Sunday, September 10, 2017

Spicy Apple-Glazed Chick 'n' Grits Gorgonzola with Apple Butter

Yes, we know it's still Summer, but we're starting to think about Fall. Fall is apple butter making. time at the Graves Mountain Apple Harvest Festival where you can watch apple butter being cooked in kettles over an open fire. It's delicious as a spread but think about getting some apple butter recipes ready! Get some Graves Mountain Apple Butter to try now.
Spicy Apple-Glazed Chick 'n' Grits Gorgonzola

Here’s an interesting recipe from Cooking Light: Spicy Apple-Glazed Chick 'n' Grits Gorgonzola. Cheesy, creamy grits pair perfectly with savory chicken brushed in an apple butter and spicy brown mustard glaze. Spicy Apple-Glazed Chick 'n' Grits makes for a unique and impressive meal.

·         1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
·         1/4 teaspoon salt
·         1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
·         1/8 teaspoon black pepper

    Gorgonzola Cheese Grits – See Recipe

    2 Tablespoons chopped green onion. 

Preheat oven to 350°
Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and flatten to a 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Place the chicken breasts in a baking pan coated with cooking spray.Combine the apple butter, mustard, salt, red pepper, and black pepper, brush over chicken. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch-thick slices.Spoon the Gorgonzola Cheese Grits into each of 4 shallow serving bowls. Top with chicken, and sprinkle with green onions.

Gorgonzola Cheese Grits

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually add grits, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat; stir in remaining ingredients.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Peanut Apple Crisp a la Mode

Peanut Apple Crisp a la Mode
It’s almost Fall. Time to harvest two of our favorite foods, peanuts and apples. Here is a recipe from the National Peanut Board using peanuts and apples that is a spin on a classic. This apple crisp melts in your mouth and is the perfect treat for any occasion.

Peanut Apple Crisp à la Mode
6 cups sliced, peeled Granny Smith apples (about 6 apples)
½ lemon
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup canola oil
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup & 2 tablespoons peanut flour (or all-purpose flour)
2 cups rolled oats
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup peanuts
Preheat oven to 350. Place apples in a medium bowl and toss with 2 Tbsp. flour. Transfer to 8” x 8” pan and squeeze lemon juice on top. Add ½ cup sugar. In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter and oil. Add flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, rest of sugar and mix well. Pour on top of apple mixture and spread evenly. Bake in oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and add peanuts to top of crisp. Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes, or until apples are tender and top is starting to brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Virginia Peanuts and Beer

Lightly Salted Virginia Peanuts
Virginia Peanuts and Beer are Good for you to Re-hydrate

Beer and peanuts, like you need an excuse to eat the two. Now you have a good one. We found this article about it by Abe Hawkins in the Daily Mail published April 22, 2017. Here are the highlights:
Scientists suggest drinking beer and eating peanuts are better than re-hydration for exhausted runners.

Experts say the classic pub combination can be better than water or sport drinks.
Research which was unveiled at the European Beer and Health Symposium in Brussels, Belgium
advises them to drink alcohol after the race.
Virginia Peanuts
During long runs, the human body can potentially lose up to three litres of fluid every hour. Essential salts that the body requires - including potassium and sodium are lost.   Nuts are rich in potassium and weak beer - such as lager - contains vitamins and carbohydrates which will restore energy following the race. 
Professor Ronald Maughan, a sports exercise expert at the University of St. Andrews, told the newspaper that drinking water on its own will not restore mineral levels. So the next time you go on that jog or run or marathon or have a day in the sun, grab some beer (preferably a local one from Virginia) and some Virginia peanuts!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Very Virginia Ultimate Father's Day Sandwich

The Ultimate Father’s Day Sandwich

This Father’s Day ignite Dad’s taste buds with a delicious twist on a traditional grilled cheese or is it a twist on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In any case, this pairing comes together to form a bold, craveable gooey grilled cheese sandwich. Here is a recipe from The Food Channel for a PB&J Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon:

  • 2 slices French loaf or sourdough bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon blackberry preserves
  • 3 strips bacon, cooked crisp
  • 4 slices sharp white Cheddar cheese

  1. Butter one side of each slice of bread.
  2. Spread peanut butter and blackberry preserve on bottom slice of bread.
  3. Top with bacon and cheese slices.
  4. Close with top slice of bread and press closed.
  5. Grill over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden and cheese is melted.

Foodie Byte: Use a bold flavored cheese with good melting abilities, such as sharp white cheddar cheese, to stand up to all the other flavors in this gooey-rich grilled cheese.

Most of the main ingredients can be found on

Seedless Blackberry Preserves, Natural Peanut Butter and Sliced Bacon.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May is for Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuit mix
Biscuits have been a staple of the Southern United States cuisine for many years and are often made with buttermilk. Before the American Civil War, biscuits emerged as an inexpensive addition to meals. Traditionally served as a side dish with butter, they are also served at breakfast with molasses, light sugarcane syrup, maple syrup, sorghum syrup, honey, jam or jelly or as a breakfast sandwich. This sturdier bread product soon became popular as people realized it absorbed the gravy on their plate better than plain bread. Soon a new family favorite, biscuits and gravy, was created. Alexander P. Ashbourne patented the first biscuit cutter in 1875. Supermarkets offer canned biscuits which are refrigerated until ready to be baked. In 1931, Ballard and Ballard patented these refrigerator biscuits.
National Buttermilk Biscuit Day is observed each year in the United States on May 14. However, National Biscuit Day is May 29 and the day is based off how much chitter-chatter and buzz there was on May 29, 2015 across social media making references to Biscuit Day.’s algorithms examine all of the references to National Days across social media and updates hourly. Their crowdsourcing of data method to assess the National Biscuit Day was used as opposed to being connected with any Government sanctioned lists. 
Virginia Country Breakfast

Biscuits are made using baking powder or baking soda as a leavening agent rather than yeast.  A typical buttermilk biscuit recipe contains flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, and buttermilk.  They are often referred to as a “quick bread”, indicating they do not need time to rise before baking. While being made, the dough is beaten and folded to incorporate air, which expands while baking, causing the biscuit to rise.

Ham and Biscuits
There are two days to celebrate biscuits in May, but we don’t need an excuse to enjoy them any day of the year. Our Biscuit section includes make your own biscuit mix , some ready to bake sweet potato and cream cheese biscuits, some biscuits with country ham and some ham and biscuit gifts.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Easter Ham Maple Blackberry Orange Glazed Ham

Maple Blackberry Orange Glazed Ham - Try something different, pump up the flavor of your holiday ham with a delicious glaze offering great maple, blackberry and orange flavor.  Perfect to serve at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or any special dinner!  Make ham your centerpiece this year! Start with a fully cooked spiral cut ham; bake for an hour and brush on glaze twice 15 minutes apart.  The glaze can be made days in advance!  Just reheat when ready to use.

3/4 cup pure maple syrup
·         2 tablespoons seedless blackberry preserves
·         1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
·         1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
·         1 tablespoon orange zest
·         1 (8 to 9-1/2 pound) fully cooked bone-in spiral ham
For the Glaze:
1.      Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2.      In a sauce pan, whisk together maple syrup, preserves, mustard, orange juice, and orange zest; cook over medium low heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until preserves melt, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat, and set aside.
For the Ham:
1.      Place ham, cut side down, on an aluminum foil-lined broiler pan, and cover loosely with foil.
2.      Bake for 1 hour.
3.      Uncover and brush glaze over ham.
4.      Bake an additional 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 140 degrees.
5.      Baste twice 15 minutes apart
6.      Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing,
7.      Garnish with blackberries and orange slices.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

March is National Peanut Month

March is National Peanut Month. Peanuts play an important role in The Virginia Marketplace all year long since Virginia is known for its unique extra-large Virginia peanuts and the way they are cooked making them unbelievable crisp and absolutely delicious. Peanuts have an interesting history. The peanut plant is not native to this country. It probably originated in Brazil or Peru. Archaeologists have discovered South American pottery shaped like peanuts. They have also uncovered jars decorated with peanuts that are 3,500 years old.
Incas in Peru used peanuts as sacrificial offerings and even entombed them with their mummies. Brazilian tribes ground them with corn to make a beverage.
European explorers discovered peanuts in Brazil, and they took them back to Europe. In the mid-1500s, Spanish and Portuguese colonists introduced peanuts to Africa, where they were called groundnuts. After their introduction, variations of groundnut stew began appearing throughout West Africa.
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson referred to peanuts in the 1790s. Jefferson contributed to the peanut’s increased popularity when he became the first American president to grow them.
It is assumed the slave diet in 18th-century America included peanut soup and stews styled after groundnut stews in Africa. There are records of slaves making peanut soup during that period.
It is said Confederate soldiers introduced Union counterparts to peanuts and peanut soup, which were a good source of protein. Peanut popularity surged after the Civil War. By the mid-1800s several recipes for peanut soup appeared in newspapers and cookbooks. Peanuts became an important part of the American diet.
Peanuts and peanut butter were an integral part of the rations given to soldiers during World Wars I and II. Soldiers during WWII are credited for popularizing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which provided sustenance during maneuvers.
Contrary to popular opinion, George Washington Carver did not invent peanut butter. The earliest reference to peanut butter has been traced to the Incas and Aztecs who ground peanuts into a paste.
At least three inventors are credited with modern peanut butter. Marcellus Gilmor Edson patented peanut paste in 1884.
In 1895, John Harvey Kellogg (creator of Kellogg’s cereal) patented the process of creating peanut butter from raw peanuts. He marketed peanut butter as a nutritious protein substitute for people who could not chew solid food.
In 1903, Ambrose Straub patented a peanut butter-making machine. Peanut butter was introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair a year later.
At about the same time, peanuts were emerging as a significant agricultural crop in Southern states, since the boll weevil was threatening cotton crops.
George Washington Carver encouraged African-American farmers in the South to grow peanuts instead of cotton. He knew certain plants, such as peanuts, put nutrients back into the soil that had been depleted by cotton plants. By growing peanuts, farmers could restore the soil and provide food for their animals and families.
Soon the farmers had more peanuts than they could consume, so Carver started to invent ways to use peanuts. He discovered more than 300 uses for peanuts like peanut milk, peanut soap, shaving cream and glue. His innovations increased the popularity of peanuts.
In 1941, the National Peanut Council published Carver’s collection of peanut soup recipes. It was the largest collection of peanut soup recipes at that time and included directions for making peanut bisque, peanut consomme and peanut puree.
Peanuts and peanut soup became popular in American homes when peanuts and peanut butter became readily available in grocery stores in the early 20th century.

Try some delicious, extra large, crispy Virginia Peanuts!!