Virginia

The Bee Sting Cocktail ~ Oh Honey!

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September Is National Honey Month!

A new mead and honey tasting room recently opened in our city. After tasting their delicious honey I want to put it in everything from hot tea to cocktails! OH HONEY! The Bee Sting Cocktail is my new favorite!

Bee Sting Cocktail new one

Bee Sting Cocktail

…honey makes this cocktail sweet and jalapeno gives it the sting!

Honey simple syrup (enough syrup for 3 cocktails)

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup water

Combine honey and water in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat, stirring until the honey dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Bee Sting Cocktail:

Makes one cocktail.

1  jalapeño slice (about 1/2 inch thick slice)

1 ounce gin

3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ounce honey simple syrup

Jalapeno strip  or lemon twist garnish

Gently muddle the  jalapeño slice in cocktail shaker, add remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with  jalapeño strip or lemon twist (or both!).

gin

Sunset Hills Gin, made in Virginia, is my favorite gin of the moment.  Light and delightful, it does not have a strong juniper taste.

Here’s the 411 about the Mead and Honey Tasting Room:

Blacksnake Meadery…from bee to bottle

https://www.blacksnakemead.com

The Hive (1116 A Main Street SW, Roanoke, VA) – Open year-round
(540) 597-8739
Thursday & Friday 5:00-8:00
Saturday  1:00-8:00
Sunday  1:00-6:00

mead bee hive

honey samples

Honey Flight

samples:  top left: Orange Blossom, top right Avocado

middle left:  Raspberry, middle right:  Buckwheat

bottom left:  Thistle, bottom right:  Wildflower

Orange Blossom and Wildflower honey are my traditional favorites to add to hot tea, so it was fun to taste some different honey made from some surprising nectar.

The most pleasant surprise was the avocado honey….YUM! Avocado honey is made by the bees from the nectar of the avocado blossom.  Rich, soft, creamy honey.  Perfect to drizzle over cheese as an hors d’oeuvre. Raspberry honey would also be a good choice for the drizzle.

Buckwheat honey is dark and delicious with molasses undertones. Buckwheat is not wheat, it is a fruit related to rhubarb. I would use this honey  for cooking and baking.

Thistles have prickly stems and leaves with a rounded head of purple flowers.  The thistle is the national symbol of Scotland. The flavor of this honey can vary depending on the variety of thistle blossoms that are the source of the nectar. It can be light and sweet or more earthy with cinnamon or anise undertones. Thistle honey is my new favorite to add to my hot tea.

honey drip

mead samples

My husband and I enjoyed a Mead and Cider tasting at The Hive. Our flight included:

Hoppy Bee Brew ~ tastes like a fizzy light beer, lots of Cascades hoppy flavor. The Hive recommends pairing this brew with burgers, earthy foods such as pasta with porcini as well as pizza.

Lime Bee Brew ~ Light, dry and carbonated made with lime puree.  The Hive recommends pairing this brew with Thai or Mexican dishes or other spicy fare.

Foggy Ridge First Fruit Cider ~ Crisp, fruity cider made from early season heirloom apples. Tart apple aromas and flavors.

Foggy Ridge Serious Cider ~ Dry cider with floral and apple aromas made with high tannin heirloom apples.

(Blacksnake Mead and Foggy Ridge Cider are both made in Dugspur, Virginia. https://foggyridgecider.com)

Meloluna ~ Blacksnake calls this their “honeymoon” mead (Latin, mel = honey; luna = moon). This sweet dessert mead has aromas and flavors of honey with hints of caramel. The Hive recommends pairing the Meloluna with your favorite dessert or a good cigar.

Ziggy Elman

This little 4 month old kitty just joined us in his new forever home. His name is Ziggy Elman (American Jazz Trumpeter). I will include a photo of his brother Artie Shaw in future blogs…he has not decided to come out from under the bed yet, a little shy.

Bee happy

You are invited to visit my Facebook page: Bubblybee

Please follow me on Instagram:  Bubblybeeboop

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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

GREENS AND BERRIES SALAD

carrotsturnips

 

lettuce

Iceberg Lettuce Fresh From The Garden

You are invited to visit my Facebook Page: Bubblybee

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Celebrating Spring In Roanoke, Virginia

11 Week Old Baby Goats

Our friends have a farm and are introducing goats into their farm animal family.  We enjoyed visiting them and watching the baby goats eat everything in sight while they butted  heads.

We love to sip rosé wine at one of our favorite local restaurants River and Rail.  http://riverandrailrestaurant.com

Recently we were delighted to find a Virginia rosé on their wine list:   Blenheim Vineyards Rosé. $17 range.  Aromatic nose of pink grapefruit, green strawberry, and apricot.

Established in 2000 by owner Dave Matthews, Blenheim Vineyards is located 20 minutes southeast of Charlottesville. With three vineyard sites growing seven varieties, the goal at Blenheim Vineyards is to make high quality wines that reflect the climate, soil, and beauty of the surrounding piedmont landscape.  http://blenheimvineyards.com

Love the “boards” at River and Rail Restaurant in Roanoke, Virginia…housemade pimento cheese garnished with R&R’s pickled vegetables served with grilled bâtard; housemade charcuterie served with whole grain mustard.

One of my favorite local farms is Thornfield Farm. They offer fresh fruits and vegetables including adorable baby turnips (pictured on left above) that are crunchy like radishes but just a little sweeter than red radishes:

April-Thanksgiving THURSDAYS 3pm-6pm: Sweet Donkey Coffee, 2108 Broadway Ave SW, Roanoke, Virginia 24014

April 22-Oct 28th SATURDAYS 8am-12pm: Grandin Village Community Market, 2080 Westover Ave SW, Roanoke VA 24015

http://www.thornfieldfarm.com

I chopped the baby turnips and put them underneath fresh spinach along with fresh mushrooms and hard boiled quail eggs to make this lovely spinach salad garnished with a chive blossom fresh out of my garden (and a couple of pieces of Smoked Gouda Cheese that complimented the crispy bacon on the salad), drizzeled with poppy seed dressing.

One of my favorite Virginia wines is this delightful bubbly…(accompanied above by fresh edible flowers from our local farmer’s market)

Thibaut – Janisson Virginia sparkling wine. 100% chardonnay with crisp apple and pear notes.  The wine’s creator has the experience to make a fabulous wine…so glad he chose Virginia as his home (from The Washington Post):

The wine’s creator, Claude Thibaut, is a blunt-speaking, 57-year-old Frenchman of modest build and a wide-eyed expression that suggests surprise or anticipation, as though he just heard a champagne cork pop. A native of the Champagne region and graduate of the University of Reims, he has made sparkling wine in Australia and in California, where he worked for J, Iron Horse and Kendall-Jackson. Thibaut   came to Virginia in 2003 to create the sparkling wine program for Kluge Estate (now Trump winery) near Charlottesville. He started his own label two years later, partnering with his friend Manuel Janisson, proprietor of Champagne Janisson & Fils.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/a-sparkling-wine-that-has-shed-locavore-light-on-some-of-virginias-finest-vineyards/2014/12/11/fa8c7fe8-802c-11e4-9f38-95a187e4c1f7_story.html

Lavender Latte with housemade lavender syrup!

Summer Specialty Coffee, Sweet Donkey Coffee, Roanoke, Virginia

http://www.sweetdonkeycoffee.com

Working on the final touches of our kitchen remodel including unpacking all of the boxes of kitchenwares!  Love cooking on my new Kitchen Aid induction stove.

 

 

Derby Day 2017, Roanoke, Virginia ~ The Best Derby Day Gala Ever!

On Saturday evening we celebrated the 9th Annual Derby Day Gala at Rockledge on Mill Mountain, Roanoke, Virginia with 200 + friends …

143rd Run for the Roses…May 6, 2017

The Best Derby Day Gala Ever!

#derbydaygala

Mint Juleps With Sugar Cane Stirrers

All net proceeds from the Derby Day Gala at Rockledge benefit the Southwestern Virginia Chapter of American Culinary Federation (ACF) and Apple Ridge Farm. The fabulous food at the Gala is prepared and artfully presented by the Chefs and the Chef Students. This culinary magic is created with the leadership of Chef John Schopp and  Chef Ted Polfelt, both renowned chefs from Southwest Virginia. This year a portion of the Derby Gala funds raised will go to support Team USA in the “Culinary Olympics”,  which will represent our country in the Olympics-level event held every four years (the next one is in Germany 2020). Prominent Guest Chefs at the Derby Day Gala associated with the “Culinary Olympics” included:

Chef Jeff Blount – baking and pastry instructor in Myrtle Beach.  He created the chocolate lounge at the Derby Gala. The lounge included a Derby Day lady wearing her fancy Derby hat…the entire sculpture was made of chocolate!

Handmade lime coconut and Dreamsicle chocolates!

Chef Denny Trantham was the former executive chef at Grove Park Inn (Asheville, NC) and now works for US Foods. He is known for his southern cuisine.

Kevin Storm is the Assistant Manager of The American Culinary Federation’s Culinary Team USA and Executive Chef at Bellerive Country Club St. Louis, Missouri.

Chef Chris Hill has a huge social media presence and has just released his first book “Making the Cut”.  https://www.facebook.com/ChefChrisHill/

Chef Jeff Bland also joins the Derby Day culinary team from US Foods.

The Derby Day Gala Menu included:

Assorted Appalachian Inspired Sushi Maki Boards ~ Pimento Cheese, Trout Rillettes, Fried Pork Skin, Shaved Brussels, Pickled Spring Vegetables.

Garden Table (All Vegetarian) including Blackberry Salad With Heirloom Tomatoes and Lemon Verbena.

Assorted Yuca, Potato And Beet Chips

Cathead Biscuit Station With Hams, Jam, And Country Greens (Cathead biscuits are called “cathead” because they are the size of cats heads)

Smoked Prime Rib With Duck Fat Yorkshire Pudding

“Gator And Grits” With Barley Grits, Alligator, And Tasso Ham Gravy

Plancha Fried Crisp Corn Funnel Cake With Drunken Bourbon Blackberries, Pickled Strawberries, Orange Carmel Cream, Peach Salsa, Minted White Chocolate, And Sourwood Honey Marshmallow Cream.

And the grand finale….

Adult Cotton Candy With Nougatine Dust, Flower Petals, And Fennel Pollen

Sugar Sculpture

 Created By Chef John Schopp

The attire that evening was as magnificent as the food…
And The Best Lady’s Hat Winner Is…

 

Best Dressed Gentleman

Mint Julep Socks and Horse Bow Tie!

COCKTAILS!

Dehydrated orange peels bring out the essence of the orange to make the drink flavors POP!

https://www.facebook.com/luckyroanoke/

Lucky Bar Featured Cocktail
The Bourbon Stinger

Bourbon, Honey Infused With Sage And Habanero, Lemon And Orange Bitters.

Celebrity Bartender Hunter Johnson one of the owners of Lucky Restaurant crafted special Derby cocktails onsite…

The Handsome Devil

A beguiling beginning, smooth finish and a quality, complex spirit beneath it all make this quaff an unabashed lady killer.

1/2 cup (2 ounces) bourbon

1 1/2 tablespoons Lillet Blanc

1 1/2 tablespoons simple syrup

4 mint leaves

2 dashes Fee Brothers Peach Bitters

1 (3 x 1 inch) orange peel strip

Mint sprig

Combine first 6 ingredients in a cocktail shaker, fill with ice. Cover with lid, and shake vigorously 30 seconds or until thoroughly chilled. Strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass filled with ice.  Top with orange peel and mint. Makes one drink ~ Lucky, Roanoke, Virginia

Lovin’ Local ~ Deschutes Chili Recipe And Really Good Donuts!

Happy Holidays!

Holidays are the most wonderful time to shop and celebrate local!

coffee-maple-lattecoffee

Why is this coffee so special? Because it is the Pumpkin Spice Latte that my bubbly friend and I drink every morning from September through December…and then we have to wait an entire year to enjoy it again. Sweet Donkey Coffee, our local coffee shop makes this lovely latte with fresh pumpkin puree. Our favorite barista always designs a pumpkin in our latte foam.

http://www.sweetdonkeycoffee.com/

Last week I visited the Really Good Donut pop up shop located under a tent in Sweet Donkey Coffee’s front yard.  This is serious donut heaven.  They sell out every time they pop up at Sweet Donkey Coffee!

Like Really Good Donuts on Facebook to find out the days (usually Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. until they sell out…which can be 8:45 a.m.) Really Good Doughnuts will be at Sweet Donkey Coffee.

These photos tell the story of why Really Good Donuts are REALLY GOOD! Fresh…Fresh…Fresh!!! As their Facebook page describes them:

Have you had a Really Good Donut lately? A Really Good Donut is rolled by hand, made from scratch with all natural ingredients, and perfectly glazed.

doughnut-doughdoughtnuts-fryingdoughnuts

doughnuts-in-box-1doughnuts-coconut

Chocolate, vanilla, eggnog, raspberry (made with fresh raspberries, not artificially flavored!) cinnamon sugar and coconut are among the AMAZING flavors of Really Good Donuts!  Brian, one of the owners of Really Good Donuts said that the most popular flavors are Lime Toasted Coconut and Blackberry Crumble. He also explained that one of their goals is to eventually share with other entrepreneurs how to take a $1,000 investment (their initial investment in Really Good Doughnuts) and create a sustainable business.  It will be exciting to watch them thrive.

chili-6

Just for fun I sent my recipe for Bubblybee Chili Verde to Deschutes Brewery: https://www.deschutesbrewery.com

My Chili Verde contains Deschutes Black Butte Porter….yum!

Bubblybee Chili Verde

4 ounces thick cut black pepper bacon, fried crisp (reserve fat in frying  pan) and finely crumbled

½ cup finely chopped yellow onion

7  tomatillos, outer husk removed, chopped

1 Serrano pepper, seeds removed, chopped fine

7 ounce can diced green chilies, drained

6 ounce jar roasted red peppers, chopped

1 pound ground chicken

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 (15.5 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro

½ teaspoon chili powder

12 ounce bottle Deschutes Black Butte Porter

1/8 teaspoon salt

½ ounce fresh lime juice (=juice of ½ lime)

½ teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons honey

 

Garnish:  Grated Queso Quesadilla Melting Mexican Cheese, Sour Cream, Chopped Cilantro, Lime Wedges.  Serve with Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips.

Heat the reserved bacon fat in frying pan.  Add onion, tomatillos, Serrano pepper.  Stir and heat over medium high heat until the onions are soft and transparent.  Add the green chilies, roasted red peppers, cilantro, chili powder, salt, lime juice and cumin and cook over medium heat until the tomatillos are very soft, approximately 5 minutes.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot. Add the ground chicken and cook over medium heat until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.  Add the finely crumbled bacon and the Deschutes Black Butte Porter to the chicken. Stir to combine. Continue to heat over medium heat.  Add the cannellini beans and stir to combine. Add the tomatillo mixture and honey.  Stir to combine. Continue to cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes.  Portion into soup bowls and garnish with Grated Queso Quesadilla Melting Mexican Cheese, Sour Cream, Chopped Cilantro, Lime Wedges.  Serve with Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips. ¡que aproveche!

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Chocolate Goes With Wine!

Today, October 28, 2016,  is NATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY!  In anticipation of this delicious day I sauntered downtown to find some fabulous chocolate…

elisMy first stop was Eli’s Provisions right in the heart of the market…one of my favorite places to purchase products made in Virginia. They were sponsoring a wine – featuring Virginia wines available at Eli’s – and chocolate tasting.  https://www.facebook.com/elisprovisionsroanoke

va-is-for-lovers-1chocolate-1

Virginia is for chocolate lovers too!

chocolate-paper-samples-1

Pictured above chocolate samples from Chocolate Paper, Downtown Roanoke. This adorable store gets its name because they sell chocolate and greeting cards (plus lots of gifts that are perfect for any occasion).

chcolate-paper-owner-1

Melissa, one of the owners of Chocolate Paper offered us samples of chocolate to pair with our wine. She is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet…is she so sweet because she owns a chocolate store or does she own a chocolate store because she is so sweet….hmmmm…

chardonnay-1white-chocolate-1

Our first pairing was Veritas Chardonnay (unoaked) with Graffiti Zoo, Tropical Tucan...creamy white chocolate with a tropical twist of pineapple and macadamia nut.  Melissa said that she really likes citrus paired with unoaked chardonnay and she is right, this pairing is decadent.

Veritas Winery, Charlottesville, Virginia:

http://www.veritaswines.com/

xxo-wine

Our next taste of wine was Blanco XOCO ~ grape wine with natural flavoring added.  We did not pair it with chocolate because the chocolate flavor was already infused into the wine! Sweet white wine made with Rkatsiteli and Vidal Blanc grapes and chocolate essence.

One of the guests at the wine tasting said that she would make a “Tres Vinos Cake” like a “Tres Leches Cake” except instead of soaking the cake in Tres Leches she would soak the cake in the Blanco XOCO! I like how this lady thinks and may have to try this sometime!

Horton Vineyard, Gordonsville, Virginia:

http://hortonwine.com/

trump-wine-1

Our third tasting was Trump Meritage paired with a Lindt Bittersweet chocolate which was a delightful combination. One of my favorite pairings is dark chocolate with a bold red wine.

Trump winery, Charlottesville, Virginia:

http://www.trumpwinery.com/

morrisette-1

Our last sip was Chateau Morrisette 2011 Heritage After Dinner Red Wine.

Winemaker’s Notes: Entrancing aromas of plum and black cherry presage the intensely fruity entry, layered with the character of black tea, baking spices, vanilla and cocoa. The texture of this deep ruby colored full-bodied wine is silky and emollient; lingering aromas will persist on the palate. Like all Port-style wines, heritage is fortified and finished sweet.

Chateau Morrisette Winery, Floyd, Virginia

http://www.thedogs.com/

My last bite was a Asher’s Raspberry Cream. Asher’s is made by a family owned business in Pennsylvania.  Another reason to love Asher’s chocolates…they have a chocolate blog!!!

http://www.ashers.com/blog/

Halloween and Thanksgiving  Chocolate Goodies Abound At Chocolate Paper!

chocolate-bar-with-candy-corn-1peeps-2

Candy corn chocolate bar and Peeps!

pumpkin-1Beautifully crafted milk chocolate pumpkins!

turkey-1Cute little chocolate turkey!

Whenever I stroll through our downtown market I find delightful handcrafted goodies such as these beautifully crafted gourds…

gourd-1

Happy Hokies! Virginia Tech Basket handmade out of a gourd!  Created by The Gourdian Angels, Goodview Virginia. I found this beautiful basket on the market in Downtown Roanoke.

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Happy Halloween!

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Christina Nifong Presents ~ Fabulous Fall Recipes

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Life is short…eat dessert first…Christina’s  fabulous apple cake…so moist…the secret ingredient is cream cheese!

This past weekend my bubbly friend and I enjoyed Christina Nifong’s (local writer and gardener extraordinaire in Roanoke, Virginia) Local For Lunch, Featuring Fall cooking class at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op.

It’s easy to find out more about the Co-Op’s cooking and health classes, just sign-up for their newsletter using this link:

http://roanokenaturalfoods.com/co-op-classes/

Here’s the link to Christina Nifong’s Fabulous Fall Recipes:

https://christinanifong.com/category/recipes

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Christina prepared her delicious recipes with ingredients from the Co-Op and her own garden. The appetizer she served was a yummy Blue Cheese Herb Spread.  (Goat cheese or feta cheese can be substituted for the blue cheese.)

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We enjoyed a roasted beet salad that was as colorful, crunchy and delicious!  It lived up to it’s name Beautiful Beet Salad. Most beet salads have the goat cheese sprinkled on top of the beets but this salad mixes the cheese with the other ingredients resulting in a creamy dressing.

mushroom-1soup-1

Christina served us Thai Butternut Squash Soup for our second course. One of the ingredients in the soup was “Hen of the Woods Mushroom”, known as a Maitake mushroom in Japan which translates to “Dancing Mushroom”. These mushrooms grow at the base of trees (particularly fond of oak trees).

Chistina recommended using a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the seeds out of the butternut squash. The fresh ginger, jalapeno, lime juice and Thai basil give this soup a pleasant spiciness.

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We gobbled up these Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins (Gluten-free)!

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I enjoy buying my dried herbs and spices at the Co-op because they sell them by the pound. I purchase just what I need. I no longer have to throw away herb and spice cans that have gone out of date.  These items seem to be more fresh than the grocery store dried herbs and spices…especially the vanilla bean! Honey is also available by the pound.

squash-in-pile

I was so inspired by Christina’s class that I purchased some Delicata squash (pictured above) at the Co-op. This squash lives up to it’s name…delicate taste, easy to roast…here’s a lovely recipe to try:

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/250176/roasted-delicata-squash-onions/

milk-street-magazine-1

I picked up a copy of Christopher Kimball’s MILK STREET magazine at the Roanoke Co Op. They have a nice selection of culinary magazines.  MILK STREET  may remind the reader of Cook’s Illustrated magazine which is more than a coincidence…Kimball founded Cook’s Illustrated magazine.  The charter issue, Fall 2016 includes an article about champagne glasses, which of course caught my eye:  The Trouble with Champagne Flutes.  

They recommend not the classic coupe or traditional flute, but the sturdy wine glass:

The classic red or white wine glass – with its broad, stable foot and a bulbous-bottomed bowl – is just about perfect.  The bowl allows the wine to be agitated and aerated with a motion of the wrist (swirling!)…the pros ditch them (flutes) when tasting and judging sparkling wines. They know flutes are for orchestras, not fine wine.

Sounds good to me except that I have dozens of champagne flutes that I can’t bear to toss out. I do look forward to tasting some finer champagnes in a chardonnay glass just for the taste experience.

Quinoa?

One of our fellow guests shared this website:  http://www.simplyquinoa.com/

I shared with the group that the liquid that is drained off canned garbanzo beans can be whipped like egg whites to use in recipes such as this began meringue:

http://www.thekitchn.com/this-gorgeous-vegan-meringue-is-made-from-the-most-surprising-ingredient-220651

pumpkin-latte-1

Since we’re celebrating local and Fall today, I am happy to shard a very happy occurrence at Sweet Donkey Coffee a local coffee shop in Roanoke, Virginia.  The Pumpkin Latte is back!  They make their own fresh pumpkin puree for the lattes.  Fabulousity!!!

Happy Fall!

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