Triangle Bucket List: Crook’s Corner’s Honeysuckle Sorbet

My Triangle Bucket List is coming together nicely. And deliciously.

This weekend, I had the pleasure of engaging in a two-fer.  As in I hit one spot (Crook’s Corner) twiced and enjoyed the most delicious, mouth-watering, and memory inducing dessert of all time.

Pardon the dim image. The dimage?

Crook’s Corner is a Chapel Hill staple, touted by The New York Times as “Sacred ground for Southern foodies.”  The head chef and mastermind behind this slice of heaven, Bill Smith, has been in the final four for Best Chef Southeast by the James Beard Awards. And I’m lucky enough that a solid chunk of my buddies work at this establishment (Sunday brunch, it was all I could do to stop saying “HI!” to friends).

The ambiance outside is all pigs and hubcaps, and a kitschy hodge podge of piggies decorates the inside.


I’m not sure if it’s the decorations or the food, but the restaurant definitely makes me wanna pig out!

Thursday night, after dining on the tasty mudbugs at the Rockfish Crawfish Boil, I was alerted (via Twitter)  that the limited engagement honeysuckle sorbet (the feature on my Bucket List) was featured on the Thursday night menu (their menu changes regularly, I love it, always a surprise.)

After calling to be certain they still had some of the sweet treat (it’s a hot ticket item that goes fast), I dragged Amanda along with me for dessert.

Sweet backlighting courtesy of Amanda's iPhone

Served in a tiny chalice, this nectar was presented with a sprig of mint leaves and two spoons.  Talk about romantic….

Anticipation is killing me

I couldn’t wait for the first bite…

Pure joy

Oh sweet mother of all things tasty.

I don’t know how one bite could convey so many tastes…  It was sweet, it was fresh, it melted the moment it hit your tongue… it reminded me of sunshine, of bike rides, of summer and the shore. Swing sets in each scoop, my brothers and sister running over to the one bush on my grandparents’ street that always provided ample honeysuckle.

I got the inside scoop on how it’s made from one of my buddies/waiters.  Apparently, Bill Smith rides his bike around at night time (the best time to pluck the blooming blossoms) with a beer and a bucket, emptying one and filling the other with tiny flowers.  He puts the flowers in cold water and lets them soak for 24 hours, turning the water into a virtual essence of honeysuckle.  Then (I assume) he pours the mixture (sans actual blossoms, which have been strained out) into an ice cream maker and VOILA! Heaven.

Cook and Most Popular Student at UNC? I think Bill and I make a good pair.

I Amanda spotted Bill himself, and I made sure to thank him for all he does for the Chapel Hill food scene, as well as for creating numerous meals I’ve enjoyed over my past 7 years in the area.

I loved it so much that I came back on Sunday for brunch, and enjoyed a teensy bit more, due to my secret sneaky hookups in the back (they didn’t have it on the menu that day… but I know a guy, or four). Brunch should ALWAYS come with dessert.

Triangle Bucket List, you are one of my best (and tastiest) ideas ever.

Triangle Bucket List

I’ve alluded to this before, but I wanted to put this down for posterity, now that plans are being made!

This is my “bucket list” before I leave the Research Triangle of North Carolina.  Some of these are long-time goals.  Some of them are things I’ve tried before, but MUST do again before I go. And, let’s be honest, lots of them are food-related.  Hey, I like what I like!

Also, I’ll be adding to this list as I see fit.  Or changing it. But it should be an adventure, no matter what!

Uniquely Triangle Activites

Doughman Challenge
Durham Bulls game (Tuesday, May 1st, 2012)
Healthiest You Challenge (ACTUALLY lose some weight/inches!)
Tour of our State Capitol
Movie at the Carolina Theater in Durham
Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Rialto in Raleigh (Fridays at Midnight!)
Tour de FroYo (Tutti Frutti vs. Menchie’s vs. Moonberries vs. Sweet Frogs?)
Food Truck Visits (re-visits, in most cases) Klausie’s Pizza, Chirba Chirba, Baguettaboutit, Monuts Donuts

Incredible, Edible Adventures

Dos Perros
Dames Chicken and Waffles
Crooks Corner (honeysuckle sherbet, if I can get it!) Done and DONE! 4/27/12
The Pit for BBQ
Pokey Sticks from Gumby’s 
Make meal entirely from Farmer’s Market
Sandwich at Neal’s Deli in Carrboro
Dinner at Med Deli in Chapel Hill
Macaroon from Mad Hatter Bakery  (5/10/12)


Flying Saucer (Beer AND brats!)
Tyler’s Beer Garden in Durham
Tuesday night out in Chapel Hill (Franklin Street, to be exact!)
Blue Cup/Karaoke at He’s Not Here
Fridays on the Front Porch

Wanna join me for any of these?  Have any suggestions? I’m open to any/everything!!

Since this post has no pictures, and I hate that, here’s one of me (Out in Chapel Hill on a Tuesday night!)

OLD SCHOOL!! Check out my sweet eyebrow ring.

Six Pack Sunday: Chi Town, Get Down!

Hi friends!!

It’s after midnight so, technically, I’m doing Six Pack Sunday a little off (by minutes.) But I wanted to share a few tidbits of my trip before I went to sleep (as the effects of my in-flight soda wear off).

Six Pack Sunday: Chi Town, Get Down!

1. 11:11 11/11/11

How’d you spend your eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Veteran’s Day?

Perfect timing

If it was with a cold glass of 3Floyds Alpha King, then… jinx.

You owe me a soda. Or a beer.

We may have sped to get to a bar before 11:05… good hustle, us.

2. I’m on a Boat

On Saturday afternoon, we got a chance to putz around on this beauty.


Well, not really. We did SEE this yacht. But my fellow Tar Heels WERE on a boat. And tore up some hardwood.  The USS Carl Vinson was the stage of the Carrier Classic, where UNC beat MSU! And, in a bar full of MSU fans, I proudly screamed for Roy’s Boys.

Love those boys in blue (blue camoflage… I’m sure they blended into all the blue foliage on the boat.)

3. Subjective Scales of Spiciness


Sometimes, you think you’re a tough gal who can handle spice . So you arrogantly tell your waitress at the funky Thai restaurant you want medium-hot spicy. Like a 6-7 on spice.

Then you realize that you were a cocky fool and actively sweat at the table, decked out in your night-time finery.

Sweat goes so well with party dresses.

4. You Tryna See That Party Dress?

Max And Cleo, Jojo and Kiki!

I knew I couldn’t mention that dress without you all clamoring to see it. It’s new, it’s lovely, and I can’t wait to wear it more often.

5. Deep Dish Pizza. That’s all.

Dream Come True

All I wanted all weekend was a deep dish pizza. And, on Sunday, I got just that. A six-inch personal Chicago deep dish pizza. It was perfect. And as tiny as it looked, it was filling and delicious.  Perfect.

6. I am the MASTER!!


This weekend, I earned my Master badge on Untappd (friend me if you’re on it!!)

I didn’t even know it was coming, which is unfortunate because the beer I earned it on (Dortmunder Gold) was absolutely my least favorite beer I tried over the weekend.

Oh well, it takes all kinds, right?

What was the best food or drink that you enjoyed this weekend?

HUGE thanks to Caitlin for hosting me all weekend!!

Halloweekend at UNC

Sometimes, when you’re a grown-up, you choose to celebrate Halloween on the weekend prior to the Monday date.

Gwen Stefani + Zombie Prom Queen

That, inevitably, will lead you to be one of the few humans dressed up in fine, Franklin Street establishments on Homecoming weekend at UNC.

Establishments like the Crunkleton, where the ice is in giant, perfect cubes and the cocktails are the freshest, best made I’ve had in North Carolina.  I’ll take a Tom Collins, thank you.

Oh, no worries weirdy dude in the back. We can't afford to be here long.

Or He’s Not Here, home of the infamous 32 oz blue cups.

Oh, hey Kinsley. Cute costume. What are you, well-dressed?

Don’t worry, though.  If you follow your heart, you will wind up at the promised land.

In this case, the promised land was a little costume party at one of my personal favorite bars in Chapel Hill, Kildare’s.

Ok, maybe it was a little more than a little dance party

You’ll reunite with friends, both old

HEY Austin!

And new.

Kelsi (Marvin the Martian), Claire and... Speedy Gonzalez?

And end up dancing on a table, which was apparently the thing to do (sweet Hallo-rhyme, Jordan).

It's what Gwen would've wanted.

And, even when you’re sitting in your living room full of burger and pumpkin beer, and you haven’t gotten one trick-or-treater (WHATEVER, more candy for me!), you’ll be glad that you celebrated Halloween exactly the way you wanted to.

Merry Halloween, folks.

Did you celebrate Halloween (or Halloweekend) this year?  

What was your costume?

PS big thanks to Gwen Stefani and No Doubt for Halloween-spiration this year!

Tarheel Nation: Tailgating for UNC’s First Game

As I sit here wolfing down an epic salad and watching the season finale of The Secret Life of the American Teenager, in which some of the students graduate, I have to say, I had a blast this weekend reliving my college career.  As I mentioned on Friday, I had a dear friend visiting Chapel Hill for the weekend and I waited for her arrival patiently, watching loads of Degrassi and enjoying a little bit of Vino. Also, watching Youtube videos of Duckies. You know, the usual.

Once we arrived, though, we made a beeline for Top of the Hill, which was apparently THE place to be on Friday night.

Old Well White, just like old times!

I won’t get into too much details on the blog, but the rest of the night involved me acting like I’d never heard of certain UNC basketball players, which resulted in them trying to get the scoop on “that Jordan girl”. Sorry, Tyler, but I’m taken. You missed your chance in 2005.  If you want to hear my brag on end about this story and the giant ego boost that I received, feel free to tweet at me, or email me.

Luckily, I was able to crash relatively early, which made the 9 am gameday wake-up call that much easier.  Though let’s be honest, after a night of drinking Old Well Whites and Riesling like I was a fish (a fish with excellent taste in beer and wine), it really wasn’t that easy. My tummy was feeling wonky and my head was dully roaring. I knew something needed to be done.

I ventured over to Walgreen’s to get some Vitamin Water and Coke Zero (hangover remedy, why not?)  and then whipped up a little hangover cure meal to ready me for the day’s festivities.

Cures what ails ya!

The best part about staying close with your fraternity post-grad is having permanent access to cooking supplies and friends PLUS a place to park ALL THE TIME (parking is at such a premium at UNC that our football team racked up $13K in parking tickets.)

My merry band of brothers and sisters were ready for action with the tiniest grill known to mankind and a well-stocked refrigerator.

It gets the job done.

Game Day essentials

We cooked burgers and kebobs, we cooked corn on some cobs, there were beers in koozies, this tailgate was a doozy. (Sometimes, I have dreams of being Dr. Seuss.)

My eats for the day included (among I’m sure countless other nibbles):

Burger, Cheese, Avocado (and OODLES of ketchup, not yet pictured)

Grilled corn, where have you been my whole life?!

And, later, some chips and dip. I also made a healthy appetizer for everyone (read: cut up a cucumber and served up some dips).

The only healthy thing I put inside my body probably all day

The highlights of the day would have to be dominating at cornhole with Kinsley and her friends (who were all dressed in matching wolf-howling-at-moon t-shirts [sleeves removed, of course]), learning the term “landsharking” (which, according to urbandictionary, is a totally DIFFERENT and disgusting thing than what I thought, yuck), and finding a cellphone left at a bar that had enough graphic sexual texts I’m pretty sure it counted as reading a pornographic novel. Hopefully that either was returned to the owner or burned in a fiery pit of cleaning solution/bleach.  Some things you can never unlearn/un-read.

After watching UNC spank the Dukes in the first half of the game, I decided it was in the bag and enjoyed my typical post-viewing-football nap. What was NOT typical, however, was the duration (read: 4 hours).

Oh, well, there went my Saturday night (and any hopes of falling asleep at a reasonable hour).

Thank goodness for Netflix streaming Mad Men.

Betty Draper and her crazy neuroses are always up late, anyway.

Here’s to many more excellent games (and, of course, tailgates.)

What’s your favorite tailgate food?

I’m always looking to try new things!

What do you watch on Netflix?

Also, always looking for new things.

Football. Football. FOOTBALL! (oh, and Friday.)

TGIF! (I know I said that about T[hursday] too, but really, I’m thankful for both days.)

Today, since I woke up, I couldn’t get my mind off of the lunch from Wednesday.  The creaminess of the melted provolone, the crunch of the Roma tomatoes, I wanted it all in my belly.

Well, Jojo gets what she wants:

Sandwich of Dreams

I knew this was going to be tasty from experience, but honestly… it exceeded my dreams.  Eggy, spinachy, crunch, and soft it was perfect all around.

On the side was a little bag of veggies that I should’ve included in my What’s I’m Loving post from yesterday.

Bird's Eye Steamfresh Asian Medley

It’s got a great amount of seasoning on the veggies without overpowering their natural flavor. AND it’s got BABY CORN!  You know… like regular corn, but smaller.  Can’t beat it.

For dessert, a Vita Top with some PB:

Whoah, PB is saltier than I remember

Unlike some most of the bloggers I read, I’m not a huge nut butter fan, so whenever I do indulge in a little Peanut/almond/cashew/whatever butter, I’m surprised by how salty it is.  This sweet and salty treat, sort of like a Reese’s Cup, hit the spot, regardless.

But honestly, that’s just a puff piece about my lunch.  What I want to talk about, and what I’ve been thinking about a LOT lately is….


I’ll admit, I may not always love to watch sports.  In fact, more often than not, sports on TV just bore me to tears (my apologies to the beau, and any future sons I may have.)  But college football isn’t just about sitting in front of a tv and yelling and throwing remotes and scrambling to try and find the batteries because the remote hit the wall and muted when you threw it.

College football, to me, is a romance.

It’s not about stats, it’s not about touchdowns (well, for some folks it is), and it’s not about whether or not your football players get 395 parking tickets (woops, UNC).

This is college football:

A sea of Carolina blue (photo credit to my buddy, Shog.)

It’s tailgating, partying, and cheering your team on with thousands of your closest friends total strangers who bleed the Carolina blue (or Ole Miss red and blue… or Penn State blue and white…. or anything like that) that runs through your veins a little bit faster on game days.

Paint up or SHUT UP!

While UNC is definitely a basketball school, football will always hold a special place in my heart.  My first year of college was spent on the UNC Varsity Fencing Team (yeah, I thirsted for the bloodsport) so football games translated to a chance to scoop frozen lemonade out and sell it to drunk fans who made jokes about how cold our chests got (wish I had my fencing weapons to fleche their knickers off) (bonus points for fencing terms.) It wasn’t really until my junior year that I was able to partake in the joy that is…. college football season.

A dream come true

At my fraternity house, we’d sell out the parking lot, grill meat (and veggie burgers…. we had a disproportionate amount of vegetarians in my fraternity… then again, we were also called the “hippy frat” so maybe not), and day drink.


And, by dating a fellow that went to one of the most fun football schools in the nation, I also got to see how they do it down in the deep south at Ole Miss:

”]I can not even patiently wait for football season, in the hopes to maybe even go to a game (haha, you’ll notice that through this post, I didn’t really talk too much about that. Now you see where my priorities lie.)

But really, going to a game, shaking your pom poms [literal ones, not chest, you pervs] in the face of an opponent obnoxiously, and cheering in unison with the entirety of your fan base…. there’s nothing like it.

Though I graduated from UNC in 2009, during football weekends, I feel like I’m a student again, right there with all the other tailgaters, rabble rousers, and Tar Heels.

I can’t wait for the foods, the shouting, the 6am wake-up calls for the noon games, the hooplah, the tiny Tar Heel face tattoos, the smell of grilled meat, the shenanigans I’ll get in with my fellow brothers and sisters, young and old…. I just can’t wait.

Oh yeah. And the beer.

 Are you stoked for college football season?  And who’s your team of choice?

Top of the Hill Goes Green! And a beer review!!

Good evening ladies and gentlemen!!

I actually went to Chapel Hill’s Top of the Hill last night for dinner with the beau.  I’ll admit, I’m a huge fan of Top of the Hill (or TopO as most of us Tar Heels call it).  However, to be totally honest, most of my nights there look something like this:

Sucking back lemon chasers post birthday-cake shots...

Stalking Tyler Hansborough (or any other UNC superstar)

You know… the usual.

The drinks are a little more expensive than your average UNC/Franklin Street bar but, honestly, you get what you pay for: the food’s good, the beers are handcrafted, and the view… well you can’t beat it.

Love it. Source

However, last night, thanks to a LivingSocial deal from a while back, we had a date night to TopO followed by a viewing of Harry Potter 7:2 (it was amazing… but that’s a post for another day.)  I decided I wasn’t in a beer mood, and went with a diet coke to drink.  I stepped out of my box in other way, too, and ordered this:

Edamame Burger, if you please!

On the menu tonight: The Edamame Burger, a house-made soy bean vegetarian patty with lettuce, tomato, red onions, tzatziki sauce & sweet potato fries. And for my stepping outside of the box… I was rewarded!  The burger was delicious!!  It certainly didn’t taste anything like a burger, but it was light, it was flavorful, and the tzatziki sauce paired nicely with it (though the sauce was a little thin for my liking.) The rest of the toppings (onions, tomato, lettuce) were crisp and fresh, good quality. On the side, the sweeet potato fries, which I love in a romantic sense.  Normally, I’ll get the sweet potato fries appetizer, which includes the fries covered in cheese (cheddar and gorgonzola!!!!!!! AHHHHH!!!) but I knew that the fries stood strong on their own, so I enjoyed every last bite.  I’d recommend this to anyone, vegetarian, meatatarian, pizzatarian…. it’s just a superior dish, and a steal for less than $10 (but only by 1 penny.)

Since I didn’t have a beer last night at TopO, Ryan and I decided to pair dinner tonight with a new beer we’ve never tried!!

Cottonwood Endo IPA, in a Harp glass. Don't get confused.

The Cottonwood Endo IPA from Carolina Beer Company (the website is very weird/confusing, but there’s the link if you’d like) poured a lovely gold color, lots of carbonation, and honestly, I was just excited because it was from Mooresville, NC (not even 3 hours from where I live, and the hometown of a friend of mine!!)  The smell was hoppy, and I was pumped to take a sip.  It was the sip, though, that burst my bubble.  It’s not that this is a bad beer, don’t get me wrong.  Even at first taste, I thought I tasted maybe some sort of citrus flavor somewhere.  But after letting it sit on my tongue for a bit, the taste went away and was replaced with a bare bones beer flavor (or lack of flavor).  Basically, what I’m saying is that the flavor was short lived, and there was little to no mouthfeel of any sort.  Like a pale ale that just kind of gave up…  It’s a shame, because I wanted to love this beer.  Alas, there’s plenty of love lost.

The only redeeming quality of this beer: drinkability.  I am already on my second one and think, if I wanted, I could have another.  I don’t want to…. but if I did, I’d be set.  I still have hopes for Carolina Beer Company… but not high ones.