Greek Yogurt Pear Tart

Let’s talk about Greek yogurt. I purchased two 16 oz jars of plain Greek yogurt from Fiddle Creek Dairy which is located in Quarryville which is in Lancaster County. It is a family owned 50 acre dairy farm and creamery. The Greek yogurt is minimally processed and contains only pasteurized milk and live, active cultures. The yogurt is thick and creamy and has a taste that does not compare to store bought Greek yogurt.
Cream Cheese and Pear Tart published on Penn State’s Local Food Journey blog is where I found the inspiration for the pear tart I made.
To prepare the Greek yogurt for this tart, take a bowl and place a strainer on top. Line the strainer with a coffee filter and spoon in a generous cup of the yogurt. Top with another strainer and place in the refrigerator overnight. This helps strain excess moisture from the yogurt and thickens it up close to a softened cream cheese consistency. This also helps prevent the tart crust from becoming soggy.tart-crust
Local ingredients: The walnuts and honey are from Strites’. The flour is from Daisy Flours. The coconut oil is from Kauffman’s Fruit Farm and produced by Golden Barrel. The maple syrups is also from Kauffman’s. The Winter Chai spice is from Calicutts. The yogurt, as mentioned above, is from Fiddle Creek Dairy.
I hope you enjoy this pear tart and have a happy new year!

Greek Yogurt Pear Tart

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • ¾ cup flour
  • ⅔ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp Winter Chai spice (or cinnamon)
  • Filling:
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (see above)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1-2 pears, sliced
  • 1 tsp Winter Chai spice (or cinnamon)
  • 1 Tbsp honey


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a pie dish.
  2. In a bowl, mix the coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Mix in the walnuts, spice, and the flour. Stir well. Press into the pie dish and bake 15 minutes until the edges are golden. Cool.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt and maple syrup. When the pie crust is cool, spread the yogurt mixture on top. Layer on the pear slices.
  4. Mix the honey and spice together. Drizzle on top of the tart. Serve immediately.


Slow Cooker Hot Garlic Chicken Wings

No New Year’s Eve Party is complete without chicken wings. This recipe for slow cooker hot garlic wings is sure to be a party pleaser. Toss the spices together, pour on the sauce and forget about them while you get the house ready for your party!
The new year always brings about changes and one of the changes I made is with the camera I am using. Check out the difference between my old camera and the new one in the two pictures below. I am looking forward to sharing even better pictures and recipes in the coming year!

The sauce I used on the wings is from a company called Mike Dawg’s Sauces. Mike Dawg’s Sauces are based out of Mechanicsburg, PA and in addition to the Hot Garlic sauce, the company makes other delicious sauces such as Bacon BBQ, Blue Crab, and Caribbean Jerk sauce. Check them out here.
The chicken wings are from Rambling River Farm in Gettysburg, PA. The chickens are grass fed and you can taste the difference between these wings and store bought wings. In addition, after cooking in the slow cooker all day, they become fall off the bone
If you like spicy, these wings are the wings for you. If your guests like these wings on New Year’s, give them an encore at your Super Bowl Party, too.


– 2 lbs chicken wings
– 1 jar Mike Dawg’s Hot Garlic Sauce
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp onion powder
– 1 tsp parsley
– 1 tsp oregano
– 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese


  1. Mix the spices together and toss with the chicken wings. Place in your slow cooker.
  2. Pour the jar of Hot Garlic sauce over the wings. Cook on low 6 hours.
  3. Turn on your oven’s broiler. Place wings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Coat with remaining sauce. Cook for 5 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Nut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Is there any Christmas cookie more despised than the oatmeal raisin cookie? How many times has a person thought they were biting into a tasty chocolate chip cookie only to taste the betrayal of a raisin.
Raisins are those sweet, little, chewy former grapes that people either love or hate. I have found a solution for the raisin haters out there to make these cookies appealing to almost everyone: Nut butter. Squirrely Tail Nut Butter from Blind Spot Nutbutters to be exact. It is sweet, paleo, and adds exactly what you were looking for in an oatmeal raisin cookie to make you want to eat more than one. So, keep the milk handy and give this recipe a try.
The oats, maple syrup, and raisins used in this recipe come from Kauffman’s Fruit Farm. I used baby flake oats which are just regular oats cut into smaller pieces. This gives the cookies a more smooth texture. This recipe is not complicated and simple to make. Just mix all of the ingredients and bake!mixture
So, how do you feel about oatmeal raisin cookies?

Nut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • Servings: 14 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • ¾ cup oats
  • 1 cup nut butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Next stir in the wet ingredients. Fold in the raisins.
  3. Spoon onto the baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes.

Nona’s Pork Chops

My great grandmother was a great cook. She made so many delicious recipes and her pork chops were just one of them. Born in 1908 and named Italia because of her father’s pride in his home country, she arrived in the United States in 1920. When she went to school, the teacher asked her name. When she told the teacher it was Italia, the teacher responded that she knew where she was from and wanted to know her name. A little girl sitting behind her told her to say, “Lena,” and from then on my great grandmother was known as Lena. Lena died in 2005 and the old age of 96.
I followed the family recipe exactly as it was written except for a few minor things. I had a terrible time slicing the apples, so I used slices instead of ring. The yellow rice I used was from Kauffman’s Fruit Farms and is a jasmine rice seasoned with saffron and turmeric. The raisins are also from Kauffman’s. The pork chops are from Anschuetz Farm. They do not even come close to the store bought chops I have had in the past. They are tender and cut like butter. Try them and you will not be disappointed.porkchops
Nona’s Pork Chops make an entire meal themselves, so you do not have to worry about serving anything else with them. Well, you could have a salad. Just be sure not to leave any leftovers or you will risk offending Nona.

Nona’s Pork Chops

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1-1 ½ lbs pork chops
  • 4 Tbsp oil
  • 6 oz yellow rice
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 ½ cups boiling water
  • 6 apple rings (or one small apple, sliced)
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and brown them in 2 Tbsp oil over medium high heat. Set aside.
  2. Saute the rice, onion and celery in the remaining oil for 5 minutes. Add the raisins and stir. Add the boiling water and stir.
  3. Pour into a baking dish and place the pork chops on top. Cover and bake 40-45 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and top with the apples, melted butter, and nutmeg. Recover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Clean Eating Chai Meringue Cookies

Christmas is in two weeks and that can only mean two things:  cookies and eggnog!

Meringue cookies are light and crunchy cookies typically made with egg whites and sugar as the main ingredients. These clean eating meringues use maple syrup instead of white sugar. Because of this, the preparation needs to be adjusted so the meringues bake nice and crispy. Because of the maple syrup and added spice in these cookies, they will bake with a nice soft caramel color.20161206_081005
I added Winter Chai spice to my cookies. You can leave it out or even add pumpkin spice to the cookies instead.
I hate wasting food so when I was left with 3 egg yolks, I wondered what to do with them. I found a recipe for leftover egg yolk egg nog and tried it out. I liked the recipe because it cooked the eggs instead of leaving them raw. However, as it was my first time making it, I accidentally overcooked the eggnog and it turned out lumpy. It was sweet and tasted delicious, though. I am going to try it again and hope that I can get it to work out.20161205_120335-1

Clean Eating Chai Meringue Cookies

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Difficulty: medium
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  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ chai spice (Optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 200. Heat a pan with about an inch of water over low heat. Place a bowl on top of the pan and add all of the ingredients.
  2. Use mixer on lowest speed and beat until stiff peaks form, about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and scoop or pipe the meringues onto the pan. Bake for 2 hours. Turn off oven and allow cookies to cool in the oven.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Goat Cheese

Frustrated at how difficult it is to peel a butternut squash? Just cut off the ends, microwave it for 3-4 minutes, and allow it to cool. Once the squash has cooled, it is extremely easy to take a knife and peel it. It also softens the squash up enough to chop it easily as well. Microwaving the squash first saves time and energy.
The butternut squash in this recipe is from Strites’ Orchard, the sage is from Calicutts, and the goat cheese is from Camelot Valley. I used an herbed goat cheese that has oregano and peppercorn. I love the goat cheese from Camelot Valley because it is fresh and rich and it freezes very well. I purchased the goat cheese a few weeks ago and because I was not quite sure when I was going to use it, I tossed it in the freezer. It thawed just as creamy and crumbly as if I had not frozen it at all.
The combination of goat cheese and squash is made all the more savory by the addition of the sage. The warmth of the sage combined with the sweetness of the squash and sharpness of the goat cheese is pure satisfaction. It will be tempting to eat this entire dish in one sitting. Go ahead, it’s completely fine. You could always serve this as a side dish with a nice steak or top it on brown rice for a more filling dish.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Goat Cheese

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Tbsp sage
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 oz goat cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss squash with olive oil and sage. Spread evenly on the parchment paper and bake 35-45 minutes.
  3. Pour in a serving dish and top with goat cheese. Serve warm.

Winter Chai Latte with Whipped Cream

Last weekend, I had the chance to visit Calicutts Spice Co. for the first time. Calicutts is located in Lemoyne and the owners craft the spice blends by hand. They do have a website, but in order to truly appreciate all the spices they offer, you should definitely visit. Small sample containers line the shelves in front of their spices so you are able to smell the blends before you purchase them. I had my eye on the Winter Chai and Chipotle and Honey spices before going to the shop. I also picked up some sage. The service is exceptional and so are the spices. I highly recommend a visit to this shop.20161128_082753
The first thing I made with the Winter Chai was this latte. The Winter Chai has a sweet base of cocoa mixed with the classic spices of chai. The cardamom and cloves bring a warm spice to the drink and it is perfect for cold winter mornings. Adding the whipped cream on top just makes it all the more indulgent.
When mixing the milk and spice mix on the stove, I was taken back to winters spent at my grandmother’s. She would make my cousins and I hot chocolate on the stove. Now an adult, I savored the memories as I prepared my latte. My grandma would serve buttered toast with the hot chocolate that we would dip in our drink and eat. Halfway through my latte, I decided to do the same. My grandma passed away in 2014, so I was very thankful for the memories that arose as I enjoyed my latte.20161128_092622
The Winter Chai latte with whipped cream is a satisfying drink that I am sure you will enjoy. For those who do not drink dairy, I am positive this latte would be delicious made with coconut milk or any other non-dairy milk.

Winter Chai Latte with Whipped Cream

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 1 ½ – 2 Tbsp Winter Chai spice
  • Whipped Cream:
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp Winter Chai spice


  1. In a pan, mix the Winter Chai spice and milk over medium heat.
  2. While the milk is heating, mix the remaining spice and heavy cream with an electric mixer until thick and creamy.
  3. Pour the latte into a mug and top with the whipped cream.