GALLERY: Waking Up to a Lowcountry Miracle

What were you doing at 6:30 AM this morning?

I imagine most of you were in dream land fast asleep comfortably under your sheets and comforters.? While most of the Lowcountry was sleeping, a few of us witnessed another beautiful miracle; a Charleston sunrise.? Like a cinematic IMAX in the sky, the minute by minute reel was filled with colors, depth and warmth.

A Lowcountry sunrise is a gift we are blessed with most mornings.

For those that could not witness this remarkable dawn, we were able to capture and share with you all.

Enjoy this morning’s sunrise











Photo Credit:? Mark A. Leon

The Blackbaud Institute Uncovers Proven Strategies for Successful Monthly Giving Programs

This new Blackbaud Institute report provides research-backed best practices for marketing, promoting, soliciting and fulfilling a sustained giving program. (PRNewsfoto/Blackbaud)
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SOURCE Blackbaud

New study provides research-backed best practices for marketing, promoting, soliciting and fulfilling a sustained giving program

CHARLESTON, S.C., April 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —?Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, today announced the availability of a new report, “Sustainers in Focus Part 2: Proven Practices for Success,” featuring research-backed best practices for marketing, promoting, soliciting and fulfilling a sustained giving program. This highly-anticipated second installment of the Sustainers in Focus series released by the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact shares strategies that have been proven to produce significant results for social good organizations based on rigorous research and analysis.

“Until now the sector has only had anecdotal evidence about what might work to make a program successful, but this study explores variances in sustainer program returns across different organizations in different sub-sectors to determine the true research-backed best practices that have worked for real organizations,” said Chuck Longfield, Blackbaud’s chief scientist. “These are proven practices, not just advice that might work, that are shared in a clear, concise way to provide an easy-to-follow roadmap to success. They can be broadly applied and repeated to increase sustainer program performance across the entire sector.”

In Part 1 of the series, “Sustainers in Focus: Uncovering the Value of Retained Revenue,” the Blackbaud Institute concentrated on showing the financial justification for sustainer giving as a strategic approach to building donor base stability and maximizing value. Part 2 documents the best practices for increasing sustainer program performance across the nonprofit sector.

Six Proven Practices Uncovered by Blackbaud’s Sustainers in Focus Part 2 Report

  1. Ask new donors to give on a monthly basis.
  2. Convert multi-year, single donors to sustainers.
  3. Make monthly giving the website default.
  4. Use a credit card updater service and update invalid credit card data.
  5. Encourage donors to use electronic funds transfer.
  6. Steward your sustainers.

“I have been building monthly giving programs for more than 35 years. Monthly giving programs remain one of the best ways for nonprofits to dramatically increase the lifetime value of their average donor,” said Harvey McKinnon, author of the report’s foreword and best-seller Hidden Gold. “In this report, you’ll see the practical strategies that can actually lead organizations to build a thriving monthly donor program…Its research-backed findings provide a proven recipe for success… If you, like me, are always searching for the most effective and efficient fundraising strategies, you’ll find Sustainers in Focus Parts 1 & 2 are invaluable companions.”

For more information about the Blackbaud Institute, visit To read the full findings on research-based best practices for sustained giving programs, download the report at

About Blackbaud
Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community-nonprofits, foundations, corporations, education institutions, and individual change agents-Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through software, services, expertise, and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and relationship management, digital marketing, advocacy, accounting, payments, analytics, school management, grant management, corporate social responsibility, and?volunteerism. Serving the industry for more than three decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit?

About the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact
The Blackbaud Institute drives research and insight to accelerate the impact of the social good community. It convenes expert partners from across the philanthropic sector to foster diverse perspectives, collective thinking, and collaborative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. Using the most comprehensive data set in the social good community, the Blackbaud Institute and its partners conduct research, uncover strategic insight, and share results broadly, all in order to drive effective philanthropy at every stage, from fundraising to outcomes. Knowledge is powering the future of social good, and the Blackbaud Institute is an engine of that progress. Learn more, sign up for updates, and check out our latest resources at

Media Contact
Nicole McGougan
Public Relations

Forward-looking Statements
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Although Blackbaud attempts to be accurate in making these forward-looking statements, it is possible that future circumstances might differ from the assumptions on which such statements are based. In addition, other important factors that could cause results to differ materially include the following: general economic risks; uncertainty regarding increased business and renewals from existing customers; continued success in sales growth; management of integration of acquired companies and other risks associated with acquisitions; risks associated with successful implementation of multiple integrated software products; the ability to attract and retain key personnel; risks related to our dividend policy and share repurchase program, including potential limitations on our ability to grow and the possibility that we might discontinue payment of dividends; risks relating to restrictions imposed by the credit facility; risks associated with management of growth; lengthy sales and implementation cycles, particularly in larger organization; technological changes that make our products and services less competitive; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in the SEC filings for Blackbaud, copies of which are available free of charge at the SEC’s website at or upon request from Blackbaud’s investor relations department. All Blackbaud product names appearing herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blackbaud, Inc.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

Local US Army Veteran succumbs to PTSD: loses Life, but leave a legacy of love behind

By Brian Vosicky
About a year and a half ago, I wrote an article for the Island Packet about my personal experiences with PTSD and how the USCB Sand Sharks Veterans club helped unite fellow servicemembers who may be struggling to cope with civilian life.? I spoke about the deepest wounds being unseen and that many people aren’t fully aware of the severity of the problem until it is too late to act.


On March 31st, Nick Becker – US Army combat veteran, USCB student, SSV member, and my friend – tragically succumbed to his hidden wounds and took his own life. ?


Nick was loved tremendously by all who knew him.? Known best for his witty sense of humor and Chesire-cat grin, he was always a bright light in the room.? People would naturally gravitate towards his magnetic charm.? He was incredibly intelligent, compassionate, fearless and had a true warrior spirit.


Nick was one of the first friends I made at USCB.? Despite the style and class I may exude in my writing, I do not always seem as approachable in person – Nick saw right through my grizzled demeanor from the beginning.? There’s an old saying that war veterans can recognize the “thousand-yard stare” in the eyes of a fellow vet, so perhaps he saw that I was struggling, too. ?


We bonded while exchanging a few war stories, often making light of sometimes darker subject matter.? It was cathartic for both of us to share our toughest experiences with each other, knowing that we were safe to fully express what we were going through without a fear of social repercussions.? It helped me a lot – I wish I could have helped him even more. ?


While I had no problem committing to SSV community outreach efforts on my own, it was always an added bonus to discover that Nick was going to attend the event as well.? There was never a dull moment with him around.? Even while picking up trash after festivals in Old Town Bluffton, Becker would always manage to find some cold brews for the group to enjoy.? He was always a people-pleaser who was never afraid to roll up his sleeves. ?


Above all else, I truly admired his moral character.? He was a fellow proponent for the sciences, secular humanism, skepticism, globalism, liberty, and justice.? Like me, he despised hypocrisy, so he always made sure to practice what he preached. ?


He was a friend to all and a protector of the weak.? While we shared many similar views on politics, religion, philosophy, business, and ethics, I most enjoyed when we were at odds.? His sharp intellect, vast knowledge, and life experiences often challenged my most stringent beliefs.? I will truly miss having that challenge.?


I urge all of you to keep fighting for the ones who have already fought for all of us.? When the troops come home and the media coverage fades, the war isn’t over – not for everyone.? Stay vigilant to veteran organizations, donate, volunteer, write to your legislators, and keep reaching out to those you suspect might be suffering in silence.? No one should ever have to feel like they are going through this alone.


“My parting words to all of you is to have a sense of humor, the world is a funny place.” -Nick Becker


Brian Vosicky is a Marine Corps veteran who served in the Middle East, Europe and Africa. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Beaufort. Email him at?

Shaggin’ on the Cooper – This Saturday, April 29th…and beyond

What:? Shaggin’ on the Cooper

When:? Saturday, April 29th – 7:00 PM

Where:? Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park/Pier

Cost:? $10.00 / $8.00 in advance (Ticket Information)

Dust off your dancing shoes and get ready for summer and Shaggin’ on the Cooper! Live music of all varieties will fill the air with local bands performing throughout the season at the Mount Pleasant Pier. All ages are invited to let loose, breathe in the harbor breeze and dance the night away under the stars. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

2017 Schedule
Gates open at 7 p.m., and the music begins at 8 p.m.
? April 29 with The Sugarbees
? May 13 with Shem Creek Boogie Band
? June 10 with Ocean Drive Party Band
? July 15 with The Counts
? August 12 with Vinyl Daze
? September 9 with The Coppertones

? Advance general admission: $8
? At the gate: $10 (based on availability)

Gates open at 7 p.m. Music begins at 8 p.m.

Online registration ends at midnight on the day before each event. On the day of the event, admission can be purchased by calling 843-795-4386 by 2 p.m. or at the event gate if available.

Take the Charleston Pledge

We are calling on all Charlestonians, far and wide to stand together in solidarity and take the Charleston pledge with us.

Charleston Pledge

I ______________ take the Charleston pledge today.? As part of my commitment to making the City of Charleston healthy, clean, harmonious and warm, I

  • Pledge to always use my turn signal when I am making a turn in my vehicle
  • Pledge to never toss a cigarette or ash from my car window while I am driving
  • Pledge to never take up the entire sidewalk while walking downtown and respecting those other walkers around me
  • Pledge to not stop driving in the middle of the road to take a picture of a house or carriage
  • Pledge to never drink and drive, so we can help reduce the number of driving fatalities and keep the roadways safe for everyone
  • Pledge to not verbally attack someone a social platform because they have an opinion or thought that differs from you
  • Pledge to accept everyone who lives here for who they are, regardless of where they were born
  • Pledge to keep our beaches and parks clean by removing everything we came in with and remove trash you may see
  • Pledge to walk only in the appropriate cross walks and not jaywalk causing potential dangers for drivers
  • Pledge to share the roads, respecting all bikers, walkers, rickshaws and carriages
  • Pledge to treat all members of the community with the same respect, whether they live on the East Side, Westside, North, French Quarter or West Ashley
  • Pledge to remember the small businesses that built this great city who are now fighting for their personal livelihood

If each of us takes this pledge, we can ensure a safe and happy future for ourselves, our children and generations to come.

The Lowcountry Love Dilemma

By Mark A. Leon

“Love you” in case I die.? A phrase so modern; so true; so filled with the purity of a millennial on the run.

I heard that recently while watching some mindless, yet profound Netflix programming thinking about an earlier conversation about the challenges of relationships.? There is a phrase for journalists that sums it all up so nicely, “journalists are just novelists in a hurry.”? It got me thinking about why dating is so difficult here in the Lowcountry.

The Dilemma

We date in the sound bite world where immediate affirmation is the normal way of thinking.

After one date, do we:

  • Sleep together
  • Become official
  • Marry
  • Change our relationship status
  • Become text friends

It isn’t that simple.? Like a great wine, a great relationship must age and be given time to breath.

The Excuses

Often, we blame everything else instead of looking for the core root of the problem when a date goes sour or you just can’t find one.

  • “Online dating sucks”
  • “Girls are teases”
  • “Guys just want to get laid”
  • “There are so many more girls than guys that it sucks to be a guy in Charleston.”
  • “I hate putting the effort into a date if it most likely not even workout.”
  • “After I cyber stalked her, she seems a little crazy.”
  • “Their picture online is so not them.”
  • “All he/she wants to do is drink on the date.”

These phrases are like the wind blowing from town to town and finding new meaning with each interaction.? The strength of anything worthwhile will never be found in excuses, haste or shortcuts.? A great relationship must be treated with respect, nourished and given light to grow.

The Cultural Clash

As the population grows and evolves, Charleston is becoming a melting pot of new cultures, personalities and ways of thinking.? This shift is slowly creating an evolutionary shift in traditional Southern behavior.

Historically, women and men with traditional Southern upbringings went into dating with the premise of finding a life mate.? This belief system based on respect and conservative values holds significance today, but that shift is changing.

As the melting pot sizzles, the integration of Northerners and Southerners in traditional dating situations is destined to collide.

When the “go out on a few dates and get to know each other” meets the “you are not the right one for me so take care of yourself” passive brush off, the hostility will grow.

When the “I just want to have fun and fuck my way through this city,” meets the Southern belle that wants expensive food and drinks, doors opened for them and a kiss on the cheek at the end of the night, fires will spread.

How often have you heard the phrase, “men and women aren’t so different”?? It is built on truth, but there are other variables at play that we must not ignore.

Culture is a beast far more powerful than you and me.? West Coast thinking and East Coast thinking get along, but will never find a true happy medium.? Northern liberal aggressive behavior vs Southern conservative charms will always be at odds.

Idealistically, when two souls meet that exchange an energy that fuses together for a feeling of yearning and bliss, that union is forever.? That true rings true from China to Maine.

Yet, the Lowcountry offers a set of obstacles that must be understood, broken down and pieced back together to paint a picture pure and true.

We live in a day and age where opportunities are more abundant than ever before, where love can be found at every turn over a beer, in a dog park, or in a digital app.? Knowing what to do once you find it, is the key to any chance of success.

Go in with a grain of salt, listen to your date and be respectful of their moral fibers.

This will ease the pain if you aren’t the right fit.


Clinical research firm creating 80 jobs and adding $10 Million in new capital investment into Charleston

COLUMBIA, S.C. NCGS, Inc. (link is external), a clinical research organization (CRO) supporting the pharmaceutical industry, is expanding its Charleston County operations. The company is constructing a new corporate headquarters, which will bring $10 million of new capital investment and create 80 new jobs.

Founded in 1984, NCGS is a privately-held, international, full-service CRO which specializes in conducting and managing clinical trials. Focusing on complex areas of clinical development, such as oncology, infectious diseases and critical care, NCGS has worked on the approval or expanded approval of 34 drug, biologic and diagnostic products.

Currently located at 288 Meeting Street in Charleston, S.C., the company will be moving into a new corporate headquarters after completing renovations in the spring of 2017. The new headquarters will be located at 16 Charlotte Street in Charleston, S.C. Hiring for the new positions will begin immediately, and interested applicants should visit the company’s careers page online (link is external).

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project.


“NCGS’ core mission is to help develop new drugs that improve our lives. This is an exciting time of unprecedented discovery in our industry, and NCGS is proud that our success will translate into growth for our beloved Lowcountry community. Our continued expansion and success, not only impacts new jobs, but furthers our philanthropic impact on the community.” –NCGS CEO Nancy C.G. Snowden

“The fact that the partnership between NCGS and our great state continues to result in growth and success for both parties is something to be proud of. We have one of the friendliest environments for business in the world, and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for NCGS.” –Gov. Henry McMaster

“Today’s announcement reinforces an increasing trend – that South Carolina is ‘Just right’ for corporate headquarters. We’re excited to celebrate, not only this tremendous new investment from NCGS, but also the 80 new jobs to Charleston County.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“NCGS’ expansion is continued proof that Charleston County provides a positive business climate and unparalleled resources to foster growth. The county council thanks NCGS for their endless commitment to our community.” –Charleston County Council Chairman Victor Rawl

“Congratulations to NCGS on the expansion of their downtown operations. Charleston is a great place to live, work and raise a family, and I look forward to welcoming NCGS to their new corporate headquarters this spring.” –Charleston Mayor John J. Tecklenburg

“We were excited to learn of the NCGS expansion, and to have the opportunity to help facilitate the move to their new corporate headquarters. Their growth supports a promising future for Charleston County in the life sciences sector.” –Charleston County Economic Development Director Steve Dykes


  • NCGS, Inc (link is external). is expanding its Charleston County operations.
  • $10 million investment to create 80 new jobs.
  • NCGS is a clinical research organization that specializes in conducting and managing clinical trials.
  • Located at 288 Meeting Street in Charleston, S.C., the company will be moving into its new corporate headquarters in the spring of 2017.
  • Hiring for the new positions will begin immediately, and interested applicants should visit the company’s careers page online (link is external).

Summerville Based Scout Boats plan to add 370 new jobs in South Carolina

Media Release:? Boat Building Company Adding 370 Jobs in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A company that makes fishing boats plans to expand its operations in South Carolina and hire another 370 employees.

The state commerce department said in a news release Thursday that Scout Boats plans to spend nearly $11 million on the expansion of its operations in Summerville.

The company plans to add several new models to its product line.

Scout Boats makes a variety of coastal fishing boats ranging from 17 feet to 53 feet in length.

A new facility is designed to accommodate a new 53-foot luxury yacht model.

About Scout Boats

Scout Boats was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Summerville, South Carolina.

Spring Into the Season with Delicious and Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Creamy Wheat Berry Hot Cereal


  • 2 cups hard red winter-wheat berries (see Tips)
  • 7 cups cold water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 cups nonfat milk or reduced-fat soymilk
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups Cooked Wheat Berries
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted (see Tips)


  • To prepare the wheat berries: Sort through wheat berries carefully, discarding any stones. Rinse well under cool running water. Place in a large heavy saucepan. Add water and salt Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse. (Makes about 4 1/2 cups.)
  • To prepare the hot cereal: Place oats, raisins, milk (or soymilk) and salt in a large, microwave-safe bowl. (No microwave? See Stovetop Variation.) Stir to combine. Microwave on High, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Stir in 1 1/4 cups cooked wheat berries and microwave again until hot, 1 to 2 minutes more. Let stand for 1 minute. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve. (Refrigerate or freeze leftover wheat berries.)

Tips and Notes:

  • Make-Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the cooked wheat berries (Step 1) for up to 2 days or freeze airtight for up to 1 month.
  • Look for wheat berries in natural-foods markets in bulk or other near whole grains. Contrary to popular belief, they do not require an overnight soak before cooking. Simply boiling them for 1 hour soften the kernels and produces their characteristically chewy texture.
  • Toast slivered almonds in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata


  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese


  • Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.
  • Whisk eggs, oregano, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large, ovenproof, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and scallions and cook, stirring constantly, until the scallions are just wilted, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cook, lifting the edges of the frittata to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath, until the bottom is light golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Dot the top of the frittata with cheese, transfer the pan to the oven and broil until puffy and lightly golden on top, 2 to 3 minutes. Let rest for about 3 minutes before serving. Serve hot or cold.

Tips and Tricks

Make-Ahead Tip: Let cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day; serve cold.

Black Bean & Chipotle Tostadas with Creme Fraiche


  • 8 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas
  • * Canola oil cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sliced garlic
  • 2 cups cooked or canned, rinsed black beans, (see Tip)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp ground chipotle pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tbsp crème fra?che, or sour cream


  • Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 375°F.
  • Coat tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Place on 2 baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until light brown, 12 to 14 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add beans, water and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and chipotle. Mash the mixture with a potato masher or large fork to the consistency of a chunky puree. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
  • Beat eggs, egg whites and milk in a large bowl. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the egg mixture and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, folding and stirring frequently with a heatproof rubber spatula, until almost set, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • To assemble tostadas, spread each tortilla with about 1/4 cup bean mixture. Top each with 1/4 cup scrambled eggs and sprinkle with chipotle pepper, if desired. Serve garnished with onion, cilantro and a small dollop of crème fra?che (or sour cream).

Tips and Notes:

  • Tip: To cook beans from scratch
  • 1. Pick over 1 pound dry beans to remove any pebbles or broken beans and rinse well under cold water. Place in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak for 4 to 24 hours.
  • 2. Drain the beans and place in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, skimming off any debris that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 1 to 2 hours (cooking time will vary with the type and age of the bean). When the beans are nearly soft, stir in 1-1 1/2 teaspoons salt, to taste. Makes about 6 cups. Refrigerate leftover beans (in the cooking liquid) for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Crispy P0tatoes with Green Beans and Eggs


  • 1 cup fresh or cooked green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice, or 5 cups diced cooked potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • * Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 large eggs
  • * Pinch of paprika, (optional)


  • If using fresh green beans, cook in a large saucepan of boiling water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot enough to sizzle a piece of potato. Spread potatoes in an even layer and cook, turning every few minutes with a wide spatula, until tender and browned, 15 to 20 minutes for raw potatoes, 10 to 12 minutes for cooked. Stir in the green beans, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.
  • Crack each egg into a small bowl and slip them one at a time into the pan on top of the vegetables, spacing evenly. Cover and cook over medium heat until the whites are set and the yolks are cooked to your taste, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the eggs with paprika, if desired, and serve immediately.

Mango Coconut Green Smoothie


  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1/3 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 cup frozen banana slices (about 1 medium banana)
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed or flaxmeal
  • 1-2 tsp pure maple syrup or honey (optional)


Add coconut water and cottage cheese to a blender, then add kale, banana, mango, flaxseed (or meal) and sweetener (if using); blend until smooth.

Gingerbread Pancakes


  • 1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour (see Tips)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (see Tips)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Whisk flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk egg, buttermilk, applesauce, oil, molasses, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and whisk just until combined. Resist overmixing—it will make the pancakes tough.
  • Let the batter sit, without stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes. As the batter rests, the baking powder forms bubbles that create fluffy pancakes and the gluten in the flour relaxes to make them more tender.
  • Coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Without stirring the batter, measure out pancakes using about 1/4 cup batter per pancake and pour into the pan (or onto the griddle). Cook until the edges are dry and you see bubbles on the surface, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, 2 to 4 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining batter, coating the pan with cooking spray and reducing the heat as needed.

Tips and Notes:

  • Make-Ahead Tip: The mixture of dry ingredients can be stored airtight for up to 1 month; the batter can be refrigerated for up to 1 day; cooked pancakes can be frozen airtight, in a single layer, for up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or oven.
  • White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour.
  • No buttermilk? You can make “sour milk” as a substitute: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup nonfat milk; let stand for about 10 minutes before using.

Recipes Provided by Zipongo

Blues Sensation Samantha Fish: An Artist out of Water

Photo Credit: Brian Rozman

By Mary Kiser

You can scroll through any YouTube music video to find the cliché “Music is officially dead” in the comment section, unless you’re watching Samantha Fish.

She’s a homegrown artist from Kansas City, Missouri, who’s cultivated the fervor of a rock and roll sound, but with a serving of blues on the side. While her latest album Chills & Fever, which features R&B gems from the ‘60s and ‘70’s produced by Bobby Harlow and featuring The Detroit Cobras, dishes soul as the entrée, Fish platters rock as the appetizer. Her sounds are intertwined together, so fans are stuffed and satisfied. However, they’ll always be hungry for more.

Whether Fish belts out her pain as in the Nina Simone classic “Either Way I Lose” or opts for an up-tempo backdrop against her sultry croons of Charles Sheffield’s “It’s Your Voodoo Working”. her childhood memories set the tone.

“I grew up listening to everything. My father and uncles played rock ‘n’ roll and heavy metal, but my dad and his friends would play bluegrass, country, blues. There was a lot of different genres that influenced me. I just listen to anything,” she says.

Fish’s bodies of work will always mirror what she feels. While people may know her with a guitar in hand, she’s freed from any box, definition, or label. She’s her own person, and her own artist.

Unlike her last three albums, her fourth album highlights her talent unhinged.

“I was always restrained when I went into the studio. I could hear every flaw magnified, so I would get performance anxiety. I recorded Chills & Fever with a different mindset, though,” she says. Her producer Bobby Harlow had her record in a quirky motel, or a “crazy-ass motel,” as Fish would say. He wanted her to feel like Ray Charles, for example. The legend had little room for error in the music business, so he had to put his heart and soul into his craft. Well, Harlow wanted Fish to feel the same pressure. His plan would only work if Fish did the heavy lifting.

Photo Credit: Brian Rozmanwork if Fish did the heavy lifting.

“In the past I was too self-conscious to give my all, but I threw [my everything] into Chills & Fever,” she says. She realized how her “flaws” and “imperfections” gave her album the oomph that made her songs worthwhile. Nobody wants to go through horrific heartbreak, insecurity, or infidelity, but her experiences make Fish’s work relatable. No wonder she’s grown her fandom, played in France, Germany, and New Zealand, and jammed alongside icons like Buddy Guy, Steven Tyler and Alice Cooper.

The Missourian’s accomplished so much, and her events and encounters are just as noteworthy as her Billboard Blues Albums Chart position of Chills & Fever, which is currently at #5. ?Her ultimate goal goes beyond the praise and accolades, though. She just wants to make her audience feel. “I want to inspire people,” she says.

While she would love to win a Grammy (She is human, after all.), she strives to give others what music has given her: life.

Samantha will be exciting Charleston audiences this Thursday, April 20th at The Windjammer on IOP