A really healthy no calorie drink that costs very little to make – try it!

Our three year old grandsons are getting cuter every day. And they love to go to the farmers market ( as well as to come to the Little Farm) . Last week they enjoyed face painting. This last weekend they planted some mint near the kitchen for me. Now they are waiting for a MINT TREE!

Twins and face painting Feb 2015

We use mint and orange slices in filtered water – and drink that instead of diet sodas indeed any sodas. It is refreshing and is no calories! We also add sliced cucumbers and some days just lemon. Try it you will LOVE it. Sodas and diet sodas are so bad for you – if you can unhook yourself from them and substitute this fruit no calorie home made drink, you will save money, calories and add healthy liquid to your diet! What could be better than that! And it tastes good too!

Oranges and Lemons


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Portabello mushrooms and onions – a great easy side dish

This is an easy side dish to whip up and it goes well with just about everything – especially with fish.


  • 3 large portabello mushrooms sliced thick
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 tbsp of Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Slice the onions thin.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan
  3. Saute the onions until translucent
  4. Add the mushrooms and saute on low heat until they reduce in size
  5. Add the vinegar and continue to saute until the liquid reduces
  6. Keep warm until ready to serve
  7. Optional – serve with freshly grated Parmesan

Portobello Mushroom




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Cabbage Salad – with raisins – a healthy delicious side

We grow red and green cabbage ( as well as cauliflower, brussels sprouts and broccoli – all part of the same family). This salad is truly delicious. Try it!Red Cabbage


  • 1 head of white cabbage chopped
  • 1 head of red cabbage chopped
  • 1 sweet white onion chopped
  • 1/4 red onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup of chopped kale
  • 1 cup of golden raisins
  • 4 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp of raspberry vinegar ( any fruity vinegar will do)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ! cup of crumbled feta cheese ( optional)

White CabbageDirections:

  1. Combine all the vegetables
  2. Add the raisins
  3. Add the dressing
  4. Let the salad sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to assimilate the tastes
  5. If using the feta – add it  before serving
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Having fun with twin grandsons and appreciating classical music

Tuesdays are my days with the youngest of my grandsons – we go to the market, walk and play and have lunch together. It is such fun – as you can see! What joy!Noah and Gabriel March 17 2015 with larraine

And then we took our oldest grandson to the Disney Hall to a concert – he LOVED It and his dad and grandfather and I did too! Here we are!

I believe strongly that children who are exposed to classical music early develop a love for the brilliance and creativity of those composers for the rest of their lives – certainly our grandson Jack has done that. Jack James Larraine Clive at Disney Hall March 2015

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I intend to live to 102 – just like this lady – WOW! I am going to practice my golf TODAY!

My sister Pamela in London sent me this video which was made about a woman in San Jose. I want to be just like her! She is 102.

I am off to the golf course right now to start practicing. I plan to live to 102. Just like Ida!

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A great easy salad using Brussels sprouts

In my youth I did not enjoy Brussels sprouts. At the Little Farm we grow them but they take up a lot of space and do not seem to do well. Nevertheless we have great ones in the supermarket nearby so if need be I will break down and BUY them to make this yummy salad. You can make this vegetarian/pork free by adding soy bacon instead of the regular stuff.

Brussels Sprouts Cranberries Hazelnuts Feta SaladBrussels Sprouts Cranberries and Hazelnuts Salad


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon without gluten, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup Feta cheese ( we make our own from our goats milk)
  • Pam Olive oil spray


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper together in a bowl until coated. Transfer coated sprouts to a baking sheet.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until sprouts are tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Spray a skillet with Pam Olive Oil Spray.
  5. Cook and stir hazelnuts in the skillet over medium-low heat until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer hazelnuts to a bowl.
  6. Cook and stir bacon in the same skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain half the bacon drippings leaving half in the pan.
  7. Add maple syrup and rosemary; cook, stirring often, until the bacon drippings and maple syrup begin to thicken and stick to the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.
  8. Combine cooked Brussels sprouts and bacon mixture together in a large bowl; toss until sprouts are coated with maple syrup sauce. Sprinkle in hazelnuts, cranberries, and feta cheese; toss well. This dish is best served warm.
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Baked Chevre and pastry – from our goats’ milk

During the summer months our goats are milking – they are pregnant right now and will give birth after a 5 month gestation period in about May – then after about 12 weeks when we wean the babies ( kids) we start using their milk. This is one of my favorite things to do – make a chevre covered pastry and bake. I love it! You will too!

Baked Chevre with Chives in Pastry


  • 8 ounces of Goat Chevre ( we make our own!)
  • 1 frozen pie pastry
  • 6 Chopped Chives
  • Salt to taste


  1. Mix the chevre with the chopped chives and a little salt to taste.
  2. Roll out the pastry into a thick flat disc
  3. Place the chevre inside the disc and smooth it into a flat log down the middle of the pastry.
  4. Fold the pastry over the flat log and pinch to join the edges ( or wet your fingers a bit and pinch the dough)
  5. Brush with egg yolk to get that lovely brown color.
  6. Bake at 375 or whatever the pastry instructions are – the chevre really doesn’t need cooking – its the pastry you are cooking.
  7. Remove and let cool a little ( as the cheese will be soft and HOT).
  8. Serve with a green salad for a lovely Saturday or Sunday lunch.

Chevre with Pastry and chives

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Mark Russell the comedian is FUNNY! And musings on anniversaries….

Mark Russell is a political comedian and he can be very funny. One of his funniest lines is below:

The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.”  By Mark Russell

Today is our 46th anniversary – married a lifetime for sure – amazing. When one makes the commitment to marry – the thought of so long is incomprehensible. And then the years fly by so fast  as one struggles to make a living, raise a family, impact a community and keep healthy. And  then all of a sudden you look back and it seems like a dream that your life in all its joy and pain is mostly behind you – at least two thirds of it! So I look forward to the next third being the most fun, and with the amount of exercise and healthy eating we are doing, hopefully the healthiest. We no longer participate in extreme sports, we are far more cautious about what we do physically, and have realized that there is a limit and that risk taking can be curtailed and life can still be fun. Also the child bearing years and , for me, the challenges and painful losses that accompanied those decades, are well behind us now and the joys of grandchildren is never ending. Happily it is a time to give back and pay it forward and there is enormous satisfaction in doing that. Overall – a blessed life, made so by our decision to immigrate to this incredible country of opportunity, peace and justice 41 years ago. How grateful we are! G-d Bless America.

Our Four Grandsons On A Tree – What Could Be Better Than That!

jack Jonah noah gabe on a tree

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Passion fruit pudding – extra yum!

Another passion fruit recipe – pudding this time! Try it – its easy!

Passion Fruit Pudding


  • 1 box (3 ounces) vanilla instant pudding
  • 2 cup of milk ( we use 2%)
  • 1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • Pulp of 10 passion fruit


  1. Mix all the ingredients together until smooth and not gritty.
  2. Refrigerate for 2 hours
  3. ENJOY!

Passionfruit Pudding

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Passion fruit Pound Cake – YUM!

We grow a lot of passion fruit and we love to cook with it. Dishes as simple as regular fresh fruit salad with lots of papaya and pineapple, mango and passion fruit and then desserts – oh my goodness. Just take a look ( and a taste) of these two!

Passion Fruit Pound Cake


  • 4 ounces butter, melted
  • 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted ( see Tip below to make your own self rising flour)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (see Tip Below to make your own Buttermilk)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 6 passionfruit, for frosting
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted, for frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Grease a regular loaf pan. Place the butter, flour, buttermilk, egg, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl. Using hand beaters, mix until well combined.
  2. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. To serve, remove the pulp and juice from the passion fruit and place in a small bowl. Add the confectioners sugar and stir to combine until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Carefully poke a fork into the top of the cake at various points of the top. Then drizzle the passion fruit mixture over the cake. Cut into slices and serve.
    Passion Fruit Pound Cake


1. Make your own self rising flour – combine 1 cup of all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. And you are right to worry about the shelf life of self-rising flour: the baking powder will lose its potency over time, which means your baked goods won’t rise as they should.

2. Make your own Buttermilk – combine 1 TBSP of white vinegar with 2 cups of milk  and stir – and presto! You have Buttermilk!

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