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Friends with Benefits: Meet EV Originals

I love that feeling when a friend accomplishes something wonderful.

Maybe because I'm a only child and thus friends often feel like family, or maybe it's just because we all need a little more raising up these days.

So when I heard that a friend from the Nashville, TN area who co-founded and operates a catering business decided to share her culinary talents with the masses and create a line of bottled products, EV Originals, I did a big ol' happy dance.

Recent posts

Some Like It Hot -- And Toasted on Both Sides

The latest news in appliances seems to indicate there's no love for the good ol' traditional Crock-Pot.
Fictional drama aside, the slow cooker most of us grew up with is receiving some healthy competition from the new hot thing, the Instapot
But in our house, we're having a face-off with a completely different category of kitchen appliances -- it's the Toaster vs Toaster Oven.

'Party Time, Excellent' Books: The Food Lab, Smitten Kitchen Every Day, Beard on Food, Farmette

One of my favorite pastimes is to visit the library & peruse new and old cookbooks.

I think this is probably most definitely violating copyright law, but when I check out cookbooks and find recipes that I like, I'll copy them and file them in my almighty 3-ring green food binder. This binder holds recipes torn from magazines and newspapers, family recipes emailed and handwritten, takeout menus, and paper menus from restaurants we've visited and enjoyed. It's my big book of food awesomeness, and I'm always in search of items to keep it growing.

When a friend mentioned the Food52 Cookbook Club on Facebook, I figured it would be a fun way to experiment with foods I might not normally cook, and to expand my horizons beyond the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library stacks.

You Better Shop Around

Bored with what's in your cupboard or on your grocery list? Or hopelessly devoted to your local neighborhood market?

It's easy to get into a food rut, buying and cooking the same food and dishes due to time constraints or just plain OCD-esque habits. But friends, I'm here to tell you there's another way.

Shop around. 

Oh Hygge Yes: Soups for Making Your 2018 Cozy & Warm

On the first day of 2018, the scene is set. 

The fireplace is blazing. Our dog Loretta is curled up on the love seat next to me. Candles on the mantle are flickering. My small-ish second glass of red wine blooms warmly with each sip.

There's no Netflix on the TV.  No radio blaring the latest news.  

Quiet. Gentle. Cozy. 

I'll have a second and third helping of this in 2018, please and thank you. 

Road Trip: Black Mountain Chocolate in Winston-Salem, NC

Earlier this summer our friends J&C (aka Ditch Chicken) invited us to head up 1-40 to Winston-Salem, NC for a leisurely Saturday trip.

"Chocolate Factory tour and winery visit. You available?" they asked.

"Yes, please," Scott and I answered.

They picked us up in Charlotte and 90 minutes later wheeled into the parking lot of Black Mountain Chocolate. We killed a little time before our 11am-ish tour and walked around the area near Trade Street.

As a former Statesville, NC resident during my high school years, Winston-Salem was a larger city that often lured my friends and I there for shopping and restaurants. Sadly most of this occurred not in W-S's now bustling downtown but the Hanes Mall. Yes, I was a "mall rat," buying way too many cargo jeans and oversize flannel shirts and logo sweatshirts at Old Navy and the Gap (Hey, it was the mid to late '90s.) I also knew W-S from annual trips to Old Salem for Christmas shopping, a ritual with my mothe…

You've Been Replaced

My favorite milk glass windowsill vases have been kicked to the side. They had such a good run early in the summer, holding herbs and flowers from our yard. 

Instead, today we visited our community garden plots and HELLO LOVELIES.

Our first two Brandywine tomatoes are nearly ripe and we found nearly 2 pounds of San Marzanos ready and waiting. 
The windowsill is crammed today with these fruits. Yes, a tomato is a fruit.
Tomorrow I'll find a small batch recipe for tomato sauce for the Marzanos. Food in Jars is typically a resource for that. This will be my first rodeo making sauce to can, so if anyone has tips, please share!