Thursday, September 8, 2011

Panzanella Salad YUM!

I received an entire loaf of bread this week in my produce box. I will admit when I ripped a piece off.. I was less than impressed. BUT the last time I went home Mama Shute made this amazing bread salad- so I figured I would try my hand at it. Apparently the key to a good panzanella salad is fresh basil. Opps. I have nada. Oh well I'm making this anyways- when the craving calls you must give in!

Panzanella salad is popular in the summer time and is a super rustic dish. It always includes chucks of soaked bread and tomatoes and also sometimes onions, basil and is dressed with a olive oil and vinegar combo. My version will not include basil, but will include the other ingredients plus green olives, green peppercorns, garlic, mozzarella and peppers. YUM! But not so much on the healthy. (LIVE a LITTLE)

Here is the offending loaf of bread that inspired this dish. This was "fresh"- you CAN use day old bread- but why wait when you can toast? 
Everyone LOVES toasty bread and I am no exception.

Slice with a bread knife and set under the broiler until brown. WATCH these they do cook fast and a few of mine got roasty toasty before I knew it.

Slice your bread. Add to a bowl- pick a bigger bowl than you think you'll need because it'll get full fast. 
Also. Do NOT make this dish right after you've cleaned your kitchen because good lord the crumbs get. everywhere. I could hear the crunching under my shoes- GAG!
Look how GORGEOUS my heirloom tomatoes are! So juicy and so perfect. I only needed to use 4 of these bad boys.

How pretty! Slice these into similar sized chunks as your bread pieces and add to your bowl.

Chop up peppers to add to the mix as well. I did one JUMBO green and some small purple. Yes I am still trying to use up these guys so I am adding them into whatever I can.

Next, go ahead and get your red onion and mozzarella ready. I used half of each.

This is a pre picture with many of the ingredients added to the bowl. I tossed as I went. At this step I added some fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt to the mix to go ahead and start getting the flavors going.

I felt like it still needed some zip- so I added about a half a container of sliced green olives 

I also had a major flub at the grocery store and didn't buy capers, instead I got these little guys. Please try to excuse my horrible chipped manicure. We JUST got back from the beach and the sand did a number to my fingers and toes. These guys add some zip and spice to the dish- holy cow go easy with these. Capers should just add an element of salt but these guys pack a punch.

I started to get lazy with the chopping so I used my grater for the half a red onion. I think it worked better and got the flavor all over the dish.

Here is the chunked up cheese!

And here are all mixed up!

Last but not least make your vinaigrette. I did 1/4 c GOOD EVOO and 1/8 c. red wine vinegar with 1 tbsp Dijon mustard and poured it over the top. 
I did a final mix and what you see is what you get. These pictures do not do the dish justice- but remember this is a RUSTIC dish. RUSTIC=UGLY but DELICIOUS. 

WTC tried it too even though he is NOT a tomato fan. He said he liked the flavors a lot. If I am being honest I will probably be the one who demolishes this in the house hold. I don't think WTC would come home from a long day and be like Man oh MAN. I could use a hearty bowl of panzanella salad! But hey- stranger things have happened!

Friday, September 2, 2011


So you're probably all wondering what is the deal with all of these non food posts miss SSC!?! Well... the fact that MAYBE I have skipped two straight weeks of the produce box and we're about to go on vacay MAY have something to do with it.

While enjoying my google reader I came across this idea of an accent vlog. Miss Monogram aka Heavens to Betsy (as she is now known as) just posted on. I thought HOW amazing! And I've never used my webcam so here we go! Enjoy!

The instructions are to say these words:
Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught
And answer these questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?

Have fun checking out some of my other daily blog reads accent vlogs:
Kiss My Broccoli
Blue Eyed Bride
The Tichenor Family

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

House tour! Part two....

Ok! Thank for hanging in there. Wish I could have had some better pictures from the meal because it truly was delicious.

Shall we begin? I know the anticipation is killing you.

This is our bedroom. This room is not done. I need a mirror on the left wall and pictures and some type of painting. It will come. Isn't our bed great? This was perfect for the space. It has drawers up and down the right and left and it's a platform bed- so it has even more drawers around the perimeter- 6 in fact. It gives me exactly what I wanted- clean lines and lots of storage. Oh yes and the second monogram! This is courtesy of my sister and she got it from Harry Smidgepodge in Jamestown, NC. You all should check it out

This is the view from the bad corner. We mounted our TV to save space. And it is kind of nice when we're in bed. I was never a big TV watcher for bedtime but after 7+ years with WTC- you get used to it.

And now, for my favorite thing. My closet. Besides the massive amount of t shirts in the top (which are indeed organized) this makes me happy every time I open it. Everything is hung based on what it is (skirts, dresses with straps, fall dresses, winter dresses, button downs). Below is my white assessory bin (scarves, headbands, mittens, hats etc). There are two canvas bins that hold socks and the other holds bathing suits. Ok- enough on that!

I also have massive amounts of jewelry in my closet. I like to hand them because 1) I can easily pair them with outfits when I can see what I'm working with and 2) no more tangles! This is but an excerpt of what can also be described as art in itself.

Master bathroom time! Here is the garden tub. When I am stressed out from work I can and often do spend hours in here decompressing. Above are what my sister lovingly dubbed "the big booty hoes." I will say they are black and white, rough, kind of cartoony paintings I did of three ladies whose behinds are quite ample. I wanted to do some tasteful nudes and apparently for me that translates to apple bottoms.

This is the shower and also the hutch (Bed, Bath and beyond) which holds my makeup, more jewelry and our towels.

Exiting down the hall is the spare bedroom- which is directly across from the pantry.

This is another old panting. I won't tell you what my sister thinks this one is. It's abstract trees and what they would look like if view in a water reflection- paneled out.

This is my Burl Wood Dresser that was one of my favorite things from my Granny. I was very happy and lucky to get it and I baby it. The candle sticks above were a wedding present from my English Great Aunties and cousin Anne.

Last but not least. WTC's man room. You only get half of it because the last part needs two people to hang it and unfortunately WTC has been dragging his feet. That's right- this chica is the constructionista of the house. If it required assembly- I assembled. If it needed hanging- I hung it it. It needed to be built- that's right just call me bob the builder. He picked out the color for the room and we went with red, black and white- for obvious alma mater reasons.

This room will also be our office- hence the desk.

This is the bar. See those tape marks above? Those are marking the studs for the second red hanger. It is identical to the vertical one pictured earlier but we are opting to hang it horizontally to go above the bar and introduce some geometric elements to the room. WTC also has a signed Phillip Rivers jersey which will be hanging somewhere- eventually. Patience is a virtue they tell me. I must not be very virtuous.

Ok! Hope y'all enjoyed the tour. See you back tomorrow for some YUM food eats.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

18 Seaboard

WTC and I had a wild hair one night and wanted to go out for a nice dinner. Well even though it was a Monday- the Pit had a 2 hour wait. Don't adjust your monitors. You read correctly. TWO. HOUR. WAIT. At 8 o clock at night. Um... seriously? Did I miss something- did I time travel and wind up in Myrtle Beach for July 4th? I don't think so. This is Raleigh. Only the cheesecake factory ponies up to waits that long and stays open to tell about it.
So strike one Pit. Strike one.

A little driving and we decided we'd try 18 Seaboard. We live painfully close, I drive by it everyday, it's classified as "Southern cuisine" - need I say more?

18 Seaboard is located in Seaboard Station on Peace Street. This is a rapidly growing area and I really hope it continues to thrive and prosper because it is such a nice area. The chef is Jason Smith who is a Raleigh native. His self described style is straightforward American. He is also the chef over at Cantina 18 (Cameron Village)- which is amazing if you ever get a chance to go there.

We skipped the appetizers and went with a bottle of pinot noir  instead (who's with me on smart decisions?). They had daily specials- but being the end of the night they openly admitted they were running low.

WTC and I opted for the same route- protein selection with choice sauce and two veggies.

DISCLAIMER: The photos are really dark. I am very sorry- it was dimly lit in the restaurant and there were people at about every table. The flash going off would have blinded everyone. So I took one for the team and opted for dark photos rather than pissy patrons. RESPECT y'all. RESPECT.

Before our food came we were presented with fresh rosemary olive oil bread. It was very tasty.

I went for the deliciousness below: The yellowfin tuna and I chose the peach salsa. I ordered the tuna rare- and low and behold- PERFECTLY done. It was just beyond.

Close up of the sides: I had the goat cheese smashed red potatoes and the sauteed spinach.

WTC opted for the Moore Brothers' barbecue beef brisket. He asked our waitress which sauce she would recommend and she told him he had to go with the 18 Seaboard Worchestershire. He was NOT disappointed.

WTC openly admitted the reason he went this route was so he could try the Old Mill of Guilford Cheddar Grits. He also surprised the vino right out of me and got the pole bean and white acre pea succotash. 

Verdict? My was amazing. My one complaint was the salt content of my spinach was cankle inducing. I walked out with the ankles of a 9 month pregnant lady- easy.

Random aside- I used this around Mama Shute this past weekend and she had never heard of a cankle. I was HAPPY to educate. The more you know - WINK!

WTC had no complaints and we were both clean platers. His succotash had some sauce on it that he was raving about. I love that everything is local. Locally caught seafood- local ingredients- who can complain?

Yes I will be dining at 18 Seafood again- hopefully very soon. AND hopefully I can convince WTC to walk there- a girl can dream can't she?

Monday, August 29, 2011

House tour! Part one...

So apparently EtCoO was experiencing technical difficulties and none of my schedule posts- posted!

Today will be the entrance, living room, kitchen and spare bathroom. Wednesday will be the bedrooms!

WTC and I became homeowners for the first time last July. We were very grateful to relocate out of Cary's lesser known part: Spanish Harlem. That is an adventure worth sharing for another day. So here we are a little over a year later and our quaint little downtown home is more or less done being decorated. Home ownership has been interesting to say the least. I think we have experienced everything that one can never hope to experience EVER- and hey- it wasn't that bad. (Lordy did it seem that way when it was happening though!)

So here we go! Round one-

As you walk through the door, you are in our living room. The couch folds out into a Queen bed for extra space for guests.

This is the view from the left side corner. As you can see our bedroom is right off to the right when you enter the home. The far wall has a photo college and 4 pieces I painted which are meant to transition the color scheme from the living room to the kitchen. The pillows were from this very modern and funky kiosk in Black Lion (Charlotte) and I had to have them. Mama Shute and I were together and we essentially planned the room based off of the long pillow and the chair which you see pictured below. I knew I loved the thought of lime green with the gray walls and presto chango you have the theme for the room! Moms made the other pillow and then gifted the purple blanket for Christmas to tie that color in as well.

This is one my of favorite pieces about our house- the green chair (Black Lion). Cooper is doing SUCH a good job of posing in front of it. You can also see the print on the curtains (IKEA). I wanted long. tall. curtains. And IKEA had these which I loved. They add even more height to the 10 foot ceilings and I couldn't be happier with them.

Did I mention it was my favorite chair? Of course I did, therefore Sir Rupert has taken it over as HIS own. Here is a lovely picture of the besties together!

Here is the kitchen. We have four lovely bar stools ( and this is where we eat- there is no dining room. And to be frank- does anyone REALLY eat in their dining rooms besides holidays? I don't know about y'all but WTC and I have YET to celebrate a holiday in this home- and really don't plan to with the parentals down in Charlotte. So I don't really miss NOT having one.

I love the wine rack. I bought this at IKEA and I feel like it fits with the modern sleek look I was going for. Notice the two pig watering cans- both different and were gifted to me on two separate occasions from two separate people. GO Figure!

This is the view from the second bedroom and you can see our pantry. Our house did not come with a pantry- and we needed one- no questions asked. Well, well, welll- what did I discover in IKEA but bookcases. Not only bookcases- but bookcases with DOORs. DUH. Insta-pantry! The first IKEA trip they did not have the doors and it took almost a year later for me to make it back down there- but I did. Let me tell you pantry with doors was much prettier than pantry sans door.

Another shot of the painting- and our tailgating grill! (Usually that is stored away)

This is an older painting that I did back in 2008 and is in the hallway entrance to the spare bathroom.

The spare bathroom! The paintings on the back wall are a dyptic I did in 2009 with the help of the kids I used to nanny in college and grad school. They helped me get down the base paint and then I went back through and added in the colors and umph I thought it needed.

Monogramed towels! The first monogram of the house (there are more),

Well that about does it! Come back Wednesday for part 2 of the house tour. Tomorrow we have a restaurant review for you to enjoy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Argentinian Pink Shrimp

Holy mother of pearls. These were on SALE at the HT. Hello! Sign me up. I got a pound of WILD CAUGHT little sweet darlings for 5 dollars. You can't buy a bag of farm raised frozen for that. So- what did we cook?

I was inspired by this Belly Burner Dish and yes I took some liberties but more of less this is where I got the idea. Plus I had avocados- and being highly perishable I needed to use them.

Preheat your broiler and move your oven rack to the top. 
Over your pound of shell-on, tail-on shrimp: add 1 tsp of cayenne pepper with 2 tsp honey and 2 tsp peanut oil.
Mix to coat well.

Broil for 4 min on one side- turn and broil for 4 min on the other. 
They should be opaque in the middle when they are done.

Get out a large skillet or wok heat ~1 tsp of peanut oil over medium heat. Add 1/2 of an onion and 1 pepper that you have diced PLUS 1 medium shredded carrot.
Saute until tender and onion is translucent. 
Add in 1 1/2 c brown rice.

Add in 1 tsp sesame seeds and 1 tsp minced garlic.
 Mix well.

Crack one egg over the top. 
Mix it around until cooked. 
So technical.

Add into bowls. Dice 1/2 avocado and add onto each bowl.

Add shrimp on top.

So yummy.
We had a ton of shrimp left over. 
We ate these as an app the next day- they were even good reheated!

Friday, August 19, 2011

How Do You Fix a Broken Tomato?

Tomato paste.

I'll let that laughter die down a bit...

OK but for reals y'all- I am DONE with tomatoes. We've had a good run, it's been fun, it's not you, it's me and no we cannot be friends.

This is how I got rid of all my tomatoes. I made a new tomato sauce. Slow cooker style because did I mention I was DONE? DONE. No more, that includes all effort with these.

 Cut up a bajillion tomatoes. 
Just kidding- that's such a Southern number too- a bajillion. How many zeros is that? Probably too many to count- like microbes- dilute that motha! TMTC- HOLLA at my science girlies out there!
Ok, TRUTH. I had ~ 9 honkin' beefy tomatoes that I used.
Skins and all too- but let's be real - if you run into a huge seed pocket- toss it.

 Add to your slow cooker pot.
Spice it up- red pepper flakes, dried basil and oregano, fresh basil (still trying to use up my hydroponic basil), minced garlic, salt pepper. 
I also added ~1/4 c EVOO and 1/4 c water. If I made this again I would not put in the water.

Set to low for 12 hours.

Get out your food processor- puree like there is no tomorrow. 

 We made Shirataki Noodles. Mama Shute introed us to these- and I'll be honest I was skeptical. But ultimate tester= WTC. He. Loved. Them. They have the texture of a noodle (unlike spaghetti squash) and absorb whatever flavor you put on them. Fabulous. You must check them out.

Finished products- WTC's with turkey sausage. 

Mine with  roasted eggplant and peppers.

Both were topped with cheese. 
The only reason stopping me from becoming a vegan. Cheese. Love it!