The Weekly Newsletter
Menus and Stories for December 12 - 17, 2005

Come for lunch!

Here's a glimpse at a tiny bit of yesterday's lunch possibilities.

If you'd been here you could have had some, along with any number of the day's creations:
Grilled Pork Chops with Cranberries.
Martha's Meatloaf.
Israeli Cous Cous.
Baby Back Ribs with Spicy BBQ sauce.
Crunchy Broccoli with Sesame.
Crab Cakes with Dilled Cream.
Fresh fruit.
Ginger Trifle.
Beef and Barley Soup.
Chicken Pot Pie.

See what I mean???
(Did you know we added more seats? We had to!)

Christmas Dinner to Go - 2005

Special Christmas Dinner to Go - 2005

Christmas is on Sunday this year. That’s great news around here,
since it means that our staff all get to go home to be with their families.
The only downside is that this means we’ll be making our special dinner on Friday instead of on Christmas Eve as we usually do. But wait! These dinners will keep just fine if you want to hold yours until Saturday night or even Sunday.
(We’ll give you instructions for reheating – don’t worry.)

Here’s what we’d like to suggest to you:

At the start:
Wild Alaskan Salmon Mousse with Pumpernickel Crostini

The Salad:
Organic Hearts of Romaine
with Toasted Almond Slivers, Dried Cherries, Maytag Blue Cheese Crumbles
and a Sherry Vinaigrette

The Main Event:
Individual Beef Wellingtons
(made with a Mushroom Paté)
Individual Portobello Wellingtons

Potatoes au Gratin

Roasted Baby Winter Vegetables
with Sun-dried Tomato Slivers

Roasted Onion Bread with Dilled Butter

The Dessert:
Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes with Vanilla Crème Anglaise

The price per person is 27.50 for the Beef or 23.50 if you’d like the Portobello option.

Please place you order with us by December 21 at the very latest. Dinners will be ready for you to pick up on Friday, December 23 between 4:30 and 6:00 when we close.

Call 828-252-1500 to place your order

Two travel and gift possibilities

Wondering what to give that special person? How about a trip?

Delicious Expeditions:

We still have a few spots on our Spring trip to Tuscany March 31 - April 9. Monroe (my Delicious Expeditions buddy) and I guide small groups through the Tuscany we have grown to know and love. We stay in a renovated old villa that overlooks a sweeping view of the Val d'Orcia. We visit tiny and not-so-tiny towns, tasting, learning, trying the foods and wines of the region. Interested? Let us know (8282-252-1500.)

12 Muses:

And here's a new and unusual travel possibility. Chris Keff, chef and owner of Flying Fish Restaurant in Seattle, and I will be co-leading a "Culinary Odyssey to Southern Italy and Sicily." This trip, April16 - 24, is being offered by a new company, 12Muses. The trip, just for women, will be a fun, delicous, week-long journey aboard The Callisto, a small yacht that holds just 34 guests.

Chris and I will cook, teach, and be with you as we explore culinary life in southern Italy. How's this itinerary sound? Sorrento. Capri. Amalfi. Lipari. Syracuse (not New York!), Palermo. And, if we see something interesting along the way - we'll stop and visit. There will also be planned visits to the art and cultural hot spots of the area. For more information on this trip visit the 12 Muses website. (

12 Muses

Dinners to go (Free dinner drawing*)

* Every time you order a dinner to go you are eligible to enter our drawing. Just drop a card in our drawing jar (a business card works or fill out one of the cards that we have right here) and, at the end of the month, we'll pull one card which will be good for two free dinners-to-go. Inaugurated last month, our first winner was delighted! Maybe you'll win next month.

Order a lot? Enter a lot!
Good luck!!

Dinners come with a freshly-made green salad, salad dressing of the day, and made-right-here bread of the day. We take reservations until noon or so. Please order by phone (252-1500), by FAX (252-02002) or stop in to speak to one of us in person.

Here's this week's menu:

Monday December 12 Chicken Marsala 9.75
Tuesday December 13 Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Yellow Rice 11.25
Wednesday December 14 Grilled Flank Steak with Cheddar Mashed Potatoes 11.25
Thursday December 15 Roast Duck with Mustard Greens and Winter Fruits 13.50
Friday December 16 Baked Snapper Veracruz 12.25

Our website

Casserole of the Week

We make a special casserole each week on Wednesday. Please give us a call by the end of the day on Tuesday and we’ll fix yours for you. Come by between 4:30 and 6:00. Get a half (for 4 appetites) or a full sized pan (for 9 or so.)

Wednesday, December 14
Shrimp and Chorizo Paella
Full: 40.00
Half: 20.00


Have you tried this?

Sarabeth has a wonderful place (actually, a few places) in New York City. Our very favorite product of hers is the Blood Orange Marmelade. Since we have a small shop, we have to be selective, only bringing in some of the products that many of our vendors make.

This one is a real find. Toast up an english muffin and see what I mean.


Here's a unique honey from our area.

Dave, our friend and the bee keeper, takes his bee hives with him on his jaunts around the region. You know you have to have the bees near the flowering trees or else they'll just go dabble in any old mixed up pollen. Sourwood pollen results in a musky, dark and delicous flavor. If you want to add the mountain signature to your food, here's a way to begin.

(I'm thinking of learning about bees. Maybe next year we'll have Stoney Knob Honey. We'll see. Dave said he'd show us how. Stay tuned.)

Stocking Stuffers

Jo's Peppermint Bark.

Here is one of a bunch of things you could pick up here to tuck into the mantel decor or poking out the top of a stocking..


A Note From Laurey

I've been baking at home these days. The less cooking I do at work, the more I feel like doing at home. (To be completely honest with you, however, I need to admit that dinner is often peanut butter on toast, potato chips, bread and butter pickles, milk, and graham crackers for dessert.)

But the chill and the season and, truthfully, all those magazines by the cash register at the grocery store, make me feel like baking. The other night, when we had the threat of snow, I headed to the grocery store, along with everyone else, it seemed. I found myself in the baking aisle, surrounded by dazed women, all of whom were loading their shopping carts with sugar and flour and sprinkly things. It reminded me of the scene in the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" when all the people show up at Devil's Tower, not knowing why they are there but, drawn by the odd music, end up with other seekers of the unknown.

I loaded my cart with chips and nuts and sugars and butters and fruits. I did not bring any recipes with me and I am not very good about shopping lists anyway. But my pantry, such as it is, needed all these things if cookie making was going to happen.

When I got home that night I plunged in. Actually, first I made some chili for myself (I don't eat peanut butter every night) and tried to plan a baking strategy. I turned on the oven, pulled out the recipe-filled magazine, reviewed my purchases, and realized I was not in the mood. I turned off the oven and went and ate dinner with the dog and the cats and a stupid movie.

Last night, however, I ended up at home earlier, and did manage to bake three different kinds of sweets. I stoked the wood stove, turned on some nice, old-time fiddle music, and settled in for a night of sweet- making. My pup, unaccustomed to prolonged baking sessions, plunked herself right in front of the oven, which meant that I had to coax her to move each time I opened the door.

"Scooch, pup! Time to check the cookies."

Up she'd get, glaring at me.

In went another batch. Down she settled.

"Okay Tye. Time to move again."

"Really? But I just fell asleep!"

We had a good time, the pup and I. (Well, I did.) The cats came in periodically to see if there was anything worth tasting. There wasn't, but Sam, after her evening's dose of catnip, passed out on the floor, groggily ignoring the poking, enthusiastic nose of the dog. Skipper stretched out in front of the fire, happy to have the red couch all to himself. Life, chez moi.

The kitchen table is now full of sweets. Later on this afternoon, after work and before the evening's events, I will scoot to the store, pick up the few things I still need (ah - cocoa POWDER!) and then, tomorrow, I'll get at it again. Next week I'll pack 'em up and give 'em out. Oh, and maybe keep a few for the dog - and one or two for me.

Silly gifts, continued

I can't help showing snaps of the hilarious magnet sets we have up in the shop (look for the "Happy Center.")

I find myself browsing the rack when my mind can't focus on what it is supposed to be doing.

By the way - the "Puzzles for Morons" magnets (a two-piece puzzle of The Mona Lisa) are on the way, we're told. Check back, they should be back in stock next week.

Contact Info:

Laurey's "Gourmet Comfort Food"
Eat In - Take Out - Catering
67 Biltmore Avenue Asheville, NC 28801

Monday - Friday 8:00 - 6:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 - 4:00 pm

"Don't Postpone Joy!"(tm)

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