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Kari Winter

Akai Hana’s Surprising New Treat

When my daughter and I feel like having a special night out, just the two of us, sometimes to celebrate a good report card, sometimes just because we feel like it has been too long (which, for us, means more than 3 weeks), we head to Akai Hana for some sushi. For a 7-year-old, that girl can eat a ton of sushi; it is truly impressive. And her favorite is salmon roe topped with a raw quail’s egg. We get it every time, and love it. So when I first noticed that they were starting to feature Quail Egg shots, I took notice and ordered one. Akai Hana’s head sushi chef, Pojo, came up with the idea of Quail Egg shots. Knowing that quail eggs are normally served on top of fish roe, he decided to put the two together in a new way. The shots include a fresh raw quail egg, sake, mirin (a sweet cooking wine), salmon roe, yuzu juice (a citric flavor), a little pickled ginger, scallions and bonito flakes (bonito is dried, fermented and smoked tuna). This is served in a shot glass and can be served either before or after the meal. I got my first one at the start of our meal, and right away I liked it. The flavors are familiar, if you are a fan of sushi and Japanese food in...

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A Smart Local Cookie

Ten years ago, Elizabeth Pyle was working in the field of interior architecture in San Francisco. Today she is the mother of 7-year-old twins, using her baking skills and business acumen to run Local Cookie out of her Carrboro home. Local Cookie makes (you guessed it) cookies, but also morning pastries like scones, muffins, coffee cake and sweet breads. They are so good that they were nominated in the local food category of Martha Stewart’s American Made event. Elizabeth has been living in Carrboro for six years. She moved to the area with her family after coming to the...

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Happy Hour For the Holidays

The holidays are coming, and a lot of us have friends and family coming into town. It is always nice to be able to find a place that suits your wallet and feels comfortable for you and your company, and it is nice to have as much choice as we do locally. Below is a list of places (and their specials) you should consider going to for a night off during the busy holiday season. I know I plan to use it often after a day of shopping, baking or decorating. I hope you’ll find it useful too. Acme:...

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Better Breadcrumbs

I absolutely love a good, crusty loaf of bread. At least once a week, a nice ciabatta, baguette or sourdough loaf makes its way into the kitchen, bound for a basket on the dinner table. We rarely end up finishing it that night, and at least with the baguette, it isn’t going to be as fantastic the next day. Often we get too busy the following day or two, and the bread hardens. But I never worry about the fact that we have leftovers. Instead of being upset at waste, I pull out the food processor and zap the...

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Sherry and Tapas: A Homemade Spanish Getaway

If you ever think about sherry, you may well think of it as something someone’s maiden aunt would drink, and only on special occasions. But it might be time to open yourself up to it a little; sherry is not just a drink for stodgy types. It turns out that sherry can actually be a lovely drink, and is often one of the more affordable bottles on wine store shelves. Sherry comes from southern Spain, specifically from Andalucia, and gets its name from a British mispronunciation of the Andalucian town of Jerez (which took some doing since Jerez is...

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Farm Food Share

There is something about feeding people that makes many of us feel that we’re giving and showing our love. An afternoon spent on a birthday cake for a child, a few hours put aside to make a special meal for our significant other, food brought to new parents or the bereaved – these are all ways we show we care through food. Farmer Foodshare is a local nonprofit organization that gives love and aid through food. I talked to Katy Phillips, their Donation Station Coordinator, to learn about them and what they do. Margaret Gifford, founder and Executive Director...

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Tea Time at the Carolina Inn

Sometimes we all feel like doing something special, celebrating a big event in our lives, treating someone we care about in an out of the ordinary way. One great way to do that is going to afternoon tea at the Carolina Inn. A friend and I have made it an annual tradition to take our daughters (who also happen to be good friends) to tea to celebrate the end of each school year. The girls get to dress up a bit and feel special. And we moms have a good time too. There are other places that offer tea...

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