Spring Arrives

After much ado, spring has finally arrived in southwestern Virginia and we celebrated with all the wonders Mother Nature brings with the revival of spring.
We started our meal this evening with an appetizer, Pine nut and chive dip served with sliced multigrain bread.
Our main dishes tonight were full of fresh spring ingredients. Veggie Spring Bundles with Healthy Spring Risotto graced our plates tonight in a beautiful, healthy and tasteful way.
I cannot overstate how wonderful these dishes were. The bundles required about 10 minutes of preparation and turned out beautiful. They are representative of spring are well worth the effort.
The collaborator of the spring bundles was the risotto. This lemon infused risotto was a nice surprise as it was flavorful and creamy without being too rich.
The main dishes tonight were individually enjoyable, but together they pushed the dinner onto a new level. The joining of flavors is an important aspect in cooking and developing menus and this is a great example of dishes that together are better than the individual components.
Our dessert tonight was Strawberries with Spiced Syrup. This was simply sliced strawberries with a spiced up sugar sauce. We served them with a dollop of whipped cream.Fitting into our spring theme this desert was the perfect closing to the night.


Thai One On for Mother Nature

It's Earth Day
Tonight we celebrated Earth Day with a Thai inspired meal. We used fresh ingredients to create a feast with minimal waste.
Our appetizer was a low-energy spring roll. I say low energy, because most of the ingredients were raw and only required chopping power. These spring rolls were light, yet flavorful and filling.
Our main dish was Pad Thai, a traditional Thai dish. Pad Thai is a noodle-based dish mixed with spices, veggies and tofu. The end product was a spicy, hearty and fresh main dish. The dish was topped with cashews, cilantro, green onions and lime.
Our dessert was also Thai themed, a Mango Sorbet. The desert was cool, creamy and refreshing. It was a great and traditional way to end the evening.

For our Earth Day tallies, we completed the meal with mostly fresh ingredients. Canned goods were kept to a minimum (actually no cans were opened for the dish, we only used a few seasonings from bottles). Fresh, local ingredients were our focus tonight-and our meal was delicious. Making an effort to include earth friendly ingredients does not have to be cost prohibitive. Making every day Earth Day involves a commitment to conservation and the future - but remember it is a commitment to your future.


Little bites...big dinner

Tonight we entered the realm of tapas. Tapas are Spanish appetizers literally translating to "little bites". So, we made many little bites and we would love to show them to you.
We started with a crostini... french bread smothered with a cream cheese/feta cheese mixture and topped with a sauteed mushroom mixture. This was a great way to start our evening!
After the wonderful starter, we delivered our next three tapas as our main dish. Together they compete for BostonsInVirginia's best meal ever. We could not choose a favorite on the plate and they are all worth making again.
Minature Napoleons with Eggplant Creme
These dainty bites were full of flavor and big on nutrition. We loved this tapas and would recommend that you try them too.
Next, the asparagus and white bean paste tart was a welcome addition to our plate. I cannot overstate how great this recipe is. It would be a great appetizer for a dinner party, a light main dish with a salad, or an interesting side dish. However you choose to serve it, we are confident it will be a highlight of your day.
Perhaps the most surprising dish of the evening was the Tofu Nut Balls (pictured in the head picture). These tofu balls have the consistency of meat balls and mix well with a spicy tomato sauce. They were a perfect tapas, but we also have inside information to let us know they also make a great main dish when coupled with pasta.
Onto dessert, which was great as always. Tonight our choice was Chocolate Rounds with Macadamia Nut Goo. Yum, Yum, Yum - these chocolate bites were full of sweetness complemented with the nutty caramelized goo.

Tonight was a complete home run! These dishes were photogenic, delicious, and relatively easy to prepare. We would recommend them all and encourage you to try a tapas dinner at home. A dinner of small dishes is a great way to have a fun evening at home.
Enjoy and we will see you next week. Please leave us a comment and let us know what is on your mind. Any ideas of what we should fix in the future....a fan's favorite dinner would be really fun :)


Jamaica me crazy - or just hungry

It's trying to be spring here in Virgina - but winter is not quite ready to let go. In the last week we have had highs in the 70s, lows in the 20s, over an inch of rain and snow flurries. So with all the crazy weather, we decided to take a culinary trip to the Caribbean tonight and enjoy a break from indecisive Mother Nature!

Our spicy starter was Jalapeno Popper Dip. This warm cheesy dip had a creamy texture with a spicy aftertaste. We served it with carrot sticks and toasted french bread.

Our main course tonight incorporated two dishes influenced with Jamaican flavors. These dishes were bright, spicy and warm- the perfect mid-week pick me up :)
Jamaican Veggie Patties were our main dish tonight. These were a bit unusual, but surprisingly tasty and delicious. The crust was moist while the filling was spicy, flavorful and hearty. Alongside the patties was Caribbean black beans with mango salsa served over a wild rice mixture. The black beans enhanced the veggie patties making a perfect combo.

We finished the night with a light banana pudding. A great cap to the evening.