First Friday!

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I love Western Loudoun for so many reasons, but one value that remains ever present is community. First Fridays in Leesburg are a great way to celebrate community – an evening outside as you walk around downtown and enjoy live music in various venues, art exhibits, book signings, and all things that make Leesburg unique.

We are delighted that Visit Loudoun will be hosting our book signing this evening, and Joy’s Dream Bakery has provided a sample of delicious cookies and treats.  There will be a wine tasting, and live music nearby – come and see us!

Summer Fun at Tarara

IMG_0685Where can you find concerts, rock climbing, yoga, kayaking, food trucks and entertainment seven days a week in Western Loudoun?  At the wineries of course! Our wineries offer a great gathering place for active families all year round. One of my favorites in the summer is Tarara.  Not only does the vineyard offer good, established wines – but they also have a summer concert series that features some great bands. Families bring picnics (and glow necklaces) – kids can run and play while parents get to listen to live music overlooking the pond.  It’s a win for everyone!  If you are feeling really adventurous, try out the sip and paddle option from River & Trail Outfitters where you can go on a 4-7 mile kayak tour ending at Tarara where wine and barbecue are your glorious rewards.

IMG_0691Make sure to try out Tarara’s newer label Boneyard, where Jordan Harris has some fun.  The wines are delicious and creative, boasting “The Boneyard Collection respects centuries of wine artisans while taking on a no-rules head-first dive into creating some rockin’ wine. BUILD IT, LIVE IT, WORK IT, DIG IT…DRINK IT.”

House-of-Cards-Themed-Cheese-and-WineTo read more about Tarara’s story or learn how to make the perfect cheese board to go with your bottle of Boneyard, order our book here.

Time to Celebrate!

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After 15 months of researching and writing, Meghan and I are THRILLED to announce that Capital Area Food and Drink: Western Loudoun Preserved is released! Thank you to Lara Heinz for the amazing design work, it turned out beautifully!  And many thanks to the farmers, wine makers, brewers, chefs, and others who took the time to share their stories and recipes – Western Loudoun is a special place and it is our honor to share just a small sample of its’s unique stories and places. You can view and purchase the book on Amazon.

 

13419011_10209380861389239_8226039872140439938_nWe had a wonderful time celebrating with our friends and family at Fox Spring Farm. Guests got to nibble on sample recipes from the book and Tarara Winery and Dirt Farm Brewery provided samples of local libations.  Thanks to everyone who came out!

 

High Brow, Low Brow

Capital Food and Drink LunchThis is my writing partner Meghan – isn’t she great? She is an amazing cook and food blogger. She is newly engaged, lives in the city with her fiancé and cat, spends time playing with recipes and cooking amazing, healthy food. She’s young and fresh, full of energy – not even a shadow under her eye.

 

This is the type of food Meghan prepares for her blog. I prepare food like this in my dreams and on my pinterest boards – but in reality, as my schedule gets busier, my dinners look more like this:

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I would love to incorporate fresh, local food to feed my family – but I don’t have space in my life for following complicated recipes or making fancy foods that my kids won’t even bother to touch. So Meghan and I decided to try an experiment.

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Meghan trying out her new squash bikini

IMG_0088We visited Potomac Vegetable Farm to pick up some fresh goodies. We decided that we would use the same set of ingredients for two different recipes – a fun, grown up dish, and a quick, easy and kid-friendly dish. High brow – low brow (any MTV State fans out there?)

This was a really fun experiment and I ended up with a new recipe for my repertoire (that I have to keep tweaking in order to get the kids fully on board.) Visit Meghan Bollenback’s blog to get the recipes and see us in action!

Big Announcement!

Capital Food and Drink Book Announcement

I have a big announcement to make….

I am writing a book!
Ok, I know, I have already written a few books, and you wonderful people have been very supportive. But this time I am writing a different kind of book – a food book about Western Loudoun. It will be under the title Capital Area Food and Drink – which may or may not be a series (I have to give you some kind of mystery!) It is part love story, part recipe book, and part guidebook – all about the great farms, wineries, restaurants, and breweries in my area and the cool people who run them. And this time, I have a writing partner Meghan Bollenback.  A DC area food blogger, Meghan is a Western Loudoun enthusiast who also enjoys hanging out at breweries at 11:00 in the morning – all in the name of research. Needless to say, we are having a lot of fun writing this book and I know that you will love it.
In an effort to enjoy the journey of this book, I have pledged to blog about the process. We hope to for an early spring release date, so this will keep us on track. I look forward to sharing our culinary adventures with you!