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

October 31, 2011

Halloween~ Is it even a Holiday?

I'm not sure if Halloween is considered a true holiday or not, all I know is that we've been celebrating it for the last four days. 

I'm so done with Halloween.

It began a week ago at the Nicasio Pumpkin Patch, where Bryce and Paige picked out their pumpkins with their cousins, Raja and Yasmeena.  They played on the jumpies, walked the corn maze and picked the biggest, round pumpkins they could find.
















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October 28, 2011

Maybe the Best Use of Red Solo Cups, Ever

Red Solo cups.  They're a part of lives and for many of us, mainly for the consumption of beer consumed during college years, right?!

Today marks the end of Red Ribbon Week  for schools across the nation.  And I'm proud to show you how our little one-room school house decorated their school using red Solo cups. 

Hey, we do what we can out here in the country:)


Possibly the best use of red Solo cups I've seen to date.  I was impressed!
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October 27, 2011

Homemade Mini Apple Pie~almost {recipe}

The scent of apple pie brings back childhood memories for me.  I remember visiting what used to be the apple capital of Sonoma county, Sebastopol, to buy crates of Gravenstein apples.  We would bring them home, and my sister and I would sit at the kitchen counter and watch my mom peel, then slice apples, and roll out dough to make these incredible apple pies. 

I have never baked my own apple pie, or any pie, until this past weekend.  As a 4H cooking leader, I need to come up with kid-friendly recipes that kids aged from five to twelve will find both appealing and challenging.  After baking this mini apple pie in my 'test kitchen', I feel it will be the perfect kick off to the new 4H season in December.   


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October 26, 2011

TT w/Linky: The Art of Egg Salad {recipe}

I was recently inspired by a visit to a fabulous bakery, Della Fattoria {which means 'of the farm'}
located in Petaluma.  I met my sister there for coffee and a late breakfast after school drop off.  I've been wanting to try it and now I've been craving what I ordered ever since.  The egg salad served on toast. 

It wasn't just your typical egg salad on toast, they serve theirs on crusty whole wheat bread, three long slices of it, piled with their just the right consistency egg salad......for only $5 dollars! 

If you're an egg salad fan and you're local, Della Fattoria is a must try.  Or if you're coming to visit me, I'll take you to Della Fattoria!

So, my visit there, inspired me to make my own egg salad at home.
















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October 25, 2011

WW: Clever Girls

Last week, while the kids were in school, I found myself with a little bit of spare time.  My laundry was caught up, the house was half-way picked up, it was a sunny and beautiful autumn day.  I called Dominic to find out his location on the farm and to ask him if there was anything interesting going on at the moment to snap a few photos of.

He had a job for me. 


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October 24, 2011

Happy Food Day!



It's FOOD DAY! We love growing it in our garden, we love having a family dairy that produces milk to help feed many and we love raising natural beef on our farm, here in northern California.  My life revolves around food; I prepare three meals a day, every day to feed my family, I enjoy blogging about it, teaching 4H cooking is rewarding, I so enjoy my nights out with the girls that always involve eating fabulous food, and I love attending food based events like the upcoming Foodbuzz Festival and the KACF Farm Fresh Tour I recently went on.

Today marks the first FOOD DAY event, sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest {CSPI}.  The goals of the event focus on health and wellness, agricultural and environmental sustainability and food security.

CSPI’s co-founder, Michael Jacobson is known for his favoritism towards plant-based food. But in the CSPI’s July/August 2011 issue of Nutrition Action newsletter, I read a special feature on "Dairy" by David Schardt and was pleased to read and pleasantly surprised a report coming from CSPI actually showed the health benefits of milk. 

Thank you to CSPI for doing some research on dairy and publishing it in your newsletter.
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October 21, 2011

Easy Pear Tart {recipe}

I found this recipe for Easy Pear Tart for my "Best of the Web" series a few weeks ago while I was canning pears with my Mom and my intent was to try it out while I still had a bag full of pears, but that just didn't happen.

So without further adieu and before pear season has passed us by, here is what looks like a fabulous recipe for Easy Pear Tart.



















Recipe and photo by Eating Well
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October 20, 2011

Boots for Fall

This past weekend while attending the San Francisco Vintners Market, I noticed a trend.  Maybe it's been a trend for a while, I don't know, but I just noticed a large percentage of the women attendees were wearing their boots. 

Tall, short, leather, pleather, red, brown, black, tan, cowboy, you name it, I think I saw it.....all in one room.

Nothing can make me happier than knowing boots are definitely in for fall.....but come to think of it, are they really ever out?

Here's a peek at what the San Francisco bay area crowd is wearing.......























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October 19, 2011

TT: It Happened.

It happened sooner than I thought it would.  I knew it was coming.  It was inevitable, really.  At age five, my girly girl farm girl officially turned Tom Boy.

Yes she did.
















She caught her very first lizard.  She was SO very proud, she marched right into the house with it to show me. 















After calming down, I ushered her and her new friend quickly back outside where I was able to snap some photos. 















After the photo session, a serious and deep discussion ensued and it went something like this:

P:  "It can live in my room"

Me:  "No it can't, lizards like to live in nature"

P:  "I'll bring leaves and sticks in for it"

Me:  "It's not allowed in the house, ever"

P:  "But Chloe needs a friend!"

Me:  "Chloe will eat it"

The conversation went on for another two minutes with much pleading and begging but after telling Paige baby lizard wanted to be outside near its mother, she was satisfied....finally.

So today I'm thankful for my little farm girl turning Tom Boy all while wearing zebra print, turquoise and sequins within the same outfit.  Best of both worlds, right?!

What are you thankful for this week?  Feel free to link up for Thankful Thursday or just leave a comment if you'd like!







Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment. I love to hear from you! Have a fantastic day!

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October 18, 2011

WW: Spooktacular Treats made with Dairy {recipes}

If your kids are like mine, then Halloween rates right up towards the top of the list when talking holidays.  Why?  For us, it all has to do with the decorating and the ghoulishly ghouls that are spotted everywhere from school to the neighborhood library and of course the candy they collect has a little something to do with it as well. 

When I received recipes for these kid-friendly, spooky and fun confectionery-free treats from the California Milk Advisory Board, I just had to share with you!  All the recipes in the photo are made in 30 minutes or less, and use Real California dairy products.  Food is so much more fun to eat when it looks like this, whether you're a kid or an adult, right?!

I think any of these would be perfect for a Halloween party at school, at home or just as an after school snack!  My kids are gonna love the Spider Web Pizza, the Toasted Ghosts and the Yogurt Ghost Pops for sure.























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October 17, 2011

San Francisco Vintners Market, Take Two

We found out there is something for almost everyone at the San Francisco Vintners Market yesterday.  If you're in need of a break from drinking the wines of almost 200 Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino county vineyards, Cougar Juice might be an option for you.

Yep, you read that right, Cougar Juice.  It's vodka.  It's new and here I am with some Cougar........cubs?

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October 14, 2011

San Francisco Vintners Market ~ This Weekend!

It's that time of year again....Harvest....wine grape harvesting!  What better way to celebrate than to go wine tasting?!  The San Francisco Vintner's Market happens two times a year at the the beautiful and historic Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.  Just a short drive for us, so that's where we're headed this weekend.

If you're in or near San Francisco this weekend, this is a super fun event.  Here's the link to it if you're interested in attending; S.F. Vintner's Market.  I'll be the one with lugging the big camera around, if you see me, come say hi!

To give you an idea of what's it's all about, here's my blog post on it the last time I was able to attend.

I had the pleasure of attending the San Francisco Vintners Market - Harvest in the City, which was held at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.


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October 13, 2011

Spaghetti Squash your family will LOVE {recipe}

Feeding my two kids dinner can sometimes be a challenge, I have a pasta lover; Paige and one who dislikes it completely; Bryce.  Bryce likes almost all veggies and he's definitely a meat lover, so I crossed my fingers and hoped that this Spaghetti Squash would please both of the kiddos.

And you know what?  It did!

We didn't talk too much about it at the dinner table, I think Paige thought it was regular spaghetti.  But Farm Boy needs to know what's on the dinner menu by 3 p.m. on a daily basis, so when I told him we were having something that looks like spaghetti but wasn't pasta, he looked at me with a sceptical eye but didn't give me too much grief, thankfully. 

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October 12, 2011

4H Achievement Day at the Buck Institute ~Thankful Thursday w/Linky

When I found out that Marin County 4H Achievement Day was to be held at the Buck Institute here in Novato, I made sure my schedule allowed time to go.  I've always wanted to see this structural masterpiece in person.  What a treat to be able to explore the building! 

The Buck Institute sits secluded and prominently atop Mt. Burdell, overlooking the north portion of Novato.  The building was designed by famed architect, I. M. Pei. and the unique curvature of the structure has always peaked my interest, but one cannot just visit or even drive by, as the entrance is gated. 

The Buck Institute is the nation’s first independent, non-profit scientific institute dedicated solely to understanding the connection between aging and chronic disease.   The scientists are dedicated to extending the healthy years of life.  They do research on cancer, stem cell research, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's as well as other illnesses.

The thing I found most fascinating and exciting about the Buck Institute is that they allow field trips for grades K-12th and even have summer internships available for high school students along with stem cell courses, just to name a couple programs.

I could definitely see our little one room school house scheduling a field trip here!



 















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October 11, 2011

The One-Room School

There are nine students attending our district's one-room school house this year.  That's nine students, total, grades K-6th.  Two Kinders, two 1st graders, two 2 nd graders and three 6th graders.  So, what does that mean for my Kindergartner and Second Grader?

With one teacher/principal, one full time aide and one part-time Spanish aide, it means LOTS of one on one attention.   The school is very academic, they work hard and they play hard.  Bryce was reading during the second month of his Kindergarten year and now, so is Paige.  All the kids learn and progress at their own pace, what ever that may be.  They're not forced and they're not held back. 

Similar to home school, but I don't have to do it!



At first I was concerned about Paige being the only girl in the school up through the 5th grade level, but no longer. I actually think she likes being the only little girl....and why not? She get's a whole lot of attention from the boys, even with one of them being her brother.

Now with both kids attending the one-room school, I'm finding by beginning in Kindergarten, they don't know any different with regards to the size of the school and the amount of children. I keep both Bryce and Paige active in many activities outside of school. Paige spends time with her girlfriends, so she's not missing the important girl time where she can dress up in princess outfits and such......although, she could probably talk those boys at school into playing princess with her if she really wanted to.....I'm sure of it.














Confidence is not lacking at all.......amazing what a little sheltering will do.





















Linking up for Wordless Wednesday to:
Pinke Post
Project Alicia
Live and Love Out Loud


Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment. I love to hear from you! Have a fantastic day!

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October 10, 2011

A VIP Lunch and Potatoes for 70

If you follow me on Facebook, many of you noticed I was a bit stressed over roasting baby potatoes for 70 last week for Marin County Farm Bureau's V.I.P. Luncheon.  Sweatin' bullets actually.  But when friends and farmers come together, there's all sorts of help.....I should know this by now.

The V.I.P. lunch was held at the Pomi Ranch, a.k.a. Deer Camp.  My first job of the day was to get these potatoes going.  After board member, Nicola, washed all 40 pounds of them, Mark Pomi, had a plan for success; boil them first to soften them up. After that was completed, he and neighbor, Alan Cooper halved them as I layered them all in a gigantic roasting pan with all the goodies. We used olive oil, kosher salt, garlic, pepper and fresh rosemary sprigs from my garden.  Pop them in the oven for a while and that was it! 


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October 7, 2011

BOTW: Hot Buttered Rum {recipe}

It's the time of year where there is a definite chill in the air, where we dust off our fireplace/wood stove, get cozy on the couch, light a few candles, and maybe watch a movie after the kiddos are in bed for the night.

Here in northern California, we've had our first rain storm of the season and for me that brings a craving; something hot, sweet and spiked, all with my all time favorite autumn scent of cinnamon.

Hot Buttered Rum

Have you had any yet?

"Best of the Web" recipe for the week is courtesy Williams Sonoma.


















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October 6, 2011

Qualifications for my Farm Pets

Living in the country, our pets have slightly different qualifications before being selected to live here on the farm. 

For instance, Chloe is not your typical farm dog.  Being a Maltese/Shi Tzu cross, Chloe must be on a bi-monthly grooming schedule, I found this out the hard way.  Because if not, her long hair will collect all sorts of interesting treasures.  Foxtails are the number one attraction to Chloe's fur and if they're not found right away, they tend to embed themselves into her skin or become entangled in her hair.

The second, and most horrific hitch hiker found in Chloe's hair is the itty bitty black tick.  Now Chloe is protected from ticks but that doesn't keep them from latching on to her hair for a free ride inside the house.  The short haircut helps immensely when it comes to both of these issues.

If Chloe had her choice, she would prefer her rag-a-muffin long hair look rather than the buzz cut she gets at the groomers.  As a former Cosmetologist, I thought I could keep a handle on grooming Chloe myself.  I was wrong.  Professional dog groomers do a much better job.  After her first grooming experience, Chloe came home buzzed with bows.  So cute!  We have since learned, Chloe does not do bows, she pulls at them violently until she's ripped them out. 

So I Photoshop them in.

Keeps us both happy!

















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October 5, 2011

TT: Milk is better than Water for Hydration

My kids are signed up for youth soccer right now and as a soccer parent, I'm responsible for bringing snacks and hydration drinks to the games once or twice during the season.  My kids love chocolate milk, so that's normally the drink I choose to bring, along with regular milk and a bowl full of watermelon.  After coming across this recent study, just yesterday, I feel even better about my choice.  So for all the mom and dad readers out there, I just wanted to pass along this information.














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October 4, 2011

WW: Chicken Fried Cube Steak

I grew up in the country on a few acres of land with my parents raising their own beef to feed our family of five and now, with my own family, we do the same.  When we harvest beef, we usually stock up our freezer with either a quarter or a half of the animal for our family of four.  The first time doing this was definitely a learning experience for me because with this amount of beef, comes many different cuts.  Cuts I wasn't really familiar with cooking.  I learned by trial and error with many of the cuts.  Cube steak was one of the cuts I tried a few different ways. 

The first experiment with cube steak was to BBQ it.  It was okay, but I don't recommend it.  Cube steak should be prepared one way, and one way only.

Chicken Fried.

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October 3, 2011

Carhartt Giveaway!!

Have you heard of Carhartt?  Well in case you haven't, let me tell you a little about them.  The company has been around for 120 years and produces work clothing known for its extreme durability, comfort and fantastic quality. 

Before they came out with a woman's line in 2006, I would wear the boy's version of Carhartt canvas jackets while horseback riding.  I used to ride in 32 degree weather sometimes, when I was younger and before kids and that canvas Carhartt stood up to all elements, including ducking under tree branches at the last minute {but that's an entirely different story}.

So when I was asked if I was interested in doing a Carhartt giveaway through The Real Farmwives of America, I immediately said yes.

I just recently received my new Carhartt waterproof jacket in the mail and am already in love with the ability it gives me to wear it from my day to day farm life,






















like this drizzly northern California morning walking Chloe....






















to tending my vegetable garden,

and even wearing it into town for a Saturday morning grocery run. {please excuse the deer in the headlight look, yikes!}

















The reason I chose this particular Carhartt jacket is for the warmth it provides, the waterproof functionality is huge for me and its versatility in style. Just because I live on a farm, doesn't mean I want to look like I'm fresh off the farm.....a girl needs her style, right?! This Carhartt delivers for me.


I even packed this Carhartt along with me to a Fort Bragg trip I had recently taken.  Perfect for any outdoor function or getaway.

 I'm lovin' my new Carhartt! It's not just for the boys anymore.

As a Real Farmwife of America, I'm happy to offer YOU a chance to win a new Carhartt for yourself!  Male OR female!  It's so easy to enter, just go to http://www.realfarmwivesofamerica.com/ to sign up for the giveaway! That's it!  I SO appreciate your readership and I hope you win!!

Disclosure:  Carhartt did provide me with this product to review but the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.


Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment. I love to hear from you! Have a fantastic day!

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