Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blog Birthday!

Today Southern Secrets Carolina Style is one year old!  This has been such a positive experience!  Spending time sharing the little things that make living in NC so special!  I spent 30 years of Carolina Style bliss before being exposed to several kinds of "Cancer"...  It is the little things that matter, spending time with family and friends that love me is number one!  When you are blessed to be loved by truly kind souls, spend time with them, not those who have an agenda or a ladder of some kind to climb!  If you surround yourself with good people, waking up everyday aspiring to do better than the day before and with a grateful heart, the blessings will come!
Thank you for following Southern Secrets Carolina Style and Mears Etc Etc on Facebook! It is so fun to share what I love with you!

Enjoy your Day, Carolina Style!
Jen Jen
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

NC in GA!

Our first permanent showroom stop was to 94 year old Troy, North Carolina company, Capel Rugs.  They had so many fabulous creations as always!  I love all the colors and patterns in the Capel and Genevieve Gorder rug line!  My designer friend purchased great rugs for West Street Interiors and for happy clients!  I only wish my fancy camera was charged to capture my favorites instead of my phone!
I also LOVE their Creative Concept Rugs!
 Look at the tag below! Capel Rugs expresses their love for their country.  It says "Support American Workers!"  I love it!!
As Michael my designer friends rep said "I am sure this rug will end up in a cabin that probably should not be called a cabin"!!   
We also love another western NC company, Seagrove Candles!  This is such a great line!  We are so excited to have Seagrove Candles heading to Mears Etc Etc!  The soaps are wonderful too!
While walking through the gourmet section for our friends at Jennies Beans and Buns, I ran across another NC favorite, Bone Suckin' Sauce!  It was clear retailers were enjoying samples of the famous sauce!  FYI,  We all know Bone Suckin' Sauce is the #1 Barbecue Sauce but you should also know the Bone Suckin' Sauce Bloody Mary is the BEST bloody you will ever have the pleasure to brunch with!

Enjoy your Day, Carolina Style!
Jen Jen
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Monday, January 16, 2012


What a busy year 2012 is starting out to be!  I am just back from Market in Atlanta, Georgia!  It was so fun to see North Carolina items on display as well as purchase fun Southern finds for Mears Etc Etc!  When not busy with my day job that I also love, it is so much fun to enjoy the retail world!
First in Flight.The Outer Banks.The Shag.
The Tar Heel State. Ya'll Come Back Now!
Bless your Heart for sure if you have never been to North Carolina!  Hurry!
You have to buy the dish to get the whole recipe!!
Be prepared to stay!

Enjoy your Day, Carolina Style!
Jen Jen
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Monday, January 9, 2012

Wild Duck!

Deer Season is over in North Carolina but Duck hunting is in full force!  NC guides are ready to put you in a blind! I love to eat duck but the thought of hunting duck is not appealing to me at all!  It is a sport that makes me cold and sleepy to think about, but the men in my family live for it!  With "Wild Duck" being our topic today, I thought I would share what I do love! I love paintings by Fen Rascoe!  He really captures the heart of rural and coastal Northeastern, NC!  The first painting is called "Gunner on the Mark".  Gunner reminds me of our baby, Jake.  The second painting is called "Three Kings"!
I remember when first married, I would get up at 4am to cook breakfast for my husband before he headed out into the cold wet terrain in his waders!  Those days are over!  Now we all get to enjoy my husbands great cooking when he returns ready to try a new wild game recipe!  His latest concoction is Wild Duck Goulash! 
Not a pretty pic taken with a cell phone but gives you an idea of the goulash.  The ingredients are duck breast, dry sherry, mushrooms, caramelized onions, cream of mushroom soup, mustard, garlic and rice!  Just in case you have a hunter or a cook in your family!  Perfect for a cold winter day!  We also enjoy duck breast with yummy baked NC sweet potato fries!

Enjoy your Day, Carolina Style!
Jen Jen
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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pocket Change!

After cooking black-eyed peas, hoppin john and the new "Leftover Luck", we still had black-eyed peas to spare!  Black-eyed peas thought to symbolize pocket change or spending money in the New Year are not to wasted!  Two of our favorites are Carolina Caviar and Black Eyed Pea Salsa but we did not have all the ingredients. My Mom saves great recipes from Carolina Country Magazine!  We decided to try the recipe of the month, Black-eyed Pea Dip!  Very simple and actually very good as a salad without the chips!
 I highly recommend a subscription to Carolina Country!  The articles and beautiful photos of the Carolina countryside are entertaining!

Enjoy your Day, Carolina Style!
Jen Jen
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Friday, January 6, 2012

JanuaRy Oysters!

January started with lots of friends and lots and lots of local oysters!  We never get tired of oysters during the months with an "R" in North Carolina! It is always interesting to me how every North Carolinian has their own homemade oyster cooking and shucking style! 
A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck for my sweet husband the shucker!
Everyone needs Carolina Shuckers custom hand forged oyster knives! Made in Morehead City NC!
My husband likes to roast the oysters over an open fire!  Yep, I think we need an outdoor stone fireplace at the beach!
I must say I am super impressed with our neighbors homemade shucking table!
My favorite is the Bob Timberlake oyster table!
I LOVE it!
I also love cooking oyster stew with the leftovers!  The fresh local oysters roasted in their own juices add the best flavor to skim milk, a little Best Life with olive oil and lots of the North Carolina hot sauce, Texas Pete
Cooking oyster stew brings back so many memories with my Grandmother we called Gibby. Her middle name was Gibbs. She cooked oyster stew for us whenever we would spend the night with our Grandparents as children!  We often watched a Doris Day movie when not watching Hee Haw!
Doris Day's recording of Bushel and Peck was released by Columbia Records. It was made on September 13, 1950! 
I have always loved Doris Day!! 

Enjoy your Day, Carolina Style!
Jen Jen
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Leftover Luck!

If you are like us you had lots of "tradition" left over from New Years Day, especially if you live in the south!  This year I decided to try my hand at a pot of "Leftover Luck"!  With a pot of hoppin john, a pot of black eyed peas and a pot of collards the experiment began!  It turns out the combination made a big pot of yummy soup!  

The base of the hoppin john is chicken broth with a ham hock, jalapenos, onions and chopped tomatoes. I added my stew like black eyed peas and leftover chopped collards with additional chicken broth and "Leftover Luck" was born!

Enjoy your Day, Carolina Style!
Jen Jen
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Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

“Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”

William Arthur Ward

Enjoy your Day, Carolina Style!
Jen Jen
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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year, Carolina Style!

In the South, New Years day dinner includes Collard Greens and Black-eyed Peas for wealth and good luck! As a Steel Magnolia looking through rose colored glasses, with a positive attitude, I will stick to tradition! It is a great reason to show off generations of southern cooking and always a good idea to simply start the year with the mind set the best is yet to come!
The day began with Mango Mimosas!  The perfect sous chef!
Monogrammed glasses available at Mears Etc. Etc.
In NC and the US, pork is for prosperity!  The North Carolina Pork Council is a great place for recipes and to learn more!  Pigs are thought to symbolize progress.  We had a spread for friends that also included cabbage, green beans, hoppin john and cheese grits!
This year we tried a new collard recipe made with bourbon and brown sugar, called Boozy Braised Collard Greens!  The chopped collards do look a bit like green money!  We also had corn bread to cover all the spending money!
If all traditions are true our friend with the plate above will have a successful year! Thanks to a dear friend, we also enjoyed Lady Fingers famous ham biscuits and pecan pie for dessert!  
Happy New Year from the South!

Enjoy your Day, Carolina Style!
Jen Jen
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