There is nothing better than fresh ripe cherry tomatoes – picked from the vine!

Here are just a few of the amazing cherry tomatoes we are presently enjoying from The Little Farm.

Cherry tomatoes 1

Take off the stems, cut in half and toss with a little balsamic, olive oil and chives – then drizzle on some feta and you have a wonderful summer salad.

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Pumpkin – love baking it just the way it is – or pumpkin bread

Pumpkin pureeIt is the beginning of the season for pumpkins and for some reason ours are ripe already! So today baked them in the oven and are making pumpkin bread. A great recipe. We do not like allspice ( unless it is to make tea since we grow them in our farm) nor do we like nutmeg or nuts in our pumpkin bread. If you do – feel free to add a teaspoon of the former and a 1/4 cup of the latter.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (1/4 L) pumpkin purée*
1/2 cup (1 dL) canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

* To make pumpkin purée,  lie face down on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff. Freeze whatever you don’t use ( or if the pumpkins are ripe and you dont have time to make the bread) for future use. We prefer to make the bread and freeze that.

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.

2 Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly.

3 Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.

Makes one loaf. Can easily double the recipe. I have added raisins which I love – but that is up to you – 1/4 cup will do it!

 

 

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A lovely dinner party using the napkin holders sent by a dear friend in South Africa – aren’t they great?

I love entertaining. And especially love ‘dressing my table’ . Here is  a recent table at The Little Farm set for 12. It was a fundraising dinner for a summer camp that our eldest grandson attended. He LOVED it and my husband is on the board, and we established the Segil Urban Farm Fellowship there this year. The Shalom Institute in Malibu- a joyful place.

Little Farm Dinner Table with South african Napkin holders Picture of menu for Little Farm dinner South African Napkin Holders

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Back to our Central Asian Shepherd again – took her in the car – not much room in the back~

Our puppy (now about 110 lbs) is quite a car full. Here she is in the back of my car with our son – not much room for either of them! Of course once we got to the park she was a happy puppy!! So good with kids and other dogs – getting BIGGER EVERY DAY~! She does not eat much certainly not as much as you would think – just 4 cans of kibble (2 twice a day).Smokey and James in my car not much room Larraine CLive Smokey great pic at park

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Rice – staple food for many peoples – and we love it too!

Here is a really easy rice recipe.

Saute one chopped onion and two chopped garlic cloves with one chopped red pepper and one chopped yellow pepper OR 1 cup of chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup of chopped chives – in olive oil ( three tbsp) for enough time until all softens. This time I chose the tomatoes and chives instead of the peppers – but either work really well.Rice with tomatoes frying

Add one cup of rice per 4 people with as much water as the box of rice requires. ( You can do this with brown rice too but follow the cooking instructions carefully – also remember to rinse the rice before adding)

Cook till the water ( or you can use vegetable or chicken stock) is absorbed and serve!

ENJOY! But be careful of crying while chopping onions! We run them in cold water before chopping and then do it FAST!

Chopping onions

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A Central Asian Shepherd Dog – called Ovcharka – huge but so so sweet

According to Wikipedia:
This is an ancient breed from the regions of Central Asia. It is not the result of artificial selection: the native breed called alabai historically common among Central Asian peoples. Used by shepherds, as well as to protect and guard duty.

The Central Asian Ovcharka (/ɒvˈɑːrkə/) is a large breed of dog recognized by FCI, as a Molossoid type dog breed of Soviet-era origin under Russian patronage.[1] Numerous breed representatives reside in Russia, and local kennel club officials refer to Central Asians as one of the most popular dog breeds in the country, rating them as the #1 breed in country around 2000.[2]

Well, we got one about three months ago to guard our livestock. She is amazing. And HUGE!

Since she is not too fond of the heat she spends a lot of the day sleeping in the washing room of the Little Farm and then runs around chasing coyotes ( who have eaten 11 of our cats over the years) all night which is her job. She is incredibly sweet and gentle ( and weighs 120 lbs right now and will grow to 150 by 3 years). She is now 9 months old and her name is Smokey. Such a smart dog – learned to sit, stay and heel without the leash in three weeks – can be VERY stubborn but realizes that I am the alpha dog and so we got that straight early on!

Here she is – and then she poked her head out of the doggie door to check if I was really going to take her for a walk or was just going outside myself. As you can see she has the intelligent eyes of a human. One smart dog ( I call her my horsie dog as she is truly enormous….and growing!)

Smokey with nose sticking out of the doggie doorSmokey sleeping in washroom

The Breeders crop the ears of these dogs – looks rather weird but grows on you after time.
SMokeys face up close

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Ground turkey – boring? Not with this amazing recipe!

Turkey Meatballs and Little Farm Tomato Sauce
Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Turkey Meatballs cooking
Directions

  1. Add the onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, parsley, Parmesan, Pecorino, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend.
  2. Mix in the turkey.
  3. Shape the turkey mixture into er meatballs.
  4. Place on a large plate or baking sheet.
  5. Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  7. Turn off heat.
  8. Transfer the meatballs to a plate.
  9. Pour off any excess oil.
  10. Add the Little Farm Tomato sauce, about 3 cups.
  11. Return all the meatballs to the pan.
  12. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors blend, 15 to 20 minutes.
  13. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.
    IMG_6642

Little Farm Tomato Sauce

This makes 4 quarts and it freezes well!

  1. Heat oil in an 8-quart heavy bottom pot.
  2. Saute garlic & onion until tender but not brown.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients except salt & pepper.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook gently (uncovered) for 4 hours, stirring often.
  5. Add salt & pepper as desired.

Turkey Meatballs in sauce

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Celebrations with good friends!

Good friends and a fun weekend! Our dear friend Laura’s daughter Lauren got married to the love of her life this last weekend and four good friends  ( along with 360 others!) flew in to be with them! What fun we had!

We have to celebrate the good times all the time!

We are blessed!

What a fabulous elegant and spectacular event Lauren and Laura arranged. AMAZING! Thanks to all for including me!

You can see the St Louis Arch in the background ( and of course the KPMG building). Such friendly lovely folks in Missouri! And HUGE Italian families meant 119 first cousins – on all sides! WOW! Lucky them!

Larraine Sue Kathryn and Joyce and Laura at Lauren Herring wedding

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What could be better than a birthday hug from my four grandsons! NOTHING!

I was so blessed this birthday that my grandsons spent the weekend with us – and the best present in the world was what I got – home made birthday cards – and a big group hug. What could be better than that? NOTHING! How lucky I am!

Second Group hug Jack jonah noah gabriel and Larraine Birthday hug 2016 at home shabbat

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A delicious Salvadorean, Mexican, Bolivian and Argentinian treat! Enjoy!

Two of our Little Farm Staff, and four of our extended part time staff come from El Salvador. They introduced us to the most delicious of all treats – ALFAJORES~

You will love these – and they are not difficult to make either. Beware a binge attack however – eating one is not an option!

Alfajores from Argentina and El Salvador

Makes 12 cookies

  • 100grams (about 7 tablespoons) butter, soft
  • 40grams confectioners’ sugar
  • 75grams cornstarch
  • 75grams all-purpose flour
  • 4tablespoons dulce de leche
  1. Cream the soft butter together with the powdered sugar until the mixture is fluffy. If your butter is very soft already, this should take no more than a couple of minutes with a handheld mixer.
  2. Whisk together the cornstarch and the all-purpose flour, then combine it with the butter and sugar using a large wooden spoon until the dough starts coming together into a ball.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C) and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the disk of dough on a floured surface, dust it with some extra flour, then carefully roll the dough out to a thickness of no more than 5 millimeters (about 1/8-inch thick).
  4. Using a 5-centimeter (2-inch) round cookie cutter, cut out 24 cookies (you will have to re-roll the dough a couple of times to do this), and place the dough circles on the prepared sheet pan, leaving about 1 centimeter (about 1/2 inch) of space between the cookies.
  5. Place the sheet pan in the fridge for approximately 10 minutes, so that the cookies can firm up.
  6. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they’re just starting to color around the edges. Lift the cookies onto a cooling rack and leave them to cool.
  7. Once they’re at room temperature, top half of the cookies with dulce de leche, using about 1 teaspoon on each one. Then sandwich those cookies with the plain ones. As you press the cookies together, carefully rotate the two cookies in opposite directions, which will help spread the dulce de leche all the way to the edge of the cookies.

Here they are!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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