Saturday, April 23, 2016

Time to Sign Up for Your Local CSA

  It is time to sign up for your local CSA! Local farms offer a program known as CSA or Community Suppoted Agriculture. When you sign up with your local farm, you receive 20-26 weeks worth of farm fresh fruits and vegetables for an annual fee. The fees can range in price, most falling between $500-1500 per season. Sound like too much? Get together with a friend or another family and split the cost and produce each week!
   Many of the farms offer organics as well as add-on products such as artisanal breads,eggs,meat or fish. If you are lucky ,your farm may deliver right to your door, otherwise they arrange a local pick-up spot each week.
  This is a great way to ensure you and your family are eating healthy,fresh produce while supporting local farmers. The cost helps pay for seeds,fertilizer,equipment and staff. Still too expensive? Don't worry! Many local farms set up weekly farmer's markets in different towns so families are able to purchase what they need within their price range.

Whichever method works best for you and your budget, be sure to check out your neighborhood's local farmer's market. The quality,variety and taste speak for themselves. There is nothing quite like fresh food coming to you directly from a farm, picked earlier that morning and on your plate that day.

Below is a list of CSA programs available throughout Long Island. Visit their websites and see what works best for you! Enjoy the bounty!

www.rusticroots.com (delivers to your home)
www.naturalearthfarmsny.com
www.goldenearthworm.com
www.gardenofeve.com
www.sangleefarms.com
www.amberwavesfarm.com

Another option for weekly orders and pick up(pay as you order) www.ourharvest.com

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Vanilla Honey Corn Muffins

One of the many things I love to buy at the local farmer's market is fresh honey. Not the little bear from the supermarket,but the real deal. It may be a bit pricey,but the taste and health benefits cannot be beat. If possible, use the best honey you can find for this recipe,it makes a difference! I love these straight from the oven ,sliced in half, with a touch of butter melting inside. Simple and delicious. Wrap and freeze any leftovers for a quick grab and go breakfast.

Ingredients:
1 c. cornmeal
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2c. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
2 eggs
1/2 stick of unsalted butter,melted and cooled
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. honey


- Mix all dry ingredients  in a mixing bowl. Add the butter, then the remaining ingredients,mixing well until everything just comes together.
-Fill muffin cups approximately 2/3 full . Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on top and tops spring back when touched.

Makes approximately 12-15 muffins

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Spring is in the Air!

It has been another busy week in the kitchen!  I 've made many platters for parties and Holy Communions,as well as party favors for different events. I wanted to share a few of them with you!
   The Sesame Street platter above was a lot of fun to make. This one was for a special little boy's second birthday!

  I also had two Communion celebrations!

 

Of course, not a week goes by without birthdays. Here are a few cookie favors , emojis and basketballs.

 

One of my favorites from this week has to be the garden-themed cookies I made for a local fundraiser. The village I live in is starting a sustainability program to beautify the neighborhood! I found great inspiration online and decided to make my version of seed packets , as well as flowers and chickens! Love these!

 
Communions and garden-themed cookies mean spring is here,even if the weather says otherwise. It will be warming up this week,which means I will be back in the garden.I will be sharing some of my new plants with you soon,as well as some of my progress in the garden. Now I am moving on to another platter.Can't wait to share it with you next time! 

Have a sweet day!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Busy Baking

I know it has been quite some time since my last post, and I apologize for that, but boy, have I been busy! Lots of baking going on here. Here is a short post to bring you up to speed with what's been happening over the past month.
 



I have been  making many cookie/candy arrangements for friends. Platters for birthdays and fundraisers.
 
   Then St. Patrick's Day arrived.

 

Next ,it was on to Easter .


Making chicks and peep cookies is always fun! Then it was all about chocolate bunnies and cookie platters.

 



 As you can see, I've spent a lot of time in the kitchen!

   I will be back this week with some new recipes for you. I am also looking forward to sharing some plans for the garden this year! Many pictures to share! Check in later this week!

Have a sweet day!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Happy Holidays!!



Whew! It has been busy in my kitchen! The ovens were working overtime! I wanted to share some of the fun creations I 've been working on. Many,many cookies left my kitchen and became a part of many special celebrations, and for that, I am grateful. Here are a few of the many orders filled this past month.
   

A trio of platters waiting to be wrapped.

Chocolate covered Oreos and truffles! Yum!

Chocolate sleighs wrapped and ready to go.
Gifts for teachers.



Just when I thought I was finished, I baked some more!

 Lollipops for the class parties.

 Lots of platters this month.
 These chocolate candy cottages were one of my favorite projects!
 I enjoyed making these sleighs as well. Each was filled with kisses and a trio of mini sugar cookies.

December was sweet indeed! Now ,I am looking for a bit of down time, then we head right into football season! Chocolate covered Oreos,designed like footballs,of course, will be one of many treats available!

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one of the first to see what is available each week, and what special treats we have planned for upcoming holidays!

Have a sweet week!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

My Latest Cookie Creations

 The fall is always a busy baking time. Here are a few of the platters and sweets I have been working on.

 I made many, many Halloween themed chocolate covered Oreos.
 Lots of Halloween sweets....bats,ghosts and loads of pumpkins. Then, it was all about the turkeys. I will have many more Thanksgiving themed goodies to share soon.

I also had an opportunity to make and send cookies overseas to a soldier through the Operation Cookie Takeover Program. I have participated in this program twice, and look forward to doing it again in the spring. It's a great way to show appreciation for the men and women who serve our country.
October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This platter was a special request and I love the way it turned out.

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Tip # 3 - Essential Thanksgiving Tools

 
Hosting and preparing a Thanksgiving meal can be less stressful if you have the proper kitchen tools. There is a multitude of gadgets to choose from, but really only a few are absolutely necessary to get the job done. Below is a list of "must haves" as well as some extras that will help you create a wonderful meal with minimal stress. Planning ahead, and checking to see what tools you may need is key, after all, who wants to run out Thanksgiving morning in search of a vegetable peeler or a roasting pan?


Essentail Tools:
-roasting pan
-medium saucepan( 2 or more)
-baking dishes(for sides)
-large mixing bowls
-large spoons for mixing
-vegetable peeler
-meat thermometer(more accurate than the pop up button)
-carving knife
-cutting board
-measuring cups(liquid and dry)
-measuring spoons
-whisk
-potato masher
-colander(to drain your potatoes)
-oven mitts or dish towels

Many people get caught up in buying all of the gadgets in the holiday catalogs, and if you enjoy doing that, then feel free. The items listed above should be sufficient, but if you really want to go all out, then here are a few more that may be helpful.
-kitchen twine
-fat separator
-food processor(works fast, but a knife works well too)
-timer
-turkey lifters
-mandoline(for slicing vegetables)
-potato ricer
-baster
-grater
-ladle

However you decide to equip your kitchen, your prep will be easier if you stick with the essentials. Be sure to have them where you can find them too, no need to spend two hours searching for your whisk when it is time to make the gravy! Happy Thanksgiving!