Saturday, July 31, 2010

cozy cuisine of the kimberton fair

Although, I will confess that I am not necessarily a fan of carnivals, it is appealing to me to gorge on all the best eats of a local festival. And, what better way to spend a summertime evening, than to mosey around the grounds of my local stomping grounds and support nearby organizations.

Celebrating their 82nd year, the Kimberton Fair premiered this past Monday, entertaining local residents with a rousing week of kitschy rides, games and entertainment, aside a baking, canning and home craft exhibit hall, livestock displays and most importantly, a delicious mecca of marvelous, grease-laden eats.

The fire company, which organizes the yearly shindig, is notorious for their handcrafted doughnuts, which are above-par in comparison to any other fried cake bites. Sold in cinna-sugar, powdered sugar and plain, the holed sweet circles were cozy amongst freshly-roasted corn, fried Oreos, massive pulled pork sammies, and much more.

And now, while I spend the entire month of August detoxing from my bad-for-you chow fest, I suggest, if you reside in southeastern Pennsylvania, to attend the last day of the outdoor fair, and especially get comparable with some of the best handheld bites of Chester County.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Amani’s: A Farm-to-Fork Experience

Jonathan and Jeanine Amann continue to celebrate the farm-to-table movement at their restaurant, Amani’s BYOB.

In a cozy space on East Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, the husband-and-wife operating duo reflected on their first year in business.

“We are very happy that guests have taken to us the way they have,” said Jonathan, who acts as the eatery’s executive chef. “Before we opened, there was nothing in the Downingtown area that allowed people to get excited about things like foie gras and escargot.”

Introducing diners to delicious details of farm-to-fork dishes, Jonathan sculpts first courses such as the yellow and red beet terrine topped with Amazing Acres goat cheese; the sautéed escargot nestled within a puff pastry shell and topped with fried egg; and steamed Littleneck clams served with Spanish saffron and cherry tomato sauce. They all exemplify sustainable cuisine in all its glory.

Continue reading at Downingtown Dish.

Amani’s BYOB is at 105 E. Lancaster Ave. in Downingtown. Visit or call 484-237-8179.

peaaaanut, peanut butter and jelly pockets

I never said I was a serious girl. And, if you read this blog, you can tell I can be rather silly.

So, when spotting this adorable change purse, I couldn't stop myself from grabbing the sandwich-like purchase. Trotting a peanut butter and jelly persona, this lovable purse companion is childish and cute, and easily a conversation piece.

As a duel pocket pleasure, with two zippers and a magnet smearing the peanut butter with the jelly, I am now able to giggle every time I spot my new trinkets' holder buried deep into my forever-large bags.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

kutztown folk festival: a celebration of the pa dutch

As I have discussed it numerous times via this gushy blog, I am a full-blown Dutchie. My parents, who both come from PA-Dutch families, raised me in the heartland of Berks County, Pennsylvania, and I have always appreciated the classics of my native culture.

Praising the time-honored traditions of the PA Dutch seems like an appropriate task at heart, which is why I regularly make an appearance at the annual 19th-century-celebrating Kutztown Folk Festival.

A week-long fair covering traditional music, history and plenty of home cookin', the nearby collaboration also, for the last several years, has hosted my dad's bluegrass band, Blue Mountain Junction, as daily performers on their main stage.  
Also important to note, central to the festival is a gruesome history lesson, which is now legend in local Dutch culture. Each year, a group re-enacts the controversial execution of Susanna Cox, who was hanged in 1809 for killing her infant child. Festival director Dave Fooks believes in the importance of addressing the historic event. "It turns out that due to her hanging, the American appeals system began," he says. 

Although always more interested in more positive of perspectives, the festival features some seriously old-school entertainment. Costumed medicine men hawk syrups and creams, and Mennonites present a wedding re-enactment. Angora rabbit shavers are also on hand, transforming fresh fur into shawls in just minutes, as are established glass blowers. 

Of course, the menu is equally country: High-calorie eats include wurst rolls, ox roast sandwiches, apple dumplings, fried veggies and shoofly pieall which may be washed down with birch beer aplenty.

There's one day left of the fest, so saddle your horse and buggy, and blast into the rural country scene.

Friday, July 9, 2010

brick oven bread and cheese shoppe opens

Back in April, I blabbed over the excitement of a brick-oven bread company opening on Bridge Street in Phoenixville. After being extremely impatient for a few short months, opening day has finally arrived!

I swung by the fresh, just-opened space early this afternoon, eyeing up the gorgeous in-house constructed brick bread oven and gazing upon the crave-worthy loaves flooded throughout the bakery.

Located next door to Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, the bright yellow interior also trots an assortment of artisan breads from Sweet Water Baking Co. of Camphill Village of Kimberton Hills, as well as their deliciously-crafted granola blends.

Of course, as the name assumes, cheese will be aplenty soon in the locale's counter, although the stock is still being compiled as we speak. However, Shellbark Hollow Farm's, of West Chester, goat cheeses are already proudly plopped within the soon-to-be-booming case.

Brick Oven Bread & Cheese Shoppe, 138 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, 610-933-3003