A Southern Tale: What A Mother Really Wants

As I write this post, it is Mother's Day.  Many of you have had breakfast in bed, brunch at a fancy restaurant with a mimosa and showered with flowers, gifts, and cards. We love feeling special any day of the year and we certainly love all these kind gestures graced upon us this one marketed day of the year.

I've thought a lot about being a Mom lately as my children age. In the beginning, being a Moms feels more like a caretaker. There are diaper changes, bathing, and feedings.  There are boos-boos to kiss. These daily chores go by so quickly that when ten years whiz by you, it will all seem like a blur.

In those elementary school-aged years, Moms take on additional responsibility beyond simple caretaking. Lots of times, it comes in the form of a school volunteer, a Scout leader, a coach or even a parental chauffeur from gymnastics to soccer to karate to dance.  We feel busier than ever and we sometimes wonder why we thought those baby and toddler years were so difficult.

I've not yet entered into the next chapter of life known as a Mom with teenagers, but as a Mom, our role is always evolving. Even without a guide book, we somehow make it happen.

But, even though our role changes as our children age, I think most Moms all want the same thing. We all want a large mug of coffee.  We know we can't survive a day without it.

Ok. I'll be serious for a minute.  Whether you are a mom to a new baby or a Mom to a  55-year-who is now a Dad, we share some common thoughts of what we want for our children.

Every mom wants to know that her child is safe. 

Every mom wants her child to be healthy. 

Every mom wants her child to be able to receive healthcare.

Every mom wants her child to not be hungry. 

Every mom wants her child to be accepted and loved by others. 

Every mom wants her child to have access to a good education.

Every mom wants her child to succeed. 

Every mom wants her child to have a home, a bed, and a safe place to sleep.

Every mom wants her child to be happy.

And every mom wants her child to come home again. 

I know I want all of those things for my two children. What about you?

Happy Mother's Day, 2017!  Oh, and a new mug for my coffee would be good, too.  This saying kind of fits our household.

Found at Joyful Moose Etsy Shop 


A Little Black Dress Worthy Dinner: Easy Baked Pork Tenderloin with a Dressy Salad Wedge Side

This sponsored post is brought to you in conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Products for the GOT TO BE NC FESTIVAL. Bloggers throughout NC will feature NCMade products and recipes to highlight the #HomeGrownFare17

When entertaining, you want to serve a classic meal that fits perfectly with your little black dress hanging in your closet.  You seek sophistication and elegance. You want your food to be as appealing as your elegant LBD. But, unless you are Martha Stewart or have all the time in the world to slave away in the kitchen, you need some serious shortcuts. 

Enter stage right is the Little Black Dressing Company out of High Point, North Carolina.These homemade dressings will have you looking like a culinary superstar with little effort. 

Little Black Dressing Company has delicious NC Made Salad Dressings that are great for salads and recipes

North Carolina Bloggers throughout North Carolina were paired this month with North Carolina food products to help promote the three-day Got to Be NC Festival May 19-21 which is being held at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.  More than 100 local, food, wine and beer companies will be part of the Homegrown Fare presented by Lowes Foods. Little Black Dressing Company will be one of the vendors at the event for you to taste. 

Founder Kissie Stroup said that her grandmother, now 94 and who is affectionally called, "Nana" made all of her own dressings from vegetables and herbs in her garden. Kissie said that their family would have some type of salad nightly with a fresh dressing on it. One of her grandmother's specialty dressing was a creamy vinegarette. 

Kissie Stroup, CEO and Founder of Little Black Dressing Company
Little Black Dressing Co CEO and Founder, Kissie Stroup

"Every time I made Nana's salad dressings, my friends would always want to know how to make it, " stated Stoup. "It got to the point that I was making it in my basement and people would come with their own jars to take some home." 

Her husband encouraged her to start a business making these dressings. She asked a friend to help her come up with a name for her dressing. They both agreed that her product was classic and elegant just like the little black dress, and in 2010, the classic Creamy Dreamy Vinegarette was bottled. 

It is great served with a salad, as a veggie dip or drizzled over cucumbers and tomatoes. Honestly, this is my favorite dressing and in the privacy of my home, I'm not too proud to admit that I slurped the bowl after my salad was gone. It's that good, folks. 

Creamy Dreamy Vinagarette is delicious over tomatoes and cucumbers

Little Black Dressing Co later expanded its flavor wardrobe to include It Takes Three to Tango, a mixture of Blue Cheese crumbles, 1000 Island, and Ranch Dressing, Honey, It's Dijon Dill, and Far East Flair, a combination of orange juice, peanut butter, and zesty ginger. 

Each dressing is fresh with no preservatives, additives or gluten. It can be found in the refrigerated section in Lowes Foods and Fresh Market. These dressings are so versatile and can be used for lots of recipes. 

As you know, I'm a storyteller and not a food stylist, but I made two recipes with the dressings and then used the dressings for salads until they were all gone. 

You cannot get much easier than with these two menu items. 

Easy Baked Pork Tenderloin and a Dressy Salad Wedge Recipe for Pinterest Graphic

Easy Baked Pork Tenderloin served with a Dressy Salad Wedge

Easy Baked Pork Tenderloin 
Pork Tenderloin
Salt and Pepper
One bottle of Honey, It's Dijon Dill Dressing

Season tenderloin with salt, pepper, and garlic. Pour half a bottle of the salad dressing over the pork. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. The temperature needs to reach 160 degrees. 

I used Honey, it's Dijon Dill Dressing and served it with rice and spicy collards.

Dressy Salad Wedge
Iceberg lettuce
Salt and Pepper
Extra blue cheese crumbles, optional 
It Take Three to Tango Salad Dressing

Cut lettuce into a wedge, top with bacon pieces, salt, pepper and drizzle with the salad dressing.  Simple and delicious.

It Take Three to Tango Dressing is Perfect for a Lettuce Wedge with Bacon

I served the pork tenderloin with rice and farm-fresh spiced collards. 

I made these dishes on a busy weeknight for my family, but these salad dressings make every meal at your home little black dress worthy. 

You may visit the Little Black Dressing Co booth at the Homegrown Fare presented by Lowes Foods May 19-21 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh Expo Center and taste what I'm talking about.  These dressings are now available in several Southern states. Check for a location near you. 

Got to Be NC Festival in May 2017 Logo
Used with permission from NCDA & CA

The event, part of the annual Got To Be NC Festival, will feature 100 local food, wine, and beer companies. Admission is $3, but you can get in free with your Lowes Foods loyalty card. Plus, you can get a free gift while supplies last by mentioning this blog or me at the Got To Be NC merchandise booth. Be sure to take a selfie in the special booth and use the hashtag #homegrownfare17.  More information about the Homegrown Fare and the Got To Be NC Festival is available at www.gottobencfestival.com."

Read and get recipes from other NC Made Companies that will be at the festival. Like me, Bloggers were paired with a North Carolina company to share that company's story. 

Got to be NC Blogger Posts for #HomeGrownFare17

FTC Disclosure: Sponsored by NCDA &CA. Opinions about whether or not to slurp your salad dressing bowl to get the last taste are not up for debate. When you taste the dressing, I promise you, all table manners are forgotten. You will want every last drop of that Creamy Dreamy Vinegarette. I believe it when Kissy said people showed up with gallon jugs. The dressing is $4.99 a bottle. 


Escape to the Mountains #OutaboutNC Style: Five Ways to Cool Down in Jackson County, NC

The mountain towns of  Asheville, Boone, Blowing Rock get named a lot in national travel guides. But, the North Carolina mountains have many more towns that offer outdoor adventure for tourists that are within easy reach and can be a day-trip for those who want to stay closer to Asheville.  

Jackson County, NC-Pinnacle Park Hike. Escape to the Mountains #Outaboutnc STYLE

Jackson County, which is made up of the town of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, Sylva, Balsam, Glenville, and Sapphire Valley has a plethora of trails, perfect for hiking, backpacking or biking, wind through a variety of landscapes ranging from picturesque peaks to rolling valleys, and lead way to several natural ways to cool off on a warm day. Whether the journey leads to a waterfall pool, high-flying fun or an evening taking in the local culture, adventure for all levels awaits here. 

And let's just say this North Carolina girl knows this area is cool. I lived in Cullowhee, N.C, home to Western Carolina University, as a child and teen before going to UNC-Chapel Hill for college. 

I've written a lot about Highlands and Cashiers on the blog with my visit to the Old Edwards Inn and Spa. This area is less than a two-hour drive from Atlanta.  As summer approaches, here are five ways to cool down in Jackson County, N.C. 

Lake Glenville in Jackson County: 5 Ways to Cool Down in Jackson County

Lounge by Lake Glenville

Lake Glenville is one of the highest lakes east of the Rockies, with 26 miles of shoreline, seven islands and three waterfalls hidden in its alcoves. Visit family-friendly Pines Recreation Area at Lake Glenville with a roped-off swim beach for safe splashing, plus restrooms and picnic tables. Life jackets are also available at no charge so everyone can relax and have a good time. The largest lake in Jackson County, visitors can also hit the water for boating, waterskiing, and fishing.

Waterfalls in Jackson County: Escape to North Carolina #OutaboutNC Style

Find Waterfalls and Views

For those seeking an easy find and short walk, Silver Run Falls is one of the most photogenic waterfalls in Jackson County. The 40-foot cascading waterfall tumbles into Silver Run Creek. The large, sandy pool is calm and glassy, ideal for swimming in the shallows or having a picnic on the banks. In Sylva, the 1,100-acre Pinnacle Park offers several trails that range from moderate to difficult for outdoor enthusiasts and families alike. The trails take guests by streams, cascades, and beautiful vistasThose looking for a challenge can climb to the summit, which reaches almost 1,800 feet of elevation gain and showcases a 270-degree view where guests can see for miles on a clear day.

Whitewater rafting in Jackson County, NC

Take a Wild River Ride
Throughout the summer, paddlers can experience the Tuckasegee River and choose their level of adventure. The Lake Glenville Dam releases, which take place this year on June 10July 1 and 22, and August 12 and 26, create class IV rapids over a 5.5-mile stretch. On the milder side, Smoky Mountain River Adventures offer family-friendly outings for the whole family, including children as small as 40 pounds. 

Open May through September, Tuckaseegee Outfitters gives rafters the choice of five-mile solo or guided trips that last about 2-3 hours. The rapids are beginner-friendly with the speed picking up toward the end of the trip to test rafters’ skills.

Explore by Land and by Sky in Sapphire Valley
Take an adventure to the skies at the Vordach Zip Line at Sapphire Valley Resort. The attraction offers a two-hour excursion with 16 platforms, two bridges, and 12 zip lines. For those that prefer to stay on the ground, Red Bird Foot Golf is the new internationally popular hybrid sport that is a cross between golf and soccer. Players see who can get a soccer ball into each 21-inch hole on the 9-hole course with the fewest amount of kicks – perfect for a morning or afternoon of friendly competition.

Enjoy the Sounds of Nature and Live Music
Perfect for enjoying the cool mountain evenings, several towns throughout Jackson County host live music where attendees can take in the outdoor beauty of the area. On Fridays from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day, Concerts on the Creek at Bridge Park in Sylva invites music lovers to bring a picnic blanket and chair to watch talented local acts. Performances include everything from bluegrass and rock to reggae and classic pop. Food trucks and craft beer vendors are also featured throughout the summer. 

Head down to Cashiers for Groovin’ on the Green at Village Commons. Friday evenings at 6:30 p.m. from June 2 through September 1, enjoy a variety of musical acts. Bring a blanket and a chair, and dogs are also welcome.

While in this part of North Carolina, you can 
find a range of places to stay, from vacation rentals and cabins perfect for large families, or cozy cottages and mountain inns. Jackson County’s small towns all feature unique restaurants for any appetite. Explore more about this area with 
visit, www.DiscoverJacksonNC.com.

Visit my affiliate hotels.com to find the perfect room for a great night or any of my partners on my sidebar. 

This piece was written in partnership with DiscoverJacksonNC. Affiliates are in the post. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...