Monthly Archives: March 2011

Quick & Easy App- Apple, Cheese & Pepperoni!

For a quick, easy & healthy appetizer- try apple & cheese with turkey pepperoni!

Ingredients: 2 apples, 1 small block cheddar cheese (I used Dubliner, though), turkey pepperoni.  Serving size: 4-6 ppl

Directions:

Slice apples in quarters and then slice each quarter into 3 pieces- you should get about 12 slices out of each apple.

Slice the block of cheese into neat rectangles that cover the apple slices.

Transfer the apples & slices on to a serving plate.  Add the turkey pepperoni to the middle of the plate for decoration/protein.

Serve & enjoy!

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Filed under Recipes: Appetizers

What to do locally this weekend…

Here are my top picks from VT’s Seven Days Calendar:

Friday, March 25, 2011:

Green Mountain Film Festival – This 14th annual screen-centric bash boasts more than 150 events — including feature films, documentaries, shorts, special-guest appearances and a 48-hour film “slam” — in 10 days. Visit greenmountainfilmfestival.org for details. Friday, March 25, 11:30AM–10PM, Saturday, March 26, 9:30AM–10PM and Sunday, March 27, 10AM–10PM at Various locations in Montpelier. Various prices.

Talks & Events: ‘Art for Social Impact’BCA Center, Burlington. A panel discussion on how art can impact social issues, such as hunger, poverty, domestic violence and community development, with Michael Nye, Caleb Kenna, Dan Higgins and Bess O’Brien. Friday, March 25, 5–7:30PM.

Saturday, March 26, 2011:

Pond Skimming – Fueled by gravity, technique and the desire to stay dry, skiers and riders try their luck at crossing a man-made pond. This year’s event has a “Superheroes and Comics” theme. Registration, 10 a.m.-noon; skimming starts at 1 p.m.; awards ceremony, 3 p.m.; wine-tasting celebration at Bolton Valley Deli & Grocery, 3-6 p.m. Saturday, March 26, 10AM at Bolton Valley Resortin Bolton Valley. $5; lift ticket or season pass required.

Burke Mountain Maple Festival – Celebrate Vermont’s sweet season with sugar on snow, an outdoor barbecue, a lumberjack jam, a family fun race and more. Saturday, March 26, 8AM at Burke Mountain Ski Resort in East Burke. $5 for pancake breakfast.

Burlington Winter Farmers Market – Vendors sell ethnic cuisine, pottery, artisan cheese and anything else they can produce in the cold. Saturday, March 26, 10AM–2PM atMemorial Auditorium in Burlington. Free.

Fools’ Fest – To raise funds for Edmunds Middle School’s drama program, adults enjoy comedy by Jason Lorber, gypsy-jazz music by Mike Martin and Jim Stout, dancing to X-Rays tunes, and a food spread. Saturday, March 26, 7–11:30PM at FlynnSpace in Burlington. $25-30.

Home Vendor/Craft Fair – Reps from home-party vendors such as Inspiranza Jewelry, Pampered Chef, Madison Handbags and Mary Kay tout their goods and services, and Relay for Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer teams sell handcrafted wares. Saturday, March 26, 9AM–3PM at American Cancer Society in Williston. Donations accepted.

In case you missed out on the open maple sugarhouse tours last weekend: Sugaring Maple Weekend: South Burlington – Celebrate the syrup with sugar on snow, specialty maple foods and plenty of samples. Saturday, March 26, 12–4PM at Dakin Farm in South Burlington.

Sunday, March 27, 2011:

New York State Maple Weekend – A fifth-generation maple operation opens its doors for a pancake breakfast, horse-drawn wagon rides, maple demos, tours and more.Sunday, March 27, 10AM–4PM at Parker Family Maple Farm in West Chazy. Free.

Vintage Ski & Board Style Event – Saturday’s Vintage-Style Contest & Parade and Sunday’s Antique Ski Race turn back the clock to the days of straight skis, stretch pants and neon colors. Sunday, March 27, 8:30AM at Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe. $10-15 per race; $25 for both events

Antiques Market – Treasure hunters find bargains among collections of old furniture, art, postcards and more. Early buying, 7:30 a.m.; regular admission, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.Sunday, March 27, 7:30AM–1:30PM at Elks Club in Montpelier.



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Filed under Things to do....locally in VT!

Fun with Frosting Friday…Crazy Fondant Cakes!

I’m planning on doing a couple cakes this weekend, so I won’t  actually be showing anything made by me today… Instead, I’m going to showcase some wacky cakes made with fondant.  I don’t have a strong desire to use fondant on my cakes/cupcakes.  While you can create some pretty amazing things with fondant (see below), I feel like using other things (i.e. candy) is more creative, fun and challenging (in a good way).  To me, fondant just looks a little too fake/uneatable.  Who knows if I’ll always feel that way (I honestly haven’t actually used it myself), but that’s how I feel right now.

Anyway, while looking for cake/cupcake ideas, I’ve come across these cakes made with fondant & just had to share…

This cake is intense.  I can’t even imagine how long it took to make this cake!  Look at the detail!  Click on the photo and it’ll take you to the baker’s website, where you can see some other crazy cakes.  Interestingly enough, the baker calls herself the “Crazy Cake Lady” haha

Another by the Crazy Cake Lady…Oscar the Grouch!

Hmm pasta or cake?  Made by Zhanna Zubova, a Russian artist.

Ham or a cake?!  Credits: Debbie Goard/Rex USA

This one looks so realistic!  Popcorn anyone?  Credits: Debbie Goard/Rex USA

Aww look it’s Wall-E!

Pastry chef and artist Mike McCarey


Now the craziest cake made from fondant I’ve ever come across…

According to the article, “The 5-foot dessert was served at a celebration after the couple renewed their wedding vows. It contained 200 eggs and 7.5 liters of amaretto, and weighed 400 pounds.”  It took 5 weeks to make….Wow.  Yea, that’s all I can say about this cake- wow.

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Here is a link to more crazy cakes that other bloggers posted:

http://www.guidespot.com/guides/cake_amazing_wedding_best

http://hubpages.com/hub/uniquethemecakedesigns

 

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Filed under Fun with Frosting Friday, Recipes: Desserts

Local Restaurant Review…On the Rise Bakery

Before my boyfriend and I went maple sugarhousing last weekend, we started off our morning with a yummy breakfast at On the Rise Bakery in Richmond, VT.  We both had been to the bakery before, but not with each other or for breakfast.  If you’re in the area, it’s a great place to grab a snack or a good meal.

A bit about On the Rise Bakery…

Baked goods made from scratch (including many gluten-free items), using locally produced goods wherever possible and they have their own garden out front that they grow a lot of their own goods for the items they make!  They also have beer on tap and live music 4 days a week.  Most, if not all, of the items on the menu are veggie-friendly.

Location: 39 Esplanade Richmond, VT

Open: Mon 6am-12pm, Tues-Sat 6am-10pm, Sun 6am-3pm

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner served.

My review:

My boyfriend and I went there for breakfast, but we juuuust missed the breakfast hours.  Thankfully they still had some pre-made breakfast items out.  We decided on what looked like a mixture between a breakfast lasagna and breakfast pizza:

What it tasted like was inside: eggs, cheddar cheese, ground sautéed tofu with herbs, home fries and layers of pizza dough between each.  I typically am not a huge fan of fennel seeds, but inside of this crazy concoction it was delicious.  No salt or pepper needed, but it did need some (organic) ketchup.

Last time I went to On the Rise was over the summer & I had a really yummy veggie burger made from scratch, with some local greens on the side.  After listening to some live music, my friend and I went on a walk on the trails in the park next to the building- they are in a great location.  The park has a swing set and a couple picnic tables if you choose to sit outside instead of in during the warmer months.

Note that this isn’t a sit-down and be served kind of place- you order at the counter & clear your own dishes.  The staff is quirky mixture of all walks of life, some a little more friendly than others.  The baked goods are delicious & the coffee is fresh.  Prices are reasonable and worth it.

Path along the water beside On the Rise Bakery

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Filed under Local VT spotlight, Restaurants

Maple Syrup Open House Weekend- 10th Annual

Over the weekend my boyfriend and I went around to various maple sugarhouses for the 10th Annual Maple Open House Weekend here in Vermont.  We went onto the official website: Vermont Maple Open House Weekend to look up locations and directions, then had fun driving around to the various farms and sugarhouses.  The Audubon had tap demonstrations, some farms you could visit their animals (mainly cows) and inside all the sugarhouses the staff answered the questions of inquisitive minds!

 

List of sugarhouses we went to:

Audubon Vermont– 255 Sherman Hollow Rd Huntington, VT

Served Sugar on Snow & view traditional sugaring with wood-fired sugar house and old metal taps.

 

Chucklin’ Sugarworks– 1200 Williams Hill Rd Richmond, VT

Had horse & carriage rides from the road up to the sugarhouse in the woods!

 

Taft’s Milk & Maple Farm– 674 Camels Hump Rd Huntington, VT

http://www.vtmaplesyrup.com/

Free donuts with maple cream, maple cotton candy (yum!), candies, maple cream, maple sugar, etc.  Can also visit the animals on the farm.

 

Here are some photos of our adventures:


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Things to do....locally in VT!

Happy Spring?

Looking out the window yesterday, I would never have guessed it was the first day of Spring… Snow was falling, the winds were blowing & it was in the 30’s here in Vermont.  Now that it is technically “Spring” I’m ready for sunshine, flowers to start blooming & no more snow!  We’ve had some record-breaking storms here in Vermont this year, so I’m just about ready for Winter to be over (after I go skiing this weekend)…

 

 

 

 

Happy Spring!

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Fun with Frosting Friday…Flower Cupcakes

I don’t know about you, but it is starting to feel like Spring here in Vermont!  Early Spring always seems to be muddy, dirty and rainy, but it comes with the promise of pretty flowers and warmer weather toward the end of Spring!  With the thought of flowers swirling in my head, I wanted to showcase some sweet flower cupcakes my sister-in-law recently made for a party at her office.  She did a wonderful job!

Ingredients:

Mini marshmallows, colored sugar, rainbow colored chocolate coated sunflower seeds, frosting & cupcake mix

Misc needs: scissors, a couple dishes for the colored sugar, cupcake pan(s), cupcake cups/liners

 

Directions:

  • Mix & bake cupcakes per your favorite recipe (or box)
  • Remove cupcakes from the pan & set aside to cool for at least 20-30 minutes
  • While the cupcakes are cooling, pour the colored sugar into bowls
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost the tops of the cupcakes with frosting of your choice (I’d recommend green to look like grass, but that’s just me)
  • Use the scissors to cut the mini marshmallows in half
  • Press the sticky side of the marshmallow into the colored sugar
  • Lightly press the marshmallow (non colored side down) on the top of the frosted cupcake
  • Repeat, arranging the mini marshmallows to look like a flower
  • Sprinkle a few of the chocolate coated sunflower seeds in the middle
  • Serve & enjoy!

 

If the cupcakes (above) look a little too intense for you, but you still want to make flower cupcakes, here is another (simpler) option:

The directions for this cupcake can be found on FamilyFun.com.  Instead of using mini marshmallows, use regular sized marshmallows and put gum drops in the middle.  Feel free to still add the colored sugar to jazz these flowers up a bit!!

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Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the cute shamrock cookies that I was hoping to bake…  Hopefully I’ll have something of my own to show next week!

 

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Filed under Fun with Frosting Friday, Recipes (all), Recipes: Desserts