Orange Glazed Eggnog Coffee Cake Recipe

Grab a hot cup of coffee and enjoy a slice, while warming your toes by the fire, this cold New Years weekend!

DSC_1300What better way to cope with this frigid arctic blast, than a slice of this delectable citrus coffee cake! A hint of nutmeg lends that subtle taste of Christmas, and the orange zest glaze finishes it off with a bright sunny flavor, to bring you the perfect breakfast delight!

DSC_1302Grab a hot cup of coffee and enjoy a slice, while warming your toes by the fire, this cold New Years weekend!DSC_1255.jpg

Orange Glazed Eggnog Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ Cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs (room temp.)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 C. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 Tbs. freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 ½ C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup eggnogDSC_1207.jpg

    For the glaze:  1cup powdered sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 TBS orange zest, 1 to 1 ½ Tbs. eggnog, to bring it to your desired icing consistency and orange zest for garnish

  • DSC_1199.jpg
    Fresh squeezed orange juice is what happens when you buy to many oranges from the FFA kids!

    Instructions
    Preheat oven to 350*

  • Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan, tapping out the excess flour. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, nutmeg, orange zest and salt to combine; set aside.
  • Cream together butter with the sugar in a large bowl, until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs into the creamed mixture, one at a time, until combined. Stir in the vanilla, and the orange juice into the creamed mixture.
  • Gradually mix in the flour mixture into creamed mixture, alternating with the milk/eggnog, beating well after each addition. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.DSC_1310

 

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan, on a wire rack. The cake should pull away from the edges of the pan as it cools. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, before turning it out onto a serving plate.
 Cool the cake completely, prepare the glaze by stirring the vanilla extract and eggnog into the powdered sugar with a fork until smooth, add orange zest. Pour icing over the cake. Garnish with additional orange zest, if desired.

ENJOY!

-wishing all of you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

-JDSC_1324

 

 

Day #4 Easy! 3 minute Dark Chocolate Cherry Fudge.

WHY I DIDN’T GET MY “DAY #4” CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE BLOG POST OUT LAST NIGHT!
-I was busy talking to the police!

DSC_0785“There are angels among us “, is something you hear all the time and especially in this Christmas season. We see it in movies too, the movie industry loves a good “angel on earth” story. Even some of our most beloved Christmas movies like, “It’s a wonderful life” are centered on this theme. You hear stories about people helping strangers, and this or that happened, and maybe it was an angel, never knowing what to believe. 

“As the person who was walking down the highway in the pitch dark approached our driveway last night, I thought I knew who it might be. I open the door to the front porch, to call out and ask if they were alright, but it was not who I thought it was. It was no one I had ever seen before. A stranger.”DSC_0801

WHY I DIDN’T GET MY “DAY #4” CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE BLOG POST OUT LAST NIGHT!
-I was busy talking to the police!
 

I had just started making supper last night, when I looked out the window above my kitchen sink, to see a truck driving unusually slow down the highway, which was generally busy with evening traffic, this time of the day.

I watched for a while and realized he was following slowly behind a person who was walking down the side of the road. The person was stumbling and tripping, while looking back at the truck, as if to imply the person in the truck was the one acting strange by following, not the person drunkenly weaving over the white line into traffic, down the side of the dark, busy highway.DSC_0835

As they approached our place, the person crossed in front of the truck into our driveway, walking  up towards the house!

I thought I knew who it was, so I open the door to the front porch to call out and ask if they were alright.

It was not who I thought it was, and she was a stranger to me.

A disheveled looking women, with tennis shoes, jeans and a long furry coat, no hat on this cold evening, and a crazed look on her face, came over and stood by the steps of the porch, talking as she walked closer. DSC_0873

She said she had just gotten in a fight with her husband, and had jumped out of the car to walk. Her eyes were especially large, as she talked about seeing “….a huge cat! A mountain lion…just back there!”, and she kept looking over her shoulder, and fidgeting while she told her story, much of the details were contradicting.

 I told her my husband had a phone she could use as we walked toward the barn, and she continued to talk more about the “huge cat” that growled at her, just down the road. I brought her down to the barn because Drew was feeding cows still, and I didn’t want her to come in the house with the kids. She had a hard time walking straight, and when I brought her through the milkhouse to go in to the barn, the echoing close noise of the vacuum pump washing the lines, made her almost fall over. DSC_0853

All the while, I couldn’t help but wonder if the whole situation was what it appeared or something more?

Unfortunately in this day and age even when you are helping someone, it is hard to not be skeptical. Her odd behavior suggesting that she was on something, had me on guard and I kept an eye on the house where the kids were, while she attempted to call someone.

She was anxious and nervous and didn’t want to stay in the barn very long, and despite our offers to help, she choose to continue walking towards the “nearest town”, still talking about a mountain lion, but leaving the warmth and the safety of the barn, nonetheless.

 

I walked back up to the house, all the while thinking to myself, “I have been watching too many Hallmark Christmas movies” …..

…..because my mind had gone everywhere from her being an angel, to the scarier versions of it being a distraction, while someone robbed us or worse took one of the kids, to fearing for her safety out in the cold dark night all alone. When it really was just a women, making poor choices and concerning others with her behavior.

 I called the police to see if they could send someone out to look for her and make sure she made it home alright, and awhile later we spent an hour or more talking with an officer, looking through police mug shots, adding to the description I gave dispatch earlier, and trying to help identify the wandering stranger who he was unable to locate, even though he drove the highways in both directions for a long time in search of her.DSC_0855

Today’s challenge:

Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

Now was this women an angel? Oh, probably not since she had symptoms of doing drugs! But is she a person in need of help, and care? Yes!

Take care of each other!DSC_0831

Here is a super simple, 3 minute fudge recipe I have to give to you today, with just a handful of ingredients and no candy thermometers involved it’s so easy, anyone can do it!

Dark Chocolate Cherry Fudge

 

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Moist, and full of dark chocolate and  tart cherry flavor, this recipe will not disappoint!

 

1 bag Dark Chocolate Chips

1 bags Milk Chocolate Chips

1 can Sweetened condensed milk

2 tsp of vanilla extract

1 cup roughly chopped dried cherries

Grease two  8×8  or one 9×11 pan, set aside. and if you like cut a piece of parchment to fit in the bottom. 

In a medium sauce pan, melt chocolate chips  stirring constantly, add vanilla once the chocolate is melted and stir in the sweetened condensed milk. The fudge will thicken as you stir, try to remove any lumps and lastly add in the dried cherries. Pour into pan, cover almost completely with plastic wrap, leaving a small corner open to let heat out. Cool completely for several hours before cutting. ENJOY!

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!

-JDSC_0753

The Week Before Christmas Challenge DAY #1 & Christmas Gumdrop Nougat Recipe

It’s one of those old classic recipes, that has been somewhat forgotten.
It tastes like a soft saltwater taffy, with a creamy marshmallow and spicy gumdrop flavor, it is a wonderful addition to any dessert table and  was a huge hit at the last family gathering I brought it too, for young and old alike.

It’s the week before Christmas and the stress is mounting. Can you feel it? Are you more of a Grinch this Monday morning than full of Christmas cheer?

I am here to help you and to tell you, you’re not alone! This week I am going to be sharing with you recipes and cheer to get your heart and kitchen ready for Christmas this coming weekend! DSC_0001WHY I WANTED TO SKIP CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR.

So far, this December has been the most stressful month of my life. I have had so much going on that its been an absolute blur! The somewhat still new schedule of dairy-farming has me tired and cramped for extra time during the day, and the upcoming tax season for our township, that I had to prepare for, had me up until very late several nights trying to get the envelopes stuffed and everything ready to send out right in the midst of working on a Christmas magazine and I had to upgrade my work computer at the same time, techy stuff….not my thing!

The Christmas YOUR BEST magazine I was being featured in with 8 recipes and 15 pages that are my pictures, to bake and take, left the house and kitchen a huge stirred up mess! christmasmag2017

To say I’ve been busy, is an understatement. Adding to the stress, our little 7 month old daughter has decided she wants no one but Daddy and Mommy holding her, so there has been no break from baby for over a month, and I am at a loss for how to fix this, when we don’t really see many people all week-long to help her get used to others holding her.

Tax bills got mailed out and then the deliveries for all of the magazines to friends and family who ordered one from me, 80+ magazines started. While online Christmas shopping, children’s commitments to sports and family photo sessions needed to be squeezed in.

Then, you can add all of that CHRISTMAS stuff, like decorating, school and church programs, cards and EVERYTHING and you may see why I have been STRESSED and ready to skip Christmas as much as I can this year!

And I know I am not the only one who’s felt this way.

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I love Christmas! I love decorating for it. I love working the Christmas sale at the furniture décor store in town every year. I love baking and cooking for family and friends during this season. I love buying loved ones personal gifts, to share some love and joy with them. I love it all. I love the Christmas programs and church services. I love the bible study Christmas parties and fellowship times. I love reading and discussing the story of Jesus’s birth and the reason we celebrate this season with my children. I love watching old Christmas movie classics while wrapping presents and writing out Christmas cards. I love it!

But this year I was ready to skip Christmas all together. I AM TOO BUSY FOR IT! And that’s not me at all!

I am so excited for this week. I am ready to do my Christmas thing, and be all festive and in the Christmas spirit! It’s going to happen, and it’s going to be great! Time to let go of all the stress and focus on the reason for this season. Come back to the basic’s and dwell in the sweet, simple moments of this week before Christmas.

The GREAT WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE, is a challenge for myself (and anyone who wants to tag along with me) to take the time for including the most special parts of the Christmas season this busy week before Christmas.

Peacefulness, togetherness and most importantly for me, reflection and reverence on the birth of Christ, the reason for the season.

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Take time to be TOGETHER today.

  • Enjoy “together time” with your family today by either making or just eating this together for dessert!

It’s one of those old classic recipes, that has been somewhat forgotten.

It tastes like a soft saltwater taffy, with a creamy marshmallow and spicy gumdrop flavor, it is a wonderful addition to any dessert table and  was a huge hit at the last family gathering I brought it too, for young and old alike.

DSC_0014CHRISTMAS GUMDROP NOUGATS 

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 bags mini marshmallows (250g) per bag

2 bags white chocolate chips (225g) per bag

2 cups gumdrops

Melt first three ingredients together until smooth, mix in gumdrops (I roughly chop them a bit first) Spread onto parchment lined 9×13 pan, Chill for four hours before cutting and serving. ENJOY!

  • Take time to reflect on Christ’s birth. 

Think about the gift we have been given by God. That He would send His own son down to earth, for you and me.

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:29  “…the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

 

  • Make time for peacefulness today.

One of my favorite ways to do that, is by listening to beautiful music,  and here is my favorite rendition of my favorite Christmas carol, it is so beautiful and will bring you peace trust me!

No matter how you choose to spend your week before Christmas, I hope you have a blessed Christmas with the ones you love!

-MERRY CHRISTMAS

-J

 

Chasing Dreams: Triumph & Trial. Pumpkin Maple Pecan Pie

What is YOUR dream? Do you have something that is always at the back of your mind, nagging you, calling your name, saying “You could do this, it could work!” That fire that won’t go out? What is that? What is your idea? What is your talent? 

 

IMG_8263“A SMOOTH SEA, NEVER MADE A SKILLED SAILOR.” -FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

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The gentle moon casts its final beams of light, and bids farewell once again to the indigo landscape of nighttime, until late day, when he will rise up yet once more over the trees, and gleam obligingly above the barn in time for us to start evening chores, a daily routine for us both.  The busy road our farm sits near, is quiet for now,  until the stars start to dim from sight, one by one, and people begin to make their way to school and work.

Another unseasonably warm day for late November, has been forecast by the weatherman for today. The red numbers on the alarm clock read, five in the morning, and again it is time to do chores.

Balancing the big thermos of hot coffee for my husband and the baby monitor in one arm, I sip on my sloshing cup of java while I walk the short distance down to our barn from our farmhouse. My boots scuff the gravel as I sleepily trudge  down the turnaround that runs down to just outside the milk house for the milk-truck.IMG_8258

Drew has been awake for at least half and hour already, and is well into morning chores. The shhhhhh….shoooooo…..shhhhhh…. shoooooo….of the milkers on the cows, just barely audible from outside the barn over the blaring noise of the vacuum pump that sits outside the milk house. The sound of a neighboring farm starting chores a few ridges over, rolls over the landscape to my ears as their noisy pump turns on abruptly, the high-pitched echo slowing to a constant hummmmmm as I reach for the latch on the milk house door.

Into the little room just off of the barn, the humid, clean smell of the milk house welcomes me. Anyone who has dairy farmed or worked on one, knows that wonderful inviting aroma that a milk house has.

I push open the door into the warmth of the barn, and I am met with the sweet smell of hay and cows, and the gentle looks from the long row of big black and white Holstein’s, that stretches the length of the barn. As the cows look at me from their stalls, with their kind, brown eyes, I hurry about helping where I can, pushing up feed, cleaning up after the animals and throwing down hay and filling water tanks, while Drew does the brunt of the work. All the while keeping an ear out for the baby’s cry through the monitor and watching the clock, so I can get the kids awake and on the bus in time. 

Then with the kids off to school and Drew gone to work, I rock the baby to  sleep for her morning nap, cherishing these sweet peaceful moments with our dear little one.

As soon as she is asleep, its time for me to let the cows out, clean the barn, put down fresh bedding and their corn silage and hay  and then let the cows back in. The sun is high in the sky, its is noon by the time I am done and walking that same path back up to our yellow farmhouse, weary from the work, extremely frustrated with those two cows who wouldn’t listen to me and who refused to go into their stalls, but happy that it’s all done and that the cows are resting comfortably.

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Stop dreaming! Take a leap!

We leaped, my husband and I,  and there has been much triumph among the trials! We had this long talk about a year ago, on what will we regret not trying to do? What are those dreams of ours that are in our hearts? Why are they there? His dream has always been having his own dairy farm and one of my many, was photography.

What is YOUR dream? Do you have something that is always at the back of your mind, nagging you, calling your name, saying “You could do this, it could work!” That fire that won’t go out? What is that? What is your idea? What is your talent? 

 

 

 

Just like so many things in life there are two sides to living your dream and reaching for those goals. The one side has its joys and accomplishments. Its triumph! And then the other side has its  struggles and trials, constantly testing you, polishing you. The reality is, that reaching for your dream whatever it may be, is not going to be easy. There will be highs and lows through the journey. But when you look back at your life when you are old, will you regret that you tried? Of course not! You would regret NOT trying.

So I encourage you to reach for those goals you have my friends, and help others to reach for theirs! Remembering that it is better to die with memories, than with dreams.

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I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has helped support my dreams and most recently ordered one of the Christmas YOUR BEST magazines that I am featured in and which has one of my photographs on the cover! You are all so sweet and I have 80 magazines to deliver to my local friends!  -THANK YOU

 christmasmag2017http://kathyweckwerth.com/store/  Click this link to the Best Life Ministry store, if you would like to order one today for $6.00 plus shipping and handling, or if you are local, let me know and I can order you one. Kathy Weckwerth also has some wonderful books you should check out, they would make beautiful Christmas presents!

 Now for this wonderful recipe! I made it for Thanksgiving this weekend, and I really liked it. There is a pecan maple toffee crunch thing going on, on top the creamy pumpkin and it is sumptuous!

Pumpkin Maple Pecan Pie RecipeIMG_8263


  • 1 Pastry Pie crust.
  • rolled out, then line a 9 inch pie tin with the crust, flute edges and then poke holes in the crust with a fork to help it rise evenly.

2 slightly beaten eggs

1 15 ounce can pumpkin 

1/4 cup half and half/ or milk

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon  all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4  teaspoon ground cinnamon and nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon allspice

  • In a large bowl stir together all above ingredients, until well combined. Pour in to pie shell and bake at 375* for 25 minutes, watch the edges of your pie crust, adding tinfoil around the edges to cover them if they start to get too done.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup pecans

2 tablespoons butter melted

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

  • After the pumpkin pie has baked for 25 minutes, pour the nut mixture over the top and then continue baking for  another 20 minutes, until pie bubbly and golden. Cool and serve with ice cream or whipped cream on top.a.pieslice.JPG

 

The hardest part of adjusting to this new life for me, has been managing everything that I used to get done in the mornings before, like laundry and dishes and EVERYTHING! I see the joy in Drew as he lives out his dream and that drives my ambition to help make this possible, but it’s not always easy.

Hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving weekend!

-J

 

 

 

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

Buttermilk Cranberry Bars & Embracing Change

 Change is GOOD! I always want to be progressing towards change. Growing in all areas of my life for the better. Learning new things, trying to reach goals and polishing skills that I have been blessed to be given. So why is it so hard?

“Still round the corner there may wait a new road or a secret gate.”

– J.R.R.Tolkien

  I find myself driving the back roads of Vernon County Wisconsin where we call home, more than usual these cool October days. I cant help but grab my camera, and head out in search of a few images to capture the feeling that the colors of the season paint all around us, before they are gone for good!

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We live in a truly beautiful area that is always changing so vibrantly with each season! These are a few pictures taken within a few miles of our farm.

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Lower Hornby Hollow, just down from our place.

 

Amish horse

Amish school

With the change in season’s, and the cold rainy weather that has already brought snow with it, it has left me struggling to adjust to the thought of what comes after fall!

 WINTER!!! I am not ready to hibernate for the winter yet!

I am doing better now and I have adjusted to the inevitable season that is coming.  I started up the wood stove, and brought out the mittens, scarves and hats in final surrender.

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We are working on the barn every day, getting it ready to milk cows in. It is a work in progress, but it is coming along good and we are on track to start milking in a week or two.

 With all the changes happening around here lately I have been dwelling on the concept of change, and why I rebel against it so. I love AND hate change. I guess that is because of fear, I am afraid of the uncertain.

I happened to catch a part of a sermon the other morning that hit on the subject of change, as well. The pastor talked about when he graduated high school, and how a friend wrote in his yearbook, “Don’t ever change, Dude!”, he went on to say how silly of a comment that is to make to someone! Don’t ever change? Why would you want to stay the same? Like an old mud puddle,  all stagnant?

Stagnant: showing no activity; dull and sluggish: inactive · sluggish · slow-moving · lethargic · static · flat · depressed · declining  · dying · dead · dormant

 Change is GOOD! I always want to be progressing towards change. Growing in all areas of my life for the better. Learning new things, trying to reach goals and polishing skills that I have been blessed to be given. So why is it so hard?

Some may see this as not being content in life, always wanting to progress towards change and growth.  They are kind of right! I am not content to sit back and watch others do things that I want to learn myself, and I am not content to sit stagnant instead of growing in a skill! And the challenge with any skill is, that though you practice that skill over and over, often you grow little or very slowly.DSC_8040

I remember once, a very close friend of mine had moved back after packing up and moving several states away for a job, they eventually returned home and after spending some time together again, she told me that I had changed. I remember thinking, “of course I had changed!”, it had been years since they had moved away, and I HOPE I wasn’t the same as I was that many years ago.

Now she had meant that I wasn’t the same person, not as good of a friend. And I HAD changed a lot, I was a stay at home mom now, homeschooling my kids and I had a few little side businesses going, like my produce stand, and I was doing in home daycare for a family and I had started blogging!DSC_6303

I had developed a focused drive to make it all work. And it did all work! With God’s help and my husbands! I was determined and focused, but to my friend, I was not as fun or as approachable as I used to be. Now I had seen the growth I had made in those ventures as progress, and a good thing, but it took away from my time with my friends, and changed who I was. This is something I am still trying to work on.

For me as a Christian, I desire to always remain in God’s will for my life, and when I am working towards growing in different areas,  it is not always easy to balance that with everything else. I also have to be careful that I am wanting to be better in something for the right reasons! ( Colossians 3:23) As well as being careful to make time for everything.

I know its not just me that struggles to find a balance between work and life, and that this isn’t a new concept to you. We all naturally want to succeed, and be better at the the talents  or hobbies we have, while still maintaining focus on what is most important in life. So I guess this blog is a reminder to myself that change is good! And to keep reaching towards goals, while still making sure to keep friends and family close! 

Do you ever struggle with this?

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Buttermilk Cranberry Bars

I have one of MY FAVORITE recipes to share with you today! This is the perfect recipe for you to try out on one of these cold, fall days!

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…SOFT… CHEWY… TART… SWEET… CREAMY…YUMMY…GET IN MY TUMMY!!!

Wisconsin grown cranberry’s, the zing of orange zest, frothy buttermilk in the batter  and cream cheese frosting, add incredible flavors to this dessert!

I have held onto this recipe since I started the blog, waiting for just the right time to share it with you all, and NOW IS THAT TIME!

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I always try to have dehydrated orange slices in the freezer for zesting the peel into recipes. But you can use a fresh orange too!

Buttermilk Cranberry Bars

prep

cook 35 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • the zest from 1 orange
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour (set aside a few tablespoons of flour to coat the cranberries in)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, coat in some of the flour before adding to the batter.
  • ½ cup buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with orange zest and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla, beat until combined. Toss the cranberries with 2 tablespoons of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt in a seperate bowl.
  3. Add flour mixture to the batter, a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the cranberries.
  4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Bake for 35 minutes, then check to see if it is done by touching the top gently or by inserting a toothpick. If necessary, return pan to oven,keep a close eye on it.. Do not over bake.
  5. Let cool completley and frost with cream cheese frosting!
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 8 Oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cream cheese frosting: Beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth then add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy. 

SERVE & ENJOY!!!

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All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

The Corner Cafe Where I Fell In Love…

As the summer days shorten and that crisp autumn season seems to emerge from nowhere, I am reminded of a favorite summer full of charm. I was nineteen and I had just been hired at my first job. It was a corner cafe in a sleepy town right off of a busy bike trail. Most of our customers were on summer vacations and they would peddle up for a nice lunch or just a slice of our iconic square pie, on their way down the bike path.

drew swing.JPGCall me old-fashioned. If you know me well, it is easy to do, I don’t try very hard to hide it at all, I am truly an old-fashioned soul.

The charm of era’s past call to me and I can’t help but be drawn in by the mood and comfort that old music, movies  or even antiques evoke. My sister is the same way, we love “old stuff”. Summer is nearing its end, my day’s are filled with canning and picking produce but when I can, I try to slow down and enjoy the charm of summer.

As I am writing this, Dinah Shore is crooning Johnny Mercer’s “Skylark” on my Pandora station, warming my soul with those “old-fashioned feelings”!Angel

“Oh skylark,
Have you seen a valley green with spring
Where my heart can go a-journeying
Over the shadows and the rain
To a blossom-covered lane
And in your lonely flight
Haven’t you heard the music in the night
Wonderful music
Faint as a will o’ the wisp…..”
 
-Johnny Mercer , Skylark.
Take a listen, you’ll see what I mean about that “old-fashioned feeling”.

The corner cafe, where I fell in love with cooking

As the summer days shorten and that crisp autumn season seems to emerge from nowhere, I am reminded of a favorite summer full of charm. I was nineteen and I had just been hired at my first “real” job. It was a corner cafe in a sleepy town, right off of a busy bike trail. Most of our customers were on summer vacations, and they would peddle up for a nice lunch or just a slice of our iconic square pie, on their way down the bike path.

Gina's 5
I am in blue, this was my last day! Moving on to a new job to manage and help open the Cold Stone Creamery in  Onalaska, WI.

The cafe was an old general store, that served as both antique store and cafe. The walls  on both sides lining the restaurant and the upstairs were stacked with antiques. Eclectic style was personified in both the antique pieces in the booths and the wonderful people who I worked with there.

This special place  was called Gina’s Pies are Square. After a half hour drive through Amish country to get to work in the mornings, I would help open up this quaint shop with friends, a cup of freshly brewed coffee and the sound of Frank Sinatra playing on the radio, filling the old store front with the warmth only music  can bring, floating  all the way up to the pressed tin ceiling.

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A postcard tucked in my recipe scrapbook of Gina’s Pie’s R Square. This picture of the old store front in Wilton, Wisconsin was drawn by one of my favorite people who I worked with there, Rochelle!

I had so much fun working at Gina’s and I know that the atmosphere  and the people I worked with was why it was  so easy to fall in love with cooking there. Gina ran her cafe and managed her employees with love and laughter and she taught her passion for simple, delicious food to me, with patience. The menu was homemade  soup and sandwiches, and pizza’s, coffees, Italian soda’s and homemade, from scratch pies, that were baked in square tins. Old fashioned favorites like sour cream raisin and blackberry pie, along with more unique ones like Oatmeal Guinness Stout Pie! She had a nick-name for every local who walked through the door and you felt like you knew them from the lively stories she would share about their lives in the little town of Wilton and beyond!

This was the summer I got engaged! I started buying antiques for the first time that summer as well, many from the shelves at Gina’s and just about every surrounding antique store, for my future house and life with Drew. And this was the summer I learned how to cook new exciting things I had never tried to make before, I fell in love with cooking. 

It was such a great summer!

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 Remember those old Country Time Lemonade commercials way back in the 1990’s (some of you younger readers have probably never seen) the ones that made you just want to hang onto summer forever?

“Due to the scheduling of fall,  Summer will be a short ninety-four days…… So while there’s still time, take the long way home…..For these day’s are best enjoyed slowly……”

Those warm and homey feelings  are echoed in the simple moments these late summer days here on our farm. Drew working down in the barn, the sound of the milker on the cow at evening chores, the kids playing on the tire swing after school, the sideways light of dusk hitting them in golden streaks and the clip clop of our Amish neighbors driving by in their buggy, going home after a day of work down the road. These congenial, summertime habits are so beautiful to witness.caleb swinging.JPG

I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.  -Laura Ingalls Wilder

 Enjoy the rest of summer!

Thanks for reading,

-J

 

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

 

 

 

 

Cranberry Orange Scones

Dear friends eating healthy, gluten free and the sugar free crash dieters in my life….They really do taste as great as they look…its that orange glaze!

Happily embracing my denial of this white stuff covering the ground, I have been digging through pictures I took this last year to see what Spring looks like (since I can hardly remember) and I am planning for it to appear over night!

 I am officially DONE with winter! I try to live in the season and enjoy it and I feel like I gave winter a good amount of time and energy already, so now its time for a change!closeupseedlingI have been planting seeds (indoors) finishing up seed orders, planning gardens and my list for the local hardware stores spring sales fair is GIANT! Time to finish getting ready for spring so we are prepared to start gardens and projects when it does appear over night and stays for good!

ducksThe last few days have been flying by with me writing up an article for this coming April 1st edition of Your Best magazine. The editor of the magazine, Kathy Weckwerth came across my blog this Christmas and contacted me a month or so ago wondering if I would want to collaborate! I am very excited to be apart of this women’s ministry and it was so fun putting together recipes and an article for the upcoming April edition!eastercoffee.JPGMy sweet husband talked me into buying a camera this last week! A real camera! I have been using his old iPhone since I started blogging last spring. He knew I have wanted a nice camera for years and years and I am so glad he helped me take the leap and get one! With the help of my master photographer friend,  I bought what she told me to and I am slowly figuring it out! Let me tell you, I could take pictures all day long!sconesdark2.JPG As I was working on writing up the piece for the magazine, baking the recipes for it and questioning my sanity, I was also trying to master my new Nikon D7100 in a day! Right? I really wanted to send some pictures along with the article. It all worked out great in the end, you should have seen the kitchen! What a mess!

I can’t wait to really learn how to use the camera good though! I hope I can learn! Youtube tutorials here I come!closeupsconeHere is a great recipe that I whipped up in case the Berry Cream Cake didn’t turn out for the magazine article! You will love these!

Sorry, to all my friends eating healthy, gluten-free and the sugar-free crash dieters in my life….They really do taste as great as they look…its that orange glaze!


Cranberry Orange Scones

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons orange zest, divided
  • 5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons orange juice
 
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of orange zest. With a pastry blender, cut in the diced butter until mixture resembles a coarse crumbles.
  3. Stir in cranberries, then add cream. Stir JUST until dough begins to form.
  4. Divide dough in half. On a floured surface, shape each half into a 6″ disc. The dough will be sticky. You can sprinkle it with a little extra flour, if needed. Using a floured knife or bench scraper, cut into 8 wedges. Transfer to large floured cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. Brush with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Bake 13-16 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.
  5. Orange glaze or frosting: Place powdered sugar, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest , 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and 2 tablespoons orange juice in a medium bowl. Stir until smooth. Add more juice, if you want to glaze the scones when they are warm out of the oven or you can make it more like frosting. Drizzle icing over scones OR GLAZE. Store in airtight container. platterscones.JPG

Enjoy! If you don’t hear from me or see me around town for a few weeks, it’s because I am reading the HUGE  scary manual that came with my new camera! Hope I can figure it out!

-J

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

 

 

BIG NEWS! Growing Family….. Traditions!

New and old recipes alike, we worked all morning on cookies, treats and Christmas traditions that (We HAVE to make) for it to be our family’s Christmas!

The other Saturday morning, after I dropped my boys off up at my parents, I drove down the hills and over the ridge top the nine or ten miles to my in-laws house through the frosty November air for a Christmas Baking Day with my mother-in-law Lisa, my husbands Grandma T. (as we all call her), his Auntie Laurie, cousin Sierra, cousin Amara and kids and cousin Stephany and son too.img_6263Every Sunday night we are invited to Lisa and Curtis’s house for family suppers. I mean every Sunday! Lisa and Curtis have EVERYONE, the extended family and us all over for amazing meals and share their home, love and hospitality with us all once every week.

We make up quite the herd along with all our kids let me tell you and they graciously feed us, catch up with us all and shower us with love! They are the best!img_6259 

Well, we had decided a few Sunday nights ago that we should have a Christmas Baking Day together and the day was finally here! I gathered cookbooks, baking supplies and extra butter and headed over to their house.img_6265When I got there they had already started baking, the house smelled like Christmas morning and looked like a north pole Christmas elf’s workshop!img_6247 Every table and extra counter space was covered in baking supplies and utensils. I added mine to the piles of supplies and started flipping through my cookbooks as everyone worked, talked, laughed and tried to decide what we should bake next.img_6248One thing I love so much about this family is how much they love to reminisce about loved ones who are no longer here with us. The little that I got to know some of the family is made up for by the story’s and love they share with us about them. I feel like I knew Great Grandma and Grandpa and Grandpa Loren as well as they all did. As we bake they talk about them and its common to hear comments like, “How did Great Grandma do this?” or “This was Grandpa Loren’s favorite” and many (remember when’s)………img_6261img_6253Here are some of the treats we made, I know I forgot to get pictures of some of the ones we did. New and old recipes alike, we worked all morning on cookies, treats and Christmas traditions that (We HAVE to make) for it to be our family’s Christmas!img_6257We made traditional Norwegian Rosette’s using our beloved Great Grandma Ione’s rosette iron and we talked about her the whole time we made them.img_6245There HAS to be Peanut Butter Kiss cookies….img_6254img_6264Spritz cookies are a MUST!img_6256As are Dutch Balls….these have a mixture of powdered sugar, butter, peanut butter and rice crispy’s covered in chocolate….Yum!img_6251Lisa always has a few that Curtis requests and he hopes we all don’t get to before him like Martha Stewart’s Candy Cane Bark and….img_6252 Andie’s Mint Christmas cookies too..img_6250The sun room or “blast freezer” as we called it, was full all day with all of our treats cooling off before we packaged them up…img_6262img_6246We had so much fun and made a huge amount of baked goods, a plate of which the lucky mail-woman got as she dropped of the mail and was told to wait as Lisa ran back to the house to bring her a bunch of treats for the rest of her route that day.img_6260Lisa and Grandma T. made us lunch and we ate all of Aunt Laurie’s prize-winning Lefsa with our chicken and noodles and Tator Tot hot-dish and rolls. Comfy home cooking on a cold day with family all around….so great and what a great way to kick-off Christmas together! We missed you Chelsey! Glad you got to go hunting though!img_6255As our family grows I hope we keep doing these great traditions and that our kids keep doing them too!

On that note! I have some wonderful news to share with you about our family growing! We’re going to have a baby! We are beyond excited to meet our next little bundle of joy in the early spring! We feel so truly blessed by this great gift from God! Here’s to morning sickness, dreams of sweet new little ones and family traditions!              

Merry Christmas!

-J

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

Chewy Maple Syrup Sugar Cookies

Start up a fire in your fireplace, put on a pot of coffee and sit back to relax with your loved ones and enjoy this scrumptious cookie that is bursting with the maple syrup sweetness.

 Autumn starts to chill the air,

 Until the trees look sad and bare,

 Time for fire-side tales you know,

 Underneath the lamp-light glow,                 

 Makes you feel you want to sigh,

 Now the summer’s stolen by.  -The ABC Book

img_6073Chewy, soft and sweet sugar cookies with a kiss of pure maple syrup in each morsel, drizzled with maple syrup glaze. These are the perfect autumn treat.

  1. Make a batch of Chewy Maple Syrup Sugar Cookies
  2. Start up a fire in your fireplace, put on a pot of coffee and sit back to relax with your loved ones and enjoy this delightful cookie that is bursting with maple syrup sweetness.
  3. Hello Fall!

img_6074“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”

-Emily Bronteimg_6072I was searching Pinterest this morning around 5:30 am while hubby was out doing the morning chores, it is my task to make the coffee and start-up the pellet stove these cold fall mornings, so we can sit and talk and drink coffee together before the day starts and he is off to work.

While waiting for the coffee to finish and for him to come in from chores, I searched recipes on Pinterest. Hubby came in a bit later and I clamored to shut off the computer as quickly as I could, so I was not “caught” on Pinterest AGAIN!….and first thing in the morning too.

But I had just enough time to come across this great cookie recipe. As soon as he was out the door I started baking a batch and with the kids full approval, after several samples each, I have it to share with you today!img_6070

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I am using pure Wisconsin Maple Syrup and Wisconsin Butter of course!

Chewy Maple Syrup Sugar Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened                                
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar                                   img_6075
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

Maple icing

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar.

DIRECTIONS:

  1.  Preheat oven 300* degrees.
  2. In a large bowl beat butter and shortening with a mixer on medium until well combined. Adding the next 6 ingredients (through the salt). Beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Beat in flour.
  3. Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned (tops will still look slightly soft).
  4. Cool for 2 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet; cool on a wire rack. Centers will dip as cookies cool. Drizzle with maple icing.

Maple Icing

  1. Stir together 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk with 1/4 cup melted butter and 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup. Whisk in 2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar to make icing drizzling consistency.

RECIPE FROM BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS.img_6071Cookies and milk anyone?

img_6069Marty!

Taking some time to enjoy the beautiful weather outside with some coffee and a treat sitting by my best buddy Marty, out in the leaves before I am off to vote on this election day.

Hope you like this recipe!

-J 

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.

 

Chocolate Espresso Cake

This summer my husband and I left the homestead for a weekend to go on vacation for our anniversary. We spent the day in New Glarus, Wisconsin and stayed at the beautiful Madison Concourse Hotel in the Governor’s Suite, with full access to the Governor’s Club and some of the best chocolate cake I’ve ever tried!

This cake is so moist and exquisite, you will have to be scraped up off the floor after falling from your chair in a contented heap from tasting just one piece of this rich chocolate experience. Mmmmm….maybe that’s just me?img_5759

The espresso adds a depth to the chocolate that finishes the flavor of the cake and enhances the sweetness of the frosting perfectly.

This not too sweet, yet total chocolate over load has no coffee taste to it, yet without the espresso it would lack the WOW factor this cake certainly leaves you with.

That is why I choose to call it Chocolate Espresso Cake still, even though it has no coffee taste unless you decide to frost it with the espresso chocolate frosting! Which you totally should if you have no kids in the house and can do things like that……One day when my kids are old I will make this with the espresso frosting and not feel bad for them at all!img_5749For now I will just enjoy an espresso on the side with my cake for that coffee flavor!

My big annoyance with chocolate cake recipes or brownie recipes are when they call for large amounts of either butter/oil or baking chocolate squares or chocolate syrup instead of baking cocoa. I want a good old-fashioned basic recipe that uses unsweetened baking cocoa in it and doesn’t use up all the butter in the fridge or way to much oil.

Baking cocoa is faster and more economical and let’s face it, we don’t always have baking chocolate squares on hand….unless its the Christmas baking season. At least this girl doesn’t.

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With the seasons changing so fast here, it will be that Christmas baking time before we know it!

img_5758This summer my husband and I left the homestead for a weekend to go on vacation for our eleventh wedding anniversary.

We spent a day in New Glarus, Wisconsin and stayed at the beautiful Madison Concourse Hotel in the Governor’s Suite, with full access to the Governor’s Club and some of the best chocolate cake I’ve ever tried! img_3012They served us delicious appetizers that were a meal in themselves and in the evenings they set out an enticing buffet of desserts of all kinds. We enjoyed the night-time view of the Capitol while eating petite fours and mouth-watering desserts.img_2993img_2990img_2988Since that trip to Madison and the New Glarus fudge shops, I have been wanting to find a recipe to make at home that comes close to those chocolate creations we enjoyed so much.

So the search began for a chocolate cake recipe that was one of those memorable, to die for experiences!img_5748

 After finding a good basic straight forward chocolate cake recipe and…

….adding a trick I learned on America’s Test Kitchen, by adding espresso powder to enhance the flavor of the chocolate……

I have for you the best, CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO CAKE RECIPE! I am so willing to stake my reputation on this one because it turned out just amazing.img_5760

Now I know you may not have espresso powder on hand but a good finely ground coffee could work just as good or substitute the 1 cup boiling water for 1 cup hot! hot! dark freshly brewed coffee! 

Chocolate Espresso Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable or canola oil
2 eggs (room-temperature)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350º F.

Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch cake pans.

 Use a stand mixer, hand mixer or your own elbow grease for this recipe!

For the cake:
Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder into a large bowl.  Combine well.
In a separate bowl whisk together milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla.

Slowly incorporate the liquid mixture, into the flour mixture and a little at a time until combined.

Add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat WELL and at a  high-speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.

Bake 30-35 minutes, test with a toothpick in the center of each, if it comes out clean they are done. Do not over bake.

Remove from oven.

Cool for 10 minutes, remove from pans and cool completely before frosting.
Frost with your choice of frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is what I used, but a Chocolate Espresso Frosting would totally ROCK this cake!

Notes:
The cake batter seems very thin after adding the boiling water, that is correct and the outcome is the best, most absolutely super moist and delectable chocolate cake ever!img_5761Use your favorite frosting or here is the recipe for what I used this time.

Homemade Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup butter
  2. 2/3 cup cocoa
  3. 3-4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  4. 1/3 cup milk
  5. 1 Teaspoon vanilla
    Instructions: Using a stand Mixer
    1. Melt the butter. Add the cocoa and stir until the mixture is smooth and thick. 
    2. Add the milk and vanilla alternately with the powdered sugar to the bowl until you have the spreading consistency you desire.

Go slow with the powdered sugar, if it gets too thick add a drizzle more milk to thin it up.

Next time you need a chocolate overload or a dessert that will surely impress your guests, make this cake and YOU WILL BE SO GLAD YOU DID!

-J

All pictures on The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill blog were taken by and are the property of Jessica Rogers. You must have written permission to use any image/photo. If you want to share the blog post or pin an image to Pinterest please include: https://theyellowfarmhouseonthehill.wordpress.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full credit is given to The Yellow Farmhouse on the Hill Blog with a link to the original content.