Pizza, who doesn’t love pizza? Ever since I returned from Italy a few years ago, pizza has never been the same for me. The pizza in Italy is fresh and made with in season and local ingredients. Once I returned I found pizza at many of the chain places boring and I learned I could make delicious pizza at home. And then I discovered The Fridge.
What is unique about The Fridge? Let me start with the quality of the pizza. First of all, it is a flat bread pizza which they make there. It is really tasty. Also, the ingredients are fresh and made with local ingredients which is a plus for me. The thing that keeps me coming back to this restaurant is that their pizzas constantly change. Lastly, the food is not just pizza. They have a daily sandwich special, hummus (which also the flavor changes frequently), a daily soup and sides. My favorite side item there is horseradish pickles. They are tangy and sweet and something one must try if you like pickles.
The Fridge is not just known for the food, wait until you see the beer selection. I admit, I am not a huge beer drinker nor am I a connoisseur when it comes to talking about beer, but this place has opened my eyes to the world of beer. This past week I had the Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale, which I am a complete fan of. The Fridge has several beers on tap as well as a huge selection of bottled beers. They sell micro, imported and local beers, it is worth checking this place out just to see their unique selection.
On the whole, I adore this place. The Fridge is unique and the food is exceptional. Make a trip to Lancaster City and check this place out. It is definitely worth the trip!
This is the first installment of a series of entries I am writing about Lancaster City. First off, I do not live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I live about an hour outside of Lancaster, but I adore the city so much that I am there frequently. I visit local restaurants, I frequent the Central Market and I regularly shop at many of the stores in the City. Lancaster is beautiful, the people are friendly and there are tons of events to attend on the weekends. Personally, I love the history involved in Lancaster, but I also love the feel of the City. First stop in this segment: Ice Cream.
I admit, I am an ice cream addict. I can probably tell you where to find ice cream within a 45-mile radius of my house. In my mind, there is nothing better than the ice cream from Carmen & David’s Creamery. In addition, in the summer, there is definitely nothing better on a hot day than ice cream.
Carmen & David’s ice cream is not your average ice cream. It is smooth, creamy and like no other ice cream I have ever tasted. The flavors range from the common flavors such as chocolate (milk or dark), vanilla, strawberry, mint chocolate chip, etc. But then they also have flavors that change frequently such as: blackberry, peanut butter Oreo, banana bread, as well as sherbets and sorbets. I can honestly say I have never had a flavor of ice cream there that I did not enjoy.
One of the benefits of frequenting local shops is they can tell you exactly what is in the ice cream. Everything is made right there, and in my book that is a huge benefit.
I cannot say enough good things about Carmen and David’s Creamery. If you are in Lancaster, stop by and I promise you will not regret it.
Over the past year, I have been trying to avoid eating any type of processed foods. This means anything that has ingredients that I would not find in my kitchen. This is hard when life gets busy, but it makes all the difference. I usually try to avoid food that comes out of a bag, can or box as well (since most of these food products are processed). The one thing I gave up because I thought it would be too difficult to make because of my busy schedule was ranch dressing. Boy was I wrong, this is so simple and I promise you, you will never use the stuff in a bottle again.
The recipe is really simple: make a base with mayonnaise (the real stuff, not sandwich spread or fat free stuff), sour cream and buttermilk and then throw in garlic and a bunch or herbs. It really is that easy. Here is my recipe:
1/3 cup Mayonaise
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk (add more to your liking to the consistency you want)
2 cloves of garlic (if you are not a garlic fan like I am, use only 1 clove)
1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
Add dill, parsley, chives, salt, white pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika.
Blend the first 6 ingredients together; then add the herbs (for me good dried spices are fine). I add about 2 tbsp dill and chives and about 1 tbsp of parsley. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika to taste. Blend everything together and let the dressing chill for a few hours before you serve.
Voila, it is as simple as that. A homemade ranch dressing that is so much better than the stuff you buy. With spring vegetables starting to make an appearance here in the Mid-Atlantic, you will have many uses for this dressing.
Until next time, enjoy experimenting with fresh ingredients.
In the second part of the movie is the famous chariot race scene. This is what I used to base the theme of my dinner.
What says chariot race better than wagon wheels. First up, pasta salad using wagon wheels. Pasta salad is a fantastic food to make because you can use anything you want. The one I make uses the pasta, tomatoes, onions, orange sweet peppers, black olives, cucumbers, and pepperoni. My trick to pasta salad is: once the pasta is cooked put it in a bowl with onions. This allows some of the strong onion taste to disappear. I also put some of the dressing (I use a balsamic vinaigrette) on the hot pasta. The pasta absorbs the dressing. Once the pasta has cooled, I put in the rest of the vegetables and the pepperoni. I add salt and pepper to taste and more dressing if needed.
The other part of this meal was based on the chariot scene as well. Ben-Hur raced a Roman, Messala, who believed in the glory of Rome. To go with this sort of Roman theme, I made Italian Meatball Burgers which are based on a Cooking Light recipe. These are one of our favorites because I make them one night for burgers and another night during the week I use the burgers in a spaghetti sauce. With life being busy, this meals gives us lots of leftovers. The only addition to this recipe is I put in chopped onion in with the meat mixture as well as add a little steak sauce for a binder. If you enjoy sausage sandwiches or meatball sandwiches, you will enjoy these burgers.
I am still on my crusade to stop using processed foods, and this is one meal where I can accomplish that. One thing I have found that helps is freezing fruits and vegetables in the summer. I still have a ton of blueberries, tomatoes and jalapenos in the freezer, which helps. Next week is Fat Tuesday, so I most likely will be using some of my frozen tomatoes to make a meal.
Chow for Now,
The Oracle of Eating
The winter in Pennsylvania brings tasteless fruits and vegetables, and it is about this time of the year I begin counting the days down until asparagus and strawberry seasons start. Probably about eight more weeks until I will get any type of local-ish produce. Therefore, since I cannot blog about the wonderful things coming out of my garden, I decided to make some theme meals. First up – "Ben Hur".
I am sure many of my readers are asking what possessed me to choose "Ben Hur" to do a themed meal about. Honestly, it is based on AFI’s top 100 movies from 2007. My husband and I decided to try to watch all the movies we have not seen and ones we have not watched for a long time. Number 100 on the list is "Ben-Hur" and that is how I have a two part themed meal for this movie. The move is a little over four hours, so we watched it over two nights and I have two meals to write about.
Part one of this themed meal is based on where the meal takes place. The film takes place is Judea, which is in current day Israel. I based all the food for this meal on Israeli food (I cannot promise the food is authentic to Israel). First, I made an Israeli couscous salad. This recipe I altered from Smitten Kitchen. It was easy, a little time consuming because of roasting tomatoes and waiting for the couscous to cool, but I did things in between. This recipe was really nice because even though tomatoes are tasteless this time of year, roasting them gave the tomatoes tons of flavor. I would recommend this recipe to anyone looking for something to make for a family dinner or to take to a party. It is really flavorful.
Secondly, I rubbed chicken with a bunch of different spices and grilled it. I combined half-sharp paprika, salt, cumin, coriander, oregano, and sweet paprika. I mixed the spices, rubbed it into the chicken, and grilled the meat. It was a wonderful meal for a cold winter night.
During these cold days of winter, it is nice to use creativity in the kitchen to create wholesome, comfort food. The nice thing about these two dishes is nothing was processed, it was all fresh and natural.