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/

 

Your Chef’s Table

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

https://yourchefstable.net/

JeannieBird Baking Company

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

 

34th Annual Rhubarb Festival at Kitchen Kettle Village

Last weekend, I had the honor of being a judge for the “Best Rhubarb Dessert in Lancaster County Baking Competition” at the 34th Annual Rhubarb Festival! This fun and rhubarb crazy event is held every year at Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, Pennsylvania. I featured Kitchen Kettle Village on the blog during my Lancaster County Foodie Adventure. Make sure you go check out all they have to offer! There are many specialty food shops that I love, and their Jam and Relish Kitchen is quite impressive. When they reached out to me about being a judge for their Rhubarb Festival, I couldn’t have been more excited!  

The baking competition was held outdoors on their main stage and featured three different categories in which people could enter their delicious treats: Pie, Cake, and Dessert. I was lucky enough to be a judge in the dessert category where we had 20 entries! I will never complain about to much dessert!

Before we started tasting, the judges were asked to choose a dessert that they thought had the best appearance for the “Judges Choice Award”. 

Once I casted my vote for the judges choice, it was time to start tasting. For every dessert, I had to give a rating in categories like appearance, taste, presence of rhubarb, etc. I didn’t realize how versatile rhubarb was! We had everything from cupcakes to tarts, Jell-O to bars; there isn’t anything you can’t put rhubarb in. Just look at all of these goodies I got to sample. Some of my favorites were: strawberry rhubarb cupcakes, rhubarb tarts, rhubarb cheesecake, and the rhubarb hand pies.

After the judging is all said and done, and the winners are chosen, all of the desserts are sold to the public to benefit the Lancaster Farmland Trust. What a great way to give back to the community in an area where farming and agriculture is so prevalent.

So how do we end the baking competition at the Rhubarb Festival? With the crowning of the Rhubarb King and Queen of course! Yes, there is a Rhubarb Festival King and Queen!

I can’t wait for the 35th Annual Rhubarb Festival. Who knows….maybe I will bake up some of my own desserts and enter the competition myself!

Lapp Valley Farm

A couple of weekends ago, Alex and I spent a Saturday in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with the kids. It turned out to be such a beautiful day, and I was glad Alex was able to be off work and go with us!

There is one place we always go while in Lancaster County and that is Lapp Valley Farm. Lapp’s is a working Amish farm where they raise Jersey dairy cows and make the most delicious ice cream out of their milk. Every time we have visited this farm, I am impressed with how beautifully maintained it is and I love that the kids can get out of the car and stretch their legs a bit.

Before buying our ice cream, we always head down to the barn to say hello to the bottle fed calves. If you are lucky, you may even be able to watch some cows being milked. We always really enjoy watching this and it’s great for the kids to see where their milk and ice cream comes from. You will also see a couple bulldogs, cats, and even peacocks roaming around the farm.

After all the animals have been greeted, it’s time to head into the Dairy Store. They have sixteen varieties of ice cream that they feature throughout the year, so chances are they will have your favorite. I’m a plain chocolate kind of gal, so that is what I always get. 2 scoops of chocolate ice cream in a homemade fresh waffle cone. Oh did I mention they make fresh waffle cones? Well, they do! They smell amazing and taste even better.

After getting our ice cream, we head out onto the porch to enjoy it in the beautiful weather. This past visit we learned you have to watch out for the cats! They are sneaky little things and will come take a lick of your ice cream cone if you aren’t looking.  

In the Dairy Store you can find more than just ice cream. They also offer butter, milk, and eggs. Did you know that milk from a Jersey Cow is 20% higher in protein and 15% higher in calcium than that of other dairy cows? All of Lapp’s products are hormone free, which means they do not give their cows any unnatural products to increase production. Whatever they are doing is working. Lapp Valley Farm always has us coming back for more. I don’t think we have made a trip to Lancaster County without paying Lapp’s a visit! 

Lapp Valley Farm

244 Mentzer Road

New Holland, PA 17557