The Pizza Peel Appeal

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There’s pretty much a pizza joint on every block in Charlotte. And I’m eating my way thru every one of them.

The Pizza Peel was one of the first I visited after moving here and has remained one of my favorites.

There are two locations in Charlotte and they recently opened one in Matthews.

I was honored to attend the Private Menu Preview before the Grand Opening.

I was greeted by a large slice of pizza and a glass of Sangria.

Marketing/Events Manager Chris Soto was dressed in his finest Pepperoni attire for the evening.

Part of the ‘appeal’ of The Pizza Peel is their menu. From the quirky names to the array of different dishes, there’s something for everyone.

First out were the appetizers. I highly recommend the Pizza Fries. Yes, they combined my two favorite foods creating a plate full of Nirvana.

We were then treated to burgers. Lots and lots of burgers. Even a black bean version for this vegetarian.

Despite what some people think, all salads are not the same!!!

After some brief comments from the owner Will Bigham and Marketing/Events Manager Fernanda Zendejas we then got to make our own pizza!!!

Not just pick the toppings. We got to roll out the dough. I managed a half attempt at pizza tossing before placing the dough on the peel and scattering my toppings on it.

I got to put the pizza in the oven and wait for my creation to emerge.

I present the Diva’s Delight. Artichoke hearts, black olives, pineapples and sun dried tomatoes.

As if the evening wasn’t amazing enough we were given ‘swag’ a pizza box signed by everyone that organized the event with a T-shirt, sticker and a coupon. And an ‘I Have a Feel for the Peel’ glass.

So, now do you see the ‘appeal’?

Visit one of their locations (or all of them) and you’ll see the their menu has so much more than I mentioned here.

In fact it really should be called ‘The BurgerSandwichTacoPastaSidesAppetizerPizza Peel.

The Takeover: Far East Meets The South Edition

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This week I had the honor to attend the first of many Takeover events.

Chefs Manuel Cordray and Shelton Starks along with Pastry Chef Rachel Child commandeered the Heirloom Restaurant for a night of Far East Asian meets Southern gourmet cuisine.

Cordray and Starks met five years ago at church. Their creativity and love of food led them to do projects together.

The popularity of pop up shops brought about the idea of taking over an establishment and putting their own spin on it.

The Asian Southern fusion menu was in honor of Chinese New Year.

Before each dish was presented the Chefs came out and explained each course, as well as the wine paired with it.

Chef Starks invited me to the event knowing I’m a vegetarian. When he said they were preparing a special menu for me I was expecting salad and some mixed veggies.

Boy was I WRONG!!!!

The first course was Braised pork belly glazed in ginger soy sauce, served over fermented butter beans and topped with a collard green kimchi.

Pork N’ Beans without the pork, but not without flavor.

The Poema Brut Rose Cava mixed beautifully with it.

The second course featured Baby Bok Choy marinated, lightly grilled and topped with seasonal vegetables, crispy chicken skin croutons and a charred jalapeño pesto.

Mine was without the croutons. And it was my favorite course. I’ve had bok choy many times but never quite like this.

Margaridas Vinho Verdes was served with this course.

The Third Course was Pan Seared jumbo sea scallops over a lightly smoked succotash with hot chili oil. Instead of scallops my version had Crookneck squash.

It was served with a Tabali Sauvignon Blanc.

Once again I was amazed by a vegetable I’d consumed many times before. The hot chili oil really made the dish!

Our fourth Course was Chinese 5 spice seasoned beef short rib (tofu for me) braised in soy jus, on a bed of butternut squash purée and a sweet cilantro oil. Complimenting the dish was a Tall Sage Red blend.

Now there’s something you should know about me. I’ve never cared for tofu. I have texture issues. But this tofu!!! It was a whole new experience. Totally different consistency.

Then came….the DESSERTS!!! Chef Child delivered a sweet trio to wrap up the evening.

Salted Carmel cheesecake with a pretzel crust, Yuzu tart and S’Mores Cake paired with Maggie Family Vineyards Petite Sirah, were the perfect end to a perfect meal.

The night was a complete success!

If you didn’t get to attend this event don’t worry. There will be more coming. Kentucky Derby And Hip Hop themed Takeovers are coming up!

I Am My Sister’s Keeper: New Year! New Perspective! Women’s Conference

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When my friend Marjory Brifil announced she was hosting a women’s Conference I immediately bought tickets. She’s been such a powerful influence in my life. I just knew this was going to be an amazing experience.

The Conference was held at the majestic Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge. A very fitting venue for the caliber of speakers that were about to inspire us.

Armed with my Girl Tribe, Reagan and April, we marched in like the Boss Babes that we are, ready to be empowered.

Actually we went in the wrong entrance and had to ask for directions but hey, we got a great tour of the hotel that I’ve longed to see for years.

We met up with old friends Lorri and Beth as well as making a few new ones.

Our first speaker was Jacinda Jacobs. Never pass up an opportunity to listen to her. This lady has been a steady source of motivation for me for awhile now. God spoke through her about spiritual awakening. She consistently lifts me up at the moments I’m at my weakest.

Her book ‘Uniquely Qualified’ will give hope to all. No matter how low you feel her words will transform your spirit. I have it in print form and on Amazon. It’s one of my goto books when I feel like I’m slipping.

“DO YOU HAVE THE GUTS TO WALK THROUGH IT WHEN YOU GET TO IT??”

Latise M. Howie captivated us with her vibrant personality.

She spoke about self love, perhaps the hardest love to achieve.

Do we love who we are? Or do we love what we want the world to see? Living for ‘Likes’ on our social media accounts is giving power of our self love to others.

WE ARE ENOUGH!! We need to get rid of anyone and anything that doesn’t have our best interest at heart.

Getting to know ourself, surrounding ourself with like minded individuals and forgiving ourself is key to our self development journey.

Transparency is a word that keeps coming at me from several sources. So her words really stuck with me….

“MY TRANSPARENCY IS SOMEONE ELSES BREAKTHROUGH”

Elam King made us laugh. Mostly at ourselves.

He pointed out how we argue with ourselves. Justify what we do. We blame the devil even when he had nothing to do with it. Claim it. We are our own worst enemies.

The weapons formed against us are supposed to exist. It’s how we fight that matters. We have to outwit the devil.

We need mentors in our life. One for mind, one for body and one for spirit. We can’t make others happy unless we’re happy. And when we don’t pass a test we get retested.

“NEVER WASTE A LESSON!!”

Financial Freedom Fighter Camy Smith talked to us about something we tend to love more than life…..money.

We have been programmed to be broke. We can’t save our way to financial success. Recondition your minds. Make more money. Thrive not survive.

Don’t let people that have given up on their dream talk you out of yours.

We don’t have to compromise God. He wants his children to prosper.

“FINANCIAL SUCESS IS NOT FOR THE CHOSEN FEW, IT’S FOR THE FEW THAT HAVE CHOSEN IT”

Majory has always been an advocate for lifting up other women. In fact everyone in the room I knew was directly or indirectly because of her. Moving here a few years ago left me excited and lonely.

I now have a solid circle of true friends that I cherish. Because we lift each other up. Because we are Queens who adjust each other’s crowns.

Because WE ARE OUR SISTERS KEEPER!