Serenity Sometimes

Embracing the chaos one day at a time. A blog about my adventures in food, photography, fitness and fun.

A Trip to the Farmer’s Market and a Recipe

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cornkalefritters

I’ve been wanting to try a recipe post for a while now. It always seemed like a relatively large undertaking. I mean, I love to cook and I love to take pictures, but both things at once? Just a little daunting. I have to say it was a lot of fun but pretty time consuming. I have a deep respect for all of those food bloggers out there, I can tell you that much.

I stopped at the farmer’s market on my way home from work today and I was inspired by all the fresh local fruits and vegetables.

Beautiful berries.

Towers of tomatoes.

Let me tell you… There are few sweeter pleasures in life than a ripe Lancaster tomato. Okay maybe there are, but just go with it. I’m trying to set a mood here, people.

I ended up selecting some kale and local sweet corn to be my star ingredients.

Here is the cast of characters:

First combine all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Flour, cornmeal, paprika and salt.

This isn’t just any paprika, it’s smoked paprika. If you haven’t tried it, you must. Believe me when I tell you that it’s amazing.

Oh how I love thee.

Cut some corn off the cob or use frozen corn if you are in a hurry, I won’t judge.

Chop up some kale.

Now mix the kale and corn in with the dry ingredients and set aside.

Next, melt some butter. Here I am using homemade butter from a local Amish farm.

To. Die. For.

Melt up a couple of table spoons, and mix into the eggs and milk.

If you are anything like me when you cook, this is where you take a break to clean up the huge mess you made on the counter.

OK, all cleaned up. Now heat up a pan with a little olive oil and throw in some onion and garlic.

Let them get nice and golden.

Now fold those into the dry ingredients.

Add the liquid ingredients and stir up everything together.

You should be smiling at this point because you are so close to being able to eat them!

Heat up a little more olive oil in your pan on medium heat and use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to portion out your fritter mixture.

They won’t take long, maybe two minutes on each side.

Serve them with some sour cream and smoked chipotle Tabasco sauce, or find your own favorite toppings.

Enjoy!

Sweet Corn & Potato Fritters

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen and thawed)
2 cups firmly packed finely chopped kale
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 cups milk
Extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup chopped onion

Mix the first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat the eggs, and mix in melted butter and milk.In a large sautée pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, and sautée about 3 minutes or until golden. Combine onion and garlic with the other dry ingredients. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together. Heat your pan to medium to medium high and coat it with a thin layer of oil. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop out the batter. Fry about 2 minutes on both sides until browned. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to soak up extra oil.


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Taco Tailgate

Less than stellar weather did not deter us from rockin’ out with our tacos out

When our friend Brian called and shared with us his vision of a taco tailgate with friends, I was immediately swept up in the excitement. Me being the dreamer and my husband being the planner, we sprung into action with our contribution to the tailgate. Having just come down off a super successful batch of pork carnitas I made on Cinco de Mayo, we knew that we had a winner for the taco filling.

What could be more All-American than baseball and carnitas tacos?

And I don’t mean to brag, but we always have requests for my pretty much famous guacamole, so that was a no brainer.

Demonstrating the always popular “Taco within a Taco” technique

Note to self: Don’t let the bachelor determine on his own the amount of taco fixings to buy. We ended up with 3 entire bags of shredded lettuce, 7 pounds of shredded cheese (that isn’t an exaggeration), 5 containers of fresh salsa, 4 huge bags of tostitos and 2 quarts of sour cream. There were 9 of us. 

Breathtaking action shot of beer pong

I should mention that the only thing we ran out of was beer. Go figure. And I didn’t even drink any, if that’s what you’re thinking.

Random shenanigans

Random shenanigans

I am not a huge sports enthusiast, but I like to cheer for the home team and I remember going to Phillies games as a little girl, so they always hold a special place in my heart. I have a tendency to get really devastated if I invest a whole season following a team only for them to lose everything in some final playoff/series/bowl game. So I keep a guarded heart when it comes to getting super “into it” like some people do. Being a Philadelphia fan seems to bring along with it many opportunities for broken hearts. Plus, I’m just super fucking sensitive.

I would definitely say that the highlight of the day was spending time with friends and getting to eat all the delicious food. The weather generally blew (chilly, damp and scattered showers) and the Phillies lost. Oh well…We’ll always have tacos.

Taco Tailgate – A culinary home run!


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Hipster Food

Farm to table. Organic. Sustainable. These are all buzz words used to describe restaurants that place their focus on the freshness of the ingredients, as well as obtaining these ingredients from local sources. They’re like the Indie bands of restaurants. And though it’s a little bit trendy right now, it’s one trend I am a huge fan of. What’s not to like about it? Supporting the local economy? Check. Creatively crafted menus with a healthy respect of local history and tradition? Check. Caring about the shit you put in your food? Check.

So last night we headed on over to the John J. Jeffries. It’s a unique name, with a cool inspiration. The story is, that when they were renovating the building, they found the stamp of a tobacco inspector from the late 1800’s. The name on that stamp? You guessed it. John J. Jeffries. The inside has the same cool, historic/industrial feel, with exposed brick everywhere and thick wooden beams overhead. The hotel lobby area was a mixture of this same look with eclectic art displayed throughout, and modern, glass entryways.

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The restaurant is located in the historic Lancaster Arts Hotel

Obviously the most important thing is the food, duh. I didn’t come here to stare at brick all night. Of course I had already creeped on their website pre-visit and checked out their menu, because I’m a dork like that. I was still pleasantly surprised with some new choices, since their selection switches up constantly depending on what is fresh, in season and available locally. For appetizer we had a buttery beef tartare and a saltily delicious hunk of pork belly on top of a savory sweet pancake topped with maple syrup. I believe it was called “Pork Belly Love”. Mmmmmm… Bacon. We also split a cheese plate with a selection of 4 local cheeses. A blue, a creamy and pungent Camembert-like cheese, a smoked Gouda (my husband’s favorite) and a mild Tomme type cheese. I think my favorite was the blue.

Crappy phone pictures of our food

Crappy phone pictures of our food

For dinner I had Wild Alaskan Black Cod and he chose a mexican-ish gordita with braised pork. I swear that man would just eat pork products all day every day if I let him. OK,  maybe pork and iced cream. Dessert was tres leches cake with caramel sauce,  chocolate mousse, and a nice pot of french pressed coffee. Every time I drink coffee out of a french press it makes me feel very fancy and European. It also takes freaking awesome. Also I should note that the service was excellent. And I know because I waitressed my way through college. Our server was attentive, but not too overbearing. She did ask me if I knew that the beef tartare was raw, which kind of irritated me, but she must have run into that before so I guess I get it. I suppose that’s what you get when you live in a place where people’s idea of a gourmet meal is Olive Garden. Sigh. So that was dinner. Would I recommend it? Yes. Would I go back there again? Absolutely!