Category Archives: All

Thank you.

Just a quick message to say that I will be cancelling this domain in the near future to focus on another project. Thank you for your support.

Farmers Market Meal #11 – Snitz Half-Moon Pies

This post is the eleventh in a series on meals prepared from ingredients purchased from the farmers market (previous post: Farmers Market Meal #10 – Poached Salmon with Smashed Potatoes and Green Beans.) I’m fairly new to the farmers market scene. I’ve always had good intentions about purchasing local foods but never followed through because I felt lost walking through the stands wondering what to buy. I decided to combat this by coming up with a plan. Before going to the market, I research recipe ideas using seasonal ingredients with the objective of creating one easy meal with as many local ingredients as possible. This way, when I get to the market, I have focus. It definitely helps that my favorite market provides a sign up for weekly email updates about participating vendors and seasonal items.


I decided to make a dessert instead of a meal this week because I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try apple snitz half-moon pies. Apple snitz (also, spelled schnizt) means dried apples and is a staple among the Amish.

A few years ago, while browsing the book section of a discount store, I found a cookbook called Amish Cooks Across America by Kevin Williams and Lovina Eicher. It is a collection of recipes from Amish communities from Maine to Montana. (Who knew the Amish were in so many more states than just Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana?) The book is divided into four regions: East, Midwest, South, and West. In addition to the recipes, which center on ingredients popular to a particular region, the book highlights various Amish communities within each region, which makes it more than just a cookbook.

Since finding this book, I’ve wanted to try the recipe for snitz half-moon pies. Flash forward to the present. I was browsing a farmers market during my lunchtime, when to my delight, I discovered our local fruit farm sells dried apple snitz. The time had come to try this recipe.

The recipe is surprisingly simple. Place the snitz (8 ounces) in a pot with water (1.5 to 2 cups), cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the apples are soft and look like the apples slices in a traditional pie. Drain the snitz and mix with brown sugar (3/4 cup) and little bit of cinnamon (1/4 tsp) and salt (1/4 tsp) to make the filling.

For the crust, any pie dough recipe that makes enough for two 9-inch pie crusts can be used. Cut each crust in half to create four halves and spoon a quarter of the filling on each, leaving enough room to fold the dough over the filling and to seal the edges. (Note: According to the recipe, I should have made six 8-inch circles to ultimately make six half-moons, but I took a shortcut and made four large quarter-moons from the two pie crusts.)  Prick the pastry a few times with a fork to allow the steam to escape and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for approximately 15 minutes in a preheated 450 degree oven.

FarmMarketMeal11_BeforeFarmMarketMeal11_After

Easy and delicious.

Farmers Market Meal #10 – Poached Salmon with Smashed Potatoes and Green Beans

This post is the tenth in a series on meals prepared from ingredients purchased from the farmers market (previous post: Farmers Market Meal #9 – Ravioli Lasagna with Spinach.) I’m fairly new to the farmers market scene. I’ve always had good intentions about purchasing local foods but never followed through because I felt lost walking through the stands wondering what to buy. I decided to combat this by coming up with a plan. Before going to the market, I research recipe ideas using seasonal ingredients with the objective of creating one easy meal with as many local ingredients as possible. This way, when I get to the market, I have focus. It definitely helps that my favorite market provides a sign up for weekly email updates about participating vendors and seasonal items.


What does it mean for food to be “local”? Does that mean the food was grown, raised, or made in the vicinity? Does it mean sustainable methods were used? Does it mean you can talk to the producer? Does it mean your money stays in the local economy? All of the above? Some of the above?

I am thinking about these questions because my meal this week is poached salmon with smashed potatoes and green beans. How could I find salmon at a farmers market in central Pennsylvania? Captain Dan of Captain Dan’s Alaska Salmon travels to Alaska part of the year to catch salmon with hook & line, 1 fish at a time then blast freezes it for sale near his hometown in Pennsylvania.

Regardless of my musings over the definition of a local food, I wanted green beans and potatoes this week and felt a salmon filet would be a good pairing.

FarmMarketMeal10_BeforeFarmMarketMeal10_After

As you can see from the after picture, I kind of botched the poaching, but I enjoyed the opportunity to have “local” salmon.

Farmers Market Meal #9 – Ravioli Lasagna with Spinach

This post is the ninth in a series on meals prepared from ingredients purchased from the farmers market (previous post: Farmers Market Meal #8 – Corn and Bean Soup.) I’m fairly new to the farmers market scene. I’ve always had good intentions about purchasing local foods but never followed through because I felt lost walking through the stands wondering what to buy. I decided to combat this by coming up with a plan. Before going to the market, I research recipe ideas using seasonal ingredients with the objective of creating one easy meal with as many local ingredients as possible. This way, when I get to the market, I have focus. It definitely helps that my favorite market provides a sign up for weekly email updates about participating vendors and seasonal items.


Note: Last week, I made two meals because I knew I would not make it to my favorite farmers market the following weekend. This post is the second of those meals.

I often end up with left over ingredients. For example, when I made my poached eggs in tomato sauce, I had leftover sauce.  I also had leftover spinach purchased for salads to eat for lunch, which I tired of after only two days. At least with the pasta, I had the forethought to put it in the freezer. With the spinach, I would normally toss it in the compost bin content that it would have a second life as fertilizer. However, after reading the book The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia Bone, which I mentioned in my previous post, I felt compelled to be more creative in my use of leftovers.

I feel really fortunate (and perhaps a little like I am cheating) to have a local pasta maker at my farmers market. Pasta can be mixed with so many things to make an easy meal. While at the market, I purchased ricotta-stuffed ravioli and cheese to combine with my leftover sauce and spinach to make a quick ravioli-lasagna dish, similar to this recipe posted by the Seasoned Vegetable.

FarmMarketMeal09_BeforeFarmMarketMeal09_After

I know I won’t tire of this meal the way I tired of the salads.

Farmers Market Meal #8 – Corn and Bean Soup

This post is the eighth in a series on meals prepared from ingredients purchased from the farmers market (previous post: Farmers Market Meal #7 – Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce.) I’m fairly new to the farmers market scene. I’ve always had good intentions about purchasing local foods but never followed through because I felt lost walking through the stands wondering what to buy. I decided to combat this by coming up with a plan. Before going to the market, I research recipe ideas using seasonal ingredients with the objective of creating one easy meal with as many local ingredients as possible. This way, when I get to the market, I have focus. It definitely helps that my favorite market provides a sign up for weekly email updates about participating vendors and seasonal items.


For my birthday, my sister gave me a really interesting cookbook called The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia Bone. The author has created a cooking/meal planning system that involves three steps: 1) make dishes with as many seasonal ingredients as possible and preserve the left overs for use later; 2) replace commercial products in the pantry with homemade ones; and 3) prepare base recipes (like soup stock) from the parts you usually throw away. Each chapter is centered on a particular ingredient (like apples, chicken, rhubarb, etc.) and begins with a flow chart showing the dishes that can be made fresh, from preserves, and from scraps using that ingredient. The book also contains many tips on preserving and cooking techniques.

Corn has recently appeared at my favorite market, so I decided to make corn and bean soup (despite it being 80+ degrees outside) inspired from a recipe from this book. As a bonus, the soup also contains tomatoes, another seasonal ingredient. Of course, I decided to take a short cut by buying broth and canned beans from the supermarket. That’s not exactly in the spirit of this book, but hopefully the author will give me a pass because, as she states, it took her 25 years to hone her system.

For this dish, I sauteed onion in a soup pot then added diced tomatoes and allowed them to melt down. I then added the broth, beans, and corn (kernels cut from the cob plus one cob thrown in for flavor) and let that simmer for a while. When I served the soup, I garnished it with pesto (also from the market) and homemade breadcrumbs. The soup turned out great (the after picture is from my second helping).

FarmMarketMeal08_BeforeFarmMarketMeal08_After

I definitely recommend checking out The Kitchen Ecosystem. This is a very well thought out book, which I think would be appreciated by anyone interested in less waste and sustainability.

Farmers Market Meal #7 – Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce

This post is the seventh in a series on meals prepared from ingredients purchased from the farmers market (previous post: Crust-less Cottage Cheese Quiche). I’m fairly new to the farmers market scene. I’ve always had good intentions about purchasing local foods but never followed through because I felt lost walking through the stands wondering what to buy. I decided to combat this by coming up with a plan. Before going to the market, I research recipe ideas using seasonal ingredients with the objective of creating one easy meal with as many local ingredients as possible. This way, when I get to the market, I have focus. It definitely helps that my favorite market provides a sign up for weekly email updates about participating vendors and seasonal items.


Last week, I made a quiche. Since I had a few eggs left over from my prior trip to the farmers market, it seemed logical to make another meal with eggs this week.

One of my favorite ways to have eggs is poached in tomato sauce served over crusty bread. Since I already had the eggs, I just needed to buy some sauce and a loaf of bread from the farmers market, but while there, I couldn’t resist also buying black raspberries and a homemade sticky bun to turn it into brunch.

FarmMarketMeal07_BeforeFarmMarketMeal07_After

If you’ve been following my posts, you know I like meals that are super easy to make. It doesn’t get any easier than this.

Farmers Market Meal #6 – Crust-less Cottage Cheese Quiche

This post is the sixth in a series on meals prepared from ingredients purchased from the farmers market (previous post: Farmers Market Meal #5 – Apple Butter and Cream Cheese Pastry). I’m fairly new to the farmers market scene. I’ve always had good intentions about purchasing local foods but never followed through because I felt lost walking through the stands wondering what to buy. I decided to combat this by coming up with a plan. Before going to the market, I research recipe ideas using seasonal ingredients with the objective of creating one easy meal with as many local ingredients as possible. This way, when I get to the market, I have focus. It definitely helps that my favorite market provides a sign up for weekly email updates about participating vendors and seasonal items.


My mother used to make a cottage cheese quiche topped with French fried onion rings. I am not sure where she got the original recipe, but I know she clipped it from a magazine. I decided to recreate it using ingredients from the farmers market. I include the original recipe at the end, but to make it totally from the market, I made a few alterations. Instead of using a pie crust, I made it crust-less by sauteing sliced zucchini and using the slices to line the pie dish. Instead of the French fried onion rings, I caramelized diced onion. I also substituted feta cheese for the Swiss, but this was because I had some on hand from a previous trip to the farmers market and wanted to use it up. I paired the quiche with a tomato and basil salad. (The basil came from a pot on my patio.)

FarmMarketMeal06_BeforeFarmMarketMeal06_After

My quiche didn’t look as nice as I hoped (or how I remembered my Mom’s), but what it lacked in presentation, it made up for in taste.

COTTAGE CHEESE QUICHE

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell
2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 eggs
Small grated onion or chives
Salt and pepper
1/2 (3 ounce) can French-fried onion rings, crushed

Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 400. Partially bake pie shell until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce temperature to 350. Combine cottage cheese and Swiss cheese, eggs, chives, salt and pepper and beat well. Turn into pie shell. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with crushed onion rings. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing into wedges and serving.

AMOUNT: 5 servings