Category Archives: Dining in Highlands NC and Cashiers NC

Anything But Chardonnay?

Curt Christiansen,  Wine Navigator Madison’s Restuarant  empiricon@hotmail.com

Curt Christiansen, Wine Navigator
Madison’s Restaurant, empiricon@hotmail.com

There is a strangely persistent moniker in the wine world – ABC: Anything But Chardonnay.

Ten years ago I could understand this backlash against chardonnay. Overly oaked, flabby, buttery chardonnays literally lined up to get their 90 plus rating. I remember picking up a popular wine magazine’s chardonnay issue and looking through four pages of chardonnays deemed worthy of 90 points or higher. Four pages.

Ten years later however, things are vastly different. I taste on average about 80 wines a week and I am always excited when it’s a chardonnay. I taste some from Oregon that resemble a Grand Cru Meursault. Some are completely new interpretations of chardonnay. While an old school chardonnay from Ric Forman is raved over by those who try it, though the style has not changed for decades. Chasseur single vineyard chardonnays are as appealing as any wine can get. Every Alex Gambal white burgundy (chardonnay) is as different and exceptional as any other varietal. Every vintage of the Lucien LeMoine Bourgogne Blanc is a celebration of passion and dedication to chardonnay.

My point is that ABC is not over. It is irrelevant. We are in the midst of a chardonnay renaissance – therefore rules and preconceptions no longer apply. In this climate of farm-to-table, organic, sustainable and biodynamic farming, it’s all about the terrier, the land. Today’s chardonnay is being made by what nature provides the winemaker, not by over manipulation.

Don’t get me wrong. There will always be wine made for ratings as long as there are rating hounds. But in my opinion, there has never been a better time to drink chardonnay. So, I say to the ABC people, thank you, renew your membership and drink something else because there is not enough of these great chardonnays to go around.

Just finishing an amazing glass of Davis Family chardonnay,

Curt Christiansen, Wine Navigator

 

Will You Walk the Plank?

worklikeacaptainMurky waters lap against the deserted shore of Lake Sequoyah. A heavy moon hangs low in the sky casting pale light on weathered bones.

In the distance a flag is heard rippling on an abandoned vessel on the shoreline of On the Verandah. Creatures are seen stirring inside beckoning all those who dare to enter the party. Strains of music from the Chuck Folds Five Band drift across the water enticing listeners to come inside.

On the Verandah summons those who are brave enough to “walk the plank” to join them on October 31 starting at 6:30 P.M. until the last bone has dropped, to feast and dance the night away. All hands are invited aboard for $30 per person and $5 for small mateys.

Captain Andrew Figel will be serving bounties of the sea and treasures of the land. First Mate Trae Ellison will be pouring tempting grogs and specialty ales to quench any carouser’s thirst. Call (828) 526-2338 to reserve your spot amongst the living for a night to remember.

Contributed by Courtney Scarborough

 

Wild Thyme Gourmet

 

Soup_Wild_Thyme_Highlands_NC

Crab and Corn Chowder

Salmon with a Vidalia Onion Crust

Salmon with a Vidalia Onion Crust

In less than a year at its new location, Wild Thyme Gourmet has firmly established itself as a Highlands Main Street institution.

Part of its appeal is the luxurious full-service bar, plush in its appointments and designed for sparkling conversation. The new location has allowed Wild Thyme to expand its wine list (earning it The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the last three years) and beer selection (both bottle and on tap).

The dining room is bright and cozy and adorned with gorgeous art.

Wild Thyme’s patio, with its bright red umbrellas, recalls the casual elegance of European bistros – during the day it’s the perfect spot to view the endlessly fascinating parade of humanity.  At night, it’s candle-lit and perfect for whispered intimacies.

But let’s face it, that all takes back seat to Wild Thyme Gourmet’s exquisitely composed menu.

That menu derives from the genius of chef/owner Dindu Lama. He learned the fundamentals of kitchen work in his native Nepal, but it was his immigration to America that sparked his passion for culinary art. It was his arrival in Highlands that brought his gifts to their full flowering.

“It was good to be in America, I learned to cook Chinese and Thai food, but New York is so big and so different from home,” he explains. “But a friend of my brother was a chef at On the Verandah and he said I should come to live in Highlands. He said there was work and the people were nice.”

A visit convinced Dindu that Highlands was closer to the America he imagined as a boy.

After a lot of hard work, fate provided the perfect opportunity.

Now that he owns Wild Thyme, Dindu’s menu is a provocative blend of nouvelle cuisine infused with Asian spices and sensibilities.

Some people visit for a quick lunch – a salad or soup of sandwich.  For them, the bistro is just a stopping point in a day built around shopping or golf or a vigorous hike. And sure enough, the food is fresh and delicious and undeniably nutritious.

They’re wise choices and it’s a good strategy, but I recommend you come to Wild Thyme ravenous.

That’s how my sweetie and I arrived, and we dove into each selection with unbridled delight.

She started with a wonderfully constructed Heart of Palm Salad – an emerald bed of mixed field greens, julienned vegetables, splashed with a carefully balanced Balsamic vinaigrette.

For me, The Wedge – a majestic chunk of iceberg lettuce drizzled with house-made bleu cheese dressing and warm bacon. It was difficult to share with Tricia.

The Wedge was complemented by a bowl of Crab and Corn Chowder that was hearty and delicately spiced. I did not share.

The singular quality of the salads set the tone for the entrees that followed.

My sweetie’s Salmon with a Vidalia Onion Crust had been slowly oven-roasted with a delicate citrus beurre blanc. The shallots in the reduction acted as a perfect complement to the salmon’s just-hauled-out-of-the-water freshness.

For me, it was the Panéed Breast of Chicken, a subtle parmesan-and-rosemary-crusted creation, served with a lemon caper butter sauce.

Despite my previous reluctance, we shared entrees because, come on, it’s Salmon with a Vidalia Onion Crust!

In fact, so right were the entrees that I ordered Waterfall Beef to go. It’s a spicy stir fry of beef tenderloin, fresh vegetables, ginger, cilantro and lime, served on a bed of basmati rice. Once, a thousand years ago, I lived in Bangkok and darned if Dindu didn’t return me to those halcyon days.

There’s obviously a lot of attention lavished on these dishes. Whether you’re one of those who considers Wild Thyme a quick stop bistro or you’re looking for a place to relax and indulge, you’ll find that Dindu and his crew have a place that’s just right for you.

Wild Thyme Gourmet is located at 343 Main Street in Town Square.  Call ahead for reservations at (828) 526-4035.  It’s open seven days, lunch 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., dinner from  5:30 P.M..-‘til.

By Luke Osteen

 

 

Cyprus Restaurant in Highlands NC

Cyprus-highlands-nc

Here’s the problem about reviewing the menu at Cyprus: By design it’s kaleidoscopic, changing on a regular basis from Italian to Thai, Mediterranean, French, South American, Pan-Asian or Caribbean native cuisines.

Of course, that’s not really a problem if your palate is a world traveler.

Having said that, there are constants to Cyprus that’ll ensure the validity of this piece, regardless of which evening you visit.

First, there’s the luxurious décor, which informs every moment of the experience. Walls are tricked out in impossibly rich shades of olive, orange and sage. The copper-edged bar is at once elegant and electric with its highlights of deep red. The dining room is spacious enough to allow intimate conversation while larger tables are made for boisterous exchanges – Cyprus is that kind of place. It’s all enhanced by soft music and a carefully designed lighting scheme.

Yet somehow, even with all the care given to the details, the center of the restaurant is the dazzling open kitchen overseen by owner/chef Nicholas Figel. It’s an endlessly fascinating show that’s inviting and endlessly surprising, much like the Cyprus experience itself.

On the evening my companion and I were there, Nick’s kitchen was turning out astonishing creations.

We started out with fresh-from-the-sea appetizers – South African Kwazulu Coast Barbecued Red Grouper with Pumpkin and Norland Red Potato Souffle, spread upon a succulent Dutch Snap Pea Salad for my sweetie; Oahu Napali Coast Mixed Sushi Rolls with Wild Salmon, Pineapple, Pepper and Spam, served with Wasabi and Pickled Ginger for me.

If the inclusion of Spam on such a rarified menu surprises you, well, that’s the point. As one who lived for many years on Oahu, I can promise you that Spam is a staple of the Hawaiian diet. Nick is faithful to his peasant-inflected cuisine and there’s an unshakable authenticity that infuses every part of Cyprus’ menu.

“It takes a little more effort, but I regularly shop the ethnic markets in Atlanta to ensure that we maintain uncompromised quality in each dish that we serve,” Nick says. “In the kitchen, we go the extra mile to express ideas in food which are sincere, and we remain mindful that our food is a vessel for communication
with you.”

Sure enough, the extra attention gave the appetizers a fresh immediacy that set the stage for our far-corners-of-the-world entrees – Cape Flattery Washington Coast Grilled Troll King Salmon with Transparent Apple & Sour Cherry Coulis, Barbecued All Blue Potatoes and Tellecherry Black Peppercorn Compound Butter; and New Zealand Coromandel Peninsula Roast Rack of Lamb Seasoned with Garlic and Rosemary, Crushed Potato, Dijon Mustard, and Fresh
Plum Tomato.

Since I only have a limited amount of space here, let me just say that the food was exquisite. Cyprus is celebrating 10 years and its reputation has spread far beyond this little town. That should be testimony enough.

And though our meals were deeply satisfying on so many levels, my sweetie and I wisely saved room for a couple of desserts, the kind that wake you up years later with impossible cravings. She selected the Lavender Ice Cream Sandwich dipped in delicate wildflower honey, while I fell hard for Quetzalcoatl’s Dream – a heady blending of Cayenne and Cinnamon Ice Cream and Seasoned Dark Chocolate Ganache over Chocolate Cake. There was nothing subtle about my choice, it was a full-out seduction.

And while I’ve devoted most of this to the unforgettable food and the luxurious décor, I have to mention the service staff. While there’s an air of flash and showmanship to Cyprus, the servers are a perfect complement – unobtrusive, alert and, quietly confident.

Cyprus is located on the Dillard Road, four-tenths of a mile from Main Street.  Call (828) 526-4429 or visit cyprushighlands.com for reservations.

You won’t need your passport.

By Luke Osteen

 

 

Stars of the Bar on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau

Sasha Kikoin and Olivia Lovell are two of The Ugly Dog Pub’s bar stars.

Sasha Kikoin and Olivia Lovell are two of The Ugly Dog Pub’s bar stars.

Carpano Sweet Vermouth and Bulleit Rye Whiskey combine perfectly into a classicly delicious Manhattan.

 

Add whiskey and vermouth.

Add whiskey and vermouth.

 

Combine with ice and shake it up.

Combine with ice and shake it up.

 

Pour into a martini glass.

Pour into a martini glass.

 

Top with bourbon infused cherry.

Top with bourbon infused cherry.

Cocktails, and the art of making them well, have undergone a strong resurgence in the last few years.  This passion for quality drinks, which can be referred to as ‘liquid baking,’ is alive and well in Highlands.  Liquor-by-the-drink has only been allowed here since 2007.  Once approved, our local establishments lost no time in providing quality cocktails to Highlands.

One of the most well-known watering holes in Highlands is The Ugly Dog Public House (a.k.a. The Dog) located at 294 South Fourth Street, “On the Hill.”  “The Dog” truly is your neighborhood pub where the staff will greet you with a smile and your favorite libation.

The Dog’s bar menu includes a wide variety of local craft beers, fine wines and a full range of spirits.   Feel like you are in a rut with your cocktail?  Try something new and exciting. If you enjoy a Gin and Tonic, give their Jack Rudy small batch tonic a try. Their experienced staff includes Olivia Lovell, Justin Taylor, Caprisha Hall, Becca Ashburn, Sasha Kikoin, and Lindsay Gearhart. They are all well-trained in the art of mixology and are anxious to be sure that everyone gets their drink-of-choice each and every time they visit the Dog.

Branch out from your usual.  Put these stars to work creating unique drinks for your pallet. Let Becca make you a Skinny Margarita or watch attentively as Olivia creates the cool and refreshing Mojito. Trotter’s customers rave about his Puck – a tantalizing combination of organic cucumber vodka, gin and a splash or two of tonic. Don’t worry about stumping this talented group of bartenders – they are ready for any challenge. Caprisha relishes in making the Sazerac-the New Orleans version of the Old Fashion and Sasha makes a Manhattan with the Dog’s own bourbon infused cherries.  Lindsay and Justin’s customers gravitate more to one of the many craft beers and ales on tap.  Be sure to pair your favorite drink with some of the tasty foods that The Dog is known for.  Chef Adam Bresnahan is constantly revising the menu depending on the season to keep it fresh and delicious. For the after dinner crowd, liqueurs, ports or brandies are available for a special night cap.

The Dog’s Proprietors-Kay and Thomas Craig sing the praises of all of their staff. “No matter how hectic things get here or how late the party goes, the entire staff works hard to give you a great experience,” Kay tells me.

Stop by The Dog often to lift your spirits. Don’t expect to see dancing on the bar, but the bluegrass music every Wednesday and the bands on Saturdays will get you up and moving. When you visit The Dog expect a fun time with tasty food and drink and a welcoming smile.

By Wiley Sloan

Nominate your favorite mixologist to be the next Star of the Bar at:
http://www.thelaurelmagazine.com/barstars.php

 

Highlands Culinary Weekend

anna-kincade-john-collette-cashiers-ncThe 7th Annual Culinary Weekend takes place Thursday, November 7, through Sunday, November 10.

Join us as we embrace an amazing weekend of food, wine and fun in the beautiful mountains of Highlands.

Kick off the weekend at the Opening Night Celebration, Thursday, November 7, at 7:00 P.M. at the esteemed Highlands Country Club. Enjoy fine wines and the delectable cuisine of Highlands’ local chefs.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, fill your itineraries with an array of activities, tastings and dinners hosted by local restaurants, merchants and accommodations. Plan to attend the annual Sip & Stroll  from 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Friday and Saturday, November 8-9, in the downtown area.

This year’s participating restaurants include Cyprus International Cuisine, Kilwin’s, Lakeside Restaurant, Old Edwards Inn & Spa, Ruka’s Table, The Gamekeeper’s Tavern, Mountain Fresh Grocery, The Ugly Dog Pub, Rosewood Market, and Wolfgang’s Restaurant & Wine Bistro. Participating Wineries include;  Empire Distributors, Mutual Distributing, Lambert Bridge, Silver Oak Cellars, Cakebread Cellars, Justin Vineyards, and Kobrand. Sip & Stroll participants include; 4th Street Boutique, Acorns & Acorns on Church, Alyxandra’s Boutique, Highlands Fine Art and Estate Jewelry, Hen House, Mountain Fresh Grocery, Oakleaf Flower & Garden, TJ Baileys, Vivace, Xtreme Threads, Potpourri and Potpourri 2, Cabin Couture, Cabin Casuals, Bags on Main and Wit’s End.

Tickets to the Opening Night Celebration are $75 and can be purchased in advance via the website highlandsculinaryweekend.com or by calling The Highlands Chamber of Commerce at (866) 526-5841.

The Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is the presenting sponsor of Culinary Weekend. Event sponsors include The Laurel Magazine, Old Edwards Inn & Spa, White Oak Realty, WHLC 104.5, The Highlander Newspaper, Inland Seafood, A Moment In Time Photography and Trudie Gagne Photography.

The Highlands Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities or to be a part of the 7th Annual Culinary Weekend, please call (866) 526-5841 or visit highlandsculinaryweekend.com.

Contributed by Laura Huerta

 

Pancake Breakfast Helps Fund Scholarships

It is exciting to think of the 50+ high school graduates that we have helped over the past several years and are currently aiding in their quest for a higher education, whether it be college or a trade school. Many of these young people have gone on to careers not only locally but in far flung places as well. Our scholars have become, among other things, nurses, medical techs, teachers, EMS personnel, mechanics, cosmetologists, business owners, chefs and attorneys. The list goes on and on.

Qualifying students may receive up to a total of $6,800 in support. They must submit an application, along with their transcripts and two letters of recommendation. Once this is done, our scholarship committee follows up with a call. Representatives from our club attend high school graduation and present the graduate with a certificate representing our support. The student must maintain a reasonable grade point average while on scholarship, sending us a copy of their
college transcripts.

The reason this is so gratifying is because most of our fund raising is funneled into these scholarships. Included under that umbrella are our pancake breakfasts, held on the fourth Saturday of the month; our local cookbook, A Second Helping; our annual auction in July, and the chocolate fest in October, where all things chocolate are sold. We appreciate your attendance at these events, where 100% of the profit is given back to the community!

Contributed by Margaret Spraggins

 

 

Award-Winning Cuisine at Wolfgangs Restaurant and Wine Bistro in Highlands NC

Sommelier Annelize Giliomee, Chef  Christopher Dupont , and Chef Wolfgang Green.

Sommelier Annelize Giliomee, Chef Christopher Dupont , and Chef Wolfgang Green.

Chef Wolfgang Green and his dedicated staff offer Highlanders a truly memorable dining experience in a comfortable, elegant setting.  Dine alfresco in the garden pavilion near the waterfall or fireside in the dining room of the historic Gray Cottage.  Enjoy a summer afternoon on the patio or grab a table in the Bistro.

Prior to coming to Highlands Wolfgang honed his skills as Executive Chef for the Brennan Family of New Orleans’s renowned Commander’s Palace. Chef Christopher Gregoire Dupont has brought his classical French training supplemented with recipes gathered through years of experience and travel.  Enjoy recipes from Northern California, France and the Pacific Rim plus his unique pasta specials, all made in-house.  The chefs produce a dining experience that is second-to-none.

Choose from over 800 wine selections or let Sommelier Annelize Giliomee find the perfect wine to complement your dinner. She is passionate about winemaking and excels in finding wines that are the hidden gems from the world’s best boutique wineries all at reasonable prices.

The Bistro menu includes a wide selection of small bites complimented by great wines and cocktails. New to the bistro is a Hawaiian Pu Pu Platter. Also, served on weekends are freshly-shucked Oysters on the Half Shell.  I like to drop in often to enjoy Wanda’s Cream Cheese Jalapeno Dip, and the Lamb Chops.  My wife’s favorites include the Lamb Chops or the Oysters Rockefeller.

Wolfgang’s dinner menu includes something for every palate.  Enjoy the freshest seafood, tender Black Angus aged beef, veal, and lamb, along with the restaurant’s signature Short Ribs.     Satisfy your sweet tooth with a choice of Strawberries Romanoff, Bananas Foster, Bavarian Chocolate Mousse or your favorite dessert wine or cordial.  Let your kids choose from Wolfgang’s special Children’s Menu.

Over the years Wolfgang’s Restaurant has been honored by a wide array of awards.  For the past 11 years they have received The Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence.” They were voted as the best place for dining in Highlands by Southern Living, plus “The Place You Must Eat in Macon County” by Our State Magazine.   Highlanders voted Wolfgang’s the Best Restaurant and Best Wine List in The Highlander Newspaper’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

There’s no better place to celebrate a special occasion than at Wolfgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro.  Whether you’re hosting a rehearsal dinner, a wedding reception, a birthday party, or any other special event, be sure to let Wolfgang, Mindy and their professional staff create an event that you’ll remember for years to come.

If you are not a regular diner at Wolfgang’s you owe it to yourself to see what many Highlanders already know:  “Wolfgang’s Restaurant offers a truly unique dining experience in a comfortable, casually-elegant setting.” Smiling faces, quality food, friendly atmosphere – there’s nothing better than Wolfgang’s.  For more information check out their website at www.wolfgangs.net or call them at (828) 526-3807.

By Wiley Sloan

 

The Kitchen CarryAway & Casserole Kitchen

Chef Holly Roberts’ The Kitchen CarryAway catering business ramps up with the arrival of spring. For information or to place an order, visit the lower level of the Peggy Crosby Center in Highlands or call (828) 526-2110.

Chef Holly Roberts’ The Kitchen CarryAway catering business ramps up with the arrival of spring. For information or to place an order, visit the lower level of the Peggy Crosby Center in Highlands or call (828) 526-2110.

Oh, the welcome signs of spring! Beautiful yellow daffodils dancing in the mountain sunshine, dogwood blossoms in their resplendent white stir in the gentle breezes.

Tantalizing aromas drift down Highlands’ Fifth Street as Holly Roberts and her dedicated staff prepare an ever-widening array of taste-tempting casseroles, hearty soups and delectable hors d’oeuvres. Check out The Kitchen’s Facebook page to see what’s new and exciting for this season.

Remember to stop by The Kitchen CarryAway anytime you need something nourishing and tasty — whether it’s for a simple evening meal or an evening of entertaining, The Kitchen can feed your guests in style.

Throughout the winter, Holly has kept us all healthy and happy with a variety of items including her Beef Tenderloin, Vegetable Soup and her Black-eyed Pea Stew. I always enjoy her Chicken Tetrazzini; the Seafood Tetrazzini is good, too.

Need a good side dish or an appetizer for that “just planned” get-together? Stop by the Kitchen Carry Away to select items from the freezer. You’ll be able to choose from several different casseroles, a variety of soups, appetizers, hors d oeuvres and desserts. Vegetarians applaud Holly’s recent offering Veggie Bake — a sumptuous layer of cheese grits with mixed beans, squash, kale and tomatoes. This is great as an entrée or a side dish. Have you tried her Lemon Pepper Boursin? Don’t miss this
tasty appetizer.

Holly wants to thank all of her loyal customers who have helped her fulfill her dreams of helping others. In October 2012, we told you about her new venture, The Casserole Kitchen, named after her Grandmother’s Catering business. Since its opening last fall, The Casserole Kitchen has provided food to all of us hungry winter residents, plus Holly has generously donated $900 to area non-profits like the Food Pantry of Highlands, MANNA Foodbank, Fishes and Loaves in Cashiers and the Gathering Table. Be sure to take advantage of the many delicious casseroles throughout the summer.

Holly is launching her website this spring for The Casserole Kitchen. There you can select items and Holly will ship them to you. Plan early and let Holly help you eliminate stress in your life. She’ll get your casseroles out on Monday or Tuesday and you will have them on Thursday. You’ll be ready for that weekend dinner party with
no fuss.

The Kitchen CarryAway and Catering is a trusted source of well-prepared foods for your entertaining and everyday needs. It’s located in the lower level of the Peggy Crosby Center at 350 South Fifth Street. Throughout April give Holly a call to order your items. The Kitchen opens May 1st; stop by from 12:00 noon to 5:00 P.M. daily or you can call Holly at (828) 526-2110. Don’t forget the Kitchen Carry Away and Catering for all your special party needs. For a small soiree for six or a party for dozens, Holly will help you entertain in style. Let her create a special menu that fits your unique desires.

By Wiley Sloan

 

Southern Hospitality in Napa

Boo Beckstoffer in her  beautiful Napa Valley  tasting room.

Boo Beckstoffer in her
beautiful Napa Valley
tasting room.

I’ve been to California wine country several times in the past, tromping through vineyards and the famous Rutherford Dust to learn about the nuances of viticulture from hardworking vineyard managers.

I’ve enjoyed barrel sampling with winemakers amidst the clanging of pumps and the bottling machines of a working winery.  Sure, it was fun, but the learning curve was aimed high and the motives were far
from hedonistic.

My recent trip to Napa was very different. Instead of going as a vineyard and winery owner, I made this pilgrimage as a tourist. I loved it.

There were different types of tasting experiences— the grandeur of Ovid Winery to an intimate tasting in the downtown St. Helena office of Notre Vin, a winery owned by Denis and May-Britt Malbec, formerly of Château Latour, a First Growth in Bordeaux.

Lasting memories and friendships were made on the last day in Napa with a wine tasting with Boo Beckstoffer, an Atlanta native married to Tuck Beckstoffer whose family is one of the largest vineyard owners in Napa. His family is of the land, devoted to the cultivation of great wine through a deep connection to the vines and those who carefully tend them.

I met Boo at the public tennis courts and followed her in a labyrinth-like weave to one of the Beckstoffer Vineyards.  We tasted Hogwash, a delicious, dry rosé that will certainly grace my table as well as the Semper Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Tuck, Boo’s husband, made the Semper brand of wines as his vinous love letters to Boo.

The Southern hospitality of the wine tasting in the vineyard on that sunny winter day– Boo, another friend of mine, and an interloping jack rabbit that squeezed under the fence Peter Rabbit style–was the true highlight of the trip.

The wines of Boo and Tuck Beckstoffer will be among the many boutique offerings featured at the Bascom’s upcoming Collective Spirits Wine andFood Festival from May 16 to 18. Please see the Bascom’s website www.collectivespirits.com for more details.

Contributed by Mary Ann Hardman

 

Curried Quinoa and Arugula Salad

Contributed by Dr. Anastasia Halldin, Nutrition Coach  www.healthymamainfo.com

Contributed by Dr. Anastasia Halldin, Nutrition Coach
www.healthymamainfo.com

 

Quinoa

Quinoa

After an overload of heavy winter foods, there is nothing that tastes more like spring in the mountains than a fresh, crunchy salad. A salad can easily become a satisfying meal, if you add the right foods to it. Adding nuts, seeds, cooked grains, and chopped eggs adds protein and nutritional value to your regular cucumber-tomato salad.

Curried quinoa, arugula and goat cheese salad is a celebration of spring on a plate. It is bright, colorful and full of life. Cucumbers cleanse the kidneys; arugula supplies iron and folic acid; tomatoes give you lycopene; quinoa is a complete protein with all essential amino acids; curry contains cancer-fighting turmeric;  parsley is a good source of potassium; calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium and avocado supplies you with the right kind of fats, while goat cheese provides calcium.

You can take this salad to an outside picnic  (take the dressing separately, in a Tupperware container.)

Curried Quinoa, Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad

Makes 3-4 portions

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa, cooked

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

½ teaspoon curry
Pinch cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon sea salt, divided

1 ½ cups arugula leaves

½ cup parsley, diced

1 medium avocado, sliced

1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced

1 large tomato, chopped

1 tablespoon apple
cider vinegar

optional: 1/3 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled

Directions: 

In a medium sauté pan, sauté cooked quinoa in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add curry powder, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt. Combine well and sauté for 3 minutes.

Set aside.

Arrange arugula, parsley, avocado, cucumber slices, tomato on a large plate in layers. Put the warm quinoa mixture on top, in the center.

Sprinkle with goat cheese crumbles.

In a cup, combine apple cider vinegar, the rest of the oil and salt. Pour this dressing over the salad and serve immediately.

 

Wine and Dine on The Mountain in Highlands NC

Wine and Dine on the Mountain will kick off the 2012 culinary season in Highlands, April 13th and 14th, by pulling together a sizzling line-up of fine wines, superb food and fine art. Guests of all events will watch the wines come to life, as Thomas Arvid paints for the occasions.

The “Wine and Dine on the Mountain” weekend is a sensory extravaganza that begins with a “Blue Jeans, Bluegrass Spring Harvest Barn Dinner” at the Farm at Old Edwards on Friday, April 13th. Pisoni Vineyards Wines will be on the tables throughout the dinner. On Saturday, Wolfgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro will host David Arthur Vineyards with winemaker Nile Zacherle and four-course dinner starting at 6:30 p.m.

Named one of the top “25 Artists You Should Know” by US Art magazine, Thomas Arvid receives critical acclaim for his monumental compositions of wine and his mastery of light, depth and reflection. Inspired by the grace and hospitality of the southern culture in which he lives, Arvid’s compositions are an invitation to take the time to appreciate sharing a great bottle and good conversation with friends.

“I can’t think of a better place to spend an evening with great friends,” says Arvid. “Highlands and events like this – with wonderful food, wine and culture – truly foster camaraderie, similar to what I try to evoke in each of my paintings.  I’ll have my easel with me; it’s going to be another inspiring weekend in the mountains.”

“Last year’s event really set the bar for a fun weekend of wine and food,” says Richard Delany, President of the Old Edwards Inn and Spa. “We’re looking forward this year to offering an even more diverse assortment of experiences, all tied together with great wine, food and music.”

Wolfgang Green, owner of Wolfgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro, says, “We’ve always had great success with our wine weekends, and last year’s Thomas Arvid event was no exception. By partnering with other businesses like the Old Edwards Inn and Spa, we can pull together offerings to celebrate spring by bringing guests to Highlands for some art, music, superb wine and fine dining—an unbeatable combination!”

Limited seating available. To reserve for Friday evenings dinner, call (828) 787-2625. To reserve for Saturday evenings dinner, call (828) 526-3807. For more information, visit www.oldedwardsinn.com/wineanddine2012.

Scaly Mountain’s Pancake Breakfast

 

The Scaly Mountain Women’s Club is serving up breakfast at the old Scaly School House.

Contributed by Betty Bandy

If you haven’t this year, plan to bring your family and friends to Scaly Mountain for a scrumptious breakfast in the mountains at the newly remodeled historic old Scaly School House.  

These breakfasts are held on the fourth Saturday – through October from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. This is the seventh year that the women in Scaly Mountain Women’s Club, who are known for their culinary skills, have sponsored these breakfasts. 

Breakfast will feature a full meal of piping hot homemade pancakes (with or without blueberries), patty sausage, coffee and juice in the historic old Scaly School House. It is on the corner of North Highway 106 and Buck Knob Road in downtown Scaly.  

Guests will be treated to a seated meal either in the old school house or on the deck overlooking the mountains. Cost is $5.50 for adults and $3.50 for children. The breakfast will be served by club members or you may order takeout, if you choose.  Proceeds from the event provide scholarships for local students of all ages who wish to continue their post-secondary education. They also benefit area non-profit human service agencies that serve the Scaly Mountain community.  

Come to the breakfasts and join the best cooks in Western North Carolina for a morning of fun enjoying the friendly folks in Scaly Mountain and an unforgettable breakfast. For additional information, contact Susan Bankston, (828) 526-9952 or visit www.scalymountainwomensclub.org.

Remaining dates for the Scaly Mountain Women’s Club breakfasts for 2011 are September 24th and October 22nd.