October 2018 Nibbles & Sips

Eat Local, Drink Local This October

If you haven’t already given it a read, check out my October Eat Local, Drink Local blog post, “Salamis to Stock:Five Fabulous ways to Eat Local“, you’ll enjoy reading about five deliciously local items, all easy ways to Eat Local.

The post also includes video from my October Eat and Drink Local appearance on Charlotte’s NBC affiliate, Charlotte Today.


Plus, you’ll find all the Where-To-Buy info on each of the local products in the post  and a Recipe for Braised grassfed beef shanks, perfect for this little burst of cooler weather we are currently enjoying.

In addition to the recipe:  Hickory Nut Gap’s fabulous cured meats (Sopressata, Salami Classico and Pepperoni, and Hickory Nut Gap cured local Pork sticks. The fresh beef is available in Charlotte at Whole Foods and the cured sausages and pork sticks online at Hickory Nut Gap Farms.  In addition you’ll read all about Sun Raised Foods, delicious trio of Lamb Sausage and Salami from Sun Raised Foods; Bone Broth and Spice Blends from Pure Old World; a trio of mustards from Lusty Monk Mustard, and sustainably sourced and locally roasted Farmers First Coffee.

Before Halloween Hits October 31, Enjoy Wine and Music on October 26

As many of you know my husband, Tom Billotto is a full time musician specializing in guitar and vocals. He plays at many restaurants around town and is available for private parties, weddings, engagement parties, holiday get togethers and more. 


On Friday, October 26, Tom will be performing at the wine bar at the Sedgefeild Harris Teeter in SouthEnd from 5:30-8:30pm. Its a casual, relaxed evening in the middle of a grocery store, but there is plenty to eat and drink and the crowd always has a great time. Come and join in all the fun! 

Join in the fun at any one, two or three Hands On cooking Classes with Heidi in October

You can check out my entire list of October and November cooking classes here to see whats coming in November, but first call you friends and make plans to attend these three October cooking classes:  On the Farm at Tega Hills farm;  Sunday Afternoon At Home with Heidi for the best of Grilled Cheese and a Monday night ‘ShortCut Series” class on making from scratch veggie burgers. 

octoberSaturday October 27, 3-6 pm; On The Farm at Tega Hills Farm – Cooking with Local Chilies, Peppers and more!    

Spice your weekend up a bit with this flavor packed on the farm cooking class. Tega Hills Farm grows chilies and peppers of all shapes, sizes and varying degrees of heat. You can buy peppers, lettuce, micro greens, tomatoes and more directly from Mark and Mindy Robinson at the Matthews Community Farmers’ Market & The Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and at the brand new store right at the farm during the week! Come to the farm for this class to learn first hand all there is to know about local peppers & chilies.

We’ll start, as always with a farm tour of the green houses.  Then, we’ll cook and eat  and  ( if you’ve a mind to buy) you can help harvest-your-own chilies and peppers. You’ll leave with recipes and instructions on how to pickle and preserve and make your own hot sauce.  Plus, we’ll stuff, saute and simmer the harvest into 4-5 courses. Vegetarian and Gluten Free options available.   Cost is $85 per person. Email Heidi to make your reservations.

OctoberSunday Oct 28, 2-5pm -At Home with Heidi – Gotta Love Grilled Cheese

Time for a class full of the real taste of local dairy.  I was inspired by the memory of the grilled cheese sandwich at Lincoln’s Haberdashery. It is featured at the top of this post. Melted and grilled cheese in all its guises, is one of the best comfort foods you’ll find around. The creamy and delicious crowd pleaser, works well for breakfast and lunch, later in the day as an appetizer or snack, at dinner as an entree or a sauce and even after the meal as a fun and flavorful dessert! Can’t wait for you to see all we have in store. Vegetarian and gluten free options.   Cost is $85 per person. Email Heidi to make your reservations

OctoberMonday October 29, 6:30-8pm –At Home with Heidi – Shortcut Series: Veggie Burgers and then some

Three delicious high protein do-ahead plant-based options are featured in this class. For example,  this idea for a white bean and Quinoa burger from the American Heart Association, localized by my addition of a lot of local product and plant based proteins. The trio of featured  recipes are all based on  one fabulous master recipe – to enjoy on a bun with all the trimmings, or on a seasonal salad with a great homemade dressing, or as a tasty appetizer option to start an evening with friends.   Cost is $58 per person; Email Heidi at to make your reservations

Several way to help North Carolina Hurricane victims, still in recovery mode before the end of October

OctoberIt was my pleasure to meet this North Carolina culinary icon, Bill Smith, this past week as a part of the TerraVita festivities in Chapel Hill, NC and fun to have dinner at his well-known restaurant, Crooks Corner ( more about the meal in a post to come). You’ll notice that Bill is sporting a “Country As Cornbread” t-shirt, part of a fundraiser by chef Vivian Howard and her team at the Chef and the Farmer in Kinston, NC to raise funds for their Eastern NC neighbors in  Jones County displaced and in recovery after Hurricane Florence.  You, too, can be stylin’ like Bill or you can just make a donation to help. The t-shirts are just $25 – all the info is here – orders must be placed by October 31, 2018. 

James Taylor has Carolina on His Mind and is matching Donations now till October 31

OctoberJames recently announced his October “James Taylor Million Meals Challenge”. The initiative, launched by The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, will aid New Bern, NC, and 22 surrounding counties.

OctoberMany of you know that James and his family have North Carolina connections in and around Chapel Hill, but what you may not know is that James’ great, great, great grandfather, Issac Taylor was one of the founding families of New Bern NC in the mid 1700s.

This photo, of the historic plaque, was taken when I was in New Bern last summer for one of the NCRLA Chef Showdown semi final rounds.

Visit http://foodbankcenc.org/jamestaylor to donate what you can.  James and his wife Kim have joined with friends to match your donation dollar for dollar, until they reach the one million meal goal. 

Save the date for this Sweet Saturday of a Fundraiser on November 3…

Its the same day as my On the Farm Cooking class at Proffitt Cattle Company in Kings Mountain, but as luck and timing would have it – you will actually have time to take in both events. Start the day with dessert. Enjoy the afternoon with four courses of local, organic, grass fed and finished beef!

Join some of Charlotte’s finest pastry chefs and best bakers for an over-the-top, old fashioned Bake Sale !

100% of the proceeds go to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC, and Pender County Schools Hurricane Relief.


Enjoy a sweet treat with a cup of coffee or  pair your pastry with one of Free Range’s incredible brews.  Take home an amazing dessert or fresh baked loaf made by top local talent. 
Participating Bakers include:
Jossie Lukacik, Sweet Spot Studio
Hannah Woociker, Barrister’s at the Esquire
Samantha Allen, Wentworth & Fenn
Keia Mastrianni, Milk Glass Pie
Ashley Anna Tuttle, Haymaker
Ashley Boyd, 300 East
Laney Jahkel-Parrish, 300 East
Justin Burke-Samson, Kindred/Hello Sailor
Noelle Gogg, The Ballantyne Hotel & Resort
Brigitte Oger, Craft Cakes
Miranda Brown, The Asbury
TJay Jones, Bonterra Dining & Wine Room
Anne Marie Stefaney
Kelly Patkus & Ellen Duke, Johnson & Wales University
Glynnis Brown, Duke’s Bread
Anika Rucker, Fahrenheit Charlotte
Courtney Buckley, Your Mom’s Donuts
Jennifer Cubillos Young – Queen City Market
Megan Lambert – Garnet Gals
Gabija Vecci – La Piccola Gabbia

Free Range Brewing has generously donated space for this event. Come hang out, get a sugar buzz, and send our neighbors to the east some love. See you there! #TellThemHeidiSentYou!

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