Sour Cream Coffee Cake with English Custard – YUM

We love custard – it comes from our South African ( British) heritage I guess. And it is SO easy to make with Bird’s Custard Powder.birds-custard-powder

I paired it with this easy Sour Cream Coffee Cake – which I made because I had light sour cream left over from the weekend’s baked potatoes. I do not often feature a brand but these two are the only ones that I use. Delicious!daisy-light-sour-cream


Sour cream coffee cake 
Ingredients:3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (about 2.5 ounces), dividedCooking spray4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)1 ounce whole-wheat flour (about 1/4 cup)1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar, divided

1/3 cup butter, softened

2  large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1  (8-ounce) carton light sour cream (such as Daisy)

2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, toasted

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon chilled butter, cut into small pieces



1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Spread oats in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 6 minutes or until oats are barely fragrant and light brown.

3. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray; set aside.

4. Reserve 1/4 cup oats; set aside. Place remaining oats in a food processor; process 4 seconds or until finely ground.

Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine processed oats, flours, baking powder,

baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk.

5. Place granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/3 cup butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for

3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture to

sugar mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. (Batter will be slightly lumpy because of

oats.) Spoon batter into prepared pan; spread evenly.

6. Combine remaining 1/4 cup oats, remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, nuts, and cinnamon in a bowl. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter

with a pastry blender or 2 knives until well blended. Sprinkle top of batter evenly with nut mixture. Bake at 350° for 38 minutes

or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, top is golden, and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan.

Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes; remove from pan cut and serve with dollops of custard ( made from Birds English Custard powder – follow instructions on the box – basically milk and sugar and heat!)


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Easy, fast, delicious and using my favorite slow cooker!

This is easy and tasty and fast! Throw everything into the slow cooker and go about your day – your home smells divine when you return!

Slow Cooker Chicken and OlivesOlives and pimentos




4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (6ounce) can tomato paste
3/4  cup of chicken stock
1(6ounce) jar Spanish olives with pimento (with liquid)
 1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
1 16 ounce bag of noodles cooked drained and buttered well or cook rice in a steamer that you put on at the same time as the slow cooker – and it will all be ready when you come home – HEAVEN!  



  2. Wash chicken breasts, drain, and season on both sides with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
  3. Place seasoned chicken breasts in crock pot.
  4. Mix tomato paste and stock together and pour evenly over chicken breasts.
  5. Add olives with liquid.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours.
  7. Serve each chicken breast over a small mound of prepared noodles, and dish sauce (with olives) over each serving. YUM!
  8. I like to cook rice in a rice cooker which I can also put on in the morning  and leave- and so when I come back I don’t need to cook up noodles ( which I love but are a nuisance to cook in my opinion and the butter is fattening – so save the calories and cook/steam rice with no fat!)
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Appointing three new Larraine Segil Scholars for 2016- amazing women with great futures!

I am proud to announce that our 2016 scholars have been selected and are now part of the Larraine Segil Scholars group. We hold our quarterly dinner in late September to celebrate. Look out for another picture then of our happy group!

From The Presidential Key Executive MBA Program  at Pepperdine Graziadio School of Management, Pamela Irwin who just graduated this summer, has been selected to join our LSS group.Pamela Irwin

From Southwestern School of Law, Jessica Reid and Venessa Simpson, both JD candidates, have both been selected to join the LSS group.

Jessica Reid

Jessica Reid


Venessa Simpson

If you go to our website at you will find all of their photos and links to their detailed backgrounds – we have great hopes for their futures!

This year for the first time the Scholars interviewed and selected the candidates. All finalists were prescreened and presented after lots of hard work by Debbie Leathers Associate Dean at Southwestern, and Kay Rosen, VP Development at Pepperdine. Because we could not decide between Jessica and Venessa, as in former years when we had two outstanding finalists, we chose them both! My goal of making the selection process independent of myself, came to fruition this year ensuring the scholar group will be sustainable past my life span.  Very rewarding and exciting for all.

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Green lawns in CA – soon to be a memory?

The drought is taking its toll in Los Angeles. At the moment, using recycled water, we have been able to save about 80% of our trees and some of our grassy areas. I fear that this is going to change. The water district put out a dire warning of fines up to $40,000 a month – which could be disastrous for our Little Farm. Although we are zoned agricultural the Dept of water and power has yet to recognize us as such. This may well be the state of many urban farms. Even though we recycle, compost, conserve water, live off the land and on our eggs, cheese and fish, our water cost has been going up and up. We have changed many of our plants to water sparing – but the farm is populated with 300 fruit trees and old trees that are large and have been here over 100 years. Sadly some of those are dying – a pine and a eucalyptus. Deep watering is no longer an option.

This gorgeous photo of our back lawn may soon be just a memory as we put down gravel and paving – and cactus. Is California turning into Arizona?Green back lawn at Little Farm September 2016


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Gluten Free Tamale Casserole

Easy Gluten Free Tamale Casserole

Serves 8

Made with gluten-free cornbread mix, this is a great recipe to make with kids (no knives needed so even younger ones can help), and you’ll have leftovers. Round out your meal with a big green salad. Yes it is high in calories ( 500 per serving) but what tamale pie isnt?


  • 1 pound ground beef
    1 (15-ounce) can ranchero beans
    1 jar medium salsa
    1 (12-ounce) box gluten-free corn bread and muffin mix
    1 egg
    1 1/3 cups low fat buttermilk
    1/4 cup sugar (optional)
    6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
    1 (4-ounce) can diced mild green chiles (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large sauté pan, brown meat, breaking up any large pieces.
  3. Drain well and return to stove.
  4. Add beans and salsa, stir to combine and simmer over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool slightly then spoon into a 9×12-inch casserole dish.
  5. Prepare cornbread batter according to package directions, using the remaining ingredients above.
  6. If desired, mix drained green chilies into batter.Green chilis
  7. Carefully spoon over top of beef mixture.
  8. Smooth out to cover.
  9. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until cornbread is lightly brown and filling is bubbling.


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Labor day fun with the grandkids and grandnieces and grandnephews!

Nothing better than family and fun in the jacuzzi on Labor day at The Little Farm. And our dog Smokey trained with the children before – she was so great – calm and really smart – we are thinking that we are going to train her to be a service dog. She has the intelligence and loves working hard. Its hard work for me too but so worth it. So much to learn – ringing a bell to get help, becoming a brace to help someone get up, and of course huge obedience for sit, down, stay and so much more. We are just touching the surface but learning a lot – both of us!

Lunch was pot luck – everyone brought something yummy – roast chicken, taco and tortillas with beans, rice, cheese and lettuce, a delicious watermelon tomato feta green onion salad, cupcakes ( DELICIOUS), fruit salad, my home made pumpkin bread, hard boiled quail eggs and chips and salsa. What a feast! Thanks family! And for cleaning up too!

Watermelon tomato feta saladFeta





  • 1 (4- to 4 1/2-pound) piece watermelon, preferably seedless
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, preferably green or orange heirlooms, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia, Maui, or Walla Walla, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta





  1. Cut off and discard the watermelon rind. Cut the watermelon into 1-inch cubes, removing any seeds as needed. Transfer to serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
  2. Add the tomatoes, onion, and mint to the watermelon and toss gently. Add the feta and toss again. Serve immediately.

Jack and Gabe training Smokey to be a service dogGrandkids and cousins in jacuzzi having Labor Day fun

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Ever tried baked salami? It is Divine!

Here is a very old ( not healthy but yummy) recipe for baked salami that my friend Ilene gave to me. DELICIOUS!!

Baked Salami (Oldie but Goodie)

This is an oldie but goodie recipe, and everyone loves it always. Rarely is there a piece left over. Good Old Fashioned Kosher Salami. (the kind in the package from Hebrew National is what I’m talking about)

*you will want to double recipe for the larger salami shown. Recipe below is for the smaller one.


  • 1 Kosher Salami (this is a larger one for a larger crowd)
  • 1/2 cup Marmalade ( I like orange) but can be Lemon or Ginger ( I used the one I make at the Little Farm)
  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard- I used Maille Dijon Mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Score into Salami, cut into Salami in narrow slices but not completely through to bottom. Just make slices almost to the bottom.
  3. Mix all ingredients together and spread on Salami, place on a lightly sprayed baking sheet and cook for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Serve on a plate with sliced pumpernickel or rye bread or crackers. I buy the party pumpernickel bread which is already cut into small pieces and available almost everywhere.Kosher Beef Salamigrapefruit-marmalade
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Having a great weekend – every weekend!

Now that the summer is officially over – in many parts of the USA it is not actually cold yet! Certainly in California we are still living in a heat wave and a drought. So entertaining outdoors during the day calls for cool food!!

Here is a Cool Food Recipe – enjoy!

Apple Celery Almonds and Watercress Salad


2 Fuji Apples peeled cored and cut into small pieces

  • 4 stalks of celery scrapped and cut into small pieces
  • 4 cups of baby arugula torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup of Marcona Almonds
  • 4 sprigs of watercress leaves torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup shaved parmesan
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup of lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Mix all ingredients together except the olive oil and lemon juice and watercress.
  2. Whip and combine the oil and juice and sprinkle over when ready to toss and serve
  3. Sprinkle the watercress over the salad to garnish


[#Beginning of Shooting Data Section] Nikon D2X 2005/11/23 12:59:28.8 RAW (12-bit) Image Size: Large (4288 x 2848) Lens: 60mm F/2.8 D Focal Length: 60mm Exposure Mode: Manual Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern 1/125 sec - F/22 Exposure Comp.: 0 EV Sensitivity: ISO 100 Optimize Image:  White Balance: Flash AF Mode: Manual Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached Color Mode: Mode I (Adobe RGB) Tone Comp.: Normal Hue Adjustment: 0¡ Saturation: Normal Sharpening: None Image Comment:                                      Long Exposure NR: Off High ISO NR: Off [#End of Shooting Data Section]

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Making Orange Ice Cream- its easy and delicious

This is a great recipe for summer! Add a sprig of mint for color!


Orange Ice Cream


1 1/2 cups (360 ml) heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup (120 ml) half and half

2 cups (480 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice (strain to remove pulp)

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar  (or to taste)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon orange zest (optional)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl or measuring cup combine all the ingredients. Cover and place in the refrigerator until it is completely cold (several hours or overnight).

Transfer the mixture to the container of your ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once made, transfer the ice cream to a chilled container and store in the freezer. If the ice cream becomes too hard, place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving so it can soften.

Makes about 3 cups so if I am having a party I will double or triple it. And remember to place it into the fridge for 30 minutes before serving otherwise it will not scoop well.


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Summer evenings with friends and family – the best chopped salad from leftovers!

I love cooking in summer – and especially when its easy! This is a wonderful recipe for a ‘throw it all together’ chopped salad – which is satisfying and fun to eat and make if you have family members or friends who can help you chop and assemble and will drink wine and have laughs at the same time!


Chopped Salad ( great for using leftovers)

  • Cooked chopped chicken OR turkey or cooked chopped meat ( filet mignon or other lean steak not too well done are good)
  • Chopped cucumbers
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped baby carrots
  • Chopped jicama
  • Chopped dates
  • Home made croutons
  • Hard boiled quail eggs ( remember to add LOTS of salt to the boiling water or they are very difficult to peel)
  • Chopped feta ( if you do not mind cheese and meat in the same salad – some do)
  • Chopped baby arugula
  • Chopped or torn pieces of spinach or kale
  • Slivered Almonds ( preferably roasted)
  • Finely grated Parmesan 1/4 cup for the dressing
  • Champagne Vinegar and Olive Oil – 1 part to 3 parts for the dressing


  1. Chop all the vegetables and dates and combine with the quail eggs.
  2. Add the tomatoes after combining the vegetables, dates and eggs, and then the croutons on top with the feta last.
  3. Mix the salad dressing well and add some  parmesan to thicken it
  4. Toss the salad just before serving.
  5. YUM!


Posted in Blog, Goats, Leftovers, Little farm products, Meat, Poultry, Raising Children, Recipes, Recipes to Make with Children, Salad, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment