Monday, September 1, 2014

Summery Mango Upside Down Cake

It's almost the end of the unofficial last day of Summer!

Summer's last hurrah before it's Fall's turn to shine, and what fruit could be more fitting to end Summer on than mangoes?

And what about pineapple?


Nothing, I tell you, which is what makes this dessert a perfect ending to any Summer cookout, including ours.

Ingredients:

1 1/3 c cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 stick of butter, softened
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c Greek yogurt
2/3 c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 c fresh pineapple, diced

Upside Down Topping:
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 c packed brown sugar
2 ripe Mangoes

1) Start by cutting the ends off of the pineapple. Then begin peeling the pineapple by slicing down the outside lengthwise.

After that, if there are still little brown eyes left on the pineapple (and there will be), then you can either remove those one by one with a small paring knife or cut them out in a diagonal, like this.

Then, cut the pineapple in half and then quarters. Now, you can easily use a small knife to remove the fibrous core. Then, chop each pineapple quarter into very small pieces.

2) Then the mangoes.

Now, I'm just going to go ahead and admit that I can count the number of times I've cooked with mangoes on three fingers (and that's including this recipe), so I am by far no expert, not even an amateur, at peeling and slicing a mango.

In fact, if there was a contest to see who could do it the fastest. . . . well, I wouldn't even be dead last. So, if you're like me and all thumbs when it comes to this specific fruit, my best advice is to Google it. I did, and do you know what? My slices still ended up being a little wonky. But there were a few that were usable. And the rest, well, let's just say, they may not have been pretty, but they were delicious.

3) Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.  Then, in a large mixing bowl, cream together one stick of softened butter and the granulated sugar. Add the egg and blend together.

Add the Greek yogurt and vanilla extract, mixing well.

4) Combine the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.


Add to the butter and Greek yogurt mixture in thirds, mixing well after each addition.

5) Fold in about a cup of the finely diced fresh pineapple.

6) Place two tablespoons of butter in an iron skillet and melt in the preheated over. Remove once it's completely melted and sprinkle a 1/4 cup of brown sugar in the bottom of the skillet.


7) Line the bottom of the skillet with the mango slices.


Once that's done, top with the cake batter using a spatula to spread it evenly. 

8) Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 - 40 minutes or until an inserted tester  comes out clean.


9) Remove the cake from the oven (being careful as skillet will be very hot) and let it cool for about 15 minutes before unmolding.


Run a small knife around the edge of the cake to help loosen it from the pan. Place a serving platter on top of skillet and invert.


A little vanilla bean ice cream and enjoy!


Note: I have a few more pictures of this cake to post, however, our internet has been really slow today and just isn't cooperating with uploading all of the pictures (honestly, it's taken me all afternoon to get these up). Luckily, tomorrow is reset day :), so I'll try then. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

You know you live in the country when. . . .

Any watermelon left outside unattended, for even a minute, becomes fair game to a pack of chickens ready for a mid-afternoon snack.


Yeah, that literally took them like two minutes to accomplish while I was unloading the car. And after seeing the dent they'd made in it, I threw my hands up and said, "Go ahead and enjoy." And believe me, they certainly did. Silly birds *shakes head* ;)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Monster Papaya.

You read that right, and it is definitely a monster of a papaya tree.


I bought this cute little plant (barely a foot tall in height at the time) off the clearance shelf back in May. Three bucks - uh-uh, no way I was gonna pass that up! If you've read this blog long, then you know I'm all about a good clearance sale.

So, I brought it home (along with a few other clearance plants. . . . okay, more like ten. Ish.) and planted it at the very edge of our hillside close to the waterfowl breeding pens thinking, 'Well, putting it here, maybe it'll help a little with the erosion.' Because erosion has been the buzzword this year on our farm.

Living on a hill is good for some things (like, say, if you're worried about flooding), but it's not good if you have what seems like, literally, a 1000 springs on your scant six acres of property. Those two things do not always mix well. In fact, they can be downright nightmarish.

But enough about my nightmares and back to The Monster Papaya. Which just sounds nightmarish. It's actually not.

My tiny, lil old papaya plant has taken on a life of its own and is now almost as tall as I am (and this girl is about 5'11"). And I swear to you, every time I look at it, it's bigger. Really, it is.


But I suspect, it's not down to some radiation inspired Hulk-like growth or anything else of that nature. Or let's hope not. No, it's probably the rich fertilizer from the waterfowl that has lead to such a huge growth spurt.

And do you know what, it's just loaded with little papayas.

Now, before I sign off, I have a little confession to make. . . . I don't even really like papayas. :/

Huh, maybe that's the nightmarish part this post. All those papayas. What am I gonna do? :/ Hmm.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Happy 86th!!!

Guess who celebrated their 86th birthday yesterday?

Grandma did!



Of course, we had to have a little celebration. With cake. You can never forget cake! And ice cream. If you have birthday cake, you gotta have ice cream, am I right?


Bryony even got in a festive mood, and you gotta know I'm going to post the obligatory dog-in-a-hat photo. Or tiara, in this case.

Bryony does love her Grandma. And the feeling is mutual. In fact, I overheard G-ma talking to Bry the other day and telling her, "Who's Grandmama's pretty baby? You are!" They've even started taking naps together every afternoon ;) But enough about that, and back to the real message of this post. . . . 

Happy Birthday Grandma!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

In Remembrance.

In remembrance of my Grandpa, Wayne, who died Thursday night after being hospitalized for nearly a week (You can read the post on our Facebook page about what happened here).

He loved golf and his family, and always had candy (in my case, since it was my favorite, bubblegum) on hand to give out.


You will be missed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Look.

If you've visited lately, you may have noticed something a little new.

Over the years, this blog has gone through many makeovers:



And those few above are just the ones that Wayback Machine has archived. What can I say? I change my mind. A lot. Word of warning, don't go shopping with me. We're talking Indecisive City. But I digress.

They all had their pros and cons, but my favorite was the chicken wire design from The Cutest Blog On The Block. As cute as it was (and so perfectly themed for my blog that I literally let out a verbal, "Ooooh," when I found it), it took a while to load. Or at least it did on my country internet connection.

Which is slow to say the least. Not quite as bad as dial up standards, but not far from it. By the way, in case you're wondering, that's one of the few cons of living in the country. . . stone age internet. Anyone that is considering a move to bucolic surroundings, be warned.

But back to the blog. This new look. . . I like it! And I think (after a few tweaks), it's going to be hanging around for a while. Plus, it has the one thing that I've always included almost from the very beginning: pictures of the animals. They provide most of the material for this blog, so, naturally they need to be one of the first things you see.

For any new followers, here's a little lowdown on who the animals at the top of the page are: (Clockwise, left to right) Mose the donkey (along with a couple of goats), Chickens (a Cream Legbar hen and three of the Naked Necks), Marigold (our resident indecisive goat - she and I have a lot in common), and our farm poodle, Bryony. [Click on the links to be taken to posts featuring those animals]

Something else new - The Country Chick button.

The Country Chick

Monday, August 4, 2014

You know you live in the country when. . .

Not only do your two-legged human neighbors visit, but your feathered fowl neighbors do too.



These guys have been over here so much lately that I'm starting to think we've adopted them. Our neighbors wanted to know a few days ago if the birds were bothering us (and to send them home if they were).


The answer was, of course. . . Nope. We're pretty chicken-friendly people, after all. And you know what? This is what I love about living in the country. The friendliness, the slower pace, and yep, the visits from our neighborly chickens.




Sunday, August 3, 2014

Maiden Hill Farm Summer Giveaway Winner.

And we have a winner!



Congratulations Nicole! I will be contacting you about your prizes in just a bit.

A big thank you to everyone who entered and remember to stay tuned for more giveaways in the future.

And if you didn't win, but would still like to purchase one of the many items available in our shop, visit Maiden Hill Farm on Etsy here (use code 10OFFMHF to receive 10% off your order).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

You know you live in the country when . . . .

A turkey on your porch is pretty common. Among other types of farm animals.



Pictured above: Snoody. Or his full proper name (which I'm sure he absolutely loves and probably because it makes him feel so much more important than Jim Bob. And when you're dealing with Jim Bob, our resident alpha bird, that matters.) Count Von Snoody. 

That's right, because all of our animals are named. 

Except the guineas. Yeah, they're a little too fast and a little too doppelgangerish for me to give them names.

And the quail. For the same reasons. 

By the way, Jim Bob, meanwhile, was standing at the bottom of the steps staring up at Snoody. I sort of think Snoody was having an "I'm the King of the World. . . . and you're not!" moment with him.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

#HowDoesMyGardenGrow

So, how does my garden grow? Me of the seemingly eternal gardening killer thumb, that is.

Well, I think I may have finally made progress on the turning-said thumb-green front. Oh yeah. I'm feeling good about it :)

See for yourself:


Tomatoes!! My very first tomatoes!!! I'm so excited. Can you tell?

I have so many tomatoes, I don't know what to do with them all. I'm almost to the point of chasing random strangers down on the street and handing them a tomato.



More tomatoes.

And more.

I told you.

But I'm not complaining. Really, I'm not. I'm just super proud of being able to say that I'm finally a true Southern woman because the one thing that all Southern women are supposed to be able to do is grow tomatoes. And despite being born and raised here all my life, that's one thing that has eluded me. But I can now finally join the club :)

There's also Clemson Spineless okra that has just started producing.


And little baby okra. 


If you follow any of our farm/blog social media accounts then you know I'm very much looking forward to one dish in particular. . . scrambled okra. Literally the best stuff ever. If you're an okra lover, that is. If you're not, then the worst stuff ever. Good thing I happen to be of the loverly variety. Ooh, and if you're wondering what scrambled okra is (and there's a good chance you are because I've been asked more than once). . . it is basically just sliced okra sauteed in a little oil. Indescribably good.

And as soon as I have enough to make a dish of it, I'll be sure to share it with y'all.

Back to the garden.

There was also yellow squash planted in the garden. Emphasis on was. 

And they were huge with little baby squash just beginning to form - thanks to my secret weapon (more on that in a minute). Until the ducks developed a taste for squash. Oh well, at least I've learned a lesson for the future. . . . make sure the ducks can't get to them. 

My new feverfew that I was given in April by the Satsuma Lady (She grows, among many other things, satsumas. Of course.) has been blooming for several weeks.  


And we have pineapple sage. Which really is very pineappley. 


A little strawberry. 


Not surprisingly, no blueberries. But that will change.

I was told recently during a conversation, "If you want blueberries, get three or four bushes and in a couple of years, you'll be drowning in blueberries." Which lead me to say, "Three or four? But I have six planted." So, to all local readers and berry lovers, in a couple of years look for us (and a mountain of blueberries, of course) at the Enterprise farmer's market. 

And now on to my secret weapon that has really made a huge difference this year. 


That's right! The goats. I really should thank them for helping to make some extra effective compost for me. Thanks guys!!


Now, if I can just keep my two escapees (Clara and Rosalie) out of the garden.