Fresh Season

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Aren’t all the gardens fabulous this time of year?! Creating our first family garden has got me all excited about the season and year(s) ahead. Fresh organic veggies are the best. I’ve always known this in my head, but to actually see and taste week after week for ourselves is a new leaf turned (Ehem pun intended. wink). O my dear people, I am turning into a foodie. Or for sure my body is. It doesn’t take much before my insides tell me (not so subtly) that what I’ve just consumed is not “garden fresh”. EEK. At first I did NOT want to turn into one of those people because, I mean really, how annoying is it to have to be a “picky eater” in today’s fast and furious culture. BUT, ever since enjoying the fruit of our harvest and that of our local farmers I am now a true believer of the benefits of eating fresh, clean, and local whenever possible. I feel SO much better all around. Thus my full year of eating fresh has begun. I’ve challenged myself. Or rather I’m doing myself a favor in order to feel better more often. Less tired, stronger, easier to reign in the emotions…ya know, just the little necessities to stay, well, sane as a wife and mother of four. I love them all to the core, so this mama needs to be taking care of myself to give them all I can be. And I want them to be receiving healthy nutrition too. So there ya have it.

So why am I sharing this here, with you all? Well, to be honest I’m not totally sure other than it’s a part of what our family has been up to. I also want to encourage those of you who are hesitant to start a garden to just GO FOR IT! Live and learn. That’s what it’s all about. Believe me, we have learned and we have lived. Through it all we are even more excited to improve for the years ahead. I dream of a HUGE garden with fresh pickin’s day after day. But one must start somewhere, and lawd knows I ain’t got no huge garden (yet). For now we have a cute sunflower lined 4×10 raised garden bed and an overgrown pumpkin patch…all because I wasn’t confident anything would grow so I planted the entire three, or was it four?, packets of seeds in a 4×4 area. Shhh. Remember, live and learn. LOL.

I’ll keep dreaming in the meantime of what can be in future years. So join in on the adventure my friends. Experience the joys of planting, growing, harvesting, and consuming the fruits of your labor. Or at least the fruits of local farmers near you! It takes a tribe. And they’re out there. Go find them. Cheers to eating fresh.

**A super helpful resource:  “Welcome to the Farm” book by Shaye Elliot. Pick up your copy if you haven’t already! She and her book are a treasure to the farmin’ soul.

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Mama’s GF/DF Chicken Pot Pie

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Gluten and Dairy free Chicken Pot Pie

Filling:

1/2 lb cooked chicken breast cut into pieces (I just used the chicken already cooked into the cream of chicken soup recipe as described below)

1 can equivalent cream of chicken soup (see directions below for dairy free option)

4-5 C of organic fresh or frozen mixed veggie’s (we include carrots, green beans, corn, pees)

Directions:

Press down 1/2 of crust recipe into the bottom and sides of glass pie plate.

Add filling. Place 4-5 pats of butter or dairy substitute butter on top of filling.

Place top layer of crust and pink the sides (mine is crumbly so work with it as best you can… just make a top layer for pot pie affect. Remember it doesn’t have to look real pretty to taste great. And in my opinion, from scratch and homemade looks pretty no matter what. Half the deliciousness is in the victory of knowing you made a meal from scratch, right? See pics below, you’ll see what I mean.)

Place foil around the edges for the first half of baking (20minutes), then remove to brown top for additional 15-20 minutes.

Bake 425 Degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Pie Crust:

2 C gluten free all purpose flower ( I uses Namaste from Costco)

3/4 C Coconut oil solid- not melted

4 T Dairy free butter (I use Earth Balance)

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp sugar (or honey to sweeten)

1 egg

1/4 C water

1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Combine flour, oil, butter sugar ad salt with pastry cutter. Add egg water and vinegar. Mix. *Pat by hand into pie plate. Gluten free does not roll out real well!

Dairy free Gluten free Cream of Chicken Soup: 

*Makes 4 Cups. So you will have left overs if only using for 1 pot pie. I used the remaining to make creamy chicken enchiladas.

1-2 C cooked chicken

4T Earth Balance butter

1 1/2 Tsp onion pwd

1 tsp salt

pepper to taste

4-5 T gluten free flour

1 1/2 C chicken broth

1 1/2 C hemp milk

Directions:

Melt butter, add onion pwd, salt and pepper. Stir in flour and cook for a minute or two. Add chicken broth and bring to simmer. Add hemp milk and simmer until it thickens. About 10-12 minutes.

From our farm table to yours, enjoy!

Thanks for asking for me to share this recipe via our IG @thewhitebarnfarm. I hope this serves you and your family well. If I can do it, you can too! Really. I promise. Try it.

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*original recipes were from my friend on IG @tericatherine and website http://www.yourhomebasedmom. I tweaked them here and there to fit our family needs, but Teri was my inspiration. 

Oatmeal Apple Cake

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We lived in Portland, OR for five years before moving back to our hometown in Washington state. This recipe was a favorite cozy, winter cake to have that reminded us of back home while we were away. After all, Wenatchee is the Apple Capital of the World!…according to our signage as you cross the north end bridge coming into town. I like to believe it to be true. We hope you find time to enjoy a piece of our hometown goodness from the White Barn Farm home to yours!

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Ingredients:

1 3/4 C oats

1 Cube butter (I use non-dairy butter or coconut oil for my dairy intolerant hubby)

1C white sugar

1C brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/3C flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

2 medium apples peeled and diced into 1/2 inch chunks

*Place oats and butter together in a medium bowl and pour 1 1/4 C boiling water over top. Mix thoroughly and let stand for 20 minutes.

Then add the following ingredients and mix all together.

Bake @ 350* for 30-35 minutes in an uncreased 9×13 pan.

Optional- add a cream cheese frosting once cake is fully cooled. Ours usually doesn’t last long enough to make it to the ‘cooled’ state. Gobbled right up while it’s just out of the oven!

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Biscuit Sundays

There’s nothing quite like having warm homemade biscuits welcoming a chilly winter morning.  As soon as the cold weather hit, Sunday mornings have become known as our family’s ‘Biscuit Sunday’ tradition.  This particular recipe is easy and tasty.  It can be made with the help of little hands joining in too.  My husband cannot have any dairy so we substitute the milk with almond milk and the butter with coconut oil.  They turn out great.  Each week I toss in a little of this and a little of that so they are changed up a bit.  Keeps it interesting. This morning we enjoyed them sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar, and pumpkin spice. Delicious.  Homemade raspberry jam is a must for us too.  Although Honey is delectable too if we are low on our jam supply.

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The original recipe is as follows:

2 C flour (I have also used wheat, cornmeal, or coconut flour)

1 Tablespoon Baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 C butter (I use non-dairy butter or coconut oil)

3 Tablespoons shortening (I use coconut oil)

About 3/4 Cup milk  (I use almond or coconut milk)

**I’ve added flax seed, pumpkin puree, 1T sugar mixed in at times.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease baking sheet.

Sift flour and powders into a bowl, use pastry blender to cut in the butter/oil until crumbly.  Then stir in milk to make soft dough.  Roll out and cut biscuits with 2 in cutter.  ( Or I simply plop them onto the baking sheet and press down in center!)

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until browned.  Enjoy, from our farm table to yours.