26 January 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

Just a quick post here.  So remember how I said I have more time for baking during the winter?  I decided to surprise Jenn with one of her favorite things this morning....Cinnamon Rolls.  Not sure how I like them though....they're yummy enough, but I think I would adjust the recipe based on the air in the house.  Since our air inside is drier with the wood stove on, I may add an extra egg or more oil to the recipe next time.  Jenn said hers was perfect, but I thought mine was dry.  This recipe was for my bread machine on the dough only cycle, so it could just as easily be done by hand, only you'd have to mix and knead by hand, allow to rise until doubled in bulk about an hour or so, then punch down and knead again for 1/2 a minute, let rest for 10 minutes (all rest/rising periods are covered with plastic wrap and kept away from drafts) and follow directions as below.

25 January 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside....

It's snowing a little bit today.  Fine, misty, white flakes drifting through the air.  It's cold too, though not as cold as it was the last few days.  28 degrees today....it was in the single digits the last few days.  We've got the woodstove going in the house .....it's on pretty much all the time so we don't have to use fuel oil very much. 

While I miss the summer months of growing, harvesting and selling and dislike the cold, I do enjoy being home and not having to run everywhere this time of year.  I have time to visit with family that lives far away.  There's more time to spend with Jennifer in a mom & daughter kind of way...shopping, movies and of course, Jennifer's music.  Winter days are spent quietly (hopefully quietly) also catching up on bookwork, tidying the house and cooking and baking.  Things I don't get to do during our growing season. 

Jennifer decided to join the school's cheer team this year, so lately we've been attending some of the basketball games at school.  Last fall it was the football games.  That's been fun....and her cheer team is very talented, what with all the stunts they do and such.

Chuck has been working on equipment repairs and readying tractors for the next season.  It's nice because he comes home earlier in the winter and we actually get to eat dinner together, enjoy the fire and maybe a glass or two of wine.  Today, he's getting the truck ready in case he needs it to plow...though there's not much accumulation and it's been snowing since about noon.

About this time of year we start pouring over all the seed catalogs looking for new items to grow for the upcoming marketing season.  We grow a lot of staples, such as green beans, melons, cucumbers, lettuces, kale, collard greens, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, summer and winter squash.  I also like to have a few other things we don't normally do.  This past season we added cut herbs to our offerings.  The Basil was a huge hit as was the Rosemary and Cilantro.  The Cilantro was very finicky and production was sporadic with that herb.  Once it hits a certain point, or if it gets hot or too stressed in any way, it tends to bolt (go to seed) quickly and then it's not really saleable.  We also grew Sugar Snap Peas this past season in the greenhouse.  They were super yummy, as one customer called it "addictive like crack." ;-)  I think we'll grow them again this year, but maybe outdoors early on so they don't tie up so much greenhouse space.

We actually started off doing some indoor markets this fall/winter, but had difficulties holding crops during the prolonged, sub-zero temperatures.  Now we're starting from scratch again and hope to return soon to the markets...but only on Saturdays for now.  We've got the hardier crops started again such as kale, collards, spinach and our own salad mix. 

We welcome comments and suggestions, so if you follow us at the markets, please let us know either by commenting here or contacting us through our farm website.  Enjoy your winter weekend friends, wherever it may lead you!

22 January 2014

Homemade Granola Bars

I was at the grocery store last night picking up a few staples...onions, potatoes, etc.  I wanted to get a few items to snack on at home and for school lunches.  I'm so tired of the same old things and there are so many preservatives in everything.  There are some things that you don't think are in there too, but the manufacturers disguise them under different names.  Take MSG for example....many of us know it's not good for us and try to avoid it.  It gives me headaches, as does Aspartame.  But did you know that something can say "MSG Free" and still have MSG in it?  It may be written as "Autolyzed Yeast" or "Autolyzed Protein" or some other name...there are lots of them.  Even processed organic foods can have these things in them!  For a great informational read, check out The Elephant Journal .

So back to my shopping....I got the great idea to make my own granola bars instead of buying them at the store. I figured it had to be relatively easy.  This morning, I did a search for homemade granola bars and found this great recipe which I can't wait to try!  It received a large amount of great reviews and the recipe is simple to adjust using other ingredients you may already have on hand.  It's from Ina Garten of Food Network...which I love!  Check it out....

Homemade Granola Bars on the Food Network

15 January 2014

New Blog to Follow!

So last year was very hectic for my family and I.  Meanwhile, my "Aunt" started a new blog after retiring from the TV industry.  I really wanted to read her new blog, especially after hearing about all the rewards and recognition she had received for it.  Finally today I got to sit down and check it out.  OMG  I love it and I didn't know she had such a sense of humor....we don't get to see each other often enough. 
So check it out and feel free to drop a comment or two.  There's lots of great recipes and hilarious humor...


Love you Amy!