Yogurt Bread Calzones

img_8102This recipe was inspired by a traditional Georgian  bread called “Cheese Bread” I came across the recipe for “Cheese Bread” in my favorite cook book “Feast” by Nigella Lawson. I adapted it based on what I had. I had left over Pasta sauce and hamburger thawed out in my fridge I decided to add them to the cheesy filling in this bread. The filling is a mixture of feta, mozzarella and ricotta. The dough is made with yogurt, butter and flour. A dairy lovers dream! I also had my yogurt and ricotta made fresh from our dairy farm on hand. You can of course use store-bought, but look for best quality ingredients, or try my recipes for home-made yogurt and ricotta. If you are not a fan of the Feta tang, you can always substitute more mozzarella and less feta. This recipe creates either one large monster calzone to bring to a large table a feast, or individuals,  it’s up to you!

img_8104Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 3 1/2 C Flour
  • 1 C Yogurt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 C Butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt

Filling:

  • 2 C Feta
  • 7 Oz Mozzarella chopped ( 2 C shredded )
  • 1 C Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 Lb Ground Beef
  • 1/2 C Pasta Sauce

img_8106Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350 F Cook ground beef until browned through and leave to cool. In large bowl combine butter, yogurt and eggs with hands. Add flour to mix, 1/2 C at a time. Add baking soda and salt. Knead dough until pulling away from sides of bowl. Cover and let rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes. May leave for up to 3 days before using. In a separate bowl combine feta, mozzarella, ricotta, ground beef, and sauce. Cut dough into fourths. Place on greased baking sheets. Pat into disks approx 3/4″ thick. Pur 1/4 beef mixture on one half and fold remaining half over top, creating a half circle. Crimp edges with a fork. You can also make mini cheese balls as I did for my kiddos! Bake in oven until golden brown. approx 30- 40 minutes.

 

 

Simple Cheese Making: Ricotta from our Farm

img_8103Feel like doing a science experiment? This is such a fun thing to do and with kids or a partner even better! Such a simple cheese to learn.  You can get the hang of this after a couple of times and always have fresh ricotta on hand. Use ricotta similarly as you would use yogurt, in baked goods, and of course lasagna. Try with my Cheese Bread Recipe also. I love the process of making cheese, it really takes you back to a simpler time. I use raw milk fresh from our dairy farm, but you can also use store-bought pasteurized as well, just stay away from ultra pasteurized! Some grocers are carrying raw milk or non homogenized, low pasteurized milk which gives a much better flavor and texture for cheese making. I’ve included  a link below for ordering liquid animal rennet online.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Tsp Liquid Rennet 
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Gal. Fresh Milk
  • Tsp Salt (Cheese Salt is ideal)

Directions:

Place milk in sterile 5 qt. pot. Slowly heat milk until milk is too hot to touch, (or 200 F on candy thermometer). Remove from heat. Slowly add rennet, lemon juice and salt. Stir gently. Leave pot to sit for 10 minutes. Check to see if whey (liquid) is separating from curds. Add more lemon juice if separation has not occurred and wait a few minutes. Scoop curds out with slotted spoon into strainer lined with tea cloth. See photograph for example. Strain for 60 minutes and place in air tight container. Store in refrigerator and use within one week. Enjoy the rewards of you experiment and try different recipes!

Creamy Balsalmic Yogurt Dressing

imageThis is my go to salad dressing. I haven’t met any one who doesn’t care for it, including my kiddos. It has a balance of sweet, salty, tangy and the silky texture is divine for any salad. Would also work as a great marinade. Try adding a twist of your own, maybe a hint of heat? I use my home made raw yogurt, you can also use store bought plain or Greek yogurt. We also use our Aunt and Uncle’s olive oil, California Gold. They make a wonderful balsamic as well! Use a good, authentic balsamic dressing. No red wine vinegar stuff! The key to this is to whisk the heck out of it to remove any lumps. I used this dressing on a mix of kale from our garden, but you could use on virtually any greens, including with coleslaw.

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Ingredients

  • 2 C EV Olive Oil
  • 3/4 C Real Balsamic
  • 1/4 C Yogurt
  • 1/4 C Mustard
  • 1/4 C Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tsp Salt/ Pepper, or to taste.

 

Directions:

Whisk ingredients and pour over salad. For Kale salad a tip: massage kale leaves with a course ground salt to tenderize your salad 30 minutes before adding dressing. Add Feta cheese and candied pecans for a decadent salad. A word of warning, a little of this dressing goes a long way so add sparingly and increase if desired!

Fresh Breakfast Lasagna

img_7969If you think this does not sound good for breakfast,  I promise it is perfect for brunch and even for dinner! Yummy fresh layers of cheese, eggs, hash browns all with a light marinara. I found myself making two, a smaller one for dinner and a larger one for a brunch the next day. This is  a great make ahead dish, pop it in the oven the next day. I used my home-made pasta sauce, with lots of mushrooms and egg-plant which lightened up the sauce, and my raw yogurt, which I think gives it a fluffier texture than most egg dishes. You could use store bough marinara and yogurt as well. Experiment with diffrent sauces, maybe even a pesto with sausage instead of bacon! Pictured here in my “Holstein Plate” Available at Art to Feed website, portion of proceeds donated to support your local food bank!

Ingredients

  • 2 C Cubed  Sourdough Bread ( I found a jalapeno bread for a kick, but use any bread you have on hand)
  • 2 C Hash Browns (thawed)
  • 8 Slices of Bacon Crumbled
  • 10 Eggs
  • 1/2 C Yogurt
  • 1/4 C Milk
  • 1/2 C Marinara Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Tsp Salt and Pepper
  • 2 C Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 C Parmesan Cheese
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Lightly coat bottom of 9″ x 13″ Dish. Spread half marinara on bottom of dish. Place Hash Browns and top with cubed bread.

This is where my kids have fun, its like a puzzle trying to get them all to fit. Mid home work break! img_7963

Whisk Eggs, remainder of tomato sauce, yogurt, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour gently over bread and hash browns. Layer Parmesan and then Cheddar. Place in oven or store in fridge overnight. Bake 40-55 minutes and golden brown and bubbly! Enjoy, and serve for dinner if desired!

Super Moist Pumpkin Muffins…made with yogurt and almond Butter

img_7839I painted this pumpkin platter and made these pumpkin muffins in hopes that fall will come early! A portion of proceeds from this platter goes towards your local food bank and can be purcahsed at ART to FEED website.

I hope to try this recipe with fresh pumpkin from our cousins Pumpkin Patch, but you can also use canned pumpkin as well! My muffin recipes are no fuss, use one bowl and make your life easier please and have fun cooking!  Muffins give so much room for creativity to add you own twist as well. I added my Raw Yogurt and some almond butter that give these muffins a super moist texture. For a healthier muffin you can omit the topping. Purchase almonds for a good cause through Farm to Kids and make your own almond butter as well! These freeze well for busy mornings and this recipe makes enough to share with neighbors and spread the love for all things pumpkin! Makes approx 24 muffins.

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Ingredients

  • 3 C Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 C Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2  C  Butter
  • 1/4 C Yogurt
  • 1/4 C Almond Butter
  • 1 15 oz Can Pumpkin or 2 C Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Topping

  • 1 tbsp Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla
  • 2 c Oats
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1/2 C flour

Directions:

PreHeat oven to 350 F. Grease muffins Tins. In large bowl combine dry ingredients. Melt the 2 sticks of butter in microwave or pan. Make well in dry ingredients and in this order add; melted  butter and sugar. Stir to combine only the wet ingredients without scraping sides. Add eggs and beat into wet ingredients one at a time. Add yogurt, maple syrup and pumpkin (reserve 1 tbs for topping). Fold gently until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Over mixing you eggs will lead to a tougher muffin. In general with baking the less you handle the better. Batter will be lumpy and this is ok!  Spoon into muffin tins.

Prepare topping; Melt butter and add remaining ingredients. Stir until mixture resembles a loose crumble. Add more flour or oats if needed. Place a large spoonful on top of each filled muffin tin. Bake for 30-4o minutes or until golden brown.

 

Wild Black Berry Cobbler

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I love a cobbler because it is as simple a dessert as you can get. Using wild hand picked blackberries makes this all the better. Wild blackberries were everywhere at the knights ferry Maino ranch, a treasured spot by my grandfathers family. img_7246We loaded up the kids to visit the ranch and do some berry picking. Was made all the more exciting as this is rattle snake season- Yikes! Safe to say dad did most the picking! When visiting my parents on the coast we made black berry pie with black berries picked behind pops gallery. That was little more leisurely experience! Either way, using your fresh picked blackberries in this simple dessert the whole family will love! I use my raw yogurt in the batter of course, you can use store-bought as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C Butter, Melted
  • 1/4 C Raw Yogurtimg_7265
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 1/2 C Flour
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2-3 Cups Fresh Black Berries
  • 2 tbsp Sugar for dusting

Pre-Heat oven to 350 F. Grease 3 Qt Baking dish with butter. In bowl mix yogurt, sugar and melted butter. Add Flour and mix until just incorporated. Lumps are ok! Pat Blackberries dry after rinsing. Pour batter into prepared dish. Sprinkle blackberries on top. Sprinkle with the 2 tbsp of sugar. Pour 1/4 C boiling water over top and place in oven for 45-50 min or until golden brown and cooked through in center.

 

Creamy Sweet Potato Garden Pasta Sauce

img_7455This is my favorite way to cook. Letting creativity and spontaneity come together, using everything I have from the garden or extra vegetables after a trip to the farmers market. Easy, simple and never again to be replicated. This is true joy, you will find me in no happier state. A warm pan simmering, smiles and nourished bellies, all feels right and my heart is full. Perhaps it is my yearning for fall, as the kids gear up to go back to school, and sweet potatoes are on my mind! It is time to thin my carrots in garden, and this is an excellent way to use those tiny carrots. Not much prep involved, just cut roughly and throw in what you’ve got! Try and keep tomatoes the main ingredient, sweet potatoes second and after that use to your heart’s content. Carrots, peppers, herbs, celery, onion, garlic all make great choices. I then add my raw yogurt, Parmesan cheese, a little maple syrup and nutmeg to further bring out the creamy texture and warmth of the sweet potatoes. This sauce is amazing for lasagna, or your favorite pasta dish.  This recipe also freezes and preserves well if you choose to make a large batch out of your extra summer tomatoes.

Ingerdients:

  • 8 Garden Fresh Tomatoes
  • 3 cups Pear Tomatoes
  • 2 large Sweet Potatoes (cooked through, and cut into fourths)
  • 2 Bell Peppers
  • 4 Mild Wax Peppers
  • 2 Medium Carrots or 5-10 Baby Carrots
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Spring Basil
  • 1 c Raw Yogurt
  • 1 C Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tsp Nutmeg

Cut all vegetables into coarse chunks. Place in sauce pan with olive oil, salt and pepper. Simmer with lid on unit vegetables are soft approx. 30 -40 min. Let mixture cool.

Realized I had a couple bell peppers in fridge; threw those in too! img_7435Place in blender and blend until smooth. Pour the now smooth mixture into pan and heat. Add yogurt and cheese, stir over medium heat to incorporate. img_7438Add maple syrup and nutmeg to taste, as well as salt and pepper as desired. Serve over favorite pasta and enjoy! img_7439

 

 

 

 

Raw Yogurt Soaked Oatmeal

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This his recipe incorporates my recipe for slow and low crunchy roasted almonds and Raw yogurt. I use a crock pot as it is convenient, but you can also use a large pot and place in a warm spot, like oven with light on overnight. By “soaking the oats” you are letting the oats break down anything that may be difficult for the body to digest. This allows for your body to be absorb nutrients from the oatmeal without stressing you system by the oatmeal so that your body may be more easily nourished. The raw yogurt in this recipe adds further nutritional benefits. Feel free to play with other ingredients with this simple basic recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 C Oats
  • 1 1/2 C Water
  • 1/2 Raw yogurt 
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbs Maple syrup
  • 2 tbs Butter (if desired)

Directions:

Place Ingredients in crock pot. Stir to incorporate. Leave on warm setting for 6-12 hours, overnight. Serve topped with crunchy almonds, milk, or fruit!

A Garden

The Dairy is my husbands workplace. Not mine. He works day in and day out, on nothing much more than faith and a love for what he does. My boys enjoy going there and working with dad too. Where does that leave mom and Lilly May? I am the support at home to a farmer and I know my role is crucial to the farms success, but I feel left out. I am a doer.  I like to get dirty, put on my boots and get to work. Sometimes you can’t wait for an invitation. Sometimes you have to make your own opportunity. I needed a reason to be at the dairy. To get to know employees and serve the dairy in more than just the role of wife at home.

A few mornings ago I told my boys; “Get your gardening gloves! We are headed to the dairy and planting a garden by our old house.” The boys were excited and so was I. I called to let the men know. The answers I got where; “nothing will grow there”, and “take care of the garden you have at img_7189home, and, “you have enough going on.” Silly men, don’t they know that will only make me try harder! Kids loaded up, we got what was left of any vegetables at the nursery (for a 50% discount as most of it was wilted away) and headed to our spot; shovels, gloves, hoes and vegetables in back.  We got to work. I have never been so proud of my children’s little hands. Lilly had a blast getting dirty and petting the cows. Our little garden may not survive. It may not be enough to share with all the employees, it may not bring people together, and it may not work out. In more ways than one. But our job is to have faith, to take care and create where there is none, and to give of ourselves. To love who we are now and where we are at. To not depend on others to create an  opportunity or place blame on them when there is not. It is within each of us and we can do this through the smallest things. A garden, a painting, a word, a meal.  Rather than staying at home being unhappy at my husband for not creating an opportunity for me, I decided to do this myself. It may be silly but I felt pretty damn good doing it.