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Bucks County Taste has moved! See this post on our new server. 

By guest blogger Susan Sprague Yeske

As partners in a business that transforms chefs’ cookbook dreams into reality, it’s good to share a common vision. It’s also good to like the same kinds of food.

Shared tastes and a love of the culinary world prompted local food experts Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer to step beyond their role of crafting other people’s books and create one of their own.

Christopher Hirsheimer, left, and Melissa Hamilton in their Lambertville loft studio

Christopher Hirsheimer, left, and Melissa Hamilton in their Lambertville loft studio

Volume one of Canal House Cooking was published this month, the first in a series of softcover cookbooks that focus on seasonal cooking.  In the book the two moms, who live in Hunterdon and Bucks counties, share the summertime recipes they make at home.

The 80 recipes in the book focus on foods in season and feature summertime fare such as tomatoes, plums and zucchini. Every course is covered, from seasonally appropriate mixed drinks to dessert.

The two authors are former magazine food editors with credentials that include years spent at Saveur and Metropolitan Home. Christopher has collaborated on four other cookbooks, including three for Saveur.

Melissa is well known in local culinary circles for co-founding Hamilton’s Grill Room in Lambertville with her father, Jim Hamilton.

Canal House CookingCanal House Cooking costs $19.95, or $49.95 for an annual subscription of three books and can be ordered through the website thecanalhouse.com.

Next will be a book on fall and holiday cooking, then a winter/spring edition. In addition to the website, books are available at amazon.com, Farley’s Bookstore in New Hope, Pa., and the Hamilton’s Grill Room. The books will also be sold at other private bookstores in the U.S. and through Anthropologie stores.

This recipe from the book is a great way to enjoy the fresh local tomatoes just coming into season:

Roasted Tomatoes Studded with Garlic

serves 4


½ cup diced pancetta
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pasta
2 anchovy fillets
1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
4 tomatoes, tops sliced off, seeds scooped out
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
small handful fresh thyme, parsley, or basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper
½ pound spaghetti


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Fry the pancetta in a skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp around the edges. Use a slotted spatula to lift the pancetta out of the skillet to a plate. Leave the rendered fat in the skillet.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the anchovies to the same skillet. Use a wooden spoon to mash the anchovies until they dissolve. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, until they are golden.
  4. Put the tomatoes, cut side up, in a baking dish and slip some garlic into each tomato. Mound some bread crumbs into each tomato and scatter pancetta and herbs on top. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil over all.
  5. Roast the tomatoes in the oven until they have browned a bit and the interior is supple but the tomatoes haven’t collapsed, 1–1½ hours.
  6. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain.
  7. Return the pasta to the pot and stir in some olive oil and some of the oily tomato juices from the bottom of the tomato roasting dish.
  8. Serve the spaghetti with the roasted tomatoes and their juices spooned on top.

Chef ToqueMany local farmers’ markets invite local chefs to cook and demonstrate. This weekend, Wrightstown Farmers’ Market will have Denis Chiappa from Carlow Cookery demonstrating how to make some great summer dishes, starting at 10:30 am.

At the Linden Hill Farmers’ Market, Chef David Zuckerman of Earl’s Bucks County (formerly Earl’s Prime) will be preparing market items on the grill. Darlene Kaminsky of Chestnut Hill Farm Gourmet Foods will be teaching how to can and preserve. Both will be doing demos at 4:30 & 6:30 pm.

Local Harvest Restaurant Week continues through Sunday, July 26th. SEE, a Lambertville-based community organization, is sponsoring the event in Lambertville and New Hope to raise awareness about sustainability – in our society, environment and economy (SEE). With cooperation from local restaurants, farms, food producers, and Zone 7  (a local foods distribution business), SEE is bringing the best of the region’s local harvest to local restaurant tables. If you eat at one of the participating restaurants, you’ll be able to enjoy dishes specially prepared for the event using the finest local ingredients. Check out SEE’s website for more information about their mission, more details about the restaurant week, and a list of participating restaurants (which includes practically all of the good ones in Lambertville).

The Farm-to-Table Dinner benefiting  The Heritage Conservancy is coming up soon, on Saturday, August 1st so buy your tickets soon. The catering will be done by Soup to Nuts Caterers and Earl’s Restaurant in Peddler’s Village, which recently changed its menu and concept to focus on local, farm-fresh ingredients. Price will be $45 per person, with proceeds benefiting the Heritage Conservancy, a land conservation organization here in Bucks County. It will be held at the historic Lindsay Farm in Warminster.

Here’s the run-down for the weekend. Check out our online calendar, Food Events in Bucks County for more details on any of the events below. Have a peachy-keen weekend.

Friday, July 24th:

  • 25th Anniversary Marathon @ Dilly’s Corner, 12 am – 12 am, Centre Bridge/New Hope.
  • Linden Hill Farmers’ Market, 3:30 – 7:30 pm, Ottsville.
  • Wine Concert Series @ Shady Brook Farm,  7 – 9 pm, Yardley. Weather permitting. Free admission. Dan Kauffman is the musical entertainment.
  • Local Harvest Restaurant Week by SEE, 5 – 10 pm, Lambertville & New Hope.
  • Hot Wines from Hot Climates, 7 – 9 pm, Carlow Cookery, Doylestown.
  • Outdoor Summer Music Series @ Crossing Vineyards and Winery, 7 – 10 pm, Washington Crossing. Karen Rodriguez Latin Jazz Ensemble is the musical entertainment.

Saturday, July 25th:

Sunday, July 26th:

 Monday, July 27th:

  • Foods & Moods with Nutritionist Ellen Book-O’Neill, Cornerstone Health & Fitness, 11 am – 12 pm, Furlong.
  • The Sushi Bar, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Carlow Cookery, Doylestown.

Fresh from the marketI started this feature last week, and will list for you throughout the local growing season the kinds of vegetables and fruits available at many local farmers’ markets.

Here’s this week’s freshly picked vegetables: Asian turnips, basil, beets, cabbage, chard, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, fresh garlic, green beans, green peppers, herbs, hot peppers, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, parsley, radishes, scallions, summer squash, tomatoes, zucchini.

Freshly picked fruit: blueberries, raspberries, peaches and possibly blackberries and nectarines.

Thanks to Robin Hoy of the Wrightstown Market for her help on this list.

The Dilly's BurgerDilly’s Corner is celebrating their
25th year in a big way with a 25-hour marathon. Just like it sounds – 25 hours of eating, more or less. It starts tonight, July 23rd at 11:00 pm and ends tomorrow night, July 24th, at 12:00 am. Here’s the schedule of events:

Thursday, July 23rd, 11:00 pm:
Dilly’s opens (closed during the day today)

Friday, July 24th:

  • 1:00 – 3:00 am: 1985 Menu Pricing
  • 3:00 – 4:00 am: Adult Ice Cream Eating Contest
    (entry fee: $3)
  • 5:00 – 10:00 am: Breakfast
  • 1:00 – 3:00 pm: Kids Hour
    (3 – 6 years old, Make-Your-Own-Cone)
  • 3:00 – 4:00 pm: Kids Ice Cream Eating Contest
    (7 – 12 years old)(entry fee: $3)
  • 4:00 – 5:00 pm: Hamburger Eating Contest
    (13 years old and up)(entry fee: $10)
  • 7:00 – 9:00 pm: Live Music
  • 12:00 am: Closing

All contest fees will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Sign-up at Dilly’s for each contest.

See our review of Dilly’s below. Have a great time!

For an enlightening and provocative inside look at how our food is being produced in the U.S. food industry and who’s “in the kitchen,” the new documentary Food, Inc. is showing at the County Theater, 20 E. State St. in Doylestown through this weekend.

The film opened in New York last month and is beginning to make its way around the country. It is directed by Robert Kenner and co-produced by Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food). Robert Kenner is a 1968 grad of Solebury School, so we’ve got some real local ties to the film’s fame!

Showtimes are:
Thursday 4:00 and 9:35 pm
Friday 6:25 pm
Saturday and Sunday 1:15 and 6:25 pm

It’s rated PG and is 1 hour and 34 min. It’s a MUST SEE for everyone who cares about our food, our health, our economy, our environment and human and animal rights.

Thanks to Robin Hoy, manager of the Wrightstown Farmers’ Market, for this information. (Sorry I was late putting this up; the movie has been showing all week.)

Dilly’s Corner

Bucks County Taste has moved! See this post on our new server. 

By guest blogger Emily Trostle

I’ve never been one to get excited over hot dogs and hamburgers, but there’s one place I’ll travel the distance to when I need to get my fix: Dilly’s Corner, on River Road in New Hope, is the place for burgers, hot dogs, ice cream and an overall good time.

Celebrating 25 years, Dilly’s Corner is always buzzing. Porsches, Harleys and SUVs all cram into the tight parking lot to experience this delightful blink-and-you-miss-it restaurant. There’s a covered patio with tables so you can sit out of the sun or avoid bad weather. For nice days, there are wooden tables placed around the parking lot.

Dilly's SpreadFor my spread, I got the Dilly Cheeseburger, Dilly Dog, a vanilla milkshake, and curly fries. The cheeseburger is a 1/3 of a pound patty, yellow American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayonnaise. The awesomeness of this burger lies in its simplicity. It doesn’t sound too different from anything you might make at home, but the cheese is perfectly melted, the lettuce is crisp, the tomato ripe, and the onions flavorful but not overpowering. The burger is cooked just slightly pink in the center and is superbly juicy.

Then there’s the Dilly Dog. Topped with peppers, onions and French fries, this quarter pound hot dog is served on a toasted torpedo roll. I topped it off with a healthy serving of relish – because if I’m going to have a hot dog, it’s got to be the messiest hot dog for miles. (I admit I had to surrender to my plastic fork for the first leg of this adventure.) The fact that Dilly’s toasts the Dilly Dog’s bun is what really made it for me. Like I’ve said, I like my hot dogs messy. This usually leads to soggy buns that won’t support my hot dog toppings. The toasted torpedo roll manages to hold all those peppers, onions, fries and any additional toppings without fail.

Dilly’s is popular for its ice cream, as well. While I would have liked to have gone all out and gotten a sundae to top off my meal, I couldn’t justify it after the burger and hot dog. BUT since a milk shake is made with milk, and milk is good for you, well, a milkshake would be a good thing.

I’ve had my fair share of milkshakes, but there’s just something about one from Dilly’s that raises the bar. It’s more like really thick, creamy milk than watered down ice cream. It’s not so thick that you can’t drink it through a straw and for some reason it’s not so cold that it gives you a brain freeze.

If I could come up with a theme for Dilly’s it would be “keep it simple, but do it well.” I have yet to try their salads or veggie burgers, but I’ll bet they’re just as good as the burgers and dogs.

If you crave a good burger and milkshake and don’t want to deal with diners or sit-down restaurants, Dilly’s Corner is ideal. Or, if the entire family wants ice cream, pack them up and take the scenic drive. The grill is open most nights until 9, and ice cream is served until 9:30.


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