Our salute to National Pie Day is a homemade Blueberry Cobbler, made using blueberries gathered from our bushes here at the farm. The cobbler smells heavenly due to the addition of ground clove, cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg and lemon zest. The blueberries were picked during the last week of June, 2021, and frozen using the Double-Freeze method, which keeps them tasting like they were freshly picked. Naturally, the cobbler will be served warm with Blue Bell Ice Cream's Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. It's difficult to improve on this traditional dessert!
Cayenne Cheese Bites!
Homemade Cayenne Cheese Bites served this afternoon at The Birdnest Inn! Yes, they are spicy but why not? Served with a glass of wine or with a cup of specialty Forte Tea. Makes any afternoon so much better!
Grate 1 lb of sharp cheddar cheese
Soften 2 sticks of unsalted butter
Using an electric mixer, blend butter and cheese until mixture is smooth. Add the following:
2 teaspoons salt, 1 large egg yolk, 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper.
Continue blending in the electric mixer. When well blended, drop by teaspoons on an ungreased baking sheet---or pack mixture into a cookie press for a more festive look. Place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Use the leftover egg white to make a glaze by lightly beating and adding a pinch of salt. Brush the tops of each bite with the glaze. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
This is a recipe that I have been making and altering since 1971.
GATHERING BLACK GOLD
It's black gold time at The Birdnest Inn! As a dedicated organic gardener, I cherish this time of year! It's time to build up compost piles (black gold) to use in gardening over the next few years. I started the compost piles in February, locating them out of sight behind the chicken coop. There are three stacks---leaves, which compost the fastest, pine straw, which is much slower to break down, and a stack of large limbs/deadfall. It's truly sad and depressing to see so many plastic bags full of leaves ready to be picked up to go to a landfill. Mine are too large to place in bins, but it is simple to buy or build a compost bin and make your own black gold!
tex-mex migas served this morning at the birdnest inn. made with freshly layed eggs from our heritage-breed chickens, using green onions, anaheim peppers and cilantro from our garden! served with homemade salsa to top them off.
Guests celebrating their tenth anniversary at the birdnest inn with veuve cliquot (Claude Monet's favorite), long-stemmed red roses from Katherine's by design, and strawberries dipped in chocolate! we wish this couple many happy years to come!!!
Freezing fresh eggs
This is the time of year when the hens are laying eggs every day---at least one and sometimes two a day, so it's also a good time to save some for those slim winter months when the "girls" don't feel like working. I have been whisking half a dozen at a time and adding 1/2 tsp of salt-----my favorite is Redmond's from Utah that Don and Reed, friends in Boerne, TX introduced me to. I label ziplocks, pour in the whisked eggs, squeeze out as much air as possible and seal and pop into the freezer. They defrost within minutes and make fantastic quiches or omelettes. The eggshells go straight into the garden or the compost pile----no waste!! one of the great things about the pandemic is that interest in home gardening and animal husbandry has exploded, much like it did during the last world war. There's always a silver lining!
Baking a cake because somebody's coming!!! This cake is scrumptious! As my lifelong friend, suzy petrich, says "it's lip-smacking" good. It's a simple and easy cake to make, so here goes:
Preheat oven to 350 and grease/flour a 9" cake pan.
Mix the following:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa (I used ghirardelli)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp white cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cold water
Simply stir up the whole lot, pour into the cake pan and bake for 35 minutes.
mix meyer lemon juice with confectioners sugar until it is a drizzle consistency.
Donald and the melanias
Since we have an abundance of eggs and blueberries at the birdnest inn, I used a recipe that called for 6 eggs. I amended the recipe to create an almond and blueberry pound cake. My tasters were all in agreement that it is a fabulous recipe, great for dessert or for breakfast with coffee or tea! So here is The Birdnest Inn version:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking power
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 cups milk
Handful of blueberries
Grease and flour a bundt pan. Do not preheat oven. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. set aside
In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until fluffy. add eggs and almond extract. add flour and milk and beat until smooth. sprinkle the blueberries on the bottom of the pan and then fill with batter. place in cool oven, set temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 60-90 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Enjoy!!!