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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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December 30, 2013

New Year's SOL REPUBLIC Wireless Speaker Giveaway

Happy almost New Year's!  Are you looking at wireless speakers to spend all that Christmas cash on? Well, you may not need to if you win this SOL REPUBLIC giveaway I'm hosting for an awesome wireless speaker. Your device can connect via Bluetooth OR your old school ipod {like mine} can connect via wire to send you well on your way to listening to all your favorite tunes wherever you choose to take it....maybe on a bike ride, at the pool on vacation, working in the garage or if you're like me, in your kitchen.

I am loving the SOL REPUBLIC wireless speaker, the "DECK"   which is done in collaboration with Motorola and was newly released this fall. It holds a charge for a good eight hours or so, has up to 300 foot wireless range and has so many amazing features that are distinct to the product including Heist Mode, the feature that allows for up to 5 people to pair real-time to the device, a dedicated bass chamber (that bumps!) with the option to shift into outdoor mode to raise mids/highs, when needed and a range that is 2x most of the competition. Great for a gift guide list that is $200 and under.

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment in the comment section below!  {if you subscribe by email, you must go to the blog address to leave a comment.... }
U.S. residents only.

Good luck to you!!!

To read more on SOL REPUBLIC wireless speaker, click here >

A winner will be selected by on January 8th!

SOL REPUBLIC did provide me with this product to review but the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

UPDATE:  1-8-14
Congratulations, Danesha!   You were chosen by and have won the wireless speaker!!

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December 23, 2013

Peanut Butter & Banana Protein Muffins

For those who are thinking ahead to New Year's and healthier eating, here's a recipe that came to me via Angeles Burke, that I think would be perfect for a post workout snack.  Loaded with protein, low in calories and fat and looking pretty tasty.

Enter the Easy Recipe Challenge for a chance to WIN $200!

Peanut Butter and Banana Protein Muffins
2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
1 Medium Banana Mashed
¼ Cup Oatmeal (Uncooked)
1 Whole Egg
½ Cup Egg Whites
1 Scoop Vanilla Protein
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
Dried Banana Chips

Peanut Butter and Banana Protein Muffin Cooking Instructions
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, hand- mix all ingredients together except the banana chips. Place muffin liners in each holder of a 12 count muffin tray and then spray a light coat of a non stick cooking spray. Evenly disperse all of the mixture into the muffin liners and top each uncooked muffin with a few dried banana chips. Place tray in the center rack of the oven and allow to cook for 12 min. The tops of the banana chips should be golden brown when they are about done. Leave in longer if muffin is not thoroughly cooked.
Nutritional Facts
Yields 6 Peanut Butter and Banana Protein Muffins
Calories- 106 Per Protein Muffin
3.8 g Fat -8 g Carbs- 10.3 g Protein
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December 17, 2013

Gluten Free Holiday Baking Tips

With so many going or needing to go gluten free these days, I wanted to share some gluten free baking tips I recieved via Kyra Bussanich, (, three-time winner of The Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” and author of a just-released recipe book,Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle.  She offers some great gluten free holiday baking tips to share with us this holiday season.

• If you’re following a recipe, don’t substitute the listed flour or starch with another type unless you’re familiar with its properties.There are many different types of gluten-free flours and starches, including millet, sorghum and sweet white rice flour, and potato and tapioca starches. Each has its own idiosyncrasies. For example, millet flour has a slightly nutty flavor and is well-suited for goods with a hearty texture. Sweet white rice flour holds moisture well and is good for recipes that have a slight gumminess to them. Potato starch is light and good for fluffy cakes. 
• Use eggs and butter at room temperature. Eggs are often used as a binder, the protein that substitutes for the missing gluten. Eggs and butter are both easier to work with when used at room temperature, and room-temperature egg whites whip up fluffier. If you forget to pull the butter out of the refrigerator beforehand, heat it for 7 to 12 seconds in the microwave. Put cold eggs in warm (not hot) water for 30 to 60 seconds. 
• Don’t overwork batter and dough with xanthan gum in it. Corn-based xanthan gum is often used as a stabilizer and thickener in gluten-free baked goods, sauces, dressings and soups. Once this ingredient is added, overworking the dough can give it a slimy, gummy texture, and cause it to lose flavor. (A good substitute for xanthan gum is ground psyllium seed husk.) 
• Heat higher, cream longer for lighter cakes. One complaint people sometimes have about gluten-free baked goods is that they’re too dense. To prevent this, try setting the oven temperature 25 degrees warmer than you would for flour. This will cause the butter in the recipe to release its water as steam, which helps the cake rise quickly. Also, cream eggs and butter together longer – about 10 minutes – than you would for flour cakes.

About Kyra Bussanich: Kyra Bussanich is a three-time winner of The Food Network’s hit show, “Cupcake Wars.” She graduated with honors from Le Cordon Bleu and opened her award-winning bakery, Kyra's Bake Shop, which features gourmet, gluten-free sweets. She has branched beyond desserts to other gluten-free goods in order to help those with celiac and other autoimmune diseases enjoy quality treats

Photo credit: Kyra Bussanich
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December 9, 2013

Drunken Meatballs

Drunken no, I'm not talking about family members, but in the heat of the holiday party season, tasty, easy and simple party recipes are in high demand at my house.  Here's one I could not pass up!  Drunken Meatballs.

This easy holiday recipe is from the Quick Meal Queen, Natashja Szortyka.  Quick and easy.  Your guests will LOVE them!

Drunken Meatballs
38.4 oz. bag Mama Lucia
     Mini-Size Meatballs
1 c. ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup whiskey

Put all four ingredients in a slow cooker and heat on low for 4 to 6 hours or high for 2 to 3 hours.
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December 3, 2013

Top 10 Christmas Cookie Recipes

I don't really consider myself a 'baker', I'm more of a cook....I think the reason why is that you must be SO precise with the measurements when it comes to baking and with cooking you can throw a dash of this in or a pinch of that.  That's how I like to cook, anyway.

For Christmas baking it must be easy to put together and pretty much fool proof for me to try.

Here are a few favorites....

Krusteaz Molten Deep Dish Cookies.....for those of you, like myself, that like the box variety...these are so good and new to the market.

Salted Caramel die for.

NO BAKE Melting Snowmen much fun to make!

Chocolate Marshmallow Cloud Cookies....I didn't mess these up, pretty easy to

My friend, Kristi's family recipe for Peanut Brittle.  I haven't made this one myself but Kristi claims it's easy to make and I can attest to how fabulous it tastes.

A Grossi family favorite...Seven Layer Cookie.  Create your own layers according to your taste....white chocolate?  Butterscotch?  Milk chocolate?....whatever you desire.

Another easy one.  This one by Midwest Living... Oreo Truffles.

And the final three are all from a Cookie Exchange party I attended last year....loved every single one!
Coconut Macaroons
Grandpa's Cookies
Spice Cookies


For those of you local to the area, come down to Finnegan's Marin the evening of Friday December 6th. We are conducting a Toy Drive to benefit UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and I'll be Guest Bartending with a friend of mine beginning at 7 PM.  It should be a fun party!  Finnegan's has a full menu and bar for those who would like to eat and drink that night as well.  I hope to see some of you there!!

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