Recipe : East Coast Wings Down and Dirty Martini

Danielle Hatfield's East Coast Wings Down and Dirty martiniMost of you who know me – know that a dirty martini is my favorite mixed drink. It reminds me of a by gone era when women rarely left the house without hats and gloves and men wore suits with suspenders and always had handkerchiefs in their pockets.

Occasionally I like to spice things up a bit and try new ingredients in my martini. I don’t deviate much from the simple olive brine & vodka/gin. . . but I love finding spices and sauces that add that extra kick in the pants we all need once in a while.

This recipe is infused with flavor and is a perfect cocktail for those who aren’t afraid of a little heat.

What you will need:

East Coast Wings & Grill EXTRA HOT Wing Sauce (visit one of their locations or contact them to find out how you can get your own!) Full disclosure that my company Experience Farm DID design their website – but this is not a solicited post nor was I compensated in any way except for the free bottle of hot sauce!

Chilled Vodka or Gin (I prefer vodka)

Stirrings All Natural Dirty Martini Spanish Olive Brine

Olives (I used Manzanilla whole olives for this recipe – but I often use Spanish Queen olives stuffed with Gorgonzola Cheese)

Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Seasoning (Original Mixed-Up Salt)

Cocktail Shaker

Measuring Jigger


Martini Glass


Directions :

In cocktail shaker – add ice, Two 1.5 oz jiggers of chilled vodka or gin, East Coast Wings Hot sauce to taste (usually 3 bottle shakes for me) and 1 oz of olive brine. Shake until it is painfully cold to hold

In chilled martini glass rim glass with a shake of East Coast Wings Hot Sauce and add 3 olives

Pour over chilled contents of shaker and add a dash or two of Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Seasoning

Serve and enjoy!


Serves : 1

You can increase this recipe to make for more that one martini but it is always suggested that you make this to order.

What drink recipes have you been inspired to make thanks to some of your favorite ingredients?


This posted originally written for

Why Whole Foods Market is one of Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’

In the May 2011 issue of Fortune Magazine, Whole Foods Market was ranked 24 on the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list. (which they made again this year!)

It’s not surprising to learn that for 15 years in a row Whole Foods has remained one of the top companies to work for. Considering that the Triad is now host to two locations (Winston Salem & Greensboro) I wanted to share a few reasons that Whole Foods Market, which is headquartered in Austin, Texas, is one of only 13 companies that have made the list every year since its inception in 1998.

With (at the time of the article) 51,800 employees, Whole Foods Market has proven that it has an committed investment mentality for every community it opens a store in. It’s no secret that they love to support locally grown products.

One thing that really stands out to me is the fact that they have one of the most equitable pay structures I have seen. Considering that the gap between CEO and worker pay has soared in recent decades it was refreshing to learn that Whole Foods Market is proud that they cap salaries of executives at 19 times the average full-time salary and hold no secrets from any employees when it comes to take home pay. For the record, Co-founder John Mackey‘s 2006 pay reduction to $1 a year hasn’t changed.

In case you were wondering, currently a U.S. CEO’s pay is 231 times higher than that of an average worker. That figure puts it into perspective that Whole Foods is true to their motto of Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet. If the capped salaries aren’t impressive enough, once every 3 years the entire workforce gets to vote on benefits packages.

Are you as blown away as I am so far? Wait, it gets better!

Employees, or ‘Team Members” as they are referred to, are rewarded for their healthy lifestyle with discounts of up to 30% off if they meet certain requirements. All employees receive a 20% discount, a six week unpaid vacation for every 6000 hours worked and those same Team Members also have access to 100% paid health care premiums. Yup. You heard me.

The fact that the company actually encourages it’s employees to submit ideas and then take and implement them to further company wide success is a testament as to why they have consistently made Fortune’s list.

For more information on Whole Foods Market be sure to take some time and get to know them online.

I know that I am more impressed than ever with what I have learned about Whole Foods as a culture and a company and am happy they are here in the Triad. I never knew any of this information regarding how they operate until reading that Fortune article and visiting them online.

I am more determined now that ever to support them in our community.

Does your family shop at Whole Foods? What is your most memorable experience?

Do you work at Whole Foods? What benefits did I miss that makes you a proud Team Member?



Favorite Places to Purchase Fresh Food in the Triad

We asked on our  facebook page  what your favorite places were to shop for fresh fruits and veggies in the Triad. LeighAnne Hunt  of You Time Solutions was first to respond and shared that her favorite place for fresh fruits/veggies was United Health Group‘s food service program trough Aramark. “I get great fruit and veggie trays already prepped from United Healthcare’s food service!” says Hunt. “. . . it is actually easier and cheaper than me buying veggies and fruit and cutting it up myself!”

Penney Duddy, FSD at United Health Care of Greensboro, shares “Yes we do buy from local people who have passed Aramark’s strict sanitation standards. We have a program for approved vendors who if they want to sell to us they have to pass certain quality and health inspections. They also have to have a letter of liability warranty. In the spring we will be having a local Farmer’s Market on site so we will be using a lot of local produce.”

Discover your local farmers at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market on Facebook!


In addition to the many farm to table restaurants, and grocery store co-ops there are also the many Farmers Markets throughout the Triad as well as farms that you can support directly.

Here are only a few :

The Piedmont Triad Farmers Market is owned by the STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA and operated by the NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE & CONSUMER SERVICES.

The Greensboro Downtown FARM MARKET – Greene Street’s ‘Green Grocery’ & CSA pickup in Greensboro is a  Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) market.

The City of Greensboro recently awarded the ongoing management of the  Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market to the Greensboro Farmers Market Inc.


Krankies Farmers Market prides itself as an all-local, producers-only market that offers a variety of fresh produce and foods to downtown Winston-Salem. Healthy, sustainable, and humane practices help them choose their vendors.

Visit The Evening Farmers Market on Facebook

Statesville Evening Farmers Market, a non-profit group of area farmers, bakers, and crafters,  offer the convenience of early evening shopping at Pecan Park in historic downtown Statesville. They also have a growing list of recipes to help you enjoy your fresh finds!


Reynolda Farm Market is a local market located in Winston Salem that is known for selling fresh produce, meats, dairy products, and breads. Some of the local farm favorites they carry are Goat Lady Dairy cheeses, Homeland Creamery dairy and ice cream, Chapel Hill Creamery cheeses, Old Mill of Guilford products, Miss Jenny’s Pickles, and Krankies Coffee just to name a few!

Where are your favorite places to buy local produce? Share them with us by leaving a comment or join our discussion on Facebook!

What local farmers do you support and how do you help spread the word about their products?

Do you have recipes you would like to share with Linking Triad made with local farm products? Contact us and we would love to feature your recipe!


Undercurrent hosts Treanna Wine Dinner with Advanced Sommelier Julia Schiavone Hunt

Join Undercurrent Restaurant on Friday, October 14th for a VERY special wine event!

Chef Michael Harkenreader has prepared an exquisite five course menu, expertly paired with Treanna Wines chosen by Advanced Sommelier Julia Schiavone Hunt, who will be the hostess for the evening.

The price of this wine dinner is $60 per person and will begin at 6:30pm.


The menu and wines they will be presenting this evening:

 Liberty School Chardonnay

Green Apple-Goat Cheese Tarte Tatin, Almonds, Parsley-ThymePuree

Treana Viognier/Marsanne

Seared Sea Scallop, Sweet Onion Ravioli, Parsnip-Celery Root Cream, Citrus Gastrique


Maple Smoked Quail, Bacon-Pecan Stuffing, Sweet Potato Puree, Cherry-Peppercorn Glaze

Treana Red

Roasted Lamb Chop, Roasted Root Vegetables, Duck Liver Bordelaise, Swiss Chard

Coffee and Dessert

Hazelnut Profiterole with Cinnamon-Chocolate Mousse, Caramel Ice Cream

Call Undercurrent today at 336.370.1266 for reservations.


About the Hope Family, Founders of Treana Winery

“The Hope family planted wine-grapes in Paso Robles in 1978. They were among a handful of pioneering families who helped to shape and gain recognition for this distinctive winegrowing region.

The Hopes established Treana Winery in 1996. Today, third-generation farmer Austin Hope is at the helm as director of winemaking and viticulture for the flagship brand. He remains uncompromising in his pursuit of wines of exceptional quality that specifically reflect their growing regions.”

You may remember the WINE ENTHUSIAST MAGAZINE feature from July 2010 that touted “Hope Family Wines launches a DJ iPhone app that matches wine, music”

Download the full article here! (PDF)


Taste Carolina Brings Flavorful Tours to the Triad

Who doesn’t love a great meal. Right?! Now, thanks to the folks at Taste Carolina, you can go behind the scenes with the Owners and Chefs of  some of North Carolina and the Triad’s tastiest places.

Choose from a variety of walking tours in DurhamChapel Hill/Carrboro, Downtown Raleigh, Hillsborough, Greensboro and Winston-Salem as well as Custom/Private Tours, The Whole Hog Barbecue Bus Tour and Cocktail Hour Tapas Crawls.

Meet the folks behind Taste Carolina and stay up to date on what they have planned!

It’s a safe bet if there is a foodie in your life, a gift certificate from Taste Carolina would hit the spot!

Learn more about Taste Carolina in this great article from The Triad Biz Blog and  while you’re at it – follow them on twitter and show them how much you like them on facebook. Tell them @linkingtriad sent you!

Have you been on a Taste Carolina walking tour? Share your favorite Triad experience!

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