triadfoodies, unstuffed cabbage rolls, recipe, north carolina

Recipe: Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Greetings, foodies. It’s been forevs since I posted anything like a recipe. So here’s a winner for a cold winter’s day. It’s UNSTUFFED Cabbage Rolls. I’ve never even had stuffed cabbage rolls but I do love cabbage and all the other ingredients in those rolls. So, after finding a recipe or three on my FAVE..Pinterest…I took the pretty basic recipe and amped it up a few notches by adding bacon and beer. It’s still a one pot wonder, super simple, relatively healthy if you don’t mind bacon and beer and incredibly delicious the day of and days later. This makes a BIG batch and probably easily serves 6, maybe more. I only have a couple of pics this time around, but you’ll get the idea with this easy dish. Feel free to change out the beef for sausage or even venison. One of my followers used venison and a Gaelic ale and let it go for a while in his slow cooker. Love it!

triadfoodies, unstuffed cabbage rolls, recipe, north carolina

Browned beef, tomatoes, sauce, onions, spices, beer and cabbage all going in the pot.

UNSTUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS

2 lbs ground beef
2-3 slices of bacon. Optional but lends a smokiness.
1/2-1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
2 tbs chopped parsley, optional
1/2 cup beer, broth or water
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp pepper

Cook it:

In a large pot, crisp the bacon if using. Add the ground beef and onion and cook until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic and cook for a minute.
Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, liquid, seasonings. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
Optional: mustard seed, caraway seeds or smoked paprika would be a great option. The latter especially if you forgo bacon. Maybe cheese as well?  Serve with crusty bread or pretzel rolls.

Voila!
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Augustine’s Bistro

Augustine's

Bonjour, gourmets! That’s ‘foodies’ in French….

Augustine’s Bistro (401 W. 4th Street, Winston-Salem) is the “revised” new kid on the block. The restaurant space opened a year and a half ago as Mundo Global Tapas, did a little shake-a-roo, and re-opened as a French-country American bistro a few months back. Some of us restaurant-goers liked the idea of tapas and were sad to see those go. But, we LOVE the idea of French in downtown Winston-Salem as it adds to the culture of our city.

My daughter, mother-in-law and I have an annual tradition of seeing The Nutcracker Ballet with a delicious dinner beforehand. Since we chose UNCSA presentation of The Nutrcracker, it couldn’t be more convenient than dinner downstairs at Augustine’s Bistro.

Just about every time I’ve eaten in this space (when it was Dioli’s Trattoria and Mundo) my family and I were shuttled to the back dining room. It’s pretty with a gorgeous Stevens Center chandelier as the restaurant resides there. But I LOVE sitting in the front of the restaurant enjoying the street view and people watching–it’s so French. I was very pleased that’s where we were seated. You really can’t beat a corner seat at Augustine’s. Now…about the food.

Augustine’s Bistro has blend of French and American cuisine with a few items like calamari thrown in. The chef also kept a few of the very popular items from its previous incarnation.  Augustine’s also has a small bar with a great selection of craft cocktails. If French is not your favori, then you don’t have to worry as there’s enough to choose from this side of the pond, like sandwiches and burgers as well as pork tenderloin and a very popular salmon dish. I decided that I’d go all in. So, we ordered Escargot Florentine baked with spinach and parmesan. It was served in perfectly cute escargot serving dish. The escargot was tender and herby. The spinach was cooked perfectly and the cheese was bubbly and toasty and just right.

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My MIL ordered the Crab Bisque. It was very flavorful and riche! She didn’t eat all of it, so I stole it and took it home.

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For my entree, I went with the featured Cassoulet which showcased an amazing “frenched” duck confit on the bone, chorizo sausage and pork belly. It sat on top of a delicious herby, wine infused broth of white beans and tender vegetables. It was si delcieux! Perfect for a cold almost winter’s night. Not sure how French chorizo is, but I didn’t mind it!

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My MIL ordered the steak with frites. Very simple, quite tasty and the steak was perfectly cooked with hand-cut frites and a garlic aioli. We must call them frites, not fries at Augustine’s.  :D

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My daughter ordered buttered noodles—Sigh. Instead of butter, the noodles came with a cream sauce instead, but she still ate a bit of it. And the leftovers, we took home and I added the crab bisque from above to it for lunch a couple of days later. So satisfying.

We actually had time for dessert so I finally introduced my little one to Creme Brulee.  Why wouldn’t I? This creme brulee was magnifique! Little flecks of vanilla bean, a perfect custard, crunchy top that my daughter tried to eat all of. Really, creme brulee is my favorite dessert ever….

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Augustine’s Bistro also has plenty of space for private events so if you are looking for a special occasion place, you know you’ll have a beauty in that location. Be sure to follow them on Facebook or check their website often for announcements regarding special dinners highlighting wine, beer and spirits.

Augustine’s owner Chef Eric Muck might actually be onto something by highlighting his family’s heritage with this new concept. If I had to make any suggestion at all (it’s not about the food or service because it was all terrific), I’d say…”Chef, go more in…heck, go ALL in!” Cassoulet, Beef Bourguignon, Duck a l’Orange, Chicken Dijon, Quiche, Oh oui! And for dessert, Eclairs, Madelines, etc. I mean, you’d eat that wouldn’t you, foodies??? And maybe start offering brunch because you’ve got the perfect brunchy set-up. And French bread for the table, of course. ;). But don’t get rid of the Mushroom Toast. Never ever stop making that, chef.

Do you have a favorite French dish, foodies?

Au revoir!

Augustine’s Bistro
Hours: Tues-Sat, 5pm-10pm

Augustine's Bistro on Urbanspoon

Hearth Restaurant at Sanders Ridge

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My extended family on my Daddy’s side decided for our Christmas celebration to meet at a restaurant…to keep it easy so we don’t all have to cook and run after kidlets. And though I didn’t mean to “take over” and make a strong (?) suggestion of where we should eat, I will say I do not regret my nudging ;) to dine at a local restaurant that just happens to be on a beautiful vineyard and winery. Once we knew that Hearth Restaurant at Sanders Ridge would gladly accommodate all 23 of us for a Saturday lunch, everyone was excited.

To start, Sanders Ridge is a vineyard located in the heart of Yadkin Valley Wine Country, in Boonville, just a 20 minute drive from Winston-Salem. And since Hearth is on a vineyard, it’s quiet, lovely and serene. The restaurant and tasting room is gorgeous with its timber frame details and view of the pond, gazebo and natural surroundings. Much of their ingredients are locally sourced, some right there on their own farm.

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Chef Christian Froelich actually provided us with a personal menu, but allowed us to order off the main menu anyway. I can really only speak to what mr. foodie and I ordered, but I did take pictures of just about everything. We did order a bottle of wine—I mean when in the Yadkin Valley Wine Region, why not? For my entree, I ordered the Muscadine Chicken. What is known as their signature dish, it’s grilled chicken breast with a sweet and slightly tangy muscadine glaze that Chef created to mimic a hoisin sauce. So you get this element of Asian flare along with an incredible jasmine rice stir fry that has a crispy soccarat that is oh, so satisfying. I don’t know about you but if I eat at a hibachi style restaurant, I always ask for the scraped up rice bits. So yummy! The entree also comes with sauteed spinach.

IMG_1205 IMG_1212Mr. foodie ordered the Pork Chops Milanese. Crunchy, tender, flavorful with sweet potato puree and sauteed spinach.

Oh and I almost forgot, as an appetizer we ordered the Truffle Scented Country Ham Mac & Cheese. It came out so piping hot I captured steam in my photo! Anyway, it was so good, I could’ve eaten it by itself. So cheesy and smoky, perfectly cooked macaroni with chewy bits of country ham and just enough of an essence of truffle oil.

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My kidlets split their chicken tenders, which were terrific and I told the chef they’d be even MORE yummy with the muscadine glaze as a dip. And my boy ordered the Chocolate Torte for dessert and gobbled it up. Let’s take a look at what everyone else ordered…I did do my due diligence and got many praises from all of my family members, even the little ones so I’m so glad my suggestion met with positive reviews.

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Chicken tendersIMG_1208Shrimp & Grits

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Veggie Wrap w/ Sweet Potato Fries

Pimento Cheese Dip

Pimento Cheese Dip

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Blurry..sorry! Smokestack Turkey Sandwich w/ Sweet Potato Fries

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Chocolate Torte

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Creme Brulee

Hearth Restaurant at Sanders Ridge officially became Chef Christian Froelich’s pride and joy last summer. He most recently was the Executive Chef in the Twin City Quarter and at Graze (formerly WS Prime). It’s so great to see him at the helm of such a beautiful restaurant and kitchen and we know he’s excited.

Chef Froelich and his excited face!

Chef Froelich and his excited face!

The Sanders Ridge winery’s tasting room is open every day beginning at noon. The winery and restaurant are on holiday until Thursday, January 15, so stay excited but be patient :D.  And if you want to just picnic and explore, there are 155 luscious acres for your pleasure. And if you’d like a little getaway, there’s even a tiny cabin in the woods! I can’t wait to go back when everything’s in bloom to do a little picnicking and ‘splorations.

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Hearth Restaurant at Sander’s Ridge
3200 Round Hill Road
Boonville, NC 336.677.1700

Lunch/Brunch
Friday, Saturday Lunch & Sunday Brunch 11:30 – 3 pm
Supper
Thursday Night Family Style with live music 5 – 8 pm
Friday & Saturday 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm

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The Table Farmhouse Bakery

I have this “vision” in my head. A vision of what MY restaurant would look like if I was crazy enough to open one (I’m not–but I’m glad some of you are!). Imagine my surprise when I walked inside of The Table Farmhouse Bakery in Asheboro (of all places!) and there was my vision. At least on the inside. Milky white walls, farm-style tables and chairs, rustic floor, delicious products on the wall, simple, relaxing decor. Cool chandelier bottles, Edison lightbulbs. Ahhh… I fell in love at first glance.

Then we got to eat!

We just came in for coffee and dessert, mr. foodie and me. Easy. Then we saw The Table’s super simple ever-changing menu and he thought, “I could eat,” and I thought, “I could eat too!” So we did. When a place like this offers rustic homemade sandwiches with freshly made bread and yummy, warm soup…we felt, well those things are not heavy and we still will likely have room for dessert. We did!

So Mr. foodie ordered a Brisket sandwich with housemade BBQ, red cabbage slaw on Tuscan Onion bread. Wow. Crazy good. Tender, smoky brisket, crunchy slaw nearly like a salad inside the bread with a light BBQ sauce on their freshly made bread. He got a salad too. Good, crisp as it should be.

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Now, I’m not a breakfast person and I don’t normally consider quiche for dinner especially when I came in for dessert, but it just sounded so warm and tasty. I ordered their Farmers Rosemary Ham Swiss Quiche. The quiche was perfectly set but still had a glorious, golden brown cheesy crust, with meaty ham, hints of rosemary and the tanginess of Swiss that goes so well with ham. Yum. And on the side a nice warm Italian Sausage, White Bean & Spinach soup. I think I’m not eating light anymore, but I digress.

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For dessert, we ordered a Buttermilk Pie (yum) and a Salted Caramel and Chocolate Brownie Trifle that I did take a picture of, but it disappeared in the cloud somewhere, but if you squint you can make it out in the case.

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See? That’s the trifle right there!

And we just had to get a White Chocolate Baguette to take home. Let me tell you a little bit about a White Chocolate Baguette…

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I can’t. You gotta taste it to believe it.

My motherfoodie-in-law lives in Asheboro. You’d think there’s not much there, but the little downtown is just presh! And I’ve been wanting to try The Table so MIL was watching the microfoodies and we shopped then went back to get them. The Table Farmhouse Bakery is just lovely and homey and serene. Owner, Dustie Gregson is also a designer and you can certainly tell as the decor gets a little change season by season. In addition to the sandwiches and soups, The Table offers an incredible, deletable selection of desserts, pastries and other baked goods and fresh coffee drinks for when you need that afternoon pick me up…or breakfast if you prefer.

I’m looking forward to going back and trying The Table Farmhouse Bakery again. And exploring a bit more of Asheboro now that I have multiple reasons to return. Enjoy the photos—sorry I might have gotten a little carried away with the “tilt”, lol.

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The Table Farmhouse Bakery

Hours:
Tues-Wed: 7am-2:30pm
Thurs-Fri: 7am-10pm
Saturday: 7:30am-10pm

Table Farmhouse Bakery on Urbanspoon

Favorite things: Featuring Cackalacky Sweet Sauce, Gorilla Grains, Fogwood Farm Spiced Tomato Jam, Cheerwine, Speculoos Crunchy Cookie Butter and this most awesome mini sifter from Southern Home & Kitchen

triadfoodies’ Favorite Things 2014

Every year, for years now, our family has been giving the gift of our favorite things to a few select people in our lives…mainly close family. It’s usually quite the hit! It always always has foodie items and sometimes something cool like a mug or lip salve or anything funky that we discovered or became “reacquainted with.”

Here’s this year’s list of our favorite things…a good list this year with Got to be NC products and one or two out-of-towner’s but at least one was purchased at a locally owned business. Links to the companies that make the products are in the list! Merry Christmas!

Mark and Kristi’s (and Ava’s and Beck’s Favorite Things 2014

Favorite things: Featuring Cackalacky Sweet Sauce, Gorilla Grains, Fogwood Farm Spiced Tomato Jam, Cheerwine, Speculoos Crunchy Cookie Butter and this most awesome mini sifter from Southern Home & Kitchen

Favorite things: Featuring Cackalacky Sweet Sauce, Gorilla Grains, Fogwood Farm Spiced Tomato Jam, Cheerwine, Speculoos Crunchy Cookie Butter and this most awesome mini sifter from Southern Home & Kitchen

Merry Christmas! We can’t believe this season happened upon us so quickly! It was so fast we nearly forgot this beloved (we hope) tradition. This year, most of our favorite things just so happen to be “Got to Be NC”.

Cackalacky Sweet Sauce: This Famously Original Sauce is from the awesome guys in Chapel Hill who grabbed our state’s nickname and threw it on everything they make. This BBQ-type sauce is made with NC’s own Cheerwine and it gives the sauce a sweet, fruity element that’s amazing on meats, especially pork belly. Cackalacky also makes a sauce from Sweet Potatoes called “Spicy” and they make these killer peanuts as well. Lots of restaurants around the state use their products. And if you ever see Cackalacky beer in the beer aisle, be sure to pick it up. It’s made by Full Steam Brewery where the two companies partnered to bring a unique ginger pale ale that’s different than any other beer you’ve probably ever tried. cackalacky.com

Fogwood Food Spiced Tomato Jam: Not to be confused with ketchup, this is a slightly sweet and spicy tomato “jelly” that tastes like the holidays. It’s especially good on cream cheese and awesome on garlic bread with some parmesan sprinkled on top. Try it with a bit of hummus and veggies (pickled or not). This wonderful farm in Reidsville also grows shiitake mushrooms, peppers and dehydrates them and they make this amazing buttered pecan syrup that we’d loved to be able to put in your treasure trove here but we just couldn’t get our hands on it. You can probably order it online! You should! Highly recommended on pancakes. Check their website as well for a list of local shops that sell their products, which includes various Lowes Foods as well as Kernersville’s own Musten & Crutchfield and another fave, Let It Grow Produce.  fogwoodfood.com

Speculoos Cookie Butter:  This is almost Ava’s favorite thing. We are on a roll with the cookie butter. If you like the original from two years ago you will love this. This has the cookies (from last year) not all the way mushed into cookie butter. So you get crunch and cookie butter and it’s still meltable and pourable after melted and we really just eat it off the spoon and enjoy. You do whatever you want. Located at Trader Joe’s.

From Beck:  Gorilla Grains Granola: Let me tell you, the butteriness of this granola will make you so happy to be alive. You really will just consume it right out of the bag and not bother with all that fussy stuff like yogurt or milk (unless it’s to drink it). It’s just too good for snacking. And you can get it with cranberries and other troublesome things in it but the original is just too darn fabulous to pass up. Beck will not eat any other granola. He asks if it’s this. He can tell with just one bite. How this woman who owns this company is not a millionaire used to be a mystery…but a recent conversation with owner Alicia Rehburg explains that she keeps it small so she can have the best quality control possible, but who knows what the future holds?  You’ll have to find Gorilla Grains on Facebook and order personally by calling or messaging. And you can find her just about every weekend at the Greensboro Farmer’s Curb Market. Also at Summerfield Farms. 

Powdered Sugar Spoon: Isn’t it like totally cute? I mean, enough said. We found this at Southern Home & Kitchen in WS. You can probably find them at most kitchen stores. This will give your desserts, coffee or whatever a nice teeny tiny dusting that’s just enough with not a big mess. LOVE!

From Ava:  Cheerwine: (see first entry)  Ava has probably drunk her weight in Cheerwine this year. This soda was born in Salisbury, NC in 197 and is wild cherry cola yumminess. It’s as authentic North Carolina as gets with a juicy burger and fries, mmmm.  You can have the “legend” delivered right to your door! cheerwine.com

So that’s our favorite things 2014. If you think there’s something we should try that ought to be on our list, suggest to us please! What are some of your faves this year?