Friday, September 13, 2013

Frog Hollow Tavern

Last night, my maternal grandmother (Reece) and her husband (Don) came to visit us in Augusta! It was really nice to spend time with them, and we shared a lovely meal at a restaurant downtown... in fact, the parent restaurant of Farmhaus Burger. So, of course it was good!

Frog Hollow Tavern was fabulous in nearly every way. My only complaint would be the noise level. This restaurant was jamming! Every single table was filled the entire time we were there. Awesome for them, but occasionally frustrating when trying to chat with those whose hearing isn't quite as sharp as it once was ;)

Our meal was delish.  So delish in fact, that all I managed to get a photo of was this bottle of pinot grigio... which was one of the best I have ever had!

I had seared grouper with a fantastic okra, black eyed pea, tomato and corn succotash, while my husband had the most decadent looking shrimp and grits. We also shared a bowl of mussels, which were spectacular.

The concept of the restaurant is very farm-to-table. The freshness of the ingredients was evident in everything we tasted (including the homemade bread... wow!). We will definitely be returning!

PS- I realize that this blog is becoming somewhat of a running restaurant review... my apologies! Between my husband's schedule and my classes, activities more exciting than a nice meal are a rarity these days. Never fear, as soon as more blog-worthy events take place, y'all will be the first to know!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Farmhaus Burger

We've discussed previously my quest for veggie burger perfection. While in Seattle, I found a strong contestant at Lunchbox Laboratory... I might have even said that it was the best!
 However, my husband and I went on a date to Farmhaus Burger in Augusta, GA this past weekend, and their "Organic Sea Island Red Pea Veggie Patty" might have moved into first place.

 Before you call me a fair-weather fan, let me explain. Lunchbox Lab was retro-tastic and Farmhaus was farm-to-table with all the southern fixin's. Guess which one stole the heart of this Carolina/Virginia/Florida girl? I can't help myself. Any place that lets me put pimento cheese on a veggie burger has to be #1 in my book. If you don't understand that... well, bless your heart ;) 

This is it... organic whole wheat bun, veggie burger, lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapenos, and pimento cheese. 
So fresh and so perfect! 

We shared the french fries with a feta dip. Yummy.

This was my husband's burger, called the Farmstyle: beef burger topped with smoked gouda, bacon, and a fried egg. He thought it was fantastic!

We ate at the bar so we could watch some NCAA football :)

After dinner, we shared a 'boozy' shake. They had several choices, but we picked the Farmhaus Cherry: vanilla ice cream, bourbon, amaretto, and brandied cherries. Woah... just when I thought our date couldn't get any better! The amaretto was the cherry on top of this cherry shake. Yum!!

I won't be able to live with myself if we don't support this local business a couple more times before our stay in GA ends!

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Wonderful Yoga-Date

When I was in Jacksonville, FL, this past week, I was able to spend some time catching up with my favorite yoga instructor and sweet friend, Lisa! What did we do? Yoga, of course!

We went to a BEAUTIFUL practice at Lotus Yoga (thanks Bethany!)... This 'moving meditation' was so fabulous in fact that even the instructor lost track of time, and we ended class a little late. Obviously, there were no complaints coming from me. This was my first time going to Lotus, and I can't wait to go back!

After class, we headed over to The Bold Bean for a chai tea with steamed soymilk. Maybe a little stereotypical yogi of us, but it was fantastic. The perfect end to a perfect morning.

I will be repeating this scenario ASAP... good for the soul! 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Garlic Veggie Pizza

This is my new favorite pizza of all time. Forever. No matter what.

Actually that is probably not true at all, but this pizza is REALLY good! I made it with my MIL when I was in FL this past week, and she liked it as much as I did (which is a lot, obviously)! 
I just thought you might want a little verification that cashews on pizza is a super idea... because it is.

First off, let me apologize for not taking process pictures.  There are quite a few steps to making this pizza as delicious as possible, and I just got way too excited to remember to take pictures. Next time, I promise!

Pizza Dough*
2 heads of fresh garlic, all cloves removed and peeled
4 serrano peppers
Olive oil
1 bell pepper (red, orange or green works), thinly sliced into strips
1 tomato, thinly sliced and then placed on paper towels to help drain excess moisture
1 large handful of fresh baby spinach
Unsalted cashews, very roughly chopped
Goat cheese
Mozzarella cheese (optional)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

*Note: I used a store-bought fresh dough that I split and made into two 8(ish) inch crusts. You can make your own or buy it, but when you roll or toss the dough out, it should be relatively thin.

First, you need to prep the 'sauce' for the pizza, which will be a delicious blend of garlic and serrano peppers.

Place all of the garlic cloves in a small saucepan. Cover completely with olive oil (I know it will seem like a lot, but you can save it and re-use it as garlic oil... yum!). Turn the burner on the lowest setting and let the garlic gently cook (confit) for up to an hour or until all cloves are very tender. 

While the garlic is cooking, char the skins of the serrano peppers. I do this by turning one of the burners of my gas stove on a low setting and placing the peppers over it. Then, using metal tongs, I turn the peppers until the entire exterior is charred. I then place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for a few minutes, until they are cool enough to handle.  This also allows them to steam a little so that the skins are easier to remove.  Then, I remove the skins from the peppers and slice them in half lengthwise so I can remove all the seeds. Scraping them out with a small spoon makes it a quick process and saves your fingers from the hot part of the pepper.

Now that the garlic and peppers are ready, place all of them into a blender with a tablespoon of olive oil. Puree until smooth.  At this point, you can mix as much goat cheese as you like (I'd recommend 2-3 Tbs) into the garlic/pepper mixture, or you can leave the goat cheese separate to sprinkle onto the pizza in chunks. Personally, I recommend the mixing.

Now for assembling the pizza! 

1) Garlic 'sauce' (you should use all of it on two 8 inch pizzas)
2) Goat cheese if you didn't add it to the 'sauce'
3) Mozzarella (optional)
4) Sliced peppers
5) Sliced tomatoes
6) Spinach
7) Cashews
8) Parmesan (optional)

After putting your desired amount of these ingredients on your pizza in this order (pretty important), place the pizza in a 425 degree oven for 12ish minutes, or until as golden brown as you desire.... just don't let your cashews get too toasty!

Let it rest for a minute or two after it comes out of the oven if you can... I couldn't resist slicing right into it. Heavenly... 

Where the Heck Am I?

This thought pops up in my head rather frequently these days... I think it might have to do with the fact that we've stayed at least one night (usually many more) in 13 hotels this year.  That doesn't include any of the homes or the 5 more hotels we will add to the list before 2013 comes to a close. Needless to say, it is occasionally difficult for me to quickly remember that we are currently living in Augusta, Georgia.

We arrived less than a week ago for my husband to begin his general surgery rotation here at Eisenhower Medical Center on Fort Gordon.  It is very hot here. Our hotel room has many pros and cons... so far, the cons have the upper hand. However, the air conditioning is working beautifully! Hallelujah!

While my husband was busy settling in at the hospital, I went down to Florida for a couple of days to visit with my in-laws. I got my cooking, wine and yoga fixes before coming back north to GA.

Although there isn't much going on in this area (so it seems to me), I am trying out a new yoga studio this week and will keep you posted :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013


DC Restaurant Week happens twice a year in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia, for those not from these parts), and as a bit of a foodie, it is one of my favorite things about late August.  We always try out a new restaurant and splurge a little on the $35 prix-fixe three course dinner. Some restaurants also participate in a $20 prix-fixe lunch, which is equally as fun.

This week we went to Redwood, and I am SO glad that we did. We've been meaning to try this spot for a very long time, so restaurant week was the perfect excuse. Also, we were celebrating my husband finishing up his psychiatry clerkship. Hallelujah! 6 down, 3 to go!

A few things stood out:

1) The happy hour. We arrived a little early for our reservation, so we went to the bar for a drink. The happy hour menu was very well priced and pretty extensive. We will definitely be going back for this.

2) Good service. We were seated outside (by choice), but never felt forgotten. The water glasses were never less than half full.

3) Unique and yummy food.  The menu was a mix of classics as well as more inventive dishes. Everything was delish.

4) Food allergies were labeled. Whether you are vegetarian, gluten-free or have a nut allergy, this restaurant had everything nicely labeled as such. Makes for easy ordering, and definitely a place I would take my in-laws.

The finale of the prix-fixe meal- chocolate peanut butter cake and chocolate mousse with strawberries.
Just lovely...  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sour Cream Pancakes

Alrighty, y'all... as promised, here is my recipe for the best ever sour cream pancakes! Seriously, since I started making these a few years ago, my husband won't ever order pancakes when we go out to breakfast because they are never this good.

However, don't be shocked out of your britches by how ridiculously thick these pancakes are... we aren't making crepes here, people!!

Side note: I really hope this recipe converts some of those Bisquick or other mix users out there. It really is SO easy to make pancakes from scratch, and this way, you have total control of sodium, sugar and fat content! Also, I haven't tried it yet, but I bet this recipe would work wonderfully with gluten-free flour!

1 Cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs sugar
2-4 Tbs flaxseed meal (optional, just to add a little more nutritional value/fiber)
1 large egg (or two egg whites)
1/2 Cup sour cream (fat free, low fat and regular all work)
1/3 Cup skim milk (plus a splash or two)
2 Tbs oil

Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk vigorously for about 15 seconds, until everything is combined.  The batter should be very thick, but not doughy. If the batter seems doughy or tough, add a splash of milk or two.

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium low heat. Coat pan with a little butter or cooking spray. Add about 1/3 of the batter to the pan, and spread into a 4 inch circle with the back of your spoon.  These pancakes take a little while to cook, so be patient. Keep the heat on low/medium low and wait until bubble start to form and the edges begin to look dry before flipping.

This recipe makes 3 hearty, yet light and fluffy, pancakes... you REALLY don't need more than one! Each should end up being a 5 inch circle that is about 1/2-3/4 of an inch thick.  Serve with real maple syrup!