eat and drink local

More Ways to Eat and Drink Local

As this first week of December almost comes to a close, I’d like to offer another round of wonderful ways for you to eat and drink local this holiday season.

eat and drink local
Heidi is on the road again sharing lots of ways to eat and drink local

As I write this I am in Raleigh, NC.

Yesterday was a day spent on the road. I drove from Charlotte to Belmont, to Salisbury, to Pittsboro, to Chapel Hill, to Raleigh to pick up all the local flavor I am sharing with you today.

Heidi Hits the Airwaves with 6 ways to Eat and Drink Local

Delighted to be promoting this post and all of the ways to eat and drink local across the state with my friends Ken Smith and Lena Tillett at WRAL. If you are in the Triangle area, you can tune into WRAL’s 9 am hour show live. My segment should air between 9:45 and 10 am.

eat and drink local

If you are not in the area or don’t have access to a television at that time frame, you can live stream the broadcast here.

In case you miss it – no worries, you know I have you covered. I’ll be back in a day or so with a post that includes recipes and more on all of these local products and will include a link back to the WRAL segment.

Here is just a taste of local Got To Be NC products in today’s eat and drink local spotlight. Each one a perfect choice for holiday entertaining and gift giving, too!

Lets start with a rich and creamy way to eat local in Chapel Hill, NC

Eat and Drink Local at Chapel Hill Creamery Chapel Hill, NC

eat and drink local

Chapel Hill Creamery is a small cow’s dairy farmstead in Chapel Hill, producing award-winning fresh and aged cheese, and whey fed pork. They produce some of my favorite cheeses – all perfect for at home holiday cooking and holiday party cheese and charcuterie boards. If you live in the Triangle you can buy the farms cheese and pork directly at any one of several Triangle farmers markets.

eat and drink local
Portia McKnight & Flo Hawley of Chapel Hill Creamery with a round of the Dairy’s limited Thunder Mountain aged swiss

And, if you are ready for a road trip, too – or just a day on the farm, check this out. Chapel Hill Creamery is having an On the farm event this Saturday, Dec 7 from 1:30 till 4:30.

Dec 7 On the Farm Day at Chapel Hill Creamery

The day on the farm at Chapel Hill Creamery, will feature their  Hickory Grove cheese “Raclette”, and hot apple cider. Portia and Flo, the two dynamic women behind this fabulous cheese, have cut their large wheel of Thunder Mountain Swiss after a year of aging  and it’ll be sampled and for sale along with all the other cheeses the farm produces. But wait, that’s not all, the farm’s whey fed pork sausage will also be available for sampling and for sale

Don’t miss the Holiday Carolina Moon camembert style cheese – its a great holiday gift item

Make it a family affair. Bundle everyone up, plan to go and meet the happy cows that provide the milk that becomes the cheese. And, enjoy the photo ops as your kids tour around the farm on cart rides with Fryer the Ox.

$5 per person admission, 50% of which goes to TABLE, a non-profit organization that provides hunger relief and nutrition education services to children living in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and neighboring Orange County communities.

Eat and Drink Local with Parla Pasta from High Point, NC

eat and drink local

One of my favorites for a quick at home meal, just like you would make it from scratch. Parla Pastas are convenient, authentic Italian recipes you can take from freezer to table for quick and easy family meals.

eat and drink local

The Parla line up of local pasta includes fresh made, frozen then boxed and frozen manicotti, tortellini, lasagna and ravioli. Take out a little or a lot, cook according to package directions and serve.

You can also read about Parla here in a Eat and Drink local round up I did in Charlotte last week. And then, here’s a quick and easy recipe for any of the Parla ravioli or tortellini. Make it a pepe e cacio preparations with a dash or two of the TOPO bitters mentioned below and a sprinkling of Chapel Hill Creamery grated Calvander cheese – yes, please!

Parla Pastas are available in the freezer case locally in Lowes, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, Publix and Fresh Market. More info at

Eat and Drink local with Peggy Rose Jellies – from Wake Forest , NC  

These jellies and the fabulous Champagne mustard are great for holiday hors d’oeuvres and savory recipes as well as accompaniments for dessert and cheese trays.

eat and drink local

You’ll be jammin’ this holiday season with this Peggy Rose Carolina Moon cheese in pastry

For a quick and easy cheese in pastry, use your favorite refrigerated roll of crescent rolls. I always opt for Immaculate Baking Company brand. Place the dough on your work surface in the shape of a rectangle. Then, use your fingers to pinch the perforated seams shut. Flip the dough over and do the same thing on the other side.

Take around of Chapel Hill Creamery Carolina Moon cheese and cut it in half width wise. Place the bottom half cut side up in the center of the dough. Top with your choice of any of the Peggy Rose’s condiments – you simply cannot make a wrong choice here.

Top with the second half of the cheese -cut side down, to sort of make a cheese and jam sammie. Wrap the dough up and around the cheese. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake according to the crescent roll package directions. Serve and your guests will be swooning.

Drink local with Peggy Rose’s, too

In addition, as I mentioned in my last post, you can drink locally with them, too. These delicious jams shortcut the steps of making your own simple syrups. Consider them as a fabulous addition or flavor boost to any cocktail. Stay tuned for some great holiday appetizer recipes from me and for more info, visit

Eat and Drink Local with Cheerwine from Salisbury NC

eat and drink local

You already know it well, and if you don’t, you must not be from around these parts. It’s a game changer as far as local soft drinks go with a history to be proud of, in fact, you can read the story of the 100th year in a post I wrote in 2017. Cheerwine is North Carolina’s own uniquely Southern cherry flavored soft drink, first created in 1917. This company has gone global but continues to be family owned and based in North Carolina.

eat and drink local

Check out the website at for lots of holiday gifts for your favorite Cheerwine fan. Not only can you drink local with Cheerwine, but the original variety is also delicious in cakes, crepes, bbq sauces, and in meatballs too – check out recipe for Beefy Cheerwie Meatballs – they are going to be perfect for your next holiday buffet.

Eat and Drink Local with Muddy River Distillery in Belmont NC

Muddy River has the distinction of being the first Carolina distillery to specialize in Rum.  The Queen Charlotte aged rum is perfect for sipping, and this time of year the spiced rum goes great with local sweet or sparkling apple cider.

As you are planning your neighborhood holiday cookie exchange, think rum balls and rich rum cake. Stay tuned for both of these recipes in my follow up post.

Use the Muddy River Spiced Rum to take your next batch of hot apple cider up a notch. The spiced rum is also a delicious way to spike a flute of sparkling cider for all of your holiday toasts.

Eat and Drink Local

Muddy River’s Basil Carolina Rum, new to the line up this year is simply perfect for winter mojitos. Learn more at . Then, make plans to visit to sample and tour the distillery the soon.

Eat and Drink Local with TOPO Spirits from Chapel Hill

Eat and drink Local

The Spirit guides at TOPO are the makers of artisan vodka, gin, whiskey and rum. Everything here is USDA Certified organic made from organic NC white winter wheat. And the rum is made with domestic sugarcane.

And, they have a brand new and very delicious line of certified organic bitters. You are going to want a set for yourself for sure. But know, they will also make the perfect holiday gift for your favorite gourmet or gourmand.

Pair any of the TOPO aged whiskeys or the distillery’s rich and warm rum with local-to-the-Triangle’s Ran Lew Dairy eggnog. You’ll find this quick and easy cocktail a fabulous way to say Cheers to the holiday season!

Both TOPO Spirits and Muddy River rums are available at all North Carolina ABC stores. The TOPO line up of organic bitters are available directly through the distillery. Ran Lew Dairy eggnog is in limited supply this holiday season and is available at the Raleigh State Farmers Market.

With thanks…

eat and drink local
Thanks to Raleigh’s Marriott Residence Inn Crabtree Valley for partnering with me on this post. Always nice to have a lovely place to lay your head when you travel. And when you travel with food, you’ve gotta love that each room has a kitchen area and a full sized refrigerator ( see the photo at the top of this post)

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