Blogger Event Recap| #ScentandSipEvent Part II Cheers To Mom|Hosted by SobeSavvy.com

Back in March, in honor of International Women’s Day/Women’s History Month, SobeSavvy.com hosted an invite only event in Raleigh, NC called #ScentandSipEvent [in case you missed it, catch the recap >>here]. This time for Mother’s Day, I wanted to host a few Mom friends, Bloggers, Influencers in the Triangle and beyond [Raleigh, Durham, Wake Forest, Fayetteville, NC] and celebrate  our motherhood journey. It was a great opportunity to network and toast to us Moms!

We are Blessed to be Moms! |         Photo Credit: Photography by Write Productions @write_productions

 

INVITE + SWAG BAGS



The “ScentandSip” idea came after receiving an exclusive Galentine’s Day invite to an event being held in Miami,FL. I notified the event organizers/PR my desire to collaborate/host an intimate event in my home. I was able to include the diptyque “Scent and Chambord “Sip in the SWAG BAGS for my guests.Meka H. of @hwthblog shows off her swag | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions


WELCOME COCKTAIL



This event was held in the comfort of my home, where guests were greeted with a hug of course and a welcome cocktail The featured cocktail was the Chambord Royale [see the recipe above] and it was the perfect way to get the celebration started!

PHOTO FUN


Hostess, Leslie H. of @SobeSavvy reps being a Mom | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions


I created a photo station to give everyone a chance to take a welcome picture. All it took was some items from the Dollar Tree , a nice smile and a talented photographer [shout out to Lanette L. of Write Productions] to capture the fun.

Tiffany H. of @themrstee strikes a pose! | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions


Jovhanna T. of @thespirituallovehealer is all smiles! | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions

Carla W. of @glamourandglue is truly blessed! | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions

Marcia S. of @keechiibags is too blessed to be stressed! |

Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions

My daughter, #outandaboutAva, even joined in on the fun by being the flower girl and throwing rose petals for us Queens!

Forever My Flower Girl ! Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions


FOOD| CATERING BY SASSOOL



May is not only a time to celebrate Moms but did you know that is is also Women’s Health Month?! It was very important to me to serve something nutritional and delicious to my guests.

Thanks to Sassool Mediterranean Cafe, I was able to give my guests a beautiful taste of homemade lebanese and mediterranean food, which is a cuisine known for its health benefits. This family-owned restaurant has locations in Raleigh, Cary and also a third location which offers a limited menu of their most popular items at Morgan Street Food Hall in downtown Raleigh. I learned that the Sassool brand was launched on Mother’s Day, May 11, 2014 to honor the owner Mounir Saleh’s mother, Cecilia, for the authentic recipes that she brought with her when she immigrated from Lebanon with her family to Raleigh in the 1970s. The name of the restaurant, Sassool, is the nickname that Cecilia was called by her father when she was a child. What a great way to honor some Moms in the blogging community by having the opportunity to feature a brand that honors their Mom!
We enjoyed the following catering options: 

* Oven Specialties (this is an assortment of baked pita flatbreads, sliced into bitesize wedges)
* Mini Kabobs (same menu item as regular kabobs, just smaller size–you can choose Chicken, Beef or Lamb).
* Caprese Kabobs are an excellent choice too (fresh mozarella balls, grape tomatoes, fresh basil and balsamic drizzle)
* Fruit Sal
ad … such a great variety of fresh fruit garnished with mint
* Cilantro jalapeno hummus, tatziki and pita chips 
* Sassool Corn Salad


WINE|TERLATO WINES


Ever heard the saying..”Wine taste better when shared with friends” ?
That was indeed the case with these two featured wines that were served at my event:

Terlato Vineyards 2017 Friuli Pinot Grigio | Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions

2018 Côtes de Provence Mathilde Chapoutier “Grande Ferrage”| Photo Credit: Write Productions, @write_productions



My husband served as our informal CSW and shared some of the wine facts with us! We learned the Terlato Vineyards 2017 Fruili Pinot Grigio is from NE Italy and tastes of peach pear with some mineral.It is America’s highest rated and fastest growing Pinot Grigio! It is superb with oysters or shellfish.The 2018 Cotes de Provence Mathilde Chapoutier Rosé is made from 4 grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Rolle. It tastes of strawberry, grapefruit and apricot. Aged for 5 months, we tasted the quality the rosé in every sip.Both of these Terlato Wines were enjoyed but the ladies loved the rosé!  Check out my photos to see why you should serve these wines at your next gathering. Mark your calenders, National Wine Day is May 25. These two wines would be a great way to celebrate! Cheers!

DESSERT | HEAVENLY CAKES BY TANYA

Chambord, is a mainstay at top shelf bars and is made in the Loire Valley of France. This liqueur uses red and black raspberries with Madagascar vanilla, citrus peel, honey and cognac. This combination can be traced back to the 1600’s when Louis XIV drank Cognac with dinner. This versatile liqueur is used to make cocktails from many different spirits. The liquer was featured in the welcome cocktail, given to guests, a mini bottle was gifted in their swag bags but the Chambord was also infused into these amazing chocolate cupcakes made by Raleigh-based premier bakery, Heavenly Cakes by Tanya

From cupcakes, to special occasion cakes and keto friendly sweets, Tanya is someone I trust and recommend for delicious desserts. Not only are her creations visually appealing but it tastes as good as it looks!

PARTY GAME


Everyone loves games at a party right?! I picked up one from Target Dollar spot. For just $3, for 10 in a pack, the “This or That” game was the perfect icebreaker. Each guest received a card to fill out and we compared/shared the categories that we have in common. We had to think and reflect on how we are now as mothers because it defintely played a part in how questions were answered. All in all, everyone had fun with the “This or That” game!




I am very thankful to these Moms who came out to join me in celebrating Mother’s Day weekend. I think we all appreciated the Mommy Break and I learned so much more about these women who are amazing Mompreneurs as well. Be sure to follow them to see what awesome things they are doing. I am so grateful for partnerships with brands and businesses who participated in my event. Many thanks to Write Productions for doing such a wonderful and professional job capturing the event!


WATCH my YouTube Video recap of the #ScentandSipEvent Part II ‘Cheers To Mom’ moms mixer.

https://youtu.be/JLbb2sv4zYM

Cheers!

CONNECT WITH ME 
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January is #NationalTeaMonth! Want to Celebrate & Host A Tea Party? Here’s 5 Quick Tips +Book Giveaway

5 Quick Tips for Hosting A Tea Party |SobeSavvy.com

Disclaimer: Thanks to our friends at Honey Smoked Fish Company and Mango Publishing for sending product for review to facilitate this blog post. Opinions are 100% my own.

Hi, my name is Leslie. My favorite color is purple, I like to dance like no one is watching and I am a tea lover. I decided to start a new tradition to celebrate the holidays and welcome the New Year by hosting a tea party in my home. You can find me enjoying tea anytime of the day not only for wellness but it also it provides me with moments of serenity. Sipping a cup of tea encourages you to focus, slow down and relax because you don’t want to drop hot water on you, right?! This time, I wanted to catch up with a couple of friends and invited them over for an intimate gathering of just ladies enjoying tea together. The holidays/New Year and the fact that January is National Hot Tea Month are just some of the many reasons to celebrate! Throwing a holiday tea party was so fun and easy to do. Here are my 5 Quick Tips for Hosting a Tea Party:

1. SEND THE INVITE

Facebook is a great way to make a quick invite to guests, track RSVPs, set reminders and communicate with invited guests. I sent the following customized invite:

The mug exchanges were so much fun! Everyone got a chance to take home a new mug to enjoy during tea time. My friend who loves to shop local, gifted me a beautiful, handcrafted mug from Gather. I just love it!

2. CHOOSE A THEME/BUY DECOR

I chose to do a holiday theme as it paired well with the time of year. Also, I love being festive and spreading cheer! My local thrift store was the perfect place to buy decor like matching tea sets, mugs, saucers, cloth napkins, tier stands, a red table runner and this cute sleigh which served as something to hold some of my tea bag selections.

3. PLAN YOUR TEA MENU

Although, I planned to have a variety of tea on hand (along with Mimosas), I created a poll on the Facebook invite page to ask guests: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF TEA(s)?

Since I received a variety of answers, I decided to serve an assortment of teas like earl grey, english breakfast, mint tea, lemon lift, hibiscus tea and more. My personal fave of the day was Ginger Tea from NC’s own KimBees !

4. SERVE SAVORY & SWEET EATS

Sandwiches and Desserts are mainly what I served to nibble on while we sipped our tea. I also had a crab balls and coconut shrimp from BJ’s as an appetizer. World Market is my jam for entertaining especially when you want foods that are quick and delicious. For the tea party, I grabbed the last Amaretto cake (another customer put me on to how amazingly good these are..and she was right!) and I randomnly found these macaroons while in line at Ross. I served it on a cupcake stand along with some crackers, cream cheese and pepper jelly.

For my savory bites, I was excited to partner with Honey Smoked Fish Company and introduce guests to their delicious and nutritious Honey Smoked Salmon! It is perfect for entertaining because it is fully cooked & ready to eat, fresh and flavorful straight out the vacuum sealed package. Serve it with olives,cheeses, peppers, capers, toast points and you have the makings of a perfect charcuterie board.

There are so many ways to enjoy this superfood protein which comes in four delicious flavors: Original, Cracked Pepper, Chipotle & Lime, and Cajun Honey. One of my favorites for entertaining is using it in a deviled eggs recipe. It was a crowd pleaser when I served it as an appetizer for my last Get Hooked on Honey Smoked Salmon at home tastings. After realizing I did not have enough eggs to pull it off this time, I made an egg salad instead and combined it with Honey Smoked Salmon to make a Honey Smoked Salmon Egg Salad Sandwich.

Here is my recipe:

INGREDIENTS | Chopped hard-boiled eggs, Original Honey Smoked Salmon, flaked with a fork, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, onion powder, paprika,salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS | Mix ingredients together. Spread on whole wheat or rye bread. Cut into 4 squares. Enjoy!

SobeSavvy Tip: Visit their online website >>HERE to see recipes and all the benefits of getting creative using the Superfood ingredient of Honey Smoked Salmon! Take a look at these fun facts!

5. GIVE “TEA-SPIRATION”

No matter what I am hosting at home, I like to give guests a thank you gift. Just a little something to take home and remind them of the wonderful time we had together. This time everyone received a book from award-winning blogger of The Cup of Life, Lu Ann Pannunzio, titled TEA-SPIRATION Inspirational Words for Tea Lovers.

This book is “steeped in wisdom” and aims to create a quiet movement where one can experience devotions, comfort, inspiration and the simple joys of life while reading and sipping a warm cup of tea. It is such a unique gift for women as we all need to be reminded to slow down and relax from the daily grind.

My friend and tea partner in crime has already made TEA-SPIRATION book a part of her daily ritual! Love it!

#SobeSavvyGiveaway | Do you love tea or know someone who does? I would like to gift you a book of your own to keep or share!

•Enter to win (1) TEA-SPIRATION Inspirational words for Tea Lovers book. Comment below in this blog post your favorite tea! Bonus entry if you comment on this Instagram post also! ⤵️

View this post on Instagram

Raise you hand if you are a #tealover 🙋‍♀️ like me?  I decided to start a new #tradition over the holidays and welcome the #NewYear by hosting a #teaparty in my home. You can find me sipping #tea anytime of the day not only for #wellness but it also it provides me with moments of #serenity. Throwing a #holidaytea party was so fun and easy to do. We did a #teamug gift exchange and I received a lovely handmade one from local store @gathergoodsco ! I served a variety of teas including NC's own @kimbeestea and made sandwiches using Honey Smoked Salmon from @honeysmokedfish Get the recipe and more today #ontheblog, I am sharing 5 Quick Tips for Hosting a Tea Party + Giveaway. ——– #SobeSavvyGiveaway | Do you love tea or know someone who does? I would like to gift you a book of your own to keep or share! •Enter to win (1) TEA-SPIRATION Inspirational words for Tea Lovers book • Follow @SobeSavvy • Tag a tea lover • Bonus entry if you comment with your fave tea on the blog post also. LINK IN BIO! Winner chosen by random.org on Wed. JAN 9, 2019 at Noon. Good Luck! ———– #hottea #hotteamonth #nationalhotteamonth #teatime #theteacupoflife #tealove #instatea #wellnesswednesday #winitwednesday #teas #teabook #bookstagram

A post shared by Lifestyle|Food|Travel|Fun BLOG (@sobesavvy) on

Winner chosen by random.org on Wednesday Jan 9, 2019 at noon/EST!

Good Luck!

Hosting a #Hallowine Party on #Halloween ? Try wines @MercerEstates @santacristina46 + more🍷

Happy Halloween everyone! This past weekend, I thought it would be fun to combine my love for wine and good times by hosting a HalloWINE tasting party! Costumes were optional but having an open mind to trying new wines was a must. Thank you to the wineries who provided free samples to facilitate and share my review with you. 

THE INVITE–

I sent a simple text with the above graphic to my wine loving girlfriends to come out and enjoy. I picked up some fun Halloween decor from Dollar Tree and Walmart, like these “Don’t Be A Basic Witch” cocktail napkins for just .99 cents !

THE WINES —

  • Barrymore by Caramel Road Pinot Grigio 2015 (SRP: $13.99)
  • Barrymore by Caramel Road Rosé of Pinot Noir 2016 (SRP: $17.99)

Carmel Road winery partnered up with Drew Barrymore {Yes, THAT Drew Barrymore} to produce some delightful light and crisp wines known as Barrymore Wines. We tried their Rosé and Pinot Grigio. On their website, Drew speaks of growing up in California with some of her fondest memories were around the table.
The Pinot Grigio (with flavors of lemon drop, Asian pear, honeydew melon alongside the “wet stone” minerality) was fantastic with a mixed greens salad and vinagrette dressing. The Rosé (with flavors of fresh red fruits, notes of peach and apricot with floral and light citrus aromas) went perfect with spicy shrimp cocktail. It was perfectly balanced; not sweet and not dry. This wine was an instant hit with everyone there. Final thoughts: Barrymore Wines by Carmel Road are a match made in vineyard heaven!

#SobeSavvySips HalloWINE Tasting 2017

  •  Santa Cristina 2015 Rossa Toscana IGT (SRP: $13.00)

Four cheese ravioli with red sauce was served with Santa Cristina 2015 Rosso Toscana IGT. This Italian wine is a blend of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah. Soft and approachable, the Rosso (with flavors of cherries,plums and notes of spice) is the perfect everyday house wine! I can’t wait to try it with fall-inspired dishes like Slow Cooked Pork Loin with Apples and Prunes.

  • Mercer Estates 2015 Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills Reserve
  • Mercer Estates 2014 Syrah Horse Heaven Hills 

Two wines from the popular Washington State winery, Mercer Wine Estates, also was shared amongst my girlfriends {and my hubby who was our official somellier for the evening !} I thought a deep,dark mysterious red wine such as their RESERVE Syrah and a “Shining” {..get it} white wine like RESERVE Chardonnay would be great with our Halloween theme.

We could not wait to see what mysterious wine our HalloWine Sommelier would present & pour next!

 

Hubby served up the Chardonnay (with aromas of lemon cream pie, caramel apple and toasted butterscotch) while we had some crackers, cream cheese and speciality jams. This wine had the right amount of oak and butter, which went well with this party snack. Angus meatballs paired well with this Syrah (with aromas of blueberry preserves and complex notes such as tea tree,coffee,sage,rosemary). Wine often changes on the palate when paired with food and this wine is deep and dark. It has many complex layers to enjoy. If you enjoy a red with great body and weight, this is one to enjoy!

  • Mommy’s Time Out Prosecco 
  • Mommy’s Time Out Moscato      (SRP for both $9.99)

It was wonderful learning about and tasting some amazing wines. Sharing it with my husband and a couple of friends made this intimate HalloWINE gathering even more special! However, today on Halloween, after getting my lil one in her costume and going trick or treating, this Mom plans to have a moment to relax by myself with Mommy’s Time Out Wine. I’m gonna grab a few pieces of chocolate from our daughter’s trick or treat stash, and pour me a glass of either Mommy’s Time Out Moscato or Mommy’s Time Out Prosecco. All of their wines are made from grapes grown in Italy and have fresh, fruity, well balanced undertones. 

For more information on any of these wines, please visit:

Mommy’s Time Out www.mommystimeoutwine.com

Mercer Estates          www.MercerWine.com                  Facebook: MERCERESTATES             Twitter: @MercerEstates

Santa Cristina         www.Santacristina.wine

Barrymore by Caramel Road www.barrymorewines.com

Remember, these wines are not just good for Halloween but for enjoying anytime! 

Do you plan to enjoy some HalloWINE this Halloween? What are you doing to celebrate? 

Cheers🍷 and Happy Halloween !! 

#TastyThursday Review on @HoneySmokedFish #Superfood #HoneySmokedSalmon + Recipes !

Recently I went to the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Expo held at the Raleigh Convention Center and had the opportunity to sample “The World’s Finest” Honey Smoked Salmon. I was not only hooked on this healthy, delicious protein but inspired to share some recipes and prepare some dishes for friends to taste and experience this amazing superfood themselves! 

Before I share the menu, recipes and feedback from my #SobeSavvyEats Lunch, let me give you THE FACTS (courtesy of Skyler Mason, owner of Honey Smoked Fish Co.) on what makes the Honey Smoked Salmon different, why you should add “the Protein of the Future” to your dishes and why fully-cooked, ready-to-eat Honey Smoked Salmon is one of the most versatile, nutritious products on the market today:

  1. Honey Smoked Salmon is delicious on its own, but is best used as an ingredient to compliment any dish.
  2. Our proprietary firing system incorporates honey into the smoking process without ever touching the salmon directly, making it diabetic-friendly. When the honey hits the flame, it causes a combustion explosion that seals the salmon, locking in 3x the omega-3s than other comparable products.
  3.  The result is a highly concentrated SUPERFOOD Salmon. Our unique process also makes Honey Smoked Salmon more cost efficient than other proteins — allowing smaller portions to be used while still remaining filling, energizing, and packing a high concentration of nutrition.  
  4. Longer shelf life! Honey Smoked Salmon has a 90 day refrigerated shelf life before breaking the vacuum seal, and will remain fresh and tasty 10-12 days after opening. 


THE INVITE

THE MENU + Recipes

Honey Smoked Salmon is vacuum sealed for long-term freshness. Fresh out of the oven and never frozen. 

I served 3 of the 5 flavors: Original, Chipotle & Lime, and Cracked Peppers at ROOM TEMPERATURE so the salmon could soften, which brings out its natural juices and flavors from the rich moisture of the Omega-3’s! This is what stands them out from any other smoked salmon. It is also diabetic friendly, gluten free and certified kosher. Here is what the ‘Original’ flavor looks like out of its packaging:

Honey Smoked Salmon is fully cooked, lightly smoked, ready to eat & 99% boneless. No preservatives, coloring, artificial flavors ,nitrates or MSG added.

Serve this easy appetizer recipe at your next party! Because the salmon is highly concentrated in taste, a little goes a long way to flavor any dish.

In this recipe, I combined both the Original flavor of Honey Smoked Salmon and the Chipotle & Lime together to create a light, pasta dish with a hint of spice and citrus.

This is the dish that got me hooked in the first place at the expo! It is loaded with spinach, Honey Smoked Salmon, mandarin oranges, almonds, tomatoes..and more!

Honey Smoked Salmon | Five Superfood Salad Recipe

 

Not only is it tasty but has so many health benefits, and is easy to make. Check out the video >>here<< showing how simple it is to make this energizing superfood salad! I used the Cracked Peppers flavor for this and had it flaked for guests to top their salads themselves.

Honey Smoked Salmon ‘Cracked Peppers’ flavor

THE FEEDBACK

Guests enjoy wine before lunch time for #SobeSavvyEats Honey Smoked Salmon Tasting

The Honey Smoked Fish Company’s All Natural Honey Smoked Salmon was Voted Best Smoked Salmon and my guests loved the fish and the recipes they tried. Here is some of what they had to say: 

  • The cracked pepper flavor was my favorite! I loved how it was spicy with a hint of sweet. ~   Nicki McNeil, Blogger at SingleBubblePop
  • I was so impressed with the Original Honey Smoked Salmon but fell in love with the cracked pepper. This salmon is delicious and I enjoyed trying the different recipes. ~ Jovanhanna , The Spiritual Love Coach
  • The cracked pepper on the salad was a great combination of flaky, peppery and creamy. I’d definitely make this salad at home. ~ Erica Santos , #ericasantosphotography
  • All 3 were delicious in it’s own served dish deviled egg, pasta salad and tossed salad. My fave: cracked pepper salmon/tossed salad with rasberry vinegrette/ranch dressing. Great spicy and sweet combo! ~ Mom
  • Loved the Chipotle Lime Salmon! The versitility of the smoked salmon was the most impressive. Great idea to show us the video of their process and to provide all of the possible recipes by scanning the QR code provided. ~T.Hedley

    See more Video Recipes on You Tube from Honey Smoked Salmon

  • I loved how Leslie incorporated the salmon into every dish we tried. My favorite was the deviled eggs topped with salmon. Definitely some good, quality salmon. ~Kiara , @kiararuth

I am so happy everyone enjoyed themselves and loved the Honey Smoked Salmon. No one left hungry or unsatisfied. The number one thing everyone wanted to know was where can we buy this locally?! It can be found at Sam’s Club and if you don’t see it there, Demand It! It can also be ordered online. For more information and recipes, please visit their website http://www.honeysmokedfish.com.

Looking for a daily #HappyHour in #Raleigh ? Try @BoneFishGrill #BoneFishHH Cocktails🍹+Bar Bites🍴

Disclaimer: Thanks to Bonefish Grill in Raleigh North Hills for hosting me, along with fellow Raleigh/Durham bloggers for my #SobeSavvyEats series. Complimentary bar bites + cocktails were provided for our #SundayFunday meetup, however my opinion for this review is 100% my own.

#SobeSavvyEats Event~ ‘Bloggers & Bar Bites’ Happy Hour ~BoneFish Grill Raleigh, NC

Yesterday was a ‘Sunday Funday’ I will never forget thanks to seven blogger baes and one of my favorite restaurants! After a long year of studying, I wanted to celebrate the passing of my CPC exam with some fellow foodie friends, who are also NC Bloggers/Influencers. After hearing about the New Hand-Crafted Happy Hour menu at Bonefish Grill, I knew that would be the perfect place to meetup! 

A high top table for our large group was reserved in the bar area (which is generally first come, first served seating). After being greeted by staff, it was time to put in our drink order. 


COCKTAILS | Tonight we had two options to try:  Fresh Watermelon Martini or..

.. Sparkling Blue Hawaiian Martini 

Both of these cocktails were refreshing, made with fresh ingredients and beautiful to the eye. Not only did they look good but it was love at first sip for me! If you are looking for eternal summer in a glass, these are the cocktails to choose. 

BAR BITES | The menu consisted of these six $6 items ranging from seafood to beef.

Everyone enjoyed the variety of options on the bar bites menu and I discovered some personal faves that I can’t wait to eat again! Take a look at what BoneFish Grill is offering up during Happy Hour, daily from 4pm-6:30pm:

Crispy Cod Sliders

~  Fresh Alaskan Cod served on 2 potato buns with lettuce, tomato and a signature sauce. This is no McDonald’s fish filet. It’s a healthier, tastier option for fish sandwich lovers.

Wagyu Beef Sliders  

~  Want some meat instead? Order the beef sliders! You can’t go wrong with these because its made from Wagyu Beef which makes for 2 juicy mini burgers.

Crispy Au Gratin Bites

~  Every good bar menu requires something starchy right?! Get your carb fix with these cheesy potato bites. Those who do not eat bacon did not try them but those of us who did really liked the crispy au gratin bites, which comes with 2 sauces for your dipping pleasure.

Ahi Tuna Poke 

~  We had a self-proclaimed ‘poke snob’ amongst us, as well as someone who never tried raw tuna before who gave this dish a thumbs up! This dish paired with the Sparkling Blue Hawaiian drink will transport your tastebuds to a beach in Hawaii. This was one of my favorites.

Calamari 

~  I liked the asian twist on this classic dish. Instead of marinara or cocktail sauce, you get a sweet/spicy sauce on the side. Not too greasy and flash fried with peppers and asian noodles, this is a great dish to share with other calamari fans.

Prince Edward Island Mussels Josephine 

~  Although this is a nice sharing portion, this is one bar bite I did not want to share! Simply because I love mussels and these were my favorite out of everything we tried. You are going to want some of BoneFish Grill’s bread to dip in the flavorful broth and enjoy…by yourself!

SOBESAVVY TIP: Today only, All Day enjoy $5 Martini Mondays

I am happy to advise I will be back for the Hand-Crafted Happy Hour ! The all-new menu items and hand-crafted cocktails are something you are going to want to enjoy with family, friends, co-workers, loved ones or even by yourself (if you don’t want to share the mussels like me~lol). It starts daily at 4p.m. and end times vary by location. Please check your location page for location-specific Happy Hour offerings and times. Prices, product availability, participation and hours may vary by location.
Again, Cheers to everyone who joined me for a #SobeSavvyEats Sunday Funday and special thanks to BoneFish Grill ! The new Hand-crafted Happy Hour is not to be missed!

Also, check out my fun video recap on YouTube : https://youtu.be/LNHMfyr6sT8

Bonefish Grill 
4421 Six Forks Rd

Raleigh, NC 27609

Enjoy the Tastes of Summer with #wines from @wineawesomeness + #recipes with @neomega3 #avocadooil 

I love to entertain at home. The formula is simple: Good Food + Good Wine = Good Times. So when I had the chance to review 2 wines from Wineawesomeness.com and pair it with recipes using four speciality Neomega Avocado Oils , I took the opportunity to invite a couple of friends over for a tasting. 

THE INVITE~

Well what was meant to be held outside on my redecorated patio ended up being done indoors due to the rain.  I believe part of being a good hostess is always having a plan B so that not even a storm can rain on your parade!

THE MENU~

  • Roasted Shrimp and Grits appetizer with Chili Pepper Infused Avocado Oil
  • Watermelon, Arugula, and Red Onion Summer Salad with Ginger -Tumeric -Orange Infused Avocado Oil Vinagrette

Paired with 2017 LEKKER, ROSÉ Wine

  • Steak Skewers marinated with Rosemary Infused Avocado Oil
  • Roasted Garlic Potatoes made with Roasted Garlic Infused Avocado Oil

Paired with 2013 LA PINOT, PINOT NOIR

THE WINE~

If you want to experience what summer tastes like in a glass, try Lekker ROSÉ handcrafted by South African winemaker, Nico Grobler. It is the first 2017 rose on the market, making it the freshest, most easiest drinking wine possible. We all enjoyed the tanginess of this wine and how it was balanced with hints of fruit like strawberries, guava, orange, lemon,grapefruit and watermelon. No, it is not sweet but indeed refreshing and memorable! 

We also tried a Pinot Noir out of California named La Pinot, which is WA’s first ever wine collaboration! I was so excited to try it with friends and talk about our own wine notes. Some of us smelled rasberries, wood, mushrooms, caramel. We all had different thoughts and did not think it would be any of our favorites but agreed that: The best wines are the ones we drink with friends! 

Did you know the WA (wineawesomeness) journey kicked off just 4 years with the mission to make it easier than ever to explore wines from around the world? You can drink, discover and learn about wine by becoming a wine club member to receive a curated set of bottles and a customized magazine, called theblacklabel, which is filled with tasting notes, recipes and more! Be sure to follow @wineawesomeness #wineallthetime for member reviews and wine news.

THE RECIPES & Review of Neomega Avocado Oils

I was excited to learn of Neomega Avocado Oils created by Judit Beres and made right here in North Carolina! So yeah eat and support local y’all! She offers regular avocado oil as well as infused oils perfect for trying in your favorite recipes as a healthier alternative. Whether you are vegan, following the Whole 30 or Paleo diet, in search of gluten free options or just enjoy clean eating, these versatile culinary oils are something every cook and foodie needs to have in their home as a pantry essential!

Roasted Shrimp and Grits appetizer with Chili Pepper Infused Avocado Oil

Inspired by Bobby Flay’s Oven Roasted Shrimp with Toasted Garlic and Red Chile Oil  , I decided to make an appetizer version of shrimp and grits. I used japanese spoons to serve it in, making it the perfect one bite! It was simple, quick and delicious! I followed the recipe but made it my own by eliminating some ingredients like the toasted garlic chips (opted to use minced garlic instead). I replaced the olive oil and substituted it with the Avocado Oil infused with Chili Pepper. It had just the right amount of heat. Not too over powering but just enough for you to enjoy the flavors. 

Watermelon, Arugula, and Red Onion Summer Salad with Ginger -Tumeric -Orange Infused Avocado Oil Vinagrette

 Inside wineawesomness.com ‘s magazine called ‘thebacklabel’, which is included with the monthly wine club membership, are tasting notes and recipe pairing suggestions. Lekker Rose wine went well with the suggested recipe from Food52.com : Watermelon, Arugula and Pickled Onion Summer Salad. However, I decided to make a DIY salad dressing, a Ginger -Tumeric -Orange Infused Avocado Oil Vinagrette. We all thought it had a nice, light, citrusy, flavor that was perfect for the watermelon salad.

  1. Combine 1/8 cup of champagne vinegar ( can use red wine or apple cider vinegar, balsamic..your choice) 
  2. 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  3. 1 tsp of salt
  4. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of  Ginger Tumeric Orange Infused avocado oil  (or any of Neomega Nutritionals Avocado Oils..I bet this would be good with the Basil Infused Avocado Oil too!) 
  5. Taste, Toss and Serve with your favorite summer salad 

Steak Skewers marinated with Rosemary Infused Avocado Oil + Roasted Garlic Potatoes made with Roasted Garlic Infused Avocado Oil

You can’t have a summer gathering without kabobs right! So easy to make and enjoy without the use of utensils. I would normally marinade my meat and veggies for skewers using olive oil, but this time I used Neomega’s Rosemary Infused Avocado Oil and roasted some potatoes using the Roasted Garlic Infused Avocado Oil. So how does avocado compare to olive oil?  Per neomega ‘s website

Here are 3 main differences 1. TASTE : our avocado oil has a light neutral taste. Because of that it has a wide use of application: baking, frying, grilling, every day cooking. 2. SMOKE POINT: Extra Virgin Olive oil is 425 F . Our avocado oil is 550 F, safe for high or continuous heat. Once an oil begins to smoke and burn it creates free radicals which are harmful to your health. 3.VITAMIN E: Due to its high vitamin E content, avocado oil is a winner in this category compared to olive oil and is widely used in skin care as well.

After experiencing these flavors, we all commented on how the mild flavors would be delicious to use in so many dishes while providing us with optimal nutrition. In other words, not only did these speciality oils taste good but it is good for you too! If you’d like to get your hand on a bottle or two or four, follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and shop at neomega3.com. SobeSavvy Tip: Save 10% on orders $23.99 & up with code: 10OFF

THE GIVEAWAY

Whenever possible, I like to give my guests something to go home with as a ‘thank you’ for coming. This time in addition to goodie bags with wine scented candles and a wine guide, one lucky guest got to go home with a bottle of Avocado Oil infused with Chili Pepper, courtesy of Neomega! Congrats to Interior Designer/Blogger Niki McNeill for winning my #SobeSavvygiveaway ! I can not wait to see what she makes with it. 

Tell me what are your favorite wines/recipes this Summer? Have you ever tried or cooked with avocado oils? Share you experience below⤵ 

Thanks for reading ! CHEERS 🍷

Wine Tasting |Tips for Hosting & Celebrating #NationalWineDay w/ @MercerEstates @Orrmanscheese

This past Sunday, May 21, we celebrated National Chardonnay Day with friends. And since tomorrow is National Wine Day, I am dedicating today’s #WineWednesday post to sharing with you tips on How to Host a Wine Tasting at Home.

There was 5 of us ladies, with my husband serving as our private Sommelier. We had an amazing experience and learned so much about Mercer Estates Winery, who were kind to send four of their wines for editorial sampling.  I am happy to share some tips for hosting your own wine tasting at home along with my review of Mercer Estates wines. CHEERS! 🍷

How to Host a Wine Tasting

  • Keep Guest List small <6 people 

      For me, keeping the guest list small allows for a more intimate gathering where we could all have fun sharing each others wine notes. Plus, there was more wine to go around. Each guests got a pen/notepad for tasting notes, a goodie bag with a Chardonnay scented candle (both from Dollar Tree!) and a Guide to Wine which is available for free at our local Total Wine.

      • Decorations 

        I kept it simple and used wine corks (that we collect for fun) as a centerpiece, along with fun finds from the Dollar Tree and Ross. Everyone loved the chalkboard table runner I used which I purchased from World Market. It allowed me to easily label the wine /cheese.

        • Food ..well cheese mostly!

        We recently picked some strawberries at a local farm (check out this video I made of that family fun day), so I had those available along with other berries and grapes. I picked up an assortment of jams from Ross, crackers from World Market, and kept the menu light with hummus, bread, assorted nuts, and shrimp cocktail. 

        Because this was a wine and cheese party, I did not have to do much food prep. I opted to look to Orrman’s Cheese Shop, located in Lafayette Village here in Raleigh,NC and also in Charlotte,NC, where Rachel assisted in selecting some great cheeses to pair with the wines. I picked it up the day before the party and offered the following to guests:

        “Tome Chebris” ~It’s a firm cheese made from goat and sheep’s milk. It has a grassy, tangy, nutty flavor with a sweet finish and hints of olive, hazelnut and fig. This one was everyone’s fave!

        “Sofia”~This goat cheese won 1st Place, American Cheese Society 2014. I enjoyed it with the berries and crackers with preserves.

        “Florys Truckle”~ it’s a hard cheddar cheese with a dry texture and these flavor notes: buttery, caramel, fruity, grassy, nutty
        I loved the rich aroma.

        “Roquefort Gabriel Coulet”~This Roquefort is a creamy, delicious blue cheese made from raw sheep’s milk and aged in special caves in the Roquefort region of France. We put this on some bread and it was great!

        • Wine

        Mercer Estates Winery from the Horse Heaven Hills of Washington state provided SobeSavvy.com with an assortment of wines for tasting. This family owned and operated winery are eco friendly and operate sustainable farming for their vineyards.

        The four types of wine being featured at our tasting were Mercer Estates white wines: Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc and Mercer Canyons red wines: Red Blend and Cabernet Sauvignon. We pointed out that the red wines are in newly designed bottles and have new, expressive labels but same great wine inside! We also shared that the 2 whites we were sampling are the first white wines to hail from the Horse Heaven Hills appellation and are great spring/summer wines.  

        We had our guests take their own tasting notes after sampling each wine so they could actually take home a sort of scorecard of their own for them to use when they buy their own Mercer Wine for their homes. Eager participants always make a wine tasting even more fun. Before long folks were yelling out their notes as if we were on a game show!

        After tasting each wine, my husband read them the official tasting notes of each to see how close they were with the REAL notes. We served from white to red in the following order:

        Mercer Estates Sauvignon Blanc 2015 – Horse Heaven Hills, $12.99 SRP, 12.5% alcohol, 100% Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is bursting with aromas of grapefruit, lychee, passion fruit and boxwood.  The voluminous aromatics carry through in the mouth with flavors of gooseberry and citrus.  Capturing the fruit at its peak ripeness has resulted in a wine with both bold fruit and racy, mouth-watering acidity.  Clean, crisp, light-bodied and refreshing.   

        Mercer Estates Chardonnay 2015 – Horse Heaven Hills, $12.99 SRP, 13.9% alcohol, 100% Chardonnay.  This elegant Chardonnay opens with notes of fresh pineapples and lemon meringue pie with hints of lemon-lime zest.  Ripe orchard fruits surrounded by notes of sweet vanilla and honey flavors create a lush, juicy mouth feel.  The restrained ML fermentation has produced a wine that has bright acidity with clean fruit on the finish.  

        Mercer Canyons Red Blend 2014 – Horse Heaven Hills, $13.99 SRP, 13.9% alcohol.  Blend:  59% Merlot, 16% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 7% Sangiovese, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Viognier. Individual vineyard lots of Merlot and Syrah were fermented separately and barrel aged in a combination of French and American oak.  The resulting wine is bursting with ripe black cherry and plum with notes of caramel, coffee and smoke.  A balance of plush fruit and powdery tannins in the mid-palate lead into a long lingering finish with notes of bing cherry and spice.
        Mercer Canyons Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 – Horse Heaven Hills, $13.99 SRP, 13.9% alcohol.  Blend:  77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Viognier.   This warm vintage gave us ripe Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of ripe black fruit with a hint of cassis.  The voluminous fruit carries through in the mouth.  Barrel aging the wine brings hints of warm baking spices and adds depth and complexity.  Powdery tannins give structure to the wine while maintaining an elegant, balanced mouth feel.  This wine shows great expression of the Horse Heaven Hills terroir.

        We all agreed that Mercer Wines were delightful and delicious as a cocktail and quite enjoyable with food. It is no wonder that Mercer Wines was awarded 2026 Washington Winery of the Year! 

        SobeSavvy Tip: Sign up for their “Carma Club” member program >> They offer case discounts and special access to twice a year releases!
        All 4 wines are available nationwide and if you would like more information, check out their website: www.MercerWine.com

        I hope you found some helpful hosting tips for your next wine tasting party at home as well as some new wines and cheeses to try!

        Until next time,  🍷Cheers🍷

        Prepping for Game Day? Here are some #Recipes for your #SuperbowlParty snack spread !

        Next week is Superbowl Sunday and althought my team (GO Baltimore Ravens) is not playing,  I still look forward to Game Day fun with family & friends and let’s not forget the snacks! 

        I got the opportunity to sample Jarlsberg® Cheese®Moore’s Marinades and Sauces and Farm Rich easy -to-make snacks (#gotitfree, thanks to BzzAgent). As you know from prior posts, I love entertaining and hosting Happy Hour at home. So I put these products to the test last night to see if it would be game day worthy to serve to family and friends. Here are the tasty appetizers I served:

        Cheese Nachos with Jarlsberg Cheese

        Jarlsberg® Cheese®, the nationally recognized premium brand of cheese famous for its characteristic mild, sweet and nutty taste and its large round holes,  wants you to celebrate the Big Game with their array of cheeses that are perfect for any palate, and what better way to enjoy it than with winning recipes for your party like some delicious, mouthwatering cheese Nachos! I made some with Jarlsberg® Cheese , paprika, cilantro, black beans, sour cream and salsa. We enjoyed the unique, nutty mild flavor of the cheese and thought this cheese would go great in any nacho recipe. Enjoy this special Jarlsberg® Cheese Nacho recipe for your Big Game party, and let the games begin!

        Jarlsberg® Cheese Nachos
        Ingredients:

        2 cups shredded Jarlsberg® Cheese

        1 bag tortilla chips

        1 Broccoli head, grated

        2 green chilies, diced small

        2 garlic cloves, diced small

        2 tablespoons olive oil

        2 limes – juiced

        Fresh pepper to taste

        Dash of coriander

        How to Bake:

        Spread tortilla chips on flat pan (use parchment paper to avoid clean up). Top with cheese, and baked for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. While chips are cooking, toss all other ingredients in bowl.  Remove from oven and top with all tossed ingredients.  

        #MooreFlavor Wings

        February 5th brings football, the best commercials and of course, WINGS! This year,  Moore’s Marinades and Sauces wants you to go easy on yourself and do the work for you. They have a ton of delicious flavors (and recipes!) to get those wings going. If you want seriously delicious wings on game day, Moore’s Sauces and Marinades offers the best tasting sauces to kick off Super Bowl Sunday like a champion. 

        Based in Alabama, Moore’s is a family owned business that pours their heart into their marinades and sauces to give football fans a taste of true southern flavor. Whether you crave a sweet, sticky taste or a hot, tangy flavor, Moore’s has a stellar lineup of products for you to indulge in the best half-time wings you’ve ever had.

        As seen on Instagram, I made some #MooreFlavor Wings by simply marinating the wings in their Creamy Ranch Buffalo sauce and baking it in my oven. It definitely is a winning game-day snack that is super easy to make and guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. Once your finger lickin’ wings are beautifully glazed don’t forget to garnish your plate with celery, carrots, and EXTRA dipping sauce.

        Be sure to follow Moore’s Marinades on:
        Facebook

        Instagram

        YouTube

        Pinterest

        The company is continually expanding its line and has recently added Spicy Habanero Wing & Hot Sauce, and Zesty Garden Herb Marinade to their collection. Check out their website at www.mooresmarinade.com for tons of yummy recipes that only require 30 minutes or less !

        Barbeque Chicken Bites/Loaded Potato Skins by Farm Rich

        Need a simple football party snack or something quick to eat anytime? Then try Farm Rich’s line of easy to make appetizers. I first heard of this brand by participating in a campaign with BzzAgent and was impressed by their snack products. 

        Yesterday,  I chose to combine two of my favorites from that line: Barbeque Chicken Bites and Loaded Potatoe Skins …and served as one amazing appetizer !

        I recommend visiting their website to see other recipe hacks like putting a fried egg on top of the potato skin or serving the barbeque chicken bites on a toothpick with mini cornbread squares! 

        I hope you are inspired to include  any or all of these quick, easy and tasty items on your Super Bowl Sunday snack spread or anytime you host your next gathering. Let me know what you have planned to eat/serve on Game Day ?! 

        Holiday Dinner Made Easy with @KreuzMarket Smoked Turkey + Side Dishes from @CityBarbeque #NC

        Christmas is a few days away and New Year’s is around the corner!  Whether you are celebrating with family or friends, chances are there will be alot of food involved. But for those of us who don’t feel like cooking a feast for the holidays, let me share with you two great options for making your for your holiday meal easy! This year, don’t stress. Instead, impress your guests by serving a smoked turkey from Kreuz Market with some delicious sides from City Barbeque

        I have never had smoked turkey before, let alone have one delivered to my door. So when I learned that Kreuz Market makes whole smoked holiday turkeys and can ship it, I had to try it! In Texas, Kreuz Whole Smoked Turkeys are a seasonal fave available November and December. It’s cooked low and slow in brick pits over post oak sealing in that smokey goodness. Hot Turkeys are available for pickup while Cold turkeys can be ordered online and shipped to you fresh and ready to prepare. The turkey arrived vacuum sealed and comes with some simple reheating instructions. After a hour and a half of having your home smelling like the best Texas barbeque, it’s ready to be carved and served.It was so moist, full of flavor and I could taste the devotion to the tradition of barbeque. Hats off to the Pit Boss and everyone at Kreuz Market for making this a holiday meal to remember !

        Photo Credit: Kreuz Market

        You can’t have a tasty turkey without delicious side dishes and I knew just where I wanted to order from. My favorite barbeque place here in the Triangle, City Barbeque. Whether you need a foolproof dish to take to a potluck or hosting a holiday dinner , they have a lot of options available for catering or takeout. Because our dinner was for a small group we opted to go to the Durham, NC location and pick up some quart sized sides which serves 5-6 folks! 

        img_5235

        Here is what was served:

        Gumbo for the first course of course. It comes with a side of brown rice and has just the right amount of spice.I loved it! It’s perfect for when you want something delicious to warm you up on a cold, winter’s evening.

        Photo Credit: City Barbeque

        Mac and Cheese, Green Beans w/Bacon (which are prepared by City Barbeque’s employees throughout the day from scratch in the restaurant. These classic side dishes were so good and easy to serve. Just reheat in the microwave and Voila! )

        ..and last but not least, aseasonal item, which was everyone’s fave: Sweet Potato Casserole   If I had to choose one word to describe it: YUM ! There are nuts in it but also a whole lot of deliciousness. Try some before the season ends.

        Photo Credit: City Barbeque

        While the adults had my homemade rum cake (check out recipe), I was happy to learn that City Barbeque offers their own homemade desserts made daily from scratch and served my daughter her own big girl piece of their Triple Chocolate Cake. 

        It was a sweet ending to a wonderful holiday dinner with family & friends! I highly recommend letting both City Barbeque and/or Kreuz Market take care of you this holiday season and make your holiday dinner easy & delicious! 

        Happy Holidays!

        Add some #RumFun to your #HolidayDrinks with @GubbaRum ~ #GubbaRum

        Raise your glasses and let’s make a toast to being here to celebrate another Thanksgiving! This year, we decided to throw a pre-thanksgiving fete also known as Friendsgiving at our home. We here are so grateful for our friends at Gubba Rum who sponsored our Rum Fun ! 

        As I have shared in a past review , Gubba Rum is one of my favorite artisinal rums made with pure cane sugar instead of molasses. I wanted to share my love of this rum with a few of our close friends and have them sample their two amazing offerings from this unique rum maker. 

        We put on some Holiday Reggae tunes, had a few snacks and it was time to have our guests try Gubba Rum Silver infused with natural coconut and Gubba Gold, which is infused with natural vanilla. Their infusions are so authentic Gubba Rum advises consumers to actually shake the bottle a bit due to settling ! No extract or science inspired syrups here, real coconut and real vanilla.

        We decided to make a cocktail from Gubba Silver first. We wanted something we were sure that none of guests were familiar with. We made an obscure classic called Gregorio’s Rx {Prescription} This cocktail was the invention of Ernest Hemingway’s {Iconic author and iconic rum aficionado!} boat captain named Gregorio Fuentes.

         1 1/2 ounces Gubba Rum Silver                          2 Tbsp. honey                                                         2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice               1 mint leave

        Put in shaker 3/4 full of ice and shake until outer shaker has light coat of ice frost and strain into Martini Glass with a mint leaf .This was a magical cocktail that my guests simply could not stop drinking !

        Next up was the Gubba Rum Gold. This is infused with vanilla. One sniff and it instantly reminded me of some warm humid nights I have spent in the French West Indies, where at the end of a meal it is customary to put a self serve bottle of Rhum Vanille at the table to enjoy. I decided this was so exquisite I wanted to serve it up neat in shot glasses. Salud ! and down it went. Warm and smooth. Because Gubba Rum uses Cane sugar instead of molasses it has no harsh afterburn of so many rums. Everyone agreed they did not want anything interfering with this one, so we kept it simple..and neat for the evening. It was so wicked smooth !

        After everyone left I decided to try Gubba Gold with eggnog. It was amazing! The vanilla and eggnog married perfectly. Just a touch of nutmeg on top made this the perfect, classic holiday drink.

        Be sure to follow Gubba Rum on Twitter / Instagram @GubbaRum ! Gubba Rum for the holidays or any day is just a great choice. All your guests will thank you for it ..and I thank you all for the fun memories! 

        *Special Thank You & Photo Credits Barry Heigh for SobeSavvy.com

        and Mario Daye, @daye_and_knight


        What’s your favorite way to enjoy RUM ?