Friday, August 30, 2013

New England Eats

While we were travelling last week, we got to partake in quite a few tasty meals. If you are in the area, you need to check them out! I wanted to share the five that stood out to us the most. Prepare for lots of seafood. I know you are completely shocked.

~1~ Mount Washington Hotel 
This hotel is beyond breathtaking and one of my favorite places in the world. The views are spectacular. 
Take the operated elevator downstairs to the basement, travel all the tunnels. One of the best spots is their speakeasy, The Cave. During prohibition they served the whiskey in tea cups.

For our lunch, Wiki devoured his lobster mac and cheese and then we shared the butterscotch bread pudding and red velvet cake cheesecake. Pricey and worth every cent.

~2~ Dockside Grille in Wolfeboro

I finally made it to Lake Winnepesaukee. We stopped in the quaint town of Wolfeboro. 
My fried clam strips were some of the best I have ever eaten!

~3~ The Lobster Shack {Cape Elizabeth, Maine}
We stopped to see the Lighthouse and Wiki spotted this lobster shack and of course...he got one. and we were treated to the most gorgeous moon over the shore line.

~4~ Scarborough Coffee Grounds {Scarborough, Maine}
This coffee cake muffin was warm from the oven and wins the award for best one I have ever scarfed down like I had never eaten before  had the privilege to taste. and oh yea, they made me a pumpkin caramel mocha. Yesssss.

~5~ The Lobster Dock{Boothbay Harbor, Maine}
We were fortunate enough to drive into Boothbay and spend the afternoon walking around this charming town. There were so many neat shops to walk around in. We found this spot on the other side of the harbor. Wiki got a scallop roll and I got the kids meal: Haddock Nuggets. Oh. My. Heavens! It was awesome!
and I know I am supposed to be throwing out 5 things about my week that were just my favorites, but...I am nothing if not a rebel. And so guess what...Here is my sixth favorite.

~6~ Flo's {Portsmouth, R.I.}
We were in Portsmouth visiting his aunt and Wiki stopped by Flo's to pick up some of their famous clam cakes. Uh...yes to the please.

Linking up with Friday Favorites, Life Rearranged, Lauren Elizabeth, Five for Friday

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Raspberry Limoncello Margaritas

We went traipsing all around New England with Wiki's family and while we were still in Boston, before leaving for the glorious land that is New Hampshire, I wanted to make a refreshing drink to enjoy on a very brisk to the fire pit;) What screams summer more than 68' in August...

This was really easy to put together and you could make it a variety of ways. I have already changed it up twice since making it the first time on Saturday. However you slice it...this drink is awesome.

6 cups raspberry lemonade
1 cup limoncello
3/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup chambord(optional)
sprite/sparkling wine

Mix together all ingredients except for the bubbly options. Pour into glass and top with a little bubbly. The first time I used sprite, the second time I added a raspberry sparkling wine. It was so good! You could also swap the tequila for vodka. I added chambord once and abstained the second time. It was a little too sweet for me with it. You could also throw this in the blender with some ice and have a yummy frozen treat. and top that off with a floater of the sparkling wine or even more of the tequila and limoncello.

It may almost be Fall(Yay! and I already may have decorated;) but the weather is still warm for a while anyways. This is the perfect drink to carry you over till the crisp nights hit.

Linking up with Thirsty Thursday

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mediterranean Flat Bread

This recipe came about from some of my M-I-L's cooking and I used the inspiration from her to concoct this dish. As I have mentioned before, she is Lebanese and I have gotten to try many new flavors when we visit. Wiki always laugh when we go places and they serve items like hummus, tabbouleh and baba ganoush. He thinks it is funny how they are kind of the 'rage' now and it was just a normal item on their household menu. He feels that way about gelato too. Since his dad is Italian that was their 'ice cream' growing up.

Ok, getting my ramblin under control and back to topic, you can make this so many ways, but here is what I came up with for a quick and easy snack, appetizer or even dinner.

4 small/2 large pitas
3/4 cup hummus
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1/2 cup chopped artichokes
1/4 cup chopped olives
1/2 cup feta cheese

Plce the pitas on a baking dish and spread on the hummus, then the toppings in whatever fashion you would like. bake at 250 for about 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy. And you could use a tapenade for the 'sauce' or black bean hummus. Or switch the toppings up to whatever you would like. You could even use the mini pitas or even the mini bagels to make quick and simple appetizer.

Wiki prefers homemade hummus(obviously..the horror if not. haha) but you can easily find it at any grocer. If you want our recipe, just let me know.

and don't forget to head over to my other blog and check out my popcorn tossed with spicy bourbon and maple bacon. that's right...bacccconnnnn.

Linking up with  My Girlish WhimsJessica, Ashley and Wonderful Food Wednesday

Friday, August 16, 2013


it's Fan Friday and I am a big fan of bourbon, heck...I may even be its biggest fan. And what goes better than bourbon with football?! Beer you say? I don't hardly think so. Wings...ok, so maybe it would be a tie.

For those of you who don't really drink bourbon...there's a few things you should know about it. It is the only spirit that is specific to the U.S. and it is governed by quite a few laws. While you could use the same formula and make it in another international agreement, it isn't bourbon. And the biggest stipulation that differentiates bourbon from regular rye whiskey is that bourbon must be at least 51% corn and no more than 79%, hence the slightly sweeter taste. There are more laws, go read about them here. 

Here are my some of my favorite ways to enjoy your bourbon before the big game(or if you're at home or if you're a bit sneaky, at the game)

1) In the first few months of the season, while it is still warm out, you could enjoy it as a cocktail.

I recommend my Blackberry Brandy and bourbon cocktail I concocted a few months back. Or as I like to call it "The Naughty Southerner" You can check out the recipe on my other blog here.

2) You can enjoy it as a popsicle. I made these Strawberry Bourbonade's earlier this summer and you can't go wrong. Check them out .here

3)You can add it to your flatbread pizza and enjoy it as an appetizer. Check out my prosciutto and pancetta flatbread pizza with a bourbon apricot sauce here

4)  You can buy a jar of cherries and pour out half(or all) of the cherry juice and then fill it with some tasty bourbon. Pack them back in the fridgema and get one out whenever you feel the urge, garnish your favorite drink with one, Bring them to tailgate and everyone will be loving you for it. You can even go crazy like I did once and dip them in dark chocolate and make yourself a boozy little chocolate covered cherry. Cause why wouldn't you?

5) This is especially best for those crisp Fall nights. Just drink it Striaght. And by straight, I mean neat. Directly out of the bottle. Room temp. No ice and God forbid you add any soda to it. Ech.

and here are 5 I recommend. Some are less expensive and some will cost you a penny...but these are my favorites.

Makers 46
Old Forrester
Evan Williams
Basil Hayden

I should mention that when you order bourbon(or any whiskey at a bar) and you are a rarely pay for it. Men seem to like that kind of thing.So single ladies...use this to your advantage. 

Just keep in mind that while all bourbon is whiskey, not all whiskey is bourbon;)

Linking up with Fan Friday & Five For Friday & Friday Favorites, That Friday Blog Hop

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Raleigh: Vinos Finos

This is one of my favorite places in Raleigh, it's a small wine and tapas cafe with copious amounts of wine. I love the ambiance, the people who work there are so friendly and the tapas is delicious. 

It's located in Layfeyette Village, which is a must visit if you're ever in North Raleigh. And it is perfect for date night, a large gathering or especially...a girls night out!

Here is what their website has to say about their establishment

Welcome to the best wine bar in Raleigh, NC…
…where savory food, great wine, and warm, friendly people mix together to make the perfect concoction. We’re a South American Wine bar and tapas bar that boasts an excellent wine accompanyment menu featuring meat & cheese platters, empanadas, desserts, served in an intimate environment with soft leather chairs. Come in and join us!
The wall of wine. Getting thirsty?

There is plenty of room. There are tables or comfy leather seats that you can just sink into over a shared glass of wine. There is a small bar you can pull up to, or when the weather is nice, you can grab a table outside.

We ordered a plethora of small plates and none of  them disappointed.
Look at all this food! The bacon wrapped dates. Oh. My. word.

I loved the barrel table we sat at and the corks under the glass table and the lights undeneath it. I really want to make one for our house. Anybody? Somebody? 

The only gripe(if you want to even call it a gripe) was the creme brulee. Let's just say I found it...wanting. 

But for the most part, we love this place and I would highly recommend it. They can accommodate large groups or an intimate dinner. 

linking up with Thirsty Thursday

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke Bake

As I have mentioned before, WIki partakes in a low carb lifestyle(insert eye roll here;) and I am often searching for quick and easy sides that will actually fill him up. Since he is Italian, he loves a good antipasti and I decided to run slightly with the idea and after a few different versions, this was one that works. You could also add grilled chicken or even prosciutto to make it a meal, rather than just a side dish.

Serves 2-4 people

1 large jar of roasted red peppers
1 medium jar of artichokes
shredded Parmesan
olive oil

Open the cans and strain the peppers and artichokes(if you want to use the marinade, save some) Once strained, chop them into bite size pieces, add some olive oil(and any of the reserved marinade) plus, however you want flavor it with your spices. I used badias all seasoning, plus some cracked pepper and sea salt. 

Bake at 300 for about 20 minutes. Add in shredded parm and bake another 5-10 minutes.

We have also served this cold. In the summer he likes it better that way. You can change this up really easily. You could add black olives or even feta. Play around to your taste. Just keep seasonings in mind, because if not, it will be rather bland. 

But anytime you are after a quick, but filling dish, you can't go wrong. I even mixed this up once and add it to cream cheese and then baked and served it as a dip.

I am guest posting over at Swirl Of Cinnamon today, I made these

Linking up with Creative Link Party JessicaAshley and Sugar Bee Crafts today.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Food Truck Rodeo

Came to town and I left very happy. In Durham, at any given time, you can find about 30 plus food trucks just sputtering about town. Since Durham itself has some of the best food you can imagine, I rarely  take trips to these mini meals on wheels. They have food truck rodeos a couple times a year and we have missed everyone. So cue up excited squeals when I realized we would actually be in town to attend this one!

We had already participated in a food filled weekend and so yesterday morning, I tried to eat small and simple in order to prep myself for a day of gorging. and rest assured...gorge I did. We took a last minute trip west to Mebane and the outlets because we scored last minute tickets to the Killers show in Raleigh tomorrow night. After a little shopping we stopped in the quaint town of Hillsborough for a coffee and truffle pit stop.

and then we were off to the good stuff. This particular food truck rodeo was in downtown Raleigh and they closed off three blocks. There were over 70 vendors including trucks, carts and 12 local craft beers.

We got there 15 minutes before they were even selling their goods and this was what greeted us.

Mobs of people for 3 straight blocks.

and not to be forgotten...

for the pups!

If you ever get the chance to hit up one of these, I cannot recommend it enough. We only ate at a tenth of the trucks and every bite was worth it.

If you're in the triangle area, the next one is scheduled for Labor Day Weekend in Durham, on Saturday September first. You will be so glad you did!

If you want to see the rest of my date filled weekend, head over to my lifestyle blog to see some shenanigans of the best sort;)

Linking up with, Funday Monday, Join the Gossip, Meg & Sami

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Cherry Limeade Martini

I put this on my other blog last summer. I came up with the idea from a happy hour visit to Sonic and came home and added a little bit of my own version of happy to my glass. A few weeks later we were haing friends over and I decided to try out my own version. This is so easy, I cannot even explain how simple. Just make yourself one!

cherry limealicious 
makes two 

8 oz limeade(I used simply limeade)
2 parts cherry vodka 
1 1/2 part tripple sec


 splash grenadine
Limes for garnish
two cherries

Fill a shaker with ice, add in all ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into two martini glasses.  and leave just enough room to top off w/sprite, you can omit the sprite, but...that is what makes a sonic limeade so tasty! garnish w/cherry & lime

Linking up with Thirsty Thursday 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Strawberry Lemonade Cookies

I first debuted this recipe last year on my other blog. These are one of my favorite cookies. It is based on the ooey gooey butter cookie & so you really cannot go wrong. Oh my gosh. Delicious. I got the original cookie recipe from my friend Stacy and I have made a plethora of versions. This one screams 'Summer" Can't you hear it? 

    1 8 oz brick cream cheese, room temperature
    1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 (18-ounce) box moist strawberry cake mix
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
DIRECTIONS-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the lemon juice. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner's sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 10- 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and "gooey." Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar, if desired

 If you want to just have strawberry cookies, feel free to omit the lemon juice.You could also probably add half a cup of chopped strawberries to the mix too, if you'd like.

Just make these cookies. You will thank me. I promise.

and in case you haven't, head over to my other blog where a new blog friend is whipping up a delectable treat!

Linking up with Jessica, Ashley & Take a look Tuesday.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Discovering Richmond

We love food. I mean, we really, really do. Wiki is half Italian/Half Lebanese and I am all Southern...Good food is important. As Wiki always says when we spend a good chunk of money on a meal, the food is only part of it, the memories made over sharing the food is what matters. And while I still really want a new tv and perhaps...a bed..., I suppose I see his point.

We headed to Richmond for the mamma's 60th birthday and even though I have been there plenty of times, this was more of an exploration trip and enjoying some wines and good eats.and celebrating Da Mamma.

Our first stop was James RIver Cellars, pretty tasty and I loved the Wine slushies they offered.

We ventured to another winery about 20 minutes down the road, Gray Haven Vineyards and got some ahmazing peach sangria. 

On our way back we stumbled upon this small grill and my bbq sandwich was delish. And oh yeah...a whopping $4.95. 

We got dessert too and I chose the chocolate cappuccino cake. I loved the flavor of the cake, was really moist, but the icing was a little too sweet for me. But that tends to be my taste buds anyways.

After making our way through Downtown and reliving some of my mom's college days, we finally made it back to hotel and decided we should head to the Tavern and grab a drink. The coolest thing about our hotel was the underground tunnels leading from one building to the other. Loved it!
Had a little peach 'shine to finish off my night!

Saturday afternoon we headed next door to the hotel and got some BBQ,
If I am honest...I liked it...but it was nothing out of the ordinary. My favorite thing was the pig nose lights. haha Just thought it was kind of over priced.

After a day enjoying the pool, we headed out for dinner and stopped at Legends Brewery with a fantastic view of the city.

And oh my gosh, what our lunch was lacking, this place more than made up for it. The guys got some brews and we had vodka lemonades, but the real present was the beer cheese. We got it as an app with pretzel bites and it was so awesome that I ended up ordering the philly cheese steak smothered in the cheese sauce. Seriously...yumminess defined
I will be doing a more in depth post on this pace, but really enjoyed our dinner.

AFter walking around the Carytown section of Richmond, we headed to the Jefferson Hotel. It is one of the most magnificent and grande hotels you can imagine. And a walk around the lobby and drink is a must. We have stayed at so many hotels listed on the Historic Hotels list and we must make it a priority to add this to our list.
 I just love the stairs to the bottom floor and I just conjure up images of women in history, all dolled up to the max, being presented on this stair case. *sigh*

My yummy white cosmo, can't wait to recreate it at home! and the prices were so reasonable!

and then, again{I may be sensing a theme} after we put the parentals to bed, we headed back over to the Tavern and I got one of my favorite Ciders, a local Virginia one, Bold Rock.

Nothing like a bonfire on a slightly crisp perfect night.

After heading to my parents house in the "burg last night for a party, we're back home and already plotting our next trip to Richmond. Stay tuned for more thorough posts regarding the spots we hit in the city! 
Linking up with 
Life of Meg

Thursday, August 1, 2013

On The Town: Raleigh Wine Shop

One of the fabulous things about living in this area is the close proximity to so many wineries and breweries. But when a day trip isn't in the plan, there are a plethora of Wine Cafes/Shops to get your fix in. 

One of our favorites is the Raleigh Wine shop in Downtown on Glenwood. Such a great location and I love the look and feel when I walk in. Open floor plan, lots of light and all the wines are labeled and stocked according to their region or country. 

Here is what their website has to say

The Raleigh Wine Shop welcomes both wine novice and connoisseur alike with a bright, inviting atmosphere. We feature hand-picked wines for everyday drinking as well as special occasions, with a focus on what we feel are ‘honest’ wines that accurately convey the grapes that they’re made from and where those grapes were grown. Above all, these are the wines that we think deliver the goods for your hard-earned money.

They offer free tasting on Saturdays and frequently host events. Next week is a 5 course dinner and wine pairing 'A Taste of Terroir: The Loire Valley– A Food & Wine Event. The prices are really reasonable and the food options sound fantastic. They also host and annual corktoberfest, with lots of German wines and a variety of beers. 

Then there is this lovely fact

They have plenty of wines to buy by the bottle or if you have a lazy afternoon or an open night, take in the wine station and grab a taste or a glass, the choice (and control) is all yours. 

Or there is the small fact that, no big deal, they deliver! Say what?!

Get here people. Get here.

To see any future events they may be hosting, click here.