River Farm

January 31, 2011


Filed under: recipe — Tags: , — admin @ 10:00 am

We sure have had our fair share of snow this winter. But we’ve gathered our friends and lifted our spirits with a belated Christmas & birthday shindig! In keeping with the weather, I’ve made these snow capped cupcakes!

skiier cupcake

I invariably turn to Rose Levy Beranbaum for reliable cake recipes. These cupcakes are made from her all-occasion downy yellow cake and vanilla mousseline buttercream with Oreo rubble.  I am a true champion of European style buttercream, and promise that once you have the technique down, you will see little reason to make any other type of frosting.

The wee tiny skiers and St. Bernards (complete with minuscule barrels, brandy not included), are good old fashioned Micro Machines. Remember those? Thanks, Ebay. If only they made little Maremma figurines…

frosting mountain peak

st. bernard to the rescue

Success! Spirits lifted!

January 29, 2011

New babes

Filed under: sheep — Tags: , , — admin @ 4:11 pm

We have five new additions to our flock! All are white like their papa Joseph, and the drifts of snow nearly burying the farm. This is one of the two sets of twins, just finding their legs with some encouragement from their mother on their first day.

lamb twins

newborn lambs

January 6, 2011

Honey Roasted Roots and Endives

Filed under: honey,recipe — Tags: , , , — admin @ 2:42 pm

honey roasted roots and endives

Roasted Roots and Endives

Sweet root vegetables and bitter endives are brought into harmony with an herbed honey reduction. This rich wintertime dish is delicious by itself or alongside pork or lamb. Serves 6 as a side.

½ lb parsnips, turnips, or some of each
½ lb carrots
3-4 Belgian endives
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey, River Farm’s own
sea salt
ground black pepper
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs thyme

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel the root vegetables, chop into 3” lengths, and quarter lengthwise into pieces of roughly equal size. Cover with salted water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 8 minutes until just tender; drain vegetables.

Meanwhile, remove the bruised outer leaves of the endives and quarter lengthwise. Cut out as much of the bitter core as possible without displacing the leaves.

Melt the butter in an ovensafe skillet over medium heat. Once the sizzling has quieted add the olive oil, honey, seasonings, and herbs. Bring to a bubbling simmer, and toss the root vegetables and endives in the pan to coat evenly.

Place the skillet in the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes, until tender and beginning to caramelize. Test seasonings and serve.

roasted roots

January 5, 2011

Honied Cider Draught

Filed under: honey,recipe — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 5:57 pm

Honied Cider Draught

Any variety of spices works well to balance the bright flavors of honey and lemon in this comforting hot drink. Consider trying cardamom pods, a knob of fresh ginger, or a bay leaf. Serves 2.

1 C water
1 ½ C apple cider
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 T honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat until steaming, and enjoy.

December 16, 2010

Spiced Milk

Filed under: honey,recipe — Tags: , , , — admin @ 6:00 pm

This spiced milk is not only a lovely prelude to the proverbial long winter’s nap, it is a divertissment in the land of sweets. A hot or cold accompaniment to most any holiday dessert, or the foundation something richer yet. It makes for a mean cup of Earl Grey. Or rich oatmeal. Or wonderful hot chocolate.

spiced milk

Spiced Milk

slightly adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveler
serves 4

1 quart milk, raw if you like
3 T honey, River Farm’s own
3 strips organic orange zest
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1 cardamom pod, crushed
1 vanilla bean
big pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk, and toss in the pod. Bring to a near boil over medium-high heat, then hold at a simmer for 20 minutes until slightly reduced. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to steep for 1 hour. Refrigerate until needed and strain before using.

spiced milk punch

Now, if you are friends with any disreputable southerners as we are, you may appreciate the joy of a nice milk punch. You may prepare the above spiced milk with half-and-half with that decadent purpose in mind.

While we are raising a glass, may I also suggest partaking of holiday cheer with this wonderful Gin Spiked Kashmiri Chai or this amazing Eggnog, which may not be the Colonel’s, but is at least the Major’s as far as I am concerned.

Spiced Milk Punch

for 1

2 jiggers cold spiced milk, made with half-and-half
1 jigger bourbon
freshly grated nutmeg

Shake up the spiced milk, bourbon, and ice in a cocktail shaker (or some such) until very frothy. Strain into a highball glass, sprinkle with nutmeg, and enjoy.

December 14, 2010

Honey & Nut Granola {gluten free}

Filed under: honey,recipe — Tags: , , , — admin @ 5:19 pm

Hark, Christmas! Our family has a tradition of opening our stockings (each of which is testament to the home crafting trend of a different decade, from hand quilting, through the heyday of felt pompoms, and ending with gold lamé) before breakfast on Christmas morning. This is partly because the gold lamé hook won’t bear the excessive weight for long, but mostly because our stockings are brimming with homemade edibles which will join us at the breakfast table. Jam, chutney, and nut butters; homemade cheese, secret spice blends, and lamb sausage; marshmallows and walnut liqueur have all appeared over the years.

One recurring homemade treat is granola, which is so well loved that my mother and I both make it each year and give it to one another. We do not have a family recipe, preferring to always try something new. This version is my favorite just now – spiced with cardamom and ginger, lightly sweetened with honey, and generously studded with toasted nuts.

granola gifts

This recipe is very adaptable, so feel free to use as many or few types of nuts and seeds as you like. If I want to keep it simple, I’ll limit the recipe cashews, sesame, & ginger, or pecan, pumpkin seed, & dried cherry. Because I am currently following a gluten free regimen, I’ve made certain to source gluten free products when making this recipe for myself. If gluten is a not a concern for you, don’t be put off by the title. You can use your favorite brand of oatmeal, and add wheat germ for extra nutrition.

Of course, when I get to the breakfast table I usually put the granola aside in favor of Great-Grandma’s Christmas pastry. I may yet share that recipe with you, but in the meantime I have a few other gift ideas. Check back soon!

honey nut granola

Gluten Free Honey & Nut Granola

makes about 7 cups

3 C Bob’s Red Mill gluten free rolled oats, or other certified gluten free
1 1/2 C mixed raw whole nuts – almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, etc.
1/2 C mixed raw sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds
1 T flaxseed (or wheat germ if if gluten is not a concern)
6 T almond, walnut, or vegetable oil
6 T honey, River Farm’s own
1 t cardamom
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t cinnamon
3/4 t sea salt
freshly ground nutmeg
1/3 C dried apricots, pears, or cherries, finely chopped
2-3 T candied ginger, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350º F, and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Combine the oats, nuts, seeds, and flaxseed in a large bowl. Heat the oil and honey over gentle heat in a small saucepan until warm. Stir in the spices and salt; toss the honey mixture with the nut mixture until combined.

Spread evenly in the sheet pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is evenly golden brown and richly fragrant. Remove from the oven and give it a final stir, then let it cool completely before mixing in the dried fruit and candied ginger. Store in a very airtight container (remember honey is hygroscopic!) in the fridge for up to several weeks.

gluten free granola