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Pumpkin Spice Swirl Cheesecake with Candied Walnuts

Wow your guests this Thanksgiving season with my swirled pumpkin spice cheesecake. Far easier to make than it looks, this elegant pumpkin spice cheesecake is perfect for the holidays. I originally found the recipe in a magazine (for the life of me I can't remember which one) about fifteen years ago. After it was a big hit one Thanksgiving, I started making it a holiday tradition. It's nice because you can make it up to two days in advance and keep it refrigerated until you're ready to serve. And the swirls on top even look like autumn leaves!


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How to Beat Egg Whites Perfectly Every Time

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Beat perfect egg whites every time with these simple tips. There are lots of reasons why you might need to beat egg whites. Beating egg whites isn't difficult, but they can fail to whip up into nice peaks for several reasons.  Similar to whipping heavy cream, one misstep and you'll have ruined your recipe, but I'll show you how to achieve perfect soft or stiff egg white peaks every time with these few simple tips.


How to Grill Eggs

Next time you're grilling a couple of steaks or burgers, toss some eggs on the grill and you'll have hard-cooked eggs all week for snacking or to use in a savory, smoky egg salad. There's nothing better than the smell of burgers sizzling on a grill in the backyard.  Here in Maine, we're pretty much limited to grilling during the few months of the year when there's not snow on the ground, but in many parts of the country, I know grilling is a year-round "sport".


How to Keep Your Chickens Laying Eggs Through the Winter

Chickens naturally slow down or stop laying eggs as the days get shorter, but using these few simple tricks, you can keep the eggs coming all winter long. One of the things about raising backyard chickens that surprises those just getting started with their flock is that chickens don't generally lay all year long.  We get so used to seeing eggs in cartons piled in stacks at the grocery store year round, that we forget that technically eggs are a "seasonal" crop just like the fruits and vegetables we grow in our gardens.


All About Duck Eggs

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How do duck eggs compare to chicken eggs? Well they're surprisingly similar - with a few glaring differences. We've raised ducks alongside our chickens for more than ten years. Ducks are a lot of fun to raise, but what we love best about them is their eggs. I had never even SEEN a duck egg before our ducks started laying them for us, so I didn't know what to expect.


One-Pot Cacio e Pepe

Whip up this deliciously comforting, classic pasta dinner in just one pot with just four basic ingredients: pasta, Parmesan cheese, butter and black pepper. Cacio e Pepe is a classic Italian pasta dish that translates literally to "cheese and pepper" and if you have both of those ingredients plus some pasta and butter, you've got the makings of this delicious, but deceptively simple, classic pasta dinner.


Can Chickens Recognize Each Other?

Have you ever wondered if your chickens recognize you? Or can recognize other flocks members? It turns out that they can. Have you ever wondered whether or not your chickens recognize each other? Or recognize you?  Could a chicken, say, pick you out of a lineup? Or do you ever wonder if - treats notwithstanding - they are actually happy to see you when you come home from work?


Creamy Dill Cucumber Salad

This family favorite creamy cucumber salad is packed with fresh-from-the-garden herby goodness. This cucumber salad recipe is one of my favorite ways to use up all those cucumbers from the garden, plus some fresh dill! It's loosely based on a traditional Finnish "kurkkusalaatti" that my mother used to make.


Top 12+ Common Myths about Eggs that Simply Aren't True

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It's time to finally debunk these common myths about eggs that simply aren't true, for once and for all. Eggs are one of the best, and most affordable, sources of complete protein there is. They are packed with vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamin D and lutein.   Eggs are so versatile, called for in scads of recipes , both sweet and savory, and are quick to cook up. 


Apple Cider Vinegar and Garlic for Chickens

If you do nothing else besides feed your chickens, fill their waterers and collect their eggs, adding these two things to their water will reap you tremendous health benefits for your flock. I firmly believe in an ounce of prevention. In fact, wasn't it Benjamin Franklin who said "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"? He was a smart man - and I bet he wasn't even talking about chickens!


Rustic Fresh Peach Pie

When peaches are in season, this pie is an easy way to highlight their fresh sweetness.  I love to bake almost anything, but I think if I had to choose, then I would say that pies are my favorite thing to bake. Blueberry , apple , strawberry rhubarb - whatever fruit is in season, that's the kind of pie I'll bake. So imagine my delight when on a whim I stopped at a little roadside produce stand not far from our house and discovered fresh local peaches! Sun-ripened in the nearby orchard. They were decidedly smaller than ordinary peaches, but after purchasing almost 3 pounds in a brown shopping bag for the unbelievable price of just $2/pound, and sinking my teeth into one of the soft, fuzzy balls on the way home, I realized that I needed to make a peach pie to do them justice. I used my go-to Pate Brisee recipe which is a simple pie crust that whips up in no time in your food processor, and added just enough sugar to the peaches to accentuate their natural sweetness.  A dash of s


Homemade Boot Tree Stand

Make this homemade boot tree stand to keep your muck boots organized and neat. Basic bio-security to prevent the spread of salmonella, Escherichia coli (E. coli), staph, and other pathogens is critical when you raise backyard chickens. Wearing dedicated footwear when you visit with your chickens and leaving your boots outside, in the garage, or in the mudroom is one of the best ways to curtail the spread of germs. 


How to Identify Common Chicken Predators

Chicken predators include weasels, foxes, raccoon, hawks, eagles and even dogs. Do you know how to identify which predator you're dealing with? Not long after you start keeping chickens, every predator in the neighborhood will have your coop on their radar.  In fact, one of the hardest things about keeping chickens is keeping them safe from predators, but if you can figure out what you're faced with, it can make discouraging, trapping or otherwise dealing with them far easier.


Homemade Maple Walnut Ice Cream

If you're a fan of Maple Walnut ice cream, you're going to love this homemade version. Using my basic vanilla bean ice cream recipe, and simply adding some maple syrup and walnuts, I created a delicious Maple Walnut Ice Cream.