It's ALWAYS a kitchen party & EVERYONE's invited!
Welcome to Ladles & Linens Kitchen Shoppe!
Thanks for visiting! 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 22 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 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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Soup is a lot of things. It's comforting, warming - but no one ever describes it as fun. It can be, and since "playing with your food" is an instant ice-breaker at dinner parties, why not have a hot pot night?
It's easier than you think. In fact, zero cooking is necessary - just a little prep work. Aside from the central simmering pot, guests are seated around a table of raw food. No having to time out dishes in the oven!
Popular in Asian culture, a hot pot is simply a simmering pot in the center of a communal table, where thinly-sliced meats, vegetables and noodles are boiled and enjoyed with a variety of dipping sauces. The Japanese version of this is called shabu-shabu, but it's huge in China too. Everyone has their own bowl, and guests can make themselves a variety of mini-bowls, with no two tasting alike.
To prep, fill a variety of bowls and dishes with raw, thinly-sliced meat, sliced vegetables (scallions, shitake mushrooms, shredded cabbage, etc.), raw rice noodles, and a variety of sauces, such as sesame oil, Sriracha, soy sauce; any Asian-centric sauces you love. For the bowl of broth itself, you can buy hot pot flavor packets at your local Asian grocery store. The guests do all of the cooking, and it's done communally around the pot over great conversation. It's a winter meal that truy brings people together, as evidenced below.
The best hot sauce in the world will take everything up a notch. Try Lao Gan Ma.
They also happen to make a great broth flavor pack for your hot pot, so you may as well stick with this brand!
Give everyone chopsticks and kanji, or a deep Asian soup spoon. Make it an immersive experience.
Chopped garlic, always.
While at the Asian grocery store, grab a bag of dehydrated mushrooms. These rare varieties have a great depth of flavor.
We visited the land of shabu shabu, and it was tasty tasty. Yours will be too!
"Longer nights" is a positive spin on winter's "shorter days," and sounds much more romantic. And what better way to celebrate longer nights than with a drink that warms you from the inside out?
With real melted butter, this drink gives a hint of comfort food. The recipe is sweet like butterscotch, but with spices to give it depth.
This is a drink that would feel absolutely out of place in warm weather. The Germans have loved it for centuries, and with just five ingredients, what's not to love?
This twist on the classic hot toddy is modern, global and delicious. And since hot toddies are said to help battle a cold, you can indulge in guilt-free seconds. Or thirds. Oh, who's counting?
Last but not least, you can use lesser known sweet liqueurs to spike your coffee or hot cocoa. Bailey's Irish Cream is a favorite, but Nutella lovers would appreciate the sweet hazelnut taste of Frangelico. And Kahlua coffee liqueur with a dash of cinnamon will add a little love to your mug.
Time to savor these long winter nights!
So the holiday decorations have been put away, and your home feels bare. On the bright side, you decluttered. Consider your living space to be a blank slate, a fresh start before bringing on the hygge.
What exactly is hygge? This buzzword, pronounced "hyu-gah," exploded into pop culture in 2016, and has been named Word of the Year by both Oxford and Collins dictionaries. Simply put, hygge is "a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)."
Denmark and Norway practice hygge as a culture year-round, but especially in winter. The Northern hemisphere experiences limited sunlight and bitter cold, and their way of celebrating comfort is an art.
Below are 5 ways you can practice hygge this winter.
To beat the isolation that can occur in winter, Danes often invite friends and family over for intimate gatherings. Sometimes it involves a nature walk to soak up vitamin D in that sliver of time the sun is out. Per the below photo, my friends and I enjoyed an outdoor walk, then warmed up by a fire pit, drinking craft beer. Regardless, it ends with everyone indoors for a cozy get-together. And what is a winter gathering without comfort food? Bake something to share.
Stack some wood in the fireplace and settle in. Cut off the harsh overhead lights and light candles to give your room a warm glow. Danes burn through more candle wax than any other European country - about 13 lbs per person per year!
Warm and Fuzzy
Weighted blankets, faux fur comforters and soft throw pillows, there are all things that will make you feel safely cocooned, as you Netflix and chill.
Wool socks and cashmere sweaters feel as good as they look, but nothing's better than an old pair of sweatpants. Hyggebukser is an actual term for a worn pair of pants you would never wear in public, but secretly treasure.
Though Los Angeles is generally warmer, desert climate calls for chilly evenings, even during the summer. On cold winter nights (there was frost guys), friends would gather around the fire at our cabin, drink spiced mulled wine and because every gathering has one, some guy would inevitably pull out a guitar.
Year after year, Scandinavians are voted the happiest people in the world. While it's true that employers and the government promote an incredible work/life balance, part of the picture is their focus on comfort, and living well. And during these winter months, we need all the hygge we can get!