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Pumpkin bread: Good anytime

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Even pumpkin spice skeptics will enjoy this richly spiced pumpkin bread, which stirs together quickly and makes a tall, dense loaf (or muffins, if you prefer). Use a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat flour for a little extra fiber and a nuttier taste. The loaf lends itself well to experimentation — try some orange zest or a little ground allspice.

Ingredients
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2/3 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Two pinches of ground cloves
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
To finish the loaf:
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease a 6-cup loaf pan. Stir together pumpkin, oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.


Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, and stir again. Add flour and stir until just combined.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon mix on top — this will create a crisp crust. Bake for about 70 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

For standard-sized muffins, bake for around 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

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Food

Classic paella

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Craving a bright, tasty meal? Paella is a typical Spanish dish that’s a feast for the eyes and the taste buds!

Servings: 8

Ingredients
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 1 onion, chopped
• 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
• 1 red pepper, diced
• 4 chicken thighs, diced
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 pinch saffron
• 1/4 cup dry white wine
• 2 cups paella rice
• 5 cups hot chicken stock
• 9 ounces jumbo shrimp or scampi
• 9 ounces mussels, well cleaned
• 9 ounces squid rings
• 1/2 cup frozen peas

Directions
1. In a large, deep frying pan, sweat the onion and garlic in the butter. Add the pepper, chicken, tomato paste, paprika, bay leaf, and saffron. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes. Then, deglaze the pan with the white wine.


2. Add the rice and stir well to coat with the seasonings. Pour in the chicken stock and simmer gently for 10 minutes without stirring.

3. Arrange the prawns, mussels (opening upwards), and squid on top of the rice. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes.

4. Remove from the heat, add the peas, cover partially, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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Maple pesto broccoli soup

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Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients
• 1 large head of broccoli, about 6 cups
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 onion, quartered
• 1 potato, peeled and cubed
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup (preferably golden syrup for its delicate flavor)
• 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
• 3 tablespoons pesto (homemade or store-bought)
• Salt and pepper, to taste


Directions
1. Cut the broccoli into florets. Peel and cut the stems into pieces. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and soften the onion for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the potato and broccoli stems and cook for another 3 minutes.

3. Add the broccoli florets, maple syrup, and broth. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

4. Stir in the pesto.

5. Use a stand or hand mixer to purée until smooth—season with salt and pepper.

Created by: Stéphanie Côté, nutritionist
Source: Maple from Canada

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Swiss cheese fondue

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Do you want to enjoy an interactive meal in good company? This cheese fondue from Switzerland is a pure delight.

Servings: 6

Ingredients
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 2 teaspoons cornstarch
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 14 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
• 7 ounces Vacherin cheese, grated
• 7 ounces Emmental cheese, grated
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 tablespoons kirsch
• 1 baguette, cut into cubes

Directions
1. Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the crushed garlic clove. Add the cornstarch and wine to the fondue pot and whisk to combine.


2. Turn the fondue pot up to medium-high. Once the wine is hot, gradually add the cheeses, stirring to melt them—season with nutmeg and pepper to taste. Finish with the kirsch.

3. Serve with cubed bread. Guests can dip the bread into the sauce with a fondue fork.

In addition to cubed bread, feel free to serve other foods for dippings, such as cold cuts, sausages, and vegetables. Let your imagination run wild!

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Speculoos cookies

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These spiced Belgian biscuits pair perfectly with a glass of milk or a cup of tea. Enjoy one for dessert or as a snack.

Servings: 24

Ingredients
• 2 1/4 cups brown sugar
• 2 egg yolks
• 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
• 3 tablespoons 35% heavy whipping cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• 1 cup almond flour
• 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 1/4 teaspoon ground aniseed

Directions
1. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, egg yolks, cream, vanilla, and lemon zest. Mix for about 5 minutes using an electric mixer until pale and airy. Add the almond flour and mix until well incorporated.


2. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Gently pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, beating constantly. Form a ball with your hands, cover it with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out pretty shapes with a cookie cutter or knife.

4. Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet—Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool completely before serving.

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Smørrebrød

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This divine open-faced Danish sandwich features a variety of gourmet toppings, making it perfect for breakfast or brunch.

Servings: 2

Ingredients
• 1/2 a ripe avocado
• 1 egg
• 2 slices rye bread
• 1 tablespoon butter, softened
• 3 sprigs fresh dill
• 1 shallot, sliced
• 2 tablespoons capers
• 3.5 ounces smoked salmon, sliced
• 1/4 cup fresh watercress
• Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
1. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with a fork. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.


2. Fill a small pot with water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, gently place the egg into the water, and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes, depending on its size. Remove the egg from the pot and immediately immerse it in cold water to stop cooking.

3. Toast and butter the slices of rye bread.

4. Divide the avocado mixture between the 2 slices of bread. Place a few dill fronds on each slice. Divide the shallot, capers, smoked salmon, and watercress evenly between the slices.

5. Peel the egg and cut it in half. Place each half on the smørrebrød. Garnish with the remaining dill and season with salt and pepper.

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Italian wedding soup

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This tasty, hearty soup is an Italian classic. Serve it on a cold day for maximum comfort!

Servings: 6

Ingredients
• 7 ounces of ground beef
• 7 ounces of ground pork
• 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
• 1 egg
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided
• 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, divided
• 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped, divided
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 1/2 cups carrots, finely diced
• 1 cup onion, finely diced
• 1 cup celery, finely diced
• 8 cups chicken stock
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
• 1 teaspoon dried parsley
• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 3/4 cup uncooked orzo (or puntalette)
• 7 ounces of fresh spinach
• Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
1. In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, breadcrumbs, egg, 2 cloves of garlic, half the Parmesan cheese, and half the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, shape them into small balls about 1 inch in diameter.


2. In a large pot, melt the butter and brown the meatballs on all sides, a few at a time. Set aside.

3. In the same pot, sauté the carrots, onions, and celery for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining garlic and continue cooking for about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and all the dried spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.

4. Add the meatballs and pasta and simmer for about 10 minutes until the meatballs are fully cooked. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Add the spinach right before serving.

5. Pour the soup into 6 pretty serving bowls. Garnish with the remaining fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese.

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Upcoming Events

Feb
7
Tue
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 7 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
8
Wed
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 8 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 8 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Feb
9
Thu
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 9 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
10
Fri
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 10 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
11
Sat
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 11 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
12
Sun
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 12 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
11:30 am Galentine’s Brunch & Market @ Vibrissa Beer
Galentine’s Brunch & Market @ Vibrissa Beer
Feb 12 @ 11:30 am – 5:00 pm
Galentine's Brunch & Market @ Vibrissa Beer
Come Celebrate Friendship & Treat Yourself! Only 30 tickets available and they will go quickly. Tickets include: A Beautiful Brunch at Vibrissa Beer! Two tickets to a Mimosa Bar at Vibrissa! A Silent Auction at[...]
Feb
13
Mon
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 13 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
12:00 pm Valentine Tea @ The Vine & Leaf
Valentine Tea @ The Vine & Leaf
Feb 13 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Valentine Tea @ The Vine & Leaf
Please join us for tea and dainties on Monday, February 13th, at either 12 noon or 2pm! The event will be held at the Vine & Leaf (477 South Street, Suite F), with guest speaker[...]