Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Word for Wednesday


to enjoy intensely

As in: I am looking forward to reveling in my day off this Friday by sleeping in, eating lunch at the Hunter Gatherer with my hubs, and working in our vegetable garden. Click here for Hunter Gatherer's yummy menu.

I am also reveling in the fact that I will finally have time tonight to catch up on some posts from last week--look for posts coming soon about my Thursday dinner at Cellar on Greene, Saturday's Anti-Confederate Flag Rally, and the veggie garden :)

What are you reveling in these days?

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rosewood Crawfish Festival Line-up Announced

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One of my favorite festivals in Columbia is the Rosewood Crawfish Festival. I attended the 1st 2 years of the event, and was out of town for it last year, but it is usually great weather and boasts some fun, not-huge, but certainly entertaining bands...(the first year it was Drivin' N Cryin' and then later it was Cowboy Mouth).

And the headliners this year are: Tonic and Marcy Playground...remember the song "Sex and Candy?" It's a classic in my here to see the video.

Click here for the complete band line-up for the 2010 Crawfish Festival; May 1st.

And, this year they are also hosting the 1st Crawfish Festival 5K and 1 mile walk-- the Rosewood Crawdaddy Dash! Click here to register for the 5K--with your registration comes a $10 festival ticket and t-shirt.

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Weekend Plans

I am hoping for a weekend of warmth and sunshine because I have a plethora of outdoor plans:

1. All Local Farmer's Market tomorrow morning--the Garlic Man will be there, and I may have finally convinced my husband to try to eat only local, humanely grown meats, so we're stocking up! Click here to see the other vendors who will be at the market tomorrow.

2. Get in a quick run--still competing in The Hampton Hills Biggest Loser competition and we only have 4 weeks left! Down 19 lbs, but I still have a long way to go...the weather should be perfect for a run including the damn Garner's Ferry hill. If you live in Columbia, you know which one I mean--the one that starts in front of McDonald's and goes straight up for a mile until you get to the Target...(or seems to go straight up when you're running it anyway).
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3. Anti-confederate flag rally at the State House tomorrow 2-5 pm. Hosted by Aaron Johnson and Grant Robertson, candidates for mayor and city council, respectively, the event will include musical performances and special guests. If you're reading this thinking, "really, what harm does it do having the flag on the state house grounds?" this and this. Click here for more info on the rally.

Our garden last year--we planted waaay too many peppers!

They sure were pretty though--and tasty in salsa

4. And finally, to round out the weekend, James and I hope to till and plant our garden on Sunday! We are a bit late on some things, but we're going to plant anyway and see what happens. We'll be planting corn, strawberries, onions, lettuces, carrots, salsa peppers, tomatoes, and green beans. (Our CSA is going to be providing us with so much other stuff--we had to choose things to plant ourselves that they aren't growing). And our garlic that we planted in December is almost ready to harvest. Pictures of the garden and garlic to come this weekend.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thursday's Thinking of Food

Food News this Week--and I want to hear YOUR opinions on some of this stuff!

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*Should Happy Meal toys be banned from your child's fast food meal? That very question is being examined in Santa Clara County, CA. (Incidentally, this is the county where I taught school when I lived in CA--you know, the same one that I mentioned served sushi as a daily option on the public middle school lunch line--I loved it there!) Anyway-"Ken Yeager, the Santa Clara County Supervisor, presented a law at yesterday's county board meeting to ban toys given away with unhealthy food. He believes the toys are used to encourage children to eat fatty, sugary, high-calorie meals that can lead to childhood obesity, according to the Silicon Valley Mercury News." What do you think? Is it the toys that make the kids eat unhealthy? Would the parents take the kids to the unhealthy restaurants even if there were no toys in the meals?

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Healthy Carolina Farmers Market at USC

*The State paper ran an article Sunday called "The greening of SC: Local food crops up." The article mentions the All-Local Farmer's Market as well as the Healthy Carolina Farmers Market at USC, as well as highlighting some local farmers. I am so excited to see South Carolinians embracing such change and growing (no pun intended) such an important local market for food.

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*Are School Lunches Worse Than Fast Food? Earth Fare's blog, Tomato Talk, addresses this question in yesterday's post. Pretty disturbing answers point to yes--did you know currently schools only have about $1 per student to spend on actual ingredients for lunches. Meat that KFC won't buy because it's from "old birds" is being put on school lunch trays! What!? This should outrage parents--and anyone who cares about kids. And it should also outrage us as tax-payers--why, in a country where we have a huge obesity epidemic and we're spending billions of dollars on illnesses related to obesity, are we feeding our kids crap and calling it lunch?

BUT...we can do something about it right now...Slow Food Columbia's recent blog post reminded me recently that we can contact our legislators and ask them to Strengthen the Child Nutrition Act by investing in healthier food, strengthening nutrition standards and linking schools to local farms. Click here to e-mail your representatives asking them to support helping schools serve healthier food.

*Health Care reform includes a provision requiring chain restaurants and vending machines to include calorie counts. Love it--I think this is really powerful and important. What do you think?

*Local restaurants are Going Green by recycling cooking oil. Midlands Biofuels, in Winnsboro, is using waste cooking oil, (Waste Vegetable Oils or WVOs), to make biodiesel fuel. Click here to see a video about this cool endeavor...local restaurants participating include Kristian Niemi's Rosso and Gervais & Vine. Click here to see a more comprehensive list of local participating restaurants and businesses.

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*And finally, I am reading the book The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman's Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis, and though it took me a minute to get into...I am really enjoying it now. I also really enjoy the author, Tara Austen Weaver's, award-winning blog, Tea and Cookies.

Whew--that is a lot of information. I would love to hear from you on these issues...

A Word for Wednesday


a person who has reached the age of 100

As in: Ben Folds' song Dr. Yang, which he performed last Friday night: "Hey Dr. Yin. Chain-smoking Chinese centenarian..."

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Columbia Cool This Week

There are lots of cool things going on in Columbia this week--and it seems the weather may be beginning to cooperate and stay warm!

Today- join tell them!, a grassroots e-advocacy network, in their "virtual march" to tell our SC legislators that the majority of South Carolinians support age-appropriate, medically accurate sexual health information and access to counseling and clinical services. Having been a public school teacher in SC, I know first-hand that our sex ed curriculum is seriously lacking. SC has the 8th highest AIDS case rate in the nation. 3 out of 10 women will become pregnant before the age of 20. Click here to join the virtual march--it is so easy and only takes a minute to sign up.

Free admission to the Columbia Museum of Art today, 10 am- 5 pm. To celebrate their 60th Birthday, the CMA is offering free admission all day, today only, as well as 10% off all items in the Museum Shop.

Wednesday, March 24th- Join the Columbia Museum of Art Contemporaries from 5:30- 7:30 pm for oysters and beer. Event will be held in Boyd Plaza, (in front of the CMA) and cost is $5 or Free to members. RSVP to Brittany Gridine

Thursday, March 25th
- Head to Westend, a new luxury home gallery. They, along with Just the Thing are hosting a FREE "Spring Ladies Night" at 830 Meeting Street, West Columbia from 6-8 pm. There will be special presentations to help you accessorize your home and yourself, as well as wine and cheese, door prizes, and 20% off any purchases!

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Saturday, March 27th- There is LOADS to do in Columbia today! Pets Inc. has an Easter B'Egg Hunt for dogs, bake sale, Pictures with the Easter Bunny, low-cost vaccinations, games and food; 10 am- 4 pm. Pets, Inc. is located at 300 Orchard Drive West Columbia.

If you don't have dogs, but have kids--head to Finlay Park for Kid's Day. 11 am- 7 pm, there will be a petting zoo, rides, games, arts & crafts, stage entertainment, food & drinks and more! Admission is FREE.

Or, if you'd rather not be around dogs or kids...head to Riverbanks Zoo's Springtime at the Garden Festival from 9 am- 4 pm. Enjoy the Botanical Garden and get motivated for successful spring gardening with specialized demonstrations, live music, plant vendors, arts and activities for the kids and a variety of experts from local businesses. Participation is free with paid admission to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

Oh yeah, and there is this little thing called The Carolina Cup going on Saturday too...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chat Roulette, Ben, and Pizza

The Ben Folds show in Charlotte was the best BF I have seen. The Fillmore was an awesome venue--small enough to feel intimate, but big enough to accommodate a decent-size crowd; (over 2,000 people were there Friday night). And it had cool modern chandeliers that my stupid camera wouldn't take decent pictures of...

Anyway- Ben Folds utilized Chat Roulette--a new site that you should NOT check out on a work computer, or in front of children--as part of the show. Chat Roulette is a new website where you get randomly linked with other "chatters" via Ben introduced it, it is mostly lonely guys missing clothing, sometimes showing parts of themselves you'd rather not see... He basically linked up with people live and played/sang to them, seeing how they would react. See the video below:

I haven't laughed that hard in a very long time. We only saw one inappropriate body part and one dude sitting on the toilet. As my friend Matt put it after the show, "Ben Folds is a wizard of entertainment."

After some after-show drinks at BlackFinn with friends I hadn't seen in a long time, (had fun Laura and MJ!), I decided pizza was in order.

My friend Laura described Libretto's pizza as some of the best she had ever had. To quote Laura: "I don't even like pizza, and I crave Libretto's." It did not disappoint. I ordered the Pizza Bianca and I think I have dreamed of it every night since.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday's Thinking of Food

OK, so since I started this weekly post, it seems all sorts of food-related information has been landing in my lap, (no pun intended). Lots of fun morsels today, so here goes:

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*Triscuit, (yes, the woven wheat crackers that go great with a spreadable cheese), is sponsoring a "Home Farming movement." Their website states: "Triscuit has created this site with help from Urban Farming, a non-profit organization, to help build a home farming community where both beginners and more seasoned gardeners can dialogue and gather information towards their common mission: to reap food that is deliciously fresh, penny-wise, healthier for themselves and the planet." Pretty cool. The site has crop guides, tips for growing vegetables at home, and more information about the movement. Right now, inside specially-marked boxes of Triscuit are basil and dill seeds ready to plant!

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*SunChips, (you know, those delicious, multi-grain chips--of which I could eat an entire bag of Garden Salsa flavor in one sitting), well they now boast 100% compostable packaging. They have designed each 10.5 oz. SunChips package to fully break down in 14 weeks, when placed in a hot, active compost bin or pile. They even tell all about their journey to create a better bag on their website--see it here. New plant-based bags coming Earth Day 2010. Way to go, SunChips.

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*New blog to follow: Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Project. {I found this blog via blogging friend Sarah McColl of Pink of Perfection-also a great blog to check out!}. Mrs. Q, the author of the blog, is a public school teacher and has decided to eat school lunch with her kids every day in 2010 to raise awareness about what the kids have to eat. If you haven't been in a school cafeteria in a while, it's pretty eye-opening, although some districts are better than others. When I taught in Santa Clara, CA, sushi was a daily option on the middle school lunch line... But, in many districts, french fries are considered a vegetable. (Reminiscent of when Reagan tried to say ketchup was a vegetable in school lunches--anyone else remember that?) Scary stuff.

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*Good Magazine--one of my favorite things to read when it shows up in my mailbox--wants your help! The project is called Foodstamps and Farmers' Markets. The objective is to make it easy to use and accept food stamps at farmers' markets. They want you to come up with a low-cost, easy to implement solution...barter?delivery? centralized check out? Post a comment, tweet @GOOD, or e-mail projects[at]goodinc[dot]com with your solution to the problem of how to accept food stamps at farmers' markets. Your response can take the form of a sentence, a paragraph, a sketch, an annotated photo—whatever you think will best convey your idea. Deadline is Monday, March 29. You can purchase a year's subscription to Good magazine, ("The magazine for people who give a damn"), for only $20--and all proceeds go to a social action project...details here.

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*And to wrap-up today, I know I have been posting a lot about Earth Fare recently, but man, they've been doing a lot of cool things lately! The most recent cool thing I've heard from them is that every Thursday, starting today, from 4-8 pm will be Family Dinner Night at Earth Fare and KIDS EAT FREE with the purchase of an adult meal of $5 or more. The kid's meal includes any kid's sandwich or 1/2 wrap, served with chips, or a slice of pizza. Click here to see the new "Itty Bitty Bites Menu," full of healthful options for kids. Earth Fare is using it's new Itty Bitty Bites initiative to try eliminate childhood obesity; click here to read more.

Have a great weekend, y'all! Heading to Charlotte tomorrow night to see Ben Folds and a Piano--post about that later in the weekend!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My New Go-To Bag

Just bought this amazing bag from Banana Republic. Love it. Just so you know, I very rarely buy new handbags; once I find one I like, I use it forever. For real-the brown leather Target bag I use daily, I've had for 4+ years. It was time for a new one.

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And, today only--(3.5 hours and counting)--with the promo code BRSAVE25, you get 25% off of anything regular priced when you use your BR card.
So, essentially I saved 25 bucks on this, my new perfect bag!

(Just had to share!)

A Word (and 2 deals) for Wednesday


having keen mental perception and understanding; discerning

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As in Mrs. Lillien's recent ode to Mrs. Pisces: "She's got a perspicacious imagination- one that butters up her every creation." Mrs. Lillien's Styling House blog is one of my daily reads, and a true piece of eye candy, you should check it out.

Definition via here.

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.

Snag these deals today:

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*FREE Dubliner Irish Cheese with purchase at Earth Fare. Click here for the coupon, good through March 23rd.

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*Go to Just the Thing wearing GREEN (TODAY only), and get 10% off your entire purchase!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Be Politically Active

If you live in Columbia then there is no possible way that you can be oblivious to the fact that we are in the midst of a mayoral show-down; the likes of which I have never seen in my years as a Columbian because Mayor Bob has been in office for sooo long!

Even if you aren't typically "the political type," you should care who is elected. As I tell my Social Policy class often, it is your civic duty to advocate for what you believe in and educate your politicians about the issues. The politicians are not experts on everything, and we can't expect them to be. (Hell, some of our SC politicians are experts in things that I wouldn't want my politicians to be experts in at all...but that's a different, angsty post that I'm not gonna write today).

So, {hopping on my soapbox}, here are some ways to 'get political' and inform yourself and help others this week and next:

Tonight--head to the Richland County Public Library at 1431 Assembly Street at 7 pm for a Mayoral Forum on Homelessness. All 9 mayoral candidates will speak about what they think the city should do to address our homeless population.

Then, (as I mentioned in yesterday's post), go eat a delicious meal at Mr. Friendly's tonight and give the server this coupon. 10% of your meal cost will be donated to the local Humane Society.

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Friday, March 19th- Go to The Animal Mission's annual fundraiser, Party Animals! and hear Edwin McCain. There will be an open bar and food by Blue Marlin as well as an auction--all to help stray animals!

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Saturday, March 20th- Go to Jillian's in the Vista from 1-5 pm to witness the 4th Annual St. Baldrick's Shaving Event to benefit children's cancer research.

Monday, March 22nd- Go to the Mayoral Showdown at 701 Whaley St, 7 pm. There will be a cash bar and a debate among the top 5 mayoral candidates. Click here for more info.

Tuesday, March 23rd- Attend a rally at the State House steps to "End the R-Word," and promote the respect for and acceptance of more than 15,000 Special Olympians. Rally begins at 11 am. (This one is near and dear to my heart, as I am a constant upbraider of people using the R-word).

Saturday, March 27th- Attend the rally at the State House Steps to retire the Confederate Battle flag from State House grounds. 2-5 pm, performances by local bands; click here for more info.

I promise you will feel empowered and excited by being an advocate for change and helping others. What do you do to advocate for change or help others?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Foxy Shazam and Things to Do

Columbia's St. Patrick's Day had beautiful weather, (albeit a bit chilly with the wind gusts), plenty of beer and food, and an eclectic line-up of musicians.

I started the day by running the Get to the Green 5K, which ended up being a pretty nice course--there were a couple little hills in the first mile, but miles 2 and 3 were flat and fast. Over 2,000 people participated in the 5K, so it was a bit crowded in the beginning, but thinned out quickly.
After the race, we joined my mom, dad, and nephew, Ben, to watch the parade down Devine Street. He was entertained, which was the point.
After a quick shower, James and I were on a mission to spend the rest of the day with friends, drinking, eating and listening to music in 5 Pts. And we did just that.

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The one band I was super-excited to hear was Foxy Shazam. The Free Times described them thusly, which piqued my interest and was the impetus for me to seek them out at the festival: "the band will be heading out soon enough to play Spin’s SXSW showcase, so I suggest you give their anthemic pop a listen or two. That way, when Bob Guccione Jr. gets around to putting them on the cover of Spin, you can say you heard them when."

The band is on SPIN's 50 Must-See Bands at SXSW List, and was on their 10 To Watch in 2010 List as well. Lead vocalist, Eric Nally, truly takes center stage; SPIN describes him as "Mick Jagger on a Red Bull binge." Their music is a bit hard and may not appeal to a mainstream taste, but their performance was over-the-top entertaining. Below are 2 pics that James snagged on his camera-phone, (of course my camera ran out of batteries on Saturday!)

Lead singer, Eric Nally, hanging over the stage.

And now hanging upside-down. If you look behind him, to the right, you can see the pianist standing on the keyboard...

We only heard them play for about 15 minutes, but I was sold. Bought the CD...and now I can say, "I saw them before they got really famous..."

Tomorrow night--head to Mr. Friendly's to the Humane Society's monthly fundraiser; 10% of all sales from 6-9 pm will be donated to the local Humane Society. Click here to print out the card to present to your server.

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Become a friend of Rosso Trattoria on Facebook...they are awarding DINNER for TWO to their 1,000th Facebook Friend. If you suggest the 1,000th Friend, you'll win Dinner for Two, also! Last I looked, they were at 977 friends...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Go Do Stuff

The older I get, the more difficult I find it to sit still and just "be." At times when I seem restless and unable to sit still, my husband says to me, simply: "Stop doin' stuff, babe." It's pretty cute, and usually is exactly what I need to hear in those moments of frantic fussing about, not really getting anything done...

Anyway--today's post is meant to send just the opposite message--go do stuff, my dears!

Impending spring and the excitement of a big St. Pat's celebration in Columbia have me really excited for the weekend!

Here is a quick list of fun things to do around Columbia:
*USC baseball hosts 3 games against Brown, Friday at 7 pm, Saturday at 4 pm, and Sunday at 1:30 pm.

*Of course, St. Patrick's Festival in 5 Pts. Click here to see my previous post all about that!

*Gervais & Vine has live jazz on Saturday night, no cover--and they always have amazing tapas and wine.

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*The Nickelodeon is showing Out in the Silence one screening only--tomorrow, March 13th at 7pm. Screening will be held in the lobby of the Fox Theater - 1607 Main Street. See the trailer:

*All shoes at Revente are 20% off through Sunday.

*All-Local Farmer's Market, 8-12 Saturday, with some new vendors, including Ryan's Veg House featuring Hydroponic Butter, sounds amazing?! Breakfast by Rosso.

*Free show by SoftSpot at The Whig on Sunday night--plus they have $2 burgers (and veggie burgers).

What are your plans?? This weekend, I'm doin' stuff, babe.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday's Thinking of Food

Random Thursday Food-Related Tidbits:

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1. Food, Inc. got an Oscar nod last Sunday in the Best Documentary Feature category--it didn't win, but "it's an honor just to be nominated." If you haven't seen it, here's why you should.

2. Our local Earth Fare has a cool "Pantry Makeover" deal right now where they will take your un-healthy foods and give you healthy, organic options in return (for FREE!) "Trade in peanut butter with hydrogenated oil, soda with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), cereal with HFCS, salad dressing with HFCS or hydrogenated oils or jelly with HFCS and get a FREE Earth Fare Brand HEALTHY replacements. It doesn’t matter if your trade-in is completely full or has two tablespoons left in it, BOOT IT!" Click here to get the Pantry Makeover coupon.

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3. Apparently, America's leading beverage companies have delivered on a three-year commitment to remove full-calorie soft drinks from schools across the country and replace them with lower-calorie, smaller-portion beverages, a new report from the American Beverage Association finds. There has been an 88% decline in calories from beverages shipped to schools since 2004, and full-calorie soft drinks have been removed altogether. Now we just need to tackle why french fries are considered vegetables in school lunches...
Click here to read the full press release by the Clinton Foundation. (via The Philanthropy News Digest e-blast)

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4. I got my first e-mail from Round River Farms, the local, organic CSA that I joined this season! They were writing to inform us that "since it has been so cold lately, we will more than likely not start deliveries until the middle of May instead of the beginning of May. The soil in the boxes is still really cold and we want to make sure it warms up some before we start planting anything in it." What an exciting e-mail to receive--someone is looking out for my veggies. And they are still accepting Shareholders for the 2010 season, if you're interested.

5. Click above to sign Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Petition--there is also a permanent link on the left side toolbar of my blog, or click here to read more about it.

If you have any food-related culture or information to share, I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Word for Wednesday- and a Restaurant Review


to complete or make perfect

As in: The glass of Mirabelle Brut champagne that I ordered at Cellar on the Greene last night was the perfect complement to the Cheese Pizza with fresh basil.

Not to be confused with compliment--which is the main reason I chose this word for today, because I have seen it wrongly-used recently--compliment with an "i" means an expression of esteem or approval.

I am half-way through my Hampton Hills Biggest Loser Challenge--6 weeks in, and I have officially lost 17.6 lbs! We had a weigh-in last night, and I decided that I deserved a "cheat-night" afterward, and that included Cellar on the Greene's Champagne Tuesday and a pizza.

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Cellar has Champagne Tuesday EVERY Tuesday, where they feature 4-5 champagnes for really cheap prices. You can order by the glass or order a bottle to take home. I got my glass of Mirabelle for only $5, (regularly $9), and also bought a bottle to take home for only $19!! (Regularly menu-priced at $45, and on-line for $22). I love a bargain, especially of the champagne-variety.

The cheese pizza was divine--as you all know, I adore pizza, but this one was particularly amazing. Freshly-grated parmesan and manchego cheeses atop a crispy-thin crust and local tomato marinara, sprinkled with fresh basil chiffonade. Yum! Click here to see the rest of Cellar's menu. (Sorry, I have no pictures--I was so excited and overwhelmed by the taste of champagne and pizza, that I didn't once slow down or think to snap photos).

They always offer a $19 3-course special, and on Thursdays offer a 2-pizza and one bottle of wine all for $25 special. Every other Saturday they have a huge wine-tasting and sale from 12-2 pm. (They will be closed this Saturday for St. Pat's).

In addition to serving great food and awesome wines and champagnes for really reasonable prices, the staff of the Cellar is super-nice and generous! Our bartender, Laurel, was very knowledgeable about the wine and champagne and even offered me a free taste of another champagne on the menu--Cava Castellroig; she deemed it "chuggable" and I have to agree--it was very crisp and went down dangerously easy.

Kaitlin is another member of the Cellar staff and she writes her own blog, The Wine Snob--check it out for recommendations and commentary on some great wines.
Thanks, ladies and gents of Cellar on the Greene for an awesome "cheat night!"

Now, back to the Biggest Loser-approved foods/drinks for 6 weeks more...

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Columbia Rocks St. Pat's

Having grown up in Columbia, I always took it for granted that we had a St. Patrick's Day festival. But at this point in my life, I have spent some time in other cities, and there are not many that do-it-up for St. Pat's like Columbia. I haven't been to St. Pat's in 5 Points in probably 4 or 5 years, but I am making a day of it this year!

Here's a run-down of what you can look forward to this weekend:

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8:30 am- Get to the Green 5K: My husband and I are signed up for this, (much to his chagrin), and with our race registrations, we also get a t-shirt and FREE entry to the day's festivities! (A $15 value--sweet).

10 am- St. Pat's Parade: Parade begins at Dreher High School and travels down Devine St. to 5 Pts.

10 am- 6 pm- Children's Carnival: so much fun stuff for kids-- Mad Science, puppet shows, face painting, rides, double dutch, dancing, karaoke...

12 pm- 6 pm- Live Music (everywhere): there are 4 different main stages in 5 Pts. Click here to see the line-ups at each one. I am not familiar with many of the bands that are playing, but live music is always exciting...I do know Robert Earl Keen and Jet however--they're each playing different stages at 4:45 pm.

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Keeping St. Pat's Green...Anheuser-Busch Recycling Corporation, Sonoco Recycling, the Five Points Association and the City of Columbia teamed up with local civic groups during the 2009 festival to keep St. Pat’s in Five Points green.

Recycling receptacles were stationed throughout the festival area for the recycling of aluminum, glass, plastic bottles and cardboard. Nearly 3,000 pounds of bottles and cans and 1,200 pounds of cardboard was kept out of our landfills during the 2009 St. Pat’s in Five Points festival because of the recycling program. Now that’s keeping it green!

Bottom line for the day--there is something for everyone; go support our local festival--and the proceeds support local charities, so drink green beer knowing that you're helping others!

Click here for a cool interactive festival map.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Yappy Happy Hour

Wanna get out and enjoy this beautiful Columbia weather? (It's supposed to be 70 degrees today, and 71 degrees tomorrow--and sunny!) Do you also have a furry friend of the dog-persuasion, or just like dogs? Do you like margaritas? And chips?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, then I suggest you head to Cantina 76 tomorrow, Tuesday, March 9th from 5-8 pm for a "Yappy Happy Hour" to benefit Project Pet.

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The cost is $12 per person and includes margarita and wine tastings, chips’n’dip bar, and door prizes. Call (803) 407-0991,ext.1004 or email for tickets. If you bring your dog, you'll be on the patio--sans pup, you can sit inside and enjoy the same deal!

Project Pet is an amazing local non-profit that saves pets from local high-kill shelters to adopt out to loving homes. Dexter, (pictured below), is one of their featured dogs right now--click here to learn more about adopting Dexter and giving him a forever-home.

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Cantina 76 is self-proclaimed "A Taste of Mexico with a Unique Southern Twist." I have been once and enjoyed their tacos and a chicken chimichanga, which was a special that night, but I hope they have made it a regular menu item--it was great. Click here to see their menu. Click here to join their Facebook page.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday's Thinking of Food

A few random healthy-food related tidbits for you today:

1. Monday night, while on the stair climber at the gym, I caught this Lifeline segment on NBC Nightly News on the debate over whether organic really is better: (I think could it not be?)

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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2. This week my cousin, Caitlin, who lives in Charleston, SC, sent me a request via Facebook to join a group called Fields to Families. After researching the organization, I am totally impressed! Basically, their mission is to help the hungry in their community (Charleston) gain access to nutritious fruits and vegetables. The group has partnered with local farmers to take the leftover crops off their hands and then disburse the healthy food to soup kitchens, food pantries, Meals on Wheels, shelters, and churches.

What an amazing, collaborative, healthy idea! Click here to read a recent article written about the group. They also have a Fields to Families blog.

3. Don't you just love Jamie Oliver? Not only is he cute and has a really awesome accent, but he has a new initiative called Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

A word from Jamie about this initiative: "
I believe that every child in America has the right to fresh, nutritious school meals, and that every family deserves real, honest, wholesome food. Too many people are being affected by what they eat. It's time for a national revolution. America needs to stand up for better food!" You can sign the petition to be a part of the American Food Revolution here.

In concert with this effort, Jamie also has a new show premiering Friday, March 26th on ABC called Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. See a sneak preview below--could be a bit hokey, but I really like him and the message: