Tag Archives: Central Pennsylvania

Making Latkes

Latkes, potato pancakes, or potato cakes as we know them in central Pennsylvania, are a traditional meal for Hanukkah. I thought this would be a perfect post for this time of the season, besides… tonight I had a craving for some good old potato cakes. I’d like to publicly acknowledge and blame my fellow Instagramers for that craving…Thanks guys for all of your recent delicious photos! So we whipped up a non-traditional form of a potato cake using sweet potatoes from a recipe out of my Forest Feast Cookbook.

As we made the cakes, of course we had some inappropriate banter and jokes between us, but we also really reminisced about the first time I ever tried potato pancakes. Yes, it was actually when I first started dating Mr. B. I was sitting in his parents kitchen and we were discussing potato cakes and I believe I happened to mention that I’d never tried one before. Gasp!? I know..talk about sheltered. Well Mr.B’s mother decided right then and there that I had to try one. She immediately started whipping out potatoes, crisco, onions, etc. and made them on the spot! What a woman my mother in-law!

You won’t find any crisco in the version we made tonight, but I do believe that these potato cakes we made would make my mother in-law proud. The entire time I scarfed down my two potato cakes I couldn’t help but think of her with each bite. ‘Tis the season and all that nostalgic stuff, right?

We didn’t change a thing in the recipe. We paired the potato cakes with a nice piece of mahi mahi. It hit this homegirls spot and there were no complaints from the Mr. Victory in my book!


Sweet Potato Latkes

Grate 2 sweet potatoes (I don’t bother peeling).

Combine with:

4 beaten eggs
1 clove minced garlic
1 Tablespoon bread crumbs
Salt & Pepper


3 Tablespoon heaps (forming patties) in a generous amount of olive oil until golden brown. About 3 min each side on med/high. Remove & drain on paper towels.

Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt & a sprinkle of chopped scallions.

From The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson


Slow Cooker Pigeons

You don’t have to tell me, I know, I know. I’m crazy and that it’s totally opposite of slow cooker season.
However, I needed some good old Pennsylvania cuisine, plus it’s Sunday, we’ve got a whole rainy afternoon to kill. It’s the darn monsoon gloom, July tends to get bad around these parts.

Pigeons it is!

While Mr. B and I took advantage of some new and old comedy movies, the pigeons were simmering and steaming away in the slow cooker. Gosh, y’all! The house smelled simply amazing and had us both reminiscing of our Sunday dinners at home.

We vegged as the heavenly familiar aromas just wafted through the apartment and then finally at 5 on the dot, we indulged! These pigeons were packed with delicious flavor. Heavy on the pepper, garlic, onion, green peppers, and of course cabbage leaves.

Slow Cooker Pigeons

Slightly adapted from Pioneering Today


1 small cabbage head

1/2 cup uncooked Korean rice

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. pepper

1 lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey


1 15 ounce can Newmans Own marinara sauce

2 Tbs. brown sugar

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce


Boil a pot of water and add cabbage head, steam for 3 minutes and drain.

Combine the uncooked rice, egg, milk, onion, garlic, green pepper, beef, salt, and seasonings in large bowl. Place meat mixture in center of cabbage leaf and roll, tucking and folding all ends. Place seam side down in slow cooker.

Mix ingredients for sauce together and pour over rolls. Cook on low 8 hours in slow cooker.


Homemade Ice Cream

For some reason I do not have the clearest memories from when I was a child, however, simple things that I do remember include homemade ice cream and the summers at my grandparents when I was a kid growing up in central Pennsylvania. I remember we would make flavors like Teaberry, Vanilla, and Strawberry. We would sit out back on their patio and enjoy the warm summer evenings and eat our delicious ice cream.

I am sure some of you are asking what in the world is Teaberry? Teaberry is really one of the many staples from Pennsylvania. Teaberry is a tiny red berry (pink when it melts) that tastes like wintergreen. I am sure this is really an acquired taste but my husband and I enjoy it. Sometimes my gram even uses teaberry candies on top of her Christmas sugar cookies.

Mmmmm….Isn’t it funny how the simple little things remind you of some of the best memories in your life?

Yesterday I got to Skype with my grandparents and we talked about the ice cream machine briefly. From what I remember they have an older model that had a hand crank but also had a motor. I think I remember rock salt being needed as well?
Okay, where is all this talk of homemade ice cream and Teaberry flavor going?? Well, Larry bought me a Cuisinart ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet maker!! I am so excited and cannot wait to experiment with healthier, low fat, better for you flavors than what we can purchase at the stores.

We snapped a few pictures from my first try and experiment with flavors. We opted for fresh cherry frozen yogurt. The results were not too shabby but a bit overly sweet for our taste buds. Next time around I would tone down the sugar and vanilla. As we speak I am concocting some vanilla cinnamon ice cream.

Until next time!