Category Archives: Recipes

Scalloped Potatoes and Leeks

As far as I’m concerned, the best part of eating ham for dinner is having scalloped potatoes alongside it on your plate.  We have a freezer full of ham steaks that need to be used up before December, when our next round of pigs will be all grown up.  Have I shown you piglet pictures yet? I can’t remember, so here you go!

Anyway, I had a big bunch of local leeks in my fridge, so I decided to add them into my normal recipe and it was delicious! I don’t measure when I make this recipe, since it’s all about the layering, so these measurements are just estimates.  Seriously, you want to make this recipe!

Scalloped Potatoes and Leeks

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • half stick of butter
  • 3-4 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced OR 8-10 small red potatoes, washed and thinly slided (no need to peel them!)
  • 2 large leeks, well washed, halved and sliced
  • 4-6 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar this time, but any cheese you like will do)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I like LOTS of black pepper, and add a little bit to each layer)
  • 2 cups whole milk

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Cut the garlic clove in half, then rub the cut side on the inside of the a 9 x 9 pan to flavor it, then use 1 tsp of butter to grease it.  Begin with a layer of potatoes by placing them in the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and about a Tbsp of flour, then dot with about 1 Tbsp of butter.  Add another layer of potatoes, more salt, pepper, flour, and butter.  Next layer in about half of the leeks.  Add another layer of potatoes, salt, pepper, flour, and about half the cheese.  Add another layer of potatoes, salt, pepper, flour, and butter.  Add the remaining leeks, then another two layers of potatoes, salt, pepper, flour, and butter.  Pour in the milk until the potatoes are mostly submerged, then press the layers down with your hands.  Top with the remaining cheese, some more pepper, and maybe even some more butter.  Bake for an hour until bubbly and the cheese is nicely browned, then let sit for about 15 minutes to cool and thicken before serving.  I’ve found that if I double the recipe I need to bake for up to an additional half hour to make sure the potatoes aren’t crunchy.

Ham? What ham? Pass the scalloped potatoes and leeks, please!

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Green Moms Carnival – Food Preservation

Welcome to the July Green Moms Carnival! I’m so excited to be hosting the carnival especially with Food Preservation as the topic because I think that food is one of the first ways that many moms choose to “go green,” by opting to eat seasonally and locally.  Once you’ve found your farmers you can learn to save money and enjoy that produce year-round by buying in bulk and preserving it.   Please take the time to visit each post!

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Food Preservation Basics

Tiffany from Nature Moms Blog gives a nice summary of different types of food preservation, along with some tips for getting started in her post Bringing Food Preservation Back to Our Kitchens.

Katy of Non-Toxic Kids (and my Moms Clean Air Force teammate) shares 3 Ways to Preserve the Summer Bounty.  Berry picking is a great way to teach your children where their food comes from and get some great pictures of ruby stained faces.  Katy also suggests pesto (yum!) and baked goods as ways to preserve.

Laura of Pug in the Kitchen shares tips for preserving food with little ones underfoot in her post Preservation: Pickles, Jelly and Sanity.  I’ve found that my canning has dropped way off (as in, come to a dead stop) since I had Joshua because big pots of boiling and a baby who wouldn’t let me put him down were not a combination I wanted last summer. 

Michelle of Green Bean Chronicles writes about canning, freezing, dehydrating, fermenting and not preserving in her post There is More Than One Way To Skin A… at The Green Phone Booth.

Canning

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There are so many different ways to preserve food, but many people think of canning first.  I have loved seeing the resurgence of canning in the past few years.  It’s hip to can! Can you believe it? 

Deanna of Crunchy Chicken, one of my long-time favorite blogs, contributed some fantastic canning recipes.  Just the titles make my mouth water!

Lisa from Condo Blues and Lazy Budget Chef writes about her first canning experience in I Canned Jam and Nobody Died.  There are so many people who are afraid of canning, but once they try it they realize how easy it can be! It’s blueberry jam, by the way.

Mary Clare from In Women We Trust totals up the return on a $20 seed investment in her post Can Yourself – Grow Money, Grow Friends.  You’ll be shocked!

Anna from Green Talk shows us how she has worked on Greening the Tomato Sauce Process.  There are great pictures to walk you through the steps of using a tomato press.

Linda of Citizen Green shares her tried and true recipe for marinara sauce in her post Use Your Garden Tomatoes in this Sauce.  It’s versatile and can be canned or frozen.

For those of us with a pressure canner and nerves of steel, Jena from Married to the Farm tells us about Pressure Canning Green Beans.  Don’t be scared!

I want to also share a few of my own favorite canning recipes from here at Farmer’s Daughter:

Freezing

Photo Credit: Laura from A Pug in the Kitchen

Lisa from Condo Blues and Lazy Budget Chef shares step-by-step tips on How to Freeze Fresh Tomatoes, for those of us who are a little too scared of the pressure canner.

Zoie at TouchstoneZ shares various ways to make organic strawberries from the local farmer’s market last and finds making freezer jam is even sweeter with her kids and a little reggae on the side in her post We’re Jamming.

Anna from Green Talk walks through the steps of Cooking Pumpkin and Squash for Easy Winter Storage.  She reminds us not to forget the seeds!

Karen from Best of Mother Earth explains that while she doesn’t do a lot of preserving, she does cook from scratch and makes sure not to waste the leftovers in her post How Do You Preserve Food?

Emily from Live Renewed shares a step-by-step tutorial for freezing fruit, along with a neat tip for pitting cherries, in her post Preserving Summer’s Bounty – Freezing Berries.

Lori of Groovy Green Livin shares how to find, freeze and thaw blueberries, as well as their health benefits in Preserve Summer: How To Freeze Blueberries.

Diane from Big Green Purse Blog shares a step-by-step tutorial on how to freeze tomato sauce in her post Make Your Own Delicious, Organic Tomato Sauce. Here’s How.

I love to freeze sweet corn for use in soups, stews and cornbread throughout the year. 

Drying/Dehydrating

Deanna of Crunchy Chicken shares Drying Herbs for Idiots.

Beth of My Plastic-free Life shows us how to make dried apple slices and fruit leather in her post Dry Summer Produce to Keep Through Winter Plastic Free

Mama Bear runs through a pro/con list of dehydrating in her post Kitchen Adventure: Drying Strawberries.   She outlines how to use the oven to dehydrate food.

Cold Storage

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Jena from Married to the Farm shows us how to store carrots throughout the winter in her post How to Store Carrots, and Save them for Seed

Dairy

Deanna of Crunchy Chicken shares:

Marci of Down on the Farm has two grass-fed Jersey milk cows and is in my opinion an expert cheesemaker! Check out her how-to’s:

Do you know what kefir is? I didn’t until I read the following two submissions. Now I want to try some! I have one question, how do you pronounce “kefir”?

Micaela of Mindful Momma‘s husband John shares how he makes homemade kefir in his guest post Kefir Madness.  Can I just say how cool it is that there’s a DAD joining the Green Moms Carnival?

Jen of Puddle Jumping shares her very low-maintenance kefir making system in her post Easy Homemade (Refrigerator) Kefir. I’ve gotta get me some of that kefir.

Baking in Bulk

Betsy from Eco-Novice shares her recipes for baking in bulk and freezing, which means she can have homemade food in a pinch!

Miscellaneous

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Deanna of Crunchy Chicken shares Homemade Rosolio and Candied Orange Peels.

Brenna of Almost All the Truth shows us how to reduce food waste and eat more of the green leafies with her post Getting Greens with Organic and Fresh Green Smoothies.

Phew! What a huge carnival! There were a grand total of 45 submissions! (Unless I counted wrong, my eyes are tired from all this typing!)  I want to send a special welcome to our new participants Marci, Zoie, Brenna and Jena.  Jena is a VERY new mom to her son Kent. Congrats Jena!

Thank you everyone for joining the Green Moms Carnival! Next month’s topic is Back To School and will be hosted by Micaela of Mindful Momma. The deadline is August 4 so get writing!

Please join in by sharing a link (or two, or a few) to your favorite food preservation post.

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Fun Family Learning: Cupcake Core Sampling

How can we know what’s underground if we can’t see it? One method is core sampling.  I wrote a post about my experience taking sediment samples from the bottom of Long Island Sound, and this is just one example of a real life use for core sampling.  An easy way to model core sampling at home is with cupcakes.

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A sediment sample from the bottom of Long Island Sound. Note the distinct layers.

Materials:

  • cupcake pan and liners
  • cake batter
  • food dye
  • frosting
  • clear straws

Preparation: 

All you need to do is whip up your favorite cake batter and separate it into about 5 bowls.  Use food coloring or a natural dye to make 5 different colors, then spoon each color into your lined cupcake pan.  Be sure to vary the layers so each cupcake is different.  Bake the cupcakes, then allow them to cool and top them with your favorite frosting.

 
Activity:
 
Use a clear straw to take core samples.  Children can choose to use a coordinate system for their holes or may prefer to wing it.  As they pull up each sample, they should note the colors present.  After they’ve taken samples, they can guess what the cupcake will look like or even draw a picture.  Then cut the cupcake in half and see how what it looks like.  Did you drill enough holes? Were the layers in the order you expected? Finally, go ahead and eat the cupcake!
 
Tips:
  • Use a foil or opaque cupcake liner and cover the whole top with frosting so you really can’t see any of the colors.
  • Bake strawberries, blueberries or chocolate chips into the cake to play the role of fossils.
  • You will need to make the batter very dark so the layers will be obvious in the straws.
  • The layers will compress a little as you push down on the cupcake, so you may not be able to tell their relative thickness.

You May Also Enjoy:

This post is part of my Fun Family Learning series.  Please let me know what you think about it and feel free to request a future topic!

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Birthday… Pie!

The Spring Celebration begins today! Please join in by sharing your favorite birthday recipe!

I love, love, love lime.  I remember trying fresh-squeezed limeade during a plantation tour in Jamaica (like 18 years ago) and it was one of the highlights of my trip. My favorite flavor of any candy is lime: sour patch kids, skittles, tootsie rolls, lolly pops, even green M&Ms.  But my absolute favorite lime dish is Key Lime Pie.  It has to have whipped cream on top, not meringue, and it has to be creamy yellow, not dyed green.  This is my mother-in-law’s recipe, which she makes for my birthday each year.  The picture below is from my birthday last year, just a few hours before labor started.  (Before you think about trying Key Lime Pie to bring on labor, remember that Joshua wasn’t born until nearly two days later…)

Key Lime Pie

Whisk together egg yolks and condensed milk until well blended.  Add lime juice and zest and whisk to combine.  Pour into cooled pie crust and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes.  Cool completely and chill.

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Whip all ingredients together right before serving.  Top pie with whipped cream and serve.

Please share a link for your favorite birthday recipe, and I’ll add it to this post! (But give me some time, I have to work til 2pm, plus it’s my birthday! I’m 30!!!)

Other Birthday Recipes

  • We also have another pie for my birthday: Chicken Pie! Check out the story behind this tradition and my recipe, too.
  • Luschka shares her Gran’s Flop Proof Chocolate Cake that looks so yummy! I’m a novice cake-baker so I’ll have to try it!
  • Lisa baked Easy Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. Mmmmm cream cheese icing… nuff said!
  • Melissa posted one of her favorites, Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Cake that she’s making for her daughter Annabelle’s birthday, which just happens to be the same day as Joshua’s.
  • Laura made a Pink Lady Pie that looks like the perfect girly dessert.  I can’t wait for fresh rhubarb to try it!
  • Jennifer shares a gluten-free Quinoa Chocolate Cake recipe.  She says she ate an entire cake by herself in one day, so it must be good!
  • Julamber baked a Chocolate Beet Cake for her daughter’s first birthday. Dwight Shrute would approve!

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Stuffed Peppers – Meatless Monday

This is a versatile recipe. I can imagine using this recipe for making stuffed summer squash or eggplant in summer, too.  Whatever’s in abundance in the garden can be chopped and added to the stuffing, and you can use fresh tomatoes instead of the canned crushed ones.  If you want a vegan recipe, use olive oil instead of butter and skip the cheese.  The mushrooms in the stuffing give it a “meaty” texture, but you can always add sausage or hamburger if you have die hard meat eaters.  If you have nothing to stuff, the rice mixture makes a nice side dish, too.  You can adapt this recipe to satisfy everyone! Serves 6.

  • 3 bell peppers, any color
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)

Slice peppers lengthwise and remove seeds and membranes.  Set aside.  In a large skillet, saute the onion in the butter or oil.  After a few minutes, add the carrot, mushrooms and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  While the vegetables cook, pour half of the tomatoes into the bottom of a baking dish.  Arrange the peppers in the tomato sauce.  Add the rice and remaining tomatoes to the skillet and stir to combine.  Taste for seasoning and adjust to your taste.  Fill the six pepper halves with the rice mixture and bake in a preheated 350°F for 30 minutes.  Top the peppers with cheese, then continue baking for another 10-15 minutes.

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I am an Urban Homesteader!

*in spirit!*

This post is part of the Urban Homesteaders Day of Action.  For some background on Urban Homesteading, visit Crunchy Chicken.

Since we’re not really urban homesteaders, I’ve decided to participate by preparing a meal that celebrates some of the ideals of urban homesteading: growing and producing your own food, increasing self-sufficiency, reducing waste and energy consumption, and building community.  This is the story of tonight’s supper!

It’s late winter, so I’m really depending on our stored food and the community food system.  My garden is buried under snow, but I can still make a local, sustainable feast. 

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My husband’s family raised this pig at their home.  We have a freezer full of pork, bacon, ham and sausage, all from one pig.  We know how he was raised, what he ate, how he was treated and how his life ended because we were there. 

ed pig

We believe that if you eat meat, you need to respect the animal that’s nourishing you.  We’re thankful to this pig for feeding our family.

Both sides of our family make maple syrup (and are in the process right now!) It’s a part of our New England heritage, and we love to use maple syrup to glaze meat, as a sugar substitute for baking, and of course on pancakes and waffles.

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When you make it yourself, you really appreciate the work that goes into maple syrup, and the 40:1 ratio of sap to syrup!

I feel that apples represent all the beauty of local food.  Break away from the bland monochromatic mush at the supermarket.  Grow, pick or preserve your own, and you’ll never be able to go back.  While our own trees are still a few years away from producing, my family’s farm is our source for apples. 

I grew up surrounded by apple and peach trees, but even tiny lots can fit a few dwarf trees. 

You don’t have to be 100% self-sufficient.  Do what you can, then support local farms and artisans.  The staples that I’m using today come from around our state, through a delivery service called Connecticut Farm Fresh Express.  Locally grown and ground white cornmeal, milk in refillable glass bottles, butter, free-range eggs, honey, acorn squash, garlic, shallots and salad greens round out our supper tonight.

While the words Urban Homesteading may have been trademarked, the lifestyle is not for profit.  Urban Homesteading is for the good of all Earth’s creatures.

Recipes

Maple Mustard Crusted Pork Roast

  • 2-3 lb pork loin roast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, cut into slivers
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

Sprinkle pork loin with salt and pepper all over.  With a sharp paring knife, cut tiny slices all over the pork, and stuff the garlic into them.  This will make the whole roast taste garlicky.  Spread the mustard and maple syrup onto the pork.  Bake in a 375 F oven for about 45 minutes to one hour, until the internal temperature reaches 155 F.  Let the roast rest for 10 minutes (the termperature will increase to 160 F while resting), covered, before serving. 

New England Johnny Cakes Cornbread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, and pour into a bread pan that is greased with butter.  Bake 30-35 minutes until top is browned and bread is cooked through.  Slice and serve hot with maple syrup for Johnny Cakes.

Sauteed Cinnamon Apples

  • 3 peeled and thinly sliced cooking apples
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • water or apple cider as needed
  • cinnamon to taste

Combine all ingredients in saucepan.  Cook over low heat until apples are very soft, adding small amounts of water as needed so the apples don’t burn or dry out.  No sugar necessary!

Maple-Roasted Winter Squash

  • 1/2 of a large winter squash, peeled and diced in large chunks
  • 2-3 shallots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp butter, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp  maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a glass baking dish.  Bake in a preheated 375 F degree oven, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and browned, about 1 hour.

Remember that every meal has a story. 

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