Sunday, March 15, 2015

March is National Peanut Month

From The Peanut Shop of Charleston's Facebook Page:
In honor of National Peanut Month, here are 10 fun peanut facts that you may not know!

1. Peanuts flower above ground and then migrate underground to reach maturity
2.The world's largest reported peanut was four inches long. It was grown in North Carolina by Mr. Earl Adkins. 3. Ever wonder where the term "Peanut Gallery" comes from? The term became popular in the late 19th century and referred to the rear or uppermost seats in a theater, which were also the cheapest seats. People seated in such a gallery were able to throw peanuts, a common food at theaters, at those seated below them. It also applied to the first row of seats in a movie theater, for the occupants of those seats could throw peanuts at the stage, stating their displeasure with the performance.
4. Adrian Finch of Australia holds the Guinness World Record for peanut throwing, launching a peanut 111 feet and 10 inches in 1999 to claim the record.
5. Tom Miller pushed a peanut to the top of Pike's Peak (14,100 feet) using his nose in 4 days, 23 hours, 47 minutes and 3 seconds.
6. The first peanuts grown in the United States were grown in Virginia, hence the Virginia variety peanut, which is the largest peanut grown in the USA.
7. As early as 1500 B.C., the Incas of Peru used peanuts as sacrificial offerings and entombed them with their mummies to aid in the spirit life.
8. Peanuts have come a long way from their original use of feeding pigs to becoming counted for as two-thirds of all snack nuts consumed in the United States.
9. Americans eat 3 pounds of peanut butter per person every year. That's about 700 million pounds, or enough to coat the floor of the Grand Canyon!
10. Peanuts are members of the pea family!


Eat Healthy Virginia Peanuts.... Live Longer
TheVirginiaMarketplace.com 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Pour It On... Maple Syrup is Good For You

In two weeks, March 14-15 and the weekend after, March 21-22 is the 57th Annual Highland Maple Festival. Take a step back in time to Highland County, “Virginia’s Sweet Spot”. Held on the 2nd and 3rd weekends of March, the Maple Festival has been an annual event in Highland County, Virginia, since 1958. Each year, thousands of visitors are drawn to this unspoiled, rural region of Virginia to celebrate the “opening” of the trees and observe the process of maple syrup-making. Sugar camp tours provide a unique and educational experience that portrays a rapidly vanishing way of American life. The Highland Maple Festival was designated a “Local Legacy” by the Library of Congress in 1999.

 At The Virginia Marketplace we have chosen to use maple syrup from Puffenbarger’s Sugar Orchard, located on Route 637 (Maple Sugar Road), southwest of Blue Grass, Virginia in Highland County in our gift baskets and gift boxes.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

January is National Soup Month

January is National Soup Month. Since it’s cold outside (in most places in the U.S.) or if you happen to be in a warm place like Florida then it’s the perfect time to have some seafood soup. We are suggesting three recipes from the Blue Crab Bay website dressing up Blue Crab Bay Soups.

 The first one is Clam Chowder with Bacon Bits. Start with a can of Blue Crab Bay New England Clam Chowder. Here are the other recipe ingredients: one large white potato, one stalk celery, two strips cooked bacon, chopped, 15 oz. half-and-half, and parsley, chopped. Boil the potato until tender, then dice. Sauté finely chopped celery an
d most of the bacon, and set aside. In a stockpot, combine the New England Clam Chowder and half-and-half. Heat slowly, stirring frequently. When very hot, add the diced potato and celery, and stir until warm. Ladle into serving bowls, then garnish with crumbled bacon and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

Cape Charles Crab and Shrimp Chowder
 The second recipe is Cape Charles Crab and Shrimp Chowder using 2 cans of Blue Crab Bay Cream of Crab Soup. . Here are the other recipe ingredients: 5 slices of bacon, finely diced, 1 onion, finely chopped, 3 stalks of celery, finely chopped, 1 carrot, finely chopped, 1 red pepper, finely chopped, 4 tbsp. butter, 4 tbsp. flour, 4 cups chicken stock, 1 cup of half-and-half, ½ tsp. hot sauce, ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce, and 1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp and 2 cans White Crab Meat. In a large kettle, cook diced bacon until crisp, then add onion, celery, carrot and red pepper and cook until tender, stirring so as not to burn. Add butter and let it melt, then add flour and stir until well absorbed. Add stock, soup, half-and-half and sauces. Mix thoroughly, then allow chowder to simmer on low heat for about 25 minutes. Add shrimp and cook just until they turn pink. Before serving, carefully fold in crab meat and allow to warm. Salt and pepper, if desired. Yields about 6 bowls or 12 cups of soup.
She-Crab Soup

The third recipe is “kicked up” She-Crab Soup using Blue Crab Bay She-Crab Soup. The other ingredients are: 1 can cream or half-and-half, dry sherry, whole nutmeg, fresh crabmeat, and fresh parsley for garnish. Empty contents of She-Crab Soup can into saucepan and add one can of cream or half-and-half. Heat soup slowly, stirring frequently. Do not boil. Ladle the soup into two to four bowls, depending on their size. Drizzle with sherry. Grind nutmeg atop soup and garnish with crabmeat and parsley. Serves two to four.

Monday, December 1, 2014

All About Our Peanut Tins

  Same Tin - Different Assortment 

Chocolate Lover's Tin - New assortment! Extra-large Virginia Peanuts covered in creamy milk chocolate, plump firm Almonds - panned in rich dark chocolate for a luxurious sheen, and crunchy chocolate Espresso beans  36 oz. Gift Tin




New Tins -  Same Assortments

Christmas Posy - A colorful tin that will be remembered long after the treats are gone. Filled with Handcooked Virginia Peanuts and Cashews, crunchy Praline Glazed Peanuts and double dipped Milk Chocolate Covered Peanuts. So enjoy already! About 3 1/2 lbs.






Pinecone Swag - Clean and simple, yet definitely speaks for the season. This collectable tin is filled with The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg famous handcooked Virginia Peanuts, Butter Toffee peanuts, and Chocolate Covered Peanuts. Makes an ideal gift for family and friends. 2 lbs 






Floating Snowflakes - We take a 2 lb. tin of Handcooked Virginia Peanuts, top with 1 1/2 lbs. of Milk Chocolate Virginia Peanuts and crown with 1 lb. tender dried Cherries in milk chocolate with a cherry fruit coating. Plenty of good snacking for anyone and everyone! 






Harvest Gathering Tin - It brings good cheer. And a sense of welcome for gracious home gatherings. Lightly salted, spicy Creole, and praline glazed peanuts make a thoughtful gift with this collectible tin. 24 oz.






New Tins - New Assortments


Jingling Snowman Tin- Lightly salted Handcooked Virginia Peanuts, Milk Chocolate Covered Virginia Peanuts, and decadent Red Apple Caramels - all snug in a snowy bright collectible tin. A great gift for anyone! 25 oz.


Santa's Surprise - Surprise someone special with this delightful tin of rich, decadent flavors. Chocolate Covered Cranberries - tender dried cranberries covered in a pastel chocolate coating, Cheesecake Caramels, and Chocolate Covered Peanuts, double dipped in rich milk chocolate. 2 lbs.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Temptations From The Smithfield Marketplace Fall 2014


Here are some of the new mouthwatering offerings we now have available:



Boneless Spiral Sliced Ham and Mini Cajun Turkey Breast - The perfect combination for smaller families or smaller appetites. Our boneless Honey Glazed Spiral Sliced Ham 3 - 4 lbs., and our NEW lightly smoked Boneless Turkey Breast with Cajun style rub and marinade 2 lb. avg. - sweet and spicy! Fully cooked, just heat and serve.

The Southern Table - A real palate-pleasing gift, we've combined some of our bestsellers for a genuine southern food experience. Includes: Boneless Smoked Turkey Breast 3-4 lbs, Boneless Spiral Sliced Ham, 3-4 lbs., tangy mustard-based Dunkin' Sauce (sandwich spread or dipping sauce), 2-year Aged White Cheddar Cheese 7.5 oz. and Braswell's Red Pepper Jelly, 10.5 oz. Gift boxed.

Cajun Seasoned Mini Turkey Breast - Get ready for big taste on this zesty mini-sized turkey breast! Lightly smoked and generously seasoned with a cajun style marinade and rub, this gem is tender and juicy...and full of bold flavor - hot or cold. Fully cooked and ready to heat. 1.75-2.25 lbs. Serves 6-8.

Charles Henry Gray Genuine Smithfield Ham Gourmet Slices - The finest Genuine Smithfield Ham is seasoned with Charles Henry Gray's secret family recipe. Sliced paper thin, it is a delectable addition to antipasto platters, buffets or tucked into petite party rolls. Conveniently packaged in four 8 oz. packages so you can freeze some for company. Serves 8-16


Country Bacon Sampler- This old-fashioned country smoked bacon has been made the same way for years. Every slab is hand rubbed with our dry cure ingredients, then slow smoked for an unforgettable flavor that has been loved for generations. Remember our country bacon is salt cured and will be salty in nature. Sliced for your ease of preparation! Enjoy 14 oz. each of hickory smoked, applewood smoked and maple smoked bacon. Serves 20-48.

Deep Fried Whole Cajun Turkey - Did you know that frying turkeys first became popular in the south and that today deep fried turkeys are a taste sensation nationwide? If it's too much work or perhaps you're nervous about trying to make at home, we've done all the work for you. Injected with Cajun seasonings, our fully roasted and deep fried whole turkey is so juicy and tender, you may never eat turkey any other way again. 10-12 lbs. Serves 12-18. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Peanuts for the Fall

Hot Habanero Chili Pepper Nuts
It may be autumn and the weather may be getting colder, but our new peanuts are getting hotter.

 Hot Habanero Chile Pepper Nuts are super extra-large Virginia Peanuts, hand cooked and  covered with "hotter than hell" seasonings.
Hot Wasabi Spiced Nuts are Super extra-large hand cooked Virginia Peanuts seasoned with the tangy flavors of hot Japanese Horseradish.
 Thai Fried Chili Lime Peanuts are seasoned with all the signature flavors of Thai cuisine, Chili peppers, lime, coconut milk, and spices. Let your taste buds travel!
Spicy Mole Peanuts have an intriguing flavor reminiscent of Old Mexico City. Crispy Virginia Peanuts are coated with pure honey, then dusted with cocoa and spiced with smoked habanero seasonings.

Even some sweet peanuts are getting hotter.
Chipotle Peanut Crunch
Honey Roasted Chipotle Spiced Peanuts are Virginia Peanuts roasted with pure honey and a smoky chipotle spice blend. Smoky Chipotle Peanut Crunch sends Peanut Crunch south of the border! These bite size blocks are still covered with a light syrup, but then seasoned with sweet and smoky Chipotle spices.

We still have old spicy favorites like New Orleans Virginia Peanuts seasoned with a spice blend from the New Orleans School of Cooking and Hot Southern Virginia Peanuts temptingly seasoned with Jalapeno, onion, and garlic.

Caramel Apple Peanuts
If you want a new taste this fall that is not hot, but sweet, we have that too. Honey Roasted Caramel Apple Spiced Peanuts will have you thinking about caramel apples when you taste these Virginia Peanuts roasted with pure honey and coated in an apple pie spice blend. Or try Honey Roasted Sea Salted Caramel Peanuts. Sweet and salty! An amazing blend of smooth caramel and crunchy sea salt generously coat honey roasted Virginia Peanuts.

Try some new nuts today and enjoy some old favorites!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Recipes With Apple Butter

With the end of summer comes a bountiful harvest of apples and that means plenty of apples to make perfectly spiced, incredibly smooth Graves Mountain Apple Butter. There's nothing better than slathering a dollop of apple butter onto warm toast or biscuits or over waffles, but its sweet spiciness can be an integral ingredient in fall cooking and baking.  Here are some recipes using apple butter.

Apple Butter-Walnut Thumbprints   
Yield: Makes about 40 cookies
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup toasted walnuts
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Parchment paper
1/2 cups Apple Butter
Caramel topping
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Pulse first 5 ingredients in a food processor 10 times or until nuts are ground.
2. Beat powdered sugar and butter at high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer 4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add flour mixture, and beat at medium speed 30 seconds.
3. Drop batter by level tablespoonfuls 1 to 2 inches apart on 3 parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Dip finger in cold water, and press into each cookie, forming an indentation. Fill each indentation with 1/2 tsp. apple butter. Dip finger in cold water, and tap down peaks in apple butter.
4. Bake 2 baking sheets at 350° for 14 minutes, placing 1 baking sheet on middle oven rack and 1 sheet on lower oven rack. Rotate pans front to back, and top rack to bottom rack. Bake 4 more minutes or until edges begin to brown. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks, and cool completely (about 10 minutes). Repeat with remaining baking sheet. Drizzle caramel topping over cooled cookies.

Apple Butter Pie
Makes 8 servings


Ingredients
8 ounces gingersnaps
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup spiced apple butter
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Garnishes: whipped cream, crumbled gingersnaps

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Pulse gingersnaps in a food processor 20 times or until finely ground. With processor running, pour butter through food chute, processing until blended. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate.
2. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together sweetened condensed milk and next 3 ingredients. Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Chill 2 to 24 hours.
Apple Butter Sparklers
For a kid-friendly version, substitute sparkling apple juice for the Prosecco.
2 tablespoons Apple Butter
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup chilled Prosecco
Garnish: lemon peel

Whisk together Easy Apple Butter and lemon juice until smooth. Whisk in chilled Prosecco. Strain into a glass, and garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

Creole Apple Butter Mustard
Ingredients

1 cup apple butter
1/4 cup Creole mustard
Serve with pan-fried pork chops on hot sweet potato biscuits for breakfast.

Peanut Butter-Apple Grahams

Yield: Makes 2 servings

Ingredients
2 whole graham cracker halves
2 tablespoons peanut butter
6 Granny Smith apple slices
Spread each graham cracker half with 1 tablespoon peanut butter, and microwave at HIGH for 10 seconds. Remove from microwave, and top each with 3 apple slices.

Apple Butter-and-Cheddar Puffs


To get ahead, make these appetizers through Step 2 and freeze up to 1 month. Go straight to the oven from freezer; simply add 5 to 10 minutes to the bake time.
Yield: Makes 1 1/2 dozen
Ingredients
1 (17.3-oz.) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup Apple Butter
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 1/4 cups (5 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
Parchment paper
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Unfold 1 pastry sheet, and roll to a 9- x 12-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut pastry into 9 (4- x 3-inch) rectangles. Brush edges of rectangles with a small amount of egg whites. Stir together apple butter and thyme leaves. Spoon about 1 tsp. apple butter mixture into center of each rectangle. Sprinkle each with about 1 Tbsp. cheese. Fold 2 opposite corners together, and pinch to seal.
2. Gently transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush pastries with egg whites, reserving remaining egg whites for second batch; sprinkle each pastry with about 1/2 Tbsp. cheese.
3. Bake at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. While first batch bakes, repeat procedure with remaining pastry sheet, egg whites, apple butter mixture, and cheese. Serve immediately.