Category Archive: Bookshelf

Farmhouse Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies and a Cookbook Review

Farmhouse Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies at 1840 FarmI have long believed that any day can be made better with a homemade cookie.  If the cookie happens to a perfectly made chocolate chip cookie still warm from the oven, all the better.  While I make many different types of cookies in our farmhouse kitchen, this chocolate chip cookie recipe is hands down our favorite.Cookie Love

This recipe was inspired by a cookbook I was sent to review for our readers.  I was ready to love this book immediately based on the delicious cookies shown on the cover.  Any book titled “Cookie Love” has my attention from the first page.

Cookie Love by Mindy Segal and Kate Leahy is filled with 60 intriguing cookie recipes from drop cookies to shortbread, sandwich, rugelach, and bars.  These aren’t the same recipes you’ve seen over and over again.  When I turned to page 23 and discovered a recipe for Smoky Bacon Candy Bar Cookies, I stopped in my tracks.

When I accept a cookbook to review, I like to select a recipe to test before sharing the cookbook with you.  To me, it seems like the best way for me to review a cookbook.   If the recipe doesn’t have clear instructions or produces something that doesn’t pass my family’s taste test, I don’t feel like I can encourage you to add it to your cookbook collection.

So, as I read through Cookie Love, I gave thought to which recipe I should choose for my review.  Smoky Bacon Candy Bar Cookies were definitely on the list, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand.  A recipe for homemade Milanos definitely caught my eye.  Due to food allergies, my family can’t safely purchase the store bought version, so making a homemade take on these classics was very appealing.  There were so many beautiful photos of scrumptious looking cookies that it was a very difficult task to choose the first recipe to attempt.

WonderMixCookiesWMIn the end, I went with the Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie.  I was drawn to the story behind this recipe and the fact that my family would be sure to enjoy taste testing a batch of chocolate chip cookies.   I was right.  They loved these cookies and happily tasted one after another before giving them a collective thumbs up.

Since then, I have adjusted the recipe slightly, adding more of our homemade vanilla extract to deepen the vanilla flavor and reducing the salt called for in the original recipe.  I also like to reduce the baking temperature and slightly increase the baking time.  Doing so encourages the butter in the dough to melt a bit, spreading out to create a cookie that is thin and crisp around the edge and soft and chewy in the middle. 

These cookies are so popular with my family, that I keep our freezer stocked with balls of cookie dough that can be baked at a moment’s notice.   I allow the frozen dough to warm up as the oven preheats and then pop them in the oven.  With a few extra minutes added to the baking time, the cookies are perfectly baked and we can enjoy warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies in less than 20 minutes.

Cookie Love also includes helpful tips for choosing ingredients, mixing, shaping, and baking cookies.  I can’t wait to try a few more recipes here in the farmhouse kitchen.  Now I just have to decide which recipe to try next!

You’ll find Cookie Love 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.

Farmhouse Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 36
I like to use bittersweet chocolate chips in this recipe, but you can substitute your favorite chocolate chips or chunks. I often replace ½ - 1 cup of the All-purpose flour with an equal amount of our home milled whole wheat flour. The freshly milled flour adds a lovely bit of texture and earthly flavor to the finished cookies.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup (8 ounces) butter, softened and cubed
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 cup brown sugar
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  6. 2 ½ cups All-purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  9. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  10. 8 ounces (2 generous cups) chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Place the cubed butter in the bowl of your mixer fitted with a paddle or dough beaters. Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds, until the butter begins to smooth out a bit. Add the sugar and brown sugar before beating on medium speed until the mixture is completely smooth, approximately 2-4 minutes.
  2. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the bowl and beat on low for a 10-20 seconds, just until combined. The batter may break up a bit, but don’t worry. It will come together when the dry ingredients are worked into the mix. Scrape down the bowl and beaters if necessary to gather the batter together before continuing.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and chocolate chips. Stir to mix the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in one addition to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients have completely integrated into the dough. This should only take 30-60 seconds depending on the strength of your mixer. Take great care not to overmix the dough. Mixing develops the gluten in the flour and overmixing will encourage the dough to become tough.
  5. Transfer the dough to a covered container for storage in the refrigerator. Allow the dough to chill for a few hours or overnight. I often make a batch of dough and keep it in the refrigerator, baking a single evening’s cookies each night. Portioned balls of dough can also be frozen on a small tray and then transferred to a freezer bag for long term storage. Frozen dough can be baked by simply adding a few minutes to the baking time.
  6. When you are ready to bake some or all of the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and position the oven racks to the top and bottom third of your oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a Silpat style liner.
  7. Create balls of dough using heaping 1 ½ Tablespoons (approximately 1 ounce or so). Place six balls on each baking sheet, spacing evenly to prevent the cookies from touching as they bake. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until the cookies have flattened and browned. Rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time will help to ensure that the cookies are evenly baked.
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven, allowing them to cool for a few minutes. As with any cookie, these are even more delicious when eaten while still warm with a cup of coffee or cold glass of milk.
Notes
  1. Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Dough can be refrigerated for one week and frozen for several months.
Adapted from Cookie Love by Mindy Segal with Kate Leahy
1840farm.com http://1840farm.com/

 Farmhouse Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookies Group


 

The book 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/2016/04/farmhouse-kitchen-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Book Review – Clean Slate: A Cookbook and Guide

Clean SlateWhen Clean Slate:  A Cookbook and Guide from the editors of Martha Stewart Living arrived in my mailbox, I couldn’t wait to give it a read.  Once I had, I couldn’t wait to get in the farmhouse kitchen to create a few of the delicious recipes it includes.

This book goes far beyond the reach of a standard cookbook.  Instead, it is a comprehensive primer on integrating fresh, whole foods into your diet.  The first section of the book contains nearly 70 pages of information about specific ingredients, suggestions for healthy flavor boosters, and detailed menu plans.

Once I progressed past that extensive information, I found myself at part two which was filled with more than 160 recipes.  The recipes were well written, easy to follow, and accompanied by gorgeous photos.  They were also clearly labeled with regard to four key categories:  vegan, dairy-free, not-free, and gluten-free.  As a person who cooks around food allergies every day, I appreciated these designations.  Each recipe looked more delicious than the last.  My biggest struggle was trying to decide which one I should try first.

I can’t wait to try the recipe for Poached Eggs with Roasted Tomatoes this summer when we have fresh heirloom tomatoes in our garden.  Until then, I decided to begin with the recipe for Swiss Chard Salad with Poached Egg.  Armed with a beautiful bunch of swiss chard from our local market and eggs fresh from our hens, I headed to the farmhouse kitchen to make myself a delicious and healthy lunch.Swiss Chard with Poached Egg

The recipe was easy to follow and included instructions for poaching the egg.  In less than 30 minutes, I had a beautiful plate of swiss chard ribbons topped with a light vinaigrette and a beautifully poached fresh egg.  It looked so amazing that I couldn’t wait to take the first bite, digging in without remembering to take a picture.  The salad was bright and fresh, perfectly paired with the richness of the fresh egg.  This is a dish that I will turn to often when our swiss chard is ready to harvest in this year’s garden.

I can’t wait to try another handful of recipes in this book.  Cauliflower “Rice” is intriguing and sounds delicious.  Roasted Mushroom Tartines with Avocado will be lovely when served with alongside our Sliced Radish Tartines this spring.  As soon as local strawberries are in season, I will definitely be making a batch of the No Bake Oat Bars with Strawberries.

You’ll find Clean Slate:  A Cookbook and Guide 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/2015/04/book-review-clean-slate-a-cookbook-and-guide/

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/

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.

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

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

Book Review – Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails

Photo Aug 31, 6 35 22 PM

When I was offered the opportunity to review a beautiful new book about seasonal, handcrafted cocktails, I didn’t need to be asked twice.  Instead, I jumped at the chance to take a look at Shake:  A New Perspective on Cocktails by Eric Prum and Josh Williams.  I was already a fan of their Mason Shaker and couldn’t wait to read more about their inspiration to create a cocktail shaker with the Farmhouse Style that I love.  The promise of an entire book of cocktails created to celebrate each season of the year definitely caught my attention.

When the book arrived, I was not disappointed.  The photographs throughout the book are stunning.  They highlight the cocktails, the simple tools used to create them, and the seasonal ingredients that inspired them.  The photos inspired me to want to make every cocktail in the book.  Each one seemed to be more beautiful and interesting than the last.

It wasn’t just the photographs that appealed to me.  I loved the style of this book.  It was best summed up by this line which appears on the title page.  “Cocktails should be fun. Cocktails should be simple.  Cocktails should be social.”  I couldn’t agree more.  While a delicious cocktail is a wonderful way to celebrate the day, it’s certainly more enjoyable with a equal parts of fun, simplicity, and friends.

Photo Sep 12, 11 14 06 AM

I’m drawn to anything that highlights what is fresh and seasonal throughout the year.  That’s our goal here at 1840 Farm:  to enjoy what is at its seasonal best all year long.  I don’t think that I have ever had the pleasure to peruse a book about cocktails that did the same.  Sure, there are plenty of frozen drinks for the heat of the summer.  Yet I have never encountered a book that so clearly gave consideration to the four seasons when creating each cocktail.

In this book, you’ll find winter drinks featuring sage alongside a recipe for ‘Nog that I can’t wait to try once our New England winter roars in.  The fall cocktails highlight apples and spicy fall flavors.  Spring is represented with fresh berries, blooms, and herbs.  While summer might seem like the easiest season to pack full of standard cocktails we’ve seen a million times before, prepare to be amazed.  Instead, the summer cocktails in this book are innovative twists on old favorites and completely unique cocktails that would be the perfect way to spend a summer’s day right outside on our farmhouse porch.

I can’t wait to work my way through this book, taking it a season at a time.  As we celebrate the last weeks of summer and watch the leaves begin to turn and the temperatures begin to drop, I wanted to work at least one great summer cocktail into the season.  We love bourbon, so the recipe for The Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour seemed like the perfect place to start.

So, on a Sunday afternoon, we gathered Shake, the Mason Shaker, our favorite bourbon, and a healthy dose of rosemary fresh from the garden.  We followed the simple steps to create this beautiful cocktail and toasted a great summer and growing season here on the farm.  The drink was delicious and perfect for the occasion.

I think that you’ll find that the cocktail recipes in this book will be a welcome companion to your celebration of each season of the year.  You don’t need to take my word for it.  You can catch a glimpse of their great content by following Mason Shaker on Facebook and Instagram.  They constantly infuse my newsfeed with beautiful photos, interesting articles, and fantastic cocktail recipes.

I couldn’t wait to share the recipe for the first cocktail that we enjoyed from this fantastic book.  There’s still plenty of daylight in our summer to enjoy one (or two) of these.  Cheers!

The Rosemary Maple Bourbon SourPhoto Aug 31, 4 11 01 PM
makes two drinks

3 shots bourbon (we used Buffalo Trace)
1 1/2 shots freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 shot dark amber maple syrup
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary for garnish
2 slices fresh lemon for garnish

Crush the large sprig of rosemary in your hand and add it to the Mason Shaker.

Add the bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup and ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.

Strain the mixture into rocks glasses containing large cubes of ice and garnish with remaining rosemary sprigs.

 


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/2014/09/book-review-shake/

Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake

Strawberry and Rhubarb at 1840 FarmWe have been enjoying this cake all spring as our rhubarb is harvested fresh from the garden.  You’ll find the recipe for the crumble below so that you can bake it for your friends and family.

The other two recipes in my article are equally delicious.  I was inspired to add fresh strawberries to my family’s favorite scone recipe after reading Honey & Oats: Everyday Favorites Baked with Whole Grains and Natural Sweeteners by Jennifer Katzinger. The results were fantastic. In fact, these scones were such a hit that they have become our favorite scone recipe.  I can’t wait to try a few of the delicious looking recipes from this cookbook.

When making my family’s favorite Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble, I used my favorite brand of cinnamon, Flavor of the Earth Ceylon Cinnamon.  Unlike most of the cinnamon I find in the grocery store, this cinnamon powder is freshly ground from 100% real cinnamon bark. Flavor the Earth June Giveaway at 1840 FarmCeylon Cinnamon has an amazing flavor and is a great source of Manganese, Fiber, Calcium and Iron.

This cake is the perfect way to enjoy the amazing flavor of fresh rhubarb and strawberries all year-long. Long after the season has ended, I can prepare delicious recipes that highlight the delicious flavor of rhubarb and strawberries.

Rhubarb freezes incredibly well, so I stock the freezer with plenty of rhubarb to last all winter long in our favorite baking recipes. Each year, I harvest ripe stalks of rhubarb before washing and slicing into ½ inch pieces. I place them in a single layer on a small sheet pan in the freezer and leave them to freeze overnight. Once they are frozen solid, I transfer them to a freezer bag for long-term storage.

While rhubarb freezes well, I prefer to utilize our homemade strawberry jam rather than freeze the strawberries. By using jam, I can control the amount of liquid in the recipe and create a fruit filling that has a beautiful appearance and consistency. When combined with the rhubarb, brown butter, and oats, the results are delicious.

I hope that your friends and family will enjoy this delicious seasonal treat as much as we do here at 1840 Farm!

Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake
makes 6-8 servings

1 ½ cups (6 ounces) rhubarb, cut into ½ inch slicesRhubarb Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake at 1840 Farm
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (2 ounces) strawberry jam
1 ½ cups (180 grams) All-purpose flour
1 cup (80 grams) old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup (120 grams) brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons (6 ounces) butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly butter an 8 inch springform pan.  Set aside.

Wash and trim the rhubarb stalks. Slice each stalk into ½ inch pieces and place them in a medium bowl. Add the cornstarch and toss gently to coat the rhubarb.

Make the brown butter. In a small skillet, melt the 2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. After the butter melts, you will notice that the milk solids will begin to separate.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally to allow those solids to brown slightly.  You will notice a slight change in color and aroma.  Brown butter has a slightly nutty aroma which will signal that the solids have caramelized and that the brown butter has finished cooking. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and strawberry jam to the warm skillet. Stir gently to fully combine the ingredients before adding them to the bowl with the rhubarb. Stir to coat the rhubarb with the brown butter mixture. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, add the butter gradually. Add the vanilla extract and process until the mixture comes together and forms large clumps.

Transfer two thirds of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Press the mixture lightly to form a crust that completely covers the bottom the pan.  Stir the rhubarb strawberry mixture and pour over the crust, spreading to cover evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture evenly on top of the fruit filling.

Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the crumble in the preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes until the topping has browned lightly and the fruit filling has thickened.  Remove from the oven to cool. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.


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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/06/rhubarb-and-strawberry-brown-butter-crumble-cake/

Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to review the new cookbook, Put An Egg On It by Lara Ferroni.  It was filled with fantastic recipes featuring one of my favorite foods:  eggs.  I loved it so much that I was thrilled to be presented with the chance to review a second cookbook from the Sasquatch Books catalog.  I was even more excited when I learned that it was a cookbook that focused on the use of one of my favorite tools in the kitchen:  a cast iron pan.

The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne contains over 90 recipes that all utilize a cast iron skillet.  These recipes represent the full range of dishes from breakfast fare to hearty dishes to serve at your family’s dinner table.  This beautiful book also includes helpful information to guide readers through the process of selecting a cast iron skillet, seasoning its surface, and caring for it properly.

The recipe featured on the cover caught my attention right away.  The pecan sticky buns looked amazing in the pan and on the plate.  I couldn’t wait to open the cover and read the recipe.  After I had read that recipe, I continued on through the entrees, vegetables and sides, and delectable looking desserts.

All of the recipes looked delicious, but I was drawn to the idea of making my family’s favorite cinnamon rolls in our own cast iron skillet before diving in and trying a new recipe.  I wondered if using my favorite pan would make any difference in the cinnamon rolls I was planning to serve for dinner.

After the first bite, my family proclaimed that these were the most delicious cinnamon rolls that I had ever made.  As dinner went on, so did their happy comments.  By the time the last bite had been enjoyed, they were all inquiring about when I would be making these Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce again.

I promised that I would make this recipe again soon.  I want to share the recipe with you first so that you can make them yourself.  These cinnamon rolls are delicious and sure to delight your friends and family.

 

Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
serves 4-6

I like to use our WonderMill to mill our own organic, non-GMO flour for this recipe, but there’s no need to pass up making these rolls if you don’t have the ability to mill your own flour. You can substitute high quality whole wheat flour or All-purpose flour. 

I find that adding Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer helps to create lighter dough and improve the overall texture of the rolls.  If you don’t have it on hand, you can simply omit it from the recipe.  The resulting recipe will still be absolutely delicious. You can learn more about the dough enhancer in my recipe for our Farmhouse Country Loaf.

Dough
¼ cup (2 ounces) warm water
1 Tablespoon (20 grams) molasses
1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup (2 ounces) warm milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups (240 grams) All-purpose flour
1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, cut into small cubes

Bourbon Caramel Sauce
½ cup (96 grams) brown sugar
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon bourbon

Filling
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, softened
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.  If you don’t have a proofer, you can provide the dough with a warm, draft free location to rise.  Additional time may be necessary for the dough to rise sufficiently, but the cinnamon rolls will taste equally delicious.

In a large bowl, combine the warm water and molasses, stirring to dissolve the molasses.  Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and set aside to bloom as you measure the dry ingredients, approximately five minutes.

Measure and combine the flour, dough enhancer, and salt in a bowl.  Use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients and evenly distribute the salt throughout the flour.

When the five minutes have elapsed, whisk the liquid ingredients and then add the warm milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Whisk until the eggs are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

Add the dry ingredients in one addition to the yeast mixture.  Use a dough hook on a stand mixer or a wooden spoon, mix until a shaggy dough forms.  If you are using a stand mixer, continue to mix the dough on the lowest setting for 5 minutes or until a smooth, elastic dough forms before beginning to add the butter slowly.  Add the butter a piece at a time, allowing the mixer to work the dough between each addition.  Continue to mix until all of the butter is incorporated into the dough.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been brushed with butter or oil.  Place the dough in the warm proofer or a draft free spot to rest and rise for approximately 60 minutes.  Remove the dough from the bowl and knead lightly before returning the dough to the bowl to rise for another 60 minutes or until doubled in size.

As the dough is rising for a second time, prepare the bourbon caramel sauce.  Add the brown sugar, butter, honey, maple syrup, and bourbon to an 8 inch or 10 inch cast iron skillet.  Place the skillet over medium high heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil without stirring.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, approximately five minutes.  Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the caramel to cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the filling.  Ideally, the butter should be soft enough to spread across the dough easily without stretching the dough.  If it needs a bit of encouragement, a fork can be used to mash it onto a plate before rolling out the dough.

When the dough has risen sufficiently, transfer it to a floured surface.  Lightly flour the surface of the dough before using a rolling pin to roll it into a rectangle approximately 18 by 12 inches in size.

Using a pastry brush or your hands, brush away any excess flour from the surface of the dough.  Spread the softened butter evenly over the dough before sprinkling the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the butter.  Begin rolling the dough from one long side of the rectangle to the other, forming a tight tube and brushing away excess flour as you roll.

Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled dough into rolls approximately 1 ½ inches in width.  Gently transfer the individual rolls to the cast iron skillet, placing each one cut side down on top of the bourbon caramel sauce.  Continue until all of the rolls are evenly spaced within the skillet.

Place the skillet in preheated bread proofer or a warm, draft free location to rise for another 30-60 minutes or until the rolls have expanded to fill the pan.  As the rolls rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven.  Bake the rolls for 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned and slightly firm.  Remove the skillet from the oven and allow to cool for at least five minutes.  Using oven mitts and a healthy dose of caution, carefully cover the skillet with a larger plate or pan and turn the skillet to release the cinnamon rolls.

Remove the cast iron skillet, scraping any caramel from the pan.  The bourbon caramel sauce will now be on the top surface of the rolls.  Serve the rolls while still warm and enjoy every last bite!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/01/cast-iron-skillet-cinnamon-rolls-with-bourbon-caramel-sauce/

1840 Farm and The Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Tour

When Lisa Steele from Fresh Eggs Daily asked me if I would like to participate in The Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Tour for her new book, Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens… Naturally, I didn’t have to think twice.  Instead, I jumped at the chance to receive a copy of the book to review along with an autographed copy to give away to one of our lucky readers.

Lisa has been a trusted friend and mentor for well over a year.  I have been following the progress of her work on this book since it became a reality last year.  I have often joked with her that I was as excited as she was to finally see her book in person!

Last week, these beautiful books were waiting for me in our mailbox.  From the moment I saw the cover, I couldn’t wait to read it from start to finish.  As I read, I recognized the hallmark style that I have come to expect from Fresh Eggs Daily.  The whole book was warm in tone and presented the information in an encouraging manner.

The information was extensive, covering a range of topics from planning your first chicken coop, natural strategies for the daily maintenance of your flock and discouraging pests of all kinds.  Common chicken keeping challenges such as molting, coop cleaning, and potentially dangerous foods and plants are also covered in detail.

If you’re a Fresh Eggs Daily fan like I am, then you’re already familiar with their collection of posts containing tips and suggestions for raising and tending your flock naturally.  I am constantly learning new techniques from their blog and Facebook page and sharing their content on our own page.

Now Lisa’s natural chicken keeping knowledge has been assembled into a beautiful book. Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally will teach you how to implement effective and simple strategies like drying herbs fresh from your garden for use all year long.  Lisa offers common sense tips for helping prepare your flock for Mother Nature’s extremes and handling inevitable chicken keeping challenges.  She also includes several recipes for natural concoctions and several DIY projects including creating your own brooder.  This book covers such a wide variety of topics that it is sure to be your go to chicken keeping resource for years to come.

I wish that I had been able to add Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally to my bookshelf when I was beginning my journey as a chicken keeper.  Within the pages of this book, I would have found the information I needed to ensure that our first flock had the very best chance of thriving here on our farm.

Luckily, I can add it to my chicken keeper’s library now and so can you.  Whether you are in the beginning stages of planning to become a chicken keeper, tending to your first chicks, or have already earned your chicken keeping stripes, I know that you will enjoy reading this book as much as I did.

To make this giveaway even more exciting, I’m adding one of our 1840 Farm handmade fabric coiled egg baskets to the prize pack.  While all of our baskets are unique, this one is a true original.  It was designed in the color scheme of Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally and features fabrics in Wedgewood blue, chocolate brown, tan, and garnet red with butter yellow stitching.

If you already follow 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook, then you have already earned a few entries.  Simply click on the buttons below to claim them.  While you’re at it, you can claim a few more entries and increase your odds of winning.

In fact, I’d love to hear where you are in your chicken keeping journey in a comment below and grant you another entry.  I ‘ll go first and share that we have been keeping chickens for three years.  Now it’s your turn to share:  tell me about your chicken keeping experience.  I can’t wait to read all about it!

After you have claimed all of your entries in our giveaway, visit the other stops on The Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Tour by clicking on the links below.  You can read other chicken keeper’s reviews and enter their giveaways to increase your chance of winning your own copy of Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally.

 

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Visit all the other stops along the Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Tour to read some more great reviews and to enter to win a copy!

Week One

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/10/1840-farm-and-the-fresh-eggs-daily-blog-tour/

The Summer Solstice Cocktail

When I am trying to develop a new recipe, I happily take inspiration wherever I can find it.  In the case of this cocktail, I happened to find it in three places.  Lucky for you, I’ve combined them into one delicious, refreshing cocktail recipe just in time for your Fourth of July celebration.http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3719/9065963801_04570a669f_z.jpg

The first inspiration was the arrival of summer last Friday.  Since then, we’ve seen temperatures well into the 90s with oppressive humidity.  Apparently, Mother Nature wants to drive the point home:  summer is here!

A recent trip to a local favorite, GiGi’s York Beach, provided additional inspiration.  On my last visit, I was treated to a delicious cocktail they call the “Shiso Good”. Good was an understatement.  The combination of vodka, house made shiso syrup, and fresh lemon was divine.  If you’re looking for a little inspiration, you can see more of the amazing food and drink from GiGi’s in our Local Food Photo Gallery

Not to be forgotten is a book that I am currently reading.  Bitters:  A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All is a fascinating read for someone like me who can’t seem to get enough of the stranger than fiction history of the food on our dinner plates and drinks in our cocktail glasses.  I’m not alone in liking this book.  It was selected as a James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner and also won The IACP Cookbook Award.

So, picture me at the end of a hot and humid day, exhausted from the farm’s daily chores.  I was craving a refreshing, cold drink and thought of the crisp Shiso Good and the fresh ginger-lime simple syrup that I had made from a recipe in Bitters.  The possibilities seemed like a winner to me.

My husband is the resident mixologist here at 1840 Farm.  I get wild ideas about combinations and concoctions which he politely listens to and then goes about the creative business of transforming inspiration into a perfectly balanced libation.  Occasionally, he needs a second attempt to perfect one of our house made cocktails, but he mastered this one on the first try.

One sip and I knew that this would be my summer drink of choice.  Mr. 1840 Farm agreed.  This recipe was perfect and ready to share with the world.

I hope that you will enjoy what we aptly named The Summer Solstice all summer long.  If you’re find yourself still searching for your summer drink of choice, don’t despair.  We’ve got a few more recipes in development.  Yes, it will be a struggle to taste test them before sharing the recipes with you here, but I’ll soldier on.  It’s amazing the things that I’ll do in the name of researchl!

Ginger-Lime Syrup
adapted from Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 ounces ginger root, peeled and sliced into coins
zest from 1/2 a lime

Place all ingredients in a small pot and stir to combine.  Place pot over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Simmer over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely.  Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to remove any solids.  The strained syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.  I like to store mine in a clean, repurposed bottle with a pourer spout in the refrigerator.

Summer Solstice Cocktail
makes one generous serving (and one happy farmer)

We have made a non-alcoholic version of this drink for the farm kids who both gave it a thumbs up.  Simply substitute lemonade or carbonated water for the vodka depending on your preference.

2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce lime juice
1 1/2 ounce ginger-lime syrup
4 ounces lemonade

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice.  Shake until well mixed.  Strain into a glass with fresh ice and serve.  At 1840 Farm, we like to serve the Summer Solstice in a wide mouth mason jar.


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form. In a few seconds, you’ll be the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/the-summer-solstice-cocktail/

Finding A Place at the Table for Everyone

In April, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Food Bloggers Against Hunger Campaign.  The campaign was organized by The Giving Table and supported by Share Our Strength.  By sharing a recipe for a healthy, economical meal, I joined 250 other bloggers in helping to bring attention to the cause of ending hunger in America.

A few months have passed.  In that time, I had the opportunity to view the documentary A Place at the Table at our local Portsmouth Music Hall.  My husband and I took our daughter to the screening.  Together, we watched the story unfold on the screen.  When we left to return home to 1840 Farm, conversation about what we had just seen was easy to find.

Rosie in A PLACE AT THE TABLE, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

The movie and its message have stayed with me since that evening.  For me, that’s the true test of a film, especially a documentary.  While I found the entire film to be effective at delivering its intended message, one image and one statement have been my most powerful  memories.

The first was the profile of a young girl named Rosie.  She lives in poverty, struggling at school because of the lack of food available to her.  She doesn’t know when her next meal will be or what it will include.  Yet she maintains a positive outlook on life and keeps a smile on her face.  Somehow, she sees the promise of her future instead of the pain of her present.  Her outlook on life was inspiring.

The second was a line delivered by actor Jeff Bridges.  As he speaks about the hunger crisis in America, he mentions that he believes that the solution is tied to patriotism.  He goes on to say, “If another country was doing this to our kids, we’d be at war.  And it doesn’t have to be that way.”  I’ve thought of his words often in the last few months and I keep coming back to the same conclusion.  He’s right.

It doesn’t have to be that way, but we’re all going to have to do our part.  Whether we share our fresh garden produce with members of our local communities, support local farmers that do the same, or volunteer by working with charitable organizations, we all have to play a part in solving the problem.  The solution won’t be simple, but each step we take will help to ensure that a child like Rosie has the opportunity to realize the promise of her future.  I think that we can all agree that our country will be stronger if she can.

A Place at the Table was released on video today.  I would encourage you to see the film and share its message with your family. Together, we can make sure that all Americans can find a place at the table whether it’s to find a solution to this problem or share a meal with members of their local community.

Now I have the unique opportunity to share A Place at the Table with you.  Participant Media, the company who also brought us Food, Inc. has given me a copy of the companion book for the film and a collectible pin to give away to one lucky winner.

As you will learn after watching A Place at the Table, many Americans are trying to put food on the table for under $4 a day.  In this economy, many more of us are trying to stretch our food dollars further than ever before.  If you have a tip for maximizing your food dollars, you can earn an entry in the giveaway by sharing it as a comment.  I look forward to reading your ideas and hearing your thoughts on how we can all work together to find A Place at the Table for everyone in our country.

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/a-place-at-the-table/

Pear Clafouti

I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks:  Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten.  I have only made a few minor adjustments to the ingredients and it comes out perfectly every time.  Ripe, aromatic pears surrounded by eggy custard is always a welcome sight at our family table.

We enjoyed this delicious dessert last night and the leftovers will be fantastic when warmed slightly and topped with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream tonight.  Then we’ll be on to our Kentucky Derby Day Celebration and Bourbon Peach Pie with Streusel Topping.

Pear Clafouti

adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten
serves 6 – 8

1 teaspoon butter, melted
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons brandy
8 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces half and half or whole milk
1/2 cup All-purpose flour
3 firm, ripe pears
powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare an oven proof baking dish by coating the bottom with the melted butter.  Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar over the melted butter.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 3-4 minutes.  Add the vanilla, sea salt, brandy, heavy cream, and half and half and whisk to blend.  Add the flour and mix until smooth.

Peel and core the ripe pears.  Slice the pears and arrange the slices in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.  Pour the batter over the sliced pears, distributing evenly.

Bake the clafouti in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custard is firm and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before topping with sifted powdered sugar.  Serve warm.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/05/pear-clafouti/

From Scratch Magazine

I’m proud to be a contributor to From Scratch Magazine. From Scratch is filled with beautifully illustrated articles covering a wide array of topics of interest to homesteaders and small farmers just like me.  I am honored to be included in such a fantastic group of contributors.

I shared my Great Grandmother’s recipe for Daffodil Cake in the February/March issue.  Within the pages of that issue, you will find articles from some of my favorite blogs and bloggers from Farmhouse 38, Fresh Eggs Daily, Keep Your Memories in Your Shoes, Lessons from the Homestead, Our Little Coop, A Suburban Farmer, and Sunshine Sisters Farms.  I enjoyed reading it from cover to cover and can’t wait to see what wonderful articles will appear in the next issue.

You can view my recipe for Daffodil Cake on page 62 of the February/March 2013 issue by clicking on the image below to open a PDF file.  You can also visit From Scratch Magazine and read the magazine from cover to cover in an interactive format on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

To celebrate the launch of their fantastic publication, From Scratch Magazine is having a giveaway and 1840 Farm is thrilled to be included.  You can enter to win one of our handmade fabric coiled egg baskets as well as products from some of our favorite blogs and Etsy shops:  A Suburban Farmer, Garden Delights, Fresh Eggs Daily, and Green Circle Grove. I’m hoping that a member of The 1840 Farm Community will be selected as one of the winners.  Good luck to all who enter!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/02/from-scratch-magazine/

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