Dreaming of Spring

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For as slow as January seemed, February is flying by. We’ve been enjoying the Olympic Games this weekend and are getting excited for Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day, Spring Break and Easter. We just posted our March and April dates and menus at supportsuppers.com and that’s a cue to me that Spring will literally be here before you know it.

We’re dreaming about enjoying our favorite outdoor activities, one of those being a trip to Kentucky for thoroughbred horse racing. An unlikely taste treat for Spring is Kentucky Burgoo, similar to our Brunswick Stew, which is a signature dish at Lexington, KY Keeneland Race Track. If you’re looking for a hearty stew to get you through the last of these winter days or a great way to use any frozen meats you’ve been saving, give this recipe a try.

Betty's Keeneland Kentucky Burgoo Soup

We have a tasty menu line-up this week, including a special dish for Valentine’s Day. Check out what’s cooking at supportsuppers.com and let us help you and your loved ones celebrate this week. Thanks for your Support.
 

Side Hustles

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There are many things that make entrepreneurship a fun and unique experience, but I think the ability to be in complete control of how I choose to spend my time and experience my life is my favorite. When I left my corporate sales career to start Support Suppers, it was a long, emotional learning experience which I embraced fully. I have learned a lot in two years, but one thing that I never really got over was the exciting draw of direct sales.

In November, I was offered a unique opportunity to channel my direct sales skills and experience while also furthering my connection with Richmond’s rich start-up and small business community. I joined the Pivot Pass team under co-founders April Palmer and Brig Leland to help them nurture their innovative idea and grow their network of Boutique Fitness Studios and Corporate Wellness Partners to launch their platform www.pivotpass.com here in Richmond, VA on February 1.

While serving comfort food and advocating for fitness and wellness are pretty much on the opposite ends of the spectrum, it’s really been amazing to continue watching Support Suppers grow organically, while also celebrating the successes of a very different type of start-up. More than anything, I look at where I was 2 years ago, nervous to take a leap outside of my comfort zone; to give up 13 years in a career that was rewarding and safe, but holding me back at the same time and I am thankful that I took the leap and opened myself up to this new start-up community. It’s thrilling to celebrate hard-work and dreams coming to fruition. Albeit small at first, there is no shortage of big dreams in the small business community.

The most popular question I get when I tell people what I’m up to is, “how do you have the time?”. We make time for whatever we want. There will always be time for Support Suppers and I will always make time to spend with my kids and family. What’s different is that no one is telling how to spend my time, in particular, Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm, and that is liberating.

If you’re not too stuffed from your Super Bowl fare, check out what we have on the menu this week as well as our Gift Meal option at supportsuppers.com and let us help you and your loved ones get through the rest of this week. Thanks for your Support and, as wrong as this sounds...GO EAGLES!!!
 

This Is Ridiculo”us”

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While we were cooking last week my sister filled me in on what’s been happening on the popular show This Is Us. I tried to get into it last year but found it hard to follow, so I’ll need to start from the beginning of the series at some point. Is this true what I hear? You’re throwing away your slow cookers because of a plot-line on a television drama show? I hope you all are just kidding. Just in case you’re not I wanted to share this article with you to bring you back to your senses and to loving this helpful kitchen appliance once again.

The 5 Safety Rules of Slow Cookers

All kidding aside, with respect to any appliance, all things needs to be used and attended to responsibly. I’ll admit I have had to use a fire extinguisher to put out a fire in my oven that grew out of control despite closing the door to suffocate it. My sister has also had stove top moments of truth where she needed to make a serious decision quickly. The house we grew up in recently burned to the ground because a fire created by a short in the dishwasher that was running while the owners weren’t home, that house was also in Pittsburgh, coincidence? I bet you won’t throw out your dishwasher, though. Stay safe and stay reasonable out there!

Our menu this week is free of slow cookers and packed with flavorful proteins that will warm you through and through on this soggy, cold week ahead. Check out our menus or our Gift Meal option at supportsuppers.com and let us help you or your loved ones with dinner this week. Thank you for your Support.
 

Healing Foods

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What an awesome weekend we just enjoyed here in Richmond. It seemed like the warmer weather had everyone out and about and making the most of it while it lasts. While it was great to get outside and open all the windows in the house to let the fresh air in, it seems like the inevitable seasonal illness usually crops up after these weather extremes. 

Fingers crossed that won’t be the case and we’ll all be spared. But, just in case I wanted to share this recipe for a comforting and healing chicken soup. 

Cold-Busting Ginger Chicken Noodle Soup

Although this recipe has a long list of healing ingredients, in our household we usually save the excess from a rotisserie chicken, leftover veggies, and boxed broth to keep a batch of fresh chicken noodle soup in the fridge during the winter. Or we’ll add the chicken to a ramen noodle dish and jazz it up a bit. Either way, it doesn’t have to take much to put together a great soup. Get creative with what you have on-hand.

This week we have a diverse and tasty menu lined up. Check out our menu through the end of February or our Gift Meal option at supportsuppers.com and let us help you or your loved ones with dinner this week. Thank you for your Support.
 

Insta Obsessed

Beef Short Rib Ragu over Pasta

Beef Short Rib Ragu over Pasta

I feel a little behind the times as I scroll through my blogs and social media feed to find groups of people obsessing over the Instapots they got for Christmas. I discovered the Instapot® when

I started Support Suppers as a solution to including my favorite Crock Pot® recipes on our menu without having to book the commercial kitchen all day waiting for the recipe to cook. I was really excited to find a solution but that’s about as far as it went. If you’ve recently begun your love affair with this newly popular kitchen appliance then here are some tips to keep that relationship strong and healthy. 

First, respect the learning process. When I first started using it I never called it an Instapot, I called it a pressure cooker, because that’s what it is. That meant I had a healthy fear of it and understood that, unlike most kitchen appliances I buy, I needed to get comfortable and read the instructions like they were a best-selling novel.

Second, just because the digital timer says 15 minutes does not mean that your recipe is cooked and ready to go in that amount of time. Plan ahead for ample warm-up time and most importantly venting time after the timer goes off.

Third, as with even my favorite Crock Pot recipes, the juices created during the cooking process will likely need to be reduced on the stovetop to best enhance your recipe. This may be an extra step, taking extra time and creating more mess and clean up, but reducing the juices to rich, flavorful sauces will substantially increase yours and your family’s happiness with the finished product.

Last, just because they call it something different doesn’t mean you need all new recipes. Start with your favorite Crock Pot recipes and just enjoy the fact that you didn’t have to start dinner prep before breakfast to make sure dinner was done in time.
This week we have a great line-up of crowd pleasers including my favorite Crock Pot/Instapot recipe on Thursday. Check out what’s cooking and our Gift Meal option at supportsuppers.com and let us help you Support yourself or others this week. Thanks for your Support and happy and safe cooking to all the Instapotters out there.

DIY Take-Out

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Happy New Year everyone! It’s good to be back...errr, I mean after all this snow melts and we get back to normal temperatures. All inconvenience aside, being snowed in isn’t all bad. We had hours of free entertainment right outside our door. There was plenty of good television to watch. And of course, lots of tasty food to cook and eat.

Love us or hate us for it, we grew up in Pittsburgh, so we were thrilled to have a Christmas Day Steelers game to add to our holiday celebration. My sister thought it would be fun to order Primanti Brothers sandwich kits, a Pittsburgh favorite, for our Christmas dinner. But, as with any nostalgic, local specialty fare, it’s gonna cost you. Nicole’s not a quitter though, she got to work researching copy kat recipes and in no time we had a plan to divide and conquer our Christmas dinner. Pictured above, it might not have been fancy, but it sure was tasty. If you like to cook and you haven’t check out www.copykat.com, give it a try, you may never order take-out ever again.

We have a great lineup of cold weather comfort food this week. Check out what’s cooking or order a Gift Meal at supportsuppers.com and let us help you or loved ones with dinner this week. Thanks for your Support.

Making and Baking

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The kids are off school now and the holidays are upon us. Our lives are a mix of year-end doctors appointments with a little holiday magic sprinkled in. This is the last time I’ll post to the blog this year since the next two Sundays will be spent celebrating and enjoying time with family and friends.

But I wanted to share one last piece of holiday magic with you before we check out for 2017. As stressful as it can be to prepare for big family gatherings or make that Pinterest-worthy treat for your friends and neighbors, take time to enjoy the magic. 

My kids love to help me with my holiday treat making. They’ve actually become quite good at it over the years. I mean, good being a relative term considering they are 3 and 5 years old. The link below is a super easy, super cute idea that my little ones have helped with since they were old enough to stand. So check it out if you’re looking for a last minute way to make your season bright and have a little something to share with others.

Hot Chocolate Spoons

We have two great menus this week and while our Holiday Gifts are no longer available for order, our Gift Meals are always available and make a great gift for literally anyone. Check out what’s cooking at supportsuppers.com and I mean it when I say, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your Support this year. Happy Holidays!
 

Holiday Gifting

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We missed the big snow this weekend for a trip to the West Virginia mountains to ride the Christmas train and celebrate the holiday a little early, but together with my husband’s family. 

It was simply magical. First, to see the kids and generations of family gather together in a small, remote cabin and just eat, drink and play together by the fire. And second, to see the small town of Cass, WV roll out the largest community welcome wagon I’ve ever witnessed to delight the generations of believers that literally scaled mountains to experience a little Christmas magic. We still did get to do a little sledding on Sunday, but not nearly as much snow as RVA got or the milder, windless temperatures our geography usually affords us.

Cass, WV Elf Train

When we arrived home, there were stacks of Christmas cards and hand-delivered holiday goodies from our neighbors who didn’t let a little snow get in the way of their plans.

This week is the last week to place orders for our Holiday Gifts, including the traditional Kentucky Bourbon Balls that I enjoyed this weekend with my husband’s family, as well as our Honey Butter, Jalapeño Ranch Dressing and Homemade Salsa in ready-to-gift mason jars.

Holiday Gifts

Otherwise, check out the great menu lineup for this week and our Gift Meals which make great holiday gifts for your local friends and family who could use a night off from cooking in the New Year. Thank you for your Support.
 

Holiday Spirit

Christmas Rope Lighting

This year we will celebrate our eighth Christmas season in Richmond, VA and I’m pleased to report that this is the year we’ve succumbed to holiday rope lighting. And I LOVE it! It may seem like a silly thing to get excited about, but I feel like those crazy, colorful, mismatched strings of lights are a signature to Richmond’s style and Richmond most definitely feels like home by now.

Another thing that may not be unique to Richmond but certainly is alive in well in this close-knit community, is holiday gifting. We received our first holiday treat this weekend from a neighbor. It was a delicious Gingerbread Stout Bread which paired amazingly with the salty caramel sauce I picked up at the Bizarre Bazaar with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I don’t know which recipe she used but below is a link to a recipe for a similar bread if you think you may want to give it a try for your holiday neighbor gifting.

Guinness® Stout Ginger Cake

If you have any friends or neighbors you’d like to share a special treat with this holiday season but don’t have time to whip up something special yourself, there is still time to order our ready-to-gift Holiday Gift Jars and Kentucky Bourbon Balls. Check out our holiday gifts as well as our Menus and Gift Meals at supportsuppers.com and let us help you with your holiday gifting this year. Thank you for your Support.

Honoring Traditions

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The holidays are a very spirited time filled with family gatherings and traditions. However, it’s worth recognizing that this can be a tough time of year for so many people as those traditions serve as reminders of our loved ones lost.

As usual, we’ve been waiting all year for the holiday model train exhibits and we hit the circuit right away visiting the Science Museum of Virginia the day after Thanksgiving and spending hours skipping from one train to another. My Dad came along with us and he was like a kid again seeing all of the equipment and making conversation with the exhibitors. One of them replied to him “...we’re all just big kids”. The holidays seem to bring out the kid in all of us.

My Dad talked about the train he had as a kid and we told him about the train that we had in our basement that belonged to my husband’s Grandfather. The next day we set that train up on the dining room table and the kids were in awe. When I took a video of it and shared it with friends and family, so many people connected with it. That train connected too many generations to count. This holiday season I hope you can take the time to connect and share special traditions and no matter what reminder they hold, may they bring you peace and happiness.

This week we’re serving some comforting classics. Check out what’s cooking as well as our Holiday Gifting offering and let us help you Support those special to you this holiday season. We are thankful for your Support.