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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…

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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…

Traveling Around Maine

This past weekend we decided to take a long day trip and see some of the sights I remembered as a kid vacationing to Maine. With a cooler packed with sandwiches, water and pretzels, we set off.

First stop was to visit Tenant’s Harbor. A lovely little town where my parents lived for 12 years back in the 1970’s.

Tenant's Harbor Maine

We even found the house they owned and stopped to snap a photo.

My parent's home in Tenant's Harbor

If you continue to drive past Tenant’s Harbor to the end of the peninsula in Port Cylde, there is the historic and rather famous Marshall Point Lighthouse where Tom Hanks concluded his cross- Read More…

Ham and Cheese Scones

Lately I have been reading and rereading one of my favorite cozy Ham and Cheese Sconemystery series, Tea Shop Mysteries, by Laura Childs. She is one of my favorite writers and I adore her Tea Shop books that bring me back to my visits to Charleston, South Carolina. Set in the old part of town, the main character owns the “Indigo Tea Shop” and always seems to stumble upon dead bodies. With the help of her tea shop employees and good friends, no murderer gets away! Her tea menus always have me drooling over not only the amazing teas she serves but the food and desserts served to her patrons. The latest book I read was her Tea Shop Mystery #12 Scones & Bones that had me thinking of delicious scones the whole time.

Contrary to popular belief, scones do NOT have to be dry, crumbly bricks that have no taste! Scones can be light, fluffy pillows of perfection with sweet or savory ingredients. They are perfect with a cup of tea, as a breakfast, lunch, snack, or dessert treat and very easy to make.

Since this book had me drooling over scones, I decided to make a batch this weekend. My pantry was in short supply and I didn’t want
a traditional sweet scone, so into the fridge I went. We had a leftover package of sliced deli ham as well as half a bag of shredded cheddar cheese. PERFECT!

Read More…

Cooking Dandelion Greens

I was so excited when I saw dandelion greens in the local MarketFresh Dandelion Greens Basket this weekend! These are a terrific leafy green that you should be eating as they are rich in minerals, super high in vitamins, have potassium and manganese and lots of other good-for-you nutrients. Bonus? If you have a “clean yard” meaning you don’t use any chemicals, you probably have an abundance of these greens in your own back acre!

As we are renting a place for the next few months, I don’t have access to those “pesky dandelions” so I was happy to see they are available at my local supermarket. One thing to know about dandelion greens is that they are bitter. The younger greens tend to be less bitter but then you are gathering little greens all over your yard. Most often the ones you Read More…

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs – Every Time!

Hard boiled eggs are one of those simple yet frustrating foods to Perfectly Cooked Hard Boiled Eggsmake. Boil them too long and the yolk becomes chalky and dry and has an unappetizing green or brownish color. This is especially bothersome when you are boiling lovely farm fresh eggs with that bright yellow/almost orange yolk that you want to preserve for your dishes like deviled eggs, egg salad, or just to eat as a snack. Boil them for not enough time and the yolk might not be firm enough. Good for some things like a cob salad, but not everyone wants a runny middle.

A well boiled egg will also be more likely to peel easily, while under or over boiled eggs tend to stick to the shells causing you to be Read More…

Sunday Frittata for the Week

I am someone that almost always skips breakfast during the busy Sunday Frittata weekdays. I’m either rushing to get to work or too distracted to think of something more than a quick muffin or bagel. Lots of carbs and all the rushing around usually leaves me hungry by 10am. Too early to eat my lunch, so I wind up snacking. I’ve been trying to do better and my idea is to start making an easy, healthy, protein packed breakfast that I can eat and be satisfied with until lunch.

Eggs are my go-to protein breakfast that can hold me over but I never have enough time in the mornings. I have made the cute little breakfast egg cups in the past (check out my good recipe here: Ham and Egg Muffin Cups) but they honestly take too much of my weekend time. I needed something that was a “quick, throw it all together” kind of prepped item that would last me the whole week.

Bonus……….my brilliant ah-ha moment idea also is a great way to clear out the left over side dishes from the weekend that are lying around in the fridge.

Enter………the Sunday Frittata!

A frittata is an easy baked egg dish that requires no crust and is a Read More…

The Best Maple Muffins

It’s Maple Season in New England! We use maple syrup in a lot of The Best Maple Muffinsour baking and cooking, not to mention on top of breakfast items, and love it when we run out right when the fresh stuff is coming from all those sugaring houses in the area. We were able to pick up a FRESH quart the other day and I have been in the baking mood ever since. We have usually done our own sugaring, but this year just didn’t have the time. Want to do your own sugaring at home? Check out my past blog post on sugaring where you will find a great book on the subject.

I have been craving muffins for some reason lately and thought that a classic maple and walnut muffin would be a perfect way to start off our Sunday morning!

This is a super simple recipe that uses real maple syrup in both the muffin batter and in the topping. These muffins are fluffy, moist, Read More…

Chewy Peanut Butter Banana Bars

We have been trying to eat healthier but we have had some intenseBanana Peanut Butter Bars cravings for something sweet lately so that is where this concoction came from. I always have some frozen ripe bananas in the freezer so recipes like this are a quick and easy fix when we need something on a weeknight to satisfy us. Nothing goes together like peanut butter and bananas, except maybe a little chocolate! These are terrific bars that go together super fast and make you feel like you are indulging but are actually getting some power from protein.

Toss all the ingredients together and bake for 25 minutes and you Read More…

Baked Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry

Who doesn’t love gooey, hot cheese? Especially with flaky breadBaked Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry filled with sweet cranberry sauce to dip in it! These baked brie’s always look so fancy but are actually really easy to make. They are perfect to bring to potlucks, parties, for holidays, and of course to have on a night in with family.

With only three ingredients (well okay, four if you count the melted butter), you can put together one of these in a snap but make it look good enough that people will think you’ve been in the kitchen for hours! Love those recipes as it is so much nicer to bring this amazing dish to share even though it takes just about the same time Read More…

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