Monthly Archives: May 2012

Fresh Grapefruit Creme Brulee

We are drowning in grapefruit at the farmhouse!  It is literally life-threatening to stand under that tree right now–you can hear them hitting the ground all day and all night.  So naturally, I’m trying to use them in as many ways as I can….the latest?  Creme brulee.  I am cuckoo for creme brulee, for anyone who is wondering.  No one’s actually wondering, I get that.

Essentially, this recipe is a variation on just normal, vanilla creme brulee.


2 eggs

6 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, pulp strained.  (Our grapefruit is, I think, Oro Blanco, which is a tart, light-yellow fruit, but I am sure that sweet pink grapefruit would work just as well)

Zest of one grapefruit

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup granulated sugar for brulee-ing

Start by preheating the oven to 300 degrees.  Fill a large pot with water and get it to a boil on the stove top–once it has boiled, keep it hot, you’ll need this later.

Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and 1 cup of sugar until they are light yellow and stiff.

Add the cream, zest, juice and mix gently until well-blended.

Line a baking dish with either a damp dish towel or damp paper towels, and set your ramekins on top of the towel.

Carefully pour the mixture evenly amongst the ramekins.

Now, take your hot water from the stove and even more carefully pour this into the baking dish so that the water comes up about halfway on the ramekins.

Place the baking dish on the center rack in the oven and cook for approximately 50 minutes.  They should be set along the edges, but still wiggly in the center when you take them out.

Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let cool to room temperature, then put them in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to serve, take them out of the fridge, coat in a pretty decent layer of granulated sugar and torch those puppies.  This is kind of a trial and error process–keep the torch moving, but let it hit the sugar long enough that it melts it to a lovely dark brown.  Let cool and then crack in!

Note: for presentation, I cut some slivers of grapefruit, coated in sugar, then torched them, as well.



Memorial Day at the Farmhouse

I’ll start off on a serious note….we are humbled by the men and women who serve and have served in this country’s armed forces, and are infinitely grateful to them for their sacrifices.  Our hearts go out to those that have lost their loved ones, or who are waiting and waiting for them to come home.

As usual, the physical manifestation of Memorial Day came in the form of cocktails and a garden cook-out at Farmhouse38.  You can judge us if you want, but you know you were doing the same irreverent thing.  Because this was a garden party, I turned to the yard for inspiration.  Currently, our herb beds and grapefruit tree are ripe with offerings, so I incorporated as many of these elements as possible into the recipes and decor.

The tablescape was comprised of mason jar flower arrangements and mason jar votives surrounded by an assortment of citrus collected from ours and friends’ yards.

Each setting got a mason jar of minted ice water (gotta stay hydrated!), as well as a sprig of baby grapefruit in the center of each plate.

I wish I could say the sunflowers came from the garden, but these did not.  If it were later in the season, they probably would have!  The green hydrangea and grape leaves are most definitely homegrown, though.

For small gatherings, such as this one, I get to pick from my assortment of random old chairs to use as seating.  Love this!  Also, I like to bring indoor pillows out to add a little extra comfort and texture.

Here’s a pretty decent shot of the hanging crystals and mason jars that are a permanent fixture on the grapefruit tree.  The jars contain battery-operated timer candles that come on at dusk everyday.

The girls arrive, looking for cocktails…heh, heh….see what I did there?

Eloise considers my decor choices.

Mojito Sparkler with pineapple mint from the garden–YUM!  I’ll post the recipe shortly.

‘Saucy Mutt’ cocktail….check out for the recipe.

A bowl of harvested citrus, and some aMAHzing lemon cookies.

This was some gorgeous crudite…thanks, Jill!!!

It isn’t a party without cheese.  Am I right?!

Anyone who knows me can vouch for my sick obsession with creme brulee.  In honor of our citrus theme, I put a spin on these….grapefruit.  Yes, grapefruit creme brulee.  This was seriously good, if I do say so myself.  Recipe to follow.

The afor-mentioned lemon cookies, which came from a recipe I found on Pinterest.  Yay, Pinterest!  Check out the Farmhouse38 ‘The Farmhouse Sweet Shoppe’ board ( to see this recipe:  And go ahead and follow us while you’re there!!

After the candlelit gorge-fest, the small fries ran off steam before we busted out the sparklers.

Firesticks are purty.

Sparklerglyphs.  This spells….something….

It’s all fun and games until someone lights their head on fire.  Just kidding.  Safety first; the kids were sober so they were the ones that got to handle the pyrotechnics.

Bathing Beauties

I know, I know.  I am a little over-fascinated with my chickens.  It’s just that they are so durn….chickeny.  I’m obsessed.

This morning, when I noticed a dust cloud rising from my fairly green, lush garden, I grabbed my camera and ran.  There is just nothing better than a fat, happy chicken taking a roll in the dirt.  Comedy at its finest.

There is a tiny bare patch in the back corner of the yard that I intended to plant a little something in; nestled between rose and lavender bushes, it gets a delightful batch of morning sun each day.  So, when I was recently doling out seedlings, I popped a few sunflower sprouts in to see how they’d do.  Fortunately, I planted plenty of sunflower sprouts elsewhere in the yard, because these ones don’t stand a chance.  The chickens have discovered this lovely little spot, with it’s morning-warm dirt and aromatic lavender.  It is now the chicken day-spa.

For anyone who doesn’t know, dust baths are part of a chicken’s daily routine.  Rolling in dust or sand helps them to clean their feathers, apparently.  As a chicken-owner, you’re supposed to provide them with this.  I was getting around to it, I swear!–they just beat me to the punch.  I guess I could put in a sandpit somewhere where I’m not attempting to grow seedlings, but once those girls make their minds up about something, it’s pretty hard to negotiate.  This spot is theirs, and I might as well just accept it….mix in some sand to make it even better….provide some cucumber-infused ice water.  And move the seedlings that I had the audacity to plant there.

I love how Eloise looks surprised that I caught her.  You can see one of the struggling sunflowers directly in front of her.

Clementine decides to snuggle into the sun next to Eloise.  They look deranged when they fluff out their head-feathers in the sun….better not block that glorious sun with my annoying camera.

The dirt-flinging begins.

Gertie joins the action.

They pause to look at me like, “WHAT.”

Some Kitchen Moments

Some bits of inspiration from the farmhouse kitchen as we gear up for a Memorial Day Garden Party:

It’s officially summertime if we’ve got cherries.  Says me.

Everything including the kitchen sink.

Flea market found seltzer bottles–can’t get enough of these!  Seriously, if anyone wants to buy me something, I want more.  Need.  Need more.

Blowing the (flour) dust off the old mixer…gettin’ my bake on for the party!  Check in later to see the damage.  BTW, how killer is that chicken dish towel?  Serial.  Thank you, World Market (!

I wanted to show off our adorable kitchen dog bed (yes, the dogs have a bed in the kitchen, as well as every other room in the house), from Garnet Hill (  I have a real obsession with cute dog beds.  When you are literally tripping over them, the least they can do is not be an eyesore.

Then this happened.  Classic Abbie photo-bomb with trademark yawn.

Visiting with the Ladybirds

C1 holding Millie.

The birds got a visit from their favorite kids yesterday.  It is astonishing to look at these photos and compare to the ones taken just a few months ago.  Where does the chicken time go?

Sweet Samantha

She is just too precious.  What a fun shoot!


The 5th Chicken

The only thing better than glancing up from my computer and seeing the chickens scurrying around the yard?  Glancing up from my computer and seeing the chickens and their stage-5 clinger.  She is convinced that whatever they are pecking at must be some great treat that she is missing out on.  Ah, barnyard harmony.

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