Summer 2014, North Shore Magazine Blog

Food Styling Photo Shoots with Adrien Bisson Photography

Recipes & Food Styling for Merrimack Valley Magazine    March/April Issue, 2014

Photos by Adrien Bisson Photography

Thanks to the Tri-Town Transcript for the great article…..the Gould Barn is such a special place and we love teaching there!




Thanks to the Haverhill Gazette and our fantastic partners at Whittier Vocational School!

Great local blog about one of our classes at Appleton Cooks!

Visit the Boston Globe link below to read about our farm-fresh cooking workshops at APPLETON COOKS!

I thoroughly enjoyed doing the food styling for Merrimack Valley Magazine’s Sept/Oct 2013 article….. “Fresh Farm Meals for Fall”. Great fun!!

Please visit the link below to view the article and photo essay  (Photographer Adrien Bisson)


North Shore Dish

Summer on a Plate: Cooking Classes and More at Appleton Farms

Posted: June 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Appleton Farms, Event, Farm, Ipswich  | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

There were a lot of cooks in the kitchen—and it was perfect. We recently attended a terrific class given by Carolyn Grieco of Farm Cooking With Carolyn at the new Appleton Farms demonstration kitchen.

Before we describe the class, we want to let you know about the exciting food-related activities going at the farm. First, there’s a dairy & farm store selling milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, beef, eggs from the farm and an assortment of other locally sourced products. (The store is open Mon-Fri from 11:00 to 6:00 and Sat/Sun from 10:00 to 4:00.)

Second, there’s a new café offering salads, sandwiches, desserts, and beverages from 11:00 to 2:00 Wednesdays through Saturday. Third, on select Friday nights in July and August, there will be family farm dinners with pizza from the group’s just-built earth oven.

Finally, the Appleton Cooks series of classes and workshops has 30 events scheduled in June, July, and August with classes on cheesemaking, pasta making, gluten-free living, seasonal tapas, and much more. Prices range from $25 to $85 for non-Trustee members.

We thoroughly enjoyed the class we attended, coming away with food profile insights, great recipes, and new friends. We gathered in the kitchen, which was set up with workstations and ingredients, most from the farm. Carolyn went over the menu and then we split into groups of three or four to prepare the dishes.

The meal consisted of grilled zucchini hummus with homemade pita chips, spicy peanut noodles with snap peas, green goddess chicken salad with cucumber and avocado, a veggie-stuffed picnic loaf, and skillet strawberry shortcake. As we collaborated to prepare the meal, Carolyn demonstrated everything from knife skills to “temping” the poached chicken, arranging the composed salad, and tray rotation to get the pita chips properly crisped. She was full of energy and great tips for both seasoned cooks and new ones. She was happy to accommodate dietary concerns (a non-spice lover got her own chips without cayenne, and we prepared a salad without chicken for the vegetarian in the group).

While meal components were cooking/cooling, we took a short walk to the kitchen garden to pick herbs that we combined with farm butter. We spread it on baguette slices and ate it with freshly-picked radishes while Carolyn showed us the picnic loaf technique. These have to sit overnight, so she brought some already prepared for our meal.

And what a meal. Everything was incredibly fresh and flavorful. The green goddess dressing was amazing with the chicken, the blanched snap peas were the perfect contrast to the spicy noodles, the picnic loaf was full of balsamic-marinated vegetables and goat cheese, and the dessert was warm and luscious.

We are thrilled to see this 375-year old farm embracing the North Shore’s thirst for local food, farm-to-table, and new food experiences. See you on the farm!

Memorial Day Week-end

By  Donna-Marie Ryan


Memorial Day is a  symbolic day. To many it simply indicates the  start of summer- albeit a bit early. We in fact think of recipes, BBQs and  family time. And maybe that’s a good thing. But we do need to take pause and  remember that the individuals who are remembered on Memorial day make all of  this possible. For those of us who grew up with war veterans, or were ones or  are connected to current military  realize the importance of this holiday  and the connection to wonderful Memorial Day Family gatherings. Because of them  our lovely holiday week-ends are possible. Thank you!
Having said that let’s consider this week-end and gatherings! At the  beginning of the week it looked like a beautiful sunny week-end was coming our  way. As each day clicked off the forecast changaedd. Now it looks like a drab  rainy week-end and not a fun way to kick oofff summer. Can you still have a BBQ?  Sure. But some menu items might need to be changed up and certainly a few i deas  for the young ones to keep them occupied inside rather than out will be handy-  good luck on that one!
Probably my all time favorite dessert is strawberry shortcake. It’s my  brothers’ too. Mom made a great one with warm from the oven biscuits, fresh  strawberries and real whipped cream. In fact this is what I have for my birthday  every  year!
National Strawberry shortcake day is June 14th and local berries will be  in season then and bountiful too. But most markest have beautiful berries now  and Memorial Day ( as does July 4th) focuses on the red,white and blue theme so  making a dessert with berries is a natural for these holiday gatherings. This  recipe is from a recent class with Carolyn ( and  would be perfect for this coming holiday.
Skillet Strawberry Shortcake
8 c washed and hulled strawberries (  2 1/2-3 qts)
1/2 c sugar
3 Tbl cornstarch
1/3 c unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 c sugar
1 large egg
1 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 /2 c + 2Tbl + 1 Tbl whole milk
whipped cream
1 c heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbl confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
If berries are small leave whole, if large slice in half. Toss berries,  sugar and cornstarch together in a large bowl and make sure everything is mixed.  Then pour into a 12 inch round ovenproof skillet or 9 X 13 baking dish. Set  aside.
To make the topping use a mixer and a large bowl and blend the butter and  sugar together. Add the egg and continue mixing until light and fluffy. In a  separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add this to the mixture  alternating with the milk- reserving the 1 Tbl for later. Combine until a batter  is formed.
Pinch off pieces of the batter ( abbout 1 Tbl in size and drop onto the  berry mixture randomly. Leave “windows” of berries poking through. Lightly brush  batter tops with reserved milk and bake for 35-40 minutes or until fruit is  bubbly all over and biscuits are done. Be sure to lift and check a center one to  make sure the batter is no longer wet!
To make fresh whipped cream  add the cream to a chilled bowl and whip  with an electric mixer just until it begins to thicken. Add the vanilla and  confectioners’ sugar and continue to whip until semi -stiff peaks form. Keep  chilled until ready to use.
To serve: either warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped  cream! Serves 8-10.

The perfect dessert for this Memorial Day !


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