How to Kill Three Hours in Richmond, Virginia

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Flights of fancy at Strangeways

By Katherine

We headed back east last month for a family wedding and had three hours to kill before meeting up with family. We like to make the most of our time.

We started with a trip to Blue Bee Cider where some recipes came from the Virginia Historical Society and are almost as old as the country. (But not as old as Virginia, which by American standards is ancient.) We each had a flight and were impressed with the uniqueness of the offerings. We brought home a Mill Brace Bramble, a rose cider and a nice dessert cider called the Harvest ration. Blue Bee Cider bills itself as the state’s “first urban cidery” and is in downtown Richmond’s Old Manchester district near the James River.” Grab a late or early (we won’t judge) lunch around the corner at Camden’s Dogtown Market. Order the mussels with frites. Check out the wall of dogs and the wine selection while you’re there.

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Then head over to Strangeways Brewing’s tasting room in a quiet little strip mall. They make a mean raddler, sell some cool T-shirts, and more importantly offer a great selection of suds that will leave you looking like this:

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Beer makes you out of focus!

To learn more about Richmond’s burgeoning craft brewery scene go here. We were having too much fun to take any notes. Also, we left the good camera in the car so pardon the cell phone shots!

 

Posted in Food, Restaurants | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

In Our Kitchen: A Rainbow of Drink Options

The cook needs to stay hydrated

The cook needs to stay hydrated

It’s summer. Your drinks should be colorful. Above is a mojito for the chef.

Not your standard hard ciders

Not your standard hard ciders

Here’s some cider from a trip.

Even on clearance it was still costly

Even on clearance it was still costly

Grab a clearance bin beer. This beer was aged in red wine barrels which gave it an interesting tart cherry finish after the rich chocolate and coffee start.

Hey cheap and goes with everything is a good thing sometimes

Hey it’s cheap and goes with everything

And don’t forget to stock up on green wine.

To get a peek inside other bloggers’ kitchens hop on over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her monthly roundup.

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Pork Chops with Grapes

Pork is truly a white meat

Pork is truly a white meat

Fresh grapes are the key to this simple dish.

Pork Chops with Grapes

  • 4 pork chops 1″ thick
  • 2 cups small grapes
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 cayenne pepper diced fine
  • 6-8 leaves basil cut into thin ribbons
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • Salt/pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Season meat with salt and pepper and let stand 30 minutes. In an oven safe frying pan big enough to hold all the meat in one layer heat olive oil over medium heat. Sear chops on both sides then add garlic, cayenne pepper and grapes and stir well. Add stock and mix again then place pan in oven at 350 degrees and bake until meat is done and grapes have plumped , about 20 minutes, flipping once and stirring to unstick any grapes. Place pan back on stove top and add sherry and basil. Bring to a simmer and cook until combined. Serve chops topped with grapes.

 

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Balsamic Filet Mignon

So juicy

So juicy

This is a great spice mixture to pair with the sweet balsamic sauce. Use a 2-3″ thick filet mignon or tenderloin cut of beef.

Filet Mignon with Balsamic

  • 2 filet mignon
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp butter

Grind spices and seeds to a powder and rub into steaks on all sides. Let meat sit for an hour then melt butter in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Cook butter until it begins to brown then add meat and sear on one side for three minutes. Flip meat and place in oven at 375 degrees. Continue to cook until meat is rare, about 5-8 minutes depending on the thickness. Remove from oven and place pan back on stove top. Remove meat from pan and cover with foil. Add balsamic to pan, and bring to a hard simmer over medium heat scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom. Reduce vinegar by half then add meat back to pan and quickly coat with sauce. Serve immediately.

Posted in Beef, Dinner, Food, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Steamed Turkey Dumplings

Eat them 2 at a time

Eat them 2 at a time

These are fun to make and taste great. Perfect as a first course, or multi course Asian feast.

Green onion and garlic can be used if there are no garlic scapes around. There will probably be some filling left over after, which can be refrigerated for another use or fried up and mixed with some rice or noodles. The dumplings can be formed into many different pockets, as long as they are sealed completely, it does not mater what shape they are.

Steamed Turkey Dumplings

  • 1 package wonton wrappers (about 50)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup shredded yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 6-7 garlic scapes diced fine
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup finely diced mushroom
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 5-6 basil leaves cut into thin ribbons

In a large bowl beat egg with vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and fish sauce. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and fill a small bowl with water. Working with 6 wonton wrappers at a time place a large tsp of filling in the center of the wrapper. Wet a finger and run it around the edge of the wrapper and then fold the corners in to cover filling and create a sealed package. Place formed dumplings onto baking sheet and continue until all dumplings are made. Do not let them touch. Dumplings can be frozen at this time or cooked. If freezing place tray in freezer until they are hard then place dumplings in a bag. To steam line a steamer basket with either cabbage, banana leaves or parchment paper. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, place dumplings in one layer without touching and cover. Steam for 10-12 minutes and then remove. Continue steaming batches of dumplings until all are gone.  Serve in batches with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sirrachi and minced garlic.

Just a tray full of fun

Just a tray full of fun

Posted in Appetizers, Chicken, Food, Recipes, Sides | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

4th of July Roundup

Here are some ideas for how to spend the 4th. Everything will include a common theme ingredient.

For a hint think sauce.

Pulled Pork

More barbecue sauce is always a good idea

More barbecue sauce is always a good idea

Chicken

So good hot or cold

So good hot or cold

Cornbread

This pan uses a lot of grease but the results are worth it

This pan uses a lot of grease but the results are worth it

Calzones

Putting hot pockets to shame

Putting hot pockets to shame

Beans

Beans beans they 're good for the heart

Beans beans they ‘re good for the heart

 

 

Posted in Food, Grilling/Smoking | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

In Our Kitchen: Pickling, Garlic and Eggs

The title may seem confusing if you do not understand the use of a comma.

Yes, the shelf is set to fit canning jars

Yes, the shelf is set to fit canning jars

I spent an entire afternoon canning 36 large jars of pickles. Go here for the recipe.This happened because when I bought the 20 lbs of cucumbers from the farmer in the morning he just eyeballed the amount. Turns out he sold 35 lbs to me instead. After weighing out all the produce I realized I needed another case of jars and two more gallons of vinegar. It looks like all my trading this year will be in pickles, which is a good thing since the weather really is affecting the fruit so I am not swimming in extra jam right now.

Almost all the bulbs are the same size

Almost all the bulbs are the same size

Speaking of the weather the garlic finally was ready to harvest.  The empty space it left is already being fought over by the squash and sweet potato vines. After braiding the garlic, I like to let it hang for at least a month before using any, but since I used all the remaining garlic from last year in the copious amount of pickles I may have to break that rule a little.

The hot pad is looking forward to a slice

The hot pad is looking forward to a slice

We had a little leftover salmon and I thought what better use than in a light breakfast souffle. Of course I overslept so breakfast turned into brunch. Yipee Bloody Marys and Mimosas.

To get a peek inside other bloggers’ kitchens hop on over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her monthly roundup.

Posted in Garden, How to, Rants, Things in Jars | Tagged | 15 Comments