Thursday, August 20, 2015

fall favorites & terminix reader discount

oh man, has august been humid or what? if it's not raining, then there's an 80 percent chance and an oppressive amount of moisture in the air. i don't know about you, but i'm ready for fall, so today i'm teaming up with terminix to talk about some of the things i'm most looking forward to about autumn. and if you followed me throughout my mosquito free summer and feel inspired to enjoy your home and yard more in the coming months, terminix is giving readers $25 off their initial service for any new pest control or mosquito management annual contract. you can get my reader discount here, but please note that this offer is only valid for the next month (through september 30, 2015) so don't wait too long to sign up! and check out my fall favorites below:

september issues
whether you're into fashion or food, september always ushers in a season of change. out come the coats and jeans, followed by pumpkin spice lattes, pies and soups. i was really excited to get my hands on a copy of lucky peach's fall issue when we were in nashville (more details on our trip to come). dubbed the fantasy issue, it features some of the country's next best restaurants, surreal meals, and even harry potter's favorite flavors. i can't wait to read this on saturday mornings with some tea on the front porch.

chai tea
and speaking of tea, september ushers in chai tea season for me. sure, you can have an iced chai, but something about hot chai is so comforting. this trader joe's mix really helps you keep a few dollars in your pocket instead of always going to starbucks, and i like to use almond milk to keep it a little lighter. plus, it's super quick and easy to make.

i love to knit. it's another one of my old-lady habits (along with always being cold and a penchant for gin and tonics) that i just can't deny. this mustard color yarn is perfect for fall, and the giant needles help make the work go much faster (i picked these up from craft south).  it's so nice to sit outside, have a beer and do something with your hands after staring at a computer screen all day at work. it really helps you unwind.

photo hunts
of course when the leaves change, that becomes prime instagram season. justin got me this retro instax mini a while back, and it's so gratifying to actually have physical pictures again! sure, it takes a little while to remember how to use manual settings, but understanding them has actually helped my iphone photography a lot too. i'd suggest buying a few practice rolls of film and honing your skills around your yard as the trees and light start to change.

what are your fall favorites? i'd love to hear. and don't forget to use my reader discount if you're thinking about signing up for a mosquito treatment with terminix this fall. you can also read more about my mosquito free summer here.

*fine print: service must be in TSI service area. not valid on existing service or with any other offer.

all thoughts and opinions are my own. thank you for supporting the sponsors who make this blog possible!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

competition dining series | 02

the premilinary round of the greenville competition dining series has wrapped up, and i am really excited to tell you that i will be a media judge at one of the quarterfinal battles taking place next week. i would love it if you would join me on august 26th at larkins sawmill to try some off-the-menu food from two great local chefs. remember, audience votes count for 70% of the scoring, so your vote has a lot of sway. chef teryi youngblood of passerelle bistro will be competing against cheff todd warden of the cliffs valley, and if that isn’t enticing enough already, check out what they made for the last round:

chef youngblood: battle pepper steak 
secret ingredients: tega hills farm certified angus beef and pennell barn peppers

course 1 – pennell barn bell peppers stuffed with certified angus beef brand sirloin flap rillete, warm potato salad & tega hills farm pepper jelly

course 2 – seared certified angus beef brand sirloin flap, pepper-corn-cauliflower succotash, black garlic demi, pennell barn bell pepper confetti

course 3 – white peach - pepper sorbet, fresh berry-jalapeño salsa, pennell barn sweet pepper cornmeal beignet, “salt & pepper” caramel

chef warden: battle pork belly, heirloom tomatoes and sorghum syrup molasses
secret ingredients: heritage farms cheshire pork, pennell barn tomatoes, harrell hill farms sorghum

course 1 – southern BLT: pennell barn jalapeno cornbread, harrell hill farm sorghum candied benton's bacon, pennell barn heirloom tomatoes, smoked corn aioli, aged balsamic, rocket arugula

course 2 – harrell hill farm sorghum glazed heritage farms cheshire pork belly, shanghai candied shiitakes, ginger tomato jam, coldwater creek grits, shaved green onion, red cabbage slaw, sorghum demi-glaze

course 3 – sweet basil genoise sponge, tomato mousse, heritage farms cheshire pork belly cracklin’s, bourbon sorghum syrup

get tickets to next wednesday’s dinner here, and learn more about competition dining's secret ingredients and involvement with regional farmers and chefs here. if you end up getting tickets, leave a comment or tweet at me (@suzannah_howell)!

images via competition dining

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

midweek inspiration

i am loving this print by marc johns. says the artist: "i drew this as a reminder for myself. everybody has bad days and bad weeks and bad months and things don't always go the way we want them to and we start to feel like it's always going to be crappy from now on for ever and ever but it's not. hang in there. super duper is around the corner." available for purchase here.

image via marc johns

Monday, August 10, 2015

wolf hills brewing co.

if you ever find yourself in abingdon, virginia, you definitely have to stop by wolf hills brewing co. southwestern virginia is actually only 3 hours away from greenville, just a short stretch past asheville. who knew? not me, and i'm a native virginian! the drive up is absolutely gorgeous too, and the mountains get a little bigger once you're into tenneessee. i'd love to drive around up there once the leaves change...anyways, the brewery is a super cool spot right along the creeper trail (a bike trail sort of like the swamp rabbit here) in an old house right by the train tracks. i know trains go everywhere, but they always remind me of virginia for some reason, and we saw at least 3 go by while we were there. inside, there are christmas lights covering the entire ceiling, a stage for bands to play on, and every piece of wolf memorabilia they could get their hands on. if you have seen a picture of my dog houdini, you will understand why i loved this place - it's just kitsch enough to make you giggle and buy a wolf t-shirt. they also have a lot of fun games like bumper pool, which i did not know existed, and giant jenga. the staff is really friendly, and oh yeah, the beer is good too! i liked the hefeweizen and the honey cream ale, but i'd love to go back and do a flight to try a few more. they honey cream ale uses four pounds per barrel of pure appalachian honey, and the sip i had of the banana but bread was spot on too. they keep 12 beers on tap, and you can find their cans around virginia too. have you ever been to southwestern virginia? that was actually only my third time going ever. i'd love to know what else is good there!

wolf hills brewing co.
350 park street, southeast, abingdon, va 24210


Thursday, August 6, 2015

chattanooga, tn

last week, life took me on an impromptu trip to chattanooga, tenneesee. since i hadn’t been planning the trip (or the destination for that matter), i had no idea what to expect. i had heard that chattanooga was a little bit like greenville on steroids — a bike friendly city on a river with a vibrant downtown. while i didn’t have time to check out nearly as much as would i have liked (like inside the art museum for example), here’s what i recommend hitting up if you are ever passing through the area:

this museum is so cool from the outside. it’s composed of two buildings: a very traditional colonial mansion and very modern building that’s reminiscent of frank gehry. the buildings are perched high upon a cliff that over looks down into the river. it is absolutely gorgeous. we took a stroll here around sunset, and i would recommend this view over lookout mountain (right photo in the header) because that area can get a little touristy with the incline railway, although there are some very beautiful old houses up there. case in point: we saw someone being proposed to here, it’s that nice. (and yes, we hid in the bushes and cheered when she said yes.)

walnut street bridge
there also two bridges right by the museum. one is a glass foot bridge that will make your stomach do a somersault and back flip when you look down. the bridge is split into three sections: opaque, metal and clear. and when you look down through the clear one, you are right on top of several lanes of traffic. it had me running across to the other side. walnut street bridge is a beautiful old structure that spans the river. it was full of people running, going on dates, etc.

hit up milk & honey for breakfast. it’s across the river, and the most charming place. it is covered in black and white penny tile and has yellow bar stools…even outside! the inside is covered in a cool chalk board, and i highly recommend the breakfast sandwich and iced chai. i wish we had had time to explore this part of town a little more because i saw a few other cute restaurants and shops that looke worth investigating.

if you love brunch, maple street biscuit company was made for you. their bottomless coffee is spot on (they even have maple simple syrup for the iced coffee!) and the hash browns were to die for — think big, salty chunks of ham. when you place your order, you have to give them the name of your childhood best friend, which seasons your food with a dash of nostalgia. this is some heavy southern food, so while they have vegetarian options, there’s no fruit on side, and you better like sausage gravy.

don’t the name fool you, public house is not your typical bar. public house is like someone invited you to dinner on their tennessee veranda with all of the beautiful natural light pouring into the place. the menu features fresh meat/fish and seasonal veggies with a southern twist (get the squash casserole as a side) and some awesome cocktails, with everything from absinthe to gin and something called the zombie, which you’re only allowed to order two of.


Monday, August 3, 2015

competition dining series comes to greenville

everyone knows that greenville has great food, but living in a smaller city, we have fewer pop ups and tasting menus than some of our larger neighbors. that’s all about to change though because Competition Dining Series is kicking off tonight at Larkin’s Sawmill. if you’ve always dreamed of a greenville version of chopped, this is something you’ll definitely want to check out. 

the series is a single-elimination tournament with a goal of highlighting the best regional food and culinary talent. 14 chefs from around north and south carolina will be gathering in greenville over the new few weeks to compete against each other. each night, two chef teams will battle it out over three courses, and the morning of each competition, a surprise local ingredient will be revealed. chefs are not allowed to cook anything from their menu or any of their signature dishes in order to protect the anonymity of the competitors. chefs can only use ingredients from the competition’s mobile pantry, and they are encouraged to use as many local ingredients as possible. also, chefs are not restricted to the traditional appetizer, entree, dessert format and can create whatever courses they feel best showcase the ingredient. attendees will savor a full-service, six-course meal, without knowing which chef prepared which dishes, and will then rate them all through an app on their phone. judges are made up of “pros” and “joes,” so unlike TV, your opinion counts, and it counts for a lot — 70% of scoring in fact.

the series will take place from august 3rd through september 7th. tickets range from $55 to $75 each, and can be purchased up until the day before a battle. get yours here and check out the first round of chef match ups below to see if your favorite restaurant is competing.

august 3rd: anne v. young of the starving artist café in easley, versus damion norton of professional catering in greenville

august 4th: jennifer barone of stellar restaurant & wine bar in greenville, versus ryan kline of buffalo nickel in asheville

august 10th: blake hartwick of bonterra dining & wine room in charlotte, versus francis turck of the cliffs at keowee vineyards in salem

august 11th: charlie brown of local cue in greenville, versus eden roorda of onefiftyone boutique bar & kitchen at hotel indigo in asheville

august 17th: todd warden of the cliffs valley in greenville, versus nohe weir-villatoro of king james public house in asheville

august 18th: samuel murry of 21 east in greenville, versus teryi youngblood of passerelle bistro in greenville

august 19th: bo wilder of henry’s smokehouse in greenville, versus august 3rd winner

august 24th: edward a. wallace of adventures in taste in easley, versus august 11th winner

larkins sawmill 
22 graves drive, greenville, sc 29609