I was born and raised in North Carolina. In Charlotte, to be exact. I was reared on Krispy Kreme, on Cheerwine and Lance Crackers. I liked — and still do like — calling North Carolina home. If you had asked me just a few months ago where to go to get the freshest, most local foods prepared creatively and with integrity, I might've named a few places in Raleigh and Durham. There is a lot of great food happening in the state, but it usually happens in urban centers.
I am a huge fan of Middle Eastern food and I jump at the chance to order falafel, pita, kabobs, dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), and tabouli every chance I get. But I often overlook making these dishes at home. Tabouli is incredibly easy to make and is made up of very simple ingredients, one of which is the exceptional grain bulgar.
I had been hearing about this place, Fired Up! Creative Lounge (www.fireduplounge.com), for quite a while. Although I don’t consider myself to be talented in the art world, the thought of painting pottery sounded appealing. I’d tried to talk my mom into a session as a birthday gift last year, and its come up as a “Girl’s Night Out” option among my friends as well. So, this past Christmas, I was pleasantly surprised when my 6-year-old son received a gift certificate to Fired Up! Creative Lounge from my brother and his wife. I am always thrilled that they know that we prefer experiences as gifts for our son, rather than racking up more China-made plastic toys. I was especially thrilled that I finally received just the prompt that I needed to get my butt into the studio to check it out!
Last year we were thrilled to introduce you to the Carolina Art Soiree, an evening of local and regional art, food, drink, and live music, benefiting GBS/CIDP research, education, and advocacy. Last year's event raised $30,000 for the foundation, and sold over 100 paintings.