Fabulous Food Show – Cleveland

This past weekend mom and I ventured to Cleveland to check out the Fabulous Food Show. It was probably one of the largest food related events that I have been to. The I-X Center in Cleveland is enormous and has a ferris wheel in the middle, which was not operating so Booo!

The food show was pretty awesome. We spotted some celeb chefs and of course tasted a lot of great bites. A lot of the folks at the show were Ohio based food purveyors or establishments. I think we both were impressed by the number of people making great products in Ohio (not to knock on Ohio but you know, we are from Pennsylvania so there is a natural competitive element at play here). We had a really yummy syrup that is aged in Bourbon barrels so basically it was the best tasting syrup ever!

Some of my other takeaways…

-Ingrid Hoffmann is super cute and I loved watching her cook up a Catalan dish similar to Paella.

-I wish Michael Symon was from Pittsburgh because he is extremely entertaining and charismatic, he clearly has a love for Cleveland and Ohio so I am somewhat jealous.

-Vitamix is made in Ohio, did you know that? Also, IT IS AMAZING!! I totally got sucked in to the power of the Vitamix and it took every ounce of my being to just say no. The demonstrator made smoothies, sorbet, and soup in a matter of 15 minutes…come on!!!

-I like food events that have food trucks. Obviously I was going to go to the one serving tacos because I might always be craving tacos. Mom and I really enjoyed the tacos from Barrio they were really yummy and they knocked them out of the park with their crunchy slaws and corn chips.

-Tyler Florence taught me a bad word – Spatchcock. Also, I would like to be a the Great Food Truck Race, k thanks!

The moral of the story is that Food Shows are fun and you should go to them. Check out some of my shots from the show below.

Mini Corn Dogs

It has been a while since I featured a Hollymead recipe…

Corn Dogs #1

But seriously, how could I not post these delicious little morsels? I was digging through Grandma’s recipe cards looking for something fun to make. I actually giggled a little bit when I came across this recipe because I had to wonder, when would my grandmother make fried mini corn dogs at her Bed & Breakfast? It actually seems like a brilliant idea; serve people food that brings about childhood memories or food that they can eat off a stick without hesitation. Grandma didn’t call for the sticks but I couldn’t resist. Who doesn’t want to eat food off a stick?!?!

Flour Station

I like to eat food off a stick, I know you do. I might have to come up with a way to make more food on a stick. Better yet, I think I might need to come up with more mini food on a stick. Are we at the stage where we can eat sliders off a stick, is that even thing? Can someone show me all of the things that can be made on a stick?

Prep Station

Changing subjects for a second, how about the weather? I think it was 70 degrees on Tuesday and now we are looking at a possible snow sighting! Eeek I don’t know if I should be annoyed that Mother Nature decided to confuse me or excited because it might snow soon. So many feelings! I am also terribly conflicted on whether or not it is appropriate for me to create an Amazon wish list for Christmas. I think I might be too old to have a Christmas list. Is there an age where you need to stop making Christmas lists?

Dipped Corn Dog

Getting back to the recipe, I want to thank my grandmother for having a recipe for things like corn dogs. She clearly had some culinary sense of humor and who doesn’t appreciate that. You don’t have to make fancy food to be a great chef, I know I get joy out of making the simplest things. These are delicious, simple to make, and they can be made in advance. I am sure you’ll enjoy!

Corn Dogs

 Mini Corn Dogs

Approx. 20 – 30 Mini Corn Dogs

1/2 Cup Milk
1 Egg
1 Cup Bisquick Mix
2 Tbsp. Yellow Cornmeal
1 Tsp. Mustard
1/8 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Pkg. Cocktail Franks
4 In. Bamboo Skewers or Long Toothpicks (Try These Fox Run Bamboo Skewers, 4-Inch (200 Count)*)
Canola Oil for Frying

Pour 2 inches of oil in to a frying pan and heat over medium. In a medium bowl lightly whisk the egg, add the milk, bisquick mix, cornmeal, mustard and cayenne. Mix the batter gently and make sure there are no lumps. Prepare the corn dogs by placing one cocktail frank on a bamboo skewer and dipping in the batter. Give the cocktail frank a spin to try to get rid of any additional batter. Place the skewer in the oil and cook until the batter turns golden brown, turn the cocktail frank to cook on both sides. Remove the skewer from the pan and place on paper towel to drain. Serve with mustard or you favorite dipping sauce.

If you plan to make these ahead do not place the cocktail frank on the skewer. Fry the franks and dry on paper towel. Place the cocktail franks in the fridge until you are ready to use. Once ready, place franks in an oven preheated to 400 degrees. Heat until the cocktail franks become crispy, about 5-6 minutes. If you want to serve them on a stick you can add them after baking.

*This is an affiliate link. If you purchase this item I will receive a small profit.

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

I am becoming one of those people…

Stuffed Squash 3

I know November  only just started but I am having a hard time waiting for the time to pass and for Thanksgiving to be here. Secretly, I want Thanksgiving to come so that it will be deemed acceptable for me to watch Elf on a constant loop. I am a child and I am not ashamed of it. I am however, afraid of becoming one of those people who starts playing Christmas music and watching Christmas movies the day after Halloween. I need to keep it together!!

Acorn Squash

I have worked on my Christmas crazy by slowing things down and preparing for Thanksgiving. I created this dish for Uncle Charley’s  and I thought it would be a perfect addition to any Thanksgiving meal. Everyone has been singing the praises of Acorn Squash and I am happy to join in on that praise. Acorn Squash is really yummy and it is easy to prepare. I know I told you about my fear of chopping off my fingers whenever I cut up a gourd but I assure you, cutting up the acorn squash is really easy. Don’t fear the gourd!


I also want to give a huge shout out to cider. I have found a way to use apple cider in a lot of dishes during the fall. You should not overlook the benefit of using cider in dishes where you might use stock or water. It should be noted that cider will add a sweeter taste so make sure it is  appropriate. I can’t say that I’ll be as successful in incorporating eggnog in savory dishes but it doesn’t mean I wont try (I expect to hear collective cries telling me not to do this).

Baking Stuffed Acorn Sausage

I hate to go back to the whole Christmas thing but is it snowing where you live? I can tell you right now, the minute it starts snowing it might be game over. I’ll be left with no choice but to put on my jammies, brew some hot cocoa with marshmallows, pop in Elf and laugh hysterically at everything Will Ferrell says. They say snow might be coming some time this week in which case, I’ll be sure to report back on my Elf watching and general surrender to all things Christmas. In an effort to be fair, I will also be partaking in Hanukkah related things since the hubby is Jewish.

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash Pairs

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Yields 6 Servings

3 Acorn Squash
1 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
3 Sweet Italian Sausage Links
1 Tsp. Olive Oil
1 Shallot Diced
½ Cup Rice
1 1/3 Cup Cider
1/3 Cup Cranberry Raisins
½ Tsp. Dried Sage
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Cut each acorn squash in half and remove seeds. Melt the butter and brush over the flesh of the acorn squash. Season each squash with salt and pepper. Place squash on cookie sheet with cut side up and bake 20 minutes or until squash starts to get soft. Remove cookie sheet from the oven and set aside.

For Stuffing:
Use a skillet that has a corresponding lid. Heat skillet over medium heat and add olive oil to the pan. Add the diced shallots to the pan and sauté until they begin to soften. Add the sausage to the pan by removing the meat from the casing*. Brown the sausage with the shallots until no longer pink. Don’t drain the fat, this will help with cooking the rice. Add your rice to the pan with the sausage and shallots, sauté rice for 2 minutes before adding the cider. Add your dried sage and salt and pepper for seasoning. Bring the mixture to a bowl and stir once before lowering the heat to a simmer and covering with the lid. Cook covered for 20 minutes; when there are 5 minutes remaining add your cranberry raisins and continue cooking until all liquid has been absorbed.

Once stuffing is complete you can add 2 Tbsp. (approximate) to each acorn squash cavity. Once all squash are filled you can place the acorn squash back in the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the rice and sausage start to brown. Remove the stuffed squash and enjoy while warm.

New Orleans

Hi Friends!!

I know, I don’t usually share my adventures but how could I resist? The hubs and I were in New Orleans celebrating the wedding of our dear friends Katie and Matt. We literally could not wait for this wedding! Let’s just say that a wedding is fun to begin with but a wedding in New Orleans during the weekend of Halloween is taking it to a whole new level. We arrived in “The Big Easy” on Halloween and we could not wait to get our party on, turns out the party never stops down there. The weekend was all that we hoped for; filled with great food, great friends, and great sights! Seriously, now that I have had a Bloody Mary in New Orleans I don’ think I can ever go back.

Even though this was not my first trip to NOLA (Mardi Gras 2004), this was the first trip that was all about exploring New Orleans and getting as much done as we could in a few days. A few days was all we needed, I think I need at least two days to recover. We didn’t hit every site and we certainly didn’t eat every bite but I think we left enough for the next visit.

We ate as much as we could. We got in to the Halloween spirit with all the folks on Bourbon street. We walked all over the French Quarter to the point of exhaustion. In between all of those things we managed to dance the night away at an amazing wedding with an amazing couple, their friends and family. It was a great time! I highly recommend you put New Orleans on your travel list.

What other cities should we add to our vacation list?

Restaurants we visited: 

N’awlins Cafe & Spice Emporium 

Palace Cafe - AMAZING BBQ Shrimp!!

Cafe Fleur de Lis - Shrimp & Cheesy Grits, um yes!

Cafe Du Monde – well of course we had to get beignets, duh

Johnny’s Po-Boys – this place doesn’t have the looks but it had the taste and the blackened chicken po-boy was amazing

Pierre Maspero’s - Really yummy Red Beans & Rice with sausage (gator sausage!!)

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Note: All pictures were taken on my iPhone 6. 

Artichoke Quiche

I love family recipes!

Artichoke Quiche

I think you have figured out by now that I come from a family of chefs and food enthusiast. I consider myself quite lucky! I was extra lucky to marry in to a family that has their own food history and recipe collection. My grandmother-in-law, Nana Ruth, is one such member of the family who was kind enough to share with me some of her cherished recipes.

Marinated Artichokes

Nana Ruth holds a very special place in my heart. When I was first introduced to my hubby’s family I was filled with the usual anxiety and nerves. I wasn’t sure if they would like me and I felt that additional pressure of having to impress my hubby’s grandmother (Nana Ruth) at the same time. As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about. Nana Ruth welcomed me with open arms and she made me feel like I was already a part of the family even before I realized I wanted to be a part of the family, hehe! I love my In-Laws!!!

Nana is such a strong woman and I am always in awe of how much she has been through and the fact that she still manages to put on a smile. We are incredibly lucky to have her to share with us all of her wisdom and unconditional love.

Artichoke Hearts!

Nana is incredibly adorable; she always sends us the cutest cards and gives the most thoughtful gifts. I was so excited when she sent me a custom recipe card holder for all of my family recipes cards. I knew we were soul mates when she sent me a Jewish cookbook as my college graduation gift. The cookbook has become a major asset in the kitchen and the hubs certainly appreciates those classic Jewish dishes when the holidays come around.

Baked Quiche

Shortly after our wedding I inherited many family recipes that I can now share with you including this one from Nana Ruth! I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do. I did make some adjustments to Nana’s recipe, mainly baking it in a pie shell which it did not originally ask for. I am a sucker for flaky pie crust and it works perfectly with the original dish. I love that this is a rustic Quiche with big pieces of artichoke hearts. For all of you artichoke lovers, this one is for us!

Artichoke Quiche #2

Artichoke Quiche

Yields 1 – 8 Inch Quiche

4 Eggs + 2 Yolks
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 12 oz. Jar of Marinated Artichoke Hearts
3 Green Onions Chopped
1 Shallot Diced
2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley Chopped
Salt & Pepper
1 Refrigerated Pie Crust (i.e. Pillsbury)

Preheat oven to 375. Roll out pie crust until it is large enough to drape over the pie dish. Trim the excess dough and press the crust in to your pie pan. Pierce the bottom of the pie crust with a fork and place in the oven to bake for 5-10 minutes or until the crust begins to brown lightly. Remove from the oven and cool as you prepare the Quiche filling.

To prepare the Quiche first drain the artichoke hearts reserving 2 Tbsp. of the oil. Chop the artichoke hearts in to a rough chop, don’t worry about making the pieces small. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the reserved oil. Saute the shallots and green onions until soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small bowl combine your eggs, egg yolks, milk, cheese, artichoke hearts and parsley. Whisk all ingredients using a fork. Add the shallots and green onions to the mixture and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper, careful not to over season since the artichoke hearts were marinated. There is a great deal of flavor in the artichokes alone. Fill the cooled pie crust with the quiche filling and bake in the oven until the custard has set and the quiche begins to brown. Remove and enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!


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