Charleston: cupcakes, biscuits, tea and roses

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Poogan’s Porch

 

When you find a good reason to take a road trip, you go.  The short 4-hour drive to Charleston, touring the Charleston Tea Plantation and meeting a sweet animal-lover-turned-Airbnb-host made for an awesome weekend getaway. I spent 2 days in Charleston with one of my favorite foodie friends and we had a blast.
A few notable moments and places to check out on your next trip:
Charleston Tea Plantaimagetion– I sampled some alot of pretty awesome tea and for FREE and then for $10 you can take a trolley tour of the plantation. The trolley tour was educational and fun.  Did you know black and green tea come from the same plant?! The tea process changes its chemistry.

Poogan’s Porch – chicken and waffles. Biscuits and gravy. Need I say more? Go. there. Now.

Seriously, that was the best chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy deliciousness I’ve ever had.  I wish i had some right now…

Cupcakes! What’s a trip if I don’t taste test a local cupcake shop?  Check out Cupcakes DownSouth for some yummy sweet treats.  The best one I tried – Bourbon Pecan Pie <– 21 and older only please.

Stars Rooftop and Grill Room – Blood orange mimosas, brunch and Bachelor casting calls.  More on bachelor casting calls later, but the mimosas are on point and the rooftop is really cool… but hot if you go in the dog days of summer!  I didn’t have brunch but wish I did.  the brunch smelled amazing and many people raved about it.

imageEat biscuits from Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits.  Yes, that’s the name of this store.  Hot Little Biscuits.  Very appropriate as the biscuits are made fresh and served hot.  They are slightly smaller than a normal sized biscuit so the name is fitting.  The biscuits come in different varieties, sweet and savory, and all are quite tasty. 🙂

What are some of your Charleston favs?

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Sweet Repeats: holiday desserts

thanksgiving-table-setting

December 1st. What happened to January – November?! As I start on the last month of 2015, I’m shocked at how quickly this year has gone by. With a second thought, I reflect on how big of year it has been for me and how much I’ve accomplished. (Sounds like a good topic for another post!)  From getting my CPA licence, to moving (twice), getting a puppy, a promotion, kicking off Lactation Cookies and buying my first home, this year has been nothing short of exciting, scary, exhausting and educational!

These days I find myself going back to old recipes, reflecting on those memories of trying something for the first time and then comparing it to what they taste like today with slight modifications. For Thanksgiving, I brought back two old favorites: pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes and mint chocolate no-bake cookies.

Both are so delicious and fairly easy to make! Having a new home with a new-to-me (but oh so old) oven, I was extremely excited to make no-bake cookies. The thought of not having to figure out if the light on the oven means it is or isn’t preheated and figuring out what temperature is the right dial turn, made this recipe even more enjoyable.  <– first world problems are rough!  Here’s a link to mint chocolate no-bake cookies and no-bake mint fudge. Below is a summary of how to make them.

no-bake-mint-chocolateIngredients

  • 18oz chocolate – I love using dark, but any will work!
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 oz Oreos (about half a family size bag)
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies
  1. Crush oreos and mix in with Rice Krispies. Set aside
  2. Microwave chocolate on low heat stirring occasionally until melted
  3. Add in extracts and quickly mix in to Oreo mixture
  4. Drop by tablespoon on wax paper
  5. Top with powder sugar, let cool then enjoy!

The second sweet repeat recipe I made for the first time in my new home was pumpkin cheesecake cupcake <– why I started with a cheesecake is a mystery to me! This one was equally as delicious and the cook time was only 20 minutes in the oven  Read the full recipe here and also for tips on the perfect cheesecake!

pumpkin-cheesecake-cupcake

What are your sweet repeats you bring back for the holidays?

 

 

 

Milkies: Lactation Cookies

Pregnancy-belly-green

I’m always looking for inspiration for the desserts I make. A few days ago, one of my friends mentioned she wanted to try lactation cookies but didn’t have time to bake with a newborn.  Actually, she barely has time to eat, sleep and who knows when she got a nice long shower last, but I wasn’t going to remind her of that. Baking is probably the absolute last thing on her to-do list right now, but it could be an important thing to do!! So enter me. Girl who takes showers daily (ok, usually – yikes!) and loves to bake!

I was intrigued with the thought of lactation cookies and I’m always up for trying new things, especially when it’s a special request!!  So I made a fun version of lactation cookies (the testers say they are so delicious)!

Before we go more into the cookies, I think you should know some things about the “lactation” power of them. When I told a few not-so-pregnant friends about my new baking adventure, they had questions. I’m sure you have questions. She here is the dialog we had… ( Sorry, not sorry, for the honesty)

Nutella-Milkies-coverQ- Are you pregnant?
A- No

Q- Will my boobs grow?
A- Unless you are lactating already,no your boobs won’t grow.

Q- Are you sure my boobs won’t grow?
A- They won’t grow. Sorry.

Q- Will my boobs produce milk?
A- same answer as above

Q- What do you call the cookies?
A- Milkies! (it’s a combination of the words milk and cookies)

Q- What makes the cookies, milkies?
A- It’s all in the ingredients! Three important ingredients are packed with nutrients that have been known to increase milk production in women.

Q- Like what?
A- Oats– full of fiber, iron and good calories. Brewer’s Yeast– vitamin B and increases energy. Flaxseed – major source of omega-3

Q- What kind of milkies do you have?
A- Right now, I’m starting with Nutella Milkies.  Nutella batter with sweet white chocolate chips.

Q- This is weird.
A- I know.  Have you met me? And that wasn’t a question.

Q- When can we try them?
A- When you place an order! Actually for the next few weeks I’ll be preparing them for various people and would love you to try them! Just leave a comment and well set something up!

Milkies-mix

So back to these cookies… below are (most) of the ingredients and measurements I used. 🙂

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups oats, ground in a food processor
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 cup flax, ground
  • 2tbsp Brewer’s Yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • chocolate chips

Beat sugars, butter, eggs, vanilla and nutella.  In a food processor, grind oats and then add baking soda, flour, brewer’s yeast and flax until combined.  Combine wet and dry ingredients and remaining items.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 11 minutes.

Milkies-gifts

Bon appetite all you milking mommas!!