N.C. One Bite at a Time (Part 10)

I can hardly believe that this is my 10th N.C. One Bite at a Time! What a fun year plus it’s been exploring my part of North Carolina and acclimating to living in this beautiful, food-loving state.

Here are some of the new things that I’ve discovered in the past few months.

Swad

Swad Raleigh NC

My husband and I have found our new fave North Raleigh spot for Indian food, and it’s Swad. Their lunch buffet is affordable ($10 during the week and $12 on the weekends), and their dinner is just as good. My favorites are their Chicken Tikka Masala and the Paneer Masala.

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Ingredient of the Month: Brussels Sprouts

brussels sprouts

It’s that time again: Ingredient of the Month time!

This month, we’re giving some love to a vegetable that I used to hate.

Thank goodness for people realizing that roasted Brussels sprouts (and basically anything but boiled ones) are so delicious. Although I was not a picky eater as a child, I hated Brussels sprouts. They stunk up the entire house, and the slightly mushy texture was definitely not my thing.

But, alas, we live in an age where cooking makes most all vegetables delicious (even like carrot tops and such).

We have really been enjoying cooking with Brussels sprouts lately. There are so many ways to make them taste delicious!

Brussels Sprouts

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Never Too Late for Carbs

irish soda bread with cherries

Some days, you’ve got everything figured out and planned out. Your calendar is exact, and your to-do list is completely checked off.

Then, there are other days when you just miss the boat and don’t get done what you want.

This week, I’ve been having some of those latter days. Like when I’ve been thinking about making Irish soda bread for St. Patrick’s Day, and it just doesn’t happen.

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Queen of Mac

bacon brussels mac & cheese

Have you ever made homemade mac and cheese?

If you haven’t, and your mac is usually made from powder and pasta from a box, I’ve got so much to teach you!

Just call me the queen of mac.

First of all, you can totally do this! Making mac and cheese is really easy. It’s as simple as cooking the pasta, making a roux with butter and flour, adding in some milk then shredded cheese, and finally combining and baking.

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Simple Saturday: Collard Greens

collard greens

Good morning/afternoon to all!

I hope you are enjoying some down time, reading a nice book or grabbing some new recipes from your favorite blogs.

Today’s Simple Saturday is highlighting a very special ingredient that I just started cooking a few weeks ago: collard greens.

Although I didn’t have a master plan for how to cook collards, I saw some beautiful leafy ones at the farmers market and thought I would give it a try.

Then, I scoured the internet, looking through a variety of recipes to come up with a combination that was totally think fruitful: simple, quick and tasty.

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Spring Things

spring things

I would like to take some time to say “Hallelujah, spring is coming/maybe here!”

It amazes me how much I enjoy the changing of the seasons these days, and I love how God knows when we need a change of pace and weather. I celebrate (as I hope you are) in the longer days, outdoor living and lots of vitamin D.

Here are a few spring things that I’m really excited about:

Breweries

There is no better time than the spring to do some brewery exploring. Drinking a hoppy brew on the porch and enjoying a friend or loved one’s company (at least once a week) is definitely on my to-do list for this spring.

Some of my favorite local breweries/bottle shops are Trophy, Tasty Beverage, Bottle Revolution, Crank Arm, Haw River and Wicked Weed (in Asheville).

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A Spring Cocktail

pimm's cup

I’ve been saving this recipe until spring started showing itself, and considering I (and most others in Raleigh) spent yesterday out and about enjoying the 70-degree weather, I think it’s about time.

Whenever I studied abroad in Oxford back in my college years, I remember seeing Pimm’s Cups on menus all over town. I was more of a hard cider girl back in those days, so I never ended up trying one.

The good news is that liquor stores in the states carry Pimm’s No. 1, so I finally got my chance to try this cocktail out!

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Simple Saturday: Broccoli Pesto Orzo

broccoli pesto orzo

Sometimes I love making a meal plan and having everything prepared and figured out for the week.

And then other times, I love just exploring the fridge, freezer and pantry and creating something new and fun for dinner.

It’s sort of a Chopped situation that’s a lot less stressful than the TV show.

This recipe came about from one of those situations. In this case, my secret ingredients were a partial box of orzo, pesto, sun dried tomatoes and broccoli.

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Oatmeal To-Go

overnight oats

Well, a glorious thing happened today.

The weather was 70 degrees, and the sun actually came out!

I know! What is this? Spring or something?

I am so ready for spring, but it looks like we might still have a bit of winter (thanks, Punxsutawny Phil). In that case, we’re going to need some comforting breakfasts to last us through the morning.

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