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!

 

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

Straight from the White House!

cauliflower mac and cheese

I present you with a super duper easy recipe straight from Michelle Obama’s kitchen!

This Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a favorite of Malia and Sasha and is now my go to comfort food dish. At first I was little apprehensive, I like cauliflower and all, but why ruin something as wonderful as macaroni and cheese? I was wrong – it is delicious. The cauliflower masks itself as additional cheese so  you think eating extra gooey and warm cheese when you’re actually getting a dose of healthy cauliflower. It is also man approved as Ryan said “gotta save this recipe!” (which I believe also means kid approved) Wohoo for being able to sneak veggies into something that is typically void of nutrients.

This was such a fast meal to make too – took me all of 20 minutes to prepare and then another 25 to bake. Perfect for a busy evening!

So without further ado, let me introduce you to my new favorite:

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces of pasta shells
1 cup skim milk
1 pound of your favorite mixing cheese (I used 1/2 a pound of skinny gouda and 1/2 a pound of sharp cheddar)
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.
  2. Steam the cauliflower until soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Puree the cauliflower, add some of the steaming liquid to thin the puree a tad bit.
  3. In a large casserole dish, combine the pasta and hot cauliflower puree. Add the milk, both cheeses, parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the butter and breadcrumbs with your fingers until it resembles damp sand. Sprinkle across the top of the pasta mixture, then place the dish in the oven for about 25 minutes until the top is crispy and the sauce is bubbling.

Serves 4 to 6.

Enjoy!

xoxo katie

Home Made Peanut Butter

I love peanut butter. I really really love peanut butter. Peanut butter on toast, peanut butter on pretzels, peanut butter on ice cream, peanut butter and Fluff, peanut butter and chocolate, peanut butter and celery, peanut butter and apples… Ryan feels the same way. We were going through jars of Skippy’s natural peanut butter with honey in a matter of days.

I decided to be smart and try to make my own peanut butter. Since we eat it by the spoonful it seemed best to try to avoid all those preservatives.

peanut butter

I decided to be smart and try to make my own peanut butter. Since we eat it by the spoonful it seemed best to try to avoid all those preservatives.

It’s simple and saves you a few bucks as well.

Here is what you will need:

Ingredients:

16 ounces of dry roasted UNSALTED peanuts

1 teaspoon of salt

1.5 table spoons of peanut oil

2 tablespoons of honey

Directions:

1. Place all the peanuts in your food processor and blend for 6 minutes. Pause to break up the peanuts and scrape them off the side. Don’t be discouraged if the peanuts are still crumbly looking after a few minutes. Just keep processing it!
2. After six minutes add the oil and the honey. Continue to process for another 8 minutes until the peanut butter is nice and creamy.
3. Once you have the desired texture, taste and add salt as needed. Once your peanut butter is creamy, taste it and add a bit of salt if you like.
4. Store in an air tight container in the fridge and stir before every use.

Be sure to use unsalted peanuts – I first made the mistake of using salted peanuts and ended up with a way too salty spread. 

Feel free to add other ingredients s as you wish like Chocolate, hazelnuts, cinnamon, more honey etc. Have fun!! I can’t wait to make cashew butter!