summer chili

Yesterday since it was rainy, I decided to make chili. I was thinking about this chili that someone who was the father of a girl I knew growing up made.  It had corn in it.  I remember having it on a rainy August night in Avalon when I was in about 6th grade. These people used to rent this house that looked like a red Victorian farmhouse. It had a big, dark kitchen with a rickety wooden table.

So yesterday I decided to make my own summer chili.  The ingredients:

1 pound ground pork

1 pound ground lean turkey

4 chili peppers all chopped up (my were Hatch red and green that I grew myself)

2 red bell peppers chopped up

2 jalapeño peppers chopped up

2 red onions chopped up

1 small bag frozen corn (plain, no “sauce”) or fresh kernels off of 4 ears of fresh corn.

1 lime zested and juice of same zested lime

A good handful of cilantro chopped

A handful of basil and oregano chopped

4 garlic clothes minced

2 large  carrots grated,

1 28 ounce can of tomato purée

1 28 ounce can of strained crushed  tomatoes,

3 15 ounce cans of white beans – Cannellini ,Navy, Great Northern. ( I used 1 can of each type)

1 15 ounce can red beans (Kidney or even Pinto)

And lots of chili powder and salt and pepper to taste.

First I sautéed the garlic and onion a few minutes in olive oil.  Then I added the peppers (all of them) and cooked everything down a few minutes more.  Then I added the carrots, ground pork, ground turkey and some salt.  As the pork and turkey started to look cooked through  I added the beans, and cooked that all together for a few minutes, then added the chili powder (I have no idea how much I added, I kept dumping).  After that I added the tomatoes, the zested lime and juice of one lemon followed by the fresh herbs and the last ingredient: the small bag of frozen corn.

I then bought my pot to a simmer and it just simmered low and slow for probably a couple of hours.  I stirred every half hour or so, and remarkably nothing stuck to the bottom of the pan.

I can tell you that my husband and son ate SO much of the chili that there was only two 1 quart bags for freezing and 1 quart container left over. I made this chili in my 8 quart Great Jones “Big Deal” pot, and it was 2/3 full as you can see from photo at bottom. As a related aside, I absolutely LOVE this pot and highly recommend the Great Jones company.

Thanks for stopping by!

cool summer pop-up you DO NOT want to miss this sunday, august 11 in glenmoore!

Looks inviting doesn’t it? That is because it is!!!

So what are you doing tomorrow Sunday, August 11 between 12 noon and 6 PM?

You should be going to Glenmoore PA. Just put 1941 Creek Road Glenmoore PA into your GPS or maps program and go! Trust me, it’s a beautiful drive into the country and you will be glad you did! I sure am!

Today I had my BEST score in a long time! Cool vintage dairy sign from the Vintage & Vine Preview POP-up at Glenmoore Deli (1941 Creek Rd Glenmoore PA)

This new venture being introduced to us by two of my pals Kristin Smith and Christie Keith is something you don’t want to miss!

Seriously? Go tomorrow! If you’re going to church you can go after church. It’s a nice weekend and here is the menu:

This burger was fresh and AMAZING!

Salad with fresh mozzarella and a balsamic glaze.

Sun Tea with fresh herbs and flowers!

Old-fashioned fair lemon 💗

All of the food is locally sourced when possible (obviously we don’t have any citrus groves in Chester County) and is super fresh! Amazing produce and some was for sale in the store as well.

iThe eclectic mix of vintage, antique and more modern treasures was so much fun! Including to my surprise a fabulous jewelry line out of Washington DC created by a woman born and raise in Chester County! Yes, Diament Jewelry by Libby Diament.

Libby has a store in Washington, DC and started making her jewelry while living and working in NYC. Libby travels around the country hunting for vintage parts and jewelry that can be brought back to life. It’s sort of like finding treasure!

Diament Jewelry has been worn by celebrities including: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Elle Fanning, Cher Lloyd, Rachel Bilson, Giada de Laurentiis, and Meredith Vieira.

Bar earrings from Diament Jewelry

I had been looking for a pair of bar earrings for a couple of years. But I didn’t want ones that look like everyone else’s. So I was super psyched to discover the ladies had Diament Jewelry in their pop-up today. I also bought a pair of small studs that look like glittery slices of quartz or fools gold. As I get older I like wearing study earrings more than I have in a long time and there’s a nice variety for sale along with some adorable dangle earrings like a pair of wishbones! There are also in a locked case some of Diament’s lovely ethereal necklaces.

To check out more on Diament Jewelry visit their website or better yet read the article Forbes Magazine wrote about Libby Diament!

You will also find lovely local raw honey by Hound Dog Honey and soaps and lip balm by Vellum Soap Company and unless they sell out these to die for soft caramel candies by Dave’s Delectable Delites of Glenmoore.

But have I raved enough about the menu? So good. So fresh. Christie Keith is a genius in the kitchen! That is the best part about this menu everything is fresh nothing is frozen. It makes all the difference in the world in taste.

I love to cook as everyone knows, and Christie Keith is one of those people that I will have cook for me any day!

Take a drive in the country tomorrow. Have lunch, find a treasure!

a wine tasting on a lavender farm

I wrote about visiting beautiful Mt. Airy Lavender earlier this summer. The place is amazing and their products awesome. It is also a bucolic and lovely event venue.

We returned yesterday evening to the farm located in Wagontown for a wine tasting. We went to meet the lovely Gretchen Voelcker, owner and creator of Luna Hart Wines.

Our winemaker Gretchen

Founded by Gretchen Voelcker, Luna Hart Wines is a boutique wine company specializing in small batch, handcrafted wines in the Santa Ynez Valley.  Gretchen makes select wines in which she explores the techniques and nuances that continue to stoke her passion for wine.  

Nancy Saha, Gretchen’s grandmother (whom I adore)

Santa Ynez is part of the Santa Barbara wine country and home to other vineyard like Fess Parker. It is an amazing area, and as per my research each year over a million cases of wine are produced in the Santa Ynez Valley. The area features I am told well over a hundred wineries, most of them are boutique operations and family owned and operated. I prefer small businesses and have tasted many lovely wines from one of the most beautiful regions of California.

Why Luna Hart? Other than the wines are quite good? Because her proprietress and winemaker is from Chester County.

Gretchen Voelcker, the winemaker and creator of Luna Hart Wines grew up in Europe and right on the farm hosting the wine tasting event.  

While she and her family lived in Europe during her high school years and continuing with summers during her college years, she visited many different wine regions in France ultimately falling in love with the craft of winemaking and developing her own passion for wine.

When you speak with Gretchen as I did, you can see the passion for her chosen profession right of her face. She completely lights up while discussing how passion for wine began while living in Europe and visiting the many wonderful wine regions and vignobles in France.  Another passion was fueled by her love of nature and all things outdoors bringing her to California where she has had the fortune of working with gifted winemakers, mentors and role-models. 

After studying Business & French at Georgetown University and earning a degree in plant science from University of California, Santa Cruz, she moved to Santa Barbara County.

Gretchen worked at Rideau Vineyard for six years, starting as an intern and eventually became the assistant winemaker.  Now she is with Martian Ranch and Vineyard where she is the winegrower, producing minimal interference wines from biodynamically grown Estate grapes.

Gretchen has definitely produced some fabulous high quality wines and last evening we sampled four. Our favorites? A 2016 Cabernet Franc and a 2017 Grüner Veltliner.

The 2017 Grüner Veltliner was my pick because I am allergic to most red wines, and I prefer varietal whites over a bland Chardonnay. People laugh when I entertain because I don’t include Chardonnays. This wine is reminiscent of three wine styles to me: Alsatian, Austrian, and German.

My husband’s pick was the 2016 Cabernet Franc. It was a bold wine and lovely at first sip, and even better as it opened up. He is not a Merlot or Syrah guy generally, although he also said the 2018 Syrah presented was quite nice and fresh and fruity.

I also sampled the 2018 Sauvignon Blanc which was nice, but as I said the wine that hooked me was the 2017 Grüner Veltliner.

We purchased and bought home a few bottles of the 2017 Grüner Veltliner and 2016 Cabernet Franc.

You can order from Gretchen’s Website for Luna Hart and like many boutique and family vineyards, there is a wine club as well.

There is a lot of pretentious and not so enjoyable wine out there. Luna Hart is a label to watch. Gretchen is a talented winemaker and I look forward to tasting and purchasing more of her wines. Another one which interested me but sold out was the 2016 Aurora White. It uses in part a viognier grape and one of my all time favorite white varietals is a viognier.

Many thanks to beautiful Mt. Airy Lavender for hosting this event and a special note about how lovely the place looked and the food was terrific especially the salmon. A lot of times people skimp or do not truly bother with food at a wine tasting which I find to be a mistake. Wine is an experience generally paired with food so if you do a proper tasting the food should be sufficient and complementary.

If you are interested in hosting an event there, go to their website for further information.

Have a great Saturday!

cool old cookbooks

Eastern Cookbook Waynesboro, PA – 1976. Stumbled across this today and it is like opening a culinary time capsule and totally fun!

I have written about my love of vintage cookbooks before.

Check out some of the recipes:

I also found this cool Good Housekeeping cookbook and household hints book from the 1920’s.

It’s so fun to go through these books. Cookbooks like this have all sorts of fun old recipes and tips you never see in modern cookbooks. I love these books around the holidays, especially.

Pick up a vintage cookbook next time you see one. I guarantee you will find recipes or techniques you want to try.

kitchen acquisitions

IMG_E6171It’s not all garden, garden, garden.  I am still cooking! And over the years I have treated myself to upgrades on pots and pans.

The other day I was watching an interview on The Today Show. These two young women had founded a cookware company in New York and their cookware was good-looking. It wasn’t ready for the clown car like the stuff Racheal Ray produces which is cheap and freakish looking.

Great Jones cookware seemed to be too good to be true, but the price points weren’t bad so I ordered a stock pot on a total whim. Complete impulse buy.  I have a stock pot I was looking to replace because it was wearing out and holding stains even on the stainless steel.

So I went to the website and read about Great Jones:

We started Great Jones because we believe in the power and pleasure of making food with your own hands, even if you’re just frying an egg.

We’re childhood friends of 20 years who first met at summer camp…Prior to starting Great Jones, Sierra worked as a food editor at New York Magazine and won a James Beard Award for her writing. She also hosted a show for CBS This Morning interviewing chefs. Maddy comes from the startup world; she managed consumer insights for Warby Parker and was a product manager at Zola. We’re both first-time entrepreneurs.

The name Great Jones is a nod to Judith Jones, a cookbook author and editor who championed and published the work of Julia Child, Edna Lewis, James Beard, and many others. She died in 2017 at age 93. It’s also a reference to New York, where we’re proud to both live and build our business.

Then I went to the shop section to check out their line. Not a huge line, but they have manufactured a line of core pots that every kitchen should have. I ordered Big Deal the stockpot to try them out.

Love at first sight.  Stockpot arrived today and it lived up to the hype.  Just the right weight and little details like cup measurements inside. Oh and another plus? On their website Good Jones has this finder thing where you put in your zip code and places you can recycle old pots and pans pops up!  Socially responsible and very cool!

Also today I got some new kitchenware from Brandless which was kind of a necessity.  I love  roasting and grilling vegetables. Only I ruined one of my baking sheet pans on the grill this week doing so.  So I put in a Brandless order for some pantry and beauty/bath staples and checked out their Cook’s Tools section. I replaced my ruined half sheet pan with a new one for $9 (yes $9 and it is GREAT quality) and got a grill pan with little holes in it for the grill for my veggies! The grill pan was $8!!

Brandless is a cool option where you get great products, many organic food staples, health and wellness and beauty and cleaning supplies at great prices because they removed the label.  Hence the name “Brandless”. If you want to try Brandless, CLICK HERE.

Another cool thing about Brandless is they believe in fighting hunger and giving back to the community.  They donate meals with every purchase you make. My husband discovered them, and I like their products.

Anyway, that is what is new in my kitchen as far as my “gear” goes.  As always, I feel I need to add the disclaimer that I am NOT a compensated blogger and if I write about stuff it’s because I want to, am a customer, etc .

Thanks for stopping by.

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