Jul 302012

Since we began selling Rose Veal at the farmers market, I have had several customers ask for recipes for ground veal. I posted a blog last week on Pasta with Veal, Capers, and White Wine and today I have another great recipe for Veal Stuffed Peppers.

I also have a recipe for Awesome Meatloaf that I will post in coming weeks. It uses a trio of ground meats include pork, beef, and veal.

 stuffed pepper

stuffed peppers

 Veal Stuffed Peppers

  • 1/2-3/4 pound ground veal
  • 1/3 cup long grain rice
  • 2-4* large green peppers
  • Olive oil
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 tomato, finely diced with juices
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse rice under cold water. Put in small pan with 3/4 cup water and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover. Allow rice to sit for 15 minutes. Rice should be slightly soggy.

Slice the tops off of the peppers and remove seeds and stems. Dice tops, leaving the bottoms whole as they will serve as the bowls for the stuffing mix.

In a medium skillet brown veal and drain fat. Add celery, onion, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and tomato and cook until onions are translucent and vegetables start to soften. Salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium bowl, combine cooked rice, oregano, parsley, cooked veal and vegetables, cheese, and most of the breadcrumbs. Stir until evenly distributed.

Spoon stuffing mix into pepper bowls. Place in a loaf pan with one inch of water in the bottom. Sprinkle with additional panko bread crumbs.

Bake for 45 minutes.

When peppers are done remove from oven and top with additional cheese.

Note: As someone who tries to shop seasonally for vegetables from my local farmers market, I tend to improvise quite often in my recipes. I happened to have had beautiful dirt grown tomatoes and zucchinis when I wrote this recipe. Feel free to add, subtract, or swap based on your preferences. Other choices include various types of squash or eggplant. In the winter months I substitute stewed tomatoes.

*Because I add whatever vegetables I have on hand, my stuffing often outgrows my bowls. The above recipe is intended for two large peppers but I often end up with enough stuffing mix for four. If this is the case, simply stuff the extra two peppers and freeze them in a sealed baggy before cooking them. Later I pull them out, allow them to partially thaw, and then bake.

 Posted by at 12:30 pm
Jul 282012

Hardy breakfasts have always been a tradition in my family. Everyday my uncles got up early to go to the barn to milk cows. Sunrise was mid-morning to these boys! Their day began while it was still dark, rolling out of bed at 4:00 am. For the record, I am definitely not a morning person. Talking to me before my first cup of coffee should be done at one’s own risk. And I am not the only slug in the family.

Three of my uncles split the milking schedule so that two always milked in the morning and two always milked in the afternoon. The other uncle was in charge of field work. He got plenty of help when needed, but plowing, planting, and harvesting was his domain. Dad once told me a story of Grandad trying to get “field worker” uncle up in the morning to milk cows. After his third warning Grandad sent him to the barn in his underwear. Believable? Yes. This totally sounds like my family. Me? I preferred doing my chores once the sun was happily up to greet me (and I was fully dressed). However, my uncles and I never did agree on what time that was. ;-)

Once the morning milking was done and bottle calves fed, everyone would head to Grandma Hazel’s house for breakfast. And although cereal might be a great evening snack for this crowd, breakfast always meant plenty of eggs, bacon, and sausage… oh yes, and fresh milk!


Breakfast BLT

  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 4 fresh eggs
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 cup lettuce
  • 8 slices of bread (4 slices for open faced sandwiches)

Place bacon in large pan over medium heat. Turning every 2-3 minutes. Once bacon is done to your preference, remove from pan and place on paper towel on plate to absorb excess fat. Keep in mind that bacon will continue to cook after being removed from heat.

Meanwhile, slice tomato and wash lettuce.

Using a clean pan, add 2 tablespoons of bacon grease and heat over medium heat. Once hot, gently add eggs to pan being careful that they have enough room and do not touch. Fry only two at a time if necessary. For sunny side up, fry eggs until white is completely cooked and no longer clear. If you prefer firm yokes, carefully turn egg and continue cooking.

Once eggs are done, assemble sandwiches.

stiles brothers

Dad (second from left) and my Uncles, 1959

 Posted by at 11:30 am
Jul 262012
watermelon pickles

Watermelon Rind Pickles

I don’t remember my Grandmother Hazel canning, but most of what I remember was after her five sons had moved out and she was living alone. Corey’s great-grandmother however, canned everything! As she had either forgotten that all her children had left the nest or found it hopeless to convince PawPaw White not to plant their larger garden.

This is another one of Corey’s grandmothers, Nanny Bea. She was the cafeteria manager at the local high school for over thirty years. And in her day, every bit of food that came out of the school cafeteria was homemade with the freshest ingredients from hot cross buns to green beans seasoned with pork to cinnamon scented baked apples. And she lived her preference for real food at home with a garden the size of our entire backyard. Then again, she lived in a time when all food was real food.

This is Nanny Bea’s recipe for Watermelon Rind Pickles, an absolute I-will-not-share favorite of Corey’s.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

  • 1 large watermelon
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 6-8 sticks of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 2 quarts white vinegar
  • 16 cups sugar

Slice watermelon into one inch sections and remove all of the pink fruit. Using a potato peeler remove the green peel from rind so that you are left with only the white section of the rind. Cut rind into one inch squares.

Add to a large pan and cover with water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Simmer until rind is tender.

Drain. Chill rinds in very cold water preferably overnight but for at least two hours. Drain water. Set aside.

In another large pan, add vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil. Once boiling add cinnamon sticks, cloves tied in cheesecloth, and the drained watermelon. Simmer at a low boil until rind is clear and transparent.

Remove spice bag and cinnamon sticks. Pack the rinds into hot sterilized jars. Cover with the boiling hot syrup and seal immediately. Makes 6-8 pints.

Note: Depending on the size of the watermelon you may need more or less of the vinegar/sugar mixture.  This is fine. Just be sure to keep to a 2:1 ratio of two parts sugar to one part vinegar.

These pickles do not need to be processed in a water bath. Using hot jars and boiling hot syrup is sufficient to cause the jars to seal. After jars cool, test seals by pressing the center of each lid. If lid does not pop up and down it is sealed. If any lids do not seal properly within 24 hours, refrigerate and eat promptly.

 Posted by at 1:00 pm
Jul 262012


I found this old newspaper clipping of my dad and uncles in a Hecht Company ad in the Washington Post dated 8-19-1957. Left to right, Michael Stiles, Kenneth Stiles, and Dad, Blair Stiles, getting their calf, Playmate, ready for the Montgomery County (MD) Fair.


 Posted by at 1:23 am
Jul 252012

pasta and vealI found this recipe in an old Food & Wine magazine years ago. I originally made it with lamb and absolutely loved the saltiness of the capers. Recently I tried it with our Rose Veal and believe it may have been even better!

Pasta with Veal, Capers, and White Wine

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons small capers, rinsed
  • 3/4 pound pasta*
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/8 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons butter

In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add chopped onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until soft and translucent.

Add veal and cook until no longer pink.

Add white wine, turn heat up to medium high, boiling the wine until it has almost entirely evaporated. Reduce heat to medium. Add chicken stock, herbs, and capers and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook until al dente. Drain pasta and add to skillet along with cheese, parsley, and butter. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick and creamy. Serve immediately.

*I made it with campanelle pasta as that’s what I had on hand. Orecchietta pasta would have also been an excellent choice for this sauce.

Note: If your house is anything like mine, it is easy to get distracted and overcook this dish. This will result in too much evaporation of the liquids. If you do, simply add a little extra chicken stock before adding the cheese, parsley, and butter.

 Posted by at 1:00 pm
Jul 232012

Just a few weeks ago I told you Caprese Salad was my all time favorite summer side for just about any meat on the grill. Well give a women a surplus and one might be surprised with what she comes up with.

Corey has been after me to make Watermelon Rind Pickles. So off to the local farmers market I went and after a short discussion with the farmer’s wife, I chose a beautiful, oblong, seeded melon. Seeded? I *know*, with all those wonderful seedless varieties now. Turns out the seeded watermelon has a wonderfully thick white layer of rind, which is what I was after.

So now I was left with finding something to do with the rest of the melon. Or at least what was left after the kids and I got our fill. Then one night we had Summer Corn Chowder and hamburgers on the grill. Looking for something cool to balance the meal, I came up with this super easy Watermelon Salad.



Watermelon Salad

  • Watermelon, 1 inch cubes
  • Feta Cheese, crumbled
  • Basil, chiffonade
  • Balsamic vinegar

Cut watermelon into one inch cubes and add to medium size bowl.

Sprinkle with a good amount of feta cheese and basil, enough to get some in every bite.

Then drizzle with a small amount of balsamic vinegar. Toss and serve.

Note: The first time I made this salad, I simply sprinkled the salad with a little salt (pictured above). And although it was good, it was missing something. The second time through I chose an aged balsamic vinegar instead, which really jazzed it up. Definitely go with the balsamic vinegar!

 Posted by at 12:07 pm
Jul 202012

With so much of Corey’s family within a five mile radius I have had the privilege of hearing quite a few stories about Corey’s great-grandmother, affectionately known as Mama Childs. She was a true farmer’s wife, canning in the summer, being known for the best applesauce cake in five counties, and raising backyard chickens. What I wouldn’t do for a chicken coop like the one she had.

It was gorgeous even from a distance. It was painted a beautiful dark green color to blend in with her gardens and circular with one door. I never saw it up close, but I would guess that it was at least twelve feet across. Every morning she would let her proud brood out and every evening back in they would go. Corey remembers more than once helping her chase a new chicken out of her garden and back to the coop for the night. I never met Mama Childs, but I know I would have loved her company. Anyone who is famous for talking to her chickens is all right by me.

fresh eggs

farm eggs

Fun Chicken Facts

Chickens are omnivores. They’ll eat seeds and insects but also larger prey, like small mice and lizards.

There is no distinct difference in the taste between brown eggs and white eggs. What makes a difference is diet. Pasture raised chickens have darker, richer yokes due to the diversity in what they eat.

A top producing commercial hen can lay over 300 eggs per year. Most of the heritage breeds of chickens here on our farm lay somewhere between 220-280 eggs each year.

The record for egg laying was set in the 1920’s when a hen laid 364 eggs in 365 days.

One of the downsides to fresh eggs is that they are notorious for being hard to peal. Solution? Try steaming them.

deviled eggsDeviled Egg Recipe

  • 6 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon of vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of sugar

Begin by placing your eggs in a vegetable steamer set over water. Be sure to give them plenty of elbow room. Steam for 10 minutes covered. Remove from heat and run cold water over eggs to cool quickly.

Once eggs are cooled completely, peel. Using a sharp knife cut eggs in half lengthwise. Put cooked egg yolks into a medium bowl, while putting egg whites carefully on a tray or plate.

Using a fork, mash egg yolks until they resemble a fine crumble. Add mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Mix well.

Spoon the egg yolk mixture into egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

 Posted by at 12:56 pm
Jul 182012

I absolutely love soup and enjoy fixing it year round. I consider it the ultimate lunch, regardless of whether it is a light fare or approaching a hearty stew. Pair soup with a rustic bread and a green salad and dinner is served.

Sweet corn being one of my favorite seasonal vegetables and the very essence of summer, I couldn’t wait to create this easy summertime chowder. Growing up on dairy farms, both Corey’s and my family use to plant acres and acres of corn for silage for the milk cows. Unfortunately field corn is not the same as sweet corn. It is exponentially tougher and without the sweet, tender flavor that makes even the most proper of us eat it like we are manual typewriters. The solution? Our families always planted two rows of sweet corn around the outside of the corn fields.

corn chowder

corn on cob

I typically use a chicken stock as the base for most of my chowders, but for this yummy summer soup, I decided to kick up the flavor with a homemade corn broth. Should you prefer, you can always substitute low salt chicken stock for the corn stock.

Summer Corn Chowder


  • 6 ears of corn on the cob
  • 7-8 cups of corn stock
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 ½ cups light cream
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 4-5 basil leaves, chiffonade

  1. Place corn in a large pan, add enough water to cover. Boil for ten minutes. Remove corn, let cool. Reserve water.
  2. Once the corn is cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife and cut corn off the cob. Use the back of your knife and run the knife up and down the cob to remove the last bits of corn clinging to the cob. Put corn in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use. Use cobs to make corn stock (see below).
  3. Slice bacon into 1” pieces. Add to large soup pan and cook over medium heat. Cook until bacon is crisp but not burnt. Remove half of the bacon and set aside for garnish. If there is more than 2-3 tablespoons of grease in the pan, drain extra grease.
  4. Add celery and onions. Cook until soft. Add thyme to mixture and stir for 1 minute allowing herb to infuse oils in pan.
  5. Add corn, potatoes, and stock to pan (if necessary add chicken stock to corn stock to make approximately 7 cups). Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.
  6. Once potatoes are tender add cream. Continue cooking over low heat until warm. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Place chowder in bowls. Top with fresh diced tomatoes, bacon, and basil.
  8. Excellent in soups, risotto, or any recipe calling for vegetable stock.

Cream tends to curdle if add to piping hot stock. This can be prevented by tempering the cream. First place cream in a large bowl. Add a small amount of hot soup slowly and stir. Continue adding small amounts until cream is the same temperature as the soup. Once warm, add to the soup. The heavier the cream the less likely it will be to curdle. If you need to reheat soup later, remember to heat over low heat slowly as heating too fast can cause the cream to break. Due to the cream and potatoes, this soup does not hold up well to freezing. To make Corn Stock you will need: Reserved water (see above) 6 corn cobs, kernels removed 1 bay leaf 3 sprigs of thyme 3-4 peppercorns Add corn cobs to the reserved water from cooking corn. Add additional water if necessary so that cobs are covered. Add bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorn. Simmer over medium heat for 1½ hours. Strain, discard solids, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Corn stock is excellent in soups, risotto, or any recipe calling for vegetable stock.

 Posted by at 3:01 pm
Jul 162012

caprese salad

As one might expect, I am truly a meat and potatoes kind of girl. There are exceptions of course, for example Insalata Caprese or Caprese Salad. I will plan an entire meal around this dish! And it’s super easy to make.

Layer sliced tomatoes, sliced mozzarella cheese, and basil. (Normally I layer them overlapping slightly on a plate. I placed them directly on top of each other here for a more interesting photo.)

Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

For a little extra spice we often add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes or drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top.

My favorite summer meal?

Grilled farm fresh hamburgers topped with Gorgonzola cheese, corn on the cob, and Caprese salad. ♥ For me it doesn’t get any better than this!

What’s your favorite summer meal?

 Posted by at 10:40 pm
Jul 152012

Chicken is one of my favorite proteins. Nothing beats a good chicken stock and nutritious soup when feeling under the weather or brings everyone home for Sunday dinner like a slow roasted chicken with root vegetables. And when the heat spikes in the summer it is the go to meat for an easy and light salad.

Here are two of my favorites.

orchard chicken salad

Orchard Chicken Salad

  • 5 boneless, skinless cooked chicken breast, cut into small cubes
  • 2 medium apples, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • salt & pepper, to taste

In a large bowl toss chicken, apples, celery, raisins, and cranberries.

Season with celery salt, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix in mayonnaise.

Serve chilled in lettuce cups or on brioche rolls.

curry chicken salad

 Curry Chicken Salad

  • 4 boneless, skinless cooked chicken breast, cut into small cubes
  • 3/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green  parts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
  • 1 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 tablespoons chutney
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder

In a large bowl toss chicken, celery, scallions, raisins, and nuts.

For dressing, mix mayonnaise, white wine, chutney, and curry powder in medium size bowl. Blend until smooth using a hand whisk.

Add dressing to chicken and other ingredients, stir gently until thoroughly coated.

For best results let sit in refrigerator for an hour to allow flavors to blend. Serve chilled in lettuce cups or on brioche rolls.

Here in the South, we don’t have to look hard for a good reason to get together for a summer tea with finger sandwiches. These salads work great on sliced mini croissant rolls or served in preformed wonton cups. Both were a favorite at our local garden club luncheons.

Going to a summer get together? What sandwich tops your list?

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 Posted by at 1:26 pm