Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lancaster, Chocolate and Wine...Oh My!

So you know that old commercial.... You got your chocolate inside of my peanut butter.... We've got one better for you! How about Chocolate and Wine? That's right a tour geared specifically for those with a distinguished pallet, one that enjoys the deep beauty of these flavonoid enriched ingredients.  

Lancaster County Wine
Although certain red wines are the winners when it comes to having the most, Dark Chocolate, in it's purest form ranks high also. After doing some research on the web, I found this article/research paper from the and found it most intriguing. Below is an excerpt from the article:

The flavonoids and polyphenols found in four different types of chocolate (white, milk, 40% cocoa dark
and 71% cocoa dark) and four varieties of red wine (Pinot-Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tannat)
were evaluated. The best results were found using 71% cocoa dark chocolate (D71) (flavonoids =
21.6 ± 2.4 lmol of catechin equivalents/g and polyphenols = 62.9 ± 0.1 lmol of catechin equivalents/g)
and Tannat wine (flavonoids = 5.4 ± 0.1 lmol of catechin equivalents/ml and polyphenols = 14.3 ±
1.1 lmol of catechin equivalents/ml) which were statistically different against other varieties. Vanillin
flavour was shown to interfere with colour development in the spectrophotometric analysis of the flavonoids.
The results indicated that 49 g of D71 dark chocolate has the same quantity of flavonoids as that of
196 ml of Tannat wine, which is the daily wine intake recommended to produce health benefits in an
adult of 70 kg body weight.

Long and short of the story, is that both combined taste great and are pretty darn healthy as well. Be sure to keep your chocolate in it's purest form in order to reap the benefits, and it appears that Cabs, Petite Syrahs and Pinot Noirs have the highest concentration of those little health treats as sited from the Alanya Blog on health! Here is a piece of what they have to say:

Lancaster County Chocolate
Can wine really improve our health and increase longevity? Scientists are beginning to say “Yes!” Supposing that the theory is true — which wines give us the most bang for the buck?
Researchers have found that red wines rich in flavonoids are best for our health. Flavonoids are best known for their antioxidant qualities and help the body resist such maladies as allergens, viruses and carcinogens.
Red wines also contain anxioxidants, which help the body resist cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir contain the highest concentrations of antioxidants and flavonoids.

 This weekend at the Harvest Moon Bed and Breakfast and also with our friends at Lancaster County Tours, we explore both and discover why each together compliment one another in ways we never thought imaginable. Hop on board for the tour is surely gonna' be a good one.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Lancaster... Maine Whoopie Debate

So when I heard of this "Whoopie Pie" Debate, I had to find out more. Lancaster... Maine... who's the rightful owner of the famed Whoopie Pie? Never being a fan of this "cakey", dry dessert, I was curious of what was going on. Digging deep into the history, I come to find out that there really is no answer... from Lancaster to Massachusetts to Maine, it's origin is unknown.... however the folks at the Harvest Moon Bed and Breakfast wanted more information!

I find the most intriguing thing is the folklore behind the Whoopie. This excerpt taken from Micheline Maynard in her article dating back to March 17 of 2009 in the New York Times is by far what I find to be the most interesting. 

Food historians believe whoopie pies originated in Pennsylvania, where they were baked by Amish women and put in farmers’ lunchboxes.
Tired from a morning’s work, the farmers purportedly would shout “Whoopie!” if they discovered one of the desserts in their lunch pails. 

So as I see it, they could be fighting about this for eons.... I say let them have at it.... In the mean time, since I do not really like Whoopie Pies, I came up with my own recipe! I'll just sneak under the radar and self proclaim that I have the BEST WHOOPIE PIE! 


Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Influence of Regional Italy on Italian Cooking Classes in Lancaster

Far from Lancaster County! Brixen Italy
I love Italy! It's that simple, and as I sit here and pen the latest for the Lancaster Culinary Journeys Blog, I reflect on my last visit to the Old County. My favorite place to visit, if one could pick a favorite place, would be that of Alto Adige or Sud Tyrol as the German decedents who live in the area would say.

This part/state of Italy is in the most northern part of Italy, in the middle of the Italian Alps, a place where German and Italian cultures combine to make a wonderful fusion in not only food, but culture, fashion and architecture as well.

The perfect inspiration for our Lancaster County Italian Cooking Demo
With it being so close to Germany, and me having connections with the Country, I have been fortunate enough to visit this wonderful mysterious land. I place where medieval castles and buildings dot the mountain side and where grape vineyards and olive groves begin to appear. Alto Adige is a wonderful place to explore all that is both Italian and German in every sense of the word.

Downtown Brixen Sud Tirol and the Church

So for a lonely ole' Lancaster Bed and Breakfast Owner, how does one get to know the land so well. Well I would not say that I know it all that well, however once you go, you have this feeling of wanting to go back again and again. And so I have. Ortesi ( St Ulrich ) Brassanone ( Brixin ) Bolzano ( Bozen ) Vipetano (Sterzing ) and Merano (Meran) are some of the places I have been.

The alleys here remind me of Market Place in Downtown Lancaster
Brassanone had the absolute most memorable pizza around, just coming out of the oven with artichoke hearts, local Parmesan cheese and smoked prosciutto ham were just some of the toppings. Watching it come out of the oven, was a feast for it had no shape, no round pie and was just flat on the oven floor just waiting for me... you know I could see the piece that had my name on it! Damn was it good!
Vipetano or Sterzing Italy

Bolzano and Merano are both metropolitan cities with a strong emphasis on culinary. Or how about Vipatano, where just walking the streets of this Medieval Town leave you thinking of the history that once was. And St Ulrich or Ortesi, high up in the mountains lives this tiny village where Grapa shops and Skiing are all the rage.

Isn't it Beautiful in Alto Adige!

Yeah, I want to go back, my next visits will bring me to Castlerotto and Glorenza... or what do you suggest? I am itching to go, I can feel it. Who wants to come along?  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Making Cheese in Lancaster County and Beyond

So as I poke around on the internet, I find a cheese I have never heard of called Halloumi! And naturally being the gourmet that I am, I find myself so very much intrigued with this. I decided that I need to go ahead and make it for my guest here at the Harvest Moon Bed and Breakfast! And folks... how about a cheese making class? I think that could be a lot of fun!

In the mean time, I would love to share with all my readers what  Briony at The Blended Lifestyle Blog has to say about what appears to be an awesome Cheese.
Lancaster County Cheese

I yearn for a rural lifestyle, getting earth under my fingernails and putting funny-looking delicious veg straight from the earth onto the table. I'd like to get my honey from bee hives rather than squeezy bottles, my milk, yoghurt and cheese from a goat rather than plastic packets that I throw away.

I also love my laptop, my work, my feeling of being plugged into the city.

I am trying to find my way towards a lifestyle that blends self sufficiency with participation in the formal economy. The blog comes with me all the way.

Recently, people have become excited when they discover I know how to make Halloumi, so I thought I'd post the recipe, for which many thanks to the wonderful Pam at Canon Frome.....

You can read the rest of this witty and fun post and find out exactly how to make Halloumi Cheese and use it in your favorite recipes.

The Goats At Amos' Place
Also I would like to say to Briony, Thank you for showing such a high regard to Buy Fresh, Buy Local, sustainability, living from the land and all that awesome earthy stuff movement. Not sure where you are from, however it sounds like A. a place I want to visit or B. It sounds similar to Lancaster County PA where I am from...

I think I will be going to my friend Amos, who has a goats dairy farm but minutes away to start making this cheese. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Culiary Tourism on the Rise in Lancaster and Beyond

Just wanted to pass this along on the rise of culinary tourism in not only Lancaster County, but beyond as well. Take a look at whats going on in the world of Google as it pertains to Culinary Tourism.

As you can see, the time line has expanded as it nears 2011 with all kinds of things going on in the Culinary World.

So enjoy the world of Culinary. It's a great time to explore all that is out there not only across the world, but right here in Lancaster County and at the Harvest Moon Bed and Breakfast.

Lancaster B&B Innkeeper Enjoys a Great Chinese Meal

Just a quick post to keep you updated on how much I enjoyed Wu's Garden in Downtown Leola. Only a few miles from the Harvest Moon Bed and Breakfast, this Lancaster County Restaurant is tops. Once a very simple restaurant on the main drag, the folks at Wu's have created a warm and welcoming Asian Experience with table service Chinese.

In a time where most Chinese restaurants have gone the way of Buffet, Wu's has not done so. They have a wonderful and unique menu that tempts it's guest into trying something new. I look forward to going here with friends and doing a careful review of Wu's in the future.

Till then, enjoy and please let us know what your thoughts are on one of the newest additions of Chinese Restaurants in Lancaster, and once I have done a formal review... we'll let you know!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day in Lancaster County... It's not all about Punxsutawney Phil

So Ole' Phil has declared that there will not be six more weeks of winter and that spring is on it's way. I say bully for Phil! What if Phil were in my back yard? I am not sure he would have seen his shadow. Well anyway, we still have Cocalico Cal from Ephrata to look forward to this weekend.

Well anyway... no matter what type of weather blesses us here at our Lancaster County Bed and Breakfast, we will for sure be ready for it. You see, we love the snow; can't get enough of it actually.

So in my search for Groundhog information today and me being the chef I am, I saw some interesting recipes on the web. One in particular I would like to share with everyone for Woodchuck Stew! I particularly love the beginning of the recipe. 

Happy Eating and  Enjoy the winter for soon we will all be cursing at the heat.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another Gourmet in Lancaster County

Dining at La Terra in Leola
See... I told you all that Lancaster is really shining through when it comes to culinary. It really has become our local renaissance here. And I am enjoying every Gosh Darn minute of it. I am glad to have found Kathlene Sullivan and her Food-Love-Lancaster Blog!

Here is a quote from her blog which ultimately goes into talking about Antonia Hinnenkamp and her East King Culinary.

"My name is Kathlene Sullivan and I believe that I was born to tell stories. As a fairly recent transplant to Lancaster I was favorably impressed with the rich variety in the local Food and Dining scene and the passion of the professionals involved in it. So this blog is about food and dining and the importance of defining who we are, where we come from and what is important to us now. I hope you enjoy my stories."     Here you can read more of Kathlene Sullivan's blog,

Lancaster County Dining Scene
And I look forward to reading more from Kathlene in the future! Thank you Kathlene for joining the "Lancaster Epicurean Movement"...I have the feeling it's gonna' be a fun ride!