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The tag line of Rebecca Subbiah‘s Chow and Chatter is, travel, good food and nutrition. It is perfect.  I’m always learning a little tidbit from her either about how to grow vegetables, or traveling back to Scotland, or a savory recipe to try. I also am a huge fan of her twitter feed.  She always has something interesting to share. Rebecca was nice enough to answer a few of my questions for my Winston-Salem blogger series.  Enjoy!

via Chow and ChatterDTWS:  How did you first get into blogging?

RS: I started blogging when my daughter was a baby as a creative outlet and soon found a passion for it. Loved the sense of community in the food blogging world.

via Chow and Chatter

DTWS:  What has been your biggest surprise since you started?

RS:  Nothing really be true to you and have fun with it

 

via Chow and Chatter

DTWS:  You are a maven on Twitter where does your best info come from?

RS:  Lots of apps on my phone I have two small kids so hardly sit at computer these days and following interesting people. There’s a knack for finding cool content and a skill that can be learned 😉

image via Food Writer Friday

DTWS:  What keeps you motivated to stay so engaged?

RS:  I enjoy the banter with folks and have met many interesting folks in real life it has also lead to speaking engagements and social media work.

 

via Ready, pack, Go!

DTWS:  What if your favorite topic to blog about?

RS:  Food and travel
DTWS:  What is the most exciting thing happening right now in Winston-Salem in your opinion?

RS:  Love the coffee and bakery scene the food is improving but not there yet sorry I am a spoilt and well traveled foodie. I love the gardens and walking trails here also.

 

Thank you again to Rebecca.!!

Rebecca is very social here is how you can follow her:

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest 

Vine  (PS the video on how to poach an egg is great!)

via Chow and Chatter

PS — Did I mention she has her own recipe app ??  How cool is that ??

Dashing – xoxo

Last week Daphne and I cruised downtown to a spot I had not been in a long time, Sweet Potatoes Restaurant.  I was so excited to get back to this southern food gem in our fair city.  As soon as we walked in the door I started to smell the delicious scents of  down home cooking and forgot about my waist line.

The front of Sweet Potatoes on Trade Street

 

Daphne and I were seated right away and I was delighted to see the striking art on the walls in the crowded restaurant.  I was instantly back in love with Sweet Potatoes.

As we sat down and started looking at the menu I was excited to see what was for lunch.

It was time to order.  Daphne selected the Curried Chicken Salad and I decided on the V.V.’s Mama’s meatloaf.  Daphne got a side of sweet potato fries and I got the fried okra with my meal.

 

Daphne’s Curried Chicken Salad

I asked Daphne how she enjoyed her meal, “I loved it!! They definitely put classy into southern food!”

The Sweet Potato Fries

 

Like I said I had the meatloaf… OMG it wasn’t fair that I had to go back and work after that meal.  I just wanted to enjoy the rest of my day.  It was so good and I was so full.

V.V. Mama’s Meatloaf

 

Yes there is meatloaf under the crispy tobacco onion and gravy… Good MAMA it was knock your socks off good!!

I asked Daphne if there was anything else she’d like to tell y’all :

“I loved the art work. It fit the restaurant well. For elegant southern food they should definitely give Sweet Potatoes a try. They have everything from fried green tomatoes to okra. It is delicious! I would go back a hundred times!”  I agree with her 1000% and it won’t be so long next time.  It was the most enjoyable meal.  Yum!!!

First time this has ever happened… the guy’s finger got in the way of the picture. I didn’t notice it until tonight. Oh well!!

 

Dashing – xoxox

 

Daphne and I dug ourselves out of our homes to get to Pintxos Pour House on Saturday for lunch.  We were so excited to get out and have some girl time after five days of being “snowed in.” Like I said in my prior post, Daphne got to choose the place we went and Pintxos was her choice.  She had sampled the food once and was excited for me to try it as well and we could review it together.

Pintxos is located in the Village of Robinhood which is at the corner of Meadowlark and Robinhood.

Front Door…

The menu as you can see is massive.  We decided to try the tapas but there were so many options to try we could go back multiple times without trying everything.

There is a great bar area with chalkboards through out the restaurant.  When I asked Daphne about the ambiance this is what she told me, ” I thought the scenery was really cool. I loved all the chalk boards with the artwork done in chalk. It had everything from Homer Simpson and shaggy from scooby doo. It was really neat.”

We tried five different tapas… yum and OMG it was a lot of food for both of us to eat!! 

Cake and Shrimp

Shrimp and Bacon Corn dog w/ sweet and spicy mustard

Sweet Tea Chicken and Waffles

 Fried Green Tomatoes
Scallops BLT
I wanted to know which was Daphne’s favorite, “My favorite tapas were the chicken and waffles. I loved the maple syrup sauce in it. The chicken was marinated for 8 hours in sweet tea which made the chicken very tender and delicious. I also loved the fried green tomatoes. It was topped with a homemade pimento cheese that accented the tomatoes wonderfully.”   I liked the chicken and waffles but my favorite had to be the Scallops BLT.  The fusion of flavors together was wonderful and the scallops were cooked perfectly.

In addition to the chalkboard walls, there is black paper on all of the tables that you can draw, write, doodle whatever you like.  A great added touch if you had kids with you.
As we finished up our lunch I wanted to know Daphne’s overall take away, “I love that they have a tapas menu. I think it would make a fun night out where you can try different foods. The presentation of the food was done perfectly.”  I think she nailed it.  We had a great time.  It is definitely worth the trip out that way to discover something completely different than anything else in Winston. 

Dashing – xoxo

Usually Daphne and I go to trendier spots  for our Dining with Daphne posts.  Not today.  Today we are going to share with you our favorite spot for lunch on a nice day. Alex’s Cafe.  Is it fancy?  No.  Is it absolutely delicious, Yes.  Do we love sitting outside?  Yes.  Do the waitresses know us?  Yes.  This past Friday, it was a beautiful day and a perfect time to review one of our favorite spots.

Like I said the ladies know us, and they know we like to eat outside.  We order inside first and then they bring the meal out to us.  This is great.  Every time we put up the umbrella at the same table and make our selves comfortable.  Daphne always get a half/half tea and I always get water (if it is after 11:30… ya’ll know I get a cup of coffee if it is in the early morning:))

This is Daphne’s meal the #10 Marinated Chicken with grilled peppers, mushrooms, and onions.  She also had the Taboli salad.  Doesn’t it look delicious??
 I asked Daphne what she wanted y’all to know about Alex’s “That it is a small restaurant where the service is always good and the food is always enjoyable.  You can get more of home cooked type meal or a wonderful Greek style food.”  I also asked her what is her favorite part about Alex’s, “It is one of my favorite go too places.  I love the location and the food is always good.”

I am in love with the fried okra here.  You have to order it as a side portion but it is well worth the extra money.  Yum!  Is all I am going to say.  I’m always too full when I leave. 
A good inside picture of my Falafel.  It was so good! 
What is even more fun is because this spot is near preschool, you always get to see friends.  We were thrilled to see Laura and get to catch up with her!  
Thank you also to Laura for taking the picture of Daphne and I.  

If it is a pretty day and preschool is in session, check out the deck.  There is a great chance that you will see Daphne and I laughing and enjoying the day at Alex’s.  But don’t take our table… it is sacred to us!

Dashing – xoxo
If you don’t know Julia Chandler, I’m honored to introduce you to one of the kindest people I know.  Julia is a fabulous person and an amazing chef.  Since launching Julia’s Take Away Gourmet and Catering a year ago she has been busy stirring, mixing, tasting and creating cuisine that is always so lovely.  Her tag line is “Enjoy the best of food and life”  and it is perfect for her. 
Julia is known for all of her amazing food.  There are so many favorites, in our home  her soups, barbecue, and flavored butter are at the top of our list.  You might say, flavored butter???  FLAVORED BUTTER!  My favorite is the herbed butter.  In fact, I was able to take some home after taking these pictures.  I’m now thinking of things to cook this week so that I can put butter on potatoes, bread, croissants, etc.!  Sounds silly I know but if you’ve never have had her cuisine you just can’t get it.  Everything, even down to the butter is Amazing.
Without further ado here is my conversation with Julia Chandler.
Front of Julia’s Kitchen
Dashing Through WS (D):  Do you remember your first time you cooked for a large crowd?

Julia Chandler (JC):  Do I ever!  Years ago before I stopped working to have a family, I had my catering business out of a kitchen in Greensboro, NC.  I ran the catering and events for a historic home where they had weddings and lots of business meetings and events.  I think it was my second day there, and my first time running my own kitchen, that I had a large business meeting of 100 guests to impress.  I was shaking in my chef jacket!  I am happy to say it went fabulously well, I had fun and the group really enjoyed everything, and continued to be customers while I was there.  It was a great way to start off with a bang, but the first time cooking for 100 was something you don’t forget!

D: Tell me about the importance of good ingredients, you talk a lot about home grown veggies, farmers market and such in your blog.

JC: Pretty simple, you need good ingredients for good food.  Even if your veggies aren’t locally sourced, their quality is so important.  I really enjoy our local farmers markets and try to support them as much as I can, but when I am buying large quantities I try to pick the best looking, freshest products available.   
  
D: What are some important things to remember when you are creating a menu for a dinner party

JC: I always tell people when entertaining you need to make it easy on yourself.  Guests don’t want to have their hostess stressed and in the kitchen the whole time, so taking time to plan a dinner party that will be easy to pull off is so important.  Choose things that are easy to prepare in advance.  It doesn’t have to be fancy to be good, in fact when you are able to enjoy it and have fun too, the fun level automatically increases for everyone. 
D: If you had to give one tip to a novice cook, what would it be? 

JC: In one word, relax!  Cooking to me is art, it should be creative and fun and approached this way, not something to fret or worry over.  If it makes you feel that way, hire someone! 

D: What is the most creative menu you have ever created for a catering job? 

JC: Wow, this is a harder question.  I love planning menu’s and try to keep the host and event in mind when working on things, giving them the most creative menu they can afford for their budget.  While I use the same items often, I create each menu for a client and don’t have generic ones to send out.  I love getting creative with Southern but gourmet flavors to fit the occasion.  Recently I did individual Banana Puddings for a dessert and petite Vidalia Onion & Pimiento Cheese tartlets for a starter for a Southern Farm party and they were a lot of fun!  Most creative menu though was many years ago.  I had a client for Furniture Market that threw a big kick off party with a Texas theme.  We had wagon wheels, tumbleweeds, cacti, horse shoes and all kinds of fun decorations.  The menu was wild, literally, with a rattlesnake appetizer (yes, rattlesnake meat) and fried alligator bites.  That was pre-recession and cut backs, now that kind of entertaining is not as common!

Homemade coutons Julia was making for her catering job while I was there.


Thank you so much for your time Julia! Julia has catered baby showers for me, I’ve attended many parties she has catered, and I’ve done the dinner pick up numerous times, I’ve never had a bad meal.  If you haven’t done her dinner pickup, had a boxed lunch or been to a catered party by Julia, click through to her website and see all that she has to offer.
Dashing – xoxo