Tag Archives: festivals

Turkish Delight

14 Nov

Alright, where the eff did this weekend go? I can’t believe it’s Sunday night already and am already scheming what I still need to go get done that can be added to this weeks errands. One of my friends from college is coming down on Friday afternoon so I’m taking Friday off so a four-day work week will be something to look forward to. But this weekend? Just flew by. I feel like I got alot done but now it’s Sunday night and I’m sitting wishes I could get a few hours back.

 On a never-ending quest to learn about new cultures, I attended the 1st Annual Turkish Festival of Charlotte. I’ll come clean and say I know nothing about Turkey.  The only thing I can think of is in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” when the grandma is raising her fist to the air and yelling about Turkey. One of my friends friends is from Turkey so we thought it would be enlightening to learn a little about where he’s from and their ways. I went to pick her up at her place right outside of the Uptown area and let’s just say the view was gorgeous.

And can I just say how much I love the foliage? I feel like it flew by this fall but I am enjoying it while it is still out there. Just seeing all the warm colors and walking through the crunchy leaves makes me happy.

Oh yes, what was I talking about? Turkish Fest.

We got to the Turkish Festival which was conveniently located in the hood. We passed by a few groups of sketchy looking folks wondering the streets and crossed our fingers that her car wouldn’t break down. When we got there, the event hall was packed…..and without air conditioning. Yay. Our first plan of attack was to get some food which I was stoked about since I’ve never had Turkish food. I imagined it would be similar to Greek or Syrian food since they have influences in both countries.

I got the platter to try a few different things however I have no clue what I ate. The white side was potato salad but the other two things, no clue. If you know what this is, please school me! It was good but unfortunately, nothing was remarkable.  I was expecting a flavor explosion in my mouth but it was bland. Could be due to them making food in bulk for the masses but I’m willing to give it another chance to see how the food is regularly as opposed to at a festival. My friend had the meat wrap which was just meat in a wrap. One would expect sauce, veggies, etc but nope nothing. She said it was bland as well. The Turkish Festival really needs to get on the ball with their food for next year. We watched a number of different dancers and musicians perform and perused the different tables of display with Turkish items, artwork and food.

We found Turkish Delights, a candy popular in Turkey and bought the box immediately. My friends friend from Turkey raves about these sweet treats but it sounded kind of funky to me. It’s a hardened jelly like substance covered in pistachios. Hmm, ok. That doesn’t sound that great but we would soon see.

The Verdict? Delicious! It was sweet but not overly sweet like traditional candy. I would love to learn how to make these but hear it’s a very in-depth process.

Dinner on Saturday night was ghetto-tastic. I had plans to go out for my friends birthday but her significant other wasn’t feeling too hot so they canceled. I walked over to Harris Teeter to get sushi but nothing was calling to me. It was all imitation crab meat and that stuff I will not touch or rolls that were $10. If I am going to pay $10 for a roll, I’m going to a restaurant and not Cafe Teeter. I lucked out with avocado spring rolls

With my entrée being the oh so sophisticated  Bagel Bites

Ghetto and gross. I’ve heard friends talk about Bagel Bites before and may have tried one when I was drunk but never sober. How do people like these? They were straight up nasty.

I attempted to make Peppermint Puffs but it wasn’t in the stars. I had no clue how to heat up chocolate and tried to do so on the stovetop which resulted in a big, white chocolate clump. I looked at it and wanted to cry. But I didn’t let them bring me down. I make the cookies as planned then used my black icing that I got on Monday and topped with candy cane shavings.

I took those to a football get together at my friend’s place this afternoon. She also lives right outside of Uptown and gave me the tour of their building. I felt like I was at some swanky, upscale hotel in Chicago or New York. They had music playing in the lobby along with a coffee maker that makes lattes, mochas and hot chocolate and private screening rooms to watch movies, tv, etc. She booked one of those so we had a huge screen for ourselves! The pool area was absolutely gorgeous.


How is this at an apartment complex in Charlotte beats me but if I lived there, I would never leave. I would be on the rooftop in a cabana with a wine bottle in hand every night.

Dinner tonight was Polenta Topped Pork Patties (halved the recipe), Baked Beans (recipe courtesy of Eat, Drink and Be Vegan) and broccoli.

The pork patty recipe was good but it didn’t hold together too well since there were no breadcrumbs or eggs involved so I would use that next time. I didn’t have any parsley on hand like the recipe called for but added thyme along with salt and pepper to the patty mix. The baked beans were absolutely terrific so if you have the cookbook, definitely check it out!

And now I’m watching Lincoln go to town on himself. Oh, the fabulous life of a single girl.

Loving the Q

23 Oct

My friend was in town last night flying out of Charlotte so we got together for dinner before I took her to the airport. She was in the mood for a salad and I couldn’t name off a good salad place right off the bat so we checked out The Liberty, a newer gastropub in Dilworth.

I got the BBQ pork belly sliders and a side of fries

Beautiful babies! These succulent and delicious.

When I got home from the airport, I did absolutely nothing and enjoyed every second of it. There was a SVU marathon on so I put on my comfy clothes, parked myself on the couch and zoned out. I hate going out on Friday nights since I am usually exhausted from the work day. Soon I was in bed and I ended up sleeping a beautiful, soothing nine hours—that never happens! Most weekends, I wake up around 7A, have my coffee, breakfast and decide what I’m going to do with my day. I had plans to go with friends to the North Carolina BBQ Festival so I had to get ready then get on the road.

America runs on Dunkin-you got that right.

I picked everyone up then we hit the road. Lexington is supposedly the BBQ Capital of the World and only an hour away from Charlotte so it was a perfect day trip. I don’t know what I was more excited about—the bbq or the people watching

We went in not knowing to expect. I was expecting different restaurants from all over the state having their own tents with their style of bbq but there were only a few tents with the same general bbq, so it was a bit of a let down. In addition to that, they have every kind of fair food imaginable.

Fried butter? Um, no.

When we got to the food tent, there was a selection of hot dogs, pork sandwich, pork platter and fries. To get the full bbq experience, I went with the platter.

Oink oink!

It came with pork, red slaw and two buns. Lexington is known for their red slaw which has ketchup instead of mayonnaise and it was damn tasty.

The food was good and so was the people watching. We saw many mullets, men without shirts (Why??? It’s October in North Carolina-put your damn shirt back on!) and teenage moms. I don’t know if they aren’t doing sex ed anymore but it was really sad seeing these young kids who I think are babies having their own babies. Use condoms, they work.

At the north end of the festival, we found a location soda shoppe kind of place called Char’s so we stopped in for some ice crea, One of their specials was birthday cake ice cream which one of my friends raves about so I had to give it a try

Holy balls. Why did I try this? It was absolutely amazing—I don’t need to know that this yummy goodness exists!

Soon we found the beer garden. We were walking around and found it quite odd that there wasn’t any beer vendors. We walked right by it and got in line to get in. While we were in line, I saw the Sweetwater van. Sweetwater Blue is one of my top three favorite beers ever so I was happy that they were offering it. Not only did I see the van…..a guy was painting it a funkalicious tie dye color while we were waiting

Yay for hippies, double yay for beer.

We got in and sadly, they were out of Sweetwater and out of most beers there. I went with Bud Light Lime since it’s refreshing when it’s hot out. I can drink a few but after three, it tastes a bit nasty to me.

Dinner was lazy—-Totinos Pizza. This frozen pizza takes me back to my high school days and I know it’s totally bad for me but sometimes when I see frozen pizza for $1, I buy it. And when the hell did they change their pepperoni? I used to love their little pepperoni bites but no mas.

All in all, a great, foodielicious day. It was nice to get out-of-town for a bit, partake in some interesting people watching and eat some Q.

If you haven’t entered my Fresh Express coupon giveaway—there’s a few hours left so jump on it!

Also, I’ve added another tab to the top of my page featuring restaurants I’ve visited recently here in Charlotte but in other cities as well so feel free to check it out–The Good, The Bad, The Ugly


9 Oct

WTF is up with this weather? Why is it October and 85 degrees out? If someone could give me a logical explanation, I would love to know but until then, I need this to go away. Hot weather makes me irritable and I am sick of having to go in between two seasons of wardrobes. Even though I am annoyed by the weather, my internet is finally up and running which makes me happy since it’s been on the fritz the past few days. It’s been working but at the speed of dial-up which has been driving me crazy. Nothing has really been going on here-just working and hanging out. I had no plans last night so I made a quick dinner of penne with hot sausage, mushrooms and kale

I walked over to Picasso’s for two beers. Or not. The plan was to have two beers but five beers later I was home and illin. Like majorly illin. Let’s just say that it involved praying to the porcelain king a few times…after five beers. WTF? I don’t know what made me so sick but I do not puke after five beers. Suffice to say, a big breakfast was in order this morning.

Sometimes turkey bacon is a fail. I wish I would’ve had the real stuff to soak up the liquor. Had it not been so pretty out today and if I didn’t have plans, I would’ve laid on the couch all day. Fortunately, the Ciao Italia! Festival was today. They have this festival every year over Columbus Day weekend but I’ve never been able to go so I was excited I would finally get to go this year.

No Italian festival is complete without food. I had the eggplant parmesan sandwich and of course, a large cannoli.

I love the t shirts they were selling, especially the “Approach with Caution-Italian Temper” one.

Lincoln and I went to Independence Park afterwards. It was a perfect day to be outside however it saddens me a bit that more people don’t visit parks and enjoy them. Our tax dollars are going towards them so we should enjoy them more!

 Hot dog!

I needed something to cool me off afterwards and stopped at Carolina Smoothies.

This place is close to home and I’ve passed by hundreds of times but never stopped in. I went in and love the selections they had plus you could get a free add in so I chose the anti-oxidant one with my Carolina Sunrise smoothie.

And they sell Spiru-Tein there! Check out my new flavors—I’m so excited!

And so was Lincoln! Or maybe he was excited about his new blanket that I bought for $2.99 at Salvation Army?

I’m sick of the Real Housewives (with the exception of my precious Jersey housewives—love em!) How many franchises are there now? And why so many? I’m sick of seeing these rich women creating drama in their boring lives. I keep seeing the previews for Beverly Hills and they keep saying something about high stakes drama and they cut to one of them yelling out “ENOUGH!”. Um, ok. Yelling out, “ENOUGH!” isn’t drama to me. If you are telling me there is drama, I want to see hair pulling, ambulance, cheating, cops, spitting ala Pumpkin on Flavor of Love. Rich over highlighted housewife from Beverly Hills saying “ENOUGH!” isn’t drama in my world, Bravo. Seeing that one of the Housewives series is always on, I think Bravo should move it to more “real” cities and it should be one for the corresponding day
Monday-Real Housewives of Milwaukee
Tuesday-Real Housewives of Topeka
Wednesday-Real Housewives of Weirton, WV
Thursday-Real Housewives of Tifton, GA
Friday-Real Housewives of Fairbanks, AK
Saturday-Real Housewives of Sioux Falls
Sunday-Real Housewives of San Antonio

And yes, I do have this much spare time on my hands to think of cities. I’m sick of seeing these over privileged people and their supposed drama. I want to see real people dammit.  But at the same time, I can’t help watching this crap. I spent an hour watching Real Housewives of the ATL this morning and I think I am hooked to that one-oi.

Hope everyone is having an enjoyable weekend so far–does anyone else have Monday off as well?

And lastly, a big GOOD LUCK to all the gals running the Chicago Marathon tomorrow—you will rock it!

Holding Out For a Gyro Til The End Of The Night

13 Sep

I went to the Yiasou Greek Festival on Saturday night.

This is an annual festival here in Charlotte that is supposed to be one of the best in the country and I never miss it. It’s only $2 admission, they have great food with lines that move fast (they also have wine and beer-along with Greek beer and American), tours of the church, entertainment such as traditional Greek dancing along with little stands of jewelry, art and little trinkets. If you don’t feel like fighting the masses, you can drive up and get a meat-o-licious gyro to go or other goodies such as baklava, spanokopita and more. I have to get a gyro each time I go and get my gyro I did.

 I was going to try the Greek beer but after Friday night’s events, I wasn’t up to drinking. Their pastries looked amazing as well but nothing was really singing to me. Then I saw the Loukoumades stand.

$3 for a small order? Bring it. I was done after a few of these but I enjoyed every last bite that I could handle. I added some powdered sugar and cinnamon to mine to make them extra sweet along with the touch of honey in them. Sadness that I couldn’t finish them all but I didn’t want to carry the box around toting only three.

I felt back to my old self on Sunday and got a little kettlebell/weight session in

Kettlebell-20 lbs

Halos (13 reps, 2 sets)

Shrugs (13 reps, 2 sets)

Squats (15 reps, 2 sets)

Pliq Squats  (15 reps, 2 sets)

Upright Deltoid Row (13 reps, 2 sets)

Swings (13 reps, 3 sets)

Side Bends (20 reps, 3 sets)

Dumbbell-15 lbs

Curls (13 reps, 2 sets)

Concentration Curls (13 reps, 2 sets)

Shoulder Press (13 reps, 2 sets)

Dumbbell -10 lbs

Tricep Extension (13 reps, 2 sets)

Tricep Kickback (13 reps, 2 sets)

Afterwards, I made a ham and cheese sandwich with a bowl of kiwi. I’ll be sad to see you go, summer fruits

 I went to Harris Teeter and found a bag of four bell peppers for $2 since they would be going bad soon. I had no clue what I was going to make with them but when I got home thought of Stuffed Peppers I put a bag of boil a bag brown rice to cooking and while that was going on, I took a can of black beans and rinsed them.

I chopped up ½ white onion and chopped about ¼ cup of jalapenos and ½ cup shredded cheese and mixed together. I added chile powder, garlic and black pepper and El Pato salsa for flavor.

I cleaned and gutted the peppers once that was set and saved the tops. I chopped up so I can add to a meal this wk. Once the rice was done, I added that to my mixture.  I stuffed the four bell peppers with the mixture then let cook for 30 mins at 400 degrees and voila-a filling meal in a pepper.

 You can’t beat nature’s dishware.

 I have a confession—I’m addicted to the Yelp. I go on there all the time to read reviews of places I want to check out and love the lists that different users create. I’ve been writing some of my own reviews for the past few months and recently got invited to join their Elite squad for this year.

On Sunday night, I took a break from football and attended an event sponsored by Yelp Elite via Yelp.com at the Custom Shop

There was free beer from Olde Mecklenberg Brewery and wine courtesy of Planeta Wines along with an array of appetizers—even vegetarian ones!

 I would be lying if I said I remembered what everything was but it was all F—fantastic, fresh and flavorful. I want to go have a real meal here soon! And they even gave us some swag

Since everything was free, I felt compelled to try every drink available-beer or wine. I am 30 years old and should really know not to mix my liquors. Suffice to say, I was feeling ill today.

 Some of you all were asking for my turkey burger recipe—I didn’t measure anything but I would say it was about ½ lb ground turkey, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, one egg, chopped jalapenos (I like my stuff spicy so I loaded them on) and about ¼ chopped onion with pepper, garlic and chile powder and formed into patties. They were breaking about while they were cooking so I would add more breadcrumbs next time around but I let them cook on the stovetop until cooked well throughout the pattie. I added Laughing Cow cheese on top of mine right when they were done so it would spread easily and added salsa. Another easy one and two thumbs up. The nice thing is that you vary this up quite a bit with making them Mexican style how I did or even Italian style with oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes and marinara.Ohhhhh or do an Asian influence and add soy or wasabi to it on a bed of slaw with vinaigrette.

On a final note (because I am Jerry Springer) thanks all for understanding my lack of blogging, I’m happy to hear that there are others that can sympathize. I’m still around…..even if I’m not saying much, I’m still here and reading your blogs 🙂

And today is my 30th and 3/4 birthday-wtf? Where did time go? How the hell am I going to be 31 in three months? When did that happen?

So many questions…..

PS—-Check out April’s blog for a wonderful giveaway-you can win a Healthy Food Snacker!