The Kitchen Window

The Kitchen Window
Antique Milk Bottles with Herbs and Flowers


Welcome to the Frog Hollow Farm blog! I've been blogging since January 2010 and have switched from Blogger to Word Press, but I'm back to Blogger because, for me, it's easier to use. My husband and I live on a little farm in Northwest New Jersey. We have some chickens and a very large vegetable garden with asparagus and raspberries, and rows and rows of sunflowers, snapdragons and zinnias. Traveling, entertaining, gardening, spending time with family, studying Italian, blogging and reading keep us busy and happy. With all of this going on, moving towards a simpler life seems almost impossible but it's definitely a daily goal.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sunday Afternoon at Eataly

Eataly - Flatiron District - NYC

Last Sunday afternoon FHFB and I took a drive over to the city to visit Eataly in Manhattan.  Our daughter Katie was home from Brooklyn and was able to join us - she had already been to Eataly twice so she was a great guide. 

Eataly opened its first North American branch in conjunction with Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. The multi-floor, multi-restaurant culinary behemoth includes separate mini-restaurants devoted to meat, fish, vegetables, pasta and pizza, panini, espresso, gelato, salumi, cheeses — plus a rooftop brewpub.

This post is really a photo diary of the trip, without too many words.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did - it was a great afternoon.  Some advice, pick up a shopping cart as soon as you get in the store.  We found ours at the produce entrance.  Here's a small map of the inside of the store from Google:
Granted, it's not too easy to see. And after I posted the rest of the photos I realized that the quality of my Blackberry phone is not so great. So, please forgive the very blurry photos - believe me, the store is just fabulous.  I also had some great photos of the fresh mozzarella section and some other areas that were sideways, and I just couldn't get them to post right-side-up for some reason. 

Okay, let's begin the visit!
The Bread !

The Butcher!


The Bakery !

FHFB's Macchiato!

Pasta!   Eataly also has a huge fresh pasta section with delicious looking ravioli, linguini, fettucine, you name it!

Olive Oil!


Pre-Made Sandwiches and Foccacia!

No picture of the pizza, but Katie loved it!  We ate it while we walked around shopping!

Frito Misto Lunch! 

We had a delicious bottle of proseco with our lunch.  Everything was delicious, but be prepared for crowds.  We were in the store for about 3 hours, shopping, eating, shopping and eating. 

Oh, and there is also a wine store that is accessed from the outside.

What more could you ask for? 

I'm so disappointed at the quality of the photos - I need to remember my camera from now on - LOL!
Ciao, bella! 

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Gift

Today when I walked into my office I was surprised to find a lovely surprise waiting for me from my friend Lena.  Lena has worked as our cleaning lady for more than 10 years now.  Originally from Lithuania, Lena came here and lived with her cousin Marina, a local talented seamstress, which is where I met Lena for the first time those many years ago.  I have recommended her to many of my friends - our favorite contractor Brian even hired her after watching her work every week while he was here working on our new addition! 

Lena is always surprising FHFB and me with little gifts, usually things she's found or something that someone has given away.   There have been many other wonderful little surprises from Lena over the years. Recently, Lena has given us a tapestry picture which is hanging in our upstairs bedroom suite, some interesting painted wooden moulding that FHFB will use in the chicken coop, a large bottle of vodka that she gave us because she saw (from our recycling bag) that we like to drink vodka (yikes!), and a bottle of Lithuanian liqueur brought back from her last visit home.   She is really a hoot. 

 Last Thursday she told me that she had something for me, and with her very strong Lituanian accent it's always hard to understand what she's trying to communicate in English.  So, here's what I found in my office today. 

It's a lovely old sewing box.

Here's what it looks like inside.  The little tray comes out and there's space underneath.  Someone even left some sweet old spools of threads and vintage packages of straight pins and sewing needles. 

So, what should I do with this adorable little sewing chest? I kind of like the color, it's a washed out green, but I'd love your feedback on how I could use it.  Lena would love to see me find the perfect place for it at Frog Hollow Farm.  

Ciao, bella! 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The October Conservatory

We are so busy here at Frog Hollow Farm!  Bringing geraniums and hibiscus into the house before the frost, getting the gardens ready for winter, putting the finishing touches on our dining room and living room and also thinking about the holidays and the delicious menus we'll be serving. 

Our conservatory is right off of our dining room, and has become a year-round room.  Besides using it for housing herbs...

and entertaining, we love sitting out there in the winter, reading, and watching the snow fall outside while sipping hot chocolate with home-made Frog Hollow Farm marshmallows or drinking a delicious cocktail.

For October we have our pumpkin pine table set with some seasonal pieces of mixed vintage china picked up in a couple of antique shops on our trip to Vermont several years ago.

The napkins are from April Cornell and the tablecloth is from Marshalls.  I love the colors in these vintage pieces.

Two little bears sit in their adorable Halloween costumes, waiting for someone to take them Trick-or-Treating.  We don't get Trick-or-Treaters at our house - we sit down a long tree-lined lane and there are only a few homes on our street. 

Somewhere in my reading and browsing I came across an interesting way to prepare brussel sprouts, if you're a fan that is. 

Sliced and Sauteed Brussel Sprouts
Clean the sprouts and slice off the end of each one. 
Place in a food processor with the slicing disc and slice the brussel sprouts .
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan with thinly sliced garlic.  We like garlic so I used 3 cloves, but you can use as much or little as you like.  I suppose you could also use shallots or leeks instead.
Saute the brussel sprouts with the olive oil and garlic until soft - about 15 minutes or so.  While they are cooking, sprinkle on some kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

We are driving into the city today to check out the new 'Eataly' - Mario Batali's new gourmet Italian grocery store and restaurants (yes, there are several restaurants in this place).  My daughter has been there twice and has warned us that it's a zoo, but definitely a fantastic place for Italian foodies. 

I'm linked in to Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper!  Please stop by to check out the wonderful blogs and seasonal ideas. 

Ciao, bella!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Flatrocks at Lindenmere

As promised I'm posting some photos from the flatrocks on Lake Champlain.  Everyday around 4:45 when we're visiting Lindenmere we all pack a couple of picnic baskets full of delicious Vermont cheddar, whole grain crackers, olives, various spicy Italian salamis, fruit and of course - lots of wine! 

After we're all packed up we take as short walk down a narrow path through the beautiful cedar trees down to the flatrocks, which are these huge flat rocks that hug the perimeter of Lake Champlain on the west side of South Hero Island.  And when we arrive here's what we see:

 This flatrock area is the perfect place to set up several Adirondack chairs and sit back to watch the sunset with friends and loved ones.

It's such a gorgeous day here in north western New Jersey.  We're looking forward to a wonderful weekend with friends on the back porch!

Ciao, bella!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Vermont Vacation

I'm finally sitting down to share our wonderful trip up to Vermont in early September. 

Thirty years ago was the first time FHFB and I took the long drive up to South Hero Island in a very large old Cadillac with a 6 month old baby.  Truth be told I was a little nervous, I didn't know our host (he was another weather friend of FHFB's) and I wasn't sure how baby-friendly the house would be. 

We all fell in love with Lindenmere the minute we drove down the narrow tree lined lane to the magical little house overlooking Lake Champlain.

I can't believe I don't have any photos of the house - it's a summer house built in the 1920s with cedar shingle siding and  wooden windows painted with a simple white trim.

Cedar trees surround the house and lean precariously over the rocks into the lake.  The house is up pretty high so there's no danger of any flooding. 

Our host plants the loveliest garden every year, full of colorful annuals and geraniums that he saves year after year in their clay pots.  He really has a green thumb.

Tomorrow I'll post some photos of the lake and flatrocks.  

Our Vermont host is visiting Frog Hollow Farm this weekend  and we're planning to have a wonderful dinner on the porch.  Hopefully the rain and wind will be out of here and we can all sit snuggled in some sweaters and talk the night away. 

Here's our menu chock full of Italian comfort food:

Frog Hollow Farm Sausage and Peppers
(all the peppers are from FHFB's garden!)
Crusty warm semolina bread
Arugula salad with toasted walnuts

(I use less of the citrus zest when I make this absolutely delicious recipe)
The first time I ever made this recipe was about 10 years ago.  We were expecting a phenomenal meteor shower that year, I think it was in November, but I'm not sure.  Anyway, we had some friends coming over at 3:00am (yes, I know, a bit crazy) to sit and watch the show with us.  And I say 'show' because I've never seen anything like it.  The meteors were so numerous and so very bright, they were lighting up the whole field.  It was one of the most magical nights that FHFB and I have shared together - and we had our dearest friends with us as well!  Afterwards everyone came into the kitchen and the aroma of the baking apple crisp was still in the air.  With a steaming cup of coffee the apple crisp just hit the spot - we still talk about that meteor shower and when we do our friends always mention the apple crisp. It was truly a memorable evening! 

(He just came into our office told me it was the Leonids meteor shower in November.)

I hope your evening is memorable as well - there are so many memories to make!

Ciao, bella!