Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Citrus just arrived from Florida!

I am unashamedly using my blog as advertisement for "Oasis" because if I were you, I'd want to know about one of the "best kept secret" in Lancaster. Certified organic oranges and grapefruits just arrived from Uncle Matt's in Florida. Picked Friday... How exciting! Just in time for your Christmas table... located at 60 N. Ronks Rd., Ronks, PA. Not far from Miller's Natural Foods. Let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy God's candy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oasis at Bird-in-Hand

It's 65 degrees outside on this late November day in Lancaster. How beautifully mild. I want to tell ya all about a project that has been in the works for quite some time. I've had the privilege of being a part of the steering committee for Oasis at Bird-in-Hand which is a group of (mostly Amish) farmers who care very much about taking care of their farm land and animals so that we in the community can be as well as possible. You can order delicious local in-season chemical-free food and join their co-op at (click on Farm Share) or you can visit their newly opened store at 60 N. Ronks Rd., Ronks, PA 17572. Store hours are: Monday-Friday 9-6 and Saturday 9-12. Closed Sunday. Phone 727-288-2154

I was at the store today and saw that all kinds of potatoes are in season as well as some beautiful butternut squash, celery, and a vast array of free-range grass-fed meats, eggs, and raw milk cheeses. The meats are offered by the same people who run the grass-fed meat stand at Lancaster Central Market (Country Meadows Farms). Excellent beef, chicken, lamb, and pork!

Note: Oasis at Bird-in-Hand store is a smaller space shared within a larger warehouse building with Lancaster Agriculture Products and Heritage Floors. You will get there via Rt.340 to Ronks Rd. or Lincoln Hwy. to Ronks Rd. Parking lot available.

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chicken Basil Peanut Soup

There are plenty of times when I just "throw together" a meal and it's kinda blah. But this afternoon, I threw together something worth sharing. Very simple and flavorful. I'm calling it:

Chicken Basil Peanut Soup

Wisk the following ingredients:

4 c. Hot chicken stock, salted to taste. Note: Use leftover baked chicken carcass in crockpot of water, garlic, and bay leaf overnight. Reserve 1 c. chicken meat.

1/2 c. Natural peanut butter – creamy or chunky. Option: Combine peanut butter and almond butter for another tasty variation.

2 tsp. Fresh minced garlic

Stir in the following ingredients:

1 c. Fresh shredded carrots

1 c. Diced cooked chicken

½ c. Fresh spinach or swiss chard cut into little strips

Garnish with the following ingredients:

Fresh cut basil (cut into thin strips)

Fresh sliced green onion


White pepper or hot sauce

Serve hot immediately or put into a crockpot or stovetop on low heat for a few minutes. I prefer not to cook it again because I like the nutrients of the raw veggies in the hot soup.

Serves 4

Have a beautiful rainy afternoon! Amy

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cast Iron

What's the easiest pan to clean? Of course, teflon. But it's non-stick surface is also made of toxic chemicals which off-gas when heated. Not worth it. Keep in mind that whatever a pan is made of, it will leech out some of that substance into your food every time you cook. So, it's pretty cool that you actually get a little more iron in your diet when you use cast iron pans. Steer clear of aluminum and teflon. No one needs that in their diet. Use stainless steel, cast iron, ceramic, and stoneware.

I have found that stainless steel pans are fairly easy to clean as long as I soak them in water for 10 minutes first. The one exception to this rule is eggs. They stick! In fact, I just figured out that scrambled eggs are much easier to clean out of a cast iron pan than a stainless steel pan. It's the heaviest cookware, but it will last forever and benefit your health.

Just use a stable fat to grease your pan each time (like coconut oil, butter, clean lard, etc.). I like the taste of coconut oil with eggs and salt.

I use a mild soap and water to soak and then scrub out my cast iron pan with either a wash cloth or a little scrubby pad. I've read that you shouldn't let water drops sit in your cast iron pan or else it will rust. I haven't experienced that, but it's best to dry the pan right away.

I just read this in wikipedia:
Because ordinary cookware cleaning techniques like scouring or washing in a dishwasher will remove or damage the seasoning on a bare cast iron pan, these pans should not be cleaned like most other cookware. Some cast iron aficionados advocate never cleaning cast iron pans at all, simply wiping them out after use, or washing them with hot water and a stiff brush.[4] Others note that grease left on a pan will eventually become rancid, and advocate washing with mild soap and water, and then re-applying a thin layer of fat or oil.[5] A third approach, advocated by television chef Alton Brown, is to scour with coarse salt and a paper towel or clean rag.[6]

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Living within your means...

On Saturday, my empty sink spoke to me. This hasn't happened before. So it really got my attention. Ha! See, although I love making healthy foods, I get overwhelmed by the resulting mess and dishes. What to do? So, here's how the revelation started... I made spelt pecan waffles for breakfast and cleaned up every last dish and fork right away. This is out of character for me... who often leaves a lot of dishes here and there for the end of the night when, by that time, it's a serious discouraging pile-up that I'm forced to reckon with. So, on with my story. For lunch that day, I fired up the stove top and re-heated beans, rice, leftover duck (Christmas freezer) and took my hot pot outside to the back yard where Steve and the kids were building a snow fort. The kids loved our faux camping lunch, even "the one" who doesn't usually like beans. Must taste better with snow pants on! Anyway, when I trudged back up to the house with the empty pot and dirty cups and spoons, I came upon a completely clean sink which gave me such a surprised feeling of relief and energy to start the task that it spoke to me and said, "You're living with in your means." Huh! I needed that. I usually think of that phrase as pertaining to finances, but it is equally important to live with in our emotional and physical strength and energy "means" as well. Thank you God for talking through my sink.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rice Browns

Sort of like hash-browns, but rice instead. Soooo good! I got it from my new favorite magazine called "Clean Eating." You'll love it. Click the title of this blog entry to get linked up to it, or go to They show it served with Picadillo Chowder. I ate them for breakfast this morning, salted with celtic sea salt, and pecans. My little boy ate one with a bit of maple syrup. Here's the simple recipe:

Rice Browns

3/4 c. brown rice, already cooked (I used leftover rice from last night.)
2 egg whites

Gently combine rice and egg whites, with a fork. Put about 1/8 cup fulls of mixture into a hot skillet of coconut or olive oil (repeat until skillet is full of patties) and gently press down to make a flatter patty out of each one. Brown them on one side (4 min.) and then carefully flip over to brown the other side. Serve crispy and hot! Let me know what you think.

Snowy white beautiful day!