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You Need This Dough In Your Life: Wewalka Sweet Pastry Dough

It’s giveaway time, foodies! Just in time for the holidays.

The folks at Wewalka USA are hooking us up with a giveaway of the new, sweet Danish dough. Perfect for croissants, tarts, turnovers and just about anything you can conjure up.

You may have seen me share some dishes I’ve done with Wewalka dough in the past. They have a bistro and family style pizza dough and croissant dough and puff pastry. It’s all super easy to work with. Open the package, roll it out and fill or top to your liking. Bake on the provided parchment until done and you’ve got European style deliciousness in just minutes.

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I received a giant box of this prepared dough to work with and we’re going to give a few away to a YOU. Plus coupons and recipe cards.

Want to see what I did with my dough? Because I had to try it first, you know…

Introducing my Pumpkin Sweet Potato Tart with Caramel and Ice Cream

Inspired by a dessert that I had at Graze in Winston-Salem last year, this tart is all the things you love about pumpkin pie with the beautiful fall spices but also the best of the Thanksgiving table’s sweet potato casserole. You know it, right? The orange-y, clove-y beauty topped with marshmallows? This tart is the best of both worlds.

Pumpkin Sweet Potato Tart

2 servings

1 sheet Wewalka European Style Danish Sweet Pastry dough, halved up the middle
1 cup sweet potatoes (canned or freshly roasted and removed from skins)
1 cup pure pumpkin (I used the can)
1 egg
3/4 cup brown or dark brown sugar
1  1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp clove *
1/2 tsp allspice*
1/4 tsp ground ginger*
1 tsp-1 tbs vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (I use this paste from Savory Spice Shop)
1/4 cup orange juice
orange zest or candied orange zest to taste (optional)

* You may use Pumpkin pie spice. The flavors will be altered slightly but still wonderful.

Instruction:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Take your sheet of dough and cut it down the middle to make two halves.

With a mixer, blend sweet potatoes until smooth. Add pumpkin and continue to mix until blended well. Add brown sugar, egg and orange zest.

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Now here’s where it becomes more about you. These spice measurements were me just playing around. You may want more cinnamon or less. More or less orange. I didn’t have zest so I had to use just juice. Play around until it truly tastes like a pumpkin pie but with that citrus laced sweet potato that (hopefully) you’ve had at least once in your life. Add the egg last if you are funny about tasting it with raw egg. I am not funny about that.

You can refrigerate the filling or assemble right away. When ready to fill your two pieces of dough, scoop about a 1/4-1/2 cup of filing and place it in the center of each one .

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Then fold up the pastry dough corner to corner until it’s like a little purse, making sure all the seams are sealed and the filling is nicely inside. Now you have two tarts. Brush with a little egg wash (egg mixed with water or milk). Slide the parchment and tarts onto a baking sheet.

The instructions say bake on the parchment for 14-18 minutes. My tart took 20 minutes in my oven but that’s because there’s more to a tart than a small danish or croissant. I just kept my eye on it. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes. Drizzle with warm caramel (a praline topping would be good) and then…

….top with your choice of ice cream then another drizzle of caramel. I’ve had my inspiration with cinnamon brown sugar ice cream (hard to find), vanilla, as well as butter pecan. The butter pecan or praline ice cream would be awesome because you get the tanginess of the base ice cream and crunch from the pecans. But you do you! Pick your favorite. Heck, pumpkin ice cream would be good too. Salted caramel? Yes!  Also, wouldn’t it be yummy with marshmallow flavored ice cream if you could find it? Or top with marshmallows and give it a little browning on top!

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My mr. and I split the tart you see above. It was plenty.
My microfoodie decided she wanted to make a little one so she halved her half then made croissants and you can tell just how easy it is to work with because she had no trouble at all making her own. She drizzled her croissants with chocolate sauce. I teach them well.

You can find Wewalka Dough in Lowe’s Foods and Ingles. And I’ve seen Wewalka at Harris Teeter too but don’t hold me to the sweet pastry dough just yet as this is a brand new item.

Want to get your hands on this Wewalka Danish Dough? Simply comment below what you’d be making with this dough. You’ll be entered to win. If you’re in the Triad area of NC, it’ll be easy to get it to you. But we can ship if necessary. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

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foodie b’eat: The Triad’s FAVE Pimento Cheese(s)

From 4/13’s CHOW in YES Weekly

Pimento cheese. Food of the Southern Gods. Known as Pate of the South or Caviar of the South. It can be a lot of things. Delicious. Spicy. Sweet.….Polarizing.

There’s always ONE troublemaker who hates it. And more than a few cooks who put way to much mayonnaise or sugar in it. If there’s one thing we got going for us here in the South, it’s a plethora of pimento cheese. Heck, here in the Triad, we have no less than 7 common (but uncommonly good) choices at our local markets and that’s just what I can think of off the top of my head. Then there are those who say, “I can make it much more cheaply myself.” Face it. The good stuff ain’t cheap— but at the same time, making it yourself really isn’t either, what with all the cheese and roasted/pimento peppers and accoutrements.

You’ll almost always find it on the menu at any of the American Southern style restaurants and at the local potluck or family reunion We even enjoy a little friendly local competition that coincides with National Pimento Cheese Day (April 9) and it seems like every year there’s a different winner. More on the Muddy Creek Cafe Pimento Cheese Throwdown at the end of this story.

We did a little research on some locally produced Pimento Cheese, the kind that’s pretty easy to access…not the kind only available at one market (or restaurant) and asked some of our readers/fans about their favorite pimento cheese and we found some stand outs. There’s plenty more pimento cheese to go around, but it’s a start.

Musten & Crutchfield: When asked, most respondents said their local favorite was none other than Kernersville’s market for home-grown deliciousness. It’s been around for a long time. With two varieties, Regular and Hot, you can find Musten & Crutchfield’s pimento cheese at their own store on Main Street plus local supermarkets, independent stores and even Walmart. It is very traditional in flavor, maybe a bit creamier than some of its counterparts. If you want to try something really fun, add it to some cooked breakfast sausage for a really tasty dip and enjoy with tortillas or pita chips. The creaminess with the sausage really works. On lucky days you may find the pimento cheese in their homemade ravioli! mustenandcrutchfield.com

Uncle Chris’: A personal favorite. With Uncle Chris’, first came the pickles, then came the pimento cheese. I first learned of Uncle Chris’ Pimento Cheese when perusing the menu of the Camel City Grill food truck. Owner Ben Devar said he liked it because it was the perfect blend of pimento cheese and not too mayonnaise-y. Chris Russell even makes pimento cheese to order for the food truck in flavors like Gouda & Bacon and Carolina Reaper. You’ll definitely find Uncle Chris at Lowes foods across the state. The Original and Fire Roasted Jalapeño are sure to please, but if you can take the heat, we recommend hooking yourself up with the Smokin’ Habanero. It is righteous. And so yummy on a cracker with a bread and butter pickle–particularly a Miss Jenny’s Habanero Bread & Butter. Oh yes…all day.

Red Clay Gourmet: Another personal favorite, made in Winston-Salem and served up on the burgers at First Street Draught House. Lance and Michelle Sawyer realized customers were quickly becoming super fans of the pimento cheese. They set out to make it more readily available and one that is “out of the norm” pimento cheese. Now Red Clay Gourmet is available at local markets, some Lowes Foods and Whole Foods in traditional flavors like Classic Sharp and Flame Roasted Jalapeño, but be sure to check out Hickory Smoked Cheddar and for a more refined elevated variety, the Goat Cheese & Sun-dried Tomato (which is really good in grits or with fried green tomatoes or on burgers or… just about anything). You can also buy online at redclaygourmet.com

Conrad & Hinkle: (not pictured) Based out of Lexington, Conrad & Hinkle Market has been around for 97 years. And the pimento cheese since 1940. They have an original and spicy version. I’ve found Conrad & Hinkle mostly at meat markets and many charming country stores across the Triad. It’s really great and an overall pleasant combination of and is probably more reminiscent of pimento cheese you grew up with. Sort of “unfooled around with.” C & H has actually shipped their pimento cheese as far as Germany. conrad-hinkle.com

Vantastic!: The pimento cheese that found a home at The Porch Kitchen & Cantina, this very sharp and cheesy pimento cheese has no mayo in it!  It gets its creaminess from the cheese itself and milk and some vinegar…which gives it a bit of a pickle juice flavor that has made it a local favorite for some time.  It comes in Original and Jalapeno. You can find Vantastic! at Lowe’s Foods and select markets.

My Three Sons: From Greensboro with flavors of Emmy’s Original, Fire Roasted Jalapeño and a Spicy White Cheddar. One of the things that sets MTS apart is that they like to leave the pimentos and peppers a bit chunky so you can see them. Found at The Fresh Market, Harris Teeter, Lowe’s Foods and Whole Foods. mtsgourmet.com

Honorable mention goes to Burlington-based Stan’s, another PC that a lot of folks grew up with around here.

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And for the record, there were plenty of respondents who said, “mine!” or “hers!” But sorry, homemade wasn’t in the running in this case.

Tip to those who want to try a homemade version: Use FRESHLY grated cheese not the kind that’s pre—grated AND this I learned recently, please try not to buy chopped pimentos. If you don’t plan on roasting your red peppers yourself, buy jarred roasted red peppers and take a minute to chop them. I promise you, it’s worth it. Here’s a great recipe by Charleston Chef Sean Brock. I LOVE his recipe. The adapted version is pictured in the image at the top of the post. I just subbed the pickled ramps for Miss Jenny’s B & B Habañero. And Texas Pete for Tabasco (naturally).

Finally, most of the makers of the above mentioned pimento cheese have recipe ideas on their websites and we encourage you to check it out. But very quickly, here are some tasty uses for the pate of the south:

On sandwiches with bacon, tomato, fried green tomato; shrimp & grits, scrambled eggs, salad, egg salad, nachos, burger toppings (go crazy and put it with chili and jalapenos), tomato pie. Providence Restaurant in WS makes an ice cream with it! For a great snack, enjoy with a sweet pickle and crackers, or warm it up and serve with pork rinds.

Really, the possibilities are endless for the treat that’s as Southern as sweet tea.

Mentioned earlier, back on National Pimento Cheese Day, April 9, Muddy River Cafe held its annual Pimento Cheese Throwdown and 5k Run. Proceeds benefit the Riverwood Therapeutic Riding Center in Tobaccoville. Muddy Creek owner and event organizer, Shana Whitehead, says she launched the event three years ago as a way to celebrate the trails around her Bethania cafe. “The run is getting bigger every year…this year we had 100 participants.” As for the pimento cheese throw down? “Our customers always tell us that our pimento cheese is the best. It’s really good on a sandwich with tomato and bacon. But we knew a lot of people make really great pimento cheese in different ways, so this throw down is a way to celebrate the creativity that goes into pimento cheese.” There’s also a category for the home cook. As for the pros….here’s a list of winners:

Best Classic-Wolf Daddy
Most Creative-Wolf Daddy
BEST Overall-The Living Room Coffee House & Wine Bar, Pilot Mountain
People’s Choice-Wolf Daddy

For more information on the Pimento Cheese Throw Down and 5K run, visit muddycreekcafeandmusichall.com The event is held every year around this time.

test kitchen recipe: Edible Cookie Dough (2 variations)

Edible Cookie Dough (2 variations)

The other day I saw this gorgeous stuff for $6 called edible cookie dough. I bought it. It was delicious. Then I felt stupid because it’s pretty cheap to make so that makes me a sucker and a LEARNER from my mistakes. Also please forgive me for the lack of pictures. But you know what cookie dough looks like right? I’ll come back and add a photo once I remake.

You love cookie dough, don’t you? But the thought of getting sick or worse, dying (!!) might make you think twice (although it’s never stopped me). But we have little ones and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here’s a recipe that’s a combo of several ones I’ve practiced with for edible cookie dough. And keep reading because there’s a second variation that’s HIGH PROTEIN. That’s right, I’m thinking about your macros. You’re welcome.

Edible Cookie Dough

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup flour (you can toast it if you don’t want raw)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2-1 cup chocolate chips (or leave them out) or use toffee, m & m’s, Reece’s, whatever
2-4 tbs milk
dash salt

Blend the butter until creamy. Add sugar and blend well. Add flour, salt and blend. Add milk a little at a time until your desired thickness and vanilla. Fold in the chips (if using). You can add more sugar, flour or milk depending on how thick you want your cookie dough.

Voila! Edible cookie dough because it’s missing those pesky eggs.

You can do this with oats with the chips or raisins…basically think of a regular cookie dough cut in half, but leave out the eggs. Easy peasy.

Here’s what I did to make it a little healthier and gluten-free. mr. foodie actually preferred this version.

Higher Protein Version: Replace the flour with 1/2 cup almond flour and 1/2 plain or vanilla protein powder (you could do ALL almond flour or coconut flour or GF flour but doing a full cup of protein powder is going to be too much). And it’s fine to replace the milk with coconut or almond milk. You may prefer a different flour as well, like coconut flour, but I haven’t tested this recipe with it.

Enjoy or refrigerate.

Recipe: Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Greetings, foodies. It’s been forevs since I posted anything like a recipe. So here’s a winner for a cold winter’s day. It’s UNSTUFFED Cabbage Rolls. I’ve never even had stuffed cabbage rolls but I do love cabbage and all the other ingredients in those rolls. So, after finding a recipe or three on my FAVE..Pinterest…I took the pretty basic recipe and amped it up a few notches by adding bacon and beer. It’s still a one pot wonder, super simple, relatively healthy if you don’t mind bacon and beer and incredibly delicious the day of and days later. This makes a BIG batch and probably easily serves 6, maybe more. I only have a couple of pics this time around, but you’ll get the idea with this easy dish. Feel free to change out the beef for sausage or even venison. One of my followers used venison and a Gaelic ale and let it go for a while in his slow cooker. Love it!

triadfoodies, unstuffed cabbage rolls, recipe, north carolina

Browned beef, tomatoes, sauce, onions, spices, beer and cabbage all going in the pot.

UNSTUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS

2 lbs ground beef
2-3 slices of bacon. Optional but lends a smokiness.
1/2-1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
2 tbs chopped parsley, optional
1/2 cup beer, broth or water
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp pepper

Cook it:

In a large pot, crisp the bacon if using. Add the ground beef and onion and cook until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic and cook for a minute.
Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, liquid, seasonings. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
Optional: mustard seed, caraway seeds or smoked paprika would be a great option. The latter especially if you forgo bacon. Maybe cheese as well?  Serve with crusty bread or pretzel rolls.

Voila!
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foodie b’eat: I successfully completed the $20 Challenge at the Farmer’s Market

My friend, Nikki Miller-Ka of Nik Snacks blog, has a $20 challenge cooking show that airs on the City of Winston-Salem’s cable channel. Nikki shops the Dixie Classic farmer’s market and finds the best produce, meat along with other items to make a complete meal for $20 (she can use “staples” from her pantry, like vinegar, flour, seasonings, etc). She challenged ME to do the same at any market I choose. Challenge accepted! So last weekend, I hit my Kernersville Farmer’s Market (located in downtown KVegas) with the hopes of finding some wonderful items to make a glorious meal that my hubby and kidlets would gobble up and never forget.

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Our local market is steadily growing. It has PLENTY of jam and bread but the produce is making its way in and though it’s still not as colorful as some markets who have been going for a while, it’s definitely a great place to get some seasonal items for your table. This weekend it was full of squash, squash, zucchini, squash, beets, greens and squash. Oh and green beans, and jam and bread and eggs and meat from…Rebel Ridge Farm.

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Love me some Rebel Ridge. The eggs are fabulous and farmer, Bob, has all natural chicken and lamb as well. Now, I hardly ever buy a whole roast chicken. I just don’t enjoy making it. Plus I want an “all-natural, unfooled around with” chicken and they are usually SO expensive and it’s hard to spend the money on ONE chicken. But Rebel Ridge’s chicken was $12 and I’m okay with that. Plus they told me at the market that his chicken was fantastic so I thought I’d give it a try.
Price: 12.00

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Across the way, I bought some green beans from this nice man. And I didn’t write the farm down, but his green beans were perfect.
Price: $2

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At the Crews table, I bought a .50 Texas Sweet Onion.

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Next table over, I purchased 2 lbs. of baby red potatoes from James Lawson.
Price $1.00

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I also purchased some just cut, romaine lettuce and tasted some delicious roasted beets. I’d purchase beets if I weren’t the only one to eat them. I really like them on a salad with spicy pimento cheese. Try it.  🙂
Price: $3

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And from my friend, Laura Devonmille, of Simplicity Homestead, I bought some radishes. She’s got way more than that. And zucchinis as big as clubs. And jam and bread!
Price: $1.50

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There, that’s $20! I decided to make a roast chicken with green beans and caramelized onions and roasted potatoes. Kind of boring and pretty much a cinch. But ask my mr. foodie how often I make a roast chicken and you’ll find out that in my house, this is “special.” And it really was. The chicken was succulent and, unlike mass produced chicken, the Rebel Ridge Farm chicken’s skin was light, thin and crispy and the meat was tender and juicy (though I could’ve cut back the time…lesson learned).

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I ended up saving the romaine for another meal and used the leftover green beans, onions AND the potatoes for a future salad along with the rest of the chicken that I pulled off the bone. Kind of like nicoise..yum!

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So now I challenge YOU to make a meal with the major components being purchased from your local farmer’s market for $20. Are you up to it? What are your “foodie finds” at farmer’s markets?

$20 Farmer’s Market  Roast Chicken with Potatoes & Green Beans w/caramelized onions

1 whole chicken
Herbs (I used lavender, rosemary, thyme)
Salt/Pepper
Olive oil or butter

Rinse chicken and pat dry, generously salt and pepper the inside and out, under skin, etc., drizzle with olive oil and top with herbs.

Potatoes:
Halve or quarter to make even in size and drizzle with olive oil and seasonings. Place in the pan with the chicken.

Roast at 375 for 1 hour, then raise the temperature to 400 and cook an additional 15 minutes until done. If you’re chicken is smaller, adjust time accordingly.

Green beans with caramelized onions
Trim green beans if needed, slice onions into thin strips. Add butter or oil to pan and saute onions slowly until caramelized. Meanwhile in a pot of boiling water, blanch your green beans for a few minutes, then remove, drain and add to the onions. Saute until they are tender crisp.

Enjoy!

If you have leftovers, simply place your beans, remaining chicken and potatoes in a single container. When ready warm (or don’t) and top onto salad greens of your choice with a light vinaigrette, preferably one with a little lemon. And add some bacon while you’re at it–Lunch!