drinkin’ on the job…with some “boom magic”

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 We are still at the cocktailin’! Here’s our latest contribution to TALKGreenville

There’s a new kid in town…and she brought some boom magic with her! Tacozzini is the new happenin spot in the heart of the Augusta Road area that by all accounts is both awesome and unexpectedowner Amy Rinkowski’s definition of “boom magic”. It’s the perfect spot to duck in after some holiday party-hoppin’ for a relaxing end to a hectic day (or maybe you need a mid-day pick-me-up…a respite from all the shoppin’…just sayin’).  While Amy has had her hands in the restaurant biz for quite a while, this is the first “baby” of her very own…with a menu created in her very imaginative head where tacos and pizza sit side-by-side, and hand-crafted cocktails get their own unique spin. We like where she’s goin with this!

And speaking of those hand-crafted, inventive cocktails, these folks are adamant about a full 2 ounce pour with the spirits and carefullymeasured ingredients to ensure a consistent product every time!  We just love precision in cocktailin’!

 

photo by Nathan Gray

Buchi Hibiscus Tea

All of the handcrafted cocktails here are simply divine. They use only the highest quality ingredients, insuring that you can get a simply-done, tasty beverage without all the fluff that masks any inferior product. With the holidays upon us, it’s vastly important to look out for ourhealth and the Buchi Hibiscus Tea will save you from all the excess of holiday partying. Made with Buchi peach and ginger kombucha (which all by itself is a taste thrill…just sayin’), Tito’s vodka and a hint of hibiscus, this is the perfect answer for all those into health and well-being. You just can’t go wrong with this one!

 

photo by Nathan Gray

The Spinster 

Amy and her husband married in Belize, and on the marriage license he is identified as a bachelor while Amy is documented as spinster (defined as an older woman well past the suitable age for marriage  which by the way is a hoot, as there is nothing old or unsuitable about this firecracker of a gal!) She decided to pay homage to this quite hysterical Belizian memory with this bit of R&R in a glass. Rum Haven coconut rum (which is made with coconut water) is blended with fresh pineapple juice, a hint of bitters and a dash of simple syrup creating the ideal cocktail to melt the stress away.

photo by Nathan Gray

The Mango Habanero Margarita 

We haven’t tasted a margarita this good in a long time…maybe ever! The flavors are subtle – muddled mango, just a hint of habanero, plenty of lime and Lunazul tequila (which is very good –  100% blue agave – but you can get “top shelf” if you prefer). Even those with tender tastebudswill appreciate the nuances of this well-balanced, muy deliciosa cocktail!


photo by Nathan Gray

tacos-n-pizza…a marriage made in foodie heaven

These aren’t the pizzas you get in Italy or the tacos you get in Mexico…trust us!  These are mind-blowin’, foodie versions that kick the old classics out of the water!  With a focus on flavor and freshness, every bite is a feastin’ fiesta (or festa in italiano).  And, just to one-up your basic pizza once again, Amy found the very best cauliflower crust as a nod to her gluten-free guests, but – to her surprise – it’s flying out the door faster than the regular crust.  We are hard-core fans!

photo by Nathan Gray

Open for lunch and dinner every single dayyes, even Sunday and Monday…Amy might get tired of seeing us!  It’s just too easy to belly up to the bar to enjoy our favorite beverage alongside our current obsession, the Greek Street pizza, or perhaps something off the “not-so-secret secret-menu” (you MUST ask!) and call it a day.  

A resident of the neighborhood herself, Amy wanted a casual, kick-back kind of place where locals could gather, visit, watch a game, and grab a bite & a beverage without an ounce of pretense. Mission accomplished!  #boommagic

  

Tacozzini . 1818 Augusta Street, Suite 120 . Greenville . 

864-568-9289 . tacozzini.com

 


 

 

croquettes fit for a duchess…

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The Duchess of Sussex has scored some major points with us for her involvement in the Hub Community Kitchen’s new cookbook, Together: Our Community Cookbook

HRH the Duchess actually wrote the forward for the book, recounting her experiences with this community of immigrants who were residents of the Grenfell Tower which tragically burned in London in 2017. The Hubb Community Kitchen idea arose out of the need for these families to feel some sense of normalcy…and the all-important need to come together around a table with a home-cooked meal.

The cookbook came about as a way to raise funds to keep the kitchen in operation…but the rich, authentic, heavenly recipes are the most amazing bonus!

Here is our first score from the book…

Iraqi Lamb Croquettes (Kubba Haleb)

(Makes about 30 Kubba)

For rice “wraps”:

2 c basmati rice – soaked in cold water for 30 min, drained and rinsed

1 T ground turmeric

1 1/4 c water

Salt, generous pinch

Put soaked, drained rice in pan, add turmeric and salt. Add water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer 20-25 minutes until water has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Set aside for 30 minutes – do not lift lid.

For lamb filling:

1 T olive oil (we use avocado oil for this step…works better with heat)

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 lb ground lamb

2 1/2 T baharat (Lebanese spice mix…see below)

1/4 c raisins, chopped (can sub in dates or dried apricots if raisins aren’t your thing)

3 T pine nuts

3 T chopped fresh parsley

2 T sunflower oil (we use avocado oil again)

Salt & Pepper

Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to med-high and add lamb, salt and pepper. Stir/chop to break up lamb as it browns, about 5 minutes. Stir in baharat, raisins, and pine nuts. Continue to cook another 5 minutes, remove from heat, and stir in parsley.

Transfer cooked, warm rice to a food processor and pulse to form a tacky dough. (If dough seems a bit dry, gradually add up to 2 T water and pulse again.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Measure out 1 oz portions (about 2 T) of rice dough. With wet hands (this is key…keep them wet!), roll dough into a ball then use thumb to flatten into a disk in the palm of your hand. Place 1/2 oz (1 T) of lamb filling into the center and fold edges of dough around to encase lamb, gently molding into a torpedo shape. Place on baking sheet and repeat. Let rest for 30 minutes.

**croquettes can be frozen at this point and cooked up to a month later! This is a great tip because – although they are slightly labor intensive until this point – they are a piece of cake going forward and are SO worth it!! In preparation for a dinner party, find a day when you have the time to get them made and in the freezer, then pull them out, fully defrost, and continue!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush croquettes with oil (sunflower or avocado…your choice). Bake on the top rack for 20-25 minutes.

Serve immediately (we like to serve with tzatziki!). Voila!

Baharat (Lebanese spice mix)

1 T cinnamon

1 1/2 t each ground cumin, coriander, allspice, paprika, and black pepper

1/4 t each nutmeg and cloves

1/8 t cardamom

Mix all until well-blended. Store in an airtight container

Don’t forget to get your cookbook here! There are so many other wonderful recipes…and it supports a great cause!

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Iraqi Lamb Croquettes (Kubba Haleb)

(Makes about 30 Kubba)

For rice “wraps”:

2 c basmati rice – soaked in cold water for 30 min, drained and rinsed

1 T ground turmeric

1 1/4 c water

Salt, generous pinch

Put soaked, drained rice in pan, add turmeric and salt. Add water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer 20-25 minutes until water has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Set aside for 30 minutes – do not lift lid.

For lamb filling:

1 T olive or avocado oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 lb ground lamb

2 1/2 T baharat (Lebanese spice mix…see above)

1/4 c raisins, chopped (can use dates or dried apricots)

3 T pine nuts

3 T chopped fresh parsley

2 T sunflower or avocado oil

Salt & Pepper

Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to med-high and add lamb, salt and pepper. Stir/chop to break up lamb as it browns, about 5 minutes. Stir in baharat, raisins, and pine nuts. Continue to cook another 5 minutes, remove from heat, and stir in parsley.

Transfer cooked, warm rice to a food processor and pulse to form a tacky dough. (If dough seems a bit dry, gradually add up to 2 T water and pulse again.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Measure out 1 oz portions (about 2 T) of rice dough. With wet hands (this is key…keep them wet!), roll dough into a ball then use thumb to flatten into a disk in the palm of your hand. Place 1/2 oz (1 T) of lamb filling into the center and fold edges of dough around to encase lamb, gently molding into a torpedo shape. Place on baking sheet and repeat. Let rest for 30 minutes.

**croquettes can be frozen at this point and cooked up to a month later!**

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush croquettes with oil.

Bake on the top rack for 20-25 minutes.

Serve immediately (we like to serve with tzatziki!).

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a&a

lip fairy-tales really ring our belle!

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While there are endless options in the hunt for the perfect lipstick, sometimes a belle needs a fairy-tale to believe in.

We were recently turned on to a unique line of lipcare products (thank you, Cary!) that not only makes totally belle-ringin’ lipsticks, they give back to some very worthy causes with each and every purchase! How refreshing!

Color the World gives the gift of color…and the gift of support…

Each shade helps support a good cause around the world, and with each tube of lipstick color sold, 10% of the net profits goes to a cause. – Founded with love in Raleigh, NC. 

And another belle-ringin’ detail…all products are all-natural / vegan / cruelty-free!

Here are some examples…

Click here to give ‘em a try!

a&a

drinkin’ on the job…at Hare & Field

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Photo by Nathan Gray

We took a quick little trip up to Travelers Rest for this month’s TALK Greenville magazine cocktailin’ excursionand hit the jackpot at Hare & Field!  Not only did we come away with four new favorite cocktails created by Tara, the resident liquid master; we pretty much ate our way through the menu as well…thanks to sweet Melissa (“directory of culinary creations”)!  Chris & Katie Williamson began their culinary adventures in TR with Farmhouse Tacos, but they quickly realized the need for something more…somewhere to “get a good, hot pretzel and a beer”.  Well, they hit the nail on the head – and beyond – with this little gem of a gastro-pub!

 

What’s in a name…

You might wonder where such a name might have originated…we asked the question and got the answer!  The “hare” is a nod to the Swamp Rabbit Trail which happens to run right past their front door.  The “field” refers to the abundance of fields supplying the local and “gamey” fare found on the menu…from fresh produce to duck, rabbit, quail, and more!  Clever!

Photo by Nathan Gray

“The Last Word”…

They’ve picked the perfect name for this cocktail as it really raises the bar – enough said. Served in a stemmed glass with a slice of dried lime, it’s a beautiful sight. A bit of egg white adds a touch of frothiness and an element of viscosity. A bit of salt to counteract the sweetness and some pepper to spice things up a bit create the perfect balance. The chartreuse adds a lovely complexity (it contains 130 herbs after all) really making this the umami of cocktails.

Photo by Nathan Gray

The “Barrel-Aged Sazerac”…

This full-bodied libation will have you feeling autumn in every way. It’s the perfect sipping drink, simple and straightforward with an orange peel garnish. The flavor of the absinthe shines through, and even the color reminds of a beautiful fall day.  So make a game-time decision and order this drink…it’s a sure winner!  BTW…did you know the Sazerac is alleged to be the oldest known cocktail?  Classic!

Photo by Nathan Gray

“The Salty Pumpkin”…

Move over Starbucks with your pumpkin spice latte…it’s time to get a boozy version, and Hare and Field is just the spot to place your order. This beverage features Six and Twenty Carolina Cream, vodka, Paradox coffee, and salted caramel…and is topped off with a chocolate cigarette (no nicotine here!). It would even make the perfect dessert drink. So lighten up and liquor up!

Photo by Nathan Gray

all hot & twisted…

We couldn’t NOT talk about the pretzels!!  Katie and Chris wanted a place to get a good pretzel, so they created it…and searched high and low until they found the perfect Bavarian pretzel to fit the bill.  Beautifully browned on the outside and heavenly on the inside – with just the right amount of salt – these twisted little beauties come with a side of house-made beer cheese and the best mustard ever!  Forget your carb restrictions just this once…they are worth it!

Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday – Saturday and for Sunday brunch, you have lots of opportunities to pay H&F a visit.  Take a bike ride out to TR on the Swamp Rabbit Trail for a day visit…or drive out for a less “active” experience for an evening out.

Hare and Field . 327 South Main Street . Travelers Rest . hareandfieldkitchen.com

 

a few of our favorite things…continued

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We started telling you about our favorite things last week…but we didn’t quite get through all of the belle-ringin’ items.

Here are the rest…

Brunette belle is still totally into this fragrance…as we have mentioned before

With it’s clean, floral scent laced with rose de mai, vetiver, and geranium, this fragrance elicits compliments from men and women, young and old. Available at Sephora, Nordstrom, and Amazon…take your pick! Christmas is only 80+ days away, hint, hint.

A bedtime buddy…

Dr. Brandt Hydro Biotic sleeping mask feels amazing going on and keeps skin hydrated, clear (with Manuka honey) and irritation-free. Available at Sephora, Ulta, and Amazon

We’ve mentioned this Stila belle-ringer before…but here it is again…

It’s our fave little lip and cheek multi-tasking secret! Choose “peony” for a healthy flush, “lillium” for a natural glow. Available at Sephora, Ulta, and Amazon

This one is used on an as-needed basis. The dreaded blemish emergency kit…

This one is a classic…and we’ve used it for years…Mario Badescu’s drying lotion!! One little pink dot on the angry area before bed equals clear skin in the morning. We kid you not! Available at Ulta

And last, but not least (for now)…the BEST-smelling body lotion EVER…

Available in a handy, travel-friendly tin, and in a pretty green bottle at Nordstrom

Whew! Now you know!!!

a&a

be a drop-dead gorgeous belle…

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While a freshly washed head of hair is a beautiful thing, it’s just not a reality for either of us on a daily basis. First off, it’s just not good to use shampoo every day (according to the NYTimes), but, truth be told…we just don’t WANT to! So…we have been keeping the dry shampoo makers in business!

One that happens to be at the top of our list lately…

Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo from Handmade Heroes. Perfect for all hair colors (we both use it with great success), it adds body and texture to boot!

Available at Amazon

Getcha some, you drop dead gorgeous belle, you!

a&a

warm-n-cheesy belle-iciousness…

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While we were making our favorite, crowd-pleasin’ feta dip once again, we decided to switch it up a bit…and put some heat to it!

We made a few changes just for the heck of it and came up with this bit of belle-iciouness…

Warm Feta Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

16 oz. crumbled feta

2 T fresh thyme

3 T olive oil

3 T honey

1/2 c chopped marcona almonds

Sliced cucumber, crackers or pita wedges for serving

Combine cream cheese and feta and place in a medium baking dish

Chop thyme and sprinkle over cheese mixture, then drizzle with olive oil and honey

Coarsely chop almonds and sprinkle over dish.

Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly (about 20 minutes)

Serve with cucumber slices and/or crackers or pita triangles.

Enjoy!

a&a

belles belt it out…

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If y’all haven’t noticed, belts are back in season and we’re fully wrapping ourselves around this fashion moment.

Here are a few of our faves….

This one from Frame

Via Neiman Marcus

An animal print is definitely a Neutral . This one is from Rag and Bone

Via Neiman Marcus

We bought this one from Rag and Bone and have been wearing constantly….

Via Neiman Marcus

Love the buckle on this from B low the belt

Via Shopbop

Another great black one from B-low the belt

Via Revolve

Love the square buckle on this Frame belt

Via Net a porter

Buckle up belles!!

a&a

our new favorite soap…the perfect bathroom perk

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We recently stayed as a guest with a friend and discovered this best soap ever…it lathers beautifully, is moisturizing, smells divine and has this great exfoliating effect…all in one bar.

We adore it so much, we ordered it from Amazon before we even made it home. We have it in every bathroom and are seriously addicted!

Via Amazon

Thank you Swedish Dream!!!!!

a&a

what a belle bought…belle-ringin’ denim

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Gettin’ ready for fall and cooler weather, we are on the hunt for some belle-ringin’ items for the wardrobe!

One recent purchase…

Frame Le High split jeans available at Intermix

These will be on repeat for the next several months!!

Grab yourself a pair!!

a&a