Last Minute Shop Local Guide for Foodies

by EdibleDC Team


We’re on the hunt for last minute gifts–aren’t you? Team Edible has made a list of our some of our favorites. You can’t go wrong with #buylocal!

Secolari Olive Oil

SecolariWith shops in DC and Bethesda, as well as Columbia and Towson, the oils and vinegars here are some of the best quality you will find. And addictive! Delicious flavors like basil and rosemary oils and grapefruit basalmic; any home cook would be thrilled with these delightfully packaged gift sets. Check out their truffle salt too!

Local Artisan Cheeses


Cheese–a perfect hostess gift. Don’t know what to bring to your next holiday gathering? How about a spread of local artisan cheeses? Here is a list of some of our favorites you can pick up at Stonyman Gourmet Farmer:

  • Appalachian – Meadowcreek (Galax, VA)
  • Bay Blue – Chapel’s Country Creamery (Easton, MD)
  • Catoctin – George’s Mill
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Virginia Sparklers Rise to the Occasion

By Jennifer Knowles , special to EdibleDC


Sparkling wine is extremely well suited to the table. Its complexity and texture make it an amiable partner to a whole world of cuisines, especially when using seasonal vegetables. While choosing a sparkling wine means deciding what will work best for your specific purposes, consider your local options this year.

Having worked with Virginia wines very closely for the past five years, I have been continuously impressed and excited about the sparkling wines making their way to the retail scene. Interest in this category is steadily rising as more producers try their hand at this challenging style of winemaking.


Still wine is made during one main fermentation and can be released within a year, or less, after harvest. Sparkling wines go through two fermentations and also need lengthy aging before release, which ties up both winery space and equity. Of course there are … Read More

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Shuman’s Jelly Cake Serves Up Generations of Memories


A Much-Beloved Cake Returns to Toast the Season

By Hope Nelson, special to Edible DC

Some sweets are simply synonymous with the holiday season. Peppermint bark? Check. Fruitcake? Well, yes, against our collective better judgment.

Around Alexandria, there’s another sweet treat that always finds its way to the dessert table around Christmastime: Shuman’s jelly cake.

Served at Shuman’s Bakery for more than 100 years, the cake (and its recipe) disappeared from the city when the bakery closed its doors in 2004. But in 2010, a new generation of the Shuman family resurrected the business – and the jelly cake – by opening an online store, and business has been booming ever since.

The resurrected Shuman’s started innocently enough – by some conversations over the dinner table, said Shuman’s Patrick Hagan.

“We started a Facebook page, and before you knew it, we had 100 or more Facebook fans, so we thought … Read More

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Savory Spiced Holiday Nuts from Peg’s Salt

 Pegs Salt

A delicious and addictive nut mix, perfect for entertaining and gifts! Peg’s Salt is is a blended salt seasoning with over 20 spices. A woman-owned business, Cass Cannon launched Peg’s Salt in 2012 and makes her product in Greenwood, VA from her mother’s family recipe. Peg’s Salt is all small batch made, and contains no sugar, fillers, MSG, gluten, or GMOs. It is also a perfect stocking stuffer for home cooks.

Available at all area Whole Foods Markets, Arrowine and Westover Market in Arlington, through Relay Foods and online at

Peg’s Salt Savory Spiced Nuts

• 2-1/4 cups (18-ounces) assorted unsalted nuts (E.g., raw peanuts, cashews, walnuts, pecans and almonds)
• 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper*
• 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
• ½ tsp. white sugar
• 2 teaspoons Peg’s Salt
• 1-1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted


Preheat … Read More

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Will You Have Food for Tomorrow?


The Food for Tomorrow conference was held at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, NY. The organization’s mission is to create a healthy and sustainable food system.

By Mike Koch, special to EdibleDC

A few weeks ago I was among the attendees at the New York Times “Food for Tomorrow” conference at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Tarrytown, NY. It was the second annual event of its kind, bringing together food writers, food and agri-business entrepreneurs, academics, politicians, nonprofit leaders and, yes, a handful of farmers. I was honored to be among them and found the content both challenging and stimulating.

Four ideas persist as rattling presences in my mind:

One: We would do well to eat less meat—better said, we should only eat meats we procure from known, sustainable producers. The horrors and environmental impact of animals raised in … Read More

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The Science of Delicious

Science of Delicious_lead_1

by Jacob Dean, special to EdibleDC

Last week, National Geographic Live! hosted The Science of Delicious, a flavor-focused tasting event which examined the ways in which we perceive flavor and how flavor impacts our lives. Moderated by Pam Caragol, Executive Producer for the National Geographic Channel, the discussion complemented an identically-titled article recently published in the National Geographic magazine.

Over the course of two hours, guests were served a bento box, ramen, and a variety of sour-and-sweet cocktails prepared by Chaplin’s Restaurant (1501 9th Street NW), while listening to presentations from National Geographic Senior Photo Editor Todd James, biopsychologist Julie Mennella and Chaplin’s Restaurant co-owners Ari and Micah Wilder. science of delicious menu

For Todd James, the quest to capture flavor in photographs was challenging, “Really, when they handed me the story I had not a single idea in my head because it’s like, how do you see taste?” For James and … Read More

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Time for Local Christmas Trees!

christmas tree

Make a memory and support a local farmer! Here’s your list of Christmas tree farms in VA and MD. To search for Christmas tree farms in Maryland, go here. For Christmas tree farms in Virginia, your list is here.

The weekend weather will be perfect for an outing to a local Christmas tree farm! Get outdoors, make some memories, support local farmers and get a fresh, local real tree that looks and smells beautiful. Real trees are a renewable, recyclable resource that keep unwanted waste out of our landfills and are good for the environment. Recycled real trees are chipped into mulch, putting nutrients back in soil.

Artificial trees are often petroleum based, overseas imports and end up in landfills forever. According to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, while growing, Christmas trees absorb carbon dioxide and other gases and emit fresh oxygen, unlike artificial trees which are petroleum-based. When … Read More

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Mix and Mingle at at Your Own Cocktail Party – A Pro Entertainer Tells You How

By Gina Cherservani special to EdibleDC
Photography by Hannah Hudson


Its 7pm. Guests are arriving and you are one of them! Doesn’t that sound appealing—being able to be a guest in your own home for the holidays? It’s easy. It requires a little planning and setup, but once that’s done you too can enjoy the spirit of the day with your friends and loved ones.

So how do we achieve this state of entertaining nirvana? And what does that mean? Step one, make lists: Who is coming and what to you want to serve? How many people? What space is available for an area to set up the libations?

OK, you’ve made the list. Step two: How do you set it all up? When entertaining guests at home, no real estate should be left unused. For example, a nontraditional table that normally wouldn’t make an ideal bar can be retrofitted … Read More

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Harissa Squash & Chicken Stew

A Super-Easy One-Pot Meal to Keep You Fueled this Winter

Kitchen confessions: We had quite a bit of uncooked squash left over from Thanksgiving due to a shopping miscommunication. So squash. Then we also had some chicken breast that was thawing, and it was a cold and dreary day. Hmmn. We wanted something savory and spicy, but also healthy and filling to help us keep our fortitude up around pre-Xmas dieting. A little researching happened, ideas got cobbled together, and voila, dinner. Have to say that Cava’s harissa is really good and it is front and center in this dish. So give it a try—easy peasy and it hit the hunger bull’s-eye. You could swap out chicken for beef, pork or non-meat options like tempeh or seitan.

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2-4 Tablespoons harissa paste (based on your spice preference and your harissa, we liked ours spicy!)

1 teaspoon ground … Read More

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Braised Oxtail & Wild Mushroom Pappardelle with Roasted Butternut Squash, Tomatoes & Arugula

Oxtail Pasta Dish_RGBA Rich, Luscious Pasta Takes Center Stage

By Chef Jason Miller, Corporate Chef of Balducci’s. From “What’s In Season” in our Winter Holiday 2015 Issue. Sponsored by Balducci’s.

2 to 3 dinner portions or 4 to 6 appetizer portions
Rich, savory, lavish—this pasta dish by Balducci Corporate Chef Jason Miller is beyond hearty. There are several steps, but most things can be done ahead for easy assembly before a dinner party. Oxtail needs a lot of time slow cooking to unleash its wonders. Truly a stunning pasta dish, your guests will thank you.

Step One: Preparing the Oxtails
2 tablespoons Balducci’s extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds oxtails sliced 2 inches thick (ask your butcher)
1 cup large-diced mirepoix*
1 cup Balducci’s Private Label Malbec
1 quart beef or veal stock
Salt and pepper

Prep time: 4 hours. Cook time: 10 minutes.
Season oxtails on all sides with salt and pepper. … Read More

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