Cocoa’s Juice Concoctions: Little Red Riding Hood

Do you remember the story of Little Red Riding Hood? She walked into the forest on the path to Grandma’s house only to encounter a Big Bad Wolf. Well, the wolf takes advantage of her naivety and ultimately swallows her up. Much like Little Red Riding Hood, this juice is extremely mild and for those that like a bit of colour but not a whole lot of bite. It’s bright red due to the beetroot and accompanied by kale, spinach, celery, and just a small amount of ginger, it’s just perfectly balanced.

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Third Place Spotlight:The Station at Person Street (Raleigh, NC USA)

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There isn’t anything cooler than having a meal in a building that is cleverly constructed to provide everything bar, everything restaurant, and an outdoor place to feel the breeze and just chill out. Situated in the Historic Oakwood area of Raleigh, NC , The Station at Person Street gives it all that with it’s fantastic atmosphere and even more notable food selection.

Black Bean Burger with lettuce, tomato, and lime sour cream

Black Bean Burger with lettuce, tomato, and lime sour cream

Smoked Salmon BLT: smoked salmon, bacon, lettuce, tomato, lemon dill aioli

Smoked Salmon BLT: smoked salmon, bacon, lettuce, tomato, lemon dill aioli

Portobello Caprese Sandwich: herb marinated portobello, milk mozzarella, tomato, basil and balsamic glaze

Portobello Caprese Sandwich: herb marinated portobello, milk mozzarella, tomato, basil and balsamic glaze

To top it off, Iced Tea in A Mason Jar

To top it off, Iced Tea in A Mason Jar

There is no doubt that the Historic Oakwood neighbourhood is on the rise of hip places to eat, drink and live in The City of Oaks. The Station at Person Street is a wonderful edition, providing a quintessential “Third Place” feel.

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The Station at Person Street

701 N. Person Street

Raleigh, NC 27604

stationraleigh.com

Got To Be NC! A Festival Celebrating Everything North Carolina, USA

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I’m a down home country girl at heart and all it takes to make me happy is sunshine, good food, good company and if you add in “country folk” stuff like some livestock, horseback riding or fishing I’m darn near doing cartwheels and back-flips. I was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. I lived there for half of my life but I am ashamed to say that I hadn’t really experienced it as an adult. During this visit back home to Raleigh I decided to EXPERIENCE my hometown and I am so pleased!

First up, The Got To Be NC Festival held at the North Carolina Fair Grounds. This was the 6th Annual event showcasing North Carolina Agriculture, businesses and everything that we North Carolinians take pride in; family, good eatin’, fun and nothing other than TRACTORS! This was 3 days worth of excitement and pure entertainment with enough for EVERY family member to enjoy. Oh, and did I mention that it is FREE gate admission AND FREE parking?

Being at the Got To Be NC Festival is a HUGE reminder to “buy local”. Let me tell you, there is some good stuff that comes out of this state if I shall say so myself! As soon as I stepped out of my car I smelled the beautiful aroma of sweet cotton candy, giant turkey legs and fresh hay! Mmmm hmmm, Now bottle that up and sell it!

There were vendors galore displaying and selling their products that are made right in the Tarheel State. There was everything from handmade jewelry, candles, clothing and any and everything in between.

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The Food, Beer and Wine Expo held in the Exposition Building was absolutely  fantastic costing just $2 for all day admission). All of the booths had free samples of some classic Southern favorites such as  hot grits, fresh ice cream, nuts, pimento cheese, and a host of local wine and beer options. You could literally walk in with an empty stomach and dry mouth and walk out full as a tick and watered up.

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I’m not much of a wine or beer drinker but I found great delight in trying some of the other local products. Amongst my personal favourites were Cocolene natural products and Cloister Honey.

What do I love about Cocolene other than it being a hometown business? Well, I tried the Cocolene Body Balm and it was soothing and moisturised without leaving a sticky thick film on my skin. Absolutely perfect for those extra dry areas such as hands, feet, elbows AND it is NATURAL. I’m so happy that I didn’t leave without it! Highly Recommend! Click here to make your purchase!

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As for Cloister Honey, all I can say is OMG this stuff is AMAZING! I walked by the booth and I heard a voice asking if I would like to try some bourbon infused honey. Me, not being big on the taste of alcohol declined but before I knew it I had a sample in hand….I just couldn’t walk away. WOW, it was EVERYTHING! I HAD TO purchase the Cinnamon Whipped Honey and I have so far used it as a drizzle on top of my pancakes and I must say it made me forget about Maple Syrup! To see what other delicious honey delights they have to offer, click here.

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As a U.S. Air Force Veteran I would have to say that my favourite item on display was the Freedom Tractor. A beautiful piece of art dedicated to the lives of all the men and women from North Carolina that paid the ultimate sacrifice since WWII. An absolutely stunning tribute. Collage 2014-06-11 21_08_33 For the kiddos, there where more than enough carnival rides and model tractors for them to sit on and play “farmer”. There was face painting and pony rides, vendors selling candy apples, Sno Cones, and Cotton Candy. My little NuNu enjoyed people watching (she is nosy just like her mum) and eating all the food she could get her little hands on.

We had some great family fun at the Got To Be NC Festival and will be marking our calendars for the next one!

For more information on the Got To Be NC Festival click here

The Sindercombe Social: A Taste of The States @RubyJeansDiner @sindercombe

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Fresh from my trip to America I couldn’t have come across The Sindercombe Social at a better time. I have spent the last few weeks stuffing my face of nearly every kind of cuisine possible and now I have a place that reminds me a little bit of home right here in West London.

I immediately fell in love with the look of the place. Exposed brick, steel top tables and wooden walls adorned with metal piping that has been transformed into light fixtures…very trendy and giving hint to it’s American inspired menu. This diner/bar/meetup spot is a welcomed edition to the Shepherd’s Bush area of London.

If you are just wanting to chill out, get a drink or if you you have an affinity for burgers, chicken, macaroni and cheese and the fixin’s that goes with it, The Sindercombe Social is where you should be.

The food is provided by Ruby Jean’s Diner, pop-up master’s and self proclaimed “Purveyors of home-cooked Americana”. This isn’t just a place for meat eaters either. I was pleased to know that they had more than enough vegetarian options. I went with the Hippy Houmous (spicy spinach and lentil burger topped with a healthy helping of houmous). The burgers come with a side of chips which would have been plenty but since I was in full on greedy mode I also HAD TO order a side of Tempura Vegetables with Chipotle Jam. All I could say was “yum”.  The burger was fresh, and you could literally taste the garden goodness in every bite. Did I mention that those were double cooked chips? Mmmmmm! The food at The Sindercombe Social was more than pleasing to my foodie soul it was de-li-cious.

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Can’t wait to go back again….and again!

Great atmosphere. Fantastic food.

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Visit The Sindercombe Social online at www.thesindercombesocial.co.uk and Ruby Jean’s Diner at www.rubyjeansdiner.com.

Address: 2 Goldhawk Rd, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 8QD