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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 29, 2014

Gluten Free Super Bowl Party Food with Blue Diamond

Super Bowl is the second biggest eating day of the year, ranked just after Thanksgiving.  It's not surprising, as I, like many of you, consider Super Bowl Sunday to be an unofficial holiday of sorts where you gather with friends, eat, drink, socialize, watch the game AND the commercials.

To help along with the game day menu planning, here are a couple of recipes that came to me via Blue Diamond Almonds.  Blue Diamond is delving in to the Gluten-Free market with their new, crunchy Almond Nut Thin crackers and have incorporated them into these tasty appetizer recipes....


Nutty Ranch Chicken Strips

  • 1 (4.25-oz.) box Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins
  • 1/4 cup Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds, finely chopped
  • 1 (1-oz.) packet dry Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1/3 cup light ranch dressing
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 1/4 lbs. chicken tenders or 1 1/2-inch cubes boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place Blue Diamond Nut Thins in a gallon-size bag and fold over the top. Crush with a rolling pin until chips are in tiny pieces.
  3. Add Blue Diamond Almonds and dry ranch dressing mix to bag and shake well to mix.
  4. Stir together ranch dressing and butter in another medium bowl. Dip each chicken tender in ranch dressing and shake off excess.
  5. Roll in chip mixture, pressing into the surface to coat well; place on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Coat with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes. Coat with cooking spray again and cook for 10 minutes more.
Quick tip: Any of the coating mixture that falls off the chicken after cooking is great sprinkled over a tossed green salad or mashed potatoes.
Nutty Ranch Chicken Strips Nutritional Analysis
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C

Artichoke Heart Dip

  • 1 can of artichoke hearts (9 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 10oz. bag frozen spinach - bit size pieces
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 oz. softened gluten-free cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella
  • Dash of pepper
  • Blue Diamond Nut Thins

  1. Cut up artichokes after draining them.
  2. In large pot, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Add spinach and artichokes and cook about 5 minutes. Add wine, then cream cheese.
  3. Placed in 1 quart dish, top with mozzarella bake in preheated oven at 350° for 5 minutes until brown and bubble.
  4. Serve with Blue Diamond Nut Thins.

Artichoke Heart Dip Nutritional Analysis
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat

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January 22, 2014

Our Move to Clover Stornetta

At one time, there were 200 dairies in all of Marin County.  That was 64 years ago in 1950. Today, Marin County has dwindled down to 27 dairies.  Our family farm, George Grossi & Son Dairy, is one of the remaining few but not without a lot of sacrifice and love for dairy farming and the lifestyle that comes with it. Like many of the remaining dairies in our area,  a few of the adjustments we've had to make over the years include building new free-stall barns and updating our calf barn to help contain all manure produced here on the farm, year-round and to keep up with the ever-changing and stringent water and air quality regulations.

An important factor in our continuance as operating as a working dairy farm, was the decision to join the Clover Stornetta family. With no end in sight to high feed costs, being accepted by Clover Stornetta and joining Clover in the spring of 2012, was a much needed and welcome step for us.

Clover Stornetta was founded in the 1970's.  As a multi-family run operation, they see the value and importance of locally produced milk.  By collecting milk from dairies in Marin and Sonoma counties, they are able to process the milk quickly after receiving it at their creamery and processing plant located just 12 miles to our north, in Petaluma, CA.

As a Clover Stornetta family dairy, we are required to pass the American Humane Certification and maintain that certification for as long as we are a member of Clover . Clover also created the North Coast Excellence Program, which requires its producing dairies to maintain very high quality standards of milk.

It's been almost two years now, since becoming part of the Clover Stornetta family and I wanted to share with you, our change.  If you're local and drink Clover Stornetta Milk or are eating Clover Stornetta butter, yogurt, cheese or ice cream, know that it's coming from our family farm.

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January 17, 2014

Slow Wine Event!!

If you're a wine lover like I am and would be interested in learning {and tasting}more about Italian wines, there's a great event happening in San Francisco the evening of January 27th!  I'll be there and hope to see many of you!  

If interested in purchasing tickets, and as a reader of this blog, you can receive $10 off your ticket price with this code: WODM

Have you ever heard of Slow Wine? In fact, did you know that Slow Wine is a branch of the famous non-profit Slow Food, an organization committed to linking the pleasures of good food with a commitment to local communities and the environment? 

For the third time, Slow Food is presenting the 2014 edition of its English-language wine guide
Slow Wine, in San Francisco, Chicago & New York on Jan 27th, 29th and Feb 3rd respectively. The SlowWine Guide makes it easy for consumers to learn about Italian wines- from the grapes, to the terroir to the producers.

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January 16, 2014

Super Bowl Party Appetizer ~ Greek Yogurt Gucamole

This recipe for Chobani Greek Yogurt guacamole has been such a hit in my house, I needed to post it again this year since football party season is upon us!

With Sunday's game coming up and with all the football party food just asking to be consumed, it's nice to lighten up a few things where calories are concerned, right?  I have a great guacamole recipe for you that is SO tasty and includes Chobani Greek Yogurt to lighten up the calories.

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January 14, 2014

California Women for Ag Tour Day 2014

Every other year, California Women for Ag install a new president for a two year term. This year, our home-town of Petaluma's own, Lynn Figone, has become the new CWA President.  The CWA weekend long convention kicked off with a tour this past Friday.  A bus was chartered, 56 CWA members boarded and off we went to our first stop on the tour.

The Petaluma Creamery.

There were no pictures allowed in the creamery building itself, for safety reasons.  But we did learn all about how cheese was produced this past Friday.  The Petaluma Creamery has a retail store next door to their creamery where they sell their cheese,  homemade ice cream, and sandwiches for lunch and other treats.  If you're interested in scheduling a tour for yourself, just contact them and they'll be able to help you with that.

 Our second stop of the tour was at Dairydell canine dog training, boarding and doggie day care facility.  Owner, Camilla Gray Nelson, grew up on this re purposed dairy farm and has over 50 years experience with animals and has trained, bred and shown dogs since 1989.

It was so very interesting to hear Camilla's story about growing up on the family dairy farm and then being able to keep the farm and following her passion for dog training and authoring her book, Lipstick and the Leash.

The final stop at the end of Friday afternoon was enjoyed at Lagunitas Brewing Company and Beer Sanctuary, where we enjoyed a pleasant almost 70 degree afternoon sampling the likes of Little Sumpin' Sumpin', Hairy Eyeball and Imperial Stout while snacking on very enjoyable trays of panini sandwiches that were being served.  

After the tasting lesson, a tour of the brewery began before everyone boarded the bus back to the host hotel.

The Lagunitas Beer Sanctuary and Tap Room are open daily with food, drinks and weekly entertainment.  A great way to end your day or get the weekend started.  I highly recommend!

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January 6, 2014

Year End Wrap Up

What a wrap up to 2013!  Wow.  I am just NOW feeling like I can catch up a little.  I'm sure you're all feeling the same way.  The month between Thanksgiving and New Year's just flies.  Here's a photo recap and explanation of why I've been MIA most of the month.

My good friends and I traveled to Las Vegas to watch our friend, Kellie, compete in the World Series of Team Roping.  This was held at the South Point Hotel and Casino and is held at the same time of year as the NFR....Vegas was all about cowboys and cowgirls while we were there......

The annual toy drive to benefit UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital I began four years ago was a success.  It was held at Finnegan's Marin, a local pub, and this year my friend, Tanya helped as well.

Paige and I delivered the toys to UCSF the first day of Christmas break.

Many many holiday parties we had the pleasure of attending, were all so much fun.  Have you ever played Cards Against Humanity?....a must do if you haven't......

Oh my.  The Forty Niners.  What a season so far!  Attending the "last game at Candlestick" was so very exciting.  Fireworks topped off a very exciting ending to a game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Dominic is STILL not able to walk or work with his broken ankle, so he missed out on a few of these events and hasn't been working since the end of October....

Christmas Eve is always held here at the ranch at my in law's house.

Relatives stop in for appetizers and cocktails in the late afternoon and then our immediate family has dinner and opens gifts.

On my side of the family, it was my turn to hold Christmas Day.  We had prime rib.  I'm still recovering for all the food I consumed.

We also got together with some of the cousins and experienced Tilden Park in the Berkeley hills...Santa, Merry Go Round, picking out special ornaments and a sleep over for the kids at their cousin's house.

This year has been such a dry year for California.  With no mud or rain in sight, I've been taking advantage and hiking up the hill behind our house and the ranch a few times per week.

New Year's Eve was spent a some friends in Petaluma and ended at a friend's house here in Novato.  More food.  Mini Cheesecakes were easy to make and eat.

My friend Heather and her family were in town visiting and she made this delicious app....toasted crusty bread, chevre, slice of pear, balsamic glaze and topped with a spicy pecan....TO.  Die.  For.

The morning after.  Nourishment with bacon, eggs and potato hash.  Gotta start the New Year out right!

New Year's Day was spent at my sister's place.  We now have a new 9 year old motor cross rider in the family.  Bryce was so proud of himself after his maiden voyage on his Honda 70.  I don't know where he gets this stuff but after his first go-around, he pulls up to where I was standing, gets off the bike and says, "Mom, I feel two ways."
Really.  That's what he said.

At the end of Christmas break, we traveled down to San Luis Obispo to stay with our good friends/cousins for a few days.  I don't think we saw any of the kids unless they were hungry or thirsty.

Their dog, Sandy became my pal and running partner while I was there.  Such a sweetie.

Dominic's grandmother lives in a nearby town and we were able to drive down to visit her one afternoon.  The kids love their Great Nonnie.

I hope 2014 will be a very happy, healthy and prosperous year for you all.  Thank you for reading!!

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