Spring House Manor Farm Visit

A couple weekends ago my husband and I were invited to visit Spring House Manor Farm, about 10 minutes away from our old house in Frederick. The owners of the farm are Abby and Tony Brusco, ALSO known as the owners of Hometown Harvest (blog sponsor and organic+local grocery delivery service extraordinaire!).

Spring House Manor Farm

The Brusco family moved out to Spring House Manor Farm a little over a year ago, and they wanted to share the experience with me and fellow blogger Rachel. The farm’s property is stunning, backing up to the watershed and full of lush, green pastures.

It was quiet, serene and only a stone’s throw from downtown Frederick. Perfect, right?

A group of 12 of us (including the Brusco kids) gathered to tour the small farm, complete with chickens, a family garden and big plans for moving the Hometown Harvest offices and warehouse to a chunk of their acreage in the next couple of years.

We ate a large farm-style dinner outside under a tent, adjacent to the beautifully restored farmhouse and the small orchard. Two of the recipes (lasagna rolls and summer couscous salad) were inspired by recipes on my blog – a terrific surprise!

Hometown Harvest Farm Lunch

Rachel, who grew up in the city, wrote a really great recap of our visit here (complete with lots of photos), and since I’m still getting our house in order after the move to my parents’ farm and don’t have time to write a longer post (yes…it has happened!! More to come….), I’d suggest you visit hers for all the details. We had a tremendous time!

Hometown Harvest is a blog sponsor, which means I’m being compensated for things like spreading the word about what they do. Interested in learning more about their delivery service in Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia? Click here for all the details!

Seared Shrimp with Whole Wheat Pasta

Whole Wheat Shrimp Pasta

I’m a big fan of pasta.

Like, I could eat it just about every night if given the chance.

The other evening we needed a quick dinner thrown together after a busy afternoon of dance practice, a lacrosse game, errands and work. Pasta’s great because most of the time the entire meal can be cooked in 20 minutes or less, from start to finish.

I also had a slew of beautiful veggies from my Hometown Harvest delivery that screamed, “PASTAAAA!!!!”

Seared Shrimp with Whole Wheat Pasta

So, naturally I whipped up a quick seared shrimp with whole wheat pasta (angel hair, to be exact), and as part of the sauce I sauteed organic sliced cremini mushrooms and green onions, and then topped the whole thing off with a sprinkling of fresh basil and diced Roma tomatoes.

And Parmesan. Love Parmesan.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Seared Shrimp with Whole Wheat Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Delicious, easy and quick weeknight dinner!
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 bag frozen raw jumbo shrimp, thawed and peeled - tails removed
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt + 2 tablespoons for the pasta water
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 oz whole wheat angel hair pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
Instructions
  1. Set a large pot of water with 2 tablespoons of salt on the stove to boil.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the shrimp with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the shrimp to the skillet, and let them cook for 3 minutes on one side. Flip them, and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  3. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and the butter to the skillet. Once the butter has melted, add the mushrooms, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Saute them for 2 minutes and then add the green onions and continue for another minute.
  4. Add the angel hair pasta to the boiling water and cook it for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, add the milk to the mushroom mixture, turn the heat up a little and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add ¼ cup Parmesan, and continue cooking until the pasta is finished - the sauce will reduce a bit.
  5. Drain the pasta and toss it into the skillet with the mushroom sauce. Add the shrimp, tomatoes and basil, and continue tossing it gently until the pasta is coated. Serve with the remaining Parmesan and a loaf of crusty bread!

Disclosure: Hometown Harvest is a blog sponsor, which means I’m compensated for spreading the word about what they do, my experiences and the deliveries I get. Interested in signing up? Click here and make sure to tell them I sent you! All opinions are my own, and I only work with brands whose missions I support!

We’re Moving to The Farm

Wagon Ride at the Farm

This summer we’re leaving Frederick.

I KNOW.

I’ve had people tell me when they think of Frederick, they think of me. It’s funny, I didn’t grow up here, but I’ve certainly planted roots since moving to Frederick in 2001. Our kids were born here. My husband grew up here.

All good things come to an end, and so our next chapter starts.

We’re moving to The Farm.

You  know, the place where my parents live, raise chickens and have huge, beautiful organic gardens? And also the place where Josie and Shawn started Truffula Seed Produce, before moving on to other farm adventures? That farm.

Chickens at the Farm

Truth be told, it’s not really a “farm” in the traditional sense, so I feel like I’m misspeaking when I call it that. It’s more of a farmette – five acres with about an acre devoted to the gardens, chickens and a big high tunnel. We’ve all just called it “The Farm” since my parents moved there from the DC suburbs 10 years ago, and the name stuck.

The rest of the land is filled with my parents’ house (the original farmhouse, built in the late-1800s), a summer kitchen adjacent to the farmhouse that was converted to a one-bedroom apartment (my paternal grandfather lives there), a three-bedroom house that was built in 2009 (my maternal grandmother lives there), and a cute log cabin.

Log Cabin at the Farm

The log cabin will likely be where a lot of my blog’s food photos will be captured – the light is stunning, and you can’t beat the exposed log walls! It’s where I filmed my video for the casting of “America’s Best Cook” on Food Network.

Liza Filming the Casting Call Video for "America's Best Cook" on Food Network

But, we won’t be living in the cabin. Don’t think our family of four would manage well in a one-bedroom space, even if it’s horribly cute!

My grandmother is moving to an assisted living home, which means her house will be empty. When they all moved out there, the idea was that it would remain a family property, a homestead, a compound of sorts. Compound sounds a little creepy, but you know – embracing the whole “it takes a village” concept. Working together as a family to keep things running.

It’s a good thing we get along so well with my parents. We’re lucky!

Kids in the Trees

Which also means on-site childcare in the form of my parents. {It’s okay to be jealous.}

You’ll be seeing a lot more farm-to-table style posts from me one we’re out there, which I’m totally excited about! My goal is to still keep my life easy to relate to even though our situation will be unique.

I still work full-time and I’m not leaving my day job. I’ll only be about 30 minutes from my current office, which makes the commute (on country roads!) manageable.

We’ll have access to the gardens and all the produce my mom grows (she still works full-time too, by the way), but I’m also going to keep my delivery from Hometown Harvest. Mmmm….

Maybe I’ll try my hand at gardening too. Or harvesting.

Raspberries on the Farm

Or maybe I’ll just stick to cooking.

The times they are a changin’.

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