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

March 31, 2011

Served Up at the Pine Cone Diner

All of my complaints about the spring {and winter} rain we've been getting here in northern CA have been forgotten.  On this last day of March, for it to be sunny and warm in Pt. Reyes Station is, well, just vibrant and glorious. 

Dominic had to make a quick trip out to the Farm Bureau office to drop something off, so Paige and I decided to tag along with the hopes of stopping for lunch while we were out there.

We drove over to the Pine Cone Diner and I think I had the most deliciously fresh club sandwich ever.  This club included chicken breast, bacon, avocado, tomato, and my favorite.....caramelized onions! 

Mouth watering to say the least. 

It's not just what was included in the club sandwich itself {besides the caramelized onions}, it is the fact that they use fresh, local ingredients for their menu items.  I consider myself pretty picky when at a restaurant and I could not find one thing wrong with my sandwich.














All the burgers at the Pine Cone Diner are all made with 100% grass-fed beef from Marin Sun Farms and all sandwiches served on Oat Nut Bread unless otherwise specified.  They totally support the local farmers and ranchers.





























There is both indoor and outdoor patio seating, so look who was able to come with us....


Chloe, being the social butterfly that she is, was able to socialize with a group of bike riders that had peddled into town and stopped for a bite to eat at the diner.  She begged for pets and then rolled over on her back for belly scratches.....definitely not shy.


















I have a feeling we'll be making many more trips out to Pine Cone Diner this summer .....especially as it's only a 15 minute ride from our front door.

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March 30, 2011

No Fear.....no, not me

Paige's new-found talent.  Vaulting.  She's into it.....at least on this pretend 'horse'.  At Farm Day, one of the demonstrations that I had to practically tear Paige away from was the horse vaulting.  She watched the 'big girls' demonstrate their moves and then only needed to be asked once if she wanted to try.

She got on and immediately mimicked what she saw the 'big girls' do....no instruction needed. 














Paige is already involved in gymnastics and has no fear, which, I believe is what's needed for vaulting atop a moving animal.  I can't even imagine the balance that's required for this sport!

Thumbs up from the instructor.
















The horse stable is located just down the street from us and we drive by it more than once a day......I don't think I'll be able to sway her from this one.


















Her cousin, Leila may have to join as well.

Towards the end of the morning, we found ourselves back over at the vaulting area just so Paige could watch the vaulting competition on the laptop that was set up at the table.

I have a feeling vaulting is not an inexpensive sport.......unfortunately.


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March 29, 2011

Farm Kids and Spring Rain

If you've been reading here for a while, you then know how much rain we've been getting in northern California all winter and spring. 

Buckets.

Loads.

The kids and I here on the farm couldn't take it any longer.  It was time to go out and play.  Rain or shine.


Off to the calf barn we headed, with the hopes of finding something interesting to do or play with. 
The kids decided they wanted to play beavers and build a dam.














Perfect!  This kept them busy for well over an hour.  They collected sticks, alfalfa, rocks to build up their dam.













Bryce was amazed that it was actually working.

Off to gather more alfalfa to finish up.

I'm hoping this will be the last day of our rainy season.  This week's forecast is calling for spring weather with one day even reaching the 80 degree mark! 

Has spring landed where you live yet?  Or are you still snowed in?

For more Wordless Wednesday posts visit Dagmar's Momsense

I love to hear from you! To leave a comment, click on the “Post a Comment” link below. Have a peaceful day.


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March 28, 2011

Meatloaf Monday

One of the things I love about meatloaf night is, depending on what's in our fridge at the time, a different recipe can be created almost every time.

On this night, I had a bag of julienned broccoli and carrots in the fridge.  I have one child, Bryce who will eat all sorts of raw veggies, broccoli included and another child, Paige who will only eat carrots, period.  So sticking some broccoli into a meatloaf is a great way for me to get her to eat other veggies.....the girl likes her meat to eat so this concept is perfect.

Here's what you need: onion, shredded broccoli and carrot, green olives, salt, pepper, ketchup, two eggs, bread crumbs, paprika, milk and I used two pounds of ground beef.  {recipe below}















Throw it all together in to a bowl.













Pour in the milk.













And here's my favorite part, mix it all together by hand.
Form into a loaf shape {2 lbs of ground beef will make two loaves} and place on a baking sheet.


















Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 75 minutes and here's what you get.......

No one complained or even noticed that broccoli was included.

What's your favorite meatloaf ingredient?

Shredded Broccoli and Carrot Meatloaf

2 lbs ground beef
2 eggs
2 T ketchup
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup or more of julienned broccoli and carrot
Handful of green olives, chopped
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
salt, pepper and paprika to taste
1 cup of milk

Mix all together, shape into loaves and place on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 75 minutes.

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March 27, 2011

Rainy Day Fun

It's been another weekend of rainy weather for us here in California and as I said yesterday, Little League Opening Day has been postponed, once again due to soggy fields.

It's super muddy here on the farm as well.  You would think my kids would enjoy going out in rain boots to splash in the puddles....but they don't.  I ended up searching my cupboards for something.....anything for them to do......we're sort of running out of new, fresh indoor activities but I was able to find one.














I found a forgotten box of gingerbread cookie-pops....Score!












Out came all the tubes of frosting, leftover from Christmas.

















And sprinkles.



















After they whipped through all 10 gingerbread-pops, Bryce discovered, by accident that he could change the color of the frosting by mixing the colors.  Hallelujah!  All of the sudden we had an additional 45 minute art lesson {aka~ busy time}. 













You gotta do what you gotta do on a rainy weekend.....even if it means letting them lick the frosting bowl when they're finished.

What do you do for fun when you're stuck indoors?  We may need a few more ideas.


I love to hear from you! To leave a comment, click on the “Post a Comment” link below. Have a peaceful day.

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March 26, 2011

Having a Moment

It's a rainy Saturday.  Once again, Bryce's Little League opening day festivities were cancelled due to all the rain we're experiencing.  So it's an at home, indoors kind of day for us. 

We're experiencing a little 'cabin fever'.  Running low on our list of activities.  I may have to resort to taking my kids to the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' movie tomorrow.....Bryce's favorite series of books to read.......I don't necessarily recommend this series for the younger kids because the 'S' word {stupid} is said a lot in them.  And we're not allowed to say that word in our house....not even the adults.  Not sure if the movie will happen or not, but he's been begging me to go.

So at the end of a long and rainy day I found a little pocket of quiet time for myself, where the kids had gone into their rooms to play 'Star Wars battles the princesses and pocket ponies'.

I had myself a little Moment.

Bread and butter.  Yep, that's right, I ate all three pieces.....okay, maybe four.














And then added a glass of wine. 


















How was your Saturday?  What did you do?
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March 25, 2011

Kids....Get Cookin'!

Yesterday at Marin County Farm Day, one of the booths Bryce stopped at had a spin the wheel game that the kids could play and receive prizes.  He was ecstatic when he came back with his very own kid's cookbook.  It's titled Kids......Get Cookin'! and it's put out by the CA Dept. of Public Health and here's the link to the pdf version of it {English and Spanish}:  Kids...Get Cookin'!  for all 23 kid friendly recipes.

Today was my day to teach cooking to the K-1 class at Bryce's one-room school and he thought it would be a good idea to pick a recipe out of his new cookbook.....so we did.  Smoothie day!

Here's what you need: 
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup o.j.
1/4 cup yogurt
1 banana  
1/2 cup frozen berries
Blend all together in a blender or Magic Bullet and serve.












There are only four kids in the K-1 class at school, they're all high energy boys, so when I can teach them a recipe that doesn't require much sugar, it's a bonus......for me.......and the rest of the school.


One of the boys {not this one} told me that his mom doesn't allow him to 'pour' when helping with the cooking at home .........but he learned to do it today and he didn't spill a drop.













Anything that's loud and has a motor, boys are ALL over.  They were diggin' the Magic Bullet.
Here are the recipes that are included in the .pdf version of Kids Get Cookin'....just click on the picture to enlarge.  Enjoy!



I love to hear from you! To leave a comment, click on the “Post a Comment” link below. Have a peaceful day.

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March 24, 2011

Emma and Barina {the calves} at Farm Day

Today we loaded up Emma and Barina in the trailer, drove in the torrential rains, down the freeway in backed up traffic to make it to Marin County Farm Day. 

Farm Day provides hands-on educational experiences outside the classroom, including stations designed by the Marin Master Gardeners. Approximately 30 Northern California ranchers, farmers, producers and educators provide interactive exhibits on agriculture, health, farm animals, gardens and environmental education.

This was Emma and Barina's first public outing and they did great! 


Kids that normally don't get the chance to see a farm animal up close were able to pet and look at these calves.  The Jersey calf belongs to Bryce's fellow 4H member and schoolmate, Gracie, Justice her calf is 4 months old and will also be shown at the fair this summer.

 












My nephew, Gavin, will be showing Emma in the Sonoma-Marin fair this summer....I think they've bonded.


Our Tri-Valley 4H had a display of rabbits and cavies for kids to pet and learn about.  This type of event is always a great opportunity for the 4H members to teach other kids and adults about the animals they care for.  Lots of questions were asked and they were able to answer them with confidence.















All Marin County elementary schools have the opportunity to participate in an essay contest and a poster contest.  Cash prizes and ribbons are awarded at the event.













Bryce walked down to see if his school received a prize.














Second place for the poster his school created.  There are five K through 1 students at Bryce's one-room school, so each grade was responsible for one section of the poster.

 Northbay Dairy Women had a booth with the help of current Dairy Princess, Emile Strand. 
  










There are many hands-on booths the kids can participate in....here they are planting pumpkin seeds to take home.


















Looming {is that a word?}demonstrations were happening as well.


Clo the Cow of Clover Stornetta made an appearance.  Paige and her cousin, Leila  followed Clo around for a while.


















Our friend, Willy, gave roping demonstrations and taught kids how to handle a rope with the Novato Horsemen group.


















The sheep belong to the Pozzi family, who are M.C. Farm Bureau board members and were a big hit.

And sometimes some of the most educational demonstrations take place at the end of an event, when only a few attendees remain.  Bunny breeding session....that's all I'm sayin'. 

Farm Friend Friday Following at http://www.verdefarm.com/


I love to hear from you! To leave a comment, click on the “Post a Comment” link below. Have a peaceful day.

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