Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Summer Vacation 2013

Summer vacations are different as an adult. For one, I actually have to go somewhere to be on vacation. Growing up in a vacation area means you say snarky things about all the visitors causing the traffic and their terrible driving. Living in Columbia means I have to be one of those people. And y'know, I don't mind it much.
Will's parent have a condo in Panama City because they spend a fair amount of time there. We stayed there for a week earlier this month for our vacation. One evening was spent sitting on the dock of the bay.

Sauteed oysters to start
Of course we ate our faces off. Few things are more pleasing than a plump oyster swimming in a seasoned butter sauce. Add crispy, buttery bread on top of that and you'll have all I've ever needed in life.

My new Copper Penny necklace!
I'm a fan of statement jewelry. Go big or go home. One of my favorite Pure Barre instructors, Mollie, is the new co-owner of a Copper Penny here in Columbia. Copper Penny is a Charleston retailer that carries high-quality fashions (think Trina Turk) for Southern ladies. I stopped in and got a fun necklace for my vacation.
I *might* have leftovers
This essentially became three meals for Will and me. I ate it for dinner, and then we both ate it for lunch one day.
So.  We saw a shark. And not a little one either. He (or she) could've easily taken a limb. Evidently it just wasn't in the mood because it just moseyed on around the shore and left. We also saw turtles swimming, which is 10034382 times less scary.
Have you seen this? It's some new-fangled thing the kids are trying. It's like a jet pack on your feet and you fly up in the air and can swim like a dolphin with wings.

I freaked when I saw these. They're grown-up lunchables! And not half bad either. We got one of the salami & cheese and one sun butter meals. We found them at Target, but I hadn't seen them in mine. I'm going to check my Target because these are perfect for the beach or any emergency eating situation.

We can't visit PCB without stopping by Montego Bay for some gumbo. It's better at the tiny, original location.

Ahh dogfish head, I've missed you
Dogfish Head beers are finally making their way south. This is one thing I've missed about Delaware. But now I don't have to miss it anymore!

We had two great sandwiches at Liza's Kitchen, which Will refers to as the "hippie place" because...well they were kind of hippies in there. I love the placemats they had - each had a "recipe" from a child. Dinosaur soup was mine.

Scamp makes me feel like I'm eating a naughty fish
Going to Captain Anderson's is like taking a step back into the 80's. In a good way. You get lots of super-rich, stuffed seafood, and the carpeting is plaid. Oh and you also get perfectly grilled fish in a lemony, buttery, onion sauce. Crab on top is optional but always a good idea. And we get the peanut butter pie. This time we got it to go.
Last night's key lime pie
Annnd speaking of dessert, if you're in Florida you might as well get key lime pie. Do yourself a favor and make sure it's not green before you get it. Key lime pie isn't supposed to be green. The filling should be yellow because lime juice is yellow. Even this pie isn't strictly traditional - it's more of a frozen pie, which is still delicious and a little unexpected.
I made us drive in torrential rain for donuts. For 2 years I've been wanting to get donuts from this place, and we finally made it over there. The cake donuts were fluffier and more tender than I've ever had (especially moreso than that place that begins with a D) and the yeast were melt-in-your-mouth. It was a good choice, and I'm officially donutted out. For a few more days.

It really was a lovely vacation. Could those clouds say otherwise? I think not.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blueberry Waffles

Waffles are for sunny mornings, or mornings I wish were sunny. Blueberries make waking up a little easier, and flaxseeds make me feel better about pouring maple syrup over everything. Omega-3s, y'all.

My breakfast simply isn't breakfast unless I have coffee. If I don't have coffee, it's naptime at precisely 2:00PM. My breakfast is a better breakfast if it has crispy-tender-fruity waffles.

Real. Maple. Syrup. It's the only way. If I'm going to pour liquid sugar over my breakfast treat, I want it to come from a tree.

Waffles can be easy. Flour, buttermilk, eggs, ground flaxseed (optional), sugar, baking soda, salt, blueberries, melted butter, and vanilla extract.

Dry ingredients get a gentle mixin' just to distribute everything.

I really love egg yolks. For realz. I just think they're really pretty. And the fresher the egg the prettier the yolk. Which reminds me that I need to go buy some farm-fresh eggs ASAP.

I also love the way milk and eggs mix together. Is that weird? I'm going with no, but I'm probably not the best gauge.
We're so close to having waffles! Gently mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Lumps are totally acceptable in this situation.

And the real star: blueberries. Just fold them in a bit. Heat your waffle iron and brush with a little vegetable oil. I like to use a 1/2 cup as a scoop. I took pictures of this step, but quite frankly I didn't like the looks of any of them. There's no big secret to this. Scoop the batter into the hot waffle iron and close the lid. Like really close it. I didn't have the top down all the way on my first couple of waffles and they came out a little soggy. So just make sure it's on there tight.

And a few minutes later you have a crispy waffle with a tender middle. The blueberries might make a little mess, but what's life or breakfast without a little mess?

And for that matter, what's a waffle without syrup and butter? It's a sad waffle, that's what it is. That waffle you see there? A happy waffle. A supremely happy waffle.

There may have been a time I would've been concerned that I give waffles feelings and share that with the world. To be clear, I've always ascribed human feelings/traits to inanimate objects and most especially food. That's not new. I just don't mind y'all knowing about it. The Internet lowers inhibitions, y'all!

Blueberry Waffles (amount may vary depending on your waffle maker ---I got 6 from mine)
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
2 tbs sugar
1-2 tbs ground flaxseed (optional)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 c buttermilk
1/2 c butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pint blueberries, rinsed and picked over
Vegetable oil, for brushing

  • In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs just to break them up a bit. Stir in the buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in egg mixture. Gently stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until dry ingredients have been moistened by the egg mixture. The batter will be lumpy and that's just dandy. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  • Heat your waffle maker according to its instructions. Brush with oil and pour in between 1/3 and 1/2 cups of batter. Don't overfill the waffle maker, so if you need to use less, use less. Firmly close the waffle maker and cook until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter until you have a mound of beautiful waffles. 
  • Serve with pure maple syrup or a dusting of powdered sugar. Bacon is recommended.