Chocolate Mug Cake

I’ve never been one for fads or crazes. There is something about everyone going gaga over something that puts me off. I don’t know if it’s because I tend to not follow the crowd or I get sick of hearing  about it or having people tell me I’ll love it and I just “have to” try it. Take Harry Potter for example.  It took me ages to finally pick up the book and read the first one. It was everywhere and I think I just got turned off because of the intense hype. I’m pretty sure it took a few years before I read it, as in the third or even fourth book was out. Of course then I was completely hooked and couldn’t get enough of that series, and joined the pinning fans as we waited for the rest of the books, and then movies,  to be released.

And so it seems I had the same reaction to mug cakes. They have been a big deal for a while now. I’ve just seen that Betty Read More…

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Maple Week in Vermont

I don’t know about you, but I have multiple signs of spring. We wait to hear the sound of geese flying back north. I love Mapleland Farmswatching the different song birds at our feeder. Recently we saw an Evening Grosbeak! Mud season is of course a dead ringer for spring. And, a big one, maple week. Maple week means the trees are sensing something deep in their roots all the way to the tips of their branches. Spring is coming and the days are warmer. The nights might still be dipping down into the freezing temperatures, but at least the days are making us feel like we are on our way to spring.

This unfortunately doesn’t mean we are in the clear. We’ve recently had proof of that with a big storm that blew through New England and from what the weather folks are saying, we have another potential Nor’easter on the way. BUT, maple week is officially here in Vermont and that means we are all doing a small victory dance that we made it this far through winter!

Driving around the area, one finds sap buckets nailed to trees, bigger totes or collection tanks along the roads with blue, white and black tubing snaking it’s way through the trees, and steam billowing out from the tops of sugar houses. Sometimes, driving along the back roads, you can just about smell Read More…

Rosemary for Remembrance

I have always struggled to keep my rosemary plants alive over the winter months. Basically it seems a Rosemary plantlost cause to continue to try to winter over that particular plant in the house. I can’t tell if I over-water or they just don’t get the sunlight they need. In the past I’m pretty sure they died due to over-watering. All my other plants seem to enjoy moist soil. Most herbs don’t like to keep their feet wet, but they survive with some even thriving. Rosemary, however, is a very unhappy winter visitor to my home. This year, I kept the water to the minimum. Maybe keeping them a bit too dry?

The plant dried up looking like I left it in the desert. I had been doing so well with it too! This year was “the year” I thought. I usually don’t get this far, with my rosemary plants dying before Christmas. This time, we made it to February. Everything looked okay. Then, the other day I glanced at the plant Read More…

Valentine’s Day Treats

I know, I know, Valentine’s Day is just another “Hallmark” holiday, one that is just there for commercial purposes instead of having any real

Heart-hand pies

Heart-hand pies

significance. In fact, it seems the legend behind the whole Valentine’s Day is murky and filled with speculation of it originating from Catholic saints to pagan fertility festivals. Interestingly, the idea of a “Valentine’s card” goes all the way back to the middle ages.  Even with all this shadowed past and profitable present, I still love Valentine’s Day simply because that means making so many cute crafts and yummy food creations!

We are a household that doesn’t save saying “I love you” for just the one day a year. We do however get a little cute and creative for this holiday because, why not? Why not make a funny card or bake a fabulous cake to celebrate?

One of my all-time favorite Valentine’s Day recipes is our cute-as-a-button heart-hand pies! These are so fun to make as a family and are a delicious way to celebrate!

Another over-the-top Valentine’s Day recipe that we have baked for the past three years is our cranberry pound cake – a great treat with it’s sweet yet sour component. The tart cranberries in the super moist, super buttery pound cake is a huge hit and I am always asked for the Read More…

Talking About the Weather

What a difference a day makes! A great New England saying is “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” Lately it certainly is true. ForCold Chickens almost ten days in a row we had below zero temperatures, like -20 which is far too cold in my opinion. We were chipping ice off just about everything and had to drag water out to the chickens as even the running stream froze solid. I had to rub some Vaseline on a few chicken combs to protect them from frostbite. Our little “Midge” chicken refused to come out of the coop and I swear she was glaring at me!

The weather started to gradually warm up and then today I opened the door and was smacked in the face by humid 54 degree weather! WHAT?! I broke into a sweat just walking to my car this Read More…

2017 Year-End-Review

Well the ball has been dropped again…in more ways than one. It is a new year already and I realized that my last farm post was back in November. Where does the time go?

2017 sure had some roller-coaster rides but I am happy to say everyone stayed healthy, happy and positive. Something I look to do everyday of every year. The up’s and down’s in life are all part of the ride. Some things this year made us stronger and more wise while other events were a blip on the horizon. Moving, new jobs, putting the farm back together, family events and situations. All good things! The year ended with a funny note on which I’ll end this short year-in-review.

My 6-year-old niece has had a loose tooth for a few weeks now. Something that she has talked non-stop about. Closing in on New Year’s eve, right around 10 p.m. we got a call from her. Thinking it was a “happy New Year” call we laughed to find out she had no care about that at all. Her loose tooth had fallen out while she was brushing her teeth. Her pure joy and excitement is something I hope we can all bring into our everyday lives in this new year of 2018.

May you all experience the joy of the little things in this year! Happy 2018!

Vermontfarmheart

Cranberry Sugar Cookie Bars – Perfect for Thanksgiving

I love the combination of sweet and tart. This is the PERFECT holiday dessert, especially after a big mealCranberry Sugar Cookie Bars that is heavy. A little sweet but a punch of tart doesn’t weigh you down after a meal, so what a great thing to make for Thanksgiving, or just a night in.

Sugar Cookie Crust:

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup salted butter, softened

2 egg yolks

2 cups flour

Dash of salt

Cranberry Apple Filling:

2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries

1 large tart apple, diced

2 tbsp. orange juice

Read More…

A Warm November

I had joked that towards the beginning of October that it was so warm that in typical fashion, the

Halloween 2017

Halloween 2017

weather would turn just in time for all the kids to have to wear their parkas on Halloween. Sure enough, the day before you could have walked around in shorts but the night of trick-or-treating, a cold wind swept through that meant bundling up in layers underneath costumes. We still had a blast with my two nieces that night and the youngest one “got” Halloween for the first time and was excited to knock on doors and say “trick-or-treat!” She had originally planned to be a unicorn but was too shy as we had all exclaimed how adorable she was in that costume. Instead she rocked the “old movie star” look, complete with pearls and a fake fur coat. Not sure where she got that style but she sure looked adorable (but we didn’t mention it for fear she would ditch that costume too!).

We threw an impromptu Halloween party for some friends and family that same weekend and had a good time catching up with people we hadn’t seen since before we moved to Maine. The highlight of the party was my homemade pumpkin puke platter…..all I did was carve a cute little pumpkin and place on a tray with dip and pretzels. Super cute, super easy!

Pumpkin Puke Platter

A few days after Halloween, we were back to the mid-60’s and I used it to my advantage on the first weekend to clean up the garden. The only thing left is the kale and brussel sprouts but I don’t think I’ll Read More…

Yard Sales, Birthdays and Gardening

Hello readers,

This last week flew right by and here it is already Sunday afternoon. A balmy 71 degrees October 15th Sunday afternoon. I’m sitting on my porch listening to the chipmunks chirp and the chickens cluck wearing a t-shirt, jeans and flip-flops. This seems a bit odd considering this time last year we were wearing multiple layers. It all makes me wonder what is going to happen when the snow starts

chickens enjoying the bean plants from the garden

Our chickens enjoying the bean plants from the garden.

coming down. My favorite time of year is fall so I hope we get some of that weather soon! Until then, I’m keeping my summer clothes in the closet.

Saturday was a busy day for us and was lots of fun! I started my morning frosting a cake I had baked Friday night after work. I can do pretty decent boarders and some swirls but one thing I would really like to learn is to do frosting flowers. Roses in particular, but any real frosting flower would be terrific to learn how to do along with realistic looking leaves. I watched a few how-to videos online but after fighting with the frosting for a good while, I gave up and resorted to my usual star-like flowers and Read More…

October on the Farm

Hello reader,

It’s been a few crazy months here on the farm. July and August were all about playing catch-up on the farm. Fixing up the garden with newOctober Garden Bounty dirt, new fencing, weeding, planting, and keeping it all growing. For having started the garden so late in the season, with the extreme warm September and October weather, the growing season was extended enough that we’ve been enjoying fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, kale, basil and peppers right up to today.

While the garden and chickens have been happy and healthy, we have been a bit stressed coming back to everything and rushing to catch up. Both of us found jobs over the summer (well, I had moved back knowing I had an offer and started a few weeks after our return) and have been working hard. Unfortunately, we are working hard at things neither of us enjoy, which has lead to a bit of frustration. We keep reminding ourselves that we moved back to Vermont for a reason. Jobs are few and far between in this area but we have kept looking and will continue to do so until we find jobs in our fields. Until then, strong coffee, pep-talks, wine on the porch, and chicken hugs keep us going.

Our niece with one of the girlsMoving back to be near family has been lovely. Our nieces love having us closer and we enjoying being back to a steady part of their lives. The oldest who turns six this month did her first sleep over with us and it was a great success. She is a girl after my own heart and enjoys gardening and chicken tending as much as I do. She spent almost all her time with the “girls” and they received more treats than usual that day. While she claimed that she Read More…

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