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Raleigh NC – One More Time

On Monday I wrote about our recent road trip to Raleigh, North Carolina.  Today, I am sharing some more pictures from our visit.  I need to share the first one and get it out of my system.  This was a snapshot of the NC State flag on Hillsborough Street and that is adjoining the NC State campus.  I am part of a UNC Tarheel and Duke Blue Devil family so for me, an extremely loyal State fan, it made me feel as if a little part of me had returned to my home.

NC State Flag On Hillsborough Street

NC State Flag On Hillsborough Street

The picture below has nothing to do with Raleigh but I was amazed when we were snapping pictures on Hillsborough Street and saw this sign.  Matthews Construction is located here in our small town of Conover and we attend the same church as the Matthews family.  Just a small world sign I wanted to share with you.

Local Construction Company Sign

Local Construction Company Sign

The picture below is of the Bell Tower on the NC State Campus and we snapped the picture as we were leaving Raleigh.  You can see from the picture that the weather was exceptionally beautiful on the day of our visit.

Bell Tower On NC State Campus

Bell Tower On NC State Campus

The picture below is of the campus at State.

Photo Of NC State Campus Grounds

Photo Of NC State Campus Grounds

As we were leaving downtown, we walked over to the Govenor’s Mansion.  It is a stately old building and has such beautiful grounds.

The Govenor's Mansion

The Govenor’s Mansion


This is the entrance to the NC Museum of History located in downtown Raleigh.  I loved the Museum and it had so many wonderful exhibits of North Carolina that I have visited and many places I still yearn to visit.  I was especially happy to see interactive exhibits that would definitely interest young children.  I think the highlight of my visit was the exhibit about manufacturing in the South and the “Mill Hill” community.  As I was a part of that, I was really surprised to see that it was considered an integral part of the history of North Carolina.  I can imagine the surprise of my parents if they new the weaving room and card room of a mill was in this museum.

NC Museum Of History

NC Museum Of History

Outside the Museum are Agricultural exhibits.  I snapped this picture of the Muscadines and Scuppernongs as they are considered to be very native grapes of North Carolina.  I wanted to write a blog about them and include recipes.  However, I haven’t been able to find many recipes to feature.  Does you have one that you would like to share?

Information Sign Outside NC Museum of History

Information Sign Outside NC Museum of History

Inside the Museum is a section that could be a museum in itself and features all the sports greats of North Carolina.  Below is the jersey worn by David Thompson at NC State and information about him.  No, I don’t have a picture of anything that featured UNC Tar Heel great Michael Jordan but I will tell you that Michael Jordan was influenced by the play of David Thompson when he was growing up. Enough said.

David Thompson's NC State Jersey

David Thompson’s NC State Jersey


The picture below is of one of the sport coats worn by Norm Sloan when he was coach at NC State.  They won a national championship in 1974.  It really stirred some memories for me of how big basketball was and is for the state of NC.

Norm Sloan's Plaid Jacket

Norm Sloan’s Plaid Jacket

Jim Valvano’s suit is in the museum and it was such an exciting time when they won the National Championship in 1983.  There are also video clips that you can watch in the museum and you better believe I watched the ending of the NC State/Houston game for the Championship in 1983.  It still brings tears to my eyes after all these years.

Jimmy V's Workout Suit

n Jimmy V’s Workout Suit

So, I hope you enjoyed this tour of one of my favorite places in the world.  I was super excited to visit and Mr. D said he could see my excitement and was glad he suggested this as my birthday road trip.  As far as I am concerned there is only one state and that would be NORTH CAROLINA.  Thanks for stopping by.

Raleigh, North Carolina – A Favorite Place

I live in Western North Carolina but I love to visit Eastern North Carolina.  When I was a national recruiter, I loved to call people in the eastern part of our state and I especially liked talking to people in Raleigh.  At one time, I was a big basketball fan and I loved NC State and that college is located in Raleigh.  A couple of weeks ago Mr. D and I took a road trip to Raleigh and had a great time.

First of all, we had lunch at Carolina Barbecue and I remembered for the first time to take a picture of my meal for my blog. I had pork barbecue and the sauce had a vinegar base but also seemed to have some type of tomato included in the flavor.  The okra was great and the breading was flour based, crispy and flavorful.  The potato salad was creamy and included sweet pickles.  This has to be one of my favorite meal combinations.

Here is a link to their website:

Chopped Pork Barbecue with Fried Okra and Potato Salad

Chopped Pork Barbecue with Fried Okra and Potato Salad


I loved the hushpuppies.  They were fresh and crisp.  There is nothing better than fried cornbread

crispy and delicious hushpuppies

crispy and delicious hushpuppies

We drove downtown and visited the State Capitol Building.  It was a sentimental journey ad I remember a field trip from my junior high days and visiting the building.  At that time, the state legislature met at this building.

State Capitol Building

State Capitol Building

I loved the architecture in the building and the picture below is from the second level looking down on the rotunda of the capitol.

Statue of George Washington in the Rotunda of the State Capitol

Statue of George Washington in the Rotunda of the State Capitol

This is a picture of the ceiling in the Senate Room.

Capitol Rotunda

Senate Chambers

The picture below is  a picture of the state Senate Chambers and it included amenities for cigar smoking.

Senate Chambers at State Capitol

Senate Chambers at State Capitol

This is a very popular statue on the State Capitol Lawn.  The three US presidents from North Carolina were Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson and James K. Polk.

Statue of Three US Presidents from NC on State Capitol Lawn

Statue of Three US Presidents from NC on State Capitol Lawn

The picture below is of the mall or walking corridor between the State Capitol and the State Legislative Building.  The building on the right is the North Carolina Museum of History.

Connecting Mall from State Capitol Building to State Legislative Building

Connecting Mall from State Capitol Building to State Legislative Building

The building below is where the state senate and house of representatives meet today.

State Legislative Building

State Legislative Building

We had an absolutely wonderful time and I have more to share with you on Thursday.  I absolutely do love the State I’m in.  Thanks for stopping by.

Another Shipshewana Recipe – Pizza Spaghetti

On Monday I wrote about the Amish cookbook I received that included recipes from the Merchants of Shipshewana, Indiana.  I do believe this cookbook will be one of my favorites and I love it because it includes recipes with simple ingredients.  Most of the recipes are easy to prepare.  I really do think that is because the people that submitted the recipes have their own businesses and do not have lots of time to prepare meals for their families.

When I saw the recipes I am sharing with you today, they really peaked my curiosity.  I have never heard of Pizza Spaghetti.  You cook the pasta and put it in the bottom of a pan and add pizza toppings.  Then you bake it in the oven. I have had baked spaghetti and I think it is wonderful.  And believe me, I have had my share of pizza too but I have never thought of combining them.

spaghetti pizza


Don’t you think this would be a great recipe for children to help you prepare?  I think it would stimulate their curiosity.

Somehow when I visited the Amish country this past summer, it stirred memories of my southern upbringing.  I remember families gathering together for church on Sunday and then joining together for simple meals.  That is what the Amish people were doing on Sunday.  Then when we returned on Monday the women had washed their clothes and hung them out on clotheslines.  I remember clotheslines too.

Great memories and now the Amish are eating Spaghetti Pizza.  Who knew?

Thanks for stopping by.

An Amish Cookbook, A Tater Tot Casserole and Special Friends

As I celebrated another birthday last week, I was super excited when my daughter sent me an Amish cookbook from Shipshewana, Indiana.  When we visited our family in Indiana this past summer, we visited Shipshewana and I loved the Amish community.  I have enjoyed reading through the cookbook and I think the food seems to be such great comfort food. I also enjoy the cookbook because it includes lots of information about Shipshewana.

I am sharing two versions of a Tater Tot Casserole that is in the cookbook, “A Taste of Shipshewana – A Collection of Local Recipes.  The recipes in the book are submitted by the merchants in the town of Shipshewana.  The second recipe has more detailed instructions and I must say tater tots are a family favorite at our home.  We don’t have them very often so I think this will be a surprise for Mr. D sometime soon. I have heard of hash brown casseroles and I will give Cracker Barrel credit for making that so popular.  Until I read this book, I had never heard of a tater tot Casserole.

tater tot casserole

A few weeks ago, one of my co-workers and I realized we both had October birthdays.  She is much younger than me (In her 20’s) and I suggested that she come over to our house for margaritas and burgers.  We included her co-teacher that is also in her 20’s.  My first thought after inviting them was that they would never come to my house because I am so much older.  They came on Friday night and Mr. D made margaritas and we had burgers with all the fixins.

We laughed our heads off and just had the best time.  I really think it does make you feel younger when you hang out with young people. Here is our picture and is there any doubt that we are enjoying ourselves?

Dianne, Alithia and Miesha

Dianne, Alithia and Miesha

After my rant last week about healthy eating, it was so good to sit down with friends that enjoyed the food and appreciated it.  We told funny stories about each other and our daycare kids and enjoyed our time together.  I think that is what makes our meals so special!

I had a wonderful birthday and so many people made it so special.  Thanks to my family and all my friends that made it so special.  And thanks to you for stopping by.





A Great North Carolina Recipe – Carolina Sweet Potato Fritters

Over the last few weeks I have grown a little weary of the current emphasis on healthy eating.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a husband that is a diabetic and we have been committed to healthy eating for a long time.  I work with preschool kids everyday and we have a very high priority for the children to have nutritious food and to exercise. Every day I want improve on my behavior from the day before.

I do get tired of sitting down with someone to share a meal and they think it is important to share how unhealthy our food is.  I sometimes think it is a contest to see if one person can prove they are more healthy than another person. I was raised to believe that was impolite.

I seriously thought about not blogging anymore as I felt most people now are vegan, gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant or on some type of special diet. I really started to feel as if no one really wanted to hear about the wonderful traditions of the South.  I then realized this blog is about my Southern roots and that is what I enjoy writing about the most. So I am going to focus on the recipes and traditions that mean so much to me. When I changed my focus and returned my thoughts to who I am, I got excited about this blog again.

When I saw this recipe for Carolina Sweet Potato Fritters I knew I wanted to share it with you. I think I clipped it from a copy of Our State Magazine recently and it sounds wonderful.  I even think this would be a great treat for an afternoon snack when the kids come home from school.

sweet potato fritters

I was also raised to believe it is impolite to go to someone[s house and read the labels on the food they are serving or to tell the hostess not to even offer you anything to eat.  I was taught to say, “No, Thank You” and I think that is all that is really required today.  The choices we make determine the direction of our lives so my choice is to be a Southern girl that loves living in the Old North State.

So Does That Mean I Am Southern, I certainly hope so. Thanks for stopping by.












Healthy or Not? Let’s Have A Pumpkin Cake

So is pumpkin healthy or not?  I think it depends on how you prepare it.  I do feel overwhelmed with the many different items I see this time of the year that include pumpkin.  I like pumpkin but being a Southern girl, I am more partial to sweet potatoes.  North Carolina produces more sweet potatoes than any state in the US.  When I saw pumpkin spice M&M’s the other day, my first thought was the pumpkin craze had gone a little too far.Then to my amazement, I saw pumpkin spice oreos.  Maybe I am just old and grumpy and set in my ways but I want an oreo with a luscious chocolate cookie and delicious creme filling. An M&M for me has to be traditional even though I will consider peanut butter M&M’s sometimes.

As I was browsing through my cookbooks, I saw this recipe for a pumpkin cake and I think it sounds delicious.  The recipe was submitted to the St. Peters Lutheran Church cookbook by a very special lady, Glenda Thornburg.  I think the recipe sounds easy and would be a great option for dessert during the fall months of the year.

pumpkin cake

Mr. D loves pumpkin pie and every year at Thanksgiving he wants the traditional pumpkin pie for dessert.  I showed him this recipe and he seemed interested in it and that was a surprise to me.  In the past when I have suggested any other type of pumpkin dessert he has only wanted the traditional pie.  I guess he wants his pumpkin pie to be traditional just like I want my M&M’s and oreos to be traditional.

I will admit I absolutely love the wonderful aroma of pumpkin pie when it is baking in the oven.  Doesn’t it smell so welcoming and comforting? I think I have just talked myself into baking something with pumpkin or sweet potatoes.  However as much as I love sweet potatoes I wouldn’t want them in my M&M’s and oreos either.  Thanks for stopping by.

Dips For Tailgating? Crab? Shrimp? Or Spinach?

On Monday I wrote about tailgating and it really is a tradition all over the USA.  I started thinking about coastal communities and recipes they would incorporate into a tailgating event.  As I browsed through my low country cookbooks I found three options that would be great possibilities.

The first recipe I am sharing with you is from my A Taste of Charleston South Carolina Restaurant Recipes. It was submitted by Sticky Fingers Restaurant in Mt. Pleasant.  Sticky Fingers has wonderful barbecue and I have eaten there many times.  They have restaurants throughout the low country and I thought it was unique that they would submit a recipe called Savannah Dip. I have seen a similar recipe before but it did not include artichoke hearts.  This would be so good served warm and I do think that is a possibility with tailgating.


sticky fingers shrimp dip


The following recipes are from my Beaufort, North Carolina cookbook, ” Let Us Keep The Feast” by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Women.  Both recipes sound very easy to make and I can imagine they would be included at a coastal college game but I know they would be appreciated anywhere.

shrimp dip beaufort

I always think of the coast as my second home and just browsing through the cookbooks brought back so many happy memories.

Thanks for stopping by.




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