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Showing posts from June, 2015

Camp Fire Donation Resources

It has taken me two weeks to be able to write this post. I keep struggling with words, how to express my sadness, how to help, just what to say. But here goes...


The morning of November 8th will be a day everyone in Butte County will remember. The Camp Fire is the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. It is the deadliest wildfire in US history in the past 100 years. The town of Paradise was destroyed by the fire, forcing 27,000 people to flee within hours. The news reports and stories victims tell are chilling and leave you speechless. For the last two weeks, my newsfeeds and text messages have been filled with Camp Fire stories and relief efforts.


Butte County is where I was born and raised. My hometown of Chico is where many sought refuge and hope following the tragic event. My mother worked in Paradise for a good chunk of my childhood. I have many memories of the church she worked at, the rectory that is no longer standing, and the local businesses we supp…

Worries for the future

Almond harvest is just around the corner. Hull split is here and the countdown to harvest is officially on. Hull split is pretty early this year, about 2 weeks earlier than normal. Last year, we had hull split at the end of June and we thought it was pretty early then and this year is turning out to be even earlier than last year.

Why are the nuts earlier? Well, with the drought getting worse and worse our trees are more and more water stressed. When the trees don't get enough water, they don't produce as well and could even die from too little or no water.

With the low amounts of water we have, irrigation is harder and harder to do effectively.  Our trees are being cut back. In fact, all farmers are cut back to a zero allocation of surface water from federal water projects. The state is implementing regulations to monitor groundwater pumping, an ever more necessary resource to agriculture production. With the threat of limiting our pumping from our own supply und…

Father's Day with four generations

Father's Day is a day to honor our special men in our lives. Whether that be your husband, dad, grandpa, great grandpa, uncle, or special figure. This Father's Day was extra special in our home this year. My son was able to celebrate with his dad, grandpa and great grandpa. Having four generations with the last name is definitely a special treat for all of our family.
Our day was filled with little man giggles and chatterbox talking. Let me tell you that giggle is contagious! Once he starts everyone laughs at how sweet and precious he is, then he gets going louder and then we just can't stop!  But what really gets me, is that big ole smile when he looks at his great grandpa and they lock eyes! It truly is a special gift that we all get to witness.
We are lucky that my husband and I live about 4 houses down from his grandpa so our little man gets to spend time with his 'big buddy' very conveniently. My husband always called his grandpa 'buddy' gr…

Walnut Zucchini Muffins

I have a secret I have to admit. When it comes to baking, my favorite nut is walnut. I have to support the walnut farmers too, my father is a walnut farmer after all. Besides the bags of almonds piled in my freezer, I do have a large stash of walnuts as well. So when it comes to baking, I pull out the walnuts and get my fix!
During summer we usually have an abundance of zucchini from the garden or they are readily available at the grocery store. My favorite thing to do with zucchini is bake muffins! My least favorite thing to do with zucchini is grate them though. Unfortunately, you will have to grate and drain the zucchini for this recipe. Besides that, they are pretty easy and super moist. They get to be so moist by using the Greek yogurt and all the eggs. And that's why I love them! I hope you do too!

Almond Girl Note Added 7/16/16: So today I made these again and used convection bake and they cooked so much faster...25-30 minutes and they are soo delicious still! 

 Until Next…

Almond Pesto

It's officially summer. We hit 100 degrees this weekend and it was brutal! With the onset of summer though, comes garden veggies. I have to admit I love growing my own garden and eating the rewards of what we grow. Sadly, because of the drought we cut back our garden to the essentials. Just tomatoes, peppers, and basil this year. We also have an amazing rosemary plant that keeps coming back every year bigger and bigger. Oh, I love our Rosemary bush!
But today we are talking basil. I love basil and trying to add it to anything to add a little zip! But basil is best for making pesto of course. Pesto traditionally uses pine nuts, but those things are so expensive and when almonds are much more readily available why not use almonds! I use whole almonds as well, they are cheaper than sliced or diced and the food processor can handle the little extra work. This recipe for almond pesto is pretty easy and fast. I love being able to throw everything in the food processor and le…