Category Archive:

How to Make A Heart-Shaped Cake

A Heart Shaped Cake at 1840 FarmThis time of year, everything seems to be heart-shaped.  From candies to baked goods and every sort of decorative item.  ‘Tis the season, I suppose.  Unfortunately, so many of these heart-shaped and Valentine’s Day themed projects, crafts, and recipes involve detailed steps and specialty supplies that I don’t have any use for until February 14th arrives again next year.

I prefer to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a much simpler, rustic manner.  That rustic sensibility makes this method for creating a heart-shaped cake one of my favorite ways to make something delicious for my Valentines.  With standard baking pans and a knife, you’ll have a beautifully shaped heart cake in moments.

The technique is amazingly simple and based much more on simple geometry than any special baking skills.  By dividing a round cake in half and joining it with a square-shaped cake turned on the diagonal, a heart is created.  It’s simple and extraordinary all in the same motion.  You’ll feel like a baking genius when the finished cake is presented in its perfect heart shape without anyone but you knowing the secret of its construction.

I like to use my cake recipe from our Chocolate Malt Cupcakes as the base for this cake.  It has a moist, dense crumb and a delicious flavor.  The malt flavor is subtle and pairs wonderfully with the chocolate.  It will be delicious frosted with our malted buttercream frosting, strawberry buttercream, or your favorite traditional buttercream.  I hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as we do year after year!

1. Using your favorite cake recipe, bake one square cake and one round cake. They should be similar in size, but can be trimmed before frosting if necessary.Making a heart shaped cake at 1840 Farm
2. Once the cakes are completely cool, use a sharp knife to divide the round cake in half. I like to use a serrated knife to make a clean cut without creating too many crumbs.Making a Heart Shaped Cake at 1840 Farm
3. Turn the square cake on the diagonal to represent a diamond. Place one half of the round cake on each of the top two sides of the diamond. Trim the cake if necessary to create the heart shape.

Frost and decorate the heart-shaped cake as you wish and marvel at your creation!
Making at Heart Shaped Cake at 1840 Farm

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Valentine’s Day Favorites at 1840 Farm

Valentine’s Day usually comes and goes in a flash.  This year, it falls on a Saturday during a three-day weekend here at 1840 Farm.  That seems like the perfect excuse to dust off all of our favorite Valentine’s Day recipes and enjoy each and every one of them before the holiday has passed us by.  For my Valentine, only chocolate will do.  Now I just have to decide which of our favorite recipes to bake!

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Book Review: The Kitchen Ecosystem

The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia BoneWe have been inundated with winter weather here at 1840 Farm this week. Winter Storm Juno dropped over 30 inches of fresh snow on our farm. The blizzard force winds blew it around enough for us to clean up the same snowflake at least a dozen times. While we waited for the storm to finally come to an end, I had the pleasure of discovering a lovely new cookbook. I find that paging through a cookbook is a wonderful way to pass the time when the weather outside is frightful!

The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia Bone was a fabulous read. The philosophy behind this book is simple: use the best seasonal ingredients, prepare for the seasons by preserving food when it is in season, and use every bit of the leftovers to make broths, sauces, and other delicious components for the next great dish. With over 400 beautifully illustrated recipes, this book is an amazing and inspiring resource for anyone who is trying to expand their seasonal, whole food based recipe collection.

I loved the style of this book. Rather than organizing the recipes by course or season, they are assembled by key ingredient. When I find myself deep in the heart of heirloom tomato season, I can simply turn to page 326 and find the entire collection of tomato based recipes that offer ways to enjoy them fresh, preserve them for later use, use the preserves to prepare meals, use the scraps, and a few other great ideas for using every last bit.  To liven up the collection, several cocktails are featured.Photo Jan 29, 11 21 29 AM

In all, there are 15 different suggestions for using tomatoes. As a gardener who looks forward to heirloom tomato season all year long, I can’t wait to try then all. There’s no need for me to wait at all as I can use our canned tomatoes from last year’s garden to make four great recipes in this cookbook. With our homegrown produce ready and waiting in the pantry, we can prepare any number of delicious, comforting dishes no matter the season. Using The Kitchen Ecosystem’s method of approaching seasonal eating, great food will never be out of season.

While I count the days until gardening season finally arrives, I’ll focus on what is in season and readily available at our local farmer’s markets and grocery stores. With ten recipes featuring oranges and 22 mushroom preparations, I will have plenty of delicious dishes to tide me over until spring!

You’ll find The Kitchen Ecosystem listed in our Amazon Affiliate shop along with a full collection of my favorite cookbooks. You can also learn more about the book and its author by visiting the publisher’s site.  If you’re on the hunt for a new great cookbook, you can read more of my cookbook reviews and recipes inspired by my favorite cookbooks.


The product reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge by the Blogging for Books Program in order to allow me to evaluate its use here at 1840 Farm. The book that I reviewed was sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to evaluate it. The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided. Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

Product reviews include my honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed. Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life. It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for our farm, might perform very well on yours.

For more information, please view our Disclosure Statement and Privacy Policy.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/01/book-review-the-kitchen-ecosystem/

Our Week in Photos – January 12, 2015

Photo Jan 16, 11 45 44 AMLast week was filled with time spent in the studio stitching up new baskets for our shop and dreaming of spring and gardening all the while.  It won’t be long until we can get back out in the garden and start planting the seeds that will become this year’s harvest.  Until then, I’ll be sharing more comforting recipes and stitching up more baskets for our shop!

 

These photos were added to our Instagram feed last week.  If you’d like to see these photos as they are added, follow us on Instagram.  We’ll hope to see you there!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/01/our-week-in-photos-january-12-2015/

A New Year and A New Perspective: The 100 Good Deeds and #DeedADay Project

DeedADayI’ve never been prone to setting resolutions when the calendar turns from one year to the next. Instead, I prefer to reflect on the year that has passed and the New Year and fresh start ahead. As I do, I usually set a few goals for myself, mapping a plan to learn a new skill or embark on adventure.

This year, I have a delightful reminder of the wonderful possibilities that lie ahead in the New Year thanks to my participation in The 100 Good Deeds and #DeedADay Project. That reminder is in the form of a beautiful handmade bracelet. These bracelets are crafted by women who live in uncertainty often due to a lack of viable opportunities in their home country. Many of them are HIV positive and have few options when it comes to supporting themselves and their families.

The 100 Good Deeds Project provides women living in Uganda, Zambia, South Africa, Rwanda, Haiti, Bali, India and New York the opportunity to learn a craft, earn a living, and to empower their spirit. Their work helps to support their families financially and makes them an integral part of a movement with a clear mission: to remind humans across the globe that our actions can make a difference and make the world a better place.

This movement’s beginning makes for an interesting story.  After spending a decade working with at risk women in Africa, Mary Fisher met Thomas Morgan. When Mary’s mission to empower women was paired with the family game that Thomas had created to inspire his family, the inspiration for the 100 Good Deeds Bracelet was born.  Thomas called it “The 100 Good Deeds Game”, and used it as a way to encourage his children to recognize the power in their everyday actions.  The bracelet provided a beautiful way to keep track of the actions that quality as a “good deed” . A good deed is an act that involves going out of your way to help someone else and must remain anonymous. The good deed is truly its own reward.Photo Dec 29, 9 40 08 AM

Each bracelet is hand-braided beginning with a fine nylon thread. Once the thread has been handcrafted, it is strung with exactly one hundred glass beads. Those beads are joined by a solitary rubber ring. The bracelet is adjustable and can be used to mark the wearer’s progress on a journey of self-discovery and awareness. Each time a good deed is done, the rubber ring is moved along the chain of beads, continuing on until 100 Good Deeds have been gifted to the world.

Each bracelet comes with a very personal touch in the form of the handwritten name and country of residence of the woman who crafted the piece with her own hands. In the case of my beautiful cherry red bracelet, I learned upon opening the package that Rose had created this bracelet in her home country of Haiti.

Her work will help to inspire me to remember that every action we take is important, that every step we choose has the power to improve our world. While I will never have the opportunity to meet Rose or compliment her handiwork in person, I hope somehow that she knows that her work has inspired me to try and do good deeds long after 2015 has come to an end..

I also hope that you will join me in The 100 Good Deeds and #DeedADay Project.  I invite you to embark on a shared journey to make the world a better place.  To join the #DeedADay movement, share one of the following images on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or your favorite social media using the hashtag #DeedADay and#1GD.  You can also tag the 100 Good Deeds Bracelet Project on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest so that they can see your posts and share them with their followers. You can even choose your own favorite #DeedADay image by visiting their online press release.

I’d love to see your posts, shares, and photos, so feel free to include 1840 Farm in them.  You can tag 1840 Farm on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, and Tumblr or leave a comment below with the link.  I can’t wait to see all of the posts, photos, and mentions of this fabulous project from The 1840 Farm Community.  Keep sharing and keep gifting your good deeds to the world!

DeedADay3DeedADay2 DeedADay

 


When I agreed to help promote this project, I was sent a 100 Good Deeds bracelet as a gift. Seeing a bracelet in person allowed me to share my own photos and opinions with you. 1840 Farm abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity.  

Samples of the products that I review are sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to use the product and evaluate it in person.  The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided.  Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

Product reviews will include our honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed.  Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed.  It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life.  It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for me or our farm, might perform very well for you.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/12/a-new-year-and-a-new-perspective-the-100-good-deeds-and-deedaday-project/

Warm Chickpea Salad


Photo Dec 16, 1 13 49 PMPhoto Dec 16, 1 13 27 PMDuring the busy holiday season, I find myself looking for recipes that are simple to prepare for our family table.  I find that this time of year is all about finding time to spend together and creating holiday memories that will last a lifetime.

While I may be short on time during the last month of the year, I still want to serve something full of comfort, flavor, and nourishment to my family. Creating a dish using pantry and refrigerator staples makes that a much simpler task.  It also allows me to spend more time with my family whether we’re gathered at the dinner table or finding ways to celebrate the season together.

When Mezzetta invited me to share a recipe using their products with the members of The 1840 Farm Community, I was thrilled.  We love their products and keep a supply of them in our pantry all year long.  I love to add them to recipes or serve them as part of our afternoon cheese course.

Warm Chickpea Salad is just that type of dish. It is delicious, full of flavor, and simple to prepare. It can be served as a main course with pita bread or chips and a green salad or as a side dish paired perfectly with grilled meats or a burger.  This warm salad is also perfect for entertaining and serving with appetizers or a cheese course.  When entertaining, I prepare a double batch and serve the remaining kalamata olives and Giardiniera to accompany the other nibbles we’ve prepared for our guests.

These ingredients work so well together that you can adjust the quantities to suit your taste or make use of what you happen to have on hand. I love the combination of the earthy chickpeas and hummus with the briny kalamata olives, smoky sweet roasted bell peppers, and the brightness of the crunchy cauliflower, carrots, and celery from the Giardiniera. Together, they combine to make a delicious dish that my family is happy to see during the holiday season and beyond!

Mezzetta Favorites Holiday Gift Basket

If you’d like to try Mezzetta products, then you’ll want to be sure to enter Mezzetta’s Daily Holiday Gift Basket Giveaway is going on now. They’re generously giving away a fabulous prize package each day during the month of December. To enter, visit Mezzetta and share one of your favorite holiday memories. Each day a winner will be selected at random. Prizes will be shipped within 2 weeks.

Mezzetta Favorites Holiday Gift Basket  includes:

  • 100% Italian Estate Grown Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Golden Greek Peperoncini
  • Garlic Stuffed Olives
  • Castelvetrano Olives
  • Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives
  • Roasted Marinated Red & Yellow Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Cocktail Onions
  • 1 Apron (from House Party contents)
  • 1 Metal Olive Spoon (from House Party contents)
  • 1 Tote Bag (from House Party contents)
  • 1 Ceramic Bowl

Warm Chickpea SaladWarm Chickpea Salad with Hummus at 1840 Farm

This recipe can be made using canned chickpeas or dried chickpeas that have been fully cooked. When using dried chickpeas, I like to cook them in the oven. Bring a large pot of water to boil in an oven safe pot with a lid. Boil the water on the stove top for five minutes before covering and transferring to a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven. Allow the chickpeas to cook until tender. The length of cooking time will vary slightly due to oven temperature and the age of the dried beans. I check the chickpeas after 60, 90, and 120 minutes, removing them from the oven when they are nearly tender. I allow the covered pot to sit on the stove top and cool to room temperature before using in any recipe that calls for chickpeas.

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced (or ½ teaspoon dried)
2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Mezzetta Roasted Bell Pepper halves, diced
12 Mezzetta Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives, halved
2 Tablespoons hummus
¼ cup Mezzetta Italian Mix Giardiniera, cut into bite sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
balsamic glaze to garnish
warm pita bread

Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, swirling to coat the bottom surface of the pan. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, approximately one minute. Add the chickpeas and cook for until warm, stirring to prevent sticking, approximately 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers, olives, and hummus, stirring to warm the hummus and coat all of the ingredients.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the Giardiniera and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic glaze and serve with toasted triangles of pita bread.

Mezzetta is offering a downloadable $.50 off coupon on any Mezzetta products. The coupon is located here and is available from December 1st through December 31st.

 

 


This recipe was sponsored by Mezzetta.  We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share one of our favorite brands with our readers.  1840 Farm abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity.  Compensation received from sponsors will not influence the topics or posts made on this blog.  Sponsored posts will be clearly labeled as such. Product reviews will include our honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed.  Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. Samples of the products that I review are sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to use the product and evaluate its performance.  The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided.  Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/12/warm-chickpea-salad/

Vitamix Pro 750 Passes the 1840 Farmhouse Test

For years, I have heard from professional and home cooks about the wonders of the Vitamix.  Chefs extol its virtues in their professional kitchens.  Home cooks like myself are just as taken with its abilities.  From their accounts, it seemed that there wasn’t anything that the Vitamix couldn’t handle.

Several weeks ago, our sponsor JL Hufford sent me a Vitamix Pro 750 to test in our 1840 Farmhouse kitchen.  Finally, I would be able to form my own opinion about the Vitamix.  From the moment I began to unpack the unit from its box, I was taken with the sturdy construction.  This is a very solidly constructed piece of equipment.

Once I had unpacked the Vitamix, it was time to put it to work in our kitchen.  First up was one of my son’s favorite beverages, our homemade take on the Orange Julius.  We’ve been making this recipe for years in our standard blender.  Unfortunately, we have never been able to achieve that frothy, smooth texture that we hoped for using our blender.  No matter how long we blended the ingredients, it just didn’t become a homogeneous mixture.VitamixOrangeSq

So, we gathered the ingredients, placed them in the Vitamix container, and selected the smoothie setting.  We turned on the power and watched as the ingredients were effortlessly transformed into that frothy, silky consistency that we had tried so hard to achieve in the past.  After pouring the mixture from the container, I added warm water and a touch of dish soap, returned the container to the base, and powered it on using the cleaning setting.  In moments, the unit was clean, needing only a quick rinse with fresh water to remove the soapy solution.

During that first week, we used the Vitamix Pro 750 to blend many other smoothies, soups, and liquids.  We made a recipe of our Smoky Chili Puree to flavor a batch of Black Bean Chili.  In seconds, the tomatoes and chilies in the container were pureed and smooth.  It was clear that liquids were no match for the VItamix.

Now that we had established the ability of the Vitamix to handle smoothies, sauces, and soups, it was time to move on to processing items that weren’t liquid based.  First up was a batch of pizza dough.  I would have never thought of making pizza dough in this machine before reading the extensive 350 page cookbook that was included in the package.  The Vitamix effortlessly transformed the ingredients into a smooth ball of pizza dough.

After pizza dough, I set out to make a family favorite using the Vitamix.  It was time to make a Gooey Butter Cake.  The Vitamix powered through the buttery crust without any trouble.  Next up was the gooey mixture of cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar.  I’ve made this recipe dozens of times, but both my stand mixer and food processor fail to create a completely smooth mixture.  No matter how long I allow the butter and cream cheese to come to room temperature, no matter how long I blend or process the ingredients, lumps are still present.

After placing the ingredients in the Vitamix container, I processed it on setting 3.  After the blade had stopped, I removed the lid to inspect the mixture.  It was completely velvety and smooth.  There wasn’t a single lump in sight.  The Vitamix had done what my blender, stand mixer, and food processor had failed to do.  It was official:  I was now a member of the contingent of cooks who believe that the Vitamix can handle anything.  This machine had passed the1840 Farmhouse test with flying colors.

I am very grateful that JL Hufford allowed me to put the Vitamix Pro 750 to the test.  It passed every challenge I gave it and earned my resounding seal of approval.  I’m even more grateful that they’re offering a special 10% savings on this amazing machine to the members of our 1840 Farm Community!  This is a limited time offer, so don’t delay.  If you’ve been dreaming of adding a Vitamix to your kitchen’s arsenal or giving one as a gift, this is an amazing opportunity to save.

Visit JL Hufford and enter the coupon code “skyhigh10″ to save 10% on your purchase of the Vitamix Pro 750 until 12/14/14.  I hope that you’ll take advantage of this amazing savings and then you’ll share with me what delicious dishes you’re making using your new Vitamix.  Until then, here are the recipes that we tested with our Vitamix.  Enjoy!

OrangeGeniusSqSmokyChiliSq

PizzaDoughSqGooeyButterSq

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/12/vitamixpro750/

Pie Crust Tips

Berry Pie at 1840 FarmIf you’ve been following this blog for very long, you know how much I love pie.  I was fortunate to grow up with a Grandmother who loved to bake pie.  She loved to serve me and the other members of our family one of her pies.  Now I find myself making homemade pies for my family and our friends.

I don’t have my Grandmother’s recipe.  In fact, I doubt that she had a recipe that was written down on paper.  She cooked and baked by feel, adding a bit of this or a bit of that.  She had been honing her skills for decades, recipes were no longer necessary by the time I was sitting in the kitchen watching her work her magic.

Pie was one of the first dishes that I taught myself to make.  I wanted so badly to master that flaky, delicious crust that my Grandmother had seemed to make so effortlessly.  I tried in vain, turning out pies that had tough, chewy dough where I had hoped that the light, flaky crust would be.

With each pie, my skills improved.  Along the way, I picked up a few tricks that have helped me to make flaky, light pie crusts without fail.  It seemed only fair for me to share a few of those tips with you.  I hope that you’ll find them helpful and that you’ll be enjoying a delicious homemade pie with your family this holiday season.

Pie Crust Tip 01

 

Pie Crust Tip 02

 

Pie Crust Tip 03

 

Pie Crust Tip 04

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/11/pie-crust-tips/

Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese FillingWhen fall arrives at our house, baked goods turn to pumpkin in every form from pumpkin pie to pumpkin bars with dark chocolate chips. This recipe leans more toward the old-fashioned end of the spectrum, but the cream cheese filling elevates it to a family favorite at our house. 

If you’re looking for a Thanksgiving dessert that can be made ahead, this is a beautiful and delicious alternative to pumpkin pie.  I love pie, but a slice of this delicious cake is almost impossible to turn down!

Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

When rolling this cake (or any other), I like to use a powdered sugar dusted tea towel and a rolling pin wrapped in a small piece of parchment paper.  I find that the tea towel helps to retain some of the moisture as the cake cools and also prevents the cooling cake from sticking to itself.  Using a rolling pin in the center helps to prevent the cake from breaking as it is formed into the rolled shape. 

Pumpkin Cake Roll

5 eggs
3/4
cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt

Cream Cheese Filling

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 ounces butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position baking rack in the middle of the oven. Line a sheet pan or jelly roll pan with a Silpat liner or parchment paper.  In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and sea salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, whisk the eggs and both sugars until well combined. Add vanilla extract and pumpkin puree and stir until smooth. Add thePumpkin Cake Roll dry ingredients and fold until just combined.

Pour the smooth batter into the prepared baking sheet. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter until it is evenly distributed in the pan. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven.

Bake the cake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only crumbs attached.  Remove the cake from oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle a clean tea towel with powdered sugar to help prevent sticking. Carefully turn the cake onto the tea towel and allow to cool another ten minutes. Place a rolling pin on top of the cake and gently roll the cake around the pin in the towel. Alow to cool completely.

As the cake cools, prepare the cream cheese filling. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Set aside until the cake is completely cool.

Carefully unroll the cooled cake and spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the cake. Using the towel, gently roll the cake.  Wrap the roll in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator at least one hour. Slice and serve sprinkled with powdered sugar if desired.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/11/pumpkin-cake-roll-with-cream-cheese-filling/

Cast Iron Skillet Thanksgiving Dressing

1840 Farm Cast Iron Skillet Thanksgiving DressingOf all the dishes that make an annual appearance on our Thanksgiving table, this is the hands down favorite. Everyone clamors for this dressing as soon as it exits the oven. As it bakes, the farmhouse is infused with the intoxicating aroma of toasting bread, celery, and savory spices. It’s no wonder we all love this comforting, hearty side dish so much.

BriocheI like to prepare our dressing in an oversized, deep-dish cast iron skillet or Dutch Oven. It allows me to prepare the entire dish in a single pan, saving me the trouble of washing extra dishes on a day when dirty dishes seem to multiply at an alarming rate. The cast iron also creates the most delicious and beautiful caramelized layer on the bread cubes that are on the bottom and sides of the pan.

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet large enough to hold the dressing, you can use an oven ready skillet or casserole dish brushed with a bit of butter to prevent sticking. You can also cut this recipe in half in order to fit it comfortably in a standard 10 inch cast iron skillet.

I love to use a few loaves of our favorite 1840 Farmhouse Brioche bread for this stuffing, but two standard sized loaves of any type of bread can be substituted. I have tested the recipe using loaves of stuffing bread from our local grocery store with very good results. While the homemade bread was a bit more flavorful and rustic, both versions were delicious and beautiful.

No matter the loaf of bread you use or type of vessel you choose to bake the dressing in, the end result will be comforting and delicious. Our family’s favorite dressing is sure to please the diners gathered around your Thanksgiving table.

Photo Nov 21, 10 02 06 AM

1840 Farm Cast Iron Skillet Thanksgiving Dressing

This recipe was adapted from Artichoke, Sausage, and Parmesan Stuffing which appeared in the November 2002 issue of Bon Appétit  Magazine.  As soon as I read the ingredients, I knew that I had to try it!
makes 8 side dish servings

2 pounds bread (1840 Farmhouse Brioche)
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
2 large onions, chopped
1 leek (white and light green parts only), sliced and washed to remove grit
1 cup chopped celery stalks and leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
1 Tablespoon fresh sage
1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
2 cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup chicken broth (more as needed)
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the bread by slicing the loaves into 1 inch thick slices before dividing each slice into 1 inch cubes. Place the cubes in a single layer on two large baking sheets. Transfer the bread cubes to the warm oven and toast for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The goal is to dry and toast the cubes without drying them to the point that they resemble croutons. Remove the toasted cubes from the oven and allow them to cool. If desired, the bread cubes can be toasted the day before and kept at room temperature until needed.

Heat your large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the pan and cook, using a large spoon or fork to break the sausage into bite-sized pieces. This will allow the sausage to be evenly distributed in the finished dish.

When the sausage is no longer pink, add the onions, washed leeks, and celery to the pan. Incorporating the celery leaves will add a boost of celery flavor to the dish as the leaves have a more concentrated flavor than the stalks. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the celery begins to soften and the onions become translucent.

Prepare the aromatics as the sausage and onion mixture sautés. Mince the garlic with the rosemary and sage before adding them to the pan along with the fennel seeds and drained artichoke hearts. Cook until warmed through, stirring to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.

Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, and broth, stirring to combine. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and add more broth to moisten if necessary. Transfer the entire mixture to the cast iron pan or your chosen baking dish.   Top with remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese. Cover the pan with a piece of buttered aluminum foil, placing the buttered side down on the surface of the dressing.

Place the pan in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/11/cast-iron-skillet-thanksgiving-dressing/

Book Review: The Nourished Kitchen

The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGrutherI first became aware of The Nourished Kitchen and its author Jennifer McGruther through their blog.  As a student in the Intermediate Herbal Course offered by The Herbal Academy of New England, I was searching for a few new recipes to try.  One of the first I discovered was a recipe for Golden Milk that included turmeric and ginger.  I couldn’t wait to give it a try, but somehow the recipe ended up in a deep pile of recipes I was hoping to get to.

I had almost forgotten about  the recipe when a beautiful cookbook and a bag of organic turmeric arrived on our front porch on the same day.  Suddenly, making golden milk rocketed right to the top of my  recipe to do list. I’m so glad that it did.  I have been enjoying Golden Milk with Turmeric, Ginger, and Ghee on chilly mornings and afternoons this fall.  With each sip, I am surprised by the amount of flavor that these humble ingredients create when used together.

While the recipe for golden milk does not appear in The Nourished Kitchen’s cookbook, there are over 160 detailed recipes.  The photos are stunning from the front cover all the way through to the glossary.  In addition to the innovative recipes and beautiful photographs, I was taken with Jennifer McGruther’s food philosophy.  She refers to it as the “traditional foods movement” and makes the case for reducing the amount of processed food in our diet while choosing whole foods in the form of pasture raised meats, dairy, grains, and fermented foods.

The Nourished Kitchen includes recipes for each season of the year and a variety of sources from the garden to the wild, pasture, orchard, and larder.  There are dozens of recipes that I can’t wait to try.  From the Eggs Poached in Fiery Tomato Sauce, to Pan Seared Halibut with Melted Cherry Tomatoes and Tarragon.  I have the recipe for Cucumber Salad with Dill and Kefir bookmarked for next summer when our heirloom cucumber harvest is at its peak.

The cookbook also includes extensive instructions for making sourdough breads using a homemade starter.  The chapter entitled “From the Wild” includes proteins prized by hunters along with greens and mushrooms sought after by foragers. Produce fresh from the orchard serves as the inspiration for a collection of pies, stewed fruits, custards, and ice creams.

The chapter on the larder could keep me busy all year long.  I can’t decide which of the fermented recipes to attempt first.  I’m taken with the recipes for pickles, sauerkraut, water kefir, and ginger beer.  I’m willing to bet that I won’t be able to go wrong with any of them.  Don’t worry, I’ll share my progress with you right here on our blog and on Facebook and Instagram!

 


The product reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge by the Blogging for Books Program in order to allow me to evaluate its use here at 1840 Farm. The book that I reviewed was sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to evaluate it. The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided. Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

Product reviews include my honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed. Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life. It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for our farm, might perform very well on yours.

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/11/book-review-the-nourished-kitchen/

Introducing In Season Magazine

In Season MagazineRemember the exciting project that I hinted at last week? Are you ready to know what we’ve been working on? This is our most ambitious project ever, filled with delightful possibilities that I can’t wait to share with you.

For the last few months, I have been working with our friends at Fresh Eggs Daily and Happy Days Farm. Together, we’re proud to introduce you to In Season Magazine, a collaborative project that will allow us to share the best seasonal content with our readers.

In Season Magazine will have the look and feel that you’ve come to love from 1840 Farm. Each issue will allow us to share more of what is happening here on our farm and in the homes and farms of the other contributors.

Our quarterly publication will make its official debut in 2015. Luckily, you have a back stage pass and don’t need to wait nearly that long. We’ll be publishing a special Holiday Issue of In Season Magazine in November.

The Holiday Issue will include our favorite holiday recipes, DIY projects, and a gift guide filled to the brim with our favorite products. We’re hoping that this Holiday Issue will give you a taste of what’s in store for our subscribers in 2015.

We’re also hoping that you’ll be an active participant in our project. We want to know what kind of content you would like to see in the pages of our magazine. We will work to incorporate your ideas into each issue. We hope that you will help us to shape In Season Magazine into a publication that you’ll be excited to read and we’ll be proud to publish.

You can learn more about In Season Magazine by visiting our online preview and adding your name to our growing list of subscribers. We’re hard at work developing the Holiday Issue and our subscribers will be the first to know when it is ready to share.

In the meantime, you can share your ideas by leaving a comment or sending us an Email.  We’ll work to incorporate them into the Holiday Issue and our seasonal issues next year. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for The 1840 Farm Community and In Season Magazine’s readers in 2015!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/11/introducing-in-season-magazine/

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