Blog Statement

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

August 10, 2015

A Few Twists on S'mores For You!

Who doesn't love a warm and gooey S'more!  If you're planning on celebrating National S'more Day, here are a few ideas from Family Fun magazine that you can try out without a campfire.  How fun are these?!  




CHOCOLATE-DIPPED BONBONS
Line a tray with parchment paper. In a small bowl, melt 1 cup chocolate chips according to the package directions. Place 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers in another bowl. Quickly dip one marshmallow at a time in the chocolate, then in the cracker crumbs (you should have enough for 12 bonbons). Let them cool on the tray.


SWEET AND TOASTY PARFAIT
Place 3 marshmallows on a parchment-lined baking sheet and broil on high for 1 minute. Place 3 tbsp. graham cracker crumbs in an 8-oz. glass or jar. Add 1/4 cup chocolate pudding and top with the marshmallows.


TEDDY BEAR CRUNCH
On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss 2 cups chocolate Teddy Grahams with 3/4 cup mini marshmallows. Melt 1/2 cup white chocolate chips according to the package directions, then drizzle it over the other ingredients and let cool. Break into pieces before serving.


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August 3, 2015

July's Endless Summer Photo Re-Cap

July is my favorite summer month.  No school, warm northern CA weather and busy with fun summer time activities.  Here is my photo re-cap...


Chamber's Landing in Lake Tahoe.  A definite favorite and one last minute, fantastic trip with friends.





Stopping in Auburn, CA on the way home from Tahoe.....




 Lunch date with my favorite boy.....







 Spa day morning with some favorite ladies.....




Spa Day evening with the same ladies......





A few of these fun Fridays at Indian Valley Golf Course, near our house.....





Enjoying Sonoma County Farm Bureau's Love of the Land event with some good friends......






Many graduation parties.......
 



Some beautiful sunsets......





Girlscout Camp.......






Ending the month with a five day camp trip in Cloverdale with family and friends.....




.....and a super cute pooch......




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July 31, 2015

Viva Diva Sangria

Sangria is a favorite summer time party choice for me.  Viva Diva Wines sent me this fantastic looking recipe featuring their Pinot Grigio.  Maybe a perfect fit for your Labor Day party....white after Labor Day is okay!


Christina Milian, singer, actress and entrepreneur, owns Viva Diva Wines along with her Mother/manger, Carmen Milian and publicist, Robyn Santiago. These three female owners have taken the affordable and tasty Viva Diva Wines to incredible heights and national levels.

Viva Diva Sangria

​Ingredients:
1 bottle Viva Diva Wines Pinot Grigio
1 2 liter sprite (If this sounds too sweet, you can always half it with club soda)
Fresh fruits including blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, orange slices and lemon slices
Ice
1/2-1 cup Triple Sec-Optional

Directions:
Fill pitcher with ice about halfway full
Mix equal parts of the wine and sprite together in pitcher.
Add in fruits. Stir well. Keep adding wine and sprite to adjust taste desired.
Add in triple sec for additional flavor and citrus kick.
Pour into an ice filled tall goblet or glass and add in fruits from pitcher. ENJOY
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July 7, 2015

Cows, Heifers and more Cows ~ Only at the Fair


I am just NOW recovering from Fair Time.  Whew.  After a long, hot five days living out of a camp trailer at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, it takes a 40-something year old just a little while to scrape the dirt off, rest and feel 'back to normal'...whatever that is.



From the time school is out, the first part of June, everyone's scrambling, every day to prepare for the fair.  I wouldn't have it any other way though......the kids LOVE it, it's a ton of work and the memories will be forever.







This year things were a little different.  The state of Californina is in the middle of a drought and the Sonoma-Marin Fair was mandated by the state to cut back 25% of its water usuage.  What that meant for the livestock division of the fair was a "Natural Show" which included a "No Wash" policy for the animals.  The kids were allowed to use the hose and nozzle for spot washes along with buckets and sponges and they could also obtain written permission for a full wash to their animals, if needed.

The livestock exhibitors, aged eight to 19, put their big boy/girl pants on, pulled up their boots and went with it.  All of the fair exhibitors followed the rules, cleaned their animals when necessary, conserved water as much as they could and all with minimal complaints from these same kids.





Show day comes early, getting up at 6 a.m. to get their animals ready to show.  Paige was allowed to show a large animal, her heifer, Nina, for the first time this year as an eight year old Special Junior. She and her cousin, Leila, were all smiles ring-side.  So much fun to watch them having fun and enjoying themselves with their heifers.







Now, this is the difference between our two kids.....Bryce is all serious and calm before his turn in the show ring.  Here he is ready with his heifer, Frankie.






We did have a little time for some carnival fun which was very much appreciated by the kiddos.






Concerts every night had Paige rockin with pleasure....Beach Boys, Rodney Atkins and Tanya Tucker.






The Sonoma-Marin Fair hosts the World's Ugliest Dog Contest every year as well and here is this year's winner....Quasi Modo.






Before we knew it, we were all celebrating the last night of the fair and were awarded with this gorgeous sunset view from our trailer and above the dairy barns.





By Sunday afternoon, we had packed up the camp trailer, most of the tack for the animals and waited for the animal release time at 4:30 p.m.





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June 22, 2015

Chocolate BBQ Sauce

Over ice cream, dip cookies, berries or bananas, marshmallows....what ever your pleasure, this Chocolate BBQ Sauce recipe by Francois Payard looks like a winner to me.  My plan is to incorporate it into a milkshake since we're right in the middle of National Ice Cream Month.





We're getting ready to head to our local fair, where the kids show their Holsteins and we will be camped out there for five days. Whipping out some chocolate BBQ sauce to dip my pretzels in will sound good at the end of a long fair day.  Especially when paired with a nice bold glass of cab.  I think I'll be ready for it by Thursday night, I am sure of it.

See you at the fair!




                                                                                 Photo and recipe courtesy Francois Payard

                                         
                                                               
Chocolate BBQ Sauce

8 ounces (250 grams) 61% or 72% chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon (12 grams) light corn syrup
1 cup (250 grams) heavy cream
½ cup milk
4 tablespoons your favorite BBQ sauce
2 dashes of Tabasco

1)     Place the chocolate and corn syrup in a medium bowl.
2)     Pour the heavy cream and milk into a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Pour the hot cream and milk mixture over the chocolate, and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Strain the mixture into a bowl.
3)     Add 4 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ sauce and 2 dashes of Tabasco to the chocolate mixture.
4)     Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats. Dip cookies, berries, or marshmallows into the chocolate BBQ glaze and place on the lined baking sheets. Allow the chocolate BBQ glaze to set and then enjoy.
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June 1, 2015

Eager for Dairy

We kicked off Dairy Month a day early yesterday with a whole lot of dairy. Beginning the day with our own local 4H club's annual 4H Project Workshop and Chicken BBQ.


The workshops are held to help instruct 4H members how to show or just to practice showing different animal breeds at the local fair.  Non 4H members are also encouraged to come out and learn and try handling the animals as well.  Fun for all.

In the photo above, Paige is practicing her Showmanship techniques in the ring with her cousin's Jersey dairy cow, Ruby.

Many of the kids attending, eagerly awaited their turn to participate. 
(Thanks Jenny for the cute photo below)









We also had a beef cow workshop, which is completely different than showing a dairy cow.



A rabbit, cavy and poultry workshop....
(Two additional photos by Jenny, thank you!)

Much was learned about showing swine as well.  The beach balls doubled for the actual live animal in the swine workshop.  So much fun!

Appetites were on fire after the workshops concluded, so after washing up we enjoyed a fabulous chicken BBQ paired with plenty of Clover Stornetta milk and Three Twins Ice Cream..


June kicks off Dairy Month and we have an entire month+ of dairy related excitement to come!  My kids are eager to show their dairy heifers at our local fair in a few weeks, hope to see many of you there!

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May 6, 2015

Mother's Day ~ from Brunch to Cocktail Hour




Mother's Day!  For ideas from brunch time to cocktail hour, these recipes will cover the entire day.

Gather your little kitchen helpers and recreate the perfect dish with several delicious (and easy) recipes to choose from, provided byCarrington Farms, Colman’s MustardGaeaand Sparkling Ice.




Carrington Farms: Apple Flaxseed Muffins

Ingredients:
•                     11/4 cup Carrington Farms milled flaxseed
•                     2 teaspoons baking powder
•                     1 tablespoon cinnamon
•                     1 teaspoon nutmeg
•                     1/2 teaspoon salt
•                     3/4 cup granulated sugar
•                     4 large eggs
•                     1/4 cup canola oil
•                     1/2 cup water
•                     1 tablespoon vanilla extract
•                     1 medium apple, finely chopped
•                     1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 12-muffin tin.

  1. Mix first 6 ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients.

  1. Let batter stand 10 minutes, then put into the muffin pan and bake for about 16 to 18 minutes until toothpick comes out clean and muffins just barely start to pull away from the sides of the tin.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Yield: 12 servings


Colman’s Mustard: Coconut-Almond Shrimp with Marmalade-Mustard Dipping Sauce
Serves: 8

Dipping Sauce ingredients
•        1 cup orange marmalade 
•        3 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
•        2 tbsp. Colman’s Original Prepared Mustard
•        2 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
•        1 tsp. curry powder

Coconut Shrimp ingredients
•        1 (7-ounce) bag sweetened flaked coconut
•        1 ½  cups almond meal (or almond flour)
•        2 large eggs, lightly beaten
•        1 tbsp. Colman’s Original Prepared Mustard
•        1/2 teaspoon salt
•        1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied, tails left on (40 – 45 count)
•        Vegetable oil for frying
•        Bamboo skewers

Preparation
  1. To make the dipping sauce, whisk together the marmalade, vinegar, mustard, ginger, and curry powder in a small bowl; set aside.  
  2. To make the shrimp, pulse the coconut in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a pie plate with the almond meal. Whisk together the eggs, Colman’s Original Prepared Mustard, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the shrimp to the egg mixture, tossing to coat. Lift the shrimp, a few pieces at a time, from the egg mixture, letting the excess dip off the shrimp, then coat in the coconut mixture, pressing to adhere.
  3. Heat 3-inches of oil in a heavy 4-quart saucepan over medium heat until the temperature reaches 375°F on a deep-fat thermometer (or heat oil in a deep-fat fryer set at 370°F.).
  4. Working in batches, drop the shrimp into the oil. Cook, turning occasionally, until the shrimp are golden brown, 2 – 3 minutes per batch. Thread onto bamboo skewers. Transfer to a platter, Serve with the dipping sauce. 


Gaea: Arugula Salad

preparation time 20 minutes
• 6-8 servings

1 bunch arugula stems cut off and discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced
10 Gaea sundried tomatoes, halved
8 thin rounds of salami Lefkadas or any other peppery salami, trimmed and halved
10 Gaea Green Halkidiki olives whole or pitted

For the dressing
1/3 cup Gaea DOP Sitia, Crete extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Greek thyme or mountain honey
1 Tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Wash and spin the arugula dry in a salad spinner. Place in a medium serving bowl. Place the onion on top, then the sun dried tomatoes. Place the salami halves decoratively around the salad. Top with the olives. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Dress and mix the salad and serve immediately.


Sparkling Ice: Grapefruit Jalapeno Martini

Ingredients
  • 3 oz.  Grapefruit Sparkling ICE
  • 1 ½ oz.  vodka
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • Lime wedge
  • Sliced fresh jalapeƱo
  • Chili salt for rim of glass (Kosher salt mixed with chili powder)

Directions
  1. Use a lime wedge to rub the entire rim of a chilled martini glass, and dip into chili salt mixture. 
  2. Combine vodka and jalapeno slices with ice in a shaker.
  3. Strain and pour into the chilled martini glass.
  4. Top with Grapefruit Sparkling ICE. 
  5. Garnish with a few Jalapeno slices. 
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