Julia Roberts Cookies
February 13

I really don’t like Valentine’s Day and I’m pretty sure that’s one of the main reasons my husband digs me. That and that I do things like this (see below) in the kitchen. And even though I don’t care for Valentine’s Day, I deeply care for red velvet. And thin mints. And Oreo cookie filling (sans actual cookie). And Farmer and The Girl. Not necessarily in that order.


I named these crispy, minty, tasty morsels Julia Roberts Cookies, for a variety of reasons but mostly in honor of her famous dreamy red velvet evening gown and white gloves in one of my all time favorite movies Pretty Woman. And who could forget the famous red velvet armadillo cake in Steel Magnolias, another fav flick. Also, I have a girl/middle aged mom crush on her.


This year our family will be spending Valentine’s Day at The Girl’s ski race at Anthony Lakes Ski Resort. Although Farmer and I won’t be celebrating, I still like to do it up for The Girl, so I needed an original Valentiney treat that was going hold up for a few days before VDay as well as be sturdy enough to withstand some packing and travel. And since peppermint is one of the main crops we grow on the farm, I am constantly looking for ways to use the gallons of mint oil we have laying around. Thus, Julia Roberts Cookies were born. Red Velvet + Thin Mints + Oreo Filling. Yes, you read that correctly. The rest of your life will now be referred to as either Before JRC ( Julia Roberts Cookies) or After JRC. Enjoy!


I adapted and combined recipes from other sources that are referenced. If you are looking for something really quick, this is not the recipe for you but I promise that they are worth it if you’re willing to put in the time.

Remember that when you are combining the wet ingredients, the mixture will look a little curdled. It’s supposed to so don’t fret.


The picture above reflects the addition of the 3 TSP of food coloring. I wasn’t really happy with the color so I ended up adding 2 more to the dough as I was mixing to get the color I desired and I’m really happy with how they turned out. I also think could easily chill and roll out this dough to use your favorite cookie cutters. I normally would have done that because I hate non uniform shaped cookies, but in the interest of time I completely ignored my natural instincts and chose to log roll and slice.


One last thing. If you are using pure mint oil like I did, please please please please please make sure you keep the oil away from your eyes. I didn’t realize the I had a tiny bit on my finger and I scratched under my eye. It was no bueno. Safety first my friends.

Red Velvet Thin Mints
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup milk (any kind)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint oil or extract
3+ Teaspoons Red Gel Food Coloring

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. With the mixer on low speed, add in the milk, extracts and food coloring (add as much or as little coloring as you like depending on the intensity of red you desire). Mixture will look curdled. Gradually, add in the flour mixture until fully incorporated.
Shape dough into two logs, about 1 1/2 inches (or about 4 cm) in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1-2 hours, until dough is very firm.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Slice dough into rounds not more than 1/4 inch thick – if they are too thick, they will not be as crisp – and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cookies will not spread very much, so you can put them quite close together.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until cookies are firm at the edges. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate.

Chocolate Coating
10-oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter, room temperature

In a double boiler, combine chocolate and butter. Melt together, stirring frequently until mixture is thinnish and free of lumps.
Dip each cookie in melted chocolate, turn with a fork to coat, then transfer to a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to set up for at least 30 minutes, or until chocolate is cool and firm.
Reheat chocolate as needed to keep it smooth and easy to dip into.
Makes 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.

Cookie recipe adapted from Baking Bites.

Cookie Filling
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup butter flavor or plain vegetable shortening
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Using a mixer, cream the butter and shortening until fluffy. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.

Flip half of the cookies upside down and top each with 1 level tablespoon of filling. Press the remaining cookies on top to make sandwiches.

Original filling recipe adapted from Food Network.



If you’re anything like me you’re really looking forward to not seeing 50 Shades of Gray that is apparently coming out sometime soon. In fact, I am so excited about not seeing it that I have some time set aside specifically to not see it. I haven’t decided yet what to do with the money I won’t be spending on it.

However, despite my clear distaste for the 50 shades book/movie I’m a huge fan of anything else gray. Especially in photography. I love dismal, depressing, soggy, haunting images. It’s kind of my dirty little secret. And right now the scenery at the farm is so damp and sad and authentic eastern Oregon winter that I just couldn’t help but be inspired to share in my uncommon pleasure. Don’t get me wrong…I really do enjoy photographs of bright cheery sunflowers and beautiful stalks of golden wheat, (both of which I photograph often on the farm) but doesn’t everyone? It just doesn’t seem all that original.

So here are some lovely shades of gray that will soon give way to rich shades of green then gold, and back to gray.








Stay tuned next week for some red hot Valentine’s dessert inspiration!


WTF? It’s been 4 months.
January 29

When I left my “real” job this past summer, I immediately had all these exciting plans for what I was going to do with all the extra time I just knew I was going to have. Besides spending more time on our family farm I was definitely going to be cooking gourmet meals and baking mouth watering desserts that would break Pinterest. I would be antiquing and lunching with friends and volunteering and after I was done doing that I was going to be sewing and crafting and arting whilst taking gorgeous photographs and blogging about it all 3 days a week! And it was all going to be amazing immediately. My sh#@ was gonna go viral. I was gonna have a thousand followers in just a few short weeks.  The reality? I made 3 blog posts, then….crickets. WTF was I thinking?

My problem is that I have always bitten off more than I can chew and boy did I get a whole mouthful this time. I get super psyched to do something, jump in head first,  then realize how much I didn’t plan for it. I don’t like to do things half ass, either, but I am seriously challenged when it comes to time management. I hate that about myself and it’s something I am working really hard to fix, because I HAVE to if I ever want to achieve the goals I have set for myself. My goal with this blog is to share with as many people as I can, the realsies of life on this super cool farm that I get to live on with my crazy husband and daughter (and not to mention the 25 chickens, 2 ducks, 2 dogs, 2 cats and a hedgehog).

Anyhooooo. So here I am four months after my last blog post and I am declaring publicly (to all six of you who may read this) that this is the official re-launch of the TMFG blog. I think I’ve got my shizzle together. I’ve got a plan, a written plan.  And a written schedule. It’s full and strict and it’s posted somewhere I have to look at it every day. The bulk of it is the boring real life stuff I failed to take into account before.  I won’t be blogging 3 days a week, just so you know. Let’s just go ahead and say once a week for now. I’m comfortable with that. I’ve got it scheduled for Thursdays so hopefully you’ve got a few minutes each week to check out what’s up on the farm front. And if you like, I would love for you to share. I’m hoping to hit 100 followers this year. Cheers!

P.S.  Meet Susie, the latest addition to our farm family. She takes up a lot of my time.







Seriously Good for You Squash Bread Bites
September 10

If you’re like a lot of people you would assume that just about anything with squash in has got to be healthy, right? Wrong. In my recent quest to creatively use the copious amounts of summer squash growing in my garden I found exactly zero recipes that didn’t call for at least a stick of butter, white bread crumbs or canned cream soup. So I’ve pretty much stuck to grilling them which is just fine with me because I love love love it. But I was itching to do SOMETHING ELSE so, I decided on bread. But alas, the same dilemma arose with every recipe: butter, oil, sugar, more butter more sugar just a bit more oil. It just seemed wrong, so I came up with my own recipe. Full of nutritious squash, hearty whole grains, Greek yogurt and honey, I think you might even get your anti-veggie eaters interested in this one. Here’s what ya need:


1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1-2 cups local honey (sweeten to taste)
3 large farm fresh eggs
3 cups grated summer squash (your choice)
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp real vanilla
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 cups unbleached whole grain wheat flour

Look how gorgeous. I used yellow and a green squash.

Here’s what ya do:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease your brownie bites pan or loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In your stand mixer blend together the honey and applesauce. Mix in eggs, squash, yogurt, vanilla and cinnamon. It’s gonna be runny but don’t freak.
3. Gradually mix in your salt, baking soda and flour.
4. Bake! If your using a bites pan, bake for 22 minutes-ish. Loaf pan 1 hour-ish. You know the drill…baking times can vary, yada yada. Stick a toothpick in the middle and when it comes out clean, your golden.

Here’s what ya get! (Don’t judge. I’m working on my photography skills.)


Tiny square loaves of tasty cuteness. And nutritionally speaking, not too shabby either.

Serving size: One 2×2 mini loaf
Calories: 98
Total Fat: 1.2 G
Cholesterol: 21 Mg
Sodium : 15 Mg
Fiber: 2 G
Carbs: 20 G
Protein: 3 G
Calcium: 2%
Iron: 4%


Wednesday Walkabout
September 3

It’s Wednesday on the farm and a perfect almost fall day to go outside and appreciate. Sometimes I can’t believe I get to live here.



1. My beloved barn. We will be starting the beginning stages of restoration soon and I am S.T.O.K.E.D. (And no, it’s not on fire but the field behind it is).

2. Mario & Tiny Whitey. They are seeing each other casually. 

3. Tiny Whitey egg. So tiny, so cute.

4. Hawthorn Berries (I think). We have these trees all over and am LOVING the big clusters of berries for last minute table arrangements.

What’s happening at your place today?



Falling Into Fall Style
August 27

I will be honest. Although autumn is to die for here in eastern Oregon (with the amazing colors, warm but not too warm weather, the smell of wood fired stoves in the air, pumpkin patch outings, etc., etc.) I am still not quite ready for summer to be over. But alas, the back-to-school shopping frenzy has gotten the best of me and I can’t seem to stop fantasizing what I want to add to my fall wardrobe. With a major wardrobe overhaul coming to my closet this season, I have found a few pieces I cannot wait get. STAT. My September and October events calendar is filling up fast and these casual pieces are gonna be there with me!


A. Ummm. Pretty skeletons are most awesome. Get this shirt here.

B. Ob-sessed with ponchos. I wear them lots and I think I pull them off pretty OK! If you’re a 70’s style girl, too, get yours here!

C. Leather cuffs make me feel bad ass.

D. Women my age shouldn’t wear exclusively skinny jeans, so here is a lovely pair of boot cut. And they’re on clearance!


F. God I love a leather purse that isn’t covered in rhinestones, hardware and weird embroidered cross shaped thingys. What are those anyway?




Sugarless Cherry Watermelon & Peach Pie Sorbets
August 22

In the same week that I closed my store and left my career as a bridal stylist/boutique owner, I came across a publication called Mingle by Stampington & Co.  Right after that I found another of their publications Where Women Cook.  I felt like the mothership was calling me home. Both were filled with gorgeous photos, amazing recipes and more entertaining inspiration than I my brain could handle in just a few short days, and I felt as if I might short circuit if I couldn’t throw a party for 30 immediately.  But with the farm in the full swing of harvest and abiding by my new Farm Girl life motto to not bite off more than I can chew, I refrained. Sort of.

Since it’s been about as hot as the surface of the sun here, I decided to invite just a few lady friends over for some casual conversation and cool treats. I’ve been obsessed with my new Cuisinart ice cream maker all summer so I decided whip up a few simple and healthy alternatives to the typical fattening frozen dairy treats. With all the ingredients already on hand I decided on Peach Pie and Cherry Watermelon sorbets.

I started with some cherry purée that I made and had stored in the refrigerator, thanks to a highly bountiful cherry picking adventure in July. The cherries were so sweet that it wasn’t necessary to add any kind of sweetener at all!

2014 069I added about 3 cups of the cherry purée and about 2 cups of freshly cubed watermelon to a sauce pan and cooked together about 7 minutes to soften the watermelon and blend the flavors.

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Next, I let the mixture cool a bit and then hit it with an emulsion blender until all of the watermelon was blended well into the cherry purée.

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I transferred the mixture to the refrigerator for several hours to chill.

While the Cherry Watermelon was chilling I started on the Peach Pie Sorbet. For this one I had a couple of jars of peaches that I had previously canned in a light syrup. Unfortunately, I ended up overcooking them, turning them mushy. Gross. No one in the house found them very appetizing and I hated to waste them so this was the perfect solution! You could easily use store bought canned peaches as well.

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All I did was pour them into a bowl, added a couple of hearty shakes of cinnamon for some warm pie-ish flavor, and blended with the emulsion blender, then transferred to the fridge for some chill time – about 3 hours.

Once both fruit mixtures were thoroughly chilled I put them into ice cream maker. Since I had two different flavors I borrowed an extra ice cream maker so I could do them at the same time. Helpful hint: If you are using the style of ice cream maker that has a freezer bowl, remember to place the paddle in the bowl and turn on the maker so that it is already rotating when you pour in your mixture. Otherwise, the mixture will freeze to the sides and the paddle won’t fit into the bowl. Of course, that has never happened to me. I just heard about it once…2014 081

Each batch took about 20-25 minutes to completely freeze. I then used a rubber spatula to scoop the sorbets into the adorable frozen treat containers that I picked up at my local, independently owned kitchen store.  Since I wasn’t serving immediately, they went directly into the freezer.

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I’m in love with these little single serve containers that you can get online here.  I REALLY love tiny things. All things tiny. Some day I will have a tiny animal farm, but that’s for another day.

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Peach Pie after freezing.

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Cherry Watermelon with fresh mint garnish. If you are serving immediately, the consistency is such that you could add a shot of vodka or rum and make some fab frozen cocktails. Nice!