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Wolff's Apple House Blog

Featuring healthy recipes, news & local history

Easy Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Wraps

This week, I had a small culinary challenge I needed to figure out. I needed to serve food to group of somewhere between seven and fifteen people, and it needed to be not at all messy. I was gathering with a group of friends to watch a film in a fancy theater space that were were borrowing. My usual "food for a crowd" meals of chili, soup, or pizza were...

No-Churn Peaches & Cinnamon Ice Cream

A few years ago, I worked at a university writing center, and one of the back-to-school team-building moments for the returning writing tutors was always churning homemade custard. Cranking the handle of an old-fashioned ice cream maker was a good bonding activity. Conversation flows easily when you're engaged in culinary activities that require you to stay put but don't require too much concentration otherwise. Churning ice cream the old-fashioned way...

Peach, Basil, and Mozzarella Salad

Like the familiar Caprese Salad, but with peaches instead of tomatoes! An excellent side dish for the middle of summer when peaches are in season, this salad is a delicious combination of sweet and tangy flavors with a pop of spicy basil! Print Peach, Basil, and Mozzarella Salad Author: Wolff's Apple House   Ingredients 4-5 ripe peaches 1 fresh mozzarella ball 8-10 sprigs basil coarse salt balsamic vinegar glaze Instructions Wash...

Roasted Corn and Avocado Salad

A few years ago, I would spend summer mornings at a garden in a suburb outside of Chicago. Some city-dwelling friends of mine had leased a suburban plot of land, less than an acre, and grew so much food that they were able to start a CSA. So I would spend some Saturdays there, in a bliss of gardening and friendship. After we harvested what we needed for the CSA,...

Fresh Tomato & Feta Pizza

You know a recipe is great when it’s been in your repertoire for more than a decade. This particular fresh tomato and feta pizza recipe was one I saved in college, when I was obsessed with the Mediterranean salad bar at the grocery store. I also tended to find my recipes on the back of a box or free recipe magazines I got in the mail. It was before the...

Burrito Bowls with Fried Corn Salad

Burritos are a weekly meal in our house. Mainly because I can make them with only about ten minutes of prep work and still serve a healthy meal. Sometimes when I have more time, I simmer a pot of beans instead of buying them canned, or I make the salsa or guacamole from scratch. But on most weeknights, roasting a pan of peppers and onions is as fancy as I...

Savory Peach and Tomato Pie

July is peak season for peaches, tomatoes, and corn. This time of year, the corn is fresh picked and brought to Wolff's daily so it's sweeter. Sweet corn is best right after it’s harvested. Within three days, its sugar/starch ratio can change from 80:20 to 20:80 as the sugar converts into starch. That’s what makes it turn tough and bland as it ages. So that is why Wolff's makes sure to get...

Penne Arrabbiata with Homegrown Tomatoes

Italy is heaven. At least, it is in Elizabeth von Arnim's novel The Enchanted April, which I'm reading for a book club this week. The premise is that four women, who are all processing the ways that life has disappointed them, escape their dreary English lives to vacation in an Italian castle. There, beauty heals them. Disappointments fade. They learn to love again. Though I do know that the country has...

Candied Bacon

These sweet and salty tasty treats are a really special way to prepare our local Canter Hill bacon! Perfect bite-sized appetizers for your next get-together! Print Candied Bacon Author: Wolff's Apple House   Ingredients 1 package Canter Hill Bacon, thawed ½ cup brown sugar, packed 2 tsp cinnamon Instructions Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut each bacon strip in half widthwise. Mix brown sugar and...

On Juneteenth and Strawberry Pie

Juneteenth is named for June 19, 1865, the date when enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas learned that they were free. This was two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been enacted, and over two months after the Civil War ended. “The reactions to this profound news ranged from pure shock to immediate jubilation,” says the Juneteenth World Wide Celebration website. Juneteenth, the oldest celebration of the end of slavery in the...

Balsamic Chicken with Asparagus and Spring Veggies

My mother's recipe for this dish calls it "balsamic chicken", a title that hides what I love most about it. It's all about the veggies. Asparagus. Red bell peppers. Carrots. Mushrooms. Onions. The wealth of veggies makes the meal a vibrant one, pleasing to look at as well as to eat. Appealing to senses besides taste and smell is an important feature for a meal. (Though I continue to make...

Escape the Land of Bland with Garlic Scapes

Hardneck garlic sends up a graceful, often curling, flower stem called a garlic scape. This is often harvested before it blooms to encourage the plant to put more energy into growing a large (and delicious) bulb. But like all things in nature, nothing goes to waste. These young stems are a gift in the kitchen. With a slightly sweeter and milder flavor than raw garlic, there are a number of...

Native Plants: A Win for Everyone

Native plants — plants that grew here before European colonization — are a must-have for every gardener concerned with preserving biodiversity, beauty, and their own backs and pocketbooks. How is it that one group of plants can achieve so many worthy goals? Native plants want to grow here — so it’s less work to keep them alive Unlike most imported annual flowers, perennial herbaceous native plants can thrive in less...

Horseradish Sauce

This spicy, creamy sauce is made with freshly grated horseradish root. Be prepared: grating the horseradish is the hardest part! After that, it’s easy-peasy and super delicious. Perfect for burgers, roast beef sandwiches, egg sandwiches, grilled cheese…. Or spread it on some crackers for a quick snack! Print Horseradish Sauce Author: Wolff's Apple House   Ingredients About ½ pound fresh horseradish (1 cup grated) 2 Tbs white wine vinegar ½ tsp...

On Bread and Craftsmanship: Jerome Sheehan’s Artisan European-Style Bread

Jerome Sheehan of Chester County had spent over twenty years in accounting and finance when he decided that he was ready for something different. “I wanted to work with my hands," says Jerome, "and produce something tangible that I could be proud of.” His travels abroad reinforced this longing to be part of an artisan tradition. Many cultures place a high value on craftsmanship and traditional trades, and Jerome was struck...

Ashley’s Spring Salad

This versatile and flavorful salad is unique and refreshing. You can easily substitute ingredients based on your taste and the seasonal availability of fresh produce. Print Ashley’s Spring Salad   Ingredients 1 bunch of fresh radishes, thinly sliced ½ red bell pepper, diced finely 1 bunch of scallions, chopped 2 carrots, grated Good handful of cilantro, chopped (about a ¼ cup) 1 jalapeno, finely minced (if you don’t have jalapeno,...

Veggie Quiche with Quinoa Crust

This crust boasts the nutty goodness and nutritional punch of quinoa—with no processed flour and no gluten! Use the filling below or easily substitute a personal favorite. Give yourself at least a couple of hours, because in a few spots you have to wait for things to cool before you can proceed. Print Veggie Quiche with Quinoa Crust   Ingredients Crust 1 cup uncooked quinoa 1 ½ cups water 2...

Maple Pecan Crepes

Having been raised on the East Coast, maple syrup is a taste I grew up loving. I didn’t realize until I was older that for some it’s an acquired taste. Even a Canadian friend from the West Coast didn’t indulge in maple products too often because as a non-local product it tended to be expensive, and thus she didn't acquire the taste or craving for it. Pennsylvania is one of...

Wolff’s From the Air – 1957

The family who operated a nearby apple orchard had bought a piper cub in the mid 1950’s.  On one occasion in about March 1957, Don Linvill invited my Dad, Kenneth Wolff, to come along for a plane ride. Ken Wolff took several 35mm photos of Wolff’s Sunny Brae Orchards from the air that day.  Because of the airplane vibrations most photos are quite blurry.  Here is one of the best...

Pasta and Spinach with Walnut-Ricotta Sauce

This dish is amazingly creamy and full of flavor! Make sure you remember to save the pasta cooking water. The “sauce” is really more of a paste, and adding the cooking water at the end is what makes it come together as a silky, delicious coating. Print Pasta and Spinach with Walnut-Ricotta Sauce Author: Wolff's Apple House   Ingredients 5 slices baguette (about ¾” thick) ½ cup milk 2 Tbs sour...

Oil-Free Balsamic Vinaigrette & 6 Favorite Salad Recipes

Salads are the healthiest of foods, right? Well, maybe. I'll tell you one thing, though. When I eat a salad every day, I feel really good. Dark leafy greens like spinach are packed with fiber and even contain a decent amount of protein. I know I feel more energized after eating a salad. But sometimes it's easy to overdo the salad dressing and end up consuming way more fat than...

Baked Gnocchi with Mozzarella, Spinach and Cherry Tomato

It's a problem. I see a package of gnocchi in a store, and I must buy it. My hand reaches for it and it's in my shopping basket before I even know what's happening. I immediately envision a dinner that is everything a weeknight meal should be: easy, delicious, filling, and at least moderately healthy.  Technically, gnocchi are potato dumplings, but I usually treat them just like pasta, except that...

Mr. Wolff’s Morning Exercise

I acquired my first camera when I was 10 years old and began taking black & white photographs of my Family and Friends. I have many pictures of my Dad [Mr. Wolff] from over the years, but one of my favorites is of him out in the orchard getting his morning exercise. Dad would gather up all of us kids and take us outside with him into the adjoining world...

All About Apple Cider

Even though it's no longer time for apple picking, winter is the prime time to enjoy local apples by eating them... and drinking them. From September to May, Weaver's Orchard in Morgantown, PA presses the apple cider that you enjoy at Wolff's. Then from late spring to early fall, they freeze their preservative-free cider so that they can offer it outside of the cider-pressing season. Weaver's Orchard, established in 1932,...

A Casa Pizza: Bake at Home Pizza and Stromboli from a Local Family Business

It's a classic group project in business school: to create a new hypothetical business from the ground up. When Erin Hagarty was in an MBA program at Georgetown, she told her team about the business she had grown up in: a bake-at-home pizza business. The team decided to capitalize on her first-hand knowledge. They named their hypothetical business A Casa Pizza, using an Italian phrase that means "at home." Erin's...

Lavender Honey Carrots & Easy Veggie Sides That Aren’t Salad

Nothing against salad. It's just that when thinking of a veggie side, it's often the first thing that comes to mind, and sometimes breaking out of the routine is just what you need to get inspired to eat more veggies. So try these three easy veggie sides to freshen up your dinner table, and maybe serve them alongside that awesome Cobb salad or Greek salad so you can add even...

Stuffed Cabbage

This is an old Polish recipe for stuffed cabbage. They called them halupkis. Whatever you call them they are scrumptious and quite filling. Print Stuffed Cabbage Recipe type: Main Dish Cuisine: Polish   Ingredients 1 Large Head Cabbage 1 lb. Ground Beef 1 Minced Onion 1 C. Uncooked Minute Rice 1 tsp. Salt 1 tsp. Fresh Black Pepper 1 tsp. Garlic Powder 1 Sliced Onion 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil 1 Jar Tomato...

Our Customers’ Top 10 Recipes in 2018

Have you ever been invited to look through somebody else's recipe collection? Maybe your grandparents'? Or your mom or dad's, or your mother-in-laws'? At times like that, the wrinkled, stained and water-spotted ones always catch my eye, because those are the ones that have been made time and time again. As we reach the end of the year, I wanted to take a look through a different sort of recipe...

Make-ahead Pancake Mix for Holiday Gift-Giving

There's nothing quite like pancakes on a snow day or a lazy Saturday morning. But quite often the thought of whipping up pancakes from scratch first thing in the morning isn't feasible, so I'll stick with an easier breakfast option. However, I decided to overcome this by making my own ready-to-use pancake mix with ingredients I felt good about using. For my own use, I pulse the butter into the...

Cranberry & Brie Cups

Lisa McWaters, our Grocery Manager, says that this popular, easy-to-make recipe is a great nibble for parties! It uses our recipe for Mrs. Wolff’s Cranberry Sauce, but whole berry cranberry sauce in a can will do in a pinch. Mrs. Wolff’s cranberry sauce recipe makes 3 cups, so you’ll have some left over after you make the cups! Print Cranberry & Brie Cups   Ingredients (For Cranberry Sauce) 12 oz...

Spanakopita

Use fresh-picked, locally grown spinach for this classic Greek dish! Print Spanakopita Author: Wolff's Apple House   Ingredients 3 Tbs olive oil, plus more to coat pan 1 bunch leeks, chopped, rinsed, and dried 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 lbs spinach, stems removed, washed and chopped ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped 1 bunch hydro basil, chopped 1 tsp lemon zest 3 eggs, beaten ½ cup ricotta...

Yes, You Can Eat Beet Greens (Try Them in This Pasta)

"What can you do with the carrot tops?" I asked a farmer who was standing behind her farm's table at a farmers market. I held up a bouquet of carrots with lacy greens attached. This was about nine years ago, when I had just made a commitment to buy my food from local farmers whenever possible. I quickly realized that buying local produce often meant that I got a little...

Three Instant Upgrades for Your Thanksgiving Feast

Unless you're feeling like a superhero, or getting a little antsy with some extra time off of work, the time for major Thanksgiving DIY projects and menu overhauls has probably passed. But here are three easy upgrades to make your guests feel extra special. Upgrade Your Decor with Potato Stamp Cards This is a fun project that takes about 45 minutes, start to finish, and if you have kids, they...

Simplifying Thanksgiving Meal Prep

When Thanksgiving rolls around, it seems that your kitchen can just never be big enough for all the food prep that needs to happen. Every countertop is filled with appetizers or desserts waiting to be eaten. As the hot foods start coming out, dishes pile up around the sink, and everything gets shuffled around to fit the giant feast. Let alone space in the oven or stove top as you're...

Butternut Sauce

This creamy, silky sauce from the kitchen of Wolff’s chef Chuck Smith makes a great pasta topping—or try it on homemade pizza! Print Butternut Sauce   Ingredients 1 large butternut squash 1 medium onion 2 cloves garlic ¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano ¼ cup milk Extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbs butter salt & pepper Toasted & salted pumpkin seeds (optional) Instructions Peel the squash, cut in half and remove...

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Have you ever had this problem? You make a pumpkin pie, but the recipe calls for more filling than will fit inside the pie crust.  If only all of life's problems were so delicious. I decided to freeze the leftover pie filling until I'd figured out just what to do with it. Pumpkin bread? Pancakes? I opted for the latter (but you can find a delicious pumpkin bread recipe here!). These...

In New Jersey, October Is Cranberry Season

During October, most of us are dreaming about apples and pumpkins, but there's another big crop being harvested locally this month. Cranberries! Even though consumers might not start thinking about cranberries until it's time to pass them around the table at Thanksgiving, New Jersey growers are already harvesting them in October.  In honor of that, it's time to test your knowledge of cranberries! Cranberries grow under water. FALSE! They grow on...

The Easiest Pie, Two Different Ways

The word "galette" sounds fancy, like something that will require new tools and test a baker's skills to the max. But actually a galette reminds me of a person whose reputation is so impressive you're scared to talk with them, but then once you meet them, you realize that they're completely down-to-earth, fun and spontaneous. Not only that, they actually spend their time making you feel smart. That's how galettes...

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Apple Compote

I can picture it now: the bright yellow box of pancake mix, the tall, translucent pitcher filled with lumpy batter, the squeezable plastic bottle of something vaguely resembling maple syrup (already sticky with congealed sugar). These were the ingredients of a special treat. Pancakes for dinner! This meal was so surprising. "Wait... pancakes for WHAT?! For dinner?!!" Whenever my parents resorted to it, the meal always had the air of mischief...

Grilled Peaches with Caribbean Jerk Chicken

 A Treasured Recipe Some recipes are made only once and then forgotten while others become so well-loved that the cookbook pages fall open right to that page and food stains help dogear the edges. The latter description is how this Caribbean chicken recipe is for my family. I cut the recipe out of a magazine after I had fallen in love with Jamaican Jerk Chicken on a trip there years...

Fried Zucchini

This comes from the recipe book of our chef Chuck Smith.  Just in case you were looking for yet another way to use all that summer zucchini!  Try them dipped in ketchup or ranch dressing. Print Fried Zucchini   Ingredients 2 zucchini, cut into thick spears 2 eggs, whisked ½ cup white flour (plus extra for coating zucchini) ½ cup cornmeal 1 tsp salt 1 tsp pepper 2 Tbs Old...

Heirloom Tomato, Cucumber & Chickpea & Salad

Last summer, a friend brought an amazing cucumber, chickpea and heirloom tomato salad to a barbecue picnic. I asked for the recipe and she said she never really follows one - she just throws together a few simple ingredients and it makes for this incredible combination. I've made it a few times since then and decided to make it again since I had an heirloom tomato or two on hand....

Savor Peach Season with These 9 Peach Recipes

One summer about six years ago, I gained a new appreciation for how much work goes into bringing peaches to the market. A friend had invited me to harvest pick-your-own peaches up at Weaver's Orchard in Morgantown, PA, one of the farms that supplies Wolff's with their peaches. I was used to picking strawberries, blueberries and apples, but picking peaches was a new experience. Picking these other fruits had prepared...

Shrimp Tacos with Peach Salsa

Wolff’s Own Peach Salsa goes with so much more than just tortilla chips! Here, use it as both marinade and taco topping for these shrimp tacos! Makes about 8 tacos… depending on how many shrimps you put in each. Print Shrimp Tacos with Peach Salsa   Ingredients 1 lb med-lg shrimp, peeled and de-veined For marinade: 1 cup Wolff’s Own Peach Salsa 1 Tbs honey 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce 1...

Why Eat Local? Ask Fran!

Why Eat Local? Ask Fran Wolff. As the 4th generation owner of Wolff’s Apple House and someone who grew up in a farming family, Fran is uniquely positioned to talk about this issue in a straightforward, common-sense way.  I recently sat down with him to get his take on this question, “Why Eat Local,” and here’s what I learned. The History of Fresh Produce From ancient times until about 1850,...

Simplified Mexican Street Corn

When I visit my parents during the summer, no meal is complete without corn on the cob. Preparing it is a chance to sit and catch up with siblings or other relatives as we wrench the husks off the corn and then carefully pluck away the remaining silk. It feels like a throwback to yesteryear and the days of shelling peas, or pitting quart upon quart of cherries to "put...

Berry-Berry Pancakes

As soon as the 4th of July rolls around, I start thinking of those delicious red and blue berries that tend to be in season this time of year, like red raspberries, blueberries and sometimes still strawberries. While it's not the most traditional use of these berries for Independence Day, I propose sleeping in and making some delicious berry-berry pancakes this year, or really any day off or weekend this...

Pasta with Spring Veggies

Bursting with the fresh flavors of spring! This dish comes from the recipe book of our chef Chuck Smith.  It’s got new potatoes, asparagus, snap peas, and mint for a deliciously light meal! Print Pasta with Spring Veggies Author: Chuck Smith Recipe type: Main Dish   Ingredients 1 ½ pounds new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1” cubes 1 bunch (about ¾ lb) asparagus, cut into ½” slices 1 pint snap peas,...

Weeds! How to Beat Them or Enjoy Them

How to deal with weeds without using harsh chemicals is a question on most gardeners’ minds this time of year. When your plants are blossoming and doing well, so are your weeds. Thankfully, there are a few different weeding strategies you can employ. Companion plants and mulching One way to suppress weeds is to not give them room to grow. You can do this by planting companion plants and mulching....

Springtime Strawberry Syrup

This strawberry syrup is an amazing use for locally grown strawberries in the spring! Super easy to make, and delicious with pancakes, waffles, or flavored cocktails! This recipe makes about 1 ½ cups. Print Springtime Strawberry Syrup Author: Wolff's Apple House Recipe type: Toppings Cook time:  20 mins Total time:  20 mins Serves: 6   Ingredients 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered ¾ cup water ¾ cup sugar juice of half a...

Get Your Garden Soil Primed for Growing

Plants are a lot like people: they need a good amount of healthy food to grow. However, plant food looks quite different from ours. One source of food is sunlight. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants are able turn sunlight into sugar. We are not able to do this; the only product humans are able to produce via sunlight is Vitamin D. Beyond sunlight, plants need good, nutritious dirt. Vegetables...

Tofu Burgers with Spring Veggies

A versatile veggie burger! Substitute spinach for the chard, or play around with the addition of other vegetables—mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, whatever! You can adjust the amount of oats to soak up additional moisture if you need to, depending on which veggies you use.  Makes about 8 patties.   Print Tofu Burgers with Spring Veggies Author: Wolff's Apple House Serves: 8   Tofu Burgers with Spring Veggies Author: Wolff's Apple House Ingredients 1...

Enjoy the Abundance of Your Own Apple, Pear and Magnolia Trees

Spring is in the air, finally! After a long winter, the first green on the trees feels well-deserved. Anyone who has pear, apple or magnolia trees in their yard will feel the abundance throughout the season. While all trees provide shade and beauty to a yard, these three in particular provide a lasting richness. After offering the beauty of their delicate pink and white blossoms, apples and pears bear fruit...

Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup WITH the Woody Ends

"Discard the woody ends." That's the first rule any cook learns about cooking with asparagus. But, as the many kind people who have helped me move six times in the past eleven years can attest, I hate to throw anything away. I darn socks. I even darn yoga pants. If there's still a use for something, I try hard to reuse or repurpose it. But...the woody bits on the end...

Reflections from Fran: “Mr. Wolff”

“Mr Wolff.” …Occasionally, someone calls me that. Whenever that happens, I feel compelled to “correct” them: “Mr Wolff is my FATHER, you can call me Fran.”  When my father passed in April 2016 at 95, it felt to me like everyone called him “Mr Wolff.” You see, he had outlived almost all of his contemporaries. And the odd thing about that is that slowly but surely EVERYONE becomes younger than...

Seasoned Kale Chips

Need a healthy snack that doesn't skimp on flavor? These seasoned kale chips are just the ticket! Print Seasoned Kale Chips Prep time:  10 mins Cook time:  22 mins Total time:  32 mins Serves: 3-4   This recipe will give you one 3-4 serving batch of kale chips, and a HUGE batch of seasoning mix… which also happens to double as an awesome popcorn seasoning! Ingredients 1 bunch kale 1 Tbs...

A “Victory Salad” from a Victory Garden

This year, to commemorate the victory gardens of World War I, the World War One in Delco organization is partnering with the Penn State Master Gardeners to bring back victory gardens throughout Delaware County. A few months ago, I spoke with Master Gardener Kathy Pelczarski about how she and other master gardeners are encouraging victory gardens. Today, I thought I'd explore another piece of the story: what people made with the...

Reflections from Fran: Share YOUR favorite Wolff’s Memory!

One thing’s for sure, things are always changing! New buildings, new roads, etc. So, our memories become a cherished (almost sacred) part of our identity. And the best part is, everyone has their own unique memories – those cherished recollections from days gone by. At Wolff’s, I’ve heard lots of great customer stories. Both about growing up in & around Media as well as coming to Wolff’s over the years....

Reflections from Fran: Farming, Fishing, and Family

I was going through old photos when I came across this one of my grandfather Frank Wolff (left). It immediately caught my eye because I LOVE fishing. (Personally, I call fishing my “yoga”, it’s a release. My body, mind and soul truly rejuvenate with any opportunity to fish.) So, needless to say, I was delighted to come across this picture of my grandfather and another gentleman with a row of...