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Category: The Munch

The Munch is all about the things I make, bake, create and cook.  Sometimes it is a simple little thing and other times a complete meal.  If it’s worth making it is worth sharing.

Fennel Orange & Arugula Salad

Why I only buy fennel when its warm outside is beyond me. I love this herb/vegetable and the mild, anise flavor that it brings to any salad. A few years back at an olive oil tasting it was served on its own with just a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. It was then that I realized that fennel could be the star or focal point of a salad as well. I have been craving fennel for a few weeks now, and so it seemed like the perfect time to make up a salad for my lunch.…

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Spring Green Tomato Salad

Growing up we had a garden in the backyard and there was always tomato plants. Inevitably a few green tomatoes would be picked so we could make fried green tomato sandwiches. Thinly sliced, dredged in flour then fried in butter until crispy. Stack the slices between to buttered pieces of white bread and we were off to the races. During tomato season this was always what we did in summer before the ripening started. Gary and I decided to try our hand at growing a tomato plant in a container this year. We may have started it a bit late since tomato…

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Easy Last Minute Appetizer & Gifts for Mom

Recently I had a couple of situations when I needed to make an appetizer for a party or event. The ask came up last minute, and so I needed to scramble to find something that would be quick and easy.  I have two quickies for you. Sandwiched between the recipes, I figured that some of you may still have some shopping to do for your mom. I have a few affordable wine gifts for your last minute Mother’s Day shopping. Easy Appetizer: Velveeta Sausage Dip I am sure that everyone has seen a recipe like this one. My sister really likes to…

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Le Farfalle * Fine Italian Cuisine * Bravo!

Le Farfalle has been open for 18 months, and I had yet to give it a try. Honestly, new restaurants are opening in Charleston almost every month throughout the year. Some make it, and some don’t because this is a food town and “good” is just not good enough to make it. Le Farfalle came to Charleston with great fanfare, but as we all know hype is not always deserved. So, I usually let a new place get its legs and will wait for the “grand opening crowds” to die out. I will read a few reviews, and listen to…

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Nostalgic Tuna Noodle Casserole

I grew up in a time when the casserole was king. Lately, I have been nostalgic for my mom’s Tuna Noodle Casserole. This meal was always one she could put all together in the morning and bake it off later after volunteering at the community center with her friend Phyllis, selling pool memberships. We all loved this dish so much. It is so simple and filling; just what she needed when raising four kids. Gary was also craving it which meant I had to swap out the mushroom soup with other complementary flavors. I used Cream of Onion and Cream of…

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My All Green Salad is Bright and Flavorful

Don’t you just hate it when so much is happening that it feels like you can never get caught up? Such is where I am today and have been for the past couple of weeks. So yes, I know it has been over two weeks since the Dinner for Ten, but I have to tell you about my all green salad which was the perfect accompaniment to the rich and cheesy lasagna. It is a simple salad with flat leaf parsley as the star of the show. I get so excited when I can make a salad where lettuce takes a back seat.…

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Lasagna Melange: Party of Ten

Last Saturday, it was my turn to host a group of friends who gather to drink wine and have dinner at each other’s home. I bumped up attendance by adding my two sisters and Bryan & Craig, so instead of the usual six, we had ten. With wine school that morning I knew that my time was going to be restricted, so I needed to make a one-pan dinner and lasagna is always a great dish to serve. My sisters also volunteered to assist. One did appetizers, and the other did dessert. Whew, that saved me a tremendous amount of time.…

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Charleston Wine and Food Festival – Part 2

I know it has been a couple of weeks since the Charleston Wine and Food Festival ended but I still wanted to share my experience in the Culinary Village because it is such an essential aspect of the festival. So here is my take on the Village. Let me say from the outset that I had a blast on Sunday and I will definitely be back next year. There are a few aspects of the Culinary Village where I offer what I hope is seen as constructive criticism. That by no means is a bad thing just my humble opinion…

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Happy Hour Appetizers…

…When There is No Time Last Friday, Gary and I had our neighbor and dear friend Natalie over for Happy Hour. It had been months since we had some quality time with just her. But On Friday, the planets aligned and we had nothing on our schedule, and she was kid and boyfriend free. Now don’t get any ideas her kids are amazing, and we love them like our own, and we like her boyfriend too, but we were craving some “Nat time.”  So the three of us got comfy in our three season room (aka Church of the Screened in Porch)…

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Chicken That Rocks: Dinner for Six Part Two

Last week I shared with you the French Onion Panade which was the first course in my Dinner for Six. Below are the other two dishes that I prepared. This chicken recipe is super easy and because it needs to marinate you can get started on it the day before. And those wedges, OMG, they also could not be easier. Both dishes are perfect with the yogurt sauce. Yes, there is a salad on the plate as well. It was just mixed greens and sliced pears. My vinaigrette was olive oil, lemon and white balsamic vinegar with a smidge of salt.…

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Joey Tomatoes Rocks The Italian Deli

As someone “from Off,” (aka not being from Charleston) I used to laugh when Charlestonians would say they never go to Mount Pleasant. It is just too far.  It’s 10 miles to Whole Foods and 15 miles to the nicest shopping mall in the area if you still do that sort of thing. So really it is “not far.” But now after 14 years, I have found myself saying the same thing. That is until I found Joey Tomatoes. They say “the best Italian deli south of Jersey.” And since the owners are from New Jersey, they may be biased, but they…

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Dinner for Six Part One: First Course

This past weekend Gary and I had two couples over for dinner. I had several recipes I wanted to try and needed a few guinea pigs. Enter Bryan & Craig and Shawn & Michael. For me, this was an all-day affair as I just decided what yo make on Friday morning and I needed to get to the store asap. But my Friday was a hot mess with a wine delivery by UPS that I had to sign for so I could not leave the house until it arrived. And that was at 4:30p and I had to pick Gary up at…

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Crispy, Crunchy, Easy, …, Swiss Fondue Bites

If you have been following me for very long you have quickly learned that I love cheese and bread. I can never get enough of either. And they both are perfect with wine. While I do not eat it often the epitome of this pair is fondue. But I never eat fondue because it is a big pain in the butt and can be very messy. Decades ago at a party, had an appetizer that was a baked cheddar bread bite that was amazing and I have never forgotten it. I never was able to find a recipe so it…

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Cooking Ribs Experiment

I recently saw a post on Pinterest that suggested cooking ribs in your crock pot. I thought that seemed crazy, but I was intrigued. So I headed to Costco to buy some St. Louis-style pork ribs as it the author suggests because they are a meatier rib. There was no grilling here. This is all about indoor cooking.Keep reading below to see how they turned out as compared to cooking in the oven. Cooking Ribs Two Ways – Which was better? I know, cooking ribs in a crock pot. Who would have thought? The stated reason on the Pinterest board…

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