• Strawberry Mango Salsa

    There is just something about warmer weather that makes you crave fresh snacks like chips and salsa. I have shared salsa recipes with you before, but this week, I thought I would try something new. Strawberries are currently at their peak right now, the local fields are bursting with the beauties. I picked up another bucket and started thinking about making strawberry salsa. We also have gorgeous mangoes in the house so I thought that would be great in the mix, too. I did a little hunting on Pinterest and found a couple of recipes to try, but you know I had to make it my own. Of course the…

  • Sweet Treats for Mom

    This weekend is Mother’s Day, and it also is my mom’s birthday. I am lucky that my mom is easy to please on Mother’s Day, but everyone loves a small gesture to help them feel appreciated. If Mother’s Day has snuck up on you and you are stressing out, I am here to tell you sweet treats are the way to many mothers’ hearts. If you think this may be the case for your mother, or yourself, I have the scoop on 3 local chocolate shops to upgrade your gift-giving game. (A note to my mom – if you don’t want any Mother’s Day/Birthday spoilers, stop reading now.) In the…

  • Popcorn with Pep

    We like movies in our house. Lots of movies. We like to spend most Friday nights at home watching a movie as a family, whether it’s a blockbuster or a quirky Netflix original. But every now and then, it’s a special treat to go out to the movie theater together. This past week, we were part of the millions of people that went to see Avengers: Endgame the night it opened. There is something extra thrilling about getting to see a movie before other people spoil it for you. It is great fun to be in a movie theater when the audience is invested enough to clap and cheer. Don’t…

  • Classic Pasta Salad

    I love pasta salad. I really haven’t tried one I don’t like. I love how versatile it is and I love that it is great by itself or as a side to almost anything, like hot dogs, hamburgers or even sandwiches. Pasta salad is infinitely easy. I like to cook my pasta the bare minimum of suggested time, so it stays a bit more firm and doesn’t just turn to mush when the dressing absorbs into it. Then you can use whatever veggies you like, add a bit of protein if you like with cheese or ham or salami. Add some spice or keep it smooth, the options are endless.…

  • Strawberry Season

    One of my most favorite part of Spring in North Carolina is strawberry season. We live very close to some pick-your-own strawberry fields and I must admit we indulge quite frequently. There is nothing like a ripe strawberry, straight from the field. They are nothing like the ones sold in stores, which can be overly firm and pale and lacking in flavor. Fresh from the plant, their hearts are a deep pink, they are tender and juicy. We love them by the handful, or sliced on top of granola with yogurt. We love them on our waffles and pancakes and of course, on top of vanilla ice cream. We do…

  • Limoncello

    Over the years, my husband and I have visited a few wineries, breweries and some distilleries and I find myself fascinated by the science that goes into creating the perfect tasting wine, bourbon or liqueur. Weather, water sources and age can vastly change the end result. It is as much art as it is science. Once you have seen behind the curtain, so to speak, you begin to appreciate the process and effort that goes into crafting these drinks. You definitely understand that they are created for sipping and savoring the experience, and not meant for mindless imbibing. Recently, there has been a boom in home brewing. While I am…

  • All-Season Soup

    So, it’s SUPPOSED to be Spring here, but we have had a cold snap this week. People have been advised to cover their tender plants, just when they were getting excited about all the warmth and sunshine. While it is fleeting, the cold always puts me in the mood for soup. Some people think soup is a seasonal thing, but I love it and could eat it year-round. After running errands on a cold and soggy day this past week, I was inspired to whip up some Minestrone. I think my first experience with Minestrone was at a certain popular Italian restaurant chain that features all-you-can-eat soup, salad and breadsticks.…

  • Breakfast for Lunch & Dinner

    I love breakfast. Eggs and bacon, crispy hashbrowns, omelettes, nice fluffy pancakes and waffles. If I am at a restaurant that serves lunch or breakfast food, I am always going to go for breakfast. While I love getting breakfast when eating out, we also have a tradition of a nice homemade breakfast on Saturday mornings. Of course, some Saturdays are too busy for that and all the clean up that comes after breakfast. But sometimes breakfast makes a great dinner, as it can be thrown together with little planning. You can even make your breakfast, lunch or dinner extra fancy with a few special ingredients. While dining out for lunch…

  • Liquid Sunshine

    Spring is one of the major reasons my husband and I moved to North Carolina.  When we met, dated and married, life for us was in chilly Minnesota.  Then a beloved friend moved to NC and began to tell me about this thing called “Spring.”  She would email me photos of trees in bloom – in March.  What?!  Sunshine, flowering trees and green grass in Spring – in March?!  We were immediately won over. Now that we happily live here, Spring still continues to be one of my favorite seasons in the South. (And yes, North Carolina is the South.)  The days are starting to get longer, the sun shines…

  • The Loaf of the Irish

    This Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day, the day people with the slightest bit of Irish ancestry (or none at all) celebrate all things green. I have very, very distant Scotch-Irish roots and have been lucky enough to travel to Ireland, so my love of all things Irish runs deep. Not surprisingly, my favorite way to celebrate the holiday is with food. Around this time of year, you will find an abundance of corned beef, heads of cabbage and packages of all things Guiness-flavored in the stores. But you will also find Irish Soda bread, whether fresh from your favorite bakery or boxed mixes to try at home. One of our…