Monthly Archives: November 2013

Unquantifiable Losses

I hate to make a Monday even more of a downer, but this is a sad post, folks.  So if you can’t stomach it, I totally understand.  Here’s your out.

It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must let you know that we’ve suffered two major losses recently.

First, and foremost, is my sweetest yellow dog, Chance.  At the ripe old age of 13, he passed away from cancer.  You would have hardly known he was sick right up until the very, very end.  It has actually been a couple of months now that he’s been gone…I just couldn’t bring myself to talk about it.  This dog…I have no words to express what this dog meant to me; long before the Texan entered our lives, it was just he and I.  He was my constant companion through good times and bad, and I think my heart will never not be broken.

The Best Dog in the World.

Rest in peace, my sweetest boy. I miss you every single day.

More recently, we also lost Millie-bird (a few days ago, in fact).  She succumbed to an ailment that the vet could only describe as ‘reproductive issues’ (incidentally, this was not egg-binding, or any of the usual suspects; it was on-going and had the vet completely perplexed).  I didn’t think I was going to be that person who rushed a sick chicken to the vet…but, as it turns out, I am.  And apparently, I am also that person who cries bawls over the loss of a chicken.  Millie was my favorite: friendly, cuddly, funny, talkative–I could go on and on but I think I have aired out my crazy enough for one day.

Millie.

Goodbye my pretty, clucky girl.

And while I am doing a bit of tearful remembering, I want to give a spot to someone that you all don’t know.  Hogan has been gone for almost three years now…long before I started this blog.  But, he too, is an enormous hole in my heart.  He was a hysterical, bouncy, slobbery ball of boxer-love; completely one of a kind.

Hogan.

I still miss you, Hogie-bear.

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.

Halloween 2013

A quick video showing our Halloween decorations in action…

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