The Cookies Are Just the Tip of the Ice”burg”

Servo has incredible baked goods.

I’m not just talking about the cookies guys; I also mean the home-baked breads, cakes, pastries and muffins.

For those of you who do not attend Gettysburg College, Servo is the short name for the main dining hall on campus.  Baking is not easy; I know this from a personal love of baking. Not only do you need an excellent recipe, but it also difficult to get the right balance in ingredients. Furthermore, fresh ingredients can have different tastes and textures every time you use them, so a good baker always needs to be altering recipes. Also, baking in large quantities is tricky because you need the batches to be consistent. Lastly, humidity and temperature have a lot to do with baking, so keeping the goods the same everyday takes a lot of careful work.

 

Overall Opinion:

I commend the chefs and workers at Servo for working so diligently to bring fresh-made pastries to this campus, and making them utterly delicious.

From someone who has spent time in Europe being spoiled by pastry chefs who have come from a long of bakers all the way back to Jesus, finding yummy carb treats is a huge success. Thank you Servo.

 

Some of my personal favorites include:

cranberry-orange muffin, corn bread, mini baguettes, and blueberry scones

A Spring-Inspired Frittata

After being inspired by all of the great venues this week in Gettyburg, I decided to try a new frittata recipe based on the ingredients I had in my fridge at the time. Not only did it turn out great, but it was easy and fast to prepare, and kept me full for most of the day.

Instead of spending even more money at places like Dobbin House Tavern, Tipton’s and the Blue Parrot, I created a sort of potluck egg frittata, omelet creation the other morning to change things up. This egg dish easily feeds two, and can be thrown into a warm tortilla to make a breakfast sandwich if you are on the run.

-Ingredients-

3 eggs, beaten with a tbsp. milk

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 green pepper, chopped

1/4 white onion, chopped

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. oregano

1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and more to taste

-Preparation-

Put a medium to large-sized pan over medium heat. Add the butter, oil, onion and garlic stirring frequently. Beat the eggs with milk, herbs, salt and pepper. As soon as the onion is translucent, and the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes, stir in the peppers. After two minutes, add the egg. Treat the egg just like an omelete, letting it set on the pan until it is brown.

Flipping the egg: Then, slide the egg off the pan and onto a cutting board. Place the pan face down over the egg (the uncooked side) and turn over the board. This should flip your egg perfectly. Continue to cook the egg until the other side is also brown.

Serving: Slide the egg off the pan onto the cutting board once more, covering with a bit more salt, pepper, and herbs, cut into slices and serve with some fruit or yogurt. I also like to slice some mozzarella, goat, cheddar or pepper jack cheese and place it on top of the egg in the last few minutes of cooking if you would like to try that.

Also: As I mentioned earlier, you can also put slices of the egg into a warm tortilla for an “on-the-go” wrap.

Try to put some different herbs, or even some hot sauce into the egg to add a little kick! Also, try chopping up some chipotle in adoba sauce for a smoky flavor in the egg.

 

Enjoy!

Gettysburg: A Comparison Between Town and College Food

Over the past few months, I have taken some time to speak to individuals on campus and have compiled some requests, opinions, praises and complaints about food on and off campus.

In my last entry, I addressed the food directly on campus and some positives and negatives that come with dining here.  In this entry I will continue that critique and add some alternatives that one can find in town.

  • One thing that I recently heard from a staff, and actually think is a great idea, is that Bullet Hole and the Dive should do deliveries Monday through Friday from 11:00 am till 1:00 pm for staff on campus. They can charge for this service, while also getting more customers from the staff that are tied up at work during the break hour. Not to mention, hiring more students for deliveries will get more jobs on campus… maybe these students can put this job towards work study?
  • More options for pizzas at the Dive
  • Some students would like to have nutritional information regarding the Frozen yogurt at the Dive
  • Bring back EDY’S ICE CREAM
  • Soft serve ice cream  needs to be cleaned out better so that flavors do not mix, please
  • Some students have complained that the food at the Dive, and at Bullet Hole is either extremely hot or cold… maybe find a middle ground?
  • Another idea is to have a late night dining option open on campus. Maybe a mini mart type of store, for coffee and snacks and some sandwhich and hot food options.  Many kids have no cars, and get hungry late at night and it can be very frustrating!

Alright, now onto comparisons between town and campus:

  • Personally, I think if you are going to splurge on a burger, you should not go to the Burger bar on Friday nights but rather spend the $10 you would to swipe your card and buy a fresh grilled burger at either the Pub, or the Plaza (both situated on the circle in town).
  • The Thai restuarant next door to Blue Parrot is apparantely cheap and delicious. Try some take-out and share with your friends!
  • Furthermore, I just found out that O’Rourkes has a Monday night special for steaks for $10! I know I’ll be there next week.

Hope these tips are helpful!

Food at Gettysburg College, A Critique

On Gettysburg College’s campus, there are five food options: Bullet, the Commons Cafe, Ike’s Pizzeria, the Dive, and Servo.

  • Servo, the main cafeteria on campus offers a salad and yogurt bar, coffee bar, cereal bar, and four daily options ranging from self-serve to pre-plated meals. Some favorites include  buffalo chicken salad, burger bar, chicken fingers with seasoned loops, and Caesar salad. 
  • Second to Servo is Bullet, which offers hamburgers, wraps, sandwiches and salads daily, and features various daily soup options and specials like pulled pork bbq, Greek salad and black bean quesadillas.
  • Ike’s Pizzeria, situated above Bullet, offers daily pepperoni and plain pizza, and meatball subs. They also have specialty pizzas like buffalo chicken and Greek pizza. Also in Ike’s is a sushi bar, which will fix sushi fresh to order if you ask. On a daily basis, they put rolls in the fridge both in Bullet and at Ike’s.
  • Nearby to both Bullet and Ike’s, centered in the middle of the College Union Building, one can buy coffee and snacks at Commons Café. This café is a perfect little coffee shop, with Servo-fresh baked goods, cheap snack foods, milk, and Starbucks coffee options for students and visitors alike.
  • The Dive, which is located in the new Center on campus, features healthier options for the students. Every week they feature a new salad, sandwich/wrap, and smoothie options. They also make fresh salads, smoothies and pizzas to order, and have an assortment of sushi and healthy option snack foods.

It seems that the college really covers its bases with these five options, and in a lot of ways they do, especially with the addition of the Dive on campus. In fact, the Dive and the Commons are probably the most versatile options on campus, offering new options and food services to students. For example, having a “make your own” system at the Dive is wonderful for students who are tired of eating the same old food over and over again at Bullet and Servo.

The fact that Bullet and Servo only make the same things every day and every week can be very monotonous for students, especially those who have been here for 3 or 4 years. Furthermore, the options at both Servo and Bullet tend to be less healthy, and even the healthy options don’t seem to change making it easier to choose unhealthy options because they may look more appealing at the time! It would be wonderful if the staff at both dining options offered more options, especially heathly ones.

For example, additions to Servo could be:

  • An outside patio for students to sit at in nice weather
  • An improved salad bar with things like: roasted peppers, olives, red onion, and green pepper, and some cheeses like feta and mozzarella
  • Bring the cheddar back!!!!
  • Make sauté an everyday thing, so that vegetarians and healthier eaters can feel more excited about hot food!
  • Some fresh made salad dressings– they are not difficult to make, and if refrigerated can last a very long time. Just put them in squirt bottles on ice!
  • Steamed rice everyday

Ok, on to Bullet:

  • Fresh grilled chicken like in Servo, everday
  • Cheddar!!!!
  • Grilled chicken Caesar wraps maybe?
  • More exciting features, and possibly change the weekly menu
  • Also, please please please put out what you have advertised online! And if you do not end up making what you say you will, please change the cite or notify students… please!

The Dive fix-ups:

  • A “make your own” style yogurt bar like in Servo
  • Grilled wrap options with meats maybe? Something like a grilled Caesar wrap, Asian chicken wraps, veggie wraps but all with new twists rather than just bringing over old Bullet food and offering it there too
  • Mozzarella, cheddar and parmiggiano cheeses

The Commons suggestions:

  • Having milk is an excellent idea, maybe we can run with that and also offer things like peanut butter, nutella, white bread, and jelly? Or even eggs? The students love the idea of a mini mart that “we don’t need to pay for,” maybe we can test run some options and see what is received?

Further concerns:

Many students have pointed out that all of the Dining Services are clumped together physically on campus, and all have relatively strict hours. Living in an area where it is difficult to get food off of campus if you don’t have a car, it is sometimes frustrating to not have more options around campus, and maybe even a late night option.

 If anyone has any questions, concerns, additions, or opinions about this critique please feel free to comment or to contact me.

Veggie & Steak Stir Fry

I love making stir fry, it’s easy, it’s healthy and you can make it with a wide variety of ingredients. Stir fry is one of the most versatile styles of cooking, allowing you to create a sort of potluck with your fridge and turn it into salty, steamed goodness. I usually cook my stir fry with fresh broccoli , carrots, steak or chicken, and snap peas. However, any variety of veggetables and meats would work also. While I tend to buy fresh veggies because I eat them so quickly, I also recommend buying frozen because they won’t go bad, and are already cooked.

Whether you use my ingredients, or your own, make sure to cook your meats and veggies seperately at first, and then combine them in a fry pan later. For example, if I am using steak and frozen broccoli I would cook my steak first in canola oil with some salt and pepper. I would also defrost the broccoli. Then, I would slice the steak and combine the ingredients together in my stir fry pan.

This is a quick frozen veggie stir fry recipe that includes my favoriet ingredients:

-Ingredients-

 1 head broccoli, chopped and steamed

1/4 cup sliced white onion

1/4 cup sliced red pepper

2 carrots, sliced thin long-ways and then cut in half

3 cups snap peas

1 6 oz steak, fully cooked and sliced thin

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped

1 tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. sesame seed oil (optional)

1 tsp. fresh grated ginger

2 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. sriracha hot sauce (optional)

2 cups cooked udon noodles/ or 2 cups cooked white/ brown rice

Preparation

First, put water on to boil for the noodles. Then, cook whatever meats and veggetables you are using as directed above.

Then, put oils in pan with garlic, onion, and ginger at medium heat; let simmer for about 3 minutes, or until the onion softens and  you can begin to smell the garlic. Turn up the heat to medium high.  Add veggies and cook for about 3 minutes to soften them. Lastly, add the noodles and steak. Then, immediately add hot sauce and soy sauce. Stir together for about 30 secs-1 minute.

Serve immediately.

Look out for a fast, easy Fried Rice recipe and an easy way to switch up my stir fry recipe in the next week!

Buying Cheap Organic Food Is Possible

Gettysburg College is in the middle of rural farmland PA giving college students like myself access to a plethora of farms and whole-foods products. What’s more, Giant (the local Grocery Store) has an entire section dedicated to organic and whole-foods. Here’s the kicker: Giant’s prices, while still not completely discounted, are much lower than those of let’s say Whole Foods or Fairway. In fact, Giant has much lower prices while offering most of it’s competitor’s available products.

The organic section of Giant is located on the far right of the store, immediately to the left of the produce section. In two aisles one can find anything from crackers and cereal, to frozen foods, milks and cheeses, even medicines and bath products.

I don’t shop in this section for the bulk of my food items, however, I do keep an eye on some of my favorite products to watch for sales. Also, I buy things like bath products in this section because the higher price guarantees that the products are not tested on animals and contain as few chemicals as possible.

Basically, I break down my shopping like this: anything that is an essential part of my diet, and lasts a long time in my fridge or cabinet, should be bought organic because I am making an investment. Not only am I keeping my body as healthy and chemical free as possible, but I am also supporting local farms and smaller companies. Then, for things like fruits and veggies I try to buy seasonal and fresh (unfortunately even organic foods can be effected by GMOs) so I just use my best judgment. Also, for items like meats and milk and cereals, crackers and baking mixes I read the packages and information and just try to get the best deal. Unfortunately, even the best known companies are run by corporations like Tyson and Perdue so there are not many ways to avoid buying from them unless you buy directly from a farm, or from a very small business.

For more information about organic foods and how the food industry is evolving I would highly recommend watching the film Food Inc., it completely changed how I eat and perceive the food industry, especially the FDA.

-Simple breakdown of what to buy-

1) If you really want to break it down easy, I’d say it is most important to buy things like honey, flour, sugar, eggs, and oil organic. This is because these products are best bought without any processing, and the more they are processed the less nutritional value they will have.

2) Another thing to note is that it is important to try to buy products that have been processed as little as possible. This means you should read labels on everything you buy, and even do a little bit of research about the companies you are supporting. If you stick to these two rules than you should be just fine.

3) On that note, I would recommend cooking with coconut oil because it is much leaner, and can be cooked into a variety of foods easily. Furthermore, I recommend buying local honey (helps with allergies), and purchasing organic nut products and oils to cook with.

Look out for more tips and recipes this Thursday, including Panko Grilled Chicken and uses of Coconut Oil.

-BerryGoodEats-

Shopping on a $20 Budget

Having trouble spending within your budget every week? Try some new tips for buying foods that taste great, and last.

I am notorious for being a compulsive shopper, but working 7 hours a week has quickly taught me that in order to stay afloat I have to cut costs. Currently, my weekly shopping budget is $20 and my weekly pocket-money $10 (or under for saving purposes!). Shopping on a small budget can be a really difficult adjustment, especially when you love to cook as much as I do.

However, there is one simple trick I have come to live by: as needed, buy only your staple foods (pastas, milk, cheese, some hearty veggies like spinach and broccoli) and then work into those foods some extras that match. For example, I eat a lot of pasta, a lot of mozzarella and parmiggiano cheese, and a lot of vegetables. Therefore, I buy the cheapest pastas on the shelf, cheese when it is on sale, and veggies that will last the longest in my fridge. Then, I buy some meats that go with a variety of dishes that I make. Usually I pick up a package of hot italian sausage (Giant brand to save $) and some chicken (whichever is both the cleanest and cheapest). I put the meats promptly in the freezer and they can last up to 2 or 3 weeks. If there is any money left over on that trip I buy things like shrimp (frozen and fully cooked already about $5), some garlic, lemon, soy sauce, and potatoes.

It’s important to buy foods that can be mixed and matched with each other for different dishes. For example, I often cook pasta with cheese, or broccoli, or spinach. Or, I can cook pasta with my frozen chicken, sausage, or both. Furthermore, I can mix either meat with any of the above cheese and vegetable options giving me a lot of variety with only a few ingredients.

Most often, I buy the specialty items once every 3-4 weeks, and the meats every 2 weeks. Therefore, I am buying things like veggies, milk and pasta every week. If you rotate spending like this than the $20 gets spread out a bit, leaving room for some extras and favorites like eggs, brownie mix, tortilla chips and salsa, wraps, and chocolate. To make this money go even farther, I put whatever money is left on the side so that I can go back and buy those favorite things.

TIP: Try putting a money jar in your desk, and after shopping throw your change in there rather than in your wallet. If you don’t carry the change with you, you won’t be tempted to spend it until you really need it.

What’s more, I budget my extra $10 into hanging out with my friends. If I know that I am going to the Parrot during the weekend, and also want to go to Pitchers or Mama’s on a Tuesday or Thursday, I usually break my ten into two fives. Then, when I go the bar I only take one 5 with me so that I don’t overspend. It may sound lame, but it is actually super effective. Plus, you’d be surprised how many people will split a pitcher with you, and what kind of specials and promotions you can for under $5 if you look. 

For example, splitting a dessert at the Parrot is $3.50 each. Also, a Long Island Iced Tea at Mama’s is $2.50. Not to mention, the Pub has$3 pitchers on Tuesdays, and the Parrot serves some full drinks for under $4. So, as you can see there are plenty of ways to buy under your budget.

Finally, if you keep a change jar to collect extra cash every week, then you’d be surprised how much you can accumulate. Sometimes when I know I want to spend a little extra I dig into the jar and don’t feel guilty afterward.

Good luck, and enjoy!

 

Apple Cider Vinegar: The Versatile Vinegar

A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with a yeast allergy. Presented with this diagnosis, I was forced to start eating a completely yeast-free diet. Unfortunately, yeast is present in almost all food and I therefore needed to eat by trial and error. One food I missed most was bread, especially since I enjoy Italian cooking so much. Desperate to find a way to eat the foods I loved, I began researching homeopathic remedies for allergies. In my search I found Apple Cider Vinegar to come up as a solution for almost every ailment imaginable.

Apple cider vinegar can be taken orally and used externally safely. However, the smell of the vinegar is very potent, and so many users tend to water it down with water or honey, or simply mix it into their food. Some of the most common ailments that Apple Cider Vinegar is treats are: acne, insect bites, stomach pain, asthma and eczema. Many people also use ACV to increase weight loss.

I find the most effective way to use the Apple Cider Vinegar is to add it to all my salad dressings, to drop a tablespoon in my soups and pastas, and most of all, to take about 3-4 tablespoons of it orally everyday after a large meal. While it is very unpleasant to take a swig of ACV, it is also incredibly effective in getting it directly into the bloodstream. Often, I try to water down the vinegar with a little honey. After I eat, I take a big gulp of water followed by a shot glass sized sip of vinegar. Sometimes, I wash down the aftertaste with something salty, like tortilla chips or crackers.

Since I’ve begun taking the Apple Cider Vinegar on a daily basis I’ve found a huge improvement both in my allergy tolerance, and in my general health. I have much more energy, feel more clear-headed, have shed some unwanted weight, have beautiful skin, and my usually dry hair is quite shiny!

-The Flu Season-

On another note, Apple Cider Vinegar is notorious for helping to extinguish throat soreness, flu and cold symptoms at an alarming rate. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, gargling with ACV might help a lot to shorten the length of your illness and help to relieve soreness. Also, if you do indeed decide to drink the ACV it might help to cleanse your system and drain the bacteria from your throat and mouth.

Furthermore,  AVC contains calcium, iron, sodium, malic acid, potassium, acetic acid and pectin. All of these vitamins and minerals are essential in a healthy diet. In fact, some of their immediate benefits include avoiding fungal infections, curing runny noses, lowering blood pH levels, regulating blood pressure and removing bad cholesterol.

-Purchasing and Administering-

Finally, if you do choose to use this liquid gold make sure to buy raw unfiltered vinegar because without it you won’t be getting the necessary “mother of vinegar” which is found in the sediment  that settles in the bottom of the bottle. Therefore, make sure you shake the bottle well before using the vinegar so that the bacteria and “mother” get evenly distributed throughout. While this may sound gross, this “mother”  contains the necessary bacteria that help to stabilize and strengthen your immune system, stomach lining, and cardiovascular health.

-BerryGoodEats-

For a Cold Winter’s Night…

As the harshest part of winter finally sets in we turn to comfort food and baggy clothes, this makes it very hard to stay fit and healthy. These winter nights  are sometimes the coldest, darkest, longest and loneliest of the year making cooking sound even more tedious to most. It’s sometimes difficult for me!

Last winter, however, I discovered a soup that is not only comforting, filling and delicious, but also simple and easy to make. I can’t say too much for the calories, but can guarantee it’s not nearly as bad as a trip to Panera Bread.

There are two versions of this soup: the original recipe given to me by my roommate, and my own variation of the soup.

-Ravioli Soup-

Ingredients:


20 oz bag of Buitoni Frozen Ravioli

32 oz chicken stock

3 links hot italian sausage, skin removed and rolled into dime sized meatballs

a bunch asparagus, chopped

2-3 cooked cutlets of chicken, fried in oil and shredded

*sliced baguette, for dipping

Preparation:

Fry meatballs in a medium-sized pan on medium heat until brown and crispy. Do the same for the chicken in a separate, smaller fry pan. While the meat is cooking, simmer chicken broth in pot. After the meatballs crisp up, add them to the chicken broth and make sure to get all of the pan juices along with them. Add the chopped asparagus to the broth. Let the meatballs and asparagus simmer in broth for 1 minute to add flavor. Bring broth to a boil and add the ravioli. Ravioli should cook for about 5-8 minutes, until the can be easily pierced with a fork all the way through. Serve immediately with warm baguette to soak up all the broth!

 

-Revised Ravioli-

Ingredients:

20 oz bag of Buitoni Frozen Ravioli

3 links hot italian sausage, skin removed and rolled into nickel sized meatballs

2 tbsp olive oil

parmiggiano-reggiano cheese, grated

Preparation:

Fry meatballs in a medium-sized pan on medium heat until brown and crispy.  While the meat is cooking, bring a pot of water to boil. Add the ravioli as soon as the water comes to a steady rolling boil. Ravioli should cook for about 5-8 minutes, until the can be easily pierced with a fork all the way through. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the meatballs.  After the ravioli is finished cooking, strain and add the ravioli to the meatball, olive oil mixture. Fry together for 30 seconds. Serve immediately with some grated cheese on top.

This recipe is very similar, but has some alterations because of my yeast allergy. I try to avoid the yeast and extra salt in the chicken broth (although it adds incredible flavor) while adding olive for some extra texture. This recipe is also missing the greens and the chicken because of the extra cost (asparagus is expensive). I usually steam some fresh brocoli when I prepare the revised ravioli so that I’m still getting some fresh greens with my meal.

Catoctin Mountain Orchard

Just fifteen miles south of Gettysburg College on Route 15, there is a small gem; the Catoctin Mountain Orchard.  At this orchard one can find anything from a selection of gourds and pumpkins, to apples and preserves, to fresh-baked pies. I love to go to this market for  specialty items like honey, cheese and seasonal produce. Not to mention, walking the orchards in the fall air is a wonderful bonus, and incentive to my friends, for a weekend trip down.

At this wonderful market one will be astounded by both the variety, and small-town freshness, while not spending an exorbitant amount of money. Just last weekend, after a great baby-back rib-filled lunch at Chubby’s Barbecue, my friends and I ventured over to the market for some fall fun. There, we picked out gourds and mini pumpkins (3 for $2), apples, cider, and what turned out to be much more.

Hint- come here for your Christmas shopping. Not only are all of the products fresh and beautiful, but they are home and hand-made! Some of the items are a little expensive, but other’s are a great deal. Ok, here’s the official run-down of what I saw…

Foods like:

Apples, plums, cheese (yes, home-made cheese!) and cider. Not to mention fresh-baked goods and jams, honey, honey butters and their own array of hot sauces!

Items:

Photos taken by locals, home-made wicker baskets,  home-made candles, pumpkins and other seasonal decorations.

While there I had a $30 budget to buy my sister’s birthday gift, some fall decorations, and a treat for myself and my friends. This might seem a hard task on so little money, but all of the options the market offered made it fun to choose! Between 3 gourds, two full-sized pumpkins, honey, hot sauce, a candle, a photograph, jam, apples, cider and a jar of nuts I just made my budget. What I’ve eaten so far has been delicious, and I can’t wait to brag about where I got my home-made candle!

During allergy season one should pay attention to some holistic options. Eating local honey is both soothing and delicious, and also has powers against allergies. When you eat local honey, you ingest the pollen that bees cultivate which helps your body to build-up an immunity, making allergies a lot less serious. Therefore, go to this great market and get some delicious honey! What a yummy way to take medicine… take that Mary Poppins!

Go soon before all the good pumpkins are gone!

-Berrygoodeats