• Cheater Chicken Florentine Pasta Bake

    Every week I find time to do something new in my kitchen.
    It is the chance to catch my breath, be creative and find my happy. Growing up I was so blessed to have time being creative with my mom, making 4-H projects, working with my sheep projects, drill team performances, playing music, and swimming. In college, I found rejuvenation with my clubs, walking at Leed Rec Center, cooking for international student meetings at Memorial Lutheran, as a part of the 3 K's and doing random landscaping jobs for money around Ames.  
    As an adult, I still find ...


    I don't usually talk in this space about my work off our family farm.  I do that for two reasons. First of all it isn't how I define myself. I am a woman in agriculture who struggles to keep her foot in the soil while working away from it.  My job also involves working with people who may not care to find their name or likeness in one of my blogs.
    The work I do off farm is fund raising for a local community college. It has a title with six words that don't even begin to cover all the ...

  • Do-over's aren't all bad

    You either like leftovers or you don’t. 
    I love leftovers because they mean I don’t have to clean up the kitchen other than the dishes we eat on and maybe the baking dish.  
    I like to think of them as positive do-overs. No mistakes made, just a chance to redefine or recreate rather than waste food. On do-over nights there are no pots, pans, knives, mixing beaters, bowls or cutting boards to wash, rinse and put away. I can go to bed with a clean counter.  I may love to cook, but I hate to clean up.
    I grew up ...

  • Cherry Berry Crumb Cobbler

    Last week I enjoyed the Mini Me’s second year as a 4-H exhibitor at our county fair.  I take a week of vacation from my off-farm job to be at the beck and call of my kids and their projects and fair obligations.  It is the only week of the year that I unplug from my work and it honestly isn’t a week of rest for me.  It is a week that I do cherish, because I see my daughter grow and develop as a human. It also provides me with the deadline to make time to teach her life ...

  • Spinach & Beef Spaghetti Pie

    The garden has started producing again and my first spinach salad harvested from our garden plot just made my soul and my stomach happy. 
    It looks like it will be a gangbuster season for spinach, so I decided to look at recipes that I could sneak a little – ok maybe a lot of spinach or Swiss chard – into.  The Farmer and the Mini Me like cooked spinach with lots of butter and a generous sprinkle of apple cider vinegar. I like it best in salads with hard boiled eggs, French dressing and a generous sprinkle of crushed ...

  • Mexican Stuffed Peppers

    When I was engaged to the Farmer Boy I lived in a tiny apartment over a stairway just a block from my job selling advertising in a farm newspaper. It had three rooms.  A kitchen with a stove that barely fit a cake pan, a bathroom where I could stand at the sink and flush the toilet or start the shower and one all-purpose room.  I slept in my all purpose room, but it had a closet that I could stand in and do a full circle without touching a wall.
    I loved that I could ...

  • Celebrating Iowa Beef Month and May at our Farm

    May brings a few things to celebrate at our house.  May Day treats from and for the neighbors start the month off.  We go low input… Microwave popcorn, dry roasted nuts and M&M’s in a clear cup. We only hit three houses, but two were neighbors we haven’t reached out to much. I think it was a win.
    Another celebration for me is the day the garden is finished. The first thing we harvest just helps to chase the last of winter away from my soul, too. I think ...

  • A Farm Mom's Perspective on the School Lunch Program

    Note: I've sat on this blog for several months, because I didn't want to offend the hardworking folks who serve my kids and all the students and staff in our local school district. I'm sad that nothing is changing and that our state is engaged in a arm wrestling match over even funding our schools. Things need to change, I understand food...so that's where I will start.   
    I’m not generally a person to buck what my local school district does. I am usually very happy with the results I ...

  • Perfect and easy pork tenderloins

    There were a few dishes that I had not discovered until I met and married my Farmer Boy.  Fried hot dogs and potatoes, creamed dried beef on fried potatoes and the kind of cheesecake that you make like a cream pie with cream cheese and whipped topping. I also had not discovered homemade breaded pork tenderloins.
    Tenderloins are an Iowa food tradition and identity. It kind of goes along with being the #1 pork producing state in the nation. They are served at almost every local diner. You can find them in most reputable ...

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