Maple Spiced Nuts

Maple Spiced Nuts

  • 1/4 cup salted butter

  • 1 pound mixed nuts

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon  cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup

  • In a large skillet set over medium heat, melt butter and add the nuts. cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes until nuts are beginning to toast.

  • Add remaining ingredients, stirring until the sugar is melted. Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the nuts are caramelized. Transfer nuts to a parchment or waxed lined cookie sheet to cool.

  • Tip: To enhance the flavor of the nuts, toast them on the baking sheet for 7 to 9 minutes in a low oven.

Makes a great hostess gift or party appetizer!

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Egg Trick: Quick Way to Separate Yolk from the Egg White

I just learned a quick and easy way to separate eggs yolks from eggs whites….and it just takes a moment to do!  Here are lots of photos showing the steps:

First you need an egg, two plates, and an empty plastic water bottle, cap removed.

Break the egg onto a plate (or mixing bowl).

Take the empty water bottle and give it a squeeze (to create a vacuum).

Place the squeezed water bottle over the egg yolk and release your squeeze on it.

The egg yolk will be slurped up into the empty water bottle.

Release the egg yolk onto your plate or bowl by squeezing the bottle again. 

The egg yolk can be picked up and moved over and over again using this method without making a mess!  Put your empty water bottle in the recycle bin!  The hens of Turtle Creek Farm approve this message.

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What a Haul

Haulin’ the tomato crop…….Shelby & Raymond shared photos of their garden delights.  The heirloom tomatoes were grown from Turtle Creek Farm’s seeds.  To go with this is one of my favorite Tomato recipes you will love!

Tomato, Avocado & Feta Salad with Fig Vinaigrette

Serves: 6

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons fig jam

1 tablespoon white wine

3 large tomatoes, cut into wedges

2 avocados, peeled and cubed

1 fennel bulb, trimmed and shopped

6 ounces of crumbled feta cheese

3 cups arugula

Optional:  toasted bread cut into 1” cubes

In a blender, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, fig jam and white wine.  Blend until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

In a large bowl gently toss, tomatoes, avocados, fennel and feta (toss in the bread cubes if you like).  Place arugula on each serving plate, top with tomato mixture, drizzle the dressing on top.  YUM!

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I had this yummy Tomato Jam served on toasted bread topped with egg, avacado, heirloom tomatoes, and arugula.   It is sweet/tart/tangy!! Can be served on other sandwiches or meats.  This recipe is quick and makes alot - I made three jars, one to keep and gave the others a gifts!  (Since tomatoes are not ready here yet, I used canned which worked great) 


  • 2  tablespoons olive oil

  • 2  Vidalia onions, thinly sliced

  • 2  teaspoons kosher salt

  • 2  cloves garlic, minced

  • 10  Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded and roughly chopped (about 2 1/2 pounds)

OR     2 cans of diced tomatoes to equal 2 ½ pounds

  • 1/2 cup molasses

  • 1/2  cup light brown sugar

  • 1/2  cup cider vinegar

  • 1/2  teaspoon allspice

  • 1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2  teaspoon chipotle powder


 In a high-sided saute pan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, season with the salt, cover and cook until they are wilted and soft, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook the onions until they are golden and caramelized, stirring often, about 20 minutes more.

Stir in the garlic and saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook an additional 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stirring consistently, cook until the tomatoes breakdown and the jam becomes thick, about 20 minutes.

Yield: 3 cups
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Red Velvet Hot Cocoa

Enjoy this cozy drink by the fireplace!

Fran’s Red Velvet Hot Cocoa with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream

4 cups whole milk

1 dash water

¾ cup semi sweet chocolate chips

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon red food coloring

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2-4 tablespoons whipped cream cheese, room temp

 Make the whipped cream:

In a mixer, combine the heavy cream and sugar.  Whip on medium speed with the whisk attachment for 2-3 minutes.  Just before peaks form, add the cream cheese and whisk for another 2 minutes.  Taste and add more cream cheese to taste.  Be careful not to over whip! 

In a medium saucepan heat the milk over medium heat.  Add a splash of water and chocolate chips, constantly stirring gently.  When almost melted, add red food coloring and stir.  When the chocolate chips are thoroughly melted, pour the hot chocolate into mugs and to with the whipped cream.

4 servings
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