Friday, December 23, 2011

Home Grown: Clearing the Air with Houseplants


Houseplants certainly add to a home’s d├ęcor, but they can also purify indoor air.

“This is an area that’s been largely ignored, and the health issues are potentially astronomical,” says University of Georgia horticulturist Stanley Kays. “We spend as much as 90 percent of our time indoors breathing indoor air that often contains a diverse range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), many of which are toxic.”

House plants can absorb those VOCs. To determine the best air-purifying houseplants, researchers at the University of Georgia evaluated 32 plant species.  Of those tested, purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis alternata) best removed VOCs from the air.

Continued at... Clearing the Air with Houseplants

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Growing Guides
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Fresh Guavas from Yorba Linda, California


Available now with Guavas in Farm Produce:
Fresh guavas from Yorba Linda, California

Also known as Guayaba, this subtropical fruit is classified as a berry.

Picked ripe off the tree, Guavas have a subtle and floral flavor with sweet and sour undertones.

Soft and creamy when ripe, Guavas have a fully edible rind and small seeds that are edible too. No one can resist its rare and irresistible floral aroma. One bite will transport you to a tropical paradise.

Guavas
Farm Produce
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Long Handle Shoe Horn from Highland Park, Illinois


Now available with Woodcrafts in Handmade:
Long Handle Shoe Horn from Highland Park, Illinois

This 31" Long Handle Shoe Horn is one of the longest shoehorns you will ever find. It makes putting shoes on easier than ever, with less effort and virtually no bending required than with shorter shoe horns.

The flexible spring in this shoe horn provides you flexibility needed to easily slip your foot into virtually any shoe from any angle.

There are eight individual pieces that create this shoe horn. It consists of a polished solid wood spindle attached by means of a brass spring to a high quality plastic tortoise-shell shoe horn. Hanger cap included for convenient storage.

All parts are made and assembled in the USA.

Woodcrafts
Handmade
add your woodcrafts to the Buy Direct Directory
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Home Grown: Gifts for Gardeners


If you have gardeners on your shopping list, whatever you do, don’t give them cheap tools. Give them something they’ll remember.

Most serious gardeners would much rather receive one high-quality garden tool than a bunch of cheap ones that won’t last a year. And please don’t give an adult a set of child-size tools.

Continued at... Gifts for Gardeners

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Greenhouses
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Farm and Garden Books

Egg-Free Raisin Loaf from Seattle, Washington


Now available with  Bread  in  Baked Goods :
Egg-Free Raisin Loaf from Seattle, Washington

This is a gluten-free, wheat-free bread made with no dairy or egg. Made from white rice flour, tapioca starch, and raisins, it is a good source of Vitamins B1 and B2 and iron.

Sold in a pack of six 16-ounce packages of raisin bread (96 total ounces).
Top with cinnamon for a perfect breakfast bread.

Bread
Baked Goods
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Home Grown: Preserving Poinsettia

As the holidays pass, they usually take with them the colorful blooms of the poinsettia plant. There are ways, however, to extend the life and blooms of the plant. Here are some tips...

Continued at... Preserving Poinsettia

Home Grown: Tabletop Christmas Trees

Not everyone is able to enjoy a full sized Christmas tree in their home. For some, budgets may be stretched or space can be at a premium. Others may not have the time to put up a tree this holiday season.

Whatever the reason, an alternative to full sized Christmas trees are tabletop plants that can be decorated for the holidays, offered as holiday gifts, and in some cases can be used for several years.

Continued at... Tabletop Christmas Trees




Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fuerte Avocados from Fallbrook, California

Available soon with Avocados in Farm Produce:
Fuerte Avocados direct from the grower in Fallbrook, California.

Shipped in 4 lb increments at $3/lb. There are approximately 2-3 avocados per pound. Avocados are picked when the order is received. The fruit is ready to eat when soft to the touch.

Available January - March.




Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Farm Kitchen: Making a Sandwich

The sandwich has become a universal possession for all time, though for a century the earl who created it has lain dead. His foibles should be forgotten, his one redeeming virtue remembered. For him a fair and spacious niche in the world's Valhalla.

A hero indeed is he who left the sandwich as an heirloom to humanity. It truly is the staff of life, a substantial meal for starving traveller or bread-winner; but none the less an incomparable work of art, a joy to the gourmand of fancy and discretion. The very name has come to be a pregnant symbol of holiday-making for all with souls to stir at the thought of food and drink. It is an inexhaustible stimulus to the imagination; to the memory a tender guide to the past's happiest days and hours.
Continued at... Making a Sandwich

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holidays and Notable Events: Lucia Day

Before dawn on December 13, “Little Yule,” the eldest daughter of a Scandinavian household arises and sets a wreath of greenery upon her head to which are anchored several candles. With these all ablaze in the pre-dawn dimness she walks the corridors, calling on each bedroom with a gift of hot coffee, lussekatter (“Lucy kats,” yeast rolls) and gingerbread. She is the Lucia bruden, the Lucia Bride, Saint Lucy.

'Tis the year's midnight, and it is
the day's,
Lucy's, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks;
The sun is spent, and now his flasks
Send forth light squibs, no constant rays.
-- John Donne


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lavender Flower Buds from Provence, France

Now available with Dried Flowers in Craft Supplies:
Lavender Flower Buds from Provence, France.

These fragrant lavender flowers and buds are from an "extra" grade grown in the Provence region of France, near Montbrun Les Bains in a hilly area between the French Riviera (La Cote d'Azur) and the French Alps.

The most fragrant lavender is slightly grayer and not as blue as hybrid lavender. It is often used in sachets, potpourri, as a pest deterrent or as a relaxer under the pillow.

Sold in 1-pound bags.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Farm Kitchen: Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet.

Cast iron skillets ought to be re-seasoned at least once a year.

To begin, wash the skillet, making sure to rinse and dry. Melt bacon grease and run it all over skillet, inside and out.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place skillet in the oven upside down with a cookie sheet on rack below to catch drippings. Bake for one hour, then turn oven off and let the pan remain inside until oven cools.





Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Farm Kitchen: Homemade Holiday Gifts


Foods and other homemade items make wonderful holiday gifts, especially for people on a budget. Try these low-cost gift ideas and recipes:

Create a fruit basket. Choose a few apples, oranges and/or canned fruits and arrange them in a basket or decorated paper bag.

Continued at... Homemade Holiday Gifts


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Home Grown: The Virtual Greenhouse

Growers can now build and heat a "virtual" greenhouse -- or upgrade existing greenhouses -- on a computer, to find out how much it would cost to heat with different fuels, heating schedules, heaters, building designs and materials.

Developed by Agricultural Research Service researchers with the ARS Greenhouse Production Research Group at Toledo, Ohio, the "Virtual Grower" software is available for download free of charge.

A plant component is being added to the computer program so growers can see the effects of their heating choices and schedules not only on costs, but also on their plants.

The software is gradually being expanded to include all other aspects of greenhouse management, including applications of nutrients, water, growth regulators and pesticides. Ultimately, it will also help growers manage labor, optimize plant productivity and set sale prices.

There are many individual programs like this, but none that considers all of these factors interacting together, as this one eventually will.

Continued at... The Virtual Greenhouse

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mustard from Portland, Oregon

Now available with Mustards in Specialty Foods:

This is
an all natural product with a hint of chili and garlic in every jar. The mustard is flavored for the discretionary gourmet that will make any sandwich come alive with flavor.




Wood carving from Bogorodskoye, Russia

Now available with Carvings in Handmade:
Easter Rabbit Bunny Skier wood carving from Bogorodskoye, Russia

This animated woodcarving was created with traditional hand tools by craftsmen living in the small village of Bogorodskoye in central Russia.

Made of solid linden wood, this simple yet sophisticated carving boasts extraordinary detail. The Easter Rabbit starts to move its ski poles when you swing it in a slow circular motion.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Home Grown: Keeping Out The Kudzu Bugs

Megacopta cribraria, also known as the kudzu bug, prepares for winter by moving from its preferred host, kudzu (aka the "plant that ate the South"), to protected sites where it will spend the winter. The adult bugs are attracted to light-colored surfaces, frequently migrating in
to houses and other structures.

Adult kudzu bugs will emerge in the spring, lay eggs on sprouting kudzu and begin building large populations. In addition to dining on kudzu, the insect also feeds on soybeans and other legumes, including beans in home gardens.

Researchers have been searching for ways to control the insect, recently introduced from Asia. Until a control is found, the following some tips are offered to homeowners who want to keep the pest at bay...



Home Grown: When to Prune

As the days get shorter and plants go dormant for winter, many homeowners become anxious to prune their landscapes. But for most trees and shrubs, pruning in the fall is not the best time.

Some woody trees and shrubs can be injured during winter from pruning cuts or open wounds that won't have a chance to heal properly until next spring. An open wound in the winter is more likely to suffer damage from water freezing and thawing inside the cracks and crevices of the exposed wood.

It is generally better to prune trees and shrubs in February or early March just before spring growth begins. This is the ideal time to prune fruit trees, shade trees, crape myrtles, shrub roses, hollies and other evergreen plants.
Pruning in late winter minimizes the time the wound is exposed. As trees break dormancy in the spring, their rapid growth will quickly heal over any exposed wounds or cuts. Wound sealants or pruning paints are not recommended. Numerous studies have shown that these products actually slow or delay the healing process and provide little or no benefit.

Continued at...When to Prune

Here's How To... Care for a Guinea Pig

Talkative, social and rather cute, guinea pigs are great as a child's first pet or as a lifelong hobby. They are members of the Cavy family (Caviidae) of rodents native to South America.

A guinea pig cage should have a solid floor covered in bedding rather than a wire-bottom cage, which can cause problems if the guinea pig catches its toes on the wire. If you use a cage with a wire floor, be sure to provide another surface where the guinea pig can relieve its feet.

Good bedding for guinea pigs will be absorbent, soft, and non-aromatic. Wood shaving bedding should be avoided. The aromatics in the wood can cause irritation to the guinea pig's very sensitive sense of smell. Cedar bedding can be toxic and pine too dusty, and corn cob can harbor mold spores.

Follow the link at... Care for a Guinea Pig

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holidays and Notable Events: Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving in the United States - the 4th Friday in November - has become the traditional starting date for the Christmas shopping season in the U.S. and Canada, marked by promotional sales by major retailers attracting throngs of eager
shoppers at early hours seeking the best deals before supplies run out.

The idea that Christmas shopping season begins the day after Thanksgiving has been promoted by retailers and local communities for more than a century with parades like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York and the Toronto Santa Claus Parade that concluded with the appearance of Santa.
It was an unwritten rule among department stores that Christmas advertising would not begin until the parade was over.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wristlet Pig Change Purse from Saratoga, California

Wristlet Pig Change Purse from Saratoga, California

This cute change purse has a brown piggy face on the front cover. Handmade from choice genuine, special-tanned cowhide.

The wristlet purse has magnet closure on the cover and a zipper for the inside closure. Measures 4.5" wide by 1" deep.

Leather wrist strap included.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dried Peaches from Honeyville, Utah


Now available with Dried Fruit in Specialty Foods:
Dried Peaches from Honeyville, Utah

These are freeze dried peaches produced in a process where moisture is removed from the frozen product using a very low temperature and a vacuum. Only about 3% moisture remains in the product at the time of packaging. The end product weight is reduced by over 90%, while the volume stays the same. This process concentrates the fresh taste, natural color, and texture of the fresh product in it's freeze dried state.

When re-hydrated with water, these peaches will maintain the texture and shape of fresh peaches, with no shrinking or shriveling.

These freeze dried peaches are a stable product with a long shelf life, but no additives or preservatives.




Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wholesale Wedding Flowers from Glendale, California

Now available with Flowers in Plants & Seeds
Wholesale Wedding Flowers from Glendale, California

These are premium fresh-cut flowers, from Gerberas Daisies and Snapdragons to Lilies and Rose Petals.

Flowers are shipped direct nationwide to individuals, hotels, restaurants, event planners and more. No tax ID required to purchase wholesale.


Flowering Orange Jasmine Bonsai from Patchogue, New York

Now available with Bonsai in Plants & Seeds
Flowering Orange Jasmine from Patchogue, New York

The Orange Jasmine (murraya paniculata), also known as "satinwood", is a small tree that belongs to the Rue family.

The very fragrant white "orange blossom" flowers stand out against the evergreen dark foliage. This evergreen tree flowers at intervals throughout the year and produces fragrant orange jasmine scented flowers and striking bright orange-to-red fruit.

This plant makes an outstanding indoor flowering bonsai tree due to its compact habit and dense glossy green foliage.




Monday, November 14, 2011

Norfolk Island Pine Christmas Trees from Medina, Ohio.

Now available with Christmas Trees in Plants & Seeds
Norfolk Island Pine from Medina, Ohio.

Native of Norfolk Island (somewhere between New Caledonia and Australia in the South Pacific), the Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla) can reach a height of 80 feet in its natural habitat. When grown in a container, the tree will maintain a reasonable size.

The beauty and symmetry of this tree, as well as the soft texture of its foliage, will make you want to decorate it, and use it for a living Christmas tree.

The Norfolk Island Pine is a great house plant. It prefers full sun or very, bright, indirect light. Water when the soil is on the dry side.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Home Grown: Potted Perennials in Winter

At one time annuals were the majority, if not the only type, of plant material being used in containers. Now everything from perennials to small trees and shrubs are being grown.

Taking care of your potted perennial plants over the winter will ensure they are around next season to provide another year of enjoyment.

While perennials can be treated like annuals and replaced the next season, many gardeners prefer looking for ways to overwinter their potted perennials so they can have these plants survive the winter and come back next spring.



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Coconut Curry Sauce from Fullerton, California

Now available with Curry in Specialty Foods:
Coconut Curry Sauce from Fullerton, California

This is a Malaysian-style yellow curry with pineapple flavor and a touch of coconut.

Use this sauce to make curried Chicken or Shrimp, or use as a dipping sauce for Crispy Coconut Shrimp, Samosas and Egg Rolls.

Gluten Free. Fat Free. Vegan. Shelf Stable.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Here's How To... Build a Patio

A patio can be an intimate outdoor space or a wide expanse for barbecues and entertaining. Choose from a wide variety of patio pavers and select a style that complements the location. Make it even more inviting with furniture, umbrellas, lighting, and a chiminea or fireplace for cool evenings.

How the patio will be used usually determines its location. Patios for sunbathing obviously need to be placed in a sunny location, while barbecues will be easier on patios placed close to a kitchen.

Outline the patio area with stakes and string. Then, using a spade, remove about two inches of soil from inside the boundary. The depth should be about an inch deeper than the depth of the pavers that are being used. Rake the soil smooth and compact with a roller or tamper until level. (If the patio is near the house, a slight grade away will encourage water runoff away from the home.)

Follow the link at... Build a Patio

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gourmet Vanilla Marshmallows from New York City

Now available with Candies and Other Sweets in Specialty Foods:
Gourmet Vanilla Marshmallows from New York City

These handcrafted, small batch gourmet marshmallows are fresh, flavorful, squishy delights, made using all natural ingredients.

Sold in bags of 10 oversized morsels measuring 1.5" square x 1" tall.

Candies and Other Sweets
Specialty Foods and Beverages
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Farm Kitchen: High Plains Hash

Now serving in the Farm Kitchen:
High Plains Hash

"The March morning dawns with a mass of gun-metal gray clouds. John, our guide, keeps an eye on them as he fixes a broken strap on one of the pack saddles. Jeff stows gear in a set of panniers, the term for saddlebags used on pack animals. But I alone capture the attention of our seven curious pack goats because I'm fixing breakfast, High Plains Hash." - Sierra Adare, Backcountry Cooking

Organic Ganoderma Coffee from San Antonio, Texas

Now available with Coffee in Specialty Foods & Beverages:
100% Organic Ganoderma Coffee from San Antonio, Texas

This is a pre-brewed coffee beverage offering a rich gourmet taste without sugar or any artificial additives.

The special ingredient that makes this organic coffee stand out is a proprietary blend of ganoderma extract.

Coffee
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Adjustable Auger with Wood Handle

Now available with Augers and Post Hole Diggers in Farm Supply:
Adjustable Auger with Wood Handle

This auger has a general purpose design for use in a variety of soils. The 21-inch hard-maple cross handle gives leverage for turning the auger with ease in a variety of soils. Boring 6-, 7-, or 8-inch holes is accomplished by adjusting the yoke, which is secured into position with a locking bolt.

The construction features heavy-gauge steel blades riveted to the cast-iron yoke and a steel tee welded to a high-tensile steel tubular shaft.

Augers and Post Hole Diggers
Farm Supply
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Black and White Moos from New York City

Now available with Candies and Other Sweets in Specialty Foods:
Black and White Moos from New York City

Made with the Dark Belgian Chocolate and handmade Marshallow, this confection will satisfy anyone's chocolate cravings.

Experience bliss amidst classic clouds of vanilla marshmallow, soft caramel and graham cracker in a delicate shell of dark Belgian chocolate.

Sold in a lucite box containing six Black and White Moos.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Frozen Gourmet Cookie Dough from Bolingbrook, Illinois

Now available with Cookies in Baked Goods:
Frozen Gourmet Cookie Dough direct from the baker in Bolingbrook, Illinois

This cookie dough is made from organic whole grains and all natural ingredients. No trans fats, no preservatives, less sugar and dairy-free.

The baker shapes the cookie dough, freezes it, and sends it to your home where you can enjoy the aroma and flavor of warm, fresh baked cookies anytime.

Cookies
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Home Grown: Composting Yard Waste

While it may seem easy to put those raked leaves and other yard waste in plastic bags and toss them out as garbage, composting can be just as easy and much better for the environment.

"Many landfills no longer even accept leaves or garden wastes," notes Bill Lamont, professor of vegetable crops at Penn State. "Composting may be the easiest way for homeowners to dispose of them."

Composting decomposes organic matter into a dark, crumbly material similar to humus. Finished compost provides nutrients and helps soil retain water by increasing the valuable organic matter in the lawn and garden. Compost is a valuable soil conditioner that can be used in gardens, around trees and on lawns.

Continued at... Composting Yard Waste

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Vindaloo sauce from San Diego, California

Now available with Curry in Specialty Foods:
Vindaloo sauce (Spicy and Tangy Curry) from San Diego, California

This hot and spicy curry is native to the Goa region of India.

To make a Vindaloo, saute between 1 to 1.5 lbs of meat or vegetables until done. Pour the sauce over, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Enjoy with rice, pita bread or couscous.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Garlic Dill Dip Mix from Columbus, Ohio

Now available with Dip Mixes in Specialty Foods:
Garlic Dill Dip Mix made in Columbus, Ohio

Add sour cream and mayonnaise to make this garlic dill dip. Use as a seasoning on fish or put on baked potatoes

Ingredients include garlic, parsley, dill, mustard powder.

Each package makes two 16 oz. servings.

Dip Mixes
Specialty Foods and Beverages
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Link

Assumption Abbey Fruit Cake from Ava, Missouri

Now available with Fruitcake in Baked Goods:
Assumption Abbey Fruit Cake from Ava, Missouri

These fruit cakes are a dark, rich traditional style of fruitcake.

Made by Trappist monks in a small Missouri monastery, this dark and spicy fruitcake is spiked with burgundy wine and rum and studded with English walnuts, pecans, pineapple, cherries, raisins, currants, South American citron, orange and lemon peel.

This fruit cake manages a perfect balance between cake, nuts, fruit and rum - not too much of any one thing.

A 2-pound fruitcake serves 7-8.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Specialty Foods: Curry Dipping Sauce made in Greenville, New York

Now available with Curry in Specialty Foods:
Curry Dipping Sauce made in Greenville, New York

This sauce allows you to enjoy the sophisticated flavors of India without leaving the kitchen.

Imagine the flavors created by tomatoes, ginger, garlic, jalapenos, cilantro, onions and curry...a paradise for foodies.

Simmer chicken, lamb, beef, tofu or vegetables in this sauce, or add it to other sauces for an added kick.

Delicious over rice or as a sandwich spread.

Low in salt, calories and carbohydrates. No fat, gluten or cholesterol.

Music in the Market

Music in the Market: Now playing ♫ Thanksgiving ♫ by George Winston

Thanksgiving Day
Holidays
advertise on the Thanksgiving page

Home & Garden Center: Plant Growth Energizer

Now available with Fertilizers and Compost in Home and Garden Center:
Plant Growth Energizer from Grower's Secret in San Francisco, California

This product is bottled in 4-ounce bottles for homeowners with large properties, homeowners with landscape feeding systems, and for growers with one to five acres of crops.

Four fluid ounces of will treat 1 to 4 acres of crops, depending on the type of plants grown. It will also treat up to one acre of trees.

Use regularly to increase productivity and grow stronger plants that will be better able to withstand stress from the environment, pathogens, and pests.

Music in the Market

Music in the Market:
Now playing ♫ Mr. Know It All ♫ by Kelly Clarkson.

Handmade: Organic-Aquatic Art from Biloxi, Mississippi.

Now available with Artwork in Handmade:
Organic-Aquatic Clay, Glass and Canvas Art direct from the artist in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Made by artist Cindy Schafhirt, these blue and green volcanic glazed clay sculptures give you the feel of deep sea-life, adorned with sea turtles, palm trees, crabs and many other aquatic creatures.

Schafhirt was born on the island of Maui, of hapa (half) Portuguese-Hawaiian decent and spent many days playing on the Lahaina shores along side her fisherman grandfather. The Hawaiian and sea life influences are extremely evident in her artwork.

Baked Goods: Coffee Cake

Now available with Cakes and Cupcakes in Baked Goods:
Banana Walnut Coffee Cake from Littleton, Colorado

Slices of fresh ripe banana are layered into this sour cream coffee cake creating a moist banana and cinnamon flavored cake.
Kosher certified. Contains no trans fats, artificial flavoring, artificial coloring or preservatives

Cakes and Cupcakes
Baked Goods
add your cakes to the Buy Direct Directory

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Farmers Market Supply: Pastry Boxes

Now available in Farmers Market Supply: Pastry Boxes

These pastry boxes are quick and easy to assemble. With their clear acrylic covered windows, customers can view baked goods through the panel while the product stays fresh.

Perfect for packing pastries or other bakery items, the boxes are made of sturdy cardboard with a smooth finish.

Dimensions: 6-inch by 6-inch by 3-1/2-inch (15.24 by 15.24 by 8.9 centimeters).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Farm Kitchen: Apple and White Cheddar Scones

Now serving in the Farm Kitchen:
Apple and White Cheddar Scones

These simple apple and white Cheddar cheese scones echo the delightful sweet-savory contrast of that classic American pairing: apple pie and Cheddar cheese.

"There are times when you want something savory in the morning or perhaps in the later morning as you start to transition into lunch, and cheese lends just the right balance to these crumbly, apple and white Cheddar cheese scones," explains Bill Yosses, whose recipe is published in The Perfect Finish.

Recipe Archive
Farm Kitchen
Apples
The Perfect Finish
Scones

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cookies direct from Pine Island, New York

Now available with Cookies in Baked Goods:
Cookies direct from the baker in Pine Island, New York

In support of the local community in New York's Hudson Valley, this baker incorporates locally available ingredients wherever possible.

Handcrafted baked goods currently available include: Homemade Classic Cookies, Truffles, Linzer Cookies & Mini Linzer Tarts, Shortbread, Sugar Cookies, and Cupcakes.

Special orders for holiday and wedding occasions are also available.