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Gazpacho shooters

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Does a high-spirited holiday season leave you feeling exhausted? This vibrant and refreshing drink is packed with vitamins that will give you the energy boost you need to continue celebrating.

Start to finish: 1 hour 30 minutes
(30 minutes active)
Servings: 8 small portions

Ingredients
For the gazpacho
• 1 cup croutons
• 2 large ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and cubed
• 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
• 1 red pepper, seeded
• 1/2 red onion, cubed
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
• 2 cups tomato juice
• 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• Salt and pepper, to taste

For the garnish
• 1 small tomato, seeded and cubed
• 1 Lebanese cucumber, seeded and cubed
• 1/2 red pepper, seeded and cubed
• Sea salt, to taste
• 16 fresh basil leaves

Directions
1. In a small bowl, place the croutons and add 1/2 cup of room temperature water. Set aside.
2. In a blender, purée the tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, onion, and garlic. Drain the croutons and add them along with the tomato juice, vinegar, oil, and spices. Continue to blend until the mixture has a smooth, uniform texture. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
3. To serve, pour the gazpacho into shooters or small verrine-style glasses. In a small bowl, mix the chopped tomato, cucumber, and pepper. Top each glass with about 1 tablespoon of the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over each and garnish with 2 basil leaves.

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Gnocchi with tomato sauce

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When it comes to Italian cuisine, there’s no shortage of dishes to warm your belly and lift your spirits on a dreary day. This pillowy gnocchi is no exception.

Start to finish: 2 hours 30 minutes (1 hour 30 minutes active)
Servings: 6

Ingredients

Gnocchi
• 4 russet potatoes, washed but not peeled

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 egg, lightly beaten

Garnish
• 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

• A few fresh basil leaves

Sauce
• 1/4 cup olive oil

• 1 can San Marzano tomatoes (28 ounces)

• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

• 4 sprigs Italian parsley

• 4 sprigs of fresh oregano

• 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

• 4 sprigs fresh basil

• 1 onion, diced

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1/4 cup heavy cream

• Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Poke potatoes several times with a fork. Bake directly on the rack for an hour.

2. In the meantime, pour the oil into a deep pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the fresh herbs to the pan, and fry lightly for about 5 minutes. Remove the herbs and discard them. Lower the heat. Add the onions and cook without browning. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 45 minutes.

3. Remove the potatoes from the oven and peel them immediately (wear oven mitts to avoid burning yourself). Place the potatoes in a large bowl and purée them with a potato masher. Sprinkle with salt and let cool to room temperature.

4. Add the flour and egg to the bowl. Mix with your hands until the dough has a smooth texture, but don’t overwork it. Place the dough on a floured work surface and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Use your hands to roll out each piece into a long rope (about half an inch thick). Use a knife to cut the ropes into half-inch pieces.

5. Pour the cream into the sauce and mix well. Use a wooden spoon to break up any remaining chunks of tomato. Add seasoning as needed.

6. Cook the gnocchi in two batches in a large pot of salted water. Once they float to the surface, wait another 2 minutes before removing the gnocchi from the water and placing them in the sauce.

7. Mix the gnocchi and sauce well, then pour into a baking dish. Sprinkle the mixture with Parmesan cheese and set the oven to broil until the cheese is golden brown. Garnish with fresh basil.

For beautiful gnocchi worthy of a five-star restaurant or an Italian grandmother’s kitchen, use a fork or wooden gnocchi board to shape them.

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Food

5 reasons to buy bulk food

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From coffee, flour, and pasta to nuts, legumes, and grains, a wide variety of staple ingredients can be purchased by weight rather than a package. Here are five great reasons to scoop up bulk food.

1. To reduce waste
Since bulk food is stored in reusable containers, you’ll reduce the amount of packaging that ends up in landfills. You’re also less likely to throw out spoiled food if you can buy the exact quantity you need.

2. To save money

Bulk food tends to be less expensive than the packaged kind. Also, being able to choose the amount you want of each ingredient means you’ll only pay for what you need.

3. To enjoy fresh ingredients
If you buy food in the exact quantities you need, you’ll avoid having to store half-empty containers in your pantry for months. Buying bulk food also encourages you to use simple, unprocessed ingredients.

4. To protect the environment
In addition to reducing waste and plastic pollution, buying bulk food shrinks your carbon footprint. This is because it doesn’t have packaging that needs to be manufactured. Plus, bulk food is more efficient to transport.

5. To try new recipes
Whether you want to try baking with spelt flour or cooking with cardamom, bulk food makes it easy and affordable to sample new ingredients since you can buy whatever amount of the product you want.

COVID-19: is bulk food safe?
The risk of contracting the coronavirus from eating or handling food is considered low. Additionally, bulk food and grocery stores have implemented safety measures such as mandatory handwashing and using clean scoops to handle food.

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Food

Minestrone soup

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This hearty soup is classic comfort food. Feel free to eat it from a bowl, drink it from a cup or sip it from a Thermos if you’re on the go.

Start to finish: 40 minutes (20 minutes active)
Servings: 6

Ingredients

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 tablespoon butter

• 1 onion, chopped

• 2 carrots, diced

• 2 celery sticks, diced

• 1 small turnip, diced

• Salt and pepper, to taste

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

• 1 can diced tomatoes (28 ounces)

• 1 can green beans (14 ounces)

• 1 zucchini, diced

• 1 teaspoon basil

• 1 teaspoon parsley

• 1 teaspoon oregano

• 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

• A few fresh basil leaves

Directions
1. In a large pot, pour the oil and melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and turnip, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute. Salt and pepper to taste.

2. Pour in the broth and tomatoes, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

3. Add the green beans, zucchini, dried herbs, and Parmesan cheese. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add seasoning as needed.

4. Garnish with fresh basil to serve.

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Food

Slow-cooked vegetarian curry

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One of the best parts about using a slow cooker is the tantalizing aroma that fills your home as food simmers. Sit back and let the anticipation build — this mouthwatering dish is well worth the wait.

Start to finish: 4 hours 20 minutes (20 minutes active)
Servings: 8

Ingredients

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 onion, diced

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 2 tablespoons ginger, grated

• 2 tablespoons ground coriander

• 2 teaspoons ground turmeric

• 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder

• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

• Salt and pepper, to taste

• 2 cans chickpeas (19 ounces), rinsed and drained

• 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced

• 1 can of coconut milk

• 1 cup vegetable broth

• Juice of 1 lemon

• A few fresh mint leaves

Directions
1. In a pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and cook until it’s translucent. Add the garlic and spices, then cook for another 2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

2. In a slow cooker, add the chickpeas, squash, coconut milk, broth, and the onion mixture. Mix carefully.

3. Set the slow cooker to low heat for 4 hours. Add the lemon juice, and adjust seasoning as needed.

4. Serve alone or with rice, and garnish with fresh mint.

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Food

Cinnamon buns

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For brunch, dessert or simply to treat yourself, there’s never a bad time to indulge in a cinnamon bun. All the better if they’re homemade!

Start to finish: 3 hours (30 minutes active)
Servings: 12

Ingredients

Buns
• 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup white sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 packet instant yeast (or 2-1/4 teaspoons)
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 1/4 cup water
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 egg

Filling
• 2/3 cup brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
• 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

Icing
• 1 cup icing sugar
• 2 tablespoons whole milk
• 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions
1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Set aside.

2. In a heat-resistant bowl, mix the milk, water, and butter. Using a water bath, double boiler, or microwave, heat the mixture until the butter melts and the ingredients are incorporated. Pour over the dry ingredients, then add the egg. Mix with a whisk or an electric beater until the batter has a smooth texture.

3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 3 minutes. Place it in a clean, greased bowl, and cover it with a damp cloth. Let sit for about 30 minutes.

4. In the meantime, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

5. After the 30 minutes are up, place the dough on a flat surface and roll it out into a rectangle (about 8 by 14 inches). Using a rubber spatula, spread the butter evenly over the dough, leaving half an inch uncovered around the edge. Use your fingers to sprinkle the buttered dough with the filling mixture.

6. Roll up the dough to create a tube. Use a knife to cut 12 even rounds. Place each round face up in a greased cake pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and let sit for about 90 minutes.

7. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375 F. In a bowl, add the icing sugar then mix in the milk 1 tablespoon at a time. Once the icing is smooth and creamy, add the vanilla extract and mix well. Set aside.

8. After the 90 minutes are up, the buns should have doubled in size. Bake them in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Let the buns cool completely, then ice them using a spoon or piping bag.

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Food

A brief guide to gourmet hot chocolate

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Nothing takes the chill off a cold day quite like a hot cup of cocoa. For a creative twist on this winter classic, here are a few sweet suggestions.

Spices
If you want a simple way to liven up your hot chocolate, add a dash of vanilla extract or a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, or cayenne, depending on your taste.

Rim trim

Dip the rim of your mug in melted chocolate or caramel, then roll it in graham cracker crumbs, crushed candy cane, rainbow sprinkles, or whatever else suits your fancy.

Toppings
Take your hot chocolate to the next level with a scoop of ice cream, a swirl of whipped cream, or a toasted marshmallow. Top it off with chocolate shavings or maple flakes.

Finally, if you want to turn your hot cocoa into an adult beverage, you can add a splash of orange, coffee, or Irish cream liqueur. Cheers!

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Jan
29
Fri
12:30 pm Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Edu... @ Online Event
Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Edu... @ Online Event
Jan 29 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education @ Online Event
Save a Life: Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education January 29th The Northwestern Prevention Collaborative and Northwestern Community Services Board will offer a free virtual REVIVE! Training on January 29th from 12:30 pm to[...]
Jan
30
Sat
2:00 pm Paint Camellias with The Studio @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
Paint Camellias with The Studio @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
Jan 30 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Paint Camellias with The Studio @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
We will paint these beautiful camellias on Saturday, January 30th at 2 pm at The Studio. This will be the first in a series of floral paintings we will do over the course of 2021.[...]
6:00 pm Parent’s Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Parent’s Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Jan 30 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Parent's Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Help Code Ninjas Front Royal celebrate our Grand Opening! We are hosting our first Parent’s Night Out! $35 per child, space limited to 5! – Drop them off. Go have fun. Just remember to pick[...]
6:00 pm Robert Burns Night 2021 @ Virginia Beer Museum
Robert Burns Night 2021 @ Virginia Beer Museum
Jan 30 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Robert Burns Night 2021 @ Virginia Beer Museum
Known in medieval Celtic culture as a storyteller, verse maker, and composer, the word ‘Bard’ has become synonymous with the world’s greatest poets. However, few are as celebrated as Scotland’s own ‘National Bard’, Robert Burns,[...]
Feb
9
Tue
10:00 am Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Feb 9 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
The Warren Coalition, in partnership with Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, will offer area residents two opportunities to take a free, virtual Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training in February. This course is designed to provide information about identifying[...]
Feb
11
Thu
6:30 pm Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Feb 11 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
The Warren Coalition, in partnership with Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, will offer area residents two opportunities to take a free, virtual Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training in February. This course is designed to provide information about identifying[...]
Feb
13
Sat
6:00 pm Parent’s Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Parent’s Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Feb 13 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Parent's Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Help Code Ninjas Front Royal celebrate our Grand Opening! We are hosting our first Parent’s Night Out! $35 per child, space limited to 5! – Drop them off. Go have fun. Just remember to pick[...]
Feb
15
Mon
9:00 am Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Feb 15 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free tax preparation will be available again this year through the AARP Tax Aide at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Front Royal, Monday and Wednesday mornings beginning Feb. 15th. To make an appointment, please call[...]
Feb
16
Tue
10:00 am Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Feb 16 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
The Warren Coalition, in partnership with Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, will offer area residents two opportunities to take a free, virtual Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training in February. This course is designed to provide information about identifying[...]
Feb
17
Wed
9:00 am Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Feb 17 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free tax preparation will be available again this year through the AARP Tax Aide at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Front Royal, Monday and Wednesday mornings beginning Feb. 15th. To make an appointment, please call[...]