I’ve moved!

March 22, 2015 § 2 Comments

You can find me cooking, baking and teaching at home and on the farm at the Cook and the Farmer. Thanks for following me here, and I hope to see you over there!

Marilyn (aka Piebird)


liebster = favorite

April 3, 2012 § 9 Comments

I just got a Liebster blog award from Mireia of Baking in Spain fame.

Mireia and I are an ocean, a culture and a generation apart, but we now have a close connection via blogging. I got my toe in the waters of social media this year via my love of all things food. Sadly the prelude to having the time was a cancer diagnosis last year. Happily, I’m now officially in remission. Thanks for the love, Mireia! And thanks to Dorie Greenspan and Tuesdays with Dorie founders Laurie and Jules for opening the door.

My Liebster Blog awardee’s “love pat” duties are…

1. Link back to the person who gave it to you and thank them. Check!
2. Post the award to your blog. Check!
3. Give the award to five bloggers with less than 200 followers that you appreciate and value. (It’s a great way to get to word out there about other blogs!) Check, check, check, check, check!

4. Leave a comment on the five blogs to let them know that they have received this award. Off to fulfill my last duty. Check!

rise to the challenge!

March 25, 2012 § 5 Comments

I’ve probably gone a little overboard signing up for baking challenges recently. Mellow Bakers start their second run of Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread – A Baker’s Book of Technique and Recipes this month. Mr. Hamelman is an instructor and the director of the King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center in Vermont. He wrote an excellent text on bread making science and process. I bought my copy soon after it was published in 2004, but only made a couple of the many breads. This challenge starts with Hot Cross Buns just in time for Easter! The group also starts a second challenge in April baking its way through Dan Lepard’s The Art of Handmade Bread, originally published in the UK as The Handmade Loaf, also in 2004. I am less familiar with Mr. Lepard’s work, but a quick flip through the pages promises old world tradition in these recipes. Bakers will have a choice of three loaves from the book of their choice each month (yes, you can join both challenges if you’re the un-mellow sort), but participation requirements are very flexible in keeping with the mellow theme.

I then found out about BakeTogether hosted by Abby Dodge, noted cookbook author and contributor to Fine Cooking magazine. Abby shares one of her recipes at the beginning of the month, and then you bake it with your own creative variations and post the results. Since I’m always changing recipes to fit the ingredients I have on hand or my culinary whims, this is a great challenge platform for me.

So if you have some folks to help you eat the delicious results of these challenges, check out the links in this post or the blogroll.

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2012 § 3 Comments

When I awoke this morning, I fully intended to do some sweet baking for my sweet heart. But last week’s “Last Chemo” must have kicked my butt a little extra, just for good measure I suppose. I just didn’t have the energy to stay on my feet in the kitchen. Lucky for me, we have a new cute little Walnut Café in the neighborhood, and cupcake creator (aka cupcake countess) Nicole had just the what I needed, the perfect little Red Velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing and a heart! Thank you, Nicole!

Perfectly moist Red Velvet cake with tangy cream cheese icing! Hana visualizing from her sub-cupcake location. I should mention that Nicole is a former star student from my teaching days; you make me proud, Nicole!

Happy eggs from Happy chickens

January 29, 2012 § 1 Comment

The North Fork Valley on Colorado’s Western Slope is a quiet scenic agricultural gem with a mining heritage. I had to cut my visits short last summer when I started cancer treatments, but the friends I had met over the past few years there made sure I got a few care packages over the fall and winter. They sent earthy nourishing vegetables, sweet rich fruit, food friendly wines, hearth baked breads, golden comb honey, farmstead cheeses, goat milk and chèvre and the happiest eggs in the world! I’ll finish treatment early this spring, and can’t wait to get back for a visit, and then who knows? Thank You! M,K,B,G,J,K,M,W,M,S,E,J,C,S,Y,M,W for sustaining me over the winter!

See my Happy Face? I’m almost done with chemo! (Fried eggs on sautéed spicy greens and stone ground grits)

The eggs came from some young chickens called cuckoo maran. Look at the lovely deep brown and spotted eggs they lay.

Not sure who laid the cream one

Gung Hay Fat Choy

January 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

My good friend Ms. Lee always sends me well wishes for the Chinese New Year, and her message was in my Inbox since 4am to greet me, a cheery start to the morning. Today is the first day of the lunar year for the Black Water Dragon. I was born in 1952, the last occasion of a Black Dragon year. I hope my 60th year brings me a little of the Chinese Five Blessings of harmony, virtue, riches, fulfillment and longevity. I’ll finish my cancer chemotherapy treatments in just a few weeks, so harmony is foremost on my mind. The Dragon, a mythical creature, reminds me to keep my dreams, and that the time to pursue them is now, as ridiculous as that may seem. A word about timing. The Dragon is associated with Spring, so I need to get off to a quick start in 2012. Good, I’m tired of waiting!

Baking with Julia

January 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today I listened to an interview on public radio with cookbook author Dorie Greenspan. It was about a online community of bakers across the country (even the world) that had baked its way through the 300 or so recipes in her 2006 book “Baking: From My Home to Yours”. The group had grown to about 500 bakers over the four years it took to bake every recipe, with about 100 of them baking the last recipe just before New Year’s. Congratulations TWDers (the group calls itself Tuesdays With Dorie). The interview concluded with a hint of more baking to come in the guise of “Baking with Julia”, the book that Dorie wrote to accompany one of public television’s Master Chefs series from the 1990’s. Now I have an old, but not worn copy of “Baking with Julia” in my grand cookbook collection. Last year, I stopped working after my cancer diagnosis to focus on my health. As a culinary instructor, I loved teaching, cooking and baking with the students. I’m not sure what else I’ll be doing this year, but looks like I’ll be spending Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking with Julia.

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