Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

It’s Time to Start Your Year Off Light!

It’s Time to Start Your Year Off Light!

Many people are pledging to live a healthier life starting the first of January by eating healthier, working in more fitness, getting rid of stress, or just trying to take care of your body better. Well, we want to help!

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for more great articles and tasty, healthy recipes.

Our Start Your Year Off Light Program is a collection of health tips from staff and nutritionists aimed to give you the motivation and information you need to lead a more healthy life. This isn't about deprivation and unrealistic goals. Small changes can lead to big results year-round (and won't fade come February).

We also have 100 Healthy Tips for the New Year that will get you revved up and motivated to fulfill those New Year’s Resolutions. Here are my 5 favorite tips:

1. Follow the 2X2X2 Plan: Eat twice as often, eat half as much, and chew twice as long.

2. Lace Up First Thing in the Morning: Keep your workout shoes next to your bed. Lace them up before your feet touch the floor in the morning and get a move on.

3. Put Produce on Eye Level: To increase your fruit and veggie intake, don’t put them in a drawer in the refrigerator but rather on a shelf at eye level. The more you see them, the more likely you will be to grab for them.

4. Be the First to Order: When dining out, be the first one to order. You’ll be less likely to change your mind after hearing what others are having.

5. Sleep Routine: An hour of winding down before bed relaxes your mind and readies it for sleep. Adults, like youngsters, benefit from a routine: Go to bed at around the same time, take a warm shower or bath, and turn off bright lights and screens.

Beginning January 1, check in daily at our 31 Days of Light calendar for a new healthy tip to help you reach your goals.


It's Time to Spring Clean Your Quarantine Stockpile: Here's What to Do

Now is the perfect time to revisit your pandemic pantry (and freezer!).

Last February, I was one of those folks who could sense that the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine lockdown wasn&apost just going to be a "no big deal" sort of thing. And as such, I was among the first in my circle to do a full stockpile in anticipation of things going sideways. I loaded in a houseful of staples, buying canned goods by the case, flour in 25-pound bags, and a freezer full of meat so that I knew that I could keep us fed even if supply chains totally broke down. As the crisis continued, I kept my larder full, even converting our basement laundry room into overflow pantry space.

But the good news is that while we certainly had some weeks where we were fed entirely on what I had squirreled away, mostly we have had access to fresh foods, and so our stockpile has not diminished as much as it might have. In the spirit of Spring Cleaning, it is also time to get into your pantry and storage and take stock of your own quarantine stockpile and make some decisions.

For cleaning your pandemic pantry, think about the four things you might need to do with what you find. I separate into four categories. Keep, Toss, Donate, Use.


20+ Weekend Brunch Recipes To Start Your Morning Off Right

Ah… Sunday morning. It’s the perfect time to replace your usual grab-and-go workday breakfast with something more hearty and indulgent. From chia parfaits that taste like cherry pie (no, seriously) to sweet buckwheat waffles, we compiled 20 of the most mouthwatering brunch recipes to treat you and your family this weekend. Now, all you need is a mimosa!

Cherry Pie Chia Parfaits

Creamy chia pudding, jammy tart cherries and a crunchy granola topping are great as a decadent yet healthy breakfast, midday snack or an after-dinner treat.

Fluffy Japanese-Style Pancakes

Trust the Japanese to take an ordinary flapjack and transform it into something extraordinary. The new “it” hotcake is made with whipped egg whites folded in and cooked slowly using a mould for a dramatic rise. The result is a breakfast that stands tall and tastes like a cross between a soufflé and angel food cake. You’ll find these decadent pancakes at cafés and on Insta feeds everywhere, or you can impress with them at home.

If you like your eggs with hot sauce or salsa, you’ll love shakshuka. The eggs are half baked, half poached in a spicy tomato sauce and topped with fresh herbs and briny cheese. If you don’t have a 12″ skillet, use a smaller pan and reduce the number of eggs to four.

Black Rice Pudding With Coconut Milk & Mango

Full of iron, vitamin E and antioxidants, black rice is a nutritional powerhouse. It also happens to be delicious. Simmer it slowly in water and coconut milk and top it with ripe mango. It plays to both sides — a little sweet, a little salty.

Butternut Squash & Gruyère Tart With Rye & Walnut Crust

Adding an alternative flour like fiber-rich rye to a tart shell brings depth and dimension to the crust. The ground walnuts in this recipe also add a protein boost and complement the squash — this flavor combination is spot on.

Blueberry Pie French Toast Muffins

Dessert for breakfast is one of our favorite guilty pleasures. Why choose between three when you can have them all in one compact pastry? Blueberry pie, French toast and sweet muffins are the ultimate on-the-go treat.

Breakfast Bowls

The breakfast bowl trend has nothing to do with milk or cereal. Countless foodie snaps on social media have inspired everyone to start their day with one of these nutrient-dense, flavor-packed petits déjeuners. Star ingredients like porridge, fresh berries, savory yogurt, grits and even rosemary-infused honey are all in the mix, with recipes ranging from easy to elaborate, depending on how much of a morning person you are.

Omelet With Whipped Ricotta

Pea tendrils and creamy ricotta take this omelette to the next level — perfect for a lazy Sunday breakfast in bed.

Rise & Shine Buckwheat Waffles

These waffles can be made using only white flour, but adding a portion of buckwheat flour to the mix is like the difference between white bread and sourdough — the latter has more flavor and a nice tang. Despite the sugar in this recipe, these waffles are not overly sweet, leaving you free to top them with fruit, cream and maple syrup.

Tortilla Española

This classic Spanish snack is like a denser frittata — perfect for brunch. Full of potatoes and onions, cooked slowly in olive oil. Chef Victor Dries uses a deep fryer to make easy work of cooking the potatoes for the tortilla, but here we’ve adapted the process for home use.

French Baked Eggs With Smoked Salmon & Tarragon Cream

Is it at all surprising that when the French bake eggs, they do so in a bath of cream? Here, the cream is seasoned with fresh tarragon and lemon zest, and stirred into a nest of buttery sautéed leeks before being spooned into individual ramekins along with the eggs. Then, everything is baked until the yolks are still liquid while the whites turn just firm enough to hold their shape on your spoon. Because it’s hard to think about brunch without smoked salmon, add a few slices here as a garnish, along with some capers for a salty tang.

Unicorn Toast

Ah, Unicorn Toast, the dish that launched an Instagram phenomenon. Using beet juice, turmeric, spirulina and chlorophyll drops, dye cream cheese in each hue and swirl it around on toast to create a whimsical array of colors. Feel free to dress it up and top with your favorite fruit, hemp seeds or granola!

Oats & Barley Bircher Muesli

What could be better than a brunch dish that prepares itself while you’re sleeping? Bircher muesli, or overnight oats, is an old-fashioned dish making a big comeback. The name comes from Swiss nutritionist and physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner, who was an early proponent of the raw diet. As well as being easy, this brunch dish is also vegan. Oh, and it’s incredibly delicious!

Birthday-Worthy Swedish Pancakes

This Swedish feast is best enjoyed in bed, with a full array of fillings, toppings and embellishments for customizing each crepe-like pancake the second it comes out of the pan.

Savory Scones

Scone dough works really well as a vehicle for savory ingredients, especially highly-flavored, lower-moisture ones, such as Gruyère and other firm cheeses, chopped chives, sautéed mushrooms, bacon and ham. Spanish pimentón or fresh herbs make really good additions as well. As with sweet scones, use a very light hand when mixing, and you’ll be rewarded with a light, flaky scone.

Vanilla Blueberry Chia Pudding

This is a great recipe for those who are new to the kitchen and want to experiment working with different flavors. Have fun trying new and unusual flavor combinations, such as blood orange and dark chocolate, and using different extracts, yogurts and fruits.

Bacon, Eggs & Toast Spaghetti

Indulgent? Yes! This full-throttle dish has all your favorite breakfast components in one. Crispy bacon, buttery toast and runny eggs are all tossed into spaghetti and topped with a perfect six-minute egg. Feel free to substitute whole wheat pasta for the spaghetti if it makes you sleep better at night.

Ginger & Turmeric Energy Balls

You know those balls you’ve seen in health food stores that claim to be healthful and delicious? Well, they’re even better if you make them yourself. Packed with protein, homemade snack balls are a guilt-free way to satisfy a sweet tooth if you’re in a rush.


Clean Eating Vegan Recipes

And that&rsquos not all! This website has tons of cleanse approved recipes. Here are some fan favorites to get you started.

Vegan Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast is, without a doubt, the most important meal of the day. Getting food in your system within the first 30 minutes of waking up has a huge impact on your overall health and energy throughout the day.

Here are some of my favorite healthy breakfast recipes.

Vegan Smoothie Recipes

Smoothies and shakes can often be a good mid-morning or mid-day snack between meals. They are rich in nutrients, vegetables, and calories to help keep you energized during the slow parts of the day.

Here are some of my favorite smoothie and smoothie bowl recipes.

Vegan Salad Recipes

Having a refrigerator full of fresh produce is key to the success of your midday cleanse meals. I love to make big hearty salads with greens, roasted chickpeas, vegetables, seeds, and tahini garlic dressing.

Here are some of my favorite healthy salad recipes.

Vegan Soup Recipes

When I&rsquom cleansing, I love to make big batches of healthy soup for quick grab-n-go lunches throughout the week. Soups are easy to make, healthy, wholesome, and perfect when you don&rsquot have much time to prep lunch.

Here are some of my favorite vegan and gluten-free soup recipes.

Vegan Snack Recipes

When you&rsquore on a 30 day cleanse, healthy snacks are incredibly important to have on hand. I&rsquoll make a batch of guacamole or a cheddar cheese ball and eat it with fruits and veggies when I start to get hungry.

Here are some of my favorite vegan snack recipes.

Vegan Dinner Recipes

There are so many dinner options, I could write a whole post for just dinner. From Buddha bowls to skillet enchiladas to portobello steaks, there is an endless option for dinner. You could be enjoying a different meal every night of the week.

Here are some of my favorite cleanse-approved dinner recipes.

Vegan Dessert Recipes

You can even have dessert when your cleansing! That means vegan, (obviously) gluten, soy, and refined sugar-free desserts that you can enjoy on your 30-day cleanse! From ice cream to cake, there is a recipe for everyone!

Here are some of my favorite healthy vegan dessert recipes.


The holiday season is an undeniably hectic&mdashalbeit cheerful&mdashtime. From decking the halls for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa to baking cookies, wrapping presents, sending holiday cards, and meeting Santa, you likely have a lengthy holiday to-do list. To help ease your stress, we've rounded up 15 hands-off dinner recipes that your whole family will love. Each recipe here takes longer than we'd usually go for on a weeknight, but the trick is that each dish either roasts, stews, braises, or bakes so the cooking is hands-off. That means you can tackle some of your tasks while dinner is in the oven (or in some cases, a slow-cooker).

One of the ultimate hands-off dinner recipes is lasagna, and we have two recipes that will wow. The first is our Lasagna with Meat Sauce, pictured here. It's a total classic with a hearty meat filling of Italian sausage and ground beef, plus a trio of cheeses. You can assemble the entire lasagna in advance and bake it any night of the week. It spends about an hour and a half in the oven, which gives you plenty of time to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Looking for something lighter that your vegetarian family members can enjoy? Try our Mushroom-Eggplant Lasagna the two vegetables pair with three kinds of cheese for an irresistible plant-based entrée.

Another hands-off dinner recipe that we love anytime of the year&mdashbut especially on chilly winter nights&mdashis this Italian Pulled Pork. Instead of the usual super saucy version that's mixed with lots of barbecue sauce, our recipe is accented with a handful of earthy, aromatic spices that lets the flavor of boneless pork shoulder shine.

When you're worried about getting everything done in time for the holiday season, remember these hands-off dinner recipes. They're guaranteed to make your week more delicious and more enjoyable.


Sourdough Starter Discard Recipes

Don't just throw away your sourdough starter when you grow your baby. Instead, use it in one of these fantastic recipes. Sourdough discard is perfect for so much more than just sourdough bread.

Which will you make first?

Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Yes, sourdough bread is traditionally more of a boule, but sandwich bread can be so much more useful on a day to day basis. Just trust me and try it in place of your traditional sandwich loaf next time.

Mom&rsquos Sourdough Hotcakes

Start your day off right. This vintage sourdough hotcakes recipe never fails. Crisp, light, and slightly tangy, these delicious sourdough pancakes make an easy breakfast or brunch.

Spiced Overnight Sourdough Waffles

If you're going to make pancakes, you have to try waffles, too. This recipe makes the batter the night before, which not only adds more flavor but also means you can start baking first thing in the morning. I call that a win win!

Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Sugar Cake Donuts

I love making donuts at home. The classic cinnamon sugar is a family favorite, and adding that tang of sourdough to the sweetness makes these absolutely sublime.

Pumpkin Spice Sourdough Scones

Scones are hands down one of my favorite foods. These pumpkin spice sourdough scones smell like heaven, and they taste even better. This isn't just a fall dish. Keep a can of pumpkin in your pantry and enjoy them ANY time of year!

Sourdough English Muffins

My son would eat English muffins every day if I let him. I could go bankrupt buying them, but instead . make them! These delicious English muffins are made with both active dry yeast and sourdough starter. The sourdough adds a delicious tang to the muffins, and the yeast allows this recipe to be made quicker than with just sourdough alone.


Rosie’s Recipes: Time to rise and shine with Rosie’s orange sunrise buns

If you’re lucky enough to live at the beach, you’re lucky enough. (Photos by Rosie Hawthorne)

I’m lucky enough to start off almost every day by going to the beach and watching the sunrise. It’s the perfect way to begin one’s day. My day only gets better when I come home to a special treat for breakfast. My sweet orange breakfast buns are a wonderful way to start off your day and the new year. With a buttery cake-like base, a nutty cinnamon filling, and an orange cream cheese glaze, they’re a little bit sweet, a little bit doughy, a little bit zesty, and a whole lotta yummy. They’re the perfect antidote to 2020 and a lovely welcome to 2021.

Rosie’s Orange Sunrise Buns

For the dough:

  • ¼ cup skim milk, warmed
  • ¼ cup cream, warmed
  • 1 package yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 TB unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • About 3 ¼ cups flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the warm milk and cream with the yeast and sugar. Let it sit for a few minutes until it “proofs,” or gets bubbly and foamy. This means the yeast has “proved” it’s alive and your dough will rise. With machine on low speed, add in orange juice, zest, egg, butter, and salt. Gradually add in flour, incorporating it into the dough and increasing speed to medium. You want enough flour so the dough pulls away from the sides but is still soft and tacky. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured working surface and finish by kneading by hand, sprinkling more flour if needed. You want a soft, elastic dough. Transfer to a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Rosie Note: If all you have is whole milk, that’s fine to use. I use a combination of skim and cream because that’s what I always have on hand.

For the filling:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 TB cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup crumbled pecans

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 12 x 18-inch rectangle.

Using an offset spatula, spread the butter over surface of dough. Evenly sprinkle rest of filling ingredients over top.

Tightly roll up dough lengthwise and slice into 12 even pieces.

Place slices (swirl facing up) in a buttered 9 x 13-inch pan. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled – an hour or so.

Bake in a 350° oven until rolls are light golden brown on top – about 22 minutes.

Frost the rolls while still warm.

For the glaze:
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 TB unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar

Combine cream cheese and butter. Whisk in rest of ingredients until smooth. Pour over warm buns.

For a special zesty treat (and because they’re available now), sprinkle pomegranate arils over the buns.

For more recipes, please visit with Rosie at www.KitchensAreMonkeyBusiness.com.

For any culinary questions, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] Bon appétit! For more Rosie’s Recipes on the Outer Banks Voice click here


Wednesday

It’s the middle of the week and these meals just keep coming! Not only will they be easy to toss together, but you also won’t have to overheat by waiting for it to cook or bake in the oven. This pasta salad makes a wonderful dinner, and feel free to pair it with extra veggies or another protein!


It's Time to Delete Your Delivery Apps

For weeks, as restaurants begged delivery platforms to reduce their commissions, the apps refused, further profiting from the coronavirus crisis.

It&aposs not an uncommon ritual right now. You are on your couch in your pajamas, something you haven&apost changed out of all day. Who can blame you? Now is the time for comfort, no matter what the productivity gurus say. You&aposve cooked a few meals for yourself this week, maybe even made a pot of beans or baked a loaf of sourdough, but doing all those dishes can get tiring. So can feeding yourself multiple meals a day, every day. So you grab your smartphone and open an app like Grubhub (Seamless), Postmates, UberEats, or Doordash (Caviar), browsing the options of restaurants that have made the decision to pivot to delivery.

But instead of picking pizza or tacos, you need to do something else. Delete the apps entirely.

"But what about supporting my favorite local restaurant?" you say. Well, you can still do that, by calling the restaurant directly to place your order. Or by buying merch and gift cards. Or by donating to a restaurant staff&aposs Venmo or GoFundMe, or a fund to feed frontline workers. Or by calling your representative. (If the restaurant is only selling via delivery apps, Caviar seems to be the fairest option.) 

For too long, these apps—middle-man tech companies with millions, if not billions, in funding—have long frustrated the restaurant industry. Their predatory practices include typically take a 20 to 30 percent commission from restaurants on each order, asking restaurants to pay for promotions the app is offering to customers, and adding restaurants to the app without the restaurants&apos consent. Not to mention the several hundred dollars these companies charge restaurants to even sign-up to use their platforms.

This behavior has only gotten more egregious as the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the entire restaurant industry, leaving millions of restaurant employees out of work and chefs and owners scrambling desperately to find any way to save their restaurants in an industry with already razor-thin margins. For weeks, as restaurants begged the delivery apps to reduce their commissions, the apps refused, instead embarking on misleading PR campaigns, positioning themselves as friends and saviors of the restaurant industry.

Grubhub made an initial splash in March by announcing that it was deferring commission payments of up to $100 million. But deferring only means collecting the money at a later date, not a reduction in commissions. Postmates reached out to celebrities to shoutout their favorite local restaurants in an ad campaign. Caviar dropped its delivery fee for customers, and Grubhub announced a promotion offering $10 off any $30 order placed between 5 and 9 p.m.. What the promotion failed to explain was that Grubhub forced the restaurants to pick up the tab on the promotion. And if that wasn&apost enough, Grubhub also took its commission based on the total cost of the order before the discount.

The apps do all of this, while severely underpaying its delivery drivers. This was already an issue pre-pandemic—the average pay is about $10 to $15 per hour. Now, they have one of the most dangerous jobs, and while some companies like Caviar are providing drivers with hand sanitizer and gloves, none have offered their drivers pay raises or health care.

It might be easier to be sympathetic with these apps if they were, like the businesses they depended upon, losing money. But they are not. Instead, they are seeing more business during this crisis.

As people stay at home, delivery has become more popular than ever before. An UberEats spokesperson told Fox News that delivery orders to independent restaurants "in the U.S. and Canada have increased by 30 percent since mid-March." And as shelter-in-place orders continue to extend, that number will likely only rise.

If these apps actually cared about the restaurants upon which their businesses are built, they would agree to commission caps at 10 percent or less. Tock, restaurateur Nick Kokonas&aposs reservation and pick-up platform, offers a standard 3 percent commission contract. Instead, according to a report from Eater, the tech companies have no plans to reduce their commissions and are fighting any efforts requiring them to do so. In response to this piece, an Uber spokesperson told Food & Wine, "Providing our platform and services to restaurants costs money𠅌hanging commission rates would force us to alter the way we do business, potentially hurting those we’re trying to help the most: customers, small businesses and delivery people.”

On Friday, shortly after San Francisco passed an emergency order requiring delivery apps to cap their commissions at 15 percent, Grubhub sent an email to its SF-based customers, pleading with them to oppose the order. It should be noted that earlier this week, DoorDash announced that it would reduce all commission fees for restaurants with five or less locations by 50 percent between April 13 and the end of May. While it is progress, it might be too little, too late. Nor does it offer a permanent solution to these predatory practices.

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely capsized the restaurant industry as we have known it. The industry that currently exists is a shell of what it was just a month ago. As restaurants debate the moral dilemmas of keeping their staffs safe versus the financial dilemma of closing, as restaurants reckon with the fact that much of the industry was broken before this crisis, as restaurants figure out how to operate in a world full of unknowns, delivery apps should not be allowed to continue the same vulturous practices they deployed in a pre-coronavirus world.

Until these apps actively start agreeing to commission caps, it&aposs time to delete your delivery apps and let them burn.

This article was updated on April 13 to reflect a statement from Uber. 


31 Easy Dinner Recipes for December

Christmas dinner is one of the most elaborate meals of the year, but don't let that deter you from cooking delicious meals all December long! Here are 31 Easy Dinner Recipes for December to keep you warm and satisfied. In this collection, you can find soups, hearty casseroles, and slow cooker dinners packed with seasonal ingredients. Plus, you can easily use some of these main dishes and sides for your Christmas dinner menu. Serve these dishes to your family and start a December tradition of good food and good company.

Have you seen our test kitchen recipes yet? They include easy videos you can use to follow along! Check out our full collection here!