Saturday, December 31

Saturday Farm Photo: It's a Beautiful Day To. . .

Pregnant ewes heading out to graze on a beautiful winter day -

Breathe in the crisp winter air.

Hang laundry on a breezy line.

Be a pregnant sheep on a farm in the middle of nowhere.

Visualize all of the wonderful things that are possible in a brand new year.

Happy, happy, new, new!

©, where 2006 went out with baby Cary and a photo that still cracks me up—and lambing season 2012 begins the first of March!

Friday, December 30

Friday Dose of Cute: Marta Beast off Duty

Marta Beast off duty -

Wishing you a playful and relaxing New Year's weekend!

More Marta Beast? Here and here.
More farm dogs? Here.

©, where good and clean don't always go together—and they never do if you're a big bad (adorable) Marta Beast.

Thursday, December 29

Thursday Farm Photo: Light To Do Evening Chores By. . .

Light to do evening chores by. . .
I walked out the door and said, "Wow."

More sunrises and sunsets? Here.
More farm landscapes? Here.

©, where there's something wonderful to look at just about every minute—and sometimes it only lasts for that one minute.

Tuesday, December 27

Tuesday Dose of Cute: Holiday Recovery Mode

Bert and Bear in holiday recovery mode -
Not to be confused with weekend recovery mode

I hope you're enjoying a comfortable, laid back week!

More Bert? Here.
More Bear? Here.

©, where some of us just can't party like we used to.

Sunday, December 25

Sunday Dose of Cute: Merry Christmas!

Frosty sheep heading out to enjoy the holiday -
Heading off to enjoy the holiday.

Happy, happy, merry, merry from all of us to you and yours!

Need a bigger dose of Christmas on the farm?

12/24/11: Dear Santa

©, where home is the best place to be for the holidays—and every other day.

Saturday, December 24

Christmas Eve Dose of Cute: Dear Santa

Evie, Gnat, and Esmeralda showing Santa how good they've been -
We've been really good.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

More donkeys? Here.
More Christmas? Here.

©, where we had another nippy 12 degree morning. Better bundle up, Santa!

Friday, December 23

Recipe: Shredded Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecorino Romano, Chives, and a Lemony Caper Dressing

This healthy, festive salad—gussied up here with dried cranberries and garbanzo beans—is packed with antioxidants, beneficial ingredients, and flavor.

I once saw a magazine ad where a woman was saying something like, "Is it weird to have a daydream about salad dressing?" which at the time I did think was a little weird. But then one night I found myself telling my hunky farmguy Joe that I couldn't wait to go to sleep so I could wake up and have leftover brussels sprouts salad for breakfast.

Not being a brussels sprouts fan himself, this announcement was met with a worried look and probably an eye roll (it was dark), which was fine, because I wasn't planning on sharing my leftover salad with him anyway.

I love this salad even more than I love my Quick Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Parmesan, and you know I love them a lot. I created it back in 2009 and have been devouring it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks ever since. My recipe notes from 4/15/09 say I mixed up that batch at midnight. You've been warned.

Raw brussels sprouts have a wonderful taste; it's as if the flavor from an entire regular size cabbage has been concentrated down into each little sprout. And of course they're extremely good for you. It's always nice to be crazy about something that's heavenly and healthy.

The brussels sprouts for this salad are quickly shredded in the food processor—thus rendering them unidentifiable by confirmed brussels sprouts haters—and the tangy dressing, which is whizzed up in the blender, can be made several days ahead. I usually make a double batch of dressing to keep on hand for tossing together last minute salads. Try it drizzled over arugula and cherry tomatoes or tossed with thinly sliced raw kale.

This would be a festive, last minute addition to your holiday table, but if one of your goals for the new year is to up your intake of cruciferous vegetables, it would also be a delicious way to usher in the new year. Raw brussels sprouts at midnight, anyone?

Recipe below. . .

Thursday, December 22

Thursday Dose of Cute: Evie Has Been Busy

Evie fluffing up for winter -
Fluffing up for winter

Happy first day of winter to you!

More Evie? Here.
More donkeys? Here.
More hayfield? Here.

©, the cold loving foodie farm blog where some of our seven donkeys fluff up more than the others, with 3-year-old Evie (who is Daphne's daughter) being the fluffiest. But this is just the start—Evie should be a whole lot fluffier soon.

Wednesday, December 21

Wordless Wednesday Dose of Cute

Flock of prego sheep veering around Marta Beast -

More wordless cute? Here.
More Marta Beast? Here and here.
More sheepsies? Here.

Tuesday, December 20

Recipe: Easy Christmas Cranberry Scones with Dried Cranberries and a Touch of Freshly Grated Nutmeg

Christmas Cranberry Scones Recipe with dried cranberries and freshly grated nutmeg-
They're moist on the inside, with a nice light crunch on the outside (recipe here)

Beautifully golden brown and dotted with jewel-like dried cranberries and optional chopped pecans, these cute little scones are sure to brighten any holiday table. I named them Christmas Cranberry Scones the year I baked them all afternoon at a kitchen store holiday open house, but they're tasty any time of year. Buttery and crumbly and rich, try them for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea.

And to round out your easy scone repertoire, I suggest my popular Savory Cheese and Scallion Scones with Feta, which are made with softened cream cheese instead of butter. Add them to your holiday bread basket, serve them for breakfast, or split and toast them to make satisfying little leftover turkey or ham sandwiches. Both of these recipes also freeze beautifully. Enjoy!

Still hungry after stuffing yourself with scones? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

©, proudly run by certifiable certified sconeheads.

Monday, December 19

Monday Dose of Cute: A Roasty Toasty Spot

Molly Doodlebug tucked into vintage black metal stool -
For an itty bitty kitty

When I scooped up this cute little vintage step stool at a junk mall a few months ago, I knew it would come in handy, but I never thought it would become a cozy solar cat bunk for 16-year-old, 3½ pound Molly Doodlebug. I may have to rethink my plans to repaint it.

Wishing you a warm and happy week wherever you're spending it!

More Molly? Here.
More farm cats? Here.

©, back in black and always up for a little catnap.

Saturday, December 17

Recipe: Easy, Fudgy Chocolate Streusel Bar Cookies with (or without) Roasted and Salted Almonds

Quick and easy fudgy chocolate streusel bars with roasted and salted almonds -
This quick and easy dessert recipe is great for holiday get togethers & goodie tins.

I've been making these fudgy and foolproof chocolate streusel bars for years. They're perfect for holiday munching and gift giving because they look good, travel well, and stay fresh for several days. You can also freeze them. The 9"x13" pan makes plenty, and you can cut them large or small. When packing them with other sweet treats in gift tins, I wrap each bar individually in plastic.

Like my Quick and Easy Raspberry Almond Bars, people always get so excited over these it's almost embarrassing to admit how easy they are to make. The top and bottom layers are the same batter, and the rich, fudgy middle is simply chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk melted in the microwave.

Recipe below. . .

Friday, December 16

Friday Dose of Cute: Got any Weekend Plans?

Hens hanging out -
Or will you just be hanging out?

Have a fun one!

More chick pics? Here.

©, where this photo captured the edge of our conveniently located, ever-so-useful chicken catching net, which has been coming in very handy lately, since some of our escape artist hens, including our black chicken of the sheep flock (who misses her sheep, which are currently living out in the front field), have decided to play musical coops. Fishing nets: they aren't just for fish anymore.

Thursday, December 15

Thursday Dose of Cute: Heading Out to Graze

Joe, Daisy, and Bert herding the sheep into the front field -
Working the sheep always works up an appetite—for everybody involved.

More sheep? Here.
More hunky farmguy? Here.
More of the front field? Here.

©, where everybody's happy we still have a little fresh grass in the fields. The season of eating all hay, all day will be here soon enough!

Wednesday, December 14

Wordless Wednesday Dose of Cute

Esmeralda looking through the snowy hayfield gate

More wordless cute? Here.
More Esmeralda? Here.
More donkeys? Here.

Saturday, December 10

Saturday Dose of Cute: Hostile Takeover (of the Best Pet Purchase Ever)

Hostile takeover of Bert's Coolaroo 1 -

Back in July we decided to buy Bert a Coolaroo bed for his first birthday, after seeing them on a dog days of summer amazon ad. I'd never heard of Coolaroos, but there were over 500 rave reviews, along with dozens of seriously cute photos of happy dogs laying on theirs. Well, you can add Bert to that list of comfortable customers! He tried to climb on his (which is cadet blue—they come in four colors) before Joe even had it fully assembled.

This is seriously the best pet purchase we've ever made—with the Cozy Cottage Dog Houses coming in second. (We've had one Cozy Cottage over a dozen years, and it still looks like new.)

More photos below. . .

Friday, December 9

Friday Dose of Cute: Beep! Beep! Beep!

Esmeralda backing into the donkey herd -
Watch out, she's backing up.

Happy Friday!

More Esmeralda? Here.
More donkeys? Here.

©, heading bass ackwards into a very chilly weekend. Hot cocoa and buttered popcorn for everyone!

Saturday, December 3

Saturday Dose of Cute: Note to Daphne

Daphne licking the treat trough -
The treats go in the treat trough—you don't get to actually eat the treat trough.

Life on the farm revolves around treats! See for yourself here and here.
More Daphne? Here and here.
More donkeys? Here and The Daily Donkeys are here.

©, the obviously underfed foodie farm blog where Daphne may just be giving us the same big hint her young son Gus did.

Thursday, December 1

In My Kitchen Garden this Week: Swiss Chard!

Mr. Midnight in the Swiss chard filled greenhouse -
Mr. Midnight loves lurking in the Swiss chard jungle (aka the greenhouse).

I did a phone interview for a magazine article a couple of years ago, and at the end of our 45-minute conversation, the guy said, "So you'd like to be known for Farmhouse White and Swiss chard?"

Well, if it means inspiring people to try baking their own sandwich bread using my simple, tried and true recipe (which can easily be adapted to include whole grains, etc.) and discover an incredibly versatile (think everything spinach can do and more), easy to grow (even in containers), delicious tasting vegetable, then my answer is a definite yes!

Since one of the most popular posts on my kitchen garden blog right now is What To Do with Swiss Chard: Hot Swiss Chard Artichoke Dip Recipe and Other Ways to Enjoy My Favorite Leafy Green, I'm guessing I'm not the only one with a garden or CSA box still brimming with this cold tolerant (and heat tolerant) leafy green.

This week's new post on In My Kitchen Garden, Wondering What To Do with Swiss Chard? Favorite Recipes and Ways to Use My Favorite Garden Vegetable, includes links to all my Swiss chard recipes, plus another glimpse into the late November greenhouse, the varieties of Swiss chard seeds I'll be ordering soon, and my new favorite way to use the giant leaves and stems (hint: we love our powerful little $49 Waring juicer).

Are you already a Swiss chard fan? Come join us over at this week's In My Kitchen Garden post and share your favorite varieties and recipes!

Ready to skip straight to the seed starting? Check out How To Grow Your Own Swiss Chard from Seed & Why You Should. And don't miss the comments section of that post, where readers share their scrumptious Swiss chard recipes.

Need more than greens to get you through the week? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

©, where the #1 post on In My Kitchen Garden right now is still How To Ripen Green Tomatoes Indoors the Really Easy Way, and it really is easy. We enjoyed several November BLTs made with kitchen ripened tomatoes from the garden—on freshly baked Farmhouse White of course.