Right now, late spring, is the time for apricots here in Sonoma County—and locally grown just picked off the tree don’t stay around at fruit stands of farmer’s markets for very long. Savor them while you can still find them!
At the farm we’re lucky to have young tree that produces a little more fruit for us each season. We’re growing peaches and nectarines in our orchard as well, and all pair beautifully with goat cheese, especially Redwood Hill Farm Chèvre.
Here is a simple yet elegant recipe that celebrates this great flavor combination. This recipe actually uses a blend of chèvre and cream cheese (but you could use all Chèvre if you like). We prefer to use the cream cheese we make right here at our creamery; Green Valley Organics Lactose-Free cream cheese, but any good quality cream cheese will work. Experiment with your own favorite herbs, nuts and seeds, but remember to use a light hand so as not to overpower this classic fruit/cheese combo. Fast and easy to make for a crowd, too.
This recipe and variations were inspired by and reprinted with permission from the blog “In Erika’s Kitchen”.
Lavender is blooming at our farm and local blueberries are ripening around the county. I was recently inspired to try this very seasonal and simple appetizer recipe courtesy of Patty James Catering, of a lavender & blueberry jam on crostini spread with Plain or Three Peppercorn Chèvre goat cheese. It is fabulous! For a light summer supper, simply pair with a salad and a crisp, white wine or sparkling juice. Patty James is a nutritionist, chef and author whose blog and videos are simply wonderful. Click here to vist her blog “Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives”.
Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery owner Jennifer Bice has made many trips to France to study goat cheese making techniques. Her experiences resulted in the development of our beautiful French-style goat cheeses right here in Northern California.
The Cameo, California Crottin, and Bucheret artisan goat cheese pictured are all handmade with
imported French cheese cultures, and paired with classic French accompaniments. Bon appétit!
The “Perfect Bite” winner at the first West Coast Cheesemonger Invitational (CMI) at Public Works in San Francisco on January 19 was an unlikely, but delicious combination of flavors and texture that just worked. “The Perpetual Goatstopper” was the creation of Cheesemonger Perry Soulos of Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington, VA, who paired our award-winning plain chèvre with grapes, candied ginger and Burstin’ Berry Poppin’ Pebbles™ breakfast cereal to create his unique, eye-catchingly delicious perfect bite.
“I really wanted to do something different and fun with my perfect bite,” said Soulos. “When we first received the list of cheeses to choose from, I went right for Redwood Hill Farms’ Traditional Plain Chèvre. I knew the product very well from my years behind the cheese counter and thought it would be the perfect choice for a California-inspired cheese bite. Its decadent and rich flavor and clean lemony tang make it very versatile in the kitchen.
Use a squeeze bottle to create the heart-shape of these savory blini made with goat milk kefir. For the topping, 0ur sister brand, Green Valley Organics® ultra-creamy lactose free sour cream mixed with capers and zesty lemon adds the perfect touch. Make the batter a day ahead, or go a step further and make the blinis a day ahead, refrigerate and reheat on a baking sheet in a 300°F oven until warm. Got some gluten-free guests? Simply substitute your favorite gluten-free all-purpose baking flour blend and one teaspoon xanthan gum for the all-purpose flour. Buckwheat is gluten free. Be sure to have a thermometer on hand to assure the proper water and milk temperature.
by Scott Bice, Farm Manager Redwood Hill Farm
This past Thanksgiving, our family gathered around more than just a dining room table. We also gathered around an olive grove for our very first harvest of the beautiful Tuscan olive trees planted two and a half years earlier.
In Italy there are many festivals in November to celebrate the olive harvest, when family and friends gather to harvest the plump green and purple fruit by hand. On a cold but sunny morning, we started a new Bice family tradition: picking the fruit to make “green gold”—the buttery, peppery, and delicious olive oil.
Simple to do yourself in the kitchen
In many countries drained yogurt, called Lebneh, is served topped with olive oil and a mixture of spices called Zatar (available at many gourmet and Middle Eastern stores).
Strained or “Greek style” yogurt is easily made by simply draining plain yogurt creating a thicker consistency similar to sour cream.
This thicker yogurt may be used as you would sour cream or mayonnaise, as a dessert with berries and maple syrup, in smoothies and baked goods or as the base of a dip made with salsa or spices.The resulting yogurt can be used as a low calorie substitute for sour cream in dips, salad dressings or sauces. The slightly tart flavor adds a new zing to many recipes.
Looking for a quick and simple appetizer using raw milk cheese and showcasing our Raw Milk Feta?
Here we present two options – hot or cold. For the hot, guests scoop up the oozy goodness of roasted feta with herbs and olive oil with slices of crusty bread. The cold version is simply cubed feta in olive oil with fresh ground black pepper, herbs and curls of lemon zest, served with toothpicks. C’est Simple!