Welcome to the Porsche Club of America at Fresh Tracks June 21-25th!

We’re excited to welcome the Porsche Club of America to Fresh Tracks Farm this June! We are looking forward to welcoming them to Fresh Tracks Farm and have them experience our small portion of Vermont.



3 Silver Medals for Fresh Tracks Farm Wine!

The results are in from the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition! We are so thrilled and honored to have received 3 Silver Medals for our 2012 La Crescent, 2014 Marquette Rosé and our 2011 Oak-Aged Frontenac Gris (soon to be released!). We are also SUPER proud to be among several other Vermont Wineries and share with them in celebration!

 

In honor of our win, we are throwing it back to some super duper pairings we’ve posted here on the blog for Marquette Rosé and La Crescent. Cheers!



Carrot Cupcakes

We did this recipe not long ago as a fun pairing for our Maple Wine (also an excellent choice for spring 😀 ), but it would be just as tasty using our *Mapple wine. The added pop of rich apple flavor, along with the maple, is an added bonus. Feel free to experiment with this recipe too; instead of doing a frosting you could use this cake recipe as an alternative base to an upside down cake, baked on top of apples caramelized in butter, maple syrup, and *Mapple wine! There are so many fun things to do with apples and maple, and you have both flavors in one bottle! Explore away.

Cupcakes

2 cups sugar

1 ¼ cups vegetable oilIMG_0644

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground allspice (we hand ground allspice berries for this!)

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

3 cups grated carrots

¾ cup raisins, rough chopped

2 Tbsp Maple Wine (or *Mapple)

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Icing

12 oz mascarpone cheese, locally sourced if available

1 lb confectioners sugar

3 Tbsp Maple Wine (or *Mapple)

½ tsp vanilla extract

Maple sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 12 count cupcake pans, or line them with cupcake liners.

Beat the sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs together at medium speed until they are light in color, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices, being careful not to over mix. Fold in the carrots, raisins, and Maple with a spatula until just combined.

Scoop batter into the greased/lined cups so they are 2/3 full. You may not fill all the cups; remove the liners of the unused cups. Bake for 20-30 minutes (this will depend on the efficiency of your oven, so keep an eye on it) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, Maple Wine, vanilla, and ¾ of the confectioners sugar together at medium speed until smooth and silky. Taste the icing; if it is too thin or not sweet enough, add the rest of the sugar. Fill a ziplock bag with half the icing, and cut of the very tip of one of the corners. Frost the cupcakes by gently squeezing the icing through the tip of the bag. Sprinkle the frosted cupcakes with a little maple sugar.

Serve any time of day, preferably with our Maple Wine or the *Mapple wine, whichever you happened to use, that you have conveniently left over from this recipe 🙂



stock image: brownies

Red Wine Brownies

Red Wine Brownies, Fresh Tracks Farm style

2 local eggs
2/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter, melted (Vermont Creamery unsalted is best!)
½ cup chopped walnuts
¾ cup Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Cocoa (or for a kick, Lake Champlain Chocolates Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate)
2 Tbsp Freerider Red (for the Spicier Brownies try Dog River Red instead)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine eggs with sugar and vanilla; add butter and wine. Stir Ghirardelli Chocolate with flour, baking powder and salt.  Combine with egg mixture; add nuts. Spread into greased 8×8-inch pan. Bake 25-30 minutes. Yields 16-20 brownies.

Icing (it’s essential)

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 ½ Tbsp granulated sugar
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
3 Tbsp Freerider Red or Dog River Red

Meanwhile prepare icing.  Melt butter over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low and add chocolate, sugar and wine.  Continue heating over low heat stirring often, until mixture is smooth – don’t let it boil. Spoon hot icing over fresh brownies and let stand for a minimum of an hour; 12 hours is best.  Enjoy with a glass of your leftover wine!!

Adapted from:  Handcraft Wines – Pinot Noir Chocolate Brownies.



Carrot Cupcakes with Maple Wine Icing

Cupcakes

2 cups sugar

1 ¼ cups vegetable oilIMG_0644

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground allspice (we hand ground allspice berries for this!)

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

3 cups grated carrots

¾ cup raisins, rough chopped

2 Tbsp Maple Wine

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Icing

12 oz mascarpone cheese, locally sourced if available

1 lb confectioners sugar

3 Tbsp Maple Wine

½ tsp vanilla extract

Maple sugar, for sprinkling

 

 

 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 12 count cupcake pans, or line them with cupcake liners.

Beat the sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs together at medium speed until they are light in color, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices, being careful not to over mix. Fold in the carrots, raisins, and Maple with a spatula until just combined.

Scoop batter into the greased/lined cups so they are 2/3 full. You may not fill all the cups; remove the liners of the unused cups. Bake for 20-30 minutes (this will depend on the efficiency of your oven, so keep an eye on it) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, Maple Wine, vanilla, and ¾ of the confectioners sugar together at medium speed until smooth and silky. Taste the icing; if it is too thin or not sweet enough, add the rest of the sugar. Fill a ziplock bag with half the icing, and cut of the very tip of one of the corners. Frost the cupcakes by gently squeezing the icing through the tip of the bag. Sprinkle the frosted cupcakes with a little maple sugar.

Serve any time of day, preferably with our Maple Wine, which you have conveniently left over from this recipe 🙂



Who says you can’t have cupcakes for breakfast??

There’s something about the smell of pastries baking in the morning that brings back some serious childhood memories, especially in the winter. Walking downstairs, the smell of fresh-out-of-the-oven muffins always seduced me into taking those last steps over the frigid wood floor. They were steaming, scrumptiously sweet bites of heaven, not to mention their partner in crime: a mug of hot chocolate with a marshmallow crown.  And it was for breakfast. Whoa. Adults always seemed to find reasons to break the “no sweets for breakfast” rule.

Now as an “adult”, I find that my craving for sweets has turned down a few notches. If I started my day with that much sugar, I would be a wreak, not to mention my taste buds would be totally out of commission. When you taste wine as often as we do, you realize your days of skittles and fruit roll ups are essentially over. But this doesn’t mean we have forgone the world of dessert, no sir. When we find something that has “sinful” written in the margins, that’s the end of it, there’s no stopping us. While our kid-selves might have craved any old sweet, our slightly more mature selves crave something covertly sinful.

Back to muffins. Again, these are tasty morsels that have earned their stolid position in the breakfast realm, and they can certainly be a real crowd (or me) pleaser. But honestly, they are essentially naked cupcakes. They are just so honest and innocent, there’s not an ounce of taboo left inside their tender crumbs. But throw a silky, decadent layer of icing on that cute little puff, maybe some boozeIMG_0597, and hallelujah. My kind of crazy.

These cupcakes are a perfect example of a little naughty thrown in a batch of nice. They take a lighter spin on a classic carrot cake, losing the gritty nuts and letting the sweet raisins strut their stuff. The texture is light and fluffy, so much so you might even convince yourself to have two! The plain looking white frosting on the top is not so plain after all: it’s a luscious combination of sweetened mascarpone cheese hit with a healthy kick of our signature Maple Wine. This is my inner child craving sugar, but sneaking it into a more lux package. And guess what guys, these babies have fruit and vegetables in them, so go ahead and have these cupcakes for breakfast. Or shall we say ‘well dressed’ muffins? Whichever makes you feel better about the situation, I guess!

P.S. Don’t forget that left over Maple Wine to sip alongside these treats. The wine and cupcakes were made for each other, so don’t let them be lonely!IMG_0593

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Carrot Cupcakes with Maple Wine Icing

This recipe was adapted from a carrot cake recipe in The American Craft Beer Cookbook by John Holl

 

Cupcakes

2 cups sugar

1 ¼ cups vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground allspice (we hand ground allspice berries for this!)

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

3 cups grated carrots

¾ cup raisins, rough chopped

2 Tbsp Maple Wine

 

Icing

12 oz mascarpone cheese, locally sourced if available

1 lb confectioners sugar

3 Tbsp Maple Wine

½ tsp vanilla extract

Maple sugar, for sprinkling

 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 12 count cupcake pans, or line them with cupcake liners.

Beat the sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs together at medium speed until they are light in color, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices, being careful not to over mix. Fold in the carrots, raisins, and Maple Wine with a spoon until just combined.

Scoop batter into the greased/lined cups so they are 2/3 full. You may not fill all the cups; remove the liners of the unused cups. Bake for 20-30 minutes (this will depend on the efficiency of your oven, so keep an eye on it) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, Maple Wine, vanilla, and ¾ of the confectioners sugar together at medium speed until smooth and silky. Taste the icing; if it is too thin or not sweet enough, add the rest of the sugar. Fill a ziplock bag with half the icing, and cut of the very tip off one of the corners. Frost the cupcakes by gently squeezing the icing through the tip of the bag. Sprinkle the frosted cupcakes with a little maple sugar.

Serve any time of day, preferably with our Maple Wine, which you have conveniently left over from this recipe 🙂



Wine Cocktail

Fizzy Frontenac Wine Cocktail

Wine CocktailFrontenac Gris has delicious notes of tropical fruit that make it great for a spritzer!

Our simple “Fizzy Frontenac” wine cocktail can be made by doing the following:

  • For every 5 ounces of wine (in your Fresh Tracks wine glass, that’s up to the bottom of the circle part of the logo), add 3 ounces of seltzer water (to the top the logo on your Fresh Tracks wine glass)
  • Add a slice of lime
  • Add a few ice cubes
  • Drink, and repeat!

Easy, right? But you can also just visit us, and we’ll make it for you 🙂

Cheers!



Summer Cooking at Fresh Tracks Farm

When I think of spring, not only do I think of warmer weather, I think of how best to use these longer, more temperate days. Especially after months of frigid weather. I mean, it was cold, even by Vermont standards. But it is over and done with, and will only make this summer season even more pleasant. Now back to my day dreams: to me, making good use of these summer afternoons usually involves copious amounts of food, libations, and of course, lovely company!

If we are talking June, we are talking back-yard wine cocktail parties, where roses (and Rosés) can once again take the stage. I am a person that loves Rosé all year long, but the wine especially captures the spirit of spring and early summer; it’s crisp and bright, with floral and fruity linings peaking through, and just enough body and texture to keep up with the cooler evenings as we descend to twilight gatherings around a fire. You might even find a semi dry rosé that works well with s’mores! Note: If you do, please let us know ASAP. We must know. For obvious reasons.

While s’mores are all well and good, for a wine-themed cocktail party you might be looking for something a little less messy. Like a simple nibbler that can complement what’s in your glass, or be enjoyed on its own. Our Little Piggy Pink is a classic late spring/early summer sipper, with its juicy cherry aromas and sweet-tart finish. It is a most versatile of wines, and can be teamed up with char-grilled venison burgers, mounds of strawberry shortcake, or going it alone as you recline in an Adirondack chair at a Vermont vineyard (hint hint).

On one of our recent culinary escapades we discovered a little savory treat that would be make for some great nibbling food. A simple crostini topped with peaches and blue cheese, finished off with a drizzle of local honey, partnered with our fruity rose.

We loved this recipe because it was super easy, super fast, and super yummy. It also gracefully accommodates pantry miscalculations, so if you don’t happen to have peaches available you could probably substitute juicy pears, nectarines, or even mango if you wanted to get a little wild! We are fortunate enough to have many wonderful bakers who provide us fresh bread, as well as many fruit growers and cheese makers, so if you are a local warrior you can always find ingredients around here to suit your fancy. The cambozola cheese in this recipe is a triple cream gorgonzola, so it is very strong; if you prefer a milder or sweeter blue cheese, we would suggest trying Middlebury Blue or Bayley Hazen Blue. I wouldn’t say no to a fresh chevre or tomme either. Point is: have some fun with it!

Our afternoon of cooking was far from over! After some deliberation, we decided that our waistlines would benefit from something a little more healthy to go with our crostini. We found this fun recipe for buffalo chicken quinoa bites, with a greek yogurt blue cheese dip. that goes along with our easy fast and yummy theme. Crispy on the outside, cheesy and meaty on the inside, and the quinoa provided a great chewiness. We also whipped up a delicious combination of fresh fiddleheads, ramps, and farm eggs. While not a finger food, it is still a pretty plate to have at a dinner party or even as a brunch item! There are not many measurements with this recipe as it was partially on the fly, so just adjust to your liking and people being served.

After tasting all of the dishes individually, we dived head on into matching them with wine. While the original intent was to find some delightful pairings with our Vermont Rosé, in the end we discovered that our recipes went better with some of our other wines instead. Fortunately (and unsurprisingly), we had a fresh supply of other wines at our disposal. The peach and blue cheese crostini was a hit with our Little Piggy Pink, with the fruit cherry flavors of the wine hitting the same sensory notes as the peach, and creating a great alternate to the rich blue cheese. The tangy quinoa bites were just a little too hearty for the Vermont Rosés acidity; however the richer berry notes, spice, and hint of sweetness of the Dog River Red held up eagerly. The hotcake and fiddlehead dish was rich and bright at the same time, a perfect match with our succulent yet invigorating La Crescent. The Vermont Rosé doesn’t need big flavors, it was very happy to go with some leftover French fries and the Pan Fried Fiddleheads.

Ultimately, we’re always on a quest here at Fresh Tracks Farm – even when we’re off the clock. It’s a quest for the perfect pairing. That ultimate fireworks moment when you take your first bite and then, when you add a sip of wine to the mix, the flavors dance together in happy harmony in your mouth. When we find that combination, the whole experience is better than the sum of its parts. And in order to better discover those hidden Perfect Pairings, we have enlisted the help of many local producers, such as Nutty Stephs, Von Trapp Farmstead, and Vermont Salumi. Our food-and-wine events were created with the idea that wine can be better with food, and food better with wine. We wanted to give everyone the opportunity to create their own ‘Wow!’ moments, and what better way to do that than providing the space, food, and wine all in one place!



Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bites

We needed something more savory and “healthy” to go along with our crostini, so we found this fun recipe for quinoa balls that goes along with our easy fast and yummy theme. Crispy on the outside, cheesy and meaty on the inside with a great chew from the quinoa meant the plate was empty far too quickly!

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bites with Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dip

Enough for 4 appetizer servings

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • ¼ cup goats cheese
  • ¼ cup sharp shredded cheddar
  • ¼ cup buffalo sauce
  • ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dipping sauce:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, preferably full or part fat
  • ¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried dill
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, blue cheese, garlic powder, dill and parsley together and whisk well until combined. If the blue cheese chunks are too large mash them with a fork and re-whisk mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly oil a mini muffin pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the all of the quinoa bite ingredients (quinoa, chicken, cheese, etc) together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Using a small cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop the mixture evenly into the muffin tray, about 1 ½ tablespoons each. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the bites are golden brown and set. Serve right away with the dipping sauce.



Fiddleheads Recipe w/ Hotcakes, Poached Eggs, and Ramp Cream

Out of whimsical fancy and the fever of spring, we came up with this easy and elegant fiddleheads recipe that highlighted flavors of farm and season. Fresh pan-fried fiddleheads, ramps, and farm eggs. While not a finger food, it is still a pretty plate to have at a dinner party or even as a brunch item! There are not many measurements with this recipe as it was partially on the fly, so just adjust to your liking and people being served.

Hotcakes with Fiddleheads, Poached Eggs, and Ramp Cream

  • Pan-fried Fiddleheads (recipe following)
  • Ramp pesto (recipe following)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, full or part fat
  • Fresh farm eggs (1 per person)
  • Salted butter
  • Your favorite pancake mix, prepared
  • Salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat about a tablespoon of butter on medium-high heat in a heavy bottom pan large enough to hold three or four 3” hotcakes. If there is not enough melted butter to cover the bottom of the pan then feel free to add more. When the butter is frothing and beginning to turn golden brown, add about a ¼ cup of pancake mix to the pan for each hotcake; cook until golden brown on each side (about 2-3 min a side) and cooked through. Set aside and keep warm.

Poach the eggs in the boiling water. If you have never done this before there are some really great videos online that can show you. Of if you want to take my word for it, try this method: crack your egg in a heat proof dish, and using a large spoon create a whirlpool effect in the hot water. When you get the water spinning enough to get a good divot in the whirlpool carefully slip the egg into the middle of it and stop stirring. Allow the egg to cook for about 3 minutes, remove from the boiling water and drain on a paper towel. If you find your eggs still coming out lose, try adding some white vinegar (1/4cup vinegar/1 gallon water) to the boiling water.

Whisk in the ramp pesto into the Greek yogurt, starting with 1 tablespoon and then adding more to your preference. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble: Place a tablespoon of ramp mixture on a small plate and place one hotcake partially on top. Top the hotcake with about a quarter cup of pan-fried fiddleheads, one poached egg, and a very small dollop of ramp pesto. Serve immediately while still warm.

Ramp Pesto

  • 4 cups fresh chopped ramps, leaves and bulbs
  • ¼ cup shaved pecorino romano cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped roasted almonds
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Pulse the first three ingredients in a food processor. A soup wand works well in a pinch. Zest half the lemon into the mixture, as well as the juice of half the lemon. Starting with ¼ cup, add the olive oil to the batch until the texture is smooth and the thickness is to your preference. I like to keep it somewhat thick so I can dilute it with olive oil when I need it or use it in cooking. Pour into half pint jars and seal via canning methods or store in your freezer if you are not going to use it within a week. Yum.

Pan-Fried Fiddleheads

  • 3 cups fresh fiddleheads, rinsed and trimmed
  • Butter
  • Salt

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fiddleheads and blanch for about 30 seconds. Drain and dry on a clean dishtowel or paper towels. Meanwhile, heat a large cast iron pan or equivalent on medium high heat with a good amount of butter, about 2-3 tbsp, until golden and frothy. Add the fiddleheads to the pan and cook until crisp and browned on each side (generally). Transfer to a plate and season with salt. Munch as is with a dry rosé, like our Vermont Rosé, add to your favorite recipes for some spring flair!