Favorites of RDU

posted in: chocolate, food, photo shoot | 2

Ice.  That is what today is about.  There is ice, not snow, in RDU.  This has been one of the coldest winters I’ve experienced in RDU since moving here in 2000.  Note: we haven’t had 24 inches of snow (like in January 2000) or TONS of ice like we had in 2005 (or was it 2004)?  But, with temperatures not even reaching 50, really, not even 40, for most of the days for the past 6 weeks, its cold.

So, I thought I would talk about something happy and fun: favorite places in the Triangle.  There is a reason I love this place and am glad to call it home!

These are in no particular order:

Fosters Durham/Chapel Hill: I love her home-cooked food but upscale.  It is a place to sit all day with a book or a laptop and enjoy a scone with some snickerdoodle coffee or a glass of wine.  Her omelettes are fantastic and any of her baked goods are usually just what the doctor ordered.  I haven’t figured out which location I like better.

Best Dessert I’ve tried so far in RDU: Butterscotch Blondie at Bogart’s.  I had to share, it was my birthday, but I could have eaten the whole thing – with the ice cream.  So good.  Oh, and the inside out pb cup from Cafe Carolina .  So good.  Wish I could make.

Best Wine Experience: Sip in Cary.  Such a quaint, decorative place that you want to stay and get to know the owners and everyone who stops in.  They know their stuff: and everything is eco-friendly!

Best Thai Food: Chai’s in Durham on Erwin Road.  I haven’t been back since I returned to the state, because I’ve been trying out new places.  But, hands down, this is the best place by far if I want some delicious salty steamed edemame or a huge bowl of spicy chicken pad thai.

Go sit all day: Panera Crabtree.  The reasons are this: refillable unsweet tea, wifi free usage, overhear engaging conversations, 5 minutes door to door, and cheap, somewhat healthy food.

Outdoor Activities: Volleyball courts at Pullen Park, Shelley Lake for walking, Umstead park, summer movies at the museum of art, July 4 at Cary Amphitheatre, photo shoots at NCSU Arboretum or Duke Gardens, or anywhere on the campus of SEBTS or UNC

Best Cheap Mexican: Salsa Fresh is at least every 2 weeks – I’m going there tomorrow.

Best Jewelry: Moon & Lola

Best Pizza: Anna’s Pizzeria in Apex or Lilly’s at Five Points

Best Sushi: Champas at Briar Creek

What other places do I need to try?  I can branch out to anywhere in the Triangle.  I love new things.  What are some of your favorite things about living in the Triangle?

Sara Foster's Jamaican Black Bean Soup

posted in: Uncategorized | 1

I love black beans. I love soup. I love all things Foster’s Market. So…this would be a perfect recipe, right. You are right – very yummy. The lime juice definitely makes this a winner for me. We served it today for lunch. My Dad makes great yellow rice and paired quite well with the soup. Not that it’s cold down here in Lakeland or anything, but soup is good anytime!

1 lb dry black beans (rinsed over night, drained)
1/4 cup evoo
1 red onion, diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
4 ribs celery, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1 granny smith apple, chopped
1 T basil, dried
8 cups red-sodium chicken broth
4 bay leaves,
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
juice of 3 limes

Cook black beans for about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, saute onion in the evoo for about 10 minutes. Then add the rest of the veggies for about 10 minutes. Then add the broth and seasonings.
Add to black beans and simmer about 75 minutes, or until done to your liking. Add juice and serve!
You can probably use canned beans and make this a lot quicker.


Apple Walnut Maple Muffins

posted in: Uncategorized | 0
Sara Foster is my go-to muffin lady. These were good, very fall like.

3 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp EACH salt, nutmeg, allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter, unsalted, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Grade B (preferred) maply syrup
1 c milk
2 granny smith apples, peeled, chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts

Combine dry, set aside. Cream wet together (up to syrup). Combine wet with dry, alternating dry and milk. Fold in apples and nuts.
Bake at 375 in greased muffin tins for 30-35 minutes.
These would probably taste really yummy served warm with maple syrup drizzled over the top. I had to take them somewhere, so I couldn’t do that.