2014 Food Trends in Virginia + Recipes

February 27, 2014
Farm Fresh recently polled Virginia-based chefs, culinary experts, food critics, bloggers and food enthusiasts for key food trend predictions for 2014. 

The results of the survey make me happy and remind me of when we lived California. Locally-sourced food and ingredients, as well as healthy eating, are becoming popular amongst Virginians. 

Farm Fresh was kind enough to give me gift cards to purchase ingredients to make recipes reflecting these hot trends. All three of the below recipes are affordable and delicious! 

The local experts offered the following predictions for the 2014 Virginia food scene: 
  • “Real” Food. Local, sustainable and farm-to-table options that have a healthy aspect to them.
  • Small Is the New Big. Virginians will forego formal dinner parties for more casual affairs with small-plate options and tasting menus replacing the more traditional multicourse meals.
  • Tango with Mango. When it comes to produce, mangoes, avocados, micro/local greens and dark greens were among the hottest produce trends predicted.
Mango Guacamole
  • Viva la Veggie. Consumers looking to eat healthier will also start to look for more unusual vegetables such as kohlrabi, turnips and different types of radishes.
  • Less Is More. Virginians will seek out more products with a limited number of ingredients and easy-to-identify ingredients.
  • Grain Brain. Ancient grains, such as quinoa, farro and wheatberries, will grow in popularity among Virginia cooks as the national healthy ingredient, healthy eating boom expands.
Curry Quinoa Salad
  • Chips to Nuts. Healthier snack options will gain in popularity. Kale chips will give way to seaweed chips, and we’ll see more nut-based snacks as a result of recent studies showing their nutritional benefits.
  • Healthier, DIY Foods for Kids. People will also turn to healthier foods for kids, and they’ll get kids more involved in food preparation with fun, simple, do-it-yourself recipes.
  • Fermentation Nation. Pickling will be the home food preparation trend of the year, experts say, as Virginians experiment with different fruits, foods and methods to create unique, interesting additions to their table fare.
  • Cultural Cravings. Asian ingredients and foods will populate the food scene in the Virginia area. Local experts point to growth in an array of cuisines and flavors, including Indian, Korean, Southeast Asian and Japanese. Interest in South American cuisine also is expected to rise.
  • Breakfast for Lunch. Or Dinner. Breakfast food for any meal was among the most notable predictions. Eggs, fresh fruit and fruit with yogurt or Greek yogurt will be top breakfast choices.  
Pomegranate Granola Breakfast Parfait

Thank you to Farm Fresh for providing me with gift cards and these delicious recipes. The recipes were easy to make, healthy, Weight Watchers do-able and a great addition to our meal planning. I am looking forward to trying more recipes and watch these healthy trends emerge!

New Blog

January 28, 2014
As you know, I strayed away from updating this blog within the last year, and have written about it in the past. While I'll still update family-related things, and share product reviews and promotions with you here, my new lifestyle blog is ChelseaRhane.com 

It's a work in progress, but the first post will explain a little bit about what it's about. 

I look forward to seeing you over there and on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

The Legend of Ranger: The Reindeer Who Couldn't Fly

December 25, 2013

Retired Commanding General in the US Army, Alan Salisbury's new children's story  The Legend of Ranger: The Reindeer Who Couldn’t Fly is beautifully illustrated by award winning Roberta Baird.

The Legend of Ranger tells the heartwarming story of Ranger, the younger brother of the famous Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer who dreams of being one of the reindeer who pull Santa’s sleigh. He finds himself on a journey searching for the “secret” within him to fly, leaving readers with the reminder that “all things are attainable when you believe in yourself.”

All profits from the project will be donated to the Antonia J. Giallourakis Endowed Fund in Art Therapy for Children with Cancer. Philanthropy is of the utmost importance to Alan and his story’s positive message aligns with the fund’s efforts to help children as they face life-threatening diseases.

The complete “The Legend of Ranger” suite of products, includes the paperback book, the downloadable E-Book, the audio book (with narrated story) on CD and digital, Ranger’s original new song “Dream and Believe” (on CD and digital), the Ranger soft toy, and the complete box set – take it all home!
Believe in yourself, no matter what challenges lie ahead.