black bean hummus.

Sunday night, D threw together philly cheeseteak stuffed peppers using ribye instead of roast beef and they were amazing. I should just let him do all the cooking.

For a starter, I made black bean hummus. It was oh-so-good and D has now decided we never need to buy hummus again. We’ll just throw everything in the world together with a little bit of tahini and what could possibly go wrong? (I’m guessing if I’m the one doing the mixing the answer is probably a lot.)

Black Bean Hummus

1 clove garlic
1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Crush garlic clove and place in food processor.
2. Add black beans, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper; process until smooth.
3. Serve with pita chips.


D liked it so much he put it on his sandwich on Monday. He said it was better a day later. Can’t wait to make this delicious – and cheap – healthy treat again soon!

appetizers for girl’s weekend.

This weekend I spent on a staycation with the girls. On Saturday, while we were laying around the house for the entire day, I threw a couple appetizers together for all of us. I can’t wait to make them again sometime and play around with them.

Baked Brie with Jezebel Peaches


1 tablespoon hot jalapeno pepper jelly
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard – Or whatever kind of mustard you can find. Dry mustard will even work.
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large ripe peach, peeled and diced
1 Brie round
Assorted crackers


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first 4 ingredients; gently stir in peaches until coated.
2. Unwrap Brie; trim and discard rind from top.
3. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Spoon peach mixture over Brie, mounding slightly. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Carefully transfer box to a platter, and serve immediately with crackers.


Jalapeno Popper Crescent Rolls


1 package of crescent rolls
1 jalapeno
cream cheese


1. Combine diced jalapeno and 2-3 slices of cooked bacon broken into small pieces. Mix with cream cheese.
2. Fill mixture in crescent rolls and roll up or ball them like wontons.
3. Cook according to package instructions.

crescent rolls

taking off the skirt.

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time playing in my apartment and D’s house and trying to make small improvements where I can.

Inspired by Little Green Notebook and Yellow Brick Home, I got it in my head recently that I wanted to take the skirt off of one of D’s favorite things in the world … his 70s couch. I checked to make sure it had wooden legs – score! – and then grabbed the scissors.


I am so pleased with it it’s ridiculous. Eventually, I’d like to use some of the fabric I removed to fix one of the buttons that’s missing. That’ll be a project for another rainy day.

In the meantime, I’m buying spray paint and new hardware and gearing up for a few projects of my own. So stay tuned.

first thursday on main.

Last night we headed to First Thursday on Main for the first time. It was … not quite what I expected (which was, to be honest, a spread out Thursday night Soda City of sorts). But it was fun, probably thanks to good company.

When I read the lineup for the night I knew I wanted to swing by The Whig to check out Swamp Cabbage Brewing Company. I tried the golden blonde (which was pretty light and bland for me) and my brother had the ESB (which was delicious). We also feasted on a couple of appetizers which were delicious as well.

Feta Pesto Dip with Toasted Feta

Chipotle Pimento Cheese Fries

It has been forever since I’ve been to The Whig and it was just as good if not even better than I remembered. I can’t wait to sneak back. I love the feeling of getting lost in a whole-in-the-wall and not knowing what time it is when you leave – or even if it’s still daylight. That’s just what The Whig promises.

We walked on down Main Street when we left. D scooped up a couple of brats from The Wurst Wagen and I a Thomas Creek Dockside Pilsner.

It was a fun night in Columbia and something different for a change — which I’m always a big fan of.

splurge or save: every brother is a superhero.

About a month ago, an old friend of mine asked for my help for painting something for her son’s bedroom. She’d found what she wanted from Pottery Barn but didn’t like the background color and asked me if I could do it “fire engine red”, as we dubbed it.





I prefer the look of the vertical boards and tried to make it a bit more masculine with the font. It’s fun to save a friend some money and add a little personal touch to their house, too!

venturing out.

Friday evening, the gang headed to dinner at a Mexican joint we’d never patronized before — Santa Fe Mexican Grill.

I’d read about Santa Fe Mexican Grill in the Free Times and knew it was right up our alley. A hole-in-the-wall on Decker Boulevard? How had we not been there before?

When we pulled up, I realized I’d been to that location before back when I lived off of Decker about 15 years ago when it was an Asian restaurant called The Orient.

Santa Fe was delicious, fresh, and authentic. One gentleman who came up to us and asked if we were there because we’d read about it in the Free Times was kind enough to explain the menu to us (and how to order off off the menu) and then told us that they’d been coming there every Friday for the past 10 years.

Saturday night, the gang ventured out again. This time to Blue Cactus for my first adventure there ever. Considering they’ve been open for 20 years, that fact alone should be shocking. I’ve walked by it more times than I could possibly begin to count.

Mary Beth ordered a delicious appetizer for us (and one I can rarely pass up).

Krab Puffs – krab meat, cream cheese and green onion in a deep fried wonton skin served with hot mustard and duck sauce.

Then, D laughed as I ordered a quesadilla at a Korean Mexican restaurant but hey, I figured it was safe for a first timer.

Chicken Quesadilla – filling of choice with 1/2 pound white cheese in flour tortilla served with salsa. (fillings – sausage, chicken, spicy pork, ropa vieja beef, veggies, tofu or red/black beans.)
The service was incredible – and super kind! We also learned that you can BYOB which, well, is pretty awesome. Especially in Columbia, SC. I’ll definitely be going that route in the future.
It was a fun weekend of escaping our comfort zone – and back yards – and getting some good eats at the same time!