Patrick Henry High School Band To Preform At Carnegie Hall

Dear Friends,

This blog post is different from my usual champagne and recipe posts. However, it is about something to celebrate and as I always say, “Don’t wait to celebrate!”.  On Saturday we attended a Food Festival at Dr. Pepper Park in Roanoke, Virginia, sponsored by the Patrick Henry High School Band Boosters, raising funds to help the band members achieve the dream of performing at Carnegie Hall, New York City, NY.  (Now that is something to celebrate!) As a former high school band member I was impressed by the parents and students that worked so hard to put this event together to support what will surely be a life-changing event for some of the band members. And since I recently saw the movie Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep, Carnegie Hall was fresh on my mind! (Loved the movie by the way!)

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Carnegie Hall Trip 2017

http://carnegiehallwv.com/

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The Food Festival featured local food vendors and trucks.  We enjoyed delicious pork barbecue (the chef pulled the pork at 4 a.m. that morning!) from Bent Mountain Bistro, Bent Mountain, Virginia.   This farm-to-table bistro serves delicious wood-fire pizza too!

http://bentmountainbistro.com/

My husband enjoyed a refreshing Deschutes Beer while I enjoyed Viva La Cupcake!  Lots of yummy flavors…they even have a Dr. Pepper cupcake (second from the left in the photo below).

dr-pepper-cupcakes

If you find an opportunity to support the Patrick Henry High School Band in their endeavor to perform at Carnegie Hall, please do…thank you!

Bravo Patrick Henry High School Band!

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Cheers! Toasts And Cheese

When toasting with bubbly it only makes sense to “say cheers!” in the language of the bubbly you are serving:

rose-champagne

French (Champagne):

Santé – pronounce “Sahn-tay”
A la votre – pronouce “Ah la vo-tre”

Toast

Italian (Prosecco):

Salute  – pronounce “Saw-lutay”
Cin cin – pronunce “Chin-Chin”

Cava Bella Conchi

Spanish (Cava):
Salud – pronounce “Sah-lud”

And to go with “toasts”…CHEESE!

burratta-cheese

I enjoyed this article about Burrata cheese in Bon Appétit Magazine so much that I could not wait to taste this creamy delight.  First I sourced it on Amazon.com because I wanted to find a consistent source (knowing I will want to serve it often) and then I found it at our local Tanglewood Kroger grocery (Roanoke, Virginia).

Mozzarella and Burrata Recipes, from Virtuous to Decadent

burratta-cheese-2I  prepared the Caprese Salad pictured above with Burrata cheese, fresh basil from my garden, slices of fresh tomato from the farmer’s market, balsamic vinegar reduction and roasted fresh corn on the cob (kernels removed from cob) and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.  You can make your own balsamic vinegar reduction, but it does tend to “stink up the house” with balsamic vinegar fumes or you can purchase balsamic vinegar reduction in a bottle or purchase very good quality balsamic vinegar that will be almost as thick as the balsamic vinegar reduction.

pimento-cheese

A fun way to serve pimento cheese ~ on a charred board topped with fun berries and pickled vegetables. Add bacon or chopped pecans for an extra flavorful flourish!  Serve with your favorite flatbread.

truffle-cheese

Pecorino With Truffles!

A fresh sheep’s milk cheese with whole pieces of black truffles. Buttery and intense with the aroma of damp pastures, lanolin and earthen fungi.  Smooth, buttery and intensely satisfying, permeated with the essence of truffles.  Serve with your favorite buttery cracker.  Fabulous accompaniment to brut champagne.

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I love Ricotta Salata!  The words ‘Ricotta’ means re-cooked and ‘Salata’ means salted. Ricotta Salata is an Italian cheese made from the whey part of sheep milk, which is pressed, salted and aged for at least 90 days. It is milky white in colour with firm texture and salty taste. The cheese is often used in salads and ideal for slicing, crumbling and grating. (Source: cheese.com)

Shishito peppers are East Asian peppers that are finger-long, green (some turn red as they ripen) with a little dimple on the end.  Generally they are mild peppers but about every 10th pepper tastes hot and spicy.  Find them in your local farmers market in late summer.

 Sautéed Shishitos make a tasty, easy appetizer or side dish. Cut the stem end off of each pepper and discard stems.  Heat a little olive oil in a wide sauté pan until hot.  Add the peppers and cook them over medium heat, tossing and turning them frequently until they turn brown and blister a bit (about 10-15 minutes).  When they’re done, toss them with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and add a squeeze of fresh lemon. Place on a serving plate and sprinkle with grated ricotta salata cheese. To eat and enjoy – just pick up the whole pepper and take a bite or two.

I found that these peppers need to be salted to bring out their flavor, without it they taste bland but with the salt their flavor “pops”!

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Please visit my Facebook page: Bubblybee

Weekend Surprises With Dom Pérignon Vintage1992 and Franciacorta!

start-celebrating-signdom-perignon-champagne-2dom-perignon-champagne

Our very bubbly, very special friends shared a bottle of vintage 1992 Moët & Chandon Dom Pérignon champagne with us.  A super special treat and a fabulous surprise!  45% pinot noir, 15% pinot meunier, 40% chardonnay grapes this champagne is everything one would expect from a fine wine and more! Richard Juhlin rates this champagne with 91 points.  The price point is $215.

This is one time I wish I had a bottomless glass! This bubbly is superb. Buttery, toasty, smooth, perfect little bubbles. Thank you sweet bubbly friends!

https://www.domperignon.com/ww-en/

franciacorta

The next evening we tasted Franciacorta Barone Pizzini Nature for the very first time.  Italy’s best-kept secret from the Lombardy region of northern Italy.  Franciacorta Barone Pizzini Nature is made with the methodo classico,  just like champagne and cava has a second fermentation in the bottle which results in fine consistent bubbles in the glass. 70% chardonnay and 30% pinot nero grapes. 2012 singular vintage. $43 range.

Lots of lemon notes. A bit of grassy notes on the finish not unpleasant. We paired this sparkling with an avocado salad and it was delicious!
http://www.baronepizzini.it/en/

oatcakes

My bubbly sister-in-law introduced me to these FABULOUS oatcakes.  Oh my goodness!  They are delicious with soft spreadable cheese such as Saint Angel triple-creme cheese or spreadable Brie.  Make sure the cheese is very spreadable because the oatcakes are delicate. Top the cheese with a big of fig chutney or your favorite preserves.  Enjoy with a glass of bubbly or a cup of hot tea.

happy-refrigerator

Happy Refrigerator at the beach! Bye-bye summer, we will miss you!

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Love, Love, Love This Sparkling Limoncello Cocktail! Snap!

Fabulously bubbly time celebrating Autumn wine and citrus with Natalie and Brittany on Daytime Blue Ridge this week. Enjoy this recipe for Sparkling Ginger Limoncello Cocktails and enjoy the show: http://wsls.com/category/daytime/

limencello champagne 2snap

Sparkling Ginger Limoncello Cocktail

A fun spritzy cocktail with lots of citrus flavor…perfect cocktail to welcome Autumn with a hint of ginger and a light aroma of woodsy rosemary.

For each cocktail:

Place champagne flute in freezer for about 15 minutes to get the flute icy cold. The key to this refreshing cocktail is to make sure it is served very cold.

Place a sugar cube in a champagne flute. Pour 1 tablespoon Snap liqueur over the sugar cube and stir gently.  Snap is a ginger liqueur: http://www.artintheage.com/our-spirits/snap

Pour 1/2 jigger limoncello liqueur over the sugar cube.

Fill champagne flute with sparkling wine. Stir very gently just to combine ingredients. Garnish with lemon wheel and fresh rosemary sprig.

proscuitto

Fun appetizers to pair with your Sparkling Limoncello Cocktail:

Pan-fried Prosciutto

Pre-heat a skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Cut thinly sliced prosciutto into 1/2-inch wide strips.

Brown the prosciutto in the skillet for three to four minutes, until it becomes crispy.

Serve fried prosciutto pieces as an appetizer or crumble fried prosciutto to use as a topping for your favorite pasta dish.

crabmeat-cocktail

Crabmeat Cocktail With Fried Udon Noodle Garnish ~ Thank you to my bubbly neighbor and one of the best culinarians I know…for sharing the Udon noodle garnish idea with me!

Udon noodles are thick wheat flour Japanese noodles available in Asian food markets or on-line.

Fry udon noodles in the same oil (with a little extra vegetable oil added to the pan just to cover the udon noodles) as you fried the prosciutto.  These noodles fry very quickly…remove them from the pan just as quickly as they begin to brown.  Bend the noodles a little as they are cooking to make a fanciful garnish. Place noodles on plate lined with paper towels to drain and sprinkle noodles lightly with sea salt immediately after frying.

Place jumbo lump crabmeat (picked over to remove any bits of shell) in appetizer size cocktail glasses. (Place glasses in freezer with cocktail spoons to chill before service.) Top with your favorite seafood sauce – I topped my cocktail with Thomas Fish Camp Crab Cake Sauce (available at Fresh Market or on-line) and a little spritz of fresh lime juice…enjoy!

 champagne-towel

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Parisian Food Tour

A wonderful way to wake up this morning…enjoying these delicious photos of Paris by my friend Tonya…fourthgenerationfarmgirl.com. Bon Appétit!

fourth generation farmgirl

I have to say, a food walking tour is a great way to see a city.  Farmguy and I recently visited Paris, and on our first full day there, we received a fun and informative introduction to this fabulous place.  We met up with our guide, a delightful, English-speaking gal whom we discovered through Viator.com, Paris Food Walking Tour/ Meeting the French (+33 673 656 219).  We started our three hour walking tour by visiting the outdoor markets: fruit, vegetable, fish, meat, and flowers.  The interesting thing we learned was that the people at the markets usually specialize in one thing; for instance, only vegetables, flowers, etc. This way, they are experts regarding their products and can offer recipes or ideas for use.  After passing through the markets and their myriad of colors and smells, we found ourselves in a couple of bakery/pastry shops, where freshly baked bread and artful…

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Draft Beer At A Coffee Shop? Of Course.

Love Sweet Donkey Coffee in Roanoke, Virginia!

The Beer Road

Last weekend, while the beer curious in Roanoke once again took over a large section of downtown for the second time in a less than a month, this time to celebrate another Deschutes event by bellying up to the Oregonian brewery’s admittedly impressive, multi city block, nomadic “Street Pub”, another beer related event was occurring almost simultaneously, albeit one that was a bit more low key.  South Roanoke’s beloved purveyor of coffee, Sweet Donkey Coffee House, had just finished installing their taps – yes, beer taps – just in time for the weekend, and they celebrated this new side of their business by hosting their own Deschutes tap takeover that Friday night.

For those who might be unfamiliar with Sweet Donkey’s non caffeinated offerings, bottled beer has been on the menu for a while now.  So at first, offering beer on draft might seem to be simply a deeper level…

View original post 360 more words

Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup

Enjoy this summery yummy Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup recipe by my friend Christina Nifong…and while you are visiting her blog check out her delicious Cucumber Peach Salsa recipe!

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I’ve been making cucumber soup for as long as we’ve had a garden, which is going on 16 years now. One of the challenges of growing your own food is finding a way to turn lots and lots of veggies into breakfast, lunch and dinner. So anytime I can take an armload of produce and make them into a main course, I’m sold. I’ve tried five? seven? ten? different recipes over the years and learned a few things along the way: I don’t like chilled soups that cook any ingredients: I want the bright, fresh taste of my raw veggies to really shine. I also don’t like versions that call for stock. I find them too soup-like. This meal at its best is spoonfuls of juice and crunch and green. Here, find my favorite combination of summer flavors, one that’s sure to make you close your eyes and say ummm,ummm.

Makes 2-4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2…

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