“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” – Kurt Vonnegut The past few weeks have been wet. I have cried about finances; because of my relationship and in spite of it. I … Continue reading →
It’s hard to improve upon the magnificence of a John’s Island tomato but I think this tart might just make these summertime staples even more luscious. Whipped feta– a combination of supple cream cheese and tangy Greek feta– become an … Continue reading →
Right now, as I lay on the couch unable to sleep, I’m feeling too close to depressed for my own comfort. I’m 3.5 years away from being 30. I am one year away from having my master’s degree. Yet, I’m … Continue reading →
To me, there are few sounds more beautiful than the crust of freshly baked bread, crackling under the pressure of a good squeeze. (I also love the sound of ice melting in a glass.) I used to be afraid of baking my … Continue reading →
Do you pack your lunch for work? I recently just started in an effort to save money. Lunches downtown can get expensive and on a graduate student budget and university employee paycheck. Last week I packed my lunch every day and saved between $50 and $75. I’ve never been a strict by-the-budget kind of gal, but if packing a lunch affords me (ha, get it?) the funds to move away next spring, then I’m all for it.
That is, if it tastes good.
I’ve been trying to make (tasty) large-batch dinners that make enough leftovers for lunch and dinner the next day. This marinated lentil salad was something I really enjoyed all of last week. It’s substantial, vegetarian, good hot or cold, and perfect for transport. You can obviously change up the chopped vegetables that you use to suit your taste and what’s available. The best part? It’s super simple.
MARINATED LENTIL SALAD adapted from Epicurious
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil (or, half olive oil and half basil oil)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
kosher salt, to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1 package of Trader Joe’s ready to eat steamed lentils
soft fresh goat cheese, chilled
In a large bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, black pepper, salt, garlic and olive oil.
Meanwhile, microwave the lentils according to the package’s instruction. You could skip this step, but warming the lentils and then adding them to the vinaigrette helps the flavors really pervade the whole salad.
Mix together the lentils and vinaigrette, then add tomatoes, bell pepper and green onion.
Let the salad sit for about 30 minutes, serve with the goat cheese
I moved to Charleston in the summer of 2006 to attend the College of Charleston. Except for a brief move back to my hometown, Jacksonville, Fla. for a few months after graduating from the College, I’ve called the Holy City home. Now, after returning from a (wonderful) road trip to Alabama, I’ve realized that it’s time to leave. I’ve got a year left of graduate school. Once I receive my master’s hood, I’m outta here.
But, there are plenty of things I’ve yet to see and do while living here. So, here’s a start to my list– I’d like your help getting to 100. Admittedly, there are a few things on my list that I’ve already done, but doesn’t everyone start their to-do lists with tasks they’ve already done? :)
Get scared shitless on a ghost tour — DONE
Finally attend a Riverdogs game
Get all tourist-y on a carriage ride
Movie in Marion Square
Take a visit to Mepkin Abbey — DONE
Spend an afternoon at the Firefly distillery
Schmooze and booze at Highwire distillery
Play Gone With the Wind at Middleton Plantation
Go crazy for men in kilts and scotch eggs at the Scottish Highland Games
Be all highfalutin’ Charleston Fashion Week
Shuck oysters and drink ice cold beers out at Bowen’s Island
Bite into Martha Lou’s fried chicken
Have a picnic at Sunrise Park
Go to Charleston Wine + Food Festival — one last time
Visit the Hunley
Tour Westbrook, Holy City, Southend, Palmetto, and Coast breweries
Treat myself to a seafood tower at The Ordinary
Dig into a slice of The Peninsula Grill’s legendary coconut cake
Enjoy an enormous cone from Jeni’s, while it drips down to my elbow — DONE!
Be awed by the majesty of the Angel Oak
Go surfing on Folly
Take a trip to Fort Sumter
Go to Sullivan’s Island at night for a view of the lighthouse, downtown and the bridge
View the art at the Gibbes Museum
Go to Charles Towne Landing
See a play at the Dock Street Theater — DONE
Attend an improv class at Theater 99
Shuck ‘em at an oyster roast, an event I’ve yet to attend
Go for a run downtown with Charlie
See Bill Murray in person
Eat: Coda del Pesce
Eat: Obstinate Daughter
Eat: Wild Olive
EVO’s pistachio pesto pizza— again
Make preserves: strawberry and peach
Walk the Old Pitt Street Bridge
Charleston Battery game — DONE
Stingray game — DONE, but I’d like to go again
Complain about traffic on the Ravenel — EVERYDAY
Spend a day boozing and relaxing poolside post spa treatment at Charleston Place Hotel
Go to a CofC Men’s Basketball game
Swim in the pineapple “fountain” at Waterfront Park
See Shovels & Rope play
Run: the Cooper River Bridge Run — DONE
Do: photo scavenger hunt
Walk all the little hidden alleyways in Charleston
Um, do the Charleston. Bonus points: video or it didn’t happen.
Bring on the quiet storm, Sagittarius. Sensual Venus slips into Capricorn and your luxuriating second house, decreasing your manic pace and directing you to chill. So maybe that means a few less nights on the town; maybe you have to merge some of those one-on-one hangouts into a group affair. There are only twenty-four hours in the day, Archer, and between January 8 and 31, you need to spend a lot more of that time in repose. It’s finally time to use that hot stone massage gift certificate your friends treated you to for your birthday, or to schedule the spa pedicure Groupon before it expires! Pampering and self-care come as strict orders from Venus: you won’t be good for anyone else if you aren’t good to yourself. With your active mind, you can get so keyed up that you wake up in the middle of the night, your mind racing with ideas or unconsciously reviewing your to-do list. With Venus in this restful position, make relaxing sleep time a greater priority. Buy a new mattress if you don’t love yours, or redo your bedroom with soothing touches. Pick out a great pillow for yourself, opt for softer sheets, hang a blackout curtain over that annoying patch in the window where the neighbor’s porchlight always shines in. Treat yourself to an essential oil diffuser and let the gentle mist of lavender soothe you into aromatherapy-induced slumber. Venus’ creative influence will even call forth the interior decorator in you. Paint your walls a calming color, install a dimmer switch and sconce lamps, choose art that is gentle and beautiful. Keep books by your nightstand instead of using your e-reader, which can stimulate your brain and make it harder for you to fall asleep. (The printed page, on the other hand, can be a sweet lullaby.) In love, Venus also helps you to slow it on down. Relax into a domestic groove with your sweetie. Cuddling on the couch after cooking a simple meal together can be sheer bliss. If you’re on the dating scene, don’t force every get together to be a fairy tale redux. Enjoy low-key moments like conversation over coffee or wandering through a bookstore together. Holding hands and kissing will be more enjoyable than taking it to the finish line this week. Chillax, Sag, and enjoy some good old-fashioned TLC. Despite the mellow vibes, you won’t be slipping off for an extended sabbatical now. Your work life continues to buzz with activity as Venus’ influence ramps up the social aspect of your job. There’s truth to the statement, “it’s all about who you know,” so if your contact database is thin, start doing some strategic networking. Meet prospective clients and collaborators for coffee; nurture important coworker relationships by taking lunch together or making more added efforts to be friendly. Venus is the feminine sign, and a few key women in your world could help you increase your salary between now and January 31. On Friday, the 11th, a new moon in Capricorn energizes your second house of income, kicking off a fresh six month cycle in your financial sector. New job opportunities may crop up. Meet the universe halfway: if you’re on the hunt for more gainful employment, circulate your resume or reach out to a professional prospect. New moons are the launching date for events that culminate six months in the future. On June 23, a full moon in Capricorn will complete the cycle you begin on Friday, hopefully bringing you a summer windfall! A picture says a thousand words, so you might spend time this weekend creating a vision board of your desired financial future. Then, back it up with good old-fashioned facts and figures. Map out your 2013 budget and set some benchmarks for the first half of the year. You might even enlist a financial coach or planner to assist you with this process. Don’t worry, Sag, you’ll catch on quickly