Archive for the ‘Fun Stuff’ Category

Local Dairy – Good for our environment, health and economy

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

It’s that time of year when the weather is perfect here in Boston. The air’s crisp, the sun’s warmth is worthy of extended smiles towards the sky and the colorful leaves provide the backdrop of color reminiscent of a photo in any old-time New Englander’s October calendar page.

But it comes as no surprise that sometimes in the hustle and bustle of daily life I often don’t stop, take the time for that deep breath of refreshing air, close my eyes, look-up and give an all-out ear-to-ear smile.

But this past week I was given that chance. I was able to break-out of my stuffy office and experience firsthand how a small local dairy farm, Hornstra Dairy Farm in Norwell, Massachusetts, contributes to New England’s economy, health, environment and community. Thanks to the New England Dairy Promotion Board, myself and several other Boston area bloggers & foodies (Kara from The Foodie Dietician; Julia from Juggling with Julia; Liz from Meal Makeover Moms; Jen from Edible Boston; Julia from The Department of Agriculture for the State of Massachusetts) were invited to tour Hornstra Dairy Farm, named Massachusetts 2013 Dairy Farm of the Year. Not only was it a welcoming break from the 9-to-5 in the office, but it was an inspirational and enlightening way to learn first-hand about local dairy farming, and most importantly why local dairy farming is an integral part of our lives.

The tour was guided by John Hornstra, proprietor of this farm that has been a family-owned and operated business for four generations. John walked us through the start (milking) to the finish of the dairy production at his farm. (Our end of the tour treat? An impromptu morning ice cream party… *cough* *cough* … a little ice cream in the morning never hurt anyone, right?)

Although I learned that each cow is named (Yes, I met a few new friends named Meredith, Kathy, and J. Low) and milked, loved and treated humanely 365 days a year and the farms milk processing, pasteurization process and final products are top-notch (the Vat Pasteurization method is used during the processing of their milk), the biggest impression that John had on me during the tour was the Hornstra Dairy Farm’s legacy to commitment, quality and the love of New England’s families, environment and economy.

And although I don’t consider myself a city-slicker, after my visit to Hornstra Dairy Farm I now truly appreciate local dairy farmers, the beauty of their open spaces, the local culture, and everything that my beloved New England dairy farmers offers to make my family’s lives, health and well-being, well … just a better place to live. And that’s another reason for us all to give an all-out ear-to-ear smile.

Looking for some delicious gluten-free recipes using fresh dairy products? Check out these recipes from myself and fellow bloggers:

Tomato Salsa with Sharp Cheddar & Black Olive Crostini from

Pear & Maple Yogurt Cups from Must Be The Milk

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Apple Dip from Kara at the Foodie Dietician

Peach Berry Milkshakes from Julia at Juggling with Julia

Sunday Morning Frittata from Edible Boston

Autumn Apple Quinoa Salad from Liz at Meal Makeover Moms

‘Twas the Night Before a Gluten-Free Christmas

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Have you ever thought about what the classic “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” would read like if Santa was gluten-free?

Read on, enjoy & feel free to share!

~ Happy Holiday Wishes from

‘Twas the Night Before a Gluten-Free Christmas

(Adapted by the Elves at

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature ate gluten, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas knows glutens a scare;

The kids were nestled all snug in their beds;

With visions of yummy gluten-free breads;

And Mom in her apron, and I my chef cap,

Headed down to the kitchen, hoping baking’s a snap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

It scared me so much… I dropped the gluten-free batter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Spilling more of the batter… it’s now gone in one splash!

The mess in the kitchen splattered to and fro,

Made me realize l lost all my gluten-free dough.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But a sleigh full of gluten-free bread… Oh dear!

With a little old driver so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment he “GET’S IT!” – St. Nick?!

It sounded quite funny, when I heard him exclaim,

As he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Joan’s! Now, Glutino! Now Kinnikinnick and Udi’s!

All But Gluten, Canyon Bakehouse, Food For Life, and Rudi’s!

You feature the sandwich! You really make it all!

Now slice away! Slice away! Slice away all!”

It was gluten-free bread…  I wanted to cry!

They meet the challenge, and I let out a sigh;

So up to the housetops the loaves they flew

In a sleigh full of gluten-free goodies, it’s true.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The gluten-free bread I needed no proof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed warm and fuzzy, he was all red and white,

And he said “I have gluten-free loaves, it’s alright!”

A bundle of bread he flung on his back,

It was like an Amazon order right there in his sack!

With a quick wink of his eye and a fast twist of his head

My kitchen disaster was nothing to dread;

He was happy and positive, a jolly good elf

And I realized then things were good for myself;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to work,

Then turned to me with a little odd smirk,

He left gluten-free bread and a need to wonder,

I don’t need to bake it… that was my blunder!

He sprang to his sleigh, and gave the team a call,

And away they flew with their gluten-free haul.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight –

“I’m gluten-free too, and I ‘GET IT’ all right!”

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