Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas from me to you

Who doesn't love this time of year?  It's crazy, it's glorious, it's exciting, it's expensive, it's fun but it is filled with love and joy.  I hope all of you have had a wonderful Christmas season:

Everyone is asked to find their inner organizer and we all do the best we can BUT there are always surprises: There was a goat emergency so off my friend Kim and I went to Caramel Apple Farms for some Match.goat
Kim at Caramel Apple Farm at sunset Christmas Eve

Then home for a yummy dinner.  Ryan and Ella helped me in the kitchen.  Ryan made mashed potatoes.  Ella waxed the cheese (don't do that every day)
Ryan and Ella
This year's Christmas theme was Fa la la la llama.  Wrapping, ornaments, cake and crafting all with the llamas in mind.  Well I couldn't find any goats:
Flourless dairy free chocolate hazelnut cake

Kim and Ella crafting llamas


Dinner was delish: Prime rib, roasted and mashed potatoes, steamed asparagus, watermelon radishes and the dessert:  your choice caramel or berry sauce.

or both





Amaryllis wrapped in satin ribbon


Christmas morning Kate and I were working on the legos
Engineers in training with Charlotte the pig

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A little Christmas cold: brrr

A snow day!  Too much snow overnight so my boss called a snow day!  What! For a dental hygienist?  I'll take it.  Wait!  I have to shovel this foot of snow.  Now that it is the afternoon and almost dark I have given myself permission to take a little hot chocolate break
of course I have a daily supply of fresh milk and I love to use Williams-Sonoma's salted caramel hot chocolate.
Later I may treat myself to some fresh gingerbread that has just come out of the oven:   It's Ina Gartin's recipe but then I touched it up a bit:  Here are the ingredients:

Those are my Mom's hand painted Mr. and Mrs. Claus helping out:

Looks good, right?
Here is the recipe;Ina Gartin's old fashion gingerbread.  I used Cup4cup gluten free flour.
It appears I am in a plain mood this Christmas:

Enjoy your winter day wherever it may be.

Monday, September 7, 2015

WHEY to go Sunflower


milk products in a week - well a long week

This weeks work in the kitchen with fresh goat milk.  Each day at 7 am and again at 7 pm Sunflower and I go to the milking parlor to do our farm thing.  Each trip I am given about 3 cups of delicious milk.  This summer I have been drinking it straight or in an iced coffee but at the end of each week I take my milk collected from the week and start making cheese.  I started with cheddar.  I'll wax it and place it in the basement to age.  It takes 2 gallons of milk to make 2 1/4 pounds of cheddar cheese.  Then I took 1/2 gallon and made chèvre which is shaped and dried in tube cheese molds - about 1 pound.  Flavor it with anything but today it was an herb blend from Penzey's  Spice called Sunny Paris.  Today I made mozzarella from a gallon of milk-makes 1 1/2 pounds.  These leaves a lot of whey which I hate to pour down the drain so I bring the whey to 200 deg and add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and the remainder of milk in the whey will become ricotta- really squeezing the last bit of cheese out of the process.  Now what to do with the whey?  Take it back out to the barnyard and feed it to the chickens - oh Sunny and CoCo like it too.
This is the main reason I started raising goats 3 years ago.  I adore these animals but I love it when I can make their milk into wonderful good.  Now I will go out to find some eggplant to make into eggplant Parmesan 
Thanks Sunny!
Whey to go!
Whey to go Sunny!!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Namaste

Yoga in some of the best public places.  Tuesday I was at an altitude of 11,000+ feet at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.  Yesterday I was on the sand in Manhattan Beach, California.  Both California and Colorado are home to me.  I like to stop and do just a little Yoga in special places.  Namaste

Warrior with hiking boots at Bear Lake
Ryan and I on the beach in Manhattan.  Thanks, Ry, for sitting next to me on the concrete bench at the courthouse today.



Saturday, August 1, 2015

Dill Pickles - in the refrigerator

Who doesn't love a cold crispy dill pickle in the summertime with a burger or a sandwich? These are ready in 24 hours and gone in just about the same time.  I have very little in my garden this year but I do have cilantro that has gone to seed which is then called coriander and dill.  I had to buy the pickling cucumbers from Whole Foods but they should be at the Farmers' markets too.
pickles in a pretty jar - no canning process necessary
mise en place
Refrigerator dill pickles:
Servings: About 24 spears, or two 1-quart jars 
Ingredients
1-1/4 cups distilled white vinegar 
3 Tbs kosher salt
2 Tbs sugar
2 cups cold water

1-3/4 to 2 pounds pickling cucumbers (about 6), cut into spears
2 Tbs coriander seeds- my cilantro is going to seed-perfect
 
6 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
16 dill sprigs- fresh from the garden or 
farmers’ market

Instructions
Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar in a small non-reactive saucepan over high heat. Whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Transfer the liquid into a bowl and whisk in the cold water. Refrigerate brine until ready to use.
Stuff the cucumbers into two clean 1-quart jars. Add the coriander seeds, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, dill sprigs, and chilled brine into jars, dividing evenly. If necessary, add a bit of cold water to the jars until the brine covers the cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate about 24 hours, then serve. Cucumbers will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Complements of http://www.onceuponachef.com 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Kohlrabi slaw

Kohlrabi slaw
What the heck is a kohlrabi?  It's a bulb that grows above the ground and is somewhat in the cabbage family.  I had some in my garden last year and they were fun to play around with in the kitchen.  This year I had to buy them but they should be in the market now and they are really a crisp and fresh vegetable.  I found this recipe on strawberry plum.com and did a little variation:

Only the carrot and chives are from my garden

mise en place
Ingredients
  • 3 small Kohlrabi, peeled and julienned
  • 1 large Apple peeled and julienned 
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • ¼ large Red Onion, very thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped Chives
  • dressing:
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. Honey
  • 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Combine the kohlrabi, apple, red onion, and chives in a large bowl. Lightly season with salt and black pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, and vinegar. While whisking, slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking until the dressing has emulsified. Season with ¼-1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Toss the slaw with the vinaigrette. Using a vegetable peeler or cheese plane, shave the cheese over the slaw and serve.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Goat milk thyme ice cream and fresh peaches

Thyme ice cream over fresh peaches
Well you've enjoyed fresh peaches and cream.  How about fresh peaches with thyme ice cream?
I do love the combination of herbs and fruit.  Herbs seem savory but when you add one to the sweetness in ice cream the flavor is different.  My favorite herb in ice cream is lavender but how about some thyme?  The recipe is the basic for vanilla ice cream:
         
4 egg yolks
3/4 cups sugar
1 quart milk - if you have a goat with fresh milk like my Sunflower- even better
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
method:  Classic Creme Anglaise
whisk together the sugar and egg yolk until the color of lemons
Meanwhile warm 1 cup of milk stovetop until almost a boil
Add thyme sprigs and turn off heat.  Then let steep for up to 1/2 hour
Add the warm milk - a little at a time- to sugar and egg yolks until all milk is incorporated
Return to stove and heat until you can draw a line on the back of a spoon.  Very French- I'm sorry.  Translated that means until thick but not boiling.  Too hot--> scrambled eggs.  I think the temperature is no higher than 180 deg.
Add this through a strainer to the remaining 3 cups of milk.
Place in ice water bath to stop cooking - not required
Cool in fridge for 8 hours before freezing in ice cream freezer

Notice there is no vanilla.  The thyme flavor is subtle but pairs well with peaches
Bon Appetit!

Garlic scape pesto!!

Garlic scapes
Garlic scapes are the soft lime green colored stems and the unopened flower buds of hard necked garlic.  The scapes have a mild garlic flavor and a slight sweetness.  My garden is pathetic this year because of all of the hail storms but I do have some scapes that I have turned into a delicious pesto:
Ingredients:
10 large garlic scapes
1/3 cup pistachios
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
salt and pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

In a food processor combine chopped scapes, pistachios, cheese, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  With the motor running add the olive oil through the feed tube until the last drop.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  If you use salted pistachios you'll need less salt of course
scape pesto
Finished pasta with about a tablespoon of pesto per serving

Pesto will keep fresh for a week.  Freeze in an ice cube tray and use as needed past that.
Bona Appetito!!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Black bean hummus

black bean hummus

Ingredients: Tahini, garlic, black beans, lemon juice, spices ( smoky sweet paprika, cumin, cayenne) salt and olives
Enough of the goat babies for a while.  Let's get back to some good food:  Black Bean Hummus:  a nice Latin twist to hummus.  Try it.  It takes about 5 minutes to make in your Cuisinart.  I use the smoky sweet paprika from Williams-Sonoma

1 can black beans, drained and reserve 2 Tbs of liquid
1 clove garlic
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs Tahini (sesame seed butter)
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
10 Greek olives

  1. Mince garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Add black beans, 2 tablespoons reserved liquid, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, tahini, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper; process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add additional seasoning and liquid to taste. Garnish with paprika and Greek olives.    from Allrecipes.com

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Off to your new home

The boys go to their new home today.  They are 8 weeks old and wild teenage boys.  They are going to a 2 acre home in Golden ( West of Denver) to be loved by a new family and help mow the weeds.  It has been non stop laughs around here.  Goat babies are the best
video

Two kids on a kid's lap

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy Birthday America 239 years

video
Fireworks are just fun.  We all went to the Rapids (soccer) game for the 4th of July.  There is a great fireworks display after the game.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Goodbye my Sophie love

Sophie went to doggy heaven this week.  She was a good old dog and I will miss her.  Before the vet came to our house we did a few last things.  Of course we went for a walk.  Like all dogs Sophie loved her walks.  Then we fingerprinted or I guess that would be paw painted.  And before she left she had a treat of chocolate.  Thirteen years was a long time together:
In her finest
Naughty on the quilt
Last love fest

A little fingerpainting on the backyard walkway



On her pillow
Six weeks old

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Eleven tornados in 2 days. Yikes

Oh my!  I thought our rain would never stop in May.  It rained- and I mean RAINED- 29 out of the 31 days in May.  June started with a couple of sunny days sprinkled with afternoon showers but the storms came back again with a vengeance.  Lightning, thunder, hail and RAIN for 4 hours Thursday night.  Then Friday Lightning, thunder and rain on high speed.   I have vowed not to spend one more *$*@%^*!!!!! dime on my garden this year.  It is 90% for waste.  I planted these beautiful irises last year....I love the really dark purple lower part and then the storm
Wow it is no wonder I named one of my little bucklings  "Storm"  I should have named the other "Thunder"

video

MaMas and boys

CoCo and Storm

Sunflower and Ash

These boys are growing- 3 weeks and they have mastered the barnyard obstacle course but they do stop and snuggle with their MaMas...  yes...these boys have two MaMas   Of course Sunny gave birth to both of them and CoCo did not have any babies this time but CoCo makes a wonderful Aunt.  In the goat world kids tend to stick to their own mothers but they love Aunt CoCo too.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Two goats on two chairs

video
These 10 day old little bucklings are too darn cute.  This morning they discovered the chairs.  They are mostly used for children to sit in but they are kids, aren't they?
It looks like there are no babies for CoCo this year but she does make a very fun Aunt.  Watch these little kids repel of the side of the barn.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Welcome Sunny's boys

video
Oh my we have been waiting for these babies to get here.  After lots of goat sitting and extreme changes in weather Sunny had her day on Thursday.  At was sunny and warm....a good day for birth.   Storm and Ash.......both boys.....can you even tell them apart?  It's hard.  This video is when they are 14 hours old.  A few hours later they were out in the barnyard exploring their world.
video
Welcome to the world boys!!!!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Spring

We made it through another winter.  I had my doubts but here we are - the first day of spring.  Crocuses and hyacinths are blooming, we had our first rain 2 nights ago and there are babies on the farms.  My CoCo and Sunflower have a few more weeks to go but kidding was in full force last week at Caramel Apple Farm.  Kate spent her birthday helping to welcome new goats into the world.  What a great way to turn 8.
Kate and her kid
video
Napping babies

Kate turns 8


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Welcome March!

It is still really cold and snowy here in Denver but Spring should officially start in 3 weeks and the local bulbs should push through the snow: first the crocus, then the hyacinths followed by daffodils.  I can plant peas on St Patrick's Day so the gardening will start- providing the earth has thawed.  His Majesty the Tree was sewn thirteen years ago but still fun to look at.  March is the sycamore tree with signs of spring everywhere.  There is a birds nest in the tree of young leaves- lots of leaves with one stitch of ribbon each.  The kitty takes center stage with a needle turn appliqué in the center and an outline stitched in the lower right corner.  Take a closer look:
March block, the Sycamore tree

A cameo button clustered with blooming fascia and grape hyacinths

Butterfly ribbons and flowers

A kitty watches over the young garden

Buttons and tulips

Frisky kitty watches for birds