Antique Therapy

When life gets stressful, I go for some antique therapy! There is something about the nostalgia and slow pace of antiquing that

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I find therapeutic in this crazy, digital, and constantly updating world. With our lives always on the go and things happening at such a fast pace, it is so nice to stop and stare at the old stuff.

Over the years my collections have changed, some growing and some going away but I’ve always found a small collection of antiques or vintage items as being a release from today and a step back to think of what was. Friends always ask how do you find a collection? Or they tell me they don’t go to antique fairs because they don’t like old stuff or they don’t know what to buy. Well, that’s the beauty of collecting things…..you buy what catches your eye. Things that make you tilt your head and say “well that’s neat” and then if you find yourself picking something up and rolling it around in your hands or Read More…

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Dilly Beans

While I love to grow “fun” vegetables like eggplant, peppers, heirloom tomatoes, and lots of leafy greens, it’s the beans that we Dilly Beansfind ourselves using all year long. We love pulling out a frozen bag of cut beans in December and heating them up with a little lemon pepper to go with dinner. We also love hearing that unmistakable “pop” when we open up a jar of canned dilly beans. Those moments bring us right back to summer, out in the sunshine picking beans then sitting on the porch snapping the ends off. Heaven.

We do our fair share of canning and freezing other garden goodies but the beans seem to be what our family loves the most. Canned tomatoes we use in stews and pasta dishes throughout the year and I love adding in some frozen spinach to quiche and lasagna. I think it’s because the beans stay closest to their fresh-picked self when preserved that we feel transported back to summer. When we grew sweet corn we felt the same way! Didn’t grow that this year due to limited space.

Before the freezing beans process, I sort out my string beans and put aside the nice straight Read More…

Curry Chicken Salad – A Summer Favorite

We are not spicy people. A scoop of buffalo chicken dip and both my husband and I have hot flashes and look likes beets! We’dCurry Chicken Salad love to be spicy people, but it just isn’t in our makeup. For a while, we were trying to build up our tolerance but after a few crazy nights, we decided to be okay with less adventurous food. Not bland, we love using spices! Just not heat. So when a friend invited us over for dinner last summer and served curry chicken salad we both gave each other the “uh oh” look. Neither of us had ever had curry and tended to stay away as we always heard of it being a “hot” dish.

Well dang, our lives have been changed forever! This dish is now our number one requested summer dish. It is so perfect for those hot nights when you just don’t Read More…

No Squash For You!

I have dreams of being one of those people that have to put zucchini and summer squash in their neighbor’s cars just to get rid

My sad squash plant

My sad squash plant…looks good now but then we never get more than that and some rot on the plant.

of the vegetable! But alas, we have never been prolific with that particular veggie. I can grow bushels of beans, tons of tomatoes, countless cucumbers, and pounds of potatoes but always come up short on squash. The plants usually start out nice but then just as we get blossoms and baby squash the plants seem to have enough and we only get a few “adult” squash. Last year we had too much rain Read More…

Spring Mushroom Miso Soup

Spring is finally here and it just makes me want to shout for joy! It’s been a long winter, and a rather rainy spring but the tulipsHomemade Mushroom Miso Soup Ingredients and daffodils are in bloom and the hummingbirds have come back. It is nice to have the sunshine a little longer and to know that spring really is here. Spring also means a bit of renewal in the kitchen. Heavy soups, stews, and casserole recipes get put back in the box and lighter recipes find a place on my counter.

Mushroom season is a favorite time of year (along with other things like dandelion greens and fiddleheads). I wish I could be a confident forager, but with so many look-alikes out there, I’m content to purchase my Read More…

Deadly Chickpea Pizza Crust

One of my favorite TV shows is The Kitchen and I try to catch that if I’m home on the weekend. The Food Network stars always Chickpea Pizza seem to have so much darn fun on that show and I like hearing about tried-and-true recipes as well as leaning if the latest kitchen gadget is really worth it. Hands-down, Jeff and Sunny are my favorites on the show but the whole gang keeps things light and entertaining! They also come at recipes from a “real” perspective and try to make things easier on the home cook and often devise recipes that are quick enough for weeknight meals.

Recently one of the episodes featured their favorite canned foods recipes. Lots of great ideas! One that sounded super easy and yummy was Katie Lee’s Canned Chickpea Pizza Crust. So easy! Everything goes into a blender and out comes pizza crust! This was something we had to try and luckily for us, we had all of the ingredients. Honestly? It is delicious! The crust comes out nice and crispy and it tastes like a Read More…

Best Chocolate Banana Bread

I can only be home and do nothing for so long. With a sinus infection that required a few days rest, I was tired of reading and Best Chocolate Banana Bread Everwatching TV but not quite up for crafting. Baking was my next best option that didn’t require much mental power or leave me huffing and puffing. While you need to be creative to craft, baking was a good task that used up some time but also made me feel productive.

I had a hankering for banana bread but only had yellowish-green bananas on the counter. I usually have a few overripe bananas in the freezer but no such luck. I even checked the big freezer downstairs but nothing. I stood with the cupboard door open for a long time trying to get my brain to focus on something else I could bake. Deciding that I was really hung up on banana bread, I figured there must be a good way to get a couple of Read More…

How To Quickly Ripen Bananas

Okay, so you just bought some lovely green-turning-yellow bananas and they are sitting on your counter. You have a hankering for a recipe that needs ripe bananas and you’re stumped. This is where I was the other day and thought, there has got to be a way to quickly ripen these! According to my Aunt, that requires a brown paper bag and 24 hours. Not anymore! With a little thought, I was able to turn my bananas into just what I needed and I wanted to share that with you.

Take your unripe bananas and use a fork to pierce through the banana skin all over.

Fork Banana

Place on a microwave-safe plate for one minute. Check the ripening progress and then microwave for an additional 30 seconds Read More…

Peep, Peep! Chicks Are Here!

Nothing pulls my heartstrings quite like the little “peep, peep” of baby chicks! Not only are they total goofballs, but they are a sure sign of spring around the farm. Just about every three years we replenish our chicken stock with some new baby chicks. We don’t kill off any of our layer hens, but over time due to age, predators around Read More…

Marching Into Spring

Spring is a funny word around here in Vermont. You say the word “spring” lately and you get a lot of eye-rolling, “yeah, sure” Fixing the Farmhouse and immediate talk of how bad the roads are. Our spring this year seems particularly teasing with lows in the teens one day and highs of the mid-60s the next. Mix a little snow flurry in and you have yourself the Vermont spring.

Now the mud. If you don’t know how to start a conversation with a Vermonter, just ask about the mud. With the up and down temperatures, rain in early March and constant freeze and thaw, the mud has been just awful this spring. Some of the back roads, especially the dirt ones, have had to close down to through traffic just to keep the ruts from getting worse. We’ve heard from quite a few dirt road friends that they’ve had to park at the end and hike in. Surprisingly the frost heaves went down faster than other years due to the rain and mud as everything softens pretty quickly. Just this week I’ve been leaving my house with temperatures around 18 degrees and by the time I get home after work, it is in the high 40s and low 50s. Bit of a leap from starting the morning scraping frost off the windshield!

Still, spring is spring and we all are so happy to finally be able to spend some time outdoors in the sunshine. With the daylight savings time change, driving home in the sunlight and still being able to Read More…

In Dianes Kitchen

Recipes showing step by step directions with pictures and gadget reviews

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Easy Peasy Pleasy

Hi, I'm Lacie! I'm a real mom with a crazy busy life. I'm always seeking new ways to make things easier. I hope my ideas can help make your life a little easier too! Thanks for stopping by!