Rise Biscuits

If you havent been to Rise yet, you’re missing out.


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Located in Durham, near Southpoint mall, this local eatery makes everything fresh daily. There is something for everyone, including gluten free options on certain days of the week. A friend of ours recommended it, so we made sure to go early before the weekend rush.

Not knowing what to expect, I walked in and just about died when I saw the donut case. M&M topped donuts-hellooooooo.

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The outdoor seating is great. Not to mention the convenient parking, affordable food and quick service.  A must to check out! Though dont be surprised if you see a line out the door….

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Vegetarian Dinner: Acorn Squash

Catch this mouthful:


Roasted Acorn Squash and Apples with Quinoa, Kale, and Tahini Maple Dressing

Yes, this is what Marty and I had for dinner. You read that correct, as in our main dish. For those that know Marty, it must be hard to imagine he ate just vegetables for dinner. My little hippie.

He wont admit it, but I know he really liked it. I know I did! It wasnt the easiest to prepare in a rush after work, but I got it plated and forgot about how messy I left the kitchen until much later.

Here is the recipe: http://www.edibleperspective.com/home/2013/11/12/test.html

I only had one acorn squash and it worked fine. Though we probably could have ate another. I also didnt use all the kale called for. Dont judge me now. We’re new to the kale bandwagon and I didnt want to overdo it as we continue to dip our toe in.

The only down side to this recipe is that your oven will get smokey. Turn your vent fan on and dont ask surprised if the smoke detector goes off.

This recipe is REALLY well written. Meaning it tells you how to plan to make everything done in time.

I’d rate this dish high. It was so different and really fun to make.

Acorn Squash: Durham Farmers Market, Coconut Oil: Gift from a friend who visited Belize (I believe that was where she got it from)

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup


This weekend, I invited a friend over for lunch and was racking my brain all week on what to make. She is a really great cook and has made some wonderful meals for me in the past, which set the bar high. Saturday morning, I decided I was going to see what was available at the farmers market and go from there.

I knew I wanted to make a soup of some kind. After some roaming, I found some beautiful butternut squash, fresh herbs and carrots. O, and let’s not forget the sourdough bread.

This recipe below was exactly what I was looking for. I found some other soup recipes that seemed really yummy but wouldve taken me all day to make. I need easy, quick and yummy. Not all day, lots of complicated cooking methods/slicing, and yummy. http://vegetarian.about.com/od/soupssalads/r/savorysquash.htm

I have a love/hate relationship with butternut squash. The first time I got it fresh, I almost killed myself trying to get the knife through it. My friends encouraged me to buy it already cut up, but I thought I’d give it one more chance. I asked the farmer who I bought it from what the trick is, and he gave me another slicing method, which I liked better. I tried three different knives on the darn thing trying to get it to crack open. But I’ll say, it definitely went better than the first time. The end product was worth it, but my goodness those things are a tough thing to crack. (no pun intended)

I think what really made this soup was the herb bundle I got with fresh sage, thyme and rosemary. The sage I grew in my little herb garden in the back yard wasnt nearly as big and beautiful as this. It really added some punch to the soup.

My friend and I gobbled up every last drop in our bowls and enjoyed dipping the yummy bread in the broth. I thought it wouldve made more, but I’m glad I at least have some for lunch today.

Local ingredients from South Durham Farmers Market (a must to check out!): Butternut squash, Sage, Carrots, Garlic (I did not add the soy milk)

Splendid Table Podcast

One of my favorite podcasts to listen to/from work is, The Splendid Table, with  Lynne Rossetto Kasper. I’m fascinated by the broad range of topics, which vary from, the ins/outs of saliva and food, to an past dated interview with Julia Child and Lynne. The nerd in me loves learning so many new and interesting things about the world of food. I often come home blabbering to Marty about what they talked about. 

I’m also fascinated by the diversity of the callers who are struggling with a food dilemma and need Lynne’s assistance. Everything from, I’m doing my PHd in Pakistan, what are these amazing fruits that are so prevalent and how can I use them, to my partner and I are in a CSA and are getting more lettuce than we know what to do with, help. I feel some sort of connection with all these people, like deep down, we’re friends. 

Although I’m an avid listener, I’ve never actually made one of the recipes from the weekly newsletter. They always seem too complicated and time intensive, requiring lots of special tools and skills. This week however, there was a black bean soup recipe that caught my eye. I mean, who could deny black bean soup with avocado, orange and lime on top?


Let me just say, the soup was friggin awesome. It was so easy and turned out so yummy! I’m really looking forward to having leftovers for lunch this week. The topping was a bit weird, but tasty. I dont think it made the dish, but added a fun twist.

Recipe: http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/black-bean-soup-with-avocado-orange-and-cucumber?elq=ba840d2b3428420f94e9e926bdfc7637&elqCampaignId=3620

I was proud of myself not only for trying the recipe but for not cooking up something quick and easy for lunch today. I enjoyed a bowl of homemade soup that was worth the extra 30 minutes it took to create. That’s what I always try to remind myself. Although buying a can of soup or a box of cookies at the grocery is convenient, there is something about making the food you eat that makes it that much better.

Happy eating!

Bison Burgers

Never in a million years did I ever think I’d eat BISON. This Saturday I was piddling my way through the Durham Farmers market and saw the Sunset Ridge Buffalo Farm stand. Marty loves bison jerky so I picked some up for him, and decided to get some ground meat for burgers. We were in need of food (and ideas!) for dinners this week, so it was an easy yes. I will admit, I was a bit terrified of how it would taste.


We made basic burgers with Worcestershire, salt/pepper, and some garlic salt. I mimicked this recipe and even watched the video to be absolutely sure I made the best bison burger possible. http://blog.highplainsbison.com/recipes/best-bison-burger

The farm we purchased the meat from, Sunset Ridge, has a great section on their website detailing the health benefits of bison compared to red meat and even chicken. Who knew bison was that low in fat, not me, that’s for sure! And who knew there was such a large bison farm right here in the Triangle! http://www.sunsetridgebuffalo.com/health.htm

On their farm website, I loved the story about how the farm has been passed down from previous generations, and how they’re adamant about not growing the heard, even with greater business opportunities. Those buffalo are so cute! And they can run 40 mph-OMG. I’d love to see a heard at full speed, holy cannoli!

So, what was the final verdict on how it tasted? I survived. I basically plugged my nose on the first bite, but ended up thinking they had less of a ‘meat taste’ than beef. Lesson learned for me, I should have cooked them a bit longer. The video says 3 minutes per side, and they were a bit too rare for my liking. It definitely was something I’ll try again, maybe not for leftovers tomorrow, but yes, I will eat bison again. Maybe next time, we’ll try it in chilli as suggested on the webpage.


Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes. Enough Said.

Nothing says fall like pumpkin flavored-EVERYTHING. I was craving pancakes and spotted a jar of pumpkin puree in our pantry. I knew it was destiny. I found this recipe, and immediately started running around the kitchen trying to get them made FAST. I was basically drooling with excitement.

They were as good as they sound. The pumpkin made them soft, moist and delicious. IMG_1947


The picture didnt turn out well, probably because I didnt want to take a break from eating!

Triangle Farm Tour


Once a year, this city girl gets her ‘farm’ on at the Triangle Farm Tour event. Every September, the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association sells tickets both online and at local groceries for the tour. The weekend event features approximately 27 farms in the area and employs an open house concept that allows you to meet the farmers and their prized animals/gardens.  http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/farmtours/

Last year, I went for the first time with Marty, his brother and some friends. As newbies, we made some key mistakes. First, we didnt bring a cooler. Bringing a cooler is key if you want to purchase some produce/meat at the farms and keep it cool as  you venture along your route. The next thing we didnt plan for was hydration. Between the heat and the walking around at the farms, I was quickly toast last year with no water. This year, we learned from our mistakes and planned early.


Saturday, we caravaned with two full cars and lots of cameras eager to catch the moments. The farms we visited included:

1. Bull City Farm: My absolute favorite thing about bull city farm was playing with the TWO (yes 2) day old calves. STOP IT. They were so cute I could barely take it. We learned about their bee hives and helped to pick names for the donkey.


2. Prodigal Farm: One of my favorite stops at the farmers market is Prodigal Farm. With some of the best goat cheese EVER, I knew I had to meet my ‘maids a milking’ in person. I see one of their owners almost weekly at the South Durham Farmers market. Saturday, we got to play with the baby goats-um YES. BABY GOATS. Who I was shocked to see, all have name tags with their own individual names beginning with G. How cute is that. And they live in school buses. Yes, you read that right. Check out their webpage for more on that.



3. Green Button Farm: Sadly we hit Green Button just as the rain started, which made for a fun adventure through the fields. The pigs greeted us along the path as we made our way to the poultry barn where we got a tutorial on how they run their business. I felt like I was at work with words like ‘business plan’ being tossed out like we were at a corporate board meeting. It was very cool to hear them talk about how they’ve acquired grants, sustained a large CSA of roughly 150 members and are one of the top picks for local restaurants when it comes to meat. Every bird in their poultry barn is already sold. They said that’s their business model. Awesome!




All of these farms can be found at the South Durham Farmers Market.

Happy Eating!