Happy Holidays, foodies! Christmas is my favorite time of year. As we sit here on a mountain still under a mountain of snow (23 inches over the weekend), I am so excited to share my favorite finds from 2018. I was doing a gift guide before it got popular, ha! Or…at least I didn’t realize other bloggers were doing it. This guide of glorious deliciousness is ALL LOCAL and easy to get. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ve probably seen many of these items before. These are products I use in my home. I buy them all year. And they are the perfect gift giving items too. It’s NC …right there in your stocking!
You can read the whole story and find out how to win over at YES! Weekly. You’ll need to comment on their Facebook page to win.
Abby’s Better Nut Butter (Date Pecan Butter):
To say that Abby’s Better Date Pecan is a top fave would be an understatement. Abby was 15-years-old when she started making her own nut butter, which turned into a business. Now three years later, you’ll find her nut butters on the shelves of most main grocery stores regionally. Abby’s Better also has a a website where you can purchase nut butter, bars and merchandise to your nutty delight. abbysbetter.com
As seen in YES! Weekly a few weeks back, Y’all was born Baptist in Louisville, KY and moved to Winston-Salem where it’s made with passion. We love Y’all sauce because it really goes with everything. Y’all became a fave when we tried the Come Back sauce in late summer. Then the Jezebel sauce went on the Thanksgiving turkey and man, oh man was that good! Guess what? The winner gets a gift set of all three Y’all Sauces: Henry Bain, Come Back and Jezebel. You can find Y’all Sauce at Southern Home & Kitchen and Canteen Market & Bistro in Winston-Salem. Check out their website, yallsauce.com for retailers or to have it shipped to you.
As Good As It Gets Salsa
I love a good salsa, especially a local one. Andrea Cardwell makes the Triad’s newest salsa by hand, pours it and distributes it…all by hand. This salsa is super fresh tasting with a small chunks of veggies you can see and taste. The black bean and corn salsa is just as good and both types of salsa come in mild, medium, hot. Another flavor…get this…called Butt Burner is available in regular chunky salsa only and is made with jalapenos, habaneros and Carolina Reaper peppers.I tried it and lived! You can find As Good As It Gets at many local Lowes Foods, Colony Urban Farm Store and small grocers. Check out asgoodasitgets-nc.com for a complete list of locations. By the way the winner is getting Medium Salsa and Butt Burner. Two delicious salsas!
Bee Pollen at Colony Urban Farm Store
Bee pollen? You mean you can actually eat that stuff? Why, yes! It’s fruity, floral and nutty. It tastes to me like a honey infused grape nut cereal. It’s superb on smoothies, smoothie bowls and yogurt. It’s suitable for ice cream and even salads and other recipes that might require a touch of street and crunch. The possibilities are endless. Bee Pollen is considered one of nature’s most complex foods as it is a complete protein and is stocked with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and anti-oxidants. A spoonful before a workout can give you a bit of energy without it being heavy on your stomach. A little goes a long way. This bee pollen is produced locally and is supported by Bee Our Future, a local bee conservation initiative that delivers, installs and maintains beehives for businesses and residences throughout the Triad. Colony Urban Farm Store is located at 492 West End Blvd., Winston-Salem colonyurbanfarm.com
Joey Burdette and Terry Miller, owners of Twin City Hive Coffee Lounge in Winston-Salem, have endeared themselves to many with their cozy coffee shop with desserts and confections, pastries and teas. And this fall they launched their very own specially roasted coffee. And coffee great coffee must go on the guide, foodies. You know it’s fresh and wonderful when there’s a roast date on it. Note to yourself: All coffee should have a roast date on it. TCH is located at 301 Brookstown Ave Ste 300, Winston-Salem.
Fainting Goat Spirits Tiny Cat Vodka
A triadfoodies Holiday Gift Guide would not be the same without some local booze. And we think Fainting Goat Spirits Tiny Cat Vodka is the local staple spirit for your bar and your party. Tiny Cat starts with organic grain and finishes clean in your glass. Distiller Andrew Norman is even throwing in a recipe for his famous Slightly ImPEARed Cocktail for you here. Check it out at the end of the list. And get the Cat at ABC stores. faintinggoatspirits.com
Batistini Farms Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cooking and condiments in my kitchen have been elevated to new heights thanks to Batistini Farms olive oils and vinegars. It’s hard to choose a favorite but you pretty much can’t go wrong with their truly impressive and earthy and fruity Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Organic notes. This EVOO is meant to be savored as a condiment, not to be cooked with. A balsamic drizzled into this oil for a salad or even better, to dip your bread in, is not to be outdone. You’ll see why this combo is a staple at renowned restaurants, like Blackberry Farm. We also love Tom and Cindy Sephton’s commitment to bringing quality olive oil and vinegar to the area and so much knowledge along with them. You can find Batistini Farms at Whole Foods, Earth Fare, Wine Merchants & Vin 205 Bistro, just to name a few. Visit b-farms.com for a full list of locations or to order.
Shady Creek Farm Facial Scrubs
You know how sometimes we like to mix it up and throw in something that’s not food? Well, this is one of those times. And our favorite non-food this year is a reusable facial scrub from Dallas, NC. How cute is this?? Use these scrubs to get the grime off your pretty face or put on some toner. When you’re finished you toss them in the wash and let them dry. Reuse for another day and feel great that you’re not adding more trash to the world. Shady Creek Farm also sells “swiffer” type wipes, washcloths, soaps and a whole host of sustainable goodness. Check shadycreekfarmandnursery.com to order or for retailers.
A perennial fave in my house and was featured in 2015 in our original gift guide. We felt the need to bring Alicia Rehburg’s amazing 100% granola back into the lineup. Mainly because since I’ve moved and I’m farther away from easy access to this crunchy goodness….well, let’s just say absence has made the heart and tummy grow fonder. What makes Gorilla Grains stand out is that it is buttery…you can taste the butter. Other granola has oil as their fat, but the Gorilla’s is butter and once you’ve tasted it, you’ll understand. You can find this amazing granola at Musten & Crutchfield, Elon College and various markets or order at gorillagrains.com
Black Mountain Chocolate Fruit Cake
The quintessential reigning alumnus that’s never been off the list and never shall it be, unless they stop baking it. The boozy chocolatey concoction with Broad Branch Distillery’s Night Lab is for adults only and oh so good. Great with wine. Decadent with coffee or tea. Naughty with a bit more bourbon on the side (in a good way). It’s a Black Mountain delight made at 732 NW Trade Street, Winston-Salem. blackmountainchocolate.com
Slightly ImPEARed Created by: Distiller & Mixologist Andrew Norman, Fainting Goat Spirits
1.5 oz Tiny Cat Vodka
.75 oz Winter spiced simple syrup*
.75 oz Fresh lemon juice
2 oz Pear juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake over ice. Strain into a coupe or martini glass.
*To make the winter spiced simple syrup combine 1 cup brown sugar with 1 cup warm water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add 1 clove, 2 star anise pods, 3 cinnamon sticks, ¾ inch of peeled ginger and sit for 10 minutes. Strain out the solids and keep refrigerated up to a month.
Deck yourself. Deck your friends with these local goodie! Shop local and enjoy.