Monday, July 8, 2013

Fourth of July Weekend

Growing up on the Jersey Shore, the Fourth of July has always been a big holiday in my book. July 4th means grilling at the beach, watching fireworks, sipping sangria (a somewhat family tradition) and enjoying the company of family and friends. After the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, I was not looking forward to celebrating the 4th at the Jersey Shore. My family couldn't have agreed more and decided to come down to Kiawah Island, South Carolina to join me for the holiday weekend.

Dinner at Magnolia's.
Magnolias on Urbanspoon 
One of my first meals in Charleston about six years ago was at the famed upscale Southern cuisine restaurant, Magnolia's, with my mom and my brother. I distinctly remember ordering Seafood & Grits and swooning over it for the rest of the trip. We decided to revisit our first Charleston restaurant with the rest of my family in tow. To start we shared their Fried Green Tomatoes, Blue Cheese Potato Chips, and Fried Macaroni. For dinner I opted for the Shellfish and Grits (once again) with the Peninsula Bellini. In my eyes, Magnolia's will always be the quintessential "lowcountry" restaurant in Charleston.

Exploring Kiawah Island.

Even though it rained almost every day at the beginning of the week, when we finally had some good weather we took to exploring the island. Every morning we would wake up and bike the beach (its about 5 miles to The Sanctuary Hotel and back to our rental). Something about Kiawah Island feels like a retreat; you can really lose all sense of time (and worry) just biking, walking, or laying on the beach. We also saw our fair share of alligators on the island, which was a first for me and my siblings. Luckily none of them came too close, but they did give us a little bit of a scare.

4th of July BBQ.

We finally had our first sunny day on the 4th of July. We spent the entire day laying on the beach and swimming in the ocean before preparing a BBQ feast for dinner. I whipped up some Sparkling Sangria and Grilled Brussels Sprouts (a new favorite recipe I found in Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction cookbook). My mom grilled some shrimp, steak, and corn. I also picked up some pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, and potato salad from J.B.'s Smokeshack on John's Island for my brother, who can't resist BBQ food while in S.C. Later on we headed over to The Sanctuary Hotel to watch the fireworks. It was a great way to end the holiday week.

Sparkling Sangria with Lemon and Raspberries
Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Honey Dijon Almond Viniagrette

Loved seeing my family and friends this weekend, and also had an amazing time on Kiawah Island, I can't wait to go back. I'm beginning to think I may never leave Charleston (or the South) after this past weekend, there is just so much I love about the Southern landscape and culture.

Hope everyone had a good holiday weekend! 

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