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

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January 31, 2010

How Many Calories In This Muffin?!

How many calories do you think one of these muffins contain? Over 500 calories! When you add a medium sized latte to that, we are talking over 700calories just for breakfast. If you are like me, you visit your local coffee house one or two times a week. I enjoy the treat of a decaf latte while getting one of my daily dairy servings at the same time. Thinking to myself that I am being healthy by also ordering a low fat muffin for breakfast as well. Even the low fat version of this muffin is high in calories as well. Well, its time to start baking my own low-fat, low-calorie version, of a healthy muffin instead. They can easily be frozen and they're also great added to your kid's lunch box. Here is a recipe I found that is absolutely scrumptious! Enjoy! Lemon-Raspberry Muffins Ingredients 1 lemon 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip) 1/3 cup canola oil 1 large egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup white whole-wheat flour, or whole-wheat pastry flour (see Shopping Tip) 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) raspberries Preparation1.Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 large (1/2-cup) muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners. 2.Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the lemon in long strips. Combine the zest and sugar in a food processor; pulse until the zest is very finely chopped into the sugar. Add buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla and pulse until blended. 3.Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture and fold until almost blended. Gently fold in raspberries. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. 4.Bake the muffins until the edges and tops are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm. Tips & Notes Make Ahead Tip: Wrap each in plastic and freeze in a freezer bag for up to 1 month. To reheat, remove plastic, wrap muffin in a paper towel and microwave on High for 30 to 60 seconds. Tip: No buttermilk? Mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice into 1 cup milk. Shopping Tip: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole wheat. Whole-wheat pastry flour can be used as a substitute here. Both can be found in the natural-foods section of the supermarket. Nutrition Per muffin: 185 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 4 g mono); 18 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 2 g fiber; 245 mg sodium; 42 mg potassium. 2 Carbohydrate Serving Pin It

January 30, 2010

Curried Turkey Cutlets with Dried Apricots

COW FACT ~Making one cup of yogurt, an eight-ounce container, takes one pound of milk or about one pint. In case you didn't hear... Yogurt was named the food trend of the decade! Read more at #dairy Ingredients • 1 pound turkey cutlets, cut into four portions (see Ingredient note) • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste • Freshly ground pepper, to taste • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion • 3 cloves garlic, minced • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger • 1-2 teaspoons curry powder • 3/4 cup apple or pineapple juice • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water • 4 scallions, thinly sliced • 2 tablespoons slivered fresh mint, (optional) • 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt Preparation 1. Pat turkey cutlets dry with paper towels; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey and cook until browned on both sides and no longer pink in the center, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. 2. Add onion to the pan; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add garlic, ginger and curry; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add juice and apricots; bring to a simmer. Cook until the apricots are plump and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. 3. Add cornstarch mixture to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Return the turkey and any accumulated juices to the pan. Cook, turning the cutlets a few times, until coated and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in scallions and mint (if using). Serve immediately, with a dollop of yogurt. Tips & Notes • Ingredient Note: You can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this recipe: cover with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/2 inch thick; cook 4 to 5 minutes per side. Nutrition Per serving: 252 calories; 3 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 46 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrates; 30 g protein; 2 g fiber; 264 mg sodium; 472 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Potassium (24% daily value), Vitamin C (20% dv), Iron (15% dv). 1 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving Pin It

January 28, 2010

Sweet Potato Burrito

With the Dairy Judging Team practicing at the barn again this evening, I wanted to make something easy to prepare and something Dominic could easily heat up after practice...although I better find some sort of beef to add to Dominic's plate. But for the kids and I, this is the perfect meal all on it's own. I LOVE sweet potatoes! If you do also, you will love this recipe, a different take on burritos. The combination of sweet potato and chili-like beans taste fabulous together. Once you've had one - you'll want another. Serve these with sour cream, chopped green onions and salsa. These may be made ahead of time, individually frozen, then heated.

Sweet Potato Burritos

Recipe Yields 12 burritos

• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 6 cups canned kidney beans, drained
• 2 cups water
• 3 tablespoons chili powder
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 4 teaspoons prepared mustard
• 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
• 3 tablespoons soy sauce
• 4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
• 12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed ( I used whole wheat, high fiber)
• 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Heat oil in a medium skillet, and saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans, and mash. Gradually stir in water, and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce.
3. Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the warm flour tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place on a baking sheet.
4. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve.

Nutritional Information Amount Per Serving Calories: 513 | Total Fat: 8.4g | Cholesterol: 20mg
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January 27, 2010

In Response to the Nightline Story ~

In response to the Nightline airing last night depicting the dairy industry in a negative light, I feel I must post a response. All dairy farms I know treat their animals with the utmost compassion & care. Cleanliness, comfort, and as distress-free of an environment as possible are priorities. I remember the first time visiting our dairy ranch when Dominic, my husband, and I first met. My first impression upon seeing the dairy up close was that the cows were treated royally and that the milk barn looked and smelled clean. The cattle were treated with respect and kindness, they were kept comfortable even in the heat of summer, their bedding was kept clean routinely, they were fed on time, and they ate a highly nutritious diet. I was very impressed. A dairy farmer constantly strives to maintain a healthful environment for his or her cows. Now, years later, knowing many more dairy ranchers, I believe that they all treat their own cows with the same respect, kindness, and care that I first witnessed on my husband's farm. One of the topics on last night's Nightline was in regards to tail docking. Tail Docking has been banned in California. The only animals I know, personally, to have docked tails are dogs. Tail docking is frowned upon in the dairy industry. Most all other dairy farmers nationwide do not oppose a ban on tail docking. Tail docking is a practice that was experimented with 10 years ago or so to see if there would be a benefit to milk quality. It was soon discovered there was no advantage to the dairy farmer, the cow, or the milk so the practice soon ended. Unfortunately, there are a select few dairies out there that still practice this. Somatic Cells was another topic~ Somatic cells are white blood cells. All milk naturally contains some somatic cells. Somatic cells are present in milk to guard the udder against infection. If bacteria, makes its way to the udder, white blood cells take care of that before infection can become established. All farmers and milk processors routinely test their milk for somatic cell counts in accordance with strict standards set by the state and federal Pasteurized Milk Ordinance regulations. All milk is tested routinely before it goes into the food supply. Dehorning was another topic~ Dehorning or disbudding has been used for decades and the method shown last night is the least painful method. Dairy farmers ensure as much comfort as possible and safety of an animal during the disbudding process. All cows, males and females grow horns. The reason for disbudding is to protect the cows from injuring one another and their human caretakers. Dairy farmers, milkers, veterinarians, hoof trimmers are in close contact with cows most of the day. Cows are not mean spirited by nature, but they do tend to rub their heads on everything from fences, other cows, tractors, gates or they can quickly move their head from one side to the other. Horns can be very dangerous. The process of disbudding~ A calf is put into her feed stanchion so she can not back away. A heated dehorner is then used to burn away the budding horn tissue. This takes a couple of minutes. She is then released back to the herd where she immediately acts as though nothing has happened....she eats, drinks and plays like she normally does. We have always been and will always be for the humane treatment of all animals. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Pin It

January 26, 2010

Do Dairy Cows Eat Tofu?

Today we had 25 tons of rolled corn grain delivered
to our Commodities Barn, one of the many grain deliveries throughout the month.

Other shipments that are delivered through the month include:

Almond Hulls ~ 25 tons, delivered once a month.

Whole Cotton Seed ~ 25 tons, every 50 days or so.

DDG (distillers dried grains) ~ 25 tons every 50 days ~ DDG is a by-product of ethanol made from corn.

Rice Bran ~ 25 tons, every 40 days.

Mineral Mix ~ 15 tons, once a month.

Tofu ~ 14 tons, every week. Tofu is in the 'mix' because it's high in fat and protein and helps to increase production.

The 230 dairy cows are fed a total of three tons of grain, 4 1/2 tons of silage(between 2 feedings)in addition to 45-50 bales of Alfalfa every day.

Silage (fermented oat grass) which is contained in long tubular shaped bags, is fed to the dairy cows and the heifers - 4 1/2 tons daily. For the dairy cows, the silage is mixed in with the grain.

The chosen mixture of all grains, silage, tofu and alfalfa help to maintain a healthy, balanced diet for the cows which in turn helps to keep the cows healthy!

The grain and the silage is mixed all together by tractor loads being dumped into the feed wagon load by load. The feed wagon is then pulled by another tractor and driven to the housing barn and shoots the feed out into the feeders for the cows.

COW FACT ~A cow’s body uses part of the food to grow and stay healthy and the other part of the food to make milk.

The 50 head of beef cattle are out on pasture and they are fed 12 bales of oat hay and some alfalfa each day.

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January 25, 2010

Flavored Milk, is it Nutritious? & Make Your Own Flavored Milk Syrup

Flavored Milk, is it nutritious? Yes, flavored milk is a good source of high-quality protein and offers an individual a package of essential nutrients including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D. It is considered a nutrient-rich beverage that supplies many of the nutrients children commonly under-consume. Added Sugar in Flavored Milk Store bought flavored 100% milk does have some added sugar. However, most of the carbohydrate (sugar) listed on the nutrient label is lactose, the natural sugar found in milk. Store bought flavored milk contains an equivalent of two to four teaspoons of added sugar, or an additional 30 to 60 calories per serving. In comparison, regular sodas contain up to eight teaspoons of added sugar per serving and fruit drinks contain an equivalent of six to nine teaspoons of sugar per serving. Connection between three servings of dairy products each day and weight loss~ There is emerging research that suggests that three servings of milk and dairy products each day, as a part of a reduced calorie weight loss plan, can help adults lose more weight by burning more fat than just cutting calories alone. For more information, click on 'Raise Your Hand For Milk' Thank You DFA In response to the earthquake in Haiti, Dairy Farmers of Amercia (DFA, the Co-op that distributes our milk), through its DFA Cares Foundation, has donated more than 4,500 cases of Sport Shake to the relief efforts. DFA will also make a monetary contribution to further support relief and recovery efforts. What is Sport Shake used for ~ Pre or Post workout drink Energy source Great, nutritious snack anytime Use for weight management Available in three rich flavors ~ strawberry, vanilla and chocolate. A big thank you to DFA for donating to Haiti in this time of need. Flavored Milk Syrup Recipe Who knew you could make your own flavored milk? Not I. I found this recipe on The recipe can be modified to use raw sugar instead. Ingredients 2 cups white sugar (try raw sugar as well) 1 cup water 1 (0.13 ounce) package unsweetened, fruit-flavored soft drink mix (such as strawberry Kool Aid) Directions 1.In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine sugar and water. Cook, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in drink mix powder. 2.To serve: Stir 1 tablespoon syrup into 8 ounces milk, or to taste. Store in refrigerator. Nutritional Information Recipe makes 16 servings Serving size - 1 Tablespoon Calories - 97 Fat - 0 Tips Also great to make flavored snowcones! You can also mix this syrup with carbonated water for a fruit flavored soda. Pin It

January 24, 2010

How to Cook Anything

The How Cook Anything Feature ~ Have you ever opened up your refrigerator or pantry to find them half full of ingredients that you don't know how to tie together for a dish? Or, maybe you need a new recipe idea? I think I can help you out. Check out the new feature I added....located on the right called 'How to Cook Anything'. I love this handy feature! Just enter any ingredients such as broccoli, soy sauce and click 'cook it' and it will take you to a list of ingredients where you will again click on broccoli and soy sauce and anything else you would like to add. Then click 'Find recipes' and up pops up a number of different recipes. It's a fun feature. I'm going to try it out right now. I've entered broccoli, pasta & tomatoes. I was then taken to a list where I checked marked the type of pasta - I chose penne then broccoli & tomatoes. I then clicked 'find recipes' and this is one of the recipes that came up: Penne with Broccoli Rabe, Tomatoes and Parmesan Ingredients 12 ounces penne pasta 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 4 garlic cloves, chopped 2 bunches broccoli rabe, chopped 8 anchovies, chopped 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper 1 pound tomatoes, diced 1 cup chopped fresh basil, divided 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese Preparation Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain; return to same pot. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add broccoli rabe, anchovies, and crushed pepper; sauté until broccoli rabe is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1/4 cup basil. Add vegetable mixture and lemon juice to pasta; toss to coat.Transfer pasta to large bowl. Add remaining 3/4 cup basil and 3/4 cup cheese; toss to blend. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing remaining cheese. Cow Fact~ It only takes the cow’s body about two days to process her food into milk Pin It

January 23, 2010

Cleaning the Calf Barn

I forgot to mention yesterday to check out a new game under my "Favorite Links" called Milk the Cow. This is a fun game for the kids to enjoy....and the adults too! Today was the scheduled day to clean out the calf barn. This entails moving calves from one area of pens to another, scraping the bedding out with the tractor and replacing with new bedding (straw), then putting the calves back in their assigned pens. We have 40 + calves at the moment. The kids and I decided Dominic needed help with this, especially since there are seven, 3 day old calves (bottle calves) running around loose in midst of all this. The kids had a fun time petting the seven new little girls, they are so friendly and followed us around everywhere. Cow Fact ~ Calves can walk within one hour of birth! Below is a photo of the loafing barn where all the 'fresh cows' (cows that have just had babies) stay. This area is adjacent to the calf barn. For those of you interested, I did finally burn a DVD on the new Nero 9 program! Apparently I was trying to burn to the wrong type of DVD :) Pin It

January 22, 2010

Hormones in Milk, what you need to know & ChocoRaz Smoothie

I found some information that I thought I'd share on the Dariy Council of CA website with regards to hormones in milk that I wanted to share. For your knowledge, we here on our dairy do not give rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin) to our cows and to my knowledge, none of the other local dairies do either. Our cows produce a high amount of milk naturally, with the very nutritional and rich diet that they are fed....including tofu!

Hormones in milk include BST. BST is a natural hormone that occurs in cows and it functions to increase milk production. rBST is the synthetic form of this natural hormone in milk. In the early 1990s, after considerable testing, the FDA approved the use of rBST in milk production and the milk from rBST-supplemented cows is safe for human consumption. This has been affirmed and reaffirmed by the FDA, World Health Organization, American Medical Association, National Institute of Health and regulatory agencies in 30 countries.

BST is species-specific, which means that it is biologically inactive in humans. In addition, pasteurization destroys 90% of BST and rBST in milk. The remaining trace amounts of this hormone in milk are broken down into inactive fragments (amino acids) by the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, studies linking the hormones in milk to the early onset of puberty are false; both hormones are “cow-specific,” meaning they have no effect on the human body.

Since the milk produced is identical, producers are not required to label whether or not their cows are treated with rBST; however, some producers that do not use rBST often market their milk as “rBST-free.” Milk produced by treated and untreated cows offer the same nutritional value.

  ChocoRaz Smoothie

 ~ Another great smoothie recipe, tastes like a dessert!
1 banana, sliced and frozen
1/2 cup of nonfat chocolate milk
1/4 cup of raspberry yogurt
 (I mix a little protein powder or flax seed in mine) blend well and enjoy!
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January 21, 2010

Vegetable Fried Rice

Wow, what long day I had yesterday! I bought an ipod Nano last week after my friend, Natalie showed me how easy it was to take video footage with one. It looked like the quality of the video was good as well. The purchase of the ipod Nano also required a purchase of a movie making/dvd burning program for our computer...Nero 9. This is where my long day began. I spent at least five hours working on this new program. When I was finally able to rotate the video to the correct direction for viewing and able to burn it to a dvd, I tried playing the dvd in our dvd player and it didn't work!
I'm working on this issue today....stay tuned!

Once I have everything figured out with this new computer program, it's going to be fantastic carrying this little, lite, ipod Nano with me everywhere I go. I'm sure it'll get many more hours of use taking spontaneous video as apposed to the larger video camera that we have and usually only use on holidays. Capturing video of the kids playing T-Ball, gymnastics class, and even some dairy farm video to share here on my blog is going to be just great.....I'm sure of it!

After the Moosemilk recipe yesterday, I thought I should show something a little bit healthier today. Vegetable Fried Rice. Yum! You can also throw in broccoli and shredded carrots or anything else that sounds good. I increase the amount of the lite soy sauce when I add to this recipe. This dish goes great with salmon, chicken or flank steak. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Photo by Eating Well

Vegetable Fried Rice

2 servings, 2 cups each

Ingredients• 1 cup instant brown rice
• 1 cup vegetable broth
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• 2 teaspoons canola oil
• 6 ounces asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1/2 bunch)
• 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced into 1-inch pieces
• 4 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
• 4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
• Hot red pepper sauce, to taste

1. Combine rice and broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes. Spread the rice out on a large plate and let stand for 5 minutes.

2. While the rice is cooling, coat a large nonstick wok or skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Pour in eggs and cook, stirring gently, until just set, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl.

3. Heat canola oil in the pan over medium-high; add asparagus and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper, scallions, garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked rice, soy sauce and vinegar to the pan; cook until the liquid is absorbed, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Fold in the cooked eggs. Remove from the heat; stir in sesame oil and hot sauce.

Per serving
: 364 calories; 14 g fat (2 g sat, 6 g mono); 212 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 6 g fiber; 675 mg sodium; 444 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (200% daily value), Vitamin A (70% dv), Iron (20% dv), Folate (19% dv). Pin It

January 20, 2010

Day to Day Happenings

My day began on Tuesday getting myself and Bryce ready for kindergarten. Breakfast was a 100% whole wheat english muffin, topped with a sliced hard boiled egg made with my EggGenie.....LOVE the EggGenie! The easiest way to boil eggs, just add water, seven eggs at one time, plug in and let it do it's thing. On Tuesdays, I volunteer at the one room school house Bryce attends and puppy Chloe comes as well. Mrs. Doyle, the teacher/principal, owns a relative of Chloe.....Cooper, a Maltese / Shi Tzu mix just like Chloe and Tuesday mornings they have a standing playdate appointment at school. A fun time for all! Photo below ~ Chloe and Cooper atop Mrs. Doyle's desk ~ well behaved students! In the evening, our family attended the Redwood Empire Dairy Holstein Association's annual dinner. A short meeting is conducted during dinner, where the attendees are informed of any upcoming dairy shows, heifer sales, meetings, etc. The junior division, California Junior Holstein are present as well. Awards and scholarships are presented to the winners. The juniors announce up-coming competitions that they will participate in such as, Dairy Jeopardy, Dairy Bowl, and Public Speaking to name a few. The dinner was held at the Elk's Lodge in Petaluma. It's a catered event which consisted of tri-tip, chicken marsala, fresh roasted vegetables, ceaser salad and a creamy penne dish. Photo below: the future of the dairy industry...hopefully, if our local dairies are still around in 10 or 15 years. Moosemilk ~ a loaded drink ~ not for the kiddies 1 oz. white rum 1 oz. dark rum 1 oz. Kahlua coffee liquer 2 scoops vanilla ice cream 2 fresh strawberries Mix all together in a blender and enjoy! (this can also be made in big batches and served punch bowl style) Pin It

January 19, 2010

Raw Milk or Pasteurized? + Thermos Ready Smoothie

Many times, when I meet someone new or when someone finds out that we have a dairy, the next comment from them is, "I guess you don't have to buy milk at the grocery store." They are surprised when I tell them we buy pasteurized milk.

The data that I have researched states, young children and older adults are more susceptible to the bacteria that can be found in raw milk.
For our family, when the kids were under two years of age, I felt more comfortable having them drink pasteurized milk. Now, I'm not saying if we happened to run out of milk one morning, that I wouldn't drive down to the milk tank with a pitcher and fill up. All that creamy goodness of full fat milk is such a treat. But for us (or me), having peace of mind drinking pasteurized milk on a regular basis when the kids were really young was the choice for our family. I also love that vitamin D is added to pasteurized milk as well.....a good thing.

Are you weighing the risks and benefits of raw milk and deciding what the best milk is for your family?

The answers will vary depending on who you ask. Raw milk—milk that is not pasteurized or homogenized—is making its way into more cereal bowls, with 29 states now allowing the sale of raw milk under varying restrictions. Raw-milk proponents will pay upwards of $10 a gallon, because they believe it is safe and healthier. There are many testimonials about raw milk’s ability to relieve asthma, autism and allergies is further fueling the demand, though much of this praise remains anecdotal with few studies to back up these claims. Fans of raw milk claim it dishes out more flavor, vitamins, minerals and beneficial proteins, enzymes and bacteria than milk that has been “degraded” during pasteurization.

But the Centers for Disease Control and the FDA beg to differ, stating that pasteurized milk has all the same nutrients as raw milk and that raw milk comes with an added risk of pathogen outbreaks.

Catherine W. Donnelly, Ph.D., a food microbiologist at the University of Vermont, believes that the dangers cancel out any potential nutritional benefits. “Of particular concern is Listeria [a bacterium that results in a foodborne illness, listeriosis], which has a 30 percent mortality rate,” Donnelly warns. “If raw milk is your choice, it’s buyer beware.” When USDA scientists collected raw milk samples from 861 farms in 21 states, nearly a quarter of them contained bacteria linked to human illness, including 5 percent that tested positive for Listeria.

Deciding whether to take the risks associated with drinking raw milk is only one of the health-related choices you need to make when it comes to choosing the best milk for your family.

Here is a link to the L.A. Times ~ "The Raw Milk Debate Rages On" that I thought was interesting and wanted to share it with you.

Now, all this talk of creamy milk is giving me a craving for a healthy smoothie!
Here's one that you can whip up and put in your child's thermos for lunch....they will love it!

Thermos Ready Smoothie
• 1 cup frozen mixed berries
• 1/2 banana
• 1/2 cup apple juice
• 1/4 cup milk
• (I add a scoop of protein powder for myself)

1. Combine berries, banana, apple juice and milk in a blender; blend until smooth.

Per serving:
288 calories; 3 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 62 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 7 g fiber; 33 mg sodium; 539 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, antioxidants.
3 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving Pin It

January 18, 2010

The Dairy Judging Team

Today, Dominic has his Dairy Judging Team coming over for practice. The Dairy Evaluation Team consists of between four to six students from Petaluma High School Future Farmers of America. Dominic volunteers his time to coach the team once a week between the months of January to May. He has been doing this for the past seven years. The object of Dairy Cattle Evaluation is to develop the student's skills in observation and analysis of dairy cattle, team collaboration, and problem-solving skills necessary to successfully analyze herd management records as they relate to modern dairy practices. During the team's evaluation of a group of four cows, they assess things such as, udder, frame, dairy strength, and feet and legs for mobility. After the competitor places them, they must then give a "set of reasons" to the judges as to why they have placed them in that particular order. The team members are judged individually and as a whole. The competitions are held at various colleges across the state between the months of March and May, ending at the State Finals held every May at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. ~ This is always a fun trip for me and the kids to tag along....we hang out at the Madonna Inn swimming pool with friends. This past year, the 2008-2009 team consisted of four students, three of them being Seniors and one a Junior ~ Kelli, Mandy, Sam & Rocco. They made up a really excellent team and they worked very hard. Well, their hard work paid off. They ended up winning the California State Finals at Cal Poly! This enabled them to now, represent California on a national level. For the national competition, they traveled to Indianapolis last October along with many chaperons, including Dominic, to compete. They were very excited to be able to have the experience of competing nationally. The experience alone, was rewarding enough, an accomplishment to be extremely proud of. After the national competition, the team thought they had done pretty well. The awards ceremony was a luncheon the day after the competition. As the announcer began calling out the names of teams that had placed, the entire Petaluma group grew more and more excited. They were up to the third place team, still, the California team had not been called. Second place goes to California!! Lots of cheers and excitement! When a team places in the top three, nationally, they are invited to compete on an international level the following June (June 2010) at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland! The invitation comes on behalf of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers. A Little About FFA FFA is such a wonderful organization that gives kids so many opportunities and experiences. This organization makes a positive difference in the lives of young people by developing their potential for leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education. Today, student members are engaged in a wide range of curriculum and FFA activities, leading to over 300 career opportunities in agriculture. FFA programs are funded through sponsorships and private donations at the local, state and national level. National dues for each member are $5 per year. Petaluma FFA Dairy Judging Team is currently trying to raise funds to pay for their trip to Scotland. If you would like to contribute, checks can be made payable to: "Petaluma FFA Champion Team Fund" mailed to: Kim Arntz, Chair Petaluma High School Agriculture Dept. 201 Fair Street Petaluma, CA 94952 Pin It

January 17, 2010

Asian Beef & Broccoli Slaw Wraps & Get the Skinny on Lean Beef

Today's dinner inspiration comes from, well, having a freezer full of lean ground beef from the Natural Beef we just harvested. I like to prepare it as healthful as possible, easy is always a bonus too! Asian Beef and Broccoli Slaw Wraps Ingredients 1. 1 pound ground beef 2. 1/4 cup finely chopped onion 3. 1/2 teaspoon salt 4. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 5. 3 cups packaged broccoli or cabbage coleslaw mix 6. 1/4 cup hoisin sauce 7. 4 burrito-size (approx. 10-inch diameter) flour tortillas, warmed 8. Hoisin sauce (optional) Instructions1. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef and onion; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 1/2-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Remove Drippings. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon; season with salt. Return beef mixture to skillet; stir in slaw mix and 1/4 cup hoisin sauce; heat through. 2. Spread 1/4 of beef mixture (approx. 1 cup) evenly over each tortilla, leaving 1-1/2-inch border on all sides. Fold right and left edges of tortilla over filling; fold bottom edge up over filling, then roll up tightly, jelly roll fashion. Place seam-side down on plates; cut in half, if desired. Serve with additional hoisin sauce, if desired. Nutrition Nutrition information per serving: 511 calories; 21 g fat (8 g saturated fat; 10 g monounsaturated fat); 76 mg cholesterol; 1099 mg sodium; 48 g carbohydrate; 4.4 g fiber; 31 g protein; 8.1 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 2.4 mcg vitamin B12; 5.5 mg iron; 36.5 mcg selenium; 6.1 mg zinc. This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc, and a good source of fiber. Get the Skinny on Lean Beef Did you know there are 29 cuts of beef that meet the government labeling guidelines for lean? Many are cuts you are probably already eating, such as flank steak, T-Bone steak, and sirloin steak. According to government guidelines, a serving qualifies as "extra lean" if it has less than 5g total fat, 2g or less saturated fat and less than 95mg cholesterol per 3.5 oz. serving. A serving qualifies as "lean" if it has less than 10g total fat, 4.5g or less saturated fat and less than 95mg cholesterol per 3.5 oz. serving. Click on the chart below to enlarge~ Click on this link to download the chart Pin It

January 16, 2010

Boneless Buffalo Wings with Spicy Blue Cheese Dip

I love Buffalo Wings and Chicken Tenders, but most have a ton of fat. Here is a healthier version of them. The kids love them for dinner or a snack and with the playoff games coming up, this recipe will keep things a bit healthier without giving up on the taste. When our family watches football, my kids, ages three and five, are not very interested in the game......they do, however, enjoy tackling each other at any chance they can, but that's another story. Anyway, I try to find something fun for the kids to do in these situations. Well, I found a fun, educational, virtual farm game for the kids to try out. It teaches about farming in the U.S. in a fun way, all while learning math, social studies, language arts and science. It is set up by American Farm Bureau ~ check it out and you do not need to 'log in', just play! Boneless Buffalo Wings 8 servings (2 wings, 1/2 cup vegetables & 2 tablespoons dip each) Ingredients Spicy Blue Cheese Dip• 2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream • 2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper Wings & Vegetables • 3 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip) • 3 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Frank's RedHot, divided • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, divided • 2 pounds chicken tenders, (see Ingredient Note) • 6 tablespoons whole-wheat flour • 6 tablespoons cornmeal • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided • 2 cups carrot sticks • 2 cups celery sticks Preparation 1. To prepare dip: Whisk sour cream, blue cheese, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 2. To prepare wings: Whisk buttermilk, 2 tablespoons hot sauce and 2 tablespoons vinegar in a large bowl until combined. Add chicken; toss to coat. Transfer to the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. 3. Meanwhile, whisk flour and cornmeal in a shallow dish. Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon hot sauce and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a small bowl; set aside. 4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and roll in the flour mixture until evenly coated. (Discard remaining marinade and flour mixture.) Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon cayenne. 5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken, placing each piece in a little oil. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and chicken, reducing the heat if necessary to prevent burning. Transfer to the platter. Drizzle the chicken with the reserved hot sauce mixture. Serve with carrots, celery and Spicy Blue Cheese Dip. Tips & Notes• Make Ahead Tip: The chicken can marinate (Step 1) for up to 1 hour. • Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk. • Ingredient note: Chicken tenders, virtually fat-free, are a strip of rib meat typically found attached to the underside of the chicken breast, but they can also be purchased separately. Four 1-ounce tenders will yield a 3-ounce cooked portion. Tenders are perfect for quick stir-fries, chicken satay or kid-friendly breaded “chicken fingers.” NutritionPer serving: 256 calories; 10 g fat (4 g sat, 4 g mono); 83 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrates; 31 g protein; 2 g fiber; 353 mg sodium; 248 mg potassium. Pin It

January 15, 2010

Playoff Pleasers ~ Food To Feed A Crowd

With the playoffs coming up again this weekend, I wanted to share some party food, great for serving to a crowd and easy too. Beef and Bean Chili Verde and a vegetarian chile~ Zesty Wheat Berry - Black Bean Chili.

Make up a Chili Bar for your guests. Set out bowls of grated cheese, chopped onion, avocado & sour cream as toppings & serve with some warm corn bread and you will have a delicious meal that goes great with football and beer.

Tip: keep warm all day in a slow cooker/crock pot

Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili

6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each (Double the ingredients for a party)

Ingredients• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 large yellow onion, chopped
• 1 large yellow bell pepper,chopped
• 5 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
• 2 14-ounce cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
• 1-2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (see Tip)
• 2 cups vegetable broth
• 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
• 2 cups Cooked Wheat Berries
• Juice of 1 lime
• 1 avocado, diced
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, chipotle to taste, broth and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.

2. Stir in cooked wheat berries and heat through, about 5 minutes more. (If using frozen wheat berries, cook until thoroughly heated.) Remove from the heat. Stir in lime juice. Garnish each bowl with avocado and cilantro.

Tips & Notes
Tip: Canned chipotle peppers (smoked jalapeños) in adobo sauce add heat and a smoky flavor. Look for the small cans with other Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer. Cooked wheat berries will keep for up to 1 month in your freezer and there's no need to thaw them; just stir them directly into the chili.

Per serving: 386 calories; 11 g fat (1 g sat, 7 g mono); 61 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 15 g fiber; 703 mg sodium; 311 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (130% daily value), Fiber (72% dv), Folate (48% dv), Iron & Vitamin A (25% dv).
3 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 very-lean meat, 2 fat

Beef & Bean Chili Verde

6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each (double the ingredients for a party)

Ingredients• 1 pound 93%-lean ground beef
• 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 6 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
• 1 16-ounce jar green salsa, green enchilada sauce or taco sauce
• 1/4 cup water
• 1 15-ounce can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed
• 1 15 oz can of corn
• 1 15 oz can of black beans
• 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes

1. Cook beef, bell pepper and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in salsa (or sauce) and water; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in beans and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Tips & Notes
• Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat just before serving.

Per serving: 307 calories; 8 g fat (3 g sat, 3 g mono); 64 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 6 g fiber; 516 mg sodium; 641 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (100% daily value), Vitamin A & Zinc (40% dv), Folate (20% dv), Potassium (18% dv).
1 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat Pin It