Monday, September 22, 2014

Tomato Pie Fresh from the Garden

I still have lots of tomatoes in my Kitchen Garden.  I've canned them diced, in sauces and salsas, we've had slices in salads and soups and on sandwiches, and we've still got tomatoes coming. So for a change of pace, today I made a tomato pie.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hanging Mason Jar Candleholders and Dangling Bead Strands

It started out as a summer project, but it was the winter that surprised and gripped me!  Mason jar candleholders and shiny beads to hang in our beloved Maple tree!  Summer evenings bring grilling outdoors and sitting around the fire ring.  How lovely it is to linger under the canopy of maple leaves and see the candles glowing in the jars and the strings of beads dangling in the breeze.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gourmet Cupcakes

For delicious gourmet cupcakes, through and through, try these easy steps to delight your family and guests!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rustic Winter Mantel Display

A home can look so bare and empty after the Christmas decorations are taken down and packed away.  Usually I automatically leap to the typical, expected Valentine's decorations.This year I felt like I needed a change, but what?  Rather than go out and buy new decorations, I decided to rummage around the house and see what I have that I could use to decorate the fireplace mantel for the remainder of the winter.   

Monday, November 25, 2013

Maple Grove Chickie-Babes are Meyer Models

2014 Meyer Hatchery Catalog
I am so eggcited (tickled pink, actually) that the Maple Grove Chickie-Babes are models for the 2014 Meyer Hatchery Catalog.  The photo above shows two of our Chickies representing their breeds in the new catalog: "Henny Ha-Ha," our New Hampshire Red and "Aussie Umbra," our Black Australorp.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Maple Pumpkin Pie with Salted Pecan Brittle

Pumpkin pie is a holiday favorite.  I love traditional pumpkin pie, but I'm always happy to find a new twist to it.  I found this recipe recently and couldn't wait to try it out. The filling of this pumpkin pie has a touch of maple flavor and is a lighter filling, more like a chiffon.  I've already made it twice for two different parties, and everyone was asking for the recipe.  It's a winner!!!  (The bonus . . . you'll also love the recipe for the Salted Pecan Brittle.  Yum, yum!)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Home Canning for Beginners

2013 Canning Season: Applesauce, Apple Pie Filling, Peaches, Pickles,
Tomatoes, Spaghetti Sauce, Salsa, Red Pepper Relish, Pumpkin Cake

If you've never done any canning before but you've been thinking about giving it a try, I'm here to tell you that it's easier than you might think.  I always wanted to try canning, but for one reason or another, I never did. I had never even watched anyone can before, so it was a bit of a mystery for me.  I felt a little intimated by it, thinking that I wouldn't do it right, that the jars wouldn't seal, that it wouldn't turn out good, or worst of all that I'd give my family and friends food poisoning.  Finally, last year, I canned for the first time. Last year I was a beginner, but this year I am an experienced canner. (That's how it is.  If you've never done it, you're a beginner.  If you have, you're experienced.)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Over-Wintering Geraniums

Two of my favorite flowering plants are Hydrangeas and Geraniums.  Hands down.  No doubt about it.  I'm not sure why. I think it's probably because of the lush green foliage and their large vibrant-colored blooms.  I'm just really attracted to them. That, plus the fact that they are so easy to grow and take care of.

Hyndrangeas are perennials and come back every year.  Geraniums are perennials in the warmer temperature zones, but in the northern areas like where I live in Pennsylvania, they are treated as annuals.  I love them so much (and I love being thrifty and re-purposing whatever I can), so I over-winter my Geraniums and plant them again the next year.  You can't do this with most annuals. But you can with Geraniums!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lasagna with Meatballs - Original Recipe

Lasagna happens to be my favorite meal.  It has been for as long as I can remember.  There are so many different ways to make it. I've been experimenting for years and have landed on my favorite original recipe . . . all from scratch! I make homemade egg noodles (of course . . . the Chickie-Babes provide the eggs, so why wouldn't I!?). I make homemade pasta sauce (this year using heirloom veggies and herbs that I grew from seed in my Kitchen Garden). And I make homemade meatballs.  Yes, I put meatballs in my lasagna!  I like the texture of them better than browned ground meat.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Meatballs with Fresh Herbs

It's no secret that I love pasta and all that goes with it . . . the sauces, the vegetables, the meats, and the herbs!  A big favorite at our house is the meatballs.  I like to make them with fresh herbs so much better than dried herbs.  So, in the summer while the garden is producing, I make up batches of meatballs and put them in the freezer.  Then in the winter, we can still have meatballs with fresh herbs! Of course, you can make this recipe with dried herbs, but it's just not quite the same.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Canning Spaghetti Sauce

I love homemade spaghetti sauce made with fresh herbs from the garden.  I really believe using fresh herbs makes a big difference in the sauce compared to using dried or frozen herbs. I  like to can some of this goodness during the summer when the herbs are growing, and then we can enjoy it during the winter months too. I use my own spaghetti sauce recipe, taking a short-cut on the tomato sauce. I've made my own tomato sauce before; it is very time consuming for a small yield, so I buy the canned tomato sauce and add my fresh ingredients to it.