Category Archives: Entertaining

Cary Kitchen Remodel is Featured in Cary Magazine



Within this month’s pages of Cary Magazine, Brittany and our client Terri talk about the 1st floor renovation that transformed this once 1980’s builder grade home into a modern living oasis, suitable for casual entertaining.

Brittany also partnered with Robert Taylor of Taylor Build , who served as the General Contractor on the project. Robert knows first hand what it feels like to live in your space while a kitchen renovation is happening.

To read the complete Cary Magazine “Home Tour” article and see the “Before & After’s” click here.



images 1. DLL

Springtime Drinks for Your Weekend!

Warmer temperatures and the gift of an extra hour of sunshine from Daylight Savings time has led to all kinds of excuses to plan a picnic or play hostess to a weekend soiree. With that, we’ll share some of our favorite recipes for springtime sipping! Even round up the kids, as these are easy and fun to make together.

Brittany’s Cucumber Punch is a favorite from College

0621_cucumber from the Kitchn


2 liters of Sprite
One can of limeade concentrate
One large cucumber, sliced


Mix together and allow to sit for 45 minutes before serving.

Lauren made this delicious Peach Punch for a baby shower she recently hosted.

Freedomtreefarms peaches


White peach juice
One package of raspberries frozen (to serve as ice cubes)
Ginger ale to taste

Hilaire found this tart Ginger Grapefruit Lime juice post and we can’t wait to make it!

Syle with Grace Ginger Grapfruit & Lime Juice


1 1/2 tablespoons Truvia (zero calorie sweetener) – or use regular sugar
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled then grated
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh lime juice – about 3 limes
1 1/2 cups fresh grapefruit juice – 4 grapefruits


In a small saucepan, on medium heat, mix together sugar, ginger, and water. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a glass cup or bowl – place in the fridge or freezer to cool.

In a pitcher, combine grapefruit and lime juices. Remove the ginger mixture from the fridge/freezer and strain into the grapefruit juices. If you don’t want pulp, you can strain the grapefruit juices. I like the pulp. Stir the ingredients and taste. Feel free to add more sugar or juices. I like it strong and ginergy so this was perfect for me. Serve chilled with ice or add sparkling water to give it some bubbles.

Makes about 2 cups of juice.

Which one will you try this weekend?

images & recipes: 1. The Kitchn 2. Freedom Tree Farms 3. With Style & Grace

12 Days of Christmas: Lauren’s Goat Cheese & Honey Stuffed Fig Muffins

While on summer vacation this year, Lauren made these goat cheese and honey stuffed fig muffins. YUMMY! They were an immediate hit with her husband.These muffins can be a great addition to any holiday brunch or appitizer spread. We hope you enjoy them.

Goat Cheese & Honey Fig Muffins

Goat Cheese & Honey Stuffed Fig Muffins

3/4 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 cups whole-wheat flour (I used half wheat/white)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups chopped dried figs
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine goat cheese, honey, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and and lemon juice until thoroughly mixed.

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, then add brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in buttermilk.

Add wet ingredients to dry. Don’t over mix. Fold in figs.

Fill each muffin tin halfway. Top with a teaspoon of the goat cheese mixture. Add more batter on top. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.


(Recipe: From EatingWell & Picture: HowSweetEats Blog)

12 Days of Christmas: Brittany’s Sausage Bites

martha stewart wreath image

The past few weeks, these Sausage Bites have been a quick & easy go-to when agreeing to make a savory appetizer for holiday parties. People even believed I was from the South when these arrived! For the perfect soundtrack while waiting for these to cook- some classic tunes for you:

Alabama’s Christmas in Dixie

The Jackson Five’s I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Elvis’ Blue Christmas

Bon Appetite!


  • 1 pound spicy ground pork sausage
  • 2 cups biscuit baking mix (you may also try Virgina’s Best Biscuit mix)
  • 1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, finely shredded


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, combine sausage, biscuit baking mix and cheese.  Mix well.  If it looks a little dry add a tbsp of water to the mix.  It also helps to have sausage at room temperature.

Form into walnut size balls and place on baking sheets.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and the center is done.

You may also prepare these and freeze them before baking.  Thaw and bake as recommended.  You may also add garlic powder/onion powder to taste to the dry mix. 


image: Martha Stewart

12 Days of Christmas: Hilaire’s Ginger Cookies

The coolest part about sharing all these holiday recipes with you is that behind all these recipes there are memories, family traditions and a sense of coming together. People come together when they share food. This is our hope this holiday, that you take the time to share the love with friends and family. So without further ado, here is the ginger cookie recipe.

I first made these ginger cookies last year and they were a big hit with my family. We had so much fun and we even created a mess in the kitchen. I think we even had flour all over ourselves by the end of the night; so grab your loved ones to help you make these delicious treats! Be creative you can even use Christmas cookie cutters or put some crystallized sugar on top, they give the cookies a nice shimmer.

ginger cookies food network


3/4 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling

1 large egg

1/4 cup molasses

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Using an electric mixer at low speed, cream the shortening and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the egg and molasses and beat until completely incorporated. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt and add to the mixture. Stir until combined. Roll the dough into balls about 1-inch in diameter. Roll the balls in sugar. Place 1/2-inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Flatten the balls slightly with your fingertips. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

(Picture and Recipe from Paula Deen the Food Network)

12 Days of Christmas: Judy’s Holiday Brunch Casserole

Judy’s holiday brunch casserole, also popularly known as egg casserole, has been a family tradition for over 20 years. Usually Judy serves this casserole dish on Christmas morning; however, you can fix it anytime of the year. 




1 lb of Turkey sausage

6 slices of bread

Butter (enough to spread on either side of the 6 slices of bread)

6 eggs

2 cups of milk

1 cup of grated cheddar cheese

Pam Cooking Spray



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a sauce pan brown the sausage over the stove. Once the sausage is brown set aside. Take 6 slices of bread and butter each side. With a knife cut the bread into tiny squares and set aside. In a small mixing bowl beat 6 eggs and add 2 cups of milk. Stir together. Prepare your 9×13 glass casserole dish by spraying PAM on it to prevent the food from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Now you are ready to mix all your ingredients into the casserole dish. First place the tiny bread squares into the casserole dish, then add the egg/milk mixture, the sausage and layer the cheese on top. Bake for 45 minutes.

Judy recommends serving the casserole with either a danish and/or fresh fruit.


Come back tomorrow, Hilaire shares her homemade Ginger cookies.