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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cheddar-Dill Scones

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2011 at 5:19 PM

After seeing Ina Garten make these indulgent, cheesy, poofy, giant Cheddar-Dill Scones on her TV show Barefoot Contessa, I immediately jumped online, printed the recipe, and baked some up.

Yep, I'll confirm that they taste as good as they look on TV.

They're so soft and cheesy straight out of the oven, it's hard to resist eating more than one. If you only want to make eight scones, you can halve the recipe easily. The full recipe makes 16 of these bad boys. (Each are about the size of your hand.)


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Terrace Cafe to open in Ballantyne

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Soon you'll be able to get your Terrace Cafe red velvet waffles in Ballantyne. According to the ad that is running on page 31 of this week's Creative Loafing issue, the restaurant is opening its second location in Ballantyne Village this summer.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

African Curried Coconut Soup ...

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2011 at 11:40 AM

... with Chickpeas.

Wow. Longest recipe name ever.

A beautiful creamy orange color and highlighted with bright pieces of red bell pepper, this African Curried Coconut Soup with Chickpeas is as yummy as it is pretty. It's filled with veggies and warm, spicy flavors like curry and cayenne.

A few changes I made to the recipe:

  • Instead of fresh tomatoes, I just used a can of petite diced tomatoes.
  • To make it lighter, I didn't use rice, but added some broccoli to amp up the veggie content some more.
  • I used chicken broth in place of the vegetable broth.
  • Missing an extra kick, I added Sriracha sauce for some sweat-inducing heat.

Try it if you have some time to kill this Memorial Day weekend.

Coming up soon: I'll be sharing recipes for Cheddar Dill Scones and Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake. Start dieting now. (Looks like those Green Monsters I was making earlier this week have been overtaken by my obsession with baking up fatty treats, eh?)

African stew

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Monsters in my kitchen

Posted By on Mon, May 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM

I've joined the blog bandwagon and tried making and drinking Green Monster Smoothies. (Read about the movement here.)

After reading a bunch of blogs in which people rave about spinach-filled smoothies, I just had to try them for myself.

Once I got over the gagging and dry heaving at just the thought of spinach mixed with milk and bananas, I was able to steel myself and toss all the ingredients into my rocket blender.

My first attempt was just so-so. My mix of frozen blueberries, a banana, 2 handfuls of spinach, and 1/2 cup of vanilla unsweetened almond milk wasn't awful.


Miraculously, the spinach flavor was masked by the fruit, as promised by other bloggers, but the smoothie definitely had a "green" aftertaste to it. You know how you get that green taste in your mouth after mowing the lawn? It tastes like that.

After gulping down half the smoothie, I held my nose for the rest of it and then chased it with M&Ms... probably negating all benefits of the smoothie.

On my second attempt, I added a slice of frozen mango and half a scoop of vanilla protein powder. Bingo! The green taste was totally gone and the smoothie actually tasted good thanks to the added sugar from the mango and the creaminess from the powder.


I'm going to try incorporating green monster smoothies into my diet a few times per week. Don't be scared of the Monster. Try it for yourself:

Green Monster

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or whatever you have on hand)

2 handfuls spinach

1 banana (room temp, partially frozen, or frozen chopped pieces)

1 small handful frozen blueberries (or whatever you might have in the freezer)


1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

Frozen mango pieces, or other fruits

honey (to sweeten)


Throw everything into a blender and give it a good whirl until everything finely blended.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blueberry Buckwheat Muffins

Posted By on Thu, May 19, 2011 at 5:30 PM

These muffins are wicked healthy. In fact, a bit too healthy. I had to eat them with honey or a slather of almond butter to make them taste sweeter. The texture was nice and hearty due to the oats, but the muffins just weren't sweet enough to be enjoyable. You'll rarely ever see me do this to a recipe, but next time I'll be adding sugar.

Despite the issue with the sweetness, these are definitely salvageable! I love how these muffins include steel cut oats, buckwheat, and blueberries. Eating one of these is like eating oatmeal, buckwheat blueberry pancakes, and a muffin for breakfast all at once. They pack quite the nutritional punch per muffin.

I'd suggest making them, but just add a 1/4 cup of sugar.


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Get a deal on Beer Connoisseur Magazine

Posted By on Thu, May 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM


Just a heads up: A year-long subscription (4 issues) of Beer Connoisseur Magazine is on sale today for $5.99. Retail price is normally $23.80.

Check out the deal here:

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Photos from Menchie's

Posted By on Thu, May 19, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Fellow fro-yo lovers will be excited that Menchie's is now open in Kenilworth Commons on East Boulevard.

When I stopped by the other night around 7:30 pm, the new store was already quite busy with other curious customers eager to sample their frozen yogurts.

Going to Menchie's was like a taking a trip to Asia. The bubbly font of the logo, the pop of magenta and lime colors throughout the store, the cute frozen-yogurt-headed mascot dude, and bright overhead lights were so ... Asian. The store is reminiscent of all the cutesy dessert/cafe/food shops in Taiwan. (The frozen yogurt chain was actually started by a Caucasian couple.)

With seven frozen yogurt machines mounted into the wall, and each machine serving two flavors (with the ability to swirl flavors, too), a total of 14 flavors are available at any time. The flavors rotate daily, and there is a slew of flavors on their roster. They offer regular, no sugar added, low carb, and dairy-free frozen yogurts. They have tart and non-tart flavors, too.

Check out all the fun flavors here. It's a good thing customers are encouraged to sample any and all flavors before they fill up their cups or waffle cups.

The yogurts and toppings are DIY, and you pay by weight. At $0.42 per ounce, it's just a tad more expensive than Yoforia and Red Mango which are $0.39 per ounce.

The Red Velvet and Cookies and Cream flavors were my favorites of the ones I tried.

Menchie's, 5/17/11
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Menchie's, 5/17/11

By Priscilla Tsai

Click to View 14 slides

Kenilworth Commons

1247 East Blvd.

Charlotte, NC 28203

(704) 348-1256

Sun - Thurs: 11am - 10pm

Fri - Sat: 11am - 11pm

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pistachio Cake

Posted By on Wed, May 18, 2011 at 4:49 PM

This pistachio cake is more of a humble tea cake rather than a show-stopping, fine-crumbed, moist birthday cake.

But despite the lack of luscious layers of cake and frosting, and being diminutive in stature, the flavors are big and impressive.

The nutty flavor from roasted pistachios is accented by a dash of cardamom spice, giving the cake an Indian flair. Served with a dollop of raspberry-flavored whipped cream and a dusting of ground pistachios, you've got a unique and exotic cake perfect for afternoon tea.


The recipe comes from Get the recipe here. Following other bakers' advice, I decreased the amount of pistachios to 1 cup, decreased the butter to 1 stick, and decreased the sugar to 3/4 cup.

I thought the resulting cake was perfectly sweet, though a tiny bit dry – next time I'll add a bit of the butter back in.

To make the raspberry whipped cream: whip fresh heavy whipping cream, add sugar to taste, flavor with a drop of raspberry extract, and color it with a teeny amount of red food coloring.

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Red Velvet Pancakes from Bluprint

Posted By on Wed, May 18, 2011 at 11:15 AM

If you're looking for a breakfast that can pass as dessert, look no further. Try the Red Velvet Pancakes at Bluprint, which recently just opened Uptown. Topped with a piping of cream cheese frosting, the stack of pinkish red pancakes (or is it just cake in pancake disguise?) is a fun, yet sinful, breakfast (or dessert).


They have a big menu with other yummy stuff, too. Take a gander at their other items here:

Bluprint, 5/18/11
Bluprint, 5/18/11 Bluprint, 5/18/11 Bluprint, 5/18/11 Bluprint, 5/18/11 Bluprint, 5/18/11 Bluprint, 5/18/11 Bluprint, 5/18/11 Bluprint, 5/18/11

Bluprint, 5/18/11

By Priscilla Tsai

Click to View 16 slides

For more info about the restaurant, read this post.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Menchie's opens today

Posted By on Fri, May 13, 2011 at 10:35 AM


Word on the street: Menchie's Frozen Yogurt Shop in Dilworth on East Boulevard is opening tonight, with an official opening tomorrow.

Kenilworth Commons

1247 East Blvd.

Charlotte, NC 28203

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