Farm Fresh

boys and amber

Yesterday we took the boys to a local farm, owned and operated by Ms.Roxanne. She’s a wonderful lady with the patience of a saint. Boy oh boy, did Brendon pepper her with endless questions. Many of them somehow skirting around “the birds and the bees”, which is a subject of much interest as of late; thanks to his fellow bus riders (girls of course!). But having raised two of her own and mentoring countless others through the 4-H program, Ms.Roxanne is too seasoned in little boys to get flustered and just kept them moving and doing.


Practicing for his Summer internship…Brendon doesn’t remember, but a little over three years ago, en route to Hawaii, we brought the boys here and he was able to see a day old calf up close.

The intent of the visit was our quest for fresh milk; I can’t think of a better pairing for our homemade sourdough bread and farm fresh eggs. Plus, I hear local raw milk is great for seasonal allergies and we are a-sufferin’ this Spring. After a sample taste earlier this week, we were hooked. Even John who prefers water, liked the milk.

We arrived right after she’d finished the last of the milking for the day, but she still let the boys help her bring a cow to the milking station (I doubt this is the technical term, I made it up) and gave Brendon a lesson in milking. This was quite an upgrade from the plastic cow display at the Honolulu Zoo and nothing beats hands on experience in life lessons.

john and lava

John told us the cow was a little stinky to him and he largely kept his distance. In fact, what was John doing while Brendon was trying his hand at milking? Petting Lava. If you know John at all, you’ll know he’s terribly afraid of dogs and to date really only likes my Dad’s aging and seriously docile Jack Russel. He and Lava found a special bond to say the least. It’s his quiet demeanor I’m sure.

Following the mini milking session, they were able to feed the cows, climb the fences, search for snakes by the tire swing (kidding), and also feed the pigs. Now if you haven’t seen farm pigs before, oh my! I’ve seen these guys before, but each time it’s somewhat shocking. Their big pig weighs 800-900 pounds, yet jumped with glee into the feed house when she saw us coming with the feed bucket. I kid you not. Jumped! It really was something to witness. After we got home, Hubby said, “you know what I thought when I saw those giant pigs?” – to which I answered…”You really wanted to ride one? Me TOO!” Unfortunately I was alone in that thought. Oh well. (sorry I forgot to get a photo – next time)

milk by the gallon

Milk by the gallon. The small jar, which is a normal size canning jar, is the cream we ladled off the top.


Did we get the milk. YES!! we did. We also were able to borrow this little bad boy (above) – a yogurt maker. Yay!!! I had completely forgot these exist until I saw the box. I think there may one still lurking at my dad’s house. Oh Rose… So now what do the boys keep asking? When the yogurt is going to be finished. I hope they like it!

Cranberry Quinoa Muffins

I’ve been somewhat joking about making a cookbook, The Veggie Life, of my adapted vegetarian/vegan recipes. After a couple very successful recipe adaptations this week, I started to think about it seriously and googled the veggie life, which turned up to be a website devoted to landscape design. So, while I mull over the idea further, I’ll start putting the recipes on this blog from time to time; it’ll make it easier to print instead of my marked up written versions.

Today’s offering:

Cranberry Quinoa Muffins

Cranberry Quinoa Muffin

I fully intended to take more photos, but got sidetracked eating the muffins. By the time I thought of it again, it was too late. Num, num, num…Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Craisins (50% less sugar version)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 cup water to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until water has been absorbed 10-15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, spray a mini muffin pan with Baking Spray with Flour (or oil and flour the old fashioned way). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and craisins. Add in 2 cups of the cooked quinoa. Set aside excess quinoa for another use.

3. In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together oil, milk, applesauce and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stirring just until combined. Divide batter into prepared pan.

4. Bake until toothpick inserted in cute center of a muffin comes out clean. 15-20 minutes. Cool muffins in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cook completely.

*Little did I know, I’ve been making my quinoa soggy all these years. It wasn’t until I came across this recipe I realized how much better it tastes with less water. NOW I know!*

**Brendon said these are too sweet! I’m not sure about that, but they sure do satisfy my sweet tooth.**