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.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas at Frog Hollow Farm

My goodness, it has been a busy few weeks here at Frog Hollow Farm - but definitely in a good way!

FHFB and I have hosted several Christmas parties over the last few weeks; FHFB's office staff  for a holiday cocktail party - 26 people in all, our annual Christmas House Dinner and Christmas Eve. 

Let me tell you, a room full of meteorologists is definitely very interesting and also a ton of fun!  Most of these guys are young - under 30 - and they are adorable to watch with their wives and girlfriends.  Every so often a different couple was snuggled up in our cuddle chair with a glass of wine or one of our delicious specialty cocktails of the night, the Blizzard (if you like bourbon)! 

I decided to cater this party from a local little restaurant called Stella G's.  This was definitely the way to go!  FHFB wanted something a little more elegant - and the appetizer selection from Stella G's was just perfect. 

Lobster salad in puff pastry cups...
I did some research and found that if a cocktail party is replacing a meal (like ours did), each guest would need 2-3 appetizer pieces, from 8-10 selections.  We also had to consider our vegetarian guest and a guest who is allergic to shellfish.  

Sesame Ahi Tuna on Wonton Crisps
 Parma Prosciutto with Asparagus...

In all, the menu included 5 cold appetizers and 7 hot appetizers.  

Sesame Ahi Tuna on Wonton Crisps
Parma Prosciutto with Asparagus
Hummus Selection with Herbed Pita
Lobster Salad Tartlets
Vegetable Crudites

Crab Cakes with Jicama 
Baby Rack of Lamb Lollipops
Individual Mushroom Quiche
Sesame Chicken Skewers with Teriyaki
Mini Beef Wellington
Coconut Shrimp
Filet Mignon with Horseradish Chutney

The cold selections were available when the guests first arrived, placed on silver serving pieces on our breadboard dining room table, the pine server and small round drop leaf table covered with a soft moss green jacquard tablecloth.  The hot appetizers were served to the guests on small antique silver platters throughout the evening.

Our invitation listed the hours from 6pm-9pm, just so people could drop by at any time and not worry about any formal time frame.  As it was, everyone arrived around 6pm and the last guests didn't leave until 11:30pm!!!  LOL - I was exhausted but so happy to see that everyone was having a great time.  

FHFB is so lucky to have such a wonderful staff - he's worked hard at putting together a great group of people.

Here are a few more pics of the food and tables...

We also hosted our annual Christmas House party for a small group of friends that we often travel with.

Our menu included:

Christmas Blessing cocktail
Clementine Cosmos
(Double the amount of clementines, reduce the sugar by half, and use citron vodka instead of vanilla vodka.)

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
Parmesan-Thyme Crackers
Tellegio Cheese with Frog Hollow Farm Marmalade on Flatbread
Buttered Nuts

Lasagna Bolognese
Frog Hollow Farm Stuffed Artichokes
Arugula, Cranberry and Roasted Pecan Salad

Desserts were provided by our guests - there was a delicious cheesecake, a wonderful pecan layer cake, a yummy pumpkin pie and fantastic platter of Italian pastries!!

Here are a few photos of the table:

The tablecloth was purchased recently at a little store called La Petite Provence in Bethlehem, PA.
The chargers are from Home Goods.
The white dinner plate is rimmed with gold and was purchased in Macy's years ago, along with the gold flatware.
The salad plate is from a pattern called 'Winter Greetings' from Lenox and was purchased at Macy's this year. 
The napkins are from April Cornell.
The napkin rings were made from a soft white gold rimmed wire ribbon, with gold leaves tucked into the tied ribbon.
The water glasses were purchased at Williams-Sonoma years ago.
The two-tiered cake stand in the middle of the table was a recent purchase from Pottery Barn.

Our two spectacular helpers for the night:


and our daughter Katie below.

Thank you so very much for taking the time to stop by Frog Hollow Farm to see what's been happening lately. 

I'm taking part in Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch - please stop by to see all of the wonderful ideas for your seasonal table!

Ciao, bella!
Happy New Year!!

Google Image

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Home of the Month

Hello everyone!  Today's post is short but so much fun for us to share with you!  As you all know, FHFB and I have been working with two wonderful designers, Susan and Pam, through their business, Design Works, for the past couple of years.  

They've helped us in so many ways - 
  • reorganizing our conservatory with all of our own things to make it look cozy and comfy
  • guiding us with the bedroom and bathroom choices of wall and floor colors (we painted the wood floors upstairs), curtains and bedding
  • helping our dining and living rooms 'grow up' with elegant functionality, yet keeping many of our own antique and furniture pieces!  

I've posted the changes for all of the rooms in various blog posts since March, but now you can see even more of our farmhouse by linking over to the Design Works website.

(still under construction in many parts).  
Our home comes up immediately as their first Home of the Month!    

Happy New Year to everyone!
Ciao, bella!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Frog Hollow Farm Has a Winner!

After a full day of decorating the outside of our little farmhouse FHFB finally came inside to sit in front of our fire with a glass of wine.  He never used to drink wine (can you imagine, an Italian who doesn't drink wine) but has started enjoying a glass with me every once is a while - I'm sure I drink enough wine for both of us anyway - LOL!  

Everything outside 
 looks so nice - FHFB does such a great job and loves to use fresh cut greens from our property to decorate the flower boxes and porch railings!  We were so tired yesterday that I didn't get a photo (I was inside decorating our tree and designing the tablescape for next weekend's cocktail party for all of the weathermen and their wives/girlfriends.  Yes, FHFB is a meteorologist!

After pouring two glasses of a delicious Sicilian white wine (Grillo) that we discovered in Burlington Vermont, we both relaxed in front of our Christmas tree and as promised,  FHFB chose the winning name of the Christmas dish give-away....Lynn over at Happier Than a Pig in Mud!  So, Lynn, I hope this little win does make you happier than a pig in mud today!  Lynn has the cutest little blog and is always posting something interesting and fun - and she has a great sense of humor!

Thanks to all of you who participated in my very first give-away!  I loved reading your recipes and ideas for filling up that cute little dish!

PS - Lynn, please email me your address so that I can get this cute little dish out in the mail for you!

Ciao, bella!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

100 Followers, a Give-Away and a Recipe!

This morning I woke up to find my 100th follower listed on my dashboard!  

I can't believe that so many people have found this little blog out there in blogland, and in honor of all of you I'd like to have my very first give-away!

This lovely little dish is perfect to use on your own holiday table for cookies or candy - or you could fill it with some of your own home-baked cookies for a holiday hostess gift.

It measures 6 1/2" square.

To win this sweet little plate please leave a comment on this post telling me what kind of homemade treat you would fill it with.
If you leave a link to a favorite cookie or candy recipe, or include your recipe in a second comment, you double your chances to win!

The winner will be chosen by FHFB on Sunday evening, December 5th and posted on Monday. 

Here's a recipe for a favorite cookie of ours here at Frog Hollow Farm.  My mother-in-law Maria made these often, not only during the holidays.  Maria was a phenomenal cook and introduced me to so many traditional Italian foods!  

These cookies are FHFB's favorite cookie, he calls them "Rolled Cookies"and once you take your first bite you will understand why he loves them.

Maria's Rolled Cookies
2 cups sifted flour
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sour cream
1 egg yolk - slightly beaten

Mix flour and butter until crumbly, then add sour cream and egg yolk, mix well with your hands.  Divide the dough into 3 balls and refrigerate over night.
Roll out each ball of dough like a pizza. Use a little flour on the counter to keep the dough from sticking and cut each circle into 16 pieces.  Brush the top of each circle with the remaining beaten egg white then sprinkle the filling (below) over the entire circle.  Roll each triangle into a crescent shape, starting with the widest end, and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. 
Use parchment paper for an easy clean-up.
1 cup of ground walnuts (or pecans, hazelnuts)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

If you get to try this recipe I'd love to know about it!

Ciao, bella!

 I'm participating in Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper!