Friday, October 31, 2014

What's a pirate's favorite cat?


Now, enjoy photos of a pirate and a cat :)

Happy Halloween from us to you!

Thursday, October 30, 2014



Okay, so I know the donut shop was the first place I really found in Charleston, here is the first real-food place I discovered on my own.  One day on my lunch break, I searched far and wide [read: in the plaza across the street from my office] for something to eat and stumbled upon Cory's Grilled Cheese.  They started out as a food truck but opened their first location recently on James Island.  They have some pretty creative sandwiches and delicious sides.  My favorite, by far, is Cory's Famous: Muenster cheese, crispy bacon, and honey Dijon on cinnamon swirl and raisin toast.  Trust me, don't knock it until you've tried it!  I've since brought everyone I can think of there!  They even have open mic on Tuesdays and acoustic music on Sundays.  So, after you go out on Friday night for Halloween, head over the Cory's on Saturday for a nice, greasy and carb-y grilled cheese!
And yes, it's located in the back corner of a strip mall, next to a Dollar General - makes it even better!

My Cory's Famous and Mike's "Build Your Own" with bacon and BBQ sauce

You have to try their Summer Slaw, too!

Try our other favorites: ZiaFive LoavesDeSano Pizza, Melvin's Barbecue, and Charleston Donuts

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blogger Bliss: CIDER SEASON

We are deep in the heart of cider season.  I am living in cider heaven.  Charleston might not have apple orchards or pumpkin patches, but they sure know how to bring in cider.  Every time I walk into a package store, there are at least 3 or 4 new types to try, so this month, CIDER is definitely my Blogger Bliss:

Woodchuck's Cluster 'Chuck: Holy heaven.  This is the king of variety packs.  I've reviewed Granny Smith before, and Amber needs a 3 word review: your basic cider; this pack comes with 3 of each of those, 3 other random ciders [we got 802... more on that next time], and the most beautiful cider ever ever ever: Fall Harvest.  I guess it's not a surprise since one of my other favorites is cinnamon-flavored, but this cider is BASIC WHITE GIRL FALL IN A BOTTLE: apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.  It's a pie in a bottle and I'm in love.  

Hornsby's Crisp Hard Cider: Now that we've jumped into fall, let's take a step back to summer.  Hornsby's was the very first new cider I tried down here in SC in August.  It's fairly sweet and more refreshing than typical tart ciders.  It was definitely a perfect poolside drink,   

Bud Light Apple-Ahhh-Rita: Continuing with the summer-feel, I don't really know what I was thinking when I bought this "cider."  It's really not even a cider at all, just an apple margarita mixed with Bud Light Lime, but something on the can was just intriguing.  It wasn't great and the combination of apple and lime isn't my favorite.  It was very, very sweet, but if you like apple margaritas, I think you would like this one.  

DeMunck's Belgian-Style Hard Cider: While there was a slight taste of apple at the beginning of each sip, this cider almost tasted more like champagne than cider.  It was very dry and, honestly, didn't have a ton of flavor.  If you don't really like apple, but want to jump on the cider train, you should try this one.

Harpoon Pumpkin Cider: And now we're completely back to fall.  Last year, I tried Woodchuck's Pumpkin cider, and it left something to be desired, so I was a littler nervous with this one and only bought one in a Mix Six pack this month.  Big mistake.  My love for Harpoon runs deep.  It was the first cider I ever tried, and this guy didn't disappoint.  Even though it says it's made with real pumpkin, what I really taste is the pumpkin pie spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and it's very tasty.  With all of these spices, it isn't too tart and definitely a good cider to enjoy around Thanksgiving.  

And, hey! Don't forget to link up with Heather and I for Bliss.  Share a blog post, or even favorite Instagram photo or Tweet to get some more likes and comments from yours truly :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

The One With 25 Types of Mac and Cheese

Legit. It happened.... read on down.

Friday night I had a Girls' Night Out for my ladies at work (much like last year's but all outside and without any pic the coats). The girls looked so cute playing golf on their Halloween costumes.  You can check it all out on my organization's blog!
After playing golf Saturday morning, we decided to go to the Mac Off in Mount Pleasant. We got there early, so we walked the bridge and burned off enough calories to try like half of the different macs at Patriots Point. 
Oh my gosh, the macs were so good. My personal favorites were buffalo chicken mac and burnt ends mac with bbq pork and cornbread topping. The ONE thing I did learn is that bacon+gouda is definitely the most overused combo in mac land.  AT LEAST half of the 25 mac and cheese vendors had both of these. Yes, they were very good, but I like some variety. 
Buffalo chicken mac - Graze /// Mac and cheese - Crave
Gouda and Bacon mac - Southerly /// Burnt Ends mac - Tavern and Table /// Lobster mac - Basico
Fried mac with ranch - Green Goat /// Bacon and Gouda mac - Coleman Public House 

Obviously the rest of the day was spent relaxing by the pool and shopping online for Christmas presents. Yes, we're nuts, but there's a method. My parents will be down for Thanksgiving, and since they're driving back (and we're flying in December), we're trying to get and wrap as many presents before December 1st, as possible.

Sunday we woke up super early to drive to Sea Island, GA to go to the PGA Tour's McGladrey Classic. What a beautiful course and place! We spent the day there and got back just in time to watch some Sunday Night Football.
All in all, successful weekend...only 4.5 more days until the next one!

Joining Leeann and Kimberlee for Monday Morning Gossip, Biana for Weekending, and Lisa and Bella for Weekend Recap

Friday, October 24, 2014

High Five For Friday

Yaayy, happy Friday!  We did it!  Tonight I'm hosting a Girls' Night Out Halloween Party for my girls at work and Saturday we're going to a "Mac Off."  Here's what we were up to this week...

1. Amanda was here until Tuesday, so Monday night we decided to drink away our sadness [that she was about to leave], and we attempted to find something "Halloweeny" on Netflix.  We failed and watched an episode of Babysitters Club and a Halloween Barney special... hence the drinking game.

2. Fall arrived in Charleston like midweek.  Coincidentally, it was the day after I bought candy corn and Honeycrisp apples at the store.  You're welcome, South Carolina.

3. I got the cutest belated birthday present in the mail from a friend and her daughter Evie even counted out 26 stickers for me.

4. I ordered myself cookies... again.

5. There's something fun on the horizon with Alex and me!  

PS I just played a fun game, clicking on my "H54F" label and I cannot believe this was a year ago... wow how lives change!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Of course I find a donut shop...

So far, all of the places I've written about for Charleston Chowdown have been places referred to me by coworkers or friends.  Well, today I'm featuring my very first find: Charleston Donuts!  And yes, of course, it's a donut shop... but not just any donut shop.  These are the freshest donuts you will ever eat in your life.  They are fried each and every hour and are always warm.  On top of that, each donut isn't glazed or topped until you order it.  They have 10 different glazes and over 15 toppings.  We've been there a couple of times now, and if you are ever over in Mount Pleasant, you NEED to give it a try.  To me, weekend mornings mean errands and going out to breakfast, so do yourself a favor and head over there this weekend.  You will not be sorry!
strawberry glaze with Oreo, lemon glaze, chocolate glaze, and maple glaze

Hellooooo, donut heaven!

Huge menu!

Glazin' our donuts

My favorite is definitely that strawberry with Oreo... don't knock it until you try it!

Try our other favorites: ZiaFive Loaves, DeSano Pizza, and Melvin's Barbecue

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Our Minimoon in NYC

Well, we received our wedding photos last week [all 806 of them], so I'm having so much fun choosing favorites [down to 350!] and hope to share many of them soon.  In the meantime, I thought I'd share a little about the minimoon we went on after our wedding.  Even when we still lived in Connecticut, we knew that we wouldn't be able to go on a honeymoon right away because September is right in the middle of my busy fall season.  We also thought it would be super weird to get married on Saturday and just go back to work, as if nothing had happened, on Monday.  Our wedding also coincided with the beginning of Jeter's last home stand at Yankee Stadium, so, you do the math.  Minimoon planned!  When we moved to South Carolina, we knew that Mike would drive the moving truck down in August, we would fly up and back for my shower, and we would fly up and drive his '97 BMW back down afterwards.  It worked out perfectly.  We stayed at the hotel with all of our friends and family in Massachusetts on Saturday, spent Sunday with Mike's dad, and drove down to NYC Sunday night and stayed until Tuesday when we would keep driving to South Carolina.  Here's what we did:

We stayed in the Bronx at the Bronx Opera House Hotel.  On Monday morning, we took the Subway to Manhattan and got off in Times Square.  Our goal was to spend the day in Central Park.  We obviously grabbed New York bagels on our walk to the park.
We entered the park at Columbus Circle and started exploring.
The trails through The Ramble were so much fun.
Stop at Belvedere Castle
Next thing we knew it, we were halfway across the Reservoir and had walked 50 blocks [plus all of the winding through the park].  At this point, we figured we had to go the rest of the way through the park.
Conservatory Gardens and a thumbs up when we made it out on 110th Street.
As if that wasn't enough walking, we walked a few more blocks to the Subway and took it back down to the southside of the park to go to a restaurant I'd been talking about for at least a year.  Has anyone ever heard of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on Food Network?  Well, like a year ago, Emeril talked about the best veal parmesan he ever ate at this restaurant Il Vagabondo in NYC, so I needed to go and try it.  Mike got the manicotti, and since it was 2:30 [we spent 5 hours walking through the park], we were the only ones in the restaurant.  Everything was SO GOOD.
As we walked about to the Subway station, we ran into the Roosevelt Island Tram, so we decided to ride that across... and were the annoying tourists with cameras.
We walked another 15 or so blocks each way down to Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, and it was just beautiful.
The Sprinkles ATM on our way back to the Subway was a necessary stop.
Last, but not least, was the Yankees game.  They beat the Orioles 5-0 and Jeter had 3 RBIs.
And last but not least, it wouldn't be a Meg and Mike trip if we didn't have some type of car trouble.  On Sunday when we arrived, we learned that our hotel had four parking spots for what they called "secure parking."  Yes, four.  Well, I was not going to let that little car sit in a surface lot with our wedding gifts in it for 2 nights.  So, they let us pull into the alley where the secure spots were to unload.  After unpacking everything and bringing it up to our hotel room, we came back down to move the car and found it smoking, sitting in a puddle of its own coolant.  Great.  A radiator hose split, so there was no way we were going to be able to move it.  Luckily for us, there was a repair shop across the street, but because it was 9 pm, it was obviously closed.  They let us keep the car parked on the side of the secure parking overnight, then in the morning, Mike rolled it across the street to the auto mechanic.  Luckily, it was done by Tuesday morning when we had to leave, but seriously, could anything else go wrong?
Oh, and in case you were wondering, something else did go wrong and we got a flat in Virginia... And they lived happily ever after.  

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