Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mom, There's a Yeti in the Kitchen

Or make that a polar bear.

Or maybe just the neighbor's dog, Sully, who likes to let himself in whenever the opportunity arises.

What's the weather like where you live? It's very cold and snowy here at Silly Goose Farm, but we're supposed to hit 50 degrees by the end of the week!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! Got any special plans? I've already celebrated V-Day (and got some pretty, sparkly pressies!), but I thought I'd share with you my gifts to my friends and loved ones this year.

I love getting mail and presents through the post. And I always want to make sure that those I love know that I think and care about them. So I had a lot of fun sending out these packages.

I made several batches of cookies and brownies (chocolate chip, oatmeal cranberry, peanut butter, and this recipe from Bon Appetit magazine). I tied them up with little labels and twine. They were placed very gingerly in boxes with tissue paper and heart-shaped confetti (which I was told, while charming, was everywhere after the package was opened).

For some, I included a Valentine's Day music mix with songs by Hall and Oates, John Lennon, Amos Lee, Big Star, Slim Harpo, Islands, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Sam Cooke, among others.

I was so happy to send these little treats out and I hope the recipients liked them!

Now, I'll leave you with my essential thoughts on Valentine's Day:

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt! - Lucy Van Pelt

Monday, February 7, 2011

Turkey Burgers and Oven Fries

What better way to celebrate the potato than with fries! While I could definitely just eat fries alone, I thought a spin on the classic combination of "burgers and fries" would be more apropos (bonus - did you know potatoes are naturally fat free? AWESOME!).


Turkey Burgers with Honey Mustard Dressing
Makes 4 burgers

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium stalk celery, minced
1/2 apple, peeled and diced small
2 shallots, minced
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes OR 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon Bell's Seasoning
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
4 poppy seed kaiser rolls (or bread of choice)
2 cups spring mix or other baby lettuce
4 slices American cheese

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil.

2. In a large bowl, mix together turkey, egg, garlic, celery, apple, shallot, salt, pepper, parsley and Bell's Seasoning. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. The turkey mixture will be very wet. Form into four patties and place in skillet.

3. Cook burgers for 4-5 minutes. Turn, and cook for an additional 4 minutes.

4. In the meantime, split and lightly toast kaiser rolls. In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard and honey.

5. Spread 2 tablespoons of honey mustard dressing on one half of toasted kaiser roll. Layer spring mix on bottom half of kaiser roll, top with one turkey burger patty, American cheese (if desired) and top half of kaiser roll.* Enjoy!

*On second tasting, I substituted honey mustard dressing with Silly Goose Farm ginger-peach chutney (available for purchase soon!) and the American cheese for bleu cheese - it was equally delicious!


Oven Fries with Spicy Ketchup
Serves 4*

4 large potatoes, peeled**
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil.

2. Cut potatoes into "sticks" as uniformly as possible. Place in a large pot and with enough cold water to just cover. Boil over high heat until potatoes are just pierced with a folk.

3. Remove potatoes from boiling water and place on baking sheet. Coat with olive oil. Top with garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and allspice. Toss to coat.

4. Bake potatoes on top shelf in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn and bake for another 10 minutes (or until desired "browning" is reached).

5. In the meantime, combine ketchup, cumin and chili powder in a small bowl. Mix to combine.

6. Serve oven fries with spicy ketchup. Enjoy!

*This recipe can easily be increased or decreased.

**I used Red Chieftain potatoes from this year's crop, but the potato gold standard (Yukon Gold, that is) is a wise choice.

What Does "Silly Goose Farm" Mean?

I’ve been thinking about what exactly “Silly Goose Farm” is.

Well, Silly Goose Farm is, of course, where I live, but beyond that, I feel it’s a way of life. To sum it up, Silly Goose Farm is a guide for a stylish, sustainable lifestyle. Living “green,” eco-friendly or socially responsible seems to be more popular than ever, and have certainly become buzzwords. I feel a lot of the resources out there on the subject don’t really make this lifestyle as accessible as it should be. Many come across as elitist and pretentious. Blame it on my extensive schooling in History and Political Science, but I think the only way things ever change is when they become accessible to the masses. Egalitarians unite!

I aim to make Silly Goose Farm a place where anyone can come and find inspiration on stylish, sustainable living. Whether you live on 20 acres or in a mid-city apartment, have the time, energy and experience to grow all of your own produce or just a windowsill pot for basil, make oodles of buckaroos or just enough to eek by, I hope this blog becomes a repository of ideas for all who are dedicated to living a little closer to the earth (without losing personal style).

I am working on regular features that showcase tips on gardening, cooking, personal style and d├ęcor, and companies that uphold the tenets of the Silly Goose Farm lifestyle. Also, because I believe good, safe and healthy food should be accessible for everyone, I’ll occasionally post information about organizations dedicated to this cause and related food issues. I promise I’ll try not to be too preachy! What a turnoff, right?

Finally, this blog is a place where you can comment as you see fit. If there is something posted here you definitely don’t agree with or support, share it! One-sided conversations don’t really affect change, in my opinion. If you find something in a post that is factually incorrect, call me out on it. Just please don’t be harsh towards other commenters. Name calling is not allowed, and try to limit the snarky quips. Let’s all bring each other up, not knock each other down.

So, stay tuned for more fun posts and exciting announcements, and if there is anything you’d love to see here, leave me a comment or email me at sillygoosefarm@gmail.com!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

National Potato Lovers and Sweet Potato Month

Did you know that February is National Sweet Potato Month and National Potato Lovers Month? To commemorate, I thought I'd provide you with some fun tidbits about potatoes and sweet potatoes, as well as recipes to help praise the spud. September is National Potato Month, so I'll be back with more factoids and recipes then.

The Potato Eaters, Vincent Van Gogh, 1885

The potato chip was invented in 1853 in a restaurant in Saratoga Springs, NY (a city not far from Silly Goose Farm!). A patron complained the french fried potatoes were too thick, and sent them back to the chef in complaint. The disgruntled chef then sliced new potatoes as thinly as possible before frying and added salt. Instead of insulting the customer, the "potato chip" ended up being a huge success and changed our snacking habits forever.

The average American eats 132.7 pounds of potatoes (or approximately 365 potatoes) a year.

The potato is the second most consumed food in the United States - trailing only after milk products.

The sweet potato is the 6th principal world food crop, and approximately 90 percent of the worlds' crop is grown in Asia.

Sweet potatoes have been grown in the Americas as early as 750 BC.

George Washington Carver developed 118 different products from sweet potatoes, including a mucilage for postal stamps, sizing for cotton fabrics, and an alternative to corn syrup.

During World War I, when supplies for wheat flour were low, the USDA used sweet potato flour to stretch out the wheat in baked goods.

Stay tuned for yummy recipes!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Weekend Listening

Happy weekend everybody! What are your plans for the next few days? I've had a general feeling of ennui the past week or so, and need some perking up - I'm thinking I might try to grab drinks with friends (did you know it's really hard to find a Pimm's Cup in the US?) and go see "The King's Speech." Anyone care to join me?

Pickin' Up The Pieces

One thing that is definitely on the agenda for the weekend is finishing up a few projects and jamming out to some good music. My current obsession is Fitz and the Tantrums. The band's album, Pickin' Up the Pieces, is perfect for grooving and getting motivated to tackle a task. I could listen to "Moneygrabber"  or "Rich Girls" on repeat for an hour! Head over to the band's website for a free download of "Moneygrabber."

By the way, how AWESOME is this band's name? One of the best I've heard of in a while. I found Fitz and the Tantrums through our local independent radio station, WEXT. If you are a lover of great music (or news), please support independent radio.

Have a good weekend!