what’s ringin’ our belle…round 141

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A really good article on the word ‘nice”

Via Pinterest

Another reason to read books…. brain power

Via Pinterest

Really want to make these champagne margaritas…

Via The Candid Appetite

Really loving this jacket …

Via Urban Outfitters

’til next time, belles…

a&a

belles always nail it…our fave Essie nail colors…

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There are a few tried and true nail colors we always are drawn to and that make us feel happy and elegant.

These are our top picks…

A timeless, neutral pink…Ballet Slippers (said to be Queen Elizabeth’s fave as well!)

Because sometimes we are feelin’ a bit Wicked

Another sweet pink for zee sweet Mademoiselle

So good we are wearing it now…

Stitches…a fabulous coral pink ….

The new neutral – Chinchilly

A beautiful bright pink for the Bachelorette

Flowerista…the perfect pop of color…

When we grow up we want to be professional nail color namers!

In the meantime we will just be happy getting nailed 😉☺️

a&a

fashiona-belle workout wear…

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These are our absolute favorite leggings from Lululemon.

We can’t get enough of the scalloped bottom and we have them in several colors.

Go ahead and get yourself a pair or two!

Via Lululemon

We just bought the grey and adore them!

a&a

what’s ringin’ our belle…round 140

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Filed under good things to know: where the most yuck is on a plane…

Via Pinterest

Some awesome makeup tips….

Via Goop

Why hangovers get worse as we age…

Via Pinterest

Finally a way to fold a fitted sheet ….

Via Pinterest

Longer, thicker lashes and brows

Via Amazon – and, YES, it works!!

Ring-a-ling!

a&a

let’s start the new year off right belles…

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Happy 2019, belles!! We must admit, the holidays were a blur, and now we find ourselves in mid-late January! How does this happen?? We’ve realized it’s time to get serious about settling into 2019. First up…get rid of 2018, 2017, 2016…2006…you get it, right!?

Read this from Life Hack to get yourself in the right frame of mind. Then get busy!

We love this list from HGTV on what you can toss now:

Spare contact lens cases

Broken costume jewelry

Dictionaries

Wrinkled wrapping paper and crushed bows

Latex paint (if it’s more than a year old)

A bread machine

VHS workout tapes

Manuals for appliances and electronics (they’re all available online)

Cookbooks you’ve cracked open once

Random vacuum cleaner attachments

Old remote controls you don’t recognize

Scrunchies that have lost their scrunch

Incomplete decks of playing cards

Bridesmaid dresses (go to operationprom.org for info on how to donate)

Take-out menus (everything’s online!)

Picture frames with broken easel backs

Road maps (hello GPS)

Mixtapes

Unidentifiable keys

Almost empty bottles of bubbles

In-line skates

Contents of goodie bags from kids’ parties

Impossible puzzles no one has ever finished

Free gifts from cosmetic purchases

Orphan mittens

Travel guidebooks

Chargers for old electronics

Wire hangers from the dry cleaner (return them to your cleaners)

Dusty potpourri

Chopsticks and soy sauce packets

Your “fat” clothes

Carpet remnants

Filled coloring books

Stretched-out bras

Scratched nonstick pans

Anything with an antenna

Prescription eyeglasses that are no longer your prescription (go to lionsclubs.org for info on how to donate)

Umbrellas with bent or broken spokes

Allen wrenches from DIY furniture

Checkbook registers

Disposable cameras

Musical instruments no one plays anymore (go to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation for info on how to donate)

Business cards

Smelly towels

Fishbowls

Fancy loose teas you received as a hostess gift

The Yellow Pages

Soccer uniforms the kids have outgrown or no longer need

And this one from Somuchbetterwithage.com

We don’t think there’s anything more gratifying then a good edit…

Go ahead and lighten your load!

a&a

drinkin’ on the job…doing “shottos” at Otto’s

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Photo from Otto-Izakaya.com

We took a little Asian adventure for our TALKGreenville cocktailin’ outing this month – Otto Izakaya on Main Street in Greenville – and we learned a thing or two!  First, we now know what an “izakaya” is.  It’s an informal restaurant/bar-type establishment found all across Asia, so the term totally fits this fun little sushi/Asian-fare place!  Second, we learned a new purpose for pickle juice (more on that later).  And third, we discovered that Katelin, the bar manager, and her trusty sidekick, Aaron, really have this cocktailin’ thing figured out!

sake that knocks your socks off…

Katelin and Aaron love it when people scoot up to the bar and ask about the sake selection – especially when they have it stuck in their head that they don’t even like sake!  Otto Izakaya boasts quite an extensive sake list, and as they say, there is something to suit all tastes.  And stay tuned…sake tasting dinners are in the works, so follow @otto_izakaya2 on Instagram for the skinny on the plans!

 

Photo by Nathan Gray

Lychee Margarita

We have been motivated by the margarita of late, and much like white jeans, it can now be a year-round indulgence!  (so we indulge…and so should you.  Just sayin).  This lychee version hits very high marks with a Souza cucumber chili tequila, Cointreau, lychee syrup, fresh lime and a splash of sour, topped with a salted rim. Strong but not over-powering, this is a great cocktail for any time.


Photo by Nathan Gray

Nail in Hibiki’s Coffin… 

A simple drink can be just the right the answer to a long day and this one made with Hibiki Japanese whiskey, Drambuie, and bitters blooms on the tastebuds and makes the drudgeries of the day disappear. The robust whiskey is softened by the bitters, and the citrus livens it up a bit…making this the ideal drink for the manly man, the girly man, the girly girl or manly girl…so go for it!

Photo by Nathan Gray
Hot Huck Fizz

44° North Huckleberry vodka, Parma pomegranate liqueur, fresh lime juice, jalapeño simple syrup, a splash of cranberry and a floater of sparkling wine create a festive and fancy beverage. Who doesn’t get perked up with some bubbles? This is any easy way to while away the evening and is a guaranteed pleasure to sip.

The Dickle & a Pickle” and its shotto friends

Some clever names like the “Dickle & a Pickle” and the “Tickelback” really caught our attention in the “shotto” section of the menu. (this is when we learned that little lesson about pickle juice)Basically, these two clever creations are shots with a pickle juice chaser…and the result is mind-blowing!  So much so that we took the combination home and have been introducing it to all our nearest and dearest! The Dickle & a Pickle features George Dickel whiskey while the Tickleback features Hornitos Plata tequila…and the sting of both is obliterated by the pickle juice.  Why have we not known this little trick all along??

Photo by Nathan Gray

With a menu featuring the usual sushi-bar faves along with some surprises (hello, Banh Mi Sliders and Izakaya Fries), Otto Izakaya has the fix for just but any craving of the Asian persuasion.  And no worries if the craving hits a little on the late side.  They keep the kitchen hoppin’ until 12:30 am (with full menu) and the doors open until 2! Now that’s what we callaimin’ to please  day and night!  Go now – and later – and later.

Otto Izakaya . 802 S Main Street . Greenville . 864-568-5880

otto-izakaya.com . @otto_izakaya2

 



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