Seasons 52, Now Open In Raleigh!

Seasons 52 Crabtree exterior

When I was invited to review Seasons 52’s new Raleigh location in Crabtree Valley Mall, I jumped at the chance! I was already familiar with the restaurant’s concept of serving fresh and seasonal food, locally sourced when possible, having dined at the Seasons 52 Palm Gardens in Florida a few years ago while visiting my brother and sister-in-law. It is one of their favorite restaurants in the area, and while I don’t recall what I had to eat, I do remember wishing that we had a Seasons 52 in the Raleigh area. And now my wish has come true!

Seasons 52 is a fresh grill and wine bar that offers a seasonally inspired menu featuring ingredients, often locally sourced, at their peak flavors. Seasons 52 uses rustic cooking techniques, such as brick-oven roasting and open-fire grilling over oak and mesquite wood, to bring out the natural flavors of food. The menu is paired with an ever-changing collection of more than 100 wines, with 52 available by the glass, along with artisanal spirits and craft beer.

Season 52 entrees

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Meet Floury Apron’s Fabulous Fadia House at the 2017 Southern Women’s Show!

Fadia House

I recently had the great fortune of spending some time with Fadia House, the delightful owner of the Floury Apron, thanks to some of the folks at the upcoming Southern Women’s Show. The Southern Women’s Show (April 21-23) is the premier weekend-long event for women in the Triangle community and attracts tens of thousands of guests each year. The show features celebrity guests and chefs; lots of shopping; and workshops on food, fashion, beauty, health and fitness, business, education, home, travel, and more. But more about this great show later in this post — let me now introduce you to Fadia and Floury Apron.

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Hot Diggity Dog! Kel’s Homemade Chili for Franks, Burgers and More

 Cheeseburger in paradise with Kel's homemade chili sauce

Summer cookouts are on the near horizon, and oftentimes I like to keep it simple by just grilling hotdogs and burgers, and then adding one homemade touch to elevate those meats to a higher level. I’m talking homemade chili, of course. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of any of the bland canned hotdog chili sauces, especially when I can make my own with minimal effort, no preservatives and incredible results. And judging by some of the requests for this recipe I received at a recent cookout, this chili sauce is a favorite!

My homemade chili sauce freezes great, so make a big batch and then package any leftovers in containers/plastic bags according to your specific size needs. Just thaw the chili in the refrigerator the day before you plan to serve it and then heat it in your microwave or on the stovetop until it is warm throughout.

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Kel’s Awesome Olive Salad for Muffulettas and More

Kel's muffuletta, cut and upclose

Central Grocery, New Orleans, home of the original muffuletta. A must stop on any visit to this fun and lively Southern city. Yes, you will have to stand in line, which often snakes out the door and past several other stores, to get one of the best sandwiches you’ve ever eaten. And yes, it is well, well, well worth the wait – trust me, a true line-hater if there ever was one.

What makes this sandwich world famous (even if you can’t enjoy it overlooking the Mississippi River with an ice-cold beer) is the incredible olive salad, which Central Grocery also sells as a side and is available to order online. However, my version is so easy to make and it’s cheaper, too. You will have leftovers, which is fine because this olive salad can be used a variety of ways in addition to a muffuletta ingredient, and it stores well in the fridge.

Another key ingredient to this muffuletta recipe is the round load of Italian bread with sesame seeds. Since I couldn’t find a round loaf after going to three different stores, I settled on an oblong loaf and just trimmed the edges some. As long as you have the sesame seeds, you’re good. I overstuffed my muffuletta with meat and cheese, but feel free to use less if desired.

Are you hungry for Kel's Overstuffed muffulettas


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Kel’s Bacon and Bleu Cheese Cabbage Steaks, as a Side and a Meal

Kel's Grilled Cabbage Steaks with Bacon and Bleu Cheese

Cabbage lovers, rejoice! You will love, love, love this delicious recipe and it will yield two meals with some simple planning.

Cabbage haters, rejoice! With the addition of cheese and bacon, here’s a dish that just may turn your hate into love. Or at least a strong like. C’mon, give it a try!

This recipe appeared in one of my newsfeeds from and I immediately knew I had to try it. I love cabbage raw, steamed, sautéed, stuffed, etc., so this was a no-brainer, especially since I was eager to throw cabbage on the grill for a new way to prepare it. I decided to go ahead and use the prepackaged marinade instead of making my own and made just a couple of tweaks to the recipe, adding bacon grease and changing the oil type.

You can make this indoors on a stovetop grill, like I did. But an outdoors grill should be fine, too. And leftovers are awesome to cut up and reheat in a skillet with some sliced kielbasa for a complete meal.

Cabbage and kielbasa

So just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, consider making cabbage this way. It will go great with your corned beef.

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Crispy Canadian Bacon and Two-Cheese Hash Brown Waffles

Kel's Canadian bacon and cheese hash brown waffle

Here’s a great recipe I threw together shortly after I bought my Belgian waffle maker. It combines some of my favorite breakfast foods (Canadian bacon, eggs, cheese and hash brown potatoes) that can be served any time of the day. These are so easy to make and are simply delicious!

If you don’t have a waffle iron, no worries. Just use the batter to make hash brown pancakes instead, as mentioned at the end of the recipe.

Hash brown pancake ready to eat

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Craft Beer and Girl Scout Cookies, Part 2


As I mentioned in a recent post, Brixx Wood Fired Pizza at Parkside Town Commons and Bradford Shops in Cary offered a unique Beer & Girl Scout Cookie Tasting on Feb. 22, 2017. Guests received three drink samples specifically selected from a variety of craft beers accompanied by three popular Girl Scout cookie samples, all for just $5.50.

Beer and cookies? Why not, I thought, when asked to cover this event. I love to pair chocolate candy with red wine, but this was the first time I had heard of pairing cookies with beer. I don’t know where I’ve been, because after doing some upfront research on the Internet, this is an idea that’s been around for a while. Oh well, being late to the party is better than not going at all.

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