Blog Statement

Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

February 9, 2016

Heart Shaped Chocolate Mocha Bundt Cake

Oh my.  How cute is this heart shaped Chocolate Mocha Bundt Cake.  Terra's Kitchen put this delicious looking cake together and I wanted to share it with you all.

Bonus.....it's low in sugar.



One of my favorite flavor combinations involve coffee and chocolate and here it is in the form of a bundt cake.  So yummy.  Here's the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2/3 cup high quality cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 5 tablespoons cold brewed coffee (we use Baltimore-based Zeke's Coffee)
  • Butter Coffee Pour Over (recipe to follow)
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Generously grease a Bundt pan with butter (we used a heart-shaped Bundt for Valentine's Day). Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a standing mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and light in texture (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the sour cream and coffee and mix until combined.
  5. Gradually add the dry JUST until incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt and bake until the center of cake springs back when touched and a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean (about 45-50 minutes).
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and pour Butter Coffee Pour Over mixture over the hot cake. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Release the sides and bottom of the cake from the pan with a narrow metal spatula or knife. Invert the pan onto a plate or cake stand. Remove the pan and dust with cocoa powder or powdered sugar before serving.
Butter Coffee Pour Over
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brewed dark roast coffee (we use Zeke's Coffee)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Directions:
  1. Add ingredients to a small sauce pan over low heat, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
Photo and recipe courtesy:  Terra's Kitchen
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January 26, 2016

Superbowl Chili

We live just 25 miles north of San Francisco, the "City By The Bay".  The "City" is totally gearing up for the Superbowl 50, which will take place at Levi Stadium...(home of the Forty-Niners... wah wah). I, myself, plan on steering clear of the city the next few weeks but can't wait for the Superbowl itself!
The Superbowl is always a great reason to have or attend a party, eat chili, drink beer and my favorite thing of all, in regards to the Superbowl....the commercials!

There's something about football and chili that just go hand in hand.  Don't you agree?  I do love a good pot of chili and there are SO many different varieties to choose from.  Just recently, Tocabe, an American Indian Eatery out of Denver, sent me this hearty looking recipe for their Green Chili Stew. Tocabe (as seen on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives) claims this recipe to be "warm, spicy and delicious as well as unique and authentic".  So if you're having a Chili Cook-off for your own Superbowl Sunday, you might want to throw this one into the mix.

Photo and Recipe courtesy Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery



Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery’s Green Chile Stew
SERVES 4-6 

INGREDIENTS 
  • 1 large potato
  • 8 ounces fresh ground beef
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1/3 cup flour (might need more depending on how much grease is in the meat)
  • 3⁄4 cup mild green chili (prefer fresh, but can substitute with frozen or canned)
  • 1⁄2 cup hot green chili (prefer fresh, but can substitute with frozen or canned)
  • 1 1⁄2 cups corn (prefer cut off cob, but can substitute frozen or canned)
  • 2 teaspoons green chili powder (optional)
  • Grated cheese (optional, we like cheddar)
  • Sour cream (optional)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Peel and cube the potato into 1/2 inch diameter pieces and set aside.
  2. In a sauté pan on medium heat, cook the ground beef and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Break into serving sized pieces (whatever size you want).
  3. Cook the green chili powder, if you are using, into the beef.
  4. While the beef is cooking, place 4 cups water in a stock pot with the potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until fork tender; do not cook until the potatoes mash.
  5. When all the rawness is cooked out of the beef, turn off the heat. Slowly add the flour while mixing into the beef in order to make a roux. Mix the flour into the beef completely until no dry flour remains.
  6. Once your roux is complete, add to the stockpot with the cooked potatoes. Add the green chiles, corn, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Fully mix all the ingredients and place the stockpot back on the stovetop.
  7. Bring up to temperature on medium heat, stirring occasionally. This may take up to 30 minutes or more. Feel free to add cheese or sour cream, if desired.

More info about Tocabe

"Founded in 2008 and owned by Matt Chandra and Ben Jacobs, Tocabe is the only American Indian owned and operated restaurant in Metro Denver. The restaurant’s warm, open space features American Indian cultural elements infused with contemporary design to create a unique, welcoming atmosphere. Tocabe takes it origin from Grayhorse: An American Indian Eatery, which was established in downtown Denver in 1989 by the Jacobs family (tribal members of the Osage Nation). Tocabe uses some of the family recipes from Grayhorse along with additional Osage recipes to create a fresh take on American Indian cuisine. Tocabe was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in 2012."

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January 5, 2016

End of Season Wrap Up

Happy New Year!  The last two weeks of 2015 were doozies!  I'm sure you all can relate.  Two weeks off of school for the kiddos = a full, fun filled schedule.  Normally I like to have a nice relaxing, mellow time while the kids are at home for break, but that was not the case this year...






Every year we like to collect donations and deliver to the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco.  So on a very rainy day, the first day of school break, we loaded the car and trucked into the city with the goods.  We finally made it to the brand new, beautiful facility.....





.......but not until after we accidentally drove to the old facility across town.  It was a rainy day adventure to say the least.







Leading up to Christmas, we had a few family dinners scheduled, to help prolong the holiday.  Christmas Eve day we have the tradition of going to Great Grandma's house, (Dominic's Grandma) here on the ranch.  We spent a good part of the afternoon with Great Grandma, all dressed in her beautiful red, before the rest of her family came to her house for dinner.






I always reacquaint myself with photos and wall hangings every time we visit Grandma Mary.  This is a painting of Burdell School, which was a one room school house that was built on the ranch in the 1800's.  It was burnt down in the 1950's, but it lives forever on Grandma's kitchen wall.






Another favorite of mine is this painting of our family's dairy before Stafford Lake was built.  In the 1950's, the dairy was moved to its current location so that Stafford Lake could be built.    







Christmas Eve night is spent on the ranch, at my mother and father-in-law's house.  This has become a very meaningful family tradition where we, along with Dominic's sisters and their families gather for food, drink, good times and the opening of presents.  

Bryce had fun playing "Santa" this year....and yes, he is wearing his cousin's Raiders Santa hat.....yikes!







Christmas morning is spent at home, very relaxed and cozy before heading over to my sister's house to celebrate Christmas afternoon with my side of the family. 

The party continues, with Fuzzy, the photo-bomber and all.






Three Portuguese Girls-A-Cookin'.







Linguica and bacon, among other goodies.







OH, and the highlight of Christmas night, we finally were able to meet our new little, one month old cousin.  The kids were amazed at how small her little toes and fingers were.







And proud Daddy, is extremely happy with his little girl.....and yes, he IS a Dallas Cowboys fan....





After Christmas was over, we didn't want to let the festivities go quite yet so we headed out to the coast with some very good friends for another Christmas tradition that began in 2014....Oysters and wine.



above photo credit: Heather



There was a whole lot of enjoyable eating during the last part of the year.  I'm almost sad to see it go.  But, we must keep on track.....spring is around the corner, right?  

Paige and I decided to take a ranch hike with our new pup, Chipper.  Chipper is six months old and has never really been on a leash, until this day.  He did pretty well!  He made it to the top of the hill behind our house without any stalling.  Here we had a nice, clear view of the ranch, Stafford Lake and in the distance, San Pedro Bay.   





This hike was also an opportunity for Paige to rack up some steps on her new Fitbit Flex.






Between Christmas and New Year's, a good friend asked me if the kids and I would be interested in attending the fabulous production of Cavalia - Odyesso in San Francisco.  Absolutely amazing.  I am a horse lover and rider and was completely awestruck by what these horses were able to accomplish.  Wow.  






Before New Year's, it got cold.  REALLY cold.  Something like 28 degrees.....Now I know that's not cold for some of you, but for us California wimps, it's too cold.









New Year's Eve, our out of town cousins drove up to stay the night with us and we ate, drank and watched Napoleon Dynamite after the ball dropped.  






I am thankful for great times, and especially for the great memories.  It's a Wrap, 2015.  

I hope your end of the year wrap up was awesome!  Looking forward to an exciting  2016!


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December 16, 2015

Chorizo Scrambled Egg Breakfast Taco

Growing up in a Portuguese family, I have many many memories of traditional Portuguese dishes that my mom cooked for us.   Many of the recipes included one of my all time favorite sausages, Linguica.  When I was sent this hispanic recipe for Chorizo Scrambled Egg Breakfast Taco, it brought me back to the many times my mom would cook breakfast for dinner......scrambled eggs, linguica (similar to chorizo), toast and milk.  

IMUSA is a leader in Hispanic cookware and they invited me to share their recipe with you all!  If you think you will be feeding a crowd over this upcoming holiday break, you might want to try this delectible dish... 





Chorizo Scrambled Egg Breakfast Taco
Ingredients
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 chorizo links (about 7 ounces)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup cilantro, divided
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar
  • 10-12 corn flour tortillas
  • Chipotle Tabasco (suggestion for topping)
Preparation
  1. Mix sour cream, lime juice, and salt in a bowl and put aside.
  2. Char tortillas over gas flame or directly on electric burner until blackened in spots, turning with tongs. Place in IMUSA tortilla warmer or aluminum foil and set aside.
  3. In an IMUSA non-stick sauté pan add olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Sweat onions for about one minute and add diced chorizo
  4. Cook for 5-6 minutes until chorizo is browned.         
  5. Add half of the cilantro and all of the cooked chorizo to beaten eggs and mix. Bring eggs back to the IMUSA pan and cook on low heat, mixing from time to time.
  6. Place cooked eggs, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and remaining cilantro in separate bowls and lay them out throughout the table with the warm tortillas.
  7. Allow your guests to assemble their own breakfast tacos

Photo and recipe courtesy, www.imusausa.com !
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December 7, 2015

A New Twist on the Bloody Mary

A rich, thick, meaty and spicy Bloody Mary is my go-to drink as I sit for my Sunday morning football viewing pleasure.  And when adding Johnsonville sausage, cheese, cherry tomatoes, avocados and olives to the garnish stick, it can double as breakfast as well, right?


  


Quacking Mallards Bloody Mary

Servings: 4 cocktails
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes




Ingredients
·         ¾ cup Vodka
·         3 cups standard Bloody Mary mix
·         2 oz balsamic vinegar
·         1 dash celery bitters
·         ground pepper
·         ground cardamom
·         1 JOHNSONVILLE Smoked Beef Brat
·         fennel
·         green sport pepper



Directions
1.    In a shaker or pitcher, mix vodka, Bloody Mary mix or tomato juice,
2.    Pour into 4 glasses with ice.
3.    Cut smoked beef brat into pieces.
4.    For the garnish, assemble each of the four skewers with smoked beef brat, fennel and green sport peppers. Place skewer into cocktail.

California Dreamin’ Bloody Mary

Servings: 4 cocktails
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes


Ingredients
·         1 cup vodka
·         3 cups standard Bloody Mary mix
·         1 oz lemon juice
·         2 oz cucumber water (muddle pieces of cucumber with water and strain)
·         1 dash chili powder
·         1 dash ground black pepper
·         1 pinch crushed fennel seeds
·         1 JOHNSONVILLE Bedder with Cheddar Smoked Sausage
·         Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
·         Cherry tomatoes 
·         Avocado cut into 1 inch chunks
·         4 skewers


Directions
5.    In a shaker or pitcher, mix vodka, Bloody Mary mix or tomato juice,
6.    Pour into 4 glasses with ice.
7.    Cut Johnsonville Beddar with Cheddar Smoked Sausage into pieces and cut avocado into pieces.
8.    For the garnish, assemble each of the four skewers with smoked sausage cherry tomatoes, avocado, Monterey Jack cubes and avocado chunks.

Recipes and Photos courtesy Johnsonville Sausage

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November 18, 2015

How to Spatchcock your Turkey

My favorite holiday of the year is fast approaching, Thanksgiving Day.  It's my favorite holiday because it's all about, eating fantastic food all day, hanging with family and friends and watching some football.  Nothing better.

Last year we spatchcocked our turkey and we will be doing the same again this year.  This is the best way to evenly cook your bird and it's roasted in half the time it would take to roast a bird in its normal form.  I'm not a fan of cooking the stuffing inside of the turkey, so spatchcocking worked perfectly for us.  Since all of the skin is exposed at once during the roasting time, it 'll become very crispy and with the shorter cooking time, the meat will be extremely tender and juicy.  

Spatchcocking, you really can't go wrong with this method of roasting a turkey, unless you're one of those who wants the full roasted bird to sit on your Thanksgiving table before being carved.






I followed the Bon Appetit method of spatchcocking.

Steps:

* With turkey breast side down, use poultry shears (and some pretty good strength) to cut along both sides of the backbone.  Set the backbone aside and save it for stock.

* Open up the turkey and use the tip of a knife to score alongside of the keel bone (which is the dark oblong bone in the center of the breast).  By scoring alongside this bone, it makes it easier to flatten out the turkey.

* Turn the skin side up.  Press down firmly with the heel of your hands on the center of the breast to flatten it out.  You should hear a crack and feel the bones give way and the bird will fatten.  (I wasn't quite strong enough to achieve this part but Dominic had no problem)








Roasting Your Spatchcocked Turkey

12-14 pound turkey
Kosher salt
a few sprigs of rosemary
1 T fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp ground pepper
2 onions, quartered
4 carrots, peeled and halved
4 celery stalks
3 heads garlic, halved
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450.
Rinse and pat dry your turkey.
Place onions, carrots, garlic, celery, thyme and rosemary sprigs in the baking tray.  
Lay your spatchcoked turkey on the vegetables, skin side up.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on turkey. Mix the melted butter with the oil and brush on the turkey skin.  Add 1/2 cup water to pan and roast for 30 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to roast, brushing with oil every 20 minutes.  The skin will be a deep golden brown and the temperature gauge, inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 165 degrees before you take it out of the oven.  About 1 1/2 hours total time in the oven.  Remove bird, tent with foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.

I can't wait to do this again this year!


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November 4, 2015

It's a Barn Party! 50 Years for North Bay Dairy Women

It's a Barn Party!  What better way to kick off 50 years of North Bay Dairy Women?!!

Paige and I had the pleasure of attending North Bay Dairy Women's 50th Anniversary party not too long ago.  It was held at the absolutely gorgeous barn/event center; Spring Hill Event Center in Tomales, CA, owned by a local dairy farmer Larry Peter, of Spring Hill Jersey Cheese.


Check out this decked out barn!!  Chandeliers and lights galore!  








North Bay Dairy Women began the year of 1965.  Its purpose to; "educate the public and to promote The Dairy Industry through the dissemination of authentic information; to promote better producer-processor-consumer relations and greater use of all dairy foods through the support of advertising and educational programs and through social events."





North Bay Dairy Women stand generations strong.  Here is Paige, with some of her dairy affiliated cousins......the next generation.


It was a beautifully warm fall afternoon in Tomales.  Food and venue enjoyed by all.



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Here is hoping that when Paige is old enough to actually join the group, officially, she will do so along side some of her cousins to continue the legacy.


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