Category Archives: recipes

Fierce Fireplace Ideas

We seem to be on winter lock down here in Charleston so here on some warm ideas for cozying up by the fire even if you don’t have one!

A vent free, instant fireplace:

Wall Mounted Ventless Fireplace

Anywhere Fireplace

A more traditional look:

Gabrielle Ventless Firplace

Real Flame

Burning pine cones, balls, and gems instead of fake logs in an existing gas fireplace:

Pine Cones Vented Fireplace

Woodland Direct

Rasmussen FireBall fireplace

Woodland Direct


CG Products

Some fabulous pits for an outdoor fire with room for your toddy:

Outdoor gas firepit


Wood Burning modern firepit


Here’s a yummy warming sipper from

Hot Buttered Vanilla Rum

  • 1 1/2  cups  water
  • 2  tablespoons  sugar
  • 1  vanilla bean
  • 1  (2-inch) piece lemon rind
  • 1  cup  dark rum
  • 1  tablespoon  butter

Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 15 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl, reserving liquid; discard solids. Return water mixture to pan. Add rum and butter to pan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until butter melts. Serve immediately.

Mr. H says: Winter gives us the luxury in thinking that there is so little to do-Enjoy!

Happy Holiday

On our last post before Christmas here is an easy table top idea that you can literally gather from your yard and produce stand-Pine cones, greenery and pomegranates. Festive!

Here’s our Christmas Day menu:

Spinach Salad with Champagne Dressing

Herb Crusted Standing Rib Roast

Roasted Potatoes and Carrots

Lemon Broccoli

Assorted cookies, small cakes and baklava

This week we had some fun celebrity sightings.  At last nights College of Charleston’s men’s basketball game, we saw Representative Tim Scott

Tim Scott

Actor and comedian Bill Murray (who happened to like my scarf!)

Bill Murray Charleston

And best of all The Pig (In a santa hat-so cute!)

The Pig Charleston SC

Not in the holiday spirit yet?  Drive by our house and check out Snoopy in the front yard.   Sure to make any Scrooge smile.

Inflatable Christmas Snoopy

Mr. H says: On Christmas, the joy that you give to others, is the joy that comes back to you-Enjoy!

Easy Thanksgiving centerpieces

As you finish up the shopping, cooking and cleaning, the last thing on your mind may be decorating the table for the big event.  Fear not, here is a cool selection of easy and inexpensive centerpiece ideas that will make your table so festive that tom turkey may not take center stage this year!

White pumpkins and candles

Gourds and moss balls

Gourds under glass
Herbs and candlelight

This is the recipe I’m using with the turkey leftovers:

White Bean Turkey Chili

  • 1  tablespoon  canola oil
  • 2  cups  diced yellow onion (about 2 medium)
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  chili powder
  • 1  tablespoon  minced garlic
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 3  (15.8-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3  cups  chopped cooked turkey
  • 1/2  cup  diced seeded plum tomato (about 1)
  • 1/3  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 8  lime wedges (optional)

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 10 minutes or until tender and golden. Add chili powder, garlic, and cumin; sauté for 2 minutes. Add oregano and beans; cook for 30 seconds. Add broth; bring to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes.

Place 2 cups of bean mixture in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan. Add turkey, and cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat. Add diced tomato, chopped cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper, stirring well. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

Mr. H says: Thanksgiving is the one day that is uniquely American and its important to  give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way-Enjoy!

Welcome Fall!

Fall officially starts today at 11:09PM tonight.  With the temp’s still saying summer-why not get in the spirit with a festive new arrangement for the dining table?

Distinctive Design Autumn mix

Distinctive Design

This beauty certainly feels like fall.  It’s from Distinctive Designs

Speaking of dining here is what’s on the supper party menu tonight:

Roasted Red Pepper Soup*

Lime Marinated Broiled Salmon

Squash Casserole

Mesclun greens with tomato vinaigrette

Chocolates and fresh Orange slices

*Roasted Red Pepper Soup Recipe

4 cups beef broth

2 12 oz. jars roasted red peppers, chopped
1 onion thinly sliced
3 TBL lemon juice
1 TBL lemon zest

¼ TSP cinnamon

Shake of cayenne pepper
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped

In a 3- to 4-quart pan combine beef broth, peppers, onion, lemon juice and zest, cinnamon and cayenne and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes partially covered.

Puree soup in a blender and return to pan.  Add cilantro and reheat.

Mr. H says: Eating is an indoor sport-make sure your table is as pleasant as the game-Enjoy!