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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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June 29, 2012

Marin County Fair Ticket Winner!


We always love the animals (baby pigs!!) and spend a lot of time checking them out. Can't beat the fireworks or the great entertainment either. But I think I love my kids faces the most :) brandi Duffin
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Marin County Fairy ~ Giveaway!

The Marin County Fair is coming up in the very near future...June 30th - July 4th to be exact.  

This means more ice cream.

More dairy cows.

Checking out the chicks....

Lots of snacks...

Interactive displays.

And of course, hitting a few carnival rides.

The Marin County Fair also puts on an amazing firework show every night.  Bring a blanket or folding chairs and sit back on the cool grass, listen to the band of the evening....(Joan Jett plays on Monday night! Yay!) and then watch the firework show to end your night.

I'm giving away FOUR tickets to the Marin County Fair!  To qualify to win, all you need to do is tell me what your favorite food, exhibit, game, or feature, etc. is at the Marin County fair in the comment section below and I will randomly select a winner tonight at midnight!

Don't forget to sign your name after your comment so I know who to contact!

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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June 28, 2012

Cracked Pots

The following came to me from a good friend this morning.  It rang home with me and wanted to share with you all.  Something we all need to hear once in a while, no matter the path we choose in our life.  Hope you enjoy :)

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.
But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.

'I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.'

The old woman smiled, 'Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?'

'That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.'

For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.  Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.'

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. 

You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

SO, to all of my cracked pot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

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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June 27, 2012

TT w/Linky: Mini Cherry Pies

Okay, so I'm sure I've found the EASIEST dessert EVER to be baked.......Mini Cherry Pies.  Seriously, this took all of 7 minutes to prepare and 13 minutes to bake.....DONE!  

And SO good!

Can you tell I love this recipe?!

And perfect timing....this can be very patriotic for the 4th of July.

Two things are all you need.....and a third if you wanna splurge.  Pre-made pie crusts by Pillsbury and canned cherry pie filling....that is it.

Here's what you do.....roll out that pre-made Pillsbury Pie Crust.  Use a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter and punch out the dough.  Place into a mini muffin pan, gently.

Fill with your favorite canned pie filling.....I used cherry but blueberry would be great as well....or both!  Bake these little gems for 13-14 minutes and you're done!  It is THAT easy.  Paige and I whipped these out in no time.

Yum, Yum, Yum.

The third, optional ingredient....whipped cream.  I suggest adding the whipped cream.....OH so good.

The only's super easy to eat about five of these, in one sitting.  But I'm very thankful for easy, delicious desserts that most will love!

I'm bringing these to the 4th of July party I'm attending......what are you planning on?

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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June 26, 2012

Tuna Tacos

I have been craving fish tacos lately like you would not believe.  With a freezer full of beef, I tend to forget about buying fish but I absolutely love it and so do the kids.

After picking the kids up from summer day and Lego/Jedi classes, we headed to 
Trader Joe's to pick up some tuna.....tonight was the night for fish tacos.

We also needed cilantro, avocado and lime.

This recipe takes no time at all.  After oiling the tuna with olive oil, I seasoned them with a mixture of ground cumin, chili powder, taco seasoning and some salt and pepper.

I threw them on the indoor grill for about 3 minutes per side.

After slicing them up, I topped them with sliced, fresh grape tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, sour cream and a squeeze of fresh lime on a warmed corn tortilla.  The kids prefer flour tortillas, they devoured their fish burritos.

All that was lacking was a margarita......and a beach.

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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June 22, 2012

"BOTW" Pillsbury Chocolate Chip S'more Pizza

When I saw this recipe, a few things came to mind right away....summer, kid's dessert, campfire, okay okay....grown-up dessert and super easy dessert.

Best of the Web.....I think it's a winner, I hope you do too!

Photo and recipe courtesy Pillsbury
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Fair Ticket Winner

The Sonoma Marin Fair ticket winner is Tanya G!
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Congratulations Tanya!  I'll get the tickets to you Friday morning!

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June 21, 2012

TT w/Linky: Sonoma-Marin Fair Day One & Giveaway

Fair time =  Long, exciting and extremely fun days.  Yesterday was our first day, out of five and already the kids began to ask about riding the carnival rides.  For us, carnival rides will not happen until the end of the week {unless, of course, a willing adult other than myself wants to escort the kids over before then}but for us, it's mainly about the show animals.  Caring for them, hanging out at the RV - livestock lot...almost like camping out for a week.

Yesterday we found furry creatures other than the cows we're more accustomed to hanging around.  

This is about as close anyone can get to a Fallow Deer, I'm sure.

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June 20, 2012

The Shyanne Boot Winner Is....

And the winner of the Shyanne Boot Giveaway is..............................

Congratulations to The Coolidges!

Selected by this morning.
Coolidges, please email me at:  TheWifeOfADairyman [at] gmail [dot] com
so I can collect your boot size and selected style and mailing address for Boot Barn!

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June 19, 2012

Farm Chicks

Summer time.  The best time of the year as far as my kids are concerned.  Warm weather, cousins at the ranch, feeding calves, getting dirty and bonding in many ways.

Paige finds herself with the strong urge to visit her calf, Brina at the calf barn multiple times per day.

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June 18, 2012

Bryce's Darn Good Chocolate Cake for the County Fair

It's county fair time in our area, which for us means baking and entering Bryce and Paige's chocolate delights they've decided on.

Bryce baked some 'Darn Good Chocolate Cake'.  We found this super easy recipe in the North Bay Dairy Women Cookbook.  Fortunately only 1/4 plus one slice of the cake is required to make its way to the fair for judging.  

This means we eat the rest.

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June 15, 2012

For Father's Day, bake something special and with bacon to please Dad.  What's not to love with ingredients like chocolate, peanut butter and bacon?!  I found my 'Best of the Web' recipe of the week on the Pillsbury site.  This Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie with Bacon was the Wisconsin 2011 State Fair Pillsbury competition winner.
What's cookin' for your Father's Day?

photo and recipe courtesy Pillsbury
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June 14, 2012

Kid-Friendly Beach ~ Abbotts Lagoon

WooHoo!  Summer weather is here!  It's beach time!  Here's one of our favorites....

Abbotts Lagoon in Pt. Reyes National Seashore. A kid-friendly beach the kids and I just love.

When I first came up on Abbotts Lagoon,  I read 'lagoon' and I was in....being a total Gilligan's Island fan, how could I not be?!

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June 13, 2012

TT w/Linky: Many Uses of the Mason Jar

Thankful Thursday.  Very grateful/thankful for the mason jar and it's MANY uses.

Here's one......

Here's another..........Perfectly Portable Parfait

And yet another.........Toasted Coconut

How do you use your mason jars?

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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June 12, 2012

Nope, it's NOT a hold's the Shyanne Boot GIVEAWAY!

But dang, it's almost like a hold up!.....I've been talking about it on Twitter and Facebook and it's HERE, finally!  The Boot Barn Shyanne Boot Giveaway just for YOU! Yep, a beautiful pair of leather boots, FREE to one of you.

When I was contacted by Boot Barn to see if I wanted to try out their new line of boots, the Shyanne, I didn't hesitate.  You all know how much I LOVE boots so when given the opportunity to acquire a new, stylin' pair, how could I say no?  

But this is even better because YOU, one of my wonderful readers will have the chance to win your OWN pair!  You'll get to choose from their Shyanne line.  WOOHOO! I'm so excited to be able to offer this to you, courtesy Boot Barn.

But before posting this giveaway, I wanted to try these babies out in as many settings as possible to see how they feel, hold up and how I feel in them.  

I wore them shooting on a Saturday evening.

 Gotta look good when the gun you're shooting has the potential to knock you on your butt, right?

But what I really prefer, is to wear my boots out.  Wearing boots for me, feels like putting on a well worn, comfy glove.  As the leather softens, the boot molds to your foot and there is almost nothing more comfortable.  

So the maiden voyage for these black and turquoise kickers was to my niece's 6th grade promotion ceremony and party.  They dress up a pair of skinny jeans just like that.

When I wore them into San Francisco to attend an event.....I received  so many compliments on these boots.  My favorite option when wearing boots is with a dress.

Paige has some major boot envy.  I can see a mini-me boot purchase for her in the near future.

The thing I really enjoy with these boots is the style.  They have a vintage, distressed look to them and the contrasting turquoise inlay really caught my eye when I was in the process of selecting a style for myself.
I love, love, LOVE these boots.  They easily go from ranch life to playing in the big city to a lazy Sunday afternoon without a problem.

I hope you're as excited as I am about this giveaway!  All you need to do to enter is leave a comment in the comment section below answering this question.........

Where would you wear your new pair of Shyanne boots?

I will announce the winner in one week.  Next Wednesday. USA residents only and Boot Barn cannot ship to P.O. boxes.

These boots are super popular so here's a note from Boot Barn:

“If for any reason the winner’s first style choice and/or size is not available at the time of this giveaway, there may be a delay in prize shipment until new stock arrives or we may ask the winner to select another style.”

GOOD LUCK!!  I hope you'll love them as much as I do!

Although the Shyanne boots were given to me by Boot Barn, this in no way influenced my opinion in writing this review.

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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June 11, 2012

How to make Easy Cake Pops

This past weekend we participated in our annual 4H BBQ and fundraiser where our club set up a few workshops on how to judge rabbits, cows, cavies, woodworking, etc.  I'm a cooking group co-leader for our club so my co-leader, Karen and I decided it would be fun for the kids to dip and decorate their own cake pops at the event.

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June 9, 2012

Novato Art and Wine Fest This Weekend!

Every year in June, Novato puts on it's Art and Wine Festival and it begins today.  If you're into food, art, crafts, wine, and music, you may want to come on over and check it out.

The downtown area is closed to traffic along Grant Street for the two days.  After you check out all the booths of art and crafts, maybe even have some garlic fries, you can sip some wine or beer and listen to music from one of the many bands that play throughout the day.  There is also many kid activities to choose from...jump house, face painting, pony rides, etc.

I totally indulge in the fair food at this event..

Linguica dogs!  Oh yeah!

You can choose to be healthy with your choice of lunch or not.  Something for every taste palate.

Rotisserie Chicken & BBQ.

There are two stages set up for entertainment.  One on either end of the festival .  Different bands play all day long on both Saturday and Sunday.  So you can kick back, find some shade and enjoy the music.
Here's the music line up for this weekend.... music line up


It's always fun to check out all the arts and crafts for sale.  I thought these leather bracelets and coin purses were so colorful. 

Hummingbird feeders.  

Many jewelry booths.

Food sampling...

Local tunes.

A purchase I made a couple of years ago, that I use quite often is my ceramic garlic grater.  I LOVE it and hope I can find them this year.....these make great gifts!

Hope to see you there!

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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