Springmoor welcomed Jennifer Mondolino, our new Dining Room Director, to the kitchen this month. Cooking is her passion. Planning, shopping, tasting, catering and serving are all part of the food experience for her. “Eating is such a big part of everyone’s life, whether it is just grabbing a quick bite to eat or a sitting down for a formal five-course dinner gala, the conversations are more enjoyable with a delicious meal,” she says.
Jennifer grew up in Stony Brook, New York. She has an undergraduate degree from Johnson and Wales University, a master’s degree in Healthcare Policy and Management from Stony Brook University and, from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, she earned a diploma in pastry and baking. To say that cooking is her passion is almost an understatement! She gives much of the credit to her mentor who shared her knowledge of what needs to happen to make the perfect meal.
The First Job
Like many teenagers, her first job was at Starbucks. This one happened to be located in a hospital. She quickly moved from Starbucks to an Assistant Director position in food service at the hospital with a wonderful mentor. The 350-bed hospital offered room-service style dining. Everything was ordered on an iPad in each patient’s room and expected to be not only delicious but also delivered in forty-five minutes or less. The hospital also served a special menu for those on the surgical recovery floors. They served family and staff in the hospital dining rooms and often catered large galas for special auxiliary events. From planning to prep, Jennifer was behind the scenes learning to do it all. Continue reading →
Springmoor is the proud recipient of the 2017 Employer of the Year Award from The Arc of the Triangle. Demi Tucker, Springmoor’s Dining Room Manager, recently accepted this exciting award on behalf of our community. She says not only do The Arc participants add value to our dining room with their dedication and hard work but their fellow employees and the residents greatly appreciate their tremendous enthusiasm.
The Arc, a national organization founded in the 1950s, was formed by a group of parents advocating for their children with intellectual and development disabilities. The grass roots organization now has over 700 state and local chapters. The local chapter, The Arc of the Triangle, serves Wake, Orange and Durham counties. Supporting over 500 children and adults, they offer a wide variety of programs including respite services, summer work programs, employment services and community guides. They also offer a wide range of classes and advocacy network services. Springmoor resident, Charlie Blanchard, served on the Arc’s Board of Directors for many years. He and his wife, Archie, continue to be huge supporters of this successful organization.
A student seeking employment may join the program during his or her high school years at age 17. The Arc continues to work with adults in this same program until they are 65. Each student is paired with a job coach that will help with training, job skills and future employment. The coach often accompanies the employee to their new job to help with on-the-job training. Tamela Haywood, The Arc’s Employment Specialist, told us that Springmoor has proven to be one of the best places for employment for her participants. The three employees, Sally, Angel and Jeremiah, love their jobs, their fellow employees and the residents.
Sally has been at Springmoor for twenty-nine years. Her smile will brighten anyone’s day! She is a dedicated employee that works in the North Village Dining Room as a line server. She also sings in The Arc’s choir that performs regularly for churches, civic groups and community events. Demi describes her as “very reliable, always on time and extremely detailed.” The dining room staff recently joined in a celebration for her 60th birthday.
Angel, a 2017 high school graduate, came to Springmoor this past February. Starting as a very shy and quiet young lady, she has blossomed into a wonderful employee before everyone’s eyes. All of the residents will tell you they have seen a remarkable change as she became more experienced with the staff and her duties. She speaks both Korean and English. She too is very detail-oriented. Serving in the dining room, she fills orders from the drink stand as well as the dessert bar. She recently brought flowers to Demi from the Arc’s Petals with a Purpose program.
Jeremiah, Springmoor’s newest Arc employee, lights up the room with his huge smile and willingness to help. His mother tells us he sings with delight on the days that he is scheduled to work. Having a purpose and feeling productive brings him great joy! On the day that he received his first paycheck, Tamela said, “he sent me a photo on his phone.” He recently met Springmoor’s Executive Director, Brandon Hair. He called afterwards to tell her “he had met the big man.” He is often seen giving high fives and fist bumps to his fellow employees when he arrives in the kitchen. As a dishwasher, he has found a special niche that suits his skills and his desire to help. He couldn’t be happier that he has found such a welcoming community that needs him. Continue reading →
It’s time for an All-American Independence Day. What’s better than apple pie or juicy slice of watermelon, a hot dog with all the fixin’s or a delicious hamburger with fresh lettuce and tomatoes? Top it all off with fireworks and baseball and you have the perfect summer day!
Art Ernteman, Springmoor’s General Manager of Dining Services, was asked what’s on the menu for our July 4th Celebration. Of course, he is serving everyone’s favorites and adding a touch of stars and stripes to the dining rooms too. Along with the burgers and apple pie, he’s added okra and tomatoes, grilled zucchini, potato salad, sweet potato fries, rotisserie chicken and baked beans to the menu.
The July 4th menu will include one of everyone’s Springmoor favorites – Strawberry Fields Salad. He says it’s easy to make and can be served as an entrée salad.
Strawberry Fields Salad
- Grilled Chicken Breast
- Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles
- Spring Mix Lettuce
- Sliced Red Onion
- Fresh Sliced Strawberries
- Walnut Pieces
- Topped with a Honey Poppy Seed Balsamic Dressing (serves 8)
- ½ cup of Balsamic Dressing
- Add honey and poppy seed to taste
We look forward to an afternoon get-together in the Garden Grill and The Terrace Room for a fresh slice of juicy watermelon before your evening activities.
Are you entertaining family and friends this week too? Raleigh has a long list of local farms. Lyon Farms offers two choices: you can pick your own bucket of berries or drop by their neighborhood produce stand. A Creedmoor Farm since 1861, they bring their fruits and vegetables to the neighborhood during the growing season. They are located only a few blocks away on Creedmoor Road! For the best blackberries – and a day on the farm – you can pick your own from mid-June to the end of July. They have a large of assortment of fruits and veggies at the stand and also sell a few speciality items that you won’t want to miss: pickled items, strawberry lemonade, jams, cider and corn on the cob.
Page Farms is located only a few miles away too. If your family is in town and you want to explore “a little bit of country”, they suggest you come for a visit. Blackberry season is in full swing now on their farm too. You can pick your own or buy them by the pound.
What’s more All-American than apple pie? How about a little minor-league baseball while your family is here? The Durham Bulls and The Carolina Mudcats have stadiums that are only thirty minutes away. Both teams are in town this week and have special firework events scheduled for their 4th of July celebrations after the game. The Durham Bulls take on The Charlotte Knights at the DPAP in downtown Durham. And at Five County Stadium, in Zebulon, you will find the Mudcats and The Salem Red Sox.
After a burger and a slice of apple pie, you and your family might want to head downtown to join in the Raleigh festivities. The ‘Works! begins at noon. There will be live music, Aerial Performances, Cirque de Vol street performers and more. The fireworks begin about 9:30pm. This great show always lights up the Raleigh skyline.
If it’s Wednesday, everyone knows the Dining Services will be hosting “Appy Hour” later in the afternoon. This popular event happens in North Village at The Springs and South Village at The Willow Springs, our residents’ hospitality bars. Before dinner the two rooms will fill with friends and a toast to a birthday, a new grandchild or a putting green win. The laughter can be heard from around the corner and down the hall. Join us!
The Dining Services
Each Wednesday at 4:30 the Bartenders are on duty and the hot appetizers are being served. The menu can feature Mini Crab Cakes, Potato Skins, BBQ Meatballs, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Wings or a new weekly hors d’oeuvre from the Chef. The favorite is always our delicious melt-in-your-mouth Chicken Cordon Bleu Bites with a touch of ham and Swiss.
David, Dominick, Mitchell and Nate are our outstanding Bartenders. Wednesday is one of their busiest days of the week but they welcome residents every evening before dinner. The tables are painted with a board for chess or checkers and await a friendly competition between residents. The Bartenders keep the refreshment bowls filled with little nibbles and look forward to serving you with your favorite beverages.
Do you come to the Springs to watch sporting events? Do you come every week? What draws you here? The answers to all of these questions were the same, “We come for the conversation and for the camaraderie.” Seeing neighbors and friends is what draws them together. Asked if they watch sporting events together, everyone said with a laugh. “Oh, what sport is on now?” They all had to turn to see a television. This was only an afterthought to the fun times and good cheer shared with their neighbors. And of course, they all said, “We come for the food too!”
Beer and Wine Tastings are scheduled throughout the year. Saint Patrick’s Day brought a variety of green beers to the offerings. Beer from Neuse River, a local brewery, was sampled at a beer tasting event in the early spring. The brewery sent a representative to explain the brewing process and help us understand the differences in taste.
Every three months, the Dining Staff also hosts a Wine and Cheese Social. Foods and beverages for tasting are chosen depending on the season. Pairing the selections of wine and cheese is always the highlight of the event. The staff is helpful in explaining the tastes that work well together. They also offer wines that can be purchased during the event. Continue reading →
You are invited… to a Wine and Cheese Social
Each quarter, the residents are treated to a Wine and Cheese Social in The Springs and The Willow Springs. Luke Campbell, our Dining Services Director, has brought his wine expertise to these wonderful events.
He selects the wines for each season. In the fall, he recommends a spicier wine such as a Gewürztraminer. In the winter months, he picks a bolder more complex wine, such as a Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon. In the spring, a little lighter wine, perhaps a Riesling. And in the summer, during the hottest southern months, he chooses a more fruity variety such as a Rose’ or Sauvignon Blanc. Luke tells us he “also looks at the ratings of the wines, as I try and find wines that are rated above 85-90, that are reasonably priced, so that if a resident likes it, they can go pick up a bottle.”
Luke tries to make the event a tasting one as well as a fun night out. Albert Callaway, a Springmoor resident, tells us that he “enjoys the fellowship not only with the residents but the staff members who handle the events.” He has visited wineries in both North Carolina and California. He said he is always interested to learn more about the wines and cheeses and has bought a few that Luke has served.
The wine is paired with a selection of cheeses chosen by our Chef, Dennis Daly and our Catering Manager, Beth Estrada. The assortment of cheeses and fruits varies by season. The editors at Wine Enthusiast tell us there are a number of considerations to consider when pairing wine and cheese. They divide the cheeses into four simple groups:
Bloomy – a creamy, decadent cheese with a soft rind, which goes well with a Champagne, Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc
Hard – a sharp, salty cheese that is often aged and is best paired with a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti or Zinfandel
Blue – a pungent blue-tinged salty cheese that tastes best with a Port, Riesling or Sauterne
Fresh – typically a soft spreadable cheese with a tangy or mild flavor. These cheeses are best with a Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Beaujolais
There are always other delicious appetizers to enjoy too. Our dining service makes this a perfect evening to welcome new neighbors and catch up with friends. The Springs in North Village and The Willow Springs in South Village are always filled with an overflowing crowd for this enjoyable social event.
Along with the Wine and Cheese Socials, our dining staff has introduced a Wednesday night Appy Hour. Both bars are filled with laughter, great food and lively conversation. Luke has a rotating menu of appetizers that he and the staff prepare for each event. Homemade Potato Skins, Mozzarella Sticks, Mini Chicken Cordon Bleus, Pretzel Bites and Little Smokies, just to name a few, are on his list. He tells us the Potato Skins have proven to be one of his most popular options. Of course, like any chef, there are many more creative recipes on the list for the upcoming year. The spirits for the evening are typically divided evenly between reds, whites and beer options. Continue reading →
In honor of National Pastry Day we celebrate with treats from our Pastry Chef, Terra Hunt. She received her degree from the Culinary Arts program at Wake Tech Community College with an emphasis in baking and pastries. We are lucky to have her in our kitchen preparing the best breads and desserts. Luke Campbell, our Dining Director says she makes the most “delicious rolls for us, they melt in your mouth!” We have asked her to share her secret Springmoor recipes with us.
Her Cinnamon Pastries will delight your holiday guests at breakfast or for brunch. And if you are having a large dinner party or friends for an afternoon buffet, we suggest serving her individual Strawberry Trifles. You will need to make a few extra of both delicacies to keep for yourself. These will be gone before you even sit down!
From our kitchen to yours – Happy Holidays and Bon Appétit!
Terra’s Homemade Cinnamon Pastries
- ¼ ounce package yeast
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ cup scalded milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter or shortening
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3 ½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup melted butter, plus more for pan
- ¾ cup sugar, plus more for pan
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup raisins, walnuts, or pecans, optional
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 to 6 tablespoons hot water
- Heat oven to 350 degrees
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 ½ hours.
- When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.
- Coat the bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.
- Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.
Individual Strawberry Trifles
- 1 quart fresh strawberries, halved
- 1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- Whipped Cream:
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- One 1-pound fresh pound cake
- 1/3 cup amaretto liqueur
- 1 whole strawberry for garnish
- For the marinated strawberries: In a small, shallow casserole dish, toss the strawberries with the vinegar and let stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. After the strawberries have marinated, check for sweetness, adding sugar if desired.
- For the whipped cream: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whisk the cream to soft peaks. Add the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Whip to stiff peaks. Set aside.
- For the trifle: Using a serrated knife, slice the pound cake lengthwise into ½ -inch-thick slices. You will only need four slices. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out circles from each cake slice. Line up two highball glasses or stem less wine glasses and place one cake circle in the bottom of each. Brush the cakes with amaretto liqueur. Add 2 tablespoons of marinated strawberries and spread evenly. Using a different tablespoon, add a large dollop of whipped cream and spread evenly. Add a second layer of cake, pressing down lightly. Brush with amaretto liqueur. Add 2 tablespoons of marinated strawberries and spread evenly. Top with a large dollop of whipped cream, spreading evenly. Use the remaining cake, cream and strawberries to create a more extravagant trifle dish.
- Cover the trifles with plastic wrap and refrigerate for impromptu indulgence, keeping in mind that it will store for up to 2 days.