Chèvre, Grape and Walnut Terrine Appetizer

There are never enough goat cheese appetizers in this world. This one sounds amazing, I cannot wait to try it. Just perfect for summer, to accompany a cool, crisp glass of white wine. Nums.


2 cups walnuts, divided
3/4 cup honey
1 cup sliced red grapes
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 ounces high-quality goat cheese, softened
Coarsely chop 1 cup walnuts; chop the remaining cup of walnuts finely. Place finely chopped nuts in a large bowl and add the honey, 3/4 cup sliced grapes, herbes de Provence, coriander, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice and salt. Slowly mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
Line an 8-to-10-ounce soufflé cup with plastic wrap.
Soften goat cheese to a spreadable point. Use a piping bag or spoon, fill the bottom 1/2 inch of the plastic-lined soufflé cup (this will be the top) with the goat cheese.
Add 1/2 cup of the rough-chop walnuts. Sprinkle half the remaining sliced grapes over the goat cheese. Pipe or spoon more goat cheese on top of the grapes, covering them completely. Spoon in about 1/2 inch of the walnut-grape mixture. Repeat with a layer of goat cheese, the remaining grapes, the remaining rough-chop walnuts, and a final layer of goat cheese (this will be the bottom).
Fold the plastic over the contents of the soufflé cup. Refrigerate overnight.
When you are ready to use the spread, open the plastic wrap and invert a plate over the soufflé cup. Turn the soufflé cup over, separating it from the goat cheese spread. Serve with crackers or bread.

Thanks to Small Bites Big Flavor and Food Republic for the recipe and picture!


Our goat kids from 2011 are growing up

Instead of a recipe today, I thought I’d share a couple of cute pix of our goat babies, one born in early March and the other in early April. They are so sweet, but won’t be small for much longer….

Meet Irina and Ira, our latest American Oberhasli herd mates! Irina will join our crew of milkers next year, while Ira is a neutered male we kept to accompany Irina as she grows up. She can’t be in with the big girls yet, they will beat her up and pick on her mercilessly. She needs a buddy, and Ira fills the bill beautifully. It is difficult for new/young herd mates to break into the hierarchy…such is the law of the jungle.

Irina is one of the prettiest doelings we’ve ever had: dark bay body, with a thick black dorsal stripe, pretty black dancing boots and a lot of black guard hairs in her coat. She is gorgeous.

Our dear FeiWong, an older milking doe, watches the babies as she hangs out with George and chews her cud. Our goats are very affectionate, and they ask for hugs on a daily basis.

This adorable little pixie LOVES goat cheese. The more, the better. She is one of the cutest of our over 200 visitors to the farm this year. She came, she fed goats and babies, she ate cheese curds and she left her mark. On our hearts:)

Birchbark Goat Babies wish you a Happy Easter

Here in Northwest Michigan springtime has been so late that we began to doubt that it would ever come. But today, on Easter Sunday, we finally got sun, warmth, no wind and a glorious peace over the whole farm…perfect conditions for a little walk out in the farm driveway with our growing (four-legged) kids. Enjoy following us around for a few minutes!

New babies!!

The first babies of the season were born last night, to our princess Gemsi. They decided to come into the world at 11:30pm, on the night when we already had to turn the clocks back, yawn. First kidding for Gemsi, but she pulled through it just fine. The second one started to emerge with one leg tucked behind, so there was a bit of a struggle to get the, ah, alignment corrected, and then boom, both were on the ground, safe and sound!


Still damp and glistening from the trip down the canal!


They are all warm and fuzzy and walking around on stiff, wobbly legs this morning, ready for warm milk and a soft lap. We held off on naming them until the morning, when their personalities were a bit more on display. The first-born will be Irina, named after her great-grandmother, our first herd queen and a very special goat. Her sister will be Ishiko. She carries a sentimental bond to our Japanese daughter, Michiko. We are hoping that Michi is just fine through this week’s disasters on Honshu, and knowing her, she is probably volunteering to provide medical relief to the survivors of the quake and tsunami. Our thoughts are with them.


Irina Secunda of Birchbark Farm, welcome to the world!



And this is Princess Ishiko of Birchbark Farm. They're all princesses, actually.

Someday I hope I can dispense with the allergy mask and just be up close and personal with the goats!