Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Free cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma on Sundays!

Looking forward to checking this out, especially since it is FREE!!! Thanks for posting this Charlotteonthecheap!

Free cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma on Sundays

Williams-Sonoma stores offer free themed cooking classes on Sundays. The classes include tastings. Participants even get a 10% discounts on select purchases made the day of the class.
There are two Williams-Sonoma stores in the Charlotte area:
Specialty Shops in the Park
6401 Morrison Boulevard
(704) 364-8886
Sunday cooking classes are at 2pm.
Birkdale Village
16740 Birkdale Commons Parkway
Huntersville, NC
(704) 895-8331
Sunday cooking classes are at 12pm.
Upcoming classes:
* August 21: Cook Once, Eat Twice
* August 28: Gluten-Free Baking
* September 11: Pasta-It’s All About the Shape
* September 18: Pizza-It’s All About the Crust
* September 25: Discover Liquid Gold-Olive Oil
This was originally found on Cities on the Cheap.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

ICES 36th Annual Convention and Show

Yesterday I went with my friend Heather to the ICES 36th Annual Convention and Show, basically, a cake convention. We really had no idea what to expect, but a few weeks back Living Social ran a special on tickets and there were all different levels you could buy. We got the ticket that included admission to the cakes and competition, so that sounded pretty good, right? Well, to be honest, it was just ok. There were so many other things you could do, but you had to pay separate and we were just not feeling it. I will say that there were some pretty amazing cakes (all display versions, not real cake). I took about 100 pictures and figured I would share some of the ones we really liked. Now I will say, it was interesting to see how things were made and each cake had a card next to it listing what was used, for example "gum paste" or "fondant" etc.
This cakes detail was insane, I know it was a replica of something, but can't recall what:(
This one speaks for itself, how could ya not love it!

With this one I loved the lace look. Apparently it was something you could paint and just lay onto the cake, I kind of wish I took notes, but unfortunately I did not, so not 100% how it was made.

This cake was insane! If you are a Cake Boss fan it reminded me of the one he made for NASCAR, only this one is more fun!

These three had amazing detail!

This was my friend Heathers favorite. In person the detail and color was really pretty.

Loved these for the technique and detail as well.
I could go on and on as there were so many we loved, but I would say of all, the Noah's Arc was fantastic, every tiny detail was on the boat, it was really cool!

So overall, there were a lot of cool cake displays, but I wish we had bought the ticket to see it all. Oh and by the way, there were NO cake tastings at this event- we were totally bummed about that one;)
Hope you enjoy the pics!

Pecan Encrusted Tilapia with a Homeade Remoulade Sauce

Last Sunday night I went to my aunt and uncles to make dinner. Being that I was so excited to make something out of my new Best of the Best Cookbook, I flipped through the pages early that day to see what looked yummy! My aunt was making a Tomato Pie, which by the way, I am still waiting on the recipe, as it was KILLER!!! But I wanted to find something that would compliment the pie and came across Paula Deen's Pecan Crusted Fish and Remoulade recipes. I thought that would be perfect, and as usual I was right;)
Now I will say this about the fish, she called for either grouper, snapper or tilapia; personally I would have picked grouper, but the Harris Teeter was out of it:( I will say that you could make this recipe a LOT less fattening as well. She soaks her fish in butter before laying in the pecans, I used 1/2 of what she required. I also think the pecan amount should have been doubled. What she listed coated about 3 decent size pieces. When frying (as I did not put into the oven as she calls for after frying) a TON of the pecans came off the fish, which I guess would be expected. I think grouper would be better as it is thicker and then it would make more sense to put it in the oven as well. However, I would totally make this again.
Now for the Remoulade Sauce, it made the dish complete, the combo of the two was so good! I will make that recipe for lots of other meals, I can tell ya that much! Again, I made it a little lower fat by using light mayo. Also, I did NOT use the capers, as I did not have any and I think it turned out fantastic with out.
By far though, that tomato pie was insane!!! I asked all week for the recipe, but still nothing:( As soon as I get it though I will be sure to post as it is something everyone should try if they like tomatoes. DELISH! Enjoy-

Ingredients: Courtesy of Paula Deen

Remoulade Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
  • 1/4 cup capers, with juice1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 grouper or snapper fillets, cut about 1-inch thick, 4 to 6 ounces each
  • 1 stick butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon whole butter
  • 1 cup pecans, ground into crumbs in a food processor
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil Salt and pepper
  • 4 lemon wedges, for garnish


To prepare sauce, place the parsley, green onions, capers, and garlic in a blender or food processor and combine. Add the mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice and mustard. Blend well. Chill until ready to serve with seafood. This keeps in a covered container in the refrigerator for several weeks.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Rinse the fish, pat dry and season. Dredge the fish in the melted butter. Spread the ground pecans on a plate and press the fish into the crumbs to coat. Turn the fillets and coat the other side.  In a cast iron or other heavy, ovenproof skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of whole butter with the oil. When it begins to sizzle, sear the fish about 3 minutes per side. Place the skillet in the oven for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets and your preference for degree of doneness. Serve immediately with Remoulade Sauce on the side and a lemon wedge.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cupcrazed Cupcakes in Baxter Village- Fort Mill, SC

So a about a month ago I went to dinner with my friend Johnny and his friends from Buffalo Debbie and Sean. Debbie and I got to talking and I had mentioned my blog and she told me how she had been working with her sister in law at her...can you believe it "Cupcake Bakery". I was so excited to hear all about it and have even offered to intern for free to learn everything there is to know! Since then, I have been dying to check it out and tonight, my very very good friend Erin from college and I were getting together in Fort Mill for drinks, as her brother lives in York, SC. So this was my chance to check out the bakery!!!! Of course we had to start of with some cocktails, but my eye was on the time as I knew Cupcrazed closed at 8pm.....needless to say, we walked through the door at 5 til 8 and Debbie was still there, YAY!!! If you have not been, it is super cute!!!! But most importantly, the cupcakes ROCK!!!!!!
We ended up getting 6 but I got 4 and Erin took two as that is totally fair, right?!?! I mean how delish. Now we got there late and these were all that was left, but let me tell you after tasting them, that is right, I took a bite of each...I can't imagine what the "good ones" could be!!! These are DELISH!!!

Honestly, how can you top a fresh fried donut on TOP of a cupcake, I mean really...genius!!! Talk about low fat right;)

Each and everyone was so yummy, but if I had to pick, I would go with the donut topped cinnamon cupcake first, then the staple chocolate frosting, vanilla second, but all 4 were so good and I can't wait to see what Erin thought of hers...she got Red Velvet and Carrot cake, two of my all time favs. So if you have not been yet, you MUST check this place out! Super cute, super delish, a MUST See and taste!!! Enjoy!

Recess Fest in NoDa- Aug 11-13th

Thanks to Charlotteonthecheap.com here are the details of the weekend! Looks fun! -Enjoy

Unbeatable deal on local music: Recess Fest (8/11/11 – 8/13/11)

Are you a grownup? Doesn’t it sometimes seem sort of, well, lame? What happened to summer vacations? What happened to RECESS?
Recess Fest to the rescue. All weekend, August 11th through August 13th, Charlotte’s third Recess Fest will help you to unleash your inner child and have fun. The fun includes 31 bands in venues all over the city, a festival of short films with the theme of “recess”, an Etch-a-Sketch art show, slip ‘n’ slides, water guns, The Gore Gore Luchadors (female wrestlers who grapple in an inflatable pool filled with “blood water” – all for charity) and more. In fact, this festival makes my own recess days pale in comparison. All we had was one of those red bouncy balls. And it usually needed air.
Headline performances include:
August 12th: Neighborhood Theatre: live music from Yardwork, Super Ape & Bakalao Stars with Junior Astronomers and Jason Ajemian & The HighLife (short film festival starts the evening.) $10
August 13th: Milestone Club: live music from Joan of Arc, Implodes, Blossoms, Moenda. $10
However, the festival includes live music at venues all over the city, including:
Common Market
Sewercide Mansion
Fuel Pizza (Central Ave)
Neighborhood Theatre
Nu Faizon
Snug Harbor
Lunchbox Records
Black Sheep
The Milestone
Weekend passes are available for $20. These passes get you into ALL the shows, including the two headline shows. You can buy them online, at Lunchbox Records, 1419-A Central Avenue (in Plaza Midwood,) or at Pura Vida Worldly Art, 3202a North Davidson Street (in NoDa.)