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!!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Roller Coaster Temperatures are Good News fo Maple Syrup Makers

The Puffenbarger Sugar Orchard is where maple syrup magic happens. Unfortunately for the Puffenbarger's, there hasn't been much magic these past two years. The process of making maple syrup is completely up to Mother Nature. The more ups and downs in temperature, the more sugar water will be produced. However, if it is hot or cold for too long, like last year, it can spell trouble. For the past two years, the Puffenbarger's have had some struggles with the weather, but with the roller coaster of temperatures this year, so far, so good. "The last two years, we haven't made any in February. This year, especially this last week, they've run pretty daggone good," said Ivan Puffenbager, the owner of the sugar orchard. Puffenbarger says a good year is right about 1,000 gallons of syrup, but it obviously varies. However, last year, they were only able to make right around 400 gallons. The internationally known Highland County Maple Festival is just around the corner; it is coming up on March 11-12 and March 18-19. The Puffenbarger's hope they have more stock to sell this year than they did last year. We will be at Puffenbarger's Sugar Orchard during
Spring Delights
the Highland County Maple Festival to pick up jugs of Maple Syrup for our gift baskets. Of course we'll also be looking forward to haveing some of their famous piping hot Maple Doughnuts

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Blue Crab Bay Change of Ownership

Ocean Bounty for the Blue Crab Bay Soup Lover
One of our vendors, Blue Crab Bay, is going through a change of ownership. Thankfully the company is staying right where it is on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Pamela Barefoot, founder and longtime president of Blue Crab Bay Co., has sold the company to Eastern Shore of Maryland native Elizabeth Lankford. “I had always been looking for an opportunity to return home to the Eastern Shore,” Lankford said. I look forward to leading the company and expanding our national reach.” Barefoot will remain on as founder for at least two years.
The new ownership marks the near-end of Barefoot’s involvement with the specialty food company, where she spent nearly 32 years building a successful business from her brainchild.

Barefoot, 66, said she has been thinking of an “exit strategy” in recent years that would allow her to gradually retire and give the next owner the opportunity to continue building the brand from its current location in Melfa, Va.<

Blue Crab Bay products have been very popular on our website since we started The Virginia Marketplace in 2006. We sell one of their signature products, Sting Ray Bloody Mary Mixer made with clam juice as well as their seafood soups and seafood dips. We sell these products separately and they are welcome additions to our gift baskets and boxes. We sell these products separately and they are welcome additions to our gift baskets and boxes. Check out all our Seafood Gift Baskets.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Leftover Ham Recipes

If by some miracle you have some leftover honey ham over the holidays, here is a recipe sure to please you and your guests:
Scalloped Ham and Potaoes

Scalloped Ham and Potatoes

·         1/4 cup butter, divided
·         2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
·         1 cup white onion, peeled, diced
·         2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
·         3 large russet potatoes, peeled
·         1 1/2 cup cups milk
·         1 cup baby spinach
·         8 pieces Sliced Honey Cured Boneless Ham

Honey Ham
Directions: Heat oven to 350 F. Coat the inside of a 9 x 9 square cake pan with 1 tablespoon butter. With a mandolin, or a knife, slice the russet potatoes 1/8 inch thick; transfer to a bowl filled with cold water. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter; slowly add flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly add milk and whisk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until thickened. In another saucepan, over medium heat, cook diced white onion in remaining tablespoon of butter for 3 minutes or until tender. Add spinach and cook for 1 minute or until wilted; set aside. Drain potatoes. Arrange a single layer of overlapping potatoes to cover the bottom of the cake pan. Pour 1/2 cup of milk mixture over potatoes. Spread with 1/2 cup cheese, 4 slices of ham, and 1/2 cup of spinach and onion mixture. Repeat layering. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and top with remaining cup of cheddar cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes to melt cheese; remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 7.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Red Rocker Candy Butter Crunch Cashew - New Name, Same Great Candy

If you are looking for Red Rocker Candy Cashew Toffee with White Chocolate, it has been renamed to Butter Crunch Cashew. Red Rocker Candy feels this name better reflects what the product is, as it is not a typical toffee. A butter crunch is a crunchy confection that you cook to at least 290 degrees F. It is similar to toffee, a crispy confection that contains a lot of butter and sugar, but butter crunch contains slightly less butter. Still it is the same best-selling product…Imagine crunchy, salted cashews, Grade-AA butter and pure cane sugar all cooked to perfection, topped with a layer of creamy white confection and sprinkled with finely chopped cashews. These wholesome ingredients blend perfectly to create rich, buttery goodness. All natural and gluten free.
Nut Lover's
Winter Magic
We have put the
popular Red Rocker Candy 
Butter Crunch
Cashew in our gift baskets and boxes again this year.

Here are some examples.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Red Rocker Peppermint Bark for the Holidays

The Red Rocker Cashew Crunch Cashew was a popular new item last year so it will again be in many gift baskets available after Thanksgiving. This year we added Red Rocker Peppermint Bark to many of our gift baskets. Holiday Party and Gingerbread Magic is on the website now but more will be available soon.
Gingerbread Magic

Red Rocker Candy brings you the goodness of old-fashioned candies and chocolates, hand-made in small batches in their factory. The candy you've been waiting for all year is back! Peppermint Bark is the essence of the holiday season. Made with rich, dark Belgian chocolate, non-hydrogenated white confection infused with peppermint oil, and crushed peppermints. The flavors combine to make the perfect intense, creamy, sweet peppermint treat. This year we have added Red Rocker Peppermint Bark to our gourmet gift baskets.

Once the holiday season comes around, peppermint is a key ingredient in many recipes. One reason is probably its red and white color, two of the main colors that represent Christmas. Here ae some interesting facts about peppermint.
Peppermint currently is a popular flavoring in hard candy, such as round mints and candy canes, fudge, ice cream and gum. Long before its potent taste was added to confections, peppermint oil was used for medicinal purposes.

Peppermint's Origins
While the origin of peppermint candy is unclear, historical accounts show that peppermint oils have been used since ancient times to calm the stomach and for other remedies. Farmers in Europe began commercially growing the plant, which is a natural cross between watermint and spearmint, in the late 1700s.
Peppermint in Candy
It is not exactly when peppermint-flavored candy first appeared. The confection is mentioned by slaves in the Library of Congress’ American Memory project. Smith Kendon developed Altoids in 1780 to relieve intestinal discomfort, and Life Savers introduced its Pep-O-Mint flavor in 1912. In 1927, Eduard Haas, of Vienna, Austria, invented peppermint Pez candy and the original dispenser.
Peppermint Candy Legends
There are several legends surrounding peppermint candy canes. For example, an account in “Sweet!” by Ann Love and Jane Drake says that in 1670 a German choirmaster gave out sticks of sugar candy to children to keep them quiet.