My Year in the Blog-Sphere

Some Kinda Good is one. Happy Blog-iversary to me!

I began blogging at a time in my life–the year was 2011, the month was November–when I needed to be fully engaged in something. It’s amazing how the landscape of your life can change in a year’s time, and who would’ve thought blogging about crab legs and barbecue would’ve filled a hole I never knew was missing?

Blogging allows me to combine many of my favorite things like eating, food and cooking but also writing, taking pictures, being on camera and sharing my personality and passion for coastal culture and the South. I really didn’t have any expectations when I set out to blog, other than not being one of those people on Facebook that share nothing but food pictures–because unknowingly, I was that girl for a long time. The moment became very real to me when a friend commented on one of my food pictures with this: “Facebook: Rebekah’s Food Diary.” I thought, ‘Wow, he’s right. There’s a better way.’

Enter Some Kinda Good.

Some Kinda Good’s original design by my friend, Amanda Hudson.

With a background in web writing and PR, I had all the skills in place. I set out to learn WordPress and gathered up some photos of the food I’d cooked. Not surprisingly, I had plenty of content at the ready, as though it had been stockpiled for its moment in the sun.

Some Kinda Good has evolved over the year, and I’m kind of embarrassed at some of my earlier posts. You’ve got to start somewhere though. As one of my favorite quotes says, “The expert in anything was once a beginner.”

Some Kinda Good’s current design by my friend, Tori Sprankel.

Throughout the year, I’ve built relationships with restaurant owners, food and beverage connoisseurs, food writers and other bloggers. I’ve gotten to meet notable cookbook authors, culinary producers, well-respected chefs and colleagues at food & beverage public relations firms throughout the Southern seacoast.  I’ve also subscribed to Bon Appetite Magazine and become a sort of amateur kitchen expert among friends and family. I’ve worked with ingredients I once considered foreign like, heirloom tomatoes and pimiento-cheese. I’ve sampled restaurant dishes I thought I would never order like fried chicken and waffles or an open-face whole egg omelet topped with goat cheese, sautéed shrimp, spiced pecans and arugula….for breakfast!

I’ve learned to be true to me, that you can’t pursue a food trend because it’s a trend. When I did that, I only did it for the sake of being popular, to show that I too was up-to-speed with food on a stick, kid food for adults and all things local and organic. While it was fun to experiment, those ventures lacked passion.

And we all know without passion, the fire dies.

All along, my philosophy has been guided by one thought from Julia Child who said, “Find something your passionate about, and keep tremendously interested in it.” I’m a firm believer that it’s never too late to do the things you love, and when you do the things you love, success comes.

Some Kinda Good was ranked #2 on Urbanspoon’s Leaderboard of Top Georgia Food Blogs September – November 2012.

These are the successes I’m celebrating…a few highlights from my year in the blog-sphere:

Most Popular Posts:

Most Searched Post:

Favorite Search Term:

  • Faulk Some Kinda Eating

Accomplishments:

  • Held #2 spot on Urbanspoon’s Leaderboard of Top Georgia Food Blogs: September – November 2012
  • Currently ranked #3 on Urbanspoon’s Leaderboard of Top Georgia Food Blogs
  • Featured as an Editor’s Pick of the Day on Bloggers.com
  • Featured as a Tweep of the Week on Atlanta Dish, the company blog of Melissa Libby & Associates
  • Becky Sue Hits the Big Time: Special feature on Kudzu Dad Blog
  • Featured in numerous editions of Paper.li, an online newspaper
My Farmers Market Fun and One Souped-Up Strawberry Shortcake post was featured in The Atlanta Moms Daily on April 30, 2012.

Relationships I’ve Built as a Result of Blogging: 

I got to meet Nathalie Dupree (bottom right) at the Inaugural Saint Simons Island Food & Spirits Festival in September 2012.

Without sounding too much like I’ve won a Grammy, I couldn’t celebrate my successes without acknowledging a few special folks:

Thanks to my mom and best friend Charity, who without fail were always the first to comment on my posts, even when the content lacked interest or when no one else cared. Thanks to my graphic designer friends, Amanda and Tori for giving my blog the exact look and feel I envisioned, as it progressed throughout the year. To Angela and Jennifer, my other best friends, thanks for all your encouraging words…your affirmation often kept me going. To my former co-workers and friends in the PR department at Floyd Medical Center, your belief in my abilities blows my mind. Thank you for your constant reassurance, for calling me out when my posts aren’t well beyond expectations and for holding me to the Class of Style standard.

And finally, my favorite Twitter friends: @Golden_Isles, @VisitSavannah, @ClassicGeorgia, @Grocerize and @ChefCourtney13–y’all are always faithful to retweet my posts and I’ve gained many followers as a result of your influence. Thank you, really.

With nearly 15,000 hits and a healthy following through social media, I’m pretty stoked. Not too shabby for my first year in the blog-sphere. Some Kinda Good is bringing my dreams to life. Maybe year two will include The Cooking Channel or Food Network. Dream big or go home!

Follow @SKGFoodBlog on Twitter or find me on Facebook.

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The Island’s Only Alfresco Dining Experience Awaits

Ocean Terrace Grille
St. Simons Island, Georgia

If your family is anything like mine, you’ll know what I mean when I say a beach outing can leave you exhausted. The checklist of items we lug through the sand usually includes everything but the kitchen sink. Beach chairs. Tent. Cooler–packed to the brim. Towels. Radio. You get the idea. Thanks to The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort however, and their recently opened Ocean Terrace Grille, our load will be a little lighter this summer because we’ll be leaving the lunch fixings at home.

Conveniently located on the ocean’s edge, Ocean Terrace Grille is open to the public. While visiting St. Simons Island in the Golden Isles of Georgia, you can walk over from any location on East beach, just as you are, to enjoy the ocean breeze, have a cocktail or one of Chef Jeff’s scrumptious creations. Like the atmosphere, the menu is casual featuring salads, sandwiches, fresh wraps and burgers. The prices range from $5 for a classic garden salad to $11 for a shrimp salad wrap.

Nothing beats a properly garnished cocktail, especially on a hot day in Georgia at the beach. The full bar has an impressive selection of frozen and specialty cocktails as well as beer and wine. We visited on July 4th, and the K&P Independence specialty cocktail with coconut rum, Blue Curacao and pineapple juice was a fine way to celebrate our nation’s independence. Beautiful job, bartender.

We ordered chips and salsa for an appetizer at $7. The tri-colored chips were served with the best and most refreshing salsa I’ve ever tasted. A little cilantro, diced tomatoes and onion along with something fruity (mango maybe?) definitely made my taste buds say wow! The service also was timely and hospitable.

I ordered the Grilled Fish Sandwich, blackened, on a Brioche bun with lettuce, tomato and lemon aioli. Served with kettle chips, the sandwich showcases the catch of the day–on that day it was grouper: flaky, white, moist and fork-tender. Just look at those gorgeous grill marks!

You do not have to be a guest of The King and Prince to enjoy lunch or dinner at Ocean Terrace Grille. It is the island’s only alfresco oceanside dining establishment and everyone is welcomed and encouraged to come and experience it.

Weather permitting, the Grille opens daily at 11 a.m. Breathtaking views of the Atlantic ocean, seagulls flying overhead and sounds of crashing waves will keep you coming back again and again.

Sorry sandwich meat, on my next beach trip, you’ll be staying in the fridge.

Ocean Terrace Grille on Urbanspoon

My Lowcountry Boil Birthday Bash

On a cool Friday night in early spring, all the conditions were right for my lakeside lowcountry boil. I was celebrating the last year in my 20’s, and I was ready to have one dang good party.

Check out my video to see us cooking, but be forewarned, we are not professional videographers, there’s a lot going on and I was really excited…LOL!

View the photos below to see how the rest of my birthday bash went down:
For weeks, I anticipated the celebration keeping in mind simplicity, coastal inspiration and rustic elements. I covered the tables where guests would eat with burlap, then placed silver pails on top for discarding shrimp hulls. Yellow flowers popped, and votive candles, sprinkled throughout, illuminated the evening.
I found this nautical fabric and just had to incorporate it in the party! I made silverware bundles with it using rope to keep with the theme of things. It’s all in the details!

If I had to think of one meal that expressed exactly who I am, without a doubt, a lowcountry boil it would be. Potatoes, shrimp, corn and sausage with Old Bay seasoning…does it get any better? Poured out on a newspaper-covered table, it’s everything I am…laid back, delicious and colorful. HA! I really can’t think of any other combination of ingredients that says “Let’s Party!” more.

Much like a cocktail without a garnish, no lowcountry boil is proper without Charleston Benne Wafers. On a recent trip to the Carolina Lowcountry, I picked up some crab dip mix and a package of the popular cookie at the Charleston Market. Learn more about my trip by checking out my post, Carolina Lowcountry Classics with My Best Friend. Also pictured above: Mom’s cheese ball with jalapeno pepper and pineapple served with Ritz crackers, coconut cupcakes with coconut-cream cheese frosting, garnished with toasted coconut and lime cheesecake pies.

Fresh fruit is always a welcomed dish. These strawberries came from The Strawberry Patch, a Mennonite Farm in Waynesboro, Georgia and the pineapple, you just gotta love it.

When all the food was ready, the table looked amazing–especially combined with a yard full of friends and family, and our Bourbon and Blenheim signature cocktails. The menu also included fresh bread and my mom’s amazing crab stew made with sherry. I found the perfect bowls for serving the stew at a local restaurant supply store.

This is my good friend Patrick, and our bartender for the evening. Our signature cocktail, called a B&B featured high quality bourbon and Blenheim, a spicy ginger ale from none other than Charleston. Garnished with fresh mint, the beverage was a refreshing palate cleanser. Iced tea, bottled water, Coke, wine and beer, along with boiled peanuts, also were served.

Getting ready to grub down! From left: My brother Joey, and my best friends Levi and Angela.

A fine evening indeed. From left: Angela, me and Patrick.

 There’s no greater feeling than being surrounded by people you love. I’m blessed.

After we ate, everyone drifted over to the fire to hang out, play guitar and sing. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect.
My fabulous guests and new friends Tori and John–Love them!

That was one heck of a party, if I do say so myself! A GIANT thank you and shout out to my mom, dad, brother Joey and sister-in-law Sarah, and my friends Patrick, Angela and Levi for help with set up and break down, cooking, cleaning and bartending. 😉 It certainly takes a team to pull off a party like that and I couldn’t have done it without y’all!

As I looked around the fire that night, I realized that I’ve had the same friends since I was 12 years old. Birthday after birthday throughout my life, they’ve all been there. In addition to that, there were new faces too and I couldn’t be more blessed. To each one that made my birthday special, I am thankful for you everyday.

Now, if only I can top that party for the big 3-0!