Category Archives: Specialty Shops

For the Love of Pork……Shoulders!

I love to cook with pork in many ways. As part of the NC Pork Council blogger network I was excited to learn our October challenge involved a pork shoulder. The beauty of the shoulder is it’s perfect  for a smoker, crock pot, dutch oven or braising pan.

I took the shoulder and rubbed it all over with the Memphis BBQ Rub from the Savory Spice Shop, in Lafayette Village, Raleigh. Once rubbed, I wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge over night.


Come morning, I took the pork out of the fridge and let it sit for 30 minutes while my husband got our Big Green Egg ready. We use both hickory and cherry wood chips for a sweet smoke finish. Any wood is good for smoking except mesquite. I  find it far to smoky with kind of burnt flavor, but that’s just my opinion =)

We aim to get the temperature on the egg up to 225 degrees then set the pork on the grill for 8-12 hours depending on the size of the shoulder. After we’re confident we’ve reached a temperature that will remain throughout the day, we walk away and don’t look back.


The little green cap you see on the ground sits on top of the egg and is what you use to help get the egg to the temperature you want. It has a small opening that you open and close to raise to raise or lower the temperature. It’s pretty nifty.

One of the great things about cooking a pork shoulder in a smoker, crock pot or braising pan, is the finished product translates in to multiple meals. Once shredded you can make tacos, pork sandwiches, pork plate, enchiladas and so much more. What would you make?


pulled pork

Happy Eating, oink oink! =)


Oyster Roast at Durham Co-Op with Locals Seafood

oyster roAST

Mark your calendars folks, the Durham Co-op Market and Locals Seafood  Oyster Roast is Friday, Nov. 13th. Think super fresh oyster from our very own NC coast, beer and music. What more do you need? They will be serving steamed and raw oysters by the half-dozen, served with lemons or hot sauce!

Durham Co-op Market says “Come celebrate our love of local seafood!! We’ll be serving Locals Seafood’s Wild Caught and Cultivated Oysters outside on our Patio (steamed and raw), along with Haw River Farmhouse Ales draft beer.”

“Slurp down some oysters and beer with us, or you can pre-order oysters to take home!”

Haw River Logo

The event is open to the public from 5 to 8 pm and you can order oysters to eat on-site, or place a pre-order for oysters to take home.

To place a pre-order,  email Oysters are only $5.99/ half dozen for the Wild Caught oysters, which are smaller and best for steaming, or $7.99/half dozen for the Cultivated oysters, which are bigger and better raw.

Stay tuned for pricing on larger quantities by following the links below.



Durham Co-op Market
1111 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701 · ~1 mi
(919) 973-1707
Open 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Grilled Pork Chops

I love to grill, especially pork. So as part of the NC Pork Council blogger network I was excited to learn our August challenge involved the grill.

With bone-in pork chops in hand and armed with a bottle of Georgia Boys All Purpose BBQ Rub from the Savory Spice Shop in Lafayette Village in Raleigh, I went to work.



I  love a quick and simple meal and this proved easy. I rubbed the pork chops with the spice rub the morning I planned to grill them and let them sit in the fridge for the day. I pulled them out to sit on the counter about 30 minutes before grilling.

When it came time to grill I set my husband to work. He has his way of grilling meats that time and time again works like a charm. He gets the grill hot (medium to high heat), sears each side 4 to 5 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat, then wraps it in foil to rest and finish cooking through. Serve with your choice of sides.

Pork is such a versatile meat and grilling it using this method translated great to small pork tenderloins this past weekend. For a large tenderloin, a more low and slow method works best.

On this  particular occasion I had fresh cauliflower from my Papa Spuds CSA box. I broke it down to florets, steamed them until tender then tossed them in a pan with butter. We also had some leftover salad from a dinner the night before.

Voila! Dinner!


Happy Grilling and Eating

Oink Oink =)

Come see Whole Foods Market’s cheesemongers cut open an 85 pound wheel of cheese on 3/7!


Ever noticed those huge wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano in the Whole Foods Market cheese department? Come see one of these 85-pound wheels get “cracked” in the cheese section on Saturday, March 7, at 3 p.m (Durham event is at 2pm) when the Whole Foods Market cheesemongers will simultaneously crack into more than 85-pound wheels of authentic Parmigiano Reggiano company wide.


These cheesemongers are true experts, and they love talking cheese, so join them in the annual “Crack Heard around the World.” This event will include tastings and pairings and is free to the public.

Love Parmesan Reggiano? Share your favorite use of it in the comments section for a chance to win a $50 Gift Certificate to Whole Foods Market.



· Parmigiano-Reggiano Party Mix
· Parmigiano-Reggiano and Prosciutto Toasts with Balsamic Glaze
· Chicken Noodle Soup with Parmigiano-Reggiano Broth
· Kale Caesar Salad with Parmigiano-Reggiano
· Parmigiano-Reggiano Crisps with Chocolate and Sea Salt
· Parmigiano-Reggiano Baked Eggs with Swiss Chard
· Roasted Kale Chips with Parmigiano-Reggiano



· Each year Whole Foods Market‘s cheese experts visit the Emilia Romagna region of Italy and select wheels from just four producers.
· Each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano carries proof of its authenticity with an impressed rind and brand.
· Each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano is 85 pounds and requires special knives for cheesemongers to “crack” it open.
· Only cheese made in area specific area in Northern Italy — Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena and portions of Bologna and Mantua – can bear the Parmigiano Reggiano name.
· Parmigiano Reggiano is the pride of an Italian food tradition dating back nine centuries.
· Every wheel at Whole Foods Market is aged 24 months (this is the best age in terms of flavor and texture; it cannot be called Parmigiano Reggiano until it is aged at least 12 months).
· Its flavor profile is toasted, salty and nutty with subtle crystal-like texture and a little goes a long way.

Don’t forget to comment below about your favorite use of this great cheese for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Whole Foods Market. I personally love eating it when mixed with a good gooey cheese  in grilled cheese and scrambled eggs =)

Say Cheese!!


The Glass Jug – Craft Beer Store Extraordinaire!

Glass Jug Official logo (web)

If you live in SW Durham and are a lover of craft beer, then you know just how awesome this past year has been for our little pocket of Durham. Sam’s Bottle Shop, Growler Grlz, Beer Durham and The Glass Jug all opened and good beer is now no more than a mile or 3 away.

Read through to the end to find out how to win a swag bag of great Glass Jug gear!

My husband and I happen to live in Parkwood, which is just up the road,  so our go-to stop for a tasty pint has become The Glass Jug. A mere mile-ish away, it is the closest stop to fill our growlers, sit and socialize with old friends and new, over said tasty pints, and grab beers to bring home.

Part of what makes it our go-to destination are the owners Katy and Chris. They’ve really made Glass Jug a fun place to hang out. From weekly tastings, to the NC Brewery of the month events, Knitting and Craft Club and special events, there is always something to look forward to.

Along side having a great selection of beer, you can also grab snacks on site or bring your own food. We regularly bring subs, BBQ or gyros to devour. Fun too to pair your food with a beer. The Glass Jug offers hummus and pita, chicken salad and pita, Spiced Cackalacky nuts, local cheese from Prodigal Farm, and treats like Chapel Hill Toffee, The Mad Popper popcorn, cookies, cheese straws and of course, treats for your furr baby from Barley Labs. Did I mention cigars. Yup, they also carry Bull City Cigars. Oh and Brood sodas. As you can tell, there is always something new to discover, which I love!



The Glass Jug is a retail craft beer store with a great selection of local and craft beer, featuring 16 rotating taps with an emphasis on seasonal brews, one-off special releases, and new collaborations with local breweries, in addition to all of your favorite craft beers, specialty wine, and cider.”

Beer Wall

For the holiday season, Glass Jug has put together various gift packs for that beer lover in your life, and yes, if you want to get me one, I will gladly accept, lol.

Holiday gift packs are:

$50 gift Set gj

$20 ($26 value): Any t-shirt or tank top, one 64 oz growler, one 32 oz growler
$25 (30 value): Single growler cooler, one 64 oz growler, one 32 oz growler
$45 ($51 value): Double Growler cooler, any t-shirt or tank top, one growler of either size
$50 ($56 value): Wooden growler box, two growlers of either size, any t-shirt or tank top

Of course they sell gift certificates too :)

shirts GJ

Have you heard of Stealz? This is a new phone ap that allows you to check in to various retail stores for a point and add additional points by sharing pictures to twitter and Facebook. Depending on how many points you accumulate, you are eligible for certain prizes. At The Glass Jug, I happened to get enough points to get the 32oz growler (empty), growler coozie or box, and two t-shirts. Since I happen to have all of these already, I want to give mine away.


Do you love beer? Comment on this blog about your favorite NC Beer for a chance to win the whole shebang. Enter between now and Friday, December  19th at noon. Winners will be announced by 3pm and the winner can pick-up their prize at The Glass Jug. (And maybe fill your growler too =)) While the “Stealz” deals have since changed at The Glass Jug, it is definitely worth downloading and popping in for a brew and collect your points.

So jump in your car and visit any one of the SW Durham’s new craft beer stores, you won’t be disappointed.

Happy Drinking!





“Cheese Nights” at Whole Foods Market Durham

Free Cheese Nights Event

Whole Foods Market Vertical CMYK Logo copy

Lately I’ve realized I have an obsession for cheese. I can’t stop trying new varieties and nibbling on them for lunch or a late afternoon/evening snack. I’ve found I like the slightly nutty, sweet cheeses along with those that carry a slightly pungent bite.

It always excites me when Whole Foods Market hosts their  “Cheese Nights”. It’s the perfect opportunity to sample a selection of cheeses and learn about the various techniques of making cheeses so special.

I’ve had great success purchasing cheeses from Whole Foods Market in Durham and appreciate the cheesemongers expertise when looking to try something new, and they love talking cheese. Please join them at the upcoming “Cheese Nights” tasting and enjoy an array of delicious cheeses and pairings. This event is free to the public.

I added a great recipe to the bottom of this post for MINI HAM AND CHEESE QUICHES. These are fun and easy and the meat and cheeses can be substituted for whatever suits your fancy.

Got a favorite cheese recipe? Share a link to that recipe for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Whole Foods Durham. Contest will run until Dec 1, 2014.

Whole Foods Market is sampling a unique selection of cheeses brought to you from the Alps at our quarterly Cheese Nights event. The free event will be on Tuesday, December 9th from 6-7:30 p.m. Come taste a diverse selection of delicious Alpine-style cheeses and see what makes their traditional techniques so special.

'CheeseNights_Dec14_RegisterGraphic_400x600.jpg' copy

What are Alpine-style Cheeses?

They involve communal farming and cheesemaking with the peak season happening in winter.

Traditionally made in the Jura Mountains and the Italian Alps
Animals are moved up the pasture starting in May or June and moved down in Mid-September, this is known as Transhumance.

Each region developed its own style and flavor due to herd size, remoteness and local preference.

Cheeses are produced in mountain chalets where the cows graze.
The buttery and nutty Alpine cheeses reflect rich, grassy flavors because of grazing.

Wheels are stored in curing rooms or caves and kept at 50°-55° F for 4 months to a year or more.

Cheesemakers check the cheese by thumping to hear if the cheese is ripening to expectations.

Whole Foods Cheese

Some favorite Alpine-style cheeses include:

Le Maréchal
• A handmade raw milk cheese that is sprinkled with herbs while it matures, giving it a savory, rustic flavor.
• Pairs with: Shiraz, wheat beer, olives, dried figs, crostini, arugula—great in fondue.

Emmi Roth Käse
• Created just for us by celebrated American cheesemakers in Wisconsin, this cow’s milk cheese has a crave-worthy piquant bite.
• Pairs with: Pinot grigio, pears, walnuts or dried apricots—great in grilled cheese sandwiches and fondue.

Comté Les Trois Comtois
• Aged raw cow’s milk cheese from the Jura region of the French Alps. Buttery, rich, mild and sweet.
• Pairs with: Chardonnay, altbier, dried apricots—great in French onion soup and cheese tarts.

Emmi Roth Käse
• The best version of the original Swiss cheese that we all know and love. Made with raw milk. Sweet and nutty overtones and a sharp finish.
• Pairs with: Riesling, brown ale, green olives, Dijon mustard, baguette—great in ham and cheese sandwiches, scalloped potatoes.

Emmi Roth Käse
Grand Cru Surchoix
• An award-winning washed-rind, raw milk cheese made with single-sourced milk. Nutty with notes of caramel.
• Pairs with: Rioja, pilsner, nuts, dried figs or apricots, cured meats—great in risotto.

Uplands Cheese
Pleasant Ridge Reserve
• Raw-milk, Alpine-style cheese from Wisconsin. One of the most-awarded chesses in American history. Smooth and earthy with mushroom overtones.
• Pairs with: Cabernet sauvignon, barleywine, pineapple, green grapes, brown bread, honeycomb—great in omelets.

What: Tasting of Alpine-style cheeses for your holiday get-togethers

When: December 9th, 2014, 6-7pm

Where: Whole Foods Market Durham


Pre-made pie crust
8 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese (Goat Gouda or Cheddar)
1 cup ham, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a pre-made pie crust sheet, cut out 6 circles (about 3 1/2-inch) and place in the cups of a large muffin tin. Chill crust in tin while you prepare filling. In a small bowl beat together 8 eggs, 2/3 cups milk, 1 cup shredded cheese (Goat Gouda or cheddar) and 1 cup chopped ham. Fill prepared muffin tins, season and bake 20—25 minutes until puffed and lightly brown. Let cool slightly and remove from tins.

Nutritional Info:
Per Serving:Serving size: 1 quiche, 310 calories (180 from fat), 19g total fat, 8g saturated fat, 270mg cholesterol, 490mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (0g dietary fiber, 4g sugar), 18g protein

Happy Eating



Hone in on your knife skills…meet Harald Wusthof of Wusthof knives at WHISK!


Saturday, December 6 from 11am to 2pm

Seventh generation owner, Harald Wusthof of Wusthof knives will meet and greet Whisk shoppers on Saturday, December 6th from 11 am until 2 pm. Watch product demonstrations, enter a drawing to win a 16-piece kitchen knife set, enjoy one day sales discounts of 20%, and more.

Harald Wusthof

Harald Wusthof will be in the Whisk kitchen to greet customers, take photos, sign memorabilia and answer questions. There will be contests with prizes for customers who bring in the oldest or the most unique Wusthof products.

One lucky Whisk customer will walk away with a brand new Wusthof knife block set valued at $1,420.00. To enter the drawing, customers may fill out an entry form in the store beginning November 15th. The drawing will take place at 2 pm on Saturday, December 6th at Whisk.

The original Wusthof factory dates back to 1814 and the business remains family owned to this day. Wusthof knives come with a lifetime warranty.


Whisk is an independently-owned, full-service kitchen store located in the Waverly Place Shopping Center in Cary, NC. For more information about Whisk and to see a complete listing of its cooking classes, visit To find out more information about Wusthof knives, visit,

Whisk is located at: 316 Colonades Way, #214, Cary, NC 27518.
Telephone 919/322-2458