Recipes from America’s Best Place to Live

I’ve known it all along, but now the whole world knows it.

Last fall, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Raleigh, North Carolina, as the best place to live in the U.S.

Raleigh, NC was ranked best city in America to live by Bloomberg Businessweek
You can learn about how they came up with their criteria for best city here.  I won’t bore you with the details, but I will add that North Carolina actually had four other cities in the top 50 list: Durham, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Charlotte. 

I’ve never lived anywhere else but North Carolina, so I’m a true Southern girl.  This weekend, I had dinner with several of my friends, all of whom are not Southerners by birth.  Unfortunately, one of my friends no longer lives in North Carolina and was just here for a short visit.

We talked at length at the downtown Raleigh restaurant Buku about what she missed about our State.  Besides the bright colors we wear in the South, she has missed a lot of the food.

Yes, we’re a state where biscuits rule.  BBQ is a noun, and to prove it, we have some of the best chopped BBQ in the Southeast.  We have perfected pimiento cheese.  It’s not too chunky, and it’s not too creamy.  It’s just right, and a true Southern delicacy. (I’ll share a great recipe another time.)

As the three of us ate our global street food, where the only thing Southern that evening was my accent, Kim said she would end her visit on Monday by eating a piece of coconut cake from Hayes Barton Café and Dessertery before getting back on the plane. 

I learned from my friends that coconut cake is rarely found outside the South. 

“Whaaaaaaaaaat?” as I dragged out in my Southern drawl in disbelief.  I knew we had some of the best coconut cake around, but I had no idea that coconut was that rare outside the South.

I don’t think I could live anywhere else now but North Carolina because I certainly can’t turn down a piece of coconut cake anytime I see it on a menu.  And if I’m at a church function, I make a beeline for a Southern woman’s homemade coconut cake.  They are the best.

I just feel so badly for those of you who can’t find good coconut cake, but you don’t have to wait any longer.  I am going to give away today a fabulous local church cookbook that has the best coconut cake recipe in it.  Trust me!  It’s so moist, which is a must for coconut cake, and I personally know the Southern lady who submitted the recipe for publication.  She’s a sweet Southern grandma who reminds me of my own grandma when it comes to her baking.

“Sharing Our Best” is a great, simple, Southern community cookbook.  I even have a few of my own favorite recipes included in the publication.

To enter to win, just leave a comment.  The winner will be drawn at random.  The deadline to enter is 11:59 pm on Monday, Jan. 16.

Please consider joining my Facebook page, twitter or subscribe through e-mail to stay up to date with posts.

No matter where you live now, get a taste of North Carolina and America’s Best City.    Good luck!

*This giveaway is now over.  Congrats to Dee in Charlotte for winning the prize. 

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