Roanoke Virginia

A Taste Of Naples ~ Margherita Pizza And Negroni di Fortunato

 “People who love to eat are always the best people”… Julia Child knew that food brings people together in the best way possible.  Now we have a new fun and delicious way to bring people together in Roanoke, Virginia.   Tour Roanoke recently announced that they will add A Taste Of Naples at Fortunato in Roanoke, Virginia to their food experience repertoire .   Tempt your tastebuds with an afternoon filled with Neopolitan Pizza,  Negroni Cocktails, fun and intriguing conversation and wine.  Here’s  10 of the best  reasons to share this food experience with friends, family and colleagues:

fortunato sparkling fizz

  1. POP THE CORK! A glass of Frizzante (gently sparkling Italian wine) sets the stage for your Taste of Naples experience.

2. TEAM BONDING IN THE KITCHEN! Fortunato’s Chefs will show you all how to stretch and toss pizza dough, then top it with fresh aromatic ingredients to create magically delicious pizzas. You will enjoy noshing on the pizzas right after they come out of the 1000 degree wood-fired oven!

fortunato oven

fortunato pizza pizza

3.  GOURMAND GUIDES! Curious about Neapolitan pizza, Italian liqueurs and craft cocktails?  Your tour guides, chefs and bartender are bursting at the seams to share their knowledge of the history and lore of Italian food and how it fits into the Roanoke food scene. Thank you to Fortunato’s Chef Jeff Farmer for giving us a fabulous Naples Experience!

fortunato book

Fortunato BartendarFortunato cocktail fire

4. Fortunato’s Bar Manager and Bartender extraordinaire Jackie Gentry will teach you to mix a brilliante Negroni cocktail.

Jackie showed us how to flame an orange twist. Flaming releases the citrus oils from the fruit.   After the flame burns out, rub the peel around the rim of the glass and put a larger strip of peel into the cocktail to serve.

fortunato gin

fortunato cocktail shaker

Fortunato cocktail

Fortunato Amaro

5.  YOU MUST TASTE AMARO! In Italian Amaro is the word for “bitter” and it will get your taste buds attention! An syrupy Italian liqueur made from herbs (rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, saffron, myrrh and orange peel to name a few). Amaro is often drunk as an after-dinner digestif.  It has an alcohol content between 16 and 40 percent!

6.  LOVIN’ LOCAL! Attending the Taste of Naples Food Experience supports two local businesses: Fortunato and Roanoke Food Tours.

fortunato wine

7. STELLINA! The coziest cocktail bar nestled up next to Fortunato. Open Wednesday – Saturday 5 p.m. until last call. After all that fun stroll over to Stellina and enjoy another Negroni di Fortunato or choose from the extensive list of craft cocktails.  As noted in a recent New York Post article… These 10 tiny bars will give you the world’s biggest buzzes: “The hallmark of a good bar is its ability to make us feel a little less lonely by the time we leave. The hallmark of a good bartender is to bring that feeling to a simmer before sips meets lips. This little Virginian star achieves both.”  (article by Perri Ormont Blumberg)

Fortunato sign

8. THE PEZZO FORTE!  You can come back on Wednesday evening for  half price pizza.

9.  It’s easy to book your reservation…here’s the link: https://www.roanokefoodtours.com

Phone:  540-309-1781 or 1-800-656-0713. A Taste of Naples will be available in early 2018.

10.  Remember…

sign-at-fortunatos1

Santé !

fortunato painting

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Holiday Appetizer Recipes + Fried Deviled Eggs!

Last week my bubbly friend and I attended a spectacular cooking class  at the Shenandoah Club in Roanoke, Virginia.   Chef Roger Light shared his favorite holiday appetizer recipes with us.

SC cornbread

Crawfish Cornbread

This cornbread is a fabulous appetizer and would also be a delicious stuffing to serve beside your Thanksgiving turkey.

1 onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 red pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

3  scallions, chopped

1 pound Andouille sausage, diced

2 pounds crawfish tailmeat

To taste Cajun seasoning

To taste cayenne pepper

1/2 batch (9″ x 13″) of your favorite cornbread recipe

Saute onions,  bell pepper,  celery  and scallions in a little butter, cooking until onions are transparent. Add Andouille sausage, mix together.  Add crawfish tailmeat and cornbread batter, stir to combine all ingredients.

Pour into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Bake 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 55 minutes (check center of cornbread for doneness).

SC fried deviled eggsSC ME and eggs

My bubbly friend and I love to cook and her birthday was last week, so we decided a cooking class was the perfect way to celebrate her birthday!

Fried Deviled Eggs!

SC eggs

sc chef Carlos

Super Delicious!!! Chef Carlos demonstrated how to make fried deviled eggs, starting with hard boiled eggs. Cut the eggs in two and place the yolks in a mixing bowl.  Place the white halves on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Blot the egg white halves gently with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.

Grind panko bread crumbs in a food processor or blender to make the crumbs more like the consistency of flour.  Place flour in one bowl, egg whites mixed with a little water in another bowl and panko bread crumbs in a third bowl. Dip the egg white halves into flour, then egg white wash, then panko bread crumbs.  Place them on the paper towel lined baking sheet (replace paper towels if the towels are moist). Press the crumb mixture into the egg so that it adheres well.

Heat canola oil in a large pot on the stove.  Fry the egg white halves in hot oil until they are light golden brown. Remove the eggs from the oil with a slotted spoon or tongs and place on the paper towel lined baking sheet.  Allow to cool.

Using the hard-boiled egg yolks, prepare a deviled egg filling the same way you prepare your favorite deviled egg filling recipe. Add mayonnaise, pickle relish, mustard, or balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle some crisp crumbled bacon in each fried egg half and then fill with the deviled egg filling. Garnish with smoked paprika or chopped chives.

sc mary ellen and eggs

Chef Carlos added sugar to his deviled egg filling which  was so yummy.  That got our group to talking about southern cooking traditions. Sprinkling sugar, salt and pepper over fresh garden tomato slices for instance. I shared the name of one of my favorite southern cookbooks with our group ~ “Being Dead Is No Excuse ~ The Official Southern Ladies Guide To Hosting The Perfect Funeral. ”  by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays. Here’s their recipe for “Sweet Stuffed Eggs”:

tailgate eggs

Sweet Stuffed Eggs

You’ll need a big egg plate for this recipe ~ it makes twenty-four servings.  By the way, it’s tasty but not fancy ~ notice we use plain old French’s mustard instead of some rarefied moutarde.  These are what we call peckerwood eggs. 

Ingredients:

1 dozen hard-boiled eggs

sweet pickles or sweet pickle relish (start with 2 teaspoons and continue to taste)

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

2 teaspoons French’s (!) yellow mustard

1 teaspoon onion, finely minced

2 tablespoons Durkee Famous Sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Paprika for garnish

Makes 2 dozen servings.

 

SC lots of bacon

Billionaire’s Bacon

Double or triple this recipe ~ it will be gone in a flash! The perfect combination of salty, sweet and crunchy! (Use medium to thick cut bacon for this recipe.)

http://www.thevspotblog.com/2013/07/brown-sugar-dijon-candied-bacon.html

SC Miss L

“Miss Luan” shows off her fabulous Shrimp Lettuce Wraps served with Thai Peanut Sauce.

SC peanut sauceSC spring rollssc spring roll wrapper

Ingredients for the Shrimp Lettuce Wraps/Spring Rolls:

3/4 pound shrimp, cooked

2 heads butter lettuce

1 each carrot, peeled, grated

1/4 cup basil leaves

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

1/4 cup mint leaves

1/4 cup peanuts chopped

1 package cellophane noodle

Spring roll wrappers

Ingredients for the Thai Peanut Sauce:

1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup coconut milk

3 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons lime juice

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

1 tablespoon minced ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Porchetta

SC chef rolling porkSC pork

Ingredients for Porchetta seasoning:

2 tablespoons fennel seeds ~ Chef Light showed us how to toast the fennel seeds in a saute pan on the stove, then crush the seeds to release the flavor and aroma of the toasted seeds.

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground

2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 each orange zest

The seasoning was rubbed into the pork tenderloin, then the tenderloin was wrapped in bacon and baked. Then slice and serve, delicioso!

SC smoked salmon and chefSC smoked salmon

Smoked Salmon With Cream Cheese, Capers and Red Onions

8 ounces cream cheese, softened mixed with:

2 ounces capers, roughly chopped

1/4 cup red onion, minced

1 lemon, juiced, zested

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon dill, chopped

Kosher salt, fine crack of black pepper

Spread the cream cheese mixture over lightly toasted baguette.

Top the cream cheese mixture with 8 ounces smoked salmon.

Thank you and Cheers to Chef Light and the Shenandoah Club Culinary Team!

SC 2 kittens

SC kitty cat

SC kitty

SC kitty in sink

Our new kittens are so happy in their forever home!  As you can tell from the photo above, “Ziggy” never stops moving until he falls asleep. I took them to the vet to get their “well baby check” and Ziggy jumped in the sink, then jumped in the trashcan. We had to give him a bowl of baby food to slow him down enough to give him his vaccination.

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Get Your Taste Buds Ready For Tailgating + Craft Beer Tasting

Salty, Smokey, Crunchy, Spicy, and Bacon!  Those are the flavors that add up to a tasty tailgate:

Make your own snack mix. Serve in small “Chinese Food Take-Out Containers” from your local party supply store.  Mix Pistachios and Dried Cranberries or Mixed Nuts, Yogurt Covered Pretzels, Wasabi Peas and  M&M’s.

Create a candy mix featuring your favorite teams colors ~ blue and orange M&M’s for University of Virginia Wahoos (Cavaliers) or boston baked beans candy (maroon) and  orange jelly beans for Virginia Tech Hokies. (These candies are available in bulk on-line.)

Homemade Cracker Jack in clear plastic bags tied with ribbon in your favorite team colors.

Don’t forget the Nachos, Wings, Ribs, Sliders, Grilled Bratwurst with Spicy Mustard, 

“Throwback Snacks” ~ some traditional tailgate favorites:

Charles Potato Chips With Lipton Onion Soup Sour Cream Dip

Olive Poppers (delicious served hot or cold) – olives wrapped in flaky cheddar cheese pastry.  Here’s a link to the recipe: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/sesame-cheddar-olive-poppers-109957

Deviled Eggs…Traditional, Spicy Jalapeno or Bacon Balsamic ~ here’s the link to my favorite recipe for Bacon Balsamic Deviled Eggs: https://bubblybee.net/2016/03/24/bacon-and-balsamic-deviled-eggs

Beer Candied Bacon…here’s a link to the recipe:  http://tideandthyme.com/beer-candied-bacon/

Small bottles of Coca Cola on ice (along with other libations of course!)

green chili

Chef Roger Light prepares this fabulous tailgating treat at the Shenandoah Club in Roanoke, Virginia… Chili and  Cornbread Mason Jars ~ I made these treats with Chicken Chili Verde…cornbread layered with chicken chili verde, sour cream, finely shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onion.  Pre-made cornbread from the grocery can be rather sweet so I prefer to make my own cornbread for this tailgating treat. Serve each guest a chilled mason jar of layered chili.

My favorite Green Chili mix ~ Cookwell and Company Green Chile Stew ~ just add cannellini beans and ground chicken.

Enough with the food…let’s talk BEER!

Football and beer always compliment each other, so this being football season we decided to pop by a couple of new Craft Beer Tasting Rooms in Roanoke, Virginia.

starr hill

The first tasting room I visited was Starr Hill Pilot Brewery at the Bridges adjacent to Dr. Pepper Park. The Starr Hill Brewery Tap Room is in Crozet, Virginia.  This pilot brewery in Roanoke will allow the  brewery to experiment with unique, small-batch beers for research, development, and limited releases. The stage located in this facility will highlight local bands and musical talent.

http://theroanokestar.com/2017/10/04/starr-hill-brings-first-satellite-brewery-to-roanoke

starr hill outside signstarr hill sign

starr hill bar

starrhill taps

starrhill sign

Kale or Ale?!!!

starr hill flight

starr hill beers

We enjoyed a craft beer flight ~ 5 (5 oz. pours) for $10. Visit http://starrhill.com for food pairings and delicious recipes to pair with your favorite Starr Hill craft beer.  I found all of the Starr Hill brews to be delicious, especially the citrusy IPA’s.

Nothern Lights ~ India Pale Ale ~ Caramel color, creamy, hoppy, balanced bitterness with refreshing citrus. Serve with Chicken Tikka Masala, Gorgonzola and Cheddar cheeses.

Basketcase Lager ~ Golden color, American Helles Lager, full-bodied lager with bready malt flavor. Serve with crabcakes and Butterkäse cheese.

Grateful Pale Ale ~ Light gold, a bit flowery, full citrusy body. Serve with Thai Green Curry and Camembert cheese.

Reviver Red India Pale Ale ~Ruby red color, refreshing citrus, medium hoppiness. Serve with Thai Drunken Noodles and Cambozola cheese.

Crozet Gold ~ Golden color, golden ale. Light and refreshing, the perfect balance of honey malt and Cascade hops. Serve with Grilled Calamari Salad and Monterey Jack cheese.

starrhill painting.jpg

Next stop Deschutes Tasting Room in downtown Roanoke, Virginia. Craft beer flight 6 (4 ounce pours) $12.

Fresh Squeezed IPA ~  this mouthwatering delicious IPA gets its flavor from a heavy helping of citra and mosaic hops.  (The IPA’s were my favorites, love the citrus hoppiness!)

dark deschutes in the windowdeshutes

Cultivateur Provision Saison ~ Rustic notes of pear and apricot blend into this bright oak-aged Saison. (The more I sipped, the better I liked it.  The pear and apricot added pleasant bright fruit flavor to this brew.)

deschutes in the window

Pacific Wonderland ~ Citrusy Tettnang Mandarina hops combine with the crisp, bright character of a traditional lager to deliver a beer that is truly refreshing and undoubtedly worth sharing. 

American Wheat ~ Tempting citrus aroma and light wheat character. 

Mirror Pond Pale Ale ~ Cascade hops and more Cascade hops give this tawny colored ale delicious hop-forward aroma and flavor. Pale malt allows the hops to linger, not overpower. 

deschutes taps

Our two biggest football fans…Ginger Rogers and Ziggy Elman…but sometimes the TV gets a little too loud for Ziggy!

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Bartender My Drink Is On Fire! Fun Facts About Vodka

Shane Lumpp, Bar Manager, River and Rail Restaurant, Roanoke, VA, presented “Cocktails 101” on Sunday evening.

r and r shane lightr and r char citrus

One of my favorite parts of the class was when Shane set the citrus peel garnish for the Cosmopolitan on fire. He explained that he always has a purpose for the garnish, it is not just for looks.  Lighting the citrus peel caramelized the citrus oil and gave the drink a tiny bit of a smokey aroma.

Celebrity Mixologist Cheryl Cook invented the Cosmopolitan Cocktail in 1985 at the Strand Restaurant in South Beach.

cosmo r and r

The River and Rail Cosmopolitan

For each cocktail:

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

3/4 ounce Cointreau

3/4 ounce cranberry juice

1 1/2 ounce vodka

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish:  Caramelized citrus strip

vodka

Deep Eddy is River and Rail Restaurant’s house vodka. Corn based vodka from Austin Texas. Any infused vodkas that River and Rail serves will be infused in-house at the River and Rail bar…such as their basil infused Luksusowa vodka in their Something About Mary Lennox cocktail.

http://riverandrailrestaurant.com/menus

Some fun facts about vodka from Shane’s class:

Shane recommends starting with the least expensive ingredient in a cocktail first. If you mess up at the beginning you can throw it out and start again without throwing out expensive ingredients.

Vodka, the word, appears to be a Russian diminutive of a Polish phrase, woda zycia, which means “water of life”.

Vodka really gained its momentum with the marketing strategy from John Martin of Smirnoff with the slogan “Smirnoff…it’ll leave you breathless”. 

By the 1950’s vodka was roaring into popularity with the addition of Bloody Mary’s, Screwdrivers and of course the Three Martini Lunch.

By 1967 vodka surpassed Gin as the highest seller of white spirits in the US and by 1976 vodka was the number one purchased spirit overall. Vodka still remains the most popularly consumed and purchased spirit in the US.

Match these vodka slogans to the vodka they represent: (answers at the bottom of this post)

Slogans:

  1. The world’s best tasting vodka.
  2. The greatest name in Vodka.
  3. As you like it.
  4. Pure Perfection.
  5. Unleash the Raspberry!
  6. The Purest Expression of Vodka
  7. Outrageously Smooth

Vodkas:

A.  Blavod black vodka  B.Boru  C. Romanov  D.   Smirnoff  E.  Absolut Raspberri  F. Grey Goose  G. Stolichnaya

ham biscuit river and railsnack plate r and r

We always know the bar snacks will be delicious at River and Rail (country ham biscuit with whole grain mustard, Gryere cheese, house-made Asiago crackers, homemade pickled green beans and carrots.  I am especially partial to the country ham biscuits with whole grain mustard.

blood orange liquer

I have a new favorite liqueur:  Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur… made with Sicilian Sanguinello blood oranges. Add a splash or two to sparkling wine or try these lovely cocktials:

chilledmagazine.com/solerno-blood-orange-liqueur-cocktails

Eclipse

On Monday, August 21, 2017 we celebrated the Eclipse of the Sun in style!

Answers to quiz:  1. F. – 2. D.-  3. C. – 4. D. – 5. E. 6. B. – 7. A.

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The Chocolate Experience + Champagne!

peaches

This Summer Is Just Peachy!

Historic City Market, Roanoke, Virginia

http://www.downtownroanoke.org/explore/farmers-market

Altus Chocolate Envelope

chocolate nibs

Another reason to love Downtown Roanoke:

Altus Chocolate

http://www.altuschocolate.com

Campbell Avenue, Downtown Roanoke

The Altus Story is posted in their chocolate shop:

After watching the movie “Chocolat”, Carl and Mary (now the owners of Altus Chocolate) were enamoured by the idea that chocolate could be made in small batches.  The molcajete (Mexican version of the mortar and pestle) pictured above is similar to the one they used to grind their first batch of chocolate.  It took them roughly 24 hours to grind that first batch and it was, as they describe it, “incredible”.

Their chocolate lounges are in Lynchburg and Roanoke, Virginia.  What they love about making chocolate:

  1. Dancing in the kitchen.
  2.  Sharing the best chocolate with the best of friends.
  3. Watching faces light up when others experience a single origin tasting for the first time.

They are sharing a chocolate experience!

The best way to find out about happenings (such as the chocolate tasting on July 15) at this lovely chocolate shop is by Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/altuschocolateroanoke

Altus features handmade chocolates, gelato, delicious pastries, unique chocolate bars, drinking chocolate, espresso and specialty coffee drinks (wine coming soon!).

chocolate firechocolate peach

Altus handmade chocolate flavors include Mango Mint Coriander, Summer Sangria, Strawberry Balsamic, Madagascar Vanilla, Chai Spice, Virginia Peanut…

gelato

Altus also serves one of my favorites…Affogato…a shot of fresh espresso over your choice of gelato.  DELIZIOSO!

champagne at wines

And I always enjoy some sips of bubbly with my chocolate…such as this delightful Fluteau Cuvée Symbiose Brut 2006.  50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir grapes from Gye-Sur-Seine in the southernmost part of Champagne. Balanced and vibrant with lots of bubbles in the flute.   Toasty notes with a hint of lemon and spice.  $50 range.

This Summer I could…

rose

Our bubbly friends are in the islands during this 4th of July holiday and here’s what they are enjoying…

rose mary ellen

While here at home I am enjoying…

rose french

Provence Rosé 2016 Chateau Paradis ‘La Grande Terre’

Crisp and refreshing. Juicy peach notes with just a touch of minerality.  I love the label on this one!  40% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. $13 range.

Please comment to let me know the name of your favorite Rosé!

flower

Happy 4th of July!

You are invited to visit my facebook page:  Bubblybee

Please follow me on Instagram:  Bubblybeeboop

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River And Rail’s Spanish Wine Dinner Featuring Pares Balta Winery And CAVA!

River and rail sign

Spanish Dinner…Deliciousa!

http://riverandrailrestaurant.com

shirt river and rail

A very nice gentleman let me take a photo of his Veuve Clicquot Champagne Shirt!

champagne river and rail

We began our lovely Spanish dinner experience with a glass of Parés Baltà Cava Blanca Cusiné.

https://paresbalta.com/

Parés Baltà is a family owned traditional winery that goes back to 1790.  We produce high quality wines and cavas with grapes from our 5 estates, situated around the winery and in the mountains of Penedès. The altitude varies from 170 to 750m and offers a diverse mixture of soils and microclimates. That gives a special personality to our wines by bringing the essence of the Mediterranean ecosystem to our grapes.  At Parés Baltà, the winemaking is in the hands of Mª Elena Jiménez and Marta Casas, oenologists and wives of Joan and Josep. Two skilled young women whose efforts are reflected in the quality of the wines, showing fine character and concentration yet with elegance and balance.

Cava Blanca Cusiné ~ Xarel·lo, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir grapes.  Light golden color with fine consistent bubbles.  Delicate notes of almonds, hazelnuts, and honey.  Long and complex finish.

Served with artfully created passed hors d’ oeuvresountry Ham & VA Ramp C

Country Ham and VA Ramp Croquettes appetizer river and rail
try Ham & VA Ramp Croquettes
BBQ Octopus Skewers & Espelette Glazeoctopus
 Manchango Cheese Crispscrackers

 

Sneads Ferry Clam Linguine, Fingerling Potatoes, Lamb Prosciutto, English Peas, Paddlefish Roe & Breadcrumb

Paired with 2016 Calcari White Blend

river and rail linguine

So happy to see Black Garlic incorporated into this dish…

Duck Morcilla Sausage/Red Beets, Yellow Corn Grits, Cherry Marmalade

Paired with Balta Rose de Pacs 2016

Beef River and Rail

Aged Rib Eye/Ferro Verde, Charred Onion, Morel Mushrooms, Black Garlic

Paired with Gratavinum Priorat 2piR 2011

River and Rail Beefriver and rail wine

And for dessert…NC Goat Cheese Cake/Virginia Raspberries, Port Wine, Black Sesame Seed

dessert

Spanish wine chocolate

Txakoli Mokoroa Cosecha 2015

 

At home later, we continued the Spanish theme through the weekend…  Hondarrabi Zuri  is by far the dominant white grape variety of Spain’s Basque Country, making the region’s slightly spritzy Txacoli wines. These are crisp, light citrus-tinged wines, meant to be enjoyed while young and fresh, with a tiny bit of carbonation.  I’ve heard that in order to really appreciate this wine, it needs to be poured from a certain height into a flat bottom glass It needs air to express itself.  A delicious accompaniment to seafood, fish and poultry.  $15 range.

 

cava

LLOPART LEOPARDI GRVA BRUT NATURE

A very special Cava in a decorative box, perfect for a gift for a friend…or yourself! Delicate bubbles dancing in the glass. Dry with elegant spicy notes and a creamy mousse.  $25 range.

cava

Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad

My favorite Cava!  With the pewter base and family crest on the bottle…so pretty in a gift basket.  And now I’ve made the connection…the producer, Segura Viudas, is part of the Freixenet family of wines that includes Gloria Ferrer in Sonoma which is one of my favorite California sparkling wines.  The non-vintage Reserva Heredad is the label’s top offering, made only from 67% Macabeo and 33% Parellada grapes.  Aromas of smoke and honey and flavors of apples, dried fruit, and nuts. Creamy and crisp, it finishes clean and bright. Perfect pairing with almonds and walnuts to begin the meal. $30 range.  http://www.seguraviudas.es/en/producte_en/reserva-heredad

tomato

My first tomato this year….thank you Gwen and Mike!

Friday

living in a bubble

signd

s Ferry Clam Linquini, virginiabloggersover-the-moon-link-party-600x600fiesta-friday-2016

 

Arugula Strawberry Spring Rolls With Honey Lime Dipping Sauce ~ Vegetarian Delight!

kobari

Its Spring signOn Saturday I popped by our local Grandin Village Farmer’s Market and picked up some Kohlrabi.  One of the farmers offered the purple variety of this vegetable that looks like a turnip with a nice crunch and a little bit of a peppery flavor.  Kohlrabi is German for “cabbage turnip” and it’s a member of the cabbage family.  To make a yummy Kohlrabi Slaw, peel Kohlrabi then cut it in matchstick pieces, toss with julienne strips of peeled apple and carrot and a bit of coleslaw dressing, then sprinkle with crispy crumbled bacon or sunflower seeds (or both!)  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

What do you call a sad strawberry? ….A blueberry!

Why was the little strawberry sad? … His mom was in a jam!

Christina with salad

Culinary Teacher Extraordinaire Christina Nifong

Displays Her Greens and Berries Salad

Spring rolls on plate

Christina Nifong is a food writer well known in our region for the stories she’s written about the Virginia food scene and the recipes she creates and shares during the culinary classes she teaches. The class I attended on Saturday at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op was Local For Lunch: Berry Bonanza. I always walk away from Christina’s class with a new favorite. This time my new FAV is Arugula Strawberry Spring Rolls.  So easy to make and as Christina explains , “These are basically a fresh and delicious handheld salad.”   Here’s her recipe:

Makes 10 – 12 spring rolls

Ingredients

Brown Rice Wrappers (available on-line or at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op)

4 cups lettuce, spinach or other green, torn or chopped into bites-sized pieces

4 cups arugula, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces

4 ounces plain chevre (Curtin Dairy is a good choice), softened

2 pints ripe strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced

Mint leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat large bowl of water. Dip one brown rice wrapper into hot water. Hold it there for 30 seconds.
  2. Set damp wrapper onto cold, dry, flat surface. (Make sure the surface is non-porous, granite is a good choice; do not use wood because it is porous.) Add row of lettuce in the center of the wrapper.
  3. Top with arugula, then a slight smear  of goat cheese. Then stack a row of strawberries.
  4. Fold top of wrapper down. Then fold bottom of wrapper up (about an inch). Then roll from the left, tucking and rolling until spring roll is closed.

spring rolls roll upspring rolls

  1. Set onto serving dish. Repeat until all ingredients are gone.  Make sure not to let spring rolls touch on serving plate as they will tear.
  2. Refrigerate until time to eat. Garnish with mint. Serve with honey-lime dipping sauce.

Honey Lime Dipping Sauce ~ Juice of one lime, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 garlic clove minced, salt and black pepper to taste, dash of red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint. Place all ingredients into a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Here’s another spring roll recipe with a yummy peanut dipping sauce on Christina’s website…christinanifong.com

http://christinanifong.com/2017/05/vegetarian-spring-rolls/

The  brown rice wrappers are more sturdy (gives the spring roll a nice bite) than the white rice wrappers and they have a lovely nutty flavor.

Rosalee

My bubbly friend made some awesome spring rolls!

VA sign

spring rolls granitaLooking for the perfect palate cleanser between courses or a light dessert to serve al fresco? Raspberry Lime Granita!

Christinas raspberries

Christina made the granita with fresh raspberries from her garden!

Makes 12-15 servings

Ingredients

3/4 cup organic granulated sugar

1 3/4 cup water

Juice and zest of 2 limes

2 Tablespoons chopped, fresh mint leaves

2 pints (4 cups) fresh, ripe raspberries, pureed (force raspberry puree through a fine sieve to remove seeds, discard seeds).

Instructions

  1. Bring sugar, water, lime zest and juice and mint to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat. Let the mixture boil for 1 minute.
  3. Let the syrup cool. Strain out mint leaves (optional). Mix together syrup and berry puree.
  4. Pour into 9 x 13 freezer-safe baking dish. Freeze overnight or up to 24 hours.
  5. To serve, remove from freezer and let thaw for 10-20 minutes. Scrape with cold ice cream scoop into serving dishes.

Thank you Christina! Looking forward to your next class!

Christinas blueberry salad

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lettuce

Iceberg Lettuce Fresh From The Garden

You are invited to visit my Facebook Page: Bubblybee

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