Friday, December 14, 2018

Red and Green Deviled Eggs

If you are looking for the delicious, festive deviled egg dish shared on The Hub Today on NBC, here is the full recipe to delight your family and friends this holiday season. Happy entertaining from The Country Hen! 
  • 6 large Country Hen Eggs
  • 1 small avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon sweet relish
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced

  1. Add the eggs to a medium saucepan and cover them with enough water so that it's 1 inch above the eggs. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil. Once the water boils, cover the pan, turn off the heat and allow the eggs to cook for 12 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water and carefully peel them.
  2. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise. Set aside the whites and add the yolks to a medium bowl.
  3. To the bowl with the yolks, add the avocado, mayonnaise, mustard and sweet relish. Mash together the mixture with a fork then taste and season it with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a star tip (optional) or sealable plastic bag. Pipe the mixture into the egg whites then garnish each deviled egg with three pieces of diced red pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Red and Green Frittata

  • 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach, or 1 bunch spinach, washed and stemmed
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut in small dices
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced
  • 10 fresh marjoram leaves, chopped
  • Salt
  • 8 large Country Hen Eggs
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons low-fat milk
  1. Steam the spinach above in an inch of boiling water until just wilted, about two minutes; or wilt in a large frying pan with the water left on the leaves after washing. Remove from the heat, rinse with cold water and squeeze out excess water. Chop fine and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy 10-inch nonstick skillet. Add the bell peppers. Cook, stirring often, until tender, five to eight minutes. Add the garlic and salt to taste, stir for about 30 seconds, and stir in the chopped spinach and the marjoram. Stir together for a few seconds, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Stir in the salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), pepper, milk, spinach and red peppers. Clean and dry the pan, and return to the burner, set on medium-high. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet. Drop a bit of egg into the pan; if it sizzles and cooks at once, the pan is ready. Pour in the egg mixture. Tilt the pan to distribute the eggs and filling evenly over the surface. Shake the pan gently, tilting it slightly with one hand while lifting up the edges of the frittata with a spatula in your other hand, to let the eggs run underneath during the first few minutes of cooking.
  4. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook 10 minutes, shaking the pan gently every once in a while. From time to time, remove the lid, tilt the pan, and loosen the bottom of the frittata with a wooden spatula so that it doesn’t burn. The bottom should turn a golden color. The eggs should be just about set; cook a few minutes longer if they’re not.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the broiler. Uncover the pan and place under the broiler, not too close to the heat, for one to three minutes, watching very carefully to make sure the top doesn’t burn (at most, it should brown very slightly and puff under the broiler). Remove from the heat, shake the pan to make sure the frittata isn’t sticking, and allow it to cool for at least five minutes and for as long as 15 minutes. Loosen the edges with a wooden or plastic spatula. Carefully slide from the pan onto a large round platter. Cut into wedges or into smaller bite-size diamonds. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature or cold.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Festive and Surprisingly Easy Macaroons

Just four ingredients and oh, so tasty! These Macaroons will surely be a family favorite for the holidays.
2 Country Hen organic eggs
14 oz bag of shredded coconut
6 oz granulated sugar
Maraschino Cherries (optional)

·        Preheat oven to 350
·        Mix all ingredients together with your hands to make        sure it is all incorporated well, then use a spoon or            small ice cream scoop to round out the macaroons.
·        Bake at 350 for 18 – 20 minutes or until browned on        the tops.
·        After they cool, take them off the pan and sprinkle            powdered sugar on top through a sifter
Garnish with  Maraschino Cherries or mint leaves (optional)

Friday, December 7, 2018

Great Holiday Brunch Entree

This delightful brunch recipe is called Squash and Egg Casserole. We received this recipe from a friend and decided to give it a try. This was positively delicious!
                             RECIPE NAME: SQUASH AND EGG CASSEROLE
2 CUPS Butternut Squash Grated
2 TBSP Milk
2 Slices of cooked bacon cut up or crumbled
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450 
Mix all ingredients but the cheese together and pour into a lightly greased baking dish. Top with cheese then bake for 40 min (until eggs are firm)
Submitted by Ele Neumann

Friday, November 30, 2018

FARMily Gatherings around the Holidays

FARMily Gatherings around the Holidays
This time of year seems energized with a magic all it's own. Here in New England we feel a special connection to traditions handed down through generations steeped in a rich and timeless history. Times do change and each new generation adds it's own unique interpretation on these traditions that honor the past but at the same time embrace and include new and modern advances. Gathering together to share a special meal with people we hold dear remains as perhaps the most stalwart tradition of them all. The menu may change from year to year as families explore new flavors, tastes,  textures and even cooking methods but the spirit and nostalgia borne with the gathering of folks we hold dear prevails. This is perhaps the best opportunity for each of us to express just how grateful we are to be around people we hold dear in our hearts. What better way to demonstrate how much these folks mean to us than by serving a dish made special for them by loving hands. If you're like us, you want your family to know they deserve the very best. Country Hen Organic eggs make every recipe and dish the best it can be. We sincerely hope you and yours continue to enjoy our exceptional eggs in good health always and may your holiday gatherings bring you warmth and lasting happiness. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Hardy Country Fried Steak and Baked Potato with Egg is another favorite among our Country Hen farmers Find the recipes here: Hardy Country Fried Steak and Baked Potato with Egg

Swimming in Savory Gravy Country Fried Steak is great for pot luck dinners

Egg in Baked Potato - Great combination of flavors. Find the recipe here:Baked potato with Country Hen Eggs a real treat on a chilly day
Try these variations: Add your favorite shredded cheese, ham or bacon to make this a loaded baked potato with egg.

I had a lot of fun putting these recipes together for the folks on the farm. The fact that these can be held in warm oven and crock pot for a good long while makes them ideal to bring to pot luck gatherings.

And for Dessert...

This Key Lime Pie was sooo tasty!
The recipe can be viewed here: Sweet and Yummy Key Lime Pie 

One of our Country Hen Farmer''s Favorites from our Website: One of our Farm Favorites

Farm Cheese Quiche

• 12 Country Hen eggs
• 4 C. Milk 
• 2 pkg (8 oz.) Cream Cheese (16 oz. total)
• 1/3 C. Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
• 2 Tbsp. Chopped Green Onions
• 2 ½ Tsp. Salt
• ½ Tsp Oregano
• ¼ Tsp Ground Pepper
2 Ready Made Pie Crusts can be substituted if you wish.
For homemade pie crust in 9 X 12 inch baking pan: 
• 4 c. flour (for homemade pie crust)
• 1 C. Shortening (for homemade pie crust)
• 7 Tbsp. Ice Water (for homemade pie crust)


Preheat Oven To 350*

Combine The Flour And Salt In A Bowl And Mix Well.

Cut In Shortening Until Crumbly Then Add The Water Stirring Until The Mixture Forms A Ball. Roll The Dough On A Lightly Floured Surface To Fit The Bottom Of A 9 X 12 Inch Baking Pan. (Note, ready made pie crust can be substituted if you wish) Place In Pan And Sprinkle With The Jarlsberg & Gruyere Cheeses. Beat The Cream Cheese In A Mixer Until Smooth. Add The Eggs 1 At A Time Beating After Each. Add The Milk, Parmesan, Green Onions, Salt, Oregano And Pepper Beating Until Mixed. 

Spoon Into Baking Pan And Bake 45 Minutes Or Until Set.

Yield: 12 servings
This recipe can be cut in half to make one 9 inch pie quiche for 6 servings.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Stars May Be Born in the Bright Lights of Broadway, but Our Stars Shine Brighter in Our Candling Booth

          We would love to welcome every fan of The Country Hen to our farm. Unfortunately, that is not possible, but we still want to open our virtual doors to you. Welcome to a series of posts that will take you through our special farm – from specially formulated feed to sunlit barns to the processing that prepares our organic omega eggs for your table.
                If you missed the previous entries, catch up here: Lets Visit Our Country Hens 

          This is our candling booth where the very experience hands and eyes of our two Candlers are viewing the interior of our exceptional eggs as they gently roll over bright lights that illuminate any imperfections like tiny hairline cracks on the shells. One very happy coincidence I like to tell folks is the name of our most experienced Candler, Lumen. Lumen is also the name of a measurement of light if you look it up in a dictionary. Our Lumen has been doing this important work here in our FARMily for more than fourteen years and she does an exemplary job to be sure. Our Lumen also has a very bright and sunny disposition offering up a stunning smile and a friendly greeting of “hello” whenever she passes by.
           I am reminded of the bit in that movie called Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory where the character Veruca Salt stands on a scale and is determined to be a “bad egg” before she drops down a chute to be discarded. We don’t have a piece of equipment like that to determine which eggs are good or not. We have Lumen instead, and she is not only more fun to work with than some lifeless scale, she is also much more efficient than Willie Wonka’s fictitious method. Both of our Candlers can spot a bad egg and remove it quick as lightning to make sure only the very best quality eggs move on from this station to the Egg Grader weighing station that will sort them into their respective size categories.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Let's Visit Our Country Hens

                      We would love to welcome every fan of The Country Hen to our farm. Unfortunately, that is not possible, but we still want to open our virtual doors to you. Welcome to a series of posts with videos that will take you through our special farm – from specially formulated feed to sunlit barns to the processing that prepares our organic omega eggs for your table. For our previous posts in this series, see our tour of the processing plant.

          Let’s visit our girls! First stop is biosecurity at the shower house and a fresh clean bio-secure coverall uniform, ball cap or head cover, clean rubber boots and a sanitizing footbath. We do not want to carry any potential hazards into the barns with us. Now that we are dressed appropriately let’s go inside to say hello. In our barns, you’ll see lovely ladies all enjoying each other’s company and all the “creature comforts” of their sunlit barns and porches. We love to pamper our girls and watch them enjoy their lives in our care. Whether indoors during the frigid winter months or outdoors on the specially designed porches during warmer weather, the girls have plenty of space to engage in all their natural behaviors. Thick litter fills the scratch areas where the ladies can dust-bathe, sunbathe, scratch and peck to their heart’s content. We even provide them with some simple toys to keep them active and happy. Some of the girls enjoy mobile-like shiny objects suspended from above or lengths of hemp rope naile, others love to kick and peck at brightly colored balls and empty water bottles with a few pebbles contained inside so they rattle when the hens play “football” with them. On a raised level beside the scratch area, you will find the “food court” where our feed is available from sunup to sundown for any and all to enjoy at their leisure. A very innovative track shuttles feed along from the silo down the length of the barn in a little trough that has square dish-like links forming a chain. Everyone can have as much as they can eat whenever they like!
                I love the chirring sound of happy hens and you can hear the girls chattering in chorus even before you step inside.  Our barn workers (a.k.a. chicken tenders) come to bond with their flocks so well that they can tell from the sounds the hens make whether everything is as it should be or if there might be something wrong. The hens are gentle creatures but they are also very skittish and so we must walk slowly so as not to startle them when we visit with them. Some of our workers keep music playing for the hens while walking the floors and along the benches looking for floor eggs, equipment failure and perhaps any of our feathered friends that may be feeling under the weather.
                We care for a few different breeds of hen here at our farm. The breeds are chosen based on how well they are suited to the climate here in Massachusetts. Perhaps you will recall an old advertising slogan “brown eggs are local eggs and local eggs are fresh”. Brown eggs come from brown hens and brown hens have proven to be better suited to the kinds of winters we get in New England. Believe me, winters here are not a peaceful and serene as you might imagine when looking at a Norman Rockwell painting or listening to carols about a White Christmas. We heat our henhouses to keep the hens warm and cozy even through our girls are better suited to this cold climate than their white-egg-laying cousins living in the southern states. The color of the egg does not have any bearing on nutritional quality. A brown egg has exactly the same nutritional value as a white egg as long as the hens that are producing them are eating the same manner of diet. The nutrients the hens eat become concentrated in the eggs those hens produce. Better nutrition going in means better nutrition coming out!

Our Eggs Take a Wild Ride

           We would love to welcome every fan of The Country Hen to our farm. Unfortunately, that is not possible, but we still want to open our virtual doors to you. Welcome to a series of posts with videos that will take you through our special farm – from specially formulated feed to sunlit barns to the processing that prepares our organic omega eggs for your table. For our previous posts in this series, see our tour of our feed mill.

       The eggs move from the loading conveyor into the Diamond 8200 Egg Grader we affectionately nicknamed “Bertha” That nickname might be better suited to an incubator room at a hatchery though, but someone tagged the machine with this name and it just stuck. Soft cushioned suction gently lifts our exceptional eggs to begin their journey through a gentle rinse, wash, sanitizing process that resembles a miniature automatic carwash of sorts. The eggs travel along on rollers that turn and continually spin each egg so the entire surface of the egg gets clean as they proceed through this hulking piece of equipment.  The eggs pass through a spray rinse followed by a gentle scrubbing wash with rolling brushes and then on through yet another sanitizing rinse before moving on to the candling booth. Watching the eggs being lifted this way reminds me of some of those wild rides they have at amusement parks you see advertised. Lucky for us eggs don’t need a ticket to have fun on this little water-park ride.
                Here is an interesting bit of trivia for you; hens deposit a natural “bloom” membrane coating called a cuticle on the outside of every egg that provides a barrier to prevent bacteria from getting inside the eggs. In some European countries it is illegal to remove this bloom from eggs that will be sold in retail markets and these places do not require refrigeration of their eggs as a result. Folks from these countries find it strange that we keep our eggs in the refrigerator. I find it strange that they keep their eggs at room temperature, on their countertops. The FDA enacted The Final Egg Safety Rule here in the USA to prevent outbreaks of Salmonella and since that  time, all eggs that are sold in retail stores here in the USA must be “bloom” free, sanitized, and then they must remain refrigerated at less than 45 degrees Fahrenheit to prohibit the growth of bacteria. Once the outside of the shells are scrubbed and sanitized they move on to their big chance at stardom at the “bright lights on Broadway” of our Candling Booth where our experienced Candlers inspect them for imperfections inside the shell.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Meticulous Milling Makes Mealtime Magic

      We would love to welcome every fan of The Country Hen to our farm. Unfortunately, that is not possible, but we still want to open our virtual doors to you. Welcome to a series of posts with videos that will take you through our special farm – from specially formulated feed to sunlit barns to the processing that prepares our organic omega eggs for your table.

      The first stop on our virtual tour of The Country hen is our mill where the real magic happens. We make our own proprietary blend of feed using certified organic ingredients we source as locally as possible from organic farmers we know and trust. Our proprietary formulas of feed, developed by the founder of our FARMily, George Bass with the help of a whole team of scientists, veterinarians, and specialists in human and hen nutrition. This feed is directly responsible for the superior levels of all three varieties of Omega 3 PUFAs, Lutein and Zeaxanthin, Vitamin D, and 13 essential nutrients contained in our delectable eggs. The old adage “you are what you eat” fits pretty nicely with the egg production process as the quality of the eggs our hens produce is the result of the quality of feed our hens are eating.
      Our meticulous Mill Manager, Brian, never wonders what our hens are eating, where the feed might have come from, or how fresh the feed might be. Brian just happens to be a graduate of Harvard University and so I do affectionately introduce him to folks as our “Resident Professor of Feedology.” This is not an actual title but the nickname suits him just the same. I have never met an actual professor of anything who is willing to climb up to the tippity top of an enormous silo during a blizzard to check on the ingredients the way Brian does. Brian and Miguel work together to make the very best feed for our feathered friends. These great people know precisely when a feed ingredient was harvested and even from which plot in the field the item came from!
      Brian and Miguel inspect every ingredient upon delivery and test it for moisture content and quality before accepting or rejecting the item. The ingredients are stored in silos that send ingredients through an intricate network of auger tubes into this mill to be blended together to become our fresh and flavorful feed. Brian is so confident in the quality that he actually samples the ingredients himself. I could not resist the opportunity to try some myself after I watched him do this. It tastes very much like the grainy popcorn crumbs you find in the bottom of the popcorn container in my opinion but overall, not bad! Do you know any other farmers daring enough to eat the same food they give to their animals?
      After the feed is made, it is transported through yet another network of tubes to smaller silos that fill the feed truck. These silos are set up on a steel structure high enough to allow the feed truck to pull in underneath and then gravity drops the feed into the truck. Brian and Miguel deliver the fresh feed to the henhouses and replenish the silos at each barn location.