Blog Statement

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

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

•                     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)

  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

  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

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

  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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April 30, 2015

Cinco De Mayo Recipe Roundup

Oh boy....Cinco De Mayo rates right up there as one of my favorite eating holidays of all time.  I can eat Mexican food almost every day of the week.

Here are a few of my favorites......

This black bean dip is actually very healthy for us, it's just the chips we need to watch out for.  This is a great, easy recipe to whip up for backyard barbecues and parties as well.  I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

Healthy Black Bean Dip


Ingredients you'll need (list below)

Mash up the black beans to where they are still chunky.
1 can black beans
1 tsp. oil
½ cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup diced tomatoes (I use onion & garlic canned diced tomatoes)
1/3 cup salsa
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp chili powder
¼ cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1T fresh lime juice

DirectionsMash beans in bowl until chunky. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté for 4 minutes. Add beans, diced tomatoes, salsa, cumin, chili powder and cook for 5 minutes or until thick. Stir and remove from heat. Add cheese, cilantro and lime juice. Stir well.

Serve warm or at room temp.

EASY Guacamole
I used to buy pre-made guacamole as we have many varieties available here in California, until my friend, Heather, turned me on to a super delicious and extremely easy way to whip up a batch in no time flat.

All you need is guacamole seasoning package, I use McCormick's, and two California avocados.  I normally add some lime juice and some chopped red onion to taste as well.

Slice two ripened avocados, add the contents of the guacamole seasoning packet and mix.  Squeeze in some lime juice and chopped red onion and or chopped tomatoes, if desired.  Mix until all ingredients are combined.

Refrigerate and eat for lunch... or any time of day.

Baked Nachos.

It's like a hearty one dish meal you can throw together within 10 minutes!   Perfect with any beverage....margaritas, beer, sangria, MILK, Yum.

I began layering; chips, cheese, yellow and orange bell peppers, onions, ground beef and black beans.

A high protein meal, the entire family could devour.

Add a little salsa and or guacamole and sour cream.....perfect.

Here's what you need for success:

Tortilla chips or pita chips
cheese of choice, I used low fat mozzarella, grated
1 pound of ground beef
taco seasoning
1 can of black beans
bell peppers
1 small red onion
tomatoes, chopped if you have them
and any other topping you feel like chopping up and adding
Sour Cream

Place ground beef in a skillet and brown.  Add taco seasoning to taste and cook a little longer.  Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place the tortilla chips on the foil.  Sprinkle grated cheese on top of chips, layer with bell pepper, red onion, browned ground beef and black beans.

Place in oven on broil for 4-5 minutes.  Just long enough so the cheese is good and melted.
Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole if desired.

Chobani Greek Guacamole
This recipe for Chobani Greek Yogurt guacamole has been such a hit in my house.

This Chobani guacamole recipe is SO tasty and includes Chobani Greek Yogurt to lighten up the calories.

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April 2, 2015

Grown-Up Easter Basket Ideas

Wouldn't it be so much fun to recieve a grown-up Easter basket on Sunday?!!  This would make a GREAT hostess gift or a fantastic gift to your loved one.  Here are a few suggestions for creating your own grown-up basket....


The days of egg hunts may be gone, but that doesn’t mean you have to outgrow every Easter tradition you looked forward to as a child. With the right goodies, Easter baskets can be just as enjoyable as an adult to dig into on Sunday morning. Here are some tasty ways to give your Easter basket a gourmet touch this spring season.

·      Divine Pastries: French-inspired dessert line Donsuemor introduced its Petit Gateau Meyer Lemon springtime flavor to local Bay Area Costco stores last month—making for the perfect Easter treat!

·      Decadent Springtime Teas: Enjoy a cup of spring with Davidson’s Organic’s Spring Cup and SpringFruit and Flowers loose leaf teas. These lovely fragrant teas are sure to make your basket all the more seasonal.

·      Napa Valley White Wine: For wine lovers, Whitehall Lane Winery’s 2013 Sauvignon Blanc is a fan favorite. Its crisp and refreshing flavor profile is perfect to enjoy on a warm breezy afternoon.
 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley

·      Nature’s Sugar Rush: Looking for something sweet to snack on without all the guilt? Popular snack food line Nature’s Bakery makes some great seasonal fruit flavors for spring. Finding a delicious peach apricotmango, or strawberry fig bar in your Easter basket is sure to put an extra hop in your step!
Peach Apricot all natural fig bars
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April 1, 2015

Perfect Boiled Eggs {Recipe}

Easter's right around the corner and it's time to boil those eggs!  I don't know about you, but when I used to boil eggs, they would crack and the inside would have that ugly greenish rim around it. And I never knew exactly how long to cook them. 

I have been using this method for a few years and it works every time.....the perfect boiled eggs....

1. PLACE eggs in a pot with one inch of water covering the tops of them.  Cook on medium high heat and wait until water has just begun to boil.

2. REMOVE from burner. COVER pan. LET EGGS STAND in hot water about 15 minutes for large eggs (12 minutes for medium eggs; 18 minutes for extra large).

3. DRAIN immediately and serve. OR, cool completely under cold running water or in bowl of ice water, then REFRIGERATE.
Above three photos courtesy Google Images


Hard-cooked, not hard-boiled.
 Even though the cooking water must come to a full boil in this method, the pan is immediately removed from the heat so that the eggs cook gently in the hot water. This leaves your eggs tender, not rubbery,  and minimizes cracking.

Banish the greenish ring. This harmless but ugly discoloration that sometimes forms around hard-cooked yolks results from a reaction between sulfur in the egg white and iron in the yolk. It the result when eggs have been cooked for too long or at too high a temperature. Following the steps above will minimize this.
What Makes Hard-Cooked Eggs Hard to Peel? The fresher the egg, the more difficult it is to peel after hard cooking. That's because the air cell, found at the large end of the shell between the shell membranes, increases in size the longer the raw egg is stored. As the contents of the egg contracts and the air cell enlarges, the shell becomes easier to peel. Because of this, older eggs make better candidates for hard cooking.

Safety Tips on eating hard cooked, dyed eggs:
Dyeing eggs: After hard cooking eggs, dye them and return them to the refrigerator within 2 hours. If eggs are to be eaten, use a food-safe coloring.

Blowing out eggshells: Because some raw eggs may contain Salmonella, be extra careful when blowing out the contents to hollow out the shell for decorating, such as for Ukrainian Easter eggs. Use only eggs that have been kept refrigerated and are uncracked. To destroy bacteria that may be present on the surface of the egg, wash the egg in hot water and then rinse in a solution of 1 teaspoon liquid chlorine bleach per half cup of water. After blowing out the egg, refrigerate the contents and use within 2 to 4 days.

Egg Hunting:  If the shells crack on your hard cooked egg, bacteria could contaminate the inside. Eggs should be hidden in places that are protected from dirt, pets, and other sources of bacteria. The total time for hiding and hunting eggs should not go beyond 2 hours. The "found" eggs must be re-refrigerated and eaten within 7 days of cooking.

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March 25, 2015

Spring Cocktails

Spring is here and it's definitely feeling like it here in Northern California today!  With temperatures reaching close to the 80 degree mark and the days a little longer, leaves me craving some fun spring cocktails to enjoy out on the patio, or a friend's cabana!

1800 Tequila has provided me with three fantastic looking recipes to try and I just had to share with you all!

Recipes and photo courtesy 1800 Tequila

The cows are not all that are happy here in California.  Cheers!

Spring Fever
2 oz. 1800 Silver Tequila
1.5 oz. Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Preparation: Combine ingredients into shaker and shake well. Serve in glass and garnish with lime wedge. 

Coconut Crusher
1 oz. 1800 Coconut Tequila
1 oz. Pineapple Juice

Preparation: Combine ingredients in a shaker and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. 

Tequila Daisy
2 oz.1800 Silver Tequila
1 oz. Triple Sec
2 oz. Fresh Lime juice

Preparation: Combine the tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and strain into glass. Garnish with lime wedge. 
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