It's ALWAYS a kitchen party & EVERYONE's invited!
Hello & welcome to the family! Just like our happy little stores, we take pride in making this page a place you leave happier than when you arrived! We have been in business for 23 years now, starting as a small kitchen shoppe in Lexington VA and now have expanded to 2 other locations in Roanoke VA and Richmond VA. We are still small, but mighty! We pride ourselves on staying ahead of cooking, baking, bar and food trends. Meeting our customers needs is always forefront, whether it's that impossible to find gadget, hostess gift, entertaining/bar items or just a good ole fashion high five! We are owned by Chef Sarah Nicholas and have a BEYOND FABULOUS team that knows it all when speaking "kitchen".
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Last week I wrote about making the most out of what will be an unusual Memorial Day weekend. But I left out a major component: The drinks.
Did you know that the term "happy hour" has its origins in the military? The Navy invented the term for their break, which included drinks, wrestling matches, dancing and more. They were all in.
As am I, minus the wrestling part. Here are three Memorial Day cocktails that got their start with our friends in the military.
Gin & Tonic
The British East India Company had it bad with the mosquitoes in India. To fight malaria, they had to drink quinine, and it was bitter. To make it more palatable, they added a twist of lime. To make it fun, they added some gin. And a star was born. Note: Today's tonic water has much less quinine.
Cuba Libre (Rum and Coke)
American troops first brought Coca-Cola to Cuba during the Spanish-American War in 1898. For homesick soldiers, it was a taste of home. It didn't take long for Cubans to swoon. Then Fausto Rodriguez, a bartender in Cuba, first served the drink to a U.S. troop named “Barrio” who frequented his bar. They brought his signature "Cuba libre" back to the states and...cha cha cha.
Legend has it, a WWI Army captain was having a hell of a time beating a cold. He was often chauffeured by a motorcycle sidecar. He'd use it to frequent his favorite bar in Paris, where he enjoyed a custom cocktail. The bartender ended up naming the drink after the captain in the sidecar.
Cheers and have a wonderful Memorial Day!
Like most people, we have a Memorial Day tradition. A group of friends, along with our family of three, rent a big house somewhere either by water, on a mountain, or in a town we've never explored. We grill, drink and occasionally check in on our combined child army, to make sure everyone's still breathing.
For obvious reasons, we won't be gathering this year. But I'm determined not to make this Memorial Day feel like a memorial to the holidays of yore. We have to make the most of what we have, because what's the alternative?
Instagram would indicate that a lot of us are spending more time doing two things: baking, and gardening. If the latter is true, you've likely spent more time sprucing up the yard. What a perfect backdrop for Memorial Day. Though you might have ramped up your drinking just a bit to deal with the kids (or the spouse, no judgement), it is true that there may never be a era in our lives where we get to spend so much time with our families.
Our best option is to eat well, drink well, and enjoy the sunshine in your yard. The mosquitoes aren't at their most vicious, humidity has yet to paralyze us and oh the food. Below are a few tips to make the most of your back yard hullabaloo.
- Keep the bugs off your prized grilled ribeye, with these mesh food covers.
- Drinking games aren't just for big crowds. Less people? More tequila for you! Ladles and Linens has just the thing.
- Does your child also use their clothing as a napkin, though there's one right in front of them? Yea. Feel free to slather the corn cobs in butter, with these tidy cob holders.
- On Memorial Day, remembering our fallen military is important. And it's as American as apple pie. So why not bake some?
- And don't even think of ditching the whipped cream!
Have a happy Memorial Day.
On March 13th, I received a call from my sister, who urged me to buy toilet paper stat. I'm guilty of going overboard. Now I have enough toilet paper to cushion me against a parachute fail.
Unlike toilet paper, which lasts forever, those who purchased too many groceries are having to toss out expired food. In a world where we are all striving to be more sustainable, it can be guilt-inducing. Especially when we hear stories of food scarcity due to the pandemic. Below are some tips to help you use up every last morsel of your bounty.
- Stale Tortilla Chips - Nothing works better as a bottom layer of a casserole. It soaks up juices while keeping its crunch and has a salty finish. Especially delicious on anything Mexican-themed or cheesy. Also, if you bake a tray of nachos, no one will know that the chips were ever stale!
- Garlic - Are green sprouts bursting though? Plant these individual cloves in full sun (preferably a sandy, loamy soil), and each clove will produce an entire bulb! When the leaves start to whither and turn yellow, it's time to harvest.
- Stale Potato Chips - I mean, I would eat these anyway, but if you're fancy, crumble them until they're fine and use as a substitute for breadcrumbs. Or use as a crispy top layer of a casserole. I like to saute them in Texas Pete Hot Sauce and make a toasty top layer of buffalo chicken dip.
- Wilting salad spinach - If they are getting droopy, saute them with garlic and olive oil in a pan. Finish off with a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
- Stale bread - Cube and bake into breadcrumbs. Have fun with seasonings. You can make cumin jalapeno croutons for Mexican salads, or a garlicky Parmesan batch for Caesar salads.
- Fruit - Bananas turning black and strawberries getting mushy? Wash, peel and chop into cubes for a smoothie. Toss them into the freezer for later.
- Wilting herbs - Fresh herbs at the grocery store don't come cheap. Wash them well, and spread them out on a towel in a sunny spot of your home. Once dried, they can be stored and used like the dried spices in your collection. Only they'll be packing much more flavor.
- Meat expiring - If your freezer has no room and you don't want to eat it at the moment, make jerky!
- Vegetables - Chances are, you can find a good soup recipe for what you've got. Pull out your stock pot and get creative. One of the best things about soup is the way it freezes. Save up for a cold, rainy day by pouring into gallon freezer bags. Lay them flat in the freezer and they stack like playing cards - and the airtight nature of it keeps them relatively safe from freezer burn.
Remember, if it's too late for some of your bounty, you have options. Rotten produce can be composted, and moldy bread is still a treat for birds. Get outside, enjoy the sun and feed it to the ducks at your local park. I hope these tips make a little difference, and this shared experience that much easier.
Stay safe, my friends.