Tag Archive: recipes

Our Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes

Every year, cookies grace our family table on Christmas Eve.  The tradition started out simply enough.  My children would ask to help me make the cookies that would be left for Santa when they went to bed that evening.  Now that they are older and a little wiser, the fun of making the cookies has become an integral part of the holiday festivities.

We spend time in our farmhouse kitchen making my Grandmother’s Chocolate Crinkles, our Candy Cane Meringues, and the other delicious favorites that have come to be tied to our holiday celebration.  With each bite, we’re reminded of the memory of holidays past.  With each moment spent together in the kitchen, we’re making new memories that I hope will last a lifetime.

In case you are looking for a few good cookie recipes to add to your holiday baking collection, you’ll find links to the recipes for our favorites below.  It warms my heart to think that you might use one of our favorite recipes to make a memory with your friends and family this year.  Enjoy!


 


This post was featured in The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. 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 to become 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, Instagram, 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!


This post was shared on the:

From The Farm Blog Hop

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/12/our-favorite-holiday-cookie-recipes/

1840 Farm and The Grain Mill Wagon Challenge

Earlier this year, I was invited to take part in the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge.  As a participant, I would use the WonderMill they supplied me with to mill my own flours and meals here at 1840 Farm.  Then I would share a collection of recipes that incorporated the freshly milled grains.

I will admit to being skeptical at first. It was hard for me to believe that milling our own fresh flour would be as simple as using a food processor or other type of straightforward kitchen appliance. I was also concerned that the resulting flour would be too heavy and that it would adversely affect the texture of our favorite recipes. For years, I had been using store bought wheat flours and trying my best to balance flavor and texture with the health benefits of whole grain flour.

I had produced many baked goods that were whole grain or whole wheat that had given me the basis for this concern. Those breads and pastries were often heavy and dense. Some had a sharp, biting flavor because the flour had been stored incorrectly long before I purchased it and brought it home.

Yet I was very interested in learning more about The WonderMill and trying my hand at producing our own freshly milled flour.  I wanted to try for myself and see if fresh flour was any different from the varieties I had purchased at my local grocery store and natural grocer.

It didn’t take long to convince me that freshly milled flour is superior in every way possible.  It also didn’t take long for me to fall in love with The WonderMill.  I cannot compare it to other mills as it is the only one I have ever used.  I can tell you that The WonderMill is so simple to use that it only requires setting it on the counter, plugging it in, and flipping a switch.  That’s it.

In minutes, the mill powers through an entire hopper of wheat berries or corn kernels and produces beautiful flours and meals from fine pastry flour to coarse meal.  I have been happily milling our own flour and cornmeal during this challenge and I don’t see myself ever returning to purchasing the store bought variety ever again.

By using this mill, I have been able to produce organic, non-GMO flour to use in the food that I prepare for my family.  I like knowing what I’m grinding and how long it has been stored.  There’s immense satisfaction in taking my scratch cooking that extra step and milling fresh flour to use in our recipes.

My time in The Grain Mill Wagon Challenge is drawing to a close.  You can see my collection of recipes by following the links below to visit The Grain Mill Wagon blog.  I intend to keep following their blog and hope that you will too.  There’s always something delicious being shared and a few of my blogging friends are just gearing up to begin their challenge.  I can’t wait to read all about their experience!

You can learn more about The WonderMill by visiting their website, or following them on Facebook, Google+Pinterest, and You Tube.  

Oven Baked Polenta with Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Whole Grain Waffles

Rustic Flatbread

Summer Berry Pie

Whole Grain Smoked Cheddar Gougères

 


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 to become 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/2013/08/1840-farm-and-the-grain-mill-wagon-challenge/

From the Farm Blog Hop #36

From the Farm Blog Hop - http://thismindbeinyou.com/

Where has the week gone?  It seems like I blinked and Friday was here.  The good news?  If Friday is here, then it’s time for another fantastic From the Farm Blog Hop!

Each week the From the Farm Blog Hop co-hosts welcome a fellow blogger to come join in the fun and guest host along with us. This week’s guest host is Mindie from The (mis)Adventures of a “Born Again” Farmgirl! Welcome Mindie!

 photo mindiebio.jpgOn a 1/4 acre in a small town lives a slightly deranged woman (that’s me!) who never thought she would be a Farm Girl again. I tried so hard to “escape” my roots, but then I grew up, got married and had a family. My oldest country kid (I have two sons 7 and 1) asked for a pet chicken a few years ago, so I did what any good mom would and bought him one! That was the beginning of the end so to speak. We now have chickens, ducks, and rabbits (besides non “farm” animals which include such oddities as a baby snapping turtle and a baby red squirrel we are rehabbing.)

I bake using sourdough, I garden to produce healthy food for my family, but most of all, I have learned to embrace with a passion all those things that I once wanted to distance myself from. It is not the amount of land you live on, but what you do on that land that makes you a homesteader and I am proud to share this type of life with my family. We don’t always get it right, thus the name (mis)Adventures, but that is half the fun!

Each week, we also select a few favorite links from the previous week’s hop. Here are the features from last week’s From the Farm Blog Hop #35 party:

 photo honeysucklejelly.jpg
Making Honeysuckle Jelly
by Stacked Stone Farm
 photo IMAG2467_zps695d54ca.jpg
Collecting Seed by Smart Food Storage

How to Clean a Coffee Maker Naturally and On the Cheap by Poor and Gluten Free
 photo DSC_8019.jpg
Simple Granola by Heritage Schoolhouse

Congratulations to the bloggers who provided our favorite posts last week!  I can’t wait to see what fantastic recipes, DIY projects, and helpful tips will be linked up this week.

Each week, we’re hoping that you will share up to three of your favorite posts here on the From the Farm Blog Hop. Our hop may be “From the Farm”, but your post doesn’t have to be. If you’re a farmer at heart or a suburbanite with a backyard farm that consists of a container garden, your post will be perfectly at home here.

1. Link up to three of your best gardening or homesteading tips, farm-themed posts, recipes, homemaking and simple/frugal living tips, decorating ideas, DIY projects, craft ideas, thrifty makeovers or repurposed items, healthy and sustainable living tips.

2. Link back to my blog, or put the link party button anywhere on your blog or post to share the love.

3. Make sure to check out some of the other links before leaving. You’ll be sure to find a new recipe, great DIY project, or gardening tip to use this summer. I find something fantastic every week and I know that you will too!

From the Farm Blog Hop button - http://thismindbeinyou.com/
Photo provided by Chicken Scratch Poultry http://chickenscratchpoultry.com/

 

 

Note: Linking up to this party will automatically sign you up for an invite to next week’s party via email. To unsubscribe, please reply to any email you receive and you will be removed. Linking up also allows us permission to publish one of your photos on our blogs, Facebook, and/or Pinterest pages. If you are interested in guest hosting for our blog hop, please feel free to contact Kristi by email.

To make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the fun, come follow From the Farm on Facebook and on our new blog. We’ve got a new page, a fantastic group of contributors and followers, and neverending conversation for you to join in.  We’ll hope to see you there!

Warmly,
Your From the Farm Blog Hop Co-Hosts:

The Adventure Bite | Sunny Simple Life | 1840 Farm | Let This Mind Be in You | My Healthy Green Family | Fresh Eggs Daily

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/from-the-farm-blog-hop-36/

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I started making my own vanilla extract several years ago.  I didn’t do it to save money or make a better product.  I did it because it’s just what you do when someone in your family suddenly has food allergies.

One of the baking staples that I had a terrible time finding ingredient information and allergy warnings on was vanilla extract.  It wasn’t for a lack of trying.  In my searching online, I discovered that making vanilla extract required exactly two ingredients and a little cupboard space.

I was skeptical.  My family looked at me with the same look they used the first time I proudly told them that I had perfected a brioche recipe using tofu instead of eggs.  I’m sure you can close your eyes and picture exactly what I’m talking about.  Then they smelled my first vanilla extract and tasted it for the first time in frosting that was filled with vanilla bean specks.  They were sold.  This food experiment was a keeper.

Now you can use one of our 1840 Farm Vanilla Extract Kits to make your own vanilla extract and amaze your family.  Once you do, you may never purchase vanilla extract at the store again. The homemade version of vanilla extract is superior in flavor and aroma to the extract available at the grocery store.

Making your own vanilla extract is also a real money saver.  With each individual kit, you can brew enough vanilla extract to make over 48 batches of homemade chocolate chip cookies.  Of course, you don’t have to make chocolate chip cookies.  You could try one of my family’s favorite recipes featuring homemade vanilla extract:

Strawberry Jam Meringue Heart at 1840 FarmChocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake

1840 Farm Pancakes

Strawberry Jam Meringue Cookies

Chocolate Butter Cookies with Stout Buttercream Frosting

Coconut Macaroons

Raspberry Crumble Bars

Snowballs

Baked Alaska

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/03/1840-farm-vanilla-extract-kits/

Dark Chocolate Butter Cookies with Stout Buttercream Frosting

What can I say about a chocolate butter cookie topped with buttercream frosting infused with the flavor of a great stout beer?  The word delicious comes immediately to mind.  In the end, maybe I don’t need to say anything.  Maybe I just need to share the recipe!

Chocolate Butter Cookies with Stout Buttercream
makes 18-24 cookiesOXO Mini Beaker Set

I have been making these chocolate butter cookies for several years.  I traditionally serve them with my family’s favorite malted buttercream frosting.  The last time I made a batch, my husband was enjoying a delicious bottle of Founders Breakfast Stout.  I had a brand new set of OXO’s mini beakers sitting close by.  Suddenly, just a small taste of his stout found its way into the beaker and then the mixing bowl.

The resulting buttercream was fantastic.  The malt powder paired beautifully with the deep flavor of the stout.  It was delicious on its own, but when it was piped on the chocolate butter cookies, a new family favorite cookie was born.  Don’t worry, if you don’t have any stout on hand, vanilla extract can be substituted.

8 ounces butter, softened
3/4 cup (144 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup (210 grams) All-purpose flour
1/2 cup (60 grams) cocoa powder
4 Tablespoons Ovaltine Chocolate Malt powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons sea salt

4 ounces butter, softened
1/2 cup Ovaltine Classic Malt powder
1 1/2 cups (180 grams) powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons stout beer

Using an electric mixer or food processor, cream the butter and sugar until it combines completely and makes a smooth paste.  Add the egg and vanilla extract.  Mix to combine.  Add the flour, cocoa, malt powder, baking soda, and salt to the batter and mix just until combined.  Do not overwork as this will result in a dough that is tough instead of delicate.

Rolling Pin Rings at 1840 FarmRemove the dough to a sheet of parchment or waxed paper.  Cover with a second sheet of paper.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick.  Using rolling pin rings can make the task of rolling out the dough evenly much easier.  Refrigerate the dough at least 45 minutes or until firm enough to cut cleanly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line 2 baking sheets with nonstick liners or parchment paper.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut into your desired shape.  Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets approximately 1 inch apart.

Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 14 to 16 minutes or until they are firm to the touch.  Do not overbake.  Remove from the oven and place trays on wire racks to cool completely.

Note:  This dough works very well stored in the freezer.  Simply roll the dough between sheets of freezer paper.  Once the dough has frozen solid, it can be stored in a freezer bag.  When you are ready to bake them, remove the frozen dough and cut into shapes as the oven preheats.  Frozen cookies will require an additional 3-5 minutes in the oven, but taste identical to those made from freshly made refrigerated dough.

To make the buttercream, combine softened butter and malt powder using a mixer or food processor.  Add stout beer to the butter and mix to incorporate.  Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until the mixture is completely smooth.

Buttercream can be piped or spread on the cookies as soon as they are completely cool.

You can open a printable PDF of this recipe by clicking on the link below.
Chocolate Butter Cookies with Stout Buttercream Frosting

———-

1840 Farm is proud to be participating in the OXO “Be a Good Cookie” campaign. We hope to do our part to raise awareness for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.  You can help this fantastic organization by purchasing a “be a good cookie” limited edition spatula.

2012 OXO Spatula

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 to become 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, Instagram, 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/2012/12/chocolate-butter-cookies-with-stout-buttercream-frosting/

Orange Genius

Summer is fast approaching and you might need a new recipe for a cold, refreshing drink.  I’m willing to bet that my recipe for Orange Genius on Foodie.com just might help make your summer a little sweeter.  The Orange Genius is a family favorite here at 1840 Farm made with our fresh, raw goat’s milk.

Give it a try and let me know if you agree that the Orange Genius is the perfect drink to enjoy this summer!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/06/orange-genius/

Boston Cream Pie Eclairs

Truth be told, I never liked éclairs.  I didn’t understand the appeal.   All of the éclairs I had sampled were stale on the outside, soggy on the inside, and covered with bland chocolate glaze on the outside.

I didn’t have high hopes for my first batch of homemade éclairs.  I made them for my husband who has always loved them.  I never expected to take the first bite and happily think to myself, “Is this what an éclair is supposed to taste like?”

Apparently, I didn’t dislike the éclair.  Instead, I disliked what happened to an éclair that was forced to linger in a pastry case.   Now I know the secret and always fill and top them right before serving.  The end result is everything an éclair wants to be:  crisp on the outside,  creamy on the inside, and dressed with rich chocolate ganache.

After several modifications, this version is my family’s favorite.  It uses my recipes for pastry cream and ganache from our favorite Boston Cream Pie.  In fact, that may be why we all love it so much.  While Boston Cream Pie takes the better part of a day to make, these éclairs do not.

Now that I have mastered freezing the pâte à choux before baking, I try to always keep them on hand.   In less than thirty minutes, the taste of Boston Cream Pie can be on our farmhouse table.  Then we can get on to the best part of the éclair:  enjoying them together.

In case you’re looking for a little baking inspiration for the weekend, give my recipe for Boston Cream Pie Eclairs on Foodie.com a try.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/02/boston-cream-pie-eclairs/

Strawberry Jam Meringue Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day!

In case you’re looking for a little baking inspiration today, give my recipe for Strawberry Jam Meringue Cookies on Foodie.com a try.  They can be piped into beautiful hearts and dipped in chocolate just in time for sharing with your Valentine!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/02/strawberry-jam-meringue-cookies/

1840 Farm and Foodie.com

I’m proud to announce that I have been selected as a contributor for Foodie.com.  The beta site launched this morning and includes an incredible collection of delicious looking recipes.  In fact, there are three new recipes from the 1840 Farm collection just waiting for you to try…

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes with Malted Buttercream Frosting

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Spinach

Smoked Cheddar Gougeres

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/02/1840-farm-and-foodie-com/

Raspberry Crumble Bars

We’re deep into raspberry season here at 1840 Farm.  Every day for the past few weeks, we have found ourselves out in the raspberry patch reaching into the brambles to pluck the ripe berries and tenderly place them in their berry baskets.  It’s not a farm chore without its hazards.  In fact, my arms look like I’ve found myself on the losing end of a battle with a porcupine.

The scrapes and thorns can’t deter me from picking all the berries our patch will provide.  The real trick is in using every single berry that gets picked.  This seemingly simple task can become a chore of its own.

Some of our berries will be turned into jam that will provide a much-needed pick me up once winter has taken us in its firm grip yet again.  Pounds of berries will be frozen and kept for future baking projects.  Right now, at their peak, a lot of berries will go directly from the bramble to our mouths.  You might call it berry patch collateral damage, but I call it a just reward for another year of hard work in the garden.

The raspberries are enjoying elite status at 1840 Farm right now.  June’s strawberry season has come and gone and the blueberries are still several weeks away from harvest.  This is the time to celebrate our raspberries.  We have already picked over 12 pounds of fruit and yet the canes are still covered in ripening berries.  I see many more raspberry pies, tarts, and jelly jars full of jam in our future.

We all look forward to raspberry pie this time of the year, but with all this time spent picking berries, it can be a real struggle to find the time to make a pie.  True, we have already enjoyed one double crusted beauty of a raspberry pie, but the berries are coming into the farmhouse faster than I can grab my rolling pin.  Yes, it’s a wonderful dilemma to find myself in, but still, what to do with all of these beautiful, ripe berries?

I found myself yesterday finishing my morning cup of Sweet Maria’s Moka Kadir Blend and looking over my recipe collection.  I had several raspberry recipes for tarts, pies, and even cakes, but nothing was calling to me.  There was only one thing to do:  invent something that would call to my whole family.

I married two of our favorite recipes in the hopes of yielding a dish that would combine the texture and taste of our beloved raspberry pie filling wrapped in a brown sugar crumble.  I slid it into the oven and hoped that I had balanced the sweetness of the crumble with the tart acidity of our hand-picked berries.  It smelled lovely as it baked, but the proof is always in the tasting.  Waiting forty minutes to have the first taste seemed almost unbearable.

That was until I had the first bite and watched my daughter’s face as she took hers.  It was exactly what I had hoped for: slightly sweet, slightly tangy with hints of vanilla and cinnamon.  A warm square topped with vanilla ice cream was otherworldly.  It wasn’t a double crusted pie, but it was prepped, baked, and cooling on the counter in under an hour.  This was a winner.

Right now, I’m off to pick the day’s berries.  I know that I will find myself loaded down with baskets of fruit this morning.  I also know that the cuts and scrapes will increase dramatically by the time I have harvested all that our canes have to offer.

I’ll wear the scrapes as a badge of gardening success.  Only another person who has collected raspberries from their thorny canes could appreciate my willingness to tangle with our raspberry patch every day.  I don’t mind.  I’ve got nothing to hide.  I’m proud of our raspberry harvest here at the farm this year and I’ll tell anyone who wants to hear about it.  It’s raspberry season here at 1840 Farm and I have the scars to prove it.

Raspberry Crumble Bars
makes 18 bars

   
   

8 ounces raspberries
72 grams(6 Tablespoons) sugar
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon tapioca
1 1/2 cups King Arthur White Wheat Flour
120 grams (3/4 cup) brown sugar, unpacked
80 grams (1 cup) old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In medium bowl, combine raspberries, sugar, and water.  If using frozen berries, warm mixture in microwave for 1-2 minutes.  Add cornstarch and tapioca and stir to combine.  Set aside as the crumble mixture is prepared.

Combine flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and cubed butter in the bowl of a food processor.  Process briefly until the texture resembles a coarse meal, approximately 15 – 30 seconds.  Add vanilla extract and pulse just  until dough comes together.

Transfer half 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 raspberry mixture and pour over the crust, spreading to cover evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture evenly over the berry filling.

Bake the crumble in the preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes until the topping has browned lightly and the raspberry filling has thickened.  Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.


This post was featured in The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. 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 to become 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, Instagram, 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/2011/07/raspberry-crumble-bars/

Caramelized Banana Ice Cream

1840 Farm Caramelized Banana Ice CreamWasn’t the first day of summer last week?  I am quite sure that it was although Mother Nature seems to have forgotten.  In the last ten days, I’ve found myself digging through fall and winter clothes to outfit myself and my children with long sleeve shirts, jackets, sweaters, and the like.  I am not happy about this.

We live in New England where the growing season is only 90 days long.  We trudge through every winter and mud season, aka spring, holding the promise of summer close at hand.  We have to, it’s the only way to make it through.  Yet here we sit mere days from July with temperatures barely breaking the 60 degree mark.  I am not amused.

This should be the time of year when we end a day of working outside by swimming in the seasonal pool in the backyard.  Icy cocktails should be served.  The garden should need watering to cope with the abundant sunshine.  I should be able to eat ice cream without wearing a jacket.

I will have to press on in spite of the unseasonably cool weather.  I will persevere.  I will have multiple flavors of homemade ice cream in our freezer to accompany our Fourth of July Feast.  If the weather hasn’t warmed up by then, I may rescind Mother Nature’s invitation to dine with us.

On to the ice cream.  It is a perennial favorite here at 1840 Farm.  We all have our favorite flavors, but a few are popular with every member of our family.  Honey vanilla bean is a great base for ice cream sundaes and caramelized banana sends everyone running to the churning ice cream machine for a taste.

How do they know when to come running with a tasting spoon in hand?  Even if I haven’t divulged my plan to make caramelized banana ice cream, their sense of smell gives me away.  Preparing the bananas suddenly perfumes our whole farmhouse with the heavenly smell of warm honey and bananas.  In less than thirty minutes, the base is prepped and the hard work begins.  We need to allow the base to sit overnight in the refrigerator to completely cool and allow the flavors to develop.

I will admit to skipping this step in the past.  I cooled the base in an ice bath and processed it in my machine.  Doing so never yielded the rich, smooth texture that I can achieve if I allow the mix to chill overnight.  After I had tried it a few times I decided that the overnight chill would just have to be part of the process.  We would all just have to take a deep breath and wait.

I hope that you will enjoy this ice cream as much as we do.  I also hope that Mother Nature will remember that it is indeed summer.  A little warmth and sunshine would be much appreciated.  Until then, I’ll take a deep breath and wait.  At least I’ll have ice cream to make the wait a little more bearable.

Caramelized Banana Ice Cream

       
I prefer to use honey in this recipe instead of refined sugar.  If you prefer, brown sugar could be substituted for the honey.  Using brown sugar will result in a darker ice cream but the taste will still be delicious.

1 Tablespoon butter
4 Tablespoons (84 grams) honey
3 medium bananas sliced 1/2″ thick
8 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
1 pinch sea salt
16 ounces (2 cups) whole milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add honey and banana slices and saute until caramelized and soft, about 12 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add cream, stirring to combine.  Remove from heat.

In small bowl, combine egg yolk and 2 Tablespoons of the warm cream mixture.  Whisk until smooth.  Add egg mixture to skillet over low heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat.

Add warm mixture to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Add salt, whole milk, and vanilla.  Pulse until well combined.  Remove mixture to a covered container.  Refrigerate overnight.  Prepare ice cream maker for use.

Pour refrigerated mixture into freezer base and process as recommended by manufacturer.  Place ice cream in a freezer safe container and freeze until ready to serve.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2011/06/caramelized-banana-ice-cream/

Butter or Sugar Cookies?

How do you decide if a cookie made mostly with butter and sugar is a butter cookie or a sugar cookie?  Do you carefully weigh each component and decide based upon preponderance?  No, it’s really much simpler than that.  Ask a five-year old.  The five year-old who lives at 1840 Farm didn’t have any trouble deciding.  In fact, he hadn’t even finished his first cookie before he had his final answer.

While I can make an argument in either direction for these cookies, my son cannot be moved from his firm stance that they belong in the butter cookie camp.  In fact, if I announce that I am making sugar cookies and he runs into the kitchen to taste them warm from the oven, he inevitably looks at me disapprovingly and says, “Are these the sugar cookies you said you were making?”

Don’t get me wrong, he likes these cookies.  In fact, he will happily eat several before I have to cut him off.  Still, these cookies cannot be called sugar cookies in his world.  That designation is forever reserved for the traditionally sugar sprinkled, round cut out cookies made by his grandmother.  Believe me, I don’t take it personally.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter if you call these butter cookies or sugar cookies.  It only matters that you made cookies from scratch and that you share them with someone special.  The rest is up to interpretation.  That is, unless you’re a five-year old.  In that case, the answer is apparently crystal clear.  Now if I can just convince my mother to make a batch of her sugar cookies.  If she doesn’t share, I might take it personally.

1840 Farm Butter Cookies
makes 24 cookies

     

Here at 1840 Farm, these cookies are a staple.  They are incredibly flavorful and a great recipe to showcase just how delicious homemade vanilla extract can be.  As they bake, their aroma perfumes the air to the point of making it nearly impossible to wait for them to cool before trying one fresh out of the oven.

While I don’t normally cut them out with a cookie cutter, you certainly could.  For me, these cookies are all about the taste and my family is happy to eat them in hand cut squares which saves me time and keeps the dough from becoming tough from successive rollings.  Because these cookies are basically a sable dough, they store incredibly well.  They stay crispy for several days at room temperature and the vanilla flavor improves as they age.

       

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
96 grams (1/2 cup)  sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
210 grams (1  3/4 cup) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine butter, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and process using on and off turns until the mixture forms large crumbs.  Do not overmix as this will cause the gluten to develop and prevent the final cookie from having a delicate texture.

Empty dough onto a counter lined with food wrap, waxed paper, or parchment.  Bring dough together with your hands and roll to an even 1/4″ thickness.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you have frozen the dough, remove it from the freezer and allow it to warm up for at least ten minutes before continuing.  Cut dough into desired shape and place cookies on lined baking sheets.  Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheets for five minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

1840 Farm Butter Cookies on Foodista1840 Farm Butter Cookies


This post was featured in The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. 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 to become 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, Instagram, 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/2011/05/butter-or-sugar-cookies/

Not a Chicken in Sight

I’ve already admitted to being a person who raises chickens but doesn’t eat them.  It’s true.  We have seven hens living here at 1840 Farm, but chicken never finds its way to our dinner table.   Maybe that’s why our hens are so happy living here.

I don’t have anything against eating meat.  I was meat eater for most of my life.  I always loved vegetables, so replacing the meat on my dinner plate with an extra helping of them was easy for me.  Here at the farm, we raise as much of our own food as we can including the eggs that come from our small flock of hens.  I simply don’t enjoy meat enough to want to raise and process animals myself.  It didn’t make much sense to me for us to buy meat at the grocery store if we weren’t going to be buying our tomatoes there.  I’ve written before that, “I never had the courage of my culinary convictions to raise an animal knowing that it would eventually take up residence in my roasting pan.”   It’s true.

It wasn’t always this way.  In fact, I used to make the roasted chicken from Thomas Keller‘s Bouchon cookbook. The whole family used to be happy to smell it roasting in the oven and even happier to see it gracing our farmhouse table.   If you and your family enjoy roast chicken, I’d recommend trying his simple and delicious version.  I feel fairly confident that you won’t be sorry.

If however, you don’t enjoy roast chicken due to personal preference or because you lean towards the vegetarian end of the spectrum like we do, then here is a very different recipe for you to try.  No, I’m not comparing my recipe to Bouchon’s roast chicken or myself to Thomas Keller.  I know better.  I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t dabble in creating meat substitutes out of wheat products.  That seems much more like a Wylie Dufresne thing to do.

Thomas Keller doesn’t live here at 1840 Farm.  I do and it takes a good dash of creativity to keep us fed and happy while meeting the dietary needs of a marathon runner, Type 1 Diabetic, and a family member with multiple food allergies.  Once we decided as a family to not eat meat, I had to add a little extra creativity to my recipe collection.  Figuring out how to replace meat with substitutes that tasted great was one of the first challenges I faced.

This recipe started out with my own web research on recipes for meat substitutes.  I happened upon Vegan Dad and found an entire collection of interesting recipes to try.  I started out with his version of lunch meat.  After several versions, the following recipe for “Froast” (faux roast) became our favorite.   If you are looking for some great vegan or vegetarian recipes to add to your collection, Vegan Dad has an incredible collection of them.  The writing is fresh and I have yet to find a recipe that didn’t deliver on exactly what was promised.  In fact, when I compiled my list of favorite blogs for my Stylish Blogger Award, Vegan Dad was one of the first to make the list.

We eat froast on open-faced toasted sandwiches and make a delicious vegetarian version of chicken salad with fresh celery from our garden.  Believe me, when we’re eating froast, we’re too busy enjoying it to be reminded of what others might think that we are “missing” out on.  Now if I could just get Thomas Keller to come for a visit and make dinner here at 1840 Farm.  Come on, I said that we didn’t eat chicken and that Keller didn’t live here.  I never said that I wouldn’t love to eat something that he made in my kitchen.  I’m not entirely sure, but a warm chocolate bouchon seems like the perfect place to start.

Froast (Faux Roast)
makes 4 loaves


260 grams cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 Tablespoon Bell’s Poultry Seasoning
30 grams nutritional yeast
1 Tablespoon gravy master
1 Tablespoon Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons  reduced sodium soy sauce
16 ounces water or vegetable stock
330 grams vital wheat gluten


Prepare steamer while assembling the froast.  I use a wok with a bamboo steamer in my kitchen.  I have also used a pasta pot with an insert and a skillet with a bamboo steamer.  As long as you mind the pot and add water when necessary, any cooking vessel that will hold a steamer or steamer basket and boil water will be sufficient.

Place drained beans in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until completely smooth.  Add spices, gravy master, vinegar, olive oil, and soy sauce and process to blend.  Transfer mixture to a large bowl.  Add water (or stock if using) to bean mixture and stir to combine.  Add vital wheat gluten and stir until mixture begins to come together and form a shaggy mixture.

Place approximately one-quarter of mixture on a double thickness of aluminum foil cut into a 12″ x 12″ sheet.  I use the precut aluminum foil sheets for this as it saves me a lot of time.  Form the mixture into a loaf shape and wrap in the foil.  Twist the edges and tuck them under to form a loaf shape.  The foil wrapped loaf should be firm, but the loaf will expand slightly while it cooks, so if the foil is too tight, it may split while cooking.

Place foil wrapped loaves in the steamer.  Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the water at a gentle boil.  Steam the loaves for 60 minutes.  During the last 30 minutes of steaming, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  At the end of the hour-long steaming period, transfer the loaves to a baking sheet and into the preheated oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Froast can be wrapped and stored in the freezer until ready to use.  If frozen, I defrost by heating a loaf in the microwave for around two minutes.  I remove the defrosted loaf from the microwave and allow it to sit one minute to evenly distribute the heat and defrost the center.  At this point, the froast is ready to serve.



Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2011/04/not-a-chicken-in-sight/

Pancake Night

I was drinking a cup of coffee yesterday morning while reading the news headlines on my laptop.  Among the news, I saw a tagline proclaiming that it was National Pancake Day.  I was intrigued.  I like pancakes.  I clicked on the headline and prepared to read a story full of homey touches about making pancakes.

Instead, I ended up in what seemed like an infomercial for IHOP.  Apparently, “national” meant that a national chain of restaurants had decided to give away pancakes.  There were no homey touches.  In fact, this so-called holiday didn’t involve a home at all.  I was beginning to compose a post in my head to register my unhappiness with what I perceived as a completely contrived moment of pancake marketing.

Luckily, I continued to read and learned that IHOP’s National Pancake Day is a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network.  The complimentary pancakes come with the request for a charitable donation.  I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I should always finish my coffee before doing anything that involves brain power early in the morning.  Why the sudden change of heart?  I have a vivid memory of being a parent sitting at the bedside of my child in a Children’s Miracle Network hospital.  Believe me, that memory is much stronger than my opinion regarding pancakes.  Suddenly I was on the National Pancake Day bandwagon.

How could we celebrate the moment at 1840 Farm without the potential allergic reaction and high blood sugar that would certainly follow a trip to a pancake house?  The answer was simple:  make pancakes for dinner.  I started to gather ingredients while the children debated the merits of banana versus blueberry.  Banana was the clear winner.  Now all that was left was the mixing and flipping.  The griddle waits for no one.

As usual, the pancakes didn’t linger on our plates.  My son had to be cut off and reminded that there would be pancakes waiting for him tomorrow morning for breakfast.  Smiles slowly spread across my children’s faces as they excused themselves from the dinner table.  They both voiced their opinion that we should have pancake night more often.  I had to agree.

I’m sorry IHOP.  Continue on with National Pancake Day.  I will happily support any day that involves raising money for a deserving charity and puts a smile on my children’s faces.  In the end, pancakes really do deserve their own holiday.  Pancake night at 1840 Farm seems like a good start.

1840 Farm Pancakes
serves 6 – 8

This pancake base has been a family favorite for years.  We  typically dress them with banana slices or blueberries grown on our farm, but they would be delicious topped with your favorite pancake companion.

    

240 grams (2 cups) King Arthur White Wheat Flour
60 grams (5 Tablespoons) brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 ounces plain yogurt
15 ounces skim milk
1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large bananas, sliced thinly
  

maple syrup and butter for serving

 

 

 

Lightly coat a griddle or cast iron skillet with a neutral tasting oil like safflower or canola.  Heat griddle or cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

Meanwhile, combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Beat eggs in a medium bowl before adding yogurt, milk, vinegar, and vanilla extract.  Whisk until smooth.  Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and add the prepared liquid ingredients.  Gently whisk until the mixture is well combined and no lumps appear.

Add batter to griddle or skillet using ladle.  Allow bubbles to appear throughout the pancake before adding banana slices.  Turn pancake and cook on second side until lightly browned.  Top pancakes with butter and maple syrup.  Serve warm.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2011/03/pancake-night/

A Chili of a Different Sort

This winter has been unusually cold and snowy.  We’ve started to feel like it will never end.  Our beloved vegetable garden is buried deep in a snowy tomb making it hard to picture that we will ever be able to plant anything but icicles there anytime soon.  And by soon, I mean in the next six months.

I am a New Englander.  I expect winter to be long, but I don’t have to like it.  I do, however, have to try to invent ways to help keep us warm, fed, and not quite so frustrated with the longest indoor season.  So, when my husband pointed out a new chili recipe in the February issue of Bon Appetit, I was all eyes.  After I read the recipe, I felt a pang of guilt as I considered cheating on our beloved 1840 Farm Chili, but desperate seasons sometimes call for desperate measures.

Then my husband had to raise the stakes a little further and point out a recipe in the January/February issue of Men’s Health for a chili puree from Chef Tim Love.  Off I went to the pantry.  I was in luck.  I actually had all of the ingredients to make my own version of this recipe.  I also love a challenge, so figuring out a way to modify these recipes and use them together seemed like a good way to spend my morning.  Especially if it meant that there would be chili for dinner.

The chili I created differs in every way from our usual version.  First, it starts with a homemade chili puree instead of relying on dry seasonings added to the chili pot to give it a kick.  It includes only one type of bean instead of our usual four.  This chili also includes butternut squash, bulgur wheat, and coffee.  This chili takes hours to prepare as compared to the 60 minutes that our standby 1840 Farm Chili with Sweet Corn Masa requires.  At the end of the day, maybe I need to rename one of these recipes.  Calling them both “chili” seems a little confusing after pointing out just how different they are.

You may be asking yourself, “What kind of chili is this?”  Reader, I will tell you simply that it is chili of the delicious variety.  It has a depth of flavor that amazed me.  The chipotle chilies with coffee and spices yield an incredibly smoky, complex flavor.  This is not your typical spicy one note chili.  This one is a chili opera.

You may think that I am over exaggerating here, but I can assure you that I am not.  Go ahead, try it for yourself and tell me that I’m wrong.  Just don’t expect me to respond right away.  I’ll be too busy eating my chili.


Smoky Chili Puree
adapted from Real Texas-Style Chili by Tim Love
published in the January/February 2011 issue of Men’s Health


Tim Love’s original recipe  calls for dried chilies.  Since I didn’t have them on hand, I substituted chipotle chilies in adobo which I always have in my pantry.  I also added instant espresso powder to the mix to give the coffee flavor a boost.

8 ounces brewed coffee
3 chipotle chilies in adobo
4 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Puree until smooth.  Set aside.

Smoky Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash or Pumpkin
serves 12
adapted from Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash
published in the February 2011 issue of Bon Appetit

While the original recipe calls for butternut squash, I find that pumpkin adds a more earthy, slightly sweet flavor.  After Thanksgiving has passed, the pumpkins that decorate the farmhouse throughout the fall are peeled and diced so that we can freeze the pumpkin and use it all winter long in this chili.  Don’t worry, we don’t let the seeds go to waste.  We roast some for snacking and share some of them raw with our heritage breed hens.

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 recipe smoky chili puree
56 ounces diced/chopped tomatoes
1 pound dry black beans, rinsed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
10 cups water
2 pounds butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup bulgur wheat
cheddar cheese
sour cream
pickled jalapeno pepper slices

In large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and saute for 8 to 10 minutes until translucent.  Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant, stirring constantly.  Add chili paste and stir to combine.  Add tomatoes, beans, oregano, and water and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer with pot lid slightly ajar for 2 hours or until beans are tender.

Add butternut squash and bulgur wheat.  Return mixture to a simmer and cook without lid for 30-45 minutes until squash is tender.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  Garnish with cheese, sour cream, and jalapeno and serve.

1840 Farm Cornbread
This recipe couldn’t be any simpler to make.  You can have it mixed and in the oven in under five minutes.  While not an overly sweet cornbread, the vanilla extract gives the bread a lovely flavor.  It makes a wonderful accompaniment to the Smoky Black Bean Chili.  I use our own freshly ground cornmeal and organic, non-GMO home milled whole wheat flour in this recipe.  You can substitute a good quality yellow cornmeal and King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour if you prefer.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 cup skim milk
2 1/2 ounces butter or margarine, melted
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a 9 x 9 pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.  Combine liquid ingredients with egg in bowl and beat with whisk until smooth.  Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and stir with spatula until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cornbread comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.  Serve warm.


This post was featured in The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. 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 to become 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, Instagram, 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!


This post was shared on the:

From The Farm Blog Hop

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2011/02/a-chili-of-a-different-sort/

Aah, Humbugs – Candy Cane Meringue Cookies

Bah, humbug.  It just hasn’t seemed like the holidays here at 1840 Farm this year.  First, there is not a single flake of snow on the ground.  Not one.  The practical side of me is not upset about our lack of winter precipitation.  I’m quite content to try to keep warm by the fire inside our perpetually cold farmhouse without having to shovel snow outside.  I’m happy that the children’s new snow boots still have the tags firmly attached to them.  That being said,  I can usually count on a fresh blanket of white snow to set my holiday mood.  I mean, we live in New England don’t we?

So, here I sat the week after Thanksgiving trying to convince myself to get into a more festive holiday mood while failing miserably to do so.  I felt like a humbug myself.  A holiday hoax, if you will.  My children were happily buzzing with the mere thought of the holidays and I just couldn’t muster an ounce of spirit to join them.  Then the unthinkable happened.  We lost a close family member unexpectedly.  Their passing has left a sizable hole in our daily family life.  During a time of year that we’re supposed to be jolly and bright, we are all falling well short.

Something had to be done. We listened to the holiday playlist on my iPod.  Nothing, nada.  Next?  We tried decorating the tree.  That didn’t help either.  As I unwrapped ornaments and passed them to my children to hang on our tree, I found so many that had been given to us by grandmas and grandpas that would only be celebrating the holidays with us in spirit.  For me, it has been quite some time since the holidays ceased to be about the shiny packages under the tree.  They are now marked by the people I celebrate with and the shared traditions that we continue to practice year after year.  During this season, I am reminded of those people who helped make the holidays seem like, well, the holidays in my life.  It normally leaves me feeling both joy and sadness.  Joy for the good memories and sadness for my loss.  After hanging the last ornament on the tree my humbug mood didn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

I can usually count on baking to improve my mood no matter the reason.  So I set about doing what a mother of two young children who are incredibly excited about the impending holiday had to do.  I made myself select an unmistakably holiday recipe and bake it.  But what to make?  A bouche de Noel was a bit more than I was bargaining for during the first week of December.  Gingerbread cookies require for me to already be deep in the holiday mood.  Gingerbread houses are my Mother’s domain.  I find it nearly unbearable to spend hours working on something that while being totally edible, will never be eaten.

Luckily, I had just flipped through the December issue of Martha Stewart Living and remembered a beautiful photo of peppermint meringue cookies with chocolate ganache centers.  I hedged my bets.  Even if making them didn’t improve my mood, I was fairly certain that they would be good for our afternoon snack.

As soon as I started, I ran into my first problem.  If you’ve read much of this blog, you already know that my son has food allergies.  Food allergies require me to be a very resourceful baker.  For years, I needed to use egg substitutes of every variety.  Thankfully, we can now use eggs in our baked goods.  However, I have not been able to find flavored extracts that are not made in facilities that also produce nut extracts.  So, I would need to invent my own method of infusing our meringue cookies with peppermint flavor.  Move over Martha, we don’t use bottled extracts here at 1840 Farm.

My first thought was to attempt to make a highly reduced peppermint simple syrup.  I used 2 ounces of water and a crushed  Spangler candy cane in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  I allowed the mixture to boil for about 12 minutes.  It smelled and looked exactly as I had hoped.  Unfortunately, as it cooled the power of candy’s hard crack stage was too strong.  Instead of the thickened syrup that I was looking for, it turned into peppermint toffee.  Maybe Martha had tried this herself and thought the better of it.  Maybe I should know better than to question Martha.  Oh well, back to the drawing board.

The original recipe calls for a ganache filling to be piped onto the cooled meringue and then sprinkled with crushed candy canes.  That gave me my next idea.  I decided to try crushing another candy cane until it was a fine powder and then added it to my meringue batter after I had whipped it to stiff peaks.  After striping the inside of the pastry bags with red food paste, I filled each with meringue and proceeded to pipe them into the recommended shape.

Enter my next challenge.  I had two enthusiastic bakers helping me with the piping and they were a five-year old and a nine-year old.  This was not a time to stick to Martha’s strict instructions about piping each meringue into a perfectly round circle exactly 1 3/4 inches wide.  Yes, I had done as she had suggested and marked perfectly round circles underneath our parchment paper, but we were soon ignoring them.  Our cookies were not being made to grace the pages of a magazine.  With any luck, they would be so delicious that they wouldn’t last until tomorrow.

I took a deep breath and decided to let the meringues fall where they may.  We piped shapes that were a bit more oblong than circular, but they were red and white mounds nonetheless.  Due to our irregular shapes, our yield was not quite the 32 cookies that the original recipe calls for.  We were willing to accept this and move on to the eating.

We decided to taste them as soon as they had cooled.  No, we hadn’t yet topped them with ganache, but when your holiday spirit is at stake, you eat the cookie with or without ganache.  I was willing to take one for the team.  I was so glad that I had.  The cookies were peppermint perfection.  It was as if a candy cane had been crossed with a toasted marshmallow.  They were moist and chewy in the center while delicately crisp on the outside.  Add this to the fact that they were perfectly infused with the essence of a candy cane, and they were pronounced a new holiday family favorite.

It only took one cookie for the entire family to make a decision.  There would be no ganache on our peppermint meringue cookies.  I should mention that we all love ganache.  We commonly have a jar of homemade ganache in the refrigerator for topping cookies, cakes, or vanilla ice cream.  In this case, topping the meringue with ganache seemed like gilding a perfectly beautiful lily.  We decided not to.

As we sat down to enjoy our snack, we all remarked at just how deliciously simple these cookies were.  They made a perfect accompaniment with Peet’s Holiday Blend coffee and the kid’s cups of hot chocolate.  When my son unhappily realized that he would not have enough of these cookies to last him a few days, he looked at me with a hot chocolate mustache and said, “As soon as these are gone, will you promise to make me more?”

And just like that, my holiday spirit was restored.  Leave it to a five-year old and his cookie to propel me into a better mood.  Unknowingly, I had baked a cookie that combined two of his favorite things:  bravery and Christmas.  Nothing fills my heart with more joy than that.

Did I lose you?  The bravery is simple.  Last year, the mere sight of an egg made him nervous as he was supposed to be avoiding them at all costs because of his egg allergy.  Now he was eating an egg white cookie and loving every bite.  And what says childhood and Christmas more simply than a candy cane?  Here he sat, eating at the intersection of food bravery and Christmas.  Suddenly the emptiness I was trying to reconcile this holiday season was a little smaller.

Our cookies were far from perfect.  Martha’s are prettier and I’m sure that hers are perfectly round, perfectly sized, and perfectly perfect.  In the end, none of us minded the imperfections in our cookies.  I guess that a good homemade cookie is a lot like the people who are most important in your life.  You accept them as they are, and once they are gone, you miss them almost instantly.

Once our cookies were gone, I no longer felt like a humbug, but I was sure that this cookie would become part of our new holiday tradition.  Next year, I hope that I won’t need a cookie to propel me into a holiday mood.  Instead, I’m hoping to skip to the happy family gathered around our farmhouse table and hear my family exclaim, “Ah, humbugs!”


Peppermint Humbugs
adapted from Martha Stewart Living December 2010

This recipe is the perfect opportunity to break out your oven thermometer.  If your oven is too cool, the meringue will not dry adequately.  If the oven is too warm, the beautiful white and red cookie will brown and affect both the taste and appearance of the cookies.

3 large egg whites, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large candy cane, crushed finely

1.  Preheat oven to 175 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  Combine egg whites and sugar in a heatproof mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Stir constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.  Remove from heat and whisk on medium-high speed with whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.  Use a spatula to gently fold the crushed candy cane into the mixture.

3. Fit pastry bag with a plain 1/4 inch round tip.   Using a small pastry brush, paint 3 or 4 stripes of red paste food coloring inside a pastry bag from tip to end.  Carefully add meringue to pastry bag.  Pipe meringue into circles on prepared baking sheets.

4.  Bake meringue until crisp, but not browned, about 90 minutes.  The cookies should lift easily from the parchment paper when completely baked.  Move to a wire rack to cool completely.


This post was featured in The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. 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 to become 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, Instagram, 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/2010/12/aah-humbugs/

Chili Season

Chili with Sweet Corn Masa at 1840 FarmHere we sit at 1840 Farm.  It is almost the end of November.  The garden has been put to bed for the winter.  The leaves have been corralled into their leaf compost bins.  Well, at least most of them.  Summer is over and fall is holding on by a very thin thread.  True, we haven’t seen a snowflake yet, but we know it’s coming.  We are hovering on the edge of winter.  Dusk comes far too early and the sky is as deep and dark as midnight by the time supper hits the table.  It’s official.  Chili season is here.

During the fall and winter, chili becomes a regular fixture on our dinner table.  It’s a favorite at 1840 Farm.  I cannot tell a lie:  it’s also the cook’s favorite.  The ingredients are easy to keep on hand, the prep is simple, and it feeds my family for at least two nights.  Yes, that’s right.  I take the second night off from cooking dinner.  It’s no wonder I love chili season so much.

I grew up eating the ground beef variety of chili.  What can I say?  It was the eighties.  It was the Midwest.  It was all we knew.  Later, the ground beef evolved into ground turkey.  We felt really proud of ourselves for reducing the fat and joining the masses who were substituting ground turkey everyplace that ground beef used to be.  Either way, I always enjoyed it.  No matter what form it took, I looked forward to the earthiness of the beans with the bright acidity of the tomatoes.  The spicy seasoning was just a bonus.

Then we moved to New England and entered our chili-free years.  We no longer needed chili.  We had chowda.  It was a nice change.  Each year when late summer became fall, we would turn to chowder to ease us into the reality that winter would soon hold us captive.  As far as coping mechanisms go, it seemed like a pretty good one.

It was fitting that we had traded in chili for chowder now that we had traded in the wheat fields of Kansas for the lighthouses of New England.  We felt like locals for throwing our chili bowls aside in favor of the locally harvested clams and the creamy chowder.  All was well on the Eastern front.  At least, until a shellfish allergy reared its ugly hives.  Goodbye lobster, crab, shrimp, and even clams.  Goodbye clam chowder.

It was time to reinvent our winter’s edge meal.  Enter the chili.  But when I said reinvent, I really meant it.   By the time I went back to the stove to make chili, our food landscape had changed dramatically.  We had given up ground beef.  We had given up turkey.  We were, for the most part, vegetarians.  All bets were off.  We were officially back to the drawing board.

What did we do?  Amazingly, I think we ended up with a chili recipe that is delicious, perhaps even more so than any of the former varieties.  No, ours doesn’t involve meat, but you could easily brown the meat of your choice with the onions and garlic and have a wonderfully hearty version of your own. 

This chili packs a spicy punch which can sometimes be a little much for the kids at my dinner table.  I tried serving it with the standard chili toppings:  shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream.  They worked to reduce the spice, but didn’t really add much to the dish.  Then we decided to try our sweet corn masa as a topping.  Eureka-we had found the perfect pairing.  The sweet corn masa perfectly subdues the heat of the chili without diluting it or covering it up.  It is a match made in chili heaven.

We gathered at our table tonight and ate this chili topped with sweet corn masa.  It was cold and damp outside, but we didn’t mind.  Tomorrow night, we’ll enjoy the leftovers knowing that they will be equally delicious.  I’ll take the day off from making dinner.  What will I do with all that free time?  Maybe I’ll make that Pear Clafouti I’ve been meaning to try.  I said I’d take the day off from making dinner, but I never promised to stay out of the kitchen.

1840 Farm Chili with Sweet Corn Masa Topping
serves 8 – 10

Sweet Corn Masa

4 Tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons milk
1/4 cup water
8 ounces frozen sweet corn kernels
1 Tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In medium bowl, combine melted butter with cornmeal, sugar, sea salt, and baking powder.  Stir to combine.  Add milk and water, stirring until evenly moist.  Add frozen corn and stir until just combined.  Pour into ungreased baking dish.  Cover with aluminum foil.

Place covered baking dish in larger baking pan.  Pour water into larger pan until it is approximately one-third full.  Bake in preheated oven until batter is set, about 50 to 60 minutes.  Remove and allow to stand at room temperature at least 10 minutes.  Drizzle honey on top of the warm masa before serving.

Chili

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 whole carrots, diced
1  1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1  1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1  1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 whole canned chipotle chili in adobo, minced
20 ounces water
56 ounces canned whole tomatoes
15 ounces canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15 ounces canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
15 ounces canned black beans, drained and rinsed
15 ounces canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 whole bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1  1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Heat large pot over medium-high heat.  Add oil, onion, garlic, and carrots, and cook until softened, approximately 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and add oregano, cumin, chili powder, and adobo chili.  Cook, stirring constantly, 1-2 minutes.  Keep yourself at arm’s distance from the pot-the vapors released from the chili once it warms up are pretty intense. 

Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined.  Bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Discard bay leaf and taste for seasoning.  Serve with sweet corn masa.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2010/11/chili-season/

Caramelized Butternut Squash Pizza

On pizza night at 1840 Farm, the whole family is happy to come to the dinner table.  We enjoy homemade pizza year-round unlike so many of our other favorite meals.  While we choose to bid our heirloom tomatoes a begrudging farewell once their growing season ends, we can enjoy pizza with homemade tomato sauce even in the middle of our long, snowy winter. 

Come fall, we are all happy to see that caramelized butternut squash has found its way back into our pizza night routine.  The smell of brown butter fills our kitchen with its nutty aroma while I anticipate the delicious contrast of the spicy  black pepper and caramelized squash.  True, I’m still counting the days until next year’s tomato crop can be planted, but pizza this good makes the waiting much easier.

Caramelized Butternut Squash Pizza
serves 6-8 as a main course

Pizza Crust
400 grams (3 1/3 cups) Bread Flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
8 1/2 ounces warm water

       
     

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine water, honey, salt, and olive oil. 
  2. Sprinkle yeast on top of liquids and allow to sit for 5  minutes. 
  3. Add flour to bowl and fit mixer with dough hook. 
  4. Mix on low-speed for three minutes.  The dough will begin to gather together and form a shaggy ball.  Turn mixer off and allow dough to rest for five minutes. 
  5. At the end of the rest period, mix the dough for another three minutes at medium low-speed.  At this point, the dough will be transformed into a smooth, elastic ball. 
  6. Remove the ball from the bowl and divide into two equal portions.  Form each into a ball by tucking the ends underneath as you turn it in your hands.  Place on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil.  Allow to sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes. 
  7. Place in a plastic container and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

      

Squash Topping
3 pounds butternut squash 
6 Tablespoons butter
1 onion, minced
3 Tablespoons fresh sage, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces fontina cheese, shredded
1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated

  1. Set pizza stones on oven racks placed in top and bottom third of oven.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Remove pizza dough from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature while preparing the squash. 
  3. Peel butternut squash.  Cut into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside.  Mince the onion finely and add to the squash.  Set aside while making the brown butter.   
  4. In large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat and cook until the butter solids have browned.  At this point, add the squash and onion to the pan.  Season with sage, salt, and pepper.  Continue to cook the mixture 15 to 20 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.  Do not overcook as the squash will continue to cook in the oven.  Remove from heat and check for seasoning.
  5. Dust pizza pan with flour.  Stretch pizza dough into a 10 inch round.  If the dough offers too much resistance, allow it to rest for five minutes before attempting again.  You will find that the dough will relax and be much easier to stretch after this short rest. 
  6. Brush the middle of the stretched pizza crust with olive oil, leaving a two-inch border all around the perimeter. 
  7. Divide the fontina between the two pizza dough rounds and spread evenly over the area brushed with olive oil.  Divide the butternut squash mixture evenly between the pizzas and distribute over the fontina cheese.  Top with grated parmesan. 
  8. Place pizzas in preheated oven.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Using a spatula, attempt to separate the pizza from the pan by turning the pan and running the spatula underneath.  Slide pizza directly onto pizza stone.  If pizza crust does not come free from pan, return pan to oven and allow to bake two more minutes before attempting to slide it from the pan to the stone. 
  9. After pizzas have been moved to the stone, bake an additional 4 to 6 minutes or until the crust is golden and firm.  Remove from pizza stone to pizza pan using tongs.  Serve hot.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2010/10/caramelized-butternut-squash-pizza/

French Fridays-Gougeres

Welcome to French Fridays with Dorie at 1840 Farm.  I’m not usually a person who looks to join this kind of thing.  Really, I’m not.  However, this group involves cooking, reading, eating French food, and blogging.  I felt that an exception had to be made.

And then there’s the fact that Dorie Greenspan is involved.  I don’t own dozens of her cookbooks.  I know her more as a friend of a friend.  Well, that may be an enormous stretch.  Julia Child was definitely her friend.  I’m one of the millions of people who watched Julia on television and wished that she was my friend.  True, it is a marked difference, but at least I know that.

As a child, my experience with Julia was strictly her.  She was on television, usually alone, teaching me to love the experience even if the end result didn’t turn out exactly as I had expected.  She taught me that it was okay to mold a failed omelette back into shape and hold my head high.  As an adult, Julia was on camera with other great chefs and bakers.  Julia was in print with cookbook authors.

Enter Dorie into my life.  Where Julia was, Dorie was sure to follow.  I didn’t just purchase Baking with Julia, I put it on display in my farmhouse kitchen the way some people display fine art.  To me, it was.  I read Dorie’s carefully written recipes as if they were chapters from a great novel.  I chose the recipes I wanted to try and followed her as my guide.  I began to realize that although Julia was gone, Dorie was here.

 

I also knew that my daughter would love cooking the recipes along with me.  It somehow seemed right that if I learned by watching Julia, my daughter could learn by reading Dorie’s cookbook.  So, today we set out to make the first recipe from the series French Fridays with Dorie.

Gougeres.  A food so delicious that it deserves to be its own complete sentence.  If you don’t agree, then may I recommend that you run to your local bookstore or public library and put a copy of Around My French Table into your hands immediately.  Go ahead, make them and tell me that you still disagree.

The recipe was easy to follow.  If I had left my daughter in the kitchen too long, I might have come back in to find them ready to go in the oven.   They infused the whole kitchen with a wonderful aroma and the resulting gougeres were absolutely delicious.  Dorie mentions that they can be frozen and baked directly from a frozen state.  I’m busy dreaming up ways to make more room in the freezer.  They’re that good.  This winter, they will pair beautifully with soups and vegetable dishes.  I won’t lie, they’ll also pair beautifully with that glass of red wine that always seems to be poured a little early on Sunday afternoon while dinner is in the works.

Tonight, the gougeres were served with fresh herb baked eggs and a spinach salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.  We poured a delicious 2007  A to Z Pinot Noir.  The combination was other worldly.  Tonight’s dinner would be enough to cement Dorie’s place in our cookbook collection.  If I hadn’t already been a fan, I would have easily become one of the card-carrying variety.

At the end of our meal, my daughter had a look of pure happiness on her face.  She was proud of her work.  She was happy that we all enjoyed the gougeres so much.  She proclaimed that, “We should have this for dinner more often!”  I couldn’t have hoped for more.   A great meal, a happy child, and the thought that some day, years from now, I will walk into her kitchen.  I’ll smell gougeres baking and that same look of pure happiness and pride will appear on my face.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2010/10/french-fridays-gougeres/

Ciao, Summer

It’s official.  It’s fall.  I know, I know.  I’m supposed to embrace this change.  I should get out my favorite sweater, go apple picking, and buy a pumpkin.  I don’t want to.  Instead, I want to invite summer to stay a while longer.  I want to thumb my nose at Mother Nature.  I want her to understand in no uncertain terms that she can keep her beautiful foliage if I can keep my tomato patch a while longer.

I don’t have anything against fall.  I actually like pumpkins.  Let me count the ways:  pie, cake, bread, risotto.  Okay, I think that you probably get the picture.  It’s not really that I don’t like fall.  It’s just that I really love summer.

I don’t love summer because of the hot weather or pool parties.  They don’t bring anything to my dinner table.  Instead, I love to garden.  I love to plant the tiniest of seeds in the hope that they will bear fruit.  I enjoy the planning, the planting, the tending, the harvesting.

I’ve yet to find a food that doesn’t taste better when we grow it here at 1840 Farm.  It’s the easiest way I know to elevate the taste of everything we eat.  Dinner becomes an adventure.  We can go out to the garden with a bowl and come back into the house with the freshest of ingredients and a recipe brewing in our heads.  It’s like having a Top Chef quickfire challenge right here in our kitchen every night.  I love it.

True, it is a lot of work.  Farming isn’t easy.  Sometimes you meet heartbreak right in your own yard.  This year, I spent hours planning and planting a Three Sisters Garden.  As I worked, I thought of how wonderful it would be to harvest all of the corn, squash, and beans from this new addition to our garden.  I started to plan ahead for the harvest.  Where would we store all of these beautiful vegetables?  The answer was simple.  Nowhere.  It’s pretty easy to ingest the three ears of corn that we were actually able to eat before the corn earworms did.  What a disappointment.  But there was no time for wallowing.  The tomato harvest was ready.

Caprese pasta is a summer favorite here.  We happily eat it at least once a week.  It is so unbelievably simple to make, but delicious to eat.  I keep waiting for it to become boring to my tastebuds.  It hasn’t happened yet.  Every time we have it, we leave the dinner table happy to have eaten it and sad to see that there isn’t more left in the bowl.

Fast forward to today and the tomatoes are barely hanging on.  They’re unhappy about the cooler evenings.  They aren’t ready for fall’s arrival either.  I’m bound and determined to eat every last one of them.  I don’t care if today is the official start of fall.  On my dinner plate, it will be summer.  At least, until the tomatoes are gone.

Caprese Pasta

2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cut into chunks

1 clove garlic, minced

2 ounces extra virgin olive oil

8 ounces mozzarella, cut into cubes

12 ounces rotini or penne pasta

1 handful basil leaves, torn

salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a roiling boil.  Add 1 Tablespoon of salt to the water and return to boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.  Add cooked pasta to bowl and toss, adding pasta water if necessary.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2010/09/ciao-summer/

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