Category Archives: Recipes

Green Smoothie Deep Thoughts

Farmhouse38 Green Smoothie via Farmhouse38.com

 

I wanted to post this recipe, not so much to be jumping on the green smoothie bandwagon and pretending I re-invented the wheel, but more because I have a tendency to fall off said bandwagon, and then forget how I make it when I climb back on. So really, I’m just posting this for my own reference.

But also…I have thoughts. Sometimes. I know, I know–applause isn’t necessary. Thank you, though.

I always roll my eyes at these sorts of diet fads. People get crazy. Like: OMG…juice?! Smoothies? THIS IS GENIUS. Like we haven’t been squeezing fresh juice and making healthy smoothies for decades already. My mom used to squeeze my brothers and I fresh orange juice EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. To the point where it was torture for us to drink it–but she insisted it was the best, healthiest way to drink orange juice. And, as much as I hate to say it (don’t make me say it!!!)…she was right.

In my adult years, I have tried to eat as much fresh produce as I possibly could. I’ve always been mindful of it, at least. Why the heck should I drink it? Especially when, all sorts of said fresh produce is blended together or juiced and, let’s be real here, it looks so gross. So gross. Why. Why would I do that? But when I really assessed my diet, as much as I thought I was doing well, I realized I was still falling short. And I suddenly realized that packing a smoothie full of all this great stuff was a very quick and easy way to pound it down.

And yes, I chose to make smoothies, not juice, because…at the end of the day, the choice was about waste. Juicing creates a whole lot of waste product, and I just couldn’t come to terms with that. When you put produce in a blender and make a smoothie, you’re using almost every last bit. And all those bits and pieces have good stuff in them that would otherwise go down the drain, in the trash, or in the compost. Might as well put them in your face.

So I tried it. I floundered for awhile and produced some really vile stuff. But finally, I arrived at the following formula, and I am pretty pleased with it. The steadfast carnivore Texan even likes drinking it. Whowuddathunk.

I am a big fan of the Vega products (and I’m not sponsored or have anything to do with them–I just want to share). These vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free protein smoothie mixes can be used alone, or thrown into your own smoothie blend. They ain’t cheap, but they are a fantastic source of all-natural, Non-GMO, plant-derived protein. And they taste great. I think I really became a fan of green smoothies when I found these products.

For two approx. quart-sized servings:

–3 cups water (for a slushier version, replace some of this with ice)

–1 scoop Vega mix or other protein smoothie mix of your choice

–juice of 1 lemon

–2 cups frozen power greens (kale, spinach, collards, whatever floats your boat)

–1 frozen banana

–1 cup frozen mango bits

–1 medium fresh apple

–1 large fresh carrot

Put everything in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a schmancy big-name blender (which I didn’t for a long time), put these ingredients in one at a time and blend them slowly. This makes two servings that are approximately 220 calories each (if you use the Vega mix–you’re on your own if you go rogue).

Side note: I buy mostly everything in bulk, fresh (or pull it straight from the garden), cut it up into manageable pieces and then freeze it so that it’s ready to go into the blender when I need it. You could do everything fresh and add ice to the equation, of course. I like to make a week’s worth of smoothies at a time, seal them in mason jars, and then take them out a day ahead of time and put them in the refrigerator to thaw. Works pretty well for us.

Cheers to green smoothiedom! (It would probably cancel out all the good stuff if I added Vodka, right? Just checking.)

Shishito Pepper Salsa

Shishito Pepper Salsa by Farmhouse38.comOkay, so these arrived in my CSA box this week. And I got real excited because I thought they were jalapeños and I wanted to make salsa. But then it turned out they weren’t jalapeños. But I made salsa anyway.

(Backstory: shishitos are more bell-peppery than jalapeño-ey, though they do sometimes have a bit of mild kick to them).

RECIPE:

–1 lb. (approx) of shishito peppers, stems removed

–1 good-sized tomato, cut into tiny pieces

–half a small onion, chopped into tiny pieces

–1 medium red bell pepper

–4 cloves of garlic (less or more depending on how garlicky you like things)

–juice of one lime

–2 tablespoons of tomato paste

–1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

–1 tablespoon of liquid aminos (or soy sauce, or worcestershire sauce, whichever you prefer)

–1 tablespoon of habanero hot sauce, if you like it hot (I used Marie Sharp’s, which is my most favoritest hot sauce from Belize)

So. Throw the shishitos (seeds and all), the red bell pepper, and the garlic into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Then throw that and everything else into a small saucepan over high heat. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about ten to twelve minutes. Let cool and eat up! Yummy as salsa, and as a spread for sandwiches. Sooo yummmmmy.

Side note: people keep telling me to roast or pan-sear these babies (and just eat them straight like that). So that would be a great twist on this salsa–grill the peppers up first THEN throw them in the salsa for a nice, smokey vibe. Yeah. I like it.

Shishito Peooer Salsa by Farmhouse38.com

Salsa. Yes.

Shishito Pepper Salsa by Farmhouse38.com

Put it in your face.

 

Grilled Honey Peaches with Mascarpone and Pecans

Grilled Honey Peaches with Mascarpone and Pecans by Farmhouse38.comOh, this is just so damned yummy. I really wasn’t expecting it to be, to be totally honest. I look at this and it almost seems too…I don’t know…healthy? For a dessert? Maybe it’s just me. Probably just me. LOL.

So yeah, these really blew me away.

For two servings:

–2 ripe, but firm peaches, halved, pits removed

–4 oz mascarpone cheese

–1/4 cup candied pecans, processed into fine bits

–2 tablespoons warmed coconut oil

–Approx. 2 tablespoons or so of local, organic honey to drizzle

–1/4 cup candied pecans, slightly crumbled

Start by pulverizing your first quarter cup of candied pecans in the food processor, then mix them thoroughly with your mascarpone.

Next, heat your grill (or in my case, your grill skillet) to medium high. Brush or dip the flat side of your peach halves in warmed coconut oil, and drop them, face down, on the skillet or grill when it is heated up. Leave them to cook for about 4 minutes each. They’ll become really fragrant and soft when they are ready (and there will be some lovely grill marks).

Scoop your peach halves off the grill and place them face up on a plate (I recommend two halves as a serving, despite what my photos show). Scoop a generous tablespoon full of mascarpone/pecan mix onto the center of each peach, drizzle with honey, sprinkle with crushed candied pecans and serve immediately.

Grilled Honey Peaches with Mascarpone and Pecans by Farmhouse38.com

Joy.

Grilled Honey Peaches with Mascarpone and Pecans by Farmhouse38.com

Joy.

Grilled Honey Peaches with Mascarpone and Pecans by Farmhouse38.com

Joy.

By the way…this was the first time I’ve ever made a dessert for this blog and actually eaten the whole darned thing. I made four servings (in order to have enough in case I plated them wrong or some such blog nonsense) AND I ATE THEM ALL. Usually I will make something like this during the day and then save it for the Texan. But this one…you kind of have to eat it right away. I didn’t want it to go to waste. He was not impressed with this when I told him over the phone.

 

 

Sour Cherry Margaritas

Sour Cherry Margaritas from Farmhouse38.com

Honestly, these have Valentine’s Day written all over them. But you know what? They also have ‘summer’ written all over them. And ‘delicious’.

For one beverage, you’ll need:

–2.5 oz. tart cherry juice (Whole Foods brand 365 Organic is my fav)

–2 oz. silver tequila

–1/2 oz. maraschino cherry liqueur

–1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

–1/2 oz. simple syrup

For garnish:

–2 tablespoons lime juice

–2 tablespoons unrefined sugar (but refined is doable, too–the unrefined looks a little better, IMO)

–1 tablespoon pink himalayan salt (or red hawaiian or something along those lines)

–3 maraschino or fresh cherries when in season, pre-soaked in tequila

Begin by mixing your garnish sugar and pink salt together in a small dish. Combine thoroughly. Then spread it evenly across the bottom of a salad plate, and on a second salad plate, place the lime juice. ‘Salt’ your glass rim by dipping the rim of the glass into the lime juice and then dabbing it into the salt mixture. Fill your salted glass with ice, and set aside. Drain your three garnish cherries and make sure they are not sopping wet with liquid, then roll them in the salt mixture and spear them on a toothpick.

In a shaker full of ice, combine all your beverage ingredients, and shake thoroughly. Strain into your salt-rimmed glass, garnish with your tooth-picked cherries, and you are ready to rock.

Cheers, friends!

Sour Cherry Margaritas from Farmhouse38.com

Yum.

Sour Cherry Margaritas from Farmhouse38.com

And yum.

Chocolate Chip Banana Pudding Cupcakes

Chocolate Chip Banana Pudding Cupcakes from Farmhouse38

Let me just start out by saying…I actually loathe banana. The taste, the smell–it just isn’t my thing. Ranks right up there with anchovies as an ingredient. But the Texan loves him some good ol’ fashion Banana Pudding, and it was his birthday…so…I didn’t make him that.  But I made him these instead!!

I went with the store-bought cake and pudding mix (I was pressed for time–I needed to limit my exposure to the banana-ness), but for a similar made-from-scratch amazing recipe, please check out the one from The Baker Chick, which I kind-of-sort-of loosely followed. She makes some good stuff.

To make 24 cupcakes, you will require:

1 box of yellow cake mix 

1 large box of banana-flavored pudding

2 very ripe bananas

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 cup coconut oil (or whatever oil you prefer)

1-1/4 cups water

6 oz (half a standard bag) of mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

24 standard-sized Nilla Wafer Cookies

24 mini-sized Nilla Wafer Cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (or whatever your cake mix box tells you to), and go ahead and drop in cupcake liners into your cupcake tins.  The Baker Chick lines the bottom of the cupcake liners with either one large Nilla wafer, or several crumbled mini wafers in order to give the cupcake a nice little wafer crust.  This is a great idea.  Full disclosure: I forgot to do it.  Learn from my mistakes.

In a small bowl, mash up your bananas.

In a mixer, blend together your cake mix ingredients as directed on the package (usually eggs, water, and oil), only substitute the mashed bananas for the eggs.  I chose to use coconut oil as my oil (warmed it a bit first so that it was liquified). Once everything is blended, add half a bag of mini chocolate chips and mix thoroughly.

Go ahead and spoon the mixture evenly into your cupcake pans (you want to fill each liner just over halfway or so).  Pop them in the oven for 15-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers of the cupcakes come out clean.  Let the cupcakes cool on the counter.

Pudding time! In a stand mixer, mix the pudding as per the instructions on the box.  Which is basically mixing the mix with three cups of milk.  Let this set up for at least five minutes or so, and then stick it in the fridge.

In the center of each cupcake, cut out a nickel-sized cylinder (I just used a butter knife and winged it, even though I know there are fancy tools out there just for this sort of activity) down to the cookie crust. Once you’ve hollowed them out, fill the gaping cavern with about a tablespoon or so of pudding–enough to fill it completely but not overflow too much onto the cupcake surface.  Set the leftover pudding, as well as the pudding-filled cupcakes, in the fridge for safe-keeping.

To make the topping: chill the bowl and whisk attachment of your stand mixer in the fridge or freezer for a bit.  Once they’re good and cold and back on your mixer, add your heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla into the bowl and whip just until soft peaks form.  Now add 1/2 cup of the reserved banana pudding and blend until the whipped cream is pretty stiff.  Fill a piping bag and pipe the topping onto the cupcakes like frosting. Top with a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips and one mini wafer for a little cupcake flair.

It’s best to serve these immediately, or keep them in the fridge until ready to serve.  Warning: your fridge is going to smell like banana.  I’m just sayin’.

Chocolate Chip Banana Pudding Cupcakes from Farmhouse38

It’s always good when a cupcake oozes…usually…

Chocolate Chip Banana Pudding Cupcakes from Farmhouse38

More ooey-gooey goodness.

Caramel Bourbon Cake

Caramel Bourbon Cake from Farmhouse38In addition to the Cranberry-Lemon Squares, I went a little crazy and also made this cake for ‘First Thanksgiving’.  There is just really not much better than a cake with booze in it, is there?  No.  No there just isn’t.

The Caramel Bourbon Sauce is really quite insanely good.  This stuff would be so good in so many different applications, it makes my head hurt.  But that may also just be my bourbon hangover.

Bourbon Caramel Sauce from Farmhouse38

Jars of Caramel Bourbon Sauce: perfect holiday gift.  I’m just sayin’.

Sauce ingredients:

–1 cup sugar

–1/4 cup water

–1/2 cup heavy cream

–1-1/2 tablespoons bourbon (come on, you know you want to) (PS: we like Woodford Reserve, although the Texan about had a heart attack when I was ‘squandering’ it for cooking purposes.  It was worth it, I tell you.  No regrets.)

–1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

To make:

–Simmer the sugar and the water over medium heat, constantly swirling the pan for anywhere between 10-15 minutes, until your sugar mixture has reached a nice amber color.  Be real careful not to let it burn.  It’s easy to do.  Trust me.

–Remove from the heat and turn off the burner.

–Slowly add your cream, constantly stirring.

–Add bourbon and salt.

–Set the pan back on the turned-off burner and stir ingredients together for another minute or so.

–Transfer to a jar and let cool.  Keep it in your fridge until you’re ready for it.

Cake/frosting ingredients:

(instructions are for a two-layer cake.  I set out to make a four layer, so I doubled everything below…and then one of my layers bit the dust.  So three it is.  Three it is.)

For a two-layer cake:

–1-1/2 cups white sugar

–12 tablespoons softened butter

–3 eggs

–3 teaspoons vanilla extract

–2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

–2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

–1 teaspoon salt

–1-1/4 cups whole milk

–1 cup of Caramel Bourbon Sauce, cooled

–2 sticks softened unsalted butter

–4 cups powdered sugar

–2 tablespoons whole milk if your frosting is too dry

To make the cake:

–Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease two (or four, whatevs) 8×8 round baking pans.  Set aside.

–In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar.  Beat the eggs in, one at a time, and then keep beating on high speed for approximately 3 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy and pale in color. Add the vanilla and stir.

–Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together.

–Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Try not to take out your pent-up aggressions on the batter by over-beating it.  It did nothing to you.

–Pour the batter into the prepared pans evenly, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon.

–Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

To make the frosting:

–Cream the butter until smooth and fluffy.  Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time and beat until well-combined.  Add 1/3 cup of the Caramel Bourbon Sauce and beat until smooth and fluffy.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of whole milk if your frosting seems a bit dry (mine did not).

Caramel Bourbon Buttercream from Farmhouse38

Yep. That’s right. I stuck my finger right on in there.

Assembling the cake:

It all comes down to this.  Take a deep breath.

Take your Caramel Bourbon Sauce out of the fridge awhile before you start the assembly.  Warm the sauce a bit, if you need to, so that it isn’t too thick.

Place the first layer of the cake on a stand, and, using a fork, poke a whole buncha holes all over the top surface of the cake.  Pour roughly 1/4 cup of the sauce across the surface of the hole-y cake, just enough to coat it well and soak in a bit.  Top with a hefty layer of frosting.

Now place the second layer, and do the same with the poking and the pouring and the frosting-ing. Reserve the last little bit of sauce.  When you are ready to serve, drizzle the cake with the remaining sauce, and sprinkle with sea salt.  Dig the heck in.

**Cake recipe adapted from thebakerchick.com

Cranberry-Lemon Squares via Southern Pink Lemonade

Cranberry-Lemon Squares from Southern Pink Lemonade via Farmhouse38So I Pinterest-stumbled upon this yummy recipe from a darling blog called Southern Pink Lemonade (you know you want to go visit just from that name).  I was convinced that I had to make this dessert for ‘First Thanksgiving’ (because we are all going to be scattered for actual Thanksgiving this year, my immediate family gathered this past weekend for what was dubbed ‘First Thanksgiving’.  I mean, why have just one?!).  I’m thrilled to have happened onto SouthernPinkLemonade.com because it is chock full of tasties–go and drop by, tell Heather we said hi, and poke around her recipes…you will not be disappointed!

Here’s the recipe, as written by Heather:

Ingredients:
Dough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • zest of one lemon
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons-1/4 cup cold water
Filling:

  • 1- 12 ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • juice of one lemon
Direction:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper. 
 
In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until dough is crumbled into small pieces.
 
Move the crumbles to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough comes together (I only needed 2 tablespoons).
 
Press half of the dough in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Set the remaining dough aside for the topping.
 
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Add cranberries and lemon juice. Stir to coat cranberries. Pour filling ingredients over the dough in the baking dish. Spread cranberries so that they are in a single layer. 
 
Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the cranberries. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top and the sides are golden brown.
 
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, lift squares out of the baking dish using the parchment paper. Cut into squares.

- See more at: http://www.southernpinklemonade.com/2012/11/cranberry-lemon-squares.html

Cranberry-Lemon Squares from Southern Pink Lemonade via Farmhouse38

Mine didn’t turn out quite as purty as hers, but darn they taste good.

How Holiday Baking Looks at Farmhouse38

Everyone at our house was a big fan.

Put an Egg on It Giveaway

Put an Egg on It Giveaway from Farmhouse38

The giveaway is now live!  Along with a copy of Put an Egg on It , by Lara Ferroni (see my review of this fab cookbook here),  one lucky winner will also get a few of my most favorite kitchen accessories from World Market: a matching set that includes a chicken apron, dishtowel, and potholder, along with a cute blue frying pan, a yellow ceramic egg-holder, and a retro-inspired egg beater…Everything you need to whip up some tasty egg dishes straight out of your new cookbook!

Put an Egg on It Giveaway from Farmhouse38

We’ll be running the contest until Friday (11/15/13).  Enter by using the following link:

Put an Egg on It Giveaway

Good luck to all my egg-loving friends out there! :-)

***Congrats to our winner, Nichelle M.!!!***

Put an Egg on It

Put an Egg on It Book Review by Farmhouse38This book.  How could I pass up a chance to review this book?  Just…look at it!  Obviously, it’s full of recipes; breakfasts, lunches, appies, dinners, desserts, and cocktails.  And they all sound darned tempting…but also?  They LOOK darned tempting.  I am a sucker for gorgeous photography, and I was in such heaven perusing this collection.

Lara Ferroni is a food photographer and writer by trade (check out laraferroni.com for her impressive resume), and her love of food just bursts from every happy page of this cookbook.  Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Eggs?  Yes, please.  Havarti, Avocado, Serrano, and Egg Sandwich?  Yes, yes, yes, OMG yes.  Maple Meringue Doughnut Holes?  Sign me up.   Annnnd, did I mention there’s cocktails?  Done. I’m just done.

So I decided that the best way I could review a cookbook was to actually do a little cooking.  I seriously labored over what to choose, but ultimately, the Pumpkin Pots were calling my name.  What could be better to stuff my face with on a crisp fall evening?  Besides a cocktail (we’ll get to that, I promise). They are just too cute (and Lara is right about the name, it’s fun to say, especially after one of her cocktails).  You’ll have to grab a copy of the book for the exact recipe, but in a nutshell (or pumpkin shell, if you really want to split hairs), we’re talking spicy sausage, bread, eggs, and herbs all snuggled together in a tiny pumpkin.  Adorbs and delish.

Put an Egg on It Cookbook Review by Farmhouse38

Pumpkin Pots, Pumpkin Pots, Pumpkin Pots.

We all know I could not possibly not try out a cocktail recipe (or…all of the cocktail recipes…I’m not joking). But I if had to pick just one for this review, I would have to go with the Bumblebee Cocktail:

Put an Egg on It Cookbook Review by Farmhouse38

Oh, the gorgeousness!

It’s a rework of a vintage cocktail; dark rum, honey, citrus, and yes…egg whites.  Gotta put an egg on it, ya know.  Cheers to that!

You know what else we should cheers to?  Starting tomorrow, we’ll be doing an awesome giveaway of Put an Egg on It as the centerpiece of a fun little egg-cooking-themed prize package, including a few of my most favorite kitcheny things:

Put an Egg on It Giveaway from Farmhouse38

Tune in Friday (November 8, 2013) for the start of the contest!

Put an Egg on It can be found at most major booksellers, including Amazon.com.

For more information on the author, stop by laraferroni.com and follow her on Twitter.

All-Natural Goo-Remover: I’m a Fan

All Natural Goo Remover from Farmhouse38I don’t know why it is, but it seems like I am having to remove an awful lot of sticky labels around here. Perhaps it is my obsession with recycling old jars (and thus, having to constantly remove their labels).  But anyway…I’ve been using a lot of Goo Gone.  It works.  It really works…but…oh wow, do I loathe that smell (and all the chemicals that go into making that smell).  No matter how many times you soap up and wash it off, it just really clings to everything…I mean, who doesn’t love smelling like an awkward blend of kerosene and orange peel?  For a week.

So when the Pinterest led me to 7th House on the Left’s Non-Toxic Goo-Remover , I heard angels singing.  Not only was this possibly my pass to never having to use the toxic orange slime again, this version was made with coconut oil.  So it smells like coconuts.  Which I am OB. SESSED. WITH.

It’s ridiculously simple to make: equal parts organic virgin coconut oil (I tend to favor the Trader Joe’s variety) and baking soda.  Sign me up.  You simply microwave the coconut oil (only a few seconds, depending on how much you use) until it liquifies, and then mix it with the baking soda.  For this little recycled jam jar I used a half cup of each.  Once it was all mixed and poured into the jar, I stuck mine in the fridge to solidify it, and shook it every so often as it cooled to a paste.  You don’t actually have to put it in the fridge at all, I just did this to hurry it up.  Because coconut oil has antibacterial properties, I just keep the jar under my sink with all my other cleaning supplies.

To use, you just glob the paste on any goo you want to remove, let it soak in, and then scrape to remove.  Most times, when I am removing old jar labels, I will smear this stuff on, then put the whole jar in the dishwasher (because I’m lazy).  The label comes off in the wash, and the jar gets cleaned: two birds, one stone.  Or two stones, one bird, as I like to say.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m still keeping the orange stuff.  It has its place–and not for nothing, we have a long, long history together.  But I’m trying to move away from being so chemical co-dependent in my life…this is definitely one of those, ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ situations.  I’m sure that at some point I will stumble across something that may defy the powers of the coconut miracle paste, but as of yet, I haven’t found it.

Thanks, 7th House on the Left!!

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