The COOK and the BAKER

Seasonal recipe blog from our farm kitchen to yours. Family meals, appetizers, breads, and desserts sprinkled with a touch of culinary exploration from around the world.

Christmas Winter Brunch

The season is bright and we’re filled with cheer here in the Modern Farmette kitchen! Christmas day brunch is definitely one of the things we look forward to the most every year. Amidst the busyness, we love slowing down and enjoying a wonderful home cooked breakfast made with fresh & healthy ingredients. Today’s brunch includes a selection of hand-picked recipes from our brunch menu we’ll be serving this Christmas. Enjoy and be sure to try all of these! 🙂

Pomegranate Cranberry Relish Crostini: Christmas means pomegranates! This fruit is definitely one of our latest obsessions. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s also incredibly refreshing and SO versatile! No other fruit comes close to the unique flavor and texture of the pomegranate. This recipe combines the irresistible, sweet holiday flavor with a cream cheese base. Miranda bakes fresh baguettes for this and it’s to.die.for!
Pomegranate Cranberry Relish Crostini (Yield: varies; approx. 14 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1lb fresh cranberries, washed
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup roughly chopped, fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils (reserve a few for garnish)
  • Finely chopped fresh basil, for garnish

Crostini

  • 2 baguettes, sliced into ¼-½ inch slices
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened

 

Method

  1. Brush bread with olive oil, season lightly with sea salt and pepper. Broil on high until golden brown, 6-10 minutes.
  2. Place cranberries and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add basil leaves and pulse a few more times until cranberries are coarsely chopped.
  3. Mix in pomegranate arils.
  4. Whisk the cream cheese until creamy. Spread approx. 1 tablespoon cream cheese onto each crostini.
  5. Top with relish and garnish with fresh basil.

 


Spinach and Heirloom Tomato Frittata: This frittata will FLOOR you (and your guests!) What’s so incredible about this is how much flavor is packed into such an EASY, quick recipe. The key to this is the veggies; don’t skimp on the quality of tomatoes — the more flavor & variety, the better! Don’t forget the salt!
Spinach and Heirloom Tomato Frittata (Yield: 4-6 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup sliced tomatoes, various colors and types
  • 2oz shredded asiago cheese
  • 3oz ricotta
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2-3 strips of fully cooked bacon, chopped

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat olive oil and garlic in a pan over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add cooked spinach, asiago, and 5 of the basil leaves, chopped. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a cast iron skillet or baking dish, pour mixture in. Top with tomatoes, pressing down if needed. Add the remaining chopped basil leaves. Sprinkle with clumps of ricotta.
  5. Cook on the stove until the bottom is set, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and place in oven; bake 15-20 minutes, or until set.

 


Christmas Cinnamon Star Bread: It wouldn’t be Christmas without something as unique, sweet, and festive as this delicious treat. We LOVE this one because it’s so easy to make it look beautiful. Seriously – whenever we make this our guests are wowed and it’s gone in minutes! 🙂
Christmas Cinnamon Star Bread (Yield: 10-15 servings)

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ tsp. (one packet) active yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ¾ cup warm whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 ¼ – 3 ¾ cup all-purpose flour, we recommend King Arthur flour
  • 6-9 tbsp. cinnamon-sugar
  • ¼ -½ cup unsalted butter, melted

 

Method

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and mix until foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, combine milk, egg, 1/4 cup melted butter (slightly cooled, you do not want it to be hot as it will cook the egg and break the milk), 1/4 cup granulated sugar and salt. Add 3 cups flour and yeast mixture, beat until smooth (medium speed if using a Kitchen Aid). Add remaining flour, ¼ cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed.
  3. Turn out on a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes (or use the dough hook attachment and knead for 3-4 minutes). Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and divide into four portions (a kitchen scale works very well for this). Roll one portion into a 12-inch circle and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with butter, leaving ½-inch around the edge, sprinkle with 2-3 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat twice, layering dough and cinnamon-sugar, ending with the final portion of dough.
  5. Place a 2-inch round cutter in the middle of the dough (do not press down). Make 16 evenly spaced cuts from the round cutter to the edge of the dough. Remove the round cutter; take two pieces at a time, twist outward three times, and pinch together at the end.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature, until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
  8. Brush with melted butter, avoiding the cinnamon-sugar. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Love,

Ben & Miranda

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Spiced Farm Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without a farm fresh pie. In our home, it’s not pie unless it’s homemade! Miranda’s take on the classic pumpkin pie is so lovely – your guests won’t be able to resist it. The combination of spices give it a rich color and deep flavor.

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Spiced Farm Pumpkin Pie (Yield: 8 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 baked pie crust
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 ¾ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 275ºF.
  2. Whisk eggs, yolks and sugars in a bowl. Add the butter, pumpkin, cream, spices, vanilla, and salt, whisk to combine.
  3. Pour the mixture into the baked pie crust and bake until almost set, about 1 ½ hours. Remove and let come to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled, if preferred.

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Love,

Ben & Miranda

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Roasted Cornish Hens & Grape Crostini

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of our favorite time of year. We love everything the season brings and Thanksgiving holds some of our most meaningful memories. In our crazy, fast-paced lives it’s a time for us to slow down, enjoy our family & friends, and connect over the dinner table with wonderful food and laughter.

We’re all about keeping things simple with healthy & familiar home-cooked favorites. We know Thanksgiving isn’t a relaxing time for everyone; so this year we thought why not change things up! Today we’re bringing you a few of our favorite dishes, hand-picked with holiday meals for two in mind. No matter how many people you’re cooking for this year, these recipes are sure to have everyone smiling around your table.

We started by picking up two Cornish hens. Stuff the hens with your favorite stuffing. Our favorite stuffing is super normal so decided to get creative this year! We stuffed one of our hens with with butternut squash & quinoa and the other with spinach & cream cheese.

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Roasted Cornish Hens (Yield: 2 hens, 6 servings)

Ingredients

  • 2 Cornish hens
  • Butter
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Red grapes, optional, for roasting

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF.
  2. Dry off the hens and stuff with your favorite stuffing. Tuck wings.
  3. Dot with butter, add lemon slices, and sprinkle with spices. Add grapes if desired.
  4. Bake until chicken is cooked, but still moist, about 40 minutes. Internal temperature should reach at least 165ºF.

Rainbow Hash: Say goodbye to the green bean casserole. This rainbow hash is a beautiful way to add color and fresh ingredients to the dinner table. Seriously – it’s SO good!

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Rainbow Hash (Yield: 4 servings)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium purple potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cups fresh kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Method

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook potatoes, carrot and seasonings, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes or until tender. Add kale and garlic; continue cooking until vegetables are lightly browned and kale is tender, 2-4 minutes.

Roasted Grape Crostini with Double Cream Brie: One day we’ll have cows & goats and we’ll make our own cheese, but this will have to do for now. This appetizer is sure to have your guests BEGGING for more. Every ingredient is equally important; so make sure to find quality brie and great crackers.

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Roasted Grape Crostini with Double Cream Brie (Yield: Varies)

Ingredients

  • 4-6 cups red grapes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Sprigs of fresh rosemary, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Double cream brie
  • Crackers of choice, we suggest seeded whole-grain

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Toss grapes in olive oil and herbs. Roast grapes for about 20 minutes, or until they begin to split.

Citrus Vanilla Cider: We’re in love with this cider recipe. The ingredients create an incredible depth of flavor.

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Citrus Vanilla Cider: (Yield: 10 servings)

Ingredients

  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 1/4 cup thawed orange juice concentrate
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Apple slices, optional

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, combine apple cider, orange juice concentrate, salt, and spices.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 1 hour to allow flavors to blend. Strain; discarding spices. Stir in vanilla. Serve with apple or orange slices, if desired.

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Love,

Ben & Miranda

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