We’re Reading Shining: Ole Smoky Moonshine Family Cookbook by Jessi Baker

by Chika Gujarathi Jessi Baker’s Shining isn’t just an amalgamation of spot-on recipes, but also a delicious lesson in Appalachian history and what can happen when one follows their heart’s calling. Inspired by the history of making moonshine, Shining links the roots of early Scottish and Irish settlers in the mountains of Appalachia, distilling spirits … Continue reading We’re Reading Shining: Ole Smoky Moonshine Family Cookbook by Jessi Baker

Nine Essentials For A Traditional Southern Breakfast

By Angela Garrison Zontek All the best southern days start in a warm kitchen that smells of biscuits and something frying in the skillet. Has anything amazing ever resulted from a bowl of cold, bland cereal? Of course not. Breakfast is our first chance to make the day special, and the meal should be hot. … Continue reading Nine Essentials For A Traditional Southern Breakfast

Four Ways To Have Fun In The Kitchen With Your Children

by Chika Gujarathi  Many of my friends have fond memories of cooking or baking as a child with their mothers and grandmothers. When I was growing up in India however, spending time in the kitchen with little ones was not a thing parents did. So in many ways, I feel like I missed out on … Continue reading Four Ways To Have Fun In The Kitchen With Your Children

We’re Reading The Peach Truck Cookbook by Jessica Rose and Stephen Rose

by Angela Garrison Zontek In their first cookbook, Jessica and Stephen Rose ask readers to consider what peaches mean to them. For me, peaches mean all the wonders of a hot Georgia summer—bare feet, lightning bugs in mason jars, and lazy afternoons at the farmer’s market. I grew up eating peaches off the tree, whole … Continue reading We’re Reading The Peach Truck Cookbook by Jessica Rose and Stephen Rose

A Family Day Out In Cary, NC

By Chika Gujarathi I will be the first one to admit that as a Raleigh resident, I often bundle Cary, North Carolina with all the other suburbs nestled in and around the Research Triangle Park. However, as any Caryite will tell you, this obvious oversight is all of my own making. With a flourishing population … Continue reading A Family Day Out In Cary, NC

Six Essential Southern Desserts

By Angela Garrison Zontek After eating all our vegetables and making a sincere offer to help with the dishes, one likes to think they’ve earned a dessert, no? I mean, everyone loves to be rewarded for a job well done. My grandfather always said that a slice of pie aided with digestion, but I suspect … Continue reading Six Essential Southern Desserts

Four Ways To Begin A Weekly Family Game Night

by Chika Gujarathi I don’t come from a strong tradition of family game nights, but thanks to a little board game called Ludo, my parents and I still have a good laugh about dramatic late nights spent keeping the peace between the winners and losers. As a child who grew up in a neighborhood filled … Continue reading Four Ways To Begin A Weekly Family Game Night

We’re Reading Only Ever Her by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

  by Angela Garrison Zontek “One thing she knows about lies - once they start to stack up, they can topple over, crushing you under the weight of them.” There’s nothing like small-town drama, no? I grew up in one -- a place where it feels like everyone knows everyone -- but despite the sharing … Continue reading We’re Reading Only Ever Her by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

How To Go Device-Free on Family Trips

by Chika Gujarathi I thought I’d be cooler than this, but sure enough, these days I’ll often catch myself lecturing my children on how when I was little, we just played outside all the time. This proves that there are two inescapable parenting truths in this world: 1) We only remember what we want to, … Continue reading How To Go Device-Free on Family Trips

Four Cakes Southern Cooks Love To Bake

By Angela Garrison Zontek Southern cakes are about occasions. We love to celebrate all things family, every calendar holiday, and all of life’s achievements, both big and small, along the way. Where certain dishes or vegetables might be seasonal, cakes are occasional. One will always find a hummingbird cake during summer festivities and a Lane … Continue reading Four Cakes Southern Cooks Love To Bake

Three Easy Ways To Get Your Children To Eat More Vegetables

  by Chika Gujarathi It’s finally here, the time of the year when each successive trip to the farmers market gets more colorful and beautiful. The bounty of summer is upon us guys, and I can hardly wait to cook light and bright recipes that make the most of this season. Summer or not, however, … Continue reading Three Easy Ways To Get Your Children To Eat More Vegetables

Savoring The Day At Cultivate Coffee Roasters In Fuquay-Varina, NC

by Tracey Holloway The sight of a good ‘ole-fashioned white picket fence always give me a feeling of nostalgia, evoking warm thoughts of the small town where I was raised. I was delighted to find one framing the entrance of Cultivate Coffee Roasters. Standing on the sidewalk in front of the coffeehouse, I had instant … Continue reading Savoring The Day At Cultivate Coffee Roasters In Fuquay-Varina, NC

We’re Reading The Summer House by Jenny Hale

by Chika Gujarathi Set in the tiny fictional community of Waves, North Carolina in the Outer Banks, is Jenny Hale’s newest romantic novel, The Summer House. As someone who loves to align her reading with the current season, I was so excited to pick up this book which is filled with new beginnings, friendships, and … Continue reading We’re Reading The Summer House by Jenny Hale

The Southern Baked Pie Company In Alpharetta, Georgia

by Angela Garrison Zontek Hometown girl makes good. Who doesn’t love to see one of their own make it big? Amanda Wilbanks grew up in Habersham County, just south of my grandparents’ farm where I spent the best summers of my childhood. She’s a local girl, still living in beautiful North Georgia, and we’re all … Continue reading The Southern Baked Pie Company In Alpharetta, Georgia

Four Ways To Cultivate A Love Of Arts & Crafts In Your Children

By Chika Gujarathi I am one of those adults who, if given the chance, can spend the entire day just playing around with arts and crafts supplies. So when I had children, I naturally gravitated to activities that involved artsy things like trips to the art museum, attending craft shows and creating things with our … Continue reading Four Ways To Cultivate A Love Of Arts & Crafts In Your Children

We’re Reading The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

by Angela Garrison Zontek The transportive element of historical fiction is wondrous, no? The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek moves us through time and place to an old mining town in Kentucky, where we see life through the eyes of a woman with skin a brilliant shade of blue. The last of her kind, Cussy … Continue reading We’re Reading The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Author Jenny Hale Explores The Common Culture Of The South

by Jenny Hale   The south is full of stories and people who like to tell them. That’s not to say that those in other locations don’t have stories to tell, but there’s something about living in the south that sparks my creativity and makes a narrative come alive for me. Maybe it’s the fact … Continue reading Author Jenny Hale Explores The Common Culture Of The South

We’re Reading Coffeehouse Knits by Kerry Bogert

by Chika Gujarthi It wasn’t long ago when cookbooks started layering personal essays with recipes as a way to evoke our interest beyond just the ingredients and methods. Using a similar spin is Kerry Bogert’s expertly curated Coffeehouse Knits - Knitting Patterns and Essays with Robust Flavor, which provides a perfect combination of know-how and … Continue reading We’re Reading Coffeehouse Knits by Kerry Bogert

Weekend at The Azalea Festival In Wilmington, NC

by Dianna Dames The Azalea Festival first came about in 1948 after Dr. Houston Moore, MD spent several years cultivating the Greenfield Lake area of Wilmington, NC. Inspired by the Rhododendron, or Azalea flower, he successfully rallied the support of community leaders to create a festival in its honor. Over the years, the festival has … Continue reading Weekend at The Azalea Festival In Wilmington, NC

Taking A Coffee Break At The Mill in Fuquay-Varina, NC

by  Tracey Holloway Located on the corner block of a quintessential Main Street, USA, The Mill stands as a newer addition to downtown Fuquay-Varina in North Carolina. Upon entrance, wafts of aromatic roasted beans tantalized my nose and lured me in. I do love a good gut job and The Mill, with its brick-walled interior, … Continue reading Taking A Coffee Break At The Mill in Fuquay-Varina, NC