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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 16, 2015

Chorizo Scrambled Egg Breakfast Taco

Growing up in a Portuguese family, I have many many memories of traditional Portuguese dishes that my mom cooked for us.   Many of the recipes included one of my all time favorite sausages, Linguica.  When I was sent this hispanic recipe for Chorizo Scrambled Egg Breakfast Taco, it brought me back to the many times my mom would cook breakfast for dinner......scrambled eggs, linguica (similar to chorizo), toast and milk.  

IMUSA is a leader in Hispanic cookware and they invited me to share their recipe with you all!  If you think you will be feeding a crowd over this upcoming holiday break, you might want to try this delectible dish... 

Chorizo Scrambled Egg Breakfast Taco
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 chorizo links (about 7 ounces)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup cilantro, divided
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar
  • 10-12 corn flour tortillas
  • Chipotle Tabasco (suggestion for topping)
  1. Mix sour cream, lime juice, and salt in a bowl and put aside.
  2. Char tortillas over gas flame or directly on electric burner until blackened in spots, turning with tongs. Place in IMUSA tortilla warmer or aluminum foil and set aside.
  3. In an IMUSA non-stick sauté pan add olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Sweat onions for about one minute and add diced chorizo
  4. Cook for 5-6 minutes until chorizo is browned.         
  5. Add half of the cilantro and all of the cooked chorizo to beaten eggs and mix. Bring eggs back to the IMUSA pan and cook on low heat, mixing from time to time.
  6. Place cooked eggs, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and remaining cilantro in separate bowls and lay them out throughout the table with the warm tortillas.
  7. Allow your guests to assemble their own breakfast tacos

Photo and recipe courtesy, !
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December 7, 2015

A New Twist on the Bloody Mary

A rich, thick, meaty and spicy Bloody Mary is my go-to drink as I sit for my Sunday morning football viewing pleasure.  And when adding Johnsonville sausage, cheese, cherry tomatoes, avocados and olives to the garnish stick, it can double as breakfast as well, right?


Quacking Mallards Bloody Mary

Servings: 4 cocktails
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes

·         ¾ cup Vodka
·         3 cups standard Bloody Mary mix
·         2 oz balsamic vinegar
·         1 dash celery bitters
·         ground pepper
·         ground cardamom
·         1 JOHNSONVILLE Smoked Beef Brat
·         fennel
·         green sport pepper

1.    In a shaker or pitcher, mix vodka, Bloody Mary mix or tomato juice,
2.    Pour into 4 glasses with ice.
3.    Cut smoked beef brat into pieces.
4.    For the garnish, assemble each of the four skewers with smoked beef brat, fennel and green sport peppers. Place skewer into cocktail.

California Dreamin’ Bloody Mary

Servings: 4 cocktails
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes

·         1 cup vodka
·         3 cups standard Bloody Mary mix
·         1 oz lemon juice
·         2 oz cucumber water (muddle pieces of cucumber with water and strain)
·         1 dash chili powder
·         1 dash ground black pepper
·         1 pinch crushed fennel seeds
·         1 JOHNSONVILLE Bedder with Cheddar Smoked Sausage
·         Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
·         Cherry tomatoes 
·         Avocado cut into 1 inch chunks
·         4 skewers

5.    In a shaker or pitcher, mix vodka, Bloody Mary mix or tomato juice,
6.    Pour into 4 glasses with ice.
7.    Cut Johnsonville Beddar with Cheddar Smoked Sausage into pieces and cut avocado into pieces.
8.    For the garnish, assemble each of the four skewers with smoked sausage cherry tomatoes, avocado, Monterey Jack cubes and avocado chunks.

Recipes and Photos courtesy Johnsonville Sausage

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November 18, 2015

How to Spatchcock your Turkey

My favorite holiday of the year is fast approaching, Thanksgiving Day.  It's my favorite holiday because it's all about, eating fantastic food all day, hanging with family and friends and watching some football.  Nothing better.

Last year we spatchcocked our turkey and we will be doing the same again this year.  This is the best way to evenly cook your bird and it's roasted in half the time it would take to roast a bird in its normal form.  I'm not a fan of cooking the stuffing inside of the turkey, so spatchcocking worked perfectly for us.  Since all of the skin is exposed at once during the roasting time, it 'll become very crispy and with the shorter cooking time, the meat will be extremely tender and juicy.  

Spatchcocking, you really can't go wrong with this method of roasting a turkey, unless you're one of those who wants the full roasted bird to sit on your Thanksgiving table before being carved.

I followed the Bon Appetit method of spatchcocking.


* With turkey breast side down, use poultry shears (and some pretty good strength) to cut along both sides of the backbone.  Set the backbone aside and save it for stock.

* Open up the turkey and use the tip of a knife to score alongside of the keel bone (which is the dark oblong bone in the center of the breast).  By scoring alongside this bone, it makes it easier to flatten out the turkey.

* Turn the skin side up.  Press down firmly with the heel of your hands on the center of the breast to flatten it out.  You should hear a crack and feel the bones give way and the bird will fatten.  (I wasn't quite strong enough to achieve this part but Dominic had no problem)

Roasting Your Spatchcocked Turkey

12-14 pound turkey
Kosher salt
a few sprigs of rosemary
1 T fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp ground pepper
2 onions, quartered
4 carrots, peeled and halved
4 celery stalks
3 heads garlic, halved
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450.
Rinse and pat dry your turkey.
Place onions, carrots, garlic, celery, thyme and rosemary sprigs in the baking tray.  
Lay your spatchcoked turkey on the vegetables, skin side up.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on turkey. Mix the melted butter with the oil and brush on the turkey skin.  Add 1/2 cup water to pan and roast for 30 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to roast, brushing with oil every 20 minutes.  The skin will be a deep golden brown and the temperature gauge, inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 165 degrees before you take it out of the oven.  About 1 1/2 hours total time in the oven.  Remove bird, tent with foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.

I can't wait to do this again this year!

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November 4, 2015

It's a Barn Party! 50 Years for North Bay Dairy Women

It's a Barn Party!  What better way to kick off 50 years of North Bay Dairy Women?!!

Paige and I had the pleasure of attending North Bay Dairy Women's 50th Anniversary party not too long ago.  It was held at the absolutely gorgeous barn/event center; Spring Hill Event Center in Tomales, CA, owned by a local dairy farmer Larry Peter, of Spring Hill Jersey Cheese.

Check out this decked out barn!!  Chandeliers and lights galore!  

North Bay Dairy Women began the year of 1965.  Its purpose to; "educate the public and to promote The Dairy Industry through the dissemination of authentic information; to promote better producer-processor-consumer relations and greater use of all dairy foods through the support of advertising and educational programs and through social events."

North Bay Dairy Women stand generations strong.  Here is Paige, with some of her dairy affiliated cousins......the next generation.

It was a beautifully warm fall afternoon in Tomales.  Food and venue enjoyed by all.


Here is hoping that when Paige is old enough to actually join the group, officially, she will do so along side some of her cousins to continue the legacy.

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October 27, 2015

Healthy Options for Halloween Treats

Halloween signifies the grand opening to the season of OVERINDULGENCE.  From Halloween through December, many of us will continue on a non-stop ride to parties, treats, maybe some wine, time with family and friends and some shopping and more parties, just to name a few.

Whenever possible, I like to try and balance the season of Overindulgence with as many healthy snacks as I possibly can.  When I received these adorable, healthy snack recipes from Terra's Kitchen , I thought it would add a healthy option for our kids (and adults) this Halloween week.

How fun are these?!!  Perfect for a school Halloween party!

  • White: pear, jicama, banana
  • Orange: cantaloupe, apricot, mango
  • Yellow: pineapple
Directions: Choose one of each color fruit. Cut progressively larger size triangles and thread onto lollipop sticks to look like oversize candy corn. Served chilled.

  • Kiwis
  • Mini pretzels
Directions: Carefully peel kiwi with a vegetable peeler. Cut off a small lengthwise piece (the belly of the spider) so it sits flat on a plate. Break mini pretzels into curved pieces and insert 3 legs on each side. Carve out little indentations for eyes and serve. (You might also try raisins or chocolate chips, if you can figure out a way to make them stick!).

Photos and recipes courtesy Terra's Kitchen.
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October 22, 2015

Traffic Jam

When life happens, it's all at once.  I feel like it has been much too long since I've sat at my computer and posted an update for you all.  Blogging is a passion of mine but sometimes when we hit traffic jams in the fast lane of life, the things that we love get placed on hold. I'm sure you all can relate.

I took a drive out, to the other side of the property and encountered these lovely ladies at the bridge....

My dear Mom has just completed double knee replacement surgery at her young age of 84.  She came through it wonderfully.....I only hope I'm as strong as she is when I reach her age.  After three weeks of spending time in hospital and rehabilitation facility, with daily visits from her immediate family, she is back in her cozy home with my Dad and continuing with her physical therapy sessions.  

Over the summer, we made a decision on what schools our kids would be moving to.  Bryce began middle school and we moved Paige to another elementary school.  We cannot be happier with our decision.  Both the kids are extremely happy and are now excelling socially and academically.  They both love their new friends, schools, teachers and schedules.  We couldn't have asked for more than that.

With all of the new changes in our lives, we made time for some family fun time as well.  Bryce has been wanting to try a long standing pizzeria, Old Chicago Pizza, in nearby Petaluma.  After an hour wait time to be seated, we dug in to the deep dish style pizza.  So good.

And to work off all the carbs we just ingested, we bowled a couple of games at the close by bowling alley.

After a few gutter balls and a couple of strikes and spares, we called it a night.

I hope you all have been well this past month!!

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September 21, 2015

Kathryn Hall Release Party at HALL Wines - Napa Valley Region

Last week I had the pleasure of attending one of St. Helena's premiere parties of the year, the Kathryn Hall Release Party at HALL Wines in the beautiful quaint town of St. Helena.  Vintners, Kathryn Walt Hall and Craig Hall go big every year and this year was no exception.

Kathryn Hall herself, introduced the full bodied, jammy 2012 Kathryn Hall Cabernet.  This cabernet is sourced from the winery's own Sacrashe property in the hillsides of Rutherford as well as Bergfeld Vineyard.  As a connoisseur of Cabernet, I was definitely not disappointed.  

This year's theme was a straight up Texas Hoe-Down.  Music by the country band, Twang Ditty and plenty of Texas style food to enjoy.

The food was catered by Feast Catering.  Some of the delicious nibbles included; grilled hanger steak tacos, Texas gulf shrimp and celery slaw, oak grilled corn and whole pigs cooked on the spit with Texas mop sauce.

The party was set on the Great Lawn just behind their 1885 renovated barn.  A beautiful afternoon was spent by all sipping HALL wines, nibbling small bites and enjoying the vast vineyard views.

To enjoy a different vantage point of the vineyards and grounds, we stepped up to the contemporary tasting room and enjoyed a few more sips from the veranda.

I enjoyed an extra treat by meeting up with my girlfriend, Pricilla Willis, who was up visiting the area from Orange County.  Pricilla authors the fantastic food and wine blog, She's Cookin' and we met a few years ago in Idaho on a potato harvesting tour.  So great to catch up with her!

If you are thinking about visiting HALL Winery yourself, they are hosting a fantastic fundraising event on October 17th., Harvest Hounds!   Support Napa Humane by bringing your pups with you to HALL St. Helena, and enjoy 2-for-1 tastings in our Dining Garden, with the tasting fee donated to Napa Humane. There will be lots of great activities including an agility course on the Great Lawn, and doggy favorites like frisbees, tennis balls, and gourmet treats from Ma Snax Superior Dog Treats. Plus, Napa Humane will be here providing a complimentary chip check to make sure your dog's microchip is active and the information is current.

Once again, I thank HALL Wines for the invite to their very special Kathryn Hall Release Party!
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August 31, 2015

Where To Store Your Fruits and Vegetables

We are knee deep in corn, zucchini and cucumbers right now.  We're trying to power through all the zucchini as much as we can but it's difficult to keep up and I so hate to waste food.  We've been giving away as much as we can and storing all this produce is becoming a bit of an issue.  We store our zucchini in a cool dry place......basically all over our kitchen counters.  The cucumbers seem to last a bit longer in the fridge and we'll probably end up freezing a good portion of the corn.

Terra's Kitchen was kind enough to send me this helpful information on the best way to store some of our favorite fruits and veggies to share with you!  

Hope your end-of-summer is going well.  I don't know about you, but I'm very much ready for autumn to begin!

To store in the fridge:
  • Bell Peppers: Refrigerate loose in the fridge.
  • Berries: Either eat them the day you get them, or you must refrigerate, as they are highly perishable.
  • Eggplant: Store loose in the produce drawer of the refrigerator and branch out and try all of the amazing sizes and colors. If you are not a lover of this nightshade, we are sorry for what you are missing!!
  • Sweet Corn: Refrigerate in their husk until ready to use and keep in mind that should be sooner than later as the sugars begin to turn to starch as soon as they are picked.
To store on the counter:
  • Apricots:  No matter how strong is the urge to refrigerate these beauties, store unripe on the counter or windowsill at room temperature.
  • Garlic: Do not refrigerate and keep them on the counter or in a basket alongside your onions.
  • Mushrooms: They are full of water and need to breathe, so store in the original packaging, or if in a cluster, in a brown paper bag. If only using a portion of them rewrap the top in plastic wrap or keep in bag.
  • Onions: Keep them dry in a basket on the counter.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Tomatoes should never be refrigerated as it spoils their unique individual flavor. Keep on the counter until ripe and then use in rapid abandonment once they are.
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August 10, 2015

A Few Twists on S'mores For You!

Who doesn't love a warm and gooey S'more!  If you're planning on celebrating National S'more Day, here are a few ideas from Family Fun magazine that you can try out without a campfire.  How fun are these?!  

Line a tray with parchment paper. In a small bowl, melt 1 cup chocolate chips according to the package directions. Place 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers in another bowl. Quickly dip one marshmallow at a time in the chocolate, then in the cracker crumbs (you should have enough for 12 bonbons). Let them cool on the tray.

Place 3 marshmallows on a parchment-lined baking sheet and broil on high for 1 minute. Place 3 tbsp. graham cracker crumbs in an 8-oz. glass or jar. Add 1/4 cup chocolate pudding and top with the marshmallows.

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss 2 cups chocolate Teddy Grahams with 3/4 cup mini marshmallows. Melt 1/2 cup white chocolate chips according to the package directions, then drizzle it over the other ingredients and let cool. Break into pieces before serving.

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August 3, 2015

July's Endless Summer Photo Re-Cap

July is my favorite summer month.  No school, warm northern CA weather and busy with fun summer time activities.  Here is my photo re-cap...

Chamber's Landing in Lake Tahoe.  A definite favorite and one last minute, fantastic trip with friends.

Stopping in Auburn, CA on the way home from Tahoe.....

 Lunch date with my favorite boy.....

 Spa day morning with some favorite ladies.....

Spa Day evening with the same ladies......

A few of these fun Fridays at Indian Valley Golf Course, near our house.....

Enjoying Sonoma County Farm Bureau's Love of the Land event with some good friends......

Many graduation parties.......

Some beautiful sunsets......

Girlscout Camp.......

Ending the month with a five day camp trip in Cloverdale with family and friends.....

.....and a super cute pooch......

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