Summer Stock


This past week, in honor of the first official week of our Summer, we took off to travel around a bit, visit with family and celebrate some special milestones. As you might imagine, that didn’t include a trip to the grocery store for our weekly family groceries. But we were still home for most of the week. We even hosted some hungry visitors for a couple of days. Like arriving home after a week-long summer vacation, it’s times like this that force me to get creative with what we have to make delicious homemade meals that will satisfy everyone.

We always have meat in the freezer, but that takes a certain amount of pre-planning to defrost. There are certain non-perishable and slow perishing items we usually keep on hand. Bacon and eggs for breakfast, pasta, cheeses, cherry tomatoes and onions, frozen veggies and during the summer, fresh herbs from the garden. It’s with these items that I cooked up a couple of recipes worthy of sharing if you find yourself in the same situation during your Summer travels this year.

The first dish reminded me of a carbonara pasta dish I remember from a trip to Italy in my teens. I found this Food Network® recipe as a guide, but substituted bacon for pancetta, shallots for the onion, penne for the fettuccine and doubled up on the Parmesan. I topped it off with a poached egg that I cooked in pasta water that was already boiling. The end result was flavorful and satisfying.

The second dish was a tomato, basil and mozzarella salad made with leftover cherry tomatoes cut in half, cubed fresh mozzarella, you could use feta or blue cheese or any creamy cheese you might have on hand as a substitute, and fresh basil from the garden tossed with light olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. I love that this salad is really flexible and delicious. Add a cucumber or avocado if you have one to use, omit the cheese if you don’t have any, it still makes a great compliment to any Summer meal. We served this salad alongside cheeseburgers and baked potatoes when I realized our spring mix lettuce had gone bad.

This week we’re back at it with a line up of tasty menus. Check out what’s cooking at and let us help with dinner. Thank you for your Support.

Growing Like Weeds

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Since this weekend was the first Spring-like weekend here in Richmond, I took a stroll to the back corner of our yard to assess the status of our backyard garden. It was a mess, as expected, but scattered throughout were healthy, delicious little mint sprigs laying their claim to various spots all over the garden like they always do.

I know mint can be a bit of a nuisance. I know people that try their hardest to kill and contain mint because it always seems takes over the other plants. But, I’ve decided I’m not going to fight the mint in my garden. I love mint, I use the mint that grows back there, and when life hands you enough mint after a long Spring Break trip to make mint juleps!

Mint Julep with Fresh Mint Simple Syrup Recipe

I made the tastiest mint flavored simple syrup in minutes by bringing a cup of granulated sugar and 2 cups of cold water to a low boil with about 3 sprigs of roughly chopped mint. Once all of the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has started to boil, strain out the mint and let the syrup cool. Store the syrup in a sealed jar in the refrigerator. To make a mint julep fill a tall glass with crushed ice to nearly the top, pour equal parts bourbon and mint flavored simple syrup over the ice, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint, relax and enjoy.

We have a lovely Spring lineup this week...until Thursday, that is, when the real party starts! Also, be sure to tune in to Virginia This Morning on CBS 6 this Friday as we help the Richmond Moms Blog promote their upcoming BLOOM event for Moms, by sharing some of our go-to baby shower recipes. Happy Spring everyone and thank you for your Support.

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 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 and let us help you and your loved ones celebrate this week. Thanks 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 and let us help you or your loved ones with dinner this week. Thank you for your Support.

Making and Baking


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 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 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 and let us help you with your holiday gifting this year. Thank you for your Support.

The Pumpkin Debate

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I know there are people out there that like to jump the gun on Fall. Personally, I like having September to ease my transition into the season. It’s not time to break out the pumpkins until October 1...TODAY! And what a beautiful weekend we had to bring it in.

I’m sure many of you enjoyed some time outdoors, maybe even a trip to the pumpkin patch. What does one do with all that pumpkin? 

While I like the taste of pumpkin goodies, I’m not one of those people that LOOOOOVES everything pumpkin. So this week I want to share my favorite pumpkin pie recipe. It combines the tastes that pumpkin pie lovers love about pumpkin pie, with a balance of sweet and crunchy that others are missing from traditional pumpkin pies. I knew it was a winner when my sister’s kids told me it was what they would miss one year when our Thanksgiving plans didn’t overlap. 

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Pie

No pumpkin on the menu this week, but some very tasty fall comfort foods sure to satisfy the whole crew. Check out what’s cooking this week, as well as the rest of our Fall menus and our Gift Meal option at Thanks for your Support!

Field Day

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In its usual fashion, September literally FLEW by! When I told a neighbor this weekend that we were going to go apple-picking even though it was so hot, I found myself explaining that we were running out of Fall weekends already, which is ridiculous but true.

Everyone is so busy getting back into a routine, be sure to make time for yourself and your friends and family and enjoy this special time of year. October and November menus are posted at with tasty and fulfilling options the whole family will love.

And just in case your fall fun lands you with 18.6 pounds of freshly picked apples, here is a link with some creative recipe ideas to put them to good use.

55+ Easy and Delicious Apple Recipes

Thanks for your Support!

Fall Feasts

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Something about Fall has us all about seafood. We love the transition from Summer’s hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill to this weekend when we roasted Oysters on the grill at a family birthday celebration. Now I can’t wait for my favorite fall festival, the Urbanna Oyster Festival. 

My sister made 4 glorious dipping sauces, 2 hot, 2 cold, as well as offering the traditional bottle of horseradish and Tabasco. The overwhelming favorite was this Sriracha Lime Butter which we think would also taste great on mussels, shrimp, crab and other seafood too.

This week we are excited for the return of one of our most popular dishes, Shrimp and Butternut Squash Risotto, to the menu alongside some of our other delicious fall comfort food menus. Check out what’s cooking at and let us help with dinner this week. Thank you for your Support.

Snack Time


I can’t believe it’s back to school time. Somehow the thought of making, packing and labeling school snacks and lunches has me dreading the start of school. I know I’m not alone. But you don’t have to have a kiddo in school to appreciate this week’s back to school cooking tip and recipe. My kids are SUPER picky-eaters, but if something is delicious enough, they can’t resist.

This homemade hummus recipe is my go-to when I need to accommodate a gluten allergy. Like most recipes, I don’t follow the directions exactly, so allow me save you some time and recommend you use my directions below and just use this link for the ingredients. Hummus Recipe

There is no need to make your own tahini, many of the grocery stores here have a delicious and affordable store brand tahini that will yield many batches of hummus and keeps nicely in the fridge. The only tedious part of this recipe that I recommend is shelling the chickpeas because it makes the hummus so much smoother and fluffier and doesn’t jam up the blender. While I still dread doing this, I have made a fun game out of gripping the chickpea in a way that it just pops right out leaving the shell in my fingers to discard...then repeat like 100 times (maybe a fun way for the kids to help?! Just sayin’). Simply add all the ingredients except the paprika to a blender and blend starting at the lowest speed and increasing slightly to a medium-low speed at most if your blender can tolerate it without jamming and blend until smooth, usually at least several minutes. I pipe the hummus into small serving containers for a smoother, store-bought look and then use a tea diffuser to sprinkle a small amount of paprika on top.

If this cooking tip is making you roll your eyes and question my time management skills, no worries. You can find our homemade hummus as well as many other delicious homemade goodies on our menu at Thanks for your Support and have a great week.