Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"I love the South.  I love the drawl.  I love the pork lard.  
I love too much salt and too much sweet.  
I love the humidity.  There is a patina on Southerners.  
I think it is because of our dynamic history.  
There's a lot of pain that has happened in our history; 
a lot of mistakes made.  But an unfortunate circumstance 
can turn into an opportunity for greatness.  I think the 
South is great because of all the trying times - the tensions, hardships, wars and riots.  
All of those things really make a place... 
Well, for me it makes it home.  
There is grace in every sorrow.  
I think that is being Southern."

—   Jennifer Nettles for Southern Living Magazine 

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Aaron and I consider ourselves foodies.  We love good food and we'll try pretty much anything.  It's funny because Aaron was a super picky eater growing up, when he went to college he only ate chicken, bread and french fries.  I hear so many stories about his super strict diet at family functions. :-)  When I graduated college, I was used to going out to eat at the normal chains - Outback, Chili's, maybe the Olive Garden.  I went to nicer places for nice occasions, but I was fine with eating with one of these chains with my girls or on a date night.  But something happened - I moved back to Raleigh, I started dating Aaron, his diet had already advanced and he was eager to show me some new foods.  I also started cooking and realized that I can cook better than most chain restaurants!  I can throw down pasta better than any Olive Garden do it for cheaper and healthier too.  Although I will admit I have no idea how to make an iceberg salad taste as good as their's!

My tips for any wannabe foodies is to be adventurous!  Check out local restaurants in your neighborhood and eat outside of your comfort zone.  I had to learn to accept meat with pink in the center, now I'm learning how to eat eggs that run.  There will be some embarrassing moments - when you order sweetbreads and have no idea you're about to eat calf thymus, true story - but it will be okay!  Win some, lose some.  But have lots of fun.

Last Friday we paired up with some foodie friends and did a mini food tour of Raleigh.  We hit up 4 restaurants and split about 2 plates at each restaurant, then moved on.  We were pretty lucky that most places we went were not too busy and we ate at the most popular restaurant last, around 10:30 when they no longer had a wait.

Here are some pics - excuse some blurriness, my camera had a smudge that I didn't notice until later!

We started at Oro, with foie gras and pork belly.  Foie gras is fattened goose liver and they served it in a carved out bone.  I was a little nervous to try it but it was pretty good!  The taste was actually quite familiar.

This dessert is well-known to Aaron and I, but we had to share it with our friends.  The campfire dessert at Oro.

Next we headed to Capital Club 16, where we had there shanny fries and pimento cheese, apple jam & fig crostinis.  I love this resaturant for feel good American food.  

Hushpuppies and cocktails at The Borough

Dessert at Poole's Diner - banana & walnut bread pudding, chocolate torte

We had so much fun!  Try it yourselves!!

I definitely haven't tried all the restaurants in the Triangle - Stanbury, Second Empire and Crooke's Corner are definitely high on my list.  But below is a list of my favorite places so far, in order by preference

Bolt Bistro
honorable mention - Five Star

Blu's Seafood and Bar
Dame's Chicken & Waffles

Chapel Hill
Acme - love this place

Any restaurants you'd like to share??  Eat on foodies!!!  

Friday, February 14, 2014


This was Raleigh on Wednesday.  2.5 inches of snow took our whole city down!  After our last dusting of snow a few weeks ago, I thought I was tough and could handle anything.  I wasn't phased by the weather reports, a "wintry mix" that would start at around 4pm (or so I thought).  Yeah, well I was wrong.  The snow and ice came at 1pm and chaos ensued.  It took people like 4 hours to drive what would normally take 30 minutes!  I was at the hospital, worried about having to return the next morning, so I gave up and had a sleepover with a friend who lives nearby.  The next day I twiddled my thumbs in the empty emergency department.

Although I live 15 minutes over in Cary now (temporarily lol), I was born and raised in Raleigh and I have a lot of memories of snow and Raleigh.  When I was in elementary school, we got 20 inches and I didn't have school for 2 weeks.  When I was in high school, we had snow in the middle of day, similar to Wednesday and another cluster ensured...it took my aunt and I 7 hours to get home.  All of these memories have instilled a fear of snow and ice in me, that I must get home, that I must buy bread and milk and gas and I was just finally shaking it off...but no.  It's back.  I'm not fooling around with this white stuff anymore!

More posts this weekend! I have so much to share with y'all!