Blog Statement

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

TDM CCN Header

September 30, 2013

A Swingin' Weekend Wrap Up

My "mellow weekend" ended up being busier than I had anticipated.  We helped celebrate a friend's 50th birthday by dancing, eating and drinking our way into Saturday night...

Caught on camera, swingin', by an eight year old...

A proud seven year old, helping her team to a victorious win {but no score keeping allowed, yeah right} by scoring 2 of 6 goals and learning some great teamwork skills in the process.

 A little work on the ranch....

Trying to spot Jinx in a group of heifers on the back side of the ranch...

A Sunday afternoon baseball game, watching Bryce pitch....he LIVES for this game...

And lastly, I found out I qualifed and was invited to compete in the World Food Championships in Las Vegas in November {yikes!}....not sure if I'll be brave enough to actually go through with it, we'll see...

I am currently in Idaho for the potato harvest.  Not sure if I'll be blogging from there, but will be sure to give you all a full re-cap once returning!
Pin It

September 26, 2013

"Breaking Bad" Party Menu

Is it time to celebrate or drown your sorrows?  The end of the "Breaking Bad" era is nearing.  Whether a fan or foe of the series, the season finale is Sunday night.  Why not make it a viewing party with these great recipes by The Savory......can't go wrong with The Pontiac Aztec Cocktail, Hoisin Heisenbergers and Marie's Purple Slaw....
Walter White’s now famous mode of transport is forever burned in our minds, with and without windshield intact. "Breaking Bad" creator, Vince Gilligan, had the memorable green color custom made, and no other Aztek can be found in that color. The Savory bartender, Pete Capella, did his best to pay homage to that color, along with the down and dirty tone of the show, by putting together a cocktail that is almost as groundbreaking as "Breaking Bad" itself. Ladies and gents, The Savory proudly presents: The Pontiac Aztek Cocktail.

The Pontiac Aztec Cocktail Recipe:
  • 2 oz Mezcal
  • 1 oz Velvet Falernum
  • ½ oz Green Chartreuse
  • ½ oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • 1 dash Absinthe
  • Grapefruit Twist for Garnish

Stir all ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain into rocks glass. Place one large ice cube in glass. Garnish with a large grapefruit twist.

The Savory is kind enough to help you relax and untangle the knots in your stomachs with an epic burger recipe. Sweet, tangy and spicy hoisin sauce kicks up beef patties and spices up mayo in this Breaking Bad-inspired beef burger recipe. You can make as regular burgers or sliders for a group. Marie’s purple slaw (we had to) texturizes and adds some coolness to this flavor-bomb burger.

Recipe for Hoisin Burgers:

·         1lb ground beef
·         ½ green onion, minced
·         2 cloves garlic, minced
·         2 teaspoons cilantro, minced
·         2 Tablespoons ginger, minced
·         1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
·         1 teaspoon sesame oil
·         1 Tablespoon soy sauce
·         black pepper to taste
*Makes 4 quarter-pound burgers

Combine all ingredients, being careful not to over-mix. Shape into patties and grill to desired done-ness.

Top with Marie’s Purple Slaw:

·         2 cups shredded purple cabbage
·         2 green onions or scallions, diced
·         2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
·         1 Tablespoon veg oil
·         1 Tablespoon sesame oil

In a medium bowl, toss together all of the above. Make this ahead of time if desired and store covered in the fridge.

Slather on some Spicy Hoisin Mayonnaise:
  • 1//4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons Asian chili garlic sauce or Sriracha
Whisk all ingredients together in small bowl and set aside.
Basic Assembly: toast buns (we think a brioche roll or a sweeter roll works well) in broiler or on the grill until lightly browned. Place cooked burger on one side of bun. Slather a spread of the spicy hoisin mayo on top of burger. Layer the purple slaw on top. Finally, spread a thin layer of the mayo on the other half of the bun and top burger.

Pin It

September 25, 2013

No Mess Candy Pumpkin Decorating

Food Network Magazine is one of my favorite culinary magazines, with their easy, no fuss recipes and ideas.  The October issue did not disappoint with their idea for no mess pumpkin decorating.  If you're like me, you love Halloween and anything autumn-like but when it comes to Halloween pumpkin carving....I'm not a huge fan.  I am all over this no-mess idea, how fun would this be?!!

Here's what they have to offer......

In the October issue of Food Network Magazine, now on newsstands nationwide, our editors dream up fun, no-mess ideas for decorating holiday pumpkins. We used gumdrops, candy corns, marshmallows, cotton candy, M&Ms and royal icing to make pumpkins as cute as they are creepy. The best part? Some of the designs require little or no carving, so you and your family can have a blast without the mess.

To create the Mad Scientist Pumpkin
For the hair: Pull apart cotton candy and attach small tufts to the pumpkin with royal icing.
For the eyes: Separate 2 chocolate sandwich cookies and, using royal icing, attach the 2 pieces that have filling on them to the pumpkin, filling-side out. Stick 1 M&M into each cookie filling.
For the ears, nose and mouth: Attach Circus Peanuts with royal icing for the ears and nose, then draw a mouth and eyeglass rims with the icing and cover the lines with red and black licorice strings.

To create the Alien Pumpkin
For the eyes: Use a spoon to carve out small holes, then push in gumballs so they fit snugly. Draw pupils with an edible marker. For the eyelids, attach pieces of sour belt candy with royal icing.
For the ears and mouth: Attach 2 sour watermelons with royal icing for the ears, then add a sour apple ring or a peach ring for the mouth.
For the antennae: Push 2 lollipops into the top.

To make Royal Icing
Sift 2 tablespoons meringue powder (found in the baking isle or at craft stores) and 1 pound confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl. Beat in 6 tablespoons water with a mixer until glossy with soft peaks. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag; snip the tip of one corner to pipe.

Link to article in Food Network Magazine:

Images Credit: Lisa Shin
Pin It

September 24, 2013

Two Ingredient Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

Lately on the internet, I've been seeing so many of these two ingredient recipes for muffins and wanted to try one of them myself.  My family is a HUGE fan of pumpkin muffins and after just recently cleaning out my pantry, I discovered quite a variety of cake mixes.  

All you need for the basic two ingredient pumpkin muffin recipe is your favorite yellow cake mix, I used Pillsbury and one 15 oz can of Pumpkin Pie Pureed Pumpkin.

I like to use the pumpkin pie canned pumpkin because of all the spices included in the can.  OR you can use Spice cake mix and regular canned pumpkin for basically the same effect.  Mix the cake mix and the canned pumpkin together.  It's pretty thick but mixes well.

Okay, I lied.  I added a third ingredient.........couldn't help myself....semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Spray a muffin tin, scoop the mix evenly into the tin.  Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  These are dense, heavy muffins.  Very moist and tasty and a great way to add pumpkin into your kid's treats.

If you want to get a little fancy, melt some butter, brush in on the top and sides of each muffin and roll into a sugar/cinnamon mixture to coat the outside....SO good.

Pin It

September 23, 2013

One Step Closer to Organization with Rawlings ~ Giveaway!

I’m not going to tell you that I have completely organized my mud room, or that I’m one of those moms that has found a place for everything my children have drug into the house.
I didn’t and I haven’t.
The mud room still looks like a complete disaster with 5,000 pairs of shoes, some laundry, a pile of dead batteries waiting to be taken into Pini’s Hardware for recycling, dog food container, 5 socks without mates…..I think I even found a cup in there…and not the kind you drink from.

So when I was contacted by Rawlings to see if I would like to review and giveaway their Vertical Sports Organizer, I thought THIS would be a step in the right direction on the way to an organized mud room.

The Rawlings Sports Organizer is easy to install.  Use a Stud Finder to find a studs….or if you’re like me, just pick a spot and hope for the best.  Six screws and it’s up and ready to stock full of sports equipment.

The BEST part of this.....I get to giveaway one of these helpful Rawlings Vertical Sports Organizers to one of YOU!!  Just leave a comment in the comment section below and the winner will be chosen by next Friday October 4th!!  

Disclaimer:  The Rawlings Vertical Sports Organizer was given to me but the opinion is all my own.
Pin It

September 18, 2013

Indoor Grilling...Grilled Hanger Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

By raising our own beef, one of the many benifits is being able to sample every single cut of beef there is. Hanger steak has become one of my favorites, it's just so versitle and quick and easy to prepare.

This recipe for grilled {indoor} Hanger steak came to me courtesy Iron Chef Marc Forgioni and T-fal.  If its already become chilly in your area, you can grill all winter long using  the new T-Fal OptiGrill available at Bed Bath & Beyond in October.

A hanger steak is a cut of beef steak prized for its flavor. Derived from the diaphragm of a steer or heifer, it typically weighs about 1.0 to 1.5 lb. In the past, it was sometimes known as "butcher's steak" because butchers would often keep it for themselves rather than offer it for sale.
Hanger steak resembles flank steak in texture and flavor.

What's your favorite cut of beef??

Iron Chef Marc Forgioni's Grilled Hanger Steak with Chimichurri sauce 


For the Meat Marinade:
  • 1 cup chopped fresh curly parsley
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, crushed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Hangar Steak

For the Chimichurri Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh curly parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar

For the Grilled Vidalia Onions:
  • 1 Vidalia onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick rings
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • To Assemble the Dish:
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • Smoked salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Make the Steak:
Combine all herbs, shallots, garlic, and peppercorns in a small container and cover with enough EVOO to cover the herb mixture. Add steak and marinate overnight or up to one day ahead.

Make the Chimichurri Sauce:
In a medium bowl mix together the olive oil, parsley, cilantro, shallots, pepper flakes, garlic, and salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. Right before serving, add the sherry vinegar.

Make the Grilled Vidalia Onions:
While the steak is resting, toss the onions rings with some olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Grill the onions on the Opti-grill, until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Finely chop the onions and combine with the chimichurri.

Pin It

September 17, 2013

One Dish Meal by De Cecco Pasta for Fall

You all know how much I love Brussels Sprouts, if you've been reading here for any length of time. So when I was contacted to share this hearty De Cecco Pasta recipe for fall that includes Brussels sprouts, I had to share.  And what a great way to filter in the veggies for the kids.....I may have to add some bacon to this as well.  A one dish meal in our house for sure.

A little about De Cecco Pasta.....
De Cecco is unlike many other pastas available on supermarket shelves today.  Carefully made in the mountains of Central Italy, De Cecco uses a proprietary process to make more than 160 different pasta shapes. This process starts with full control of the milling process and using only the heart of durum wheat to produce premium semolina, then mixing it with cool natural waters from De Cecco’s own mountain spring, drawing the semolina dough through bronze dies and drying the pasta very slowly at a low temperature.

Brussels Sprout, Cauliflower and Shiitake Fusilli

Prep Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves 8

1 pound De Cecco Whole Wheat Fusilli or Spinach Fusilli
8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed
12 ounces cauliflower florets (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup De Cecco Extra Virgin Olive Oil 100% Italian Olives, divided
4 medium shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
7 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
1 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta and Brussels sprouts according to pasta package direction, adding cauliflower during last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook 15 to 30 seconds, stirring constantly, or until fragrant. Add mushrooms; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until browned. Remove from the heat.
3. Return hot cooked pasta, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower to pot; add reserved pasta water and mushroom mixture. Set aside 2 tablespoons parsley. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and reserved parsley.

Photo and recipe courtesy De Cecco Pasta.
Pin It

September 12, 2013

Top 10 Tailgating Recipes for your Parking Lot Party

UGame Day.  It's BIG in my house.  Every Sunday I pull on my lucky red 49er shirt and either go to Candlestick Park for the game and a parking lot party or stay at home and eat and drink in front of the TV and watch as many games as I care to.  And if anything interferes with my game day, well, that's what Smart Phones are for, I guess.

Food Network recently came out with a list of their top 50 favorite tailgate party recipes and out of those, I chose MY favorite top 10.

Here they are.....

Tangy Corn Relish....imagine scooping this with some corn chips or tortilla chips....or maybe even in a leaf of butter lettuce for the perfect lettuce wrap.  

Whenever we bring sausage to an event or party, it's usually the first to go.  Tasty, salty, easy to handle, how perfect is this Grilled Sausage with Spicy Sauce for your tailgate party?!

My mouth immediately began watering when I spotted this Shrimp and Pineapple Not So Po' Boy creation. I'm a sucker for lightly battered seafood..... OH MY!

Hoagie can this be wrong when it looks so right?!

No football game can be complete without a pot of chili...Steak Fajita Chili...yum yum.

You know I had to go with this recipe for the name alone!  Farm in a Blanket.  Stuffed with onions, raisins, provolone and salami.

Oh boy, another stuffed piece of heaven.... Mortadella Stromboli.  Stuffed with Swiss or Gruyere cheese, string cheese, basil, olives, tomato sauce and mortadella.  Sure to satisfy a hungry appetite on game day.

I can't have a football party without some adult party punch, I just can't.  Homecoming Punch has cranberry juice, orange juice, pink lemonade, brandy and some sparkling wine.  Served up in a mason jar or a Solo cup...either will work just fine!

Last but certainly not least....something sweet.  Mini Peanut Butter Cupcakes.  Need I say more?

All photos courtesy Food Network

Pin It