Category Archives: food

Tomato Pie

It’s the time of year when there is a bumper crop of tomatoes. We had to wait a long time for them as the weather was unusually wet and cool this spring. It took them a little longer to get into the swing of things.

Here in Pennsylvania, there seem to be two kinds of tomato pie. One type is like a Sicilian pizza without cheese and is delicious, and the other kind is the southern style. As my husband is a Texan, he prefers the Southern style pie. Both are delicious and easy to make.
Let’s start with the pie dough. It’s a savory pie crust, so I went ahead with a simple shortening crust.
I used to make this in the food processor, but after watching the Great British Baking Show, I’ve learned the benefits of doing this by hand. It is much flakier. (If you haven’t looked at the show,  the episodes are on YouTube, and you will be happy you did)!
Here are the steps to the pie dough:
Just a few notes:
I use ice water as my water option. Only add as much water to make your dough come together as a ball. The dough should not be soggy.
I roll out between sheets of well-floured sheets of waxed paper. Then I wrap the dough (and wax paper) around my pin to transfer it to the pie plate. Peel off one layer of paper, place the naked layer onto the pie plate and then peel off the other side. I use the dinner plate to help me neatly trim the excess dough. I blind bake my pie crust for the tomato pie with beans.
Now the pie:
First blind bake your pie. The hyperlink has are the most detailed instructions.

After you chop your ingredients, let the tomatoes drain for about 20 minutes in a colander. If you want, you can de-seed them.

Then simply layer the ingredients in the pie.

Start with tomatoes, basil, onion, salt and pepper followed by more of the same until the pie is 3/4 full. Top it off with the cheese mixture. This recipe has many variations. I’ve added bacon if I have it on hand. I think I might experiment with different cheeses; such as jarlsburg, fontina or gruyere.
After my time stationed in the Carolinas, I’m partial to Duke’s mayonnaise. However any type will suffice (as long as it is not fat free or light).
The decision is yours. Enjoy the last fruits of summer!



Farm Stand Peach Cobbler

I’m lucky enough to live down the road from Scholl Orchards. They’ve been a longtime Bethlehem, PA staple. Their farm stand encompasses both the orchards and their farm out near Hawk Mountain. They are open daily from July on and then drop back hours into the Fall months.  It’s a delight to go and choose my produce knowing that it is locally gown with care by people who are warm and welcoming. You always know what is fresh by keeping an eye on signs out by the road.


fruit stand

I’m a regular shopper here, and I was able to coax Martha (one of the Scholl family members) into sharing a favorite recipe with me (and she gave permission to share it here, too!

peach cobbler

Here is the step by step:

Start with some Scholl’s peaches. They are all delicious but ask Martha or her mother, Faith Scholl to give you some pointers on choosing the best ones for this dish.

peaches and flowers

Preheat your oven and melt your butter. I do this in the microwave using a microwave-safe dish.

butter dish

Slice your peaches. You don’t need to peel them


Mix all your dry ingredients together.


Add the sliced peaches on top of the melted butter

Then add the batter on toppeach batter

Bake for 40-45 minutes

finished peaches

Serve ( I added some vanilla ice cream on the side). My vanilla ice cream came from another Bethlehem institution, Bethlehem Dairy Store (the Cup), over on Linden street

finished peach crisp

I hope you’ve enjoyed this small dollop of Bethlehem, PA food culture. If you’ve eaten at Scholl’s, I’d love your comments about this amazing place.


Sadie (in the truck) is a 5th generation Scholl employee!


Bodacious Bean Burgers!

We at a lot of beans in my home. They are cheap, filling and healthy. In fact, my children, prefer beans to meat. Throughout this blog, I will provide different ways to enjoy beans. Another excellent bean resource is the Prudent Homemaker’s Post, How to Eat Beans Every Night.

I used to shell out money for frozen black bean burgers but now I just make my own and freeze them for a fraction of the cost.

I start with cooking black beans in my instant pot. You can use canned beans,  cook beans the traditional way in a pot on the stove or even use a crock pot. I like to cook beans in bulk with no seasoning so I can freeze the extras for other uses. I just weigh them out by the pound, put them in a zip lock and freeze.

So we’re off… I used half a bag of black beans covered with about 4 inches of water at 40 minutes on the manual setting on high with a natural release.instant pot


After the beans cook,  they will look like this beans anbd water

Put the beans in a bowl and add the egg, and the other chopped ingredients


I then pour all the ingredients into a food processor and roughly pulse them together. Note, you don’t want a puree as it will be too loose.

mushed beanas

Add in your bread crumbs and seasoning.I used two slices of brioche to make my crumbs but you can use whatever you have on hand. The seasonings can be adjusted to your tastes…if you like a more piquant burger, double the sriracha. Our children prefer them more on the mild side but if I’m making them for adults, I spice them up.

beans bread crumbs

Gently fold the mixture together and place into mounds onto a silpat. Preheat your oven for 375 and bake for 10 minutes on each side.beans silpat

Here’s the recipe:

Bodacious Black Bean Burgers

16 oz of black beans

Preheat oven to 375 (190 C). Then can also be grilled at high heat so oil and preheat the grill if you wish.

1/2 pepper ( any color, your choice)

1/2 onion

1 TBSP minced garlic

1 egg

1 TBSP chili powder

1 TBSP cumin

1 tsp sriracha

1/2 cup bread crumbs ( bread of your choice)

Bake for 10 minutes on each side or grill for 8 min for each side.

Eat and Enjoy !

Cantaloupe & Tomato Salad

It was a hot and humid day.

I didn’t feel like turning on the stove. I love summer eating because a salad can be a main dish. I had most of ingredients for this one on hand. Although, it is too early in the summer in Pennsylvania to have garden grown tomatoes or cantaloupes.

This recipe is from the wonderfully poetic cookbook , “Cooking with the Muse” By Myra Cornfield and Steven Massimilla.

Cantaloupe & Tomato Salad with Olives and Ricotta

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP minced shallots 
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard 
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP golden balsamic vinegar 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tomato about 5 oz
  • 1 lb cantaloupe (1/2 large), seeded, cut into wedges 
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese ( I used ricotta salatta)
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives

To make vinaigrette…mince shallots and whisk in all other ingredients. Then add the basil.

Gather your main salad ingredients 

Chop them up and add to the bowl.

Step back and enjoy your no cook meal!

Nutritional Information per serving ( serves 4): 288 calories, 23 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 32 mg cholesterol, 14 g carbohydrates, 10 g sugar, 8 g protein, 288 mg sodium 2 g fiber