Inside the Sprout Kitchen: Where’s the Beef (Coming From)

If there has been one food group under attack over the past several decades in America, it would be meat products. Denounced by vegetarians, maligned by some environmentalists, and avoided by more than a few health experts, meat, or more precisely, beef has lost its once secure place in the pantheon of American culinary popularity over the years.

Nonetheless, it remains an important staple for the vast majority of consumers, even with those who consider themselves advocates for healthy diets. And that would include Emily and Ryan Groll at Sprout Kitchen.

While it is true that the Grolls are conservative when it comes to offering beef in their weekly selection of prepared foods, they do enjoy it periodically as an excellent alternative to turkey or other white meats. And nowhere is this better seen than when they make their unique recipes for classic meatloaf or Mongolian beef.

They also have done their due diligence is finding the right local beef producer to supply them.  In this case, and after months of extraordinary research, they entered into an exclusive partnership with Evermore Farms in Westminster, Maryland.

In the latest edition of “Inside the Sprout Kitchen,” Emily and Ryan talk about the role of beef in their cooking philosophy and the importance of knowing where their beef is coming from.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For information about the Sprout Kitchen and their meal plans please go here

ESLC Teams Up with Lyon Distilling for Limited Batch of Black Rum

A local nonprofit known for land preservation and town planning on the Eastern Shore has hooked up with one of Maryland’s finest distilleries for a good cause.

Lyon Distilling Company of St. Michaels, known since 2013 as a micro, craft distillery producing ultra-small batches of award-winning rums and whiskeys in St. Michaels, has released its latest concoction – a special, limited batch Black Rum with a percentage of every bottle sold benefitting the projects and programs of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC).

This rum varietal features a rich and smooth finish, with subtle touches of oak spice and sweetness. From the bottle’s packaging: “Together we are committed to protecting the land on which we work and play, and encourage you to sip this delicious spirit soundly knowing that a portion of your purchase helps fund ESLC’s many worthwhile endeavors.”

“We’re so excited to help support the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy with our Black Rum,” says Lyon owner and co-founder Jaime Windon. “I’ve always admired partnerships like this. Philanthropy is so important to us and as a startup we are limited in what we can do. But we try to do everything that we can locally, and this is the first effort that has been organized at this level. Exciting times!”

ESLC plans to commemorate the release of the Black Rum partnership with a happy hour party on Thursday, August 31st from 5-7pm at their headquarters in Easton. Bottles will be available for sale with Lyon staff on hand providing tastings and joining in the celebration. ESLC’s Communication Manager David Ferraris described the partnership as “a natural fit.”

“ESLC is ecstatic to have its name associated with a local company producing an exceptional product,” said Ferraris. “Since their arrival on the Shore, Lyon has made it clear that they support local initiatives that are near and dear to their hearts. Protecting and preserving the environment in which they live and conduct business is one of those initiatives, so this makes perfect sense.”

For more information, please contact ESLC’s Communication Manager, David Ferraris, at dferraris@eslc.org or 410.690.4603 x165.

Inside the Sprout Kitchen: Talking Turkey

When a good percentage of your total food purchases is dedicated to buying the best turkey, which Sprout’s Kitchen does, it’s a big deal.

And like everything else the Sprout Kitchen owners, Emily and Ryan Groll, do, they spent a lot of time figuring out who was the right producer, what kind of bird they would use, and where it came from.  While there might have been more convenient options, the Grolls make a 100 mile trip to Maple Lawn Farm in Howard County when they need turkey.

In the latest edition of Inside the Spout Kitchen, Emily and Ryan recap why Maple Lawn fits the bill for their unique food business, and why consumers should know the difference between real turkey and “a real turkey.”

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For information about the Sprout’s Kitchen and their meal plans please go here

Spy Food: A New Breakfast Place Opens in Easton

When Stephen Mangasarian closed Restaurant Columbia of Easton several years ago, he said that one day he’d like to try something more casual, “…maybe even a sandwich shop or diner.”

Well, less than a month ago Stephen opened Breakfast In Easton. It’s kind of a diner, and for sure it provides a darn good breakfast!

While remaining involved in Banning’s Tavern as executive chef, Stephen prepares an excellent breakfast for his guests at his new hideaway location at the back of 28 South Washington Street…right behind the Talbot Historical Society. And, Jen takes the orders, makes the coffee and serves the meals.

Nice place to stop in the morning. They only take cash, but the pancakes and sausage were less than $8.

 

Piazza Food Bites: After That Big Meal Comes Amaretti di Saronno

Leave it to the Italians for finding the perfect solution for ending a grand meal with just the right amount of sweetness and lightness.

While famous for such show stoppers as Tiramisu, Panna Cotta, and Cannoli, the Italians also found the need to offer guests something a less filling, particularly during the summer months, that works well with that after-dinner espresso or dessert wine.

What they discovered is the remarkable use of dried apricot kernels to create an exceptionally light cookie, festively wrapped in colorful paper, to help end those special meals.

Emily Chandler, the owner of Piazza Italian Market, talks to the Spy about the role Amaretti di Saronno plays in the culinary world of Italy, but also the surprising news that cooked apricot kernels can also be used to fight certain cancers.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about Piazza please go here.

Piazza Food Bites: Let’s All Scream for Bacon

Poor bacon. The poster child for heart-related illnesses and consistently on the guilty food lists for most people over thirty, bacon never seems to gets a fair break in our modern world of healthy living.

We will leave it to the scientists to determine bacon is right or wrong for you, but for Emily Chandler, owner of Piazza Italian Deli in Easton, it is more of a question of who produces the bacon and how they do it, rather than how it ranks on cholesterol tests. And her search for the perfect bacon ended up in a small town in Indiana and her introduction to Smoking Goose Meatery’s Applewood Smoked Bacon.

In this edition of Piazza Food Bite, Emily talks about the unique and straightforward approach Smoking Goose takes will all their meat products and also her own bias on when it’s best to use American style bacon over the thinker, more intense Italian prosciutto also found in her store.

This video is approximately one minute in length. For more information about Piazza please go here.

Easton Sidewalks: Mason’s Return on Harrison Street

In hindsight, it shouldn’t have been a shocker that the owners of Mason’s, a culinary “Rock of Gibraltar” in Easton since 1966, would put the family-owned business up for sale a few years ago. With most restaurants these days lasting about eighteen months, the decision for the family to sell the fifty-year-old dining establishment and retire seemed to follow the predictable lifecycle for any enterprise.

What wasn’t especially evident however was the motivation behind the new owners swapping out Mason’s time-tested business model for a high-end steakhouse with prices to match. Mason’s had not been sold because it was losing money. Its formula of excellent service and food in a perfect Eastern Shore setting had worked its wonders into making Mason’s one of the few restaurants in town that could count on a profit most years.

But, alas, this significant fact didn’t stop the new owners from re-branding the venue as a deluxe Chophouse, confidently thinking that area diners wouldn’t miss the original Mason’s. But they did, and that led to an early end to $50 steaks but also left one of the town’s most attractive restaurants sitting empty and lifeless.

It was, therefore, all the more exciting then for the Spy to learn that the mighty Mason’s will be getting a second life in a few months. Angel investors have come to the rescue of Easton’s “Grand Dame,” and plan to return both the name and its distinctive take on American cuisine to Harrison Street this Fall.

More details will be forthcoming on its grand opening date but needless to say, Mason’s, like a great phoenix rising again, will once again be back in town soon enough.

 

Inside the Spout Kitchen: It’s All about Baywater Greens

While Sprout’s Kitchen prides itself on finding the freshest local ingredients for all their prepared entrees and snacks, there is very little doubt that their number one priority has been in the area of produce to make their hugely popular weekly salads and greens that make all their meals special.

The challenge was to find a local farm that could deliver exceptional product all year around, not just during the traditional growing season. They also wanted to make sure the producer was indeed local, which permits Sprouts to use greens just harvested and use for their meals the very next day.

After much research, Sprout owners Emily and Ryan Groll discovered Baywater Greens just outside of Salisbury to play this critical role with Sprout’s Kitchen. Now on their 6th generation of family farmers, Baywater has been successfully using hydroponic greenhouses in 2010 to grow organic produce in addition to their traditional outside fields to be the premium choice for restaurants up and down the Delmarva as well as Baltimore and Washington, DC.

In our latest edition of Inside the Spout Kitchen, Emily and Ryan talk about how important Baywater Greens is to their business and their early success in providing the freshest, healthiest meals to their ever growing list of clients on the Mid-Shore.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For information about the Sprout’s Kitchen and their meal plans please go here

Inside the Sprout Kitchen: The Milkman Cometh

Editor’s Note: The Spy is pleased to continue our special food coverage by partnering with Sprout’s Kitchen on a series of educational programs related to food and the special backstories of  their ingredients and partnership with local producers. Sprouts’ owners, Emily and Ryan Groll, the two entrepreneurs behind the Mid-Shore’s innovative food delivery service using locally sourced products, have strong opinions and experience in what makes food so special.

First up for Sprout’s Kitchen when they started a year ago was finding the right milk guy. For most culinary enterprises the need to purchase milk is simply a matter of checking off how many gallons they need on their food distributors order forms. In most cases, they have no idea where that milk comes from, what the conditions of of dairy farm is or how well the animals are treated.

That was not good enough for Sprout’s Kitchen. Owners Emily and Ryan Groll, had made it part of their mission to find and develop a long-term relationship with a local farm who shared their high standards for their milk, yogurt and butter. That’s when Nice Farms Creamery came into the picture.

Located a few miles from Federalsburg, Nice Farms is now on its third generation of family farmers who have bred their 40 dairy cows specifically for grazing. maintain annual and perennial pastures, supplementing the cows diet with quality hay, hydroponic fodder, and almost zero grain.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For information about the Sprout’s Kitchen and their meal plans please go here

 

Inn at Perry Cabin Inaugurates Farm to Table Menu

Respect for the intimate connection between a place and its environment is among Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond’s core tenets; hence our excitement to introduce a farm-to-table menu this summer, our commitment to local and sustainable sourcing of ingredients, and our eagerness to welcome Vicky Mullaney to our Library on Saturday, July 1, from 3-6 p.m.

Mullaney is a hunter, chef, mother of five, manager of The Lodge at Black Pearl and author of the new The Lodge at Black Pearl Cookbook. Renowned as much for its extraordinary food as it is for its legendary waterfowl hunting, The Lodge is right here on the Eastern Shore amid one of the country’s most beautiful and bountiful wilds, and its recipes champion that.

Along with her husband, Mullaney embraced the healthful benefits of the farm-to-table movement, which continues to entice people into the field and stream in search of their own wild meals and lean meats that are free from growth hormones and antibiotics. The cookbook features recipes and tips for both fresh game and seafood—Duck and Sausage Gumbo, Goose Breast Pate and Peppered Venison Tenderloin, to name a few—along with plentiful and esential culinary creations for those who hunt in the grocery store, from cinnamon rolls to cucumber salad to double chocolate layer cake.

Mullaney will be signing copies of her new cookbook at Inn at Perry Cabin as part of a program of Independence Day events for neighbors and guests. This event is open to the public, and admission is free.

To whet appetites even further, Mullaney will be sampling two of her favorite dishes from the book: Smoked Bluefish Pate and her signature Black Pearls (peppermint patties), both are pictured in the attached.