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The Great Cutting Board Debate

Posted by / Thursday, September 15th, 2011

 
There are so many different types of cutting boards out there that sometimes it seems almost silly. I mean, plastic or wood? Metal or glass? Thin or thick? Big or small?

If I wanted to spend all my time thinking about which type of cutting board to use and for what then, well… I don’t want to do that.

There are a lot of different types of boards out there- how do you know which one is right for you?

While there are many different types of cutting boards (glass, ceramic, etc…) the most commonly used are plastic and wood. And while some people seem to be dedicated to one or the other, there seems to be no clear and definitive winner.

The Food Service Warehouse website has put together a comprehensive comparison guide to wood vs. plastic boards and even they seem to have trouble coming up with a clear answer. Check out their simple comparison.

So what’s the answer then? Well, one solution is to have 3 separate boards: one for chicken, one for all other meat and one for everything else. If you’re feeling fancy you can even color code them to help you keep them separate! Sur la Table, for example, has sets of color coded boards you can purchase ranging anywhere from $10 – $30.

However, don’t fret- you don’t have to run out and buy an all new set of boards. What I’ve done at home is label each side of my plastic cutting board with permanent marker; that way, I always use the same side for meats and the same side for vegetables without having to buy a whole new set.

The main point of contention seems to center around sanitation and proper cleaning methods. When cooking anything it is most important to avoid cross-contamination to help prevent food-born illness. The bottom line is that each type of board harbors bacteria in its own way; therefore it doesn’t necessarily matter which type you choose for what food, just as long as you clean it properly.

One odd cleaning tip I’ve come across is that putting your wooden board in the microwave for a couple of minutes helps to kill bacteria even underneath the surface. I recommend extreme caution with this tip though- no wooden boards with metal or plastic pieces and absolutely no plastic boards whatsoever. And if nuking your cutting board is just too weird, hot soapy water works just fine.

Regardless of what type you choose, just be sure to practice good cutting board safety- and stay healthy out there!

– Jennie Whistler


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Sweet, Cheese-Us!

Posted by / Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

A friend of mine recently found out that she’s lactose intolerant. Reacting perhaps as a cruel friend, I immediately spoke the first thought that came to mind: “So no more ice cream or frozen yogurt?”

“Actually, I’m more upset about not being able to eat cheese.”

Being a lifelong cheese consumer, she’s bummed, to say the least, and understandably so. Being a good friend, I assured her I’d eat enough cheese for the both of us.

Image: Nayashkova Olga/Shutterstock

Upon moving to the NoVA area, I have realized that there is an abundance of great cheese shops here. Who woulda thunk? Wisconsin, of course. Vermont, sure. But Virginia? Sweet! To say the least, I’m glad to know the NoVA area has such a sharp thing to offer as great cheese. You cheddar believe it!

So, in lieu of all the grate cheese puns, I’ve decided to post a little visit from the cheese muenster (pardon the cheesiness). Here’s a short list, just enough to tickle your cheese fancy, of local places to find good cheese in NoVA (in simple alphabetical order):

Bella Italia Market & Deli (320 William St., Fredericksburg; 540-371-3354)
This small market offers a wide range of Italian groceries, including, of course, cheese.

Blue Ridge Dairy Company (retail in a variety of locations; 703-443-6605)
This Leesburg based farm makes four kinds of cheese in their artisan creamery: fresh mozzarella, applewood smoked mozzarella, aged feta, and fresh ricotta. You can buy their products in a variety of farmers markets and Whole Foods stores in Arlington, Alexandria, Tyson’s Corner, Vienna, Reston, Springfield, and Fair Lakes.

Cheesetique (2441 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, and a new location opening in Shirlington; 703-706-5300)
This half specialty cheese shop, half cheese and wine bar hosts monthly hour-long cheese classes including cheese education and tasting, as well as private cheese classes ($55 pp).

Everona Dairy (23246 Clarks Mountain Road, Rapidan; 540-854-4159)
Everona’s cheeses are part of their main product line, including the Piedmont, their signature cheese made with sheep’s milk.

The Frenchman’s Cellar (129 East Davis St., Culpeper; 540 827–4757)
The Frenchman’s Cellar offers samples and explanations of their over 50 in-house cheeses, sliced to order.

La Fromagerie (1222 King St., Alexandria; 703-879-2467)
With the simple proper French name, La Fromagerie cheese shop shows off their main shining star with an enormous selection of seasonal cheeses.

Marshall Farms Corner (Route 522 & Route 20, Unionville; 540-854-6800)
This farm, country store, deli and wine shop in the Shenandoah Mountains makes their own natural cheese with organic milk from their pasture raised dairy cows. They have five different varieties of cheddar and four different varieties of jack, including one with sundried tomato and basil. They also offer an extensive breakfast and lunch menu featuring what else but their homemade cheese.

Mountain View Farm Products (85 Marmac Lane, Fairfield; 540-460-4161)
Mountain View Farm Products is a family owned, 250 acre dairy farm with approximately 120 cows and fresh farmstead cheeses made with raw milk, cultures, herbs, spices and peppers.

Oak Spring Dairy (8370 Oak Spring Road, Upperville; 540-592-3559)
This 150 acre farm specializes in their own raw cheese, made with naturally produced milk.

Screwtop Cheese Shop (1025 N. Fillmore St., Arlington; 703-888-0845)
Screwtop’s weekly rotating cheese in stock ranges from “fresh & bright,” “creamy & bloomy,” “aromatic & delightful,” “nutty & caramel-y,” and “flavored” from various regions in the US and worldwide.

-Julia Harbo


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The Farm Table at Vermilion

Posted by / Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

House Charcuterie

 

Vermilion was named as one of the region’s best restaurants for a reason. All rustic charm and exposed brick, Vermilion is not just offering up great food and atmosphere, but using local and farm-raised products whenever possible. Last night I had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to not only get a taste of Vermilion’s Farm to Table tasting menu, but to sit down with the woman who’s farm made it all possible.

Elaine Boland is the owner of Fields of Athenry, a family-inspired farm where they serve the local community through pasture-raised antibiotic and hormone-free meats and other fine foods. As she says herself, Fields of Athenry Farm didn’t start out with a mission, but it has one today.

Boland’s personal quest for a more natural and holistic healing method began when her second youngest daughter became ill more than eight years ago. After bouncing around from doctor to doctor, she began a personal quest to explore the “relationship between the foods we eat and chronic diseases such as allergies, obesity, depression, cancer, autism and more.” The farm became more about focusing on “whole foods” grown the way nature intended- including hormone-free meats, raw milk and cheeses, pesticide-free produce and nutrient-dense stocks.

“Here at the farm we believe in healthy eating as the first and foremost preventative measure to many illnesses,” she states. And according to her, her daughter’s health has taken a 360 degree turnaround.

Thus began her quest to share her passion with others. Enter Executive Chef Anthony Chittum and the Farm Table concept.

Chittum understands and appreciates the value of having fresh local ingredients at his disposal- and he doesn’t take it for granted. The Farm Table at Vermilion is a commitment to the local farmers, purveyors and foragers who consistently provide an amazing array of regionally grown goods. Offered just two nights a week, these intimate dinner parties (of only 2-6 people) are both prepared and served by Chef Chittum, and focus squarely on the very best of the week’s local produce. Dedicated to those equally committed to their craft, The Farm Table will present an unequaled opportunity to dine with the chef at his best, share his stories and to explore his changing inspirations.

The Farm Table at Vermilion combines Chef Chittum’s expertise with Boland’s fresh meats and produce to create a tasting menu you won’t soon forget. Our menu last night consisted of 7 courses, starting with grass-fed beef Carpaccio and ending with a homemade apple pie “bar” served with a variety of flavored ice cream, whipped cream, sauces and nut toppings. Heaven.

And in between, a variety of dishes so artfully prepared that they were as pretty to look at as they were delicious.

One of my favorites- a squid ink tagliarini, made with Atlantic squid two ways, minced Thai chilies and a house-made lamb pancetta. It had just the right amount of heat from the chilies and richness from the lamb pancetta to make it a truly inspired dish.

The last meat course was a lamb porterhouse, inspired by Chef Chittum’s fiance’s Greek heritage. Boland is particularly proud of their pasture-fed lamb meat and I could see why. Served with a crispy loukaniko “cannelloni” and an heirloom tomato salad, this lamb was one of the best chops I had ever tasted- tender, juicy and cooked to perfection. Even though I was already so full by this time, I still ate every single bite.

 

Lamb Porterhouse with flavors from Syros

 

I highly recommend that, at least once, you treat yourself to this brilliant menu and concept. Spend a few extra dollars and get the wine pairings as well- you won’t be disappointed. It’s amazing how the right wine can not only complement an already-perfect dish, but elevate it as well. Trust me, you’re in good hands at Vermilion.

The Farm Table is available Tuesday and Wednesday evenings with one seating at 6:30 p.m. They welcome parties of 2 to 6 people, and the meal is typically six to eight courses and ranges from $75 to $90 per person. Menus are posted two days in advance, limiting the number of allergy or dietary requests we can accommodate. For more information or reservations, call 703.684.9669 or visit their website here.

For more information about Fields of Athenry Farm, go here.

– Jennie Whistler

 

 


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Big Apples outside the Big Apple

Posted by / Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

 

Image: Subbotina Anna/Shutterstock

After a weeklong threat of a second Noah’s Ark style flood, I couldn’t have been happier to see the sun shining this morning, for the second morning in a row. With a couple of clouds in the otherwise blue sky, and about 70 degrees, it seemed like the perfect fall morning– and yes, I’m aware that it’s still technically summer.

But I figured I may as well jump the gun on the fall season this morning, especially after I had the delightful pleasure of enjoying the biggest, crispest, juiciest apple of the month yet. I know this is only the 13th day in September, but hey, I’m a big apple person.

Give me 10 seconds and I can name my top five types of apples: Fuji, Pink Lady, Gala, Golden Delicious, Empire. Easy.

The particular one I had this morning was a Fuji that I picked up from Harris Teeter. As soon as I saw them in the apple section, they stood out among all of the other apples. They were about twice the size of your normal apple (a hefty five inches in diameter) and put all other apples to shame, making them pale in comparison.

We all know an apple a day keeps the doctor away. I love eating apples raw, preferably chilled in the fridge. My mom always nagged me about peeling the skin off apples bought at the grocery store to avoid consuming any sort of chemicals or pesticides, but there’s nothing I enjoy more about eating apples than taking that first bite and hearing the loud crunch from the tear of the slightly bitter skin, and making way to the sweet and juicy inside.

It’s common knowledge that you should always wash your fruit, which I am in full support of, probably because I had it engrained in me as a child by my parents to always wash my fruit ever so thoroughly. I have a specific memory of my dad washing an apple, pear, peach, whatever it was, under the faucet of our kitchen sink, saying, “Gotta get rid of any germs!”

I also remember the childhood bliss of going to fresh apple orchards to go apple picking in the northern suburbs of New York City. We would get one of those little white paper bags to deposit our freshly picked apples, often times with the leaves still attached (because I wasn’t the strongest little kid), and my parents would always allow us to eat one while we were walking through the orchard greens.

“But what about washing it? It’s dirty!” I would ask them, trained by their own words.

“You don’t have to worry about it here. These apples are fresh and clean,” they’d reply, leaving me confused and slightly skeptical, so I’d smear the apple’s skin with the bottom of my dirty t-shirt.

Despite the threat of whatever dirt, harmful or harmless as it might be, the gratification of fresh apples this time of year is undeniable. Whether they’re from your local grocery store, farmers market, or orchard, take my recommendation and start enjoying some apples this apple season.

-Julia Harbo


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Food for Fido- All Are Not Created Equal

Posted by / Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

We’ve all been made aware that obesity is one of the leading problems in our society today; but what about for your pets?

According to a recent study, obesity in domestic animals is on the rise as well- as much as 20 percent of dogs and cats in America are obese. This is a 1 percent increase from 2007. Part of the problem is that even a small weight gain for a pet is a significant increase.

Ok, so obviously there has to be some sort of correlation. American’s aren’t getting enough exercise and, therefore, our pets aren’t either. But, as the owner of a dog who has recently put on quite a bit of weight, I know that there are other factors at play.

Our 4 year old Welsh Corgi, Nitro, has always been very slim and active. He can and will retrieve an old tennis ball for hours without any signs of slowing- but within the last year we started to notice an excess of tummy dragging on the ground. His exercise habits had not changed- but his food had.

Nitro the Corgi

About a year ago, we decided to buy him a type of dog food that is supposed to be all-natural, super healthy, holistic, etc… All the reviews raved that it was the best type of food to give your pet, made only with the finest ingredients. We felt we were doing Nitro a favor by being such good “parents” and buying this healthy (and expensive!) dog food.

6 months later, at a routine trip to the vet, she informed us that our little dog had put on a hefty 6 pounds! She warned us that all dog foods are not equal; even the ones that say they promote healthy weight management may contain more calories (or kCal) per serving than the dog (or cat) should be having. She reminded us that it is very important to always check the nutritional content- just like you would buying food for yourself.

This was news to me. I had no idea that I should be checking the caloric content of dog food. And sure enough, even though Nitro was on a Weight Management version, the calories per serving were twice what he should be having as a daily intake.

Lesson learned. Don’t just go for the fancy stuff. Be sure to talk to your vet about what’s right for your pet.

FYI, we have since switched him to a lower calorie (and lower priced) food and, sure enough, he seems to be losing weight!

 

– Jennie Whistler

 


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I Eat: America Eats

Posted by / Monday, September 12th, 2011

This Friday, as a tri-birthday celebration and in honor of the ten year anniversary of 9/11, I went to America Eats Tavern, José Andrés’ new restaurant replacement of the acclaimed Café Atlántico in DC.

America Eats Tavern, DC

José Andrés, apart from being named as an official Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation, originally trained at the “best restaurant in the world” (before it closed), El Bulli, and is an acclaimed master of Spanish cooking. Despite this regional mastery, Andrés’ new Tavern sure does wave the American flag strongly in every way possible. In teaming up with the National Archives, the restaurant serves as a benefit in partnership with the exhibit “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” and all profits from the restaurant are being donated to the exhibit.

America Eats Tavern falls into the category of the trendy pop-up restaurant. The menu is essentially an archive itself, telling stories of American history through food dating back to the 1600’s, with Native American hulled corn transformed into creamy grits or a variety of oysters from New York City in the 1800’s. I could have spent an hour just reading the menu and its historical descriptions, but, heck, we wanted to eat.

This restaurant was definitely an upscale scene, but when one of us ordered the peanut butter and jelly sandwich with foie gras, I couldn’t help but laugh when it came out served with a mini jug of milk (with a straw) and a brown bag of potato chips. I got a bonus chuckle as our first course was being cleared and the waitress asked, “Are you still working on your milk?”

 

At first, when my gazpacho was placed in front of me—a disproportionately big white bowl with three tiny tomatoes outlining a small pool of vinegar-speckled olive oil—I thought, Well, Americans must really doctor up the traditional gazpacho, and, I’m glad I ordered a second course. But then another member of the wait staff proceeded to pour a fresh tomato puree around the circle of tomatoes and olive oil and it was too late before the idea came to take a video on my phone (hey, I might be eating food from the 1800’s, but it’s the 21st century now!).

 

Needless to say, it was some of the boldest and tastiest gazpacho I’ve ever had, even in its deconstructed form. It was my first time actually tasting deconstructed food (after watching it for years on Top Chef) and I have to say, there’s definitely something to be said about it.

Maybe the coolest part of the meal was the dessert: key lime pie a la deconstruction.

With a spoonful of lavender-topped condensed milk, graham cracker crumbs, meringue, and lime zest foam (yes, foam!) it really did taste like a traditional sweet and zesty key lime pie that just happened to look like a strange futuristic molecular gastronomical deconstructed half food, half art.

America Eats Tavern, which has appropriately been open since this past July 4, will remain popped-up and open, at least, until January 1.

-Julia Harbo


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Chew On This

Posted by / Monday, September 12th, 2011

In recent years, we’ve all heard the FDA and other food experts talk about food addiction in the same way one might talk about a heroin addiction, withdrawals and all. And with obesity still on the rise in theUnited States, experts are trying to link the neurological impulses of the brain to the insatiable desire to eat.

But what happens when a person begins craving things that aren’t really food?

Pica is a medical disorder characterized by a person’s desire to ingest non-nutritive substances- in other words, things that aren’t really food. This can range anywhere from clay and dirt, to toilet paper and cleaning products. Although there is surprisingly limited research on this disorder, most believe it is caused by a mineral deficiency and is the body’s way of trying to self-medicate.

Although it has not been widely research, it has recently been widely publicized with TV shows such as TLC’s “My Strange Addiction” and “Freaky Eaters.” These shows center around the lives of people who have lost the ability to control their cravings to non-food items. One woman scours the hillsides looking for rocks to eat; another eats ashes directly out of ashtrays; still another has been slowly eating her couch cushions down to small nubs.

Check out this clip from TLC’s My Strange Addiction:

Another “My Strange Addiction” participant, Bianca, is a young girl who has been addicted to eating pottery for four years. A non-smoker, she has recently graduated to licking cigarette ashes- sometimes straight from the ashtray. “I can’t live without it. It’s something that the body just craves,” she said on the show.

What is causing these people to put their health and, indeed, their lives at risk? As with most addictions, the compulsive nature of this disorder seems to allow them to “forget” that what they are doing is harmful. Side effects could include intestinal blockage, vomiting, and even death. In the case of Bianca, she is more at risk of developing certain types of cancer. And while there are many theories circulating as to why this behavior occurs, there seems to be no known and definitive cure. Most doctors suggest mineral supplements and behavioral therapy, but also assert that it also may just go away on its own. Who knows though- the sufferers on TLC seem to feel strangely connected and emotionally attached to their addiction of choice. Most seem unwilling to stop.

I am always wary of shows like this; the ones that almost seem to glamorize people’s unfortunate and sometimes hopeless situations. It seems like the more willing we are to put these stories on TV, the more people surface to tell their stories. Which leads to the question, does television create these disorders, make them seem alluring and attractive? Or does it simply prompt more and more people to tell their stories without feeling judged? Perhaps both. Either way, Pica fascinates me. I’ve never had any strong urge to drink laundry detergent or snack on paint chips so it’s almost, dare I say, addicting to watch.

But if nothing else, perhaps these television shows call attention to the fact that there is much more research to be done and much more help out there. It is a very real and potentially harmful disorder… not just an entertaining show on TLC.

-Jennie Whistler


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Gordon Biersch Brief Beer Breakdown

Posted by / Friday, September 9th, 2011

Last night, in desperate need of at bare minimum one good beer to help celebrate my birthday, I went with some friends to Gordon Biersch. Since I just moved down from the NYC area and don’t have Gordon Biersch up there, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed (though in a good way) by the selection of Biersch brewed beers. For those of you who don’t know, Gordon Biersch brews their own German-style beer and co-founder Dan Gordon actually studied at the most renowned beer brewing school in the world, in Munich, where brewers made their beer following the Reinheitsgebot, the ancient German Purity Law of Beer.

Image: Julian Rovagnati/Shutterstock

Because it was my birthday and I was in no position to order anything for myself, my boyfriend got me the Hefeweizen, which was described to me as having a banana flavor and I immediately approved. Unlike most stereotypical females, I am a beer person, and in fact I would go as far (and yet not that far) to say I LOVE beer!

I’ve grown a lot since my college days when my choice of beer was made by two categories: quantity and quantity. That’s small quantity of money, and large quantity of beer. And that usually ended up with one of three 30-pack choices: Natural “Natty” Light, Milwaukee’s “BEAST” Best, or, if it was a special occasion, Coors Light (because it was a dollar or two pricier).

These days I have a wider range of characteristics to judge my beer on. So does Gordon Biersch, apparently, and the rest of the world. I love any beer joint that provides a rundown of a beverage’s statistics on the menu (I find it helpful to know the exact percentage, including the decimal point, of the alcohol I’m consuming). I also appreciate a flavor listing of any beer, such as GB’s Hefeweizen, which was described as “hinting of citrus, banana, bubble gum and clove.” I don’t know if I got the bubble gum, but I definitely picked up on the banana and citrus, and was loving it.

Gordon Biersch has eight different types of beer right now: Hefeweizen, Marzen, Blonde Bock, Czewch Style Pilsner, Maibock, SommerBrau, WinterBock, and FestBier. All include handy descriptions, statistics, and even supplementary recipes on GB’s website.

Gordon Biersch is located in McLean (7861 Tysons Corner Center; 703-388-5454), with other restaurants nearby in Maryland and DC, as well as throughout the country. For other awesome local beer joints in NoVA, check out the following (listed in alphabetical order):

Capitol City Brewing Company (4001 Campbell Ave., Arlington; 703-578-3888)
Lost Rhino (21730 Red Rum Road, Ashburn; 571-291-2083)
Mad Fox Brewing Company (444 W. Broad St., Falls Church; 703-942-6840)
Port City (3950 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria; 703-797-2739)
Rock Bottom (4328 Wilson Blv., Arlington; 703-516-7688)
Rustico (827 Slaters Lane, Alexandria; 703-224-5051)
Sweetwater Tavern (Three locations, in Centreville, Merrifield and Sterling)
Vintage 50 (50 Catoctin Circle NE, Leesburg; 703-777-2169)

Hoppy drinking, my fellow beer lovers!

-Julia Harbo


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Celebrate the Harvest This Week in Middleburg

Posted by / Friday, September 9th, 2011

(Image Andrimka/Shutterstock)

Whenever summer ends, I always feel a little blue. But one of the reasons I look forward to fall is all the festivals and events that begin celebrating the best part of the season- the food.

Starting today and continuing through the 18th Celebrate the Harvest Week is back in Middleburg, VA and it’s your chance to sample the region’s best food and wine!

The restaurants of Middleburg, Virginia, in the heart of Hunt Country, will recognize the year’s bountiful harvest by offering special dishes on their menus featuring fresh and local produce, meats, cheeses, wines and other edibles. Celebrate the Harvest Week aims to bring together local farmers, vintners and food artisans with the town’s restaurateurs, who are excited to showcase locally produced goods. The campaign is part of an ongoing cooperative effort to promote local, fresh and seasonal foods.

“Celebrate the Harvest Week is a great way to support local restaurants and purveyors,” said Marny Birkitt, co-owner of The French Hound Restaurant and an organizer of the event. “This event will give patrons an opportunity to experience the wonderful food and wine that Virginia’s Piedmont region has to offer.”

Marny also said that this year, at the French Hound, they will be featuring a lot of fresh, local herbs within their dishes that will pair perfectly with haricots verts and roasted half-chicken from Ayrshire Farms, located right down the street. The Farm is a certified organic farm, specializing in rare and endangered breeds of livestock and heirloom fruits and vegetables. Their

Got a sweet tooth? Don’t forget dessert! Be sure to finish off your evening with a visit to The Upper Crust bakery, located on North Pendleton Street. They will be featuring their apple, walnut and caramel spice cake with locally grown Virginia apples- I’m assured it’s a true crowd-pleaser.

Here is a complete list of participating restaurants- call today to make your reservations!

Backstreet Cafe – 540.687.3122
Dank’s Deli – 540.687.3456
The Fox Den Tavern – 540.687.4165
The French Hound - 540.687.3018
Home Farm - 540.687.8882
Julien’s Restaurant -540.687.3123
Market Salamander - 540.687.8011
Mello Out - 540.687.8635
The Red Fox Inn - 540.687.6301
The Red Horse Tavern – 540.687.6443
Teddy’s Pizza & Subs – 540.687.8880
The Upper Crust – 540.687.5666

Also, during Celebrate the Harvest week, be on the lookout for Middleburg’s first Celebration Saturday event. Starting September 17, the town of Middleburg will come alive the third Saturday of each month through December. Celebration Saturdays will feature local musicians and artists as well as unique shopping and dining. Many shops and galleries in town will stay open until 7 p.m. during this special event series.

Celebrate the Harvest Week and Celebration Saturdays are hosted by Middleburg businesses and sponsored by the Middleburg Business and Professional Association. Visit www.townofmiddleburg.org today for more information!!

 

– Jennie Whistler

 

 


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A Sure-Fire Cure for Those Rainy Day Blues

Posted by / Friday, September 9th, 2011

Will it ever stop raining??

I don’t know about you but when it rains for five days straight, I want to do nothing more than pull the covers back over my head and drift off to the incessant pounding of rain against my window. But, unfortunately, that isn’t always an option.

So instead, let’s make the best of what we got!

My cure: spicy orange margaritas! It’s a sunny and sizzling pick-me-up to wash away those rainy day blues.

Really, any kind of margarita will close the book on a particularly long, wet day. But I like these–spicy and sweet with a kick of OLE! at the end.

Here’s the secret: cut up a habanero pepper, with the seeds removed, and let it soak in the tequila before you use it. Just remember that the longer you let it sit, the more fiery it becomes. So be careful; 10 – 15 minutes is really all you need.

Pour your habanero-infused tequila over ice. Add 2 parts margarita mix and 1 part orange juice and mix!

Now if that doesn’t make you forget all about the horrible weather, I don’t know what will!

– Jennie Whistler


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