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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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November 30, 2010

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte with Whole {raw} Milk Fresh From the Dairy

With the holidays bringing seasonal flavors and scents and if you've been a frequent reader here, you know how much I LOVE all things pumpkin.  Starbucks makes a great pumpkin spice latte but the Starbucks in my area move onto Gingerbread and Peppermint lattes as soon as they can and pumpkin spice is no longer available after Thanksgiving.  So I thought I would try and recreate my own pumpkin spice latte at home.

I began with one cup of whole {raw} milk.  Now of course you can use 2% or nonfat milk but I use what we have on hand and that's whole {raw} milk.  And now that my kids are old enough for me to feel comfortable enough to feed them raw milk, it's what we drink. 

Heat it up the milk until it's hot.  I used the microwave.

For my recipe, I used a dash of French Vanilla creamer and some pumpkin pie spice.

And if you don't own one of these Aerolatte tools, you might want to ask Santa for one, because in the long run, it'll save you lots of $$ if you're a frequent visitor to Starbucks.

After you've heated the milk, use the Aerolatte, until the milk is nice and foamy.  The Aeorlatte is battery operated whisk which froths up your milk in no need for an expensive espresso maker and steamer.

Add your one cup of milk to one cup of your favorite coffee, add a dash of the French Vanilla creamer and top with the pumpkin pie spice.    There you go!  I'll still go to Starbucks when I'm on the go, but for a special treat at home, I'll be putting my aerolatte to use.  Now, I wonder if I can find Gingerbread spice?  Is there such a thing?

I can honestly say, that I enjoyed my homemade version more than the Starbucks version.  Maybe it's the use of the whole milk compared to the 2% I normally order.  Mmmm, so creamy and sweet with a touch of pumpkin spice.  Such a treat.

Related Posts you may enjoy:
Everything Pumpkin
Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Happy Tuesday!

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November 29, 2010

My Guest Post on RhodeyGirlTests & Foodzie Taste Box Winners!

I met Sabrina, {a.k.a. RhodeyGirl Tests}, in person at the recent Foodbuzz Fest a few weeks ago.  She has a food blog and shares great recipes, ideas and stories.  We got to talking about dairy farm life and some misconceptions related to milk and she asked if I would be willing to do a guest post on the subject for her blog.  I was more than happy to do so and it's up today if you want to take a peek.  Here's the link............
RhodeyGirlTests Guest Post

And the winners of the Foodzie Taste Box goes to the following two winners!

Ren Lady of the Arts  and

Look for an email from Foodzie, they will be contacting you to get your mailing address and Congratulations!

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November 28, 2010

Where Oh Where Would the Dairy Farmer's Wedding Band Be?

It was a very cold day here on the dairy on Thanksgiving morning.  Down right frosty.  The day went on just as any normal day would, Dominic went out to feed and take care of the cows and calves and I stayed in, stoked up the fire and then prepared some appetizers to take to my sister's for Thanksgiving.

Pretty soon, it was time to drive over to my sister's for the afternoon and later, dinner.  Dominic stayed home to finish feeding and caring for the cows and eventually showed up at 6 pm or so.

"How'd your afternoon go?"

"Not good" {okay, those weren't is exact words}

"Oh?  What happened?"

and that's when he lifted his left hand wiggling his ring finger. 

One platinum wedding band......gone!  It's been seven years since he first put that wedding band on and has worn it to work every day, without a problem, until this cold, frigid Thanksgiving day. 

The wedding band could be amidst the straw in the calf barn is a good possibility.

An even better possibility would be was cold after all, and little calves make good finger warmers.   Dominic must have missed my post titled "How to Survive a Trip to the Calf Barn".  
Actually, Dominic trains the calves to drink milk out of  a bucket by letting them suck his fingers while submerged in the bucket of milk.  Or, if a calf needs to be moved to a different area of the barn, you let her suck your fingers and she'll follow along anywhere.

Maybe 100 years from now, someone will find that ring.  But for now, the platinum wedding band will be replaced by this Titanium band that I've ordered from  It looks almost identical to the original platinum {except $1,100 dollars less}.  Maybe I should have bought two, one for a backup.  No, I'm confident this $31.99 Titanium ring will last a lifetime.

Related Posts you may enjoy:

Happy Sunday!

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November 27, 2010

Sick of Leftovers Yet?

It's been two days since the big Turkey Day.  Do you still have leftovers?  Are you getting a bit bored with turkey dinner, turkey sandwiches or turkey salads?  Apparently, you should only keep leftover turkey in the fridge for four days before discarding it or freezing it, so today is crunch time.  I searched one of my favorite online recipe sites, Eating Well, for a fresh idea that I could adapt to my own taste and came up with Turkey Tostadas.

Crispy Turkey Tostadas


1 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, Mexican seasoned with jalapeƱos
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 cups shredded cooked turkey, {or chicken}
8 corn tortillas
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1 avocado, pitted
1/4 cup prepared salsa
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 cup shredded low calorie, Monterey Jack cheese
Kosher salt, just a pinch or two


Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375°F.  If you prefer to have soft tacos, just heat your corn tortillas in the microwave for 15 seconds instead.

Bring tomatoes and their juice to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Add turkey {or chicken} and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, coat tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Divide the tortillas between 2 large baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until crisped and lightly brown, about 10 minutes.

Mash avocado in a bowl. Stir in salsa, sour cream and cilantro and salt to taste, until combined.
To assemble tostadas, spread each crisped tortilla with some of the avocado mixture. Top with the turkey {or chicken} mixture, lettuce and cheese.

Health Tip:  all leftover turkey should be heated to 160 degrees to be safe!

Serve with black beans and some rice and enjoy!

Don't forget to enter the Giveaway!  Winner will get a Taste Box of gourmet goodies!

Happy Saturday!

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November 26, 2010

Ready, Set, Shop! 15 Gift Ideas For Your Holiday Hosts & A Giveaway!!

Okay, Thanksgiving is over.  Next on the list, Christmas and a plethora of holiday parties! While you're out doing all your Holiday shopping after Thanksgiving, don't forget to shop for Hostess/Host gifts for any holiday party you may be invited to. 

Is it necessary to give the Host a gift?  No, but it sure is thoughtful! 

With holidays rolling around, many of us are invited to more parties than normal.  For me, when I'm invited to a party....dinner party, cocktail party, or New Year's party, I like to bring the Host a little gift to show my appreciation for being invited.  After all, a lot of time and energy goes into throwing a party so it's nice to show appreciation towards your Host.  Now the gift doesn't need to be something expensive or extravagant.  Here are some of the things I like to give:

1.  A cheese basket with some of your favorite Artisan Cheeses with a cheese cutter included

2.  Hand towels for the powder room

3.  Packages of cocktail napkins, maybe monogrammed

4.  Desk calendar for the coming year (appropriate in late fall or winter)

5.  Bottle of liqueur or cognac you know the host is fond of

6.  Sturdy canvas tote bag

7.  For the cook, two or three unusual kitchen utensils, such as a pasta lifter or egg separator

8.  For a golfer, a dozen golf balls

9.  Set of nicely packaged herbs and spices or a selection of peppercorns (black, white, red, green)

10.  Picture frame, with a picture taken during your visit sent later

11.  Candles and informal candlesticks

12.  Houseplant in a permanent, simple-yet-decorative pot

13.  A cookbook or cocktail / appetizer recipe book or a new best selling book you know will interest the   host

14.  Home baked goods in a decorative container, such as mini loaf bread in a ceramic mini loaf baking dish   {I just found some Christmas ones at Michael's Crafts for $1 each!}

15.  A music CD.  Christmas music if it's holiday time or one you make yourself on itunes

All photos courtesy Google Images

A Gift For You!!

A few weeks ago at the Foodbuzz Fest, I met the good people at Foodzie, who run an online marketplace where you can discover and buy food directly from small passionate food producers and growers.  They have offered to give my readers, you,  a food Taste Box for free, which is a collection of gourmet sample goodies!  All that you need to do is leave a comment below and don't forget to leave your email {don't worry your email is kept private} Just a little gift for you!  This is open to anyone, so feel free to share this information by Tweeting it, 'Like' on Facebook, or telling your friends!  I will announce the randomly chosen winner on Monday!  Good luck!
U.S. residents only.

Happy Shopping!

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November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Photo by Google Image

I hope you are enjoying your day and are able to relax.  Maybe in front of a warm fire.

Sipping some hot spiced cider.

Photo by Google Image

Or a glass of wine or two.

Remembering to be thankful for our freedom and all the wonderful things each day brings us.

I want to thank YOU for taking time out of your day to visit me, today and any day, I truly appreciate it.  Happy Thanksgiving. ~Nancy

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November 24, 2010

Feeding the World #FoodThanks

Thanksgiving, by far is my favorite holiday of the year.  Why?  Because there are no presents to buy, no pressure {unless your having dinner for 28 people}, just good food, family, friends and a time to really think about what you are thankful for in your life. 

Farmers top my list.  Farmers don't just stop working when there's a holiday.  They're still out there everyday, no matter if it's  raining or snowing in the winter or 100 degrees in the summer. Crops and animals need to be cared for and tended to on Thanksgiving, on Christmas, 365 days a year. 

Food doesn’t just happen. It takes an incredible number of caring, thoughtful, hard-working individuals to provide the three square meals we enjoy every day. From farmer to processor to truck driver to chef to retailer, millions work hard to provide our food.  

Imagine all the hands that go into producing the potatoes we use for our mashed potatoes,

or that pick our green beans and strawberries,
or plow our fields.

I give #FoodThanks to the farmers who help produce the many ingredients that go into all the goodies we bake.

Farmers Markets have really given us the opportunity to connect with the Farmer or farm employee on an individual basis.  How many 'man hours' did it take to produce this bunch of carrots?  I don't know either,  but I'm sure it's many.

I want my kids to know all the hard work that goes into producing the food we eat.  And they're learning.  Having a low-producing home garden this past summer helped them to understand all the care and time that goes into producing carrots and zucchini and that we may only yield a handful....which was the case for us this year.

And of course, we cannot forget these girls.  The girls that give us milk to help create so many of our wonderful dishes.  Without milk, there wouldn't be butter, ice cream, cream, yogurt, cheese, milk shakes......I give #FoodThanks not only to the farmers, and employees but also to the girls that give us milk.

So, I ask of you during thisThanksgiving holiday, to remember the Farmer and give #FoodThanks.

The first four photos, above by Google image

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November 23, 2010

Wild Mushrooms....Poisonous?

Are you a mushroom lover?  Good, maybe you can help me out.  Dominic found a cluster of wild mushrooms growing in the grove of redwood trees, just outside our house.  He has never seen this variety of mushroom growing anywhere on the ranch before now.  It's a wonder how these things can just pop up from the ground, especially when they're the size of a small cow patty! 

Every time I find mushrooms growing around the surroundings of our house, I just uproot them or kick them down......thinking they may be poisonous.  But these, I wanted to photograph.

Mushroom enthusiasts, if you have an idea as to what type of mushroom this is, please enlighten me.  I searched online, but couldn't find a match.

If mushrooms can be beautiful, this one's a beaut.

Thanks for helping!

Happy Tuesday!

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