Less than two weeks left in this beautiful city. It’s crazy to think that this summer is about to end, and that working at the Seabrook Island Club, exploring downtown Charleston, and spending my days off reading on the beach at Sullivan’s Island will just be a memory. Although it is very cliché, I really have grown a great deal since I arrived here in May. Working in an oceanfront restaurant and managing 20 employees have shown me challenges I’ve never had to face before. How do you tell someone who is 20 years older than you and has worked at the restaurant for 10+ years what to do? Oh yeah throw in the fact that you’re a measly little intern. There have been some bad days to say the least. But I also have had some amazing learning experiences that I will take away with me at the end of the summer.
I’ve also grown outside the workplace – I can say that I am happy on my own now. After a 4 year relationship coming to an end, I finally feel like I’m back to my old self. While I still have a few bad days here and there, the good days reinforce the fact that I’m on my own two feet again and it’s all about me, myself, and I (yes, I just referenced Beyonce). One of my favorite things to do on my days off is go to the beach by myself. I’ve never felt more relaxed and at peace. I don’t have to ask anyone when they want to leave. I don’t feel like I have to entertain anyone. I just sit on the beach, look out to the water, and read a book. It seems like I’m doing everything solo – and I kind of
like love it. I went to a plantation in the Historic Ashley River district called Middleton Place on my own, just taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. I visited the Gibbes Museum of Art off Meeting Street, walked through the City Market where vendors come from around the area and share their craft, explored the Waterfront Park, and took pictures on Rainbow Row. I still love spending time with friends and family, but I am perfectly fine with spending the day by myself and getting some “me” time. Not gonna lie – it feels pretty awesome to say that.
When I have days off, I usually like to make a yummy dinner at home. We have a pretty limited kitchen here in Charleston, but this meal was perfect because it only required the basics – some mixing bowls and a baking sheet. I’m pretty sure that this is one of my favorite dishes I’ve ever made. It was unbelievably easy, ridiculously delicious, and fairly inexpensive & healthy. The chickpeas get toasted and crunchy, the tomatoes have a sweet, roasted flavor & the chicken is very moist and has a nice kick from all of the spices. Top it off with the creamy spiced yogurt sauce and it compliments the dish with a tangy richness. You could twist this recipe and make tons of different meals with this concept. Mix spices with EVOO, rub it on some chicken and vegetables, throw it on a baking sheet, and put it in the oven. Easy as pie. Also, if you have leftovers, shred the chicken and throw all the mix-ins in some pita bread (I had that for lunch for three days – it was awesome). Hope y’all enjoy!
Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes, Chickpeas & Paprika: (adapted from Bon Appétit)
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Servings: 3-4
- 1/4 cup EVOO
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
- 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas
- 1 12-oz. container cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 450°. Mix EVOO, garlic, and spices in a bowl. Put 1 tablespoon spiced oil into a small bowl and whisk in yogurt and set aside. Place chicken on baking sheet and rub with 2 tablespoons spiced oil. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup cilantro to the rest of the spiced oil, toss to coat. Pour chickpea mixture around chicken. Season everything with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cilantro. Serve with yogurt sauce. Enjoy!