Thursday, September 19, 2013

Playing with food: Rachel Martin makes edible art

Posted By on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 3:00 PM

  • Photo by Rachel Martin

Clearly, Rachel Martin likes to play with her food. I recently caught this local designer making edible art with her CSA on Instagram. Isn't it beautiful?

Martin, principal at Rachel Martin Design, decided to start a creative series that incorporated her love of local food and design. In it, she uses the contents of her weekly CSA to create images using food-related words. Recent images include words like "fresh", "chow" and "savory".

"People always ask what's in my CSA," says Martin. "So I decided to show them while also making a play on food typography."

CSA stands for community supported agriculture. It's a weekly share of produce, usually from a local farm or co-op, that serves as a wonderful alternative or supplement to the traditional grocery store. Martin sources her CSA from Know Your Farms, a multi-farm cooperative in town. Besides a break from her busy day job, Martin hopes to raise awareness about local food options.

"I want to help people understand that CSAs offer really good, fresh food," says Martin.

To view more of Martin's edible art series, head on over to her Instagram feed @rachellmartin and feed your appetite for design.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Another gulp of The Big Brew Ha

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2012 at 9:49 AM

The second annual Big Brew Ha, which took place at the Mint Museum Uptown on Friday, April 27, was held to benefit the historic St. Peter's Church of Uptown Charlotte.

The church is one of Charlotte's most treasured historic landmarks, dating back to 1893. Participants of The Big Brew Ha not only supported the preservation of St. Peter's Church but were treated to an array of delicious heavy hors d'oeuvres, a variety of international beers, and artisan coffee, as well as games and prizes.

Coffee was brewed upon order using the pour over method by Counter Culture Coffee, from Durham, N.C. The folks from Not Just Coffee, a coffee stand in 7th Street Public Market were also there assisting with the brewing.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to make a hydrangea cake

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 3:14 PM

So I just have to share ... check out the cake my boyfriend made for my birthday party held at VBGB Beer Garden (who were so nice to let us have a private area and party it up last week).


Impressive, right? As a first-time baker, the bf baked up quite the cake. With just a little assistance from me, he piped two-toned flowers all over his vanilla and lemon-curd-filled layer cake and turned it into a hydrangea plant.

To achieve the look, he (... or we) tried two different techniques. The first came from the blog I Am Baker. This blogger uses a petal tip and pipes each petal individually. Her flowers are beautiful, ours were not so pretty. (Check our her tutorial... she makes it look so easy!)

After struggling with this method for a bit and creating demented flowers, we switched to a different piping technique. This one, from Glorious Treats, uses a closed star tip to create a flower in one squeeze of the bag. It was much easier and yielded prettier flowers. Use this method if you are going to attempt this cake!

Now that we've figured it out for you, try making a hydrangea cake for your next occasion. It'd make a beautiful birthday, Mother's Day, baby shower, or bridal shower cake. Perhaps you could try shades of pink or white and green, too.

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Win tickets to see Guy Fieri May 18

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Guy Fieri and his bleach-blond hair are rolling into town Wednesday, May 18. He will be hosting his Guy Fieri Food Road Show at Ovens Auditorium.

Want to go? I'm giving away a pair of awesome tickets - Orchestra row seating. To win, just leave a comment below. I'll randomly pick a winner and notify winner by email (so make sure you put down your correct email address).

Good luck!

1st ad Guy Fieri

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Photos from a Cheerwine lunch

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Cheerwine announced some exciting news for the company during an event held at the Salisbury Country Club yesterday, April 5.

The 94-year old brand based out of Salisbury, NC, announced a new website, a new advertising campaign, more partnerships, and new markets in which they will be available (specifically Tennessee).

The latest campaign is the biggest they've ever done and it aims to brand the soda as a "legend." The slogan is "Legend. Born in the South. Raised in a glass."

Die-hard Cheerwine fans would have enjoyed the lunch that was served as the cherry-flavored soda was incorporated into a few of the dishes.  Guests enjoyed salad with Cheerwine vinaigrette, pulled pork with Cheerwine BBQ sauce, Cheerwine Key Lime cheesecake, and a Cheerwine black forest cake.

For those of you who liked last year's Krispy Kreme doughnuts filled with Cheerwine cream, get ready for round two. Cheerwine is talks with KK right now to bring you more of the same.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Ruth's Chris now offers brunch

Posted By on Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Ruth's Chris Steak House is now offering Sunday brunch. Available at both Uptown and SouthPark locations, the brunch features starters, brunch selections (french toast, eggs benedict, etc), entrees (if you want to go for a steak), and a la carte sides. They are currently offering 1/2-price mimosas and bloody marys, too.

I'd highly recommend the Brioche French Toast which comes with a blackberry compote, maple butter, syrup, and a big bowl of fruit. Thick slices of brioche are perfectly cooked so they have a crispy exterior, and a perfectly soaked, un-soggy, interior. I'm thinking it may be my new favorite french toast in town.

My eggs benedict with crab cakes was delicious as well. The crab cakes were thick and meaty, filled with big chunks of crab.

Since the brunch service is relatively new and people might not know about it yet (it's been running for 5 weeks so far), there is no tortuous wait like there is at some brunch spots. (I visited the SouthPark location.)

With delicious food, a calm, sophisticated atmosphere, and impeccable service, Ruth's Chris offers Charlotte another great brunch option.

Brunch runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Ruth's Chris Steak House - SouthPark

6000 Fairview Road,

Charlotte, NC 28210

Phone: (704) 556 - 1115

Ruth's Chris Steak House - Uptown

222 South Tryon Street,

Charlotte, NC 28202

Phone: (704) 338 - 9444

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Photos: Killington's

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Killington's up in Huntersville calls itself a "gastro pub." What does that mean anyway nowadays?

If the definition of gastro pub is a bar/restaurant that has high-end food and a good selection of beer, then I'd say Killington's doesn't quite fit that category. The food was decent, but by no means high-end. The drinks featured in the little card holder thing on the table were liquor cocktails, not beer.

The restaurant is located off exit 23 on I-77, in the Harris Teeter plaza. On the Monday night I stopped by, it was pretty glum-looking with only a few tables filled in the large space. Bare floors and the lack of music didn't help the atmosphere.

The dinner salad consisted of a nice mix of greens, and not the usual iceberg deal you find at most bars. My bbq duck wrap was flavorful, but I if you had told me it was just bbq pork, I would have believed you. The duck flavor was completely masked by sauce. The jicama slaw and pickles were tasty additions though. The fries that came with the wrap were plentiful.

The pies at the restaurant are provided by Carolina Pie Co. They happened to have Guinness Pie the night I was there. It was a chocolate/cream confection with a slightly gelatin texture. I didn't get any strong Guinness flavors, but our waitress explained it had a Guinness reduction in the cream layer. Interesting, to say the least. Take a look for yourself...

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Taste Test: The Capital Grille's Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted By on Thu, Mar 24, 2011 at 1:38 PM

The Capital Grille kicked off their second annual Artist Series this past Monday featuring a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon.

The limited-edition wine, specially made for The Capital Grille, was designed by Atalon Vineyard's winemaker Thomas Peffer and The Capital Grille Master Sommelier George Miliotes.

The bottle label is unique as well – it features a painting called "Pairings," done by artist Patricia Timbrook who won The Capital Grille's art competition.

I was lucky enough to try the wine last night. The wine itself is delicious. Bold, robust, and smooth without too much bite. The wine pairs great with any steak on their menu, and as well as items such as the citrus salmon, according to our waitress.

Try the wine with the Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake – the jammy flavors of the wine pairs perfectly with the bittersweet dark chocolate cake and berry sauce. And being the pig that I am, I tried it with the Creme Brulee Cheesecake too... It was great with that as well.

The Charlotte restaurant only carries 16 cases of the Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon, so get there fast. $25 of each bottle purchase will go to benefit Share Our Strength® to end childhood hunger in America. Each bottle sells for $75.

What's kind of neat is that once you are done with your bottle, your waiter/waitress can remove the label and laminate it for you to take home. If that doesn't cut it and you want your own print of the painting, you can enter a raffle to win your own full-sized version.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Yoforia gift card winners

Posted By on Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Thanks for playing, everyone!

I received a bunch of tasty emails in which you shared with me  your best recipes in response to the Yoforia gift card contest I ran last week.

After combing through all the recipes, my computer keyboard is now covered in drool. I have selected the four most mouth-watering sounding recipes and will be sending the winners a $20 gift card to Yoforia.

And the winners are (in no particular order) ...

Melissa Digiorgio, for a her health-conscious, yet delicious recipe for Baked Pasta with Spinach Lemon and Cheese from Cooking Light.

Julianne McCollum, for a sinfully rich Berry-Pecan French Toast.

Emily Rearick, for a Southern Peach Cobbler recipe that will be a perfect dessert to make this summer.

Tiffany Young, for a Angel Hair Tomato Basil Toss recipe of her own creation.

Congrats to the winners. Hope you enjoy your free frozen yogurt!

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

BLT's birthday means specials for you

Posted By on Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 10:39 AM


BLT Steak is celebrating its birthday on March 3, the birth date in 2004 of the original BLT Steak in Manhattan. Visit the BLT at the Ritz here in Charlotte this Thursday to get special birthday deals like filets, rib eye and New York strip steaks, Dover sole and signature blackboard main courses for a special price of $33.04.

They'll also have special prices for sides, desserts and cocktails, too. Sides like jalapeño mashed potatoes, creamy spinach and Hen of the Woods mushrooms, will be $3.03 instead of their normal $8-$10, and signature cocktails, regularly $14-$15, also will be $3.03. Desserts like peanut butter chocolate mousse with banana ice cream and crêpe soufflé with passion fruit sauce will be $3.03, also reduced from $10. Prices are for both lunch and dinner.

BLT Steak Charlotte

The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte

110 N. College Street

Charlotte, N.C., 28202.


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