Saturday, March 24, 2012

Crazy Cakes---Crazzzyyyyy Good!

So, who knew?! Today, by happenstance, I found out a cupcake store has opened in Lillington!!!
It is on the same street as the post office, but a block before.

OMG!. I went in, got 4. The Triple Threat, The Bad Mom, Little Miss Thang, and He Ain't Right.

The Triple Threat- Triple chocolate cake with Irish cream frosting. I think there were chocolate chunks in it. Let me say that all of these cupcakes, the cake part was probably the most awesome cake I have had in forever! Moist, but light. And so flavorful. The icing was was almost silky tasting. I didn't care for this though but only because of the chocolate chunks. I know, those of you that know me will not be able to believe that but I am not saying it wasn't good, it was fabulous, just not my thing.

The Bad Mom---If this is bad, I don't wanna be good! I absolutely loved this cupcake! Vanilla cream cake with lemon-orange frosting. Honestly, my daughter and I were to take bites of each one and then share all of it. I took a bite of this one and I couldn't wait to get home and have the rest. It was THAT good. And I did.

Little Miss Thang- Classic red velvet cake with buttery cream cheese frosting. As I told the guy there, I'm not a red velvet fan but I got this for my daughter. I ate part of it. It was a beautiful color red, not a the dried up blood looking color most cakes of this name have. The color was a gothic crimson. And again, the same texture. Light and moist. The frosting is correctly described. It is absolutely buttery. And silky. Made a fan out of me.

He Ain’t Right- Almond flavored cake with almond butter cream frosting. I wouldn't know how this tasted because my daughter ate every bite before I could even get a bite. I asked her was it said good and she said not really---I then said, it must have been some kind of good because you ate all of it. She admitted it was freakin awesome which is why she couldn't stop herself!!!


The owner ( I think --I at least know she was the baker) was there and she was just as sweet as her cupcakes. I absolutely plan on stopping in on a regular basis (like I did for Ever So Sweet in Charleston) because my addiction has come to fruition in Lillington. Life is sweet!! and Crazy-Cakes-Good!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ever So Sweet...not so sweet...

I go to this bakery everytime I come home to Charleston. They are right down the street from my parent's house which is very convenient. There are certain things there that are not so great, but the cupcakes have definitely improved since the first time I went there. On every trip I ALWAYS buy 6 cupcakes, a lime tart, a brownie and one other speciality item they may have. Imagine my great disappointment today when I called there to ask for a special valentines delivery. You see, my mother has Alzheimers. My father is elderly and is her caretaker. He can not leave her alone unattended. I called Ever So Sweet to ask if they could deliver cupcakes to them. they live about 1/2 mile from the store. I explained the situation --my mother, with her illness, won't hardly eat anything but loves something sweet, especially cupcakes. This is why I thought if they could make an exception given the situation it would be a wonderful mitzvah (good deed) and a huge boost to their community reputation. I explained the distance and the situation and was told no, they would only deliver wedding cakes. Now I know my little bit of business (about $20 once a month) is not going to make or break this place. But to know they are pretty much in it for the money- after all, how much would they make from my request? $20 plus I would have paid for delivery, but nothing that would equal to the price of a wedding cake. Was it too much to ask for that special favor? Maybe, but having been in the community service business myself, there have been many times when I went above and beyond...I appreciated all the customers who were gracious enough to purchase from me, I guess ever so sweet - not so much. :(

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I am not sure what it is about certain spaces in town, but no matter what opens there is, it is never successful. Well, I thought doughboys had pretty good pizza but the atmosphere left much to be desired, so I did not patronize it very much.

Exile is now open there. Some people from work were raving over how wonderful it was. After my visit, I am thinking maybe it is because they were drunk while there???! My lunch companion was partial to the same opinion.

We went on a Wednesday afternoon. It wasn't real busy but the wait was FOREVER. My friend had her child with us. We ordered drinks, then the waitress gave us a menu. We asked the lunch special to which she responded she could not see the chalk board from where she was standing. I gave her the "Dora the Explorer" blink,blink and she went to find out.

The menu on paper sounds outstanding! Whoever wrote it gets extra points for creativity and description. The real thing is another story.

I ordered the cheddar beer soup - regular portion and hog skins to go.
the soup. You know how when oil mixes with water and the light shines on the water? The little oil circles? That is what was on top of the soup. I do not know the real ingredients, but I can tell you what my tastebuds told me were in there:
The portion was a nice sized portion, probably about 8 oz. French onion soup mixed w/ cheddar soup. Probably 2 cans of beer per pot of soup and neeses sausage. The soup had no texture unless you call water a texture. The sausage appeared to be links cut in half, but as far as I know Neeses sausage doesn't come in links? So they must have "homemade" the links themselves. Ta-dah!!! No.

Hog skins- now on the menu it described them as being skins w/ bbq pulled pork, cheese, salsa and sour cream. No pulled pork. Only strips of lunchmeat chopped and strung on top.  No cheese, side of salsa and no sour cream. I ordered the to go skins when I ordered the soup and asked her to go ahead and put in the order so we would not have to wait. That apparently did not happen because we had to wait 20 min past when we were done to get them.

No soda refills, not even an offer. My friend's daughter left almost immediately right as the waitress was bringing the soda, she still charged for it. Most places would not have charged for that. They did. All this wonderful service and food (insert major sarcasm here) all for $13 and some change. I am not sure about my friends lunch except that her soup portion was maybe an ounce. She was not happy with that. (she got the soup and sandwhich special a soda and her daughters un-drank(drunk) soda for $9- and no mention of change from her either)

My friend's only comment was "wow, when so-and-so from work came here they must have gotten drunk because this place sucks".

Sucks indeed.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Long time...lot's to do!

Wow..been a while since I have had the chance to blog! But writing class now requires it so I have an awesome excuse!

Let's see...........things getting my attention.......

McDonalds...well since INS came in and cleared out all of the undocumented citizens, there is rarely a time when you can go into McDonalds, be it inside or drive through, that you spend less than 15 minutes just getting your order, the attitude is free by the way, and there's LOTS of it!

Someone or plenty of someones must have complained. Shockingly enough, I didn't~I meant to, I just never got around to it. But yesterday morning they had 3 managers out there clocking the drive through line. That is the fastest I have gotten through that line in about 6 months.  Amazing what supervision does.

FW Bean......definitely a plus to this town. With no other coffee options, people like me are bound to be regulars, which I am. I especially love their monthly flavor themes! This month is is white chocolate dipped strawberry or chocolate dipped strawberry coffee- beyond delish! redhot which is a cinamon and vanilla, tried it, didn't like it, but one of my coworkers did so I just have to say it wasn't my cup'o tea ~or coffee as the case may be. Chocolate covered Cherry, not tried it yet, it's on tap for today or Monday. All these are  hot, iced, sugar free or frappe!  Oh and they have the most awesome sweet tea. It's strengthy and bold, while I love tea the southern way, I also love it the gourmet way! Overall, FW Bean is the place to get your coffee on for sure!

Recent news:
Pair illegally issued auto titles.........
Now, we in this little town are rocked by this story. Why? Because every soul that has a car in Lillington has been turned away by Janet. For the smallest thing even. I have been pissed off by her at least 15 times since I've moved here. That means on 90% of my visits I have had to return because I didn't have the right stuff or stuff that was adequate for her to give me my tags or change titles.

That would be why everyone in this town is finding it hard to beleive that Janet had any part in this. I am just going to say what everyone else is thinking..if she was involved then the other girl coerced her into it, tricked her into it or something. I just can not believe that she willingly took part in any of this.
I am not saying it is a racist thing as many people who have commented on WRAL seem to be implying, I am just saying she was maybe misguided by a  younger, more street smart, manipulative person. It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

Stay tuned...........

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Food Lion --lying again.....?

How could we forget the huge Food Lion scandal back in 97?  You  know the one, it accused them of recycling old meat I don't want to point fingers or make unfounded accusations, so I will let the photo speak for itself and then make my comments:

By the way, they got a little grumpy when I started taking pics of the meat which I don't know why I didn't think to do that before I went in, after all I am the queen of "Spotted" photos...BAM!

Ok, the facts: I bought these 2 packs of meat from the Food Lion over at the intersection of 210 and that road that goes to Fayetteville - I know, I've lived here for 7 years and I still don't know the names of roads. Anyway, it's over by #1 Chinese restaurant.

I got this ground beef yesterday afternoon about 4 pm. At 8 am this morning I opened the fridge to take this ground beef out to separate it. You can see the pink meat - yes dear, that would be the fresh meat. and the gray meat- that would be the old meat. What you can't see really well in this pic is that the pink meat is swirled throughout- when I suggested to the cashier that the meat department had recycled old with new he certainly was not appalled agreed. The pack underneath which the manager swiped away before I could get the 2nd pic it is even more noticeable. Hearing the world "marbling" was laughable and insulting.

Bottom line: I got a refund. They didn't deny it, the cashier just shrugged and to quote "ewwwwwwwwww". The picture speaks for itself. Food Lion Meat Buyers ---BEWARE.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ever So Sweet Bakery, well mostly.

I love going to visit my family in Charleston (well, the 'rents stay in Summerville) because it gives me an opportunity to try new and different things. Ever So Sweet Bakery is right down from where they live and finally, they were open on one of my visits. Now that is not to say they were not open before, it's just either I was too late or too early to catch them open.

I was totally excited when I went in. The front showcase does over a wide variety of choice from bagels to cookies. Therefore I decided since this was my first visit and I had a 4 hour trip ahead of me, I would not only get a breakfast choice but several others to accompany my daughter, son and I on the trip.

I bought:
A popover w/ strawberry butter
a lime-coconut cupcake
a Carmel chocolate cupcake
a butter toffee cookie
a pecan cinnamon roll pull apart thing
lime curd tart

As you can see I pretty much went the gammet, especially since I had heard mixed reviews. Ok 2- one good and one not. I wanted to decide for myself.

To begin:
the popover -while it was excellent in appearance and looked exactly as a popover should, I don't think they meant for it to be that hard and crusty on the outside, maybe, but tobesure not. The inside was nice and moist which is par for a popover. I was just disappointed with the outside, it was nearly inedible. I am still very much on the fence with the strawberry butter. One taste I really like it, the next taste- I am not sure. Would I buy this again? The popover? probably not, the butter yes- maybe with some sort of toast though and not this.

lime-coconut cupcake and the Carmel chocolate cupcake- I am going to talk about these together because my just turned 6 year old loved the icing on both but said "why is the cake part so thick". Agreed. The lime coconut icing was very enticing to look at, it was very pretty as was the 2nd one. Well actually all the cupcakes were just beautiful, but what good is that if they aren't so good.
The problem here was the cake part. It was extremely dense. To the point there was really no crumbs and I was begging for water. I don't know that it was an isolated recipe error because both cakes, one yellow and one chocolate had the same density to them. Would I buy anymore cupcakes here? Definitely not.

The pecan roll- Definitely delish! It was huge and for $2.50 I would say definitely worth it. The topping was Divine and the pecan taste was prevalent which is what I love. It was more like a swirled giant muffin than a roll. I would more than buy it again.

Butter toffee cookie- the flavor was there, the cookie itself was ok but the stickiness of it made it difficult to eat. The gentleman working the front said it was one of his favorite cookies. I could see that if you get it right out of the oven, but the next day it is just a chore to eat. I should have tried the peanut butter one that he also recommended.

Let me say, I have saved the best for last. The Lime Curd Tart. There are just no words, but I will try. It was eye catching, appealing and enticing. At $5 I wasn't sure it wasn't going to be worth it, but I was wrong. It was definitely worth that and made up for the cupcakes!!

The lime curd tart had a marshmellowish meringue on top that my daughter couldn't get enough of it! The crust was buttery and an awesome base for the tart. The filling, was key-limish but not like the pie. I love lemon curd, had never had lime curd, but I definitely want some more. I think the tartness of the curd with the over the top sweetness of the topping worked more than I could have hoped for. After the disappointing cupcake, I was about to be pee oed that I had spent all that money on not so good bakery stuff. But the lime curd tart was definitely redeeming for this bakery. Would I buy it again? Ya damn skippy I will.

Pricewise, I would say the cost was pretty decent. The popover was $2.50, the cupcakes $2 apiece, the cookie $1, the pecan roll $2.50 and the tart $5.

Overall I would visit this bakery again- for the lime curd tart alone, but also probably for some of the bagels. Definitely don't think the cupcakes would be worth another try just because as stated, they were 2 different types but the density issue exits in both of them. They make cakes here too, I have to wonder if they are the same- hopefully I will get a chance to try those at a later date.

I will also mention 2 other things: I was disappointed that they didn't make their own tea. They did have a bottled Italian sweet tea that was doable. Also, there were a few customers there that were definitely regulars as they said everything there was fantastic. I would argue with that kind sir, but I wouldn't push it too far because there are few things there that I thought were over the top delish!!

Ever So Sweet Bakery- Yeah. I'd go there again, especially because they are less than half a mile from my parents.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cultural Recipes

I am always very open to trying new and different food. Jewish food is not new to me of course, but I do like sharing what I have had from different cultures with my friends and families. I love noodle kugel. It's so funny when I say that word (or name) to my circle of friends now because a majority of them will respond...noodle whattt??? Some of them will even respond, just make it, you never steer us wrong. God bless them!!

So when I was at Brith Sholom Beth Israel Synagogue I developed a love of the Jewish people, religion, food and culture. I miss it very much. I am always seeking ways to bring that feeling of warmth back to my life, at least in between visits to Charleston, SC! Enter the Shiksa!

I found this website called . Tori Avey is a Jewish Convert who is apparently amazing at Jewish food! I took her recipe for noodle kugel and it was uncanny how it tastes exactly like the noodle kugel caterer Helen Goldberg makes for Brith Sholom Beth Israel events (and at my own wedding reception at the shul!!)

I made a huge pan of the kugel and it warmed my heart that my friends embraced it! Granted, when people here it is a sweet noodle thing, they are apt to turn their nose up to it because it is a foreign concept, however they willingly tried it. With great success. The only difference from The shiksa recipe is I used Captain Crunch on top (it is kosher and I was out of vanilla wafer) but everything else was exactly the same.

the recipe is here

I can't wait to make it for my mom and niece when I go back to Charleston. They will be happily transported as well!!

I plan on trying the Challah recipe next, I am hoping it is comparable to Marcie Rosenbergs who caters also at BSBI and the Charleston Jewish Federation (sells Challah there too). The ingreidents seem like they would be what is in her top secret recipe for Challah. Wish me luck!!!