August Farm Tour and Sunset Dinner at Sandiwood Farm

“Did you enjoy yourselves?” we ask. “It was magical”, they reply.

There was that word again. Magical. It has crept into my vocabulary here – into my journal, our conversations, it’s become a genuine feeling. Magical. As Disney as it might sound that is how I will fondly remember this summer in Vermont.

My friend Allison likes to say that “the stars aligned for us”. Harrison was just finishing culinary school and was hungry to get more hands on experience growing the food he prepares. Then our friend Sandi enters. Her parents have a small organic vegetable farm called Sandiwood Farm in Wolcott. We visit and poof, we’re then lending a hand with seeding, weeding and harvesting.

We also shared a common vision of creating farm-to-table dinner experiences there on the farm. But more than just a vision, we each possessed our own unique strengths that we could pull from to bring the concept to life. I could pull from my event planning and communications roots; Harrison, Sandi (and this month, Amy) brought menu design, cooking and catering talents; Sara and Bob of course offered beautiful harvests, a wealth of farming knowledge and an eagerness to share; and Dani, Becca and Kyle had the passion, resourcefulness and contagious enthusiasm to pitch in wherever needed to bring it all to life.








This week we hosted our third farm dinner and as I looked around it did feel as if the stars aligned. We were organizing, orchestrating and best of all, just laughing. And outside there were warm introductions between strangers, the crackling sounds of a bonfire, bottle after bottle of wine shared between new friends, the illuminating flicker of candlelight, the oohs and ahhs of each course, and the content smiles as the sun set. Yes, it was a magical.

{Heirloom Tomato, Sage Farm Goat Dairy Feta, Lemon Basil, Shaved Red Onion & Olive Oil}

{Heirloom Tomato, Blueberry, Opal Basil, Balsamic Reduction & Roasted Garlic Aioli}

{Crudites with baba ghanoush}

{Local Cheese Board includingJasper Hill Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese and Sage Farm Goat Dairy Sterling, Madonna & Feta Cheeses}

{Fried Fromage Fritters (goat and cow’s milk) with sun-gold tomatoes and a balsamic drizzle}

{Crostini with farm fresh egg, cucumber, radish, dill & a roasted garlic farm egg aioli}

{Chard Sushi}





{House Made Farm Egg Tagliatelle Pasta with oven roasted cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomato sauce, arugula sprouts, roasted garlic cloves & basil}


{Mixed Beans with dill and brown butter}

{Roasted Potatoes, Cippolini Onions & Locally Foraged Black Trumpet Mushrooms}

{Cider-Brined Grilled Pork Loin, Braised Belly & Braised Leg with a late-summer apple reduction}



{House Made Basil Shortbread Biscuits with Macerated Madeira Berries & Lemon Cream}

We will be taking a little of that magic with us to Winston-Salem, NC.

{Thank you Schlosser Family!}


Only a week and half left until we move…


Until we find fresh inspiration again,

a + h

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July Sunset Farm Dinner and Tour at Sandiwood Farm

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece” ― Claude Monet

To watch them walk through the rows and rows of vegetables and select by hand those that will make the cut for our July dinner was surreal. For me it wasn’t too long ago that I ate out of boxes, cans, and frozen trays.  And this year has been a crash course on how to live, eat and prepare so much better. For this experience, I am forever grateful.

The late-July harvest was a beautiful masterpiece. Tomatoes were plump and beautiful. The snap peas had a perfect crunch. As we peeled the loads and loads of harvested garlic, the smell lingered on our fingers. The smells, the textures, the colors, the fresh-out-of-the-ground flavors were spinning through our minds as menu ideas were freely exchanged outside in the warm sun. Harrison and Sandi once again walked through which items would be at their peak that week with Sara. Together our chefs curated a lovely farm to fork menu for the 24 hungry guests who joined us that night.


There was a 50th birthday celebration at one table and intermixed at the other were new and old friends including an established Stowe concierge and an intrigued farm to table tour operator. Among the tables set with freshly picked flowers, garlic braids and tomatoes was a sincere appreciation for the love and dedication behind the evening’s food. As guests made introductions and shared stories at the communal dinner tables, a shared energy and enthusiasm was felt throughout the farm while a series of fresh, colorful courses were served just as the sun set.

{local cheese board}

{fresh vegetables with homemade carrot hummus topped with nigella seeds}

{poached beet skewers with lemon-basil vinaigrette}

{bruschetta with homemade heirloom tomato jam, fresh mozzarella and assorted basils}

{roasted summer garlic with grapeseed oil}

{homemade fromage stuffed bite-sized tomatoes with roasted garlic & opal basil}

{flatbread with heirloom tomatoes, green onion, opal basil and homemade white sauce}

{“the green machine”: flatbread topped with braised greens, fennel, green onion, cabbage, sugar snaps, red onion}

{flatbread with fresh farm blueberry, heirloom tomato, goat cheese. opal basil and balsamic reduction}

{homemade pappardelle pasta}

{7-hour smoked chicken with herb pistou}

{sautéed and grilled summer green veggies}

{farm fresh egg custard with chocolate ganache, fresh blueberry compote and wooly mint}


On behalf of Sandiwood Farm, we would like to invite you to our upcoming sunset dinners and farm tours. Each night will include a unique menu inspired by the week’s farm harvest.

Upcoming Dates
August 21
September 20
October 10

Time: 6:00pm
Cost: $50/per person
BYOB and BYO appetite

These intimate meals will be capped at 20 guests, so RSVP early!

To RSVP or learn more, please email Sara at maplesyrup@myfairpoint.net or call 802-888-2881

Until we find fresh inspiration again,  
A + H

June Sunset Dinner and Tour at Sandiwood Farm

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”
― Henry David Thoreau

It rained. It poured. There was thunder. And lighting. In a word, the weather was – nasty.

It was the big debut of the new farm to fork dinner series at Sandiwood Farm. And the rain – that week of rain was spoiling all of our plans.

We began obsessing over those little details that we thought were ruined. No stunning sunset. No walking farm tour. Muddy grounds. Geesh … not even warm weather. “We should consider rescheduling”, we said. It’s our trial run and we were certain plan B just wouldn’t be as fun.

At least that’s what we had thought.

“It is what it is”, we repeated to one another as we pulled together to simplify the original plan. Without a word, we agreed to not give those uncontrollable details a second thought.

And so…

Behind the scenes, the harvesting room became an extra plating, prep and flower arranging station….


And our dinner table was reset family style in a greenhouse surrounded by growing tomato vines…


In the house, the kitchen came alive with direction and focus….

And the skies slowly cleared just in time for the evening’s guests to arrive.


The June dinner menu was inspired by the fresh organic produce and herbs harvested that day on the farm, along with other locally sourced ingredients. Crisp. Spicy. Crunchy. Green. Sandi and Harrison took a simplistic approach in their preparation. Flawlessly and respectfully the ingredients just shined.

{Fresh homemade cheeses + goat cheese from our friends at Sage Farm Goat Dairy}

{Warm bread freshly baked that afternoon by local baker/NECI Grad, Trenton Chamberlain }

{Veggie Summer Rolls filled with freshly harvested ingredients from the farm and homemade ponzu sauce }

{ Bruschetta: Homemade Chevre with farm herbs, arugula pesto and Wild Branch oyster mushrooms }

{ Cream of Zucchini Soup with herb and green garlic croutons. Topped with a curry creme fraiche drizzle }

{ Baby Lettuces, shaved radishes, edible flowers and grilled scape and Sandiwood farm maple vinaigrette }

{ Fresh tagliatelle pasta with homemade fromage blanc and seasonal farm veggies }

{ 7-hour smoked chicken with herb pistou }

{ First picked strawberry cobbler topped with decadent dulce de leche whipped cream }

And at the end of the night, just as the warm strawberry cobbler was served, a stunning electric pink sky emerged.

In the end, it turned out to be a magical evening… a special experience for new friends and old. All thanks in part to that darn rain.

On behalf of Sandiwood Farm, we would like to invite you to our upcoming sunset dinners and farm tours. Each night sure to offer its own pleasant surprises along with the latest in farm fresh delights.


Upcoming Dates

July 24

August 21

September 20

October 10

Time: 6:00pm
Cost: $50/per person
BYOB and BYO appetite
These intimate meals will be capped at 20 guests, so RSVP early!

To RSVP or learn more, please email Sara at maplesyrup@myfairpoint.net or call 802-888-2881

Until we find fresh inspiration again,
A + H

Rhubarb and Chipotle Pork Tacos

Whew! We’re baaaaack. It’s been a hot minute but we’re back in the home cooking saddle again. A couple of new exciting developments to share before we pull out the pots and pans….

He Graduated! “Attend culinary school” once loomed on the bucket list after years of working in the family’s catering business. Completed – check!

And look who met Chef Daniel Boulud and Chef Gavin Kaysen.

Big day. Awesome!

And we moved…to beautifully green Stowe. We’ll be here for the summer cooking goodies to share from the cutest little red cabin in the woods. Thanks to Annie and Joey for opening up their home to us for the summer. We promise to take good care of her and we’ll make sure she always smells delicious.

And finally, we’re helping out (Ok it’s mostly Harrison) on an organic produce and flower farm until September. We get to play in the dirt and bright sunshine and score some gorgeous veggies for true farm to fork meals. Another bucket list item underway… double check!

Now that you’re officially up to speed … let’s jump back into the kitchen shall we?!

Today’s recipe was inspired by the ripe rhubarb growing in our new backyard. “Hmm… what should we make” we said. Pies, tarts, jelly…nah, c’mon it’s us. Of course we’re christening the new country crib with some killer rhubarb and chipotle pork tacos. Let’s let loose. Ole!

Ingredients: 

  • (2) small stalks of rhubarb – sliced thin
  • Half can of chipotles (7 to 8 ounce can)
  • (2) Pasilla Negro Chiles (dried and reconstituted)

  • (2) small yellow onions – julienned
  • (1) bulb of garlic – peeled and mashed
  • (1) can of organic tomatoes and green chilis
  • (3) bay leaves
  • (1/3) bunch of fresh cilantro (ours freshly picked from Sandiwood Farm)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • (1/2) teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • (1/2) tablepoon of dried oregano or (3) tablespoons of fresh oregano
  • (2) to (3) pounds of locally raised pork shoulder or butt – cut into chunks

1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

2. Brown off your pork in a large rondeau (or any other pot that you can transfer into the oven that allows room for the pork to be immersed in water to cook)

3. Remove your pork and set aside. Add your onion, garlic and rhubarb to your rondeau. Lightly sauté.

4. Add your remaining ingredients, including your pork, and a little water to cover your pork.

5. Cover your rondeau with foil and place in the oven for 4 – 5 hours until very tender.

6. Remove from oven and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes to rest. Then shred your pork and set aside for your tacos. (Tip: You can also sear your shredded pork in a pan with a little olive oil to crisp the outside and create a carnitas like texture…yum!)

7. Reserve your liquid with veggies and puree in a blender or food processor to make a hot salsa for your tacos.

8. Serve with tortillas, fresh salsa, chopped onion, fresh cilantro, scallion flowers and maybe a little pickled watermelon rind.

Enjoy!

Until we find fresh inspiration again,

A + H

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{Wishing all of you Dads out there a Happy Father’s Day today! To our Dads: We love you and thank you for all that you give and for your continued support as we navigate through this crazy thing called life. Today we celebrate you!}