Tag Archives: favorite things

Triadfoodies’ Favorite Things: 2020’s Holiday Gift Guide of Glorious Deliciousness!

What. A. Year it has been. Fa La La Lawdy!

We’ve been quarantined and kept from our friends, our restaurants and our monthly Chef’s Tables (we barely squeezed one in back in March before the world shut down). We miss you all very much. Honestly, with all that’s going on and all that’s not, I haven’t had a lot of desire to hop on here and blog. There aren’t restaurant reviews to churn out and I haven’t really kept track of my recipe making (except on insta…I do post pics of food). But! Pandemic or no, we’ve had a few opportunities to discover new local yummies and behold! With some new to us and some that have finally found their rightful place in our gift guide, here are just a few of our favorite things from 2020. Keep reading for your chance to win the entire list! We hope you’ll mask up and get on out there and support your local shops. All of the items mentioned make for great snacks and stocking stuffers.

Triadfoodies Favorite Things Holiday Gift Guide

Carolina Kettle Potato Chips

Specifically, the Sir Walter Cream Cheese & Chive. A riff on the sour cream and onion, they’re slightly less tangy than the latter but definitely pack a flavorful punch. We actually love all the Carolina Kettle chips, founded by Josh Monahan. You can find these chips at Mast General Store, Wine Merchants Bodega and quite a few local markets. Check the website carolinakettle.com for locations.

Memaw’s Cheese Tiddies


I hope y’all know what a Memaw is. The name is cute and attention getting and the little cheese crackers are great for snacking. Cheese Tiddies are brought to you by the same folks who make the above Carolina Kettle chips, 1in6 Snacks, so they know their …well…snacks. Give them a read when you get a chance as the company gives back to the local food bank with every purchase.You can find Cheese Tiddies at local markets, Mast General Store and online. 1in6snacks.com.

A La Brava Hot Sauce


This Winston-Salem hot sauce is gaining quite the popularity around the Triad. I love the Diablo on chicken wings mixed with a little butter and honey. Owner Marcos Medina is giving the winner one of all three hot sauces, Diablo, Habanero and La Mayan. You can find A La Brava at Wine Merchants and other independent shops, Lowes Foods, Publix, Harris Teeter, Deep Roots, GMart and several other stores in NC, SC, VA and TN. Visit goalabrava.com for more info.

Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice


If you know, you know. Honestly, Anson Mills heirloom rice is top of the line and a chefs best friend. It is a little bit pickier to cook with than traditional store bought rice, even the highfalutin ones, but it’s so worth the extra step, which basically requires you to spread it out in a baking sheet and put it in the oven to help “dry it out” after cooking. It smells like popcorn when it cooks. It elevates any dish you prepare. No wonder it’s the choice of chefs all over. And our friends at Anson Mills not only included the Carolina Gold Rice, but also some grits! Happy day! Ansonmills.com

Smoke City Meats Pimento Cheese 833 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC


As you know, pimento cheese doesn’t pack well outside of refrigeration. I love all of Chef Matt Pleasant’s pimento cheeses but you really ought to try the White Pimento Cheese with white cheddar, parmesan and olives. Truists will also love Chef’s original and spicy pimento cheese. Follow SCM for specials, take homes and recipe ideas. Winner receives a $25 gift card for whatever they want in the store. We hope it includes pimento cheese….and MEAT (obviously). smokecitymeats.com

Wine Merchants & Vin 205 Bodega 205 S. Stratford Road, Winston-Salem, NC


Remember pre-pandemic when I had that Chef’s Table at Vin 205 and it was incredible?? As in back in February? Doesn’t that seem so long ago? And doesn’t it also make sense that we’ve had three Chef’s Table’s there? Sure does! Well, honestly I can’t decide what my favorite thing about Wine Merchants is. Caleb? Yes. Alan? Yes. Justin? Yes. The wine? Yes, yes. The bodega with all the great shopping, confections, local meat, pasta, snacks? Heck yes! The take and bake items? Oh please, absolutely. So winner gets a $25 gift card and then you can meander and get whatever you want, like a take and bake and wine. You deserve it. vin205.com

Black Mountain Salted Caramel Bar + Drinking Chocolate standing in for the BMC Fruit Cake


So because 2020 is being so 2020ish and all, Black Mountain Chocolate did some moving (literally) and shaking and at the time of this posting, they were only taking pre-orders of seasonal items. We have loved the Queen of Fruitcakes since the inception of our Favorite Things and it’s still available to order. To play it safe, BMC is giving the winner a candy bar, chocolate to drink and a $20 gift card. So, the lucky winner will also get to shop at the brand new Black Mountain Chocolate located in the Innovation Quarter. blackmountainchocolatefactory.com

Now, get shopping! But….how to win??
We’d like to thank all the makers above for giving these items for our gift bag of gloriously delicious favorite things!

Please, foodies, we implore you to support these and all local shops this season and the sooner the better. It has been so hard for so many and your support is keeping them alive. Comment below on what holiday item you are looking forward to trying this year OR drop any new finds in the comment section. We’ll give them a try and maybe they’ll make it to our finds next year. By commenting here or on Facebook and Instagram, you’ll also be entered to win the ENTIRE Favorite Things Gift Guide as a goodie bag. And I’ll have some runners-up too, who will take home one of each A La Brava Hot Sauces as well as Cheese Tiddies and Carolina Kettle Chips.

****IMPORTANT****Winner will be announced Sunday, December 13 and must be able to take possession of the goodie bag in person. NO SHIPPING. Winner should expect to pick up the goodies on Wednesday, Dec. 16 (weather permitting), in Winston-Salem and can be contactless, if preferred. I have arranged that the winning bag can be picked up at Wine Merchants at 205 S. Stratford Road if an in-person hand-off cannot be made.

As always, foodies, thank you for reading and supporting local! Merry Christmas and may your New Year be blessed and healthy.

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?