Saturday, December 10, 2011

Support Fogl's Kitchen Expansion

We're ready to grow and offer more support to our local farms. We continue to buy our produce locally, as well as eggs and herbs. This year we're planning to expand our storage area, buy more product up front and offer an area to hold classes open to the public. If you'd like to learn more about this expansion and how you can help, check us out on Share with your friends and family... like us on facebook or tweet it to the world!

Fogl's Kitchen: Preserving The Local Family Farms Project On Kickstarter

Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 2011 Gift Guide

We were so thrilled to find out how loved we are at Fogl's Kitchen! Our Organic Lavender Jelly as one of their favorite gifts for Foodies this holiday season! Go check out all the other shops and gifts that made the cut, and give something unique, handmade & eco friendly this holiday season.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just in time for Holiday Baking - Vanilla Extract

After making a special order for 25 AAA grade Madagascar Vanilla Beans from France, 30 amber boston 4 oz bottles and customer labels from I put it all together with some good unflavored vodka. I now have a wonderful collection of vanilla extract to share with friends, family and customers!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

State Fair Competition

So each year we make our entries and cross our fingers for a win! This year the dear daughter and I did pretty good! Getting us 5 ribbons in all.


1st place, Black Plum Jam
2nd place, Vanilla Pear Butter
2nd place, Blackberry Jam
2nd place, Sweet Pickled Peppers
Honorable Mention, Lemon Biscotti

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stock on Chilly Days!

I know I'm in the south, and after growing up in the north, I know it's not the least bit COLD yet. However, I can't stand chilly temps. 60 degrees is way too cold for poor little me. I refuse to turn the heat on and pay those bills so early though. No heat on in this house for at least another month (I will break and get propane for the gas fireplace for chilly nights, but that's going to be rare).

Since I cook, can and bake... I will use the stove since its dual purpose. I'll run it all day long as its creating bread, warming dinner or running a constant pressure canner. Today, I don't know why I'm layering on the clothes, but my body says it is not 65 in this house... the goosebumps on my arms say its more like 50 degrees in here! Well, I had to come up with something to warm it up in here before I start dinner.

So today the 12 quart stock pot is out and Veggie & Herb stock is boiling away. In a few hours I'm hoping to be storing away at least 8 quarts of this amazing smelling stock to use this Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday. Its amazing that making this stock makes the house smell wonderful, heats the house as well, plus makes some of the simplest best tasting addition to so many meals! I just don't understand why more people don't make their own stock? Have you ever bothered to compare store bought to homemade? Store bought = TASTELESS! :p

So here's my recipe (You are welcome to change it for what works for what you have on hand! Tips and tricks at the end of the recipe.)

-12 Quart Pot for these amounts-

2 lbs  Carrots
1 Stalk (the whole big heart) of Celery Leaves and all
4 Large Ripe Tomatoes
1 Large Onion
1/2 lb Broccoli Stalk
6 Bell Peppers
6 Cloves of Garlic whole
5-10 Sprigs of Thyme
Handful (~1/2 cup) Fresh basil
4 Sprigs (Branches) of Rosemary
1/2 Cup of Parsley
6 Fresh Sage leaves
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt (more or less to taste)
1 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
8 Quarts of Water

Bring this to a high boil, and then simmer for 2-3 hours. Strain into a clean bowl and the ladel into sterilized Quart jars (or pints). Can in a 'PRESSURE CANNER' only. 10lb pressure for 35 minutes for the Quart size.

OR Freeze in tupperware!


1 - I save the tips and tops of carrots and celery we eat everyday. I put them in a freezer bag and stuff them away to make stock with so I don't pay for a full back of freeze veggies when I make stock. I also do this with chicken bones when we're done with dinner. I take the bones from finished chicken and pop them in a freezer bag until I have time to simmer stock all day.

2 - Use any fresh herbs you have hanging around in your garden. I throw in the stems and all as they lots of good flavor in the stems, especially parsley. So if you buy these and can't grow them, cut the leaves off you need for other meals and freeze the stems along with your veggie scraps to use in stocks later.

3 - Don't bother chopping your veggie neatly or even small. I give everything a real rough chop just so they fit in my stock pot. They'll get soft and release their flavors just fine.

4 - Taste...Taste... Taste... You want this to be a personal adventure in flavor. Taste as you go, make changes to your liking. Be the chef!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Better Half Has Opened His Online Shop!

So during the holiday last year, people noticed my woodworking husband was busy at work creating home & garden decor from reclaimed wood items. He would dig out wasted wood and material from bins outside construction sites and other waste producing places. He rescues this good material and turns it into something useful and beautiful, and in search of a new home!

If you have a place in your home or garden that needs a little something, you can find that little something here:

As the season progresses the store will fill again. There are several 'signs' in the works and more spoon coat racks. This year we'll be adding more to kitchen supplies as well!

Enjoy, and pass on the reclaimed love!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween On a Shoestring Budget

Well the sister couldn't get the boys their choice of costume from Walmart this year. So, it happens! But super crafty Auntie jumps in to help, and I think we hit a homerun from recycled materials.

First nephew is going to be a Jester for the royal court of the house of cards! With Jester hat w/ bells and a card theme pull over. Even got him a little joker baton with streamers.

Second nephew is going to be a Deep Sea Scuba Diver. Managed to make shift a Dr. Pepper bottle into an air tank and found a swimming facemask we were about to put away from summer. Even found some old tubing to attack to the soda bottle so he has the ability to get the air from the tank, if he really needed it! :D

Pictures to follow!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Who's Your Best Layer?

I know we all have opinions on the best laying chicken breeds out there, and I sure don't have ANY of them in my flock! However, I have some girls that lay better then others. So I was wondering out of YOUR whole flock, who do you believe is your best layer? The one girl that out lays the rest?

Mine is my Japanese Bantam 'Poe'. When she's on a roll (and not molting like she is now) she can lay me 4-5 eggs a week. That is EXCELLENT for a bantam breed!

You can see my Japanese Birchen Bantams mixed in with my Red Cochin Bantams. My Cochins aren't laying yet. They are due any time now though!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Breed to Try (1)...

Well, I know I have some readers who are hooked on the Chicken Bandwagon like we are. Finally, a pet who doesn't mess up your house, doesn't require daily walks and even gives you food for your family as a thank you! (Compare that to the 'surprise' my dog leaves on occasion... yuck!)

I wanted to give you some ideas of breeds to try if you think about getting into chickens. I hope to offer some good advice in the months to come to help you decide if chickens are right for you, so you can make an educated decision before the spring rush on hatcheries happens!

Today's breed is my choice for people looking for a good 'broody' (Mother hen):

Silkies- Little poof balls who are terrible at producing eggs for eating, but the perfect little hatchers and great moms.Silkies make an excellent pet quality bird, who does well in a family friendly enviroment. Think of these as a choice when you have little ones who will be around the chickens often. Even with that in mind, always provide adult supervision around animals. Warning: They go broody often, many times within a season!

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Design

Wanting to put a tough year behind me already, it inspired me to think about changes that would do me some good. The most important things in my life are my family, friends, business and beliefs. Since I share ALL those on my blog (my voice to the world, the handshake I can't do between the miles, the journal I keep memories down on)... I decided to find a positive change for my blog.

I want to see more people visiting, I want it to be more informative and I want it to be pleasing to the eye and to the soul.

Maybe from here I will find myself inspiring more people then ever!

So enjoy the new layout, please post suggestions on things would change, more things you want me to cover... your likes... your dislikes... I'm looking forward to hearing it all!

~Shannon Fogl~

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What September Brings

You all of course know this is the season of ripe apples and digging up potatoes. Lots of things ripening now, as we clear out our gardens for the few fall crops left. Or for some, everything is done and we dream of spring. While most things are fading one of my favorites are just sprouting up for a short visit. This is when our Saffron Crocus come up for fall, and I get to start harvesting the spice I can't afford to buy. This year my amount of bulbs are now double the flowers... so I'm very pleased to see how much I will get this year. I may have enough for 2 or 3 recipes that call for saffron this winter. Enough I could probably invite company to share with! :)

Now back to the ripening of apples?! OH YES! They're going to be bushels at amazing prices showing up everywhere. I recently saw a listing for local apples $0.85 lb! Enough to make you want to buy them up and come home and can them! Make apple butter... jam... jelly... pie filling... you'd have apples for months and months! The hard part... how to do all that?

The Easy Answer...


On location, at your home, your church or a friend's kitchen we'll come to you and teach our 2 hour personalized jam class. You'll learn all the basics of jam making, learn about all the required equipment, even learn how to can them to last for future gifts.

** Available times includes nights, mornings, afternoons.... Sunday thru Saturday!

**No up front equipment purchase needed, we bring all our own to teach you so you are 100% positive you want to continue doing this before you invest.

**2 Hour class includes printed hand our notes for you to review after the class has ended and you are on your own. We even give you recipes to try from home.

**We set up and clean up so all you and your friends have to do it have fun.

Minimum group rates apply & discounts for larger groups available!

Initial consultation on your group's needs is FREE! We cater to Wake/Harnett/Johnston Co area. Just drop me a note and I'll give you our contact information.

This is quite popular for Bridal Events, Church functions & Mom's day out groups.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Autumn Update

It's been a rough summer this year. I ended up very sick for most of it, and since my immune system was so weak, I got sick again and have just begun recovering from that.

I did manage to get caught up on my garden some this past couple of weeks. Mainly just cleaning out weeds, and dead plants that didn't pull through my neglect. I did manage to get some things planted this week, cool season crops like lettuce, endive, cabbage, carrots & spinach. I have some brussel sprouts still going from spring that never made any sprouts. I did find they are finally starting to develop now. So happy to see now everything died without my vigolant care.

This weekend I'm making room for some garlic. I won't have as much as I did last year, but something is better then nothing.

Here are some pictures so you can see how everything has managed for the time being. I'm hoping to get some blog posts together about chickens, ducks and composting to have to share with you this fall... so don't stop following the blog! :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Grape Harvest

The proud husband went out and cut our grapes from the vine as they were perfectly ready this week. He was happy to haul in about 15 lbs from 1 vine. Our second vine is only 2 years old and didn't produce this year, so I can't wait to see what kind of harvest we have next year!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Unfortunate Late July

To all the world, they must know my luck is not very good! I just spent most of July sick and spent weeks getting to the bottom of the problem. In that time my garden suffered and I fell way behind where I needed to be with my responsibilities. Some days I wanted to scream because all I could do was sleep. Other then complete exhaustion morning noon and night, I would be dizzy and feverish. On that went for weeks, and I'm still recooping. Turns out I had a compromised immune system from picking up Mono somewhere and then that was topped off when I contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. I never want to be that sick again, especially in the heat of a southern July!

Though it feels like I haven't accomplished anything this month, I am happy to say I got lucky and got a boost of energy to complete a few things at least.

So I will share that I have managed to pick 2 buckets of figs, I froze 4 gallons to have for later, 4 pints of halved figs in syrup for pies, 4 pint of jam and 16 8oz jars of jam.... and 2 lbs sliced and dried. I had a 2 gallon bucket left when I was done I was just too weak from being ill to finish :( But don't worry, not wasted! They went on to someone else who needed to do that same!

Today I harvested and cleaned my popcorn and stored that for winter snacks. My hands are aching from scraping all those rock hard kernels into bowls, and I even wore leather gloves. It was quit, but painful work!

I also got 2 quart jars full of peaches and covered in vodka, its time to start fermenting the fruit for Christmas schnapps. I always gift the best liquor! I will post the how-to again when I do the big fermenting project, only the peaches are ready now, and I only got 2 jars out of what I had. Hopefully when all the fruit is in and fermenting I'll have at least 10 quarts going.

Some quick pictures to share with you, sorry about the quality, my camera is dead and the charger is missing... so had to use the handy cellphone camera!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Today's Harvest

Lacking of rain and the heat has made production slow to non-existent in most cases. I'm bummed to say the least, but things are finally starting to ripen. Giving I did have a good onion and garlic harvest you can see if you scroll back. Today was strawberries, cukes, peppers and tomatoes!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Wonderful Weekly Harvest WEIGH-IN!

To be so lucky to know so many good gardeners across the country (Thank to The Easy Garden and the clan), one started up a more broad harvest weigh-in where we can all stay connected via our blogs. Please feel free to join, only 4 days left to get your blog in on it here.

I may not be constant on this, mainly because I totally flaked last year trying to track my harvest and costs. I really wanted to know if I was coming out on top with saving money for all the time I put into my garden. Though I did quit early on, mid-July-ish, I was already in the black by that point and didn't really invest anything into my garden after that point. This year I did spend a couple hundred dollars on putting in new raised beds, and filling them. I also bought quite a few prestarted plants this year (I know, against the whole from seed way), but I had way more space that was empty and the winds and storms in April and May destroyed quite a bit of what I already had out.

So from here on I'll be posting a bit on what we've already picked and brought in from our gardens. This week, since I haven't weighed in I will for sure take photos of the gardens, what I've brought in and what I've already canned to put up for the year. So stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Best Wedding Blog / Magazine Feature

We've been busy here in the kitchen (and the garden for that matter) but that is no reason to neglect my blog!

I've come to post tonight because I want to share a recent feature we were lucky enough to be included it. It was a wonderful experience with many talented people & other great creative vendors all over the country. The Best Wedding Sites Magazine was kind enough to include Fogl's Kitchen in their summer magazine wedding themes addition. We'd love for you to go visit the magazine, maybe even purchase a print copy... it is slam packed with creative wedding ideas and themes (some fabulous ones that could even work well for birthday's or an afternoon with friends).

You'll see our Lemon Biscotti on page 37 in the tea party theme!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Curing Onions

Well, spring is over enough that its been full on 90's for what feels like WEEKS now! In all the heat my onions stopped growing and just flopped over. Most were starting to brown, and some were so large that the flopped over top were pulling them right out of the ground!

So I got a decent harvest, not as well as one would have hoped.

You can see some stayed tiny, but formed little round bulbs and are no bigger then a shallot. I should have planted shallots in October, I really wish I would have. But I have a good 10-15 tiny onions that size and they will have to do.

Here's I cut the tops and tails off, rather then braid them to cure. I place them on a screen for good air circulation and in a matter of weeks we'll have some nicely cured onions for the rest of the year. (Though I'm fairly sure they'll be all used up and gone by October when I will TRY to plant 2-3x as many for 2012.)

Next week or the week of the 20th, I will be harvesting and doing the same with the garlic. Mmmm....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Egg Myths

I've answered a lot of egg and chicken questions. As well as I have listened to tall spun egg tales. I wanted to get a few points straight for those who still have some questions and right the wrongs with what they've come to believe!

Myth: Brown, White & Cream Eggs are different!

Truth: All eggs are equal based on color. Eggs are only different colors based on the breed that lays them. They come in many colors, and many sizes. There are several degrees of color within the browns, creams and whites. There is also coveted green and blue eggs that are nutritionally the same as other eggs. The only nutritional difference is based on how the chicken that lays it is raised and what it is fed.

Myth: You need a rooster for a hen to lay an egg.

Truth: A hen will lay an egg without the presence of a male. There cycle is simple. Every 26 hours or so produce an egg, and the chicken body does just that. That of course is the average and the soonest it can produce. Production breeds do this well, while ornamental breeds take longer and lay less often. Even a chicken needs a day off so don't expect an egg or 2 a day. On average 5 is a good amount of eggs a week per bird. Again, no rooster required unless you want chicks.

Myth: Eggs are all high in cholesterol and have the same nutrient measurements.

Truth: Eggs that come from battery cage birds can be higher in cholesterol and lower in omega-3 fatty acids. They also have low protein levels compared to what they could or SHOULD have. Caged production hens eat a diet high in corn, creating a less healthy egg. Chickens are omnivores by nature, like humans and require greens, calcium and proteins. Chickens NEED bugs, grass, veggies more then just grain. A true free ranged chicken gets all these and more creating an egg you can visually see is healthier. A deep orange yolk from a free range chicken has lower cholesterol, lower fat, higher proteins and high Omega-3 levels. Plus... it just tastes better.

Myth: You can't eat fertile eggs because they're already becoming a chick!

Truth: Good news... this is NOT true! A fertile egg looks and taste no different then an unfertile egg. An egg needs to be sat on getting to temps around 100 degrees to 'start' development. It can take 3 or more days to develop veins that would then start developing a chick. A chick takes 21 days to develop. Without a broody hen in your coop this would not even begin to happen, and if you collect your eggs daily... won't happen at all! Plus visually... you couldn't see the difference between a fertile and unfertile egg unless you know what you are looking for. A speck so tiny most people miss it. Plus, you have to open the egg either way to know so might as well fry it up!

Myth: I live in the city so I can't have chickens even if I wanted to collect my own eggs.

Truth: Most major cities allow chickens now. In most cases, hens only in city and no roosters. Some require permits, some none at all! There are cities with max number of birds set at 3 or 4, with others setting the max according to how large your yard is. Raleigh allows you to have 4+ hens and no roosters. They even have a great yearly "Tour Da Coop" where you can buy tickets and visit backyard coops to see how the whole set is being down, plus you get help starting your flock from the experts. Raleigh not a big enough city to believe yours would allow it? NYC allows hens with no max amount set. Most towns are worried about noise and smell. Hens are generally quite (until they sing their "I laid an egg" song) and with a simple monthly cleaning there is no smell to worry about!

Be healthy... eat eggs!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Many Earth Blessings

Things came to life rather quickly, and we believed we had more time then we did to attack the situations going on around us. We thought we had time to put in 7 raised beds, extend the front walk garden by 4', build a bee hive and a new chicken coop for meat birds.

However, only 3 of the 7 beds got done and we're too broke to finish the other 4 this year. The bee hive got done, but no bees. The front walk will have to wait a bit and the new portable coop will happen when we collect enough freebies to make it be.

The good news is, everything has woken up. After the past 3 years of planting, building and loving the earth we are so grateful for, we finally are enjoying the fruits of our labor. We've poured blood, sweat and tears into every foot of our gardens and home. This year we get to see a huge amount of grapes developing on our vine, tons of pears, peaches and even a few apples on the trees. The raspberries are thick and flowering. The strawberries are heavy with flowers & fruit, more then I've ever seen. Perennials I've planted over the years are finally getting full of more buds then ever as well.

So I wanted to share this.... here are our Bearded Irises. These gorgeous blooms were sent to me 2 1/2 years ago... with no return address on the box. I have no idea who sent them, but the note said "unknown colors". Last year, I got 2 to bloom... one purple, one yellow. This year I have all of them blooming and we have 2 different purples, 2 different yellows, a white and a mauve. One looks about ready to open and is either a dark yellow or an orange. The diversity and placement by the pond, is just an amazing spring site!

Just to add to all the wonderment... I attempted my first cutting last year. I got a piece of our grape vine to take root, and I transplanted it in the fall. I almost gave up hope... but now it is going STRONG! A couple more years and a second harvest of grapes looks possible.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Now Let There Be Bees

The top bar hive is finished, and hubby is so proud. Now if only some bees would move in... I'm craving honey!

It's been painted in white on the legs and roof with metal flashing on top. The rest of the hive is untreated pine oiled with orange oil, linseed oil and bees wax to hold up to weathering and attract some bees.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Means Chick Season

We've had a few hatches this month already, and have quite a collection of chicks now. We've hatched Silkies, Japanese Bantams, Easter Eggers and Cochin Bantams. They are all cute little buggers too!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

When Gardeners Are Attacked

No Sonny, I'm not calling you out on this.... whoops... maybe I just did? :oP

So, today we finally hit the new garden plot we've been planning all winter. What a fabulous day to get it done, a bit on the chilly side, but after several days of the 80's here... it was much easier on us then one of those hot days.

We lined everything out starting yesterday, fixed a few problems, got some wood and fired up the tiller. Hubby had me going to town on it myself for awhile. I also shoveled, raked and moved lines with help from him and one of our friends.

During a moment the tiller had a fit, my friend and I attempted to fix a bolt that kept popping off. We finally 'believed' we had it fixed and could get back to work. I went to stand up, and the handle gave in when the tiller threw the bolt off at lightening speed and the tiller handle came into contact with my face before I knew what was going on. All I saw were stars until I could stand up, then all I could see was red because blood flooded into one of my eyes. Even though it hurt badly, and the cut was DEEP... I'm too stubborn to goto the hospital for stitches. So now I have been told to SIT IN THE HOUSE! I am no longer able to work on my precise garden. sad

Here's some pictures of what we've got done so far... hubby is still rocking it by himself. But better safe then sorry!

So beware of tillers... I think they carry vent up aggressions!!!