Keeping Fed - August '14

August was a busy, but very fun month for us.  We traveled to Newport, which you can read about here, here, here, and here

We took a quick trip to Martha's Vineyard to share a couple days vacation with our dear friends. The beaches there are so picturesque.  

I also visited one of our largest farms here in Dutchess County, North Wind Farms.  

It's located between Tivoli and Red Hook, and the entire farm runs off the grid.  Their beef and pork is the tastiest ever, and their turkeys are like no other.  Already thinking about Thanksgiving and where you're going to get your turkey?  You can get it here.

And in keeping up with Keeping Fed:

Sloppy Joes are on the menu for Labor Day.  Check out how i make them here.

I loved shopping for corn this way:

Bought the kids' back to school clothes from this store.

This blog shared my Great Balls of Fire Pit post.  I am so grateful and received so many positive comments.

Woke up to the sound of this beautiful balloon flying over our house the other day:

This view on Martha's Vineyard took my breath away:

Warms my heart that Mac and Caroline have such close friends at such a young age.

I can only hope that everyone walking by this on the beach can Be Fed Again:

Enjoy the last two days of August everyone.  I'm so glad you're Keeping Fed!



Brown Be Gone! - Quick Tip Friday

Back to school for our neck of the woods is next week.  And back to school means back to making and packing lunches.  I always try to include a fruit in Mac and Caroline's lunches, and apples happen to be their favorite.  But, the catch to this is that neither Mac nor Caroline like to bite a whole apple - they like it to be cut in sections.  I don't mind the extra step, but by the time their lunch comes around, the cut apples have browned.

Enter today's Quick Tip Friday.

The solution to this is really pretty simple.  And Quick...

Take a bowl and fill it half way with water.  Pour about a tablespoon of lemon juice in the water.  Slice the apple and let soak in the lemon water for about a minute or two.  Then take out and put in baggie or container.  The acidity from the lemon juice keeps the apples from browning, and diluting the lemon juice with water keeps the fruit from tasting sour.

When it's time to eat the apples, they look as though they were just sliced.

Enjoy today's Quick Tip Friday!

All American Hallway

Living in an 1820's farmhouse is very special.  Aside from the quirks and the lengthy list of projects that need to happen, laying our roots in this farmhouse is an honor.

So, when I saw this great huge old flag at Rosie's Old Country Store, I knew I had to have it for our home.  And I knew of two places where I thought I could hang it.

First, I thought it would look awesome hanging on the side of our barn.  But the flag is so beautiful, and old, and full of history in and of itself, I wanted to hang it inside.  

So I went with plan B.  I hung it in our upstairs hallway.  The flag measures 9 feet 10 inches by 4 feet 10 inches, and it fits this spot perfectly.

I walk by this flag several times a day, and I feel such a sense of pride each and every time.  It is so fitting to have an old American flag hanging in an old, American farmhouse.


Cookie Block

I can't believe summer is winding down and Labor Day is a week away.  I'm not ready for summer to end.  I mean, I'm ready for the kids to go back to school, for sure, but if only the true summer vibe would last a few more weeks.....

One could wish.

But with the end of summer, that means a holiday, and of course that means menu planning!

For some reason, I planned out the dessert first.  And you guys know I love to make ice cream, so naturally it's on the menu.  

Cake Batter Ice Cream, to be exact.

This stuff is delicious.  But I wanted to amp up the ice cream, and make ice cream sandwiches. And that means I needed to make cookies.  

For some reason, I have an aversion to making cookies.  When someone even mentions making cookies, I break out into the sweats.  No kidding.   I'm not sure why, but I very seldom can pull off making a cookie that not only tasted good, but actually resembled a cookie.

Usually, I buy store-bought, or I hire a "freelancer."  But I wanted our Labor Day meal, the entire thing, dessert included, to be made by me.  

I decided M&M cookies would be the perfect cookie for my ice cream sandwiches.  I made a batch, and they turned out like this:

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Ok, but the colors of the m&m's bled into the batter.  Not too sightly.  And not only that, but the cookies were a little flat.  I wanted "beefier" cookies that could hold their own in an ice cream sandwich.

So another batch was in order.  I called my sister-in-law and told her my predicament, and being that she knows I have this major cookie block, she came right over to help me make another batch.

Before she arrived, I made more dough, this time adding one cup of old fashioned oats, and two teaspoons of corn starch.  I had read that corn starch helps with the color bleed, and helps make the cookies thicker.

After cooking a couple cookies, we determined that we needed to add more flour.  So, all in, we used three cups of flour.  But, the color of the m&m's still bled.   That's when we decided to add the M&M's half way in the baking process.

Bingo!

A lot of work went into these cookies, but appreciate what I learned making these two batches of cookies.  And now, I believe I have overcome my cookie block.

For the M&M Cookie recipe, click here.

For the Cake Batter Ice Cream recipe, click here.