A gorgeous picture of our little family – all looking healthy and happy! Lucky us! And a great zucchini salad

 Summers are wonderful in California – actually any time of year is great! And here is a super summer salad – no need to cook – light and easy to make – enjoy! Also a great picture of my son and I and then another one of our immediate family looking happy and healthy!

RAW ZUCCHINI SALAD

 INGREDIENTS

  • ·        1 pound medium or small zucchini, preferably a mix of green and yellow
  • ·        Salt to taste
  • ·        3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ·        1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ·        3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ·        2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, mint, chives, dill or a combination

DIRECTIONS:

 

1. Slice the squash as thinly as you can. Sprinkle with salt, preferably kosher salt, and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse and drain on paper towels.

2.   Mix together the lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Toss with the zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for four to six hours.

3.   Remove from the refrigerator, and remove the garlic clove. Add the fresh herbs, and toss together. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve.

 

Posted in Blog, Gluten Free, Little farm products, Recipes, Recipes to Make with Children, Salad, Vegetables, Vegetarian Mains | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Telacu Foundation had its annual gala and I am honored to serve on their advisory board

 What a star studded event it was! Hundreds of Telacu scholarship winners were on the stage and the tables were filled with luminaries from all over the State of California and elsewhere. And all of this is the brainchild and passion of David and Priscilla Lizarraga. It is an honor to serve on their advisory board – as their mission of finding worthy students and supporting them with money and mentoring is indeed my passion with the Larraine Segil Scholars. Here they are with their son David, the heir of the Telacu mission as well as a superb musician with many other talents to be sure. Of course I am accompanied by my husband Clive. What a FABULOUS evening down at LA LIVE. Priscilla developed and produced the whole event – and it was so professionally done that I suggested she take her skills to the academy awards! The evening was perfection!

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Our new Segil Urban Farm Fellow was appointed this last weekend – a wonderful celebration!

This is the time of year that the Segil Urban Farm Fellow is appointed through an endowment my husband and I have made to the Shalom Institute. What a fabulous camp it is and the environment with the market garden, animals, bees and more – some of which we taught and donated – thriving with young adults and all the children ( thousands) who attend the camp year round being exposed to nature and good values and how the two are intertwined.

Here we are with our family and in the lower photo with the counselors who tend the garden and animals, Ariel our special Segil Urban Farm Fellow, the Camp CEO Bill and Camp Director Joel ( and divine little one) with expert photographer Marsha capturing the shot with our family too. Happiness is this!

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Shakshuka – a Middle Eastern dish that is delicious!

Shakshuka is served in the Middle East especially in Israel – you can find it in the USA in many middle eastern restaurants. It is good for breakfast, lunch, dinner or in between and with warmed fresh pita is divine! And of course we use our Little Farm Tomatoes, onion and garlic as well as Italian parsley for garnish  – yummy!

Shakshuka – Little Farm Style

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic mashed
  • 1 red and 1 yellow pepper seeded and chopped
  • 8-10 large tomatoes ( try to use the farmers market ones – they have such a good taste compared to supermarket ones)
  • 2 Tbsp of paprika
  • 2 Tbsp of mild chili ( add a touch of cayenne if you like it hot!)
  • 1 tsp of cumin powder ( or more to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 6 eggs

Directions:

  1. Use a cast iron pan if possible.
  2. Heat the oil.
  3. Fry the onions in the heated oil until translucent
  4. Add the garlic and saute for a few moments until combined
  5. Add the chopped peppers and saute until soft
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes with their juice
  7. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin and salt and pepper and combine well
  8. Allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the liquid has reduced
  9. Break the eggs in a circular pattern – with one in the middle 
  10. Cover the pan and allow to simmer until the eggs are the right consistency for you. ( you can add chopped parsley for garnish if you wish – we didn’t)
  11. Serve in the pan, with warmed Pita bread ( for dipping and wiping out the pan too!

 

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Carrot Salad and Cucumber soup – both are easy and low calorie

 Post holiday weekend – and all that sugar fat and yummy stuff — sigh – today is back to watching what I put in my mouth day – and here is a truly fabulous low calorie carrot salad. One of the best things about it is that  you have to do a LOT of chewing – so it takes longer to eat and so one gets fuller sooner! And the cucumber soup is refreshing and cool and also low calorie. 

Cucumber Soup

Ingredients:

  • 8 small Persian cucumbers or two large English ones cleaned, chopped but not peeled
  • 1/4 cup of chopped sweet onion ( I used red onion my favorite)
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock ( depends on whether you want it vegetarian or not)
  • 1 cup of Fage 0% Fat yogurt
  • 1 cup of non fat Sour Cream
  • Dill plus thin slices of cucumber for garnish

 Directions:

Blend first four ingredients in a blender then add the yogurt and cream and blend again – add more stock for desired consistency – cool in the fridge for a few hours -and serve. It is that easy!

Carrot Salad:

Ingredients

  • 6 large carrots peeled and cleaned and then grated
  • 2 tbsp of yellow raisins
  • 1/2 cup of non fat sour cream
  • 1/8 cup of balsalmic vinegar
  • 1 small packet of stevia or splenda or 1 tbsp of sugar ( if you do not mind the calories and prefer rather than using the chemicals in the artificial sweetener)

Directions:

Mix the carrots and raisins. Mix the cream vinegar and sugar separately – then mix all together. Cool in the fridge and serve. YUM!

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Fabulous annual family week – happy times living in the moment!

 This past week was  a wonderful one – with the entire USA based family for our annual family week. Such fun – tons of swimming and food and so much more. So lovely to have no schedule and just hang out! How blessed we are.

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Failed Cobb Salad Pizza recipe from Cooking Light – looks good but tasted bad! Plus adorable pics of our twins!

 I tried a really fun looking recipe from Cooking Light and it was a disaster. So I am sharing it with you. The good news was that same weekend our grandson twins had a hip hop concert  – so adorable – lots of running around the stage – but they are darling so we hollered and yelled and they were happy and so were we!

 

So here is the recipe – I failed at it – what about you?www.cookinglight.com/recipes/cobb-pizza

What happened to me is the following:

1. Pizza crust got too hard

2. All the pieces kept falling off as we tried to eat it

3. Finally we gave up and eat the toppings and threw away the pizza part.

Not worth the calories. 
I am sure I was the problem as Cooking light are normally fabulous. Sigh and oh well. Onward we go! I had an empathetic group for lunch ( my god daughter and her son) and since I had great cookies for dessert that made up for it.

 

 

 

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The New Segil Urban Farm Fellow – Training Camp staff in Urban Farming, Beekeeping and More

Every year we endow a young adult to become a Segil Urban Farm Fellow at the Shalom Institute Children’s camp in Malibu. My husband Clive trains them with his deep knowledge of farming in an urban environment ( although you can see from the picture below that the camp is in the middle of a bucolic scene protected by federal and state parks in the mountains of Malibu – but don’t forget –  it is surrounded by a city of 10 million people!).

Clive is an expert beekeeper too and the Institute has many offspring of our animals ( goats and chickens) as well as beehives my husband and our farm manager Max, have rescued. Thousands of children from far and wide, including many inner city kids who have no idea that eggs do not come from the supermarket but are laid by chickens, attend this camp for weeks, or weekends depending on the program. The camp also  has a special program called Shemesh for special needs children and adults. All moves the heart and soul and we are so proud to be involved albeit in a small way.

When reading a variety of texts, especially the Talmud, the 5 books of Moses ( The Torah), and the Bible both old and new testaments , it is found that acts of goodness are the active representation of a covenant among people, a social contract. This is not about simply getting a request in the mail for funds and writing a check, or bringing a can of soup to a box at your Church or Synagogue. It is not even about showing up once a year at the homeless shelter or soup kitchen or writing letters to Congress to effect social policies. Those are truly important, relevant acts, but they fail to engage people in relationships of understanding. It is when we become engaged with real people and communities on the other end of our giving of time and resources that we realize the covenantal aspect of doing good. The Segil Urban Farm Fellowship along with our Larraine Segil Scholars are our ways of creating joy for others as well as receiving joy at the same time. In a few months, there will be a small ceremony at the Camp for the new farm fellow and I will post a picture then with her name and background. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

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Making Ossobucco – yummy! And in the slow cooker it is a snap to make!

 This is a really easy recipe for Osso-bucco using my Slow Cooker.

Slow-Cooker Osso Buco

Servings: 4

Bottom of Form

Ingredients

·        1/2 cup all-purpose flour

·        Four 1-1/2- to 2-inch-thick veal shanks (about 2-1/2 lb.)

·        Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

·        2 Tbs. unsalted butter

·        1 cup dry white wine

·        One 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes

·        3/4 cup lower-salt chicken broth

·        1 small red onion, chopped (1-1/2 cups)

·        1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (1/2 cup)

·        1 stalk celery, chopped (1/2 cup)

·        5 sprigs fresh thyme

·        3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

·        1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest

·        1 large clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)

Preparation

·        Put the flour in a wide, shallow dish. Season the veal shanks all over with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour; shake off the excess flour.

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, and when it foams, add the shanks to the skillet. Cook until golden, turning once, about 10 minutes. Transfer the shanks to a slow cooker.

Add the wine to the skillet. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet and pour the contents of the skillet into the slow cooker. Add the tomatoes and their juices, chicken broth, onion, carrot, celery, and thyme. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours—the meat will be very tender and almost falling off the bone.

Transfer the shanks to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Pour the sauce from the slow cooker into a large skillet. Simmer over medium heat until reduced to about 2 cups, 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the parsley, lemon zest, and garlic to make a gremolata. Serve the veal shanks topped with the sauce and the gremolata.

 

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Bella the Cow is stealing the Little Farm Show!

 We are in love with Bella our new cow! She is very tame – was in a petting zoo -and so loves kids ( and they love her). We are planning to breed her in a few weeks – hope it takes the first time  – we met her beau last week – he is gorgeous! Here are a few pictures! A good friend Roberta gave us a BELL for BELLA – do you love it? She looks very smashing with her new ribbon.  

 

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New Addition to The Little Farm – Bella the cow!

 We are so excited to add to our menagerie – Bella the miniature cow. Here she is in all her glory with Farmer Clive who bought her at an auction. It is not easy to find a mini cow and Bella was a cow in a petting zoo so she is very tame – and friendly too! Bonded immediately to our grandkids, farm manager and Clive – and follows everyone around. She is now sharing a paddock with three turkeys and 5 guinea fowl and is eating up a storm of alfalfa and hay! We have located a wonderful Brahmin Zebu Bull to mate her with and hopefully within the next few months she will be pregnant. We look forward to that and also to the birth of her offspring – and finally the ability to milk her – and make Cow’s Milk Cheese in addition to the Goat’s milk cheese that we already make. She is a Brown Swiss/Dexter combination – and is able to withstand heat and dry climates – as well as give lots of milk.  SOO EXCITING!

Our dog Smokey is adjusting slowly to her arrival – keeps wanting to roll over and have her play with her – and doesnt yet quite get that Bella is not a dog but a small cow. Oh well she will learn soon when Bella butts her!

 

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Lovely recipe ( healthy too) for Idaho Trout and Swiss Chard! YUM!

Came across this recipe and tried it out. It was really divine. So easy and quick too. We grow our own garlic, rosemary, onions, swiss chard, thyme, etc etc – so it was easy to pull together. Just had to buy the fish from Amazon Fresh – which delivers here three times a week -what a BLESSING that service is – the best freshest fish and meat and so much more. I am a HUGE fan!

 

Swiss Chard Trout with Charred Tomato Vinaigrette (this serves two or four depending on the big eaters in your family)

Ingredients:

 

·       2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2-in.-thick slices

·       1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

·       2 tablespoons capers, drained

·       6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

·       1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

·       2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

·       2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

·       2 garlic cloves

·       1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

·       3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

·       1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into thin strips

·       1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into thin strips

·       1 shallot, thinly sliced

·       3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

·       1 bunch chard, leaves and top portions of stems thinly sliced

·       1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

·       4 (6-oz.) butterflied boneless trout, heads and tails removed

·       1/4 cup pitted Niçoise olives

·       5 thyme sprigs

Directions:

1.   Heat a large cast iron pan or grill pan over high. Add tomato slices to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until well charred. Place tomatoes in a blender. Add parsley, capers, 1/4 cup olive oil, rosemary, juice, vinegar, 2 garlic cloves, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; blend until smooth.

2.   Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add bell peppers, shallot, and sliced garlic cloves; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add chard; sauté 2 minutes or until just wilted. Remove from heat; stir in chopped basil.

3.   Sprinkle trout inside and out evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

4.   Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread charred tomato mixture in bottom of a 9- x 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle olives over tomato mixture; spread thyme sprigs over mixture. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add 2 trout to pan; cook 2 minutes or until skin is golden brown. Turn trout over; cook 2 minutes. Place browned trout in prepared baking dish. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 trout.

5. Cover the tops of the trout with the swiss chard mixture

6. Place baking dish in oven; bake at 400°F for 12 minutes or less until trout is just cooked through.

 

 

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Little Farm Crops of fruit and vegetables this year – spectacular because of all the rain! YAY~

 We have an abundance of wonderful fruit this year. And are making jams, relishes and compote like crazy! The family are happy as are friends as we are bearing giffs whenever we meet!

Here are just a few of our crops – blackberries, Cherries of the Rio Grande and Suriname Cherries as well as Avocados ( in high demand this year) as well as the Apricot Crop – oh my those apricot compotes – yum! Just sugar and apricots ( not to much sugar as the fruit is so sweet) simmer till soft and bottle! Save for those winter days to give you taste of summer.

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Learning about The Electoral College – I thought I understood it – but until I saw this video – I realise there were nuances I missed – take a look!

 After the election I was driven to find out more about the Electoral College – its history and implications. I found a fascinating video that explained it so well. Take a look! I thought I understood before – but I really didn’t. Our founders were amazingly smart, wise and understanding of the faults and assets of humankind. How blessed we are to have had such wisdom built into our system here in the USA.

 

https://youtu.be/V6s7jB6-GoU

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Latino Donor Collaborative – learned a lot about the powerful economic force of the community

 I am proud to serve on the Advisory board of TELACU Foundation which serves the Latino/a community nationally but especially in the LA area. I also serve on the board of a Latina businesswoman who runs a Construction company of significant size. My connections and ties to the Latino community in LA goes back 43 years – and I am proud to say that many of my friends in that community and I ‘grew up’ in business together.

Today I participated in a convening of a powerful group of Latino influencers – The Latino Donor Collaborative. Here are some facts that you may or may not know.

  • 57 million Hispanics are about 18% of the US population projected to be 1 out of every 3 Americans by 2050 and 24% by 2065.
  • The PRESENT purchasing power of the Latino community grew 36% over a five year period to more than $1.5 trillion outpacing national economic growth at 15.6%. 
  • IF THE LATINO MARKET WERE A COUNTRY IT WOULD BE THE ELEVENTH LARGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD
  • From 2007-2012 86% of ALL new businesses formed were Latino Owned.
  • Latina owned businesses grew by 137% over the past 9 years outpacing ALL OTHER WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS.

And on and on – check out their website for more.www.latinodonorcollaborative.org.

Of my Larraine Segil Scholars – we have one Latina ( more on the way) – here she is below – she won the scholarship when she was in second year law school – then she graduated with flying colors, passed the bar the first time and has two job offers  ( working in one right now) with more coming in all the time – we are so proud of her – way to go Tania!

What an exciting time it is to be mentoring women in business – my passion!

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Our eldest grandson Jack turned 10 ! He wanted me to make a Jack in the Beanstalk Cake – so I did! And he was accepted into Junior Lifeguards for the summer!

 It is always my pleasure to make cakes for my grandsons – and our eldest grandson Jack who turned ten – asked for a special one. This was a really tough week with the loss of my dear friend and so my effort was not my best – but he loved it – and that’s all that mattered

And just a few weeks after this birthday Jack competed for and made it into the Junior LifeGuard program – for the upcoming summer – how thrilled he was – he trained in swimming for a month so hard – and we were all so happy and proud of his success! You can see his Dad giving him a HUGE hug!

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Loss of a friend – such pain and a vacuum in my life and that of her family and friends – today was her funeral and memorial –

Yesterday after months of pain and anguish, my dear friend Ilene passed. We spoke many times every week, texted multiple times a day, traveled with our husbands together – and our children grew up together as we lived just a few doors away from each other for almost 40 years.

There is such a vacuum in my life – and I know that she was more than a mother to her four daughters – more like a very best friend – and her 10 gorgeous grandchildren adored her – their Nana was ( along with Papa) their favorite person in the world. Ilene and her husband Robert accepted and loved their sons in law as if they were sons – and we were so blessed to be included in every family event – even their 50th wedding anniversary last year  ( just two weeks ago was their 51st) – we were invited to join them and their children and grandchildren -it was also the same week that Ilene was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

She is part of my life and will be so forever. For those of you who have lost a friend who was more like family – you know what I mean.

The top picture was the 50th Wedding anniversary – you can see the sadness in our eyes as we all feared what lay ahead.

The bottom picture is us with pure happiness a few months before that – in Mexico having fun – laughing, cooking, eating, swimming and talking – what we always did .

With love – rest in peace dearest friend.

 

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Passover – an important holiday with family and friends – how blessed we are!

 We were blessed this year to have a full house – family mainly with a few dear friends. I took special care with the table – since our children may well take on the seder responsibilities in years to come and so I wanted this year to be very important. Here is my table and members of the family – the children’s and the adult’s tables – and of course everyone had to put on a mask to commemorate the plagues – and the adults got into the fun too!

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Carrot Cake – my favorite – love the cream cheese frosting!

I found this recipe for Carrot Cake – and tried it . OMG it is divine. I could eat the frosting all on its own – huge temptation while making this. So use the recipe on a NON DIET day. It’s too delicious to miss!

Carrot Cake

Ingredients

box (4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix

1 1/2  cups milk 

box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ yellow cake mix

cups grated carrots

teaspoons ground cinnamon

Pinch ground cloves

Pinch nutmeg

package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

teaspoon vanilla

cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans ( I left these out – am not crazy about nuts in/on cakes)

 

Directions

1.      Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.

2.      In large bowl, beat dry pudding mix and milk with whisk 2 minutes. Stir in cake mix, carrots, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Spread batter evenly in pan.

3.      Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool completely in pan, about 1 hour.

4.      In large bowl, beat cream cheese and softened butter with electric mixer on medium speed 1 to 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally, until smooth and creamy. Beat in vanilla and powdered sugar until combined.

5.      Spread frosting evenly over top of cooled cake. Sprinkle top with pecans.

Yes it packs the calories  – one slice is 320 – but its worth it! 

Save calories all week to indulge on this on the weekend. I forgot to take pictures – so I borrowed a photo from a website called Chefs Tips – which had a photo of a cake that looked similar to ours. ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

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Such fun with our goat babies this year!

 We have been bottle feeding three goat kids this year – and they are now so tame that they follow us around like puppies! Such fun for the grandkids! And us too! Also three new baby kittens – no more than a week old – were put into the back of our mail lady’s truck -and so we adopted them – another wonderful experience for our eldest grandson. Of course our huge Central Asian Shepherd Smokey is not sure that she likes all the attention being given elsewhere so she does a lot of bonding ( pressing herself all over us) when the grandchildren are present.

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