Thursday, December 20, 2012

Benefits of Coffee

Coffee has gotten some good press recently - may lower risk of oral and prostate cancer, increases metabolism, boosts brain, opens airways...

The problem is the bulk of this country is turning toward a greater waste product from homeowner and office coffee making - Look at the latest trend and I will show you an new environmental disaster!

The waste from these single coffee makers (k-cup, keurig, etc.) is not recycled due to coffee grinds, and plastic, and foil thrown out together. This is a step back in the "greening" of America.  Plus, I can't see running boiling hot water through plastic, ugh! 
"the K cups are a mix of plastic, with a foil top and are neither recyclable nor compostable (unless you took the 9-11 grams out of every k cup and put it in the compost pile). According to SPI Guidelines, the plastic would be labeled a “7” – which is a catch-all category for newer plastics and combinations of plastics."

at a time when people are becoming more aware of the negative consequences of consumption, this latest trend is an oxymoron.

Here at the farm we use a stove top with a metal filter (or use the similar version that's electric) -everyone states how great the coffee is - step back in time for more natural taste and benefits of coffee!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Carrot Cake w/Cardamom Frosting

Carrot Cake w/Cardamom Frosting
1.5 cup sugar
.5 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
.5 cup milk 
1.5 cup olive oil
add 1.5 cup crushed pistachios and 1.5 cup chopped apricots plus 4 cup grated carrots
combine dry ingredients whisked together beforehand
3 cup flour
2 tsp bking powder
1 tbl bking soda
flavor with tsp
all spice
bake 350 degrees F

F.A.B. : Homage to Local Business

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Product Review: Fage

The Greeks ate yogurt with honey - plain and simple.  Many American companies are co opting a health food and loading it with awful ingredients.   Ingredients should contain ONLY milk and active cultures.  If you are eating yogurt as a substitute for desert and need the sugars, etc.  - you are on your own.  "Yogurt" the nutritious one - is a good source of calcium, probiotics, and protein.  Also, knowing how the animals are raised, grazed, and milked is as important to the product result as the product ingredients.  Our first choice should be a small farmer/producer that you can visit or trust method of production and humane animal care.  Here are some suggestions - Simply Greek, Siggi's - see our reviews by clicking the "greek yogurt" LABEL to the right of this blog.

If you do not have access to a small local producer than this yogurt is possibly the best alternative:

    Grade A Pasteurized Skimmed Milk, Live Active Yogurt Cultures (L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Casei).

Tribute: Jack Lalanne 1914 -2011

Of his 97 years, Mr Lalanne had many accomplishments - he was really one of the first fitness and nutrition guru's in the U.S. and his shows ran for more than 30 years! Watch some of his black and white videos on and you'll see some of his teachings plus nostalgia!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cooking Shows

I enjoy blogs, websites, and shows on the internet - it allows us to explore a wide range of interests from everyday people.  This is entertainment and learning and culture.

Here are the links:
this is a great old show with old Italian recipes
lots of healthy eats!  best watching these shows on and type the show name in search box
really good tips on health and nutrition plus videos on making "raw" dishes from this young couple
I liked these guys better when the website was video only.
Love the accent, plus the clean and natural cooking techniques offered here by Viviane.  Here again some changes to website - videos are under "cook"

want more links?
...I 'll  be posting them as I remember/discover them!  Enjoy and cook dinner tonite!

There are puff mushrooms which grow every spring wild in the fields - they are huge but best eaten small- not the tastiest of mushrooms!

"...if we all stuck to our traditional food-habits and lifestyle and ancient food-wisdom of growing and eating food, without the additives in processed; preserved foods, refined, irradiated, sterilized, genetically modified, chemically altered and highly chemicalized foods grown with toxic pesticides etc. and without the flesh foods of factory animals; ate conciously; with a conscience, I think we will all live long and healthy lives... as for ‘water’... spend a few minutes in the morning blessing it and thanking the water and cells for doing such a great job in keeping us well and alive!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Italian Farmhouse Recipes: Veggie Panini

One of my favorite summer sandwiches is simply tomato and mayo with hot Italian bread rubbed with a freshly picked garlic clove.  I only eat tomatoes in the summer grown by me and sandwiches in the summer - with veggies of all kinds.

My justification for eating a fat laden sandwich - I am farming - so I need the energy to work in the fields and sandwiches are easiest quick and can either be hot or cold! The Italian bread of choice is from a very old bakery in N.J. - Calandra's- they make really good textured crusty french loaves and sliced bread.  I don't know the recipe but they are consistent in quantity and quality for as long as they have been in existence.  They wholesale to stores and markets as well as retail bakery locations in Farifield, Caldwell, and Newark N.J.  I have to thank my cousin Tommy for stocking us every time he visits - the bread freezes really well - warmed in the oven (wrap in Aluminum foil to seal in the steam) and you will taste bread as if it was made fresh that day!  Go to one of the bakeries and they are churning out warm fresh made bread constantly...
this photo from cookingfoodie blog shows the layers - simply pesto, tomato, zucchini, and goat cheese.

Which brings me to another favorite sandwich - Veggie Panini with or without cheese - this has a layer of grilled or sauteed fresh picked garden zucchini sliced, farm picked heirloom tomatoes, garlic or pesto and/or freshly made goat cheese.  Here on the farm our options are endless but simplicity in a sandwich appeals to me - you can taste the fresh veggies or cheese or garlic or herbs or or peppers that may be picked on any given day.  Who needs cold cuts?  Veggie is the healthy option and in my opinion the much tastier option.
Just remember to start with some really good bread!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Product Review: Wheat Bran

-this product is great for muffins  -  the directions on the back of the box does call for regular flour in addition to the wheat bran - so they are not as healthy if you were only using the bran!
-each box makes approx 3 batches - feel free to add things like nuts and dried fruits - these are a good way to start the day.

As a comic once said - muffins are an excuse to have CAKE for breakfast!!!  I am all for it...

3 cups unprocessed wheat bran
1 cup boiling water
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 cups white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
Mix 1 cup wheat bran with 1 cup boiling water; stir and let water absorb into bran.
In a separate bowl blend sugar and butter.
Measure and combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
Combine the moist bran with the beaten eggs, the remaining 2 cups of bran, buttermilk, blended sugar-butter mixture, and the flour, soda and salt.
When preparing to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Health: Super Foods

Here is a link to super foods whose components help fend off cancer.  I think these items are tasty and consider them to be a mainstay of my diet anyway.

- sesame seeds
- fruit and berries including citrus and dried fruits
- black and brown rice
- shitake mushrooms
- wild caught fish
- cruciferous and dark leafy green veggies
- ginger
- fiber includes fruits, whole grains, beans, & veggies with lentils containing very high amount
- tumeric
- allium such as garlic & onions
- wine

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Small Batch: Ice Pops Paleta

here is a more recent video of their fundraising activities from kickstarter to refinance losses from Hurricane Sandy

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fact vs Fiction: Organic Benefits

The organic produce market in the United States has grown quickly, up 12 percent last year, to $12.4 billion, compared with 2010, according to the Organic Trade Association. Organic meat has a smaller share of the American market, at $538 million last year, the trade group said.
 - statistics from an article on the NY Times website/Sept 3, 2012

Reports on "The Stamford Univ study" that I have read have done nothing to document the seeds used (heirloom, hybrid, GMO) nor the farm size (small, medium, mega) - both factors - in my opinion - that contribute greatly to the quality of the end results for fruits and vegetables.

Learn more about heirloom seeds here:


The Stamford Study:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Italian Farmhouse Recipes: pasta frolla and pizza dough

Pasta Frolla

1.5 cup plus 1 tbl AP flour
7 tbl unsalted butter room temp
2 large egg yolks
.5 cups sugar
pinch fine sea salt
zest of 1 lemon, minced
ideal temp 65-68 degrees F

Pizza Dough

1. 1/3 cups luke warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
.5 cup olive oil
4*4.5 AP flour
1 tsp fine sea salt

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Locally Grown: Farmhouse Pizza

The reason I am posting about homemade ricotta has mainly to do with our goats and uses of their goats milk.  Early on in my farming life, I read about Coach Farms also in NYS, and how successful they have been with goat's cheese - chevre - the fresh kind.  Twenty years later, we have goats, and our herd is growing.  Now I have to decide what is the best use of the goat's milk!  Since our farm is specializing in all things Neopolitan pizza - I thought it may be good to see how homemade ricotta comes out with some goats milk and some heavy cream from cows milk.  We have a really great dairy - Evans Farmhouse - that makes a decadent heavy cream - so yellow/cream colored and rich.

Nearby to the farm, we already have 2 cheesemakers - one that makes raw milk aged cheeses of different varieties.  And another that makes the chevre.  So I thought instead of duplicating their work - (I use their cheese on our pies too) - and I'll try a different cheese and see how it comes.   I know a dairy nearby that produces curds and I'll work with them on fresh mozzarella.

Ultimately, the pizzas will be entirely fresh picked and locally grown and baked all right here in the Unadilla Valley and expanding to other areas of the Northeast.  I've had the idea to freeze prepared veggies and meals since 2005 and things are only finally coming to fruition.  We already grow the tomatoes, basil, garlic and the cheeses, mushrooms, other herbs can be purchased from others.   To be continued...

Homemade Ricotta: Lemon Juice

Makes about 1 generous cup of ricotta
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream (see Note above about using less)
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pour the milk, cream and salt into a 3-quart nonreactive saucepan. Attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer. Heat the milk to 190°F, stirring it occasionally to keep it from scorching on the bottom. Turn off the heat [Updated] Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, then stir it once or twice, gently and slowly. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl (to catch the whey). Pour the curds and whey into the colander and let the curds strain for at least an hour. At an hour, you’ll have a tender, spreadable ricotta. At two hours, it will be spreadable but a bit firmer, almost like cream cheese. (It will firm as it cools, so do not judge its final texture by what you have in your cheesecloth.) Discard the whey, or, if you’re one of those crafty people who use it for other things, of course, save it. Eat the ricotta right away or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

from Smitten Kitchen

Homemade Ricotta: Calcium Lactate

Mrs G's Homemade Ricotta

2 teaspoons calcium lactate
2 litre whole milk
300ml pure cream 
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste

Mix 1/2 cup of lukewarm water with the calcium lactate and stir to dissolve.
In a non reactive pan mix the milk, cream and salt. Stir in the water/calcium lactate mixture and place over medium heat. Do not stir. Have ready a bowl of water and a ladle this will be used to control the temperature of the milk. I assume this was used before there ever was thermometers to measure that the temperature was correct. It just goes to show we don't need fancy equipment to make good food.
As you see a bubble rise to surface pour a little ladleful of water to cool it. You will see the curds forming. It will not take long. Do not allow it to boil or heat for too long or your ricotta will be tough.  When all the ricotta has come to the surface turn off the heat and ladle out the curds into a fine strainer. You can line it with cheese cloth but Mrs G never bothers.

From Marcellina in Cucina

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Farm to Table Tour: To Benefit UUVA

I love learning about fellow NYS and Northeast farmers and artisans.  All part of the effort for consumers to Know Your Food.  It is just as important to see the people work and the environment as it is to know the location.   We promote and support local vendors and producers through our   We spend time going to the farm and seeing the process.  Only five farms are part of this tour  - featuring Wrobel Farm in Bridgewater, us-  Ambrosia Farms, Dutch Girl Cheese in Leonardsville,  Poplar Hedge Farm  and The Captain's Grove in West Winfield.  Here is a list of all the local farms in the Upper Unadilla Valley I can think of - they include:

Ambrosia Farms -, hay & woodwork,  Horse & Hound Rescue
Bates Farm - Ayrshire cattle
Dutch Girl Cheese - artisan cheese maker
Poplar Hedge Farm - dairy goats and artisan cheese maker
The Captain's Grove - maple syrup
Wrobel Farm - garlic, hops, corn
Haar Family Farm - eggs
Fiddle Tree Farm - veggies and orchard
Aaron Amish Farm - strawberries, baked goods, and veggies
Spooner - lamb and sheep

Your $10 ticket will benefit Upper Unadilla Valley Association whose work has brought attention to preservation of historic homes and natural resources in our area.  Some farms will give out free samples.  We are proud to be able to participate and let people know the work we do on the farm to raise heirloom veggies and build artisan custom woodwork as well as preserve our old growth forest, natural resources, open land, and great and loving care of our domestic and farm animals.

Big Business: Organic Packaged Lettuce

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tapioca Pudding - store bought and dressed up!

I am surprised at a few things about this store bought product 
 1/ that it has "all natural' ingredients and 2/ that it has half the calories of my favorite store bought ice cream - hagan dazs! I never purchase ice cream because - too heavy on the calories and irresistible at the same time.  So this pudding, although not part of my regular diet was a good alternative less fatty treat!  I dressed it up with sliced bananas and macerated dried apricots( in grand marnier) - warming them before topping the pudding... bananas and pudding are great together and the dried fruit with freshly grated nutmeg presented a quick and good desert.

Heirloom Tomato Sauce: a recipe for Fresh Picked or Frozen Tomatoes