We are getting through a project that has been on our list for 11 years. Our house was built-in typical south Florida style with a simple front porch that is just not deep enough to be useful. I have always wanted one of those real southern porches or verandas that’s deep enough to have a bunch of rocking chairs and potted plants….maybe a small bistro set. Flowering baskets hanging from the columns.
So Finally Hubby set about making it happen. We have tried to get to this project so many times but real life kept getting in the way. It’s finally happening. We have a gorgeous deep front porch that runs the full length of the house. It is so welcoming!!!!! It’s not finished yet but it’s about half way complete. The floor is done just about but the walk way and columns are left to do. This new porch is going to allow us a really lovely place to sit and enjoy our front garden. We planted that garden years ago and it is finally mature. We have budah belly bamboo, cranium lilies, butterfly bushes, a huge mango tree, an enormous gardenia bush….a full collection of bromeliads, figs and pineapples, oh and crape myrtle’s too (too many more to mention). It is just lovely. We are so excited to finally be able to sit out there away from the sun enjoying watching the bees and butterflies enjoy the plants we selected just for them.
We also both feel that there is just something about a true front porch that tells people to come visit, sit and stay a while. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to sitting out there with friends and family sipping on homemade lemonade watching the children play. Some dreams are huge and really hard or perhaps next to impossible to reach. This one thankfully was not one of those. Should you come to visit me here on the tiny farm….We will rock in chairs, nibbling on something I baked because I knew you were coming while we sip on something that goes happily along with whatever it was I baked. I can’t wait!!!
Oh!!! I almost forgot!!!!! How could I forget!!!! We are in the process of buying a tiny baby mini-pig!!!!! Here on our tiny farm a full-sized pig is just not possible. Pigs have been a favorite of mine for years. I adore them. They are so smart and sweet. So, someone mentioned the mini-tea cup pig. Once we looked into it, we found a breeder down in the Florida keys who has 1 female tiny piglet left from her last litter. She is only 3 weeks old right now and is pink with grey spots. She has blue eyes and is (I am told) as sweet as can be. We have a deposit on her and are supposed to pick her up Friday the 23rd. I say supposed to because I refuse to get too excited before it’s all done (I am terribly excited but am choosing not to admit it to myself). Here is a photo….
Is that little piglet adorable or what????? So, if all things work out as we hope she will be here with us in a just a couple of weeks. I can tell you right now she will be my side kick. I will be out and about with this sweet little baby in tow. The kids at school will go simply mad for her. I help teach a gardening workshop at school once a week and have brought chickens and Daisy the goat to visit with the children. They are so happy to see farm animals. There is just something about farm animals and kids…they go together like peanut butter and jam. Ok, I will admit to you (it’s a secret…I haven’t told our kids) that I am so excited about this little piggy. I don’t dare tell the kids until I have pig in hand.
In the meantime, we are getting ready for holidays. I love to play with hors d’ oeuvres so I can have a really fun menu put together to serve our friends and family. Tonight I made puff pastry “cups” filled with a very savory filling of spinach, feta and parmesan cheeses, and some spices to end up with a terrific little tasty bit to serve guests. These are super easy and extremely flavorful!!!! They were gone before I even had a chance to pour a glass of wine for Hubby and I to enjoy with them. Even the kids went crazy for them!
I found the original recipe in this months bon appetite magazine. I made some significant changes to the recipe as they printed it. I am positive my changes are for the better. The filling as they published it was very bland and not to my taste at all. I like an hors d’ oeuvre to be small but boldly flavored. I could and have made a meal out of hors d’ oeuvres. I just love em’! Every once in a while we make 15 different ones and serve them all night on Christmas Eve instead of the sit down dinner people expect. We like to keep people guessing.
Puff Pastry Cups fill with Spinach, Feta and Parmesan Cheese ~ Tamatha Mavraides
1 (10 oz.) package of frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained well
4 ounces of good quality feta cheese
1/2 cup of best quality grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh dill finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh garlic finely chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Sea salt and fresh pepper seasoned to taste
2 large eggs
1 sheet of puff pastry homemade or store-bought
Here we go….
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a mini muffin tin well. I use a muffin tin with removable bottoms….
Make sure you have removed as much of the water from the spinach as is possible. If you leave too much water in the spinach your filling will be too wet and the pastry won’t crisp up as it should.
In a bowl, combine the spinach, onions, garlic, dill, cheeses and seasonings and 1 beaten egg. Mix this really well.
Next, lay out you pastry on a lightly floured board. Roll it out just a little bit being sure to keep the dough even. With your knife, cut the dough lengthwise into three strips. Cut each strip into four squares.
With your fingers, pull the dough out just a bit. Gently tuck the dough squares into the wells of the muffin tin. Take a scoop of filling enough to fill the cup almost to the top and set it into the dough cup. Pinch the dough together at the top only from the corners…
Repeat until all 12 of the cups are filled. Now brush the pastry tops with the remaining egg. Bake the spinach cups at 425 degrees until they are nicely browned and puffed. In my oven (on convection) tis took about 18 minutes. Don’t go by time go by color.
Here they are….
They are really so good. These will be served to our guests as they arrive on Thanksgiving.