Monday, January 31

Monday Dose of Cute: Get into Trouble? Who, Me?

Not on a Monday!

©, the totally innocent foodie farm blog where a big snow and ice storm is on the way, and we need to take an all day trip into town to stock up on supplies—without Beagle Bert. We're leaving him outside under the supervision of his buddy Bear, with Daisy and Marta as backup—and all the chickens (we hope) safely secured. Hooves, paws, fingers, and chicken feet crossed that all stays well while we're gone!

Sunday, January 30

Farmhouse White: An Easy Basic White Sandwich Bread Recipe

The Perfect Loaf for Beginning Bread Bakers

This is my most popular bread recipe, which I've been baking since 2000. It was originally published on A Year in Bread, a joint baking project Beth, Kevin, and I started back in 2007. There were over 170 comments on the original Farmhouse White post, many from nervous novices who are now confident bread bakers.

If you're just learning how to bake your own bread, you might find my Ten Tips on How To Bake Better Artisan Breads at Home helpful.

I also explain how to shape bread dough into sandwich loaves and offer some more bread baking tips in this post. And you'll find links to more bread recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

A classic, flavorful white bread made with real milk, not dry milk powder.

This really is a very simple and easy recipe, so don't let all these paragraphs scare you away. I wanted to carefully explain each step and answer the questions I'm often asked about making this bread, so the instructions would be clear to beginning bakers.

I also included a lot of the helpful little things I've learned during the many years I've been baking and perfecting this bread. Enjoy!

Have you been longing to learn how to bake your own sandwich bread? My simple Farmhouse White is the perfect place to start.

It's a traditional loaf that's nice and soft, but not too soft. It's great for just about any kind of sandwich and brings peanut butter and jam (a staple in our house) to a whole new level. It's wonderful toasted, smells heavenly while toasting, and makes an awesome BLT.

This is the kind of old-fashioned, homey bread that a few people were lucky enough to grow up eating, and everyone else wishes they had. It's wholesome and filling and about as far from Wonder Bread as a basic white sandwich bread can get. I've watched people who claim they never eat white bread gobble this stuff up.

Saturday, January 29

Friday, January 28

Friday Dose of Cute: Blue Skies (& Marta) in Donkeyland

Wishing you a wide open weekend!

Want to get a bigger view of Donkeyland? You'll find lots more photos here.

Tuesday, January 25

Tuesday Dose of Cute: Bert Learns to Boogie

At the Lucky Buddy Bear School of Dance

Need a bigger dose of cute? You've come to the right place!
The First Daily Doses of Cute
Daily Doses of Cute Part 18
Daily Doses of Cute Part 19
Daily Doses of Cute Part 20
Daily Doses of Cute Part 21
Daily Doses of Cute Part 22

©, the two steppin' foodie farm blog where I've never cropped out part of a photo and reposted it before, but this time I couldn't resist. The other day I was using the original version of this photo (which you can see here) as the desktop image on my big monitor, and when Joe saw it he laughed and said it looked like Bear was teaching Bert to dance. Now it really makes me smile.

Monday, January 24

How To Shape Bread Dough into Sandwich Loaves and Some Simple Bread Baking Tips

I'll be posting my Farmhouse White bread recipe later this week, it's up! and I thought I'd first offer up these instructions on how I make my sandwich loaves so nice and big. For more bread baking tips, check out my Ten Tips on How To Bake Better Artisan Breads at Home.

Freshly Baked Farmhouse White (recipe here)

People often ask me how I get my sandwich bread loaves so nice and tall, and the answer is simple: I cram a lot of dough into the pan.

Most sandwich bread recipes call for 9"x5" loaf pans, about a pound of dough per pan, and letting it rise until it's just above the rim. I use a smaller pan, put in a lot more dough, and let it rise well above the rim of the pan before putting it in the oven.

I love my Chicago Metallic commercial 1-pound loaf pans, which are a  joy to use, come with a lifetime warranty, and will last forever if you treat them well. I've been using some of mine for several years and they still look new. I often bake 2-pound loaves of bread in them.

If I want shorter, more square shaped bread, I use my Chicago Metallic commercial 1½-pound loaf pans, which are closer in size to a standard 9"x5" pan. Both size pans are also great for baking quick breads, like Beyond Easy Beer Bread, and cakes, such as this Orange Yogurt Loaf Cake.

Saturday, January 22

Saturday Dose of Cute: A Spiffy New Look!

And we're jumping for joy.

For a while now I've been busy working behind the scenes to create a new blog design template, and I'm happy to announce that it's finally done! The overall look here is still familiar, but there are some nifty new features that I've been wanting to add for a long time, like the navigation tabs at the top of the page. There's now an About Me page, a Subscribe page, a Contact page, a Frequently Asked Farmgirl Questions page, and (finally!) a complete Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index. Woohoo!

I still have a lot of tweaking to do, but the hard part is done, and I hope you'll now find this site easier to navigate and more enjoyable to visit. It may even load a little faster, too. I owe a big thanks to my helpful and extremely patient friends, Kalyn and Karina, who write the super popular food blogs, Kalyn's Kitchen and Gluten-Free Goddess. I couldn't have done this without them, and I'm sure they'll be thrilled to know the barrage of 'just one more question' e-mail messages is going to be slowing way down.

As always, your feedback—both positive and negative—is greatly appreciated, so if something looks wonky, doesn't seem to be working right, or you have any questions or suggestions about the new design, I do hope you'll let me know. If you can't find something, the Google search box is still located in the upper right corner, and it will search on just Farmgirl Fare and In My Kitchen Garden for whatever you're looking for.

Thank you all so much for your wonderful support over the past 5½ years. I wouldn't be here without you!

Sunday update: Okay, it looks like the spaces between paragraphs disappeared on a lot of older posts when I switched to the new template (and went from Classic Blogger to Layouts). Also, the 'small' size text I used to use for posts has turned into extra small, which is really teeny. I'm working my way through the archives fixing things (and doing the recipes first), but it's going to take a while. Thanks for your patience.

©, the snow covered foodie farm blog where change is good, dogs make you smile, and blogging is better than ever.

Tuesday, January 18

Tuesday Dose of Cute: Why is this Treat Bucket Empty?

Why is this treat bucket empty
Bert's catching on quick!

Just getting to know our new beagle pup?
1/1/11: It's a Brand New Year—Full Speed Ahead!
1/10/11: Welcome to the Farm, Little Fella!
1/11/11: Snow Day! And We're Off to Donkeyland
1/14/11: Joe and All Four Dogs

©, the tri-colored, omnivorous foodie farm blog where Bert has definitely come to the right place. Last night, while setting out dinner (on a fairly short table) somebody left their salad unattended, and Bert dove right in. Of course it was covered with shredded cheese, but he ate a lot of the homegrown Swiss chard, too. You gotta love a vegetable lover.

Monday, January 17

Monday Dose of Cute: Looking for Kit Kat Kate's Food Dish

Looking for Kit Kat's Food Dish 1
It used to be on this table in the front yard.

Looking for Kit Kat's Food Dish 2
But then we relocated it.

Friday, January 14

Friday Dose of Cute: This Moment

Joe and all the dogs

A single photo capturing a moment from the week I want to pause, savor, and remember. Inspired by SouleMama.

Another moment:
9/17/10: Daisy and Gus

Monday, January 10

Monday Dose of Cute: Welcome to the Farm, Little Fella!

The Tail of Our New Beagle Pup

The other day Joe reminded me that it's been a long time since I've told a farm story, so I thought I would share one. . .

Bert 1
First day on the farm.

Saturday, January 8

Saturday Dose of Cute: Whew.

Big Yawn for Marta Beast
Marta Beast thinks having a puppy around is sort of exhausting.

©, the down for the count foodie farm blog where I'd planned to formally introduce you to our new beagle puppy today, but I got carried away writing the story of how he came to live with us, and now I need to go snuggle up with the little cutie pie have completely run out of steam. Tomorrow! Unless there's urgent puppy business to deal with of course. I'm sure you understand.

Wednesday, January 5

Wednesday Dose of Cute: New Photos from an Old Year, Part 2

I carry my camera with me everywhere around the farm and snap thousands of photos each year, most of which never make it up on these pages. This is part two of a random assortment of personal favorites still sitting in my 2010 monthly 'to post' files, shown in the order they were taken. You can find Part One here. Part three will be devoted to that cute overload known as spring lambing season. Farewell 2010!

Farewell 2010 19

Lots more photos below. . .

Tuesday, January 4

Tuesday Dose of Cute: New Photos from an Old Year, Part 1

I carry my camera with me everywhere around the farm and snap thousands of photos each year, most of which never make it up on these pages. This is a random assortment of personal favorites still sitting in my 2010 monthly 'to post' files, shown in the order they were taken throughout the year. I've separated this series into three parts because I had trouble narrowing down the list any further. Part three will be devoted to that cute overload known as spring lambing season.

Thank you all so much for your amazing kindness and support during the past year. Farewell 2010!

Farewell 2010 1

Saturday, January 1

Saturday Dose of Cute: It's a Brand New Year

Flying into the new year
Full speed ahead!

©, the airborne foodie farm blog where that is indeed a new beagle puppy (!!!) you see flying through the hayfield (and who is now sacked out about five feet from my desk, even though he technically lives outside). I'll formally introduce you in a day or two, but I couldn't resist posting this picture of him launching himself—as only a puppy can do—into the new year.

Hopefully this will be the one where we finally move into the new
building you can see in the background that we've been working on for nearly eight years. But if The Shack falls down around us before we make the move (you think I'm kidding), there's always the new (to us) little 'guest cottage' parked right next door to our future home. It's good to have a backup plan—and a puppy. Happy New Year!