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Archive for the ‘Appetizers & Snacks’ Category

postheadericon Schmearcase (Cottage Cheese) and Apple Butter

This is not a “recipe” in the typical  sense, but is definitely a comfort food enjoyed in the Coal Region and PA Dutch country and I felt it deserved a shout-out. It is not at all unusual to find it on salad bars or as a side dish offering in restaurants and diners in the region. Its popularity does extend to other areas, including the Baltimore, MD area. In Pa Dutch, cottage cheese is known as schmearcase  (smearcase). You can make your own schmearcase, but the extensive availability of commercially made cottage cheese means I just buy my favorite brand and go from there. Being in the Coal Region and Pa Dutch country, I have easy access to a  multitude of brands of apple butter so, once again even though I CAN make my own, I often just purchase a jar from a local market. If you do not have access to small batch producers of apple butter and want to find it in stores, Musselman’s Apple Butter is distributed nationwide, so check with your local grocer. I like both large curd and small curd cottage cheese with apple butter.

Schmearcase and Apple Butter “recipe”
Cottage cheese of your choice
Apple Butter of your choice
Take a dab of apple butter and plop it on to a mound of cottage cheese.  That’s it!

I like my schmearcase and apple butter in lots of ways. Just to name a FEW:

  • In a bowl (then I swirl them together)
  • On toast
  • On graham crackers
  • On rice cakes
  • On freshly baked, still warm homemade bread (yummmm!)
  • On a toasted English Muffin
  • Between two slices of bread as a sandwich

Schmearcase (Cottage Cheese) and Apple Butter

Schmearcase and Apple Butter Sandwich

 

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postheadericon Lebanon Bologna Spread

This spread is delicious on crackers, or as a dip with pretzel sticks. Sweet or regular Lebanon Bologna, it’s your choice which to use. I use Herlocher’s Dipping Mustard in this, but if you cannot get Herlocher’s, use a good honey mustard of your choice. This is a great appetizer for holiday parties or get-togethers. When I purchase the bologna to make this, I ask the deli person to cut a “slab” off the roll rather than slices, but you can grind either in the food processor for this recipe.

Lebanon Bologna Spread

Lebanon Bologna Spread

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound regular or sweet lebanon bologna
  • 1 - 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened
  • 2 T sweet pickle relish
  • 1 T mustard (Herlocher's Dipping Mustard preferred, or a good honey mustard)

Instructions

  1. Pulse Lebanon bologna in food processor until fairly fine but not pulverized. In medium mixing bowl, mix cream cheese, relish, and mustard until smooth. Fold in the ground Lebanon Bologna. Chill and serve.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/11/lebanon-bologna-spread/

Cook’s Note: Adjust this recipe easily to your own tastes.  Use more or less relish and/or mustard as desired. You can also add a tablespoon or two of heavy cream to the mix to “loosen” it to a softer spreading consistency.

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postheadericon PA Dutch Red Beet Eggs

Also known in some places as “pickled eggs”, these are well known in the Coal Region, thanks to the Pa Dutch influence in the county.  Every recipe is a little different but these are easily adaptable to fit your taste.  Want them a little more sweet? Increase the sugar.  More “zippy”? Decrease the sugar. Skip the spices altogether or add just a cinnamon stick, some ground clove or allspice or use pickling spice mix. Add finely sliced onions or not…the choice is yours! Many grocery stores now sell already cooked and peeled eggs for those who do not feel like cooking and peeling hard-boiled eggs. For a primer on how to cook hard-boiled eggs, visit http://dish.allrecipes.com/how-to-boil-an-egg/

Don’t rush into eating these for several days. You want the lovely purple color of the juices to make their way into the egg white. Three days minimum is the norm. I personally like to let them sit longer – until the purple makes its way entirely to the yolk.

Red Beet Eggs

PA Dutch Red Beet Eggs

Ingredients

  • 2 1-pound cans tiny whole beets, drained with juices reserved
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons (optional)
  • 12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • dash of pepper
  • OPTIONAL:
  • 6 whole cloves or some pickling spice, cinnamon stick, etc. Your choice!

Instructions

  1. In large glass jar or non-reactive container, place peeled eggs at bottom, top with onion slices if using, and add beets on top. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-size nonreactive saucepan, combine sugar, beet juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, and cloves (or your choice of spices if using). Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Immediately pour simmering liquid and spices over beets and eggs. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate a minimum of 72 hours before serving.
  4. Cook's Hint: Use these for making deviled eggs using your favorite deviled egg recipe. I have been doing this for years and people LOVE them!
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/10/pa-dutch-red-beet-eggs/

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postheadericon Coal Region Hot Bologna

In the Coal Region, a local company made hot bologna and it seemed like there was a jar of it at every corner bar and at every fire company (hosey) bar. Fire companies in the coal region are mainly volunteer and have bars and social activities for company members. It is not an unusual sight to see someone seated at the bar with a cold glass of Yuengling Lager and a piece of hot bologna in front of them!

hot bologna

Homemade Hot Bologna

Coal Region Hot Bologna

Ingredients

  • 1 ring bologna
  • 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper (the more the hotter/spicier!)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Remove skin from ring bologna (Berks brand is very often used).
  2. Cut ring of bologna in pieces about 2 inches long, then slice lengthwise in half.
  3. Place in a large glass jar. Add crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Mix white vinegar and water. Pour over bologna.
  4. Shake well, place lid on jar and refrigerate. Should be ready in a day or two. Keeps a loooong time in the fridge.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/coal-region-hot-bologna/

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postheadericon Copper Pennies

Great summer salad and a traditional sweet/sour taste with Pa. Dutch roots, Copper Pennies will have family members who “don’t like carrots” quickly changing their minds! Great portable dish for a potluck or picnic! Keeps well in the fridge for several weeks.

Copper Pennies

Copper Pennies

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup white sugar

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, add carrots and boil until the carrots are just tender, approximately 10 minutes. Drain well.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the celery, green pepper, carrots and onion.
  3. Bring tomato soup, oil, vinegar and sugar to a boil. Stir well. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Pour the mixture over the vegetables, mix until all of the vegetables are coated. Marinate this salad overnight before serving.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/copper-pennies/

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postheadericon Amish Mustard Eggs

If you have not tried these but you like red beet eggs, I suggest you give them a try. I had them for the first time decades ago and was skeptical as to whether I would like them but I truly did! I let them sit so the yellow goes completely through the white of the egg and meets up with the yolk.

Amish Mustard Eggs

Pickled Mustard Eggs

Ingredients

  • 12 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 thinly sliced medium sweet onion
  • Mustard Pickling: 4 cups water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. prepared mustard
  • 1 tbsp. mustard seed
  • 2 tsp. turmeric - OPTIONAL

Instructions

  1. Combine above ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat to slightly cool.
  2. Place hard boiled eggs and sliced onions in lidded jar/container. Pour mustard pickling mixture over eggs and onions. Place in refrigerator for 10-14 days.
  3. Give a swish every day to make sure everything is coated.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/amish-mustard-eggs/

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postheadericon Sauerkraut Relish

4th of July is cook-out time in the coal region. Here is a relish that fits right in to the Coal Region/Pa Dutch influence of our area. Cayenne optional! You will find yourself using it for topping lots of foods.

Sauerkraut Relish

Sauerkraut Relish

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sauerkraut - rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup dill relish or chopped dill pickle
  • 1 tbsp. chopped pimento
  • 2 tbsp. prepared mustard
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar (can sweeten to your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seed
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Add all to saucepan. Stir well, bring up to simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/sauerkraut-relish/

 

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postheadericon Peanut Butter Schmear

In an ode to the Pennsylvania Dutch part of our heritage in the Coal Region, let me share with you a simple, 3-ingredient “schmear” (spread) that goes great with, well — EVERYTHING! What do you do with Amish Peanut Butter Spread? Eat it on whatever appeals to you. It is nice on almost anything you would put peanut butter on: sliced bread, dinner rolls, graham crackers, vanilla wafers, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, bananas, and my favorite apples. Of course, you can always eat it straight from the jar with a spoon! It is so simple to whip up a batch, so go ahead – indulge.

Peanut Butter Schmear

Peanut Butter Schmear

Ingredients

  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth
  • 1/4 cup marshmallow creme (Fluff, Kraft, etc.)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix corn syrup, peanut butter and marshmallow creme until thoroughly combined.
  2. Store in an air-tight container.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/peanut-butter-schmear/

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postheadericon Funnel Cake Bites

It’s fair season and nothing says Pa Dutch and Coal Region like waiting in line for a hot, sweet, powder-y funnel cake. If you want the flavor but not the fuss of frying a full-sized funnel cake at home when you get a craving, these FUNNEL CAKE BITES are just the answer. Douse ’em with powdered sugar, drizzle with honey, dip in powdered sugar glaze, chocolate syrup, or dunk in blueberry, strawberry or caramel syrup

Funnel Cake Bites

Funnel Cake Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • powdered sugar and dipping sauces of your choice

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl whisk together egg, oil, butter, vanilla extract, milk and sugar (if using)
  2. Gently stir in flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Stir until flour is combined. Batter will and should be a little bit lumpy.
  4. Heat oil on med-high in a deep skillet.
  5. When oil is hot, do a test by dropping a bit of batter into the oil. (The batter should begin to fry calmly instantly. If it smokes, sputters or browns quickly the oil is too hot)
  6. Use a mini ice cream scoop and scoop out the batter and drop it into the oil. (work quickly and be careful not to crowd the batter)
  7. Fry until golden on both sides. Removed from oil and place a paper-towel lined plate.
  8. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Eat immediately.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/funnel-cake-bites/

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