Category Archives: Specialty Shops

Yes, We Can! All Day Canning Jubilee at Whisk, May 17th

Contests, Free Demos, Class with Pickles and Preserves author, Andrea Weigl, and more…

Whisk is hosting a daylong canning jubilee on Saturday, May 17th in the Cary kitchen store, located in Waverly Place shopping center. The event is a celebration of how and why we continue to can our food in the 21st century!

Whisk logo

Interest in home canning is resurging and Whisk is dedicating an entire day to this social, healthy, and tasty pursuit. While technically there is no longer a need to “stock up for winter”, we still persist in canning. Why? Says Whisk employee and local canner, Karen Bosse: “With canning you are able to capture your garden and the goodness of the local farmers’ markets – there’s tremendous flavor, ingredient control, and zero waste.”

The day-long event is headlined by News & Observer food writer and Pickles and Preserves author Andrea Weigl who is teaching an ‘Introduction to Canning’ class. Participants will prepare three recipes from Weigl’s book and learn how to can safely at home. This participation-style class runs from 2pm-4 pm, costs $49, with online registration at www.whiskcarolina.com.

pickles and preserves

 

Sadly this class is sold out  but be sure to pick up a copy of Andrea’s book. I just made her Habanero Pepper Jelly this weekend and it was a huge hit at Mother’s Day brunch. I served it along side grilled chicken but it also pairs very well with pork, fish and grilled vegetables. All the recipes in the book are worth a try.

Habanero Jelly use

There will also be a local Canning Contest that day, with free entry and terrific prizes from Whisk. The two contest categories are Jellies, Jams and Preserves, and Pickled Vegetables. Submissions must have been canned within the past 12 months and must be made using North Carolina produce. Whisk customers will be able to taste and vote for their favorites, and canning contest winners will be announced on Facebook.

Andrea's Pickles

Photo courtesy of Andrea Weigl

Free tastings and canning demonstrations will be offered throughout the day. In addition, all canning supplies will be 20 percent off on May 17th. Visit the store Monday through Saturday, 10am-6pm; and on Sunday, 12pm-5pm. For more information about Whisk and to see a complete listing of its cooking classes, visit www.whiskcarolina.com.

Other upcoming classes with Andrea include :

• 11 a.m.-2 p.m. June 7, Durham Spirits Co., 311 E. Trinity Ave., Durham. hands-on cooking class, $59. Details.

• 6 p.m. June 25, Southern Season, 201 S. Estes St., Chapel Hill. demonstration cooking class, $40, Details.

• 10 a.m. June 28, Sur la Table, The Streets at Southpoint, Durham, hands-on class, $69. Details.

Happy Canning

Johanna

Second Annual Flora and Food Truck Series

Fairview Garden Center to host second annual local food and local plant series on the following Saturdays…March 29, April 19 and May 17 …11am – 2pm

With local weather warming up to the 70s for Saturday, get out your gardening gloves, whet your appetite and then head to the Fairview Greenhouses & Garden Center, Inc. for the second annual “Flora and Food Trucks” series beginning this Saturday, March 29 (and Saturday April 19, and Saturday May 17) from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM at 8224 Holly Springs Rd. in Raleigh. The Fairview Garden Center hours of operation are 9 AM to 6 PM Monday through Saturday, Sundays 1 PM to 5 PM

The Flora and Food Trucks series promotes the idea that local food and local plants go hand in hand. Event attendees will have the opportunity to attend classes on vegetable gardening, herbs, perennials and container gardening.

florafoodtruck_spr14

“Last year was a great success!” says Susan Tower of Deliicious, “What a beautiful atmosphere to bring friends and family to enjoy local food!”

“With the winter we’ve had, everyone should be anxious to come out, get some flowers to brighten up their lawns and have some lunch outside from the great local food trucks,” says J West of Sarge’s Chef on Wheels.

The events are family friendly and admission is free. The food trucks will be charging their regular prices for the food offered. Food trucks attending this Saturday are: American Meltdown,
 Chick N Que, 
Sympathy 4 the Deli,
 Baguettaboutit,
 Sweet Traditions by LeAne. 

Other participating food trucks are Chirba Chirba, Deli-icious, Dump Pho King, Jam Ice Cream, Mama Dukes, Only Burger, Sarge’s Chef, Sweet Stacey Cakes, and Will & Pops.

Guests can find out more about the event and food truck details by visiting www.fairviewgardencenter.com.

Happy Eating

Johanna

Pan Fried Swordfish Steaks with Lemon

At the beginning of February, Locals Seafood kicked-off with their 1st annual Winter Seafood Jubilee, a series of North Carolina winter seafood-centric events and promotions taking place in NC’s Triangle region throughout February.

The Winter Seafood Jubilee kicked off with the “3 on 3 at the Winter Seafood Jubilee,” taking place during the first three weeks of February. Locals Seafood recruited three “social media foodie gurus” to participate, a challenge where each guru is responsible for one week in February and given three different species of winter seafood to cook and showcase to you. Kristen Baughman (@knbaughman) showcased her creations the first week, Kim Alexander (@trianglelocalista) the second week and now the torch has passed on to me (@durhamfoodie).

The first of my “3 on 3″ challenge, I went with a New England Clam Chowder Pizza made with the Bogue Sound littleneck clams I was given. With the help of my stepson this pizza turned out fabulous. It was an experience I will never forget. For my next choice I made a Seared Trout with White Wine, Lemon, Caper Sauce served with  a side of mixed greens tossed in lemon juice and olive oil. My husband and I devoured this dish and left only empty platers behind.

For the last of my “3 on 3″ challenge I was left with a swordfish steak. This is a thick dense cut of fish, and one I often refer to as the “steak of the sea.” Like a good steak, you don’t want to do too much with it. Originally my thought was to broil it in the oven, but after purchasing a new set of stainless steel pots and pans decided to pan fry it instead. This was the easiest of the three dishes and from start to finish took only about 20 minutes. My husband declared it the best of the week. Locals Seafood, we are your new favorite swordfish customers. =)

Swordfish Steak

Swordfish Steak

Recipe:

1 Locals Seafood Swordfish Steak

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

2 Lemons

Directions:

In a ten inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. (I usually test out the heat by flicking a few drops of water of water in the pan. If it sizzles, it’s ready)

Salt and pepper filet and add the fish to the pan.

Cut lemons in half and squeeze juice in to the pan. (I did this to incorporate lemon flavor in to the fish during the cooking process)

Cook each side about 5 minutes each. I cut my filet in half after the first flip to see how done it was). Most fish I don’t normally cook all the way through, however with swordfish I do.

Serve swordfish with a side salad of mixed greens (I used a left over  kale salad I had on hand mixed in with some arugula, green onions and cheese) topped with a touch of olive oil and fresh lemon juice. This salad can be made while the fish is cooking.

Finished SwordFish

In my previous post I mentioned that any leftover white wine, lemon and caper sauce could be frozen to use at a later date. I pulled out one of the sauce cubes, melted it in the microwave and topped a small amount over my portion of swordfish. Delicious! These last two recipes of the week are extremely versatile and can be used with most ypes of fish.

Swordfish Steak topped with leftover White Wine, Lemon Caper Sauce from the Seared Trout Recipe

Swordfish Steak topped with leftover White Wine, Lemon Caper Sauce from the Seared Trout Recipe

Now off to Locals Seafood you go. And be sure to ask them about species of fish you may not have cooked with before. They are very friendly folks and always happy to offer suggestions for new things to try and how to best cook them. I know I’ve never been disappointed.

Happy Eating

Johanna

WHERE TO FIND LOCALS SEAFOOD

MARKET HOURS
>> MAP

Raleigh State Farmers Market
Indoor Market Shoppes
1201 Agriculture St
– Thursdays • 10am-4pm 
– Fridays • 10am-4pm
– Saturdays • 10am-4pm
– Sundays • 11am-3pm

Chapel Hill Farmers Market
University Mall
– Saturdays • 9am-12pm

Western Wake Farmers Market
Carpenter Village – Cary
– Saturdays • 9:30am-12pm

LoMo Market
Farmers Market on Wheels!
30+ stops/week thru-out Triangle
SCHEDULE

Bella Bean Organics
Home delivery service
INFO

Seared Trout with White Wine, Lemon, Caper Sauce

At the beginning of February, Locals Seafood kicked-off with their 1st annual Winter Seafood Jubilee, a series of North Carolina winter seafood-centric events and promotions taking place in NC’s Triangle region throughout February.

The Winter Seafood Jubilee kicked off with the “3 on 3 at the Winter Seafood Jubilee,” taking place during the first three weeks of February. Locals Seafood recruited three “social media foodie gurus” to participate, a challenge where each guru is responsible for one week in February and given three different species of winter seafood to cook and showcase to you. Kristen Baughman (@knbaughman) showcased her creations the first week, Kim Alexander (@trianglelocalista) the second week and now the torch has passed on to me (@durhamfoodie). It will be my job to highlight another three ways to incorporated local seasonal NC fish/seafood into your everyday cooking routine. Let the fun begin!!

I started my “3 on 3″ week with a New England Clam Chowder Pizza which with the help of my stepson, turned out fabulous. For my next choice I decided to go with the trout fillets and do a high heat sear and top it with a white wine, garlic, lemon, caper sauce and serve it with a side of mixed greens tossed in lemon juice and olive oil.

I love fish but must admit I usually don’t go for skin on filets. I actually prefer whole fish that I can stuff with an array of herbs and citrus and bake it. Thanks to Locals Seafood my eyes are wide open to the possibilities of various varieties of fish and cuts. Wait until you see what I plan for the swordfish =)

This was a fairly easy dish to prepare, though the prep took more time than expected. I used a recipe from the Martha Stewart for a Cod with Herbed White Wine Lemon Sauce as my base and built on it from there. I made notes under each portion of the recipe with my changes. The recipe called for four fillets and I had only two so I ended up with extra sauce. Not a bad problem to have as you can freeze the extra sauce in ice cube trays to use at a later date. To do this, fill your ice cube tray with remaining sauce and let freeze. Once frozen place cubes in a freezer bag and store to use in future recipes.

RECIPE

Ingredients

  • shallot (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • lemons (2, juiced and 1 sliced into 14 inch thick rounds)
  • 6 tbsps unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 1/4 cup capers (roughly chopped)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 cup herbs (loosely packed mixed fresh, parsley tarragon chervil dill and thyme roughly chopped)
  • codfish fillets (6 ounces)

NOTES: I added 1 large clove garlic, diced fine and used parsley, dill and thyme and chopped them in my food processor.

DIRECTIONS 

STEP ONE

Combine shallot, wine, and lemon juice in a small skillet; set over high heat. Bring to a boil; simmer until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in butter, capers, 1/4 teaspoon salt, a pinch of pepper, and 3/4 of the herbs. Set aside; keep warm.

Finished Sauce

NOTES: I added the garlic in with the shallot, wine and lemon juice. Before adding the butter and capers I did a taste test after it had reduced down and didn’t like the amount of shallots. I felt like it was too much so I drained the sauce through a fine mesh seeve and added it back to the skillet with about half the shallots. 

Fresh Trout

STEP TWO

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 3 tablespoons sauce. Season both sides of fillets with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Arrange fillets and lemon slices in skillet; sprinkle with some herbs. Cook until fillets are golden, about 4 minutes. Turn, sprinkle with remaining herbs, and cook until fish is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Serve with lemon slices and remaining sauce.

Seasoned Trout

NOTES: I used a cast iron skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil heated over medium/high until glistening. I wanted the trout to sizzle when I placed it skin side down in the pan. I sprinkled  the tops of the filets salt and pepper and used no lemon. I seared the skin side to a light golden brown then flipped them over until down. The timing was the same as in step two.

Final Trout

This was a great dinner. It is extremely helpful having the folks at Locals Seafood showcase seasonal fish from our NC fisherman. I buy from them often and am most certainly looking forward to more clams and trout fillets. Don’t be scared to ask them about fish you may not have cooked with before. They are super friendly and will happily explain the various species and how to best prepare them. Thanks Locals Seafood, you guys ROCK!!!

Happy Eating!

Johanna

WHERE TO FIND LOCALS SEAFOOD

MARKET HOURS
>> MAP

Raleigh State Farmers Market
Indoor Market Shoppes
1201 Agriculture St
– Thursdays • 10am-4pm 
– Fridays • 10am-4pm
– Saturdays • 10am-4pm
– Sundays • 11am-3pm

Chapel Hill Farmers Market
University Mall
– Saturdays • 9am-12pm

Western Wake Farmers Market
Carpenter Village – Cary
– Saturdays • 9:30am-12pm

LoMo Market
Farmers Market on Wheels!
30+ stops/week thru-out Triangle
SCHEDULE

Bella Bean Organics
Home delivery service
INFO

Dave and Buster’s Cary – Fun, Food, and Fabulous Games!

When Johanna asked me if I could cover the Dave and Buster’s Cary media day, I may have clapped my hands and squealed.

I have very fond memories of hanging out at the Dave and Buster’s in Atlanta as a visiting young adult- the combination of arcade games and mixed drinks was a potent recipe for fun. I wondered if it would be as much fun as a “grown-up” or if my memories were simply bright from the sheen of youth and alcohol.

Spoiler alert: I was *not* disappointed.

Dave and Buster’s newest location is at Cary Towne Center (@DaveBustersCary on Twitter), right off Highway 40. At 29,000 square feet with over 140 games, it’s a huge, fun-filled location with something for everyone of all ages.

Our first mission of the day was a tour of the space. I was lucky to be in a tour group with some entertaining folks- John from Triangle Explorer (@triangleexplorer), Lauren from Yelp NC (@YelpNCtriangle), and Ron from Foodalicious Follies(@foodaliciousNC).

Dave and Buster's Cary sports bar

Dave and Buster’s Cary sports bar

The first stop on our tour was the sports bar area. It boasts three huge TVs devoted to sports. The sports bar will also host trivia on big event nights. If you win, you get to play Dave and Buster’s “Spin ‘N’ Win” game, with prizes ranging from 10% off your entree to a $25 Power Card (the Power Card is Dave and Buster’s reloadable game card, used to play every game in their game room.)

Dave and Buster's Cary cocktail and beer bar

Dave and Buster’s Cary bar

The bar was our next stop. We were assured that the bartenders would be mixing with lots of flair, and with over 80 cocktails on the drink menu, that’s plenty of opportunity for them to show off their amazing skills. Beer fans will be happy to learn that the 10 draft beers on tap include Winston-Salem favorite Foothills brewery. Also to note for beer lovers is their signature “Beer Tube”- a 100oz large test tube filled with beer. At Dave and Buster’s, pitchers are for sissies. The bar also has plenty of screens for more sports watching (and I heard that they will be showing UFC in the bar, so get ready, fellow MMA fans!)

@TriangleExplorer plays Fruit Ninja

John (@TriangleExplorer) tries his hand at Fruit Ninja.

Then it was on to everyone’s favorite stop- the game room. Dave and Buster’s has every type of game imaginable- Vegas style coin games, virtual reality games, arcade style games (including Pac Man!) and old-fashioned games (including my personal favorite, Skee Ball.) Kids are welcome at Dave and Buster’s until 10pm with a parent or guardian, and Wednesday all games are half-price, something this mom was glad to hear. We had a blast burning up our Power Cards with games like Fruit Ninja (from the popular app), Big Bass Wheel (much like the big wheel from The Price is Right), four player air hockey (I’d never seen this version before, and it’s so much fun to play) and the Giant Claw (a *huge* version of the traditional claw game- I even won a big stuffed frog to bring home to my sweetheart!)

Dave and Buster's Winner's Circle prize room

Excellent prizes to choose from in the Winner’s Circle!

If you don’t win at the Giant Claw, don’t worry- for many games, you win tickets. Dave and Buster’s has an amazing selection of prizes in their Winner’s Circle prize room. You can even save up your tickets by having them transferred to your Power Card and use them for the biggest prizes, like an electric guitar or an iPad.

Events room at Dave and Buster's Cary

Check out that beautiful mural of Yates Mill Pond.

After we wore ourselves out with all that competition, Dave and Buster’s gave us a preview of their menu in one of their private events rooms. These events rooms can seat up to 100 people comfortably and are equipped with big screen TVs for A/V presentations, making it a great choice for events such as corporate team-building exercises. The events rooms at Dave and Buster’s Cary have a wonderful mural of Yates Mill Pond.

Desserts at Dave and Buster's

The chocolate cake was my favorite.

The menu was traditional pub grub like spinach dip, pigs in blankets, spicy potato chips, and french fries. The real standout was dessert, with favorites like Bananas Foster and a rich chocolate cake. I’ll be grabbing a big dessert before my next gaming session to give me extra energy!

specialty cocktails at Dave and Buster's

Dave and Buster’s specialty cocktails

They also featured several of their specialty cocktails, each with a lovely presentation. Some, like the D&B TNTea (their Long Island iced tea), come with a take-home glass.

virgin Cherry Berry mojito at Dave and Buster's

virgin Cherry Berry mojito

If you don’t drink alcohol, no worries- the bartenders are happy to prepare many of their drinks without the alcohol. I had a virgin Cherry Berry Mojito, and which was pretty as well as delicious. It was not too sweet, and had a pronounced lime flavor that I loved.

As we left, many of the employees we’d met during our tour thanked us for coming, which was a really nice touch. I had a great time at Dave and Buster’s Cary location, and I can’t wait to take my family back for a visit. Thanks, Dave and Buster’s!

Gabrielle Kaasa Gabrielle is a proud Durhamite who enjoys cooking almost as much as eating. When she’s not in the kitchen, Gabrielle enjoys photography and adventuring with her partner, Bill, and son, Noah.

Gift Guide: Part One

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I started jotting down notes for what to include in my 2012 gift guide several weeks ago and quickly realized that we are utterly spoiled rotten with the abundance of local food products, cookbooks and specialty shops etc available to us. Not to mention the many non-local products that I can’t seem to live without. That being the case, I narrowed it down and finally ended up with a 3-part (possibly 4-part) series of ideas for what to get your favorite foodie this holiday season.

I’ve broken the list up by food products, books and specialty stores for easier categorization. The lists will be posted every couple of days over the next week. Please add-on in the comment section anything you feel has been missed with a link to that particular site for easier navigation…….and shopping.

My first list consists of items that easily fit into a stocking or gift bag.

FOOD PRODUCTS

Big Spoon Roasters: I am a peanut butter junkie. I eat it on toast with jam or bananas and honey, with apples and celery or simply by the spoonful. With the candle01introduction of Big Spoon Roasters handcrafted nut butters (made from scratch right here in Durham, North Carolina) I am truly in heaven.  The five flavors of butters are made using carefully selected nuts and wildflower honey sourced from local farmers who share the commitment to quality found in each jar. Each small batch is roasted, ground, and packaged while still warm to produce nut butters that are uniquely fresh, delicious, and nutritious. For information on where to purchase locally, or on-line go here.

The Blackmere Company: Delicious handmade foods made from authentic English recipes, using the finest local farm cream and butter and seasonal produce. You will find traditional English cakes, tarts, lemon curd, shortbread, hand-made jams and chutneys, savory herb butters, fresh soups and more, all made right here in North Carolina. An especially delightful treat is their “Devonshire Delight,” their handmade version of English clotted cream. It is rich, buttery, nutty and slightly sweet, perfect for slathering on fresh from the oven scones for a weekend brunch.

bow02Cackalacky (kak-uh-lak-ee): Born in Chapel Hill, this zesty sauce, made using NC sweet potatoes, works as a dip (just swirl it in some sour cream), topping (over eggs, potatoes, beans, pizza, etc) or marinade (chicken, pork, steaks, you name it). Personally I am a fan of pouring it over a whole chicken or pork butt and letting the meat cook low and slow in the crockpot for a delicious weeknight meal. And never a soup or chili goes without a healthy dose of it either. For an extra stocking stuffer pleaser, be sure to add a jar of their newest product; Cackalacky Spice Nuts.

Escazu ChocolatesFrom bean to bar to confections, this locally owned chocolate shop in Raleigh is whipping up award-winning treats everyone will love. My personal favorites include the Good Food Awards winning Dark Goat’s Milk and Cerenero bar or the Punmpkin Seed and Guajillo Chilli bar. The handcrafted truffles and confections are stunning and beautiful and you can choose an assortment of your favorites chocolates to be packaged in an eco-friendly gift box handmade from cocoa leaves for a nice touch.

Farmers Daughter:  Indulge in the flavors of the season, pickled  or preserved,stocking08 all made using locally sourced ingredients.Founded in 2007 by April McGreger, who learned the art of preserving at the elbows of her mother and grandmother amidst a rural farming community in Mississippi.  Farmer’s Daughter seeks to promote the value of sustainable, small-scale agriculture as well as traditional, handmade methods of preserving. Award winning products include Bourbon’d Figs, Spicy Green Tomato Pickles and Strawberry-Honeysuckle Preserves (which by the way pairs very well with Big Spoon Roasters nut butters).

French Broad ChocolatesJust a short trip up the road to Asheville, NC and you will find another source for delectable chocolate treats. Look for handcrafted truffles, caramels, brownies, chocolate bars and pastries all made using local and organic ingredients. When in Asheville, a stop at the Chocolate Lounge is a must for enjoying a desert or two, while sipping a fine wine or frothy beer. For a sublime holiday gift, give the one you love a 6 or 12-month chocolate subscription. Each package may include a truffle assortment, gourmet caramels, brownies or other delights.

ornament01Guglhupf: The Dresden-style Christmas Stollen is so popular during the holiday season, I highly recommend placing an order on-line to ensure your loaf of this spectacular bread. Christmas Stollen is a dense leavened bread made from a sweet dough with citrus peel, raisins, almonds, and a complex blend of spices. Dipped in butter and rolled in sugar (which seals the loaf and gives it a protective coating), the Stollen is finished with powdered sugar which looks like snow. It’s the perfect hostess gift. I posted a blog about the process of making the famous stollen last year. Go here to read it.

Lusty Monk Mustard: Heading back up the hills of the Appalachian Mountains, we stop once again in the artisan town of Asheville, this time for mustard. The slogan “Indulge, Repent, Repeat” perfectly defines these fresh-ground handcrafted mustards. As the they say “Once you meet the Monk, you can kiss mediocre mustards goodbye, and say hello to a new world of hearty food. No more boring sandwiches. Bratwurst has never been so heavenly. It’s the pretzel’s best friend, the cook’s secret weapon, the perfect companion for lovers of spice and heat.

Miss Jenny’s Pickles: Yup, we’re back to those things preserved. And how canwreath03 we not delve into a jar of local pickles made right here in our NC backyard. Started by Jenny and Ashlee, as a means to an end to the economic down turn that landed them unemployed, these two ladies picked up their proverbial skirts and, using Maw Maw’s (Jenny’s Grandmother) recipe, set the bar for delicious, high quality pickles. I am wildly addicted to the Jalapeno Salt and Pepper, but all four flavors are worth seeking out on-line or in a store near you.

Nello’s SauceMade from scratch, in small batches, Nello’s Sauce is naturally, vegan friendly, cholesterol free, gluten-free and low sodium. While all that is just fine and dandy, and good to know, it is the flavor of this tomato sauce that won its place on this list. Simply made from vine-ripened whole peeled plum tomatoes, Sicilian sea salt, pepper, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil, it is the perfect sauce to dress any pasta or pizza or for dipping homemade meatballs and fresh crusty bread.

Sling Shot Coffee: Perfect for the coffee lover, this cold brew coffee is hand brewed and bottled in small batches in Raleigh, North Carolina. The coffee is candy-cane14made using only two ingredients — quality, in-season, organic coffee beans roasted locally by Counter Culture Coffee; and filtered tap water. If you’re anything like me, than your day doesn’t begin until after that first cup of coffee and I often make mine Sling Shot. Sling Shot is available in 16 ounce bottles of both ready-to-drink and concentrate options.  You can find it locally in various stores and restaurants or online.

TOPO DistilleryHad-crafted vodka, gin, & whiskey, created from scratch, using only organic Carolina wheat and botanicals distilled in a copper pot and columns from a 5th generation German still maker. Your Bloody Mary will never be the same. For the Whiskey lover in your life, don’t pass up on the Age-Your-Own Whisky Kit. Look for the spirits and kit at your local ABC store.

Hope you enjoyed this first part to my gift guide. Be sure to check back in a few days for my list of must have cookbooks and food related books.

Happy Eating

Johanna

Food Lovers’ Guide to Raleigh, Durham, & Chapel Hill is out!

Finally, after months of hard work and many more months of waiting, I’m so excited to announce that Food Lovers’ Guide to Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill is available!

Trying to fit all the goodness of the Triangle’s many restaurants, food trucks and more into one book is a daunting but delicious task! The book is full of great information for visitors looking to enjoy the local food scene (such as don’t-miss-this landmark eateries), new residents (listings of the local annual food festivals and all of our fabulous farmers’ markets) and long-time Triangle lovers (recipes from some of your favorite chefs!)

The official book launch for the Food Lovers’ Guide to Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill will be Sunday, September 16 at G2B Gastropub in Durham. If you’re familiar with G2B, you know Chef Carrie Schleiffer‘s cuisine is a real treat (if you’re not familiar with G2B, check out page 163 in the book!) Details are below:

Book Launch:

G2B Gastropub

Sunday, September 16th, 4-6pm

Please RSVP for this event!

Featuring:

$4 bar snacks

$5 housemade charcuterie

$3 NC Draft Beer and $5 red or white wine

There will be copies of the book for purchase at the launch, but if you can’t wait until then, it’s available at area bookstores including:

Barnes and Noble New Hope Commons

Barnes and Noble Southpoint

Barnes and Noble Brier Creek

It will be in stock at these local independent booksellers at the beginning of next week:

The Regulator in Durham

Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh

If you can’t make the launch, I hope you can come out to one of these additional events:

Book signings:

Saturday, September 22

A Southern Season, Noon-2pm

Sunday, September 23

West 94th St Pub, 4-6pm

My Carolina Today Interview

If you would like to set up an event or an interview, please contact:  johanna (dot) m (dot) kramer (at) gmail (dot) com.

Many thanks to all the local food businesses that helped make this book possible. The Triangle is one of the best places in the world to live and eat! We have so much to be proud of here.

I hope this book will be a guide to help you reminisce about your old favorites and find new favorites as well.

Happy Reading (and Eating!)

Whole Foods Market Beef and Quinoa Meatballs & Pantry Challenge Winner

Taking the Whole Foods Market pantry challenge was a great lesson on how eating healthy is not as difficult as one might think. With the $50 worth of healthy pantry staples (see below) Whole Foods Market suggests, you always have on hand the start of a delicious and nutritious meal for the entire family.

Take the Beef and Quinoa Meatball recipe below. Using quinoa instead of breadcrumbs provided more protein and flavor while retaining the texture of a good meatball. And let me tell you, these were a winner for dinner!!

This being the last of my posts for Whole Foods Market, I wanted to leave you with a few of the recipes I played around with using the pantry staples listed below. Along with the  Beef and Quinoa Meatballs, I have also included the recipes for Oatmeal Cookies and Sauteed Greens with Cannelini Beans and Garlic.

Whole Foods Market gave me a $50 gift certificate to the Whole Foods Market in Durham to give away and although I am late announcing the winner due to several factors, I am happy to announce the WINNER IS: ELISA, who said she can’t live without canned tomatoes…I couldn’t agree more. I used Random.org to generate the winner.

Elisa, please email for details: durhamfoodie@yahoo.com

Please enjoy the recipes below. They were all great new additions to our list of family favorites and I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
Past blog post recipes included:

Beef and Quinoa Meatballs

Courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Serves 6

Sneak whole grains and veggies into crowd-pleasing meatballs with this easy recipe that will stretch your food dollar, too. Serve with your favorite pasta and marinara sauce or on a hoagie with cheese for a dynamite meatball sub sandwich.

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray 1 pound (95-percent) lean ground beef 3/4 cup cooked quinoa 1/4 cup finely chopped onions 1/4 cup grated carrots 1/4 cup grated zucchini 2 tablespoons ketchup 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 1 egg

Method

Preheat oven to 500°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil then grease with cooking spray; set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together beef, quinoa, onions, carrots, zucchini, ketchup, garlic, soy sauce, pepper, salt, oregano, thyme and egg until well combined. Shape beef mixture into 16 balls and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Roast until cooked through and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.
(Note: To cook quinoa, bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small pot. Pour in ½ cup quinoa, cover and simmer until water is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside off of the heat for 10 minutes then fluff with a fork. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.)

Nutrition

Per serving: 150 calories (45 from fat), 5g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 75mg cholesterol, 470mg sodium, 8g total carbohydrate (1g dietary fiber, 2g sugar), 17g protein

$50 Whole Foods Market Pantry Staple List

Courtesy of Whole Foods Market

  • 1 lb black beans
  • 1 lb lentils
  • 1 lb quinoa
  • 2 lbs brown rice
  • 3 (32-oz) boxes vegetable broth
  • 1 (32-oz) box chicken broth
  • 1 lb rolled oats
  • 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 1 lb orechiette pasta
  • 1 lb pasta, your favorite kind
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 jar unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 (32-oz) box unsweetened soymilk
  • 1 (32-oz) box unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 (5-oz) can tuna
  • 3 (15-oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 package no-oil sundried tomatoes
  • 1 jar pasta sauce

Low-Fat Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips (or Raisins)
(adapted from Food Fit)

Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/4 c plain apple sauce
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add cinnamon if using raisins, instead of chocolate chips.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars. Beat in the egg, followed by the applesauce and the vanilla extract. Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Add chocolate chips or raisins just before the batter comes together.

Drop tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 9-12 min at 375F. Cookies will be light brown at the edges, but will not get as dark and golden as regular cookies.

Let cool on sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Sauteed Greens with Cannellini Beans and Garlic

(Bon Appetit)

A great side, but also a nice vegetarian dinner when made with vegetable broth and served over rice.

Ingredients

5      tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3      garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/4      teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1      large bunch greens (such as spinach, mustard greens, kale, or broccoli  rabe; about 1 pound), thick stems removed, spinach left whole, other greens cut into 1-inch strips (about 10 cups packed)

1      cup (or more) vegetable broth or low-salt chicken broth

1      15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained

1      teaspoon (or more) Sherry wine vinegar

Preparation

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and dried crushed pepper; stir until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. Add greens by large handfuls; stir just until beginning to wilt before adding more, tossing with tongs to coat with oil.

Add 1 cup broth, cover, and simmer until greens are just tender, adding more broth by tablespoonfuls if dry, 1 to 10 minutes, depending on type of greens. Add beans; simmer uncovered until beans are heated through and liquid is almost absorbed, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and serve.

Whole Foods also provided a list of fantastic recipes, including the one for the meatballs. Here are their recipes.

Beef and Quinoa Meatballs

Zesty Quinoa with Broccoli and Cashews

Lentil Chili

Brown Rice with Chicken and Broccoli

Oatmeal-Apple Pancakes

Overnight Oatmeal

Tuscan Tuna Salad

Mexican Taco Stew

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Sundried Tomatoes and White Beans

Almond Brown Rice Pudding

Learn to Cook: Brown Rice

Learn to Cook: Quinoa

Simple Oatmeal

Cuban Black Beans and Pork plus Whole Foods Market Give-Away

We did a lot of cooking in our house this week to keep up with the Whole Foods Market Healthy Pantry Challenge and all I can say is we ate very well. I am still amazed that for $50 you can fill your pantry with so many healthy and affordable staples. For a list of items, see below.

To kick-off a healthy New Year, Whole Foods Market will be giving away healthy pantry staples for a year as well as several of their $50 Pantry Stock Ups. You can enter on the Whole Foods Blog until January 31st.

I am also giving away a $50 gift certificate to the Whole Foods Market in Durham on this blog. Read the original blog entry here for details. Because I didn’t have the time to blog all the recipes this week, I am extending my give-away until February 7th. Please keep following this blog and commenting about your favorite healthy pantry staples for a chance to win.

As pork is a household favorite, especially when served alongside rice and beans, I decided to try some Cuban recipes I came across while perusing recipes on the internet. The black beans came out perfectly, and the added cilantro at the end gave them a wonderful herbaceous quality that married perfectly with the citrus and garlic marinated pork. A side of steamed brown rice rounded out the meal.

A little bit about Cuban food:

Cuban cuisine has been influenced by Spanish, French, African, Arabic, Chinese, and Portuguese cultures. Cuban cooking relies on a few basic spices, such as garlic, cumin, oregano, and bay leaves. A sofrito, onion, green pepper, garlic, oregano, and ground pepper quick-fried in olive oil, is the base used when cooking black beans and stews and is what gives the food its flavor. Meats and poultry are most often marinated in citrus juices, such as lime or sour orange juice, and then roasted over low heat until the meat is very tender. Heavy creams and sauces are rarely used, instead most of the food is sautéed or slow-cooked over low heat for the flavors to develop.

Cuban Black Beans

(www.eatliverun.com)

serves 6

Time: 2 hours, not including overnight soak time

Ingredients:

1 lb bag black beans, rinsed and picked over

1 T vegetable oil

1 yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp salt

1 bunch cilantro, minced

water

Directions:

Soak the beans overnight in a large pot. In the morning, drain the water and set beans aside.

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté for about six minutes, until soft and translucent. Add two cloves of the garlic and continue cooking for another thirty seconds.

Add the beans to the onion and garlic mixture and enough water to cover everything by an inch. Bring beans to a boil then cover (leaving a small crack open), reduce heat and simmer for one hour.

After an hour, stir the beans and add the remaining two garlic cloves and minced cilantro. Return to a simmer and cook another hour until beans are tender and the cooking liquid is thick. Stir occasionally while cooking.

Once cooked, add salt and additional minced cilantro if desired. Serve beans over rice, puree and serve as black bean soup or save for additional uses.

Cuban Pork

(Sadly I can’t find the website this recipe came from but will pass it along when I do)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. boneless pork loin–cut into 1-inch cubes

6 garlic cloves–crushed

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. dry oregano

1/2  cup sour orange juice–or 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

Place pork cubes in a self-sealing plastic bag; mix together remaining ingredients and pour over pork cubes; seal bag and refrigerate overnight. Remove from marinade, discarding marinade, and place pork cubes in a shallow baking pan. Roast in a pre-heated 350*F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until pork is tender. Remove to a serving platter and serve hot.

Happy Eating!!

$50 Whole Foods Market Pantry Staple List

Courtesy of Whole Foods Market

  • 1 lb black beans
  • 1 lb lentils
  • 1 lb quinoa
  • 2 lbs brown rice
  • 3 (32-oz) boxes vegetable broth
  • 1 (32-oz) box chicken broth
  • 1 lb rolled oats
  • 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 1 lb orechiette pasta
  • 1 lb pasta, your favorite kind
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 jar unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 (32-oz) box unsweetened soymilk
  • 1 (32-oz) box unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 (5-oz) can tuna
  • 3 (15-oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 package no-oil sundried tomatoes
  • 1 jar pasta sauce

Grainalicious and Beantastic, it’s how we roll!!

To continue our fabulous week of recipes using the Whole Foods Market Pantry Staples (see below), I recruited my dear friend Gabrielle Kassa to pitch-in with some of her favorites. Here she has given us two delicious recipes, one with quinoa and the other with lentils, both amazingly tasty and good for you too.

About Gabrielle Kassa:

Gabrielle is a partner in Succotashed. At Succotashed, our personal chefs offer in-home culinary education and event catering. Our mission is to create inspired, seasonal cuisine with simple, real, and delicious foods. Learn more about workshops and events. Read our blog for delicious recipes, insightful articles, and helpful cooking tips.

When she’s not in the kitchen, Gabrielle enjoys writing, photography, and adventuring with her partner, Bill, and son, Noah.

And as always, being a great friend to all who know her! Thanks Gabs =)

Remember, Whole Foods Market will be giving away healthy pantry staples for a year as well as several of their $50 Pantry Stock Ups. You can enter on the Whole Foods Blog until January 31st.

I am also giving away a $50 gift certificate to the Whole Foods Market in Durham on this blog. Read the original blog entry here for details.

Recipes

Cranberry Almond Quinoa

Quinoa is an amazing grain in both culinary and nutritional terms. Its mild, nutty taste makes it a perfect canvas for a diverse group of flavors. It can be used as a substitute for rice in many recipes, and can even be cooked in your rice cooker! (Use 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa for perfect quinoa in your rice cooker.)

But unlike rice, quinoa is a complete protein source.
It’s a healthful addition to any diet, but it can be especially beneficial for vegans and vegetarians as plant-based protein source. Quinoa is also gluten-free and pairs beautifully with many traditional pasta sauces, so it can be a wonderful substitution for pasta for those who are avoiding gluten.

In our house, we generally use quinoa as a savory side dish. For this dish, I went in a different direction. I love fruit and nut oatmeals and granolas, so why not fruit and nut quinoa?

We always have quinoa, nuts, and dried fruit in our pantry, so this is definitely a pantry meal for us. You could substitute any nuts and dried fruit of your choice- I think pecans and dried apricots would be fabulous!

This dish was delicious, filling, and so comforting on a cold winter
morning. It’s a welcome new addition to our breakfast line-up! I’m also excited to serve it as a savory side (minus the honey and cinnamon) with our next pork roast- I think the cranberries and apples will pair beautifully with the pork.

Cranberry Almond Quinoa
inspired by Hot Breakfast Cereal recipe by Ancient Harvest

Serves 2
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa

2 cups of water

3 Tablespoons of dried cranberries

3 Tablespoons slivered almonds

1 small apple, diced (I used a Fuji- it was delicious!)

Cinnamon and honey, to taste

Directions:

Bring water to boil. Add quinoa. Allow water to come back up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in cranberries, almonds, and apples. Continue to simmer until all water is absorbed.

Fluff quinoa with a fork before transferring to serving dishes.

Serve immediately. Top with cinnamon and honey to taste.

Nutritional info per serving: Calories: 445; Total fat: 10.8 g; Saturated fat: 0.4g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 2.6 mg; Total Cards: 75.1 g; Dietary Fiber: 9.8 g; Protein: 14.3 g

I use the SparkRecipes Recipe Calculator to calculate nutrition
information for my recipes.

Lentil Chili

This chili is a super fast, super versatile dish. It can be tailored to your particular tastes as well as whatever you happen to have in your pantry that day!

We love lentils not just for their variety and flavor, but for their quick cooking ability. Unlike beans, lentils don’t have to be soaked before cooking. From start to finish, you can have a pot of delicious lentils in 35 minutes or less!

We keep lentils, canned tomatoes, and canned beans in our pantry as each item can be the basis of a healthy but fast dinner. This recipe uses all three. I’ve used black beans here, but you can use whatever you like best.

I can think of loads of variations on the lentil/bean theme- for example, red lentils, cannellini beans, and caramelized onions would make a beautiful and tasty “chili”! This chili can be used as a side dish (we’re having it as an accompaniment to a beef roast tonight) or on its own as a hearty vegetarian main course.

This recipe makes plenty, so you can cook for a big crowd, or enjoy leftovers the next day. It can easily be halved if you would like to make less.

Lentil Chili

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30-35 minutes

Serves: 8 as main course, 16 as side dish

Ingredients:

2 cups of dried green lentils

8 cups of hot water

2 15 ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes

3 Tablespoons of cumin

3 Tablespoons of chili powder

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4-1/2 cup of water (or vegetable stock)

Directions:

Combine lentils and hot water in a large saucepan or stock pot. Simmer gently with lid tilted until desired tenderness is reached (about 15-20 minutes. Lentils can still be slightly firm, as they will be cooked additionally later). Drain the lentils and set aside.

In a large saucepan or stock pot, sauté the minced garlic in the olive oil. Add beans, tomatoes, spices, and the drained lentils. Stir well to combine, adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or vegetable stock if necessary. Simmer until heated through, about 10-15 minutes.

Serve topped with cilantro. Other toppings could include sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese, diced fresh jalapeños, or bell peppers.

Nutritional info per serving (for side dish portion- double for main dish portion): Calories: 106; Total fat: 2.1g; Saturated fat: 0.3g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 113.5mg; Total Carbohydrates: 16.2; Dietary Fiber: 4.8; Protein: 6.0g

I use the SparkRecipes Recipe Calculator to calculate nutrition information for my recipes.

$50 Whole Foods Market Pantry Staple List

Courtesy of Whole Foods Market

  • 1 lb black beans
  • 1 lb lentils
  • 1 lb quinoa
  • 2 lbs brown rice
  • 3 (32-oz) boxes vegetable broth
  • 1 (32-oz) box chicken broth
  • 1 lb rolled oats
  • 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 1 lb orechiette pasta
  • 1 lb pasta, your favorite kind
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 jar unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 (32-oz) box unsweetened soymilk
  • 1 (32-oz) box unsweetened almondmilk
  • 1 (5-oz) can tuna
  • 3 (15-oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 package no-oil sundried tomatoes
  • 1 jar pasta sauce

HAPPY EATING!!