Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hotspot: Press Coffee + Crepes

European Inspired.
Carolina Made.


Four simple words to describe the latest coffee shop to hit Alamance County.  Press Coffee + Crepes opened its doors on Monday and is quickly becoming the talk of the town.  On Tuesday "Sweet Mama", Fiona, and I had the chance to try out some delicious coffee and amazing crepes!

From the moment we walked in we were greeted with a bubbly smile by Sabrina who is a total ray of sunshine.  She gave us a full rundown of the offerings to help us make our decisions. 


I originally asked for a hazelnut latte, but after a quick chat with Forrest, the barista, I went with a latte having equal parts of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla...OH MY DELICIOUS!  Forrest has officially introduced me to my new morning coffee of choice. 


While studying in Paris I indulged far too often in wine and crepes! I actually had never had a crepe until I visited France, but it quickly became one of my favorite guilty pleasures.  Press offers a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, and sweet crepes.  We tried the "Down Home" crepe filled with ham or bacon (you make the call), egg, and local hoop cheese and of course the always classic banana and Nutella filled crepe.  Both were delicious. 


 The decor offers an urban feel with exposed bricks and pipes.  I love when a business goes into an older building and brings it back to life while leaving the "history" in tact.  I think I will always be a fan of this look.
  

While I was having my little moment with my yummy latte and crepe I noticed Jason, the owner walking around the shop chatting with and getting to know his customers.  THIS solidified what I already had quickly discovered...I will be a regular and I will spread the word of Press.
You just can't beat a big city feel with a small town heart!  

Make sure to visit Press in downtown Graham and stay connected with this new found treasure via facebook and instagram.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Gaither Kitchen: Avocado Basil Pesto

Every summer we grow basil in our garden.  Not only do I love the fresh taste of the plant, but also how amazing the leaves smell!  Picking fresh basil is actually something I really enjoy simply because of the aroma.  On Monday I decided it was time to make use of the leaves and have a little garden to table in the Gaither Kitchen.



I am trying really hard to keep my "cheat meals" to a minimum as I work to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. So when I had a craving for cheese ravioli with pesto I knew I had to cut somewhere.  I found this healthy avocado basil pesto recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Ambitious Kitchen and knew this was what I wanted to try.  So what makes it healthy?  Most pesto recipes call for a fairly good amount of oil, so in this recipe we are going to replace the oil with avocado.  I'm a huge fan of avocado.  Whether you are having it in a salad or on a sandwich or by itself with a splash of fresh lime juice, this fruit provides you with healthy fats and we should all be a fan of that.   

Avocado Basil Pesto


Here is what you will need...
{Note: I made minor modifications to the original recipe}

1 Cup of fresh basil leaves
1/2 of a large avocado 
2 tablespoons of pine nuts
1 1/2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons of water
1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago cheeses

In your food processor, add your basil, avocado, pine nuts, garlic, and lemon and lime juice.  Pulse for about 20-30 seconds.  Next add in your water and pulse again until consistency is smooth.  Pour your pesto into a dish and mix in 1/4 cup cheese.  I personally prefer the three cheese mixture instead of only using Parmesan.  The cheese blend and avocado is actually what I think makes this pesto really stand out from the others.


Once you have mixed in your cheese you can pour over your pasta or store your pesto in an air tight container for up to 2 days.  


And, there you have it!  I would love to know if you try this recipe- comment below and let me know what you think!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Hotspot: Redefinery & Co.

Last night I met up with Invitation Designer Julie Poole of Juliepatoolies, Blogger Suzanne Smith of Crazy Blonde Life, and a few other close girlfriends to check out Redefinery & Co., a new Tapas Bar and Restaurant located in downtown Burlington, North Carolina.

From the moment I walked through the door I felt as if I had stepped into another city.  I love the small town feel of Burlington, however, I think we all love seeing chic and urban hotspots land in our town. 

The drink menu had me going total heart eyes emoji!
Starting from the left going clockwise you have the Front Street Lemonade, a glass of Delaporte Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc, the Paloma, and last and my drink of choice, the Brown Derby!
All were super tasty and hand crafted, but here is my fair warning, they are strong!!!
Did we all just find our new favorite place for cocktails after a long day of work? I think so! 


The decor was absolute perfection.  How can anyone go wrong with an exposed brick bar and books as centerpieces that hold a candle and succulent? 
Contemporary furniture and chairs mixed with church pew style seating gives the perfect mix of modern and tradition.




The walls showcase artwork by local artists.


Ok, this I loved! Old movies being projected onto the walls! 


So let's talk tapas!  Redefinery is not "officially open" as they are currently working with a limited menu and offering different variations daily while they listen to feedback and adjust to give the customers what they desire. I love this approach!  

Last night we ordered several items to all share.

Artisanal Cheese and Charcutereie 
As you know I am a vegetarian so I skipped the meat, but the cheese was amazing! The red dragon was delish! 

Summer Salad
Kale and arugula mixed with feta, strawberries, roasted pecans and topped with a drizzle of balsamic reduction vinaigrette. Super refreshing and light.  

Ricotta and Rosemary
The most simplest of them all however, quite possibly my favorite!
Ricotta infused with local honey and rosemary.  Listen when I say, "order this"!!!


Such a fun time and I always love catching up with these ladies!




To my local readers, I hope to cheers a cocktail with you soon!  To my out of state readers, please make sure to stop in on your next trip to NC!

Follow Redefinery on Instagram and Facebook

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Gaither Kitchen: Spicy Avocado Greek Yogurt Dressing

Since welcoming our baby girl Fiona into the world and adjusting to the most amazing job of being her Mom my time to blog has been way more limited than I ever thought it would be.  I guess I should have listened when my girlfriends warned, "you no longer have time for yourself"!  I wouldn't change one single thing, but I have missed blogging and keeping in touch with all of the DC readers.  So I am trying really hard to work blogging into my schedule again.  As I type, in this very moment I am holding the most precious little sleeping Baby Fi who is just snoring away! 

So what have I been up to?  So much!  I have a running list of upcoming blogs and can't wait to share.  Up first, a dressing I made a couple weeks back that is super tasty and perfect for summer.  

Spicy Avocado Greek Yogurt Dressing


This recipe is super simple and takes a quick 10 minutes to prepare.

Here is what you will need...


1 avocado
1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt
1 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp fresh lemon
2 tsp fresh lime (the lime will help keep the avocado from browning so quickly) 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together and pour over your favorite summer salad.


My go to quick and easy salad that is perfect for this dressing is a simple mixed green, strawberry, feta, and sunflower seed salad. 



Give this dressing a try and let me know what you think!
I hope you will enjoy as much as I do!


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