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 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!



  • At 3:28 PM, Blogger Katie said…

    It's such a bummer to come back from a holiday and get sick. Mon mari did the same from our trip.
    But the warm weather and the beaches....how wonderful!


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