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hello 2018 plus our pie recipe

Farmish Momma apple pie

Waking up to a new year.  New Years are my favorite.  A new beginning and I do so love new beginnings.  In reality I suppose its just another day but to me it’s so much more.  It is one more year that God had given us to have life and live it.  To love each other and to do our best.   Truly if I am honest, waking up is always a gift to me.  I don’t take tomorrow for granted but waking up today is a big gift.  Another year, 2018, so amazing.  Poppa and I have seen so many new years together now and I can’t wait to see what this one brings.

It is said (or at least I think it is) that as you bring in the new year so shall the rest of the year go.  So, I am hereby declaring 2018 to be the year of the pie.  The pies must be full of love and eaten by friends and family for that is how we brought in the new year.

So much food, friends, music and of course wine (a riesling which I received from Charlei for Christmas to be exact) and a very late night ending in Nick, Erica, Veronica and I watching a movie until 3 AM.    We had all the usual accompaniments to honor my Dominican and Cuban heritage.  Poppa did a great job of locating a leg of pork so big that I had a hard time getting it into and out of the oven and I believe we will be eating pork all week.  Yuca fries with aioli, black beans and rice, tostones and so much music to wash it down with.  Though I am not home in Florida to celebrate with my family who dances until no one can dance anymore, I cranked the tunes and danced with anyone and everyone who cared to join me and sometimes by myself because that is who I am and where I come from and it wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t.  As the 12 o’clock hour neared, a wonton making party ensued in the kitchen and there were so good.

Of course there was pie.  Apple pie because its Poppas favorite and as mentioned in the title of this post, I will share the recipe.  If you don’t make pie crust because it sounds scary, I will include the easiest pie dough recipe you will ever love and there is no cutting of butter or lard involved (though I love that part but I remember thinking it was quite hard when I first learned to cook).

We had our customary (for us at least) 12 grapes at midnight, silly string fight, Olivia banged pots and pans together because Father Buckley told her that his family does this every year so I guess our family will now be doing it also and lots of celebrating.  If we are friends on Instagram you can see all of it in my stories from yesterday (if you don’t follow me at Instagram you can find me at and you can see all the daily happenings that don’t make it to this space.

So how did you ring in the New Year friend?  I sincerely hope that this year is full of love, beauty and goodness for you and thank you for being here with me in this space.

Farmish Pie Crust

Makes 2 crusts (one for the bottom and one for the top)

2 c all purpose, unbleached flour

1/3 c butter

1/3 c palm shortening

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

5 to 6 tbsp cold water

In a bowl, stir flour, sugar and salt.  Cut in butter and shortening until crumbly.  With a fork mix in the very cold water tablespoon by tablespoon (you may not need the 6th tbsp) until flour is moistened.  Squeeze into a ball and divide in half.  Shape into 2 balls, wrap 1 ball ( we use our beeswax wraps but you can use plastic wrap) and put in the refrigerator to chill.

Roll out other ball on a lightly floured surface.  Roll it out 3 inches larger than your pie pan and gently fold and pat into the pie plate.  Chill for 2 hours or longer before filling.


Farmish but easy pie crust dough

1/2 c palm shortening or lard

1 1/2 all purpose unbleached flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

Put shortening in a bowl, add 1/3 cup boiling water and stir until the shortening is melted.  Add flour, salt and baking powder.  Mix with a fork until blended.  Form dough into a ball.

Split into 2 balls, wrap 1 ball ( we use our beeswax wraps but you can use plastic wrap) and put in the refrigerator to chill.

Roll out other ball on a lightly floured surface.  Roll it out 3 inches larger than your pie pan and gently fold and pat into the pie plate.  Chill for 2 hours or longer before filling.

Farmish Momma’s apple pie filling (this is just a basic apple pie filling, nothing fancy but very yummy as good simple food should be)

6 cups apple slices, peeled and cored

1/2 c sugar

1/4 c brown sugar

1/4 c all purpose unbleached flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp butter

1 tsp sugar

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except the apples, butter and sugar.  Add the apples and stir to mix.

Spoon into pie crust.  Put on crust top.  Brush crust with 1 tbsp melted butter.  Cover the edge with a pie protector or aluminum foil.  Bake at 400 f for 35 minutes.  Remove crust protector and bake another 10 or 15 minutes or until the crust is beautifully browned.


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Labneh in lent

Life sure does get busy over here, I’m sure it gets busy where you are also.  With maple season wrapping up,  wild edibles starting to pop up, getting gardens planned and farm animals ordered, we seem to be going all the time.   When life becomes such a rush I like to have meals that feel slow.  Meals that allow us to sit anywhere and just enjoy simple, filling food with each other and get a chance to talk to just sit together and talk or dream.

Labneh cheese is one of those foods to me.  It takes a while to make but most of the work does not require me to be next to it, it just requires me to plan it.  It is a rather easy cheese to make and we all love it so.  Lately, I have been feeling like I should be making a batch every week.  We put it on everything, crackers, toast, on flat bread and eat it with raw veggies.  So good I tell ya.

I don’t really have a recipe but its been a while since I shared a recipe here with you so I will make this more of a suggestion than a recipe.  This is a good recipe for days when we don’t eat meat, which is quite often and if you can make yogurt then you can make this cheese.  If you don’t know how to make yogurt, you can follow my recipe here.

Labneh cheese

A half gallon of yogurt (or adjust the ingredients to fit the amount you will be using)

2 cloves garlic minced

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp thyme

2 tsp salt or salt to taste if you like more or less salt

Pour your yogurt into a muslin cloth over a colander and let it sit for a hour or so to allow some of the whey to drain out.  Then pull up all the corners and tie the end so you can hang it over a bowl to drip.  I do this by hanging it from a cabinet hook and let the whey drain into a bowl underneath.  I let it drip out all day or overnight.  You can totally do this in the fridge if you like.

When all the whey drips out, you will be left with something very similar to cream cheese.  If you like it this way, you are done.  If not then you can add my suggestions to make a very good, savory cheese.  Play with different spices and have fun making different kinds.  You can also make it sweet instead of savory by adding fruits or fruit preserves.

This is my favorite food to take to the park or out in the woods for a picnic lunch.  We make flatbread with it and usually olives, tomatoes or pickled veggies.  So good and pretty easy but it feels like you put so much love into it and isn’t that what food is supposed to be?

I hope you are having a blessed lent and we will talk again soon, yes?

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