Easter Easter Bo Beaster, Banana Fana Fo Feaster

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Easter Is Here! 

Easter brings up nostalgia for me. Church with my Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa, Easter eggs hunts with my Dad at the park or in the house, candy for days, big huge dinners, and all these cute little bunnies everywhere I looked! One of my favorite photos from childhood is one where I’m standing on the front porch of my Grandparents house, hugging this gigantic, blue, blow-up bunny who’s chomping on a carrot, dressed in this adorable little blue dress, white those white ruffle socks we all used to wear! (I wish I knew where the photo was because obviously, I would share it, but I don’t, unfortunately.)

This year for Easter is a little different because Mitch and I are moving!! So excited!!! But, that also means all my pots, pans, and spices are packed in a box, and our refrigerator is dwindling down to nothing. For anyone else out there who cooks all the time, I hope you feel my anxiety with this issue. Not having all my kitchen supplies is making me a crazy person! 

 

Instead of sharing an entire menu and recipes with you for Easter Dinner like I normally would, I have picked out my favorite recipe from last years Easter, and decided to post it for you guys. For me, Easter is not complete without Deviled Eggs! Last year I had this idea to dye the actual hard white egg instead of the shell, and it turned out so awesome that I couldn’t imagine not sharing it with you guys! To go along with the Deviled Eggs post, I have included some photos and videos from last years dinner 🙂

Make sure to share with me and tag #ColdBeerMeatSweats with all your fun Easter posts! 

Color Your Own, Deviled Eggs  

These are going to be the easiest eggs you’ve ever made, and the most fun! 

  • Boil 8 Eggs (at least 10 minutes)
  • Cool on stove for 15 minutes, then strain water out, run the eggs under cold water for a couple of minutes, then chill them in the fridge for 1 hour or 1 day
  • Using 4 clear and short glasses, place a couple drops of food coloring in each one, then add water. Don’t forget to leave room in the glass for when you drop the egg in there
  • For pastel colors, you can mix and match the colors, and use the back of a food coloring box for more options

*Note*  The longer you keep the egg in the food coloring water, the darker the egg will be. If you want light pastel colors, don’t keep the eggs in there very long, and keep a close eye because they can change colors pretty fast!

*Note*  When making my eggs, I referred to this website and this recipe 🙂 Pastel Egg Food Coloring Options

  • Once they’ve cooled, peel off all the shells and discard
  •  Slice the eggs in half, and place the yolks into a medium sized mixing bowl
  • Place all the white halves onto a cutting board
  • Make the filling first then place in the fridge while you’re dying the eggs
  • Into the medium bowl with the yolks, mix in the following:

– 1/2 Cup Lite Mayo

– Dash of Salt and Pepper (to taste)

– 1 T Dijon Mustard

– 1 t each: Ground Mustard, Parsley Flakes, Smoked Paprika, & Northwoods Seasoning

– 2 T Minced Cornichons (or pickle relish)

  • Mix well, taste and adjust seasonings to your liking, then refrigerate 
  • Dye each half of the eggs carefully, and set on a paper towel lined plate when finished 
  • Once all eggs are colored, remove the filling mixture from the fridge and put a heaping spoonful into the center of each empty egg
  • Place them onto a serving dish or Deviled Egg plate, sprinkle with Paprika, and enjoy!! 

Easter Dinner Menu Ideas

Main Entree:

Roasted Lamb rack in Vino & Veggies, w/ Yogurt Mint Sauce  

Sides:

Sauteed Green Beans w/ Fresh Garlic and Thyme

Seasoned Red Potatoes w/ Roasted Carrots, Baby Bell Peppers, and Onions

Mixed Greens Salad

Dinner Rolls & Cinnamon Butter

Last year was my first attempt at making a Lamb Rack, and the few pieces of advice I would give to you are; temp it properly and check on it frequently, give it some time as the outside pieces will cook faster than the inside pieces, spoon wine mixture over the lamb a few times throughout the cooking process, and don’t be intimidated!

 

Sides are my favorite part of any family meal! Usually sides become staples and items that family members remember the most and crave often! Sometimes the most simple of recipes, can be the fondest ones. I had to work last Easter and didn’t get home until 5pm. I threw together some green beans and these potatoes, and they ended up being the recipes that I use very frequently now! My favorite lesson in the kitchen is to go with what you feel and know, and use the ingredients you already have on hand. Swapping one ingredient for another is one of my favorite ways to get creative in the kitchen 🙂 

Green Beans w/ Garlic and Thyme, and Potatoes w/ Carrots, Peppers, and Onions 

Next time I make a post, it will be from my new kitchen, in our new apartment! I’m so excited to share our journey with you guys, and keep your eyes out for a new post! Happy Easter, everyone!! 

 

Don’t forget to share those Easter posts with me this year!! 

Since we’re moving and I cannot cook Easter Dinner, I’m looking forward to seeing those #ColdBeerMeatSweats tags! No matter what you guys make, share and tag it 🙂 

I love food, family, and seeing how you guys spend your Holidays! Happy Egg Hunting! 

Taken on Easter last year, 2017

Why It’s Not OK, If You Haven’t Been To Sommelier’s Roast in Raleigh, NC!

As I walked into Sommelier’s Roast on October 26th, with barely a foot in the door, immediately my nose started doing the happy dance. The smells, oh my goodness, the smells. From the freshly roasted coffee beans, to the mini cupcakes and beautiful cakes on display, to the amazing hot and cold sandwiches, gourmet salads, and speciality sides they have available, I was in love immediately. 

In the beginning of summer 2017, a couple of old friends called me up and told me they were going to finally open up their own coffee shop. What seeed like a casual phone call was actually an, OMG our dreams are finally coming true, phone call. It was a miracle, a beautiful blessing, if you will.

I met Lance and Ashley Odvody back in 2014, when I was running the Baguettaboutit Food Truck & Cafe out in Durham, NC. They have three of the most adorable children on the planet, all boys, and I absolutely LOVED when they would visit our cafe. Their boys would run around with more energy than an entire Kindergarten class, and it just filled the restaurant with the most amazing energy every time they were there.

Lance worked at the Angus Barn at the time and Ashley was busy tending to her three little children – a 24 hour job. Any chance he got, Lance would always bring us his Bethesda Roasting Company coffee beans, and I started becoming addicted to them. Those beans were so fresh and it always smelled up the entire cafe, and it was glorious!

Fast Forward 3 years later when I got that phone call; I’m pretty sure I cried a little. What had seemed impossible for the Odvody’s was now becoming a reality right before our eyes. I was fortunate enough to sit in meetings, drink endless amounts of coffee, take part in tea, and lunch meat tastings from all kinds of vendors, and help out in any possible way that I could. It was truly an incredible experience and I could not be happier, or more proud of these two individuals.

The name Sommelier’s Roast came about because Owner and Operator, Lance Odvody, is a certified sommelier. A Sommelier (pronounced, Sew-Mall-Yea) is a trained wine professional specializing in wine tasting, food pairings, and service. This training uniquely qualifies Lance to bring out the subtle flavors of coffee, to create food and beverage pairings, and to bring excellent service to the everyday coffee experience.

Sommelier’s Roast is conveniently located at 3700 Glenwood Avenue Suite 150 Raleigh, NC 27612 on the Ground Floor of the Grubb Ventures and Regions Bank Building, right at the intersection where I-440 meets Glenwood Ave.

Whether you’re going to or from work, school, or meetings, you must stop in for some of the best Coffee, Tea, and Gourmet Cafe Food, that you will ever have; ever, I’m serious! They have a handful of house made items, like this incredible Veggie & Hummus Wrap!

Along with their house made items, they brew their own coffee, and mix in some special treats provided by local vendors; one being the ever so famous, 9th Street Bakery!

They are open 7AM – 4PM, M-F, and occasionally host tea and coffee tasting events on the weekends. Make sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or by visiting their Sommelier’s Roast website!

And this is, Why It’s Not OK, If You Haven’t Been To Sommelier’s Roast in Raleigh, NC! You’re Welcome 🙂

How To Be Irish Twice a Year: Hibernian’s Halfway To St. Paddy’s Day Party v2.0

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Hibernian’s Halfway to St. Paddy’s Day Block Party This Saturday September 16th!

The Hibernian Pub at 311 Glenwood Ave. in Downtown Raleigh is hosting a Halfway to St. Paddy’s Day Block Party for their second time, and this time it’s in the rebuilt, 2 story, 4 bar Pub!

You can expect to find Live Music all day featuring Rattle & Hum a U2 Tribute Band, The Gravy Boys, Irish Dance Groups, & many more! For those of you who love the beer scene, there will be 24 different beers on tap, and 3 of the 4 bars will offer full liquor service. There are also going to be food and beer tents outside, making it easy to refill and refuel while listening to the live bands.

This event has free entry all day. The Hibernian Pub will be open normal hours 11AM-2AM, serving up their full menu, and the Outside Block Party is being held from Noon-11PM on North Ave. at the corner of Glenwood. 

Our staff is the best in town! 

 

Everyone loves a reason to day drink! 

Everyone’s Irish on 1/2 Way to St. Paddy’s Day, Day!

Food & Beer tents outside to serve our guests faster!

View of the crowd from the balcony!

That Patio Pub Life!

The Drink of the Irish 

How To Play it Cool When You Eat & Drink Too Much At The Annual NC Chef Showdown

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How To Play it Cool When You Eat & Drink Too Much At The Annual NC Chef Showdown

We’ve all been there, that moment in time when you realize you’re too uncomfortable to sit down, you can’t stand the thought of having another bite of food, your alcoholic beverage that is absolutely beautiful, has no curb appeal at all anymore, and all you want to do is put on your pajamas and think about what you’ve done,… and hope that maybe, just maybe, your food belly – coma like state, won’t last more than a few hours. Don’t lie to me, you’ve been here and you know it. 

This was me about two weeks ago and unfortunately, it wasn’t the normal acceptable excuse of, “The Holidays”. It happened to me on August 21st, 2017, on just your normal and average Monday. Even worse, MONDAY! The one day at the beginning of the week where everything you want to do is perfect, so you can set the precedent for the rest of the days ending in Y. Nope, not this week.

Food, and really really great food, is a privilege. Two weeks ago I was honored with the pleasure of attending my first NC Chef Showdown Event, and it was everything I had hoped it would be, and more. To be surrounded by some of the best mixologists, pastry chefs, chefs, food bloggers, and food industry leaders in one room, was a truly amazing experience. From the moment you walk through the door and grab your name tag, it’s on! Just like everyone else I was given 3 tickets; 1 to vote for mixologist of the year, 1 to vote for pastry chef of the year, and 1 for chef of the year.

Now sure, you don’t have to try everything available but, how is one supposed to cast an honest and true vote without trying at least one bite from everyone? I couldn’t cast my votes without knowing I did my part and taste everything so, that’s exactly what I did. I had my favorite gold sparkly skirt on, (pretending it was sweatpants), and I walked around and wined and dined myself like a true champion. The chefs were on point, the drinks were top of the line, and the desserts, those desserts made me feel like I myself, was a melting pile of chocolate. So creamy, so delicious, so meticulously planned and sought after, so perfect. 

The respect level for those in the restaurant industry will never be high enough if you ask me. Well, I’m biased because I am in the restaurant industry but, there is so much planning and prepping, testing, buying, rebuying and retesting, panicking, and trying not to panic, giving it 110% and knowing that pleasing everyone is the most impossible task on the planet, but yet, never giving up. It’s such a beautiful and specific process, and I have nothing but respect for everyone who wakes up every morning and accepts this challenge day in and day out. 

I survived my experience by smiling a lot, like, a lot! I also took small bites of everything to save as much room as possible. I drank some water too. I would try a chef’s dish, then a pastry dish, then hop on over to one of the mixologists stands and see what they had going on. After about 4 rounds of this, that is when “the game face”, really comes into play. It was a little warm in the event space, and as I looked around to browse the room I could see people fanning themselves and clinging to their bottled water, and that’s when I knew I wasn’t alone in this feeling.

Things to remember: Talk to people to distract yourself for a while, and mingle! There are so many fantastic people in this room every year, and to not mingle would be like buying a ticket and not eating! Also, pace yourself. (You’ll thank me for that note if you attend this event next year.) 

Now that I’ve share with you why I was beyond Thanksgiving full, and why it took me 24 hours to recover, I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed consuming my way through City Market to make this blog post possible. Thank you to the Hibernian for the opportunity to mingle with fantastic restaurant industry leaders at the NCRLA conference this year, and thank you to everyone at the NCRLA who made this conference possible. I have made many new friends these past two years and look forward to seeing everyone again next year in Charlotte, NC! 

To read more about the event and why you should attend year after year, click on the link below to visit The N&O Website, and get details about the Chefs and where they work! Chef Showdown N&O Article

Lastly, call an Uber or Lyft for a ride home, you’ll need a sober driver 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All photos by Gillian Rose McLane

Welcome to Cold Beer & Meat Sweats

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How Did I Get Here?

For a while now I have been wanting to start a blog. Not a blog where I write down all of my problems and spoon feed them to the world; just a simple blog where I can share my love of cooking to others who have the same passion. Cooking, over the years has become a passion for me. When I was in my twenties, I lost a lot of sleep over the fact that I didn’t have a passion, and that I didn’t know what truly made me happy in life. Does anyone really have those answers in their twenties? Probably not, but every twenty year old something out there believes that they should… joke’s on us, it’s ok if you don’t.

I was fortunate enough to have earned a career right out of college. I had the opportunity to work for an affiliate of a major TV network in Pittsburgh, PA. It was, at the time, amazing. Roof top parties, fancy get togethers, working on 5th Ave., in the middle of a bustling, thriving, growing city. It was everything I had ever wanted. (I thank “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” for this dream I had of living and working in a downtown environment.) It was here, where I realized that I wasn’t sure what the heck I was going to do with the rest of my life. Was I really going to be in this satellite control room forever? I was in a fancy building, where famous people would come and do voice-overs while they were filming movies in the area. It was sometimes like a dream world. Where I worked in particular, there was this large window, and when people would walk by they could see all the little workers at their stations. The more I sat with my headphones on and watched these tours go by, the more I felt like a monkey in a zoo, on display for the amusement of others. Sure, maybe that’s a little drastic but, when you’re 24, everything is drastic.

 

 

During my time at the production company, I ended up meeting someone. I didn’t know at the time that she was going to be a lifetime friend, I just knew I really enjoyed her company, and the company of those she surrounded herself by. We ended up catering on the weekends just for sh**s and giggles. One of her best friends was a head chef at a catering company and he always needed bodies. It started out as something that was fun and distracting from other things I had going on in my life, almost like an escape. I had no intentions of liking it…. I was just there, because. Funny how life works out like that. My dear friend Amanda, I believe, is one of the main reasons I am on a new path. She took it from catering on the weekends to inviting me over for dinner a couple of nights a week. Her and her husband would take hours to create these meals, and we would end up eating dinner around 10pm, no matter what day of the week it was, it was usually a midnight supper club type of deal. I absolutely fell head over heels in love. I wanted to know everything. I wanted to know how to hold the knife properly, I wanted to know how to shop for the right ingredients, and I had questions for everything. I didn’t just want to make them, I wanted to do everything from finding inspiration for the meal, to the grocery store, to finding it in the aisles or the markets, to the kitchen, to the table. ALL OF IT.

I ended up working at this company for 4 years to the day. There were moments of love and hate. Looking back now, I was learning important life lessons about how to exist in a professional environment, and yet, I had no idea that I was learning anything at all. Everyday I was awake in my twenties I was writing something down. It didn’t matter if I were in a good or bad mood, whatever I was feeling was going down on paper. Usually when I was at work trying to look busy, I would be writing; How do I get out of here? How do I change my life? How do I remove these walls and explore the world with $2 to my name? Is it possible to say F*** IT and walk out with my hands in the air, and not burn a bridge, my career, and ruin my life? (NO, it’s not.) Amanda & her husband Matt, helped me in ways they might not be aware of. They made me look at myself, re-evaluate, dig deep, and figure out what I enjoyed doing. It turns out that I really love to cook.

 

 

Fast forward to this moment in my life. I do not live in Pittsburgh, PA anymore but, I am still very close with my two dear friends whom I left behind. I purchased my very first Apple laptop computer, bought a domain name, found a glorious man to share my life with, and I’m venturing out into the food blogging world. I have zero ideas where this adventure is going to take me but, I also don’t care and it doesn’t scare me. I am excited, nervous, and ready. I love to cook, I love to write, and I love to take pictures of food. Join me on this journey, won’t you?

 

 

 

This journey wouldn’t be possible without you, Mitch, and I thank you so much for sticking by my side through thick and thin, I love you.

 

 

Local Favs – Raleigh Edition

The Big New Boss in town, AKA, The Raleigh Beer Garden

I love Big Boss beer, and I especially love when they takeover the roof at The Raleigh Beer Garden! This photo was taken last year on their first tap takeover, and I still get excited every time I see it! It was such a beautiful day, we were drinking on the roof, and every tap was taken by a Boss. To see what’s going on over at the Big Boss Brewery, Go Here! 

The RBG does tap takeovers all the time, and is located right on Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh, NC! Check out what’s available on tap by visiting THE RBG website, and definitely go! 3 floors, Guinness World Record for # of drafts with over 360, and more varieties in one place than anywhere else in the world! For all beer lovers, and out of town guests, this extraordinary gem should definitely be on your “To Do Raleigh”, list! 

 

Trophy, Maywood 

 

I am in love with this hidden brewery. It’s not so hidden if you’re familiar with the area, or Earp’s Seafood but, other than that it feels like your GPS took you off road and is going to abandon you on a weird side road. Trophy is exploding in the Raleigh area and it’s great because their beer is delicious! My first experience was at this tiny little pizza shop right outside of downtown, over by Charlie Goodnights, and I was blown away! Then they opened up Maywood Brewery, State of Beer, & revamped Busy Bee into a restaurant & Trophy Taphouse. Like I said, they’re blowing up all over this city! The brewery has food trucks, their first born has the best pizza in the state, and every space has a certain feel and it’s own vibe and atmosphere. To see what’s going on at each spot, click here Keeping Up with The Trophy’s 🙂 

 

Crank Arm Brewing & The Warehouse District 

 

Adam and his business partners, staff, and loyal following, has made this brewery into one of the most humble breweries in the city. It’s smallish, pumps out award winning beer, and is loved by all. (Seriously, they won the Bronze Medal for Whitewall Wheat at the 2016 Great American Beer Fest in Colorado last fall!!) Almost every restaurant in the city has their beer on draft, and they are true to their name by scheduling weekly bike rides throughout Raleigh every Wednesday! Rather it’s Yoga on Sunday in the brewery, or City Bike Rides on Wednesdays, there is always something exciting going on here! Check them out by visiting their site Crank Arm Brewing

 

The Warehouse District 

 

The Warehouse District is poppin these days! When I first moved here back in 2012, the only reason I would ever go over there was for BBQ and beer. Some of my best friends (Sean & Ellen, love and miss you), introduced me to Tasty Bev and it was love at first site. Tasty is this glorious little bottle shop that has a famous tiny bar in the back, where they serve a unique selection of draft and bottled beer. They ALWAYS have the best, newest, and freshest beers on tap, and believe me when I say, get in line! 

Tasty isn’t the only reason to hop over to the WHD; BoxCar Bar & Arcade is full of local and national beer, and all kinds of games! My friends & I visit here frequently and it never gets old. They have skee ball, pinball machines, air hockey tables, and games for people of all ages. The best part of BoxCar is knowing that when you’re done playing games, you can walk across the street to Raleigh’s very own Chocolate Factory!!!! Yes, I am serious when I say Videri has some of the best chocolate in the state, and is located across the street from BoxCar Arcade, and next door to Crank Arm brewing. What amazing times we are living in 🙂 

 

Hibernian Irish Pub & Restaurant 

 

Shout out to the Hibernian Pub on Glenwood Ave.! I’ve been a manager here for 2 years now and I absolutely adore this place. It’s crazy during the weekend and humble during the week. We have $5 Build Your Own Burgers on Mondays, Bingo on Tuesdays, Trivia Wednesdays, .50 wings and $4 NC Drafts on Thursdays, and parties all weekend long! The patio is gorgeous, the views never get old, and the best part, people watching! 

We have rotating taps up on the roof, and reserve those 12 taps for beer brewed only in North Carolina. Taps do change pretty frequently, so make sure to check on availability by calling, or by visiting the Hibernian Website 🙂

The bartenders take their job seriously. When you ask them to dress up for halloween, this is what you get! 

Hibernian also throws one mean Halloween party every year! 

My love for this city grows each and every day, so I will try to keep up with local posts as much as possible! The small businesses that deserve a shot out is an ever growing list, and I look forward to continuing to share my love of all that is Raleigh, as much as possible! 

 

To get the most of Small businesses, and learning to shop local, no one does it better than Jennifer over at Shop Local Raleigh 🙂 Visit this site for upcoming events, and learn where all small businesses are thriving! 

 

 

Lucky in Durham

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Lucky’s Delicatessen!

 

Lucky’s Sandwich shop in Durham, NC is FANTASTIC! As an obsessed Sandwich Lover, I’m always seeking really great sandwich shops when I’m out and about. In September of 2016, my friend Arlene and I were Lucky enough to have stumbled upon this awesome shop, and immediately, I knew that it was going to be necessary to share with the world how delicious it was!

 

 

Here is a link to Lucky’s if you want to browse their amazing menu. I highly suggest checking out this little deli the next time you’re in Durham for lunch! (P.S. A majority of their sides and pickles are made in house, so make room alongside that sandwich!) 

 

 

The Deli

 

 

A great sandwich can change your day, and a bad sandwich can ruin your day. Lucky’s is exactly that; you feel lucky that you stumbled upon such an awesome sandwich shop! If you don’t love sandwiches, I’m not sure we can be friends…. Unless of course you’re gluten free and cannot have bread, then I’ll think about you being an exception! Shout out to Lexie, we can still be friends 🙂 

 

 

Durham, NC has been in the news for being one of the Best Foodie Towns in the South, and that is not by chance or mistake. Durham is a Gem, a beautiful, old, thriving, re-building Gem, and I am loving watching this city grow. I wish I got out here more. It’s only 25 minutes down the road, but when life gets busy those 25 minutes are a long way, so it seems. The perks of traveling for food…. look below. Are you kidding me?! This Reuben was the most delicious and glorious sandwich I have ever eaten. #AllHailLuckysReuben

 

 

Taking a Stroll Through Durham 

 

 

Down in the Beyu

 

 

Because I don’t get to Durham as much as I’d like to, I usually spend hours downtown trying to make up for lost time. Not to mention the fact that there is always a new spot opening up, and a new coffee I need to try. After we ate at Lucky’s that day, we took a stroll trying to walk off some of our sandwiches, and ended up passing Beyu, pronounced Be-You! What I was hoping for was an iced, cold beverage to save me from the heat, but what I found was this amazing restaurant/coffee shop/wine bar/jazz club. This was the most delicious beverage I think I’ve ever had! I told the barista what I was in the mood for, and he just made it. It was perfect and I wish I had a name for it, but it was a “Create Your Own”, special! If you want to see what they have going on, which is a lot, go here; Beyu in Durham 🙂 

 

Music is Everywhere 

 

Whatever kind of music you’re into, Durham has you covered. Rather it’s spots like Pinhook, Beyu Jazz, or Motorco, or the Carolina Theatre and DPAC, there are all sorts of places to jam, and there is always something to listen to, or someone.

 

Beer is Everywhere 

 

 

The Durham Bulls Baseball Stadium now has their own brewery, Bull Durham Beer, and along with the views, it’s fantastic! If you’re not going to a game, Fullsteam Brewery is right down the street, along with Ponysaurus Brewery, and both these breweries are phenomenal! 

 

 

Hopefully, after reading this blog entry, you’re getting the gist of why people go on, and on about how cool Durham is, and why it keeps popping up on Foodie, Beer, and Southern Living blogs. 

 

 

Ponysaurus and Fullsteam are also known for Food Trucks and awesome, open spaces, where people can eat, drink, and relax. A couple of years ago, I was one of the key leaders, and General Manager for the Baguettaboutit Food Truck, so Food Trucks have a special place in my heart. I used to spend Friday nights slinging sausages into baguettes in front of Fullsteam, and they were some of the greatest nights of my life. Most breweries have Food Trucks now, making it very easy to eat and drink the day away! 

 

 

When is comes to Durham and how cool it can be, the fun times aren’t over yet! Stay tuned for more on the Durham food, beer, and lifestyle scene! 

Let’s Go Fishing!

Wrightsville, NC Deep Sea Fishing! 

My Dad is one of my best friends. I got emotional when I decided to write this particular blog entry because, he’s one of the few people in the world who has loved me unconditionally, and has never ever broken my heart. He is kind, gives everything he has to his family, job, and neighbors, and is a diehard Buckeye. 

Talk Foodie To Me: 

Bridge Tender is one of my favorite foodie stops! I absolutely love this place and it’s always our first pit stop on our way to the shore.

This Cheesy Crab Dip though…. I order it every time, and it gets me every time. I think I might be at the point in my life where I have to admit that Crab Dip is a weakness of mine. It’s a “Sharing” plate but let’s be honest, who wants to actually share their crab dip?! Not me 🙂

I don’t think I’ve ever been to the beach and not ordered crab cakes at some point. They’re delicious, they fill you up, and don’t make you feel bad knowing you’re going to be in a bathing suit all week! The asparagus on the side also makes it easier to slip on that suit!

This quaint little side street in an adorable neighborhood, is easy to miss when you get into town, so be sure not to pass it up! It’s only one bridge away from the edge of the ocean, and it’s worth the stop, I promise.

With these views, I can’t imagine I’d have a lot of convincing to do when I tell you to make a pit stop before you actually get to put your toes in the sand.

Putting your toes in the sand! My usual routine is to park at the public beach access by the pier for the quickest route to getting in the ocean. Usually I can find an easy parking spot, and The Johnnie Mercer Pier has always been my go to spot.

This is the view from the end of the Johnnie Mercer Pier and as you can see, it’s mesmerizing.

When you hold your camera over the railing, you can get some pretty amazing shots!

Once we were done frolicking in the sand and dancing on the pier, we got down to business!

Waking up as early as possible and getting to the docks to board the boat, is my favorite part! There is nothing like riding in a boat in the early morning, and watching the sunrise, it’s truly incredible.

Another favorite part of mine is how quiet it is. The only sounds are the boat, and the waves crashing on the boat, it’s so beautiful and peaceful.

My Dad and I have gone fishing a lot over the years but this was our first time Deep Sea Fishing, and it was fantastic!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We caught a lot of Spanish Mackerel and Carolina Blue Fish that day, and I can’t wait to do it again! I also got to take my first lesson in gutting and slicing a fish! Not such a pro the first time around 🙂

 

All in all we had a great trip! I’m lucky to have a Father like mine who has been there for me everyday of my life. I cherish the vacations we’ve had, the laughs, the lessons, the tears, the movie nights, all of it. He’s the best Dad a girl could ask for.

Here is what we made when we got home to Raleigh!