Monthly Archives: April 2013

FREE CAT WITH EVERY PURCHASE

While Charleston was voted the number one tourist destination in the WORLD by Conde Nast Magazine last year, there is more to see beyond the Holy City. We have a house on the Isle of Palms and today is the last day we’ll be here because the renters will have it all summer. There are SO many wonderful places to eat and things to see without crossing the Cooper river, I thought I’d give you a little taste.

Wando-Shrimp-Co.

Just across the connecter from the Isle of Palms is Old Mt. Pleasant. Now, this Lowcountry town has nomountains and is about as flat as you can get, but it is aptly named for it’s fine shops, restaurants andhomes that are every bit as charming as the Battery mansions. One of the more colorful establishments isThe Wando Fish Company, which is right on the docks of Shem Creek. They sell the freshest fish, shrimpand crabs around and they also have my FAVORITE sign in the whole world pictured here with the niceman who tried to give me a orange tabby  with the four pounds of shrimp I bought for dinner.

 

 

Red-Door

 

Next door to The Wando Fish Company is The Wreck. Now the Wreck doesn’t look like much and it’s hardas hell to find, even with a GPS, they have some of the best and freshest seafood you will ever put in your mouth. But don’t go there expecting something fancy because the place has paper table cloths and the food is served on paper plates. However it’s been written up in every foodie magazine from Bon Appetit to Southern Living for it’s tasty seafood. My favorite part of the menu, other than the Charleston red rice, and jalapeno grit cake that comes with every meal, is the London Broil. Not because I’ve actually ordered it, I love the way it’s listed in the menu. LONDON BROIL- We  are a seafood establishment and we do not claim any expertise in the cooking of beef. If you order it, it’s yours.

When you pull up in the Wreck’s parking lot, even after you’re having a hard time find a parking place because the place is packed with locals and lucky tourists who’ve found the joint, you’ll wonder if this is the right place because there’s no sign. Just a red welcoming door on a shack that looks like it’s falling down, but it’s not. Get out of your car.  The view of the creek  and the Cooper River bridge is beautiful, and the food is spectacular. You won’t be disappointed.

The Lowcountry is as good as it gets. Y’all come!

 

It’s Almost Summer Vacation Time!

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Spring has sprung and it’s heating up. We had a mini-heat wave this past week with temps reaching 77 degrees. Today it will max out at 63 degrees. But the times they are a changing and I am ready. I’m a person who’s very affected by the weather. I get down when it’s cold and rainy. I’m happiest when the sun is shining. I am so excited to be able to sit out on my deck again and write or read a book, perhaps take a little nap around 2 p.m. before I have to pick up my daughter from school. This is my favorite season.

We’re at that point in time when I have to plan for a vacation if we want to do something away from home. Last year we tried Santa Barbara. The weather was beautiful but we knew that anyway. I lived in Santa Barbara for eight years and it’s always nice there. However, we weren’t prepared for the amount of traffic and people and the city has changed a bit. There are a lot of homeless people which is sad, but I’d pick Santa Barbara over the freezing East Coast if I had to live on the streets.

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This year we’re returning to Monte Rio in the Russian River area of California. There are lots of homes on the river and they have to be built way up high above the river due to seasonal flooding. So we have beautiful views of the redwood trees and you can hear birds and crickets. It’s just gorgeous.

What are your plans?

It’s All In The View…

For the last few weeks, I’ve been busy with the family. And when they’re not demanding my attention, I’ve been holed up in my office writing. So the only thing interesting in my life to report is that this …

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… has finally turned into this …

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… but what I’m really looking forward to is this …

Sheila Geraniums

May your spring arrive quicker than mine. 🙂

Debbie Downer Does it Again…

My family went to a wonderful concert at the University of Georgia (my alma mater) stadium last weekend featuring Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Jake Owen. The stadium was packed, the music was wonderful, and the weather was PERFECT. Seriously, it was a very rare evening in the south.concert

We had my two kids with us along with another thirteen-year-old and two fifteen-year-olds. The concert started at six and we all got to our feet to enjoy the show not long before Jake Owen took the stage. As the sun set and Jake relinquished the stage to Luke, the group of students behind us began to get a little rowdy, dancing and hollering along to the music. No problem, except they were dancing on top of our seats.

The girl directly behind my daughter and I had a cross body purse with a big metal clasp. After getting knocked in the back and arm several times by her purse, I tapped her on the shoulder and asked if she’d please move her purse to the back of her body since it kept hitting us. She leaned down, looked me right in the eye and said, “You want me to move my purse?” as if I’d just asked her to strip naked and run through the crowd.

I didn’t know she’d already smarted off to my husband when he asked her to get down from his seat so he could sit down. When he heard her reply, he told her to get off the seat. She flatly refused to our shock and dismay, so he took off and returned a few minutes later with cops. She’d beat a hasty retreat by this time and left her friends to deal with her mess, but not before berating me in front of my kids. The only good thing I can say is that she didn’t use foul language. I bit my tongue and told her how proud her parents must be of her, and of course, according to her, they are. I beg to differ.

I relayed this story to a friend and he told me something similar happened to him recently at the Final Four tournament. Two students were standing in front of him when the entire section was seated. He asked the boys to please sit down and the student told him to, “stand the **** up.” Needless to say, the boys sat. 🙂

I don’t think these two examples are the norm; I still believe most of America’s young adults behave much better than these two, but it still leaves me staggered and mostly just sad. Perhaps right along with reading, writing, and arithmetic, our schools should dedicate teaching time to character education and reward students who do the right thing. Perhaps us parents need to do the same, although sadly, mine got an up-close and personal lesson that night.

This Guy Really Cooks

I’m days away from releasing my debut novel and completing the third book in the series.  Between writing promotional material and a manuscript, there’s not a lot of original thoughts left in my head.  Please excuse me while I repost.  It’s kind of like re-gifting, but without the bows. 😉 This one’s from the Author’s In Bloom Blog Hop!  It was originally posted on my newly redesigned website http://www.tracysolheim.com. Check it out when you get a chance.

In my soon to be released novel, GAME ON,  quarterback Shane Devlin is known as the Devil of the NFL.  But in the kitchen, he’s a devil with a saucepan. :) Throughout the book, he’s always cooking up something, from crepes to homemade salsa.  In an effort to charm his love interest, Carly March, he tempts her with a simple Shrimp Scampi.  (He admits to being a huge Food Network junkie so this recipe is borrowed from Tyler Florence.)   Of course, he follows it up with a luscious dessert that includes whipped cream, but we’ll keep the steam to the pasta here.

 Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

shrimp scampi

 Ingredients
1 pound cooked linguini (you can also use angel hair pasta if you choose)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 shallots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes, (the recipe says these are optional, but don’t leave them out!)
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan; set aside and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve immediately.

Now, just find yourself a devilishly handsome guy and enjoy!

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