Category Archives: product reviews

Triadfoodies Holiday Gift Guide

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):

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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

Y’all Sauce

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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

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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

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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 

14-Degrees Coffee

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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

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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

IMG_4662Cooking 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

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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.

Gorilla Grains

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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

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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.

 

White Pinot Noir Could Be Your New Fave

Caleb Flint of Wine Merchants in WS offered me a bottle of Amity Vineyards White Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 for an honest review. We are grateful for the opportunity (and the wine). All opinions are my own.

My favorite kind of wine is red wine. And of the reds, my favorite has been Pinot Noir. And no that has nothing to do with the film, Sideways. 😀 . Though a Malbec sometimes does sometimes hit the spot.  I also do try to support NC Wine as much as possible but I do like to change up.  So when Wine Merchants talked about a White Pinot Noir, I was intrigued. After grabbing a bottle,  I took a little time and meal planning for when to enjoy it. Mr. foodie and I like wine, but we have two kiddos at home and sometimes we can’t just open a bottle up and enjoy. And we rarely finish a bottle between the two of us in one night. Plus, I wanted to have a mushroom pasta dish. I am particular like that.

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Then the night came. Opened up a bottle of the White Pinot on a pasta night. I enjoyed a glass while cooking. What we found was a lightly fruity, very clean wine with body that drinks quite easily alone and is wonderful with pasta, cheese and poultry and particularly, mushrooms. Bonus points if you can manage that in one dish, which we did (a browned butter balsamic mushroom sauce over ravioli with grilled chicken). The photo of the dish didn’t come out well. But I’ll make it again and share the recipe.

The wine went perfectly. I have a feeling this is going to be in the regular rotation.

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i see you

White Pinot Noir is gaining in popularity but is still considered somewhat “rare” compared to other varietals.  it takes a special process because Pinot Noir grapes are obviously red. This is an excerpt from VinePair.

To make white wine from red grapes, winemakers take careful steps to ensure that there is minimum contact, or maceration, between the pre-fermented must and color-giving grape skins. To eliminate maceration for white Pinot, only a small amount of the grape’s juice can be fermented into white wine.
Free-run juice is released when grapes are piled, and their skins break under their own weight. In white winemaking, this produces the highest quality wines because there’s minimal contact with bitter skins and seeds. Free-run juice, and occasionally must from a very light pressing, are used to make Blanc de Noirs still wines.

White Pinot Noir also listed as Pinot Noir Blanc or Blanc de Noirs.  In Winston-Salem, you can find Amity Vineyards for about $25 at Wine Merchants & Vin 205 Wine Bar at 205 S. Stratford Rd. in Winston-Salem.  (336) 765-8175.

By the way, if you haven’t been to Wine Merchants or the bistro next door, get yourself over there. The restaurant is one of the most underrated spots in all of the Triad. Read about them here.  Site of 2 Chef’s Tables! That’s how good.

Cheers!

Y’all Is For Everyone

You can find the YES! Weekly version of this story here.

Y’all: /yahl/ : Contraction of you and all that some say is not a real word (but we all know that it is).

Y’all is also a sauce.  Three to be exact (for now) and it’s made locally in Winston-Salem. Now, y’all foodies know that when I tell you about a new product, I really love it and I use it and I find the story behind the product and its maker interesting enough to bring it to you. And y’all…this sauce is definitely for me and you …because it’s trip to yumtown.  And no this is not sponsored. I bought it. I love it. And so will you! 

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And I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. These sauces are so great that they are definitely a triadfoodies Favorite Thing and will be a part of our Holiday Gift Guide giveaway  next month!  (link is last year’s guide)

Y’all Sauce Co. started a year ago with the love of the Lord, bourbon, community and food.  Josh McGee and Paige Harlow originally met six years ago at church in Kentucky where Josh’s wife was a pastor. “We loved to eat, but hated our jobs and were looking for an awesome way to work together and came up with the idea of doing something with food over the course of drinking some bourbon, which always gives you the best ideas,” Paige joked.

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Josh and his wife eventually moved to Winston-Salem so that she could take a pastoral position at First Baptist.  Josh comes from a culinary background and says, “I worked in the industry for 15 years, was a sous chef in Charleston, where I cut my culinary chops. I thought, wouldn’t it be great to pair my culinary background and her marketing background.” Around the time of the move, Josh and Paige decided to become business partners and settled on the idea of a sauce company. 

But then, what in the world were they going to name their new company?

Josh remembers, “We started with some southern names, a spin on the southern culture…we kicked around all kinds of ideas….Southern Plated is the name of our company, but the name of the sauce? Nothing really rolled off the tongue. We were talking about community and our identity and Paige blurts ‘y’all!’ And that was it.”

Paige says their tag line, Eat Up Y’all is the perfect slogan.  “It just made sense because y’all is such an inclusive word. Y’all goes beyond gender, race, religion. We wanted to create a company that included everyone. It’s a divisive time and it’s important to bring people together to the table and have conversation and bridge gaps.”

 

And in true Baptist tradition, pair it with community and make the conversation happen  around food.

The sauce team says the move, the sauce and the city of Winston-Salem are a perfect match. “What we love about Winston-Salem is what Louisville was 10 years ago. The upswing of honing in on local restaurants, local ingredients and all these farmers doing great things. We want to tell the story and heritage of the sauce and how it brings community together.” 

For now, there are three sauces telling those stories, with many more stories to come. The first is the iconic Henry Bain, which Paige and Josh both discovered in Kentucky. It’s a bit of a sweet and tangy version of a barbecue sauce, that Josh tweaked and modernized with a hint of bourbon.  By the way, Henry Bain was a waiter and created his namesake sauce at the Pendennis Club in 1881. How’s that for a legacy?

The second sauce is the sweet and spicy Jezebel, which Josh says he became obsessed with in his native Tennessee. Jezebel is like apple butter and marmalade meets horseradish, and though no one can really agree where Jezebel sauce comes from, Josh says, “I wanted to make it more East Tennessee with sorghum and Volunteer Orange. And I love that you can use Jezebel in different ways. Back in the day you’d throw it on cream cheese, but now we use it to glaze hams. I like it on fried chicken, salmon and as a finishing sauce on veggies.”  I plan on putting Jezebel on my Thanksgiving turkey. Josh tells me it will be “ah-mazing.” 

I became a fan of Y’all Sauce when I scooped up the Mississippi Come Back sauce, which is a staple in the deep south and used so many ways including as a burger topping or as a dip for fries or tater tots. It’s like a white barbecue sauce that will have you come back for more, hence the name. My tip, give it a try as the dressing on a warm potato salad. It’s so yummy. 

In the south, every sauce has a story and the team wants to tell all of them. Paige says, “The plan going forward is to have a different sauce for each southern state, such as Trinity Sauce for Louisiana and of course a sauce that would be cool for North Carolina.” Whatever will it be? I’m told it may be a bit more than just Eastern BBQ.

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She adds, “We’re both history buffs and we love the culture here. The south is a real mix of cultures…we want to tell the story of the different sauces. It’s exciting to keep these stories alive.”

Y’all Sauce is catching on in the area, particularly in Winston-Salem where it can now be found at Southern Home & Kitchen, Canteen Market and Bistro, Washington Perk, City Beverage, Mast General Store and Lowes Foods. 

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Josh says they plan to be in front of the community as he continues to put down roots here. Josh says, “The community is something so unique to Winston-Salem. It’s a hub for a lot of cool things happening…from the restaurants and the farms to the craft beer scene and wineries. There’s so much great energy here and we want to be on the forefront of that and embrace the localness.”

Look for Josh with the Y’alls at the Angelo’s Artisan Market at Wiseman Brewing in Winston-Salem on November 11 from 12-5pm and at Southern Home & Kitchen with some cooking classes early next year.

If y’all want some enjoyable reading on the stories of the sauces. or if y’all want to find out where to buy or to order online visit them here. 

GIVEAWAY!! New Wewalka USA Pie Crust

UPDATE: Congratulations to Julie Groce and Jenny Lambeth, you’ve won 5 Wewalka pie crusts!

 

Foodies!! I have a giveaway for you!

If summer is a time for cobblers then surely it’s also a time for pie!

Fruity, light, summery pies that you don’t have to bake a crust for because this HERE crust is ready to be rolled out and filled and topped and you do whatever you want to it.

Or creamy, decadent pies…

Or savory pies! Yes, in summer. Or for freezing because it’s summer.

The best kind of pie is one that’s made FOR you but if you must make it your own little self, it should be just so simple. I hate flour going everywhere. And that’s one of the reasons I’ve loved working with Wewalka European Bakery Style doughs in the past (click here for recipes). The pizza crusts, danish roll, crescent rolls…ALL of it..so easy, ready to roll out on parchment to make my life less messy and time consuming. Plus, the doughs are so delicious that I’d rather have a sure thing than hope I get my crust right, ‘no what I’m saying? This new Wewalka crust is 25% thicker and is completely lard-free.

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So comment below for a chance to win 5..I say… 5!!! Wewalka pie crusts. You can make a whole plethora of pies filled with blueberries or cherries or lemon or chocolate. Or chicken or buttermilk. And that’s what I made with my Wewalka pie crust. My very favorite pie..Buttermilk Pie. It’s kind of a like a vanilla chess pie. Not too sweet, with an ever so barely there tang, with delicate notes of vanilla and lemon. Yum. To say this is an old-fashioned, old as the hills, granny old recipe is an understatement.  There are recipes all over the internets and mine is a combine of things I like. I even add collagen peptides to mine to add some extra protein.

I might go make it again this afternoon.

Buttermilk Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk ( I used fat-free but you can use full fat)
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or just another teaspoon of extract)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional but yummy)
  • 1 prepared Wewalka pie crust

Roll out the pie crust per package instructions and place in a 9 inch pie dish, fluting the crust as you see fit. As you can see above, I’m terrible at it.  For easier transport,  place dish on a cookie pan.

Directions:

  1. Beat eggs until foamy. Add butter, flour, sugar and beat until fluffy.
  2. Add buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice and nutmeg.
  3. Beat until smooth.
  4. Pour into prepared Wewalka crust.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely.

Enjoy with whipped cream (or not) and/or berries (or not). I like mine plain. But I’m a simple girl.

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You can find Wewalka at most major grocers locally…Harris Teeter, Publix and Lowe’s.

Comment below for your chance to win! This is taking place across Facebook and Instagram so post there too! I’ll choose a winner on June 11. What is your FAAAAVE pie?

 

 

 

Get Your Taste & See NC Box with Coupon Code!

Hey, foodies!

You know fun it is to go to local markets, boutiques and shops and see all the yummy, local provisions? If only there was a way to see AND taste or taste and see. Well, there’s a new company, based right here in North Carolina that is giving us all a chance to bring home a box of North Carolina goodness. You pick your city and it’s delivered right to your door.

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My friend, Shayla, launched Taste and See NC earlier this year as a way to highlight local makers with a gift box of artisan food products from our fair cities. There’s a Winston-Salem box, a Durham Box, Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville. You get the idea. Shayna reached out to the foodies and asked us if we wanted a box (uh…yes, Shayla, yes!) and let us choose our city. I was familiar with some of Asheville and all of Winston-Salem’s box. I haven’t had the benefit of enjoying a whole lot of Durham goodies, even though it’s one of the top Southern food towns. So Shayna sent me a Durham box and I just had to show you how cute and fun it is. Of course, I’ve tried all of these items and will be sharing them with you here.

Look! It was a like a little present from Tiffany. Only better. Yeah I said that (No thanks to the post office for getting it all dirty).

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Inside that Carolina Blue box was a selection from some of the finest makers in the Bull City:

Big Spoon Roasters: Apricot and Pepita Bar
Chocked full of real ingredients. I started noshing on this little bar so quickly that I forgot to snap a pic. Oops! But I did remember later to photograph this bar as a topping to my smoothie bowl. It was chewy and lightly sweet and satisfying. On a side note, you can find Big Spoon in the Triad (including Whole Foods) and all over the region as they are super popular with their nut butters. It was fun to see they’ve gotten into food bars for a quick, healthy snack. Big Spoon is known for their sustainable practices including supporting our NC Peanut Farmers. IMG_8466

Sangha Tea: Ginger Peach Black Tea
As I write this, I’m fearing I’m catching the microfoodies’ colds. So this tea is very warm and soothing. This tea is smells and tastes exactly as its name. It’s gingery. It’s peachy and wonderful.

Ello Raw: Cinnamon Sugar Donut Bites
Another healthy grab and go option, these little grain-free bites are made with raw, organic superfood ingredients.

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Durham Toffee: 
Man, oh man. This toffee though. Fortunately it made it to me without getting all melted in the summer heat. This toffee is melt in your mouth, chewy, buttery deliciousness topped with the crunch of almonds. I’m going to miss it when it’s gone. It won’t be long now either.

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Double M Bakeshop:
Shhhh…don’t tell mr. foodie that there’s another nut butter in the domicile. He already shakes his head in disbelief. I have an entire pantry shelf devoted to nut butters (cashew, almond, flax and chia, peanut x 4, mixed nut)  and they are even stacked one on top of another. It’s almost embarrassing. Proudly, Double M now sits among its lower class peers. The peanut butter is all natural, with a little coconut oil and an ever so light lacing of honey for some sweetness. It’s a great blend of a little sweet, a little salty and the little girl who only eats peanut butter when she has to is Double M’s newest fan. On a bagel or with some crackers? Yes, please. Drizzled on a smoothie bowl? Done and done.

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So if you’re in, near or from one of these hometowns, they make a fun gift for yourself and especially for friends and family, to give them a taste of the local flavor. All City Boxes are $40. Find out more here.  City Boxes will get updated as well.

In December, Taste and See NC will begin offering a quarterly themed subscription box which will feature seven to ten NC food items. It might be a pantry theme or a chocolate theme, but you can bet it will be delicious. You can still order the City Boxes to sample the program or to give as a gift. Sign up for your quarterly subscription here. Get $5 OFF with the coupon code TRIADFOODIE

I also wanted to point out something about Taste and See…and Shayla didn’t ask me to tell you this, but it’s so worth knowing. Approximately 160,000 of North Carolina’s citizens receive emergency food assistance in any given week. One in four children live in food insecure households. You can help with your quarterly subscription.  A percentage from the sales of all quarterly subscriptions will support a NC-based charity specifically focused on feeding children in food insecure areas.  These NC makers are already doing their part by creating healthy, real food from our own state and supporting the farmers here. Now you can help Taste and See bring it full circle by enjoying your quarterly box or gifting them or a City Box to friends.

Enjoy these makers, foodies and don’t forget your coupon code!