Cooking

A Sweet, Sweet Valentine

What's better than a store-bought valentine with your name on it? Add a little something sweet to make it a valentine to remember. Sure, you can buy pretty candy at just about any store this time of the year, but you can also get creative and make it yourself.

Make a Valentine's Day Breakfast

Your family does a lot for you: helping with homework, cooking your meals, and taking you to fun places. Why not give them a treat on Valentine's Day? A relaxing breakfast with a few special touches is a great way to show how much you love them.

Nutcracker Sweets

On Christmas Eve, a young girl dreams her beloved toy comes to life. He becomes her Nutcracker Prince and dances his Clara through the land of sweets and defeats the wicked Mouse King. Perhaps you've seen the ballet-- it's so popular that many ballet schools make it their featured holiday production year after year. The music is amazing-- from the wild Russian dance to the slow and mysterious Arabian dance. It all flows together to create a magical night of exhilarating performances.

Make a Gingerbread House

Gumdrops, lollipops, chocolate squares, jelly bears, and peppermint candies. The sky is the limit as far as decorating your own gingerbread house. They are a ton of fun to decorate, but first you need to make the house itself.

Have an Ice Cream Party

Summer's here at last. The pool's open. The weather's scorching hot. What could be better for an afternoon treat than a big bowl of ice cream? A big bowl of ice cream and lots of friends—that's what! Read on for frosty facts and tasty treats.

Orange You Glad It's January?

Oranges bring a warm sweetness to the dreariest winter day. They are full of good things: vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Some oranges are used to make juice while others are eaten just as they are.

Where Do Oranges Come From?

When we think of oranges, we think of sunny places, such as Florida, California, Spain, and Brazil. But oranges were not originally (oranginally?) grown in those places. A long time ago, the first oranges grew wild in China and India. The word orange comes from a Sanskrit word--naranga. The first oranges to travel to Western countries about 1,000 years ago tasted sour. Five hundred years later, sweet oranges made their way to Europe.

Kids Can Cook

Imagine a plate piled high with warm chocolate chip cookies, ooey and gooey with melted chips and crunchy with nuts. Your grownup might have helped a little bit, but these beauties are all yours, to share with friends (or eat yourself!) because YOU made them!

French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon

French Kids Eat Everything

All it takes is one picky toddler to make parents pull their hair out at the dinner table. If there is one topic that worries us the most, it’s our children’s health and what they’re eating (or not!). As a result, there are countless books on the market touting the best way to get your kids to eat more foods. From The Sneaky Chef, which advocates putting veggie purees in brownies, to 201 Healthy Smoothies and Juices for Kids, to What Chefs Feed Their Kids where chefs share their gourmet secrets, there are more than 60 titles to choose from just in our library system. Parents who are at a loss as to how to get their littlest ones (and often, their big ones!) interested in a plate of carrots can easily become overwhelmed with the advice. With the additional goals of trying to feed families with increasingly less time and high grocery bills, it’s enough to make many of us revert to pasta every night of the week.

The newest addition to the collection, however, might just change not only how you feed your kids, but also yourself. French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon is the story of one Canadian mother who moved her young family back to her husband’s native Brittany, on the coast of France. As you can surmise by the title, she discovered why French kids associate chocolate cake with pleasure, not guilt, and why they have astonishing lower rates of childhood obesity (20% in America, just 3% in France (p. 140)). She discovered why nearly half of French children eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day, while barely ten percent of their American counterparts struggle to eat the same amount (p. 117). Even their daycare menus resemble gourmet menus. One day’s lunch at her daughter’s preschool was listed as: beet salad bolognaise, roast turkey with fine flageolet beans, goat cheese buchette, and organic pear compote (p. 36). “By the time they are two years old,” Le Billon discovered, “most French kids have tried (and eaten) more foods than many American adults” (p. 120).

La Petite Auberge's Vegetable Tartlet with Bell Pepper Coulis and Mache Greens

La Petite Auberge's Vegetable Tartlet

This recipe for a beautiful, savory veggie tartlet comes courtesy of La Petite Auberge in downtown Fredericksburg.

Owned and operated by the Renault family, La Petite has been a Fredericksburg favorite sine 1981. La Petite's menu often features local seafood and produce:

"We take full advantage of the wonderful local delicacies such as Shad Roe in mid to late winter, Soft Shell Crab in the summer and Rockfish year round. We buy our produce from the local farmers during the growing season. Our menus are composed daily and change according to the market and seasons."
Find out more about the menu and chefs at La Petite Auberge.

La Petite Auberge
540-371-2727
www.lapetiteaubergefred.com

Papa Weaver's Breakfast Casserole

Papa Weaver's Pork

Seventh generation farmer, Tom Weaver, is the man behind Papa Weaver's Pork Products. From their family farm in Orange County, Virginia, situated on land originally owned by President James Madison, Tom and his family bring you fine pork products free of preservatives, additives, chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics.

This easy and delicious breakfast casserole recipe from Papa Weaver's Pork would be great  for a Mother's Day or Father's Day brunch.

Papa Weaver's Breakfast Casserole

  • 2 c. cooked Papa Weaver’s ground sausage, drained
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 c. Bisquick mix
  • 2 c. milk

Place meat and cheese in bottom of greased pan.

Mix remaining ingredients and pour on top of meat and cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Check out Papa Weaver's web site for more recipes: www.papaweaver.com/recipes.htm

www.papaweaver.com
papaweaver@papaweaver.com
540-672-1552