what's happenin' wednesday

This time of year is wonderful and a little crazy all at once, don’t you agree?! We promise that 2017 should have us back on a more regular blogging schedule, but until then, hopefully the latest edition of What’s Happenin’ Wednesday will do the trick!

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

  • ICYMI: The Richmond Times-Dispatch ran a rave review of East Coast Provisions last week, and we’re not surprised – we had a great experience when we visited there this summer. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you’re a mussels fan like I am, the mussels at East Coast Provisions are not to be missed. I could talk all day long about the broth, made even better by the crusty bread that’s available for dipping.
  • A cure for what ails you: I promise I’m not willing you to get sick this winter, but if you do find yourself under the weather in the coming weeks and you’re looking for an at home fix, look no further than this recipe for bourbon cough syrup from The Kitchn.
  • Richmond Magazine put together a great roundup of several restaurants around town that are making eggnog in house this holiday season. They all have their own unique twist, which means yes, you can totally go on an eggnog crawl if that’s your thing. Bonus: there’s a recipe from Pasture that you can use if you want to make your own at home.
  • Planning a trip in 2017? This BuzzFeed quiz can guess where you are going to visit based on your breakfast choices. After taking it, I now want a mimosa and a vacation!
  • From Richmond BizSense: The Dog Wagon is officially open for business in Gather’s co-working building located at at 2930-C W. Broad St. The space offers limited seating, though it’s mainly focused on “to go” style service.
  • Thrillist put together a list of the 12 best new restaurants in America in 2016, and now my new goal is to try them all in 2017. That’s probably wishful thinking, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to make it to least one or two of these spots sometime soon. The spot on the list that’s closest to Richmond is Pineapple and Pearls in Washington, D.C., which is totally doable for a day trip or a quick overnight trip, good news for us!
  • Exciting update if you’re a fan of Westhampton Pastry Shop: a second location is coming soon next to Westbury Apothecary! This is dangerously close to my new house and I have a feeling I’m going to be a frequent visitor.

Oh boy oh boy!!

A post shared by Westbury Apothecary (@westbury_apothecary) on

What to add to your calendar

  • If you’re still looking for just the right arrangement for your holiday table – or a great hostess gift – Strawberry Fields Flowers and Finds is hosting a holiday centerpiece workshop this Thursday at 6 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person and all materials are provided.
  • NBC 12 put together a helpful list of holiday events around Richmond, including catching a holiday movie at The Byrd Theatre. Polar Express is playing on Christmas Eve at 10 a.m.and It’s A Wonderful Life is playing on Christmas Eve at 7:15 p.m. and on Christmas at 7:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Tickets go on sale about half an hour before the each show.
  • If you’ve been looking for an excuse to visit Charleston and enjoy food as much as we do, save the date for the Southern Ground Music & Food Festival, taking place May 20-21, 2017. Additional details can be found here.

Whatever you are celebrating this holiday season, we hope this time of year is filled with lots of love – and lots of good food!

Speaking of good food, if you have any delicious (and easy!) holiday brunch recipes, please share them in the comments below.

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What's Happenin' Wednesday Dec 14

We’re getting so close to the end of the year, can you believe it? I’m heading to Oahu for Christmas with my family next week, and I’ve never visited Hawaii, so if you have any suggestions on what to do or where to eat please let me know!

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

  • Opening this week: Triple Crossing’s new Fulton location. The new space will have pizza, a large patio and you guessed it, BEER!
  • I’ve been searching for new podcasts to keep me occupied during my 12 hours of flying next week and a few of the podcasts that I’ll be sampling are Good Food by KCRW, Gravy by Southern Foodways Alliance and A Taste of the Past by the Heritage Radio Network. If you have any favorite podcasts (food related or not) let me know in the comments.
  • If you haven’t updated your iPhone this week and you love the emojis you’re in for a real treat. The bacon and avocado emojis are finally here! I’m also loving the volcano and the woman scientist.
  • One of my favorite parts of the holidays are all the delicious sweet treats that make their way into the office. I’m a sucker for a traditional holiday treat, and Food 52 has 16.5 global desserts from all over the world. The castagnole from Italy look amazing.
  • Any guesses on what the big food trends will be in 2017? Mic thinks s’mores and tiny fish will be making a comeback. I’ll be honest I can do without the tiny fish, unless they’re deep fried.
  • Preorders are open for traditional sufganiyah donuts at Sugar Shack, perfect for your Hanukkah celebrations. The stuffed donuts come cream filled and jelly filled (blackberry apple).
  • Ramen lovers rejoice, apparently Richmond is experiencing a bit of a ramen resurgence. After the close of Shoryuken earlier this year, a couple of new ramen spots are filling the void left behind. The RTD has details on Takara Ramen (in the West End) and Style Weekly recently reviewed Tenka Ramen (on 5th street Downtown).

What to add to your calendar

  • Tomorrow it is Third Thursday at Veil Brewing Co. This month’s celebration will benefit CARITAS, so you can feel even better about getting that second or third beer. There will also be a holiday pop-up shop, food from Continental Divide and a limited beer release. If you plan on attending, Veil will also be collecting gently used pillows, blankets, and towels to donate to CARITAS.
  • Starting in January, Whisk will be hosting baking classes one Sunday a month! The classes kick off with a class on macarons.
  • Garden and Grove Brewing Company in Carytown is hosting another one of its Taproom Dinners on Monday. This month they’re featuring Chefs Caleb Shriver & Phillip Perrow of Dutch & Co! Reservations are required, and dinner service will start at 7 p.m.
  • This Sunday, Nate’s Bagels will be hosting brunch at Blue Bee Cider’s new location in Scott’s Addition. If you haven’t been to Blue Bee’s new space, I highly recommend it — they did a fantastic job on the renovation. There will be bagel sandwiches, cider and sangria from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The rescheduled Fire, Flour, Fork event featuring QuestLove has officially been rescheduled for January 15 and tickets are now on sale. The event at the VMFA will also feature panelists Jason Alley (Comfort), Ronald Crutcher (UR’s president), Natalie Press (singer/songwriter) and Mike Derks (GWAR restaurant).
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Healthy Snacks We Love

The holiday season is filled with opportunities for indulging. From potlucks with friends to office holiday parties, there are a number of occasions this time of year featuring food that’s delicious but not always the most healthy. In case you need a break from the heavy hors d’oeuvres, we put together a list of five healthy snacks we’ve been enjoying lately. Note: “healthy” is a loose term around here, by healthy, we mean these are not donuts and french fries.

Cranberry Chèvre Log and Pretzel Thins

Trader Joe's Cranberry Chèvre Log

I’m the kind of person that loves to bring chips and salsa to a potluck because I’m strapped for time or I get too nervous about trying to make something complicated for a group that I’m trying to please. Enter my go-to shareable snack: Trader Joe’s Cranberry Chèvre Log, served with pretzel thins. This festive (thanks to the cranberries) holiday treat looks pretty and tastes delicious, a wonderful combination of the tart and sweet cranberries with creamy goat cheese pair well with the saltiness of pretzels. The chèvre log is priced under $5 and if you aren’t a fan of cranberries there are apple cinnamon and blueberry versions as well.

-K

Halo Top Ice Cream

Halo Top Ice Cream

If you have an Instagram account and you follow any food bloggers you’ve probably seen this ice cream all over your feed. This low-calorie option actually tastes and resembles the consistency of ice cream! At around 80 calories per serving, Halo Top pints have about as many calories as just one serving of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream – and let’s be real no one can stick to eating just one serving of ice cream. New flavors were released earlier this fall and I cannot wait to try them all, so far I’ve had the s’mores, oatmeal cookie and salted caramel (according to USA Today, peanut butter cup is the best tasting new flavor — no wonder it’s sold out all the time). A pint at Kroger will run you about $4 (when they’re on sale, which they currently are) and if saving money isn’t your thing you’ll find Halo Top at most grocery stores around town.

-K

Hope Foods Hummus and Pita Chips

Hope Hummus

We’re always up for trying a new hummus options and Hope Foods has some of the best variety of flavors that we’ve seen. Hope Foods offers 10 varieties of hummus, and we picked up two for a recent taste test. The Thai Coconut Curry was extremely flavorful and the Spicy Avocado variety could have easily passed for guacamole. Fun fact: the first type of hummus Hope Foods created was their Spicy Avocado hummus, followed in second by the original hummus!

With both the curry and avocado, we sort of forgot that we were eating hummus, which is the best kind of healthy snack, right? Hope Foods Hummus is available locally at Ellwood Thompson’s, Whole Foods and The Fresh Market. We enjoyed the hummus with carrots and pita chips, and we’re hoping to get our hands on one of the chocolate hummus varieties soon, because we need to make this recipe for dark chocolate cookie s’mores dip we found on their website. Like now.

– M & K

Mandarin Oranges

Halo Mandarin Oranges

I pick up a 3 lb. bag of mandarin oranges almost weekly at the grocery store this time of year and I usually end up snacking on one or two throughout the course of the day. I often find myself purchasing the Halos brand, California grown mandarins that Halos touts as being easy to peel, super sweet and seedless.

I’ve always referred to these “baby oranges” as clementines, but you learn something new every day: according to the Halos website, the Halos brand offers two mandarin varieties: clementines, which are available from November to January, and W. Murcott Afourers, which are available February to April. Mandarins are available at most grocery stores when they are in season, including Kroger, Aldi, The Fresh Market and Food Lion.

-M

Noosa Yoghurt and Hudson Henry Baking Company Granola

Granola and Yogurt

Confession: I’ve tried to love a lot of different yogurts through the years, but it’s not always a snack that’s been my favorite. I’m not sure what it is, but until recently, I’ve never found a yogurt that I actually really enjoy eating all that much. That’s not the case now that I’ve tried Noosa Yoghurt. I’m slightly addicted to the strawberry rhubarb variety, to the extent that I had a Kroger associate hunt down a few containers of my favorite flavor for me this past weekend when I saw they were out of stock on the shelves. Noosa is available at Kroger, The Fresh Market, Whole Foods and other local grocers.

An 8 oz. container is listed as one serving, but I usually find myself happily eating half of a container topped with a spoonful or two of one of my favorite Virginia-made products,  granola from Hudson Henry Baking Company. If you haven’t tried the Maple & Walnut granola from Hudson Henry Baking Company, do yourself a favor and pick some up today. The pretty packaging would make it a great holiday gift, too!

-M

What’s your favorite healthy snack? Tell us in the comments below!

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what's happenin' wednesday

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

  • A peek into the future: Amazon just opened a grocery store in Seattle where there is no checkout AND no lines. No, I’m not kidding. The service, Amazon Go, is currently being tested by Amazon employees but will be open to the public in 2017.
  • If you’re looking for a festive and easy treat to have around the house this holiday season, you’re going to want to pick up a container of Rudolph’s Mix from Target. The snack mix includes white chocolate and milk chocolate covered cereal, graham bites, peanut butter cups and more. Just don’t blame me when you can’t stop snacking on it.
  • North End Juice Bar opened in the Museum District this past weekend! Service is through a walk-up window where they offer fresh-pressed juices, acai bowls, smoothies and more. You can take a look at their full menu here. The new spot is open from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily. And speaking of juice bars, The Pit and the Peel is opening a second location in Carytown. Follow along on their Facebook page for updates on the new location.
  • As a huge fan of the daily specials board at Dot’s Back Inn, I couldn’t be more excited for the Mediterranean restaurant, Demi’s, coming to the North Side in the former Omega Grecian space. The new spot is owned by Dot’s Back Inn owners Jimmy and Daniella Tsamouras. Style Weekly food & drink editor Brandon Fox has all the details.
  • Thrillist has a list of the 25 most Instagrammed restaurants of 2016. One spot on the list, Serendipity 3, was one of the (many) places we ventured to on our quick trip to New York City this September.
  • The Richmond Times-Dispatch introduced Jo Lord as their new restaurant reviewer this week. I loved reading all of her food favorites in their introductory article (totally craving a sandwich from Coppola’s now!) and am looking forward to the reviews.

What to add to your calendar

  • Buskey Cider is hosting a Holiday Cookie Competition & Exchange on Thursday, December 15 from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Bring cookies to share and you’ll go home with even more cookies. Sounds like a good deal to us.
  • Don’t miss the 24th Annual James River Parade of Lights, a free event taking place this Saturday, December 10 from 6 – 10 p.m. A number of decorated boats will be visible from different viewing sites throughout the Richmond region, including Libby Hill Park, Osborne Park and Boat Landing, Dutch Gap Boat Landing and Henricus Historical Park.
  • New Church Hill shop Dear Neighbor is hosting a Holiday Pop & Shop this Saturday, December 10 from 12 – 5 p.m. If you plan to check it out, Dear Neighbor is located at 2415 Jefferson Avenue.
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