Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Happy National Cheesecake Day!

Posted By on Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 12:25 PM

If you ever had the chance to dine at The Cheesecake Factory, you know the cheesecakes are on point — hence the name, of course.

But for two days— Wednesday and Thursday — The Cheesecake Factory is offering customers a special treat.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Posted By on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Contrary to what the title suggests, I did not just face-plant into my keyboard, but I may as well have. Amelie's just made my life last week when they created a gluten-free salted caramel brownie (GFSCB) for their precious pastry case. OMG!

The salted caramel brownie is the best-selling treat for the 24-hour NoDa sweets destination and rightly so. It's this perfect little brownie with a generous layer of salty sweet caramel all wrapped up for your chubby little mouth.

The gluten-free brownie tastes just like the original version, only it's made with a rice flour and potato starch blend for the brownie base. The only noticeable distinction is the subtle white stripes across the top of the gluten-free version. Really, there's no excuse not to eat one.

While you're at it, take a photo with you stuffing your sweets-loving face, perhaps with a top hat or bejeweled crown, in the Amelie's photo booth located in the back salon where "tweeting your treat" is highly encouraged.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Food Stand: Cast Iron Waffles

Posted By on Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 7:30 AM

As soon as I walked into the large airy Atherton Mill and Market on Friday morning, the scent of something unmistakably sweet welcomed me at the door and ushered me in.

Local Waffles at Atherton Mill Market

Owner Chris Duggan slaves over a hot iron

I wandered in to see the source of that intoxicating scent and found Chris Duggan, owner of Cast Iron Waffles, hard at work making his signature Belgian Leige waffles. When asked why he chose Atherton Mill as the first expansion from his storefront in Ballantyne, he replied: "I like the feel of the market and I like this area of town. I like being able to connect with out customers when they come through the market. Here, I can talk to people about how different our waffles are than the waffles they ate as a kid."

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Local Discovery: One woman's sticky business of toffee

Posted By on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Lone Cone Toffee Assortment
  • Lone Cone Toffee Assortment

Nancy Boru is no stranger to adversity. This baker turned ”Jane of all trades" turned toffee maker knows a thing or two about being down and out, although she’s never down for long. After all, she’s got toffee to make.

In 1989, Nancy Boru found herself in a battered women’s shelter in Pittsburgh, Penn., with $17 in her pocket and two young children to feed. Her brother was tragically murdered by an abusive spouse and she was struggling to escape a similar fate from her own abusive marriage.

In search of a new life and new purpose, Boru fled to southwestern Colorado where she lived, worked and healed at the foot of Lone Cone Mountain. Struggling to make ends meet, she relied on food stamps and social services while she worked odd jobs sewing, installing drywall, refinishing furniture and bookkeeping until one day a friend asked for a sentimental favor.

Craving the comfort of his grandmother’s toffee, Boru's friend handed her a recipe he had found between the pages of a Minnesota library book. He asked her if she would make a batch of toffee.

“I had made toffee before, but not like this,” Boru says.

The toffee was so good she decided to bring it with her to a craft sale where she sold a few other items. That day, nothing sold except for the toffee and Boru knew she was on to something. She tweaked the recipe to create her own authentic toffee and was given $100 from a friend to start the business. That was January 1996, and Boru has been making toffee ever since.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Upcoming: Vegan Wine Dinner at Fern

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Fern, Flavors from the Garden
  • Fern, Flavors from the Garden

Fern, Flavors from the Earth is excited to present a very special event — a completely vegan dinner with white wine pairings from Carmel Road Winery on Monday, Aug. 20. The event will begin with kombucha cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at 6 p.m. and the vegan feast will begin at 7 p.m.

Vegans and non-vegans alike will be impressed with Chef Alyssa Gorelick's ability to transform animal-free foods into hearty delicious dishes. If you have ever dined at Fern, you know their menu offerings have the ability to win over carnivores and omnivores alike. This meal is sure to do the same.

Check out the menu and be prepared to salivate. Details for reserving your spot at this incredible meal follows.


To Start:
Lenny Boy Lost Cove Kombucha Cocktails
Hors D’Oeuvres

1st Course:
Chilled Apple, Melon & Fennel Soup
Edible Flowers
“Liberated” Chardonnay

2nd Course:
'Bagel Chip'
Crispy Bread, Cream Cheese Schmear, 'Smoked Fish,' Onion & Tomato Powder
Monterey Pinot Grigio

3rd Course:
Smoked Chickpea-Stuffed Baby Eggplant
Ginger, Cayenne & Maple Glaze
Monterey Riesling

4th Course:
Creamed Corn
Mustard Greens, Baby Tomato Salad
Monterey Chardonnay

Olive Oil Cake
House-Made Vegan Ricotta, Grilled Peaches & Summer Berry Sorbet
Solletico Prosecco

Monday, Aug. 20
Cocktails at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m.
$60 per person
Reservations by phone only, call 704-377-1825

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sweet!: A demonstration by Crave Dessert Bar chef Jason Lee

Posted By on Sat, Aug 11, 2012 at 11:12 AM

One step into the urban chic loft that is Crave Dessert Bar (500 W. 5th St.), and you’ve found yourself in an oasis of indulgence. Small bites and revelry converge in pairings of tapas and desserts with cocktails and hookah. No dessert better displays the love-love relationship of alcohol and sweets at Crave than the bar’s moonshine twist on the traditional apple pie, “The American.” Chef Jason Lee demonstrates the creation of the moonshine ginger apple pie in this segment of Sweet!.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sweet!: Hazelnuts Creperie's Banaberry Cinn

Posted By on Sat, Jul 28, 2012 at 9:00 AM

A new creperie has Uptown in a French twist for breakfast and lunch. Asi Agajan, owner of Hazelnuts Creperie, began crafting sweet and savory crepes for Charlotteans on March 20. Though Hazelnuts is slightly hidden in the lobby of 200 S. Tryon, just follow the smell and sound of sizzling butter to find Agajan twirling out the batter and arranging ingredients over the griddle to make his signature crepes. In this episode of Sweet!, Agajan shows us how to make the popular Banaberry Cinn.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Sweet!: A demonstration by Bar Cocoa pastry chef Jeanette Payne

Posted By on Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Pastry chef Jeanette Payne, who graduated from Johnson and Wales University in 2007, has been in the kitchen baking signature desserts like the bar cocoa — a chocolatey dessert with a Kit-Kat crunch layer on the bottom, a chocolate mousse in the center and a hazelnut gianduja glaze on the outside. On Saturdays, she hosts hands-on culinary classes where she shares her cooking knowledge and sends participants home with a book full of recipes, a box full of sweets and a belly full of sugar. Check out the first video in a brief series we've so appropriately dubbed, simply, Sweet!.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 5:06 PM

As soon as my husband spotted the fresh strawberries I bought at the the grocery store two weeks ago, he started dropping hints about a certain recipe I made last spring. It's delicious, decadent, and actually a healthy alternative to most desserts or sweet breakfasts.

In fact, I think you'll find that it is pretty amazing if you love strawberries as much as I do ... which is a lot.

Strawberry Shortcake

Juicy strawberries, flaky biscuits, creamy yogurt topping and a sweet honey drizzle. What's not to love?

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summery strawberry shortcake

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Strawberries are popping up at grocery stores at great prices right now, so pick up a few quarts and make some fabulous strawberry shortcake.

Here's an oldie but goody strawberry shortcake recipe from Betty Crocker. It's totally a cheater's recipe using Bisquick mix, but it's easy and good, so who cares. Just don't tell anyone.

You can make individual shortcakes or make one giant biscuit and then just cut it into wedges like I did (this way is easier).

I was a super cheater and even used whipped cream from the can instead of whipping my own from scratch. Shhh.... It's our secret.


Classic Strawberry Shortcakes

Courtesy of Betty Crocker

Makes 6 servings


1 quart (4 cups) strawberries, sliced

1/4 cup sugar

2 1/3 cups Original Bisquick® mix

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1/2 cup whipping cream


Heat oven to 425°F. In large bowl, mix strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar; set aside. (* It's best if you let the strawberries and sugar sit for a day in the fridge)

In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, 3 tablespoons sugar and the butter until soft dough forms. On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by 6 spoonfuls. (*or to makes one large shortcake, lightly spread batter in a 8" cake pan)

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, in small bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.

Split warm shortcakes; fill and top with strawberries and whipped cream.

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