Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Fresh from the Farmstand" Review & Giveaway!

Hello friends! It's time for another Gooseberry Patch Early Bird review!
This time I have received two copies of Gooseberry Patch's latest cookbook, Fresh from the Farmstand. It will be available to purchase soon, but you can win your very own FREE copy here! Details at the end of this post.
To purchase, please click here.

This is a wonderful cookbook, chock-full of fresh ingredient recipes. The book is divided into six categories: Freshly Gathered Breakfasts; Market-Basket Soups & Breads; Garden-Fresh Sides & Salads; Farmstand Feasts; Summer's Best Appetizers; and Berry Best Desserts. I prepared two dishes, and they are both fantastic. The first is "Topsy-Turvy Apple Pie." Apples are plentiful now, and I thought that this would be a good addition to a holiday dessert menu.
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 9-inch pie crusts
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
7 cups Jonathan, Granny Smith, and/or Gala apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

Here are my prepared apples. I used Macoun...they're my favorite variety for baking. I suggest you use whatever apples you like, but make sure there's a little tartness.
Combine pecans, brown sugar and butter in a 9" deep-dish pie plate; stir to mix. (I used walnuts.) Spread mixture in bottom of pie plate.
Top with one pie crust. (I used Pillsbury ready-made crusts; if you want to make your own, go for it!)
In a large bowl, toss together remaining ingredients; spoon into crust.
Top with remaining crust; trim crust even with edge of pie plate. Bring bottom crust over edge of top crust; seal and crimp. Cut several slits in top crust.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes; place a serving plate over pie and invert. Carefully remove pie plate and replace any loose topping. (I was scared that the pie would stick to the pie plate...but no worries, all that butter really greases up the pan good!)

Cool at least one hour before serving. Serves 8 to 10.
VERDICT: Wow, this was delicious! I love regular apple pie, but this is extra special. The butter/brown sugar/nut topping caramelizes and keeps the crust moist. Dave and the kids also loved it...Annabelle is usually not an apple pie fan, I think because of the plain crust. This she really enjoyed. The rest of us also cleaned our plates. The topping is gooey and decadent. I will definitely make this again!
Ok, onto the next recipe. This one is called "Ryan's Yummy Pasta Salad."
8-oz. package refrigerated cheese tortellini, uncooked
2-1/2 cups rotelle pasta, uncooked
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup deli roast chicken, chopped
2 Tablespoons lemon pepper, or to taste
Ranch salad dressing, to taste
(NOTE: I make ranch salad dressing from the Hidden Valley mix. It's very simple (you just add mayo and milk), and I think it's much, much better than the bottled kind. Thanks to my buddy Sharon for this tip!)

In separate saucepans, cook tortellini and rotelle according to package directions, adding frozen vegetables to rotelle pan. (I chose to stick with frozen corn for my vegetables. I bet it would be great with broccoli florets or some peas to green it up.)
I think I should have used a larger pan! Oh well.

Drain; combine in a large serving bowl. Add chicken to pasta; sprinkle generously with lemon pepper. (Ok, I admit that I don't know what "lemon pepper" is....is it a special seasoning blend, or just lemon-flavored pepper? In any case, two tablespoons sounded a little excessive to me. Since my rotisserie chicken was lemon pepper anyway, I skipped this step and just added a few extra grinds of black pepper.) Add salad dressing to desired consistency and toss to mix.
I used the whole 8-oz. recipe of Ranch dressing that I made. I also thought it needed a little "something," so I shook on some bacon bits...yum! 

May be served warm or chilled. Serves 6 to 8.

VERDICT: Very, very good pasta salad! We all liked it a LOT! (well Mason didn't try it, but I figured that would happen).  I served it cold with warm biscuits on the side. Next time I will add some chopped parsley and some green veggies too.
I cannot wait to try some of the berry recipes when they're back in season around here. How about you? Would you like to win a copy? Just leave me a comment on this post by Friday, December 23. I will pick a random comment on that day. In order to be considered, PLEASE make sure there's an email linked to your comment, so that I can get in touch with you.

Have a wonderful day!

♥ Jen


  1. I love the way you post photos with your step by step recipe process. You've made me hungry for sure! d.bonali@mchsi.com

  2. The pie looks yummy. I do not want to think about the number of calories, but it seems less daunting at this time of year.
    By the way, lemon pepper is a seasoning. It is especially good on London Broil.

  3. both recipes sound delish. Alas, I am NOT a fan warm fruit. But if I were to win, I would make the pie for my husband. Thanks for the chance, Jen!

  4. Jen,
    you have made me so hungry! Both recipes look delicious. I love Gooseberry Patch!

  5. I have one of their books and LOVE it. Had no idea you had a blog but what fun! That apple pie looks soooo delish! Happy 10 days before Christmas! ( or 11 if you want to look at it differently)

  6. I just love a freshly baked pie steaming hot with some ice cream........ciao4now64@yahoo.com

  7. Both of them sound soo delish!! Merry Christmas to you & your family!


  8. Those recipes look delicious. The pie looks so good and the pasta salad is a nice twist on pasta salad. I would love to win and look forward to the release of this book. nicoledanielsvt@yahoo.com

  9. Those recipes look soooo great! Can't wait to try them! I have so many of the other cookbooks, I would love to win this one! Thank you so much for these recipes. Christine Mahoney i_luv_2_paint@yahoo.com

  10. Wow. Very Hip. Guess I missed this cookbook from Gooseberry. But that pie...wow...that would make a great centerpiece to a Christmas feast! Thanks for sharing!


  11. YumO! Can't wait to try this apple pie...so different and looks oh so good!!
    Thanks for a chance to win this awesome cookbook!!

  12. Would love to win a copy! The recipes sound sooo yummy!! And you make it look so easy!! priesterette@hotmail.com

  13. Would love to add this cookbook to my collection...

    Mardi Moye


  14. Jen, Both of those recipes sound great. I love apple pie and can't wait to try this one. Thanks for the chance to win the cookbook.

  15. The pie looks divine! Love apple pie and will have to try this. Would love the cookbook as I love Gooseberry Patch.

  16. Oh my....I'm not usually a cold salad person...and I can't wait to make that salad...I like your addition of bacon...it makes everything better! Thank you for giving us a chance to win this awesome cookbook! I'm finally getting my first Goosberry Patch cookbook for Christmas...but it's not this one..so I need this one too! Have a Merry Christmas!

  17. MsRude2001 @yahoo.comDecember 14, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    First time to your blog and I must say wont be the last, you make it look so simple thankyou. I'm just getting into cooking so always looking for something easy, thank you for sharing

  18. Celticprincess1998@yahoo.com

    I love this, and I love the way you showed pictures in your steps. I really love both of those recipes you shared, and I am going to make both of them. They sound awesome! Thank you for the chance!
    Debbie Rhoades

  19. I would love to win this cookbook! Thank you for the opportunity!

  20. Ooh we just love a good apple pie and that pie looks fabulous!!

    ~Jill (luvcooking2@yahoo.com)

  21. The pasta salad looks delicious...I think my husband would really enjoy it!


  22. Would love to win one of these books..................

    Thanks for letting us enter


  23. The recipes sound amazing, and I love your artwork!! blessed812@frontier.com

  24. Great recipes. Have tried several Gooseberry Patch recipes but don't have one of my own yet. Thanks for the chance. kingatb@sbcglobal.net

  25. What an interesting way to make apple pie! I've got to try that one. Looks so good!

  26. What a cute blog! And oh, do I wish I could dive into some of that heavenly Topsy-Turvy Apple Pie!! How ironic is this -- I just checked out GP's website yesterday to see what new cookbooks were out/forthcoming. Well this book made my Christmas wish list!

    Have a Merry Christmas!!


  27. Would love to win a copy of this new cookbook. The recipes you made look delicious!

  28. This pie looks sooooooo good, I can't wait to bake it!!!!

  29. Jen...Thanks for reviewing and posting such interesting recipes! Who would have thought of an upside-down-apple pie! It looks delicious, and I am going to try the pasta salad as well. Thanks for the step-by-step and the additional comments. LOVE Gooseberry Patch cookbooks, and would like to win this one. Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!


  30. I love Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks! They give you such a homey cozy feeling just browsing for a recipe!
    I am looking forward to Fresh from the Farmstand!


  31. The pie looks "mouthwatering" good. I can't wait to make it. Thanks for the recipe and for a chance at winning Gooseberry Patch's "Fresh From The Farmstand" cookbook! pmbeach@insightbb.com

  32. I love gooseberry patch cookbooks!
    My email address is mmjacobs1@yahoo.com.

  33. I just love the salad you made and hoping to win one of the cookbooks. These cookbooks seem to be the only ones I like to buy now as they're easier to understand and make one feel so cozy when reading them. My family likes most everything I have made out of Gooseberry Cookbooks.


  34. Susan said...
    Would love to win this cookbook. I love Gooseberry Patch books. Thanks for the chance to win one.

  35. That apple pie sounds wonderful. Can't wait to try it.

  36. Ooohh I'd love to win that. Awesome that you get to review that first. Lucky you.

  37. Those recipes look absolutely delicious

  38. I love the pictures you include. The recipes above look amazing! By the way your page is adorable.



  39. I spent most of my life in Ohio before moving to SC. I have always been a huge fan of everything Gooseberry and own ALOT of their cookbooks, but I can't seen to get enough. Looking at your the pictures of the recipes made me homesick and hungry. It would be like coming home to open a new Gooseberry cookbook!

  40. I have loved these cookbooks for years! So many yummy, family style recipes in them that my family enjoys. Can't get enough of these cookbooks in my collection and would live to win this cookbook! The pasta salad recipe hooked me on this one :)


  41. Topsy Turvey Apple Pie!!!!!! Would love to try that one!

  42. I just LOVE your cookbooks; I think I'm addicted!!!

  43. love the pasta recipe am going to make if for my son and his family when they visit next week. Have been reading you for a while and love the things you do

  44. The pie looks awesome, might need to make that for the holiday dinner for something different!



  46. If everyone would just eat pie the world would be a much better place! This one will be the next one I try for sure! Looks yummy and i love your pictures. Thanks and Merry Christmas!Emilee e_mj_bishop@hotmail.com

  47. Looks like another winner from Gooseberry Patch!
    Merry Christmas

  48. We created a Pinterest board for all the yummy recipes our blogger friends have shared from Fresh from the Farmstand...thanks again for reviewing this book!

    Find the board here: http://pinterest.com/gooseberrypatch/fresh-from-the-farmstand-recipes/


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