Friday, January 27, 2017

Roasted Garlic & Potato Soup

Red Barn , Maine winters

This roasted garlic & potato soup is my project for Sunday and dinner for Monday. What do you think add cheese or no cheese?
                  Prep time: 5 Min
Cook time: 40 Min
Total time: 45 Min


1 ½ lbs small new potatoes, washed but unpeeled
2-3 full bulbs of garlic, with ¼ inch cut across stem end to expose cloves.
2 medium onions chopped into quarters
3 pieces of bacon
2-3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
coarse salt to taste
4-6 cups chicken stock


Preheat oven to 400F.
Place potatoes, garlic bulbs and onions close together on foil lined baking sheet. Drape bacon slices across top, being sure to cover exposed ends of garlic cloves. Place in oven. Roast until edges of potatoes and onions are browned, and bacon is crispy.
Add 3 cups of the chicken stock to blender. Transfer onions and potatoes to blender. Do not fill blender more than half full at anytime. Depending on the size of your Ninja, you may have to work in batches. Using your fingers, squeeze the contents of each roasted garlic clove from its skin, into the blender.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hot Pockets , for Alex

At work I have a friend, his name is Alex. Alex and his GF , just got their first place and they are trying to budget food rent, life... They eat a lot of "easy" pre made box food like Hot pockets. This post is for Alex stop buying pre made , this is so much better , for less.

Bacon, Cheddar and Potato Hot Pockets


For the cream cheese dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1 lb.  Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup  thawed frozen peas
  • 6 oz.  thick-cut bacon, cooked until crispy and coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup  grated Cheddar cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water


1. To make the dough, in a food processor,( I use my Ninja blender) combine the flour, salt and butter and process until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. If this is a hassle go to the freezer section and get a bag of frozen rolls., thaw and roll out.
 Add the cream cheese and pulse a few times, just until the dough comes together. Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape into a disk. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 400°F Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 15-by-16-inch rectangle about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Cut into 12 rectangles, each 4 by 5 inches Place on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.

4. Put the potatoes in a saucepan with 1 inch of water, cover and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl and toss with 1 tsp. salt, the peas and bacon.

5. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the flour all at once and cook, whisking constantly, until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup  of the milk and stir until completely incorporated. Repeat with the remaining milk, 1/2 cup  at a time, then stir occasionally until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cheese and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the potato filling and gently stir to coat. Let cool to lukewarm.

6. On the baking sheet, space 6 of the dough rectangles at least 1 inch apart. Brush them with some of the egg mixture, then place about 1/3 cup of the filling in the center of each. Top each with a remaining dough rectangle. Press top and bottom rectangle edges together, then crimp with a fork. Brush the tops with the egg mixture and cut small steam vents in each.

7. Bake until the crusts are golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes, sprinkle with cheese over the tops during the last 5 minutes of baking and serve warm. Serves

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Carrot and Winter Squash Soup with Pancetta

Carrot and Winter Squash Soup with Pancetta


  • 1 1/2 lb.  butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 yellow onions, cut into chunks
  • 3 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 cups  chicken broth, plus more for thinning the soup
  • 6 oz.  pancetta, cut into 3/4-inch (2-cm) dice


1. Preheat an oven to 425°F

2. In a roasting pan, combine the squash, carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, basil and parsley. Season with 1 tsp. salt and a grinding of pepper. Drizzle the 1/4 cup olive oil over the vegetables and toss to coat. Roast, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender and browned in spots, about 45 minutes.

3. Remove the vegetables from the oven and discard the thyme sprigs. Transfer the vegetables to a soup pot and add 4 cups of the broth. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Alternately, transfer the soup to a blender, puree until smooth and return the soup to the pot. Add more broth to thin the soup to the desired consistency. Place over medium-low heat and cook until warmed through, about 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a dry fry pan over medium-low heat, sauté the pancetta until crisped and some of the fat is rendered, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

5. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with a few of the pancetta “croutons,” drizzle with olive oil and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Garlic Pepper Chicken and Broccoli with Parmesan Pasta


My kitchen help
3/4 lb. Boneless Chicken Breast
2  Tbs. Butter
black pepper and salt
2 cloves garlic , crushed
1/2 - 1 cup chicken stock
1/2 lb broccoli, cut
zest from 1 lemon
1/4 c shredded Parmesan Cheese

Cut chicken breast into strips ( or use tenders) sprinkle w salt and pepper
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.
add the garlic and seasoned chicken.
Cook till chicken has NO PINK
While the chicken is cooking steam broccoli and cook pasta ( two separate pans)
remove finished chicken from pan
add about 1/2 the chicken stock to pan scraping brown bits.
Drain pasta return to pot add pepper, lemon zest contents of pan and strained broccoli.
Season with salt and juice from lemon. add extra stock , if needed stir in Parmesan

Saturday, January 21, 2017

On The Menu

Saturday: Chicken Quesada Salsa and Chips
Sunday: Pork Tenderloin with Butternut Squash Noodles
Monday: Cheese Burgers Sweet Potato Noodles
Tuesday: Garlic Pepper Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
Wednesday: Chicken Ranch Wraps
Thursday: Beef and Bean Chili

Chicken Quesada Salsa and Chips
1 Taco Seasoning Package
1-2 Cups shredded chicken ( from a Rotisserie Chicken)
1/2 onion
1/2 green pepper
Shredded Mexican Style Cheese

Sauté onions and green peppers that have been sliced thin add taco seasoning and water as directed on package add in chicken to coat.
Layer the shredded chicken mixture and cheese between two tortillas and grill , top with grren onions and sour cream and green onions.
Serving with salsa and chips.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Chicken catchatori

This is a dish that reminds me of my Grandpa Slim . When Bob and I were first married my Grandpa would cook and bring me wonderful containers of food. Grandpa's cooking was not fancy , he would clean out the refrigerator, cook and drink a cocktail. The dish was never the same twice , but it was always yummy.

 1 chicken, 4—5 lb ,cut into 8 serving pieces, trimmed of excess skin and fat
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 can whole plum tomatoes with juice, lightly crushed with your hands
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
1⁄4 cup  low-sodium chicken broth

 Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Stir together 2 tablespoons of the oil, the lemon juice, garlic, and thyme. Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator, turning the chicken pieces occasionally, for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels; discard the marinade. Put a Cast Iron Dutch Oven on the stove top over medium-high heat, then add the butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and warm until hot. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the chicken pieces and cook, turning frequently, until browned, about 10 minutes. Preheat oven 375.  Return all chicken to pot and cover if your Dutch oven has a cover. Transfer to oven and cook through about 1 hour. This can also be done low and slow all day or on a wood stove.
When chicken no longer has any pink remove pan from oven and place on stove top.
Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Using a large spoon, skim off and discard as much fat as possible from the surface of the cooking liquid. Bring the liquid to a simmer on the high-heat setting and cook, uncovered, until reduced and thickened, 5—10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan and reduce heat.  1 tablespoon oil and warm until hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 3—5 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes, capers, anchovy paste (if using), and broth. Raise the heat to high and deglaze, stirring and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cast Iron Pan Chicken and Dumplings

I have loads of chicken and dumpling recipes every thing from crock pot to cast iron. This cast iron one is a lot more work then the  crock pot one , but this one is a bit more special occasion .

In advance  ( this time the night before) I fill a sheet pan with diced clean ,  veggies 4, carrot ,4 red potatoes, 4 celery and 2 - 4 leaks . Coat the veggies with olive oil good salt and pepper and roast in oven. Roasting the veggies makes them super sweet.


cup margarine or butter
cup chopped onion
cup flour
teaspoon salt
Qt home made chicken stock or 1 C water and 1 10 oz can stock (not as good)
drops hot pepper sauce
2 1/2
cups cubed cooked chicken , I use all the meat I can pick off a rotisserie chicken  
1 1/2
cups diced and roasted root veggies    

This is where I stop if building the night before, then next day when I get home from work : remove mixing bowl from fridge 
cup sour cream
(16.3-oz.) can Pillsbury Grands! Refrigerated Southern Style Biscuits
Chopped fresh parsley, if desired
Paprika, if desired


Roast pan of veggies and pick chicken.    Preheat oven to 400     With cast iron on stove top:             Melt margarine in large heavy skillet. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour and salt to skillet; stir until smooth. Add broth, water and hot pepper sauce; cook until bubbly and thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken, mixed vegetables and sour cream.
 Simmer over low heat until thoroughly heated.
 Separate dough into 8 biscuits; cut each in half. Place biscuit halves on top of hot chicken mixture. Sprinkle with Paprika Move pan to oven, bake as directed for Biscuits.    Remove from oven top with butter and parsley.                          

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mustard-Dill Turkey Burgers with Mustard-Dill Slaw

photo from : Studio In The Barn
Tomorrow starts the "official count down " 60 days before the Studio In The Barn Opens. Still working on putting together a diverse collection of canvases ,the web page, etsy store and more...

Mustard-Dill Turkey Burgers with Mustard-Dill Slaw


  • 1/3 cup  mayonnaise
  • 5 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 5 Tbs.  minced fresh dill
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bag  prepared coleslaw mix
  • 3 green onions, white and light green portions, minced
  • 1 1/4 lb.  ground turkey, preferably dark meat
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 4 buns, toasted


1. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, 3 Tbs. of the mustard, 2 Tbs. of the dill and 1 tsp. of the lemon juice until combined. Season with pepper. In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw mix, 1/4 cup of the mayonnaise mixture, the remaining 1 Tbs. lemon juice and a third of the green onions and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

2. In another large bowl, combine the ground turkey, the remaining 2 Tbs. mustard, 3 Tbs. of the dill, the remaining green onions, 3/4 tsp. salt and a generous amount of pepper. Mix gently. Form the mixture into 4 patties, each about 1/2 inch  thick. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each patty.

3. Heat a large fry pan over medium heat and brush with oil. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until browned and cooked through in the center, about 5 minutes per side.

4. Place the bun bottoms on 4 plates. Top each with a patty and a spoonful of sauce. Spoon the coleslaw on top of the patty or alongside the potatoes, place the bun top on top and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Cajun Chicken Skillet

  • Cajun Chicken Skillet

Photo from our brisk walk in Kennebunkport on Monday

  • 3/4 lbs. boneless chicken, cut in bite size pieces
  •  1-1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  •  1/2 onion, chopped
  •  2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  1/2 green pepper, chopped
  •  1/2 15oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
  •  1-1 1/5 tsp. McCormick Cajun Seasoning
  •  1/2 cup half and half, warmed
  •  1/2 lb. cooked linguine
  •  Parmesan for topping

1. Heat oil in skillet and cook chicken over medium heat until nearly done.

2. Add onion, green pepper and garlic.

3. Finish cooking until chicken is cooked through and onion is soft.

4. Pour in tomatoes with their juice.

5. Add Cajun Seasoning.

6. Stir in half and half, turning the heat low so sauce doesn't boil.

7. Toss the Cajun chicken and sauce with cooked pasta.

8. Top with Parmesan, if desired.
Note: Adjust the amount of Cajun Seasoning for your family's tastes, using more if you like it spicy and less for mild flavor.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

What Works Works: Menu Writing

So I got away from Menu writing, for a bit and gave those home delivery meal boxes a try.
I enjoyed our time with Blue Apron and Hello Fresh , I tried out lots of new ingredients and recipes. I liked that the home delivery option sent everything needed and I did not have to go out and get a big jar of spice ( or what ever) to try something new that called for 2 TBSP. When looking through my cook book collection that often stops me from trying a new recipe or ingredient.
I have recently ended my box meal deliveries because, I found for the two of us the portion sizes were insufficient and not budget friendly.
So Starting today I am back to Menu writing a system that has proven to work better for us.

Thursday: Shredded Beef Soft Tacos
Friday: Chicken Florentine Quesadillas
Saturday: Sausage Pizza
Sunday: Twin Roast Chickens

Mikes New Snow Shoes

Shredded Beef Soft Tacos
  • 1-1 ½ lb. Beef roast
  •  ½can enchilada sauce
  •  ½can chopped green chilies

Place the roast in the bottom of the slow cooker. Pour the enchilada sauce over. Pour the chopped green chilies over. Cook on low for 7-9 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.
One store bought Soft shell Taco kit or tortia's

Shred beef before serving.

Serving Suggestion: Chips and Salsa
Easy Homemade Salsa

  • 1 can of whole tomatoes 15 oz, drained
  •  ½red onion, quartered
  •  a couple garlic cloves whole or minced (whatever you have)
  •  1 Tbs of lime
  •  1 tsp of salt
  •  1 tsp of cumin
  •  a small handful of fresh cilantro (I used almost a whole bunch)
  •  ½can of jalapenos (I used a 4 oz can)

Put everything in a Ninja and blend until consistency is like you prefer. Serve chilled!
Note – this salsa is best once it sits together a bit in the fridge.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Pizza Making Class

Most of you know that here at the farm , we have an amazing wood fired pizza oven.

The oven has not been fired up in a bit due to extremely cold temperatures.
The oven is located on our back deck and we do use it year round.
But not in extreme cold and winds , because accessing the oven from the kitchen requires opening and closing the door and lowering the core temperature of both the fire and the house too much. 


In the interim to help us get through this cold patch, Bob and I are planning to attend an informal pizza making class .  With Chef German Lucarelli and his pizza cook Austen Tayler this February. The class is being held at Ports of Italy in the Kennebunk's .
 We will learn to make authentic Italian pizza in their Neapolitan Wood Fired Pizza Oven in doors.

This should be good news to all of you who plan to visit the farm in 2017, we are good at making pizza and plan to get even better, with practice!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Time to Visit "The Farm"

If you have been thinking of taking a trip to Maine, now is the time!

You can travel by train stress free, for less money than the cost of tolls!

$15 Fares to Celebrate 15 Years!

The Amtrak Downeaster is celebrating its 15th anniversary of service by offering $15 one-way fares for travel between Brunswick, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts or any station in between throughout the month of January. Tickets must be purchased 3 days in advance of travel to receive this deal. Reference promotion code v447. Start 2017 off right and keep some money in your pocket. Plan a winter adventure with the Amtrak Downeaster this January for just $15 one-way.

Kale Smoothie



Prep time: 5 Min
Cook time: 5 Min
Total time:


1 cup chopped fresh kale (1 1/2 ounces)
1 small banana (5 ounces), sliced
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 ice cubes


Combine the kale, banana, yogurt, pineapple juice, honey, lemon juice, and ice cubes in a blender and puree until thick and smooth.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Sweet Potato Fries with Herbs and Cheese

Sweet Potato Fries with Herbs and Cheese


  • 2 lb. (1 kg) sweet potatoes
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 oz. (60 g) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or cilantro


1. Preheat an oven to 425°F (220°C).

2. Rinse and dry the sweet potatoes. Cut the unpeeled potatoes lengthwise into batons about 1/4 inch (6 mm) wide and 3 inches (7.5 cm) long.

3. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the oil and a large pinch of salt. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until tender and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Carefully transfer the sweet potato fries to a large bowl. Add the garlic, cheese, herbs and a large pinch of salt and toss to combine. Serve immediately. Serves 4.