Bucks County Foodshed Alliance kicks off new year tastefully

by Patricia Cangelosi

On January 8th, local non-profit Bucks County Foodshed Alliance (BCFA) held its 2014 annual meeting. Taking place at Doylestown Borough’s Standard Club on East State Street, the event kicked off with a potluck dinner. Members and guests brought locally grown foods to reflect the grassroots organization’s mission of developing a local, sustainable food system through collaboration and education.

President Jane Magne began the evening with a recap of the group’s progress in 2013, which included launching the Bucks County chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local, a volunteer-driven network that forges connections between food producers, sellers and consumers. Goals of the organization center on supporting local agriculture and increasing the availability of fresh, locally grown cuisine.

Officer elections were held as well. Susan Snipes-Wells of Bucks County’s Snipes Farm, Doylestown attorney Gavin Laboski, Philadelphia-based attorney Jeffrey Scott, and Cathy Snyder, founder of local nonprofit Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, all won (or were re-elected to) seats on BCFA’s board of directors.

Then, the highlight of the night: Renowned Bucks County chef Max Hansen of Max & Me Catering and Max Hansen Carversville Grocery led an interactive cooking demonstration. BCFA members and their guests were thoroughly engaged as Max – along with his colleague, Executive Chef Greg Glowatz – prepared fresh, locally grown, seasonal produce.

The menu included potato gnocchi tossed with oyster mushrooms and sautéed kale; roasted acorn squash stuffed with quinoa; and an array of vegetables that are available in colder times of the year, such as carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, potatoes and more.

“My grandfather was one of the first ‘locavores’ from this area,” Max recalled, using the popular term that describes individuals who put a strong emphasis on consuming high-quality, locally grown foods. “People really do care about where their food is coming from.”

The audience, which consisted of about 35 BCFA members and friends, was enthralled and delighted to taste the chefs’ creations. “We want to see farming being maintained here in Bucks County,” Jane Magne explained. “We’re trying to build communication between restaurateurs and farmers and to connect farmers to land that’s available.”

According to Jane, launching the Bucks County chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local was BCFA’s proudest accomplishment of 2013. “It took two years of work by a very devoted group of people,” she said.

BCFA sponsors the Wrightstown Farmers’ Market, a local producer-only market featuring over a dozen vendors selling fresh foods and handmade crafts (winter mini-markets are currently open on the second and fourth Saturday of each month through April, from 10:00-11:00am at 2203 Second Street Pike in Wrightstown).

Throughout the year, the group also holds many events throughout Bucks County that are open to the public, like movies, speakers, interactive workshops, and farm tours. Looking forward, Jane said, “We want to expand our membership base. We’re looking for corporate sponsors. The greater the membership – the more volunteers and sponsors we have – the more activities and education we can provide.”

For information on membership and a schedule of events, visit www.BucksCountyFoodshedAlliance.org.

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Bucks County Foodshed Alliance kicks off new year tastefully

by Patricia Cangelosi

On January 8th, local non-profit Bucks County Foodshed Alliance (BCFA) held its 2014 annual meeting. Taking place at Doylestown Borough’s Standard Club on East State Street, the event kicked off with a potluck dinner. Members and guests brought locally grown foods to reflect the grassroots organization’s mission of developing a local, sustainable food system through collaboration and education.

President Jane Magne began the evening with a recap of the group’s progress in 2013, which included launching the Bucks County chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local, a volunteer-driven network that forges connections between food producers, sellers and consumers. Goals of the organization center on supporting local agriculture and increasing the availability of fresh, locally grown cuisine.

Officer elections were held as well. Susan Snipes-Wells of Bucks County’s Snipes Farm, Doylestown attorney Gavin Laboski, Philadelphia-based attorney Jeffrey Scott, and Cathy Snyder, founder of local nonprofit Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, all won (or were re-elected to) seats on BCFA’s board of directors.

Then, the highlight of the night: Renowned Bucks County chef Max Hansen of Max & Me Catering and Max Hansen Carversville Grocery led an interactive cooking demonstration. BCFA members and their guests were thoroughly engaged as Max – along with his colleague, Executive Chef Greg Glowatz – prepared fresh, locally grown, seasonal produce.

The menu included potato gnocchi tossed with oyster mushrooms and sautéed kale; roasted acorn squash stuffed with quinoa; and an array of vegetables that are available in colder times of the year, such as carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, potatoes and more.

“My grandfather was one of the first ‘locavores’ from this area,” Max recalled, using the popular term that describes individuals who put a strong emphasis on consuming high-quality, locally grown foods. “People really do care about where their food is coming from.”

The audience, which consisted of about 35 BCFA members and friends, was enthralled and delighted to taste the chefs’ creations. “We want to see farming being maintained here in Bucks County,” Jane Magne explained. “We’re trying to build communication between restaurateurs and farmers and to connect farmers to land that’s available.”

According to Jane, launching the Bucks County chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local was BCFA’s proudest accomplishment of 2013. “It took two years of work by a very devoted group of people,” she said.

BCFA sponsors the Wrightstown Farmers’ Market, a local producer-only market featuring over a dozen vendors selling fresh foods and handmade crafts (winter mini-markets are currently open on the second and fourth Saturday of each month through April, from 10:00-11:00am at 2203 Second Street Pike in Wrightstown).

Throughout the year, the group also holds many events throughout Bucks County that are open to the public, like movies, speakers, interactive workshops, and farm tours. Looking forward, Jane said, “We want to expand our membership base. We’re looking for corporate sponsors. The greater the membership – the more volunteers and sponsors we have – the more activities and education we can provide.”

For information on membership and a schedule of events, visit www.BucksCountyFoodshedAlliance.org.

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McCaffrey’s in Yardley presents ‘Healthy Habits to Ring in the New Year’

With the holiday festivities in full blast, it is easy to ignore those extra calories that are consumed during those many seasonal cheerful occasions. While intentions may be well and good, it is easy to become a nutrition casualty while celebrating in the holiday spirit. In the back of our mind we think about that diet and exercise program looming over us in January. The good news is that McCaffrey’s Supermarket in Yardley is presenting a free program  “Healthy Habits to Ring in the New Year.”

Join Jill Kwasny, Registered Dietitian and McCaffrey’s Executive Chef, Eric Blackshire on Thursday, December 12th at 10:00am.  Jill will provide helpful hints and tips to keep you on track this holiday season and to give you a jumpstart with your nutrition goals. Chef Eric will keep you entertained with a healthful cooking demonstration.  

McCaffrey’s Supermarket is located in the Edgewood Village Shopping Center on 635 Heacock Road, Yardley. The program will be held in the upstairs bistro. RSVP to Jill Kwasny at nutritionist@mccaffreys.com or leave a message at 215 750-7713.

Enjoy this festive recipe from Lucini Italia  www.lucini.com

Butternut Squash, Apple and Cranberry Gratin

Recipe Servings: 6 portions
Recipe Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Recipe Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

½ cup plus 1 tbsp Lucini® Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil®
3 lbs butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, and diced into 1-inch cubes
3 sweet-tart apples that will keep their shape after baking, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp Kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 heaping cup all-purpose/plain flour

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas 4. Grease a 9-by-11-inch baking dish with the 1 tbsp of the extra virgin olive oil and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together the squash, apples, cranberries, parsley, thyme, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil and stir to combine, then add the flour and mix to evenly coat the squash mixture.

Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake until the top is golden brown and the squash is tender but not mushy (a paring knife should easily slip into the center of a piece of squash), 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool 5 minutes before serving.

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Momma D’s Pizzeria: Quality pizza with homemade freshness

by June Portnoy

When you bite into a slice of pizza at Momma D’s Pizzeria, you’ll immediately taste the freshness.

“The quality of our food is what makes our pizzeria unique,” says Sean Blair, co-owner of Momma D’s, recently opened in Feasterville.

Bobby Weisenberger, co-owner and chef at this pizzeria, makes practically everything on the menu from scratch right on the premises.

“As opposed to buying frozen dough and using canned sauce, Bobby makes his own fresh dough every day and creates his own sauces,” says Sean. “Virtually nothing we serve is frozen or comes from a can.”

Even the majority of vegetables served here are delivered fresh daily, so when you order vegetable toppings, you’re eating fresh produce.

Its signature dish, Momma D’s Donut Pie, is already a hit among customers. It’s literally a deep-dish pizza in the shape of a donut with three dipping sauces in the middle.

“It’s like a double crusted pizza,” explains Sean, “and it’s very filling. 

“It’s also quite a bargain being we use the same amount of dough that we use in a 16-inch Sicilian pizza pie, but charge less.”

Although Momma D’s is predominantly a pizzeria, it offers other selections on its menu, all made from the same quality ingredients as its pizzas. For example, every chicken item is fresh and never frozen. Its chicken fingers are sliced from fresh chicken and then hand- battered.

All cold cuts used in sandwiches are also freshly prepared. In fact, Bobby bakes a fresh turkey every other day.

With the cold weather just around the corner, you can look forward to Bobby’s homemade soups. To date he has already prepared 12 different types, with more to come!

Other favorites on the menu include hoagies, wraps, steak sandwiches, quesadillas, calzones, Stromboli and salads, in addition to a variety of appetizers and side dishes.

Although lunch and dinner specials are available throughout the week, Sean is quick to point out that prices at Momma D’s are “right on line with the competition. Our quality food is very affordable and worth every penny.”

This is a family-oriented pizzeria where you are encouraged to bring your children. Every Tuesday is Kids’ Night. Dine here anytime from 5:00pm until 9:00pm on Tuesdays, and your children can make their own personal pizzas.

Momma D’s has 28 seats, offering plenty of space to eat comfortably. If you don’t have time to eat in, take out or call for delivery. 

Momma D’s offers free delivery in Lower Southampton and the surrounding area.  

“Our goal is to keep this pizzeria small and simple with an emphasis on preparing quality food,” says Sean. “Once you’ve tried our pizza and other dishes, you’ll want to return on a regular basis.”

Hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 11:00am until 9:00pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00am until 10:00am, and Sundays from noon until 9:00pm.

Momma D’s Pizzeria is located at Victor Plaza (across from K-Mart) at 1014 Lindbergh Avenue.

Visit them on Facebook.

To place an order or for additional information call 215-357-3376 or 215-357-3359.

PHOTO CAP: Liam Blair, son of owner Sean Blair, was born with a rare birth defect called Esophageal Atresia.  After spending his first four-and-a-half months in the NICU at CHOP, he is now Momma D’s biggest fan!

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Deciphering nutrition labels program at McCaffrey’s

When trying to eat for good health, grocery shopping can be a challenge. While the nutrition facts and food labels can provide helpful and basic nutrition information, deciding on which product to buy can become very overwhelming if you are not sure what to look for. Not to mention just how confusing some of the claims on the front of the package can be!

Join Jill Kwasny, Registered Dietitian, at the McCaffrey’s Supermarket in Yardley for a free program focusing on “The Hard Facts About Nutrition Labels.” You will learn what is really important when reading a food label, identify how to use the available information to eat a balanced diet and have the opportunity to ask questions.

And to further your culinary interests, Chef Jean Pierre will be on hand to prepare and demonstrate a seasonal dish, which will be available for sampling.

The program is scheduled for Thursday, September 26th at 10:00am at the Yardley McCaffrey’s Supermarket located at The Edgewood Village Shopping Center, 635 Heacock Road, Yardley. Proceed to the upstairs bistro area of the store.

Please RSVP to Joan Tardy at joan.tardy@mccaffreys.com or 215-752-9440 x138. 

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Pappardelle with Eggplant and Tomatoes

Courtesy of Lucini Italia

Recipe Summary

Recipe Servings: 4 portions
Recipe Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Recipe Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

8oz Delverde® Pappardelle Pasta
8 oz eggplant, sliced into fine strips
5 tbsp Lucini® Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil®
4 fresh Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup pecorino cheese, grated
Basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pappardelle according to package directions (al dente.)
  2. While pasta is cooking, add the oil to a pan over medium-high heat and sauté eggplant until golden.
  3. Remove eggplant from pan and season with salt and oregano, set aside.
  4. Add the garlic and tomatoes to the same pan and sauté for 2 minutes.
  5. When the pappardelle is al dente, drain it.
  6. Put the pasta back in the pot and add eggplant and tomato mixture.
  7. Top pasta with cheese and mix.
  8. Finish with fresh herbs and serve immediately.
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Levittown Buffet: The area’s new ‘All-You-Can-Eat’ Chinese buffet

 

by June Portnoy

The fact that every seat is occupied on a Friday evening at the Levittown Buffet is a good indication of how word has already spread about this recently-opened buffet’s great selection of freshly-prepared food. This family owned and operated buffet is located at the Levittown Walmart Shopping Center at 153 Levittown Parkway, Unit 5.

It offers something that will accommodate everyone’s unique taste in food. If you like Chinese food, you’ll find a great variety of both traditional and unusual Chinese entrees, soups, appetizers and side dishes in fully stocked trays.

Although the buffet specializes in Chinese food, it also offers Japanese and American dishes as well. In fact, an entire area of the buffet is dedicated to serving a large diversity of sushi. And kids will enjoy such American favorites as pizza, French fries and more!

Plus, you’ll find many trays filled with seafood, consisting of items like cheese muscles, oysters and snow crab legs. For those health conscious patrons, a separate fresh salad and fruit bar is available.

Indulge in Hershey’s ice cream, along with miniature cakes, for dessert.

“I’ve already filled my plate five times,” said Drew Banks from Fairless Hills. “I can’t believe how much food you can get here for such a great price.”

The Levittown Buffet is a BYOB, so feel free to bring a six-pack of beer or your favorite wine with you.

Even more important than the variety offered here, is the quality of food.

“You can be sure that everything served here is always fresh,” says Beau Pustiak, Levittown Buffet’s Marketing Consultant. “Everything is cooked on the premises, and so much of our food, like our dumplings, soup, noodles and sushi are all made from scratch.”

Cleanliness is paramount to owner Andy Zhu, who you’ll routinely see cleaning off the trays and counter himself, along with his staff. He is so concerned that his restaurant remains sanitary that you’ll find a hand sanitizer when you enter the restaurant.

In addition, the friendly staff at the Levittown Buffet does a great job of refilling the buffet stations and also clearing your tables. And you can’t beat the prices for all you can eat.

Mondays through Saturdays its lunch buffet is just $6.99, and Mondays through Thursdays its dinner buffets costs only $11.95. Its Friday and Saturday dinner buffet is $12.95, and its Sunday all day dinner buffet costs only $12.95.

All buffets offer significantly discounted prices for children.

If you don’t have the time to eat in, take advantage of the Levittown Buffet’s carry-out buffet. It offers a special take out menu, enabling you to pay by the pound. This is an ideal option if you need to get back to work in a hurry.

Also, consider this restaurant for your next special private function, business luncheon or dinner reception.

Carol Santor from Mercerville, NJ, summed up her experience at the Levittown Buffet. “This place is awesome! It’s my fourth time here because they have great, fresh food everytime. It’s always clean here and the staff is always friendly. We have Chinese buffets near my house, but it’s worth the drive to come here.”

Fortunately for you, the Levittown Buffet is located right in your own community. Call for additional information or to place an order for take out at 215-547-6888. Also, “friend” the Levittown Buffet on Facebook.

PHOTO CAP: Manager Andy Zhu and his friendly staff are waiting to serve you at the Levittown Buffet.

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Be aware of food safety risks in warm weather

submitted by McCaffrey’s

Summertime brings images of barbecues and picnics, fresh vegetables and colorful fruits.

However, the warm weather can also bring along some food safety risks.  To minimize your risk of unwanted bacteria and foodborne illness, keep the following tips in mind:

  • When preparing meats, poultry and fish, be sure to keep raw and cooked foods separate. Use one plate for raw foods and a different plate for the finished product. If using frozen meats, plan ahead and defrost meat one to two days in advance in the refrigerator. Leaving raw meat and poultry on the countertop to defrost will allow dangerous bacteria to grow;
  • When grilling, keep a thermometer handy to make certain foods are cooked to the proper temperature. While it may appear that a food is cooked, color is not an accurate way to determine if food is actually ready to eat.
  • Marinades are a wonderful way to flavor and tenderize grilled food. Be sure to keep some extra marinade in reserve to use for serving. Used marinades will contain raw juices and should be tossed to avoid contamination of cooked foods;
  • Meats, salads and other perishable foods should never be left out at room temperature for more than two hours. When weather is above 90 degrees, put leftovers into the refrigerator within the hour. Any perishable foods that are left out past the time limits should be tossed.   When in doubt, throw it out! To keep foods safe, smaller serving bowls can be used. Simply refill or replace serving bowls with fresh food as needed. Cooking times of foods on the grill can also be staggered to keep foods fresh and hot.

For proper cooking temperatures and other food safety information, click on to the Partnership for Food Education at www.fightbac.org or the Food Safety and Inspection Service site of the USDA at www.fsis.usda.gov.

Visit the McCaffrey’s website at www.mccaffreys.com for recipes, nutrition information and to find out about free nutrition programs at the store.

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Fresh, fabulous food for summer

submitted by McCaffrey’s

If you love food, you will not want to miss the upcoming, free event at McCaffrey’s supermarket. Join Chef Jean Pierre and Registered Dietitian Jill Kwasny on Thursday, June 20th at 10:00am at the Yardley store.

“Fresh and Fabulous Food for Summer” will be the highlight of this session.

Jean Pierre will share his creativity with seasonal foods that will delight your palate. You will have an opportunity to “ask the chef” and observe Jean Pierre’s cooking techniques.

Whether you are planning for a dinner party or a picnic, you will leave McCaffrey’s with some wonderful new recipe ideas to include in your summer menus.

Jill will compliment Jean Pierre’s cooking demonstration with a discussion on summer food safety. With the warmer weather finally here, it is essential to everyone’s well-being to take the time to prepare, store and serve foods so that they will both healthy and safe to enjoy. Whether it involves transporting food home from the grocery store or preparing food for a barbecue, learn how to keep food out of the danger zone!

If you would like to attend “Fresh and Fabulous Food for Summer” please RSVP to Joan Tardy at joan.tardy@mccaffreys.com or call 215- 752-9440 x138.

McCaffrey’s is located in Edgewood Village Shopping Center at 635 Heacock Road in Yardley.  

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Recipe for ‘Lagane’ e Ceci’

submitted by Maria Nappi, Altomonte’s Italian Market & Delicatessen

Pasta with chickpeas is a very traditional meal for St. Joseph’s Day (March 19).

Lagane’ is the dialect word for a certain cut of long pasta.  You can use Tagliatelle al’uovo here, it’s a long ribbon shaped pasta made with egg, perfect for soaking up all the goodness of this recipe.

Sautee 4 tablespoons Altomonte’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil with 2 cloves whole garlic, and 1 dried red chili pepper just until garlic is golden brown. Add 1 can ceci beans with liquid, stir to incorporate flavors.  Cover with a quart of chicken broth and 1 pint of Altomonte’s homemade Marinara sauce.

In the meantime, cook 1 pound of Tagliatelle pasta according to package. Be sure to salt the water.

Drain the pasta and add to ceci bean mixture.  Remove cloves of garlic, taste for salt to your liking and serve with a little drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on top, a little fresh pepper and grated locatelli if you like.

Enjoy!

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