Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dark Chocolate Chevre Truffles

Super simple and super rich these are fast to make ahead of time. They can also be made sugar free or savory by using unsweetened chocolate.

1 cup of soft goat cheese
10 ounces dark chocolate pieces or unsweetened chocolate
2 teaspoons olive oil.
1-2 cups items to roll truffles in, like sprinkles, crushed nuts, instant coffee, candy bits, or if adventurous  ground chili pepper

Line a cookie sheet with foil and set aside. Place chocolate pieces in a medium bowl and microwave on high until melted, about 2 minutes, stirring after each minute. Stir in the olive oil to temper the chocolate and set aside. Place the goat cheese in a small bowl and microwave on high until very soft, about a minute, checking after 30 seconds. Stir cheese into chocolate, mixing until smooth. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the foil lined cookie sheet and refrigerate 20 minutes until more firm, but not completely solidified. Place sprinkles in a saucer, and roll each chocolate into a ball or other shapes, then roll to coat in the sprinkles. Set in mini-muffin papers or candy cups, then refrigerate until serving. Truffles will keep up to a week in the fridge. Makes 18

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Five For Dinner

It's coming up on Thanksgiving, so I wanted to say how thankful I am for my goat Jezebel, or as we call her, Jelly. While she's always been a great goatie, this was the year she really stepped up.

Last year about this time we took Jelly and her sister Betty to a friend's nearby farm to be bred. We thought it was unusual they should be in season on the same day, but it turned out to be a good thing. And then five months later, since they were bred at the same time, they had babies on the same day.

Jelly went first at her usual 2am, surprising us with 4 kids. Sadly we lost one because we didn't get out to the barn in time to help, but two does and this cute little buck with hearts survived. Betty went later in the day, giving us two kids, a buck and doe.

Sadly we lost Betty two days later to milk fever. This is where Jelly stepped up. Luckily for everyone, she is a great producer, over 2 gallons per day at the peak, and she was able to feed all five of the baby goats herself.

Of course all this made Jelly very hungry!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chevre Oatmeal Cookies

Before I had a cream separator and could make goat butter, I made lots of recipes with chevre, the soft goat cheese I make in place of butter. This recipe for oatmeal cookies came out really yummy, and since the cheese adds more protein and has less fat than butter, they are secretly healthier. I call them goat-meal cookies, and yes, the goats like them too!

3/4 cup fresh goats chevre soft cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups uncooked quick oats
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup fresh goats milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine cheese, oil and sugar. Beat with a hand mixer until smooth, then add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Roll dough into 1-inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown at the bottom edge. This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies. For best results, double the recipe because these cookies will go fast!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Upcycled Dress and Jacket from Feed Bags

Feed for my goats and ducks comes in woven polypropylene bags with a cute photo label. During the summer, I sew them into tote bags to sell at the farmers' market. During the winter though they stack up a bit and I can try new things with the extras.

The first project was a party dress made from the Layena chicken chow bags. It took two bags for the full skirt and another bag for the top. Though we did line the top with soft cotton fabric, the seams were still a bit scratchy and the dress is so stiff it stands up by itself!

The next project was a simple zipper jacket made from Purina goat chow bags. It took three bags, though I think an adult jacket would take four. Those goaties better eat up, because I think my mom wants one! I wore this to a downtown art gallery walk and got lots of complements, especially from artists who like to use recycled materials.

It's kind of tricky sewing with these feed bags because once you sew a seam it makes holes in the cute photo label and so the piece is ruined if you make a mistake. Luckily my mom helped a lot, and the patterns were very simple. Another thing is when wearing these feed bag clothes I rattle when I move which attracts all my pets who think I have food for them.