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Wolff's Apple House Blog

Featuring healthy recipes, news & local history

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...

Healthy Coleslaw

This sweet-tangy coleslaw uses greek yogurt and honey! The cilantro and lime add a nice kick. Use a mandolin or food processor for easy shredding of the vegetables. Makes about 4 cups. Print Healthy Coleslaw Prep time:  15 mins Total time:  15 mins   Ingredients 2 cups purple cabbage, shredded 2 cups green cabbage, shredded 2 cups carrots, shredded 1 Tbs. cilantro, chopped 6 oz. container plain Greek yogurt ¼...

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...

What to Plant When: A Fruit & Vegetable Planting Guide from Our Garden Center

It's been a cold, snowy March in southeastern Pennsylvania. For some, this means we're daydreaming even more about warm, sunny days and the vegetable gardens that come along with that.  While you're waiting to get your garden started, check out what Amy Lang, plant manager in the Wolff's Apple House garden center, says about choosing the best times to plant each type of vegetable. SPRING Onion Sets: Amy says that,...

Reflections from Fran: One Last Time

I was talking to my mom recently. She was telling me about a gentleman that worked with us at the orchard several years ago back in the 1940’s. His name was James Hopkins, but she said he always went by Kersey.  It’s an interesting and heartwarming story.  She explained to me how he worked with us while he was in his mid twenties. He just loved picking apples in the...

Reflections from Fran: Goin’ Down the Shore

Everyone born and raised in the Philadelphia area uses or has at least heard the phrase “Goin down the shore.”  Translated for non-natives, it means “Going down TO any of several beach towns along the ocean in Southern New Jersey”.  In going through old photos, I found this picture of my grandfather and his brother in Atlantic City in 1914. I was heartened to know my family’s been goin’ down...

Slow-cooked Pulled Chicken Burritos

This recipe gives you a very basic burrito to build on. Feel free to add fresh corn, sautéed mushrooms, cooked greens, onions, or whatever you like in your burritos! Your favorite salsa and hot sauce are also perfect additions, of course. Total cooking time: about 6 hours, largely unattended. Print Slow-cooked Pulled Chicken Burritos Author: Chuck Smith   Ingredients Ingredients: 1 Tbs vegetable oil 3 lbs boneless chicken breast 2 cloves...

Reflections from Fran: Is it Halloween Yet?

  It’s March 15 and it was William Shakespeare who warned  “Beware the Ides of March”. And, I’m no history buff, but I’m pretty sure he was warning everyone about old Halloween pictures, because that’s what this week’s post is!! A favorite time at Wolff’s among family and staff has always been “Halloween Costume Weekend.” Below are a BUNCH of pictures over the years…see if you can find someone you...

Meet Our Beekeepers and Honey Vendors!

When you're looking for honey at Wolff's, you'll notice that it comes from several different apiaries. But one thing all our honey has in common: it's raw. Customers say that their seasonal allergies have gotten better after using raw honey. Since raw honey contains small amounts of local pollen, it can help people build up a tolerance for it. Noah Gress of Raindance Apiary explains that when honey isn't raw, all the...

Reflections from Fran: What’s in a name?

Being the youngest of 8 kids, especially with 3 older brothers, I grew up answering to practically anything. There were several years as a kid when I thought my name was “Nate, um, Pete, no wait FRAN” because that’s what my mom always called me.  And it’s funny, here at the store, it actually hasn’t been much different…I’ve gotten called “Peter” on a seeming daily basis. The reason I bring...

Reflections from Fran: Whether or Not There’s Weather or Not

Soon after my wife Kim and I first met, she remarked “Wow, your family really talks about the weather a lot!” And she is absolutely right. (See Kim, I CAN admit that.) When you grow up on a farm, your life tends to revolve around the weather. Farmers definitely rely heavily on the weather to provide them with the help they need in a variety of situations. At various times...

Penn State Master Gardeners Are Helping to Bring Back Victory Gardens

A hundred years ago, Europe was facing a severe food shortage as World War I turned farmers into soldiers and their farmland into battlegrounds. The United States began to encourage civilians to start "Victory Gardens" wherever they could: schools, parks, backyards, vacant lots, or even unused land that private businesses would allow them to use. Gardening the available space took pressure off the food supply. To commemorate the victory gardens...

Reflections from Fran: Tractors and Horsepower

Take a moment and picture a farmer in a field working… What did you picture? …Straw hat? Of course! …Overalls? Probably …Possibly holding a pitchfork, or is the farmer on a tractor? Ah, the tractor! There are few things more emblematic to modern farming than the tractor. It’s right up there with the barn and the silo when it comes to classic images of a farm. And for good reason;...

Reflections from Fran: Thank You, Thank You!

I want to take a moment to say thank you to a great group of people at our market… YOU, our customers! All of us here at Wolff’s feel so blessed to have such incredible customers. It absolutely fills me with pride to be a local business in this wonderful community! Throughout the years we have always received amazing support from you. I particularly feel honored by the personal connection...

4 Ways to Attract More Birds to Your Backyard This Winter

When I visited my parents' home in rural Berks County last month, all I wanted to do was look out the windows. I was plugging away at various writing projects in the upstairs bedroom that doubled as my office, but a cheerful flutter outside the picture windows kept attracting my notice. It was so peaceful to stare for a moment at all the activity and socializing going on among the winter birds....

Reflections from Fran: The Legend of Leon’s Pies

What was the name of that older gentleman that made pies for Wolff’s back in the day? That is a question I still get to this day; I actually had a customer just ask me that about two weeks ago. The answer: Leon Garnet. And this usually leads to some fairly standard follow up questions: …Wasn’t that the best apple pie you ever had? …HOW did he do it? …Do...

Philly Cheesesteaks with Chipsteak

A delicious recipe for Philly Cheesesteaks with Lone Star Farm Chipsteak, courtesy of Lone Star Farm.  Print Philly Cheesesteaks with Chipsteak   Philly Cheesesteaks with Chipsteak Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 12 mins Total time: 27 mins Serves: 4 servings Ingredients 1 Package Lone Star Farm Beef chip steak Salt and pepper to taste 1 t. garlic powder 1 T. olive oil 1 medium cooking onion 1 portobello mushroom*...

Reflections from Fran: Family & Business

Reflections from Fran I’ve always said the two most important things in a family business are family and business, and in that order. Ups and downs in the family can’t help but create ups and downs in the business. The last few years have seen some challenges for the Wolff Family. Most notably, my brother and business partner Peter left this world too soon after losing a battle with cancer...

Chuck’s Citrus Salad

Wolff’s chef Chuck Smith dreamed up this salad while he was on his honeymoon in California, and the lemons and oranges came right off a backyard tree! He says it’s still his go-to recipe when citrus is at its peak. Print Chuck’s Citrus Salad Serves: 4-6   Ingredients 1 head butter lettuce, leaves washed and dried 5 slices prosciutto ½ cup crumbled goat cheese ½ cup toasted pecans 2 blood oranges...

Reflections from Fran: Apples, Bees, Mother Nature & Youth

As a kid growing up on a 50-acre fruit orchard, I had no idea that that was something unique or special. I spent my childhood running up and down rows and rows of fruit trees…McIntosh Apples, Bartlett Pears, Red Haven Peaches, and Stanley Plums. All the while, I simply assumed that’s what every other kid was doing too. If I had only known! I look back on those simpler days...

Classic Fluffy Scones with Spreadable Fruit & Whipped Butter

The first time I ate "real" British scones, I admit I was quite surprised, as they differ from American scones on many levels. Generally, British scones are - Either plain or have dried fruit in them, and serve as an excuse for jam and clotted cream (like a whipped butter) to eat with a cup of tea. Round, not triangular! (We'll get to why that is later!) Not glazed with...

Super Citrus Salad with Chicken

I visited Wolff's Apple House on New Year's Eve and came home with four different kinds of citrus. The weather outside was frigid. The ground was covered with layer of snow. But once I had cut open the grapefruit, Cara Cara orange, tangerine and blood orange, the kitchen looked a whole lot brighter. Even the strong smell of the citrus seemed to perk up my spirits. We need these kinds...

Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup

A comforting, warming, winter soup! Print Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup   Ingredients 1 package Canter Hill Sweet Italian Sausage, thawed 1 small onion, diced 3 carrots, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 4 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes olive oil 1 bunch kale 4 cups chicken stock Instructions Heat some olive oil (1-2 Tbs) over medium-low heat in a large pot. Add...

New Year’s Cooking Resolutions

"All right, here's the bet," says Bill Haverchuck in a scene from the show Freaks and Geeks, "for 10 bucks I'll drink this much of anything," indicating that he'll try about an inch worth of whatever his friends will concoct from the contents of the fridge. A friend and I did something like this when I was about nine years old. We snuck down to the kitchen, giggling the whole...

Baci Di Dama Italian Cookies

Italian food is pretty easy to love. Pizza and pasta are staples of most of American's diets, and Italian restaurants are a dime a dozen. Our prepared food section has plenty of Italian specialties like A Casa Pizza and Italian bread. But when you think of Italian food, do you tend to think of Italian cookies? I hadn't really thought much about them until I tried these. My husband and...

Christmas Window Boxes

DIY Winter Window Boxes A few years ago, we found ourselves window shopping in a quaint town around Christmastime and came across the most beautiful Christmas Window Boxes. We just loved them and have made a tradition to make these every year. The first year we made them, we hit the jackpot by finding all the supplies on a path in a forest that had just been logged. Wolff's sells...

Our 2018 Christmas Tree Varieties Are Here!

Our trees are grown by two local PA tree farms that specialize in premium quality trees! We are able to select only the best trees from each farm, insuring that you always have the BEST selection of FRESH, HEALTHY trees to choose from! We have trees for every budget, starting at $29! Enjoy a complimentary cup of our Hot-Mulled PA Apple Cider while you browse the trees.  Our friendly crew...

“Healthy” Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

Tastes and smells have a wonderful way of bringing back memories you had long forgotten. This happened to me this week when I bit into these pumpkin spice donut holes I made. Suddenly I was a teenager again, sitting in the passenger seat of my parent's minivan, with one of my parents or a willing sibling driving me to work on a cool summer morning. Since sleep is of the...

Our 20+ Best Holiday Party Recipes!

Throwing a holiday party this year? Check out our favorite recipes for appetizers, drinks and desserts! If you don't have a party scheduled already, you'll want to start inviting friends now! Appetizers Buffalo Cauliflower This recipe packs in all the flavor of buffalo chicken tenders or buffalo wings and, like these classic pub appetizers, can be dipped in blue cheese dressing. Jamie Wolff, our Produce Manager, introduced us to this...

How We Select the Best Fall Decor

This time of year, Wolff’s carries over 2,000 mums and a host of classic orange pumpkins from three pounds up to 40 pounds—not to mention heirloom pumpkins in all kinds of unexpected shapes and colors, and a few prizewinner pumpkins that weigh in at about 150 pounds each! Add to that Indian corn, corn shocks, straw, gourds and garden accessories, and you can begin to imagine the array of autumn...

Buffalo Cauliflower

Jamie Wolff, our Produce Manager, introduced us to this recipe. Football season just happens to coincide with local Cauliflower season, so that makes this a perfect Game Day snack! It’s a fun way to take advantage of the colored cauliflower at Wolff’s! Print Buffalo Cauliflower Author: Jamie Wolff   To make this recipe gluten-free, Teff Flour is a great substitute! Ingredients 1 medium to large cauliflower, chopped into florets ½ cup...

Perfecting Your Autumn Display

A well-crafted autumn display gives you something beautiful to come home to after a long day at work, says Amy Lang, plant manager at Wolff's Apple House. It brings "solace at the end of your day," she says. Adding a touch of autumn beauty means you can sit on your patio with a glass of wine and look at a more "put-together" section of your yard at a time when summer...

Using heirloom pumpkins for baking? Check out the results from our pie contest!

Which heirloom pumpkin makes the BEST pumpkin pie? ...we decided to find out! On Sunday, October 1st, we held our first-ever pumpkin pie baking contest!  All staff members were invited to bake a pie from scratch using one of our heirloom pumpkins!   We had seven bakers in all, some of whom had never tried making pie from scratch before! Our four judges rated each pie for overall appearance, quality...

Apple and Kale Salad

Two great tastes of fall in a refreshing, healthy salad! Plus, enjoy more of kale’s nutritional benefits by not cooking it! Print Apple and Kale Salad   Ingredients Dressing ¼ cup fresh-squeezed citrus (lemon, lime, orange, or a combination) 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbs honey ½ tsp coarse salt Salad 1 small bunch kale, washed, stems removed, and finely chopped 1 large sweet eating apple ¼ cup...

Apple Baked Oatmeal

Throughout any given day, I am usually thinking about the cup of coffee I will have at breakfast the next morning. I know that if I make myself a second cup of coffee sometime in the mid-afternoon, it won't have the same flavor as my first-thing-in-the-morning cup because nothing compares to the steaming mug of delicious bitterness that has revived my consciousness. Even though I am often daydreaming about the...

Easy Peach Popsicles

One evening when I was five years old, I straddled the split-rail fence that guarded our yard from the road. As I perched there with all of my five-year-old grace (which is to say, very little grace whatsoever), I suddenly tipped forward, landed face-first on pavement, and knocked out my two front teeth. When the metallic-tasting blood had stopped flowing but my tears had not, my mother must have given me...