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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Per usual with Virginia weather, the seasons changed overnight. On Sunday I was slathered in sunblock on the James River, and two days later, I'm enthusiastically hoping a sweater still fits. And it feels wonderful! Not just the fact that the sweater fit. I'm talking about all of it. The crisp, clean air, the cozy throw blankets, the smell of wood smoke. Sigh.
The latest online cooking class from Ladles and Linens got me even more in the spirit. Sweet, sweet Sarah made Hot Coconut Milk Punch (pictured below). For anyone who hasn't joined the party, these cooking classes on Facebook are free - one of the silver linings of COVID-19.
While we're all feeling warm and fuzzy, I'd love to share a crock pot cocktail recipe. Pumpkin Spiked Hot Cocoa! It's creamy and delicious, and when made in a crock pot, a real crowd-pleaser. I'm a big fan of ready-made cocktails for guests. In the summer they're in iced pitchers and when it's cold out: the crock pot. No muss, no fuss, and more time to relax.
Note: If you are hosting underage visitors or non-drinkers, skip the vodka and this is good to go!
What you'll need:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Put the slow cooker on low
- Mix in all the ingredients (except the chocolate chips)
- Whisk until smooth, then add in the chocolate chips
- Cook on low for at least 2 hours, until the chocolate chips are fully melted
- Whisk again and serve with marshmallows or whipped cream dusted with pumpkin pie spice
Enjoy! As evidenced by the below photo, my sister (pictured right) and I really get into the autumn spirit. Bonfires, hayrides, the whole bit. I can confirm that a simmering crock pot of goodness was responsible for the bottom two photos!
If you step into a Ladles and Linens store, you can't help but get caught up in the excitement of the season! It doesn't take much to get us worked up these days. Though our homes are the most important place in the world, we sure have spent an awful lot of time in them. Ladles is bursting with inspiration; there's even an online Halloween curated collection for people who would rather shop from home.
When COVID-19 first hit, there was a lot of fear that winter. Spring gave way to a spate of home improvement projects, and got us back outside. But by the time the dog days of summer hit us, without summer vacations and pools to break up the days, there was a whole lot of sameness.
So bust out the pumpkins, light a spiced candle and bring on the autumn hygge! Ladles and Linens has you covered. We have to make the most of every season. Without proper school, it's hard for my son to note the changing of the seasons. Now he's greeted by a scarecrow and a collection of gourds every time he returns home. He lights up at the differentness of it all.
Who knows what next summer will look like? Perhaps we'll once again pack into pools and dominate the beaches. I hope for the health and well-being of everyone, and once that comes to fruition, everything else will slowly fall into place. Until then, we need to enjoy the irony of Labor Day: celebrate labor by not laboring!
Now more than ever, we need to treat ourselves. We got through a Covid-19 summer without many of the friends and family we normally see. Pools were closed and vacations were canceled. We couldn't hide away from the heat index in movie theaters to the tune of tacky summer blockbusters. But we did it. With a little bit of grumbling and a truckload of creativity, we did it!
Now let's celebrate this milestone properly, before we are pummeled by pumpkin spice. Let's start with cocktails!
It's still warm and our herb gardens spilleth over, so why not sip a refreshing gimlet? Gin has herbal notes, and you can give it a summer twist with muddled basil and cucumber. Shake the gin and muddled basil-cucumber mix with lemonade, lime juice and ice until chilled. Strain over ice, then garnish with a fresh basil leaf - Thai basil, if you know what's good for you!
One of my favorite things about summertime are the thunderstorms. I sit on the front porch swing, sip something cool and hope that the lighting borders frightening. The perfect cocktail for this is a dark 'n stormy. Just mix iced ginger beer with dark rum, and add a squeeze of lime. It's a little sweet, a little spicy and 100% summer.
The pandemic and all its restrictions have been a perfect excuse to splurge a bit. Pools closed? Rent someone's private pool by the hour via Swimply. I found a spot in Virginia just 16 miles away from me! Don't forget to pack these chic stemless wine cups - they won't break, they have lids to ward off bugs and they stay cool in the sun!
Perhaps your splurge should involve open waters. If you miss the beach but fear how packed they'll be for Labor Day Weekend, rent a boat. If you aren't a skilled or even licensed boater, simply rent a pontoon. It's a floating raft with a mild engine, and handles well. You'll have room to spread out and tan, picnic or go fishing. And boating in general is perfect for social distancing.