Fall Colors

October and November are my favorite months to be in the woods here in New England.  The bugs have gone (except those pesky ticks), the trails are less crowded, and the foliage is splendid.


I’m not the only one out there, though.  Here in NH, there are several different hunting seasons.  Right now, black bear, waterfowl and small game are in season. November 11 marks the height of the season with deer/firearm season beginning.

This doesn’t mean we stay out of the woods.  It does mean that we add our own color, though!




Well, my goodness gracious it’s dusty in here.

Folks looking for pepper freezing tips have left some fingerprints and notes.  But the layers of neglect had almost convinced me to let this little spot deteriorate in the backyard of a brand new, well-built, bigger spot.  A spot that could house things besides food.  A spot that could house random photos, moments that amuse me, things that interest or inspire me, and maybe also a pizza, salad or roast.

This spot, you see, was starting to feel a little too small.

Too specific.


I was bored of myself, frankly.  And kind of tired of mediocre photos taken under the halogen light in my kitchen.

But a few days ago, a former student stopped by..  She had no idea who I was.  No idea that she had stumbled upon the unkempt ramblings of her former (gasp!) ENGLISH TEACHER!!!!

Nothing like a blast with the past to kick you in the keyboard!


Looking around here, I now think maybe this place can be cleaned up.  A little addition on the back and maybe a bigger, more encompassing front porch might just make a new spot unnecessary.

So…please forgive the mess, and I hope you’ll check back while I work on the renovations!

Hey, before we get on to the food…in case you didn’t notice, the freakin’ sun came out, finally!  July 5th marks the first day without any rain since I think I can remember, or at least since, like, the beginning of June.  So, everyone molding in New England can now begin to dry out.  Hallelujah!

Now…for this week’s OLS meal: barbeque chicken pizza!  


Photo taken after the first servings were enjoyed!

Photo taken after the first servings were enjoyed!

It’s not exactly a “garden meal,” but for a stormy, damp July 4th, it was perfect.  We had leftover barbeque chicken, which we had glazed with some great sauce from Stonewall Kitchen (Mainers, ‘eh), and some fresh mozzarella in the fridge.  I used the America’s Test Kitchen pizza bianca recipe for the crust (registration required at ATK site).  So far, this is my favorite homemade crust recipe.  

Natives: King Arthur Flour*, Stonewall Kitchen Maple Chipotle Barbeque Sauce, chicken,VT mozzarella (sorry, can’t remember the farm name), garlic scapes, parsley.

From Away: Olive oil, yeast, salt, pepper.  

*King Arthur Flour is an employee-owned company that produces flour in Vermont.  The wheat is not from New England, but I consider the flour as local as I’m going to get at this point!

My apologies to all the good people organizing One Local Summer ’09.  I’ve been a slacker, slacker, slacker!

I should say, we are still eating out of our freezer.  It’s June, and we’re still supplementing the first of the green stuff with frozen beans, corn and zucchini.  A month or so ago I figured I’d gone overboard freezing stuff last summer; now I’m grateful!

So, by way of contrition, I offer three meals for the good of the order!

First, smoked Rock Farm ribs, slow-baked Meadow’s Mirth Jean’s beans and an apple-rhubarb pie:


For goodness sakes, folks, have you made a pie crust with lard yet? Have ya?

The locals: Ribs, beans, apples, rhubarb, honey, butter, lard, flour 

From away: Salt, spices, molasses, sugar.


Next, a grill-roasted local chicken with Maine russets and zucchini from the freezer:


The highlight of this meal (besides the yummy chicken) was the fresh dill and chives from the yard!

The locals: Chicken, zucchini, potato, honey, dill, chives, butter

From away: Salt, pepper, soy sauce, olive oil.


After our first CSA pickup, I used arugula in a little pesto for a steak:


I have to say, I don't love arugula (I've tried, leave me alone). But in a pesto with some pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil, it's pretty okay on a perfectly cooked, lean steak!

The locals: Rock Farm steak, arugula, butter, lemon-thyme, parsley and chives from the yard (starring in the herbed pasta).

From away: Olive oil, pine nuts, parmesan, salt, pepper, pasta


So, for those of you still following along – thanks for sticking with me!  I’ll check in again soon!




Who's there?!

For crying out loud, y’all, where has the time gone?  

Somehow, people continue to stop by the blog here, even though new content has been sorely lacking.  Thank goodness for that freezing peppers post!

In addition to neglecting the blog, I’ve fallen behind on my commitment to One Local Summer.  My first, three-week post will be coming this week.  We really have been enjoying localness!

I’m feeling ambivalent about where YankeeFood is headed.  This spring has been cold and wet, and local produce has responded in kind, taking its sweet time to grow.  In fact, my CSA just put off pick ups for a week to give things a chance to get going!  

The first strawberries are trickling in, though, so maybe I’ll find something that inspires me to stop by more frequently.  At least I’ll get back on track with the OLS posts…hopefully!

Here’s wishing everyone in New England some more seasonable weather!

Slowly but surely…

…the food is growing again!

Tonight’s dinner:

  • Frittatas with local eggs, bacon, cheese and milk
  • ASPARAGUS from a science teacher at school
  • Salad with lettuce from the Family/Consumer Science teacher’s kitchen garden in the school courtyard

Thanks, Spring!


This year, Farm to Philly will kindly host One Local summer again.  

If you’re not familiar with OLS, the rules are simple:  cook up one meal each week during the challenge (June 1st through August 30th) using locally grown ingredients (exceptions: oil, salt and pepper, and spices).  Post about your meal on your blog, or email it to your regional coordinator – a round up will take place each Tuesday at Farm to Philly.

Participation is a great way to motivate yourself to find local ingredients, seek out unique regional ingredients, and post regularly to a blog!

Click here to sign up by May 30th.

Thanks, hon!

I drink Pepsi about two times per year.  I have a sudden craving for cola, and I usually buy a 16oz bottle and make it last a couple of days.  So, when that craving hit on Saturday and my husband went out to run some errands, I asked him to grab me a bottle.  

He brought this back:


Pepsi made with cane sugar!  

Then, on his drive home today, he heard a story on NPR about these “throwback” drinks.  Check it out here if you’re interested.

I can’t imagine this makes my biannual Pepsi any better for me, but maybe a fraction more “whole?”

Thanks for coming…

I am super grateful for all the folks who continue to stop by here even though I have failed to post regularly!  

Now that spring seems to have finally sprung, I’m feeling a little more inspired to come out from under my winter rock and get back into the groove. 

So thanks for continuing to check in…I’ll be seeing you more soon!


What is it about a chocolate chip cookie that drives us to try recipe after recipe, forever pursuing chocolate chip perfection?

Whatever it is, the May/June (yes, that’s right, May/June) issue of Cooks’ Illustrated includes a tweaked version of the classic Toll House Cookie recipe that immediately caught my eye in my search for Shangri-La.

I shoudl say that I did not jump on the NYT Chocolate Chip Cookie bandwagon last year, and I haven’t even attempted that recipe, which has made the rounds of nearly every food blogger in the blogiverse.  I haven’t found myself anywhere that I could pick up chocolate feves, I don’t always have cake flour, and I usually want cookies NOW, not tomorrow, after resting the dough.  That may very well be the cookie I’ve been searching for.  I’ll just have to go there one day.


The CI version was appealing for it’s familiar ingredients (flour, baking powder, butter, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, vanilla, egg, chocolate chips) mixed with just enough kitchen dorkiness to make it something of an adventure.  

The real twist in this recipe is that most of the butter is melted and browned before being whisked with the sugars, egg and vanilla.  The other different technique is to let that mixture sit for a few minutes between three rounds of whisking.  

Sunday dawned rainy and dreary around here (Don’t get me wrong, rain=snow melt!) so I made a batch of the cookies.

Were they perfect?  I’m not sure.  They were, however, pretty darn good!  The browned butter definitely lends a toffee flavor that is more pronounced than in the everyday recipe.  The texture is crispy, chewy and moist, but I’m not sure it’s any better than a good traditional cookie. 

I’d definitely make these again, perhaps doubling the recipe.  The original recipe calls for cookies made of 3/4 cup of dough, yielding only 16 cookies.  CI likes the bigger cookie to allow for even more contrast in texture between the crispy outside and chewy inside.  I, however, wanted more than 16 cookies, so I made mine smaller and ended up with 28.  Those will definitely be gone by Wednesday!


A couple of other folks have already tried the recipe and have their own spin on it, and FamilyFriendsandFood got permission to include a copy of the recipe, if you’d like to check out her thoughts.   

So, perfect?  I think maybe my perfect cookie would be warm, homemade and baked by someone else in my kitchen, which they clean up after serving me cookies and milk.  But maybe that’s just me.