Kitchen Road Trip: North Dakota

Kitchen Road Trip: North Dakota // Feast + West

Happy Labor Day! I know many people still have to work today, but I must say it’s very nice indeed to have a day off! I’ve spent mine making ice cream and working on an exciting new project.

Today’s Kitchen Road Trip heads to beautiful North Dakota. I’ve yet to make it up to the Peace Garden State, but I hope to take an actual road trip through here one day. From the photos, it looks simply gorgeous. This North Dakota gift guide is a bit shorter than usual, but it’s still jam packed with handmade products for your kitchen and home. // susannah 

P.S. It’s not too late to enter the NC Made giveaway!

The Kitchen Road Trip series is a virtual ‘trip’ to a different state. Posted weekly on Mondays, each post is a gift guide to items from a different state, in alphabetical order, and features food & drinks, books, home goods and travel items.  

Click below to see the North Dakota gift guide! 

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North Carolina Cookbook Wishlist

The time has come to bring an end to North Carolina Week! I’m a bit sad that it’s over! I have had so much fun showing you why I love the Land of the Pine. There was an NC-themed gift guide, a pretty awesome giveaway, delicious cheese biscuits, 10 fabulous Instagram acounts, a tour of Greensboro and a classy cocktail to boot. And it was great to have not one, but two guest bloggers join us! What did you think of North Carolina week?

North Carolina Cookbook Wishlist // Feast + West

Before the week is over, I wanted to share my North Carolina cookbook wishlist. If I didn’t already know what a great state this is for food, last week at Food Blog Forum in Asheville definitely reassured me. I’ll tell you more about it next week but, in a nutshell, we ate and ate and ate. Lots of local makers were present to share cooking tips, recipes and samples with us!

When special locales inspire delicious dishes, it’s so lovely and meaningful. Everyone should try to bring those experiences into their kitchens. Add one (or more!) of these Tar Heel tomes to your bookshelf and cook up some of the foods that feel like home to me. (You can find another cookbook wishlist from earlier this year!) Enjoy your long weekend, everyone! See you Monday when the Kitchen Road Trip takes us to North Dakota. // susannah

Click below to see my North Carolina Cookbook Wishlist!

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Improved Gin + Jam Cocktail

Continuing our week-long focus on my home state of North Carolina, I am excited to welcome Nicole Bogas from NC MADE to the blog. She’s sharing a refreshing cocktail recipe you can make with North Carolina ingredients. (And have you entered the NC MADE giveaway yet?) Thanks for joining us today, Nicole! 

Improved Gin + Jam Cocktail // Feast + West

First, a backstory to describe the inspiration for this tasty drink. The original cocktail was a simple mix of spirit + sugar + water + a dash of medicinal bitters. Bartenders began adding liqueurs to improve the flavor of these cocktails. I suppose they felt they’d improved upon the basic recipe, because they began calling their new creation the Improved Cocktail.

Fast-forward a couple centuries when a beloved barkeep at the gin-focused Madam Geneva lounge in New York City began adding spoonfuls of seasonal jam to a gin and lemon cocktail. The Gin & Jam was born.

I combined these classic recipes to make an Improved Gin & Jam using a host of North Carolina-made ingredients. The base of this refreshing drink is herbaceous TOPO Piedmont Gin from Chapel Hill. It gets its flavor from Farmer’s Daughter Brand Mountain Cherry Preserves from Hillsborough while Raleigh’s Crude Rizzo Bitters cuts the sweetness and rounds out the flavors. I paired the cherry preserves with one of my favorite cocktail ingredients, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, which is made by distilling small sour Marasca cherries from the coast of Dalmatia.

Improved Gin + Jam Cocktail // Feast + West

The possibilities here are endless. Just like the seasons dictate what we cook at home, the jar of jam you use can inspire this cocktail. Utilize gin, lemon and simple syrup as your base. Have blackberry jam in the pantry? Pair it with creme de mure (blackberry liqueur). Got raspberry preserves? Use Chambord.

Whatever you do, the ratio below yields a cocktail that is sour and sweet, just like I like ‘em. If you prefer less pucker, pour over crushed ice and add a splash of soda water. // nicole

Click below to see Nicole’s recipe for an Improved Gin + Jam Cocktail!

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Greensboro Travel Guide

In the spirit of celebrating North Carolina this week, I invited my friend Katie of Twin Stripe to share her favorite spots in a Greensboro travel guide! 

Hi everyone! My name is Katie of the lifestyle blog, Twin Stripe. I’m a Midwesterner at heart, but I’ve been living in the South for the past few years and couldn’t be happier. My husband and I have made our home in Greensboro, N.C., which is halfway between Raleigh and Charlotte. It is a charming city that is experiencing growth and revitalization — it is an exciting time to be here. Today I’m going to share my perfect day in Greensboro.

Greensboro Travel Guide // Feast + West

I would start brunch at Smith Street Diner. I can’t get enough of their Mexican eggs and their famous giant biscuits. My husband loves to order a biscuit stuffed with egg, cheese and bacon. They serve a bottomless cup of delicious Counter Culture Coffee roasted down the road in Durham, N.C. Whatever you do, make sure you come hungry!

Greensboro Travel Guide // Feast + West

After brunch, walk it off by visiting one of Greensboro’s many parks and greenways. One of the best things about the city is its large amount of green space. My favorite parks are Country Park, the Bog Garden, Bicentennial Garden, the Greensboro Arboretum and Lake Brandt.

Greensboro Travel Guide // Feast + West

You’ll surely work up an appetite after visiting one of Greensboro’s beautiful parks. Head downtown for a delicious meal at Natty Greene’s Brewhouse. Natty’s is the largest brewery in the Piedmont Triad, serving up its signature beers and specialty brews. Sample Natty’s beer and enjoy a burger, salad or sandwich.

I also recommend Crafted Taco, which serves tasty tacos inspired by global cuisine. I love the Hoodie Taco — it’s loaded with falafel, shredded carrot, mixed greens and more. They also have a great list of local beers and tasty margaritas.

Greensboro Travel Guide // Feast + West

After lunch get your shopping fix in. One of my favorite stores downtown is Just Be. It’s filled with beautiful handmade wares, many made locally. You will be able to find the perfect souvenir or special gift. My other favorite store downtown is Design Archives. It is filled to the brim with vintage and handmade goods that you will want to take home.

Click below to see the rest of Katie’s Greensboro Travel Guide!

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Instalove: 10 North Carolina Instagrams to Follow

Instalove: 10 North Carolina Instagram Accounts to Follow // Feast  + West

One thing I love about North Carolina is its rich community of creators. Instagram has an amazing ability to take us to faraway places with another’s photographs, but it applies to local places too. I love using Instagram as a travel guide. Last week, I asked my followers to recommend some spots in Asheville and they responded with enough suggestions to fill a small book. There is no way I could have visited them all in one trip!

Instagram is also a great way to discover new places near you — for road trips or new spots in town. Continuing with the North Carolina theme this week, here are a few of my favorite North Carolina Instagrammers! (And here are some more general favorites!) // susannah

Click below to see my favorite 10 North Carolina Instagrams to follow!

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Cathead Biscuits

Cathead Biscuits // Feast + West

Last summer, I was invited to an epic picnic in Raleigh. But this wasn’t your usual PB&J and watermelon kind of picnic. It was a giant potluck in someone’s backyard. Someone cooked a pig and someone else served home-brewed beer. Popular local chefs brought their favorite dishes. People hauled in huge, hot platters of fried chicken, mac-and-cheese and fresh-baked cookies. The food multiplied like magic. The picnic was held to raise money for a local charity, but it was worth every penny.

At one point, people started whispering to each other, “The cathead biscuits are here!” I wasn’t sure if I’d heard right. Cats? Biscuits? In the same sentence? My friend noticed my confused look. “You’ve never had a cathead biscuit?” I shook my head. Shocked, my friend grabbed my hand and we went in search of them (despite our full bellies) before they all disappeared.

Cathead biscuits, I learned, are godly little things. They are fluffy, buttermilk biscuits brushed with melted butter. Inside, there’s a pocket of gooey, melted cheese. I did some research on the recipe, which apparently hails from a small section of Eastern North Carolina, toward Rocky Mount and Tarboro. Many restaurants in that region serve these cheesy biscuits, according to this article from the Raleigh News & Observer.

Cathead Biscuits // Feast + West

I asked the picnic host who made the cathead biscuits, and she put me in touch with her friend who brought several skillets’ worth to the party. She gave me a great base for the recipe, which I have adapted each time I’ve made them. She also imparted these pieces of cathead biscuit wisdom + knowledge:

  • Keep a cold kitchen. You suffer for a good biscuit.
  • Use ‘hoop cheese’ — it’s the only way. (Use a mild cheddar if you can’t find it.)
  • They’re called Cathead Biscuits because, when they rise, they’re the size of a cat’s head. (“You know country people just make up s***,” she added.)

This is the kind of recipe that inspired this blog. Dishes you stumble across while on a road trip. Family recipes with backstories. Foods you can’t get anywhere else. OK, well maybe not every recipe I post is like that, but that’s the idea at the heart of this blog.

So, in the spirit of celebrating North Carolina on Feast + West this week, I thought my version of Cathead Biscuits would be the perfect recipe to share. I finally feel like I’ve perfected it. What’s your favorite piece of North Carolina cuisine? Let me know in the comments! // susannah

Click below to see the recipe for Cathead Biscuits! 

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{Giveaway} NC Made Gift Boxes

Continuing with North Carolina Week here on Feast + West, I’m super excited to be partnering with NC MADE for a fabulous giveaway. NC MADE is an online shop that curates gift boxes of artisanal foods handmade in North Carolina.

NC Made Giveaway // Feast + West blog

North Carolina is a state rooted in agriculture, so it’s no surprise that gourmet foods from the Tar Heel State are on the rise. NC MADE scours the state to find, taste and select artisanal products for its gift boxes. Each box combines delicious, handcrafted foods — all handpicked and wrapped up in beautiful packaging. An NC MADE gift box would be an excellent gift or a lovely splurge. (Treat yo’self!)

NC Made Giveaway // Feast + West blogNC Made Giveaway // Feast + West blogNC Made Giveaway // Feast + West blog

Today the folks at NC MADE are giving away one of their Plank Road Gift Boxes to one lucky Feast + West reader! The box includes Cloister Honey, Ritchie Hill Bakery cheese straws, pickles from Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon, Big Spoon Roasters peanut butter and Farmers Daughter Brand preserves — all made right here in North Carolina! (Just think about the mean PB+J you can make with the ingredients in this box and some fresh, local bread! Amazing, no? I tried it and can attest to the greatness.)

NC Made Giveaway // Feast + West blog

Be sure to check out all of the NC MADE gift box options and don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a Plank Road Gift Box — valued at $59! // susannah

CLICK THROUGH TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! 

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Kitchen Road Trip: North Carolina

Kitchen Road Trip: North Carolina // Feast + West

Oh, the Land of the Pine! My home state. I know it well, and I have such fun road-tripping around this beautiful place. The one place I’ve yet to really see is the Outer Banks, and I think it’s high time I made it out there. North Carolina really is such an amazing state!

All year, I’ve been sharing a gift guide every Monday highlighting the talented makers and artisanal foods of each state, in alphabetical order. I’ve been brainstorming for months what to do when I got to N.C., and I decided to devote a whole week of posts to the place I’ve lived (most of) my life. A celebration, of sorts!

I’ve got a giveaway and guest posts lined up, plus more of the food- and design-centric content you’re used to seeing on Feast + West! Be sure to check back every day this week and stay tuned on Twitter and Instagram. It’s going to be great! // susannah  

The Kitchen Road Trip series is a virtual ‘trip’ to a different state. Posted weekly on Mondays, each post is a gift guide to items from a different state, in alphabetical order, and features food & drinks, books, home goods and travel items.  

Click through to see the North Carolina gift guide! 

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Blackberry Peach Sour

Blackberry Peach Sour // Feast + West

Is it Friday? Really? Feels like Tuesday. My body clock is definitely feeling a bit off after spending four days eating in Asheville! I can’t wait to tell you all about the Food Blog Forum, I just need a bit of time to relax and gather my thoughts. Next week, I have an exciting set of posts planned for the blog, including a giveaway! So get excited. Be sure to tune in every day next week to see what I’ve got in store.

Now, this Blackberry Peach Sour. It is divine. You’re going to muddle some blackberries, peach slices and a sprig of mint in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Then you’re going to add some fragrant honey, your very best whiskey, ice and an egg white. And shake — hard. The result is a velvety whiskey sour that’s fruity and full of flavor. You’ll want to toast a few of these before summer is officially over. I’ll be real sad to say goodbye to the fresh fruits I’ve come to cherish more than ever this season. Who’s with me?

This weekend I’m celebrating my dear dad’s birthday and a friend’s wedding, and I’m hoping to sleep in just a little too! Hope yours is fabulous, and I’ll see you here on Monday for some exciting stuff! // susannah

Click below to see the Blackberry Peach Sour recipe! 

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Apps of my Eye: Amount

Apps of My Eye: Amount // Feast + West

When I’m in the kitchen, I find I need to convert measurements from time to time. Sometimes it’s because I need to adjust a recipe from metric to standard measures or Celsius to Fahrenheit. And sometimes it’s because the relevant dishes are already dirty. (You do what you’ve got to do, right?) Though it’s always best, especially when baking, to measure out ingredients precisely, a recipe converter is really handy in a pinch. I recently discovered Amount, a sleek unit converter for iOS. The Amount app makes it easy to change measurements into units.

Apps of My Eye: Amount // Feast + West

Googling has been my go-to method for conversions in the past, but Amount is much more efficient. In just a few easy steps, you can get the answer you need. First, enter the amount with the calculator, then select a category and measurements for your answer. The design of the app is very clean and minimal.

Apps of My Eye: Amount // Feast + West

Amount also offers conversions for clothing size, area, currency and speed, making it a great app for traveling to foreign countries as well as cooking and baking. It has more than 30 categories and 700 units. The Amount app is one I won’t delete from my phone — even to make room for more pictures of food porn. (Of which there is plenty from the Food Blog Forum in Asheville! More on that soon.) // susannah 

App: Amount
Developer: Marco Torretta
Type(s): iPhone and iPad
Price: $0.99

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