Thursday, March 31, 2011

Food Glorious Food AKA Winter in April

the Dr. Pepper pork is from this book

Just picture a great big steak --

Fried, roasted or stewed.
Oh, food,
Wonderful food,
Marvellous food,
Glorious food.
Food, glorious food!
Oliver: Food, Glorious Food Lyrics

Although the calender reads April , it does not feel like spring.
The weather man is calling for a April Fools Day Snow , so the menu is calling for slow cooking.

Friday: Taco Pizza--- Ok this on is quick , but it will follow work and shopping.

Saturday: Baked Lasgana and fresh hot bread

Sunday: Spicey Dr. Pepper Pork

As I plan the menu I always use two great FREE Downloads
this one for my Menu
and then this one for my shopping
I first plan the menu, then I make my shopping list I shop my pantry then head to the store.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Then and Now

time flies


Some picture speak to me!
I am sorry I do not have any info on this print, photographer and subject unknown.
I will just say God Bless The US Military

Monday, March 28, 2011

Why Wait be kind today

April 21st: Flash mob of kindness Glenn Beck

So while watching Glenn Beck last week, Glenn issued a challenge to people to be a force for good  and called for flash mobs of kindness across the country on Thursday, April 21st. Glenn suggested, as a group, giving canned goods to people in need and other "random acts of kindness". I really like this idea and plan to take part, in the mean time I have two very kind things you can do today, for free. Both families are from Maine.

 help this family win a handicap accessible home
They are two great kids and a wonderful family , in Maine.
Here are two paragraph's from their Moms blog
"They are amazingly sweet kids and I am blessed that someone up there thought that I had the fortitude and strength to parent them.  But the fact is that they are sick.  They have a very rare metabolic condition that has only been diagnosed in about 60 cases worldwide."
"Our little house is 900 square feet and 111 years old.  We can't fit two wheelchairs into the house even if we could get them through the door. "
read more here :   you will find a link to vote on Facebook     Twombly Family
 Help Cassi and Luke win the  wedding of their dreams.
Read Their essay here

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Speechless Sunday

OK I am never speechless, but I'm pretty close tonight.
 We are coming out of another winter with Jake, we did not think he would survive the first winter.
 He has lost weight seance summer and will benefit from green grass, but look how good he looks.He is a world away from the naglected boy who arrived here.
 Working out with Daddy.

PS. This week I asked my Face book Friends to vote for two very special little boys for a new home, tomorrow I am going to ask you here, to vote for a special couple to have a wedding and an a very cool first step. Both votes are free and only take a moment.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Budget Gourmet

Flounder at the market (today only) is $4.99 Chicken Thighs are on sale for .88 lb so they are on the menu this week end.

Stuffed Flounder


6 ounces  crabmeat, flaked

1/3 cup diced red bell pepper

1/3 cup diced celery

1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons Cains Mayo
1 tablespoon dried minced onion

3/4 teaspoon dried parsley

1 pinch cayenne pepper

salt and ground black pepper to taste

4 (4 ounce) sole fillets

1/4 cup bread crumbs


1. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

2. Place the crabmeat, bell pepper, celery, and mozzarella cheese into a mixing bowl. Gently stir in the mayo, dried onion, parsley, and cayenne pepper. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place a fish fillet onto your work surface, and place 1/4 of the crab mixture onto one end. Roll the sole over the filling, and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining fillets, and place into a close-fitting baking dish, side by side. Cover with aluminum foil

3. Bake in the top third of the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil, and sprinkle evenly with breadcrumbs. Return to the oven, and continue baking until the fish is flaky, and the filling is hot, 10 to 15 minutes more

Chicken Paprikash / from Yankee
Paprika, a powder made from dried peppers, is the star seasoning here; we used sweet paprika, but you can find it in smoked and very spicy varieties. Chicken thighs are gaining a lot of popularity of late, owing to the discovery that they're moister and more flavorful than breast meat, and as a bonus, are often on sale.

■1/2 cup flour

■1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt

■3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

■6 bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), skin on

■Vegetable oil

■1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

■1 garlic clove, minced

■4 plum tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeds discarded, chopped

■4 Hungarian peppers (or substitute 2 bell peppers and 1 jalapeno), roughly chopped

■2 tablespoons sweet paprika

■1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock

■3/4 cup sour cream

■Cooked rice or dumplings

■Fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Place flour, salt, and pepper into a large plastic bag. Add chicken, and toss well to coat.

In a large Dutch oven, or in a deep, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof pan with lid, add a thin layer of oil over medium-high heat. Brown chicken well, about 2-3 minutes per side. Don't overcrowd the pot; cook in batches if necessary. Remove to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium-low; add onion and cook 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomatoes, peppers, and paprika; cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Return chicken and any juices to the pot. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook 15 minutes; then turn chicken. Simmer 12-15 minutes more, until chicken is fully cooked.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together sour cream and 1 cup sauce from the pot. In the pot, stir sour-cream mixture into sauce. Serve with rice or dumplings. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

preserving simplistic traditions

Today we have had snow showers, all day.
However I am pleased to report that this week I have seen,signs of spring.
On Sunday I spotted tulips trying to sprout, on Monday the local garden shop put out forsythia and  yesterday I stopped on the side of the road and cut pussy willows. Clippings of spring blooms and budding trees was a tradition , growing up. Little glass bottles, and old jars would pop up all over the house .My Mom had a window over the kitchen sink that would host a bud vase April - October. I love preserving simplistic traditions!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Riding the Big Horse

This is NOT my horse, or my farm. But this is a fun kick you in the pants get you ready for a spring ride video from: Emma. Watch how the Big Boys Do It

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


this week ends full moon

Maine Maple Sunday is this week end.

March 27

Maple Sunday is a Maine tradition.
Maine's maple producers celebrate Maine Maple Sunday on March 27, 2011. It's the day when sugar makers around the state open the doors of their sugarhouses for the public to to join them in their rites of spring-making maple syrup.

Most sugarhouses offer free tasting and live demonstrations of how syrup is produced from tap to table. Many offer a variety of other treats and activities including syrup on pancakes or ice cream, sugarbush tours, sleigh or wagon rides, live music and lots more.
The farm I am planning to visit is Harris Farm

Harris Farm is close to our home, and it is locally owned.(280 Buzzell Road, Dayton, Maine) I do not think I'll have the pancakes, but I plan bring home some fresh local goods, and they are dog friendly.
March 26th and 27th, 2011

• All-you-can-eat Pancake breakfast
• Maple sugaring demonsrations
• Lots of maple products available
• Dairy store open

Sap can only be harvested while it's moving through the tree trunk. The sugar in sap is stored as starch throughout the year.

During the spring, the warm days and cold nights help change these starches to sugars and the flow of sweet sap begins

Old-Fashioned Baked Beans

6 cups dried beans

2/4 to 1 lb lean salt port or slab bacon on the rind

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/3 cup Maine maple syrup

1 medium-sized onion, peeled and stuck with 2 whole cloves

Cover beans with boiling water, soak 1 hour, then drain. (This will remove some gas-causing compounds.) Cover beans with cold water, bring to a slow boil and cook until skins split when the beans are blown on. Drain, saving liquid.

Drop the meat into a pan of boiling water, turn off heat and let sit for 5 or 10 minutes to remove excess salt. Drain and cut in half. Put half of the meat, rind down, on the bottom of your bean pot. Combine 1 cup bean liquid with the mustard, syrup, and pepper, then mix it into the parboiled beans.

Transfer this to the bean pot and bury the onion right in the middle. Pour in just enough additional bean-liquid or water to barely show through the top layer of beans. Cap with the remaining meat, set rind side out. Cover and bake 6 to 8 hours in a very slow (250 degree) over, adding boiling water if necessary to keep beans from drying out. Uncover for last hour so top can get brown and

Monday, March 21, 2011

Worth a peak

Let me start by saying , I know little about this artist (or art in general)
This picture I stumbled on just struck me.
It reminded me of my Avo "Vo" Portuguese for Grandmother
The picture is:
"Babooshka" by

Yulia Brodskaya

Yulia is an artist who works with paper,

creating stunning paper illustations, the image above is quilled.

Still thinking of the picture I looked up "Babooshka" and found nothing but I did find babushka, hmm.

Definitions of babushka on the Web:

•a woman's headscarf folded into a triangle and tied under the chin; worn by Russian peasant women

•a usually triangularly folded kerchief for the head (scarves)

•Grandmother, in Russian.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Re purposed

Like most working breeds , Belgians like to work.
We have been looking on craigs list and what not, for a .drag for Nick.
 Then we came across this scrap steel,it was going into the dumpster at a retail store. Bob measured cut and figured a layout for a drag.

We were able to pay a neighbor( a fellow draft person), a reasonable fee
to weld together

Bob added runners and a deck

and Nickel has a new job

an exercise drag

re purposed scrap steel

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Menu Plan Week 3-18

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens

photo from simplyrecipes

Week three of Menu planning while trying to save money and still eat will.
This week food prices increased another 4%
Let me start by saying the Turkey sliders last week were yummy! I was hesitant to cook with ground turkey, in the past I have found it to be dry, the sliders were moist and tasty.

Friday: Scallops and Bacon with rice
scallops are not cheap , however you do not need allot to feed two and the bacon will be used on the burgers as well.
Saturday: Warm Steak and Potato Salad
Sunday: Oven Baked Whole Chicken
with mashed potato's / extra mashed for fishcakes
(Making a Minestrone soup to pack for lunches)
Monday: Fish cakes with slaw
Tuesday: Pasta with spinach
Wenesday: Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches CROCKPOT
Thursday: Bacon Cheese Burgers ontop salad

ps. everything that has happened in Japan this week ads one more reason to try and eat local

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's raining it's pouring

It is expected to rain all week end.
Do you now what is the best thing, for curing rainy day blues?
Dutch Oven Cooking ! I plan to cook short ribs low and slow.
My Dutch Oven is from Cabela's , it is cast iron and I love it!

Twenty seven years ago I received some cast iron cookware as a wedding shower gift. As a young wife and homemaker I had no idea how to care for it, and I ruined it.
I have learned the most important thing about cast iron care is seasoning the pans.
Seasoning Cast-Iron

Cast-iron pans are only non-stick when they are properly seasoned. Seasoning a pan is about coating the pan with a heat-tolerant oil (or fat) and then allowing it to bake into the iron, creating a slick surface.

Although I use my Dutch oven alot for slow cooking, that starts usually with a hot sear.
Cast-iron pans are often used for high heat cooking, whether you're frying an steak or baking corn bread. For that reason I prefer to use a  fat, which is more stable over high heat, for seasoning. Good choices include:
crisco oil

 The first season is very important . As soon as you get the pan home from the store, season it before use.
I rinse mine and then dry on top of the gas burner.
If you do all (or most) of your deep frying in your cast iron this will keep them well seasoned.

Once your pan is clean and dry, and still warm from your stove top, add just enough fat to coat the pan bottom and sides. I then use an old cloth napkin to distribute the oil all over and soak up any extra. Then put your pan in a 250 degree oven for a few hours. You now have your base layer of seasoning.  Repeat this process anytime you find that your initial seasoning isn't holding up. ( if things seem to be sticking)

Washing your pans
Do not use soap. Soap will remove the layer of seasoning !

Take a soap-free dish rag and wipe out the pan while running under hot water. Get everything out, but don't scrape, use HOT water.

Once the pan looks clean place it on a burner over medium-low heat until all of the liquid has evaporated from the pan and it has gotten fairly hot.

That's it!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I want a baby... Belgian

This Weeks Menu

Kitty in the Tack Room (on my Wagon Blanket)
Lager in the barn
Playing with a large paper tube. Sometimes the package is better than the gift!
Friday :Salad Topped with (Picked) Rotisserie Chicken
Saturday: Turkey Sliders Onion Soup
Sunday:Short Ribs
Tuesday :Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
Wednesday Crunchy Chicken Tenders Sweet Potato Fries
Thursday :French Dip Sandwiches
Turkey Parm Sliders
1 pound ground turkey

1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
4 slices mozzarella cheese, each slice cut into quarters
1/4 cup pasta sauce - homemade or store bought
1/2 cup shredded romaine lettuce
12 dinner rolls, split and toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Crunchy Chicken Tenders


2/3 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons dehydrated onion flakes

2 teaspoons dry mustard (you can also use bottled mustard)

Bread Crumbs (I use my homemade)

1 pound chicken tenders
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine 2/3 cup mayonnaise, the onion flakes and mustard in a shallow bowl. Mix well. In another bowl, place the breadcrumbs.
Dip the chicken in the mayonnaise mixture, then coat with the breadcrumbs. Arrange the coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the chicken until cooked through and the juices run clear when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Confessions of a magazine addict

I confess I am a magazine addict.
I love magazines, some of the ones I am most fond of at this time are Yankee,
 is New England this month features Maple Syrup.
Organic Gardening , lots of Gardening tips some cooking.(My Mom sent me a year of this as a gift)

Hobby Farm and Hobby Farm Home,Hobby Farm Home is the home magazine for those truly living in the country.

 and Cooks Illustrated .

Cooks Illustrated has recipies,for easy to fancy foods , cookware reviews , taste test results and NO ADS.
I am thrilled when I open the mail box and find a new magazine. I save my magazines and reread them seasonaly.
Here is a recipe from this months Yankee Magazine.

Yield: Serves 6

1 medium bunch broccoli (about 1-/2 pounds)

3 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped

4 cups chicken broth

2 mealy potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 cups buttermilk

1. Separate the broccoli into flowerets. Reserve about 1-1/2 cups of the smallest flowerets and set aside. Cut the stalks into 1-inch lengths.

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and celery and toss to coat. Stir over medium heat until the onion is tender. Pour in the chicken broth. Add the broccoli, potatoes, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Cover the pan and cook at a gentle bubble for 20 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.

3. Transfer to the container of a blender or processor and whirl until smooth. Return to the saucepan and stir in the reserved flowerets. Cover and cook slowly until the flowerets are crisp-tender. Remove from the heat and allow the soup to cool for 10 minutes. Blend in the buttermilk and place over medium heat. Warm gently, but do not allow the soup to boil. Serve hot
One of my favorite things is to pack a magazine in my lunch bag.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Sexy Jake

A Couple of Dates

OK So I was just looking at the calender, and Spring is approaching YAY.
A couple of fun things are coming up, in the area and at the farm.

Portland Maine Flower Show

Show Hours
Thursday, March 10th: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday, March 11 & Saturday, March 12: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday, March 13th: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, followed by the plant auction at 5:30PM
The show looks good, not sure about attending tickets are $15.00 each before gas and parking.

Maine Maple Sunday
March 27, 2011
Join Maine's maple producers to celebrate Maine Maple Sunday on March 27, 2011. It's the day when sugar makers around the state open the doors of their sugar houses for the public to to join them in their rites of spring-making maple syrup.
Most sugar houses offer free tasting and live demonstrations of how syrup is produced from tap to table. Many offer a variety of other treats and activities including syrup on pancakes or ice cream, sugar bush tours, sleigh or wagon rides, live music and lots more.
Pampered Chef Party
At Hooves and Hounds Farm
Ok I booked a Pampered Chef party, for Saturday March 26.
One of the ladies at work is a relatively new representative, so I said I would have a party.
As a rule I have no luck with this stuff, I book dates and few or no guests attend. If you are interested in attending, please contact me for more info.
check out the products at:
Loaded Baked Potato Chowder from Pampered Chef
3 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 lb/1.1 kg)

3 1/2 cups (875 mL) milk, divided

4 oz (125 g) cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp (30 mL) butter

2-3 green onions with tops (1/4 cup/50 mL sliced)

4 oz (125 g) sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt

1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarsely ground black pepper

Optional toppings such as chopped cooked bacon, sour cream or steamed broccoli florets


Slice potatoes in half lengthwise with Santoku Knife; place in Deep Covered Baker. Pour 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the milk over potatoes. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 11 minutes. Remove baker from microwave. Move center potatoes to ends of baker and outer potatoes to center. Cover; microwave on HIGH 8-11 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Remove baker from microwave. Coarsely mash potatoes with Mix ‘N Chop.

Meanwhile, whisk cream cheese until smooth in Classic Batter Bowl. Slowly add remaining 3 cups (750 mL) milk, whisking until smooth. Add cream cheese mixture and butter to baker. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 3-5 minutes or until mixture is hot. Slice green onions with Chef's Knife.

Carefully remove baker from microwave. Grate cheddar cheese over chowder using Rotary Grater; add green onions, salt and black pepper and mix using Small Mix ‘N Scraper®; until cheese is melted. Serve with toppings, if desired.