Pulling up to the Caprino Royale farm is like pulling into an adult petting zoo. We were greeted at the door with a glass of wine, excited doggies, chickens running everywhere, cock-a-doodle-doing roosters and a 10 day old baby goat. Now that is my kind of welcoming!
Although I grew up in Oklahoma, we were definitely more city folk than country folk, there were no goats, cows, pigs or roaming buffaloes in our back yard. The closest thing we had to wildlife were some goldfish I bought at Walmart!
When I started planning my “Summer Blogging Adventure” I knew I wanted to take some time in Oklahoma and Texas to see where the meat and dairy I was consuming came from. I was given my first opportunity to do so when I met Eric Tippit. I knew it was meant to be, when he told me his farm was named after the James Bond movie Casino Royale. My name is Whitney Bond y’all! Eric invited me out to his farm and the rest is goat milking history!
It’s amazing how much your level of appreciation for food rises after visiting a farm. There are about 1,000 components that go into making that little block of goat cheese for your favorite dish. From feeding the goats to milking the goats to turning that milk into cheese and the hundred things that come in-between each one, these farmers are working around the clock, 365 days out of the year to make the cheese we all love so much!
At Caprino Royale, husband and wife team Eric and Karen are taking things to a whole new level with the time and love they give to their goats.
As a consumer of food (which I’m pretty sure all of us here are, unless you’re on one of those juice diets and if so, why are you reading a food blog, that’s just being mean to yourself!) we should all know where our food is coming from and what we’re putting in our bodies.
I believe in eating meat and dairy, I’m not a vegetarian or vegan. With that said, I do believe in buying local meat and dairy from farmers that treat their animals with love and respect. I believe you can taste the love put into the animals, just how you can taste the love I put into all of the dishes I create! And if love is a key ingredient in great cheese, than Caprino Royale may just have the best cheese out there!
Each goat is called by name and fed and milked individually twice a day, yeah that’s 24 goats each given individual love and attention = 5 hours of milking and feeding a day! That’s 35 hours per week, that’s 1,825 hours per year, just for the milking and feeding, we haven’t even gotten to the actual cheese making yet!
While I was at the farm they let me attempt to milk one of the goats… and this happened!
Well now that we’ve all had a good laugh for the day, lets meet some of my farm favorites!
This little guy was only 10 days old and so sweet!
He was so cute and playful, I could have just hung with him all day and been so happy… but he needed his rest!
While he rested, the other kids came to play!
And for my favorite picture of the day…
Thank you so much to Karen and Eric for introducing me to all the goats and a special thanks to Cachet the goat for allowing me to attempt my first goat milking experience on her!
To find out more about the farm, the goats or the amazing owners Karen and Eric, visit www.CaprinoRoyale.com.
What better place to run through mud than somewhere that naturally has a lot of it, Oklahoma! I found out about the race 2 days before and started scavenging for friends that were not drinking beers and eating hot dogs on the lake for Memorial Day weekend! Luckily, my long time family friend I like to refer to as my “brother from another mother” and fierce athletic competitor was up for the challenge!
Saturday morning, Jeffrey, myself and my photographer (also known as my Dad!) took off for Ardmore, Oklahoma to complete the Fitness Freak 5K Mud Run.
Got our numbers and in the words of the Dixie Chicks “ready, ready, ready, ready , ready to run!”
Started off strong… then this happened!
and 19 obstacles later…
The climb up the finish line begins and continues…
Good news: when you get to the top, you get to slide down!
And for my favorite picture of the day…
Jeffrey takes a breather at the end while I take advantage of a photo-op and pose!
We received our medals and continued over to the photo wall!
Battle wounds happened, but that’s what a run like this is all about right??
Now it was time to hose down and clean up! Good thing I borrowed my Moms old shoes, do you think she’ll want them back??
I’m going to say probably not!
I would recommend the run to anyone that wants a good challenge! I will forever lovingly refer to this particular race as the “5K on Crack”!! If you think running up and over walls in shoes full of mud with dirty water dripping down your back is awesome then this is the race for you!
The “Fitness Freaks” put on the mud run twice a year in May and October, if you’d like to join in the fun, visit their Facebook page for all the details!
What would a summer adventure be without a summer bucket list? How about a bucket list that includes 90 items to be completed in 90 days? Well that would be my list!
Included with my recipes, interviews and adventures from the summer, I’ll also be giving bucket list updates!
Let me know if you want to get involved and help me start crossing off my list!! (I’m gonna need it!)
- Complete the “food list challenge” (I’m at 68
66of 100 right now!) Do a mud run(completed 5/26/12)
- Interview a chef in each of these ↑ cities
- Attend Taste of Chicago
- Surpass the 1000 follower mark on Twitter
- Host my own cooking show
- Meet Taylor Swift (don’t front, she’s awesome!)
- Go skydiving
Attend a Red Sox game at Fenway Park(completed 7/8/12)
- Swim with dolphins
- Volunteer with WWOOF
- Cook with Giada De Laurentiis
- Appear on the Today Show
- Stomp grapes
- Have a pint at Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago
- See a live jazz band in New Orleans
Fly on a Private Jet(completed 5/29/12)
- Visit a pig farm
- Meet the man, the myth, THE BOB STOOPS
- Go to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field
- Watch the Thunder become the NBA Champions ( saving this one for next year!)
- Take Mom Jet-skiing
- Go Zip-lining
- Make Someones Day
- Run across the Golden Gate Bridge
- Go to the top of the Space Needle
- Interview Jamie Oliver
- Eat deep dish in Chicago
- Donate toys to a children’s hospital
- Catch a fish
- Go horseback riding on the beach
- Spend a day with Giuliana Rancic
- Learn how to play the guitar
- Go to a Chicago Blues Bar
- Start a college fund for my “nephew” Eli
- Ride in a hot air balloon
- Participate in a flash mob
- Make homemade ricotta cheese
- Ride in a helicopter
- Go hiking in the rainforest
Eat a hot dog at the original Nathan’s on Coney Island(completed 6/30/12)
- Publish a cookbook
- Participate in a food eating contest
- Go shopping at Pike Place Market in Seattle
- Take a photography class
- Become a contributing food writer
- Re-connect with someone I haven’t seen in years
- Get a menu item named after me
- Make it on Times “Top 100 Blog List”
- (completed 5/21/12)
- Crash a Wedding
- Have a picnic in Central Park (does an iced coffee count??)
- Help a friend in need
- Go snorkeling
- Have a video on YouTube “go viral”
- Become a New York Times Best Seller
- Volunteer to help build a home
- Enter a recipe in a contest
- Run a race with all the members of my immediate family
- Start a dance party somewhere random
Take my “Nephew Neighbor” Jake on a day of fun(completed 5/30/12)
- Meet someone new every day
- Inspire someone
- Play with a monkey
- Get a stamp in my passport
- See a moose
- Go white water rafting
- Actually finish a book I start reading
- Kiss someone in the rain
- Get an agent
- Send someone flowers for no reason at all
- Compliment a stranger
- Volunteer for Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign
- Send a dozen greeting cards out to random friends
- Ride a bull (a real one, not a mechanical… been there, done that!)
- Take Becca to Miami
- Create an app for food bloggers
Play “slip cup”(completed 7/7/12)
- Go rock climbing
- Buy a Polaroid camera
- Meet Toby Keith (Boomer Sooner!)
- Have a food fight
- Be in a parade
- Be part of a big Italian family dinner
Make my brother a gluten-free birthday cake(completed 6/1/12)
Following up from yesterdays post announcing my Summer Adventure Plan, this is my tentative summer schedule! If I’m coming to a city near you, contact me! If I should go somewhere that’s not on the schedule, let me know! Tell me who to interview and what fun events are in your city, as well as where to eat and who to meet!
This post will be changing and evolving as I add new cities, events and interviews, so check back regularly to see what the LLB is up to!
May 19: Depart Los Angeles
May 19-20: San Diego, California
May 21-23: Edmond, Oklahoma
May 24-25: Dallas, Texas
May 26- June 7: Edmond, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Interviews: The stars of YouTube video sensation “Beard Like Harden”
- Events: June 1 – My Big Brothers 30th Birthday Celebration
June 8- June 10: Houston, Texas
June 11: Waco, Texas
- Interviews: Caprino Royale Goat Farm
June 12 – 27: Edmond, Oklahoma
June 28- July 2: New York City, New York
July 3 – July 7: Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
July 8- 11: Boston, Massachusetts
July 12-27: San Diego, California
- Events: July 18 – Opening Day at the Races, Del Mar, CA
July 30-Aug 1: Los Angeles, California
Aug 2-19: San Diego, California
“You cannot always wait for the perfect time, sometimes you must dare to jump. Life is all about risks and it requires you to jump. Don’t be a person who has to look back and wonder what they would have or could have had.” – Don Kel
I’m jumping into a new social experiment in blogging that involves a summer of travel and I need your help, read below to find out just what this all means!
As I approached (and gracefully passed) my quarter life mark the usual life events began to occur, friends got married (Congratulations Marin!), friends had babies (Love you Eli!),
friends graduated college, friends got new jobs, friends advanced in their careers, friends moved away and friends moved closer and I…. made food!
My life is an ever-changing adventure, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Growing up, my parents (the greatest in the world in my book!) always told me to go for it, to live my dreams and to never miss out on an opportunity. I took their advice, probably even further than they expected (and maybe wanted me to) sometimes!
When I was 21 I started my first business and I loved every minute of it, but at a certain point I realized that it was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. That is when the crazy adventure that is, my life in LA, began.
I really had no plans in LA, but just to try something new. And something new is what I got. I went back to school, I traveled, I made new friends and I began the ever amazing journey that is the Little Leopard Book.
The Little Leopard Book began as an actual notebook I wrote in when I first moved to LA. I wrote in the book about things that made me happy, what my goals were and what I was doing to achieve each of those goals.
Today’s post is a culmination of all those things. Over the last year I’ve realized that the things that make me the happiest and most fulfilled are:
- People – meeting them, talking to them, being around them. I love fun people, people with interesting stories, adventurous people and my favorite, the positive people
- Traveling - “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustin
- Adventures – Everything from half marathons in the mountains to hiking at the beach to camping in the woods, I’m always up for a new adventure!
- Food – I’m pretty sure if you’ve ever read my blog before, you can pretty much figure this one out!
- Cooking – This is my escape, when I’m in the kitchen I’m the most creative, the happiest and the most at peace than anywhere else!
- Writing – What a release! Writing for me is therapy. Everything from jotting down notes, to writing stories, writing recipes and writing about my adventures, I love the way the written word can resonate with people so uniquely and reach people on different levels!
I have combined all of these and come up with my latest plan for life.
I will be traveling to cities everywhere from the US, to Mexico, to Canada and anywhere else someone invites me! I will be staying with friends, family, friends of friends and cooking for them. Yup, you heard me right, I stay at your house = I cook for you! I would say the trade-off works pretty well right? In each city I want to experience a new adventure, whether it be sky diving, mud runs, swimming with dolphins or anything in between, I’m up for it! I’ll be interviewing chefs, bloggers and interesting people in each city and trying the best and most intriguing restaurants each one has to offer!
Here’s where you come in:
- Where should I go? Tell me where you live or where you’ve visited that I must go and see!
- What should I do? What adventure should I experience in this city? Do you all have the largest Jazz festival outside of New Orleans, do you have a beer festival that would put Oktoberfest to shame, do you have a secret adventure spot that only the locals know about?
- Where should I eat? Who has the best pizza, most interesting menu, biggest pancake I’ve ever seen?
- Who should I interview? Are you a chef, do you know a chef, do you own a restaurant, are you a fellow blogger, are you “in” with the chef at your favorite restaurant or are you just an interesting person with a story to tell? Tell me who to talk to!
The good news:
I’ll be recording everything on the Little Leopard Book (not the original, this one, the virtual one ) and sharing my adventures, recipes, interviews and restaurant reviews with all of you!
- The book. At the end of the summer I will publish my first “food and travel” book!
- The people. I want to meet you! You can view a calendar of my travel here! If I’m coming to a city near you, lets meet for coffee or a pint! I’d love to hear your story!
- The adventures. Adventures = Stories and “Stories are the creative conversion of life itself. They are the currency of human contact.” — Robert McKee Join in the adventure by helping me complete one of my Summer Bucket List items!
- The food. In the words of my girlfriends OBVI!
I need your help in this adventure!!! Comment below, message me on Facebook, tweet me on the Twitter, Instagram me (@whitneybond), tag me on Pinterest in a destination or adventure picture I have to try, befriend me on Yelp so I can see your reviews of places, share this with your friends, family, fellow bloggers, join the adventure with me!
In the end, my goal is to say this every day of the summer:
“Each day I am thankful for friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love.” – Unknown