Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice
Serves 8
I found this recipe on pinterest and changed a few things. The result was a amazing! Here is the link to the original recipe http://crazyhorsesghost.hubpages.com/hub/Worlds-Best-Red-Beans-And-Rice
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Cook Time
3 hr
Cook Time
3 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 Pound Of Dry Red Kidney Beans
  2. 1 Teaspoon Salt
  3. 1/2 or 1 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper (I used 1/2 tsp since i didn't want it spicy)
  4. 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  5. 2 Bay Leafs
  6. 1 Teaspoon Hot Sauce
  7. 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  8. 1 Large White Onion Diced Fine
  9. 2 Celery Stalks Diced Fine
  10. 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ground Garlic
  11. Canned Chicken Broth As Needed (I used 6 cups)
  12. 2 Pound Of Smoked Sausage Cut Into 1 Inch Pieces
Instructions
  1. Place the beans in a large pot or bowl and cover with water. Soak your beans over night adding more water as needed.
  2. Now that you have soaked the beans over night drain your beans well and place in a large pot with lid. Into the pot place chicken broth until your beans are well covered (about 6 cups). Add salt, pepper, and hot sauce and start to cook on low heat.
  3. Saute the onions, celery and garlic in olive oil until the onions are clear but not brown. Add to the beans.
  4. Cook on low heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours stirring often to make sure your beans don't stick.
  5. Add the sausage during the last 1 hour of cooking time. And guess what you just made the worlds best red beans and rice.
  6. During the last 30 minutes of cooking time stir in your powdered cayenne pepper. You can of course leave out the cayenne pepper but if you do you will be missing part of the soul of this dish. Because red beans and rice is a New Orleans favorite and New Orleans is full of soul.
Notes
  1. Do not add water to this recipe if you need more liquid add chicken broth.
  2. Serve these beans over hot buttered rice.
  3. Enjoy!
Everything Quetura http://quetura.com/wordpress/

beach travel

Things to do in Myrtle Beach

Welcome to Myrtle Beach

Welcome to Myrtle Beach

Why visit Myrtle Beach?   Its the perfect place for a beach vacation! Cheap food, cheap accommodations, cheap things to do. Its the perfect place for everyone since it offers a variety of things to do. Whether you are a Couple, a family with children or a solo travel you will find something to do. Have i sold you yet? If not, maybe the places i have listed bellow will convince you. :)

 

Where to Eat:

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Myrtle beach is filled with tons of restaurants. Every where i looked there was a restaurant. Two things that i love about Myrtle Beach is the amount of mom and pop restaurants and the amount of breakfast restaurants. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day so its heaven on earth for me. Bellow I’ve compiled a list of our favorite restaurants in Myrtle Beach.

Breakfast

  • Mammy’s Kitchen: They serve a very good and cheap breakfast buffet filled with all your usual breakfast items but also a really good fruit bar.
  • Plantation Pancake House: The awesome thing about this place is that they are open from 10 p.m until 2 p.m so when you have that late night breakfast craving they are open!
  • 2nd Avenue Pier: The view this restaurant offers is spectacular. They are also open for breakfast lunch and dinner. They have an open air bar and a pier you can walk out or fish on for a small fee.

Lunch/Dinner

  • Sams Corner: The hot dogs here are so good! The have a lot of different options for toppings so they can fix your hot dog just the way you like it. Another awesome thing about this restaurant is that they are open late. So after a late night walk on the boardwalk head over to Sams Corner for some awesome hot dogs. Keep in mind that they don’t accept cards only cash. They do have an ATM inside the restaurant but it charges a fee.
  • Thai Cuisine: This was by far the best Thai food I’ve ever had! The restaurant doesn’t look too appealing on the outside but don’t let that scare you. The restaurant is nice on the inside and the food is absolutely amazing!

 

Where to stay

View from our airbnb apartment

View from our airbnb apartment

There are a lot of different options of accommodations in Myrtle Beach. Keep in mind that  If you wait to book the night before or the same day of your stay a lot of times you can get really good deals. Sometimes you are able to book higher star hotel at a very large discount on sites like Kayak or Priceline.  So if you’re not a big planner like i normally am try to wait to book your hotel.

 

  • Rent an apartment on the beach using AirBnb. Here’s the link for the apartment (pictured above) that we stayed at:   https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1640460
  • We’ve also stayed at The Sheraton which is located very close to the beach. We got our room 50% off the original price because we waited to book on the day of our stay by using a discount travel site.
  • Another way we were able to get a really good deal on accommodations was looking on Groupon and Living Social. A lot of times they will have hotel deals and resort packages. When booking a hotel on one of those sites make sure to read all of the fine print. That way you can make sure that the hotel is available on the dates you want (a lot of times you should call the hotel to check on the dates you want before purchasing the Groupon/Living social unless you are able to pick the dates on Groupons website before purchasing) and also at the location you want.

 

What to do

 

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Brookgreen Gardens

 

There are so many things to do in Myrtle Beach for the whole family. There are a ton of restaurants so you can take it easy and just eat your way through the city. Or you could spend your whole day at the beach. But if you like to cram pack your vacation full of stuff like i do, there are plenty of things for you to do as well. Bellow is a list of the things that my husband and I enjoyed.

 

 

 

  • Go to the Beach. You cant go all the way to Myrtle Beach and not go to the beach. You just cant.
  • Walk along the Boardwalk. It has something for everyone. During the summer they have concerts and festivals. It is also the home of the Sky Wheel which i definitely recommend trying out. If you’re not afraid of heights that is. They also have a lot of old time photo shops along the boardwalk which is a lot of fun for the whole family. and you’ll get a family portrait to take home with you. Since there are so many of these shops, i recommend looking at as many as possible and then picking out which you like the best based on clothing options, background options and friendliness of staff. There are also a lot of restaurants on the boardwalk. everything from fancy shmancy to order at the window take out.
  • Brookgreen Gardens is also a must see. Especially if you have kids. Its the perfect place to go to get away from all the hustle and bustle of the touristy part of Myrtle Beach. This place has so much to see! If you can plan a full day here and pack a lunch. Just to name a few of the things we saw the sculpture gardens, the petting zoo (which includes a humongous bird cage that i wasn’t brave enough to walk through.) oh yeah, and the botanical gardens.
  • Take a ride in a NASCAR if you have a need for speed. The Myrtle Beach Speedway offers the option of you driving a NASCAR or riding in the passenger seat while a professional drives you around the track a few times which is what I did. It was awesome by the way!
  • Walk around The Beach Off Broadway. The beach off broadway has tons of stuff to do! Restaurants, stores (tons of them) a little lake where you can rent paddle boats and other things, and museums. Wonder Works  which is a very interesting museum to take the kids or the kid at heart is located here, just in case you were looking for it. I definitely recommend spending an evening at the beach off broadway.
  • Last but not least Go shopping!  There are a few outlet malls around myrtle beach so take advantage of their sales while your in town.

I hope this list of things to do in Myrtle Beach helps! I would love to hear about what you like doing while in Myrtle Beach.

Louisville’s St James Art Fair

20141004_131441_HDRWe finally had the pleasure of visiting the St James Art Fair today! I haven’t been since i was a kid! Now that I’m older and manage booths myself i had a bigger appreciation for the art we saw and the artist we met. And we saw some amazing art. If you are ever in Louisville i definitely recommend visiting the St James Art Fair. Or if if you are an art enthusiast i would recommend making a special trip to Louisville for this event. It is an annual event that normally falls on the first weekend of October.

Info About St. James Art Fair

20141004_133852_HDR The area that holds the fair is so beautiful it provides the perfect setting for such an amazing event. While walking down the streets of the fair you are surrounded by gorgeous Victorian homes and very friendly people. The festival host about 750 artist so definitely wear good walking shoes. They have many food booths but most of them only take cash and ATM’s are scarce so definitely bring cash if you want to get lunch or a snack while there. Most if not all of the artist take credit/debit cards. A lot of times if you are patient you can find parking on the streets around the festival but if you don’t want to deal with that you can park in the fairs designated parking lot and they have shuttle buses that run through out the day that will take you to and from the fair. Most of all enjoy and have fun! Here is a link to the fairs website so you can get more detailed information http://www.stjamescourtartshow.com/

 Something that caught my eye

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 Don’t get me wrong, we saw some truly amazing art but one artist stood out to me. His name is Nick Ringlestetter he is the graphic illustrator and owner of Atomic 7 Studio. His work is so unique it caught our eye from a far. He uses many different forms of media to make these awesome creations but the one i liked the most are his metal print street signs. This combination of media creates something very unique. Here is a link to his Facebook page so you can learn more about him and see all of his beautiful creations https://www.facebook.com/Atomic7studio

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos
Yields 18
I use this recipe all the time! I love how easy it is to make, how much it taste like Mexican restaurant style chicken and how versatile the chicken is. I've been able to use the chicken for nachos, enchiladas, flautas and salads.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
4 hr 30 min
Total Time
4 hr 35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
4 hr 30 min
Total Time
4 hr 35 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  2. 1 Cup Salsa
  3. 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  4. 1/2 Tsp Chili Powder
  5. 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
Instructions
  1. Place chicken into crock pot
  2. Sprinkle pepper, chili powder and garlic powder evenly over the chicken
  3. Pour 3/4 cup salsa evenly over chicken
  4. Cook on high for 4 hours
  5. Once cooked remove the chicken from the crock pot and shred the chicken with a fork
  6. Pour the remaining juices out of the crock pot and return the chicken to it
  7. Pour reaming salsa evenly over the chicken and cook on high for 30 minutes
  8. Serve over corn, flour or wheat tortillas or over a salad for a healthier option
Optional Toppings
  1. Black or Refried Beans
  2. Shredded Cheese
  3. Shredded Lettuce
  4. Diced Tomatoes
  5. Avocado
  6. Salsa
  7. Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt for a healthier option
Everything Quetura http://quetura.com/wordpress/

Homemade Ramen

 

Homemade Ramen
Serves 4
So I decided to give making my own Ramen a try. My husband and I love the store bought Ramen since it's easy to make and so cheap. But it's so salty that it's hard for me to eat. When I saw the package of Ramen noodles at Kroger I decide to give it a go.
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Cook Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ramen
  1. 3 cups of water
  2. 2 bunches of Ramen noodles
Chicken Stalk
  1. 3 Tsp Knorr Chicken flavor Boullion
  2. 3 cups boiling water
Optional Toppings
  1. Diced Carrots
  2. Diced onions
  3. Peas
  4. Shredded Spinach
  5. Barbeque Pork Slices
  6. Vegetarian Option: Use Vegetable stock instead of Chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Boil 3 cups of water
  2. Put 2 bunches of Ramen noodles in rapid boiling water
  3. Boil Ramen for 4 minutes
  4. Strain Ramen
  5. While boiling the Ramen make the chicken stalk I used Knorr Clado de pollo (Chicken flavor Bouillon) which can be found in the international isle in the Mexican section at most grocery stores. You can also use a bullion cube or liquid chicken stalk and just follow the instructions on the package
Chicken Stalk instructions
  1. Dissolve 3 Tsp Knorr Chicken flavor Boullion in 3 cups boiling water
  2. Add Soy sauce and salt to taste. I put about 2 Tbsp of soy sauce in mine
  3. After the Ramen has been strained and the chicken stalk has been prepared put ramen in four bowls and pour the chicken stalk over noodles. I used peas for topping
Notes
  1. Add Soy sauce and salt to taste. I put about 2 Tbsp of soy sauce in mine
Everything Quetura http://quetura.com/wordpress/

Easy Peasy Coconut Curry Chicken

Coconut Curry Chicken
Serves 2
I found this awesome recipe on halfbakedharvest.com thru Pinterest so with a few tweaks i decided to give it a go and my husband and i both loved it! Here's the link to the original recipe: http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/simple-coconut-chicken-curry/
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast cut into bite size pieces
  2. 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
  3. 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  4. 2 Heads of Broccoli Cut into bite size pieces
  5. 2 Cloves of minced garlic or 2 Tbsp garlic paste
  6. 1 Tsp Fresh grated ginger or 1 Tsp ginger paste
  7. 1 Can coconut milk (make sure its well shaken before adding to the dish)
  8. 2 Tbsp Red curry paste
  9. 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water
Instructions
  1. In a medium size pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil. Toss the chicken with the curry powder and saute until cooked, about 8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. In the same pan add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil and saute the broccoli, garlic and ginger. After a few minutes, add the coconut milk and let simmer for 5 minutes. The broccoli should soften but still be tender and crisp.
  3. Add the curry paste to the pan and stir it until it combines with the coconut milk.
  4. Return the chicken and any juices to the pan. Bring to a slight boil and add the cornstarch. Boil for about a minute, then reduce heat and let cool slightly (about another 2 to three minutes). The Sauce will thicken as the mixture cools so watch it closely, because you do not want it to get to thick!
Notes
  1. 1. Serve Over Rice
  2. 2. If you notice that the sauce has gotten too thick from cooling down too much, reheat it and it will make it not so thick
  3. Enjoy :)
Everything Quetura http://quetura.com/wordpress/

Earring display

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Earring display for craft show booth
It’s actually a cupcake holder that spins.
I bought it at TJ Maxx but I see them all the time. I used open crimp beads so the earrings will stay in place.
I used it at a Booth once before and it worked out perfectly and it attracted people to my Booth.

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Breakfast buffet

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One thing I love about Myrtle Beach is the amount of breakfast restaurants it has.
Since breakfast is my favorite meal of the day I’m always excited about the amount of breakfast I’ll be able to eat while visiting.

Mammy’s has been in Myrtle Beach for over 60 years… I love a restaurant with some history.
We decided to try Mammy’s kitchen since it had a Breakfast buffet for only $7.99.
I was very happy when I found out they also  had a fruit bar since I love fruit for breakfast.
Unfortunately the melon wasn’t good but the strawberries were delicious.

The buffet consisted of scrambled eggs, Bacon, sausage, gravy, pancakes and lots more.

The staff was very friendly, the food was great and it’s close the beach.

http://mammyskitchen.com/index.html

Late night hot dogs

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I was very excited to eat at Sam’s Corner again.
It’s a little hole in the wall mom and pop restaurant but the hot dogs are delicious! They have lots of toppings to choose from and cheap prices.
Best of all is that they are open 24/7.

Recommendation: Bring cash! They only accept cash. They have an ATM but to avoid any extra fees just bring cash.

Don’t be surprised if it smells like smoke. You can smoke in a lot of restaurants in Myrtle Beach.

http://m.yelp.com/biz/sams-corner-myrtle-beach

Discovering an American Treasure

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Today we had the privilege of visiting America’s largest home The Biltmore Estate.
This house was massive! It has 250 rooms, a bowling alley, indoor swimming pool, an indoor garden and much much more. Even though the tour was self guided we learned a lot thru the brochure we got at the beginning of the tour.

I definitely recommend visiting at least once. It may seem too expensive but it is well worth it. Especially if you are in love with the early 1900′s or the show Downton Abbey like me.

For the admission price you not only get access to the house but also the grounds around the house which includes the rose garden, conservatory, azalea garden and the bass pond.
You will also have access to Antler Hill Village and Winery. There you can enjoy shops, restaurants a self guided tour of the winery, free wine tastings and the Antler Hill barn where you can learn about how farm life was in the early 1900′s.

Price: Around $60 per person check their website or call for current prices

Recommendation: Plan on a lot of walking so bring comfortable shoes also plan on spending 6 – 8 hours here.

We spent around 6 hours. We did the self guided tour of the house, walked around a little outside but we didn’t go to any of the gardens since it was cold. We went into a few of the shops in the stables then headed over to Antler Village.
At Antler village we toured the winery, enjoyed the free wine tasting, went in a few shops and toured “the Vanderbilt’s at home and abroad” exhibition which showed archival photos, letters and personal items.

I had so much fun and can’t wait to go back!