Thursday, January 23, 2020

Carolina Pie Company

When I told my friend that my family and I were moving from Huntersville to Mooresville, he said "There's this pie place you've gotta check out..."  I may have blacked-out at that point, because I don't remember anything else he said after that. A PIE PLACE?!?! Seriously?

As it turned out, that "Pie Place" is actually the Carolina Pie Company. And, as luck would have it, it's just a couple of minutes from my home -- which makes it a very dangerous location for my waist-line, indeed.

The Carolina Pie Company isn't easy to find. It's around a corner of a non-descript strip-mall. And it's toward the back, next to a side-exit of a salon. Aside from the green and white awning, it doesn't look like much from the outside. I mean, how can such a plain outside contain so much yummyness? But trust me, this place has amazing stuff.

Once you get inside, you can tell it's a legit bakery. There are trays, racks, stainless steel tables, and the sight & smell of  freshly baked pies. Often the pies are still cooling, so they haven't been boxed-up yet.

Click "Read More" for the full review:

Sausage Broccoli Pasta

This recipe is one of my favorites to make. Not only is it VERY tasty, but it's relatively quick, and only needs one skillet and one pot which results in minimal clean-up. And lastly, my daughter likes it -- so, it's at the top of my list.

The sausage adds some spice and makes it filling, while the broccoli and roasted red peppers give it a healthier feel. In addition, the Pecorino Romano gives it a salty and cheesy kick that makes you want to stuff your face. :)

I first ran across it in the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. And after the first bite, it became a favorite of ours. If you want to turn it into a more relaxed weekend meal, I highly recommend that you serve it with a bottle of Pino Noir, and some warm bread to dip in olive oil.

Click "Read More" for the ingredients and directions..

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Novanta Pizzeria

I began this blog because I went to an Italian restaurant that had good reviews, but the food was TERRIBLE. Over the years, the food scene in the Lake Norman area has improved dramatically, but finding nearby Italian food that's consistently awesome has always been a bit of a challenge.

Geppetto's in Denver wasn't really high-end, but it was consistently good AND they delivered to my house (always important when you have a young child). Unfortunately, now it's too far away for me since I moved up to Mooresville. The food at Il Bosco in Davidson is absolutely wonderful. But every time I've been there, the attitude has been too snooty for my taste (i.e. My wife and I were seated outside because I was wearing shorts on a blisteringly-hot summer day.) 

Novanta LogoSo, on one of the few evenings that my wife and I had a bit of time to ourselves, we took the short drive over to Langtree and visited Novanta Pizzeria.

Once you enter you can immediately see their two wood-fired pizza ovens, which look very similar to the ones at Alino's in Mooresville. The main dining area has a cozy feeling. Along with the exposed brick and wood, there is a long bench with throw pillows that serves as seating for several tables. Though the rest of the chairs are metal and the floor is polished concrete, it still has a warm feeling.

Unfortunately, we got put in a side room. While nice, the metal chairs and concrete floors gave this side-room a definite cold feeling. Also, since it was winter and there were large windows, it was literally cold.

Our waitress was great, she knew the menu and was very useful in helping us make our final food decisions. While this is primarily a pizzeria, we decided to go with their other Italian options. Unfortunately, the waitress wasn't very familiar with the wines and was unable to guide our Chianti choice -- which turned out to be delicious.

Friday, December 27, 2019

My New Favorite? Caramel Apple Cake with Caramel Topping

This cake was as good as gone.
For Christmas Dinner, my awesome wife decided to make the Caramel Apple Cake with Caramel Topping from the Lady & Sons: Savannah Country Cookbook. It was our first time making it, and with the oven at peak capacity, we didn't think it would be done in time for dinner.

It was completed with just minutes to spare, and it was AMAZING.

Simply put, you make an apple cake with sugar, eggs, oil and flour (no baking soda/powder) and as soon as it comes out of the oven, you smother it in a hot caramel sauce that seeps into the cake, and also creates a layer of carameley (new word) gooey-ness on top. It's consistency is like bread-pudding. But REALLY good.

 If served warm with a scoop of ice-cream, you're looking at a cake that will have EVERYONE making "Nom-Nom" sounds at the dinner table.

Follow the jump for the recipe and details:

Sunday, March 6, 2016


Over a year ago I visited Verde for the first time and I was
absolutely blown away. I've visited several times since then, and have never been disappointed.

Now, just to get things out in the open, Verde is not just a Mexican restaurant. A sister restaurant of the spectacular Prickly Pear in Mooresville, Verde's website describes it as "Mexican and Latin Fusion." While this is accurate, it doesn't quite do the food justice.

Their menu has a wide variety of Latin flavors, and the offerings have influences that range from Cuban to Brazilian to Ecuadorian. Yes, they have Mexican food (and it's excellent), but in some ways, it's almost seems like an afterthought as the menu spans a wide variety of differing Latin cuisines.

With that said, my wife and I were seriously craving some steak fajitas the other day, so we packed-up our toddler (and all of her travel gear) and drove 10 minutes to Verde.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My New Favorite Beef Stew

Now that it's getting colder, I recently got out one of my favorite recipes for beef stew.  However, a while ago I realized that it's far too complicated for everyday use.  It has a few ingredients that tend to be duplicated (two types of onions), or can just omitted. (Does 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste REALLY add that much flavor to a huge pot?)

So, I've modified it a bit. It's a very easy recipe that serves six. and makes the entire kitchen and house smell delicious. This modified recipe is easier to find ingredients for, it reduces chopping, and, of course, I've added more wine to my original recipe.  :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bad Daddy's Burger Bar, August 2015

Last night I had a hot date. She has curly blonde hair, big blue eyes and uses a high-chair. :)

For this this Daddy / Daughter date night, I chose Bad Daddy's for four major reasons.
1) The food/service is usually fast
2) The food is delicious.
3) They serve hot dogs -- my daughter LOVES hot dogs.
4) My wife is out of town and I was too lazy to cook.

Fortunately, it was a Monday night in Birkdale, so there was no line (if you go on a Friday night, you'll probably have to wait). After we were seated, and my daughter was given some crayons, the waitress asked if I'd like something to drink. Being unfamiliar with the beers on tap, I chose my old standby: a bottle of Sam Adams Boston Lager...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Perfect for Summer! No Churn Ice Cream Recipe

Last week I posed a link to this article on my Facebook Page. At first I just thought it was interesting. Then I realized that it might be the perfect solution to my dilemma.

Worst Ice Cream Ever
The Dilemma: My wife loves peach ice cream. This is not actually a problem -- I like it too. However, I've had a VERY hard time finding it. So, when I found the Harris Teeter brand Summer Peach ice cream, I thought I was in heaven.  Unfortunately, it was the WORST ICE CREAM  I EVER HAD. It was icy. It was chalky. It was so bad, I actually stopped eating it and threw it out.

Solution: When you can't find what you want, you've gotta do it yourself. So, I followed the simple ingredient list (only 3!) and directions. Then I added chopped frozen peaches.

The Verdict: ABSOLUTE YUM!  The ice cream is very smooth and creamy. It is a little soft, and melts a little faster than "real" ice cream. But trust me, it won't be in your bowl long enough to melt.

2 cups of heavy whipping cream
14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons of good vanilla extract
A container for freezing. I used a loaf pan.