It's that time of year where the stores start stocking up on roses and other flowers. Boxes of chocolate begin to line the shelves. St. Valentine's day is only a little over a week away.
While St. Valentine is remembered by the giving of gifts and notes to those we love, this month is also American Heart Health Month. Those roses and chocolate not only bring smiles to our faces as physical proofs of love, but they also have medicinal effects on the body as well.
I don't know about you, but I'm always happy to find out more good news about my favorite herb, chocolate. Are you ready to read all of the reasons that you SHOULD be eating more chocolate?
The family has gathered around in a warm cozy house, and the smell of food is wafting through the air. The kitchen is all hustle and bustle, and tasty appetizers are awaiting.
Veggie trays, olives, cookies, fudge, chips, and cream cheese dip with chips.
When it comes to a holiday dinner, though, there was one dish that always completed the festivities, and these holiday gatherings wouldn't be the same without it.
The only bad news is that this favorite was filled with red dye and processed sugars.
Growing up on Sunday's for both my Farmer and I meant Sunday breakfast was a little different from the rest of the week. While I was use to pancakes, my Farmer loved his mom's coffee cake.
Before realizing I had a sugar allergy I remember going to his parents for Sunday breakfast and having his mom's coffee cake. It really was a favorite.
Then we dived into the world of whole foods and that coffee cake just wasn't a treat that I could have any more.
One recent Sunday I asked the Farmer, "What would you like for breakfast?" He replied, "Coffee Cake!" with a twinkle in his eye, knowing well that there was usually so much sugar in coffee cake that I would never make it.
I'm always up for a good challenge though!
Can you guess what the top two scone flavors are amongst tea drinkers?
As a business owner that makes and blends tea for a living, one could can imagine I'm in quite a few different tea groups. When I polled all of these groups to see what their favorite treats were, to eat with their tea, they came back with a two resounding answers.
Lavender Lemon Scones and Orange Cranberry Scones.
We decided we had to take these traditional and popular scone flavors into our farm kitchen and give them a little real, whole food make over. The result was fabulous! So fabulous we decided we would share it!
"Two hundred years ago, the average American ate only 2 pounds of sugar a year. In 1970, we ate 123 pounds of sugar per year. Today, the average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar in one year. This is equal to 3 pounds (or 6 cups) of sugar consumed in one week!" [source]
That's total insanity, no wonder we have obesity rates at the highest its been and why not only adults, but children are also facing diabetes at alarming rates.
So, must we give up all the sweet things we love to bake? Certainly not but there is an alternative that is not only a healthy replacement to sugar, but also has health benefits when it is consumed.
The answer comes from the colder parts of the country, and despite the name, sugar making, the only sweetness here is from maple trees.
Your mama is coming.
She expects a nice cuppa earl grey and a sweet treat.
But there is one problem, you don't have anything sweet on hand and you have to eek out enough earl grey to get her a decent cuppa.
What's a child to do?
It may not be your mama, and you might not be the child, but every one has times where company is coming and some comforting homemade food is in order.
These quick and simple hand pies are just what the mama in our story needs (or maybe its you that needs them).
Mother's Day is not far off and the mad dash to find just what mom has been hoping for has started.
As a mom myself, I'd be happy to help you out, since you asked ;) Just some quiet time, with loved ones, good food and a good cuppa tea. With lots of sunshine. Flowers and chocolate never hurt either.
That's where these lavender lemon scones come in.
Easter is coming quicker than quick, and it's time to start planning that Easter Brunch or Easter Dinner menu! Or maybe its not brunch, but linner (lunch & dinner), like we are hosting down on the farm this year.
We will be serving the traditional ham at our brunch/linner, along with more of a potluck style meal. I'll be cooking a few other dishes to go with the ham as my contribution. I thought about scalloped potatoes, but Grandma's potato salad is tradition and a must have. Aside from the ham and potato salad, I haven't thought about it much, with the exception of dessert. Dessert first, am I right?
Enter carrot cake. Very traditional and very seasonal. It's the perfect blend of sweet cream cheese frosting, hearty sprouted flour, and the freshness of spring carrots.
Sweet. Fresh. Spring Like.
Lemon Curd is the quintessential must-have for topping your tea time scones. Not only is it the most fabulous tasting topping but its also very simple to make and a great way to use up any springtime egg abundance you might have. Paired with clotted cream made with fresh cream from your dairy cow, this is the perfect snack to go with your afternoon cuppa. No chickens and no dairy cow? No worries, eggs, and dairy from the farmers market or local grocery will work as well.
"The best of times are always found,
When family & friends are gathered around."
This is truly my favorite time of year because the heat of the summer is tamed, the farm work outside is mostly done and it's now time to spend hours inside with friends and family. By enjoying the harvest from the summer's hard work and keeping warm by the fireside. Be it a fall family gathering and Christmas meals or anything in-between, this is a time for family, food and giving thanks to our Creator for the seasons abundance!
Sometimes though it's easy to get stumped on what to make with that abundance. That is why we gathered 14 recipes from farm/homestead blogs to liven up your holiday meals. It's time to gather, celebrate and enjoy food that is as good as the company we are with! Farmhouse style.
Tea Time. The words bring to mind, delicate, dainty, white, sugary treats. Paired with a dark black cup of tea to counteract the sweetness from the treats. Who doesn't enjoy it, but later finds that their blood sugar is sky high, they are still hungry because those quick carbs have worn off and you are craving even more of those sweet treats.
A favorite on the tea time platter is chocolate and hazelnuts. Well move on over Nutella because these Chocolate Hazelnut Dainty Date Bites (also known as date balls) are taking over at tea time. These healthy tea time treats are sure to be the perfect fit with your cup of Earl Grey or English Breakfast Tea without leaving that sugar coma hang over.
Some may say that a scone is a sophisticated baked good. While I agree that their delicate and refined nature might suggest sophistication, they really are not that hard to bake. Scones take many different faces from a drop scone, to a fine cut wedge, to a rustic round shape. One thing is for sure though, there is no other baked good that pairs better with tea than a scone.
From gluten and sugar free scones, to the ancient but healthy einkorn and those for every season such as sweet potato and forsythia. These five scone recipes are sure to meet your tea time needs and hit the spot. Spot of tea eh?
Happy Friday! We have a special treat for ya'll today. I mean that in a couple of ways! One of our first and long time customers, Kris, will be helping us out here on the blog. She not only is a lovely lady but also has a passion for loose leaf teas along with some fabulous culinary skills. Today she is bringing us a super tasty cake. I currently smell is fabulous flavors as I type waiting for it to cool down! So join me in welcoming Kris today!
By: Kris Miller
Devoted wife and mother of two, recently graduated from LBCC Culinary program.
It’s the dog days of summer, but I am one that is in perpetual Autumn mode. And I enjoy desserts with a slightly spiced note. That is what put me in the mood to develop this recipe for white chocolate cherry pound cake using St. Fiacre’s Farm, Cherry City Chai tea blend. Most of us enjoy cooking and baking, and making things look and taste great. And many of us are realizing we have sensitivities and allergies to certain foods and preservatives. I discovered I was gluten intolerant five years ago. I thought my baking days were over.
Matcha Shamrock Shortbread cookies add that little special touch to our yearly family celebration and heritage.
You see the Farmer and I both have Irish heritage in our family. We grew up celebrating St. Patrick's Day every year and when it came to picking a name for our youngest son we gave him the strong, strapping and Irish name of Patrick.
But first cake! This post may contain affiliate links. What's that you say?! Sometimes we share products that we love with you and those may pay us a little something to keep ye ol' farm a running, feed the children, teach them their arthimatic and the like. These links don't change the cost of the product. Read our full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting our family farm with your purchases!
Welcome to another round of Tisane Tea Tuesday! This will also be our last round in this series as we approach the Lenten season. Here down on the farm we start diving into the season of fasting and so tea time is less here on the farm. We plan to have another exciting weekly post on the blog though, so stay tuned to see what is next on our little farm adventure!
If you are new to this series of posts, every week we have been sharing some fabulous tea time recipes and then pairing them with one of our lovely herbal teas also known as a tisane tea. These teas are not made from the typical tea leaf but rather from fruits, herbs and flowers. We hope you enjoy your visit to tea time down on the farm!
Pacific Peppermint Patty Tea
This week we are featuring our super yummy Pacific Peppermint Patty tea! This tea was blended with a peppermint patty in mind and I think that we have achieved that. It goes great with almost any tea time treat and especially good after a meal. There is nothing like peppermint when it comes to calm and relaxation.
This tea features Organic Peppermint, Organic Cocoa Nibs and wee pinch of Organic Stevia leaf to take the edge off of the cocoa nibs. No worries, this isn't the processed white powder that comes in the stevia packets but an actual herb and green leaf. There is a very small amount added and so it doesn't tend to carry that after taste that Stevia sugar replacements can be known for.
Brew this tea hot or cold it makes a great drink! Iced in the summer time for a cool and refreshing thirst quencher or hot in the winter with some warm frothy milk on top. Sprinkle the top with some extra cocoa nibs and you are good to go. Grab your bag of Pacific Peppermint Patty here.
It goes great with this weeks tea time treat..... Caramelized Balsamic Skillet Cake!
Caramelized Balsamic Skillet Cake
While shopping at one of our favorite local grocery stores I had the pleasure of meeting the owner of Crate Expectations, the maker of this lovey Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar. Its always fun learning the story behind a product and how it is made and to see the passion , interest and knowledge that small business owners put into their product. Bill was no exception and he certainly knows how to pair his Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar with the perfect foods. We were privileged to try it on some strawberries, which was my favorite but the little farmers seemed to favor the vanilla ice cream with this vinegar on top. Since it was such a hit we had to purchase a bottle to bring home and today we are drizzling this goodness on top of a sourdough griddle cake - they are the perfect pair!
This skillet cake is a little reminesant of a bread pudding and a German pancake combined. A little vanilla ice cream on top wouldn't hurt either but we were fresh out. Make sure to add an extra drizzle of Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar!
Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar Cake
1 tbl. Organic/Grassfed Butter
3/4 cup Sourdough Starter
1/4 cup Raw Grassfed Milk
1 tsp. Coconut Sugar
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place a small cast iron skillet (6-8 inches) in the oven with the 1 tbl. of butter to melt and heat up the pan. While the pan is heating and the butter melting blend together the ingredients leaving aside the Balsamic Vinegar. When oven is heated pour your cake mixture directly into the pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Immediately after removing from the oven drizzle with Caramelized Balsamic Vinegar to your liking, you may always add more :) Serve with a slice of lemon or vanilla ice-cream.
Welcome to this weeks Tisane Tea Tuesday featuring one of our herbal blends! Get to know the story of this tea and more about its herbal goodness! Just as a side note! This post may contain affiliate links. What that means is that by clicking on the link and making a purchase part of your purchase helps to support our little farm. There is no additional cost to you. Click here to read our full disclosure.
According to Wikipedia a tisane is an: "Herbal tea, or, more properly, tisane, is any beverage made from the infusion or decoction of herbs, spices, or other plant material in hot water, and usually does not contain caffeine."
Many of our teas are made from herbs that are either grown on our farm, sourced from other local farms in Oregon or purchased from bulk herb suppliers that provide the best quality organic products.
Actual tea leaves do not come from herbs but from the actual tea plant called the camellia sinensis. While it is grown in the United States the bulk of it is grown in other countries. Herbs on the other hand may be grown all over and very easily (depending on the variety) and many of them make wonderful teas as well as medicines!
Feature Tisane of the Week
These week we are bringing on the spice with some Decaf Chai Tea! Chai is actually the normal name for tea in many parts of the world. Marsala chai is the term for the tea which many know of that is dark, black and has many spices including cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, ginger and a variety of other spices. The spices that are in marsala chai differ for every chai that is blended. Down on the farm, this farmer's wife is quite a fan of marsala chai but as caffeine is not my friend I sought to create the same lovely spiced tea without the caffeine. That brings us to our decaf chai. With all the same spices from marsala chai the black tea is traded out for some red vanilla like flavored rooibos that gives a very nice chai taste without the caffeine.
Down on the farm we love to drink our chai with some farm fresh, local, raw milk and a bit of organic maple syrup or local raw honey. Brew it up dark and add your warmed cream and sweeter of choice and you have one delicious, warming drink! Their are also health benefits to the herbs in this chai from the antioxidants in the red rooibos to the digestive aide that the cinnamon and other spices provide. This is an excellent choice for those winter days that leave you waiting for the bright sunny days of spring. When the warmer days come it would also be great blended with an organic ice cream and turned into a milkshake. Check out our marsala chai (caffeinated) here and our decaf chai here in our farm store. Now on to the tea time treats!!!
This Weeks Tea Time Recipe
Whole Wheat Cardamom Cookies
This Tuesday for tea time we enjoyed the farmer's favorite cookie, cardamom cookies. These are flakey and buttery, lightly spiced with fresh ground cardamom. Today we take this family favorite and give it a homestead twist. Swapping in some fresh ground, white whole wheat flour, farm fresh eggs and some organic sugar. A perfect tea time treat and it goes great with a nice cup of chai! Find the recipe below and enjoy some decaf chai or caffeinated marsala chai from our farm store!
Whole Wheat Cardamom Cookies
1 cup Organic/Grass Fed Butter
3/4 cup. Organic Sugar (or coconut sugar, skip molasses)
1 tsp. Organic Molasses (unsulphured)
1 pastured egg - separated
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups White Hard Wheat Flour (or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)
1 tsp. organic cardamom powder (fresh ground is best!!!)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tbl. Organic Butter, melted & browned slightly
1 cup Organic Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp. organic vanilla
Blend together until creamy the butter and sugar (molasses too if using). Add the egg yoke (yoke only! a mistake I made once). Save the egg white for later. Also add in the vanilla, cardamom and sea salt. Blend together until incorporated. Last add the 2 cups of white whole wheat flour. Blend until evenly incorporated and then spread in a 10x15 UNgreased pan. Brush the egg white over the top of the cookie dough. We love this stoneware baking sheet! Bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour.
Cut cookies in 1 x 3 inch bars (or what ever size you wish!) Make sure to cut these cookies before they cool or it makes them hard to cut, they crumble and are hard to get out of the pan. While the cookies are cooling mix your melted/browned butter with the 1/2 tsp vanilla and organic powered sugar. Mix well and then drizzle over the cooling cookies and let set until cookies have cooled. Serve with a great cup of chai tea and enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by the farm! We will see you again soon!
Welcome to our Family Tea Farm!
Howdy from our farm to your home! It is said that the, "farm is the nursery of the family," and that "the family is the nursery of the nation." We hope you enjoy your visit to our blog as we share with you the happenings on our little "nursery". Thank you for following us on our journey and watching us GROW! Read more about our farm HERE.