Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…

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Mini-Vaca… Where We Stayed

While we were in the Lancaster area, we stayed at a bed and breakfast called Lititz House.  It was DEFINITELY the best one we have ever stayed at, and we typically choose a B & B whenever we travel.  The people were nice, the food was delicious, and the room was BEYOND amazing. 
Speaking of food, the first breakfast we had was incredible.  I was KICKING myself for not bringing my camera, but it was so tasty that I couldn’t tear myself away to go upstairs and get my camera.  In addition to the breakfast appetizers (every breakfast started with a baked treat along with fresh fruit!), the first meal was this baked egg thing.  I don’t remember the name, and I have to e-mail them and grab the recipe.  Heidi (one of the innkeepers) said that it was deceptively easy.  It was kind of like a personal frittata, but with bread somehow mixed in.  When I get the recipe and make it, I will post about it.  Some of the other yummies they served included baked apples with cinnamon over ice cream and lightly seasoned and sweetened bacon that made John’s eyes light up.  
The other element that made our stay special?  The innkeepers.  John and Heidi were so warm and friendly!  They really made us feel at home.  We thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast chats with them, and getting to know a little bit about them, their family, and the quaint town of Lititz.  Through their kind suggestion we headed off to a great nursery in the area and purchased enough plants to fill the backseat of our car!  Whenever we look our our newly planted border, or our new potted herbs, or our veggies, we think of them.  They also pointed us in the direction of a great place to pick up produce before we left for home and a market in Lancaster itself where we stocked up on meat and poultry products.  
When we left Lititz House, our cooler was FULL of good food… a chicken, chicken bones, ground beef, liver, marrow bones, fruits and veggies galore, and (after a visit to Zoe!) 4 dozen eggs.  Since it was so stuffed, we didn’t realize until we got home that we left the cheese we bought at the little shop in town in the B & B fridge!  Luckily, John and Heidi found it and are working with the store to ship it out to us.  If that isn’t proof that they are exceptional, I don’t know what is.  We were both so upset that we forgot it, but figured it was a lost cause.  When they e-mailed us, it made our week!  
Our trip would have been quite different if we stayed at another B & B, at least in my opinion.  We definitely made the right choice!


Vacation Food

One of the things John and I like to do when we are on vacation is cook.  We prefer to use foods from the area we are cooking in from small local shops as opposed to supermarkets.  When we were in the Poconos, we had our first Raw Milk experience.  When we honeymooned in Hawaii, we spent a few days browsing for local foods and cooking them at the hotel (Perhaps I should post about that?  what do you think?)
This trip, we stopped by this amazing little shop that was down the street from our bed and breakfast.  The shop was called The Savory Gourmet and it specializes in meats and cheeses.  It was like a playground!  Well, it didn’t LOOK like a playground, but the selection of specialty meats and cheeses was astounding.  John decided that we would be cooking kangaroo medallions on Saturday night.  
We were lucky enough to have a room with a kitchen (it was a suite, really, but more about THAT tomorrow).  We saw that there was a pan and a pot, along with a few cooking utensials, so we figured we were set.  What didn’t we think about?  Seasonings and cooking fat.  
Yeah.  We had neither.  
Did that deter us?  NEVER!  John got the pan nice and hot, threw the kangaroo on, and hoped for the best.  
Looks good already, huh!
While that was cooking, I put together a quick side dish.  It was just some green beans I picked up in our travels from a farm stand, blanched.  
While I’m sure people that are much more serious about food than we are would be horrified, our meal was delicious.  Yes, the meat could have used some butter and salt.  Really, what isn’t better with butter and salt?  The thing is, it doesn’t matter to us.  It was yummy filling, and fun to cook.  
OH!  We also learned how to twist pretzels.  Mine was wimpy…
John’s was awesome!
He may have enjoyed a nibble of pretzel before he left… MMmmmm!


Bloggers are real people, too!

… and they can be really cool in real life!
As you know, John and I spent last weekend near Lancaster, PA.  What you might not know is that one of the nicest bloggers ever lives there!  Zoe (of Whole Eats & Whole Treats) and her husband Brad were kind enough to have us over while we were in the neighborhood.  Let me tell you, she is JUST as sweet as she seems!  If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, do it now.  It is chock full of recipes (especially recipes for desserts…yummm!)
I really wanted to meet her chickens.  I know how silly that sounds, but John and I have been talking about getting chickens for a while, and I wanted to spend some time with them.  Zoe, of course, obliged and led us over to them.  It probably seemed strange to her that we wanted to “meet” her chickens and see her gardens, but we live in the suburbs.  We like to PRETEND it is the country, but really, it isn’t.  
Anyway, seeing Zoe’s chickens totally solidified the idea for us.  Well, seeing the chickens AND tasting how DELICIOUS the eggs were solidified it.  She was generous enough to send us home with 4 dozen eggs!  She keeps saying how we were helping her out by taking them off her hands, but I don’t totally believe it.  Based upon what we have to pay for nearly-but-not-quite farm fresh eggs, it seemed like an AMAZING gift.  
One of the things we talked about what the type/price of food available to us in our area.  When we shared with her the price we have to pay for raw milk in NJ (when we can get it at all), her eyes nearly popped out of her head!  We continued to discuss eggs, chicken, and meat, and all the while she was shaking her head.  It really made me think about how hard we work to be able to afford the type of happy food we eat.  It also added another layer to our understanding of why people eat the Standard American Diet and how far we need to go before progress is made.  
What can we do to bring our ideals (happy animals that weren’t “grown” in factory farms or CAFOs, fresh products, non-GMO food) to the rest of the country?  How can we make it more affordable for suburbanites like us?

This post was featured on Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop!


Anniversary Weekend

Happy Monday!
Yesterday marked our 1 year anniversary!  
To celebrate, we headed down to the Lancaster, PA area for a long weekend.  For the next few days, I will be posting the details.  Can’t wait?  Here’s a sneak peek at the highlights:
Awesome shopping
Meeting up with a blogger friend
Grabbing lots of plants for our kitchen and veggie gardens
This busy, busy weekend was a GREAT way to celebrate a busy, busy first year of marriage.  Here’s to many more!

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I’m Back!

I haven’t been blogging much lately, and I’m sure you will understand why.  I spent the better part of last week in Florida meeting my best friend’s beautiful daughter!  Isn’t she perfect?!
Sigh.  I miss her already.  
While we mostly just lounged around, we did do a BIT of cooking.  What did we cook up?  Some yummy sauteed chicken!  
We sliced up some chicken breasts and mixed them together with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, salt, and pepper.  We sprinkled flour in to thicken it up and help it stick to the chicken. 
Once it was well-coated, we sauteed it on the stove until it was done but still juicy.  
What did we have on the side?
It was a delicious meal with my best friend and her perfect little girl!


My Mom’s Contribution

Hi!  I know I said I wouldn’t be here this week, but my dad sent me a little recipe/photo courtesy of my mom.  Enjoy!

Orzo and Peas Recipe from Mom
Cook orzo according to the package directions.  
Add a big bag of frozen peas when orzo is done.  
Mix in butter, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese to taste. 

Simple Easy Dinner!

Thanks, Mom!

This post was featured on the Hearth and Soul Bloghop!