Regional Food From Lancaster: Tell Me About Your Town

Every month, Amanda from Amanda Moments does a fun link up asking bloggers to share specific tid bits about their town/region. This is my first time participating but it’s been fun reading about different areas of the states throughout the past couple of months. 

This month the prompt was a favorite topic for most people: FOOD! So I’m here to talk to you about regional food from Lancaster, PA:

foodlancasterpa

Photo courtesy of discolverlancasterpa.com

My hometown of Lancaster, PA is known for its Pennsylvania Dutch culture. What is PA Dutch? Not people from Holland….

Pennsylvania Dutch refers to the heritage of German immigrants that made their way to PA in the late 17th century. Some of these PA Dutch immigrants were part of the plain sect Anabaptists who would become what we now know as the Amish. Other assimilated easily with the English and became part of the general community. Yet, PA Dutch culture remains extremely conservative and traditional, with a desire to reject too much change.  

Most of the food that Lancaster, PA is traditional PA Dutch recipes. These are recipes from the 18th century that have changed very little over the years. 

You’d think that with the abundance of fresh produce and meats from the fertile farmland of the Susquehanna Valley we’d have standard healthy and whole recipes. That is not that case. 

Here are a few of Lancaster’s famous PA Dutch foods:

Whoopie Pies

chocolate-whoopie-pies

 Two small pieces of cake, made into a sandwich with a creamy center! Deliciousness! These were originated by German immigrants when they had leftover cake batter. Legend says that they got their name because every time farmers or kids would open their lunch pail to find these treats they’d yell out, “Whoopie!” 

PA Dutch Chicken Pot Pie

chicken-pot-pie

Lancaster’s version of Chicken Pot Pie is not like your grandmother’s pot pie (unless you’re from Lancaster of course!) This dish is a soup, made in a pot with chicken, veggies, and large flat egg noodles (pot pie noodles). There is no crust. I have no idea why it’s still called a pie…

ShooFly Pie

sho fly pie

 Shoofly pie is a molasses pie that gets its name due to the flies that were drawn to the sweet and sticky ingredients and needed to be “shooed” away. It’s very dense and not a favorite of mine at all. 

Chow Chow

chowchow

Lancaster is known for its pickles, relishes, and other pickled items. Chow Chow is basically a mix of summer veggies, pickled and mixed together. 

Faschnauts

faschnauts

 These fried donuts are such a big deal Lancaster has a whole day dedicated to them! Faschnaut Day is the day before lent, the time to clean out your pantry of all the extra lard, sugar, fat and butter. They aren’t as sweet as any other fried donut you’d have but they sure are popular on Faschnaut Day. You can order ahead at your grocery store and as a child I always looked forward to getting mine during school lunch. 

Pretzels

Pretzels Lancaster-PA

 My favorite salty snack! Lancaster is known for pretzels and many are made right here! Some of the more famous local brands are Hammonds, Sturgis, Martins. There are even pretzel tours you can go on and one local town’s mascot is a pretzel! I prefer mine covered in chocolate (preferably from local Hershey chocolate!) Pretzels not your thing? Utz chips are made locally as well.

hersheypa

 And of course we have Hershey’s chocolate made right here in Hershey, PA. The whole town smells like chocolate, it’s mouth-watering. 

 What food is your town known for? Check out the other bloggers linking up this week talking about their famous regional food! 

Amanda Moments

Crescent Roll Cheesy Bites (my easiest and most popular recipe)

crescentrolls

These little appetizers are my go to recipe to make for any party, get together, or snack for movie night at home.

I started making them a few years ago when trying to throw together a snack with random ingredients I had in my fridge. Since then I’ve tried all different variations and make them almost every other week.

They are always a crowd pleaser and are  so very easy to make.

Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

  • 1 roll of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 1 block of Cream Cheese
  • 3/4 cup of your choice of shredded cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon of taco seasoning
  • Plus any extra add ins. For example I sometimes throw in Corn, Onions, Green Peppers, or Chicken

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a mini muffin pan and set aside.
  • Let the cream cheese soften a bit.
  • In a mixer, mix together the cream cheese, shredded cheese and any other ingredients you wish to add.
  • Unwrap the crescent rolls and rip off a pieces that is approximately 2×2 inches. Flatten the roll on the counter and place a spoonful of the mixed cheese mixture in the center of the dough. Fold up the edges to create a little ball. Place the ball into the mini muffin pan.
  • Repeat until you have used all of the crescent rolls. 
  • Bake the bites in the oven for 8-9 minutes (or until they are a little toasted on top)
  • Devour them!

 

Currently: Freezing

IMG_5287.JPG

It’s freezing outside and my brain is barely working. 

-20 degrees with windchill and no signs of approving. My garage door is smart. It refuses to work when it is this cold. My car doesn’t even have a chance to warm up and start pumping out heat by the time I get to work. Everything is frozen. And I’m over it. What was it like to wear stylish clothes? Shoes that are not Uggs? Have clean hair every day? (I’m procrastinate washing my hair because it’s too cold to have wet hair). Our gas company called and kindly requested we keep our thermostat at 65 degrees of below. They are worried about outages. Meanwhile, my face hurts and breathing feels like death. Over it. 

Here’s a more of peek into my current world:

Reading: I just finished Jodi Picoult’s newest book, “Leaving Time”. It wasn’t one of my top favorites of her books but still a good distraction when the only way to stay warm is bundled up in bed. I’ll be sharing another “recently read” next week.

Watching: With Parenthood officially over (and I’m still crying, so many babies!) I needed a new family drama. There really isn’t that many real life family dramas on TV anymore. It’s all action pack, crime filled, mystery fueled, shows. I like a good emotionally charged drama. I was surprised to find it in ABC Family’s “The Fosters”. This show is good! Sure it has it’s moments of overly teenage drama but on a whole it’s a good show. I binged on Netflix and am now caught up. 

Wanting: Isn’t this obvious? Warm Weather. Now. 

Thinking: About where we will be moving to this summer. I wish I knew what was in store and we could anticipate what housing will available come June/July.

Needing: I know it’s wrong to want to skip ahead and I should really be enjoying the moment, I want winter to be over so that, yes, we can experience some normal temperature. But also because we are almost near the end of Ryan’s law school career. His last day of classes is on April 27 and he graduates May 21. This last semester seems to be dragging out for him and he’s experiencing some major “senioritis”. Let’s just get through these last few weeks! Freedom is so close.

Cooking: I’ve been on a big pizza kick lately. I think because it’s easy and warm.  Also not cooking and eating a lot of Mexican food. See also, warm, cheesy, carb heavy. Perfect winter food. 

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Listening: To the Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville station on Sirius Radio. I don’t care if that makes me a 50-year-old, I love how it makes me feel like I’m at the beach sipping a fruity drink and listening to the waves crash. I try. See margarita above.

Planning For: Birthday month in March! Ryan turns the big 3-0 and I turn 32 (yikes!)

I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to lately! Let me know below!

 

 

Pesto Quinoa Zucchini Boats

Zucchini Boats

Summer, the perfect season to eat healthy, when fresh veggies and fruit spring up all over and can be purchased cheaply.

Right now, zucchini are on sale at my town’s farmer’s markets for 5 for $1. With an abundance of zucchini on hand and a stomach that is so tired of zucchini bread I decided to experiment with a new recipe. 

Pesto Quinoa Zucchini Boats!

What You Need:

5 medium to large zucchini

1 cup of quinoa

2 tablespoons of pesto

2 tablespoons of reduced fat cream cheese 

1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese

Directions:

1. Using a spoon, carve the zucchini into “boats”. Scoop out the seedy section making enough of a bowl to stuff with your quinoa mixture.

2. Bake the plain zucchini in the oven (preheated to 325 degrees) for 25 minutes or until they are soft. 

3. Meanwhile, prepare your quinoa on your stove top. 

4. Once the quinoa is ready and fluffed, mix in your pesto and cream cheese. Stir generously.

5. Remove the zucchini boats from the oven, fill them with the quinoa mixture and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

6. Place zucchini boats back in the oven for another 4-5 minutes until the cheese melts. 

Enjoy!

zucchini boats 2

What else do you like to make with zucchini? I’d love to try other new recipes. 

xoxo Katie

 

 

Cranberry, Pecan, and White Cheddar Cheese Ball Recipe

cranberrypecancheddarcheeseball
This post is about cheese, what more do you need to know?

This summer has been filled with a lot of wine and toasting. What goes good with wine? Cheese. (Actually what doesn’t go with cheese?) This savory and sweet cheese ball goes well with both white wine and red wine as well as fun conversations with girl friends or long talks on docks with your love. (I made this cheese ball for both a girls’ night in as well as our anniversary trip to the Finger Lakes.)

It’s easy. Super easy. So if you’re still looking for a last-minute recipe to make for a Fourth of July get together you’ve found it!

I hope you all have a fun long weekend celebrating with friends and family. My best friend gets married this Saturday and I’m a ball of emotions. It’s going to be a beautiful wedding weekend. Think of me as I nervously await my Matron of Honor speech – I’m terrified of public speaking!  But in all seriousness, I can’t wait to celebrate her and her love all weekend long. They are the most adorable couple.  Cheers to them! 

Now go and enjoy some wine with this awesome cheese ball:

Cranberry, Pecan, and White Cheddar Cheese Ball:

cheeseball
 Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Chopped Pecans
  • 8 ounces of Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 8 ounces, weight Shredded Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1-½ cup Dried Cranberries

Directions:

  • Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the chopped pecans evenly over the baking pan and bake for 5 minutes.
  • In a mixer, beat together the softened cream cheese and the shredded white cheddar cheese. 
  • Add in the pecans, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Mix until everything is well blended. About 5 minutes. 
  • Remove the mixture from the mixer and form it into a ball. Wrap the ball in Saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes. (I did mine the night before and let it sit in the fridge over night because of timing)
  • Remove the cheese ball from the fridge and remove the Saran wrap. Cover the cheese ball in dried cranberries. You will have to push the cranberries into the cheese ball to secure them into place.
  • Serve with crackers and enjoy! 

cranberrypecanwhitecheddarcheeseball
spread 
xoxo Katie

Sweet Potato Pizza Pie

SweetPotatoPizzaPie  
Yes, you read that correctly sweet potato and pizza, together!

This has become my new favorite recipes. You see, I go on these binges where I rotate the same 4-5 recipes over and over until I get sick of them. Sweet Potato Pizza Pie has been in heavy rotation in my house lately, Ryan and I are both big fans.

I first discovered this amazing combination of nutrient rich sweet potatoes and pizza at one of my favorite local restaurants, John J Jeffries, a local spot that is known for using all locally grown products and turning out tasty, sustainable, and organic meals and libations.

I quickly became obsessed with their Sweet Potato Pizza Pie. I kept going back for more and unless I wanted to spend all our monthly restaurant budget on this pie I was determined to learn how to make it at home. 

And that I did, for under $5.00 per pizza (that is twice the size of the restaurant’s version.)

Why do I love this pizza so much? One, I have an aversion to tomato sauce and can’t handle more than a tablespoon at a time. Therefore regular pizza is sadly not something I can fit into my regular diet. As this pie substitutes sweet potato puree for tomato sauce I can fully enjoy it without worry about the after effects.

Secondly, sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients and antioxidants, earning them the nomination of one of the healthiest foods we can eat. They makes this dish filling and nutritional. (unlike regular pizza).

Also it’s cheap and easy

So, for Leslie’s Recipe Confessional Friday, a fun way to swap recipes and discover new recipe standards, I thought I’d share MY version of Sweet Potato Pizza Pie. 

Sweet Potato Pizza Pie
Let’s get to it!

What You Will Need:

  • One average sized Sweet Potato
  • Pizza Crust (you can make your own, but I cheat and use Trader Joe’s Garlic and Herb Pizza dough and roll it out into a pie)
  • around 1/4 cup onions diced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms
  • Shredded Colby Cheese (I use 1/2 cup but you can use less or more)
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Basil 
  • oregano (to your liking)

Directions:

  1.  Peel the sweet potato and cook it in the microwave or the oven until it is cooked through. You want it to be softer than it would be if you were cooking it to eat with a fork. 
  2.  Puree the sweet potato in a food processor. Set aside.
  3.  Dice the onions and cut up the mushrooms.
  4.  Prepare you pizza crust and lay it out on your baking pan or pizza stone.
  5.   Using a spatula, evenly spread the sweet potato puree over the pizza crust. (remember this is our “sauce”)
  6.   Top with onions, mushrooms, and basil.
  7.  Top with cheese.
  8.  Bake at 350 degrees for however long your pizza crust needs to bake for (depends on what type you use). I bake mine for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown. 
  9.  Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. 
  10.  Top with oregano and serve!

sweet potato pizza pie

Sure to be a hit!

(please ignore the nutritional information calculated below. This was automatically generated and it not correct. The total fat and calories depend on the type of crust and cheese you decide to use)

Have a great holiday weekend! It’s the official start of summer with temps expecting to rise into the 80’s. I’m breaking out the maxi dresses and flip-flops and chilling.  See ya on Monday!

xoxo Katie
Sweet Potato Pizza Pie
Serves 4
A nutritional pizza using sweet potatoes, onions, mushrooms, herbs, and colby jack cheese on a garlic herb crust. (A tomato free pizza!)
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
6 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
16 min
Prep Time
6 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
16 min
111 calories
12 g
14 g
5 g
5 g
3 g
73 g
50 g
3 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
73g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 111
Calories from Fat 44
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
8%
Saturated Fat 3g
15%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 14mg
5%
Sodium 50mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 12g
4%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 3g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
95%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
14%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. One average sized Sweet Potato
  2. Pizza Crust (you can make your own, but I cheat and use Trader Joe’s Garlic and Herb Pizza dough and roll it out into a pie)
  3. around 1/4 cup onions diced
  4. 1/2 cup mushrooms
  5. Shredded Colby Cheese (I use 1/2 cup but you can use less or more)
  6. 1/2 Tbsp of Basil
  7. Oregano (to your liking)
Instructions
  1. 1. Peel and cook the sweet potato in the microwave or the oven until it is cooked through. You want it to be softer than it would be if you were cooking it to eat with a fork.
  2. 2. Puree the sweet potato in a food processor. Set aside.
  3. 3. Dice the onions and cut up the mushrooms.
  4. 4. Prepare you pizza crust and lay it out on your baking pan or pizza stone.
  5. 5. Using a spatula, evenly spread the sweet potato puree over the pizza crust. (remember this is our “sauce”)
  6. 6. Top with onions, mushrooms, and basil.
  7. 7. Top with cheese.
  8. 8. Bake at 350 degrees for however long your pizza crust needs to bake for (depends on what type you use). I bake mine for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown.
  9. 9. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  10. 10. Top with oregano and serve!
beta
calories
111
fat
5g
protein
5g
carbs
12g
more
A Beautiful Little Adventure http://abeautifullittleadventure.com/
 

 

 

 

 

A Favorite Recipe: Light Chicken Salad (no mayo!)

light chicken salad made with greek yogurt

Chicken salad is one of my go to comfort foods. It’s light yet filling and goes well on a salad, on bread, or in a wrap. Easy for picnics, road trips, or a packed work lunch.

My favorite store-bought chicken salad is Trader Joe’s wine country chicken salad with cranberries and pecans. I could eat an entire container in one sitting, it’s that good. But at 11 grams of fat per serving I only allowed myself to purchase it as a special treat.

Over the past year I’ve mastered a lighter version of my favorite chicken salad. What is the secret?Fat free greek yogurt!

light chicken salad

By simply replacing yucky processed mayonnaise with greek yogurt you save your waistline for a whole lot of damage and also increase your protein and probiotics intake. The greek yogurt offers the same texture and tangy taste as the mayo but cuts the calories and fat into half!

The recipe below makes enough to feed Ryan and I for lunch for three days. You’re going to love it and will never want full fat mayo chicken salad again.

Ingredients:

  • 1 full rotisserie chicken cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt (adjust to your liking. Recipe is fine with more or less)
  • 1 cup diced celery (I like a lot of celery)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup craisens
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp stevia (or other natural sweetener)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Enjoy chilled on a salad, wrap, crackers, or bread. Happy taste buds and no guilt!

greek yogurt chicken salad

xoxo Katie