Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Taste of Italy in Fremont

Fall is the perfect time of year to take a drive and escape for an afternoon. The next time you are craving a wood-fired pizza or zesty meatball sandwich, head to Fremont, Ohio for lunch or dinner and some gourmet food shopping at the newly opened Elroy’s Deli Market. Located along the Sandusky River about 40 miles from Toledo, Fremont is easily accessible from the Ohio Turnpike or U.S. 20.

Elroy Kern Mural

Liz Donaldson, local culinary expert and recipe contributor to Boomers & Beyond magazine, has been busy helping Shawn Kern and his grandfather Tom Kern open Elroy’s, along with their adjoining Scarpetta’s Italian restaurant.

Deli Manager Liz Donaldson

Located in Fremont’s historic downtown, Elroy’s is a casual and bright Italian eatery that has been attracting crowds since it opened in July. Named after Shawn’s great-grandfather Elroy Kern, the market and deli features hand-tossed, wood-fired pizzas, a variety of subs and sandwiches, specialty salads, and classic Italian desserts including house made cannoli.

Specialty groceries are available at Elroy's.

Zach Beckman tosses fresh pizza dough.

Patrons enjoy hand-tossed pizzas and subs at Elroy's. 

Need a suggestion? Try the deli’s namesake sandwich, “The Elroy,” with melt-in-your-mouth, hand-rolled meatballs, pomodoro sauce and mozzarella on a rustic Italian roll or a Margherita pizza with crushed San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and torn basil leaves drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Hungry yet?

"The Elroy"

Elroy’s Deli Market and Scarpetta’s Italian are located at 105 & 107 South Front St., Fremont, Ohio. For more information, visit

Scarpetta's Executive Chef Brent Carlson serves mini Italian beef sandwiches
outside of Elroy's Market and Deli.

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Slice of Summer - Tomato Basil Pie

Technically it's still summer, right? It seemed pretty much like fall for a couple of weeks here; however, our weather has made an about face and we’re back to summer at least as far as temperatures go. All the more reason to take advantage of the late summer produce and make more veggie dishes. I found the most gorgeous heirloom tomatoes at our local farmers market this past weekend. Here is the excuse I came up with so I could buy tons of them.


Tomato Basil Pie
I call this a pie, but it’s actually a galette because it doesn’t require a top crust or pie pan. Just a simple fold over to cradle its contents. Feel free to use larger tomatoes or a different style if you prefer.

1 refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature

1 quart mini heirloom tomatoes, halved (seeds removed if preferred)

¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 ½ cups mozzarella or Italian blend cheese

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg beaten

Heat oven to 375 F.

Pat tomatoes with paper towels to remove excess juice.

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, unroll pie crust. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, seasoning and garlic powder. Toss gently to combine.

To the pie crust, add cheese leaving a 2-inch border of crust. Top with cheeses then tomato mixture. Fold the crust up and over the outer part of the filling, leaving the center of the pie open.

Whisk egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush over top of crust.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, covering crust with strips of foil after 15 minutes to prevent over 

Allow pie to stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Apple Fritter Bread

Nothing welcomes fall like the smell of fresh apple fritters wafting through the air. Apple Fritter Bread has all the elements of the classic seasonal treat - soft apples, rich cinnamon, and a bit of crunch – drizzled with sweet glaze. The addition of walnuts is optional, but they are such a great complement to the apples. Why wait for the apple-pickin’ festivals? This bread is perfect for brunch, dessert or anytime.

Apple Fritter Bread 
⅓ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅔ cup white sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup milk
2 apples any kind, peeled and chopped mixed with 2 tablespoons white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
⅓ cup chopped walnuts, if desired.

½ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Heat oven to 350 F. Coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray or line with foil and coat with non-stick spray.

In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat white sugar and butter together until smooth and creamy.

Beat in eggs, 1 at a time until blended. Add vanilla extract.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour and baking powder together. Add into creamed butter mixture and mix until blended.

Mix milk into batter until smooth.

Pour half the batter into prepared pan. Add half the apple mixture, then half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat the apples into batter. If using walnuts, sprinkle the full ⅓ cup over batter/apples.

Repeat layers (except walnuts). Lightly pat the apples into batter. With a knife, swirl brown sugar mixture through apples.

Bake approximately 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

To make glaze, mix powdered sugar and milk together. Let bread cool for 15 minutes before drizzling with glaze.

(Recipe adapted from