Current obsession number 5 million or something….

Late spring I took a trip up the coast to New Bern with my mom.  We visited Tryon Palace, checked out the firefighter museum and ate some amazing seafood (shout out to MJ’s and their crabby fries).  It goes with out saying that we did a little (okay a lot) of shopping.  There were little art galleries tucked into buildings, backed with charming court yards, specialty shops for furry friends and a gourmet shop called Midtown Olive Oil.   Let’s just say I fell in love with so many tasty things, here are a few that stood out and how they’ve been utilized in my kitchen arsenal.

Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic – This mess is like a secret weapon of mass flavor proportions,  total ker-pow .  White vinegar is always a favorite for me because its usually subtly sweet and fruity, making it easy to think – hey I’m going to add some of this *splash splash*.  Mostly I use it in marinades for grilled chicken and shrimp, but splashed on a green salad makes me just as happy.  Not crazy about lemon, their cranberry pear is fantastic too.

Basil Olive Oil – So if the lemon balsamic is the ker-pow weapon, this is the low rumble aftershock.  Peppery basil, fruity olives done – finished.  Again works well in a marinade or splashed on a salad.  We also love it to dip a hunk of soft bread in.

Salt Sisters, Mediterranean Blend – I’ve run out of arsenal analogies but this stuff is da’bomb (oh wait no I didn’t hehe).  At the risk of making it sound over simplified; salt, basic dried herbs and then dehydrated vinegar to give it this zip.  Rub it on stuff, sprinkle it on stuff, mix it in stuff;   Chicken, summer veggies, grilled fish, garlic bread, creamy pasta…. whatever can’t go wrong.

So the only complaint is the Midtown Olive web site, although very through with their own selection didn’t carry the same Salt Sister products I saw when I visited the store.  What is a girl to do – oh yea head over to the Salt Sister site and check out what else they have.  BBQ rub, Tuscan Farm house salt, hickory smoked salt….. I would say bring it but I already had it broughten.

In closing, visit New Bern its pretty quaint and hospitable.  Stop by Midtown Olive to sample what they have in house and hopefully you can come away with a new favorite for your kitchen.  Oh and check out a few pics I snapped.

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A total eclipse of the sun.

Talk about something you don’t see everyday, well every 20 some years or so, a total solar eclipse.  Although at 97% we weren’t in the path of totality we definitely had the opportunity to enjoy a spectacular site.   Here are a few photos form that day and if you are interested when the next total american eclipse is due check out this neat graphic.

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Top left, terrible photo through the glasses
Top right, getting accidentally photo bombed by mom – I call it angry thumbs up.
Bottom, the marina and that ‘log’ is an alligator

 

I tried better than take out and here is what happened….

I love some me some take out, but I thought there was no way I could make something better than the real thing.  I was wrong this sheet pan chicken fried rice from Creme de la Crumb was awesome, so awesome in fact I forgot to take a picture.  (okay confession I took one photo of it going into the oven but it’s blurry)   It even heated up well in the microwave.

Where I deviated
– I went the cheat route with the 2 cup heat in the bag Jasmine rice
– I used fresh shredded carrots (mixed with frozen thawed peas) because that is what I had left over from a project (see fireworks photo)
– I used about 2.5 Tablespoons of the oil

Next time
– I will stick with the microwave rice, and whatever veggies I have on hand
– I’ll reduce the oil a little more
– add bite size pineapple pieces when the rice and veggies are added

Low Budget Find, enamel cast iron skillet

I’m always on the look out for more bang for my buck, who isn’t.  My current obsession is this cast iron skillet from the Target Threshold line.  Yes I know I could probably get a bigger one for the same price but I love the crisp white enamel, it’s easy to clean and won’t scratch my stove, and at 10″ is the perfect size for the two of us.  I’ve done steaks,  stuffed mushrooms,  cheat chicken Parmesan and a myriad of other dishes that have gone from stove top to oven.   What is your current low budget obsession?

Gishwhes 2017

Well, it has been nearly a week since we finished our ‘hunt’ for 2017.  So you might have taken a look at the title and wondered what is Gishwhes , or might know all to well and feel that little twitch only brought on by sleep deprivation and hot glue fumes.  Either way welcome.

So the Greatest International Scavnger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, or GISHWHES is a charity driven scavenger hunt that will have participants saying some of the strangest things.
“Hey can you take a picture of yourself doing yoga with a random animal, but not a goat that’s been done”
Yep actually said that to my friends sister, never got a response either but I also didn’t get any visits from men in white coats, so win?  Anyway –
It was a great personal experience to be part of my team Gishy Rascals! Hunt week bonus; not only was there lots of personal excitement we saved acres of rain forest, changed lives and just had a great time worldwide.  I would say sign me up for next year but, sadly this was the last year.  So here are a few of my pictures from my first and last Gish.

Being goofy for our group collage.

Fireworks made out of veggies and spaghetti, yea it took forever to glue individual pieces of spaghetti onto my cityscape.

Bringing class to the old west with a tea and saucer holster.  

I have yet to cut into the Marx Mellon. 

Planting a tree in my neighbors yard.  

Want to see other teams submissions, may be event the chance to see a school bus get shredded?  Check the Gishwhes  page!