I wrote this post as part of a series for Tasteful Selections Potatoes, which is sponsoring Katie’s Krops through January 2016 (details below). Thanks, Tasteful Selections, for sponsoring this post and for growing the adorable baby potatoes I used in this German Potato Salad recipe.
In my family, potato salad is a big freaking deal. My Grandma June has been making her family-famous potato salad since before I was born–it’s been at every family dinner or cookout I can remember, just a bowling-ball-sized mountain of potatoes, green pepper, celery seed, and Hellmann’s mayonnaise. Last Thanksgiving, I asked Grandma June where she originally found the recipe, but she couldn’t remember—she said she made it once back in the seventies, and it tasted good, so she just kept on making it. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how legends are born. One time, my stepmom made Grandma’s recipe using Miracle Whip instead of Hellman’s, and the family was absolutely horrified. NO ONE ate it, and she never attempted Grandma’s potato salad again. Then, a few years ago, Grandma June passed the torch and transitioned potato salad making duty to my sister, Jenny. Lucky girl.
Eater, writer, bean counter. So say my business cards, yet I’ve never touched the topics of accounting or taxes on this here blog. I mean, taxes… Blegh. Am I right? But after attending the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle last week, I got to thinking. Did these foodies know food blogger conference expenses are tax deductible?
Business or Hobby?
You dedicate all of your free time to your blog. It’s like, a second job or something. Right? That’s how most serious food bloggers feel about their blogs, but the IRS may see it differently, and that could majorly impact the Federal tax due on your blog earnings. Whomp. Whomp.
I first heard about Phyrefly through social media stalking, and then again on Charlotte Agenda. Then I bumped into Phyrefly founders Kaitlin and Josh Krogh at a Piedmont Culinary Guild event, and then AGAIN at #weloveclt last month, which I took as a sign I needed to try out Phyrefly already.
So, what is Phyrefly? It’s the self-dubbed Hotwire for restaurants. Meaning you log into the site, check out the various deals available, and select one based on location and price range. The specific restaurant is not revealed to you until after the offer is selected, just as Hotwire doesn’t reveal the specific hotel until you’ve committed to the deal. You can browse Phyrefly deals by neighborhood, price point, food type, user rating, and ambiance. Bonus: these are all local restaurants. No chains.
Double bonus: unlike Hotwire, Phyrefly currently doesn’t charge you upfront—which means there is no fee if you decide to pass on the Phyrefly offer once the restaurant is revealed. (Though this will likely change in the future, once the beta stage is complete.)
This concept is exciting for three reasons. 1.) it gets diners to step outside their usual routines, 2.) it helps restaurants fill tables during off-peak hours, and 3.) it saves you money. Boom.
Sure, everyone complains about the parking and the construction, but after spending too much time in some straight up nasty airports the last couple of years (I’m looking at you, LaGuardia), I’ve really come to appreciate and enjoy Charlotte Douglas. After my return flight home from visiting family in Ohio last week, I stopped into the new 1897 Market and was blown away by all that they’re doing. I mean, local sourcing at an airport restaurant? Come on! That’s when it hit me. Charlotte Douglas is actually pretty awesome.
The typical airport meal is frantically grabbed from a cooler on the way to a connecting flight or begrudgingly eaten to pass hours waiting out a delay. Which raises the question, does anyone actually like eating at the airport? When I asked my boyfriend what came to mind when he thought of “airport food” he responded: bags of nuts and bottled water. This is sad.
Take a moment to ponder. What comes to your mind when you think of airport food? Is it chef-driven menus and hormone-free meats? How about handcrafted cocktails and locally sourced produce? Scratch-made pizza and local beer? Not so much, huh? This is precisely why 1897 Market at Charlotte Douglas Airport is a game changer.
1897 Market is the newest concept launched by HMSHost, the world’s largest provider of food and beverage service for travelers. 1897 Market (named for the year HMSHost was founded) is a one-stop urban gourmet shop, with full-service dining room, raw bar, exhibition kitchen, grab-and-go, and retail marketplace wrapped into one.
Located in the Charlotte Douglas Airport Main Atrium, near Concourses A and B, this is HMSHost’s flagship store. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit-down dinner, cocktails or last-minute souvenir, the Market is the answer to all of your gastronomic traveling needs.
It’s cookout season–and any excuse to celebrate gets my vote! Brats are the perfect backyard barbecue food; they’re easy to cook and super simple to customize, just by switching up your relish and toppings.
I spent the morning hanging out with WBTV talking Bratsgiving! Check out the video below!
Without further ado, here are three brat relish recipes inspired by some of my favorite foods: banh mi, bruschetta, and guacamole!
Ahhhh it’s that time of year again. Charlotte Restaurant Week. Twice a year here in Charlotte, over 120 restaurants offer prix fixe dinner menus to the masses. Queen’s Feast, as we call it, actually runs TEN DAYS, and it can be an awesome but overwhelming experience. Don’t ye fret! I’ve got some tips for planning your best Queen’s Feast yet!
This post (and my Best Charlotte Restaurants Post) were written in collaboration with the #DesignCharlotte campaign, a cool program (details below) encouraging Charlotteans to share their favorite things in the Queen City. Of course my favorite thing is FOOD. Set let’s get to those Charlotte Restaurant Week tips!
TIP #1: SET A GOAL
First things first, we need to set some goals. What is it you’re hoping to get out of restaurant week? An incredible deal? An incredible meal? Those two don’t always go hand in hand. So, dig down deep inside and ask yourself the tough questions. Are we pinching pennies or living large this time around?
If you caught my last recipe post, you already know I’ve been tricking myself to eat fish by throwing it in a taco and adding excessive toppings, like a parent hiding veggies in their kid’s mac and cheese. It’s sad but true. Of course, grilling fish makes it a little more palatable, plus nothing beats grilling in the summer (even if it is fish…). Fresh. Fast. Flavorful. And so darn pretty.
Charlotte is one part small town, one part big city. The people here are friendly and the pace of life is slow, but don’t let us fool you. Charlotte is booming. Everywhere you look, new things are being built. Apartments, hotels, breweries, parks, restaurants. YES, lots and lots of restaurants.
Several times a week, an email from a stranger will pop up in my inbox asking for a list of the best Charlotte restaurants. I’ve been here over four years now, and have dined at MANY of the restaurants in the city, so these types of emails usually result in a list of two dozen recommendations I’m hoping the stranger can cram into a two-day stay, accompanied by instructions to pack their eatin’ pants.
As part of the #DesignCharlotte campaign (details below!), and for the fun of list making, I went back through those old emails and compiled a list of the restaurants and dishes that I recommend time and time again. A foodie’s guide to Charlotte, if you will. I anticipate this list will continue to grow and expand with time. Did I miss your favorite? Leave a comment below!
Where: “Uptown” is Charlotte’s downtown area. It’s the hub of the city and the point of reference for all other neighborhoods. Uptown is divided into four wards, the center of which is the intersection of Trade Street and Tryon Street.
What: Lots of banks and bankers, plus the Epicentre, all the sports (Charlotte Panthers, Charlotte Knights, Charlotte Hornets), theaters, and Romare Bearden Park.
Things to Eat:
Burgers: Cowbell. “Artisanal burgers with a side of rock & roll.” My picks: Big Will’s Breakfast Burger with praline smoked bacon and over-easy egg; Umami Burger with roasted shitakes, caramelized onions, and chipotle spiced ketchup; The Jett black bean burger with goat cheese and roasted garlic aioli; TATER TOTS.
Dinner on a Rooftop: Fahrenheit. Fantastic view. Great for date night. My picks: Scallops with cauliflower puree, caramelized cauliflower, pomegranate molasses (best scallops I’ve had in Charlotte, no joke); Chorizo-stuffed dates; Charlotte Potato Chip Nachos.
Crudo & Steak: Evoke. “Chic, new-age steakhouse.” Gnocchi with jumbo lump crab and smoked pancetta; Escolar Crudo; Peruvian Ceviche; Diver Scallop Crudo; beef tenderloin Bucatini; 21-day Dry-aged NY Strip.
Small Plates: Dandelion Market. One of my favorite uptown spots to grab dinner with friends. My picks: Buttered scallops with toasted macadamia; cherry-glazed lamb lollipops; sausage stuffed poblano pepper; market mac and cheese.
Modern Southern: Mimosa Grill. “Global cuisine with a unique southern twist.” Consistently good food. Pecan crusted chicken salad with sweet mustard dressing; Iron Skillet Roasted Salmon.
Southern-inspired:Roosters. “Relevant without being trendy.” Awesome open kitchen. Wood-fired grill. My picks: scallop salad with buttermilk lime dressing; mac and cheese; Vietnamese pork sandwich.
Italian: Aria. 3-course express lunch; cheese plate; all the pasta.
I’ve been trying to learn to like fish ever since my dad brought home walleye cheeks that first time, fresh from Lake Erie, and my sisters oohed and aahed over how delicious they were. I wanted in. I desperately wanted to like fish. Every bite though… just left something lacking. It’s the texture that gets me, I think. And the fishy taste. So basically, I dislike every aspect of fish. Except, of course, for the fact that it’s good for you. So, in an effort to trick myself into liking fish, I’ve been making fish tacos all the time. They’re super simple to throw together, and if you add enough toppings, you can’t even taste the fish. I’ll consider that a WIN.