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Paonia Farm and Home Supply, also known as Paonia’s do-it-yourself center, wants to show your project(s) with pictures to inspire our community to get started with their project.  Please come into the store and share your before, during, and after pictures of your projects, gardens, remodeling efforts, and farm animals.

Fast and Easy Rhubarb Sauce

rhubarbsauceWhether you love rhubarb in pies or not, you WILL LOVE this delicious, easy-to-make rhubarb sauce on ice cream, cake, toast, or as a side dish.

What sets this rhubarb sauce apart from others you may have tried, is the addition of cinnamon, chopped candied ginger, and optional lemon juice.  I asked my rhubarb resistant friends to just humor me and take a taste.  After one tiny taste, they asked for more.

Chopping up rhubarb is as simple as slicing celery.  This recipe probably takes less than 10 minutes of hands on time.

So whether you are a rhubarb connoisseur or aficionado, find some rhubarb in your garden or from a friend and fix something new and easy.  This recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc, consumed now or canned or frozen for later.

rhubarbstalksRhubarb Sauce with Cinnamon and Ginger  (double or triple recipe)

4 cups of chopped rhubarb

1/2-1 cup sugar or honey to taste (I used 1 cup sugar)

2 Tbsp chopped candied ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

Fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste – 1 Tbsp or so (optional)

Stir cinnamon into the sugar.  Place the sliced/chopped rhubarb into a wide bottom stockpot and stir in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and candied ginger.  Allow this mixture to sit 10 or more minutes or overnight to start the juices flowing.  To make the food redder, you could add some red food color as the cinnamon will naturally darken the rhubarb.

jarsofrhubarbsauceSlowly bring up the heat and simmer the sauce 10-45 minutes depending on how soft a sauce you want.  Rhubarb has a natural pectin content so no additional thickening agent is needed.  Adjust the thickness to taste, if necessary, by adding additional water.

Hot bubbling sauce can be spooned into 1/2 pint sterilized jars and topped with two piece lids.  As the sauce cools the jars should seal.  If you have a sealing failure, just refrigerate or freeze the sauce.

This sauce is easy, inexpensive, and can make a thoughtful hostess gift throughout the summer.

 

 

Asparagus on Toast with Cream Sauce and Eggs

Asparagus on Toast with Cream Sauce. Bacon bits are optional

Asparagus on Toast with Cream Sauce. Bacon bits are optional.  Recipe is from Emma, Linda’s grandmother

A delicious recipe that is just in time for a seasonal breakfast or brunch.  With the recent rains, there is plenty of asparagus sprouting along roadsides, just be sure if you are picking wild asparagus to not trespass private property.

IngredientsAsparagus 2

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, diced or sliced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 2 cups milk  (part cream is OK)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, optional
  • 1/3 cup bacon bits, optional
  • 4 slices bread, toasted and halved

Directions

  • Snap off the lower part of the asparagus stalks where they break easily.  In a large skillet, bring 3/4 cup of lightly salted water and asparagus to a boil. Cover and boil for 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Keep warm and drain when ready to serve the plate.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter; gradually whisk in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk and continue whisking the mixture. Bring the sauce to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in optional cheese until melted, if desired.
  • Place 1 slice of toasted and halved bread on each slightly heated plate.  Top the toast with asparagus spears, followed by cream sauce, diced hard cooked egg (one per plate) and garnish with optional bacon bits.  Serve.
  • Yield: 4 servings.

Creamed New Potaotes and Peas

A Delicious, Traditional Springtime Recipe!

A Delicious, Traditional Springtime Recipe!

If you have some delicious fresh homegrown peas from your garden you will be especially excited to prepare this classic, old-fashioned dish.

Add a little diced ham to turn this recipe into a main dish.

Whether you have fresh new potatoes and fresh peas or not, make this delicious, traditional Springtime dish!

12 new potatoes (or 2-3 large potatoes cubed in 1 1/2” cubes)

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp flour

1 cup cream

1 cup milk  (or 2 cups milk if you don’t have fresh cream)

3 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 tsp salt

dash pepper to taste

If you are using new potatoes you just boil them in water until tender. If you are using regular potatoes, peel them and cut them into large, 1 1/2 inch cubes. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare a basic white sauce by melting the butter in a 2 qt saucepan. Whisk in the flour, salt, pepper and then the cream and milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking until thick and smooth. With a wooden spoon, stir in the fresh or frozen peas and cook until heated through. Don’t overcook the peas! You want the peas to remain crisp and not get soggy like canned peas

By this time your potatoes are pretty close to being done, Drain the potatoes and add them to the white sauce. Stir in pepper if desired. Do not over cook. (Yuck!!)

Cheesy Artisan Bread in Five Minutes

A little cheese can be reserved to garnish the loaf during the last 10 minutes of baking

A little cheese can be reserved to garnish the loaf during the last 10 minutes of baking

The original post of Artisan Bread in five minutes has been the most popular post ever published on our blog.  Here is a new variation!

Since the weather maybe a bit cool and rainy this week,  I wanted to let you know  about a delicious, cheesy  variation of this bread.  It will add about one minute to total prep time and is perfect for dinner parties, potlucks, and gifts.  Believe me, your friends will think you are a very accomplished baker with this simple recipe, and appreciate your efforts more than you can believe.

All you need to do is mix-in one cup of grated cheese, of your choice, to the dry ingredients before you stir in the water.  I like pepper jack cheese best, but any cheese will work.  VOILA!  Delicious bread with no kneading.

This recipe remains  fool-proof, in my opinion,  requires five basic ingredients that you are most certain to have on hand and delight your family.

Perfect for cool and rainy days.

No Knead Cheesey Artisan Bread

Close-up of Artisan Bread with Colby Jack Garnish

Close-up of Artisan Bread with Colby Jack Garnish

3 Cups all purpose flour or bread flour 

1/4 tsp Instant Yeast

1 1/4 tsp Real Salt

1 5/8 Cup water

1 Cup grated cheese, cheddar, pepper jack, colby jack, etc

1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cheese, yeast and salt.  Add the water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 12-14 hours  (longer is ok) at room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2.  Dough is ready when the surface is dotted with bubbles.  Lightly flour a work surface and place the dough on the floured surface.  Sprinkle with a little more flour.  Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball in about 30-60 seconds.  Pinch seam together on the bottom. The less handling the better.

3.  Generously coat a cotton kitchen towel (not terry) with flour, wheat bran or corn meal.  Place the dough seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour.  Cover with another cotton towel and allow to rise for 2 more hours or so.  The dough is ready when it is more than double in size.  This dough isn’t likely to fall.  An alternative to the cotton kitchen towel is to use parchment paper, to raise the bread on instead of the towel and lift the loaf and drop it into the dutch oven prior to baking, parchment, dough and all.  

4.  Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees with a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot such as cast iron, enamel or Pyrex, in the oven to pre-heat as well.  After about 25-30 minutes, carefully remove the pre-heated pot from the oven.  Slide your hand under the towel, and flip the dough over so the seam side is up, or use the parchment paper to drop the loaf in and then score the top  with a knife instead of the flipping action.  You may think you have wrecked your loaf, and it may look messy, but trust me on this, this is OK.  With seam side up, the loaf “blooms” or opens up while baking.  Cover the pot with the lid.  Return to the oven for 30 minutes.  Remove the lid, garnish with additional cheese if desired and bake another 10-15 minutes or until the loaf is beautifully browned.  Cool it on a rack.

Refresh Your Rooms with Color

heirloom

Paint Will Refresh and Renew a Dull, Out-of-Date Interior

A fresh paint job enlivens a ho-hum interior, but picking the right color (or combination of colors) and figuring out where best to put it and how much to use can prove perplexing.

To narrow your choices, break out a color wheel , utilize the color visualizer tool or use some of the ideas below from Pratt and Lambert. Paint pros use these tools to see how colors will look together before they roll them on.

Hues that are next to each other on the wheel, such as yellow and green, make pleasing pairs, as do shades of complementary colors, which are found on opposite sides of the wheel.

Consider the 60-30-10 Rule

To judge where and how much, try the 60-30-10 rule. “Basically you use a dominant color for 60 percent of the room, a recessive one for 30, and an accent for 10,” says color expert Debbie Zimmer of the Paint Quality Institute. For a whole-house scheme, Zimmer suggests using the same three colors but varying which ones play the starring and supporting roles.

If you’re thinking on a smaller scale, consider adding a single dose of a color you love to just one element in a room, such as the inside of a built-in bookcase. “Painting one surface or an interesting architectural detail is such a great way to get some bold punch,” says Ann McGuire, a color consultant for Valspar.

Pratt and Lambert Paints Interior Paints are on Sale for $5.00 off per gallon.  Ask Linda, Jim, Tim, or Joe about custom color match service.

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