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Ho, Ho, Ho: Horrible Holiday Hors d’oeuvres

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Nearly every holiday is associated with one or more foods traditionally served during the celebration. We have grilled hamburgers and hotdogs on the Fourth of July, Halloween candy, and perhaps the most prominent of all: turkey on Thanksgiving. For years now I’ve been lobbying for Tandoori chicken with curried rice to become the traditional meal of Columbus Day in honor of his intended destination, but with minimal success (please, write your Congressman). Yes, I’m a big fan of all these traditional festive feasts, with one exception. Culinarily speaking, I hate Christmas. Call me a Gourmet Grinch or the Scrooge of Seasonal Sustenance, but I just do not like any of the food and drinks that are unique to Christmas. Read more

Lunch at High Thyme with radio personalities The Critic and Stupid Mike


Scott, Stupid Mike, and The Critic (l-r)


Click the arrow above to listen to the audio
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The dishes are introduced by Executive Chef Taylor Still.


Executive Chef Taylor Still



Friday December 30th, 2011
by Scott Wink of CharlestonFoodBloggers.com

Charleston, SC  –  As 2011 comes to a close I am having lunch on Sullivan’s Island, SC at High Thyme with a few of my favorite Charleston radio personalities.  The Critic (James Voigt) and Stupid Mike (Mike Fili) from “105.5 The Bridge” are joining me to talk about food, New Year’s Eve, and some of their favorite things from 2011.

High Thyme is a nice restaurant right in the middle of that great strip of bars and restaurants on Sullivan’s Island.  They have been open for about 8 years and are located at 2213-C Middle Street next to Dunleavy’s Pub and the new Taco Mamacita’s.  High Thyme has recently started opening for lunch on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11:30AM-2:30PM.

On this particular day the sun is starting to heat up the frosty morning chill.  We woke up to frozen windshields and then quickly had to peel off those warm outer layers and start questioning if we should be sitting on High Thyme’s now warm and inviting deck.

We start off with two plates.  One is the arugula salad with pecans, goat cheese, dried cherries, and a basil vinaigrette and the other is a sesame seared yellow-fin tuna served over a soba noodle salad with red chili ginger honey.  The arugula salad is beautiful and hit all the notes I like in a salad. I don’t like raisins but have been on a big dried cherry kick lately so this was perfect for me.  The tuna was also very light and delicate but packed a nice punch of complimentary flavors and just a hint of spice.

The second course was the grilled lamb salad with onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, pita triangles, and yogurt dressing.  The lamb part of this dish is the tricky part but I felt it was seasoned really well and had nice texture. The yogurt dressing was there but didn’t smoother out all of the ingredients so I was very pleased.

Next we tried the hot dogs and BBQ.  The hot dogs come in a pair and are topped with chili, cheese, slaw, and onions. It came with a side of cold macaroni salad. We had the Eastern NC style BBQ pork sandwich, with spicy red  slaw, and jalapeno hush puppies (not pictured).  Stupid Mike really liked the hush puppies and The Critic is a self proclaimed hot dog savant so these plates were definitely winners.


James Voigt, aka The Critic, is a self proclaimed hot dog savant

To finish off lunch we had a piece of their key lime pie with whipped cream.  I grew up in Florida so I have had hundreds of key lime pies in my day.  I have to say this was a really good version.  Is was a perfect balance of sweet and tart with the cracker crust that was firm and not too crumbly.



I will be headed back to High Thyme for lunch again soon. I already know what I want to try next time: the shrimp salad croissant and the braised beef sandwich.

Finding a new favorite place to eat or a new favorite dish can be something special.  Just like how when The Critic finds a new band or song that he likes he is happy to share his findings to the world. That same urge happens inside of me when I find or rediscover a great place to eat.  There are a lot of restaurant choices on Sullivan’s Island. Don’t let all the choices distract you from checking out or rediscovering High Thyme…….and definitely put them at the top of your list of lunch options!

Stupid Mike reading the menu???







2011 Charleston Food Blogger Restaurant Awards


Best food: American

Downtown: McCrady’s

West of the Ashley:  The Glass Onion

East of the Cooper:  Eurasia

The North area:  Cork Bistro


Best food: International

Downtown: Basil

West of the Ashley:  Taste of India

East of the Cooper:  Ali Baba

The North area:  Zocalo ( now out of business )


Best food: Non-restaurant

Downtown: Paolo’s Gelato

West of the Ashley:  Hello my name is BBQ

East of the Cooper:  Whole Foods

The North area:  Pho #1


Best food: New restaurant

Downtown: Husk

West of the Ashley:  Roadside Kitchen

East of the Cooper:  Eurasia

The North area:  Zocalo (now out of business )


Best food: Local chain

Mustard Seed


Best food: Cheap eats

Downtown: Taco Boy

West of the Ashley:  Three Little Birds Café

East of the Cooper:  Jack’s Cosmic Dogs

The North area:  EVO Pizza


Best food: Hole in the Wall

Downtown: Moe’s Crosstown

West of the Ashley:  Bowen’s Island

East of the Cooper:  La Pizzeria

The North area:  Havana Café


Best Atmosphere

Downtown: Cypress

West of the Ashley:  Fat Hen

East of the Cooper:  Poe’s Tavern

The North area:  Cork Bistro


Best Bar

Downtown: Closed For Business

West of the Ashley:  Smoky Oak Taproom

East of the Cooper:  Red’s Ice House

The North area:  Madra Rua


Best local farm

Ambrose

Remember to L
IKE Charleston Food Bloggers on Facebook
for updates!



Each blogger also announced a few creative awards of their own:

Best Dessert: Red Head Recipes – Bread Pudding at Poogan’s Porch

Most worn out concept: Foodmancing the Girl – Sports bars


Best burger:
Foodie Fix – The chorizo burger at Fuel is amazing and spicy. The burger taken to a new level of flavor.  Fuel also has the best come as you are atmosphere.  Like a vacation without leaving town kind of place.


Best things to happen in the Charleston food scene over the past 5 years:
  Charleston Food Bloggers –  In my mind two things stick out:  1) The rise of Sean Brock, Mike Lata and Craig Deihl 2) The Food Truck Federation.


Best way to order frozen yogurt:
Healthy Meets Hungry – Go to Menchies in Mount Pleasant and serve cake batter yogurt and peanut butter yogurt in a one-to-one ratio. Then add an equal portion of Heath Bar toppings.


Best brunch spots: 
Red Head Recipes –

Downtown:  Hominy Grill

West of the Ashley:  Three Little Birds Café

East of the Cooper: Crave

The North area: Alex’s Restaurant


Best place to get “pre” engaged:
Foodmancing the Girl –  Il Cortile Del Re


Best wine bar and small plates:
  Foodie Fix – Bin 152 is a great intimate spot for a glass of wine and a little charcuterie.  A fun place to experiment with new wines and interesting pairings.



Winners were chosen from 4 geographic locations in Charleston. 

        -West of the Ashley included West Ashley, James Island, Johns Island,

        and Folly Beach.

        -East of the Cooper included Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island, Sullivan’s Island,

        and Isle of Palms. 

        -The North area included North Charleston, Summerville, Ladson,
        Goose Creek,
  and Moncks Corner.

        -Downtown included….well…. downtown.


      Why were these awards developed?  We felt that these awards coming from active food bloggers would be seen as a fairly non-biased, honest judge of what restaurants in the area are doing this year. 

    Charleston’s first food blogger restaurant award winners were announced on Saturday September 24th at Cork Bistro in Park Circle.  The food bloggers who participated in the nominations and voting were: CharlestonFoodBloggers.com , FoodmancingTheGirl , HungryMeetsHealthy , RedHeadRecipies , and FoodieFix . Also in attendance at Cork as invited guests were local design blogger LookLingerLove and Jeremy Current who is a  singer/songwriter out of Brooklyn, NY.  Jeremy was in town for one night performing at The Village Tavern in Mount Pleasant, SC.

(l-r: Charles of FoodmancingTheGirl, Chassity of LookLingerLove, Lauri of RedHeadRecipies, Scott and Crystal of CharlestonFoodBloggers , and Singer/Songwriter Jeremy Current)

  Chef Eric Brownlee of Cork prepared an excellent menu for the event. Highlights of the dinner that got the table buzzing were the Hush Puppy Battered Shrimp, Tomato & Fried Mozzarella Caprese,  Chipotle Strawberry Glazed Salmon, and Spicy Shrimp and Grits.  Owner Tradd Gibbs and Chef Brownlee spoke to the group after we announced that Cork was this year’s winner in two categories. They won the top prize in the categories Best Restaurant: American and Best Atmosphere for restaurants located in “the North area”.  The area included all restaurants in North Charleston, Summerville, Ladson, Goose Creek, and Moncks Corner. 


Wedge salad


Hush puppy battered shrimp


  Tomato & Fried Mozzarella Caprese





(Piggly Wiggly) + ($20) = (an easy, gourmet, healthy, delicious meal for 4)

On a Budget??

April 7th, 2011 by Lauri @ www.redheadrecipes.com

Hi Guys!!

So I often hear people say that ‘Eating Healthy is Soooo Expensive’. Well, in Coordination with Charleston Food Bloggers.com, I’ve created a meal that will easily feed 4 for under $20.00!!

This meal would be perrrfect for those busy weeknights as it came together in about 20 minutes, start to finish! And I only dirtied up a couple of dishes! One saute pan and a baking sheet, to be exact!

I did my shopping at our local Piggly Wiggly and only spent $19.35! And I’m a bit of an “ingredients snob”, so I thought that was pretty good!

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I spent the most money on Laughing Cow onion swiss cheese: $4.49 and Cabot extra sharp cheddar: $2.99. I also bought a small container of Chobani Greek Yogurt for $1.25.

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As a side note: One thing that I realllly like about Piggly Wiggly is that they usually have specials on their produce! I bought 8 sweet potatoes for $2.55 and 8 bananas for less than a dollar (GREAT for freezing to use in smoothies or to make Banana Soft Serve!) (*Note: This was paid for separately)

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This dish is a vegetarian meal, but you could easily toss some grilled chicken with BBQ sauce or add some organic sliced turkey to the mix if you want!

Or you could enjoy it for Meatless Mondays!!

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Sweet Potato & Black Bean Flat Bread Pizza

What you will need from the store:

  • 1 pack Whole Wheat Flat bread (I bought Toufayan @ $2.49)
  • 1 bunch Spinach ($1.99)
  • 1 lime ($.89)
  • 1 red onion ($1.43)
  • Laughing Cow French Onion Cheese ($4.49)
  • 1 6oz container Chobani FF greek yogurt ($1.25)
  • BBQ sauce of choice (I bought Lip Lickin’ Sauce $2.19)
  • Cabot xtra sharp cheddar ($2.99)
  • 1 can black beans ($.89)
  • 2 Sweet potatoes ($.90)

  

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I spent sometime reading labels on BBQ sauce… Several of them had HFCS listed as the first ingredient. This one had the best looking ingredients list out of the choices. Plus it was the last one left, which I usually take as a sign that it must be good <img src=”http://redheadrecipes.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_wink.gif”>

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And it was!! Sweet, slightly tangy, and smoky!!!

Have you guys seen all the great Laughing Cow flavors they’ve come out with?!? I want to try the new Light Sun Dried Tomato and Basil tossed with pasta!! (maybe this should be my next under $20.00 meal?!?)

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Directions:

**Note: I only prepared enough for 2 since it is just my husband and I, but there is enough of all of the ingredients to easily make enough for a family of four!

Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into small cubes. Dice about 1/3 of the red onion. Add sweet potato and red onion to a saute pan with about 1/2 Tb of oil. Cook, covered, for about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until swt potato and onions are soft. You may need to add a few splashes of water to keep the veggies from sticking to the pan.

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While the swt pot and onions are cooking, Shmear 1 laughing cow french onion wedge onto each piece of flat bread (You can use plain or any other flavor if french onion isn’t your thing)

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Now add 1 Tb of BBQ sauce to each flat bread–>

 

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Once the sweet potato/onion mixture is cooked through, add beans (~1/4 cup per person). Chop a BIG handful of spinach and add to the saute pan. Gently toss veggies/bean mixture until beans are heated through and Spinach is wilted.

Top flat bread with veggies mixture–>

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Add 1/2-1 ounce fresh grated cheddar and pop it into the oven set to ‘Broil’ for about 2-3 minutes, just until cheese is melted and the flat bread is heated though–>

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While the cheese melts, zest lime and set aside. Mix together the greek yogurt + lime juice (1/2 of lime and greek yogurt for 2 people, whole lime and whole container of chobani for 4 people)

Serve on top of flat bread pizza and sprinkle with lime zest–>

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This was SO tasty and it came together SO quickly!

I cut mine into fourths and served it like pizza!

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Wondering what to do with the leftover stuff??

How about Spinach & Grilled cheese samwiches

OR

Lightly Process the leftover beans with walnuts for a healthy Spin on a Tex Mex Salad

OR

Try the sweet potato, spinach and black bean mixture in your favorite Burr
ito recipe

OR

Create these AH.Mazing BBQ Turkey Nachos

**Click HERE for more quick & Easy 30 minutes or less weeknight meals!**

Copy & Pasta Recipe + Directions

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Flat Bread Pizza

What you will need from the store:

  • 1 pack Whole Wheat Flat bread (I bought Toflouyan @ $2.49)
  • 1 bunch Spinach ($1.99)
  • 1 lime ($.89)
  • 1 red onion ($1.43)
  • Laughing Cow French Onion Cheese ($4.49)
  • 1 6oz container Chobani FF greek yogurt ($1.25)
  • BBQ sauce of choice (I bought Lip Lickin’ Sauce $2.19)
  • Cabot xtra sharp cheddar ($2.99)
  • 1 can black beans ($.89)
  • 2 Sweet potatoes ($.90)

Directions:

1. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into small cubes. Dice about 1/3 of the red onion. Add sweet potato and red onion to a saute pan with about 1/2 Tb of oil. Cook, covered, for about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until swt potato and onions are soft. You may need to add a few splashes of water to keep the veggies from sticking to the pan.

2. While the swt pot and onions are cooking, Shmear 1 laughing cow french onion wedge onto your flat bread (You can use plain or any other flavor if french onion isn’t your thing). Now add 1 Tb of BBQ sauce to each flat bread.

3. Once the sweet potato/onion mixture is cooked through, add beans (~1/4 cup per person). Chop a BIG handful of spinach and add to the saute pan. Gently toss veggies/bean mixture until beans are heated through and Spinach is wilted. Top flat bread with veggies mixture.

4. Add 1/2-1 ounce fresh grated cheddar and pop it into the oven set to ‘Broil’ for about 2-3 minutes, just until cheese is melted and the flat bread is heated though.

5. While the cheese melts, zest lime and set aside. Mix together the greek yogurt + lime juice (1/2 of lime and greek yogurt for 2 people, whole lime and whole container of chobani for 4 people). Serve on top of flat bread pizza and sprinkle with lime zest.

ENJOY!