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.
Everyone has a favorite recipe, a favorite holiday tradition and most certainly a favorite holiday story. Luke Campbell, Springmoor’s new Director of Dining is already making preparations for the biggest meal his staff will serve all year.
Thanksgiving at Springmoor is by far, he says, “is the most popular meal served on campus.” Serving 400 to 500 residents and their families is on his calendar for November 24. Asked if he will cook when he gets home, he laughs. “After working with food all day, it’s usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when I get home.” On Thanksgiving, however, he will cook for his wife, his son and their dog. He was quick to add, that the dog always gets a bite or two. His extended family gathers the day after Thanksgiving and while he will help a little, it’s most often his mom and his sisters that are in the kitchen.
His love of cooking began with his mom. When he was a child, she was determined to teach him how to be self-sufficient. Teaching him to wash his own clothes, cook for himself and handle the other basics was very important to her. He loved watching her in the kitchen. He remembers when he was 10; she bought him a hot plate so he could make his own French toast without having to turn on the big oven. When he was 15, he started his first job in the restaurant business. Now, he cooks on the weekends. He loves to make things from scratch and Sundays are usually a day to prepare foods for the week. Does he watch the cooking channel? “Oh, yes.” Bobby Flay is his favorite chef. And as for comfort food, nothing beats “a New York style pizza, no special toppings, just the delicious hand-tossed crust and cheese!”
Working with a staff of thirteen full production chefs, he is bringing new changes to the menu options. The Premium Entree menu has been spiced up with new recipes. The assortment of seafood and the Filet Mignon will delight anyone dining with us. The new Appy Hour on Wednesdays serves delicious tavern-style appetizers to a packed house each week. This week, with his help, the Wine and Cheese Social had a great selection of wines hand chosen for the cooler fall temperatures and paired with a large assortment of cheeses. His staff is planning a special event for the Marketing Department this month – A Chef Event – using the popular new “deconstructed” cooking style. This creative style takes a familiar recipe using the same ingredients and prepares the food in a new form. It preserves the taste and enhances the flavors of your favorite dishes.
The Dining Staff offers catering services for our residents and their families. Special events are held throughout the year for Garden Clubs, Bridge Groups, Birthday and Anniversary events. November and December are always their busiest months. Special private dining rooms are offered for these gatherings. The Resident Life Department has a long list of events during the season too that will have food as well as entertainment.
Asked what his favorites are in the kitchen and at Springmoor, Luke was quick to say with a big smile, “the residents are the best part of my job. If I could do it over again, I would have started in this industry at the beginning. They have made me feel so welcome. Seeing them everyday and learning what they like and dislike can be a challenge but it keeps me motivated to do my best. I know they are coming back again tomorrow.” Luke arrived on campus to find four new convection ovens – a wonderful surprise and a great way to begin!
From the oldest recorded “working tavern” in the Roanoke Valley of Virginia (where records from the tavern go back to the 1800s), Luke brings with him one of his favorite recipes. The Brugh Tavern on the Blue Ridge Parkway sold this soup to its customers by the gallon during the holiday season. His favorite Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Bisque will be the talk of the day!
With eight kitchens, three dietitians and a wait staff of over 35; preparing 26 turkeys and 180 pounds of sweet potatoes for his Springmoor family is a tradition he hopes to continue for years to come.
Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Bisque
- 2 Butternut Squash
- 1 Onion (small diced)
- 2 Carrots (shredded)
- 3 tbsp. Butter
- 1 c. Dry Sherry
- ¼ cup Chicken Stock (Paste) or 1 ½ qt. Chicken Broth –Liquid (Vegetable Stock/ Broth can be used for Vegetarian option)
- 5 whole Cloves
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 1 tsp. ground Nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ground Allspice
- 4 Bay Leaves
- ¾ c. Brown Sugar (another ½ cup can be added for sweeter version)
- 2 c. Heavy Cream
- ½ c. Pumpkin Puree
- 2 tbsp. Kosher Salt
A Birthday to Remember
“I wish to give my compliments to everyone who was associated with this special dinner and to thank them for making my birthday dinner so memorable. It is certainly a birthday that I will not forget!” What a wonderful compliment to our staff in the Springmoor Dining Room.
Jim Bundy and his family celebrated in style using our Premium Entrée Program Menu. This special menu can be ordered for lunch or dinner in our dining rooms on Thursday or Friday. It is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday, a graduation, a family reunion or an anniversary! This four-course meal – an appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert – are ordered when you make your reservations earlier in the week and then prepared to your taste upon your arrival.
Our dining staff starts the meal with an appetizer and salad. The entrée course selections offer a crunchy coconut Jumbo Shrimp with a sweet orange sauce, seasoned Salmon Fillet en Papillote, Sea Scallops served with a browned butter sauce or a tender Beef Fillet. And these are just some of our delicious options on the premium menu! An assortment of vegetables and bread will always accompany the meal. And for dessert – everyone’s favorite – Springmoor’s melt-in-your-mouth, smooth and creamy cheesecake! Who can resist?
The Dining Staff
“We had an experience on Friday that I feel compelled to tell you about. Last Friday was my birthday and so I decided to make use of the Premium Entrée Program for my birthday dinner. Several people had indicated to me that they had made use of this and had been very pleased but we just had not taken advantage of it until that Friday night.
I have to let you know that my birthday dinner that evening in the South Village Dinning Room was one of the highlights of our almost three-year residence at Springmoor. And that is saying a lot because we have had many great experiences since we moved to Springmoor in September of 2013. From Chris taking the order, to Evelyn cooking our entrees, to Veronica and Janeth serving us, it was an outstanding experience. And to top it all off, the wait staff came over and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me!
I am letting everyone know about how great the Premium Entrée Program is and I am encouraging them to make use of it. It is just another great program here for the Springmoor residents.” Continue reading →
We are happy to introduce our new Food Service Director, Luke Campbell. He will join the Springmoor staff in mid-July. He comes to us with a long list of dining accomplishments. Kay Bullock, The Residents Association President, was part of the committee to meet Luke during one of his trips to Springmoor. Kay shares her Springmoor Herald interview with us for this week’s blog.
Springmoor Herald: What was your first job in the food industry? What sparked your interest in food service?
Luke: “My first job was a small little restaurant called ‘Martha’s Vineyard’. I was a busboy, at 15 years old. My older sister worked at the restaurant. She told me they needed help, and brought me to work with her. I liked the fact you always had ‘tip’ money, and also I immediately enjoyed the fast-paced environment.”
Springmoor Herald: Can you talk about how you train, supervise, and mentor employees?
Luke: “I am a ‘working’ manager, thus, I like to be on the floor of the dining room or in the kitchen so that I can observe all that is happening. The one advantage that I have in my career is the fact I have done EVERY job in the food and beverage industry, from washing dishes and cooking, to being a host and bartending. It gives me a well-rounded perspective on how a dining venue should operate. I find every moment is a teaching moment, whether to correct an impropriety or praise a staff member for a job well done. I take a great deal of pride in mentoring employees, as I feel one of my strongest attributes is developing people and putting them in a position to succeed.”
Springmoor Herald: What are some examples of some food service improvements/activities you began at Brandon Oaks that residents there really liked?
Luke: “Prime Rib Night, A Seafood Buffet, A Tasting Menu with Wine Pairings, and Tastes of the World—Italian Night, French Cuisine, Moroccan, and Chinese, to name a few. We also do a Cookout in The Courtyard during the spring, summer and fall. These programs were developed over several years. It will take some time to get to know Springmoor, so that I can develop programs that are best for my new community.”
Springmoor Herald: What are your three favorite foods? What food would you most hate giving up?
Luke: “Pizza (2nd place is not even close), Steak with Cracked Peppercorns, and almost any Kid’s Cereal. There are two reasons for the cereal: one, my mother would never buy them for me when I was young. And two: when I work around food ten to eleven hours of a day, when I get home, sometimes I just want a nice bowl of sweet cereal. And the item I could never give up would be bread. I would have a REALLY difficult time giving it up, so I am glad I don’t have an issue with gluten.”
Springmoor Herald: Well, this brings up another question. Many of our residents would like to eat a healthier diet. How can you help them?
Luke: “Having delicious fruits and vegetables, lean fish, poultry, and meats, as well as whole grains, can tempt most residents to make really good choices. At Brandon Oaks we have a Heart Healthy Choice and Fresh Fish of the Day and I hope to do something similar here.”
Springmoor Herald: What do you like to do when you are not working? Are there any specific activities or sports that you like?
Luke: “I was a history major, so I love reading or watching ANYTHING with historical context, with an emphasis on the challenging times in American history: Civil War Era, WWII, and Vietnam. I am a big believer in the George Santayana quote ‘Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.’ I am a sport’s fanatic. I will play or watch just about any sport. I was watching cricket for two hours the other day and I still don’t have the slightest concept of the rules of that game but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I also love to learn anything with regard to food. I am always trying to stay up-to-date with new offerings, techniques, and anything that will enhance my knowledge of what I do for a living.”
Springmoor Herald: Has there been an encounter with a resident at Brandon Oaks that made you know how much your work is appreciated?
Luke: “When a resident has a birthday we usually put a candle in the dessert and sing to them in the dining room. One day, as our staff was celebrating a birthday, a resident said to me in passing, ‘I remember I would always get a banana split for my birthday when I was younger.’ Well, two months later, when that resident’s birthday came around, we made him a big old banana split. He could not believe it, and told me, ‘I remember telling you that story but I never imagined you would act on it. You have made my day!’ He continued, ‘This is why I made the decision to move to Brandon Oaks, because of people who care, like you and your staff.” Continue reading →