Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Years before this New York Times article, those of us in Erie, PA and the small armpit section of the Great Lakes knew pepperoni balls as an after school snack, a treat at Evan’s Skateland and the primary fundraiser for sports and school.  Back in the mid 90s, my friend Kate Scheider and I sold pepperoni balls to support trips through our Millcreek public schools and to make money for our Lake Erie Soccer Club teams.  Pepperoni balls helped us buy new Adidas shorts and take lots of trips to the Pittsburgh Science Museum.

The dough bandit, Churro.

Fast forward 15 years and Kate and I are still friends; she living in Boulder, Colorado and a vegan, I, myself, a vegetarian and living in Denver, Colorado.  In light of all the hoopla our beloved Erie has received as of late, Kate and I had a real hankering to make these classic artery clogging pillows sent from God.  Besides sponge candy, Tom Ridge and Pat Monahan, it’s one of the things that Erieites can say is truly ours.  Since we no longer eat four-legged friends, we made a few adjustments and the results were just as good (if not better) !  We originally planned on making two trays, but during the day Kate’s adorable 40lb dog Churro ate 15 rolls of raw dough and subsequently threw them up in Kate’s bedroom.  Poor Churro : (

Vegetarian Pepperoni Balls :

1 Bag of Rhodes White Dinner Rolls

1 (or 2) packs of Vegetarian Pepperoni (Smart Deli makes a really good one)

Pepperjack Cheese cut into small chunks (definitely not necessary, but adds a nice spiciness)


Such Unassuming Goodness Inside

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set out as many rolls and you’d like to defrost and cover with Saran wrap. (Kate did this at lunch time , so it takes several hours).

Hold dough in your hand and using your thumb, push several pieces of pepperoni (3-4 pieces or 2 pieces of pepperoni and one cheese chunk) into dough and pull the dough around to seal back in.  Continue to do this and then let dough rise for at least another hour.

These suckers cook fast so be on alert!!

There are several variations for cooking: You may put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, BUT to make them in the classic style, cook in 3″ of hot vegetable oil until golden brown.  Only cook 3 or so at a time as their bellies puff up so much it takes a little maneuvering to turn them.  They only take about 30 seconds each, so you must be fast.  (And YES they will be cooked through, we tested them).

Served with a Rolling Rock and a delicious farm share salad. We do live in Colorado, after all.

Serve with a classic PA beer like Railbender or Rolling Rock.  I searched Boulder high and low to try to find Yuengling, but alas, they don’t distribute out West.  Boo you, Pottsville.


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Even Miz Britney Spears enjoys a prepster bake-a-thon!

During the warmer months, I am highly guilty of buying way too many fruits and vegetables in an attempt to create a Shelter Island, Martha Stewart-esque vision of country living where pancakes never come from Bisquick, you have a beach view and even your pajamas are Laura Ashley.  This is multiplied x1000 when I am wearing JCrew and it’s a Saturday afternoon at the Farmer’s Market.

I recently ( like, today) found myself at the tail end of one of these delusions of grandeur and in possession of 3 extra apples and a bunch of carrots, so in an effort to keep the dream alive and not throw this deliciousness in the trash I decided to create an Apple Carrot Muffin recipe.

The added bonus is that these are not only completely tasty, but also Vegan friendly if you choose to use a milk alternative….your choice suckas.  I recommend to just make them, enjoy them and then tell me how awesome I am.  OH, and PS- take the extra 2 minutes and put the Maple Glaze on top….sewwwwww worth it!

– Skelladay

Apple Carrot Muffins with Maple Glaze

Makes 8 to 12 muffins



1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup rolled oats (such as Quaker)

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I use Mexican Cinnamon from this place for the added warmth, but any will do!)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup grated carrots

1/2 cup peeled, cored, rough chopped apples

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup milk (I use almond milk, but regular, soy or rice also works)

1/4 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

Maple Glaze

1/3 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons maple syrup


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 12-cup standard muffin tin or use muffin papers.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, combine carrots, apples, applesauce,  milk, oil and vanilla.

Add half the carrot mixture to the flour mixture, stir until blended then add the rest of the carrot mixture.

Spoon batter into muffin cups (tip- use an ice cream scoop!) and bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

To Make Maple Glaze

In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar and maple syrup, whisking briskly to consistency.  Dip a spoon into glaze and drizzle over muffins once cooled- about 15 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy! : )

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Well, day one vegetarian is almost under wraps and as I was going to round it out with some pasta and marinara when  my lonely sweet potato caught the corner of my eye.  This wonder yam was purchased in SEPTEMBER at my local farmer’s market,  and despite me constantly forgetting it, has remained intact and beautiful.  I decided in honor of my sweet potato’s magical powers I would make up my own recipe with it!  I did it for one so just use some mental math to multiply!

Paired with a 90 Shilling and iTunes!

Cayenne and Orange Honey Balsamic Sweet Potato Wedges

1-1/2 lb Sweet Potatoes

2-3 tbsp Orange Honey (or regular honey)

About 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

Two tbsp Butter

Salt and Pepper

Cayenne Pepper

  • Clean sweet potato and cut into 1/2″ chunks, removing bad spots.
  • In a large skillet melt 1 tbsp butter, coating bottom.
  • Place sweet potato in skillet and cook 4-5 minutes, constantly stirring until outside begins to lightly brown.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl melt other TBSP of butter for about 45 seconds.  Add balsamic vinegar and honey and whisk.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once sweet potato chunks are browned, transfer to bowl and coat with mixture.
  • Return to skillet and cook 3-5 more minutes until outside begins to char. Place in bowl. (Tip: if you continue to cook sauce on low and stir, it makes a great glaze to top potatoes with).
  • Sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

I ate them as a side, but they’d also be good in a whole wheat wrap with some greens and a soft cheese maybe?  Kinda like the Juan Wrap at Watercourse Foods!



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Me. Not an Accurate Depiction.

So  this is the time of year that people get super reflective and decide all of the “changes” they’re going to make in the next year which they typically drop by January (or March is they’re REALLY resilient).  I, like the others, have been doing that exact same thing as well and while i have the superficial and the silly,  the one that I have decided to take very seriously is….drumroll please…I am going Veggie.

Yeh, I’m Irish and East Coast…what am I thinking?  In fact, I’m fairly certain if my nana had a computer or the internet or a computer with the internet she’d faint.   But hear me out.  Over the past 6 months I have been removing more and more meat from my diet, starting with red and heading down the line until I am now at this point where I am ready to go all vegetable (and many-a interesting grain).  This is not a result of being in Colorado and spending too much time in Boulder or a flash in the pan idea like a nose ring or Vegas marriage.  Rather, it’s something I’m ready to do and it’s going to be a wild ride.

I’ll write the occasional blog post about it and report on the progress over the upcoming months.  It’ll never be preachy or laden with “I feel amazing!” quotes.  Instead, it’ll be amusing (at my expense) narratives of what it’s like to watch someone else eat a delicious looking cheeseburger or how stupid I feel trying to figure out how the fuck to use tempeh and make it resemble meat.  I’m like your Veggie test dummy.  Plus the nice thing is that beer is vegetarian so what’s better than writing a healthy and ethical blog post drunk?  As Alec Baldwin says, “It’s a weird good feeling…like going to the gym drunk!”

And now you, my faithful readers, have been invited into either the best decisions I’ve made or the worst 4 months of my life.  Cheers.


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I enjoy cooking seasonally. It’s healthy, it’s enthusiastic, and most importantly, it’s cheaper (have you ever tried to buy asparagus in the middle of winter? ouch.)

Right now squashes, root veggies and stone fruits are in season, making it really easy to concoct some good warm flavors.

Last night, faced with the unseasonably cold chill in Denver, I decided to put on some Devotchka, have some Shiraz and make Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Rosemary Toast.  I can’t take credit for the Pumpkin Soup (that was from O Magazine) but the rosemary toast was all my own : 0 )

Spicy Pumpkin Soup Recipe


4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
3 (15 oz) cans 100 percent pumpkin or 6 cups of chopped roasted pumpkin*
5 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream


1 Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add spices and stir for a minute more.

2 Add pumpkin and 5 cups of chicken broth; blend well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

3 Transfer soup, in batches, to a blender or food processor. Cover tightly and blend until smooth. Return soup to saucepan.

4 With the soup on low heat, add brown sugar and mix. Slowly add milk while stirring to incorporate. Add cream. Adjust seasonings to taste. If a little too spicy, add more cream to cool it down. You might want to add a teaspoon of salt.

Serve in individual bowls. Sprinkle the top of each with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Rosemary Toast

1 FrenchBaguette

Olive Oil

Garlic Powder (or fresh garlic)


  1. Preheat Oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cut baguette into 1/4″ to 1/2″ pieces.  You should have between 12 and 16.
  3. Brush with olive oil
  4. Cover in garlic power or brush with the cut side down of several garlic cloves.
  5. Sprinkle on rosemary.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly brown.

My personal tips:

  • If you’re not into pumpkin, you can also make it with squash.   It’s a nice alternative and tastes just as good.
  • The recipe says that you should blend the soup.  I didn’t and ended up liking the consistency better.  If you like your soup smooth go for it, but the soft onions add a nice texture.
  • I like my stuff spicy so in addition to the spices I also added black pepper and a pinch nutmeg.

Oh, and I dare you to put on Devotchka’s Death by Blonde and not dance around your kitchen.  Seriously.

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