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Introducing “At the Table with Triadfoodies”

You guys, I now have a PODCAST. It’s like my life has nearly come full circle (as far as talking and writing go).

Before I was a blogger, I was…let’s see…we’ll start at the beginning…a…

DJ
Radio station News Director
TV News Production Assistant
TV News Assignment Editor/Writer
Radio station News Director
Advertising  agency (associate, planner, etc)
TV Station Ad Sales Rep
Media buyer while being a stay-at-home mommy
Communications Director for my mr. foodie’s company (blogging started around this time)
Then I became a freelance news writer in addition to the blogging, started  doing some event planning, still blogging and writing and here we are. But! I have a degree in broadcast journalism from Appalachian State. I really don’t feel like I’m old enough to have done all that but I guess I am. I turned my back on the broadcast thing and except for some live social media…it was mostly written word.

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So a couple of months ago, Adam, who’s founder of the Triad Podcast Network, asked if I’d be interested in hosting a podcast about, what else? Food. And at first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to add one more thing to my homeschooling, writing and blogging plate. But I figure it’s just one more outlet to share my love of the restaurants, chefs, makers and the foodie movers and shakers from all across the area. So, here’s how you can hear “At the Table With Triadfoodies.” You can download it on iTunes or on your computer. Here are the links!
iTunes (iOS): http://apple.co/2aXDpku
Google Play (Android): http://bit.ly/2aHVGmQ

 Or, you can listen on your computer here: https://soundcloud.com/user-589432337/at-the-table-with-triadfoodies-meridian-restaurant

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Our first show is now live. It’s about 25 minutes long and features Chef Mark Grohman who’s the owner and Chef of Meridian Restaurant, one of our fave restaurants PLUS Meridian and Chef Mark are our featured chef and restaurant at next week’s Chef’s Table. There are 7 tickets remaining if you are interested in that. Tickets can be purchased here!  About Chef’s Table..it’s a really fun, low-key tasting where you can try multiple courses of whatever Chef throws at us. Tickets are $30 and it’s a great value and a great time.

We hope we see you. Also, please let us know who you’d like to hear At the Table. We want to know who you’d like to know.

Cheers, foodies!

The Fresh Market’s Fresh Look AND you can win a $50 Gift Card!

The Fresh Market recently underwent some “freshening up” …take a look!

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Photo courtesy Micciche Photography

The company, based out of Greensboro, has always had a top-notch almost specialty type store. You could go there for great local items, that awesome butcher shop, fresh seasonal produce, hard to find oils, sauces…a stellar cheese section, etc. But you couldn’t just find your common every day items (think common name brand toilet paper and name brand laundry detergent, a baby section or Cheerios). TFM took a cue from customers and expanded their offerings, including a baby section AND a vitamin and body shop. There’s also a huge focus on more local items, highlighting the farms that supply them and easy signage for gluten-free, non-gmo and organics.  I was at the Grand Re-Opening on Highwoods in Greensboro and they took me on a tour. You’ll find a similar change at the other two Triad stores (Winston-Salem and on Lawndale in Greensboro) and eventually they’ll roll out the Raleigh area and Charlotte in late November and in continuing waves throughout the country through early 2018.

Here’s a sneak peek at what has changed. But you should check them out in person. I think you’ll be happy about what you’ll find.

Local, highlighting the farms in the region….

Same great items you’ve loved plus a new vitamin and body section with a staff member for that section to answer your questions…this used to be the wine section which is now stacked and categorized nearby…

And now you can do your shopping in one place with those non-specialty items that you probably had to go make a run for at a 2nd stop like baby items, pet and paper products…

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I love going to The Fresh Market. I always have. I joke with my kids that they take away from the experience because they are always rushing me (when I don’t want to be rushed…not there). Then there’s the whole bribing with a chocolate chip cookie, etc. So you know what we’re dealing with here. But the chocolate chip cookie is so worth it 🙂 The most dramatic change is apparent when you nl longer see the bins and antiques full of the bulk candies and nuts. Those items now have their own row to make room for new rows of the expanded offerings.

One thing I loved is the great sampling and pre-prepped foods area right in front. You don’t have to go to the back. Get in and out with your chopped veggies and some chicken kabobs or meatballs, and turn around and check out and you’re out the door without walking more than 25 feet. The recipes and samplings change every week.  Dinner is prepped and all you have to do is cook it. Also special to the Highwoods store, is a juice and smoothie bar out front.

It’s almost like The Fresh Market took a little bit about what we love from some of our favorite grocery chains. The fun and ease of specially priced items, pre-chopped and ready to cook meals like you’ll find at Publix, easy identifiable organic, non-gmo and gluten-free as we’d find at Whole Foods, and lots more local items marked “local” and now the every day items. They’ve also lowered prices on thousands of items while keeping that awesome cheese shop, bakery, butchery and deli that you’ve loved for years. Nothing was taken away, just added awesomeness. Just a note…if you don’t see something there that you know is a must, you can visit their website and make a suggestion.

So foodies, they’ve given me a $50 gift card to giveaway to a lucky reader. Just comment below or on my social media pages what your favorite item is at The Fresh Market. I’ll draw next Friday!

Win this $50 Gift Card! fullsizerender-11

Good luck!

 

 

Cackalacky Giveaway!

If you live in Nor’ Cackalacky, you’ve probably heard of Cackalacky. Heck even if you live farther away, you might have heard of this amazing NC-based company with its delicious sauces and peanuts. They do just a few things. But that’s what makes them so stupendous. This Siler City-based company does those things and they do them very well.

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What could be under here?? Revealing the prize package! 

The Cackalacky Sweet Cheerwine BBQ Sauce is a legend unto itself.  It  was a “favorite thing” a few years ago…you can read about it here. Add that to another zingy sauce made from Sweet Potatoes. They even have their own eponymously named beer, brewed by Full Steam Brewery. It’s a wonderful ginger-spiced pale ale that’s great with all things grilled and party. There’s also Cackalacky Spiced Peanuts made similarly to the Spicy sauce (they are QUITE spicy-mmmmm) and now….the Beer-B-Q Peanuts…Jumbo-sized peanuts with a hint of beer and BBQ. I’ve been waiting several weeks for these little legumes to make their appearance at my local Lowes Foods. Getting a little impatient with my store, I reached out to the folks at Cackalacky and they sent me a prize pack for a lucky winner (and a taste for me)! Thanks, friends!

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A glimpse of the prize pack with one of those nuts being for “research purposes by me.” 

By the way, the Beer-B-Q nuts are utterly fantastic. They are sweet and savory with a bit of a kick and hint of beer. They are so good just for snacking but I bet they’d be great in a salad too.

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In the prize pack, a couple of the new Beer-B-Q nuts, a large bottle of the Cackalacky Cheerwine Sweet Sauce, and some swaggy items you’ll love, like a souvenir glass, frisbee, bumper stickers to proclaim your fandom and some coozies. Fun!

Comment below follow us on Facebook and reply on your favorite way to enjoy anything Cackalacky. Tag a friend and share the post too. At the end of next week, we’ll draw a winner. And then we’ll arrange a way to get your winnings to you. 🙂

And stay tuned for the holidays. I have a feeling these nuts and maybe another Cackalacky item might make it on the 2016 triadfoodies Holiday Gift Guide. And you’ll want to see how to get your hands on that!

You can find Cackalacky in many local grocery stores. If you’re in NC, just check out the “local” section.

Cheers!

 

#PantryRaid…Day 2 of My Shelf Purge

It’s the 3rd day since I announced my challenge, but day 2 of raiding my fridge and pantry.  I got up this morning and hit those shelves hard so I could mentally calculate and get an inventory of what I have. After taking much of the snacks away to put them in the “kid snacks cabinet” in another room, I feel much better. And it looks better too.

So now I can really shop from my shelves and breathe to tell you the truth. And after looking at this, it’s not so terrible actually. Except all the mustard and sauces. And baking mixes. Other than that, it’s staples, lol.

This morning, my little girl wanted eggs in a basket so I used up the heels of a loaf of bread and cooked her 2 eggs in 2 baskets, fried up some bacon and then I quickly took another egg and threw it into the skillet and got it good and dippy and tossed that into some pasta along with the bacon for an on-the-fly carbonara. Really tasty! No photo though.

Day 2 Dinner:

The remainder of some thawing ground beef, some leftover chili, the last 4 Miss Jenny’s Salt & Pepper Pickle slices and the last of some provolone for a delicious burger. And we polished off a salad and added the last 1/8 of a bag of rosemary fries. I still have a lot of mustard.

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I may not be getting skinnier. But I feel lighter in the shelves anyway.  I really want to do this as healthfully as possible. Which is why you see 12 fries above :\ However doing this paleo or low carb is going to be a challenge.

We went out to eat Saturday night so in the queue is my husbands lamb tacos and some refried beans. And I have 3 BBQ chicken wings that I’m going to have tomorrow with some quinoa and I’m going to add it to some Nopalitos dip (cactus, avocado and some spicy stuff) and add some toasted chickpeas for a side salad. I sat that right in front in my fridge so I won’t forget.  That before we get busy for a couple of days then we’ll be shopping from our shelves again on Wednesday.

Have you purged your shelves today? Comment and let me know what you’re cooking!

 

The Great Pantry (and Fridge and Freezer) Raid

First of all, I pro’lly need to get down to the business of admitting I have a problem.

A condiment problem.

I love them. I love them if they’re artisan. I love them if they’re hot. I love them if they’re salsa, jammy…I have shelves of them both chilled and not.

Did I just make a rhyme? Sigh…Anyway. I also have found myself with a plethora of mustards and hot sauces and syrups among other things and it’s getting pretty ridiculous. I do have 2 refrigerators. Blessedly the 2nd one is just filled with drinks like milk, soda, tonic water, beer. But I recently decided I needed to intervene myself. So I went over to Jen’s Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and she does this Pantry Challenge and she uses up all her ingredients on meals and they don’t shop for anything unless it’s absolutely necessary (think butter, milk, some produce). IMG_2119

But as you can see I have another problem. A too much stuff problem. Just shelves crammed with all the things. And it started out so neatly (sorry, no photo for proof). But let’s back up a second.

We sold our house with the 2 (yes TWO!!) pantries because I turned a utility closet under my stairs into a pantry just so my crock pot and canisters and baking ingredients could have a place to be. I don’t like so much on my counters. Then there was another “cooking” pantry with spices and pasta, cereal, snacks, etc. Stocked full those two pantries were. Because I like condiments (and anything else the store sells).

Went from two pantries to one measly pantry in the house that we rent while we build THE house with the pantry (YOU SHOULD SEE MY FUTURE PANTRY–it’s sexy). So it’s just spilling over…see? It’s pretty bad over the last few weeks since summer break. That row with the canisters and the ones above it looked like Pinterest, man.

So I decided that it’s time. I hate to waste…not about to throw stuff out unless it’s expired (and sometimes not even then) so I’m asking you to join me in this great pantry raid. Won’t it be fun?  I need you to help me do this, foodies. I need your ideas. I’ll share mine.

To start off last night, I used frozen chicken tenders and used some Texas Pete Buffalo Wing sauce plus some Texas Pete Cha! and BBQ sauce for half of them. The other half got some Trader Joe’s Thai Chili sauce and some soy sauce. Used up some leftover pimento cheese grits and some salad and the last bit of Kitchen Roselli Italian Island dressing. And I must say it did feel good getting rid of the…the chicken and grits. Ugh! See, I still have lots of sauce left as I didn’t use up all the sauce. Not that I worry about sriracha and bbq sauce…they’re kind of staples.

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So one of the brave things I want to do is a suggestion Mr. foodie has and that’s do a mystery grab for the marinade or sauce for the proteins. Maybe it’ll be tasty to grab dijon and add it to blueberry preserves. We shall see! I mean, this is what the fridge and freezer looks like and it makes me sad.

Sad because there’s apparent abundance here. And I really dislike cooking in this rental because it’s so small and not what I’m used to. So we do eat out a bit more here. But there are people hungry and we just let food in our pantry just sit there. Like, I don’t eat enough sandwiches for all the mustard. If mr. foodie and I get back into the habit of eating smoked chicken sausages then we’d be cleaning this thing out properly. We really don’t eat enough carbs to enjoy all the pasta and rice. So I think a donation to a food pantry is definitely in order. And I’m not a coupon-er. At all. I guess it could be worse.

Are you with me? Follow me on Instagram /@triadfoodies and Facebook and we’ll do this together. Show me your purge. If you want to cook what’s on your shelves, let’s get to it! Don’t shop unless you absolutely have to. I’m going to try to bake something from those mixes every week, maybe twice a week. What did you do with the frozen rotisserie chicken and black beans? What about your mustards? Share away. Use the tag #pantryraid and tag @triadfoodies and we can eliminate some excess together.

Good luck and a few prayers for guidance would be nice 🙂