A Visit to the Bealeton Farmer’s Market

Fresh veggies from my local farmer's market

I stopped by the Bealeton, Virginia, farmer’s market this weekend to pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables and other goodies for my family. Just look at these freshly picked red onions; they still have their stalks attached. It doesn’t get any fresher than this. If you like to cook as much as I do, then you’ll definitely want to check out your local farmer’s market; it’s one of the pleasures of summer.

In addition to the Boston lettuce and gorgeous red onions pictured above, I bought some pulled pork, barbecued beef brisket, individual-sized servings of monkey bread, and a variety of home-made sausage (sweet Italian links, kielbasa, bratwurst, and several packs of bulk sausage).

Later that evening, I threw together this quick dinner featuring Italian sausage sandwiches with caramelized onions and peppers, Amish potato salad, and fresh fruit.

Italian sausage sandwiches with caramelized onions and peppers

The Bealeton farmer’s market is a seasonal open air market made up of farmers offering organic honey and meats, locally grown fruits and vegetables, jams and jellies, baked goods, and hand-crafted items.

Jerry Headley and Theresa Shiflett from Andralynn Farm founded the market three years ago and it has drawn a steady stream of customers. The market is small and intimate but there is plenty of room for growth and additional vendors are welcome. Vendors pay $80.00 a piece to join the market for the season or $10.00 per week.  The vendor fees pay for signs and advertising, and this year vendor insurance is being offered free of charge.

Fresh fruits and vegetables from the Bealeton farmer's market

The market is located off of US Route 17 at Liberty Station Center (in front of Children of America) and runs from April 23rd through October 29th. Hours of operation are Saturdays from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm, although you can often find Jerry and Theresa there later in the afternoon selling their fabulous Honey Hog barbecue. For more information on the Bealeton farmer’s market email southernmarket@comcast.net or call 540-905-5663.

Honey Hog Barbecue Stand in Bealeton, Virginia

Come on out, ya’ll.

Gorgeous Light in My Garden Yesterday

Beautiful light in my garden

After two days of torrential rain, the sun finally made an appearance and filled my garden with gorgeous light. Everything looks so green and lush.

Enormous cloud formation

After the dark skies cleared, this huge sun-lit cloud formation took my breath away. How gorgeous are these clouds?

Huge cloud formation

In other news, after a two-week hiatus to focus on yard clean-up and home remodeling tasks, I finally started a new painting this evening. Check back later this week to see the finished painting. What’s new in your neck of the woods?

Mojitos and Tapas in Warrenton, Virginia

Mojitos and Tappas Bar, Warrenton, Virginia

Hi everyone, how was your weekend? My weekend was super busy–I did tons of laundry and housework, some much-needed decluttering, rearranged my family room furniture, installed several ceiling fans, and snuck in some yard work just before the torrential rain started–it poured. After all that work I didn’t feel like cooking, so my mother, daughter, and I treated ourselves to dinner at the Mojitos and Tapas restaurant in Warrenton, Virginia. This is a photo of the bar area, isn’t it charming?

Coconut mojito

My mother and I ordered coconut mojitos which featured coconut rum and sparkling soda over muddled mint leaves and lime juice and included bits of fresh coconut. It was so refreshing and light and seriously fizzy. I loved it and must go on a recipe search so I can make these at home.

Mixed berry mojito

My daughter ordered a mixed-berry mojito dubbed the “beach mojito.” It was seriously fruity, fizzy, and delicious. There were at least a dozen varieties of mojitos on the menu. We’re already planning future girls night out dates to sample more.

Loaded chips

My mother ordered Caribbean egg rolls (not pictured) and loaded chips over a bed of black beans. They were messy but delicious. My daughter ordered a traditional Cuban chicken sandwich. It was enormous and definitely enough to serve two people.

Zang-Zang chicken

I ordered the Zang-Zang chicken, which is deep fried bites of chicken coated in a spicy sauce–not the healthiest choice, but boy was it good. The Mojitos and Tapas restaurant is small and cozy, the service was great, the atmosphere was charming, the food was delish, and the mojitos were a real treat. It was a fun and affordable choice for a girls night out. For more information on the Mojitos and Tapas restaurant visit their website.

Mojitas_and-Tapas-Entrance

Till next time!

My Painting Buddy

My dog, Piggy

Yard work and outdoor home improvement projects are great opportunities to spend quality time with your pets. My little dog, Piggy, is a my gardening buddy and constant friend. He will happily spend hours in the yard while I plant flowers and work around the house. That’s my boy!

My dog, Piggy

My dog, Piggy

My dog, Piggy

Braised Short Ribs

Recipe for braised short ribs

It’s been cold and rainy this week, so cold that I’ve been craving a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs type of meal. So I turned to this recipe for braised short ribs that my mom made frequently when I was growing up. It’s simple to make, smells amazing while it’s baking, and tastes even better. This recipe is comfort food at its best. I like to serve braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and spoon the vegetables and sauce on top of the potatoes. Look for boneless short ribs at your supermarket if you can find them because it makes eating this dish a bit easier. I grab boneless short ribs as I find them and freeze them for later use. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make braised short ribs:

Braised Short Ribs Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. beef short ribs (preferably  boneless)
  • 3-4 tablespoons flour  (enough to coat the ribs)
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil (enough to brown the ribs on all sides)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can (28-oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery tops, chopped (the celery leaves really make this dish)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons additional flour (to thicken the broth)

Instructions

  1. Dredge the short ribs in flour and brown them on all sides in a frying pan coated with hot oil.
  2. Place ribs in a 9 x 13″ baking pan.
  3. Drain off excess oil from the frying pan, keeping the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Return the pan to the heat. Add water and bring to a boil, scraping the browned parts off the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (except flour). Bring to a boil. Combine flour with enough water to make a thin paste. Add slowly to the boiling mixture, stirring constantly until thickened.
  5. Pour the vegetable mixture over the short ribs in the baking pan. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the meat is fork tender. Serve with hot mashed potatoes or hot cooked rice.

Ladle into a bowl, spoon the vegetables and sauce over the mashed potatoes, and enjoy!

Canine Gardening Assistants

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Yard work is always more pleasant when you have canine garden helpers. Marty (aka “Piggy” because of his curly pig tail) likes to dig holes, graze on the grass, sit in the phlox, and identify shady spots in the yard. He also likes to inspect my work. Mary, who is a more refined and dignified dog, prefers to oversee the yard work from the comfort of the deck.

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Piggy Close Up Small