Tabletop & Entertaining

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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The Story of Cooking - L & L Blog

What your favorite drink says about you, from a bartender who's seen it all

Mike Stankovich of Longfellow in Cincinnati

Mike Stankovich of Longfellow in Cincinnati (Credit: Catie Viox)

When Ladles owner Sarah Nicholas and her husband frequented their favorite bar in New York, the bartender would serve her a Hugo spritz, and a lager for Evan. It seemed to fit their personalities. Sarah is a trained chef, and elderflower liqueur appeals to a sophisticated palate. Her husband Evan is an FBI agent and sports fan, and just loves a good beer

It begs the question: Are bartenders sizing us up based on what we order? I knew just who to ask. Mike Stankovich may look like a hipster bartender at one of those reclaimed wood and Edison lights-type establishments, but make no mistake. He is a tastemaker and cultural juggernaut. Just ask the New York Times, GQ, Boston Herald,  and the countless news outlets that have paid their respects. He's also been my friend for over 25 years. Stankovich now owns Longfellow, a neighborhood bar in Cincinnati with a devoted following. 

 

"It's not what the customers order. It's how they order a drink," he insists. "I like it when someone comes in, and knows how they like their cocktails made. Some bartenders may be offended that someone likes it prepared a bit differently, but I respect that." Some pet peeves include leading a drink order with the mixer, followed by a generic liquor request. "Sometimes people will come in and ask for a Coke and whiskey. We have many kinds of whiskey, so it's best to lead with the liquor."

When I asked him to name certain drinks and the types of people who order them, he demurred. After 25 years, he's decidedly less snarky and judgmental as the guy I met as a teen. Not to mention he has a business to run. "I'll name three cocktails people order that tend to make me think highly of them," he offered. "The Negroni, gin and tonic, and a Manhattan." Why? "They're straightforward and classic."

Duly noted.

negroni cocktail

Below are a few outtakes from bartenders who have no hesitation sharing their opinion on what you order, and what it says about you:

  • Old Fashioned: You've been streaming Mad Men (various sources)
  • Vodka Martinis: Highly successful, highly functional alcoholics.”  - David Bumba, Yuzu, Lakewood, OH
  • Whiskey Sour: “I may or may not be 21.” - Kayla Quigley, Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar, Boston, MA
  • White Russian: “Respectable by my standards.” - Jane Danger, Mother of Pearl, New York, NY
  • Long Island Iced Tea: “We didn’t have your first two requests of Fireball and Goldschläger.” - Brandy Feit, Headwaters, Portland, OR
  • Mojito“You're probably a cool cat looking for something refreshing. Just please don't crush it faster than I can make it; these things take time.” - Ted Vong, TAG Restaurant, Denver, CO
  • Cosmopolitan: “Where's the rest of the bachelorette party!?” — Justin Nelson, Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, Los Angeles, CA
  • “Moscow Mule: "You have a subscription to both Better Homes & Gardens and Sunset. You have strong opinions on how lime wedges should be cut.” — Drew Record, Mister Jiu's, San Fransisco, CA

 

July 04, 2020 by Fayeruz Regan

What's up, dog?

 

crazy hot dogs

Guess how many hot dogs will be eaten this Independence Day? If you guessed 150 million, I'd be concerned for you. But you would also be right. That's a lot of weiners.

Hot dogs are always on the menu for the Fourth of July, but why not heighten the occasion? Go all out with a hot dog bar, where people can stack up thematic franks with uncommon toppings. The great Nora Ephron always said that people love to play with their food. 

hot dog bar

The below toppings can be combined for a taste you'll relish. See what I did there?

The Buffalo Dog: Hot sauce, crumbled blue cheese & diced celery

Blue Hawaii: Pineapple chunks, bacon and BBQ sauce

Tex Mex: Grated cheddar, chili, diced onion, sliced jalapenos and crumbled Fritos

Garden Party: Caramelized onions, grilled peppers, jalapenos and mushrooms

El Mariachi: Jalapenos, corn, cilantro, diced onion and cojita cheese

The American Dream: American cheese, onion dip and crushed potato chips

Some entertaining tips:

Make a chalkboard menu with combo suggestions

Create fun names for thematic hot dogs

Keep all the toppings in bowls or containers the same size and shape. The uniform look is appealing when people are making tough decisions

Have a DAREDEVIL section for outlandish toppings, like super-spicy ghost peppers, peanut butter or even marshmallows! Scour your cabinets and you'll be sure to find some stand-out options.

Happy Independence Day!

girl with fireworks

June 27, 2020 by Fayeruz Regan

For all those dog day afternoons

a boy and his greyhound

Summer solstice is upon us. The longest day of 2020 is Saturday the 20th (that's a lot of 20s). Hot, steamy weather is headed our way. In a month, they'll announce that we're in "the dog days of summer." Which got me thinking about dogs. Our team here at Ladles and Linens are true dog lovers. One look at our inventory makes it clear. From embroidered dog towels (58 different breeds thankyouverymuch!) to hilarious linen towels, we know how to celebrate man's best friend!

cute funny dog towel wigglebutts

And while we love to cook and entertain for our loved ones, we believe in spoiling our furry friends too! Dogs basically wear fur coats throughout summer, panting the days away. So in addition to bringing them inside, you can spoil them with homemade treats. It's easier than you think! We stock silicone dog biscuit molds and the recipe options are endless.

Here's an easy starter:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • A dash of salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your over to 350 degrees
  2. In an electric mixer, beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter and eggs on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky.
  4. Press mixture into the silicone mold
  5. Place into oven and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely before popping out.

Are your dog biscuits not the cutest? Who's a good wittle puppy pawwent? You are! Oh yes you are!

Happy solstice, and bring on the dog days!

 peanut butter homemade dog treats in a basket

June 20, 2020 by Fayeruz Regan