Recap | Atlanta Food & Wine Festival 2021 ~ Bites, Sips & Sights #AFWF2021 @ATLFoodandWine

Atlanta Food and Wine Festival – Saturday Tasting Tents Recap by SobeSavvy.com

Atlantaย Foodย and Wine Festival IS BACK! Sept. 9th-12th and I couldn’t be more happier to indulge and celebrate southern cuisine. Theย Atlantaย Foodย and Wine Festival featured 250 restaurants, artisans, chefs and producers. Located in Midtown in the Historic Fourth Ward Park, the outdoor festival included unlimitedย food, cocktails, all-day entertainment and Yelp curators. Saturday/Sunday’s Tasting Tents started with VIP access from 1 – 2 p.m., followed by general admission from 2- 5 p.m. SobeSavvy.com attended Saturday’s event and here are some of my favorite highlights:

Grab your tasting cup and map and let the foodie fun begin!

BITES

There were endless food bite choices throughout the park. Truly a foodie heaven on earth! We tried pork belly, shrimp & grits, and sea scallops just to name a few! Saturday’s Tasting featured the festival’s first ever Barbecue Battle competition, where top chefs competed for the ‘Best Barbecue Bite’. This one was my fave because it had amazing flavor and it was melt in your mouth good!

SIPS

Sip, Sip,, Hooray for Unlimited Wine, Beer and Spirits available for sampling at the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival. My favorite rosรฉ wine by Jean Luc Colombo was on tap and the Aperol Spritz definitely was the most colorful cocktail of the day. It literally was bright orange and also quite refreshing. Coca Cola was also onsite promoting their new zero sugar soda by using it in a few unique cocktails. White and Red Wine were available also by a number of wineries. Stella Artois had a great set up where guests were given a engraved classic beer glass. Black Owned Gladys Wine was on site promoting their delicious white wines from Hungary. Bourbon lovers enjoyed the Makers Mark Stand where they were making a signature cocktail called the “Gold Rush”. I plan to recreate the recipe as seen here at home!

Cocktail Recipe ~ Maker’s Mark Gold Rush. I tried it at the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival and enjoyed it!

SIGHTS

Atlanta being one of the most diverse cities in America, made for great people watching. The Publix Demo Stage doubled as a shady respite from the sun and heat. For the first time in this event’s history, the live demos were included with admission. Guests watched some of their favorite chefs show their expertise and talent on the elevated stage. There were yard games like jenga and cornhole to play as well as selfie / Instagram worthy moments thanks to the beautiful lounge setups and creative backdrops by Boxwood Event Rentals. Check out this shot by yours truly:

In effort to curb hunger and reduce food waste, Atlanta Food & Wine Festival partnered with Second Helpings Atlanta to collect fresh, surplus food from the festival to donate to hunger relief agencies. In addition, they will support Children of Conservation, with proceeds dedicated to the conservation of endangered species through education, habitat preservation and wildlife sanctuary.  

We had a great time and encourage you to mark your calendars for next year’s event happening June 2-5,2022. For more information, go to atlfoodandwinefestival.com

Event Recap | #WitchesandWines ft. @thechocboutique @shoecrazywine @MercerEstates @dunkindonuts

Event Recap | #WitchesandWines | Hosted by Leslie @SobeSavvy

For the past few years, for Halloween I have hosted ladies to a wine tasting. It is a great way to connect, discover new wines and celebrate a fun holiday in an adult way. I have shared tip on hosting a “Hallo-wine” tasting at home here on the blog, but this year I had the challenge of finding a way to entertain outside of the home while keeping safety precautions in mind due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Hence #WitchesandWines was born! An event created and hosted by me for women who love wine and Halloween.

THE INVITE

An intimate group of 8 ladies were invited to join me for this fun night out. Canva was the perfect way to make a simple invite and Facebook is what I used to contact the ladies and keep them updated on the event. I found funny memes via Pinterest to have us laughing leading up to our witches night out!

The Venue

I held my gathering at a unique spot called The Chocolate Boutique, a local, small black-owned business located in North Raleigh’s Lafayette Village. This wondeful store is best described as a chocolate and wine lovers dream. From hosting chocolate making classes to wine and craft beer tastings, this fabulous store also creates an attractive and outdoor space for intimate small events. The ladies and I relaxed on a warm early fall evening while sipping on Chandelier sparkling wine as a welcome drink! This wine as well as others are available for purchase to enjoy on site as well as throughout the shopping village. I highly recommend you buy a bottle or 2 for your next gathering or to simply keep on hand for anytime you want to celebrate you.

Shoe Crazy Wine

A featured wine brand of the evening was for the lovers of sweet wines, called “Shoe Crazy”. This wine is the brainchild of Gwen Hurt, an African American woman who is the founder of this private label wine. Sweet Bella, is a low alcohol sweet red created for her Mom, Sweet Harmony, is a sweet white that has a black/white label to reflect the need of harmony needed in our nation and Sparkling Peach Mango, which was fruity and festive. For celebrations big or small, Shoe Crazy Wine has something for all!

Mercer Wine

I also informed the guests about one of my favorite wine makers called Mercer Wine. Located in Eastern Washington State, Mercer offers all the major varietals with their Mercer Bros. line. The Edge Of Heaven Red Blend has become one of my new favorite reds. Barrel aged for 16 mos, this pairs great with goat cheese. This wine leads with aromas and flavors of bursting ripe, black cherry and plum with notes of milk chocolate, coffee and sweet smoke. Their Chardonnay has notes of vanilla and marshmallow with a touch of acid and went lovely with some herb grilled shrimp that was served.. Mercer Bros. label also offers a Cabernet Sauvignon that is wonderful with steak, lamb or gouda cheese and has aromas of ripe red fruit, blackberry pie, dried cranberries with hintsof brown sugar and warm baking spices. You simply cannot go wrong with any of these choices. Mercer also won the 2010 environment stewardship award so respect for the the land that makes superb wine is a win win!

SobeSavvy Tip: For an adult Halloween, skip the candy & give ICAN Hard Seltzer, also available from Mercer Wineโ—I shared these in my Thank You swag bags for my #WitchesandWines ๐Ÿง™๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿท๐Ÿง™ event.What I like about this hard seltzer brand is that it’s gluten free, all natural , & vegan friendly and come in these flavors:
๐Ÿ’ Black Cherry
๐Ÿ‰ Watermelon
๐Ÿ‘ Peach
๐Ÿ‡ Wild Berry

The Treats/ Giveaway

Guess what pairs great with wine? DONUTS! I offered up some Spooky Treats courtesy of Dunkin. This year to celebrate Halloween they introduced a pair of doughnuts coined “Crave Worthy Creations”. Ghost Pepper and Spider Specialty being the two stars. Some stores still have these in stock so hurry and get yours now!

I also hosted a giveaway for one witchy guest to receive a $10 gift card from Dunkin. I randomly chose a winner and Ms.Tiana, owner of On Board Char , known for their elevated cheese/charcuterie boards/boxes, won! Congratulations ๐ŸŽ‰

๐Ÿ‘€Watch my full recap video here on YouTube โคต๏ธ

Thanks to all who helped to make this Halloween themed wine mixer a success! #WitchesandWines may have been held with Oct.31 in mind, but you can gather with a few friends anytime to enjoy new ways to discover new wines! I encourage you to check out these brands that I mentioned and of course, drink responsibly. CHEERS๐Ÿท

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Top 5 Easy Meals For Kids To Make

Top 5 Easy Meals For Kids to Make | SobeSavvy.com & @outandaboutAva

Moms/Dads, raise your hand if being in quarantine and cooking all the meals has gotten old ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ? So when our daughter, fondly referred to on the blog as @outandaboutAva showed an interest in creating dishes and sharing her meals online..we said go ‘head girl, get your cook on! She wanted to make Tik Tok videos showing off her kitchen skills and came up with a name for her cooking show: Ava Brings The Flava! She has so much fun doing these videos and we just love supporting her. One of our friends has even sent her some customized cooking utensils for her recent 9th birthday to keep encouraging this hobby of hers. Needless to say..Ava was so surprised and happy to receive this gift.

I am more than happy to sit back and let her make her own meals as long as she doesn’t burn down the house. So far, so good y’all! Ava has really grown in the kitchen and used these Covid-19 times to hone her skills while social distancing at home. These are the Top 5 Meals Easy Meals For Kids to Make presented by our 9 year old foodie/cook Ava!

Breakfast

Recipe: Ava-cado Toast

Lunch

Recipe: Pizza Piadina

Snack

Recipe: ChickPea Salad

Dinner

Recipe: Pesto Salmon

Dessert

Recipe: Mango Creamsicle

Which one of the recipes above have you made or would like to try? If you’d like to follow more of my girl’s cooking journey, follow along here:

TikTok: @leslieissobesavvy

IG: @outandaboutAva, @SobeSavvy

Hashtag: #AvaxFlava

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CE-1w54hThU/?igshid=1s1fef6hkytn0

Does your kid like to cook or do you have an easy recipe that my daughter should try next? Please share below and thanks for reading!

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas, Deals and Giveaways from Local NC Businesses

Hello May! There is no doubt that we are thankful for each month, each day but as Mother’s Day rapidly approaches on Sunday, May 10, I can only wonder how to celebrate. My Mom is in another state and with the Stay at Home order, we are staying safely away from each other while sending many virtual kisses and hugs and making the most of online chats. In the midst of it all, it is important for us Moms to celebrate our hardwork and dedication as we all try to balance work life, married life, homeschool life, and parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though this Mother’s Day 2020 will undoubtedly be different, we should take the time to recognize us Moms! I am happy to share these fun and budget-friendly ways to celebrate Moms while taking the opportunity to show appreciation to our local NC businesses throughout the Triangle and beyond! Check out these discounts, deals and giveaways to help you make it a special day (see details below and enter on IG @SobeSavvy) ! Mother’s Day Gift Ideas, Deals and Giveaways from Local NC Businesses

โ€ข Serve her breakfast in bed and “Build Your Own Brunch Box ” from kรตโ€ขรคn

โ€ข Tired of cooking? Get Sunday Brunch to Go at STIR + use special discount code SOBESAVVY10 for 10% off your order

โ€ข Take her on a Pizza Picnic with Coronato Pizza + enter Giveaway for Mom to win FREE pizza

โ€ข Treat her to some selfcare with organic skincare products from Nailah Shea + use discount code SOBESHEA2020
for 15% of purchases of $30 or more

โ€ข Schedule a Front Porch Portrait Session by Images by Amber Robinson and take advantage of the Mother’s Day Special ..available until May 10th!

โค A family portrait would make the perfect gift for Mom. Buy Gift Cards for Images by Amber and Redeem Later:

https://www.honeybook.com/widget/imagesby_amber_robinson/cf_id/5ea8cee464d6201d9d22e9e6

โ€ข Light up her life with a scented candle from Bright Black Candle + get free shipping & 10% off with code “happymoms” on all orders through Motherโ€™s Day 5/10

โ€ข Enter to win her a $100 National Pawn Gift Card

Mother’s Day is Sunday May 10th. I encourage you to support local businesses and celebrate your Mother, your Mom friends and the Mom in you too! Know of any local deals, discounts or giveaways happening and want to share? Please do in the comments below. โค Thanks for reading and sharing!

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Event Recap | Fun Times at #GalentinesandWine @IL_Palio #GalentinesDay #ValentinesDay #IlPalioNC #winetasting #ChapelHill

What do you get when you mix Girlfriends + Wine Tasting + Valentine’s Day? You get #GalentinesandWine ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿท An event I hosted and created to celebrate good wine and fun times with some amazing bloggers/influencers in the Triangle!

THE INVITE

Inspired by artwork from Deborah Cartwright, I set out to invite 4 black women bloggers/influencers whom I had the pleasure of vibing with over food and wine in the past. It gave all of us a great opportunity to connect and explore the unique, hand-selected collection of wines at Il Palio Restaurant.

THE RESTAURANT | IL PALIO

Il Palio, located inside the The Siena Hotel, was gracious to host our group and take us on a journey of their hand-selected Italian wines and paired it with some delicious small plates. Known for their warmth of service and quality of their cooking, Il Palio was the perfect choice to celebrate Galentine’s Day along with the great tradition of Italian hospitality. Annabel Butler, the new Restaurant Manager and Sommelier, did an excellent job of hosting us!

THE WELCOME COCKTAIL

Nothing says festive like a cocktail in a flute. Make it pink and you got the perfect Galentine’s drink! Lucky for us, Il Palio already had a pink cocktail on their menu, called the Pom Reader, made with Suntory Roku Gin, pomegranate liqueur, honey, lemon, prosecco. We loved this as a pink welcome cocktail prepared by their bartender Bryan!

THE WINE and FOOD Pairing

The wines picked for us were all Italian wines with all native grapes, which gave a great snapshot of Italian wines. These wines were paired with small Italian plates and were provided with tasting notes for all of the following wines:

Sparkling / Wild Card:

โ€ข Denny Bini Lambrusco, a chilled sparkling red wine from the Emilia-Romagna region [..paired with Oven Roasted Caprese Salad]

White:

โ€ข Collestefano, Verdicchio di Matelica, a nutty, high-acid white wine from the Marche region [ …paired with cheese, nuts, dried fruits]

โ€ข Fontanassa, Gavi Caโ€™Adua, made from the Cortese grape this full bodied white wine is similar to Chardonnay and comes from the Gavi region […paired with wood grilled octopus]

Red:

โ€ข Tasca Regaleali Rosso, Nero dโ€™Avola, a lighter bodied red wine from Sicily grown in Volcanic Soil […paired with two types of wood grilled crostini – Olives Tapenade & Chicken Liver Mousse]

โ€ข Podero Sapaio Pappolo , a deliciously rich Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot blend [….paired with Marinated Beef Carpaccio] โฃ While everything I tried was a delicious pairing, this was my personal favorite duo of the night!

Sweet:

โ€ข Vietti Moscato a sweet wine from the Piedmont region. […paired with dessert, which was a cookie plate of the chef’s selection of house made Italian cookies]

**SobeSavvy Tip: Not sure what to get that special person in your life for Valentine’s Day? How about the gift of an exquisite Italian dinner in Chapel Hill, NC? Il Palio will have delicious options with wine pairings including their well-known Tagliatelle alla Tartufo. Get details about Valentine’s Day at Il Palio here:
https://ilpalio.com/valentines-day

โค๐Ÿฝโค๐Ÿฝโค๐Ÿฝโค๐Ÿฝโค๐Ÿฝโค๐Ÿฝ

Also, SAVE THE DATEIl Palio at the Siena Hotel is excited to host the Podere Sapaio Wine Dinner on February 26, 2020 at 6:30pm. This special six-course dinner highlights wine originating from the territory in Italy that runs parallel to the Tuscan coast. Executive Chef Adam Rose has prepared each course to pair perfectly with winery owner Massimo Piccin’s beverage selections.Tickets are $95 per person including tax and gratuity, with reservations available by calling Il Palio at (919)-918-2545.

THANK YOUs

Me and My #GalentinesandWine โค๐Ÿทcelebration was lovely! Everyone got a Thank You gift from me as a token of my appreciation: a candle, chocolates, and a poem I wrote & framed inspired by #debracartwrightart.

To see more highlights of the event, WATCH my YOUTUBE video here:

โ€ข

Thank you again to my wonderful guests for joining me for this special evening and to the wonderful staff at IL PALIO! The great service, amazing food & wine and wonderful memories made with the ladies is something I will cherish always!

โคโคโคโคโคโคโคโคโคโคโคโคโคโคโค

Do you plan to celebrate Galentine’s or Valentine’s Day this year? Let me know in the comments below your plans or if you need some inspiration and other savvy ideas, I’d be happy to help! Cheers ๐Ÿทโค ๐Ÿฝ

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My Top 4 Raleigh Restaurants for @TriRestWeek | @41Hundred @Sushimon_nc @Seasons52 and STIR

Triangle Restaurant Week Roundup January 2020

If you’ve been following me over on Instagram @SobeSavvy, then you may have noticed that I have been getting my eat on for Triangle Restaurant Week! You still have this weekend to make plans to try some delicious dishes prepared for you in 3 courses at a fixed price. Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas are participating but here is a recap of my Top 4 Raleigh Restaurants to enjoy during Triangle Restaurant Week!

41 Hundred

Located in North Hills, inside the Renaissance Raleigh Hotel, 41 Hundred is not your ordinary hotel restaurant. Chef Kevin Smith and his team gave us memorable dishes that left lasting impressions. Here is where I kicked off Triangle Restaurant Week and ICYMI, you can check out my full review on the blog>>here. The dinner menu was 3 courses for $30 and I chose the Seafood Gumbo, Sea Bass, and Blueberry Cobbler Cheesescake. Everything was great from the service to the taste/quality of the food. From start to finish, I enjoyed it all but my favorite bite of the night was the Sea Bass as seen here โคต๏ธ

STIR Raleigh

STIR Raleigh is also located in North Hills and is one of my go to place for fresh oysters. I was interested in seeing what dishes they came up with for Triangle Restaurant Week. Because I associate STIR with fresh seafood, I was hoping to see more seafood items but was still pleased with the choices. From their $30 p/p dinner menu, I chose Crab Ravioli, Braised Pork Shoulder, and Banana Cheesecake. I really enjoyed the dessert which tasted like a mashup of banana pudding and cheesecake! Take a look at my photos here and feast your eyes on STIR Raleigh โคต๏ธ

Sushi Mon

I highly anticipated going here to Sushi Mon after hearing so many great things about their restaurant, its menu and of course sushi. So when I saw them on the Triangle Restaurant Week list of participating restaurants, I was so excited! Located near NC State, Sushi Mon offers “elevated takes on sushi and Japanese fare“. Their 4 course dinner menu for $35 took my tastebuds on a culinary journey. They had ingredients imported from Bangkok,Thailand and Spain but even featured local food too. My favorite bite of the night: EVERYTHING. Seriously, you can’t go wrong no matter what you choose. Here is my video which recaps my dining experience at Sushi Mon โคต๏ธ

Seasons 52

When I found out my friend would be in town for a business meeting, we quickly made plans to meet for lunch. I told her it’s Triangle Restaurant Week here and we can go somewhere that would have vegan options for her. Seasons 52, located in Crabtree Valley Mall, is known for their healthy cuisine, fresh grill and wines. For $15 p/p, their 3 course Lunch menu is quite a deal! I got the Romaine and Kale Ceasar, Wood-Grilled Boneless Rainbow Trout and Mini Indulgence Dessert. Those desserts are so good, it is hard to choose just one. Take a look at my delicious lunch at Seasons 52 hereโคต๏ธ

๐Ÿดโญ๐Ÿดโญ๐Ÿดโญ๐Ÿดโญ๐Ÿดโญ๐Ÿดโญ๐Ÿดโญ๐Ÿด

I hope that after reading this you are inspired to visit these restaurants NOW for Triangle Restaurant Week or LATER when the mood for good food hits you! What’s the best thing you had to eat during Triangle Restaurant Week January 2020? Have you been to any of the above restaurants before? Let me know in the comments below!

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Where to Eat in Raleigh for Triangle Restaurant Week|41Hundred @41hundredlounge @TriRestWeek @VisitNorthHills

41Hundred Dinner Menu for Triangle Restaurant Week Jan 2020

Foodies get ready! Triangle Restaurant Week is here, beginning Monday (Jan. 20-26, 2020) and we get to enjoy menu deals for lunch and dinner at some of our favorite restaurants. This is a good time to make your reservations at places you’ve always wanted to try. Or perhaps return to a restaurant you may have been to before but can now try something new and different from the menu. Since there are so many premier places to choose from, I thought I would help by giving you a my review of the special menu from one of my favorite restaurants, 41Hundred.

About 41Hundred |Located at 4100 Main at North Hills St. in Raleigh, 41Hundred is the new concept inside of the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel. 41Hundred offers simply sophisticated, international cuisine crafted by Executive Chef Kevin Smith and team.

DINNER MENU

Known for their memorable food and drink selections, 41Hundred is all about using fresh, local high quality ingredients in their dishes. You can expect food that is simple, yet beautifully prepared and full of flavor. Triangle Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to experience 41Hundred‘s culinary chops at a great value. For $30 p/p, here is what is offered on their special dinner menu:

โ€ข First Course

Although my guest, the beautiful Anna Haddock, & I had dined at 41Hundred before, we were both excited to try what was on the menu. Our server was helpful and ready to answer any questions for us. The Seafood Gumbo was the perfect start for both of us on this winter evening. Not only did it warm my heart but left an impression on my soul! It had a nice amount of flavor and was chock full of shrimp, crab, sausage, baby scallops & okra. One Word: AMAZING

โ€ข Second Course

No matter if you are doing Whole 30, Paleo, Keto, or you are a meat-lover, a seafoodie or vegetarian, you’ll find something you’ll like on this menu. I ordered the Sea Bass, not only because I love seafood but the candied bacon listed as one of the ingredients used in this dish was calling my name! It was served with smoked fontina grits, king trumpet mushrooms and pomodoro. Each bite was better than the last. One Word: INCREDIBLE

If you love a nice tender piece of meat that falls of its bone, order the Osso Buco. It is prepared with a saffron sweet pea risotto, roasted baby vegetables and love. We were both impressed by the portion size and how tasty it was! One Word: SATISFYING

โ€ข Third Course

Whatever you do remember the following Four Words: SAVE๐Ÿ‘ ROOM๐Ÿ‘ FOR๐Ÿ‘ DESSERT. 41Hundred has two options on their TRW menu, one of them I recognized from their regular menu: The Blueberry Cobbler Cheesecake. The berry compote added a nice tart freshness to the sweet and creamy cheesecake. We loved it!

The second dessert option was created by the sous chef and is called The Impossible Cake. It is a chocolate cake layered with a caramel custard, similar to a flan on top. It comes with caramel sauce, whipped cream and bourbon pecans. We both enjoyed the combination of flavors.

**SobeSavvy Tip: Did you know you can stop in for lunch at 41Hundred during Triangle Restaurant Week and enjoy 3 courses for just $15 p/p?! Take a look at this fantastic menu โคต๏ธ

Overall our dining experience was a great one filled with new foodie memories! Not only did we enjoy the service, but the 3 course meal from 41Hundred left a lasting good impression! **What dish is calling you in to dine at 41Hundred for TRIANGLE RESTAURANT WEEK? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

**Also, be sure to follow me on social media and stay tuned all week to see more of SobeSavvy.com’s Triangle Restaurant Week options. Up Next: STIR Raleigh
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๐Ÿ“41Hundred

4100 Main at North Hills Street

Raleigh, NC 27609

Connect with 41Hundred on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Kid-Friendly Ideas For Festive Family Fun In Raleigh NC

Hello December! We’ve officially kicked off our holiday season in our home and ready to spread some cheer. The Christmas tree is up, we’ve already started drinking eggnog and Motown Christmas songs are on repeat on Spotify. My #HeighPartyof3 (which consists of my spouse, our daughter and me) are in the Heigh-liday spirit {get it๐Ÿ˜‰} and have began some of the holiday traditions that we enjoy.ย So today I am sharing my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Family Fun In Raleigh,NC ~


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES


๐ŸŽ„ RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL


๐™๐™ช๐™™๐™ค๐™ก๐™ฅ๐™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™š๐™™-๐™‰๐™ค๐™จ๐™š๐™™ ๐™๐™š๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™™๐™š๐™š๐™ง: ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™ˆ๐™ช๐™จ๐™ž๐™˜๐™–๐™ก, is now playing at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts until DEC 24th in downtown Raleigh. My family has enjoyed this live performance for the last few years now and it just keeps getting better! They’ve even added something new this holiday season to the beloved TV classic.
See all of your fave characters: Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Corneliusย and, of course, Rudolph, as they sing and dance their way to your heartsย while teaching kids of all ages to celebrate what makes you different because its your special superpower!๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฝโค ๐ŸŽ‰

SobeSavvy Tip: The fun continues in the lobby with great photo ops next to larger than life inflatables and cool photo props. Get your kids face painted before the show or shop for some holiday gifts during intermission!


๐ŸŽ„ CINDERELLA


Continuing my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Famiy Fun in Raleigh, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without Raleigh Little Theatre’s Cinderella! Celebrating its 36th year, Cinderella runs December 6 – 22.
This amazing production has
* a sparkle of magic โœจ
*ย  a delightful blend of comedy and romance ๐Ÿ’‘
* elegant scenery and costumes ๐Ÿ‘—
* outstanding singing & dancing ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ƒ
….and great actors to bring this timeless story to life! We loved all the modern updates and twists that were added to this classic tale, plus there is some audience interaction that everyone enjoyed!ย  Make plans to see #RLTCinderella for the holidays and
Get your tickets today!

SobeSavvy Tip: Stay after the show and get a chance to meet The Fairy Godmothet or snap a pic with King Darling! There’s also merchandise available to buy for your little prince or princess in the lobby. Plus, RLT is collaborating with WRAL and accepting donations for Coats For The Children.


***SAVE THE DATE & GET TIX NOW for these upcoming shows at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts:

โ€ข DEC 13th and 14th Holidays with the North Carolina Symphony |HOLIDAY POPS features the holiday songs everyone knows and loves at Meymandi Concert Hall. With falling snow, hot chocolate, carolers, and an audience sing-along, this festive concert is the perfect holiday tradition. Audiences are invited to come early to meet Santa!

ย 

โ€ข DEC 18th – 29th ‘The Nutcracker’ Carolina Ballet | From the moment the curtain rises, the magic of this Holiday classic is mesmerizing. Take a journey to a land of whimsical characters featuring magical illusions, magnificent sets, and beautiful costumes. Listen as a live symphony orchestra plays Tchaikovskyโ€™s famed score.ย The Nutcrackerย is the perfect story ballet for the young and young at heart.


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

HOLIDAY EATS & SWEETS

๐ŸŽ„ SANTA BRUNCH at STIR

If you saw my Instagram story/post this past weekend, then perhaps you caught me and my Heigh Party of 3 hanging with ole Saint Nick aka Santa at STIR, located in North Hills. BRUNCH WITH SANTA at STIR is a recurring event happening every Sunday in December and is on my list of Kid-Friendly Ideas For Festive Family Fun In Raleigh because of the good food and intimate moments with Santa. Saint Nick works the room like a pro and is so kind to take photos with everyone. Enjoy $1 Mimosas ๐Ÿฅ‚ + a buffet bar filled with goodness is included with your entree! My daughter loves their avocado toast customized to her liking and I am all about the fresh seafood selections like Oysters and Shrimp & Grits! Santa was quite jolly and dapper in his suit, so get ready for your close-up with ole Saint Nick! Just take a look at these photos to see some tasty highlights at STIR! ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿฝ

SobeSavvy Tip: While at the brunch, take advantage of the Gift Card Sale! Give $50 or more and get 20% at STIR for yourself! ๐ŸŽ


๐ŸŽ„ DUNKIN Holiday Treats


Do you like to ride around and see neighborhood Christmas lights while listening to holiday tunes? We do and we like to enjoy it while sipping on a warm beverage and eating snacks. So we stopped in our local Dunkin for some holiday treats. My daughter and I both had hot chocolate and their newย Holiday Brownie Crumble Donut, which features a vanilla frosted yeast ring donut dipped in brownie crumbles and drizzled with dark green icing. My husband enjoyed the eggnog latte with a yummy glazed donut. I think we may break tradition of leaving Santa cookies this year and give him a plate full of donuts with coffee on the side from Dunkin!

SobeSavvy Tip: Download the Dunkin app, earn DD perks and skip the line if order on the app before you go! Not sure what to get someone this holiday season, check out some of the cool merch offered by Dunkin inside the store and online or a DD gift card is always a great idea!


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

Holiday Movies


๐ŸŽ„ ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE RALEIGH


Going to the movies is always a good idea for a family date. Make plans to see a feature film or catch one of the holiday themed films now showing at ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE RALEIGH. This is our go to theater for movies because of the Alamo Family program. The perks for parents with kids are great and you have the ability to watch a movie and eat/drink at the most comfy seats.

SobeSavvy Tip: Gift cards make perfect stocking stuffers. Give the the gift of Alamo, which is good for tickets, food, drinks and merchandise!


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

There are so many fun things to do with kids in Raleigh and throughout the Triangle this holiday season. This is just a bit of what we like to do but take a look at Visit Raleigh, Facebook, Eventbrite, and Carolina Parent for more Kid-Friendly Ideas for Festive Family Fun In Raleigh, NC!

What festive family fun do you plan to have this holiday? ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿฝ๐ŸŽ
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EAT |Lunchtime in Tampa Bay at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants @CHWinery

LUNCHTIME in Tampa Bay at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.comย 


During our recent family visit to Tampa Bay, we worked up quite an appetite when visiting some of the top family fun attractions. While fast food for lunch can be convenient for some, we wanted quality food and after dining at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants in Orlando last year, we were happy to find a location in Tampa. Known for their upscale dining in a casual setting along with wonderful wines and food pairings, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants is a dream for food and wine lovers alike.

COCKTAILS & APPETIZERS


Select Cocktails at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | American Mule | SobeSavvy.com


Not a wine lover? No problem. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants has a great selection of cocktails on the menu as well as non-alcoholic beverages. The specialty cocktail that caught my eye was the American Mule made with Tito’s Vodka, lime, simple syrup, ginger beer, mint and candied ginger. Not only did I like the presentation of this cocktail, but I also enjoyed the taste!


APPETIZERS at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants |ย  Asian Pork Belly Tostadas | SobeSavvy.com


For appetizers, we had the award-winning Asian Pork Belly Tostadas. You get five of the most divine tostadas that combine so many amazing flavors in one bite. Sharing is caring, but these are so good you may want to order one for yourself.


KIDS MENU


Healthy and Delicious options on the Kids Menu at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.com


While some may think this sounds like a restaurant for adults only let me assure you they are family friendly.ย Not only do they have a special Kids Menu, but they even have dedicated restroom for families.ย My kid enjoyed her chicken parmesan and pasta with a side of fresh fruit. She got her some extra cheese to sprinkle on top and was pleased! Prior to her meal arriving to the table, she enjoyed coloring and playing the brain games on the menu while having a favorite of everyone at our table: the pretzel bread. It comes out to the table warm and fresh and just seeing the picture below makes me wish I had some now!

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants serves warm pretzel bread and butter and it is my kid’s favorite! | SobeSavvy.com


WINE


Try exclusive wines like John Legend’s LVE wines available at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com


Wine lovers like myself would enjoy dining here and discovering a new favorite wine. Handcrafted Wines are what sets this restaurant apart from others. Beside each dish on the menu at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, a wine “bin” number is listed for the suggested pairing. Order it by glass or bottle and feel free to request a taste prior to ordering. Their “no risk policy” allows you to ask for a taste before ordering a glass to challenge you to order something new. Still not sure what to order? The staff is well versed in all of their wines and before you know it you may find yourself in an extended conversation about all things wine and food!


With such a vast variety of wine, choosing one is made simple with Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurantsย  “no risk” tasting policy | SobeSavvy.com


LUNCH


White or Red Wine, Salad or Burger..there’s something for everyone on the Lunch Menu at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com


After reviewing the Lunch Menu, which is available daily from 11:00 am until 3:30 pm, we decided to each get something that would pair with a white wine for me and red wine for my husband.ย He decided on their RoadHouse Burger and pretty much devoured it before I could get a foodie pic..lol. It came with Bourbon๐Ÿ‘๐ŸฝBacon๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ Jam๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ y’all so I can’t blame him. It also had triple cheddar cheese and caramelized onion ranch aioli. I managed to get a bite and *correction…he did snap this photo below. His burger did taste as good as it looks!

Feast your eyes on the Roadhouse Burger at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com

Feast your eyes on the Roadhouse Burger at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.com


I ordered from the Chef Recommendations menu and got the Cilantro Lime & Crispy Shrimp Salad. Again a great choice. Plenty of salad greens dressed with fresh ingredients,ย  a nice portion of shrimp, and an amazing dressing. It was paired with the November wine of the month, a glass of Gewurtztraminer Savignon Blanc. If you like white wines with sweet notes, try this one. Even though it is December now, the wines of the month are available all year long.


Chef’s Recommendation Lunch Menu and Wine Pairing at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.comย 


SobeSavvy Tip:ย  Stop by the Artisan Market for unique wine gifts and wine to go. There is also a tasting room where you can stop in and enjoy wine only if you choose not to stay and dine. Join Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants Wine Club for exclusive membership perks that are incredible and unique. Cheers ๐Ÿท!


Handcrafted Wines, Wine Tasting in a Napa Style Tasting Room, Artisan Market, Casual Dining..enjoy it all at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants | SobeSavvy.comย 


The next time you are in Tampa or any of the cities where Cooper’s Hawkย  Winery & Restaurants areย  **[as of 2018, thereย are more than 30 establishments nationwide, foundย inย Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Virginia], I hope that you are inspired to stop in for lunch with your family. The Founder & CEO said it best in his statement below as to why you should.ย  Thanks Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants for the Good Food, Good Wine, and Great Memories!


Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants
4110 W Boy Scout Blvd
Tampa, FL 33607
http://www.chwinery.com
Inside Look at LUNCH at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.comย 

Inside Look at LUNCH at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant | SobeSavvy.comย 



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Easy Organic Spiced Rum Cake Recipe Ft. @TOPOdistillery

Whenever there is any type of potluck party or request for guests to bring a dish, I know what I am bringing: RUM CAKE. It is a crowd pleaser especially around the holidays! This year, I am spicing things up a bit and using TOPO Organic Spiced Rum.

What makes Topo Organic? TOPO has the distinction as the only Green + Certified distillery in the country. Environmentally friendly and 100 % organic ingredients go into their award winning line of spirits, which include whiskey, vodka, gin and moonshine. Exclusively made from North Carolina-grown wheat and US-grown sugar cane. Every product is USDA-certified Organic. 100% Fermented and distilled in Chapel Hill, NC.

What is the difference between rum and Topo’s Spiced Rum?
Per their website, the rumโ€ฆ โ€œhas flavors of the coastline: allspice, vanilla, orange peel, peppercorns, cinnamon and clove. Itโ€™s a marriage of the finest organic botanicals with an incredibly smooth rum. We make a tasty white rum and then use a mortar and pestle to grind spices to add more flavor. You can smell and taste the difference.”

I absolutely enjoy TOPO Organic Spiced Rum in various cocktails also such as the Rum Cider, Colony Records and even a cocktail recipe that I shared here on my blog that was inspired by the popular Disney Dole Whip Drink. This is the first time I am trying it in the following Easy Rum Cake Recipe (that is shared all over Google).

Easy Rum Cake RECIPE

Rum Cake
___________
1 cup chopped pecan or walnuts
1 pkg. (2 layer size) yellow cake mix (I used Dunkin Hines)
1 pkg. Jello vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
4 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rum ( TOPO Organic Spiced Rum)

METHOD:
1. Sprinkle nuts evenly in bottom of 10 inch fluted tube pan that has been greased & floured ,or sprayed with non stick vegetable cooking spray.
2. Combine remaining ingredients in large mixer bowl.
3. Blend and beat at medium speed for 4 minutes
4. Pour batter into pan. Do not under-bake
5. Cool in pan 15 minutes
6. Prepare glaze
7. Invert cake into serving plate, prick over with cake tester or wooden pick.
8. Pour warm glaze over warm cake

GLAZE: combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter or margarine and 1/4 cup water in saucepan.
Stir until mixture comes to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 cup TOPO Organic Spiced Rum, bring just to boil. Remove from heat .

**SobeSavvy Tip: Make this cake a day or two before serving. DO NOT TRY TO MAKE THE SAME DAY AND SERVE THE SAME DAY. While it’s true the vanilla pudding keeps the cake moist, and rum goes in the cake and in the glaze, you need a day or so to let the rum sink in. Cover it with aluminum or plastic and if you like, mist it with more rum daily or right before serving. Don’t like nuts? Try it with toasted coconut.

Voila! You now have a moist, yummy, delicious, Organic Spiced Rum Cake to enjoy with family and friends! I can’t wait to share at a Friendsgiving party I am attending this weekend and hope you are inspired to bake one yourself this holiday season.

Have you tried Topo Organic Spiced Rum before? Do you plan to make a rum cake for the holidays?

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