Favorite Podcasts August Edition

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My favorite way to spend long drives or time in car running errands is by listening to podcasts.  I thought I would share with you some of my favorites each month.

Surviving Sarah (the one with Heather McFadyen)

5 Questions

Sally Clarkson

Chompers (for the boys to brush their teeth)

Lazy Genius (cleaning and salad ones are my faves lately, oh and the farmers market one)

God Centered Mom the one with Jen Wilkin

What are some of your favorite podcasts – especially specific episodes. Leave me some new ones in the comments!  I’ll be sharing mine more next month!

Finding Lovely

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Lindsay Hohman Designs

Why not celebrate the little things that make life be a little brighter.  I would love to know what you are finding lovely these days.

The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey : I’ve listened to two of these (Lauren Chandler and Shelley Giglio) and have been encouraged by both (and it helps the workout go by quicker)

I love stationery – period.  And these little floral wreaths are super pretty.

Because when you live in the South, you gotta have an ice cream maker.  And my husband blessed me with this one a few months ago and we are putting it to good use  Right now, in the freezer, an ode to Holly & Flora with Drunken Cherries Garcia.

Splash Pads: My kids love these.  It gets them exercise, wet, and so many smiles. I hope you have one in your area.  We love them here and are going to hit some up when we are on vacation this month too.

Trip Planning: I think I may have missed my calling.  I love trip planning and adventuring, even if it is for someone else.  I love to find special things in special cities for people to enjoy.  Travel blogging is great too and I always thought it would be fun to combine with food blogging!

Summer, Losing Weight, and Ice Cream

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I live in the south.  It is hot.  Actually this week it has been about 10 degrees cooler – so I’ll take it.

This summer I’m in the process of losing about 20 pounds leftover from being married and having kids.  But, when it is hot I still want ice cream.  Ice cream is an important dietary component in the summer (ok, really, anytime).

When I’m trying to count calories, the best way for me to go it an individual serving ice cream treat from Weight Watchers.  It helps me not eat an entire pint or quart of ice cream and it has less than 200 calories and it tastes pretty good.

So, thanks to Influenster I got to try out two free boxes – and have since been trying them.  It is a perfect cool treat at night when I want to splurge!

This Week in the Charming South Kitchen

posted in: The Charming South Kitchen | 0

My parents are here this week so we are both eating out and cooking more than normal.

This is going in the crockpot for my Dad’s Father’s Day meal – with some southern greens cooked with bacon.

Going to make banana pudding cheesecake for this dessert.

Making a quinoa detox salad.  This looks so yummy and fresh and full of variety.

When people come in town to visit – what do you like to make?  How also do you encourage people to an overall way of eating that is healthy?



Vanilla Lime Watermelon Salad

Vanilla Lime Watermelon Salad

And summer is slowly coming to an end.  Zoo Atlanta is less crowded during the day.  More school buses are always on the streets around town.  Malls are less jam packed with kids.

School may have started, but summer fruits are still thriving.  This past weekend I went over to Alabama to visit with some family and I got treated to two farm-grown watermelons.  One had yellow flesh and one had the typical red flesh.  Both were beautiful and sweet.

So, I paired them both with some balsamic and olive oil!  What?  That doesn’t go with watermelon.  It does if you have some specialty balsamic and olive oil from Oli & Ve in Roswell.  I paired this for a tasting there and knew that I would be purchasing both.  That tasted amazing together.

Vanilla Lime Watermelon Salad
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Fruit Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Fresh summer fruit that is simply dressed - perfect.
  • 1 cup yellow flesh watermelon, cubed and seeded
  • 1 cup red flesh watermelon, cubed and seeded
  • 2 tsp vanilla balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp persian lime olive oil
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  1. Put watermelon in a bowl. Combine the oil and vinegar together. Drizzle over top of the fruit. Season with salt and pepper. Eat!
  2. I like this served room temperature. Would be a great side dish to a pork or tacos or fish

Blueberry Italian Cheese Tart

Blueberry Italian Cheese Tart

The longer you are married to your spouse, the more you begin to think like him (or her) and what the other person likes or dislikes becomes you.  That is probably how the old adage got started by saying the longer a couple is married they look more and more like each other.

My Mister and I have only been married for (almost) 3 years.  One of the blessings of those three years is having someone to cook (and bake) for all the time.  Some women find that daunting.  I find it challenging in a good way – but I also need to eat out sometimes, even if it is Chick-fil-A.

Blueberries and Crystal

One of the things that my Mister loves is fruit desserts.  So, I wanted to create a sweet fruit recipe that he could enjoy.  Two of the unmistakable tastes of summer to me are lemons and bluberries.  I remember picking buckets of blueberries at Huber’s Family Farm up in southern Indiana when I lived in Louisville.  I could eat a lot just standing there picking in – never filling up my bucket.  (To anyone from Huber’s reading this – I really didn’t, I may have snuck one or two (berries, not buckets).

Blueberry Tart

So, with Italian cheeses on hand and some blueberries and lemons, I set out to create this tart.  Enjoy the final days of summer!

Blueberry Tart

Blueberry Italian Cheese Tart
Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: Tart/Fruit
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
A creamy, cheesy sweet tart with blueberries and lemon
  • For the crust:
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted, melted
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • For the filling:
  • 8 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp real maple syrup
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • For the fruit topping:
  • Whole blueberries
  • zest of one lemon
  1. For the crust:
  2. Mix everything together and press into a removable bottom 9.5 inch tart pan. Put in freezer for about 20 minutes. Poke holes with a fork in bottom of crust. Bake covered with foil for 15 minutes (at 350). Remove foil and bake for another 15. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. For the filling:
  4. Mix everything and combine until no more lumps. Pour filling into cooled crust and bake at 350 for another 40-45 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool slightly
  5. For the topping:
  6. Mix the blueberries with the lemon zest. Scatter on top of tart.
  7. Set in fridge until cold. Serve with cool whip or homemade whipped cream and a sprig of mint - and preferably some decaf!


Simple Summer Squash Salad

Simple Summer Squash Salad

Summer food should be pretty.  The sun is shining.  The gardens are bursting with fragrant herbs and brightly hued fruits the way God imagined and created them.

While I didn’t grow the items found in this summer salad, I did buy them at the Whole Foods in Buckhead (a delightful shopping, eating, and living area of Atlanta).  This Whole Foods takes the cake on any one I’ve been in.  The produce alone would be reason to keep coming back to it again and again.  I remember the first time I took our older son in there.  He exclaimed “watermelon” while looking at the sample containter of beautiful red, completely juicy, delicious watermelon.  (And that was the first time he had said it!)


And another favorite thing I love about this salad is the dressing.  I do love to make my own, but when you’ve found a simple summer vinaigrette such as this one: Brianna’s Real French – why waste the time in making my own?  It is slightly tangy and fragrant and rests lightly on any food you put it on (this salad and our pink grapefruit salad are our two favorites).  And if you want to know where to get the delicious Yard Blend that I use in this side dish, contact my friend Jayme over at Holly and Flora.

So, without further ado – here is a perfectly simple summer side dish that would be a great accompaniement to your next light summer affair.  Get some crusty bread, cheese, wine, berries, and this – night well made.

This recipe was inspired by Laura’s.

Simple Summer Squash Salad
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
Simple summer squash in a light vinaigrette with salty, smooth goat cheese
  • 2 yellow summer squash, sliced in ribbons
  • 1 zucchini, sliced in ribbons
  • 2-3 T Brianna's Real French Vinaigrette
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • ½ tsp of Holly & Flora's Yard Blend
  • 2 T crumbled goat cheese
  1. To slice ribbons in your vegetables, I used the side of my box grater with the long grating option.
  2. Toss your sliced vegetables in everything but the goat cheese. Let marinate for about 20 minutes
  3. Crumble the goat cheese on top before serving.



Summer Corn and Chipotle Chicken Soup

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I love trying new recipes, especially with in-season ingredients, and having them be winners.  I started with a recipe off of BrownEyedBaker – you guys need to go check her out if you already don’t get her blogs!

I made a few changes, and hubs said he wouldn’t change a thing!

1/2 vidalia onion, chopped

1 EACH red and green pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 chipotle in adobe sauce, chopped (just one pepper)


1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp EACH oregano and french thyme

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups milk

1 cup half and half

6 red potatoes, diced finely

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups diced chooked chicken

3 ears of corn (just kernels)

1 can cream corn

1/2 tsp adobe sauce (from chili)


Saute first ingredients and spices in evoo.  Then add up through cheese and let simmer until potatoes are done (about 15 minutes).  Then add the rest.  Serve until warmed through.

Serve with tortilla chips and a squeeze of lime!

Don't Waste Your Summer!

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You can’t tell by the weather here in RDU today (or from what I hear in the ville as well), but we are more than halfway through the merry little month of May. Most schools are our or just about finishing up finals. College graduations have come and gone; so has Mother’s Day. Things are winding down – or gearing up for summer vacation.
How will you not waste your summer this year? How will I not waste mine?
Well, here are a few resources and tips; then I will share my ideas for my summer:
Johon Piper on Summer is for Seeing and Showing Christ:

God made summer as a foretaste of heaven, not a substitute. If the mailman brings you a love letter from your fiancé, don’t fall in love with the mailman. That’s what summer is: God’s messenger with a sun-soaked, tree-green, flower-blooming, lake-glistening letter of love to show us what he is planning for us in the age to come—“things which eye has notseen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered into the heart of man, God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Don’t fall in love with the video preview, and find yourself unable to love the coming reality.

Here are some things you can do:
1. Build community – this is why we have longer daylight hours – right?
2. Go see a movie on the side of a building (the NC Museum of Art does this at night)
3. Pick some fresh fruit or veggies. That is one way of caring for God’s creation that He gave us to subdue and work (and enjoy).
4. Read! What else are going to do with all that free time? Watch movies – play video games? Reading expands the mine!
5. Invest in your community around you. Go serve at a local park or shelter or at a year round school.
6. Travel – see the beauty that is God’s creation!

Here are mine:
1. Ministry: College bbq, College Summer Bible Study (going through Philippians), Summer Youth Bible Study (going through Wordliness by Mahaney with middle school girls), Impact Youth Camp, Singles Retreat, and daily life with folks.
2. Writing. Yes, maybe I’ll start this summer (part of my job).
3. Reading: Total Church, A Gospel Primer, War of Words, Future Grace, According to Plan, Parenting from the Pew, any others I should pick up?
4. Trying to lose these 10 lbs I’ve picked up since January 1.
5. Run in a half marathon.

There you have it. What are your plans? How are you NOT going to waste your summer?

“Don’t let the carnal thought take over your mind that summer is a spiritual void. That is not God’s view of things. He is displaying glories to be seen and worshiped. He is caressing the world with mercy (Matthew 5:45). His summer “kindness is meant to lead to repentance” (Romans 2:4). Let’s join God in his love for people in the summer and make it a fresh meeting with him in the light of his love.”

John Piper on Setting Our Minds on Things Above in Summer: