Fans of local microbrews and touring bands will get a taste of both at the upcoming "Brew Skies Festival" Aug. 9-10 at Canaan Valley State Park.
In its second year, the brainchild of Mountain State Brewing Co. owners Brian Arnett and Willie Lehmann will feature brews from Mountain State, Bridge Brew Works, Morgantown Brewing Co., Lost River Brewing, Chestnut Brew Works and Blackwater Brewing.
And guests can sip and sample while listening to headline acts like Baltimore's J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Nashville's soulful Luella & The Sun and Alabama-based singer/songwriter Grayson Capps. Other appearances include regional favorites The Wild Rumpus, Johnson's Crossroad, Rasta Rafiki, The Hillbilly Gypsies, Fletcher's Grove, The Greens, Farnsworth and more.
Music will run from 3 p.m. to midnight that Friday and 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday. There will also be a number of arts, crafts and food vendors on hand, including El Grand Sabor, Tip Top Coffee and Canaan Valley Resort's famous BBQ.
For more information or tickets, visit www.brewskiesfestival.com or call 304-463-4500. Tickets for the entire weekend are $50, or $30 for a day pass. For a variety of lodging options, visit www.canaanvalley.org.
I received another tip this past week from a reader on substituting cauliflower in place of potatoes to boost a salad's nutritional value.
"I read your column all the time and love it," writes June Staats. "I also clip some recipes I think I may try. I read the one about the cauliflower instead of potatoes in a salad and I love that idea."
She said she once made potato salad using half cauliflower and it turned out great.
"Just barely cook the cauliflower until crisp-tender and add to cooked and diced potatoes and then whatever you like in a salad. I dressed it with mayo, mustard, vinegar and a sugar dressing I make. It's very good and the ladies at church love it!"
Speaking of side dishes, I recently wrote about the health benefits of delicious grains like faro and quinoa after sampling a wonderful faro dish served by John Brown's team during the cooking competition that took place at "Edgewood Becomes a Work of Art" earlier this month at the country club.
In light of that, check out this week's easy recipe courtesy of Alter Eco for a colorful Summer Quinoa Salad that blends fresh veggies and basil with the nutty grain for a festive side dish.
Finally, in light of the recent piece I did on spicing up your traditional burger toppings and condiments, here's a "Mayo Clinic" report from a recent issue of Bon Appetit I thought you might find interesting as well.
"It seems impossible to improve on a creamy swipe of mayonnaise, but spiking our favorite decadent spread with another ingredient or two makes it even more complex and flavorful," the article began. "Just stir one of these components into store-bought mayo."
* Sesame seeds and toasted sesame oil, for roast pork or grilled fish.
* Sriracha hot sauce, for pulled pork, roast turkey or grilled chicken.