This Week in the Charming South Kitchen: May 26

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What's Eatin?

Changing up things for the menu planning!  Just to keep you on your toes!

When we lived in Little Rock, I called my kitchen the Rainwood Kitchen because we lived on Rainwood Road and it sounded like a cool restaurant name.  But, I don’t like the sound of our street here in Marietta in line of a kitchen name.  But, I thought through this name for a little while and really like The Charming South Kitchen.  I am from the south, born and raised in central Florida, moved to North Florida, then made my way to North Carolina for over a decade, with just a few years in Louisville, then to Little Rock, now back to Georgia.  Although I love to travel and love seeing the world – I don’t know if I will ever live outside the south.  I love everything about the south: the beach, the weather, the people, the slow pace of life, the friendliness of strangers.

So, I wanted to bring that out in my food and what I cook for our family and those who eat at our table.  Therefore – the Charming South Kitchen.  I cook a lot of non-southern foods – but the south is now a melting pot – and so it my kitchen!

And this week, I’ll be writing a post about how I menu plan.  Stay tuned!

Monday: Strawberry Spinach Quinoa Salad with those fresh strawberries I picked this weekend at Southern Belle Farms.  Also to celebrate Memorial Day, I am making The Pioneer Woman’s Peanut Butter Pie and we are having watermelon.

Tuesday: This delish dip with some flat out bread I picked up on sale with some peanut chicken

Wednesday: Brinner night with potato pancakes, eggs, and sausage.

Thursday: Date night!!!!!

Friday: Slow Cooker beef for some sandwiches w pea salad (I’m still planning on sharing the recipe soon)

Saturday: Spring risotto from Big Sur Bakery cookbook

Sunday: leftovers



What’s Eatin’?

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What's Eatin?

We definitely have a busy week with nights where one of us is out of the house.  And I’m learning I just feed the kids when E is at work – me, just snacking as I go – feeding two takes both hands.  And its cool outside while I’m planning this menu, so all I want is comfort food – so you may see that as a result of the weather!  Enjoy.  Please tell me what you are cooking this week too!

Monday: I have a women’s gathering to go down in Midtown so I want something easy I can throw in the crockpot.  Found this chicken and broccoli over rice (which my mister loves) so I’ll have that for me for dinner when he gets home and the boys go to bed.

Tuesday.  One day a week (at least) I love to go purposefully vegetarian.  This week is will be these corn and red pepper enchiladas.

Wednesday: Taco chopped salads (loving this trend of chopped salads and it is colorful and healthy too.

Thursday: Brinner night. Thinking of keeping it simple with eggs, breakfast muffins, and fruit

Friday: Slow-cooker Chicken Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches with a side of apple slaw and some of these mascarpone brownies.  Hey, why not, its Friday.

Saturday: These french bread pizzas will be inexpensive and easy

Sunday: leftovers probably



What’s Eatin’?

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What's Eatin?

This week is totally not going like it was planned.  I was supposed to be going to Charlotte after I dropped mister at the airport, but then we looked at the budget.  I will so miss time with friends and babies and in a cool place like Charlotte.

But, here’s to cooking at home:

Monday: When I saw this on my feed and realized I had everything and how perfect are pancakes when you are by yourself (and your kiddos) – they freeze well and I have everything for the recipe.  Thanks Kevin for being creative with your pancakes!

Tuesday: Tomato Avocado sandwiches will be for dinner. Simple and fresh with some local french country bread I got at the farmers market last week

Wednesday: Coconut lime ice box pie. Roasted potatoes from the farmers market and some vegetables will be on tap for tonight for a simple vegetarian meal.  For lunch, I’m trying out the Roswell Tea House with a sweet friend.  I think I could eat their whole menu…I want to try everything.

Thursday: Pound cake cupcakes with a lavender buttercream. Can’t wait. These are for ARWB Foodie Friday post. Can’t wait to see how they turn out! For dinner I’m thinking Jiffy Corn waffles are in store. Maybe with some chicken tenders on top for some semi-homemade chicken and waffles.

Friday: That pizza that I still haven’t made yet – yeah, the white truffle one – I’m going to make that.

Saturday: Roasted Swai salad for a late dinner with the mister when he gets off work – don’t know how much my littles will go for it.

Sunday: I think Sunday’s are made for a good brunch meal. Let’s go with a bacon quiche…what’s not to love.


Eat This: White Beans & Greens with Fried Egg and Avocado

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white beans

At the end of a long week I just want quiet, slippers, a few NCIS episodes, my mister, the boys asleep, and a bowl of comfort food.  Yes, I said a bowl.  I think most comfort foods are probably comfort foods because they are bowl worthy.  Bowl worthy: sitting cross-legged on a roomy couch, flannels on, slippers kicked up, wrapped in a blanket, holding a bowl filled with warm food you eat with a spoon.

Delicacies that you could easily put in this category: paella, macaroni and cheese, chicken and rice, or this bowl of white beans with all the extras.  I’m very thankful for the beautiful photography of Jessica over at How Sweet Eats for making a bowl of legumes look exciting.  I wanted to try it.  Knowing me, I tweaked it and added some of my own.  People have asked if it turned out well and I said yes – grab a spoon!

White Beans & Greens with Fried Egg and Avocado
Recipe type: Beans
Cuisine: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Classy legumes filled with other comforting tastes
  • ¼ lb bacon, chopped
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • ¾ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp sweet Spanish paprika
  • 1 box chicken broth
  • water to cover the beans
  • 1 lb great northern beans (soaked overnight)
  • 3 parmesan cheese rinds, diced
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach, chopped (just the leaves)
  1. In a big pot, fry up the bacon
  2. Saute onions in bacon grease
  3. Add spices and sauté for a few minutes until aromatic
  4. Add in broth, water, and beans and parmesan rinds
  5. Bring to boil, cover, and simmer until beans are done, about 80 minutes.
  6. Take a potato masher and mash some of the beans. Add in the greens and cook for about another 15 minutes with the lid off.
  7. Fry an egg. Chop and avocado. Add them to the top of a big steaming bowl of beans.
Two years ago: Two New Journeys

What’s Eatin’?

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What's Eatin?

Eating on a budget.  Yes, it needs to happen.

My husband and I are definitely foodies.  We spend quite a bit for a family our size on groceries each month.  So, I’m going to try to scale it back by 1/3.  Yikes.  But, this cut in budget isn’t so we can do more – but so that we can get out of down quicker so that we can GIVE more.  So, I’ll be looking for yummy, foodie, but cheap recipes.  I need to also use my coupons and use up what is in our pantry, too.

So, here we go.

Monday: since I’ll be making potato soup for a crowd this coming weekend, I’m trying another recipe – this time one of Tidy Mom’s to see if I want to use this one.  Poor husband, we are going to be eating potato soup for a while!  This soup will be being made for our leftovers and lunches this week.  Because on Monday night we are going the soft grand opening of the Main Cheese here in West Little Rock.  This is another opportunity through the Arksansas Women Bloggers – excited.  How wonderful can great grilled cheese be on a cold night!

Tuesday: Salad with leftover Lemon Chicken by Shutterbean.

Wednesday: Sausage Ragu with Spaghetti Squash

Thursday: Cheap, Mexican breakfast food – brinner we call it in America.  I have most of the ingredients of this already!

Friday: Missions dinner at church

Saturday: I will have just spent all day in the kitchen, so I’m hoping for eating out with a coupon!

Sunday: these pancakes and scrambled eggs.  I’m really not an earl gray fan, but I figure there is no harm in trying these – and there isn’t much that syrup and butter can’t fix!

Breakfast will be oats because I have them already.

What are you cooking this week?

Hello December 9: Cooking Edition

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Wow – the holidays are upon us and there is much activity in my kitchen. I’m glad the oven and stove will be on more because that means I can stand where its warm most of the time but not crank up my heat in our home.

Here is what’s planned for this week:


Chicken Noodle Soup: via Tyler Florence
Smoky Grill Rub: via Southern Living for a gift
Peppermint Divinity Bars – via Southern Living (which I’m so excited to have a subscription for)
Nutella Sea Salt Truffles – via On Sugar Mountain
Chai Truffles – via Southern Living
Chicken Spaghetti – for lunch during our marshmallow making
Salted Caramel Swirled Marshmallows – via Bake or Break
Salted Caramel Sauce – via Brown Eyed Baker
Strawberry Margherita Mini Cupcakes – via A Helicopter Mom (virgin, don’t worry)
Homemade Herbed Salt – via 5$ Dinners
Refried Beans for Taco Tuesday: via Simply Recipes and Camille Styles
Curried Hummus: via Heather’s Dish
Chocolate Pistachio Thumb Print Cookies – via How Sweet It Is for the ARWB Cookie Swap on Friday

Here we go. What are you cooking this week, for the holidays, for gifts, for your family? What recipe are you most excited about?

Ruby Red Madeleines

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The taste of summer.  Bright fresh citrus in the form of red grapefruits.  Pretty pinkish color throughout these delicate, sponge-like cookies.  Perfectly shaped into sea shells – which is another favorite of mine in the summer – the beach.  These cookies are perfect!

I borrowed a madeleine pan a few weeks ago from a friend at church.  Then I realized today that I had accidently not juiced a red grapefruit – then I hopped off the couch and ran to the kitchen to make these.  Glad I always have butter and eggs.

As long as you follow the directions and spray the pan – these are really fool-proof cookies and the entire plate will disappear shortly!

4 eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

3/4 of a grapefruit – zested

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted


powderered sugar

fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice


In a mixer, mix together eggs, sugar, and salt for about 8 minutes on low-medium speed until thickened.  Then add the vanilla and zest.  Then the flour until well-combined.  Finally, add in the melted butter.

Well grease your madeleine pan (I used pam).  Use a cookie scoop to get the batter in the molds.  Bake at 375 for about 9 minutes, depending on your oven.  Let cool slightly, pop out of pan.

Mix glaze until you get your desired consistency.  Drizzle over warm cookies.  Enjoy!


New Year’s Much & Link Love (January 3)

Happy New Year!  When do you get tired of hearing that?  I usually have to wait until after my birthday, which is tomorrow.  New Years and birthdays, both great.  I used to dislike having a birthday so close to Christmas (school was out so I never got to celebrate it in school), but now I love it, because not only am I starting a new calendar year, but also a new birth year. 

1.  I had one of the best new years ever!  A friend from seminary came over to Raleigh: we cooked dinner, hung out a cool place in Cary, went to the NCMA, and watched movies.  It was low-key and wonderful.

2.  I already went away from on of my 2011 goals.  I ran in a 5k on Saturday and unfortunately left my cell phone at home so I had no interval timer.  I finished this multi-terrain, ice/mud, hills, loops race about the same time I finished my first one.  So, I wasn’t happy.  But, I did it.  And I had friends cheering me on and running with me!

3.  This is going to be a tough week and a good week.  Tough week with many things going on a work and writing kicked into high gear.  Good week because I get to have dinner on Thursday night with some of the most amazing RDU friends a girl can have, both new and old, and I’ll be missing some too because of vacations and babies.  God is good, isn’t He!

4.  Day one of clean eating went very well yesterday!  I am thankful for oranges and sweet potatoes that I don’t have to buy because of family!  Everytime I have craved nut butter or even milk or egg whites today I thought that God is sufficient for my every need and He is gracious too.  I have included seeds in this clean eating: fruits and veggies only while at home.  Seeds because I eat hummus and tahini is in it – ground sesame seeds.  I’m already thinking post-40 days to see how my diet will be altered, and see how my food-relationships/sin issues have been changed.  Thank you God for the cross!

5.  Bring on the playoffs!  Excited.  We’ll see how long my teams last.

6.  January… here we go: I’m doing the list here rather a whole new post. 

6.1: Birthday celebrating

6.2: Working out and logging milesd

6.3: Stemmerman Inn for my birthday!  Thank you Mom!

6.4: Charlotte to prepare for an upcoming women’s conference I am speaking at in March. 

6.5: Photog!

6.6: Writing and reading.  Sound familiar?

Link Love

1.  One of the coolest things I’ve heard from country music in a while – great on the gender issue too.  Go Zac Brown!

2.  With clean eating for 40 days, I’m making this soup.

3.  For those of you memorizing Philippians, John Piper reciting it may spur you on!

4.  Do you already need help keeping those resolutions?  These apply to any you have made.

5.  One of the smartest guys I know, and do ministry with, gives his list of best reads of 2010.  And he read a lot more than this. 

6.  Some great sermons and talks about keeping resolutions

7.  After taking off most of 2010, John Piper returns and tells all what God taught him and Noel from their leave of absence.  Good stuff.

8.  Also, if you have never memorized long passages of Scripture, here are some quality sermons from Andy Davis and John Piper to help you out and to see the benefit of it. 

9.  If you still need help picking which Bible reading plan to do for 2011, go here.  Justin lays a lot of them out for you.  I am doing Elevate’s B90X from last year, just multiplying it times 3 with some breather days in there. 

10.  Her photos are inspiring.


Recipe coming soon!

Much and Link Love (December 6 edition)

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Second week of December and it actually feels like it out there. Here we go:
1. O Holy Night is def my fave Christmas (sacred) song. More thoughts on it later this week.
2. Reilly Band (violin rock) and Barlow Girl were both awesome last night. Enjoyed the drive, blaring country music and Sojourn Advent, dinner with a friend, and then music and conversation.
3. Fave country songs right now: anything by Zac Brown, Put You in a Song by Keith Urban, Rain is a Good Thing, Why Wait by Rascal Flatts, Stuck on You by Sugarland.
4. Reading this week: Philippians, John, advent book by David Horner, Acts commentary by Sproul, God’s Two Kingdoms, Eat Pray Love, and Kitchen Confidential, and any missions book I can find while working on Quarter 2 and 2 resources on missions.
5. I miss the weekly communion at Sojourn.
6. I loved the snow on the ground this weekend. Beautiful driving down Duraleigh with snow topped trees that were just brilliant reds and yellows. It won’t get out of the 40s this week. Sad times this cold stuff! 🙂
7. Fun things on tap this week: Parker and Otis (cafe in Durham), Getty concert, planning day, research day, lunch with staff ladies, hanging with a friend, dinner at a pastor’s house with family, party on Thursday night and day off on Thursday (which is always good), Christmas programs, dinner out, photo shoots (definitely the busiest of the whole month!)
8. College football is almost over. Sad times. But, this was not a great football weekend, NFL or NCAA. Only Bob Stoops pulled it out for me! Florida got a good bowl game and the Carolina v UT will be a good game too!

Link Love:
1. My friend Lara wrote a great post on Hope. I love hope this season. Christ is His Name!
2. Anyone struggle with an eating disorder, or know someone who does?
3. These truffle brownies will be making an appearance at a Christmas party near you!
4. Love that this is written by one of my fave female authors and that we were talking about Ephesians yesterday in Life class and how Ephesians talks so much about what she said!
5. What a great Kevin Bacon find…do you like Bacon?
6. Kevin has always brought me good things before. Will be making these soon!
7. This candy may be making an appearance at a Christmas party near you, too!
8. I love Jane Eyre. Can’t wait to see this!
9. Check out this Charlotte designer giveaway featuring a Jess LC necklace!
10. Francis for Christmas. Good stuff.