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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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April 30, 2015

Cinco De Mayo Recipe Roundup

Oh boy....Cinco De Mayo rates right up there as one of my favorite eating holidays of all time.  I can eat Mexican food almost every day of the week.

Here are a few of my favorites......

This black bean dip is actually very healthy for us, it's just the chips we need to watch out for.  This is a great, easy recipe to whip up for backyard barbecues and parties as well.  I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

Healthy Black Bean Dip


Ingredients you'll need (list below)

Mash up the black beans to where they are still chunky.
1 can black beans
1 tsp. oil
½ cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup diced tomatoes (I use onion & garlic canned diced tomatoes)
1/3 cup salsa
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp chili powder
¼ cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1T fresh lime juice

DirectionsMash beans in bowl until chunky. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté for 4 minutes. Add beans, diced tomatoes, salsa, cumin, chili powder and cook for 5 minutes or until thick. Stir and remove from heat. Add cheese, cilantro and lime juice. Stir well.

Serve warm or at room temp.

EASY Guacamole
I used to buy pre-made guacamole as we have many varieties available here in California, until my friend, Heather, turned me on to a super delicious and extremely easy way to whip up a batch in no time flat.

All you need is guacamole seasoning package, I use McCormick's, and two California avocados.  I normally add some lime juice and some chopped red onion to taste as well.

Slice two ripened avocados, add the contents of the guacamole seasoning packet and mix.  Squeeze in some lime juice and chopped red onion and or chopped tomatoes, if desired.  Mix until all ingredients are combined.

Refrigerate and eat for lunch... or any time of day.

Baked Nachos.

It's like a hearty one dish meal you can throw together within 10 minutes!   Perfect with any beverage....margaritas, beer, sangria, MILK, Yum.

I began layering; chips, cheese, yellow and orange bell peppers, onions, ground beef and black beans.

A high protein meal, the entire family could devour.

Add a little salsa and or guacamole and sour cream.....perfect.

Here's what you need for success:

Tortilla chips or pita chips
cheese of choice, I used low fat mozzarella, grated
1 pound of ground beef
taco seasoning
1 can of black beans
bell peppers
1 small red onion
tomatoes, chopped if you have them
and any other topping you feel like chopping up and adding
Sour Cream

Place ground beef in a skillet and brown.  Add taco seasoning to taste and cook a little longer.  Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place the tortilla chips on the foil.  Sprinkle grated cheese on top of chips, layer with bell pepper, red onion, browned ground beef and black beans.

Place in oven on broil for 4-5 minutes.  Just long enough so the cheese is good and melted.
Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole if desired.

Chobani Greek Guacamole
This recipe for Chobani Greek Yogurt guacamole has been such a hit in my house.

This Chobani guacamole recipe is SO tasty and includes Chobani Greek Yogurt to lighten up the calories.

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April 2, 2015

Grown-Up Easter Basket Ideas

Wouldn't it be so much fun to recieve a grown-up Easter basket on Sunday?!!  This would make a GREAT hostess gift or a fantastic gift to your loved one.  Here are a few suggestions for creating your own grown-up basket....


The days of egg hunts may be gone, but that doesn’t mean you have to outgrow every Easter tradition you looked forward to as a child. With the right goodies, Easter baskets can be just as enjoyable as an adult to dig into on Sunday morning. Here are some tasty ways to give your Easter basket a gourmet touch this spring season.

·      Divine Pastries: French-inspired dessert line Donsuemor introduced its Petit Gateau Meyer Lemon springtime flavor to local Bay Area Costco stores last month—making for the perfect Easter treat!

·      Decadent Springtime Teas: Enjoy a cup of spring with Davidson’s Organic’s Spring Cup and SpringFruit and Flowers loose leaf teas. These lovely fragrant teas are sure to make your basket all the more seasonal.

·      Napa Valley White Wine: For wine lovers, Whitehall Lane Winery’s 2013 Sauvignon Blanc is a fan favorite. Its crisp and refreshing flavor profile is perfect to enjoy on a warm breezy afternoon.
 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley

·      Nature’s Sugar Rush: Looking for something sweet to snack on without all the guilt? Popular snack food line Nature’s Bakery makes some great seasonal fruit flavors for spring. Finding a delicious peach apricotmango, or strawberry fig bar in your Easter basket is sure to put an extra hop in your step!
Peach Apricot all natural fig bars
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April 1, 2015

Perfect Boiled Eggs {Recipe}

Easter's right around the corner and it's time to boil those eggs!  I don't know about you, but when I used to boil eggs, they would crack and the inside would have that ugly greenish rim around it. And I never knew exactly how long to cook them. 

I have been using this method for a few years and it works every time.....the perfect boiled eggs....

1. PLACE eggs in a pot with one inch of water covering the tops of them.  Cook on medium high heat and wait until water has just begun to boil.

2. REMOVE from burner. COVER pan. LET EGGS STAND in hot water about 15 minutes for large eggs (12 minutes for medium eggs; 18 minutes for extra large).

3. DRAIN immediately and serve. OR, cool completely under cold running water or in bowl of ice water, then REFRIGERATE.
Above three photos courtesy Google Images


Hard-cooked, not hard-boiled.
 Even though the cooking water must come to a full boil in this method, the pan is immediately removed from the heat so that the eggs cook gently in the hot water. This leaves your eggs tender, not rubbery,  and minimizes cracking.

Banish the greenish ring. This harmless but ugly discoloration that sometimes forms around hard-cooked yolks results from a reaction between sulfur in the egg white and iron in the yolk. It the result when eggs have been cooked for too long or at too high a temperature. Following the steps above will minimize this.
What Makes Hard-Cooked Eggs Hard to Peel? The fresher the egg, the more difficult it is to peel after hard cooking. That's because the air cell, found at the large end of the shell between the shell membranes, increases in size the longer the raw egg is stored. As the contents of the egg contracts and the air cell enlarges, the shell becomes easier to peel. Because of this, older eggs make better candidates for hard cooking.

Safety Tips on eating hard cooked, dyed eggs:
Dyeing eggs: After hard cooking eggs, dye them and return them to the refrigerator within 2 hours. If eggs are to be eaten, use a food-safe coloring.

Blowing out eggshells: Because some raw eggs may contain Salmonella, be extra careful when blowing out the contents to hollow out the shell for decorating, such as for Ukrainian Easter eggs. Use only eggs that have been kept refrigerated and are uncracked. To destroy bacteria that may be present on the surface of the egg, wash the egg in hot water and then rinse in a solution of 1 teaspoon liquid chlorine bleach per half cup of water. After blowing out the egg, refrigerate the contents and use within 2 to 4 days.

Egg Hunting:  If the shells crack on your hard cooked egg, bacteria could contaminate the inside. Eggs should be hidden in places that are protected from dirt, pets, and other sources of bacteria. The total time for hiding and hunting eggs should not go beyond 2 hours. The "found" eggs must be re-refrigerated and eaten within 7 days of cooking.

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