What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Entrée Vous

I can finally tell everyone my news!

I have acquired a franchise in the meal preparation business. It is called Entrée Vous. It is a wonderful operation started in Lexington, KY by a great chef and caterer, Harriet Dupree, a Cordon Blue trained chef with years of food experience.

Ever since I left the telecom world and started a small catering business, I have been looking at doing something different. More regular, definitely with people and food, but with the ups and downs of a catering business (meaning long hours and lots of temporary staffing, etc.) where I could continue to use my love of cooking and entertaining coupled with my marketing and sales experience. This new business exactly what I was looking for and is very exciting. I have been researching it for about nine months. What I initially was most worried about was the quality of the
food, but I can assure you that the food is fantastic! Unbelievable! Better than anything in the market. I guarantee that if you try this, you will love it, that is, if you aprreciate really good food. No one in the market has anything f this caliber; extremely high quality delicious food, expertly sauced and you get to smell it cooking in your own home! I will finally have my own commercial kitchen and be able to help our guests put wonderful food on their tables for their families at a reasonable price. You can't beat it for value, quality and time savings! For our existing clients, you have no need to worry, we will still do a few catering events on a selective basis.

Please check it out the website at Entrée Vous link. Look at the menus. They are terrific. If you go to "news" you'll see where I am announced (Peggy Bloodworth for those of you who know me by Pookah, what my friends call me). I am searching for real estate, and will let you know once we know where we'll be located; so if you live near-by, keep your eyes and ears open for our opening. If there is a Entree Vous near you, try it! It is Gourmet take-out like you never dreamed of. The flavors of the entrées are unparalleled with an ever changing repertoire of menus and recipes so your dinner at home is as good as eating at a high quality restaurant without the time, expense, or tipping!

I can't wait to open and for you to try it, but in the meantime, I have to go thought the process of a build-out! I'll keep the blog and my regular homepage going too, but Entrée Vous, here I come!

In the meatime, check out our recipes at Swank Recipes and if you need a catered event, give us a call!



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Thursday, January 11, 2007

December Wedding

The last wedding of the year was for a beautiful couple Lydia and Jamal, held in Raleigh. The wedding and reception were in separate locations, both in Raleigh. The reception was at 5:00 PM.

Appetizers were served as the guests arrived along with an open bar, prior to the wedding parties arrival. Once a brief reception was held, then dinner.

The menu:

Appetizer Menu

Homemade Breads
Cranberry Walnut
Pear Macadamia Nut
Mango Pecan
Banana Nut Chocolate Chip

with Homemade Jellies
Blackberry, Grape and Fig Preserves
& Cinnamon Homey Butter

Baked Brie with Pecans, Caramel Sauce & Crackers

Mini Egg Rolls with Srirachi Hot Sauce, Teriyaki and Plum Sauce

Pita and crackers with
Mixed Olive Tapenade
Smoked Salmon Dip

Sugared Spiced Almonds


Pecan Encrusted Salmon with Parsley Butter Sauce

Sesame Braised Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Dried Fruit (cherries and apricots)

Warm Applesauce

Sweet Potato Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce and Sage

Potato Medallions in Crème

Green Beans with toasted almonds

Foccaccia, Parker House Rolls Pesto Potato Rolls
with Parsley Honey Butter
and Basil Lemon Butter

Caesar Salad

We think it was very successful. The flowers were beautiful, the food delicious and everyone seemed to be enjoying the party! What else could you want but Happily Ever After?

Check out our recipes at Swank Recipes. The Stuffed Pork is the recipe of the week this week, but you can also find it under entrees.

Until next time, Cheers!


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Rum, Sun, Recovery

What's been cooking in Carolina, you ask? Or is your question is where have we been and what have we been doing?

Well, last time I blogged I did say we were headed off for the holidays and probably would be unable to blog until the new year. Little did I know.....

We went to the Punta Cana, Domincan Republic for 8 days. The weather was near perfect with 80-85°F days and 69-70°F nights. The beaches, well, let's just say we walked between 6 and 8 miles every day and never ran out of perfectly white sandy beaches.

We mainly just did the beach thing, reading and working puzzles. We did our first parasailing which was great (although the trip out there was a bit terrifying). We took a trip through the rice fields and banana plantations to a cacao and coffee planatation. Tourism is 22% of the GNP, with farming still providing the majority with beef (Wendy's and Burger King), sugar (Dominos and rum), bananas, coffee (the 3rd ranked in the world)

the first time we've seen coffee growing

and cocao (Hershey's) still huge. Cocao. We actually saw our first real cocao growing was at the butterfly house in Durham a few weeks before, but seeing them grow among the bananas and coffee was incredible.

We also went to a small farm where three families live off the land on 130 acres. What was amazing for us foodies, is that although there was a small stove on the back porch, the main cook who was turning 85 on Christmas eve, was cooking the families lunch the old fashioned way. The picture is actually the other outdoor kitchen with lunch underway.

It is third world. The people are friendly and beautiful and the Domincan Restaurant was our favorite. Really good garlic shrimp and fresh fish, beans and rice, and a great dessert with coconut, sweetened condensed milk and brown sugar. However, it was our first all inclusive resort and although it was nice not having to search out food and drink (which was good, although endless rum is not good for the waistline), we definitely will not do it again. We love small Inns, getting out to meet the people, really eating local and seeing the country side and the life vs the herding thing.

We came back with only a few days to get ready for catering a wedding on the 30th for more than 100. (We'll blog that next). My sweet husband knew he was getting a bug before we got back and basically went to bed for the next week. I fought it off until after the wedding and have been in bed until yesterday. We are still recovering. So since the return, except the wedding which we'll will post separately, our diet has consisted of soup. Really. Chicken noodle soup, chicken soup, hot and sour soup, chicken gumbo, chili, and tonight, French onion soup. That's all. Except the few days around New Years when we had family here and they cooked meat and the like. Oh, and we did stick by our southern New Year's traditions and had seafood (crab cakes, salmon & smoked salmon, yes we did smoke it), black eyed peas and collard greens, so we know the rest of the year will be prosperous!

We hope your holidays were bright and your New Years a good one. Even though we gained a few pounds in the Caribbean (pina coladas, rum punch, you get the pciture?), we lost more than that with the sickness, so dieting in not as severe as normal! Yea!

Check out our recipes and website at swank recipes. We'll add a recipe this week and be back soon,

Hope to check in with you all and hope to hear from you too!

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