Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail 2017

A couple years ago one of my friends told me about the Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail. I had never heard of it before and was immediately intrigued. If there is ice cream you can count me in! The trail features nine dairy farms that serve fresh and delicious ice cream right where it’s made….on the farm! You can go to Maryland’s Best‘s website and print out your very own Ice Cream Trail Passport so that you can join in. This passport contains all the information you will need to visit all nine dairies and become a “Trail Blazer”. At each farm you will have to collect a stamp and answer a question about the dairy farming industry. How fun does that sound? I love that you can travel around seeing different parts of Maryland while supporting small local businesses…oh and you get to eat lots and lots of delicious ice cream! My mom and I attempted to complete the trail in 2016 but it just didn’t happen(that was a very busy Summer). So at the beginning of the Summer in 2017, my friend Amy and I made it our mission to visit all the dairies and complete our trail passports. We knew it would be a challenge since we had four kids under the age of two and a half but we were determined! I am proud to say we completed the trail and had lots of fun along the way. Now I bring to you our Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail Adventure…….

Kilby Cream

Our first stop was Kilby Cream located in Rising Sun, Maryland. The drive to this farm was just beautiful! When we pulled in we were happy to see a playground for the kids as well as animals they could say hello to. Many of these farms are located over an hour from where we live so having a place for the kids to burn off some energy before we head back home is a mom’s dream! This was such a beautiful day that we were able to spend a few hours playing. We got there a little before the farm store opened, so we found a picnic table and brought out the packed lunches we had made. 

After lunch it was playtime! The kids loved the playground, said hello to all of the animals, and took a walk through the straw bale maze.

Time to head into the farm store and get some ice cream! Kilby Cream offers well over 40 flavors which made my decision difficult until I saw Tractor Tracks. One scoop on a cake cone please!

Our first trail stop was a huge success. We had a lot of fun getting our feet wet and were looking forward to the next farm!

South Mountain Creamery

Our next farm was a little closer to home. We are always hearing South Mountain Creamery on the radio telling us about their delicious ice cream and milk delivery services, so I was excited to finally get to visit their farm. Where there is a dairy farm there are lots and lots of calves. At South Mountain Creamery you can go spend some time with these adorable little guys and even get the chance to bottle feed one! They are open 365 days a year and offer a self guided tour where you can learn more about how the farm operates. This is a real treat for both kids and the grownups!

Before visiting with the calves we got our ice cream fix. I went with chocolate on a cake cone and the kids chose peach and blackberry. Delicious! 

Danny, Mackenzie, and Brody made sure to say hello to every calf in the barn and there were a lot! We were even able to see some cows being milked. What a great learning opportunity for the kids! Thank you South Mountain Creamery for a wonderful day!

Rocky Point Creamery

Rocky Point Creamery in Tuscarora, Maryland was our next destination. It was such a beautiful Summer day. Look at those clouds! When we arrived the kids ran right over to the play area. They had a combine turned into a playset with a slide and Danny loved pretending he was the driver. We spent a few hours here playing. The perfect day!

After playing in the hot sun, it was time to get what we came for. I had one scoop of chocolate and one scoop of peanut butter in a cup. Oh my goodness that peanut butter ice cream was amazing! I need to go back and get some more of that pronto! Danny chose mint chocolate chip and Mackenzie went with strawberry because it was pink. They all enjoyed eating their ice cream outside on the cow bench. So cute! 

Stop number three is complete and we are enjoying every minute of this ice cream trail!

Misty Meadows Farm Creamery

Tour stop number four sent us to beautiful Washington County, Maryland where the landscape is filled with rolling farmland and orchards. At Misty Meadows Farm Creamery you can of course find lots of freshly made ice cream but they also have a fantastic play area for the kids with pedal tractors, playsets, and lots of friendly animals that will keep your kids busy and having fun for hours.  

I went back to an oldie but a goodie with my ice cream choice this time…..chocolate chip cookie dough in a waffle cone. Does anyone else get really excited over fresh waffle cones!? YUM!

Woodbourne Creamery at Rock Hill Orchard

This next creamery we have actually visited many times and their ice cream is to die for! Woodbourne Creamery is located at Rock Hill Orchard in Mount Airy, Maryland. While you are there picking up some fresh milk and ice cream made from their Guernsey cows, you can also take home some local fruits and vegetables and even pick your own if you like. 

Every time I visit Woodbourne Creamery I always get two scoops of dark chocolate ice cream on a waffle cone. You have to give their dark chocolate a try. It is heavenly! I did try and talk the kids out of getting chocolate ice cream because I knew it would end up all over their clothes but their minds were made up. We used a lot of napkins :). 

After devouring our ice cream we drove up the hill to meet the cows. The cows were grazing way out in the field but we were able to say hello to some cute calves that seemed happy to have visitors. We are hoping to return to the creamery this year to take a tour to see how their operation works….and you know…for more ice cream!

Broom’s Bloom Dairy

Our next adventure was to Bloom’s Broom Dairy in Harford County. We found ourselves there on a beautiful Saturday and man was it packed! In addition to their ice cream, Bloom’s Broom also has a café where you can get soups, sandwiches, salads, and more. It is a very popular place to be so we knew it had to be good. We decided to give some of the menu items a try and ordered lunch before diving into our ice cream. I got the spinach and bacon quiche and we ordered sandwiches for the kids.

Both Amy and I went with the peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream on a waffle cone. Yes, another waffle cone. This flavor was amazing! Apparently I really like the peanut butter chocolate combo. We both wished we had brought a cooler so a large amount of that ice cream could have gone home with us. Lesson learned. 

Before getting back in the car we let the kids run around for a bit to burn off some energy. Instead of heading home we decided to hit up another stop on the trail while we were in the area. Two ice creams in one day!? Why not! Just look at these happy faces!

Keyes Creamery

Keyes Creamery was located just down the road in Aberdeen, also in Harford County. Upon reading the menu we saw they had an interesting flavor….Sweet Old Bay. How can Marylanders pass that up without giving it a try? One scoop please! We also got one scoop of strawberry and one sweet cream with chocolate sauce. The consensus on the sweet old bay? Very interesting! I’m glad we tried it!

Right next to the ice cream shop there is a beautiful open field and what did that mean for us? The perfect place for the kids to play! They had a blast!

Chesapeake Bay Farms

Up next is the tour stop we weren’t quite sure how we would make it to. Chesapeake Bay Farms is a 3 hour drive from where we live and with 4 kids under two and half that’s quite a journey. But like I said before, Amy and I were determined so we planned an overnight trip! We left on Saturday morning and that 3 hour drive turned into a 5 hour one. Let’s just say it was a looooong drive. But finally we arrived to a boat ramp in Ocean City where Amy’s brother has a boat. He was kind enough to take us out on it and the kids were able to play on the beach for a couple hours. They loved it!

After a tiring day of travel we headed back to the hotel for some much needed take out pizza and sleep. Tomorrow would be ice cream day!

In the morning we had some time to kill before the dairy store opened so we visited Salisbury Zoological Park. We really enjoyed this park. It was the perfect size for little kids. They can walk the whole park without getting worn out and they had some great animals there.

Chesapeake Bay Farms has two locations. Their dairy farm in Pocomoke and their ice cream shop in Berlin. We decided to visit the one in Berlin because going to Pocomoke was going to make our drive home longer and we just didn’t think we could handle that! Danny and Mackenzie both chose vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles and I got…well to be honest I can’t remember. Whoops! Looks like two scoops of something delicious in a waffle cone. After we had eaten our ice cream we let the kids play for a little longer and then it was time to pack everyone into the car for the drive home. I am happy to say that it was a much smoother drive than the trip over and most of the kids even napped! Hallelujah! 

Prigel Family Creamery 

The last stop on Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail has arrived! Welcome to Prigel Family Creamery in the beautiful Glen Arm, Maryland. We arrived just in time to see the cows switching from one field to another and were able to wave hello and say “Thanks for the ice cream”!

What makes Prigel Family Creamery special? Their dairy farm is certified organic and the cows are fed an all grass diet as opposed to supplementing with grain. It is nice to know that what you are eating and drinking contains no additives or hormones and is as straight from the cow as it can be!   

I chose the Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Sundae: peanut butter ice cream, brownie, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry. Mmmm mmmm good! 

I hope you had fun following us along on this adventure! Do you think you will become a trail blazer on the Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail in 2018? I hope you go for it! We had an absolute blast and I don’t think the kids would mind going at it again this Summer :).  

I want to say thank you to Amy and her sweet boys Brody and Brayden for joining us on this adventure. Also a huge thanks to all of the hard working dairy farmers that make this trail a possibility!

Sausage and Red Pepper Pasta

Main Dishes, Recipes | January 9, 2018 | By

Happy New Year! It’s been awhile since I have talked to you! I try and get posts up regularly, I really really do, but sometimes life just gets too busy. We actually have some big news….my husband and I are expecting baby #3.  We are very excited! The first trimester was rough, as usual, but I have made it into my 17th week and am feeling a lot better. That means food is no longer my enemy….YAY!! 

Today I bring you the recipe for my beloved Sausage and Red Pepper Pasta. Oh man, this is a good one. This pasta is near and dear to my heart because it brings back so many memories for me. I came up with this recipe when my husband and I were dating. I would go to his house after work or school and make a big pot of this pasta, often times sharing it with his Grandpa, who lived with him at the time. I usually made way to much for one sitting so I would eat the leftovers everyday for lunch until it was gone. It became my go to lunch. Now my husband would always be working during lunchtime, so he never actually got to eat this pasta very often and I never realized how much he loved it! When I made a batch to photograph for this post he said, “I love when you make this, it’s amazing” (as he devoured bowl after bowl full). I have now vowed to make it more often.

As I am typing this, I am trying to figure out a way to explain why this simple pasta dish is so special. It only takes 4 ingredients to make, if you don’t count the salt and pepper, and about 20 minutes to put together. I think the red peppers are delicious in this and add a nice sweetness. You can use whatever sausages you like. I always like trying different kinds of specialty sausages and the Chicken Caprese Sausages that I found at Costco are incredibly delicious! Those are a new favorite! 

 

This Sausage and Red Pepper Pasta is a great throw together dinner or lunch that is sure to please the whole family. You can make it for a crowd or just for yourself. I hope you give this recipe a try and let me know that you think!

Sausage and Red Pepper Pasta

Ingredients

  • 6 Sausages (I used Chicken Caprese)
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • 1lb Penne Pasta
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Boil the sausages until cooked through. About 8-10 minutes. Remove the sausages from the pot and place them on a cutting board. Do not dump out the water.
  2. Bring the water back to a boil and add salt. Drop in your pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  3. Slice the sausages into 1/2 inch rounds. Heat up a skillet on medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the chopped red peppers, salt and pepper, and cook until tender. About 5 minutes. Add in the sausage slices and work them in the pan until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Add the pasta and sausage mixture to the pot the water was in and add enough olive oil to coat the pasta. Add salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm. Top with fresh parsley if you like.
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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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