Below is the annual triadfoodies Favorite Things, aka Triadfoodies Gift Guide of Glorious Deliciousness. For your chance to win, visit YES! Weekly…
Foodie fans and locavores…you know I look forward to this every year. For years, my family has created gift baskets full of our favorite things that we’ve discovered throughout the year. I dare say that at YES! Weekly, we might be making a tradition of it, as long as they’ll have me. So here’s the 2nd Annual Triadfoodies Gift Guide of Glorious Deliciousness. And once again we’re going to give our basket (or bag) full of goodies to a lucky winner (for details, click here, as the giveaway is by YES!).
These “favorite things” make perfect stocking stuffers or gifts on their own. My criteria…It must be fabulous and it must be local. We have such talented makers in our area that they deserve to be supported and loved. Another important aspect of these faves are that they are relatively easy to find. We can’t have you going all over town looking for these items. And in most cases you’ll be able find these items at a locally owned shop near you.
Shall we begin the Holiday Magic?
Brewmaster’s Malt Mustard
We loved Al Wolf’s mustard when we featured its whole crunchy mustard seed, grainy goodness for our Super Bowl spread feature last January. And since then, we have not been without it. It’s the perfect German mustard made by a German brewmaster, with simple ingredients. The mustard, made with malted barley, is robust and thick and perfect on brats, hotdogs, smoked sausage, sandwiches, pork, you name it. We like that Al, who came to his new country searching for the American dream, found it right here in the Triad of North Carolina as the brewmaster for Red Oak Brewing. You get bonus local supporter points if you pair Malt Mustard with a Red Oak Lager and/or Lowe’s Foods SausageWorks Sausage, particularly anything with Texas Pete in it. You can find Malt Mustard at Lowe’s Foods and Whole Foods or buy online at brewmastersmalt.com
Sutler’s Spirits Gin
True to form, we must always include a NC spirit when it comes to our gift guide. And we’ve never been without Sutler’s Gin since discovering it a few years ago. As a matter of fact, the bottle is so good looking that we just keep it out on display on our bar cart. The science that goes into distilling a quality spirit is one thing, but the art that goes into Sutler’s is on another level altogether. Owner Scot Sanborn has introduced flavors into his award-winning gin that set it apart from any other. It’s really great on the rocks, where you can really appreciate the botanicals. But I also love it with lemonade and a splash of soda. Plan a visit in the near future to Sutler’s distillery in Winston-Salem. You’ll get a lesson in flavor profiles and appreciation that you never expected. Sutler’s is always holding super fun workshops and tours are available. Find your Sutler’s at any North Carolina ABC store or your limited bottle amount on site at Sutlers. sutlersspiritco.com
Little Black Dressing Company It Takes 3 to Tango
I know you know that quandary when you can’t decide which salad dressing you want. Do I want ranch? Thousand island? Bleu cheese? What if you could have all three dressings whipped into one? That’s LBD’s It Takes Three to Tango for you. You get a little of all three of these popular salad toppings. It’s just an amazing marriage of flavors and perfect for the indecisive type. The only thing is, I’ve decided that it’s one of the few salad dressings I actually want anymore. It is magic on a wedge salad or a Cobb or as a veggie dip. LBD Company is based in High Point and has a number of other interesting looking dressings but honestly I can’t stay away from 3 to Tango. You can find it in the refrigerated dressings section all along the east coast at local grocery markets as well as Lowe’s Foods and Harris Teeter. littleblackdressingco.com
Fool’s Gold Honey (Colony Urban Farm Store)
If you love honey, you’ll love Colony Urban Farm’s Honey Bar. A honey bar! Honey on tap. Honey in jars. Honey! Honey! Honey! It’s paradise for honey-lovers and Winnie the Pooh too.
Just a few days before press time, Colony announced that they’re branding their honey as Fool’s Gold Honey Co. My favorite in the Colony line-up is the Bourbon-infused honey. You get a little essence of bourbon with their wonderful local honey, from bees they raise right here. Colony threw in a Southern Wildflower and Lavender-infused because …well, because Christmas! Really the choices for honey at Colony are endless. “Because eating honey is a very good thing to do.”—Pooh. There are some exciting things about to happen in the West End in Winston-Salem and these little bees at Colony are in the mix of it, so stay tuned for some fun buzz from these folks. You can find Colony Urban Farm and Fool’s Gold Honey at their new location (opening soon) at 492 West End Blvd, Winston-Salem. foolsgoldhoneyco.com
Batistini Farms Vanishing Grape White Balsamic
Okay, okay, we know we’re not growing local olives or Modena grapes here. But Clemmons couple, Cindy and Tom Sephton, are getting us as close to the local experience as possible. About three years ago, the Sephtons began importing 100% Toscano extra virgin organic olive oil and balsamic vinegars from the heritage La Batistina farm in Tuscany. So you get the real thing and you’re supporting a local business at the same time. We love the pure, clean taste, look and finish of the Vanishing Grape. Paired with a little olive oil on a spinach salad or drizzled on cheese, or you can go wrong with crusty bread. You can find Batistini Farms Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars at Whole Foods, Wine Merchants in Winston-Salem, and online at b-farms.com.
Lily Leaf Soap-Handmade Soap and Spa Products
No, it’s not food. It is made with food-like, organic ingredients by Tara Kercheval, who puts so much pride and hard work into her soaps, lotions, serums, scrubs and balms and they’ve been a favorite for several years now. Tara has been so devoted that she was able to leave behind her job and focus on her soap business full-time. We love her soaps to use of course, but they make a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer. And they come in all kinds of fragrances but I like anything that reminds me of the spa, like the lime mint, eucalyptus, or grapefruit lavender. We also love the shave bar. Winner gets two soaps. You can find out more about Lily Leaf soaps, lotions, serums and balms by visiting their Facebook page.
The Traveling Bean Coffee
Words cannot express the heartbreak over here when our beloved Beans Boro Coffeeshop announced its closing in Greensboro earlier this year. But, let not your (or our) heart be troubled. Roast Master, Kyle Burge, is back in his hometown on Kernersville, right downtown, under a new name. The Traveling Bean is located on Main Street with plenty of roasting action and a family-friendly environment to enjoy your pick-me-up. Winner gets a pound of whole bean Colombian, known for its full, rich flavor with chocolate notes. The Traveling Bean is located at 126-A South Main Street, Kernersville. thetravelingbean.com
Cackalacky Beer-B-Q Nuts
Also making a return appearance from our “Super Bowl” special, Cackalacky’s BeerBQ peanuts are the perfect party snack, late night snack, car snack…well, you get it. Our absolute fave of all the nuts out there. And we’ve tried a ton. They’re just big and special. Trust us. You can find Cackalacky nuts and their other products at retailers across the state, including Lowe’s Foods and Harris Teeter. cackalacky.com
Black Mountain Chocolate Fruit Cake
And the Triadfoodies Gift Guide of Glorious Deliciousness (and Giveaway) just wouldn’t be the same without the Queen of Fruitcakes. Like I’ve said before, it’s boozy and so chocolatey and will make you completely forget about that heavy, stumpy thing you once called fruit “cake.” BMC’s fruitcake is made with next door neighbor’s Broad Branch Distilling Company’s Nightlab 1.0. And you can taste to too. Consider this your grown-up dessert and enjoy! blackmountainchocolate.com
So there you have it, my gift guide of favorite things. And you can win this treasure! Find this post on the YES! Weekly Facebook page where you’ll find out how you can win it. Winner will be announced on December. 18. And I’ll be showing this collection of awesomeness …er…glorious deliciousness on Thursdsay, December 14 on WFMY 2’s Good Morning Show. So set your DVR for 6:45am if you aren’t up and going at that crazy hour.