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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…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I have to admit, I didn’t even wear green today and didn’t even notice until I had gotten to work. Ah well, we can’t all be on top of everything!

Irish Proverb Sea Glass

I have, however, been working on some cute Irish proverb sea glass art that I sent to some very Irish friends of mine! While some celebrate this day with food and beer, others hold more traditional 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…

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These are super quick and easy to make and are a big hit with kids! Peanut Butter Energy BallsThis is a “one-bowl recipe” which makes it simple, just throw everything in, mix, roll and done. Peanut butter is a great source of protein and with the added nuts and fun crunchy coating, these are perfect on the go. We like to make these for healthy snacking during the week but also take them with us when we hike, hunt, camp, or on long trips.

I love the combo that I have here as the cocoa powder helps tone down the peanut butter so it doesn’t over power the nuts and oats. The maple syrup gives them just enough sweetness that it really
feels like you are eating a candy ball but yet there is enough texture and packed protein and grains that leaves you feeling satisfied after only one or two of these which is helpful when you are trying to be good. You can make these energy balls and store them for up to a week in the refrigerator in a container. The other nice thing about this simple recipe is that you can change it up a bit depending upon your own tastes. I’ve used chunky peanut butter for extra crunch, Read More…

Better Than Pillsbury Dinner Rolls

I love making anything with yeast like bread, rolls, biscuits and Homemade Dinner Rollsmore. Why? Because of one of my favorite comfort smells! Baking bread with yeast fills the whole house with that warm fermented rich scent and brings back so many childhood kitchen memories. My grandma baked a lot of breads and my mom did too. One of my earliest kitchen tasks as a youngster was helping to knead the dough. A task I enjoyed and still do today. There is something about working with your hands and getting a ball of ingredients that barely held together to its elastic shiny state of that perfect, stretchy ball. I was impatient though, as the worst
part about baking yeast bread was having to wait while letting it rise, at least once, and sometimes twice. That is killer for a kid that just wants to dig in!

Good yeast bread or rolls do take some time. I’ve made some of the “quick” 30-minute rolls and while good, sometimes the best things are worth a little wait. These rolls take about an hour from start to finish so that isn’t too bad, even on a weeknight. They are one of my favorite recipes as the honey gives them a subtle¬†sweetness and yet they are super soft and fluffy!

My husband always says “these are better than Pillsbury” so that’s Read More…

Cranberry Pound Cake for Valentine’s Day

This is the sweetest gift to make your loved ones on Valentine’s Day, Cranberry Pound Cakeor for any special occasion! The buttery pound cake with the velvet cream cheese frosting and burst of tart red cranberries make this cake something special. I’ve actually made this cake around Christmas time as it has that festive white and red look that makes you want to pour a second cup of tea and eat it near the Christmas tree with your family. Even though it is a pound cake, it is quite light and a nice way to round out a family meal, dinner party, or even a romantic meal for you and your sweetheart. This cake and the easy frosting both stay well for a day Read More…

Easy Kit Kat Brownies

Can you make special brownies? That was a question recently asked Kit Kat Brownieof me and for a while, I wasn’t quite sure where they were going with that request. Turns out we just needed to get creative with some candy bars and some good old gooey brownies! This is a simple way to make some special brownies – these have a little extra chocolate (and who doesn’t love that) and a little surprise wafer crunch!

This is an easy way to turn brownies into a conversation piece as Read More…

Simple Italian Herb Pizza Dough

Who doesn’t love a good homemade pizza? As they say, it’s all in the Homemade pizza with Italian herb crustcrust. A crust will either make or break a pizza and with so many ways to make an okay one, here is a super simple recipe for an Italian herb pizza dough that will have everyone gathered at your house for pizza night! The dough doesn’t have to rise so it is perfect for those weeknight meals and the crust comes out soft and chewy. It only takes 15 minutes to make this Read More…

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