Beignets Coffee New Orleans

Beignets Are Everything

There’s something very attractive about deep-fried anything covered in powdered sugar, isn’t it? Of course, I’m talking about beignets, those sweet treats crafted from flour, lard, milk and sugar. The official state doughnut of Louisiana has a long history in the United States, however it became distinctly identified with New Orleans’ French Quarter by quite the circuitous route.

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Ransom Hunter: Slave Turned Property Baron

Originally published by the Gaston Gazette: Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:34 AM.

No plaques or memorials there state that he is strongly believed to be the first freed slave to have owned property in Gaston County. Nor that his home, livery stable and makeshift general store became the hub of a thriving black community known as “Freedom” in the 19th century.

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Red Apple Vinaigrette – A Recipe

balsamic_vinegarThis past weekend, I went to the Virginia Wine Expo in Richmond, Va.  In case you didn’t know, there are over 200+ wineries in Virginia, many of which were in attendance.  I had the opportunity to try an excellent hard apple cider, a Viking-era mead (honey wine), some great regional reds and a delicious Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar I purchased from the good folks at The Olive Oil Taproom, located in Richmond, VA.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to use the balsamic vinegar, but when I tasted it – it was such a pure, sweet red apple taste – I just had to purchase a bottle.  Several friends recommend pork dishes but I don’t usually eat pork, so my mind went immediately to salad dressings and appropriate salads.

After a little research and taste-testing in the kitchen, I decided on an apple salad:

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