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

May 31, 2012

I Have a Secret

There are days when I just want to go along for the ride.  

No jumping off the tractor or out of the truck to be the 'gate person'.

No lifting.

No feeding.

No cleaning.

These are the days I wear my flip flops.  The days I say "Oh, I wasn't thinking and wore my flip flops.....I can't jump out to help in the corral, but I'll drive the tractor."

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May 30, 2012

TT w/Linky: May Barn Charmer


P.E. Day happens once a year at our rural one-room schools.  Our school, of nine students, visits another rural one-room school just a few miles away to complete their Presidential Physical Fitness Testing.  I drove five of the kids over in the morning and am so glad I did......thankful for the view on the way there.  

This barn, nestled among the trees has caught my eye every time I wind around this rural country route.....only twice a year, normally.  




















This 'Thankful Thursday' I'm thankful for the gorgeous scenery only miles away in just about every direction.





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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May 29, 2012

Packin' Silage

The rumbling up the drive, in the early morning hours on a sunny day in May, is once again here.  This rumbling only happens once a year, usually in May and lasting for only two to three days.  It feels as though I just wrote about this, but it's already been a year!



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May 28, 2012

Memorial Day ~ National Moment of Remembrance


'No Greater Love', a humanitarian organization based in Washington, D.C., and in 1996 conducted a survey on children asking them why they think there is a holiday on Memorial Day. It was heartbreaking to hear their remarks that were all associated with barbecues and extended weekend parties and celebration, while they hadn't the vaguest idea about the sacrifices of the soldiers in whose honor it is celebrated. One of the children was even quoted as saying that this was the day when swimming pools open!

The organization came up with the idea of 'National Moment of Remembrance' to remind and especially, let the future generations know about the real meaning of the holiday. The idea clicked with the President and Congress and since 1997, it became a standard American tradition. National Moment of Remembrance requires everybody to keep silent for a minute, exactly at 3.00 pm (local time) when 'Taps' is played and reflect on the glory of those who have shed blood for us. 




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May 25, 2012

'BOTW' Rhubarb Coffee Cake from Iowa


My 'Best of the Web' for this week is coming directly from Iowa!  Teresa, author of Homemade Iowa Life, submitted this fantastic looking recipe for Rhubarb Coffee Cake.  And to answer your question, Teresa, being a born and raised Californian, I have yet to try cooking/baking with Rhubarb.  But after looking at your delicious photo and recipe, I'm planning on it.....I even went out and bought some to try out.  Thank you!










































Teresa says, "I found this recipe in an Iowa farm newspaper. Not sure if rhubarb is as popular in California, but Iowans love our backyard rhubarb.  Seriously, I bought our house just because it had four rhubarb plants growing in the yard!" 



Rhubarb Coffee Cake


        3 C. finely cut rhubarb
        2 C. sugar
        3/4 C. margarine
        1 egg
        1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
        2½ C. flour
        1 tsp. baking soda
        ½ tsp. salt
        1 C. buttermilk
        ¾ C. brown sugar
        ½ C. nuts
        ½ C. evaporated milk



















Photo by Teresa at Homemade Iowa Life



Combine rhubarb and 1/2 C. sugar, and let stand. Cream
margarine and 1 C. sugar. Add egg and 1 tsp. vanilla to margarine-sugar
mixture. Add alternately to that: flour, baking soda, salt and
buttermilk. Blend in rhubarb-sugar mixture. Put into greased 9x13-inch
pan and top evenly with brown sugar and nuts.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees. While the cake is
baking, combine: ¼ C. margarine, ½ C. sugar and evaporated milk. Boil
exactly 3½ minutes. Remove from stove and add ½ tsp. vanilla and mix
well. When cake is baked, spoon the margarine-sugar-milk mixture over
the hot cake.

If you have a recipe you would like to feature here for my 'Best of the Web' series, email it to me with a photo and if it's featured, I'll link back to your blog.  If you don't have a blog, I'll let everyone know who and where it's from!

TheWifeOfADairyman {at} gmail {dot} com



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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May 24, 2012

Workin' the American Graffiti Car Show

Every May, the kids don their 4-H attire and head over to the American Graffiti Car Show, held in downtown Petaluma, to sell popcorn to benefit their 4-H club. This is always a fun event to volunteer for.  This year it was Paige and I while Bryce played in his last baseball game of the season.  

Paige and I headed out early, knowing the parking situation was going to be an issue.  We lucked out and found a space right away and had some extra time before our shift began at the popcorn booth.

There are at least 450 cars entered in this car show.  If you're a muscle head, hot rod lover, this would be the car show for you.

After Paige found her two favorite vehicles and insisted on pictures, we headed over to the popcorn booth for our shift.

Pink......





















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May 23, 2012

TT w/Linky: Only When You're Running Late


Never fails.  Running late, kids finally loaded in the car and I spy with my little eye...........

















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May 22, 2012

WW: Five Year Old Attitude


Wordless Wednesday I have some five year old attitude.

I can go into many stories from just this one day, but I'll only subject you to one.





















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May 21, 2012

Three Ticks & 200 Foxtails~Chloe Chronicles

My first experience with a tick took place seven or so years ago, here on the ranch.  Brushing my horse, Joey, while talking with my father-in-law, George, I came up on what looked like a skin tag on Joey's neck.  I asked George if he knew what it might be.

"Looks like a tick"

What!!?

"Pull it out" he says to me.

Um....NO!  How do you do it?!

He showed this wanna be country girl daughter in law of his just how it was done......grab as close to the buried head as possible and pull straight out.  GROSS!

I have since that time become very proficient in tick detection and removal, thankfully, because last week alone, I pulled FOUR....three from the Advantage Tick protected Chloe dog and one from five year old Paige.






If you follow me on Facebook, you then know that my dog, Chloe, took off and went missing for 4 1/2 hours a few days ago....VERY unlike her to be gone for so long.  Awful thoughts of someone picking her up near the road and keeping her for themselves, along with her, very possibly, becoming a coyote snack were weighing heavy on my mind.

After calling the Marin County Humane Society to find out if she had been found and turned in and.... she hadn't, I hopped on the 4-wheeler and searched the ranch in areas I thought she might have wandered.



No luck.  How was I gonna break this to the kids?!

Feeling really down, I wandered back outside to take my mind off it and low and behold here comes the Little Stinker trotting up the hill, tongue hanging out, panting like crazy, completely matted with foxtails and looking like she had been on quite an adventure.

If only dogs could speak.

An hour later, I had pulled at least 200 foxtails from her fur and the three digusting ticks you see in the photo above.

Not sure how or why my Advantage Tick protected Chloe ended up with three ticks on her, two of them engorged with her blood, but she did and I had the chore of pulling them.

If you've never encountered a tick, the photo above is a good visual.  The smallest tick had not yet buried its head in Chloe yet, the center tick had been in her for a bit and the third, largest tick, had been in there 'feasting' for what looks like quite a while.  They all start out looking like the little guy and as they draw blood from you, they grow bigger and bigger.




















After her MIA morning, Chloe had a nice looong nap that afternoon.















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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May 18, 2012

'BOTW': Apricot Banana Bars

Betty Crocker's Apricot Banana Bars is my 'Best of the Web' recipe for this week.  Just a glance at the photo had me drooling.  I can't wait to try them out!

If you have a recipe you would like featured here, email it to me with a photo and if it's featured, I'll link back to your blog.  If you don't have a blog, I'll let everyone know who and where it's from!
TheWifeOfADairyman {at} gmail {dot} com
















photo and recipe courtesy Betty Crocker


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May 17, 2012

Piercing a Five Year Old

When I first got my ears pierced, I was eight years old.  My Mom brought me down to Linch Jewelry in downtown Petaluma where I chose from either gold ball earrings or gold ball earrings....yes, the only choice.

Fast forward to many years later.
















I always had in the back of my mind that when Paige asked to have her ears pierced, whatever her age, I would be okay with it.  When she decided she was ready, I would take her.

That age is/was "5 and 3/4".

The choice of earring selection has completely expanded from many years ago.  Somewhere around 40 to choose from.....I thought this was gonna take ALL afternoon.

After scanning her choices, my decisive 5 year old knew exactly what she wanted when she spotted the classic diamond {cz}.  My Katy Perry wannabe first asked for the biggest, blingy diamond that caught her eye but I had to nix that idea and scale it down to a smaller version.......can't have a 5 year old running around with 1/2  carat cz's in each ear.


















After deciding, things got quiet......REAL quiet.  She was nervous.  But like her mama, she sat there, quietly waiting and ready for whatever was coming her way.
















Thankfully, unlike many years ago, two people with sanitized, gloved hands pierced both of her ears at the very same time.

She only had to make this face once.

Phew!















Paige is very proud of her accomplishment.
















She came straight home and changed into her 'biggest girl' outfit she could dig out of her closet.
























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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May 16, 2012

TT: Big Date

It's a very rare occasion when I can have one on one time with my oldest, Bryce.  Older kids tend to have busier schedules, more homework and longer days than their younger siblings.....in this case, Paige.

Paige was invited to a play date at her teacher's house, staying until well after dinner.  Bryce LOVES his 'mommy time' without his "Annoying sister" around.......will he EVER think his little sister is not annoying?....I don't know.

To make the afternoon EXTRA special on this scorching, hot day, we headed straight for the ice cream shoppe.  Bryce selected one of his favorites, Rainbow Sherbet and I splurged with Pistachio Almond.....OH SO GOOD!
















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May 15, 2012

WW: Goslings

Driving onto the ranch, there's a small walnut orchard to one side of the drive and making my way home from the gym early in the morning I came up on two families of geese who had staked claim in the orchard for their new offspring of adorable little goslings.

I'm not a huge fan of Canadian Geese....they tend to take over anywhere they land, eat all the oats from our planted hay and poop everywhere, in abundance......but this group was too cute.

Babies of any kind always make my day. 
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May 14, 2012

Wake Up Call

Saturday morning, no school lunches to prepare, no rushing to get the kids up and ready, just a leisure, peaceful morning at home....maybe even sleep in a little.

No.

Not so fortunate.

Twelve five month old calves have been recently {the day before} relocated to the little pasture directly beyond our front yard......ONE of them VERY vocal at 6 a.m.  A little less startling than an alarm clock but very loud just the same.



















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May 11, 2012

Mother's Day Onion Frittata


With Mother's Day coming this Sunday, I thought this Bon Appetite Onion Frittata recipe would be a perfect go-to recipe, especially if you're looking for something easy and last minute.  If you don't like onions, use scallions or asparagus instead!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there.  I hope you have a fantastic weekend!  Eat, drink and be merry!

Best of the Web:  Bon Appetite Onion Frittata














Photo courtesy Bon Appetite

Ingredients
8 large eggs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
3 large fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
3 large fresh sage leaves, minced
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1/3 cup whole-milk ricotta

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400°. Whisk first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sautĂ© until soft, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in egg mixture. Spoon dollops of ricotta evenly over.

Cook until frittata begins to set, about 2 minutes. Place in oven; bake until just set, 7-9 minutes. Slide the frittata onto a platter. Cut into wedges; serve hot or at room temperature.


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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May 10, 2012

Slim and Sexy as a Mouse?











photo courtesy Susan Erdman


When I first read this article this morning, I thought, who knew mice can be considered 'sexy', but of course it piqued my interest.

Scientists studying the effects of probiotics in combating obesity obtained a little more information than they had intended.  Not only does yogurt make mice slimmer but it also makes them sexier, apparently.

To test the theory, a group of mice was given a normal mouse diet and another group of mice was given the same diet but with an added portion of vanilla yogurt.  It was noticed, in the yogurt group of mice how thick and extremely shiny their fur became and that the male mice got their "swagger" on...... feeling like they were on top of their game.  Almost everything relating to fertility in the yogurt eating males was 'enhanced', yes, including their testicles.

The female yogurt eating mice were even shinier than the males and were observed being better moms to their larger litters.

So, what do you think?  Are you gonna run out and stock up on your probiotic yogurt?!  Or not?

Here's the link to the entire article: Yogurt and Mice  


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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May 9, 2012

TT: Racing Through Cow Patties ~ NorCal Cycling Race

Excitement, pumped up, parent participation, high school kids, mountain bikes, cow bells and a hot, dry and dusty trail were many of the elements that came together for the NorCal Cycling Championship race this past weekend held at Stafford Lake.  

The distance of the squiggly looped trail was 4.8 miles, beginning at Stafford Lake and including about one mile through our family's ranch, through the cow patties and back around to Stafford.

NorCal Cycling League provides competitive mountain biking programs for high school kids in grades 9th through 12th. They travel throughout California much of the year to compete in various races. 



















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May 8, 2012

A Boca Lunch

To kick off another great year for a girlfriend, a group of us arranged to have a birthday lunch for her at Boca Steakhouse here in Novato.  We were not disappointed.

The atmosphere at Boca is that of an upscale steakhouse; leather all around, warm tones, business casual attire.....the guys would like it also as it has a 'man cave' feel to it as well.   There is a full bar off the main dining room, a cellar in which you can reserve for private parties and a outdoor patio under a giant oak tree. 

For lunch, four out of the five girls ordered the Crab Louis salad.  Which came with an abundance of crab, spears of asparagus and avocado.  They all loved it. 



I, on the other hand, was more in the mood for a chunk of meat.  I ordered the Petaluma Chicken Breast Sandwich with a side of Duck Fries.
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May 7, 2012

Judging Cows ~ California FFA State Finals














picture courtesy Hoards Dairyman

This past weekend the California FFA State Finals were held at California Polytechnic State University {Cal Poly} in San Luis Obispo.  Dominic and our friend Frank Gambonini coach the Petaluma Dairy Judging team and headed down to San Luis Obispo Friday.

The team of four consists of,  high school freshman; Alex Gambonini, junior; Frankie Gambonini, senior; Jessie Jones and junior; Regina Pozzi.

Competing in dairy judging allows kids to build their dairy knowledge at the same time as allowing them to develop important life skills such as public speaking, critical thinking, decision making, observation and self confidence.

Judging dairy cattle is a comparative evaluation of cattle in which animals are ranked based on their
closeness to "ideal" dairy conformation. Desirable dairy conformation involves functional traits associated with high milk production over a long, trouble free productive life.  The teams must judge different sets of four cows and heifers, place them in order 1-4 and give their set of reasons to back up their placement of the animals.

Results of the top four teams for 2012:


High Teams:
1st Petaluma FFA 1374 points
2nd Los Banos FFA 1368 points
3rd Atwater - Buhach Colony FFA 1361 points
4th Modesto FFA 1332 points
Congratulations to our 1st place Petaluma team.....each and every one of you is a true inspiration and fantastic role model to all kids and most especially to our up and coming young Ag kids.  I'm SO proud of you girls!  
Next stop Louisville, Kentucky for Nationals!


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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May 4, 2012

BOTW: Lower Calorie Margarita for Cinco De Mayo


I love a good margarita once in a while but what I don't love is all the calories that come along with it.  Frozen margaritas from a restaurant have around 410 calories for a 12 ounce glass and 56% of those calories are coming from sugar.

This week's 'Best of the Web' find, I'm featuring Cooking Light's Margarita which has 130 calories for a 6 ounce glass and 14% calories coming from sugar.  So even if you have two, to equal the 12 ounce restaurant version, this one is still so much lower in calories.

Happy Cinco De Mayo!




























The Cooking Light Margarita:
1 ounce premium or silver tequila
1/2 ounce Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur
1.5 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
Shake with 3/4 cup ice; garnish with lime.


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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May 3, 2012

National Burger Month

The weather's getting warmer, the days longer, and the outdoor grill is getting fired up.  May is National Burger Month and what better way to celebrate but to make your own sliders.  Super easy, the kids love them because they're tasty and oh so cute.



















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May 2, 2012

TT w/Linky: Beef Short Ribs

Beef short ribs are sometimes used as a bribery tool in my house.  Bryce swims three days a week and after swim practice, he soaks in the hot tub to warm up before we head home.  The problem is, is that the kid never wants to climb out of the hot tub once he's there.  But one thing I can count on is, I know he'll ask me what we're having for dinner that night, so when I answered "Short Ribs", he was out, toweled off and half way over to the changing room before I had a chance to finish my conversation with one of the Dads at the pool. 
















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May 1, 2012

Wine from a Dixie Cup ~ Portuguese Holy Ghost Auction

Where else can you drink wine out of dixie cup and actually like and enjoy it?.....It's all about being Portuguese when attending big events, it's what we do and it's OK.

















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