Gettin’ Down to the Nitty Gritty

We’re back and today we have our last recipe from North Carolina. After all, we’ve got to get rolling with some Romanian dishes here soon too. In fact, stay tuned early next week for our first taste of Romania – it’s a twofer!

Now before we cross the Atlantic, we’re going to round out this culinary tour with a classic Southern dish inspired by our favorite restaurant from North Carolina, the Tupelo Honey Cafe. The moment I saw “Fried Green Tomatoes- served over goat cheese grits with basil” on the menu, I knew I was going to be sold. Sure enough Tupelo didn’t disappoint. The dish was fantastic! So of course we had to see if we could recreate the magic at home.  Continue reading

Give Me Some Sugar

That’s what my Grandma always said when she wanted a kiss from one of us grandkids, “Give me some sugar.” Well, in this case, we’re going to be giving you some real sugar – and serious amounts of it. So who’s ready for some dessert from North Carolina?!

While Mike was at his conference in Charlotte, I treated myself to a relaxing day all for me. I went running, shopping, enjoyed a fantastic lunch al fresco and then had a mani/pedi. It was during my mani/pedi that I got a wealth of information about things to do and see in Charlotte. My salon rep was a fantastic conversationalist and an absolute joy to spend the afternoon with. She, in fact, reminded me of my Grandma.

The one thing that she strongly recommended was a visit to the Moravian settlement near Winston-Salem. She talked about the Moravian sugar cake and how absolutely delicious it was and practically a necessity for the holidays. You can imagine my blog wheels were instantly turning. Mike and I tried to configure our route home through the Winston-Salem area, but we didn’t quite make it that direction. And while we did manage to find some Moravian sugar cookies, no cakes… Continue reading


Today I have Carolina In My Mind. 

If you haven’t figured out by now, I listen to lots of music. I listen to music when I work, when I run or do yoga, in the car, on the train and when I just need to relax. It’s rubbed off on Miss A too. She sings constantly, and I do mean constantly. She sings everything from Adele to Ozzy Osbourne. I’m fairly certain she knows the words to more popular music than she does children songs (and she knows lots of those too).

Music for me defines certain moments in my life, represents different journeys and is often a direct extension of many of my inner most thoughts and feelings. Recently, Mike and I were able to venture on a little journey of our own. While the kids were off having a great time with Nana and Papa, Mike and I took a mid-week road trip to North Carolina.

Neither of us had ever stayed in the tar heel state before, and we were both looking forward to the drive and the destination. As we ambled our way around North Carolina we came across an area where we could access the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail is approximately 2,184 miles extending from Mount Katahdin, Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia. It passes through 14 different states and has been on my list of things to do since I was 18. While not hiking the AT on this particular trip, just standing on it gave me quite a thrill.

Eventually Mike and I wound up in Asheville, North Carolina at the Tupelo Honey Cafe. One glance at the menu and we knew we picked the perfect spot. While nearly everything on the menu looked fantastic, the first thing that grabbed my attention was the Rosemary Peach Lemonade. Rosemary in lemonade? I knew I had to give it a try and after one sip, I was blown away. The flavors are intense – peaches, lemons and of course, rosemary which brought such a refreshing crispness to the perfect summer drink. It instantly got my wheels spinning…how could I make this at home? I mean now that I had experienced this drink I knew I couldn’t wait until our next trip to North Carolina, especially not knowing when that would be!

Fortunately, in scanning my Cooking Light issue for the month of June I came across a recipe for Peach Lemonade. I took this as a sign, so today we bring you our first recipe from North Carolina, a nod to the Tupelo Honey Cafe, Rosemary Peach Lemonade. We started by making a simple syrup infused with rosemary.  Continue reading