A few weeks ago, my sister stumbled upon a farm market close by our house that we never even knew was there…..I love when that happens! Your Chef’s Table has an on farm market in Brookeville, Maryland where they are focused on sustainably growing healthy and delicious foods. At their market, you can find some of their beautiful produce, as well as their pasture raised chickens and their eggs! What really intrigued me about Your Chef’s Table was their Meal Kits. Every Thursday, you can drop by the farm and pickup a meal kit that is ready to take home and cook for your family. Want to see what they have to offer? Lucky for you I went and purchased two meal kits to give them a try!
I don’t know if you all know this about me, but I am a produce snob. For years I worked alongside my Dad at his store in the produce department. He taught me what to look for in different fruits and vegetables, how to tell if something is fresh, and we would never accept produce to the store that wasn’t up to his standards. Having my Dad’s “produce eyes” has made me extremely picky. So when I tell you that Your Chef’s Table has gorgeous produce, I mean it!
I love that on your way to the market you drive by the fields where the produce is grown and you can of course stop and say hello to the chickens!
Every week the chef/owner Russ Testa creates up to three different meal kit options based on what is in season at that time. They offer meat based meals and also vegetarian options! The week I visited, they were featuring a Tarragon Chicken with Couscous with Kale and Collard Confetti and Cucumber, Squash and Tomato Salad AND a Creamy Broccoli and Cabbage Soup with Spring Lettuce Salad.
The meal kit includes all of the raw ingredients you will need as well as step by step instructions on how to create the recipe. We wanted to try both recipes so we purchased one of each meal kit.
Now it’s time to head home and get cooking!
I have never tried a meal kit before and I LOVED this! I kept saying the whole time we were cooking that this is such a great idea! I might have been a little too excited about it ;). Total foodie here remember!?
The recipes were easy to follow and everything being grown right up the road from us made it really special. There are a lot (and I mean a lot) of different meal kit services out there. It has become quite a trend. I would prefer Your Chef’s Table over any other meal kit service for a few reasons. One, it is much more affordable than those other companies. Two, everything is local to me and I get to see where my food is coming from. Three, I love supporting a small business and local farmer! Four, everything was very fresh.
If you live in or around Montgomery County, Maryland I highly recommend you try these meal kits! If you can’t make it out to their farm on Thursdays, you can meet up with them at one of the areas Farmer’s Markets!
Here is the Cucumber, Squash, and Tomato Salad.
The Tarragon Chicken served with Couscous with Kale and Collard Confetti. So delicious!
The Creamy Broccoli and Cabbage Soup. This soup had such a rich and roasted flavor. We really enjoyed this!
I am so happy that I found out about Your Chef’s Table. I want to thank Russ Testa and his team for creating such a great experience for me and my family. I can’t wait to come back for another meal kit!
Your Chef’s Table
19715 Zion Road
Brookeville, MD 20833
I have mentioned before how much I love watching cooking shows on TV. I don’t know why, but whenever I see a new chef I don’t fully trust what they have to say until I try a recipe for myself OR until I hear them say something like “More butter is always better”. A couple months ago, I found Ayesha Curry’s cooking show and fell in love with it. She was making these Pulled Chicken Tacos and served them up in Seasoned Taco Shells! Why have I never thought to give some extra love to store bought taco shells? Well, I am glad she told me to because these are incredible! I gave the recipe a try soon after seeing that episode and we have eaten them countless times since.
These Pulled Chicken Tacos are a great weeknight meal because they don’t take long to throw together. Using a store bought rotisserie chicken cuts down on your prep time! They are also great for entertaining! Set up a taco bar with lots of delicious toppings. We like ours with Cotija cheese, red cabbage, avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
The first step is to soften some sliced onions in a pan and then add in green chiles and lots of flavorful spices like: ancho chile powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, and oregano. The first time I made these I thought they were going to be too spicy for me BUT not at all! It’s the perfect blend of flavors. They add a nice smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with a little squeeze of fresh lime juice. After the onions, chiles, and spices have had time to mingle, it’s time to add in the tomato sauce and water. This simmers until thickened and then the shredded chicken joins the party.
While the chicken warms through, those ordinary store bought taco shells are ready for their transformation. Each side of the shell gets brushed with oil and then sprinkled with a blend of salt, ancho chile powder, coriander, and cumin. They bake in the oven for 6 minutes until nice and crisp. Now it’s time to serve!
These quickly became a favorite in my family and I know they will be in yours too! This also tastes great the next day as a taco salad piled high on a bed of romaine lettuce!
- For the Chicken:
- 2 tbls. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 4oz can chopped green chiles
- 2 tsps. ancho chile powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- kosher salt
- 8oz can tomato sauce
- 1 tbls. light brown sugar
- 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded
- For the Taco Shells:
- 2 tsps. ground cumin
- 2 tsps. ancho chile powder
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- kosher salt
- 12 hard tacos shells
- 3 tbls. vegetable oil
- Red Cabbage
- Cotija Cheese
- In a straight sided skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until softened. Add the garlic and green chiles and cook for 1 minute. Add the ancho chile powder, cumin, smoked paprika, coriander, oregano, and a pinch of salt. Stir to coat and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, and a cup of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken to the sauce and let simmer for about 5 minutes. You want the sauce to coat the chicken and not be too soupy. While the sauce thickens, prepare your taco shells.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine ancho chile powder, cumin, coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Arrange the taco shells in a single layer on the baking sheet and brush with oil. Sprinkle on the seasoning mix. Flip over and oil and season the other side. Bake until crispy about 6 minutes. Flipping them over halfway through.
- Fill the tacos with the chicken mixture and top with desired toppings. Enjoy!
Source: Ayesha Curry
Here I am once again to bring to you a “Tasty Place” that I have been LOVING. Come with me to downtown Westminster, Maryland and let’s visit JeannieBird Baking Company!
Inside a charming brick building, located right on Main Street, is one of the most amazing bakeries I have ever been to. Before I even walked in the front door, I knew I was in for something special. Many people I know have visited JeannieBirds and they all said the same thing, “You have to go there and put it on the blog”. So here we are! Let’s go inside!
Before we drool over all of the delicious food, let me tell you a little bit about how JeannieBird Baking Company came to be. Bernie Vogel met his wife Jeannie while working in the restaurant business many years ago. It was their dream to open up a place of their own one day. After getting married and raising their kids, it was finally time to pursue that lifelong dream. They opened JeannieBird Baking Company and it quickly became a favorite with college kids and locals by baking delicious pastries from scratch every day. Sadly, Jeannie passed away not long after the bakery opened. I never met Jeannie, but one thing is for sure, her spirit lives on inside JeannieBirds.
At JeannieBirds they bake everything the right way…..from scratch. You would be shocked to know how many bakeries out there don’t actually make anything in house. They bring product in frozen and pop it in the oven or just set something out to thaw. When I go to a bakery, I want something delicious that has been made from scratch in that very bakery. Sadly, sometimes that is to much to ask, but at JeannieBirds that is exactly what you will find. They make it a priority to use locally sourced ingredients and will highlight whatever fruits or vegetables are in season at the time. That means no fruit tarts in December people! When I asked Bernie if they truly made everything in house he said “Yes, of course!” and I followed that up with “Even the croissants?”….YES even the croissants! Now this is my kind of place.
If I lived closer to JeannieBirds, I am pretty sure you would find me there almost every morning ordering a freshly brewed cup of coffee and a croissant. Their Ham and Gruyere Croissant is one of my favorites. As I mentioned before they are made from scratch and you can truly taste how much love went into making them. So buttery and flaky! On my last visit, I went with a Chocolate Croissant…..now that’s Heaven.
In January, they brought in a savory pastry chef. You can now find things like Mushroom and Leek Hand Pies, Pizza, Shepherd’s Pie, and Savory Galettes. On one of my visits, they were featuring a galette with prosciutto, dates, and an herbed goat cheese. Wow! I could eat one of those everyday of my life.
If you find yourself there around lunch time, they also have a menu full of homemade sandwiches, soups, and salads. I haven’t actually tried anything from the menu yet…..why? Well, every time I go in I am so in awe over all of the glorious pastries that I completely forget about the made to order items! I do know that the sandwiches come on freshly baked bread and they even make their own English muffins for the perfect bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. I guess I will have to make another trip to try them for myself!
JeannieBird Baking Company truly is a special place. From the moment you walk in you are treated like family and you are sure to have a delicious meal no matter what you choose.
Thank you JeannieBirds for serving such amazing treats and keeping everything from scratch……that keeps this foodie coming back for more!
JeannieBird Baking Company
42 W Main Street
Wesminster, MD 21157
The weather has been beautiful lately, and that means dinner most nights is cooked out on the grill and eaten on our back porch. I just love it! I have been trying my hardest to get the hang of this whole grilling thing and I have been doing quite well, if I do say so myself. It helps when the recipe I am cooking is super simple and only requires one flip…now that I can master. These Turkey Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta are the perfect dinner for a hot Summer evening with my family.
My sister Laura made these burgers for the first time a few years ago and we have been hooked on them ever since. These burgers are a favorite for many reasons. One, they are very simple to make. Two, they grill up in no time. Three, they look beautiful. Just look at all of the colorful ingredients that go into them: Italian parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese. Four, and most importantly, they taste amazing!
These Turkey Burgers are perfect for a hot Summer evening because they aren’t heavy like a traditional beef burger. Now I love me some beef burgers, but this turkey burger and all its sun-dried tomato and feta cheese goodness is just what I need sometimes. They have so much flavor and pair wonderfully with a cooling Tzatziki sauce and peppery arugula.
If you are looking for a delicious burger that can lighten things up this Summer, this one is for you. Happy grilling!
- 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup drained and chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil
- 1/4 cup diced onions
- 2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat your grill to high heat.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Be careful not to overmix. Form the mixture into 6 even patties.
- Reduce the grill heat to medium and lightly grease the grill. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for 6 minutes per side, closing the grill in between flipping the burgers. You may need less time depending on your grill. Just keep an eye on them so they don't over cook.
- Serve on a fresh bun with tzatziki sauce and baby arugula.
I’m a little rhubarb crazy lately, can you tell? I’m not if sure if it’s the leftover excitement from the Rhubarb Festival or if it’s that rhubarb feels like my new best friend. How many times have I passed by rhubarb at the store or farmer’s market and thought, “It’s so pretty, but I have no clue what to do with it”, and kept on walking? Shameful. Never again. From here on out, when rhubarb is in season, I am going to put it into anything and everything I can.
When I told my Grandmother I was going to be a judge at the Rhubarb Festival, she surprised me by saying that Rhubarb Pie was her favorite. How did I not know this? So I knew I better not come home from Lancaster County without some fresh rhubarb in tow to bake my Grandma a pie!
At the festival, I picked up some beautiful local rhubarb and a pamphlet that has all sorts of fun rhubarb facts, as well as previous baking contest winning recipes! I chose to make the Rhubarb Custard Crumb Pie by Belinda Myers. She won many awards in the baking competition this year, so I knew this pie had to be good!
For as wonderful as this pie is, it’s very easy to put together. First, it’s pie crust time. This pie didn’t come with a specific crust recipe, so I used a very simple crust that I have been loving lately. Once the dough is placed into the pie plate and made pretty (my pie beautification skills still need work) it’s on to the custard. In the bowl of an electric mixer, you will combine: sugar, flour, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. It whips on medium high for a few minutes until light and creamy. A little bit of the custard filling goes on the bottom of the pie crust, followed by the diced rhubarb, and the rest of that glorious custard. After baking for about 45 minutes, or until the center is almost set, the pie gets topped with a buttery sweet crumble and put back in the oven to get nice and golden brown.
This Rhubarb Custard Crumb Pie is what rhubarb dreams about while growing in the fields. It is exactly where rhubarb wants to be……nestled between a sweet, creamy custard and a buttery, crunchy crumble. This pie is slightly tart, creamy, and crunchy all in one. After taking one bite of this pie, it was no surprise that this recipe won the 2007 Rhubarb Baking Contest. Enjoy!
- Pie Crust:
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 4-5 tbsp. cold water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp. flour
- 3 tbsp. melted butter
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 3 1/2 cups fresh rhubarb, diced
- Crumb Topping:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- 6tbsp. butter, cubed
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 3 tbsp. coconut
- 2 pinches cinnamon
- For the pie crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until it's in pea sized pieces.
- Sprinkle on one tablespoon of the water at a time, tossing with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side and continue this until all the flour is moistened and a dough forms. Do not overmix.
- Form into a ball and roll out on a slightly floured surface. Turn and flour dough a few times, rolling out until its the size you need. Place dough in 9inch pie plate and flute the edges.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- For the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar, flour, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on medium high speed for a few minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Pour 2/3 cup of the custard into the prepared pie shell. Place the rhubarb in the pie crust and top with the remaining custard. Bake for 30 minutes. Check on the pie and if the edges are getting too dark tent with foil and bake until the center is almost set. Another 13-15 minutes. While the pie is in the oven make the crumble.
- For the crumble: In a medium bowl combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter. Cut with a pastry blender until crumbles form. Mix in the chopped nuts and coconut.
- Pull the pie out of the oven and top with the crumble. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the center of the pie is set.
Pie Crust Source: The Recipe Critic Pie Recipe Source: Belinda Myers