Tag Archives: Roanoke Virginia

Million Dollar Cocktail

There’s lots to love about Rosé Cider.  Read about my favorites ciders with tasting notes in the Roanoker Magazine behind the page:

https://theroanoker.com/blogging/behind-the-page/the-romance-of-rose-cidre/

Million Dollar Cocktail

I love any recipe that is named “Million Dollar”. This Million Dollar Cocktail recipe is worth its weight in gold!  Absolutely divine!

Place Nick and Nora style cocktail glass in the freezer to chill while you prepare the cocktail.

For each cocktail:

2 fl ounces 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.)

1/2 fl ounce freshly pressed pineapple juice (I blended fresh pineapple in my blender to make “juice” which was more like a thin puree.)

1/4 fl ounce Grenadine syrup

1/2 fl ounce pasteurized egg whites (find these in the refrigerated egg section of the grocery store)

A few drops of Blood Orange Bitters

Pineapple chunk garnish

Shake the gin, pineapple juice, Grenadine syrup and egg whites with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass. Place a few drops of blood orange bitters on the top of the cocktail.  Garnish with a pineapple chunk.

bright bubble color flatlay

Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Pexels.com

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DRIVE! Iconic American Cars and Motorcycles

DRIVE!

Iconic American Cars and Motorcycles

September 8, 2018 – February 3, 2019

Taubman Museum of Art

Roanoke, Virginia

Our evening began with Ahi Tuna Wontons at Billy’s Roanoke on Market Street in Downtown Roanoke.

Miso-marinated Ahi Tuna served atop Wonton Chips with Housemade Thai Chili Sauce and a Citrus Salsa. Delicious!

Then on to the show…

Our friend Rosalee volunteers at the museum and she encouraged us to attend (we are so glad she did!). Here we are outside the museum in front of a Super-Eight Packard.

There are almost two dozen antique cars and motorcycles spanning from 1912-1965 in the exhibition.  https://www.taubmanmuseum.org/happenings/drive

1947 Harley-Davidson Model EL “Knucklehead”

The knucklehead engine valve covers have contours resembling knuckles on a person’s fist that give the knucklehead its name.

1934 Edsel Ford Model 40 Speedster

I am posing in front of the 1937 Tom Mix Phaeton that belonged to the cowboy movie star Tom Mix.

Beautiful car with a sad story. Tom Mix was killed while driving this car in 1940.   The car overturned as a result of the crash and a heavy suitcase in the back of the car fell forward and hit Mix in the head breaking his neck. The car is now owned by a family in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Hand-tooled leather stone guards fitted to the rear fenders.

1934 Packard Twelve Model 1106 Sport Coupe

Drive! is definitely an exhibition worth seeing. We thoroughly enjoyed it! 

Nightcap at River and Rail Restaurant.  Appalachian Tonic created by mixologist Nexus Watts. Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin, Cardamaro, Spice Bush Tonic Syrup, Lemon, Soda. Warm spice and cardamom notes. Built and served on ice. London Gin Martini with a lemon twist in a Nick and Nola glass. 

Nora Charles: “I’ll be with you in two shakes of a cocktail.”
Nick Charles: “Cocktail? Cocktail? Think I’ll try one of those things.”
The Thin Man (1934)

The Nick and Nora glass is a smaller cousin of the coupe (5 – 6 ounces).  I like these glasses because, at least for me, they are easier to sip out of than a standard martini glass and a smaller amount of martini is preferable to my taste.

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Star City Supper Club – BBQ Under the Star at Mill Mountain

Visit the roanoker.com to Party Like A Pineapple! Recipes for Fresh Pineapple Martinis and Grilled Pineapple Salsa to serve on pork tenderloin or grilled hamburger sliders…

https://theroanoker.com/blogging/behind-the-page/party-like-a-pineapple/

Star City Supper Club – BBQ Under the Star at Mill Mountain

The River and Rail Executive Chef Aaron Deal (pictured above right),  recently introduced a quarterly guest chef series in Roanoke, Virginia, which aims to provide a convivial culinary experience to the community by showcasing the talent of some of the nation’s top chefs and celebrating Southern culture.

silhouette of people standing neat tree under the moon

Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pexels.com

http://www.virginialiving.com/the-daily-post/supper-in-the-star-city/

During the summer installment of the Star City Supper Club on August 9, guests had the unique opportunity to meet and interact with the purveyors that have helped The River and Rail to provide the best quality ingredients possible for the last six years…all while under an iconic Roanoke landmark ~ The Mill Mountain Star! A live bluegrass band provided music throughout the evening, and it was a night to remember.  A portion of all ticket sales were donated to Roanoke Outside, a non-profit organization that makes local outdoor events like these possible.
At the entrance to the large tent we were greeted by the smiling faces of River and Rail Restaurant. We were given our personal River and Rail cup for wine/beer and a ticket for 5 beverages of our choice with unlimited food.
Leia
Megan
Abby

Blenheim Vineyards

Established in 2000 by owner Dave Matthews (Dave Matthews Band) 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.
I loved the Frizzante Malvasia/Petit Manseng! Frizzante is an Italian term for “slightly sparkling wine”.
The Blenheim Rosé is the perfect blend of pinot noir, merlot and carbernet sauvignon.
NC Shrimp and Grits ~ Local Seafood Delivery
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Get your fresh seafood at our local Farmer’s Markets:
Roanoke Historic City Market
Thursdays 9am – 5pm

West Village (419/Electric Road)

Fridays 9am – 5pm

Grandin Village Community Market

Saturdays 8am – 12pm
Landon shucking Oysters from Rappahannock Oyster Company
sky night stars

Photo by Free Nature Stock on Pexels.com

BBQ Poulet Rouge Chicken Legs & Thighs Joyce Farms


Smoked Lamb Shoulder Sliders & Ribs Border Springs Farm

Served on River and Rail’s fabulous brioche slider buns!

Nexus and Shane (River and Rail Bar Manager)

Heirloom Tomato & Caramont Goat Milk Feta Salad Thornfield Farms

Beer Parkway Brewing
Mama Tired Blueberry Sour Ale
Funk Your Boat Saison
Red Raven Porter
Gent Bent Mountain IPA

Thank you for a fabulous evening Chef Aaron Deal and the River and Rail Restaurant Team!

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Steger Creek Opens New Stores In Roanoke, Virginia

Steger Creek Opens New Stores!

Steger Creek Fine Gifts and Collectables always felt like home to me. For years I’ve gone to their Starkey Road location to buy the prettiest greeting cards, hostess gifts and home décor items. They recently opened two delightfully charming new locations (the Starkey location is now closed).  When I visited the new stores this week I found my favorite gifts and goodies as well as some new treats and got a little history lesson in the process.

A Norfolk Southern train was chugging along behind the store when I arrived at The Virginian Railway Station, 1402 Jefferson St. (intersection of Williamson Road and Jefferson Street). The Virginian Railway was a 440-mile line completed in 1909 to transport coal from West Virginia to Tidewater.  The Virginian Railway Depot was built that same year to serve Roanoke. Passenger service continued from this depot until 1956 when the Virginian merged with Norfolk and Western Railway.  The depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Steger Creek opened the depot store in July and their hours are: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

I’ve always wondered about the name, Steger Creek and just found out that it is derived from an actual creek running through Central Virginia where the owners, Michael and Alex Pace, own property.  As the creek flows, it feeds the Rivanna River, which ultimately flows into the James River.

Steger Creek always has fun snack ideas with recipe cards. I was tickled to find one of my favorites The Original Savory Party Cracker Seasoning. No bake! Easy To Make!  I used Keebler Mini Club Crackers to make my party crackers. I combined 1 2/3 cups of canola oil and 1 package of Savory Seasoning in a ZipTop Bag and mixed well.  I added 2 (11 ounce each) boxes of mini club crackers and sealed the bag.  Then I tumbled the bag every 5 minutes or so until all of the savory seasoning was adsorbed.  I let the crackers rest in the bag overnight then I put them in an air tight container and stored in the refrigerator. SO SNACKABLE!

Their second new location is at the Taubman Museum of Art.  Open Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 12-5 p.m. This quaint shop is full of treasures – jewelry, colorful scarves, hand-hammered metal giftware, local art, fanciful umbrellas and so much more. At the Taubman store I bought some of my favorite Rose & Ivy Pecan Pepper Glaze to make a delightful appetizer:

Rose & Ivy Pecan Cheese Bake

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened

½ cup mayonnaise

2 green onions, finely chopped

6 Ritz crackers, crushed

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

½ cup Rose & Ivy Southern Pecan Pepper Glaze

 

Combine mayo, cream cheese, cheddar and onions in greased quiche pan. Top with crackers and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.  Top with bacon, drizzle with Southern Pecan Pepper Glaze before serving. Serve on your favorite crackers. I like Carr’s Table water Crackers for this recipe.

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A Treat For Your Feet ~ Herbal Foot Soak

Herbal Foot Soak

A Treat For Your Feet

 This morning I woke up with soft happy feet. The reason for my delighted digits? An herbal foot soak at Queenpin Family Wellness. It takes a lot for me to sit still for an hour but I find that I am always refreshed when I find an excuse to do it. What better excuse than to soak my toes in a bath of Tibetan herbs.

Kristen Thomas, Office Manager, Queenpin Family Wellness

A foot soak is not the same as a pedicure. This herbal soak is designed for relaxation, pain relief and increased circulation which should result in improved sleep. If you are looking for pretty toes have a pedi. If you are in need of a little quiet time to relax your tootsies then give yourself the gift of an herbal foot soak. Sometimes doing a little bit of nothing is exactly what is needed to reboot.

“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” ― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

This event takes place the last Wednesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at the Haven on 5th.

The process is by design very simple. Sit in a comfy chair. A tub of hot water is provided for you (a thermometer is placed in the tub so that the perfect temperature can be achieved before sticking our toes in the water). The water is infused with extra-large herbal teabags full of Tibetan herbs. When I asked Alex Watkins, LAc, one of the hosts of the event what her favorite herb was in the soak she responded, “Oh my, that’s like asking me which one is my favorite child.” She did say that she is partial to  Rhodiola Tibetica as a favorite herb in the soak because “it has a positive effect on mood as it helps to ease physical pain”. Light snacks, wine and tea are provided for your enjoyment.

After a bit your feet will tingle a little as a result of the herbs stimulating your circulation. Your shoulders will drop, your eyes may close…complete relaxation.

My tootsies thanked me for days after my foot soak but I wanted to find a way to make them feel good in between soaks so I found Savannah Bee Heel Balm. This stuff is the Balm! I roll it on my feet before bed (elbows too!) and my heels always feel soft and subtle.

 

The Haven on 5th

800 5th St SW
Roanoke, VA 24016

To purchase tickets for foot soak event:

http://www.eventupon.com/event/foot-soak-happy-hour-june/17882391

434-886-9752

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Making My Brand Sparkle With Professional Photography

I love photographs of food!  The more colorful and animated the better. When I was just a tiny tot I would sit in my Mom’s kitchen looking at all of the photographs in her cookbooks even before I could read the recipes.  I still choose books not by the cover so much as the number of photos inside. So when I had the opportunity to have a professional photographer photograph me and my culinary creations I jumped at the chance! I was pleasantly surprised at how relaxed I felt as the shutter snapped.

My neighbor’s daughter owns Megapixie Photography, a professional photography studio based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  When I saw her photography on the Megapixie website ~ http://megapixie.com ~ something sparked and I couldn’t wait to start putting together a portfolio.    Megapixie offers a small business package that was perfect for my needs.

Established in 2010, the owner of Megapixie is Annemie Tonken.    Annemie is the Dutch version of Anne Marie and is pronounced like the “onomy” in economy or autonomy.  Annemie specializes in fine art child and family photography. A visit to her website with photos of lots of happy bubbly babies and children will make you smile!  Fortunately she enjoys the art of food photography too.  She made me feel completely at ease by  spending some time getting to know me and my expectations prior to the photo session.  She asked me to send examples of the types of photographs I enjoy ~ photos of food and cooks/chefs.  She was encouraging and gently nudged me towards some things that she knew would work well from her wealth of experience.  I love color and she encouraged me to have several “wardrobe changes” because some colors reflect different levels of light better than others.

I had lots of props ready and we  had great fun changing up the set as she clicked the shutter.   The first thing I did that morning to get ready for the photo session was to collect Spring flowers from my garden…Red Bud branches and tiny Grape Hyacinth flowers.  Did you know that Red Bud flower buds are edible?  They have a fresh, slightly sweet tart flavor.

And of course we had several bottles of champagne ready to pop open over the course of the sunny Friday morning…but just for snappin’ photos not for sippin!  Since country ham biscuits are my signature dish I made some to photograph.

Here’s Annemie taking photos in my kitchen.

 

One of the first photos she took was a photo of a champagne glass and some blue hyacinths on an antique cobblers bench. My mother bought the bench in the 1950’s at an antique store when they first moved to Roanoke, Virginia.  It made a beautiful backdrop for the photographs.   I was tickled that Annemie chose the cobblers bench because it has always been one of my favorite pieces of furniture. I can just imagine a cobbler sitting on the bench thoughtfully making shoes.  Annemie sat on the floor and then climbed on a stool to get just the right shot.

Here she staged the pouring of champagne into a champagne flute. By using candles lit behind the flute she made it look like an evening of celebration.

I anticipate many uses for my photographs. I will use this photo for future submissions to magazines and other publications.  Thank you Megapixie for this fabulously fun  photo session!

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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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