I love good southern barbecue, or bar-b-que, or BBQ. Heck, there is as much controversy over how to spell it as there is over how to eat it! I like mine served as pulled pork dripping with a sweet and smokey molasses and ketchup based sauce. This is considered Western Carolina Style. Round here, people like theirs smothered in a peppery vinegar sauce with plenty of slaw. I'll tell you what. It's growing on me, this Eastern Carolina style. 

We went for some bar-b-q at Allen & Sons, a local institution and winner of numerous awards. It was excellent. The meat was amazing, but I still prefer my thick, dark sauce. Alice surprised us all by eating up the cole slaw and okra. 

Oh, then there's the blueberry pie... a la mode. 

weekend update

I know it's Wednesday, but here is my weekend update anyways. C'est la vie. 
I hope your Memorial Day was fun. I had to work, but our weekend was full of family, friends and good food. 

I spent an afternoon with the loveliest of ladies at an Alice-in-Wonderland themed wedding shower. 

I used my mint to make a summery non-alcoholic drink. It was delicious. 

We took a trip to home depot for grilling supplies and...

I discovered the joy of power tools.

Alice and I took selfies in the sun. 

sunday brunch

Brunch is one of my favorite meals. I love all breakfast foods and brunch implies that you get to sleep late. I rolled out of bed at 9:30 thanks to my gracious husband. 

Antonia's is a little italian joint that serves a decadent, but affordable, brunch menu on Sundays. 

I ordered citrus brioche french toast that I shared with Alice. Byron had eggs benedict. 

We enjoyed the view and had a relaxing start to our day. 

evening stroll

I love these two so much. 

mrs poses

Our little dog Rosy (who sometimes goes by Mrs. Poses) is a silly creature. She loves under the cover cuddles and morning sun spots. She will eat any food that falls on the floor and can curl up in the tiniest of tiny balls when it is cold. She is our little deer and we love her so. Sometimes we forget how sweet she is when life gets hectic and rough and she needs the time and love that we just can't seem to muster.  But, she is still our tiny, tiny fur animal. Our Mrs. Poses. 

hogg day

Our little town has its own fair, of sorts. Hogg day. It is celebrated every year with pig calling competitions, BBQ contests, live music, and all kinds of fun. It was a cloudy day, but we made the best of it. Getting our fill of food and fun before the rain set in. 

Alice loves to run around and explore. Luckily, the Hogg day festivities provided plenty of grass for stomping and picking. She also got some sweet dog kisses from a couple of adopted greyhounds. 

We finished the morning off with some locally made ice cream. Nutella flavored. It was amazing. 

11 things to be excited about

Do you hear the that? The sound of fireworks and clapping?
It's my list of 11 things to be excited about!!! Why? Because after a hard week, I needed a good, swift turn around in the attitude department.
I realized today is the 22nd, which means my birthday is only 3 months away. And I get really excited about my birthday. So now that I spoiled number one (sorry, I just can't contain myself), here are 10 more things to be excited about.

As a footnote, I have the utmost respect for the loss suffered by so many in Oklahoma. I cannot even comprehend such destruction. Please donate to the Red Cross, if you can.

Human kindness and caring is always something to be excited about.

mother's day

We were blessed to spend Mother's Day with this lovely lady, Byron's Grandmama. We had brunch at the Pilot house in downtown Wilmington. Alice enjoyed seeing her Great Grandparents and Great Uncle. It was such a beautiful day, spent with cherished family. I wish I could have seen and hugged all of the wonderful mothers that I know and love, but time and distance keeps us from such things, for now. 

It was a beautiful day filled with love, laughter and smiles... 

and gingham.

march on

It was a doozy of a week in our corner of the world. One thing after another breaking and broken. Not enough sleep and a tick on the dog to top it all off. Overall, our lives are great. Filled with love and ease. But, every once in a while the little things pile up and get us down. The point is to put on some shades and march on. It will get better. 

buttermilk cupquacks

Did you know duck eggs have more protein than chicken eggs? Did you also know that this extra protein makes duck eggs ideal for baked goods? I had no idea either, until I visited a farm and bought some duck eggs to try out. I also had some extra buttermilk in the fridge so I found a buttermilk cake recipe to experiment on. 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Line cupcake pan with papers.
3. Beat 3/4 cup unsalted butter with 1 1/2 cups sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light   and fluffy.
4. Beat in three duck eggs, one at a time. Scrape sides of bowl and make sure the eggs are well combined.
5. In a separate bowl, sift 2 generous cups of all-purpose flour, 1tsp baking powder and 1tsp baking soda together.
6. Add 1/4 of the dry mix to the butter mix. Alternately, add 1/3 cup of buttermilk. Beat until combined.
7. Repeat step 6 until all the dry ingredients are incorporated and 1 cup of buttermilk (total) has been added. 
8. Beat in 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla and beat some more until batter thickens.
9. Scoop the batter in cupcake liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
10. Cool on racks.

The cake turned out rich and moist. It tasted like pound cake. I made a thin lemon glaze (powdered sugar and lemon juice beat until desired consistency) instead of a buttercream icing. 

We used the big cupcakes for strawberry shortcakes and shared the mini cupcakes with coworkers. If you can get your hands on some duck eggs, give them a try and let me know what you think. 

weekend update

That would be my caramel sundae with vanilla custard and yes, I want sprinkles. 

Alice wanted a mug like mommy so we let her use Byron's childhood mug for her milk.

I went to more yard sales than I care to admit on Saturday and got this pretty necklace for TWO DOLLARS!!! I also got a book for Alice, a decanter for Byron and a bunch of frames for a project I'm working on. 

I rearranged our living room and made Alice a reading nook by the window. 

We took a trip to Home Goods for finishing touches so I took a selfie in the bathroom. Of course. 
How was your weekend?

pork roast

This pork roast has become our go-to meal. I like to make it over the weekend and then use the shredded pork for different meals during the week. We like to make pork tacos, pork noodle bowls and pulled pork BBQ. We got this loin roast from Fickle Creek Farm. The recipe is originally from Chef David Chang of Momofuku. I found it on this blog through Pinterest.

Rinse and dry the roast. Mix 1tbsp plus 1tsp of both sugar and kosher salt (per pound of meat) along with freshly ground pepper. Rub the roast on all sides and let sit in the fridge overnight. I promise, waiting is the hardest part.

Bake the roast in the oven at 250 degrees for 6 hours. 
I know, more waiting. It will be worth it, I promise.

Once it is cooked, let the meat rest for 30 minutes
After all that waiting, what is 30 more minutes, right?

Then ravage the meat with two forks. That is David Chang's way of telling you to pull the pork apart. Oh, and sneak a taste or two while ravaging! It's amazing!


Outhouses, bee houses, farm houses. 

It seems everywhere you look in rural North Carolina there are dilapidated farm houses and barns. They hint at the past and have such an air of mystery and nostalgia to me. I can never resist the odd beauty they hold. I always see them on the side of the road and long to stop the car and take a picture, before they are torn down. Some are so old, from the early 1800's. And those are the one's in good shape. Here are a few of my favorites from the farm tour.