Thursday, March 1, 2018

March is National Peanut Month.

March is National Peanut Month. How did National Peanut Month get started? According to the National Day Calendar website, March celebrates one of America’s favorite snack foods…Peanuts! National Peanut Month had its beginnings as National Peanut Week in 1941, but later morphed into a month-long celebration in 1974. Whether it is the smell of their roasted goodness, the grinding of their essence into peanut butter or just being used to make healthier cooking oil, peanuts have found their way into many of the food items we consume regularly.

Peanut cultivation and popularity in American food culture can be attributed to Dr. George Washington Carver, nicknamed “The Father of the Peanut” for his tireless devotion to this versatile legume. In fact, in 1925, Carver published a bulletin called, “How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption.”

Peanuts are actually not nuts, but legumes. Peanuts are a very valuable source of protein, niacin, folate and phytosterols, more than any nut. They also contain over 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients. Peanuts are naturally cholesterol-free and rumor has it that there is enough mental stimulation in one peanut to give a person 30 minutes of serious thinking! Need a brain recharge, eat a peanut.

At The Virginia Marketplace, Virginia peanuts are sold and highlighted in many of our gift baskets and boxes. Virginia peanuts are the largest of all the peanuts. Our Virginia peanuts are blistered, Blistered peanuts are big on crunch! First boiled in water, then roasted while still wet which causes a blister to form on the peanut, giving them their unique flavor and texture. These are crispy and awesome.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

National Strawberry Day is February 27th

February 27th is the day we pay homage to one of the most popular fruits in the world. National Strawberry Day says that the growing season is just around the corner!  Strawberries are the first fruits to ripen every year, so they are often called the “taste of spring.” The bright red juicy berries are both delicious and incredibly good for you. Each bite is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.
Graves Mountain Strawberry Preserves
People have been enjoying strawberries and their health benefits for centuries. In fact, the Ancient Romans believed that strawberries could cure fevers, fainting, inflammation, and several other ailments. They also used the berries for teeth whitening. A gift from Chile in the 1700s, garden strawberry plants made their way to North America in the 1750s.
To celebrate National Strawberry Day, enjoy some Graves Mountain Strawberry Preserves on toast, croissants, French toast, pancakes, waffles, ice cream or have a PB&J sandwich with The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg All Natural Peanut Butter. Enjoy!

Looking for a gift for the Strawberry lover? Check out our Gift Sets that include Strawberry Preserves or our Virginia Gourmet Gift Baskets and Virginia Gourmet Gift Boxes. Some examples are: Snack Attack Gift BoxGrand Snack Attack, Fabulous Fruit, and Fruit Lovers Preserve Basket.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

SuperBowl Party Recipe - Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Chicken Wings

A recipe from Jess Pryles’s website for your SuperBowl Party is sure to be different from anything anyone’s ever had before: Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Chicken Wings because as it says on her website: “Sometimes you get an idea that's crazy, but just crazy enough to work...these peanut butter and jelly wings are exactly that…. …. although they sound like a gimmick, they make a lot of food sense. We already know peanut butter can actually work with chicken, because of dishes like Indonesian satay. Personally, I’ve long been using some kind of jam or jelly in my marinade too because the sugar helps the wings caramelize…. When you combine them together, something awesome happens. First, the peanut butter thickens the marinade to a viscosity that allows more mixture to cling to the actual wings. More marinade on the wings = more flavor. It also takes the edge off the extreme sweetness of the jelly, so you get a more complex and balanced profile... they are a real complement to one another, and create a delicious and unique finished product. Plus, the jelly means you’ll get awesome color on the finished product. Because nothing says ‘sad’ like a grilled protein without char marks! I like to garnish them with some extra crushed peanuts for texture, and because more salty goodness is always welcome on my plate.”


o         2 pound chicken wings, separated into wingettes and drumettes
o         4 tablespoons Graves Mountain Strawberry Preserves
o         2 tablespoons The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg All Natural Peanut Butter
o        1 teaspoon sambal (Asian chili and garlic paste that is available from most grocery stores.)
o        2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
o        2 tablespoons brown sugar
o        2 teaspoons paprika
o        1/4 cup Salted Roasted Peanuts
o        2-3 shallots, chopped
o        Salt to taste

1. Place the chicken into a large zip-top bag, and season well with salt.
2. In a bowl, add the jelly/jam and peanut butter. Add in the sambal, Worcestershire, brown sugar and paprika. Mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the bag, making sure that the chicken is well coated. Place the bag in the fridge, allowing the chicken to marinade for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
3. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Ambient temperature of the grill should be at between 350 to 400 F.
4. Place the chicken on the grill, turning every 2 to 3 minutes. This should allow color to develop without burning before the chicken is cooked all the way through. Continue to turn until the pieces are nicely brown with charred areas. Remove from the grill and place on a tray to cool slightly.
5. Place the peanuts in a zip-top bag, and gently crush them using a rolling pin or meat tenderizer (or similar). It helps to put a towel under the bag so it's a little less noisy, and it doesn't slide.
6. Arrange the wings on a serving platter. Sprinkle the crushed peanuts and chopped shallots over the wings, and serve immediately. You may want to keep a few wet naps on hand!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Gingerbread Cookie Day and Gingerbread Decorating Day

Dec. 6 is Gingerbread Cookie Day and Dec. 10 is Gingerbread Decorating Day. No confection symbolizes the holidays quite like gingerbread in its many forms, from edible houses to candy-studded gingerbread men to spiced loaves of cake-like bread.

Making homemade gingerbread men is easy and convenient with the Byrd Mill Ginger & Spice Cookie Mix. Simply add a stick of butter and 1 egg to the mix, blend well and spread the dough out thin about 1/4 inch. Use your cookie cutters to cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on baking tray. Cook for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. One mix makes 10 medium-sized gingerbread men. When cooled, decorate.

According to Rhonda Massingham Hart’s Making Gingerbread Houses, the first known recipe for gingerbread came from Greece in 2400 BC. Chinese recipes were developed during the 10th century. Gingerbread made an appearance in Europe when 11th-century crusaders brought the spice back from the Middle East for the rich folks' cooks to experiment with and by the late Middle Ages, Europeans had their own version of gingerbread. The hard cookies sometimes gildes with gold leaf and shaped like animals, kings and queens, were a staple at Medieval fairs in England, France, Holland and Germany. Queen Elizabeth I is credited with the idea of decorating the cookies in this fashion, after she had some made to resemble the dignitaries visiting her court. In Belgium, cookies were cut into folk characters such as St. Nicholas. In the 1600s, gingerbread men were sold in London streets, possibly inspired by the folk legend of the Gingerbread Boy who jumped out of his oven.

Gingerbread Magic
In the tale, a woman desperate for a boy of her own bakes a gingerbread boy and dresses him with currants, cinnamon, colored sugar, and chocolate. But the cookie jumps out of the oven and out the door singing, “Run, run, as fast as you can; Can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man.” He escapes all whom he encounters until his fatal outwitting by a sly fox. The legend found its way to America from England, though in Colonial days the tale was named “Johnny Cake.”  

Gingerbread spread to America by European settlers and was also popular at fairs and festivals. New England recipes for flat cookies cut into patriotic shapes were created for "Muswter Day" or "Election Day." Prior to the Revolution, shapes often depicted a king, but later, the American Eagle. The cookies were handed out to wives and children when militants gathered for officer election or for militias gathered for officer elections or for military training. The first American cookbook, vintage 1796, American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, has recipes for three types of gingerbread including the soft variety baked in loaves. "Shape [dough] to your fancy," Amelia Simmons recommended to housewives. Entrepreneurial peddlers later picked up on the trend and started selling fancifully shaped, handmade cookie cutters that, since, have become desirable collectibles

It's the perfect time to send a Holiday Gift Basket with Byrd Mill Ginger and Spice Cookie Mix so loved ones can make their own gingerbread men and gingerbread houses.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

November is Sweet Potato Awareness Month

November is a month known for Thanksgiving. Did you know it is also Sweet Potato Awareness month?
Sweet Potato Casserole
Be aware of these important facts about Sweet Potatoes:
Sweet Potatoes are not yams. Sweet potatoes are often confused with yams. A few distinctions: yams are not grown in the United States so they are rarely found in stores. Yams likely originated in West Africa and sweet potatoes in Central America. While sweet potatoes have smooth, delicate skin, yams tend to have rough, thick skin. Despite their name, n
ot only are they not yams, sweet potatoes are not really potatoes. Potatoes are members of the Solanaceae family, which also includes tomatoes, red peppers, and eggplant, while sweet potatoes belong to the morning-glory family (Convolvulaceae). And unlike the potato—which is a tuber, or thickened stem—the sweet potato is a storage root.”

Sweet Potato Awareness Month is not National Sweet Potato Month,
which is February and should not be confused with any Sweet Potato Day that might be proclaimed.

Sweet potatoes are very good to eat. Sweet potatoes are nutritious. They are a healthy source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins A, B6, thiamine and C. George Washington was thought to have farmed sweet potatoes on his farm in Virginia in the 1700’s. He was probably aware that sweet potatoes offer 200 percent of the USDA recommended allowance of Vitamin A, no fat and full of antioxidants, nearly 50 percent of the recommended allowance for vitamin C and over 400 percent of the recommended daily allowance of beta-carotene. They help fight heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma. 

Sweet Potato Biscuits and Genuine Smithfield Ham Slices
With all of this new information in hand, you should be able to impress your friends and families over a Thanksgiving feast. Fortunately, we have available delicious Sweet Potato Biscuits with or without Genuine Smithfield Ham Slices and Sweet Potato Casserole to raise everyone’s sweet potato awareness.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Peanut Pumpkin Bread

 Another great recipe for Fall from The National Peanut Board:
Peanut Pumpkin Bread
Peanut Pumpklin Bread
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 (15-ounce) can puree pumpkin
3 cups granulated sugar
½ cup water
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup vegetable oil

All Natural Peanut Butter
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two (9×5 inch) loaf pans or spray with cooking spray. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt in a bowl. Whisk peanut butter, oil, eggs, sugar in a bowl. Mix pumpkin puree with wet ingredients. Combine dry ingredients with wet, being careful not to over mix. Pour batter into two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to wire rack.
ENJOY! Try making it with All Natural Peanut Butter from The Peanut Shop of Willimasburg made from Virginia Peanuts.

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.