I get so excited when I walk into the CSA on Tuesday afternoons and there is a new pick-your-own vegetable.  Most of the pick-your-own crops rarely make it to a meal in our house.  They get cleaned up, put in a bowl on our table, and the kids munch on them!  This week’s pick-your-own crop was green beans.  We love to eat these raw, but also enjoy them in a variety of dishes.  This week I decided to give them an Asian twist alongside some smashed potatoes and grass-fed sirloin tip cooked in the instant pot.

Skillet Green Beans
1 lb fresh green beans
2 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
3 cloves garlic- crushed
2 tsp sesame seeds
3 tsp coconut aminos*
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

*Coconut aminos is a soy-free seasoning sauce.  It is made of organic coconut tree sap that has been aged and blended with sun-dried, mineral-rich sea salt.  We use the Coconut Secret brand.  You can definitely substitute with soy sauce if you prefer.

  • Add oil to skillet and allow to heat up.
  • Add green beans. Cover and cook on medium heat, stirring frequently to insure even cooking.  Cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Add crushed garlic and cook until green beans are desired tenderness. (I like to serve them a little crunchy.)
  • Add sesame seeds and coconut aminos. Season with salt and pepper.  Mix well and serve.

Smashed Potatoes
2 Tbsp + ½ tsp sea salt, divided
1 pound small potatoes
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
½ tsp black pepper

  • Fill medium pot with 6 cups water and 2 Tbsp sea salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Add potatoes and allow water to come back to a boil. Cook potatoes for about 15 minutes or until fork tender.
  • Drain potatoes and allow to cool slightly.
  • Heat oven to 425°
  • Spread 1 ½ Tbsp oil onto a baking sheet. Line up potatoes on baking sheet.  Using the bottom of a glass cup, smash each potato.
  • Drizzle remaining 1 ½ Tbsp oil onto potatoes. Spread with a pastry brush.
  • Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown, flipping after 10 minutes.

**These potatoes can be served with a variety of sauces or garnished with fresh herbs.  We topped them with a Spicy Asian Dressing.

Spicy Asian Dressing
2 tsp fresh ginger- grated
2 cloves garlic- crushed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
½-1 tsp sriracha (optional)***
1 tsp sesame seeds

Combine all ingredients except sesame seeds and mix well.  I used a small blender.  Add sesame seeds and serve.

***The sriracha is optional, but definitely adds the spiciness to this sauce.  Adjust the amount you use based on your own personal taste.

Recipe and Photos by Stephanie Borzio. Stephanie Borzio is a mom of three active boys and is an autoimmune warrior. After battling her own health for several years, Stephanie found healing through food and lifestyle changes, including joining Blooming Glen Farm CSA of which she is a long time member. She is a Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who is passionate about sharing healthy living tips and real food recipes. Instagram & Facebook: Tru You Essentials; Website:

It’s a little hot to be stuck in the kitchen all day cooking and frankly, I am not even very hungry. Nonetheless, the kids have to eat. My 14 yr old and I were throwing around ideas for a farm recipe and this is the one that ignited the most excitement in his tone. Sadly for him, he fell asleep and I ate the entire thing myself. Poor kid.

As always with my recipes, feel free to play around with what you have on hand and allow your intuition and cravings to guide your creativity. Here, I use the traditional rye bread and swiss cheese but, by all means, do you. The technique is exactly as if you would be making a grilled cheese sandwich. Once the components are finished, it’s just a layer and griddle party.

There are 4 components put together to create one glorious sandwich but only minimal cooking is involved.

4 medium red potatoes – shredded
2 Tbs cooking oil
1 Tbs butter

Shred potatoes and soak in cold water for 10 minutes. Drain and press dry in a kitchen towel or paper towels until very dry. Heat oil and butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Lay shredded potatoes in a thin layer to cover the skillet and allow to brown. Once the underside is golden and crispy, gently flip. I grated some fresh garlic over the potatoes once I flipped it and let the heat melt it away into the potatoes. Salt and lots of pepper.

In a separate bowl :
1/2 cabbage shredded
1 zucchini shredded
1 yellow squash shredded
1 onion sliced thin
1 apple or pear shredded
Salt and pepper

Slaw Sauce :
1 Cup mayo
1 Tbs mustard – I use whole grain.
1 Tbs honey or maple
2 tsp vinegar
Fold the slaw sauce into the cabbage mixture and set aside.

Cucumber Dressing :
1 yellow cucumber- seeded and diced very small
1 Tbs dill- chopped
2 Tns onion tops- sliced thin
1 onion – small dice
1 turnip- small dice
3/4 cup plain yogurt – Greek or drained
1 Tbs kefir or buttermilk
1 Tbs sugar
salt and pepper

To assemble :
Butter 2 pieces of rye bread like you would a grilled cheese sandwich. I used the same skillet that was still warm from the potatoes. Apply 2-4 slices of Swiss or any cheese you would like to either side of the bread followed by a generous dollop of cucumber dressing to one side. Lay your potato pancake atop the dollop and apply a nice layer of slaw to be followed by the other piece of bread. Place in the skillet and allow to brown on both sides being careful that the guts don’t spill out all over the place. Be a gentle flipper. Gingerly remove the Rachel from the skillet and enjoy immediately. No plate required.

Recipe, post and photos by Kristin Moyer, a local mom and chef who loves to eat, write and play with her food.

Note from Health Coach Stephanie Borzio: I served the beet slaw and simple sautéed greens with Grilled Country-Style Sausage from Hershberger Heritage Farm. The simple sautéed greens use the beet greens so that nothing goes to waste! I’m all about using every part of what the CSA gives us if I can!

Beet Slaw
3 medium beets
2 summer squash
2-3 green onions
4 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder

Peel beets and shred. Place in medium bowl. Cut summer squash in half and remove seeds. Shred squash and add to bowl with beets. Slice green onions and place in bowl with other vegetables.
Combine lime juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in small bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour over vegetables and let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Can serve as a side dish or over a bed of greens.

Simple Sautéed Greens
½ lb kale
1 bunch beet greens
5 cloves garlic
1 red onion
2-3 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt (or more to taste)
¼ tsp black pepper (or more to taste)

Clean kale and remove inner stem. Chop the leaves and place in a bowl. Clean the beet greens, chop, and add to the same bowl. Peel garlic, thinly slice, and set aside. Peel onion, thinly slice, and set aside. Add oil to frying pan and allow to heat up (medium heat). Add onions and garlic to pan. Sauté for 2 minutes and then add greens. Mix well while cooking so that all of the greens cook evenly. Cook approximately 7-10 minutes or when greens reach desired tenderness. Serve immediately.

Recipe and Photos by Stephanie Borzio. Stephanie Borzio is a mom of three active boys and is an autoimmune warrior. After battling her own health for several years, Stephanie found healing through food and lifestyle changes, including joining Blooming Glen Farm CSA of which she is a long time member. She is a Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who is passionate about sharing healthy living tips and real food recipes. Instagram & Facebook: Tru You Essentials; Website:

Here’s a true story. Today was my second official day of summer. The kids spent the day in their allotted camps and I walked in circles at home and pondered this recipe. I think I’m still in a little bit of shock that winter is finally over and my long sought after days off with the kids is upon me. So, basically I had all the time in the world to plan and prep for this one bi-weekly recipe I write. Trouble is, despite my love of eating and cooking, I abhor shopping. I will often times drive into the parking lot and pull right back out because there are entirely too many people. This was, however, not the case today. I went to one store, just not the right one. I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t mostly because of discombobulated brain-fog brought about by my new found freedom.

Earlier I decided on making stir-fry noodles with these fun “Longevity Noodles” I purchased at an Asian grocery store in the city. It’s a full-blown, clean out the fridge, freezer, and pantry week here…”rent week” as it has been coined in the fun recipe blog by Bon Appetit. You get the point: cook and eat what you got. Luckily, CSA day is here and now we have veggies.

The recipe in my mind looked like a farm to table version of Lo Mein with egg and possibly organic pork sausage.  The only thing that I didn’t have here at home was fresh ginger. I made a quick stop at the farm market hoping to find some. To no avail. I bought instead, a bottle of Braggs sesame ginger dressing. Home I came, veggies in tow, to develop the recipe. Against my better judgement I dumped that bottle of pre-made sauce directly into the almost finished product. Turns out, YUCK, that dressing is definitely not the right sauce for the dish and in the trash it went.

Round 2 with the same ingredients minus the Braggs left me with a dry bland bowl of “stuff” that didn’t really scream symbiotic culinary adventure for the taste buds. It needed heat and acidity and a funky tang to pull it all together. It also needed some creaminess and body.

The finished product was a blend of creative inspiration, lethargy, and frustration, but in the end it really tastes good. My only suggestion would be that it does not require noodles. Ironically, it’s a noodle dish but the noodle plays a supporting role to the rest of the ingredients. This would be wonderful with root veggies instead of pasta for a paleo friendly version, or make zoodles aka zucchini noodles with your squash. I suggest Ghee or some good salted butter as the fat. I tried with coconut oil and it was not good.

Funny how one ingredient and an unwillingness to go to the right store can really mess with dinner. Had I followed my gut, I would have made something different once I started to feel the anxiety of bright lights and checkout lines creep in. Like all of my recipes, I will make suggestions throughout. Feel the freedom to follow your own gut and create a dish that leaves you feeling satisfied and pleased.

2 summer squash – cut to your liking
4 stalks kale – chopped
half bunch dandelion greens – chopped
half bunch scallions – chopped
half bunch garlic scapes – chopped
10 brussel sprouts – chopped (or for a more seasonal selection, sub in 4 stalks of your CSA chard)
chopped cilantro, parsley, pineapple sage, to your taste
2 cups cooked pasta of your preference
1 cup packed sauerkraut plus 2 Tbs of the juice (or use kimchi for super funky noodles)
1 Tbs whole grain or Chinese hot mustard
1 Tbs hot sauce
2 eggs – scrambled or over easy
2 sausages or bacon – sliced

To assemble: over medium heat, saute the sausage or bacon until golden. Add the veggies and lightly brown in the meat dripping. Toss in the pasta and kraut juice along with 2 Tbs of butter to Ghee. Stir everything together until fully mixed. In a separate pan either scramble or fry over easy your eggs. Arrange the noodles in a nice big bowl, top with the kraut and egg and some chopped scallions and cilantro leaves. Serve the mustard and hot sauce in a small bowl as accompanying sauces and loosen with a little soy or aminos. Serves 4

This is one funky dish. Probably good for a hangover! I love the blend of creamy egg yolk, acidic kraut funk, salty meat bits and the velvety veggies. Like I said, noodles are optional here. Rent week eating can be fun and adventurous and best of all, a reason to avoid shopping!! Nom Nom.

Recipe, post and photos by Kristin Moyer, a local mom and chef who loves to eat, write and play with her food.

Post editing by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 13th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to the local community.


Before the strawberries wind down completely (thanks to all the rain this spring), here is a simple summer salad that highlights their wonderful flavor, made even more special with the addition of a seasonal strawberry dressing.

Blackened Chicken:
2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 ½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp turmeric
2 lbs boneless chicken breast (preferably pasture raised, available from Hershberger Heritage Farm)

Preheat grill.  Combine all spices together in bowl and mix well.  Coat both sides of chicken breasts with seasoning mix.  Cook chicken breasts on medium heat- approximately 5-7 minutes on each side (time will vary depending on thickness).  Set aside and prepare salad.

1 large head of lettuce or mixed greens
1-2 avocados, sliced
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced (or sub in chopped scallions)
2 cups berries- strawberries, blueberries and/or raspberries
Optional- chive blossoms, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, microgreens

Strawberry Dressing:
¾ cup avocado oil (or sub in olive oil)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup strawberries
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch black pepper
1-2 tsp honey (optional)

Clean and prepare all ingredients.  To make dressing, combine all ingredients in blender and mix well.  Place lettuce on plate.  Top with sliced avocados, sliced shallots, berries, and blackened chicken.  Garnish with chive blossoms, seeds, or microgreens.  Add some of the strawberry dressing and enjoy!

Recipe and Photos by Stephanie Borzio. Stephanie Borzio is a mom of three active boys and is an autoimmune warrior. After battling her own health for several years, Stephanie found healing through food and lifestyle changes, including joining Blooming Glen Farm CSA of which she is a long time member. She is a Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who is passionate about sharing healthy living tips and real food recipes. Instagram & Facebook: Tru You Essentials; Website:

Post editing by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 13th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to the local community.

The dandelion greens in your share are cultivated here at the farm (not foraged), and just like the greens with the yellow flowers that grow so prolifically in your yard, they are a nutritional powerhouse. High in beta carotene, vitamin A and C, calcium, and iron (twice as much calcium and iron then broccoli!) this bitter green is considered a health tonic specifically for liver and digestion. Yes, it’s bitter, but it’s so darn good for you, it’s worth experimenting with to find a way that you enjoy eating it. Seriously, every crop can’t be sweet and juicy like a strawberry! You could easily saute garlic scapes and scallions, and toss in your dandelion greens mixed with some kale or kohlrabi greens. Pair those garlicky greens with creamy white beans or pintos and you have a delicious meal. Or toss it in your sweet fruity breakfast smoothie- you may just fool yourself that its even in there. Feeling adventurous? Here’s another option- pesto! Pesto is traditionally made with basil, but in the following recipe, dandelion greens take center stage. The addition of lemon juice and lemon zest add the perfect zing.

1 bunch dandelion greens
3 sprigs basil or more to your taste
2 garlic scapes, or to your taste
1/3 cup grated parmesan, or more if desired
1/4-1/2  cup olive oil, to achieve consistency you want- start light and add more as needed
1/4 cup walnuts or roasted pecans, or your nut of choice (pine nuts are the pesto standard, but I usually look for a more affordable option)
lemon zest of 1 lemon
juice of half a lemon

Place all ingredients except the parmesan cheese into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. If it’s too thick, slowly add more olive oil. Add the parmesan and continue to blend until the mixture has a smooth consistency. Feel free to add any ingredients if you like it more garlicky, more nutty, or more cheesy. The lemon helps cut the bitterness a bit, but it’s still going to be bitter, no getting around it. I enjoyed the pesto spread on a gluten free wrap rolled with lettuce, shredded kohlrabi and carrots, avocado and chicken. Or it makes a great dip for your crunchy vegetables.

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 13th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

Let’s be real. Life is a busy place. Most of use join a CSA with the intention of hand cooking delicious and nutritious meals for our families throughout the week, feeling good about our efforts as parents and spouses. In my world, reality means very little time is left in my busy schedule to plan and prepare full blown meals most days. In the summer we eat a ton of soup, salad and sandwiches.

Being a single working mom of two young children, it’s my foremost priority that the quality of the ingredients I’m using to prepare their meals takes precedence. Fancy shmancy delivery isn’t often in the cards. Some days, I feel the lack of self care it takes to feed myself something hand spun and crafted with ease and intention. Some days, I crave sitting alone in the sunshine, enjoying a meal for one. Meals are eaten standing, driving, almost asleep, and in hurried stressful situations enough these days. Tis life. Out of sheer necessity, moms all over America are feeding our little humans off the fly by the seat of our pants, menu between engagements and such.

Smoothies are popular for a reason, folks. Plopping the weeks bounty into a pot, blender, juicer, bowl, or food processor is just so darn simple and simplicity is what moms cherish in our hot pursuit of sustainable time management. Soup is by far one of the easiest and quickest no-brainer ways to play hide the vegetable with our kids or make ourselves a small bowl of lunch in between work, tasks, and chores. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t rely heavily on recipes to guide and inspire my cooking.

Soup is so forgiving and adaptable in a pinch when on the fly hungry happens. These are the days of fancy pressure cookers and other kitchen gadgets. I’m a simple gal on a budget and honestly I am intimidated by a lot of those kitchen tools. I do use a crock-pot from time to time, mostly for broth. Broth is a key ingredient in soup. I use mostly veggie or organic chicken broth in most of my recipes. I will leave the broth recipe and inspirational post for another day. This is a soup recipe for one. Mom soup. There will likely be leftovers. Freeze it for another day.  My kids might eat this, or they might have cereal for dinner while I savor it (*Recipe update: Kid approved, no leftovers). Obviously, the recipe can be adapted to feed however many people you’d like. I am merely setting it up as a small indulgence, perhaps with a small salad and slice of crusty bread from Bread Box & Bakery. Root vegetables and cream are a decadent palate for so many creative accompaniments. Think Hershberger Heritage Farm bacon or thinly sliced apples from North Star Orchard. For this rendition, I am using coconut milk and vegetable stock for the soup and garnishing with quick maple marinated carrot salad using Augusta Acres Farm Maple Syrup. So, without further ado….here is the( loose) recipe. Enjoy.

1  potato – I am using a yam this time, peeled and diced
2 hakurei turnips – cleans and diced
1 kohlrabi – peeled and diced
4 scallions, chopped
4 garlic scapes – sliced thin
2 leaves kale – cleaned and chopped
1 handful of escarole – cleaned and chopped
1/4 cup coconut cream or heavy cream
2 Tbs. Coconut aminos or Tamari
dash hot sauce
herbs of your liking, to taste

In a medium sized soup pot cook the garlic, onion  and scapes in 1 Tbs. oil until fragrant and slightly browned. Next, add in the root veggies and enough stock to just cover the veggies. Season with salt and pepper to taste. At this point you can add the aminos. This will also be fantastic with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast if you happen to have some on hand. Stir and cover. Allow to simmer on medium/low until veggies are tender, about 20 minutes. Take a taste to check for salt. Not enough, add more. If time allows, you have the option of pureeing either half of or all of the soup. Either a blender or a handheld immersion blender works. I like mine slightly blended. Back into the pot it goes for the addition of cream and  the greens. Herbs of any kind are perfect here as well, I used a substantial amount of basil. Stir with your favorite spoon. Cook gently another 10 minutes until the greens are silky and soft. Gently, swirl in a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce for that balance of acidity to creaminess ratio.

Allow the soup to thicken slightly, lid off on low temperature while you grate some carrots into a small bowl. Toss with a few raisins, 1 tsp. maple, 1 tsp vinegar or citrus and 1 tsp oil and a little salt and pepper. To serve, ladle into your most self indulgent bowl or mug and gently place a spoon of carrot mixture in the center. Savor.

Post and photos by Kristin Moyer, a local mom and chef who loves to eat, write and play with her food.

Post editing by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 13th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.


If you are anything like me, you come stumbling out of winter into the increasing warmth of the lengthening days with a winter slumber still dragging along behind. The long cold season here in PA can be drudgingly hard to transition out of.

It seems like overnight our bodies and minds are expected to be primed and ready for the springtime curtain drop. My body, like many others, is at her best when she is directly connected with the earth and her bountiful sustenance. The winter can feel long and hard and the connective tissue that builds strength and endurance under a warm sun fades towards the last days until Spring. Like many, my body lives in accordance to the fickle rules set forth by autoimmune disease. Stress and disconnection from vital nutrients and the surging life force of living foods will tear down my health faster than anything else.

Springtime means fresh asparagus, wild nettles, ramps, early season lettuce, baby radishes and turnips (my fave), and spring onions! Spring also means transition and seasonal changes can often take a sensitive body for a wild ride. As sensational as the cyclical nature of the seasons can be, every year the rug gets pulled out from under me and I dance and wobble around in the mud a bit before I rest assuredly on the warm soil. It is NOW that I find it of the utmost importance to keep an internal equilibrium with plenty of gut and hormone balancing foods.

The fermentation craze hit the scene years after I had begun treating my own body with food. Food as Medicine is a way of life. The power of the earth’s bounty is just what I need to stay grounded in a spinning world. I have been eating everything from fermented dairy in the form of Kefir and homemade yogurt, simple fermented veggies, kraut, kvass, kombucha, and my new favorite kimchi. Eating fermented foods is key to our overall well being because of the plethora of beneficial bacteria it contains which our bodies need to maintain a flourishing internal state of balance and health.They will reduce inflammation and make sure that the good guys in our gut (second brain) are the ones driving the ship and we aren’t over come by endless numbers of health issues brought about by an imbalance of bad bacteria in our in our microbiome.

Even as important though, is the art and practice of the fermentation process. Alchemical in nature and just about as close to actual magic as you can come, the very act of gathering the gifts of the earth and playing with them in a way that will allow nature to produce its own medicine with only my humble assistance leaves me in awe. This is what makes me feel most alive and I am healthier and full before anything even enters my mouth. The beauty of fermentation in todays cultural and societal landscape is that it is simple, fast and lasts forever.

We are busy. So busy. Becoming stressed out by feeding myself and my family is a natural state and I know I am not alone. To be able to have Food Rx on hand that I know will give me the boost I need is a saving grace. It literally lasts almost forever! There is NO COOKING. You can ferment just about any vegetable and get so creative and allow your intuition to guide you every time, yielding delicious jars of fun, burping, bubbling fun. The recipe that follows is adapted from the V Street Cookbook. I add apples to mine but pear would be good. Get creative. The recipe calls for Napa cabbage but any cabbage will do. We have bok choy in the share this week and that makes a superb rendition. The ingredients are easily found on Amazon or at most grocery stores. Feel free to play around with the heat and acidity. I have black vinegar here at my house but the recipe originally called for rice vinegar. I like mine spicy so I amp it up with hot peppers. Play with your food. It’s medicine.

1/2 cup sea salt
1 cup radish, sliced thin
3 cups bok choy, torn
1/2 cup spring onion, sliced thin
1 apple, sliced thin
3 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs minced ginger
1 cup chard stems
1 jalapeño, Thai chile or any hot pepper you like (omit if you don’t like it hot)
1 Tbs tamari or coconut aminos
1 Tbs red chile flake
2 Tbs Gochujang – fermented chile paste
2 Tbs vinegar
1/8 tsp pepper

~ Take 8 cups of cold water and stir in the sea salt. Submerge the bok choy and radishes in the salt water for an hour.
~ Drain the veggies and squeeze out as much water as possible.
~ I use a food processor to puree my garlic, ginger and hot peppers and then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth. You can use a bowl, handheld mincing apparatus, and your own strength to mix it up, no problem.
~ Plop all of the veggies into the bowl with your marinade and massage well. Really get it into every nook and cranny. This is my favorite part. Mix, toss, slosh and play.
~ Pack the goodness into a sterilized mason jar with lid on tight for up to a week. Burp daily.

This can be eaten after a day but only gets better with time. After a week you will see bubbles begin to form and when the lid is loosened the air will release and the burnt orange lava gurgles to the top and has a life of its own. The transformation is complete and the result is pure robust flavor. There is an effervescence carried by fermentation that my body craves. Listen when your body speaks. Likely the language of the earth and the elements, and the soil and her inhabitants speaks directly to the flesh of own own being and were we to only heed the cravings from our guts would we find more joy in the graceful folly of a life lived through the seasons and her cycles.

Post and photos by Kristin Moyer, a local mom and chef who loves to eat, write and play with her food.

Post editing by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 13th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

Looking for that perfect pie for Thanksgiving, then look no further! With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, it’s a perfect time to share some award winning pie recipes with you! Fifteen pies were entered in this years seventh (almost) annual pie bake-off contest at the Blooming Glen Farm Harvest Festival. Apples, pears, plums and pumpkins featured prominently, along with caramel and chocolate- but the people’s choice winner was the unusual ground cherry pie.  Two pies tied for the people’s choice second slot, and both were original creations by the bakers- pumpkin spice latte and turtle pumpkin pie.

The judges leaned toward the more traditional, choosing for first place a chocolate toffee almond pie, along with dutch apple crumb pie in second place and salted vanilla pear in third. Our esteemed judging panel was led by, left to right, pictured below: Kelly Madey, Susan Kahn and Allison Seelaus.

Susan Kahn, a longtime self taught baker, founded Bucks County Cookie Co. in 2008. Selling her cookies and scones only at local farmers markets in the first few years, Susan began expanding her cookie repertoire to include shortbread cookies using unique flavor combinations and locally sourced ingredients. Today her shortbread cookies are the most popular. In 2014, Susan moved her business out of her house and opened the bakery in Doylestown, PA, behind Cross Keys Diner. She still sells at Wrightstown Farmers Market and at craft fairs during holiday seasons.

Kelly Madey is an award winning baker and recipe developer. She is committed to using simple, natural ingredients with a focus on local, seasonal agriculture. She is the two-time state champ of the best chocolate cake in Pa. Her recipes appear in local/national media including Bucks County Taste, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Better Recipes and Good Morning America. Kelly is the baker/owner of One Sweet Baker. Look for her at Wrightstown and Doylestown Farmers Markets.

“Baking is my life,” says Allison Seelaus, a previous Blooming Glen Farm pie bake-off winner with her Maple Brown Butter Rum Peach Pie.  She is a Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park graduate, and is currently the pastry chef at the Farmers Daughter Restaurant at the Normandy Farms hotel and conference center.

Ninety-six votes were cast and though the top six pies were chosen for recognition, I think we were all winners for getting the chance to taste and enjoy so many delicious pies. Together we were able to raise $300 for the Puerto Rico middle school fundraiser at United Friends School.

Nanie’s Ground Cherry Pie
by Bruce Schaffer
People’s Choice: First Place

There is a long tradition of pie baking in Bruce Schaffer’s family. His father, Ashbee Schaffer would bake pies weekly, well into his 90’s. Pie baking genetics aside, Bruce swears the secret to a great pie is both the crust (make sure all the ingredients are cold) and the pie tin.

Cathy Walter, a friend of Bruce’s for the past 30 years, says: “Bruce’s Dad would create the most beautiful perfect pies. He was a war veteran, like Bruce, and used baking as a calming hobby. Bruce likes to make soup and pie in his dads honor. I do believe he was looking down helping, knowing the pie money was going to a great cause, to help the suffering hurricane survivors.”

Bruce’s sister, inspired by her son’s bumper crop of ground cherries, found the ground cherry pie recipe in her father’s old tattered cookbooks. “I was first served ground cherry pie by my husband’s grandmother in 1969. Nanie Keyser was a Schwenkfelder raised on a farm in Kulpsville. She went up to the 8th grade in school. The pie tin was hers. Back in the day one could purchase a ready-to-bake pie in such a tin. But, you had to leave a 10 cent deposit on the tin. Apparently Nanie did not get her 10 cents back.”

Despite this being the first ground cherry pie made by Bruce, you can tell the baking talent has been passed on thought the generations.

6 cups husked ground cherries
3/4 cup raisins
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon each- cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger
3 tablespoons butter (cold, cut into small pieces)

Pastry for a 2 crust pie (9 inches) – recipe that follows is for one crust
1 cup sifted all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons ice water

Bruce- “The trick is to have everything cold, the flour and shortening before mixing. Also you need to work quickly and light handedly, slow and rough handling will cause tough and hard crust.”

Line pan with pastry. Mix all filling ingredients well and pour into crust. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust and crimp edges. Cut a few vents for steam. Optional- mix 1 egg and 2 tablespoons cream. Brush on and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar. Place 1 1/2 inch foil around edge of crust to prevent from becoming too brown,  remove in the last 15 minutes of baking. Bake 15 min at 425 degrees, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 50 more min.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pie
by Michelle Guerriero
People’s Choice: Tied for Second Place

Michelle’s last winning pie at the Blooming Glen Farm pie bake off was her Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie in 2014 (She also won with her Maple Custard Pie with Candied Bacon in 2012 and her Orange Mascarpone Pumpkin Pie in 2011) – “I have a little bit of a Blooming Glen Farm pie bake-off obsession (it’s the only one I have ever entered!), so I think quite a bit throughout the year about what pie I’m going to bake come Fall. This year, I was inspired by the Fall rage that happens when Starbucks announces its Pumpkin Spice Latte availability. So I did my best to imitate the pumpkin spice latte glory, in a pie form.”

Crust Ingredients
1 ½ cup gingersnap cookie crumbs (pulsed in blender until even crumb)
5 T butter, melted

Crust Instructions
Mix gingersnap crumbs and melted butter in pie dish. Press against sides and bottom until even crust is formed. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes.

Filling Ingredients
¾ c. espresso
¾ c. sugar
2 ¼ c. heavy cream
4 egg yolks, brought to room temperature if possible
1 whole egg, brought to room temperature if possible
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix (cinnamon, clove, lemon peel, nutmeg)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Filling Instructions
In a mixing bowl, combine whole egg & egg yolks, salt, pumpkin pie spices, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well, set aside.

In a saucepan, combine heavy cream, sugar and espresso. On high heat, lightly whisk cream until little bubbles form on sides, but not quite to a full rolling boil. Remove from heat, and carefully pour the heavy cream mixture into the egg mixture – but be careful – be sure to whisk the eggs while pouring slowly! If you pour too quickly and/or don’t whisk, you will end up with scrambled eggs!

Once combined, pour the mixture through a fine sieve into the pie crust. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. You may need longer, depending on depth of pie. You will know it is ready when it is still “jiggly”, but has a solid film on top of pie.

Remove from oven and let cool completely. Don’t worry – it will seem like it didn’t cook because it will be quite jiggly, but as it cools, it will firm into a custard.

Top with whipped cream & sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. If you’d like, cut out a stencil of a leaf, and sprinkle cinnamon/nutmeg on top in shape of stencil.

Turtle Pumpkin Pie
by Aimee Grace
People’s Choice: Tied for Second Place

Aimee Grace- “This year I entered my “Turtle Pumpkin Pie”, a recipe I thought up just for the BGF competition! And I’m so glad I did- this will surely be on my table at Thanksgiving (and maybe Christmas too!). I was inspired by my mom’s awesome pumpkin cheesecake recipe, and my current insatiable pregnancy cravings of dark pecan turtles from my favorite candy shop in Doylestown- I’m there weekly these days! I decreased the amount of cream cheese to make more of a traditional pumpkin pie layer, and changed the traditional graham cracker crust to a dark chocolate crust. Topped with a sweet cream layer and turtle drizzle, it was a really enjoyable pie! Of course the secret to this pie was the Blooming Glen Farm butterkin squash, which gave a rich color and flavor to the pumpkin layer of this pie. Roasted and frozen in 16 ounce batches, I have enough for a couple of pies this fall.”

“My husband and I have been enthusiastic members of Blooming Glen Farm CSA for 8 years. The farm food has become an important part of our diet and lifestyle, and my husband has enjoyed new knowledge, a physical workout and the camaraderie of part time summer employment there. Share pick-up day is a highlight of our toddler’s week- and it thrills me when she bites into fresh veggies as she puts them in our bag. Thanks to Tom, Tricia and the farm crew for their hard work and another great season!”

Crust Ingredients
5 tablespoons butter
1 package Oreo cookies (I used chocolate filled cookies to get a dark chocolate crust)

Filling Ingredients
8 ounce package cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
16 ounces of pumpkin puree
1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 pint sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar

Caramel Ingredients
1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch sea salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons heavy cream

Crust Instructions
Combine melted butter and Oreos in a food processor to make crumbs. Press into pie pan and chill in freezer while you make rest of pie.

Filling Instructions
Combine softened cream cheese and 2/3 cup sugar in food processor. Add pumpkin puree, pumpkin spices, salt and eggs. Pulse until combined. Pour into chilled crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min.

When done remove pie from oven and raise temp to 400 degrees. Mix 1 pint sour cream with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 cup sugar. Pour on top of pumpkin pie and put back in oven for 8 min.

Chill in fridge.

Drizzle caramel (mix all caramel ingredients above in small saucepan- heat and allow to bubble) and chocolate ganache (1/2 cup chocolate chips melted, add splash of heavy cream and mix well) and sprinkle with chopped pecans, Chill again and enjoy!

Chocolate Toffee Almond Pie
by Gail Vasquez
Judges Vote: First Place

Gail Vasquez is married and a local realtor with Keller Williams Real Estate. She’s lived in the area for 27 years and has 3 daughters. “Our oldest daughter has been a vegetarian since 4th grade so we searched out the best place to get fresh veggies and the Blooming Glen CSA was the perfect solution!!!  The fact that everything is organic is icing on the cake!! The pie recipe was a fun twist on the traditional Pecan Pie.  We had a bunch of almonds and I love Heath Bars so I decided to create a sort of Heath Bar Pie.”

1 pie crust for a 9” pie, from scratch or a refrigerated pack
3 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup toffee bits
½ cup chocolate chips
6 ounces (about 1 2/3 cups) sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix eggs, sugar and corn syrup well, add melted butter salt and cornstarch and mix well. Place chocolate chips in bottom of pie crust, then place toffee bits on top and sliced almonds. Pour filling over everything and let sit about 10 min so that the sliced almonds can float to the top. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce temperature to 350 degree for 50-60 min. Let cool completely before serving.

Dutch Apple Pie
by Shelah Layton
Judges Vote: Second Place

Winner of the Judges second and third place vote with her Dutch Apple Pie and Salted Vanilla Pear Pie. When Shelah Layton isn’t busy running Hershberger Heritage Farm with her husband Nate Hershberger, and homeschooling her two young sons, she loves to make delicious seasonal dinners and home baked desserts for her family.

“I really enjoy making these pies. Local apples, butter, our own grown pears and lard add so much flavor. Before I had my farm I always used butter in my pies. I started incorporating more lard into my cooking and baking from our own pastured raised pork and it’s made all the difference in my opinion! This is the first time ever participating in the Blooming Glen’s Harvest festival pie contest. I had so much fun tasting all the pies. I’m hooked! Definitely looking forward to next year.”

Crust Ingredients
2 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose
1 1/4 teaspoons salt*
1/4 cup lard
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
6 to 10 tablespoons ice water**

*Reduce the salt to 1 teaspoon if you use salted butter.
**use a little at a time. Just until the crust holds together

Filling Ingredients
6 apples peeled and cored
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Streusel Ingredients
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Crust: In a medium bowl combine the flour, lard, salt and butter until it has a course texture. Add the water a tablespoon at a time until it holds together and forms a dough ball. Chill for about 30 min. On lightly floured surface roll pastry from center to edges to form a 12-inch circle. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 9-inch pie plate.

Filling: In a sauce pan, add the 1/2 cup of butter and melt over medium heat. Add the flour and mix until the mixture turns into a thick paste. Add water, white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon and continue stirring. Let it simmer for a couple minutes and then pour over peeled/cut/cored apples in the prepared pastry pie plate.

Streusel: In a medium bowl combine 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add to the top of the apples just before placing in the oven.

Bake for 50 min. at 350 degrees.

Salted Vanilla Pear Pie
by Shelah Layton
Judges Vote: Third Place

Crust Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt*
1/4 cup lard
10 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
6 to 10 tablespoons ice water**

*Reduce the salt to 1 teaspoon if you use salted butter.
**use a little at a time. Just until the crust holds together

Filling Ingredients:
6 tablespoons Butter
3 pounds Bosc or Anjou Pears, peeled, cored, and sliced (roughly 5-7 large pears)
¾ cup Turbinado Sugar (or 2/3 cup granulated sugar)
3 tablespoons honey
1 Vanilla Bean, sliced lengthwise, seeds scraped
¼ teaspoon Ground Cardamom
1/8 teaspoon Ground Cloves
3 tablespoon Tapioca Starch (or 2 tablespoons Cornstarch)
1 tablespoon Water
1 egg, beaten


Crust: In a medium bowl combine the flour, lard, salt and butter until it has a course texture. Add the water a tablespoon at a time until it holds together and forms a dough ball. Chill for about 30 min.

On lightly floured surface roll pastry from center to edges to form a 12-inch circle. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 9-inch pie plate.

Filling: Place the butter in a large pan and melt over medium/high heat. Continue cooking until butter begins to foam. Watch butter carefully to ensure it does not burn. As soon as the butter is a light, even brown color, add the pears and turbinado sugar to the pan and toss ingredients together. Continue cooking on medium/high heat for 5 minutes. The pears will soften and the butter/sugar mixture will begin to caramelize.

Add the honey, vanilla beans, cardamom, and cloves to the mixture. In a small bowl, stir the tapioca starch and water together. Pour into the pear mixture and stir in quickly. Cook for 1 more minute, or until the sauce surrounding the pears has thickened.

Scoop the pear mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool for 15 minutes. Once the pears have cooled down a bit, spoon the mixture evenly into the dough lined pie plate. Place the remaining half of the pie dough in between two sheets of parchment paper and roll to a thickness of 1/16″. Cover the top of the pie with dough as desired. Seal the edges of the pie crust. Bake on the middle rack of an oven at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 12th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

The key to delicious and nutritious Brussel sprouts is not to overcook them! Studies show they best way to get to their high levels of Vitamin K and Vitamin C is to steam your brussels.  These detoxifying little cabbages can boost the bodies natural defenses, making this cool season crop a must for the cold months.  Brussel sprouts are a great source of magnesium, phosphorous and riboflavin.  Serve them steamed with balsamic vinegar, nuts and a sprinkle of cheese.  I cooked these in a nonstick skillet on a lower heat for about 8 minutes. By adding a bit of water or stock, you can achieve the steaming effect.

Another very popular way to enjoy brussel sprouts is oven roasted. The process of oven roasting sweetens and caramelizes the flavor. This recipe by Mark Bittman has you pan fry them a bit then finish them off in the oven for a delicious salty, garlicy side.

Storage tips: Brussel sprouts on the stalk will store for a longer period then cut ones.  Fresh cut brussels stored in a plastic bag will last unwashed and untrimmed in the fridge for about a week. Keep in the crisper. Trim, remove the outer leaves and clean just before using. Freezing – Blanch small brussel sprouts for about 3 minutes, medium for 4 minutes and large ones for 5 minutes. Do not overheat or overcook the sprouts!  Immediately place brussel sprouts  in a freezable container and put in the freezer.  Use within a few months.

Nutty Brussel Sprout Salad

¾ pounds of Brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered depending on size
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 Cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 ½ teaspoon oive oil or pasture raised butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 ½ Tablespoon walnuts, chopped and toasted
½ ounce crumbled blue cheese (can also use parmesan or asiago)

Heat oil 1 teaspoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add breadcrumbs and cook another minute or until slightly browned. Put aside in a small bowl.
Heat remaining oil or butter. Add Brussel sprouts and cook about 8 minutes until tender crisp. Remove from heat and toss with breadcrumb mixture salt and pepper. Toss with walnuts and cheese.

Slow Cooker Potato Vegetable Soup

The bacon adds smokiness and the coconut milk adds creaminess. This is a quick, simple soup for a busy fall day. AND it smells oh so good!  If you consume dairy, you can also follow this recipe, where I got my inspiration from.

2 pounds red or yellow (Yukon) potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 large carrots, diced
6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
4 Cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 Tablespoon ghee or pasture raised butter
1 teaspoon salt+ more to taste
¾ – 1 Cup coconut milk
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
4-5 Kale leaves, chopped into small pieces
Toppings (optional)- Scallions or chives, Cheddar Cheese, Bacon

To your slow cooker pot, add chopped potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, bacon, ghee and stock; season with salt. Allow the vegetables to cook on low for about 4-6 hours (mine was done in 5). With a potato masher, or large spoon, mash up the soup a bit for a creamier consistency. Before serving add the coconut milk, parsley and kale. Add additional salt and pepper to taste and the toppings. Enjoy!

Blog post and photos by Amy Hutchinson, a recent graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Amy is the mother of 3 very busy girls and understands the complexities of the weeknight and the importance of a home cooked meal.  She helps clients with planning and prepping and provides quick, easy, delicious and mostly “clean” recipes and meal plans for busy families.  Amy also helps families reduce their sugar and caffeine intake.  She believes that eating healthier and cleaner  can lead to making other overall healthy choices and decisions effecting our wellbeing.  Visit Amy at on Facebook as Amy Hobson Hutchinson and Instagram as Healhealthcoach.

Honor where you are today. Eliminate that which does not serve you. Align mind body and soul. Live the life you are meant to live.