Tag Archives: restaurant

Local, seasonal food hits the spot!

It’s been a rough week. The best medicine? Local, seasonal, freshly prepared food from Emma’s Food for Life in Selinsgrove!

You know the conversation…

“What do you want for dinner?”

“I don’t know…what do you want for dinner?”

“I don’t care. Whatever you want.”

and so on, and so on…

We were fully engaged in that back and forth last night when we drove by Emma’s and I remembered that I had seen Lemon Quinoa on their specials board outside. I figured it would feature peas and asparagus, because that is what’s in season here right now, and it did.

I just may turn into a pea with the way I’ve been eating lately, but I guess that’s what eating local, seasonal produce is all about, right? If peas are in season, you eat a lot of peas.

So Emma’s it was, and it did not disappoint.

She: Lemon Quinoa (a thick, warm, creamy quinoa in a lemony sauce that reminded me of risotto! Comfort food at its finest. It had lots of greens, peas and asparagus. Sadly, it promised to come with a side of cabbage and beet salad, which was nowhere to be found :( ) It did, however, come with a little green side salad. I chose the lemon tahini dressing (not my favorite, by far )  The husbo chose the cilantro lime dressing, so I stole that :twisted:

Accompanying my dinner is some organic Mother’s Milk tea from Traditional Medicinals…it tastes like strong anise, which I despise, but it came highly recommended and I need the help right now in strengthening my supply. It tasted just a little better in my new W mug (a gift from my thoughtful husband!)

I poached us each a piece of salmon for a little extra sumthin’, and it was pretty tasteless until we realized we could dip it in the dressing. Cilantro Lime Salmon, coming right up!

He: The hus chose the whole wheat fettucine with bacon, peas and asparagus. It was really good…I had a bite with bacon in it, and I wanted to eat the whole thing! I guess there’s just no denying the seductive qualities of bacon. The one bite was enough, though…I don’t plan on becoming a bacontarian.

BIG portion!


These dishes didn’t really lend themselves well to pretty pictures, but they were delicious! I inhaled mine. Just what we needed on a night when I was exhausted, still a little concerned about my health, and not wanting to settle for any kind of fast food. (Sadly, we were left with a mountain of styrofoam containers. I was surprised to see that from a restaurant like Emma’s. Surely they could find recycled cardboard…)

Our boy joined in the feast with his new favorite…avocado! I’ve given this to him a couple of times now, and he just devours it! I always seem to have just a little left over whenever I use one, so this will work out perfectly! This was the most perfect avocado I’ve ever cut into (like BUTTAH!) and he said, “Mmmmmm….” with each bite.

Mortared and pestled…

Next time, we combine the ‘cado with a nanner. 

Newsflash: I’ve decided to cave a little on my dairy weirdness and eat some yogurt. I need calories, protein and calcium right now more than ever, and you just can’t beat the nutritients in Greek yogurt, so I looked up my old friend Fage….

This sucker comes with a lot of honey! I amped it up with a little Granbiotics granola and some walnuts…

I had forgotten how good this stuff is…

I’d go so far as to call this the perfect bite!

I guess a little yogurt now and then won’t hurt anything. But no fruity-bottomed ones, and you won’t catch me with a glass of milk in this lifetime, either…

Now, off to get groceries and skedaddle home to my boys. Last time I was in the store, I heard Jive Talkin’! I hope there’s a fun playlist today…I love grocery shopping!

Have a great Sunday, all!


What’s in season now where you live? Have you had your fill of it yet?


Filed under Product & Service Reviews, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Cherry Alley Cafe – Finally!

Saturday afternoon was the best! Get this….Finn and I both napped for an hour and a half! 

I feel like a half a million bucks! ;)

Around 5pm, the husbo and I decided we were really hungry after a hard afternoon of planting (he) and napping (she and little he) so we FINALLY had our long-awaited dinner date at the Cherry Alley Cafe in Lewisburg.

You might remember that we tried to go last week, but found it closed. Then, after my training session, I stopped in to get a wrap (I spoiled it a little, but it was still fun to go again, together.) 

We had been to the Cherry Alley before to see local friend Bruce Derr play some tunes, but had never eaten there and were dying for something new. I mean, the place featured a Momelette on Mother’s Day. That cuteness is reason enough to check it out…

The worst part of having never eaten somewhere before is trying to decide what to order off the FAB (yet simple) menu of as-yet-untried goodies ! Everything looked right up our alley (no pun intended…) 

That’s us: FAB, yet simple.

Drinks: Me: Mango Passionfruit Stash Tea, He: Spiced Honey Chai

He: Pesto Chicken Panini

She: Pulled Pork  BBQ Wrap with lettuce, tomato, apple, mango and black bean salsa. And one very intrusive and camera-hogging (yet tasty) pickle. Shane looked at me like I had two heads when I ordered this. I thought about it during dinner, and I don’t think I’ve ever ordered pork in a restaurant before in my entire life. I don’t even cook it at home very often. I usually go the veggie route, maybe chicken once in a while….but while nursing, I listen when my body screams for protein and tonight it was screaming “PORK BBQ!” Especially once I realized there was fruit in the wrap…

Most brilliant move ever: we swapped halves! This might be the single best reason for getting married. We both totally dug both halves. Nothing but compliments to the chef. Since I’m a really picky eater when it comes to meat, I have to mention that this meat was superior. Nothing weird, nothing that shouldn’t be there. Just clean, well-cooked, well-seasoned pork and chicken.

We also got this bowl of Vegetarian Chili. Soup and sandwich seemed like a good idea, until we saw it. It was gargantuan, so we took it home. (Those too-big eyes of mine…)

Rewind a few days, and here’s the wrap I picked up while sleepwalking last week (just for the sake of catching up and providing a more complete review…)

Thai tempeh cake, lettuce, tomato, carrot, sprouts, apples, and spicy mango sauce. Awe. Some.

…and the cookie that never disappoints, vegan espresso chocolate chip. Awe. Some. Er.

To top it all off, the place sells Orangina, a childhood favorite of mine. I will never stop loving that adorable bottle. And with a flute and guitar duo playing The Girl from Ipanema, Finn was distracted enough to let us eat! 

Isn’t it just the best feeling to find a new local treasure? New to us, anyway. (This place is not new, of course…we just missed the boat for a while.) Our bad for not popping in sooner to check things out. I’m just sorry we didn’t catch the different ethnic foods they were featuring on Saturdays through the spring (but we’ll check them out when they return in the fall…)

Two thumbs up for good food AND keeping our money in the local flow.


Filed under Product & Service Reviews, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

My First Mother’s Day: Part 1

Happy Mother’s Day to all you fine mommas out there!

Rewind to yesterday:

Since we have lots of moms to celebrate this year, my husband made dinner reservations on Saturday. 

Mad props to the husbo for: 1. making reservations, 2. making them on Saturday at 4pm when the restaurant would not be so busy, and 3. choosing a local restaurant I’ve been wanting to scope out for nearly 3 years now!

Emma’s Food for Life is located in downtown Selinsgrove, and their niche is fresh food made from local ingredients. I complain a lot about the lack of restaurants like this, so I’m glad I finally got a chance to check it out.

I’ve heard that Emma’s runs some sort of free dinner program once a month, but I’ve been a little too scatterbrained lately to look into it. I finally took a moment to peek at their website, and here’s the scoop: In the monthly newsletter, it says that one night a month, they host a Free Community Dinner featuring live entertainment. It’s run on donations, so it’s sort of a “give what you can” deal.

They also feature a Seasonal Specialties Menu with $5 lunch and $10 dinner specials. Roasted potato and radish pizza for $5? Grass-fed steak with Chanterelle Gratin for $10?! Wow. Who knew? Shame on me for leaving Emma’s on my To-Do list for so long! I guess I need to limit my complaining about the lack of interesting restaurants in Selinsgrove from now on!

Bonus: A list of local suppliers on each table. Could this mean we might find a supplier of grass-fed beef? I plan to do a little digging…

Now, I’d like to introduce you to our dinner:

We started out with green tea infused with mint, which came with a little pot of honey for sweetening. A lovely idea, but the honey and the ice didn’t mix so well and I ended up with all my honey frozen to my straw. Yummy, but a little weird.

Appetizer: Falafel with lemon tahini sauce. A good choice, although I like a little more spice…

Then we noticed it….FREE WINE? Well, sort of. No liquor license means they can’t sell, but each entree comes with a complimentary glass (or you can BYOB.) Shane chose the Reisling, I opted for the Cab Franc. I asked for a small glass because I am super careful about alcohol these days, and I don’t want to have to pump and dump.  Pretty generous for a free pour, I’d say…

The menu had me a little giddy! By 4pm, I had eaten exactly one bowl of oats and 2 dates, so I was ravenous. After a long, methodical deliberation (I’m not the most spontaneous chick sometimes) I chose the Marvelous Mushroom Lasagna, which is layers of whole wheat pasta, an exotic mushroom mix and butternut squash topped with Swiss and Parm. 

Yeah, I know. I said I’m off dairy. I’m bending the rules today. Sue me. (Then see below where I say I’m still off dairy.)

Gooey, sweet, and really rich, it did not disappoint. The asparagus was a fun surprise and helped lighten the dish a little. It was lemony and perfectly cooked. I don’t think I’ve ever had better.

Shane’s choice: the Vietnamese Salad Rolls. (At least I believe that’s what these were called. Oops… Bad blogger.) They arrived with a peanut dipping sauce and wheat-y noodles sprinkled with sesame seeds.

He’s been looking for these for years, but can only find fried egg rolls, so he was just tickled pink a masculine shade of blue.

We are usually dessert-at-home kind of people, but we have a card (purchased for a MERE $5!) from the local Boy Scouts that entitled us to a free dessert (that card has a few dozen local businesses on it, with discounts or offers for each. You can’t spend a better five spot.) 

So we splurged and each got one…Me, the Chocolate Zucchini Cake. He, the Frozen Irish Whiskey Torte.

Thick, rich, chocolatey and really dense. Right up my alley. I brilliantly forgot about my glass of Cab until this point, when I had a pile of chocolate in front of me! Couldn’t have worked out better. 

Shane’s not a chocolate fan (gasp!) so he wasn’t excited about the crust, but he gave this guy a thumbs-up anyway. I had a bite, and it was darned yummy, but I didn’t really taste whiskey.

This is what it looks like when Finn and I are sitting at a restaurant table and I get distracted for a second. Spacey, I know. That is a toy mushroom, in case you’re wondering.

So, feeling stuffed and happy, we headed a block or so down to the coffee shop. Daddy-O’s plan was to get some fun drinks and let me play for a while online, but they were closing. At 5pm. On a Saturday. We found out that they close every day by 5pm. Then we remembered that’s why we’ve never eaten there. What a waste of a coffee shop with a great menu.

***This is the part where I say that I agree with myself about dairy. Now, my meal surely wasn’t low fat or low cal, so I’m not sure exactly what element had me puffing up beyond belief about an hour after we ate, but I suspect the cheese. I nearly had to undo my button, and I haven’t felt like that in months. I still love the cheese, but I’m thinking it might not be worth it. It just doesn’t feel like it’s making me any healthier. I don’t think that’s any reflection on the food at Emma’s, though. Most people would dig that cheesiness.

And then the wild hurricane blew into town, nearly knocking us over in the parking lot and whipping me in the face with my own hair. I find that INCREDIBLY annoying.

So we tried to go home, but then we spotted it. The rainbow. And our adventurous death-defying spirits drove us to go RAINBOW CHASING!

So it’s not quite as thrilling as storm chasing, but we thought it was pretty cool. Neither of us had ever seen a full, double rainbow from end to end before. You can sort of see both rainbows in the pics. It’s really neat how the colors reverse in the top one.

We got so close it felt like we could just reach out and touch it…

 I’m not even sure what to say about this pic. Ripe with symbolism, don’t you think?

And then, a very happy Mommy, Daddy and sweet sleeping baby headed home for some down time. After starting the day at 3am, I needed it.

Tomorrow, we celebrate the rest of the mommies!


Filed under Recipes & Food