As January comes to a close and February is on the horizon, some of you might be feeling a little defeated in your New Year's resolution to eat healthy. Let’s face it. A lot of people fail at their resolutions to eat healthier, not because they don’t want to succeed, but because they set rules that are too restrictive.
I’m all about easy, delicious, and healthy guidelines. Not rules.
And here’s a guideline you can easily keep: eat a salad a day. But not just any ol’ salad. Eat a delicious, healthy, beautiful salad, full of creative and fresh ingredients — salads that use whole and filling foods.
These three salads will leave you feeling good about your food choices, without neglecting your tastebuds.
ORANGE AND POMEGRANATE SALAD (serves 1)
3 cups loosely packed baby spinach
1/2 navel orange, peeled and separated into segments
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
1 oz. goat cheese 2 Tbsp. walnut pieces
Place spinach on a plate. Layer oranges, pomegranate arils, cheese, and walnut pieces. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the orange balsamic vinaigrette dressing (recipe follows).
Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
juice of 1/2 navel orange (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.
If you're counting items like achiote paste, frankincense tears and pure wasabi powder among your grocery list for the week, you may already be acquainted with the one-stop seasoning mecca that is Savory Spice Shop. Whether you're a regular or yet to be initiated, this Saturday's grand opening offers a full day of activities to satisfy the creative culinary soul.
Owners Amy and Scott MacCabe are kicking the day off at 9 a.m. The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, a free goodie bag of spices. Wendy Cardais of Cardais Gourmet Specialty Gift Foods will provide an assortment of delectable deserts and pastries. Personal Chef Dawn Maloney will serve up a curry demonstration from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., whipping up coconut curry chicken and herbal asparagus seasoned with Berbere (drool.)
The afternoon has Simplicity, a local professional organizing company, slated to share tips and best practices on how to clear out your old spices and organize the perfect spice cabinet to fit your lifestyle. If cleaning out the clutter ranks as high a priority for you this new year as it does for me, you won't want to miss this useful demonstration.
Saturday also marks the beginning of the Cash in your Cupboard promotion, offering customers who bring in competing spice containers $1 off a bottle of Savory Spice Shop's herbs, spices or blends.
2000 South Blvd., Ste. 150
What? It's the name of a brewing company. And it's debuting its beers at VBGB on Jan. 20. This makes the N.C. Music Factory bar the only place in Charlotte to carry Ass Clown.
Ass Clown Brewing Company is located in Cornelius. It works to be a "green" brewing company that uses alternative energy, utilizing recylable materials and etc. More importantly, they grow their own hops.
Read more about Ass Clown Brewing by checking out this little diddy on Charlotte Beer.
If you haven't been to La Paz since it relocated to the Metropolitan from South End, tomorrow night — that's Jan. 19 — is just a good a night as any to check it out. Maybe better of a night, as the restaurant celebrates its grand opening with a shindig, sponsored by Paschal Promotions.
Specials during the grand opening party include:
$5 El Jimador Margaritas-The Original Margarita
$3 Bud Lights
$7 Wine Specials
$5 Bar bites menu to include Marinated Carne asada skewers, Crab Glautas, Portabella Tostada, Mango chicken shrimp wrap, and Tamarind Pork Nachos.
This event benefits The Charlotte Disc Association to support the World's Disc Golf Championships to be held in July 2012.
La Paz has been feeding Mexican food lovers in Charlotte for more than 32 years. The restaurant recently came under new ownership, but, according to the website, continues to "feature many new specialty dishes while still maintaining La Paz’s traditional favorites."
Valentine's Day tends to arouse strong opinions in people. Some honor St. Valentine by making reservations at overpriced restaurants and concocting the perfect gift for that special someone, while others may choose to forego the holiday's romantic implications altogether. Whether you're cozily coupled up, refusing to partake in Singles Awareness Day, or something in between, there remains one great equalizer V-Day equalizer: chocolate. Heart-shaped, truffles, cakes — you can have whatever you like. And on Feb. 4, you can have it in style.
BLT Steak will host an afternoon of "Bon Bons & Bubbly," hosted by pastry chef Rachael Burns. Participants will learn how to whip up delicious desserts perfect for Valentine's or any other occasion you may want to sweeten. Chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate bon bons and truffles will take center stage at this cocoa-centric event. A specialty chocolate martini demonstration is also available.
The Bon Bons & Bubbly class will be held Saturday, Feb. 4 from 2 p.m.- 4 p.m.. Cost is $45 per person, plus tax, and includes class materials, recipes and ingredients, with Champagne pairings available for an additional $12.00.
Reservations are required and can be made by calling 704-972-4380.
Out with the old, in with the new — Leroy Fox is now open for business, taking the place of former landmark eatery Hotel Charlotte.
When Hotel Charlotte closed last January after 30 years, regulars at the Cotswold haunt were left jonesin' for the Cajun and Creole fixins' the eatery famously served up. Leroy Fox keeps some of that old school feel, including the original Hotel Charlotte doors and some retouched photographs. "The neighborhood's been very supportive," says manager Brandon Foster. "I've had some of the same people in here every day so far."
The restaurant is still tweaking its menu, offering downhome, Southern-inspired cuisine. While the fried chicken is the menu item du jour, be sure to try the "Foxslaw"-coleslaw, made with ramen noodles, and the Steak and Cheese nachos, which Foster calls simply "to die for." Foster hopes to "perfect the dinner menu soon" and start offering lunch in three weeks, as well as weekend brunch in four or five weeks.
Leroy Fox opens for dinner at 5 p.m. every day.
705 S. Sharon Amity Rd.
Last night, a friend and I attended the Family & Friends Preview Night at Smalls Food & Spirits. We had a little trouble finding the restaurant, as it's nestled snugly, almost discretely, between Nofo on Liz and Visulite Theatre at 1609 Elizabeth Ave.
The decor inside is classy and has a comfortable, lounge-y kind of feel —Â in my opinion, a nightspot can never go wrong with large reflective mirrors and red paint.
Smalls tags itself as "a chef-inspired 'joint' serving hand-crafted food, fine spirits & North Carolina craft beers." And I gotta tell you — I felt the love in the small plates we ordered. My mouth waters when I think about the food I ate last night. But I'll let the photos do the talking.
Incidentally, the wings were made with a "Spicy Korean BBQ Sauce." That was my first pick because, of course, I'm a spicy Korean.
Smalls Food & Spirits opens to the public today for lunch, dinner and late-night. Check out WCNC's recent story on the eatery here.
My list of New Year's resolutions is 12 items long and studded with asterisks providing further details, but the majority of it can be summed up with six words: "Eat better, drink less, save money." Four words tempting me to throw my list of cautions to the wind? "Southern Tier beer dinner. "
On Sunday, Jan. 29, Revolution Pizza & Ale House will feature a five-course menu to highlight the unique, flavorful beers crafted by this southwestern New York brewery. Diners can look forward to a night of:
Cedar Brined Fresh Salmon Patty with a Horseradish Dill Mustard Cream
Paired with - Old Man Winter Ale
Rosemary Roasted Apple Salad with Arugula, Walnuts, Bacon Crumbles and Blue Cheese Dressing
Paired with - I P A
Ground Venison Chili with Bacon, Green Onion, Jack Cheese, and a Chipotle Sour Cream
Paired with - Iniquity Black Ale
Pan Seared Scallops, Roasted Asparagus, and Garlic Purple Potato Puree
Paired with - 2 X IPA CASK
Peanut Butter Swirl Cheesecake with a Macadamia Nut Cookie Crust and a Raspberry Coulis
Paired with - Dark Robust Porter
$45/person. Call 704-333-4440 to make your reservation or visit the Facebook page for more information.
Folks keeping a 9 to 5 schedule know braking for the midday meal often means employing a "grab and go" method to feeding yourself: grab the best grub you can find, gulp it down, and get back to work. If your daily grind lands you near Uptown, you now have a new option for dining in instead of dashing out. The Capital Grille is offering a customized “Plates Menu," set to satisfy your appetite and get you back to work on time.
CG guests choose from nine “plates” selections that will vary with the seasons — three soups or salads, three sandwiches and three sides. The winter menu includes a Wagyu Cheeseburger with Fried Egg and Crisp Onions, Roasted Pepper Soup and Roasted Root Vegetables. Meals run $18. Sure, maybe that's a little pricey for lunch, but come on — this is Capital Grille we're talking about. How many of us ladies have wished our man would take us there and splurge a little for dinner?
You can make your reservation by calling 704-348-1400 or by visiting TheCapitalGrille.com.
Whether you enjoyed getting your grub on during last summer's Charlotte Restaurant Week or you're yet to be initiated into the mouth-watering bang for your buck the promotion offers, this year's Winter 2012 Queen's Fest demands you make room in your week as well as your stomach. A record 101 restaurants will be participating, including a dozen first-timers, including Bernardin’s at Ratcliffe in Uptown Charlotte; Campania Cafe in Davidson; Fern, Flavors from the Garden in Plaza-Midwood; Waldhorn Restaurant in Pineville; Yama Asian Fusion in SouthPark; Jeffrey’s Restaurant in Mooresville; Osso Restaurant & Lounge in the N.C. Music Factory; and La Paz in the Metropolitan, plus several others.
Featuring three-course meals (or more) for $30, the event will take place from Friday, Jan. 20 to Sunday, Jan. 29. Carolina's Medical Center is this year's sponsor.
You can browse the menu selections offered at participating restaurants, as well as strongly recommended reservation links, at the newly remodeled Charlotte Restaurant Week website.
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