 2: At the gym Monday night, a guy came up to me and, in all seriousness, asked, “Hey, are you the hula hoop girl?”

All I could do was laugh and confess myself.

Example 3: I’m going to NYC in 2 weeks. Boom.

Feb 22, 2011

Why Do I Break Everything? / Photo Day #5

My little brother Justin and I were incredibly close growing up; we never fought about anything. He would agree to play dolls with me, if I’d hunt for frogs with him later. I was extremely protective of him, being that he was my first younger brother. I was only 4 1/2 when he was born, but remember being so excited about his arrival. He was just like one of my dolls…image

Fast forward 22 years…

Back in December, I ordered these porcelain spoons from Crate and Barrel. Due to their popularity, they were on backorder for almost two months.

Day 1 in my possession: I broke one. I threw gently tossed my purse on the counter and the red one went flying. Luckily, it was my least favorite color.DSC_2475


If I break the orange, I’m breaking them all.

I’m not bitter. Smile

Feb 21, 2011

Photo Day #4 and 17 North Roadside Kitchen

Here we are at Photo Day #4: A picture of your night.

Here’s Matt. Matt enjoys playing tricks on me whenever possible. While I was getting ready, he found it funny to go through my laundry, hijack my laptop, and inappropriately update my facebook status. Please note the bras hanging from my headboard. mattandbras
Saturday night after the blue ball shenanigans, my foodie friend Santo and I tried out a new (to us) restaurant, 17 North. The restaurant way out in Mt. Pleasant, but definitely worth the drive. I live in the center of Mt. P. and it only took us about 15 minutes to get there.

I love eating with Santo bc not only does he truly appreciate food, he always wants to try a lot of it. We started out with two appetizers. Yes, two.

First, we had “Brett’s Meatballs.” Brett McKee is the chef/owner and boy, oh, boy, does he make his presence known. There are several menu items named after him. Here are Brett’s meatballs – three of them. Haha. These were pretty good, but as I sat across from Mr. Staropoli (Italian stallion), I noticed that he wasn’t as impressed. These were not his mother’s meatballs. meatballs
We also got the seared scallops with a lemony asparagus risotto. Ummm I can officially say these were the best tasting scallops I’ve ever had. They were also the size of my face. scallopsThe bib wedge salad was highly recommended by our waitress, so we went ahead and got that too. The wedge was served with a blue cheese-cucumber dressing, house smoked bacon, and grape tomatoes. Santo liked it, but this type of salad is not for me. I don’t like having to cut my lettuce and despise cold tomatoes. icebergFor an entrée, I chose the Lowcountry Cioppino: fresh fish, local shrimp and clams, in a saffron tomato broth. Loved this. A lot. My picture isn’t too pretty because a)it was taken with my Blackberry and b)I was two beers deep. In the privacy of my own home, I might have drank that broth. cioppino
Santo has been on a burger kick lately, so he ordered the angus beef burger with pimiento cheese and truffled pomme frites. Why they felt the need to call them pomme frites, I’m not sure. They’re freaking french fries. I made the mistake of convincing Santo to order his burger medium-rare. It came out mooing. burgerWe also ordered a side of the macaroni and cheese. This pot of gold had 8 different cheeses in it and you could definitely tell. mac Believe it or not, we still wanted dessert. There was little to no room left in my stomach, but at this point, I wanted my stomach to stretch. The butterscotch soufflé with vanilla ice cream was incredible. Yes, I said incredible. dessertRegardless of the mixed reviews you may hear or read online, 17 North is worth a visit. I read that a lot of people think it’s very loud inside, but that didn’t bother me at all. The only weird thing about this place is the shrine devoted to Brett McKee. I mean really, is this necessary?

17 North Roadside Kitchen on Urbanspoon