Monday, July 30, 2012

Lancaster County Farmers Markets... An Age Old Tradition

A Spoiled Innkeeper!

Yeah... that's right, I'm spoiled! I get what I want when I want it, and I won't take anything less. Got something to say about it? Go ahead, I dare you!

Wow, sounds awful. But I'm really not all that bad. As an Innkeeper here in Lancaster County, I get to shop around for only the best here at our bed and breakfast!

Here's the scoop, simply stated, I live in Lancaster County... A place with a multitude of farmers and markets. Whenever I want fresh produce, I get it, and you can bet your so called "picture-perfect-tomato" you found at the grocery store that whatever I pick up is gonna be better!

Call me spoiled if you will, but that's how we roll here in Lancaster County. Fresh wholesome goodness found at  road side stands, farmers markets and even some of the individually owned grocery stores.

So, I thought since I am not all that bad, I would just jot down my favorites... and Go ahead, spoil yourself as well, you deserve it!

Lancaster Central Market -- This market is found in the center of Lancaster, it was listed as one of the top ten in the world. Lancaster Farmers Market is considered one of the oldest operating farmer markets in the country and is open on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Best time to go would be anytime of year for this event is inside.

Green Dragon -- This one is so much fun. Filled with "chatsky" stuff and real wholesome county goodness. With just about everything under the sun including auctions, homemade cheese and great french fries, this place can take up a few hours of your Friday. Best time to go, spring through fall and is found in Ephrata PA, minutes from the Harvest Moon. 

Roots Markets -- This one, on Tuesdays is another fun outside venue. Once again filled with not only all that Lancaster has to offer, but also with antiques, plants and things for just about everything. Don't get confused though when asking for directions to get there, the locals like to call it "RUTS" (don't ask why... I'm just not that local yet) Roots is only open on Tuesday.

And by the way, if you want to check all of this out, we are hosting a culinary tour based just on this topic... It's called our Dutch Harvest Tour and will be hosted on September 22, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lancaster County Cheese Crawl... A Tour of Fine Artisan Cheese

A Day of Eating Fine Lancaster County Cheese

Lancaster County Cheese Tour
This tour, in a series of our Culinary "INNtensives", seems to be getting some hype. As the Harvest Moon Bed and Breakfast was most recently featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, we are now releasing some of the details of this tour.

A local Lancaster County Dairy Farm
The point of our culinary "INNtensives" is to give you pertinent information on a specific culinary topic of Lancaster, do it in a short time at a reasonable price and have you leave with a new understanding of how sustainable our special part of the world is! This one just so happens to be that of cheese.

This tour brings us to local Amish and Mennonite dairy farms, Gourmet Shops  and a lunch to tie it all together right here in Lancaster County PA. The locals explain how and why they choose to add cheese making to their all ready busy lives as they also try to cope with the economic conditions.

To find out more about this exciting tour, visit our Lancaster County culinary page or call 1.888.824.3763

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lancaster County Great Restaurant Finds -- Checkers Bistro!

Another Great Lancaster County Restaurant! 

Just needed to shout out on this great restaurant finds in Lancaster County, Checkers Bistro! This one is about a half hour from our Lancaster County Bed and Breakfast.

Recently, My brother, cousin and I all treated our mothers to a lunch at Checkers Bistro in Lancaster. When I think of checkers, I think of a retro place, with white and black tiled flooring, a soda fountain and servers on roller skates. This place is certainly not that at all. 

From the moment stepping in to the time we left, we were impressed. Service, impeccable (and fun); ambiance, nice casual; menu, eclectic, daring, creative and something for everyone; and the food far surpassed my expectations from what I conjured up from their namesake.

We started with soup, fried calamari and Lobster Pizza. The French Onion soup was certainly wonderful... not over powered with cheese and certainly not just a soup out of a box. The Lobster Pizza impressed all with great chucks of lobster, brie arugula and pine nuts, a stellar combination. The fried Calamari was impressive while coming out crisp and just perfect for even those squeamish of seafood.

Later, we enjoyed a wonderful chicken salad on their lunch menu, an over the top hamburger, another pizza choice with prosciutto and figs, YUM, and a chicken sandwich on a baguette. Most impressive, were the Duck Tacos, Crispy wonton tacos, barbeque duck with a hint of coriander, guacamole, and finished with micro greens as a garnish... Checkers.... Never take this off the menu... PLEASE!

By the end of the lunch, we were all extremely pleased. We enjoyed time with mom and I know I for sure will be back to Checkers Bistro to enjoy the Duck Tacos... again!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

New Holland PA ... Let the Summer Begin

It's that time of year! On the cusp of the dog days, but still enjoying some refreshing nights leftover from spring. Although I love all times of the year, including summer,  I am vehemently against humidity.  I can take days in the eighties and nineties, however, when it gets sticky, here in New Holland PA, I am just absolutely miserable.

However, me being glass half full, always, I find myself discovering all the good things of summer. Here in Lancaster County, we here at the Bed and Breakfast are challenged often with things to do, events going on and places to discover. So the summer time, just like any other time of the year, is filled with all of that, and New Holland specifically has a lot going on this year. 

Getting Ready for the BBQ Cook off!
Let's begin with the New Holland Summer Arts Program. Right here in New Holland, enjoy ole' fashioned entertainment, from the Polka Quads to Dixieland Bands and everything in between.  The park is filled with lively music towards the evening each Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer up until August 12. These concerts are free to the public and are sponsored by some of our local merchants. It's a great way to mingle with the local Amish and Mennonite as you enjoy the sounds of our community.

New Holland also has a Lancaster County open air farmers market. Besides, you know I need to talk about food at some point, it's in my genes! Established about 6 years ago, this Saturday event goes from the middle of may up until the end of September. Each weekend has a different theme, lots of fresh produce and plenty of great food to enjoy as you prepare for your weekend meal. Although the farmers market is not open during the fall, the area farmers are still offering their freshest of in season produce

Next would be the 10th annual Liberty Fire Company Car Show right here in New Holland at the grounds of Case New Holland Tractor. This event is scheduled for August 4th, 2012 from 3 till 8pm.  This show gets better each year. My nostalgia kicks in each time I go, with the sights and sounds of great cars and swinging music from the fifties. This event has it all from burnout competitions to truck tug-o-wars. It's a great summer time event where the whole family could spend a good part of the day.
New Holland Summer Fest

Bringing up the rear, is the 13th annual New Holland BBQ Competition, also known as Summerfest. This  two day event is a great way to mix with  locals and visitors alike to discuss nothing but what else... BBQ. All kinds of people visit New Holland, PA to try their hand with this competition. From Whole Hog and Chicken to Sausage and Ribs, there is something for everyone to compete in. Be forewarned though, the competitors only let the judges taste the end product. It's okay though, for there are plenty of vendors that have BBQ to sell, (after all you'll go crazy smelling the richness of smokey meat throughout the day).  

Although this rounds out the summer in New Holland, there are still plenty of other things going on in New Holland to finish the year including the New Holland Farmers Fair and Christmas on Main. These two events are local small town favorites that bring families together and tie together a sense of community. Be sure to look for info regarding these events in future postings.