Browsing CategoryFamily

Homemade Vegetable Pizza

Now, I am not sure if I ever met, or ever will meet, someone who doesn’t like pizza. I think it must be one of those impossibilites of life. lol But there are pizzas out there that are just way better than others. Homemade for instance. Homemade can never be beat in my opinon. Simple homemade crust with just four ingredients, pizza sauce with just a few spices, and for the topping you don’t even need meat. All-veggie pizzas are amazing and chock-full with flavor, you just don’t miss the meat. Of course you can add meat . . . sausage, pepperoni, bacon bits, whatever you like, but family is always looking for meals for Meatless Fridays and meals that are easy on the budget. This vegetable pizza takes the cake pizza! Read More

Christmastime, what makes this time of year so darn nice?

The start of my Christmas week was blessed first with good weather and second with my sister Catherine coming home from college after long weeks of finals. We were able to get our biggest seed order taken care of (seven more orders to go!) and the farm stand closed up for the year. Then the howling wind came the night before Christmas Eve, storms blew in and out went our power. Yet, I still was thankful because that’s all that happened, we didn’t suffer any damage nor was the weather bitter cold. We got our big generator going and we were even able to make Christmas cookies, apple sauce, rolls, and winter squash soup! Pretty awesome if you ask me! Read More

Happy Birthday Ice Cream Cake

My sister Catherine’s birthday is the only birthday in my family that is in the middle of summer. So we often will pig out on ice cream on her b-day and this year is no exception except this time I made her ice cream cake with her favorite brand of ice cream. I’ll show you step by step on how I put it together including the super chocolatey fudgey wudgy layer of fudge. Mmmmm:) :) Read More

In Grandma Anna’s Bay: Jungle of Ostrich Ferns

On the homestead we have about 5 acres of woods and lake front property which includes a wooded bay that my great grandma Anna would often take a stroll through. Descending the hill in the summer it feels like you are entering a jungle of some kind with the hundreds of ferns, all different kinds, that cover the ground floor. It’s a rather spectacular sight but wouldn’t be nearly as spectacular without the ostrich fern. I remember as a kid how fun it was to wade through them since they were almost as tall as me at the time. They certainly have multiplied since then! It’s this time of year that they are just beginning to poke through the ground and the carpet of last year’s leaves, and soon they will start unfurling their fronds. Read More

Maple Syrup is in Season! Sappy Sweet Tarts Recipe

When growing up I remember following my dad and brothers around carrying a bucket I was given to one maple tree, then another and another. I would watch them tap into the tree and set up all the lines. It fascinated me as I stood there watching the sap drip, drip, drip into the bucket. And then early in the morning, right before school, I would run outside on the heels of my brother to check on the sap buckets. Often those buckets would be overflowing and we would have to haul them up the big hill to our house! It was exciting more than it was work. In the kitchen, which was attached to the dining room where momma also schooled us kids, the stove would constantly be on. The sap that filled our huge stock pot would boil and boil throughout the day and turn the whole room into a sauna! lol Yea, I was guilty of drawing pictures in the condensation that coated the windows… part of art class of course. ;) I could tell that the syrup was close to bottling up when I could start smelling its sweetness waft through the house. There is nothing like the taste of pure maple syrup! With a nod to those sweet memories, I wanted to make a dessert that could capture that special taste and sweetness, and these maple tartlets that I playfully call sappy sweet tarts could not be more perfect. So, so, so good!

Sappy Sweet Tarts: Maple Syrup Tartlets

Yield: 24-26 tartlets

Sappy Sweet Tarts: Maple Syrup Tartlets


    For the Pastry Base:
  • 2 sticks cold butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Milk
  • Maple syrup
  • Filling:
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. To make the pastry cut the cold butter into the flour and then add milk until a dough is formed. Form dough into a ball and place in freezer while you begin work on the filling.
  3. Beat together the softened butter, brown sugar, flour, and baking powder until thoroughly combined and crumbly. Add the vanilla, eggs, and milk and beat until thoroughly combined and the consitsency of oatmeal.
  4. Grease two shallow muffin tins with shortening.
  5. Take dough out of freezer and roll out very thinly on a lightly floured surface. Use a pastry cutter or pizza cutter and cut out large enough circles to fit your muffin tins. Four-inch diameter circles worked for me. They don't have to be perfectly round! Keep rolling out dough and cutting circles until all the dough has been used up.
  6. Pour a dash of maple syrup (about a teaspoon) in each tart and then evenly distrubute the filling into each tart.
  7. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until filling is golden. Tastes heavenly when served warm!
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Grandma’s Chocolate Syrup

 something so good can be put together in a matter of five minutes then it just makes it that much better! My family loves chocolate and Grandma’s recipe for chocolate syrup is no exception. I personally enjoy the syrup just by adding it to milk for a glass of chocolate milk (maybe dress it up with some whipped cream :) ) or heating it up for a mug of hot chocolate. But there are so many other ways to use this syrup… my sister will pour it over cake and let it soak in! And then there is just the simple drizzle over ice cream or the stir it in for one of the best chocolate milk shakes! Yep, Grandma did good! :) Read More

Brunch with Pumpkin Pancakes and Custard!

You have some leftover custard from earlier maybe? Yea… I didn’t think so… but maybe next time you might want to plan in advance to set aside some of that custard for a sunday brunch. Think pancakes… hot-off-the-griddle pancakes… fluffy, light-as-air pancakes… think pumpkin pancakes! Yep, you read right… pumpkin! I was flabbergasted by how fluffy these babies are and the pumpkin flavor is perfectly subtle. A few scoops of pumpkin custard over your stack of pancakes and you have a brunch to die for!

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

Yield: 6 pancakes (depending on size)

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs, separated


  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl.
  2. Combine the pumpkin, milk, and egg yolks in another bowl until homogenous (i.e. very well combined).
  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour pumpkin mixture in the well and mix until combined.
  4. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a separate bowl until the whites form soft to stiff peaks.
  5. Fold the egg whites quickly and gently into the batter.
  6. Coat your preheated griddle with butter (I just partially unwrap a stick of butter and spread the butter on that way.) and then ladel the batter onto the griddle to the desired size of pancake.
  7. When the tops of the pancakes have bubbled up and resemble a holey swiss cheese, flip them over. The bottoms take less time so be careful not to burn them. You want a beautiful golden brown color on both sides. Serve with the usual maple syrup or put a couple scoops of warmed pumpkin custard over top! Soooo good!
  8. Tips: If you are making a larger batch, transfer the pancakes to a large baking dish and keep them warm in the oven at 200° until ready to eat. Also, leftovers can be easily put into plastic bags and frozen and then later reheated for another meal.


I multiplied this recipe by 5 for my family and had plenty of leftovers to carry through the week.
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Warming the Home with Pumpkin Custard

Freezing your pumpkin in the fall means pumpkin goodness in the winter! My family tries to freeze as many quarts of cooked pumpkin puree as we can fit in the freezer. And today I am grabbing two of those quarts (roughly 5 cups) and whipping up some pumpkin custard! “What? Custard?” Yep, same stuff that goes in a pumpkin pie, but I’m not going to bother with a crust. Just scoop some of the custard in a bowl and load up on the whipped cream or even a scoop of ice cream and dig in! Sounds grand? I thought so! Read More