Laura Beth Riddle

This Strawberry Season, Make Strawberry Preserves!

According to the North Carolina Strawberry Association, our state ranks third in the US in strawberry production. No wonder we rank third with strawberry fields from the mountains to the coast! Depending on which region you live, the picking season usually begins in April and continues through May, which is also Strawberry Month. Of course, you can celebrate strawberries any day of the year with preserves. I recall many early mornings going out to the field and eating berries right off the bush with my sister. My mom and grandma would pick buckets upon buckets of berries for canning...

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Easter Egg Decorating Kits Every Kid Will Love

As the old saying goes, spring has sprung! If you’re like most Americans, you associate spring with Easter; baby chicks, chocolate bunnies and the time-honored tradition of decorating eggs. Back in the day, our parents would buy a box kit from the grocery store display that included 5 dye tablets, stickers and those shrink wrap Easter scenes that melt onto an egg. Today, there are literally dozens of Easter egg kits! I imagine if you’ve got kids of your own, you might be left wondering, “Which kit do I pick?” I decided to take this question along with three,...

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Dine Out During March Madness! Plus St. Patty’s Day Celebrations

Tar Heel fans are rubbing elbows with St. Patrick’s Day this year as UNC takes on the Texas Southern Tigers, Friday, March 17. And we all know what we hope to find at the end of that rainbow! Whether you’re celebrating the luck of the Irish or looking for a place to watch the game this weekend, or perhaps, indulge in a little of both – check out these local spots. Carolina Brewery 460 W. Franklin St. Chapel Hill, NC 919-942-1800 Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all weekend at Carolina Brewery with $3 Shamrock Ale. If that alone isn’t...

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Celebrate National Pound Cake Day

Pound cakes are considered a tradition in my family. My grandmother baked pound cakes almost on a weekly basis, and I remember licking leftover cake batter from my mom’s mixing bowl whenever she baked for a local fundraiser. So, you can only imagine how delighted I was to learn March 4 is National Pound Cake Day! Pound cakes have been around for centuries. The first recipes called for one pound of each main ingredient; flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Hence the name pound cake. Today, you can bake with alternative ingredients, like shortening for a lighter textured cake or...

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Giving Back To The Community Through Pet Therapy

Every dog has a job they were born to do. The day I brought my dog Murphy home from Hart-to-Heart animal rescue, I knew he had potential to be a therapy dog. He was quiet, independent, and well-behaved around strangers, including my young nephew. Pet therapy is meant to provide emotional assistance and socialization for those who may not have the financial resources or ability to keep their own pet. I began by researching different certification programs and the requirements needed to become a registered handler with Murphy. Town and County Hospital in Apex was the closest facility to...

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