Guest Post: Whirl & Whisk

Today’s guest blogger is a self-described bakeaholoic who makes some crazy-delicious goodies! Spend 10 seconds on her blog, and your sweet tooth will be itching for a bite! Today, she’s sharing a recipe for some homemade hazelnut candy bars! Enjoy!

I love living in Richmond. I grew up hearing (and believing) that Richmond was boring, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to find that Richmond is full of extraordinary places! Especially when it comes to food. I adore my city’s love for food and it has inspired me to start my blog whirl + whisk where I bake up something sweet daily.

One place in RVA that I love is Pasture. It’s a little restaurant located on E. Grace Street. They have THE most amazing homemade hazelnut candy bar. It is borderline life changing. So naturally I had to try to make it myself.

I’m not a huge fan of the actual hazelnuts in the candy bar, so I didn’t add any to my recipe, but there’s lots of Nutella flavor to make up for it! Feel free to add whatever you like to this recipe!

Hazelnut Candy Bar

Prep Time:†10 minutes (2 hours cooling time)
Bake Time:†0
Yields:†3 candy bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1 cup milk chocolate morsels
Directions:

    1. Mix chocolate and nutella in a bowl. Set aside
    2. Heat heavy whipping cream in a pan until it is about to boil (when bubbles start around the edges) and poor it over the chocolate and nutella mixture and whisk on med-high for about 2-3 minutes
    3. Line a square baking sheet with parchment paper and poor the mixture in. Let cool for 2 hours
    4. Remove the parchment and cut into 1 inch strips. Cut the strips in half
    5. Stack 4 pieces on top of each other (they will stick together) putting melted milk chocolate in between
    6. Add more milk chocolate to the top and set in the fridge for 20 minutes
    7. EAT!
It came out amazing, and very close to the real deal. As a dessert and snack blogger, I can say that Richmond offers up a ton of inspiration for me and I wouldn’t be happier anywhere else.
Be sure to follow my blog to keep up with all of the crazy desserts and snacks I make daily! Like…

See more desserts and deliciousness @ Whirl & Whisk

Lunching Richmond: 52 Lunches

It started as a game. Of course it started as a game.

We (Adam & Ethan) work for the same company and had briefly worked together, but didn’t realize at first how much our interests overlapped. Cyclists, dads, gamers, geeks. We started a weekly lunch and on the way to the second one, Adam turned it into a game. “You know what would be fun? If we never ate at the same place twice.”

The rules were simple. One of us picked a new place to eat and also paid. The following week the other would do the same. The first to repeat a choice, loses.

We made it to somewhere around week 30 before a repeat (for the record, Ethan lost). Instead of giving up though, we started round two and doubled down. We added reviews to the mix. Whoever picks still pays, but the recipient of the free lunch has to review the choice. We’d both blogged with some regularity previously, so writing was something we already enjoyed. At the time, a years worth of new restaurants seemed like a monumental undertaking, so we went with 52 and were off to the races. We also started capturing our Lunch Topics. Regular readers know we’re very much into games.

The learning curve for restaurant reviews was surprising at first. Expanding our culinary vocabulary beyond “that taste good” took some time. Eventually we got our sea legs though. We know what we like and are more than happy to share it with our readers. When we finally hit review 52, we discussed briefly resetting the game. A season 2 if you will. We quickly did away with that notion however and are now on the brink of 100 reviews. At this point it looks to go on to the bitter end, neither of us yielding until Richmond runs out of restaurants. And given the turnover in the Richmond restaurant scene, that doesn’t seem imminent.

Adam & Ethan @ 52 Lunches

You can check out all their reviews of Richmond restaurants on their blog, but here are some of our favorites (all pictured above):

Anyone have some suggestions to pass along to Adam & Ethan?

Guest Blogger: The Lunchbox Diaries

Today’s guest blogger is Colleen, currently a resident of RVA, who blogs life & healthy living. Her blog will motivate you to stay healthy, and make you laugh out loud! 

Hello, friends! I’m Colleen, the blogger behind The Lunchbox Diaries. Over at my little piece of the interweb, I gab about things such as being a newlywed, giving healthy living my best shot, and everything in between!

My take on healthy living is, in a word: humorous. I don’t take myself too seriously, and I don’t think you should either 😉

To be honest, I’ve had tons of ups and downs in the healthy living realm. I’ve run a half marathon.

On the other hand, I actually wrote a break-up letter to running – it’s an tumultuous relationship. I’ve found my fitness love, Body Pump – and I struggle with controlling myself around food.

I’m a firm believer that fitness looks different on every body, and that we (I’m talkin’ to the ladies here!) need to celebrate that. I, my friends, will never be a long distance runner or have a perfectly flat belly. I just won’t!

(Editors note: But she does have some sweet guns! I asked Colleen if I could include this picture!!)

And you know what? After tons of hard work, I’m okay with it.

Truth be told, my “being okay with it” fuels my mini-mission with blogging: to help other people realize how awesome they are.

Yeah, that’s right – I’m talkin’ to you 😉

Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries

To meet more Virginia Bloggers, check out our blogroll, and keep your eyes peeled for an event announcement coming later this week!

Restaurant Week & The PB&J Fund

Twice a year restaurants in Charlottesville cook up delicious three-course meals and do a little good for the community while they’re at it.

Restaurant Week is upon us running through July 15th. For $26 diners can create a three course meal from 16 participating restaurants. Let me tell you, three courses for $26 is a darn good deal. In fact, I’m pretty sure in Philadelphia and Washington, DC (my old homes) dinners are $35. Not only can you try out a new restaurant, but your meal will also include a $1 donation to the PB&J fund.

The PB&J fund is a local organization that connects Charlottesville youth and families with the resources and knowledge necessary to help develop a healthy diet. PB&J Fund runs a number of programs throughout the year, from healthy lunches for toddlers and Mom’s to cooking programs at the Boys and Girls Club. Last year, PB&J was able to provide over 5,000 meals to Charlottesville students over winter break so no one went hungry without the stability of free lunch. More than 50% of Charlottesville students participate in the free and reduced lunch program, many of who rely on school meals as their primary source of nutrition. So during winter break PB&J Fund works to help fill those gaps with nutritious food and education.

The money raised through Restaurant Week will support the “holiday giving” program, which sends holiday gift baskets home with students in Charlottesville city schools so they too can enjoy a holiday meal. If your local to Charlottesville or are free to make a mini-road trip this weekend, join in the Restaurant Week fun and help out a few kids.

Tweet pictures of your meal to me (@ieatasphalt)! I’ll be dining out tonight!

Alex @ I Eat Asphalt

 

Secondhand Sundays @ The Roanoke Market

Hello there VA Bloggers, and friends, my name is Bekuh and I blog over at Secondhand Sundays. Secondhand Sundays is my personal blog that showcases my love of vintage, food, crafts, and the great outdoors. I live in the southwest corner of Virginia with my husband Ryan and our pup named Nellie. I’m here today to share a little bit about our recent adventures at the historic Roanoke farmer’s market. It’s important to Roanokers that you add the word historic before farmer’s market whenever you mention the downtown area, just a little tip if you ever visit, wink wink.

Ryan and I are committed local shoppers and a huge portion of our monthly food budget goes towards locally sourced fruits and veggies. For a lot of people, my family included, this seems like a crazy budgetary decision considering we’re newlyweds with more than a few student loans to pay off, but it doesn’t have to be expensive to live this way. Farmer’s markets do have pricier booths, and organic can get outrageous quick, but with a little effort and menu planning you can find great deals on real produce. A bonus, you get to spend a morning with the one you love picking out all the goodies.

We love to go to the markets early when the booths are still being set-up and the crowds are sparse (this was right after the freak storm so the crowds were even more tame last week). We scope out what looks good, and what vendors carry items we’re anxious to look at, and then we get coffee or some goodies to eat while we plan our attack.

Now I’m not saying we don’t make some rash decisions on what to buy based on looks, like those carrots above. We had no plans to buy carrots but I couldn’t resist snatching up a bunch and they made a delicious addition to our grilling that night. You also have to remember to browse all of the stands for a good deal, the tomatoes below were beautiful but we ended up finding the same gorgeous tomatoes for $1.50 a pound just a few stalls down.

Farmer’s Markets are also a great source for floral and fauna and I love checking out the flower stalls both growing, and cut for bouquets. It usually inspires me to go home and redesign our centerpieces, or buy a bunch of flowers for our bedside table. They had giant succulents for $7 and I found it really hard to resist such a great deal.

Buying in bunches seems to be the best method for saving money at the markets; containers full of potatoes, or cucumbers that they sell at a discount. You can usually tell when something is hitting it’s peak season because they have bunches and bunches of it at every stall. I’ve also been told you can haggle with the stall vendors, though they’re mostly older farmers and I feel terrible asking them to make things cheaper. Their sweet old faces always melt my heart.

We left the market with a container of cucumbers, potatoes, three tomatoes, a basket of peaches, and a bunch of carrots having only spent $14. Take that Walmart and Kroger, I kick your chemical and pesticide covered veggies in the face. I hope I’ve inspired you to visit your local farmer’s market and try out the delicious foods that live there. I promise you won’t be disappointed by the quality or the price. You are what you eat, at least that’s what I’ve always been told.

big kiss,

bekuh

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