Nik Snacks

Bite it and write it. That's what I do. Fueled by butterbeans & collard greens.


On 6:31 PM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , ,    No comments
Don't forget to enter the NC Beer Month Getaway right HERE. I want you to experience everything you're going to read about over the next 4 minutes. Don't be shy. Click it. 

People ask me about the culinary identity of Winston-Salem all of the time. I give them a little hint, to frame the story: I can do my job ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, but I chose to do it HERE.

Back in 2007, when I returned from South Florida, I knew that change was happening and I thought, "Something delicious this way comes..." and that has come true. I believe Winston to be a coffee-loving, beer-drinking, bread-baking, hot sauce-slinging, hot dog-eating town.

Beer and spirits run through the veins of the city, not unlike the forgotten underground springs of the city. Beer and coffee are intertwined in that same way.

NC Beer Month celebrates all things beer, and one of the coolest places in Winston-Salem to get beer coffee Twin City Hive.
Yup. Coffee.

Beer on tap can run on two different systems, either CO² or nitrogen. CO² gives you carbonation like a soft beverage or soda. By adding nitrogen to a beer, it creates micro bubbles, that create a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Other than mouthfeel, there are variances in appearance as well. You can watch the waterfall of tiny bubbles slowly yielding to a dark brew with a creamy, white head. Just like beer.

At Twin City Hive, they put popular cold brew "on tap" and in kegs to produce a lovely signature product.

There's coffee in them thar kegs!

Watch the video below: Twin City Hive owner, Joey Burdette explains the process.

Twin City Hive owners, Terry Miller (left) and Joey Burdette (right) pour nitro infused cold brew for customers.

Krankies Coffee is a local coffee roaster and community space that turns into a community art space called The Werehouse some evenings. Both coffee and beer are available at Krankies. In the City of Arts and Innovation this all makes sense because owner John Bryan has mixed coffee roasting, beer and spirits in not one, but two different locations.

Enter Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Co. at West End Mill Works.

The building is located at the apex of Mill Works (formerly Manly St.) and Bridge Streets. The neighboring brick warehouse was formerly a part of the Hoots Roller Mill Co., a flour mill. Now it's a brewery and bar.

Krankies Coffee and Hoots Roller Bar had a collaboration in 2014 and made Morning Stout, an American Stout made with El Robles coffee beans roasted at Krankies. While the rotation of beers on tap change constantly, the things that remains the same are the commitment to excellence, the area's history and the local community.

You can have a chance to come taste and see all of the beer (and coffee) that is good by entering the NC Beer Month Getaway right HERE

On 9:28 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , , ,    No comments
In 1917, Reynolda was seen as an experimental farm to which students of agriculture, dairy production, and animal husbandry in this region would look for the newest and best farming methods.

Katharine Smith Reynolds, wife of tobacco king and founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, R.J. Reynolds, was the mastermind behind Reynolda and 98 years ago she invited a group of businessmen and their families from Winston to come out to see the farm, enjoy the fruits of the land and enjoy a traditional backyard BBQ. The meal consisted of pork from the Tamworth hogs raised on the property, grilled vegetables from the garden and local cider, beer and other spirits.

Today, the grand bungalow style house and the remaining acreage is Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Reynolda Gardens and Reynolda Village. The museum displays a premiere collection of American art ranging from the colonial period to the present.

Today you can reimagine that early 20th century picnic by attending signature Winston-Salem events like Reynolda After Hours, Twin City Ribfest or Texas Pete Culinary Arts Festival where more often than not, barbecue and beer come to meet at the table.

Piedmont North Carolina's rich barbecue history is often paired with beer and the conversation often drifts to Winston-Salem where the history of beer began. Long after the English style brewery and beer were made in Salem, Strohs Brewing Company opened a bottling plant here. For 30 years, brands such as Old Milwaukee and Schlitz were made and distributed from Winston-Salem. Today, MillerCoors operates in Eden, NC producing about 9 million barrels of beer a year.

Don't forget: you can experience the whole of the beer culture, history and culinary offerings of Winston-Salem when you enter the NC Beer Month Getaway right HERE!

On 6:23 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , ,    No comments
'Tis the season for craft beer and baseball in Winston-Salem. The Winston-Salem Dash is our minor league baseball team here, they are a Class High-A team in the Carolina League, are a farm team of the Chicago White Sox and named after the hyphen between Winston and Salem. 

I have to admit: I know nothing about baseball and nor do I care about it. But I care a little bit about hot dogs. And a whole lot about beer.

Over the past few years, my city has been defining its culinary heritage and legacy. As a whole, I think we're a coffee-drinkin'-doughnut eatin'-hot dog slingin'-beer lovin' town. We know what we like and we welcome guests see our rich past and help define the future.

While you're facilitating all of that, you should catch a game at the state-of-the-art BB&T stadium, enjoy a Foothills beer and you might as well get to know us while munching on a local hot dog as well.

Airtype, a creative design firm, came up with this self-guided hot dog tour of Winston-Salem. When visiting Winston-Salem, take your own tour! 

Don't forget to enter the NC Beer Month Beer Getaway!

On 12:26 PM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , ,    No comments
Downtown Winston-Salem's Fourth Street is a place I like to call "Restaurant Row". A high concentration of restaurants and bars reside with in an 8 block stretch from Patterson Avenue all the way to Brookstown Avenue in the West End Neighborhood.

The craft beer conversation of Winston-Salem usually begins in one of those restaurants or bars. One place in particular with the best of both worlds and is the area's most lauded brewpub, Foothills Brewing. Open every day from 11:00 AM–2:00 AM except Thanksgiving and Christmas, this place is kind of magical.

Full disclosure: I'm a member of the Foothills family. I joked my way into a part-time job a few months ago and I've never been happier. My job title is host (I'm REALLY good at being nice to people and then telling them what to do, like... where to sit), but they let me do incredibly unique things like this AND this that totally fall outside of my job description but still are in my wheelhouse because, let's face it: I'm pretty awesome. Scroll to the bottom to see how awesome I can be with the recipe I promised you in the title of this blog post. I don't want to disappoint.

SOooo.... Nationally recognized beer and excellent food go together, right?
How about 10 years of excellence and the opportunity to attend Beer School?

Opened in 2005, this year marks the brewery's 10th anniversary and the first three months of this year were full of celebrations called Decade Parades in all of the markets where Foothills is distributed (NC, SC, VA, Eastern TN, Washington, D.C.) all culminating on St. Patrick's Day (our birthday! insert noise maker here) at the brewpub.

If you weren't able to attend one of the celebrations, please don't fret. The party is always going on at our brewpub and I'd like to think that it begins at school.

That's right. School. Beer School. You get to spend an afternoon learning about the subtle nuances of craft beer brewing, go on a tour of the brewery to see how all of the beer magic is made and participate in graduation exercises: tasting the results of nearly 15 fresh Foothills brews. It's a win-win situation. Or is that a drink-drink situation?

Beer School is offered on the first Saturday of every month. You can enter to win:
 A private Behind-the-Scenes tour at the new Foothills Tap Room 
  ·  Dinner at Foothills Brewing (Up to $50)
  ·  "Tuition for two" to attend Foothills Brewing Beer School  

... All part of a big Beer Getaway Package with a hotel stay, beer swag and several more exclusive "beer-tunities".

Click HERE or here. Or here or here or here (I really want you to win).

If you're not into Beer School, that's cool. I'm not judging you. Maybe you'd like to visit our brand-spanking-new tap room?

Opening on April 22, 2015 with a Grand Opening celebration slated for June 22, 2015--the tap room, located at our 48,000 square foot bottling facility at 3800 Kimwell Drive, will boast 28 taps with facility tours and a whole lot more. You can enter to win to spend some alone time with all 28 taps. Right here.

I know you're wondering what kind of beer you're in store for, if you've never had Foothills before. Our year-round beers include Carolina Blonde (a cream ale, the lightest beer we carry), Strawberry Blonde (Carolina's cute sister), Torch Pilsner, People's Porter, and my personal favorite: Hoppyum IPA.

Foothills is so awesome, that there is literally a plethora of seasonals, an exclusive IPA of the Month, and a new session IPA to be released in May. We really like our IPAs around here. I know I do.

I'm SO IN LOVE with Hoppyum IPA that I combined two of Winston-Salem's finest products into ONE: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Hoppyum IPA to bring you Krispy Kreme Doughnut Bread Pudding With Lemon IPA Custard. The malty, tangy undertones of the IPA match perfectly with the yeasty, sweet doughnuts in a dessert made for the gods. Sorry, ambrosia. You don't stand a chance.

Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Lemon IPA Custard
Serves 15-20 (you're going to want to make a big pan!)

2 cups of beer (IPA, preferably)
3 dozen Original Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, cut into sixths
8 egg yolks
4 whole eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Zest of 2 lemons
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk

In a small saucepan, bring beer to a boil and reduce to one cup. Take off heat and set aside.
In a large baking dish, layer the doughnut pieces in one single layer. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, whisk together the sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add the heavy cream, milk, beer and whisk until well combined. Pour over doughnut pieces in the baking dish. and bake for 30 minutes or until custard is set and does not jiggle when you shake the pan.

And we have lift-off. Better yet, the ship has landed. We are finally here. Welcome to NC Beer Month.

Visit Winston-Salem and Lowes Foods are partnering to promote craft beer in Winston-Salem. We know you want to come to town to experience all that Winston-Salem has to offer you craft beer lovers and aficionados, so HERE IS YOUR CHANCE: 
Enter to Win the "Celebrate NC Beer Month Getaway"
Register now for your chance to win a two-night getaway to the birthplace
of NC's craft beer scene, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. You and a guest could enjoy:
If you don't enter, you can't win, so ENTER NOW

In addition to giving away the fun getaway package, Nik Snacks is coming to a Lowes Foods near you! Below is a schedule of events at select Lowes Foods where I will be dishing out the best in craft beer-inspired recipes and perfect pairings. Want a sneak peek? Scroll to the bottom of the page for a beer-inspired recipe I'll be showcasing this month.

Over the past two years, Lowes Foods has rebranded and renovated many of its stores to include SausageWorks, Chicken Kitchen, Pick & Prep stations and Beer Dens. Many Lowes Foods that have a Community Table where food, people and fun meet. Made from reclaimed wood, every table was built to bring community together, and I hope to see you at one of the events below:

Lowes Foods of Apex
Wednesday, April 8 (4 - 6 p.m.)
5400 Apex Peakway
Olive Chapel
Apex, NC 27502

Lowes Foods of Cary
Sunday, April 12 (12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.)
930 High House Road
Preston Corners Shopping Center
Cary, NC 27513

Lowes Foods of Cary
Saturday, April 18 (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
930 High House Road
Preston Corners Shopping Center
Cary, NC 27513

Lowes Foods of Holly Springs
Sunday, April 19 (12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.)
112 Bass Lake Road
Holly Springs Crossing Shopping Center
Holly Springs, NC 27540

Lowes Foods of Cary
Wednesday, April 29 (4-6 p.m.)
6430 Tryon Road
Wellington Shopping Center
Cary, NC 27513

Lowes Foods of Cary
Saturday, April 25 (11 a.m. -1 p.m.)
6430 Tryon Road
Wellington Shopping Center
Cary, NC 27513

Don't forget to enter to win a chance for you and a guest to spend two nights in Winston-Salem enjoying our "Celebrate NC Beer Month Getaway!" CLICK HERE to for details and to enter.

Beer Biscuits
Use your favorite beer to make these light, fluffy, flaky biscuits. The beer adds a little flavor and a lot of extra oomph to the leavening of the dough.

Yield 8-10 biscuits


3.5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda,
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
12 T butter, cut into small pieces and chilled 
1/2 cup sour cream or buttermilk
2/3 cup beer

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. In a processor add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Pulse to combine.
3. Add the cold butter, process until well combined. Transfer to a large bowl.
4. Add the buttermilk and beer.
5. Mix with a fork until just combined.
6. Transfer to a well-floured flat surface, pat into a rectangle. Use a rolling pin and gently roll into a large rectangle. Gently roll into about 1 1/2 inch thickness.
7. Use a biscuit cutter and cut out 8-10 biscuits. Place in a baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper
8. (OPTIONAL: Brush biscuits with melted butter, sprinkle salt).
9. Bake at 400 for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
On 8:30 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , ,    18 comments

April is NC Beer Month. In April 2015, the North Carolina Division of Tourism and the North Carolina Brewers Guild join forces for the third time to celebrate NC Beer Month.

North Carolina is one of the best states for craft brewing. Specifically, we have breweries that boast multiple medals from the Great American Beer Festival and The World Beer Cup.

I've partnered with NC Beer MonthLowes Foods and Visit Winston-Salem, to bring you a series of content AND events throughout the month of April to educate, promote and entice you about the craft beer scene in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Did you know that Winston-Salem is the birthplace of North Carolina craft beer?

I've written about craft beer before, but it's not just me in this thing this time. I'm coming out of the gate blazing with a team behind me! Think of it like The Boondock Saints. But wielding cans of NC craft beer instead of guns.

This is getting interesting, no?

That's right. Before Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues, and New Belgium, were twinkles in their forefathers' eyes and moved East Coast operations to the mountains of North Carolina, Moravians in Salem were purifying water, roasting barley, and producing beer in the Wachau valley, known today as the Piedmont Triad.

The Moravians settled in this area in 1766 by way of Pennsylvania, by way of Germany. The old Germanic ways of living, working and producing beer did not leave this devoutly religious group of people as they settled into North Carolina. Taverns and inns were very much a part of the landscape and what better to entice patrons to pay to stay than with a cold brew?

The first brewery in North Carolina began in 1774 in Old Salem. A whole two years before we declared independence, we were getting it in! The beer of the 18th century was very different from what we drink today. First of all, it had little to no carbonation. That's a modern invention that yeast and fermentation provide.

Small Batch Beer Co., which opened November 2013 has partnered with Old Salem Gardens and Museums, Inc. to recreate this 18th century receipt (what recipes were called back then) and have it for sale to the public during the month of April. Named Salem Lot 93, it's based on historic recipes and techniques. The new brew includes a four-hour boil and an open oak fermentation process.

Photo courtesy of Small Batch Beer Co.

Super. Cool.

To find more information about this brew, where to get it, Small Batch Beer Co., the beer scene in Winston-Salem or anything else beer related, click HERE.

Stay tuned throughout the month of April for more history, receipts recipes and chances to win travel prizes and opportunities to Visit Winston-Salem.
On 8:00 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , ,    13 comments
The month of March is here!  The age-old question: "Will March go in like a lion and out like a lamb?" will be asked over the next few days. With all of the heinous Winter weather, low temperatures, bouts with influenza and general seasonal sadness, I'm absolutely ready for some reprieve.

My Winter has been going fantastic, actually. I usually shut down my blog for four months a year (January through April) because I need to regroup, refresh, plot, plan and test recipes so I can come back full force after Spring Thaw. This year, I've decided to simply scale back and focus on smaller non-blog projects and build my personal chef business. It's really been fantastic and if it weren't for the ice and snow, I'd be doing a little better!

It's important to have a familiar, simple, hearty meal on standby to help melt those Winter blues away. I'm mentally melting all of the lingering Winter snow with my grandma's pinto bean recipe. I really miss her and I know she's looking over my shoulder as I add the bacon to the pot.

I usually eat it as a main meal and have no issues filling up on a meat-free, protein-filled bowl of childhood memories and do a little diced white onion for crunch. I've added my own fun twist by topping the beans with buttery, cornbread croutons. It's all of the flavor with none of the commitment of a hunk of cornbread that might crumble when you bite into it.

This week, the Sunday Supper crew is sharing "Beantastic" recipes covering everything from appetizers to soups and stews to desserts. That's right desserts.

Beantastic Beginners:

  • Avocado Hummus by Our Good Life

  • Bean Ragoût and Crisped Mushrooms by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

  • Black Bean Chili Nachos by Brunch with Joy

  • Chickpea Fries (Panisse) by Curious Cuisiniere

  • Five Layer Greek Hummus Dip by Food Done Light

  • Pizza Roasted Chickpeas by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures

  • Roasted Garlic and Black Pepper Hummus by Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

  • White Bean and Basil Spread by Peaceful Cooking

  • Bean-a-rific Soups and Stews

  • Butternut Squash White Bean Soup by Magnolia Days

  • Chickpea and Bean Soup by Momma's Meals

  • Classic Cassoulet by Food Lust People Love

  • Navy Bean & Kale Soup by An Appealing Plan

  • Navy Bean Soup by The Messy Baker


  • Slow Cooker Pork and Bean Stew by Nosh My Way

  • Slow Cooker White Bean Kielbasa Stew by Cosmopolitan Cornbread

  • Spicy Sausage, White Bean and Spinach Soup by Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen

  • Bean-a-licious Sides:

  • Bean and Cornbread Salad by MealDiva

  • Clams with Black Beans by A Day in the Life on the Farm

  • Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole by Gluten Free Crumbley

  • Gold Rush Baked Beans by Lifestyle Food Artistry

  • Italian Beans and Greens by Simply Healthy Family

  • Maple Brown Sugar Baked Beans by Carrie's Experimental Kitchen

  • Pinto Beans With Cornbread Croutons by Nik Snacks


  • Whiskey Bacon Baked Beans by Sew You Think You Can Cook

  • Incredi-bean Main Meals:

  • Arugula Tomato and Beans Flatbread by Family Foodie

  • Bean and Bacon Tacos by Jane's Adventures in Dinner

  • Beefy Lima Bean Casserole by Cindy's Recipes and Writings


  • Colombian Red beans - Frisoles Antioquenos by Palatable Pastime


  • Honey-Lime Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos by The Chunky Chef

  • One Pot Tuscan Style Garlic Herb Pork Chops by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks

  • Orecchiette with White Beans and Swiss Chard by Delaware Girl Eats


  • Skillet Black Beans and Pork by Cooking Chat

  • Ultimate Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes by Pancake Warriors

  • White Bean Ragout, Frisèe, and a Fried Egg by The Wimpy Vegetarian

  • Amaze-beans Sweet Endings:

  • Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean Bark by Love and Confections


  • Flourless Almond Joy Cookie Dough Ball by Cupcakes & Kale Chips


  • Flourless Mocha Brownies by That Skinny Chick Can Bake

  • Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies by Wallflour Girl

  • Gluten-Free Donuts by NinjaBaker

  • Pecan Praline Black Bean Brownies by Rhubarb and Honey

  • Soy Awesome Cookies 2.0 by What Smells So Good?

  • Strawberry Coco-Cacao Bean Smoothie by Dandelion Greens


  • Sweet Bean Pie by Shockingly Delicious


  • Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee by Noshing With The Nolands

  • Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

    Pinto Beans
    Serves 8-10

    1 1/2 lb dry pinto beans, sorted and rinsed (4 cups)
    4 cups chicken or beef broth
    4 cups water
    5 slices bacon
    1 extra large onion, chopped (2 1⁄2 cups)
    1 dash red hot sauce
    1 teaspoon granulated garlic
    4 garlic cloves, chopped
    1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
    Red wine vinegar, to taste
    Cornbread croutons (recipe to follow)

    Place beans in a large pot. Add enough water to cover by 4 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain beans. Do not use the soaking water.

    Place beans in a large Dutch oven, and add broth and water to cover beans by 2 inches. Add more water or broth, if needed to cover beans. Add bacon, onion and hot sauce to Dutch oven with beans; Bring to a boil, and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour. Add garlic and granulated after 30 minutes of cooking. After 60 minutes, reduce heat to medium-low, to a simmer, and stir occasionally. Add more water by 1/2-cupfuls if dry, and cook until beans are tender, about 2 hours. Season with black pepper and red wine vinegar, to taste. Serve with Cornbread Croutons.

    Cornbread Croutons


    3 Tbsp butter (or bacon grease)
    2 cups yellow or white cornmeal
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 Tbsp baking powder
    2 eggs
    3 Tbsp honey
    1 1/2 cups milk
    2 Tbsp oil

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put the butter in your baking vessel of choice (preferably cast iron skillet) and place it in the oven while it's warming up. Sift cornmeal, flour, salt and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the bowl. Beat eggs, milk and oil in the well. Alternatively, beat the eggs, milk and oil in a separate bowl and add to dry ingredients. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour into heated pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.


    3 cups left over (dry) cornbread, cut into cubes

    1 stick butter, unsalted
    1 Tbsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp salt

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cornbread cubes in a bowl. Add butter and seasonings to a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Melt butter in the saucepan and stir occasionally, until all butter has melted and foam subsides. Pour butter over evenly cubes in bowl and toss to coat. Pour the contents on a baking sheet and bake until cubes are lightly brown and crisped, around 15 minutes.