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

February 29, 2012

TT w/Linky: Box Lunch

Once a year, the student body at the one-room school my kids attend, look forward to Box Lunch Day.  This is where names are drawn between the entire student body....all nine kids and the two teachers, to see who they will be responsible making a box lunch for on the given day.   

The week prior to the much anticipated event, the interview process takes place.  The is where they can request anything they fancy for their box lunch....from pizza to sliders, ice cream to gummy bears....whatever their heart desires.

The day of the event, students and teachers alike, can barely wait until lunch time to open their gift wrapped box lunch to find the treasures that await them inside.


Included in Paige's beautifully wrapped box lunch was a homemade rice, bean and cheese burrito {that I had the pleasure of finishing}, also included; chocolate chip cookies, lemonade and some fruit.

Bryce got EXACTLY what he wanted....sliders, juice and much to his surprise, an interactive box top made to look like a mini construction scene, complete with a chocolate frosting 'dirt road', graham cracker crumb 'sand' and mini marshmallow 'boulders' to interact with the slew of construction trucks that acompanied it .....Heaven for a seven year old boy.


On this 'Thankful Thursday', I'm grateful for the intimate group that attends the one-room school. Loving the ease of pulling off such a fun event that the students will remember and look forward to for years to come.







Link up with anything you’re thankful for! And if you’re not a blogger, just let us know in the comment section what you happen to be thankful for on this day.




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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February 28, 2012

WW: Frosty Fenceline

Wordless Wednesday....

From toes in the sand last week to frosty fenceline this morning on the way to school drop-off.

Paige noticed right away.....the mile of frosty fence line on the way to school where little spikes of ice completely covered the barbwire fence along the route to the one-room school.

An absolutely beautiful scene.....thankful I had my point-and-shoot with me....with a charged battery.

















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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February 27, 2012

Lifetime Achievement ~ Marin County Farm Bureau

Or 'Achievements of a Lifetime Award' is what I think it should be called.

Friday night Marin County Farm Bureau held its annual dinner where Farm Bureau members along with public officials get a chance to get together and enjoy a fabulous dinner and drinks and honor those that have played an intricate role in agriculture.

This year, my father-in-law George, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.  Although he is only in his 60's and has many more years of agriculture achievements, it was fantastic to have the entire family there to see him receive his award for his accomplishments thus far.

He's not off the hook though, he'll have many more volunteer hours ahead of him.

Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey, congratulates George for his accomplishments.





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February 24, 2012

"BOTW" Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

With St. Patrick's Day on the horizon, searching the web for all things green, I came across these Mint Chocolate Chip cookies and just had to share.  Wouldn't they be great for a school party?  Or if a birthday falls on or near St. Patrick's Day?  Mint and chocolate.....YUM!












Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies by Betty Crocker

Ingredients:
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
6 to 8 drops green food color
1 egg
1 cup creme de menthe baking chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

Directions:
  • 1 Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks.
    • 2 Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
    • 3 Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

    Recipe and photo courtesy Betty Crocker.



    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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February 23, 2012

Some Beach, Somewhere

It's February 23rd.  A warm 78 degrees outside....unheard of in northern CA during the month of February.
I know we desperately need the rain, but if it's going to be this warm, I'm going with it and embracing this gift of warm weather.

















Okay, so I'm not really at the beach.
















The sandbox, a cocktail and an imagination will do.














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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February 22, 2012

TT w/Linky: Fearless Flyers

Every winter we plan a trip to the snow and normally stay in one of my favorite winter locations, Tahoe Donner in Truckee, CA.  A big cabin is rented, we caravan up with friends and play in the snow for three days.

This past holiday weekend was the weekend we've had booked since October, snow or no snow we were going.  The snow fall has been extremely low this season but we hoped for the best and headed up anyway.
















So glad we did.  The snow on the ground surrounding the hillside cabin where we stayed was protected by shade, which made conditions perfect for the homemade Luge run for sledding that was soon created.















On the early, crisp mornings, our luge run was icy and super fast.














Where the smallest of the bunch was able to catch some amazing air.















The faster the better.

As the days continued, the 'Fearless Flyers' became braver and braver.  Even trying out different positions.















Which made for bigger, more fun crashes.















Different weight combinations were evaluated to see who and what could get the fastest time down the luge run.















Crash after crash didn't stop these Fearless Flyers from trekking back up the hill again and again for another go at the fast track.
















I'm still not entirely sure which they enjoyed more,  the crashes or the fast run down the hill.















By the second day, the Mom's had a go at it.

 I must say, the faster the better......until you crash land.















As long as the security barrier of bodies were in position to catch any out of control sleds from crashing into the side of the house, it was all good.
















Despite what the above photo may look like, Bryce's front teeth were missing Before the snow trip.....No tears for these Fearless Flyers......maybe a slightly different story for the Moms.  My body is completely bruised from crashing down on the hard ice.....anything to entertain my kids.

On this Thankful Thursday, I'm thankful body pillows have been invented.



Link up with anything you’re thankful for! And if you’re not a blogger, just let us know in the comment section what you happen to be thankful for on this day.





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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February 21, 2012

The Hurricane Cocktail for Fat Tuesday

Image courtesy Google Image

The Hurricane cocktail is credited to New Orleans tavern owner Pat O'Brien. In the 1940s, he needed to create a new drink to help him get rid of all of the less popular rum that local distributors forced him to buy before he could get a few cases of more popular liquors such as scotch and whiskey.  He poured the concoction into hurricane-lamp-shaped glasses and gave it away to sailors. The drink caught on, and it has been a mainstay in the French Quarter ever since.

Happy Fat Tuesday!  Here's how you can make your own Hurricane Cocktail at home.......

1 oz Smirnoff® vodka
1/4 oz grenadine syrup
1 oz gin
1 oz light rum
1/2 oz Bacardi® 151 rum
1 oz amaretto almond liqueur
1 oz triple sec
grapefruit juice
pineapple juice

Pour all but the juices, in order listed, into a hurricane glass three-quarters filled with ice. Fill with equal parts of grapefruit and pineapple juice, and serve.

Cheers!


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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February 17, 2012

"BOTW": Fried Egg Flowers

This week's "Best of the Web" is short and sweet.....

Wanna make breakfast fun?  Try cracking an egg inside the ring of a sliced bell pepper.....your family will love it!



















Best of the Web....photo courtesy 27 Media.
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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February 16, 2012

My New Love from Philadelphia

Move over Nutella, there's a new spread in town and he's smooth, sweet, silky, dark and from Philly.



















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February 15, 2012

TT w/Linky: Duck Hunt or a Chance at Technology

Bryce, my seven year old, my 'techy', my homebody sensitive son will do just about anything to stay in the house any day of the weekend if he even thinks there might be the slightest chance he'll be allowed to use the computer.   I'm rethinking the decision we made to allow our kids to use technology at a young age.  Even though he's only allowed to use it on Friday's, he tries and tries to wear me down into agreeing to some 'extra time' on the computer......it doesn't work but he's relentless.

A few Sunday's ago, it was the last day of duck season in our area.  Bryce had not been out all season, this was his last chance for a while.  Some of his cousins and friends were on their way over for this much anticipated last day.  We pushed and prodded and maybe even bribed Bryce to head out on this hunt.

Once he was out there, it was a good time....it's just the getting him there that I need to work on.














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February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day Chocolate Sauce

It's Valentine's Day.  You can't have a Valentine's Day without some sort of chocolate, right?  Here's an easy recipe for some simply smooth, velevety chocolate sauce for your ice cream, pound cake, bacon, pretzels, strawberries.......OR whatever else your heart may desire to dip into chocolate.













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February 13, 2012

Friday Night Sliders with Chobani Guacamole

When Friday night rolls around, I want an easy dinner the kids are not going to fight me on.  This past Friday, it was Sliders all around with the added touch of Chobani Guacamole

Bryce will eat Sliders or hamburgers for breakfast, lunch OR dinner.  Paige is not the biggest hamburger fan, she'd rather have steak, but when I told her Sliders are like 'baby burgers', she was the first in line for hers.



















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February 10, 2012

'BOTW' Almond Kiss Cookies

This Valentine's Day Almond Kiss cookie recipe is what I've chosen for my 'Best of the Web' this week by the Food Network.  Super easy to make, especially if you use the pre-made, store bought sugar cookie dough.....but you can also make your own from scratch, if you prefer. 

Kids really dig making this recipe as well because they can get their hands right in that dough and roll it into balls...totally fun for them.















Recipe and Photo by Food Network
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February 9, 2012

Hall Pass for the Mamas

A couple of times a year, the guys in our family get together with friends to make home made venison/pork sausage.  It's a long time tradition here on the ranch.  This past Sunday was the scheduled day.  It takes place down the road on the neighboring ranch in the basement of the old farm house, which was the original Grossi home ranch.

The kids and I were here, at home on the ranch alone, both my father-in-law, George and my husband have started the sausage making fest earlier in the morning.  The plan was to drop off Bryce a little later after breakfast.  As we're heading down the hill I come up on 25 or so mama cows that happen to be grazing beyond the enclosure of their corrals, in the yard. 

A definite hall pass for the mamas.













They were as happy as can be, grazing in knee deep, lush green grass. They weren't going anywhere fast.














Just as I was deciding whether or not to try and corral these ladies all on my own, my father-in-law, thankfully drives back onto the ranch.  I was then able to drive down the road {no cell service at the sausage making area} and grab Dominic and few other helpers to move these mamas back into their corrals.

What would have taken me an hour, at least, to move these mamas into the proper place only takes Dominic five minutes.



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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February 8, 2012

TT w/Linky: The Order of Training Wheels

Having two children 22 months apart in age can be somewhat challenging at times.  Especially when the youngest is a complete, no fear, dare devil and the oldest is not.

On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful that my seven year old, Bryce, learned to ride his bike without training wheels just recently.
 

 Because I can't even imagine what would go down if this five year old kamikaze learned to ride before
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February 7, 2012

You Know You're a Redneck...

You know you're a redneck when, on Super Bowl Sunday you ask a few of your guests to help you replace the snapped rope on the flag pole....from a ladder in a tractor bucket fully extended to reach 25 feet in the air.


I know some of you have seen a similar scenario here before, but here we are again.
It had to be done.  We needed more help because attempt number one the day before, wind issues prevented success.

And I'm always grateful to have someone other than myself lift and lower the tractor bucket carrying my husband......I've been known to be a little jerky with the controls at times...






















The flag was raised and flying high by noon.




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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February 6, 2012

Molten Lava Mini Cakes

This upcoming weekend I'll be teaching our 4H cooking group how to make Molten Lava Mini Cakes.  Before teaching anything to the group of 13, I like to try it out before the class to work out any issues that can arise.  So, this post-Super Bowl party morning, after dropping the kids off at school, I got busy making these little gems.

These would also be a quick and easy dessert for a Valentine's Day party.  From start to finish, I had these mixed, baked, plated, photographed, taste tested AND dishes washed all within 55 minutes.  So simple.















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February 4, 2012

Football Inspired Cheese Ball for Super Bowl

The California Milk Advisory Board just sent me this recipe for this very creative football inspired cheese ball....I love it!  It's made with California Monterey Jack and blue cheese.  I have yet to make it myself, but wanted to share it with you all before the big game on Sunday.....just in case you're looking for a last minute Super Bowl themed appetizer.














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February 3, 2012

'BOTW' Strip and go Naked

Now that I've got your attention, this is the PERFECT party drink.  I've had it myself at a friend's party a few times and let me tell you, it definitely sneaks up on you.  If you're looking for the perfect Super Bowl cocktail to serve, this is it.  It's mixed in a large thermos sports drink container,  much like the thermos containers you would see on the sidelines at a football game....only this one is 'loaded'.


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February 2, 2012

Lower Fat Guacamole made with Chobani Greek Yogurt

Sometimes governors make friendly wagers concerning the most watched sporting event of the the year, the Super Bowl.  In doing so, they put up iconic products that are representative of the states where the Super Bowl teams reside.

For the upcoming Super Bowl XLVI this Sunday,  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has put up bagels, cheesecakes and Greek yogurt.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has countered with clam chowder, Centerville Pies {chicken pot pies} and Food Should Taste Good chips.

New York has a very productive dairy industry, ranking fourth in the nation in terms of milk production. It’s also in the forefront of the Greek yogurt craze that is sweeping the nation right now.

Fun Fact:  The top five states for dairy production are: 
1.  California
2.  Wisconsin
3.  Idaho
4.  New York
5.  Pennsylvania


With Sunday's game coming up and with all that Super Bowl party food just asking to be consumed, it's nice to lighten up a few things where calories are concerned, right?  I have a great guacamole recipe for you that is SO tasty and includes Chobani Greek Yogurt to lighten up the calories.
















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February 1, 2012

TT w/Linky: Coffee Cup Egg Scramble

On this "Thankful Thursday" I have found a little something that has made my mornings a little bit easier....the Coffee Cup Scramble.
















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