NCADC Cultured Seafood Festival: New Bern NC March 9, 2018

NCADC Cultured Seafood Festival: New Bern NC March 9, 2018

I was born and raised in Iowa and the only true fresh seafood we had was what my brothers and I caught whenever we went fishing. Everything else was shipped in and never really tasted that great. So when I moved to Connecticut I was a little hesitant to try anything that was made with seafood. Then the family I worked for as a nanny took me on a trip to Boston. On the way to their in-law’s 5-bedroom Queen Anne home close to Harvard Square and the Charles River, we stopped at a local fishmonger and picked up some bouillabaisse (French fish stew) for dinner. I really didn’t want to try it, but I didn’t want to be rude so with great trepidation I tasted the stew. That bouillabaisse was probably the …

Boozy Shamrock Shake - Adults Only St. Patrick's Day Treat

Boozy Shamrock Shake – Adults Only St. Patrick’s Day Treat

St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. What’s not to love? It’s a great excuse to have a cocktail or two, there are awesome parades in very Irish cities like Boston, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, (wait Philadelphia? Yes! Philadelphia had it’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1771!) and it doesn’t hurt that I look amazing in green. 😉 Plus, McDonald’s Shamrock Shake comes out of retirement! I’m lucky enough to be married to a true Irishman. We met 24 years ago, fittingly, in a dive Irish pub in Port Chester, New York. I was joking with the bartender about being Irish–trying to get a free drink–and he pointed to Colm and said “He’s from Ireland, maybe he’ll buy you one”. I started talking to Colm and totally thought …

Don't throw that out! Stem-to-root cooking Featuring The Produce Box

Don’t throw that out! Stem-to-root cooking Featuring The Produce Box

The Produce Box is a wonderful service here in North Carolina that provides you with fresh produce, meats, dairy, and bakery items directly from North Carolina farmers and other small business owners. Each week there is a different selection, depending on what’s available and in season, and unlike a CSA, you choose exactly what, and how much you want to purchase. It’s like a farmer’s market brought right to your door. (Want to become a member? Check it out here!) Because of my Produce Box deliveries, I have become much more aware of the parts of food that we use and the parts that go to waste. Produce Box items arrive to your door a little differently than if you pick them up at the grocery store. For example, carrots …

Printable Valentine's Day Cards

Printable Valentine’s Day Cards

I don’t know about you, but I ALWAYS seem to wait until the last minute to pick up classroom Valentine’s for my kids. You know how it goes, you see them in the stores and think “There’s still time to pick up something. I’ll buy them next time.” Then BOOM! it’s the night before the party and you really don’t want to run out at 10pm to pick up a box of pricey Valentine’s from the limited options at the corner store. With five daughter’s I’ve done this more times than I’d care to admit. So this year I decided to sit down with my girls and design our own Valentine’s. We had a lot of fun thinking of sayings and picking the images to use. We were so proud of what we created, we …

Carolina Sweet Tart

Carolina Sweet Tart

After we got engaged Colm and I talked a lot about where to get married. We had no family in Connecticut (we didn’t move to North Carolina until much later) and I really didn’t want to go back to Iowa to get married when most of our friends were out East. Colm joked that we should get married in Belfast (Northern Ireland, where he is from). And I said “Yes, we should! That would be amazing!” We arranged a trip to Ireland that February to make plans. Colm told me he knew the perfect place to have our wedding, Belfast Castle. We would be in Belfast on Valentine’s Day so Colm surprised me with reservations at their wonderfully extravagant prix fixe dinner. A friend of Colm’s worked at the castle and arranged for us to have …

Recipe Rehab Featuring The Produce Box: Chicken Enchiladas

Recipe Rehab Featuring The Produce Box: Chicken Enchiladas

The Produce Box is a wonderful service here in North Carolina that provides you with fresh produce, meats, dairy, and bakery items directly from North Carolina farmers and small business owners. Each week there is a different selection, depending on what’s available and in season, and unlike a CSA, you choose exactly what, and how much, you want to purchase. It’s like a farmer’s market brought right to your door. This week my Produce Box delivery contained Cara Cara Red Flesh Navel Oranges (our favorite variety), Mixed-Organic Salad Greens,  Joyce Farms Naked Chicken Breast Tenders, zucchini, yellow squash, vine ripe tomatoes, and avocados. Plus, two small bags of my all time FAVORITE chips, made right here in North Carolina, Carolina Kettle Cozumel Jalapeno Queso Kettle Chips. They are so good I have to lock them away from …