Easy meals

There are only three more weeks to the market.  Collingswood Farmers’ Market opens at the beginning of May and closes the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  During that time the market is my supermarket (except for milk and yogurt!).  The farmers offer the best of the season and they make me pay attention as the spring, summer, and fall go by.

Hillacres Pride sells cheese, grass fed and pasture raised beef, pork, lamb, and chicken.  And they sell eggs.  They also sell some interesting and delicious ready to use food.  And you can get their products all year!  They have a winter program.  If you’re not already signed up for it you can do so at the market.  You can get information on their website.

The way the Hillacres Pride winter program works is simple.  You sign up with them.  They send you an email to remind you to place your order and when the pickup is.  (The pickup is where the market is).  You place your order online.  You pick up your order on the pickup date.  Easy!

Hillacres Pride meat order pickup days for this winter are:  Saturday, 9 December 2017; Saturday, 13 January 2018; Saturday, 10 February 2018; Saturday, 10 March 2018; Saturday, 7 April 2018.

Now that school and activities are in full swing, ordering on line and making quick, simple, and nutritious meals is a boon.

We started by making a quick lunch which could easily be dinner with a bowl of soup.  I spread Hillacres Pride fresh cheese with bacon on a slice of Amber Grains sour dough bread, heated it up in the toaster over until the cheese melted.  Delicious!

Hillacres Pride makes a frozen macaroni and cheese from their own cheese.  They make plain and spicy varieties.  The pasta and sauce is packaged in a foil tin with a paper lid.  Completely frozen.  I simply put the frozen pan on a sheet pan and covered it with foil.  The directions are clear and on the lid of the pan.  The macaroni and cheese was creamy and delicious…and I didn’t have tons of pans to wash!  This would be great with a salad for dinner or with burgers or hot dogs (also available from Hillacres Pride).  My husband and I ate it once and had leftovers for twice.

Next up were meatballs.  Again.  Delicious!  These are frozen pork meatballs.  Cook them with some jarred sauce (I used sauce I purchased from Villa Barone’s stand at the market) You can put them on rolls for sandwiches or add to your favorite pasta.  I had dinner on the table in less than twenty minutes!


Hillacres Pride sells a one pound package of the best tasting chipped beef you will ever eat. This is a very fast fix. (Just remember to thaw it!). For this meal I made potato chips and mushroom cheese steaks.  I don’t always like a roll…gets too messy.  So I often fry some bread, in this instance Challah rolls from Wild Flour, and serve the cheese steaks on top.


Ingredients for potato chips:
starchy potatoes
olive oil
coarse Kosher salt

Directions for potato chips:
1.  Preheat the olive oil in the pan to medium high.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2.  Peel the potato
3.  Slice the potato in thin disks
4.  Dry the potato slices with a paper towel (very important…do not skip this step)

5.  Place the slices in the pan in a single layer and fry until just starting to turn golden.  About ten minutes, depending on how hot the oil is.
6.  Take the potato slices out of the pan and place on a paper towel to absorb some, but not all, of the oil.

7.  Place the potato slices on a sheet pan in a single layer.  Sprinkle with Kosher coarse salt.  Place the sheet pan in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
8.  Serve.


Finally….if the week has been way too crazy….there is nothing wrong with and nothing better than a quick dinner of peanut butter and jelly or a scrambled egg followed by a huge bowl of freshly popped popcorn (from DanLynn Organic Farm) and a great movie!  In PJs, of course!


Hillacres Pride – macaroni & cheese, fresh cheese with bacon, chipped steak, meatballs (available all year!)
Savoie Organic – Kennebec potatoes
DanLynn Organic – popping corn
Villa Barone – tomato and Vodka sauce, olive oil
Amber Grains – sourdough bread
Wild Flour – Challah rolls
Mushrooms – Davidson’s


Flat green beans with tomatoes and onion

Last Saturday morning Springdale Farm offered yellow beans, green beans, and green flat beans.  I love green and yellow beans, my husband, not so much.  But he does like flat beans cooked with tomatoes and onions.   I can’t tell any difference in their flavor, but he can, so that was my choice this week.

Springdale Farm also had loads of tomatoes, from low acid to heritage varieties.  The variety of tomato doesn’t matter for this dish.  I used a few different kinds.

The dish is simple and doesn’t really have any exact measurements.


3 or 4 tomatoes, chopped
a pint box of flat beans, with the ends cut off and broken in half
a small to medium onion, chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oilIMG_6751



  1.  In a skillet that has a fitted lid, start warming the olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Peel and roughly chop the onion and place in the pan.
  3. Roughly chop the tomatoes and place them in the pan with the onion.  Allow the onion and tomatoes to cook until softened…about 5 minutes.IMG_6760
  4. Meanwhile, clean the flat beans.  Rinse them.  Cut or break off the stem end.  Break in half.  Place in the skillet with the tomatoes and onions.  Stir gently to mix.
  5. Place the lid on  and cook for about 15 minutes.  Lift the lid every few minutes to strand to make sure nothing is burning.IMG_6764
  6. As they cook the beans will change from bright green to a duller green.  Put the lid on the skillet and take the pan off the heat.  Let it sit up to ten minutes.IMG_6770
  7. Open the lid.  Sprinkle with some coarse Kosher salt.  Pour into a bowl and serve.
  8. Delicious hot…and delicious cold as a salad .





Tomatoes:  Springdale Farm, Hymer Farm, DanLynn Organic Farm, Savoie Organic Farm, Flaim Farm, Formisano Farm

Flat green beans: Springdale Farm

Onions: Hymer Farm

Olive oil: Villa Barone

A simple apple crisp.

Apples have arrived.  And this year they are particularly juicy, crisp, and delicious.  Apple Anxiety 8x16 acrylic

Each year I get excited to make this simple apple crisp for dessert.  It is cozy, comforting, and delicious.  And it is easy to do.  This is a recipe that children can help with.

There are two stands where a shopper at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market can get luscious apples.  Fruitwood Farm has a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, and honey.  They are known for their honey and all natural cider.  Their fruit and vegetables are of the highest quality too.  Wm. Schoeber and Sons sells peaches and apples and by-products like peach cider, BBQ sauces, and fruit butters.  The best apples can be purchased at both farm stands.

For this recipe I used apples from both Fruitwood Farm and Wm. Schoeber and Sons.  Even though the recipe calls for only four or five apples, I mixed them up by using two or three apples from each farm.  From Fruitwood I used Stayman Winesap apples and from Schoeber’s I used Honey Crisp apples.  I think a mix of apple varieties produces a more flavorful dish.  Use your favorite apples.  I will caution to not use all Delicious (with a capital D) apples as they cook down to applesauce. There should be visible apple pieces in the crisp.

The rest of the ingredients are common and most will have all of them in their pantry.  If not, they are easy to find in any supermarket.


4 or 5 medium apples, peeled and sliced.

1 tablespoon cinnamon (or more or less to taste)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal flakes
2 tablespoons all purpose flour

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (HINT:  Grate the 4 tablespoons of cold butter into the bowl using the large holes of a cheese grater. The butter will then easily blend into the crumbly topping.  Do NOT melt the butter.)



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lightly coat an 8×8 inch baking dish with butter.
  3. Put the peeled and sliced apples in the bottom of the dish.
  4. Mix together the cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, oatmeal flakes, and flour.IMG_6726
  5. Blend the butter into the oatmeal mixture with a fork…until it is crumbled into small clumps.  Do NOT make a paste.IMG_6730
  6. Spoon the topping evenly over the apples.
  7. Bake until the streusel topping is crispy and the apples are tender enough to be pierced easily with a fork. About 45 minutes.
  8. Bake 45 to 60 minutes.  Let cool about 30 minutes (while eating dinner!) before serving with ice cream!


Simply delicious!


The best hot dog you’ve never heard of.

These hot dogs are famous.  Not the brand of dog, the preparation.  Generally known in New Jersey as Italian Hot Dogs.  Specific cities and towns have their own names that extend from the restaurants where they were prepared.  I know them as Tony Go’s.

As a college student I worked one summer for the Information Office of the NJ Department of Transportation.  I was interviewed by a local radio station about the newly issued New Jersey maps.  And then I packed those free maps as requests poured in.  I was quick.  I was efficient.  Maps were being mailed out daily.  I was too efficient.  So, as too speedy summer help, it became my job to go out and pick up lunch… since all map orders were filled until the afternoon mail came in!  That summer we consumed bags and bags of Tony Go’s hot dogs.


The ingredients are simple:
your favorite hot dog
(did you know you can get hot dogs from both Hillacres Pride and Buck Wild Bison at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market?)
potatoes (yes, potatoes)
a crusty Italian roll (or large piece of baguette…you can get the appropriate “bread” from Amber Grains, Wildflour Bakery, Dulce, and Villa Barone)

1.  Clean and slice the onions, peppers, and potatoes.


2.  Heat olive oil in a frying pan.
3.  Start frying the sliced peppers on medium heat.
4. Add the onions.
5. When the onions are transparent and the peppers are starting to soften (be careful not to burn), toss in the potatoes.  Stir frequently for about ten minutes.  Put a lid on the pan.  Check frequently for another ten minutes or so.
6.  When the potatoes are starting to brown (again, be careful not to burn the peppers or onions) and are fork tender add the hot dogs and put the lid on again.  Continue to cook until the hot dogs are heated through.


7.  Fill a sliced roll (or piece of baguette) with the onion, peppers, and potatoes.  Top with a hot dog.  Add mustard.
8.  Enjoy!
Not only are these delicious, but for me, they always bring back happy memories of youthful summer days!


Ingredients from the Collingswood Farmers’ Market:

hot dogs – Hillacres Pride or Buck Wild Bison
peppers – Hymer Farm, Formisano Farms, Springdale Farms
potatoes – Savoie Organic Farm, Hymer Farm, Formisano Farm
onions – Savoie Organic, DanLynn Organic, Formisano Farm
rolls – Amber Grains, Wildflour, Dulce, Villa Barone