The Great Food Truck and Treat Festival

October 8th was The Great Food Truck and Treat Festival at the Howard County Fairgrounds and of course my husband and I HAD to go! MG Events and Design put on this event as well as The Great American Food Truck Festival that we went to last year. (If you haven’t seen that post yet, go ahead and check it out. Delicious!).  I was really excited to attend another one of their festivals since the last one was such a success. Halloween was only a few weeks away, so this year they added the “Treat” portion of the event. Everyone was invited to bring their kids dressed in costumes and go from truck to truck, and also visit the vendors for candy! What a fun idea. We did bring our kids along but no costumes for us. This is mainly because I’m not organized enough to plan ahead, but we had so much fun seeing everyone dressed up and the kids kept pointing out characters they knew. Okay, let’s jump right into things. Let me show you the food trucks and our tasty finds!

Our first stop was Flat Chance. I have seen this truck at other events but hadn’t yet had the chance (see what I did there) to eat from it…..this was the day! I was determined to get myself a flatbread sandwich. Everything on the menu looked great! Whenever I can’t decide what to order, I ask the experts what they recommend, so the Angus Steak it was. Strips of seasoned angus steak, roasted veggies, provolone cheese, and their special tiger sauce gets wrapped up in, you guessed it, a flatbread. So so good! Is there anything better than perfectly roasted peppers and onions on a cheesy meat filled sandwich? The answer is no. It didn’t take Alex (the aforementioned husband) and I long at all to gobble it up. 

Next up, Crossroads Bistro Fusion Cuisine. I probably could have eaten every item on their menu, Maryland Crab Dip, Cheesecake Bites, Sopas Pie….I wanted it all! But I have learned at these events you have to pace yourself, so I chose the first thing that stood out to me….the Smoked Turkey Cranberry Maple Sandwich. When I placed my order, the cashier told me it was her favorite item on the menu. I knew I made a good choice. She also recommended I get it served hot. So hot it was! (I told you, I listen to the experts).

This was probably my favorite thing we ate that day. Ciabatta bread piled high with smoked turkey, lots of feta cheese, spinach, a cranberry maple spread, and a scallion aioli. They didn’t skimp on the feta which I love. Give me all the feta cheese!! I definitely need to try and recreate this at home. I could happily eat this for lunch everyday.    

I knew I wanted to visit 2 Bold Chefs & a Truck because I saw something online that I had to try. I wasn’t sure exactly what the dish was called but the owner was very nice and had me show him the picture so he could make it for me (Thank you!). It was a Falafel Wrap! Freshly baked pita bread was the vessel for this wrap and stuffed inside were delicious veggie patties and lots of fresh vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes. I am a big fan of hummus so I loved that this wrap had that too. It went perfectly with the falafel! What a great healthy lunch option that even these meat eaters loved!

On to the next truck…The Green Bowl. This truck featured some dishes that neither Alex or I have tried like Mofongo and Bibimbap. We debated on going for one of those but couldn’t pass up their Quesadilla Spring Rolls. Crispy spring rolls were stuffed with chicken and queso and served with an avocado sauce for dipping. We loved the crunchy texture of the wrapping, mixed with the cheesy filling. And dipped in that avocado sauce….you can’t go wrong. I love anything avocado!  

So after eating all of those delicious savory dishes, I had developed a sweet tooth that needed to be satisfied. Luckily, Wilde Thyme was serving up some Fried Apple Rings. One order of apple rings please! The kids loved these. They are big apple fans so of course they would love them fried and sprinkled in cinnamon sugar. Who wouldn’t love that? 

We had been smelling barbeque since we arrived, so our last stop was at Smokin J’s BBQ. Alex got an order of the Beef Brisket (we were too stuffed to order more but had to try something from this truck). Now I will say that I am very picky about barbeque. It needs to be perfect and this brisket was pretty close to it. I loved the crispy burnt ends and that sauce…..that sauce was amazing! The brisket had lots of smoky flavor which we both appreciated. We will need to hunt this truck down another day and try more from their menu! We will be back Smokin J’s!

Here is the part where I tell you we are so full we couldn’t eat another bite, which is a shame because there were many other trucks we wanted to try! I am so glad we were able to attend this event and experience dishes from multiple trucks. What a fun way to spend the day! I can’t wait for the next event and I hope to see you there!

 

Featured Trucks 

Flat Chance –  https://www.flatchancefood.com/

Crossroads Bistro –  http://crossroadsbistrofoodtruck.com/

2 Bold Chefs & A Truck –  http://2boldchefs.com/

The Green Bowl –  http://www.thegreenbowlfoodtruck.com/

Wilde Thyme –  https://wildethymebaltimore.com/

Smokin J’s BBQ –  https://www.facebook.com/Smokinjsbbqllc/

 

Indian Pumpkin Bread

Breads, Recipes | September 27, 2017 | By

My favorite time of year has arrived! It’s officially Fall! It is still very hot where I live but I think it’s supposed to cool down by this weekend. I am very much looking forward to that. I have already had my fair share of pumpkin spice lattes and decorated my house with pumpkins and mums. I love love love this time of year! In my opinion, the perfect way to welcome Fall is to bake up some pumpkin bread! I have many recipes that I make and love, but you guys know me, I am always looking to try something new. So the hunt for a new recipe began……

I went straight to the cookbook “The Tea Room Cooks”. This book was gifted to my grandmother which was then given to my mom and then borrowed by me. I have had it for quite a while now and have made many delicious recipes from it. (I’m not sure I want to give it back).  In the Breads and Rolls section there is a recipe for Indian Pumpkin Bread. I read the ingredients, which included cornmeal and dried cranberries, and I decided to make it but didn’t have high hopes. Cornmeal in pumpkin bread? It sounded a little strange.     

I guess you can tell by me bringing this recipe to the blog that the Indian Pumpkin Bread was a huge success! The cornmeal gives it such a great texture and the dried cranberries add the sweetness that it needs. The walnuts give it that little crunch and the spices compliment and enhance the pumpkin flavor. This is the perfect bread for Fall!

Indian Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (150z) can of pumpkin
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease two 9X5inch loaf pans.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the sugars and oil. Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Blend in the pumpkin.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients and blend into the pumpkin mixture. Stir in the dried cranberries and walnuts.
  4. Divide the batter between the prepared loaf pans and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from the pans.

Notes

Adapted from "The Tea Room Cooks" by Shari Groh

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Summer Squash and Corn Chowder

Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups | September 20, 2017 | By

It is harder than ever to get posts on this blog regularly! I am trying not to put too much pressure on myself but gee it’s been difficult lately. I have so many delicious recipes I want to bring you! Seriously, the list is looooong! But it gets tricky. As I am sitting here typing this I have one of my kids sitting on my lap coloring (which means I can’t see the keyboard, so I keep having to backspace) and my other kiddo is to my right playing with tape and banging on a calculator! Now he’s playing with the mouse and made my screen go crazy…..do I need to explain why I have a hard time photographing food? 

So let’s jump back in to things with a recipe that was a GO TO for me this Summer….Summer Squash and Corn Chowder. Growing up my mom would always make corn chowder and I never ate it. Never even tried a bite. If that was for dinner, then I would happily eat a big bowl of cereal instead. What was wrong with me!? Corn chowder is delicious! Summer Squash and Corn Chowder? Even more amazing!!

I came across this recipe while looking for ideas on how to use the 12,454,656 pieces of yellow squash that came from my garden. Okay, that’s slightly exaggerated but it always seems like so much! I needed a recipe that I hadn’t tried before and wanted to stay away from breading and frying it, which is the usual go to. This chowder saved my squashes life. Just when I didn’t think I could eat anymore, I made this!

This chowder is creamy and rich, but still tastes great on a warm Summer evening. Just because Summer is almost over doesn’t mean I will stop making this soup! Oh no! I will continue to make big batches of it to warm our bellies on chilly evenings as well! 

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder

Source: Cooking Classy

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon , cooked and crumbled and 1 1/2 Tbsp rendered bacon fat reserved
  • 3 medium yellow squash, chopped
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1 cup sliced green onions, divided
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 3/4 cup milk
  • 5 cups fresh cut corn, divided
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 tsp salt, then more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over medium high heat, heat 4 tsp of reserved bacon fat. Add celery and sauté 2 minutes then add the squash and 3/4 cup of the green onions. Sauté until tender, about 6 minutes, adding in garlic and flour during last 2 minutes of sautéing. Reduce heat slightly.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups milk, 2 cups of the corn, thyme, salt and pepper to the sautéed veggies.
  3. To a blender add remaining 3 cups of corn, remaining 1 1/4 cups milk and the cream. Process in blender until nearly smooth. Add pureed mixture to pot and stir to blend. Cook until mixture reaches a light boil.
  4. Serve warm with shredded cheese, crumbled bacon and remaining sliced green onions.
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Baked Oatmeal Squares

Breakfast, Recipes | August 18, 2017 | By

Breakfast is the one meal that I am not good about planning for and it can get really boring. I usually just make scrambled eggs, pancakes, or sometimes (I am embarrassed to say) I will feed my children…..pop tarts! I feel so guilty every time I do it. I want to start making breakfast more exciting around my house and healthier too! I can usually accomplish that when I get out of bed well before my kids, have my coffee, do my devotional, and prepare something before they are awake and it’s GO GO GO!  Unfortunately, I don’t always get up as early as I would like, so these Baked Oatmeal Squares are the perfect healthy and easy breakfast that I can make ahead of time of quickly in the morning.

These Baked Oatmeal Squares use simple ingredients that I always have on hand and you can customize the toppings to your taste! This time I topped mine with shredded coconut, walnuts, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips. The chocolate ones being my favorite of course! Fresh blueberries and strawberries are also delicious on these.

I use my Pampered Chef Brownie Pan to make cute little squares that I can easily take for breakfast on the go or for a snack.   

This recipe is very simple to make and only dirties one mixing bowl. All you do is mix the wet ingredients together and then add the rolled oats, baking powder, and cinnamon. Put 1/4 cup in each well of the pan or muffin tin and top with whatever you like! My kids love putting their own toppings on. Pop it into a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

As we move into Fall, try substituting the banana in the batter for pureed pumpkin! Or how about using applesauce and topping them with diced apples and cinnamon sugar! The possibilities are endless!

Baked Oatmeal Squares

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • Toppings: fruit, nuts, chocolate

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a Brownie Pan with nonstick baking spray. (You can also use a muffin tin).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, canola oil, and brown sugar. Add in the bananas, milk, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk until combined. Stir in the oats and baking powder.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of the mixture into each of the squares in the pan. Add your favorite toppings.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set and lightly golden brown on the top. Let them cool for 5 minutes before eating or removing from the pan. Store in the refrigerator or freezer and reheat before eating.

Notes

Adapted from: The Wholesome Dish

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Zucchini and Cheese Drop Biscuits

Breads, Recipes, Side Dishes | August 3, 2017 | By

You know those recipes you make a couple of times and then it gets pushed into the back of your recipe binder and forgotten about? Well, that’s exactly what happened to the following recipe! I cannot believe I ever forgot how delicious these Zucchini and Cheese Drop Biscuits are! I mean what is wrong with me? I haven’t made these in quite a while (sad face). I was going through my binder looking for ways I could use the zucchini from my garden and there these biscuits were, staring up at me from the page, begging me to make them. So let’s make them!

First, the flour, baking soda, and salt get whisked together in a large bowl. Next, cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Now comes the good stuff! Mix in the shredded zucchini, cheeses, sundried tomatoes, and basil. Now you stir in the milk until just combined.

 

Drop the dough by 1/3 cupfuls into a greased 9X13 inch pan and bake for 22-25 minutes. I of course topped mine with a little extra cheese because that’s how I roll :).

Look how gorgeous these Zucchini and Cheese Drop Biscuits turn out! Doesn’t the sight of that just make you happy? The edges and tops get all crispy but the inside is super soft, thanks to all that butter. I am a huge sundried tomato fan and they add so much flavor to these biscuits while the zucchini keeps them moist. This is such a great way to use the squash that is in abundance this time of year. Whether you planted a garden or get yours from the grocery store, it’s everywhere!

These are of course a great side dish to any Summer time meal you prepare, but the leftovers are also great for making sandwiches! I love using these for the turkey and ham sandwiches I pack in my husband’s lunch. Another idea is to use them as a casserole topper. You could crumble the leftover biscuits on a casserole or put the raw dough right on top before you bake it. 

I vow to never again forget about these Zucchini and Cheese Drop Biscuits!       

Zucchini and Cheese Drop Biscuits

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 10-12 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. chopped oil packed sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the shredded zucchini in a colander over a plate. Sprinkle with salt and stir. Let sit for ten minutes. Rinse and drain well. Squeeze the zucchini to remove the excess liquid.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the zucchini, cheeses, sun dried tomatoes, and basil. Add the milk and stir until just moistened.
  3. Drop by 1/3 cupfuls into a greased 9X13 inch baking dish. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

Source: Taste of Home Magazine

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