Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cooking Classes at Briar Patch

Fall/winter marks the start of our cooking class weekends, which we generally hold one weekend per month in our "low" season of November through March. Our first one of the season was held a couple of weekends ago, when Chef Nancy Robinson of Mrs. Robinson Cooks showed us how to prepare the following menu:

Briar Patch B&B Cooking Weekend
Menu for November 19-21, 2010 Weekend

Friday evening hors d'oeuvres

  • Tuna mousse on toasted baguette
  • Crudité with Asian-style aioli dip
  • Chicken morsels with remoulade sauce

Saturday evening dinner

  • Appetizer: Salmon with lemon-pecan sauce on crackers
  • Salad: Warm wilted spinach salad with pine nuts
  • Main Course: Braised Chicken with fresh tomatoes and olives; served with cauliflower purée
  • Dessert: Creamy apple cider reduction sauce over fresh apple cake
The tuna mousse appetizer and the cauliflower puree were my (Ellen) favorites. We also enjoyed having a wine tasting with Lori Corcoran of Corcoran Vineyards. Since Lori was out of her white wines, I introduced our guests to the white wines of Israel.

Our next cooking class weekend at Briar Patch will be January 21-23, 2011. These weekends consist of hors d'oeuvres and wine tasting on Friday night, a two-night stay in one of our rooms at Briar Patch including breakfast, an optional wineries tour on Saturday afternoon, and a four course cooking class meal with wine on Saturday night. Our other cooking class weekends are February 18-20, 2011 and March 4-6, 2011. We still have a few spaces left for the classes so please contact us for reservations by going to our website or call us at 703-327-5911.

As you can see in the photos below, Chef Nancy did a great job in teaching us how to make some good healthy food.

Thank You To Our Veterans

On Veterans Day a few weeks ago, my husband Dan Haendel and I (Ellen Goldberg) were honored to host veterans and their families as part of a nationwide bed & breakfast promotion offering free rooms to veterans. Dan is a veteran (retired lieutenant colonel in the Army JAG Corp reserves), so we decided to go all out by providing all nine of our bedrooms free for the nights of November 10 & 11.

As you can see in the photos below, we had both active duty & retired veterans, male & female veterans, and veterans from every branch of the military. We had some nice articles written about us, including one from WUSA9 and another in

We were really pleased and honored to participate.

Chili Cook-off at Briar Patch

Recently Tom & Shelley Campbell held their annual chili cook-off at Briar Patch. Tom is a real estate agent with Long & Foster and Shelley owns Shelley's Floral Enterprise. Shelley does the floral arrangements for our monthly Middleburg Women networking luncheons at Briar Patch and, as you can see from her beautiful floral arrangements below, she does amazing work.

Tom & Shelley hold an annual clients & friends appreciation event where they ask their clients and friends to prepare chili, sides, and desserts. They then hold a contest with prizes for things like the hottest chili, the best name for the chili, the best side dish, and the best dessert. They also have a bar with bartender and a DJ with dancing. The food and fellowship were fantastic, as you can see in the photos below.

This kind of event is a great idea for anyone owning a business who wants to show their appreciation to clients. It's not too hard to organize and it's a lot of fun!